The last of the releases on this end of things till the coming weekend. o/
Sidestory Chapter 3 A scene of the former world
This is a kind of and not so kind of everyday story of me, Shindou Jin, just before I was summoned to another world.
[Asai, your birthday’s November 5th, right?]
[Yeah, that’s right, but what about it?]
One of my close friends, Azuma Akira, asked the question to another close friend of mine, Asai Yoshinobu.
[No, it’s just a small investigation.]
Azuma said that while pushing his glasses with his middle finger.
[Another investigation… What is it this time?]
Even while Asai sighs, he pressed Azuma.
[No, I think your parents are going to be excited with Christmas, so…]
[Huh? What’s happening with mom and dad?]
Asai was looking confused. Yeah, I don’t know what he meant either. I don’t know if it’s because of Azuma being a smart person, but he always had a bad habit of thinking for himself, taking out conclusions as he pleases and not giving any explanation to us.
[Azuma, your bad habit is coming out again.]
[That’s right, Toumei. Give us an explanation already.]
Toumei is the nickname Asai calls Azuma. Because his name (東明) can be read like that.
[Oh, sorry ’bout that. I only counted back to October 10th from Asai’s birthday.]
[October 10th…, I see.]
I unconsciously said I understood. In one way, you can say it’s another birthday.
[Ugh, I don’t want to hear that kind of conversation about mom and dad …]
Asai looks unpleasant from the bottom of his heart. I know how he feels. I don’t want that kind of conversation of my family either.
[That’s all I’ve investigated, but it looks like there are a lot of birthdays around the end of summer and autumn. It matches when you count from the seasons when it becomes cold and people long for the warmth of each other’s body. Oh, Asai’s younger sister’s was born around September if I remember correctly]
[That’s why I said I don’t want to hear it… Rather, stop thinking about someone’s younger sister like that.]
[Aw, please don’t be like that. It already came to my mind, so I won’t be able to settle down unless I investigate it, so… I’ve completed my investigation of the birthdays of my acquaintances and friends I know of.]
[Don’t do something uncalled for, Toumei.]
[It’s a conversation that’s in bad taste as always. Azuma’s ideas that is…]
Even though Azuma is quite smart, he sometimes does investigation on pointless things. If I’m not mistaken, he did an investigation about Cinderella the other day. He told me that, regarding the Cinderella story, the one who benefited the most is the witch or something like that…. At the end of the story, the witch gained a connection with the royal family. Because of that situation, she can even coerce people I guess. And if that is the witch’s aim, would Cinderella really limit it to just one person? Cinderella didn’t talk about anything in the dance party, but aren’t there other people there as well? Those kind of things.
Honestly, I could care less. And the one who for some reason ponders about these things that are in bad taste is this guy called Azuma.
[Well then, this is the end. There’s nothing you can do now, can you?]
[Oh, Jin’s loss is pretty much decided with this I guess.]
[I wonder about that.]
Right now, we are playing a card game at school after classes were over. Well, this isn’t really fine, but we’re not particularly banned from anything so I’m free to do anything here.
[Draw. Oh, won’t I be able to work it out with these?]
From there I turned the tables by using several cards.
[Oh, this is amazing…]
[Why!? Why was he able to pull out a card that can reverse my 80% restriction on his movement!?]
[Well, isn’t that the usual as far as Jin is concerned?]
[That’s what’s really strange! Even though it’s like this, I’m really confident in my superior methods. To have that intelligence be overcome by luck is ridiculous at best!]
[From a normal person’s perspective, Azuma’s intelligence is also ridiculous though…]
Azuma is unreasonably intelligent. If you ask me how smart, he’s smart enough to solve a “Millennium Mathematical Problem” as part of independent research during the summer vacation in elementary school. The “Millennium Mathematical Problem” are seven problems that are unresolved in the field of mathematics and has one million dollars as prize money.
Azuma was a returnee who didn’t seem to really understand the concept of independent research and had announced he will do the greatest research he’s able to do himself. If I didn’t stop him after noticing that by chance during summer, it probably would’ve become a big deal. The notes that solved 90% of the mathematical proof are firmly sealed in the closet in his house.
I usually overcome Azuma’s overwhelming strategy with just luck. It’s pretty much because I usually get a card that’s convenient for me. What can I say, my hands are usually not strong, but I feel like I’m saved only when there’s no way out.
[Well then, it’s my turn now. I’m stronger than Toumei, you know.]
[I’m the one who has a higher winning rate though!?]
Asai switches with Azuma and fights me next. His tactic is reading through the card in hand. No I mean, he looks at the enemy’s hands and makes up a strategy with it.
If Azuma’s biggest asset is his intelligence, then Asai’s biggest asset is his sharp eyes. To put it simply, he can fight by looking at the opponent’s hand that is reflected in their eyes. To be honest, it’s a cheat. By the way, Azuma’s stance is “Make a winning strategy even if they’re seen”. My stance is “You don’t know what card I’ll draw next right?”.
[I lost~! Jin’s strong~!]
[Look, you saw that? There’ss no chance Asai can defeat an opponent I can’t defeat.]
To begin with, the reason we are playing among ourselves is because we were banned from the card shop. Maybe it’s because of us getting carried away and winning too many, but when we participate in a tournament, almost everyone drops out. And when we repeated things like viciously beating the remaining new faces until they’re beyond recovery, we were told “I’ll give you guys discount and in return, please don’t participate in the tournament.” We reflected on this, but we didn’t regret it.
[Hmm, I wonder if it’s about time to quit playing this card game. We conquered even the national tournament too…]
[I guess. So, what we gonna do next? We’re pretty much banned from fighting games too…]
We are banned from fighting games, or more like game centers. They will run out of business if we play prize-type game too. The three of us try conquer various things we get our hands on and we repeat the same thing with the next thing we look for.
I heard it from my childhood friend, but we seemed to be called “The Three Disasters (地震雷火事 = Earthquake, Thunder and Fires)”, are they idiots? Or, “They don’t leave a single blade of grass in their wake.”… I’ll say it again, are they idiots?
[Well, let’s call it a day. Let’s each of us think on our own the next thing we should get our hands on.]
And with that, we started preparing to leave. At the same time, the classroom’s door opened.
[Ah, Jin-kun. Are you done? Shall we go home together then?]
The one who came in was my female childhood friend, Mizuhara Saki. Being nextdoor neighbours, we’ve been getting along with each other since a long time ago. I wonder if it’s easy to understand if I say we have a connection where we can peep at each other’s room from our window.
[Oh, is it the appearance of the legal wife?]
[I’m not, Asai-kun! Something like a legal wife!]
Saki pushed Asai away from embarrassment. She easily pushed away Asai, who is 180cm long and has sportsman physique. He was blown away along with a few desks.
[Ah, I’m sorry. Asai-kun.]
[Are you okay?]
Asai stood up while staggering. As one would expect, he is tough.
[If you see, this disastrous scene and, still think, I’m fine then, go to an eye doctor…]
I guess he isn’t fine then. We ended up having to move the desks back to where they were before.
[Well then, see you tomorrow!]
Azuma was first to part ways and when we parted ways with Asai, there’s only me and Saki. Saki doesn’t really talk when Azuma and Asai are with us. Of course, she still responds when she can talk, but if she can’t she lets it pass. In addition, she is looking at me the whole time.
She does start talking assertively when we are alone together.
[Phmph~ So, you’re about to look for something else to play…]
[Yeah, I think we’ve done everything we can do, it’s about time we got enough of it.]
[I see. (……Then, I have to throw away the card I planned to give to Jin-kun…)]
[Hm? Did you say something?]
[Ah, no. It is nothing.]
Saki shook her hand in panic. I wonder why. Well, she’ll still act the same way no matter what we’re going to do, so there is nothing to worry about I guess.
[Oh, oh, speaking of which, I noticed a soaking wet girl in front of the classroom.]
Saki suddenly changed the topic, but this is normal so let’s not worry about it.
[What’s that? A ghost or something?]
[It’s probably a girl from the next class you know. I did see her during PE. I’ve also seen her enter the next classroom. I don’t know her name though…]
How could she become soaking wet even though it’s summer? It would be fine if she isn’t bullied badly though… The class next door did have a bad reputation…
[hmph. So what did you do?]
[Eh? I didn’t do anything you know.]
[Eh? So you talk about it so far only to say it was nothing!?]
[Yeah, I mean, it was more important to go to Jin-kun.]
[Then, why did you change the subject…]
[It doesn’t mean anything you know?]
Actually, this is a common scene when I talk to Saki. There’s no meaning, no outcome and no climax; it’s like she brought those subject out just for the sake of talking.
[Ah, Orihara-kun is there. It looks like Orihara-kun is also going back home.]
[Yeah, he is about 500m behind us.]
Orihara is my male childhood friend. For some reason, I try not to let both of them have too much contact with each other.
He is walking along the river, so we can see him about 500m away from us. I looked back and felt like there is an Orihara-like person at a distance. Oh, he is waving his hand lightly. So that means he really is Orihara I guess. His house isn’t close to Saki’s, but our houses are generally in the same direction.
Be that as it may, he isn’t someone I want to approach if I don’t have any businesses with him so I feel sorry for him, but let’s go on like this.
[So, Shall we go?]
[Eh? We’re not waiting for Orihara-kun?]
[I told you before didn’t I?]
[Oh, yeah. I remember. 1) I must not get involved with Orihara-kun. 2) In case I have to be involved with him after all, keep it at a minimum. 3) Make sure I’m never alone with Orihara-kun. Right?]
I pat Saki’s head as I said.
Saki looks happy. Even though she’s already a senior high school student, I’m a little worried about her not showing any sign of rejecting this kind of skinship. Even at home when I open the window, there is a high chance of her changing her clothes without closing the curtains…
We returned home without worrying about Orihara.
[See you later.]
[Yeah, see you tomorrow.]
Saying that, I parted with Saki in front of her house. After I finish changing my clothes, I check up on the next thing we can do on the PC.
Let’s see, I wonder if there’s anything good around. It’ll be nice if I could find something we could continue on for a long time if that’s possible though…
[Oh, isn’t this one good enough?]
An online game caught my eyes.
“The very first Virtual MMO [World Disaster Online]”
Come to think of it, I did see quite a lot of their advertisement recently. It’s a game that implemented the virtual reality produced because of a technical breakthrough. The development team who’s full with vigor did this MMO on their first shot with their challenging spirit. The newsworthiness isn’t common after all.
It’s by chance, but there is even a section that corresponds with our aliases and in the case of an online game, us being banned is …, well, I guess as long as we keep our manners then it’ll be fine.
Let’s see here, oh! So they start recruiting for beta testing in exactly one week. Well, it’s not like I won’t be selected if I apply for it I guess.
Alright, let’s suggest this one tomorrow.