Aura: Koga Maryuin's Final Battle - novelonlinefull.com
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With that sequence of events, I was once again seeing a change in my surrounding circ.u.mstance.
Unlike the dramatic shift when my debut failed, this was an inconspicuous yet definite change.
To start with, Takahashi and Ooshima were blatantly avoiding me. Even if we never really talked to begin with, now it was complete zero, full ignore.
To put it in simple terms, this was shunning, rejecting, ostracization. If our cla.s.s hadn't been filled with soldiers, it was likely that their conduct would serve as a trigger for a great many to follow suit. That being the case, we still consisted of half normal people, and while hesitant, they did abide by Takahashi's policy. In short, half the cla.s.s had turned the other way. Oh, if it's just ignoring, that's nothing. Whichever the case, back when I was trying to force human interaction, I was essentially alone anyways.
But within all of that, there stood at the pinnacle a strong warrior who would fail to read the mood and talk to me regardless. It was Kobato-san.
She struck up conversation so often I had to wonder If something was up. By that flow, I had more opportunities to talk to the handsome Itou who sat directly next to me. He always gave off a docile impression among the n.o.bles, but once I'd talked to him, I found he was quite a good-natured fellow. Just a normal high school student who liked video games and manga. The two of them weren't influenced by Ooshima or Takahashi's compulsion. But If I relied on them too much, then it would be their positions that took the fall net, so I took precautions on my end to not converse for prolonged periods. How do you like that, this tact? Isn't it extraordinary? My nen isn't Air Reader for nothing.
Now then, about the warriors.
Looking at the result, I protected them and bore the full brunt of the a.s.sault (apparently).
Akashic Kinos.h.i.ta started calling me SP, while Hero Andou called me The Director. Only Zeus Suzuki continued calling me Hewley. Even if they changed what they referred to me as, it was nothing more than a qualitative change in annoyance.
Moved by how she'd been saved, Oda started acting like she was Ryouko's underling. The incident's influence could be seen from how she had changed her black eyepatch to a white medical one. Her wooden sword was taken into school custody and in its place, she equipped an arm guard she said was to block sword (that thing the female ninjas in manga often wear). Perhaps parting from her sword had lowered her warrior spirit, as she added h.o.m.os.e.xual onto her character page. The target was Ryouko.
When she called her, "My Lord," I couldn't contain the chills. She was thankful to me too, for what it's worth, but after I mocked her with, "Your character's a mess, your character's a mess," she was back to detesting me. As long as the person she was actually following around didn't pay it any mind, my personal take was that she could do whatever she wanted.
Ryouko alone was unchanged. Dragging me all over the place, aimlessly searching for the dragon terminal day after day. In days of wasted effort and punishment, I was on the verge of forgetting my shame. I stopped feeling anything when people pointed at us. At this rate, I feared I'd stop picking up auras as well. Satou Ichirou fervently requests Mr. Fate to bring a swift resolution to this situation.
The result of that preamble was that today's lunch group consisted of Mens' Satou, Ladies' Satou, Kobato, Itou and Oda, the five of us. It started with Kobato-san's proposition, "Tomorrow lunch, we should deepen our bonds as seat neighbors. Let's eat together."
The five of us pushed desks together in the cla.s.sroom.
"… I'm fine with that. But what about you?"
"Something wrong?" asked Kobato-san.
"Didn't you always eat with Ooshima?"
Ooshima was pecking at her lunch, her table pushed against Gal Imawano's, but now and again, she would send annoyed glances our way. How scary. I was fine, I had nothing left to lose, but I worried for Kobato-san.
"Yeah, we eat together a lot. But I'll eat here today."
"You too, Itou, you sure you don't have to eat with Takahashi? Since Yamamoto's not here, isn't he alone?"
"He invited me, but I turned him down."
These people were valuable airheads. Someone br.i.m.m.i.n.g with good will, look after them with are.
"Odsan, why don't you bring your desk over too? It's a little narrow with four."
"… I'm fine with this."
Oda brought over only her chair, nestling herself close next to Ryouko. The only ones she could properly hold conversations with were varients off dream soldiers.
"Wow, Satou-kun, your lunch is amazing."
"Embarra.s.sing, you mean."
When I asked for a boxed lunch, my mother put in time and effort. The concept was, "A lunch that won't get me mocked at school," with the implication being, ""A lunch that won't drag down my school life". As bento boxes were heavy to lug around, I usually carried bread or ate at the cafeteria. I mean, how could you expect me to polish off a three-level-stacked lunch?
"Satou-san, where's your meal?"
Ryouko silently pulled multiple Weider Vitamin jelly drinks from the inside of her robe and stacked them on the table. I see, that future-food-esque article really did seem to align with her tastes.
"T-that's your lunch?" Itou immediate pulled back.
When even Oda carried a proper meal with her, this girl alone went her own path.
"To eat is to replenish one's energy reserves, a single step in the process of maintaining a carbon-based activity body. Therefore, ingestion is most efficiently done in paste form, in fact, in the Terminal Zone, energy replenishment is—"
"Okay, okay, okay, okay! Let's eat!"
With so many guests, I couldn't let her express her cringy setting.
"Then do you want to eat part of mine? Take whatever you like?"
Kobato-san held her small elliptical bento box across the table. Ryouko stared fixedly at its contents.
A momentary silent confrontation. Between the two of them, the tensions of the last shootout scene in Kurosawa's film Sanjuro lingered. Eventually, Ryouko's face closed in on the box. Her moth directly pilfered a small hamburger steak. Ryouko swallowed it without chewing.
"… Was it good?"
"As the researcher's biological upgrade has removed any unnecessary processing allocated to the sense of taste, it is impossible to detect flavor."
"You just made that up on the spot, didn't you? That one's definitely going to come back and bite you later."
Yeah, ignore me. Ignore me all you want.
"You got something nice, so how about thanking her? Maybe give her one of your jellies?"
"The Researcher will succ.u.mb to nutritional deficiency."
"Then I'll give you the top layer of my bento. You can thank her now, can't you?"
It's not like I could eat three levels anyways. I gave the first one to Ryouko. With how excessive it was, just one layer was plenty to fill a single girl's worth of stomach.
Ryouko offhandedly chucked a pack of Weider at Kobato-san. I was naïve.
"Hey! Why do you always have to be like that!"
"It's fine, it's fine. Satou-kun, don't worry about it. Thank you, Satou-san. I’ll happily take it."
"I always thought you were something, but you really are an amazing person, Satou-san."
Feeling ashamed was always my role.
"Satou-kun, you're like Satou-san's mother."
I'd thought something similar before. I'm sure my smile was stiff.
"But with Satou-kun and Satou-san, it's hard to understand, so can I call you Ryouko-chan?"
"Go ahead," I permitted it in her place.
Ryouko still ignored almost everyone apart from me.
"Then since we're at it, Satou-kun, could you tell me your first name?"
"Ah, that's a good idea~."
"Eh? The first name of someone as worthless as myself?"
"Y-you're not worthless… and Mens and Ladies make you sound like restrooms. No good?"
"Nah, it's fine. The name's Ichirou."
"Oh, Ichirou in the outfield. Ten billion yen a year."
"Hahahah… I do apologize that trash like me has the same name as a national hero."
"I-I'm telling you, that's not it… anyways, I'll call you Ichirou-kun."
"Then me too."
What's with this young and l.u.s.trous, fun daily conversation br.i.m.m.i.n.g with hope? Do things really change this much just by having two decent human beings around? And for Kobato-san to actually say my first name… I can stick my head up with pride.
"… Lewd fiend," Oda quietly cursed me.
"Oy, I heard that, Oda."
"Ah, but if you don't want me to, that's fine."
I'm perfectly fine with it. No problem at all. It's wonderful.
"So it's wonderful," Itou lightly laughed. "Satou-san, did you have any nicknames from middle school or something?
Naturally, Ryouko didn't speak, so I interpreted.
"Hey, or, You, don't you think an interjection is good enough?"
"Hey, that's a bit much," Itou's shoulders were shaking.
"Hmph, and Lecher is good enough for you, Ichirou."
"Oda, get out back. A duel it is."
Whether or not she was even listening to our conversation, Ryouko alone ill-temperedly devoured my lunch. Awkwardly using chopsticks.
After that, I often got to eating lunch with Kobato-san and Itou.
We ended up forming a group.
Yamamoto's return didn't change that, and the cla.s.s n.o.bles were reduced to four. I had always felt a wall between me and people like Takahashi and Ooshima, but now it almost didn't matter at all.
In times of peace, people lose their sense of crisis. And they receive their recompense.