18. Hero and silence
The next day at school.
As expected or rather, the usual Karen who wears white jersey and bloomer with a blue coat transferred to here, and there was a different atmosphere flowing in Iwato’s class.
Currently, it’s lunch break.
Intimate students went to the convenient store to buy sweets for Karen and the guys looked at the appearance and loosen their expressions while Eita looked at the situation with an indescribable expression.
[…….Eh? A-Ah, come to think of it, yeah]
Iwato took his lunch at his seat while smiling wryly.
And, the seat on his right, Karen whose seat is the back seat at the third column from the window, have her seat next to Iwato while blushing a little as she ate a sandwich.
And, Eita who always took lunch with Iwato, flinched unintentionally after seeing Karen’s state.
However, Karen is Iwato’s faithful pupil. She don’t have the intention to interfere with Iwato’s friendship and school life.
[Eh? No, I don’t particularly intend to do so……]
[It’s okay, just come here quick!]
And just like that, Eita who sat in front, was forced to merge his desk with Iwato’s, and as a result, it became the normal situation but with Karen around.
Well, although they are interfered by 『Karen’s food duty』 students later, a more cheerful laughter resounded in the class compared when Karen is not here.
After school on the very same day.[Say, Karen-chan! Today, everyone in the class planned to go somewhere to celebrate Karen-chan’s return, so do you want to come along?]
Iwato thought of this after hearing the voice from his side while tidying his stuffs. “Um, no one told me about it, though”.
In addition, Karen certainly transferred to here without letting anyone know. Then, the students of this class think of the plan today, and try to do it today. What an ability to get things done.
Just like that, when Iwato conceals his little sadness, amazement and surprise in his heart as he tidies up his textbooks, he realized that the neighboring conversation stopped completely.
When he turns his sight to the side due to curiosity, there’s a figure of Karen who looks at Iwato blushingly. When her eyes met with Iwato’s, she quickly averted her eyes.
And, the female students had a broad grin when seeing her.
[Wha!? W-W-Wh-What are you saying!? I-I don’t particularly like Master at all!]
When Karen shouted so, she averted her eyes from the students who are grinning. And, her eyes met with Iwato once again who had a wry smile.[For the time being, I know that Karen don’t like me, and there’s nothing in particular that needs to be done. So why not you go?]
Of course Iwato is being inconsiderate now. Iwato knew what Karen said just now was just a lie.
After all, Karen was said to be an 『Iwato Complex』 by that brother complex Tsumugu. Anyone would know that it’s impossible that she don’t have any feelings for him when she keeps on calling “Master, Master” with a smile.
However, Iwato don’t know to what extent Karen’s feeling is. That’s why, he probably don’t think that the feeling that she holds is not 『Love』.
Well, that’s because Iwato has never been pointed with an easy-to-know love feeling by someone.
Anyway, Karen realized her verbal slip and she dropped her shoulders. The female students who saw that, said this to Iwato.
At an instant, Karen raised her face quickly.
Although the students had a wry smile as they saw her quick change, only Iwato pondered while putting his hand at his chin.
What comes to his mind is his stepsister who waits for him alone in the house.
Although it will probably end with just [Late…food] if he returned a little late, still, he felt displeasure when he thought of going out with other people while leaving her alone at home.
That’s why, Iwato tries to apologize to her–
『You got a mail』
At the next moment, a message was received in his status application as if it’s acting on its own, and Iwato had a stiff smile when he saw the subject.
Iwato clears the email’s notification by sliding it, and raises his face and consent.
After that, the classmates who have decided to go to the shopping district’s game center for the time being, started to walked in a group.
Although everyone is talking cheerfully, Iwato didn’t cut into the conversation, and because he didn’t have anyone close to him in particular, he walked at the back.
By the way, Eita seemed to have club activities.
Hence, even that Iwato felt miserable, and he seemed to leak a sigh by this situation that completely ignores the word “Time is money”.
–However, even a time like this can kill time.
When Iwato looks at the surroundings while walking, there was a figure of an old woman who’s carrying a large luggage, walking on the same direction.
Iwato ran to that person, and began to talk to the old woman.
[Oh? Thank you]
[No, I am young, so leave it to me]
Iwato who uses honorifics to elders.
Iwato said so with a smile and carries her luggage. He then escorts her to the moving floor, and he starts to walk slowly according to the movement.
Just like that, the old woman get off the moving floor as the destination can be seen, and she thanked Iwato and received her luggage from him.
[It’s okay. Obaa-san has endured the Year of Disaster. You are a splendid adult who have prospered the town this far. Let me help you this much]
[Oh my! Black haired boy, how nice of you……. I can’t be moved to tears when being an elder]
The old woman said so and started to wipe her tears.
She gave Iwato a few candies on parting, and she left after saying her thanks.
When Iwato returned to the students’ group after seeing her off, he looked around the surroundings again.
For the crying boy who had his balloon hooked on the tree’s branch, Iwato jumped lightly and picked it up.
For the crying girl who dropped her ice cream, he bought a new one.
As for the woman who he seen before, he saved her from being hit by a truck again.
To act to that extent, as expected, even the classmates would notice, but Karen who was walking at the front, moved back to Iwato as if she’s interested in Iwato’s act.[As expected of Master! Not overlooking any troubled people! I was deeply moved by that conversation with the old woman!]
[……You can hear it from that distance?]
[I will catch Master’s voice no matter where it’s from!]
Although Iwato crumpled his eyebrows unintentionally by Karen’s mysterious confidence, he decided to deny those words for now.[It’s not that I don’t overlook troubled people. How should I say it… It’s like a moment of living in this town]
When Iwato said so, he looked at Karen who opened her mouth as if not understanding what he’s saying, and said this.[Say, Karen. If a black haired powerless guy like me is walking in the street normally, what do you think will happen?]
[Um……people will think it a curiosity?]
Think a curiosity.
Certainly, that’s correct, but it’s not the model answer.
Iwato shake his head silently, and he presented the model answer that he experienced.
Karen gulped unintentionally by those words.
That’s because Karen herself has been despised in the past as a 『G rank』, but–above all, when she imagined the people who picked a fight with Iwato in those days, she felt a little pity.
[……You’re interested in that, huh?]
That’s right. That’s why, Iwato can’t say anything.
Iwato clears away the sodden atmosphere with a cough, and he looked around the surroundings.
What can be felt from the surroundings was not the scorning look felt in the past, but the grateful and courtesy look as if he’s a celebrity or hero.
[Ah, hero bro! Thanks for the other day]
[Yo hero, aren’t you hanging out with a cute girl!? Perhaps, girlfriend! How auspicious!]
[Well, isn’t it the black haired boy. Thank you for the other day]
Iwato is greeted by the surrounding people, and he dealt with it in accordance.
This shopping district can be called as Iwato’s home ground. It’s a street that he will definitely pass when he goes shopping.
In other words, he helped people to that extent in this area.
Iwato waved his hand to those people as he entered the game center, and he said this to Karen who followed.
–Compassion is not for other people’s benefit.
In case of Iwato, compassion is for his sake and his shampoo’s sales.
After this and that, the students have arrived at the game center.
But by the time Iwato and Karen reached, the students have already scattered about, and Iwato sighed while thinking 『Isn’t this planned for Karen』 in his heart.
When Iwato looked at this time’s leading role, Karen, there’s the figure of Karen looking at him with sparkling eyes.
Apparently, the words from before have bear fruit, and for Iwato who thought that he need to do something because he became her master, it’s the best development.
(Well, it’s already like a habit)
Iwato muttered in his heart, and he goes to exchange some coins to play.
Although Iwato don’t come to this kind of place so often by himself, the noisy machines’ sound drown out the customers’ noise. Well, either way, it’s noisy.
[Is it okay!? I don’t know anything because I never came to this kind of place, but thank you!]
[……Don’t waste too much, okay?]
“Somehow, I feel uneasy”.
Although Iwato had such feeling, he has money to burn. It’s fine to have money without quarreling with rich people.
When thinking so, Iwato lead Karen who followed him casually from his back, and they approach the nearby game machine for now.
Just like that, they approached the “Music Game” that’s continued to be loved since before the Year of Disaster, 『Taiko no Tatsujin』.
The red and blue taiko-shaped Unknown that appeared from the ancient civilization’s ruins. Those are destroyed by hitting the taiko at the right timing. And there’s special points given on how many Unknowns killed by critical.
Exactly, a game that represent this era.
[A match with Master!? Just as I hoped!]
Both of them said so, and took the drumstick at the same time–
–Suddenly, a sound of explosion resounded in the game center.[Wha!? This feeling, no need to guess… an Unknown!?]
Karen said so and turned her sight, and there’s a huge ant-like Unknown that stands on two legs.
Race: Ant Soldier
Battle Rank: 32
Superpower: Wound Sword[B]
Mythical Beast class.
First, for sure, it’s the Ant Soldier that’s said that if it’s not a B rank member of the Special Forces, no one can stand a chance against it. The Ant Soldier focuses its sight at the nearby children–
Before one knows, Iwato’s drumstick smashed its head.
The store became silent, and the commotion outside can be heard inside.
Karen who reacted to that voice right away, opened her eyes wide, and her body moved before she thinks.
When she confronted an Unknown before, there were strong figures of Iwato and Tsumugu nearby.
Originally, it’s better to wait for Iwato this time. But if someone were to die while waiting for him, she would probably feel regret to the extent of dying after that.
That’s why, Karen rushed out–
[You guys, we’re playing taiko no tatsujin, so at least, please think of when to appear]
–There were three figures of the Ant Soldiers’ head smashed by a drumstick.
Karen realizes it about this time that no matter how many there is, when Master is on the spot, it’s already the end.
[Roger! I won’t lose!]
Iwato and Karen completely ignore the silent surroundings, and enter the game center. On this occasion, such question came to Karen’s mind.
(Come to think of it……did the warning rang?)
As expected, it’s the appearance of the silent.