Chapter 3: World Ability Users Agency Newcomer Rank Examination
After the last class before Golden Week was over and the whole class started to prepare to leave with a cheerful look on their faces, Hiroto finished cleaning up before anyone else and stood up.
“Hey, Hiroto, what’s your hurry? It’s a holiday tomorrow, right? You don’t even have a job today, do you? Let’s just take a quick detour home.”
“Sorry! I’ve got some plans coming up, and I have to go. Bye!”
Hiroto replied to Ichigo as he left the classroom and walked past without noticing Matsuri, who had come to pick up Shizuka. Matsuri was surprised to see Hiroto running off right beside her and rushed to call out to him.
“Hiroto! What’s the plan? We need to talk!”
At Matsuri’s voice from behind him, Hiroto suddenly braked and shook back and replied in a loud voice.
“It’s that qualification test I mentioned before! It starts today! Sorry! I’m in a hurry!”
“You can’t take an exam on a day like this… what? Starting today…. aren’t exams just for one day?”
“Yes! Today is the meeting, and tomorrow we have a three-day exam! Bye!”
In the corridor underneath the front of Class D, Matsuri looked at the direction of Hiroto’s disappearance and made a baffled expression.
” I had to talk to you but then that’s almost the entire vacation.”
She muttered softly, but in fact, even if she had stopped him, Matsuri herself didn’t know how to start talking to him.
” Why don’t you try calling him? You wanted to talk about something, didn’t you?”
Shizuka appeared from behind Matsuri and called out to her.
”It’s okay! It looks like Hiroto is busy too….”
“What’s with the weird look on your face?”
” Nothing~.But you just need to talk, so why don’t we just get in touch?
“It’s okay.I don’t think it’s a good idea to interfere with Hiroto’s hard work at his part-time job.
“Hmmm….. Hmmm, then………Oh, by the way, did you say that you are taking a certification exam, Domori-kun? From what Matsuri said, is it some kind of detective work?”
“What? Shh, I don’t know, I haven’t heard much about it.”
Shizuka looks particularly surprised.
”Eh! Didn’t you pursue the matter about Domori-kun? Heh, ho-ho-ho. That’s a rare thing~”
” Because Hiroto said it with a determined look on his face……..hey! I don’t usually do anything to question Hiroto!”
“Haha, okay, okay. But a test that takes three days to complete is like a training camp? Ahhhh, hmmm………………well, it’s dangerous.”
“What are you talking about?”
“No, I don’t know what kind of test it is, but does that test involve girls? You know. There are many times when people who are taking the same examinations hit it off with each other. And when it comes to training camps… you know, there have been a few couples in our club that got together at a joint training camp with boys.”
“That’s why a bunch of people confessed to you, Matsuri.”‘
”Matsuri … maybe you should keep in touch with Domori-kun? Considering how much of a mess you’ve been in lately, I’ve got to make sure you don’t get any bad bugs!”
“I don’t! I-I didn’t mean it!”
“Oh, that’s not what I meant. It’s just that Domori-kun doesn’t look like he’s used to it, so he’s liable to fall for the wrong girl at once. It’s a pity, right? Matsuri is a fellow student and a childhood friend of mine, so that means it won’t be a bummer to do that, right?”
“E… ah! I see. Honestly, I don’t have the right to do that much for him, but it can’t be helped. Well, I don’t think there’s a girl who would take care of Hiroto. I don’t think I can take care of him at all……..”
Matsuri said that, but her face was clearly more vivid than before, and she walked off towards the kendo club’s room. Shizuka grins while watching her back.
“This one’s a bit of a pain to take care of, though.”
“What should be taken care of?”
Ichigo came out of the classroom without a care in the world after Hiroto refused his invitation.
“No, nothing, just this side of the story,”
“Hmm. Ahhhh, what am I going to do now? Hiroto’s gone too.”
“Hakamada-kun shouldn’t you join a club? You’ ve got good motor skills.”
“Yeah, okay, I’m good.”
“Yes…… Ah, that’s right, Hakamada-kun. I’ve been wanting to ask Hakamada-kun for a while now…”
Shizuka said as she glanced at Ichigo for a bit. It was an expression that wasn’t like the always cheerful Shizuka.
“Hakamada-kun knows that Domori-kun is busy with his personal life… Why did you bring Domori-kun all those ‘helper’ jobs? I feel a little sorry for him.”
Shizuka had wondered about this behavior of Ichigo. So she wanted to ask him about this one day. Partly because Shizuka didn’t see Ichigo as someone who was just a prankster and kept annoying his friends lately.
Then Ichigo scratched his head in response to Shizuka’s question with a faintly odd expression that wasn’t like him.
“Oh, hmmm, what can I say? I want Hiroto to get more involved with everyone, or maybe…”
”Haha, I see.You want everyone to know the good things about Domori -kun, whom you adore,….. but you’re too embarrassed to say it yourself, right?”
‘Hey! Dude! It’s just that I….
That’s not very straightforward of you.
“It really isn’t! ……..but that’s part of it.It’s kind of like that guy, sometimes his presence suddenly fades away, or maybe I’ve been strangely worried about him after feeling that in the third grade……”
Shizuka gets a mysterious look on her face as she remembers that she too had completely forgotten about Hiroto in junior high school with these words from Ichigo. Despite the fact that they were in the same class in junior high school.
“To tell the truth, when I was in junior high school, I also…. forgot about that guy.”
Shizuka was puzzled by Ichigo’s unexpected words.
“Right after Hiroto started junior high school,….. after the incident in Shinagawa he missed three months of school and came to school for the first time, I asked myself, who is this guy? I thought. I even thought he was a transfer student.”
“Oh, no… because Hakamada-kun…”
“Yeah, I thought we were best friends. Of course … well, we still are, you know.”
“Yeah you’re right.”
Ichigo hid his eyes for a moment. It was an expression of self-hatred and disgust.
“He wasn’t getting along with the rest of the class and for some reason he was struggling to keep up with his studies. I thought it was because he was absent that he was falling behind in his studies, and I was wondering if I could lend him my notebook. I said to him. He laughed and said, “Thank you, Ichigo!””
Ichigo let out a gasp.
“So then, after what I said in response to that… I can’t forget the look on Hiroto’s face.”
“…what did you say?”
“I said, ” You’re a familiar face. I… to him.”
“Then … he looked lonely … and said … I’m sorry.”
Shizuka didn’t miss the fact that Ichigo showed a pained expression for a moment.
The always cheerful Shizuka also questioned Ichigo as she chose her words.
“So when did you…remember?”
“It’s all of a sudden. It all started when I saw Shirasawa-san scolding Hiroto and teaching him his studies and it seemed like a nostalgic or natural scene… and then… poof, right then and there, it all happened out of nowhere.”
“So Hiroto and I got back to our normal relationship right away. It was a bit awkward at first because of some of the things I mentioned earlier.”
“Yeah, I know. But … it’s kind of unbelievable, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, it’s something I’m still wondering about. But that’s why I thought that I should have everyone be more aware of Hiroto. I don’t think it would be a problem for you, though.”
Shizuka also gives her usual bright smile to Ichigo, who laughs at her in a self-mocking manner.
“That’s not true. I was very satisfied when I heard that. Hakamada-kun also thinks about his friends in a surprising way, unlike his appearance.”
“It’s superfluous if it’s not what it looks like!”
As if to cover up his embarrassment, Ichigo said bluntly and left.
Seeing Ichigo’s attitude, Shizuka turned to face Ichigo’s back with a gentle face and chuckled.
Right now, in the lobby of the Grand Hotel in Shinagawa, Hiroto once again reviewed the rookie exam invitations and schedules sent by the World Ability Agency.
“I’ve checked in, and the briefing is on the third floor. It’s a bit early, but what should I do? Hmmm? Oh, there’s a coffee shop.”
Hiroto found a coffee shop in the hotel and wondered if he could pass the time. But when he saw the order list posted in front of the store, he froze.
“It’s so expensive. Why does a cup of coffee cost so much?”
When Hiroto, who doesn’t know anything about the price range of a first-class hotel, was astonished, a group of people came in from the front entrance of the hotel. That group was accompanied by several adults in suits, and a girl wearing a blue formal dress walked in, swinging her long black hair.
However, from everyone’s perspective, the girl’s expression is just sullen itself.
”What the hell, those idiots! Don’t make me feel bad. Have some sense of timing and place! I can’t believe you’re asking me to compete on a day like this, at all!”
The squire, Kanzaki Akira, responded nonchalantly to his master’s words as if he were talking to himself.
“That’s because Mizuho-sama proclaims with gusto like ”I’m only interested in men stronger than me”.”
“I don’t remember saying that! Why do people always assume that!”
” Well, because Mizuho-sama won’t deny it, and you always take them down.”
” I can’ t help it! It’s already a pain in the ass. If I don’t, they’ll just keep coming back to me, and it’ s boring. For crying out loud, that’s bullshit! He”s so proud of himself even though he’s not very good at anything.”
“No, that man was the eldest son of the Mikuriya family, and there was no problem with his ability or family background…”
“He was just too weak!”
“Mizuho-sama is just too strong. Also, please stop crucifying all the men who come close to you. As the eldest daughter of the Four Heavenly Clan, you need to be more ladylike and graceful. It won’t be easy for us to clean up after that.”
“I know, I already know! Hmm? Hey, you’re in the way! If you’re not going into the store, then get out of there!”
As usual, Hiroto, who had been thinking about it in front of the store, stuttered and turned around and retreated to the side.
“Oh, I’m sorry”
Except for the grumpy expression on her face, a girl with black hair and a purely Japanese-style appearance was standing there. Her outfit was a formal dress, but her appearance had a striking atmosphere that made him feel like a typical Japanese girl.
Hmph! The girl stopped in front of Hiroto with a snap as she was about to enter the store.
“Hm? Are you…….. ability user?”
“What!? Oh, yes…..”
“Do you want to compete with me?”
Hiroto doesn’t understand the meaning of what she”s saying, and gets confused.
The girl ignored the troubled Hiroto and disappeared shamelessly into the coffee shop where Hiroto was wondering whether to enter. The adults in suits who were following her also follow her.
(What the hell was that? on earth…)
As Hiroto looked away dumbfounded, Akira, who was at the tail end of the group, bowed his head.
“I’m very sorry. She didn’t mean any offense with that one, so please don’t worry about it.”
When he said that, Akira let out a big sigh and locked eyes with Hiroto.
“By the way, you just said you were an ability user. Given that you’re here at your age, did you come here to take the rookie exam?”
“Ah? Oh, yes…..”
“I see.Then you might be in the same boat with our selfish princess. That is, if you can get the rank. My name is Akira Kanzaki , I serve the Shitennji family. Excuse me, but what’s your name?”
“Ah, I’m Hiroto Domori. Nice to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you. Domri………? I’ve never heard of it. Do you come from a family of ability users?”
Then, from inside the store, “Hurry up! Akira!” they hear the angry shouts.
“Ah….Looks like I am in trouble now.Then I’ll see you later, Domori-kun.”
After a light bow, the squire who called himself Kanzaki walked into the coffee shop.
As he watched off that, Hiroto wondered if the girl from earlier had noticed this leaking spiritual power of his, and he felt a little bit of pressure.
In the end, Hiroto passed the time while walking around the perimeter of the vast hotel grounds.
When Hiroto arrived at the designated venue, the preparations for holding the test event were already in place.
At the reception booth in front of the venue, a nervous-looking Hiroto was asked to check the ID number given to him beforehand, and the agency’s staff prompted him to go inside the double-opening door that reached to the ceiling.
When Hiroto stepped into the place,….. the sight in front of him made him say, “Ugh!” And shriveled up.
There were more than a hundred people, including examinees, officials, and their attendants, in a very large space, and many feasts were laid out as if it were a social gathering for adults.
And the thing that makes Hiroto feel the most deflated is the clothing of the participants. All of them were dressed formally for the occasion, and even their contemporaries, who seemed to be candidates for the exam, gave them the impression that they were quite familiar with the place.
Hiroto, on the other hand,…….he was wearing jeans and a long sleeve shirt, a typical high school outfit.
(This is out of place. It’s too embarrassing. I didn’t know it was like this. I wanted to take the exam discreetly and leave quickly…)
Contrary to his plan, Hiroto clearly stood out from the crowd. Hiroto waddled through the hall with an odd look on his face and stood at the edge near the entrance as if he was not present.
“Hey. Who the hell are you? Dressed like that… are you even involved?
Suddenly, a voice called out to him, and when Hiroto looked up, he saw a boy standing there in a bright Chinese dress. And behind the boy, there were three big, strong-looking men who also wore Chinese clothing waiting for him.
Hiroto was a little relieved to see that they were boys of the same age, so he thought they were also candidates for the exam.
“Oh, I’m an examinee and I am from the family of Domori’s. Are you also an examinee? Nice to meet you….”
Hiroto puts out his right hand in the hope of shaking hands, but the boy blatantly ignores it.
“Examinee? Kukku. How dare you come in here looking so dirty. What are you, a natural born psychic? Well, even if you’re a natural, I doubt it’s a big deal in any family anyway. Be encouraged at best as a contemporaneous examinee of this Huang Hideo. If people think that the level of this year’s examiners is low, it won’t be good for the others.”
The boy who called himself Huang Hideo gave a sarcastic smile when he said that and turned his back on Hiroto with a ridiculous attitude and went away, and his expressionless followers followed suit.
After looking at the back of the departed Hideo, Hiroto looked at his right hand, which had lost its way.
And then he tightened his grip.
” What a jerk! Normally, you’d say that? Just like that!”
The hall gradually began to buzz as Hiroto was indignant by himself and looked frustrated at the edge.
Huh? And as Hiroto looked around, he noticed that the surrounding gazes were gathering on the group that had just entered, and Hiroto curiously shifted his gaze to the group in the direction of their gaze.
“Those people… the ones from just now?”
It was a group with a girl who had just yelled at Hiroto in front of the coffee shop. When Hiroto looked at the girl from the side of the entrance, he could see that her face was still sullen-looking.
“Hey that’s Mizuho-sama, the next head of the Shitennji family.”
“That….. I had seen her a little while ago………………………….but she has become beautiful.”
“I heard you can go out with her if you win a match of any kind. What do you say? Come on, have a go.”
“Idiot! It won’t do them any good if it kills them. You know what happens to the best people who have ever played. She’ s put them all in the hospital.”
Naturally, a glimpse of the people surrounding Shitenji’s group forms, and they hear stories and information that Hiroto doesn’t know.
(The Shitenji family is amazing…)
Hiroto looked at the girl’s dignified appearance from the end of the crowd as if it were a curious thing to see, then someone came out to block the front of that group of Shitenji family members.
“Hi, Mizuho-san. It’s been a while.”
“…Yeah? Long time… who are you again? You,”
(Oh! That was … that jerk from earlier!)
Hideo came out of the crowded fence, dressed very well, and his face twisted for a moment at Mizuho’s reply.
“Gu! Huang Hideo. Have you forgotten?”
“Oh, the Huang family…. I’m sorry, I have a tendency to forget the names of people I don’t care about very easily. But you’re not the only one, so don’t worry about it. Then I’ll leave you with this.”
“Wait, wait! Would you say that if I were your future husband?”
Mizuho’s shoulder as she tried to slip past the hero’s side reacted with a jerk.
“….What does it mean?”
“If I win against you, I can get married to you…. If that’s the case, then who else would it be but me?”
“Hmmm, I never said that, and I’m sure you’ve jumped the gun a lot, but you’re not the only one who doesn’t know what you’re talking about. Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t deserve to be. You don’t need to put your face in front of me again.”
“Huh, you’re kidding me…? Who do you think you’re talking to?”
“Now I’m seeing the joke on your face that is in front of me. Why don’t you come over here and get it? I’m going to put more shame on your joke of a face.”
Mizuho, who wasn’t in a good mood to begin with, was more verbose than ever. The fact that Hideo spoke to her for the same reason that she was in a bad mood also contributed to Mizuho’s bad mood.
In that sense, Hideo’s way of talking to you was extremely inappropriate.
The hall fell silent at the extremely dangerous conversation between Mizuho and Hideo in an instant.
(This is scary~)
Hiroto was still watching the situation from the last row of the outfield. Suddenly, the tension in the hall is extremely high. And the participants of the event felt the spiritual power begin to converge on the stiff-faced hero.
Moreover, it was an enormous amount. Even Hiroto is startled and his eyes are taken away by Hideo.
But that’s not all. Mizuho, who was showing a fearless smile, also began to gather an equal amount of power. A small scream goes up from the surroundings, and in an instant, the hall is on the verge of panic with the two of them in the center.
(Not good! You’re overdoing it!)
The respective followers behind both of them hurriedly tried to get in between them.
“”Well, well, I mean … calm down, you two.”
Finally, arbitration came in. An air of urgency to stop it quickly could be felt from the surrounding crowd.
But……..contrary to the expectations of the surroundings, the person between them was clearly a boy dressed out of place.
“You’re… the man from before!”
“Look, you know, we’re about to take the test together. We shouldn’t fight…”
Hiroto smiles helplessly. That figure is just a sheep caught between a tiger and a wolf…….
“……..Hm? What are you doing with your spiritual power? Were you trying to get in between us and stop us with your skills?”
“What? Well, go ahead and try it then! I’ll take care of you first.”
Mizuho narrowed her eyes as she stared at the impudent boy and lifted her eyebrows. Hideo also noticed the spiritual power Hiroto had, and at the same time became furious.
“Eh! No, no, no, no! It comes out in a peculiar way. It’s not like I’m preparing to start a battle or anything. I was really just trying to stop the fight…”
When Hiroto stuttered at the reaction of Mizuho and Hideo, and explained hurriedly aloud that it was a misunderstanding, the eyes of Mizuho and Hideo widened and stopped moving as if they had forgotten their anger.
And it’s not just Mizuho and Hideo, the humans around them also showed the same expressions.
“……..What? Are you going to get it? Does that mean your spiritual power is coming out on its own?”
“You mean you can’t control it?”
These words leaked out from the surroundings of the scene as well.
Hiroto looked at the situation around him and wondered what it was? And then I scurry around.
Then, from somewhere, “……..pu!” Someone gushed out of the room.
Immediately, the entire hall was filled with laughter, as if a dam had been broken.
Of course, Hiroto could tell that the laughter was not a positive one.
(Ah, that? Am I being laughed at so much?)”
When the people around laughed at him, and he felt embarrassed, Hideo also laughed for a moment and called to him as if he were a little deer.
“You’ve come here to take the test without being able to control your spiritual power? I’m too stupid for words! It’s people like you with your inferior abilities who have caused us all this trouble. I’m not going to say anything negative, now go home before you embarrass yourself big time! No, you’re already embarrassed! Hahaha !”
“Oh no, just so you know, there’s a situation here too…”
Mizuho sighs as she looks at the mediator, who is made to laugh about problems, and brushes back her own hair.
“I’m sure you will find a way to make it work. You! I admire your courage, but who knows what could happen next? You need to have a better understanding of the strengths of your adversary and your own.”
With a sour look on her face, Mizuho pointed a finger at Hiroto with a shrewd finger and warned him.
“Kukuku it’s cooled down here too.You, from now on, you’re going to have to behave yourself. Come on, let’s go!”
At this point, Hideo also seemed to have lost his temper, and instructed his followers to leave.
As soon as they left, a sense of relief had filled the entire place. The young masters got in touch with each other so quickly that their followers followed them, wiping away their sweat and chills.
Left there and exposed to the fond eyes of those around him, Hiroto, still looking embarrassed, laughed, “…….hahaha,” and returned to the edge near the entrance of the venue, which was already becoming a fixed position.
The Shitenji family’s assistant, Kanzaki Akira, stared at Hiroto as he headed to the edge.
”That boy……..I think he’s Domori-kun, right?
“Did you know? Well, I’m afraid to say he’s a daredevil, or worse, totally ignorant. Well, it was nice at the end, but to make your divine force come out of your own will ….
“No … but more importantly, did you see where the boy came from?”
“What? No, I didn’t realize it but I was concentrating on Mizuho-sama. So what about him?”
“No, it’s nothing. I hadn’t noticed him at all…”
Someone was watching this act from the front of the hall, behind a partition at the side of the stage.
The man had his brown hair set tightly in place and was wearing a tuxedo on his muscular body.
“The boy has outstanding body movements, and he even diverted the opponent at the same time . I didn’t expect a Sendo wielder in the rookie rank test. Even though I was compelled to take part in the test, …. but was it a very fortuitous coincidence?”
He muttered to himself and quietly let out a smile.
After Mizuho and Hideo avoided the aggressive confrontation between them, people who seemed to be the test organizers appeared on the front stage as the entire venue regained its composure. Then a woman in a suit walking at the front of the stage stands in the middle of the stage in front of the microphone and smiles, and says.
[Thank you all for coming from so far away today. I’m Hisae Omine, the person responsible for this rookie test. Please accept my best wishes. I hope all of you, especially the candidates, will be able to cultivate your spirits well for the exam tomorrow!]
Her cheerful voice softened the atmosphere in the hall, and everyone focused on the front.
[We’ll talk about the details later. There’s no point in giving a long greeting, so let’s make a quick toast!]
Hiroto listens from the back of the hall with a bitter smile.
However, Hiroto’s in the prime of his life. As soon as the toast is made, he brings a lot of food to the table immediately on its plate. It’s been a long time since he’s been served and his stomach shakes with joy.
With his eyes closed, Hiroto made a fist, and swore in his heart that he would surely get the rank and go home.
(I’ll get a glorious high school life and a decent place to live!)
Hiroto’s belly puffed, and after some time had passed, the detailed explanation of the rookie exams began.
[I’m glad to have you here, but I’ll explain the schedule for the exam now. Everyone please listen as you are. We have thirty-eight candidates from all over the world for this rookie exam. As you are aware, the exam consists of five subjects: “Physical Arts,” “Perfection of Techniques and Abilities,” “Basic Spiritual Power and Magic,” “Written Test,” and “Judgment and Intuition”. Rank judgments will be made for each of these subjects, and an overall rank will be determined at the end. The overall rank will be your final rank. There are nine ranks from SS to F. The A rank is the highest rank that can be obtained in the rookie examination. In addition, the evaluation distribution is different for each test subject. The allocations are, in the order I mentioned earlier, 5% for ‘Body Technique’, 30% for ‘Perfection of Technique and Ability’, 25% for ‘Basic Spiritual Power and Magic Power’, 20% for ‘Written Test’, and 20% for ‘Judgment and Intuition’.]
The participants nodded with an attitude of already knowing.
Except for one.
“Eh! There’s a written test? And allocations……..because the first one was body art……. Ehh! I’m only five percent good at what I do?”
[Tomorrow morning, the written test will be conducted in this great hall. After lunch, we will measure basic spiritual and magical power in the evening. On the second day, we have a physical test in the morning, the perfection of techniques and abilities in the evening, and judgment and intuition in the morning of the last day, and in the evening we announce the rank-granting candidates and issue certificates of recognition, followed by a party for the new rank-granting candidates. The average percentage of new rank holders in the examinations so far is 38%. WIO sincerely hopes that many rank holders will be born in this examination.]
“I didn’t ask for a written test! What’s it like? At least it’s a mark sheet!”
[Here! We have invited a guest examiner for the newcomer’s exam, so let me introduce you to him!]
“Besides, what’s the point of a written test? You’re supposed to give me a book of questions beforehand.”
[A round of applause, please! It’ s Sir Alfred Arkwright!]
At this introduction the whole hall went silent. A young gentleman with brown hair appeared on the dais, walked slowly to the center, turned his body to the audience and meditated, bowing his eyes gently.
“Alfred Arkwright… no way! That Sword Saint!”
“An SS-ranked? With such a big shot as a guest…”
”One of the ten [Demon Slayers]… a living legend? I’d heard rumors that he was missing, but…”
A loud cheer came from the crowd in the scene and it all went up at once.
[Then let’s continue to have a nice time!]
Hisae went to the organizer ‘s table after she placed the microphone in front of the excited audience. The table of the organizer had already been crowded with attendants dispatched from the candidates’ homes, as well as from the parents and siblings.
As an organizer it was an important part of her role to welcome people with a smile. She addresses them with a smile.
”Oh no, I didn’t expect to see you, Sword Saint! How did you manage to bring him here? What kind of subterfuge did you use?”
“No, no, no, I merely called him.”
“I called and asked him to come as a guest judge for this rookie exam. He was happy to oblige.”
The center of the conversation, Sword Saint Alfred, was surrounded by an overflowing crowd of people.
There were many people who wanted to use this opportunity to somehow connect with the Sword Saint.
The Sword Saint glanced at Hisae. His eyes were clearly ” How pleasant! “However, Hisae passed it off without a care in the world.
Some time later, the Sword Saint, having received the offensive response of questions and invitations, said, “Excuse me …” and walked to the back of the hall with a glass of wine in hand. A new candidate in plain clothes who was desperately trying to get some information about the written exam was in front of the Sword Saint, who was progressing despite not being followed by many eyes.
“Excuse me for interrupting your conversation, but do you mind? Can you tell me your name?”
Hiroto was talking enthusiastically with the other candidates when he was approached and turned around.
“Huhh? Ah, yes. My name is Hiroto Domori.”
“Ah……..Hiroto-san. Well, I’ll take my leave then ……..”
The candidate who was talking with Hiroto noticed Sword Saint and decided to get his attention to leave the place.
“Oh, Marion-san. Thank you so much. That was very helpful.”
“Fufu, no, let’s word hard from now on. Then………”
Shaking her silky golden hair, the blue-eyed girl left the room, bidding her farewell.
”I beg your pardon. I’m Alfred Arkwright. Nice to meet you, well, Hiroto-kun, can I call you that?”
An English gentleman is holding out his right hand, which appears to be strong and stubborn. Hiroto grasps the hand quickly and gives back the greeting.
“Oh, it’s nice to meet you too………. You’re the …….. Sword Saint!?”
“Ha-ha, call me Alfred. As a matter of fact, I happened to see you interceding in a fight earlier. I was quite impressed with your courage.”
“Oh that was just because I happened to be around and I found myself in between.”
“No need to be modest. The people you had a dispute with were, after all, the daughter of the Shitennji family and the heir to the Huang family. Both are the best of talented descent, one of the highest families. Moreover, in both families, these two are said to be geniuses, that comes one in every few decades, and they are young people whose future is already highly anticipated by the institutions.”
“Oh? So……… wait, I really? In front of all those famous people, I was….”
Surprised by the story of Sword Saint, Hiroto breaks out in an awkward cold sweat.
“Don’t worry about it too much. There are many strong contenders this time. Every family has their proud sons and daughters taking part in the exam. It’s not just a matter of time before you’re in a position to get the job done. I ‘m sorry to be rude, but is your family a lineage with inheritance ability? I’m not familiar with the name Domori but …”
“No, I’m a natural born ability user.”
“Hou……… This time, I’ll be the body art examiner. I’ll see you there. Aren’t you good at bodywork? Hmm? Is this psychic power yours? This is … odd.”
“Oh, this is a peculiar constitution I’m having trouble getting out on my own. Haha………eh? Mr. Alfred. How do you know I’m good at bodywork?”
“No, somehow , I guess it’s because I’m a strong physical junkie myself. Well, I thought I ‘d let you know there. Over the past few years, the rankings have changed. There’s no such thing as an allotment on the exam before. I was against it, though. Maybe it’s inevitable that organizations will become more bureaucratic in pursuit of efficiency if they’ve been around long enough. That’s because for certain types of people with abilities this doesn’t always yield incredibly good ranks, although they are capable. We don’t intend to engage in those abilities.”
“Huh. So, this sort of ability user…?”
“Yeah, well, there’s a lot of things, like… a wielder of the Sendo, like a Daoist, maybe?”
Hiroto jolted, but he managed to keep his composure and the Sword Saint smiled at him.
” Well, they have a powerful ability, but there are a lot of people who are enjoying themselves so much that they don’t care about the agency because they are so happy and easygoing and out of touch with the world. In fact, they won’t even let us know where they are.”
Sword Saint lightly sips his wine.
“For example? Oops, there’s a scary looking organizer over there, so I have to go. I’ve been entrusted with the great mission of playing the clown this time. Then, Hiroto, I’m looking forward to the exam. I hope I can get a good rank. I hope you get a good grade.”
When he said that, the Sword Saint with a board-like motion flipped his long body, and left. As Hiroto gazed at the back of the Sword Saint, he huffed as he realized that he was focussed on the gazes around him.
“What is that boy? Getting so close to the Sword Saint…”
“It’s that boy from earlier in the day dressed like that.”
“Yeah, I wonder what he was talking about when he can’t even control his spiritual power very well.”
( Ugh, I’m standing out again….oh my god!)
In order to avoid the jealousy and envy of the people around him,….. Hiroto decided to move to the end of the room.
The group of Huang family, one of the current test’s most influential families, had come to greet the organizer’s table at this time. The Swords Saint, however, was nowhere to be found and Hisae called him back immediately with eye contact. Hideo ‘s tongue clucked as he waited and his steely gaze was aimed primarily at Hiroto.
Not noticing Hideo ‘s gaze, Hiroto thought about going back to his hotel room. Since the explanation was over there was no need for anything to stay until the end. Thinking so, Hiroto walked discreetly toward the exit, and Hiroto was called out to him again.
“Hey, are you leaving already? Domori-kun.”
“Yes? Oh … you’re that … uh … um, Kanzaki-san?”
Smiling, Akira nodded.
“Our little princess once again caused you trouble, didn’t she? Because of that, she also gave us a terrible time. I wanted to come right away to thank you and apologize, but it was a bit of a mess.”
”No, I mimicked too much out here too. I’m sorry….”
” Oh, no problem. It’s A relief. It’s usually very hard to stop her under such circumstances. It almost turned the place into a scorched earth. It was an unusual pattern this time, wasn’t it? Ha ha.”
(It’s not funny at all…)
“Hmm? I felt it in front of the coffee shop, but it’s definitely a spiritual power. Hopefully if it’s not too hard to answer, I wonder if this has something to do with your abilities?”
” Uh … this is a peculiar constitution and has nothing to do with my abilities.”
“Wow, that’s a shame….or maybe it’s just unusual. That’s the first time I’ve heard of such a thing. “
Akira’s questioning makes Hiroto look puzzled and confused.
” Haha, sorry, I’m sorry. It appears that I’ve caused you to be alarmed. I didn’t mean to do that. Really, I just wanted to thank you and apologize to you.”
“Akira, you’re in a place like this? I’ve had enough of this place. I’m going home. Oh? You’re the one who just….”
Hiroto and Akira were interrupted in their conversation by a haughty voice.
”Oh, Mizuho-sama. This is Domori-kun. I was just thanking him for what he did earlier.”
“Hey, why thank him. Oh, that time….”
“I’m sorry, Domori-kun. Mizuho-sama is a little bit distrustful of us. Pardon me please. I am a gentle and kind person at heart. That’s Good! Would you like to have dinner with me sometime? Mizuho-sama will attend.
“Oh, please don’t mind me! I did what I wanted to do, so there’s no difference. No need for dinner either. Well, I’m going to go back to my room, thank you very much for your kindness.”
Hiroto bowed his head as he hurriedly left the place and left the room.
“Oh my God, did you get dumped?”
“You’re the one who got dumped. But to turn down a meal with Shitenji, …that’s really inconsiderate.”
“It’s because Mizuho-sama doesn’t just thank you. Besides, I doubt he knows anything about the Shitenji family. Or maybe he’s not interested, because he seems to have a natural ability.”
“…Hmm, that’s just ignorant.”
“Would you like to invite him back?”
“This is ridiculous! I’m going back to my room. Isn’t that your hotel? Just get going.”
Akira smiled and looked at the girl smiling and troubled as she replied ‘yes’, her true feelings were more than a little concerned that she couldn’t thank her and apologize.
“Speaking of which, have you been able to talk to Hisae-san?”
“It’s been a long time since we’ve been talking. Hisae-san, though seemingly busy, was glad to see that you’re in good spirits. Hopefully next time we can have a fun dinner together …”
“There may be time to spare during the test. She might have her own situation but she’s a relative, so you don’t have to think about it. And I’m sure Hisae-san would like to talk more to you.”
The Omine family was a branch of the Shitenji family, along with the Kanzaki family. Mizuho was an only child, and Akio knew from her childhood that she had always looked up to Hisae as if she were her own sister, and she was close enough in age to know that. However, she had been busy with her work as the head of the agency’s branch recently and hadn’t had a chance to see her at all.
After replying to Akira with a ‘yes’, Mizuho and the rest of the group also left the party venue.
Hiroto and Mizuho returned to the hotel room where they were assigned, and the party concluded and a moment had passed.
The grounds of the huge hotel where the test was held were spacious, and even though it is within the grounds, it is only dimly lit further from the hotel. Therefore, at night, there is a unique silence with little to no people there.
In the middle of the vast grounds, three exotic people wearing long coats were relaxing in the place where the building of the hotel can be seen from the whole view, staring at the hotel.
“I don’t know why we’ve come to this place.The job we were hired to do is now over.”
The smallest man of the three sighs with his big nose while letting his dirty coat sway in the wind.
To which the only woman of the three with scruffy silver hair replied.
‘Well, don’t say that. If our predictions are correct, and we’ve seen that material he’ll be here nine out of ten times. More than a little pissed off the old men in the community about this whole thing.
“‘Heh. But, why the hell, do you need three of us? The guy’s got a long life expectancy from what I hear, but he’s a little chick, you know? And the people with abilities that that asshole killed, they’re not very good at it either.”
Sitting on the ground in the background of this discussion is a big man about two meters tall, fiddling with a very small laptop looking.
“I’ve just got a call from our companion …. The community says its abilities are as we expected.”
“I knew it, which explains why we couldn’t detect it. It’s a little bit of a problem for me. We’ll have to make sure we visually remember him.”
“It’s just this one photo, but you know, even if he has some crazy-ass skills, you’ll know that when you see it.”
The silver-haired woman nodded silently and turned her slit eyes toward the hotel.
Then the big man closed his laptop and slowly stood up.
“Don’t let your guard down…”
“You’ re so huge, yet so cautious.”
The big man remained expressionless and turned his body, which was probably much larger due to his hunched back than it actually was.
“I’m going to take a look around…. We’ll keep in touch as usual……..”
When he said that, each of the three men melted into the darkness of night and disappeared.
Also if you can, mention the errors in here in the comments, so I can fix them.
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