Gakusen Toshi Asterisk - lightnovelgate.com
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"Shit, how can something like this exist?!"
"ーIt's not working?!"
ーAllekant Academy, subterranean research division.
Two youths, one gripping a sword-type Lux, the other a rifle-type Lux, glared at the object in front of them, utterly vexed.
Smoke filled the air before them.
The Lux weapons the youths were holding in their hands were the newest, high-performing, models produced by Ferrovius. Moreover, the students in question were ferocious individuals whose names could be found on the Named Charts.
They had been highly ranked at the previous Phoenix, but sheer disbelief colored their faces now.
No, rather than disbelief, it should be said that they refused to believe the scene before their eyes.
The shadow amidst the smoke wavered as two beams of light flashed, like the shining eyes of a demon.
The subterranean area rang out with the screams of the two.
Without bothering to watch the end, Ernesta closed the space-window before her. Both the image and audio disappeared, and the room once more left the two girls with an atmosphere of dark silence.
"...Well, that's more or less the state of things. What do you think, Camilla? Although there are still some final adjustments to be made, but it's not bad, right?"
Ernesta spun her chair, a light smile of pride on her face.
"Mind if I speak frankly?"
"ーThis isn't the first time I've felt that you're a truly terrifying person."
Camilla said, her face smiling.
"Hehehe, if you ask me, that's the greatest compliment!"
Ernesta blushed and smiled, her eyes brimming with self-confidence.
"But still, be careful not to push Ferrovius too far. They have plenty of combat-oriented students; they're not an opponent to take lightly."
"Don't worry about it! I'm taking it pretty easy on them."
Ernesta revealed a guileless smile.
"In any case... with this, victory at the Phoenix isn't just a dream."
"Of course! That's the goal, after all. The only thing that might derail things a bit would be if Tenorio were to raise a fuss."
Besides the window that had closed earlier, several others of similar size were hovering in the air. Ernesta called one of them to her.
The screen revealed an image of Ayato and Ser-Versta, slaying the giant dragon.
"Hehe, that really was quite impressing. Quite fascinating indeed."
Nodding in emphasis, Ernesta enlarged the space-window. The screen's display wasn't limited to just an image, however, as it simultaneously displayed a list of numbers and charts.
The collected data was beyond precious.
"With this failure, Tenorio will have no choice but to shut up. Moreover, you didn't have to lift a finger in collecting this data; what a perfect example of killing two birds with one stone."
"No, no. I just happened to win my gamble, is all," Ernesta replied, a carefree expression on her face.
"If I continue to gamble like this, seizing every chance I get, there's no way I can lose!"
"Is that what you really believe?"
"Personal philosophy, more like."
Ernesta extended her hand in the direction of space-another window.
It revealed the scene of Ayato and Kirin, dueling in the gymnasium. Some Seidoukan student had recorded the event and posted it online.
"Now if we could just get our hands on that person's data, there'd be nothing to worry about. Oh well, there's no changing the fact that it's beyond our reach to install our data collectors on the grounds of another school."
As she spoke, she reached out to close the space-window with her finger.
"Now then, students of Seidoukan and Allekant, work hard on my behalf, won't you?"
Ernesta rose from her chair and bid a loud farewell.
"ーNow the curtain on the true show is about to rise. Please accompany me to the very end."
Ernesta's face bore a lofty look.
Camilla sat stunned for a brief moment before breaking into open applause for her dear friend.
- ψ -
"...That reminds me, Toudou."
"Hmm? Is something the matter, Sasamiya-senpai?"
The practice room, after school.
Ayato, Julis, Saya, and Kirin; today was the first joint practice for the four.
Speaking to Kirin, who'd already changed, Saya suddenly opened her mouth.
"I heard that you're fighting for your father's sake... is that true?"
"Y-Yes. That's true," Kirin answered nervously.
Saya folded her arms and nodded.
"So that's how it is. That's wonderful, wonderful indeed."
"Is that so..."
"The truth is, my situation is the same as yours. I'm doing this for my dad."
Saya met Kirin's surprised eyes, her usual blank expression on her face.
"I have a proposal for you."
"...P-Proposal?" Kirin asked uneasily.
Saya answered unworriedly.
"How would you like to team up with me?"