The Administrator Tower was in the center of the floating academy city Canaan. From there the main roads extended radially and were connected by a circular loop, forming a shape like a spider’s web.
The school bus that went down one such road came to a stop after 15 minutes and Masaki and the others arrived at Alrescha.
The entrance on the lower part spread out in a step-like manner. It was a 60 story, glass-sided building.
From Masaki’s point of view, he could only see a huge office building…the entire building was actually a school, nearly 3000 pupils attended the school with three school years and 30 classes.
Even so, this was only a small fraction of Canaan, there were other school buildings in the floating city.
A large number students wearing their school uniform were heading towards the building.
Masaki and the others went through the entrance and then through several wide passageways before arriving in a vast hall.
There was a curved wall, or perhaps it should be called a round pillar, in the center. It was called the Elevator Pillar, and there were many elevators lined up along the curved wall.
Boarding one of them, you could also go down to underneath the school building.
The headquarters of Breaker was underground.
People were identified by their Ring Gears, so the iron door opened automatically.
There was an old-fashioned room in the middle of the modern facilities. It was a pure Japanese style room with mud walls and tatami mats. It was like a ryokan (1).
Midorikawa-sensei, who bore the heavy responsibility of being the advisor for Breaker, was watching TV while eating a cookie with her elbow resting on the table.
She looked like a young child and always wore a jersey; she didn’t have any dignity.
But still, Masaki greeted her politely.
“Oh, I’ve been waiting.”
“I keep telling you to call me Midorikawa-sensei, Sakurazaka. Good morning you lot.”
“…This room is as uncomfortable as ever…there aren’t even any chairs.”
“Clockheart, you should greet me.”
She had a bad mouth, but she gave off the impression of being a senior rather than a teacher, so the pupils acted familiar towards her.
When Shirley took off her shoes at the entrance, she got down on all fours and ran to the table like a dog or cat.
“Micchan, what are you eating!?”
“Uo, you crawled here!? What I’m eating…it’s Oreos. For your information, I brought this with my own money. Since it isn’t something that I brought using Breaker’s budget, it’s all mine.”
“Let me have one!”
Even though she ate a lot during breakfast. Did she have another stomach for sweets?
Alice glared at her.
“…Even though you eat that much, you hold it in very well.”
“You’re right. If she was normal, she would put on weight, but maybe it’s because she exercises?”
“…Then, where does all the nutrition go…I’m pretty sure it doesn’t go to her head.”
Alice was merciless even towards her close friend.
But it was unusual for her to show interest in other people in the first place.
The door opened––
Come to think of it, it was said that someone high up in Breaker would come today.
Alice glanced to the side.
Masaki noticed after her and turned to that direction.
A young man appeared…
Although he was short, the sharp look in his eyes gave an overbearing impression. His black hair was swept back and his face didn’t show any weaknesses.
––Had he seen him before?
He unconsciously took a long, hard look at him.
Their eyes met.
The young man opened his mouth to talk.
“A pale guy with sharp eyes huh. Is he a new face?”
“Eh, Ah, I’m…”
While Masaki was bewildered, Alice answered in a cold voice.
“…Kusunoki Masaki is my partner. Have you got a problem with that?”
“Hm? Why did you also come? You’re still as small as ever like a sesame seed, do you eat properly?”
“…I don’t remember making fun of your height. Would you like me to give you a mirror?”
“You seem to be fine. Her too.”
The place where he turned his eyes to––
In the center of the tatami mat room, Midorikawa-sensei, who had a second Oreo stolen from her, sprung at Shirley, who was eating it. “You, my Oreo was right here!? Wasn’t it here!?” “You’re tickling me! Sensei stop, don’t do that” were some of the things they were saying.
The man took off his shoes and stepped onto the tatami mat.
“Are you guys watching them?”
Masaki got up from the tatami mat as well.
Alice started to untie her shoelaces while looking dissatisfied. It took time to be smartly dressed.
The man sat down on the tatami mat.
“Now, there aren’t any hors d’oeuvres. Let’s start at once.”
“Huh…erm, is it fine for us not to stop that?”
Masaki looked at Shirley and Midorikawa-sensei.
He shrugged his shoulders.
“I’m a busy person.”
“Since you’re not an idiot, you’ll listen to the necessary things that I have to say.”
At last, Shirley and Midorikawa-sensei stopped messing around and sat back down properly. Midorikawa-sensei adjusted her hairband which was about to come off.
“At last he came to school, this delinquent chairman.”
“I’d like to get this over and done with quickly.”
“Isn’t this your first time meeting Kusunoki? That guy is Suou Reiji. He has been the chairman of Breaker for three years. Despite all that, he’s a Level 7 the same as you guys.”
“Even though I’m called the chairman, it’s only because the last chairman nominated me, so to put it frankly, this is just a pain.”
Masaki tried to remember.
He had seen him in a magazine before.
“Suou…Suou Reiji-san…by any chance, do you make western confectionary?”
“There are people who laugh when a guy says he makes sweets.”
“No, it’s not like that!”
Three years ago––
Masaki had the opportunity to learn of that name. At that time, there was a picture of Suou with a more cheerful look and a smiling face.
Now he gave off the feeling of being hard to approach like the edge of a sword.
“Rather than that…”
Suou returned to the original topic.
He shifted his attention to Shirley.
“Sakurazaka, do you understand why you were called today?”
“Erm…is it because I sent Harii-sensei flying?”
“This isn’t a quiz. Now, I’m only going to say this once, so you better remember this well.”
“You violated the rules of Breaker, despite being a Supporter, you used your Dialect without any reservation. “
The organization whose purpose was to protect the peace and order of the school ––Breaker. They collaborated with the police and managed the users of Dialect that disturbed public order.
There was a rule that the members of Breaker were in pairs, when they didn’t have a partner they would become part of the Supporters.
The Dialects of the Supporters weren’t battle-orientated, many of them had levels that were too low to be useful in combat so their main role was to help tidy things up and search for rule breakers.
Although Masaki thought that job was also necessary, Alice and others thought of it as subordinate work.
Even if the Supporters found a rule-breaker, they were only required to observe and report back, it was a rule that they shouldn’t capture the rule-breaker using Dialect.
In other words––the members of Breaker were allowed to use their Dialect as they judged fit, but it had to be as part of a pair.
Alice and Shirley had been partners for a long time in Breaker.
However, they broke up their team over a trivial argument.
Since Alice had formed a contract with Masaki, Shirley was treated as a member of the Supporters.
Nevertheless, she had continued to fight using her Dialect.
Masaki leaned forward.
“Please wait! She definitely broke the rules. But wasn’t it legitimately self-defense!?”
“Of course, Sakurazaka was in a situation where she felt her life was in danger. She suffered a serious injury. The fact that she participated in the battle voluntarily is a problem, but you can’t criticize someone who goes and helps their comrades in a dilemma. “
Because Shirley had fought against Hariya, she received a serious injury that would have killed a normal person.
What would have happened if she had followed the rules and hadn’t used her Dialect?
“In that case…”
“This time it can be considered as extenuating circumstances…we will take measures to stop you from Globalizing by the means of Ban-Dialect (2). It will be lifted when you’re in class. Your punishment will be one year long.”
“It’s a severe punishment. And it’s to be expected too. From the position of Breaker being a model for the other students…if we were seen as an organization that gives light punishments to our members, no one would have faith in us.”
This was the only thing that Masaki wasn’t able to argue against.
Midorikawa-sensei supplemented it.
“If you returned to Breaker with a new partner contract, the Ban-Dialect will be removed. Of course, you’ll only be allowed to use your Dialect against rule-breakers.”
Shirley’s expression brightened.
“Really? Then if Masaki becomes my partner, everything will be settled, right!”
Masaki spontaneously pointed at himself.
Alice was always the kind of person who didn’t care about other people’s affairs, but the cat ears on her head seemed to have moved. Did they move by themselves?
“…Masaki-kun is my partner.”
“Eh~, it’s only a little. Only a little.”
“But, Masaki is my childhood friend!”
“That’s not my problem.”
Alice suddenly stood up.
“…Let’s go Masaki-kun…it seems like this conversation has already ended, there’s nothing else for us to do here.”
“Ah, well, but, isn’t that being a little cold. You two are close friends, right?”
Alice smiled while tilting her head to the side.
The same as ever.
Shirley started rolling around on the tatami mat while whining like a child.
Suou placed a device on Shirley’s head as she rolled around.
It was a crystal-like hair ornament.
“Sakurazaka is prohibited from Globalizing apart from when she is in class––although, if there was a device that was capable of restricting the level of Globalizers, there wouldn’t be any need for a giant town like this floating in the sky.”
“Hmm? It’s only prohibited, I can still use it?”
“I wouldn’t know if you were carrying out your punishment. So I attached this Ban-Dialect.”
Alice said casually.
“…It’s a bomb. If you Globalize, you will be seriously injured.”
Suou shrugged his shoulders.
“If it could stop someone Globalizing to that degree and if it could restrict the level that would be convenient. But since that’s impossible, it can’t be helped.”
“It’s a bomb?”
Shirley repeatedly poked the Ban-Dialect.
Midorikawa-sensei looked amazed.
“Sakurazaka, you don’t need to be unreasonably fixated with Kusunoki, right? Aren’t there other people who want to become part of Breaker?”
Shirley pondered on it while staring at the ceiling.
The tatami mats and walls were all Japanese style; only the ceiling was the same as an ordinary classroom, gently illuminating the whole room.
“Even if your partner isn’t Masaki, if you can form a contract with someone else in Breaker, it can come off.”
“But then, I won’t be partners with Masaki. I said that I always wanted to be partners with Masaki.”
Alice titled her head to the side.
“…If it’s no longer necessary, is it fine for me to cancel my partner contract?”
“Of course not. That’s cruel.”
Alice looked like she was finding it very difficult to understand.
As for Masaki, he thought that Shirley’s steadfast sense of duty and kindness were something precious. But for that reason, he had to carry out his duty as Alice’s partner for the time being.
“Shirley, if you thought it was necessary, then you don’t need to hold anything back from me…for example, even if I’m not your partner, it doesn’t change the fact that we’ve been friends for a long time.”
“Nihaha, that’s right!”
“Well, it’s going to be time for HR soon. Should we head to the classroom?”
Masaki got up holding his bag in his left hand, and with his right hand, he pulled up the distracted Shirley.
At that moment, the iron door of the committee headquarters was flung open.
There was a shout.
A tall girl with black hair came in.
Her well-defined features gave the impression of competence, which was accompanied by a strong contrast between her ink-black hair and her white skin.
The checked skirt fluttered.
Her strong footsteps held power.
She spoke in a husky voice.
“Suou-iinchou, you finally came to school! Work has been piling up as high as a mountain, so today you’re going to work as hard as a cart-horse!”
“Hey…you…I’ve got things to do after this.”
“Are you going to make sweets again!? Isn’t that just a hobby?! I’m not saying it’s bad, but you need to get the work done now. In the first place, aren’t you ashamed of your bad attendance as the chairman of Breaker?! You’re absent way too much even with all the Class Exemptions you get! It’s not okay for you to neglect your studies just because you’re a Globalizer, is it!?”
“I’ve heard that lots of times.”
“If you’ve heard it then please put it into practice! To be specific, please come to school!”
The black-haired girl’s words were severe for sure, but she must have cared very much about Suou––
That’s what Masaki felt.
“Who is that girl?”
“Erm, the vice-chairman Riichi Touya-senpai.”
Shirley told him.
Alice said in a low voice.
“…Suou Reiji is so famous that even in the school, it’s said that no one has met him. However, the vice-chairman is just as famous despite being a small-fry Level 3…she’s known as ‘The Shocking Level 3’.”
“…Even though Riichi Touya has that appearance…he’s a guy Masaki-kun.”
“That guy is shocking!!”
But it had nothing to do with him being Level 3.
Midorikawa-sensei said “The chime for HR will ring soon,” while biting into an Oreo, so Masaki and the others left the committee’s headquarters.
––There are different kinds of people in the world.
(1) – A traditional Japanese inn
(2) – In Kanji, it’s translated as Fantasy Prohibition Device