3 "My thoughts have gotten away from me."
In a place not so far from the dormitory where Seina was located there as a place with long stairs, giant mesas, and dozens of lakes, large and small.
Originally the lakes were created by an experiment in the past done to raise and lower the the elevation of the area but a lot of the experiments effects had eroded away and a lot of it was overtaken by vegetation. It was a scenic landscape that had been transformed into a resort with many small villas. On the top floor of one of the mesas that had multiple elevations, which was called a "broken mesa", there was a small lake whose source was a hot spring with beautiful spring water, and a small and old traditional house that was illuminated next to the lake .
"Ms. Minaho, please give me the items on the list."
In the center of the room kiriko and funaho were sitting face to face on tatami mats. they were having a business meeting to negotiate a trade. They had a force field around them to keep others from hearing it.
"Well that's going to be difficult Kiriko-chan, there's a huge demand for product BB-10044 right now and I want to limit the quantity in the market if possible."
Minaho was negotiating the sell of the crops that were originally from earth that her grandmother Funaho cultivated on her private agricultural planets. At first Funaho's only grew enough fruit for her and the royal family's own consumption, but Minaho had expanded their production to nearly all of the planets in funaho's private jurisdiction so that she could obtain funds for seto's activities, by forming an exporting industry.
However, such things were not limited to Funaho's area of space. Jurai itself was a powerhouse of agriculture and forestry. So Kiriko was buying agricultural products from Minaho to exchange them for cash on the earth. When the juraian royal family had money they earned in space that they wanted to use on earth they usually exchanged precious metals that were also found on earth such as gold and platinum, but they could only get cash from those metals at certain locations and there were restrictions on how much they could exchange to make sure they didn't destabilize the market value of the metals. It was impossible to use it to convert the large sums seina had earned. However, since funaho's crops where the same species as those found on the earth she was able to both exchange more kinds of products at once and get a higher exchange rate then she would have using precious metals.
It also helped that Jurai was technologically advanced, no earth farmed produce could compare with the quality of juraian produce. They had no pests so they never lost crops or had to use pesticides, they had controlled weather, and the interstellar transportation cost was even lower than it was to transport it domestically Naturally their produce always passed every country's standards. Their biggest advantage though was that theky had ways of storing the fresh perishable produce perfectly and indefinitely which helped the most since they could only sell things that other countries were short on producing. It was forbidden to induce excessive economic fluctuation so they had to keep prices stable.
"BB - 10044 is also predicted to be badly needed on Earth" Kiriko said standing her ground.
"But ... Kiriko-chan"
"I know you can do it Minaho."
funaho was still reluctant
" I thought you wanted to help seina." kiriko said calmly but with an undertone that indicated she was about to unleash her wrath on Minaho if she didn't comply
"I understand ... ... You've got me beat, if it's for seina I guess I have no choice."
"By the way, don't tell seina about our business meetings."
"I know, I wont, but didn't you complain that the amount Seina was rewarded was too much?"
"I'd still like to increase it as much as I can, and i mean as much as I can."
"You'd make a good bride." funaho said
"What! It's not like that!".
Minaho had a satisfied smile on her face when she looked at Kiriko's face when her imagination kicked in and she started panicking. Funaho had just sold her a cheap item to sell high against her will, this was her way of getting revenge.
"I am purely acting as Seina's guardian."
"Well then it's a good thing his money is in your hands.... It might not have been safe for you to have it if you two weren't so chaste towards each other."
"Ha ha? yes, Chaste ... ...."she said uneasily
She asked funaho if seto's accounting department was really as ok with paying out that much rewards money as seto said they were. Funaho told her they were prepared for it but it seemed they wanted to meet seina so they could thank him personally.
Seto's Accounting department normally had their work cut out for them because of Seto.
【Cheap】 was their favorite word. So now that hey had an excess of money to borrow from in their treasury due to siena, excessive appreciation for Seina had ensued.
To prevent complains the accounting department was intentionally made up of beautiful distracting women because handling complaints for them was somewhat inconvenient and difficult to do, and by having pretty ladies they could confuse most complainants into forgetting their complaints.
Kiriko thought of this fact and soon realized that would mean.
Minaho suddenly noticed that the atmosphere around Kiriko had changed.
"......... Minaho-sama"Kiriko said with a Voice that seems to resound from the bottom of hell.
"What is it?" Minaho replied with extreme caution so she didn't irritate kiriko.
"Please tell them strictly ... that Seina is still a child. "
"... ... ... that's ... uhm.... that's right, right, yes, yes, I understand, yeap,"
" I want to you to make sure you tell them that." Kiriko said with a swirling dark aura around her.
Minaho's back was drenched with cold sweat.
Kiriko got like that occasionally, Seta occasionally also emanated a similar unpleasant miasma. She wanted to run away. Kiriko was dangerous like a mother tiger who was protecting her children. Kiriko resolved that as seina's guardian she would take care of it herself. she brought up a monitor and accessed a camera in seina's dorm. she watched seina sleeping for a moment and her mood and face softened again. "Ok good he's fine ... ... ...!" she said, but she was an expert on all things pertaining to Seina and soon she realized just by looking at a video feed, that she wasn't looking at seina but a holographic dummy.
When minaho returned to the bridge of the mikagami she was blasting tears everywhere.
She interrupted an official meeting of seto's.
"Seto-sama ... ... Kiriko is scary!"
"Ms. Minaho, we are in an important meeting now!"
Complained Seto's Head accountant, Ringo Tatsuki
"Oh, you lost to Kiriko-chan didn't you? Seto said
"if even Kiriko and Seina can scare you, you should see me make my scary face."
ringo really wanted to get back to business but seto wasn't in the mood.
"You can make a scary face for me, can't you Ringo?"
"............ well, of course i can,now if we can restart the meeting as soon as possible ..."
but seto ignored her and continued teasing minaho .
after several more minutes of being chewed out minaho informed everyone of kiriko's orders.
"What! Why's that!?"
"It's not a joke! you are not to try and give him any kind of reward like that for what he's done."
Back at the academy kiriko was yelling as she arrived at seina's dorm. She confirmed that he had left a dummy in his bed.
"It's Deserted!? what is this? I can't believe the poor management system of this dormitory!" kiriko shouted in seina's empty dorm room
She noticed the nb unit in the center of their den.
"Is that how they got out... what is that? ...that's one of airi's NBs!"
she used it to find where seina was and it took ten seconds to show her the results ......
"... ... No, their already out of the dorm!" it displayed the layout of the dormitory.
"I'll never Make it in time!" she used it to search for seina's location.
on the map it displayed three flashing light spots indicating Seina and his roommates.
Seina, was walking down a corridor. he was holding a small nightlight . he and his roommates were using a special program to disrupt the security sensors in the hall that should have detected them.
Seina was anxiously looking around.
"What are you a girl?"
"Hey, are all earthlings as paranoid as you?"
"It's funny, I heard that you were supposed to be no different from us."
kenneth and rajau teased seina as they snuck out. Seina wanted to know where they were going and kenneth told him they were going to party. He explained how every day was some sort of special celebration at the academy.
"Yes,it's a great chance to become acquainted with beautiful girls from different countries!"
"Besides that!" Kenneth pulled out a card that was smaller than a dollar from his pocket.
"We have special invitation tickets for " Imuim! "
"... ... ... what ... ... is " Imuim "?" seina asked.
they weren't surprised that he didn't know, but they didn't answer him.
Kiriko was having problems getting help, she was a third party and it wasn't really her place to do anything officially and besides that, escaping the dormitory after dark was actually part of their training.
"I can't let him get out! It's dangerous to put Seina out on the streets at night." she convinced herself. She began hacking the security system.
It was only a dorm so the amount of damage that could be done by activating the dormitory security system was clear to her. kiriko was confident that the worst case possible was that stun gun mounted drones would cause seina to faint.
"Everyone, please stop!" Rajau said
"Our route is being used by someone"
"Who, who is it?"
"I don't know but we need to use another route"
"Seina, I changed the route ... Ah?" as his roommate said this he noticed seina had turned around and was headed back to his room.
"Hey!" Kenneth grabbed Seina's shirt collar and pulled him back.
He had to come with them, the ticket wouldn't work if all three of them weren't there.
kenneth explained to seina that they had to go through the garden now, which was dangerous. There was a security drone that patrolled it. Rajau told him to avoid it at all costs and raised up his bangs to show him the mark that it left on his forehead.
"What ... is that mark?"
They only explained that it was considered very hideous and shameful. If they accumulated 10 of them they would be shipped off to perform toilet cleaning duty as punishment.
While hiding behind the fence that was facing the garden side of the hallway, Kenneth looked outside.
"There seems to be no drone as far as i can tell."
"Are you dumb or something kennith? Why do you have so many marks?"
"well it's hard to hack the system to find the drones exact location" Rajau took something like a small pachinko ball out of his pocket And it floated away from Rajau's hands. it was a fish eye camera drone, they explained to seina. It broadcasted what it saw back to a monitor in front of them* Rajau was startled by something as he watched the monitor. Kenneth looked at the monitor after he noticed rajau being startled and was startled as well. Seina asked them what was wrong. The surveillance drone passed by them.
"Do not move! This is a monitoring probe" It said in an unnatural synthesized monotone voice.
"this is my fault isn't it.
Naturally it was NB's creator, Airi, that was the first one that learned about Seina's escape.
"Seina! Why did you go without your NB!"
Mikami came in "I heard loud yelling, what's wrong?"
"Seina made dummy to escape his dorm and he used his NB to do it."
"Oh well, He's just trying to escape the dorms the night before the entrance ceremony ....
"so is Seina already outside?"
"It seems that Kiriko is interfering, so it won't be easy for him to get out, but the problem is that Seina left the NB i gave him"
"Well then, it's a good things that the " Swords " you requested have arrived from Jurai."
They went to greet them. Five people were supposed to be transferring in from a long distance remote transfer gate set up in airi's office.
"Thanks for your hard work ... wait...why are you here Ringo?!"Airi cried, noticing that it was only Ringo who came in the end.
"The accounting department has borrowed a lot of money from Seina."
"ok but why did they sent you. you're... ... the head of the accounting department."
"That's why they sent me ..."
"Wow ... .... so are you going to personally return all the money you've been borrowing?"
"Oh ... ............ Ah, about that ... ...."
"Although she was sent here by Seto, she came under her own free will ... " said mikami
"I am going to do everything I can! If Seina wishes, I will do this ... ... and even that.... and maybe even some of that too...." ringo said motioning to herself lewdly. everyone in front of her watched. they were dazzled by her one person performance.
Airi suppressed the urge to keep ringo from hugging herself.
(I don't know what i expected, she is the head of Seto's accounting department after all... ...)
Ringo was also a member of the Juraian royal Family, and she was from a branch of the family whose members were all notorious for being very similarly minded, the Tatsuki family. The members of the Tatsuki family were extremely popular for their gentle and welcoming personalities, Their princesses were neat and lovely, When put on lists for public surveys they frequently ended up at the top of lists of people who other people wished they could marry the most.
"Quit it ringo, Seina is still a minor!"
"Well I guess we don't need to panic, perhaps Ringo's arsenal of accountant powers may be useful to Seina."mikami smiled
"That is if seina succeeds in escaping the dorm ... ... Anyway Ringo-chan shouldn't you wait to greet the sword's in a less lewd posture?"
"But what do we do until they get here?"
Seina and his roommates were hiding behind yet another fence they were trying to find a solution to their problem.
"What are they doing !?" Kiriko shouted as she watched them remotely she wasn't talking about seina but about another team that was lurking in the vicinity The drone went off and began shooting at the other group
While it was distracted seina and his roommates passed the drone and reached a huge stone door in an area which it didn't patrol.
"Once we make it out of here we're free to go to Imuim!" Kenneth said as he glanced at the invitation ticket and kissed it.
"Hey, Why is it taking so long to get the door open?"
"Just a moment, there are many other people escaping today, so it's hard to make a unique IDs to unlock the door that doesn't overlap ...." the door opened with a heavy echo.
"Alright! You Opened it!" kennith posed victorious in front of the door
"Haha ... I'm sorry ... I messed up the operation." said rajau
A drone appeared right in front of seina he got out of the way before it started shooting air bullets. but david, the fanboy, came out infront of him from nowhere.
"Quickly ... run away."
An intense flash of light covered the area.
"What the hell! why do they have that!?" Kiriko shouted at the monitor as it turned pure white from the flash
"No, it's useless ...... The sensor is completely destroyed ... ......... I have no choice ... ... but using that method is such a pain ... ...."
Seina and his roommates had escaped to some bushes not that far from the stone gate, Seina sat down and was breathing hard.
"If David hadn't rescued us, we'd be dead."
"But why did he save us?"
"Oooh ...... Imuim ~~ ___" Kenneth was crying while looking at his tickets. the blast had damaged them beyond recognition
"... .... It's been damaged too badly, we can't use it anymore, we have no choice but to give up and go home..........Oooh ...... Imuim ~~ ___" kennith said still crying.
"...... Well, it seems impossible for the time being,"
"What are we going to do now?" asked seina
"Well ... the best be it to go through that door out through the underground warehouse ..." Rajau said, he suddenly started looking around.
"Shit! Quiet... ... ... ... I hear something something ...."
Seina looked too and saw countless small red spot begins to appear between the trees.
"ah they found us"
a bunch of drones in the shape of an octopus appeared and began firing at them as they ran down the passage
"Ah, are those monitoring probes !?" seina asked His roommates told him to watch out for the machines, their bullets had nano-machines that would mark his skin. Bullets shot out hitting the area's around him giving an idea of what the mark looked like.
kennith told seina not to get hit by it if he wanted to enjoy anything tonight.
on the other end of the drone was kiriko. her body was shaking violently as she desperately manipulated the keyboard she was controlling the drones with. it looked like she was playing a fighting game at an arcade as she mashed the buttons.
kiriko, who was once one of seto's subordinates was an expert at manipulating the device, but she was having trouble getting a hit. She was having a hard time partially because she had a low resolution monitor to see what she was doing on and partially because she was trying to steer seina into traps she had set. She had an intuitive way of predicting his movements, It was a sad and wonderful ability that she had forcibly cultivated over the years, from the moment Seina was born to this day.
Despite avoiding Kiriko's intentional trap, seina fell down in a place where there was nothing to trip on ... that was typical for Seina. she thought it was funny and laughed as he ran away like a scared rabbit. kiriko didn't know it at the time but she had turned bright red.
"This is bad. any clay type drone with find us without any problem."
"is it really that bad? ..." seina said as he Looked behind his shoulders at the glaring flicker behind him.
"It's a famous drone with a depressing attack pattern, It focuses on exposed areas of the skin, It shoots without warning, It will shoot even if you give up, I Took a lot of face photographs with its mark once and upload it to the internet they charged me a fee for using the patented mark, it's ridiculous... ... besides ... um ... .... "
this implies the hideous mark everyone is freaking out over is in fact, Dr.clay's logo.
as they ran many other groups of people came up behind them. ahead was only one small air car to escape in. kennith took out a banana peel and threw it at the feet of the groups behind him
"Banana's .... peel?" said seina "Ha ha ha, Seina, to be precise, it is not a real banana peel but a type of grenade that will cause a barrier to reduce the friction coefficient for a short time"
everyone behind them slipped and fell and they were attacked by the drones.
"Cowards!" The victims shouted.
"Don't turn around! Keep running!" said kenneth happily
"Ha ha ha, Kenneth you're pretty bad."
"Umm ... don't let their losses be in vain, lets enjoy to night as much as possible its the best we can do to honor their memory."
"That's right, well, I guess it would be nice if we brought some souvenirs back for everyone."
"Seina and Rajau, get in the back and I'll drive!"
seina put his hand on the air car and a drone jumped out of the car. Seina's crisis avoidance ability manifested and only kenneth and rajau got hit.
The moment when Seina was distracted by the two, the monitoring probe aimed at Seina from all directions.
"I'm sorry, but i'm doing this for your own good Seina."
the fingers of Kiriko ran smoothly on the keyboard. But the surveillance drone that surrounded Seina never attacked. The monitoring drone that was following Seina shot the surveillance drone that surrounded Seina.
"Who is this?" Kiriko said quickly checking the control system. "Is somebody intruding?"
"Stop it, Kiriko-chan!"
"Stop it now!"
Seina dragged his roomates into the rear seat of the air car.
Seina didn't know how to drive it. Kenneth took over to drive and when he put in his identification which was an id for all three of them the in vehicle computer malfunctioned and thought that it was being attacked so it set the engine into emergency mode and it went speeding off at a ridiculously high speed. They escaped the dorm by running into the gate destroying it.
Airi yelled at kiriko for interfering and kiriko yelled at airi for getting in her way. airi was the president of the academy it was her place to make sure that a hacker like kiriko wasn't doing exactly what kiriko had done. airi dipped out of the conversation after kiriko called her a cow and Kiriko wondered if she had gotten carried away in her pursuit of protecting seina. but then she remembered there were human hunters.
Human hunting ...... That was the collective name of people who searched for subjects in human experiments. They usually increased their numbers whenever freshmen came to the gp.
At this time Airi and even Kiriko had underestimated Seina's ability ... or rather, that might have been his ability that made them underestimate it. Little did they know a small daily riot in the dormitory was evolving into a fuss that far surpassed anyone's expectations.