Chapter 3 – Innocents at the Table
Masazumi’s hands, which had been tearing up bread, paused. Tilting her chair, she turned her gaze towards the kitchen; the shopkeeper’s back, visible across piles of kitchen tools, did not turn around.
“…Idiots that fall in love with automatons…that isn’t just a fairy tale, I guess.”
“Ah, no way, that’s…”
Automatons do not have emotions. Automatons instinctively serve people as living beings, but this is different from emotion. They do not understand workings emotion, and even if they were questioned concerning this, they would not be able to answer.
…Therefore, they are “dolls”.
If what the female shopkeeper says is true, I can only think this of Toori’s behaviour.
“It’s in vain, or rather…obsessive.”
Masazumi described what most would take as common sense. However, following the timing of a conversation, Masazumi heard the female shopkeeper’s voice.
“It’s fine, though it be in vain..”
She asked, but there was no answer. However, something came in its place.
“How’s Toori doing in school?”
Having been asked this, Masazumi realized that they were splintering from the conversation they had been having up to this point. So after thinking for a moment, Masazumi tore up her bread, retrieving the original flow of their conversation.
“By the Testament Union’s judgement…he has no capabilities at all, his academic ability is average, and it seems that they’ve judged that his athletic ability is below average in terms of stamina. Especially when it comes to his body…”
She framed this fact in vague words. However, a voice spilled out from the depths of the kitchen.
“Long before, he cut his left shoulder, and he’s bad at athletics because of it.”
For the residents of Musashi, iss it normal that I would hesitate?
“Haha, the fact that ya know…Masazumi-san, ya’ve seen Toori stripping right?”
“Saw or was shown…The first time I went to school, for some reason he, with “Underdog” written in huge letters on the front of his body, was being chased around by a pack of dogs, running around inside the school building.”
“He can’t use swords very well because of that injury, huh.”
She was telling Masazumi what she already knew, seeking confirmation. Therefore, Masazumi also nodded.
“…Because of this, the Testament Union gave him the nickname:’Impossible’.”
What she said was just the truth, exclusive of personal opinion.
“Even as a Musician of Shinto, he worships an Entertainment-type God, said to focus upon fun and games…He appears to have passed the high-rank examinations, but it seems that he hasn’t yet applied for any blessings. I’ve been told that it’s because the blessing he can use isn’t useful.”
“What kind of blessing is it?”
“Jud., “Power Propagation’.”
Masazumi recalled the story she had heard from the Testament Union’s representative at the inheritance ceremony, where she became the vice-president.
“–When Amaterasu was hiding within a rock door, the laughter of the Goddesses dancing outside passed through the rock door and was conveyed to Amaterasu, and it became an opportunity to bring Amaterasu out. In short, the technique of the God of Entertainment is a technique that uses emotion as a medium, transmitting something to its receivers as a means to share it. Just like sharing laughs with everyone by dancing.”
Despite this, it was not useful.
“Included in this technique is a form of equivalent indemnity, which takes the form of ‘impurity’. When using laughter as a medium, there can be no sadness. If this is violated…the power which was propagated using laughter as a medium will conversely be taken away.”
“Taken away…which means?”
“The transmitted power will not be shared, and it will be thoroughly stolen away. Luck, emotion, even power…it depends on the contents of the contract, but as impurity, they’re mostly exorcised as impurities, and it won’t return for a long period of time. The reason that entertainers and artists whose careers fail experience psychological depression is because, failing in their works of art, the emotions of joy and laughter are lost from within themselves.”
“What a terrifying ability…”
“Yes,” Masazumi said. She continued to speak.
“But for Aoi, it’s a meaningless technique. His ability in academics and athletics are both average, so it’s meaningless for others to share it. And even if he had more power, the risk when it’s stolen away is far too high. Not being able to become sad…”
…Things like that happen quite often.
If something was stolen away, almost like a follow-up to the sadness, it would be intolerable.
The moment she thought this, a soft laugh could be heard from inside.
“Haha, Masazumi-san, just as I was wondering whether ya hated Toori, ya were worrying about him, weren’t ya.”
Having been told something that she had not given the slightest thought, Masazumi flushed.
While drinking the water in her glass, she calmed her breathing.
“…If something happens to the student council president, the responsibility will fall on me.”
This is a fact. The student council and Chancellor’s Board are the facilities with the highest authority in all countries, but the Musashi King, who was sent by the Testament Union, has the authority to make the final decision. Running through the intermediary between the students and the Musashi King was the work of the vice-president.
I myself think that it’s a lot of trouble, but there’s something else.
…What would it be like?
Masazumi hopes to be a politician. As her father is a member of the bureaucratic organization that aids the students, the provisional parliament, he ponders and amends the student council’s decisions, brings the suggestions from the citizens, and furthermore, has the duty of managing the city from out of his personal budget.”
When I’ve graduated from the Academy, I was thinking of starting on the road leading there.
But recently, a single question had come to life.
…Had she been born in the Far East, wouldn’t everything be useless?