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Chapter 21: A Shy Pressure
Note from Bento-bako: I did say that I would write the survival arc, right? I lied.
I lied about this too. I did write it. You might find bits of it in the last chapter and in the chapters to come.
Note from Nana: It seems that Bento-bako likes trolling…
My objective changed.
And now it is to make Tameiki-san praise me more and to make her smile.
I still do have a sub-objective I want to achieve before the training ends and that is to slip into Tameiki-san’s bed.
It’s not like I’m messing around.
That is also part of the process of getting stronger.
In short, I have set more goals for the same original purpose.
After I returned, I rested for an entire day, then I restarted the training.
Even though I said that she let me rest, it’s not like she let me inside the camp house; I had to spend the night outside, sleeping in a sleeping bag, but Tameiki-san released a ‘gravity field’ around me, so I was finally able to get some real sleep.
However, I was still very tired and my body felt endlessly heavy.
Later, I even took a shower.
Tameiki-san boiled some water for me.
Even though it was a hellish hot bath and I had to endure the piercing pain caused by all the wounds on my body, I felt rather refreshed afterwards for my body was finally clean.
I threw away the tattered tuxedo I was wearing and changed into some same size clothes that Tameiki-san kept for me inside the camp house.
And so, my training entered a new stage.
The second stage started with Tameiki-san’s questions.
About my ability.
Like how far can I hear, how strong a sound can I release, what are the things I learned during these ten days and so on.
Since I didn’t really know yet what was the range of my hearing and the power of the sounds I could release, I gave her a broad answer to the first two questions.
I really could hear any kind of sounds.
About how strong a sound I could release, I actually didn’t quite know. All I could answer was that I could release a powerful shockwave.
And about what I learned during the past ten days.
As I answered this question, I couldn’t suppress the smug expression on my face.
Yes, it is unbelievable, but, before I became aware of it, I learned how to sense the sounds through my skin.
Since my sense of hearing was now sealed, if I didn’t achieve something like this I couldn’t have possibly survived the survival challenge.
Anyway, Tameiki-san praised me for developing the ability to sense the sounds through my skin.
With this, it has become quite easy to sense the presence of others.
After I answered a few other questions, Tameiki-san told me the purpose of the second stage of my training, and that was “To become able to turn on / off my ability”.
The abilities such as mine which have a deformed type of invocation, are called permanent abilities.
A permanent ability is a burden on the body, even though you wouldn’t normally realize it, and not learning to turn it on and off would shorten your life span or so it seems.
But if you train hard enough you should be able to turn it on and off at will.
When you turn it off, you become exactly like a person who doesn’t have any ability.
Also, when you become able to turn it on and off, the cost performance and the quality of the ability become better and higher.
“So, what concrete things must I do in order to turn my ability on and off at will?”
“Practice. Give it some time and you’ll gradually learn how to switch the state of your ability.
However, in your case, you’ll have to master the on – off switching with a slightly different method. Within three days.”
A slightly different method.
Judging by Tameiki-san’s words, she’ll make do something absurd yet again.
I’m sure of it since she demands me to master it within three days.
As I kept vigilant, Tameiki-san fetched a mat from inside the camp house and placed it on the ground, then she sat there in a seiza position.
“Take off your shoes and come here.”
What does she plan to do?
What is she going to do to me?
I continued to stay vigilant, but since Tameiki-san’s command was absolute, I obeyed her.
“Lie down here.”
I moved towards the mat and Tameiki-san pointed at her lap.
I was shocked.
“A lap pillow!?”
“Shut up. Do it already.”
Why? Why a lap pillow?
I was in a state of confusion but I, nonetheless, placed my head on her thighs and I stretched my body on the mat.
I felt a violent throbbing in my chest.
Just what the heck is she going to do to me?
I stared at Tameiki-san’s stomach region when I felt something like a syrup poured into my ear.
Then, the foreign feeling in my ear was removed.
That’s right, she took off the earplug.
Since my sense of hearing suddenly returned completely, I raised my voice in spite of myself.
I can now hear the sounds so clearly.
“While we’re at it, I might as well clean your ears.”
“Eh!? For real!?”
Just what is your goal, Tameiki-san!?
My tension went up because of the sudden ears clearing situation.
Moreover, it felt really good.
Hmm? This is bad……
I’m getting sleepy……
She rather harshly slapped me on my cheek and I woke up.
Drool crusted one corner of my mouth.
I then realized that I ended up drooling on Tameiki-san’s trousers too.
“I-I’m sorry. I drooled……”
Don’t worry about it and turn the other way.”
I did as she told me to.
Then, she took off the other earplug and started to clear my other ear; after that, the one hour of supreme bliss ended.
I reluctantly parted with Tameiki-san’s thighs and stood up.
Amazing. I can hear every single sound.
Tameiki-san’s heartbeat. The rustle of trees. The flap of a bird’s wings, flying high in the sky.
The roars of magical beasts.
The earth’s pulsations.
“The truth is I wanted to make you wear these earplugs for an entire month, but you don’t seem to need them anymore.”
“And what are we going to do now?”
To be honest, there wasn’t really necessary to take them off even though they weren’t needed anymore.
There must be a reason behind taking those earplugs off.
“For now, you’ll use your ability up to its limit.”
I will forcibly enter the off state of my ability.
I can’t do it.”
I turned around and started to run, but Tameiki-san stopped the chase in a moment with a single swift attack.
“I tell you, I will really die this time.
Roll taught me that if I use my ability up to its limit, there’s a high chance that I would actually die.”
“It has nothing to do with it. Just do it.”
“What will you do if I die?
Everything will be lost, right?
Let’s clear the second stage with the take-my-time-to-learn-it strategy.”
“I’ll be troubled if you die. Therefore, don’t.”
This person is saying some unreasonable things!
“I have faith in your ability to do this.”
Damn it……If she looks at me like that, I’ll be troubled.
It makes it hard for me to betray her expectations now.
“Ah, I get it……I just have to do it, right?”
“Good boy. That’s the spirit.”
Tameiki-san said and smiled slightly as she brushed my hair.
I really wanted her to stop these gestures and facial expressions since they always startle me.
This was the second time I saw Tameiki-san’s smile.
I already got accustomed to her sour look and her gentle side, but, in spite of all this, I really wanted her to smile more.
If you praise someone’s smile, that person will smile more for you.
My good-looking best friend once said this.
Though, this might only work for good-looking guys……
Good, I should just try and see how it goes.
Nothing bad should happen when praising people.
“Tameiki-san, you are extremely charming when you smile. Although, you almost never smile.”
“………, ………. Is that so?”
…….. Hmm? Is she actually acting shy?
Even though it was for a mere instant, but I didn’t overlook the strange light in Tameiki-san’s eyes.
“Since you are a very beautiful woman, I think that you should smile a bit more.
You’re such a beautiful person after all…….
Besides, I thought about this for a long time, but your hair looks very silky.”
I saw that it was working so I pushed it even further.
I then listened carefully to Tameiki-san’s heartbeat and I realized that it was pulsing a little faster.
I looked at her face and saw that her ears had turned a little red.
As I thought……She’s feeling shy……!
Moreover…….It appears that she’s the type of person who becomes weak against praise!
The fact that Tameiki-san is quite a kind person is not actually known inside the Anonymous, and it seems that she doesn’t even speak that much with other members.
Even Roll commented once that Tameiki-san keeps a bit of a distance from them.
“You shouldn’t…….mock me too much……”
Tameiki-san turned away from me, looking like she couldn’t endure it any longer.
This is an unexpected side of her.
I imagined that she would ward off my praise words with her cool beauty attitude, but she actually turned out to be truly adorable.
I found Tameiki-san’s unforeseen weakness, and my training motivation spiked up.
I’ll give my best.