4. Backwards Compatibility
“I get the feeling everyone’s going to treat me as a murderer if I fail and send her to some place in the forest.”
If that happened in this situation, I should not be the only one blamed. There was no way I was going to accept that kind of responsibility.
“Why! Just hurry up and do it!”
Otsuka came up to me again and started to shake me by the collar. I let her do it since the situation is desperate, but if we were in Japan, I would have forced her to let go of me!
“Alright then. Can we all agree to not treat Hanebashi as a murderer if the experiment fails?”
Hey, hey. Take this more seriously, delinquent. Are you really not going to treat me like a criminal if I fail?
“Well…I want to go home. If Hanebashi can do it, then he has to test it on someone.”
“Besides, Otsuka is willing to try any method and the prospect of failure won’t stop her. So why not?”
“Yes! Send me home!”
Other voices rose in agreement.
I sighed. What would they do if they end up like that fly man from that one movie?
“And if the teleportation works out, we can use it as transportation.”
Taniizumi said. …He had no intention of returning to Japan! Did he want to enjoy this world of his dreams?
“Fine, I’ll do it.”
I selected Otsuka as my target and tried to imagine the location in Japan.
Yes, I felt like I can see her being teleported. Then, I selected ‘finish’ and the sand timer…did not appear.
“Uh…Looks like I can’t do it.”
“If you could do the firewood but not Otsuka, maybe that means you can’t move living creatures.”
“What! You’re so useless!”
Otsuka made a fist and punched me in face!
Ouch! Just how much strength was behind that punch? Her fist was twisting as it made contact.
My cheek was swelling up now. Or did it collapse? The pain stung.
“Are you alright!?”
Shigenobu asked worriedly as he approached.
Hey, hey. Did I really deserve to be hit like that?
“Are-are you okay?”
Now, Minori Himeno, one of the cutest and most popular girls in my class, came to me and offered her hand.
…She was quite short, but cute. With large sparkling eyes. There was something about her that was different from the others.
Her skin was smooth and her hair soft. Looking at her made you think she was made completely different from the other girls. Well, Otsuka was one of the prettier girls too, but her incessant hysterics and acts of violence had made me omit her from the girl category.
“Let me experiment a little. I think I might be able to do it.”
A pale light emitted from Himeno’s hand as she placed it on my cheek. Then the pain slowly started to fade away.
“Ah, so Himeno’s ability is base recovery. There were others whose ability was recovery as well. Is there a difference?”
“I don’t know. In any case, Otsuka. You have to apologize to Hanebashi.”
“Exactly! Yukinari was just doing his best. How could you hit him!”
“Hmph! It’s his fault for giving me false hope!”
Otsuka said. She folded her arms stubbornly and glared at me, refusing to offer an apology.
Damn it… I wouldn’t have forgiven her anyway. Even if I did find a way to return to Japan, she would be the last person I tell!
And now that I think of it, aside from Shigenobu and Himeno and…that other one…Hiyama? The others laughed it off as a joke!
…I’ll remember this.
“Alright, next is you, Hiyama.”
It was now Hiyama’s turn. As she had not laughed when I was punched, she had shot way up in my estimation.
“Uhhh, it looks like my ability is transportation as well.”
What? That’s the same as me! Why are there duplicates?
…Maybe that was just a game-like way of thinking. In the real world, it would not be strange for people to have similar or even identical abilities.
“It will probably just be the same as Hanebashi.”
“Well, I’ll try it then.”
“Try it on me. If you fail, you will be punished just like Hanebashi.”
“Just like me! You do realize that Hiyama is a girl?!”
Well, I guess it was also a girl who would be hitting her.
Still, that was not a good reason to go around punching people.
“…I can’t fail!”
And so Hiyama decided to use her ability…that seemed to be similar to my own. Judging by how determined she looked, she did not want to be punched.
Hiyama shouted as she used her ability.
A pillar of light appeared before her.
“Can I go home!?”
Otsuka became very excited as she charged into the pillar of light. Then in a flash, she teleported to the right, a short distance away from the pillar.
And it activated so quickly!
“This isn’t Japan!”
Otsuka was about to punish Hiyama with her fists, but Taniizumi came between them and stopped her. Otsuka was so annoying that I was starting to get stressed out. Did she think she could do whatever she wanted because she was a girl?
“Think hard. Hanebashi couldn’t teleport living creatures, but Hiyama can… We have the power of a portal. It will be very useful for traveling.”
Taniizumi snorted as he looked at me and then Hiyama.
What? Why was he acting so smug?
“It’s like Hiyama is backwards compatible with Hanebashi.”
I felt like he was mocking me.
So was I Flygon and her a Garchomp!? Is he saying that I must live in despair without being given a mega evolution?! The notion that I might get to have some fun in this world quickly started to fade away.
I would have been very angry if Hiyama had also joined in the ridiculing of me, but instead, she apologized. It seemed that she was at least a normal person.
…Maybe I should ask her.
“Hiyama. Do you think you could return to Japan?”
“I don’t know. I guess I could try?”
And so Hiyama used her ability to create the pillar of light once again.
However, nothing appeared.
“I’m sorry, I can’t seem to do it. It looks like it has to be a place that you’ve been to before.”
“You mean a place you’ve been to since acquiring the ability?”
“I think so…”
Woah… I hadn’t really had high hopes, but now it looked like returning would be very difficult.
It was basically just the kind of teleportation magic you see in RPGs.
“Well, in any case, it’s still better than Hanebashi’s ability.”
“Taniizumi, just shut up already!”
Shigenobu said as he moved to stand in front of me.
“What? I am only saying the truth here. He took so long to activate it and he couldn’t even teleport a living creature. And yet Hiyama could teleport a person in an instant. Which do you think is superior?”
“No, Hanebashi must be able to do things that are different as well.”
Hiyama said in my defense.
Hmph… The nicer she was, the more pathetic I started to feel.
Otsuka and Taniizumu, I’ll remember this.
“…In my case, it seems to take some time before I can use it again. But the next time, I will try to teleport some firewood like Hanebashi did.”
And so when the cool down time was up, Hiyama tried throwing some wood into the pillar of light
But it went straight right through and fell to the ground on the other side with a clunk…
In other words…
“It’s no use.”
“So Yukinari’s ability is good for moving objects while Hiyama is good for moving people. So they are different after all.”
“Hmph. You can just have a person carry the object and then Hiyama’s ability practically has no limits. Well, maybe Hanebashi could use some kind of trick to make it work too. But it’s not likely.”
It seemed that Taniizumi was intent of treating me as a lower class citizen. Well, I guess he was feeling quite smug because he was able to use fire. Never mind the fact that fire users tended to die first.
“In any case, there is no point to any of it if I can’t return to Japan!”
Otsuka needed to stop it already! How long was she going to stay mad? It was so annoying… The only saving grace was that Hiyama was a nice person.
“Well, we’ll be sure to use your ability to get rid of leftover food or for cleaning duties, so look forward to it. It’s not like you’ll be any use against monsters.”
I was being discharged!
After that, Taniizumi continued to harshly criticize anyone else who also seem to have a worse version of an ability. Himeno was among the casualties.
“Ohh!? You can heal people faster than Himeno. You’ll be way more useful.”
The difference between base recovery and normal recovery. Base recovery took longer when treating while normal recovery was immediately effective.
Every time Taniizumi would glare smugly at us, Shigenobu would glare back angrily.
And like that, the entire class, including our teacher, learned of their abilities.