A female student who seemed to be a third-year student appeared at the entrance.
She looks around, and without seeming to notice Chihiro and the others, walks to the entrance terminal.
「Right? No one will notice, right?」
「Yeah, it seems so」
Chihiro nodded cautiously.
Her ability, hypothetically called [Cognitive Obstruction] seems to be effective.
However, based on the previous explanation, the effect should not extend to the bags on the floor, so since his hands are restricted, he moves his feet to the bottom of the bench.
「...Um, how did you know my name?」
A woman suddenly appeared.
Chihiro doesn't know her, but she knows him.
The situation reminds him of the incident with Hana, but the woman has already exchanged glances with Chihiro.
If she's planning to deceive him, it's normal to be careful and avoid the influence of his mind-reading.
「Oh, yeah. I've seen your documents before」
That's what she'd say.
「Yes, the document. I’ve looked over every student’s document again and again. So, I remembered it. It's horrible, isn't it?」
「...all of the students」
Data for less than 200 students, huh?
And that data will only be useful for three years, and will be replaced by a third of new data every year. Unless she had Maisaka's [Accumulation] ability, it would normally be a very difficult task.
But then a voice comes down.
「But, Chihiro-kun, you left a particular impression on me」
「Then you... came to see me?」
Chihiro asked, and she denied it.
「We met by chance. You just happened to find me when my powers were off」
If the purpose was to talk, it would be better to call him in a deserted place even though she has the ability.
If the purpose is just to observe, there's no need to get to know each other since she can do so unilaterally with her ability.
Thinking to that point, Chihiro relaxed her body.
「Yes, good boy, good boy」
The woman's right hand reached out and patted his head.
And it made Chihiro's heart swayed. When was the last time a non-family member, someone older than him, had done this to him?
「Does it feel comfortable?」
「Yes, it feels comfortable」
Her voice, her gestures, her scent... these things make Chihiro's thoughts run wild.
Moreover, until now, he was so focused on getting ready to train, but now he finds himself relaxing.
「I'm glad. I feel good too. Chihiro-kun is so cuddly, after all」
Hearing that, Chihiro felt his face heat up.
He had never heard anyone say that before.
...as he thought, she's weird.
「Um, could you tell me your name?」
「Oh, I forget to tell you. ...I'm Suzu. I don't want to tell you my last name」
The fact that she won't tell him her last name is quite meaningful.
Is it a pseudonym or her real name?
「Can I ask you something?」
In any case, Chihiro doesn't feel like fighting her off in this state. Even if he escaped from Suzu, he wouldn't be able to concentrate on his training, and he would have to wait for Aika.
Then, an unexpected question came to him.
「Why do you want to be strong, Chihiro?」
This is a question that every student at Shibahou Academy must face at least once.
To begin with, many would hesitate to enroll in a school with many combat and athletic classes. Nevertheless, there must be some reason for each individual to enter and continue attending this school.
In Chihiro's case, it was her older sister's influence at first.
So, after graduating from the middle school, he followed her to become a [Lost Item].
However, he was soon discouraged by the presence of strong players such as Kamishiro and Riko's attacks.
But after meeting Maria and changing his mind, the reason he stayed was.
「Hostility, maybe. I wanted to look back at someone who was strong and unbeatable」
Riko, Kamishiro, maybe even Maria at the time.
He wanted to show them that the current power structure was not absolute.
That's exactly how he felt when he asssault Riko. But――
「Is it different now?」
「Yes. I think I want to take responsibility now」
「I want to protect them. I have people I have to protect」
Maria, Riko, and... Hana, for the time being.
Even though they are different in the sense that they are both lovers and slaves, they are the ones Chihiro reached out to and desired.
So Chihiro has a responsibility to repay them.
And he also has a responsibility to behave unrestrainedly.
If he wants to push through his desires, he must have the strength to push through and carry them into the future.
Such twisted selfishness.
It's a completely different aspiration from what is normally called "protect".
「I see. I understand...」
She then pats him again.
Her hand was still moving on his head.
（...Even though I couldn't understand her intentions, in a way, it was as if she was confessing her love for me）
「Why do you know my reasons?」
「I told you. I've been curious about you, Chihiro-kun」
If Chihiro could ask one question at a time, the answer would be something like that.
He felt like Suzu was being evasive, but at the same time she wasn't lying.
Anyway, now it's Suzu's turn to question him.