ZAP – Chapter 16: Sumire encounters students of the academy

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◇Sumire’s POV◇

“Hi there. You are Eugene-san from the Animal Club, right?” 

The one who spoke to Eugene-kun was a female student. 

She has a tall and well-proportioned body with big slitted eyes and light steps that gave me the impression of a cat. 

“I am Leona Bianchi from the Martial Arts Club. Nice to meet you.” (Leona)

“Nice to meet you, I am Eugene Santafield. Why do you know my name?” (Eugene)

“There’s no one who doesn’t know the favorite of the Academy Principal, Eugene-san, you know?” (Leona)

Leona-san giggled. 

“As for the person by your side, is it right for me to assume that she is the girl that came from a ‘parallel world’?” (Leona)

“Y-Yes! I am Sashiogi Sumire! Nice to meet you!” (Sumire)

I hurriedly lowered my head. 

I thought it was only Eugene-kun, but even I am known…

“Are you two leaving for today?” (Leona)

“Yeah, we are thinking of wrapping up our exploration.” (Eugene)

“Then, how about having dinner with us?” (Leona)

Leona-san invited us. 

“Hmm…what do you want to do?” (Eugene)

Eugene-kun directed his gaze at me. 

Also, it smells really nice. 

“I don’t mind!” (Sumire)

They are going out of their way to invite us, and I might be able to make a friend here. 

Leona-san seems like someone really easy to talk to. 

“Then, we will take you up on that offer. Uhm, how much would it be…?” (Eugene)

“Ahaha, we make too much, so we always end up with leftovers. No need to pay and no need to be reserved!” (Leona)

When Eugene-kun mentioned money, Leona-san laughed heartily. 

What a frank person.

“Come, this way.” (Leona)

Leona-san guided us to our seats. 

I say seats, but they are simply layer sheets placed on the ground.

The person that was cooking the food in a big pot gave us a portion of bread and thick soup to me and Eugene-kun. 

A nice spicy scent reached my nose. 

It is a somewhat nostalgic scent.

…Wait, could this be…

“Go ahead and eat.” (Leona)

“I-Itadakimasu!” (Sumire)

Being urged on by Leona-san, I scooped the soup with the spoon. 

I nervously bring that into my mouth. 

“?!” 

T-This taste…it really is…! 

“Tasty.” (Eugene)

“Right? There’s a lot more where that came from, so feel free to ask for more.” (Leona)

 I listened to the conversation of Eugene-san and Leona-san while scooping up the soup with reckless abandon. 

“Haah…” (Sumire)

I finished eating the soup and took a breath. 

“Wow, Sumire-chan, you eat fast.” (Leona)

Leona-san opened her eyes wide. 

There’s something I wanted to ask no matter what. 

“Yeah… What’s the name of this soup?” (Sumire)

“Uhm, it is a dish called curry, and…ah, I see.” (Leona)

“Yeah…it is a dish that also exists in my world…” (Sumire)

It was so nostalgic, I was on the verge of crying. 

It has been a while since I have met a dish from my previous world here.

According to what Leona-san said, it is a dish that was spread by otherworlders a long time ago. 

…I see.

So I am not the only otherworlder. There were also others in the past. 

And they spread curry…

Wonder from where they were.

“Feel free to ask for more.” (Leona)

“O-Okay…” (Sumire)

Now that I think about it, I might have been a bit unrefined there gobbling down in front of Eugene-kun. 

After that, I exchanged information about our dungeon exploration together with Eugene-kun and Leona-san. 

And then, when it was about time to retire…

“Hey, if you are fine with it, want to participate in our camp?” (Leona)

Leona-san directed a smile at us as she proposed this. 

“Is it really okay to invite outsiders? You are in the middle of clearing the dungeon, right?” (Eugene)

Eugene-kun asked in wonder. 

According to Eugene-kun, the other explorers are technically rivals, so they don’t get along that well with each other.

“We are the 3rd wing whose objective is to gain experience from low floors with new club members. The 1st unit that is aiming for the 200th Floor is on edge though.” (Leona)

Leona-san shrugged her shoulders. 

Ooh, 1st wing and 3rd wing. 

Basically regulars and reserves? 

It really is a club activity. 

“I see… What do you want to do, Sumire?” (Eugene)

“I want to talk a bit more!” (Sumire)

“Then, we will gratefully participate.” (Eugene)

“Okay. I will introduce you to the other members, okay?! There’s actually a lot of people who want to talk with the otherworlder Sumire-san!” (Leona)

Saying this, Leona-san ran to where the others were at. 

In that time, Eugene-kun gave me a simple explanation of what the Martial Arts Club is about. 

According to Eugene-kun, the Martial Arts Club is apparently a prominent large faction within the academy. 

It is a gathering of people that strive to polish their own skills to the extreme, so there’s a lot of quirky people, but they are openhearted people. 

Yeah, I also thought Leona-san was easy to talk to after having a conversation with her. 

He also told me about other clubs.

The strongest armed faction of the academy, the Swordsman Club.

It is apparently also the group with the strongest dungeon exploration force. 

There’s apparently clubs for mages, but they are not a big organization. They are instead divided minutely by elements. 

And there’s apparently a lot of faction disputes between elements. 

“I think the fire magic research club is definitely going to try and recruit you, Sumire.” (Eugene)

This is what Eugene speculates. 

He says it is because I am an Ifrit…

Hmm, what should I do if they try to recruit me…

I don’t want to be dragged into a faction strife. 

By the way, the Student Council Enforcement Division is apparently very elitist. 

Speaking of which, there were really annoying people in the student council. 

I remember the incident the other day where guys caused trouble for Eugene-kun.

After a while, Leona-san brought a number of kouhais from the martial arts club and we had a talk. 

When I spoke to them about my world, they listened to me while deeply moved. 

…I couldn’t tell them anything too interesting though. 

Just the fact that they managed to talk to an otherworlder seems to be worth enough for them. 

After we talked a whole lot, I was invited by Leona-san to take a bath. 

Eugene-kun was invited by the people of the martial arts club to train together. 

◇◇

“Haah, I’m feeling refreshed.” (Sumire)

“Fufu, how was that? That was the magic open air bath the martial arts club is proud of.” (Leona)

That’s right! 

An actual open air bath had been prepared! 

An isekai really is different. 

“That’s an impressive magic tool. Is that also equipment from the martial arts club?” (Sumire)

“That’s right! It was super expensive, but we bought it with the coin that everyone earned. Baths really are important.” (Leona)

“Yeah, I get you!” (Sumire)

Leona-san and I had steam coming out from our body as we returned to where Eugene-kun is. 

Eugene-kun was training with the male students of the martial arts club. 

The martial arts club people are fighting with their bare hands. 

Eugene-kun is holding a wooden sword. 

At a glance, it looks as if Eugene-kun has the advantage here. 

The reality is that Eugene-kun is actually easily dealing with the men of the martial arts club. 

“Wow, your swordsmanship is impressive. I heard you are from the Empire, but what sword school is that?”

“It is called the Twin-Heavenly Resonance Style. A school of the East Continent. My pops is from the East Continent.” (Eugene)

“I see! A swordsmanship from a different continent!” 

“There wasn’t anyone in the swordsmanship club with an East Continent school. This will be good training.” 

“Alright, let’s do this once more!” 

“I don’t mind, but…is it fine for me alone to have a sword?” (Eugene)

“That actually helps out. It will serve as training for our match against the swordsmanship club coming up!” 

“We are winning the next one. Ain’t that right, everyone?!” 

“““YEAAAAAH!”””

Looks like everyone from the martial arts club is happy to be able to train with Eugene-kun. 

They are really hyped up. 

I heard they were doing dungeon exploration the whole day though. They all have a lot of stamina. 

After that, Eugene-kun and the male students washed off their sweat at the waterfall nearby. 

There’s apparently a small spring there.

Won’t that be cold?

I waited for them to return while talking with Leona-san and the other female students. 

Eugene-kun came back not long after. 

“Welcome back, Eugene-kun.” (Sumire)

“Sorry for the wait, Sumire.” (Eugene)

I welcomed Eugene by waving my hand. 

By the way, the surroundings have gotten dark. 

This is apparently because the inside of the dungeon is now ‘night’.

“Even though it is inside a building, there’s night?!” -is how I got surprised, but the Zenith Tower is a dungeon created by the Gods, so they told me I shouldn’t think with normal logic. 

There’s an ecosystem within the dungeon, and monsters have their own lifestyle. 

Because of that, there’s apparently day and night just like outside. 

And so, I was beginning to get sleepy from the darkness of the night. 

“By the way, where are you two going to be sleeping? Is it okay for Eugene-san to sleep in the guys’ tent and Sumire-san in our tent?” (Leona)

Leona-san proposed this. 

I intended to do that, so I was about to nod to it, but…

“No, I have my own tent, so I will be sleeping there.” (Eugene)

“Eh?! You brought a tent, Eugene-kun? Wasn’t the plan today to return before night came?” (Sumire)

“I bring it with me all the time when I do dungeon explorations. There’s even days when you are made to wait half a day at the dungeon elevator.” (Eugene)

To my surprise, Eugene-kun had even made preparations to stay the night. 

“Hey hey, show me the tent!” (Sumire)

“Okay.” (Eugene)

Eugene-kun brought out a tent from the explorer bag. 

It seems to be a magic tool. It was compact at first, and yet, it became big in the blink of an eye. 

It is a proper tent that could fit 4 people. 

“Wowow, this is a product made by Autumn Peak, right? So nice.” (Leona)

Leona-san was looking at it enviously. 

It seems like there’s even famous brands of camping goods in an isekai. 

“And so, I will be sleeping here, so don’t worry. Sumire, you go with Leona—” (Eugene)

“Hey hey, Eugene-kun, how many can fit in this tent?” (Sumire)

“Hm? It is for 4 people.” (Eugene)

“Then, I will sleep here. I would feel bad for intruding at the place of Leona-san.” (Sumire)

““Eh?!””

Eugene-kun and Leona-san raised their voices in surprise at what I said. 

I didn’t really say anything weird here though, right? 

Eugene-kun and I are in the same party, so I think it is normal to act together.

“It is fine, right, Eugene-kun?” (Sumire)

“W-Well…if you are fine with it.” (Eugene)

“Aaah~, so you two are like that… Ahaha, sorry for intruding.” (Leona)

Leona-san left with a flushed face. 

Hm?

What’s the matter?

“T-Then, let’s go sleep, Sumire.” (Eugene)

“Okay!” (Sumire)

Eugene-kun is acting weird.

Even though he is usually calm, he seems somewhat restless here. 

(……Hm?) (Sumire)

That’s when I finally noticed. 

The reason why Leona-san’s face went red just now. 

Now that I think about it carefully, sleeping in the same tent means…

Aaaah!! 

What am I saying?!!!

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