A couple days passed since the incident.
They had been mostly quiet; the kids had been re-acclimating back to a 'normal' life without having to immediately worry about an impending battle to the death.
It was a bit heartwarming seeing the kids return to normal after what they had gone through. Misaki still was dragging Touma around and Mikoto would turn up and they would get into a fight to which groups of people would come by and comment on the lack-luster Touma.
Funnily enough, both girls would act reasonable when Index was around.
They figured out early on that a third player had joined the game and they were ready to combat them until they actually met Index initially.
Alex couldn't really blame them, Index just had that effect on people. The sheer naivety in her words and actions when it came to them. Its not like Index didn't understand 'things' regarding boys and girls. She was just absolutely clueless with regards to relationships and her own feelings.
It was too adorable for even her two competitors to get mad at. They had silently agreed to accept the little nun into the fold.
Outside of the others, Alex had also been enjoying the relative peace.
He got back into his normal schedule in the meantime, his regular practice and his Magecraft practice.
He still wasn't making any progress on his magecraft, though that could heavily be attributed to his current circumstance.
He would be the first to acknowledge that he probably doesn't have any talent in the subject and would only be proficient in the basic combat-orientated crafts and a few others like bounded fields.
But his current restrictions were heavily hindering his ability to truly explore what he was good at. He couldn't really risk body-reinforcement at the moment. He was a heroic spirit in the flesh, but he could still overload his body if he wasn't careful or made a mistake. +It was best he not take the risk while he was watching over other's safety.
The second matter was that he did not posses a workshop. Somewhere where he could 'let loose' and do experiments without having to worry about being discovered or the safety of others. He was curious about certain rune effects and wanted to play around with them. He also wanted to play around with his bounded fields and really push through his current bottleneck and figure out how to proceed along that path. But he had no where to do these things. He couldn't very well practice them to the extreme in his apartment and setting up a workshop in the city seemed unlikely do to the nature of the city itself and the fact that he needed to watch over Index.
He had already neglected her a bit with the recent incident, and he had a feeling that his time in this world would soon be coming to an end.
He had some ideas to occupy his current magical curiosity. He did play around with the previous training equipment he used on Touma and reinforced certain aspects of those.
Alex had a 'basic' understanding on how reinforcement worked. It didn't merely make something 'stronger' in a sense but, going along with its name, it reinforced a concept on an object. He could probably set something up in a controlled area to play around with those ideas. And he also had other material to study for later experimentation.
Although he was still walking around blind with regards to magic…..he had to admit it was fun. He could understand how Merlin used to get all excited and go off on tangents and long speeches about the nature of magic and her crafts. It was one of the few tricks to get her to settle down. Distract her by asking questions regarding magic and she would easily get distracted.
She would probably be laughing her ass off if she saw him now. The great King Arthur, being bested by intro-level magecraft.
But the quiet days ended pretty quickly.
It wasn't much at first, a few eyes here and there that were tracking them. Some were obvious plants and others were very well hidden, possibly playing off the obvious ones to redirect suspicion.
He wasn't quite surprised to find out who was responsible.
It was a bit funny how he came about the information.
While he was connected to the Academy's city-wide internet equivalent, someone tried to hack into his tablet.
That was a mistake.
The tablet was created by beings of a much higher power than anything in this world could fathom. It did not take kindly to someone trying to invade it.
As soon as an intruder tried to access it, the tablet's security protocols were engaged and gave the user, who was Alex, a list of options on how to proceed.
At first he basically just set it to string along the 'intruder' for awhile so he the device could back-track their location.
He was more than happy to supply the intruder with all manner of 'content' while he casually scoured the city as he followed the signal.
This world was many years further ahead than what he had previously experienced, but its overall history was not all that dissimilar.
Certain...internet content was prevalent during the same years as his other worlds.
He reintroduced them to a certain Rick Astley.
It didn't take long to trek a few blocks over to a random Café with a certain individual sitting in the corner on a laptop.
The individual was quite surprised when Alex plopped down at the same table and set down his tablet for the person to see. It was easy to tell that the person had never gotten their hands 'dirty' before and was purely a 'hacker for hire'. He spilled quite a bit of information on his employer when Alex took out a dagger from his Gate and began to twirl it infront of said individual.
The information he received wasn't all too surprising, but as always, it was good to confirm.
He and his little group had attracted a bit of attention from various high-leveled bodies that governed the city. Some of which sat on the board of directors.
While only a few people oversaw the whole lvl 6 project, many other people were invested in it for their own purposes.
Aleister had apparently been very open about his desire to cancel the project after the latest failure and did not go to any lengths to hide the fact that he declared this after his meeting with Alex. The higherups in the city were very careful to watch any individual who was able to get a meeting with the superintendent.
It was not very hard to pout 2 and 2 together.
Aleister got what he wanted and shifted all dissatisfaction in the city towards Alex.
There were quite a few rumors going around, the major being that Alex had some potent blackmail on Aleister. Since all investigations towards his person were turning up empty, they were assuming that his backround was not very spectacular and that he had to go a very round about way to convince the superintendent to drop the project.
So, various organizations were now paying heavy attention to him and his associates. Some believed the rumors, others didn't. The hacker than he was sitting with was hired by mid-level official under one of the board directions. He was one of the ones that assumed there was some kind of blackmail and hired the hacker to search Alex's devices for anything.
It was a simple, yet elegant move on Aleister's part. The man knew how to make the most out of every situation, Alex couldn't help but praise him in this situation.
Luckily Alex knew that a certain event was coming up that would allow the 'heat' to die down.
The group were sitting around the dinner table.
As has become tradition, they all crammed themselves into Alex's apartment when he cooked the meals. Even Mikoto and Misaki were coming around quite often. It just so happened it was a day that everyone were together.
"I spoke to my family recently…." Touma suddenly said, garnering the attention of the table.
"Are you finally going to introduce the girls to their in-laws?" Alex suddenly cut in.
Surprisingly, it was Touma who got the most embarrassed by the statement.
At this point the girls were practically glued to the hip so no matter what he did they would follow him.
"They….want me to meet them at a beach resort outside of the city." He finished.
Both Mikoto and Misaki cheered at the thought.
Index was confused, she had never been to the beach before and the two magicians never really cared for such a thing.
"Perfect, you lot deserve a vacation and it would give the city a chance to calm down in our absence." Alex said.
"I've never been to the beach before..." Index said quietly.
Suddenly several eyes turned to her.
Alex looked at both Mikoto and Misaki who had the same expression of sadness that the young girl had never gone to a beach in her life. Silently, they all made the same promise to themselves.
"Well, we will have to remedy that." Alex said.
"We need to make a list, Index is going to need a swimsuit along with several sets of beach cloths. Then we're going to need all the beach equipment." He suddenly said.
"I need a new one as well, I can take her shopping with me!" Misaki interjected.
"I'm not letting you go alone and get her something inappropriate." Mikoto stated.
"Good idea, I'm guessing Kaori also needs one so you lot should go together." Alex said.
The saint just tilted her head in confusion.
"Operation, give Index a beach experience is a go." Alex declared.
Index looked thrilled while Stiyl and Touma just sighed in exasperation.
"I can't go, I need to check back in with the boss." Stiyl said.
"You being recalled?" Alex asked.
"I just need to give my report in person, though I've been asked to try and convince you to come meet my boss in person." Stiyl said towards Alex.
"I....don't think it's a good idea I go to England." Alex said awkwardly.
Misaki snorted and started to laugh a bit.
Index also had an awkward smile on her face.
Stiyl just raised an eyebrow at his remark.
"I feel as though I'm missing the context, but okay." He replied, knowing he wouldn't get an explanation.
"Kaori is staying though, right?" Alex asked.
"Yeah, they want to leave her around you to watch, also they are getting a bit interested in Touma." Stiyl said.
After the meal, the girls quickly scuttled off to hit up the stores before they closed. It was mostly the two Academy girls dragging Index and Kaori off who had no idea what they were doing.
As they left, Stiyl looked towards Touma, the latter of whom had a sense of foreboding wash over him.
"I think we need to have a talk about Index." Stiyl said towards the boy.
"I shall leave you two to have your discussion in private." Alex said with a smile as he quickly left the room.
Touma looked on in confusion as the atmosphere turned tense.
"Now...whats this I'm hearing about an 'index route'?" He said, cracking his knuckles.
Sorry for the late chapter, i actually finished over a day ago but i didn't like it and wanted to re-write it. Anyways, only a few more chapters left in this world! Still accepting ideas for the next world, not 100% set on what one i want yet so my mind can change. Keep in mind power levels, not going to do something like DBZ.
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