Chapter 10: Have You Ever Ridden a Train?

‘Commoner Explanatory Meeting – Welcome, Commoner -‘ was written over a big hanging banner at the back of the hall.

I was standing on stage, losing the mental battle completely.

Students from all over the school – kindergarten to junior college – were stuffed into the auditorium, their hands raised and their eyes glittering with ‘Please call on me!’.

Feeling Kujou-san’s stare, I suddenly came back to my senses.

“…E-Ehm, then…”

I randomly chose a girl from the middle school section.

A maid handed over a mic and she stood up.

[I am Kuragazu Yuuko, a first-year in middle school.]

After clearly spoken introduction, she continued in a somewhat nervous manner,

[Please, tell us about the differences between commoners and us.]

“Eh? Hmm…”

After the initial panicking—— I remembered Aika and my exchange this morning.

“Ehm, we don’t have escort maids and the like. Nothing like a maid coming to wake us up, help us get changed, or escort us.

That caused a slight commotion.

[T-Then, how do you do it?]

“How? By ourselves.”

The commotion grew all the bigger.

The cheeks of the middle schooler blushed and the mic trembled slightly.

[T-That’s amazing.]

No, it’s nothing to get that flustered about…

“Then the next question please.”

Kujou-san said and the next set of numerous hands were raised vigorously again.

[——I am Fujita Noriko, collegian in her second year of junior college.]

As expected from a junior college student, her behavior seemed majestic.

With a look as smart-ish as a newscaster’s, she directly looked at me directly.

I got nervous and she asked me with her intellectual voice.

[Have you ever ridden a train?]

…………

She was waiting for my reply with a face that might’ve as well asked, ‘Are you running for the next presidential selection?’.

“I… I have.”

That instant—— her gaze, still fixated at me, changed into one full of awe.

“T-That is, using ‘money’ as a way of payment to purchase a so-called ‘ticket’, correct?”

Now she had put on a face that boasted, ‘How’s that? I properly know about it.’.

“No, I don’t buy tickets.”

“——”

The young lady froze up.

Taking out my wallet from the back pocket of my pants, I showed my Suica[1].

“Um, this is called a ‘Suica’, most people use this. Charging it with money beforehand— Ah, the ‘charging’ thing is kinda like putting it into an account, you need to pay in advance.”

“…?”

“That’s why if you push this against the ticket gate – um, on the ticket gate there’s usually a part that scans the Suica – when you put it there, the required points are automatically used up. So there’s no need for anyone to buy a ticket, it’s really convenient.”

“…? …??”

“By the way, this isn’t just for trains, it’s used for things like buses, vending machines for juice or whatever, convenience stores – you can use it all over the place. There’s other stuff besides these cards, with cell phones for instance— Ah, that’s complicated, never mind.”

The junior college Ojou-sama had turned pure white and looked flabbergasted.

…What?

The auditorium had grown dead silent.

“…I don’t seem to even grasp half of the matter.”

The Ojou-sama’s faced each other with astonished looks.

“I, as well. It is just that I came to understand that it is an incredibly advanced topic that he was telling about.”’

Huh?

“Amazing.”

“What tremendous people those commoners are.”

“My goodness…”

Nonono.

Looking up at me, their gazes felt like they had gone from curiosity to pure awe.

How did it come to this?!

“Then, next question please.”

In a complete change from earlier, they now timidly raised their hands.

“W-What do you spend your time on during your leisure time?”

I have to be careful here.

So, to not say anything thoughtless…

“Um… I don’t really do anything special.”

The ojou-sama looked at me blankly.

Her eyes signalling, ‘That’s all?’, she kept looking at me with a stare like a puppy, who’s waiting for some bread.

“…….Err, I do things like playing games with my friends at McDonalds.”

“McDonalds? Games?”

——Ohoh.

After that I gave an explanation on ‘Mcdonalds’ and ‘Wireless play’.

*SHOOOOOOOOOOCKED*! The mic slipped out of the questioner’s hand.

The young ladies were going from surprise to astonishment.

“…Commoners are amazing…”

“They seem to be people from a far more advanced civilization.”

Civilization?!

“Then, next question please.”

No one raised their hand. While shaking like chihuahuas, they kept saying,

“…Awe-inspiring…”

“I shall never speak of commoners in the same light again…”

“No, hold on! It’s a misunderstanding! Commoner’s aren’t like that!”

“I shall never forget this day…”

 

Translator notes and references

[1]Wikipedia knows it all.