Second week of April. I finally became a highschool student. Being admitted to one of the most prestigious schools in the nation, my parents were too happy that they sent me to live in the school's dorm. Well, the other reason was the school's generous offer.
It was my first time living alone. I was depressed and couldn't think well during the opening ceremony. I only stood still; thinking how to live and how to budget the allowance my parents gave me.
When we started walking back to our classroom, the person in front of me suddenly lit up and vanished at the spot.
That freaking instance woke me up out of my trance.
What the heck?
What has just happened?
When I looked around me, no one found it strange. They even looked amused. What's wrong with these people?
"Ah, Hiroda got summoned back."
One of the guys from behind me said.
"What kind of world summoned him again? He's the first this year."
One of the girls asked.
"I think it was a total magic world. With wizards and witches."
Hearing this conversation, I stood dumbstruck. What the hell are they talking about?
What kind of class have I gotten in?
Is it this kind of school?
"Hey, hurry up. Why did you stop? Are you surprised?"
The guy from behind pushed me to start walking again.
"Eh? I don't know him. There's someone new in our class?"
One of the girls pointed at me.
"I thought there were only 30 of us."
The girl beside her also added
"Someone explain. Class president."
One student at the back shouted. All their attention were focused on me now.
"Shut up. There's no class president yet."
Other students started chiming in. They all knew each other. I was the only stranger here. I was seriously getting confused. What was wrong with this class?
"But aren't we all from the same class from middle school? Class president will just be the same. Sugawara-san please."
Then one of them asked for someone. Sugawara appeared from the front. She has a sort of unrivalled beauty; with her straight black hair only adorned by a white hairband. She looks stern and serious, a proper elegant lady.
Now that I took a look again, everyone was good looking. Well even me was somewhat handsome but not as overwhelming as the guys here. And all the girls were top beauties of their own league.
"Right. I was informed that someone got in through an exam. This is new. Even I haven't been informed. Let me take you to someone uh…"
The crowd parted and made way for her. Upon seeing me, she also took a look and determined I'm the new guy.
Since she didn't know what to call me, I introduced myself.
"Kuramoto-san, please come with me."
Nodding her head, she said my name in a bit of difficulty before leading me to the Principal's Office.
She knocked on the door three times before it opened from the inside.
This Principal's Office is located far away from the populated areas such as the classrooms or the faculty. If I could describe, it's located on a seemingly old Building with none of the other rooms being used except here.
"Ah. Yuko-chan, what brings you here?"
The elderly voice of the Principal sounded out, following that voice I saw a suit-clad elderly who has just stood up from his seat. Though he looks old, his hair was still the same black as Sugawara's hair. It looks natural at least. He had sharp eyes which will make you think of a cunning or a sly character but the expression on his face is somewhat welcoming.
Sugawara pointed at me as an answer before explaining the situation.
"You forgot about this guy, Principal. You didn't brief him about the class he was admitted to."
So, is she hinting me that this class I was admitted to is special?
"Ah? Right right. There was that."
Eh? This principal! How could you forget? I'm utterly confused now. What kind of school have I gotten into?
He acted like he's wiping an imaginary sweat on his forehead before he collected himself and urged me to sit on the sofa that was probably used for visitors like me.
With Sugawara sitting in front of me and the Principal behind her, she slowly explained to me what kind of class I was admitted to.
There were 30 students and all of them were being summoned to what they call the Oherworlds. With my admission, I became the 31st student. However, unlike them, I have no experience or clue whatsoever about it.
I only heard about otherworlds or being summoned from fantasy novels, anime, and movies. So what are they getting at here? Seeing that thing happening in front of me, that guy disappearing out of nowhere, I was somewhat convinced. But from all this information, I was already getting a headache.
"So basically, each one of you are Isekai Heroes?"
"Since middle school?"
"So you've been going to and from an Otherworld for three years now?"
"And each of you have different worlds you were summoned to?"
The consecutive yeses made me gulp hard. This was real. They're not joking.
"So why am I here?"
With all these explanation I was expecting some sort of surprise that will explain why I was admitted.
"Yes. Ah. No. Because we need a support."
Sugawara almost answered 'Yes' reflexively. And that made her somewhat flustered.
What kind of support is she talking about here?
She pointed at me as if stating the obvious.
"Huh? I can't understand."
"You'll be the support for each of us."
"Wait wait. What does support mean?"
"Support is support. You'll be a sidekick or rather someone who will move in the shadows for us. Anything that can support the heroes like me."
Supporting them? What can a weak high school freshman do? I get it, they're heroes or something. Why do they even need a support of someone like me?
"Eh? And how will I do that?"
Support, eh? Just because my first name means great helper didn't mean I had to be a support, right? Was fate playing with me?
"With the use of your ability."
Now she lost me. I have no recollection of any ability I have. If not having a girlfriend throughout my short life is an ability then it's not that useful, is it?
"Ability? I don't recall having one."
For now let's listen to what they will say. I can just oof-ed myself away after all this. There's other high schools out there.
"Well. Because it won't work here on Earth."
Won't work here on Earth? Then it only works on the Otherworlds they're talking about?
"Then how did you determine I have an ability?"
"Remember the exam you've taken?"
That exam? What's special about that? Ah?!
"Yes. I remember. I even lost consciousness in the middle of it. Luckily I answered everything and passed."
To pass it even with that thing happening, aren't I lucky or just a genius?
"The written exam is just a cover. The real exam happened when you lost consciousness."
What the hell? From all points of view, losing consciousness in the middle of an exam and continuing it without finding it strange was even stranger. Why didn't I doubt that occurrence at all?
"You were summoned to a Pocket Dimension where we determined what your ability is."
Otherworlds and now Pocket Dimension. Is there something wrong with their heads? But I have to go along for now.
"Uh. Okay. Then what is it?"
I answered calmly, waiting for her answer.
"You're surprisingly calm."
She smiled after hearing my question.
"Eh. What can I do? You have that serious face that says you're not joking. And even if you are, I have no choice but to listen. I can't move."
Right. This is also why I need to calm down. I couldn't move my hands or legs at this moment. Whatever it is that they did to me, I have no way of fighting it.
"Ah. Principal, release him from binding."
Sugawara suddenly flashed a worried face before turning to the Principal to ask him to release whatever it is he did to me.
"Sorry Kuramoto-kun. I did that so you can't run."
The Principal bowed his head apologetically as he waved his hand in front of me. Upon doing that, I could feel my hands and feet being freed by something.
"Err. I don't really get it but with that binding, I'm now starting to think, this is real."
With that experience, saying it's a hallucination is something one who's running from reality would definitely say.
"Well, it IS real."
I thought one couldn't unleash an ability here? How did that binding work then? This Principal, he was probably hiding something yet I should go with the flow for now.
"So. What's my ability that determined me to become a supporter."
I rubbed my wrist which I felt was bound earlier to check if there's something wrong with it.
One word. That's all what left the Principal mouth.
I was expecting for more but they both just stared calmly as if I have to accept that there's nothing more to it
"Err. What does my ability mean?"
Adaptability? So it's not a superpower like Superspeed or Superstrength?
"It meant you can adapt easily to Otherworlds."
Adapting to Otherworlds, does it have extreme weather conditions or something?
"Say, you were sent to the same world as Hiroda. The guy that was summoned earlier. Your body will immediately adapt to that world. Meaning, you will be able to sense and understand the special energy rampant in that world."
Sugawara explained to me patiently. The worried face she had earlier. What was that?
So that kind of adaptability, huh? Eh? Why am I taking this calmly? Did something change within me?
"Ah. Then? What kind of energy was it?"
"For that Magic World. It should be Mana."
Mana. It's a term I only heard on games or something related to a fiction that involves magic. So they're saying it really exists in the so-called Otherworlds?
"Err. Then isn't that a given to every summoned hero?"
For them to be summoned, don't they need to adapt as well? Then this ability of mine is useless, right?
"Yes. But you, you're not a hero."
This is the crux why I became a support, eh. I was never a hero. Adaptability sounds good but every hero can adapt to the world they summoned in. Then what's unique with my adaptability?
"Ah. So that's why."
Haa. Admitting me to be a sidekick for everyone? But if I could only adapt. What can I do with it? Learn magic by myself?
"So why am I needed to support the hero."
This one of the things I don't understand. They're heroes, why do they even need someone to support them?
"Because everyone was doomed to die in their Otherworld."
Dropping that bomb, Sugawara's face turned serious as if lamenting the fate that also awaited her.
"We will lose to our enemy. It could be the Demon King or the Overlord or anything that could threaten them in the Otherworld that summoned us."
Sugawara looked up as if she's thinking about that Otherworld she was supposedly summoned into.
"And why do you know that you're all doomed to die? A Prophecy or something like that?"
Since the Principal could just bind me again, I opted to follow along these things they're telling me. At least they sound serious and there's no joke or punchline waiting for me at the end of it.
"That is because of my ability."
Principal who was listening to our conversation interjected. I guess only he can explain about that.
"My ability is Clairvoyance. When I discovered the Pocket Dimension years ago, I entered it and gained knowledge about my ability. After that I predicted the appearance of the 30 heroes and gathered them in my school."
He started explaining. So he's some kind of Prophet who predicted their deaths?
"Uh. There's too much info dumps."
"This is necessary. Listen well. Not only I predicted the 30 heroes, I also predicted the worlds that needed saving."
Saving the Otherworlds? Do they all have Messiah Complex? But yeah, they were summoned so it's also forced. They have no choice?
"And why do you need to save those worlds?"
Pointing out what I noticed, the Principal coughed once before answering.
"Because if any of them fall, the enemy responsible for its fall will then set their eyes to our world."
With the same seriousness Sugawara exuded, the Principal dropped another bomb.
"Huh? Then our world will be destroyed as well."
Yes. We have nukes but upon using that, it will lay waste to the land it hits. We live in a peaceful era so our fighting strength could be said to be minimal. If those enemies they're talking about arrived here, then we're just pigs waiting to be slaughtered. Ah but that's excluding them, the supposed heroes. They're probably strong enough to save their own hides.
"That's right. You have Adaptability. You have already adapted to the Pocket Dimension, a dimension which boosts one's clarity. That's why anyone brought there will understand what their ability is. But you, your ability allowed you to bring back the enhanced clarity you gained inside it."
Ah. Now that he mentioned it. I was kind of taking in everything they were saying as if it was common knowledge. So I probably had already adapted?
"So. What's in it for me?"
Even if I was happy being admitted to this school, learning the real situation of my admission ticked off something inside me. I did not even have a choice. He even bound me to not let me run away. So, at least, I needed some compensation.
Sugawara-san was confused at what I asked.
"I mean, I will be your support. That, I will accept. I'm not a hero material no matter how I look at myself. But being a support is a job, right? What do you even guys get from being a hero?"
Accepting for now. But since I was already exposed to this, let me see first what I will be missing out on if I run away later.
"Of course, it's to protect this world!"
Ah. I knew she would say that. But really. All my life, I only wanted to satisfy my parents' wishes for me. So being admitted here was just a part of it. But now that I knew the real reason why I was admitted, I couldn't help but think how troublesome it would be to worry about the fate of this world.
I was no Messiah. I just wanted to live my life just as I wanted after satisfying the parents who gave birth to me and raised me. And honestly, being revealed that I was just a support instead of another hero grew a complex within me.
What was the difference between them and myself? If they could become a hero, why couldn't I?
Ah. What's this? How did I think this deeply?
Was this because of that clarity the Principal mentioned?
I guess, I have some dark thoughts inside my mind. I better accept them. I still did not know the scope of what Clairvoyance Ability meant.
"But I'm no hero like you, Sugawara-san. What if I died? What will you say to my parents who happily sent me off here?"
Hearing that, Sugawara-san, the Class President, was stumped. Her beautiful face revealed confusion as to how she will answer.
She turned to the Principal for help as she didn't know how to answer me.
"I predicted this would happen. Your adaptability truly is amazing. By just realizing you gained clarity from the Pocket Dimension, the breaks in your mind limiting your thinking process disappeared."
Ah. Was that it? The explanation?
True. It might be that. And being a support did not seem to be really bad. In fact, it was even exciting to be able to travel to different worlds. I was only concerned about having some benefits for myself as well.
"I still don't know. Everything still felt unreal to me. Maybe this uneasiness will be gone if I really stepped into one of those Otherworlds."
What's in there, I wonder? And if I'm not a hero, then I won't get a cheat-like ability that Protagonists often get, right?
"You're right. That's a right attitude. Even I was skeptical when I first discovered the Pocket Dimension. So for your compensation for becoming a support for the thirty heroes... What about engaging you to my daughter?"
Eh? What the hell? What was this Principal thinking? Engage me to his daughter? He could just promise me some wealth or treasure, you know?
Sugawara-san? Father? She's the Principal's daughter?
"Shush, Yuko-chan. Should I reveal it to him?"
Huh? What's there to reveal? Now the mystery thickens.
What? What was this mystery-like development? Even with my enhanced clarity, I could not keep up. It's the first time I ever recall seeing them. There shouldn't be any connection between us, right?
"So do you accept?"
He turned to Sugawara and asked.
Sugawara first looked at me before she answered, albeit with difficulty. Ah. Did she just blush?
Eh? Oi. Oi. Did he just decide my engagement?!
"Wait. I haven't accepted your suggestion, Principal!"
I stood up and voiced out my objection.
"Sorry Kuramoto-kun, this is the only compensation I can give you. It's fine if you refuse. But I can't change it to anything else."
This fuc-- Ah no. I shouldn't curse.
I looked at Sugawara-san, her face was a bit red. Why was she blushing? This was the first time we met right? But their dialogue earlier sounds like there was already something between us.
Not only was she too beautiful, she was also secretly a heroine in the Otherworld. With my looks, I was surely way out of her league so I was actually getting a good deal being engaged with her.
Is there really a hidden history between us? I just discovered something that transcended human comprehension. There's a possibility that there was something wrong with my memory. Should I just leave and forget everything they said? But will they let me?
I guess I would accept, for now.
"Alright. Being engaged with a beauty, no man can resist that. I accept. Tell me what I have to do."
Whatever it is that's waiting for me, this the only choice I have for now. Considering the Principal could just bind me again. Haa. Becoming a Hero's Support, eh?