“Hmm…? Ahh, it is you, huh? You’re late.”

It’s three o’clock in the morning, when the trees and grass are dormant.

In a room with hardly any lighting despite it being nighttime, a man turns quietly and opens his mouth.

“Y-yes. I’m sorry,” the one who flinches at the deep voice and responds in a whisper is a girl.  A few moments ago, she fearfully entered this room, and is still gazing at her feet with a tense expression.

Getting up apparently unconcerned about the girl’s condition, the tall man slips his hand into his suit pocket and walks off with a clatter. He then approaches her and offers the bundle of documents he is holding in his right hand.

“These are the most recent results of the subject’s investigation. You’re going to mash every sentence in your brain here and then throw it all in the shredder. I don’t care if you have to gobble it all up like a bookworm.”

“…Okay. I think I can memorize all of this if I go through it.”

“Well, that’s great. Keep up the good work and finish the assignment as soon as possible.”

Whether she didn’t hear the man’s words or she did and chose to ignore them, the girl drops her gaze to the materials handed to her, offering no response.  The target’s name is ‘Hiroto Shinohara.’ He is now an exceptional rookie known to everyone on Academy Island, but…

“Hmm… Do you think it’s actually possible? They say his rating is seven stars. It’s impossible to break into the Star Hunting System, that’s for sure, but that’s no reason to believe everything it shows.”

“Indeed… There ought to be something.”

“It’s not that there ought to be something, there is something for sure.  Otherwise, none of this makes any sense.”

After the exchange, the man turns on his heels. The sound of his footsteps marking a steady pace. He approaches the window and pushes the blinds with two fingers in a theatrical gesture, smiling as he contemplates the night view.

“I don’t know whether he’s the miracle of the seven stars or the best transfer student… But unfortunately, on this island there are no such things as ‘miracles.’ No, they are not allowed. I remind you, what kind of retribution did that jerk who got too close to the sun receive?” The man utters an intrepid statement into the black night sky.

Behind him, the girl gazes down at the ground. Even so, she nods in agreement.