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  The Seven High School Prodigies  

In Japan, there were seven high school students whose names were known the world over.

The first was a modern-day samurai, who wielded her blade in a Middle Eastern conflict in order to protect the weak.

“Dammit! Fire, fire! Kill her already!”

“I can’t! She’s too fast, I can’t hit—GAAAAH!”

The young woman dashed across the bullet-filled wasteland like a gust of wind, her long hair fluttering behind her.

Then she charged the line of soldiers and swung her katana. A flower of blood bloomed.

Flustered, the soldiers took aim at her, but their frantic shots only managed to hit their allies. None of their rounds even came close to her.

“Th-this can’t be… She slaughtered us all…! Our entire squad, armed to the teeth…was taken out by a little girl using nothing but a sword…?!”

As the commander trembled in fear, the girl turned to him with fury in her eyes.

“You people are fiends, menacing women and children with guns and violence, and the blade of Ichijou has no mercy for brutes like you.”

“Ah, ahhhhh!”

“Thus, I must cut you down—!”

—Her name was Aoi Ichijou. She was the world’s greatest swordmaster, even though she was still in high school.

The figure she cast as she dashed across war-torn lands, taking down foes equipped with the finest modern armaments while armed with but a single katana, was the spitting image of a heroine right out of a fairy tale.

The second was a physician who was treating refugees at a camp near Aoi’s battlefield—


“Ow! Hold his leg down, there!”

“Y-yes ma’am!”

“Heh-heh-heh. If you can thrash about that wildly after being hit by a bullet, you’re going to be just fine. Still, if you keep on like that, I won’t be able to treat you. Let’s get a sedative in you so you’ll behave, shall we?”

“But, Doc! Aren’t we out of morphine already…?!”

“I won’t need any.”

And with that, the girl wearing a blood-drenched white gown grabbed a needle, stuck it in the nape of the writhing patient’s neck, and gave the syringe a light flick with her finger.

Even though he’d been squirming violently, the man’s expression instantly became rapturous. He promptly passed out.

“Wh-what did you…?”

“I used the needle to adjust the amount of endorphins his brain was secreting. He’ll be out for eight hours on the dot… Can you all handle removing the bullet and stitching up the wound?”

“Y-yes, Doctor!”

“In that case, I’m going to go around with needles and apply this sedative to all the patients with minor wounds and leave the rest of their treatment to you. Ah, and one other thing. If you could follow Aoi and bring me some dead soldiers, that would be lovely. We need blood for transfusions and organs for transplants.”

“A-are you sure, Doc? Ethically speaking, that’s a little…you know…” Despite being a member of the same NGO, the man who’d asked the question had gone quite pale.

Even with all the blood spraying about and the screams echoing through the hellish refugee camp, the girl stained in crimson maintained an unbroken smile as she answered.

“Of course I’m sure. I can save far more lives than ethics ever will.”

—Her name was Keine Kanzaki. She was the world’s greatest doctor, even though she was still in high school.

There was no disease her treatment couldn’t cure, and as far as she was concerned, the term lifespan was little more than a suggestion.

The third was an enigma who’d traveled to the land of the free and was currently hovering in the air beside its symbolic representative.

The mysterious figure was clad in a top hat and cloak, and his face was concealed beneath a glittering eye mask. As he floated in the air beside the Statue of Liberty, which was covered from top to bottom in a gigantic cloth, he waved his baton. The moment he did, the helicopters surrounding him lifted the cloth, but…the Statue of Liberty was nowhere to be seen.

A wave of panicked whispers passed through the assembled New York crowd.

“This is some kinda joke, right?”

“Oh my god! The Statue of Liberty’s gone!”

“What a startling development! Somehow, Prince Akatsuki slipped past the US armed forces and through their military satellite net. Somehow, he was able to make off with the Statue of Liberty! Even President Obara, the man who’d challenged Akatsuki, is in shock!” As the announcer’s voice boomed from the megaphone, the mysterious, floating figure gave his cape a flourish and strained his voice in an unsuccessful attempt to mask his youth.

“Bwa-ha-ha-ha! There are no tricks or contrivances behind my magic! Not even satellites or the military can stop it! How about I make the White House disappear next?”

—His name was Prince Akatsuki. He was the world’s greatest magician, even though he was still in high school.

Clairvoyance, telekinesis, teleportation, levitation—as an illusionist, there was nothing he couldn’t do. His illusions earned him as much as ten billion yen a night, and even other magicians couldn’t figure out the secrets behind his tricks.

The fourth was a girl squirreled away in a dark laboratory.

“Ringo, Ringo!”

“Nn… What is it, Bearabbit? I’m in the middle of making the final adjustments to my living metal-cell-division program. I need to focus…”

“Now’s bearly the time for that! There are only two days before the meeting! Bear in mind that you have to run the checks on the airplane, too. So you have to head down to Earth soon, or you won’t make it!”

“Oh. Right. There aren’t really days and nights up here, so I sort of lost track.” The girl took off her large goggles and looked out the window. Outside, she could see a vast sea of stars…as well as a large blue planet.

She was in low orbit on a one-woman space station of her own design.

“Fur gosh sakes, you should really pull it together. Getting fixated on one thing and ignoring everything else is a really unbearable habit of yours. I think you should fix it if at all pawsible!”

“Hmph. Who cares? I know I have a bad habit—that’s why I made you, Bearabbit, to be my management AI. If I got my act together, I could just uninstall you.”

“What?! I-I-I’m expendable?! In that case, I think your laid-back nature is one of your best koalaties!”

“Hee-hee, I’m just joking… Okay, Bearabbit, can you take us down in Tanegashima?”

“Aye, aye! I’ve got my bearings!”

Under AI control, the space station shifted into reentry form and gradually began its descent.

“…I wonder how Tsukasa’s doing…”

—Her name was Ringo Oohoshi. She was the world’s greatest inventor, even though she was still in high school.

Her intellect had advanced humankind by several centuries, as she’d invented the pillars of modern technology—the pocket nuclear fission reactor, liquid metal, and the nuclear waste neutralizer, to name a few—all on her own. Her mind was so valuable that it played a role in international politics, and the countless agents from various governments trying to kidnap her were why she spent the majority of her time aboard her personal space station laboratory.

The fifth was a young man busy dining with a beautiful woman in a restaurant that offered an unbroken view of the entirety of Las Vegas.

“Kelly, I must be the luckiest man alive. Your smile captured America’s heart, yet here I am getting to enjoy it all to myself.”

“Is that really how you feel?”

“Of course. I would never lie to someone as beautiful as you, honey.”

“…If that’s true, then would you mind getting off the phone?”

The young actress who’d charmed every man in America made no effort to conceal her irritation as she glared at the boy. And who could blame her? Even though the hors d’oeuvres had already arrived, there was still an array of smartphones laid out in front of him, all connected to his earpiece.

“Sorry, sorry. But you gotta cut me some slack, Kelly. Right now, the Japanese market’s do-or-die. I can’t take my eyes off for a min—Ah, sorry… Yeah, that’s right. East Rezo is a buy. Don’t worry, President Aramaki won’t just abandon it. The guy’s got too much honor and empathy to do that. The company-wide vote’ll definitely pass—Sorry, hold that thought. I’ve got a call from Sarutobi coming in. Yeah, don’t hang up. I’ll be back in a jiffy… What’s that? Huh? The financing came through?! And they added an additional ten billion yen? Ha-ha! Nice, nice! It’s so boring when everything goes the way you thought it would, though! …Huh? Yeah, yeah, I know. I’ll pay you back by joining your project. I’ve got it worked into my schedule, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Later, then. —Hey, are you listening to me? Well, are you? I told you, didn’t I? That should be obvious. Who the hell do you think you’re talking to? Yeah. Go ahead and raise it to two thousand for now. Then… All right, I’m counting on you. Keep ’em on tenterhooks for a while.”

At that point, the boy finally removed his earpiece and flashed his partner his pearly whites.

“Good news, honey! I know we were just at the Kiribati vacation home, but whaddaya think? Wanna be the first ones in the world to greet the new year? There’s no place more fitting for the two of us than the world’s forefront, don’t you…? Huh? …Hey, waiter. I seem to have misplaced the goddess I just had with me. Do you know where she went?”

“If you’re referring to Ms. Kelly, sir, I believe she said, ‘This asshole cares less about my smile than he does about the Benjamins on the other side of that phone’ and left in tears.”

“…Wow, that’s so rude. I mean, she’s even the one who forced me to make room in my schedule today.”

“If I may, I think she may have been testing you.”

“Testing me?”

“By asking for something unreasonable, I believe she may have been testing how deeply you loved her, Mr. Sanada.”

The boy nodded in understanding, satisfied that that might well be the case.

After all, she wouldn’t be the first woman he’d dated who’d tested him like that.

“Man, I thought we’d be able to see eye to eye because we’re both so busy, but I guess not.”

“One more thing, Mr. Sanada.”


“Would you still like me to bring out both meals?”

“…You’re a funny guy. Get outta here before I give you an Osaka-style comeback line with my fist.”

—His name was Masato Sanada. He was the world’s greatest businessman, even though he was still in high school.

After his father’s death and amid a raging global financial crisis, he’d started by using his nigh-devilish foresight to succeed in both investment and construction ventures. Then, through continued successes in a myriad of other industries, he’d managed to revive the dying Sanada Group in just a few short years. It was an act of sheer genius. Nowadays, he was known as the Devil of Finance, and it was said he was involved in approximately 30 percent of all global trade.

The sixth was the boy statesmen who’d just gotten out of his car only to be met by a gun barrel.

“Long live love and kindness in Japan!”

A shot echoed through the street as blood and gray matter splattered across the asphalt.

However, it didn’t belong to the boy, but rather, the man who’d pulled the gun on him.

The assailant had been stopped by the tall fellow standing at the boy’s side.

As the tall man stowed his gun, he calmly barked out orders to the people around him.

“We’re drawing a crowd. Get this cleaned up, now.”

“Y-yes sir!”

“Good work acting so quickly, Chief Secretary Chang.” The boy who’d been saved offered his companion his thanks as passing pedestrians screamed.

“I was only able to do so because you got behind me and cleared my line of fire so promptly, Mr. Prime Minister.”

“You taught me well.”

“You’re too modest, sir. Even without me, you could have taken someone like him down on your own… Trying to make me feel useful, sir?”

“Maybe, maybe not. Who knows?” With a thin smile, the young prime minister headed into the building beside which their car had stopped, with the tall man in tow.

“It looked like he was with the fraternity party.”

“That it did. They’re probably upset I’m raising the national defense budget and steering the country counter to their ideals. After all, they’d rather we take a pacifist stance and dismantle the Japanese Self-Defense Force altogether. They’ll probably start coming after me even harder than they did in the election two years ago.”

“Stupid kids. Do they not realize they’re being manipulated in bad faith?”

“Their fundamental idea, disbanding the military for the sake of peace, isn’t ideologically that far off the mark. Or at least, it wouldn’t be if they were trying to get something like that enacted worldwide. But because they’re only demanding it of Japan, I have no way of answering their zeal… We bear a responsibility for the lives of our people. If they don’t have a plan for how to protect them in a crisis, then we have nothing to talk about.”

“You’re absolutely right, sir.”

“I mean, all I’m trying to tell them is that the price of these peaceful days of ours is far higher than they imagine. And the perpetual peace they’re after would be more expensive yet. It’s certainly not cheap enough that they can buy it with one Beretta and my life.”

On that note, the young man turned back toward the entrance he and the tall man had just passed through and narrowed his heterochromatic eyes.

They were filled with intense compassion.

Suddenly, his personal cell phone rang. He pulled it out and looked at the caller ID. The name displayed on the screen belonged to one of the few people he called a friend.

“Hey, Shinobu. What’s going on?”

—His name was Tsukasa Mikogami. He was the prime minister of Japan and a genius, even though he was still in high school.

After the changes to the Public Office Election Law, he was elected as prime minister in Japan’s first popular vote for the office in an overwhelming 92 percent landslide. The country’s social welfare, public order, and finances had all been in shambles due to the previous administration’s misgovernance. However, despite the unprecedented economic depression, he was able to turn all of that around in just two years. Unfortunately, that miraculous achievement had earned him the hatred of many, and at the moment, there were more assassins aiming for his head than anyone else in the world.

The seventh was a girl standing atop Tokyo Skytree wearing an armband that read PRESS.

As she gazed down with her nigh-superhuman vision at the spot where the attack on the prime minister had just occurred, she spoke into the smartphone she was holding.

“Oh, nothing. You got attacked again, so I was just wondering if you were okay, y’know.”

“The wind is really loud on your end… Please don’t tell me you went and climbed it again.”

“You can see all of Tokyo from up here, though! It’s super-handy for sniffing out scoops. Like just now, for example.”

“You’re incorrigible… Anyhow, thanks to my talented secretary, I’m fine. There won’t be any problems with your project.”

“Nyeh-heh-heh. Very good, very good. That’s what a girl likes to hear.”

“Calculating as ever, aren’t you…? I’m almost at the conference room, so I have to hang up now.”

“Aight. Remember, we’re meeting at Narita Airport in two days. Make sure you don’t forget!”

“I’ll remember.”

And with that closing remark, her phone conversation with Tsukasa came to an end. Moving on to her next task, she stood up and leaped from the top of the 2,080-foot-tall building as casually as if she were diving into a pool.

“Sha-sha.   Y’know, we haven’t had a reunion with all of us there since middle school. This is gonna be great!  ”

However, she never hit the ground. As she fell, she unfurled the scarf from around her neck, spread it out like a parachute, caught the wind, and soared off.

—Her name was Shinobu Sarutobi. She was the world’s greatest high school journalist, even though she was a descendant of Sasuke Sarutobi, the ninja. Her information-gathering skills were so keen that she knew everything from rumors about global politics and commerce to the idlest of neighborhood gossip. There was no scandal she couldn’t sniff out and no crime she couldn’t expose.

—Each one of them possessed gifts far beyond those of normal high schoolers.

Out of fear and reverence for their preeminent talents, people referred to them as the Seven High School Prodigies.

One day, though, an airplane carrying the seven of them disappeared over the Pacific.

A frantic search was conducted, but it ended in vain, unable to recover so much as a piece of scrap from the plane.

But had they simply…vanished into the ocean’s depths? No. That wasn’t it. In fact, it was in that moment that their story was just beginning. In a far-off land, more distant than even the bottom of the Pacific—

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