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Ninja Garden (Senran Kagura/multicross)

Lee is reincarnated into a anime style world and figured that if he wanted to survive and not die like a tragic mook, he should earn the role of top protagonist! An other commission I ordered from my writer: Chibi-Reaper over on QQ.

Leekz01 · Anime & Comics
Not enough ratings
7 Chs

Chapter Seven

When it came to schoolwork, the library in Lee's head was like cheating.

... No, no 'like' about it. If there were any instructors who knew the details of what he was doing, it would immediately be labeled cheating and forbidden. Not that they could do anything to stop him, but it would be seen as the same as slipping a piece of paper with the test answers in, or using his phone to look up the answers on the internet. Forbidden.

That was about how it worked, anyway. Lee could leaf through a textbook once and record the information inside in the library. From there, he could 'go inside' and search up the details he needed, calling it automatically to himself... Which saved a lot of time, since the books could wind up landing anywhere in the shelves if he left it to sort them on its own. From the outside, it seemed like he only looked like he had shut his eyes and entered deep thought and contemplation, with his brow creased in concentration... but if he had to go looking, running around through the stacks, then it would be a problem for tests. Lee would wind up looking far more exhausted and stressed than he wanted to.

So that was about how it worked for scholastics. The equivalent of an invisible phone and internet connection in his head, letting him look up the answer with no evidence left behind.

Did Lee feel bad about cheating?

Not in the least.

Public schooling might in theory be an opportunity for young people to explore where they had talent and what careers they might be interested in pursuing in the future... but in a practical sense, most of it was a matter of memorization and recall. For all that the instructors would push memory being the most important aspect of learning with lines like 'You won't have a calculator in your pocket every day in the real world', that wasn't true at all. If it was something that you did regularly for your work, then you would naturally memorize it eventually no matter how poor your memory was, and if it wasn't something that came up often then it was expected and encouraged to look the details up just to be sure.

The fact of the matter was that a perfect memory and recall of unusual facts was only important for pop quizzes and games of trivia. There was a lot of required classes that were... frankly irrelevant for day to day life, such as how to dissect a frog without squishing any of the organs, or in what precise year this or that war hundreds of years ago started and ended, and what it was fought over.

That being said, there was a stereotype about people who dropped out of school to start supporting themselves with a job as early as it was possible to do so. Even if they didn't actually need the higher education for their career, those who didn't push ahead as far as possible in school were at a disadvantage against those who did.

Even if it was cheating, not taking advantage of something that he could do that others couldn't was the same as shooting himself in the foot. Thus, Lee would continue cheating this way on every test that he could. As long as it was a matter of multiple-choice answers and writing essays, instead of lessons for practical skills, his library was the best advantage around.

It wasn't like Lee was going to raise the public expectations of himself too far, either. Top performers and straight-A students had pressure to keep themselves on top of the pack, while failing grades only brought scorn. A solid B was the aim, here. Good enough to not get complaints about how he wasn't focusing enough in class, but not so high that the teachers felt the need to push and see the true limits of his memorization ability or try to show him off to others.

Easily achievable by introducing a few errors here and there on tests and homework, and it felt like that was the preferred result of things for a member of a ninja clan. It felt like it was better for Lee to anticipate such things from context, rather than risk forcing his parents to start an awkward 'Listen, son... you're doing well in school. But you might be doing too well. Maybe sandbag it a little?' conversation to encourage him to stop drawing attention to their family.

That being said, while he could essentially calculate and follow a plan that left him receiving any grade he felt like, there was a lot of 'free' time available. In another life, these would be hours that Lee would have no choice but to use for studying... but since he could check the textbooks and his recorded lecture notes for the answers he needed during tests it was open for him to do whatever he pleased.

... Well, not whatever he pleased. If it was clear that he wasn't studying at all, then Lee would be opening himself up to problems in the future... well-meaning teachers insisting that they knew that he could do better, if he just applied himself more. It would be annoying to have to deal with, so he would have to spend at least some of his time obviously and visibly 'studying'. No need to push him to make an effort if it was obvious he was already doing so, right?

That still left a large amount of time to fill on his own, of course. There would be obligatory club membership once Lee reached high school, of course, as there was some scorn for students who didn't participate in extracurriculars... the members of the 'going home' club, consisting of the unpopular and the excluded. It would be best to plan out in advance what kind of clubs he would be interested by then, since they were more likely to involve skills than rote memorization. Music clubs, perhaps sports teams, or traditional games like chess or shogi... those sorts of things, where it wouldn't help as much to be able to check the instructions at any moment, because the qualifying factor was either technical ability on the fly or a matter of responding to an opponent's actions.

Well, that was for later, though. For now, Lee had plenty of time... and since it was early, it was better for him to try to create techniques before there was any chance that he might need them.

Hopefully.

Though to be frank, if Lee found himself in a serious life or death battle at this age, it probably didn't matter what preparations he had or hadn't made... better to just try to avoid being in such a position to begin with.

With that said...

If he was going to start developing techniques this early, with no indication of what would give him the greatest advantage, it stood to reason for Lee that he should prioritize development of general-purpose techniques. It wasn't like his life was going to be a monster-fighting game where it could be understood that the plant-based monster was going to have the best position early on... anything could happen. In fact, there was no indication that there were anything like elemental types or weaknesses to account for in this world, from what Lee had seen.

Better to focus on convenience.

A technique that allowed Lee to blend into the background of a situation, for example, remaining out of the spotlight... that would be both convenient for him and might get points from his family for being traditionally ninja-like rather than flashily punching fireballs at people or vomiting sprays of lightning up against an opponent.

That being said, when it came to convenient utility there was one thing that really felt like something that Lee needed to get, before anything else.

That was, the ability to fly under his own power. Three dimensional movement. A dream of mankind that could typically only be achieved while, well... dreaming.

Lee wasn't sure that he actually needed to know how flight worked in general in order to do it once the library had finished compiling data and developing a technique to do so. So far, it had just been a matter of following instructions and achieving results. With that said, though? He still had a fairly imperfect idea of just how the technique creation worked to begin with.

So, while Lee couldn't be sure that actually having read up on and added texts that included information on how flight worked actually helped anything... he also didn't really have any indication yet that it didn't, either.

It was something to fill the time with, at least.

Anatomical reference books... weren't exactly the sort of thing that Lee wanted to get caught reading for amusement, since they were well beyond his grade level and would invite suspicion about where he truly stood as a student. But they were still interesting, and he only had to read them once to record them in the library for later review.

Most animals that could fly did so on a basis of a few different things. Their body adapted to being light, including a small size overall and things like cutting down weight with hollow bones. Then, with large wings, enough downward force could be produced to push them upward and resist the inexorable pull of gravity.

It was interesting to look at the diagrams and illustrations, but of course... it wasn't like a solution that involved modifying his body to that degree would be viable for lee. Even if he were to grow wings, the massive size required to produce enough lift to raise a human body through the air just... it wasn't reasonable.

So that got set aside. What mattered however, was thrust. Equal and opposite reactions. Apply downward force in excess of that of gravity pulling a body downward, and that body would rise. ... That was how jumping worked, if you over-explained it.

It was also how rockets and jet planes worked, boiled well down and disregarding the extra factors of aerodynamics and wind resistance and so on. The difference between jumping and a rocket was simply that the human body could only apply thrust once, while it was still stable on the ground. After that, having jumped into the air, there was typically no way to apply any further thrust... not in any significant way, at least. Meanwhile, a rocket or a jet will burn fuel in order to provide continuous thrust.

With that being the case, however, there were techniques that seemed to use some kind of mystical energy to strengthen the body, increase reflexes, and produce various forms of direct attack. Thus, taking that as 'fuel', it should be possible to create a technique that simply generates thrust to propel the user in a direction of their choice, at the speed of their choice.

... It would be difficult on the body, of course. Just tripping while jogging could give someone whiplash if they were unfortunate, and the G-forces of piloting a jet were nothing to scoff at. In other words, any practical use of such a technique beyond slow levitation or perhaps a mid-jump redirection would be-

"Is that firework stuff that interesting?" Issei asked dubiously, peering over Lee's shoulders at displays of bottle rockets.

It was something more reasonable for a student of Lee's age to be leafing through than schematics of the sort of rockets that were supposed to actually escape the earth's gravity well, or the actual breakdowns of jet engines. That could wait until he had personal time and unmonitored internet access. For now, Lee just let his face fall into the sleazy grin of a punk that didn't really care that he'd been caught looking at a magazine of what were basically tiny bombs when he should have been studying.

"Got to have hobbies." he claimed. "Not interested in launching something up into the air to explode with a pop, Issei?"

"Ah, there's too much math involved in it for me." the boy sighed. "I've got a friend that might be interested, though. Big on the sciences."

"Yeah, you mentioned. Not in our class, though?" Lee asked, idly making conversation as his friendship-tax for the time being.

"Not in our school." Issei chuckled.

"Huh. Don't think you mentioned that before. How did that happen?" Lee wondered aloud.

"Well, we grew up in the same neighborhood, in Kuoh. Thing is, the main school in Kuoh town is a girls-only elevator school." Issei explained. "There's no admission for boys, so you generally get redirected to smaller schools that are relatively nearby. Shame... it would be incredible to be at a school with so many girls in it."

"Ah, your puberty is coming in early." Lee responded dryly. "No chance of getting in without faking your records and cross-dressing though, huh?"

"... Are you a genius!?" Issei asked, sitting up straighter and with wide eyes.

"Hey, slow down there. As you get older, you're not just going to start thinking about girls, you're going to start sprouting hair in funny places and your sweat will get smellier. In other words, that's a lot of work to hide it and potential long-term consequences if you're caught. You won't be able to tell any of them you aren't just 'one of the girls', either, so there's no benefit to you." Lee pointed out. "But you were saying about school districts?"

"Right, right. Well, we could have all ended up in the same school, but my parents decided to spring for somewhere a little further away." Issei said. "I think they decided I was picking up bad habits. Just because we would trade naughty magazines, really..."

Issei. Issei, you were absolutely exchanging bad habits. Lee could only half-smile and half-grimace at the confession, though.

"Kind of sucks... I had another friend as well, a next-door neighbor, but he and his family moved to Europe for some reason." Issei reminisced. "So I'm glad that it was easy to make new friends here, or I'd have just wound up sulking in a corner seat somewhere the whole time, haha..."

"Don't worry, don't worry. You said that Kuoh was a girl's only school?" Lee noted. "If I had to guess, around the time you're ready to enter high school they'll relax the policy and start admitting boys as well, if they can beat a strict entrance exam. So you'll have a shot to get in and start running into sheltered rich girls that don't know how to handle having boys around. By the second volume you should have met a few girlfriend candidates, though it might not be clear who the best girl is yet."

"Haha... Lee, you know the world doesn't work like a manga, right?" Issei chuckled.

"Not with that attitude it doesn't." Lee replied with a smirk.

"Not with any attitude... Hey, never mind that. I wanted to ask you about the classic literature assignment..."