This was a special Sunday.
“Listen, Index. Use this money carefully.”
The boy named Kamijou Touma placed an envelope of money in her hands.
“This money came from all the puzzles you solved on that reward site. You solved so many so fast using my account that I’m a little afraid some counterintelligence people are going to be watching me, but this money definitely belongs to you. You can buy whatever you want with it and you don’t have to buy anything you don’t want. Think carefully about whether you want to save it or use it and make sure you don’t regret your decision.”
“Wahah! With this, I can eat ramen and tempura and pancakes and yakiniku and sushi and curry and Salisbury steak and gyudon and shabu-shabu and Chinese dumplings and Peking duck and sukiyaki and roast beef and fried chicken and oden!!”
“What did I just say!?”
Index slipped past the pointy-haired boy who was feeling faint and she ran from the student dorm with the calico cat.
However, she had not left in order to eat takoyaki with her dinner or anything like that.
“I’m gonna buy Touma a present. What should I get, Sphinx?”
Index seemed like the type who would simply get lost somewhere nearby, but she had a perfect memory. As long as she did not panic and then have trouble accessing her memories, visiting the shopping district near the station was simple.
She suddenly came to a stop.
Two girls wearing Tokiwadai Middle School’s winter uniform left a combination store that was not quite a bookshop, not quite a CD shop, not quite a rental shop, and not quite a game shop.
“That’s strange. Kuroko, didn’t this place used to have Monday releases a day early?”
“Selling things early is against the rules, so someone probably got after them about it.”
They were Misaka Mikoto and Shirai Kuroko.
The cat in Index’s arms began struggling at the appearance of this true high-class lady. It was likely sensing the “side effects” of her electric powers.
And Index had her own comment to make.
“Th-this money is important, so you can’t have it!”
“What!? Why are you treating me like a bandit the second you meet me!?”
Mikoto was about to grow horns from her head at the sudden false accusation, but the suspicion remained in Index’s eyes as she slowly and warily backed away.
“Touma said there’s a scary system that lets bad girls take your money if you make eye contact.”
“I don’t know what that idiot has to do with this, but this means I can go punch him, right?”
“And a thug who’s always acting all violent and zappy in the back alleys has to be a bad girl! So I need to be careful.”
“Huh? Don’t you trust me at all? I don’t see why you would start glaring at me in Judgment mode.”
Suddenly, a large truck passed by the girls. It was Sunday morning, but it seemed the delivery business was still quite busy. Based on the logo on the side, it seemed to be carrying ingredients for restaurants.
Dust whirled into the air and wind was needed to pick that fine dust off the ground.
And that meant something else too.
Index watched as the two girls’ skirts were blown upwards.
Silence fell for a while.
Index did her best to keep her silence as the cloth rose, hovered, and was finally tugged back down by gravity.
The cat in her arms let out a mew.
Index then hesitantly held out the envelope that looked as pristine as if all the wrinkles had been ironed out.
“What!? Do I look that scary to you!? For one thing, I’m wearing shorts so it doesn’t really matter. And if you start shoving money toward me, it makes me look like the bad guy!”
“Touma said you can pay people to make up for problems.”
“It really pisses me off that you keep bringing up that idiot!!”
Despite the previous trouble, Index was full of energy.
Mikoto and Shirai had declined the money, so the envelope was safe.
“Honestly, Academy City is like a labyrinth today! It’s going to take a lot of work to complete this mission!”
“Ah…ah ha ha. Anyway, I think it’s good you settled that without causing any real trouble.”
A girl laughed bitterly while walking next to Index and poking at the pads on the cat