Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Full Metal Panic! Volume 03

The summer vacation of Kaname Chidori's second year of high school would end in one week. When the thought of it occurred to her, a sigh unconsciously escaped her lips. Kaname's slender face was good looking, but at the moment, it revealed that she was slightly depressed. This was the point at which all typical summertime activities had been enjoyed, and the contents of her wallet proved discouraging. The days were sluggish at best.

Her friends were not much help. They were either busy working part time for a toy company, piled down with prep school summer courses, or on trips with their boyfriends. Kaname was sweating it out at school in the torrid heat doing prep work for the cultural festival that was still more than a month away.

She was in her gym uniform, sprawled out like a vagrant on a vinyl sheet in the deserted hallway-where there was shade, it was well ventilated, and the floor was cold. Its air conditioning currently broken, the student council office felt like a steam bath.

Kaname lay face down, scanning a budgetary allocation document. So useless, she thought. "Imitation japanese vellum, packing tape, lumber. " Meaningless figures for such trivial goods. What the heck am I doing here, anyway? While I'm here doing this, Kyouko~ doing social studies at her work. Mizuki~ studying at Yozemi. Shiori and her boyfriend are at a boarding house in Izu Kogen, where they're . . . argh, that little slut. I want some memories if my own-intense, blazing hot ones. Summer memories so monumental that I'll remember them my whole life I Regardless, the summer's going to end. This thing really is useless, isn't it?

Flipping through the document page by page until her hand stopped suddenly, Kaname proclaimed, "What's up with this?" She furrowed her brow as she reviewed the portion of the invoice that detailed the production cost for the admission reception gate that was being constructed for Jindai High's cultural festival. The gate, designed to be the main entrance to the festival each year, always had
required a substantial amount of planning because it was the festival's most famous sight. Last year, the art club had used a peace motif that included a three-dimensional display of countless doves taking flight into the blue sky.

The production cost of this year's gate was abnormal. It typically would cost ¥70,000 to ¥80,000 at most, but according to the invoice, this year, it cost ¥ I,476,000. It was written in familiar, easily recognizable handwriting- his handwriting.

"How could an admission reception gate cost that much?" Kaname exclaimed as pure anger coursed throughout her entire body. She sprang to her feet and sprinted down the hall toward the courtyard, located behind the training halls. This spot served as the materials storehouse for the festival, and here, several male students were drenched in sweat, toiling away at constructing the gate. Because
its completion required so much time, executive committee members starting working over summer vacation.

"Wha-what the ... " When Kaname first saw the gate well under construction, her eyes opened wide in shock. It was more of a fort than a gate. With a metal frame about as tall as a two-story building, it could have been a watchtower. Fortified with lead-colored iron plates, rivets, and long, narrow gun ports, it was unbelievably sturdy, and it towered dauntingly over all below.


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