A Serious Error in Chihaya-chan’s Reputation – Volume 1 – Chapter 2

𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐓𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐃𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐩𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐙𝐨𝐧𝐞

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟐: 𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐓𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐃𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐩𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐙𝐨𝐧𝐞

New World Development Zone, an industrial special zone, has been established in a specific county. 

Its purpose is to safeguard technologies associated with the New World concept. To gain entry into this development zone, individuals are required to undergo inspections and present proper identification.

――or so she had heard.

“. . . Surprisingly simple to pass through.”

Chihaya, who managed to access the New World Development Zone by merely displaying her driver’s license, finds herself taken aback. Presumably, the prior submission of application documents facilitated this ease of entry.

Once past a checkpoint resembling a highway toll booth, a forest stretches out. Boarding a designated bus to navigate within the development zone, Chihaya opens a pamphlet.

The New World Development Zone spans an area comparable to Tokyo’s 23 wards. Within this zone, various company branches, Actanoid factories, research sections, residences for Actanoid technicians known as Actors, and more can be found.

Chihaya is en route to the administrative district referred to as the first district, which serves as the gateway to the development zone. Here, government edifices such as the New World Resources Agency are located, overseeing resident registration for the New World Development Zone.

As one relocates, it becomes essential to transfer one’s resident registration. Stringent measures are taken to manage residents thoroughly, aiming to prevent industrial espionage.

Emerging from the forest, a city adorned with modern structures emerges, the landscape dominated by concrete buildings exuding a utilitarian and unembellished impression. This is the first district.

At the entrances of these buildings, security-guarded Actanoids stand watch, their demeanor conveying a sense of formality.

Having disembarked from the bus at her destination, Chihaya enters the city hall, accompanied by the chorus of croaking frogs.

Observing her surroundings, a woman attired in a blue uniform and seemingly an employee approaches her.

“May I be of assistance?”

“Uh… I, I appreciate it.”

Chihaya involuntarily steps back, then points towards the informational sign with slightly trembling fingers, subsequently making her way towards the municipal window responsible for resident registration.

With a racing heart, she gathers the printed documents and approaches the window, adjusting her hat to further obscure her eyes.

“P, Please, take care of this.”

“Yes, please wait a moment.”

Assuaged by the efficient performance of the window staff, Chihaya glances sideways at the information board.

Upon the completion of resident registration submission, an orientation will be conducted.

Having applied and been accepted for the role of operating an Actanoid, the Actor position, within the scope of the New World’s development, Chihaya anticipates her involvement in this independent occupation devoid of company affiliation.

As such, the New World Resources Agency organizes briefings and operational training, and Chihaya’s attendance has been scheduled.

“Apologies for the wait. Here is your identification for the New World Development Zone. As you’ll be required to present it frequently, please ensure its possession at all times.”

“T, Thank you very much.”

In a somewhat faltering manner, she receives the ID with slightly trembling hands and promptly withdraws from the window.

Regaining her composure, she heads towards the briefing venue.

Seating herself at the far end of the back row among dozens of chairs, she subtly shifts her chair to create a distance from others.

Observing the room with occasional upward glances, always ready to avert her gaze. About thirty individuals, presumably fellow Actor candidates in their twenties, are scattered throughout the room. Some are grouped together, possibly already acquainted, while most are engrossed in the explanatory booklet distributed upon entering the venue.

Chihaya follows suit, opening the booklet.

Extensive explanations regarding the legal status of the New World are provided, but the content largely echoes her prior research. Chihaya swiftly scans through and pauses at the section concerning Actanoids.

Actanoids appear to be categorized into five types based on their applications and attributes.

There’s a rounder type designed for versatility in various environments, a sprinter type specialized in speed, a Lannoid type enhancing communication wave strength with neighboring Actanoids, a Medicanoid type for repairing Actanoids within the New World, and a custom-order variant known as the Order type.

Evidently, the government lends out the All-Rounder, classified as the rounder type.

The briefing session concludes with a succinct overview of key points from the booklet. No questions are raised, and no issues arise.

The true challenges, however, lie ahead.

“Now, we will move to individual operation training with the instructor. Please exit the venue in the order your name is called, meet up with the instructor, and move to the Actor room.”

The moment Chihaya heard the word “individual,” she began to feel flustered.

Unable to escape, she shrank like a rabbit in front of a fierce beast.

“Usabuki Chihaya, please proceed.”

“Yes.”

She stood up and left the venue, hunched over.

In the hallway stood a man who seemed to be made up of 90% muscle by weight.

“I’m Iwasuji Takeshi, your instructor. Come on, follow me.”

A bright, clear voice resonated in the hallway, even though he wasn’t shouting.

Energy, cheerfulness, and spirit combined in a person creating a commanding presence.

Iwasuji’s aura left Chihaya reeling.

“Are you alright?!”

Chihaya declined Iwasuji’s hurried attempt to support her with both arms and answered with a half-smile.

“Fu-he he, I’m fine, yep.”

“Is that so? If you’re not comfortable with a male instructor, would you prefer a female one?”

He seemed like a kind person. Iwasuji looked back down the hallway, and Chihaya also glanced sideways at the other instructors.

Regardless of gender, they all emitted a sunny aura. The brightness in this hallway alone seemed to be three times higher than elsewhere.

“What would you like to do?”

“I, It’s fine, really.”

Chihaya’s words probably lacked conviction since her knees were shaking, but Iwasuji began leading the way to the Actor’s room, looking concerned.

“Actanoid operators, or Actors, use motion capture to control Actanoids. The Actor’s body movements are directly translated to the Actanoid, making it intuitive but limited by the Actor’s physical ability. For instance, I can do a backflip, but can you?”

“I can’t.”

“That means the Actanoid you control can’t perform a backflip either, no matter its capabilities. That’s why an Actor’s body is their capital. You should train properly. There are women-only gyms in the New World Development Zone; you should consider using them.”

“Fu-he he.”

Without showing any distaste towards Chihaya’s forced smile, Iwasuji stopped in front of a door.

“Let’s enter then. Cameras are installed, so don’t worry about that.”

Iwasuji opened the door, inviting Chihaya inside.

The room was spacious, surrounded by soundproof walls, with several monitors mounted on them. Gloves and other equipment were hung on wall brackets.

Next to the entrance was a model of the All-Rounder.

Iwasuji pointed to it.

“We’ll be using the All-Rounder for practical training. It was the first developed Actanoid and is weak in software, but it can move even in slightly poor communication environments. As a rounder type, it’s lightweight with thin armor, often called a light rounder type.”

The thought of whether a heavy rounder type existed crossed Chihaya’s mind, but she decided to look it up later.

She simply struggled with asking questions.

“Let’s begin by putting on the equipment. For the legs, you can use that pressure-sensitive mattress over there to simulate running, but this time we’ll go fully manual. Please put on those special shoes.”

Following Iwasuji’s instructions, the equipment was being fitted. Convincing herself that it would be quicker if she just complied, she swiftly finished fitting the equipment, and Iwasuji clapped for Chihaya.

“Did you do some research beforehand? It’s a relief that you don’t need much assistance. Now, let’s give it a try!”

Iwasuji powered on the monitor.

“The Actanoid is located in the new world, so there will inevitably be a time lag. Try moving your hand in front of your face.”

As she followed the instructions, the mech hand appeared smoothly on the central monitor.

She opened and closed her hand to observe, and the mech hand mirrored the motion on the other side of the monitor.

There was a slight sense of discomfort. The time lag was brief, lasting less than a second.

“I believe one will gradually become accustomed to this level. However, if the Actanoid were to face an animal attack in the new world, this time lag could result in a fatal judgment delay.”

In contrast to the Actanoid being operated from Japan, the creatures in the new world gather real-time information and respond instantly.

Undoubtedly, this was a disadvantageous situation.

“That’s why it’s crucial for the operator to constantly anticipate potential dangers. Animals might suddenly emerge from hiding. Cliffs could unexpectedly collapse. The Actanoid might lose footing. Always foresee and be ready. Do you understand?”

“Y, Yes.”

“Exceptional understanding. Very good!”

With a radiant smile, Iwasuji commends Chihaya and gestures towards the central monitor’s side.

“Let’s examine what each monitor is portraying and how wide the field of view is. Slowly move your hand to the side, please.”

As she follows the instructions, her hand’s movement is mirrored on the monitor. Each screen appears to depict distinct perspectives: the main central monitor showcases the front view through the Actanoid’s head camera, the left and right sub-monitors reveal lateral views from the shoulder sub-cameras, and beneath the main display, a neck-mounted camera captures the rear.

“Some Actanoids are even equipped with infrared cameras, so when operating a new unit, refer to the manual for verification. Prices vary based on the model, but even an All-Rounder costs as much as a compact car, so avoid damaging it.”

Iwasuji’s explanation is lucid and pragmatic, concluding, as mentioned earlier, within twenty minutes.


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