Chapter 5: New Students on the First Day
“And? Why exactly are you in my office?”
“Fufufun… is there a rea~son I shouldn’t be here, Miryoku-chan?”
“Reason? No, no reason. I’m just annoyed that you’re here. HOW are you in my office? What is our security doing?”
“You’re expecting thaaat old man to be of use against ME?”
In the office there was a seductive, strict-looking glasses beauty in a suit with mid-length, layered black hair, a busty woman with long, colorless hair that reached to her waist, and an extremely handsome, black-haired man in a suit standing in a posture as if he were an attendant.
Frankly, with a cast like this, in an upscale office setting like this, one wouldn’t be entirely surprised if there was something being filmed. As to what rating the shot would be … well.
To be honest, other than the busty, colorless woman, the other two are standing almost perfectly motionless. So … drama with a lot of exposition?
This is the Tsunato High School Principal’s office, and the principal of Tsunato High is Miryoku Saitou. Her sharp eyes glared over the frames of her glasses at the woman who was lounging on her desk without a care in the world.
The man bowed his head.
“Forgive me. I was unable to keep Aruji-sama (host/master/lord) in check.”
Principal Saitou finally moved, looking to the side and sighing.
“I understand, Kei-san. It’s impossible for you to keep this vulgar, shameless, and completely selfish person in line. I pity you for being her subordinate.”
At each unflattering adjective, Principal Saitou stressed her words with a sharp tone, but the busty woman only laughed louder with each one.
“Wha~at, I can’t come welcome the new, fresh-faced youngsters who will be commuting to our town everyda~y from now o~n?”
“I don’t believe I permitted you to be allowed on the premises. Leave, vulgar woman.”
“Mou~, Mi-chan is so cold!”
Principal Saitou sighed again and finally softened her icy tone, saying,
“I do understand your reasons for being here, but you have to understand my position as well. I don’t have any desire to cover for you, so I’ll throw you to the dogs if it comes to it.”
Despite such a heartless statement, the busty woman just laughed and said,
“Go~t it! I’ll leave before the New Student Welcoming Ceremony~.”
Was it really going to be enough with that – just when Principal Saitou sighed again, something like a small electric shock ran through the air, freezing all three adults in their path.
“O~h my~, that was a bi~g one! Ne, ne, Mi-chan, that’s not a youkai or mamono, ri~ght?”
The busty woman wrapped her arms around herself. Although it wasn’t like she was attempting to touch anyplace objectionable for the education of minors, the way she twisted and the look on her face could only be described as “vulgar”.
Although a bit startled at the shock herself, after seeing the woman’s reaction, Principal Saitou put on a sour face and pushed up her glasses, saying
“Who do you think I am, that I cannot make the distinction between humans and youkai? Of course that reaction is a human.”
“O~h my~, let’s see who that i~s-!”
“Impossible. Although I can detect that which enters my Territory with supernatural Blessings, it’s impossible to pinpoint exactly who gave that reaction. Of course, if you’d like to wait for each and every student to leave after class, you’re welcome to take a long drive off a short pier, but just so you know, it will take a month for me to be able to re-load my Territory with this sensor.”
“Thaa~ts my Mi-chan, casually including such awful comments~ No! That’s not it! WH~Y didn’t you make it so you could tell WHO made that reaction?! Aaah-! Such great potential, I must -”
“Not scout out my students. You will keep a strict distance away from the school. Now, the New Student Welcoming Ceremony is about to begin. If you don’t escort yourself off school premises, the Saitou Clan will declare war on you, you vulgar woman.”
“Then, please excuse us.”
The busty woman whirled out of the office without even a goodbye, followed by her attendant, who politely bowed and said the necessary pleasantries.
As the door closed behind them,
“Tsk. This Territory is for the students’ protection, not for you to use, vulgar woman.”
The principal muttered quietly to the now empty room.
Koso koso, koso koso
Uwaaah, they’re crowding around, they’re crowding around-!
This is why I want to just go into the school. The best defense is a quick walking pace!
What’s crowding around?
The youkai, of course-!
Maa, these ones are small, and they’re generally harmless.
The type that you can treat like a stray cat or small woodland creature that runs away if you try to approach them. If only all of them were like that …
But man, even if there aren’t any ones that I have to worry about, there sure are a lot of them. Before, in Tokyo, I’d usually see 1-3 small youkai on the way to school. On the rare occasion there would be more, but that’s on the very rare occasion.
Here I’ve already seen around 10 of them. Although they scurry over, and then scurry away, so it’s not like I’m leading a pied piper line of small, strangely cute-scary creatures all over town.
It’s just really unnerving that they’re crowding around like this…
But at least there’s not any bigger youkai around. Those are the ones that cause trouble.
“Looks like the charm is working properly.”
I muttered it under my breath, but Daiki-san, who had just finished taking the “first day at high school” picture outside the gates by the school sign, heard it.
“Haha, yeah, you got in, so it seems like the academics charm worked.”
All I can do is laugh. It’s not like I can tell him that I was talking about the charm to ward off evil influence and malice that I always carry…
If this town is this thick with youkai, maybe I should also go purchase a personal safety charm…
… Are these the proper thoughts of an average high school boy?
I don’t really want to know the answer behind that.
We move quickly out of the way, since there are quite a few families that also want to take their new high schoolers’ pictures.
“Alright, I’ll have to send that to your dad.”
Daiki-san said as he saved the picture.
Ah. So that’s what he was thinking when he insisted on taking my picture… though I have my doubts as to whether that father would really care either way.
Maybe because he thought the same thing, Daiki-san quickly changed the subject.
“Ah, ahem. I’ll be a little later tonight, but I don’t think it should be later than 8:30.”
“Understood. I’ll arrange for dinner to be around then-“
“No no, you should eat at a normal time, since there’s a lot more homework in high school.”
Eh… then I could do the homework while waiting for you – or like, it’s just the New Student Welcoming Ceremony today, so I doubt there would be that much homework.
Daiki-san hurries off to the police station. Well, yeah. It’s after lunchtime now, so he’s probably actually running late. Thank you for your hard work, Daiki-san.
As for me, now begins my (second) three years of high school.
As I stepped through the school gates, something happened. It was a feeling like suddenly all the sound melted away, like entering a sound-proof room. Only, sound was still being transmitted.
What … happened?
I look around, a bit disoriented, but nothing seems to have happened … no. Wait.
The little youkai that were still following me around have stopped at the gate.
I watched as they hopped about in confusion before they finally scurried off.
There are many things I could think about in this situation, but ignorance seems like the best way to go. Un. Let’s pretend I didn’t see anything.
Uh… crap. I’m getting weird looks around me… let’s just go in.
Class confirmed, locker confirmed.
Class 1-A, Class 1-A …
Well, I mean, it’s 1-A, so I find the classroom pretty quick.
I wonder if I came to early… but the worries of getting caught up with other people… ah. No problem there looks like.
Several of my new classmates look up, but then look away in disinterest.
Yosh! My boring 4-eyes, studious look is working.
… Is this something to feel good about…
Hm? They’re stealing glances at me. Are? Is my bookworm disguise not working?
But before anything could happen, a crowd of people filed in, the homeroom teacher introduced himself, and then it was the Entrance Ceremony.
Since we were 1-A, we filed in first and then had to wait for classes B-D to be seated as well.
Just as all the students were seated, all of a sudden a side door was flung open, attracting everyone’s attention.
A woman with … uh… rather large, bouncy assets stood in the doorway.
How should I describe her … in a word, “colorless”.
Even her hair, it wasn’t a pale blonde or a silver. It gave you the feeling of no color at all.
She looked around the new student seating, seemed to give a hmph in irritation, then left as soon as she came.
… What the. Everyone, parents, students, and teachers all stared as the side door closed with confused looks.
All except for one, an extremely beautiful, kuudere woman in glasses who was standing to the side of the podium.
Is it my imagination that she looks irritated enough to blow a blood vessel?
The kuudere woman ignores the commotion, steps up to the podium, and began to speak.
“At this time, I’d like to welcome you to Tsunato High Schools New Student Welcoming Ceremony. I am the principal, Miryoku Saitou –“
Ehhh, she was the principal?!
Could she be the reason the uniforms are so fashionable… I seriously considered that.
“Science or supernatural?”
“Eh, um… what?”
Eeeeeeh. What’s with this?
After the ceremony, we went back to the classroom, did our introductions, got our books, and now school’s over, you know, so let’s all quietly go back to our respective homes.
But somehow, as soon as the chime rang, these two guys surrounded my desk before I could even move.
How were they so fast?!
Like seriously, I blinked, and they teleported to this location or something. They must not have bones, to have slithered out of their chairs and ended up in front of my desk before I could even move.
And this is the topic I hate talking about the MOOOOST!!!
“You, who have come to this wondrous town full of wondrous things, what do you believe in? Are the strange things that happen in this town the cause of science? Or are they supernatural? Of course you’re going to say it’s science, right?!”
“Sto-p! How could you, Fujitani? Padding the question like that … when obviously it’s supernatural!”
What. A. Pain.
I’m so shocked I can’t even speak – not that I could get a word in edgewise as the two start bickering in front of me.
I had thought this before, but quite a few students know each other from previous schools, huh?
“”So? Which is it?!””
Whoops. I totally wasn’t paying attention.
“”Both?! Don’t patronize us like that!””
In unison again.
… Do they get along or do they not get along?
“N-no, well, I think that some things could be one while other things are the other. If you approach the situation thinking it’s one way it may not be possible to determine the truth…”
Right. I don’t know where I’m going with this. I am BABBLING.
Anyway, who the heck thinks that this is a normal thing to talk to someone you don’t know about? If you’re Japanese, introduce yourself first!
And why come all the way over and bother me? Just because we’re all wearing glasses here doesn’t mean we’ll get along!
“Haaa-i! Right, another one for the ‘who cares’ club! Fujitani-san, Tanaka-san, thanks for aaall your hard work!”
! Oi, who are you?! A kid with lightened hair pulled back in a headband has thrown his arm over my shoulder. I was unaware that we were this close. I’m being sarcastic, of course.
Um… I think he was … Higuchi? The quiet, bored-looking guy behind him is …
While I’m trying to remember my classmates’ names, Higuchi-san and the Fuji-Tana combo have begun arguing.
“You can’t group him with your air-headedness, Guchi!”
“Yes, yes, your ‘it doesn’t impress girls so who cares’ is an absolute travesty to the question-!”
“Whaaaaaa-! It’s a legitimate non-answer! Right, Shige?”
“Endo’s answer of ‘who the hell cares’ is even less useful-!”
At that, all three turned their heads to look at the quiet, bored-looking guy.
“… You’re all freaking noisy. Stop being a bother to our classmates.”
Without even batting an eye, the bored-looking guy said that.
… Righteous words, but the way he said it was almost like a delinquent.
A bother to our classmates… ha-!
I take a quick look around.
Nooo! They’re all focused over here! Although I do understand why!
… Hm? Although there are a lot of stares of people wondering what the hell is going on, there are also a lot of people who appear to be enjoying it, like they’re waiting to see what happens. Could it be that the Fuji-Tana combo is famous for this?
“Tch! Just you wait, those who seek the truth will assemble!”
“That’s right, come join the Logical Reasoning Detective Club!”
“No, join the Occult Club!”
It was a stunt for club recruitment?! Or like, they’re just first years, but they’re already doing club recruitment!?
The Fuji-Tana combo shot out of the class, and we hear them run into the next classroom, where I hear “Science or supernatural?” being asked again.
“Jeez, those two never change. They’re a bother, na, Ishikawa Kousei-kun? Ah, if you don’t remember, I’m Mitsuo Higuchi, and this is Shigeru Endo.”
“Aah… nice to meet you.”
“I’m Mayako Suzuki! It’s nice to meet you, Ishikawa-san.”
“Nice to meet you…”
“And I’m Sakurako Hisao! Nice to meet you; can I call you Kousei?”
“N-nice to meet you … um, sure…”
Two girls take the opportunity to latch onto the conversation.
A-are? I’m pretty sure I’m acting as I used to in middle school, but why are they all introducing themselves to me? Don’t they usually stay away?
I’m completely confused.
… AAAAAAH! Don’t tell me. Could it be, that everything I thought would keep me distanced from other people doesn’t actually work?! Don’t tell me that it was actually my reputation that kept them away from me!
Now that I think about it, although I chose a school where the majority of my elementary school classmates WEREN’T going to, when I entered middle school, there were still a few students from my elementary school too. They must have spread rumors … but now that I’ve moved this far away from the city, the rumors haven’t reached here, so…
I’ve been building my fake personality on faulty data-!
… No, I don’t think you realize the despair I’m feeling.
Five years. I was carefully observing how people interacted me for five years, but overlooked one thing, and all the observations I’ve made have to be thrown out.
…Because of my Blessings, I’m only playing the part of a super smart nerd who studies all the time. I’m sorry to say that my ability for reasoning is still the same as my past life – not that great. Apparently.
Aaah! Come on me! My one good trait in my previous life was optimism! That’s right! It’s not a complete waste! From my peerless observation skills, I learned how to reduce … the …hatred towards me.
Uwoo… farewell my optimism.
“Aw… c’mon girls, you’re crowding him out, if you want someone to accompany you, I’ll –“
“Jeez, Mitsu, you never stop trying.”
“Mou. Ah, we need to go, Sakurako-!”
“Ah… okay. Hey, we’ll talk later some other time, Kousei-kun!”
The two girls dart off, but Mitsuo Higuchi and Shigeru Endo are still there.
I nervously say,
“Ahaha, we all went to the same middle school, Saitou Jr High Academy … Maa, it’s basically “Tsunato Middle”, despite its fancy name. About half of the students here came from there. Well, this IS the best high school in the area, after all. As you can imagine, Fujitani and Tanaka are pretty memorable. Haha, sorry about all that fuss. I guess they figured that since you’re from Tokyo and the girls look like they would be into you, they thought that targeting you would make the biggest scene, hahaha!”
…He talks so fast, my inner tsukkomis can’t even keep up.
And what do you mean girls would be into me? I’m average-looking … well, maybe a little on the good side, but it’s nothing too eyecatching. And like, I’m completely in straight-laced mode right now…
Well, I get it, though. I didn’t go through high school once for nothing. I’m not BAD looking, so I have charm as a boy from the big city, huh?
… Shoot. I was totally not prepared for how much I’d stand out at this school at all. Because it’s still a decently ranked school, I thought there might be SOME people from Tokyo…
“By the way … Mitsu. How long are you going to stick to him?”
That! I was wondering that too! His arm’s been around my shoulder this entire time!
“Aaah… hahaha! My bad, my bad. So hey, Kousei, you don’t commute from the city, right? Where do you live now?”
Immediately going to ‘Kousei’… and how would you know if I don’t commute from Tokyo – no, the distance really is too far to even try, huh?
“I’m living in town, near Tsunato Park.”
“Uwooo-! That’s a rich area! I see, I see, you’re not just like a rich city kid, you’re a genuine bon-bon, huh? Woow-!”
“That’s not … ahaha…”
I try to laugh it off, but Higuchi Mitsuo keeps going. I think he doesn’t mean anything by it, but … it’s hard to feel like I’m the son of a rich man when that rich man forgets to put money in the account sometimes.
“No, seriously! Those houses there are super nice-! Moving here and buying a nice house because you’re going to school here, what parents! Maaaan, I’m so jealous-“
I’m slightly shocked as Endo mercilessly punches Higuchi in the stomach.
That… was a really loud noise. Is he okay? Although there are other students shocked about it too, there are also others who don’t even bat an eye … so is this normal?
“You don’t know other peoples’ circumstances, so don’t go running your mouth, idiot-Mitsu.”
Endo’s eyes glint dangerously.
“Eh… even so, it’s not like you do either, so there was no need to hit me so hard, Shige…”
The blow was enough to bring tears to his eyes, but Mitsu – er, Higuchi just complains.
“It’s because I do, that – ah.”
Endo glances at me as he said that.
… Exactly … what … does he know about me…?
“Sorry, my old man is the head of the investigation unit your uncle is in. Apparently, your uncle talks about you a lot…”
“Eh? So? What’s the gossip?”
“Not going to tell you. It’s an invasion of privacy.”
Endo punched Higuchi again.
“Ooow-! Jeez, your tsun is too harsh! Being like that is too much, right Kousei?!”
Sorry, but I think that’s Endo’s dere, so that’s as good as you’re going to get it. But, well…
“Un. I don’t think you can afford to lose too many more brain cells.”
Wh-wh-whaaaat did I just saaaay-!? Shoot! My inner thoughts leaked ooout-! THIS is why I try to avoid people! I can’t help it, this is the first time someone other than Daiki-san has talked to me so much in a long time, and it’s this kind of jokester-!
Without batting an eye, Higuchi says,
“Seee?! Kousei thinks so too!”
“What are you going to do if the person himself admits to that-!?”
Ah crap. I covered my mouth, but it’s already too late.
“… Shige… can we keep him?! He makes proper tsukkomis!”
Ugh, choking-! You’re choking me-!
“Sigh. Are you saying my tsukkomis aren’t enough for you?”
“What tsukkomis, you just punch me!”
And so, the start of my high school life has already taken a huge, unexpected turn.
<a/n:Thanks anonymous and Noppes for your donations!
Muu. It’s going kind of slow… I wonder how many chapters this part will end up being.>