Chapter 17:

Actor Target

Heartless Overclock

 This noble’s school’s festival is not what you commonly think it is, but what you have probably thought it is. A closed, conservative festival that only its students, their guardians, and the school’s faculty are invited. To uphold the policy of autonomy, the school leaves it to their students to organize the event. This causes an inconsistent quality but with the same premise in festivals.

Food stalls managed by students who get to sell their homemade products and profit? Unacceptable. Such is the thinking of such poor people. Rather, let them all contribute to catering from some famous restaurant.

Setting up some kind of café, may it be fetish-driven or logically managed? Inconceivable. Let us hire ourselves some manservants to brew our coffee themselves and let them serve it upon our table.

In summary, this festival is nothing but an ego farm for the rich. But first-year President Denji will change that.

“This is unacceptable! This is ridiculous! Us in waiter’s uniforms? Have you gone mad?” A student stands up from his chair in objection.

And at the renowned seat is Denji who leads the meeting. “But don’t you find it boring having to experience the same thing again? Okuzaki-san, I know you are a third-year, and I respect that. But wouldn’t it be refreshing and educational that we would get to serve others than hiring outside help?”

“I find it condescending—”

“That’s your own opinion.”

“Who says it was my own opinion!? Raki, back me up here!”

Another student stands as he shrugs his shoulders boastfully, “Don’t we agree with Okuzaki-san here? It’s preposterous that we would let such low-lives invite themselves into our sacred school! Let alone serving them!”

The attendees still seated at the conference hall nod to each other and whisper in agreement. Denji’s face shows dismay, but not frustration.

“There is this young man who I am fortunate to know of,” the whispers go silent as Denji speaks, “He is a hard-working man, but not just that. He isn’t all brawns, but rather he is more brains.”

“What are you talking about? Please speak in a more formal tone,” Okuzaki scolds.

“Take a seat, Okuzaki-san, please,” Denji says as he stands. “He isn’t some other guy that you would call a foreigner. In fact, he is an heir to a large company. He is in a position so high that it is higher than the sun. But he deserved to rest where he is. He is very knowledgeable and intellectual. Plus he—”

“Let me stop you right there. You are only prolonging the meeting further. Please get to the point,” an annoyed voice asks.

“Right, sorry. But guess what he did. He became a waiter. A waiter, I tell you! No, not just that. He worked as a janitor for a month.”

“This is a lie.”

“This isn’t a lie—”

“Then it’s an exaggerated truth.”

“Well, the fact remains that he came down from heaven to earth, which you call hell. I asked him why he did so, and he told me, it was more efficient to learn it that way. Taking the role of the employees so that he can understand the workings of the system instead of overseeing it from high above.”

“Then? What is this useless speech for?”

“He is an heir, like us. We are an heir to our parent’s company. But our parents wouldn’t have a company if they didn’t start from the ground up. Would it be a shame if an incompetent leader took over? I know that we know our business practices and administration and all that. The school teaches that. But there is another lesson that we haven’t taken the opportunity to learn. And that is how our employees feel about their work, and how they work. And their work makes us succeed. What would be a company be like without its employees? An empty castle without defenders? Or an army with no soldiers?”

Silence falls in the room as they ponder on Denji’s speech. Some gasp in realization, some in awe.

“Sure, that’s true, but what if I don’t want to know it? Why would I want to learn their struggles when I can just see their paper report?” Okuzaki asks.

“I see, you still refuse to learn anything. But this is a festival. Tell me, what did you learn on how to treat guests in your house?”

“I welcome them warmly. Provide them with water, tea, coffee, whatever drink they want.”

“Hospitality, right?”

“That, yes.”

“You would say that you are the host of that house?”

“I am the host of my own house.”

“Then would it be rude if the host doesn’t entertain his guest and give their needs and wants?”

“What is your point?”

“Then it is a shame that we, the students who are the hosts of the festival, do not cater to our guests. In other words, we have to serve them.”

Whispers and nods of agreements ensued, and Okuzaki concedes, “I have to say, I agree with that logic though I still don’t want to go through that struggle. We will do as you say, President.”Denji nods, “Thank you. Now, onto the planning.”

Denji finishes his meeting and returns to his desk with some papers scattered all over, and sighs, “Work never ends, huh? But it’s alright, it’s not that much.”

“Denji! Denji!” Someone calls out to him as they slam the door open.

“Hey, watch the door, please,” Denji reprimands.

“Sorry! Sorry!” The student hastily rushes in front of Denji’s desk, “Can you do me a favor?”

“I’ll hear it. Take a seat,” Denji motions.

The student follows before they speak, “I know you are busy with the council, but our Drama Club needs help from you.”

“Depends. What will I help with?”

“I need you to be our protagonist in our play.”


“If you can’t, it’s alright.”

“No, no, wait. I’ll think for a bit.”

“I see. Please take your time,” they stand from their seat but Denji stops them.

“Wait, I’ll do it.”

“Really?” they say in excitement, “thank you very much! You have no idea how big of a help you can be! Sorry for troubling you with this.”

“No, no, it’s no problem at all.”

A smart move from the student. Denji Kurosaki is popular amongst his classmates and is well-known by his seniors. The faculty treats Denji with high esteem, not only because Kurosaki is one of the board members and the top donators to the school, but because of Denji’s excellent performance and humble actions which have won the trust of the teachers. And this club student has cleverly asked him to play the part of a protagonist so that the play would gain more traction than it already has. But Denji is oblivious that he is being used as a popularity booster.

Denji starts a discussion with Juusaki, “So I recently got a role as a protagonist in the Drama Club’s play.”

“That’s nice,” Juusaki nonchalantly responds.

“Well, they are quite short in members, but they are assigned for this play and can’t back down for it will shame them.”

“That’s not nice.”

“Give me some emotions, will you?” Denji sighs but keeps on talking, “Anyway, I brought this up to ask you if you could help with the script?”

“What will I do with their script?”

“Uh… well…” Denji stammers, “They seem to have not completed the script, and the festival is in two weeks. And no one there is making an initiative to finish it. Since, you are a bookworm—”

“What makes you think I’m a book worm?”

“W—well, you are going to be a librarian, right? You applied because you intend to read books—”

“That doesn’t make me a bookworm.”

“I—Is that so?” Denji weakly laughs. “Well, will you please help us with the script? I swear you won’t do anything else other than just finishing the script.”

“Sure. You should have told me this firsthand. I didn’t need the unnecessary details.”“U—unnecessary?” Denji exclaims. “You are quite sharp with words, aren’t you? Thank you anyways. Tomorrow, after class, we go to the auditorium, alright?”

“Understood,” Juusaki replies with slight hesitation. “If it’s for my friend…” is his fading thought.
Joe Gold
Kimio Ashiya
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