Chapter 5:

Declaration Of War

Stars of Aoba

The classroom is empty, as usual. Actually, “usual” might be a bit overselling it, since we just had our first day yesterday. But if there was only Tsunagi when I got into the room yesterday, then an empty room today is already a great improvement.

Well, I might say that, but I’m not gonna enjoy this peaceful morning scenery just yet.

“Can I come in?” Umeno’s head peeks through the door.

“Yeah, don’t worry. No one’s here anyway,” signaling him an “okay” sign, I let out a grin.

As soon as Umeno temporarily settles himself in Hayato’s desk, I ask. “Have you filled out the form?”

“I did. But…”


“I’m still not too sure about this… I’ve never done any leading job before, let alone the Student Council President…”

“Nah, don’t worry about it. Aoba doesn’t have any extracurricular activities, remember? The Student Council in this school gets off much more lightly than any other; your job should just involve paperwork and help out other classes in studying here and there, nothing to fret yourself over.”

“Well… I guess that’s alright…”

“Then let’s get this show on the road!” With a wide grin, I give a thumbs-up and pat the future candidate on the back. “The teachers should be at school already, so we can quickly hand in the application before class begins.”

“Isn’t that part of the representative’s responsibility?” Umeno’s question reminds me of the actual, well, more like official, way of doing things, and in turn, reminds me of what exactly I was supposed to do since yesterday.

And the scene of me breaking into cold sweat doesn’t escape the perceptive eyes of the boy next to me.

“Suzuki-kun, is there anything wrong?”

“N-no, nothing!” Quickly dismissing the matter with a wave of the hand, I answer. “It’s just a bit of a… personal setback. You shouldn’t mind it.”

“If you say so…” Umeno pauses for a brief moment as if to see if my words are true, but after failing to figure out anything of significance, he has nothing left to do but return to his class. “See you later, Suzuki-kun.”

“Later, Umeno,” I try to reply with a smile back, knowing full well that in around an hour or so, I’ll get murdered by a certain red eel.

Nothing like the present, I guess. I’m not staying here to get an earful sooner than later.

However, it seems like this isn’t my lucky day. As soon as I hurriedly step through the door for a quick getaway, I bump into another one of my classmates.

Fortunately, it’s not Tsunagi. Unfortunately, the recipient was in a hurry, so the impact is enough to knock us both over.

“Owwie…” the black-haired girl exclaims as she dusts off her clothes. If I recall correctly, her name is Origami Kamiya, ranked number 65 of all freshmen, meaning that she’s rank 5th in our class, and the one that’s the furthest away from me in terms of desk distance.

“Are you okay?” I put my hand forward to offer my assistance. But it’s just one bad thing after another for me, as Origami, without another word, scurries back to her seat as if I didn’t exist.

And if that’s not bad enough, a teasing chuckle sounds just outside the classroom before I can react. “Teehee, I never thought you’d be such a playboy, Suzuki-kun.”

Standing before me now is Michinari, now in the usual boy’s uniform, holding his backpack by the handle over his shoulder like some sort of supermodel posing on a runway.

Dang it, why does this guy have to look hot in everything?

“I know you’re dazzled by my good looks, but don’t gaze too much now. You’ll drool all over the place.” Still wearing the gremlin grin on his face, Michinari concludes before finally waving hello to me and returning to his seat.

“By the way, now that you’re here, did you fill out all of your forms?”

“Eh, do you wish to know my personal information that badly?”

“I’m still class rep, you know. As much as I don’t want the job.”

“Teehee, I know. Here you go.”

“… No signing up for the Student Council?”

“Of course not. That stuff is boring, y’know.”

A surprisingly cooperative attitude means that at least I’m one person off of having my eardrums obliterated. Now I just pray that the other boys are the same.

The hour goes by at a snail’s pace, as more and more of the class show up. But it really does seem like I’m not destined to die just yet, as so far, all of the boys have all shared the same answer – personal forms filled, with no desire to run for Student Council President. It’s like killing two birds with one stone, since not only that I’m safe, but I also don’t have to worry about competition for Umeno anymore. A win-win situation, if you’ll say.

As the final boss appears before the classroom door, I’m no longer the weak and afraid Suzuki Tanaka from roughly one hour ago. With my friends by my side, I now have the strength left to deal with anything she might throw at me.

“Here you go,” I hand the pile of forms to the unsuspecting fellow representative. “All fifteen boys, filled and signed.”

“… You didn’t tell them yesterday, did you?”

Abort mission, I repeat, abort mission.

“… Nooooo….”

“Your eyes are shifting faster than usual.”

“… Okay, I didn’t…”

“Well, at least everyone is still present, so I won’t fault you too hard. But fix your working attitude, you hear me?”

“Yes, Ma’am…”

“Good. I have the girls ready right here. Let’s go hand them to the faculty before class starts.”

While the main building in Aoba only has three floors, the faculty building is a behemoth seven stories tall, and yet the only floor that actually has any function is the top floor with the teacher’s offices. The remaining six floors are all empty classrooms, and no one actually has any explanation as to why it’s like that.

It’s none of our concerns, of course, but I can’t help but let out a sigh as Tsunagi and I walk through six entire floors filled with nothing but dust and old paper trash. I get that we don’t use them, but why did a school like Aoba never bother to have someone clean it? And how did we never put an elevator in this building?

“Ugh… This is killing me…” For once, I’m not the one to complain about things first, as Tsunagi next to me aggressively wipes off the sweat on her forehead with her sleeves while wearing a face that looks like she might kill someone if they approach her. And with a rich experience of one day knowing her, I can easily tell that it’s best for me to shut up.

What I do not expect, however, is another round of similar panting from behind us.

Turning around, it strikes me with great surprise (and great amusement) to see the number one genius of Aoba sitting down on the ground, practically leaning back with his arms as support in case the guy might collapse at any time. Meanwhile, his blonde-haired partner to the side doesn’t show a lick of tiredness in her, even though she’s currently holding two piles of forms.

“Don’t sit on the floor, Ryuuro!” The girl angrily shouts, marking the first time I’ve heard her voice – a gentle and soothing voice even though her words are as fiery as the one next to me. If only my fellow representative here had even half of her calm and kind demeanor…

The genius, however, looks like he’s halfway over to Hell already. “Give me… a moment…”

“This is why I told you to let me hand these in! Why do you have to be so stubborn about doing things?”

Shizuka continues to put Ryuuro under the fire, unbeknownst of anything that happens around her. Only until Tsunagi fakes a cough to signify our presence does the two break off of their, to be honest, petty argument.

“Have some decency, you two,” seeing that she’s finally gotten their attention, Tsunagi glares at the couple. “We’re on the faculty floor. At least act like the faces of the school like you’re supposed to be.”

To my surprise, both Ryuuro and Shizuka hesitate to answer. Instead, their eyes lock into Tsunagi, filled with a plethora of mixed emotions: shock, anger, joy, regret, you name it. A brief moment later, the former is the first to let out a sigh.

“… What?” Tsunagi can’t help but ask.

“Nothing. You just look like someone we once knew, but I believe this is the first time we’ve met. What’s your name?”

“Tsunagi Jouko, the female representative of class C.”

“Oh, so we’re here for the same reason, I see,” Shizuka joins in the conversation with a friendly smile. “Nice to meet you, Tsunagi-san.”

“The pleasure’s all mine. I didn’t think I’d get to actually meet our top 2 so soon, even if you didn’t have that ‘top scorer’ aura that you showed during the ceremony.”

“This guy here only likes to show off,” with a giggle, Shizuka playfully shakes her head while hitting on Ryuuro’s chest as if stabbing him with an invisible knife. Note to self: girls of Aoba tend to show violent actions.

As for the bespectacled boy, he’s finally noticed my presence, and with a grin of his own, asks. “And what business does Average-kun have here?”

Still salty about yesterday, I see. Well, two can play at that game.

“Just like you, Faker. I’m the male rep.”

“Is that so? Then I assume you’re running for Student Council President too?”

“I… wait, what?”

“Oh, so you’re not running a campaign? It’s a shame, then. I feel like our contest would have been a lot more entertaining.”

So, we’re up against the worst match we could possibly get. A pair of no-name boys against the once-in-a-lifetime genius. Our chances have just gotten a lot lower, but… I can’t help but smile at the situation.

Imagine, dethroning the Kuroshi Ryuuro. How exciting would that be?

“I’m not entering myself, but I am offering my assistance to someone else. And mark my word, genius, we’ll kick you off your high horse soon!” 

Arashi Sensei
Ei Ruan