Chapter 19:

Supplementary Lessons (Part 2)

Stars of Aoba

I’ve only come to know Ryuuro for about four months, but I can already tell that the guy is nowhere close to being considered “normal”, even among the gifted geniuses of Aoba. But even so, never before can I even imagine what was going on in his mind when he decided to have us take a week off of supplementary lessons only for us to come back to… this.

I don’t have a good word to describe the thing I’m seeing before me. For one, I don’t even know what it is. All I can tell is that whatever contraption this is, it’s huge, almost even touching the ceiling of the class. Which begs the question of how the hell Ryuuro managed to put it through the door in the first place, but that’s a story I best not need to know.

But nonetheless, it’s here, covered in a giant white sheet like some sort of surprise memorial statue grand opening. That is if you purposely ignore the black-and-yellow ribbons wrapped around its general area like some sort of sickening crime scene. He even put on the “do not touch” too; talk about extra.

“Hey, Tanaka! Early as usual, I… what the hell is that?” Hayato’s greeting from behind me soon turns into a bewildered question.

“Beats me,” I answer with a truck. “I’m sure it’s Prez doing something crazy again.”

“Is this why he had us take the week off?”

“Looks like it.”

“Heya, guys… what the hell is that?” Michinari sounds from outside, before succumbing to the exact same reaction the two of us had before.

“Beats me,” this time, it’s Hayato that mimics my answer.

“Our president is one crazy guy, I tell you,” with an awkward laugh, Michinari exclaims.

“Too late to retract our votes though.”

“You tell me,” I make a laugh-sigh, just in time for the others to arrive at the scene, with generally the same reaction.

As the remaining students arrive and gather around the mysterious machine, a truckload of questions has already been tossed around. All of them are still along the lines of what we’ve asked ourselves before, but just like with us, no one can get an answer.

Soon, all of us have gone from questioning to curiously waiting, our gazes fixated on the front door for the main character to come around and explain everything. And just as the bell rings, the man of importance enters the room.

“Ah, I see you’re all eager,” Ryuuro lets out a chilling smile. The others aren’t affected, but I know from hanging around with him. That’s his signature scheming smile, and that can’t be good.

“Well… Actually, wait a minute… Let’s see now… Okay, everyone out of the room,” in the end, it’s a surprising wave of his hand to signal all of us out of the class.

“What gives?” I ask.

“Don’t worry, it’s only for a minute,” without explaining things further, the bespectacled genius has already pushed all of us out of the classroom and shut the door. But, true to his words, just a minute later, before any of us could even start questioning, the classroom door has already opened, and along with it comes Ryuuro’s excited voice:

“Okay, guys, come in!”

A quick glance of the room tells me that nothing major has changed, except for a small detail – the strange contraption is now wired to Ryuuro’s laptop on the teacher’s desk, but the sheet covering it is still there. So, this thing is some kind of electric appliance, it seems.

“Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for!” An excited shout from Ryuuro as he presses a key on his laptop. From the portable computer, a series of drumroll sounds, sending our hearts to an excited pump. Following suit, a large trumpet choir plays at the same time as Ryuuro pulls out the sheet, finally revealing the big mystery:

“Behold, the Slapman 3000!”

“The… what now?” Everyone in the room sounds at the same time. The strange contraption before us is revealed to be nothing but a giant pole made of some kind of plastic attached to a horizontal axis, and at its end is a red rubber glove like that prop people use to fake a rooster’s comb.

“Uh, with all due respect, Prez…” a voice from the back sounds. “But what exactly is this machine?”

“You don’t need to pay respect,” I add. “Prez, what the hell is this?”

“I’m glad you asked,” Ryuuro smirks, pushing his glasses to feign a menacing look before turning to Michinari next to me. “Math, would you be so kind to provide a demonstration?”

“This isn’t the Science Club, Computer,” Michinari, on the other hand, has already taken a step back in response, as if ready to run for his life at any moment. “You have no jurisdiction here.”

“Come on, do a fellow clubmate a favor, will you?”

“No means no! Our division is always the guinea pig for the other guys anyway!”

“Hey, Computer pretty much suffers the same fate, you know.”

“Yeah, but you were never there!”

“… Touché,” Ryuuro lets out a reluctant sigh, before turning to me. “Well then, General Affairs Manager, I believe it’s up to you.”

“… I’m not getting out of this, aren’t I?”


“Hah…” I raise my hands to the sky as a last act of defeat. “Fine. But you owe me big time, Prez.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll pay you back in full.”

“What am I supposed to do, actually?”

“Oh, nothing. You just need to stand over there and answer the question on the laptop,” Ryuuro points towards a spot, conveniently to be right where the giant gloved stick is stationed.

I take a gulp of air in preparation. Standing face-to-face, or rather, face-to-hand like this is definitely dangerous for the faint of heart. But I’m sure he’s not gonna do anything too ridiculous…

Oh, wait, this is Ryuuro we’re talking about.

“Look, if I end up in the hospital, you’re paying all the fees, got it?” I make one last attempt at a threat.

“Don’t worry, things should be perfectly safe… probably.”

“What do you mean ‘probably’?”

“Okay, time start! You have thirty seconds, Tanaka!”

The abrupt start command forces me to change my attention to the flashing laptop screen, on which is just a single question in English:

What is the type of the following conditional sentence (say the answer as loudly and clearly as possible):

If you had studied properly, you would have placed in the top ten at least.

Damn it. Okay, think about it rationally. The question is about… conditional sentences, and it looks like this is the type of conditional sentence… The first half is in… what is it… past participle? It seems so… Then that means it’s either… was it type 2 or type 3 again? Ugh, I can’t remember! It is…

“Time’s up!” A mechanical voice sounds from the laptop, and the machine follows suit, the sound of its gears grinding echoing through the room. Before I can even voice a complaint, the spring has set, and the giant pole with the glove makes a giant swing, running across the entire width of the classroom before connecting straight to my face, literally slapping me down onto the floor.

Contrary to the sheer horror of the entire class, as well as the unbearable pain on my face, Ryuuro lets out a beaming smile and claps his hands in glee:

“Great! It works!”

“Dude!” I put all my frustration into my shout. “What was that?”

“I told you, right? It’s the Slapman 3000. This will be the final exam of your supplementary classes – if you can survive through the entire quiz, you’ll pass. Simple, right?”

“Yeah, but why on Earth would you do something like this?”

“You know what they say; no pain, no gain.”

“They don’t mean it literally!”

“Actually, they do. When the human life is put in danger, they express the most substantial growth. Don’t worry, I had Biology prove it; and besides, the pain wasn’t that much.”

“I was literally beaten to the floor!”

“Yeah, but you’re still standing fine, right?” With a playful thumbs-up, Ryuuro concludes.

“Um, President…” a rather meek voice sounds from the back. “This punishment is rather… harsh, don’t you think? Especially when there’s a girl in this class too.”

You poor soul. This guy is a monster in his own right. There’s no way he would care about that. And immediately, Ryuuro proves me right.

“I’m a true advocate for gender equality; doesn’t matter who you are, if you fail the test, you’re getting your ass kicked.”

“… That just sounds like sexual harassment,” and only he can make a girl’s voice change from meek to downright threatening in just a second like that.

“Well, anyway, that’s that. My job here is done, and the test is at the end of the month. Good luck, guys!”

“Wait a damn minute, you lunatic Prez! You didn’t even do anything!” I try to call out to Ryuuro, but he has already fled the classroom faster than the eye could see.