Chapter 22:

Supplementary Lessons (Part 5)

Stars of Aoba

I’ve always been proud of the fact that I’ve never walked to school with a heavy heart. Now, that doesn’t mean that I like school so much that nothing could bring me down, but rather I would never be so discouraged by anything in particular. A sort of resilience, if you will.

But you know what they always say – there’s a first time for everything. And today is that day, when I’m basically trudging to the open classroom. The usual welcoming door feels like a monster’s den, and by taking a single step in there, I’ll be nothing but chopped liver.

Taking a deep breath, I enter the room.

Inside is naught but a bespectacled young man playing around with his phone, and alongside him is the cold, merciless rubber-gloved killed, destroyer of cheeks…

Actually, I probably shouldn’t say that out loud.

“Early as usual, Prez,” I wave to the young man on the teacher’s desk. “Though it’s rare to see you on the phone.”

“The paperback volume hasn’t been published yet,” Ryuuro briefly turns his screen towards me to answer. “So, I’m making do with the online version.”

“What kind of book is that?”

“Do you read Fortnight Hop?

Ah, right. I forgot about that. The fact that this genius in front of me is a closet otaku. Or rather, just a regular otaku, but no one seems to be noticing his behavior despite the guy not really doing anything to hide it. Is the power of immense popularity so strong, I wonder?


“Yeah, I got it,” Ryuuro interrupts me before I can continue. “I got some easy-to-read for normies, wanna try?”

It’s another habit of his that those who don’t observe him up close can’t possibly know – the kind of perceptive intellect to almost instantly read whatever is on the other person’s mind. Judging by the smug grin on his face, I bet that he already knows I was berating him, and yet he still has the audacity to ask a question like that. Or rather, because he knows it that he asks that question, to deliberately annoy me.

“No thanks. I already got my hands full remembering other things.”

“Looks like you’re ready for the big day, then.”

“Hell no. What makes you think that?”

“Well, the fact that you’re still able to talk nonsense with me like this instead of quaking in your boots.”

“… Did you show up early on purpose just to encourage us?”

“… Of course not. I’m not so free to do that.”

“You know, you can be a real tsundere sometimes.”

“… Shut up.”

Ah, that feels good. For the first time (I think?) ever, I’m able to beat him at something. I may not know what that thing exactly is, but it’s something.

And now, I await the sweet release of death. In the form of a rubber slap.

A few minutes later, the rest of the supplementary gang arrive. From Michinari to Sakaki, then Mikami, and finally, Hayato rushes into the room with a half-tied tie around his neck and a piece of toast in his mouth.

“Sryy m’ late!” Neon boy tries to speak up while still desperately trying to swallow the last bit of crumbs left. And his inaudible mumbling is the signal for the real hell to begin.

“Well, now that everyone’s here,” Ryuuro finally stands up from the teacher’s desk. “I’ll be going through the rules very quickly. The failing mark for this test is our average mark, 50. Each of you will be provided with only a single test, specifically tailored to your current shortcomings in your previous tests. Basically, it means something like Michinari will not get any Math questions…”

“Abuse! I call abuse of power!” The pink-haired gremlin in question raises his fist to oppose. But it doesn’t strike any mercy to our current instructor.

Anyway, you have thirty minutes. The test shall be a blitz-style pop quiz, where you aim to answer as fast and as much as possible. Each question is worth 5 points, so get 10 correct and you’re safe. No limits on how many you get wrong, but do note that the punishment will increase accordingly.”

“What do you mean ‘increase’?”

“As you can see here,” Ryuuro pats the contraption of doom. “Slapman 3000 is currently on its lowest force setting. For each wrong answer, its wind-up increases by 3 centimeters, and there is no limit on how many you get wrong.”

“Uh… shouldn’t there be a limited number of questions?” Sakaki raises her hand.

“There is a limit of 50 for each one,” nods Ryuuro, “but I designed it so that if somehow you manage to cycle through the entire set without getting to the goal, questions can be repeated, infinitely even.”

“That… doesn’t make me feel less worried,” the glasses girl shakes her head, letting out a sigh of defeat.

“In any case, anyone wants to go first?”

People often say that in the midst of hardship, humans can achieve great things. And they are right. At this moment, everyone’s hearts are as one, and together, an unshakable bond is formed.

“Suzuki-kun/Tanaka, of course,” the rest of the class all unanimously gesture towards me.

“You know, somehow I expected this to happen.”

“Should have been nicer to people, I’d say.”

“You know that this is your fault right, you stupid genius?”

“Of course. That’s why I said that.”

Without any other witty retorts, I have no choice but to turn to the dreaded machine.

On the laptop screen is already a prompt for me to enter my name, I’m guessing that this is the “personalized” experience that Ryuuro made for us.

As I enter my name, the computer prompt lights up.

“Are you ready?” A mechanical voice sounds, though I swear I’ve heard this voice somewhere before… a famous actor, perhaps?

“Oh, remember that this thing is voice-activated, and it’s highly sensitive,” Ryuuro gives a final reminder. “So do not say anything unnecessary.”

“Yeah, yeah, got it,” I give a quick nod and turn to the monitor. “Ready!”

“Let the quiz… Start!”

“First question:” the computer sounds. “Solve this equation: (2sin(x)-cos(x))(1+cos(x)) = sqr(sin(x))”

“What the heck?”

“Wrong answer. Proceeding to the next question…”

“I told you it’s really sensitive!” From the back, Ryuuro shouts. “Don’t say anything unnecessary!”

“You’re shouting right now!” I try to argue, but little did I know the machine has already sounded the next question.

“Wrong answer. Proceeding to the next question…”


“Wrong answer. Proceeding to the next question…”


“Well, all’s well that ends well, right?” The young man in glasses lets out a satisfied grin. “In the end, everyone passed!”

No one answers him back. Or rather, there is no one with the capability to answer him, as our cheeks and mouths are all as swollen as a bunch of puffer fish.

Without a chance of giving him a piece of my mind, I have no choice but to vent my anger in the form of text.

[You nearly killed us!]

“Nonsense. I’ve made sure that this is completely safe. None of you died, right?”

[That’s not safe enough!]

“Anyway, all of you have made it,” ignoring my message altogether, Ryuuro continues. “Be proud of yourselves, because you’ve once again proven your indomitable will against all hardship! I hope that you can keep the spirit up into the next semester as well. As your supplementary lessons teacher and Student Council President, I’m proud of you.”

[You’ll never teach us again, right?]

“Oh, not a chance in hell.”

Stars of Aoba