Chapter 5: In Any Case, Hiratsuka Shizuka Wants To Help.


A lot of great military leaders in history had some 'winning with lesser numbers/firepower' event to their name. It's not an uncommon tale, cunning and strategy winning the bigger enemy. Of course, is something born from the circumstances and the people involved, no one with some degree of sanity would put themselves or their tropes in that situation intentionally. Normally, the bigger and better prepared army would win 99% of the time. Still, a great way to raise through the ranks.

But I digress.

The best battles are not the ones won with strategy or greater numbers, but the ones that never happen in the first place. No need to waste time and resources when you can skip the whole dance.

"War...war never changes."

Hah, I always wanted to say that.

"What are you mussing around?"

Crap, I forgot I wasn't alone.

[-]

Now, just as the atmosphere in the classroom dropped several grades, and the girl with the highest grades of the year looked thoroughly the latest (and only) photos in my phone, I found myself silently praying to the rom-com gods that my little gamble had some effect.

"...Yuuji."

Unexpectedly, Kirishima-san didn't look very pleased with my blackmail- I mean, extortion, extortion material. Damn, it doesn't sound better at all!

"Hah! The president has spoken! Prepare you prayers, Class-C scum!"

Oi, take a minute to rephrase that. It makes it sound like I'm C-class scum. Such lies. If anything, my grade would be first tier scum… No, wait a moment, something is wrong there.

"H-hey, I'm in Class C, that's definitely not a moron's grade!"

"To be full of yourself just because you ranked in a third rated class is quite pathetic. Considering the results of an examination in one subject as indicative of one's sharp intellect is also pathetic."

….This girl. There is a limit to how rude one can be. For her to be treating a guy she just met as belonging to an inferior race, I must only have as much knowledge as the Prince of all Saiyans.

"Don't those words mean that your place in Class A is quite unearned as well?"

"Such-"

"What are your terms?"

Before Yukinoshita-san had any time to retort, the voice of Kirishima-san interrupted, she wasn't loud by any means, but took everyone by surprise. Just like an air conditioner in a hot day, it was a pleasant thing.

"W-wait! President, you aren't actually listening to this moron, right?!"

It seems that the tables have turned against you, Kinoshita-san.

"I must advise against this course of action, president. His rotten eyes don't suggest anything good."

Urgh. Please stop with the eyes. Why are you so fixated on them? Those are my parent's fault. There's nothing I can do to fight genetics.

"Are you against my judgment?"

Upon hearing Kirishima-san's question, both girls put a sour look in their faces and remained silent. Man, social hierarchy in this place is something serious. On that note, the blond pretty boy has remained silent since I showed the extortion material, but he is glaring at me a little. Scary.

"Terms." The top student of the grade looked at me again, and I could only hope my demands weren't turned down. Or that she just took my phone and leave the matter as settled.

"R-right..."

[-]

Please answer the question below.

Who instituted the Rakuichi Rakuza policy which abolished and prohibited monopolies to stimulate business and economy?

Himeji Mizuki's answer:

"Oda Nobunaga"

Teacher's comment:

Correct.

Shimada Minami's answer:

"That fella who burned the temples."

Teacher's comment:

Have you got yourself familiarized with Japan yet? I'm a little worried when I saw your answer.

Zaimokuza Yoshiteru's answer:

"NobuNobu"

Teacher's comment:

Please take a moment to study instead of playing FGO.

[-]

Fumizuki Academy is nothing less than a monster of modern technology, boasting the latest gadgets for the exclusive use of bratty teenagers and the staff around. It's almost a perfect place for a generic rom-com anime to set itself in.

However, that doesn't mean anything. Even if one changes place, it doesn't mean that the people around will also change. To think like that is to fool oneself, and I'm not falling into such self-deception. Not again.

I had an extensive amount of eye-opening experiences last year. As such, I'm completely aware of the backstabbing trap that people call 'friendship' and 'sociability'. In the end, the only ally I have is MAX Coffee, that's why I'm getting another one. I wouldn't let my companion alone, after all.

"So, here you were."

Just as I was distracting myself with useless musings, someone called up to me, interrupting my precious time. The culprit was a normal student, somewhat tall and with short, red hair. Leaned against the wall and using the school's uniform in a rather careless manner. He looked quite beaten up, like he had just finished a fight.

Of course, I just ignored that delinquent. Nothing good can come from associating with people like that.

"Hey! Hikigaya, don't ignore me, dammit!"

"...What do you want, Sakamoto?"

"Acting quite cold to an old friend, aren't you Hikigaya?"

"We are not friends, I don't have friends."

"I quite got the message when you sold me out to Shouko. Just look how she left me!"

Oh, so I wasn't wrong about your relationship? Even if it was somewhat rude to intervene, now they are free to redo their love lives in a more truthful way. Man, it feels nice to know that you did something so selfless and good.

"Isn't that great? You are now free to purse your true inclinations."

"I don't have that kind of inclinations! Goddammit!"

"Is that so? Could have fooled me."

"...Anyway, I'm a little curious to know why you sold me out in a backdoor deal instead of helping your class win fair and square."

Ah. That.

"I mean, its not like it was you didn't have a backdoor deal with Class E, almost as if you were planning to use my class to weaken Class A, just to do the same with Class E, before trying yourself with a weakened enemy. Surely not."

"...So you saw through that, huh. I should have expected it."

The thing I had come to dislike this riajuu was how underhanded he could be. Worse of it, was how much my own mind seemed to have a very similar process to his. Very aggravating.

"What happened with Kirishima, anyway?"

As if this was some practiced show, Kirishima appeared out of the blue. Right behind Sakamoto. She had enough future as a ninja to put everyone in naruto to shame. She immediately started gripping Sakamoto's face with her hand. Damn, that looks painful.

"...Yuuji. Affairs aren't allowed."

"W-wait! Shouko, I was just talking to Hikigaya, it wasn't an affair at all! Please stop that grip on me!"

"...I see. Alright then."

"…Damn, your grip is strong. HEY! We're not even together, I don't have to explain myse-aaaaahh!"

"…Yuuji. I'm feeling hurt now. Make it up to me."

"What?"

"Do you know about 'Kisaragi Highland'?"

"Ah, you're talking about the huge theme park that is under construction, right? Seems like it's about to be opened soon."

"...There seems to be a very scary haunted house inside."

"Oh, the one that they remodeled from the abandoned hospital? Sounds interesting."

"...And the best Ferris Wheel in Japan."

"Ooo, seems rather large. It sure sounds impressive."

"...And the world's third fastest roller coaster."

"It's that facility that accelerates many times and keeps spinning around. Though I don't know how it looks like, it sure makes me excited."

"...And there are many other interesting things."

"That's great, it'll be really fun."

"...Then, when that place opens, we should..."

"Yeah, I know what you want to say. If you want to go there—"

"...Nn."

"Go there with a friend."

"I have confidence in my grip."

"GUAAHHHH! Don't use the devil's grip on me!"

"...I want to go with Yuuji, the two of us."

"The opening ceremony will be crowded, I don't want to—AHH!"

"...If so, does that mean that you will go if I have tickets to the pre-opening?"

"Pre...pre-opening tickets? *coughs*, isn't that hard to get?"

"...Will you go?"

"Hm, of course, but only if you are able to get those tickets..."

"...Really?"

"I told you I won't already, didn't I? Do I look like someone who would break a promise?"

"Then, please stamp your name on this marriage certificate."

"...ah?"

While their conversation was kind of amusing, I grew a little tired of being ignored so blatantly, so I just took it as my cue to leave the lovebirds to have some time alone.

"Hikigaya, stop! DON'T LEAVE ME HERE ALONE WITH HER!"

I, of course, just ignored him.

[-]

Let's try with some history now.

Please fill in the blanks with the correct answers.

"In 334 BC, having beaten the final king of the Achaemenid Empire, Darius III, (_) started the (_)."

Yukinoshita Yukino's answer:

"In 334 BC, having beaten the final king of the Achaemenid Empire, Darius III, (Alexander the Great) started the (Eastern Expedition)."

Teacher's comment:

Correct answer. The two people mentioned in this question, Darius III and Alexander the Great had two great battles between them, the battle of Issus and the battle of Erbil. It will be best if you can remember these two battles.

Zaimokuza Yoshiteru's answer:

"In 334 BC, having beaten the final king of the Achaemenid Empire, Darius III, (Legendary Warrior of Light Arc) started the (Final Quest ~Last Crusade of the King~ )."

Teacher's comment:

There's the 'final' and the 'last' words in there, but it just doesn't feel like it's going to end. Really intriguing.

Ebina Hina's answer:

"In 334 BC, having beaten the final king of the Achaemenid Empire, Darius III, (Alexander the Seme) started the (Search for True Love)."

Teacher's comment:

Suddenly, this started looking like some kind of homoerotic novel. I wonder how the relationship between Alexander and Darius went.

[-]

Having nothing better to do after finishing my drink, I came back to class and promptly took out my textbooks and notes. I rested my cheeks in my hands in a daze until the lecture started. Again the teachers were having some kind of meeting, one could safely predict that such event would happen every time someone starts a Summon War.

I waited patiently for the scheduled time while watching groups of friends spend their time engaging in seemingly enjoyable chats.

Surely, after the next placement exam, this peaceful mood would probably disappear.

High school exams were all the same way.

Those who managed to receive a recommendation were maliciously cursed from the shadows. I had a feeling which was almost definite that the same things would happen even after we turned into third years. And then four years later, the cycle would repeat when you were job hunting for sure. The nature of people wouldn't change whether it was three years or seven.

But right now, what I should be focused on was not the past, but what's in front of me. So for starters, I had to look towards improving me grades.

Fumizuki Academy wasn't so popular and sought because of the technology around, it was popular in spite of it, because they threw a good amount of recommendation letters each year. To anyone aiming for a nice university in the zone, this was the place to get into.

It even has a reputation for having the third years students here score high in mock entrance tests. In my case, I was going for getting a high enough total score in humanities and ask for a recommendation. With that, my days in third year will be a total blaze, while all the other idiots hit the books. Hah! Sucks to be them! For now, I need to put that goal and the center and get serious.

Put the goal at the center and get serious… Put the goal at the center… As I ran simulations with vacant eyes, someone appeared at the corner of my vision. As if shouting angrily, "Idiot! The explosions are obscuring my vision of the enemy!" I came to my senses in an instant.

Her light blue hair tied into one bundle dangled down past her long back. Her tall figure looked flexible and attracted people's attention.

When that girl walked past in front of me, she stopped. Finding her actions unnatural, I directed my eyes at her.

"…I didn't think that you would use those photos to prevent Class A from taking our budget."

A drowsy voice spoke to me along with a cold gaze. Under her grumpy looking eyes was a mole.

She seems awfully familiar. Who was she again…?

"I might as well tell you now. Thanks."

Somewhat, I could remember her from following me when I got that negotiation material from Class F. Yeah, 'negotiation' sounds a lot better.

"Uh, yeah, sure. I just didn't want to lose my hard-earned benefits so early in the year."

"Pfff-hahaha! What's with that?" Hearing my reasons, the unknown girl left a soft chuckle. It seems that she found it funny in some way.

"Anyway, there are other people that heard about it, some feel grateful, but the class ambassador is angry at you."

"...Maybe I should have handled it differently." In all honestly, I was mostly doing it because I knew Sakamoto was up to something. For a moment, I pondered if without that knowledge my actions may have differ.

It was quite the useless thought. No matter the result, one can't change the past.

"I guess, but I don't think it would have gone any better… Whatever."

With a shrug, she just left my seat and went back to her own. Strangely, I found myself following her with my gaze and her name popped in my head. She's Kawasaki Saki.

"Alright class! Enough slacking around, I'm back." Hiratsuka sensei's loud entrance awoke me from my train of thought. As always she didn't have anything in the stealth department, somewhat expected from someone her age.

"Open your books, your performance in the last Summon War was terrible, so we are going to fix that inmediatly! Hikigaya, you see me after class!"

...Hey, wait a moment! Damn I haven't done anything!

[-]

The teacher's lounge was nicer than I expected, guess that the budget doesn't go only to the higher ranked classes. But, if anything, it only made me more anxious.

"Relax Hikigaya, you are not in trouble or anything."

"Really?" Then why I'm here? I should be on my way home to spend quality time with my sister and vita-chan! Are you trying to take away that from me!?

"You know, I'm kind of impressed with you."

…Oh my. What kind of impression did I leave in this beautiful older woman? I will have you know that student-teacher illicit relationships are prohibited. Did the rom-com gods had some mixed paperwork or something? I'm not against older women, but you are kind of way too old for me.

"You just thought something very rude, didn't you?"

"O-of course not!"

"...Whatever. You see, we were aware of Sakamoto's plan, but the Principal told us to let the students sort it out themselves."

"That sounds terribly irresponsible."

"I know, right!?" As though she knew how I would reply, Hiratsuka sensei's face brimmed with excitement. "We teachers are here to guide the students to be better, what's the point if we only 'let them sort it out by themselves'?"

Huh, she has some strong opinions about the teacher-student relationship. In all honestly I never saw any of my teachers as anything more than the workers who came to classes to blabber knowledge, give assignments and grade tests; so I remained silent.

She took my lack of response as a silent support to her direction.

"Indeed, that's why I called you here today."

"...huh."

"Mh, I wanted to call Sakamoto too, but that dammed Ironman said that he would sort it out himself… probably he will just let him be."

I furtively observed her reaction, as I pondered what exactly was she getting into.

From a breast pocket that was on the verge of bursting, Hiratsuka sensei pulled out a Pall Mall and tapped its filter hard against her desk. Just like how some old guy would do. After packing the tobacco, she clicked a 100-yen lighter and lit her cigarette. She took a drag and considered me with a serious look on her face.

"You're not in any clubs, right?"

"Right."

"…Do you have any friends?"

Wow, going for the kill already? Shouldn't you be trying to do some combo before finishing me off?

"I'm just getting to that, so just answer."

...Did I say that aloud?

"Amusingly so."

"… I don't believe in the people who label themselves as 'friends' just to stab you in the back." I said, while trying to suppress my mouth of saying more than it should.

"What's with that answer? Are you the protagonist of some noir movie? Or just an idiot?"

"Just my truth. Honest." I wasn't so self-absorbed to think that my opinions are the definite truth of the world. But they were my truth. Surely, there are some true friends out there in the world, not the superfluous nutheads that only blabbered to hide that they had nothing of actual worth to say or the opportunists who only latched to their more popular 'friends' to increase their social standing.

But I have yet to see any.

"Oh stop being so pedantic, kid."

"Kid…? Well certainly from the perspective of someone your age, I am a kid, I guess."

There was a gush of wind. It was a fist. A fist that was unleashed without any indication of movement. And if that weren't enough, it was an impressive fist that just grazed the side of my cheek.

"The next one won't miss." Her eyes were serious.

"I'm very sorry."

She nodded her head knowingly with a 'mhmm...yes' and considered me with a reserved expression.

"…What about a girlfriend or something?"

What's with the 'something'? What would you do if I said I had a boyfriend?

"Well I don't have one right now..."

Considering any hopes for the future, I emphasized 'now', just in case.

"I see..."

This time she gazed at me intensely, with misty eyes. I really hoped it was because of the cigarette smoke irritating her eyes.

Hey, stop that. Don't pity me with that soft gaze.

In any case, I didn't like one bit to where this was going. Hiratsuka sensei seemed like one of those enthusiastic teachers, going by her previous lines, and the fact that she also wanted to talk to Sakamoto.

Is she going to be talking about how I'm that one rotten apple that spoils the barrel, soon?

Perhaps she was once a delinquent high school drop out, who's now going to go back to her old high school to be a teacher?...Seriously, can't she just go back there?

"...Do I look like I have a girlfriend?"

"Maybe." She just say that with a coy smile in her face.

S-sensei, please stop making me blush. I'm going to tell the Principal.

"I guess you wouldn't have one with those eyes, they're like the eyes of a rotting fish."

"Do they really seem that rich in omega-3? Makes me sound smart."

The corners of her mouth twitched upwards.

"...You're not in any clubs, right?"

"I have yet to find one that I can attend without lowering my grades."

"You are surprisingly dutiful."

What's surprising about it?

"Well… I may just have one that you would like to see."

"Huh? Which one, the go-home club?" Maybe the GJ-bu? Or maybe the literature one? I don't think I could manage to satiate the appetite of a novel-eating sempai.

"Nope! It's called the Service Club."

I don't like where this is going. Not one bit.

[-]

Please read through the following passage and answer the following question.

At the end of the 19th century, the Prime Minister of Germany developed the world's first Health Insurance Policy with the aim of helping the poor. At the same time, he also introduced the Socialist Legislation. The Legislation is often called the '( _) and Whip Policy'.

First Question: Please state the name of the Prime Minister at that time.

Second Question: Please fill in the blanks.

Shouko Kirishima's Answer:

'Q1: Bismarck

'Q2: (Yuuji) and Whip Policy'

Teacher's comments:

Please remember to have a safe-word for your plays. It will prevent any accidents.

Tsuchiya Kouta's Answer:

'Q1: Elizabeth'

'Q2: (Strip) and Whip Policy'

Teacher's Comments

Whip- Your Highness- Queen Elizabeth.

Recently, I started to understand your trail of thoughts. Sensei's emotions are really complicated.

Hikigaya Hachima's Answer:

'Q1: Otto Von Bismark

'Q2: (MAX Coffee) and whip policy'

Teacher's Comments

So that one is your favorite… isn't way to sweet?

[-]

A/N: Hi.