Baka to Tesuto to Syokanju:Volume12.5 Author's Notes + After Story
- This afterword contains materials from the main text. To those readers who have yet to read the main text, please be warned.
Thank you very much for purchasing this work. This is the author Inoue Kenji.
I've kept you waiting! It's been more than a year since volume 12 was sold, and I finally managed to sell the short story collection. Thank you very much to all who were waiting patiently, sending letters of encouragement, Valentine's chocolates and the handmade cardset from Hiraga-kun. I've been keeping all the presents carefully. And sorry to keep all of you waiting for so long!
Actually, during the past year or so, I've been thinking of what to do for my new work, and the I understand...what I write always end up with Akihisa and the other F class members as the basis of them, and I'm not in the mood for writing other stories. Even after thinking of a few stories, the story will typically end up as 'if this OO is done by Akihisa and the others". For example "If Akihisa and the others are to become thieves", or "If Akihisa and the others have to work in a job that takes them all over the world" and such. In any case, I love them too much.
Right now, I have an initial draft of 'Baka Test' with me, completed April 13th, 2005. In other words, it's been about 10 years since they started living in my head. Thinking about it, I spent quite a long time with them.
I'm really thinking of going through the details on how different they are now from how they were back then, but as usual, I don't have enough pages, so I'll just touch on it a little.
About the previous lives (?) mentioned between the short stories, even I do feel that Minami's background is too tragic. Her previous self is the current Sugawa-kun. She wasn't crushed by that predicament, and ends up like this, which I find is really amazing. However, once her gender, face and position in the story has completely changed, she's a completely different person now.
Because it's because of her days growing up that Minami turned into an adorable character once she became a girl. She's the first to call Akihisa by his name, and the one who got his first kiss. The incident where she became attracted to Akihisa, and when she really loved him really elevated her to main heroine status. There are times when I wonder: Compared to Mizuki, is Minami more--no, it's nothing. On a side note, in a certain sense, Hideyoshi definitely is a character who changed into a female. The decisive blow was Haga-san's illustrations, so I have no shame about that. I still remember the first time I was shown the character illustrations, and I earnestly begged the editor-in-charge, "Please make this kid a girl!". Those are wonderful memories, though I was rebuffed in the end.
And so, the pages are running out as I continue on. Though I keep thinking of writing the nonsensical little stories like before, it's a pity. I didn't get to write them in volume 12 either…!
So now, I'll go directly into the customary thanks.
Haga-san the illustrator, thank you very much for providing such cool and cute illustrations. The spread illustration this time is really amazing! Thinking of the journey that started from the initial setting till now, I'm really moved. It's been a joy to work along with you!
For the editor-in-charge K-sama, I received some messages you sent from the office on Sunday night, and that's when I truly appreciate the hard work you put in. I'm really sorry...thanks to you, this book is finally complete! Thank you for everything till this point. Please continue to take care of me from now on!
To the designer Kaguya-san and proofreader O-san, and so many that are involved, I'll like to truly express my thanks here. Without your efforts, this book will never be published.
And also, the indispensable readers! I hope everyone can continue to support and love Akihisa and the others. The encounter with everyone is the greatest treasure to me. I really think that it's great that I'm able to write such a story. Thank you very much.
Finally, a little promotion. As I mentioned before, I intend to write a story of happy, whacky high school students' hijinks for my next work. The plan is that it'll be mainly about comedy outside school.
And also, I'm writing writing a manga titled 'Grand Blue' for 'Good Afternoon' manga label. If I have to describe this work in one line, it's a story of 'how will the F class guys look like when they're in college'. If you're interested, I'll be glad if you can browse through this work.
That is it for now! I will like to give everyone my utmost thanks
And so, in Spring--
The first Spring arrives, after I decided to attend this Fumitzuki Gakuen.
The sakura along the sides of the path leading to school are blooming vibrantly, seemingly welcoming our arrivals passionately. I'm not one who really like elegance, but such a scene certainly is riveting.
But this is merely a fleeting moment.
The scene appearing in my mind right now is the scene of Spring, but it is not about the sakura.
Inside my mind right now is my new phase of life, my high school life.
"Kubo-kun, we're in the same class again!"
"Looks that way, Tsuchiya-san."
It was when I entered school.
I saw the class register indicated on the notice board, and went to my classroom, finding a girl from my middle school--Tsuchiya Hinata-san.
"We're in F class. Are my entry grades that bad…?"
Tsuchiya-san nervous mutters this. She's probably worried about her studies in the future.
"Tsuchiya-san, we're only streamed based on our grades in our 2nd year. Us first years aren't streamed according to our grades now, so don't worry."
"Ah, is that so?"
Tsuchiya-san gives a cheerful 'I forgot' smile as she says this.
"And besides, if we're streamed based on our grades, it's impossible for you to be in F class!"
"...I have nothing to say to that."
Regarding my learning aptitude, I do feel that my grades are decent. Grade-wise, I do feel that there is a very low possibility of me being streamed into F class I suppose.
"My older brother mentioned that I might be suited to be in F class…"
"Eh? Why? What did he say?"
"No. It's nothing much."
My smart older brother said that, and even if I want to deny it directly, I can't shake off the uneasiness inside me.
But I'm not joking here! Till this point, I've been upright and moral, and I plan to continue being like this! I won't accept such a critique happily!
"Hm? What's the matter, Kubo-kun? You're looking rather scary there."
"Ah, it's nothing. I just made a decision that from now on, I'm going to live an honest, peaceful, upright school life."
"Ahaha. You're really strange, showing such a scary face because of that."
Tsuchiya-san again shows a bright smile. It's good that she's able to be happy, but I'm a little unhappy to be told by her that I'm a little weird.
How do I explain this to her? While I'm racking my brain.
"By the way, have you heard about the rumors regarding the 3rd years?"
"Yeah, the ones about the amazing senior, right?"
"I heard that there's a bunch of them who are treated specially not only by the juniors, but even the teachers."
I can hear some chatter from a group of guys, probably from the same middle school.
Tsuchiya-san beside me hears these words too, and she stares at my face, asking,
"Kubo-kun, do you know of these amazing 3rd years?"
"Who knows...even I want to ask."
Besides, I only have an older brother who's in his 3rd year, and I don't know any other acquaintance. If I really have to mention, I only did interact with the upperclassmen when I visited the school the last time.
"There is a senior who can use many different voices, and is an expert at both makeup and acting. That senior looks like either a guy or a girl here, and is really able to manipulate boys with some breathtaking beauty."
"Really? That's amazing."
"But if there's such a sexy senior, I really want to have a look."
There's such an upperclassman? It's true that I met many pretty girls when I visited the school, so maybe there's such a beauty amongst them.
"There's also a senior who acts like an elite agent, capable of eavesdropping and doing hidden camerawork. It's said that there's nothing he can't investigate."
"Ah, I heard of that too. It's said that whenever that senior is, blood's often left in his wake."
"Is that where he silences those interfering in his investigations...is he a ninja awakened in the modern times…"
Hearing them speak, I don't think they're describing a high school student, but the saying goes: where there's smoke, there's fire. Even if it's not that ridiculous, it's likely that he's a dangerous guy whose blade is clean one moment and blood-soaked in another. I better be on my guard.
"There's also a senior who's so strong he's called the Asura. It's said that it's normal for him to be drugged, tasered, handcuffed, abducted or jailed."
"Is this some fighting manga for the Showa Era? It's scary…"
"Mustn't go against him here…"
I knew from before that the discipline in this school is a little poor, but I never thought it would be this dangerous...better to be safe than sorry though. Better pay attention to this upperclassman.
"These really do sound like dangerous stuff, Kubo-kun."
"I suppose. You should be a little careful too, Tsuchiya-san."
I got to ask my older brother about these dangerous people. If I'm not careful, I'll end up getting too close to them.
"And the most amazing of them all is that guy! He wrecked the school 3 times, beat a teacher so bad he knocked him out, incited all the boys in his year and got them all suspended, and he started all sorts of trouble here!"
"Ah yeah! Is it that guy who's called the first 'punishment inspector' since the opening of this school!?"
"He's just kept on probation? That's a real criminal here!"
"Be careful. That guy's rather dangerous."
"Yeah I heard. After all, that--"
After hearing this name, I can't help but choke.
"Kubo-kun, are you alright?"
"Ah, yeah, I'm fine."
Tsuchiya-san looks at me worriedly, and I wave my hand to answer.
Ho-how many rumors were started by that guy…!? His infamy is worse than when I did my investigations.
"E-erm, can I bother you for a while?"
I approach the boys that are chatting. Got to make sure what's real and what's not.
"That Yoshii-senpai you speak of. Is he really that dangerous?"
"I never met him, but what I said was the truth. That's what I heard from my club seniors."
"B-but, I don't think he's that bad…"
Once say that, they're give me a look a reverence.
"Eh…? Are you acquainted with that Yoshii-senpai…?"
"Y-you serious? Please help keep our chit-chat as a secret!"
"Please! We'll treat you to lunch next time!"
The boy put their hands together, giving me begging looks.
Th-this is bad…! If I don't deny it now, that honest, upright school life of mine will be for nothing…!
"That's not it! It's just that his name is similar to someone I know, I just mixed it up!"
"Eh? Ah, what? Don't scare me?"
"I have cold sweat all over my back now, you know?"
"And anyway, you don't look like you're the type to get involved with such scary people."
"Hahaha. That's what people tell me, the only good point I have."
While the 4 of us are laughing, I manage to calm things down. This is close...they'll be my classmates. If I have some strange stigma attached to me, it'll cause quite some problems with my future school life.
Feeling relieved, I heave a sigh. Suddenly, one of the trio turn his eyes behind me, saying,
"And anyway, that girl over there looks lonely when she has nobody talking to her, you know?"
Once they heard that line, the other two turn to look behind me.
"Such a cute girl. You were chatting away casually just now. Is she your girlfriend?"
"How nice~ I'm envious that you have a girlfriend."
They're probably referring to Tsuchiya-san. Well, we do talk a lot, but she's not my girlfriend.
And just when I'm thinking of denying this for Tsuchiya-san's sake.
"Kubo Yoshimitsu! You're really a heretic after all!"
"I have been watching you ever since you visited this school. This is the case after all!"
"The rules of the FFF inquisition! Don't you dare say that you forget that!"
Some cloaked men arrived. When did they?
"No, I think they're mistaken."
"But they're calling you by your name…"
"They're obviously talking to you…"
"Wait! Don't pull your distance from me like that! It's a misunderstanding!"
"Kubo Yoshimitsu! Come with us to the execution grounds--no, class #-F!"
"We shall execute you if you admit to having a girlfriend, and if you deny it, we shall torture you until you admit it!"
"I said it's a misunderstanding!"
I continue to shout, but it's useless. The misunderstanding is getting worse. The cloaked men are dragging me by the arms.
At this moment,
"Kubo-kun's little brother, watch out!"
A boy runs in, kicking away the ones restraining me.
Th-this guy is…!
"Are you alright, Kubo-kun's little brother?"
I can never forget the guy who put my family in peril, that guy called Yoshii Akihisa.
"First class heretic Yoshii Akihisa…!"
The cloaked guys who were kicked away groan as they mention this name. Th-this is bad! If they mention this name now…!
"Eh? Yoshii...eh? Eh?"
"This name, is it that senior…?"
To prevent the cloaked guy from saying anything more than that, I proceed to knock him out. I'm sorry, but this is for my self-preservation. Please forgive me.
"Ah, Yoshii-senpai. Hello there!"
"Ahh, Muttsu--no, Tsuchiya Hinata-san, it's been a while."
And my efforts were crushed by Tsuchiya-san's one single line.
"Yoshii Akihia, there's no doubt it's him, right…!"
"That guy's the one in the rumors…!"
Everyone is now confident that this guy's Yoshii Akihisa. The proof is that they're all putting all their strength in their limbs, ready to run away at any given moment.
In that case, I can only act accordingly.
"Thank you very much, stranger. You saved me there."
"What are you saying, Kubo Yoshimitsu-kun? It's not like we're strangers here."
The classmates I met on this very first day at school are now pulling their distances from us. Wait! We're not on that good terms.
"You better be careful, Kubo-kun's little brother. This school's now very sensitive about the BGR issue. The FFF inquisition is now going all out in their investigations and destruction, acting like members of the discipline council--watch out!"
While saying this, Yoshii-senpai pulls my arm hard.
Following that is the dangerous, buzzing sound of what sounds like a taser, grazing my shoulder.
"Yeargh! What is this!?"
"The original 2-F guys!"
"We sense...some heretics…"
"No, those guys aren't human now, are they?"
Why are they swaying about from side to side as they approach? Why can they attack people with tasers without hesitation? I get the feeling that my common sense from before is completely useless here.
"Everyone listen, it's a misunderstanding! I don't have a girlfriend, and I'm not on that good terms with Yoshii-senpai--"
"Leave the talk for later! Gotta run!"
I'm dragged by the arm by Yoshii-senpai, and we proceed to dash out of classroom 1-F.
"...That guy's name is Kubo, right…?"
"Not sure, but the ones he know are really shady…"
"Think we better be wary of people like him too…"
I can hear such chatter from my classrooms, and it appears my ideal school life is gradually becoming distant from me.
"Phew...I guess we're safe here"
Yoshii-senpai drags me to this old school roof, the lingering frigid winds bellowing away. We're resting here.
"Why did I, end up, in such…"
I'm wheezing, panting furiously, as I utter these words.
And Yoshii-senpai continues to look nonchalant, not looking tired at all.
"They're hunting couples. You see, our school forbids having Boy-Girl Relations."
"I don't care, about couples, or whatnot. I, don't have, a, girlfriend."
"Do you think those guys will care about those words?"
Now that he mentions it, I only did talk to Tsuchiya-san for just a bit when we visited the school the last time, and I was tied to the execution platform.
"Haa...this school really is a little weird…"
Having finally regained my breath, I cough out loud, complaining.
And then, Yoshii-senpai answers with the attitude of 'too late now', and says,
"Ahaha, I can't deny that."
"Well, I did mentally prepare myself somewhat before I entered this school…"
Or rather, it might be said that I chose to attend this school because I got some objectives to deal with in this school.
"Speaking of which, Kubo-kun's little brother."
"...Please just call me Yoshimitsu."
I do find this too roundabout a way to call me, so I decide to make this clear first.
"Then, Yoshimitsu-kun, why did you choose this school?"
Maybe Yoshii-senpai is feeling suspicious about that conversation just now, and he asks this question.
"Well, it's close to home, so that's one of the reasons I suppose. And most importantly--"
"--I want to deny what my brother said."
Brother once told me before that 'you have the same way of thinking as the people of F class'. That's rich. Since you say that I'm of F class level, I'll enter this school and prove to you that this isn't the case!
But even so, I don't want to go through with how it all started, so I decide not to talk about this anymore.
But Yoshii-senpai seems convinced by these words.
"Is that so?"
He vindicated me. It's like he understood what I was trying to get at with these words alone. Why? I don't think I get on well with him, but in this sense...he's somewhat sharp.
"...Is it strange?"
"No, that's not it. I think that if you have different insistence and thinking, you should continue discussing until both sides agree to it, even if it's someone close to you."
"Hm? What's the matter, Yoshimitsu-kun?"
"No, it's nothing. I never thought you would say such things."
This guy has the appearance of a pessimist, but he's unexpectedly so clear-minded about such stuff...I'm a little surprised.
"The School Opening Ceremony will be held at 2pm. All classes from class 1-A, please enter the gym in order. I repeat, the school opening ceremony will be held at 2pm--"
The audio speakers installed on the roof being to broadcast to the entire school.
"Oh, the opening ceremony's about to begin. Got to get back."
Both of us remain wary out our surroundings as we head back into the building.
I'm the same too, Yoshimitsu-kun."
"Kubo-kun--your brother--he's my friend, but I can't deny that what he said is all correct."
"Yoshii-senpai, this is…"
"So, Yoshimitsu-kun. I'll lend you a hand. Let's work together and change the wrong thinking of those guys."
Yoshii-senpai reaches his hand out.
...Yeah. this guy's always tagged with many labels he didn't want to, and he's always working hard. 'Biggest idiot in school', 'problem kid', 'punishment inspector'. Nobody would have wanted to accept such labels. That's why he understands how I feel, and validates my thinking.
Thinking about this, I unconsciously reach towards Yoshii-senpai's outstretched right hand--
"Please take care of me."
And I grasp his hand.
"...That shall be all."
The pretty, black-hair girl I saw during the school visit finishes with her welcome speech to the freshmen, and descends the podium steps.
"Thank you, 3rd year valedictorian Kirishima Shouko-san for your speech. We, we shall have added explanation from the newly assembled 'student council that is meant to ensure safety'."
Once the broadcast's made, a crass looking, muscular upperclassman with short hair and--my brother appear on the podium. Eh? I do remember that my brother isn't in any disciplinary council stuff…
"I'm the president of the disciplinary council, Sakamoto Yuuji of class 3-A. I will like to welcome all freshmen, and at the same time, I shall explain some particular issues to take note of. This is--"
"Vice president of the disciplinary council, Kubo Toshimitsu class 3-A. Please take care of me."
Brother proceeds to bow in response to Sakamoto-senpai's introduction. What is the disciplinary student council about…?
"Our school has a rule that 'forbids students from being in love'."
"This rule is set so that everyone can understand 'a student's responsibility is to continue working hard, and not forget to study', based on the nature of this being a prep school. The objective isn't to limit the freedom that forbids love."
Brother's words do make me a little worried. The stated objective looks noble, but well...both Sakamoto-senpai and brother look like they're hiding their true feelings.
"Our disciplinary council is established to expose those that break the rules, and need to be corrected--"
While Sakamoto-senpai continues with the ideals of this so-called student council disciplinary committee--
"Wait a second--!!"
A familiar voice echoes in the gym.
"...so you came, Akihisa.""""
Sakamoto-senpai and brother both show different reactions to this intruder.
Yoshii-senpai ignore their reactions as he points at the duo on the podium, yelling,
"I won't agree to this rule!"
Yoshii-senpai triumphant raises the flag of rebellion in the face of the seemingly stifling disciplinary council.
But I don't know if there's some deal going on in the shadows, since while some students would normally agree to these words, there's no one voicing out now.
Sakamoto-senpai, standing on the podium, appears to be delighted by this as he smirks, telling Yoshii-senpai,
"Don't be ridiculous. None of us will be on your side. No matter how you shout alone--"
"I do have an ally!"
Yoshii-senpai's vigorous voice of belief causes Sakamoto-senpai to be quiet.
Once he heard that, Sakamoto-senpai then raises an eyebrow.
"Yuuji, no matter what kind of dirty means you use to drag Himeji-san and Kirishima-san along...there is still justice willing to stop evil!"
I can't follow what he's getting at, but it looks like something troublesome is about to happen again. Seriously, these guys…
"Come on, let's stand together and beat down this barbaric student council!"
Flabbergasted, I watch their conversation proceed. Yoshii-senpai then turn to me with determined eyes, loudly declaring,
"Right now, I shall request a summoning battle against the disciplinary council--with the freshman Kubo Yoshimitsu-kun!"
I yell maniacally.
"Interesting. Bring it, Akihisa. Let's see how much your strength can stand against me."
"How can I possibly lose to you…! We'll definitely win and prove that your ideas are wrong!"
This isn't it! This isn't what I want to deny! He looked like he understood, but he doesn't understand anything at all!
Se-seriously, that guy…!
"How stupid can you be--!"
"W-wait, looks like that guy's Kubo Yoshimitsu…"
"He's paired in a summoning battle with that Yoshii-senpai once school starts. This is amazing..."!"
"Is that the legendary will of F class…!"
Everyone's giving me intrigued or terrified looks here. Yo-you got to be kidding me! Why is it that I'm getting such looks when I'm trying to deny that F class is full of idiots!
"Yoshii-senpai, please stop! Don't get me involved in this--"
"It's fine, Yoshimitsu-kun! A first year can summon too! I'll teach you how to do it! You don't have to worry!"
That isn't it! That isn't it, senpai!
"Let's begin, Yuuji."
"Got it, Akihisa."
Yoshii-senpai and Sakamoto-senpai's voice echo as they call out their summoned beasts. Th-these guys--
"These guys don't seem to have matured even though they're now third years!?"
Before I realize it, the gym's in chaos, like a hornets' nest was disturbed. These guys will remain like this even until their graduation. I'm sure of it.
Tsuchiya-san approaches me without me knowing, and tugs at my sleeve.
"It looks like every day in this school will be enjoyable."
After seeing her smile as she says this, I'm left unable to say anything.
I don't know whether it'll be fun every day.
But I dare say.
"Alright, Yuuji! Let's settle this today!"
"Don't kid me, Akihisa! How can you best me by yourself?"
It's likely that those upperclassmen will continue on with such days.