Baka to Tesuto to Syokanju:Volume1 The Third Question

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The Third Question[edit]

BTS vol 01 037.jpg

Please translate the following sentence into Japanese:

"This is the bookshelf that my grandmother had used regularly."


Himeji Mizuki's Answer:

"これは私の祖母が愛用していた本棚です. (This is the bookshelf that my grandmother had used regularly.)"

Teacher's Comment:

Correct. You must be working very hard!


Tsuchiya Kouta's Answer:

"これは" (This)

Teacher's Comment:

You only know how to translate "This"?


Yoshii Akihisa's Answer:

"☆●◆∇┐♪*×"

Teacher's Comment:

Please use a human language to answer the question.



Declare war against Class A.

This suggestion sounded too unrealistic for Class F.

"It's impossible to win!"

"I don't want to get even worse facilities."

"I'm satisfied as long as Himeji is here."

Cries like this were filling up the room.

Well, even a blind man could see the difference in fighting ability between Class A and Class F.

It has been four years since Fumitzuki Academy adopted an examination system with scores not limited to 100. Under this system, students would answer as many questions as they could in one hour. As a result, there was no limit to how high a student could score. The score could increase indefinitely, limited only by the student's intelligence.

Besides that, there is a "Shoukanjuu[1] Summoning System", which was accidentally created by combining science with supernatural power. Under teacher supervision, students can summon their Beings, whose power is equal to their respective summoners' results, and fight against each other.

The overall average score now is fairly low, and this was the latest system invented to encourage the students to study. With this system as the core, students are allowed to have inter-class wars called "Summoner Test Wars", in which the students' Beings fight against each other.

The results of the tests are very important in the War and the difference in results between Class A and Class F is huge. If we fought head-on, one student from Class A could probably beat three from Class F at the same time. Actually, if the student was good enough, they might be able to take four or five of us out at the same time.

"We will win for sure- no, I'll show you that we'll win."

Despite knowing that the difference in our fighting ability was huge, Yuuji still confidently declared that we would win.

"You've got to be kidding me."

"That's impossible, right?"

"What makes you so sure about this?"

Objections came from every corner of the room.

Well, no matter how you look at it, this was not a winnable War. I still couldn't deny it even though I promised Yuuji that we'd start the War together. Even if it's impossible, I still won't give up!

"Of course, I have my theory. We have some strong factors that will help us win."

The whole class raged after Yuuji said that.

Was it even possible for us to win? Even though we were Class F, the worst class in Year 2?

"Let me explain."

My bad friend stood behind the lectern and showed a daring smile on his face, overlooking us from above the ground.

"Kouta, stop leaning on the tatami and peeping at Himeji's underwear. Come here for a bit."

"! (shook his head)"

"What!?"

Tsuchiya Kouta desperately shook both his head and his hands, trying to show that he didn't commit such a crime. Himeji pressed down her skirt and hid; the boy covered the mark the tatami left on his face, and walked towards the podium.

He was simply amazing. He was the only person who dared to be that shameless, and use such an inappropriate pose to peep at a girl's underwear; he is much braver than someone like me, who could only think of using a small mirror to peep.

"Tsuchiya Kouta. This guy is the famous Muttsurini[2]."

"! (fiercely shaking his head)"

Tsuchiya Kouta might not be well-known by name, but the name "Muttsurini" was different. This name was respected and feared by the male students, and despised and disdained by the female students.

"He is THE Muttsurini..."

"How's that possible? Muttsurini looks like THIS?"

"But there's the evidence. He was brazenly peeping!"

"Well, he does live up to his name!"

With a sorrowful look, he was using his hand to hide the mark the tatami left on his face. I heard that he would never admit to what he did under any circumstance. Well, one eyewitness was better than ten hearsays.

"?"

Himeji looked like she had a lot of question marks above her head.

Could it be that she didn't know where the nickname "Muttsurini" came from? Should I explain it to her?

"Himeji need not be forgotten. Everyone should know how good she is."

"Yes? Are you talking about me?"

"Yeah, you're the main force; I'm looking forward to your performance!"

If we were really going to start the Summoner Test War, no one would be more trustworthy than her.

"You're right; we have Himeji on our side!"

"If she's here, we won't lose to those nerds from Class A."

"Nothing matters as long as she's here."

Who was it? Who was the person that kept sending love messages to Himeji?

"We also have Kinoshita Hideyoshi."

Kinoshita Hideyoshi, although his scores weren't outstanding, was still famous for being the star of drama club, having a twin sister, etc.

"Ooooh..."

"He's Kinoshita Yuuko's..."

"Of course I'll give it my best shot."

"I know you're a guy who means what he says."

"Wasn't Sakamoto called 'Whiz Kid' when he was in primary school?"

"Does that mean he wasn't feeling well during the placement test, like Himeji?"

"Then we have two people with Class A ability in our class."

We might be able to win! Especially with this kind of atmosphere!

That's right; somehow, the morale of the class skyrocketed.

"Also, we have Yoshii Akihisa."


Total silence.


Then the morale dramatically dropped.

What!? Was my name so destructive? Why did he bring it up!?

"Wait a second, Yuuji! Why do you want to mention my name now!? There is no need for it!"

"'Yoshii Akihisa'? Who is that?"

"Never heard of him."

"You see! The great morale is gone. I'm not like Yuuji and the others; I'm just a normal peasant. Please treat me normally- Wait, why the staring? It's not my fault the morale dropped!"

*Sigh*. Even if someone in the class had heard of me, it wouldn't be anything good anyway. Since no one knew about me in the first place, I didn't have to purposely make things worse.

"If you don't know, then let me tell you! His title is the 'Punishment Bearer'[3]."

Oh, no, he said it.

"Isn't that another word for 'idiot'?"

Someone in the class gave a fatal opinion.

"N-no! That's just a small nickname for a sixteen-year-old mischievous teenager."

"Yes, it is another word for 'idiot'."

"Can you please not agree so surely, Yuuji, you idiot!"

"Punishment Bearer" was a punishment given to students who had a problem studying. I was one of them. But it was only because I wasn't good at it!

"Excuse me. Can you tell me what it means exactly?"

Himeji leaned her head to one side, and it looked like she was confused. Since she was a student who always stood at the top of the pyramid, it was reasonable that she was unfamiliar with the title.

"Simply put, it's a student who does odd jobs for the teachers. Their Being has the privilege of being able to touch physical objects, and it can help out with work."

That was right; normally, a Being could not touch any normal object. All they could touch or interact with were the other Beings. They were like phantoms. The floors of the school had been specially made so the Beings could stand on it.

But my Being was different. Just like Yuuji said, it was a special one that could touch physical objects.

"Oh, I see, that's magnificent! I heard that the Beings aren't only cute but also have incredible powers. Being able to touch normal objects is pretty convenient."

Himeji gazed at me with sparkling eyes filled with admiration and respect; to tell the truth, it made me itchy and uncomfortable.

"Ha ha, that's nothing special!"

I just waved it off.

Actually, this really was nothing special. If I could order my Being freely, it would be a wonderfully useful ability. Even a relatively weak Being, summoned by someone with a low score like mine, had much more power than a human could dream of. Crushing a rock is as simple as ABC.

Sadly, I was never able to benefit from it; if anything, it caused the opposite result.

The Being could only be used under a teacher's supervision, and teachers would only allow me to summon it when they needed it for heavy work: that was the truth. And to me, there was no benefit at all. Since it can be used only while under a teacher's supervision, I almost never get the chance to use it for my own purposes.

Besides, the Being's health and energy are directly connected to mine. For example, if my Being carried a heavy object and ran around the school, I would be tired. If the heavy object dropped onto my Being's leg while working, I would feel the pain. Not only was I denied use of it for personal advantage, but also the pain from its work was transferred to me. It was just plain punishment.

Therefore, being a "Punishment Bearer" was nothing to be proud of, and made nothing more convenient. It was only punishment for students who had bad marks and lacked the will to study, and this is why it is synonymous with "idiot"...

"Wait a minute; since he is the 'Punishment Bearer', then if he was beaten in the War, he would suffer as well, right?"

"That's right! We would instantly lose a man."

They found out. This was why I wanted to avoid fighting. If my Being was beaten, I would feel the pain with it!

"Don't worry about it. A worthless lowlife like him is no more a liability than he is an asset."

"Yuuji, that does not help at all."

"Anyway, to show our strength, I plan to conquer Class D first."

"What!? You can't just ignore me like that!"

We were standing so close together, but my hatred just couldn't get through!

"Everyone is dissatisfied with the current situation, right?"

"What we want is the systematic tables and chairs from Class A, not the chabudai!"

"Of course!"

"Then everyone, take your pen in your hand; we are preparing for battle!"

"Uuuooo...!"

"U-uuuooo..."

Affected by the astonishing momentum in the class, Himeji also raised her small fist. I felt the need to protect her, but in the end, she will probably be the one protecting me.

"Akihisa, declare war on Class D. You must succeed, even at the cost of your life."

Such determination! If it was so important, why shouldn't he do it himself?

"Won't they beat on the lower class's messenger?"

"Don't worry; they won't hurt you. Just act like you were forced to go."

"Really?"

"Of course! Who do you think I am?"

A definitive response with no chance for rebuttal.

It must be true. Although Yuuji loved to joke around, he was not at all a liar.

"Don't worry. Trust me; I would never lie to a friend."

An encouraging sentiment.

I still thought that he was up to something, but I just had to do it. I had no other choice.

"OK, leave it to me."

"I'm counting on you."

The class sent me off with cheers and applause. I left the classroom and headed towards Class D with a solemn and stirring atmosphere.



"I was tricked!"

I escaped into the corridor, and ran for my life. I finally dove, rolled, and crawled back into the classroom. I-I was nearly killed! Those bastards in Class D! If they caught me, they would have killed me! I collapsed on the ground, out of breath, and glared at Yuuji.

"It's just as I thought."

How can you say it so calmly? You bastard, I'll rip you to pieces!

"What do you mean 'just as I thought'?! You knew that this would happen!"

"Of course. How else could I be class leader?"

"At least feel guilty about it!"

Even though I have known him since last spring, there are some things about him I just don't understand.

"Yoshii, are you alright?"

Himeji ran to me when she saw my tattered clothes.

"Yeah, I'm fine; just a few scrapes and bruises."

Shimada came, too. The care of my classmates helped take the edge off the immense pain.

"I see, that's good... There are still places that I can punch."

"Ahh! Give me a break! I'm dying!"

I held my hand to my chest and rolled around in agony. Even if she is a girl, Shimada can't be taken lightly.

"Don't bother with him; we're having a meeting now."

Yuuji opened the door and walked out of the room; he must have been looking for a room to have his meeting in. Shouldn't you at least show some concern for your friend? Come to think about it, was Yuuji really a friend? This isn't the first time I wondered that; I probably think about it once a day.

"Let me know if it's still painful later on."

Himeji said that, and quickly followed behind Yuuji.

"It still hurts?"

A guy with a petite body like that of a young girl, Hideyoshi, tapped on my shoulder and walked out.

"... (walking sound)"

Muttsurini rubbed his face and walked towards me.

"Hey, Muttsurini, has your mark from the tatami gone away?"

"... (shakes head)"

"Don't bother denying; I know you're him."

"... (shakes head again)"

"In one sense, it's pretty impressive that you can still deny it."

"... (shakes head again)"

"What color were they?"

"Sky blue."

He answered instantly.

"Muttsurini, you sure do live up to your name."

"... (shakes head again)"

Just when I was having a nice chat with the class pervert,

"Yoshii, you need to come too."

Shimada forcefully grabbed my wrist and dragged me out.

And here I was thinking I'd have a chance to be lazy...

"Yes, yes, yes."

"Once is enough."

"Yes, madam."

"One day, I will Das Brechen you- wait, how should I say it in Japanese...?"

Shimada's mouth suddenly slowed down.

What was Das Brechen? I think that's German, right?

"...'Break'."

BTS vol 01 051.jpg

Muttsurini's voice came from nearby.

"That's right. I need to break you in."

"'Break me in'? Shouldn't you use words like 'train' or 'tutor'?"

"Then I'll pick the one in the middle, and use Züchtigung instead."

"...I don't know what that means."

"In Japanese, I think it should be... 'torture'?"

"That's even worse."

"Is it?"

Why does she only know words like these, and no normal ones?

"By the way, Muttsurini. How do you know the phrase 'break in' in German?"

"...Learned from normal life and moral principles."

What kind of moral principles does someone like you have? Which principles made you learn words like "torture"?

"Muttsurini, you never change! Your brain is rich in knowledge of sex, but poor in everything else."

"... (kept shaking his head)"

We continued our useless discussion as we walked around the school. Yuuji, who was walking in front of the team, had already reached the top floor. He opened the door, and went out under the sun.

The sun was dazzling, shining bright in a clear cloudless sky.

The blinding sunlight and wind in spring made everyone but Muttsurini cover their eyes; Muttsurini didn't need to because he was busy staring at Himeji's skirt being blown by the wind.

"Akihisa, you did declare war, right?"

Yuuji sat on the stairs in front of the iron fence.

"I essentially told them that we would attack this afternoon."

"So shouldn't we at least have lunch first?"

"That's right. Akihisa, can you please eat something normal this afternoon?"

"If you really care, then please treat me to some bread."

I was someone who could never put anything in my stomach. Nothing except feelings, of course.

"Huh? Yoshii never eats lunch?"

Himeji looked at me in disbelief. Her life must be regular and scheduled. And it seems that she grew up well because of that.

"Of course I eat lunch!"

"Does that count as actually eating something, though?"

Yuuji cut into the conversation.

"What are you trying to say?"

"Well, I mean, isn't your main food... just salt and water?"

Yuuji sounded sorrowful and sympathetic.

That was so rude. I can only take so many insults!

"I eat sugar too!"

"Yoshii. 'Eat' doesn't really apply to water and sugar."

"That's right. You should say 'lick' instead."

Everyone was looking at me with a strange kindness, but it didn't make me feel good.

"You should have planned ahead of time and saved some money for food. Serves you right!"

"That's because I-I barely have enough for living expenses!"

Actually, my parents were working overseas, so I was living alone. Of course they sent money every month... I just happened to spend most of it on games and manga. Hobbies are expensive!

"Well, if you don't mind, let me make lunch for you."

"Eh?"

The gentle words came so suddenly, and I couldn't help thinking that I heard something wrong.

Lunch? From a girl? Handmade?

"Really? I haven't eaten anything but salt and sugar for the longest time."

"Sure. If you don't mind, I will start tomorrow."

"That's great, Akihisa. A handmade lunch with love, right?"

"Yeah!"

In a situation like this, I needed to honestly show her that I was glad. Even if Yuuji's teasing was unpleasant.

"...Haha. Mizuki, you're so nice, making lunch ONLY for Akihisa."

I wasn't sure why Shimada used a bored voice and said something spiteful like that. What if Himeji said, "I won't do it then," or something like that? How were you going to compensate me?

"Ah, no! Actually, I can make one for everyone..."

"We can have it as well? Really?"

"Yes, if you don't mind."

Ohhh, even Yuuji's getting one as well. She was too kind. However, I felt a bit disappointed that I wouldn't be able to enjoy it alone.

"... (nod)"

"...Let me see how good you are at cooking!"

Now Himeji had to make six people's lunches, herself included. It must be tiring.

"Okay, then I will bring everyone's lunch to school."

Even in situations like this, she never showed even a bit of unwillingness on her face.

"Himeji, that is so kind of you."

This was coming from the bottom of my heart. It really was difficult to bring six lunches to school; I simply couldn't understand it.

What a selfless and attractive person she was!

"There, there's nothing like..."

"I'm saying this kind of late, but when I first saw you in class, I felt like I-"

"Oi, Akihisa, if you're dumped now, you won't have any lunch tomorrow."

"-have known you before."

I successfully avoided being dumped. Luckily, I changed "fell in love with you" before I finished the sentence. My judgment was simply amazing.

"Akihisa, confessing out of one's own desire to is something a typical pervert would do."

I hated my judgment now.

"Akihisa, sometimes you do things I could only imagine."

"But... a lunch with love..."

But that was only to save myself from starvation. It was all because of poverty!

"Enough chit-chat; let's continue discussing the War!"

Oh, that's right. I had completely forgotten why we came here.

"Yuuji, I have a question. Why Class D? If we are fighting in order, our first target should be Class E. And if we want to fight once and for all, shouldn't we pick Class A?"

"Now that you mention it, you're completely right!"

"That's true, but I have a different plan."

Yuuji boldly nodded his head.

"What plan?"

"Although my plan goes much deeper, the reason for not attacking Class E is simple: it's just not worth our time."

"Huh? But they are at a higher rank than us, right?"

Since the class division was based on the result, then of course Class E would be better than us, Class F, right? Why did he say that it was not worth our time fighting with them?

"Ha, that's true according to the placement test results, but the actual situation is different. Have a look: who do you have around you?"

"Er..."

I did as Yuuji said and looked around at the people nearby. Hmm, who do we have here...?

"Two beautiful girls, two idiots, and a silent pervert."

"Who are these beautiful girls you're referring to?"

"What? Yuuji, you're reacting to the mention of beautiful girls?"

"... (face getting red)"

"Muttsurini, not you as well? What should I do? I can't think for all of us."

"Everyone, calm down! Just let Muttsurini endure it."

"That's, that's right."

"Wait a minute. Before we continue this meeting, I want to protest that beautiful girls are affecting people's minds."

"Anyway..."

Yuuji cleared his throat, and continued his explanation. Was he trying to ignore my existence?

"If Himeji can fight with us, Class E isn't a match for us, even head-on in brute strength. Since our final target is Class A, it is meaningless to waste our time fighting with Class E."

"Then how about fighting Class D head-on?"

"We don't have a one hundred percent chance of winning."

"If that's the case, we should target Class A from the beginning."

My target was Class A, not Class D. My cause for the War is different from Yuuji's.

"That's because it's our first battle. You guys want to have a great fight and grab everyone's attention, right? Furthermore, this is what we need to defeat Class A."

This was the plan for winning against Class A? But Yuuji was still keeping the details to himself.

"Ex... excuse me!"

It isn't often that Himeji speaks loudly. What was going on?

"Himeji? What's wrong?"

"Err, that... what you were talking about just now is the Summoner Test War that Yoshii and Sakamoto discussed earlier, right?"

"Oh, you're talking about that. Just now, Akihisa came to talk to me about how you-"

"So that means!"

To stop Yuuji from continuing his needless speech, I purposely raised my voice.

"If we can't beat Class D, then what we said before is meaningless."

Facing my doubt, Yuuji laughed out loud.

"With all of you helping, we can definitely beat them."

Win against Class D? With our help? In the War?

This was a strange feeling.

These words gave us the encouragement to get our momentum going. Even though the situation looked hopeless, we felt revitalized and confident.

Yuuji's words seemed to have some kind of magical power.

"Great. It looks like this is going to get interesting!"

"Let's pull those Class A nerds back down to Earth!"

"... (praise)"

"I... I will try my best."

Defeat Class A.

It might sound crazy; it might be a dream that would never come true.

But if we never did anything, dreams would never come true.

Since we're all stuck in the same class together, it wasn't so bad to try and work for a common goal.

"Alright, let me explain the battle strategy!"

We stayed on the top floor, enjoyed the cozy wind, and listened to the strategy that would bring us to victory.


Notes[edit]

  1. "Summoned Being"
  2. Derived from "muttsuri" ("silent pervert"), and a play on the name Mussolini.
  3. "Kansatsu Shobunsha" literally means "a person who is being punished and is under observation".