Baka to Tesuto to Syokanju:Volume3.5 Baka to Tesuto to Syokanju ～Preparation Chapter～
Idiots, Tests and the Summoned Beasts ～Preparation Chapter～
Please fill in the name of the historical person in the blank below.
_________ instituted the Rakuichi Rakuza policy which abolished and prohibited monopolies to stimulate business and economy.
Himeji Mizuki's answer:
Shimada Minami's answer:
"That fella with the topknot"
Have you got yourself familiarized with Japan yet? I'm a little worried when I saw your answer.
Yoshii Akihisa's answer:
You're getting a little too familiar with him.
Sis seemed worn out after moving here.
Is someone bullying her in school? Or is someone irritating her?
Then again, her classmates sounded really interesting from the stories she told me, and she seemed to like them a lot...
So, what is wearing her out?
Is it because of her studies? She told me she had difficulties catching up.
I hope she can recover soon.
Her birthday's coming... Would she cheer up if I give her a huge doll? She loves stuffed dolls, after all.
Mm... I'll do that! I'll buy a really big stuffed doll to cheer her up!
I wonder if I have enough pocket money...
"EVERYONE, FREEZE! PUT YOUR BAGS ON THE TABLE AND OPEN IT!"
No sooner has the homeroom period start than our homeroom teacher, Iron— I mean, Mr. Nishimura, declared this, without any prior warning.
Crap! The stuff I brought today has nothing to do with studies!
An idea popped up in my mind for that moment. I'll grab my bag and run as fast as my legs could go!
"Let me warn you: don't even think of running away."
It'll be one hell of a task to outrun this homeroom teacher. After all, he's sinewy, promptly nicknamed as "Ironman". He'll just utilize those powerful muscles of his, trained from participating in numerous 'Ironman' triathlons, to relentlessly pursue those who dare to run away.
"Good, I'm going round to check. Any items I find unrelated to studies will be confiscated."
Starting from the first row near the corridor, he went round the rows to check the contents of the bags, confiscating trump cards, magazines, and the such.
"Sakamoto, show me the contents of your pocket."
One student has not only his bag, but his pockets as well checked.
Sakamoto Yuuji shouted in agony. By the way, he's my best friend, and also my worst friend.
Still, he rummaged through his pocket obediently and pulled out an MP3 player.
"Thought so. I'll be taking this."
Ironman put his MP3 player into his sack of confiscated items. Yuuji, who never expected his pocket to be searched, glared at Ironman defiantly.
"Quite a disaster for you, eh?"
I whispered to him.
"Damn it! He doesn't usually check our pockets, does he?! Why am I the only one having this special treatment?!)
"Too bad. Who asked you to be such a badass?"
On a closer look, how thorough Ironman checks depends on who the person is. He'll just glance through the bags of good students, but for others, he'll check them thoroughly, including the hidden pockets.
"You're next, Yoshii Akihisa."
Ironman stood in front of me. I'm sure he wouldn't ask me to go through my pockets like Yuuji—
"Take off your uniform and change into your gym clothes."
"Eh?! You're kidding, right?!"
I can't believe how low his trust was in me.
"Besides... You know, it's a little embarrassing to change in front of the girls..."
"That won't do. You might have prohibited goods hidden up your pants, so change your clothes right now."
"What?! Even I wouldn't stoop that low! You should at least trust me—"
As I stepped forward to bring my point across, something dropped out from the leg of my pants with a loud thud.
"Oi, Akihisa, your dropped your DS."
I thanked Yuuji, who kindly picked up my handheld console, and faced the Ironman once again.
"As I was saying, trust me, will ya?"
"Don't bother changing. You can't be trusted even in your gym clothes."
Wha- What the hell? He tightened up his guard instead!
"You actually brought game consoles, manga, light novels, DVDs to school... What on Earth are you treating school as?!"
My precious treasures went into his sack, one by one. Just my luck for him to do a spot check on the day I brought them. The combined value of those items might go up to thousands of yen.
"Is this everything? Let me repeat this again: the school is a place for you to learn. Next time, don't bring anything that is not related to your studies."
Ironman returned to the podium with the sack of confiscated items. Farewell, my precious treasures...
"All right, since the spot check took quite a bit of time, there will be no homeroom session for today. The first lesson will be the Summoning Practicals, so get to the gym as soon as possible."
Marking the end of his class with that, Ironman left the classroom, with everyone's treasures in his sack.
With calls of summoning echoing throughout the gym, I turned to Yuuji, who was sitting beside me.
"It's just an hour into school and we're already got hit by a nuke."
"No shit. Man, I can't believe my one-month-old MP3 got confiscated!"
"Whoa, that's quite some fresh meat."
"And it was bloody expensive!"
A vexed look warped the wild features on his face. I understand his feelings very well.
"Akihisa, your games got done for as well, right? Quite a lot of them, too."
"Mm... The total value could easily hit thirty thousand yen."
A console, games, DVDs and CDs... Looking from the value of the confiscated items, the one with the highest loss would either be me or Muttsulini. How unlucky...
"Next, Himeji Mizuki, please step forward."
"Hey, it's Himeji's turn! Muttsulini, aren't you gonna take that rare photo of her in gym clothes?"
"...My camera was confiscated."
"Oh, right... A pity indeed. It's pretty hard to see her in gym clothes when we're in different classes."
"And this is the only Summoning Practicals we'll ever get."
Depressed, Muttsulini's head sunk even lower. Oh well, can't blame him for that.
With that silky long hair, and that cute, innocent look, coupled with those bouncy chests of hers which seemed to have a mind of its own, it's easy to figure out why any guy would want to take a photo of her. I, for one, would die to take a photo of her at this moment.
"I-Is this how you do it? Summon!"
She mumbled that out diffidently. A geometrical magic array formed near her feet, and her summoned beast appeared in front of everyone.
"Just like I thought, her summoned beast sure looks pretty strong."
"Totally. Wouldn't have guessed that from its cuteness."
Himeji's summoned beast looked really cute. Since a summoned beast takes the appearance of its caster, there's no need to explain further when the caster's such a babe as well.
Speaking of which, what made her summoned beast so impressive was—
"I'm sure her beast's the only one capable of wielding such a huge sword."
"Yeah, probably only those at her level could pull that off."
Her summoned beast was wielding a Western longsword several times longer than her height effortlessly. Anyone could tell that this summoned beast isn't one to be underestimated.
Class C, Himeji Mizuki, Combined Subjects 3943 points
Class C, Furukawa Ayumi, Combined Subjects 1264 points
The points were displayed in front of them. These were probably the results from the previous mid-term exams.
"No wonder it's so strong."
"Gosh, it's almost 4000 points. She sure is smart."
Holed up in a corner, we nod in agreement to each other.
The strength of a summoned beast is directly proportional to the exam results of the student. So basically, in a Summoning Exam, the higher your exam scores are, the stronger your summoned beast will be.
"Oh yeah, Akihisa, don't you know her?"
"Mm. She was my classmate in grade school, but we haven't spoke to each other for years. She'd probably have forgotten about me, I guess."
Since we're in different classes now, I've became distant with her. I'd definitely talk to her if I have the chance, but the probability of that happening is close to nil. It would most likely look like a confession if I were to barge into her class and say to her "I've got something to tell you".
"I supposed... Since the chances of you getting to be in the same class with her next year is close to zero, you'd eventually disappear from her memory."
"Next year? You mean the streaming exams?"
"Duh. You'll definitely won't be in the same class as her."
"That might be true, but..."
Just like any other school in Japan, we were streamed into different classes upon entering the academy. However, it will be different from the next year onwards. We'll be sorted according to our grades. Though Himeji is in Class C, with those grades of hers, she'll definitely be sorted into Class A next year. That's why Yuuji and I will probably be in different classes with her again since we're both straddling about in Class D.
"Will she really forget about me? It feels kinda lonely when I think of that."
"She will, since there's no point remembering a loser like you."
"What did you say?!"
We continued chatting while looking at the practicals of others when a voice called out:
"Next! Yoshii Akihisa and Shimada Minami!"
Ironman- I mean, Mr. Nishimura's voice rang loudly through the gym. Looking around, I realized that the others had finished their practicals.
"I'll be right back."
"Sure. You're a candidate for the "Punishment Inspector" anyway, so use the chance to learn how to control your summoned beast."
"Hey! I'm not a badass like you, Yuuji!"
I rolled my eyes back at Yuuji. Really, me as candidate for the Punishment Inspector? How rude. Having that title is the same as being labeled as the most problematic student in school. How could I possibly be a candidate when no one in the history of the academy had that title before?
"Hurry up, Yoshii!!"
Hearing Ironman's roar at me, I hastily increased my pace. My training partner had already finished the summoning process.
My training partner was staring blankly at the summoned beast in front of her. This energetic girl, with a ponytail and a pair of sexy, slim legs, is my classmate, Shimada. However, a worried expression was registered on her face now. What's wrong? Was she disappointed by how weak her summoned beast looked?
"What's wrong, Shimada? Were you shocked by your unexpectedly weak summoned beast?"
I attempted to console her with my kind words. For a moment, the grey clouds over her head seemed to have disappeared, and she beamed a smile at me.
"Ah, so you're my opponent. I'm so happy!"
She blushed slightly. Seeing her blushing made me happy as well. Geez, I didn't think she'd do that in front of everyone... I don't know how to handle her.
"It feels good to be able to beat you up!"
...Seriously, someone teach me how to handle this crazy girl.
"Shimada, our beasts are going to do the battling, not us."
I'm a little worried, so I confirmed the rules with her again. This summoning practical was meant for the summoning battles next year, so it should be a battle between summoned beasts. At least, that's what I thought.
"You're right. It ain't gonna be a fight between us."
She nodded her head in agreement. Great, seems like she got my point.
"Since I'll be the only one dishing out the beating anyway."
THAT'S NOT THE POINT!
"Did you hear that, sir? She's threatening me! If you have the time to check our belongings, shouldn't you do something about this explicit display of violence in school?!"
"Shimada, violence is bad, even if it's Yoshii we're talking here."
"No buts. A no is a no, you understand?"
"I'm glad you understood. So-"
A wide smile appeared on Ironman's face,
"—I'll make this an exception."
"Wait... That's weird..."
Am I thinking too much? That conversation sounded as if a teacher had just allowed a case of violence in school.
"I'll do my best!"
"Ahaha, both of you are really dumb. Do you think I'll go down that easily and forgive you guys? I'll have you satisfy my demands before I-I'M SORRY! IT'S MY FAULT, PLEASE SPARE ME!!"
They didn't spare me, even after my numerous begging.
Was it something I said that lead to this disaster...?
"Man... Ever since the morning inspection, it's been one disaster after another today..."
School finally ended. I was bitching about the day with the guys I usually hang out with.
"That's because you brought so many unnecessary things to school."
Sitting beside me and showing me a smile is Kinoshita Hideyoshi, who's in the same class as me, Yuuji and Muttsulini. It's already weird to hear him speak like an old man, and he has a beauty's face on him. He really likes to make comments. Even so, I do feel that he's the most normal person after me, since the other two are so abnormal that words can't describe them.
"Speaking of which, Hideyoshi didn't get anything confiscated, right?
"Of course I did, I got some costumes and props confiscated from me. Even though I told sensei that it's for the drama club, they still got confiscated either way."
The school has already provided some props and costumes for Hideyoshi, so Hideyoshi himself doesn't need to bring them. If so, these are unnecessary things. However—
"There's no need to confiscate them all anyway, he could have given us some leeway. Who expected Ironman's brain to be so hard."
"...(Nods head forcefully)."
"His brain's definitely filled with lead."
Muttsulini and Yuuji seem to agree with me. This can't be helped, since they got quite a few things confiscated as well.
And I actually thought that 'we're just having summoning practical today, so there're no lessons; should be rather relaxing today'.
It was supposed to be relaxing, but I guess it's better to have lessons without the search.
Hearing my little grumbling, Yuuji muttered to himself.
"Eh? What's wrong, Yuuji?"
"Nothing. It's just that I remembered that we have to take part in summoning war next year."
For some reason, he sure seemed happy when he said this.
Speaking of summoning war, well, it's about having a summoning battle between classes with the class facilities on the line. If we can move onto second year without any mishaps, we'll have this summoning war system on us.
"But why must we have this summoning war system? If we want to differentiate the scores clearly, can't we just stick grades onto everyone?"
"Well, most likely, they prefer a summoning war to tests since it can motivate students, right? As a class, the students will work hard to not drag their classmates down."
"I see. So they intend to make us work together and improve our grades without breaking us, right?"
"Yeah, this allows the school to do what they want the most, and that's 'to groom students who can showcase their real potential in society'."
"Oh~ Is that so?"
Just as the four of them were chatting away.
"Ah...really, that Yoshii actually left the cleaning work to me. Where did he go off to?"
A certain student can be heard shouting on the corridor. Is that Shimada-san?
"What the heck, Akihisa. You're in charge of cleaning today?"
"Mm, but I left the cleaning work to Shimada-san and ran off first."
"Hmm, according to how I see it, you two have quite the relationship."
"...(Nods head forcefully)."
"Ah haha, it's not what you think it is."
"Really. Once I catch him, I'll tie his limbs up and throw him down the 3rd level!"
That's a highly difficult stunt even a stuntman will be afraid of.
"Sorry, I don't think I can protect my own life any longer. I'll be leaving now!"
Without saying anything else, I grabbed my bag and dashed out of the corridor. I love my life.
"Ah, Yoshii! So you're hiding here! Hold it right there!"
"I'm not going to wait! You're going to kill me, right?"
"I'm not angry at all. Just hold on, will you!?"
That's definitely a lie.
"These two really have rather good feelings."
"...(Nods head forcefully)."
She said that she's not angry, but she's holding onto a rope for some reason.
"Hoo...that was scary~"
It's been past 30 minutes since I came running out of school, and before I knew it, I'm on a shopping street.
"Well. I don't intend to buy anything, so I guess I'll go back home—hm?"
Just as I intended to head home, I saw a familiar figure walk into a shop. Isn't that Himeji-san?
"I guess it's somewhat of a fate for us to meet here. Should I be courageous and call her..."
Though we did study in the same class during elementary school, we were separated into different classes during middle school. Before I knew it, Himeji-san seemed so distant from me. To see her in front of me after so many years, I really want to talk to her—the reason why I feel this way is most likely because of Yuuji's words 'She'll erase you from her memory anyway'.
In order to turn my thoughts into action, I follow Himeji-san closely as I walked into the shop...only to find that there're so many dolls here, it's unbelievable. Seems like this is a doll shop that a girl will love the most—what the heck, this shop's basically a doll shop!
"Well, let's go back. This shop really doesn't suit me."
I immediately hasten my pace and walk towards the exit. Anyway, the most important thing right now is to leave this place.
"This is Hazuki's only request of this lifetime. Please, uncle!"
"Even if you say that, I have to do business, you know..."
The moment I reached the exit, I suddenly heard this conversation. It seemed like a girl's standing at the counter and telling the cashier something. She seems rather insistent on this. What's going on?
I felt a bit mindful, so I turn my head to where the voice came from. As I expected, it's a cashier uncle and a girl who looks like she's in elementary school.
"I want to get that big Noi doll no matter what. Please, I beg you!"
"Even if you ask me like this...we're doing business. Wouldn't it be unfair to the other customers if I give you a little discount? We shopkeepers do have to treat all customers equally."
"Even so, please!"
"Uuu...really can't handle you..."
The cashier uncle looked rather troubled as he said this and scratches his face. The girl however continued to beg earnestly. Seeing such a small girl beg like this, I'll be seen as really cruel if I'm to walk away like this...
"Hey, little girl, why do you want this doll?"
I know that I'm too nosey, but I still ended up getting involved.
Now that a 3rd party has suddenly appeared, the little girl and the uncle revealed a surprised look on their faces.
"Be, because onee-chan didn't look too good recently. I wanted to buy the doll that she always wanted to hopefully motivate her..."
"Not looking good?"
"Most likely, because she just came back from Germany and couldn't understand Japanese well!"
Shifted houses...even if it's within Japanese land, anyone will feel lonely when the friends and environment changes, let alone coming back to Japan.
"Even then, onee-chan took over mommy and daddy and did all the housework like sweeping and washing clothes nicely, and often play together with Hazuki..."
Seemed like it hit her sore spot as Hazuki-chan's wide eyes start to tear up.
"Waa! Don, don't cry! Nii-san will help you out here!"
"...Thank you, onii-chan!"
Wiping away the tears, Hazuki-chan reveals a delightful smile.
"Speaking of which, how much does this doll cost?"
The doll in Hazuki-chan's arms is about 1m tall. If I make a rough estimate, I don't think 5,000 yen's going to be enough.
"Including tax, it'll be a total of 24,800 yen."
"Sorry, nii-san already tried, but he can't do it."
Hazuki-chan looks rather sad.
Argh! Didn't expect one to be that expensive. Under these conditions, the declaration of surrender came out of my mouth without thinking through.
"Then how much does Hazuki-chan have?"
"I only have 10,000 yen..."
So we're missing 15,000. Including my entire fortune, there's only 11,699 yen. We can't even hit the price of 24,800 yen! The most we can pay is half.
"Excuse me, can you sell this doll to us at 11,699 yen?"
"Eh, I just said before that that we're doing a business here..."
The reply's still the same.
"Onii-chan, this isn't any different from before."
Hazuki-chan whispered to my ear.
She's right. Up till now, I've been doing the same thing as what Hazuki-chan's been doing. However, things will be different from now on. I'm not an elementary school student; let's show her how an adult (high school student) does things!
"We have only 11,699 yen in total, that's about half the price of the doll, right?"
"Ya. That's still not quite enough."
"Hazuki-chan wants this doll, and uncle wants to sell this to her, but you're unwilling to sell it to her at half price. If so, I have a great idea!"
"Hm? What is it?"
"We can rip the doll in half and sell the right side to—eh? What? Why are you two seeing me as an idiot?"
"...Are you really a high school student?"
"...Onii-chan's an idiot!"
I, I actually got called stupid by an elementary school kid!
"I can't give you a discount, but I can guarantee that I won't sell this doll away for the time being. You can go back to discuss with your parents first."
Making this conclusion, the uncle ended the conversation just like this.
"Can't you ask your parents to buy it for you, Hazuki-chan?"
Having walked out of the shop, we came to the park to discuss our plans.
"Mommy and daddy aren't normally at home...so they would leave the money to onee-chan. If I want to buy something, onee-chan will definitely ask for a reason..."
"I see, uu~"
Wanting to do something for her beloved older sister—Hazuki-chan's heart's ever so glamorous, it's way different from my family who sent me to Fumitzuki Gakuen on the excuse of 'not wanting to waste school fees'. I must help Hazuki-chan in order to prevent her from losing this intimacy with her family.
But speaking of which, what should I do? It'll be good if I have some more money, but my money's about to be used up...
"Oh ya! Hazuki can get money if she sells her manga to a second-hand shop, right?"
Hazuki-chan thought of this brilliant plan as her eyes sparkle. It's true that we can get money just like this, but I think that she can't get so much anyway. Of course, it's a different case altogether if I have those handheld games that were confiscated this morning—
"Hm? Oh ya, there's this plan after all!"
"...Onii-chan, have you thought of something?"
"I can't possibly get it back in my hands anyway. If I'm successful, we may be able to get enough money to buy the doll..."
Though I don't think it can work...mm! It's still worth a try though.
"Okay! Hazuki-chan, can you come back to the park tomorrow?"
"Y, yes. I can come over..."
"Then we'll meet here tomorrow. It's getting dark now, let's go home."
I waved my hands and said goodbye to Hazuki-chan. Anyway, I got to discuss it with Yuuji and the rest tomorrow.
"Ah, mm, bye bye..."
Speaking of which, did Himeji-san really enter that shop?
"So you want to take back those confiscated items?"
The next morning, in the same classroom, I talked to the trio as per usual.
"I do feel that it's a pity to leave those things that got confiscated yesterday, but..."
"Uu~mm...ya, but the opponent's that Ironman. We may be designated as 'Punishment Inspectors' if we're not careful..."
Yuuji and Hideyoshi lower their chin and ponder. Seems like they don't intend to help me. This is bad, looks like I have to deal with this on my own.
"...I approve of Akihisa's proposal."
"Eh? Muttsulini? You're willing to help me?"
"...(Nods head forcefully)."
Great! Now at least I have someone who specializes in stealth helping me out.
"...Never mind, let's give it a go."
"Ah? So Yuuji's okay with it?"
"Yeah. I just bought that MP3 recently, and I accumulated quite a debt to Ironman, so let's settle this once and for all."
Yuuji smirked. What an enthusiastic bad guy's face.
"If so, I'll help out as well. If I can get back those things, I don't want to give up as well."
In the end, even Hideyoshi nodded his head, and everyone decided to take part in this. As expected of the group of problematic first-years.
"Right now, the most important thing is to investigate where our targets are."
"That's right. If we don't even know where Ironman hid those confiscated items, we can't possibly get them back even if we want to."
The confiscated items may have ended up being abandoned, but they were just confiscated yesterday, so Ironman should still have them with him.
"That's the case. Akihisa, remove the silence function of the phone."
"Don't ask too much, just do it. You want those confiscated items back, right?"
"...I'm not really sure what's going on, but I just need to remove the silence function, right?"
The phone can't possibly ring during lesson time, there shouldn't be any problems, right? Let's just follow what Yuuji told me to do.
I pull my handphone out from my pocket and took it out of silent mode.
"Oi, you people better hurry up and sit down. I'm going to start taking attendance."
Seeing our homeroom teacher Ironman walk into the classroom, I immediately slip the handphone back into my pocket.
"Alright, let's begin."
Thus, our battle for the confiscated items officially begins now.
At the usual time of taking attendance, Ironman's coarse voice echoes clearly throughout the classroom.
—Beep beep beep.
Suddenly, a beep interrupted the class while attendance is taken. Whose phone is it? Really, do think that we have such a stupid person in class. The phone will definitely get confiscated when it rings in class.
"...Yoshii, hand over your phone."
The problem is, this stupid person was me.
Damn it! Why must it ring at this moment!? Who called me!?
<<Missed call: Sakamoto Yuuji>>
"Yu, Yuuji, you betrayed me!"
"I'll consficate the handphone then."
"Ahh! Handphone! MY HANDPHONE!"
My handphone got taken away by Ironman mercilessly.
"Very good. Nobody's came late nor skipped classes. I hope that all students will continue to keep this up."
After taking the attendance, Ironman moves his heavy feet out of the classroom—together with my handphone.
"Very good. Part 1 of the plan is complete."
"Yuuji! What sort of grudge do you have against me! Now my handphone got confiscated by Ironman all because of you!"
"This is a bait meant to fish out where our targets are. We just need to take them back."
"That's right. I deliberately allowed Ironman to confiscate your handphone in order to find out where Ironman hid those items."
"Why didn't you tell me in the first place..."
And if possible, I hope that you can use your handphone as bait.
Suddenly talking right behind me. You scared me~
"Oh, Muttsulini came back already. How was it?"
"...Those confiscated items are placed in the staff storage cupboard."
"As expected of Muttsulini, erasing your own presence to tail people, that truly is your specialty. I'm impressed."
Seems like Muttsulini went to tail Ironman and investigate where my handphone was hidden. If it's tailing others without attracting attention, Yuuji can't do it, and Hideyoshi doesn't have the skills.
"...But the cupboard's locked."
"Okay. So where's the key?"
"...In the rear left pocket of Ironman's pants."
"I see. If so, we have to snatch the key from him."
"Ya, but how are we going to do that?"
"No problems. I got a good idea. We'll take action during cleaning time."
Anyway, let's attend lessons and wait for school dismissal.
It's finally dismissal time.
"So, what plan do you have?"
As I tried to sneak out yesterday, I was punished to sweep the entire corridor alone. Thus, I'm discussing the plan with Yuuji and the rest while twisting the mop around. These damned guys don't have any intentions of helping out in the first place.
"We'll be using that."
Yuuji lifts his chin and points.
"A pail? What are we going to do with that?"
"We're going to use that to splash water on Ironman and make him take off his clothes."
I see. If so, we can then take his clothes away and take the key to the cupboard,
"Mm hm~ this method is simple and easy to succeed."
Hideyoshi's right. We can't possibly fail. Basically, there's only the last problem to this plan, and that is—whoever going to splash the water on Ironman will get pursued by him to the ends of the Earth.
"There's only one problem in this plan, and that's the one who's going to splash the water, 'Akihisa' will get pursued by him to the ends of the Earth."
Hold on! Is it decided that I'll be the one in charge of doing this?
"However, that's not really a huge problem."
THAT'S A HUGE PROBLEM TO ME!
"Oi, isn't that too strange? Let's settle this with rock paper scissors!"
"Ooh, look! Me and our target's already here."
"Very good. You got to do your best, Akihisa!"
"...Do your best."
"Eh? Hold on!"
The trio already wordlessly retreated back in the shortest time possible.
Ironman has already climbed up the stairs. If so, I can only do this!
My eyes have already captured the target, and the relative speed was estimated. The prepared weapon's in my hand, everything's okay—time to attack!
"WAAHH! I SLIPPED!"
Dragging the mop, I deliberately fell forward by letting my feet stagger and aim the pail at Ironman, who's on the stairs. GET WET!
How, how is it possible! As expected of Ironman! To be able to suddenly react in the blink of an eye and dodge the splash thanks to his superhuman senses! However—
"WHERE ARE YOU ESCAPING TO!?"
I drag the mop in my hand to where Ironman dodged to. I won't admit defeat so easily!
Phoosh, Clak cak cak.
The water from the pail drenched Ironman, and the pail rolled aside. Mission accomplished.
I pick up the pail and mop that I threw out as I remain mindful not to step on the puddle of water, saying to a stunned Ironman "Sorry, I slipped—AHH, sensei! An encyclopaedia isn't to be used as a weapon!"
"I thought I just heard you say 'Where are you escaping to', didn't I?"
"That's just a hallucination."
"Stop trying to lie to me with such a serious look on your face. Get ready to die!"
"Sen, sensei, please don't use the edge of the encyclopaedia!"
Where are you guys now! Come save me! I'll definitely be beaten down by Ironman into a panda if this keeps up!
"Ahh, Akihisa, you really ended up doing it."
Yuuji and the rest appeared out of nowhere. Anyway, I'm saved~
"I told you so many times 'not to splash water onto sensei'..."
"Ow, OWW! SENSEI! I SAID THAT I DIDN'T DO IT ON PURPOSE ALREADY!"
They, they didn't help out at all! These damned guys! Are they intending to sit around and watch?
"Sensei, punish Akihisa later. I guess you better change your clothes. If you don't mind, I'll lend my P.E. attire to you."
"That's right. Sorry, then lend me that. Yoshii, stay behind and scrub the floor clean!"
Leaving these words behind, Ironman, who was drenched by me, head off to the classroom with Yuuji and the rest to change clothes.
Anyway, I remained behind to clean the floor up. Besides, I have the cleaning tools in my hand.
Just as I'm working hard to wipe the water off the floor, Hideyoshi walks out of the classroom and moves towards me.
"I got the key, Akihisa."
"Really? Then we just need to enter the staffroom and get back the confiscated items."
"Umm, let's hurry up before Ironman realizes it."
After letting the mop lean against the wall, Hideyoshi and I quickly head towards the staffroom.
"I'm going in then."
I took the cupboard key from Hideyoshi's hands and reach my hand out for the door.
"There's no problem, right?"
"No need to worry. I'll try my best to walk into the staffroom without raising too much attention and get those things back."
I should be just an ordinary student to every teacher, except for Ironman. I should be more suited for this role as compared to Hideyoshi, who has the look of a beauty.
"Really? Then I'll just wait here for your good news."
"Mm, I'm going in then~ 'cuse me~"
I open the staffroom door slightly. No problem, I'm not some irritating guy.
"Yoshii? Hurry up and get over here!"
"Why!? Why am I noticed so soon after entering the room!?"
I got caught by the Ancient Literature teacher immediately after entering the room. Why?
"I want to hear what excuse you have regarding the essay 'translate the Tsurezuregusa into Modern Language'!"
"Ah, I did hand in my homework properly."
"I'm asking why did you turn the Tsurezuregusa into a rap!?"
"Eh? But sensei wanted it to be translated into the modern language, and speaking of modern Japanese, isn't it—"
"Ah, Yoshii-kun, remember to come over here after you're done there."
"Yoshii, that Chemistry report you handed in was too ridiculous! Come over and explain it to me later."
Unknowingly, I got surrounded by several teachers. Well, if this is the case, forget about completing the plan, I'll be hounded by these teachers till night! Got to find a way to get away from them!
Just as I'm pondering on what to do, someone else entered the staffroom. Hm? Isn't that Hideyoshi?
"Ooh, isn't that Kinoshita? What's wrong?"
"I, I suddenly...don't feel too good...but the health teacher isn't...in..."
Hideyoshi cupped his mouth. He really doesn't look too good. Is he sick?
"Hideyoshi, are you—"
I frantically rushed towards him. At this moment, he suddenly blinked at me. I see, so he's acting! As expected of someone from the drama club, I nearly got fooled.
"Sorry, but can I rest here—"
Before finishing, Hideyoshi collapsed onto the floor.
"Ki, Kinoshita! Are you alright?"
"Anyway, let's take him to the sickbay!"
"You, you're right! Sensei, please carry his legs!"
A few teachers start to create quite the ruckus. After that, everyone in the staffroom left to accompany Hideyoshi to the sick bay. Brilliantly done, Hideyoshi!
"Let's use this opportunity to get back those confiscated items. Let me see, Ironman...no wait, it's Nishimura. Nishimura's..."
I checked the nametag on the cupboards which are according to order. Oh, found it. It's this one.
"...Speaking of which, I somehow imagined that bugs will crawl out of Ironman's cupboard."
Though I'm a bit fearful, I have no time to hesitate. I pull out the key Hideyoshi handed to me and pull the door handle down, opening the metal cupboard effortlessly.
"Oh, it's unexpectedly clean..."
The cupboard's arranged rather neatly, and the bag of confiscated goods are placed in an obvious place.
"Let's get out of here before someone notices—hm?"
Just as I was about to lock the cupboard up and run away, I noticed a pile of old books tied up in raffia strings. Should be meant for throwing away.
"Uu~hm...since he's going to throw it, I might as well take it. Maybe I can get some money as well."
After grabbing the books with both hands, I immediately dashed out of the staffroom.
"Okay! At least we achieved our goal!"
After what happened just now, I brought the spoils—the bag of confiscated items back to Yuuji, only taking away my own stuff and the pile of old books. I then took them over to a second-hand shop to exchange these spoils for cash.
My handheld games and gaming software garnered a price lower than what I expected, while that pile of books got quite the price; what a nice mistake in estimation. I really got to thank Ironman for this.
"Let me see, is that girl here~"
"Ah! Onii-chan! You're here!"
Hazuki-chan immediately came running over to me the moment I approached the park. She really looked like a cute puppy, and that even warms my heart. Maybe it's because I'm often surrounded by idiots, Ironman and a violent girl...
"Mm, because we arranged to meet each other. Oh yeah, where did you get that doll from?"
Looking closely, Hazuki-chan's hugging something similar to the Noi doll that she wanted to buy (is that what it's called?). It looks as if it was sewn by hand.
"There was a pretty onee-chan who came over and said to me 'If that onii-chan couldn't succeed, then give this to your sister!' and handed it over to me!"
"And she also said 'If that onii-chan managed to buy the doll, I'll give this doll to you.'"
The kid's lack of order in her speech confused me.
Erm, let me straighten Hazuki-chan's words out—
—A pretty onee-chan came to Hazuki-chan today.
—And then, she handed this handmade doll over to Hazuki-chan
—This pretty onee-chan even said that if I couldn't do it, she'll give this doll to Hazuki-chan's sister as a gift.
—But if I succeeded, this doll will go to Hazuki-chan.
—So that's how it is.
"Mmm, is that so? Then this doll will go to Hazuki-chan."
"Yeah. And this doll will go to Hazuki-chan's sister."
I hand over the large doll in my hand over to Hazuki-chan. It should be tough for her petite body to carry such a large doll, but she still received it delightedly.
"This is great! Thank you, onii-chan!"
"No problems. It'll be great if your sister can cheer up."
I patted her head. Hazuki-chan seems to enjoy it as she slowly closes her eyes.
"Uu~ Ah, that's right! Onii-chan, can you lend me your ear?"
"Eh? What is it? Are you going to say a secret to me or something?"
"Don't ask, just lend me your ear."
Is she about to thank me? I'm really touched. One can't become a proper adult if the person can't even say 'thank you' or 'sorry'.
"Okay, what is it?"
I bent over to match her height, but unexpectedly—
"Thank you, onii-chan♪"
Whoosh! A cute sensation passes my face. Eh? This...don't tell me this is...
"Wha, wha, wha..."
"Onii-chan may be an idiot, but he's so gentle! Hazuki-chan loves you! When I grow up, I'll let you become my husband!"
Without waiting for me to reply, Hazuki-chan skips out of the park.
Re, recently, these elementary school students are...
I touched my face with my hand, seemingly wanting to wipe away the soft sensation that's left on the face. Even without looking at the mirror, I know my face is red. How, how embarrassing...she's just an elementary school kid...
"Hoo...time for me to go back as well..."
After lifting my bag up and slinging it over my back, I head off towards the exit of the park. While exiting, I see a familiar figure yesterday. That person is—
"Excuse me...are you Himeji-san?"
"Ah, yes, what is it—YO, YOSHII-KUN!"
So it's Himeji-san. It sure is hard to find another girl as pretty. I can't possibly be mistaken.
"Sorry, I seemed to have scared you."
"No, no worries. I was just dazed..."
Our conversation got interrupted just like that. This, this is really awkward...what should I say to a friend who I haven't met for a long time?
"Erm, that...it's really a coincidence that we met here. Did you just finish class? But you look rather tired here, are you?"
"Yes, because I stayed up all night..."
"Hei~so Himeji-san would also stay up."
The impression she gives is that she lives her life normally, but it's unexpected that she would stay up.
"That's not it, I just stayed up last night, because I have something I need to do no matter what..."
She inadvertently yawned as she continued to talk. Himeji-san sure is cute when she lets out some tears due to sleepiness.
"Then, I'll be going off in this direction, goodbye."
"Ah, mm, byebye."
I waved my hand to Himeji-san, who bowed to me courteously.
While walking home, I just realized—oh ya, why did Himeji-san appear in such a place?
"...There was a case of theft in the staffroom."
The next morning, during self-study period, Ironman suddenly mentioned this. He's definitely referring to the bag of confiscated items that we got yesterday.
"Such a tragedy worth being angry over, don't you think so, Yoshii?"
He actually threw this question at me. As expected of Ironman, he must have realized that I was the perpetrator, but who will follow you obediently?
"Yeah, sure is worth sighing over."
I naturally replied with these few words. No problems, I got everything under control.
"Really? Speaking of which, that culprit even took sensei's books."
Hm? Books? Is he referring to that bundle of books? Wasn't he going to throw them away?
"And that culprit actually had the guts to use his own identity to sell my books to a second-hand shop."
"Is that so, he sure has guts."
Ironman and I started laughing with all enthusiasm. Really, we're laughing with all sorts of happiness—at least it looked that way if not for those eyes.
"YOSHII! GET READY TO DIE!!!"
"So, sorry! Who knew that it was sensei's collection, I didn't—"
"Are you saying that you didn't even think of it?"
"No, I did think about it, but then I thought 'since its Ironman's, it doesn't matter~'! OW! OUCH! SENSEI! MY SKULLCAP GOT SMASHED IN BY YOU!"
"So you idiot has the highest suspicion. Looks like I have to be even more careful and watch you."
"Sensei! I'm feeling that I've been watched by you all this time, there's no way for you to watch me further!"
"No, there still is, right? I got a really precious title of honor that's suitable for you—"
"Eh, this is..."
"Everyone at the staff meeting this morning have all agreed, so accept this. This is a present that sensei's handing you."
From who knows when, Ironman suddenly has a piece of paper in his hand. This plain white paper has only a single line on it.
The above mentioned has been designated as the 'Punishment Inspector' of Fumitzuki Gakuen.
Hm? Hazuki, what's up?"
"Well, this is for onee-chan!"
"Eh? Isn't this the Noi doll that I always wanted? How did you..."
"Because onee-chan looked so lethargic. Hazuki prepared it for onee-chan to cheer onee-chan up!"
"Hazuki...really, you...thank you, onee-chan's really happy!"
"Schoolwork may be tough, but you must work hard, Minami nee-chan!"
"Hm, I'll do my best! I'll feel like I lost if I continue to mess around like this. And also..."
"And also what?"
"I'm mindful of someone in school."
"Eh? Onee-chan's mindful of someone? Who is it? How is that person like?"
"Well~as repayment of the Noi doll, I'll only say this to Hazuki. That person is in the same class as me, and he's one huge idiot~"
- A Chonmage (丁髷, ちょんまげ) is a traditional Japanese haircut, popular in the Edo period. Right now, there's a variant of this done on sumo wrestlers.
- The Tsurezuregusa (徒然草, Essays in Idleness) was an essay written during the Kamakura period (AD 1185-1333). Written by Yoshida Kenko, it has two volumes, 243 chapters.