Baka to Tesuto to Syokanju:Volume3 The First Question
"...I have nothing to hide."
"I haven't said anything yet?"
"Such a devious method of interrogation."
"Please look up the proper usage of interrogation. And also, what are you hiding behind your back?"
"Shouko, give me your hand."
"Here, hm, an MP3 player."
"...Yuuji, you are so mean."
"How can a technologically incompatible person like you be carrying a machine? What's inside of this?"
———Beep <If I win, I will marry you. Shouko, I love you.>
"After deleting the sound track I will return this back to you tomorrow."
"...So mean, I haven't even given this to my father to listen to yet. And also, we haven't held hands yet."
"Father...you are trying to increase the blackmail that you have on me, aren't you?!"
"...It's not like that. If I let father listen to this, we can have a smooth marriage."
"Shouko, go to the hospital now. If you take two or three shots, you may recover and be a normal human being."
"...I don't think I'm pregnant yet."
"You need to go to the psychiatrist department! Hm?! What's that in your bag?"
"Mmm...what's this? [Yuuji and my future baby name list]; hold it."
"...The name that's most favored is using a character from our first names."
"[Shouko] and [Yuuji] makes [Shouyu]. Why this particular combination?"
"...I hope to raise a tasty child."
"I can only see a child being brought up with a wrecked conscious."
"...Also to note, if our child is a son, his name is [Koshou]."
"So (Soy Sauce) is a daughter's name...."
The First Question
Please explain why "I" would be in such grief from the following situation.
Father announced to me with a painful expression.
"He has left this morning. Please forget about him."
When I heard the news, I could feel a shocking pain splitting my body in half. My mind was wiped blank and devoid of any other thoughts. How he will end up is a mystery. And my relationship with him is undetermined. Even as I had this idea in my mind, my emotions were still in disarray.
Himeji Mizuki's Answer:
"His existence is as important as half of his body."
Correct. As it is "as important as half of his body", therefore if "he" is no longer there, the body will experience pain as if it has lost half of it.
Yoshii Akihisa's Answer:
"He is as important as the lower half of my body."
Why is it only limited to your lower half?
Tsuchiya Kouta's Answer:
"Because he is the lower half of my body."
Teacher believes this self-consciousness is not good.
Two months have passed since the new semester and the effects of the extra daylight are beginning to become more apparent. Because of the temperate climate, sleeping is easier and therefore I arrive at school earlier than usual.
"Oh? You're early today, Akihisa."
Just as my foot entered the classroom door, a classmate called out to me. Her face was petite with large and round eyeballs. Although she used a weird dialect, anyone could easily see that her face was of absolute stunning beauty.
"Morning, Hideyoshi. It's just that I woke up earlier than normal."
The one with such an appearance is our Kinoshita Hideyoshi. He is part of our class, and is the reason why I am starting to disregard gender when it comes to love.
"Good morning. Then are you preparing your feelings for tomorrow's training course?"
Hideyoshi's brilliance was shining. And I was able to experience Hideyoshi's wonderful smile.
"Hahaha. Perhaps so."
Treading across the tatami mats that were recently recovered from the previous school festival, and having placed my school bag on top of a folding table, the differences between placing objects on a folding table and a cardboard box sincerely moved my heart.
"Even though the aforementioned goal was to increase our knowledge, by gathering everyone to stay in the same place, it is hard to to avoid changing the event to be a pleasurable one. I can feel the excitement gathering in my chest."
"Oh how terrible, even if you say that your chest feels like it's swelling, your chest volume has not increased."
"No, it'd be problematic if my chest grew bigger...."
While taking the objects out of my school bag, I continued my usual useless banter with Hideyoshi.
"But, a five day and four night trip feels like a vacation, so I'm anticipating it."
"Hm? What's this?"
The contents of the drawer that were supposed to have been confiscated by Iron Man should have been missing, but after detailed inspection, the empty desk drawer seemed to contain a letter; a letter that was never seen before.
<Addressed to Yoshii Akihisa>
The recipient of the letter was me.
It-it-it can't be... a love letter?!
"Hm? What's wrong, Akihisa?"
C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-c-calm down Yoshii Akihisa! If I'm found with such a letter, the students in this class will be engulfed with envy and will definitely execute me. With the past events leading up until today, it was hardly difficult to come to this conclusion. What's most important is to pretend that nothing has happened.
"What's up, Hideyoshi? Everything goes so well..." (This is in English in original context.)
"This must be serious."
Oh crap! I was busted so quickly!
"A...ah. I must hand it to Hideyoshi. To have so easily discovered my acting."
"Um, no, before the issue of your acting skills, I think your language..."
I guess him having been crowned with the title of a future actor was not for show.
"A...Actually it's nothing very important, can you pretend to have not noticed?"
I placed both of my hands together in front of my face to beg Hideyoshi. If acting doesn't work, it would have to do to persuade him using sincerity.
"Mm... If Akihisa says so, then I'll avoid asking then...."
Suspicion arose on Hideyoshi's face, but he ceased to ask further on, such a gentle person!
"Thank you for your help! Then au revoir!"
With extreme care, and without arousing any suspicion, I secretly slipped the letter into the school bag and made a mad dash out of the classroom.
There was no problem with time, as I still had time left before class. And also, I couldn't feel anyone trailing behind me. It seems that I have not been discovered by my classmates.
"Is it possible that my spring has arrived...?"
Holding various happy feelings, I increase my pace while running on the staircase.
Having reached the rooftop's heavy metal door, I opened it, giving way to the clear blue sky.
"Great, there's no one around."
This gave me the irresistible urge to break into a soliloquy.
As if to avoid the strong piercing rays of the sun, I headed towards the shady cool areas of the rooftop and retrieved the letter from my bag.
"Hm, so who wrote this letter?"
The letter had no name on it. 'What kind of girl could it possibly be?' was the sensation that I was having at the moment, while my heart hammered noisily.
After I closed my eyes to calm myself down, I slowly took the contents of the letter out. But possibly due to being very nervous, this took a great deal of time.
Today is the best day of all days. I could feel luck pouring from every crevice of my body.
With the happy rays of sunshine pouring over my body.
The wide clear blue sky.
The gentle breeze that blew across.
[I know your secret.]
It was a blackmail message.
"This can't beeee!!!!"
To me, it seems spring is still a distant thing.
"Akihisa, what's wrong?"
Having noticed that I returned to the classroom, Hideyoshi spoke out in concern.
"No...Nothing special. Ha, haha."
Mistaking a blackmail message for a love letter is something I could not bear to say aloud. With my pride on the line, no matter what, I cannot let this get out.
"Liar. We heard a strangled yell from the windows. Are you hiding something?"
"Oh, Minami. Good morning."
Appearing behind Hideyoshi was the student from Germany, Shimada Minami. She is a girl with a ponytail and eyes full of vigor.
"Good morning Akihisa, what are you hiding? Unless it is...?"
The corner of Minami's eyes rose sharply, indicating that she was about to enter battle status.
"How is that possible, Minami. I really am hiding nothing."
"Unless you want to say you received a love letter?"
"Minami, such an accusation should not be spoken lightly. Everyone's reaction to 'love letter' was extremely explosive, look, everyone is aiming crafting knives at me!"
My classmates are such a dangerous bunch of individuals. To have such strong killing intent against another member of the same class is simply abnormal.
"Everyone, the crafting knives are too early. Cool down and think it over. This is Akihisa that we are talking about, he surely couldn't have received a love letter. He must be hiding something else."
Minami raised one of her hands to halt the onslaught of the class.
Although her intuition was completely correct, under this situation, her words stung greatly against my pride as a man. Even if I have to bullshit my way through, I still have to say it!
"Yes, it is actually that. I discovered a love letter in my shoe locker this morning!"
THWUNK! (Was the noise of the craft knife piercing the tatami mats.)
"Next time, it'll be your ears."
"My sincerest apologies."
Pride? What the hell is that? Is it edible?
"Then answer honestly, what are you hiding?"
"Well, I am hiding...."
I thought that on most TV dramas, the contents of the blackmail normally should not be revealed to a 3rd party. And for my own interests, I wish to limit the number of people who know of the blackmailing. Smarten up Yoshii Akihisa, what can you do?!
At this point, time slowed down to a crawl.
Under the extenuating circumstances, it is standard for the mind to recall past experiences to escape the current problem.
At this point, I reached the height of recalling yesterday's TV shows from memory.
"Oh, it's the advertisement letter from a competition swimsuit club."
...And this is the final result of my brain under pressure, the idea it manages to make? I started to worry about my sanity.
Obviously it's a lie.
But, if I were to deny it, we would end up going back to square one for "What are you hiding?" And this time, I have no confidence that my brain will manage to bring up a better excuse.
"Obviously it's true!"
In order to not arouse suspicion, I announced the statement in a firm voice.
"Hmm. But it seems you don't want to throw it away.... So you wish to join them?"
"Some, something like that! I've had an interest since some time ago!"
Not good! I'm at the point of no return!
"Oh, oh, that's the first time I've ever heard of that."
Yes, it's also the first time that I've ever heard of that also.
"But then, what piques your interest more? Normal swimsuits or competition type swimsuits?"
So troublesome, to tell the truth, I don't have slim glue clue what competition swimsuits are. It boiled down to trying to remember whatever I could still remember from yesterday's TV program.
Come on! Recall quickly what was your first impression of the TV program from last night, Yoshii Akihisa!
My impression of the program was...
"-the difference of the tightness."
I'm such a big pervert.
"Shimada, I am probably repeating what you already know, but I should clarify things a bit. Akihisa is actually lying you know? Akihisa cannot possibly have such a fetish."
"Oh oh!? Because his lie was so realistic, I nearly fell for it!"
"I'm hurt! Your comment just now has severely wounded me to the point where I could cry myself to sleep while holding my pillow every night!"
Do I really look like a person with such deep interest in swimsuits?
"This is the last time I am asking you, say only the truth, what is it?"
If I don't tell her truth, Minami will have killed me long before the blackmail can.
"Actually, I received a blackmail message this morning."
"What? That's great...."
I'd like to have a few questions for my classmate who felt relieved when she heard I was blackmailed.
"Then, what was its contents?"
Hideyoshi asked with the exact opposite attitude of Minami, he asked out of pure kindness. His kindness had a healing effect on my shattered conscience. My impression of Hideyoshi has increased by 1.
"It says that [You are forbidden to become intimate with females around you.] in it."
"Mm, hm. It is clear from the content of the letter that the person has strong feelings for the females that are around Akihisa. It was probably sent out of jealousy. That should mean..."
"Yes, the fact that the writer of the letter should have affection for the two girls in our class, Himeji and Hideyoshi, is already obvious to me."
"Akihisa, run before Shimada returns from retrieving a metal baseball bat."
Huh? Was my assumption incorrect?
"Well, back to the topic, what is being used to threaten you then?"
"Oh, speaking of which, I still don't know about that. Let's see, [If you do not do as instructed, the photographs included in the letter will be shown to the world.] Photographs...you mean the ones also in this letter?"
Inside the envelope that was just the correct size for holding photographs, was three photos.
Taking out the first photograph revealed a picture of me, in a maid dress.
"That's the dress from the previous school festival."
"When...when was it taken?!"
"After close inspection, the dress suits you well."
"I'm not happy at all hearing that."
I sighed and, if possible, I wish Hideyoshi did not have to see the photo.
The second photograph was me cross dressing in a maid dress, -with my panties visible- version.
"Akihisa, what's wrong?"
"It was a pair of trunks, therefore it is safe. It was a pair of trunks, therefore it is safe. Because it was a pair of trunks, it was therefor-"
"Oh my, Akihisa! Does the photograph contain something so potent that your will was pulverized?"
It's ok! I am a strong child. If it is only to this extent, it is fine! This blackmail is nothing!
Gathering my courage, I looked at the final photo.
It was a picture of me, holding a bra. (Changing into the maid dress edition photo)
"I'VE HAD ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!"
"What!? What was in that photo?"
"Don't look! Don't look at such dirty pictures of me!"
"Even though I am thoroughly confused, you should calm down! You're drawing everyone's attention!"
Having been told so, I finally notice the piercing stares of the surroundings. Calm down, this is not the time to attract attention.
"Huff huff.... Such destructive power. If I were to say this was a plan to murder me, it wouldn't be an understatement."
"You think too much, it is just a maid dress. Everyone in their life wears one at least once."
That definitely has to be a lie.
When was I doing a tsukkomi on the indifferent view of Hideyoshi.
"Yoshii and Kinoshita, good morning."
From behind, a pleasant voice carried over, which also seemed to have a soothing effect on my wounded heart.
"That voice. It has to be Himeji. Good morning."
"Yes. Because I discovered midway to school that I left something behind at home. I was nearly late for school."
Another one of my classmates, Himeji Mizuki. With her timid smile, she has the power to cleanse the entire classroom of manly stench.
"Just in time, we can have Himeji prove that the pictures from before are of no importance. Himeji, do you mind?"
Hideyoshi blurted hastily in front of Himeji.
"Ok, so what is it?"
"Yes, I have a question to ask you. If you had a photograph of Akihisa dressed as a maid, what would you want to do?"
Truthfully speaking, his question seems too suspicious.
"Mmm... If it was that..."
If Himeji reveals a revolted expression, no matter what the cost is, I must avoid public exposure of the photographs! I cannot let my fame, that is at the bottom of the canyon, dig deeper than it already is!
"If I really were to have such a photo, the first thing I would do is buy a scanner."
"Huh? Scanner? Why?"
Under such a hard to understand answer, I reflexively asked another question. What use can she have with a scanner?
"Without it, I cannot announce the charm of Akihisa to the world, through the use of the internet..."
"Akihisa! Calm down! It's still too early to jump from here!"
"Let go of me Hideyoshi! I cannot bear to stay alive any longer!"
Himeji definitely hates me now, doesn't she?
"Right, right! Muttsurini! Muttsurini is well versed in occasions like these. If you tell him what happened..."
"To let Muttsurini laugh at me?"
"No, not that! To explain what has happened so he can help you catch the criminal!"
"Ohh! So that's what you meant!"
Right! It's still too early to give up! Muttsurini is an infamous voyeur photographer and intelligence informant. He could possibly nail down the source of all the problems. With this, I can retrieve my photos!
"Nice idea, Hideyoshi! Nothing less from my bride!"
"Shouldn't it be groom instead?!"
"Um... I think that it's wrong either way."
I have to rush to talk to Muttsurini immediately. At the moment, he seems to be talking with someone else in the shadows.
"Then, I'll go over and talk with Muttsurini!"
Having waved to Himeji and Hideyoshi, I ran over to the corner of the classroom.
"Speaking of which, what of Akihisa's maid dress photographs..."
"Hi...Himeji! Would you like to have a chat with me?"
From the back, I could notice Hideyoshi desperately blocking Himeji's path. Oh, such a wonderful bride.
"Help me, Muttsurini! My pride is at stake here!"
While I was rushing over to stand in front of Muttsurini's ideal conversation location, a hand thrusted out and hindered my path. The hand came from a person with a large body.
"Wait a moment, I came here first."
The person who went ahead was my bad friend, and at the same time the class rep, Sakamoto Yuuji. His normal hedgehog head seems to have lost all its energy. What could have happened?
"Muttsurini, what were you discussing?"
"...It seems that Yuuji will be married soon."
The person that was talking to Yuuji was the short boy, Tsuchiya Kouta. Because of his absolute defiance in refusing to admit that he has a huge interest in matters of sex, we call him "Muttsurini".
"Yuuji and Shouko having a wedding? Compared to a fact that was determined a long time ago, my problem of soon being recognized as a cross dresser is more important!"
"What the hell are you saying? You were known as a pervert, and that didn't start today!"
"You there with a wife, shut up and return to the cemetery of your life!"
"The one who should shut up is you, you pervert! Go and return to your maid tea cafe waitress job!"
"...If you both knew that it would come down to this, wouldn't it have been better to have stayed silent in the beginning?"
I didn't cry! It's just that this morning's breakfast (salt and water) is coming out of my eyes.
"But, but... If it's just marriage, it's still great right? I thought at the pace you were going at, I wouldn't be surprised to see children by now."
"...Akihisa, you should stop the cold jokes."
Huh? What? It wasn't funny?
"Having been beaten down by you like this. I should listen to what has happened."
"The way you phrased it just now angers me. But I'll let it slide for now. This morning, Shouko brought a MP3 player."
"MP3 player? That's nothing special is it? Yuuji used to bring one to school too."
But was quickly confiscated by Iron Man.
"No. She is extremely terrible when it comes to handling machines. To have brought such a device, and especially to school, is extremely unnatural."
It seems Kirishima is inept when it comes to handling machines. It looks like it has nothing to do with brains after all.
"Because it looked extremely odd, I took it from her, but mysteriously it contained a recording of someone imitating me proposing to her."
All of a sudden, the scene of the last summoning war surfaced on my memories. Because the mastermind behind the imitation of the proposal was none other than myself. I was plagued deeply by guilt.
But, to record the proposal of her beloved, isn't that just cute of her? You shouldn't take it so seriously and laugh it off.
"Is, Isn't it cute of Kirishima to have recorded that as a memento of her memories?"
"No, she was planning to use this as evidence of the proposal to her father."
The feeling of guilt grew to the point where it was unbearable.
"Even though I've confiscated the MP3 player, I suspect that this is merely a copy, and if the original is not destroyed..."
This is because on Yuuji's hand, it only looked like a standard MP3 player. Even if the content was destroyed, the problem would not be solved.
"Because of this, I hoped to ask Muttsurini to stop whoever has the original recording of this. As I said before, Shouko is incompatible with machines, she could have never set up hidden recording equipment ahead of time. Therefore, it must've been a real professional in this field who has done this!"
Actually, recalling the past events, I did not seem to notice any recording of Yuuji's (Hideyoshi's) speech. But like Yuuji mentioned, it is possible someone was secretly recording, because prior to the summoning war, Himeji, and Minami were wearing quite splendid china dresses. It wouldn't be surprising if someone wanted to secretly record the event.
"The fact that I changed into a maid dress seems to be in risk of being announced online."
It was understandable of him to have asked the question.
"Sorry, but to simplify things. This..."
-In the process of explanation-
"-Because of this, I hope you can stop whoever is blackmailing me. I don't recall having pictures of me taken, therefore I suspect someone extremely well versed in doing so."
"What? Akihisa seems to be in the same situation as I am."
"...Companions through being the victims of blackmail."
"Having become comrades through this is just a little..."
After the explanation ended, the classroom echoed the sound of *kasha kasha* of the door sliding open, and it appears that the home room was about to start.
"Sorry for being so late, the training course preparations took a fair bit of time to handle. Everyone please be seated as the lessons will start."
Iron Man, no, Nishimura-sensei carried a large box. The contents must have been the handbooks for the training course.
"...I will investigate on this matter."
"Sorry for the inconvenience, as for the reward, I will bring a book that seems to suit your interests."
"I will give one of the two recently obtained treasures to you."
"...I will definitely discover the one behind this."
Muttsurini has accepted the request, and being glared at by Iron Man, Yuuji and I quickly returned to our seats. He already had eyes on us, so if we don't lay low in times like this, our bodies won't last.
"So, tomorrow is the start of the training course, but the details of the course are nearly all written inside the booklet that I am about to hand out to you, so read it yourself when you return home. And this isn't a holiday, all you need is studying tools and a few set of clothes."
A pile of booklets was passed from the front, I kept one and passed the rest to the person behind me.
"Only, do not mistake the gathering place and time."
Iron Man roughly rapped the desk for attention.
Indeed, if one were to mistake the gathering place and time, it would be disastrous. Even though the purpose was to improve our knowledge, missing the chance to have fun with your friends at night would be a sad outcome. Therefore I should put the effort to memorize the place and time.
I flipped through the booklet to find the section which mentioned the place and time.
The place we were heading to was Uzuki Kougen, which is famous as a tourist spot. The nearest street car should take 4 hours to arrive, and interchanging buses should take around 5 hours.
"The important part is that our gathering time and place is different from other classes."
Class A and B probably would be traveling in luxury buses. I guess we would be in normal buses, and possibly we only get to stand and not even sit. No, if it can get worse, only an instructor would lead the way.
"Listen well, Class F is to meet directly at the destination spot."
"""Not even an instructor to lead the way????"""
Due to the cruel treatment, every member in the class was in tears.
- "Shouyuu" reads "soy sauce" in Japanese
- [Koshou] means pepper in Japanese. Also, [Koshou] is derived from [Shou], [ko] and no characters were used from Yuuji's name.