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Why is karap so cute?
If one was to talk about classes, the greater majority of students would phrase it as ‘boring’. Hence, Guren was anticipating something of that caliber, but—
It’s actually pretty fun?
Though without any self-introduction, it still didn’t feel like the student life he admired so much had actually started.
Attending class like this, Guren didn’t imagine it to be this interesting. He enjoyed it so much, that he didn’t even feel his empty stomach rumbling, after not having been able to eat lunch after all that chaos.
I got no clue what exactly they’re talking about, but the atmosphere alone is…
The scenery of the class was awfully digital, very inorganic. Unlike in all those anime he had seen, there was a black, crystalline panel instead of a blackboard. If the instructor tapped on the panel with a touch pen, the writings were directly sent to the terminals built into the students’ desks. Naturally, there was no need for the use of notebooks for the students, and you can upload it all to the academy-intern cloud. Though Guren felt a bit sad that he wasn’t able to experience writing down notes in his notebook, with a pencil and eraser next to him—
—This feels like I’m really a student!
Trying to solve a numerical formula, Guren grinned.
Since there was no need to bring your own notebook, most of the students were using their own touch pens when trying to solve the formula on the screen in front of them, but Guren used the notebook he prepared himself, and built up the formula first, with the pencil he brought.
…I got no clue. Was math really that complicated before? What is this symbol here? Some Greek letters? And why is there a minus symbol next to it….Hm?
As he was struggling, he realized something. A certain symbol lit up on the terminal in front of him, slightly blinking.
“A message…? Let’s see…”
He peeked over at Karen, who was sitting next to him. There shouldn’t be anyone else that would talk to him, besides his own little sister.
…I should properly listen in class, unless I want some chalk to get thrown at me. No, this instructor doesn’t have any, so maybe he’ll throw the touch pen at me? Well, not like it really matters.
As her older brother, he should probably act as a good example. Possibly even scold her. Once again looking over at Karen, who was gazing at the math formula in front of her with a certain leisure, Guren opened the message. However, the profile picture and text data was different from the one he had seen in his little sister’s profile.
‘Nice to meet you. You are Saijou Guren, right?’
You could call him one of those handsome boys. Pure-white skin and a kind smile. Silver hair, natural, and not as proof of his age. Making that as short as he had it, his facial features gave him a dignified look. His smile, with the picture taken at the perfect moment, became his most charming feature, it was able to lower anyone’s guard if one looked at it. His age looked to be around 14-15, a bit younger than Guren, maybe on the level of Karen’s.
Someone suddenly poked at Guren’s back. As a shiver ran up his spine, the same person shown on his terminal sat behind him, with a childish smile that appears after one’s prank succeeded.
Was that guy in the classroom before?
Guren couldn’t help but wonder. Leaving aside that irregular hair colour, even his well-built facial features must’ve made him stood out. Even so, Guren didn’t realize his presence at all until he got in contact with him.
Is this some sort of anime where the protagonist doesn’t stand out at all?
As Guren was frozen in place, the silver haired boy smiled, and pointed towards the blackboard.
Oh right, the touch pen is gonna come flying at me!
Reflexively, Guren turned around to face forwards again, closed his eyes and ducked. But, no matter how long he was waiting, the awaited impact never came. While carefully opening his eyes, the teacher was still gazing at the students who were struggling with the formula.
Instead, the icon on Guren’s terminal was once again flashing, informing him that he had received a new message.
‘Haha, you thought you’d get scolded by the teacher? I thought you’d be a guy that lives with his guts, but are you actually pretty wimpish?’
‘…Leave me alone. I’m not used to this yet’
To the student life, that is.
‘Hmm…Interesting. Ah, sorry for not introducing myself. I am Shiroouji Asato. I’ll send you my detailed profile later, so I’d be happy if you took a look at it. You might not believe me, but there aren’t any lies in there’
‘People like you tend to lie all the time though’
‘Ahaha, that’s pretty harsh’
Giving adequate answers during their chat, Guren checked the profile of the other person.
—Name, Shiroouji Asato. Age, 15. Year 1, Class 7. Male.
D-Rank, with a ranking of 777—
Shiroouji…ahh that former financial conglomerate.
Guren found that name in his memories. A great force in the field of games, sometimes as an enemy, sometimes as an ally. Being a former conglomerate, it is currently a massive integrated business group. One of the families that led Japan’s economy.
‘I saw it. What’s your business Shiroouji?’
‘That’s all for your impression of me…?’
‘That’s all, yeah, something wrong with that?’
‘Ohhh. This is the first time that someone hasn’t shown a surprised reaction at my name, Guren. Aren’t you interested in the name Shiroouji?’
‘I don’t care where you’re from. You are you and that’s all that matters. Not my place to ask either’ Guren sounded a bit agitated.
Without even having to turn around, Guren could hear a faint giggle coming from the seat right behind him.
‘…S-Sorry, I heard that you were that Karen-san’s older brother, so I was a bit anticipant, but this is even better. Since our seats are so close, I hope that we can get along’
Is this one of those so-called ‘friend events’?
Guren’s eyes were burning with anticipation. A male friend he could entrust himself to, connected not for interest and benefit, but just a friend that he could depend on. The existence he had always wished for, or so he should be—
The mostly hidden profile parts, the shady-looking smile, and the repdigit with the all the 7s in the ranking all gave Guren a certain ominous feeling.
‘You are…rank 2703? Hmm…did you do bad on purpose during the game exam?’
‘…Not really. Talking about rankings, isn’t yours a bit weirder? Your ranking has been the same for the last week, the week before and the entire time for the past year and a half’
Checking the course of the boy’s ranking, Guren pointed that out.
Shiroouji Asato, D-Rank, ranking 777. The weekly ranking, monthly ranking, and even before that, ever since he started attending the school, Shiroouji Asato’s ranking has never changed once.
‘You’re doing this on purpose, aren’t you?’
‘Hmm? What are you talking abouuut? I’m just trying my hardest to live through the day’
‘You planning on acting all buddy-buddy with me? If so, ask someone else. Don’t drag me into this’
A person from the Shiroouji family. That alone smelled more than enough like a landmine Guren desperately wanted to avoid. If not, he might just get pulled back by his ankles into the dark world that he wanted to escape from. Naturally, that chance was small in this case, but better be safe than sorry.
…Also, his personality just doesn’t sit right with me. As if I’d lose myself again just because I have a potential friend in reach.
‘Don’t tell me, you’re trying to run away from games? Because your own ability might get leaked…or something like that?
—This guy, just how much information does he actually have on me?
Guren upped his wariness, carefully choosing the next words he wrote in the message he sent back.
‘You seem to have a high evaluation of me?’
‘I can’t think of someone as a fool, if he can decide on his future student life being heaven or hell with games, hehe’’
‘Don’t write ‘Hehe’ in chat as if we were talking. Feels gross man’
‘So you’re not going to object the ‘deciding with games’ part, huh?’
‘…Your personality is twisted, dude’
And, a pain. His brain worked extraordinarily fast, and his intuition was sharp. He trusted his own intuition. He would probably be on the attack until he pulled out Guren’s true skill. And he seemed to be skilled at games. Though Guren probably wouldn’t lose if they were to fight each other, he’d definitely have to get a bit more serious, in the midst all of these little kids.
A troublesome guy got interested in me, huh.
‘By the way, about that disaster just now’
It still is a disaster— Guren retorted to himself.
‘What about it?’
‘You haven’t eaten anything for lunch yet, am I right? The cafeteria here is free, and delicious. The menus are different depending on your rank though’
‘Seriously…They’re separating even there?’
I couldn’t care less about having a high rank, but that’s a bummer. Just when I thought I’d at least get to eat something delicious.
‘If that’s the case, then I should’ve aimed for a higher rank from the get-go…you’re thinking something like that?’
‘Again, don’t just put words in my mouth. And also, sorry to disappoint you, but I don’t have the necessary skill for that. Hold on, we’re in class anyway, so stop bothering me’
‘How boring. We’re in the same class, so I hoped we’d be able to get friendlier. Our seats are close as well. I can almost see the red thread of destiny between us’
‘I sure as hell don’t. How about you get your eyes washed out?’
‘Ahaha, you really love to insult others, I see!’
Not just in his message, but Guren could also faintly hear a laughing voice behind him.
‘Looking forward to studying with you, Guren. Seems like things will get interesting, huh?’
Don’t just selfishly enjoy yourself while I’m suffering. And you suddenly changed your way of addressing me as well.
When Guren slightly looked over his shoulder, Asato was waving at him with a faint smile.
Another weird guy…I wonder if I can even make friends in this class…
With those thoughts, Guren felt his chest get heavier as he rested his chin on his hand, and sighed.
“Aren’t the classes here a bit too sloppy?”
Before the day ended, inside the classroom.
Guren turned towards Karen in the seat next to him, and said so in an exasperated manner.
“I wonder. I think that this clearly surpasses the level of a common high school.”
“The contents of the curriculum, maybe. But I meant the attitude in class.”
“What might you be implying?”
“Looking at the other students, nobody is actually taking the class serious, and the teachers also don’t really care either. And so many open seats here…At least half of all the seats, what is this?”
“In the morning, there are a bit more people here. The more time passes on, the more people leave. Once noon passes, about half the people are gone. But, there’s no problem. The contents of the class are always uploaded on the cloud. One can always read it later.”
“That’s not what I meant. Only you and I being left for the final homeroom is really weird, you know!?”
“If it wasn’t for Onii-sama, I would’ve made my way home for lunch break as well.”
“Our homeroom teacher was really pissed before, you know?”
“Nanafuji-sensei is always acting like that. Maybe it’s just her menopause?”
“I don’t think she’s at that age quiet yet. Also, Karen, you also, uhm…”
Your manner of speaking did get rougher since I’ve last seen you—he wanted to say, but swallowed his words.
He didn’t want to comment on his little sister’s occasionally poisonous tongue.
“Well, you know. It might sound weird coming from me, who only graduated from grade school, but…study some more, will you?”
“I think that it can’t be helped. No matter how much you study, you won’t receive any valuable evaluation in this school.”
“But, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with the ranking, there will be problems with moving on to another school, right?”
“Depending on the rank, if you’re higher than A-Rank, not to mention Japan internally, you have the opportunity to move on to any famous university, without any need to pass an entrance exam.”
“This school really is rotten to the core…”
“But, Onii-sama should be well aware, right? Those that stand at the top of today’s society aren’t the ones that diligently study and shine with their knowledge, but the wise and clever people.”
“No, well, that’s true. I can’t disagree with that, but…that’s way too dry.”
“I don’t really think so. That’s just how society works.”
Looking at his little sister as she spoke those words, Guren could feel his shoulders get heavier. Guren became aware of the fatigue that he gathered throughout the day.
“Haaa…Anyway, let’s go home. On the way, let’s eat something, how about it, Karen? I’ll treat you.”
“My! I cannot rely on Onii-sama’s wallet. If you are hungry, then how about I make you something once we get home?”
“No no no, eating something after classes on the way home sounds better right now. Like taiyaki, or takoyaki, something like that.”
I really wanted to try that once—Guren thought.
Taiyaki filled with red bean paste or takoyaki with a delicious sauce. Those every-day snacks never appeared in front of him during his time in the dark world.
“Anyway, let’s go. There should be some stores around that sell it, right?”
“Maybe. They might sell it at the school cafeteria…But, you’d probably prefer a store outside school grounds. I will look for one.”
Holding a conversation like that, they opened the lock of the classroom, and stepped outside. Feeling a bit impatient, Guren made his way to the entrance, and it happened when he was about to descend down the stairs.
“Uhm…! Sajou-kun. No, Saijou Guren-sama!!”
Guren barely managed to dodge the human figure that was jumping at him from the side.
That same human bumped into the wall with great momentum, letting out a pitiful scream as they sank down.
“U-Uuu~~~ How cruel of you to just dodge like that!”
The girl looked up at Guren with a faint glare in her round eyes. A small stature, traces of tears still lingering in her face. Fluffy, cotton-candy like twin tails, colored a strong pink. A slim figure, with a well-endowed chest.
Right in front of him was Momogai Momoka—the poor girl that was made a fool at the game where Guren stepped in today.
“…Ah! E-Excuse me for suddenly jumping onto you like that!”
Momoka quickly fixed her posture, gravelled down on the cold floor, and prostrated herself.
“Uhm, won’t you be so kind as to buy Momoka?”
Being thrown those words that surpassed his ability to think for a second, Guren could only stare down blankly at her, his thoughts coming to an abrupt halt.
First, he was unable to grasp what she meant with those words.
“Ehhhhm…What are you talking about Momogai. Buy? In what sense?”
In the sense of becoming a prostitute?
Though Guren certainly couldn’t imagine that a classmate he just met today would suddenly offer herself like that. But, looking at Momoka’s behaviour and dire situation, the possibility certainly wasn’t zero. No, thinking about it, it was actually quite efficient for her to choose that way—
“—Onii-sama? You won’t allow it, no matter what she meant by that, right?”
“Y-Yeah. I know. I know, Karen, so why are you making that scary face?”
As Guren carefully asked, Karen averted her face in a pouting manner. Seeing the figure of his little sister, being jealous at the possibility that her older brother, with whom she had just reunited, might be stolen, Guren really wanted to smile, but the lingering bloodlust she emitted forbid him from doing so.
“What Momoka is asking for, is for you to make her your servant!”
“I see, so that’s what she’s aiming for.”
In regards to Guren just tilting his head, Karen was the one that showed understanding of the situation at hand. And, she turned towards him,
“This academy has certain rules. Once your amount of GP reaches zero, if you can’t acquire any more in a week, you will get expelled. Hence, you can use the method of choosing ‘servitude’’—”
“Servitude…a slave, huh.”
“Rather than a slave, it’s more of a master-servant relationship. The students that enters these in servitude become the servants, becoming something like a lower existence in contrast to normal students.”
“So high school students are connected through a master-servant relationship?”
Unable to process that idea, Guren muttered, Karen answered as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
“Yes. This academy acts as a microcosm of society. The winners learn how to gain obedience from the losers, and the losers themselves learn to show obedience to the winners. That’s the gist of it.”
“Yeah, I can’t argue with that but…Hmmm…”
Guren couldn’t help but think of this as idiotic. Whether or not someone can find success also greatly depends on the time and place, as well as the suitability of the job the person chooses.
Like people that suffer from a lack of communication skills move humanity forward as a whole with the discovery of essential laws of physics.
Like an athlete that fails to make the long-distance race, but shines at shot put.
Even if you’re not made to play at high stakes in games doesn’t mean that you’re immediately in the loser group.
Is it really fine to push the still flexible students into this narrow frame with this sort of education?
“Momogai, was it? You’re better off dropping out and attending a normal school. You’re not fit for this.”
“T-That I can’t do!”
“Why. You played countless games here, and continued to lose all of them. There are things that can’t be changed. In this case, you’re not cut out to play games.”
“Momoka told her mom and dad that she’s work hard here, separated from her hometown, carrying all their expectations! She cannot step down here!”
“Even more of a reason to go home now! Your parents would cry if they saw you like this! …Ahh, stop clinging to me!”
Since Momoka was starting to rub her tear-stained face on Guren’s trousers, he quickly separated from her. Her childish crying face looked serious. Guren didn’t exactly know what this servant thing was about, and neither did he understand why an amateur like her continued to be enrolled in this school. Most importantly however—
What I want are some male friends, and not some female servant or whatever!
A male student that immediately on his first day made a well-endowed, twin tail girl his servant—
No way would anyone want to be friends with such a guy. Rather, he’ll be thought of as a beast that only wants to satisfy his desires, or some sort of super hard-core sadistic bastard. Either way, he would be avoided by everyone, no doubt.
“Stop joking with me. I can’t be bothered with another obstacle for my peaceful daily life, so ask someone else!”
“M-Momoka is asking you because she doesn’t have any other opportunities!!”
“Process of elimination?! Hold on a second. There are more than 40 students in our class, so why am I the only candidate left!”
“The boys in our class are fixated on Kusunoki-san, ignoring Momoka, or they look at Momoka with lewd eyes, or those that couldn’t care less about another person’s problems…that’s all there is!”
“What kind of choices are these…! Then, what about the girls?”
If a girl took on the role as a master, there shouldn’t be a problem.
“The girls of our class are all in lower ranks than Kusunoki-san, except Karen-san.”
“And what’s the problem with that?”
“No matter who Momoka would choose, she’d still indirectly be Kusunoki-san’s slave. Momoka will be made fun of~~~!!!”
“O-Oh…female society really is scary. No, hold on. Karen, if you became her master, then—”
“No hesitation?! At least ponder a little bit, will you!?”
“I don’t have the hobby of keeping a bitch like her.”
“Hey! Hey! I don’t have anyone left besides Guren-sama! Fueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh!”
“Ugh…Well, I can sympathize with that situation of yours but… I have to pass. I feel bad for you, but please look for someone else!”
Guren took that chance to shake off Momoka, and ran off. Arriving at the shoe lockers, he quickly changed his indoor slippers to his outdoor shoes, and looked around to check if Karen was with him.
“Alright, let’s go Karen!”
“Please hurry, Onii-sama! She’s closing in on us!”
“G-Guren-samaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Please waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaait!”
Guren’s disgusted voice leaked out. Right after Karen came Momoka, running as her twin tails were swaying back and forth, with great speed.
Being rammed in the back by a screaming Momoka, Guren made a head-slide along the floor.
“O-Onii-sama, are you okay?! C-Come on, let go of him, you pink-haired indecent pig! Ugh…I can’t get her off. Are you from the family of sea snails?!”
“M-Momoka won’t let goooo!! If she doesn’t graduate from Shishiou Academy with at least a B-Rank, we won’t be able to recultivate the farmland at home! The life of our workers~! My family~!”
“C-Can’t breathe…! I’m getting crushed…! I-I’ll die…!”
Momoka’s arms were wrapped perfectly around Guren’s neck, cutting off his oxygen supply. Naturally, his face went blue really quick. Her small stature shouldn’t have fit that much strength in her arms. It felt like he was being pinned down by a bear, unable to move.
“Y-You…! If you were honestly aiming for it, you could probably kill off Kusunoki with a punch, you know?!”
“If tools were allowed, Momoka could probably best an Asian black bear, but that won’t get her any GP!”
“So you could win!? J-Just let me go already! I’ll at least hear you out! Otherwise I’ll die…!”
Seriously feeling that his consciousness was fading, Guren tapped on Momoka’s puffy hair, signalling his give-up.
Suddenly cheering up, Momoka’s hands let go of Guren.
“Sniff…Please…Please…Momoka hates perverted stuff, but a bit is fine…Uhm, she’ll get used to it…!”
Her breathing was feeble.
Riddled in sweat, Guren turned around to lay on his back, and looked up at Momoka—
One centimeter away from his eyes were her well-endowed shaking breasts. She was sitting on his hips like she was riding a horse, her chest part of the uniform was riddled with sweat and tears, revealing her heavy-pink bra, showing two big, white peaches.
Adding her sobbing, with the slight vibrations on his waist, Guren felt more than just awkward. If a third person saw them like this, no doubt there’d be weird rumours going around the next day.
“A-Anyway, could you get off me now?”
“…You won’t run away anymore?”
“Y-Yeah, I won’t.”
Even if I tried, I would end up in another wrestling position.
Momoka slowly got down from Guren, sinking down onto the floor next to him. In response, Guren slowly lifted up his body, scratching his head,
“And, what was it? You want to graduate for your farmland at home or something…What do you mean by that. I don’t get it.”
“Uhm, the thing is…In Momoka’s hometown, we hold the most fertile soil, but at this rate, our fields will turn into the target of new agricultural land! Our rice is so delicious, but we won’t be able to make it anymore!”
“So you’re aiming to graduate from this school, and have the government stop their plans? But, you’ll get some good money if they buy your land. Might be a good idea to just give in.”
“Y-You can’t produce good rice with just money!”
“Well, that’s true, but——Huh?!”
The second Guren showed agreement, he could feel a shiver run down his back.
“Momoka-san, how about we decide this with a game? Actually, I also wanted to play Russian roulette with you…with real bullets.”
“Karen?! Where did you get that from?!”
Rattle, a metallic sound reverberated, as Karen held ‘that’ at Momoka’s head. Naturally, her eyes weren’t smiling.
“By the way, this is a semi-automatic gun. Congratulations. No doubt that you will win the Darwin Award with this one.”
“Karen, she’ll definitely die. Calm down.”
“Hawawa…Momoka is going to die? She’s really going to die?” Momoka started shivering furiously.
“Ahhh, what’s even going on here…?”
Having Momoka’s weakened appearance in front of him, Guren could only sigh.
He certainly didn’t imagine himself as a hero for saving a cute girl in peril. Nor did he wish that people would see him like that. But, even if he left her alone now, she’d probably keep chasing him forever, which was a pain in its own way.
—No, even more than that, Saijou Guren wasn’t the kind of cold-hearted person that could just brush aside a person that was desperately searching for aid.
“Your family has a farm somewhere, and your personality is pretty bright. Looking closer at you, you have quite the high amount of peaceful life power.”
“Eh? W-What is that? Peaceful life power?”
“Parameters way more important than those shitty GP. Momogai, rather than aiming for some heroine role, you should become a mascot. That’ll definitely fit you more, and I’d be able to take it easier.”
“Eh? Uhm…Momoka will try her best!”
She totally nodded without having any idea what I’m on about.
But, that didn’t matter.
“If so, then I’ll at least lend you my name.”
Understanding the meaning of Guren’s words, Momoka’s face turned into a bright smile. Karen on the other hand looked like the world just ended.
“Onii-sama. You’re going to give in to Momoka-san’s advances? —You’ll die, you know?”
“There’s no need to think too deeply into it though! Also, this has nothing to do with advances. It’s just a temporary relationship. I’m not planning on doing anything for her sake, just because she became my servant.”
That sounded colder than I had planned for—thought Guren. But, unexpectedly, Momoka continued to smile at Guren.
“That doesn’t matter! Everything is better than being forced to drop out!”
“For a cry baby, you can be pretty tough at times.”
A status appeared on Guren’s student ID, showing the name of his new servant—
Momogai Momoka. Rank X. Contractor: Saijou Guren.
Authenticated by the managing AI, that information was posted on the school’s internal network—
Shishiou Academy, Year 1 Class 7. Like ripples on the water’s surface, the previously relatively tranquil class started to get disrupted.