Translated and Edited by: ynlucca.
It’s April 1st, the start of a new school year.
“Yawn… I’m sleepy.”
I got out of bed, still groggy, and went to the bathroom to cleanse my face.
The mirror in front of me reflects the image of a dull high schooler with medium-length black hair. You could say I have dead fish eyes, but then you’d get a complaint from all dead-eyed people in the world.
Yup, the day’s going great.
After preparing myself in the quickest way possible, I headed towards my school, one of the most prestigious private high schools in Japan – Hakuou.
Initially, it was not a place meant for poor people like me. However, I enrolled in the school due to a ‘certain situation’.
I’m already a sophomore, huh…
After checking my class on the bulletin board, I took my gym shoes and moved to the main auditorium, where the opening ceremony began soon after.
The vice-principal gave the opening address, then the student advisor spoke about safety, and lastly, the principal delivered an extremely short 30-second speech. It was very logical, Hokuou style.
In a very short amount of time, the opening ceremony is almost complete, and the new student council is announced.
One of the “Four Fairy Princesses of Hakuou”, Tohka Shirayuki, also known as Snow White, climbed up the podium. She wore a black blazer on top of a white shirt, a red ribbon hanging on her uniform. A plaid skirt and knee-high socks sealed the deal.
The way she wore Hakuou’s uniform was perfect, and even though she was just a freshman last year, she played a big role as vice president. This year, she climbed up to the role of president of the student council.
This school’s students are all very unique, and the student council is said to work extra hard. With all that said, though, the benefits of being a part of the student council are great. Let’s say, for example, you were the president of the student council. You’d get a lot of brownie points for when you’d apply for any private university.
Of all the positions in the student council, the position of president was special. It seemed that you could enter all the most prestigious universities in Japan just by having that on your resume. It’s no surprise a lot of people desire that position.
“As the 99th president of the student council, I, Tohka Shirayuki, will give it my all once again to manage the affairs of the council.”
After the usual opening for speeches like these, she continued.
“Now, I’d like to nominate this year’s student council officers.”
Finally, the main ceremony begins. For generations, the student council officers of Hakuou are selected solely by the president.
“General Affairs – Hinako Sakura from Class 2, Year 1.”
She was my classmate last year. I’d say she’s an energetic, lively, and brilliant woman. A mood maker, and the mascot of the class. As the officer for General Affairs, there was none better than her.
Shirayuki paused her speech, causing the tension to grow in the auditorium. The name of Shirayuki’s partner, the one who’d share the management of the whole student council is–
“–Kuzuhara Kuzuo from Class 1, Year 2.”
A familiar name, yup.
“I think there was someone gloomy with that name in our class…”
While the whole auditorium was in an uproar due to confusion, Shirayuki cleared her throat with a cough on the mic.
“The positions of secretary and treasurer are vacant for now. As soon as we find the right people for the job, we’ll post it on the bulletin board. The students who have been nominated as officers will be contacted individually, so please gather in the student council room after the ceremony.”
And that’s how the ceremony ended…
I trudged to the student council room, feeling the heavy gaze of the students around me… I had to object.
“Shirayuki, explain to me what just happened.”
“Hm? What is it?”
“It’s about the vice president position.”
“Considering your abilities, it’s quite a natural decision, really.”
She looked at me straight with her clear, cerulean eyes.
“Oof… You overestimate me for no reason. Actually, I’m planning on applying for a part-time job after school, so I can’t really join the student council. You know how poor I am, right?”
“No problems on that front.” She took a printed paper out of her bag. “I have here one of the benefits of Hakuou’s student council. I’ll read it for you. ‘Since the student council members are the face of Hakuou, and all of them are especially outstanding, the head of the school recognizes their tireless efforts and unwavering diligence, granting them 100,000 yen (TL: around 870 USD) per month.’ – I think this would make-up for the part-time job.”
“… 100,000 yen a month…”
Student council work takes about 3 hours each day, which is 15 hours a week, resulting in 60 hours a month. The hourly wage is right around 1,050 yen (TL: around 9 USD), which is just under the minimum wage in Tokyo. This translates into 63,000 yen (TL: around 548 USD) a month for 60 hours of part-time work.
A simple calculation tells me I’d get 37,000 yen (TL: around 322 USD) extra if I just joined the student council.
… My sister has her high school entrance exams this year…
I don’t know how many schools she’d try for, but the exam fees are a pain in the a*s, and even after you pass, you’d blow hundreds of thousands of yen on admission fees and facility usage fees.
“To be honest… 100k a month sounds like an amazing deal but… I’m sorry. I’m still not the right person for the job. I mean, you saw the reaction of everyone around you, right? No one acknowledged the man named Kuzuhara Kuzuo.”
“That’s because you’re acting in a way that makes you less recognizable, isn’t it?”
“… No, it’s not…”
“I don’t know why you’re pretending to be an underachiever. I know you’re extremely talented.”
“No… You’re way better than me…”
Tohka Shirayuki is a talented woman, born into one of Japan’s most influential families. She’s also beautiful, has good grades, and acts very mature. She’s like God’s strongest character, one that would make him exclaim “I made the best one!”.
On the other hand, I’m nothing. Just a low-grade person, born into an extremely poor family. I’m no looker, my grades are just mediocre, and I’m just your average Joe. It’s as if God clicked on the random button on me, and made me just a background character.
You don’t even need to compare to see who’s better.
Then, dumbfounded, Shirayuki whispered to me.
“… An Anpanman reference…”
I cringed a bit.
“But really, I want to catch up to you, Kuzuhara-kun… No. I want to surpass you one day, so I need you close to me so I can observe and study you.”
She stared into my eyes with fire in hers. Her determination declared clearly.
Thank you for reading!
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