It has been almost two weeks since the badge was implemented.
A change has taken place in the school.
Students with silver badges began to pay “respect” to special students with gold badges.
For example, in the school cafeteria during the daytime. The cafeteria is always crowded, and it is sometimes difficult to get a seat or buy the popular bread, but the students give up their seats to the special students and take their place in line. They would say, “You are a special student,” or “Please take my seat”. In this way, they began to take the initiative and respect the special students.
The teachers also changed.
They began to give more “preferential treatment” to the special students than ever before.
For example, even if a student was sleeping in class, the teachers would turn a blind eye to it. There had been “favoritism” in the past, but never to such a blatant extent. The general student population was watching, so they were at least paying attention. Now, however, even that prerequisite has disappeared. For example, when Asano, a member of the baseball team, snored during class, the teacher would excuse it by saying, “He’s tired from morning practice.”
Respect and favoritism.
This was nothing more than “favoritism” in my opinion, but not a single person in the school objected to this situation. No one in the school seemed to even question it. They take it for granted.
That is the magic of the badge.
The “magic” of the label.
It was what I had feared.
Lunch break, underground storage room.
I was having lunch with Amane Minase , aka Ama-nyan. Since then, this place has become our “secret base.” It smells musty and dusty, but for me, it’s heaven. I can enjoy her homemade lunch without anyone interfering.
We are almost in a relationship, but we haven’t confessed our feelings to each other. If we were to go out openly, we would have the eye of that piggy. She also has her position as a voice actress. And to be honest, I’m comfortable with our relationship as it is. I didn’t want to ruin it by making arrangements to go out with her.
“So, Kazu-kun, did you foresee this situation?”
Amane-chan rolled her eyes at my story. She only lifts her bangs when she is alone with me. Her innocent, pretty eyes stared at me from up close.
“I thought nothing would change just because of the batch. There have been preferential treatment for special students in the past. But I never thought it would be this blatant.”
“That’s the scary thing about this system.”
I eat the egg rolls she made for me. It’s a very sweet one. I told her I like eggroll, and so she made it for me.
“A psychological experiment was conducted at a foreign university in which a group of about 20 people was divided into two groups. One played the role of a guard. The other played the role of a prisoner. They built a facility that looked like a real prison, and they lived there for two weeks, acting out their roles.”
“Sounds like an interesting experiment!”
Amane leaned over my shoulder with great interest. As expected of an actor, it’s fine to be curious,……, but if you do it that way, the soft stuff will hit my arm. It’s already the season for changing clothes, and it’s time for more and more stunted growth.
Coughing, I continued.
“As time went on, the guard roles began to act more like guards, and the prisoner roles more like prisoners. Over time, the guards became more arrogant and the prisoners more obsequious. Eventually, the guards began to punish the prisoners.”
“The punishments were staged, weren’t they?”
“The punishment was to make the prisoner defecate into a bucket,” he said. And they actually began to use violence. Some of the prisoners were said to have gone insane. Because of the dangerous situation, the experiment was stopped after six days. But the guards insisted on continuing. I guess they were already obsessed with the pleasure of being able to control the prisoners.”
Amaon’s face paled.
“No way. ……. Are you saying this school will become like that?”
I don’t want to think that it would be that radical, indeed.
“But I think the situation is very similar. The special students play the role of guards. The other students play the role of the prisoners. The badges distributed this time are meant to clarify the roles, don’t you think?”
“I can’t believe it ……. Is that experiment true?”
“Actually, it’s a bit of a lie.”
Amaon-chan said, “Eh?” and raised her voice.
“In later years, it was discovered that the doctor in charge of the experiment, ‘playing the role of prison warden,’ had instructed the group of guards to act as ‘brutal guards. I mean, it couldn’t have been that bad without some arbitrary pressure from the outside.”
Amane-chan patted her chest in relief.
“But you know. In other words, if a high-ranking person told them to do something like that, that’s what the “guards” would do.”
“A high-ranking person?”
“Yes. For example, the school president. “
Amane’s face turned pale again.
“I heard this from one of my seniors at my new office. He said that after playing a role for a long time, the character begins to live inside you. For example, if a character likes Dorayaki, he will often eat it in his daily life. Tastes change as you play the role,”
“That may be true.”
It really happens as you become the character.
For example, the classic romantic comedy “fake couple”. In this case, too, the more you act the part, the more you really like the person you are pretending to be. This is a subject that can be found in any number of novels and manga. It is such a common story.
“But still, Kazu-kun knows a lot of things.”
“I like reading. I’ve read most of the books here.”
“Eh!? All of these?!”
This basement storeroom is full of bookshelves. I have no idea how many books there are.
“I’ve been killing time here every day since I entered the school. It’s called being a loner’s outcast.”
Then, Amane-chan’s face turned sad.
“Please don’t say it like that. I really think you’re an amazing person.”
“Otaku would be a better fit. You’re over-praising me.”
“No, I’m not. It was you who saved me from the darkness. ……”
Amane-chan leaned in close to me. The sweet scent wafted from her hair and tickled my nose.
“It’s not good, Amane-chan.”
“Muu. It’s Ama-nyan-chan. Muu.
She stares at me with wet eyes. She would no longer listen to me after this. She’s usually so reserved and demure, but when we’re alone, she’s really aggressive.
There is no way around it.
I lightly, just lightly, peck her lips.
With that, she shakes as if struck by lightning.
Her eyes were round and staring at me.
“Now I can work hard in my afternoon classes.”
When I patted her head, she mewed. She really is like a cat.
“After school, do you want to go home together for the first time in a while?”
She smiled happily.
“Then, I’ll meet you at our usual place at 4:30 pm”
“Four-thirty? That’s a little late.”
“After school, someone from the baseball team asked me if I could have a little time. What is it?”
She said innocently. Well, I guess a confession is in order. Since that event, her popularity has skyrocketed. Something similar has happened often before.
But after school.
After school, even after the appointed time, Ama-nyan did not show up.