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It’s been a while. Sorry for the wait! With this chapter begins Reika’s adventures in Suiran’s middle school section. (:
I’ve entered Suiran’s middle school section. The blazer jacket has changed from navy to white, and is quite a cute design. The wine coloured striped ribbon just accentuates that cuteness, and even though it’s only been a month since I’ve entered, just changing the uniform makes me look like quite the oneesan. How mysterious.
Now that we’ve entered middle school, 30% of our cohort is now new students who entered after taking an exam, the Externals. And this new group of students managed to get into our school after rigorous examinations, so they’re all really smart. In general, Suiran students just ride the figurative escalator up from primary school, excluding special circumstances. Because of that, people sometimes talk about how the Internal Students are less bright than the Externals. Once we enter high school, there are going to be even smarter kids coming in. In fact, by the time we’re in high school, with the exception of a small group of students, it’s the kids who have been here since primary that people take to be the dumbest. But then usually the Internals themselves don’t really mind, so I guess that’s fine. They’re at least not dumber than your normal kid after all. From the staff’s perspective though, it wouldn’t be good for the traditional and prestigious Suiran to be seen as a den of idiots. That’s why they gather smart kids from outside to make up for it. Thanks to Suiran’s brand power, as well as their splendid facilities and teaching content, we’ve got strong popularity, so it’s not a problem gathering gifted students at all. Particularly exceptional students are even taken as scholarship students, so they’re exempted from school fees. And amongst them, those that perform above a certain level in the national mock exams are even given scholarship money that doesn’t need to be returned. In other words, they’re buying academic ranks with money in order to preserve the school’s honour, right?
Kimidol’s protagonist also entered Suiran as a scholarship student. She entered Suiran because she didn’t want to pay school fees. What’s more, if she tried hard, she could even make money from the scholarship system there, which is why she wanted in. But when she entered, their sense of money value was just too different from hers, and she suffered quite a culture shock. And well, yeah. Normally a school wouldn’t do things on such a crazy scale. I know how she felt because I experienced the same thing when I entered as a primary school student. ‘What the hell is this!? This isn’t how I remembered primary schools!’ I thought with my mouth agape. But she’ll definitely get used to it, so three years from now, I hope the protagonist will give it her all.
The biggest difference between the primary section, and the middle-high sections is the existence of the Student Council. The Student Council is a meritocratic organisation formed from good students. In comparison, the Pivoine stresses lineage, pedigree, and assets more than individual power, and only people who can fulfil these and have been purebred Suiran students since primary are allowed in. The Pivoine think of themselves as the true embodiment of Suiran, and because of that the Student Council are an arrogant and loathesome group of outsiders. On the other hand, the Pivoine’s power doesn’t come from their members as individuals, so the Student Council thinks of them as a harmful group that only knows how to abuse their power. Although the traditionalist Pivoine and the meritocratic Student Council don’t butt heads on the surface, friction between them goes back a long time. I don’t know what kind of person the incumbent Student Council President is, but I hope they don’t kick up a fuss while I’m here.
The middle and high school students belong to the same Pivoine. The Petite Pivoine in primary is in the end just an extra, and the middle-high section Pivoine is the real thing. When I opened the door to the salon, I was met with furniture known for its beautiful curves, as well as flower arrangements of moth orchids and other spring flowers.A flower arrangement of 胡蝶蘭(kochouran; lit. butterfly orchid), known as Phalaenopsis or moth orchids in English.
There was even a grand piano by the window. I became particularly fond of this one-person sofa by the wall, with this cute art noveau style lamp next to it, so I ended up sitting here most of the time I went to the salon.
How nice. This lamp is so cute. I want one for my room too.
Since the salon was shared by both middle and high school students, Yurie-sama was naturally there too. Emperor seemed incredibly happy, since it was the first time in years they had been enjoying school together. He tried to hide it, but the corners of his mouth would curve up. He’s pretty easy to understand. Lately he hasn’t been acting like a stalker either, and perhaps as a result of Yurie-sama’s teachings, apparently he can think about others too now. I guess he matured as a human, huh~ As long as he’s with his beloved Yurie-sama, Emperor is always in a good mood, so I’ll probably be able to relax for another two years. Thank goodness.
“Reika-san, have you gotten used to the middle school section?”
Aira-sama came over to talk to me with some sweets in hand. Today’s was sachertorte, a type of chocolate cake with apricot jam.
Seeing the lustrous chocolate made me gulp.
“Yes. Being able to go to the school cafeteria instead of being given a school lunch was quite a fresh experience.”
Once you enter middle school here, you can choose whether to go to the cafeteria or to bring lunch from home. The cafeteria seems like your normal fancy restaurant. Pretty much everything on the menu is over 2000 Yen. Quite expensive for your average student. It’s delicious though. I’ve actually got this secret goal of conquering every item on the menu, so for now I’m one of the kids that goes to the cafeteria. And even in the cafeteria there are exclusive seats for the Pivoine. They’re seated by the window in this well lit area. Speaking of which, in Kimidol there was this one scene, wasn’t there. The protagonist had no idea that it was Pivoine exclusive, and tried to sit down there, displeasing them. Yeah. Try your best, protagonist. Although, the one who was the most angry and shouted “A commoner would dare!? Know your place!” was actually Kisshouin Reika though.
“Are things going well with the External Students?”
“Well, there is still a wall between us, you could say.”
“Well, I suppose there would be.”
There are roughly ten External kids in each class. Unlike the scholarship students that will enter in the high school section, the Externals in middle school are still kids from families who can pay Suiran’s expensive school fees. Because of that, there isn’t too much of a difference in their sense for spending money. That’s why I think we’ll all settle down after a while. Probably.
I’m still thinking about whether or not to enter a club. There isn’t anything I really want to do after all. Oniisama suggested that I enter the cooking club, but the activity days overlap with my lessons. I also have my cram school and lessons with Karin-sensei as well. The first test since middle school is coming up soon, so I’m pretty busy at the moment. Lately I’ve sort of been getting a lot of “as expected of Reika-sama” so I’m secretly struggling really hard not to let my true colours show. Especially maths. Maths is suffering to me. I remembered the word ‘factorisation’ but I’d completely forgotten what it entails. I just barely remembered that it has something to do with x and y. What the hell is going on with my memory. Did I really learn this in my last life? I did, right? I mean, it’s part of the compulsory curriculum. Since I felt a huge crisis impending, I had Karin-sensei drill it into me. I’d already decided to stop expecting anything academic from the past me. I should have already known as much after my experience in the primary school section… But I just keep having these faint hopes. There’s no such thing as miracles though. I guess I’ll just keep trying my best from scratch…