Shunsuke is a teen who got accepted into Yamato Ichiban Academy.
A boy walked at the front of the school. He stopped and stared at the building. He wore a black blazer with black dress pants, complete with a pair of glasses. He brought out an envelope. "Well, here I am," he voiced.
"Shunsuke! You got some mail!" his mother shouted through the door.
"Coming!" Shunsuke shouted back, with an annoyed look. He then opened the door. His mother stood, examining the envelope.
"It seemed to be from Yamato Ichiban Academy," she said as she handed Shunsuke the envelope. He then walked back into the room and closed his door. Shunsuke examined the envelope, nervously. He opened the envelope and pulled out the paper. This reads:
Mr. Shunsuke Horikawa-dono,
Last month, you took the test for Yamato Ichiban Academy. We are proud to inform you that you passed with a 88.7% average. We therefore accepted your application. See you in April 12th.
Kazumi Furukawa, Headmaster of Yamato Ichiban Academy
Shunsuke looked relieved at the note. Yamato Ichiban Academy is a prestigious high school founded by Toshio Asagawa, a veteran Diet politician. As a season politician, he believed in the importance of education. He created Yamato Ichiban Academy twenty years ago, combining top ranked educators with state of the art technology. Throughout the years, it built a representation of high learning with the alumni comprised of politicians, educators, businessman and scientist. It's no wonder Shunsuke and his mother was skeptical.
Even right now, Shunsuke felt like it was a trick. However, he felt excitement inside of himself. He gets to prove his worth to everyone. To be the top of the top. Any reasonable person would feel the power of the school. You'll either buckle under or you conquer. Shunsuke felt that as the intercom blasted, "All students to the auditorium! All students to the auditorium!" Shunsuke then walked inside the building.
Shunsuke reached the auditorium, glancing around as he took a spot. He sat between a boy with slick backed, red hair and a girl with a light brown ponytail. They both don the Yamato Ichiban Academy's uniform, the same black blazer and black dress pant as Shunsuke. The boy glanced at Shunsuke and said, "Yo. How you doing?"
"Good," Shunsuke spoke with a little irritation. He glanced at the girl beside him. She stared straight at the stage, but she then glanced at Shunsuke quickly before turning back. "I love for the both of us to classmates. What your name?" the guy next to him asked.
"Shunsuke Horikawa," Shunsuke stated.
"Glad to meet you. Jack Hyde." Jack said as he held his hand. He started to feel annoyed by how overfamiliar Jack was being. He never really felt natural being with people. Despite at, he doesn't want to be rude. Shunsuke met his hand and shook it. He must have been an American.
Yamato Ichiban Academy started after World War III twenty years ago in 2030. Also known as the Great Conversion War, the United States collapsed after years of infighting. The United Nations, needing a new leader, broke into a riot. A three year war broke out. Afterward, Russia won the unprecedented war. Promising to bridge the countries together, Russia combined the nation together. So Japan, who isn't known for ethnic diversity, started to envelope into a mixed race country. As a result, Shunsuke didn't find it odd that Americans are here. Though he does find it sad that they had to migrate to other countries like here.
Suddenly, a microphone voice announced, "Salutations, fellow ladies and gentlemen! Fellow staff members and beloved students!" Shunsuke gazed at the stage. A middle aged man stood at the center of the stage. He is surrounded by the staff members. One that stuck out was a young, Japanese man with peach fuzz and half closed spectacle eyes.
"We welcome newcomers and concubines all to Yamato Ichiban Academy! You all probably know me, but for those who don't know, my name is Kazumi Furukawa, the headmaster!" Furukawa spoke. "All of you are here because you are the best of the best! Not only you guys are talented individuals, but you all lust to be the best! Your desire to be responsible and productive young people! To follow, no, to surpass alumnus of before! We will help your dreams! For the future of Yamato Ichiban Academy!"
The students and teachers both started to clap. Shunsuke just stood there as Jack clapped madly and the girl clapped solemnly. Shunsuke couldn't help, but noticed that she stared pretty intensely. He then turned his direction back at the stage.
"And now, I direct your attention to the man who created Yamato Ichiban Academy! Toshio Asagawa!" Furukawa announced. An old, bald man walked onto the stage. The student body stared at the famous politician, Shunsuke included. When he reached the center, Furukawa handed Asagawa the microphone.
"Greeting everybody! I have exciting news for the school!" Asagawa announced, a smile spread across his face. "We have here a student among you that we look forward to introduce! This student has a 96.5% average!" The student gasped, most held their hands on their mouth. Yamato Ichiban Academy, like all Japanese school, required to pass an entrance exam. As they accept only the best, anyone who ranked A (80% or above) are able to pass. Shunsuke himself got 88.7% on the exam. Whoever passed with a 96.5%, they got the highest average in the school.
"Now we would like to welcome, Anthea Kadigan!" Asagawa spoke as he stared off into the crowd. The student then tried to find where Asagawa was looking, when a girl stood up and started to walk. Shunsuke spotted the girl. She has an ambiguous look; a tan complexion, blonde hair, and pale purple eyes. Walking solemnly to the stage, she has an emotionless look on her face. When she arrived, she was handed the microphone and spoke, "Hello! My name is Anthea Kadigan! Please take care of me!"
She bowed and left the stage. Everyone started to clap as she exited. "Isn't she awesome?" Jack whispered. "I guess," Shunsuke answered back. He tracked her walking back to her seat with his eyes. Seeing how they made her out, he sensed a foreboding dislike for her. Her way she talked and that bow. She acted like a Japanese person should, and that pissed Shunsuke off.
"Now I will not waste any more of your time!" Furukawa spoke, finally back on the microphone. "Everybody is dismissed! Farewell and make this the best year ever!" Everybody started to madly clap their hands. Shunsuke glanced at Anthea, and noticed that she just stood up. Shunsuke then got up and left.
Walking through the hallway, Shunsuke looked for the classroom he was assigned. He then stopped when he saw the classroom, 1-C. He then went inside and sat down. He examined around the classroom, bored.
Suddenly, the girl from before entered the classroom. Shunsuke glanced at her, her ponytail swaying as she walked to a seat next to me. She sat down and stated, "Hey, you're the boy I sat next to."
"Yeah. You were pretty tense back there," Shunsuke answered back. He was so surprised from her sudden approach.
"Sorry. It's something personal. Anyways, what your name?"
"Shunsuke Horikawa," Shunsuke answered with irritation.
She pondered a bit. "Now that I think about it, I should be polite and said my name first." After a bit, she continued. "Erica Montoya. I got 85% average."
"Interesting. I got 88.7%."
Shunsuke and Erica noticed that people already gathered into the classroom. One of them, Jack, walked towards them. "Yo, guys!" he shouted. He glanced around until he decided to sit behind Shunsuke. "Took me long enough to find you. I thought you would be looking for Anthea for all the staring you gave her."
"Shut up. She annoying," Shunsuke glared at Jack.
"So guarded," Jack replied. He turned his head and stared at a pigtail girl with big bottle glasses. She stared straight at the door. Jack then sighed.
The door opened and the man with the peach fuzz entered. His glasses glared as he looks around. His face looked like a certain rival in a manga. "Hey! Lessee your eyes, dude!" Jack shouted as he jumped out of his seat.
"Shut up. You're annoying," he expressed with a glare on Jack. He then sat down in disappointment. Shunsuke inspected the man. He didn't really think much of him but the way he dealt with Jack, he felt he wasn't bad in his book.
"Listen up. My name is Noritaka Sugiyama. I will be your homeroom teacher." Sugiyama told as he slammed the papers down. "I have an announcement to make, but first any questions?"
The pigtail girl shot her hand up. Sugiyama spotted her. "Yes ma'am?" he announced.
"Umm... can we call you sensei? Or professor?" she asked. Because of the migration of Americans and Russian's open country order, some Japanese still held their closed off belief. To avoid any troubles, "foreigners" sometimes ask things like these to make sure. Though it is weird that she asked, considering he doesn't seemed like the type of person who cared.
"Doesn't matter," Sugiyama answered. "Though thanks for asking."
"If you don't have any more questions, then I need to make an announce." Sugiyama stated. "As you guys know, a 95% student resides in this school." Shunsuke's face grimaced, figuring out what he was going to say. "She enrolled fairly late, so she didn't have a homeroom or classes. Therefore, I fought for her to be in our homeroom." The class started to whisper to each other. "Anyway, come in Anthea."
Anthea walked in and stopped beside Sugiyama. She mechanically turned to face the class. "You already heard, but I am Anthea Kadigan. Please take care of me," she uttered as she bowed her head.
"Kadigan-san, please pick a seat." Anthea glanced around, searching for a spot.
Jack's hand shot up. When she ignored it, he just kept waving it back and forth. She then started to walk towards them. Shunsuke glared at her. Anthea then stepped towards Shunsuke, staring him to the eyes. They stared on in silence.
Sugiyama tapped the ruler on the board. Anthea and Shunsuke glanced up at him. "Nevermind. Kadigan-san. Please sit over there." Anthea and Shunsuke stared at each other eyes. She then breaks eye contact and talked away.
"What happened over there? She seemed into you," Jack asked, nudges Shunsuke's arm.
"Shut up. You're annoying," Shunsuke and Sugiyama demanded in unison. Jack then slumped down in disappointment. Erica glanced at Shunsuke. Shunsuke just stared straight ahead.
A week has passed. During the time passed, Anthea showed off her genius. One time at third period Math, the teacher spoke as she held a book, "Ok, guys. Can you answer this question?" She pointed at the board read: a (?2 - i) - i(1 - ?2i) = -2i and b (2 - 3i)(-2 + i) = -1 + 8i.
Shunsuke shot his hand up. The teacher, Vallone, kept glancing back and forth between Shunsuke and Anthea. She then spoke nervously, "Hey, Kagidan-chan. If you will."
Anthea then answered, "(?2 - i) - i(1 - ?2i) = ?2 - i - i + ?2 = -2i and (2 - 3i)(-2 + i) = -4 + 2i + 6i - 3i = -4 + 3 + 8i = -1 +8i."
The teacher clapped at what she had said. "Very good Kagidan-chan," she reported. "It what you suspect from the highest average student Yamato Ichiban Academy had." Shunsuke glared at Anthea.
Another time at first period Social Science, Sugiyama sat on his desk with his book. "Montoyo-san. Can you tell me who commanded the Russian armies in the Battle of the Okinawa Bay?"
"Ah, it's..." Erica started. She then gasped in surprised.
Sugiyama then waved his hand. "Kagidan-san, if you please."
"Va Petrov," she answered.
"Very good, Kagidan-san. Very impressed," Sugiyama said. Erica looked down, depressed.
Another time, she showed up Jack in English. "'Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love,'" she answered.
"Ah, yeah. That," Jack phrased with a confused look. Shunsuke felt annoyed, but mostly find it funny. She spoke better English than the American. It's kind of funny, really.
Shunsuke lie down outside at lunchtime. He picked up his lunchbox. He opened it and scooped up the rice into his mouth. Shunsuke really liked this spot. He found it on the first day. When it was lunchtime, he walked out as fast as he could. He felt annoyed just being there. After a bit of walking, he found the spot. When he lies down the first time, he felt calm. Because of that, he came back every day at lunchtime.
"Hey, Shunsuke." Shunsuke peeked up and saw Jack. Jack then lie down and stated, "I didn't peg you as an outside guy."
"We Japanese have the affinity for nature. It kinda our thing," Shunsuke lied. Out of everyone in the class, Jack is the second most annoying person to Shunsuke. The first is pretty obvious.
"Don't give me that crap!" Jack suddenly grappled Shunsuke. "Why are you avoiding me? I thought we were friends!" Shunsuke struggled out of the grapple.
"Stop!" a voice shouted. Shunsuke peeked up and saw a portly young boy stood there. Kazuya Nagatsuka was the boy's name. In the week that school started, they kind of developed an easy friendship. They know each other boundaries, but also hang out if needs be. Because of that, Shunsuke felt a certain admiration for Kazuya.
Jack let go of Shunsuke. "You guys are no fun." He then walked off. Shunsuke never seemed to wrap his head around him. Unlike Kazuya, he doesn't seem to understand boundaries. He knew that Americans are more outspoken, but are they that annoying? Probably not.
"Thank you Nagatsuka-kun," Shunsuke expressed to Kazuya as he got up.
"Horikawa-kun, you okay?" Kazuya asked as he ran over to meet him.
"I am okay,"
"Well, that good." Kazuya then sat down. He brought out his bento box and opened it. "Hyde seemed to like you, you know."
"Yeah, yeah. Like I really care," Shunsuke ate more of his lunch. He glanced and saw Kazuya staring at his lunch. "It's stir fry. Do you want some?"
"No, I'm good. Sorry." Shunsuke had a bit of a reputation as a great cook.
Shunsuke got up to his feet, "I'll make you something at home economics."
The next period is fifth period P.E. The class gathered around Mrs. Dyomin; an overweight, old woman. "Okay, good students. Run a lap around the course, as always. You guys start when I clap my hands," she told the class. "Have fun. And godspeed."
"Yes ma'am!" The class shouted. She clapped her hands, which signaled them to run. Anthea lead, with Jack on her heel. He sure is fast, Shunsuke thought. Shunsuke trailed along in the middle. He noticed someone behind him and saw a pigtail girl falling behind. The girl, Petya Mamushka, never seemed ready for P.E. Every day, she always last place in the lap race. Even when they played a sport, her performance always left more to be desired.
She then collapsed on the ground. Shunsuke stopped in his tracks. Dyomin walked up to Petya. Dyomin got Petya on her feet. Dyomin noticed Shunsuke and told him, "Horikawa! Get running!" She then dashed around the lap and surpassed Anthea. Geez, she can really run.
Finally, the Home Economics class commenced. They were charged with making a meal. Shunsuke, as always, felt prepped up. He pulled his hair back with a bandana and had an apron on. He chopped some chicken breast and slid it into a bowl. "Hey, Horikawa-kun. What you making?" Kazuya asked right next to him. He seemed to be making tonkatsu.
"Chicken lo mein," Shunsuke answered while still focused on the food.
"Really? So cool." Leblanc spotted Shunsuke and gave him a thumb up. Leblanc had a soft spot for Shunsuke.
"Shunsuke. Looking good as always," Jack stated. He stood in front of Shunsuke. When the hell did he show up?
"Hey Jack. What are you making?" Kazuya asked, not that surprised by his appearance. He must been paying attention, or something.
"Making? You mean made. But to answer your question," Jack held his hand to his face, dramatically for some reason. "Hamburger and fries." Leblanc glared at Jack. Leblanc doesn't have a soft spot for Jack. Then again, neither does most of the teacher. Despite not looking up, Shunsuke started to wonder how he got accepted to Yamato Ichiban Academy in the first place.
"Um, Jack. That's not a meal," Kazuya told him, bashfully.
"What are you talking about? Add a drink and you'll be fine," Jack stated, nonchalantly.
Leblanc slammed his fist on the desk, which made Shunsuke dropped his knife. "Hyde! Get back to your station right now!" Jack walked off to his desk. Shunsuke reached to grab the knife. When he got it, he peered up and saw Anthea staring at him. They continued staring at each other.
"Horikawa-kun?" Shunsuke glimpsed at Kazuya, who had a worry look on his face.
"Sorry. I'm okay," Shunsuke replied with a wry smile on his face. He then continued to cook in silence.
Sugiyama stood in front of the class. "Class is over. The two assigned for clean-up please stay." The class got up and left. Shunsuke was about to leave the school when a hand grabbed his left shoulder. He turned around and saw Jack there.
Jack stretched his face to Shunsuke's ear. Shunsuke grimaced at the prospect. "Meet me in homeroom in an hour," he whispered. He figured as much. Jack seemed to want him to meet him for something. Ever since the first day, he always wanted to talk to him. Shunsuke wondered whether he should go or not. If he doesn't, he'll just keep on bugging him. Because of that he decided to head back to the class.
Shunsuke entered into the classroom, glancing around. He noticed Erica sitting there. She sat next to a couple of black kids, which Shunsuke knew. Nicholas Campbell and Jennifer Fox was fellow students who always near each other. They don't seem to notice each other much, though.
He sighed and walked to his seat. Erica had a notebook out and was writing on it. Throughout the week, she hasn't spoken to him a lot. Shunsuke wondered what she thinking. She always seemed to keep to herself, with no real friends to speak with. In a way, she kind of like Jack.
Suddenly, Jack burst through the door. Everybody eyed him, mostly in annoyance. "Hello, guys. Good to see you here," he said, the door slammed shut. Shunsuke covered his ears. He doesn't like noises much. "Sorry, baby. I can't control my strength." Shunsuke grimaced. Is he mocking him in broken English or is that how he spoke English? Shunsuke guessed the latter.
"Anyways, I have something to tell you guys. But first, I have some more people who gonna show up. Therefore, let's welcome Shunsuke Horikawa!" Jack reached his hand and pointed at Shunsuke. The group stayed silence. "Oh yeah. Well talk over yourselves. I'll be back," Jack then left.
An hour had passed before Jack came back. Shunsuke and Erica held a brief conversation before silence returned. Another student named Pierre Kirby walked in. If Shunsuke remembered, he was one of Jack's friends. Shunsuke then tested his mom that he'll probably be late. When she texted back, he just deleted it. He glanced at Nicholas and Jennifer quietly on their phone. Geez, they hang out a lot for people who don't acknowledge each other much.
When Jack finally came back, he brought more people with him. Sang Hee Park walked in as well as Tatiana Kafka, Boris Shayk, and Don Bluth. Shunsuke find the entourage interesting. They don't seem like the type to hang with the likes of him. Intrigued by the sight, Shunsuke couldn't help but wonder what Jack wants.
"Salutations, forks. Welcome to a little circle I would like to create," Jack clapped his hands together. He pointed to the seats, which led to them to sit. Jack squint his eyes at Sang Hee. When she noticed it, she tossed a book and hit him. Sang Hee Park very self-conscious about her glare like eyes.
Jack grabbed the book off the floor. "Anyways, on the topic of discussion. We all enrolled at Yamato Ichiban Academy for our betterment," Jack began while juggling the book with one hand. "As well as the prestigious representation. We are the best of the best. However,"
The book then dropped on the desk. "Anthea Kadigan came along. If we are the best of the best, she's the best of the best of the best. Her 96.5% average has the whole school up in a dizzy. Don't you feel frustrated whenever she even gets mentioned? Kadigan this, Kadigan that. It pissed me off!"
A silence passed behind the group. Shunsuke never thought of Jack in that way before. Tatiana stood up and asked, "W... what are you applying? Some kind of stupid bullying?" Tatiana folded her arms in anger. Out of all of them here, she's the closest one to Anthea.
Jack just stood there. Tatiana ran up to him, face to face. "Yes. Isn't it obvious?" He replied to her face. She reached back to slap him. Jack grabbed the book and blocked the slap with it. He then forced her onto the desk.
Sang Hee launched herself off her chair and tried to throw the punch. Jack smacked her in the face before it landed. Erica and Shunsuke gasped. Jack doesn't seem like a guy who gets this aggressive.
"Oh sorry. I got a little carried away," Jack stated. He let Tatiana go and faced Sang Hee. She glared up at him. Tatiana and Sang Hee both walked to the doorstep. "Before you leave, just keep in mind what I said."
Erica then got up and uttered, "I'm leaving." She left as well as Boris and Don. The only ones left are Shunsuke and Pierre. Nicholas and Jennifer seemed to both be focusing on their phones as always.
Jack turned to look at him. "You can leave Shunsuke," Jack told him, finally. Shunsuke peeked at him, suspiciously. "Thank you for coming, Shunsuke. It means a lot to me."
"What are you up to? Is all this why you keep bothering me?" Shunsuke asked in irritation.
Pierre then got up. He glanced up at Shunsuke and told him, "Shunsuke. Calm down. Jack-kun here just thought you would be interested in joining, is all."
"Don't give me that. Just thought? You knew the entire time."
"Of course. You always staring at her," Pierre pointed at Shunsuke's eyes. "Your glare said it all."
Shunsuke glared at him. He then turned his head. He walked towards the doorway.
"Aw, Shunsuke. Don't get mad. I was just playing you."
"Pierre, chill," Jack announced, finally.
"Just let him go. We did enough already,"
Shunsuke walked out the doorway, but not before Jack said, "See you tomorrow."
In homeroom the next day, Sugiyama walked in the classroom. "Good morning, class," he announced. "Today, 1-C will pick their new class president," he walked to the board and tapped his finger. "Any volunteers?"
Tatiana raised her hand. Sugiyama glimpsed behind him, which made her wave her hand, violently. "Kadigan-san, you're the new class president. Any complaints?"
Anthea got up. "No sir. I understand."
"Very good. Now for--"
Tatiana slammed her hand. The class turned their heads towards her. "Kafka-san?" Sugiyama started. "As something wrong?"
"I wanted to be class president! I raised my hand!"
"If you don't lower your voice, I will have you sent to the headmaster,"
"Don't give me that! Anthea gets all the attention! Anthea this, Anthea that! What about all of us!"
Anthea blankly stared at her. "Professor picked me because of my abilities I displayed so far. Stop being childish and accept it."
Tatiana lowered her head in disgrace, her sandy blonde hair covering her face.
"Kafka-san, are you okay?" Sugiyama asked. When she didn't answer, he just continued. "Anyways, time for attendance."
Throughout the day, Tatiana stayed silent. It wasn't until the second period where the English teacher, Anderson, sent her home on the request of Petya. She as well as the sixth period Japanese teacher, Aizawa, was pretty close to the fragile, glasses wearing girl. Therefore, she asked Tatiana to go home. She silently complied and walked away.
Other than that, the day continued as per normal. Shunsuke couldn't help but wonder whenever Anthea gets attention, if she even knew what she done. Tatiana at home, depressed, meanwhile Anthea acting like it any other day. He then thought about what Jack had said. Is she really bad? He glanced at Anthea from time to time, while thinking this.
"Sweet. You still here," Jack announced at the classroom. It is after school, Shunsuke sat at his usual spot. Erica was there as well as Nicholas and Jennifer. They, as usual, are on their phone.
"Might as see what you had to say," Shunsuke answered. The exchange yesterday still bothered him, so he decided to come again. He glimpsed towards Erica. She seemed to have the same thought, considering how she stomped away. He then swept his eyes over the classroom. It seemed they were the only one, though.
Suddenly, Pierre ran into the class. "Yo, Jack! You never believe who wants to show up!" he shouted, frantically. He leaned his body on the nearby desk.
"I think I can," Jack replied as he viewed over the doorway. "You can come out, Tatiana!"
Tatiana timidly walked in, her blue eyes glancing around the room before she was rested her eyes on Jack. "Sorry for my outburst yesterday," she announced, finally. "I should have heeded your warning. I always wanted to be class president. The class president gets more representation. And here she goes, getting all the attention. She already has the highest average. I-- I wanted to--" She put her hand on her face. She then bends down and started crying.
Suddenly, Sang Hee appeared. With her were Don and Boris. Her eyes glared straight at Jack. "Jack Hyde. We are here to join," she gestured to the both of them. Boris' black eyes shone in pride. Meanwhile, Don's green eyes gazed on with slight hesitation.
"Alright, the gangs all here. At least for now," Jack announced as he hugged Tatiana. Everyone observed up at Jack, even Nicholas and Jennifer of all people. Shunsuke thought about Anthea.
"Now, here is what we'll do," Jack articulated.