Another chapter, thanks to my Patrons
Chapter 5 Part 3
“This is the cafeteria of the Ousei Gakuen.”
I was speechless. Ryo brought me to a very large space with a style that was completely different from the cafeteria I knew. Many round tables and simple chairs arranged like the terrace of a coffee shop. Students enjoy eating and chatting at each table.
...My school also has a cafeteria, but it’s a common cafeteria that you can find everywhere, and it wasn’t this clean either. I was stunned by the sight in front of me, and then Ryo called out with a laugh.
“Hahahaha! Everyone will be surprised at first! But that’s not all, you know? Here, look at this.”
The next thing Ryo showed me was the menu table. And when I read it, I was dumbfounded once again.
First of all, the variety was overwhelming. Japanese, Chinese and Western foods are commonplace, in addition to that, there were Spain and Russian cuisine, too… there was international cuisine from all over the world that you can’t usually eat unless you go to the specialty restaurant. Moreover, dishes for each religion were prepared as well.
“I-it seems that the dishes here are made by the chefs who worked at a three-star restaurant.”
I opened my eyes hearing Shingo-kun’s words. No, no, no. even if I can pay for it now, I can’t just eat such high-class dishes all the time! I thought that then Ryo smiled broadly as if he could read what I thought.
“Shall I surprise you more? The food here ── all of them is only for 500 yen!”
I really had no choice but to be speechless. Eh, is this heaven? You can eat three-star dishes with just one coin? I don’t know what it means anymore.
“Well, even though it’s only 500 yen, there are certainly students who live alone and are financially hard up, and so there is a thing called “Student’s Daily Lunch” prepared for such students.
“Yeah, you can’t choose the contents since it was changed daily, but the price is… It’s free.”
I already knew it from the level of classes, but it’s become very clear here. This school is too different from the others. While listening to Ryo and Shingo-kun’s words, I decided on a menu and when we received our meal, we sat down at a nearby seat.
Ryo’s meal is crab tomato cream pasta, and Shingo-kun is a pork cutlet. Since I heard it was 500 yen, so I decided to try something that seems to be as expensive as possible, I decided to have a set meal of Japanese black beef hamburger. Well, no, actually I just want to eat something a little luxurious.
“Alright, let’s eat!”
After the pre-meal greetings, we concentrated on each meal.
I put the hamburger in my mouth and was frozen by the excessive delicacy. Hey, what on earth is this? The juices are splashing inside my mouth! It feels so soft! D-delicious! (T/N: He said “nikujū ga dobā-tte! kuchi no naka de fuwa-tte! u,umai!)
The hamburger was delicious enough to deprive me of my vocabulary. Ryo and Shingo-kun were laughing while eating their own foods as they watched me eating innocently.
“Hey, hey… Take a look!”
“Who is that man…?”
“A transfer student?”
When I was eating, I suddenly noticed that my surroundings were noisy.
“What happened? It seems to be noisy.”
“Hmm? It was because you’re here, you know?”
“Because I’m here? Oh, it’s because my uniform was different. Looks like I became too conspicuous…”
“Hmm? What is it?”
“…No, it’s nothing.”
Why, I wonder? I feel that Ryo looked at me as if to say, “Hey, seriously?” but it seems just to have been my imagination. As we proceed to eat while having a friendly conversation, Ryo suddenly asked me as if he was just noticed it.
“Speaking of which, Yuuya, are you taking part in club activity?”
“This school is very strong in every club, but they’re focusing more on sports.”
“Oh, I see…”
“So, if you’re doing club activities at the school you’re currently attending, I wonder if you’ll also take part in here.”
Obviously, I didn’t do any club activities. It would be difficult if I have to pay for the club’s expense too, and in the first place, I wasn’t permitted to have such an adolescent life…
I responded to Ryo with a wry smile.
“I’m sorry, but I’m not doing club activities.”
“He~e? Seriously? It’s unexpected.”
“Then, what about Ryo and Shingo-kun?”
“Me? I’m also in the “going home” club.”
“Eh? I see. I thought you were a member of a sports club…”
Even though it’s just my prejudice, I was surprised because Ryo’s appearance made me feel like he’s a refreshing sportsman.
Then Shingo-kun told me while laughing.
“R-Ryo-kun is good at various sports, he was invited by the various club at the beginning of his entry, he was really in great demand at the time.”
“Really!? Then why?”
I asked while thinking that there may be other things he likes, such as manga, but he answered without hesitation.
“Hmm… it because I wanted to do a lot of things… maybe?”
“A lot of things?”
“Yeah.. I used to play soccer in junior high school, and went to a fairly good line… but after I entered this school, I thought playing soccer was good, however, I wanted to experience various things, and so I just ended up in a going home club.”
“A-as Ryo-kun’s assistant, I know that he had truly participated in a lot of different clubs, and I had to follow him as well, and each time he left, he was leaving with great results.”
“Haha, stop, that’s embarrassing.”
Ryo laughed shyly as he looked really embarrassed. He’s really like a character in a manga. It’s not a bad thing, he’s a really good guy anyway, he’s a popular person, too.
“I see… Is that allowed?”
“Yeah. If you join this school, you can have various experiences without having to do club activities. In that sense, Shingo’s club activities have also changed.”
“He~e? What club does Shingo-kun belong to?”
I asked him and he told me while smiling.
“I-I belong to the Game Club.”
“Game Club!? The game, you mean? Video games?”
Seriously? …Can you bring a game to this school so openly? I thought that you can do as you please wearing accessories and hair color, but I wonder if they’re really allowed to do that…
I was surprised by the unusual freedom in this Ousei Gakuen, but Shingo-kun told me the reason.
“O-of course, I can’t do it during class, but you can play games and smartphones during the break. It would be strictly prohibited in ordinary high schools. No students are playing around with their smartphones or games during class, and that’s why even in school, the game club is allowed.”
I could only breathe a sigh of admiration. In other words, this school trusts students and allows both smartphones and games. But the best part is that the students are also trying not to betray their trust. Something like that, I was able to have a very fulfilling lunch by listening to many other surprising stories.
After lunch, I talked a lot with people other than Ryo and Shingo-kun and all of them looked straight at me. Until now, everyone has looked down on me, though the students at this school treat me as a human being on an equal footing. I may look different than I used to, but I was very happy because I found out that everyone recognized me and looked from inside me.
After school, I visited the chairman’s office and talked with Tsukasa Houjou-san.
“So, how was this school?”
“…It was amazing. The classes are easy to understand and the facilities are well-equipped… But what impressed me the most was that the students seemed to have a lot of fun.” I told the chairman what I honestly thought with a smile.
Yes, the students at this school were all bright. In my current school, everyone was just bored every day. The students who joined club activities often said “it was dull” or “just want to go home” during classes and breaks during the day.
But I haven’t heard that word since I came to this school today. No, I’m not saying that it won’t happen, but I still haven’t heard of it. Everyone seems to have fun and enjoys this school from the bottom of their heart.
I was able to feel it strongly by today’s experience… And everyone recognized and accepted this me who was always being bullied. That’s what I was really happy about. Not only is everyone enjoying themselves, but they also acknowledge me and see me properly as a person…
To be honest, I really want to be here, at this school. But…
When he heard my words, the chairman nodded in satisfaction.
“Is that so? I’m glad if you said that. …So, how’s it? Why don’t you go to this school?”
“…Is it really okay for me to be here?”
Am I really worth attending this school? I haven’t found anything I’m good at or proud of. There’s a better child than me who doesn’t know anything.
Thinking so, the chairman gently said as if he had read what was in my mind.
“Yuuya-kun. Your value is what you decide, and you can also decide for others.”
“And now you know that it’s worth it to go to this school, don’t you? …That’s what you think, right?
I put a little time thinking of it, and answer, “Yes.”
“But I think you’re worthy to attend this school.”
Hearing his words, I looked straight at the chairman.
“It’s okay. If you haven’t found your value yet and want to find it… Find it at this school. You have time anyway.”
I can only be silent, the chairman’s words came straight into my chest.
And then ─
“Err… I’m just like this, but if you don’t mind, please let me attend this school”
“Of course! We welcome you.”
I was officially attending this Ousei Gakuen.