Another Fake Part 1:
Starting about thirty years ago from 「April 1 the year when I was 15」 to 「March 31 the year when I was 18」, some people appeared who were capable of using abilities. They became known as 「Exceed」, and I, Yagumo Ryu, was one of them.
From April 1st of this year, I became a person with abilities right after I woke up from bed.
Now that I think about it, it was very strange. As soon as I opened my eyes, I became aware of my abilities. It was just like how a baby knows how to move his hands or feet. I don’t know how I became able to understand how to activate my ability, <Another Fake>.
Though I panicked about it for a moment, I quickly accepted my fate. The news on TV often broadcasted on Exceeds. Middle school students now learn about 「Exceed Ability」 as a mandatory course, which has now been added as a class. The existence of Exceeds became universally known. Not to mention, for about two hours before I slept that night, I hoped that I might become an Exceed tomorrow.
According to the class we attended in middle school, around one hundred high school students will become Exceeds. Now that I think about it, I feel like that kind of luck is akin to winning a one hundred million yen lottery prize. Even though there are many Exceeds in the world, I didn’t think I would become one. It’s that kind of feeling.
After getting out of bed, I wanted to try my ability. I activated it, and my other self appeared. Whether it was appearance, height, or clothes everything was the same. It was like looking into a full-length mirror.
There was a response from my greeting. Even the voice sounded the same. Standing next to someone who is the same, honestly makes me feel a little uncomfortable.
Whilst trying to endure the uncomfortable feeling, I tried to communicate without speaking.
“Oh, I can hear it in my head. Is this telepathy?”
The two mes seemed to feel better and laughed together. Using this ability would make it easy to cheat on tests.
After playing around with telepathy for about five minutes, I canceled <Another Fake> and started to change my clothes. Now that I confirmed that me being an Exceed was not an illusion, I decided to go the nearest place that was holding the「Exceed Examination」.
The Exceed examination is held on the first of April throughout Japan for fifteen year olds. It’s used to determine whether or not they have awakened to an ability. I don’t know the complex theories behind it, but through the collection of a small amount of blood, they can immediately determine if one is an Exceed or not.
The cost of having a free test was that everyone had to accept the examination. Unless it was for an important reason, if someone didn’t check in before noon, then they would be placed on the wanted list of that country.
Although I think publicly demonstrating <Another Fake> would be easier, I decided to follow the procedures. The result was positive. Coincidentally, April’s fools is today. I don’t know if my friends would believe me if I told them 「I have become an Exceed!」.
Because I became an Exceed, my parents were called here immediately to accept instructions from government personnel . For the next three years, I will be staying on government grounds. I will be attending the 「The City of God Academy」, which is directly managed by the government. Because having abilities carry risks, they must be under constant surveillance. If someone rejects studying at the City of God Academy and runs away instead, they will be wanted by the whole country. People could abuse their powers for malicious reasons, if they really wanted to. Therefore, by obtaining this incredible power, you can expect not to live a normal life.
The school’s name is 「City of God」, its name was taken from the location where the construction took place. It’s rumored that previously, the school’s perimeter was surrounded in uncultivated fields and hills. It took several years to build this school for Exceeds to study in. It looks like it took a considerable amount of effort.
I left home on the morning of April second. I sat in a car, owned by the government , used specifically for the purpose of moving Exceeds. It traveled along a bumpy road until finally arriving at the City of God. When I moved in, I had not been arrested yet or otherwise been treated inhumanely. However, life could not have been considered very carefree. We got all sorts of rewards in return for cooperating in the simple tests that were occasionally held.
During the entrance ceremony on April tenth, I was told to sit next to Yuki. It must have been fate. We then had this conversation:
“I heard that each year there’s only around one hundred people who could become Exceeds in high school. I wouldn’t have thought I would be one of them. It feels like I’ve won the lottery without even buying a ticket. Lucky——”
Yuki showed a carefree smile while saying this. She was dressed in a brand new gray suit jacket, paired with a cream colored sweater wrapped around her upper body. Around her neck, she wore a ribbon-like tie. Her whole body emitted a very mature charm. Once again, I realized that my living environment had already changed.
“Oh, yeah, Yagumo. Did you read the booklet that they gave us when we got here? It says that outside of school hours, we can read as much manga as we want, play as much as we want, and eat as many snacks as we want.”
“Ah. You mean the line that says 「As long as it’s something you want, even if it’s within the Earth, we will dig it out for you」. I feel like that’s a little too good to be true.”
“Also, when we’re outside, there are SP-driven luxury coach cars to drive us. It’s almost like VIP treatment isn’t it.”
“Well, the driver is actually sent to monitor us. Also, this school is in a completely remote area with no neighborhoods around. If we don’t have a car to drive us, we wouldn’t even have a way home.”
“Even if it is like that, I bet ordinary people wouldn’t even be able to ride a luxury coach car in their lifetime.”
“I guess so. However, there’s been some weddings lately where the couples were sent in luxury coach cars.”
“Oh, I see~ Yagumo’s really familiar with this kind of thing. Could you be married?”
“Now that I think about it, luxury cars are expensive to rent aren’t they.”
“It should be a couple tens of thousands of yen per hour…….Now that I think about it, these benefits are only available to us until graduation. I’m going to enjoy my life here.”
This put us into high spirits. During the first month after we were admitted, life was very comfortable.
For example, the school sometimes invited twenty different manufacturers of salty potato chips, and held a tasting assembly (we couldn’t what the difference was at all).
Sometimes, they would prepare a bathtub filled with ten thousand yen bills for us to take a picture like a millionaire (the money was taken back after).
I came to know the benefits of being friends with Yuki, who scheduled a trip to Egypt during Golden Week. She used the influence of the pyramids to enhance the persuasiveness of her request (because near the end, there wasn’t much to say).
Obviously, if I asked for a one hundred karat diamond, it wouldn’t be approved, However, in a situation like this where every request was answered, there wouldn’t be anyone who would use their powers for evil.
Ahh, if you lived in a place like this for three years, you would definitely become someone super useless or something along those lines. April twenty-eighth would later become the day I would never forget.
The day that we were sealed in, we had no knowledge of what was going on. On that morning at eight o’clock, the whole school was summoned to the gym for an assembly.
It was on a day with warm weather that made people drowsy. The doors were closed, and you could hear the birds chirping outside. None of the approximately three hundred students were late. They were lined up in the gym. Before the assembly started, the students were talking——
When I first looked up, the scene was very normal. However, I felt uneasy. It was because in the big stadium, not even one teacher was around. It wasn’t just the teachers. Even the Exceeds who worked for the government, that lived nearby, and who were here to monitor us were also suddenly gone.
……This kind of thing has never happened before……
Although it felt a little uneasy, I didn’t think too much about it. It could be that they just needed to do something without letting us students know and left us for a little while.
Right after I accepted the explanation I came up with, the third-year student council secretary, Kirihara Syuji came out from the side of the stage. He alone, stood in front of the microphone. It seemed like the assembly was finally going to begin.
——But after Kirihara slowly flipped the microphone switch, he suddenly gave all the students this order:
“Attention everyone! You are not to take one step out of the City of God Academy’s dormitories without my permission!”
When I finally understood what was happening, it was already too late. Because Kirihara possessed the ability <Absolute Command>, no one would be able to go against his orders.
So to this day, even if I wanted to create a copy of myself using <Another Fake> to escape, it wouldn’t work.
What’s more is that all the students in the same year as me don’t know how serious the situation was. Yuki, who stood beside me asked, “What activity is this? Is it a belated welcome to the 1st-years?”
She began asking those types of carefree questions.
“……Hey, Yuki. Don’t you think it’s strange that there’s no teacher in this whole gym.”
“Huh?——You’re right. I didn’t notice at all. Are the teachers in a meeting?”
Yuki agreed with me and tilted her head. I stood next to her, feeling uneasy.
Why would Kirihara issue an order like this——
As I was wondering about the suspicious situation, the seniors of the Student Council came out from the side and approached the microphone.
“The order that Kirihara just issued was not just his idea. It was the intention of all third-years. Suddenly doing something like this must have confused all you first and second years, so let us explain the rules of the game we’re about to play.”
After hearing those words, the tension in the gym clearly eased up. What was I suspicious about. Of course, it’s just an activity.
“As you all know, we third years will be losing our abilities by March of next year. So until then, we would like to have a little more fun with our irregular lives here. So we would like to ask the first and second years students to join this game that we made up. The game is called 「School Lockdown」. Before this game ends, no one is allowed step off campus. Games will last until March of next year.
Suddenly, the stadium began to fill with noise again. I can’t leave the school? And it lasts until March of next year?
“After yesterday, the easy-going school life we had ended. All future requests will be ignored, and items unrelated to school will not be given. ——Oh, lessons will be held as usual. Having said that, because school personnel have been forcibly ejected, class will be taught by video. If someone boycotts the classes or disturbs the school environment, he will be immediately punished. Make sure to take note of this.”
——We’re forced to stay on school campus, but we could also get punished? Will this kind of thing be allowed?
….No, it has been allowed. The Student Council president is hailed as the strongest in history with an S-Class ability (Exceed), having a very powerful force. As long as he wanted it, ruling over all students would be simply effortless.
“Then, I’ll tell you the method of retrieving your former steady life. There’s only one way, and that’s to pass the Academy Blockade game. Passing is very simple, it’s 「Using your abilities to defeat the 5 Dominators: Student Council President, Discipline Chairman, Health Chairman, Beautification Chairman and Librarian Chairman」. This is nothing more than setting up our game’s BOSS”
The kind smiling Student Council President calmly proposed the clearance condition that was impossible to achieve. Not because of anything else, but this year’s Third Years were known for consisting of many well-known militants with special abilities. And as the people nominated from these several, the leaders were all outstanding, even out of those who had S-Class and A-Class (Exceed) abilities.
On the other hand, among the First Year and Second Year students, there were no special ability users of S-Class. There were only a handful of A-Class users in Second Year. The majority of us only had B-Class and C-Class special abilities(Yuki and I are both C-Class).
Therefore, the conditions for clearing this game that he made were basically impossible. We didn’t even know if we could defeat a single one of the five leaders before the deadline——. After calmly analyzing it, I could not help but bite my lip.