Strongest in the Supernatural School Volume 1 Chapter 1 Part 1

Chapter 1 – The Weakest Esper

It was early spring, entrance ceremony day.

Refreshing sunlight streamed in through the windows. Cherry blossom petals danced in the chilly air that still retained hints of winter on this quintessential spring day. In contrast to the springlike atmosphere outside, the stifling gymnasium was filled with new students. Looking over the printed materials handed out to them, I frowned.

“I’ve got a really bad feeling about this…”

I was assigned to Class 1-C. With my surname starting with ‘A’, I could only clearly see the students lined up in front of me from Classes A and B. Despite the sense of unease the handouts gave them, they seemed full of anticipation for the new school life ahead.

Private Senei Academy High School.

Built using cutting-edge technology to develop supernatural abilities known as ‘esper powers’, which are then granted to the students to promote more well-rounded, substantive growth compared to previous eras…or so the brochure said, if I remember correctly. But this is…

“Not good.”

The school was established just two years ago. The current third-years were the first batch, so there wasn’t much information about the school. I recalled the sole piece of news – the ‘Disappearance of Students Expelled from the Academy’ incident.

…That was proven to be totally unfounded, with articles published to that effect too.

And so, lured by the promise of ‘esper abilities’, we resolved to enroll.

The disappearances were just a rumor. Senei Academy was a perfectly normal high school.

That’s what I believed, anyway.

“Now that the printouts have been distributed, let me briefly explain,”

A voice amplified through the mic suddenly echoed through the gym.

Looking up at the stage, a man stood in front of a podium.

Wearing a well-fitted suit, he had slicked-back silver hair.

The deep wrinkles on his face accentuated his mature visage, yet his smile somehow reassured all who saw it.

The principal – Yagumo Sento. That was the man’s name.

“To put it simply, just follow your teacher’s instructions and the school rules, and you’ll have a successful school life. It’s not complicated, just like elementary and middle school. The only difference is – yes, you all have esper abilities now.”

Espers. The kind you see in anime and manga and stuff.

Apparently I already had this ability innately. To be honest, even after hearing about my power I still didn’t feel anything, but excitement spread through the students.

They probably already knew their own powers. Whether they’d be honest about them or exaggerate to seem stronger… Well, I doubt there’d be any weirdos who’d undersell their own powers, but our daily lives were definitely about to change dramatically just by having these abilities.

“What the school wants is for you to have fulfilling school lives. Use your powers enthusiastically in your studies and club activities. The better your results, the higher your grades and allowances will be, so your efforts will directly benefit you.”

The principal smiled again.

“So follow the rules and revel in your school lives!”

His smile remained warm and reassuring.

Glancing around, I could see students breathing sighs of relief. A handful had complicated expressions though… I wondered what would happen next.

I turned my gaze back to the brochure and sighed quietly.

☆☆☆

That night, in the private room assigned to each student, I looked over the brochure.

The school grounds were apparently over twice the size of Tokyo. Of course it had school buildings and dorms, but also thriving dairy and farming industries, unbelievable gigantic shopping malls, amusement parks, resort hotels… Which does make me wonder why they’d provide resort hotels for the students…

“Wow, incredible.”

Our tuition and living expenses could be earned within the school too.

With such ideal conditions it was like a paradise, but naturally this much preferential treatment came with a hidden dark side.

The smartphone-like ‘Student Handbook’ that was distributed along with the brochure in the gym.

YOU ARE READING STOLEN TRANSLATION. READ THE ORIGINAL TRANSLATION AT GADGETIZEDPANDA.COM

When I turned it on, my photo appeared on the screen along with my name, age, gender, and the living allowance provided by the school – ‘¥499,431’. The odd amount was because I’d bought dinner at the campus store on the way back to the dorm.

The smartphone also contained ID, credit card, phone, game functions and more. Since it was a smartphone after all.

But make no mistake, this was a ‘Student Handbook’ through and through.

I slid my finger to open the handbook app and was greeted by walls of text under the heading [School Rules].

Skimming through it, I had to hold my forehead.

…How many other students realized the school’s malicious intent at this stage?

After we dispersed from the gym yesterday, I recalled the chatter I’d heard from the other new first-years. They were probably absorbed with the gaming and phone functions, not even glancing at the handbook.

Plus there was the matter of esper abilities.

Some would try out their powers, some would immediately start training, some might already have skillful control. Amidst all that, someone who didn’t even look at the game functions, made no connections with their new classmates, paid no attention to their esper power, and was intently reading the handbook from 8pm the night before school even started – there probably weren’t many pathetic guys like me.

Well, maybe a handful including me.

The terrible malice lurking beneath this facade of goodwill and preferential treatment.

Whether you noticed it or not would completely change your school life starting tomorrow.

“Well, and”

Unfortunately, or luckily, I happened to catch on, but I hadn’t exchanged contacts with any classmates to warn them…

I glanced at the clock on the wall. It showed ‘7:58pm’. I plugged in the handbook to charge and turned off all the other lights in the room.

Two minutes later, in total darkness, I read out that one passage from the screen reflected in my eyes.

“Article 3. Bedtime is strictly 8pm. Those who have their room lights on past that time will be subject to a ¥100,000 fine, expulsion, or other measures.”

I turned off the smartphone and collapsed into bed.

The living allowance periodically deposited based on our grades. With the ‘period’ still unclear this early on before school had even started and my initial funds untouched, losing a fifth of my balance – ¥100,000 – would be incredibly painful.

“This sure is an unusual place.”

I muttered and closed my eyes. I had a bad feeling things would go crazy starting tomorrow, but for now, I’d just attend school broadcasting my ‘victim’ status. Blend into the crowd during conspicuous times – that was the safest approach.

With that resolve, I slipped under the covers.

The night before my first day of school… looked like I’d sleep soundly after all.

☆☆☆

The next day. I put on the brand new uniform and followed the same route to school I took just yesterday.

I had breakfast from the convenience store, by the way. We got a ¥500,000 starting stipend after all. Avoiding the fine and with prudent living, I should be able to get by for some time.

There were students heading to the school building here and there around me.

None of them showed anger or impatience, maybe they hadn’t even noticed their money was gone. I tilted my head in realization.

“Ah, second or third-years, huh.”

The tie/ribbon colors differed by grade – green for second-years, blue for third-years.

Meanwhile ours were red.

No wonder they were so carefree. I blended into the stream of students and headed into the school building.

But I soon noticed an anomaly.

“Hm?”

I arrived at the entrance I used yesterday, but there wasn’t a single first-year around.

Checking the shoe lockers for Class 1-C… all the indoor shoes had been switched to outdoor shoes, except mine. Did everyone arrive already? I shouldn’t be late though…

I checked my smartphone – it showed ‘7:58am’.

Classes didn’t start for over thirty minutes…

“Don’t tell me that was a school rule too.”

Showing up an hour early or face immediate expulsion, or something.

I didn’t memorize all the rules so I was getting worried.

I had a bad feeling about this but went along with it anyway.

With no particular hurry, I slowly headed to my classroom.

And then, a few minutes later, angry yells echoed through the school.

☆☆☆

“Huh… Don’t be silly, oi!”

“Ugh… Seriously, are you kidding me?”

I could hear that rough voice loud and clear—it’s from Class 1-C… Wait, that’s my class.

Feeling like I wanted to leave before my first class even began was a new experience for me.

I quietly reached the front of the classroom, trying not to make a sound, and peeked in through the gap in the door.

A male student was kicking chairs and desks around, aggressively confronting a female teacher.

Despite trying to hold the male student back, a female student turned to the teacher with a confused expression.

Another male student, his arms crossed with an intimidating air, stared down the teacher.

A female student sat down at her desk, closing her eyes and straightening her back as if to ignore everything.

Amidst all these negative gazes, the teacher maintained a faint smile.

Hmm, is this a class meltdown? Should I just head back home?

TL Note:

One of the key elements of this novel is that the main character is a massive liar. 95% of what he says, including the narration, are all lies. One of the things I enjoy most about this novel (aside from it being a shameless COTE rip-off) is figuring out when the main character is actually telling the truth.

So, I want to ask you, the reader: Does my translation effectively convey that most of this novel consists of lies told by our protagonist? Please leave a comment—I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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