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My new leather shoes resonate.
Thousands of eyes are focused on my every move, and I can feel them through my skin without even looking back.
At the opening ceremony of Four Seasons’ Island, commonly known as Academy Island, it is a tradition for the freshmen who took first place in enrollment to give a short speech.
In fact, this year it was that way too. The speech of the best-scored of the new generation has just ended with little applause… But now the place is full of an immense enthusiasm that can’t begin to be compared.
I calmly leave the uproar of the place and walk slowly to the microphone.
I take a breath, then look around…
I had heard that this was the largest hall on the island, but today all the seats are taken. Some are whispering to their friends, others are yawning quietly, and some of them are playing on their smartphones. Even they, who pretend not to be interested, must have an eye on me.
However, this should not surprise anyone.
In the admission test to the country’s most difficult academic island, I achieved the highest scores of all generations and made an unexpected move on my first day here. From one day to the next, I became the strongest man on this academic island. That is my personal file.
The fastest student to rise to Seven-Stars in the history of Academy Island.
I defeated last year’s absolute queen in one day; I am the super-novice with the most attention.
Of course, all of the above is a lie.
This is not good, this is not right… My heart is about to stop beating. What is this? Why should I do this?
Almost all public information is false. In fact, probably only my name and gender are accurate.
I failed my grades. I have no reason to be a Seven-Stars, nor am I the strongest. I heard that my test had one of the lowest scores in the academy. That’s right, I’m a piece of garbage compared to what’s being said about me.
… But this can’t be known by anyone.
I must not be exposed.
Therefore, I grasp my frantically beating heart and open my mouth with a calm smile.
“Listen, everyone, I am one of the new students: Shinohara Hiroto. First, I will announce that, for the next two years, I will continue to rule the top of this island as the best student. Whether my opponent is the Empress or whoever it may be, I have no intention of giving up my throne as Seven Stars. However, if anyone is not convinced, you can come to me at any time. I welcome you to propose a duel. The premise is that, no matter what you try, I do not intend to lose”, I keep a provocative tone until the end. My voice must not tremble.
I avert my eyes from the place, now a firestorm due to the unusual content of my speech and decide to leave the room early. There is a deceptive smile on my face, but, on the other hand, regret and anxiety are whirling in my heart… Ah, really, am I insane? Or am I a fool? No, there is no doubt that I am a fool. At this point, there is no way to justify it. Until it’s all over, I can’t look back neither go back.
But that’s why—
From now on, I will be deceiving people here. In the next two years until graduation, no matter what method is required, I will definitely keep this lie up until the end.
—And now, do you wonder how I came to this?
To explain why it happened, we must go back to the events of this morning.