Royal Academy 為生学園
Episode 0 – The Royal Welcome
“Welcome to the fall semester, opening ceremonies at Isei Academy,” said a balding man, the chairman of Isei. “For some of you, this will be a new beginning, and for others, your journey to success will continue.”
Nonoka stood in the gymnasium, lost in the sea of black and white blazers. Around her were the other first year students of Isei. The guys whispered among themselves and girls giggled excitedly for the semester to start. For Nonoka, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It wasn’t often that someone without any kind of wealth got to attend Isei.
“…We encourage innovation, athleticism, the liberal arts, and most importantly, an enriched environment that will help you learn and obtain the success your families expect of you.”
Graduating from Isei, was like winning a gold medal. If Nonoka did well, her future would be set.
A girl slammed her hands down on top of Nonoka’s desk. Her hair was a cute bob cut, dark, straight with ends that curled towards her neck. She wore the standard black button up blazer and black skirt. Nonoka startled. She was the first to approach her in class 1-B.
“You’re that girl from opening ceremonies,” she said. “What’s your name?”
“Umm, Takeda Nonoka.”
“I’m going to call you Nono-chan, ok?”
She didn’t even get the chance to agree.
“If you haven’t heard of Isei Academy, then you better learn fast,” she said, hands flat on her desk.
“But you haven’t told me your-“
“Save the questions for the end!” she said. “I doubt anyone is going to be this nice, but I’m a generous person.”
Nonoka just looked at her. She was energetic and loud, but so far, she was the only one that even paid her any attention. Perhaps they all knew her background already.
“Let me break it down for you. At Isei Academy, your image is everything. Got it?”
“This school is home to the best of the best. And at the top, are the students Isei calls The Royal Family,” the girl said.
The girl rolled her eyes. “It’s already obvious from opening ceremonies that you don’t know a thing about them, so I’ll fill you in.” She stood up straight and proud. The other girls were looking now. Nonoka wanted to hide her face but she knew her classmate would probably only get louder.
“There are five students that make up the Royal Family. You’ve already seen the ‘Cold Queen of Isei.”
“And now a word from your student council president,” the chairman said.
Getting up from her seat on the stage, a girl walked up to the podium and bowed. She was tall and beautiful. Her blazer was white, like few others, with gold trim and a cute, black bow tie. Her hair was shiny, dark and straight, with neatly cut bangs that covered her forehead. She bowed and all the students, mostly the boys, greeted her with cheer.
“Welcome to a new semester at Isei. I will be your student council president…,” she began. The gymnasium fell silent, listening to her every word.
Nonoka thought only models could be so beautiful. However, even though she looked nice, Nonoka could tell her smile was forced and her eyes cold.
“I’m here to make sure you have a fulfilling school term and stay focused on your path to success,” the girl said. “My name is…”
“Himise Sarako. Second year, assigned to class 2-A. Her family runs an investment company. Her grades are great, she’s been elected student council president twice and she’s an absolute beauty. Every girl wants to be her underling, and every guy wants to date her,” the girl said to Nonoka.
“She didn’t look too…friendly.”
“She isn’t. Don’t get on Himise’s bad side.”
“Then why does everyone want to be so close to her?”
The girl rolled her eyes again. “Because, get in good with Himise and your set for the entire school year. Girls practically grovel to be one of her flunkies.”
“That doesn’t sound like a good school year to me. I would never grovel for her approval,” Nonoka said.
“Good, because she doesn’t pick girls like you or me.”
“Hey, what’s wrong with-“
“Next! Is the King of Isei, Sakurano Shuhei.”
Hands slammed on the desk again and the girl leaned in close. Nonoka startled once more and tried to lean back.
“Sakurano is top tier. I’m talking old money. His family is one of the oldest around,” she said.
“What do they do?”
She shrugged. “Anything and everything, Nono.” She leaned up, crossed her arms and nodded. “He’s the number one guy in Isei. A third year in class 3-A. He’s cool, handsome and good at every sport he takes on.”
The girls that were now listening sighed his name.
“His fan base is large, so don’t upset the followers of Sakurano,” said the bob cut girl.
“Yeah, don’t even think about talking to Sakurano-senpai,” said a girl sitting in the next desk over. The bob cut girl scrunched up her nose at her and feigned a lunge. The other girl gave a small roll of her eyes and a disgusted look before minding her own business.
“Right! I hope you’re listening, Nono-chan.”
The students clapped as Himise Sarako finished her opening speech. The student council president bowed one last time and turned on her heel, skirt flaring. She looked graceful as she walked back to her seat to sit. As soon as she did, the chairman came back to the podium.
“I would also like you to meet this year’s student body representative, Obata Yukiji.”
The girls immediately started to cheer and scream. Nonoka tilted her head.
The girls next to her turned and looked at her in horror. One of them had short, dark hair, styled in a bob cut. Nonoka smiled nervously and moved farther to the right so they could stop staring at her as if she’d committed some verbal sin.
As the student representative took the podium, the gymnasium fell quiet. He was as beautiful as the student council president, although his hair was longer, a reddish blonde and his eyes were slanted, but green. When he spoke, it was in perfect Japanese.
“Good morning, I’m your student body representative, Obata Yukiji.”The girls cheered, even some of the guys. “Another year begins, and I am glad to be back at Isei. I hope to hear your concerns and improve Isei for everyone as your representative.” He bowed.
Nonoka could only stare. Did everyone at Isei look so good?
“Obata Yukiji! The flower-boy prince of Isei. He’s a second year, president of class 2-A, and student body representative. His family owns the most popular Japanese inns and onsens in Japan! I can’t believe you haven’t heard of him,” bob cut girl said.
“He’s tall, with green eyes, and silky hair. He’s also nice and smiles to every girl that asks him out. Too bad he always refuses,” she said.
“He didn’t look Japanese…,” said Nonoka.
“His father is, but his mother is a French model. French, Nonoka!”
She could only nod in agreement.
“And he’s into theatre and drama,” said the girl.
“Theatre? I used to-”
“And where there is a prince, there’s a princess. That’s Risa Jones, third year of class 3-A. She’s cute and playful, making her very popular. Not to mention she’s tiny. No guy would be able to get past her army of devotees long enough to confess to her.”
Nonoka thought the name sounded familiar. But she couldn’t quite place it.
“What does her family do?” Nonoka asked.
The girl smiled broadly. “You’re learning the Isei way, Nono! Her family is in the entertainment business. Her mom is a singer and her step-father is an American actor.”
“Eh? Really?” Nonoka could feel her eyes widen. How did she ever manage to get into a school where the top students were considered royalty?
“And what about people like us?” Nonoka asked.
“Ha! We’re nowhere near them. We’re just one of the common folk, Nono. Common!”
The girl had gradually leaned in with her enthusiasm then backed away again. Nonoka nodded her head. She got the message.
“You said there were five students in the royal family. Who’s the last?” she asked.
As she finished her sentence, the door to the class room slammed opened, drawing everyone’s eyes to the entrance.
Everyone clapped as Obata Yukiji left the stage to take his seat next to the student council president. The Chairman came back to the stage, clearing his throat.
“Your homeroom and homeroom professors have been assigned and posted in the main hall. Your teachers will go over the uniform policy and other rules.”
The chairman looked like a stern man. Nonoka would try her best not to be called to his office. Ever.
“That concludes the opening ceremonies,” he said. “And I’m sure this goes without saying, but try not to do anything outside of school to damage our school’s reputation.”
The students murmured and giggled, enveloping the gymnasium in a cacophony of chatter as everyone began to make their way out. Nonoka looked back at the stage to see Sarako and Yukiji leaving as well. At Isei, students like that, would always be worlds away.
“I guess it’s time to meet my classmates,” Nonoka said.
A boy walked into the classroom. He was lightly tanned with short black hair that was longer on one side. His dark eyes seemed hard and his expression reserved. He wore a black blazer with black pants; however, instead of the standard black tie, he wore the girl’s bow tie. His nose was small, like a button, and his eyes big. He was cute, in a boyish way. All the girls giggled and watched as he took his seat. The bob cut girl standing over Nonoka leaned in closer.
“That’s Asegawa Nori, the last of the Royal Family. She’s called the Knight of Isei,” the girl said.
“She?!” Nonoka had to look at the “boy” who came in again. He, or rather she, certainly had a softness to their features.
“Yep. She’s really good at sports, the cool, tomboy sort. And she’s new money.” The girl glanced at the knight of Isei. “She acts like she doesn’t care about anything besides basketball and volleyball. I think it’s what made her become so popular at Isei’s junior acedemy—that indifferent attitude of hers. All the girls want to be her.”
“Nonoka!” the girl shouted.
“Listen, there’s only one rule here. Keep the order,” she said. “Got it?”
“Yeah…what’s your name?”
The girl looked at her for a second, then laughed.
“Mika. Shirase Mika. Say, why don’t we be friends?”
Nonoka blinked. “Su-“
“Great! Call me Mi-chan!”
The classroom door opened again and in walked a woman with long hair tied back and glasses. Her blouse was white and striped a light pink. Her skirt was fitted and an appropriate length. She turned to the board and wrote out her name in kanji.
“Good morning class. I’ll be your homeroom teacher. I’m Ms. Orihara,” she said. “All right, let’s settle down. We’ve got a lot to do.”
Mika took the seat in front of Nonoka and immediately turned around, lowering her voice. Nonoka looked at her in surprise.
“I’ll give you one last piece of advice, Nono-chan,” Mika said. “As long as you keep your head down, you’ll do just fine here,” she said before turning around again.
Nonoka pursed her lips. She was a poor girl among the rich, beautiful, intellectuals of the Japan’s upper class. Even if her scholarship had been millions, she wouldn’t be any closer to the students of Isei. She glanced at Asegawa, the knight of Isei and sighed. Nonoka would always be common folk. It was best she focused on her studies, and graduated. She didn’t want anything to do with the rich kids of Isei.
To be Continued…