CHAPTER 5 Act 1
The day of the test appeared to be typically fine, but few realized that all Organizations were quietly observing each other.
Today is the first day of examinations, and different Families will undoubtedly devise their own strategies and take advantage of the test results.
As a Representative of Light Family, I, Steve Wyte, must remain in touch with my fellow Family members and rigorously oversee them.
The school plainly and unequivocally informs us that we are not permitted to engage in any illicit actions that violate the law or school rules, particularly during this time of examination. But I know that certain students will attempt to take down and exploit my Family in a sly way, so we are vigilant.
Maintaining peace requires as few encounters as possible, so we aim for that. And so, the Light Family has opted not to act aggressively today; knowing that all Families are crumbling apart because of what Zei did. If we act recklessly, we may endanger the whole Organization.
In a way, this day was not special at all; rather, many Families were busy at the time with maintaining their Family's reputation as well as keeping them safe.
"Alright, class, let me remind you that every action you take carries responsibility. You know the rules and regulations, and you know what is right and wrong. Anyway, if you received the paper, wait for my further instructions, and keep in mind that you only have an hour for each subject. If you have any questions, you can ask me. That's all."
Before handing out the test questionnaires, Teacher Fireil stepped in front of the class and delivered a few words. We didn't ask any more questions; but everyone seemed pretty confident today, which makes me more excited.
All students take examinations at the same time, and separate classes are not permitted to interfere with one another.
In front of my seat was a great student who was well-known throughout the class; Ms. Alice Ruclise, our Class-1 President. She handed me the exam paper and smiled without saying anything. She is a member of the Ruclise family, which is well-known for its hotel operations. Ruclise Family also members of our organization, the Light Family.
Apparently, she was the female role model in the class, and she's working hard to get to the top and be on par with me.
I can tell that she will be one of our organization's representatives in no time. It's not that I doubt Ms. Shine's abilities as she's currently my co-representative; I admire and completely acknowledge Ms. Shine.
They are both excellent at everything, yet there is a gap when it comes to experience.
"I wish you the best of luck, Ms. Ruclise."
"Thank you for your concern, Mr. Wyte, but I don't believe in luck. Though, I can guarantee my fate."
"...I see, you're extremely confident, which is a good thing; but, I want you to keep an eye on today's exams."
"As you will, commander."
As an organization's leader, I insist on informing my followers that certain students will try to provoke one another. The victims are mostly those who do not have an Organization, but nonetheless, any student might be a victim. As a result, we must be attentive and careful.
In this particular case, the school had already established a strategy to assemble "red-blood students," or those who do not have a Organization, to take examinations in a separate location in order to keep them safe. However, owing to a decrease in the number of red-blood students, we no longer do it as regularly, and many concerns have increased since they perceive it as discriminatory and uneven. As of now, pupils take the exams together, whether they have blue or red-blood.
"Now that everyone has their own paper, you may start at exactly eight o'clock, one minute prior to now."
"Um... sorry to interrupt Teacher Fireil. Can I make a short word?"
Following Teacher Fireil's words, a specific student stands up and grabs our attention.
"What is it?"
"...As we all know everyone, an exam is nothing exceptional, right? But we may have a little fun if we add more to it."
Suddenly, everyone starts chattering around, and a female student stands up and agrees with him, "You're right! It's too boring just to think of it."
She seemed to be as delighted as everyone else.
"Here's the deal: we'll base our decision on the total of our scores, and whomever gets the highest score will have his request granted."
"Yeah, that's nice..."
"'Yup, I'm in too."
Everyone looked to be having a good time and enjoying themselves despite the stakes.
As I predicted, some students would try to be sneaky and take advantage of this chance. I'm sure one of the Organization planned this.
Regardless, school was out of the picture, and this sort of thing will be agreed upon only in class and between students, so 'they' know that it is safe to introduce and continue this. Even if you are opposed to it, you cannot do anything since the entire class agrees.
I turned and took a glimpse at Mr. Seid to see what he thought, but he was too focused on the paper he was holding. It was as though he was deaf to the entire discussion.
"You'd all agree, huh? That it appears to be rather intriguing," I replied casually.
"You like this kind of stuff, Mr. Wyte?" Ms. Ruclise looks at me.
"Not at all. I find it interesting and also ludicrous that many students were bold enough to defeat the best students here. Don't get me wrong, but I just felt like something was off. I'm not sure what, but something was definitely suspicious, don't you think?"
I took a peek at the person who had introduced this game.
"You're correct in that regard," Ms. Frey replied.
"Is that all?" Teacher Fireil said, reminding everyone that the test was about to begin.
It appears that Teacher Fireil was uninterested in the discussion.
Mr. Seid received the highest score on the mock tests, along with a few other students, including Ms. Ruclise and myself. He was smart as Principal Eve told us.
But, on the other hand, I have no idea what the results of these exams will be. What could happen after this?
After a few hours of taking tests, the day finally came to an end, and we had just finished.
The questions are not too difficult if you study really hard.
Everything seemed fine, and all of the students were calm and relaxed, including Mr. Seid. The principal had told me ahead of time that I should carefully observe all of the students, particularly Mr. Seid, and report back to her. But all I can see is that he was completely concentrated on the examination the entire time.
After I picked up my things, Mr. Seid unexpectedly approached me.
"You're keeping a close eye on the students, aren't you?"
"Hm? Uh, it's because we're careful, Mr. Seid, and the Light Family has to be on turmoil if something happens."
He most likely noticed me glancing at him and proceeded to approach me. Well, I can't deny the fact, so I tell him.
"Of course, that also includes me?" he asked.
"It's pointless to lie to you, so everyone here is simply doing what I'm doing, and they're watching you as well."
It's true. I'm not the only one. Even so, it's scary to think that he knows people very well.
Afterwards, I decided to leave the room, but as soon as I did, Mr. Seid also exited. I walked fast enough, but he kept catching up. I became increasingly certain that he was following me.
I stopped at some point and asked him directly.
"What are you doing, Mr. Seid? Are you trying to annoy me?"
"And then what?"
I know he's following me, but he's too bothersome.
"Don't get the wrong idea; this is also my way."
"In that case, Mr. Seid, you may go first."
This guy... What the hell is he trying to do?
But just after he leaves, he accidentally bumps into someone, or should I say, Mr. Seid means it.
They exchanged glances, but no one attempted to talk. Mr. Seid was unsurprised, and neither was the woman he ran into.
Unpredictably, that girl's name was...Zei.
Zei bumped into Mr. Seid but didn't greet him or anything. I knew Zei felt my presence, but then again, she didn't speak a few words.
She wasn't staring at the people she was speaking to as she usually did, but she did cast a glance towards Mr. Seid before diverting her eyes. I don't know exactly what's going on between the two, or perhaps Zei is slowly changing in time, but I guess I'll leave it to them.
After the day she showed herself in front of all the Representatives, she was introduced later in Class-3, Ms. Auguron's class. The next day, I studied her behaviors and how she interacted with the people around her, but she did not change at all. Despite she was occasionally with Esper, fewer students approached her. Some are apprehensive, but not everyone dislikes the way she speaks, so I think she was alright in school.
She was announced as the principal's daughter, which made it easier for her to make friends, yet she didn't make any. All she had was Ms. Auguron.
Of course, only the leaders were aware of Zei's history in school, but her reason for hiding was so private that she kept it hidden from everyone around her. That excludes me because I know her, but I'm not going to say anything for her safety.
"This isn't a coincidence," Zei said to start up the conversation.
"Perhaps," Mr. Seid replied.
"What are you up to, Mr. Seid?"
"I'm sorry for running into you Ms. Zei, but I was just passing by, and by the looks of it, you didn't have any trouble at school."
"That doesn't concern you."
After that day, Zei became well-known at school, and Mr. Seid was aware of the fact.
"I know it's too late, but I'm looking forward to your school days."
Mr. Seid welcomed Zei, but Zei said nothing.
"Anyway, it's great timing that you're here; I've been meaning to ask you this for a while but haven't had the chance; what is your connection between you two?"
I was surprised by Mr. Seid's question as he glanced back at me.
"Tell me honestly, what is your true relationship, Mr. Steve and Ms. Zei?"
With a serious expression on his face, he looked me thoroughly in the eyes.
"...I'm not sure whether I had to tell you this, but I guess I'll say it anyway. We're not connected by blood, as you can see, and that's why... I'm the Wyte Family's adopted son."
I stated it without hesitation.
This is not a private matter; in fact, just a few leaders are aware of who I am and why I am here. Though, this does not affect my reputation because I work hard and earn my name as it is.
Mr. Seid went silent and did not ask any additional questions. But Mr. Seid then spoke once again.
"Um, now that we're here, I'd want to speak with both of you."
I don't know what he was thinking, but Zei immediately responded with a little smile.
"Sure, that's not a problem at all."
I'm not sure whether I had to go with them, but since I had the Principal's directive, I couldn't pass up this opportunity to question Mr. Seid personally.
And with that, I followed them behind.