001 – School life starts from negative #1
To be honest, everyone must have imagined a scenario like, ‘If I become a character in a game’.
There were many such posts on D&A’s official forums.
“Title: I just imagined myself as Luke lol.
The students who bullied me, the teachers who looked the other way. Hahaha.
First of all, I dealt with them with Light Fury, the 10th tier magic spell.
Especially the one who was always bullying me, they realized the situation too late and begged for mercy, but it was no use, lol.”
Something like that.
Most of the reactions to these posts were just mockery, but I often wondered what it would be like to be a character in a game when I went to bed.
If I were a character in D&A, I’d probably be a money-grubber, so I wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of paying off $200 million in debt by myself.
Of course, it was just a dream.
But why did it actually happen?
No, let’s just say it’s about as likely as winning the lottery.
But why Victor?
There are plenty of other characters in D&A. There’s Enril, there’s Pushke, there’s Neva, who’s probably the worst of the bunch, all are fine.
Victor is a mid-boss in every route, he’s guaranteed to die.
“Victor, member of the Student Council Executive. By the rules of our ancestors and the gods, we, the Delegates and the High Student Body, the Student Council, hereby dismiss you from office.”
“I, Victoria Arkwright, would like to protest. The transfer student who took on Victor…, Luke may have used an illegal move.”
“Overruled. The Executive Council is supposed to lead the students, and defeat is not acceptable, no matter the reason. Therefore, as of today, the status of the defendant, Victor, is demoted to that of a regular student.”
Thump, thump, thump.
The shadows on the high podium muttered incoherently.
Even when I looked up, I couldn’t see their faces in the blinding sunlight pouring in from the window behind them.
But one thing was for sure: the shadows on the high podium were spelling complete doom for Victor’s life, no, for mine.
For a member of the Student Council of the Prison Academy, and a leading one at that, to be demoted to a rank-and-file student was as terrible as a nobleman being reduced to a s*ave.
At least Victoria, the Student Council’s vice president, raised her voice in my defense.
“Honorable delegates. I would rather ask for expulsion! We all know what happens to Student Council executives who are demoted to common students, don’t we? I would much rather request expulsion…!”
“Victoria, don’t you think you’re showing your bias too blatantly? Even if you’re engaged, you should keep your personal life to yourself. The Arkwright family has also declined.”
At this point, it’s beyond embarrassing.
But it was thanks to this that I was able to maintain my composure while everyone was screaming at me, accusing me of something I hadn’t done.
「Quirk «Steel» activated.」
It was probably an in-game talent that increased survival stats like defense. Countless other effects popped into my head.
For the first time in over 20,000 hours, I realized that Victor had a barrier like this. He was a mid-boss character that I couldn’t put in the party, so I guess that’s to be expected.
Anyway, the barrier has kept me from peeing my pants in front of the scary delegates of the Prison Academy, who were like detectives interrogating me.
Shall I ask them something?
“I have a question for the delegates.”
I raise my hand, and one of the shadows snaps.
“I-Impossible… What kind of language is that…! How dare you speak to us delegates, you orphan with no family tree…! Although we are only students, some of us come from families that reach to the heavens, like the Blackstar Princess…!”
No wonder people were angry at my rude and cold tone.
However, I can’t help it if I don’t speak in this manner because my lower stomach hurts like someone who needs to use the restroom. It’s better than relieving myself in front of everyone.
…I’m not really doing that, am I?
Something about the conversation bothered me, so I asked, risking a few glares.
“I understand there are neither Dukes nor Commoners on this Prison Island. There is no compelling reason for me to use honorifics with the delegates, is there?”
In the game’s setting, students were supposed to be equals under the laws of the Student Council, handed down from their ancestors, but the demeanor of these delegates was that of nobility or superiors.
Is there anything different about the game’s setting?
I’d like to find out.
Whether this world was the same as D&A or if there were differences was crucial to me surviving somehow.
I think back to lines from games I’ve been playing for a long time.
One of them was about the rules of the Student Council of this Prison Academy. In particular, there was one that you’d hear annoyingly in the mini-game quizzes that sometimes popped up.
“Article 1, Section 1 of the Student Council Laws. All students are equal under Student Council law. There’s no difference between a delegate and a regular student, am I wrong?”
Let’s see if there’s a difference between the game and this bizarre reality.
I could feel everyone’s confusion.
That’s a strange reaction.
At this rate, I won’t be surprised if I’m dragged around like a mouse or a bird by someone before I’m killed by the protagonist, Luke, as a mid-boss.
I should probably just get out of here, but I have one more question that’s on my mind.
“One more question. I was just dismissed from the Student Council and demoted to a regular student, correct? A demotion, not an expulsion?”
Someone replied. The shadow that had been silently listening to this conversation from earlier turned out to be there. From the voice, is it a woman? All that could be vaguely discerned was that she had her chin in her hand.
“Now that you’re a regular student, you won’t have the protection of the Student Council anymore, though I don’t know how the Radiance of Fiancé will be able to protect you to begin with. Good luck surviving on this island of equality, Victor.”
The smirking form and the bewitching voice are vaguely familiar. But right now, I was more interested in getting out of this place than anything else.
“Then, goodbye everyone.”
* * *
“I managed to avoid expulsion.”
With an unfamiliar tone that didn’t quite fit, I turned my body and left the Judgment Chamber.
A part of me wanted to take a break, but this body, Victor’s body, was too stubborn to allow such behavior. What a nobleman.
When I left the room, I was greeted by a spacious corridor and a cool breeze from the open windows.
The sound of the waves was loud.
The wind brushing my face was salty.
Not surprisingly, the Prison Academy was an educational institution built on a natural high ground.
No one could escape at will.
No one could enter at will.
Hence the name Prison Academy, Dungeon’s Academy.
Actually, it was called that because it was surrounded by dungeons, but that was revealed later in the narrative.
Facing the landscape like this, I felt something new.
The game I loved so much had come to life and was etched in my memory.
Whether it’s because of Victor’s steel mentality quirk or my 20,000 hours of playtime, I’m a little excited.
What do I do now?
Somehow, some way, I have to graduate and survive. A diploma from this school will get me a job anywhere.
A diploma from the Prison Academy is like a medal, and if this place is like the game, it’s safe to say that having a diploma will keep me from starving to death.
On top of that, this Victor guy is going to die if he leaves the Prison Academy, he’s going to become a monster for whatever reason.
“I’m lucky to have avoided expulsion and become a regular student.”
I wanted to laugh, but my stomach quickly turned into a knot. Could it be that Victor is resistant to anything other than stiff, uptight behavior?
But maybe it’s good.
I’m not expelled, I’m just a regular student, and that’s good enough.
If I could get him to stay here, I might be really lucky.
It wouldn’t be impossible to use my knowledge and wisdom to become rich and favored within the Academy.
“Is it really possible?”
I asked myself.
The answer immediately followed.
It’s something only I, a 20,000-hour veteran, turned to oil in the deepest dungeons of the Prison Academy, can do!
Someone called out to me from behind as I was making plans.
I turn my head at the sound of clicking shoes and see silver hair swaying in the ocean breeze.
A pair of golden eyes stare back at me with a certain nonchalance.
“Viktor, I’ve come to plead with the delegates to expel you, it’s better to be expelled and go back to the mainland than to be a regular student.”
Is that true? I should be graduating?
There was even a hint of goodwill in Victoria’s eyes as she tried to expel me.
A favor that would lead to my destruction.
This is worse than malice!
When I remained silent, Victoria continued.
“Victor, you’re my fiancé, even if it’s an arranged marriage. Return to the Arkwright family, and I know you won’t be treated badly by the Family Head or my siblings.”
A favor for her fiancé, even if it’s only a formality. To do her best in the role she’s been given, even if it’s outside of her family’s boundaries.
That’s Victoria Arkwright, vice president of Student Council.
As a die-hard D&A fan, it’s a thrill to see her in person…
The problem is, after being expelled from the prison academy, Victor later returns to the academy as a grumpy monster for some reason.
I’ve been really, really stuck on the topic.
Ending up like that is a shame.
“Why, do you have something to say? If it’s a thank you, you don’t have to say it. And don’t get me wrong. It’s not because I like you, it’s because of everything you’ve done for the Student Council and for me.”
The way she laughed and smiled was honestly adorable.
I was overwhelmed and honored that such a beautiful woman was my fiancé. I could brag about it around town.
But now is the time to say something like this.
“Our engagement is now canceled. I’m staying at the Academy.”
Victoria, who was so confident in front of the high and mighty delegates of the academy, started to blush.
But there’s nothing she can do.
It’s the only way I can separate myself from the Arkwright family, which will go down in flames after Act VIII.
I’ve decided that now, before the first semester begins, is the best time.
If you know where the bombs are going to fall, it’s best to avoid them.