Declaration of the story to all readers.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either a product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people living or dead, events are entirely coincidental.
Note From The Author: - (Shane Ward)
Please note, the next running chapters will appear on my website as PDF files FIRST; one week before being added to this site. If you want to see the next chapter, please visit my website viewable through my profile. Or shaneward (dot) net.
I would like to thank the following people who checked this story before publication. They are: - Anna Karwowska (checked chapters 1 & 2 before giving up.), Ernst van Rijn and Summer Mcdonald.
Chosha no Koutougakkou
Royce Hampton gazed down at the empty page with his pen in hand. He knew what he wanted to write, but when the time came, he could not find the right words.
He surmised that it was the move from his hometown of Brainerd, Minnesota to Japan that might have given him writer's block. As he gazed up and looked through the small window of his hotel room, the young author wondered if moving to this small town was way out of his league.
He knew the answer before he could contradict his own thoughts. He wanted to learn more about his competition: research about her and find out what she knew and how she did it.
The paper with the pale grid lines remained empty, begging to be filled with text, a responsibility that burdened him day after day. For a young man in his teens, he jumped into the big wide world and now had to pay the price, no matter how mundane it might seem.
"Geezzz… writing nothing is a pain in the ass," Royce exhaled, staring at his transparent biro. "But I suppose someone has to do it."
Royce strolled over to the room's window and looked at his own reflection against the glass. He wondered what problems his appearance might cause at the local senior school in the town. After all, he had yet to start and being in a school full of Japanese students did bring a bead of sweat to his head. Then again, the thought of looking at all the hot Japanese girls in their mini skirts and stockings would make the whole experience unique.
But at least he could get away from his family and the trouble back home. His decision to leave home and take up residence in the small town of Naka was not a difficult choice to make. He went through the normal pitfalls of school, but it was just recently his family life went from bad to intolerable.
To say he ran away from home would have been a little harsh. His mother split from his father, his only brother ended up in the middle of the conflict and when he found the opportunity, he ditched his home and moved away.
His personal life was not much to be desired. Royce was always on the sidelines when all his mates talked about girls and football. He was too chicken to even talk to the members of the opposite sex. Then when one finally showed a little compassion and talked to him, he froze up like a popsicle on a hot summer day.
Was he gay? No, Royce asked himself that question again and again. Not just to confide in himself, but to think of a good answer when someone did ask him that question. After all, he did not want to be left out when that question is blabbed out in an alcohol infused debate.
Still, despite his carefully fought out plan, that question never came up and two years later, during the time he lived with his rocky family, arguments turned out to be more debated than a raging talk show. But Royce was not sitting in the shadows doing nothing; he had been carefully planning his future and it was only recently his fortune changed.
The sun shone behind the valley's mountains and the small Japanese town looked surreal and blissful. It swept away all doubt and closed the chapter on his hard life back in the states. But memories still resided and even though he looked much healthier than he did then, the mental scars were still there.
Royce could hardly believe how far he'd come. When he hit the coming—year to do what he wanted—at sixteen, he packed what little he needed and moved out of his home before his family knew what happened.
With no clear destination in his mind, he decided to investigate the wonderful opportunities Japan had to offer. Of course, he did not choose this country on whim. He had been working non-stop online, which eventually led to his cash windfall. Going to Japan was part of his project and a mission to find out who his rival was. The battle had been raging for many years and Royce had been one step ahead. Now it was time to face his archenemy face to face.
Royce liked private parties, or battles. Before he got the writing bug, the young man would play online games all through the night, acting like a normal teenager with nothing to do.
A call comes through what was left of the intercom, bringing him back to reality. "Sir, your food is ready and your clothes have arrived."
Royce acknowledged the call and tried his best to reply in Japanese to the only help he could get on short notice. He was a good old man, used to help out around the village and worked in the mansion before the owners died and left the place to the state. His interest in the house went around in circles until he missed the sell by one day. The butler who worked in the place then became unemployed and Royce took pity on the man when he met him in the local coffee shop.
He talked about his old master, the town, the school and even the pets that wondered around the woods at night, looking for homes. Young girls loved the local park with its vast collection of animals and he even told tales of risky boys who used that as an excuse to fulfil fantasies. These were interesting facts and he keenly wrote them down in his black notebook. The old man continued to spill the beans until Royce could not wait any longer and finally employed him.
Royce knew it was better to have someone close to him that knew the layout of the town and the people in it. But when he questioned him on the author of the famous manga, the man didn't know. In fact, he seemed distant and bewildered, as if he did not know what the word 'manga' really was.
Royce pushed aside thoughts of the past and moved forward with pressing matters. Speaking clearly—and with little Japanese he already knew— Royce replied to the butler on the intercom. "Thanks. Tell me, have you been able to get more information about my new school?"
After a brief silence and an idle cracker, the butler replied, "Yes sir, you are to be in class 1B. But the headmaster would like to see you before you start. It's the first time they'll have a foreign student in the school and she wants to go over a few ground rules with you."
"She?" Royce replied with a slight hint of interest, the application to the school said it was a bloke.
"Good, one final thing, how long until the air conditioning system is operational? It's getting stuffy." Royce asked, pulling back his collar and feeling the heat from within. One thing the brochure forgot to mention was Japan intense heat. He never experienced temperatures like this before.
"They should be in tomorrow to fix the unit…Sir?" The butler asked.
"Yes, go on."
"My shift is due to end now. If there's nothing else. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Thank you for your help, Samuru, I'll see you later." Royce finished with a few more words before he watched the dark-clothed butler walk down the road and out of sight. Now he had the whole place to himself, but what was more nerve racking was his new day at school.
Even during the night, the heat was intense, and he'd been in this town for one week. Without the air-conditioning and insect nets to catch the pesky mosquitoes, all the windows had to be closed and only a few fans worked. They were just as useless as having no fans, only moving air around the room. But the butler promised action with the air-conditioning.
Again, this was his big day and Royce was about to start high school.
The walk to the high school took half an hour on foot and he used that time to scout out the blissful land and examine all the necessary shops for supplies. It was a quiet town, one that he'd seen on television, but it was much more than he imagined.
His hometown in the states was always a bustle with activity. If he was lucky to run into anyone, they were normally a bunch of Goths who would scare off the locals. But the town of Naka was completely different. His first signs of civilization came when he walked past the local plantation. Royce had no idea what was being made in that field. For all he knew the old man with a white hat and overalls could be planting weed. It smelt like it, that pungent smell unmistakable by police, but the leaves did not look like the ones he'd seen in the newspapers or television. With a hearty smile, the old man waved his trowel and Royce walked on into the built up area.
The local mall was nice to look at and Royce was impressed at how well the Japanese looked after the shopping centre. It was a homey place with cafes and stores that sold everything from food to hardware. The weather was pleasant too and not too stuffy and hot as the day before.
Getting closer to the school area, Royce began to notice more students walking up the back allies, across fields and along the roads towards his common goal. The prominent black and red school uniform was somewhat attractive with some girls wearing pink ribbons in their hair and others looking rather mature for their age. Royce was unable to determine what age they were, and their skirts were so short it would only take a gush of wind to expose their panties.
This was unacceptable behaviour to him and Royce made sure not to expose himself to that kind of thought or position. The last thing he wanted to be portrayed as was a pervert who bent over and looked under girl's skirts. When he looked across the road and into the bushes, he noticed a trio of boys lounging in the lush green bushes up to no good. With cameras hissing in their hands, he watched as they darted from one bush to the next, taking snap shots of nature's quick opportunities. A quick snip of some panties as they walked and other snaps of cute girls sitting on benches. He carried on with his bag behind his back, no care in the world.
One thing was certain, by the time he walked through the school gates he became the centre of attention. From his observations he had not seen a single foreigner in the village and he surmised that he would be the only one in the school for a while.
As his butler said, this might pose a challenge, but it was nothing compared to the challenge of getting away from his parents back at home.
Already the friction was on. As he walked closer to the prominent brick and motor building partly covered in some kind of paper-constructed walls, he grew nervous at every step. The school dominated the skyline as clouds puffed through the deep blue sky. Birds of all species fluttered in and out of the trees as crickets and incomprehensible buzzing sounds delighted his ears from all around. It was a symphony of nature and Royce already began to mentally taking notes for his next project. He slowly grew to like the idea of moving to Japan, but he wondered what the cost would be. What would he have to sacrifice for this paradise of nature and harmony?
The school gates were almost upon him. Royce could see the light iron-grey pillars, marking the school grounds from the outside world. Children from all ages lounged around, some leaning on the fence, others walking in with their mates. He too was about to enter the zone and already, Royce could see the surprised glances from several students who passed him saying, "Is he going to our school?" or "That's our school uniform, he must be the senior exchange student."
Royce knew this would cause some heated debate because Japanese schools were a tight knit community of students with a leadership based on trust and students alike. All classes had someone pointed as class president and individual parties always huddled with each other. So Royce thought, anyway.
But as he learned from time to time, all was not what it seemed.
The heat boiled now as he approached the school gates. The beady eyes of the students continued to glare at him from all directions and Royce felt like a goldfish in a bowl. Still, looking forward, he walked into the abyss.
The gates had an interesting crest that caught Royce's attention. Inside a circle was a dove and three snowdrops, and the words Naka High was written in Japanese below. Royce did not know how to write or read Japanese properly; it was not an issue when he was in the states and certainly not an issue when he was writing because publishers had their own translators for that type of job. So being face to face with real words, in a real environment fascinated him and he had no problems speaking it.
He continued to look at the school crest as a means to avoid eye contact with the many students, who were now staring at him. The idle hum from the entrance suddenly dimmed and Royce felt the beads of sweat trickle from his brow. He managed to find the will to hold back his fear and he knew what must be done. Before beginning his school life, he had to see the head teacher. At least with an adult, he could find some comfort in knowing his case would be dealt with in strict confidence.
© Shane Ward