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Part 3 
On that day, I came to Keyaki mall alone. 
As it was nearing the end of the spring break, and closer to the new semester, I planned to buy some new clothes and other related things. 
That’s what I originally planned to do, but the situation had changed. 
The first abnormal change came from behind me. 
Right after that, another change struck me from the front. 
“Can I take a little bit of your time?” 
This started from me deciding where I should shop, to suddenly conversing with four adults. 
Three of them looked like construction workers from their clothes, holding a clipboard. 
However, the other person was Tsukishiro, who wore a suit and was clapping as he approached me. 
After I stopped walking, Tsukishiro looked back to the three people behind him. 
“About the construction work, just follow the plan we established earlier.” 
After Tsukishiro gave these instructions, the other adults walked away. 
“Ayanokouji-kun, it seems like you’re enjoying the spring break, just like everyone else.” 
I originally thought that he would speak to me mildly, but as he opened his mouth, sarcasm poured out. 
“Do you have business with me, Acting Director Tsukishiro?” 
“Oh no, it seems like I am not welcomed.” 
Tsukishiro obviously knew that, but deliberately spoke a little louder. Although it was not loud enough for a passerby to hear, it was enough to show that it was deliberate. 
“It’s because chatting with the director would attract unwanted attention. I think that a powerless student like me should lurk in the shadows.” 
I want to find out what his intention was as soon as possible. 
At the same time, I was also concerned about the situation with Matsushita-san, who was following me from behind. 
“I’ll ask you again, what business do you have with me?” 
Although, at this distance, she shouldn’t be able to hear the contents of the conversation. But it might still cause her to speculate on this needlessly. 
“Regarding what my business is, I’ll tell you when I want to. You might find it hard to accept, but please try to endure. Do you mind?” 
It’s impossible that Tsukishiro actually cared about my feelings. 
It’s better to say that he deliberately wanted to stall our conversation, as this was a location where crowds came and went. 
“I understand. Take your time.” 
“Okay. Let’s start by talking about the weather.” 
Clap. Tsukishiro clapped as he said this, but immediately squinted his eyes afterwards. 
If this was done to see my reaction, it seemed too superficial. 
It wasn’t possible to affect me just by that. 
“Just kidding. I have something to do right after so I’ll get straight to the point.” 
Tsukishiro was quite clear about this. 
It was very obvious that he deliberately tried to provoke me. 
However, it looked like he indeed had something to say. 
The school and the student. No matter what, their position cannot be reversed. 
As long as I was still a student, I would not be able to rebel against him. Tsukishiro showed me this. 
“How about this? Return to your father with this spring break being your last holiday.” 
Tsukishiro didn’t care about the location in which we spoke, even though the contents of the conversation would be quite in depth. 
However, even if this conversation was heard by the other students, it was not a problem for him. 
Although it might be bad for me, it would not cause any harm to this man. 
That being said—— 
“You must want to just ignore me and walk away. However, you’d better not. I have my position as director to withhold. If you treat me coldly, I will change my manner to correspond to that.” 
As if he was reading my thoughts, Tsukishiro smiled. 
“Unfortunately for you, I have no intention to drop out of this school voluntarily.” 
“Do you dread going back to the White Room that much?” 
“I’m enjoying my life here at this school, and I want to graduate from here as a normal student. There’s no other reason for my behaviour.” 
“This truly is a good school. With the huge subsidies allocated by the government, they even built a shopping mall like this. Hundreds of millions of yen are spent here every year, used like water from a tap. But most of this country’s citizens are stupid, after roughly hearing that these funds were being used to educate children, and agreed rashly.” 
Tsukishiro sighed, and ran his eyes over the interior of the Keyaki mall. 
“Because of this, I have countless things I have to deal with. I’m the director of this school now, and that’s why I’m so busy.” 
Tsukishiro had to act as a competent Chairman on the surface, so there were many things he had to do. 
“Coming back to this- that girl following you, isn’t that Matsushita Chiaki from your class? 
Tsukishiro said this quietly, as he maintained his gaze on me. 
“Although it was only a moment, I saw her hiding behind the wall. It seems like you’re pretty popular.” 
Although Tsukishiro’s gaze shouldn’t have been on me just then, he was still observing very carefully. That is to say, that even while he was talking to the other adults, he still paid attention to his surroundings. 
“I didn’t expect you to memorise the names of the students in my class so quickly.” 
“Since she’s your classmate, it’s nothing special.” 
It seems like his way of attacking me was to shake my psyche up. 
“I’m betting that this stems from the fact that she saw you give that answer in the mental arithmetic event. Aren’t you feeling more and more restrained? You clearly want to spend your life at this school as an ordinary student, but it’s getting harder and hard to do so now.” 
It felt like he was trying to force the impression of hating school onto me. 
“I can endure it, if your attacks are only on this level.” 
“To be honest, I don’t care about what you do. Rather, I’m pretty annoyed at how I’m wasting precious time dealing with such things.” 
“In that case, why don’t you just pack your bags and give up? Noone’s forcing you.” 
“Because your father doesn’t allow it. If I disobey him, I can’t survive in this world. After all, I want to climb up the social ladder as well.” 
Tsukishiro did not leave the conversation at that, and instead continued talking about the topic. 
“Don’t look at me with such a surprised face. You wanted my excuse, so you got it, eh?” 
“Well, that’s true.” 
“I’ve seen what you achieved in the White Room. You truly are an extraordinary child. You’re just over 16 years old, but your ability is definitely abnormal. Even the adults around you can’t match you in mind, body or skill. You’re out of reach for them.” 
Tsukishiro shortened the distance between us, and a kind smile appeared on his face. 
“Anyway, you spent a year at this school without many problems. Why not just let it go? That’s the mature decision.” 
He meant that I should take my memories of the past year and go back to the White Room like that. 
“I’m still a child, after all. I don’t plan to let go of this so easily.” 
“Heh, do you really think you can escape from me?” 
“I plan to resist until the end.” 
“There’s an old saying, about how the frog in the bottom of the well doesn’t know the ocean. You seem to have a tendency to overestimate yourself, so even though I gave you a chance, you fail to appreciate my kindness.” 
Tsukishiro spread his arms lightly. 
“Although I don’t know how it is at this school, you are definitely not Number 1. Among the students of the White Room after you, there have been several students who are equal, or even more powerful than you. You should understand that you’re just another mass-produced person.” 
“If that’s the case, there’s no need to pay attention to me right?” 
“If you were not the son of that man, that would be true. Your father really wants to bring you to a higher domain. Even if he looks like a cold person, that man is still your father. He firmly believes that you are an existence that can become a model, and lead the masses. 
Tsukishiro did not conceal his dissatisfaction towards that man, but that was to show me the extent of his power and position right now. 
“About the existence of the White Room, what do you think about it, Director?” 
“What do I, think of it?” 
“Your thoughts on whether the White Room’s existence is necessary or not.” 
Since I was not going to bend my knee in this position, I wanted to make him tell me this. 
“I am not obliged to answer.” 
“After hearing your answer, my thoughts may change after this.” 
“This is only my own opinion, but fine. If this is all it takes to change your mind, it’ll be too easy.” 
Despite knowing that I was most probably lying, Tsukishiro still agreed. 
“If you want to talk about that facility, it is necessary to understand its history. Did you know that the White Room was built 20 years ago?” 

“Of course. After all, I am part of the fourth generation.” 
“Yes. As you know, the White Room started from the first year of the first generation’s life, with new generations being formed annually. Each generation is educated under different leaders, and receives the corresponding education. Then, it is verified which group had the most effective education. Although only 19 generations have been nurtured due to last year’s interruption… Hundreds of children have been trained under the White Room’s education system.” 
Children of different generations wouldn’t have seen each other. Although they were in the same facility, they did not know the appearance and names of anyone else. 
“It seems like you’re quite knowledgeable about the White Room.” 
“Just a bit, just a bit.” 
Tsukishiro was a figure closely related to my father, this conversation made that obvious. 
He must have said it in order to make me understand that. 
Sometimes, it seemed as if he was a small, irrelevant person. But if you changed your perspective, you would see that he was an important person. 
He could change himself accordingly, according to the situation. 
It was for this reason that he was given the heavy responsibility to be a spy. 
“All children can grow to a certain level. However, trying to exceed that level has never been possible. The evidence is in this facility, which has been operating for nearly 20 years, and not a single child has been able to reach the target. That’s true for everyone except you, but that was only 2 years ago.” 
Just how much money had been invested into the White Room? 
A few hundred million yen should not be enough. 
It turned out that I was the only one who reached that target. I couldn’t help but feel that this project was a waste. 
“How about the people who turned talented? What are these kids doing now?” 
The part which I knew nothing about. 
What were the people of my generation doing after having left, that was something I had no idea about. 
Tsukishiro appeared to be a little surprised, but immediately understood. 
“Sure enough, it’s impossible for you to know where the children who left the facility went. Those children grew up beautifully and contributed to society——if that had happened, that’s a thing to be grateful for. But so far, most of the children raised in that facility have their own problems, and so they cannot be put to good use. They will not last in that environment, their hearts have already been damaged. 
Tsukishiro continued, adopting a helpless look.
]“Receiving a complete education straight from birth. If this can be achieved, Japan would experience growth the world has never seen before. However, this is not that simple. Under the influence of various mysterious factors, people’s growth varies greatly. It is impossible to cultivate success by using the same method on everyone. But even so, we have managed to produce tangible results. Let’s take the fifth and sixth generation as an example, among those who survived until the end, there are some with the potential of producing great results. All that is left is to perfect the system, and after that, the White Room may be an indispensable asset in the future. Your father’s plan is very stupid——And also very frightening.” 
After Tsukishiro talked in a roundabout way, he finally came to a conclusion. 
“In short, this is how I feel about the White Room. It’s both stupid and frightening. 
“Thank you for that long speech, I have benefited greatly from it.” 
“The demonic fourth-generation. With all of the students dropping out due to its excessively harsh education, there turned out to be only one surviving, the student who managed to pass the final course easily. I also see you as a valuable sample. In order to not discredit that shining record, I think it’d be best for you to return home.” 
Tsukishiro took out his phone, and handed it to me. 
“Call your father now and say you want to drop out. This is the best method to protect your ego, and will also act as repayment to your father’s love for you.” 
“Acting Director Tsukishiro, what you’ve said contained no lies, you have made the truth perfectly clear.” 
Whether if it was about the White Room, or about me. 
And just like that, Tsukishiro let out a smile. 
“My own depiction of you, Acting Director Tsukishiro, is that you’re a man that hides his emotions by donning an iron mask. However, from today’s conversation, I felt like you’ve taken off that mask. 
In other words, he deliberately manipulates other people’s impressions of him to give off a sense of authenticity to the contents of the conversation. 
Therefore, his words were not credible. Instead, they were something like lies. 
On the level of that man, there was no need to mix the truth with lies. 
It should be easy for him to swear black was white, and swear white was black. 
That is to say, even if his statement consisted of nothing but lies, he could say it in a way, so it sounded true. 
“Seems like there is no way to gain your trust.” 
“Good grief…” 
“Acting Director Tsukishiro, isn’t it better to give up now? If you fail to force me to drop out, you will lose my father’s trust. Even if you only get reprimanded, I’d say it would be a wise choice to stop at this stage, or you may get humiliated. 
“Thanks for your concern. However, those words are useless, because I will not fail.” 
Although I did not know what was the truth in his words, Tsukishiro let out a scary smile. 
“Moreover, I am an adult. I am not afraid of momentary failure, even if you, by chance, force me out of this school, it does not matter. I will just be sent to carry out another job. Humiliation is not that big of a deal anyway.” 
“You helped my father because you were afraid of him, and yet you say you are not afraid of failure. Just which of those are your true thoughts?” 
“Yes, which is it.” 
Tsukishiro, who had been fighting for decades at the top. 
The evaluation of his iron mask might actually need to be higher than what I originally thought. 
Since he was sent in by that man, he was not a tactless and impulsive person. I knew that for a fact. 
“If you can’t accept it, then it can’t be helped. We’ll fight instead.” 
Tsukishiro finally seemed to be satisfied, and distanced himself from me. 
“It’s about time. It would be rude to make others wait.” 
Maybe he was referring to the adults who left first. 
“But since you don’t plan on dropping out yourself, from today onwards, your life at this school will be difficult.” 
“Although I do want to live a peaceful school life, it seems like there’s no way, I will be conscious of this.” 
Tsukishiro smiled, and just as he was about to leave, he made a proposal. 
“Do you want to play a game, which would be advantageous for you?” 
“A game?” 
“When the next semester starts, I will make a child of the White Room enrol as a freshman.” 
I was originally thinking about what he was going to say, in the end, what he said was unexpected. 
“Is it fine for you to tell me something like this?” 
“No problem at all. You should have thought of the possibility of that kind of thing happening anyway. Our intent was to give this child a final ultimatum, so if you discover this child’s identity, I will expel him.” 
This was a decision I did not need to do myself. 
I memorised what Tsukishiro said, but I did not intend to believe him at all. 
“It seems like you don’t believe me. Do you think it’s possible for me to send four or five people here? This school isn’t so lax in its policies for me to send in multiple people, you’re thinking about this too much.” 
“Whether you said it was one person or a hundred, I wouldn’t believe it at all.” 
If he had the intention to send people here, that man would send as many as he liked. 
I was clear that he was that sort of person. 
“That might be true.” 
“But, how can I win in this little game of yours?” 
“There’s a total of 160 freshmen entering the school next year. If you can pick out the student from the White Room by the end of April, I’ll give up. How about it? I’ll make an exception and break the rules with that condition, eh?” 
If this was true, it would indeed be considered an exception that broke the rules. 
But if the troublesome Tsukishiro left, my burden would be reduced. 
“There’s no way I can believe that.” 
“You can be doubtful about it if you want, there’s not much harm.” 
If we disregard possible damage to the mental state, it’s true that there was no risk in it. 
There would be no loss if I’d just accept the challenge. 
“I understand. I’ll play your little game, and I’ll accept your words on the surface. But you seem quite confident in the ability of the White Roomstudent. I’m also confident in one thing.” 
“Eh? What thing?” 
“The frog at the bottom of the well does not know the depths of the sea, but it knows the height of the sky.” 
“So you’re saying… it is because of how much time you’ve spent in that small world known as the White Room, that you’re able to understand the depth of that place more than anyone else, is that what you mean?” 
It was the education I received in the White Room that gave me this unwavering confidence. 
No matter how many children were taught in the same way, no one could reach this level. 
Whether if it was the third generation student of the previous year or the younger fifth generation student, this stood the same. 
Facing Tsukishiro, who kept casting tentative glances at me, I continued. 
“There are definitely people who are even more excellent than I am in this world. There are as many as 7 billion humans living on the planet, after all. But the White Room is different.” 
In that world, there was no one better than me. 
And with that confidence, I gave that answer. 
“That pair of eyes- it’s exactly the same as your father’s. Those awful eyes containing the deep darkness. The depth in your eyes is the only thing those other excellent White Room students can’t imitate.” 
It seemed like Tsukishiro understood that there was no point in continuing the conversation, so he turned around and started to walk away.


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