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Chapter 1: True Ability

It was a certain year, long after people had become familiar with the 21st century. 
As the world was facing all sorts of different problems, Japan was also at a turning point of its own. 
Between declining birth rates, an aging population, environmental issues, and a fall in national power, Japanese society was beginning to show signs of decay. 
In order to rebuild from the ground up, the government began seriously focusing its efforts on cultivating its human resources. 
And, as one part of this shift in policy, a certain high school was established. 
The goal of this school is to gather various students from all over the country and foster them into individuals equipped to take on the outside world. 
[Advanced Nurturing High School] 
One of the most distinctive features of this school is that it doesn’t consider an applicant’s middle school grades when selecting who they enroll. 
The students chosen through the school’s custom selection criteria have a wide variety of characteristics. 
There are those who can study, but struggle when it comes to communication. And there are others who excel at athletics but struggle in their academics. 
Some, on the other hand, don’t even seem to have a single redeeming quality, and yet the school still lumps them together with the rest and teaches them all just the same. 
It’s a learning system that would be unthinkable at an ordinary high school. 
Despite all of the vastly different personalities, these students are prompted to live their lives in groups and compete with each other for the sake of their class. 
The purpose behind all of this is probably to create the necessary foundation for them to take part in a competitive society and survive as a group. 
And, those who are deemed as unqualified are doomed to the fate of expulsion without the slightest bit of mercy from the school. 
Students won’t be able to survive at this school by simply being able to play sports or study effectively. 
Each school year is divided up into four different classes, ranging from Class A to Class D. 
At the time of enrollment, each class is assigned 40 students, for a total of 160 students overall. 

All that being said, there are other aspects of this school that makes it so dramatically different from other high schools. 
Starting off with the basics, students aren’t allowed to communicate with the outside world until the day they graduate, three years after enrollment. At the same time, they are prohibited from leaving school grounds and forced to live within school-provided dormitories. That being said, the school boasts an immensely large campus, fully equipped with all sorts of facilities to support its students with anything they could ever want or need during their time there. There’s also a large-scale commercial establishment for the exclusive use of students and school personnel called ‘The Keyaki Mall’ that has everything the students might ever need, varying from cafes and volume-sales electronics stores to barbershops and karaoke parlors. And, even if there happens to be something the mall doesn’t sell, students can always purchase and order it over the internet. 
Furthermore, students are provided with a form of money called ‘private points’, which they can use to make these purchases throughout their time at the school. These points have an easy to understand one-to-one exchange rate with the Japanese yen, and can be used as real money. 
However, these private points don’t just appear out of thin air. 
Every month, the students are provided with private points equal to their current number of class points times 100. 
In other words, in order to stock up on the private points that the students need to live their lives, securing these class points became the first priority. 
There are several ways to earn these class points, but the most standard method involves clearing challenges given by the school called ‘special exams’. 
Basically, during these special exams, the four classes would compete against each other, with those who come out on top gaining class points and those coming out on the bottom losing class points. If a certain class ends up with 1000 class points, then the students of that class would earn a monthly allowance equivalent to 100,000 yen. Conversely, should a class continuously lose these exams, their class points would eventually plummet down to zero and they would be provided with a monthly allowance of zero private points as a result. 
This inseparably interlinked relationship between class points and private points is probably the school’s way of getting students with different ways of thinking to work together for the common goal of preserving their class points. This is because, for students, securing a large sum of class points means that they would be securing the perfect, fulfilling school life that everyone wanted. 
However, the charm of Advanced Nurturing High School went even one step further than that. 
The school’s biggest selling point came from being a member of Class A upon graduation. The students who managed to win it all were granted the luxury of being able to move forward to any university or employment opportunity they desired. Even in the most extreme cases, whether it be a university boasting the lowest imaginable acceptance rates or a major first-class company, the students would be guaranteed to get in with a free pass. However, this didn’t mean they could afford to be overly optimistic. After being accepted, if one’s raw potential wasn’t enough to get the job done, it’s only natural that they would be screened out and eliminated eventually. 
Even so, there was no denying that this was still an exceedingly attractive offering. 
I guess this is probably a good enough overview of Advanced Nurturing High School. 
I, Ayanok?ji Kiyotaka, am currently a student enrolled in this remarkable high school where I’ll soon be embarking on my second year. 
As of April 1st, I’m a student in Class D, with a total of 275 class points. This means that every month, I’ll receive approximately 30,000 yen’s worth of private points. Incidentally, the current highest ranked class, Class A, was led by Sakayanagi with an overwhelming total of 1119 points. Following behind that is Class B, led by Ichinose, with 542. And following only just barely behind that was Class C, led by Ry?en, with 540. 
When comparing our class with the other classes, the difference in class points may seem large, but even so, it may be more accurate to say that the gap between us has shrunk. 
The extent to which we can close this gap over the course of this next year would make all the difference. 

TL Notes: 
Note: 100,000 yen is like $930 for those that don’t know. Just a heads up.


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