Classroom of the Elite Volume 11 Prologue
“The Monologue of Sakayanagi Arisu”
ED: Confused Translations
I could still recall the scene across the glass screen on that day as if it had occurred only yesterday.
My father took me to a facility located deep within the mountains, its exterior dyed a pure white. No, it wasn’t only the exterior.
As far as I could remember, both the corridors and the small rooms we went through were all painted in one single white color.
I placed both my hands on the transparent glass, doing my very best to see what lied beyond. The screen seemed to be some sort of one-way mirror so they couldn’t see us from the other side.
“What is it, Arisu? It’s rare to see you this interested in something.”
“This is an experiment attempting to artificially create a genius. There’s no way I wouldn’t find it interesting.”
“…That’s not a very childlike way of speaking, as usual.”
My father spoke, showing a perplexed smile as he picked me up in his arms.
According to my father, anyone who went through the curriculum of this facility would, without exception, be educated to become someone exceptional. There’s no way I wouldn’t have misgivings about that.
“It’s just, this experiment seems to have a lot of troublesome elements to it.”
“It seems to be attacked from all sides from a human rights perspective.”
“More importantly, I don’t think it is possible for them to create artificial geniuses or anything like that.”
The moment people are born into this world, the moment they receive life, their potential is set in stone. It was all the luck of the draw. Then, it would sometimes manifest in various fields. That was the truth of the human world.
They can’t do more than what is carved into their DNA. They awaken by the blood passed on from ancestors or by a sudden mutation. In other words, if you want to create a genius, you’d have to do it at the genetic level.
People who are born ordinary will never escape the realm of the ordinary. No matter how blessed their environment is, if somebody isn’t excellent from the beginning, they won’t become a genius. That had been my belief since I was young.
That was the conclusion I had reached after seeing my fellow classmates receive a top-quality education ever since I was an infant. That’s why this experiment ran counter to my own way of thinking. That being said… I could agree that it wasn’t so straightforward that DNA alone could explain all of it either.
“Even if someone graduates from this facility as the cream of the crop, will that truly be because of this experiment?”
“What makes you ask that?”
“The children at the top will just have the superior DNA, is what I think.”
“I see. The curriculum these children are partaking is quite intense indeed. As you’ve said, there is a chance the remaining victors were all excellent from the very beginning. You really are just as wise as your mother. Personality included.”
“That makes me happy. Being compared to my mother is the highest form of praise.”
I obediently and honestly took my father’s words to heart and yet again continued to watch the children on the other side of the mirror. Children with talent, children without, everyone was partaking in this education program equally. It was a program where the people who start to fall behind would disappear one by one.
“Ultimately, even if there are children who survive until the end, they are just blessed by their parents’ talents.”
Even if I found it interesting, I couldn’t help but feel like it was a meaningless experiment.
“Who knows, it may be so, it may not be so. I don’t know either. But I can’t throw away the possibility that these children may be destined to carry our future.”
Me being the child I was, I didn’t understand what my father’s acquaintance was trying to accomplish. My sight turned back to what was reflected beyond the glass.
“—That child, seems to have solved those tasks calmly and without any difficulties for a while now.”
When it came to accomplishing the tasks presented to them, every child reflected in our eyes succeeded. However, they were desperate. It was obvious that doing so took all the effort they could muster. Whether it was studying or sports, the level of the competition here was far beyond that of a normal child. And yet, amongst them was a single existence exhibiting abnormality.
A certain boy was playing chess and overwhelmingly defeating his opponents, one after the next. Among the children I could see beyond the glass, he was the only existence snatching away my gaze and heart. Seeing this, my father looked somewhat happy yet somewhat sad as he nodded.
“Yes, he is Sensei’s son. His name should be… Ayanokōji… Kiyotaka if I remember correctly.”
Sensei was my father’s acquaintance and the person running this facility. He was a person who never yields to anyone, and I remember my father always showed a modest attitude when he was around.
“He’s Sensei’s child so his DNA must be excellent, right?”
“Who knows. At least, Sensei has never graduated from a top university or possessed outstanding athleticism. His wife is also an ordinary woman. Their parents never showed signs of any talents either. But, Sensei has stronger ambitions than anyone and an unyielding and indomitable fighting spirit, that’s it. That’s why he has become so great. To the extent that he, at one point in time, could move the country.”
“In that case— won’t that child be the perfect specimen for this experiment?”
My father nodded with conflicting feelings at my question.
“Well… I think his father would probably feel like that child is perfect for it. But… as I see it, I can’t help but feel sorry for him.”
“Why is that?”
“From the very moment he was born, he has lived within these facilities. For him, the first thing he saw wasn’t his mother nor his father, but the plain white ceiling of this facility. If he had fallen behind earlier, he could’ve probably lived with his father. Or no, maybe the fact that he continues to stay here had gotten him his father’s favor. If so, that’s very…”
Simply put, he hadn’t ever received any love from his parents. How lonely and desolate such a life must be. His talents aside, there was still a lot to gain and learn through physical contact with other people. I strongly hugged my beloved father, to which he hugged me back.
“The final goal for this facility is for every educated child to become geniuses. But it’s still in the test phase. It will continue to struggle for another 50 or 100 years. It’s not to make the children gathered here to exhibit talent when they become adults, but to provide the foundation for future generations. Both those surviving and those falling behind were nothing more than a batch of samples.”
A life of confinement within this facility, only to have their existence added to some database somewhere.
My father’s face as he said those words looked like he was in pain.
“Do you not like this place, Father?”
“Hmm? …Who knows? …I honestly can’t cheer it on. If the children here really become superior to everyone else, if this facility becomes the natural thing, then this must just be the misfortunate beginning. That’s what I think.”
“Rest assured. I will personally smash it for you. I will prove that talent is not decided by education, but from the moment people are born.”
I cannot lose to the children raised at this facility no matter what and no matter how many. I, who has inherited superior DNA, have to stop it.
“Yes, I’m expecting lots of you, Arisu.”
“By the way father. I think I want to start playing chess—”
I opened my eyes and sat up still half-asleep.
“What a nostalgic dream…”
It was perhaps due to the approaching confrontation. To think I was remembering that day. But from the moment I met you until now, I’ve never forgotten it. I was convinced that a day would come when I would meet you again face-to-face.
This prologue was originally translated by my good friend Cinnamon/Alice, and has been uploaded here with his express permission. It has gone through a thorough editing process so it may read kinda differently, though. Thanks for reading. The update I have about V11 will be posted with the next part I post, which will be in about 30 minutes.