Prologue: Graduation Trip

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Disclaimer: The plot of this fanfiction is based on events that have occurred in the Light Novel until Year 2, Volume 7. In addition, there will be several events that will be mentioned throughout the fanfiction that may or may not occur in the Light Novel but which will be relevant for the fanfiction Please keep in mind that these are events that are predicted by the author and may or may not unfold in the later volumes of the Light Novel past Y2V7.

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Spring.

The coming of spring symbolizes many changes.

First, the changing of seasons; the moment when the snow melts and the sakura bloom. The spring breeze that flows through Japan makes it seem like the coldness of winter was nothing more than a distant memory.

Second, the changes in relationships. Over winter break, many couples would get together or break up. For those that got together, they entered spring as a new couple. For those that broke up, after the cold of winter fades, new hope can sprout and they can hopefully move forward with their lives.

For us, spring symbolizes a change in our lives, the beginning of a new chapter. Kindergarteners become new grade schoolers, grade schoolers would become new middle schoolers, and middle schoolers would become new high schoolers. And for us, a new journey awaited past high school.

Of course, for each new beginning, there is also a corresponding end. For us third year students in the Advanced Nurturing High School, spring spells the end of our three years of competition. Three years of hardships, of uncertainty, of victory and defeat, and of changing relationships.

Ever since we had entered the school in April three years ago, the classes have been locked in fierce competition with each other to reach the final goal: to graduate as Class A and obtain all the benefits that being in Class A entailed.

We've endured numerous struggles, prevailed over countless challenges, and we even had to say goodbye to some of our classmates in the process. In the end, here we are at the end of it all: the graduation ceremony.

In this ceremony, it will all come to a head. The winner of our three years of battles would forever be engraved into the annals of this school's history. At the end of the final special exam, all the classes had class points so close to each other that every class had a chance to graduate as Class A. Not only that, the results of the final special exam were not released, so nobody knew who won.

"Next, I want to invite the representative of the students who, after three years of hard work, have graduated as Class A up to the stage. Class A's representative...."

This was it, the moment of truth. Whoever would be called up to the stage as the valedictorian would spell the victor.

Would it be Horikita, who struggled for victory with the class after having been placed at the very bottom? Or maybe it was the genius Sakayanagi, who had kept Class A at the top since the beginning? Could it be Ryūen who had used tricks and deceptions of all sorts to reach this far after having been beaten in first year? Or would it be Ichinose, who somehow managed to hold her class together throughout it all even after having fallen so far?

At this point, it could be anyone. Tensions were high. Everyone was on the edge of their seats. Then... the next words decided it all.

"Horikita Suzune, please come up to the stage."

The moment that name was called up, various expressions could be seen. Some people were overjoyed. Some had tears in their eyes. Others had expressions of regret and bitterness. Still others had congratulatory looks or looks of contentment, recognizing the hard work and effort that the winning class had given.

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