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TLNC Chapter 1 – Boy Meets Book Girl.

Boy Meets Book Girl

The light novel club at North High was, as I expected, a gathering of misfits. I joined the club hoping to hone my writing skills but none of the members looked serious, again as I expected.

There were three members in the club, Yamada, Izumi, and Tanaka. Yamada was a round and tall boy, while Tanaka was short and scrawny. Izumi on the other hand was a gloomy looking glasses-wearing girl with long hair down to her waist.

I had secretly hoped that things would be better than in middle school but alas here I was, well at least it was better than the anime club in middle school.

The girl was reading a large tome, which was definitely not a light novel, by herself, while the boys were playing a card game, Old Maid by the looks of it. It was against the rules of this strict Prefectural School to bring Playing Cards to school but then why would they allow this club in the first place.

If I wanted a place to read my light novels in peace I would have to put up with this, as I am no longer so shameless or idiotic enough to read light novels with illustrations of beautiful girls on their covers in public. Of course I put a plastic cover on to hide it, but I still didn’t want to risk it, and get bullied for it like I did in middle-school. Damn little brats can be so cruel, I don’t expect high-school students to be any different. I for one, don’t feel any different now that I was in Middle School.

The club room was located in the Arts and Liberal Sciences Building located adjacent to the main building across the school courtyard. Above the entrance there was a sign which read Literary Club and a piece of paper haphazardly pasted below it, written with a magic marker, reading “Light Novel Club.”

Even though though this was supposed to be the Light Novel Club, all that I could see were manga volumes, and a few anime DVDs lining the walls. There were also a few board-games and an old CRT television with a prominent antenna attached to it. The only light novel related thing I could see was a large panda plushie from a light novel which got a popular anime adaptation a few years ago. The size of the room was about a third of an ordinary classroom. There was no heating, but thankfully it was still spring.

“So you want to join our Light Novel Club?” asked Tanaka. “Ah yes, I did notice the anime illustration in the novel you were reading furtively this morning.”

“Can you play Othello or Chess?” asked Yamada. “Tanaka here sucks too much at them so he refuses to play.”

Meanwhile Izumi ignored my presence altogether as she turned a page on her book without looking at our direction.

“What about her?” I asked.

“Oh, she comes with the club room. Just ignore her.”

I made a face as if to say “What?” but Izumi didn’t seem to pay any offence. I checked to see if she was wearing earphones but that wasn’t the case.

“Let me explain. This used to be formerly the Literary Club but with only one member left, Izumi, the club was about to close. That’s where I and Yamada came to the rescue.”

“The school refused us from starting our own manga and anime club but when we found out about the literary club we were able to convince her to let us use the club room for our anime club in exchange for joining the literary club.”

“Then why is it called the light novel club?”

“Because we renamed the literary club to the light novel club.”

“And the school allowed it?”

“Yes, light novels are novels. We just told the teacher who’s the club supervisor that giving the club a more modern name would help the literary club get more members, though I am not sure if old, senile Okabe-sensei even knows what a light novel is though, but he consented.”

So basically this club was an anime club pretending to be a light novel club pretending to be a literary club.

“And the literary club member you stole this room from is fine with that?”

I looked towards Izumi, who turned another page of her hardcover volume, which on closer inspection seemed to be written in a foreign language.

“Now, now, we didn’t steal it. We saved her club from being disbanded.”

Tanaka protested.

Izumi closed her book, its weight caused a thump, ands she simultaneously looked towards us.

“If it’s to save my sister’s club then I would do anything.”

Sister’s club?

Tanaka shrugged.

“Well, there you have it. I only invited you out of pity because people were giving you looks for making strange faces and disturbing smiles while reading your novels in class.”

Strange faces? Disturbing smiles?

“Why didn’t you tell me this in class, earlier?”

My high-school debut is over. Oh well, not like I cared about that. Still I wanted to pass off as relatively normal. I guess I should lay off of reading light novels about evil demon lords ruling another world while I am in class or in public at least. I wouldn’t want a repeat of middle school.

“I didn’t know how you’d react, also I did want to keep my promise to Izumi of getting more members to her club.”

“Wait, is she the club president?”

“Yes, that’s why it worked. If I or Yamada had asked for it then it wouldn’t have worked.”

Why? What’s so special about a gloomy-looking girl like Izumi? I couldn’t say this because she was present but she seemed like the kind of girl who looked outwardly studious but neglected any subject she didn’t have any interest in… Or has my mind being corrupted by light novels so that I am applying fiction-logic to reality? No, wait it’s the other way around, it’s reality that’s corrupt.

“So what do you do in this club?”

“We do whatever we like. There’s no hierarchy or mandatory activities.”

Sounds kind of boring but this works too.

“So, are you in?”

“Yes.”

Well, it would give me somewhere to write and read after school away from my annoying, snobbish older brother. I completed a form to join the club and handed it to Izumi who wordlessly accepted it. Then I took a seat, pulled out my laptop, and looked around for a power outlet. The intention was to work on my draft for the JNC Light Novel Writing Contest which accepted submissions this fall but Yamada stopped me.

“Sorry but no electronics are allowed in this room. That’s the only rule imposed on us to use to use this room by Izumi.”

Izumi looked like she was finally going to speak up.

I pointed towards the television in the room.

“That’s an exception.” Izumi retorted. Well, except it wasn’t much of a retort.

I thought we could do whatever we liked? Well, what did I expect from a club founded on deception.

Tanaka and Yamada had looks of understanding on their faces, which was something I neither desired nor appreciated.

The Light Novel Club

The Light Novel Club

Status: Ongoing Author: Released: 2024
Ishikawa Isshin, a freshman at North High has decided to join his high school's Light Novel Club, hoping to get some inspiration and quiet, to work on his novel for a light novel writing contest. Unfortunately for Isshin, the club's non-talkative bibliophilic book girl and old-tech obsessed club president, Izumi, as well as other members of the school faculty are intent on getting in his way by dragging him off to participate in miscellaneous after-school club activities.  Will Isshin remain the reluctant member of the club and continue to regret his decision to have joined? Or will he come to love the club, and discover the true purpose of the Light Novel Club?  

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