Hyouka
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Chapter 1
Letter from Benares

Dear Houtarou,

I am currently staying in Benares. Although in Japan this place is commonly known as Benares, calling it Varanasi is probably more accurate in terms of pronunciation.

Benares is a great town, Houtarou. This is a town of funeral ceremonies - after all, it has been since a long time ago. It seems like whoever dies here can ascend directly to heaven. Or am I wrong?

Oh yes, this place is said to be "free from the wheel of reincarnation." What it means is that dying here is equivalent to becoming an enlightened being in the Buddhist sense. In China, a long austerity is required to reach this state of "release". But here you simply pass away and then everything is okay.

Well, that's a pathetic story for the Chinese.

It might be a bit late, but congratulations for being successfully admitted into high school. It is Kamiyama High School after all, isn't it? What a boring choice. But congratulations anyway.

As your big sis, let me give you, someone who has safely become a high school student, a piece of advice.

Enter the Classics Club.

The Classics Club is a humanities club in Kami-High with a long tradition. Also, you might already know this, but I also belonged to the club in the past.

I heard this from someone else, but it seems that our tradition-rich club has had no newcomers for three years and currently has no members at all. If no one joins the club this year it will be disbanded. As a former member of the club it is certainly not something I can stand.

However, if there are newcomers in April then the situation will turn out differently. Houtarou, safeguard the Classics Club, the youth of your big sis. For now you can join the club in name only.

Moreover, it's not really that bad of a club. It's particularly great in autumn.

After all, you don't have anything better to do, do you?

I'll call you after reaching New Delhi.

With love,

Tomoe

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