Classroom of the Elite Volume 11 Chapter 6 Introduction
Chapter 6: A Man’s Tears
Katsuragi had blessed us with crucial information, but that didn’t mean that Class C had taken the upper hand.
Horikita was well aware of this, as she was trying to alleviate everyone’s anxiety, one step at a time.
“Wait a moment, Hirata-kun.”
After school had ended, Horikita called out to Hirata, just as he was about to head home for the day.
It was the first time she had spoken to him since the Class Vote Exam ended.
Hirata simply stopped in his tracks without looking back to face her.
“I know you probably don’t want to talk to me, but just allow me to confirm something. You don’t need to practice for any of the events our class chooses, and I’m not planning on having you do anything on exam day either. However, that might change depending on the situation. Sakayanagi-san is aware of your condition, so it’s possible that she might throw in several events that require a large number of people.”
No matter how much Class C might try to accommodate for Hirata, it’s possible that every single student might have to participate.
“If that happens, what will you do? Apathetically hold all of us back? Or are you just going to do the bare minimum required of you? Can you at least answer me that?”
However, Hirata didn’t respond. A heavy silence filled the classroom; a silence that was only broken by the sound of Hirata’s footsteps as he walked away.
“So he won’t even give me an answer?”
Fed up with Hirata, Horikita simply averted her gaze as if she had given up.
“…Hey, maybe… Maybe we won’t win after all… With Hirata-kun acting like this and everything.”
I could hear anxious whispers coming from some of the girls.
And the boys were probably just as worried. After all, the man who had been leading the class was now gone.
Time and time again, his absence was proving to be a threatening burden on the class as a whole.
Horikita spoke up to me.
“You told me that fixing his problem was a collective effort. But in the end, he still hasn’t changed at all.”
“I wonder about that.”
Horikita looked up at me with a confused expression, but my attention was focused on something else entirely.
At this point, I didn’t know how many times I had heard Mii-chan yell out like that. She hurriedly grabbed her bag and followed him out of the classroom.
“Mii-chan still hasn’t given up.”
“Why she hasn’t is completely beyond me.”
“Just focus on what you need to be doing, Horikita. Bringing Class C together and improving our chances of winning.”
Horikita was currently the only person in the class capable of doing that.
I left the classroom myself, following after Mii-chan.
I found the two of them standing face to face with each other on the way to the dormitories. However, the scene of them together gave a different impression than that of a bittersweet confession.
This was more of an attack. She was on the offensive to get Hirata back on his feet.
“Please, Hirata-kun. Everyone needs your help… So─”
“Mii-chan, just stop. Can’t you just leave me alone already…?”
Hirata cut her off with a grumbling complaint, almost as if he was wondering how many times he would have to tell her this for her to understand.
Without a doubt, these sharp words of his had come like a knife cutting deep into her heart.
However, the determination within her eyes didn’t waver one bit.
No matter how many times he pushed her away, Mii-chan wouldn’t give up.
“I-I won’t leave you alone… Not when you’re like this Hirata-kun, I just can’t!”
“Then, what will it take for you to back down? Tell me.”
“That, uhm, if you go back to the way you used to be…”
“Go back? Impossible.”
Once again, Hirata’s coldhearted response mercilessly cut into Mii-chan.
“No it’s not! I… I have faith that you can still go back to the way you used to be!”
“And I already told you it’s impossible. This faith of yours is misguided.”
“Even so, I still believe in you!”
Hirata clenched his fist. It gave the impression that, depending on the situation, he might start getting violent.
“Then, bring back Yamauchi-kun.”
“That’s how you can make things go back to how they used to be.”
Now that Yamauchi had been expelled, he would probably never come back to Class C.
And, in the same way, Hirata would also never go back to how he used to be.
This was the reality that Hirata was looking to convey to Mii-chan.
“I hope you remember this before you try talking to me again.”
Hirata turned his back on her and began to walk away, but Mii-chan couldn’t help but reach out to him as he left.
She grabbed onto his right arm, desperate to prevent him from leaving.
After all, if she were to let him retreat to his dorm, she wouldn’t be able to do anything more to convince him today.
“Let go of me.”
Despite Hirata’s rejection, Mii-chan continued to hold her ground.
She believed that, as long as she didn’t give up, her feelings would somehow reach through to him.
I maintained my distance from the two of them, watching the situation unfold from nearby.
I didn’t want to get in Mii-chan’s way by getting too close to them.
However, Hirata sighed openly.
And then, he raised his arm up in the air and forcefully swung it down to shake free from her grasp.
For Hirata, it was a crude, uncharacteristic way of handling the situation.
The forceful, sudden movement, caused Mii-chan to collapse on the spot.
“…Stop bothering me already. If you don’t, I… I’ll…”
Mii-chan looked up at Hirata from the ground below him.
The anger held within Hirata’s gaze hurt Mii-chan’s feelings all over again.
“I have nothing left to lose. If you continue following me around like this…”
Nothing Hirata had said so far could possibly be compared to the crushing blow this would leave on Mii-chan.
However, just then, a lone man walked past me.
A man whose blond, flowing hair fluttered in the wind, sprinkled with the scent of cologne.
“My my. It seems you’re dawdling today as well, hmm? That’s quite an unsightly look on your face.”
Kōenji provoked Hirata with light, frivolous words.
As a member of the Going Home Club, Kōenji’s appearance here wasn’t all that surprising either.
“Oh, don’t mind me. Just continue with what you were doing a second ago. I’m only here to watch.”
Hirata was by no means stupid enough to continue after being told something like that.
Instead, he began to direct his hostility at the man who had interrupted him.
“You… Is there something you want from me…?”
“Something I want? I don’t ‘want’ anything. After all, I already have everything.”
With that, Kōenji began walking past Hirata and Mii-chan, however…
“Though, if there is something you could do for me…”
To Kōenji, this was just something he had come across on his way home for the day.
That’s all it was. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Hirata’s feelings were completely inconsequential to him.
“You’re an eyesore, so could you try and make sure you stay out of my sight? If this isn’t your ideal school anymore, why don’t you just show yourself the door?”
It was just his style to say something like this. He was suggesting that Hirata simply leave the school instead of continuing to fumble around like this.
“…Shut up. You don’t even understand my situation…”
“I don’t know, and I don’t care. However, I can make a guess. You won’t make the choice to leave simply because it’ll cause problems for your classmates. Isn’t that right? What nonsense.”
“P-please stop, Kōenji-kun! Hirata-kun didn’t do anything wrong!”
Back on her feet, Mii-chan spoke up, eager to stop Kōenji’s relentless badmouthing of Hirata.
“Oops. It seems you aren’t happy with what I’ve said. I do apologize.”
Despite the smile on his face, Kōenji still treated Mii-chan with a certain amount of respect.
“However, the sooner you forget about Hirata-boy, the better. He’s beyond broken.”
Having been pushed to his limit for a while now, Hirata locked eyes with Kōenji and began to shorten the distance with him.
Mii-chan sensed the obvious change in Hirata’s energy and stepped in between the two to stop him, only to be shoved aside by Hirata with even more force than before. Then, without so much as a glance at Mii-chan, Hirata reached out at Kōenji with an extended arm.
He tried to grab Kōenji by the collar of his shirt, but Kōenji quickly seized him by the wrist with his left hand and suppressed his movements.
“I don’t show mercy to those who come at me, okay? I don’t want my beautiful face getting scarred.”
An expression mixed with both pain and rage took shape on Hirata’s face, perhaps due to the strength of Kōenji’s grip on his wrist.
“You’re, you’re so irritating Kōenji…!”
“You’re free to do whatever you want, but I see no reason to take orders from somebody who made a girl cry.”
Kōenji let go of Hirata’s wrist and glanced over at Mii-chan, who was once again back down on the ground.
“You’re the one who knocked her over, so shouldn’t you be the one to help her back up?”
“…That’s not my problem anymore.”
“Not your problem, hm? Well aren’t you rather merciless.”
Mii-chan averted her gaze from Hirata, unable to look directly at him anymore.
“That’s fine then. You’re free to decide what you want, Hirata boy.”
“Eh, wha, what!?”
Kōenji gallantly swooped Mii-chan up from the ground.
“Since you aren’t going to, I suppose I’ll do the honors myself.”
This was a man who was, by nature, difficult to make sense of, but this sudden, unexpected action left both Mii-chan and Hirata at a loss for words.
“Your heart has been broken, and moreover, you’ve even been injured. How about I help treat you?”
“W-w-w-wha!? I, uhm, I!? I’m not hurt anywhere!!!”
“Well, there’s no need to worry. Despite my appearance, I’m exceedingly gentle.”
This is just a guess, but when Kōenji said he’d help treat her, he was probably referring to something more of spiritual nature instead of a physical injury.
Something like her broken heart. I think. Probably.
Kōenji began to distance himself from Hirata, as if he were trying to separate Mii-chan from him.
“Uhm, uh, please put me down!”
“Hahaha! That won’t do. You’re already mine to take after all!”
Like that, Hirata glared at Kōenji’s back.
Kōenji stopped in his tracks, almost as if he had sensed Hirata’s harsh gaze.
“Do you still have complaints for me?”
In all honesty, I wish Kōenji would’ve just ignored Hirata at this point.
“You’re never gonna stop tormenting me, huh? Until the very end?”
“No. You’re the one tormenting the people around you. At least, I wouldn’t be ignoring a girl who shows kindness to me.”
Kōenji began walking away once again, with a blatant disregard for Mii-chan’s protesting.
When Hirata noticed that Kōenji was headed toward the dormitory, he set off in another direction. It was as if he didn’t want to be near the two of them anymore.
For a moment, I wasn’t sure who I wanted to follow, but ultimately decided to follow after Kōenji first.
Furthermore, Mii-chan’s bag had been left behind on the ground, so I picked it up and set off after them.
Once they approached the dorm entrance, Kōenji tenderly put Mii-chan back down.
“Fufufu. Why indeed, hmm?”
Instead of answering Mii-chan’s question, Kōenji let show a smile.
“Anyway, you should give up on chasing after Hirata-boy today.”
I handed Mii-chan her bag.
“Thank you, Ayanokōji-kun… Wait, where did you come from?”
I would’ve told her that she hadn’t noticed me because I’m good at erasing my presence, but I chose not to say anything.
“I will be right here watching you until you get on the elevator, okaaay?”
Even if she went to look for Hirata after this, she doesn’t know where he went.
Mii-chan gave up for now and got on the elevator in order to get away from Kōenji.
I stood there and watched as Kōenji took a seat on the sofa in the lobby.
“Now… What can I do for you, Ayanokōji-boy?”
“Why did you start talking to Hirata back there? Were you just adding fuel to the fire? Or did you take action thinking it’d help the class?”
“It seems you still don’t understand me, hmmm? Tsk tsk tsk.”
As he spoke, he lifted his hand up and lightly shook his finger at me.
“I would never do something for the class’s sake or anything like that. After all, I only do what I want to do. Even if my actions have a negative or positive impact on the class… Well, that’d be nothing more than a mere byproduct.”
So it’s just a byproduct, is it? As a rule of thumb, Kōenji only does what he wants to do. The sole exception to this rule would be if he’s at risk of being expelled if the class loses an exam.
“His existence is like a fly, that is, absolutely irritating.”
This seemed to be the reason why he had unexpectedly called out to Hirata.
“You’re free to do whatever you want, but what will you do if another exam similar to The Class Vote were to happen? To be honest, as it stands now, nobody else would be in more danger than you.”
“Fufufu. With potential like mine, it doesn’t matter.”
After checking the screen for the elevator to make sure Mii-chan had gotten off, Kōenji stood up.
“That’s right. If I’m not mistaken, you were chosen as the commander for the exam, yes?”
“I’m not very motivated, so avoid making me have to participate, if you would.”
“Sorry, but the one who decides that is Horikita. I don’t have a say in the matter.”
“You have it backward. As the commander, you hold the right to make that decision, not her.”
He was certainly right as far as the rules were concerned, but… it didn’t seem like I’d be able to convince Kōenji.
“Anyway, I trust that you’ll make the correct decision.”
Leaving me with that, he got on the elevator and returned to his room.
Part 1 is easily half of the chapter. Part 2 should come out right after that. This part along accounts for 40% of chapter 6, so look forward to me hopefully getting the chapter wrapped up in the very near future. I’m like, insanely motivated right now, so I think I’m going to get a hell of a lot done. Look forward to it.