Classroom of the Elite Volume 10 Epilogue Introduction
Epilogue: “The Dropouts”
Saturday morning, the very day of the exam, had finally arrived.
It seemed that nearly every single class had managed to come to a decision.
Class A had chosen to expel Katsuragi and Class D had chosen to expel Ryuuen.
Class B was moving forward believing nobody would have to be expelled.
Of course, there was a possibility that none of that would turn out as planned. Everyone had a chance to face expulsion.
No one would know for sure until the results were revealed.
Even if a class were to work together to get rid of someone, it wouldn’t matter much if they managed to gather enough praise vote from the other classes.
What was important now, was what you did with the little time we had left.
Even I wasn’t one hundred percent safe.
There were no absolute guarantees like that in this exam.
Even though we were expected to be in the classroom at the same time as always, the exam was going to start a bit later, at nine.
It was currently just half-past eight.
Should this short time-extension be taken as the school showing us some sort of consideration… or was there another reason?
Perhaps it was a trick to keep us on our toes until the very end.
“You really didn’t do anything?”
“I’m asking if you really just stayed on the sidelines and didn’t involve yourself in any of this, even though you were in danger?”
“Does it look like I’ve done something?”
“…Not on the surface.”
“There’s your answer. I didn’t do anything this time. Rather, you’re the one who saved me.”
“Then it wouldn’t be funny if you got expelled because of that.”
“Even more so if I got expelled after fighting back like you did.”
This might just be the last conversation we would have as neighbors.
Horikita responded dismissively.
Just like this, the class welcomed the exam in silence.
At least, that’s what I thought… At the last moment, something happened once again.
“Please listen up, everyone.”
The one to break the silence was none other than Hirata. Yesterday, he had engaged in an argument with Horikita, but he hadn’t actually done anything more than that.
He had only spoken aimlessly about voting for Horikita.
Of course, it’s possible that some of the students who admire Hirata may vote against her.
However, that would be too weak for a finishing blow.
Within Class C, Horikita’s evaluation was relatively high.
Even though her frank, in-your-face way of speaking is sharp and prickly, it also gave off an impression of reliability.
“After listening to what Horikita-san and everyone else had to say yesterday, I’ve come to a conclusion. The primary focus of this exam… is who we should cast our censure votes for, right?”
Hirata was calm and composed as he spoke.
“Is… Is he still going to say something?”
“Looks like it.”
If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t be trying to say something at the last minute like this.
“What a waste. He doesn’t have a plan. This is just him trying to delay the inevitable.”
No, It’s hard to say for sure…
I could see traces of new-found determination in Hirata’s eyes.
“First of all, I’d like to apologise for what happened yesterday, when I said that I’d vote against Horikita-san.”
Just as I thought, Hirata bowed his head to Horikita to apologize for his rude behavior.
“There isn’t anything you need to apologize for. What in the world are you doing?”
“I decided that you are necessary for the success of our class.”
“If that’s the case, have you thought about who is unnecessary?”
“Yeah. I did.”
Hirata spoke definitively, causing Horikita to falter for a moment.
“…Could you tell us who?”
“I’ll tell you right now.”
Hirata slowly got up from his seat and stood behind the teaching podium, just like Horikita had the day before.
“I love this class. I think that each and every one of you are necessary. No matter what anyone says, or what any of you do, that won’t change. But, I already know that won’t solve anything.”
After all his struggling, this was the answer Hirata had arrived at.
It seemed like nothing had changed from what he had told me yesterday.
“I want everyone to cast a censure vote for me.”
Hirata said what I thought he would say.
“H-how could any of us do something like that!?”
Mii-chan exclaimed, with other girls voicing similar thoughts in quick succession.
“It’ll be fine if I’m expelled. I’m prepared to do at least that much.”
“Think about what you’re saying… Have you gone insane?”
Horikita unconsciously raised her voice, even though, given the situation, it would’ve been fine to let Hirata say whatever he wanted.
“You’re gonna sacrifice yourself just because you can’t decide who to expel?”
“You said it yourself right, Horikita-san? That if a student wants to be expelled, there wouldn’t be anything else we need to talk about?”
“So I’m volunteering.”
“Nobody in this class actually wants to see you expelled. You act as a mediator to settle the class’s conflicts. This is far too ridiculous.”
“Either way, I don’t care.”
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Class C was on the brink of chaos.
At this point, there were no surprises about who people would be voting against. The key question had changed from ‘Who would get the censure votes?’ to ‘Who would get the praise votes?’.
Without Hirata, the future special exams would probably be far more difficult.
That’s the risk of losing one of the class’s central figures.
“There’s absolutely, totally, no way I’m using a censure vote on Hirata-kun!”
Shinohara and the rest of the girls collectively begun to speak up to defend Hirata.
Hirata’s heart probably felt that much worse every time they spoke up for him.
“There’s no reason for you guys to stick up for me. I’ve already come to hate all of you.”
His tone was the same as usual, but the words he spoke were cold.
“So please let me make this easier on all of us.”
“I… I’ll vote for Hirata!”
“If it’s for Hirata, I think everyone else should vote for him too!”
He then continued to yell things like that.
“I see. This is Yamauchi-kun’s last stand…”
Yamauchi had probably contacted Hirata yesterday and pleaded about how he didn’t want to be expelled, begging Hirata to help.
That may have been one of the reasons why Hirata had hardened his resolve to get expelled.
Then, after a long silence, Chabashira entered the classroom.
“Well then, the class vote will now begin. Once your name has been called, please make your way to the voting room.”
It didn’t seem like we were going to be voting all at the same time in the classroom.
There was no guarantee that we wouldn’t be able to see each other’s votes. It seemed that the school was doing what it could to ensure the votes remained anonymous.
Now, how would it turn out from here…?