Classroom of the Elite Volume 10 Epilogue Part 7
The backside of the school building was quiet.
“You claimed that it would’ve been easy for you to avoid expulsion if you took things seriously. It was because you knew you could’ve done it this way, wasn’t it?”
“Sure. I knew that Ichinose chick was saving up her points. She goes around acting like such a good-natured person too. She never seemed to like me much, but I still thought there was room for negotiation. That said, I was certain Ibuki didn’t have the wit or skill to negotiate with Ichinose using the points, so I felt pretty comfortable leaving them with her, it’s just… I didn’t think you’d get involved in it.”
“Ibuki and Ishizaki just happened to ask me for help, so I made use of them for what I could. After all, as far as I was concerned, this was nothing more than a great opportunity for me to build trust with Ichinose. If I had them go to you directly, you would’ve seen through the plan. I can’t imagine you would’ve given Ibuki the points in that case.”
“You made the right choice not to explain anything to her then.”
If I had explained everything to her, Ryūen would’ve gotten suspicious and seen through what I was doing behind the scenes.
“Were you the one who targeted Manabe?”
Considering that Kei had once been the target of Manabe’s bullying, it was only natural for him to reach that conclusion.
“No, that was just a coincidence. You know that she was on bad terms with Ibuki too, right?”
“I see. So she made the big decision, eh? Manabe ended up miserably bawling her eyes out.”
I could vaguely imagine what her reaction must’ve been like after hearing her name called.
“So you’re sayin’ I was saved by Ishizaki and Ibuki, huh? What an annoying gift they’ve given me.”
I wasn’t going to delve any further into this. If Ibuki and Ishizaki hadn’t visited my room that day, I would’ve probably brought up my plan with Hiyori instead.
Then, I would’ve had her collect Ryūen’s private points and do the same thing I had Ibuki do.
I had done all of this in order to have Ichinose owe me a favor. At the same time, I didn’t want Ryūen to be expelled for some reason I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
I had carried these complicated thoughts with me throughout the entire exam.
“What are you gonna do if there’s another exam like this one later?”
“Kuku. Who knows?”
He didn’t say that he wouldn’t do anything.
Among other things, Ryūen probably felt at least somewhat thankful for what Ishizaki and Ibuki had done.
Things might become much more interesting if Ryūen ends up making a comeback in the not-so-distant future.
Of course, whether or not that would happen would be entirely up to him.
My phone began to ring. I took a look at the caller ID to find that it was none other than Ichinose.
Having noticed what was happening, Ryūen turned around and walked back into the school building without saying another word. I answered the call and spoke.
“It seems Class B made it through the exam without losing anyone.”
[Yup. Kanzaki-kun volunteered himself to be the one everyone voted against. Once we did, it was announced that he’d be expelled once the results came back. After that, I paid the full twenty million points and negated his expulsion. There were some difficulties, but everyone in Class B managed to get through the exam safely.]
“Is that so? The price you paid wasn’t exactly cheap.”
Although it was only for the time being, Class B was now poorer than Class D.
Points would be redistributed again in April, but daily life was going to be quite tough for them until then.
Additionally, once the second year begins, having private points readily available might be important.
Though, there was no need to look into that at this point in time.
[We’ve lost our private points, but we can always make them back again. But, if we had lost even a single person, there would’ve been no way to get them back.]
Ichinose spoke without any indecision in her voice. It seemed as though I had said something unnecessary.
It was clear that she had set her mind on graduating together with every single one of her precious classmates.
[Ryūen-kun might not be satisfied with this, though. It seems that Manabe-san ended up being expelled in his place.]
I decided not to mention that I had just seen Ryūen a few moments ago and simply ignored the first part of what she had said.
“Were you close with Manabe, Ichinose?”
[Not exactly. We’ve only ever spoken once or twice, I guess. It still feels kinda lonesome though. Class A’s Totsuka-kun and Class C’s Yamauchi-kun are also gone…]
She probably hadn’t been able to make sense of it all yet.
[I wonder if somebody’s gonna have to leave like this again at some point?]
Ichinose pondered uneasily.
People you had grown accustomed to seeing every day, suddenly disappearing.
“You would just have to keep fighting, wouldn’t you?”
[Yup. I’m gonna rise up to Class A together with all my friends and graduate.]
Before today, there were probably still some people who thought that Ichinose was a hypocrite.
However, with this, that impression would be gone.
No matter what, Ichinose would fight to the bitter end in order to protect her class.
[…Thank you so much, Ayanokōji-kun. If you weren’t here, I…]
“Would’ve started dating Nagumo?”
Ichinose responded, affirming my answer.
[I know it’s stupid of me, it’s just… I kept trying to convince myself that it would’ve been a small price to pay as long as I saved my classmates. But… once I realized that I didn’t have to go through with it, I felt relieved from the bottom of my heart.]
She seemed to let out a deep sigh of relief as I could hear the sound of it from the other end of the phone.
[I think I definitely would have regretted it at some point.]
With that, Ichinose let out a laugh.
“If neither the student council president or I were here, what would you have done instead?”
[…Do you have to ask that?]
“I’m curious. There’s no way you haven’t thought about it, right?”
[Yeah, I had two plans. The first was that I would leave the school myself.]
As I had thought, Ichinose had also considered sacrificing herself.
[But, I didn’t really think that would be the choice to make. As a student of this school, I wanted to stay and fight to the bitter end.]
In which case, that would mean her other plan would’ve been her first choice.
[The other plan was to… hold a lottery.]
It was a simple enough plan that anybody could’ve thought of, but it would never work unless everyone agreed to it.
“Was everyone in Class B prepared to draw lots like that?”
[Yup, we had already discussed it. If we hadn’t come up with a way to avoid the expulsion by the day of the vote, we would’ve drawn three random names in a lottery. We didn’t bother talking about who the praise votes would go to and just decided the rest would play out on its own.]
It was the only way to judge all the students equally, without considering their individual strengths and weaknesses.
Even if Ichinose had been selected, the votes against her would’ve probably been canceled out by praise votes. Although, everyone would’ve probably been fine with that anyway.
“That would’ve been about as fair as you could’ve made it, but it would’ve never happened in the other classes.”
The more outstanding students definitely wouldn’t agree to a plan like that.
[It’s not like anybody actually wanted to be expelled, but nobody wanted to see our friends disappear either. Once I explained this to everyone, they agreed to the plan.]
Class B was probably only able to accomplish a feat like that because they had an absolute leader like Ichinose.
Despite the fact that it wouldn’t be communicated over the phone, I lowered my head slightly as a show of respect to Ichinose.
In and of itself, her plan wasn’t particularly extraordinary.
It was simply impressive that she had created an environment where a plan like that could be executed in the first place.
[Alrighty, well, I’ll talk to you later. Thank you once again, Ayanokōji-kun.]
“I was just the middleman. If you’re going to thank anybody, you should thank Ryūen and his friends.”
BAM! I’ve actually had this done for like one and a half days now. I just got lazy and posting stuff on all the places takes a lot of effort so I’m only just now doing it. Part 8, Part 9, and the Afterword will all be posted together, all at once, so this is technically the second-to-last update from me before the complete translation of the 10th volume.
If you didn’t know already, there are side stories for each volume, and V10 is no exception. I don’t translate them myself, but if you care enough, you can easily find them by going to Cinnamon Translations and find them there. If I wasn’t so lazy I’d just link you there directly.
If you want an ETA I suggest you consult an ouija board. That might give you a more accurate timeframe for the rest of the volume than I’d ever be able to give you.
Thanks for reading. Look forward to the end of V10 and the start of V11 here soon.