Classroom of the Elite Volume 10 Chapter 2 Introduction
Chapter 2: “The Class Vote”
TL: Graze and Regular Days
ED/PR: Catalystic and PuffyPyjamas
The next day, Tuesday March 2nd.
Chabashira walked through the door shortly after the bell rang.
It was the usual scene that unfolded every morning.
The class was enveloped in an air of relaxation.
It was announced yesterday that we had all passed the end-of-year exam without any problems. There were still a few days to go before the start of the final special exam for the first-years on March 8th, so it was no surprise that there wasn’t a hint of nervousness in the room.
However, Chabashira’s expression as she stood behind the podium was more grim than usual.
She projected a tense, stinging aura that spread to the students as well.
“Um, did something happen?”
Hirata, always prioritizing the stability of the class, took the initiative to speak up.
Chabashira didn’t answer right away, instead choosing to simply remain silent.
The impression she gave off made it seem like she was reluctant to say anything.
Up until now, no matter how serious things had been, she would beat her explanations into us without mercy. So, it didn’t take very long for the class to realize that this situation was abnormal.
“…There’s something I have to tell you all.”
She spoke heavily.
Her expression was as stern as ever, but the sound of her voice made her seem like she was struggling.
“As I told you yesterday, the final special exam for the first-years will begin on March 8th. After this special exam, you will advance to the second year, as per the general convention of our school.”
Chabashira turned around, picked up a piece of chalk, and reached for the blackboard.
“This year, however, the situation is slightly different from previous years.”
Hirata asked in return, having felt a sense of danger.
“Not a single student in your grade dropped out this year, even after the end-of-year exam. Getting this far without a single dropout has never happened before in the history of this school.”
“We’re pretty awesome when you put it like that, aren’t we?”
I thought about how we shouldn’t be getting ahead of ourselves, but Ike cut in to do just that.
If it was the usual Chabashira, she’d have probably warned him not to get too carried away.
“That’s right, and the school thinks so too. Normally, this would be something to celebrate. Even we, as faculty of the school, hope to see as many students graduate as possible. However, it needs to be said that several problems arise when things don’t turn out the way we expect them to.”
The way she spoke was strange. Hirata and Horikita both seemed to feel something out of place with her choice of words as well.
“It’s as if you’re saying you’re bothered by the fact nobody’s dropped out yet.”
“It’s not like that at all. But, sometimes things happen that go beyond my expectations.”
Even though she was saying something she should be happy about, Chabashira’s words were heavy.
In order to dispel that heaviness, Horikita continued to speak.
“Are you implying that there’s something wrong with us?”
The content of what Chabashira had to tell us wouldn’t change, no matter what questions Horikita might ask. She wasn’t the person making the choices here. She was just the employee who had been given the duty of relaying instructions.
“On the basis that there haven’t been any expulsions among the first-years, the school…”
Chabashira paused for a moment.
Then, she squeezed out the words that had been stuck in her throat.
“…has decided that, given the extenuating circumstances, you will be undergoing a supplementary improvised special exam starting today.”
She wrote down today’s date, Tuesday March 2nd, along with the words “Supplementary Special Exam” on the blackboard.
“Eeeh!? What the heck!? Another special exam!? That’s so unfair! The school’s acting like a stubborn little brat just because none of us dropped out!?”
Chabashira simply glossed over Ike’s complaints. Students didn’t have the right to refuse.
No, maybe she was the one who didn’t have that right. Chabashira was looking less composed than usual today. She didn’t seem to be trying to frighten us, so it was highly likely that this really was something that the school decided on in a hurry.
“It seems a little different from what we’ve done so far…”
Horikita muttered softly, having realized that there was no point fighting against it at the moment.
“Only the students who manage to pass this supplementary special exam will be eligible to take the special exam on March 8th.”
Having given a small explanation, Chabashira paused for a moment.
“I never agreed to this! I can’t believe we have to be the ones to take another exam!”
“Your dissatisfaction is completely justified. After all, the school has gone and implemented a special exam without any prior notice. Although it’s only one more exam than in past years, it will still inevitably be a burden on the students. It’s a truth that I, as well as the other teachers, have been taking seriously.”
A truth other teachers have been taking seriously? In other words, even though the teachers had been taking it seriously, the school itself had not. The way she had phrased it made it possible to arrive at this sort of conclusion.
Piling up extra special exams would certainly be tough on the students at this point.
For instance, if it’s a written exam that tests academic ability, students would have to re-apply themselves to their studies. Even in the case of a physical exam, they would need to work out potential countermeasures.
There would be a lot of pressure on the students, no matter what kind of exam it was.
That said, even if several students were to express their dissatisfaction, the special exam wouldn’t just disappear.
Chabashira resumed her explanation.
“The content of the special exam is extremely simple, and the dropout rate is fairly low at less than three percent per class.”
A dropout rate of less than three percent.
From what I could infer, it certainly seemed low.
But perhaps, this supplementary special exam was different from the exams we’ve had up till now.
There was no reason for her to expressly bring up the dropout rate.
She had never brought up that piece of information in the exams we had taken before.
The students who noticed this harbored even further suspicions.
When I briefly directed my gaze toward the girl in the seat next to me, our eyes met by chance as she had already been looking at me.
“What’s the matter Ayanokōji-kun?”
“If you keep looking at me without saying anything, it’ll just make me feel a bit creeped out, you know?”
I turned away, deciding to look out the window for a bit.
In such a confined classroom, I could hear everything that was being said, no matter where I was actually looking.
“I wonder what kind of exam it will be? What will it ask of us?”
“You seem to be feeling anxious about that point in particular, but it’s nothing you need to be worried about. This supplementary special exam will have nothing to do with things like academic or physical ability. When the time comes, you’ll just be expected to do something so simple that anyone should be able to do it, like writing your own name down on the test paper. If there’s ultimately only a three percent chance of dropping out of school, that’s definitely low, wouldn’t you agree?”
Throughout all of this, she had been trying to avoid touching on the true nature of the problem: the content of the exam.
“…If difficulty is unrelated, then that three percent is pretty scary for us.”
“Certainly, it’s as you say, Hirata. It’s not like I can’t understand how you’re feeling. However, whether or not you’ll be able to lower that percentage will be based on the preparations you make before the official exam comes to pass. As you’ve probably already imagined, the results of the exam will change depending on your actions.”
“Where was this dropout rate derived from? Based on what you’ve told us, it sounds like we’re just drawing lots. Is that the case?”
The chance of someone in this class dropping out of school wasn’t laughable.
Although Chabashira had understated the dropout rate, the burden it placed on the students was greater than anticipated.
Hirata, having been the first person to understand it, challenged that point even further.
“Please tell us. What kind of special exam will we be taking?”
“The name of the special exam is The Class Poll.”
“The Class… Poll…?”
Chabashira wrote out the name of the special exam on the blackboard.
“I’ll now explain the rules for this special exam. For the next four days, you’ll be evaluated by your fellow classmates. Then on Saturday, you’ll select the names of three students you find worthy of praise, and the names of three students you find worthy of criticism and cast your votes for them. That’s it.”
Does that mean that we would all be evaluating one another? Thinking about it objectively, students like Hirata and Kushida would accumulate a lot of praise, putting them at the top of the charts. In contrast, it seems like students who are thought of as troublemakers or are holding the class back would accumulate a lot of criticism and plummet to the bottom.
We were shown a glimpse of the urgency the school was facing based on the fact that they were using a Saturday to hold a portion of the exam.
However, based on everything Chabashira had said so far, the students in the upper and lower ranks…
“T-that’s it? That’s all the exam is?”
“Correct. That’s it. Didn’t I tell you it was simple?”
“With that being the case, how does the school determine the outcome of the exam?”
“I’ll explain that now.”
Tightening her grip on the chalk, Chabashira proceeded to write on the blackboard once more.
“The essence of this special exam is the number of praise and censure votes you accumulate on Saturday. The top student… that is, the student who accumulates the most praise votes, will be given a special reward. This special reward will not be private points. Instead, you will receive one point from a new system altogether, Protection Points.”
It was a type of point we hadn’t heard anything about until now.
Of course, it captured everyone’s attention.
“Protection points grant you the right to override an expulsion. Even if you were to fail a test, as long as you have a protection point, you can use it to cancel out the questions you had gotten wrong. However, these points cannot be transferred between students.”
It was no exaggeration to say that the moment she said this, a wave of newfound surprise spread throughout the classroom.
“You should all be able to understand how amazing these points are. They’re effectively equivalent in value to twenty-million private points. Of course, in the eyes of an excellent student with no reason to fear expulsion, they may not hold as much value.”
That would probably never be the case. There was no such thing as a student who wouldn’t welcome the right to invalidate an expulsion.
The reward was far too extravagant. No, it was beyond extravagant.
These protection points had the potential to be an outrageously dangerous weapon depending on how they were used.
And it was precisely because of this extravagance that the penalty given to the lowest ranked students would be even greater.
“Does this mean that something bad happens to the three lowest ranked students…?”
Hirata asked, uneasy about the answer.
“No. This time, the penalty only applies to the student who receives the most censure votes in each class. Other students will not be penalized, no matter how many censure votes they receive. After all, the theme of this special exam is selecting who will take the top spot, and then deciding who will take the bottom.
“What kind of penalty is it?”
“The special exam this time is different from the ones you’ve had so far, with one point in particular being very different. Namely, that this special exam is being conducted to rectify the problem of there not being any dropouts.”
Indeed. The detail the students should really be worried about was the reason why the supplementary special exam was being carried out in the first place.
If this exam was being held because there had yet to be any dropouts…
“This special exam is exactly as easy as I told you it was. Even if you lack academic ability or physical strength, you won’t be at a disadvantage. But even so, why would the school go out of its way to provide the special reward of protection points? That would be because it’s probably impossible for all of you to advance to the second year without leaving one of your classmates behind.”
Chabashira turned around and looked at each of us, one by one.
“So, the student at the lowest rank… will be expelled from the school.”
If there was a vote, there would be results.
And if there were results, there would have to be a first and last place student.
And then, the person in last place would be expelled.
This outcome would be inevitable.
It would be the same, no matter how superior or inferior the class was.
The only difference would be who would face the penalty.
That was the kind of exam we were dealing with.
The school had set up this supplementary exam simply because they were upset that nobody had dropped out yet. After all, if the supplementary exam took place and no students dropped out, it would’ve been meaningless for them to implement all of this in the first place.
Still, the face of Sakayanagi’s father, the chairman of the school, crossed my mind. While he may not have shown me his true nature during my encounter with him, he still didn’t seem to be the type of person who would enforce such an unreasonable exam.
“I-I don’t understand what you mean, sensei. T-the person in last place… are you seriously saying that they’ll be expelled?”
“That’s right. They’ll have to face the guillotine. But rest assured, the class itself won’t be penalized if someone drops out this time. That’s just the type of exam this is.”
This was clearly different from previous special exams.
Although the possibility of being expelled on an individual basis was higher, there was also a possibility of everyone being able to elude expulsion altogether. But this time, there was a system in place where a sacrifice was inevitable.
This was the special case that the school had prepared for us.
It was precisely because of their urge to force expulsions that they needed to offer something like protection points in return.
Even so, the students would still be burdened with a disproportionate amount of risk.
“It seems unreasonable, doesn’t it? Well, that’s what I think as a teacher. But, nothing can be done about it now that the school has made its decision. You have no choice but to abide by the rules and take the special exam.”
“Is that really alright…?”
Dark clouds hung over the class despite the fact that everyone had just overcome the end-of-year exam.
By this weekend, one student from this class was going to disappear.
“As there’s only a short amount of time left until the day of the vote, I will continue the explanation of the rules. The total number of praise and censure votes for each student will be made publically available at the end of the exam. In other words, the results for the whole class will be announced. However, information regarding who voted for whom will remain undisclosed, as the vote will be taken anonymously.”
With an exam like this, they would definitely have to do it anonymously.
Votes of praise aside, there would be problems over the censure votes for quite some time if the finer details of the vote were revealed.
“Moving on, one praise vote and one censure vote will invalidate each other. Let’s say, for example, that you received censure votes from ten people, and praise votes from thirty. This would be equivalent to a total of twenty praise votes. Additionally, neither vote may be cast for yourself, and it’s also forbidden to vote for the same person multiple times.”
“What about abstention…? Would we be allowed to abstain from using our censure votes if we wanted to?”
“Of course not. You’ll have to cast all of your votes, regardless of which type of vote it is. Even if you’re home sick on the day of the exam, you’ll still have to cast your vote.”
In other words, it was impossible for any of us to leave our ballot blank or abstain from the vote altogether.
Several students were visibly troubled over this.
This was a very threatening exam for students who felt like they’d amass censure votes.
Students who completely rely on others to overcome these exams would also feel a considerable amount of pressure.
“…No, it’s too soon to give in to despair.”
Hirata spoke words of comfort, trying to calm Ike and the others down.
“Sensei said earlier that it was only probably impossible for everyone to avoid expulsion. That means there should be a loophole somewhere.”
When she explained the rules to us during past exams, the hidden meanings behind her explanations always managed to lead us to a way out.
But what about this time?
This ‘probably impossible’ meant that there were methods available we hadn’t considered yet.
“Although it’s not easy, a way to prevent any of us from dropping out of school definitely exists.”
“W-what do you mean, Horikita?”
“If the entire class unites and selects three people for the praise votes and three people for the censure votes, all six of them would end up with a total of zero votes. That way, nobody would end up in last place. Isn’t that right?”
“T-that’s it! As expected of Suzune!”
It was certainly possible if all of our classmates followed directions. However, if even a single person turned traitor, the students who had been betrayed would be pushed down the path of expulsion.
After all, protection points would incentivize students to reach for first place.
While people like Kushida, who hates Horikita, could be problematic, their influence could be accounted for by making some adjustments ahead of time. If Kushida was put in a position where she was expected to cast a censure vote for Horikita, a crisis could be avoided to some extent. That way, it would be possible to determine who had turned traitor after the results of the vote are announced.
In short, because the traitor would be exposed, they wouldn’t be able to carelessly betray the class.
“What Horikita brought up just now about controlling the votes is meaningless.”
“If nobody is selected for both the first and last place positions, the special exam will be considered a failure. Regardless of your intentions, should the results of the vote be a net total of zero for every student in the class, another vote will be held. Put simply, the exam will repeat endlessly until you decide on someone to expel.”
With this, the escape path the class was frantically searching for was closed off.
“Isn’t that rule strange? If we voted honestly and just so happened to end up with a total of zero votes on each side, the results would still be the same, even if we held another vote. If we forcibly distorted the results after that, it wouldn’t feel like the students were chosen by a legitimate evaluation.”
“Horikita, your reasoning is correct. Should it just so happen to end up with a net total of zero votes for everyone, a revote does indeed seem contradictory. But, think about it realistically. Coincidentally ending up with a net total of zero votes for everyone in an exam where you explicitly choose people for both first and last place is almost impossible, right?”
Chabashira’s response was also very reasonable.
A net total of zero votes for everyone wouldn’t happen unless the vote had been intentionally set up that way.
“…Then, what happens when there’s a tie for first or last place?”
In comparison, there was a fair chance of a tie actually happening.
“In either case, there will be a deciding vote. However, even then, the vote might be tied a second time. If this happens, the situation will be evaluated by a special method prepared by the school. I’m unable to elaborate on this method any further at the present time.”
Does that mean she’d only tell us if it actually happens?
Though, the chances of getting to that point were quite low.
“There’s no need to worry about it. The probability of there being a deciding vote is effectively zero.”
Chabashira added, appearing to share my thoughts on the matter.
“Why? It should be more than possible enough.”
“That would be because you’ll also be receiving praise votes from the students in the other classes.”
“From the other classes?”
“You will all be expected to choose one student you find worthy of praise in another class and cast a separate dedicated praise vote for them. Naturally, this will count as a single, normal praise vote. In other words, in the event that a student is heavily disliked within their own class, but substantially popular with students from the other classes, it would be theoretically possible for that student to end with a total of around eighty praise votes, even after the censure votes are accounted for.”
It was unusual for more than 100 praise votes to be floating around.
Given this new information, it was certainly true that the possibility of a deciding vote taking place was now considerably lower.
With this, it seemed that we had found every piece of the puzzle.
Supplementary Exam・The Class Poll
The exam consists of a class vote, where each student in each class is allotted three praise votes and three censure votes.
Praise and censure votes invalidate each other. Praise Votes – Censure Votes = Results.
You can’t cast praise or censure votes for yourself.
Voting multiple times for the same person, leaving part of the ballot blank, abstaining from the vote altogether, and other acts of this nature are prohibited.
The exam will be repeated until the first and last place students have been determined. The last place student will be expelled.
You are required to cast a separate dedicated praise vote on a student in another class.
These were the details of the supplementary exam.
There was no doubt that this test was extremely straightforward and simple.
But at the same time, it was clear that this exam was the cruelest we’ve had to face so far.
This weekend, someone in each class was going to disappear.
“Sensei. Why did you say it was probably impossible? No matter how I look at it, I can’t find any loopholes.”
“That’s right. There aren’t any loopholes. However, it’s also true that there’s room for uncertainty. You’ve all probably been thinking this already, but everything changes when you use private points.”
“You’re saying we can use our private points to avoid expulsion?”
“20 million. If you’re able to prepare that many points, the school would have no other choice but to revoke your expulsion.”
This was the reason why she had said it was ‘probably impossible’.
The fact that there were no restrictions on the transfer of private points meant that negotiations that made use of them would be tolerated. If you can obtain praise votes with money, then obtain them. That’s what the school was telling us.
They’ve judged this to be a form of strength as well.
With the help of the sheer power of your capabilities that you’ve shown everyone over the past year.
Or with the financial power of the private points you’ve managed to save up throughout the previous exams.
Or maybe even the power of teamwork you’ve accumulated through friendship.
We were free to tackle this exam however we wanted to.
“P-please wait. Twenty million points is a little…”
“It’s an impractical amount for you guys, even if you gathered all the private points in Class C. Though, if you collected points from the other classes or received charity from the upperclassmen, it’s not impossible.”
It would certainly be theoretically possible if we went beyond our own class and school year.
However, if one were to ask whether we would actually gather that many points in order to protect one student, it would be difficult to say.
Even for Class A and Class B, there was a high possibility that they wouldn’t be able to gather so many private points either. No, even if they did, it was questionable whether or not they would use them to protect a single student. It would be very risky for them to throw away all of the assets they had built up so far.
“This is the only way you’ll be able to work around the rules set by the school. I’ll say this ahead of time, other attempts to find a way around the rules of this exam are absolutely impossible. The rest is up for you to judge and decide upon.”
Chabashira finished her explanation as homeroom came to an end.
As soon as she left the classroom, the class descended into turmoil.
“What do we do!? What do we do!? This is a seriously terrible exam, isn’t it!?”
“You boys are so noisy!”
“What do you mean noisy!? You’re probably going to cast your censure votes for us, aren’t you!?”
The boys and girls were tossing slander back and forth, as if on guard against one another.
One student laughed scornfully, watching over the conflict between the boys and girls.
The particularly unusual existence of the class, Kōenji Rokusuke.
“There’s no use panicking, is there?”
“Do you really think you are in any position to be calm right now? Do you even understand how much trouble you’ve caused the class so far?”
Sudō spoke up, questioning Kōenji as he approached.
So far, Kōenji had certainly been causing issues within the class thanks to his whimsical attitude.
“You selfishly abstained from both the uninhabited island exam and the athletics festival!”
Their conversation began to draw eyes from around the class.
At this point, the weak minded students were looking for the person who would become the sacrifice, all so they could avoid being expelled from school.
“It is you who doesn’t understand, Red Hair-kun.”
Kōenji crossed his legs and stretched them out over his desk.
“It seems that you’re under the impression that everything you’ve cultivated over the past year is the key to conquering this special exam.”
“That’s exactly how it is!”
“Wrong. This special exam has its sights undoubtedly set upon the next two years.”
Kōenji flatly rejected Sudō’s opinion, or rather, the opinion of the entire class.
“Huh? What are you saying…?”
Completely lost, Sudō probably thought of this as Kōenji’s usual nonsensical behavior.
“Would you listen? This exam is literally a special case. Isn’t it customary for a class to receive a large penalty when somebody gets expelled? This time, however, that’s not the case at all. In other words, this is an extremely suitable opportunity for us to rid ourselves of an unnecessary student.”
“So, I’m saying that you’re the unnecessary student; a total burden to the class!”
“Oh no, not at all.”
“Wha? …How can you say that!?”
“If you want to know, it’s because I am amazing.”
Kōenji spoke with overwhelming boldness, as if declaring that this was the final say on the matter.
Sudō faltered in the face of his complete lack of hesitation.
“When it comes to the written exams, I’m always at the top of the class, no, of the entire school year. In fact, I placed second only by a slim margin on the end-of-year exam. Of course, had I put in any serious amount of effort, I would’ve easily taken first. Furthermore, in terms of physical ability, I even surpass you as well. You yourself should know this fact very well, don’t you?”
Kōenji flaunted the height of his potential.
“S-so what! That’s all meaningless if you don’t take things seriously!”
“Sure. That’s why from now on, I’ll turn over a new leaf. With this exam as the turning point, I’ll become a useful student who contributes to all sorts of exams moving forward. This would be a great advantage for the class, no?”
“Wh-who would ever believe something like that!? I’m way more useful than you are!”
Sudō’s clamoring was also reasonable.
Nobody in the classroom, including myself, had any reason to believe in Kōenji’s words.
In fact, I didn’t think this man would take things seriously after this exam at all.
Rather, there was no real reason for him to actually change in the first place.
It was clear that, as long as he manages to get through this exam, he would just go back to living a self-indulgent life.
“Well then, allow me to reverse the question. This talk of you being more useful than I, is that something that everyone here can believe?”
Kōenji ignored Sudō, and instead began to address his classmates.
“No, not just Red Hair-kun. When it comes to students who haven’t helped at all yet, there’s no guarantee that they’ll suddenly become helpful in the future, is there? Anyone can list off empty promises, like I just have, but what really matters in the end is hidden strength. Without strength backing them up, empty promises lack persuasiveness altogether.”
The idea that students without ability had to strive to turn over a new leaf.
The idea that students with ability should strive to turn over a new leaf.
Kōenji was saying that these two ideas were similar, but not the same.
The whole concept of amassing censure votes and ending up as the lowest rank in the class, Kōenji wasn’t questioning anything like that at all. On the contrary, he seemed to be welcoming the supplementary exam itself.
However, this didn’t mean that Kōenji wasn’t facing any risk at all.
Depending on the actions that the class took moving forward, he was at risk of gathering a substantial number of censure votes.
For better or worse, he had said too much.
Although, if I had to be honest, I agreed with Kōenji’s idea.
If we were to think about the class as a whole, it was necessary to make a clear decision.
An opportunity had come for us to carefully select an unnecessary student and get rid of them for the sake of the class as a whole, instead of simply choosing based on our personal preferences.
In the case of the previous special exams, there were probably many cases where a student who had great strengths would’ve been expelled because of a couple of weaknesses. Put simply, this was the case with Sudō, who was arguing with Kōenji. In contrast to the physical abilities he had been blessed with, his academic abilities were in the running for the worst in the class. In fact, his academic abilities almost held him back so much that, at one point, he was on the verge of dropping out of school. However, with the help of Horikita, Sudō gradually began to make up for his shortcomings, and as a result, started to show his value as a member of the class.
Like Sudō, most people have both strengths and weaknesses.
On the other hand, there’s no shortage of people who not only lack strengths, but are littered with weaknesses and stand out in a bad way because of them. Everyone has the potential to grow as a human being, but everyone blossoms at different times, and some are simply limited by their capacity for growth. That was exactly why we had to take advantage of this exam.
Unfortunately, it seems that Kōenji was the only person in the class who was aware of this.
“Stop nagging me Kōenji. I don’t think we need someone like you, and that’s not gonna change.”
“No matter how incompetent your close friends are?”
“Incompetent… you’re calling my buddies incompetent? You’re full of shit!”
Sudō slammed his fist down on Kōenji’s desk and glared at him fiercely.
“Precisely. In any event, is that all? If this is your decision, do feel free to do as you please, but by then… as far as I can tell, this class will simply remain pathetic and inferior.”
Kōenji calmly combed back his hair, without showing a hint of interest.
His repeated provocations had set Sudō aflame.
“Both of you relax. We should talk this out calmly, right?”
Hirata forced his way in between the two of them.
How many times had Hirata gone in and mediated like this?
It was a scene that I had already gotten used to seeing, but Sudō was just getting more and more heated and showed no signs of cooling down.
“What do you mean relax, Hirata? Course you’re gonna be fine. After all, there’s no way you’d ever end up in last place.”
Ike’s words poked Hirata in a sore spot.
It was true that Hirata had greatly contributed to the class over the past year. Generally speaking, it was no exaggeration to say that he was one of the safest students in this exam. In this exam where someone would inevitably be expelled, the words of a student who was effectively safe from danger wouldn’t be able to resonate with others.
“I… It’s not clear what’s going to happen to me.”
Even though he denied it, his words still weren’t able to get through to Sudō.
“You hear that, Kanji? Hirata just said he doesn’t know what’ll happen to him.”
“No no, Hirata-sama is definitely safe.”
Yamauchi and Ike exchanged bitter smiles that were filled with more astonishment than irritation.
This reaction was understandable.
Nobody here had ever considered Hirata to be a potential candidate for expulsion.
Even if he gathered a few censure votes, he was sure to get more than enough praise votes to cancel those out.
Hirata attempted to say something several times, but the words wouldn’t come out.
The special exam had still only just been announced.
Given the restless state of the classroom, they wouldn’t be able to calmly accept anything Hirata had to say.
“Let’s keep talking Kōenji.”
“I have nothing more to say to you.”
“There’s more than enough to talk about.”
Sudō pressed the matter further. At this point, the only one who’d be able to stop him would be…
“That’s enough Sudō-kun.”
Horikita spoke up, the final word for the discussion.
“Don’t get so carried away just because your grades have improved a little bit.”
“No, this time, it’s not like that…”
She had complete control over Sudō with just a handful of words.
Horikita instructed Sudō to return to his seat and keep his distance from Kōenji.
“Horikita-san, you’ve been a great help.”
“It’s no big deal compared to the trouble caused by this exam.”
Saying that, Horikita also distanced herself from Kōenji and returned to her seat.
I spoke up as she approached.
“Thank you for your hard work.”
“That took a lot of extra effort.”
She let out a sigh and sat down.
“But… things have really become troublesome. Despite all the instability and collusion, the class had always been able to cooperate. And yet, they come along and force us to kick someone out… it’s far too cruel.”
Horikita lamented, unable to do anything about the chaos that enveloped the room.
Of course, I understood that she was just looking to complain.
“You don’t think so?”
“There was never any guarantee from the start, ever since we first enrolled.”
“…Yeah. It was really just an afterthought. But even so, I still think that this exam is outrageous.”
“Well, it seems like revenge for the fact that nobody’s been expelled yet.”
It would be reasonable to feel dissatisfied like Horikita.
However, I couldn’t afford to be a mere bystander during this particular exam.
The whole class had to bear the risk of expulsion. No, as a student toward the bottom of the social hierarchy, I’m afraid that I would be in even more danger of accruing censure votes if I didn’t get involved in this exam.
To avoid that, it would probably be best to lay out the groundwork ahead of time.
“I honestly can’t come to terms with this exam, but…”
Despite Horikita’s grumbling, I could sense something like fierce determination in her expression.
Afterward, the restless atmosphere persisted throughout the classroom until the end of the morning classes.
This took much longer to finish than I intended. Not only is this part the largest single part I’ve ever had to do before, my sister’s wedding, my birthday, an essay, and lots of extended family were in town this last week, so I had effectively no free time. I apologize that this took so long.
Anyways, this part alone is 50% of the 2nd chapter. There are two more parts, with Part 1 being also real long, so expect that in like 6-7 days or something. I’ll try to be quick with it.
Not much else to say today. Thanks for reading my translations! I pour a lot of heart and soul into them, so it really touches me that you all appreciate them. Hope to see you all again soon.