Classroom of the Elite Volume 10 Chapter 3 Part 1
It felt like I was finally getting used to my daily life here.
Without noticing, almost a full year had passed since I started living in the dorms.
“It feels like time doesn’t pass by like it used to.”
The passage of time would feel different depending on how much you were enjoying yourself.
Honestly, when I first learned about this phenomenon, I didn’t understand the meaning very well.
Before I started high school, every second of my life had felt exactly the same. But now, it was different.
Obviously, the days were still passing by at the same speed as always. There were still two years left until graduation.
But it was strange. The more I thought about it, the more I felt like graduation day would come along in the blink of an eye.
I heard Ichinose call out from behind me as soon as I stepped outside. It was probably because we both left for school at roughly the same time every morning. I looked behind me and responded to her.
“Ah. Good morning Ichinose.”
Strangely enough, as soon as I called out to her, Ichinose stiffened up for some reason.
She was standing perfectly still, frozen with her hand in the air.
My question seemed to snap her out of the trance she was in as she proceeded to walk over. Although, her movements were still a bit stiff in some respects.
“Wow, uhh… it’s pretty cold again today, huh?”
“I suppose so.”
Our breath was visible in the air as we spoke.
“Did you plan on walking to school with someone?”
“Not at all. I’m usually by myself in the mornings.”
“Well then… do you mind if I join you?”
There probably wasn’t a single student out there capable of turning her down when she asked like this.
I responded with a nod.
Whenever the two of us had ended up alone together in the past, Ichinose would usually be the one to start the conversation. This time, however, the only sound breaking the silence between us was the sound of our footsteps as Ichinose walked a short distance behind me.
So, I decided to try asking her about the exam.
“This next special exam must be a pretty difficult thing for you and your class, huh?”
In comparison to the other classes, Class B had overwhelmingly solid teamwork and a strong overall sense of camaraderie.
Being forced to decide on which student to remove would probably be heart-wrenchingly painful for all of them.
“Ah, well… Yeah, I think this exam is the toughest we’ve had by far.
I could tell as much based on her clouded expression alone.
Ichinose, as the leader of her class, was the only one who was absolutely safe.
Compared to Hirata or Kushida, she was in a completely different situation altogether. She seemed like the only student effectively guaranteed to make it through the exam.
And this was why having to cut someone from the class was such a painful decision for her.
She may as well stick to the sidelines and not get involved with the vote at all. It would probably be less stressful for her that way.
It might’ve been possible for Ichinose to do something like that, but…
“In the face of such a terrible exam… I really have no choice but to do something, don’t I?”
“Well, that’s probably true.”
“…Yeah. I must do something.”
She walked up beside me as she said this.
From the side, I could see a thin smile on her face.
“Are you… thinking of dropping out yourself, Ichinose?”
“Eh? No way. I definitely didn’t say anything like that.”
She denied it, but the look in her eyes gave another impression.
That she was fully prepared to make that choice if she needed to.
“Just for the record, your classmates wouldn’t be willing to vote for you very easily.”
“I told you that I never said anything about dropping out myself. But, if you really think so then I guess you’re probably right about that.”
“The fact that you’ve been considering it is written all over your face.”
Ichinose hurriedly tried to confirm it.
Was this natural or was she doing it on purpose?
It seemed to be the former this time.
“Haa… Keep it a secret from everyone okay?”
“Are you really willing to sacrifice yourself for someone else’s sake?”
“Not exactly. I just feel like I have to fight, and bear responsibility for the risk on my own.”
Bear responsibility for the risk on my own, huh?
In other words, she had no intention of taking the easy way out by passively watching from the sidelines.
“I don’t understand. Is this your own way of paying tribute to the classmate who gets expelled?”
Even though it would mean more coming from Ichinose than from someone else, it still wasn’t something they’d want.
Either way, I simply couldn’t imagine that student leaving the school with a smile on their face.
“There’s not much more I can tell you. It’s not something I’d like other people to hear about. Furthermore, you’re in Class C. No matter what kind of exam it is, there are times where we just aren’t able to collaborate.”
“That’s certainly true.”
If anything, the most we were able to discuss with one another was about the praise votes.
If you were able to secure Ichinose’s vote, you’d be in a somewhat favorable starting position for the rest of the exam.
Be that as it may, Ichinose wasn’t a student who needed praise votes in the first place. Even so, she wouldn’t just simply hand over her vote in exchange for private points either. So I didn’t even try to bring it up.
Even if, for argument’s sake, I bought her vote, in the end it wouldn’t amount to anything more than a lucky charm.
“Anywho, the school is pretty terrible, isn’t it? What with making someone drop out of school and all. Even if you manage to get praise votes from the kids in the other classes, someone still has to leave in the end.”
Not everyone was welcoming this exam, especially given that they forcing the expulsions just as the first year was coming to an end.
“Will you be alright, Ayanokōji-kun?”
“Well, it’s hard to say… I’m not a very important student in my class.”
“Then, if you’re alright with it, I may be able to work something out.”
“Since I have a praise vote I can use on someone in another class, I could use it on you.”
She brought up a topic that I had intentionally decided against bringing up only moments earlier.
“Though, it’s only one vote, so it may not be worth very much…”
“I’m thankful for your offer, but I must decline. Your vote would be wasted on someone like me.”
“That’s not true at all! Rather, I honestly think it would be the most justified vote in the entire exam. It’s meant to be for someone worthy of praise in another class. Yeah, I can’t think of anyone more worthy than you, as the one who saved me.”
Her words were extremely difficult to respond to.
“I see. Well, then, if something comes up, I’ll reach out to you.”
“Sweet. I’ll remember that.”
With that, Ichinose let show a smile.
“Good morning Honami.”
I heard someone call out to Ichinose from behind us.
“Good morning to you, Asahina-senpai.”
“Well aren’t you looking lively today? By the way, you two are in separate classes, right? You guys must be on pretty good terms then, yeah?”
“Err, yes. He’s a good friend…”
Ichinose seemed a little embarrassed with her answer.
“Oh~? A good friend, huh?”
It would’ve caused fewer misunderstandings if she hadn’t responded like that.
“Well, whatever. Anyway, I’d like to borrow Ayanokōji-kun for a bit, is that alright?”
Asahina had approached the two of us, hoping that Ichinose would take her leave so she could talk to me alone.
“I understand. Well then, Ayanokōji-kun, I’ll be going on ahead.”
With no particular signs of discontent, Ichinose bowed her head, following along with Asahina’s request.
“Sorry Honami. See ya.”
“Oh no! Please excuse me.”
I didn’t sense anything abnormal about their short conversation.
Instead, it seemed like the two shared a proper senpai-kouhai relationship.
“She’s a real good kid isn’t she? Cute. Smart. Even among the second-years, nobody has anything bad to say about her.”
“That’s true. Ichinose seems quite popular with pretty much everyone among the first-years as well.”
“Could it be that you’ve managed to gain her affection?”
It seemed that Ichinose’s somewhat unnatural behavior hadn’t gone unnoticed.
Ichinose aside, I wanted to keep my time with Asahina as short as possible.
It’d raise suspicions if we were to be seen by one of Nagumo’s underlings. If she really had something to say then it’d be best to deal with it quickly.
“If you have business with me, I’ll hear you out.”
“How boring. Well whatever. I happened to see the two of you acting all buddy buddy, so I wanted to tell you something.”
Asahina had been smiling cheerfully for a while now, but that smile quickly disappeared.
“I’ve heard a bit about the first-years’ exam. Somebody’s being forced to drop out of school, yeah?”
“It looks like it.”
It seems the news had already managed to spread to the second-year students.
“Honami cares deeply for her friends, or how should I put it… You know she’s not the type of person who would sit back and let someone from Class B be expelled, right?”
“That should be true. I think everyone is interested in where B class is going to end up, even though no one talks about it.”
My response was a bit bland, but it managed to convey my thoughts easily enough.
“Then, how do you think Honami will go about tackling the exam?”
Asahina looked at me with prying eyes.
Rather than merely being curious about my response, it was more like she was trying to coax a particular answer out of me.
In which case, giving her a roundabout answer would probably be counterproductive.
“Assuming that she plans on preventing the expulsion… Class B has a considerable amount of private points saved up. So she would just need to make up for the rest of the points she needs somehow and stop the expulsion from happening altogether. Something like that, right?”
“Bingo. Well, that is the only logical conclusion.”
If you were working under the assumption that she would try to prevent the expulsion, anyone would’ve been able to come to the same conclusion.
The tricky thing was, there weren’t very many people who could make it happen.
Managing to somehow gather together 20 million private points was exceedingly difficult.
“It seems she’s gone and asked Miyabi for assistance. Can you guess how he responded?”
“He consented immediately?”
Based on the course of events so far, there simply weren’t any other possibilities.
“I’ll ask just to make sure, but there’s no way she’d be lent enough private points with no strings attached, is there?”
Even though Class B possessed a large number of private points, they were still probably short by a sizable amount.
Several hundred thousand points still wouldn’t be enough.
“Of course there isn’t. Sure, it’d be a different story if we were only talking about a few thousand points. In that case, there’d be plenty of room for discussion. But once it gets into the hundred thousands or the millions? Nobody’s gonna give away that many.”
Asahina answered without hesitation.
“The third and second-year students have to be thoroughly prepared for the special exams awaiting us moving forward. Whether we’ll need our own private points or not won’t become clear to us until the very end, so there shouldn’t be any room for charity just for a couple of first-years.”
She was probably right.
This was also the very reason why Chabashira had spoken about it so impassively.
Even if you managed to secure some private points from the upperclassmen, it would be nearly impossible for them to hand over a relevant amount. You could sweeten the deal by offering to pay it back with interest, but that wouldn’t mean anything to the third-years who were so close to graduating. Furthermore, even if you managed to secure a loan from a second-year student, it still seemed impossible to secure such a large number of points.
“If there’s someone capable of meeting these expectations, president Nagumo’s the only one who comes to mind.”
“He’s gone and saved up quite a lot of points after all.”
“So what happened?”
I asked her this, but based on the flow of the conversation, the answer was already clear as day.
Even so, given that Ichinose seemed to be hesitant about something, there were probably conditions attached to Nagumo’s cooperation.
“Don’t be so anxious. I’m in the same class as the guy, which is exactly why I have my doubts that he’d go and carelessly lend such a large number of points to a kouhai. Honami’s such a cute girl, right? There’s absolutely no way she’ll end up being expelled because of this exam, yeah?”
“I guess so. It does seem like the strategy is to prevent one of her classmates from being expelled.”
“So I’m personally not a fan of her entering into this kind of deal with him. Of course, it’s partly for the sake of my own class but… more than that I guess I just feel sorry for her.”
“Are the conditions he’s set too harsh? Like an obscenely high interest rate?”
“That guy… The condition he set for lending the points to her… is for the two of them to get into a relationship.”
Considering everything Nagumo had done so far, this definitely seemed like something he’d do.
A relationship in exchange for a loan of private points.
Generally speaking, this condition was anything but normal. It wouldn’t be strange if he was turned down immediately. But, if it was for the sake of protecting her class, there was a possibility that Ichinose would agree to it, and Nagumo probably understood this as well.
“Is it alright? For you to be telling me this?”
“I’ve already told you. It’s for my class. If Miyabi lends all those private points to a first-year, the rest of us may suffer as a result. Furthermore, in exchange for protecting her friends, Honami’ll have to go through something painful.”
“Maybe so, but why are you coming to me with this? I’m in Class C. We have a hostile relationship with Ichinose.”
“I dunno. But, if it’s you, you’ll probably be able to do something about it one way or another.”
“You’re overestimating me. There’s no way I can afford to make up for Class B’s lack of points.”
It would be a different story if it were possible to gather up enough points without relying on Nagumo, but that wouldn’t work either.
“Oh really? Well, you two are rivals…”
Actively helping out a rival class would be far too foolish when we should be feeling thankful for the loss of a potential threat. In the first place, it would require several million points, so everyone in Class C would have to band together to help out. It would be absolutely impossible.
“I can’t do anything about it.”
“That’s okay. Even if you don’t do anything, I won’t hold it against you. It’s just wishful thinking on my part either way. That said, even though you say you can’t, I think you just might take the chance anyway.”
After giving me a slap on the back, Asahina began to leave.
“Anyways, I’ve told you everything you need to know. I’ll be leaving the rest up to you!”
With that, Asahina ran toward the school without saying another word.
Based on her behavior and the way she spoke, she didn’t seem to be lying.
“Striking a deal with Nagumo, huh?”
It wasn’t very becoming of her, but it seemed that this was Ichinose’s strategy.
If she really ended up going through with it, she’d be able to prevent the loss of one of her classmates. It was a way of fighting available to her solely because of her united class and the huge sum of points they had saved up together. However, based on the way Asahina was speaking, it seemed that the requirement of a relationship was a high hurdle for Ichinose. After all, if Nagumo’s condition wasn’t actually weighing heavily on her, it’d be safer to borrow the private points before Nagumo could change his mind.
Well, it’s difficult to make a quick decision when it comes to a full-on relationship with someone of the opposite sex.
It’d be fine if it was simply a matter of cooperation, but there was absolutely nothing I could do about so many private points.
Class B was probably short by about four to five million points, which was well beyond the scope of something I was able to help with.
It’d be more cost-effective to cut ties with your classmates, but how would Ichinose weigh the options if she put Nagumo’s condition on the scale…?
“Given her personality…”
How would things turn out moving forward? It wasn’t very difficult to imagine.
This part was challenging! I’m not sure why, but it felt like there were more hard lines here than I ever expected. It’s done though and it’s solid! The next part is super short and I’ll be posting it later today. It’s actually already done I’m just going to make you wait.
I’d like to say something about MTL, given the huge numbers of comments I see about it, and the number of people sending them to me. I am very aware of most MTL out there. I constantly watch the Reddit and I have a lot of friends who are even more observant of the community than I who keep me up to date. If there is another properly translated version of Volume 10 of this series, I will gladly stop translating it and work on something else. I don’t want to waste my life here. The reason I am not working on Volume 11 is that Volume 10 does NOT have a proper translation. Many of these ‘translations’ are MY translations that they steal without citing me and then the rest of the volume MTL’d. If you are ever curious about whether something is a good translation, read it for yourself. If you don’t have problems with the MTL translation you’ve just read, then feel free to read that. Personally, I and many others have issues with those translations. They are not accurate and they are not fun to read. Please stop linking me to them or asking me to translate something else because you find the MTL translation to be acceptable.
A bit of a rant, but I wanted to say something. Thank you for your support everyone. Let me know if you have any questions/anything else you’d like to speak with me about. Thanks!