Classroom of the Elite Volume 11 Chapter 2 Introduction
TL: Graze and YDGMA
Within Class C, Chabashira would soon be announcing the final special exam of the year.
There were thirty-nine desks in the classroom.
There had been forty just a few days ago, but that had been taken for granted and now, one of them was gone.
This was because Yamauchi Haruki had been expelled.
It wasn’t just Class C who had faced this. Manabe from Class D and Yahiko from Class A had been as well.
There was no doubt that these expulsions had left a mark on the entire first-year student body.
Any hopes that there might have been a way out had been completely shattered.
Before they could get past the shock and sorrow of everything that had happened, time continued to march forward.
At the sound of the bell, homeroom had begun for the day and Chabashira walked into the room.
The classroom was completely void of idle chatter.
“-Without any further ado, I will now announce the final special exam.”
Chabashira began explaining the details of the first year’s final special exam.
Just as I had predicted, nobody was willing to say anything about Yamauchi.
Ike and Sudō, his closest friends, were probably trying their best to come to terms with reality.
“We will be finishing off the year with one final special exam where you’ll be asked to show off a culmination of everything that you’ve learned up until now, including knowledge, physical ability, cooperation, and maybe even a little bit of luck. In short, all of you will need to demonstrate the full extent of your potential.”
Normally, Chabashira would’ve been flooded with a tidal wave of questions and complaints from Ike’s general direction.
However, Ike was just listening to her quietly.
Most likely, he was wary of the fact that he may very well be next in line for expulsion.
“The special exam is called the ‘Event Selection Exam’, an exam where each class will compete in terms of their comprehensive ability. The class you’ll be competing against will be decided in accordance with the rules, similar to how it was during the Paper Shuffle exam.”
The Event Selection Exam. I couldn’t help but wonder what this final special of the school year would be about.
“To start things off, I’ll use these cards to make the explanation easier for all of you to understand. There are ten white cards and a certain number of yellow ones, modeled after the number of students in the class.”
As she spoke, Chabashira attached each of the blank cards onto the blackboard and lined them up.
Each card was roughly the same size as a playing card. While the ten white cards had nothing written on them, each of the yellow cards seemed to have a student’s name written on them.
Altogether, forty-eight cards had been attached to the blackboard.
There was one less yellow card than there were students in our class. This seemed like it was probably going to be significant.
“To start things out, I’ll explain the purpose of these ten white cards. The lot of you’ll have to talk things out with one another and decide on ten events that you’d like to do, which you will write down on these cards.”
As soon as she said this, Ike let show a somewhat difficult expression.
Having noticed how he was struggling to avoid interrupting her explanation, Chabashira spoke up again, her words laced with amusement.
“If there’s something on your mind, why don’t you speak up?”
“N-no, it’s just… don’t you get angry at us when we interrupt you while you’re still talking?”
Ike was obviously feeling distraught over this.
“Either way, I just can’t get ahold of myself unless you get this nonsense off your chest.”
In the past, Chabashira would pretty much only take questions at the end, but this time, it seemed like she was fine with hearing him out halfway through.
Many of our classmates turned their attention toward him.
Although he was puzzled with her change in attitude, Ike proceeded to voice his doubts.
“Then, uhm… uhh… What did you mean by events, exactly?”
“Writing, Shogi, Playing Cards, Baseball… You’re free to write down any events you think you can win at. It’s also up to you to come up with the rules for how each event will play out.”
“Eh? We’re allowed to choose whatever we want?”
Despite the fact that she had said it was up to us to decide, it didn’t seem to be clicking with Ike and the others.
“While you’re allowed to choose what you want to choose, there are still some restrictions. For instance, if you were to choose an obscure contest or game that not many people are familiar with, nobody but the proposers would have any chance of winning. In addition, the rules of the event must also be fair and easy to understand. Therefore, after you’ve submitted your events, the school will judge whether or not they’re appropriate, and act as the final say in the matter.”
Certainly, most people would have no chances of winning if peculiar rules were implemented, or if they had chosen excessively obscure sports or games that would only favor a small set of dedicated enthusiasts.
That said, I still wondered if there was more to the restrictions on the rules than this.
“Additionally, the rules must have regulations to prevent neutral outcomes. In the game of Go, for example, if both sides have the same score from territory and enemy captures, the game ends in a draw. In which case, the white side, as a concession for being the player who went second, would be given an additional half-point and win the game. In Shogi, as another example, it may seem impossible for the game to end in a draw at first, but it does happen on rare occasions, like when both kings are positioned in their respective promotion zones. If this happens, the game is in a deadlock and the winner is the player with more pieces in play. You will be required to come up with detailed rules like these ahead of time. If you submit an event without including tiebreakers to prevent the potential neutral outcomes, then it will be rejected.”
Events that ensure somebody comes out on top, while also not being overly obscure.
Even though there were countless options to choose from, it seemed that, to some extent, it was restricted to stay within the scope of a student.
“Well, let’s try illustrating it using an easy-to-understand example. Ike. What are you good at? Anything’s fine, so just say it.”
“Uh… What am I good at…?”
Ike began to think, seemingly unable to come up with something on the spot.
“I-I guess I’m pretty good at stuff like rock-paper-scissors?”
After hearing such a ridiculous answer, the rest of the class was unable to hold back their laughter.
Nevertheless, Chabashira took it seriously and wrote ‘rock-paper-scissors’ on one of the white cards.
“Okay, so let’s suppose you chose rock-paper-scissors as one of the events.”
Not having expected that she would take his answer seriously, Ike and the rest of the class were left with dumbfounded expressions.
“So then, what are the rules?”
“Uhm… Best three out of five?”
Chabashira wrote Ike’s rule on the bottom of the card.
“The event is well-known, and the rules are clear and simple. There would be no reason for the school to reject it.”
“S-she had no problem with it…”
Although it was an event that came about from a sloppy answer, the school didn’t seem to have any problem with it.
“Now, just repeat this nine more times and you’ll be done.”
Chabashira picked up a piece of chalk and began writing on the blackboard.
“This is the schedule for the exam, which is also something important for you to keep in mind. It will be roughly divided into three phases.”
March 8th ・ The special exam is announced, and the class matchups are finalized.
March 15th ・ Event selection is finalized, and the opposing class’s ten events are revealed along with their rules.
March 22nd ・ The Event Selection Exam begins.
“B-But sensei, wouldn’t it take way too long for us to compete over twenty events?”
“On the day of the exam, each class will narrow down their ten events to their top five choices and submit those. In other words, there will be ten events, not twenty.”
At this point, Horikita spoke up.
“So basically, five of the ten events are just bluffs… meant as false information for us to mislead our opponents?”
“I suppose the events can play that role too. Of the chosen ten events, seven of them will be randomly selected by an automated system prepared by the school. That’s how it will work.”
Without denying anything, Chabashira confirmed Horikita’s assertion.
Compared to previous special exams, it seemed as though this one will span over a longer period of time.
I could assume that they had chosen to hold seven events because they wanted to ensure that there was a tiebreaker.
Since there wouldn’t be any draws, it led me to wonder if the winner would be decided by the first class to get four wins out of the seven events.
“Even if the outcome is decided before all the events happen, the exam will continue until the final event ends. This is because the outcome of each event will influence the change in class points. In other words, even if the winners and losers have been determined, the competition will continue until the very end. The deadline for getting your ten events finalized will be Sunday the 14th at the end of the day. Your events will need to be checked over by the school, so it would be safer for all of you to have each event checked as soon as you decide on it.”
“What happens if we don’t manage to come up with ten events by the 14th?”
“If that happens, the school will fill in the gaps with pre-arranged events. That said, you shouldn’t assume these ones will be favorable toward you. The events would probably end up doing more harm than good.”
It looked like we definitely needed to come up with all of our events, no matter what.
“Another important thing to note is that you’re not allowed to submit the same event twice. Suppose you’ve submitted a soccer event that determines the outcome by best two out of three. If you try to submit another soccer event with different rules where the outcome is decided by a penalty kick, it will be rejected. I advise you to keep this in mind.”
“Is it possible for us to retract an event after we’ve submitted it?”
“That won’t be allowed.”
“Then… are there any restrictions on who, or how many times somebody can participate in the events on the day of the exam?”
“Certain portions of the rules you’ll have to follow will probably be difficult to understand with just a verbal explanation, so the school prepared this handout containing the specific details. Feel free to make copies of it afterward. It should have the answers you’re looking for, Horikita.”
It would’ve been nice if the school had prepared a copy for each of us, but it was possible that they hadn’t done so intentionally.
With a single copy, the entire class would have to gather together to look at it all at the same time.
In that way, it would likely end up sparking conversation amongst everyone.
“I already wrote this on the blackboard, but the ten events you end up choosing will be relayed to the opposing class on the 15th. After all, it’s hard to hold a fair competition if your opponents don’t know what kind of events and rules you chose.”
In other words, we had roughly one week to study, practice, formulate plans, and do any other preparation we might need.
It’s also quite likely that there will be a battle of trying to figure out the other class’s preferred events on the day of the exam.
“Also, after the exam on the 22nd finishes, you’ll have the 23rd off. After the graduation ceremony on the 24th and the closing ceremony on the 25th, you’ll be free to enjoy your spring break to your heart’s content.”
I figured that our motivation moving forward would be highly dependent on whether or not we ended up losing or winning.
At any rate, I was able to grasp the general idea of the Event Selection Exam.
Based on Chabashira’s expression, there still seemed to be something important she hadn’t mentioned yet.
“There’s still another important part to this besides choosing the events. In order to properly manage such a large number of people, you’ll need to select somebody to play the role of commander. Bear in mind that this commander won’t be able to directly participate in the events.”
This seemed to be the reason why there were only thirty-eight yellow cards.
“It’s an important role for somebody that needs to be able to adapt on the fly. You can think of it as a supporting role that participates in every event, acting as a lifeline. For example, they can substitute for a missing player or solve difficult problems that arise. This isn’t just limited to sports either. The commander would be given the means to intervene with games like Shogi or Go as well.”
It wasn’t just about the foundational ability of the students. The contributions made by the commander were also important.
“How exactly the commander is involved in everything will also be up to you. Using rock-paper-scissors as an example… you can come up with rules like: ‘The commander can join in one time at their own discretion’ or ‘The commander can swap out the student participating in the match’. It’s up to you.”
This meant that interventions from the commanders would generally be allowed as long as they’re fair.
In something like baseball or soccer, giving the commander the ability to switch out the players would be like assigning them the role of head coach for the team.
Through all seven events, the involvement of the commander was probably going to be a major part of the entire exam.
“Commanders will be granted private points when the class emerges victorious, but at the same time, they’ll have to bear the consequences when the class faces defeat. Indeed, when a class loses, the commander will be held liable and be expelled from the school.”
It seemed like the loser would be forcibly expelled this time too.
“In this special exam, having a commander will be crucial. Moving forward without one won’t be permitted. If you talk it through with each other and still can’t decide on one, come and speak with me about it and I’ll pick someone appropriate for the role.”
Once again, we had to nominate one person to take the heat.
The protection point I had got my hands on during the provisional special exam seemed like it would be a big hassle now.
I was well aware that many of my classmates were already looking at or thinking of me.
A protection point was the only feasible way for us to override an expulsion.
By appointing me, the holder of the only protection point, as commander of the class, we’d be able to avoid any expulsions even if we ended up losing the exam.
Were they really fine with having me be the commander so that everyone can avoid the risk of expulsion?
Or, would they ask an excellent student like Horikita to be the commander in order to maximize our chances of winning? Our classmates would probably be fine with either.
If somebody other than me were to volunteer to take the position, most of them probably wouldn’t object to it.
At the same time, if nobody wants to do it themselves, everyone’s expectations would probably be put on me.
Horikita spoke up again.
“How will our opponent be decided?”
“After each class selects their commanders, they will be expected to meet up in the multipurpose room after school today. There will probably be a raffle where the commander of one class is given the option to choose who their opponents will be. You should decide ahead of time on who you’ll choose if you win the raffle.”
From what she said, the raffle winner would get to choose the class they wanted, and the remaining two classes would be matched up automatically.
“Then, we should choose Class D, right? Our chances of winning against them would be much higher!”
“It’s true that, given that they’ve got relatively worse coordination, you would probably be more successful if you chose to go against a class that has resigned itself to a position like Class D. However, going against those of a lower rank is not necessarily the most advantageous choice to make.”
Chabashira was implying that, if that were the case, odds are all three classes would inevitably try to choose Class D. Class D would certainly be the easiest to deal with now that Ryuuen was no longer in charge.
“In this exam, what matters is knowing which class is best suited to be your opponent. It’s incredibly important that you leverage the strengths and weaknesses of each of the other classes.”
Going up against Class A or Class B wouldn’t necessarily mean that it’s hopeless for us.
We would have decent enough chances of winning as long as we choose events that favor us.
That said, the higher ranked the class, the more formidable an opponent they would be. It’s unavoidable.
Despite Chabashira’s advice, not a single one of us was smiling.
Even Horikita was lost in thought over the possibilities, wondering if we could beat Class A or Class B in our current state.
“Seems like my words weren’t very comforting. In that case, let’s try facing reality. If it so happens that you lose and Class D wins… you’ll probably go back to being at the bottom once again.”
Chabashira picked up the chalk again and began to write down the current class point distribution on the blackboard.
Class Points as of March 1st:
Class A – 1001 points
Class B – 640 points
Class C – 377 points
Class D – 318 points
Class C and Class D were neck and neck. We have managed to rise up to Class C over the course of the past year, but at the last moment, we would end up dropping back down to Class D if we lose.
Essentially, for our class, the goal was to hold onto our position through whatever means necessary.
“As for how the exam will affect class points… Each event will increase or decrease your class points by 30 points. As examples, you’ll get 210 class points if you win all seven matches. If you win five and lose two, you’ll get 90. These points will come directly from the opposing class. Furthermore, the class that comes out on top will be granted 100 points from the school as a reward.”
In other words, we could earn a maximum of 310 class points.
Being able to snatch class points away from our opponent by winning events was another big thing to keep in mind. So far we hadn’t been given an opportunity to make a dent in the class points of the higher ranking classes even if we wanted to, but now it was possible to close the gap all in one go. Depending on the matchups and the results, we may very well rise up to Class B or drop down to Class D.
“If your opponent doesn’t have enough class points, the school will temporarily make up the difference and provide them the missing points. In other words, classes with negative class points will appear to have 0 on the surface, but they’ll still be responsible for reimbursing the school for the deficit later on.”
From what it sounded like, this meant that class points could invisibly drop below 0.
Either way, every class had more than 210 points, so that didn’t seem like it was something we had to worry about this time at least.
Whoops, I died for a month. Oopsies. Not even gonna make excuses, school just got really distracting for a bit. Part 1 is in the works and will hopefully happen before the end of the world happens. Maybe shortly after it happens.