Classroom of the Elite Volume 11 Chapter 2 Part 1
TL: YDGMA and Graze
ED: Graze, YDGMA, and EC
After Chabashira left, there was still a bit of time before classes started.
Our classmates crowded around the handout of the event rules that had been left on the podium.
“If you’d excuse me.”
Horikita squeezed her way through the crowd and took pictures of it with her cell phone.
She had probably taken the initiative to do so in order to take her time to read through it once she got back to her own seat.
I simply stayed in my seat and watched as it happened.
“I’d be willing to show you too. Though, you might not be interested.”
“I appreciate it.”
Immediately after, she texted me the two pictures.
Event Selection Exam – Rules for Selecting Events
There are restrictions on events and rules that are overly obscure or complex. Exceedingly niche event genres may not be allowed. Should an event include written exam questions or anything else of that nature, the school will provide the problems in order to maintain fairness. Additionally, attempting to deviate from or modify the fundamental rules of an event is prohibited.
– On the day of the special exam, the designated commanders will operate from the multipurpose room. Additionally, school facilities such as the gymnasium, sports grounds, music room, and science lab are generally permitted for use, but there are some exceptions.
Event and Time Restrictions:
– For each class, events deemed to be duplicates of pre-existing events will not be accepted. Additionally, it is possible for events that have no stated time limit or that take too long to complete to be dismissed.
Number of Participants:
– The number of participants required for each of the ten proposed events must be different, excluding those acting as substitutes.
– The minimum number of participants is one and the maximum number is twenty, including those acting as substitutes.
– A class may not submit more than two events that require more than ten participants from a single class, including those acting as substitutes.
Conditions for Participation:
– Each student may participate in one event and no more than that. However, if every student from a particular class has participated in an event, students from that class will be allowed to participate more than once.
The Role of the Commander:
– Commanders hold the right to be involved in all seven events. How exactly they’ll be involved will be determined by the class that proposed the event. These methods of participation must be approved by the school prior to being accepted.
It was roughly divided into five categories.
For any given event, there could be anywhere from one to twenty participants. There aren’t very many events that would require twenty people but, depending on how it’s handled, it would be more than possible to come up with some. If we manage to come up with two events that collectively use close to forty people, we’d be able to let some students participate two or even three times depending on the circumstances. No matter how much we want to keep the numbers low and only choose a select few to participate, it would immediately become difficult to do so since we have to ensure that the number of participants in each event is different.
“Jeez, the school’s gone and made quite the special exam for us, haven’t they?”
“Yeah. But, I guess that might be what they’re going for, testing our overall growth this past year and all.”
While many students would be participating, a class would still never be able to win if they didn’t work together. That was the kind of exam the school had created for us.
It’s similar to how it was back during the sports festival, except this time physical ability wasn’t the only thing that would give an advantage. Depending on how one looked at it, it was entirely possible that it could turn into a battle purely focused on dexterity, academics, or mental capability.
Most likely, the key to this exam was not only understanding our own strengths and weaknesses, but figuring out those of the other classes as well. Furthermore, I have to agree with the amount of time they’ve allotted to us for event selections. We would have to go through a considerable number of group discussions and choose carefully if we wanted to get the most out of it.
Moreover, there are also students in our class who might neglect to participate. If we can’t get everyone to participate in an event at least once, nobody would be able to go a second time, which we’d have to make additional adjustments for.
Having more or less understood the rules, Horikita let show a slight face of discontent.
“Seems you have some complaints about the special exam.”
“Yes, many. The biggest one being the fact that the class with more of their own events chosen on exam day pretty much holds the key to victory. We’ll be put at a major disadvantage if the events happen to favor our opponents.”
The only events we could have absolute confidence in are the ones we prepared ourselves.
So, it was only natural that we’d prefer to compete with our own events instead of those of our opponents.
“It’d be much fairer if the school were to just select ten events, present them to each class, and then randomly pick seven of them on the day of the exam.”
Indeed, if one were to evaluate it on the basis of fairness, Horikita’s objection would certainly be correct. However…
“If they did it that way, the lower-ranked classes would most likely have even lower chances of winning though. We should probably interpret this way of handling it as the school being merciful and allowing the lower classes to also have a chance of coming out on top if they’re lucky enough.”
Generally speaking, the higher a class’s rank, the more excellent its students.
“That… That’s certainly another way to look at it, but… this exam still doesn’t sit well with me.”
Speaking of which…
Despite it being such a critical time for the class to come together and wrap our heads around the exam, Hirata simply sat motionless at his desk, his eyes downcast as he quietly waited for time to pass by.
“He was the center of the class until just the other day.”
“Are you saying that it’s my fault?”
“Well, who knows.”
It was Hirata’s own problem, but I didn’t think that anyone, himself included, knew exactly what that problem was.
“Guys, there’s one thing I’d like cleared up about before we start talking.”
While Hirata remained completely motionless, Sudō spoke up instead, set on starting up an internal class discussion.
After a brief glance in my direction, he looked over the entire class.
“Many of us aren’t happy with what happened last weekend. Ain’t that right Kanji?”
“…Well, I dunno if I’m unhappy with it. I really just don’t get what happened is all. Everyone’s been wondering how Ayanokōji ended up with the most praise votes. Like, how’d he even get 42 of ‘em?”
Many eyes were beginning to turn toward me, with those from the Ayanokōji Group being no exception.
“He must’ve gotten tons of praise votes from the other classes, right?”
There hadn’t been any time for explanations or excuses last weekend.
I had already anticipated that somebody would bring this matter up a long time ago.
The only issue was, there was no way for me to easily speak up about it in this situation.
As someone from the lower caste of the class, I wasn’t in any position where I could openly explain what had taken place.
“About that, I’ll explain what happened.”
Horikita took the initiative and spoke up in my place.
“Hold up. We want to hear it from Ayanokōji. We lost a buddy… You know that right?”
“That might not be possible.”
With that, Horikita stood up and began to cover for me.
“Not possible? How so?”
“Because it’s quite likely that Ayanokōji-kun himself doesn’t quite understand what happened.”
“…Ayanokōji doesn’t understand?”
“Correct. To put it simply, it was all part of Sakayanagi-san’s plan. I’ve personally taken the time to try and figure out why she did such a thing. I’ll explain that as well.”
In order to provide a step-by-step explanation, Horikita began to answer in a way that was easy to understand.
“First off, she targeted Yamauchi-kun, telling him to feel reassured since she’d provide him with praise votes. In fact, there’s no doubt about this since Yamauchi ultimately ended up admitting to it himself. But, behind the scenes, she had probably chosen to give those praise votes to a different student.”
“That… I guess that’s true. But, why did she choose to give them to Ayanokōji?”
“Good question. Why do you think that is, Sudō-kun?”
“Uhm… Maybe it’s somethin’ like Ayanokōji’s actually super incredible? So she decided he was worthy of praise votes… or somethin’ like that?”
“Have you seen anything unusually exceptional about him? To me, he just seems like a student who’s quick on his feet.”
“That… Well, I guess that’s true.”
“His grades on written exams haven’t been that great, and aside from that one time he ran fast, he hasn’t been very noteworthy in sports either. Instead, since his other qualities aren’t on the same level as his running speed, it’s possible that he’s not even athletically capable in the first place. What’s more, he most certainly doesn’t come across as charismatic either.”
From the perspective of those in our surroundings, her words almost described me to a fault. There simply wasn’t any room for disagreement.
“That is to say, your idea is improbable.”
Horikita spoke without even the slightest hesitation.
“So you’re saying he was chosen by mere coincidence? Man, I just don’t see it.”
“Try using your head a little. For argument’s sake, let’s suppose Ayanokōji-kun is actually an incredibly talented person. Would an enemy like Sakayanagi really be willing to deliberately give a protection point to somebody like that? It’d be undeniably stupid for them to cast praise votes on a seemingly formidable opponent. If there had to be an exception, it’d be to cast them for someone predestined to end up with the most votes in their class from the very beginning like Ichinose-san, wouldn’t it?”
In reality, Ichinose had ended up with a total of 98 praise votes. This came from the idea that it’d be better to stack all the praise votes on one single person, instead of casting them for somebody at random.
“I’d totally never wanna give a protection point to someone like that.”
“True! That’s true.”
Kei and Sakura both spoke out in agreement with Horikita’s deduction, followed by many of the other boys in the class.
“I don’t know the reason why Sakayanagi-san targeted Yamauchi-kun, but everything that happened makes sense if we assume that she wanted to have Yamauchi-kun expelled from the school. It probably went down exactly as she planned for it to, setting it all up so that Yamauchi-kun and Ayanokōji-kun would butt heads. In which case, she could seal Yamauchi-kun’s fate by focusing a large number of praise votes on Ayanokōji-kun instead.”
“So you’re saying… Haruki’s expulsion was the entire purpose of Sakayanagi’s strategy?”
“Exactly. And it follows that Ayanokōji-kun being chosen… no, being used was just a mere coincidence. He doesn’t stand out, nor does he pose a threat to her class. From what I can gather, that must have been how it all played out.”
Generally speaking, Horikita’s explanation was very advantageous to me. I couldn’t think of a single way it could be used to implicate me any further.
“It’s pretty much the only reason I can think of for why she targeted Yamauchi-kun and protected Ayanokōji-kun.”
After hearing everything she’s said, even Sudō and Ike would have no choice but to agree with her.
And yet, it still seemed like Sudō just couldn’t come to terms with it.
“Are you upset that I stood up for him?”
Horikita asked, having seen Sudō’s conflicted expression.
Sudō simply looked away from her without giving her a response.
“I stood up for Ayanokōji-kun because I’m well aware that the one most responsible for Yamauchi-kun’s expulsion is me, not him.”
The one who had exposed Yamauchi’s schemes to the rest of the class and had driven him into a corner was none other than Horikita herself.
“If you’re looking for someone to blame, it would be ridiculous for you to pin it on anyone other than me.”
It would be impossible for Sudō to blame Horikita for what had happened.
Deep down, he understood the reality of the situation: that unnecessary students would inevitably be discarded and cast away.
It’s just, no matter how profitable it was to think this way, it wasn’t just something everyone could take at face value.
At the end of the day, the frustration was really because I had ended up with a protection point.
Because I was the only person who could safely watch over the exam from the sidelines.
“This special exam… How about I volunteer to be the commander?”
Having sensed an opportunity, I cut in.
While I still hadn’t heard anything from Sakayanagi, I was nearly 100% certain she’d be the commander for Class A.
In which case, we probably wouldn’t be able to faceoff against each other unless I held the position as well.
“I know that the class is wary of me because of what happened during The Class Vote Exam, so I want to clear up those suspicions by becoming the scapegoat this time around.”
Sudō looked at me, a bit surprised.
“Sweet! This way, nobody’ll have to be expelled and Ayanokōji’ll be able to clear his name as well!”
Thrilled at the idea that we’d get through the exam without any expulsions, Ike spoke up in support of my nomination.
“No, hold on a sec. I’m glad Ayanokōji-kun’s okay with taking on the position, but I’m not exactly okay with having him be the commander.”
The unexpected student who cut in this time was none other than Shinohara.
“Sure, by having Ayanokōji-kun do it, we won’t have to say goodbye to anyone else if we lose because of his protection point. But, doesn’t that kinda feel like we’d be giving up on winning from the get-go? It’d be like we’re setting ourselves up just to get stomped on! Horikita-san said it herself, Ayanokōji-kun is just average.”
In other words, she simply couldn’t see our class coming out on top with me leading the way.
“If it turns out that we’re matched up with Class A or Class B, wouldn’t he have to face off against Sakayanagi-san or Ichinose-san? The commander seems like it’s real important, and I don’t think we’ll stand a chance if it’s Ayanokōji-kun. You guys know we’ll probably drop back down to Class D if we lose, right?”
Some of the students would undoubtedly agree with Shinohara’s opinion.
“Like, wouldn’t it at least be better to see if anyone else’s interested?”
Despite her words, the position came with a heavy risk attached to it. Nobody here would be foolish enough to readily raise their hand.
In the past, we might’ve been able to rely on Hirata, but this time, it didn’t seem like that was going to happen.
Even now, he sat alone with his head down, not even attempting to act like he was taking part in the discussion.
Under these circumstances, if there was anybody else fearless enough to nominate themself for the role…
Everyone gradually turned and looked toward Horikita.
However, considering the situation, I didn’t think-
“I apologize, but I don’t want to take on the risk either. If Ayanokōji-kun’s volunteering himself, then I’d like to enjoy the same benefits as the rest of the class. Shinohara-san’s right. There’s no honest guarantee we can beat Class A or Class B if we go up against one of them at our current level.”
“But… You were totally just covering for Ayanokōji-kun, like, just a few seconds ago. And now you wanna have him be commander?”
Kei, having been listening from the sidelines for a while now, quickly called Horikita out on her inconsistency.
“I thought he might choose to volunteer for the position on his own if I spared him the effort of proving he had nothing to do with Yamauchi-kun’s expulsion. That’s all.”
With this, Horikita had cleverly blocked off any of my potential escape routes.
It seemed like she had been aiming to pass the responsibilities of the commander off to me, just like I had expected of her.
In her eyes, I was much more capable than most other students.
She had probably already decided that, instead of entrusting the position to some half-baked student, it would be safer to leave it to me. Because even in the worst case, I still had a protection point, so it wouldn’t matter at all.
“I’d like to ask, is there anyone else who’s willing to be the commander?”
At this point, the only people who could object would be those willing to put themselves on the line as well.
Regardless, there didn’t appear to be anyone else willing to take on the risk.
“Even if Ayanokōji-kun is the commander on paper, we can just make careful preparations for everything ahead of time. As long as he acts as instructed on the day of the exam, it shouldn’t make too much of a difference who the commander is.”
Voices of agreement came from various students who weren’t willing to think about it too deeply.
“At any rate, class is starting soon. The school hasn’t set aside any additional time for us to iron out the details, so it seems to me like we should arrange a time for everyone to meet up together.”
From what it seemed, Horikita would be the one to look after the class now that Hirata wasn’t taking the initiative to do so.
Haha this came out faster than you guys expected it to! I have a new system in the works. I’ll be translating faster the more Discord DMs I get encouraging me to translate. I feel like being reminded will help with motivation and keeping me on track. I had this finished yesterday but I fell asleep on accident yesterday.
That being said, on the last part there was a lot of comments being pretty rude about my lack of timeliness with translating. I’m usually pretty thick-skinned about things and like to let people express whatever they want in the comments as long as it’s not a spoiler, but it was getting pretty excessive last time. I’ll probably be a little less willing to approve comments like that moving forward, simply because I don’t think anyone wants to read such a dramatic comment section, if they like to read the comments at all.
Anyways, Chapter 2 is done now. The first parts of Chapter 3 are short, so they’ll be finished quickly! Look forward to it and thanks for reading.