Classroom of the Elite Volume 11 Chapter 3 Part 4
TL: Graze/Nick Chuan/YDGMA
“…and that should be about everything.”
In just under ten minutes, I got pretty much all of the necessary information I needed from Kei.
“Hey. Are you sure you don’t need to take any notes or something? Even if you beg, I’m not gonna explain everything all over again, okay?”
“You’re sayin’ you’ve got it all memorized?”
“More or less.”
“Oh wooow. How totally impressive.”
Kei praised me, but the way she did so made it seem like she didn’t really mean it.
“Anyway, our opponent is Class A this time, right? Isn’t it gonna be super hard for you?”
“I’m not the one who’ll be competing. That’ll be up to you and the rest of the class. Just because I can intervene as the commander doesn’t mean I’ll always be able to turn around a difficult situation. In fact, I should be the one asking if you’ll be okay?”
She tried to say something, but the words seemed to get stuck in her throat.
“…Could you make sure I don’t have to participate?”
“I’m not the only one who gets to decide on that. Depending on what Class A does, you might even need to participate twice.”
“No no no, there’s totally no way. I’m not good at studying and I’m terrible at sports!”
She shook her head frantically, emphasizing that she didn’t want to be forced to participate.
“If it’s you, Kiyotaka, I’m sure you can beat Sakayanagi-san!”
With this, she looked at me with a thumbs-up. She probably just wanted to avoid participating and prevent taking on any responsibility for the outcome.
However, not even Kei could grasp the true extent of my abilities.
“Plus, nobody’s actually expecting that you’ll beat Class A. Doesn’t that make everything that much easier?”
“Yeah, I suppose.”
Everything’s easy when you don’t have very much expected of you.
“Sooo… is this everything you wanted to talk to me about? Didn’t you say we had to meet up in person?”
Kei pouted, the look in her eyes saying ‘If there’s nothing else, we could’ve just spoken over the phone’.
“Some things are easier to understand when communicated in person.”
Kei’s expression stiffened even further. This didn’t seem to be the answer she was expecting.
“Humph… Sounds like we’re done then. Well… I’ll be leaving, kay?”
With everything important having been discussed, Kei excused herself.
At this point, she probably didn’t think anything else would happen even if she continued dropping hints.
“I’ll contact you again if something important comes up.”
It seemed like she had been expecting something this whole time, but now it looked like she had given up.
I guess she was going to stay stubborn until the very end, wholly unwilling to broach the topic herself.
It would’ve made it a whole lot easier for me too if she had just come out with it…
“Hold on a moment. I still have something to say.”
I stood up and began to walk over to my drawer.
Before she came over, I had stashed a special something away so she wouldn’t notice it when she entered the room.
“What is it… If you had something to say, you should’ve said so earlier!”
“It’s just, today is your birthday, isn’t it?”
“Eh? Seriously? You knew…?”
I took the special something I had prepared for her out of my drawer. I had ordered it from one of the stores on campus and had them ship it wrapped up in wrapping paper for the special occasion.
“I was just teasing you a bit.”
“W-well, stop doing weird stuff like that. If you have a present, you shoulda given it to me earlier, okay? I’ve gotten a ton of good stuff from my friends already too, so this’d better be worth my time.”
As she spoke, she extended her hand out to receive the gift, unwilling to look me in the eye as she did.
Seeing Kei act like this, I promptly stopped handing her the present.
“Were you looking forward to this?”
“N… n-not really?”
“If that’s the case, I guess I could always take it back.”
“Wha… What!?!? You can’t just go and change your mind once you’ve decided to give something to someone!”
Her response was pretty much impossible to understand.
“This is also your return gift for White Day, though.”
“How typical… So you’re the kinda guy who does everything at once cuz it’s too much work to do otherwise, huh?”
Kei let out an exasperated sigh and grabbed the present out of my hand.
A suspicious look appeared on her face as soon as she held it in her hands. After all, it was a tiny, square box, and moreover, it didn’t weigh very much at all.
“Did you even put anything in it?”
“I wouldn’t have the courage to gift you an empty box.”
I could already imagine how angry she would get if I did something like that.
“Then I suppose you wouldn’t mind if I make sure of that, hmm?”
Kei spoke as if she was a police officer interrogating a suspect, and proceeded to check the contents of the box. She carefully unwrapped the wrapping paper and took off the lid to the box that had been hiding underneath.
Nestled within the box was a single piece of metal that sparkled with a bright, golden shine.
“Wh… What is this!?”
While she seemed immensely surprised, it was clear that pretty much anyone would know exactly what it was.
“It’s a necklace.”
“W-well obviously! This gift is like, waaay too much!”
“I-I mean, necklaces aren’t the kinda things friends give to each other!”
Or so she says, but…
I tilted my head, not quite sure what Kei was getting at.
However, it didn’t seem like she was looking to hear a response from me. Instead, it seemed like she was itching to say something else.
“Plus, you know what else? This doesn’t even look good on me! Like, it’s heart-shaped!”
At this point, she was probably referring to how the necklace’s pendant was shaped like a heart.
Apparently, the birthday present I had chosen wasn’t very good.
“It’s shaped like a heart!”
She seemed particularly unhappy with that shape, as she bothered to emphasize it a second time.
Her face was turning bright red as she voiced her dissatisfaction. Anybody would feel a little hurt after hearing such harsh objections, even me.
After all, at the end of the day, a present is given in order to spread happiness.
“Wasn’t this expensive?”
“Well it wasn’t cheap. It was like twenty-thousand yen.”
“Twenty thou… Why did you go out of your way to get such an expensive necklace!?”
Kei looked at me, her face turning even redder than before.
Given the situation, it seemed like it would be best to answer her honestly.
“To tell you the truth, I’ve never given something like a birthday present to a girl before. So, I decided to do some research on the internet as a starting point. I came across a major online shopping website, Rakkan Ichiba, where they recommended that necklace as the number one birthday present for girls. It even mentioned that it would be especially popular with high school girls.”
I could still remember how the website declared it to be the absolute best gift, regardless of whether you’re in a relationship or not.
I decided that it was a reasonable price to pay since I was giving her a single gift for both her birthday and White Day.
For some reason, Kei looked at me and cringed.
I found myself thinking that I might have really messed something up this time.
“You’re so smart and yet, kind-of an idiot when it comes to stuff like this. It’s like you were born yesterday or something. First of all, even if it said this would be a hit with high school girls, this is the sorta thing girls want to pick out for themselves. That way, they can choose something they like or whatever suits their tastes. Well, at least you didn’t get me a ring or something where you’d have had to know the size of my finger… Put simply, this gift only gets like, 10 out of 100 points, kay?”
I had gone and prepared such an expensive present, but the result seemed to be disastrous.
She had just explained what high school girls were like, but there was still a lot I needed to reflect upon.
I had chosen the present with the best intentions, but it was hard to say if I had really considered how she would feel about it.
“What if I had given you a simple box of desserts?”
“That’d bump you up to a 15 out of 100.”
To think a simple box of sweets would’ve been better than a twenty thousand yen necklace…
“I don’t think you can return it now that it’s been opened, but if you don’t want it you can just leave it here. If you’d like, I can get you a cake box or something in a few days instead.”
I offered her an alternative, deeply regretting my lack of preparation and research.
After all, a 15-point present would probably make Kei happier than a 10-point one.
At least, that’s what I thought…
Kei stared at the necklace for a moment before turning to look at me.
And then, despite what I had just said, she put the necklace around her neck.
She then asked to use my mirror for a second and proceeded to see how it looked on herself.
“Hmm… As I thought, the heart is a bit childish… But since I have such a hot body, anything ends up looking good on me~”
While I couldn’t help but wonder what in the world this first-year high school student was talking about, Kei was completely serious.
Kei took a moment to check how the necklace looked on her from every angle before finally nodding in satisfaction.
I had thought she would give it back to me after trying it on, but instead, she carefully set the necklace back in its box and put the box in her bag.
“Well, this was your first time giving a gift to a girl, right? I’ll be nice and accept it, just this once.”
“…Well, that sounds fine to me.”
It wasn’t like I’d have been able to give it to anybody else if she refused to take it, anyway.
This took a bit longer than I had wanted to get out to you all, but I’ve been incredibly busy recently with school and family stuff. I hope you enjoy this part anyways though. It’s pretty fun and I took a lot of time with many of the lines to make sure it was as enjoyable as possible.
This is also the end of Chapter 3, and I’ve actually already gotten started on Chapter 4. Each part in C4 is rather long, so there will be waiting involved, but I’ll definitely get through it and you can look forward to the first part sooner than this part had taken. Thanks for reading everyone, and remember to stay healthy and take care of yourselves.