Classroom of the Elite Volume 11 Chapter 4 Part 4
Shortly after leaving the school building, I spotted Mii-chan.
And just slightly ahead of her, I could see Hirata heading back to the dorms.
Even though Mii-chan had gathered the courage to follow after Hirata earlier, it didn’t seem like she had called out to him yet.
She probably still hadn’t gotten over his rejection from earlier this morning.
“You aren’t going to call out to him?”
Mii-chan noticed me.
I caught up and began walking alongside her, the two of us focusing on Hirata up ahead.
“I’m… just a bit intimidated…”
This was understandable, considering the fact he had shut her down not too long ago.
“Then why did you chase after him? Everyone else already gave up on him.”
“That’s… I don’t really know why.”
She didn’t seem to have thought about this very deeply, as she only just now began to think about why she continued to chase after Hirata.
I didn’t think it was just because she liked him.
After pondering for a while, it seemed like she had come up with an answer.
“Everyone’s saying that Hirata-kun should be left alone right now, but… I don’t think that’s true. Because he’s going through something so difficult, so painful, I feel like we absolutely have to help him… That’s why I came after him.”
“Then, it doesn’t matter if he comes to hate you because of it?”
It was fine the first few times, but if she kept this up, Hirata’s response would only get more and more severe.
There was no guarantee that he wouldn’t end up yelling at her next time.
Recalling Hirata’s attitude last time, Mii-chan shook her head.
“I don’t want that, but… but if hating me makes Hirata-kun feel like he isn’t alone, even if it’s just a little… even if he hates me forever… then I’m fine with being hated!”
She was trying to seem strong. Trying to seem strong to protect her heart from breaking.
However, I found myself thinking that the powerful, determined look in her eyes was unmistakably the real thing.
“Am I making a mistake, Ayanokōji-kun?”
“No. You’re right.”
Leaving Hirata alone right now wouldn’t make the situation any better.
If we did, we’d be trapping him in a darkness that he wouldn’t be able to escape from.
“So, are you going to go talk to him?”
Once again, Mii-chan put one foot in front of the other.
She ran toward Hirata, closing the distance between them.
Horikita probably wouldn’t be very happy with me about this, but for now, it was the best course of action.
To drive Hirata into a corner, Mii-chan’s kindness would be the most effective.
And soon, his spirit would break, forcing him to drop out of school of his own accord.
As I made my way back, Hashimoto noticed me while playing around with his phone near our classroom.
“You manage to steal any information from Class C?”
“Nope, unfortunately. Can’t get my hands on anything with them texting each other the important bits over the phone.”
Hashimoto shrugged and put away his phone.
From the looks of it, he had learned about Horikita’s strategy because of his eavesdropping.
“I’ve been waiting for you to come back. How’d it go? Chasing after your classmate, that is.”
“As you can see, I’ve returned empty-handed.”
I emphasized the fact that I hadn’t been able to bring Mii-chan back.
“Must be hard to get everyone working together, eh?”
“Bringing the class together is Horikita’s job. She’s the one who has it hard.”
“Did you have to become the commander because of your protection point?”
Hashimoto was giving me a hard time with his chatty behavior. It seemed like he was looking to find out at least a little information from me since he wasn’t getting much from the class.
“We’re up against Class A. We had no chance from the start. Since there’s no way around the expulsion, I didn’t think there was any other choice.”
“I see, you do have a point there.”
Even though Hashimoto didn’t seem convinced, he began to walk away as if he had given up.
“I came to do a bit of reconnaissance even though our princess said not to. Still, I figured I’d pick up whatever info I could, but it looks like I was just being stupid, huh?”
He gave me a light pat on my shoulder before proceeding to walk off somewhere. I followed him with my eyes until he was out of sight and then went back into the classroom where the discussion on choosing the events was underway. With my eyes, I conveyed to Horikita that I hadn’t been able to get Mii-chan to return and sat back down in my seat. She didn’t say anything about it.
The discussion in the group chat had already progressed reasonably well, with more than half of the class having shared their responses to Horikita’s homework.
It seemed to be headed in the direction I had expected, based on everything I knew about the class and the information I had gotten from Kei. First, there were sporting events that everybody was good at, with things like Sudō being good at basketball, Onodera with swimming, and Akito with archery. Then, the students who were confident in their academic abilities like Horikita and Keisei listed off subjects that they felt they could score particularly high marks in. However, unlike sports where people focus their talent and specialize in something, it would be very difficult to include an academic event unless the person is considerably skilled in a certain subject.
“Ayanokōji-kun, were there any students from the other classes in the hallway?”
“It seemed like there was until a moment ago, but he left once he realized we had started the discussion on our phones.”
“I see. Well that’s the obvious thing to do I guess.”
Having understood that nobody was eavesdropping any more, Sudō made his move.
“Basketball! We should definitely include basketball!”
Sudō appealed directly to Horikita.
“I don’t doubt your ability. Are you sure you won’t lose, no matter who you go against?”
“There are tons of ways to compete in basketball. If we pick a one-on-one, I’ll definitely win.”
Basketball is typically played on the court in a five-on-five match.
That said, there are several derivations of the sport, including the one-on-one match Sudō was advocating for. With solid rules, the event would probably be enough to get approved by the school.
“You’re not wrong. I have no doubts about your abilities as a basketball player. It’s a safe bet to think that you’ll win if we put you one-on-one against somebody.”
“However, for this special exam, it won’t be so simple.”
“Because we can only choose one event that requires one person from each class.”
One of the exam’s rules was that we couldn’t submit two events that required the same number of people.
“If we were allowed to choose as many one-man events as we wanted, those are the only type of events we’d end up choosing. As an example, Onodera-san is exceptionally good at swimming. If we’re just trying to win, having her swim in a one-man swimming event would suffice as well.”
With this, we could secure a win for one of the events.
Of course, there was a risk that Onodera would have to compete against a boy, but her competition times were good enough that it probably wouldn’t matter.
“When it comes to English, Wang-san consistently gets nearly perfect marks. There are a number of students in this class who’d have a high chance of winning if they compete in a one-on-one environment that they specialize in.”
Having thought he’d be the one to bring the class to victory, Sudō’s expression clouded over a little.
“I’m just a beginner when it comes to basketball, so I’ll simply ask out of curiosity. Let’s say there’s a standard basketball match, that is, a five-on-five, and your four other teammates are unathletic girls. Would you still be able to win, no matter who your opponents are?”
“Honestly, I’m pretty confident I can carry on my own against a team of weaklings… But, if they’ve got experienced players… I can’t say for sure, ya know?”
“How sincere. Frankly put, I respect the fact that you chose not to boast empty words about your abilities in this situation. That’s why…”
Horikita was saying this as a preface for what she was about to lead into.
“You should put some thought into it as well. It’d be a shame if we had to give up on a basketball event. So, it’ll be up to you to choose teammates that you think you can win a five-on-five event with, provided that you seek to use as few resources as possible. If I’m satisfied with your choices, I promise I’ll submit the event to the school.”
Sudō nodded, taking Horikita’s words head-on.
And then, he sat back down in his seat to think over his options.
That was the hard part. Sudō is skilled at athletics. While there was no doubt he was at his best in a game of basketball, he could also participate in other sports.
In an exam like this one, he was a trump card who could be used in a variety of physical events.
There was another important aspect to consider here too. Namely, that it’d be a pity to use a trump card like him on a simple one-on-one event.
Besides, we should probably take the time to really consider whether or not to use basketball as one of our events. Even if we had a decent chance of winning in a five-on-five match, our opponents aren’t stupid. If basketball is one of our ten events, Class A would easily predict that Sudō would be taking part in it.
Then, they could probably steal the win from Sudō by putting together a solid five-man team of their own. Conversely, there was also the chance that they might completely give up on the basketball event so they could focus their resources on winning the other ones.
Just like that, Horikita and everyone else proceeded to hold many conversations similar to this.
I turned off my phone and pretended to keep track of the group chat by silently staring at the blank screen.
After all, as the commander, I wouldn’t be asked about my strengths and weaknesses.
My participation in these discussions was merely a formality. My policy of leaving all the details to Horikita hadn’t changed.
After about an hour of discussion, Horikita had finished gathering up everyone’s information. Moving forward, she was probably going to focus more on individual one-on-one meetings instead of all of us gathering together as a whole.
One more part in Chapter 4. It’s a bit shorter than this, and I’m pretty freakin’ motivated to get it done like, right now. Please look forward to it soon, and thanks for reading and all your supportive comments!