Classroom of the Elite Volume 11 Chapter 5 Part 1
We pushed together two tables in the corner of the cafe and sat down to have a meal together.
It was not only a group composed of both Class B and C, but a highly unusual group at that.
“Sorry for inviting you all so suddenly like this. It’s my treat, so don’t hold back!”
Ichinose spoke, presenting us with an apology.
“Are you really sure about that? Ichinose?”
Kanzaki’s reaction to her offer was somewhat excessive.
Just before the last special exam, Ichinose made a deal with Class D to prevent Ryūen’s expulsion by promising that Class B would cast their praise votes for him.
In order to save their classmate, Class B should’ve had to cough up every last private point they could get their hands on.
While I’m sure they had found some way to break even, they probably didn’t have the luxury to be eating out like this, much less paying for others.
“We were already on our way to eat here anyway, so we’ll pay for ourselves.”
After I spoke, everyone else in the group nodded along in agreement.
“I kinda forced this on you, so you don’t have to be so considerate…”
“It’s fine. This way, we can eat what we want without feeling guilty about it.”
Under the pretense of sharing a peaceful meal together as equals, I once again turned down Ichinose’s offer.
“So… Why did you invite us?”
Keisei broached the subject, unable to hold himself back from asking about it.
“It’s because y’all seemed kinda surprised with Shibata-kun’s behavior earlier. I thought it’d be better if I was just upfront with you about it instead of letting you guys speculate too much.”
In a sense, Ichinose’s judgment may be correct. If she hadn’t called out to us, we would’ve probably ended up talking about what we saw for a while. Asking ourselves why he had gotten so riled up. And depending on the situation, it was also possible that a third-party might inadvertently overhear us, causing rumors to spread.
Kanzaki, however, wasn’t so sure.
“Are you sure you can tell them?”
“Do you really think this is something we need to keep quiet about?”
“We can’t rule out the possibility that somebody in Class C is involved.”
“Even if there is, it wouldn’t make any difference, would it?”
“Ichinose is right, it just sounds like we were whining at this point.”
As soon as Shibata cut in, Kanzaki glared at him with a sharp look in his eyes.
“W-what is it Kanzaki?”
Shibata didn’t seem to understand Kanzaki’s true intentions, but if I had to guess…
Kanzaki probably thought that Shibata’s words weren’t very appropriate, but nobody else seemed to catch onto this, so it wasn’t a particularly big problem.
“In any case, now that they’ve already heard this much, wouldn’t it be best to just tell them?”
Shibata’s careless remark had been the deciding factor, forcing Kanzaki to back down.
“Simply put, you could kinda say Class D has recently been harassing us a little bit.”
“A little bit?”
Shibata cut in, his voice filled with conviction.
“For some reason, me, Nakanishi, and even Beppu have all had to deal with the same crap from them. I dunno what to tell you, they’re pestering us constantly and following us around for no reason. My man Beppu was pretty scared when Albert went and just silently cornered him up against a wall earlier.”
Just after Shibata finished, Kanzaki joined in on the complaining, probably deciding that it wouldn’t make much of a difference at this point now that most everything had been put out into the open.
“I’ve spoken to those two about it myself, and pretty much everything checks out.”
In other words, Class D had been targeting some of the students in Class B ever since the special exam started.
“It hasn’t gotten physical or anything, has it?”
For the time being, it didn’t appear that they’ve resorted to anything more than stalking and intimidation.
Of course, if Class D really became violent, the problem would get several times larger.
“It’s probably their way of putting pressure on us. We’re thinking they’re looking to wear us down by keeping this up until the exam starts.”
“Gimme a break. Class D is scary enough as it is. You do know that even Class C’s been swallowed up in the trouble they’ve caused, right?”
Shibata was probably referring to the time when Sudō fought with Ishizaki and Komiya earlier this year.
Keisei had been quietly listening to their exchange, but at this point, he spoke up himself.
“I know it’s kind of strange to get advice from another class, but I don’t think their behavior is all that surprising. Class D certainly has a bad image, but a certain amount of external pressure is understandable. In fact, we’ve been seeing signs that Class A might be spying on our class.”
“Is that true?”
With a nod, Keisei proceeded to tell them about the Class A students we had seen eavesdropping nearby our classroom.
“Class D is also kinda desperate, so maybe they’re looking to pick up any information they can get their hands on?”
Despite having only listened to Keisei’s explanation for a short time, Shibata appeared to be convinced by what he was saying.
Be that as it may, it certainly seemed like Class B would be the one to sustain the most damage.
“At the most basic level, this exam plays out in our favor, so it’s not unreasonable that they’d do something like that. We should probably expect them to continue their harassment right up until the limit of what the school rules allow them to.”
This was Kanzaki’s analysis of the situation. That said, the part he hadn’t considered was that Class D was only targeting a small fraction of Class B’s students.
Did they decide that it was too risky to challenge Ichinose or Kanzaki…?
Or did they have their sights set on something else entirely?
“I don’t really think this is the kind of thing Kaneda-kun would be behind. Maybe it’s Ishizaki-kun?”
“I know it’s concerning, but we just have to do what we can. We just have to continue working together, choose the right events, and do our very best on the day of the exam. Right?”
The two boys from Class B nodded along with Ichinose’s hope-filled words.
“Are you saying you aren’t gonna take any measures against Class D? Not even basic investigation?”
“Hmm, I don’t think so. We’re gonna focus our efforts on preparing for the ten events Class D come up with next week.”
In other words, no matter what Class D would throw at them, they were planning to rely on the strength of their own class to make it through.
They would come face-to-face with the truth, without being deceived by false information. It was a safe, reliable strategy.
“What can I say, Class B is really something else.”
Keisei spoke, his voice filled with wonder, before continuing.
“Wouldn’t you normally do whatever it takes to beat a class that’s above you? If stuff like spying and intimidation get results, it only makes sense that they’d make use of it. Honestly, your choice to take the high road and place your full confidence in your own capabilities is something that Class C would never be able to do.”
Even though on the surface it didn’t seem we were taking action against Class A, many of us were racking our brains for some way to find out information about them.
“Who knows? Maybe we’re just not clever enough to do stuff like that?”
Saying this, Ichinose let show a small smile, to which Keisei spoke up again.
“Well, I think I get what you wanted to say to us. If rumors began to spread because we carelessly talked about Shibata’s outburst back there, it would just end up broadcasting to Class D that their strategy is working.”
Keisei had discovered the reason why Ichinose had invited us to eat lunch together.
If Class D were to find out that their harassment had done damage to Class B, it would only end up adding fuel to the fire.
In which case, Class B would have even more to deal with than they did now. They were looking to maintain their resolve and emphasize that Class D’s tactics hadn’t had any effect on them.
“Indeed. That’s why I’d like to ask that you all do your best to keep this from spreading further.”
“Spreading it around wouldn’t do us any good, and it’s not like we want to make an enemy out of Class B either.”
Keisei agreed, with Haruka, Akito, and Airi nodding along shortly after without the slightest bit of hesitation.
“Thank you so much everyone. Really.”
As Ichinose thanked us, her eyes met mine for the first and only time.
At that moment, she casually brushed a strand of hair away from her face.
And then, as if carried on by the wind, a faint scent of citrus tickled my nose.
She quickly looked away, returning her gaze back to the group as a whole, and I found myself thinking that she was acting a little strange today.
Regardless, that wasn’t something I was going to point out right now.
Double release. This counts as my apology for being later than intended with the introduction of chapter 5. I had a ton of stuff come up and I really wasn’t feeling very good last weekend. Look forward to part 2 shortly, and thanks for reading.