Classroom of the Elite Volume 11 Chapter 7 Part 4
ED: Josh and PuffyPyjamas
And so began the drawing for the fifth event.
『Flash Mental Arithmetic』 Required Participants: 2 ・ Time: 30 Minutes
Rules: Victory will be decided by the student who takes first place in terms of both speed and accuracy using abacus-style mental arithmetic.
Commander Intervention: The commander can change the answer to a single question of their choice.
It was the third event in a row that had been proposed by Class A.
Normally, this would be an unfavorable turn of events for us, but this particular event was a special exception to that. Keisei was probably feeling elated right about now. After all, this was the event that Katsuragi had promised to ease up on.
However, it was still too early to celebrate. If Katsuragi doesn’t get chosen, our fleeting fantasies of winning would disappear.
“Another one of our events. We absolutely can’t afford to lose this one.”
Disregarding Sakayanagi’s chatter, I went with the strategy Horikita had come up with, selecting Kōenji Rokusuke and Matsushita Chiaki to participate.
Between the two of them, I had Matsushita wear the headset. Even if I had Kōenji wear it, there was no reason to believe that he was going to listen to me anyway.
Horikita’s decision to assign Kōenji to participate in the Flash Mental Arithmetic event was probably the correct one. Instead of being based on whichever class had a higher overall score, the win would be given to the class of the student who placed first. There was a chance that Kōenji might meet our expectations and pick up the win. But, just in case he didn’t take the event seriously, Matsushita would at least be there as a backup. Matsushita has a quick mind for math, so the plan had always been to use her in the Math Test or Flash Mental Arithmetic events. Even if we had used Matsushita in the math exam, it still didn’t mean that we would’ve won, so you could say that the fact that we could still make use of her had been a blessing in disguise.
The students Sakayanagi chose were Katsuragi Kōhei and Tamiya Emi.
According to the information Katsuragi had leaked to us, Tamiya’s abilities weren’t all that impressive.
As proof, Katsuragi was the one wearing the headset for Class A.
“There will be ten questions in total. Although the questions will progressively get more difficult, the points awarded for getting them correct will rise as well. In the event of a tie for first place, the event will be extended until one party gets a question wrong.”
Moving forward, the numbers for each of the questions would be displayed on the monitor in the audiovisual room.
Since the commander could only intervene with one single question, we would most likely wait to do so until the end.
Even though the event was just about to begin, Kōenji folded his arms in front of him and closed his eyes.
“…So it backfired, huh?”
His attitude hadn’t even slightly changed from back when the special exam first began.
For the first question, different single-digit numbers would flash upon the screen three times over the course of five seconds. It was a question of level 10 difficulty, the lowest level.
6. 9. 1. The answer was 16.
This first question was a problem that anyone would be able to solve. After the numbers disappeared, the students were prompted to write down their answers.
Matsushita answered correctly without putting in much effort, but Kōenji had left his answer sheet blank. It made sense though, considering the fact that he hadn’t even bothered to look as the numbers were being displayed on the screen.
At this point, it seemed like we had no choice but to rely on Katsuragi making a mistake like he had promised.
“Fufu. He really is such a peculiar person.”
Even though Sakayanagi couldn’t see what he had responded with, she could tell just from looking at him that he hadn’t responded with anything.
“However, since Matsushita-san seems to be the one you’re banking on, there aren’t really any problems, are there?”
As Sakayanagi spoke, the event continued playing out before us.
By the time they got to the third and fourth questions, the number of digits had increased to two and the number of rounds had gone up to six.
Matsushita was unfazed by this and still answered each question correctly.
However, as they approached the fifth problem, the overall difficulty increased yet again.
Question five was 3 digit numbers in 6 rounds over 5 seconds, and question six had even more with 3 digit numbers in 8 rounds over 5 seconds.
Matsushita was at her wit’s end as she tried to calculate the numbers inside her head.
The answers she had managed to squeeze out had been correct up until the sixth question where she was just barely able to keep up.
But, that was as far as she could go. The next question, question seven, had 3 digit numbers in 12 rounds over 4.5 seconds. Question eight had 3 digit numbers in 15 rounds over 3.5 seconds.
By the time they had gotten to the ninth question, it was 3 digit numbers in 15 rounds over 2.5 seconds.
“T-this is like, waaay impossible!”
Just like the students, Hoshinomiya-sensei was understandably also at her wit’s end upon seeing the questions the students were getting.
“The difficulty level may be a bit too high…”
Sakagami-sensei agreed, not knowing the answer either.
Even though Matsushita’s answers had been correct up to the sixth question, from the seventh question onward, they, unfortunately, were not. What’s more, Kōenji still hadn’t given an answer to a single question. At this point, even if he managed to answer the last question correctly, he had already gone past the point of no return.
Naturally, I had already memorized the answers to all nine questions, and Sakayanagi had probably done the same.
The commander was only allowed to change the participant’s answer to one of the questions. So the plan was that, If I couldn’t solve the tenth question, I’d go with the ninth. And if I couldn’t solve the ninth, I’d go with the eighth.
The extent to which Katsuragi decided to throw for us would greatly influence the outcome of the event.
The tenth and final question in the Flash Mental Arithmetic event began.
It consisted of 3 digit numbers in 15 rounds over 1.6 seconds.
One by one, the 15 numbers flashed on and off of the screen in quick, rapid succession.
For a moment, everything fell silent.
Whether it be Katsuragi, Matsushita, or Tamiya, none of them even managed to pick up their pen. They all just sat there in mute amazement at the question that had just passed them by.
Sakayanagi signaled to the teachers that she wanted to make use of her intervention, and, of course, I did the same.
“Eh…? Well then, would the commanders please provide an answer for one question. Remember: the later the question, the higher the score.”
Naturally, the question I answered was the last one, question ten.
Matsushita obediently complied with my instructions and wrote down the answer I provided her with.
She herself didn’t know the answer, so she didn’t have any reason to turn down the one I had given her.
[Fufufu. Flash Mental Arithmetic is quite an interesting game. I’ve never tried it before.]
Kōenji, the man who Sakayanagi and I had already stopped paying attention to, had apparently opened his eyes again at some point.
With an amused smile, Kōenji cast a glance at the surveillance camera we had been watching the event through.
“Which question did you provide an answer for, Ayanokōji-kun? I chose the tenth with an answer of 7619.”
The answer I had given Matsushita was…
“I did as well.”
Apparently, Sakayanagi had managed to solve the last question as well.
“In terms of commander intervention, it seems we were evenly matched. In other words, this has come down to a face-off between Katsuragi-kun and Matsushita-san.”
As the teachers collected everyone’s answer sheets, the man who hadn’t responded to a single question once again opened his mouth.
[The answer for the last question was 7619, yes?]
“My my my─ how surprising. He’s correct.”
Overhearing Kōenji’s answer, Sakayanagi applauded, praising him for a job well done.
The teachers hurriedly began tallying up the scores.
If Katsuragi had gotten the seventh, eighth, or ninth question correct, Class C would lose.
But on the other hand, if he had gotten less than six questions correct, we would win instead.
“After tallying up the results, with eight out of ten questions correct, first place goes to Katsuragi Kōhei. Class A wins.”
We had wanted to gain the upper hand by winning the fifth event, but victory smiled upon Katsuragi instead.
Sakagami-sensei’s announcement marked the end of the fifth event.
“It’s quite regrettable, Ayanokōji-kun.”
“Was trying to persuade Katsuragi a mistake?”
“It was certainly safe to assume that he holds a grudge against me. It wasn’t wrong to try and take advantage of it either. But, did you really think I’d overlook a weakness like that so easily?”
Even though I couldn’t see Sakayanagi, I knew that she was smiling.
“I told him beforehand. That, if he were to betray me, I’d expel more of the earnest, hardworking students in our class. Despite how he looks, he cares quite a lot about his friends. He’s not the type of person who would sacrifice those around him because of some selfish grudge.”
Sakayanagi had known him for much longer than I had.
She was very familiar with his strengths and weaknesses.
“Facing defeat after you thought you would win. This must have been quite a large blow to your morale. Are you worried about the final events?”
“Katsuragi-kun wasn’t on your side, but that’s not the only thing that went wrong for you, now is it? If Kōenji-kun had taken the event seriously from the beginning, it’s possible that he could’ve gotten a perfect score. That is, you could’ve been able to win the match, no?”
“That’s just speculation. Having power you can’t control is the same thing as not having power at all.”
Just like how students who lack special skills, academic ability, or physical prowess couldn’t be counted on, students who weren’t willing to take things seriously couldn’t be either. Even though they seem different on the surface, they were the same. At least, that’s how it was for this exam.
Of course, our inability to persuade Kōenji to take action was a problem on our side of things as well.
With this, the score was two wins and three losses. Class C was standing at the edge of a cliff.
“Only two more events left and the special exam will be over. It’s really such a shame.”
I could hear Sakayanagi let out a sigh, wanting to enjoy the moment for as long as possible.
“Now that it’s come to this, wins, losses, all of it feels trivial.”
“If that’s the case, then it’d be great if you’d let us win.”
“I’m afraid I cannot do that. This is a serious competition, after all.”
As Sakagami-sensei moved forward with the exam, the drawing for the sixth event began.
At this point, if it drew another event suggested by Class A, we would definitely lose.
Video of the cool stuff Kiyotaka did below + explanation of the event.
This part was harder to translate because, at least in America, this type of math isn’t really done. It’s super popular in the East, though, and I’ve learned a lot about it though, and it’s actually pretty cool. Usually, it’s done via a mentally imagined abacus where they do fast maths. I was afraid that what exactly a ’round’ is isn’t explained well in the part, so I’ll explain here. A round is essentially the number of numbers that the student has to add. So “2 digits 5 rounds 5 seconds” means they have to add five 2 digit numbers that are given to them over the course of 5 seconds. If the number of seconds they’re given is 5, then each of the 5 numbers they have to add are shown to them for one second. Since, you know, 5 divided by 5 is 1.
Compare this to the part above, where the 10th question was 15 3-digit numbers that they had to add together over the course of 1.6 seconds. This means they were shown each of the 3-digit numbers for only 0.11 seconds (rounded), and they not only had to comprehend what the number was, but add them all together in their head.
I was personally doubtful, so I’ve done a lot of research into the records for Flash Mental Arithmetic, (or flash Anzan as it might otherwise be called) and I haven’t really ever been able to find a video of someone being successful at an interval as low as 0.11 seconds. Either way, here’s a video of 15 3-digit numbers over 1.85 seconds. It’s slower than what Kiyotaka did, but not by much. Being able to do this would put you at global prodigy levels of skill, as, according to my research, the world record is exactly what the 10th question is set as in this part (3 digits, 15 rounds, 1.6 seconds), and only one person was recently able to get it. For me, that trips a few red flags that three people in one school would’ve been able to tie a very recent world record, but hey, it’s cool right? At least it shows that the author puts in the effort to research what the limit humankind has been able to reach. I hope this puts into context how truly inhuman the skills shown in this part really are.
Anyways, sorry for the info dump. This part was fun and Chapter 7 is finished. Look forward to Chapter 8 intro coming out tomorrow. Thanks for reading and have a great day everyone.