Classroom of the Elite Volume 11 Chapter 8 Part 3
ED: Josh and PuffyPyjamas
“I can’t take it anymore! I’m at my limit!”
Although Ibuki had been more than patient, the time was now just past 8 PM.
She was beyond irritated. The word ‘late’ hardly even applied anymore; This could only be described as being stood up.
“Oho. You say that, but haven’t you only sung like 10 songs?”
“You still haven’t hit your limit yet, Ibuki-san!”
“I went past my limit a long time ago! I’m sick of this!”
“Then let’s do our best to try and surpass your limits altogether!”
“I’m not joking around here!”
“Jeeze, yer pissy… Aren’t you tired of being angry all the time?”
“One look at your ugly mug would make anyone a million percent more tired.”
Ishizaki reached out to try and stop Ibuki, but she shook him off and began to leave.
However, just as she reached for the door handle, the door opened all on its own.
“The hell? Did you guys seriously wait here thinking I’d show up eventually?”
A man, Ryūen, entered the room with a grin on his face. As if by impulse, Ishizaki and Ibuki froze up entirely.
They never thought that he’d actually come.
“You’re late, Ryūen-kun.”
“You say that, but it looks like you’re enjoying yourself.”
“Yes. I’ve never been to karaoke before. I’m having a great time.”
“Then I’ll get out of your hair. Make sure you enjoy yourself, Ibuki. Sorry for bothering you all.”
Ryūen sneered as he tried to close the door behind him, but Ibuki stopped him.
“I’ll kick your ass if you leave me here in karaoke hell any longer.”
“Kuku. How scary.”
Ryūen was then pulled into the room by Ibuki and had Ishizaki order him some sparkling water.
Then, he sat down and began to play with his phone without saying anything.
Ibuki questioned him, urging him to speak.
“So? What do you mean?”
“You kept us waiting for this long and you’re not even gonna say anything?”
“I just came by to see if you guys were still wasting your time waiting here for me.”
He took a sip of the sparkling water Ishizaki had ordered for him.
“That’s all there is to it.”
“Shiina’s forced me to stay here for hours now. I’ve run out of patience.”
“Ain’t my fault.”
“Of course it is!”
Pounding her fists on the table, Ibuki scowled at Ryūen.
“O-oi, calm down Ibuki. Snapping at Ryūen-san won’t do ya any good.”
“For crying out loud, how long are you gonna just sit there and wag your tail for him?”
“How long? I… I’ve already decided to follow Ryūen-san.”
“You shameless mutt. You hated being his lackey at first.”
“D-don’t go saying unnecessary shit like that!”
While the two of them were busy going at each other, Shiina was focused on selecting a new song.
“We ended up throwing away our right to choose our opponent because this idiot got caught up in your smooth talk.”
“Sure seems like it.”
Ishizaki curled back. If they had gone with the class consensus, they would’ve chosen Class C. It was the one class they thought they’d have a chance of defeating.
However, Ishizaki’s actions had changed things, and they didn’t have the slightest clue about how they would win.
“This buffoon listens to anything that comes out of your mouth. That means you’re also partially responsible for saying it.”
“Kuku, I can’t blame ya. I said something stupid too.”
With a smile, Ryūen began to open up.
“Do you remember what I did to Class B back at the start of the year?”
“…If I recall correctly, you tried to get them to split up, yes?”
At Ryūen’s instruction, he had started a dispute with Class B where he tried to get them to have a falling out.
To check the potential of each class, he had intentionally sparked a fire.
It had happened around the time back when Sudō had gotten into a brawl and when he had secretly made contact with Katsuragi.
“Remember what the result was?”
“It didn’t have any effect. Class B became very unified quite quickly. Right?”
“Yep. Those guys’ve got more cohesion and unity than any other class.”
“Isn’t that why we should’ve avoided going up against Class B in a team competition like this?”
“I agree with Ibuki. It’ll be difficult to go against Ichinose and her army of admirers.”
Ibuki and Ishizaki both shared the collective opinion of Class D.
“Shiina, what’s your take on Class B?”
“Let’s see… As Ibuki-san and Ishizaki-kun have said, Class B is indeed strong. All of their abilities are above average as well. It’s quite enviable that they are so very harmonious with one another, but… you could say that’s all they really have going for them. They have no particular threats, they’re just a close-knit class.”
After Shiina finished giving her analysis, Ibuki quietly commented.
“You’ve got such a gentle face, but your words are almost heartless.”
After hearing everyone’s opinions, Ryūen gave his own evaluation of Class B.
“If you ask me, their biggest flaw is Ichinose… Scratch that, it’s their lack of a leader.”
“H-hold up. I don’t understand what you mean. Ichinose is their leader, isn’t she?”
“Between Ichinose and Kanzaki, neither of them are natural-born leaders. They’re the type of people who’re better suited to support a leader. Instead of placing someone like her in charge, they’d be way better off with people like Suzune or Katsuragi. This is the reason why our rotten Class D stands a chance at winning.”
“But the fact that it’s an incompatible matchup still hasn’t changed, right? Class D is below average at almost everything, so in that sense, you could even say that they’re the worst possible opponent for us right now.”
“I’d say we’ve got pretty low chances no matter who we fight against.”
“…D-do we really suck that much?”
While Ishizaki was completely stunned, neither Ryūen nor Shiina were very affected by his reaction.
Ryūen picked up his empty glass of sparkling water and looked at Ibuki and the others through it.
“With a bit of trickery, our low chances’ll be closer to 50%. And depending on the situation, it might shoot up even higher than that.”
Ryūen took out a sheet of folded paper and handed it over to Shiina.
Written on it were the names of ten different events, five of which had been marked as favorites for the events they’d actually be choosing.
As Shiina read through it, Ibuki and Ishizaki both leaned in from the side to take a peek as well.
“When the day comes, we’ll smash this exam.”
“Wait a second, these are all-”
“That’s right. Those events are all based entirely around forcing your opponents to surrender through brute force.”
Ten physically demanding events, including Karate, Judo, Taekwondo, Kendo, and Wrestling.
“Hold on. It’s true that, uh, there are several people in our class who can hold their own like me, Albert, Komiya, and Kondō. Ibuki too… but some of the others can’t.”
Ishizaki was saying that, even if the stronger students could pick up the win in one or two events, there was no way of telling how the rest of the events would play out.
“Yeah. Class B’s got plenty of athletic people of their own. It’d be different if we could get them to compete one-on-one, but doesn’t the rule involving the required number of participants kinda get in the way of that?”
Ibuki shared Ishizaki’s uncertainty. Even if they were to leave everything to the luck of the draw, there was no guarantee that they’d win all of them. However, Ryūen responded flatly.
“Don’t get so caught up with shit like participant numbers. It doesn’t matter.”
While Ishizaki was having a hard time trying to grasp Ryūen’s intentions, Shiina caught on immediately.
“I see, so that’s how we should look at it? It doesn’t matter how many participants an event might have, it all depends on the rules. If we make use of tournament-style knock-out rules, we can win with only one person.”
“Exactly. Let’s say we did a ten-on-ten Judo event. Just having Albert would be more than enough.”
“But… would the school even allow that? Tournament-style knock-out rules?”
“It’d prolly be impossible to use knock-out rules in a written test or some sort of ball game. But in sports like Karate and Judo, tournament-style rulesets are fairly standard. They wouldn’t be able to say they’re unacceptable. For events like Karate, it should be fine as long as we use the non-contact Sundome ruleset in order to tone down the danger. Even if the school rejects one or two of ‘em for being too dangerous, it should be fine if we can somehow get at least five through the process.”
“We can do it! With this, we can really do it Ryūen-san!”
Having finally put together all the pieces, a glimmer of hope flashed across Ishizaki’s eyes. However, Ibuki still had her doubts.
“With this, it’s true that we’ll be able to win our own events, but… what if we don’t get lucky? What if more of Class B’s events end up getting drawn?”
“There’s a 50% chance, can’t you just be happy with that?”
“…If I’m gonna cooperate with you, I’m gonna have to demand that you secure the win.”
“Kuku, of course. I’ve got a plan.”
Based on raw ability, Class D was in no position to even think about winning the events Class B would propose right now.
Ryūen was saying that they needed to come up with another method to shorten the gap.
“─What do you want us to do?”
Little by little, Ibuki began to understand the situation.
“Sin to win.”
“You’ll be picking on some of those Class B guys day in and day out from now until the exam. At first, all you’ve gotta do is follow ‘em around. They’ll notice what we’re doing sooner or later.”
“The heck? You really saying something tiny like that is gonna stress them out?”
“Class B is probably gonna laugh at us, calling our actions childish. As long as we don’t actually do them any harm, they’ll just choose to drop it. That’s the type of person Ichinose is. In the end, she won’t even notice what we’re doing.”
“…What we’re doing?”
“Either way, that’s just the plan for the first week. Once their ten events get announced, we’ll start cranking up the heat. Any petty little thing’ll do. Taking their seats in the cafeteria, glaring ‘em down, accusing them of being loud. Anything goes, really, just don’t go overboard. You guys know the perfect people to do this, right?”
Ryūen was saying that they should include the people who can hold their own in fights like Ishizaki.
“Does… Does that mean you want me to get into fights with them?”
“Our goal is just to interact with them more. Don’t even think of threatening or fighting them at this point. We’ll save that as a trump card we can pull on them at the very end.”
It was necessary to keep everything they did as vague and abstract as possible.
If they went about creating a bunch of one-sided problems, there’d be no way of preventing the school from intervening.
“The most important part of all of this is information. Throughout all our interactions with ‘em, we’ll steal their intel and get a head start on figuring out which events they’re gonna choose on exam day. It’s natural that they’ll come to some sort of consensus on their 5 events from pretty early on. Then some dumbass’ll discuss these events over email or group chat. It’s the same kinda shit you guys’ll be doing in Class D, right?”
“Y-yes. We’ve also tried to find a good time to discuss which events we’d be going with.”
“There you go. Even if their lips are sealed, their phones will be left defenseless. After all, they probably think there’s no way somebody would snoop through them without permission. And, their policy will become more solidified as the exam approaches. We may even be able to find out who’ll be participating in each event.”
“That’s easy to say and all, but… is it actually going to go that smoothly?”
“We won’t be relying on luck, I’ll be guiding you guys through the specific details. The groundwork for all of this is the shit we start with them tomorrow. Besides, we’ll also be taking some other measures aside from just stealing info from ‘em. Like using this.”
“What the… is that a laxative?”
“This is a slow-acting laxative that begins to take effect after 48 hours. If we can trick some of ‘em into taking one of these, one or two of ‘em might not be feelin’ that good on exam day, eh?”
“Y-you. This type of crap is against the rules! What if it gets exposed!?”
“Who gives a shit?”
“You really think I’m the type of person who cares about something like that?”
“Haa… Right, I remember now. That you were the type of guy who’d do anything to win.”
“If something happens then I’ll take full responsibility. Simple as that.”
Regardless of whatever penalty the school might impose on him, Ryūen wasn’t concerned in the slightest.
Even if the class ends up taking damage for it, they would still suffer a crushing defeat anyway.
“You only came up with this cuz you’ve already given up on being here before…”
“Earlier, when you said we’d save fighting as a trump card for later, did that mean you’d be willing to use force if things took a turn for the worse?”
“Yeah. It’s fairly typical for fights to break out amongst brats over petty random shit. It also wouldn’t be that bad if some of the people they’re planning to use in their events got into a fight with some of our incompetent classmates. That way, we’d prolly have an advantage on exam day, right?”
Now that he had set his mind on it, Ryūen definitely wouldn’t be easing up on Class B.
“I’ll become the commander on the day of the exam. It’ll be important to make Ichinose lose her cool as well.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment. Let’s give ‘em a taste of what Class D’s capable of, aight?”
“What kind of noises are you making?”
Ibuki let out a sigh, exhausted by the outrageous mess this had all turned into.
And yet, she found that she didn’t hate it for some reason, a feeling that disgusted her.
“But… Why are you doing this, Ryūen-san? It’s not just because you pitied us, right?”
“Hm, why indeed?”
Ryūen leaned back on the couch and shut his eyes. He had no lingering attachments to this school. At least, that was the case at first, but now that he was here, something in him had started to change a little.
Ayanokōji Kiyotaka. Ever since he lost to that man, he felt frustrated with the idea of leaving the school. By becoming the commander and forcing himself into a situation where he couldn’t look back, he was looking to confirm whether or not this frustration meant he wanted a rematch with Ayanokōji. If he really didn’t have any lingering attachments, he could just select people at random for the events and lose the exam on purpose.
But… if he still had regrets… if he felt a true, growing desire to face Ayanokōji again, he would find a way to survive. He wanted to know for sure which option he’d choose.
Chapter 8 is done with this. I had this done yesterday and had it ready to post, but I actually totally fried my brain and I just couldn’t convince myself to go through the effort of posting it. This part was really challenging on a technical level. Sorry about that. There is just the Epilogue left. It has an introduction and 3 parts. The volume will be finished by the 18th of July, so look forward to the epilogue then.
Thanks for reading!