Classroom of the Elite Volume 12 Chapter 3 Part 1
We made our way to the floor where the first-year classrooms were located, a place where we had spent our days not too long ago.
There didn’t seem to be very many students lingering in the area, given that most of them had gone to the gymnasium.
We silently observed the students in the classrooms from Class 1-A through 1-C, but once they realized that a group of upperclassmen were watching them, they uncomfortably turned and looked away from us. The fact that they weren’t very receptive to our sudden intrusion wasn’t all that surprising.
Those who didn’t care were few in number, as most probably hated the uncomfortable atmosphere our presence had created.
This atmosphere would only get worse in the days to come as well. The second-year students would constantly reach out to the first-years at all times of the day, desperate to find themselves a partner as soon as possible. However, doing so would be a risky gamble that may end up backfiring on them.
But even so, within each of the classrooms we checked, we could see first-year students engaged in light-hearted conversations with each other.
They might have felt like there was no need to worry about the special exam, or perhaps they didn’t think that the exam was a very big deal yet.
“It seems like most of the students who stayed behind aren’t worried at all, just as expected.”
“Ain’t that nice. Even though I’m freaking out over here.”
Even if a pair were to score less than 500 points during the exam, the first-year student would just be cut off from earning private points for the next three months. While this would undoubtedly be a great loss for them, it probably didn’t feel that critical since they should’ve gotten their first payment just after the entrance ceremony.
“Kuku. You’re awfully late, eh Suzune?”
Horikita was just about to finish up her inspection of Class 1-C when she was greeted by a familiar voice.
The voice belonged to none other than Class 2-C’s Ryūen Kakeru, who had his eyes fixed on us daringly.
The door leading to Class 1-D was behind him, and it seemed as though he had just come out of it.
“Ryūen-kun, are you here to observe the first-years as well? I don’t think I saw you at the meet-and-greet.”
“It was all just a buncha dipshits groupin’ up in the gym, right? Going there’d be a waste of time.”
Ryūen had adopted the same strategy as Horikita. That is, to go after the students who didn’t attend the meet and greet.
Based on his tone, it seemed reasonable to assume that he was aiming for the best students the first year had to offer.
He had gotten here a mere 20-30 minutes earlier than us, but…
With that much time, it was possible that he had already successfully scouted several people.
We’d have to wait until 8:00 AM tomorrow morning to see what pairings he had made.
“Chill out. I haven’t found anyone yet.”
Horikita and Sudō wouldn’t trust his words very easily.
That is, at least until the app is updated with the pairings that had been finalized for Class 2-C.
“Looks like you don’t believe me.”
“At the very least, I’m going to take everything you say with a grain of salt.”
“That so? Seems like I’ve become quite the untrustworthy person!”
“Oh? But I’ve never once treated you with anything resembling trust before, though?”
“Kukuku, ain’t that true.”
Sudō glared daggers at Ryūen, seemingly displeased with the joking nature of his back-and-forth with Horikita.
The average person would probably shrink back in fear from the sharp look Sudō was giving off, but it had no effect on somebody like Ryūen.
“I see you got yourself a bodyguard, but god did you choose a dumb one.”
Horikita casually held out her hand to stop Sudō, who was on the verge of losing his temper.
“Oh my, does one need brains to be a bodyguard? Talk about a pot calling the kettle black.”
With her hand still holding Sudō back, Horikita stared straight back at Ryūen, her gaze unfaltering.
“Are you looking to scare the first-years? You do know that attitude of yours will end up backfiring on you, right?”
The first-year students would probably shrink back upon seeing Ryūen walk around as if he owned the place.
“I thought that with a couple light threats they’d immediately agree to help. Somethin’ like that.”
Horikita had responded to his provocations tit for tat, but this time, Ryūen confirmed what she asked him instead.
“…You’re kidding. Do you really think that’s an acceptable way of doing things?”
“Who gives a damn about whether it’s acceptable. What’s wrong with a couple of threats? We were told we couldn’t threaten someone to get a lower score on the exams back when the rules were explained, but I don’t remember being told we couldn’t use some threats to help pair up with people.”
“That’s because it should be obvious without the rules even needing to say it! You’re the one in hot water if something goes wrong.”
“Then how ‘bout you make somethin’ go wrong for me then? I ain’t dumb enough to get caught either way.”
His words were as confident as ever.
Not only was it extremely likely that he’d threaten the first-years, he even went so far as to declare that the truth about it wouldn’t get out either.
Regardless of whether he was telling the truth or not, Horikita should’ve realized once again that Ryūen would always toe the line.
“Well, then do what you want. Just know that if I ever find any evidence, I won’t think twice about reporting you.”
She probably meant these words as some sort of deterrent, but it most likely didn’t have any effect on Ryūen.
“Then what? Who’re you gonna persuade?”
Thinking there was no need to respond, Horikita kept her mouth shut.
“You figured somethin’ out while you were at the meet-and-greet, didn’t you? Then you came running over here to check out everyone else?”
“The same as you then, perhaps?”
With that, Ryūen continued to address Horikita, almost as if he was trying to spice things up.
“If that’s the case, I’ll clue ya in on somethin’ since we’re on the same wavelength here. The first-years this time around only just enrolled here, and yet they’re awfully calm don’tcha think? That is, there’s a good chance that the people from the school told ‘em how things work around here.”
If what he was saying was true, it would be quite the unexpected piece of information. Back when we first came to the school last April, we had no idea how things worked and goofed off the whole time. Of course, Class A and Class B were far more composed than we were, but that could probably be attributed to the large difference in our perspective backgrounds.
But in this instance, Ryūen wasn’t just talking about a specific class, but the entire school year as a whole.
Did the school do this in order to have the first and second-year students partner up from the very beginning?
Or perhaps the school had another motive altogether?
“Could it be that this batch of first-years just have things figured out and we were exceptionally dull in comparison?”
“Seems like some of ‘em have already started up on bringing their classes together. It’s too early.”
Even if they began to take action the moment the special exam was announced, there was no way they would’ve been able to come together this quickly.
Ryūen was saying that this wouldn’t be the case unless something had happened beforehand, that is, right after they entered the school.
“…What kind of cowardly trick are you trying to pull by telling me all of this?”
“It’s nothin’ like that. I can’t just beat down my opponents in a special exam like this. But, I’ll have to pull some strings in order to come out on top overall.”
This wasn’t an easy special exam to get students from the other classes expelled. After all, the strong anonymity of the partnering system made it difficult to know who people were partnered with. It would be extremely difficult to figure out who somebody paired up with the OAA app unless they went around telling everyone or you collected information. Even if you managed to get a student with a low Academic Ability rating to partner up with someone specific in a rival class, it’d be virtually impossible to force them to throw the exam. If they were to score lower than their Academic Ability rating would suggest they were capable of, the school would deem it as intentional and they’d be expelled regardless of what school year they’re in.
In the end, the only thing that would influence the outcome of this exam was the raw ability of your own class and the first-year student you paired up with. In terms of strategy, you needed to focus on persuading as many high-performance first-years into joining your class as possible. Put all of this together, and it wouldn’t be easy for Class 2-C to take the top spot in the exam, as their Overall Ability ratings didn’t seem very good from an outsider’s perspective.
There was no way that Class 2-C would come out on top if they decided to compete with Class 2-A from a financial standpoint, and their fundamental academic skills were off by miles as well. Things would be tough for them no matter how many private points they invested in trying to entice the first-years. With that being the case, they should give up on the top overall score and instead focus on getting their hands on the rewards given out to the pairs who score in the top 30% in the individual competition.
Of course, there was no way Horikita would mention all of this to Ryūen. After all, if Class 2-C didn’t compete with Class 2-A to take the top spot overall, we’d be the ones put in a tough spot. Instead of letting Class 2-A effortlessly snatch up the win, I’d like to see the two classes going at it in a large-scale tug-of-war and wear each other out, even if only a little.
“Just try your best so you don’t get left in the dust.”
“I could say the same to you. Your concern is completely unwarranted.”
“Kuku, my bad my bad.”
With that, Ryūen set off, leaving the first-year classrooms behind him.
The amount of time he had spent here had been far too short to get things done.
“The first-year students might be more opposed to negotiating with us than I expected.”
It made sense that they’d be hesitant if they really had been told about the true, desperate nature of the school.
“Then shouldn’t we negotiate with ‘em as soon as possible or somethin’?”
“Yes… Of course we should, it’s just…”
Horikita turned and looked further on down the hallway.
Her eyes were fixated on the classroom of Class 1-D.
“Let’s get goin’. Come on.”
Sudō urged us to keep moving forward to the classroom ahead of us.
“I’m afraid it may not be that simple.”
It seemed Horikita had noticed it during the conversation earlier as well.
From the time Ryūen walked out of the classroom to the time he left, not even a single student had come out into the hallway.
We couldn’t hear a single sound coming from inside as we approached either.
Our suspicions were confirmed when we finally arrived at the classroom and opened up the door.
“W-what the hell’s goin’ on here!?”
Panicked, Sudō scanned the room from one end to the other.
“Negotiating with Class 1-D may be far, far more difficult than I expected.”
The classroom was completely empty, not a single soul to be found.
It seemed as though the forty students who hadn’t attended the meet-and-greet had vanished without a trace.
“This class as a whole might be more troublesome than I thought.”
However, we couldn’t just stand around feeling anxious about it forever.
After all, we needed to take measures of our own before the other classes began moving in earnest.
Horikita’s battle would start tomorrow, from the moment when she finally makes contact with the students from Class 1-D.
I also needed to go home and memorize the names and appearances of all the first-year students on the OAA app.
Horikita had her battle to fight, and I had mine.
And so, on the very day the special exam was first announced, a total of 22 sets of partners had been finalized.
Part 1 is done. Part 2 and Part 3 are the last parts of Chapter 3, but they’re also gigantic. They’re both so big that I’m pretty sure we’ll be at the halfway point for the volume by the time we’re done with them. Huge parts.
Since they’re so big, they’ll take a while to translate and such. I’ll try to have part 1 at least done by Sunday, but if not then expect it Monday.
My team and I went and wrote a troll ending for this part. The plan was to post it and act like it was real and linking the real ending in the TL note here, but I chickened out and ended up choosing to do the opposite. You can read it here if you want: https://pastebin.com/VJU3d2jY. I’ve been told it’s funny, but it has a bunch of inside jokes that we make fun of about the translation process, so it might not all make sense. Feel free to take a look.
WordPress went and made their editor 10x harder to use too, which is also a pain.
Well, whatever, you’ll all be hearing back from me rather soon. Look forward to more when the time comes. Thanks for reading.