Classroom of the Elite Volume 12 Chapter 3 Part 2
The next day, at the end of lunch break, the situation took a sharp turn.
Everyone was waiting patiently in the classroom for our afternoon lessons to begin after having finished up with their meals.
“H-hey, some first-years seem to be headed over here!”
The one who called this out was my classmate, Miyamoto.
The special exam would only be possible with the cooperation of the first and second-year students.
That was why, given the circumstances, I didn’t think we needed to be so surprised by this, but apparently the rest of the class didn’t feel the same.
“They must have an awful lot of courage to come to their upperclassman’s classroom.”
As I pondered about it, Yōsuke spoke up to explain it to me.
“Imagine if we went to visit the third-year students. We’d probably be much more careful about it, right?”
It’d be a different story if we were on close terms with a lot of the upperclassmen, but that wasn’t the case for the first-years.
For most students, it would probably feel like they were marching into enemy territory.
So in that sense, a few people showing up like this may very well be something worth being surprised about.
Yōsuke went out to the hallway to take a look, so I tagged along with him.
Horikita and Sudō followed close behind us as well.
The first person that I noticed was a young man with a large build.
There were several reasons he stood out. The first being that he was about the same height as Sudō.
But even more than that, the confident, brazen way he walked down the dead-center of the second-year hallway was profoundly impressive.
The second-year students shrunk back and avoided him as he walked by instead of the other way around. A female student walking just a little behind him.
Having noticed that this wasn’t some simple act done for the sake of looking for a partner, Horikita went out and stood in front of the male student, blocking his path. Sudō followed suit shortly after.
For some reason, as the confrontation with the two first-year students began, the first person they looked at was me, even though I had been watching from a distance.
Not long after that, they looked away, shifting their focus over to Horikita.
I thought back on the information I memorized on the OAA app yesterday.
From the look of it, Horikita would be coming in contact with that class earlier than expected.
“Who’s this chick?”
“Please wait just a moment… Ah, found it.”
The girl fiddled around on her phone for a moment before showing the boy her screen.
“Class 2-D, Horikita Suzune. Academic Ability A-, eh?”
The girl spoke much more politely compared to the boy, so the two of them came across as an odd pairing.
The boy then turned and looked at Sudō, who was standing next to Horikita.
Once again, the girl fiddled around with her phone and showed him the screen, just like she had done with Horikita.
“Sudō Ken? …Hah!”
After seeing Sudō’s ratings, the young man scoffed demeaningly.
“I am known as Nanase, a student from Class 1-D. And this here is my classmate H─”
The duo introduced themselves by last name only. To supplement, the bulky male student’s full name was Hōsen Kazuomi, while the girl’s was Nanase Tsubasa.
Both of them were genuine Class 1-D students, just like she said they were.
Students from the very class we hadn’t been able to meet yesterday. Although their sudden appearance here was definitely unexpected, for Horikita, it was both a blessing and a curse. The reason being that, it wasn’t exactly a good idea to start negotiations with them right now, given the presence of students from the other classes.
“For a couple of new students, the two of you have gone and done something pretty drastic. I admire your courage.”
“Hah? You admire what now? Damn full of yourself aren’t ya bitch?”
“You reckon she’s the one full of herself? Fuck off with that cheeky attitude, first-year punk.”
Hōsen flared up at Horikita, prompting Sudō to flare up as well and cut into the conversation.
Even though they were about the same height, Hōsen’s build was a size larger, so Sudō looked small in comparison.
“An E+ in Academic Ability? Seems you’re just as retarded as ya look.”
“Wanna say that again!?”
Sudō got angrier, but Hōsen just ignored him and continued talking.
“Well, fuck it. Seems like there’s only a buncha Class D twerps here anyway. Works for me.”
“And what is that supposed to mean?”
“You guys are the shit at the bottom of the barrel. You wouldn’t even be able to find partners without beggin’ our class for it. So I’ll lend you incompetent retards a hand, aight? You get what I’m sayin’?”
Hōsen responded to Horikita’s question and posed her one of his own, almost as if he was testing her.
“So, you’re essentially saying you want to partner up with us? And yet you’re asking with an arrogant attitude like this?”
“No shit I am. You should be the ones begging us to partner with you. I did you idiots a favor by dragging myself over here.”
Hōsen challenged her, brushing aside her viewpoint and asserting his own.
“So hurry the fuck up, get your heads on the fuckin’ floor and beg.”
As she held Sudō back from letting his temper get to him, Horikita spoke up once again.
“You seem to be misunderstanding something. Our positions are equal.”
She spoke with even more conviction than before, paying no mind to the physical disparity between Hōsen and herself.
“Equal? Could you let that retarded friend of yours be the only one spewing bullshit?”
“You’re in Class D just like we are. You’re no different from us.”
“You just don’t get it. If we felt like it, we could do all sorts of things to trash like you. You don’t want shit getting outta hand, right? If so, then know your place and start waggin’ your tail for me.”
Apparently, this Hōsen guy had already noticed the special advantage the first-years had against us.
“And just what are these ‘things’
you could do to us?”
Horikita should’ve been well aware of what the answer was, but she still dared to question him, wanting Hōsen to be the one to say it.
“You get it, don’tcha? We’ve got the means to intentionally tank our scores on the exams.”
Upon hearing his words, Horikita bit down on her lip a little.
“Huh? The hell are you sayin’, you first-year bastard! Cuttin’ corners on the exam’ll get you thrown outta school!”
“Stop it, Sudō-kun. Losing your temper all of a sudden like this is a bad habit of yours.”
I could understand why Hōsen’s excessively aggressive way of speaking made Sudō want to lose his temper.
However, what Hōsen was saying wasn’t untrue.
“Sure, the rules say you’ll get expelled if you get caught throwing the exam. But the penalty that comes with not findin’ a partner by exam day is different. That’s only a problem for you second-years, yeah?”
If you ran out of time, a random partner would be chosen for you.
Furthermore, you’d receive a 5% penalty on your total overall score.
Since the second-year students had to face the danger of expulsion, they’d feel the effects of this penalty more than the first-years.
“I-is that really true!?”
Unable to believe it, Sudō sent Horikita a look that demanded confirmation.
But the only thing Horikita could answer with was a nod.
“Wouldn’t you be strangling yourselves by doing that? Are you really alright with sustaining losses immediately after enrollment?”
If they incurred a penalty, their chance of scoring above 500 points would naturally go down.
“It won’t be as much of a pain in the ass for us as it will for you second-years though. Right?”
Hōsen sought confirmation from Nanase, who was standing just behind him.
“Yes. It is said that we wouldn’t receive private points for 3 months, but at most, that would only be 240,000 points. I don’t believe it would be a fatal problem.”
“You get it now, Horikita-senpai?”
Hōsen stood before Horikita, an upperclassman, as if he was the one with higher standing.
Having seen that, Sudō couldn’t hold himself back anymore.
However, he still had enough willpower to prevent himself from throwing a punch, choosing instead to take up an imposing, aggressive stance in front of Horikita.
“You lookin’ to fight?”
Hōsen challenged Sudō without even a trace of hesitation in his voice.
“You’re a cocky one, ain’tcha!?”
“Don’t lose your composure, Sudō-kun. You’re well aware of how it is at this school, right?”
It wasn’t surprising that the first-years didn’t know about this, but the hallways here were constantly under school surveillance.
As the surveillance cameras were always running, if something were to happen, the school would dig up the footage to use as evidence.
Having been repeatedly admonished by Horikita, Sudō stood down despite his irritation.
His short fuse was definitely one of his faults, but at the very least he was willing to listen to Horikita.
Sudō turned and looked away from Hōsen, but as he did, Hōsen raised his hand and shoved him in the chest.
At that moment, Sudō lost his balance and fell backwards onto the floor, catching himself with his hands.
“Are you just some tall-ass bitch? I barely touched ya!”
Even the second-years who had been watching the situation unfold couldn’t hide their shock at Hōsen’s excessively reckless behavior.
Considering how immensely audacious it was, it wouldn’t be surprising if this was considered an act of violence.
If he understood the difficulty and risk that came with exercising violence at this school, he never would’ve done this.
This new batch of first-years were apparently more familiar with the school’s inner-workings than those of previous years.
If they really did know more about the school like Ryūen claimed yesterday, then I had no choice but to say that Hōsen’s conduct here had been straight-up reckless.
Do they not actually know as much about the school as I thought they did?
No, that didn’t seem to be the case here. If that were the case…
“You son of a bitch!”
Despite having almost regained his composure earlier, Sudō realized what Hōsen had done to him, and was seconds away from exploding with all of the fury he had kept bottled up inside.
However, before that could happen, a young man who had been watching the situation from a distance jumped in between them.
“The hell are you doin’!?”
It was Class 2-C’s Ishizaki Daichi. While he was normally categorised as a delinquent who was quick to lose his temper, he was also a guy with a lot of heart. It seemed like he wasn’t able to hold himself back any longer upon seeing how cruelly Sudō, one of his peers, was being treated.
“These second-year guys just keep poppin’ up like cockroaches.”
Hōsen let show an amused expression, while the girl who introduced herself as Nanase very tactfully brought him back under control.
“Didn’t you come here to have a discussion, Hōsen-kun? If you came here because you wanted to get violent, I’ll be taking my leave.”
“Violent? I just touched him same as I would petting a cat. My bad, Sudō.”
He addressed the second-year student in front of him without using honorifics, almost as if he was spitting on him.
“Oi! Being an asshole has its limits, got it!?”
Ishizaki reached out his arm, looking to grab Hōsen by the collar of his shirt.
The moment he saw the arm moving toward him, the corners of Hōsen’s mouth just barely crept up into a smile.
“Give it up unless you wanna die, Ishizaki.”
Ishizaki’s arm stopped mid-air, only moments away from taking hold of Hōsen’s shirt.
The warning had come from none other than Ryūen, who had apparently been watching the situation from the sidelines as well.
“Wh-why are you stopping me!?”
Ishizaki was visibly confused by the fact that Ryūen had stopped him.
“To think you’d step in. What are you doing?”
Ibuki, a student from the same class, also spoke up, surprised by Ryūen’s sudden involvement.
Ryūen didn’t hate these kinds of confrontations, far from it. He usually welcomed them with open arms.
If the moment called for it, he wouldn’t hesitate to throw down, regardless of whether surveillance cameras were present or not.
Which was exactly why the fact that he had stopped the fight from happening was so unexpected.
Ryūen sent Ishizaki back, and then proceeded to approach Hōsen himself.
“So you’re my opponent now? You look piss weak compared to that retard Sudō over there.”
Given that Ryūen’s physique didn’t seem all that large or impressive, Hōsen spoke his mind.
“I’ve heard a lot about you. A guy named ‘Hōsen’ was a bit of a local celebrity back where I’m from. I certainly never thought you’d have such a retarded lookin’ face, though.”
Ryūen insulted Hōsen with the exact same word that Hōsen had used to repeatedly insult Sudō. It was truly the typical Ryūen behavior. Normally, Ryūen was our class’s enemy, but seeing him take a stand in a confrontation like this was reassuring. In fact, Sudō had even managed to successfully get a hold of himself thanks to the change in atmosphere.
“Y-you know this guy, Ryūen-san?”
“You just say Ryūen?”
Hōsen’s facial expression changed upon hearing Ryūen’s name, his slight smile turning into a wide, toothy grin.
“Oi oi, seriously? This must be fate or somethin’. I’ve heard so many rumours about you that it pissed me off, Ryūen.”
“Looks like you’ve got enough brain cells to at least remember someone’s name.”
The two of them had apparently known each other for quite some time now. It seemed like Hōsen was from somewhere relatively close to Ryūen’s hometown.
In any case, judging from the interactions between Ryūen, and his classmates Ishizaki and Ibuki, it seemed safe to say that he had made a complete revival. Although he had stepped down for a short while, he had taken command of Class 2-C all over again.
“However, for the Ryūen to have such a scrawny-lookin’ body… What a let down.”
“And I guess you’re as much of a muscle-head as I imagined.”
“I’ve went to lookin’ to pay you a visit a buncha times to beat the shit out of you, but we never met. You were being a lil’ bitch and hiding from me back then, weren’t you? You ran away and left all the work to your underlings, or am I wrong?”
“Kuku, fate was on your side, Hōsen. If you had crossed paths with me back then, you wouldn’t be nearly as full of yourself as you are now. Seems you’ve gotten lucky since you don’t know what it’s like to experience defeat yet.”
“I was sure you were just runnin’ away with your tail between your legs. But if you’re sayin’ that’s not the case, how ‘bout we set the record straight right here, right now.”
Hōsen clenched his large hand into a fist, displaying his confidence.
If Hōsen really knew Ryūen from back during his middle school days, his impression shouldn’t be that different from our own impressions of him. Perhaps he didn’t see Ryūen as someone you wouldn’t want to make an enemy of?
“Chill out. I’m not gonna exchange blows with a gorilla when there’s nothing in it for me.”
Despite having been offered a fight, Ryūen ignored his provocation and refused.
Of course, it was because there was no way he could fight in a place like this, but…
Ishizaki and the others probably thought Ryūen would accept the offer, even if they had to change places to do so.
“Is this guy really all that scary? He’s bigger than Sudō and all, but…”
It didn’t seem like Ryūen had any intention of giving an answer right now. He just let show a slight smile before giving his next directions to his classmates.
“Let’s call it a day.”
“Are you really gonna just let a first-year look down on you like this?”
Ibuki was well aware that Ryūen was the type of person who’d exchange blows with anyone, no matter who it was, so she couldn’t help but ask him this.
“Hah! We can settle this any time we want. It doesn’t have to be now.”
Ryūen responded to Ibuki with a completely calm, collected attitude.
While it would’ve been best for it to end with that, Hōsen walked forward, closing the distance between himself and Ryūen.
“Is that chick also one of your underlings?”
He posed this question to Ryūen, having been watching as they talked with each other just moments earlier.
“Well, somethin’ like that.”
“Huh? Who? Who died and made you the boss of me?”
“What, you even have chicks doin’ your dirty work?”
“I could say the same to you. You’re the one who brought along that pretty lil’ doll of yours, aren’t you?”
In a similar fashion, Hōsen had the girl named Nanase standing right next to him.
“She ain’t my underling. Well, I don’t really give a fuck either way. Let’s take this outside, Ryūen.”
“I told you I ain’t doin’ that.”
No matter how many times Hōsen provoked him, Ryūen still wouldn’t get caught up in it.
And, as if to symbolize that, he turned his back on Hōsen, illustrating his intention to withdraw.
“That so? Well then─”
Ryūen wasn’t biting, and Hōsen didn’t seem to find that very funny. All of a sudden, he casually extended his arm out toward Ibuki. She tried to brush his arm away as he did so, but…
Just before she could knock his arm away, Hōsen’s movements accelerated, and he latched his hand around her neck and raised her up in the air.
Ibuki frantically tried to rip his arm away as the fight or flight response flooded her brain.
However, Hōsen smiled fearlessly, his arm unyielding as if it had been cast from steel.
Ryūen turned back around, taking notice of what was happening to Ibuki.
She did whatever she could with her hands and legs to try and get away, but Hōsen didn’t budge in the slightest.
“Haha! Just you try and escape, girl. That, or I don’t mind if all of you pussy-ass onlookers come at me as well.”
Instead of fearlessness, his expression exuded an aura of absolute self-confidence.
That being said, getting involved in the situation certainly wasn’t an easy choice to make either. If you were to cause a commotion in a place like this, the school would naturally end up catching wind of it. Given that the school would inevitably get involved, nobody did anything. Nobody, that is, except for Ryūen, who stepped forward despite the surprise. He put himself right up in Hōsen’s face, not so much to strike a blow on Hōsen as it was to save Ibuki. Ryūen kicked at Hōsen repeatedly, but Hōsen just casually shrugged it off even though his movement was restricted with one of his hands around Ibuki’s neck.
At that point, Ishizaki, who Ryūen had previously told to stop, joined in as well.
It was turning into the type of commotion that made it hard to imagine that we were in the hallway of a school.
“Yes… yes! It was worth comin’ all the way out to this school after all!”
A full-blown fight could start at any second.
However, Nanase, who had been watching in silence the entire time, opened her mouth to speak.
“Please stop, Hōsen-kun.”
Hōsen was making a show out of going up against two opponents despite being handicapped by his hold on Ibuki, but when his classmate Nanase called out to him, the show stopped.
“What did you just say?”
Rather than just obediently following her request, he made full display of his irritation over the fact that she interfered.
“The upperclassmen have been worried about the surveillance cameras for a while now. Based on the circumstances, I’ve determined that there’s nothing to be gained by lashing out here.”
“No shit. I know that already. That’s why I’m fuckin’ around with ‘em, aight?”
He admitted he was aware that our actions were limited due to the surveillance cameras.
In which case, the series of actions Hōsen had taken here were still incomprehensible.
Hōsen proceeded to ignore Nanase’s request and refocused his attention on the fight unfolding before him. At that point, however, Nanase became even more forceful with her words.
“If you know what you’re doing, then that’s all the more reason to stop. If you continue to waste time with this pointless quarrelling, I’ll take matters into my own hands. You have me considering whether or not to tell everyone about ‘that’, right here, right now.”
Upon hearing her mention the abstract term ‘that’, Hōsen stopped for a second time.
Then, with a dull, tedious look on his face, he released his grip, dropping Ibuki down to the floor, coughing violently as she did.
“Aight then, Nanase. But, just know that if you betray my expectations, I won’t show any mercy, even to a girl like you.”
“I’ll gladly take you up on that when the time comes.”
No matter how much Hōsen intimidated her, Nanase still spoke confidently.
She seemed so calm and composed that the fact that she was in front of the second-year classrooms didn’t even seem to matter to her.
Nevertheless, this Hōsen guy was no ordinary person. Amongst all of the second-year students, there were a fair number who were proud of their fighting abilities. There were guys like Ryūen, Sudō, and Albert. However, despite being a first-year student, I could tell from just a glimpse that Hōsen was the real deal. Even if I were to confront him, I probably wouldn’t be able to keep him in check. Since I had only seen a glimpse of what he was capable of, I couldn’t even predict what would happen if he went all-out. The reason why Ryūen tried to stop Ishizaki from acting carelessly was probably because he judged that engaging in a simple fist-fight would put them at a disadvantage. An outrageous first-year had arrived.
“I’ll stop. We did what we came for. Let’s get outta here, Nanase.”
“Yes. That’s a wise choice.”
Seemingly satisfied with everything except the fight, Hōsen turned and looked at Ryūen one last time.
“If you prostrate yourself to me, I suppose I could let you pair up with me, Ryūen-paisen.”
“Sorry, but I only work together with humans. I have no intention of being with a wild gorilla.”
“What a shame.”
However, this unexpected turn of events didn’t end with that.
Because, besides Hōsen and Nanase, there was one other first-year student who had been watching as the situation unfolded the entire time.
This student had probably gotten on Hōsen’s nerves, as he turned his attention to them at the end.
“You just gonna slink around and watch, Fucker?”
“A wise man keeps away from danger. Perhaps you’ve never heard the proverb?”
With that, the first-year boy eloquently fended off the scowling Hōsen’s question.
“A friendly conversation is one thing, but it’s not a very good idea for you to cause any more trouble here, Hōsen-kun. I think you should be the one to withdraw first. Do you disagree?”
As the boy spoke those words of advice, an adult finally arrived in the hallway.
“What are you doing here, Hōsen?”
A lone man donned in a suit had come in order to break up the turmoil of the students.
And, when the man spoke, many of the second-year students who had been watching from the sidelines fled to their classrooms.
“Hōsen, I understand that you feel restless, but I’m sure you’ve been hounded on the school’s rules to the point where your ears hurt.”
“Yeah yeah, I get it.”
“If you really get it, then go on and disperse. You shouldn’t fight in the hallways.”
“This shit wasn’t even a fight.”
With a scornful laugh, Hōsen put his hands into his pockets and turned away.
He had backed down unexpectedly easily, giving off an order for Nanase to retreat as well.
“I’ll see ya later, Horikita.”
Housen expressly dropped Horikita’s name before he left… no, rather, it was more like he was saying this to Class 2-D as a whole.
“I’m sorry for the disturbance.”
With that, Nanase bowed her head in a final apology, successfully drawing an end to the situation.
And then, when she raised her head, she looked at me once more before she left. It was the same look as the one she gave me when she first arrived here. That is, an inquisitive look that seemed as though she was probing for something.
But, as soon as I noticed she was looking at me, she immediately looked away and ran after Hōsen.
“I must apologize to all of you. The students of my class have caused you trouble.”
The teacher apologized to Horikita, who had been watching the situation unfold from nearby.
“While I’m at it, please allow me to introduce myself. I’m the one who’s been put in charge of Class 1-D, Shiba Katsunori. Although I’ve only just arrived at this school, I’m looking forward to getting to know you moving forward.”
After a brief self-introduction, Shiba-sensei turned around to follow after Hōsen and Nanase.
Then, as if to change places with Shiba-sensei, the eloquent first-year student who fended off Hōsen came and bowed to the second-years.
“It seems that my peer, Hōsen-kun, has gone and troubled the upperclassmen. I shall present you with yet another apology on the behalf of the first-year student body.”
Unlike Hōsen, he seemed to be a student who was well versed in the art of communication.
“We first-years still don’t really understand this whole special exam thing. I apologize for the inconvenience, but we’d appreciate it if you all could take care of us.”
After finishing up with his apology-slash-introduction, the student began to turn his head, implying that he was about to leave as well.
But then, he suddenly noticed something, or rather, someone.
A small group of girls from Class 2-D had just gotten back from eating lunch together.
It consisted of four people: Matsushita, Kushida, Satō, and Mii-chan.
He stared at one of them, Kushida, with a surprised expression on his face.
“Everyone seems kinda shaken. What happened, Horikita-san?”
Despite taking notice of the student’s presence, Kushida reached out to Horikita, curious to find out about what had taken place here.
“Nothing you guys need to worry about.”
“Is that so?”
At Horikita’s dismissal, Kushida shrugged, ready to return to the classroom together with her friends.
“Uhm… Are you Kushida-senpai, by any chance?”
Having heard someone speak up to her, Kushida turned back around. I found myself wondering if the fact that the student knew Kushida’s name meant that they were acquaintances from the past, but…
Kushida looked at him with visible confusion in her eyes. The atmosphere between them seemed to leave no room for familiarity.
“Don’t you recognize me? I suppose it’s understandable if you don’t but, it’s me, Yagami Takuya.”
After hearing his name, Kushida thought it over for a little bit before it dawned on her.
“Yamagi… Ah! That Yagami-kun!?”
“Indeed, that Yagami. It’s been a while, hasn’t it!”
“So you came to this school too, Yagami-kun! What an amazing coincidence!”
“I certainly never thought I’d see Kushida-senpai again here!”
“You two know each other?”
Satō asked curiously, to which Kushida nodded.
“Yep. Although, we’ve hardly ever interacted with each other. Yagami Takuya-kun. He gave me the impression that he was incredibly smart. We never said very much to each other outside of greetings because we were in different school years, though.”
“Do you know anything about this?”
I whispered to Horikita to check what she knew and she responded immediately.
“Well, not really.”
“You don’t seem to remember much of anything about your old classmates, do you?”
“You’re not wrong. Back then, I didn’t have the time to pay attention to people I didn’t have any interest in.”
Apparently, she really didn’t remember… or rather, she didn’t even pay attention to it in the first place.
Given that she didn’t even bother to pay attention to her own classmates, there was no way that she’d remember an underclassmen.
Well, even though Kushida didn’t remember him at first, a boy probably wouldn’t be able to forget about Kushida once they’ve seen her.
After all, that was just how eye-catching her appearance truly was.
“I’m really quite lucky to attend the same school as Kushida-senpai, who I admired so much, again.”
“That’s too much…”
Kushida responded with humility. However, if she really did go to the same middle school as Yagami, a few concerns came to mind.
“Does this Yagami guy know about ‘you-know-what’?”
I whispered to Horikita once again. My use of the term ‘you-know-what’ was, of course, referring to Kushida’s past.
Back during her time in middle school, Kushida had brought about the destruction of her own class.
Furthermore, she saw Horikita, someone who had gone to middle school together with her and knew the truth about what had happened, as her enemy. This is because Kushida felt that it was dangerous for somebody to know what she was capable of, and wanted to get rid of Horikita as a result.
Since he had also gone to the same middle school, it wouldn’t be strange if Yagami knew the story as well, but…
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he did, but there’s no guarantee either way.”
In which case, Yagami’s presence here wasn’t very reassuring as far as Kushida was concerned.
Since there were people who came from the same middle school in our grade, it made sense that people from the same school could be in the other grades as well.
“I know this is sudden, but if it’s you, Kushida-senpai, then I’d have no complaints. Would you be willing to partner up with me?”
Although he had only just met her again, Yagami made his offer, holding out his hand with a smile on his face.
Was he trying to emphasize that he didn’t know anything about her past? Or was it that it didn’t matter even if he did?
“Would you really be fine with someone like me? You should pair up with someone who’s better at studying, Yagami-kun.”
Yagami Takuya’s Academic Ability rating was an A, that is, nothing short of impeccable, so Kushida’s modesty was understandable.
Horikita, who was messing with her cell phone right beside me, was looking to confirm his rating for herself in the OAA app.
“I don’t know my left from right at this school yet, so I’d like to partner with somebody I can trust.”
Even though the app could tell you about somebody’s academics, it wouldn’t tell you a thing about their personality.
That being the case, Yagami had probably decided that it’d be better to choose somebody that he knew would produce reliable results.
“Erm, well, let me think about it for a little bit, I guess…?”
It wasn’t clear whether it was because she was wary of Yagami, or there was some other reason, but Kushida decided to put his offer on hold for the time being.
“Why of course. I’ll hold off on partnering up with anyone and patiently await your reply, Kushida-senpai.”
With an A rating in Academic Ability, there was no need for him to find himself a partner immediately.
Therefore, Yagami calmly agreed to her request.
“Damn, how lucky. I wouldn’t have hesitated to pair up with ya if it were me…”
Given his E+ rating, Sudō seemed jealous of Kushida’s ability to pick and choose who she’d be pairing up with.
“Then you should try harder moving forward.”
“I’ll definitely get me some way better scores!”
He was longing to improve himself, dissatisfied with staying where he was now.
I distanced myself from Horikita and the others for a moment.
It was because I saw Haruka beckoning me to come over to where she was standing.
She was together with the rest of the members of the Ayanokōji Group: Akito, Keisei, and Sakura.
“H-he was super scary, huh?”
The very first thing I heard after joining up with them was Airi’s impression of Hōsen.
“It sure feels like there’s a buncha troublemakers like Sudō-kun and Ryūen-kun in this new batch of first-years, huh?”
Having watched the whole ordeal play out from a distance, Haruka spoke, her words filled with exasperation.
Standing right beside her was Akito, who was motionlessly staring down at the end of the hallway where Hōsen had disappeared.
“Miyachi? What’s wrong?”
“One hell of a guy just enrolled here. This school might get pretty stormy moving forward. That guy… Hōsen is so strong that Sudō and Ryūen can’t even compare to him.”
“What? You know him too, Miyachi?”
“I’ve never seen him in person or anything, but Ryūen and Hōsen are both quite famous back where I’m from.”
Akito apparently used to live somewhat close to the middle schools that Ryūen and Hōsen attended.
“Put simply, the gang leader at my school was pretty confident in his fighting skills, but one day somethin’ happened and the guy just up and disappeared all of a sudden. Not long after that, I started hearing stories about how some first-year middle schooler named Hōsen had beaten him to a pulp in a one-on-one and sent him to the hospital despite being two years younger than him.”
“G-gang leader? This is like something straight outta one of those delinquent manga! It’s like, kinda spooky.”
“The place I’m from is famous for how it’s always attracting all sorts of delinquents.”
Akito had been using a lot of words Haruka hadn’t heard very often, so she looked a bit bewildered.
“And just like that, Hōsen went around, tightening his grip on each of the middle schools in the area, one after another.”
“Isn’t Ryūen-kun famous too? It seemed like this was the first time those two met, though.”
“I get the sense they just never happened to run into each other is all.”
“Say, were you a delinquent too, Miyachi?”
“I… I’ve stopped doing that sorta stuff. I’m a proper student these days.”
“So you were a delinquent after all.”
“…I had a bad temper until my second year of middle school. Ever since then I channelled all of it into archery.”
“So, in other words, you’re saying you were a delinquent, right?”
Akito scratched his head uncomfortably as Haruka constantly hounded him with strange questions.
“Is that a bad thing?”
“Not rea~lly. Instead, it’s like, kinda super cool, isn’t it?”
“It’s not cool at all.”
It seemed like the reason why Akito was so well-informed when it came to fighting was because he had been on both sides of the issue before. It was true that we had seen things from him that suggested it before, from his nerves of steel to the agility of his movements.
“Since you’re a former delinquent, what if you went and showed Hōsen what’s what?”
“Stop joking around. I’m one to choose my opponent before I fight with someone, and there’s no way that I’d choose to fight Hōsen.”
Akito raised a white flag before a fight even took place. His words and conduct were such that, rather than admitting his own weakness, he emphasized and acknowledged Hōsen’s strength.
Ibuki had a good enough sense for combat as well, but she couldn’t do a single thing to stop Hōsen earlier.
The difference in their physiques was overwhelming. Moreover, she had been no match for him in terms of speed either.
Alright! Graze makes excuses time!
First off, Housen’s lines are absolutely hell to translate. He speaks really differently than any other character in the series, and I hope I managed to capture that for all of you in how I translated them. I put in a ton of effort so I hope it’s fun to read how he speaks. Either way, it took me way more effort and energy to translate Housen than I expected it would, so that was the reason for some of the delay.
Secondly, this part was huge, and we all know what huge parts to motivation. Working hard for 2 days and then seeing you’re only 33% done with the part is hell for staying motivated. Also taking a break when a part is so large is hard too.
Third, I lack helpers right now. I still have people, but for the most part, this entire part was just me and some help from some TLC-ing friends. If you know Japanese and want to help with the process, just send me a Discord DM. I’m kinda finicky, but help is always accepted, even if it’s just a few sentences. (No MTL though.)
Anyways, Part 3 is… even longer than this part was. It’s like 50% longer than this part was so it should kill me internally. Housen isn’t in the part it doesn’t seem though, so it shouldn’t be that slow. Look forward to it soon. Soonish. Eventually. I promise I’ll be working on it daily so it’ll come as soon as it can. Chapter 4 is much shorter and doesn’t have hellishly long parts like this, so life looks great after this!
Thanks for reading. (PS, I still hate the new WordPress changes. They suck.)