Classroom of the Elite Volume 12 Chapter 4 Part 2
After confirming that Horikita hadn’t entered the school building yet, I decided to wait for her at the entryway for a bit.
After all, if we were to have this conversation in the classroom, we would end up attracting undue attention.
Before long, Horikita showed up and looked at me curiously, not having realized yet that I had been waiting for her.
“Good morning. Are you meeting someone?”
“Meeting someone? Well, it’s something like that. They’ve just arrived.”
“Is that so?”
She lightly looked over her shoulder only to turn back and face me once she realized that there was nobody behind us that I was acquainted with.
“Yeah. There’s something I’d like to run by you really quick.”
“Something so important that you’d expressly take the time to wait for me?”
The two of us began walking together.
“Important…? Yeah, I think it has the potential to be important. I had the chance to speak with Nanase Tsubasa from Class 1-D earlier, so I tried offering her and her class a decent proposal.”
“Ah, and what did you propose?”
“I brought up the idea of having Class 1-D and Class 2-D collaborate with each other.”
“Knowing you, that’s quite a momentous decision.”
Horikita herself must’ve been worried about how we were going to form a relationship with Class 1-D.
I steeled my resolve, fully prepared for her to get mad at me for making the proposal without her permission, but…
“Are you aware of Class 1-D’s partner situation?”
“Yeah. Not even a single one of them has decided on their partner yet. Sakayanagi and Ryūen are probably putting them off too.”
It was only natural that the second-year students would focus their attention on the honor students from the other classes who were willing to cooperate for a reasonable number of points rather than those from Class 1-D who expected an incredibly large number for the same thing.
“I’m certain that there’s much more to it than that. It would require a certain amount of effort for them to comply with Hōsen-kun’s aggressive strategy. From the perspective of the upper classes, dedicating any time to Class 1-D would only serve to increase the amount of work they’d need to do.”
“Anyway, did you make this proposal to Nanase-san after having understood the difficulties that would come with confronting Hōsen-kun? Or did you reach out to her with the intention of secretly cooperating with her, hoping that Hōsen-kun wouldn’t notice?”
“What do you think?”
I intentionally turned the question back on Horikita without giving that much of an answer. If she had given up on the idea of working with Class 1-D at this point, I was okay with calling the proposal off.
“I’ve taken the time to reevaluate the state of the special exam. Would you be willing to hear me out?”
“I’m not confident that I can give you any meaningful advice.”
“I’m not expecting anything.”
It seemed like she just wanted to share her thoughts with me.
It probably had to do with what I brought up about Class 1-D just moments earlier.
“To start out, and this is obvious, but when you look at the first-year student body as a whole, the academically gifted students are naturally more popular as partners.”
“Yeah. Shiratori mentioned how he had been approached with point-based offers from Class 2-A and Class 2-C already.”
“However, between Shiratori-kun and his friends, none of them have made a decision yet. It seems fair to assume that Class A and Class C were unable to reach an agreement on how many points they would offer them. Either way, the 500,000 point offer they presented to us is far too expensive no matter how you look at it.”
Even asking for 200,000 points would be unreasonably high, given that the reward was only 100,000 points for the top five pairs and 10,000 points for the top 30%.
“It makes you wonder how many points Hashimoto-kun and the others offered them, doesn’t it?”
“Who knows. I’d guess that it was probably nowhere near 500,000.”
It was impossible to know unless you were somebody who was actually involved in the negotiations.
“I’d put forward that there wasn’t that much of a difference in the number offered by the two classes. No, if anything, I’d say that Class A’s offers have probably been smaller.”
She had most likely deduced this by keeping tabs on the OAA app up until this morning.
Between the two classes, Class 2-C had more students who had decided on their partners.
“Class A naturally has the advantage over Class C in terms of brand value. Unless there’s a noteworthy difference in the number of points they’re offering, more people would end up choosing Class A. From all of this, we can conclude that Class A is looking to appeal to first-years by coupling points together with their value as a class. Whereas Class C, on the other hand, is trying to muscle their way through with more points since they lose out in terms of brand value.”
I lightly nodded along in agreement.
“Ryūen-kun’s thought process here is a bit strange as well, don’t you think? In this exam, drawing the top performers over to your side is fundamentally essential if you want to win. However, that means that Class C will have no choice but to compete financially with Class A. If they play that money game with each other, Class C certainly wouldn’t stand a chance. If anything, it seems reckless for them to aim for first place overall.”
Even though Ryūen had said something about using threats to get the first-years to pair up with his class, there was no doubt that, as of right now, this was a competition that he had slim chances of winning.
“They should go after students who don’t overlap with Class A, even if it means lowering the bar a little bit.”
It’d be much safer for them to go after second place overall. Going after the students with a B- or C+ rating would be more than enough for that.
“Well, trying to guess what he’s thinking is pointless, but… I’ll just get on with the main point here. The remaining class, Class 2-B, is trying to build up a trusting relationship with the first-year students, drawing them into their fold regardless of Academic Ability rating as a way of providing salvation to the weak and vulnerable. Class 1-D aside, most of the students with a D rating or lower have been saved already by Ichinose-san.”
Horikita paused, looking back to make sure that nobody was eavesdropping on us before continuing.
“I’ve decided that our current objective is to focus on the average, ordinary students in each class. That is, students with ratings in the C+ to B- range.”
The students in that range probably wouldn’t be approached with large offers and there were still a lot of them left without partners too.
Reaching out to them while Class A and Class C were still scrambling for the top performers was a smart move.
“Then, does that mean that you’re giving up on your plan to focus on Class 1-D?”
“No, that’s still happening. In fact, it feels increasingly as though that’s our most optimal choice.”
“Are you saying you’ll abandon the ordinary students from the other classes?”
Doing so would be an overly drastic decision. As Class 2-D, we took a backseat compared to the other classes, so we needed to finalize as many partners as possible as soon as possible.
“They’ll play a part in all of this as well. While it may be a bit crude, I intend to set up a fake money game of sorts to help us stall for time. Unlike the honor students, the ordinary students probably aren’t expecting to receive any attractive large-point offers. That being the case, we’ll give them a taste of the luxury they’re missing out on, disillusion them into thinking that they’re worth a little something.”
“So the goal is to force Sakayanagi and Ryūen to use their points not just for the top performers, but the ordinary students as well?”
“While I’m skeptical about just how effective it will be, it will at least manage to attract some attention. And in the meantime, I’m going to start cutting into Class 1-D. That’s why this proposal of yours is just what I’ve been wanting to hear. After all, I was just thinking of getting in contact with Nanase-san myself.”
“But, isn’t Hōsen the one that wants to play a money game like this?”
“He certainly does. However, is he really just looking for points? Back when he came marching into the second-year hallway, he told me: ‘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?’ In other words, his goal is our class itself. Would he really say something like that if all he wanted was points?”
Horikita made the assertion that there should be room for negotiation beyond the scope of private points.
“The fact that he tacked on an ‘I’ll see ya later, Horikita’ at the end just before he left hints at it as well.”
“That’s for sure. It’s safe to say that Hōsen only has his eye on Class 2-D.”
This time around, Horikita had abandoned the top spot in exchange for three goals: not letting anyone get expelled, getting third place or higher in the overall class rankings, and not participating in any monetary exchanges. It wouldn’t be easy, but that was precisely why we were focusing on Class 1-D.
“Nonetheless, it’s fair to assume Hōsen-kun won’t be easy to deal with. Either way, I have a backup plan.”
Apparently, Horikita had made other arrangements that even I didn’t know about.
“We’re currently in discussion with part of Class 1-B about potentially fostering a cooperative relationship with each other.”
“By Class 1-B… are you talking about that Yagami guy from the same middle school as you and Kushida?”
I thought back to the most recent OAA update earlier this morning where I saw that both Yagami and Kushida had already decided on a partner.
“Kushida-san and Yagami-kun partnered up yesterday. Regretfully, I don’t remember anything about my underclassmen back then, but he might just be the key to all of this. He seems to trust Kushida-san quite a lot, so we’ve already begun negotiations behind the scenes. If all goes well, we can increase our number of collaborators.”
Though this was definitely good news, there was still something about it that worried me.
“Are you the one giving instruction to Kushida?”
Given that Kushida hated everything about Horikita, it was still unknown to what extent she would really be willing to cooperate.
“I’m well aware that it will be difficult given our current relationship. That’s why I’m pushing forward the conversation with Hirata-kun as the middleman.”
“I see. If that’s the case, Kushida can’t afford to cut any corners.”
If Kushida’s negotiations with Yagami managed to pull even just a couple of students over to our side, then a portion of Class 2-D’s partner problem would be solved, allowing the class to start focusing its attention on studying instead.
In my humble opinion, this part kinda sucked. I guess some new information came out of this, but I felt like it was mostly a rehash. I want to get to the cooking since I know that will be pretty dang hype.
Thanks for all the comments about quality and such last part. I appreciate them a lot. I’ll definitely put in the effort to maintain quality since so many people noticed it, and moreover, I myself noticed it. I like the discussion and I like that my efforts aren’t lost on you as the readers. I must give you my thanks for that.
Anyways, Part 3 is very short so expect that within 24 hours at the most. Thanks for reading.