Classroom of the Elite Volume 12 Chapter 4 Part 7
TL: Graze and Hina
That same day, around the time when Ayanokōji was cooking for Amasawa, three students from Class 2-A, Sakayanagi, Kamuro, and Kitō, had gathered at a cafe in the Keyaki Mall to hold a discussion.
“It happened again. It seems that the students we reached out to have all gotten offers from Class C. Moreover, it seems that Class C has been offering students 10,000 points just to turn down any offers they receive from our class, no strings attached.”
Kamuro was on the phone with Hashimoto, relaying his findings to Sakayanagi from across the table.
“10,000 points, just for deciding not to join up with us? Is that stupid or what?”
After quickly expressing her own thoughts on the matter, Kamuro then continued to put forward the rest of the information as she got it from Hashimoto.
Class 2-C was offering 100,000 private points as an advance payment just for agreeing to partner up with them. Then, after it had been confirmed that the pair had scored more than 501 points on the exam, they were apparently offering an additional 100,000 private points, meaning 200,000 points in total.
“Fufu. It seems that Ryūen-kun fully intends to see this match through to the end.”
“What are you gonna do? Should we fight back with private points too?”
“If we fought the financial battle, we simply wouldn’t lose. However, beating him with his own strategy would lack a certain… artistic potency, don’t you think?”
“Artistic potency…? If we need to be dishing out 100,000 or 200,000 points, then shouldn’t we be doing it? The first-years obviously think there’s a lot to gain from going after private points.”
Word had already spread that the first-years held the advantage in this exam. A standard had been set, where the honor students would choose their partners in exchange for private points.
Sakayanagi responded to Kamuro’s advice with a simple, silent smile, prompting Kamuro to speak up again.
“So you’re just fine with losing? To Ryūen?”
“First of all, there’s quite a large difference in the academic prowess of Ryūen-kun’s class and our own. Should he look to overcome this with the strength of the first-year students, he has no choice but to entice a considerable number of them. Furthermore, even if he manages to do so, his victory is by no means absolute.”
“Maybe so. But, that doesn’t mean we’re absolutely gonna win either, right?”
“Right indeed. Let’s assume Ryūen-kun were to gather up a good number of students with Academic Ability ratings in the A range. That would just barely manage to put him on equal footing with us, would it not? Even if we don’t do anything, our odds of winning would be at a solid 50%.”
However, put the other way around, that meant that there was a 50% chance that they might lose as well.
Kamuro wasn’t getting heated because she wanted to win the exam or anything.
It was because it was hard to believe that Sakayanagi, the girl sitting right in front of her, would go down without doing anything about it.
“What do you think would happen if we were to announce that we’d pay the same amount as Ryūen-kun?”
“What would happen? Well, Ryūen would pay even more, yeah?”
“Right you are. His offer would surely swell up to 200,000, maybe even 300,000 points.”
“But if we offer them enough, we’d definitely be able to pull the honor students over to our side.”
“And we’d pay a truly massive number of points in compensation for that. There’s no express need for us to risk losing thousands upon millions of points. Wouldn’t you agree?”
“Are you saying we can win over the students even if we offer them less points? I don’t think the first-years have a very deep understanding of the power of the Class A brand, though.”
Kamuro refused to back down, but it didn’t seem like Sakayanagi had the slightest intention of fighting a monetary battle.
“I’m well aware that Ryūen-kun wants to take first place overall. Compared to the cash-oriented deal he struck with Katsuragi-kun last year, it seems that he’s completely changed policies.”
“He was gonna save up 20 million points for himself and move to Class A, right?”
“He’s had quite the change of heart since, I believe. He’s finally realized the importance of class points. No, rather, he’s changed direction for the sake of winning for his class.”
So far, Sakayanagi and Ryūen had yet to exchange a single word with each other during this special exam.
However, it seemed as though the two were striking up a back-and-forth conversation with each other using their strategies.
“So… you’re just okay with it? With us not making use of our private points?”
“My my, Masumi-san. When have I ever said I wouldn’t make use of our points?”
“Wha? But weren’t you just saying that competing with points lacked an artistic something or whatever?”
“Please tell Hashimoto to tell the first-years that we’re willing to match Ryūen-kun’s offer.”
Kamuro pursed her lips, having heard Sakanyagi’s puzzling instructions.
“However─ Even if the first-year students agree to our offer, don’t finalize the agreement with them.”
“Hah? I seriously don’t understand what the heck you’re getting at here.”
“Fufufu. Ryūen-kun’s strategy is actually rather convenient for me.”
“I don’t even know what’s what anymore…”
[Isn’t it fine? If the princess says it isn’t necessary, then let’s just do as she says.]
Hashimoto, who had been listening in on the conversation over the phone, chimed in.
“…I guess I’m fine either way.”
Even if an agreement was reached with respect to the amount of points, Sakayanagi had deliberately instructed not to finalize the partnerships.
Although Kamuro didn’t understand, she once again relayed the details of Sakayanagi’s plans to Hashimoto.
As she did so, Sakayanagi gazed at Kamuro tenderly, wondering if she had been just a little too mean with her mischief.
So, she began to explain, so as to give a hint to Kamuro about what was happening.
“Ryūen-kun’s grand strategy isn’t an inherently bad one. By going around contacting the first-years like he has, he has succeeded in forcing me to participate in this money game of his. However, he’s been dead set on trying to compete for the exact same students that we are, which is a clear miscalculation on his part. As Class C is the more inferior class overall, he should be focusing his attention on the students with high academic potential first and move forward from there.”
However, Ryūen wasn’t doing that. Amongst all the students Class A was reaching out to, some had potential in areas outside of Academic Ability, yet Ryūen was trying to snatch them up as well.
“Does this mean that guy’s got a ton of private points saved up?”
“Well, who knows? Even if he has the points he needs, he might not actually be able to make use of all of them, does that make sense?”
“No, that’d be crazy. He’s only able to make all these aggressive offers because he’s got the points for it, right?”
“It’s possible to make an offer without even a single point to your name. All you’d have to do is pretend you have the points on hand.”
Kamuro couldn’t understand what Ryūen would gain by doing something like that.
“If it weren’t for Ryūen-kun, we’d be able to win over a lot of talented first-year students with just our Class A reputation. But by offering to buy students with points, he’s forced us to play this money game as well. So what comes after that, then? He’ll jack up his offer to make us pay as many points as possible.”
“I see… So that’s how it is?”
As a result, even if Class A managed to get their hands on a talented student, the fact that they would have to pay hundreds upon thousands of private points to the first-year students would only serve to benefit the competition between the second-year classes.
“But we’re at the disadvantage then, aren’t we? His strategy’s been working time and time again.”
“There’s no need for us to get worked up at this stage. He’s only bought off a few students, so let him have his fun for now. He’s simply misread a few crucial details. He thinks that our good reputation is nothing more than a label, a status that can go away if people start to see us in a bad light. Additionally, he’s mistakenly determined that he can get people to collaborate with him later just by handing over some points.”
“I don’t quite get it, but we’ll be fine as long as we follow your instructions from earlier, yeah?”
“Yes. That should be enough for now.”
“I don’t like it. It still feels like we’re being forced to go along with Ryūen’s strategy. If we keep getting dragged along like this, I dunno how things’ll turn out for us.”
“Please rest assured. It won’t turn out that way. We’ll win this little game without running into any problems at all.”
Unable to keep up with yet another inexplicable explanation from Sakayanagi, Kamuro let out a sigh.
“There’s no reason for you to rack your brains at this point in time, so please just don’t let yourself be swayed by Ryūen-kun. This special exam is nothing more than a prelude for what’s to come next. Right now we’re just keeping each other in check as we attempt to sound out the other’s next move.”
“I’m just about ready to give up trying to understand you at all.”
“Although… If possible, I hope he doesn’t end this by self-destructing. It wouldn’t be very much fun to finish this so easily.”
Sakayanagi gazed out of the window beside her, praying that her oncoming opponent was somebody worth facing off against.
Guh. One more part in C4. Expect it soon.