Classroom of the Elite Volume 12 Chapter 5 Part 9
TL: Graze and Hina
ED: PuffyPyjamas/Silent Death
That same day, two girls from Class 2-D were walking together side-by-side.
There was me, Karuizawa Kei, and my friend, Satō Maya-san. The two of us used to hang out together all the time. That is, up until a few months ago. Recently, we had started seeing each other much less frequently. It wasn’t like we had gotten into a fight with each other or anything. It was just that I unconsciously began to feel guilty, and it was getting difficult for me to stay in touch with her as a result.
“Sorry for calling you up all of a sudden, Karuizawa-san.”
“No, it’s totally fine. I’ve been wanting to hang out with you too, Satō-san. Anywho, it’s sure been a long time since we’ve hung out together like this, huh?”
“Yeah, it sure has. We used to hang out together all the time back when we first enrolled here~”
“So, whatta ya wanna do? It’s a little early for lunch, isn’t it?”
Walking slightly ahead of her, I threw out a question about what our plans were as I lightly tilted my head in contemplation.
It was only a little past 11:00 AM.
Earlier today, Satō-san called and asked if I wanted to walk around the Keyaki Mall together with her.
However, she responded in a hurry just as we approached the entrance to the mall.
“How about… we head over this way instead?”
Satō-san pointed at the path that led to the school buildings, a completely different direction from the mall.
“To school? Is there somethin’ you gotta do there? But it’s the weekend, and I’m pretty sure you can’t go in there without your uniform, right?”
“It’s not that I wanna go to the school building or anything, it’s just… I wanna go somewhere without a lotta people around right now.”
I furrowed my brow, unable to understand what exactly she was trying to say.
Well, I actually had a sneaking suspicion about what this would be about.
But I just pushed it to the back of my mind so as to convince myself that I was wrong.
I simply continued pretending; Acting like I hadn’t noticed anything.
“What’s the matter Satō-san? It’s not like you to say somethin’ like that. You not feeling well?”
“…I just wanna talk with you a bit, kay?”
I had a bad feeling about where this was going, but I didn’t have the luxury of turning her down here.
So, I happily nodded along and the two of us split off from the Keyaki Mall, headed in the direction of the school.
We came upon a place where there weren’t any other people around; A place where nobody should be able to overhear our conversation.
“Go ahead and talk. Don’t mince your words either. We’re friends, right?”
My words were by no means gentle. Instead, they were extremely cruel.
And even though I knew this, I couldn’t hold myself back from saying them.
After all, I’m Karuizawa Kei, the leader of the girls in Class 2-D.
A selfish, self-centered person who doesn’t pay much mind to the feelings of others.
If I wasn’t, the image I had maintained up until now would crumble.
Satō-san probably had that very same impression of me as well.
That was why she wouldn’t feel dejected or angry about how I spoke to her.
Instead, she’d jump to her own conclusions. That I, Karuizawa Kei, was the type of girl who wouldn’t take what she had to say seriously. That I’d just glaze over it and stop there.
I was even hoping that, by some chance, she’d be satisfied with that.
That she’d choose to avoid souring our relationship by having this conversation with me in the first place.
However─ Satō-san didn’t stop.
“Karuizawa-san… Why did you break up with Hirata-kun?”
“Eh? Haven’t I already told you?”
Although her question wasn’t directly related to Kiyotaka, it was enough to make my heart race.
Even so, I managed to prevent it from showing on my face thanks to everything I had experienced up until now.
“I mean, yeah you’ve told me and all it’s just… it didn’t really feel right.”
“Really? Well, I guess it was a bit of a waste. Wait, are you like, trying to become Hirata-kun’s new girlfriend or somethin’?”
I was hoping that she would indicate that she already had lost interest in Kiyotaka.
This was essentially my way of confirming that with her. However, my question fell on deaf ears as she responded with words that came at me like an attack straight out of nowhere.
“For example, maybe you broke up with Hirata-kun ‘cause you actually had some other objective in mind?”
Ah, so she was aware of it after all. About the fact that I had fallen in love with Kiyotaka, and that my relationship with him had changed…
“What the─? I don’t understand what you’re saying at all though?”
To this day, I had been deliberately maintaining the guise of my normal, usual self.
Even if, sooner or later, the day comes when my relationship with Kiyotaka has to be revealed, I had no choice but to turn and run away from her accusation since I had decided to keep it a secret.
No matter what she brought to the table, I was fully prepared to smooth it over before anything got out of hand.
Or, well, I thought I was.
“… Karuizawa-san… Are you dating Ayanokōji-kun or something?”
I received an unexpected blow. I didn’t have the time to respond to this attack, a strike from behind.
It may have been different if I was dealing with someone else, but in the face of Satō-san, this moment of hesitation was akin to a fatal wound.
She had, as if it was completely natural, seen through my heart.
If she had only asked whether or not I liked him, I definitely would’ve been able to cover it up.
But her question had gone a level deeper than that.
“…So I was right after all?”
“Eh!? No no no, hold on! What makes you think that!?”
Of course, I denied it. Regardless of whether it meant anything or not, I denied it.
After all, there was simply no way I could admit to it right here, right now.
“With me, that, why…”
My words of denial trailed off as I saw the look in her eyes.
Eyes that seemed like they were about to cry, and yet contained traces of anger at the same time.
And it made sense. After all, she had trusted me enough to reach out and ask about entering into a relationship with Kiyotaka.
And then, I helped her. All while hiding the fact that I was starting to become attracted to Kiyotaka myself. If I were in her shoes, I’d probably want to slap me across the face for going out with Kiyotaka after everything that had happened.
At this point, it didn’t matter what I said. She had already convinced herself that she was right.
“Were you already interested in him back when I asked you to help me get closer to him? Did you like him even before that?”
“W-wait, hold on. I…”
I had no choice but to face the brunt of Satō-san’s questions.
“I… I said the same thing to Matsushita-san and the others too. I told them that I wondered if the reason you broke up with Hirata-kun was because you liked Ayanokōji-kun. But I’m not just guessing here either, okay? I’m pretty sure about it, so like, that’s why I brought this up.”
I had already heard that Matsushita-san was suspicious of my relationship with Kiyotaka.
There was nowhere left for me to run now.
“Please just tell me the truth. Otherwise… I don’t think I’ll be able to think of you as a friend anymore.”
Her words were charged with strong emotion.
If anything, she was trying all she could to be my friend, up until the very end.
I simply couldn’t turn a blind eye to that serious, earnest look in her eyes.
I didn’t know where to start.
No, it’d surely be futile to try and conceal it.
I would tell her everything. Confiding in her was the very least I could do to apologize.
“I… It’s just as you’ve said. I’m dating Ayano… No, I’m dating Kiyotaka.”
Satō-san naturally had a very strong reaction upon hearing this.
Even though she had confessed to Kiyotaka and gotten rejected before, she still had lingering feelings for him.
It’s only because she and I ended up liking the same person that I could understand how she felt.
“You call him Kiyotaka, huh?”
I wanted to run and hide from her cold gaze, but I couldn’t.
“We got together right at the end of spring break. It really hasn’t been that long.”
“I mostly want to know when you started liking him.”
“…I’m not sure exactly when. But, back when you first reached out to me, I had already started to think of Kiyotaka as a member of the opposite sex.”
It didn’t seem like she was satisfied with my answer.
“You’re angry, aren’t you?”
Up until just a moment ago, her eyes had been locked with mine, but now she couldn’t match my gaze at all.
“What did you expect? You knew about my feelings and yet you went and got closer to him behind my back.”
There wasn’t anything I could say to refute her.
“Although, he rejected my confession, so… I have no right to be angry or anything. It’s just…”
A warm spring breeze gently blew past my face.
Only after a distinct, clear sound rang out did I realize that she had slapped me across my left cheek.
“With that, we’re even… alright, Karuizawa-san?”
The fact that she had slapped me went beyond my expectations.
For her, my actions were probably just that unforgivable.
“How about you hit me one more time?”
I decided that I might as well offer her my right cheek too.
After all, even now, the pain she had suffered was still far greater than my own.
“No, That… I don’t think I’m brave enough for that… I’m sorry for hitting you…”
“Nope. I’m the one who’s sorry. Falling for the same person as you and all…”
“It can’t be helped. Ayanokōji-kun’s really cool, and he’s way better-looking than Hirata-kun.”
Before I knew it, I found myself spreading my arms and pulling Satō-san into a tight hug.
“Wha, wait, what are you doing Karuizawa-san!?”
“…I’m so sorry!”
“I-it’s fine, really…”
Although I felt overwhelmingly remorseful, I simply couldn’t hold back the happiness building within that had compelled me to embrace her.
Two people falling for the same person is difficult. However, it also meant that the both of us understood his charm.
This wasn’t the time to decide who won or lost.
After all, I’m sure that the number of people who fall for his charms will only continue to increase moving forward.
And I’ll have to fight so that I don’t lose to any of them.
If I make light of my position as his girlfriend, I’ll surely have the rug swept out from under me.
Satō-san may end up becoming one of my rivals as well.
“Wanna go for some tea together?”
Still locked in my embrace, Satō-san nodded her head, agreeing to my fickle request.
I’m not sure why, but this part emotionally and mentally drained me. I had next to no motivation to work on this and I simply am not interested in the content of it, so it was a really big drag to translate. Hopefully Chapter 6 isn’t like this too so I can get it translated quickly.
Volume 14 releases soon. I’ll be working on it immediately after finishing V12, which shouldn’t be that far off. I just need to work my way through the remaining 6 parts of the volume. Chapter 6 has 4 parts. The epilogue has 2. The epilogue parts are very short and the Chapter 6 parts are kinda long but they should be very interesting to read. Hopefully I don’t keep all of you waiting for V14 translations for long. My goal is to have the volume done by the end of the month.
Anyways, thanks for reading.