Classroom of the Elite Volume 12 Chapter 6 Part 3
TL: Graze and Liam
ED: Silent Death and o-montoya
It was now just the three of us and the first-year Nanase.
While there were a couple of things to discuss given what had happened, one matter took precedence over any of that.
And that was calming down Horikita, who had lost her cool upon seeing the knife pierced through my left hand.
“W-what should we do…? Should we, uhm, p-pull the knife out?”
The usually level-headed Horikita had probably never been in a situation like this one before.
“No. I know it isn’t exactly pleasant to look at, but it’s better to leave the knife where it is for now.”
If the knife wasn’t pulled out properly, I’d run a very real risk of hemorrhaging blood.
“More importantly, are you two okay?”
“Compared to you, I’m practically unscathed…”
“Yeah… I’m fine too.”
Sudō came closer to get a better look and grimaced upon seeing the grotesque state of my hand.
“Dude, how can you stay so calm with your hand like that?”
“Hmm, I don’t know.”
I was just doing things as I usually did, there wasn’t really anything special to it.
“But, man… I didn’t know you were like, so strong…”
“I just tried what I could to block the knife.”
“…That’s not what it looked like to me though.”
He voiced his honest impression of my confrontation with Hōsen earlier.
Sudō had braved his way through a fair number of fights in his time, so it didn’t seem like I’d be able to deceive him, or Horikita as well for that matter.
With my right hand, I took out my cell phone and called Chabashira.
“Something’s happened that I need a bit of help with. Could you quickly come meet me behind the first-year dorms? Alone, of course. Also, please bring a bath towel with you.”
Although Chabashira seemed confused by my sudden call, she managed to sense the urgency of the situation and promised to head over immediately. In the meantime, it was for the best that we stay put and wait for her to arrive.
It would be dangerous if other students saw the state of my hand while we changed locations.
At any rate… even after seeing the aftermath up close, Nanase didn’t seem phased in the slightest.
Despite the fact that there was a knife pierced through my palm and blood scattered around, she was perfectly calm and composed.
The visually intense, graphic nature of the scene didn’t affect her at all.
“Could you explain what happened here for us, Nanase?”
“If I don’t, then it seems that Class 1-D will be placed in quite a tough position, so I will.”
“You were aware that the negotiations were going to turn out like this… Is that correct?”
“Correct. The plan was to have Hōsen-kun stab himself in the thigh to get Ayanokōji-senpai expelled.”
She spoke without reserve, explaining their plan in the same polite tone as always.
“Are you saying that the kindness you’ve shown us was all just part of an act meant to fulfill that goal?”
“No, nothing of the sort, Horikita-senpai. I truly did want to join hands with you and establish a supporting relationship between our two classes. It’s just… targeting Ayanokōji-senpai had been our top priority, that’s all.”
The reason why both Hōsen and Nanase had been so fixated on Class 2-D was simply because I was a member of it.
“Why was that your goal? I don’t remember pardoning you for what happened here tonight, those were Ayanokōji-kun’s words, not mine. Depending on your explanation, I might just end up reporting this to the school straight away.”
Horikita pressed Nanase for answers, unable to fathom why I was getting targeted.
“While I do agree that there was a problem with our method, the school actually condones the notion of taking action to get Ayanokōji-senpai expelled. Only a select few first-year students currently know about this, but it’s possible to receive a tremendous number of private points just for forcing his expulsion.”
At last, the reason why Hōsen had gone after me had finally come to light.
“We were told that the student who manages to expel Ayanokōji Kiyotaka of Class 2-D will receive a bulk sum of 20 million private points. That’s the special exam that was given to us.”
“I don’t understand what you’re saying. That doesn’t make any sense. Who on earth would come up with such an outrageous, stupid special exam?”
Nanase held her tongue, unwilling to respond to Horikita’s inquiry.
“…For now, I’ve said everything I needed to say. With this, you should realize just how cautious you need to be of the other first-year classes, right Ayanokōji-senpai?”
She didn’t go into it very deeply, revealing only the bare minimum required to convey the idea. Needless to say, if Hōsen and Nanase knew about this ‘special exam’, then Amasawa probably did as well. Extending that logic, it only made sense that students in Classes 1-B and 1-C were also in on it.
“You don’t really expect me to accept such an answer, do you? The fact of the matter is that Ayanokōji-kun received a grievous injur─”
Horikita began hounding Nanase with questions for my sake, so I cut in to stop her.
“It’s alright Horikita. A general understanding of the situation is more than enough. I appreciate the help, Nanase.”
“For the sake of my class, of Class 1-D, I chose to cooperate with Hōsen-kun knowing full well just how awful his methods truly were. Because, if the 20 million point bounty were to fall into the hands of another class, it would bring about serious ramifications for us moving forward.”
With 20 million points, you would only have enough to buy a single ticket to Class A.
But given the utility during special exams such as this one, the more financial clout your class had, the better off you’d be.
“However, that was not the only reason why I cooperated with Hōsen-kun.”
Nanase’s tone was soft and calm, and yet there was something about the way she looked at me, a sharp but subtle glint in her eyes.
“I*… simply didn’t believe a person like you would be suitable for this school, Ayanokōji-senpai.” [TLN: She uses boku here again.]
This was the first time that Nanase had ever directed these apparent feelings of hatred toward me.
Yet, I couldn’t figure out why.
Shortly thereafter, Nanase bowed her head and left this place behind.
Fairly Important TL Notes:
So I usually don’t like writing out notes like this, but in this case I have to make an exception. For those that don’t know, Japanese has multiple first-person pronouns. English only uses ‘I’ or ‘me’ for this purpose, but Japanese has more than 10, all used for different purposes, ages, and genders. Every character in the series (so far), has only ever used one of these to refer to themselves, and used it consistently thereafter. Apart from one time where she slipped up in a previous chapter, Nanase has exclusively used 私 or watashi. This is a typically gender-neutral, maybe a little feminine, pronoun that Horikita and most serious respectful female characters (and Kouenji) also use. In the last spoken line of this part, Nanase says:
“I*… simply didn’t believe a person like you would be suitable for this school, Ayanokōji-senpai.”
The asterisk here is my way of conveying that the first-person pronoun that she uses here is ボク or ‘boku’, which is a first-person pronoun primarily used by younger males. Now, Hirata and Ike both also use boku, but they use 僕 (the kanji) to say it instead of writing it in the stylized, katakana form (ボク) that Nanase has used it in. The important part about this is that, with this, Nanase is now only the second character in the series to use their first-person pronoun written in katakana. The first character is Kiyotaka, with his use of オレ or ‘Ore’, which is even more of a masculine pronoun than boku. Hosen, Ryuen, Sudo, and most of the more manly characters all use ‘Ore’ as well, but they use the kanji to do it, not the katakana, making Kiyotaka a special case. By having Nanase’s boku written in katakana as well, the author is highlighting or emphasizing some sort of connection between Kiyotaka and herself. (Which is, unfortunately, untranslatable into the English language.)
Therefore, there are two key things to note here that are hard to convey in an English translation. The first is that she is using a different, more masculine pronoun for some unknown reason, and the second is that she’s also using the pronoun in its katakana form instead of it’s kanji form, just as Kiyotaka uses when referring to himself with his own pronoun.
I hope this information has helped you to understand the sheer impact of this final line of Nanase’s on a better level than you would have without knowing this.
Real TL Notes:
With this, Chapter 6 is done. There are two short parts in the Epilogue, the first of which should be done by tomorrow. The second is slightly longer, but I think I’ll be able to crank it out fairly fast as well. I hope you enjoyed reading this part. I put in a lot of effort to capture the tension of those final lines.
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you tomorrow with the introduction to the Epilogue.