Classroom of the Elite Volume 9 Prologue
“The Monologue of Ichinose Honami”
Minor Editing by Graze
I’ve never thought of myself as either a ‘good person’ or a ‘bad person’.
I like to think I’ve managed to become an ‘honest me’, just like my mother wanted.
I had a comfortable life throughout both elementary school and middle school.
I had plenty of friends, both boys and girls.
I found sports rather difficult but I put in as much effort into it as I did my studies.
By the time I was a 3rd-year in middle school, I was even able to gain the title of student council president that I had longed for.
I was even offered a spot at a private high school on a scholarship.
A fun school life.
A happy private life.
But… I made a single mistake.
A mistake that could never be forgiven, a mistake I should never have made.
The angry face and tears that my mother, who had collapsed from illness, made at that moment.
The bitter face my little sister made after being hurt and left as nothing more than a shell of herself.
I could never forget.
Even now, I occasionally recall that moment.
My trembling fingers.
My trembling body.
A heart dyed black.
I wasted half of my 3rd year of middle school and I ended up becoming a shut-in for half a year.
But on a certain day, that ended.
When I learned about this school, I felt I needed to put an end to that.
In order to bring back the smiles of my mother and my little sister.
That’s why I won’t run from my own ‘answer’.
I will face it head-on.
Yes, that’s the oath I swore.
At this school I enrolled at while embracing my dreams, I was confronted with a trial.
I found a letter and just froze up.
Around me, my classmates were turning towards me with curious looks.
I read the contents of the letter over and over.
And no matter how many times I read them over, the words did not change.
‘Ichinose Honami is a criminal.’
The girl had been feeling extremely nervous since long, long before the incident occurred.
In the student council room on a day off.
“1st year, Class B, Ichinose Honami, huh?”
She squeezed her voice out from within her throat.
Ichinose Honami’s expression was rather tense when she faced Vice President Nagumo.
A special one-on-one interview.
“What did the student council president tell you?”
“That it’s still not time…”
Ichinose, who had wanted to join the student council, stood before the doors leading to the student council not long after enrolling.
However, President Horikita interviewed Ichinose and rejected her application to the student council.
Ichinose, who strongly desired a place on the council, felt disappointment at that but upon hearing of her circumstances, Vice President Nagumo had approached her.
There are three reasons behind that.
One is that she belongs to Class B, much like himself, rather than Class A.
Another is that her academic ability is nothing short of outstanding.
And the last reason is that she qualifies as an extremely good-looking person. Something Nagumo seeks in the opposite sex.
It’s mainly because Ichinose met that last criteria. The first two are nothing more than a bonus.
The important thing is whether or not she’s worth keeping at his side as his personal property.
“I hear you were on the student council, and student council president no less, during middle school?”
“Yes, that’s why I wanted to join the student council here at this school as well.”
Ichinose told the truth. And also a lie.
“I heard from your homeroom teacher, Hoshinomiya-sensei. Looks like your results on the entrance exams were also outstanding.”
“Thank you very much.”
She obediently accepted his praise.
But she couldn’t look Nagumo in the eye.
“To be honest, you’re quite something.”
“But… President Horikita didn’t acknowledge me…”
Ichinose, with a bitter smile, put herself down.
It was because she had expected she’d be able to join the student council.
Even so, a hint of a smile remained.
Because she felt that she wouldn’t give him a good impression here by being depressed.
“It’s because President Horikita’s a strict person. In all likelihood, he already rejected you out of hand because you’re not in Class A. That man puts a lot of emphasis on status.”
That was a lie Nagumo told.
At first glance, Horikita Manabu looks like the sort of person who’d obsess over status like that. However, the truth is the exact opposite of that.
He assesses the person whether they’re from Class D or Class A and he’s the sort of person who’d evaluate talent.
But to Ichinose, who had been rejected, Nagumo’s words sounded like truth.
“I wonder if I must get promoted to Class A in order to join the student council?”
“I don’t know about that. Even if you get promoted to Class A, President Horikita may or may not acknowledge you. In other words, Ichinose, you weren’t considered up to par from the very moment you enrolled here. No matter how much effort you put in now, President Horikita will never accept a student stuck with the label of Class B.”
At that cruel announcement, the remaining smile on Ichinose’s face vanished.
“B-but you’re in Class B are you not, Nagumo-senpai? And you’re still vice president so that means-”
Nagumo immediately extinguishes that fleeting hope of hers.
“In my case there were two reasons. One is that I joined the student council before President Horikita came to power. In other words, it was during the reign of the 3rd year student council president last year. But back then, Vice President Horikita alone objected to my student council appointment to the bitter end.”
Ichinose’s expression clouded up.
Seeing that, Nagumo felt joy in his heart.
He decided then that he would definitely get Ichinose appointed to the student council.
And that he would love her as if she were his own personal property.
“One more thing, I’m aware of just how talent I possess. I’m proud to say I’m someone who would’ve normally been assigned to Class A. That’s precisely why when I applied for the student council, I confessed the full truth behind my assignment to Class B. Without holding anything back.”
“Yeah. I proved that when it comes to ability, I’m not inferior to Class A. That resulted in my current position.”
“The confession of the cause for that…..what was it for you, Nagumo-senpai?”
At those words, Nagumo internally smirked.
“Sorry but I have no intention of answering that. Right now, the one being questioned is you, Ichinose.”
“I’m not quite convinced yet. Normally speaking, it would’ve been strange for you to not be in Class A. Your grades are outstanding, there’s nothing wrong with your interpersonal skills. And you were once student council president. Yet why Class B? There must be some reason for that.”
Ichinose could not hide her agitation, not when Nagumo’s cunningly pointing it out.
But this is merely something Nagumo hypothesized based on the information he obtained from Ichinose’s homeroom teacher, Hoshinomiya.
“Tell me what you think could be the reason. And if I deem you as a student worthy of Class A then I’ll take responsibility and accept you into the student council.”
“Is that… possible?”
“President Horikita’s authority is certainly absolute. But what happens to the council after Horikita-senpai graduates? If new 1st years aren’t allowed in then it would be impossible for the student council to train its successors. The one who’d be troubled by that would be the future student council president, me, right?”
“…I suppose so…”
“Someone who is unable to grab hold of this opportunity has no place in the student council.”
Ichinose had a secret she’s been harboring.
The memories of holing herself up inside her room for half a year during her 3rd year of middle school came flooding back.
“What I say here-”
“It won’t leave this room, of course. Your secret is our secret.”
Her past she had held onto without telling a soul. But, she needs to face her past.
It was precisely because she lost the trust of others that she needs to trust in others.
Ichinose opened up about everything.
About her own ‘mistake’.