Classroom of the Elite – Volume 9 – Chapter 6 – Part 1
I sensed the presence of someone approaching us from behind. Their pace was quick. So much so that it was obvious that they didn’t intend to overlook the closeness of my conversation with Kei.
It was Hashimoto, who had been concealing his presence behind me ever since I left the lobby.
Kei didn’t appear to know who Hashimoto was, so she turned to me for an explanation.
“He’s Class A’s Hashimoto. I was grouped together with him during the training camp.”
“Oh yeah, and Ayanokōji as well.”
After this quick greeting, Hashimoto drew closer to Kei.
“For a man and a woman to hold a secret meeting in a place like this… You’re quite the smooth one, Ayanokōji.”
I had known that Hashimoto would attempt to get in touch with me eventually, but I had to think about why he chose now, of all times, to do so.
Nonetheless, I’d use his plan for my own benefit as well.
“We’re not out here doing anything in particular-”
“Don’t try to hide it. It’s Valentine’s Day. Even if you two aren’t a couple, it isn’t strange to have a secret meeting like this. Actually, you’ve already gotten something from her, haven’t you?”
It seemed that Hashimoto had seen me accept her chocolate and immediately put it into my bag.
“She just gave me this chocolate by coincidence. I didn’t come out here expecting to get anything.”
I attempted to deny it, but Hashimoto saw through my excuse with a sneering grin on his face.
“No, you knew that she’d be giving you chocolate from the beginning, didn’t you? Your bag.”
“Since you’ve already been back to the dorms, there’s no reason for you to take your bag with you as you go out afterward.”
“…No, I was originally intending on heading over to the library. But just before I could head out, Karuizawa called me and I agreed to meet up with her, that’s all.”
“In other words… It’s just a coincidence?”
I nodded in response to Hashimoto’s deduction before taking two library books out from my bag and showing them to him to prove it.
“Well, it’s all the same either way. In the end, you did get chocolate from Karuizawa.”
From Hashimoto’s point of view, even though I wasn’t the one to reach out to Karuizawa, the fact that I had received chocolate from her was truly important.
“I’m not sure I understand… Is there a problem with that?”
“I’m simply curious about what it is about you that Karuizawa’s interested in. Her previous boyfriend, Hirata, was one of the most popular guys in the entire school, right? It makes me wonder why she’d pick you after dumping Hirata.”
In other words, he wanted to know how things managed to get to this point.
Kei, who had been listening to our conversation in silence, spoke up.
“Aah, sorry, but there’s been a misunderstanding.”
“Yep. I originally planned to give that chocolate to Hirata-kun. It would’ve been a pity to throw it away, so I thought about giving it to someone, and then I just decided on Ayanokōji-kun.”
“You hand over such an intimate gift, but then claim it’s just done on a whim? I’m sorry, but I don’t see it. Moreover, what’s with the location? For a lie, that’s a pretty bad one.”
Hashimoto let out a laugh as he said so, to which Kei responded with a blunt display of anger.
“Haa? You show up out of nowhere and just say everything that comes to your mind. Who in the world do you think you are?”
Kei looked at him with an overbearing look in her eyes.
“I simply want to know the truth.”
Hashimoto was overwhelmed a bit.
Though it was true we hadn’t concealed the unnatural aspects of our confrontation very well.
That was why I decided to change directions.
This would be Kei’s chance to prove how well she could keep up with me.
“Well, it’ll be better for you to just speak honestly here, Karuizawa. If we continue to hide something here, I think it’ll just be troublesome for you afterward. If that guy ends up thinking we’re dating, you’d be troubled, right?”
With that said, I passed her the baton.
Without hesitation, Kei let out a single deliberate sigh.
“Ugh. I’ll say it, but this can absolutely never spread from here, okay?”
With this, Kei pointed at Hashimoto.
“I’ve only temporarily entrusted this chocolate with Ayanokōji-kun, in order for him to give it to the person I like.”
“So, you’re saying that Ayanokōji is just the middleman?”
“That’s right. Do you understand now?”
Hashimoto’s expression said that it was simply unbelievable.
“If that’s the case, then who is that chocolate actually for?”
Hashimoto continued his questioning.
“Huh? This is the first time I’ve ever met you, yet you want me to tell you something like that? Are you stupid?”
Kei was definitely stirring things up, but nothing about it seemed like she was being fake.
That was just the guise of the gyaru that Karuizawa Kei had created for herself.
“That’s… Well, I guess you’re right.”
Hashimoto assented with a somewhat surprised look on his face and ended up bowing his head in apology.
“This won’t blow over just by lowering your head. Seriously, spare me.”
“…Is that so? It seems like I really have misunderstood, my bad. When I thought that you two might like each other, I couldn’t help but get suspicious.”
“Why are you sticking your neck into something you have nothing to do with in the first place?”
“Well, when it comes to you, I’m anything but uninvolved.”
Hashimoto drew a few steps closer to the irritable Kei.
He reached out his arm and pressed it against the wall behind her, closing off her way out with his own body.
“I’ve thought you were fine for a while now, so how about you go out with me, Karuizawa? I don’t know who you like now, but if you still haven’t given them any chocolate, that means you haven’t conveyed your feelings yet. Isn’t that right?”
Thinking that he still had a chance with her himself, Hashimoto forcefully made a move on Kei.
“What on earth are you saying… Do you think I’d be okay with something like that?”
“It’s all part of the unpredictable twists and turns of love… Isn’t it interesting?”
With that, he cast a sharp glance at me for a split second.
He may have been attempting to bait a reaction out of me by making a move on Kei.
I spoke up.
“Well then, I guess I’m going to head back.”
“Huh? Wait, I’ll head back too.”
Kei forcibly pushed Hashimoto away and took her distance from him.
Hashimoto smiled bitterly. It didn’t seem like he was going to continue with his aggressive tactic.
Or rather, it seemed that he had lost interest in Kei altogether.
Given the current situation, Kei let out a noteworthy, deliberate sigh and left back to the dorms on her own.
“Sorry for intruding into things like that.”
“No, it’s nothing.”
I walked together with Hashimoto until the point where the pathway to the dorms and the school split up.
“Still, you have it rough when it comes to love, don’t you?”
“What are you talking about?”
Hashimoto gave off a mocking smile before wrapping his arm around my shoulder and whispered into my ear.
“I’m talking about how you’re pretty big. Girls who lack experience won’t be able to handle yours.”
Bringing up that again…
“Don’t look so exhausted. There’s a good number of people that respect you for it.”
I wasn’t happy at all.
Rather, what happened at the training camp was steadily becoming a source of constant discomfort.
“By the way, King. How about we exchange contact info?”
“I’m fine with giving it to you as long as you never use that nickname you just came up with ever again.”
“Hahahaha. I won’t I won’t.”
With that, I took out my cell phone and exchanged contact information with Hashimoto.
“Well, I’m gonna head back myself. See ya, Ayanokōji.”
Hashimoto came and went like the passing of a storm.
Did he think that he had gotten enough information? Or did he feel like he had pushed too far into something unrelated?
In either case, my existence would continue to remain uncertain for Hashimoto.
If only it would stay that way.
I decided to drop by the library and meet up with Hiyori, who should be on standby there.
And after that, I also had to meet up with another person who had requested to meet up at the school.
Thanks for waiting. Hope you enjoy the part. I’m close to 25% done with Chapter 6 with this part being completed. The next part is the same length as this one, so look forward to it when I get around to doing that.
Thanks for reading everyone and I’ll see you in the next one. Feel free to post any corrections/questions in the comments below. Cheers.