Classroom of the Elite Volume 9 Chapter 6 Part 6
PR: Graze, Catalystic, Josh-kun, and Regular Days
The situation began to unfold at a dizzying pace.
The special exam didn’t seem like it was going to happen this month, so everyone should’ve been focusing their efforts on preparing for the upcoming end-of-year exam, yet something troublesome was still developing.
It was Friday, February 18th. Three days after the end of the provisional exam.
A fair distance away from the school campus, students from Class A, Class C, and Class D had gathered together.
Given the importance of the upcoming exam, Hirata had attempted to stem the flow of the new rumors, but despite his best efforts, they still managed to spread around the school.
Class A, the only class that hadn’t had rumors posted about them on the school forums, was also already grasping that information.
“Yo Ishizaki, something you wanted to say to me?”
The same attitude as ever, Class A’s Hashimoto spoke up, posing a question to Ishizaki.
“Something I wanted to say? You tell me, Hashimoto! What are you doing bringing Kitō along with you? Didn’t I tell you to come alone?”
“Well, you brought Albert along with you yourself. I’m just being careful.”
There was a stinging, tense atmosphere between the two of them.
The atmosphere made it hard to imagine that they had lived in the same room together during the training camp. Though, ultimately, their reaction towards one another was understandable.
“We’ve just invited you out here today to have a talk. Isn’t that right, Ishizaki-kun?”
Ishizaki and Albert weren’t the only Class D students that had come to participate in the conversation. Hiyori and Ibuki had also come along with them.
“Well, as long as they’re able to control themselves, I guess everything should be fine.”
Even though she stopped herself, Hiyori’s worry was by no means unreasonable.
Given the personalities of the people present, it was hard to imagine that nothing would end up happening.
“But, what about those guys? I didn’t know you invited people from Class C as well.”
Looking over at us, Hashimoto let out an exasperated sigh.
“Dunno. Aren’t you the ones that invited them?”
It seemed as though both Class D and Class A felt a bit uncomfortable about our presence.
“It’s just like you said, Ayanokōji.”
Akito spoke up from beside me, accompanied by the rest of the Ayanokōji Group.
Before coming here, we had all met up at the cafe and were about to start studying together.
“I had been thinking about that time a while ago when Kanzaki and Hashimoto were going at each other. Then I just so happened to see all of you guys heading off campus, so I brought it up to Akito…”
After seeing the Class A and Class D students leave the campus, I let Akito know that there might be something else going down similar to what had happened last time and we immediately went to take a look.
However, Airi, Haruka, and Keisei all unexpectedly came along as well.
“There are more people than there were last time, too. This looks like it might get pretty serious…”
“Jeeze. Why is such a tense situation taking place again?”
Haruka commented, exasperated from having come across a scene like this for a second time.
“Forget it. It doesn’t matter who called them over. Let’s hear what you have to say, Shiina-chan.”
“It has to do with the rumors. You guys from Class A are the ones that posted them, right?”
Judging that they might run into problems should Ishizaki lead the conversation, Hiyori took over.
“Hey hey hey. Why are you asking us something like that?”
“Isn’t it obv-!”
“Please. Leave this to me, Ishizaki-kun.”
Hiyori gently stopped Ishizaki from angrily lashing out at Hashimoto.
“I heard it through the grapevine. I was informed about what you had told Kanzaki-kun when he confronted you about the source of Ichinose-san’s rumors.”
“What a chatterbox. Did you happen to hear that from those two over there?”
He gestured over to Akito and me since we had witnessed the entire exchange in question.
“Please answer the question, Hashimoto-kun.”
Without even looking over to us, Hiyori continued to press Hashimoto for answers.
“…Well, Ayanokōji and Miyake over there already know about it, so I’ll just speak honestly. Back then, I just happened to hear some rumors about Ichinose, so I decided to help spread them around because it seemed like an amusing thing to do. I wasn’t the source.”
Of course, Hashimoto doesn’t acknowledge the truth.
“What a convenient excuse. Do you think that we’re just going to accept that?”
“Excuse? It’s the truth. Well, I guess it is somewhat sinful of me to spread it around just because it seemed amusing, but it’s still strange, isn’t it? That the students from Class D would come along and butt-in to something that they should be entirely unrelated to?”
With a cheerful, yet piercing look in his eyes, Hashimoto continued:
“Isn’t it possible… that you guys in Class D are ones actually spreading the rumors?”
“You’re full of shit! We already know that Sakayanagi is the one behind the rumors!!!”
“Oh, so you’re jumping to conclusions now? It may be true that the leader of our class is belligerent. There are indeed also times where she heedlessly provokes Ichinose. It’s not like I can’t understand where you’re coming from, but you’re reading too much into it and arbitrarily deciding that she’s the source of the rumors. Honestly, it’s really none of your business anyway. You don’t actually have any proof it was Sakayanagi now, do you?”
Ishizaki was frustrated with Hashimoto’s response, but there was nothing incorrect about what he said. The letters that had been placed in all the mailboxes. The rumors that had been posted online. There was no conclusive evidence tying Sakayanagi to any of it. Though, I was eighty to ninety percent certain that she really was behind it all.
“Which is why I came here today. To question you guys about whether or not you’re the ones that spread the rumors. However, I never expected that you guys would go and try to support Ichinose as well.”
Ishizaki and his friends responded to Hashimoto’s remark with glowering expressions. Understanding the situation he was in, Hashimoto let out a sigh.
“It’s no use playing stupid, Hashimoto. Not only did you guys go and spread rumors about Ichinose, but then you even had the nerve to go and stir up shit about us as well.”
“I see. So that’s the reason after all. You guys don’t really care about the stuff with Ichinose, do you? You’re just upset that Class D got swept up in the rumors. Oh yeah… I heard you were sent to juvie because of some stunt you pulled back in elementary school, isn’t that right, Ishizaki?”
The moment Hashimoto instigated him further, Ishizaki clearly snapped.
Hiyori hurriedly grabbed him by the wrist and held him back, preventing him from jumping at Hashimoto.
The rumor that Hashimoto brought up was one of the lies that had been written on the school forums.
Given the nature of that lie, Ishizaki’s anger was certainly justified.
This sort of outcome was inevitable.
Without showing any interest in stopping, Hashimoto continued:
“Anyways, I’m shocked that you guys are even able to come up with all those rumors. Ichinose’s situation aside, please, do tell me how you guys managed to find out so much about the people from other classes.”
“Stop fucking around Hashimoto!”
“Hold it Ishizaki!”
Thinking Hiyori wouldn’t be able to handle him on her own, Akito hurriedly spoke up to stop Ishizaki.
“Don’t butt in, Miyake! I can’t just stand by and let Class A bad mouth us like this!! I’ll send him flying!”
“Stop it Ishizaki. You’re just gonna hurt yourself. I know you’re confident in your fighting skills, but this isn’t the right place for that, okay?”
Kitō took a single step forward and readied his fists toward Ishizaki and Albert.
It looked like, depending on what happened next, he was willing to accept their challenge.
“Stop it. All of you. You know the school is very strict when it comes to fighting.”
From a fair distance away from them, Akito spoke up, attempting to calm things down.
“Well, that was true… until now.”
“It seems like the current student council president is willing to turn a blind eye to petty disputes, just like this one.”
Hashimoto closed the distance and threw a kick at Ishizaki, but Akito immediately intercepted the blow with his left arm.
“…Seriously? That student council president… Does he think he can just do anything he wants?”
Hashimoto’s words were hardly enough to guarantee that the ban on fighting had really been lifted.
So, he went to prove it by personally making the first move himself.
“Not bad, Miyake. It makes sense now why you were so confident that you could stop us from fighting.”
Hashimoto fell back and took his distance once again.
The atmosphere became even more tense and rigid than it was before.
Hiyori spoke up.
“Fighting still isn’t allowed.”
“I know. I didn’t come here to fight with you. That was just my way of proving to all of you that we’re more than capable of defending ourselves.”
“…Can I trust you?”
Looking Hiyori in the eyes, Hashimoto nodded, but none of us truly believed him.
“Give it up, Hiyori. This guy lies as easily as he breathes. No matter how you look at it, the rumors were spread by Class A. It’s obvious because Class A was the only Class that wasn’t included in the rumors.”
“That’s… Then isn’t there a chance that they aren’t at fault?”
“It’s just as Shiina-chan says. If we were the ones that posted the rumors, wouldn’t we have also posted some lies about Class A on the forums in order to avoid suspicion?”
“It’s hard to say. I don’t think that everyone in Class A would know that Sakayanagi is the main perpetrator for the rumors about Ichinose. If the class wasn’t informed ahead of time, when the rumors are spread, there would definitely be confusion.”
As Akito pointed this out, Hashimoto let out another sigh.
“Well, your deduction isn’t unreasonable, but in the end, it’s still probatio diabolica.”
His excuse was extremely suspicious, but ultimately, we had no evidence to disprove it. At the same time, it was also hard for him to prove his innocence.
“If we want to get information out of these guys, it looks like we have no choice but to talk with our fists.”
“Woah Woah, cool it Ibuki-chan. Picking a fight with us like that won’t accomplish anything, you know?”
“Telling me to stop after picking the fight yourself, well aren’t you full of it?”
“Class A doesn’t have anything to do with it. Believe me.”
With that, Hashimoto let out a laugh, but Ibuki was not smiling.
On the contrary, she seemed to be trying her hardest to hold back her rage.
Ibuki had fallen victim to the rumors posted on the school’s forums, just as Ishizaki had.
“You… Do you really think that you can look down on us just because Ryūen is no longer our leader!?”
Ishizaki finally reached the limit of his patience and pushed Akito aside.
Ibuki stepped forward to confront Hashimoto and Kitō right alongside him.
“Wait wait wait. Take it easy.”
“The rumors about Ichinose and the rumors about us. Get Sakayanagi to apologize for both of them.”
“You’re still misunderstanding something. We didn’t spread the rumors.”
“What a joke!”
Ishizaki forcefully kicked the nearby handrail.
Hashimoto began to understand that the situation was getting a bit out of control.
“…Then, what are you gonna do about it?”
“Isn’t it obvious? We’ll shut you up by force.”
“Are you serious?”
“Yep. If that sounds unpleasant, then you better go and get her to take back the rumors right now.”
“I’ve already told you countless times. We didn’t spread the rumors.”
Even though he continued to deny it, Hashimoto also understood that it wasn’t an excuse that the others would easily accept.
After all, the current state of affairs was essentially the same thing as Sakayanagi having declared war on Ichinose. It would be difficult for him to prove his innocence.
Hashimoto’s expression softened for a moment.
“Oh? What’s so funny?”
“Sorry, sorry. This is all just too absurd. I don’t understand what you want from me.”
Because Hashimoto wouldn’t acknowledge that Sakayanagi was the source of the rumors, he didn’t have any other option but to turn Ishizaki down.
“Then, I guess we’ll just have to go ask Sakayanagi herself.”
“You? Fat chance.”
Hashimoto dismissively waved his hand, as if to say ‘There’s no way that she’d bother with the likes of you.’
Before they all came here, Ishizaki must have reached out to Hashimoto because he knew there’d be no way for him to reach Sakayanagi directly in the first place.
“Kitō. We might not have any other choice.”
Reading the atmosphere, Hashimoto concluded that they wouldn’t get anywhere with peaceful conversation.
Kitō seemed to have already prepared himself for this outcome, as he smoothly transitioned into a fighting stance.
Immediately, Ishizaki yelled out a war cry and charged in, attempting to tackle Kitō.
At the same time, Ibuki attacked Hashimoto with a high-flying kick, but he ended up getting out of the way at the very last moment.
Due to her sudden, jumpy movements, Ibuki’s cellphone and student ID card fell out of her pocket.
Hashimoto realized that Ibuki was faster and stronger than he expected. His expression showed concern for the danger he was in, but was followed up by a look of genuine admiration.
“I seem to have forgotten… Ibuki-chan is more experienced at fighting than I remembered.”
“Stop it! All of you!”
Akito shouted out while picking her phone up off the ground.
However, the Class D students didn’t show any signs of stopping.
Ibuki didn’t seem to care in the slightest that her phone might’ve been damaged from the fall.
I reached out and picked up her ID card that had fallen near my feet.
My gaze suddenly fell upon the small photograph of Ibuki depicted on the card.
Of course, her expression in the picture was as stiff and unsociable as ever.
One particular detail on the card managed to catch my eye.
“What’s going on…?”
From beside me, Keisei spoke up, having heard my mumbling. I immediately shook my head to dismiss his question and temporarily put Ibuki’s student ID card into my pocket for safe keeping.
“No, it’s nothing. More importantly, it seems like stopping this fight should be our top priority.”
“You say to stop the fight… but how?”
The situation had already developed into a two-on-two, and the second round was just about to begin.
“Exactly. It doesn’t seem like we should get involved.”
“It’s dangerous, Kiyotaka-kun.”
Haruka and Airi spoke up as well, suggesting that we stay out of it.
“…That’s true. Then I guess it’s better to just let Akito handle it.”
In order to stop the next exchange of blows, Akito forced himself between Ishizaki and Hashimoto.
“Don’t get in my way, Miyaki!”
Ishizaki attempted to push him aside with brute force, but Akito seized him by the hand and forced him down to the ground.
“You bastard! Let go of me!”
“I’m sorry Ishizaki. It’s nothing personal.”
Ibuki kicked out once again, aiming for Akito’s head.
Akito quickly got off of Ishizaki, narrowly dodging Ibuki’s kick at the same time, but the whole affair caused him to lose his balance.
Making use of the opening, Albert grabbed ahold of Akito from behind him.
“Hold him down Albert.”
Akito couldn’t resist Albert’s otherworldly strength, pinning him down from above.
Class D had concluded that they would win if the two-on-two played out without any obstructions.
Ishizaki called out to her as Kitō lunged forward, aiming for her neck.
“Don’t look down on me!”
She reacted quickly, kicking Kitō’s hand away.
“These guys are seriously fighting, aren’t they… What do we do?”
The four of us, watching from the sidelines, weren’t in any position to stop them.
“It can’t be helped now that things have progressed this far, but you lot from Class C are really getting in the way…”
While keeping tabs on Ishizaki as he got up off the ground, Hashimoto shifted his gaze over in our direction.
“We only happened to come here by chance, but I have something I want to say. Our friend Ayanokōji was a target of the rumors, just like Ishizaki and the others.”
Keisei appealed to Hashimoto with Airi nodding enthusiastically beside him.
“Hmm, now that you mention it… Something about him having a crush on Karuizawa, right? Isn’t that a lovely rumor?”
“I-it’s absolutely not lovely at all!”
The usually quiet Airi raised her voice in objection.
I spoke up after her, attempting to seem like I agreed with my friends on the matter.
“I hate to say it, but I suspect you as well, Hashimoto.”
“…I guess that makes sense. After all, I was the only one who saw you and Karuizawa meeting up together in secret a few days ago.”
Airi and Haruka immediately looked over at me.
“There’s nothing going on between us.”
“Really? B-but Kiyotaka-kun, I’ve been starting to think that… y-you and Karuizawa-san have been on pretty good terms with each other lately…”
Airi had been watching me carefully, so she should understand that much.
However, what was truly important here was for Hashimoto to hear this.
It was essential for him to know that other people know about my relationship with Kei.
At the time, we had used the excuse that I was just the middleman for the delivery of her Valentine’s day chocolates to her real crush. For that to happen, Kei and I would’ve had to have at least a certain degree of intimacy with each other in the first place.
His actions were an act, done for the sake of testing me. Taking the opportunity to evaluate how my classmates saw my relationship with Kei.
Hashimoto’s excellence had caused him to shut out many other possibilities.
Even though he had been keeping an eye on me, thanks to this testimony, he would now end up with an incorrect conclusion.
As a result, his suspicions about me would start to fade.
“I’m the one you’re dealing with right now, Hashimoto!”
“Good grief… This is getting rather troublesome.”
“Please don’t keep going on like this Ishizaki-kun. I won’t allow you to continue any further.”
Hiyori firmly declared her stance to Ishizaki.
Unable to completely disregard what she said, Ishizaki looked over to her with a troubled look on his face.
“Let’s suppose that you manage to beat Hashimoto-kun and Kitō-kun in a fight here and force them to confess to everything. That still wouldn’t be real evidence. I’m also fairly certain that the person that matters, Sakayanagi-san, won’t admit to anything at all. Isn’t the fact that we weren’t able to get him to admit to it more than enough?”
“So you expect us to just swallow our anger?”
“I know it seems unfair, but it is what it is. Please just bear with it for now.”
“Aren’t you the one that wanted us to come along with you in the first place? But then you ask us to stand down? That doesn’t make any sense.”
“I promise that I will make it up to all of you later.”
Amused by what he was hearing as he listened in on their conversation, Hashimoto let out a whistle.
“Hoooh? So you’re saying that Ishizaki isn’t the one who set up this meeting? It was all done by Shiina-chan instead?”
“Albert-kun. Please let Miyake-kun go as well.”
Following her directions, Albert slowly released Akito.
“We’ve gone and made all of you from Class C worry as well.”
As she spoke, Hiyori turned to us and deeply bowed her head.
“How selfish, wrapping up our conversation like this. Do we just have to accept the beating along with your baseless suspicions?”
“Could you please forgive us?”
Hiyori took Hashimoto’s complaints head-on. Hashimoto should understand that there was no benefit in dragging this confrontation out any longer.
“Well, it’s not like we were injured. Let’s call it a day this time, Kitō. But, please stop pointlessly doubting us. If you want to doubt us again, before you come to talk with us, please make sure you have undeniable proof first.”
Hiyori had managed to successfully get the situation under control before things got too out of hand, but now, Class A had gotten to the point where they wouldn’t be able to repair their relationship with the other classes.
Bleh. This part took me quite a while for many many reasons. The translation for this type of part is really hard and I sunk far more time than I expected into this, thus the late-ish release. The next part is rather short, so I should have it done by Friday or maybe a bit later or earlier than that. Not entirely sure about when I’ll have it to all of you, I just know that it will be soon.
For those interested: With this part translated, the 9th Volume is only 72% translated. There is still a decent chunk left to work through. We’re getting close, but there’s still much left to do.
I’m sorta losing interest in the content of V9, particularly regarding the stuff with the rumors that are being spread. I’m looking forward to it hopefully moving past this in the near future. Thanks to everyone helping me with these parts and all the support everyone. Your likes and comments mean a lot and give the motivation to keep working on this.
As always, let me know if you see any errors and have a good one!