Turning back time to the very day the supplemental exam was first announced, long before Ichinose made up her mind about accepting Nagumo’s condition… Unlike the other classes, Class A welcomed the supplemental exam with open arms. This was because they had managed to make a decision before any of the other classes. “The rest is for you to discuss amongst yourselves. Just make sure to come to a decision by the day of the vote.” Class A’s homeroom teacher, Mashima, finished his explanation of the upcoming exam. The remaining class time had been provided for the students to hold their discussion, and Sakayanagi started the conversation without even standing up from her seat. “For this exam, I think it’d be wonderful if we had Katsuragi-kun take his exit.” Sakayanagi made her nomination without the slightest bit of hesitation. Katsuragi remained completely still; his eyes shut and arms crossed before him. “Wha… What do you mean!? That doesn’t seem fair!” The only one to show any form of resistance was Totsuka Yahiko, a loyal follower of Katsuragi. “Stop it, Yahiko.” And yet, Katsuragi flatly rejected Totsuka’s attempts to speak up for him. “B-but, Katsuragi-san!” “I fully intend to accept what’s coming to me.” “There don’t seem to be any objections. Or rather… there doesn’t seem to be any room for objections, isn’t that right everyone?” The majority of Class A had already joined the Sakayanagi faction. There were certainly a handful of which who weren’t keen on doing so, but they weren’t so dissatisfied that they would consider rebelling against her. In favor of securing a safe graduation for themselves, they would continue to side with Sakayanagi. Due to his blind faith in Katsuragi, Totsuka was the only one who tried to oppose her. Such actions were meaningless. Katsuragi understood this better than anyone. “Well then, let’s take a vote by a show of hands. Should you have no misgivings with expelling Katsuragi-kun in the vote this weekend, then by all means, please feel free to raise your hand.” The students of Class A all raised their hands in unison. Excluding Totsuka, Katsuragi, and Sakayanagi, all 37 students approved. Mashima quietly looked away, as though he had already foreseen it turning out this way. “With results like this, it seems that the discussion is over, wouldn’t you say?” “Are you really just going to accept this!?” “It’s fine, Yahiko.”
Even though Totsuka opposed Sakayanagi until the very end, Katsuragi didn’t even try to speak up for himself. “The contract I signed with Class D is still in effect. As a result, Class A has been needlessly sending private points to Ry?en every month. I’m simply taking responsibility.” “B-but we got class points because of that, didn’t we!? It wasn’t a complete waste! Besides, since Class D has to expel someone as well, they might end up choosing to expel Ry?en! If that happens, the contract will be annulled even if we don’t expel Katsuragi-san!” Totsuka frantically pieced together an argument. “Don’t go thinking that you can do anything you want just because you’re the class’s leader!” “Totsuka, that’s enough.” Totsuka was the only one getting heated, so Katsuragi reined him in for a second time. His tone, much stronger than before. “Katsuragi-san…!” Katsuragi strove to maintain his composure, even though he should’ve been more troubled than anyone. Moved by his resolve, Totsuka hung his head and returned to his seat. “I personally wouldn’t mind if he kept going, you know? It was an interesting speech.” “It’s fine. I have no objections with the plan to expel me.” “Is that so? Well then, let’s act in consideration of Katsuragi-kun’s wishes.” After less than five minutes of discussion, Class A had reached a consensus. The class then proceeded to pass its time as usual, as though the supplemental exam didn’t exist at all. Excusing himself from his seat, Katsuragi made his way out of the classroom to be alone. Naturally, Totsuka went rushing after him immediately afterward. “Katsuragi-san, are you seriously okay with being expelled!?” “…It can’t be helped. In an exam like this one, influential students have an overwhelming advantage. Even if I put up a fight, I wouldn’t be able to overcome the censure votes I’d get from the Sakayanagi faction.” “B-but, there has to be some students who are unsatisfied with Sakayanagi. If we gathered everyone togeth-” “You have helped me many times so far, and for that, I’m truly grateful.” “Katsuragi-san…” “That said, after I’m gone, you should align yourself with Sakayanagi. If you foolishly go against her, her next target will be you, Yahiko.” Katsuragi knew this better than anyone, which was why he wanted to prevent Totsuka from clashing with Sakayanagi. “Those are the final words of advice I have for you.” “…Dammit…!” Totsuka, face warped in frustration, could do nothing but frantically nod in agreement.