Classroom of the Elite Volume 15 Chapter 5 Part 2
It was the morning of day thirteen, and I noticed something unusual when my first designated area, C3, was announced at 7:00 AM.
These days, I had gotten into the habit of starting things off with a GPS Search, checking the positions of those I’d be competing with for the Early Bird Bonuses.
Upon doing so, I noticed that Utomiya, Tsubaki, and Yagami, three noteworthy first-years, had all gathered up together. It wasn’t particularly unusual to see Utomiya and Yagami together given that they were in the same group, but Tsubaki’s added presence bothered me a bit. Furthermore, none of their other group members seemed to be nearby either.
Reminded of Nanase’s warning, I had the feeling that the first-years would probably attempt to ambush me today.
First-year groups were still scattered all across the island, but their concentration and positions had changed drastically since I last checked yesterday evening. Quite a large number of groups had amassed in areas D4 and E6, effectively surrounding me.
“So they’ve started to move, huh?”
As vast as this uninhabited island may be, if my opponents were to make full use of the GPS Search, avoiding a head-on confrontation with them would be difficult. I had figured out that Nanase and I shared the same table in only a few days. So, needless to say, it was safe to assume that they had already figured out which designated area I’d been assigned as well.
With that being the case, my best choice was to simply not go to area C3. However, taking on a penalty during these final few days of the exam would be incredibly risky as well.
I had missed my last two designated areas yesterday. So, while it was unclear whether or not they knew about that when they decided to attack me today, their timing definitely couldn’t have been better. If I didn’t make it to the remaining seven, there was no telling how far my rank would drop…
“It seems they have a solid grasp on how to fight, I’ll give them that.”
They had made the right choice by not trying to make a move late at night or early in the morning. If they had tried something in the dead of night when visibility was poor and I ended up escaping, it would’ve become impossible to catch me no matter how many GPS Searches they did. Conversely, had they tried early this morning, they would’ve had a hard time coming up with a battle plan since they wouldn’t know where my designated area was.
Anyway, there were certainly more of them than I had anticipated. I had considered that Hōsen and some of the other more influential first-years might try to pull something, but this went well beyond my expectations.
Hōsen himself was still located in area D4, just as he had been the night before. I’d probably cross paths with him if I decided to go to my designated area.
If I were to be attacked by the first-years, the school would most likely protect me. Yet, at the same time, the entire school would label me as someone unsettling and strange.
And as a result, I would lose any chance I had at reaching my goal of leading an ordinary student life.
Even the many teachers who knew nothing about me would probably start to think of me as someone abnormal.
Heading to a Task site would help guarantee my safety since there would be teachers around, but it wouldn’t be a very good idea to allow my pursuers to close in on me while I stayed put in one place like that.
There was always the option of traveling together with another student, but I should operate under the assumption that the first-years weren’t the only ones I had to worry about. Since the third-years were under Nagumo’s direct control, they could very well be out to get me as well.
In a sense, the only option I had right now was to stay on the run until my pursuers ran out of energy and gave up.
I spent ten minutes or so packing up my tent and getting everything ready, after which I ran another GPS Search. This time, it was abundantly clear that the first-years’ GPS signals were rapidly closing in on my location.
Nanase had warned me that it would turn violent, and ultimately, her warning had proven true.
The one behind this operation was clearly undaunted by the prospect of expulsion. Whoever they might be, the mastermind was probably willing to take full responsibility should something go wrong.
If that was truly the case, then I needed to avoid getting involved in any direct confrontations, even if it meant missing every single designated area announced today.
Given that I was surrounded by both rivers and mountains, I felt tempted to escape by crossing up and over the mountain range. However, the rough terrain made that route less than ideal. Although it would still be dangerous, I’d probably be better off looking to escape through the south.
As long as I stayed far enough away from my designated areas, the enemy most likely wouldn’t pursue me too deeply.
And so, with my route decided on, I retrieved a certain something from my backpack and headed out.