Classroom of the Elite Y2V6 Chapter 3 Part 4
It was Monday again. Saturday turned out to be a big day, as I found out directly from Mii-chan and indirectly from Haruka via Akito that they were willing to start going to school again. But there was no guarantee that either of them would come to school, and now it was up to the strength of their wills.
As for Kushida, I hadn’t received a single message from Horikita regarding her as of this morning. If she were to come to class, I had no idea how both she and the rest of the class would react.
I reached the class at my usual time, took my seat and waited for the three of them to come to class.
After about a quarter of the class had come, the arrival of one person initially surprised the girls, but they then welcomed her with smiles. Mii-chan hesitantly entered the class.
She raised her head cautiously, ready and expecting to be teased. Those worries vanished when the girls warmly welcomed her without touching that topic at all.
And this boy, too, welcomed Mii-chan with a smile that hadn’t changed one bit. At this time, I didn’t know if a way forward had opened up for Mii-chan’s love. But even if it hadn’t started, it certainly hadn’t ended either. It was entirely within reason that, as they continued their school lives, there would be a watershed moment for the both of them.
After a while, Mii-chan still seemed slightly nervous, but the girls stuck with her and happily started chatting about what had happened at school last week.
And then, when most of our classmates had come, Haruka appeared. Akito was attending her by her side, and she seemed like she’d run off at any moment. In order to keep that from happening, he accompanied her to her seat. Keisei hesitated just a bit, but eventually he steeled himself, approached her seat and called out to her. When I’d changed seats, I never thought I’d be happy I wasn’t close to them.
Haruka glanced at me for a moment, but she quickly turned away and looked at her phone instead. After they saw that for themselves, Akito and Keisei said a couple of words and went back to their seats.
Mii-chan and Haruka had come to school. Both of them had friends who came to support them as they were suffering. For Mii-chan, it was many girls, and for Haruka it was Akito and Keisei. Even if they were few, she had people she could call close friends.
For now, we could assume that we’d dodged a major punishment from the school. However, Kushida was still left. What about her?
When there were only three minutes left for homeroom to start, Horikita entered the class alone, a stiff expression on her face. She glanced at Kushida’s seat once, took her own seat and stared directly at the board. Since she wasn’t in the lobby today, I thought she might’ve come through, but I guess it didn’t work out. Shinohara and some portion of the class were possibly getting the same idea as they looked at her from behind.
Before long, the bell rang and it was time for homeroom. Every seat except Kushida’s was occupied when Chabashira-sensei entered the classroom.
“Looks like the two of you are feeling better. I suppose it was just a long summer cold, but take care of your health from now on.”
She gave them a light warning, but didn’t scold them harshly when she confirmed their attendance.
“So Kushida is absent today. I haven’t heard from her either─”
At that moment, I heard the classroom door behind me slide open. The entrant was panting slightly, but they quickly recovered.
“I’m sorry, I’m late.”
Kushida entered the class, her voice calm.
“This is the first time you’re late, Kushida. You were absent for a long time, are you feeling okay now?”
“Yes. I will take care of myself moving forward.”
She answered smoothly, completely unfazed, and took her own seat. She didn’t speak to anybody and kept her gaze to the front of the class. The classroom had tensed up immediately, but they couldn’t carelessly speak to each other so the silence continued.
“I’m sure a lot has happened, but after a week everyone’s back together.” The class was still unstable, and Chabashira-sensei understood that, but she still nodded with satisfaction. “The Sports Festival is just around the corner. I am expecting all of you to make great strides and participate well.”
Homeroom ended after that, and the class immediately erupted. Needless to say, it was the effect of Kushida coming back to school. Every student looked at Kushida as if she was a tumor. Would she continue to maintain her silence, or would she put on her usual smile? Or maybe, would she bare her fangs again? For now, I quietly got up from my seat, intending to go out into the hallway.
The door was closed, so I opened it just a bit. It wouldn’t do if our internal matters were to leak to the other classes. So I’d thought, but─
I’m keeping watch. Don’t worry.
I got that message on my phone. I poked my head out of the door, and after spotting me, Chabashira-sensei nodded once in response. After confirming that, I closed the door so nobody would notice. Chabashira-sensei was covering for us, doing all she could as a teacher.
Nobody moved, as the situation became one where anything could happen. Horikita was just about to pull her chair when Kushida preempted her and got up. That move of hers could be seen as a threat, “Don’t stick your nose here.”
The first person Kushida went to was Mii-chan, whose seat was close to hers. At long last, Mii-chan had returned to school, but now she was frozen like a deer in headlights.
“I heard from Horikita-san that you’ve been absent because of me.”
“”Um, er, erm…”
“Do you hate me?”
“N-No, it’s not like that─”
“It isn’t as if you have to like me, Wang-san. I can’t change the fact that I ended up exposing your secret to everyone, and I don’t intend to get along with you either. Well, not that I needed to say that, I suppose.”
I don’t intend to get along with you.
While her tone itself was gentle, her intense statement made Mii-chan stiffen up even more. The many students watching Kushida grew doubtful, unhappy and anxious of her. Normally, that alone would’ve been enough to shake someone, but it did not affect Kushida in the slightest.
“I’m not going to say you should understand what I was feeling at that time, but that was my only choice back then. I apologize for making you a target of that, Wang-san.”
She bowed deeply after saying that. I very strongly got the impression that these weren’t her true feelings, and she was only doing this out of a sense of obligation, but at least she didn’t seem malicious.
“Shinohara-san, Matsushita-san and the others, I’m sorry I bothered you too. Looks like you’ve managed to patch things up.”
Now that she mentioned it, Shinohara’s and Matsushita’s groups were close now. Over the weekend, Yousuke, Sudou and the rest must’ve worked to bring them together again.
“You think an apology is enough?”
Shinohara shot back a rather rough reply, keeping Kushida at bay.
“I don’t think so, but we can’t start without one at least, can we?”
“That’s… anyway, is that how you apologize?”
“Who knows? At the very least, this is who I really am.”
The facade she had maintained until now, Kushida the Angel, did not exist any more. That fact alone, and the associated tension, should’ve gotten through loud and clear to the entire class.
“For the time being, I’m planning to continue to maintain the facade I had until now to some extent. That way, depending on the circumstances, I can even gather information from the other classes. But if any of you in the class are going to stand in my way while I do that, I’m fine with not doing it too.”
It didn’t matter how much Kushida tried to keep up appearances—if people from inside the class interfered, she wouldn’t be able to build connections.
“I’ll leave it to you all to decide whether or not I should use the arsenal I’ve built up.”
If Kushida was the kind of girl who cherished her friends and was afraid of being alone, secluding her would be a way of getting back at her. But Kushida wasn’t being passive, and instead she showed an aggressive attitude.
“And if anybody comes at me with hostility, I won’t show any mercy, no matter who they are. I’ve only exposed a small portion of your secrets during the Special Exam. I’m sure many other people have things they want to keep secret, right?”
She dispassionately muttered, directing her threat to no one in particular but to the entire class.
“But I promise you just one thing. Unless I fall, I won’t even try to expose any other secrets. I’m not doing it for the class, I’m doing it for myself. So that I can graduate in Class A. It’s my final line of defense, so that I don’t lose my value as myself.”
Since she was resented, distrusted and disliked by her classmates, depending on circumstances, she could end up being on the side that gets thrown away. To keep that from happening, she wasn’t going to reveal any more secrets, but if someone stabbed her in the back she wouldn’t show them any mercy.
She told us how she would protect herself and, at the same time, promised to contribute to the class. Kushida Kikyou would easily be in the top tier in terms of overall status. At the very least, in academic or physical subjects, she wouldn’t hold the class back.
“Hasebe-san. Are you okay with that?”
Kushida tried speaking to Haruka, who hadn’t moved an inch from her seat and hadn’t even looked at her. But Haruka didn’t respond, and continued staring out of the window.