Classroom of the Elite Y2V6 Chapter 4 Part 2
ED & TLC: d3nj4l
October had finally arrived, and the main event of the Sports Festival drew closer.
Kei and I had come to Keyaki Mall after school for a date.
The intense gazes of the 3rd year students were the same as ever. Despite getting caught in the crossfire, Kei gave off no impression of caring. Looks like she wasn’t just paying lip service when she said she was used to it already.
It seemed like Kei had a few stores she wanted to visit today. For starters, we headed to the home electronics store.
“What do you intend to buy?”
“Eh? I don’t really want anything though? Ah, well, it’s not that I don’t want anything, but we didn’t come here for my sake today.”
Not for her own sake, was her response. So it must be for someone else.
“Isn’t it gonna be your birthday soon? I was thinking of surprising you, but then I thought getting you something you really want would be good.”
Now that you mention it, my birthday is coming up.
“I was thinking we could walk around and find something you want.”
Of late, I do remember Kei repeatedly asking if there was anything I’ve been meaning to buy, but I’d often reply with whatever came to mind since I had not been thinking too deeply about it. Because of that, it seems like Kei thought of finding a present I would want with me.
“You’ll have to spend private points, you know?”
It wasn’t like Kei had saved up a lot of money.
“I know what you mean, but I think it’s alright for your birthday. Just get what you like!”
She was bent on buying whatever I wanted, but that wouldn’t do.
I say that, but in this situation, I know that telling her I didn’t want anything would be the wrong answer. I could also tell that she wouldn’t be satisfied if I asked for something extremely cheap.
I’ll pick something that wouldn’t make Kei’s wallet suffer.
That’s the kind of response this scene called for.
“I know exactly what you’re thinking, you knooow?”
She stared at me with a relentless gaze and forcibly linked our arms.
“I’ll buy what, you, want! Got it?”
At the very least, I should keep the burden on her low and not buy something that I don’t really need.
Just as we started walking with our arms linked, Kei snuggled her cheek on my arm.
“Ehehe. I’m so happy”
She said as she hugged my arm harder.
“There’s nothing I’m hiding from you anymore. I’ve let you know anything and everything about me. I never thought that there would be someone more important to me than my mom and dad.”
Her face turned red and her eyes narrowed in true happiness.
“Kiyotaka, you hiding anything from me is a no-no too, you got that?”
Hidden things. I wonder what she was referring to.
My family. The White Room. The things I’m trying to do at school.
My relationship with my friends or my romantic feelings.
If she was referring to any of them, then there was nothing there that I could say was not hidden. To put it in another way, I haven’t told Kei anything true about me at all.
While we were walking around the store, talking about the products and dilly dallying, we ran into Satou, who had come to the store alone. When we bumped into each other, her eyes were glued onto our linked arms.
“Lo, Lovey dovey aren’t you. Sorry for bothering yooouuu”
“Ah, wai- wait a minute!?”
Kei tried to stop her, but Satou had run off at full speed.
Kei facepalmed at her blunder.
“You’re still being considerate to Satou?”
“It’s not really that… but it really isn’t a nice feeling, you know…”
“If that’s the case, the next time we’re out we should refrain from linking arms.”
Although she felt sorry for her friend, it seemed like she wouldn’t give that up.
While walking around the rice cooker and kettle corner, we ran into Ishizaki and Albert.
At that moment, I could feel Kei’s hold on my arm tighten slightly.
“On a date with Karuizawa? You guys are even linking arms… such normies…”
Ishizaki was looking at us with envy, but my attention was on Albert, who was standing next to him holding a large, branded pot. It was curious because the large pot didn’t seem so large in Albert’s large hands.
“Oh, this? The 20th of this month is Ryuuen-san’s birthday. We’re just picking something out for him.”
“Eh? The 20th… you guys have the same birthday?”
Kei was surprised and a little wary as she looked up at me.
“This is the first I’ve heard of it.”
“Who has the same birthday?”
Just as Ishizaki indirectly shifted his gaze to Karuizawa, Kei glared at him and took a small step back to hide.
“What’s wrong, I’m asking you to tell me───”
At that moment, Albert placed his hand lightly on Ishizaki’s shoulder. Finally, it seemed like Ishizaki figured out the reason Karuizawa was on her guard.
“… ah, that’s, right…”
I could hear him mutter, “Damn it.”
Even though it was on Ryuuen’s orders, Ishizaki had participated in calling Kei to the rooftop and bullying her. Naturally, Kei wouldn’t be comfortable around Ishizaki.
Annoyed at his own insensitivity, Ishizaki clicked his tongue and lightly hit his head with a clenched fist.
“I’m… sorry. I think I should have said it earlier… I, on the rooftop───”
“Don’t talk about that here.”
Ishizaki was about to apologize, but he still lacked the delicacy to do so appropriately. This was Keyaki Mall. At any time, it wouldn’t be strange to run into someone you knew. In this situation, Kei wouldn’t want him to broach the topic of the rooftop.
If we had just moved away from them this problem would be solved, but so long as our relationship continued, the number of times she would get mixed up with Ishizaki wouldn’t be small.
“Let’s go someplace else.”
Even inside the well-trafficked Keyaki mall, there were more than a few hidden corners.
Although Kei seemed dissatisfied, arms still linked she came along without a word.
Albert returned the product back to its shelf and came along with Ishizaki.
Precisely because they both felt sorry, they wanted to apologize.
By an emergency exit, we would be a good distance from the shops, and other students wouldn’t show up or hear our voices.
Even if an acquaintance did show up, our location meant that if we stopped the conversation, there wouldn’t be a problem.
“I’m very sorry! And for not apologizing for all this time!”
“… you don’t have to. It would be troubling even if you did. In fact, it just makes me more irritated.”
“You guys were beaten to a pulp by Kiyotaka, and since you lost you have no choice but to apologize.”
“Well, that’s.. not…”
“If Kiyotaka didn’t come to the rooftop… or if he lost to you guys, you wouldn’t apologize like this. Am I wrong? You guys are just annoying me.”
There was logic in Kei calling it weird and troubling.
Although there have been instances where I’ve interacted with Ishizaki and Albert since then, that’s mostly because of what happened on the roof. The hypothetical Kei mentioned was not unreasonable.
“I know that there’s nothing I can do if you blame me, but…”
“I’m not really blaming you. The strong being on top is natural. I hated being at the bottom too, so in order to be on top I took this high and mighty attitude. Isn’t that right?”
Kei and Ishizaki had similar natures, but to different degrees. If you can’t beat them, join them. That’s the kind of sense of values they had.
“I get what you’re trying to say. But – since we’ve also started to interact, there is something I do understand, if only a little: Ishizaki has definitely matured in a good way.”
“What’s this good way? It seems to me like he hasn’t changed at all?”
“Well, at the end of the day it’s just how I feel, but I think that if Ryuuen right now asked Ishizaki to do to someone else the same thing they did to you, Ishizaki would not simply obey.”
“Really? I don’t think he would go against Ryuuen, though.”
That was probably right on the mark, as Ishizaki was at a loss for words.
Unable to say a thing, his frustration boiled over, so Ishizaki struck his own knees with his palms. Seeing Ishizaki like that, Kei sighed.
“That’s enough. Right now, you are Kiyotaka’s friend, right? I won’t forgive you but I will stop blaming you.”
“Is- is that alright?”
“I’ve already said it, haven’t I? It’s over, got it?
Ishizaki raised his head in happiness.
“Umm… So about that. Earlier, whose birthday was it?
Ishizaki asked her again. Kei still didn’t trust him fully yet, but she pointed her index finger at me.
“Eh? Really? Ayanokouji’s birthday is also October 20th!?
Ishizaki was shocked beyond words.
“This is fate, isn’t it!?”
“What fate, there’s more than 400 people in this school, it’s not strange that there are some people with the same birthday.”
“But, isn’t it amazing that it’s Ayanokouji and Ryuuen?”
Ishizaki was overjoyed over a simple coincidence. As Kei said, it wasn’t strange, but for some reason even Albert looked a little happy.
“Can we return to the store now?”
“Ah! Right! Wait a sec!”
His voice was so loud that Kei, annoyed, plugged her fingers into her ears.
“I have a suggestion – if it’s okay with you, why don’t we celebrate both their birthdays together? Ryuuen-san’s and Ayanokouji’s double birthday party, won’t it be amazing?”
No, from the moment I heard that suggestion, I did not for a second think it would be amazing…
I tried to imagine it, but I couldn’t really picture it well.
“If he apologizes, I’m okay?”
“I said if that guy, Ryuuen lowers his head then I accept.”
Her response was a pretense to refuse.
Ishisaki’s jaw dropped. Then he realized how difficult it would be, and his mouth changed to look like へ.
“Ryuuen won’t apologize to me, right?
“Eh? Well yeah, that’s definitely not happening……”
It might have been impossible for Ishizaki to even suggest it to Ryuuen. Ishizaki was stunned, but gathering his determination, he pursed his lips with great force.
“If both of you agree, then I will suggest it to him!”
“You probably shouldn’t?”
A beating was probably waiting for him if he did that. Ryuuen was a well known figure in our year, so that was the image that came to our minds.
“I’ll do something about it! If I can get the promise of an apology, it’ll be a birthday party!”
“Well… if you can really make it happen I’ll think about it…”
Ishizaki was overflowing with his passion and even this cheap promise wouldn’t bring down his mood.
Maybe I should also clearly reject this idea.
It’s true that Ishizaki has been able to express his intentions more strongly of late. Furthermore, judging from the fact that he didn’t expel anyone during the Unanimous Consent Special Test, it was also true that Ryuuen’s way of thought was beginning to change.
However, I shouldn’t read into it as proof of whether that was his instinct or his real intentions. Even if you want to change, humans don’t change that easily.
And Ryuuen wasn’t trying to change, he was trying to evolve.
Being a man who has only fought using evil, he has simply started to use good too. He was beginning to freely control what happened both above and below the table.
If Ishizaki’s read on him was wrong, then───
“I think you should probably stop.”
Kei tried to stop him, but Ishizaki’s resolve wouldn’t be broken.
“If Ryuuen says he will apologize, it’s fine right?”
“I understand! On top of that, let me apologize again. I’ll get you something that I put even more effort into than I put into Ryuuen-san’s present!”
Having lost to Ishizaki’s energy, Kei hesitantly agreed, saying “Okay, I get it.”
“Done! First, let’s go look for Ryuuen-san’s birthday present!”
Albert nodded, and he and Ishizaki went back towards the mega mart before us. They clearly understood that the two of us could not go with them.
“Why did you accept Ishizaki’s idea? I thought you would shoot him down.”
Accepting the honest apology was one thing, but she had never thought I’d choose to meet Ishizaki and the others on my birthday.
“I mean, for me, being together on your birthday, just the two of us would be great… but……”
“Are you betting on the chance that Ryuuen will apologize?”
“That’s impossible. It’s not that…….”
Kei turned around and looked at Albert and Ishizaki as they were walking away from us. Ishizaki was happily talking to Albert.
“I could feel that Ishizaki-kun likes being your friend. Even Kiyotaka needs friends, you know.”
I quickly realized that she was referring to the fact that the Ayanokouji group was in pieces.
Kei realized I had guessed what she was thinking and turned away, her face bright red.
“Also? Ishizaki-kun did say he would once again apologize, and I just thought it wouldn’t be a bad thing to accept that.”
That side of her that wasn’t honest was somehow very Kei.
But, it was more likely that it wouldn’t come true. It was better to take Ishizaki’s proposal with a grain of salt.
Like this the days passed till the day of the Sports Festival.