Classroom of the Elite Y2V6 Chapter 6 Introduction
TL: d3nj4l, heero14
It was around 11 AM. My window was closed, but I could faintly hear cheers from outside. Seems like the Sports Festival was getting pretty exciting.
Things hadn’t been perfect, but despite that the class had been working hard to win. They will be able to do well when facing off against the other classes and other years. That’s what I’d determined, and that is why I was able to sit this sports festival out without hesitation.
I’ve made all the arrangements I wanted to, so I’ll be leaving the rest in Director Sakayanagi’s hands. Him being the director didn’t necessarily mean I could blindly trust him, but if he betrayed me, that would in effect mean there was no way for me to remain in this school. So it was an easy decision to make.
All that’s left is how the sports festival would unfold for the second year students, and what would come out of it. One of the biggest factors for our victory would be Sakayanagi’s participation or lack thereof. I wonder what happened with that.
I looked at the entrance once. I’d played a strategy to try and contain her… but if it worked, I should’ve seen the results by now. I was concerned about a few things, but just like the status of the sports festival, at this point I could only wait.
It’s about time I get started on making lunch—. Just as I thought that, the doorbell rang.
Well then. Will this be a welcome guest or an unwelcome one? Until I’ve answered the door, I won’t be able to know that.
They called, while I was watching the front door, still keeping my distance. I guess they had anticipated my caution. I let my guard down slightly and put my hand on the doorknob. A few hypothetical scenarios ran through my mind, but if they got into this dormitory you could say I’d already lost.
On the other side of the door was nobody except Sakayanagi, dressed in her casual clothes. She smiled at me.
“If you don’t mind, may I bother you for a moment? Even though the only thing I’m prohibited from doing is leaving the dorms, calling on a guy’s room during the sports festival is a bit questionable.”
“Coming inside my room would be even more questionable, I’d say.”
Despite that, I didn’t turn Sakayanagi away and welcomed her inside.
“My apologies for bothering you.”
Due to her disability, Sakayanagi slowly took off her shoes and walked into the room.
“Come to think of it, this is the first time you’ve come to my room, Sakayanagi.”
“I don’t usually get a chance to visit. Have you had lunch yet?”
“I was just about to get started making it.”
“Is that so? That’s great. Here, I have a present for you.”
She handed me a small plastic bag.
“I bought this at the convenience store early this morning. It seems to be a new product, so I thought we might as well try it together.”
I looked into the bag and saw two small mont blancs inside. Coffee would go well with the mont blancs, so I should brew some.
“Feel free to sit on the bed, it would be better than sitting on the floor.”
“Thank you for your consideration.”
After having her sit on the bed, I went to the kitchen and poured some water into a kettle from the faucet.
“I don’t suppose you came here on a whim.”
I said nonchalantly. Sakayanagi laughed, bemused by it.
“Normally, one never knows who is in the dorm. Being the leader of Class A, I couldn’t possibly just visit your room by myself, Ayanokouji-kun.”
Anyone would be surprised by that and get suspicious. That is why usually Sakayanagi would never do something like meeting me in the dorm. Until today, at this time.
“You really are a terrible person, Ayanokouji-kun. This was part of your strategy, wasn’t it?”
“Strategy? What do you mean?”
“Fufu, you don’t need to play dumb, Ayanokouji-kun. You were almost sure—no, let me correct myself. You were sure I’d come here today, weren’t you?”
Considering Sakayanagi, she didn’t need to think too hard to know that this was a trap.
“During this sports festival, our Class A is starting with a disadvantage because of our smaller numbers. And while we have promising students such as Kitou-kun and Hashimoto-kun, on average we aren’t as good as Horikita-san’s class. In that case, what we need to do in order to win is to determine who participates in what competition, and to adjust the schedule moment to moment while observing where our rivals are participating during the actual event.”
I switched on the kettle and the water inside quietly started to boil. Then I grabbed a jar of ground coffee from the cupboard, along with cups and a filter.
“You wouldn’t know how it would play out if I were to participate.”
“You have a very high opinion of yourself, as usual.”
“If the other classes want to ensure they win against Class A, making me not participate is the most important thing to do.”
The Sports Festival calls for people to work on a precise schedule. Sakayanagi would be able to mentally organize her people, appropriately distribute them across events and then direct them accordingly. Further, managing participation in competitions that involved students from other school years was almost her speciality.
“Last night, I heard from my father that he had requested you to take a leave, Ayanokouji-kun, so that he could arrange for security at the dormitory and prevent any contact with the people sent from the White Room.”
“It’s true that I’m sitting out the Sports Festival because Director Sakayanagi asked me to do so, but I never imagined he would tell his daughter about that.”
“How funny! Didn’t you ask him to tell me about this, Ayanokouji-kun?”
Oh, she’s seen through my move as if it was nothing.
Director Sakayanagi would never violate the separation of his professional and private matters, even when it came to his own daughter. Which is why I’d asked Director Sakayanagi to tell her what the state of affairs was without letting her know that I’d done so.
I told him that he should let her know in advance, since it was likely that she would skip the Sports Festival due to her health, and in the unlikely possibility that I had some trouble with the White Room, she shouldn’t get caught up in it. Sakayanagi had been planning to participate as the leader of Class A, but I doubt the Director was aware of that. Even if he was, it would’ve been safer for him to tell her so if she had to take the day off on short notice, it would still be fine. Given she was his own daughter, he would’ve known it was likely she’d stick her nose into it.
But there is one thing that even Director Sakayanagi doesn’t know, which is that it wasn’t easy to suppress Sakayanagi’s instincts and curiosity. And so, if I happened to stay home, it wouldn’t be strange for her to think of it as an opportunity to have a nice, long chat with me without anybody interrupting.
Which turned out to be exactly what she thought, and she nonchalantly showed up at the most dangerous place there was, that is, my room.
“So you decided to come just before 12 only to make me worry?”
“I tried being a little mean. I wanted you to think that maybe I’d ignored your strategy and was participating in the Sports Festival.”
“Oh, I see.”
“By the way, except me and you, everyone is participating in the Sports Festival.”
Someone from Sakayanagi’s information network must have checked who was participating from all the classes and told her via phone before the Sports Festival started. In that way, too, she was not cutting any corners.
“I wanted to be mean, but to be honest, I also wanted to visit just a little sooner,” she said. Just then, the water in the kettle starter started to boil noisily. “Just now, I went down to the lobby and checked how things were outside.”
As I was being treated as if I’d taken a sick day, I was completely prohibited from leaving my room. On the other hand, while Sakaynagi was not allowed to leave the dorm, she hadn’t taken a sick day. Even if they warned her for walking around outside her room, the act itself wouldn’t go against the reason for her leave.
“So how were things on the first floor?”
“There were three people there, seemingly bodyguards. It wasn’t just at this dorm, and they were stationed across the whole school, so it didn’t appear unnatural.”
Even though they were protecting me, the security people were only there to protect the government officials.
“The most valuable player of this Sports Festival isn’t Horikita san, for her proposal to cooperate with Ryuuen-kun, nor is it Ryuuen for accepting it. It was you, for authoritatively saying that you could definitely keep me from participating. Congratulations, with just that one thing you sealed your victory.”
“But we don’t know what the results will be yet.”
“While a late surprise is certainly possible, it is highly unlikely. Right now, with Horikita’s class taking them head on, and Ryuuen’s class taking every measure possible, Class A must be at their mercy. Even if one has great arms or legs, without a head one won’t get anywhere. That is because I’ve built up the class that way.”
You could say the same about Ryuuen. The problem here is that the head of the class is too strong. When the leader resolves every issue, conversely it also means that without the leader, nothing is resolved.
“Well, that’s fine. This time, I paid 150 points to enjoy some time with Ayanokouji-kun.”
It’s almost like she wasn’t even bothered by the damage Class A would take.
“You sure have no objection to losing class points.”
“The systems of this school are, to me, just an extension of playtime. To some extent, so long as I keep our status at Class A, there’s no problem.”
At long last, I took the mont blancs out of the bag and plated them. I placed two cups next to them and poured hot water from the kettle into them through a filter with coffee powder on it.
“You seem used to this by now.”
“It’s not a big deal, something like this .”
“Is every step of preparing something like this fresh and fun for you, Ayanokouji-kun?”
Sakayanagi must have been aware that I had never done this kind of thing in the White Room.
“Everything in this school is like that. I just wanted to do normal things, that’s all.”
At any rate, what Sakayanagi had said earlier was still stuck in my mind.
“So you do have the desire to remain as Class A. Is it just your pride?”
I asked her as I put some milk and packets of sugar at the table.
“Initially, I was not obsessed about Class A or anything like that. But after finding out that you were in this school, it became my goal. Because maybe, after you lead your class to Class B, you’d seriously fight me.”
To put it simply, she was waiting for me at the top.
“In the first term of the first year, Class D had lost all their points. However, after a point, they started to gain points, and finally they have risen to Class B. Of course, the reason for that must be that you were acting behind the scenes, Ayanokouji-kun.”
She said happily and freely, almost as if she was bragging about herself.
She picked up a plate with a mont blanc from the table and put it on her lap.
“Let’s eat it together, Ayanokouji-kun.”
She prompted me to sit down next to her, and with no reason to refuse I sat down on the bed. I don’t know what she was thinking, because then she scooped up some of the mont blanc with a fork and held it out at me.
“… What do you mean, ‘here’?”
“Isn’t it obvious? Eat it!”
“No, I get it, but…”
“There’s nothing to worry about. It’s just you and me here, Ayanokouji-kun, and nobody will get in our way.”
I thought she had some ulterior motives, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
I took the fork in my mouth and a sweet aroma filled it. Surprisingly, this might’ve been my first time having a mont blanc.
“Is it good?”
To be entirely honest, I didn’t like the taste all that much. Personally, a simple shortcake would taste better. That’s what I thought. But I’m not going to criticize a present.」
I simply said it was good. Sakayanagi smiled a bit.
“Then I’ll have some too.”
Unfazed by using the same fork she’d fed me with, she scooped a portion for herself and tried it.
“It doesn’t stand a chance against the sweets at the café, but for a sweet from a convenience store it makes the grade.”
Satisfied, she nodded and then held the fork out to me again.
Since both of us were eating the same one, we quickly finished the first mont blanc.
“Next time, I’ll bring a different cake.”
“Your response suggested you didn’t like it very much, Ayanokouji-kun.”
“… Hm, but I just normally said it was good.”
“I’m very proud of how perceptive I am, especially when it comes to you, Ayanokouji-kun.”
I never thought she could figure out I didn’t like it very much.
“In a real battle of wits, you’d never show such a weakness, but when it comes to an everyday thing like this you’re surprisingly open, aren’t you?”
“Maybe it’s because I’m not used to it, after all.”
“Fufu. That sort of thing has its own appeal, you know?”
I couldn’t tell whether her response was serious or a joke, but she continued anyway.
“Please let me try again sometime. If I see a delicious cake, I’ll bring it with me.”
“It’d be nice if a situation like this, where we’re certain nobody can see us, comes by again.”
Whether it was a weekend or not, so long as there were people out and about in the dorm, it was close to impossible. There was the option of meeting late at night or early in the morning, but as one would expect, that had problems of its own.
“But what I find mysterious is your change of heart, Ayanokouji-kun. You’re not helping out from time to time while you stand on the sidelines as you were supposed to. Now you have started to seriously aim for Class A. Why?”
“Oh, so there’s things even you don’t know.”
“I’m not a god. Moreover, I know your background, Ayanokouji-kun, and consequently there are things I don’t understand or can’t think of. Can you tell me, please?”
As a genius driven by her curiosity for the unknown, she wanted to know the reason.
Sakayanagi is not interested in ranking as Class A or D because she knows that she won’t be taking the benefits of it after graduating. As the daughter of the director of this institute, and as someone with abundant talent in academics, most things were well within her grasp. She has no need to use the special privilege of Class A to accomplish something, and so she does not particularly care about it.
You could say the same about me, as it is certain that I will be returning to the White Room after graduating. Our trajectories may be different, but we know well that the special privilege of Class A will be in vain for us.
“It might seem like a mystery to you, yes.”
“I don’t suppose you are trying to amass a fortune in private points and make merry, like Kouenji-kun?”
“He definitely is in a similar position as the two of us.”
He was the kind of person who could get anything he wanted with his parents’ influence and his own talents. Despite that, the reason he sometimes contributed to the class on a whim is for the private points.
“I think you at least have the right to hear why I decided to contribute to my class, Sakayanagi. After all, you walked into an obvious trap and almost threw away a chance at winning the Sports Festival.”
If she got nothing out of this despite taking the risk of losing 150 class points, that would be the end of this. However, if I gave her something worth her while, it left it possible that she’d fall for the same strategy again.
“If you answer my question, then I’ll come here if this happens again.”
“Don’t say the very thing I’m thinking at the moment!”
“Fundamentally, I am trying to do the same thing you are, Sakayanagi. By defeating me, you want to answer the question of what it means to be a genius. I am, in my own way, thinking of proving that the white room is by no means perfect.”
Sakayanagi was… not surprised. This was proof that she had predicted this, even if she wasn’t sure of it.
“So that means that you are trying to build up the strongest class with your own hands, Ayanokouji-kun?”
When I nodded in assent, Sakayanagi put her index finger on her lip.
“It’s not that I haven’t considered that before but… I have a few doubts.”
“Like this Sports Festival. Despite the circumstances, you should have been able to participate anyway. Your odds of winning would have been much higher if you were on the ground giving orders, and wouldn’t that have made your position more solid? It’s not like you were worried about whether or not I would participate, after all.”
“There is a theme to how I have spent this Sports Festival.”
“How interesting! What was this theme?”
“Observation.’ I decided that it was a good opportunity for me to determine how well the other students would be able to fight when I don’t directly participate in the Sports Festival. Getting you to sit it out was just a side effect, I’d say.”
“The fact that I came to meet you because you were observing from the sidelines doesn’t mean you directly affected the Sports Festival itself, right. … Oh, I see.”
While she was speaking, Sakayanagi arrived at a conclusion that was one step ahead.
Just as she tried to put her conclusion to words, I faced her and lightly knocked her back. No, saying I knocked her back was overstating it. I lightly held her shoulders and pushed her back, and due to Sakayanagi’s lack of strength, that was enough for her to be unable to resist falling back.
Pomf. The sound from the mattress mixed with the creaking of the metal frame.
She bragged about being a genius, but I’m sure Sakayanagi had never even considered this. Before she could understand what was happening, I was hanging over her, looking down at her.
Sakayanagi was usually so calm and collected, but she hadn’t caught up to this situation yet.
“My plan is the basis for how I’m living my school life. Including that you would visit me today, that you would be interested in my plan, and that you would have the possibility of and the path to figuring it out.”
As she must never have had a man hang over her like this before, Sakayanagi was anxious and nervous, so she made a noise with her throat.
“If you told others about what we talked about today, it would get in the way of my plan.”
“You think I would… leak it?”
“At this point, it is not entirely out of the question. If you threatened me, saying I would have to face off against you if I didn’t want it revealed, I would have no choice but to accept.”
“I see, yes… that’s right. However, if I ever wanted to coerce you into a showdown… couldn’t I just use the existence of the White Room instead?”
“No, that wouldn’t be effective. Even if you made the existence of that institute widely known, other people wouldn’t be able to comprehend it. And it wouldn’t be any risk to me personally.”
‘Ayanokouji was raised in an educational institution known as the White Room.’ Most people would just be puzzled if they heard something like that. They couldn’t even find anything if they looked it up on the internet. There would definitely be some confusion because Sakayanagi would swear by it, but I would naturally just do nothing.
“But the plan I’m trying to pull off is not at a stage where I can let it be widely known. It is entirely possible that you use it as material for blackmail.”
I closed in on Sakayanagi a bit, putting myself in the way of the light and thereby creating a dark shadow on her.
“And I just happened to come to know about it. … So what are you going to do?”
“A secret for a secret, and a threat for a threat. Right now, you and I are the only ones left in this dorm. So no matter what happens, nobody will come to help you. Even if you scream at the top of your voice, at best it’ll be barely audible at the end of the hallway.”
“Are you seriously going to commit a crime to protect that plan?”
“Crime? You and I are going to agree to share a secret.”
I took my phone out and launched the camera.
“If you want to refuse, your only choice is to use your own strength to run away.”
For Sakayanagi, the disability in her legs would… No, even if both her legs were fine, she had no way out. How would she respond to this hopeless situation?
“—You think you’ll win?”
“Even if things go as you plan right now, will it actually put you at an advantage? … That’s what I mean.”
“I’m sorry, but you have no chance of winning.”
“The small difference in our level of experience, I will use one way of learning to catch up and then leave you behind. In fact, you might even find out that your way of learning has been wrong all along?”
Even when she was driven into a corner, Sakayanagi continued thinking rationally as much as possible. She must have been frightened, but I’m impressed that she was able to control it so much.
I threw my phone away to the end of the bed and slowly moved that hand towards Sakayanagi. I held her shoulders and then drew it towards the nape of her neck. Even after that, she only looked away.
“Let’s begin a special lesson, shall we?”
Sakayanagi smiled boldly and quietly closed her eyes, showing no signs of resistance.