“I’d like to propose something. Right now the problem is Ryuuen and which group we’re going to stuff him in and that’s what we’re all fighting over, right? Then in that case, I don’t mind becoming the leader of the group that takes Ryuuen in.”
The one who said so was Akito, who had been carefully observing the situation from beside me. He continued speaking. However, by requesting that Ryuuen be accepted when no one else is willing to do so, he raised doubts.
“What are you up to?”
“That’s simple, I’d like the reward that comes with getting 1st place in exchange. A lot of it.”
It’s not like there isn’t any opposition towards it but everyone does understand that the act of taking Ryuuen in comes with a high degree of risk. It’s just, I didn’t expect Akito to act with the intent of securing the reward. It looked to me as though he had come up with a reason to take Ryuuen in since no other student wanted to do so.
“What are you proposing exactly? You sure you aren’t planning on dragging someone else down with you when the time comes for you to take responsibility?”
“Unless you blatantly sabotage us, I won’t do such a thing. In the first place, the rules won’t let me do that, right?”
The members of the provisional groups fell silent upon hearing Akito’s well-reasoned argument. And just like that, though there were various complications, the 1st year boys were able to form six groups. And with that, my group was also determined.
From Class C there’s “Kouenji”, “Keisei”
The three of us. From Class B there’s “Sumida”, “Moriyama”
The three of them. From Class A there’s “Yahiko”
The two of them. And then from Class D there’s “Ishizaki”
The two of them.
10 people in total.
It’s clearly unlike the four groups composed mainly of students from one’s own class. Still, I suppose that other group Akito’s in charge of is the same. However, there’s still a problem with this group I’ve ended up joining. That is the fact that we still have yet to choose our leader. I don’t think we have any leader type students to actively seek out the title of leader in our group. Since there isn’t anyone here to take the initiative and guide us to a consensus, our group was overcome by an atmosphere of being unable to say anything. Either way, we first have to report to the school that we’ve formed our group. We can afford to appoint our leader afterward. As the sixth group, the 10 of us headed over to make our report.
“We managed to avoid Ryuuen but it’s still doubtful whether or not we’ll get a good average score with this group.”
Anxious words from Keisei. To be honest, I can’t tell how good the students from classes other than C are. Personally speaking, I’d have liked to avoid being in a group with Ishizaki and Albert but it can’t be helped now. Ishizaki blatantly averted his eyes to avoid having to look at me but the others probably won’t be able to tell anything from just that. They’d only get the impression that he thinks nothing of me.
“Kouenji’s also going to be a problem.”
There’s nothing to criticize about his academic and physical abilities as long as he does it seriously but that’s only ‘if he does it seriously’. “Even Kouenji won’t do something that’d lead to a loss, would he? Because if we drag him down with us, it’s over for him after all.”
I do feel like he’d noncommittally score above the average though. The only thing certain about him is that he isn’t the type to let us factor him into our calculations.
There’s no predicting what’ll happen if Kouenji doesn’t show signs of being motivated. After giving our report, I realized that the group centered around Class A had stayed behind, despite the fact that they should’ve already gone outside.
At first, I thought it was so that they could see the formation of the other five groups but apparently that doesn’t seem to be the case. Because 2nd year and 3rd year students also appear to be present. Most importantly, Nagumo Miyabi, the student council president who dominates the 2nd years, is also present.
He confirmed that the 1st years have all finished forming their groups quickly and then he addressed us.
“I thought you’d take a bit more time but this is surprisingly fast.”
It appears the 2nd and 3rd years too, have finished forming their small groups.
“I have a proposal to make to you 1st years. Why don’t we form the large groups right away?”
“Nagumo-senpai, isn’t that supposed to take place tonight?”
“That’s because the school didn’t think you’d be able to form your small groups right away. Coincidentally, all the school years have just finished forming their small groups. It’s best if we get a move on, right?”
Apparently the teachers hadn’t expected things to turn out this way either. Sensing that steps are being taken to form the large groups, the teachers started to move in a hurry. Since the student council president himself made that proposal, there’s no way the other students would refuse to do so either.
“Horikita-senpai, you don’t mind, do you?”
“Sure. That’d be convenient for us too.”
After that brief back-and-forth, discussions were held with Nagumo at their center.
“What to do? Don’t you think it’d be interesting to decide things based on something like a draft? Six representatives from amongst the 1st years play rock-paper-scissors and decide the order. Based on that order, they’ll pick the 2nd and 3rd year small groups and just like that, the large groups will form. It’d be quick and impartial.”
“The 1st years don’t know much. Doesn’t sound that impartial.”
“It’s impossible to decide impartially. In the end, there is a difference between the amount of information we each possess.”
A brief, yet important back-and-forth between Nagumo and the older Horikita. There’s no way any 1st year would interrupt.
“What about you, 1st years? If you have any complaints about this method then please speak up.”
Nagumo said so, knowing they can’t talk back to him.
“We have no complaints.”
Class A’s Matoba, representing the 1st years, answered with that.
“I see. Then let’s get started right away.”
Nagumo gave a smile and joined up with the small group he probably formed himself. And then, the 2nd years and 3rd years split themselves up into six groups to make it easier to understand. Leaders from each of the five 1st year groups then stepped forward to discuss. Watching them, Nagumo’s expression turned gentle almost as though he were looking at a child.
“Now all that’s left is that group over there.”
Since our group has yet to choose a leader, no one took the initiative to go and play rock-paper-scissors. I lightly pushed Keisei’s back while ensuring I wouldn’t be noticed. For a moment, he made a skeptical face but Keisei resignedly raised his hand. The six representatives of the small groups assembled and forming a circle, they started playing rock-paper-scissors.
As a result, Keisei became fourth in line to select a senior student group. First in line is the Class A group led by Matoba. Second in line is the Class C group led by Hirata. Third in line is the Class D group led by Kaneda.
“You can discuss amongst yourselves which group you want to pick.”
The groups to aim for when picking would either be the Nagumo Group that Nagumo, leader of the 2nd years’ Class A and student council president, belongs to or the 3rd year group centered around the older Horikita.
However, if you’re someone like Hirata, who’s acquainted with a lot of people from outside his own school year, you may be able to discern capable groups that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise discern at first glance. Matoba’s group, first in line, chose the 3rd year group that Horikita Manabu belongs to without any hesitation. And with that done, Hirata, second in line, carefully observed the 11 remaining groups one by one. His choice wasn’t the other group you’d aim for but rather, a 3rd year group whose members I’m not familiar with.
“Oi, Hirata. Are this really ok? Isn’t that student council president’s group better?”
It’s understandable that Ike would interrupt like that.
“Yeah. I think this is fine. Talented people have their appeal but the problems they bring with them would be proportionately large too. Besides, the seniors from the group I chose aren’t half bad either.”
He confidently replied with that and nodded. If that’s Hirata’s decision then Ike too, didn’t go any further. This is probably the level of trust he’s accumulated until this point. Then next up is the Class D group.
Kaneda consulted his classmates, or more like, he informed them of which group he’s aiming to pick. There didn’t seem to be any objections since he immediately picked.
“I’d like Gouda-senpai’s group from the 2nd years.”