CHAPTER 1: PART 3(B)
I borrowed it gratefully and tied it up to a tree nearby, on a branch that wouldn’t break easily. Doing so we will also mark it and it’ll be useful for when we’ll return this place later.
“Ahh, I lost sight of Kouenji-kun…hurry up, Ayanokoji-kun!”
Sakura was getting anxious but, as exhaustion was accumulating, I tripped and nearly fell. After all, Sakura’s physical strength was already close to the limit. Even if I pushed myself, I wouldn’t be able to keep up as well.
“Sorry but this is a bit too physically demanding. Do you mind if we walk a bit slowly?”
That said, I was the first to slow down the pace. Sakura wasn’t really sorry, she just used a pretext on this. I’ve probably seen right through her but it doesn’t matter, because there’s no way to confirm the truth.
Whether he could hear my voice or not, before long we couldn’t see Kouenji anymore. From far ahead, sometimes I could hear a sound of someone pushing through the high grass and stepping firmly on the ground.
“What an all-rounder, I am”
With an excellent intelligent and an incredible nervus motorius, I can adapt perfectly to a nature like in this wood without even flinching, and with a partner too.
If I had a personality similar to Hirata’s, I’d been an ultra perfect superman.
Sakura’s gaze, who observed the situation silently since before, became uneasy.
Eventually, Sakura didn’t say anything to me and we walked together in the wood to explore.
“It’ll be great if we can secure drinking water. Or it’d be better to first secure a place where we can shelter ourselves from the elements?”
Since I have nothing to fill my time with, I’ll try to speak to her gently. So that it’s easy for her to understand. If you can secure a spot, there’s the possibility of saving points, and it’d be an extremely easy expansion.
“Well, 2 tents won’t be enough…but I can’t come up with anything else”
No matter how much I look out over the landscape and walk, I can’t even find one man-made thing. Well, even if we say we’re walking all around, it can be confirmed that we’re seeing an area of only the 1% of the island. This school probably isn’t lenient enough to spoil us with easy-to-find stuff in a small-scale search.
And then a few minutes later, when going ahead while walking on a way without a proper road, a new place opened halfway.
“This here……isn’t it a road?”
“It looks like it”
From the woods that were on the desert island, a road came out appearing to cut out a path for people. Of course, it wasn’t paved but there was trace of chopped down trees and a well-beaten path. If this is something that the school did for us, beyond this point there may possibly be a spot.
I proceeded to the next steps with Sakura and we took the road that cut through the woods.
Soon we reached a place. It was the entrance of a cave, empty and unoccupied, built as a large gaping hole in a part of the mountain. At first sight, it seemed like a natural cave, but when you looked at it closely the inside of the cave seemed to be firmly enforced and supported. Maybe the hole itself might have been created by human hands.
“Could it be……a spot, possibly?“
“Well, I’m not sure”
Since time immemorial, caves have fulfilled an outstanding function as people’s dwellings. If this is the place designated as a spot, there should be an evidence or proof inscribed somewhere.
When I tried to approach the cave to confirm and check this, I saw a man coming out from the inner depths of the hole.
Immediately, I pulled Sakura’s arm, retracting in the shade and hiding. I feel sorry for her and I hope she will forgive me for pulling her abruptly because I’ve already seen the figure. When the man stopped at the entrance, he stood quietly facing the southwest direction without moving. Did he stand there for a minute or two?
Without wasting any time, this is how you should secure a spot promptly. It seemed like he came straight into the cave without hesitation. However, apart from that, the problem is that the man gripped something similar to a card tightly in his hand. Then, a voice directed to the man could be heard from inside. I retracted immediately in a fluster.
“If this is the size of the cave, two tents are enough, Katsuragi-san. Even so, we were just lucky. We got to hold down such a spot this quickly”
I listened carefully, trying to grasp the situation from a faint voice I was hearing.
“Luck? What have you seen until now? I’ve figured out there’s a cave here since before landing. It was inevitable to find it. Be wary of words and deeds. We don’t know if someone’s eavesdropping on us somewhere. I have a responsibility as a leader. Let’s keep in mind not to do even a slightest mistake.“
“… S, sorry. But what does it mean since before landing…?”
“For some reason, before the ship was attached to the pier it went around the island’s outer circumference to make a detour. It was probably an act of the school to give students some hints on where to proceed because I’ve already seen the road that opened to the forest from the deck of the ship. All they had to do later is to go forward the shortest route from the landing pier to the road.”
“So, rather than just an ordinary sightseeing, isn’t there a possibility that was a forethought to enjoy the scenery?“
“The turn was too far for a sightseeing. Besides, the content of the announcement was strange.”
“I could not feel it at all but… Katsuragi-san has seen through the school’s intentions. Because of that he realized there is a cave here… As expected!”
“Let’s move to the next one, Yahiko. It’s useless to stay longer since the spot has been seized. There was a road seen from the ship from two more places. Before that, there must be something like a facility.”
“Y-yes! But if you leave the result like this, Sakayanagi has no choice but to be silent!“
“When you turn your eyes on the inside, be careful or you’ll trip.”
“That’s right, but shouldn’t we be cautious of B class? Isn’t D class an assembly of defectives? Even if we think about the point difference, we can ignore it.”
There was a similar story on the ship as well that D class was out of consideration to A class. We were treated like a stone dropped on the corner of the roadside.
“Enough with the chit-chat. Let’s go Yahiko.”
I waited until I couldn’t hear the voices and footsteps of the two. Then I waited two minutes more for caution’s sake.
I took a quick look to check, but I couldn’t see the two from a little while ago. I noticed that the weight of the warmth on my hands had become heavier as I’d caught my breath. I kept suppressing it after I’d embraced it in a hurry.
“Sorry Sakura… Sakura?”
Sakura was somehow there, exhausted and half-conscious.
“Are, are you okay?”
“O, o, o, k, okay, ay ay…”
Her face turned red as if the steam was about to rise from her body, sitting helplessly on that place. Perhaps she was held down with a much stronger force than I thought.
“Ouch, ou, ou… I thought I died… And my heart stopped…”
That was as one would expect as exaggerated. Sakura’s breathing stabilized as she fixed her slippery glasses.
“Those two before. It looks like they’re from A class based on their conversation.”
However, to abandon this place and leave is what I was worried about. There was also a possibility that the spot might be usurped unless we let someone to stand guard.
After we waited for Sakura’s stamina to return, we went to the entrance of the cave once again. In other words, they left this place without hesitation…
Inside the cave a terminal device with a monitor was installed, embedded in the wall. There was a letter of an A class on the screen and a countdown displaying 7 hours 55 minutes left.
Was it a proof of owning a spot? We can absolutely not interfere until the countdown reaches zero. It is also impossible to forcibly use this place. That’s why the two from A class have peacefully left the place. No – the problem wasn’t only that.
As long as it keeps being updated without being deprived of the ownership points of other classes, A class will keep acquiring one point every eight hours as well. Although people would lose 30 points for absence due to sickness sick, more than half of them will decide to call it quits.
Moreover, it looked like the guy named Katsuragi was still figuring out a few facilities as well. Can other classes establish a lead again if it’s a spot with food and water?
“I said to put it in a corner of your head since before landing on the island…”
They remembered a terrain of the island and used it as a hint to find out the spot. That idea was brilliant.
As might be expected, being in A class means that even the world you can see, in its minimal necessities, is different. However, points that are hard to swallow appear like that as well.
“Hey, hey, Ayanokouji-kun. The person before … is he a leader….?”
Right — this incident was a proof that a fatal mistake was made. Although it was in order to securely seize the cave, A class passed a key card in order to obtain point ownership. It became clearly known to us know that he is the leader. Of course, he didn’t think someone from the other class will be watching… It’s clearly inadvertent. Just to be sure we’ve examined the inside of the cave, but as expected the people were not hiding.
“Wha, wha, what should we do. We’ve found a terrible secret…!”
Said Sakura, a little excitedly as she’d heard the information that gives a heavy blow to A class.
“We’ll report it to Hirata later.”
I’ve let Sakura, who’s a poor talker, relieved as I said she doesn’t need to report it herself.
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