When I got inside the ship, I headed immediately back to my room. A tired Hirata was laying, sleeping in the room. I changed my clothes quietly to the corridor so as not to wake him up.
When I turned on the mobile phone, the electronic tone repeatedly ringed and the incoming call history was filled up. For the time being I would just answer the emails and then I waited in the lounge while taking a break.
She won’t be satisfied unless I explained everything to her sooner or later.
Then, a few minutes later, an angry Horikita joined me, releasing a silent pressure upon me.
“What is the meaning of the test result? What on earth is going on?”
“You got an expression like you do not have the slightest idea”
“Yeah, I cannot comprehend it. I cannot comprehend it at all. There are a lot of things I want to ask you”
Horikita ordered drinks to the barman who was standing right in front of us. I began talking without waiting for her reaction.
“I’ll tell you everything. However, the minimum condition is that you stay silent on this matter. I won’t compromise, otherwise”
I anticipated that it would come to this situation, since Horikita didn’t want to retire on her own will. It was a story that should be kept secret, or rather, Horikita would be the only one obtaining these information.
“Where do you want to begin with?”
“What were you doing on this test? Tell me about it”
It was a much better question than I expected. In brief, she wanted to know everything, at once.
“When this special examination was announced, I didn’t pay attention to anything but the additional rules. How to manage 300 points was pretty much a simple task and not something that you could manipulate personally.”
“But the additional rules were very difficult to follow.”
“Even if you followed them religiously, you still wouldn’t be able to identify the leaders. Right?”
“Indeed. So first of all, I raised my hand and volunteered to search for a base camp. I planned to search spot by spot so I could get ahead of everyone else and have the freedom to act when needed.”
“To put it simply, so that no one else could have known the position of the spots”
“That’s not the case. You didn’t understand because you were feeling sick already, but the school already gave you clues about possible spots while the ship was still sailing”
Katsuragi was also aware of this, but when he told her that the ship was circling the island at an unnatural high-speed, Horikita silenced him. It was nearly three times faster than a usual cruise ship. Moreover, if it was just for sightseeing, it was quite unusual to talk about «An important scenery» in the announcement.
At that time I didn’t fully understand what I was looking at, but Kouenji had already noticed that hint.
Well, it was a waste of time thinking about Kouenji, now.
“When, I reached the cave I thought that it was the best base with the most important location”
“The cave as the best base? Don’t you think that rivers and water wells would have been more convenient, though?
“It’s not the spot itself that matters. But where it is located”
There were no spots close to the water well or the river. On the contrary, there were two spots prepared connected to the cave, a cabin and a tower. In other words, it was a great place to use as headquarters. Horikita seemed to show a certain level of understanding while I was explaining it.
“But what is the advantage that you’ve got in the cave, when you don’t have the key-card?”
“Well, I intended to explore various things, but it turned out that I find out the true identity of the leader”
“Katsuragi was so careless that he made you realise that he is the leader”
That’s not the case, not really.
“There was a guy called Yahiko, right? The guy who always follows Katsuragi. That guy was the leader. I saw Katsuragi and Yahiko close to the cave but I didn’t see them clearly in that moment to confirm that they were indeed the ones that occupied it. I was sure they were occupying the cave after they left.”
I will explain the situation of that time again. The moment I saw them, Katsuragi, was standing at the entrance, carrying the key-card. Yahiko, who came out of the cave, joined him and they left together.
“So, by looking at this sight, wouldn’t be natural to mistake Katsuragi as the leader?”
“Really? Do you think that a leader would show the key-card in such a careless way, in public?”
Because Horikita was the leader, I could understand how foolish she was and that she wouldn’t be able to carry out that role.
“But why?… Why bother to have the card in his hand?”
“Because he had to do so. Katsuragi is a calm, composed and extremely cautious man as far as I examined. There is no reason he didn’t understand the high risk of occupying such a spot as soon as they found it. In other words, the one who occupied it was the one who was caught in the act of immediate greed.”
“That… Requires the presence of another person”
“So it seems. When he found the cave, Katsuragi, didn’t intend to occupy it, but he kept it all to himself, which may have been due to the fact that Yahiko had taken possession of it beforehand by a mistake. He was thinking that nobody was watching, yet, he insured himself just in case. By standing around holding the key-card in his hands, he thought that he could mislead any possible witnesses that he was the leader”
“A class had two spots except for their base, but I didn’t know exactly how many spots they occupied in the end of the test. If I just guessed their leader, all their points could be invalidated”
Well, it was a waste of time to devote myself to it when I had narrowed it down to Yahiko.
“I’m not quite convinced. If he had marked such a spot at an early stage, wouldn’t it be easy to avoid such trouble if he used help from his classmates? It would have been a sufficient claim on his right of possession that it would have allowed him to keep a watchful eye upon the cave. Why occupy it, exclusively…”
“That’s the disadvantage of A class”
Their overall score for the test is high and they haven’t received a negative assessment in overall class attitude like D class. However, their class is divided internally. In other words, there was a reason why he couldn’t use help from a large group of people.
“Their class, which looks perfect on the surface, has now a big hole in it”
That’s why I pierced through A class so easily, this time. Well, it was just luck. A kind of score that was obtained by exploiting a mistake. It’s like A class had no way of beating an unguarded raid over their head.
“So, at this stage, I excluded A class, and I turned my attention to C class’s movements. Katsuragi was an easy-to-understand type, but there was quite an unknown quality about Ryuuen. In fact, he was gathering more information than I was, and he saw through the leaders of all the classes”
“Wai…wait. He was able to see through all the classes. Not only D class, He knew B class and A class leaders too. But that’s odd. Aside from receiving a penalty, we were ranked first by a large margin. How are you going to explain this?”
“Although this story is a little hard to explain, the answer to that question is the reason I made you retire”
“Retire…the answer…What the heck did you do?”
“Oh, didn’t you return it to the school yet?”
I took out a card from my pocket and handed it to Horikita.
“This is a key-card. Why do you……….”
Horikita was surprised to see the letters carved on that card.
“Why, this is….”
The letters engraved on the card were «Ayanokouji Kyotaka».
“The trial must be fair. That’s why all the rules are created fair”
That’s quite natural. It’s something that can be seen clearly in the additional rules. Only one leader can be chosen. The leader can’t change. In other words, the leader is the only one who has the right of exclusive possession.
“What do you think would happen if the leader retired because sick?”
“That’s…..The leader will be absent. So the right of exclusive possession will also disappear”
“You’re wrong. In the manual, it was written like this: «The leader cannot be changed without a legitimate reason». Don’t you think that «retirement» is a valid enough reason?”
The only way through which additional rules could be broken is if the leader is in a poor physical condition or if he or she has been injured. I could predict the we would need to find a new leader.
I was able to discover this by looking and analyzing the other rules. For example, it’s established that a base camp cannot be changed without a justifiable reason, but even here the reason was valid enough.
For example, when we were occupying the river side we were unprepared for something like another class taking our spot, and so this applied for a «justifiable reason» to occupy. You won’t be able to stay at the base camp itself, so if there’s no arrangement and no plan to find a new base camp, you will collapse.
“Then, you, to me…….”
A leader named Horikita Suzune retired and at her place I found myself in her place. Of course, the leader guessed at the end of the exam should have been me. There’s only one leader.
“That’s also the reason C class knew that and we didn’t receive any damage”
“But wait. Even though Ibuki stole my card, if I had thoroughly protected it……..”
Horikita recalled what happened on the day of the accident.
“Did you drop the card on purpose in that occasion? Well, maybe also Yamauchi’s action gave way for Ibuki to prepare an opportunity to steal the key-card —-”
I was holding the muddy Horikita and I had no choice but to give up the key-card.
“I couldn’t do anything..not knowing what was Ibuki aiming at from the start……”
Right. I mean a girl named Ibuki was suddenly found and picked up by D class.
Firstly, it was necessary for us to know such a thing would be strange.
However, I was almost convinced when I heard a story about a boy called Kaneda who has been helped in the same way by B class. He was a spy sent in by Ryuuen. It wasn’t pleasant to hear that two people were helped by two different classes, all by chance. And it wasn’t pleasant to know that they were believed to be genuine.
“Furthermore, Ibuki has the habit of looking in a person’s eyes when speaking and lying”
The bigger the lie, the more strikingly obvious this habit became.
“When you tell a lie, you look in the eyes of a person….Isn’t that normal?”
“Generally speaking, when you have a guilty conscience, you will avoid eye contact. But she’s the other way round. I think she talks with eye contact because she wants you to think that the lie is actually the truth. So maybe the person talking with her wouldn’t have noticed anything”
Even when the story of the underwear thief came out, she kept talking looking at me in the eyes.
“Perhaps, she only had the goal of searching high and low for a key-card, and after that her goal changed to simply disturb D class”
What happened to Karuizawa and what was in Ike’s bag should only be seen as a mere coincidences.
“But I wonder why Ibuki specifically steal my key-card. If it was only to confirm my name, she still didn’t understand anything”
“At first, she was supposed to. But an unforeseen trouble happened”
Then that has triggered to founding out C class leader.
“Ibuki had prepared a digital camera in her bag. Probably because she was supposed to shoot the key-card”
“To shoot……..with a digital camera……Why has she gone to such extent?”
“If there was a picture, maybe the existence of the leader would have been clear for everyone to see? She reached a conviction that for the first time she would get profit”
“Well I don’t know….Maybe Ryuuen didn’t trust Ibuki?”
“That’s not it. If this kind of talk only got around in C class, then there would be no need to shoot with a digital camera or to steal it”
In other words, Ibuki is a person who doesn’t trust easily what other people say, so she wanted a reliable evidence.
“There’s no evidence of that though. Listen, I’m just thinking that my prediction derived from the result of the trial. At the end of this test, A class had 270 points”
In other words, that meant that they didn’t even use 1 point during the exam.
“C class and A class were both connected and in contact behind the scenes and C class sacrificed their points to buy what was necessary for A class. In addition, by transferring to A class all the tools used by C class, A class was able to spend a week here without using points. I think that’s about it”
An extension of this connection was that Ibuki obtained the evidence and spilled the information to someone in A class.
“By the way, the realization that I’m C class’ leader came after half of the students had retired. It was certain that someone who remained on the island from the students will become a leader, right?”
“Even so, we weren’t supposed to know who remained in the morning.”
“Nah, I was about 100% sure Ryuuen stayed on the island”
I realized this when I came across Ibuki hiding a transceiver that was buried in the ground. It was used so that Ryuuen could stay in contact with Ibuki. Retired students couldn’t be using a transceiver. It became a proof that someone must have certainly stayed on the island in order to use it.
Actually, the transceiver was carelessly laid on the table while he was enjoying the vacation. No one else was controlling it but he himself. It was his mistake that he hadn’t trusted anyone.
“Really… I have no words”
Horikita answered, facing the truth. If I were to recap this trial in my way, A class didn’t function well due to internal division in addition to their first mistake that ended up haunting them until the end.
B class carried out a thorough defense-oriented trial that did neither harm nor good. That’s right. But the sole mistake was that they forgave the existence of Kaneda in a group since there were a lot of credulous and gullible people. Then, about my theory. I’m not sure how it was carried out, but Kaneda told Ryuuen he acquired the proof, even though he couldn’t get any physical evidence once he saw that A class wasn’t obtaining points.
Then, C class. With me becoming the leader we managed to avoid damage at last but, besides feeding the spies and pulling off the stunt of realizing all classes’ leaders, we were supposed to obtain an advantage with A class due to negotiation of some kind. One person we should have been on guard the most was probably Ryuuen.
“I’m not happy. You used me as a foal in a terrible way”
“Indeed. I can’t deny that. I wouldn’t be surprised even if you say you won’t come near me ever again”
I was self-conscious of that.
“Well, I’m going back to the room. I’m still tired”
“Wait. We didn’t finish talking here”
“What? I also want to rest in the room as much as possible”
“Once you explain to me everything. We still have things to discuss”
“Well… What is it?
“The reason of you challenging this special trial. Was it to compete alone or use me – it’s okay if you tell now. I want to know the reason of you, who wouldn’t rock a boat, joining this trial”
“… I see.”
Maybe the explanation until now wasn’t so important for Horikita.
“You were great at realizing things quickly without suspicion at this occasion. Since you lent your hand to us, aiming at A class became fully realistic. However, what was the principle of your action? Why did you do that?”
Still, I wasn’t bothered telling my personal problem to Horikita because I only did it to pull out of the promise from Chabashira sensei this time.
“It’s because I was impressed by you. You were trying to fight to the bitter end alone in a bad condition.”
“… You don’t say often lies that are easy to see through”
“I’m in no mood for explaining”
I stood up from the chair and held out my hand.
“I don’t mind if you help me advancing to A class. But there’s one condition – do not investigate me. If you promise not to touch me under any terms next time, I’ll help you out”
As if wanting to check what would happen next, Horikita took my hand with no hesitation.
“If you don’t want to tell me that’s fine. There’s no reason to refuse a lent hand without prying. I have no interest digging up something that’s peacefully lying in the past.”
Horikira shook my hand firmly.
I am for me. You are for you.
The battle of rising this class from the rock bottom was just about to get started.
Disclaimer: We do not own any content of the original light novel ようこそ実力至上主義の教室へ (Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e) by Shōgo Kinugasa. We hope you can look forward to upcoming projects and respect translators’ and editors’ work. Leave your comments down below and for further requests and inquiries, contact us here.