Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Three days had passed since the deserted island exam concluded.
At the time when the students were completely relaxed, a new special exam began.
I think this 3-day interval was unfair. Right after the deserted island exam when the wariness that some other exam might take place began to fade, another one took place like a surprise attack.
For some reason, Arisu-chan and I were together with Karuizawa.
We just happened to see her in the guest room area, and I couldn’t afford to ignore acquaintances upon seeing one.
However, I felt it was rare for Karuizawa to act alone like this.
I usually have the image of her hanging out with a group of girls, but was this also Kiyotaka’s instruction?
“Your Kiyotaka probably won’t come here, you know?”
I just saw him with a group of Class D students on the deck after all.
“Don’t say it out loud. Kiyotaka asked me to hide our relationship for now. Otherwise…”
Otherwise, what would happen?
“Don’t you like Kiyotaka?”
“Shut up. Of course I like him.”
“The number one in the world… Hey, don’t make me say that!”
Her face flushed red. Seeing her expression, I thought it would be impossible for her to hide their relationship… but she sure was interesting.
Now that I talked with her, I think she wasn’t the type of person I would hate.
Suddenly, Karuizawa took her eyes off me and started staring off into the distance.
When I looked in the same direction, I saw a woman there.
If I remember correctly, that student should be Sakura Airi. She was the key person during Sudou’s incident.
“What kind of relationship does Sakura have with Kiyotaka?”
“…Don’t ask me, that shows your bad personality. I think she just has an unrequited love for Kiyotaka?”
When I asked in a low voice, she answered with a little dissatisfaction. It seemed that Karuizawa was aware of it.
Oi oi, so it was a love triangle. Kiyotaka sure was popular, wasn’t he?
It would be easy to make fun of it, but it pained my heart as I knew Sakura would end up playing a pitiable role.
If Sakura knew Kiyotaka’s relationship with Karuizawa, there was no doubt that Sakura would suffer damage to some extent.
At least, I hope the damage she suffers will be shallow.
The longer she didn’t know, the worse the result would be.
It would be in Sakura’s best interest to have her give up as soon as possible.
I didn’t mean to say it strongly, but I thought I’d ask Kiyotaka about it next time.
Karuizawa had been restless since a while ago.
It felt like she wanted to go to Kiyotaka but she couldn’t.
It was just a guess, but maybe Kiyotaka instructed her to not go to the deck for a while?
I had no idea of his intention, but perhaps it would be better if Karuizawa wasn’t with Kiyotaka right now.
“Haah, this is hard.”
“U~hn, nothing. It just makes me think… that I was all alone.”
After saying that, she let out a big sigh. Unfortunately, we didn’t seem to be counted as someone she was together with.
It wasn’t like she hated us, but I guess that was how much anxious she became without Kiyotaka with her.
To think she loved him this much—it makes me curious how Kiyotaka made it possible.1
“…What’s wrong, all of sudden.”
Suddenly, Arisu-chan, who had been silent until now, closed her distance with Karuizawa.
I was also surprised since I didn’t expect Arisu-chan to move all of a sudden.
Karuizawa was startled and her body trembled, perhaps because she wasn’t good at dealing with Arisu-chan.
Without minding that, Arisu-chan brought her face closer to Karuizawa’s ear.
Then she whispered something with an extremely low voice. Perhaps it was about two or three words?
Karuizawa stiffened out of shock.
I couldn’t pick up what Arisu-chan said to Karuizawa.
But one thing I know was…
“Fufuh, that’s how it is. Is it okay for me to call you Kei-san?”
“Okay. Can I call you Arisu as well?”
“Yes. I’m sure we can get along well.”
“…I’ll be happy if that’s really the case.”
Whatever Arisu-chan said was something that made the two of them get along in an instant.2
Suddenly, a high-pitched sound resounded from everyone’s cell phone.
So, it was finally…
[“Informing all students. Just earlier, the school sent a message to all students.”]
…It was here.
Along with the announcement, I realized that the special exam was about to begin.
I was in the same group as Arisu-chan.
From that alone, all my worries were resolved. I was surprised, but it was a wonderful thing.
I had no idea who decided that, but I couldn’t help but appreciate it.
Arisu-chan and I headed to the designated room at 6 p.m.
When I arrived before the scheduled time, there…
“Ah, so both of you were in this room too.”
Kamuro-san was there. Oioi, things were going so well that I felt like laughing.
It felt as if people were chosen according to my liking.
Perhaps my attitude in the last exam worked?
It was something that happened when the rules were explained on the first day of the deserted island exam.
To be exact, it was back when the explanation of the system where a 30-point penalty occurred due to physical handicap.
Because of how unreasonable that was, I thoroughly criticized it while hinting at my intention to drop out of the exam voluntarily.
Even the teachers didn’t expect me to actually go that far and were very surprised.
In the end, the situation concluded with the teacher understanding my thoughts but could do nothing because of the established rules.
However, perhaps that was why they took it into consideration this time. It wasn’t an exam that involved physical exercise so I honestly didn’t expect much, but this grouping could only make me take it as a matter of fact.
Perhaps they thought I would become troublesome if I was separated from Arisu-chan?
It would be interesting if that was actually the case, but I guess there was no way that was true.
Anyway, I learned that being persistent worked to my benefit.
If something similar happened, I guess I would go on a rampage instead.
After chatting with Kamuro-san for a while, Class D’s Chabashira-sensei entered the room.
I guess she was in charge of explaining the exam. There was also her threat to Kiyotaka, so I guess I would feel a little awkward.
“It looks like everyone is here. From now on, I will explain the outline of the special exam. I will only explain it once, so make sure to listen properly. In addition, I will not answer any questions regarding the content of the exam.”
After saying that, Chabashira-sensei handed us printouts.
Result 1, result 2… aah, I guess this was how it worked.
This exam was, simply put, a game to find the VIP student hidden among the group.
Depending on the student’s actions, one of the four outcomes was possible.
Results 1 and 2 were essentially the results when nobody betrayed the group until the end of the exam.
The members received tons of private points, but there was no effect on class points.
The result 2 feels quite vague, such was my thought as I skimmed the content.
Anyway, the important ones were the other two results.
Turning the printout over, I checked the contents.
If a student who didn’t belong to the VIP student’s class didn’t wait until the end of the exam period and informed the school what they thought was the name of the VIP student, result 3 or result 4 would occur.
Result 3 would be if the answer sent by said student was correct.
The student that answered it would be awarded 500,000 pr, with their class awarded with +50 cl, while the VIP class would receive -50 cl.
Result 4 would be if the answer sent by said student was incorrect.
The VIP student would be awarded 500,000 pr, the student’s class who gave incorrect answers would receive -50 cl, while the VIP class would be awarded with +50 cl.
U~hn, just reading the rules made my head dizzy.
As I expected, I think there was nothing I could do in this exam.
Arisu-chan had a thoughtful expression.
Huh, she surprisingly found it boring?
“All of the students in this room are part of the ‘rabbit’ group. We will refer to it as the rabbit group since it uses the Chinese zodiac as the group name. Here’s the list of its members, so take a good look.”3
Chabashira-sensei showed us the piece of paper with the members of the group written on it.
She told us to remember it since it would be collected when we left, but Arisu-chan was here, so I guess there was no need to remember.
Class A: Kanzaki Ryuuji, Hamaguchi Tetsuya, Beppu Ryouta
Class B: Kamuro Masumi, Sakayanagi Arisu, Takashiro Haruto
Class C: Ibuki Mio, Manabe Shiho, Yabu Nanami, Yamashita Saki
Class D: Ayanokouji Kiyotaka, Karuizawa Kei, Sotomura Hideo, Yukimura Teruhiko
I already expected it when I heard we were grouped in the rabbit group, but to think we were grouped together with the protagonist.
When I looked next to me, Arisu-chan was thinking about something while looking at the paper.
“…I see. Haruto-kun, this is quite interesting.”
“I’m glad then.”
After a short pause, she turned to me and started explaining happily.
“There are 14 members of the group. Since the group is divided according to the Chinese zodiac, it’s likely there are 12 groups in total, so that would make 168 people if added together. If some groups have 13 people instead, the number would go from 157 to 167 people. Since the whole student body of the first year is 160 people, that should be correct.”
Well, I could only say yes at this point.
She was quick to calculate. Also, her smiling face was cute.
“Each group would have at least 13 people. It might be possible that we have to rearrange the list of the students in each group according to some sort of ruling and assign the VIP student according to the Chinese Zodiac. Since this group is ‘rabbit’, it means it is the fourth of something?”
“I wonder what it would be.”
Eh, wasn’t this bad?
Even Kamuro-san was taken aback.
“Also, regarding the ruling of arrangement, it is still not possible to derive the answer from the information we have at the moment. Let’s leave this as enjoyment for later. For the time being, let’s assume the name is arranged according to the kana phonetic chart. What do you two think?”
“…Okay, I don’t quite get it, but I know you are someone amazing.”
Uwah, as I thought, this girl was weird. How did her head work?
It was so amazing that I didn’t know what to say. What should I do? She already reached the answer before the exam began.
Chabashira-sensei’s eyes widened for a moment. Well, I guess that was natural.
Most likely, the current Arisu-chan wasn’t put under special attention as an amazing student. Perhaps they only considered her as somewhat smart at most. For Chabashira-sensei, this should be completely unexpected.
I also learned one more thing.
It seemed Arisu-chan enjoyed solving the riddle rather than playing the pseudo-werewolf game.
Since she had no interest in the group at all, I guess that’s natural.
If I think about it, the ruling itself was pretty simple.
…However, result 4 was waiting if one guessed incorrectly.
Considering the risk, one couldn’t make a move unless they were sure of the answer.
That was where the fun of this game lies.
However, since Honami-san and Kikyou-chan were on our side, we will know who the VIP was for 6 groups.4
With half of the total groups having their VIPs’ identities revealed, there was enough information to prove the hypothesis.
Well then, what kind of result did Arisu-chan seek?
The fun of this exam would end up with just that.
After the explanation was over, we rested on the deck of the ship.
There, I heard a conversation that I couldn’t ignore.
“Even so, Ayanokouji-dono from earlier is amazing. I guess you ran out of patience handling that woman’s slander. Kopo.”
There was a man who spoke with a weird verbal tic. If I wasn’t wrong, he should be Sotomura.
“I told you to speak normally… from my perspective, I think Ayanokouji speaks too harshly.”
Next to him was Yukimura, who was also a student of Class D.
All of them were people who would be in the same group as us.
“Could you tell me more about that story?”
Since it seemed interesting, I talked to two of them.
“…That’s how it went.”
“I see. From what I heard, it’s completely Karuizawa’s fault.”
Karuizawa seemed to show a blatant disgust toward them during the explanation.
She said all she liked, like they were disgusting or something.
Kiyotaka looked at it with cold eyes as it occurred.
These two sensed Kiyotaka’s tranquil fury, but Karuizawa didn’t stop.
…It was Karuizawa who talked a lot after all. She seemed to take their silence as agreement and proceeded with more.
Thus came the moment of terror.
As soon as Hoshinomiya-sensei, who was in charge of explaining to them, left the room, Kiyotaka then…5
Scolded Karuizawa as hard as he could.
“To be honest, it makes me think that Ayanokouji back then felt like he could kill people with just words. Since he is usually not angry, it makes it even scarier. It feels as if she angered a person she shouldn’t.”
“That sure was scary.”
Even though Kiyotaka didn’t get angry at them, they said they could feel the terror.
The fear that Karuizawa felt must be massive.
“Thank you for the information. It’s a topic that caught my attention since Kiyotaka is our friend. It might be late, but I’m Takashiro Haruto. The one beside me is Arisu-chan, and we are grouped together in the rabbit group.”
“I see. So you are in the same group as us.”
“Please take care of us.”
I made more acquaintances.
…I wonder how these two would react if they knew Karuizawa and Kiyotaka were a couple?
“However, I already knew about you before you introduced yourself.”
That surprised me. I shouldn’t have met them before.
Did something happen that made our name known among Class D students?
Upon seeing me bewildered, Yukimura made an exasperated face.
“I think Takashiro and Sakayanagi are the two most famous people in this school year, though… Both of you flirt wherever you are, so I guess it’s obvious. Don’t tell me, you don’t realize that?”
I never considered how we were seen objectively, so I wasn’t conscious of it.
I see, so that was how it was…
I suddenly felt embarrassed, so we left the place quickly.
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