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Both the steeplechase and the three-legged race ended with Class B in last place.
It wasn’t that I was the only one who was no good, but the whole Class B was.
Both of those events require practice to be done properly, so I guess it couldn’t be helped.
The cavalry battle in the women’s category ended with a narrow victory for the Class A and D group. The ability of Class A led by Honami was amazing—to accomplish that despite the reduction in the number of Class D students.
The men’s category for the cavalry battle was about to begin, but six students from Class B suffered from injuries due to the pole toppling event earlier. Two of them only suffered minor injuries, but the other four could be said to be quite seriously injured.
“…Since it is just four people, we could just reduce the number of cavalry by one. You don’t have to overdo it.”1
Katsuragi said so and cared for the wounded.
The sports festival for the four of them ended here. The 200-meter race should be tough for them, and they weren’t included in the nominated competition.
But what about Class D? The number of injured people for them was more than six people. Moreover, someone like Ishizaki must have been scheduled to participate in a nominated competition. If he couldn’t compete, the class would either have to pay points to change the player or abandon the competition for that event.
…Ryuuen must have it tough.
I stared at Ryuuen from afar, who never lost his fearless smile.
I was impressed that his will had not broken yet. No, rather than saying it wasn’t broken…
Perhaps he wasn’t obsessed with victory over the sports festival to begin with?
Rather than winning or losing, it felt like he was watching how other people acted.
Perhaps he judged that the sports festival wasn’t the right stage to compete?
Four people including me gathered and started forming the cavalry.
Since it was obviously undecided who got to ride the cavalry, we decided it through rock-paper-scissors.
…Unfortunately? I lost, so it was decided I would become one of the horses.
“Err, Hashimoto, is it? Please take care of me.”
“Yeah, well, let’s just do it moderately. It’ll be stupid if we end up injured over this.”
Hashimoto, who won the rock-paper-scissors, also said that casually. Despite how he behaved, he was unexpectedly a calm type of person, but then I remembered he was harassing Class D by tripping their legs during the pole toppling.
“…Takashiro, you already expected this from the beginning, right? About Katsuragi, I mean.”
“It’s not quite the correct term. Since Arisu-chan wasn’t interested, it is more accurate to say I ignored him. You were also someone who consistently didn’t listen to what he said, right?”
This guy already distanced himself from Katsuragi from a very early stage. I never saw him participate in early events like study groups. Almost every time, he had the image of returning early around the same time as us.
“Hahah, that’s right. I decided to not attach myself to an incompetent boss. But unfortunately for this class… the miscalculation on my part was the fact that none of the leader candidates were competent in the first place.”
With a resigned look on his face, Hashimoto stared at Katsuragi.
While showing an unmotivated attitude, he still had the desire to graduate as Class A. I thought he was the same as me, but that didn’t seem to be the case.
The cavalry battle began.
Hashimoto, who had been lifted up, was watching the situation of the battle between Class B and Class D.
…Class D had two fewer cavalries. As I thought, they suffered a considerable number of injured people.
“Ah, that should be a foul.”
There was someone who jumped on the opponent’s cavalry and began to beat the student who rode them. With the weight of two people, the balance collapsed and everyone fell together. At that time, they pretended it was an accident while he was trampling over others from above. The one who got trampled was in a lot of pain. Would that end with just a sprain?
As always, Class B was doing what they wanted, it was completely the same flow as the pole toppling.
…An announcement was made that the student who jumped on other cavalry and the three students who served as his cavalry were to be ejected because of foul play.
That was NG, as expected. Well, if that kind of thing were allowed, there would be no way the cavalry battle could be carried out properly after all.
With thin smiles on their faces, the offenders left the field.
“That’s dirty, they are actually part of the Katsuragi faction… Can you believe that?”
Hashimoto looked at the four with disdainful eyes. It was just as he said, those four were supposed to be one of the few people in the Katsuragi faction. Originally, they weren’t fellows who would resort to such foul plays.
It seemed their restraints came off during the pole toppling. The closer people were to Katsuragi, the greater stress they had pent up after all… I could understand that much.
This also served as their farewell declaration with the Katsuragi faction who adopted a clean method. It was because Katsuragi had told everyone in the class to refrain from cowardly acts before the competition. Those people who were ejected due to foul play showed they ignored Katsuragi’s words.
Perhaps this sports festival served as the catalyst for the complete end of the Katsuragi faction’s regime.
Because the people who fell due to foul play were considered invalid, the crumbled cavalry of Class D were given the right to reorganize their cavalry. However, since both the rider and cavalry were injured by the fall, they couldn’t reform their cavalry and retired as it was.
Looking at the result alone, it was “one for one.” With Class B and Class C having superior quantity compared to the opposing team, it became more advantageous. Even at this point, the dirty play had made an effect.
After that, vicious acts were occurring all over the place, such as trying to forcibly break the cavalry by ramming at them or trying to aim at the eyes instead of the headband using their hand.
“…I guess the right thing to do is to avoid getting involved with them.”
“Aah, I also agree.”
Both of us agreed on that. While we tried to avoid contact as much as possible… students from Class A approached us and Hashimoto’s headband was taken away. That was the end of our cavalry battle. The other two who were on our team were somewhat dissatisfied, but they didn’t complain in particular. Perhaps they also inwardly felt bored with the situation.
Anyway, I was glad I was able to finish this without injury this time as well.
The cavalry battle ended with the victory of Class B and C. Ryuuen’s tenacity at the end was amazing, but while he was confronting Sudou’s team, Totsuka’s cavalry struck Ryuuen’s from behind. With one of the students that supported the cavalry sent flying, Ryuuen also fell over, thus the game was set. Even though it was just getting hot, it ended with a bad aftertaste.
“Ryuuen at that time was quite amazing.”
“You’re right. His killing intent toward Totsuka could be felt even while we watched from afar.”
Until the time for the last whole class category event… the 200-meter race, I was chatting with Masumi-san.
In a little while, my sports festival will end. When I think that way, I get a little excited.
“…What are they doing?”
Currently, the field is used for cavalry battles for third-year students.
Women gathered some distance away from that location. In the center of them… was Shiranami Chihiro.
Something seemed suspicious, so we closed our distance and eavesdropped.
“…In other words, Ichinose-san wishes for the happiness of the entire school. It’s not that you are defeated. From now on, why don’t you fight together with us as an ally of justice to confront evil?”2
Shiranami was appealing to the students with a serious expression.
Apparently, she was explaining how good Honami was.
“Our class has become happy because of Ichinose-san. I want to share that feeling with you, students of other classes. I can’t stand seeing kind-hearted people like all of you heading toward ruin. So let’s… join together to walk on the path of glory!”
A small cheer arose. Some of them even clapped.
Those other students were all girls from Class B. Did this mean Honami finally began to take action?
Shiranami saw me and smiled. I also looked at her eyes and smiled back.
I could roughly understand her though. I should just say as expected of Shiranami.
…For now, our interests were completely aligned. I had no reason to stop her at all.
(Is it okay to leave them alone?)
(It’s okay, but Masumi-san, make sure you ‘don’t get swallowed in’. Hold yourself strong.)
Just like Kanzaki of Class A, someone who could see the group from a bird’s eye perspective was necessary.
In the future, I wanted Masumi-san to play such a role. That would make it easier for both Arisu-chan and Honami to make their move… although I had no intention of telling Masumi-san everything, I would tell her some of the inner workings.
Even so, Shiranami was quite amazing. She knew well the method of manipulating a group that was more effective than baiting them with material benefit. Next time I see her, I think I should praise her for that.
…I think Shiranami only thought of spreading how good Honami was, which happened to serve as Honami’s stepping stone, but I could see that the majority of the audience was already drawn into the Honami cult. I think, given enough time, it wasn’t impossible to convince all the girls of Class B to convert into the cult just because of Shiranami.
It wasn’t an exaggeration to say the strong faith in Honami among Class A’s girls was something that Shiranami created.
As long as this woman existed, the absolute dominance of Honami wouldn’t be shaken. I was sure of that.
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