Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Sorry to keep you waiting for the update.
Even though I wrote my other work without much thinking, they somehow made more sense compared to this one…
It seemed the student named Yukimura from Class C was attacked by someone. At that time, his notebook, which contained the summary of the questions the class made and notes on the opinions of other members, was stolen.
“…So, the group has to redo everything, huh.”
“It seems so. Really, I’m glad I quit early.”
The person who told me that was Kikyou-chan, who had already left the question-maker group.
Of course, it was hard to remake everything, but the problem this time was about something different.
It seemed that Horikita severely scolded Yukimura for being attacked. It was said that she used every word to criticize him out of frustration that things weren’t going well. How pitiful.
Not only Yukimura himself, but other students around him seemed to be annoyed by Horikita’s selfish behavior. It ended up with every member of the question-maker group choosing to withdraw, leaving only Horikita to make all the questions herself.
…There was less than a week left until the day of the exam. Because there was Saturday and Sunday in between, it meant only three days left to submit the questions. Having to create 400 questions from now on was an extremely difficult task even with the cooperation of all the class members. It was too short of time.
Besides, she couldn’t just make questions randomly either. The questions had to be made as hard as possible but still qualified enough after being checked by the teachers. It was practically impossible to do by one person.
“Things collapsed splendidly…”
“That’s right. She said a lot of stuff to me, so it really makes me feel good! Serves you right!”
Kikyou-chan was in a good mood.
It was clear that the culprit was Class D, but according to Kikyou-chan, the incident happened in a place with no surveillance camera. In that case, it would take time to prove it. It was a well-organized attack that couldn’t be proven in time for the exam. Ryuuen’s cunningness shone here.
Well, no matter how one sees it, the defeat of Class C was clear. Even I, who didn’t know much about the situation, already thought that, so the students of Class C should have given up long ago. The only person who still worked hard was…
“It means Horikita-san has completely lost her position in the class.”
Arisu-chan, who was lying down, raised her upper body and said so.
Not only had Horikita lost the trust of those around her, but she ended up having to fight alone and defeated. Even if Horikita could already see such a tragic future, she couldn’t afford to back out and had no choice but to believe in the minuscule chance as she continued.
“It seems everything happened exactly as Kiyotaka intended, huh.”
“You’re right. If I had to pick the winner of this exam, there could only be him.”
After taking a sip of my tea, I let out a sigh. As I thought, he was amazing.
Then the day of the exam came.
As expected, the questions were extremely easy. They were questions about applying simple formulas or fill-in-the-blank questions extracted from textbooks as they were… If I didn’t make a mistake on purpose, I could easily exceed 90 points.
The surrounding students also showed a relaxed attitude.
This will increase Honami’s approval rating further.
In the end, there was nobody who asked for compensation for conceding victory. Therefore, things ended in the most ideal way for Class A, but Honami’s charisma wasn’t the only reason why it ended up like that.
Three days before the exam, Honami came to Class B and told everyone “If anyone wants 10,000 points, come to see me.” This was a terrifying statement, which was practically a landmine.
There were already fanatics of the Honami cult within Class B. If anyone actually went and asked for the points, they would definitely earn distrust from these fanatics. Not only that, if they actually visited the main branch of the cult… it was possible they would be marked by the extremist faction of Class A. No matter how one thought about it, the possible risk wasn’t worth the 10,000 points.
…In addition to the group pressure, there was also the current class power relationship. Considering all these things, there would be no one who dared to ask for the points.
Did Honami do that without being conscious of it or actually calculating it? Only she knew the answer.
While the answer sheets were collected, her bright smile flashed through my mind.
And so, the exam for all subjects was concluded. We returned to our room to rest our tired brains and bodies.
“You think anyone will be expelled?”
“Let’s see. Leaving the obvious no for Class A and Class B aside, I don’t think the other two classes would have terrible scores for their exam either.”
Class C got more united as everyone left Horikita. How ironic.
Kei-chan showed great leadership here as well. She skillfully divided the 39 people in the group and conducted study groups in a manner that minimized dissatisfaction as much as possible. Even the Sudou group was working more seriously than expected, so it was hard to think that any one of them would drop out.
Then what about Class D?
According to what I asked Hiyori through chat, there were some hard questions, but it was an easy exam for the most part. It seemed there would be no pair who scored a failing grade.
…However, I was surprised that Horikita actually managed to create 400 questions all alone. I was honestly impressed by her guts.
Since it was impossible for her to revise the questions over and over considering the time constraint, it seemed many questions were considered no good by the teachers and replaced with easier questions from supplementary question banks instead. Because of that, there were differences in difficulty between the questions.
The effect of Yukimura being attacked was big after all. I didn’t know what would happen in the future about that matter, but as far as this special exam was concerned, it could be said Ryuuen’s strategy has won.
“Ryuuen must’ve felt relieved inwardly about this.”
“…If the situation of having 0 points continued over a long period of time, his influence would be shaken without a doubt. It could be considered that this match decided his fate. Claiming a victory when he almost had nothing left was very like him in a way.”
Well, part of that victory was something that Kiyotaka granted him. Even though Ryuuen might have felt relieved, I doubted he truly thought he was victorious. Rather, it was possible that he would consider Kiyotaka as even more eerie.
Their true match was still ahead… I guess that was how he would think.
Ding dong, the doorbell rang.
As I wondered who it might be, I unlocked the door.
“…I’m sorry for visiting at this hour.”
“Kei-chan, what’s wrong?”
“Many things happened, so I want someone to hear me out. Is that okay?”
She looked a little depressed. In addition, there was no figure of Kiyotaka next to her.
Even though I somewhat guessed the reason, I still invited her to our room.
At first, Arisu-chan also made a surprised expression like me. However, she seemed to understand immediately and had already returned to her usual smile by the time Kei-chan sat down.
“Is something wrong?”
“…Kiyotaka left me alone and went to Horikita’s room. He also wore an expression like he was having fun.”
His predictable movement caused her predictable reaction.
However, it was still too early for Kei-chan to ask for help. I thought she would only do so once Kiyotaka got closer to Horikita and developed a deeper relationship.
“I see. Kei-san, do you suspect he is cheating on you?”
“That’s not what I mean. However, this is the first time he blatantly prioritized someone other than me… so I can’t help but feel anxious and can’t stay still. It makes me worried that he might abandon me as it is.”
“…I think that’s just an exaggeration. However, I know very well how you feel.”
“Arisu-chan understands that?”
“Fufu, I told you last time, didn’t I? That we are similar.” 1
In contrast to Kei-chan, who seemed to be in pain, Arisu-chan looked somewhat happy.
It seemed there was no chance for me to speak today. I decided to watch the exchange between the two in silence.
“What was Horikita-san like at school?”
“Her eyes became those of a dead fish. I don’t like or hate her in particular, but it’s enough to make me worry about her. That’s why I think Kiyotaka’s action itself is not wrong.”
“I understand, it seems you understand that much. In that case, I will tell you his real intention.”
Saying that, Arisu-chan began to talk about the content of what Kiyotaka told us the other day.
About Kiyotaka’s attempt to destroy Horikita’s mind and turn her into his obedient pawn. About how he did a lot of stuff to achieve that, and about how he definitely had no intention of breaking up with Kei-chan…
Although Kei-chan was a little surprised, she accepted it. She seemed to feel a little complicated about it… but she didn’t give that big of a reaction. Perhaps she already expected that to some extent.
“As I thought, Kiyotaka has that kind of side too… it makes me somewhat convinced.”
“I think that part of him is his greatest charm, you know?”
It was just as Arisu-chan said. Kiyotaka’s sensibility deviated from the ordinary… within that danger, there was a very big charm.
Kei-chan steadily became more understanding about Kiyotaka. In the first place, the fact she could tell that Kiyotaka seemed to be “having fun” from his expression was quite impressive. I wouldn’t speak of it, but I think it was impossible for Horikita to threaten Kei-chan’s position. No matter how capable Horikita might become, she could only be his pawn… the one who could be his girlfriend could only be Kei-chan.
“She still isn’t completely crushed. I think that’s what he thought.”
“So Kiyotaka… didn’t go to Horikita to help her,”
“It’s to deal the finishing blow. He visited her room to gouge out the wounds in her heart.”
A chill ran down my spine. I guess calling it a god of death wearing the skin of a hero would be fitting.
Although I understood how important it was to drive Horikita into the corner, I was in awe of his viciousness.
As Kei-chan regained her composure, she returned to Kiyotaka’s room.
Arisu-chan then asked me a question.
“She has grown stronger. Don’t you think so?”
“You’re right. Overall, I think she achieved great growth.”
“…I think the day I would lose my match with Kiyotaka-kun would come eventually.”
As I repeated that word, Arisu-chan stared at me with a smile.
“Fufu, there’s nothing to be confused about. I think I haven’t mentioned it yet. Kiyotaka-kun’s ultimate goal… is to ‘make Karuizawa Kei surpass me’.”
“…Seriously? He actually intends to do that?”
To make a genius admit defeat with only the ability of an ordinary person. That meant the defeat of talent.
Things that Arisu-chan and Kiyotaka talked about until now became connected one after another.
“Kiyotaka-kun seems to think that the result would be his victory over us. Of course, he has no intention to harm Haruto-kun… he seems to be enjoying the raising simulation game with Kei-san as the subject. It makes me a little envious.”
“Somehow, it makes me understand a lot of things.”
My shallow thought was shattered. There was no need to worry about Kei-chan getting wounded from him gaining Horikita as a pawn to begin with. That in itself was Kiyotaka’s “task.” It was an activity that served as his hobby and benefit at the same time.
I perceived the meaning and the purpose in reverse. Cheating was outrageous to begin with, as everything he did was a present for Kei-chan as her boyfriend. Horikita would probably just end up as Kei-chan’s stepping stone.
No matter what happened, Kei-chan would earn experience if she managed to get through it. Of course, he would have fun in the process.
What he sought from this school was only Kei-chan’s growth. Be it Ryuuen, Honami, or perhaps even us would be used for that purpose.
However, doesn’t that mean…
He continued to take action for the sake of growing a girl into a full-fledged person. I didn’t know how Kiyotaka would put those actions into words… but that could be considered “love.”
Once he reached the finish line, what was he going to do?
While worrying about the newly arisen question, I entered the routine work of the night.
We’re approaching volume 7 of the light novel. I think I could post the next chapter in half a week.
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