Y1 Vol 1 Chapter 12 | Victory Celebration
“Cheers!” Ike shouted joyfully and toasted with a can of juice. That evening, the former association of failures had convened once again. Liberated from our studies, we were all overjoyed that no one had been expelled. Everyone smiled… Well, except for Horikita. We’d shared our burdens, and together, we’d overcome the challenge. Perhaps that was the point of being young. I guess if you ignored the one dark spot, this wasn’t terrible.
“What’s with the long face, Ayanokouji? Sudou wasn’t expelled. Everything’s fine now, right?”
“I don’t particularly mind that you’re holding a celebration party, but why are you holding it in my room?”
“Mine’s a mess. So are Sudou’s and Yamauchi’s. And we can’t go to a girl’s room, right? I mean, yeah, I would’ve loved going to Kushida-chan’s room. But your spectacularly plain and empty room is the best option.”
“It’s only been two months since school started. I think it’d be weird to have a lot of stuff.” Aside from daily necessities, I didn’t really need anything.
“What do you think, Kushida-chan?”
“I think it’s fine here. It’s simple, but it feels nice and clean.” “Right? Man, it must be nice to have Kushida-chan praise
you. Ha ha ha ha!” Ike grudgingly pushed me.
“All things considered, though, that midterm was dangerous.
If we hadn’t put the study group together, I would’ve been fine, but Ike and Sudou would have definitely gotten kicked out.”
“Huh? You were close to getting expelled, too, you know.”
“No, no, I could have gotten a perfect score if I were serious about it. Really.”
“Everything was thanks to Horikita-san’s efforts. She tutored Ike, Yamauchi, and Sudou.”
Horikita sat outside the circle, quietly reading a novel. When we said her name, she bookmarked her page and looked up.
“I did it for my own sake. If someone had been expelled, Class D’s evaluation would’ve worsened.”
“Just say that you didn’t want us to get expelled, even if it’s a lie. We’d like you better.”
“It’d be fine with me if you didn’t.”
Well, her attitude remained unchanged, but simply participating in this gathering was a sign of her progress. The old Horikita most definitely would not have come.
“Well, I guess, but…you’re a surprisingly good person, Horikita,” replied Sudou.
Since Horikita had apologized to Sudou, he’d completely stopped antagonizing her. Before, he’d said she was a bad person. But people could change.
“Anyway, why did Chiyabashira-sensei change her mind about expelling Sudou-kun?”
“I wondered about that, too. What kind of sorcery did you use, Horikita-chan?”
“Hmm, I don’t really remember.” “Whoa, it’s a secret?!”
Ike tumbled over in an exaggerated fashion.
“Even though we managed to make it through the midterm, we shouldn’t lose our heads. Our next challenge is the final exam. We should expect those questions to be even more difficult than the ones today. In addition, we still need to find a way to increase our points.”
“Do we really need to start this hellish cramming all over again? This sucks.” Still on the floor, Ike buried his head in his hands.
“Don’t you think that if we start right now, it won’t be hellish?”
“No!” He sounded sure about that.
“I don’t understand this school at all. I don’t get the class divisions, the point system, anything.”
“Ah, points. I want points! Living in poverty really sucks.”
After Ike and Yamauchi had used up all of their points, they’d had to resort to living off the school’s free offerings.
“Hey, Horikita-san. Do you think it’ll be really difficult to get more points?”
“We tried so hard on the midterm that they’ll definitely give us some points, right?!”
“Did you not see Class D’s average score? We were the lowest of all of the classes by far. If you think that we’ll get points for that, then I think you need to open your eyes.” Horikita spoke the truth without mercy, without sugarcoating anything.
“Then we’re not getting any points next month, either. Boo.”
“I think you should learn to live a more modest life and give up on points.”
“Don’t worry, Ike-kun. We may not get any points right now, but surely we’ll get some soon. Right, Horikita-san?”
“I wonder about that.”
“Can I say something? We’re all friends here, after all.
Horikita-san, Ayanokouji-kun, and I are all working together to get into Class A. If you’re okay with it, I want you three to help us,” Kushida said.
“Get into…Class A? A-are you serious?” Ike said.
“Yes. I absolutely am. Increasing our points is an inevitable part of getting to the top as well.”
“B-but, isn’t the idea of reaching Class A kind of ridiculous?
They’re all smart, right? It’d be impossible for us to win against those guys by studying.”
When you considered their average test scores, everyone in that class was probably on Horikita’s level.
“Studying isn’t the sole factor in deciding who goes into what class, though. Right?”
“Yeah, but if you can’t study at all, then moving up is out of the question.”
The three least-academically gifted people averted their eyes and whistled nonchalantly.
“We’re still far from our goal, but we can do it if we all work together. I know it.”
“What makes you so sure?”
“What makes me sure, hmm? Well, you know what they say, ‘A single arrow is easily broken, but not ten in a bundle,’ I suppose.”
“I think that even if you bundled these ten together, they’d still break,” Horikita said.
“W-well how about this? Three heads are better than one! Or something like that,” Kushida said.
“I guess if you combined all three of their test scores, you’d get one normal person’s grade.” Every time Kushida tried to raise the three up, Horikita would knock them back down. What an amazing pair.
“If we keep going back and forth like this, though, we won’t get anywhere. It’s definitely better for us to get along.”
“I suppose that, logically, you’re right.” “Right?”
Horikita didn’t try to argue further. At any rate, if we wanted to move up, we’d need to get along with as many of our classmates as possible. We gained nothing by fighting one another.
“So that’s why I’d like to ask the three of you to help us.” “Gladly!” replied Ike and Yamauchi in unison.
“Well, if Horikita asked me to help, I would. I guess.” Sudou tried to hide his embarrassment when he spoke.
“I never wanted your help, Sudou-kun. Besides, I have a hard time imagining how you’ll be useful in the first place.”
“Grr. I just thought I’d try to be nice, is all, and—” “You were trying to be nice? I’m surprised.”
Unsurprisingly, Sudou looked angry, but it didn’t seem like he was going to raise his fist. Wow, he was making progress, too.
“You’re a really annoying girl,” he said. “Thank you. I appreciate your words of praise.” “You are not cute at all, lady.”
“You say that, but how do you really feel?” teased Ike. Sudou instantly glared at Ike and put him in a headlock. “Ow! Ow, ow! S-stop!”
“If you say anything else, I’m going to strangle you!” “Y-you already are strangling me, jeez! I give, I give!”
Horikita sighed deeply. Her eyes seemed to ask, Is this male bonding?
“In this school, ability is paramount. I’m positive that our competition will grow even more severe moving forward. If you say you’ll work with us, know that you can’t do so half-heartedly. Otherwise you’ll be a burden.”
“Well, if it comes down to physical ability, leave it to me. I have serious basketball and fighting skills.”
“I really can’t expect anything from you at all.”
Ability was paramount, huh? I felt my chest tighten. We’d been isolated from the world and now thrust into this situation. Perhaps we were cursed.
Horikita seriously planned on getting into Class A. Her will was unshakeable. However, our path out of Class D would not be an easy one. Considering our current performance, it was hard to imagine us even reaching Class C. What should we do from here? I imagined that things would turn out as they should. For the time being, I’d do my best. At the very least, though…I wouldn’t mind seeing Horikita smile.