So, on the 5th night of the special examination trial, D class was feeling depressed . It was like we were keeping vigil all night over a dead body . After all, no one knew who the culprit was and no one wanted to talk about it . A whole day passed without a moment of doubts and suspicions .
Within this situation, today, I was responsible for keeping the fire burning . I was just looking at the fire, throwing some branches occasionally… a very monotonous and easy task .
The problem, though, laid elsewhere .
“Hey, Ayanokouji! I told you to move the tent properly, didn’t I?”
“Move it more to the left . Because it’s too close to the boys . ”
“… All right . ”
They just gave me an unreasonable order and I accepted it reluctantly . The girls left with indignation .
“It’s hard when you are forced to do miscellaneous routine duties . ”
“… Look who’s talking . I would have been alright if it wasn’t for your unnecessary recommendation . ”
“There was no other way . Hirata is not to be trusted . Insurance is necessary . ”
“You are the only one in class who doesn’t trust Hirata . It’s better not to think that all people live by being two-faced . ”
“That’s true . In fact, I am not two-faced . ”
Indeed . Horikita lives, by being true to herself .
She ended up dodging this rather skilfully .
“However, most people use their real intentions quite differently from their principles . Just like you do . Moreover, I don’t trust any of them because charity and hypocrisy are two sides of the same coin . ”
It seemed that her trust issues weren’t limited only to Hirata . They applied to Kushida as well .
“Still, I trust Hirata very much . ”
“Ah! At least, I can count on you . You are really reliable . ”
“Rely on me? Can you at least say that I have a good influence on the class because of him?”
Horikita must have had something on her mind since she came back at me with a counterattack . It probably seemed to her that I was holding information that she didn’t know and, on top of that, I kept answering her with an unfriendly smile .
“Well, Hirata is not perfect . There are times that we cannot organise things properly when boys and girls are gathering together . But don’t you think he is doing his best as a coordinator? He can do what other students can’t . ”
“That’s for sure . It’s true that his act of taking on a big role without making a sour face is impressive, but this must come together with a good result . However, it’s not possible anymore . The situation looks dire already . Do you know that the points that we D Class own now are very few?”
“It seems that there was an excessive amount of spending . I can’t estimate exactly . ”
“Just as I thought — Hirata, whom you trust so much, keeps his lips sealed . ”
“What do you mean?”
“Please, follow me . ”
I wonder what it is that I should see so much that we left the fire unattended .
Where are we going?
In front of the girls’ tents .
Horikita opened the cloth on the main panel and showed the inside of the tent .
Unlike the empty boys’ tent, the girls’ tent had a completely different view because there was no space to sleep .
On the floor, there was a floor mat to soften the hardness of the ground, and several pillows seemed to have been inflated with air . Furthermore, they installed a battery-powered cordless electric fan .
“The exact same things are also placed on the other tent too . A total of 12 points . ”
“I used to think that the girls endured the heat with patience and without complaints . So, this is how you do it . ”
It’s not like they were patient from the beginning . They just purchased all the necessary items .
“Karuizawa and the others applied for these . ”
It seemed that they indulged themselves quite well in the shadows .
“When I realized it, it was only after they had placed the order and everything was ready . It’s difficult to do anything when we made a rule that anyone can use points if they apply for it . ”
Just like with the case of Kouenji that withdrew early from the exams, there was no way to stop using points .
“It seems that Karuizawa reported this to Hirata, so he definitely knows . But you didn’t know it . It’s a fact that no one told you or informed the others . However, I think that this kind of information must absolutely be shared with everyone else . ”
Horikita explained the situation with her arms folded . Her words made sense, but it didn’t seem that Hirata kept his mouth shut because he actually had malicious intentions . Maybe, he just wanted to avoid unnecessary confusion .
Even Karuizawa was evaluated when she reported to Hirata .
“I understand what you mean, but I don’t have anything in particular to say . Points that have been used cannot be returned, and there aren’t many days left for the test to end . So, Karuizawa probably won’t use any more points carelessly . ”
I thought I was getting angry with the cold way she responded back but it seemed like this was an already expected reply from Horikita . So I ignored her completely .
“If nothing continues to happen, this time we should probably remain quiet and obedient . But it’s very risky that the stolen underwear case remains unresolved . If the culprit is still nearby, from now on we should probably hold him back from achieving other successes . That’s why I want to catch the culprit as soon as possible . ”
“So, do you want me to collaborate with you?”
“Yeah . Now that cracks started to appear on the male side, there are many things which I can’t do alone . ”
Boys and girls were now in the middle of a cold war . Information from both parts had been cut off and it was hard to find them out even if we went out to explore .
“Understood . I don’t know if it’ll help but I’ll cooperate . ”
When I replied so frankly, on the contrary, Horikita had a doubtful face .
“…I can understand things a bit… . Do you have any other aim?”
“It’s better for you to accept other people’s favours amenably . As a man, I’m quite dissatisfied with the fact that other men have been treated like thieves . My motive to collaborate is enough . ”
Earlier before, Hirata asked me to be responsible for the situation but it shouldn’t change anything .
“Well, let it go . It’s settled then . ”
But the culprit wasn’t stupid . First of all, under the situation of being suspected by all the members of the class, he wouldn’t give himself away or show his true colours . Horikita may still think it’ll all be okay even in the worst situations . When we’ve already been disturbed on this trial more than this, it had an effect on the points too .
However, about the culprit… . Ibuki will probably have to take action once again . No, it has to happen for sure . Because she didn’t achieve her goal yet .
“Such a serious face . Treating someone like a criminal like that is not to your liking?”
“Because of this incident, the class is a mess . It’s a pity, despite the fact that we did everything very skillfully until today . ”
“It’s unexpected that we managed to cooperate until now . Because usually there’s no teamwork in D class . The final effect has been poor though, especially now that there’s a crack in between the boys’ side and the girls’ side . Of course, it would have been better to bring everything until the end of the exam”
“Besides, whoever is the culprit, I wonder what is really his aim . Was the purpose of stealing Karuizawa’s underwear just putting into disorder our teamwork? I feel there’s another hidden purpose . ”
At the keyword “purpose”, Horikita crossed her arms but, after considering it for a while, she shook her head .
“Let’s not think too much…Sorry, but I’m going back to the tent . ”
Horikita, while breathing bit by bit, brushed her hair up and turned her face away from me .
“Hey Horikita, how about confessing quietly?”
“Confessing? What in the world are you saying?”
Although she pretended to be calm, Horikita had a slight perspiration on her forehead . I decided to be reasonable with her .
“From when the exam started, you’ve become increasingly sick . ”
There may have been signs of her poor physical condition even before travelling but it was still light . Due to Horikita’s personality, the possibility that she would have been absent in a travel where there was excessive playing around was very high .
“It’s normal . ”
“You’re lying . ”
I caught Horikita in the lie she continued to tell and then I extended the hand towards her forehead . As expected, when I came in contact with her forehead, it felt hot . She tried to escape but her movements were really slow .
“Since when… . . did you notice it?”
“That time when we met on the deck . I wanted to hear what were you doing at that time . ”
“Yes . I told you I was reading a book in my room . ”
“It was really tough on you so you stayed in your room sleeping, right?
“What’s the basis of that?”
“When you joined the others, your forelocks were disheveled . In other words, that was the evidence you were laying down just before . Moreover, on the anchor deck, it was so damn hot but it seemed like you were cold . Even now, you’re wearing long sleeves with the zipper raised to the top . If you observe your situation until today from an external point of view, even elementary students will understand where my conclusion came from . ”
Horikita, who usually would strike back, this time lost the words to retort back and sunk into silence for a while .
“If you could offer all that sharpness towards A class, you’d be able to get a little more recognition . ”
“No . There’s no turning back . Are you not going to keep silent about my condition anymore?
Touching with my hand, it was clear that there was a flu close to 38 degrees . Still, she was hiding it . That was for some simple reasons . If you reported your bad physical condition, the class would end up receiving a bad evaluation and getting a bigger penalty . Her luck ran out since the exam started .
“Be patient for another 5 days, it’ll all be in vain if you give up here . Good night . ”
She’s going to survive until the end . Her will seems to be solid .