Chapter 4-3: Dragon Group

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Ayanokōji's POV

"Colour me impressed," said Sora with his trademark smirk.

"Huh? Impressed?" Light asked in confusion.

The first allocated discussion period would be starting soon, but before that we'd decided to meet up to hear about the results of Light's plan, which he'd just explained.

"Not by you," Sora said. "By Horikita."

"Horikita? The hell did she do that's so impressive?" Lelouch asked.

"Her growth, I suppose. I wouldn't have expected that girl to even see through Light's cover plan. If you'd asked me, I'd say she would've been too busy acting disgusted and egotistical at the prospect of giving her contact information to a boy."

After her repeated losses over the course of these short months, from Sora's game with her right at the start of the year to the recent island exam in which she was only saved due to outside intervention, Horikita seemed to have developed a bit.

Sora seemed particularly excited about this fact – well, I suppose it is what he was aiming for, even back when we encountered her and her brother in that alleyway. Blank values fun above all, so nurturing their opponents to become stronger isn't unexpected from them.

"I don't understand, though," Kururugi spoke up. "Wasn't Light's real plan actually easier to see through than the cover one?"

Indeed, if Horikita is able to see through the fact that Light was actually after the VIP name, then she also has the ability to realise that he could pull some trickery in order to make her tell him the VIP before he's actually submitted an answer.

In fact, most people who are offered something in exchange for the VIP's identity in this exam would immediately suspect something like that happening. So why did Horikita not? Well, that's simple.

"Most people let their guard down after seeing through somebody's plan." Ryuzaki answered.

It was heavily ingrained in human nature, and was exceedingly difficult to overcome. People are at their weakest when finishing their enemy – they're the most vulnerable when they think they've already won. Being able to break this and remain vigilant even when your victory is assured is definitely not easy.

In fact, I'd wager that not even all my classmates have managed that. It wouldn't be difficult to imagine somebody like Light or Lelouch letting their ego get the better of them, and slipping some taunting words in after assuming their victory.

"Even then, though, it would've been just as simple as asking to see the sender of the mail that Light had forged, no?"

"Perhaps. But think about how much Horikita was juggling at that moment; on top of Light's excellent social ability steering the conversation, she also had already seen through what she assumed was his plan, and was also most likely thinking all about if the negotiation was worth it since it helped Class D, and how it would benefit Class E. Probably more too." Ryuzaki surmised to Kururugi.

"In other words, Horikita is not yet at the level where she can simultaneously consider that much information and juggle that many ideas." Light summarised.

Another factor was the way it was presented – sure, if a lesser skilled person executed the plan, their behaviour might let on that something was up when they presented the mail. However, there was no doubt that Light did it as naturally as possible, as to arouse no suspicion.

"So, anyway, now we're 500,000 private points and 50 class points up. And we know 2 VIPs." Lelouch said.

"Well, presumably. What if Horikita lied to us?" Sora pointed out.

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