Chapter 5-8: Joining Class E

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Ayanokōji's POV

"You just had to stick us in the worst possible class, didn't you?"

By pure coincidence, I had ran into Lelouch on the way to school.

"I didn't really have a choice," I replied to his exasperated words.

"Besides, is it really that bad? There are some talented people in Class E."

Lelouch narrowed his eyes.

"Even the talented ones are held down by some stupid personality defect."

He was no doubt referring to students like Horikita and Kōenji.

Is what you would think if you were just an average person listening to this conversation. These two are, of course, the two with the strongest personalities, so of course they stand out as clear examples.

However, if you analyse things a little deeper, you come to see that it's not just them. There are also students like Hirata - on the surface, he seems like a good-natured honour student with both academics and sporting skill. However, underneath all that, there is his mindset of trying to be everyone's ally, an idealistic notion that eventually will do nothing but harm those he truly cares about.

Sometimes, it is necessary to pick a side.

"Maybe I'll have to set them all straight," the amethyst-eyed boy smirked.

Certainly, it would be a good idea for the unorganised Class E to be lead by a competent Class B student like Lelouch.

That's what I would've thought if not for the sudden appearance of a new presence, anyway.

"I'm not sure that you'd be accepted as their leader, though," I commented.

"Huh? What are you trying to say? That I'm a bad ruler?"

Despite me implying nothing of the sort, Lelouch jumped to the worst possible interpretation of my words immediately.

It was unusual behaviour for someone like him. However, I'd gotten the sense that Lelouch's perception of me had changed somehow recently.

"No, that's not what I mean."

"Then what?"

"Especially in an environment like this, people will tend to follow those that set an example themselves. To put it bluntly, Lelouch is weak when it comes to physical ability. Most students are unlikely to accept you easily when it comes to leading the class in an athletics competition."

If you were seeking advice on something like fashion or makeup, you would be much more inclined to listen to a girl than a boy. Similarly, if you were looking for advice on how to exercise effectively, you would listen to a Kururugi, not a Lelouch.

"Yeah, I get it. I'm not physically strong," he sighed.

"Why don't you aim to get stronger, like Sora?" I asked him.

"It's just pointless, isn't it? So much effort in return for nothing."

Lelouch's cynical perspective seeped into every aspect of his life.

If there wasn't a direct reason to do something, Lelouch wouldn't do it.

"Does the nature of this school, and the powerful people in it, not drive you to want to become stronger?"

"No," he answered immediately. "I mean, look at the current situation. Us in Class B are currently dominating the first year, even without me putting in any effort at all. I don't need to be athletic for us to win."

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