Sorting the documents proceeds faster than I suspected, but that stupid Baba isn't really doing this seriously and keeps messing up. I periodically recheck his part and I keep finding mistakes.
Kubota isn't helping much either. He works for like ten minutes and then makes up an excuse to go elsewhere. He usually says that he has an important business with this or the other club, but I don't really buy it.
During one of the few occasions he's inside the student council's room I ask him a question that has been on my mind for quite a while.
Meito: "Hey, Kubota... what happened to the other student council's members? Don't tell me you're the only one left."
Kuon: "Of course not! Well... while we did lose a few members when they graduated, and we still need to recruit new ones from the first year students, our staff still counts about six persons."
Meito: "Well then... where are they?"
Kuon: "That's a very intelligent question, one which I, unfortunately, cannot answer. Suffice to say that it's what I've been wondering myself for the whole day. I remember I told them yesterday that we couldn't procrastinate our bureaucratic duties anymore and that today we'd have to attend to them all at once! Imagine my dismay when I found out that they're all absent. A quite unfortunate coincidence, if you ask me, I wonder what could have happened!"
Meito: "I wonder..."
I guess that the whole student council is a bunch of irresponsible guys.
In the meantime I started copying the part of documents already sorted while Baba is finishing the rest.
Kuon: "Oooh! That's truly impressive, my dear Oda! Such incredible talent in task management!"
Meito: "I just want to get done with it quickly! And how can you be the boss here, if you can't even think that much?!"
Kuon: "I think you're quite misunderstanding what is truly required by a man in my position."
Meito: "All I understand is that you're slacking off again! We could use your help, you know!"
Kuon: "My dear Baba! Isn't our companion quite the complaining fellow?"
Baba: "He's a pain in the ass."
Meito: "What? I'm just..."
Kuon: "Complaining, complaining, complaining! Are you really enjoying your life, my dear Oda?"
This is really getting on my nerves. Even Hitomi told me the same, but am I really to blame? It's not my fault if the world is wrong!
Baba: "Finished. Can I go now?"
Meito: "What? That was just the first step. We still need to finish copying and..."
Kuon: "How-ever... there is but a single copy machine in this room."
Meito: "Well... yes but..."
Kuon: "I think you're doing an awesome job here, my dear Oda. Yes, quite impressive indeed!"
Baba: "Very impressive, he he he."
Meito: "You guys don't mean..."
Kuon: "I just remembered there are other important matters that I have to attend to immediately."
Kuon: "Oh, but I'm quite serious. In fact I could use some help for that, someone with enough strength to help me carrying stuff."
Baba: "I'll help."
Kuon: "That's the spirit, my dear Baba!"
Meito: "Are you leaving me alone here?!"
Kuon: "My dear Oda! I have absolute faith in your skills! You gained my complete trust!"
Meito: "You can't be serious!"
Kuon: "Of course I am! Do you think it's that strange? You should have more faith in yourself!"
Meito: "That's not what I meant!"
Kuon: "At any rate I really should go, so I'll leave this in your care."
Kuon: "Time isn't waiting, my dear Oda! Let's go, Baba."
And before I can protest any further, I find myself alone in the student council room. It's just me and a mountain of paper. I have the strong feeling that I've been just tricked.
I can tell it's late by the simple fact it's already dark outside. I have completely lost track of the passing time. I'm exhausted.
Neither Baba nor Kubota came back since then, and I'm quite certain now that they went home after whatever was the important matter they had to attend. Supposing there was an important matter in the first place. I guess Kubota really needed the help though, else he wouldn't have took Baba along.
I'm finished here, or so I think. My mind is hurting so much and I feel confused, drowsy, I'm not completely sure I didn't miss something, but I don't really care.
At this point the school must be almost completely empty, all club activities should have ended already. So I think only a few teachers and the groundskeeper still remain. I can't believe I'm still here.
An unnatural, eerie silence is looming in the room, giving me the unsettling impression I entered a different reality, a parallel strange universe where all sounds are dampened.
I look at my watch, it's almost half past six.
I walk through the empty corridors and stairs and I absentmindedly reach my locker. When I'm about to take my shoes I notice something that completely wakes me up from my drowsiness. There's a message.
It looks like a page of a notebook and I think it's been folded and crumpled and then folded again. That's not exactly what you would expect from a love letter. Whatever could this be? I hope it's not a challenge from Baba, but then again it really isn't his style.
I unfold the message and read its contents; it's from Hitomi!
This is unmistakably her writing style and she isn't new to this kind of things. But leaving messages in people's lockers and this late in the afternoon? That's quite unusual to say the least.
"Meet me in front of the old P.E. shed.
That's all it says, it doesn't even tell when.
Was Hitomi aware that I would be this late today? I doubt she would, or... well... she knew I was going to help Kubota, so she could have imagined I would be still here.
If I remember correctly, she said she wanted to be free from the super spec... from training... by six o' clock. Ouch, this is bad! Has she been waiting for me all this time? I can't imagine Hitomi waiting fro a whole thirty minutes, there's a high chance she's no longer there, but I guess I should at least check.
Somehow... I feel like I'm being watched.
I quickly move my head left and right. Nothing, it must be my imagination. This silence and the pale light of the neon lamps are playing tricks in my head.
What could Hitomi possibly want from me? Why this late? Why in that place?
As far as I remember the old P.E. shed hasn't been used since the new gym was built a few years before. It's behind the main building, but in the opposite direction of the lab. It's practically isolated and there are trees surrounding it which makes it the perfect spot for people that want to meet in secret.
Meet in secret, after the sun set, a shed...
Wait... does that mean?! Calm down, Meito Oda! This isn't one of those hentai manga Baba is so much fond of! These kinds of things don't happen in the real world!
Or... do they?
But... come on! It's Hitomi we're talking about! She isn't so bold to take a man in an isolated place to... Actually she'd be quite capable to do that... but with me?! There's no way! No way!
It's more probable she has some kind of urgent matter she needs to discuss with me. No, that doesn't make much sense either. We live so close to each other, she wouldn't wait here at school for that. She can talk to me whenever she wants after school.
I'm almost there. It's kinda dark around here, but the lights coming from the building and the courtyard are enough to let me discern the surroundings with enough clarity.
The door of the shed is open!
Is Hitomi waiting inside? I don't see her around here, but still, how did she manage to open that door? I thought it was locked, nobody ever uses that place. However I can't think of any other explanation. Hitomi invited me here, and now the door is opened, she must have done that, or maybe she's with someone else who did.
Right, maybe this is all a prank or a surprise. Wait, when is my birthday again? Oh, right... I've already had my birthday party this year. So no, that's not it.
I take a look inside the room, my eyes take a little while to adapt. I can't discern the colors anymore, but the shapes are clear enough. What the hell is this place?
Meito: "Hi... Hitomi?"
My heart was already beating fast for the tension, but now... now I'm scared.
This isn't a P.E. shed... or at least, not completely. I can see there are still some equipments scattered around and cardboard boxes, but... there's something else; something that isn't supposed to be here.
What the hell is this? A statue? Some kind of demonic idol? And those are... candles? Candles scattered all around... they are all unlit though, but it looks they've been used.
There is other... stuff... decorations I don't quite get, but they are giving me the creeps.
Is this Teramoto's secret base? Because it totally looks like it. If it's so, I want to get the hell out from here as fast as I can. But there's something else that catches my attention. It's hard to see it in the darkness, but there's something scribbled on the floor. I don't know much about this stuff, but I think it's one of those magic circles. Why are these things here? Why have I been called to this place? Where is Hitomi?
There's someone there...
My heart freezes.
Meito: "W-who's there?"
Now I'm completely terrified.
Meito: "If this is a joke..."
I can't even finish the sentence. I gulp and I look behind me. Still that feeling of being watched.
I enter inside, why am I doing this? I should just escape! I shouldn't be here! This isn't a place I'm supposed to be.
But there's that person inside that beckons me. That person that's just lying on the floor right in the middle of that sort of magic circle, right in front of that sort of idol. That person that isn't moving at all.
Are you... are you kidding me?
This isn't how someone would normally lie on the floor, there's no way that position is comfortable. Her uniform is all messed up, it's a female uniform, it's a girl, it's a girl I know.
My mind goes blank.
I recognize that face, but that stare is odd, that mouth is odd, it's not like her.
That thing sticking from her chest, is that a sword? I'm seeing it only now, how come? The light from outside are reflecting from its blade. That cold blade. And it ends to...
I can't breath.
Blood, so much blood, it's everywhere! Dark blood! It looks completely black in this darkness!
I deny reality.
This is a joke, this is all a joke. Now she's going to jump up and say "boo!" You got me! You completely got me! I'm so fucking scared here!
I touch her, I just touched her! This isn't how a body contact is supposed to feel! It's not warm... it's cold... it's so damn cold... a human body isn't supposed to be this cold!
Someone help me.
She's dead! I can't deny it any longer, she's dead! Why? What happened? Why?! She's dead! Hitomi is dead!