Nagaoka pierces me with a burning stare and then switches to Takamiya. He certainly does not receive the news that I have been alone with her for all of this time in a good way, and he probably would be even less happy to know the details of our little girl talk.
Satsukawa is also pretty upset, his eyes are silently accusing me for my betrayal. The problem is that it is a betrayal just in his mind. He shouldn't have put that trust in me, he was warned several times, and yet he let his guard down. He has been punished for his naivety. He should thank me, that was a valuable lesson. Apart from his anger, though, he is also filled with shame. I wish I could have seen the scene of when he was freed, maybe by Nagaoka himself. I wonder what kind of face Satsukawa had, I wonder what kind of explanation he gave. It must have been certainly hilarious. Well, this is also his punishment for not listening to my advice. Then again, what guarantee did he have that I didn't tell him a lie and that I wasn't simply going to let him rot there? I could have totally done that! In fact it is such a great idea that I am saddened I will not have the chance to actualize it.
Nagaoka: "There are simply no words to express my disapproval. What kind of irresponsible person would bring a student to this place? Ah, forget I even asked that, considering it's you, I shouldn't even be surprised. I'd better not find out that you mistreated Takamiya in any way, or someone is going to take responsibility for that."
Sumomo: "I'm all right, Nagaoka-sensei... she just asked me a few questions..."
Nagaoka: "Is that so, Takamiya? You don't have to protect this... woman. Did she take you here against your will? Did she intimidate you?"
Sumomo: "No... nothing of that sort. I cooperated by my own free will."
What a good girl!
Nagaoka: "Even then, detective... what you've done is simply inexcusable! But I shouldn't talk to you, the one who really is at fault here is Satsukawa-san."
Satsukawa: "I am deeply sorry for what happened... you've all the reasons to be angered. I'm prepared to take responsibility for that."
Nagaoka: "And what if something worse happened? How would you have taken responsibility for that? I've only agreed with this because you assured me that you'd keep her under your constant supervision! How am I still supposed to believe that, when you've been shut inside a closet like a kid?"
Satsukawa: "I... have no excuse for that..."
Erika: "Why are you bowing your head to this man, Satsukawa-san? That's very unbecoming of you."
Satsukawa: "Please Erika, just stay silent for now. Don't make it even worse."
I am pretty sure he will give me a big piece of his mind once Nagaoka is no longer around.
Nagaoka: "I suppose there's really nothing more worth of being said. Your superiors will hear it from me, Satsukawa-san. I can only hope that it'll be enough to convince them that nothing good can come from this nonsense. In any case I expect that you'll exercise more control over that person from now on. I didn't think it was necessary to inform every student that they shouldn't approach this dangerous individual, if she isn't with you, but if this happens again..."
Satsukawa: "It won't, I promise."
Nagaoka: "You promised that even before."
Erika: "What a paranoid man! It's as if you're more worried about me than about the murderer that is most certainly still roaming around this school."
Erika: "Or maybe it's precisely because there's a serious risk that I'll find the murderer that you dislike me that much!"
Nagaoka: "I won't stand silent in front of such outrageous insinuations! You'd better mind your words!"
Erika: "And why would that bother you that much, if you've nothing to hide? If you're innocent, no matter what I say, it'd be just empty words, right? *giggle* *giggle*"
Nagaoka: "Enough of that! I believe you stole a bundle of keys. You'd better return it, now!"
Somehow I really hoped that they would forget about that in the commotion.
I regretfully take the keys from my pocket and I present them to the enraged teacher. He snatches them away from my hand without any regard. I am still a lady in the end, he totally lacks style.
Nagaoka: "Now go. You've caused enough problems for today."
Erika: "Ha ha ha, you think that something like that qualifies as 'causing problems'?"
Nagaoka: "That better be the worst I'll ever see from you."
Erika: "Do not count on that."
Nagaoka: "Then I was right after all. There's no hope for the likes of you. Once trash, always trash!"
Erika: "If that's your motto, I'm sure you must be a really wonderful teacher."
Nagaoka: "Enough! Get out of here!"
Erika: "Before that, I'd like to confirm with you a few things that Takamiya told me."
Nagaoka: "It's out of the question!"
Erika: "Is it true that Takamiya isn't particularly bright in scientific studies?"
Nagaoka: "Why do I need to answer your questions after all that you've done and said?!"
Erika: "The sooner you'll answer, the sooner I'll remove myself from your presence. Your choice, Nagaoka-san. I won't leave otherwise, and what exactly do you plan to do? Call the police?"
Satsukawa: "Erika, this is really not the best moment..."
Erika: "Only two questions!"
Nagaoka: "Fine! The first answer is yes! I teach Japanese so I'm not the best person to ask, but I know that that's a weak point for Takamiya. She'd be otherwise the best student of this school, most certainly!"
Erika: "The second question is: are you going home already, Nagaoka-san?"
Nagaoka: "What kind of question is that? That's really no concern of yours!"
Erika: "Please, let me understand how exactly it works in this school. It's something that really bothers me. Why are teachers still here so long after lessons and club activities have ended?"
Nagaoka: "You obviously have no idea about how much a teacher needs to work. Unfortunately a very few persons actually realize that. Our job doesn't end when lessons do. We have clubs to manage, we have tests to prepare, we have tests to correct, a lot of paperworks to do. It'd be too long to explain every detail, suffice to say that it's not unusual for a teacher to finish his work after 8:00 PM."
Erika: "Impressive! But it looks like you've freed yourself a lot earlier on the day of the crime."
Nagaoka: "That really varies from day to day! There isn't a precise time when our work ends."
Erika: "I see. That's all for today. Let's go, Satsukawa-san."
Erika: "Is something wrong?"
Satsukawa: "Do you even need to ask?"
Erika: "Yeah, yeah, you're mad, you can't believe I did this to you, what the hell was I thinking, it must never happen again, etcetera, etcetera. I know the drill."
Satsukawa: "Seriously, you..."
There is no point in arguing, I just walk back inside the school and then down to the first floor. Satsukawa follows.
I have learned a lot of many different things today, the pieces of the puzzle are almost all assembled and I begin to see the picture, or rather, the pictures. Now it is only a matter of time, soon everything will fall into place. I need to move the pieces of this complicated chessboard with care. But this is not a game where I have my own pieces, this is a game where I cause the enemy pieces to move according to my precise design until they checkmate by themselves. I have several tools I can use, and I will make full use of those.
Every single piece is hiding something where they stand, if they move, I will see what they were covering. I will drag out their dirty secrets, I will expose them for everyone to see, and then I will check the reactions, then I will see what happens. Sooner or later they will all fall to the ground, one by one I will eliminate all the obstacles and bring them down.
Lies, lies, lies! These people are full of lies! Don't they know that I can smell their stench a mile away? Don't they know how pointless it is to lie to me? I will make sure they will learn it the hard way, I will make sure it will be a most painful lesson. Because there is nothing I hate more than a badly conceived lie, there is nothing I hate more than those who pathetically try to mess with the truth, my precious and beloved truth! Fools! They are nothing but wretched fools! I will bring them on their knees, each to the lowly place they belong to! When it will be far too late, they will finally realize who they were dealing with!
For I am Erika Furudo, the Witch of Truth.