I stretch my arms and legs and I lean my head backward taking a look at the dull white ceiling.
I consider myself a very patient person. I can wait hours and days for a prey to bite my bait. But waiting for other people to show up or for things to happen by themselves, well, it is a completely different matter.
While yawning for the tenth time after I woke up today, my attention focuses on Dlanor and I realize that she has been unusually silent. She isn't normally like that when we are alone.
Erika: "Is something the matter, Dlanor?"
Erika: "Just as I imagined, something is wrong. What kind of heavy thoughts are filling your little head?"
Dlanor: "Nothing of real importance, just my usual worries."
Erika: "Worries. Why are you always worrying about something, I wonder."
Dlanor: "Worrying about you is one of my duties, Miss Erika."
Erika: "That's right, I guess that someone has to worry for both of us in the end, and I completely lack the ability to be concerned about... anything really."
She once again returns to her silent reflections. It is strange that she doesn't want to talk about them. This probably means that she knows it would be pointless to tell me, or that I could even get mad if I knew what is this about.
Erika: "It's okay, Dlanor, you can speak. After all it's completely meaningless for you to worry, if you then don't tell me a single thing."
Erika: "What are you scared about? I'm not gonna bite your head off."
Dlanor: "I was thinking... about what you have been doing so far."
Erika: "That's a bit generic, Dlanor, I'm sure you can elaborate that."
Dlanor: "I am talking about the approach you decided to take regarding this case."
Erika: "Hmmm... I'm not sure I understand. That seems like my usual approach, more or less."
Dlanor: "I know you well, Miss Erika, I know you better than anyone else. I know you even better than how you know yourself."
Erika: "So? What's your point exactly?"
Dlanor: "Even if it is impossible for anyone else, I only need so much to understand what you try to do. I have already figured it out."
Erika: "And that worries you."
Dlanor: "I am worrying because I know you are playing a dangerous game."
Erika: "But where would be the fun, if there wasn't any risk involved?"
Dlanor: "That is why I know it is completely pointless to speak my mind. You cannot stop what you have started."
Erika: "But why exactly are you that concerned? What can go wrong?"
Dlanor: "Many things. Your plan relies on an incredible amount of unforeseeable factors."
Erika: "And what of it? I have a back up plan for almost everything. If something doesn't work, I'll just switch to something else. In fact, I have in mind at least three different strategies right now."
Dlanor: "However, with your apparently nonsensical actions you are preventing yourself from taking a most easy and logical path. I believe that you are purposely avoiding the most relevant questions. You do not want to corner your victims, you prefer to leave an obvious escape route. If they take it, you will know in advance where they will go, and then you can prepare your trap."
Erika: "So? What's wrong with that?"
Dlanor: "It would be better and more swift to corner them whenever you have the chance. There is no guarantee that they will take your bait. There is no guarantee that your trap will work. You might have given up your only chance to catch them."
Erika: "Do you really think it'd be so easy? I doubt the culprit can be checkmated by conventional means. My way may be risky, but if it works the culprit will be completely crushed under my foot."
Dlanor: "I fear that the predator will become a prey, I fear that in the end you will draw yourself into a corner. You know it happened before."
Erika: "Never again, Dlanor, never again."
Erika: "What is it? I have the feeling that you didn't say everything that you wanted to say yet."
Dlanor: "The other matter that worries me, is probably something that you would laugh it off."
Erika: "Since you're already at it, you might as well tell me the rest. Plus, I'm bored, I wouldn't mind breaking this monotony with a good laugh."
Dlanor: "I still think it is irrelevant for me to talk about that."
Erika: "Irrelevant or not, at this point my curiosity demands to be satisfied."
Dlanor: "Understood, in that case I will speak."
Erika: "Good, let's hear what else troubles you."
Dlanor: "It's about Mister Satsukawa."
Erika: "Oh, Satsukawa? What about that man?"
Dlanor: "I fear he really hates you now..."
Erika: "Ahahaha! Ha ha... Ahahaha!"
Dlanor: "I knew you would laugh."
Erika: "Is that what really worries you, Dlanor? There's really no reason to."
Dlanor: "I think it was nice to have someone who trusted you."
Erika: "That's really ridiculous, Dlanor. Only idiots trust others, we don't need an idiot around us."
Dlanor: "I still think it was nice."
Dlanor: "I fear he will not trust you anymore."
Dlanor: "Are you angry?"
Erika: "I'm not angry, Dlanor, but I can't say I'm pleased to see you worrying over such things."
Dlanor: "I think Mister Satsukawa is a nice man."
Erika: "Don't tell me! Do you like that guy, Dlanor?"
Dlanor: "I think you like him."
Dlanor: "I do not think I am wrong."
Erika: "Ha ha ha ha! Seriously, Dlanor, what happened this morning? I can barely recognize you!"
Dlanor: "What should we do?"
Erika: "About what?"
Dlanor: "About Mister Satsukawa. Yesterday he didn't even want to talk to you."
Erika: "What do you want me to do about that? That's really not a concern of mine."
Dlanor: "He is more useful to you when he acts as your partner."
Erika: "Hmmm... you made a good point... In the end that man has his uses. It wouldn't be pretty if he stopped providing his insight and his informations..."
Dlanor: "What should we do?"
Erika: "Well, I'll manage it somehow. If he's a professional, he'll put aside personal matters and he'll still give me his full support, even if he doesn't like me anymore."
Dlanor: "Maybe you should apologize."
Erika: "What?! Ha... what?!"
Dlanor: "It doesn't need to be a sincere apology."
Erika: "Ah, you mean I should apologize just to fix things and make up?"
Dlanor: "I think it is probably the best and fastest way to resolve this situation."
Erika: "No, that won't do. Of course it wouldn't cost me anything to tell him a lie just to make him happy, but an apology? That would be the same as admitting that I was wrong. Absolutely unacceptable!"
Dlanor: "I see, I didn't consider that."
Someone knocks on the door. Our conversation is abruptly interrupted.
I know we weren't quite finished yet, and Dlanor is still worrying. She stares into my eyes and she communicates her feelings even without words. I know what she is thinking: 'what should we do?'
Erika: "Maybe it's just Rokudou."
Dlanor: "What if it is Mister Satsukawa?"
There is no time to answer that question, and it would be pointless anyway. The door opens and the person walking inside is the one that Dlanor feared to be. I guess that she managed to infect my mind with her worries, because I find myself wondering how should I act in front of him. Maybe I should really try to smooth things over, just for Dlanor's sake, of course.
Satsukawa: "Good morning!"
Satsukawa: "I have really good news today!"
Erika: "Good morning, Satsukawa-san..."
Satsukawa: "Yes, this is really a good morning! Are those croissants? Can I have one?"
Erika: "Go ahead, I ordered them through room service, but I'm no longer hungry."
Satsukawa: "Then don't mind if I do..."
Erika: "You seem to be in high spirit today..."
Satsukawa: "Once I'll tell you the news, you'll be as well."
I must refrain from bursting into a fit of giggles. Dlanor and her worries!
Erika: "Well then, I suppose I can wait until your mouth isn't stuffed by a croissant before I can hear them."
He tries to tell something, but then realizes that he has to chew at least some of his bite before he can even articulate a word. He moves his hand to sign that I just need to wait for a second. I really wonder what could have happened to make him this way, but I am not so curious to lose my composure as he did.
Satsukawa: "Okay, prepare for a pretty busy day, we have quite a few girls to interrogate and this time it's the real deal."
Erika: "You don't tell me..."
Satsukawa: "That's right! We've finally received the results of the analysis. We have the names of eighteen girls that need to explain what they were doing inside that suspicious PE shed!"
Erika: "Eighteen, uh?"
I see, no wonder he forgot about everything else, this is a major turn in the investigations.
Erika: "Someone I know?"
Satsukawa: "They are first years students for the most part."
Erika: "First years students? I see... that makes sense..."
Satsukawa: "However three of them are members of the occultism club, one is Kagami Hibari and the last, but not least, is... Maaya Teramoto herself!"