Sunday, September 9, 2012

Chapter 4 (b)

We take our leave so that the principal can return to her work, whatever that may be. With Dlanor and Satsukawa by my side, I walk through the deserted corridors of the Mitsugi institute. I can faintly hear voices coming from the classrooms as I pass by, teachers teaching their lessons to their many bored students.
The next step of my plan requires to put on a little show, and a show needs spectators. So I have no choice but to wait until lunch break, which will start in a little less than a hour.

Satsukawa: "Can I ask you what exactly are you plotting?"

Ah, I almost forgot about Satsukawa, I should have seen this question coming.

Erika: "Weren't you listening? I'm going to teach Teramoto what's her place."

Satsukawa: "I know that. What I don't, is how exactly are you planning to do that."

Erika: "Are you that impatient? Surely you can wait a few minutes."

Satsukawa: "The more you try to avoid the subject, the more I worry. I need you to tell me what you're planning before you do it."

Erika: "But then you might decide to stop me, and that would be counterproductive for the success of my strategy."

Satsukawa: "That's exactly the point!"

Erika: "Satsukawa-san, don't raise your voice, you're disturbing the lessons."

Satsukawa: "Ah... sorry... Wait, don't chance the subject again!"

Stairs after stairs we reach the first floor. Satsukawa is following me without even minding where we are going, he is too focused on the current discussion.

Erika: "You're worrying for nothing. I won't do anything to Teramoto until tomorrow."

Satsukawa: "Tomorrow?"

Erika: "If all goes as planned."

Satsukawa: "But you said I'd know what you're plotting in a few minutes."

Erika: "That's correct."

He lets out a sigh.

Satsukawa: "I'm sure there's something that I'm missing. Why do I need to wait a few minutes? Wait... it's almost lunch break..."

Erika: "See, you can answer your own question by yourself."

Satsukawa: "In other words you plan to involve someone else in your machinations."

Erika: "Maybe."

Satsukawa: "Who are you involving this time?"

Erika: "Relax, Satsukawa-san, it's a wonderful day, you shouldn't spoil it with needless worries."

Satsukawa: "Didn't you say I shouldn't relax when I'm around you? By the way, what exactly are we doing here?"

Erika: "Why? Aren't you hungry?"

We have reached the cafeteria. It almost look as if it is a completely different place, now that there aren't any students around, but soon enough it is going to become pretty crowded. The food stalls are being prepared at this very moment, three people are busy replenishing the shelves with fresh products: an-pan, melon-pan, yakisoba-pan, croquettes, cream-pan, donuts, salad-pan, pizzas, miso-pan, various types of sandwiches, and so on. These will soon become casualties of a fierce war. When the bell will toll, repeated assaults from waves of hungry students will make short work of them.
But this is no concern of mine, because I am already here, and I can take whatever I want without going the trouble of fighting for it. This is all third rate commoner food, but there is the added bonus of being able to choose first. That alone, I am sure, will greatly improve its flavor.

Satsukawa: "This food is meant for the students of this school... I don't think..."

Erika: "Excuse me, which among these rare delicacies is the most sought after?"

Vendor: "Our croquettes are by far the most delicious. They usually sell out after the first five minutes or even less."

Erika: "I'll have three of those. Satsukawa-san, why don't you also take some?"

Satsukawa: "I... I think I'll just take one of those yakisoba-pan..."

Erika: "Aaah... what a waste! You should always pick the best option when you have the choice."

Satsukawa: "But if I chose the croquettes, there'd be less for the students..."

Erika: "That's the best part of it!"

Satsukawa: "You really are... hopeless..."

After paying the vendor for the food, we sit at one of the many empty tables of the cafeteria. I specifically chose one in a central position.

Erika: "Maybe I should wait a while, it'd be fun if the first students rushing here would see me already eating their precious croquettes."

Satsukawa: "Give me a break, why do you even care about such petty mischiefs?"

Erika: "I like to see the reactions. Dismayed faces are particularly endearing to me, I can never have enough. Oh, but there's also dejection, outrage, shame, shock, disillusion. So many different flavors!"

Satsukawa: "That's all pretty negative stuff."

Erika: "But do you know what I like the most? It's that particular expression you can only see on those who realize they've just been busted. It's a mysterious thing, some become completely red, probably because of the intense shame they feel, others turn pale, I suppose from the shock and from the fear of the consequences, but invariably they all start sweating a lot and their lips warp in funny ways."

Satsukawa: "I guess that's what you want to see on Teramoto's face."

Erika: "Oh, not only hers..."

Satsukawa: "Let me double check something, just to be sure: the reason we're here today is to find more clues about the murder case, right?"

Erika: "How rude, why are you even doubting that?"

Satsukawa: "Because for a moment I almost forgot that my job is to find a criminal, and not to support you in your questionable hobby."

Erika: "My favorite hobby is to solve mysteries, Satsukawa-san, I'm an intellectual rapist."

Satsukawa: "But not all the mysteries are about crimes."

Erika: "What if I told you that the mysteries of this school are all, in a way or another, related to the murder case?"

Satsukawa: "That seems a bit fortuitous."

Erika: "Then, what if I say that they might be related?"

Satsukawa: "And I guess we can only be sure after we thoroughly investigate them."

Erika: "Is there any other way?"

Satsukawa: "Well, I guess I cannot deny that Teramoto is connected to the case. The P.E. shed was her secret base, after all."

Erika: "Don't forget the murder weapon, and the hammer too. Those are both hers."

Satsukawa: "Come to think of it, when you consider that both the crime scene and the weapons are directly connected to Teramoto, it becomes very hard to believe this is a murder she planned."

Erika: "And there's more, the person that was meant to find the corpse is also closely connected to her."

Satsukawa: "Aren't we making a mistake then? Teramoto had nothing to gain from this whole set up, she's already paying a heavy price, and she turns out as the main suspect."

Erika: "Either Teramoto and her circle are directly involved in a non planned accidental murder, or someone wanted to frame her."

Satsukawa: "That's right, there's also that first hypothesis. The fact that we didn't find fingerprints on the sword or the hammer, might suggest this is actually the case."

Erika: "If she could think that far, why didn't she move the corpse elsewhere?"

Satsukawa: "Maybe she couldn't. Maybe she didn't have enough time."

Erika: "But then why involving Hibari of all the people?"

Satsukawa: "Hibari is also deeply connected to that place, and unlike Teramoto she knew the victim well. She might have been chosen as an ideal scapegoat."

Erika: "Well... normally I'd completely agree with you. The idea of that girl betraying her best friend to save her own skin is certainly fascinating, but..."

Satsukawa: "You don't think she's the kind of person that could do that?"

Dlanor: "Yesterday Miss Teramoto showed genuine concern for he friend. It is very hard to believe it was all an act."

Satsukawa: "I see... but if someone really tried to frame her, don't you think we would've found Teramoto's fingerprints on the weapons? Why would the culprit remove them?"

Erika: "Maybe they weren't there to begin with..."

Satsukawa: "How? Even if you suppose she cleaned them recently, unless she was wearing gloves, she would've still left her fingerprints."

Erika: "What's even more strange is the fact that she didn't seem to be worried about that, as if she already knew we didn't find them."

Satsukawa: "How do you explain that?"

Erika: "I don't know, but it doesn't matter. In the end when I'll be done with her, I'll just need to ask, and she'll obediently answer."

Satsukawa: "So there's no other choice, we need to go with your plan..."

Erika: "It's all for the best in the end. Even the principal agrees with it, although she doesn't want to openly admit it."

1 comment:

  1. And then the story ends when the students maul Erika to death for their croquettes.

    Anyway, it seems Teramoto will have a lot to answer for by the end of this chapter.