Sunday, September 16, 2012

Chapter 4 (e)

Teramoto knows that she has nothing to gain from accepting my challenge, she knows that it would be just a pointless risk for her. That is why she doesn't want to do it, that is why she is trying to find excuses. She is sufficiently smart and she can keep her cool, she wouldn't let herself be blinded by anger and fall for an obvious trap. In other words no matter how much one teases her, she is the kind of person that would keep her emotions under control and always take the most sensible decision.
That is precisely why I needed a public.
Normally she would just ignore my bait, but given the current situation she can't afford to do that, and at this point she must have already realized it. She is looking at the many students that are surrounding her, and she doesn't need spoken words to understand what they are expecting her to do. She must accept, there is no other option. She has been shamed; if she were to simply walk away now, she would inevitably lose power and prestige.
When I will be done with her, she will look back at this moment, and she will think that a damaged reputation is still better than one that is completely destroyed. But right now she doesn't think there is a serious risk of that happening. She knows that there is much more to lose than to win from my challenge, but as long as she believes her chances of victory are high, that isn't really a big concern to her. Conversely if she refuses, it is certain that she will lose something.
The occultism club members that are with Teramoto don't have any doubts, their leader must fight. They follow her and they are loyal to her because they have faith in her ability to win any kind of argument. She can stand her ground against teachers, not even the principal can intimidate her. They certainly respect her and admire her for that. So it is absolutely unthinkable that she would be scared now. Teramoto can't possibly betray their expectations.
As soon as she realizes that she has no choice, all traces of indecisiveness disappear from her eyes. She knows she must accept, and her pride doesn't allow her to think that she can lose. Her mind is set: she will fight me, and she will crush me. She will make me pay for all my insults, she will make me regret challenging her. This is what she is thinking, the poor fool.
But it is quite amusing to see her so confident! I really couldn't ask for anything better. This is how I want her! Play your role to the fullest, Teramoto!

Teramoto: "So you want proofs, how typical! But are you really sure about that? Can you really bear the shock of witnessing something that will completely change the way you look at the world?"

Erika: "I told you already, I can bear the weight of any truths!"

Teramoto: "I wonder about that! I think you're simply confident that I won't be able to prove anything. When the time will come don't cry on me, don't say I didn't warn you! You'd better prepare yourself."

Erika: "Very amusing, but this is just pointless talking! If you decided to accept my challenge just say so!"

Teramoto: "Not even a second thought! I admire your determination, albeit this is probably just the result of your recklessness. As you wish then, I've decided to grant you this honor, I'll open your eyes to the truth of this world!"

Erika: "Pfff ha ha ha ha ha!!! This is great! You think you can tell me what the truth is! Aaaah! This is truly awesome! Fantastic! Totally perfect! The only detail left to discuss now is... when!"

Teramoto: "I need time to prepare for the ritual, and I need time to find volunteers. Considering what happened there, I expect that very few will agree to join."

Erika: "Of course I'm not asking you to do it today, but I don't have time to waste, my investigations must go on. I'll give you until tomorrow, how about it?"

Teramoto: "You're really pressuring me, aren't you? Well, I think it'll be all right. As you desire, Furudo-san, tomorrow I will perform my last ritual in the abandoned PE shed of this school! Assuming that I'll be granted permission, of course."

Erika: "Don't you worry about that. Pretend that you already have it, tomorrow it'll be made official anyway."

Satsukawa: "You don't know that for sure..."

Erika: "Don't question my predictive abilities, Satsukawa-san! Oh and... people! Don't tell anything to the teachers, okay? You don't want them to mess with Teramoto's gathering, right?"

Teramoto: "I take it I'll be seeing you tomorrow morning, I'll let you know the exact time and place then."

Erika: "Good, this is settled!"

Teramoto: "Yes, it'll be a great day! I'm looking forward to it!"

Erika: "My thoughts exactly!"

Teramoto: "You don't really know who you're messing with!"

Erika: "Do you? Teramoto?"

Teramoto: "..."

Erika: "What is it? Lost for words already?"

Teramoto: "I was just thinking that you're indeed a mystery. Who are you exactly?"

Erika: "All that you need to know is that I'm a great detective."

Teramoto: "I see... then that's what you are, nothing but a delusional fool..."

Erika: "You've got guts... calling me delusional!"

Teramoto: "Ha ha!"

What kind of reaction is that? Is she mocking me?!
I will take great pleasure in destroying her!
It seems that Teramoto decided that the conversation is over, and with an impish smile she invites her lackeys to go elsewhere. I could take this chance to pronounce some sarcastic parting words, but I choose not to in the end. The show is over.
The students resume their chatters and little by little they disperse. Not having anything else to do in the cafeteria, I also invite Satsukawa to find a more tranquil place to go to. He agrees, and we rapidly abandon the chaotic hall.

Satsukawa: "Erika, are you really sure that Wakamatsu will be fine with your plan? I don't think she'll just pretend to look elsewhere while Teramoto involves more students in her occult practices. You were supposed to make her stop that, not to instigate her to do it again."

Erika: "Hopefully the principal will never know. All that I wanted from her was to postpone the punishments."

Satsukawa: "I can't really say you've been discrete... Will your challenge really remain a secret? Considering how fast rumors spread in this school, pretty soon every single student will know about it. It's bound to become a hot topic, and the chances that it will reach a teacher's ears are pretty high."

Erika: "I have confidence that the students will be careful. Apparently, for about two years, Teramoto managed to organize several gatherings without anyone noticing. The students here certainly talk a lot, but they can keep their mouths shut when a teacher is around."

Satsukawa: "Well... this might be true... but the situation has changed. They teachers are probably a lot more alert now, especially around Teramoto and her friends."

Erika: "There's certainly the risk that they'll find out, but if that happens, I'll come up with something. There's no need to worry about a mere possibility."

Satsukawa: "That's easy for you to say that, but if we give you permission to proceed with your plan and Wakamatsu finds that out, I'm going to be in a lot of trouble..."

Erika: "When she'll realize that I solved the Teramoto issue, she'll be too happy to care."

Satsukawa: "I hope you're right... I'm not even sure that you'll actually solve anything."

Erika: "Was that supposed to be a joke, Satsukawa-san? Because I don't really find it funny. Teramoto's reign will end tomorrow, nobody will believe in her lies ever again."

Satsukawa: "At least one of us is confident..."

Dlanor: "I am also confident in Miss Erika's success."

Satsukawa: "Oh, right... I forgot about Dlanor..."

The main objective of today has been reached, now I only need to wait.

Satsukawa: "By the way, where are we going?"

Erika: "To a nice place where we can relax."

Satsukawa: "Is something wrong? You look tired."

Erika: "Is that how I look?"

Satsukawa: "Well, you're not energetic like your usual."

Sometimes I wish Satsukawa would just shut up.

Satsukawa: "I guess you can be gloomy too sometimes."

Erika: "I used to be always like this in the past..."

The past, a period of my life that I want to forget. I haven't always been a detective, I haven't always been a witch of truth. Before meeting Bernkastel, what kind of person I was? I have removed from my memory a lot of details about my past self, and I am quite glad of that. The me before becoming what I am now is a me that I don't want to be reminded of.
However right now I feel like I have lost a piece of myself, and in its place I have regained something that I decided to discard. Why is this happening? It isn't because of Teramoto, it isn't because I am tired. If I am suddenly returning to the past, it is not because I want it, it is because the past itself decided to come back.
As much as I would rather not think about it, I simply cannot. And so, while I absentmindedly keep on talking with Satsukawa about uninteresting topics, my mind travels back to that cursed day.
The Rokkenjima incident, the Rokkenjima explosion incident, the Rokkenjima serial murder.
On that day, I was supposed to die.
I am spiraling down into the abyss...

1 comment:

  1. Looks like Erika's may be getting flashbacks while Teramoto is going to have to pull something pretty big if she wants to escape this trap.