Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chapter 4 (m)

Kubota is fighting surprisingly well, but that isn't really a big problem. I can only smile at his naivety and simplicity. He just doesn't have the slightest idea of what kind of adversary I am.

Erika: "I honestly don't understand why are you claiming that I made a mistake."

Kuon: "Huh?"

Erika: "You're rejoicing and gloating as if you had already won the game, why is that? I've absolutely no idea of what's going on in your mind. Was your last move particularly good? I see not indication of that. To me the game is still fairly balanced. Considering that you're supposed to show me that you're more than just talks, I must say that you aren't doing a good job."

Kuon: "..."

Bleached Guy: "Are you for real?"

Kuon: "Ha ha ha ha! I don't know if you're blind or just a sore loser, my dear lady! But you do have a point! This is really not a big deal! The game has just begun! How-ever! Fear not, for this is but an appetizer of my true mad skills!"

Erika: "Aaah, this is getting boring! This is getting really boring!"

Kuon: "W-what? Are you saying that you don't consider me, Kuon Kubota, an interesting opponent?!"

Erika: "Seriously, I think it's time for me to get serious, I've wasted more than enough time with you."

Kuon: "What the... Does that mean that so far you've been just messing around? Do you have a secret weapon?!"

Erika: "Precisely!"

Kuon: "Ha... ah ha ha ha ha! Excellent! I haven't felt so fired up in ages! What a woman you are, my dear lady! No, great detective... Erika Furudo!"

Erika: "Finally you acknowledge my name and my role. I'm honored! But this is hardly the right time for you to rejoice! Prepare yourself, president of the student council, Kuon Kubota!"

This is the way a true battle should be fought! This is not bad at all! This is precisely the right mood, the right atmosphere. I can almost feel the static discharges from the tension between us, I can almost see the sparks and burning fire in our eyes! Sublime!

Glamorous Girl: "Are you still in kindergarten?"

Satsukawa: "My thought exactly..."

Erika: "Shut up! Be silent you!"

Kuon: "Very well, my dear lady, I'm ready to witness your true power!"

Erika: "Then let me crush your confidence in a single strike! Kuon Kubota, you're a fool if you thought that I didn't come here well prepared!"

Kuon: "What do you... mean?"

Erika: "Did you honestly think that I would simply expose a theory without any evidence to support it?"

Kuon: "Ridiculous! You can't possibly possess evidences of something that isn't true!"

Erika: "Oh, but I have a witness! And he sure talked a lot! *giggle* *giggle*"

Kuon: "Hmph! Is that all? It appears I was worrying for nothing!"

Erika: "Are you sure? Not even if I say that this witness is Baba?"

Kuon: "Ugh! Baaaba?!"

Erika: "That's right! Baba! In other words: your accomplice!"

Kuon: "Impossible! He'd never... he... Wait... why am I even worrying? Ha ha ha... who cares about what that delinquent says? Ha ha ha..."

Erika: "He told me everything about the real contents of that bag. He told me everything about the actual reason you secretly met that day!"

Kuon: "W-w-w-what?! Baba did?! That can't possibly be true!"

Sunglasses Guy: "Hey, boss... why are you that upset?"

Erika: "Right! I'm a great detective, so I can spot even the smallest signs of anxiety and nervousness from those whom I question. You see, people don't suddenly start sweating an stuttering, if they've nothing to hide. When I see such reactions, I feel something very akin to pleasure. They say that serpents can even smell and taste the fear of their preys, I like to think that I'm the same. I'm already savoring a most exquisite delicacy. Your reactions are so evident that even your dimwitted friend noticed them! Do you understand what that means?"

Kuon: "You're obviously trying to confuse me, but it won't work! If you've got something sensible to..."

Erika: "What about this?!"

Before Kubota can finish his sentence, I throw my best card on the table. Literally this is my ace up my sleeve. I could have saved it for later, but everything is proceeding so smoothly that I doubt a better chance will come. Amused, I watch Kubota's face as it goes pale. His lower lip tremble, and his eyes become so wide! He is so helpless that I almost feel pity. Or rather, I would probably feel compassion, if I wasn't so busy holding my laughter! Actually this battle is so lopsided that I don't even know how come I am not bored already. He is nothing but a mouse trapped between my paws, and he doesn't even realize it.

Kuon: "That's..."

Erika: "A bookmark. It's a simple promotional gadget featuring Fuwa-Fuwa Purin Nyan."

Kuon: "W-what's the meaning... of this...?"

Erika: "Basically this means that I've indeed talked to Baba, and that I made him tell me all the truth regarding that mysterious bag that I've seen that day. Do you understand? I've inspected those doujinshi personally. This shouldn't leave any doubts that Baba decided to cooperate. He even let me take this bookmark as proof."

Kuon: "Wait..."

Erika: "The important part is that he admitted to be a huge fanatic of Fuwa-Fuwa Purin Nyan, so much that he'd do anything in order to get his hands on rare materials related to it. It mustn't have been too hard for you to acquire this information, and through your connections you managed to get all those rare doujinshi of his favorite show."

Kuon: "..."

Erika: "Let me say that I was really impressed by how quickly you reacted two days ago. As soon as you realized that someone was behind you, you promptly put up that charade to cover the real reason you were there. It is truly amazing how you suppressed the urge to turn around, that way you gave the impression that you still hadn't noticed us. But Baba, who was in front of your eyes, gave clear indications that he did. In other words, simply by looking at him you had already understood what was going on. Everything you said and did from that point was all an act. Baba followed through somehow, but he wasn't very convincing."

Kuon: "And... the real reason I was there... was..."

Erika: "Obviously, to deliver the reward you had promised him!"

Kuon: "Wait! Reward? For what exactly?"

Erika: "My my, didn't you pay attention to my reasoning? You needed to convince Baba to do what Teramoto asked from you. I said that you probably threatened him, but everyone knows that a carrot and a stick work a lot better than a stick alone."

Kuon: "And why would I still give him the reward after, according to your theory, he completely messed up the plan by killing Gotsuji?"

Erika: "At that point you just needed to make sure he'd stick with you. What if he decided to partner up with Teramoto instead, and work with her to turn you into a scapegoat?"

Kuon: "Ha ha ha... ridiculous... absolutely... ridiculous!"

Erika: "However this is the truth! There's no longer any point in denying it. You see, Kubota, it's very naive to think that everything will always go according to your plans. And it's also pretty stupid to rely on other human beings. In the end you just cannot predict what they'll do, unless you possess a superior mind like me. Look at the current chess game, for example. Right now you're absolutely sure that after you'll take my knight, I'll take yours with my pawn. This would result in an advantage for yourself, a small but decisive victory. However, why are you taking for granted that I won't move my knight? Humans aren't robots, and they don't always take the most logical step. Sometimes they do something apparently illogical for the sole purpose of throwing their opponent out of balance. In other words, rather than letting you gain the advantage that you're aiming for, I'll do something that you definitely don't expect! Of course you'll still win this exchange in the end, but not in the way you wanted. Recovering from that won't be a problem at all, because soon enough you'll be playing by my rules, and not yours. To make it brief, this is my answer, Kubota, I sacrifice my knight!"

Kuon: "What's this nonsense?! Are you talking seriously?!"
Erika: "I'm very serious, Kubota, losing a mere knight isn't a bother to me. Moreover, it won't fall alone! Behold! Knight takes pawn at e5!"

As I violently move my piece into its new position, Kubota's pawn gets blown away. It rolls, it spins, while tracing an arc midair, and then it hits the table. It bounces once, and then another time, it stops right at the side of the chessboard. Everyone observes in amazement the first victim of this game. Nobody dares to breathe while witnessing this unexpected strike.
Amusingly the one who is surprised the most is my opponent: Kubota. He is literally speechless!
The other two guys simultaneously move closer to the chessboard, and the more they inspect it, the more their faces show incredulity and perplexity.

Kuon: "I can't... believe it..."

Sunglasses Guy: "Is this serious?!"

Bleached Guy: "Hey, detective, what the hell are you thinking?"

Erika: "I don't expect you to fully understand the depth of my strategy."

Sunglasses Guy: "Isn't this absurdly bad?!"

Bleached Guy: "Absolutely, definitely bad. I can't even think of something worse."

Erika: "Now now, don't exaggerate. Kubota can still hold his ground."

Sunglasses Guy: "The hell are you talking about?! Aren't you the one who's in deep shit?!"

Bleached Guy: "Give me a break... Not even a kid could make such mistake..."

Erika: "What? You guys are really funny! This isn't a big deal at all."

Bleached Guy: "Hey, are you blind?!"

Kuon: "Hu hu hu hu..."

Suddenly Kubota is laughing in a very creepy and disturbing manner.

Kuon: "Hu hu hu ha ha ha..."

Sunglasses Guy: "Boss?"

Kuon: "HA HA HA HA HA!!!"

He no longer have any restraints. He laughs shamelessly with his head fully tilted backward. I guess that at this point he doesn't care about his ridiculous pretense of elegance and gallantly anymore.
Whatever is causing such outburst of cruel and arrogant display of hilarity? He seems to be really enjoying himself, and somehow his laughter is contagious. I can't help but giggling.

Kuon: "Aaaah! I get it! So this is the kind of person you are, my dear lady!"

Erika: "You think you can understand me? Now that's truly funny!"

Kuon: "I understand the irony, the paradox! You accuse me of being all talk and no substance, you claim that my apparent perfection is nothing but a facade! But that's truly you! That's what you are! Aaah! What enormous hypocrisy!"

Erika: "What's this nonsense? Explain yourself!"

Kuon: "It's all a bluff! Your theory, your chess tactics, your flaunted detective skills, they're all fake!!!"

Erika: "You've got some nerve... Kubotaaa!"

Kuon: "But how can you deny it, when you make such blunders?! You're well below the level of an amateur! You say that you're going to sacrifice your knight? Is that really what you think?!"

Erika: "Don't take me for a stupid, Kubota. I know what I'm doing. If a pawn is worth one point, a knight is worth three. Basically after you'll take my knight you'll be ahead by two points in material. It may look illogical, but it's all part of a precise tac..."

Kuon: "Why should I waste my turn in taking your knight, when you just left your queen at the mercy of my bishop!"

Erika: "..."

Kuon: "How is it even possible that you didn't notice?!"

Sunglass Guy: "What the hell, ha ha ha... Seriously!"

Bleached Guy: "Do you realize what kind of ridiculous error you've made?"

Kuon: "But this is not the end! Oh, no! I have more to tell! Even if you had simply lost the knight, it'd be still completely wrong! Did you honestly believe that surprising me with an unexpected move was worth the loss of two points? That doesn't make any sense at all! Your logic is an insult to everything that the noble game of chess represents! If I couldn't react and adapt to the unexpected, how would I be worthy of the title of Grand Master! No, even a casual chess player should be able to do that much! And that proves you just pretend to be entitled to talk about tactics, when you in fact know nothing!
I begun to realize all of this while you pointlessly tried to sully my reputation! And since I've already gone this far, I might as well let you know of the others inexcusable blunders you've made! I understand why you lied, and why you needed to resort to a bluff in order to reach your objective, but it all backfired when you revealed your ignorance! In the first place it's impossible that Baba gave you that bookmark, because I know for certain that it was tragically lost! You probably thought that he didn't even notice, and here, my dear lady, is exactly where you blundered! Let's disregard the fact that Baba isn't really a fan of Fuwa-Fuwa Purin Nyan, but if he really was, as you claim, he'd never willingly part with something related to her! In other words you don't understand an otaku's heart at all! An otaku is entirely dedicated to his passion, mind and spirit! Even a bookmark is an invaluable treasure! Everything even remotely related to your favorite anime must be collected! Just because it's promotional merchandise it doesn't mean it's worthless! Nooo! On the contrary! There's no way they'll reprint that bookmark, you only have a once in a lifetime chance to get gadgets such as that! How could you so nonchalantly claim that he wouldn't mind giving it away! I feel my head exploding just thinking of such abominable absurdity! Know shame! Repent! Apologize to Fuwa-Fuwa Purin Nyan!"

Erika: "You..."

Kuon: "Let's end it here and now! This chess piece will deliver the righteous punishment for your insolence! Bishop takes queen at d1! Disappeeeear!"

In a single, skillful movement of his hand, Kubota takes my piece between his middle and ring fingers, and replaces it with his own. A powerful "clack" can be heard as he stomps his bishop firmly on the chessboard.
He did it, he really did it! He captured my queen, my strongest piece!
He stares at me with a victorious and derisory grin, while his friends clap their hands to celebrate his recent conquest.

Normal Girl: "Whoooa! Amazing! I don't know much about chess, but even I understand how bad it is to lose the queen!"

Sunglasses Guy: "A queen is worth nine points. in other words, it has the same value of nine pawns, three knights, or three bishops. She can take the boss' bishop now, but that'd be still a loss of six points."

Bleached Guy: "Not exactly, her knight is still under attack. She'll lose it, if she doesn't take it to safety. Whether she decides to take the bishop or save her knight, she'll break even in the end. In other words all that she gained so far is a single pawn, one point! While the boss took her queen! This is a net gain of eight points for him!"

Kuon: "In truth, she really doesn't have a choice! She must take my bishop with her king, or she'll end up losing even more pieces! Not like it'll make any difference at this point! Ha ha ha ha ha! Soooo, my dear lady! Don't you think there's no longer any purpose in continuing this game? At this point the outcome has been already decided! This game has already ended!"

Erika: "It's really disappointing, but you're right. This game has already ended."

Kuon: "Hooo? I'm impressed! I thought you'd stubbornly try to deny the harsh truth, but it appears that you've decided to accept your defeat with dignity. I commend you! How-ever! Will you also admit that you shamelessly lied regarding Baba? Will you also admit that your insinuating that I took part in Gotsuji's murder was nothing but a vulgar bluff?!"

I let out a dramatic sigh.

Erika: "Very well... I recognize it, it was all a bluff. I was aware that my theory was wrong since the very beginning. After all, a very short time passed since Gotsuji's murder and Hibari's arrival to the crime scene. It's clear that my reconstruction and the facts do not add up. And at this point, I might as well admit that I never questioned Baba after that day. I lied. Of course he didn't give me that bookmark, I simply found it lying on the ground."

Kuon: "That's right! That's how it is! Finally the dark plot has been uncovered! Once again justice prevails! Ha ha ha ha ha!!!"

1 comment:

  1. That was cardiac... omg i feel so intellectually aroused...