Kuon: "Oh my, that's
not good. How unbecoming of me! It's certainly rude to rejoice in
front of the loser, I beg your pardon, my dear lady!"
Erika: "You're very
amusing, I really wish our little match would've lasted longer."
Kuon: "If you
insist, we can still play until a proper checkmate."
Erika: "Oh, we can
do that. But before, there's something that I'd like to ask."
Kuon: "My dear lady,
there's really no end to your questions! Ha ha ha!"
Erika: "What can I
say? I'm a very curious person, and I just can't understand why your
priorities are that messed up."
Erika: "For example,
why is it more important to you to protect your cool image in front
of your friends, rather than your credibility as the president of the
student council in front of the teachers?"
Kuon: "Huh? Where
does that even come from?"
Erika: "I think that
for your academic career and your future, the latter is definitely
more important. If you had some common sense, you'd agree with me."
Kuon: "I'm sorry but
I'm really not following you..."
Erika: "You see...
this is just like your move. Why did you decide to take my queen
rather than my knight?"
Kuon: "Ha ha ha ha
ha!!! My dear lady! As my friend explained just a while ago, a queen
is three times more valuable than a mere knight! I didn't even need
to think about which to choose!"
Erika: "Maybe you
should have, Kubota."
Kuon: "H... huuuh?!"
Erika: "I guess that
answers my question. You're the kind of guy that is quick to act and
slow at thinking, aren't you? *giggle* *giggle*"
Kuon: "Ha ha ha ha!
After losing on every front, you still dare to mock me! I guess I was
mistaken, you know not when it's time to accept your defeat!"
Erika: "Who are you
talking about, Kubota?! Certainly the theory that I exposed was
absolutely worthless, and my claim that Baba spilled the beans was
just a bluff. But why are you so naively assuming that blaming you
for the murder of Gotsuji was my real objective?!"
Kuon: "What is this
trickery?! Isn't solving that case the very reason you're in this
Erika: "Of course!
But so what? There's no rule that I can't inquire about anything
Kuon: "W-what?! Ah
ha ha ha ha! I hope this isn't just an excuse to pretend you haven't
been defeated! You gave no indication whatsoever that your real
purpose was something else!"
Erika: "But that's
only natural! It is true in chess as it is in war and in many other
situations: you should never let your enemy know what your true
intentions are! This is one of the basic principles of Sun Tzu's
Kuon: "Wise words,
but isn't this logic a bit too convenient, my dear lady? You might as
well say that it doesn't matter that you lost this chess game,
because that wasn't your intention to begin with!"
Erika: "True enough.
Then I guess I have no choice but to demonstrate that I've indeed
reached my real objective, that my bluff actually succeeded, and that
you've fallen for my trap... completely!"
Kuon: "Ah ha ha...
ha ha ha... What in the world are you talking about?!"
Erika: "Haven't you
realized it yet? You were so focused on the game and on disproving my
baiting theory, that you carelessly said a lot of things that you're
definitely going to regret. For example, from our conversation it
clearly emerged that there's something strange going on between you
and Baba, and you still haven't provided a decent explanation."
Kuon: "But of course
I did! I..."
Erika: "What? You
saved Baba from Nagaoka out of goodwill? You let him ditch his
punishment for no apparent reason? You casually met him in an
Kuon: "Ha! Why not?
I see no problem at all!"
Erika: "Sure! You
don't really expect me to believe all that, and you don't care. As
long as I can't prove that you're lying, you think you're fine. But
you've completely forgotten the situation you find yourself in, and
that was a fatal mistake. Because even if you don't care about what I
think, I believe the same cannot be said about your friends. They've
witnessed the whole exchange, and I'm sure they're expecting a better
explanation. Don't you think?"
And suddenly Kubota
begins to understand the dire situation he finds himself in. His eyes
move from side to side, examining the faces of his friends. He
doesn't need to ask to get proof that my words are true. Even the
glamorous girl, who couldn't take her eyes off of her nails for a
single second, is now looking at him with a stern expression. These
are the same guys that gossiped about Junko Andou for weeks, after
all. Their curiosity and suspicions won't be quenched by some
Kuon: "Wait... I can
bother, I'll do that!"
Erika: "It's pretty
simple to understand. For example, why did you know that this
bookmark was lost?"
Kuon: "Gh! I... of
course I knew... because... because..."
Kuon: "Because Baba
was obviously upset! He claimed that I lost it, and he wanted it
Erika: "Ha ha ha!
Nice comeback! Not bad at all! But unfortunately that can't work
there's more that slipped through your big mouth! You said that Baba
isn't really interested in Fuwa-Fuwa Purin Nyan, didn't you?"
Kuon: "I've never
said that! I can't possibly have said that!"
Erika: "But you did!
And everyone here have heard you! You're contradicting yourself! If
Baba isn't a fan of Fuwa-Fuwa Purin Nyan, then this is nothing but a
vulgar piece of paper to him!"
Kuon: "Whether I
knew that it was lost or not doesn't matter at aaall!"
Erika: "It does! As
well as everything that you said back then! That was really a very
instructive lesson on how an otaku's mind work, but... how come you
know such thiiings?!"
Kuon: "Aaargh! I'm
an incredibly erudite person! My knowledge has no limits! Of course
Erika: "That bag
wasn't something that you gave to Baba, it was the exact opposite! He
gave it to you!!!"
Erika: "The true
fanatic of Fuwa-Fuwa Purin Nyan, it's you!!!"
Kuon: "Wrong! Wrong!
Erika: "It's true!
This is the truth that you so hardly tried to hide!"
With an elegant flourish
I point my finger straight at Kubota. It is time for my declaration!
Erika: Kuon Kubota, you
are an otaku!"
Erika: "Yes! And you
aren't a regular otaku either, you're one of the most disgusting
kind! Listen, everyone! The main character of Fuwa-Fuwa Purin Nyan is
thirteen years old, and the same is true for the rest of the cast! Do
you understand what that means?! This brings us to an even more
dreary conclusion! Kubota is a lolicon!"
Erika: "There's no
mistake! This is his real face!"
Kuon: "Wrong! This
is all wrong! I won't acknowledge your lies! I won't acknowledge
them! You've got no proof!"
Erika: "Then let me
show another decisive evidence!"
Kuon: "There's no
such thing! No such thing!"
this! Just a while ago Kuon Kubota was sleeping, wasn't he? Don't you
think it was strange?"
Kuon: "It wasn't
strange at all!"
this fact by itself wouldn't be that strange. But according to your
friends this is something that happens cyclically ever week!"
Kuon: "Gh... why did
you keep track of something like that?!"
amazing friends you have, Kubota! This girl was even more specific!
She said it happens every Thursday!"
Fuwa-Fuwa Purin Nyan airs every Thursday at 1:30 AM! Considering that
each episode lasts 30 minutes, not much time is left for Kubota to
sleep! No wonder he needs to make up for it later!"
Normal Girl: "Aaah!
Erika: "By the way,
Kuon: "What now?!"
Erika: "This is
checkmate in two."
Kuon: "No way! This
is ridiculous! It can't be! You've lost your queen, and so early in
the game! There's no possible way! No possible... ah... Aaaaaaaah?!"
Erika: "Have you
finally noticed the threat?! Taking your bishop? Saving my knight?!
Don't make me laugh! I'll do neither! This is my move! Bishop takes
pawn at f7! Check!!!"
Erika: "I can wait
all the time you want, but nothing will change! Unlike you, when I
said that this game had already ended, I really meant it!"
Kuon: "This is
impossible! How could you know a trick like this?! Aren't you just an
certainly, I did mention that I'm not really into chess and that I
only play it occasionally... But that doesn't mean that I'm an
amateur at all!"
Kuon: "You... you
Erika: "In a
thousand of different ways! Blame yourself for letting me trick you!"
Kuon: "There must be
a way I can save my king... wait! Why am I bothering about this?!
That's not what I should worry about right now!!!"
because you've got no sense of priority at all!"
Kuon: "You haven't
won yet! This is not the end!"
Erika: "Why are you
wasting your time, Kubota? You cannot take my bishop, and you cannot
protect your king. That means you only have one option left. You must
move your king to safety, and there's only one square he can go to!"
Kuon: "This is not
the end! Yes, I might have said a lot of things, but what of it?!
Just knowing about how an otaku feels doesn't mean that I'm one!
Right now haven't you just said that Fuwa-Fuwa Purin Nyan airs at
1:30 AM every Thursday?! How come you know about that?! If your logic
was correct then I should conclude that you're also an otaku! Ha ha!
What do you say, my dear lady?! I'm turning your weapons against you!
King to e7!"
foolishness! I've absolutely no interest in such a worthless show. I
simply know about it because Dlanor likes it. Right, Dlanor?"
Purin Nyan is the best."
Kuon: "You're not
going to fool anyone with that!!!"
Erika: "All right,
then I'll tell you the real reason. I've simply investigated it, I'm
a detective, that's my job!"
Kuon: "But it makes
no sense! Why would you do that? You couldn't possibly have known
Erika: "I had
already understood the situation with an almost perfect accuracy...
two days ago!"
Erika: "Why not? You
came up with an excuse to take that bag with you, and Baba didn't
mind that all. It was pretty easy to reason out who among you
actually wanted those doujinshi. At the same time it became clear
that for some reason you didn't want to let us see them. That kind of
irrational behavior is typical of a kid who's worrying too much about
how others might see him. Fuwa-Fuwa Purin Nyan was my only clue, so
it's only logical that I investigated it a bit. Then, after talking
with your friends, I grew even more certain that you really like that
show. But more importantly, there's something that you said two days
ago that really intrigued me."
something... that I... said?"
absolutely no place in my heart for anyone else but...'"
Kuon: "Uaaaah! Stop!
Purin Nyan, maybe?"
Kuon: "Don't saaaay
Erika: "Isn't it
time to give up, you disgusting pig? Why don't you just admit that
you're one of those weirdos that fall in love with fictional
characters? So lame! How laughable! Are you that pathetic?"
Kuon: "Wrooong! This
is absolutely wrong! Definitely wrong! Unquestionably and decidedly
Erika: "So you're
choosing to keep on denying it, even though there's absolutely no
doubt at this point. That won't do! I can't settle for something that
half-assed! Good! I happen to have a very nice idea on how we can get
out from this impasse! By the way, Kubota, are you a Christian?"
Kuon: "What does
that have to do with anything?!"
Erika: "I ask
because you said a few things that would indicate that you are: 'ask
and you shall receive', 'omnia munda mundis', 'doubting Thomas'. All
of those are Gospel references."
Kuon: "Yes, I'm a
Christian! But why does it matter now?!"
that's what gave me the idea! I think that it's really fitting, yes,
Kuon: "W-what... are
Erika: "Does 'fumie'
ring a bell?"
Erika: "At the time
of Christian persecutions, they came up with a simple and yet clever
system to tell apart those who followed that religion and those who
didn't. The 'fumie' were basically depictions of Jesus or the virgin
Mary that people were asked to step on. For those who didn't believe
in them, those were just wooden boards with some carvings devoid of
any value. But for the Christians, those were sacred images that they
couldn't possibly defile. Isn't it amazing how a simple belief can
completely change the way a human interprets reality? Let's use that
very system to determine whether you really are an otaku or not!
Incidentally we have the right tool just in front of us. This
bookmark is just a worthless piece of colored paper to me, But for an
otaku... I think you explained it in great detail how valuable this
Kuon: "You can't
Erika: "Oh, but I
am! This is your chance to clear your name, you really have no reason
to refuse! Come on, Kubota, take it! Take this meaningless piece of
Kubota reluctantly obeys.
His trembling hand reaches for the bookmark, and with noticeable
uncertainty picks it up.
Kuon: "W-what do you
want me... to do?"
Erika: "Ha ha ha!
It's quite simple. You just need to... destroy it!"
Kubota brings the
bookmark in front of his eyes. His face is pale and covered in sweat.
If only he could see how dumb he looks at this very moment! I knew
that this would be fun, but I didn't imagine it would turn out to be
Erika: "Wait a
second, Kubota, no cheating!"
Kuon: "W-what do you
Erika: "I saw you!
You closed your eyes! That won't do, absolutely not! You must keep
them open, wide open! Look at that adorable Fuwa-Fuwa Purin Nyan!
Look at her joyous and innocent smile! Look at her fragile and minute
body! Watch her closely, Kubota! Impress what you see in your mind
I move closer. With a
wicked grin, I whisper in his ears, cruelly and mercilessly.
Erika: "Tear it
apart... rip it to shreds... break it into a thousand little
Kubota's body shivers.
The hand that is holding the bookmark is noticeably shacking. He
finally grabs it with the other.
Erika: "Don't close
your eyes, Kubota! Come on, do it! What's the matter?! Didn't you say
that you aren't an otaku? There shouldn't be any problem at all! Come
on! Do it! Do it! Dooo iiit!!!"
Erika: "Yes! That's
the spirit! What are you waiting for?! Destroy it! Destroy Fuwa-Fuwa
Kuon: "I'll do it!
I'll do it!"
Erika: "Yes! Do it!"
Erika: "Come on!"
Erika: "Break her!"
Erika: "Kill her!"
Erika: "Slay her!"
There he goes.
Every trace of resistance
flows away from his body as the air in his lungs is released through
his scream. His willpower, his flamboyance, his confidence, his
tension, his fear, all of those disappear. Kubota's friends observe
him speechless as he lets out the secret that he had always kept
inside. There is no longer any point in struggling, this is the end.
Devoid of its spirit and of its vital force, Kubota's body falls
limply on the table. A 'thud' can be heard as the head bumps on the
hard surface, and yet no reaction to pain can be observed.
Like an artist
contemplates his finished work, I admire the result of my efforts. A
sense of fulfillment blooms in my soul, and with a mischievous giggle
I move my hand over the chessboard. Calmly and gently I take my
piece. Slowly I move it over the final square. I delicately place it
down and sweetly I pronounce the final judgment.