Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chapter 4 (o)

The game has ended, and naturally I am the winner. Not only Kubota's secret has been revealed, he also failed to prove his worth as a chess player. This is, for him, a complete, crushing defeat.
Now I simply cannot wait to hear his friends' reactions to what I just uncovered. My outstanding performance left them speechless, but they will recover from the shock in a matter of seconds.
Meanwhile Kubota starts punching the table in anger and frustration.

Kuon: "Damn! Damn it!"

Erika: "What's wrong, Kubota? You seem to be upset. *giggle* giggle*"

Kuon: "Daaamn you! How did you know?! How could you know?! Why?! Why?!"

Erika: "But it's pretty simple. If you had the amount of little grey cells that I possess, you'd also understand why the hints that you left were more than enough to reach my conclusions. Simply because of their existence, this level of reasoning was possible for Erika Furudo. What do you think?"

Kuon: "Ah ha ha ha... you did it... you completely ruined me!"

Erika: "If you're referring to what little remained of your reputation, I guess that's true. But you only have to blame yourself for that. After all, I simply revealed a truth. If you wanted to be respected, then you shouldn't have become the pathetic being that you are! Ha ha ha ha ha!!!"

Kuon: "It's the end! This is the end! Now everyone will look down on me! I'm finished! It's all over!"

Erika: "I think it'd be only proper for you to resign from your position as the president of the student council. Not like my intervention was necessary for that. Honestly, you should've been removed just because of your apparent irresponsibility. Ah, but I forgot you've been elected by popularity vote. Very well, they'll soon change their minds when they'll know that you're a disgusting otaku!"

Kuon: "Aaaaah! Please don't tell! Don't tell that to anyone! Please!"

Erika: "Too late! You see, it doesn't depend on me anymore! These guys that you consider your friends already know! And they thought you were so cool! What a joke! Now that they've seen what kind of person you really are..."

Bleached Guy: "Err... about that... I'm not sure what the others think but... This isn't a big deal at all..."

Erika: "Huh?"

Kuon: "Uh?"

Bleached Guy: "I mean... I didn't know the boss was into that stuff, but... well... whatever..."

Erika: "Whatever?!"

Sunglasses Guy: "Geez, I read manga too, you know?"

Erika: "That's not the same thing! You don't get it!"

Normal Girl: "It was really a shock! To think that Kuon is into those girly anime, I would've never imagined! But, if that's what he likes, well, I don't really mind."

Erika: "Wait one moment! I don't think you guys understand!"

Kuon: "E-everyone..."

Erika: "Stop! Stop that!"

Kuon: "You really... don't care?"

Bleached Guy: "Why should I?"

Sunglasses Guy: "Are you kidding me? You're still a bro!"

Normal Girl: "Yes, we're friends! Why should it change a thing just because of that?"

Kuon: "Oh... Ooooooh!!! My dear frieeends!!!"

Erika: "Nooo! No! No! No!"

Kuon: "I... I've been such a fool..."

Bleached Guy: "What's with that humble attitude? That's really not like you! Hey, come on! Don't cry on me!"

Kuon: "I always thought I'd be never understood... even though I love anime and manga so much, I always pretended I was like every other normal guy..."

Erika: "Which part of you is normal?!"

Kuon: "And so I hid my heart, my burning passion! I've been living in stealth, constantly fearing of what would people think of me, if they knew the truth! It was terrible... like I could never really be myself... But now I understand that I was wrong! I've been lying to you for all this time!"

Normal Girl: "It's okay, really..."

Kuon: "No! It's time to get out of the closet! I had underestimated you, I thought that you'd discriminate me for my otaku ways! Please... forgive me!"

Normal Girl: "I said... it's okay..."

Kuon: "My dear friend! You renewed my faith in humanity! No longer shall I live in fear of showing my true self! I will fight all the prejudices and biases that pollute this society! It's time to let the world know that even otaku can be cool! Even otaku can be handsome! Even otaku can be dependable!"

Erika: "You are not dependable!"

Kuon: "My dear lady... you have my gratitude! Because of you, my eyes are finally open!"

Erika: "I won't accept this! Your guys simply don't understand! Do you actually know what kind of doujinshi guys like him buy?! We're not talking about regular manga here, we're talking about disgusting publications that are only meant for male consumption! Do you understand what that means? Why don't you take a closer look at the little girl depicted in this bookmark! Look! What do you think?!"

Normal Girl: "Hmmm... she's... cute?"

Erika: "That's not the point!!!"

Satsukawa: "A-hem..."

Damn... I had forgotten about him...

Satsukawa: "It's not like I mean to interrupt you or anything, but... what exactly are you trying to achieve here?"

Erika: "Tch..."

Satsukawa: "Don't give me that!"

Erika: "I was just getting to the point..."

Satsukawa: "Well, do it quickly."

Erika: "Yeah, yeah... Kubota!"

Kuon: "What is it, my dear lady?"

Erika: "It's clear at this point that you had a secret that you wanted to protect at all costs. I have reason to believe that someone found out, and that you've been blackmailed by that person."

Kuon: "How do you... Ah, I shouldn't be surprised anymore... You really are a great detective! At this point I no longer have any reason to deny it... It's true! It's all true! That damn girl! She threatened to tell my secret!!!"

Satsukawa: "Erika... is this... your blackmail theory?"

Erika: "Yeah..."

Satsukawa: "Then... Gotsuji found out you were an otaku? She asked you money in exchange for her silence?"

Kuon: "Uh? What are you talking about?"

Satsukawa: "Debunked already..."

Erika: "Then who did?"

Kuon: "Teramoto! That devil! She's been using me for almost as long as I've been elected as the student council president! That's why I had no choice but to cover her as she took possession of the abandoned shed!"

Erika: "As expected, the evidence that she submitted a regular request was just recently fabricated with your help."

Kuon: "That's right! And those are but a few of the services that she demanded from me! That tyrant! I had no choice but to obey her, my reputation was at stake!"

Erika: "And that's how Teramoto rules the school behind the shadows, folks."

Satsukawa: "In other words there's no relation to the case!"

Erika: "Oh, I just thought that maybe Kubota was being threatened by Gotsuji, but it appears I was wrong. Well, that was worth a try. Too bad!"

Satsukawa: "You must be taking me for an idiot..."

Erika: "Anyway, this was absolutely disappointing."

Satsukawa: "Which part exactly disappointed you?"

Kuon: "My dear friends! I shall no longer bow to the forces of evil! Now that I know that I can count on your support and on the power of the friendship that binds us, never again I'll be ashamed of myself! A new, golden era has begun on the Mitsugi institute!"

Glamorous Girl: "Wait a moment."

Oh, I had almost forgotten her. Come to think of it, she didn't say a word for a while. Perhaps, unlike her dimwitted friends, she isn't quite pleased by the news.

Kuon: "Is... something bothering you?"

Glamorous Girl: "Yeah, you can say that."

Yes! Finally someone with a brain! Go for it, glamorous girl!

Kuon: "But..."

Sunglasses Guy: "Hey, don't tell me you're going to make a fuss just because the boss is an otaku, right? Come on!"

Normal Girl: "That'd be pretty mean!"

Glamorous Girl: "I couldn't care less about that."

Erika: "Oh, what the hell, even you!"

Satsukawa: "Hey..."

Kuon: "I see... then I'll be more than happy to clarify your doubts, my friend!"

Glamorous Girl: "Two days ago you met Baba, and he gave you that bag of doujinshi... why?"

Kuon: "That's easily answered! Unlike me Baba isn't burdened by the duty and the honor of being a guide for the students of this school. He has no reputation to protect, so he doesn't need to worry about being spotted in equivocal places."

Erika: "In other words, Kubota is so paranoid and self-conscious about his otaku self that he even avoids going personally where they sell the products he wants."

Kuon: "You need to understand! If it's Baba nobody cares! People just look at him and think: 'oh, here's a typical otaku, no wonder he buys this stuff.' But if it's me, that would certainly stir a commotion! 'What is a healthy and handsome boy like him doing in such place?!' That'd be strange, right? That'd be definitely seen as something strange! Everyone knows that otaku are ugly, socially awkward, and fat! I would stand out too much!"

Erika: "Do you realize that you're even more prejudiced than most people?"

Kuon: "Which is why I occasionally ask Baba to act as my proxy in those forbidden places. It isn't a bother for him, since he already goes there for his own interests, and, of course, I provide the money."

Glamorous Girl: "Then the reason you saved Baba one week ago..."

Kuon: "How can I possibly abandon a fellow otaku in a time of need?!"

Glamorous Girl: "You and Baba... are friends..."

Kuon: "Of course!"

Glamorous Girl: "..."

Bleached Guy: "..."

Sunglasses Guy: "..."

Normal Girl: "..."

Kuon: "Uh? W-what?"

Glamorous Girl: "Disgusting..."

Kuon: "Eeeeeeh?!"

Sunglasses Guy: "Are we talking about that Baba? Seriously?!"

Bleached Guy: "I'm not sure I want to be your friend anymore..."

Kuon: "Wait! Wait a moment!"

Normal Girl: "How could you... Kuon... you really fell low..."

Kuon: "Wait! Guys... listen!"

Erika: "Ha... ha ha ha... This is what they care about..."

Dlanor: "They are teenagers..."

Erika: "Well, this didn't go as I expected, but all is well that ends well..."

Satsukawa: "I don't think that's what you're supposed to say in this situation..."

Erika: "Well, it looks like these guys are pretty absorbed in their discussion. No point in staying here any longer, it's time to take our leave. My work here is done."

Satsukawa: "Your 'work' is what, exactly?"

Erika: "Relax, Satsukawa-san, it's not like we didn't accomplish anything. We now can explain a few facts that previously looked suspicious. Even removing noise is an important step in an investigation."

Satsukawa: "I guess I'll pretend that this is what we did today..."

Kubota and his 'friends' keep discussing animatedly. They don't have any intention to forgive their leader for associating himself with the least popular guy in the whole school. He, on the other hand, is trying to downsize his ties with him. Now he is arguing that Baba isn't really his friend or anything, but it is a bit too late for that.
I wonder how this will end. Will Kubota manage to smooth things over this time, or will he be ostracized? I am a bit curious, but not enough to make me endure their pointless bickering. I have lost interest in this.
I am leaving this room. They don't even notice.
As soon as I walk past the door, I almost bump onto a female student that was passing by at a fast pace. She stops for a second, just the necessary time for rapid apologetic bow, then she quickly runs away. She is heading downstairs. She tried to hide her face as best as she could by hanging her head and looking away, but on the brief time our eyes met, I think I spotted a tear.
Who she was walking away from? What upset her?
I don't see anyone standing in the corridor from the way she came from. I see, there is only one place she could have been just a while ago.

Satsukawa: "That girl just now... Wasn't she Yuu Azuma?"

Erika: "Satsukawa-san, regarding what you told me yesterday about crime being on the rise..."

Satsukawa: "Oh? What about it?"

Erika: "What kind of felonies are actually increasing?"

Satsukawa: "Hmmm... robbery and car thefts, mainly."

Erika: "I see... Do you think you can provide me the records of reported crimes of that kind in nearby areas? The past two years will be enough."

Satsukawa: "I thought you said you didn't care about that."

Erika: "I've changed my mind."


  1. Scenes with Kubota always reminded me of gag comedy manga, which is actually quite fitting considering his former secret


    That. Was. Awesome.

    I loved it. I truly enjoyed how his friends did not care at all about his anime interest. Then that turns around and bites him when he admits to being friends with Baba. Which was a great twist. Frankly, he should have known better then to admit being friends with that slime.