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
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
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!"
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
Bleached Guy: "Err...
about that... I'm not sure what the others think but... This isn't a
big deal at all..."
Bleached Guy: "I
mean... I didn't know the boss was into that stuff, but... well...
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
Erika: "Wait one
moment! I don't think you guys understand!"
Erika: "Stop! Stop
Kuon: "You really...
Bleached Guy: "Why
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?"
Ooooooh!!! My dear frieeends!!!"
Erika: "Nooo! 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
Normal Girl: "It's
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
Kuon: "My dear
lady... you have my gratitude! Because of you, my eyes are finally
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...
Erika: "That's not
Damn... I had forgotten
Satsukawa: "It's not
like I mean to interrupt you or anything, but... what exactly are you
trying to achieve here?"
give me that!"
Erika: "I was just
getting to the point..."
Satsukawa: "Well, do
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
is this... your blackmail theory?"
Gotsuji found out you were an otaku? She asked you money in exchange
for her silence?"
Kuon: "Uh? What are
you talking about?"
Erika: "Then who
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
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."
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
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.
something bothering you?"
Glamorous Girl: "Yeah,
you can say that."
Yes! Finally someone with
a brain! Go for it, glamorous girl!
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!"
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
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
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?"
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
Normal Girl: "How
could you... Kuon... you really fell low..."
Kuon: "Wait! Guys...
Erika: "Ha... ha ha
ha... This is what they care about..."
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."
'work' is what, exactly?"
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.
girl just now... Wasn't she Yuu Azuma?"
regarding what you told me yesterday about crime being on the
Satsukawa: "Oh? What
Erika: "What kind of
felonies are actually increasing?"
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."
thought you said you didn't care about that."