The empty teacup is standing alone on the table. Somehow I find it a saddening sight, and that reminds me that I didn't have a proper breakfast yet this morning.
Today Rokudou was earlier than usual. He should really try to keep his schedule a bit more organized, I wish his visits weren't so random.
Rokudou: "Did you experience any discomfort during your stay in this hotel, Milady?"
This must be the twentieth boring question he made me since I welcomed him inside. I know that he is just doing his job, but this is getting annoying. My many little grey cells are craving for a more intellectually stimulating conversation.
I absentmindedly answer him, reassuring him that there is nothing he should be worrying about. Not like I am absolutely satisfied of this accommodation, but I don't really care. I might be rich, and I might be a person that appreciates elegance and style, but I am also very practical and adaptable. Currently my only care is to solve the many mysteries surrounding the Mitsugi institute, the rest is hardly of any relevance.
Erika: "Today is Friday? Time sure flies..."
Rokudou: "Hu hu hu, are you experiencing difficulties in keeping track of the passing time, Milady?"
Erika: "Not particularly. I guess I simply enjoyed the past few days, that's all."
Rokudou: "I imagine they've been rather exciting for you."
Erika: "Oh, there's been quite a few amusing moments, but the best has yet to come."
Rokudou: "So, today is the big day."
Erika: "Big day? That's an amusing way to define it. When an exterminator frees a mansion from the vermin lurking inside, does he consider it a big event?"
Rokudou: "Hu hu hu! I see, I suppose that that would mean giving the vermin too much importance."
Erika: "Precisely. So today isn't particularly big or anything, it's just a day where I'll have fun doing what I do best."
Rokudou: "Do you have a plan already?"
Erika: "A plan? You're underestimating me, Rokudou, I have more than one."
Rokudou: "However, you don't know what kind of tricks Teramoto has prepared."
Erika: "I believe I've already figured out the most probable."
Rokudou: "With just the little information at your disposal?"
Erika: "There are substantially three magic tricks that Teramoto uses to challenge the disbelief of the students. One is the door that can only be closed and opened from inside."
Rokudou: "Ah, that part has been solved already."
Erika: "I'm sure Hibari followed my advice, so Teramoto shouldn't know that I've figured that out already."
Rokudou: "I see, you made it so she wouldn't tell."
Erika: "The less Teramoto knows about what I know, the best it is for me. Hibari in her stupidity doesn't even realize how harmful it is to withhold vital information from her friend."
Rokudou: "Hu hu hu, she's not the brightest mind."
Erika: "The second trick is the Ouija board. How does she moves the planchette where she wants to?"
Rokudou: "Do you know what kind of system she uses?"
Erika: "I wish I knew more, but I imagine it isn't something too obvious. Those girls seemed pretty sure it couldn't be a trick. I can think of a few possibilities, but in the end it doesn't really matter which it is, I have a secret weapon. *giggle* *giggle*"
Rokudou: "Then only one trick remains."
Erika: "That's the most insidious."
Erika: "You see, the third trick is Pazuzu itself. In other words: how Teramoto can summon him in front of everyone?"
Rokudou: "Oh? I'm not sure I understand, but what are you going to do about it?"
Erika: "I'll simply destroy it, there's no other way."
Dlanor: "Mister Rokudou, Miss Erika does not wish to tell her plans before executing them, but I am sure she will be willing to explain everything after her inevitable success."
Rokudou: "Hu hu hu, I see, I won't press this any further. But what if there are other tricks?"
Erika: "It's a possibility, but I'm sure those three are the most important. Regardless, I can expose the truth behind any kind of trick in a few minutes. Even if she pulls something that I don't expect, I can deal with it. There's nothing to be worried about."
Rokudou: "I'm glad to see that you're as confident as ever, Milady."
Erika: "Why would you even doubt that?"
Rokudou: "I imagine that confronting Teramoto is a mandatory step, but shouldn't you focus more on solving the murder case? This is already the fifth day, and I think the MPD is expecting more substantial results. I don't need to remind you that your services were requested because they wanted to settle this matter as quickly as possible."
Erika: "Ha ha, you sound just like Satsukawa. I find your worries that I might not solve this case quite amusing."
Rokudou: "It's reassuring that you feel that way, but time is of the essence."
Erika: "Yeah, I understand perfectly, Rokudou. They think they can solve any cases with or without my help. So they'll only consider me necessary, if I prove I can do it faster and better. I get it."
Rokudou: "If you disappoint them, the chances that you'll be called again will greatly diminish."
Erika: "That won't happen. They want a culprit served on a silver platter, someone to prosecute without the slightest chance that he'll be acquitted. I'll deliver their order in a timely fashion, but I'm not going to rush it. That could compromise the quality of the final product, don't you think?"
Rokudou: "It's very hard to understand how close you actually are to such objective."
Erika: "That's how I work, Rokudou. An artist never shows his paintings before they're finished. I'm the same. You just need to trust that progress is being made."
Rokudou: "If you say that everything is proceeding smoothly, I won't worry anymore."
Erika: "Then you can rest easy."
Rokudou: "I see... I'll do that. I have faith in your talents, Milady."
Erika: "Right... Ah, Rokudou, by the way..."
Erika: "There's something that I think you can help me with. I actually planned to ask this since yesterday, but I just reminded it now."
Rokudou: "What could that be?"
Erika: "In the previous case, one of your many connections proved to be quite useful."
Rokudou: "Ah, that woman..."
Erika: "Do you think you can contact her? I wish to take advantage of her services again."
Rokudou: "Hmmm, I haven't seen her in a while, but I think I can still persuade her... Why don't you ask Satsukawa-san first? He might be able to provide the same information."
Erika: "I don't think he'd like my idea, and I prefer to keep this under the table. Besides, what I'm going to ask isn't quite legal."
Rokudou: "In that case I think it'll be necessary to reward a few persons for their cooperation and discretion."
Erika: "And is that a problem?"
Rokudou: "No, not at all. If it is to improve your chances of success, Milady, I have nothing against a few expenses."
Erika: "Good. Take care of this matter as soon as you can, and keep me informed."
Rokudou: "Consider it done."
My butler can be pretty useful. I guess that is why I keep him around, even though he isn't very dignified. In the end if he was a completely honest person, it could become a problem for me.
Erika: "I'm getting hungry. Why don't you call the room service for me, Rokudou? You can order the usual."
Rokudou: "Satsukawa-san is going to join us very soon. I thought the three of us could have breakfast somewhere outside, today. It would be certainly more enjoyable that way."
Erika: "Hmmm, I see. Let's do that, then."
Now, here is another example of how Rokudou is totally not like a real butler should be. I do think he had a nice idea, but servants aren't supposed to share meals with their masters. And yet he proposed that as if it was something absolutely normal, denoting his complete lack of tact and elegance. He really doesn't behave like a butler at all, whatever should I do with this uncouth man?
Rokudou: "By the way, Milady... Have you ever been in the metaworld again after that day?"
Why does he ask?
Erika: "Why do you ask?"
Rokudou: "It's been a long time since you haven't been there. I thought it could have happened again recently."
I wonder if he knows. And if he does, how did he find out? This is too strange to be a coincidence... But there is no way he knows. Rokudou, like most people, shouldn't be able to see and interact with the metaworld.
Erika: "It's a thing of the past, Rokudou. I have no idea why are you bringing that up now."
Rokudou: "I thought so, I was just curious."
He has always been insanely curious about my adventures in the world beyond. I remember the first year he entered in my service. He kept pestering me with questions about Bernkastel, Beatrice, the golden land, and all the rest.
Rokudou: "You haven't met any denizens of the illusion world then?"
Erika: "No, how could that even happen? They can't come to this world by their own will. For that to happen one needs to summon them. It requires a lot of concentration and training, and even then, only the summoner will be able to interact with them."
Rokudou: "Right, I had forgotten that."
Erika: "That's disappointing, you were such a fast learner. I guess you're as fast at forgetting as you are at memorizing."
Rokudou: "Hu hu hu, you're right, Milady."