Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chapter 5 (q)

Erika: "Good. I think we've talked enough about the circumstances that led you to this point, Teramoto, I have a complete picture now."

Satsukawa: "Still, to think that you actually had such plans... I just don't get it. You're a high school student, right? Girls of your age are supposed to leisurely spend their days having fun with their friends. Why were you so obsessed with something like that?"

Erika: "Oh? Is that what bothers you the most, Satsukawa-san? I think the main problem here is that Teramoto's doings were dangerous on a criminal level, don't you agree?"

Satsukawa: "Well, of course that's also an issue, but it's never the criminal mind that disconcerts me. I can understand why someone would break the law for personal gain. What baffles me, however, is the irrationality, if not outright stupidity, of certain crimes."

Teramoto: "Wait a moment! Why are you talking as if I actually committed a crime? I never broke any laws!"

Erika: "You still say that after all that you've already confessed?"

Teramoto: "What are you talking about? That's completely wrong! Even I recognize that what I did wasn't perfectly okay, and I can understand why one would condemn me from a moral standpoint, but aren't you exaggerating? Why are you talking as if I was a criminal?!"

Satsukawa: "Relax, Teramoto, we still haven't concluded anything yet, this isn't a trial. Still, from my point of view, no matter how you look at it, that cultist stuff just sounds absolutely wrong. You'd think that a smart person like you would know better than treading in such shady waters."

Teramoto: "Why?! Why is everyone so prejudiced against groups of people that just want to believe in something? Why?!"

Erika: "Stop sugarcoating the bleak reality, Teramoto. You aren't a prophet, and you aren't a seer either. You're just a con artist."

Teramoto: "Don't pair me with those despicable individuals that are only interested in the vile money!"

Erika: "That's the same thing. Whether it's for money, popularity, or power, you're still fooling people and exploiting their gullibility to pursue your own end."

Teramoto: "Wrong! I did it for them too! I..."

She doesn't sound very convincing, and in fact she can't even fool herself.
This is no longer a witch, after all. Maaya, the witch of power, is dead. What's in front of me is just a broken vessel.
She was brought to this empty classroom, alone. Satsukawa used his authority to send all the other students back to their families. Stripped of her supporting clique and of her delusions, Teramoto, just as I predicted, became a lot more cooperative. At this point she doesn't have anything to lose by telling the truth, or so I think.

Erika: "Teramoto, it's a bit late, so let's just get to the important stuff. Exposing your lies was just an interesting side trip, my real purpose here, as you're well aware, is to find whoever killed Hitomi Gotsuji."

Teramoto: "An... interesting... side trip? A ha ha ha..."

Erika: "That's right, so why don't you tell us more about that shed? When did you start using it for your phony rituals?"

Teramoto: "You destroyed my life! You destroyed everything that I worked so hard for! And now... now you..."

Erika: "Yeah, sure! And I found it a mildly enjoyable experience, so what? Do you expect me to feel compassion? For you?"

Satsukawa: "Erika..."

Erika: "What about you, Teramoto? Do you not feel any pity for the girl that actually lost her life?"

Teramoto: "Ugh..."

Erika: "Then begin to talk. If you still think that spirits exist, perhaps you might want to do something useful for once and help me to find the murderer. Then maybe Hitomi Gotsuji will find some rest."

Teramoto: "I..."

Oh my, I can't believe I said that with a straight face. The whole thought that a criminal must be found or the spirit of the victim won't be able to ascend to heaven is so cliched. The truth is that Hitomi Gotsuji simply doesn't exist anymore, I don't get why people still need to indulge themselves in such childish and comfortable fantasies. There is absolutely nothing heroic or redeeming in catching a criminal. That's just a hunt, a cruel and merciless hunt. The dead won't get any benefit from it, the criminal will have its life destroyed, and those who wish for retribution will just get their bitter and trivial satisfaction. The only one who wins is the detective, for solving another case and receiving the well deserved praises.
In other words, this is just for my own delight.

Satsukawa: "Erika is right, Teramoto, we need to know the truth, for Gotsuji's sake."

Sure, what he said.

Teramoto: "I... as you might have guessed... as soon as I became a student of this school... I tried to create a new cult here..."

Erika: "Good, continue."

Teramoto: "I started by founding the occultism club. Finding members was easy because many of my friends from middle school followed me here."

Erika: "But your club has never been about studying the occult from the approach of a true believer, am I right? It was really about learning everything about all those phony supernatural events, and then reproduce them to impress your classmates, isn't it? Stuff like bending spoons with the power of the mind, levitation and all that stuff."

Teramoto: "Tch..."

Erika: "So?"

Teramoto: "Yes! That's right! That's just what you said! That's really what our club was truly about! In the end... In the end I was the first in not believing in the supernatural... Ha ha ha... This is so funny... Why is it that this thought never crossed my mind before?"

Erika: "Oh, I'm sure you've always known, but it was simply more convenient for you to never truly reflect on that."

Satsukawa: "Let's focus on the facts. Earlier Erika asked you to tell us when you started using the shed, we still need to hear your answer."

Teramoto: "I don't remember precisely when... I think it was by the end of the first year. Before we would simply perform in our club room, but there was a limit to what we could do there."

Erika: "I see, I guess that Nakamura did show up from time to time to check on you."

Satsukawa: "Nakamura?"

Dlanor: "Mrs. Nakamura is the teacher responsible for the occultism club."

Satsukawa: "Oh, right."

Teramoto: "Again... why are you..."

Satsukawa: "Let's not sidetrack, Teramoto. Sorry for the interruption, go on."

Teramoto: "Well... okay... To make it short, we were looking for a room to furnish however we wanted, a more suggestive place where we could gather some of our classmates and show them our magic... Then one day Kagami rushed to me with her usual enthusiasm and she told me that she found exactly what I was looking for."

Erika: "And that was the abandoned shed."

Teramoto: "That's right. At first I wasn't even too fond of that idea, but then I was convinced that it could work. There were many advantages, especially the fact that the abandoned P.E. shed was so isolated from the rest of the school's facilities."

Erika: "The perfect place to commit a crime."

Teramoto: "I never thought of doing anything wrong there!"

Erika: "Sure, absolutely nothing wrong. Anyway I know for a fact that you deemed necessary to make several adjustments."

Teramoto: "Of course, that was the very point..."

Erika: "I'm talking specifically about the door."

Teramoto: "Yeah... that was one of the reasons I didn't think that place was suitable for my needs."

Erika: "It wasn't fitted with a proper lock, right?"

Teramoto: "We just used a chain and a padlock at first, but of course that was just a temporary solution."

Satsukawa: "All of this happened during your first year here, right?"

Teramoto: "Yes..."

Satsukawa: "And you were already performing those rituals back then?"

Teramoto: "Not quite... I mean, I was already spreading the legend of the spirits of the dead students, and I even mentioned the demon Pazuzu... but it wasn't until the second year that I devised and perfected my show as you have witnessed it. Before I simply invited some students to my club room where I showed them my spirit summoning or I divined their future through tarot reading. They came for the curiosity and the thrill, to have some laugh and fun, but I slowly shook their skepticism, and more of them started to believe that I wasn't just messing around. The fact that my father is a Shinto priest added credibility to my claims."

Erika: "Even though there isn't any logical connection between that and western magic."

Teramoto: "Laugh as much as you want! What did you expect? If they could really use their heads they wouldn't have fallen for my tricks from the very start. Isn't that right, great detective? I was a fool for thinking that I could impress you... I should have never accepted your challenge!"

Erika: "My, my! Your overbearing self-confidence has turned into self-loathing now. Amusing! *giggle* *giggle*"

Teramoto: "And whose fault is that?!"

Satsukawa: "Ahem... regarding the victim, did you two already met by then?"

Teramoto: "I think so... but it's not like I really remember when and how that happened. All I knew is that she was one of Kagami's club members. I didn't have any particular opinion of her, and she wasn't interested in my activities either."

Erika: "Anyway, you must have gained a lot of popularity already by then, in spite of being just a first year student."

Teramoto: "You can say that. I was pretty successful, even more than I initially imagined..."

Erika: "Then by the second year you had already enough power to pull all the strings that you needed. Somehow you found out about Kubota's weakness and used that to ensure that the shed would remain yours. The statue of Pazuzu was likely crafted by some of your followers in the art club."

Teramoto: "Correct..."

Erika: "Then let's get to the interesting part. What can you tell me about Junko Andou?"


  1. In other words, this just for my own delight.

  2. huh, apparently it eats <>.
    this "is" just for my own delight*

  3. Awesome a bunch of updates! I was afraid that this was on one of those "permanent hiatuses."

  4. I am so happy to read the new chapters! And so many of them, as well! Thanks for your continued work on this story , I really appreciate it