Erika: "What I'm
going to expose is just a speculation, a merely hypothetical
scenario, so bear with me until the very end, okay?"
Kuon: "If this is
what you desire, I'll follow through your story without objecting."
Erika: "Good. So,
everyone, listen carefully to my theory."
I wait a few seconds to
ensure that I have everyone's attention and to put them into the
Erika: "I've already
mentioned how, due to various circumstances, I believe that Kubota is
connected to Teramoto and her group. In addition it isn't a secret
that I suspect the latter to be implicated in Gotsuji's murder. So
far nothing new. Naturally, we need to assume that Teramoto wasn't in
good terms with the victim. The precise motive is unclear to me, but
it isn't relevant at this point, we can just assume that there's
one, and leave the details for later. However it's very unlikely that
Teramoto actually wanted to kill Gotsuji. If that was the case she
would've come up with a better plan, at the very least she wouldn't
have wanted to leave the corpse in a place directly connected to her.
In other words if we start from that assumption that Teramoto is the
culprit, then inevitably we need to envision a scenario where the
murder wasn't premeditated. I believe that the victim did something
that she shouldn't have done, or maybe she witnessed something that
she wasn't supposed to see. What matters is that she incurred in
Teramoto's anger. I don't think I need to explain what kind of person
the latter is, and what kind of position she finds herself in. In
order to protect her role, and in order to prevent her schoolmates
from disbelieving her lies, she must dissuade them from openly
challenging her. Of course, she also needs to safeguard her secrets.
At any rate it's very likely that she made use of 'persuasive'
actions against those who defied her, I can't really explain
otherwise the degree of control that she gained over the students of
this school. So in the end we have a plausible motive for her to act
against Gotsuji. Naturally I believe the plan was simply to teach her
a lesson. Most likely the usual methods failed and that made Teramoto
decide to take more drastic measures. But she's a very intelligent an
diabolical girl, so I don't think that she'd dirty her own hands. I
doubt that she ever punished anyone directly, no, she made her
lackeys deal with those cases. Now, for the kind of punishment that I
think she envisioned for Gotsuji, she needed a male student. However
it's a well known fact that all of her followers are females, and if
there's an exception, who that might be? Incidentally, there's one
particular guy that quite apparently doesn't seem to care about
dirtying his reputation for her sake."
Kuon: "I see... I
suppose that would be me. But why do you think she necessarily needed
a male student?"
Erika: "Oh? Didn't
the newspapers report the state in which Gotsuji's body was found in?
It's quite evident that someone tried to undress her."
Kuon: "W-wait... are
you... implying that..."
Erika: "How else
would you explain that, Kubota? Why else someone would try to remove
her clothes? Yes, I'm implying exactly that. So there's no doubt that
a boy and only a boy could inflict this particular punishment."
Normal Girl: "No
Kuon: "W-wait... I
know you asked me to refrain from objecting, but this is too much!
Are you really insinuating that I'd simply agree to such plan?"
Erika: "You? Of
course not. Naturally, I imagine that you opposed Teramoto's idea,
you're too much of a coward."
Kuon: "W-what that's
supposed... to mean?"
Erika: "However, I
believe that there's one person that would gladly do that kind of
job. Incidentally you've been seen near that very person both before
and after the crime. I don't believe in coincidences, Kubota, and you
shouldn't have any reason to be around that guy. You know where this
leads us, right?"
Kuon: "I'm... not
Erika: "I'm talking
about Baba, of course. Basically you and Teramoto reached an impasse.
She wanted her plan to be executed, and you didn't want to do it, so
you proposed to use Baba instead. He's a notorious pig, he's been
known for frequently harassing the girls of this school. If Teramoto
gave him permission to... No, if she actually ordered him to..."
Kuon: "Why do you
think that I have anything to do with him?!"
Erika: "Like I said,
you saved him from Nagaoka, right? Maybe you needed to save him,
because he was supposed to do a certain job that day. But it's not
just that, you inexplicably decided to bring him with you when you
ditched Oda, and for what purpose? Moreover I've seen the two of you
together with my own eyes."
Kuon: "But, my dear
lady, you should be aware that I merely encountered him by chance
Erika: "What exactly
were you doing in that isolated place? And what was he doing there?
Am I really supposed to believe that you both just happened to be
there at the same time for no reason? Please, don't insult my
intelligence. I think it's a lot more plausible that you decided to
meet in secrecy to discuss about the recent incident. But allow
me to reconstruct the events of that day according to my theory.
Exactly one week ago, Hitomi Gotsuji was deceived into meeting
someone near the abandoned shed at 6:00 pm, after club activities. I
don't know whom she was supposed to meet and why, but what's relevant
is that it was all part of Teramoto's plan, and according to that
plan you and Baba were the ones who'd actually show up. The latter
had already agreed to that, either under a threat or after some kind
of bribe, or both. Note that the abandoned shed was certainly an
ideal place where you could 'punish' Gotsuji undisturbed, and only
Teramoto and her closest followers could grant you access to
it. Earlier that day, during lunch break, Baba and Oda started yet
another fight, and since they were caught red-handed by Nagaoka,
there was a serious risk that his inevitable punishment would
compromise the plan. Naturally you couldn't let it happen, and that's
why you intervened. You didn't really care about Oda, but I suppose
he came as a convenient added bonus, since you actually needed
someone to work for the student council. That being said, I believe
you would've found some helpers anyway, which is why supposing that
you saved Baba and Oda simply because you needed them for some
paperwork isn't really a satisfying explanation.
Then you all gathered
here in this very place, and in order to avoid suspicions from Oda,
you convinced Baba to work for a while. I suppose he wasn't too happy
about that, but I'm sure you had very convincing arguments on your
side. About a hour later, you came up with an excuse, and you left
this room taking Baba along with you. Not only Oda can confirm this,
but I know for a fact, thanks to a surveillance camera, that both you
and Baba left this school at 4:48 pm."
Kuon: "A-ha! Doesn't
this prove that neither of us could be possibly involved with the
crime, since we weren't inside this school anymore?"
hardly a proof of anything, Kubota. I've personally checked the fence
surrounding the school grounds, and so I know for a fact that anyone
could climb over it with little effort. But I think it's really
interesting how promptly you tried to use the fact that you had left
school as an alibi, because I believe that's exactly why you made
sure to appear in front of the surveillance camera. I guess that was
an insurance in case Gotsuji decided to denounce your assault."
utterly ridiculous! Are you saying that we left school from the main
entrance only to return inside afterwards, climbing the fence like
petty burglars? Unconceivable!"
Erika: "But then why
did you let Baba leave? There isn't really any other plausible
explanation. Why would you treat him differently from Oda?"
Erika: "I don't
quite know why did you leave so early, but I can easily speculate
that you both preferred to wait for more than an hour near the shed
than doing paperwork with Oda. At any rate the time finally came and
the victim showed up, all according to the plan. I can only imagine
her surprise when you appeared in front of her in place of whom she
was supposed to meet. Now, Gotsuji was quite the active and stubborn
girl, and she was an athlete, so, naturally, she wasn't simply going
to let you have your way with her. She resisted with all of her
strength. This is consistent with the evidences found at the crime
scene, it's almost certain that she fought before being killed. Baba
must've restrained her, and you probably helped him in bringing her
inside the shed. However, as her clothes were torn apart, she must've
realized that you were serious. That must've caused her to react even
more violently. Maybe she bit Baba's hand, maybe she kicked him in
his privates, maybe she insulted him fiercely, or perhaps she spit on
his face. I'm not sure what she actually did, but that hardly
matters; what's important is that she did something that seriously
angered Baba. Blinded by his own rage and lust, he unleashed his
unrestrained strength, and before you could stop him, he had already
done something that couldn't be repaired.
When you realized what
had happened you must've panicked. That wasn't part of the plan and
neither you nor him wanted to take the blame. You probably spent the
next few minutes yelling and accusing each other, until you realized
that you had no choice but to cooperate, if you wanted to avoid going
to jail. You must've decided that in the end the real responsible was
Teramoto, after all it was her idea. So you removed every traces of
your presence there and you left everything else as it was. You knew
that given the circumstances the police would most likely investigate
Teramoto. You must've thought that even if she decided to accuse you,
she wouldn't have had anything to back her claims. To further ensure
that the blame would only fall on her and her lackeys, you left a
message inside Hibari's locker, so that she'd be the one to find the
corpse and alerting the authorities.
Ah, I forgot to mention
that Hibari was most likely not aware of Teramoto's plan. It's easy
to imagine that she would've strongly opposed it. Gotsuji was the ace
of the female basket club, and Hibari had great hopes for her. She
definitely wouldn't want anything to happen to her precious team
member. Teramoto was most likely aware of that, and she must've
decided to keep the whole operation a secret from her. So, you
probably decided to take advantage of that. Hibari was someone that
was at the same time pretty close to Teramoto and completely unaware
of what was going on. You must've thought that she would've given the
alarm without thinking about the implications. You were right in
thinking that she was stupid enough to do that, but you
underestimated her stupidity."
Kuon: "I see... so
this is your theory..."
what do you think? I believe it's pretty sound and solid."
are... indeed a lot of things that match perfectly... This sounds
awfully too plausible to be just a mere conjecture..."
Normal Girl: "But
this can't be the truth! Kubota could never accept such a plan, not
even as an accomplice! And that also goes for Teramoto! I don't know
what kind of idea you have of her, but I refuse to think that she
devised something that cruel and perverted!"
Nothing on Baba? I guess
in his case she can't say that my theory is totally implausible.
Erika: "It's only
natural that you refuse to believe that your friend is a criminal,
but how much do you know about him? Are you absolutely positive that
he never hid anything from you?"
Normal Girl: "I..."
Kuon: "Ha ha ha ha!
Don't worry, my friends, there's no need for you to be swayed by
those obvious lies. My dear lady! As I promised, I listened to your
theory to the very end. How-ever! Now comes my turn!"
Erika: "Indeed. By
the way this is my next move: pawn to d3!"
Kuon: "Ha! Ah ha ha
ha ha! It appears that your chess skills are as lame as your
theories, my dear lady!"
Erika: "What? I hope
you aren't just talking big, Kubota! We're playing this game so that
you can demonstrate that you actually possess some talent. Haven't
you made me wait long enough already? Now it's you chance, show me
what you've got!"
Kuon: "Your wish
shall be granted very soon! Look and learn! Knight to d4!"
This is bad!
It only took me a
fraction of a second to realize what this move means, and it is
really not good for me. What a nice surprise, so at the very least he
really knows how to play chess.
Kuon: "Now, let me
enumerate the many flaws in your theory! First: what exactly do I
have to gain by associating myself with Teramoto? You skillfully
avoided the subject, but I think it's a pretty important point. As
long as you can't provide a plausible reason, nothing of what you
said can make any sense!"
Erika: "Tch! She's a
pretty scary girl, she probably blackmailed you. I think she can
easily destroy the reputation of someone in your position."
Kuon: "Ha! And how
she'd do that? I'm absolutely flawless!"
Erika: "Like hell
you are! Besides she can easily make up lies! That's what she does
all the time!"
Kuon: "That's all
very interesting, but what proof do you have? She could've
blackmailed anyone in the same way, why me of all the people?"
That knight in that
position is a real bother. It is too far in my territory and it is
threatening my pawn at c2. If I don't keep it protected, Kubota will
fork my king and my rook.
Kuon: "Secondly: how
exactly the fact that Gotsuji was killed with a sword fits in your
reconstruction? How come you completely avoided to mention that?
Certainly you aren't telling me that Baba, blinded by rage, had the
lucidity to take that wakizashi, unsheathe it, and then using it to
stab the poor girl! You claimed that it was a non premeditated
murder, but due to these circumstances that's hardly believable!"
Certainly a wakizashi
isn't a weapon that can be used without thinking, but a hammer is a
completely different story. The victim was hit with a hammer first,
so my scenario isn't implausible at all. The sword was likely used
later as a way to make it look like a ritualistic sacrifice, in
accordance to my theory that the murderer wanted all suspicions to
fall on Teramoto. However this is a fact that is only known by the
murderer, the investigators and Takamiya. If my theory was true, then
Kubota would also know, but he acts as if he is totally unaware of
Kuon: "Thirdly: you
said that we decided to place a message inside Hibari's locker, but
wasn't it established that it was indeed written by the victim? Where
do you think we found that? According to your theory, that wasn't
planned at all! How could we get something like that in such a short
I guess I could say that
it was simply coincidentally in their pockets or in Gotsuji's
pockets. It wouldn't really be a convincing argument though...
Anyway It is quite
evident what Kubota is planning. My knight on f3 is under a twofold
attack and I cannot defend it any more than this. No matter what move
I will do next, he will take it with his own knight, checking my
king. At that point I will have no choice but to even the score
with my pawn at g2. This will completely disrupt my formation on the
king's side. Not a big disadvantage but in the long run it might cost
me the game.
Kuon: "I'm not done
yet! You said that I met Baba two days ago to talk about the crime
that we supposedly committed. But why would he bring a bag of
doujinshi there to such meeting? How does that make sense? In the end
my version of the story is a lot more plausible! I was talking with
him precisely because of that bag, since it was a blatant violation
of the rules!"
I will be damned if I can
let him do as he pleases. I won't give him this satisfaction. He
thinks I cannot possibly prevent him from taking my knight? He thinks
I cannot possibly prevent him from executing his plan? Well, I won't
Kuon: "You really
shouldn't have made that move, my dear lady! Cutting off your own
bishop from the retreat route was an amateurish blunder. Ha ha ha
Kuon: "I'm ready
whenever you are, my dear lady. It is your privilege as the commander
of the white pieces to make the first move. Whatever will be your
choice for the start of this eventful match?"
Erika: "Let's see,
how about a classic opening? I move the king's pawn to e4."
Kuon: "Splendid! I
see that you indeed know the basic of this game, I'm relieved."
Erika: "It isn't
really a big deal, even beginners know that this is one of the most
solid first moves for white. Don't you agree?"
Kuon: "It most
certainly is, but precisely because of that it lacks originality.
Personally when I play as white I prefer to advance the queen's pawn
Erika: "I see,
that's certainly an interesting alternative."
If he really does that,
he must be the kind of player that doesn't prioritize castling. That
isn't exactly wrong in itself, but it is a weak point that can be
mercilessly exploited, if the opponent doesn't take great care.
Erika: "How will you
answer to this first move of mine, Kubota? Oh, forgive me, I didn't
mean to pressure you. This is just a friendly game, we aren't playing
against time or anything."
Kuon: "Do not worry,
my dear lady, I don't even need to think for something like this.
When white plays e4, I always counterattack in the same way. Pawn to
e5! As they say, you need to fight fire with fire, and so this is the
most logical step to take: a symmetrical game!"
so now our pawns are butting their heads against each other. I like
your play style, you don't shy from direct confrontations."
postponing the inevitable? My war philosophy is to always attack in
full force without any hesitations."
Erika: "Isn't that a
Kuon: "Reckless is
just a disparaging adjective made up by cowards that don't want to
take any risks. I prefer to define my tactics as daring."
Erika: "I see."
Kuon: "Don't you
agree that in order to accomplish great deeds one must take great
No... not at all."
surprising, I could swear that you were a very daring person."
Erika: "That's most
certainly the impression that I give. It's no wonder, after all I
often take steps that normal people consider leaps of faith."
Kuon: "And it isn't
Erika: "It might
look like I'm gambling and relying on luck because no one thinks that
I can foresee certain outcomes, but in truth every single risk that I
take is a calculated risk. With my logic alone I can predict even
what everyone else considers unpredictable."
certainly an exceptional talent, but are you confident that you'll be
able to use it on me?!"
Erika: "Who knows?
It'll be interesting to see if I can or not. *giggle* *giggle*"
Kuon: "Chess is
indeed a game where predicting your opponent's moves is everything! I
see, even if you're an amateur, you might still prove to be a worthy
challenger! I won't underestimate you!"
should've had this determination to begin with! Please, fight with
everything you've got!"
Kuon: "I intend to
do exactly that, my dear lady!"
I doubt you really will,
you self-conceited twerp! But it will be extremely delightful to
remind you that I had warned you.
Kuon: "It's your
turn again. Let me see your second move."
Erika: "Hmmm... I'll
let you know my choice in a moment. Before that, do you mind if I ask
you a question?"
Kuon: "Shouldn't we
concentrate on the game instead? I believe that your questions can
wait a few minutes, I promise I'll achieve a swift victory!"
Erika: "Don't tell
me that you can lose your focus so easily. We're just going to
leisurely chat while we play a game. I don't see any problem with
Kuon: "I see... your
desire to know me better cannot wait, that's understandable... Very
well, I shall satisfy your curiosity."
Erika: "Good! Like I
stated before, I think there's something fishy about you."
Kuon: "And I've
already told you that I've got no clue as to why you believe so."
Erika: "Which is why
I want to ask: how exactly are you involved with Teramoto?"
Kuon: "I have no
particular ties with her apart from the usual connection that is to
be expected from a club president and the head of the student
Erika: "I imagined
you'd say so. But there's something that I can't quite understand."
Kuon: "How can I
help you in reaching enlightenment?"
Erika: "Around two
years ago Teramoto formally requested to be given permission to use
the abandoned shed for her club activities. This is what she claimed
Erika: "However you
didn't complete the required procedures, so this permission was never
made official and the school committee was never informed."
Kuon: "Alas, I
decided to procrastinate my duties, and before I knew it, I had
completely forgotten about them."
Erika: "This is
consistent with what Teramoto said, but I think this isn't quite the
Kuon: "What makes
you think that I'm lying, my dear lady?"
Erika: "Well... the
point is that I've been informed that after that you received similar
requests from other clubs. In other words they also asked permission
to use the abandoned shed, but you refused them. How is it possible
that you didn't remember? Certainly you've been always aware that
Teramoto had already occupied that place. Why didn't you simply tell
them the truth? Why all the secrecy? Let me get straight to the
point; I don't buy the story that Teramoto did everything by the
book, and that you're the only one to blame. Rather, I think that
there was and there still is an agreement between the two of you. In
other words you're accomplices. There never was a formal request, you
both planned to keep a veil of secrecy over the whole matter since
I take one of my pieces
from the board and move it to its new position.
Erika: "Knight to
f3. It's your turn, Kubota."
He watches me with a
serious and confused look for a while. Then he smirks briefly and
bursts into a laughter.
Kuon: "Ah ha ha ha
ha! You certainly are an entertaining opponent, my dear lady! This is
only your second move, and you're already attacking my only
unprotected piece! How-ever! Attacking in chess isn't hard at all!
What's really difficult is to attack in a way that cannot be
countered! I'm afraid that you won't really go far, if this is all
that you can do!"
Erika: "Aren't you
getting a little ahead of yourself? The game has just started."
Kuon: "True enough,
and I must say that it promises to be extremely exciting! Then first
and foremost let me clarify your doubts! I had indeed forgotten about
the whole shed issue, there's absolutely no contradiction in what I
testified! It was only by a mere coincidence that I denied the
requests of those other clubs, the reason is what I've already
explained to Satsukawa-dono; I didn't want to fill all the required
modules! Plainly speaking, it would've been just a bother!"
convenient! Then why did you accept when Teramoto asked?"
Kuon: "I probably
did so without paying it any attention, which explains why I forgot
about it! But I think I somehow subconsciously remembered that I
didn't want to fill the related modules. The human mind sure is a
Erika: "Then when
exactly did you remember the rest?"
Kuon: "It all came
back to me when I was told the sad news. When I heard that many
occult symbols and tools were found there, I immediately thought of
Teramoto and her club, and I connected the dots. That's when I
remembered that she asked for my permission in the past."
Erika: "Then all of
this time you were completely clueless of what was going on there?"
Kuon: "Sadly, that's
how it is."
Erika: "What about
these girls? Didn't they know all along?"
Normal Girl: "Huh?
Oh... well... of course I've been there too... he he..."
Glamorous Girl: "I
wasn't in the student council back then, and I never talked about it
Kuon: "As you can
see, my dear lady, even if they knew, that subject never came up in
our discussions. Are you satisfied?"
Sunglasses Guy: "Well
Bleached Guy: "This
is getting pretty fun, I'm fired up!"
Kuon: "Then allow me
to show you my counter! If you attack my pawn with your knight, then
I'll simply defend it with my own! Knight to c6!"
Erika: "Not bad, but
this is merely the beginning."
Kuon: "Of course,
but in the end the handsome guy always wins!"
Erika: "I'm still
not fully convinced that you aren't Teramoto's accomplice."
Kuon: "Accomplice in
what exactly, I wonder? Are you suggesting that I was given a role in
her secret agenda? Ridiculous!"
Erika: "Then answer
this simple question. Why would Teramoto accept to cover your mistake
if there really wasn't any tie between the two of you? That's pretty
hard to believe, especially considering what had just happened.
Moreover it isn't just Teramoto, all the occultism club members
initially denied any involvement with that place. Are you seriously
saying that they did it just for you? Knight to c3."
Kuon: "Hmmm... I
didn't expect this move. I was almost certain that you were aiming
for a Ruy-Lopez, or perhaps an Italian game. Instead you opted for a
less aggressive Three Knights game, I'm a bit disappointed."
Erika: "Who said
that I would always attack with full force?"
Kuon: "Ah, certainly
there's nothing wrong with a more tactical approach, but, if you ask
me, I think this last move of yours is a bit weak."
Erika: "You think
Kuon: "Indeed. As
for the reason the occultism club members decided to accept my humble
request, there's a simple and obvious explanation."
Erika: "Obvious? The
only thing that's obvious is that you're lying, Kubota!"
Kuon: "Not at all!
You see, it's actually only natural that they couldn't say no to me."
Kuon: "After all...
I'm the handsome, intelligent and charismatic president of this fine
institution! How could they refuse to support their benevolent
leader? This is simply unthinkable! Shame on you for even asking!"
Normal Girl: "Ah ha
ha ha ha!"
Sunglasses Guy: "Whooooa!
Way to go, Boss!"
Erika: "You can't
Satsukawa: "This guy
Kuon: "As you can
see my position is rock-solid! Pawn to d6!"
Erika: "Tch... so
you choose to play dumb..."
Kuon: "Play dumb?
Ridiculous! I've no idea what you're talking about!"
exactly... Very well then, let's change subject."
Kuon: "Giving up
already? I see, you must've realized that it's pointless to throw
false accusations at me."
Erika: "I still
don't quite understand why did you decide to help Baba and Oda on the
very day of the crime. Somehow I feel there's a connection, and I
think that you specifically wanted to 'save' Baba."
Kuon: "Baba? Why
would I have a particular reason to care about him?"
Erika: "Oh, I'll get
to my point pretty soon. Meanwhile you can try and explain again what
made you go so far to prevent Nagaoka from punishing him. And while
you're at it, think about how to counter my move: bishop to c4."
Kuon: "A-ha! So you
decided to move your bishop there in the end, but it's too late! At
any rate I believe I've already explained that I was guided by my
chivalrous spirit! Wherever there's a fellow classmate in trouble, I
have the duty to offer my help!"
Erika: "In other
words Teramoto and her clique helped you just out of respect and
admiration, and you helped Oda and Baba out of pure altruism. What
kind of world do you think we live in, Kubota? Aren't you pushing
this fairy tale a little too far?"
Kuon: "It profoundly
saddens me that your cynicism prevents you from accepting the
plausibility of my words. Humans are a lot more good natured and
willing to help each others than you may think. All for one, one for
all! That's my motto!"
Erika: "I guess you
really won't yield ground on this point, but do you really understand
that you're threading in dangerous waters?"
Kuon: "Honestly, no.
I've absolutely nothing to fear as my conscience is clean. Surely
your suspicions are the fruit of a misunderstanding, and I'm
confident that all of your misgivings will be quenched in the end.
So, I think I'll answer your unconventional move with something
equally unconventional. Bishop to g4."
Erika: "So this is
your answer, it looks like you're trying hard to reduce my options.
Then I guess it's time to show my hand, I'll tell you what I'm