This is unexpected. Teramoto is crying, she is shamelessly crying in front of me.
Teramoto: "Why did you do this to me?! You knew already of the consequences, and you still did it! Why?! I did many wrong things, I've been a bad person! I'm sorry! But you know! Even you should know... I don't deserve what's going to happen to me!"
Erika: "You don't... deserve it?"
Teramoto: "Yeah! I don't deserve this! Why do I need to be punished to that extent?! That's not fair!"
Teramoto: "Don't laugh! Why are you laughing now?!"
Erika: "Aha... ahahahahahaha!!!"
Teramoto: "Stop it! Don't laugh!"
Erika: "Oh my! Ha ha ha ha!!!"
Teramoto: "What's so funny about this?! What's so amusing?!"
Erika: "Not fair?! You don't deserve it?! And how did you get this foolish idea that the world is a fair place? Who exactly deserves to be bullied, Teramoto? At least you actually did something wrong. Do you have any idea how many people get victimized while being completely innocent? And now here you complain because your punishment will be too harsh! If that isn't a laughable, what else is? Sorry, but this is just how this world works. The faster you adapt to this reality the better it is. You thought you had it bad so far? You have no idea. Whatever you think you suffered in the past is outrageously trivial compared to what true pain is."
Teramoto: "Stop! I can't take this anymore! That's it! My life is over! I won't even go to school tomorrow!"
Erika: "That's a pity, you'll miss out on a most amusing show."
Teramoto: "I'll drop school entirely! There's no way I'm going through that hell! I don't want to be bullied! I don't want to become everyone's scapegoat! I don't want that! I don't want that!"
Erika: "Calm down, crybaby!"
Teramoto: "Then what am I supposed to do?! You ruined my life, you destroyed everything I had!"
Erika: "That's right. I completely destroyed that hateful castle made of illusions that you built."
Erika: "By the way, your little friend Hibari told me something quite interesting about your so called 'philosophy'."
Teramoto: "What do you want from me still?! Leave me alone!"
Erika: "That's right, there was no point in responding to her, those are your theories, right? This is how you justified your shams and your tricks. What was that again? Yeah, I remember now. You claim that some people have the need to believe in magic. You seem to think that believing in something, even if completely false, is better than accepting the crude reality. But somehow you realized that this world with its rationality is systematically destroying the myths and legends of the past. More and more mysteries are solved each passing days. People can no longer fantasize about ridiculous explanations for natural events. Everything is denuded by the relentless scientific progress. All traces of romanticism are forcibly removed by the merciless jaws of empiricism, all that is left are the bare bones of facts and proofs. Few superstitions and beliefs survived the giant meat grinder of methodical experimentation.
All that left you with a profound sadness, your precious dreams were snatched from you and you cried and despaired. That's when you thought that you could reverse the flow."
Teramoto: "That's right! The truth is too cruel, the truth is hideous! What kind of worth is there in a world that loses its ability to dream? If the sky is gray, why do I need to accept it? What kind of good can come from that? Better it is to paint the sky of many vibrant colors, and who cares if it's fake? Who cares if it isn't the truth?! All I did was trying to stop the rapid descent into a world of despair. I may have fooled people, but I did it for their sake, and for mine! And it's not like I robbed anyone from anything! If those people truly didn't want to believe they would have noticed the tricks, just like you did! Don't you think so, great detective?! Can you really say that deep down it wasn't the very fact that they wanted to believe that it prevented them from realizing the truth?"
Erika: "Certainly, you do have a point... as stupid as they are, even they wouldn't have taken you so seriously if they really used their brain. So I can agree to a certain extent that deep down they wanted to be fooled."
Teramoto: "That's right! Then in the end I didn't do anything wrong! Just like I said!"
Erika: "In other words you just wanted to rekindle in people their inner desire to believe in magic, their ability to fantasize and to dream which is constantly under the perpetual attack of truth, facts, and reality."
Teramoto: "Then you do understand! That's not something that people want, it's something they are victim of. They have no choice but to accept the truth, they have no choice but to refute magic!"
Erika: "And since the truth is horrible, that just robs them of their happiness. Because there's just no way for someone to be happy about the sorry state our world is in. With magic, however, you can just pretend the world is a fantastic place. With magic... you can see beyond facts. With magic you can see beyond the crude and boring reality. You can still believe, you can still hope, you can still find happiness in the darkest hole of this deranged universe."
Teramoto: "Who... the hell are you? How can someone like you understand all of that and yet..."
Erika: "I know the theory all too well. Don't think you invented or discovered anything, Teramoto! But you know what? All of that is wrooong. All of that is utterly stupid! Worthless! Pathetic! Ridiculous! It can't even be redeemed as a joke! Do you really believe in that nonsense? Aren't you ashamed of yourself? I seriously have no words to state my incredulity. This is embarrassing! Look, I even feel embarrassed for you! That's how awkward this is! Do you get it? This is dumb! Completely idiotic! There should be a law to forbid people from even thinking that. Like you should be sentenced to death for atrocities against human brain cells or something. If there was..."
Teramoto: "I got your point already! Stop that!!"
Erika: "Then you see..."
Teramoto: "I see nothing! You just insulted me and my theories like every other so-called rational thinker did! You said that's wrong? Well, why is that wrong? Explain it, if you can! Explain how one can be happy without magic!"
Erika: "Happy?! What are you even babbling about? Of course the truth won't make you happy."
Teramoto: "Then... why..."
Erika: "Who the hell cares about happiness, Teramoto? Happiness is grossly overrated. Those who speak of happiness are the biggest fools, they don't even know what they're talking about. All it takes to be happy, Teramoto, is a few pills. Is that what you hold in so high regard?"
Teramoto: "Wait... no... that's not what..."
Erika: "Then you should understand that valuing happiness in itself is utterly stupid. Isn't the reason to be happy what really matters? Let's just make a stupid example. If you take a good grade you're happy, right? If you take a bad grade you're unhappy. But what really matters here, what really you should look for is the good grade, in other words the reason to be happy. Happiness has only a value if it corresponds to an event that is actually deserving of joy!
Now with your so-called magic, Teramoto, you can be happy regardless. You just fool yourself into believing that the world is a fantastic place when it is not! You just idiotically laugh and rejoice without a reason! And the worst part is that it will be short lived! Reality doesn't change just because you wish for it! Your pain won't go away just because you pretend it doesn't exist! It will return! It will return stronger than ever! You can't fight against reality! You can't fight against the truth! They will catch up no matter how far you escape! That's why you're an idiot! You don't understand!"
Teramoto: "But then what if you can't change your reality?! What if you can't do anything about that? Isn't it better to escape with your own mind? What good can come from acknowledging a desperate situation?!"
Erika: "You're approaching the issue form a completely wrong direction. You say that the sky is gray, but so what of it? What's wrong about the sky being gray?"
Teramoto: "Huh? No matter how you look at it, a colorful world is ten times better!"
Erika: "And who decided that?! Look, you can't change the color of the sky, you just need to accept it for what it is! If it's gray, it's gray! Deal with it! If you think you can paint it of your own favorite color, you're just going to make a fool of yourself. But that doesn't mean that you can't change absolutely anything!"
Teramoto: "What do you mean?"
Erika: "You can change yourself! If you're unhappy about the world, then adapt, evolve! If you live in filth, then learn to love filth! If all around you is filth, then become filth yourself!!!"
Teramoto: "I can't do that! What you say is pure madness! It's crazy!"
Erika: "No, Teramoto, that's what it means to be a witch of truth!"
Teramoto: "A... huh?!"
Erika: "Don't you wish you could look at the truth and appreciate it for what it is? Don't you wish you could accept any truths and survive them no matter how terrible they are? I can do that and much more."
Teramoto: "I don't care about that..."
Erika: "This is just the surface, Teramoto, there's a lot more to that. You see, you were deemed to fail whether I met you or not. That's because your magic was inherently weak. I observed you, you didn't care about the fact that some people would always deny your theories. You thought you could simply ignore them forever, and that's where you've been terribly naïve. Magic is a fragile thing, it takes very little to break it. Why do you think people were killed simply for challenging a dominant belief? You don't really need to worry about a fool stating what everyone knows to be wrong. The real problem comes when someone challenges a lie that everyone deep down knows to be false. What you created with so much effort could be taken away from you at any moment in a single instant, and I demonstrated that. You can't deny that I did."
Teramoto: "Then... then what do you want me to do? Are you saying that I should just give up?!"
Erika: "No! What I'm saying is that you should stop valuing fleeting stuff like your feeble magic. Something that only a few people believe in is worthless. What truly holds power is that which everyone believes in! In other words: truth!"
Erika: "You may think that I hate you, Teramoto, but that's false. I don't have anything against you, what I truly hate is the magic that befouled your mind. In fact I think that you and I are similar in many respects. You're not much different from what I was before becoming what I am, and you'll soon experience the same hell that I've been through. Don't fear it, Teramoto, if you embrace the truth, that hell won't destroy you, it will make you stronger. Become a witch of truth and you'll survive anything, just like I survived far worse tragedies."
Teramoto: "How... how should I do that? You make no sense!"
Erika: "Don't worry, I'll help you. Just give me your mail address. There is much I can teach you, there is much you can learn. Your journey is just beginning."
The trembling, shaky hesitation is soon replaced by a twisted resolution.
A devilish thought walks past the shattered remains of the wall of sanity.
The serpent's whisper has tainted the core. There are no more doubts, there are no more worries, and not a single care for what the future may hold.
At this point, what is left to lose?
The contract has been signed, the ticket to the world of perdition has been presented.
Certainly I have received it.
Teramoto: "I must have gone crazy for doing this..."
Erika: "If that's what the truth is, then just welcome your new found madness with a smile!"
Teramoto: "A ha ha..."
Erika: "Ha ha ha ha!!!"
Teramoto: "Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!"