The Devil on G-String:g31.ks

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;背景 主人公自室 昼
@bg storage=bg_01a1111 rule=rule_q_c_td time=800

@bgm storage=bgm_02

@chr c=kanon_b_si_01_b
The first thing I did the next morning was send a letter and some cash to Mom.[np]

After I got home, I dangled the DVD I rented in front of Kanon.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“It's the one you wanted.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“おら、ご所望の品だ”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_si_04_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7281]“Good work.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7281]“ごくろー”[np]

Kanon gets up really early.[np]

And despite the fact that she's taking a day off, she still bothered to take the time to perfect her personal appearance this morning.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Would you like some pastries?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“菓子とかいるか?”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_si_01b_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7282]“That's so considerate~, but just water is fine with me.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7282]“気が利くねー、でも水でいいです”[np]

She might look like a complete fool, but she still takes good care of her body.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Well, then. I'll be in the study...”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“んじゃ、おれは書斎にいるから……”[np]

@chr c=kanon_c_si_01_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7283]“Let's watch it together!”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7283]“いっしょにみよーよ”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“No.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“ダメだ”[np]

@chr c=kanon_a_si_05_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7284]“Okay!”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7284]“はい!”[np]

She knows where the line is.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Just shout if anything comes up.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“なんかあったら呼べよ”[np]
;;Holler: 2. v. To yell at ill-behaved children who normally reside in the southern United States. Sorry that was just me using urban dictionary to point out your SOUTHERNESS. GOD you're so southern.
;;well at least I have you to <strike>make fun of me</strike> point out things. - pondr

I pressed the play button on the DVD player and disappeared into the study.[np]

@black rule=rule_w_s time=500



;背景 主人公の部屋 昼
@wait time=2000
@bg storage=bg_01a1111 rule=rule_w_s time=500

After around two hours, I returned to the living room.[np]

The movie's credits were scrolling up the screen.[np]

I hadn't heard anything for a while, so I thought she might have fallen asleep again...[np]

@chr c=kanon_a_si_01_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7285]“I finished it.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7285]“見終わりました”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Oh, how was it?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“おう、どうだった?”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b2_si_03c_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7286]“...I cried.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7286]“んー、泣いた”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“You did not, you liar. You fell asleep, didn't you?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“泣いてねえじゃん。どうせ寝てたんだろう?”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_si_03_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7287]“I told you, I finished it. The mom died in the end. It's so sad when a good person dies.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7287]“見てたよ。最後、ママが死んじゃった。やっぱりいい人が死ぬと悲しいねー”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“I see... I haven't seen it.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“そうだろうな……おれは見てねえけど”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_si_04_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7288]“Alright, question time!”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7288]“ちょっと質問!”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Huh? What?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“え? おれ?”[np]

[nm t="花音" s=kan_7289]“The mother in this movie was a good person, but what if she had been a bad person?”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7289]“この映画は、ママがいい人でしたが、もし悪い人だったらどうなるの?”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Uh, I don't know... it'd make the movie kind of tedious, I guess.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“どうなるの、とか言われても……ぐだぐだになるんじゃねーの?”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b2_si_03_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7290]“Tedious...”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7290]“ぐだぐだかー”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“I mean, if a bad person dies, people just scoff and move on, right?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“たとえ死んでも、ふーん、って感じじゃね?”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b2_si_03b_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7291]“Right.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7291]“だよねー”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“......”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“…………”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b2_si_03c_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7292]“That's right.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7292]“だよねー”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“What's on your mind, Kanon?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“なんだお前?”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_si_04c_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7293]“Eh, you know... what we should do next. What do you want to do?”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7293]“さーて、次はなにして遊ぼうかなー。なにしたらいいと思う?”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“How about we grab some lunch?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“とりあえず昼メシ食いに出かけるか?”[np]

@chr c=kanon_c_si_01_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7294]“Where?”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7294]“どこ行く?”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“I don't know yet, so let's just head for Central Boulevard for now...”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“さあ、セントラル街まで出るかねえ……”[np]

@chr c=kanon_a_si_04_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7295]“Got it! I'll go get ready!”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7295]“わかったー、用意するねー”[np]
@dellay_dash pos=c

She thundered off to the washroom.[np]

...She's pretty passive for someone so selfish.[np]

;背景 繁?街1 昼
@black rule=rule_u_s time=500
@wait time=1000
@bg storage=bg_09a rule=rule_u_s time=500

@chr cz=kanon_b_sic_01_b
I was very uncomfortable with taking Kanon out.[np]

The girls on the streets always point and whisper, and even the middle aged salarymen look at us with pursed lips.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Look, Kanon, can you take like three steps away from me?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“わりいけど、もう三歩くらい離れてくれねえかな?”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_sic_01b_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7296]“No thank you.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7296]“イヤです”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Please? The situation is looking pretty bad right now.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“頼むよ、マジできまじいんだって”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_sic_03_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7297]“Geez, Nii-san, you're too dang gloomy. Do you really hate attention that much?”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7297]“もうっ、兄さんは、根暗だなー。そんなに注目されるのがイヤなのかー?”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Sure do. I'm petty like that.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“ああ、そうだよ。ちっぽけな男だよ、おれは”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_sic_02c_s
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7298]“How are we supposed to go on a date with you like this?”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7298]“こんなんじゃデートできないじゃないかー”[np]

She followed behind me, pouting.[np]

;背景 喫茶店 
@black rule=rule_r_s time=500
@bg storage=bg_11a rule=rule_r_s time=500

@chr c=kanon_a_si_05_b
We eventually made it to the cafe I usually go to.[np]

Nevertheless, the waiter still recognized Kanon. His eyes shot open.[np]

@chr c=kanon_a_si_01_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7299]“Oh yeah, I came here with you before~.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7299]“ここ、兄さんと前来たねー”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“You did?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“来たっけ?”[np]

@chr c=kanon_a_si_04_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7300]“A year ago.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7300]“一年前に”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“I don't remember that.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“さすがに覚えてないわ”[np]

@chr c=kanon_a_si_07_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7301]“What? How could you forget the magical day you confessed your love to Non-chan?”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7301]“えー、あのとき、兄さんはのんちゃんに告白したんだよ?”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Quit pulling my leg.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“嘘をつくな”[np]

She giggled and stuck out her tongue.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“What do you want to eat?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“なに食う?”[np]

@chr c=kanon_a_si_06_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7302]“You decide.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7302]“まかせる”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“I knew you were going to say that.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“言うと思ったわ”[np]

I picked some random dishes and turned back to Kanon.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Hey, what the...!? Wake up! You can't sleep here!”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“おい、てめー、なに寝てんだ”[np]

She had suddenly closed her eyes.[np]

@chr c=kanon_a_si_05_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7303]“Ah, sorry, it's meditation time.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7303]“あ、ごめん。瞑想の時間だなーって”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Meditation?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“瞑想だー?”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_si_01_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7304]“Image training. It's really important. It's going to boost my confidence in my jumps. I'm imagining making a bold start, flowing with the music, timing a jump perfectly, and landing with complete success.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7304]“イメージトレーニングね。コレ、大事。跳べるっていう自信がつくの。踏み切り方、流れてる曲、跳んでるとき、着地、全部成功したときのイメージするの”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Wait... so when you're sleeping in class, you're...?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“もしかして、お前、授業中とかもよく寝てるけど、あれって……”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_si_04_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7305]“Yup, I'm usually on the ice. In spirit, anyway.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7305]“うん、たいがいリンクの上にいるね、魂は。魂?”[np]
;;The end part with spirit made me curious  so I booted up the game for the voice file. It's like she's incredulously repeating what she said like she can't believe she just said it. Sounds kind of weird and out of place too, like the voice actress herself was just like "WTF is this line lol" 
;;ushio does not tolerate loose boy's shit. - pondr
;;that was just too weird, removed after all

I suddenly felt like giving her a few more respect points.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“You really are something else, aren't you?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“お前って実はすごいヤツなのか?”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_si_01_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7306]“Yeah, I'm totally amazing. You can bet your bottom dollar that Non-chan won't mess up.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7306]“うん、すごいよ。のんちゃんが間違うことないもの”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“That's a bold thing to say.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“大胆なこと言うなー”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_si_01b_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7307]“Mmmm, I don't know about that. Do people actually care all that much about what other people say? I think what they really care about is what other people [ font italic="true" ]do[ resetfont ].”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7307]“そうかな? みんな人がなに言うかなんて、興味なくない? なにしたかじゃない?”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“They care when it comes to someone as famous as you. When someone like you says even the littlest thing, the whole world gossips about it...”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“いやいや、お前くらい有名人だと発言一つでいろいろ言われるわけで……”[np]

@chr c=kanon_c_si_04_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7308]“That's why I love you so much, Nii-san. Even if you complain, you still let me do what I want.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7308]“だから兄さんは好き。兄さんはぶーぶー言いながら、なんだかんだでわがまま聞いてくれるもん”[np]

While giggling, she reached over to try and poke my face.[np]

I pushed away her hand and continued.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“I know that you're always thinking about skating.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“お前がいつもスケートのことを考えているのはわかった”[np]

@chr c=kanon_a_si_07_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7309]“Nah, it's more like skating's the only thing I understand.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7309]“というか、スケートしか知らないしできないの”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“You're pretty laid-back, you know that...?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“ゆるいなー、お前”[np]

...Still, it's probably good to know what you can and cannot do.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Why did you start skating?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“なんで始めた?”[np]

@chr c=kanon_a_si_09_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7310]“Because Coach told me to.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7310]“コーチがやれって言ったから”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Now that's a little too laid-back. Was that your only reason?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“ゆるいんだよ。それだけかよ”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b2_si_02_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7311]“I get asked that a lot. People are always looking for drama, I guess.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7311]“それよく言われるなー。みんなドラマ求めてくるなー”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“There's nothing wrong with people wanting to hear some great story about your introduction to skating.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“スケートとの運命的な出会いを期待してもいいじゃねえか”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b2_si_03c_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7312]“If I had to give a reason...”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7312]“強いて言えば……”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“If you had to give a reason...?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“強いて言えば?”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b2_si_02c_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7313]“It'd probably be that figure skating is a sport that even a Japanese girl can be the world's best at.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7313]“女の日本人でも世界一になれそうなスポーツだったからかなー”[np]

Ah... foreigners and Japanese have radically different physiques, after all.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“And why did you have to be the world's best?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“やたら世界一にこだわるのは?”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b2_si_02_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7314]“Hmm... well, Coach talked about it everyday.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7314]“さー、それもコーチが毎日言ってたからかなー”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“So it's all thanks to Ikuko-san's brilliant education...”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“郁子さんの英才教育のたまものか……”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_si_03b_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7315]“Because she talks about how she went to the Olympics every night before going to bed.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7315]“だって、毎晩寝る前にぜったい自分のオリンピックのときのこと話すんだもの”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Ikuko-san came in sixth, right?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“郁子さんは、たしか……六位くらいだったか?”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_si_03_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7316]“She was always saying that she should have gotten the gold, and that the situation between the Soviet Union and the US was bad back then.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7316]“金メダルだったはずだって言ってるよ。当時はロシアとアメリカが仲悪かったから、とか”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“And what exactly do international politics have to do with getting the gold?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“よくわからんぞ”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_si_03b_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7317]“It used to be that six points was the highest you could get, all decided by the judges. It was all based on their opinions back then, and they didn't have people to analyze each technical element like they do now.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7317]“ちょっと前まで、六点満点で審判の人が点数つけてたの。いまみたいに技術を分析する人とかいなくて、審判の人の思い込みでたいがい決まってたの”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Right, right.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“へー、へー”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_si_03_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7318]“Coach said that the American judge seemed like he was going to give her a high score, so the Russian judge lowered his score to go against the Americans.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7318]“コーチが言うには、アメリカの審判がコーチに高い得点つけそうだったもんだから、対抗してロシアの人が点数を下げたって”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Seemed like he was going to give a high score...? What? Don't the judges, you know, judge together at the same time? How would anyone know if the American judge was going to give a high score?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“高い得点つけそうだったもんだからって……なんだそれ。審判も点数出すときはいっせいに出すわけだろ? なんでアメリカの審判が高得点つけるってわかったんだ?”[np]

[nm t="花音" s=kan_7319]“There's this thing called ‘lobby judging’. It's where the officials, judges, and coaches meet and talk about these things over tea outside of the rink. She said you could pretty much figure it out from there.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7319]“ロビージャッジングっていうのがあるの。リンクの外で、大会の役員とか審判とかコーチとかが茶ぁしばいて雑談してるなかで、なんとなくわかっちゃうんだって”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Oh, come on. If a judge came up with some ridiculous score, then his life as a judge would be over.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“いや、それにしたってあからさまにおかしい点数つけたら、もう審判としての人生も終わりだろ”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_si_03c_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7320]“But he'd be a hero when he got back to his home country. It's a really scary thought.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7320]“でも、国に帰れば英雄だって。なんか怖いねー”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Scary indeed. But the current judging system is fine, right?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“怖いな。いまの採点方式はだいじょうぶなのか?”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_si_03_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7321]“Who knows? The scoring system was only changed recently. The athletes, coaches, and judges are still getting used to it. To be honest, even Non-chan doesn't know all the details yet.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7321]“どーかなー。いま、その新採点方式に変わったばっかりだからね。選手もコーチも審判の人も慣れてないからねー。ぶっちゃけのんちゃんも、細かく知らない”[np]

...Whoa, whoa.[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_si_01_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7322]“But there's no point anymore in a judge trying to cheat. They randomly pick nine of the twelve judges to count, and then drop the highest and lowest scores. Then they take an average of the remaining scores.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7322]“でも、一人くらいイタズラしても無駄だよ。最高点と最低点をカットしてそのあと平均点を出すから”[np]
;;There's nothing about picking nine randomly out of twelve in the original line. Was that added by someone who knows more details about skating judging?
;;Yessir, that'd be me. I think the original chinese->english said something about 12 judges, but that was inaccurate, seeing as the CoP specifically requires 3 of the judges' scores to be dropped. I spent like 12 hours researching ladies' figure skating for this project, btw. - pondr

[nm t="京介"]“But if half the judges cheat, then you'd be doomed.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“じゃあ、ジャッジの半分くらいがイタズラしたらアウトじゃん”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_si_04_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7323]“If Non-chan loses, then that must be the reason for it.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7323]“のんちゃんが万が一負けたら、まずそういうことだね”[np]

She giggled.[np]

Filled to the brim with confidence, until the very end.[np]

At that moment, her rice omelet arrived.[np]

@chr c=kanon_c_si_01_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7324]“Lookie, lookie! Michelin Non-chan's gonna give out stars!”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7324]“どれどれ、のんちゃんミシュランが星をつけてあげよう”[np]
;;specifically, going to give michelin stars. (Or specifically, Michelin Non-chan is going to give out stars!) but I guess we're dumbing it down for people who don't know what those are

[nm t="京介"]“And just what do you plan on awarding your honors to?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“なに採点する気だ、てめえ”[np]

[nm t="花音" s=kan_7325]“First, Nii-san's gloominess... zero stars.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7325]“まず兄さんの根暗度……星ゼロ”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Why me?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“おれかよ”[np]

@chr c=kanon_c_si_01_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7326]“Ah, Nii-san, pass the chopsticks.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7326]“あ、兄さん、お箸とって”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“You don't use chopsticks for omelets.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“オムライス食うのに箸は使わないだろ”[np]

@chr c=kanon_a_si_06_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7327]“Nii-san's comeback... zero stars.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7327]“兄さんのツッコミ……星ゼロ”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“I'm getting mad now...”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“腹立つわ……”[np]

@chr c=kanon_b_si_04c_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7328]“I'll bet. Since you didn't even intend that as a comeback.”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7328]“普通に言われたからね、いま”[np]
;;I couldn't think of a good way to phrase this.

[nm t="京介"]“Hurry up and eat. I have an appointment later this afternoon.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“とっとと食えや。おれも午後から予定あるんだ”[np]

@chr c=kanon_a_si_07_b
[nm t="花音" s=kan_7329]“'Kay!”[np]
;;[nm t="花音" s=kan_7329]“はーい”[np]




;背景 繁?街1 夕方
@black rule=rule_g_lr_c time=500
@wait time=1000
@bg storage=bg_09b rule=rule_g_lr_c time=500

@bgm storage=bgm_10

The sun was already setting by the time the good news came.[np]

After escorting Kanon home, I went to the company headquarters to investigate the Shin'ei Group's most recent movements.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“You found him?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“見つかった?”[np]

The call was from Horibe.[np]

Apparently he'd already reported to Gonzou.[np]

[nm t="堀部" s=hor_7018]“Sure did, Son. We found the rat's nest just now.”[np]
;;[nm t="堀部" s=hor_7018]“ええ、坊っちゃん。ついいましがた、野郎の居[ruby text="ヤ サ"]場所が見つかりました”[np]


I really have to hand it to these guys... I should have known their senses would be exceptionally sharp amongst these familiar streets.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“But even though you got his address, you still didn't catch him?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“居場所は見つけたけれど、男は捕まえていないんですね?”[np]

Horibe continued as if ashamed.[np]

[nm t="堀部" s=hor_7019]“Well you see, there's this kid ‘Shuu’ who works for me...”[np]
;;[nm t="堀部" s=hor_7019]“ざっと経緯をお話しますと、自分が目をかけてるシュウってのがいまして……”[np]
;;Shoe? REALLY? Shoe?
;;before anyone bitches, kid compared to horibe is like everyone - pondr

It went like this.[np]

A debtor told Shuu that he had seen the accomplice.[np]

Shuu had spread the word that any information would warrant a reward, and that debts could be nullified in part. It was only a verbal agreement, of course, but those ever-hungry, soulless slaves of money nevertheless mobilized with bloodshot eyes and searched for ‘Maou's’ accomplice.[np]

An address turned up in the outskirts of the Central District, where my apartment was.[np]

Earlier this afternoon, as Shuu was searching around, he stumbled upon his prey.[np]

Shuu gave chase immediately, but was attacked as he turned a corner, and lost his target.[np]

Afterward, Horibe rounded up a search team and put some brutal pressure on the people living nearby. After countless interrogations, they finally found the man's apartment.[np]

[nm t="堀部" s=hor_7020]“Shuu took a knife in the head. That fuck really got him good.”[np]
;;[nm t="堀部" s=hor_7020]“シュウは、頭にナイフぶっ刺されたみたいでしてねえ、ほんとまあ、やってくれますわ”[np]

I can only imagine the cruel smile on Horibe's face right about now.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Alright, I'll come join you right away.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“わかりました。いますぐそっちに行きます”[np]

[nm t="堀部" s=hor_7021]“The bastard's name is Saijou. No idea where he went, though. I guess he thinks he can just get away with this...”[np]
;;[nm t="堀部" s=hor_7021]“野郎は西条って[ruby text="も"]名[ruby text="ん"]前です。どこ行ったのかしらねえが、ばっくれられると思ってるのかねえ……”[np]

Horibe's dark laugh screeched to a halt as I hung up.[np]

I immediately contacted Usami and headed toward the scene.[np]

;背景 中央区住宅街 夜
@black rule=rule_b_l time=500
@wait time=1000
@bg storage=bg_14c rule=rule_b_l time=500



Eight P.M.[np]

The place had already been searched.[np]

It was a cheap room in a cheap building.[np]

And it was utterly unsettling.[np]


The table, cabinets, carpet... everything was pitch black.[np]

Construction paper was pasted over the windows, making it impossible for light to seep into the room.[np]

On one of the walls hung a scroll with the characters for ‘empire’ drawn in calligraphy.[np]

His shelves were lined with massive amounts of books in that same vein, probably serving to fuel his anti-societal ideals even further.[np]

The fact that everything was in neat order only added to the eeriness.[np]

@chr c=haru_a_se_13_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8263]“Sorry I'm late.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8263]“すみません、遅れまして”[np]

Usami charged in, gasping for air.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“You're more than late. Was it your part-time job?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“遅いな。バイトだったのか?”[np]

@chr c=haru_a_se_05_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8264]“Yeah, I really couldn't get away today... so, what's the situation?”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8264]“はい。今日ばっかりは休めませんで……で、どうなりました?”[np]
;;that's a lie, she was doing something... but I don't remember what. - pondr

I gave her a rundown of what happened.[np]

[nm t="ハル" s=har_8265]“So, his name is Saijou, huh? What about the yakuza guys?”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8265]“なるほど、西条というお名前で。で、ヤクザのみなさんは?”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Horibe is leading them to Tokyo Station right now.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“いま堀部を筆頭に、東京駅まで車を飛ばしてるところだ”[np]

@chr c=haru_a_se_09_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8266]“Tokyo Station? For what, a bullet train?”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8266]“東京駅? 新幹線ですか?”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Yeah. Apparently the punk is trying to escape to Hakata.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“ああ、ヤツは博多に逃げるつもりらしい”[np]

@chr c=haru_a_se_08_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8267]“The moment you mention Hakata, I think of the Ming dynasty.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8267]“博多っていうと明じゃないですか”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Fukuoka, you idiot. Why did you think of ancient China?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“福岡だ、バカ。なんで五百年も昔の中国なんだよ”[np]
;;tlnote bye-bye. I worked hard to look you up, but if the readers care, they can too. Much love, see you in another game, prolly one by amaterasu. - pondr

@chr c=haru_a_se_05_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8268]“Wait, how do you know where he's planning to go?”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8268]“しかし、どうして行方がわかったんです?”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“I searched the creep's room just now.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“さっきヤツの部屋を探っていて気づいたんだ”[np]

Horibe didn't touch anything once he saw the room was empty, and left the rights to search it to me.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“The first thing we noticed was that the safe had been emptied. The door was left open, and there was nothing but a seal stamp left inside. The closet was open too, and clothes were scattered everywhere.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“まず、金庫が空になっていたんだ。蓋ががらっと開いていて、なかには三文判が一つ転がっているだけ。さらにクローゼットも開けっ放しで服や下着なんかが散らばってた”[np]

@chr c=haru_b_se_15_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8269]“I see, so he took what he could and ran. But that still doesn't explain why you'd think he was headed for the country of pork-bone ramen.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8269]“なるほど、荷物一式持って逃げ去ったと。で、どうして豚骨ラーメンの国へ逃げたと?”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“The computer was still on. He really was in a rush.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“パソコンの電源が落ちていなかったんだ。慌てていたらしいな”[np]

[nm t="ハル" s=har_8270]“Hmm.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8270]“ふむ”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“And he was online, too. The browser was still open.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“それで、どうもネットをしていたらしくてな。ブラウザが開きっぱなしになっていた”[np]

@chr c=haru_b_se_15b_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8271]“What was Saijou looking at just before he fled?”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8271]“西条は逃げる直前まで、なんのサイトを見ていたんですか?”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“The blog of some random entertainer.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“ぜんぜん関係のなさそうな芸能人のブログだった”[np]

@chr c=haru_b_se_15_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8272]“No way, was it Fujiwara...? Still, that was probably left up just to fool us.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8272]“まさか、藤原……でも、それはフェイクでしょう”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“I thought so too, so I checked his history.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“そうだと思って、ブラウザの履歴を調べてみた”[np]

@chr c=haru_b_se_01_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8273]“You thought this out.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8273]“さすがです”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“That brought me straight to the Japan Railways website. I also looked at his search strings, and discovered that he had looked up information about getting a seat on a bullet train to Hakata.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“そしたらJRのページに飛んだわけだな。検索サイトの履歴とかいろいろ探ってみてわかったんだが、どうもヤツは博多行き新幹線の空席状況を調べていたみたいだ”[np]

@chr c=haru_b_se_15_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8274]“It's eight o'clock now... Saijou'd already be on the train, wouldn't he?”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8274]“いま、八時ですが……西条はもうとっくに新幹線のなかですか?”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“I'm afraid so. The creep left at four-thirty.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“おそらくな。ヤツは四時半には部屋をあとにしている”[np]

@chr c=haru_b_se_15b_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8275]“Four-thirty? How do you know that?”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8275]“四時半? それまたどうして?”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“His phone. I hit redial, and a taxi company picked up.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“部屋にあった電話だ。ためしにリダイヤルしてみたら、タクシー会社につながった”[np]

[nm t="ハル" s=har_8276]“I follow you. You asked the company, and they told you he called for a cab to arrive at four-thirty?”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8276]“なるほど。会社に問い合わせてみたところ、西条は四時半ごろにタクシーを一台、アパートの前に手配していたんですね?”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“It takes around an hour and a half to get to Tokyo by taxi. Less than that if you change to a train somewhere along the way.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“東京駅までタクシーなら一時間半ってところだろう。途中で電車に乗り換えればもっと早い”[np]

@chr c=haru_b_se_17_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8277]“It's eight o'clock now... this is problematic...”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8277]“いま、八時ですか……困りましたね……”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“I don't know if we'll make it or not, but I sent a few people to Haneda Airport in Tokyo.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“間に合うかどうかはわからないが、飛行機で先回りするために羽田空港にも何人か回してる”[np]

@chr c=haru_a_se_06_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8278]“The bullet train to Hakata takes five hours, but it's only an hour and a half by plane. Thus, it's still possible to set up an ambush at Hakata Station. You're good, Azai-san.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8278]“新幹線で五時間の道のりも、飛行機なら一時間半くらいですからね。なるほど、博多駅で待ち伏せするわけですね。さすがに浅井さんは手際がいい”[np]

Usami nodded in appreciation, then lifted her finger.[np]

@chr c=haru_a_se_05_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8279]“But there's a little more to it than that.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8279]“しかし、落とし穴がありますね”[np]
;;bait is too strong of a word for when she's still playing around with shit she knows on the inside is all bullshit(but hasn't revealed that yet)

[nm t="京介"]“I know. He searched for the bullet train line which terminates at Hakata, but that doesn't mean he's going to get off at Hakata.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“わかっている。博多行き新幹線を調べていたからって、博多で降りるとは限らない”[np]

@chr c=haru_a_se_04_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8280]“Very good.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8280]“素晴らしい”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“All we know is the name of the train line Saijou searched for. I sent people to Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, and all the other stations to cover all the bases.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“西条が調べた新幹線の名前はわかってる。ちゃんと横浜、名古屋、大阪などのすべての停車駅に人が向かってる”[np]

Azai Gonzou's Sonoyama Group is a huge organization with over a thousand people.[np]

Certainly, one would need a good number of people in order to secure so many exits, but these people almost lost a blood brother to this man. Thus, no matter how long the journey is, they would bear the suffering.[np]
;; wiki agrees hyphen dies don't bother him ~newbie

[nm t="京介"]“Still, if he really escaped to western Japan, we're in quite a bit of trouble.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“ただ、西日本に逃げられるとなると、ちょっと厄介らしいな”[np]

@chr c=haru_a_se_06_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8281]“Haha, it's kinda funny to imagine yakuza worrying about ‘jurisdiction’.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8281]“ははあ、ヤクザさんには領土ってのがあるんでしょうねえ”[np]

She's right, though. In Hakata, which isn't part of our territory, Souwa men can't just go around grabbing people off the streets like they do here.[np]

[nm t="ハル" s=har_8282]“So that's why he chose Hakata. The marinated Alaska pollock roe there is pretty scrumptious, too. This guy has some good ideas.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8282]“だからこそ、博多ですか。めんたいこもおいしいですしね。なかなか考えていますね”[np]

She bent down as she joked around.[np]

@black time=500
@ev storage=ev_haru_12a time=500
@bgm storage=bgm_108
[nm t="京介"]“What are you doing now!?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“なにやってんだ、お前!?”[np]

@mface name=haru_a_se_05_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8283]“Going through garbage.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8283]“ゴミ漁りです”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Don't tell me you're hunting for clues?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“まさか、手がかりを探っているとでも?”[np]

[nm t="ハル" s=har_8284]“Damn straight. I trust that you went through the room thoroughly, so I'll skip ahead to the dirty work.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8284]“ええ。部屋のなかは浅井さんがしっかりと確認してくださったと信じていますので、自分はヨゴレ担当ということで”[np]

Wading in the putrid pile of garbage, she tore open bags with a perfectly calm expression.[np]

[nm t="ハル" s=har_8285]“Heh, found it. This looks like a diary about ‘Great Japan’. I guess that makes this Saijou's garbage. Ah, I knew it...”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8285]“ありました。大日本がどうとか書かれたノートの端切れです。この袋が西条の出したゴミですね。なるほどやはり……”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Huh? ‘Ah, you knew,’ what?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“なにが、なるほどやはり、なんだ?”[np]

[nm t="ハル" s=har_8286]“Oh, it's just that our man Saijou's quite careless when he's not following ‘Maou's’ instructions.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8286]“いえ、西条は、"魔王"に指示された内容以外では、わりと無防備なのではないかと思いまして”[np]

[nm t="ハル" s=har_8287]“The blueprint for ‘Maou's’ ‘railway to Hell’ may be perfect, but we can always hope for a mistake from the man laying down the tracks.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8287]“"魔王"のレールの設計図はともかく、レールを敷いている人間がミスを犯していることに期待します”[np]

[nm t="ハル" s=har_8288]“Especially in the garbage. During everyday life, it'd be strange to see it this way, but this mountain of garbage is actually a mountain of evidence.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8288]“とくにゴミです。普通に生活しているぶんには気にもしないでしょうが、ゴミの山は証拠の山です”[np]

She plunged her hand into the bag, closely examining the contents.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“A mountain of evidence...? But Saijou's already on a bullet train.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“証拠の山って……西条はもう、新幹線のなかだぞ?”[np]

@mface name=haru_a_se_06_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8289]“Yes... your deduction was indeed logical.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8289]“ええ……浅井さんの言うことには、いちおうの筋は通ってますね”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Is there something still bugging you?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“なにか、おかしいか?”[np]

@mface name=haru_a_se_05_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8290]“I was just thinking that everything's been too easy... eugh, this stinks! I'm gonna have to take a shower after this...”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8290]“できすぎているような気がするんですよ……うわ、クサっ! お風呂たっぷり入んなきゃ……”[np]
;;I never realized how sexual that last sentence is... - pondr

[nm t="京介"]“Hey, what are you calling ‘easy’?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“おい、なにができすぎてるんだ?”[np]

[nm t="ハル" s=har_8291]“Well, if he was really too hurried to turn off the computer, then why was it turned on in the first place?”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8291]“うーん、パソコンの電源を消し忘れるほど慌ててたんなら、最初からつけなきゃいいのに、と”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“......”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“…………”[np]

[nm t="ハル" s=har_8292]“And he went to a blog to confuse us. Pretty leisurely, huh? I just can't imagine he was actually short on time.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8292]“芸能人のブログなんてフェイクをかましてくれたわけでしょう? 本当に慌ててたんですかねえ”[np]

She has a point. There was no real need for him to check the railway website from his own room.[np]

It'd be far safer to find a random internet cafe while on the move, and search for information there.[np]

[nm t="ハル" s=har_8293]“Plus, he was searching for seat reservations. I could understand doing so if we were in peak travel times, but Christmas is still a bit far off for that. He could just stand if no seats were available...”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8293]“そもそも、新幹線の空席情報なんて調べますかね。年末ならともかく、自由席なら立ってでも乗れますし……”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“...That's logical.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“……それはそうだ”[np]

[nm t="ハル" s=har_8294]“However, if Saijou had really been thinking about getting as far away as possible, all of this would still be reasonable. You never know what someone will do when they're in a panic.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8294]“しかし、西条の心理的になるべく遠くに逃げたいと思っていても不思議はないです。人間、テンパるとなにするかわかりませんし”[np]

Perhaps I was a little hurried, too...[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Sorry. I guess I was so focused on getting the clues that I got careless. There's a good chance that ‘Maou's’ true goal was to mislead us into thinking that his man was on his way to Hakata.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“すまん、手がかりを拾った気になって、油断していた。博多方面に逃げたと思わせることこそが、"魔王"の狙いだったのかもしれない”[np]

Usami didn't speak, but merely shook her head in response.[np]

@ev storage=ev_haru_12b

Suddenly, her face stiffened.[np]

@mface name=haru_d_se_22c_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8295]“......”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8295]“…………”[np]

She picked up a piece of paper.[np]

@mface name=haru_d_se_00_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8296]“Azai-san, when did you guys get here?”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8296]“浅井さんたちは、何時くらいにこのアパートに来たんですか?”[np]
;;One can't help but wonder how many layers of clues Maou hid, using it to gauge Haru's intelligence... I mean, for all we know, he hid even tinier, harder-to-get at clues that would've led Haru to another conclusion. I can't wait to see what Maou's grade for Haru is ^.^ - pondr

[nm t="京介"]“I showed up a little after six. Horibe got here a bit earlier...”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“六時過ぎだな。堀部たちはもう少し早く来ていたはずだが……”[np]

Usami stared at the dirty piece of paper.[np]

@mface name=haru_d_se_22_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8297]“‘Your package arrived today at around five, but you weren't here...’ End quote.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8297]“本日五時ごろ配達にうかがいましたが留守でしたので……とありますね”[np]

...What the fuck!?[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Someone left him a note!?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“不在票か!?”[np]

Usami nodded.[np]

@mface name=haru_d_se_02b_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8298]“If this message ended up here in the trash, then that means Saijou was home at some point after five o'clock.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8298]“不在票を捨てたということは、西条は少なくとも、五時過ぎまでは家にいたということです”[np]

That's right... if Saijou had left at four-thirty as I had guessed, then the note would be in the mailbox, not in the garbage.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“The cab was bait. He only called it, he never got in.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“タクシーは囮か。呼ぶだけ呼んで、帰らせたんだ”[np]

@mface name=haru_d_se_00_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8299]“No, I guarantee you he got in, took a short ride, and got out somewhere close by. Otherwise, the cab company would have told you something.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8299]“いえ、乗車して少しの距離を走ったところで降りたのでしょう。そうしないと、タクシー会社の人も、浅井さんになにか言うはずです”[np]

I wish I had asked for the specific drop-off location when I called.[np]

...No, I'm not the police. There's no reason for them to tell me.[np]
;;dur, you're the yakuza though. I'd say giving up some useless info is better than having your leg broken. - pondr

[nm t="京介"]“He got out nearby, and when he got back to his room, the note was there, right?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“近場でタクシーを降りて、部屋に戻ってきたところ、不在票が入っていたというわけか?”[np]

[nm t="ハル" s=har_8300]“Right. This is an important clue.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8300]“ええ。しかしこれは、大きな手がかりです”[np]

;背景 中央区住宅街
@bg storage=bg_14c

@bgm storage=bgm_105

@chr c=haru_a_se_05_b
Usami clenched the note in her hands and stood up.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“If he didn't get the package, then that means Saijou might come back for it.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“まだ荷物を受け取っていないのなら、西条は、再びここに戻ってくるつもりなのだろうか”[np]

@chr c=haru_b_se_15_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8301]“That's highly improbable. After all, he knows he's being chased by the yakuza.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8301]“それは考えにくいですね。ヤクザさんに追われているという事実は揺るがないのですから”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“So, you mean...?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“ということは?”[np]

@chr c=haru_b_se_16_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8302]“Yes. The package will have been rerouted to Saijou's current hiding place.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8302]“はい。荷物の配送先こそ、西条の新しい潜伏先です”[np]

Usami took out her phone, and dialed the number on the ticket.[np]

@chr c=haru_d_se_22c_s
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8303]“Ah, hello... sure, the package number...? Yes, yes... 265... I'll hold.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8303]“あ、もしもし……ええ、伝票番号ですね、はいはい……265……”[np]

It looks like she's being forwarded to speak with the driver directly.[np]
;;The original says she's phoning the driver directly. Though that seems so weird to me. What kind of company leaves the DRIVER'S number on the note they leave behind. You'd think it'd be the company's number.
;;watch this shit. - pondr

[nm t="ハル" s=har_8304]“Hi, could you please try to deliver that last package one more time? Ah, I'm Saijou's younger sister. Yup... oh, and where did Nii-san ask you to deliver the package to? The dummy managed to forget it himself, somehow...”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8304]“ええ、さきほど再配達をお願いしましたね。あ、わたしは西条の妹です。ええ……兄はどこに荷物を届けさせましたかね? 兄が忘れちゃったみたいで……”[np]
;;lulz, any excuse to have Haru say "Hi" at the beginning of a phone call like a normal, cute girl instead of her DISGUSTING self. - pondr

@chr c=haru_d_se_00_s
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8305]“Yup... the Central District's Plaza Hotel, great. Thank you very much... no, no, that's the place he wants you to deliver to, it's all good.”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8305]“はい……中央区の、プラザホテルですか、そうですか。ありがとうございました……いえいえ、そのままそこに届けてください”[np]

The call ended.[np]

[nm t="京介"]“The Plaza Hotel?”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“プラザホテルだな?”[np]

@chr c=haru_a_se_05_b
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8306]“Yeah, do you know it?”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8306]“ええ、わかりますか?”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“I do. I'll send some people over there right now.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“わかる。すぐに人をよこしてもらう”[np]

[nm t="ハル" s=har_8307]“Please do. And make sure every last exit is airtight. We can't let him get away this time...”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8307]“お願いします。出入り口をしっかり固めて、ぜひとも捕まえなければ……”[np]

[nm t="京介"]“Alright, I'll give Gonzou the scoop and ask for more men.”[np]
;;[nm t="京介"]“じゃあ、とりあえずおれは権三にお願いしに行く”[np]

After sending Horibe and the rest of them on a wild goose chase, I'll have to personally apologize anyway.[np]

[nm t="ハル" s=har_8308]“I understand. See you there...”[np]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8308]“わかりました。それでは……”[np]

@dellay_dash pos=c
Usami handsomely dashed out into the night road.[np]

Well then, I suppose I've got things to do, too...[np]




;背景 中央区住宅街
@bg storage=bg_14c rule=rule_q_c_td time=500



It's not like there aren't any variables whatsoever.[np]

Naturally, my plan is perfect, but the choice of executor may present some problems.[np]

The phone in my chest pocket began vibrating.[np]

It was my loyal prince of Hell, ‘Mephistopheles’――Saijou.[np]
;;We're giving Maou 中二病 heh

@ev storage=ev_maou_03c

[nm t="魔王"]“Did you delete the email I sent you?”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“私からのメールは削除してもらえましたか?”[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7045]“Yeah, I completely erased it from my computer.”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7045]“ああ、きちんとパソコンから消去した”[np]

However, if the police become involved, they may be able to recover deleted data.[np]

I'll just remove the computer entirely from his room later.[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“What do you think of the hotel? I hope you're satisfied with their accommodations.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“ところでホテルはいかがですか? 気に入っていただけるとうれしいのですが”[np]

Saijou seems to be very upset.[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7046]“Don't take this the wrong way. I'm not questioning your power, ‘Maou’, but is this really okay?”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7046]“気を悪くしないで欲しい。"魔王"の実力を疑うわけではないが、本当にだいじょうぶなのだろうか?”[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“Whatever do you mean?”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“というと?”[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7047]“These yakuza are unnaturally sharp. They probably found my apartment already.”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7047]“連中の嗅覚は生半可なものではない。ヤクザどもは、すでに私のアパートを探し出しているだろう”[np]
;;There's no way saijou would know the difference between the Etekichi Faction (i.e. haru/kyousuke/gonzou/horibe) and the rest of the yakuza, so yeah. - pondr

[nm t="魔王"]“That's correct. But didn't you foresee this and lay traps?”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“でしょうね。それを見越して、罠を残しておいたのではありませんか?”[np]
;;I like, "didn't you". It's so Maou to make his subordinates think his ideas were theirs, even the good ones. - pondr
;;It's not stated that Saijou did it, though normally you would probably interpret it that way if you were reading this conversation and didn't know who planned it, but the line can also be taken as in general, we. ‘yeah, that's why we set traps'

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7048]“Sure, but... will those thugs even notice?”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7048]“ああ、しかし……ヤクザどもは気づいてくれるだろうか?”[np]
;;which makes this line even more strange... oh well, he's a panicked, trapped rat, he's just paranoid. - pondr

[nm t="魔王"]“If they can't even solve a problem on that level, then there's no need to worry about them.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“あの程度のパズルが解けないのなら、それこそ恐れるに足りません”[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7049]“It's reassuring to hear you say that. You're right, I'm sorry...”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7049]“そう言われると安心する。いや、すまなかった……”[np]

It's still too early to relax.[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“There will be no problems, I promise you.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“問題はありません。お約束します”[np]

As long as you don't make any stupid mistakes, that is...[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7050]“Then, about the next plan...”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7050]“それで、次の計画だが……”[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“Right... I didn't finish last time...”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“ええ……お話の途中でしたね……”[np]




;背景 繁?街2 夜
@wait time=1000
@bg storage=bg_10c rule=rule_t time=500

 Haru stood silently on a sidewalk outside of the hotel, staring at the entrance, completely still.[wvl]
;; ハルはそれまで、ホテル沿いの歩道からエントランスの様子をじっとうかがっていた。[wvl]
 Kyousuke had called moments ago.[wvl]
;; つい先ほど京介から連絡が入っていた。[wvl]
 Kyousuke had to accompany Gonzou, so he couldn't come to the hotel personally.[l] However, he sent every nearby member of the Sonoyama Group to her aid.[wvl]
;; 京介は、自分は権三の相手をしなければならず、ホテルに来られなくなったが、かわりに近くにいる園山組の男たちを派遣するという。[wvl]
 The young men sitting on the guard rail looked like they were playing on their cell phones, but each and every one of them was actually watching the hotel's entrance.[np]
;; 道路脇のガードレールに持たれかかって、その辺の若者がそうするように携帯電話をいじっているふりをしながら、ホテルの入り口を監視する。[np]

 After ten o'clock, the sea of people thinned out, and almost twenty devilish-looking men appeared.[wvl]
;; 十時を過ぎて人の波がまばらになったころ、いかにもがらの悪そうな顔つきの男たちが十数人ほど現れた。[wvl]
 After a few words of greeting, they immediately began preparations for raiding the room.[l] The underground parking lot, the four exits of the hotel, and the fire exits were all covered.[l] All possible escape routes had been sealed.[l] Perhaps the men simply had incredible discipline, as they all set out to do their respective duties without a word of complaint.[wvl]
;; 軽く挨拶を交わし、すぐさま部屋に乗り込む手はずを整える。[l]地下の駐車場、四つあるホテルの出入り口、そして非常階段に何人か割り当てて逃げ場を封鎖した。[l]男たちはよほど規律が行き届いているのか、文句のひとつも言わずにそれぞれの持ち場に散っていった。[wvl]
 Someone had already gone in disguised as a would-be guest, and got Saijou's room number from the front desk.[wvl]
;; すでに、ホテルの受け付けで、来客を装って西条の部屋を聞き出していた。[wvl]
 The only thing left was to charge in.[np]
;; あとは突入するだけだった。[np]

@ev storage=ev_haru_02

 Haru's thoughts raced as she walked along the hotel's marble hall.[wvl]
;; ホテルの厳粛な大理石の廊下を歩きながら、ハルは考えを巡らせていた。[wvl]
 Silence reigned over everything.[l] Perhaps it was simply excellent insulation, but not a speck of sound escaped from the numerous doors.[wvl]
;; 静寂が支配していた。[l]防音が行き届いているのか、居並ぶドアから少しも音が漏れていない。[wvl]
 ――Why did ‘Maou’ choose to work with Saijou?[wvl]
;; ――"魔王"はなぜ、西条と組んで動いているのだろうか。[wvl]
 With an accomplice, a criminal can achieve much more, for sure.[l] However, at the same time, more issues also arise.[l] Often, a brilliant plan by a brilliant criminal is ruined by a stupid henchman.[np]
;; 共犯者がいれば、犯罪のバリエーションは多彩になる。[l]しかし、同時に、問題も抱えることにもなる。[l]知能犯の計画が露見するのは往々にして、頭の悪い足手まといが証拠を残すからだ。[np]

 Things just didn't add up.[wvl]
;; わからなかった。[wvl]
 Naturally, ‘Maou’ had thought this out.[l] He would have properly planned ahead of time.[l] Even if Saijou did get captured, he would still make his escape.[l] Nevertheless, bits and pieces of his plan would be pried from his accomplice's mouth.[wvl]
;; もちろん"魔王"のことだ。[l]西条が捕えられても、自分だけは逃げおおせる算段を整えていることだろう。[l]それにしても、共犯者は自らの計画の一部でも漏らすかもしれない。[wvl]
 ――So why?[wvl]
;; ――なぜだ。[wvl]
[nm t="ヤクザ" s=tks_7000]“Right here...”[wvl]
;;[nm t="ヤクザ" s=tks_7000]“ここだな……”[wvl]
 A man escorting her murmured.[l] He was a portly man.[l] A golden chain gently dangled around his fat neck.[np]
;; ふと、付き添っている男がぼやいた。[l]太った男だった。[l]丸太のような首に金のチェーンをだらりとぶら下げている。[np]

 Before Haru knew, she was already in front of the room that Saijou had reserved.[wvl]
;; いつの間にか、西条がチェックインした部屋の前までたどり着いていた。[wvl]
 Words softly floated from her mouth.[wvl]
;; ハルは小声で言った。[wvl]
[nm t="ハル" s=har_8309]“Can you knock for me? I'll stand in front of the peephole.”[wvl]
;;[nm t="ハル" s=har_8309]“ノックしてもらえますか? 自分がドアの覗き穴の前に立ちます”[wvl]
 Saijou already knows what Haru looks like. Even so, her image would be less apt to cause a panic than that of a yakuza thug.[np]
;; ハルは西条に面が割れている。とはいえ、ひと目でヤクザ者とわかる男よりはましだと考えた。[np]


 She took out a white scarf from her skirt pocket, and applied a bit of makeup.[l] If she brings her face really close to the door, then the person inside won't see her clothes.[wvl]
;; スカートのポケットから取り出した白いスカーフを頭に巻いて、ささやかな変装を遂げる。[l]必要以上に顔を近づければ、向こう側からこちらの服装までは確認できないだろう。[wvl]
 Her fat entourage stood in front of the door and made a light fist.[wvl]
;; 太った男が、ドアの前に立って、拳を浅く握った。[wvl]
 He knocked――[np]
;; ノックを――。[np]




@ev storage=ev_maou_03c


[nm t="魔王"]“What's going on?”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“なにか、ありましたか?”[np]

My grip tightened on the phone I was speaking to Saijou with.[np]
;;the entire point of the line was to inform us that he was still talking via phone, so screw ye olde "other side of the phone" crap. - pondr

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7051]“Someone's knocking...”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7051]“いまノックがあった……”[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“At this hour?”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“こんな時間に?”[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7052]“Yeah. It's probably room service...”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7052]“ああ、ルームサービスだろうか……”[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“Be careful. Take a good look at them through the peephole first.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“用心して、ドアスコープから相手を探ってください”[np]

Saijou's breathing dominated the phone signal for a few moments.[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7053]“It's a woman... a young woman...”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7053]“女だな……若い女……”[np]

A woman...?[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7054]“She's got a white... hat, maybe...? I can't really see her clothes...”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7054]“白い……帽子だろうか……服装はよく見えないな……”[np]

Surely it isn't...[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“Do you recognize her?”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“見覚えは?”[np]

He saw Usami once at the harbor.[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7055]“I... I don't think so...”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7055]“ない、な……”[np]

A vague answer.[np]

I remembered Usami's outrageous hair.[np]

Perhaps this was all within her calculations, but without that hair, the girl would look radically different.[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7056]“Maybe it's a delivery of some kind?”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7056]“届けものだろうか?”[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“Don't count on it.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“ありえない”[np]

I spoke flatly.[np]
;;Why would you describe something you did yourself with a disconnected sentence fragment, pfff.

[nm t="魔王"]“I've never known a delivery person to bring something at midnight.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“夜の十二時になっても配送して回る業者を、私は知らない”[np]

Perhaps sensing my caution, Saijou also lowered his voice.[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7057]“What should I do?”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7057]“どうする?”[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“Does she have any intention of leaving?”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“女がその場を立ち去る様子は?”[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7058]“No... she keeps looking this way. She's barely even moving.”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7058]“ないな……じっとこっちを見てる。微動だにしないと言っていい”[np]

If that's Usami, then why...?[np]

A shiver crawled over my body.[np]

How could she possibly have discovered this hotel?[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“I have something to ask you.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“ひとつお伺いしたい”[np]

This may be the last time I speak to Saijou.[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“Did you clear out all the garbage in the room?”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“室内のゴミはちゃんと処理されましたか?”[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7059]“Of course. I cleaned the place out, and took all the garbage to the dumpster.”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7059]“もちろんだ。部屋に残さず、ゴミ袋に詰めてゴミ捨て場に投棄した”[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“......”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“…………”[np]


[nm t="魔王"]“Answer her. Open the door.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“返事をして、ドアを開けてください”[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7060]“Are you sure?”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7060]“いいのか”[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“Yes.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“ええ”[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7061]“Very well. I'll hang up for now.”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7061]“わかった。一度電話を切るぞ”[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“Right.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“はい”[np]

There's no other way.[np]

If they've chased him this far, there's nowhere to run.[np]

Those yakuza, the Souwa Alliance, will have already sealed off all exits.[np]

Not even a drop of water can escape their barricades. Locking himself in would only buy time.[np]


@wait time=1000

 The knocking continued.[wvl]
;; ノックを繰り返した。[wvl]
 But after five minutes, ten minutes, there was still no answer.[wvl]
;; しかし、五分、十分と待っても返事はなかった。[wvl]
 She couldn't even feel the presence of a living person in there...[wvl]
;; 部屋に人がいる気配も、まったくない……。[wvl]
 Though she'd begun to waver, Haru contacted the front desk.[l] She suggested that the man inside might have collapsed.[l] The management informed her shortly thereafter that no one was answering the phone, either.[l] After telling them of her intentions to check inside the room, a building manager finally came to meet her with a set of keys.[np]
;; 内心の動揺をよそに、ハルはフロントに連絡を取った。[l]室内で人が倒れているかもしれない。[l]コールしてもつながらない。[l]とにかく、部屋のなかを確認したかった。[l]やがて、キーを持ってホテルのマネージャーがやってきた。[np]

 The door swung open.[wvl]
;; ドアが開いた。[wvl]
;; ――なぜ……?[wvl]
 Haru bit her lip hard as crushing defeat gnawed at her heart.[np]
;; ハルは、ひしひしと忍び寄る敗北感に唇を噛み締めていた。[np]

@ev storage=ev_maou_03c

@bgm storage=bgm_30

My terrible assumptions were unfounded. The phone rang once more.[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7062]“It wasn't anything to worry about, ‘Maou’.”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7062]“"魔王"、たいしたことじゃなかった”[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“Ha...”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“ほう……”[np]

Saijou wouldn't call so quickly after being apprehended. I can safely posit that he's safe.[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7063]“The girl at the front desk noticed that I had dropped my passport and brought it up to me.”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7063]“フロントの者が、私が落としたパスポートを部屋まで届けにきてくれただけだった。すまない”[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“That's probably because you packed your things in such a hurry. Nonetheless, it's good that nothing happened.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“急いで荷造りしたからでしょうね。なんにしても、何事もなくてよかった”[np]

@ev storage=ev_maou_03b

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7064]“Had me freaked out for a minute, though. I was wondering how the hell they could know I was in this budget hotel.”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7064]“どうしてこのビジネスホテルの場所がわかったのかと、肝が冷えたよ”[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“Your pursuers should be dashing to the Central District's Plaza Hotel right about now.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“いまごろ連中は中央区のプラザホテルに向かっていることでしょう”[np]

I was just worrying too much.[np]

In other words, I had overestimated Usami.[np]

Usami could only go as far as the Plaza Hotel.[np]

She couldn't possibly have predicted that Saijou might be in this cheap hotel in the Eastern District.[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7065]“You had me make a mistake on purpose, ‘Maou’.”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7065]“あえてミスを装えと、"魔王"は言ったな”[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“Yes... ever since the incident at the arena, they had begun to underestimate you.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“ええ……やつらは、アイスアリーナの一件で、あなたのことを侮っているでしょうから”[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7066]“I probably couldn't have fled this well without your help, ‘Maou’. It's amazing that you came up with this so quickly.”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7066]“"魔王"の助けがなければ、こうまで上手く逃げられなかっただろう。よくとっさにあんな手を思いつくものだな?”[np]
;;You know, I think I like bgm_30 more than Schubert's Erlkoenig. That percussion roll that ends in the piano-banging at the intro is sweet. And the intro is the most important, that's always the epic reveal line. And yes, sometimes I listen to the scene's music while I edit. - pondr

[nm t="魔王"]“You were the one who told me your luggage was set to be delivered this afternoon, correct? That was a great help.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“今日の夕方に荷物が届く予定だとおっしゃったでしょう? それでどうにか助かりました”[np]

The delivery notice was left as bait.[np]

The delivery man was sent to the wrong hotel on purpose.[np]

To a hotel where Saijou checked in, but never stayed.[np]

Instead, Saijou went into the Plaza Hotel and entered his room once, then left immediately and went to the Eastern District.[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7067]“This time I made sure to follow your directions to a T. I browsed websites hinting at Hakata, didn't delete the search engine's history, and left the browser open on that entertainer's blog.”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7067]“私は今度こそ"魔王"の指示通り、すべてをやってのけた。博多行きを匂わせるようなウェブサイトを巡り、検索エンジンにも履歴を残し、最後は芸能人のブログを開いておいた”[np]
;;google says T. - pondr

[nm t="魔王"]“Don't forget the cab at four-thirty. That way, even yakuza could infer that you were going to Hakata.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“そして、四時半にタクシーを手配した。そこまでは、暴力団の人間でも、博多に逃げたと推測できるでしょう”[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7068]“But the truth is that I got out of the cab quickly, went back to the apartment, and took care of the note at the same time.”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7068]“けれど、実際にはタクシーはすぐに降りて、アパートまで戻る。そして、不在票を手に入れる”[np]

It was a bit of a dramatic masterpiece: a play that suggested he had left despite staying right where he was.[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7069]“Then I threw the note out with the garbage, so that anyone searching for a mistake of mine would dig it up and contact the post office.”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7069]“不在票をゴミ袋につめて捨てれば、私のミスを探していた連中が必ず探し当てて、宅配業者に連絡すると”[np]

...Usami's limit was right there.[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7070]“You created a ruse within a ruse.”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7070]“裏の裏をかいたわけだな”[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“You left her the clues. All we really gauged was how Usami would interpret them.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“ヒントを与えてやるのです。もっともらしいヒントを、相手の程度に応じて”[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“In the end, the ‘children’ found an answer, and, intoxicated with happiness, stopped searching for the truth.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“すると、ヒントから解答を得た『坊や』たちは自分の手柄に酔いしれて、本当の正解を模索しなくなる”[np]

The yakuza heading for Hakata, Usami heading for the hotel――they're all the same.[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7071]“It was a brilliant plan, ‘Maou’.”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7071]“鮮やかなものだな、"魔王"”[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“Oh, please.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“いいえ”[np]

That wasn't modesty.[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“Do you know of Zhuge Liang's Empty Fort strategy? At first glance, it's a brilliant tactic with a ruse within a ruse, but it's actually nothing more than a pathetic getaway scheme.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“孔明空城の計はご存知でしょう? 一見裏の裏をかいた鮮やかな駆け引きのようですが、その実、撤退のためのつまらない策にすぎない”[np]

In the end, the fact that Saijou is being chased by the Souwa Alliance hadn't changed.[np]

It doesn't really matter whether or not this battle is won.[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“Well then, let's continue...”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“それでは、お話の続きをしましょう……”[np]

[nm t="西条" s=sai_7072]“Right, we were talking about that girl Usami...”[np]
;;[nm t="西条" s=sai_7072]“ああ、その、宇佐美という少女だったな……”[np]

I mustered all the coldness I could.[np]

[nm t="魔王"]“Let's kill her.”[np]
;;[nm t="魔王"]“殺してしまいましょう”[np]


@black time=1000



@wait time=500
@ev storage=ev_chapter_03
@wait time=4000
@wait time=500
@jump storage="g32.ks"