Utsuro no Hako:Volume3 Round 2
 ▶First Day <A> [Kazuki Hoshino]'s room
The first thing that entered my sight was the blank concrete ceiling and the naked light bulb hanging from it. I jumped up, surprised by this unfamiliar place.
"...What room is this?"
Why am I suddenly at such a place?
Suppressing my rising confusion, I tried searching through my memory to remember how I'd arrived here.
I'm supposed to have slept in the lower bunk, as always. I can't remember having moved after that. Neither do I remember having changed the place, nor having met anyone.
I checked the room, I checked the contents of the jute bag, and was told that this was a killer-game by a green bear --- Noitan --- who suddenly appeared saying «Good - morning».
This was the deed of a 'box'.
Therefore, Maria was here.
 ▶First Day <B> Big room
The scenery changed at once.
First, everything became white. It was an unnatural white that made me almost feel like I was in a freshly built, empty hospital without any doctors, nurses or patients.
I looked at the person who was standing closest to me.
"It's been a while, Kazu."
Daiya, who had been missing, greeted me completely naturally as if we had just met at school after the summer holidays.
He continued speaking without caring that I was completely confused,
"Be grateful, Kazu! I just saved you."
Daiya pointed his thumb at a girl with semi-long hair.
"That girl was about to push you down and threaten you with a knife!"
I widened my eyes and looked at her. The green bear might have said that we were going to fight to the death, but it had already begun...?
"Hey, Oomine-kun. If you phrase it like that, it will cause a misunderstanding!"
She objected. It was a voice I had already heard somewhere.
"Misunderstanding? But I did not say a single incorrect thing?"
"Shut up. It's clear that you bear ill will. I just concluded this was a necessary measure to take."
I remembered that I had often heard this voice over school's broadcasting system. So she had to be the student council president.
"Oh, a necessary measure? I don't really care, but if you go through with that, you'll just make the others distrust you and put yourself at a disadvantage, you know? If you're scared, then you should just be honest with yourself and tremble!"
Kaichou seemed lightly surprised by Daiya's words.
"...oh well. Pretending to be tough seems to be my bad habit."
She's scared while still looking this composed...? Um, that's a joke, right?
"In case you need an example of how to naturally express fear, have a look, that girl that's clinging to you is a good one!"
Upon hearing that, the black-haired girl next to Kaichou cringed so hard she was almost pitiful. Kaichou gently stroked her head while saying "Don't worry."
...she's really wax-pale. Isn't she a bit too scared, considering nothing has happened yet?
But---that might be rather cute.
I realized that thinking like that in itself was imprudent and that I might lack a sense of danger, but my protective instinct welled up as if I were watching a little animal.
That was a charm Maria lacked...
R-Right. I should have known that Maria was there; I was careless.
"What was this strange cry supposed to mean?"
I turned my face away to escape Maria's suspicious gaze.
"Mh, whatever... do you realize the situation we're in? I'm amazed that you can be so much at ease..."
"It's not the time to be infatuated with girls."
So she had noticed that I was just a bit charmed by the black-haired one after all.
When I kept silent while averting my face, Maria took off one of her loafers and pressed its sole against my face. Um, it hurt and it was rather unpleasant altogether.
With the shoe sole pressed against my face, Maria whispered into my ear,
"You realize that this is the deed of a 'box', right...?"
This situation was only possible with a 'box'. Which means that this was the deed of Daiya.
And yet he was acting as if he didn't know of this 'box'.
"'Morning. ...Oh, there are a whole three hotties! Lucky me!"
The sixth person arrived, making the number of people and chairs equal.
With that, the players that would «kill each other», as Noitan had said, had gathered.
I had still trouble following the conversation, but as proposed by the brown-haired male student, who had arrived last, we decided to introduce ourselves first.
The brown-haired guy was Koudai Kamiuchi. The girl who had been about to press her knife against my neck was the student council president Iroha Shindou. And finally, the black-haired girl was---
"---I'm Yuuri Yanagi."
Just by hearing that name, my thought process stopped.
"......Eh? Umm, d-did I say something weird?"
"N-Nevermind! It's just that I know someone with the same surname."
She looked at me in astonishment while I was shaking my hands frantically.
"Who is this acquaintance if I may ask?"
I tried recalling that person---
Suddenly, Daiya's words at the school cafeteria came to my mind again.
«Because you want to keep longing for something. Hmpf, even if I admitted that claim, another question remains. Why did you become like that?»
I see. Back then the person veiled by a haze was---
"......A classmate back in middle school."
Having remembered her name, I shook my head desperately. I didn't want to remember her. She should have stayed forgotten.
«Yanagi-san», who was my first love.
"Oh, a classmate? Can you retain a little affinity for me, then?"
Yuuri-san---using Yanagi-san would be too confusing---tilted her head when asking that.
"Eh? Ah, uh, yeah... I hope we can get along well."
Yuuri-san smiled charmingly. Once more I couldn't help but notice how cute she was.
"What's with that cheery face, Kazuki?"
Hurriedly I turned around; Maria was staring at me with half-shut eyes.
"I-I'm not particularly making a cheery face-"
"Yes, you are. Your visage is telling me that you're happy talking to a beauty. What a stupid face..."
"B-But you're a beauty yourself, aren't you?"
"......what's with that flattery? Don't think I'd fall for that!"
At that point Yuuri-san interjected our exchange,
"U-Umm... I'm not a beauty, really..."
"That's not true. I think you're very pretty, you know?"
Yuuri-san blushed like a peony. When I watched her face silently because I didn't understand the meaning behind that reaction, I suddenly felt an impact on the back of my head.
When I turned around there was Kamiuchi-kun watching his fist.
"No, it might have been unconsciously, but somehow I became hella irritated. Sorry!"
When I held my head, completely confused, Maria let out a sigh.
"Really now, that airheaded philanderer sure makes the tension drop."
"Well, anyway. That makes it easier to talk. I'll raise the main subject."
Saying so, Maria scowled at Daiya.
"What is this all supposed to be, Daiya Oomine?"
With those words, the calm air dispersed.
Everyone's gaze immediately shifted to Daiya who had been addressed. He did not show any confusion at being accused; no, rather he flashed a daring grin.
Yuuri-san, who seemed to have trouble following us, unknowingly whispered.
"Oomine-san... has caused this...?"
"What I'm going to say may sound absurd, but will you believe me?"
This time Yuuri-san just blinked in surprise at Maria's words. Kaichou instead opened her mouth:
"Aah... Otonashi-san, sorry, but we'll decide on our own whether we believe you or not! You can't just force us by saying «believe me!»."
"You're right. But I had to ask for that. It's a topic that requires me to urge you to believe me in advance."
Kaichou pursed her lips and nodded, "I see."
"Let's see, right, I'll start with the explanation about what a 'box' is. Alright, 'boxes' are---"
With that preface, Maria began to explain the 'boxes'.
That a 'box' was a thing that granted 'wishes'. That they became embroiled in this situation because of that. That the three of us knew about the 'boxes'. Finally, that the 'owner' of this 'Game of Idleness' was Daiya Oomine.
They all listened to us earnestly.
"...that sure sounds absurd."
Kaichou frowned, as she had done all the time while listening to Maria.
"Well, this 'box'-thing may be absurd, but then again our situation is more than enough absurd as well. To an extent I happen to think that such a thing might really exist."
"So do you believe us?"
When I asked that Kaichou, apparently out of habit, pursed her lips again and said,
"...no, just 'might exist'. I mean, if absurd reasons were fine just because of an absurd situation, I could claim whatever I want, right?"
I hung my head, whereupon Kaichou scratched her head and continued,
"...well, but if you really tried to deceive us, you would have used a more realistic lie. Furthermore you answered all our questions without hesitation and you even mentioned doubtful aspects yourself. So I'd say... mhhh, fifty-fifty. ...what do you think, Kamiuchi-kun?"
"I have some trouble believing them."
Kamiuchi-kun denied right away.
"Much more than what they've said, it seems suspicious to me how they seem to cooperate. I mean, weren't they also acquainted from the start?"
"B-But we didn't have any time to arrange things beforehand...?"
I objected reflexively.
"Maybe. But isn't it possible that you could somehow match with Maricchi because you knew each other already? Also, at worst it's possible that the three of you are the wire-pullers, isn't it?"
"Hoshino-senpai, please don't get angry. I just want to say that we can't believe your story that readily as you seem to be operating together right from the start."
Kaichou apparently agreed, saying "You have a point."
"How about you, Yuuri?"
"......umm, I'm sorry, but... I can't get myself to believe that such 'boxes' exist. I'm sorry."
I guessed her hesitation didn't arise from a lack of confidence in her opinion, but rather from not being used to express disagreeing thoughts.
"Oh, Yuuri-chan, you matched with me because you want to appeal to me, right?!"
"Uhihi, turning bright red because of a mere joke, cute!"
Kaichou stepped in as if to protect Yuuri-san who had blushed even more.
"Fine, fine, don't flirt with Yuuri."
"Kaichou, are you jealous of Yuuri-chan because you're not being hit on yourself?"
"I don't even count it as 'being hit on' if it's done by someone like you."
"Uwa! How cruel! Actually, I have quite a lot of fans!"
Kaichou sighed, signifying that she'd had enough of that, and got back to the subject,
"For now, let's put the topic of the 'boxes' on hold, okay? Yuuri and Kamiuchi-kun, please keep that story in the back of your mind, instead of just dismissing it as absurd. By doing so, we'll be able to decide whether we believe it or not a bit more objectively at a later date."
The two of them nodded obediently.
Maria said, "Well, a solid outcome," but made a discontent, sour face, contrastive to her words.
...well, it's the same for me. On the one hand I feel discontent that they don't believe us, but on the other hand I can understand their doubt.
"...Kaichou, what can we do to make you believe us...?"
Kaichou replied immediately when I asked this nervously,
"Show us with your actions that you're trustworthy. We might still not believe you about those 'boxes', but if you do so, we will at least listen to your suggestions about how we can solve this situation."
But that was much easier said than done.
"Um, in specific, how can we---"
I was interrupted.
«Yaa yaa yaa - it seeMs - you are talking - about something troUbling. - BuT I will tell yOu aboUt - a reality so harsh - iT will - drive that aWay!»
«Okay thEn - I wiSh all oF you a - good fight! - Just dOn't end - the gAme by - doing somEthing - as bOring- as tuRninG - into muMmies everyone - okAy?»
Noitan disappeared after explaining the rules of [Kingdom Royale].
Kaichou's attitude had changed slightly due to this unsettling story.
"If you've been telling the truth, we can also survive [Kingdom Royale] through another way besides clearing it, right?"
Kaichou took Maria's powerful declaration seriously.
---Maybe she will believe us quicker than we thought.
I mean, Kaichou ---no, the others as well--- don't want to participate in such a killer-game. If they keep wavering, the time limit will draw near and make someone lose his nerve. Which marks the start of the game. They want to take measures before that happens.
Therefore, if they're shown another solution, they will want to use it.
"Shall I tell you the specifics?"
And Maria is able to show them that other solution.
"...okay, I'll give it a try and listen. What should we do?"
"If we can get the 'box' out of Oomine, we will be released."
With that, everyone's gaze focused on Daiya all at once. Daiya clicked his tongue noticeably at our attitude.
"Say, Oomine-kun, won't you object against those claims of Otonashi-san?"
As if to repel her, Daiya turned his head away and kept silent.
"...In fact, I can only agree that Oomine-senpai's suspicious."
Kamiuchi-san said so with a slightly cold voice; Apparently he had become irritated. Then, he turned around and smiled at Yuuri-san.
"Of course you agree as well, right, Yuuri-chan?"
Being addressed out of the blue, Yuuri-san widened her eyes.
She murmured vaguely, but judging from her peeks at Daiya, she seemed to be of the same opinion as Kamiuchi-kun.
The atmosphere in the room had turned entirely against Daiya.
Daiya sighed deeply at this situation.
"Only idiots here that are easily led by the nose..."
But even that insult did not change the mood.
"How about objecting before you call others idiots?"
Kaichou replied calmly. Daiya seemed utterly amazed and raised a scornful laugh.
"...What? Why are you laughing?"
"I just thought about how easy it would be to annihilate you all as you seem to believe others readily. Are you guys really top students? That's not true, right?"
"Object already instead of speaking in riddles!"
"Sorry, but I'll wait to do that until the [Secret Meetings] are over."
"Hah? What are you saying? So you're asking us to give you time until you can figure out some good defense, right?"
"I don't know what stance I should take yet! I have someone I want to consult about that matter."
"I don't mind, but you really raise suspicion this way, okay?"
Daiya did not reply.
 ▶First Day <C> [Kazuki Hoshino]'s room
«Your [class] is [Revolutionary].»
I stood still for a while, looking at those letters.
I am the [Revolutionary]? The most dangerous [class] for sure, [Revolutionary]...?
If [Kingdom Royale] starts, without a doubt I'm going to be aimed at first. Because it's obvious that I'm dangerous, being able to kill on my own.
...No, let's think the other way around.
That I'm the [Revolutionary] means that I won't be [assassinated]. Considering things that way, I might be surprisingly safe.
And that's not all. As I'm the [Revolutionary], who is the likeliest to start [Kingdom Royale], I'm able to prevent the start of the game.
Therefore, the situation instead became safer. Yeah.
I reassured myself like that and took a deep breath in order to calm down my racing heart.
«Ya ya ya - Kazuki-san - it's tIme - for - [Secret Meeting]!»
This mascot always managed to appear with terrible timing. I couldn't shake off the feeling that he was doing it on purpose.
After hearing the explanation about the [Secret Meetings] from Noitan, I naturally selected Maria.
|[Iroha Shindou]||->||[Koudai Kamiuchi]||15:40~16:10|
|[Yuuri Yanagi]||->||[Iroha Shindou]||16:20~16:50|
|[Daiya Oomine]||->||[Kazuki Hoshino]||15:40~16:10|
|[Kazuki Hoshino]||->||[Maria Otonashi]||15:00~15:30|
|[Koudai Kamiuchi]||->||[Yuuri Yanagi]||15:00~15:30|
|[Maria Otonashi]||->||[Daiya Oomine]||16:20~16:50|
"...Daiya chose me?"
Which means that I was the one Daiya wanted to consult?
......whatever, my meeting with Maria is earlier.
 ▶First Day <C> [Secret Meeting] with [Maria Otonashi], [Maria Otonashi]'s room
"We might have been luckier than we thought,"
Maria suddenly said.
"Because we were able to tell them about the 'box'."
"...eh? Is there a situation where we wouldn't?"
"There is. If we told them after the explanation of the game, they would have thought that we were just trying to trick them in order to win. We could tell them only because they were still able to consider it properly."
That was certainly possible.
"Thanks to that, a chance of winning was born. When the time limit draws near, the others will have no choice but to believe us, as only we know a way to get everyone out of here. Oomine will probably offer resistance like now, but look at his personality. No one is going to believe him."
I think that is true. If I had to decide about who's right between us and Daiya, then sorry, but I wouldn't choose Daiya.
"Is Daiya really the 'owner' of this 'box'?"
Maria raised an eyebrow.
"Only he could be, considering the situation, or do you disagree?"
"But didn't Daiya prevent the situation from getting rough by stopping Kaichou? That way he gave us the opportunity to talk to them about the 'box' seriously. Would he really have done that if he planned to start [Kingdom Royale]?"
"...well, indeed. But I doubt he had thought that far. Or else that might have been a strategy to catch us off guard?"
"Well, although it's strange, Oomine himself told us that he's an 'owner' after all. Is there better proof than that?"
"...I guess you're right."
"As you seem to agree, let's order our thoughts. Our task is to get the 'box' out of Oomine. For that purpose, we have to persuade him. But there's no way he would readily accept."
I nodded quietly. Right, now came the main problem.
"We need time for persuading Oomine. And to guarantee that we get it, we have to make sure that [Kingdom Royale] doesn't start, no matter what."
"So what should we do?"
"As Shindou said, we should establish a relationship of mutual trust. Therefore it would be best if the players who have the ability to kill revealed themselves, especially the [Revolutionary]..."
"Ah, that would be me."
Maria's appeal made me wince a little.
"That is great. Because that means the [Revolutionary] won't possibly make the mistake of killing someone due to distrust. Furthermore, if we do a coming-out with appropriate timing, we can gain a lot of trust."
...so it really was advantageous that I became the [Revolutionary].
"By the way, what's your [class]?"
"I'm [The Double]."
We'd be enemies in the game...
"We have a great chance of winning. Then... right, what worries me is that Oomine might team up with someone secretly and make him use [Sorcery]..."
"I have a [Secret Meeting] with Daiya after this, so I'll ask him various things, then! ...Umm, I just have to remind him not to start [Kingdom Royale] if possible, right?"
"...Yeah. But be careful! You mustn't let him notice that you're the [Revolutionary]."
 ▶First Day <C> [Secret Meeting] with [Daiya Oomine], [Kazuki Hoshino]'s room
"I have no intention of playing this pathetic [Kingdom Royale]."
That was the first thing Daiya said to me upon entering my room.
"What's with those wide eyes?"
"N-No, I mean---"
Daiya himself, who is supposed to be the 'owner', doesn't want to start [Kingdom Royale] - isn't that unreasonable?
"Your face is telling me that you think that can't be."
As he guessed correctly, I kept quiet.
"The answer to your doubt is simple. It means that I'm not the 'owner' of such a fucking 'box'. A 'box' just for the purpose of making others play a killer-game? Kuku... just how nonsensical is this? There's no meaning to its existence."
"...I think so, too, but..."
"So you're insulting me indirectly by saying that I brought forth this 'box', right?"
"No, that's not..."
So basically, Daiya wanted to say:
He was an 'owner' all right. But that 'box' that made others play [Kingdom Royale] was not his.
There was another 'owner' of this 'box'.
"But still, what on earth is this 'box'? It doesn't seem to allow intervention of any kind. I can't find any gaps, so the 'owner' seems to have mastered it."
Why did Daiya make such a Maria-like remark...?
"Oi oi, why so surprised? Just think about it for once! Otonashi can sense and intervene in 'boxes' and knows 'O' because she's an 'owner', right? As I'm already an 'owner' myself, it wouldn't be strange if I had the same abilities."
"What's with that visage? For me, you are much more abnormal as you can remember 'O' although he's supposed to be entirely erased from your memory, you know?"
"---not true, my ass. Because we are 'owners' and deliberately make use of its singularity, we are capable of such things. But you aren't an 'owner', are you?"
I couldn't retort.
"...in the first place, what is that 'singularity'?"
Daiya crossed his arms and answered while thinking.
"...this is only how it feels to me, but at the moment one obtains a 'box', one stops being human. That is because one crosses the bounds of mankind thanks to the 'box'. And with the bounds being removed, the 'owner' is also removed from everyone's everyday life. This is the singular nature of being an 'owner'."
After noticing my perplexed frown Daiya added,
"Because one moves up from one's original standpoint, one becomes able to «see» things one couldn't before! I don't mean you can visually see the 'boxes' or 'O's existence, it's just, you become able to notice them. Just like you don't find out about a hairdressing salon in the vicinity until you want to cut your hair, in spite of passing by it every day."
...Does Daiya really think he could convey his thoughts like that?
"So, why can you «see» 'O'?"
"How should I know!"
I answered a bit unnerved.
"...Kazu, although you returned it, it seems you have touched a 'box' once, right?"
Because it was a bother to reply properly, I just nodded slightly.
"By that you learned that such an absurd thing like a 'box that grants any 'wish really exists. You learned that there are no bounds. How about the thesis that you were a little bit removed at that moment?"
Daiya focused on me.
"But you would be able to master it. That's why you became like this just by touching a 'box'."
"I wouldn't be able! I am... normal."
"Oh no, you're not. As I said previously, you are floating. Aloof this everyday life."
"You are. Even worse, this abnormality of yours was there even before you touched the 'box'. Your nature resembled us 'owners' from the start! No... rather than resembling us 'owners', you might resemble 'O'."
"---Cut it out!!"
I roared. I could absolutely not admit resembling such a disgusting being.
Daiya looked at me and sighed after a while.
"Well, this topic doesn't matter now indeed. Right, I was supposed to convince you that I'm not the 'owner' of this 'box'."
"...I don't think I can believe you anymore."
"Come on, don't jump to conclusions like that. Mh... would you believe me if I myself stopped [Kingdom Royale] from working?"
"...What do you mean?"
"If [Kingdom Royale] really is about «killing» and «deceiving» each other, then I just have to make sure that won't possibly happen! The game wouldn't work anymore, then."
...We don't want to start [Kingdom Royale], so our goals would overlap with his... I suppose?
"Do you think the 'owner' of this 'box' would wish for it to lose its function?"
"I don't think he would... Err, wait a sec! Does that mean you have a specific idea to stop [Kingdom Royale]?"
Then, Daiya stated,
"Finding the [Revolutionary]."
I held my breath unknowingly.
I could somehow manage to prevent my disturbance from appearing on my face. That was dangerous. A tiny mistake and he would've noticed that I was the [Revolutionary].
"Why can you stop it by finding the [Revolutionary]?"
I was able to ask him naturally somehow. Daiya answered without seeming to be suspicious of my attitude,
"Because if I prevent him from executing [Assassination], the game won't start. So I just need to find the [Revolutionary] and threaten him so he won't be able to use [Assassination]. The goal would already be achieved then."
My heart jumped when I heard the word «threaten», but I pretended to be composed and asked,
"'Won't be able to,' you say - but how...?"
"There are several ways, aren't there? For example by telling him I'd reveal that he's the [Revolutionay] if he kills someone. He has no chance of winning anymore if his [class] gets revealed. And there is no fool that would kill for nothing."
"But even if, for argument's sake, you were able to find the [Revolutionary] and could prevent him from executing [Assassination], what about [Sorcery]...? Isn't it possible that someone dies because of that, which launches the game?"
"You don't need to worry about that."
Daiya declared distinctly.
"Because I am the [Sorcerer]."
...eh? Is he really okay with telling me his [class] so readily?
"F-For real...? Or are you just trying to deceive me?"
"Do you think I would profit in the game by telling you such a lie?"
I thought for a short while, but nothing came to mind.
"I want to slip out of this worthless 'box'. For that sake, I have no other choice but to cooperate with you and Otonashi! That's why I don't hide my [class] from you."
"...Are you sure you won't regret it? Our [classes] might be opposing yours after all..."
"You guys know that this matter can be resolved by destroying the 'box', so do the [classes] of this game really matter to you?"
...that may be, indeed.
"I'm fine if you guys realize that I'm not the 'owner' of this 'box'! ...Based on that, let me ask---"
He asked me plainly,
"---You are the [Revolutionary], aren't you?"
Because of my reaction right then, Daiya could get confirmation of my [class]. Although it seemed he had been almost sure of that already due to the reaction I had shown to his words earlier.
So now I am under Daiya Oomine's control.
Well... can't be helped, I guess. Nobody would be able to keep his [class] secret from that guy.
 ▶First Day <D> Big room
Daiya might have been honest when he said that he wanted to stop [Kingdom Royale] from working.
"If you don't want a deadly feud to start, everyone should reveal their [class]."
He made that proposal after all. If we did the coming-out now, he couldn't lie. The [class] he would reveal was even the [Sorcerer], who had the ability to kill.
"...Is that the conclusion you came to after consulting Hoshino-kun?"
Kaichou was the one who broke the ongoing silence.
"Right. I don't plan to obey this game."
"That's good to hear, but I don't think it's a good idea, you know? Because, for example---"
"Just for your information: if someone doesn't follow my proposal, I will conclude that he has the will to participate in [Kingdom Royale]."
"Don't say such arbitrary things!"
"Arbitrary? But I think only I can decide on my own how I judge that?"
Kaichou frowned at his words.
"B-But, Iroha. To tell the truth, I planned to propose the same idea, you know?"
"...well, I got the impression you would during our [Secret Meeting]."
Kaichou looked at us once and asked,
"Are you alright with that? If you have objections, just voice them."
No one raised their voice. I had expected Kamiuchi-kun to object because it was Daiya's proposal, but apparently he kept quiet because Yuuri-san had agreed.
"Hah... for real? Well, I guess I can't be the only one against it as that would disturb the..."
"So we're going to announce our [classes], right?"
When Kaichou had given up, Daiya handed us sheets of his memo book that had been in his jute bag, one each.
"Write your [class] on it. There's only one pen, so we'll do it one after another. Make sure to write it so the others can't see, so no one can cheat. If you're done, turn it around. We'll turn it over all at once when I give the sign."
Daiya wrote first, then Maria, me, Kaichou, Yuuri-san and Kamiuchi-kun followed his instruction and wrote as well. Six upside down memos were lying on the table.
"Okay, turn them around!"
Everyone turned their memo. I read the [classes] that were written on each.
Maria was «The Double».
Kaichou was the «King».
Yuuri-san was the «Prince».
Kamiuchi-kun was the «Knight».
And Daiya was--- I had expected he would use some trick, but he had written «Sorcerer» as he had proclaimed to me.
"...Hoshino-kun is the [Revolutionary], huh. ...Hah, I feel relieved now. I was already worried about what to do if it were Kamiuchi-kun."
"Hey Kaichou, what's that supposed to mean!"
"Aah, well, actually I mean it just like I said?"
Kamiuchi smiled bitterly, "Uhee..."
"How's that, Kaichou-sama? This outcome is quite reassuring for you, isn't it?"
"...Well, yeah. It's quite reassuring as long there's no such surprise like Hoshino-kun secretly being awfully wicked."
"...what's with that..."
I pursed my lips, but the comment was ignored by Daiya,
"Further, I have one more proposal. I'll collect the knives that were distributed to each of you. That won't prevent violence entirely, but it's much better than not doing it."
"Don't tell me you want to have all of the knives for yourself? If so, I'm against it. It's too dangerous if you're the only one with power while taking ours, Senpai."
"Hmpf, we just need to keep them in the room of someone other than me, then."
Kaichou interrupted him,
"Wouldn't Yuuri's or Hoshino-kun's room be the most appropriate places? Well, I don't care which one, so decide on it on your own, you two."
We raised our voices simultaneously and exchanged glances when our names were suddenly called.
"Ah, please go ahead, Hoshino-san." "Ah, no, please, you go ahead, Yuuri-san." "I don't particularly want to..." "I don't, either." "I think that you would store the knives properly for us..." "I would be at ease if you did, Yuuri-san." "But..." "You just need to keep them, really." "But that's the same for---"
"Fine, fine, Yuuri it is."
Kaichou interrupted us while clapping her hands and decided on her own.
"Be quiet, it's decided! Everyone, bring your knives for tomorrow's <B>-time. Yuuri will collect them. Okay? So, are you finally happy now?"
Kaichou let out a sigh at his behavior.
"Fine, fine, so what's next, oh great Emperor?"
Daiya completely ignored Kaichou's sarcasm and continued,
"With that, [Kingdom Royale] stopped working for the time being. However, our goal isn't just to stop it, but to slip out from it. In the end it's just a temporary agreement. If the circumstances change, it won't hold anymore."
"Well, I guess so. So what do you suggest? Do you have some important information?"
"I know how to slip out of this game."
Not only Kaichou, but everyone of us tensed up.
...Daiya, don't tell me---
"We just need to destroy the 'box'."
Exactly as I had feared. Daiya admitted the existence of the 'boxes' in front of the others.
In a condition where he was the main suspect.
"The 'boxes' that Maria Otonashi mentioned certainly exist. If you fail to believe, just think of the 'box' as a metaphor of the thing that drove us into this situation. Anyways, in order to achieve our goal, we just need to destroy this 'box'. We are able to do so by killing its 'owner'."
"But didn't Otonashi-san say something along the lines of you being that 'owner'?"
"......I take that claim back for now."
Maria interrupted their talk with a frown.
"Oomine is the greatest suspect - that doesn't change. But I've come to the conclusion that it's still too early to rule out other possibilities. Firstly, that's how I felt during the [Secret Meeting], and secondly, Oomine's proposals do, without doubt, prevent anyone's death. ...Therefore, I can't say for sure whether he's the 'owner'."
Kaichou held her head without hiding the bewilderment from Maria's positive reply.
Neither Maria nor I knew whether Daiya was telling the truth or not. We didn't know what Daiya planned to do about us.
But it was certain that [Kingdom Royale] was the deed of a 'box'.
If only they believed that, I was sure [Kingdom Royale] would not start. Then, we could unite and head towards a solu---
"Please spare me!"
My optimistic thinking was halted abruptly.
Everyone's gaze focused on Kamiuchi who had spoken.
"Why are you considering it seriously, Kaichou? There's no need for that, really!"
Her question caused Kamiuchi-kun to flash a grin and declare,
"I mean --- those three are already completely conspiring together, aren't they?"
And then I --- grew stiff.
The usual looseness had disappeared from his face. Instead, there was a lack of expression, radiating cruelty.
"This is... a trap. Yeah, a trap. Of course we have no clue what kind of humans 'owners' are, right? That means that, if we searched for that 'owner' we'd have no other choice but to entirely listen to what those three say, and search based on that. Do you realize what that means?"
Kamiuchi-kun flashed a faint smile and said,
"They are able to --- make someone appear to be the 'owner' we are supposed to kill."
What is he saying...?
"We have no plans to kill the 'owner'---"
A single outcry.
Just that had an extreme impact.
I realized that instant; That person was --- different. He was living in another world than I did. And in his world --- violence existed.
No one was able to speak.
What broke the ongoing silence was the sound of Kamiuchi-kun's deep and long sigh. After breathing in and out several times, his expression had returned to the usual leisurely one.
But I wasn't calmed by that expression anymore, not like I was before.
"You can't believe that such 'boxes' exist either, right, Yuuri-chan?"
I heard the sound of Yuuri-san draw breath.
He was coercing her into agreeing. A denial wouldn't be accepted.
Gaining a false legitimacy for the sake of getting rid of us by making her nod.
That was his objective.
Therefore, it would be over once Yuuri-san nodded.
But for her it was impossible. It was impossible a timid girl like her could hold against him in his current state.
Yuuri-san stole a short peek at me with her teary eyes, but then she averted them right away.
With trembling lips she murmured,
"......yes, I can't believe it."
Aah, that's it...
Is what I thought, but---
"I think we can at least trust Hoshino-san. Therefore, I can't... accept that he would want to lure us into a trap."
She couldn't accept it.
She clearly said so. She did so while trembling, while fearing him, but still she managed to persist against Kamiuchi-kun's opinion. She defended me.
She crouched down, her hands in front of her chest, her breathing fitful - apparently it was a reaction to mustering up all her courage.
Kamiuchi-kun seemed to be surprised by her rebuttal and gazed at her with wide eyes. Then he shot me a sharp glance. I gulped as I felt like a criminal about to be judged.
"Well, I have to admit that Hoshino-senpai looks good-natured to me as well."
And then, the enmity finally disappeared from his expression.
...did we make it...?
Yuuri-san raised her face and looked at me. She relaxed her tense face and sent me a smile.
Like that we managed to preserve the hope for a peaceful solution, thanks to Yuuri-san's courage.
Daiya, Kaichou, Kamiuchi-kun and Maria returned to their rooms. When I was about to go through the door as well, Yuuri-san grasped my hand.
"What's the matter?"
I noticed right when I asked that---Her hands were trembling.
"...I was frightened."
She whispered without raising her face.
"He was... very frightening."
"Yeah... Umm... You pretty much saved us, Yuuri-san. Thank you."
I tried to comfort her with a smile, but the fear didn't leave her expression.
"The [Secret Meeting]."
"I'm frightened... of the next [Secret Meeting] with him."
Yuuri-san was wax-pale like the time we first met.
"Y-You don't have to worry! I mean, it seems Kamiuchi-kun likes you, so---"
"---that's why I'm frightened!!"
She raised her face and almost shouted before looking at the ground again almost immediately. Apparently she felt uncomfortable for her loud voice.
"S-Sorry, I didn't want to unsettle you."
What's the meaning of that?
[Secret Meeting] - it's about getting to be all alone with someone in that prison-like room. Since Kamiuchi-kun seems to like her, I don't think he would kill---
Then I realized.
I realized what Yuuri-san was frightened of.
Seeming to have noticed that I guessed that, she grasped my hand tightly.
"......I'm serious, you know?"
"I'm seriously thinking that we can trust you, I didn't just say it to calm Kamiuchi-san down."
Her trembling became even worse. Worrying about her, I looked at her downcast face.
"I'm scared... I'm scared...!"
She was crying.
Damn, what should I do?
As I judged that thinking about it wouldn't help, I returned the pressure of her trembling hand. Yuuri-san put her left hand on mine as well and grasped me strongly.
Again, I remembered.
I remembered «Nana Yanagi» more clearly than I had when I heard Yuuri-san's last name.
Rather, it seemed weird to me; how I could forget her so completely? Though it hadn't even been two years since, I hadn't been reminiscing about her very existence recently. I had forgotten her almost as if those events hadn't even happened.
Don't tell me the wish I bore ever since I betrayed her, «I want to forget Nana Yanagi», had been granted?
Right --- by painting her over with my everyday life.
«Even worse, this abnormality of yours was there even before you touched the 'box'.»
---That has nothing to do with it. Definitely not.
"...I'm sorry, Hoshino-san, I'm really sorry... I'm going to be selfish now, but please forgive me. I'm trusting you arbitrarily. Therefore---"
She spoke. Yanagi-san spoke,
"Therefore, please--- don't betray me."
Her teary face... reminded me of my first love for some reason.
And then, at the moment I thought they resembled, I said it.
"I won't betray you. I won't betray you anymore, «Yanagi-san»!"
 ▶First Day <E> [Kazuki Hoshino]'s room
When I had returned to my room I finally reminisced about her after a long time.
Nana Yanagi. She was my classmate, my first love and --- the girlfriend of my best friend.
While having the same last name, she was completely different from Yuuri-san. If I had to describe her in one word, she was a troublemaker. For example once she suddenly shaved off her eyebrows during break, or she made the classroom turn pink with a fire extinguisher - she had played countless numbers of these antics. The girls were secretly calling her «weirdo».
Naturally Yanagi-san was scary to me and honestly, I really didn't want to associate with her. I think there are almost no people that would want to associate with a classmate who has dyed her hair blonde, wears an anachronistically long skirt that would even put off other delinquents, and smokes secretly.
But there was one of those 'almost no people' close to me.
«Touji Kijima», my best friend.
Touji was a very curious person whose eyes always sparkled when he came upon something unknown. He always watched her eccentric endeavors with radiant eyes. Perhaps it was natural for Touji to be attracted to her.
Yanagi-san had been rejecting him when he had first started to approach her. But in truth, she had probably longed for someone that would care about her. Finally she accepted Touji and they became lovers.
And right when they became lovers, she showed her true nature.
That was --- the nature of being a lonely person.
She depended on Touji. But the level of that dependence was plainly abnormal. She would never leave his side and she would always menace other girls that approached him in order to ward them off. Because of Touji's wish, she dyed her hair back to its natural black color, she started wearing a normal skirt and she buried her cigarettes in the garden.
Touji was Yanagi-san's everything.
Therefore, she was already unable to endure it just when he, her everything, did not completely fulfill her expectations, even if it was just words or manner she didn't like. She got awfully hurt by the tiniest let-downs. Sometimes so badly, she would cut her own wrist.
The only one who could listen to her lamentations was me.
Her phone calls always started with her crying voice. She would often lead me to secluded places and cried.
At first, I only listened to what she had to say. But she gradually sought greater comfort from me. She made me stroke her head, she made me hug her, she made me sleep next to her and she made me drink her tears. I remember her saying something unreasonable like she would calm down when looking at my face while I was licking over her cheeks, though she had feelings of guilt towards Touji at those times.
Right, she also depended on me.
To be honest, it was tiresome. There were times when I didn't answer her phone calls as well because she was a bother.
Considering even I was like that, Touji found her tiresome in no time as well.
After several talks about separation, they finally split up for good.
From that day on she buzzed around me each and every day. While there surely are a lot of people that don't taste others' tears in their entire life, I tasted that saltiness to an extent that I got completely sick of it. But I endured it because I knew that I was the only one she could rely on.
But even I was at my limit. My stomach hurt because of my constant irritation. I lost my hunger. It made me sick - why did I have to keep comforting a girl that wasn't even my girlfriend?
Therefore, one day I told her,
"I can't stand your company anymore."
She didn't understand me.
I gradually used rougher words in order to make her understand my intent.
I can't stand your company anymore, you're a bother! You only think about yourself! Cut it out already! You were abandoned by Touji because you don't care about others! I don't want anymore, don't follow me around anymore, you weirdo---
And the day I insulted her like this----Yanagi-san and Touji disappeared.
The other classmates that only knew them as lovers arbitrarily called it elopement, but I knew that wasn't the case.
So why did those two disappear simultaneously?
That's obvious. Yanagi-san, who had despaired because of my betrayal, carried Touji off. And --- made sure he could never return.
I blamed myself. It was my fault. Because I failed to support her. Because I rejected her despite being the only one she could depend on.
But what occupied my heart even more than the feelings of guilt were feelings of emptiness.
Everything in my daily routine became virtually insipid. A daily routine as flavorless as a gum that has been chewed for three days. It was lacking. The world was lacking flavor.
It was lacking that strong saltiness.
That's cruel! I wouldn't have thought you would disappear from me just because of those words! I thought you would still continue to depend on me! Making me, making me taste such a flavor and then disappearing like that is just too irresponsible!
Why---was it Touji?
If it had been me, I would have given you everything. Though I had given you almost everything already.
After noticing the hollowness in my heart, I finally...really, finally realized.
---Aah... that was it.
I --- had loved Nana Yanagi.
But she wasn't here anymore. She took Touji with her, she took almost everything in my heart with her, and disappeared somewhere.
But even after betraying, hurting, cornering and killing my loved one, my everyday life continued. Because I was living, I had to keep on living. I had to keep on living in a world without her.
For that sake, I decided to forget her.
I decided to forget Nana Yanagi. She was not someone I should have accompanied to begin with. I wanted to seal her, who was almost something like the symbol of the abnormal due to her eccentricity.
And then, I really forgot her, surprisingly well.
Come to think of it, when did I start being particular about my everyday life?
«Please select a target for [Assassination]»
This message plus the photographs of six people, including myself, were shown on the monitor.
There was no way I would do such a thing.
I didn't understand this 'Game of Idleness'. Even the thought of it having no meaning at all went through my head.
I let myself fall on the bed.
But even if this 'box' has no meaning - so what? Does the everyday life I'm going to return to have a meaning?
This everyday life that only has the purpose of forgetting her?
Yuuri-san came to my mind.
I was aware that I was overlapping «Yuuri Yanagi» with «Nana Yanagi» without someone having to point it out to me.
If I manage to save Yuuri-san without betraying her, will I then be able to get free from «Nana»'s curse?
I don't know. I don't know, but---
The instant I imagined Yuuri-san's face,
---I felt the taste of someone's tears in my dry mouth.
 ▶Sixth Day <B> Big room
It became the sixth day without any notable progress.
As expected by Daiya, [Kingdom Royale] stopped working when we revealed our [classes] and collected all knives. But those three were still not completely believing us about the 'boxes', no matter how much we explained it to them, and we were still unable to make out the 'owner'. And the time limit was gradually drawing nearer.
I went from my room to the big room. I had already gotten used to that warp-like sensation, so it was no big deal anymore.
The white room that's unnaturally white.
---But nothing to worry about, I guess. As I'm the [Revolutionary] and Daiya's the [Sorcerer], [Kingdom Royale] won't start.
Yuuri-san discovered me and approached me quickly with a bright smile.
"Mh? Did something good happen?"
Apparently unaware of her smile, Yuuri-san tilted her head and let out a small voice, "Eh?" Iroha-san, who was watching her with a sidelong glance, started teasing her:
"Yuuri's happy to meet you, Kazuki-kun! She sure has become attached to you, hasn't she?"
One couldn't judge from her tone whether she was serious or not. Yuuri-san's face turned bright red.
"I-Iroha~! Please don't speak as if I were a puppy or something~"
I imagined Yuuri-san wagging a dog's tail, rushing towards me.
Oh dear, that would suit her too well!
"W-Why did you just laugh, Kazuki-san?!"
She puffed up her cheeks. For the moment I decided to seek refuge in smiling at her.
But still --- over the days we sure had gotten used to chat with each other.
From the second day on we had endeavored to talk to the others actively for the sake of deepening our trust. We also had done [Secret Meetings] with each player. I thought this was pretty successful, as even Daiya had participated.
At least I couldn't imagine anymore that any one of us would kill someone.
"...Kazuki-san, as punishment for laughing, please... um, for today's [Secret Meeting], select me as your partner."
For some reason Yuuri-san's still puffed-up cheeks were slightly red when she said that.
"I don't mind, but how is that punishment?"
"...eh? ...ahhh, a-anyway, it's punishment! ...probably!"
She said so with all her might, swinging her arms up and down. That amused me somehow.
Maria, who had stolen a glance at her, approached us while scratching her head moodily.
"...eh? What's wrong, Maria?"
At first, Maria kept silent for some reason.
"......well, what I want to say is... you have already spent four [Secret Meetings] with Yanagi, right?"
"It will be the fifth one if you go today. So it's possible that the others think you prefer a specific person. If you have a [Secret Meeting] with a specific person five times even, the cooperativeness that has finally started to arise between the six of us might be at stake."
"...umm? In short, you don't want me to have a [Secret Meeting] with Yuuri-san?"
"No, I'm not particularly talking about Yanagi. I'm just saying that a situation in which others might think you prefer a specific person is dangerous."
"...aren't you chasing ghosts?"
"You've only had three [Secret Meetings] with me!"
Wasn't her point something else...?
"Otonashi-san is jealous. How cute!"
Iroha-san said while looking at her amusedly.
"...what are those weird false assumptions. I just pointed Kazuki's attitude out."
"...it seems my words don't reach you."
"Maria, are you jealous?"
She just kicked my shin with all her heart!
Kamiuchi-kun, who had been watching us while playing around on his portable terminal, interrupted us with an amazed expression.
"Aah, geez, actually, I'm incredibly jealous, so could you please die, Hoshino-senpai?"
"Eh? What are you jealous of...? Wasn't I just kicked?"
"...what's with that face as if you don't know what I'm talking about? Is that the winner's composure?"
When I tilted my head to those words Kamiuchi-kun sighed once and returned his attention to his portable terminal.
He might still be acting like that, but I thought I had managed to get on quite well with him. I had become anxious when I saw that violent side of him, but after talking to him I noticed that he was quite a sociable fellow.
"Mh? Ah, I see."
He put the portable terminal on the table and stood up.
"What's the matter?"
"Ah, I just reread the past conversations and came to a conclusion!"
He walked over to Daiya, who was sitting on a chair, and tapped his shoulder with a smile. Daiya frowned annoyedly at this overly familiar behavior. That was how they usually handled each other recently.
"Oomine-senpai. I'll believe you about that 'box'-thingy!"
I was surprised and reflexively asked,
"Eh? For real, Kamiuchi-kun?"
"Why should I lie? ...oh well, to be frank, it's not a matter of believing or not anymore. We have to come to a conclusion now that the time limit draws near. And since we don't have any other explanation but the 'box', we have no other choice."
Come to think of it, Maria had mentioned that they would have to believe us when the time limit draws near.
"OK, what were we supposed to do again? If memory serves me right, you said that this would be settled by destroying the 'box', right? So how about this:"
Kamiuchi-kun rolled up the sleeves of his white shirt.
"Let's kill Oomine-senpai."
But there was no time.
I had no time to realize the meaning of those words.
Without giving us time to realize, he swung down his and----
He killed Daiya.
......Eh? What the...?
Although I was able to describe what had happened, my realization still couldn't follow.
Kamiuchi-kun had slashed Daiya's throat. Blood had spurted out from the wounded spot. Daiya had stopped moving with opened eyes. Then he --- had died. I could confirm that. But I was only able to recognize that as a fact, not to realize its meaning.
Therefore, I just stood still, dumbfounded.
Kamiuchi-kun's shirt had turned deep red and his face was full of Daiya's blood. In his hand he was holding the knife that was not supposed to be here. The combat knife that we had collected.
"Strange, isn't it?"
While toying with the knife he had hidden at his belt, Kamiuchi-san whispered that.
"Didn't you say this would be settled if the 'owner' dies? And the 'owner' was Oomine-senpai, right?"
He looked at Maria.
"Hey, wasn't it like that, Maricchi?"
Maria had kept her eyes opened and was completely taken aback.
Apparently he hadn't expected an answer to begin with and continued to talk,
"Does that mean Oomine-senpai's still not dead? Okay, then I'll do that."
He said and---
---thrust his knife into Daiya's neck a second time.
Even more blood splashed around.
Daiya's body fell over due to the impact and his head crashed on the table with a loud thud. Red liquid started to spread out on the table.
Yuuri-san raised her voice and fell on her back.
Kamiuchi-kun looked at Yuuri-san and smiled.
"Your scream sure is cute... mh, but he's definitely dead, isn't he? Which either means that Maricchi's first judgement was wrong or the 'box' was a lie, mh. Ah, but I decided to believe the story about the 'box', right? So I should consider Oomine-senpai was the «wrong one»."
«Wrong one», he said.
I understood the meaning of that instantly. ---unfortunately I understood.
The murderer asked.
"With whom should I continue?"
He asked who the «right one» was.
Suddenly, I noticed that the hand he was holding the knife with was trembling.
At first I thought that was out of fear of his own actions. But after seeing his expression, I understood the real reason.
That hand was trembling in excitement.
Aah --- why did I misunderstand him? Why did I think I had become on good terms with that murderer?
He's just been waiting for the right time to expose the violent nature that he has been hiding.
[Kingdom Royale] is a game about deceiving. About killing.
There's never been a chance to stop it from working. Daiya's attempt failed and he got killed in compensation.
Even on the very first day ...[Kingdom Royale] had already begun.
"Why, do you still... have that knife?"
I asked him while looking at the knife that was dripping with Daiya's blood.
"That's the first question that comes up? Well, it was child's play. I just stole it during a [Secret Meeting] with Yuuri-chan. That's all."
"...Eh? So, it's my fault...?"
She raised her head and looked at him with wide eyes. The murderer smiled back at her and said,
"Please be more careful!"
Yuuri-san was at a loss of words and burst out in tears.
"So, who's next, Maricchi? ...hey, still frozen? Aren't you overreacting? Well, but to tell the truth, I think naive characters are pretty cute."
While blurting out those indifferent things, he scrutinized his bloody knife.
He said so and approached me.
"I think I'll go for Hoshino-senpai, since I'm jealous of him. ---After all I want him to die anyway."
He designated me as if he was just ordering his lunch.
But the intent to kill dwelt in his eyes.
I looked at the blood-stained knife and grew stiff. After all, it was the knife that had actually taken Daiya's life.
The murderer approached me.
Although I had to escape, I was unable to move.
Kamiuchi-kun stopped obediently at Maria's words.
Maria told him, who was hiding the intent to kill in his eyes,
"I am the 'owner'."
Kamiuchi-kun raised an eyebrow.
"You have to kill me, not Kazuki."
He laughed bitterly when he realized what she was saying.
"Haha, so you want to save him so badly you would sacrifice yourself? Amazing!"
"I'm just telling the truth."
Kamiuchi-kun drew close to Maria, who was scowling at him. Maria raised her arms to emphasize that she had no intent to resist.
When I called her name, she sent me a smile. I saw that gentle smile and became convinced:
She said so without a strategy. She was really just about to sacrifice herself for me.
"I'm moved, Maricchi. I never thought there would really exist someone that values others' lives more than his own. It doesn't look like you just blurted out empty words, either. That's love! Truly love!"
Maria laughed scornfully.
"I see. Great that you were moved."
"Are you really fine if you die in order to save Hoshino-senpai?"
Kamiuchi-kun snorted when Maria declared so without hesitation.
"That's problematic. Isn't that love much too beautiful? Aah, geez, I got it! It's not like I want to become the bad guy, I just want to settle this matter as fast as possible. I really don't feel like playing your third-class villain who would attack you while screaming «I'll have you die then!» So, the two of you can live."
While stroking her head over-familiarly Koudai Kamiuchi continued,
"If you let me do you, Maricchi."
He pressed the knife against her throat.
Maria's face contorted in revulsion. She scowled at him and, ignoring the fact that he was pressing a knife against her, brushed away the hand he was stroking her with.
"......don't mess with me. I'd rather die than surrender my body to you."
"How cruel! There are a lot that would do it willingly for me, though. So you won't accept?"
"Of course not!!"
"Never mind then."
He gave up readily --- too easily.
"Then I'll just do Yuuri-chan instead."
There'd be no way he'd let go.
Yuuri-san instantly turned pale when she apprehended that his words weren't a lie, forced to realize by his cold smile at her and the lust in his eyes.
"No, but Yuuri-chan, it can't be helped, can it? Maricchi rejected me after all... Ah, but I prefer you anyway, so I don't mind at all!"
"Something like that, i-is impossible to me..."
"Then I'll kill Maricchi and Hoshino-senpai."
Yuuri-san's face turned even paler at those inhumane words.
"Please give yourself up already if you don't want those two to die because you rejected me!"
Yuuri-san turned around slowly and gazed at me. Those eyes were full of tears.
She conveyed me a message with those tears.
«---don't betray me.»
---Ah, right. Yuuri-san had been fearing such a situation from the first day on. And I had promised her. I had promised to not betray «Yanagi-san» anymore.
But if I tried to save Yuuri-san, Maria would---
It was not me who said so in a low voice, but Maria.
Koudai Kamiuchi opened his mouth contentedly.
"Mh? Well, if you feel like pleasing me now, go ahead."
She had surely anticipated that he would say that.
Maria bit tightly on her lips, so strong that blood started to flow from her mouth. Then she averted her gaze from me and---said clearly,
"......Okay, then content yourself with just me."
---what are you saying, Maria?
"Eh? For real?"
Koudai Kamiuchi widened his eyes.
"......fu, fufu, ahahahaha!"
Although she would rather die, she was about to give in in order to save Yuuri-san --- Maria was that determined --- and Koudai Kamiuchi pointed at her and laughed.
"Ahahahaha! For real? If it were for saving your beloved Hoshino-senpai, I would still get it! But you would do such a thing for Yuuri-chan although you only spent a few days together? Ahaha, that's too ridiculous!!"
"......what's so funny?"
"It's a culture shock for me! Your values are weird! It's distorted to prioritize others before yourself! Wait, do you actually think that's beautiful?!"
Indeed, I also couldn't appreciate Maria's attitude. From time to time her self-sacrifice even hurt my feelings. Her attitude couldn't always be called as living for the sake of others.
Even if her attitude was wrong---
That didn't mean that such a guy was allowed to make fun of it.
"So others' suffering is worse than your own pain? Ah, then I'll take back my word. You don't become her substitute. I'll rape Yuuri-chan whatever you do."
"...what... are you saying, bastard?! There's no meaning in that, is there!?!"
"Isn't it funnier that way?"
Even Maria lost her tongue. Koudai Kamiuchi sneered at her when he saw her shock.
He thought of it as funny. He considered her awe-inspiring nature pathetic and amused himself by toying with her.
I can't allow that. I absolutely can't allow him to insult Maria's high pride. ...Though I can't allow it--- Even though I can't allow it, why---
"Uh, uh, uuuuuh..."
Yuuri-san's crying voice resounded. Maria had the knife pressed against her throat.
---why can't I do anything!
"You don't want to die yet, right, Senpais?"
No one could oppose him, so he declared,
"Okay, then from now on you're all my slaves."
 ▶Sixth Day <C> [Kazuki Hoshino]'s room
«SelecT - a partneR - for thE - [Secret Meeting]»
Despite Noitan's prompt I could not move, feeling totally helpless.
I couldn't do anything. Though Yuuri-san and Maria were both suffering, I couldn't do anything to save them.
Yuuri-san was forced to select «Koudai Kamiuchi» as her partner for the [Secret Meeting].
Although she knew what was awaiting her, she had no other choice but to select «Koudai Kamiuchi». Just how cruel was that...?
I bit on my lips.
I should... I should have been able to do better. Even if it isn't possible any more, if I had taken the danger Koudai Kamiuchi posed more seriously, I could have averted this.
Right, if I had taken measures at the time Yuuri-san cried to me about him being scary, this wouldn't have happened. This outcome is the result we got because we underestimated [Kingdom Royale] and wasted our time.
...But it isn't like everything is over yet.
I was about to press «Yuuri Yanagi» 's button---
«You only had three [Secret Meetings] with me!»
For some reason I recalled that statement Maria made.
...why did I just remember that? That doesn't matter now, does it? The best thing I can do right now is naturally to comfort Yuuri-san, who was hurt.
Sure, Maria's in danger as well. Like Yuuri-san, she was forced to select Koudai Kamiuchi.
But not for the same reason as Yuuri-san. He just doesn't want to give her the opportunity to consult us. As his most important goal is survival, he tries to crush any possibility of us conspiring and working out a plan against him.
Probably he doesn't even care about the 'owner' anymore. Rather than to find and kill an 'owner', whose very existence is dubious, he thinks about winning [Kingdom Royale].
Koudai Kamiuchi is the [Knight]. In order to win he has to kill the [King] and the [Prince].
And those targets are Iroha-san, who's the [King], and Yuuri-san, who's the [Prince].
So Maria's still safer than those two. Of course she's still in danger, but the dimension of danger is different.
Therefore, I --- selected «Yuuri Yanagi»
|[Iroha Shindou]||->||[Yuuri Yanagi]||17:00~17:30|
|[Yuuri Yanagi]||->||[Koudai Kamiuchi]||15:00~16:00|
|[Kazuki Hoshino]||->||[Yuuri Yanagi]||16:20~16:50|
|[Koudai Kamiuchi]||->||[Yuuri Yanagi]||15:00~16:00|
|[Maria Otonashi]||->||[Koudai Kamiuchi]||16:20~16:50|
 ▶Sixth Day <C> [Secret Meeting] with [Yuuri Yanagi], [Yuuri Yanagi]'s room
The instant I arrived at Yuuri-san's room, I was embraced.
She immediately buried her face in my chest, which was probably because she wanted to hide her expression. The hollow expression I had seen for a mere instant before she rushed to me.
"......I didn't want to die."
She said with a strained voice while still burying her head in my chest.
"I didn't want to die on any account. Therefore, therefore, I---"
I put my hand on her back to make her stop speaking.
She is crying.
«Yanagi-san» is crying.
Aah---just how selfish am I. Even at such a time, when I ought to support Yuuri-san, I only think about «Yanagi-san».
But listening to a girl's lamentations while embracing her - at that time she forced such situations upon me countless times.
Since she made me remember those feelings, I got a delusion---
---that I was now having the same feelings I had once had for «Nana Yanagi».
Aah, her tears soak her uniform. What a waste...
I want to drink them.
Self-hatred arose in me for having such thoughts.
What am I thinking? Didn't I decide not to repeat such a thing anymore?
I definitely can't be allowed to do such a thing to another person. I mustn't repeat the same failure as with my failed love.
I won't --- let someone who doesn't even love me depend on me anymore.
"I, love you."
She said that with her face buried in my chest.
"I love you. I love you, Kazuki-san. Therefore, I absolutely didn't want him to do such things to me."
After «Nana Yanagi» had gone missing, there was a question I pondered over, each day, over and over:
If she had said she loved me,
would the outcome have been a different one?
I had known that was just a coward's delusion in order to justify my sin. But even while I had been aware of that, I wanted to know.
I had wanted to know the answer to that assumption.
"......I love you......"
«Yanagi-san» says she loves me.
Unless I betray her now, she will surely accept me. If that results in happiness---
Will I be released from that past?
"...Sorry, for being that sudden."
She finally raised her head. Her eyes weren't hollow anymore, but had reddened due to her tears. Her will was firmly dwelling in them.
She walked away from me and sat down on the bed. I sat down next to her.
On top of this bed, Yuuri-san was---
Before I could think further, she laid her hand on my right hand. I took this hand of hers and grasped it tightly.
"...I don't want to go through that again... no matter what."
Her pain was conveyed all too well.
"......I'm going to say something horrible now. But please... don't hate me."
"I won't hate you!"
She murmured while looking really anxious whether I would start to hate her.
She nodded slightly.
"I want you to save me with maximum priority. Do you understand what that means?"
I was still amazed, so she added with a downcast look,
"You are the [Revolutionary], aren't you, Kazuki-san?"
Ahh, so that's what she was getting at.
"You want me to kill Koudai Kamiuchi?"
When I worded it straight-out, she kept quiet.
"But you know, killing is---"
She interrupted me with a shout. I was taken aback by that and she awkwardly looked down.
"Even I... would want to use another means. I don't wish for a solution that requires us to kill someone. But is there another one? Is there another way where I don't have to go through that a second time and where we can survive? Or... do you actually want to tell me that it's still possible to persuade him?"
I couldn't say it. Even I knew that it was not possible anymore to persuade him.
But is that enough reason to condemn him to death with my own judgment?
...no way. No matter how inexcusable he is, no matter how many reasons there are that would justify his death, no matter if everything points out it's right, the instant I become a murderer my life will take a complete turn.
And I won't be able to return to my everyday life anymore.
So, I can't do it.
And although I can't do it---
"Don't betray me."
I've been waiting for this opportunity all this time. I've always been waiting for the opportunity to repeat that past over again.
To tell the truth, I had noticed it.
I had noticed that Nana Yanagi's attitude wasn't just because she wanted me to comfort her about Touji.
She truly was beyond help, but even she had noticed that her love towards Touji was distorted. She wanted to love someone else properly.
Unable to deal with her feelings towards Touji, she made me lick her tears. She made me remember her taste. And that way my heart was stolen, just as planned.
I also think the method she had employed was wrong.
But it's not like those feelings were false.
I had noticed what she wanted. I had noticed it, but pretended I had not.
After all, I was Touji's best friend, and Yanagi-san was his girlfriend. Therefore I wasn't even allowed to admit my love towards her.
There was no way I could have done what Yanagi-san wished from me.
But that doesn't change the fact that I had noticed her feelings. The fact that I had noticed and intentionally ignored them doesn't change. The fact that I abandoned her doesn't change.
Thus, it is my sin after all.
«Yanagi-san» closed her swollen eyes and turned her lips towards me.
Her expression did resemble «Nana Yanagi's».
I could no longer pretend not to notice it.
I had to answer «Yanagi-san's» feelings.
I grasped both of her shoulders, making them jerk lightly. I closed my eyes and approached her lips---
I didn't draw any closer toward her lips and opened my eyes.
I didn't know from where those sudden words originated. Neither did I know why I thought like that.
Just, those few words sounded like her.
......that's so irresponsible of you, Maria! So what would you do instead?
But the outcome wouldn't change even if I cursed at her in my mind. I couldn't do what «Yanagi-san» wished from me anymore.
«Yanagi-san» was waiting for my kiss. After some hesitation, I kissed her on the cheek. When she opened her eyes again she smiled contentedly anyway.
The kiss had the taste of tears.
But it was kind of strange.
My thirst was not satisfied by them.
 ▶Sixth Day <C> [Kazuki Hoshino]'s room
Even while I was thinking about what to do, things were progressing.
«[Iroha Shindou] was executed because she did not abide by the timetable»
 ▶Sixth Day <D> Big room
There were two jute bags on the table in the big room. The contents were the same as in mine, but the colors of the watches were different. The colors were black and orange. The colors Daiya and Iroha-san had worn.
The two days' leftover rations, in total four days', were of course taken by Koudai Kamiuchi.
But even while seeing that, Iroha-san's death still seemed unreal to me.
In the first place, she died because she could not obey the time schedule? Is that even possible, I mean, Noitan even comes to tell us it's time?
"A clear case of suicide."
Koudai Kamiuchi said.
"She couldn't endure this situation and let herself willingly get executed by not moving. Probably because she'd rather die than be eaten by me or something. Whoa, I'm already getting refused again after Maricchi, these girls are so rude..."
Iroha-san commited suicide? That Iroha-san?
This felt just too wrong. I had spent only a few days with her, but I could not believe she would make such a choice.
Yuuri-san seemed to have trouble realizing her death as well. She had taken the orange watch in hand and was eyeing it dumbfoundedly. Maria watched her suspiciously.
Yuuri-san reacted to Maria's call, still absentminded.
"Aren't you sad?"
Only when she was told that, emotions started to well up in her expression. When tears started to wet her eyes, she crouched down and gazed at the ground.
Maria seemed unable to endure watching her like that and averted her eyes after shaking her head.
"How kind of you to teach her when to cry, Maricchi."
Koudai Kamiuchi sneered when Maria exposed her aversion openly,
"How cooold. ...by the way, Hoshino-senpai."
He shifted his gaze to me.
"You're the [Revolutionary], right? So you'd be able to kill me in the next timeblock. Which happens to mean that I have to kill you during this block---"
He thrust his knife into the table.
"Do you want to try resisting? By all means, go ahead! Well, I'll use the knife while you only have your bare hands, though. Ah, you might as well attack me with the whole bunch, if you want?"
"......three against one?"
"If you think you can win, please go ahead."
...impossible. No matter how much Maria has refined her martial arts, she lacks strength. I don't think we could win against the armed Koudai Kamiuchi with violence unless we have some kind of agreement. And even then...
"In other words, it's already been decided that you're going to die, Senpai."
Koudai Kamiuchi pulled the knife out of the table. Then he pointed it towards me and raised the corners of his mouth.
"---or so you thought."
Unable to comprehend his behavior, I became dumbfounded.
He then guffawed because my expression was apparently funny.
"I wondered: isn't it boring if it's my overwhelming victory like this? We might as well make it a little more entertaining, don't you agree?"
I have no idea what that guy was saying. I didn't care about victory or defeat, entertaining or boring.
"Let's make a bet."
He continued, completely ignoring my frown.
"Let me confirm that again: you can use the [Assassination] command in the next <E>-block, right? I came to the conclusion that you won't [assassinate] me. Therefore, I'll bet on that."
"As-I-said, I will naturally die if you [assassinate] me, right? If that happens, I lose of course. So let's conversely make it my victory when you let the time pass without doing it. That's all."
"...I don't get you! What's with such a bet? You don't profit in any way, do you? Do you want to be [assassinated] by me or what?"
"Of course not. Haven't I said it? It's not funny if my victory is that overwhelming!"
"That's exactly what I don't get!"
"Aah... umm, let's see. Taking a risk itself feels exciting - do you understand?"
I could only frown.
"For example, let's say that I entered the world cup, which is impossible of course, but anyway: I manage to make a goal. My team wins. In that case I become a superstar, no matter what kind of loser I actually am. However, if I contrarily let the enemy land a goal and Japan loses because of that, I'd be hated by numerous people and would become a villain."
Indeed, that would be a high-risk-high-return match. Almost like a gamble.
"You're the type that would want to avoid such a match, right, Senpai? Because you fear being hated by so many people. But I'm the opposite! It'd be pure adrenaline. I'd love to do it."
...I see, I think I get it. But---
"...it's strange to... bet one's life!"
"Well, it might indeed be overdoing it."
"In the first place, what do you gain from betting your life?"
"There's a «reward», isn't there?"
I had never heard of such a thing.
"I've been aiming for that «reward» from the start! I think I've also mentioned it at that time."
I still remembered his first words. I remembered having read it several times on my portable terminal. Surely, it was---
«'Morning. ...Oh, there are a whole three hotties! Lucky me!»
"I've already received one!☆"
I had thought no one would possibly wish for [Kingdom Royale] to start. I had been completely sure I was right on that.
But I was wrong. Koudai Kamiuchi had been enjoying this situation from the very beginning.
"I can't understand you. There is no consistency in your actions. What on earth do you want after all?"
"They often say that about me!"
He answered Maria with a broad grin.
"'What do you want to do', 'get yourself a goal', 'be serious' - mind your own business! Isn't that all indifferent? I am better than those preachers. Just spare me their envy!"
"I see. You're a real idiot."
"Watch your mouth!"
Maria obediently kept quiet when he suddenly rebuked her in a cold tone.
"Alright, let's get back to our bet, Hoshino-senpai. We bet our lives - you got that, right? So let's talk about the price. Since I'm so gracious as to do this even though I would have won originally, I'm the only one who gets one, okay?"
He wouldn't allow me to reject anyway.
"All you have to do is to show me a good performance!"
I had known it could not be anything upright. But---
"Just show me how you get killed by Yuuri-chan."
But his demand exceeded all my expectations.
"......what do you mean?"
"Exactly as I said it. If I win, we'll all naturally be able to reach tomorrow's <C>-block unhurt. Then I'll again be able to enjoy my fun time with Yuuri-chan in our [Secret Meeting]. Well, I'll cooperate with Yuuri-chan then and [murder] you, Senpai."
"What are you saying? Yuuri-san is the [Prince], isn't she?"
"She's the [King]!"
Koudai Kamiuchi declared coolly.
"Eh? That can't---"
I stopped mid-sentence. Yuuri-san was looking up to me with a pale face.
"I-It's not like this... don't get me wrong, Kazuki-san!"
Why? Why does she already excuse herself though I haven't said anything yet?
"In short, it's like this: Yuuri-chan faked her [class]. She exchanged [classes] with Kaichou."
"...for what purpose?"
"To survive, of course!"
Yuuri-san's pale expression told me that this was the truth.
"There's no way Yuuri-chan would be able to resist my threat, as she wants to survive so badly that she uses such tricks! I'll be able to [murder] you with ease."
Koudai Kamiuchi sneered at her, acting surprised.
"You won't use [Murder]? Hehe, you will!"
"...D-Don't make a fool of me. I would never do such a thing to Kazuki-san, and I couldn't, either. So why can you claim that with so much confidence...?"
"No, I mean, you are a girl that submitted her own body in order to survive, aren't you? Yuuri-chan?"
Yuuri-san didn't reply and tensed up.
"Yuuri-chan will definitely kill in order to survive!"
"I would no---"
"Hey, shall I tell them how you begged to me for your life?"
Yuuri-chan widened her eyes.
"Our pure-hearted boy might not like you anymore if he heard what kind of things you said to me."
"Truly amazing. You have no pride at all, do you? Since I'm just a pure junior who had an illusion of girls, it was quite a shock for me~."
"S....top, stop, stop...!! Don't say it!!"
Yuuri-san burst out in tears right there.
"You sure cry quickly... Don't worry! I was just joking!"
Of course she didn't stop crying. Koudai Kamiuchi lifted his arms, "My, my."
"Well, it's your decision whether you believe her or not. I suggest you don't!"
Yuuri-san peeked at me while crying.
I felt sorry towards Yuuri-san, but I did think it was possible for her to [murder] me. After all, she even faked her [class]. If she got threatened with death, I doubted she would be able to resist.
Yuuri-san wanted to survive that badly.
"Well, that's it, concerning our bet. You've got no choice but to accept. But surely you don't mind, right? After all, you won't lose anything by it."
After ending this topic on his own, Koudai Kamiuchi suddenly laid his arm around my shoulder and over-familiarly pulled closer, almost like he had done before the murder.
The instant I thought that, he thrust something into the pocket of my pants. When I looked at him, he pressed his index finger against his lips. Because he was embracing my shoulder, Yuuri-san and Maria couldn't see what had happened.
After achieving his goal, he let go of me again.
I pushed my hand into the pocket and felt something thin.
Paper...? Did he give me a message he doesn't want the others to see or something...?
I instantly took my hand out of my pocket. Maria continued without going into my behavior,
"I don't think it's a problem, but let me say this once again:"
Maria focused her gaze on me and said,
...Well, yeah. I expected she would say so.
No matter the situation, no matter who it's about, Maria would never wish for a solution in which someone has to die.
"......I would rather not, as well. But what should we do then? I'm still fine, but you and Yuuri-san will..."
"You want to sacrifice yourself for that sake? Don't you know? If you kill someone, even if it's by [Assassination], it will shackle you for the rest of your life."
I was aware of that.
As soon I killed Koudai Kamiuchi, I would not be able to return to my everyday life anymore.
«Don't betray me.»
Yuuri-san was still crying.
When I saw her like that, the words I had once said came back to my mind.
«I can't stand your company anymore.»
I won't do something like that anymore.
I won't make that mistake a second time. Therefore, I have to---
"You don't have to think about saving us, Kazuki."
I averted my eyes because I felt caught.
"You don't have to sacrifice yourself for such a thing. Just think about protecting your own life."
"...But if I lose the bet, I'm going to get killed?"
Maria said as if it was a matter of course,
"I will protect you, Kazuki."
 ▶Sixth Day <E> [Kazuki Hoshino]'s room
Before even looking at the memo, I knew it wouldn't contain anything good.
«Everything will be solved if you kill Yuuri-chan!»
But I hadn't expected such a stupid message.
Sure, Yuuri-san's [class] is opposing mine, since I'm the [Revolutionary]. It's the same for Koudai Kamiuchi, who is the [Knight]. On the other hand, the [Revolutionary] and the [Knight] can coexist. In terms of the game, it's pointless to kill him.
Did he bet with me because he concluded that I would [assassinate] Yuuri-san if he gave me this memo or what?
Stop belittling me like that.
I crumpled the memo up and threw it onto the table. Then I looked at the monitor.
«Please select a target for [Assassination]»
I remembered how I thought I would never select something like that on the first day.
I didn't know anymore. I had no idea what to do.
But it was clear that no one would be saved unless I did something.
...So am I supposed to kill Koudai Kamiuchi after all?
That means to give in to the 'box'. To lose. And---to not return to my everyday life a second time.
But does that even matter anymore? After all, if I manage to save «Yanagi-san», the everyday life I was so tenacious about might become indifferent.
That's right! If I can undo that mistake, if I can make a fresh start together with «Yanagi-san», I---
I---don't mind abandoning my everyday life.
I stretched my hand out to the monitor.
Too bad, Koudai Kamiuchi, but I've won the bet! I will save «Yanagi-san». I will be fine with that. That's justice to me.
So, it's okay, right, Maria? You're okay with that outcome, right?
I asked with the expectation that the Maria in me would answer in my favor.
But what she said was---
«I will protect you, Kazuki.»
---the words she had said before.
I stopped my hand because I noticed that something about those words felt strange.
Right, why did she say something like that...? Did I perhaps overlook anything?
---Aah, right. Come to think of it, what was the reason for Iroha-san's death?
Iroha-san would never give her life up so easily. There's something wrong about that...
But what if she was already on the verge of death at the time she was executed? Or else, what if her death was already decided at that time?
I took my portable terminal and checked the rules.
Even if one got selected as the target of [Deathblow], it wouldn't be executed until 17:55. Iroha-san had died at 17:40. If, at that time, she had known that she would be killed by [Deathblow]...
Wouldn't she have sent us a message?
......No, that can't be after all. Iroha-san was the [King]. There's no way she would select herself as the target for [Murder]---
---Wait, that's wrong. It's different. Iroha-san was the [Prince].
The [King], who can select the target for [Murder], is---
No, no, that's impossible. Don't jump to a hasty conclusion. It's only a thought of mine from my current point of view that this was a message from Iroha-san.
I checked on the portable terminal.
There was no doubt. Right until her death---Iroha-san had been in a [Secret Meeting] with Yuuri-san.
Iroha-san hadn't abode by the schedule and had been executed. Because she hadn't returned to her room until 17:40. Because she had not returned from Yuuri-san's room to her own.
Yuuri-san had witnessed Iroha-san's death before her very eyes.
«Aren't you sad?»
That was the question Maria had posed to Yuuri-san, who had been watching the orange watch. Then, Yuuri-san had started to cry as if the dam had finally been broken.
As if she had remembered that she was supposed to cry.
«I didn't want to die on any account. Therefore, therefore, I---»
Because she doesn't want to die?
Because she doesn't want to die.
«I love you. I love you, Kazuki-san.»
I stretched my hand out to the table. I unfolded the memo I had crumpled up.
«Everything will be solved if you kill Yuuri-chan!»
...Let's assume I killed Koudai Kamiuchi. Of course the game would still continue because I'm the [Revolutionary], Maria's [The Double] and Yuuri-san's the [King].
So what will she do then? What will Yuuri-san do when she doesn't want to die on any account?
Koudai Kamiuchi had said it.
«Yuuri-chan will definitely kill in order to survive!»
I suppressed my chest that was throbbing wildly.
Why didn't Maria add «Koudai Kamiuchi» to the end of that sentence?
I reluctantly took out my portable terminal. Then I replayed Maria's words.
«I will protect you, Kazuki.»
No matter how often I listened to the recording, the words didn't change. Maria had known. So that's why she, although Yuuri-san had been crying, although she should have wanted to save everyone, had not said:
«I will protect you all.»
I understood why she hadn't said that.
And then, I---
 ▶Seventh Day <B> Big room
I lost the bet against Koudai Kamiuchi.
 ▶Seventh Day <C> [Secret Meeting] with [Koudai Kamiuchi], [Kazuki Hoshino]'s room
|[Yuuri Yanagi]||->||[Kazuki Hoshino]||15:40~16:40|
|[Kazuki Hoshino]||->||[Yuuri Yanagi]||15:40~16:40|
|[Koudai Kamiuchi]||->||[Kazuki Hoshino]||15:00~15:30|
|[Maria Otonashi]||->||[Kazuki Hoshino]||16:50~17:20|
I never thought he would choose me for the [Secret Meeting].
"Heh, judging from your face, you did not [assassinate] me because you noticed the truth, right?"
Though his life had been at stake, Koudai Kamiuchi spoke to me leisurely as always.
"...did you have confidence?"
He smiled lightly.
"No way! Didn't I tell you? I enjoy the risk!"
His mental structure was a riddle to me after all.
"So, now you want me to assist you in killing Yuuri-chan? ...no way, huh. If you did, you'd have killed her yesterday already. Uhihi, Yuuri-chan was quite flustered when I disclosed that she's ready to kill you, wasn't she, Senpai?... that sure was cute."
"Why did you write it like that? Why didn't you just spell out what she was doing?"
Koudai Kamiuchi answered coolly,
"I can't do that."
"Well, because I fell in love with her."
I first thought that was just another joke. But his eyes weren't lying.
"...but you noticed that you were being used, huh? You also noticed that she's going to kill you, right?"
"And you're still in love with her?"
"That's what I'm saying the whole time."
That's just weird. It's not normal to think like that.
"What's with that face? Didn't she do something similar to you as well? You should understand my feelings, then."
"There's no way I could u---"
"So Senpai, did you think about killing her even for a moment?"
I closed my mouth subconsciously. No, he had to be mistaken. I would not kill, no matter who the target is.
But it was true that I had been on the brink of killing him while not thinking a tiny bit about killing Yuuri-san. And even now that he pointed it out, I still didn't want to.
"Even while being deceived, one is still charmed by Yuuri-chan. That applies to the both of us, right? Because we can understand that she wants to survive so well, we want to forgive her. ...well, in short, we still continue to be deceived although we noticed it. Hah... geez, Yuuri-chan really is too strong at this game."
...we still continue to be deceived.
...I guess so. I'm still thinking that Koudai Kamiuchi might just be making this up in order to deceive me. I want him to.
Therefore, in order to free myself from that naive thought, I asked him further,
"...Since when have you been cooperating with Yuuri-san?"
"Since the [Secret Meeting] on the first day! Playing the bad guy at that time was also a request by Yuuri-chan."
So it had really been since the very start. Yuuri-san had been groping for a way to survive already at the very start, already at the time she was pale.
"...was it Yuuri-san's instruction to kill Daiya as well?"
"Well, yeah. It seems Yuuri-chan pretty much believed that story about the 'boxes', and seriously thought that it would end with Oomine-senpai's death."
"She believed the story about the 'boxes'...?"
Although she denied their existence all that time...? Aah, I see. That was a performance to avoid being doubted by the rest of us as well.
"Do you remember that I was looking at my portable terminal at that time, right before I did it? Actually, I was re-reading Yuuri-chan's instructions!"
"...how detailed did she instruct you?"
"She roughly specified how I should act. Basically she wanted to make sure that she wouldn't get doubted, you see. Well, that's not the reason she gave me, though."
Yuuri-san had smiled happily until Kamiuchi-kun caused that incident.
Even though she had known what would happen.
"Why did Maria keep quiet despite knowing that Yuuri-san was involved in it?"
"Ah, you even noticed that?"
Maria had a [Secret Meeting] with Koudai Kamiuchi before that. So he forced her to keep quiet about it somehow?
"To tell the truth, Maricchi had already noticed yesterday. She wasn't convinced, though, and only suspected her. Then, she questioned me about Yuuri-chan's involvement in our [Secret Meeting]."
I suddenly remembered Maria's statement.
«......what I want to say is... you have already spent four [Secret Meetings] with Yanagi, right?»
"......don't tell me,"
Did Maria doubt Yuuri-san already at that time? Did she suspect Yuuri-san's behavior when she subtly urged me for a [Secret Meeting] with her?
But I was unable to notice Maria's warning and still had a [Secret Meeting] with Yuuri-san. Because I was captured by my past with «Yanagi-san».
And that led to this worst-case situation.
"But don't you think Maricchi's too frank? Didn't she fear for her own safety when she asked me about Yuuri-chan?"
I could only agree with him, but that was the only way Maria could attack.
"Well, since I didn't think I could keep it a secret anymore, I just told her almost the whole truth. Ah, as you guessed, I also made sure she would keep quiet about it."
"...How? Maria can't be threatened that easily! Even if her own life was at stake, she wouldn't obey such a threat!"
"I guess so. She doesn't obey no matter what you threaten her with. ---therefore, I threatened her with doing something to you, Hoshino-senpai."
"No, I hadn't planned to do that, really. I simply announced to her that I would kill you next, Hoshino-senpai. Then she made that proposal herself: «I'll keep quiet about the truth as you want, so don't harm Kazuki. You can kill me instead.» Really, how brave."
---Aah, I see now.
«I will protect you, Kazuki.»
That's what those words meant.
"I agreed to it. Well, I don't intend to stick to it, though. Or do you see a sense in it? I mean, Yuuri-chan can't leave the [Revolutionary] opposing her alive anyway."
...Maria has been more than enough aware of that. She certainly knew that her sacrifice wouldn't solve anything.
But still Maria can't abandon me.
Because that's what she takes pride in.
"I wonder if she's surprisingly an idiot... Maricchi, that is."
---Koudai Kamiuchi was unable to comprehend that.
As he lived at a place far away from such pride.
"What's the matter?"
"If Yuuri-san hadn't given you the instruction to kill Daiya, would you have let him live?"
He answered on the spot.
That probably wasn't even a difficult question to him.
"She just gave me the last push. Even if she hadn't handed me a knife, I would have done something similar, I guess. I mean, it would be idiotic to just wait until the time runs out."
He continued amusedly,
"When we could enjoy such nice entertainment!"
Aah, I got it.
Yuuri-san's secret maneuvers don't matter in that regard. I must not forgive him, whatever happens. On no account.
While I was clenching my fist silently, Koudai Kamiuchi searched his jute bag beside me.
"Since I pity you, I'll give you this!"
He stretched out that knife.
"......what are you scheming?"
"Take it as a means of self-defence for now. It seems Yuuri-chan doesn't plan to select the target of [Murder] until the [Secret Meeting] with you. If you kill Yuuri-chan quickly, you might survive."
"...are you serious?"
"...mh? Is it strange for me to help you? As I said, I'm doing this out of sympathy, really. Consider it a farewell gift from a member of the 'Victims of Yuuri Yanagi Club'!"
"That's not it! What I mean is... don't you love Yuuri-san?"
He stared at me perplexedly as if he had not understood me.
Aah, I see.
He has nothing to protect. It's like I can't see a core in his heart. That's why we couldn't see consistency in his actions. Silencing Maria and giving me hints at Yuuri-san's secret manoeuvering didn't bother him at all.
That was enough. I didn't feel like talking with him anymore.
"......I don't need that."
He threw the knife on the table without showing any deeper emotions.
The conversation ended like that. He sat down on the bed and boredly played around with his portable terminal. I sat down on the ground and pressed my head against my knees.
I didn't want to talk with him anymore, but there was something I had to confirm.
I asked him without raising my face.
"Will you kill Yuuri-san after I die?"
Since Yuuri-san and Koudai Kamiuchi were the [King] and the [Knight], they couldn't survive together. If he wanted to win the game, he had to kill her.
"Honestly speaking, I don't know."
With his usual leisure tone. Halfheartedly.
"Isn't it okay to look at it as another gamble?"
I raised my head and looked at his face.
As always, a loose expression was there. Koudai Kamiuchi had not changed at all. He didn't feel any sin for killing Daiya and Iroha-san whatsoever.
"...hey, Kamiuchi-kun. It's the first time I'll say something like this, but I have to get it off my chest."
"Just come out with it."
I took a deep breath and braced up as much ill will as possible,
"I hope you get fucking killed by Yuuri-san."
 ▶Seventh Day <C> [Secret Meeting] with [Yuuri Yanagi], [Yuuri Yanagi]'s room
The Yuuri Yanagi I had known already wasn't there anymore. Any loveliness had disappeared from her white face and what remained was mere exhaustion.
And in her eyes dwelt that blankness.
Those were the eyes she had shown me yesterday before embracing me. I had thought that their origin was the emotional wound she had suffered.
But that was wrong.
That blankness resulted from her suppressing her feelings for a long time in order to act in front of us.
And---I was no longer able to mix her up with «Nana Yanagi» when she was like that.
...no, it wasn't just about her expression.
Probably, I had already realized that when I kissed her on the cheek.
Probably, I had already realized that when I thought that her tears are different from «Nana Yanagi»'s, when they didn't quench my thirst.
I simply gazed at the girl in front of me.
I simply continued to stare at her, without any sign of averting my gaze, but without putting any emotion into it as well.
The pale girl pressed her hands against her chest. She breathed fitfully.
Although I had been trying to keep my gaze free of any emotion, she had figured out its meaning. And she had started to suffer.
---from her awareness of sin.
She wavered slightly and immediately covered her mouth. But her resistance was futile; vomit flowed out through the gaps between her fingers.
I was however unable to look after her and simply kept on watching.
I should hate her, who deceived us, who cornered us, who led us into this situation. It would be easier for me if I did. Also, if I perceived her as my enemy, there might still be chances. I need to hate her.
And yet, she lamented to me, looking so shameful.
---It's painful, it's painful, it's painful, it's painful it's painful it's painful it's painful it's painful it's painful painful painful painful painful painful painful painful painful.
So what? Yuuri-san cornered and tormented others as well. She deserves to suffer like this now. Looking that painful might even be another of her tricks. Wouldn't it be downright idiotic to feel sympathy for her?
"......Are you okay?"
I spoke those kind words to her and stroked her back.
Come to think of it, she had always been apologizing.
After her default apology she continued,
"But I'm still going to kill you, Kazuki-san."
I know that!
Of course you wouldn't let go of your life after hurting yourself so much to keep it.
"......Yuuri-san, you'd better lie down."
When I suggested that, even feeling compassion for her, she followed my advice obediently and lay down on the bed. But she didn't turn her head to me.
She asked me like that,
"......Won't you offer resistance?"
I myself was surprised by my distinct words. Though I had been unsure whether to oppose her or not, I managed to answer her question on the spot.
But it was probably okay like that. Those reflexive words were certain to be my final answer.
"...so why did you want to have a [Secret Meeting] with me?"
"Because I have one wish."
Then I told her why I didn't select Maria, but her to be my partner for the [Secret Meeting],
"Don't kill Maria."
I noticed Yuuri-san breathe in, in surprise.
"...Why do you think I'd kill Otonashi-san? I mean, I'm the [King] and Otonashi-san is [The Double]. In regard to the game, she has a [class] I don't need to kill in order to survive."
"You tried to make me kill Koudai Kamiuchi, right?"
"Even if I killed him, the game would not end. However, you would become unable to make him kill me. Hence, no matter who you use to kill, in the end you have to get rid of the remaining one with your own hands. So, I wonder: why did you particularly want me to kill him?"
Yuuri-san kept quiet, but I had found the answer myself,
"Because it's easy to kill someone like me, right?"
Her head twitched slightly.
"It would be too risky to save him for last, since you have to kill the remaining one with a knife. But in my case, there's almost no danger for you. Hence, you wanted to save me. Or am I wrong?"
Yuuri-san kept silent for a while, but at last she answered properly,
It was still a shock that she admitted it. But I hid those feelings and continued,
"But now you'll have to kill Koudai Kamiuchi yourself. On top of that you even need to do it directly with a knife, though you have no chances of winning against him in a direct confrontation. So what are you going to do, I wonder? How would you raise your chance of survival?"
"...I think you already understand what I want to say, right? In order to raise your chance of survival---you will use Maria Otonashi."
Yuuri-san curled her body up.
"Well, I don't know how exactly you plan to use her! Just, it's unreasonable to think you would start to restrain yourself after having done all that. Yuuri-san, at worst you would even kill Maria in order to survive."
I drew closer to her face and looked into her eyes.
I repeated my words.
"Don't kill Maria."
I wouldn't let her avert her eyes. I had to make her promise this.
The girl with a blank look answered, looking slightly frightened,
"...It's easy to promise that. I just need to say it, even if it's a lie."
"I mean, you have no means to confirm whether I abide by it, because you'll be dead when I would use Otonashi-san. So isn't it pointless to promise something like that now? By now you should be aware that I lie if I need to."
Although she'd just need to make the promise, she intentionally gave me advice.
"...you're different from Koudai Kamiuchi."
"You have a proper awareness of sin. Therefore, you're going to give in to my threat."
Threat. She widened her eyes because I had used such a word.
"If you kill Maria---I will ruin your life."
I won't be alive anymore when Yuuri-san breaks our promise. But that doesn't mean I can't threaten her.
I just need to prepare something that will be invoked when she breaks the promise.
"If you kill Maria, I will curse you and torment you until the end of your life. I will become a spirit that throws curses at you all day long. I won't let you forget the fact that you're a murderer even for a single moment. By doing so I will make you lose the meaning of life and erase you."
Upon hearing the determination in my voice, Yuuri-san contorted her face to one that was either smiling or about to cry...I couldn't judge.
"She's important to you, huh."
"Otonashi-san's very important to you, isn't she?"
I was relieved that she had understood my intent.
"Yeah... therefore I won't forgive you if you kill her."
This threat could only work because Yuuri-san had an awareness of sin.
Now she was going to fall prey to her feelings of guilt at the moment she'd kill Maria.
So she wouldn't kill Maria anymore.
I stepped back from the bed and sat on the table.
"...So, why did you want to have a [Secret Meeting] with me, Yuuri-san?"
"You selected me as the partner of your [Secret Meeting], didn't you?"
I gazed at her from the table.
"Indeed. ...I did."
She shifted her gaze to the ceiling.
"There's one last thing I wanted to tell you. It may be hard to listen to, but can I tell you about my misdeeds? ...well, it seems you know most of it already, though."
"...As a confession?"
"No. It would be easier for me to keep it hidden, after all."
"Because it will help you."
"It will help me? What will?"
"The details about how I created this situation will help you."
I didn't get it. Wouldn't I die shortly after? What might help me or not didn't matter anymore.
But Yuuri-san didn't elaborate on her reasoning and began her talk,
"I thought about ways to survive since I arrived in [Kingdom Royale]."
Her voice was trembling. As it seemed, she really didn't want to talk about it.
"While fearing for my life, I thought about how I could raise my chance of surviving. In other words, I planned to become the winner of this murder-game at that time. The conclusion I came to was to first make the others my allies for the time being.
I especially wanted the [Revolutionary] and the [Sorcerer] on my side. Hence, I wanted to know who had those [classes]. For that sake, I intended to propose a coming-out of the [classes]. But surprisingly, Oomine-san proposed it instead."
"You wanted the [Revolutionary] and the [Sorcerer] on your side---"
"---in order to kill."
She declared so unhesitatingly. ...maybe she had become a little bit too frank about her deeds.
"But the [Sorcerer] was Oomine-kun and he didn't want to become my ally. I suppose he saw through my acting that allowed me to let tears flow like a faucet. And the [Revolutionary] was you, Kazuki-san. But you wouldn't be able to kill anyone even if I asked you to."
"Thus, you made Kamiuchi-kun, the [Knight], your ally...? But your decision was quick, wasn't it? He told me that he had already received some instructions on the first day."
"It was... well, obvious that he had a crush on me. I'm pretty sensitive to such things. Therefore, I quickly made him my ally and had him throw a tantrum to raise the tension."
"Why was there a need to do that?"
"To make the rest of you want to do something quickly. If they feel threatened, people want to make a plan against it. By doing so I made you want to do a coming-out."
I see... indeed, if everyone concluded that such a killer-game could not happen, there would be no need to do anything new.
"I concluded that the story about the 'boxes' is true. Therefore, I had to get rid of Oomine-san."
"That's why you made Koudai Kamiuchi kill him?"
"Yes. But [Kingdom Royale] didn't stop when Oomine-san died. Thus, I shifted my goal from killing the 'owner' to winning the game. ---you overall know the rest, right?"
I nodded. I was confident to have understood it in general. ...But I still had one more question.
"Then what about Iroha-san...? I assumed the way she died might have been a message, but what exactly happened?"
I saw clearly that Yuuri-san's face tensed up.
I comprehended from her expression that Iroha-san's death was something special to her. Although she had spoken so boldly about her actions, this matter apparently caused some reluctance in her.
Yuuri-san bit on her lip once, but then she spoke,
"...I think it's as you presumed. We selected Iroha as a target for [Murder]. And when Iroha came to know, she died like that to leave behind a message to tell you and Otonashi-san about my secret maneuvering."
She willingly suppressed her feelings and spoke in a plain voice.
Suddenly, I noticed a certain thing. The watch she was wearing on the right wrist. Her original watch had been beige-colored. But---her present one was orange.
"Even in this game... I can still not win... against Iroha..."
And then she fell into silence.
I had the hunch that she would not answer any more questions about Iroha-san.
Therefore, I stopped pressing her on that matter any further.
"Okay, I understood what you did secretly.... but I still don't understand how this should help me?"
To this question, Yuuri-san raised herself up from the bed and gazed at me with those blank eyes.
"......Why do you think I believed the story about the 'box'?"
"Can you please believe what I'm going to say now? ...No, sorry. After betraying you like that, it's stupid to expect you could still believe me, isn't it?"
She continued hesitatingly,
"But since you asked me, I'll tell you. Unlike everyone else, I can remember what happened right before we arrived here."
I widened my eyes confronted with those unexpected words.
"There, I received an explanation from the 'owner'. He told me that I would be going to play a killer-game called [Kingdom Royale]."
The 'owner'...? So she knew the 'owner', the wirepuller of [Kingdom Royale], from the very start?
"...who is that 'owner'...?"
Yuuri-san answered me,
Daiya is the 'owner'...?
I held my breath. Honestly, it wasn't unexpected. Rather, it was only natural that it was him. She probably believed Maria because she knew that Daiya was the 'owner'. But---
"But---the 'box' wasn't destroyed in spite of Daiya's death."
Right, if Daiya had been the 'owner', this 'Game of Idleness' would have ended already.
"As I told you previously, I also thought it would end like that. But as you see, it didn't. By that I immediately came across the answer."
"The Oomine-san that was here --- was not «Daiya Oomine»."
"......What are you talking about? So what on earth was that Daiya?"
But Yuuri-san hesitated.
"...I'm sorry, but I'd rather not tell you. If I said it now, you probably would not believe me anyway. But think about it just for once: it can't be called a proof, but the Oomine-san here had no self-awareness of being the 'owner' of this 'box', right?"
If he had been self-aware, he would not have let himself get killed like that.
But even if that was true, that didn't mean that Yuuri-san was telling the truth. I couldn't judge how much of her words were true.
"Yuuri-san, I'll die soon, right?"
"So when I can't fully believe you now, when on earth will I be able to?"
This question was probably a bit mean, as there could be no answer.
However, she answered on the spot.
"At the moment when it's your turn."
"My turn...? What turn...?"
But she didn't answer anymore. That was probably another matter I «couldn't believe now».
Maybe---[Kingdom Royale] won't end even after she won and I died? Will it be started over again? But until when?
Don't tell me until the 'owner' is satisfied...?
"Will we have to fight against each other like this again...?"
Yuuri-san averted her eyes when I said so.
Instead of the answer she told me,
"...Kazuki-san, I have one wish. Will you listen?"
With a face that seemed to be on the verge of crying.
"Yeah, I'll listen."
She flashed a spiritless smile and said,
"Thank you very much. So, please make a promise. Next time, the time after next time or even the last time, anyway, sometime your turn will come without fail. At that time, we're certain to confront each other again. At that time---"
She stood up and staggeringly walked to me.
"At that time---"
Tears started to flow from her eyes.
"---please kill me."
Then she clung to me. However, rather than embracing me, she just leaned against me.
"Absolutely, absolutely, kill me, please. If you don't, I won't be able to forgive myself. No... I can't forgive myself already, but then, it would be even more so. So please kill me. And let me meet you again afterwards. Please. Please, please, please---"
"---Don't betray me."
Then, I realized.
Maybe I could start over again. Maybe there still was a chance to survive.
However---I could not save «Yanagi-san».
Looking at her, I recalled «Nana Yanagi» once more.
I had mixed up «Nana Yanagi» and «Yuuri Yanagi». I had thought that I might be able to change my past by getting attached to and saving Yuuri-san.
Although that was completely unreasonable.
They were different individuals, so saving one couldn't possibly mean saving the other. That I hadn't noticed how obvious that fact was because I hadn't wanted to notice.
Because I sought relief.
But I now knew. I couldn't possibly attain relief in such a 'box' that was used by someone to kill time.
"Sorry, but I'll betray you."
I told her straightforwardly.
After all I was certain to---forget «Yanagi-san» again.
"Even if it's my turn, I won't kill you."
Maybe Yuuri-san would continue to suffer even when [Kingdom Royale] has ended because of that.
But I had decided.
Without giving in to such a 'box' and without giving in to my past with «Nana Yanagi», I would protect.
I would protect myself,
and---my everyday life.
...huh, the same conclusion as always.
Whispering so, she retreated to her bed, her face downcast. There, she turned her back to me in order to hide her face. I posed a question towards that back.
"...Can I ask just one more question, too?"
"Do you think you can defeat Koudai Kamiuchi?"
She was going to fight against her last enemy afterwards, Koudai Kamiuchi. She had to kill him directly with a knife, though she had virtually no chance of winning in a proper fight.
She turned around after saying so.
I was surprised.
Those eyes weren't blank anymore. The charming smile had returned to her face.
Of course it wasn't a heartfelt expression. But that was exactly what surprised me.
I was astonished that she could conceal even such horrible suffering perfectly.
"If it were Iroha or Otonashi-san, I could understand your doubts, but there's no way I would lose to such a little fish, is there?"
She, who had used me without depending on me, unlike «Nana Yanagi», said so sharply.
"I'll deceive him until the very end and kill him."
Though I had been deceived more than enough myself, I couldn't suppress a laugh. Doing so, I remembered:
«I'm scared... I'm scared...!»
«I didn't want to die on any account. Therefore, therefore, I---»
She had deceived me indeed. But she told surprisingly few lies. After all, she really had been scared, she did suffer and she had sought help.
Yuuri Yanagi flashed a smile like when I kissed her on the cheek and said,
"I really did like you, Kazuki-san."
 ▶Seventh Day <C> [Secret Meeting] with [Maria Otonashi], [Kazuki Hoshino]'s room
I told Maria everything I had found out.
No matter how hard it is for her to accept this outcome, she can't do anything about it.
Yuuri-san has already selected me as the target for [Murder]. Maria knows that nothing can be done against it any more.
Therefore, we were just sitting on the bed, connecting hands. As if to carve the shape of each other's hand into our mind, we entwined our fingers, correcting our grip over and over, just feeling each other.
Feeling each other for the last time.
Maria called my name.
"Truth be told, there's something I purposely didn't tell you."
"I don't have the 'Flawed Bliss' at the present time."
As I didn't get what she was talking about, I just gazed at her.
"I suppose that I lost my power temporarily, but I can't say for sure. I haven't come upon such a 'box' until now, but that might be one of the characteristics of the 'Game of Idleness'."
...wasn't that actually rather important?
"Why didn't you tell me?"
Maria turned her glance slightly downwards and said while entwining our fingers,
"I am not a human, but a 'box'. I am just a being that exists for the sake of others. That's how I always explained it to you. Maria Otonashi... no, Aya Otonashi has to be such a being. And what sustains me, what lets me be like that, is the 'Flawed Bliss'. However, I cannot use it now. So, what am I?"
"Maria is Maria!"
"......and this is where we ended up, huh."
Maria gripped my hand so strongly, it almost hurt me.
"Am I not even able to protect just Kazuki...?"
"Hah! [The Double]? I wish I'd be able to die in your place, then."
Maria's bad habit appeared again.
The bad habit of straightaway disdaining herself.
"...Please stop. I don't wish for anything like that."
"I know! I know that this desire serves nothing but my own selfishness!"
I opened my eyes wide when she suddenly shouted at me.
Maria was aware of it? She didn't actually believe that it would help others?
"After all during «that week» you harshly taught me that it's just my haughtiness..."
She said and scowled at me.
"But still! But still, I'm a 'box'!"
I was overwhelmed by the intensity of her words and kept silent.
She had noticed it, but she couldn't change it. Because she held a conviction that was unshakable for her. If she changed that, she wouldn't be able to stay the person she was anymore.
"......Sorry for shouting at you."
Maria averted her eyes awkwardly.
"But it's mortifying. I'm downright unable to accept this outcome."
"...Don't worry, Maria. If Yuuri-san's telling the truth, we can meet again."
"That doesn't matter. The fact that you're going to part from me shortly doesn't change. I'm certain to lose you now, Kazuki."
Indeed, I can't believe it either, that I can come back to life.
"...Kazuki, as I said just now, you can't call me a 'box' at the moment. Therefore, I'm unable to protect anyone. Even after this I might have to watch Yanagi suffer, without being able to do anything. In [Kingdom Royale], I'm only a powerless girl."
After saying that, Maria embraced my head.
"Therefore I think it's okay to show some of Maria Otonashi's weakness."
Close to my ear she whispered.
Her lips slightly touched my ear.
"I can't bear your death. It breaks my heart. I don't want that. I want to be with you."
Suddenly I remembered the scene during the repeating classroom when I had knelt and held my hand out to her.
"I may be powerless. I may be just Maria Otonashi right now. But---"
At that time, she had certainly been a powerless girl as well, though just for an instant.
And similarly, she was a powerless girl in the 'Game of Idleness'.
"---still, I want to protect you even if I have to pay with my own life."
I didn't know what her face looked like when she said that.
But I knew the answer I had to give.
After all I had decided at the time when I had chosen Maria, and not «Yanagi-san».
"No matter how hard this may be for you, this time it's not your job to protect."
When I had chosen her, who made the me I am now, I had decided.
"It's my job to protect you when you have lost your 'box'."
I had decided to protect Maria.
And like that, to protect my everyday life.
To protect the everyday life Maria didn't desire.
 ▶Seventh Day <C> [Kazuki Hoshino]'s room
And then I was pierced by an invisible blade.
*********** GAME OVER ***********
[Yuuri Yanagi] (Player)
[King], killed Kazuki Hoshino on the seventh day by selecting him as the target of [Murder]. Killed Koudai Kamiuchi directly on the same day. Alive.
* Victory conditions have been met due to Iroha Shindou, Kazuki Hoshino and Koudai Kamiuchi's death.
[The Double], alive.
* Victory conditions have been met due to Iroha Shindou, Kazuki Hoshino's death.
[Prince], executed on the sixth day because of ignoring the time schedule.
[Sorcerer], carotid artery was directly cut by Koudai Kamiuchi on the sixth day, bled to death.
[Revolutionary], killed on the seventh day by Yuuri Yanagi and Koudai Kamiuchi's [Deathblow].
[Knight], directly killed Daiya Oomine on the sixth day. Killed Kazuki Hoshino using [Deathblow] on the seventh day. Was stabbed in the stomach by Yuuri Yanagi on the same day, death due to hemorrhagic shock.
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