There was no change in the classroom in the morning.
It didn't seem as if the confinement of the track and field club members was a topic of conversation among the students.
Maybe it was because there were no students from this class among those who had been confined yesterday.
Other classes may have been noisier.
Stealing a glance at Teruya-san, I saw that she was leaning her elbows on her desk and seemed to be thinking about something.
Her expression seemed to be somehow downcast, but from behind her, it was hard to talk much about her expression.
Also, after Kurosawa-san came back, Teruya-san didn't go to talk to Kasuya-kun.
I can guess that she has some bad feelings towards Kurosawa-san, but that's just my imagination.
As I was absentmindedly thinking about this...
「 Hello~! Fu~min, good morning~!」
Once again today, Fujiwara-san threw away her bag, which she had decorated with pins, and pulled a chair up next to me.
......But I just realized something really bad.
It's attached to Fujiwara's bag. Among the pins, I found a pin with my face picture and a pin with “I ❤ FUMIO” on it.
......Yeah, just pretend I didn't see it.
「Fu~min, how are you feeling? Are you okay?」
「Yes, thanks to you」
「Geez, even though, I'm so worried about you... Hey, Fu~min, why don't you start a social network too, so we can keep in touch?」
「No, thank you」
「I heard that Misuzu chats with Kasuya-chi all night long. So, I want to fall asleep while chatting with Fu~min, saying “I love you” and “Me too”. Maybe I'll have a really good dream」
「All I can see is a timeline with Fujiwara-san's comments telling me to “reply”」
「Why are you assuming you won't reply!?」
Such a noisy atmosphere before the class changed when the homeroom teacher announced the disappearance of 18 members of the track and field club right after the homeroom started.
Among the students who were asking questions, there was one who was raising his voice in desperation. I think he is a member of the judo club...... Who is he again?
「He is Hiratsuka-kun, I think he was dating Tashiro-san, the captain of the track and field club...... He must be worried...」
Fujiwara-san whispered in my ear.
（Oh, yes, he's Hiratsuka-kun. I've been so uninvolved with him that I'd forgotten about him）
「Teruya, did you notice anything strange about the other kids during yesterday's practice?」
When the homeroom teacher asked this, everyone's eyes focused on Teruya-san. Teruya-san answered with a discouraged look.
「There's nothing strange about it. No one came to the club activities except me and Ninagawa from the second year. And together with Ninagawa, everyone boycotted practice. We were talking about how stupid it was before the tournament」
「The club members don't like the advisor」
Apparently, there was enough friction between the advisor and the club members that a boycott would not be surprising.
But it wasn't a boycott.
And the school received a series of inquiries in the morning from the parents of the track and field club members about their children not coming home.
◇ ◇ ◇
In the afternoon, the class proceeded in an atmosphere of anxiety.
I don't know where in the world they got the whiff of it, but by the time it was past noon, there was a large crowd of media outside the main gate.
Several boom operators were protruding above the crowd, and I could see some people on stepladders holding cameras and others who looked like reporters talking to TV cameras with their backs to the main gate, holding microphones in their hands.
The old man guarding the gate and some teachers seemed to be appealing for dissolution, but I guess it was useless.
（It seems like a lot of work to go home through that crowd）
That's about all I could think of.
As I watched the scene from my window, several police vehicles arrived, and the officers started moving the media blocking the gate to the left and right.
And every time a police car drove past them and into the school, I could see a large number of flashes going on.
◇ ◇ ◇
「Terashima... Isn't it difficult to do......? If you want, I can talk to the Chief to take you off the case」
「No problem, don't worry about it」
Inomoto-senpai is the type of gorilla who is rather cautious.
The reason why he said this is because he was sent from the main office to the investigation division, and the person in charge of the division was ...... Inspector Nakamura. In other words, it was my fiancé.
And earlier this morning, the investigation division for the “Mass Disappearance of Female Students” was set up at the initiative of the main office.
As we had been in charge of the disappearance of Misuzu Kurosawa and Masaki Haneda, our shoulders were very narrow.
At any rate, except for the accidental return of Misuzu Kurosawa, we had not yet achieved anything.
When I mentioned the name of the Kamishima group at this morning's meeting, they laughed at me and said, “How can a group that sells only runaway girls to prostitutes in a red-light district be capable of such a big deal?”
In the end, the investigators started their investigation with the idea that it was the work of a large-scale human trafficking organization overseas.
And now, in the principal's office, there are three detectives from the main office, including Inspector Nakamura, who is the head of the division, as well as Detective Inomoto, who has been in charge of the school, and myself.
On the school side, there is the principal, vice-principal, and a bald teacher who is the advisor of the girls' track team.
「So, the victims were all in class until the sixth period?」
The vice-principal wiped the sweat from his forehead as he replied.
「Yes, we have confirmed with each homeroom teacher. But we don't know how they ended up there. The guard seemed to remember the face of one of the victims, the captain of the club, Tashiro Hatsu, as a polite girl who greeted him properly, but he did not see her among the students leaving」
「I see...... Did she participate in any of the club activities?」
「No. One of the remaining club members, Rimi Ninagawa, a second-year student, told her homeroom teacher. When she visited the club room, it was locked, so she went to the staff room to get the key. However, the key was not there, and according to the record book, there was a name written in it: Ota, a first-year student. So, she borrowed a spare key from her advisor and opened the club room」
「Is that true?」
When Inspector Nakamura asked, the advisor simply replied, “Yes” in a fading voice.
「And then, about thirty minutes later, the other student who was left behind. Teruya Hikaru came to the club room and said that the two of them had talked about it, saying that maybe everyone had boycotted practice」
When Inspector Nakamura turned to the advisor, he shook his head in panic.
「I have nothing to do with it! I just got into an argument with Tashiro, the captain of the club, not long ago over a difference in guidance policy」
「You shouldn't say you had nothing to do with it, Sensei. We are teachers」
When the principal rebuked him with a bitter look on his face, the advisor nodded his head in agreement.
If I think about it normally, this would be an unprecedented and abnormal incident. No matter how someone looks at it, they can only come to the conclusion that it was either a supernatural phenomenon or mysterious disappearance.
As for myself, I know it was Master's doing, and I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of outrageous theories he comes up with in the future.
Inspector Nakamura thought about it for a while, then looked at the principal and spoke.
「Principal, I'd like to mobilize a large number of investigators to search around the school......」
「You want.... search the school......?」
「Yes, according to what you've just said, they were taken from inside the school. We might be able to find some traces. It is also possible that there is a place in this school building that the teachers don't know about and that they are being held there」
「It's just a possibility」
「When does it start......?」
「That's already happening, right now」
The principal let out a deep breath and told the vice principal.
「......Vice principal, please instruct the teachers to dismiss the students as soon as possible after the sixth period. Also, the school will be temporarily closed tomorrow. Other than that, please instruct the teachers to follow the emergency manual」
◇ ◇ ◇
At the end of class, during homeroom, Gorioka said.
「Don't say anything to the media. It would be a big problem if they report something strange and cause harmful rumors. Don't stop even if you are stopped! Tomorrow, Friday, the school has been temporarily closed. Don't make the mistake of coming to school」
That's what he said.
But the only thing swirling around in my head was a man I couldn't remember. It was probably a man, since he had embraced me.
What in the world was he going to do?
While thinking so, I left the classroom after the end of class, but was stopped by someone who said, “Kurosawa-san”.
It was Terashima-san, who was there.
She was going to drive me home again today.
To be honest, I was relieved.
If I tried to break through the media at the main gate now, I'd be easy prey.
It wouldn't be surprising if there were at least some pictures of my face in the media. After all, all they had to do was get it from magazine.
In the backseat of Terashima-san's car, I lay face down, covering my head with her jacket.
After a while, I heard Terashima-san's voice.
「It's okay now」
I look up and through the rear glass to see the media huddled in front of the school gate, moving away.
「Terashima-san...... are you all right? Those...... detectives, they all seem to be busy」
「Yes, I had a hard time getting out, but at least I got out for now. The people at the main office are hard-headed, however I managed to talk the chief of staff out of risking putting you in front of the press media......」
「I'm sorry. I'm sorry for the inconvenience」
「No, it's part of my job」
But as the car approached my house, I saw that there was a crowd of reporters in front of my house as well.
「......What should I do?」
I didn't dare to run into the crowd.
「Misuzu-sama, if you don't mind, would you like to stay at my house tonight? if your parents allow it, of course......」
「Really?! Thank you very much! Wait, I'll call Mama and see what she says」
Terashima-san looks like a savior.
When I called Mama and explained the situation, she sounded relieved and grateful that she would let me do so.
「Please do..... Mama wants to thank you and ask you to take over the phone」
「I'm sorry, but I'm driving. Please tell her that her gratitude is enough for me」
◇ ◇ ◇
I put the car in the underground parking lot and took Misuzu-sama to my room.
Misuzu-sama was looking around the room curiously.
「Misuzu-sama, I have to go back to the station now. Please feel free to use this room as you wish. You can eat anything you want in the kitchen. It's all instant, though......」
「T-thank you very much」
「The sofa in the living room can be used as a sofa bed, so I'll prepare a set of bedding for guests and a change of clothes there」
「Terashima-san, please don't be so self-conscious. I feel so nervous......」
「Also, if the intercom rings, please ignore it. So, the media may not be able to get a whiff of you」
Almost as soon as Misuzu-sama replied with a somewhat nervous look on her face, the intercom rang, “Ping Pong!” announcing the arrival of a visitor.
「I-is it the media?」
「No, it's too early for that」
I looked at the monitor of the intercom, quieting down Misuzu-sama's frightened expression.
And then I clutched my head.
「I forgot about this.......」
The day before yesterday, I had called my sister Kyoko Terashima to take her to Master.