The red-light district in the early morning is a sad place.
The dreams of old men have disappeared into the foam of beer, and the remnants of a night's pleasure sit in garbage bags, awaiting the visit of the garbage truck.
This is a morning scene in the red-light district behind the station.
On there, Fujiwara-san and I left the hotel, holding hands amidst the clamorous sounds of cats and crows fighting over territory.
As a man, it's hard for me to ask my girlfriend to pay for the entire stay, but I only have a few coins in my wallet.
When I said, “I'll let you pay for this” and I’m waiting for her to say something, she replied, “Yes, yes” with a wry smile, and I felt a little upset.
Gununu, you little breast. Just as I was gritting my teeth, Fujiwara-san looked into my face.
She was wearing no makeup at all. I wonder if she's cuter that way. This could shake the meaning of the existence of makeup.
「What is it?」
「What? No, no, no! You should have said “yes” to that. Fu~min is the one who said, “Let's do something loverly”, right?」
「Oh, you lied! Fu~min is terrible!」
She pouted. But I don't care, I ask her this question.
「You stayed out overnight without permission, is that okay? Aren't you afraid you might get in trouble?」
「It's okay. I sent a message to my mom. I told her I'd stay at Misuzu's place. I also sent a message to Misuzu to make sure she knows」
「When did you send it......?」
「Don't underestimate a gal's typing skills」
With a smug look on her face, Fujiwara-san puffed out her chest.
「So, since it would be even more suspicious if I hurried home, Let's go and have a breakfast. I want an English muffin」
「Then, Fujiwara-san will pay for it」
「I won't treat someone who refers to his girlfriend as Fujiwara-san」
「Mai, I want a breakfast with your money」
「You look like you're trying to be cool, but that's really the worst thing you can say」
◇ ◇ ◇
When I went back to my apartment last night, Misuzu-sama was not there.
Kyoko-chan is a bit dumb. But, when I was questioning her about it, Misuzu-sama came back.
She told me that she had met her boyfriend.
What a shame. How could Misuzu-sama allow another man to touch her when she was under the care of Master?
At any rate, I asked Misuzu-sama to behave herself, and lectured Kyoko-chan until midnight.
And this morning, I left the apartment, thinking about how I should apologize to Master.
「Oh, good morning」
When I arrived at the office, Inomoto-senpai was just sitting down with a cup of coffee in his hand.
Today, I'm going to work directly at the office, not at the school. The investigation in the school was finished yesterday. And from 10 o'clock, there is a debriefing with all the investigators.
「I heard that Anna Kamishima was here yesterday」
「Eh, I was quite surprised」
「What was she like?」
「She looks like a ...... freak. She had that kind of vibe where she would laugh and try to trick people」
Inomoto-senpai shrugged his shoulders.
It seems Inomoto-senpai has not yet discarded the theory that the Kamishima Clan is responsible for the series of kidnappings, which was completely denied by the career group, including Inspector Nakamura.
「Have you made any progress over there?」
It's about Master's fake information.
And it was Inomoto-senpai who took the lead in the investigation of the false information given by the master: “The fence behind the club building has broken down, allowing access to the forest road”.
「Yeah, it's pretty good. I found the victim's student handbook. It was a first-year student named Yui Kayama. I think it's safe to say that the route she took was through the fence and out the back」
I don't know what's so certain about that. But there's no way she could have gone that way, since she just went straight into Master's “room”.
「Unfortunately, due to the rush of the media on the main gate, quite a few of the students went back through the woods the day after the incident. The path has been trampled, so we can't expect to find any footprints」
「Yeah, but when I think about it, if I wanted to move eighteen people from one place to another, I'd have to make them walk on their own legs. However, there is no evidence of a struggle, and one person carrying one girl is too conspicuous to be practical」
「Well, I suppose you're right」
「I'm going to try to find out if it was the OG or the advisor...... who led them」
That's what Inspector Nakamura also said, that someone may have guided them. But this could be an interesting development.
If there is a connection between the OG or the advisor and Anna Kamishima, it will be a great reason to raid the Kamishima clan.
（Isn't it too convenient to use them......?）
◇ ◇ ◇
「Good morning...... is it?」
I answered Shima-senpai's question with my eyes closed.
When I opened my eyes, I saw Yui-chan lying on her back with her tongue lingering on a tray of water jugs for dogs that had been placed in front of her.
It must be painful to endure for a good young lady.
And a few hours ago, a creepy woman with a sackhead suddenly appeared and left trays full of water in front of everyone, one at a time.
Since we were tied up with our hands behind our backs, the only way we could drink the water was to stick our faces in and sip it, or lick it off with our tongues like a dog.
It was a shameful sight, but there was nothing we could do to fight the extreme thirst, and the dimly lit room was filled with countless small sounds of water chuckling.
A few hours have passed since then, and although the place looks like a morgue, only the worms in my stomach are repeatedly asserting themselves in various places.
「Ahaha...... I'm about to die, huh」
「Stupid, you're in your third year, why are you whining?」
At that moment when Captain Tashiro condemned Shima-senpai's words in a scratchy voice, one corner of the wall suddenly opened and light leaked out in the form of a door.
As we gasped, three figures entered the room.
One of them is the mysterious woman wearing the sackhead from earlier. She is wearing a leather rider's suit with a feather-like object on one side of her back that clings to her body.
The other is a foreigner with silver hair and blue eyes. She was clad in an English-style maid's uniform.
And as soon as I saw the last one who came in, Shima-senpai let out a moaning voice.
「Masaki...... Are you Masaki?」
The woman who came in, led by the two in front of her, was wearing a dress that looked like an anachronistic medieval princess.
The pink fabric with a white lace parasol skirt. The tiara on her head reflected the glittering light of the jewels.
She was probably about the same age as us, with a cute baby face, but her breasts were just too big.
As she walked slowly, a luxurious chair that looked like a throne suddenly appeared in front of her. It was appeared...... in a place where there was nothing before.
When the princess sits down on the chair, the intense lighting behind her makes me impossible to look directly at her.
Then, the maid and the sackhead woman kneeled on each side of the princess.
To be honest, I was a bit confused.
I wondered what we were being shown.
To my eyes, all three of them looked like participants in a masquerade parade.
「Masaki! Masaki! Help me!」
Shima-senpai suddenly raised her voice.
It seems Shima-senpai knew the princess.
But the princess turned her head towards Shima-senpai and narrowed her eyes in displeasure, then tucked her chin towards the sackhead woman.
And when the sackhead woman walked up to Shima-senpai.
「Eh...... what...... what......?」
She suddenly kicked Shima-senpai's stomach, who was still confused.
It's a strong kick that sends her floating several inches in the air in a prone position.
Then, a muffled voice similar to vomiting spilled out of Shima-senpai's mouth, and those around her desperately stepped back while choking back a scream.
「Shima, get a hold of yourself, Shima!」
Shima-senpai was writhing with blood dripping from the corner of her mouth.
Everyone-including me, except Captain, retreated to the wall at once, creating a large space in the center surrounding the throne.
「It's the ultimate in disrespect to call out Masaki-sama. What shall we do, Masaki-sama? Shall I deal her away now?」
「Drop it. It's not good for the conversation」
When the maid politely bows, the princess looks around at us and opens her mouth.
「I'm Masaki Haneda, the great Confinement King’s first favored princess. I hope you can understand that it is up to me, even with your lacking brain, to make you live or die」
I tilted my head at the unfamiliar name.
「What are you going to do with us?」
Suddenly, captain stood up and shouted.
We were all surprised by this. But we didn't understand. For better or for worse, this girl can't read the air.
However, there was no way she could be strong in this situation. Because it's not like protesting to an advisor.
Surprisingly, however, the princess responded to captain's question with a faint smile.
「There are four of you who have committed a mortal sin」
「Freesia, tell them」
The princess tucked her chin, and the silver-haired maid stood up and opened her mouth.
「There are four of you who have humiliated Mai Fujiwara, one of the favorite princesses of the great Confinement King」
Immediately, I heard a faint gasp.
There must be someone who knows what she's talking about.
Then, the princess looked around at everyone and smiled kindly.
「So, I will give you a chance. If all four of you come forward by the time, I count to ten, I will send the rest of you back to your homes」
「W-wait a minute! What will happen to those who come forward?」
「I'll let them go in the end. But I will cut them into pieces, stop the bleeding so they don't die, and they will be sent home by refrigerated courier after several years of literally cutting their bodies down to the bare minimum of viable organs」
No one could speak, stunned by the horrific, hair-raising story.
「Then I'll count. One, two......」
As the princess began to count, everyone began to look around at each other. Then, Yui-chan raised her voice like a scream.
「Who? Who is it! Get out! Don't drag me into this!」
「Calm down, Kayama! You're selling out your friends!」
「I'm not your friend! Let me go! I want to go home!」
Immediately, the other members of the club started shouting.
But that didn't stop the princess from counting.
Then, the captain of the club shouted loudly.
「It was me! I'm the only one who did this! Let the others go!」
The princess let out a deep sigh as she looked at captain, who stood alone as the cries of the club members faded away and their sobs echoed.
「You, what is your name?」
「Tashiro...... it's Hatsu Tashiro」
「Unfortunately, I don't have the mentality that makes me think it's beautiful to risk your life to protect others. So, you'll never have the chance to leave this place again」
「I'm saying I did it」
「Unfortunately, I have some idea of who did it. And you don't have that characteristic. But...... you're good. For your courage, I'll give all of you one more chance」
「Are you still trying to play...... with us?」
「That's right. There is some of that. But you have to obey. Isn't that right?」
Captain clenched her teeth tightly.
「Those of you who are being summoned now, come this way. Whoever is called by me will be rescued from this situation」
The princess began to look around at each person, then suddenly pointed to one person.
「You there. Come over here」
「What is your name?」
「My name is Yui Kayama and I'm from.......」
「You, too, come here」
The one who got up silently was a second-year student.
「What is your name?」
Kei Takasago is a quiet, sleepy-eyed girl with long black hair. The third-year students call her "Sleeping Beauty" because of her well-shaped face.
The princess pointed at me.
I got up hurriedly and come over to her side.
「What is your name?」
「Momomo, mo, it's Saori Moribe」
I was so nervous that I was stuttering, and the princess giggled.
「The rest is Tashiro-san, isn't it? I'm appointing you and four others as inquisitor」
Captain glared at the princess.
I was thinking in my heart （Captain! Stop it! Don't make waves!） .
「Yes, yes. On my behalf, you're to find the great sinner who humiliated the Confinement King's favorite princess」
「How is that possible?」
I don't know why Yui-chan was so forward in her questioning.
「The method is simple. I will give you four a whip. And until all the great criminals come forward, you will use that whip to beat any “pig” you like at least a hundred times every day. If you don't strike them at least a hundred times, you will be dismissed from your position as inspectors. Then, you'll go back as a “pig”」
「Nonsense, you want me to whip the members!」
「Arara, are you afraid they'll hate you? Don't worry. You will be treated as my direct subordinates. If they disobey you, the pigs will all be punished together. Oh right, you will also be given a room for each of you, as good as a hotel suite, clothes, and luxurious meals. Let's just say that if you successfully find all four of them, you could go back to your home.......」
「What? Are you dissatisfied? It can't be helped. Then you should be on the receiving end. In return, that's right...... you」
「What's your name?」
「......Shima, Natsumi Shima」
Shima-senpai looked confused when she was asked her name.
「Then, you're okay. Or do you want to refuse, to save face like that inflexible girl there?」
Shima-senpai glanced at captain.
「I'll do it, I'll do it」
Shima-senpai nodded with a serious face.
「Okay. Then you four follow me. From today on, you will feed the other pigs two meals a day. We can't let them die of starvation, it would be too easy」
We followed the princess out of the room. And as we left the room, I glanced back and saw all the members of the club staring at us with condemning eyes.
When we left the room, the princess looked back into the room and said.
「Oh, yes, all of you must be punished for your disobedience. Lili-chan, please <paralyze> them」
Suddenly, everyone, who was in the room began to convulse and jump as if they had been struck by lightning.