「Ugh...... Ugh...... Sob......」
Tears spilled down on my face.
I dragged the whip in my hand and went back to my room, crying.
When I opened the door, I found Yui-chan sitting on the bed.
Perhaps she had just finished bathing, but she was wearing only a bath towel wrapped around her. Her ringlets wet hair looked heavy, as if she hadn't even towel dried it properly.
「You're late, aren't you~?」
It certainly took a long time. Because it's been more than two hours since Yui-chan left “The Menagerie” first.
It can't be helped.
I'm not the kind of person who can whip someone without hesitation like Yui-chan.
「So, what are you crying about~? Is it because you couldn't whip those pigs~?」
I shook my head.
I hit them.
I whipped them and they came back.
Immediately, I walked right through the door. I sat there, slumped on the red carpet.
「Sob, uuuu...... Sob, Sniff, Sob.......」
I can't stop crying. I can't breathe. My emotions are out of control.
This emotion can be named guilt or accomplishment, whatever I want to call it, but what is this emotion that is swirling around inside my heart? What is this black, yet proud feeling?
Yui-chan makes a dumbfounded face and asks me.
「What happened after that?」
After that...... after Yui-chan finished her hundred whippings and left “The Menagerie” ahead of me.
I remembered it in order.
◇ ◇ ◇
「I'm going to take a bath~. The smell of pigs is unpleasant, after all~. Freesia-sama, is that okay~?」
「Yes, of course」
As Yui-chan walked out of the room with her thick-soled boots thumping, the tearful voice of Amemiya-senpai and the caring voice of the captain were overpowered by a flood of curses directed at Yui-chan.
There were some who were abnormally jealous of the word “bath” but most of them criticized her for her actions in beating up Amemiya-senpai and for the way she talked to her.
It is true that Yui-chan's attitude is not a compliment, and her attitude towards Shima-senpai is almost like blaming her. The unreasonable violence against Amemiya-senpai must have seemed like an unforgivable outrage to those who were struck down.
However, as soon as the girls finished digesting what had just happened in front of their eyes, they would immediately go back to the events of days, weeks, and months before, putting a tail between their legs and turning Yui-chan into a bad person with no good qualities.
This is what scares me when girls get together.
The way their negative sympathy grew as they piled up the words, “I understand” could only be described as ugly.
But that's why I can't help but shudder at the thought that I'm about to whip everyone into shape and be subjected to such malice.
（I can't...... do this, I can't)
The moment I spill such a weakness in my heart, a black cord suddenly flutters through the air in the corner of my vision.
The sound of the wind slashing. A crisp sound of a strike. In addition, a short scream echoed, 「Kya! A short scream rang out.
When I turned my head to look, I saw that Takasago-senpai was whipping the first-years who were crouched at her feet without showing any color change.
「It hurts! It hurts!」
「No, stop, it hurts!」
The senior carefully rotates the whip between the seven first-year students, striking them with each blow.
It was a much more relaxed blow than Yui-chan's. At first glance, I could tell. It was clear that Takasago-senpai was only hitting to meet her quota.
「That idiot ...... told me yesterday not to cut corners so much」
Shima-senpai exhaled a sigh diagonally behind me.
In the end, Takasago-senpai finished beating the juniors silently in just a few minutes, and quickly went back to her room.
「Moribe-chan. I'll take care of her later......」
Then, when Shima-senpai nodded loudly as if getting into the spirit, she turned to the club members and shouted loudly.
「Don't get me wrong. I and Miss Bowel had a little argument before. Apart from that, I'm not saying that Miss Bowel method is wrong」
A small murmur escaped from the second-year students.
「Our goal is not to beat everyone up. But to find the four idiots who caused us to become like this. But I don't think they'd come out if we told them to. That's right. I know they're going to give us a hard time. That's why......」
Shima-senpai looked around at everyone and said.
「We have to whip them up. We have to beat them up so badly that they might as well come forward」
Then, she stopped her gaze at the lone second-year student.
She has a shoulder-length hair, straight face and a face with a scowl that she is frequently be ng asked why she is angry, even though she doesn't mean to be.
「But even if we don't beat them, if everyone voluntarily finds the four idiots, we won't have to beat them...... Do you know what I mean?」
I heard a lot of gulping sounds, Shima-senpai walked up to Shiratori senior.
「That's why... We can't just wait around for the rest of the day. For now, we're going to hit the ones we think are suspicious」
「I thought you were looking at me strangely, but it's ...... me, isn't it?」
「Shiratori. You have to answer my question. It's not the other way around. Do you know the third year Mai Fujiwara......?」
「......The one who was humiliated, right?」
「I'm telling you, no questions asked!」
Shima-senpai swung the whip down on the thigh of Shiratori-senpai with a crisp.
Shiratori-senpai raised her eyebrows. However, she doesn't seem to be frightened at all.
「How is it? Do you know her? Tell me honestly! If you don't know, you're going to take at least ten more shots」
「Yes, I know. I know. My friend's brother is a good friend of her...... and I heard she's really rich」
「Wow, that black gal must be rich. I guess appearances can be deceiving......」
「So, Shirasaki-chan, who is greedy of money, didn't you ever think of hitting on that rich girl?」
「Greedy of money.... what kind of accusation is that?」
「Shut up! Just answer the question!」
「I'm not thinking about it. I only know her from what my friends tell me」
「Who's your friend? Are any of them here?」
「There are none...... Kizuna Tachioka is a freshman. It just that Sato, a freshman, who was in the same class and she started playing with her」
「Oh, Sato, huh......」
When Shima-senpai made eye contact with her, Sato-san bounced.
「I-I have nothing to do with this!」
「Shut up. Shiratori, Sato, Konparu, Adachi, the four of you line up there」
This time, it was the Konparu-senpai and Adachi-senpai who bounced.
「I've already been beaten by Miss Bowl! Isn't that unreasonable?」
「I don't accept your questions. Get your ass in line!」
With that, Shima-senpai wielded the whip as if to drive them away.
In the first place, Shima-senpai said that she would beat the second-year students from the beginning. That's why she targeted the three second-year students, including Amemiya-senpai, plus the first-year student Sato-san, whose name was mentioned.
「Alright. You guys turn your asses to me. Answer honestly, okay? Do any of you have a problem with this Mai Fujiwara? If so, come forward!」
There was no one to reply.
「I'm not lying!」
At that moment, Shima-senpai swung the whip down on Shiratori-senpai's ass and there was a tremendous sound.
Captain Tashiro was the one who tried to lean forward. But as she whipped the floor right beside her, Shima-senpai spoke quietly.
「Hatsu-chan, can you please keep a low profile? I don't want to beat you up like I did with Kayama」
In the end, the four of them and Shima-senpai shouted at each other, “I'm not lying”, “Don't lie” and finished the hundred lashes.
And, none of the four of them came forward.
All four of them had swollen asses. Just looking at them was painful.
I wondered if I should exclude these four from the list of candidates for the Great Sinner, since they had endured to the end.
However, I feel that they would be able to endure this much if they were to be mutilated.
「Shirasaki...... you understand what I'm saying, right? If everyone would just find those four people, we wouldn't have to whip all of you」
「After beating up so many people...... you are selfish」
When Shiratori-senpai said and glared at her, Shima-senpai waved her hand and went out into the hallway.
After seeing off Shima-senpai's back, I took a breath and realized that I was the only one left.
（I'm the only one left!?)
What was I doing in a daze?
I realized that I was the only inquisitor in the room.
If I look around, I can see Amemiya-senpai's eyes turning red. and the menacing gaze of Shiratori-senpai is painful. The only thing that can save me is the worried gaze of the captain, but the rest of the gazes are all painful.
（W-w-w-w-what should I do?)
When I hurriedly turned to the first-year students stared at me as if to say, “Oh? Are you going to do it?”.
Scary. Too scary.
「Ah, Moribe, don't tell me you're going to whip us up for being Moribe?」
「Don't do it, Saori-chi, don't push yourself. Look, you're shaking」
Saito-san and Kishiro-san laughed out loud as they said this.
「Moribe, we're friends. We're the ones who pace you when you're running, aren't we?」
「Look, Saori, if you want to stay friends with us.......」
Omuta-san and Koike-san walked up to me from the right side.
「In the first place, it's impossible for Moribe to do that」
「If you wield a whip, you're bound to blow yourself up, so give it to me」
Hotta-san and Mako-san peeked at me from the left side.
I can't take it anymore. I want to run away.
If their hands weren't tied behind their backs, they'd have snatched the whip by now.
「Stay away from me.......」
I retreated helplessly.
I can't do it, I can't do it anymore, should I just run away? Or should I just give up and fall into a pig? Wouldn't that be easier?
As soon as I started to think about this, the first-year students who had been approaching me turned to look behind me and said, “Huh!?” and they all backed away at once.
The next moment, someone gently grabbed my shoulder. I was about to turn around in a panic when I heard a whisper in my ear.
It was the voice of a silver-haired maid.
「Moribe-sama, there's no need to be frightened. You are now a faithful servant of the Confinement King-sama. The Confinement King-sama will not allow anyone to harm you. Please use the whip with all your might」
「But, but ......」
「I am with you. Anyone who harms you will be punished by me in the name of the Confinement King-sama」
「Don't worry. Believe in the name of the Confinement King-sama......」
To be honest, I was more scared of the silver haired maid than the first years.
I was no longer torn.
I raised my whip and swung it down without aiming.
I barely remember the first blow. I remember hitting Koike-san's chest.
After that, I can barely remember anything else.
「You've passed the hundred mark. Do you still want to continue?」
I was selflessly wielding the whip until I came to my senses when the silver-haired maid called out to me.
I don't remember who I hit or how hard.
The next thing I knew, I found myself staring at a group of red, worm-swollen first-year students with terrified eyes.
The silver-haired maid also had several worm blisters on her forehead, but she pretended not to notice.
「I'm done ...... for today」
When I told her that, the silver-haired maid said politely, “Thank you for your hard work”.
Then she turned to the club members and continued.
「Then, Moribe-sama, once you leave the room, the pigs will be penalized」
The silver-haired maid shrugged her shoulders in disgust as Captain Tashiro stood up with a shocked expression.
「It's you. You are the one who's fault. I told you so, but you interfered with Kayama-sama's execution by protecting the bitch there」
Immediately, there were shouts of condemnation against the captain.
「Captain! You! You should just leave Amemiya alone!」
「Why do you care about her!」
「That chattering thing again? I'm sick of it......」
I don't want to hear any more.
So after listening to the ugly argument, I covered my ears and ran out of the room.
◇ ◇ ◇
At the end of my story, Yui-chan smiled and took my hand in hers.
「The moment you whipped them, you thought it felt good, didn't you?」
I stiffened involuntarily.
I thought it.
The first stroke, the one that struck Koike-san's chest, sent shivers down my spine, like a jolt of electricity.
When I nodded off, unable to say anything, Yui-chan whispered in my ear.
「I would like to serve the Confinement King-sama....... Why don't we ask Masaki-sama together?」