Sunday, 26 April 2015
Chapter two (segment eleven), twenty four years earlier, May, Principal Nakagawa
After the problematic Hamarugen had left his office Principal Nakagawa nodded to the young woman in the door opening. She went for a chair by the wall, grabbed it and sat down across him.
Young people today. No manners.
“Suzuki-san, what on earth did you think you were doing?”
“Things didn't happen the way I planned. I'm sorry.” She moved her hair away from her face with her fingers. “I was busy filming. Never expected him to assault her.”
“You could have interfered.”
“Oh?” she said. “And blown my cover?” She pouted.
That was the problem, Nakagawa admitted silently to himself. He inclined his head slightly in approval of her course of actions.
“No, I need you where you are. We haven't flushed out their plant yet.”
Suzuki grimaced. “I don't like it myself. Forgot how mean high schoolers can be.”
“Forgot? Can't have been that long. How old are you really?”
“21 in October. University is different.”
“I'm sorry about that. We'll make sure you won't suffer for skipping a year.”
“What about the two arrivals? I guess that's why you called me here.”
Nakagawa grinned. A very improper grin for an old principal, he knew. “You're called here to receive punishment for bad behaviour. You'll be suspended for a week, along with the other idiots.”
“Why only one week? I thought we'd have the police crawling all over the place by now.”
“Because we need to look like a rotten and corrupt school that prefers protecting its good name rather than protecting its pupils.”
“That's cold. And the real reason?”
Good girl. You know you're only acting out a role. It's not you who's being punished. “I want you to speed things up with the formation of a club. We need an existing one to go defunct.”
“Why do you help him that much? He can make the arrangements himself.” She was sulking visibly now.
Nakagawa smiled. Officially an adult, she was still a young girl after all. “He's not only off by three decades. He's a foreigner as well. Absolutely no clue about how we do things here.”
“He could have studied us.” She was still sulking.
“You know,” Nakagawa began, “there's a difference between studying and learning. He grew up elsewhere. He became an adult elsewhere. He made a family elsewhere, and when he was about to crown his career he got caught in transition. This is a restart for him.”
“But he still has the advantage of experience.” Suzuki let her fingers flutter over her lips.
Going cute on me won't change my mind. “Experience from elsewhere. When you're older you'll understand.” Nakagawa mentally congratulated himself for not having said 'when you grow up'.
“What about the Ageruman girl?” Suzuki tried to change the subject.
“She'll be fine. We managed to keep her away from Red Rose. Hamarugen is the more important player, though.” He's a mover, but Red Rose. What horrid luck! We need him on our side.
“Anyway, I guess I should thank him for handling the situation after I lost control,” Suzuki said. She must have understood that he didn't intend to allow the conversation to veer away from Hamarugen.
“You should, but you won't.”
“I know, I know. I'm supposed to be one of his enemies.” By now she had ceased her childish games at seduction.
Nakagawa smiled again. Not your enemy. He's far too old for that. As far as he's concerned you're a problem that has been defused. “I hadn't expected him to be so violent,” he said instead. “But that was probably only to be expected.”
“Last year's incident?”
“Yes. Damn that Moltke.”
“European history. Look it up. Should be instructive.”
“I planned to set him up for a minor offence, and then the other side upped the ante with that attempted rape. They must hate the Wakayamas real bad.”
Suzuki looked at him.
He had told her what role the Wakayama family had played earlier, so she should be aware that the assault on Wakayama Noriko wasn't merely a coincidence.
Suzuki looked like she was still trying to understand where Moltke fit into the situation. Then she apparently came to a conclusion. “Still, the results were what you had planned anyway. He transferred here.”
Nakagawa nodded. “But not the way I planned.” He had to tell her the bad news now. “At the moment the other faction has gained the upper hand,” Nakagawa continued. “I just told Hamarugen I'm getting ousted. Well not in those terms, but I think he understood.”
“I'm retiring in a year. Not voluntarily. Bad thing is they'll be in control of the school. Good thing is we'll know about one of their major players.”
He remembered something and dug up the bill he had pocketed earlier. It made company with the other ten, and after giving it some thought he added five thousand yen of his own.
“This school. Always this school. What makes it that important?” Suzuki looked at him when he stacked the money.
“The arrivals. We place them here,” Nakagawa said and put the money in an envelope. He put in the safe behind him.
“But? Oh. I see.” She looked at the safe.
“Perceptive. From college and onwards they're dispersed again.”
“Arrivals. You make it sound there are a lot of them. And what's with that money?”
“The kid believed I'd make him pay for the damage he did.” Nakagawa sighed. “Anyway, you're right, but there are enough. Or used to be. Apart from those two the youngest is 25, and he's a local. From 30 and up there are over three dozen though. Enough to fight over.”
“I didn't know there were that many?” She still looked at the safe. “But you still took his money?”
“It might come in handy one day.” That bribe wouldn't fly anyway. He'll never tell anyone, so it'll be our private secret.
“You'll understand.” If I had given him time to think he'd have seen though my act.
Suzuki nodded and faced him again.
“As for the number of arrivals. Now you know. They're important to us. And to the other world as well.”