Chapter 6: Part 4
“I think… everyone must have seen this side of Aikawa-kun… he jokes around… and pulls you to your feet… he is a nice person…”
“Do you really think that you can turn this trial in your favor with just that story? Don’t be absurd.”
Sera shook her head in slight disbelief.
“There were plenty of points in that story when he was clearly sexually harassing someone!” Orito raised his own objection.
“Yeah! Don’t try to screw with us!” Haruna’s ahoge jumped from side to side.
“Eh? … Umm…”
Hiramatsu seemed at a loss when she saw that things weren’t going as she had expected.
“But… I guess that’s better than expected coming from Aikawa. I’m pleasantly surprised.”
Oh, juror Mihara seemed to be revising her opinion of me! Yuu also nodded. Maybe now I can actually get acquitted?
Let us proceed to the judgment.
A commotion rose through the jury as each juror readied what looked like two cards.
“Those who vote guilty please raise your red placard. Those who vote innocent please raise your blue placard.”
Yuu: blue. Innocent.
Anderson-kun: blue. Innocent.
Mihara: red. Guilty.
Hiramatsu: blue. Innocent.
At this point, it seemed my acquittal was guaranteed. I pat my chest in relief. But… why did Sera still not look worried in the least? She glanced to the side, and following her gaze… I saw that Orito had not yet raised his placard.
“Well then… I’d like to speak to all the girls here.” Orito had a serious look in his eyes as he pushed up his glasses with his index finger.
“Certainly, it is true that Aikawa has continued to sexually harass people. However, that is only from a girl’s perspective; it seems to me that sexual harassment was never his intention.”
Ohh, good job Orito! Keep going!
“I can also understand how you might want to make a pass at a girl who you like.”
Anderson-kun also backed me up. I spread my arms out to try and put the finishing touches on this.
“Yes! All of that… it’s nothing but an expression of my love!”
When I answered with that, Orito raised up a red placard. Huh? Wasn’t he supporting me just a second ago?
“As proof of that… other than that time he kissed me… I’ve never seen Aikawa being kind to me! That kiss was filled with more love than Aikawa has ever shown me before!”
This guy was seriously disgusting. A bolt of lightning seemed to run through the A/V room at his words.
“This does not seem to be about sexual harassment anymore…”
Sera said that through a sigh.
“Uwaah… so it doesn’t matter if it’s a guy or a girl.”
Mihara mumbled that. Eh? No, that’s completely not it. Wait, I didn’t like where this was going…
I had to change the subject.
“Oh, right, that Hyakunin Isshu story reminded me. I have to talk with you, Anderson-kun.”
“Don’t tell me… a confession?!”
Anderson-kun flushed red as he yelled out in shock.
“H-He’s a pervert! As expected, he’s a huge pervert!”
Haruna raised a ruckus while Orito sat back and let out a satisfied chuckle.
That bastard did me in… he had made everyone think I was gay.
This wasn’t good. All I had wanted to do was to ask Anderson-kun about the strongest person from the Underworld…
“It seems… we’ll need another trial at a later date.”
Sera’s cold eyes pierced me like daggers.
“No, I just wanted to ask Anderson-kun to introduce me to someone…”
“Uh, sorry Aikawa… I don’t think I know many people… like that…”
“I’m not asking you to introduce me to someone like HG!”
“Your Honor, we request a judgment on Aikawa Ayumu Hard Gay here.” (1)
“No! You’re getting it all wrong! Listen to what I’m saying!”
You have the right to remain silent.
I didn’t want to hear anything anymore. This was just breaking my heart. You’ve got it wrong, Yuu… stop looking at me like that.
At that point, even Anderson-kun changed his judgment from blue to red.
Tomonori couldn’t say anything in my defense anymore either.
That bastard Orito… he had turned the situation against me. Now he was sitting there with that disgusting smile on his face. Dammit, this was a rigged trial from the beginning, wasn’t it? And Sera had looked so calm the entire time because she knew this was coming. This final, deadly attack.
Bang bang. Haruna hit her desk with vigor.
“Enough! No more yelling!”
“That’s what she said last night.”
I tried to crack a joke in order to lighten the mood.
“Uwah! More sexual harassment!”
Mihara seemed taken aback and raised her red placard even further into the air. (2)
Crap. I probably should’ve been a bit more careful with what I said.
“The accused is hereby declared to be gross! Therefore he is guilty!”
Wow, that was frank.
“And his punishment?”
“He must perform an interpretive dance in front of Akihabara Station!”
That’s no better than a death sentence!
“Sounds like a punishment we could use for an anime ending.”
“Who would want to see that?! Seriously, give me a break! Just give me a break this once!”
“Your desperation is quite disgusting.”
“Seriously, I’ll do anything else! Just not that…”
“Hmm… what else do we have around here then?”
“Well… we have a pot of water that just boiled over, a pair of glasses, and…”
What were they planning to do with those things? Hey, come on, tell me…
“We also have a Japanese katana.”
They seriously were dead set on the death penalty, weren’t they?!
“Okay, so looks like we’re down to three options. We cut open his stomach, we burn out his eyes by using the glasses as a focusing lens, or we pour boiling water over him.”
For a zombie like me, the stomach option was probably the easiest, but I really wanted to avoid revealing to all my classmates that I was a zombie.
“Okay… the boiling water then.”
“Done! Ayumu is sentenced to having boiling water poured over his head!”
“For how many seconds?”
“Well, if you search the record this time for words like ‘boobs’ and ‘breasts’ and ‘nipples,’ then you’ll get 55 hits. So let’s do it for 55 minutes.”
“That’s just torture! Worse than torture! I don’t think the pot is that big either!”
“I thought things might end this way, so I already did the prep work! Everyone, onwards to the next room!”
Haruna seemed really excited now and took everyone into the neighboring room. I saw a single chair in that room, and after sitting down in that chair I noticed a balloon thing above my head. There was a cord or something attached to the balloon.
“So, you cut this cord here, and then the balloon breaks open and the boiling water comes down.”
I see. That’s what they were going to use the Japanese katana for.
“Who wants to cut the cord?”
At Sera’s words, everyone in the room raised their hands together.
“Maybe Yuu or Hiramatsu should do it?”
“I can’t either…”
“What about me? Hey, what about me? After all, I’m his wife, so I should be the one to punish him for the bad things he’s done!”
“It’s not like I really think of you as my wife… seriously, just let Hiramatsu or Yuu do it…”
“Uwah, he seriously only cares about guys, doesn’t he?”
Mihara and Orito began to mumble to each other while giving me a scornful look.
“Okay, fine, let my wife or whatever do it then! But let Hiramatsu do it with her!”
“… Eh… but…”
“Please, Hiramatsu. Just do this for me. Tomonori is an idiot, so I’d be nervous if she did it alone.”
“Eh? So this means Hiramatsu is also your wife?”
“Yeah, let’s go with that. They’re both my brides!”
Ugh, crap. I was already just so resigned to this situation that I was just saying whatever random thing came to mind. Sera and Yuu probably knew that I was speaking before thinking, but…
“Umm… I… I don’t…”
Hiramatsu used her hands to cover her flushed cheeks. Had she taken my words seriously?
“It’s fine, it’s fine! Let’s do it together, Hiramatsu!”
Tomonori seemed super excited about doling out this punishment and ended up dragging an apologetic-looking Hiramatsu by the hand to where I was sitting. Hiramatsu picked up the Japanese katana. It was probably the first time she’s held something like that. Her pale hands were trembling.
“This… it feels almost like a marriage ceremony.”
“Is that… so…?”
Hiramatsu’s hands continued to tremble, but Tomonori gently put her own hands over Hiramatsu’s.
“You’ll be fine. I’m here for you, okay?”
“Hey, Tomonori, shouldn’t you be saying that to me? Hiramatsu, go for it. You’re the one who has to do this.”
If any of my usual crowd did this, they’d probably add lots of “fun,” unpleasant extras to the punishment. So if someone had to do it, I’d prefer Hiramatsu…
“Aikawa-kun… I don’t really understand but… understood.”
Hiramatsu stopped trembling. She gave me a serious look and gripped the Japanese katana tightly.
I rested my hands atop my knees. I sat in this room that was empty except for that balloon and this chair, and I quietly awaited my fate with my eyes shut, like a daimyo who had just been told he was to have his belly sliced open.
I will accept it. The reality that I’m guilty of sexual harassment… and this punishment.
“Cut the cake, now!” (3)
Together with that announcement (which honestly would’ve sounded more appropriate at a wedding ceremony), Tomonori and Hiramatsu swung the Japanese katana down.
H-H-Hooooooottttt!!! Scalding water poured onto me, water that was sixty-three times hotter than I had imagined.
Ice! I need ice! It’s like how in variety shows they always have some ice ready offstage! Someone bring me that ice!
I writhed in pain, and all the while, Sera continued looking down at me with an expression of glee.
“We now declare this case to be settled!”
Who are you supposed to be, some Edo-era town magistrate? I wanted to shout that at Haruna as she gave me a harsh look with her ahoge standing straight up.
I glared at Orito, who was still looking very smug. If he hadn’t been here, I would’ve made it out of this unscathed. Sera looked at me and also let out a sigh, seeing that everything had finally come to an end.
“My my… let us move to the next item on the docket then.”
Next item, she said…? I looked around and noticed that I wasn’t the only person who seemed a bit confused.
“The defendant is that piece of trash with the glasses!”
“Eh? Ehhhhh? Nobody told me about this!”
Haruna pointed at Orito with a smile on her face and her ahoge jumping from side to side. In response, Orito let out a “nobody told me about this!” that would’ve put the Dachou Club comedy trio to shame. (4)
“It seems you thought this was only about Ayumu and let your guard down too much.”
Anderson-kun chuckled. Did the jurors know this was going to happen?
“Ugh… that’s… no…”
Orito hung his head, completely depressed.
What goes around comes around. Orito might’ve caused me a lot of pain today, but now an equal amount of pain awaited him.
“Nyahahaha! Serves you right!”
Haruna put her hands on her hips and gave Orito a self-satisfied smirk.
She really did seem like she was having fun. Having fun at other people’s expense that is.
“Haruna. After we deal with this trash it’s your turn, okay?”
“Eh?” Haruna blinked twice after hearing Sera’s words.
After this, Haruna will be put on trial for being selfish.
“Eh? Seriously?” Haruna looked twice at Yuu’s memo.
“Okay! I’ll be the judge for that one!”
I stood right up off my chair, even as steam continued to rise from my head. Haruna probably understood now more than anybody else how difficult it’d be for her to walk away with an innocent verdict from this trial.
She glanced at the window. Sera, Yuu, and I all immediately knew what she was thinking.
“Don’t let her get away!” Right when I shouted, Haruna and Sera both made a mad dash for the window.
Sera was a ninja though, so Haruna had no hopes of beating her in speed. Before she could even get a hand on the windowsill, Sera had caught her.
“Get off! Get. Off. Of. Me. Now!”
“Your desperation will not bear fruit here, Haruna.”
We should hold Haruna’s trial first.
“You’re right. She might try to run again.”
“Stop screwing with me! Stop it!”
“Master, don’t worry! I’ll be your lawyer!”
“No! Get Yukinori away from me! Stop, shocker! (5) I’ll kill you!”
As Haruna raised a big ruckus, she was dragged by four people back to the A/V room.
I calmly donned the black judge’s robes and sat on the judge’s platform.
“Now then… would the accused, Haruna, please enter the courtroom?”
Bang bang. I took the hammer, feeling refreshed, and banged it twice on the makeshift red ink seal in front of me.
(1) HG (from the previous line) is short for Razor Ramon Hard Gay, the stage name of Masaki Sumitani, a Japanese comedian and retired wrestler.
(2) It says in the novel that she changed her vote from blue to red, but this must be a mistake by the author since she originally had voted red in the first place.
(3) There’s a pun here, since “keiki” means “prison term” but also can be the word for cake.
(4) The line “Nobody told me about this!” is one of their most famous gags.
(5) A reference to Kamen Rider, and also possibly a parody of Kamen Rider by the Tunnels (a Japanese comedy group).