A staff meeting had been called for the afternoon to discuss the punishment of those boarding students who had disrespected me some nights ago. This was my first meeting ever, so I had no idea as to the protocol, but I expected that the staff would assemble, each would say his piece, and the principal would in some manner craft a consensus. A consensus is required when the black and white of a situation is unclear. In a case like this, where it was obvious to anyone who the wrongdoers were, meeting was a waste of time. However one might construe the facts, there should be no room for dissenting opinion. The principal should promptly handle things in such a clear-cut case as this. If perpetual indecision is the hallmark of a principal then I'm not impressed. 'Principal' is just a synonym for vacillating dullard.
The meeting place was a narrow room next to the principal's office that normally served as our lunch room. Twenty chairs upholstered in black leather were arranged around a long table, reminding one of a Western-style restaurant in Kanda. The principal sat at the head of the table with Red Shirt at his side. The rest of the seats were unassigned, but it was said that the physical education teacher always took the end seat as a show of modesty. I had no experience with meeting protocol, so I seated myself between the natural history and classics teachers. Yama Arashi and Noda were seated across the table from me. Noda really did sport an inferior face. Yama Arashi's face, even after a quarrel, was far more refined. At my father's funeral at the Yōgenji temple in Kobinata, there was a painting in the parlor with a similar face. I learned from the priest that it was a creature called Idaten. Yama Arashi was angry today, so he was rolling his eyes and occasionally glaring in my direction. Determined not to be intimidated, I shot back with an equally menacing stare. My eyes aren't well formed, but they're superior in size to the average person's. Kiyo even told me that I would make a good actor on account of my large eyes.