Three days later, in the afternoon, Yama Arashi came to me in a flustered state and announced that the moment had arrived. He said he was ready to put our plan into action, so I immediately offered my services as a co-conspirator. However, he told me with a tilt of his head that I should hold off. I asked why, and he asked me in response if the principal had called for my resignation. I said no and asked in turn about his situation. Today, in the principal's office he'd been told that, while it was truly unfortunate, circumstances were such that he must bring the matter to closure.
"What kind of justice is that? Tanuki must have drummed his belly so long that he's inverted his stomach. The two of us went to the victory celebration together, watched the Kōchi blade dancers together, and ran over together to quell the brawl. If he needs resignations, then he should act impartially and demand two. Why do rural schools struggle so with rational thought? Nothing but aggravation."
"Red Shirt is pulling the strings. He and I have already butted heads, and there isn't room for both of us here. On the other hand, he thinks he can handle you."
"And Red Shirt and I are to co-exist here? He flatters himself if he thinks he can handle me."
"He believes you're naïve, and he thinks he can manipulate you."
"Worse yet. I won't even give him the chance."
"Koga has already departed, and it seems the arrival of his successor was delayed due to mishap. If they do away with both of us at once, they'll be severely shorthanded and unable to fill out the class schedule."
"So my role is to serve as their joining peg. Damn them! Who do they think they're fooling?"