Part 32: Chapter 2 Daily Life, Part 5
When I opened the door to the library and looked inside...I cried out in sudden surprise.
Of all the things I'd imagined, this most definitely wasn't one of them...
: Hey, uh...what are you doing?
: I'm fishing. What does it look like I'm doing? I'm trying to read. So if you could be quiet...
: Oh...sorry. Wait, no--! What are you doing here? Everyone's super worried! We've all been looking for you!
: Who asked you to do that?
: B-Because...we're all supposed to meet up in the morning and eat together. We made a promise!
: A promise...? *Sigh* Can't I get a second's peace and quiet around here?
Byakuya snapped his book shut, and slowly stood up, smooth and silent as a shadow. Meanwhile, the others must have heard me yell and started showing up, one after another.
: Byakuya! So this is where you've been hiding!
: The heck are you doin' here, man?
: We were very concerned...
: Well you had no reason to be. I was just reading. I've never read such a...coarse novel before, but it might just prove useful at some point.
: Wh-What were you reading?
: A mystery novel.
: W-Wait, so are you gonna use what you're learning in there to betray us!?
: Don't be stupid.
: It's just something to keep in mind.
: If I decide to fight, of course I'll come up with something original. Otherwise, this game of ours will be totally boring, right? It's not often you get to take part in such a high-stakes, high-tension activity. So if you're going to do it, you have to make sure it's entertaining. Mhmhmhm...
His words sent a chill down my spine. There was an undeniable smile on his face as he spoke. He looked like he was actually enjoying himself. Enjoying this deranged "killing game"...
: What the fuck do you mean, "game"!? That's fucked up!
: But it *is* a game. It's a game of life or death, which can have only one winner. That's all there is to it.
: He is right. It's a zero-sum game.
: It is a part of game theory, a mathematical model. In game theory, what we are going through now is called a "zero-sum game." In this type of game, in order for one person to gain something, another must necessarily lose something. In other words, it is a situation in which participants must compete for position or resources.
: You mean like...a kind of elimination match.
: Entrance exams, sports tournaments, job openings--most social interactions fall into this category. Everyone must scramble to obtain something which is limited. For you to succeed, someone else must fail. This also applies to the school life we have been subjected to here. In this case...
: ...our "limited resource" is that only one of us can successfully become the blackened.
: So, this game was designed from the beginning to force one of us to try and defeat all the others.
: Th-That...that can't be what they had in mind!
: This is why adaptation is so crucial. If those who want to escape were to disappear, there would be no reason to continue playing the game.
: But why would I want to stop playing? It's so much fun...
He smiled again as he spoke. The smile was filled with evil intent. It twisted his face into something not human...
: It sounds as if you do not acknowledge even the possibility that you may lose, am I right?
: Of course.
: You do not speak like the others. Exactly what I would expect from the Togami heir apparent.
: ...It's just normal arrogance, isn't it?
: You talk like that, but what if you end up dead!?
: I won't. It simply isn't possible.
: Who the fuck do you think you are!?
: You know, I still just can't believe it...
: Believe what!?
: That an uneducated, brain-dead, useless piece of garbage like you has survived this long.
: I'm gonna fuckin' kill you!
: Like I said. I won't die.
: You keep saying that, but--
: Do not bother arguing with him. For him, the concept of losing simply does not exist. He is the Ultimate Affluent Progeny, after all--a boy raised to succeed from the day he was born. He considers victory his destiny, and has lived his life accordingly. Tests and challenges are merely ways for him to stand victorious. Even if it is a life-and-death situation.
: Is that not so, Byakuya?
: At least one of you seems to understand.
: It is because I am the same as you. Games are meant to be won.
: Are you trying to suggest we're on the same level? Close that vulgar mouth of yours.
: Well, well. I do apologize.
: Anyway, let me just say this to all of you. You all need to try harder. If an opponent isn't going to give it their best, where's the fun for me?
: Th-That's a terrible way to look at it...
: This...isn't a game. Our lives are on the line, you know... To kill your own friends is...is...
: It's horrific!
: Friends? Who decided that?
: We're not friends. No, quite the opposite. We're in competition--we're enemies.
: B-But...you know...
: But what? Stop trying to force your contradictions on me and just accept what I'm telling you.
: Yes? If you have something to say, say it. Otherwise, keep your mouth closed.
: I-I'm sorry...
: Hey, shithead! You get off on bullying people that can't fight back? You wanna try that on me!?
: So, you're back to pretending to be friends, huh? And how long do you think that's going to last?
: Fuck you!
: Is that all you can say?
: It's unfortunate you would waste your breath on such empty gibberish.
: That's it! You're fuckin' dead!
: H-Hold on! Just calm down!
: I AM calm!
: How is *this* "calm"!?
: Anyway...I don't have any intention of working with the rest of you any longer. To cooperate during an elimination game is... Well, frankly, it's a waste of time. And I hate wasting my time.
: Waste of time?
: Engaging in "friendly" group meals is out of the question. Someone could easily poison our food. And I'd rather not become part of the Last Supper just yet.
: Quit talking like you're in a fuckin' movie or something!
: All I'm saying is that, ultimately, you are all free to do whatever you want on your own. Goodbye. *leaves*
Without a second glance back, Byakuya left. There wasn't anything we could do to keep him from going. His way of thinking was just beyond anything the rest of us could even comprehend.
: Was he serious about all that...?
: He was, without a doubt.
: Well fuck him, then.
: B-But what he said... He might not n-necessarily be wrong... I mean, can you s-say for sure someone *won't* poison our f-food?
: Hey, come on! You too, Toko!?
: Well, it's n-not like anyone would care even if I w-was gone, right...?
: Actually I bet you all *w-want* me gone! You all think I'm d-disgusting!
: None of us think that...
: You j-just *think* you don't think that!
: I know some people like to play the victim, but this is just...totally out there.
: You think I d-don't know, but I do... You want me g-gone!
: And I'm s-sure...the rest of you want the same th-thing, don't you! *runs off*
: Ah, hey! Toko, wait!
: Just let her go. Once she gets going like that, there is nothing you can say to bring her back.
♪ Music fades out. ♪
Ultimately, our breakfast meeting came to an end without answering any questions. Everyone headed back to their rooms.
: Jeez, I'm tired already... But I don't have time to take even one day off! I need to get myself going.
: Next time, a couple Free Time visits.