Written by: Pomelote
On with the show!
Nogiku comes to, bound and gagged, in a cell-like room, the purpose of which is pretty obvious. At least it’s not as gut-wrenchingly awful as Sukeyo’s cellar, I guess. See, she even has a bookcase!
As she wonders, “Where am I?”, a voice greets her. "Hey. Don't get scared." It's Habuta, coming into the room from an off-screen kitchenette. "It's not like there's any particular desire to 'take your life'."* Nogiku glares at him.
"Well, I dare say your confusion is understandable. That mug of yours practically screams 'Explain what happened!' …There's nothing else for it, I guess."
He puts down a coffee and a packet of peanuts and sits down, de-shelling the nuts and eating them as he explains. "If I go through it from the start, the spark was those words. I heard it from Kasane, the phrasing you used to encourage her: 'Even if your past and your sins don't go away, you should still be able to walk on. Let's walk to hell together.' ...Was that it?"
"It's something I'd heard from Kasane's father. Those were cherished words. To the young me, they were morbid, and they weren't forgotten. Well, thanks to them, Kasane/Saki made a big recovery. ...However..."
"Is it normal, even to encourage someone, to quote lines from a man you hated enough to kill?" Nogiku continutes glowering at him.
"And most importantly, there's the 'even if your past and your sins don't go away' part. Kaidou (Atae) knew his wife's past and sins, so he used those words." There's a brief flashback of Izana and Atae together.
"Now, as for you, you thought that those lines might be effective as the solution to Kasane's worries. …That is to say... you knew that her sin was 'putting Tanzawa Nina to death'. If that's the case, it's an odd story. But after all, that was all that was known to me. I meant to give it some consideration. So putting that aside, HOW did you know the sin?" (that is, know that there was a sin)
“I thought about it, and it hit me. Right from the start, it was just like you were waiting for Nina’s death. You turned up with far too convenient timing.” Photo-negative flashback of Nogiku at the beach.
“What the meaning of these facts were… I went for confirmation at once.” A flashback to Habuta suddenly telling Kasane he has to go somewhere, after Kasane told him what Nogiku said.
A quiet-looking house. "To Tanzawa Nina's mother, living in a villa far from the city, for 'isolated recuperation'," Habuta narrates. “Excuse me, um, for suddenly imposing on you…” he says, and Tsugumi replies "No... the weather's nice today, so... I'm feeling pretty comfortable." You can practically see the medication oozing out of her eyes.
It flashes forward slightly to Habuta giving her a small bag. “Here, these are the things we spoke about on the phone. It was quite some time ago, but your daughter left these personal belongings in her dressing room." Inside is a glove and what looks like some business cards. "Like you’d expect, they won’t be any use as clues to her whereabouts, but…” Habuta trails off. “No, it’s fine… thank you so much.” Tsugumi says, starting to cry over the glove.
Habuta awkwardly looks away at various places in the room. “Anyway, it’s a nice place you have here, but it’s a little lonely.”
He narrates, “There were no TVs or radios or newspapers or anything in sight. My guess is that to not remind her of Nina, she was being deliberately kept away from news.”
“At a time like this, it’d be a good idea to talk to more people.” Habuta suggests.
“Nobody listens to what I have to say.” “Nobody? What about your husband?” “…” Tsugumi pointedly doesn't reply.
Habuta corrects himself. “No, but… there can’t be nobody, there has to be at least one person.” Habuta, come on, you helped ruin her life in the first place, don’t play therapist now. At the very least, I'm pretty sure that's a professional conflict of interest.
Tsugumi seems to consider it. “… … Now that you mention it, before you came here to the villa, there was just one person. A girl who enthusiastically listened to me talk. For some reason I haven’t been able to get in touch with her, but I wonder how she is…”
The story comes back to the present. “Nogiku-chan… Nina’s mother moved to the villa after Nina died. The time period you were in contact with her and the time period Nina died in… and on top of that, the timing of your offer of co-operation with Kasane… these coincidences reveal the truth. Nina… You ki-” He's cut off by a clunk and the sound of a door creaking open.
Kasane walks into the room. Habuta gets up to greet her, “Hey, Saki. Thanks for-", but she walks straight past him and ungags Nogiku. She hugs her and says, “You’re my little sister. Right?” Nogiku doesn't say anything, but she does get misty-eyed.
Kasane whispers in her ear, “Nogiku. You… killed Nina?”
Nogiku looks penitent and haltingly answers, “… … Nina… because it was what she wanted…”
Kasane shoves her backwards.
I don't know, this seems like a perfectly healthy, functional sibling relationship to me.
Then she slaps Nogiku square in the face, ka-pow. Habuta, watching, looks creepily jubilant at this.
Nogiku hits the floor and worm-wriggles away, crying "N-no! Don't come any closer!" as Kasane looms over her. Habuta narrates, "That's right. With this, it's fine. Nogiku’s planning, Nogiku’s scrupulousness, everything… turned out to be the sustenance to complete Saki.”
I also can't help but notice that the set-up of the cell looks pretty elaborate, especially if Habuta and Kasane have only known about Nogiku's plans for a few weeks. My guess is that they've had it prepared since the very beginning of Kasane and Nogiku's arrangement, just waiting for an excuse to use it. I hope that gets brought up.
*Disclaimer: take this line with a grain of salt, my translation might be completely botched (even more so than usual).
PomelotePomelote is the physical embodiment of first-world millenial entitlement. You can contact her on Skype with the name suukebind or Twitter at @poorlicoricekid, if you know any good spam bots. When she has free time, she enjoys putting gross, chewed gum in people's freezers and using their floss without asking.