Miyoko no Naku Koro ni
Betrayal Chapter (2nd Arc)
Episode 8: Fumie
“Good, you’re awake,” Miyo said to Fumie early in the morning, before breakfast. “There’s a new escape plan. It’s better if Sayuri doesn’t know until it’s time. But I need one other person who understands the plan and can help me.”
“I’m listening,” Fumie stated. Her eyes were red from crying.
“We’ve been given the duty of burying Eriko’s body in the woods behind the property. It’ll be right after breakfast. Only Hosoda will be there supervising the 3 of us. And the best part is, we’ll have weapons. Shovels. They’re small, just right for us. Plus these.” Miyo passed a small but keen-bladed pocketknife to Fumie. “Ebina-san left these for us. As we’re digging, when the time is right, we’ll attack Hosoda, and then escape into the woods. I think Hosoda is the one who actually killed Eriko. Let’s make sure to kill him.”
Miyo stood up and put her own pocketknife in the pocket of her loose off-white pants. She looked distinctly ready and willing to kill Hosoda. But Fumie grabbed the younger girl’s wrist and stopped her from going to wake up Sayuri. There was a glint of something serious, something unpleasant, in Fumi-san’s dark grey eyes.
“There is another Hanakotoba meaning for the hydrangea flower,” she said. “It’s the same as the meaning for Hozuki, winter cherries. It means betrayal and deception.”
It took a moment for that to sink in. But then it all made sense. Fumie was the traitor. On the same day as the flower-pressing activity, the black-haired girl had been called away to meet with Ebina. She wouldn’t say what it was about. Eriko had already disclosed the escape plan to her by then. So Fumie must have told Ebina. Was Ebina not on her side, Miyo wondered, after all? Was she involved in Eriko’s death? And why, oh why did Fumie tell Ebina?
“Why did you betray us?” Miyo asked, her voice deeper than usual, her face grim.
“Would you even believe me if I tried to explain?” Fumie smiled bitterly and blinked away the tears from her eyes. “Ebina-san and I had been planning for an escape for a long time. Then suddenly, Sayuri and Eriko had their own plan, and I knew the time wasn’t right, and it wouldn’t work out. I consulted Ebina-san and she said the same. But she swore to me she wouldn’t disclose this plan to any other staff members, so long as I got the birdcage key back from Sayuri and called off the escape plan.”
“Then why did Eriko die?” Miyo demanded angrily. “She was murdered! Who did it?!”
“I don’t know,” Fumie said with a light sigh. “I don’t know who’s behind the whole thing. Maybe it was Kashima, maybe it was Ebina, or maybe it was even the headmistress who planned things out. But I think the one who actually killed Eriko was Hosoda, just like you said. Let’s put that aside for now.” Fumie took a breath and went on, “I’m down for your escape plan. It should be possible with knives and shovels.”
“How do I know I can trust you?” Miyo asked with a scowl.
“You can’t know,” replied Fumie simply. “We’re running out of time. There’s no way I can think of to prove myself to you. Maybe it’s better to distrust me. You may not believe a single other thing I say, but this at least is true. I love Sayuri. I would do anything to make sure she escapes. Sayu-chan is fragile, so if at all possible, I want to escape with her. I’ll make sure she gets free no matter how many lies I have to tell or despicable things I have to do.”
“Well.” Miyo looked down, thinking. Her expression softened a little. “I guess we’re united in wanting to escape and hating Hosoda, at least. It seems l can expect that much of you.”
Fumie nodded. “Let’s do this, Miyo.”
Hosoda cursed and cursed some more as he led the three girls with their little shovels out the gate at the back of the property. They proceeded into the woods and walked until Hosoda said it was a good spot. Then he yelled at them to get to work. Miyo, Fumie, and Sayuri figured they’d start digging at first, anyway, and wait for a chance to catch Hosoda by surprise.
Digging was very hard work. Hosoda didn’t help at all, but sat on his ass a foot or two away, cursing now and then. Miyo shot wary glances at him and at her fellow girls at she worked. Fumie looked serious and determined. Sayuri looked ready to cry as she thought about what they were doing. Indeed, before too long, she started crying for real.
“Eri-san!” she sobbed. “Why did Eri-san have to die? Why does she have to buried in some hole in the woods? You people are trying to hide what you did to her! Eri-san! I need you!”
“Shut the fuck up!” roared Hosoda.
He came closer to her in order to yell and curse in her face, waving his fist around and threatening to hit her. Fumie stepped between them, at the same time giving a quick nod to Miyo, who knew what to do. While Hosoda was preoccupied with yelling at the other two girls and threatening to beat them, Miyo snuck up behind him. She knew exactly what she wanted to do, but she could only hope for Fumie to back her up.
Unlocking her pocketknife, the brave girl charged right in, just as Hosoda was about to punch Fumie. She slashed at the back of each of his legs, aiming to cut the tendons above the heels and make Hosoda fall. Miyo’s heart thundered, and it felt like she was watching herself from a distance as she cut him, and blood ran down into his shoes. Hosoda shouted in pain and stumbled forward, but seemed like he would catch himself. But as the man was doubled over, Fumie took a breath and then hit him in the head with her shovel. She had struck as hard as she could, jumping forward so she had momentum and weight.
Hosoda fell down onto his back, groaning.
“Now!” Miyo screamed. “Everyone, run!”
Fumie took Sayuri’s hand and turned to start running, but Hosoda wasn’t all the way knocked out. He sat up and immediately saw them escaping. Miyo was standing just behind him, panting and grasping her shovel. She realized that Hosoda was about to get up and sprint after the girls. He’d catch them right away. He might lose his cool and kill them. As they ran, Fumie and Sayuri didn’t look back; they didn’t plan to help anymore.
Had Miyo been betrayed again? Even if she had, it didn’t matter. She made the decision right then to let them run and make sure Hosoda didn’t catch them. Brandishing her little shovel, Miyo let out a battle cry and tried to strike Hosoda’s head. But the man stood up at the same moment, and Miyo’s shovel only hit him in the lower back. It wasn’t anywhere near strong enough a strike to knock him over again.
Hosoda turned around to face the girl who just whacked at his back. His face was even uglier than usual, filled with rage. A little bit of blood also ran down his face from the large bump on the side of his head created by Fumie’s assault. Miyo froze when she saw it. Then her heartrate skyrocketed, and suddenly, she was shaking too much to even move.
“You little bitch!” Hosoda growled at her. “I’ll fucking kill you!”
To be Continued