Sister Princess Saturday Report! No. 22 – Thievery

“Ah ha ha!” The Beautiful Mysterious Thief Clover shouted from up on high. “You’ll never catch me!”

Wataru stared up at Clover — who was obviously Yotsuba; I’m baffled as to why she went through the charade — with a confused look on his face. Who is this girl? he thought. That disguise is unbelievable! Of course she barely went through the trouble of disguising herself, but when has being presented with the obvious ever stopped Wataru from being confused? He truly is a fool’s fool, but that is neither here nor there, I suppose.

“What do you want?” Wataru shouted.

“Want?” Clover said. “I want nothing! I simply am! Ha ha ha!”

“Um, I’m not really sure what that means,” Wataru said.

“Well, that’s just too bad,” Clover said. “If you don’t catch me, then my reign of terror on Promised Island shall continue into infinity!” Clover cackled once more, swished her cape in front of her and scampered away.

Wataru did not know, but Clover’s reign of terror had already begun, though I would hesitate to label it as terrifying since the results were so satisfying. I’m not certain what had caused this to happen, but Yotsuba was in the throes of madness. She woke up in the middle of the night, threw on the garb of a thief, sneaked into Aria’s room and slit her throat. I’m sure you can imagine the tear rolling down my cheek as I relay this information; she was, after all, so very important to this sordid tale. Aria was already dead by the time the rest of the Sisters found her. Though they were aware that not all of them were necessary to resurrect the Sister Princess, it was still worrying to see one of their own murdered, even if it was an annoying whelp like Aria.

“Who could have done this?” Sakuya asked.

“Wait, there’s something on her chest,” Karen said.

The Sisters all peered at Aria’s chest — resting in the middle was a four-leaf clover.

“That’s one of Yotsuba’s clovers!” Mamoru said.

“Indeed,” Chikage said. “It appears that we have our killer.”

“But why?” Karen asked. “Yotsuba is as dedicated to resurrecting the Sister Princess as any of us. Why would she kill one of her own?”

Why, indeed? We could go through some roundabout plot trying to find the reason why Yotsuba fell into madness, or I could save us all a lot of time and simply tell you everything, Dear Reader. You would appreciate that, wouldn’t you? I know I have much better things to do at the moment.

Anyway, Yotsuba became gravely concerned after the events of the preceding chapters. Kaho had been assassinated, and the mystery had not been solved to a satisfactory degree. And now Rinrin was also dead — and it appeared that she had been plotting against the Sister Princess. If one of their own were actively conspiring against the deity they were supposed to be resurrecting, then what was the point of trying to bring her back to life at all?

All this caused an off page existential crisis for Yotsuba. If the Sister Princess were all-powerful, then she should be able to resurrect herself, yes? Why did she need blood to be spilled in her name? And why couldn’t she protect Yotsuba’s sisters? Was anything so important that it required the blood of her beloved sisters to be spilled? But . . . from the day she was born, Yotsuba had been taught that the most important thing in life was to bring the Sister Princess back into this world. A conflict. The lives of her Sisters, or the life of her goddess? How could Yotsuba resolve this?

The answer, of course, was to have her brain snap and to go on a rampage. Yotsuba cared about her sisters, but the command to resurrect the Sister Princess went deep into her soul — anything that got in the way had to be eliminated, and Yotsuba’s affection for her sisters was most decidedly getting in the way. Her subconscious took over, and it was then that she sneaked into Aria’s room and murdered her. And then the Sisters gathered and figured out that Yotsuba had done the deed. And then I started explaining why it was that Yotsuba killed Aria. And here we are.

See, wasn’t that much less painful than it would have been if I had let this story unfold in an organic way?

While the Sisters were ruminating on the how and why of murder, Wataru had decided to follow this mysterious fellow to her hideaway. The hideout was not far away; indeed, Clover — or Yotsuba, I’m actually not sure which name I should use at this juncture — had set up shop in a small shack within a small forest near the mansion. She ran straight for the shack, opened the door, ran inside and slammed the door shut. Wataru stood in front of the shack. The gears in his mind turned slowly. He looked at the door handle. Those were usually used to help open doors, yes? The little man inside Wataru’s mind nodded, and a determined look materialized on Wataru’s face. He reached toward the door and opened it.

Wataru found Yotsuba — or Clover — hunched over on the ground, stabbing wildly with a bloody knife. She was screaming incoherently, and tears streamed down her face, moistening the mask she wore over her eyes. She plunged the knife into the ground one final time and looked up at Wataru.

“You’ve found me!” Yotsuba said. “You must be a master hunter!”

“Yes, I used all the clues available to me to track you down,” Wataru said. “The game is up . . . uh . . . you know, I don’t think you ever told me your name.”

“I am . . .” Yotsuba said, standing up. “The Mysterious Beautiful Thief Clover! And you . . .”

Yotsuba suddenly sprang forward and grasped Wataru from behind, holding her knife to his neck.

“. . . are at the end of your rope.”

“But that’s a knife,” Wataru pointed out.

“You know what I mean,” Yotsuba said. “Not that it will matter much in your case. You are finished!”

“No, it’s you who are finished!” Sakuya said, appearing at the front of the shack with the other Sisters. She pointed a gun at Yotsuba’s head. Yotsuba looked at each Sister in turn and then settled on the gun. She pushed the knife ever so slightly more against Wataru’s neck.

“And who’s going to stop me?” Yotsuba asked. “You?”

“I will if I have to,” Sakuya said. She gripped the gun tighter. “Why are you doing this?!”

“Because I am me!” Yotsuba said.

“I’m still not sure what that– eep!” Yotsuba pushed the knife against Wataru as hard as she could without actually cutting his neck a severe amount.

“. . . If that’s how you want it,” Sakuya said. “Then I have no choice.”

Sakuya squeezed the trigger, and the bullet struck Yotsuba square in the forehead. A stream of blood sprayed out as she fell backward and hit the floor, still gripping the knife. Sakuya closed her eyes and grimaced, close to tears.

“I . . . what . . . what’s happening?” Wataru asked.

Later that evening, Wataru received an email from his friend, Akio, with whom he had been corresponding since he set foot on the island. I may have mentioned this once or twice, or I may have not. Honestly, I cannot remember such a trifling detail, but it hardly matters now. After such a trying day, Wataru needed to retreat to the safe glow of the Internet and find something comforting.

“Akio . . . you’re coming here to see me!”

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