Now that I think about it calmly, there’s no need to run.
Immediately after seeing Mariwa, I wanted to jump out of my chair and run away right then and there. But I’m a clear-headed person. I regained my composure in no time.
I was surprised when Mariwa suddenly appeared, but her words spurred me to perform my role as the villainess.
That was before I accepted my Destiny.
She gave me her advice, and that was when I decided to do what I must.
That’s why the cold sweat dripping down my face is nothing more and nothing less than conditional reflex. My face became pale merely because I was completely unprepared to see Mariwa. That’s all there is. I’m not panicking, and of course there is no reason for me to fear her presence.
I’m definitely not running away. I’m no longer the child who’s always running away from Mariwa.
I’m a villainess. Having taken the side of Destiny, I should no longer fear Mariwa.
I remain calm, straightening my back and correcting my sitting posture, in case a certain someone would complain to me later. I’m listening to her speech now.
“Thank you for your kind introduction. I am Mariwa Toinette. Having graduated from this Academy, I am very honored to be invited back to this historical school.”
She introduces herself with a stiff face.
I suppose she has to maintain appearances, but she’s really shameless in her flattery.
Mariwa is the type of person who hates honor and glory. Unlike me, it’s somewhat obvious that she has an antipathy to authority.
What she seeks is something more pragmatic.
What’s Surfania’s motive for calling Mariwa here? Obviously it’s mere harassment toward me. She must have thought that I would go pale if Mariwa came here. I have no doubt that she’s happily and proactively doing anything that would annoy me.
Leaving that aside, the important thing is Mariwa’s motives.
“Even among the various educational institutions, this Academy has admitted many students whom the future rests upon. Henceforth, no matter how society may operate, it will be each and every one of you who will shape the future of this country. Being even slightly involved in this process holds great meaning to me.”
So this is her true feelings.
I can tell that this is genuine compared to what she said earlier. I’m listening for her true intentions.
There’s no way Mariwa would come here just because Surfania asked her to. There must be something that provides an obvious benefit to her, something that she has deemed worthy of her time.
Surfania, or perhaps Leon, must have told her that that something was here.
“I shall have the honor of setting the debate topic. Of course, each class will have a different topic. I shall announce the topic for the first group. Please debate and explain your stance on ‘fatalism’.”
I have a hunch.
She came here to do this, to confirm my thoughts on the matter.
“Although this topic has often been discussed in philosophy, I hear that only the most outstanding students are attending this debate. It is only natural that they have sufficient insight to discuss this.”
Whether she’s doing it on purpose or not, it sounds like she’s trying to incite me. Leaving that aside, I sense her intentions, and feel relieved at the same time.
If she’s here to confirm my position on fate, then there’s no need to worry at all. I haven’t wavered one bit since then.
“My role here is to be the judge for this debate, but it is not my wish to judge merely on the debate I have presented. All of these presented topics are propositions of my own as well. I pray that my own doubts will be resolved through your debates. Now then.”
She finishes her introductions and gets off the stage. There’s only a moment of break time before the debate begins in earnest.
The first debate group is me and Michelie.
I sigh in relief while going up to the podium.
I didn’t need to run away after all.
I have the answers that Mariwa seeks.
The fact that she’s here with this objective and timing may be due to the corrective power of Destiny. Even one such as Mariwa shouldn’t be able to figure out the course of Destiny. She was probably led here unconsciously in order to rectify the errors in Michelie’s story.
Destiny is the future that none can change or escape from.
If Mariwa is here as an observer and is on the side of Destiny, then all the more reassuring her presence is.
On the other hand, I can’t help but think.
I’m biting my lips.
This feeling is due to my attachment and immaturity, which have prevented me from fulfilling my role in my Destiny. It’s growing beyond my control.
If she is in fact Destiny’s pawn… If her role was simply to impart her knowledge to me, to pound it into me with her fists, and to gently give me her hand in assistance at times, then…
I feel utterly helpless.