Seven wonders overtime – Part 7
“Right, of the Seven Wonders, we only have one left.”
You shouldn’t be saying it with such a reluctant tone, though.
Koizumi fluttered through the printouts as he spoke.
“There are some major categories of school supernatural stories that we haven’t taken up yet, like skeleton samples dancing, the Music Room’s portrait of Bach making different funny faces, the Art Room’s Mona Lisa yawning, a basketball bouncing in an empty gymnasium. There are also stories of being pulled on the leg by some entity while swimming in the pool at night, stories of warashi1 that appear in the school, and so on.”
A dancing skeleton would overlap with the story of the anatomical dummy, while the portraits in special classrooms that have different expressions depending on the viewing angle can just be explained with trompe-l’œil2. An invisible or chameleon man dribbling a basketball lacks impact, while a demon hiding in a freshwater pool is bound to be a kappa3 and can thus be easily bought over with cucumbers. Also, if you want a warashi, we have one right here in this room.
“How about this, then?”
Koizumi continued with a heavy expression as he skimmed through the last page of Miss Mystery Society’s report.
“No one knows of the Seventh Wonder. If any person gains knowledge of it, they will suddenly go missing.”
You thought of that just because it’s troublesome to come up with the Seventh Wonder, right? Choosing the first six Wonders at our own discretion was quite difficult, so it’s only natural that we’re in this situation.
“If no one knows, don’t you think that someone would somehow try to learn about it?”
The person applicable for that statement is, of course, Haruhi.
“If it’s just to that extent,” Koizumi remarked, “Then Suzumiya-san’s reality-warping effect would become almost insignificant. In any case, compared to an action of creating something that did not previously exist, the action of finding something that should exist is an absolutely different vector. You could say it’s like the difference between heaven and earth.”
Is it that much different?
“Think about it. Compared to creating something from nothing, finding a lost item has much less impact on the world, correct?”
The only beings capable of the former are gods and scam artists, I suppose. Anyway, I can’t help noticing that this story is tinged with a feeling that the International Ruins Excavation Summer Camp might actually become reality.
“Well, I am worried that we might receive a bad outcome if we don’t give Suzumiya-san a mystery and leave her some room for imagination.”
It’s certainly hard to please her. For some reason, it displeases me to the extreme that I have come to understand that feeling too. If you were led by that Brigade Chief, who is like a personification of insolence, for more than a year, you would also gain the ability to predict her mood, like it or not.
As a result of me and Koizumi putting our heads together, we managed to complete the last of the Seven Wonders.
The Seventh Wonder of the Seven Wonders is unknown, and cannot be known. That is the mystery of the Seventh Wonder.
“Do you think that it is, in a sense, too short?”
It should be enough for Haruhi. The state of not being known by anyone is the core, as well as the necessary condition for the Wonder. If it is known, then it ceases to be mysterious, and the Seven Wonders collapses. For the Seven Wonders to remain as the Seven Wonders, that Wonder must definitely not be known by anyone.
“That’s Russell’s Paradox4, isn’t it? If that’s the case, it should be possible for us to use it to persuade even Suzumiya-san.”
I’m not sure what’s the link between your premise and conclusion, but I’m fine with it if you’re satisfied. Send my thanks to Russell for me.
“The only thing left is to make a clean copy of this on a laptop, print it out and present it in a fitting format.”
Koizumi massaged his neck as he placed the rough draft, which he had written using a mechanical pencil over two sheets of A4 paper, onto the table.
At that moment, Nagato, who had finished reading without us noticing, picked up the notes. Pulling up one of the personal computers offloaded onto us by the Computer Society, she began her ultra-high speed typing.
I don’t think it even took her one minute.
A few seconds after Nagato tapped the Enter key, an inkjet printer enshrined at the side of the club room was activated, and started printing.
I’d thought that she was focused on reading, but it was a great help that she was properly listening to our conversation. Well, multitasking like this is Nagato’s forte, after all.
That was a far cry from Asahina-san, who had fully nodded off to dreamland. Then again, if the situation called for us to ask for her assistance, it would definitely be an ominous one, so it’s fine this way. Having Asahina-san clad in her maid outfit and performing her maid duties in the club room was a barometer for world peace.
Announcing its completion of the print job, the printer went into cooldown mode. Taking a sideward glance to see Koizumi giving his thanks to Nagato, I stood up to collect the printouts spat out by the printer.
Title: North Prefectural High School’s Seven Wonders, selected in SOS Club Room, End of May
Items regarding the title are written as follows.
- Enigma of the Ninomiya Kinjirō Statue
- Mystery of the Music Room
- Secret of the Staircase
- Strange Mirror in the Hallway
I’ve omitted the rest of the document, but the SOS Brigade’s (excluding Haruhi) version of the school’s Seven Wonders, formed from the discussion between me and Koizumi, with one point of advice from Nagato and Asahina-san, was printed without excess or deficiency. It was like a report released by some company, but it was meant for only one person.
Koizumi had been glancing at his phone intermittently for a while now, but probably having finished checking whatever it was, he stored the phone in his uniform pocket and met my gaze with one eye closed.
Right after I heard light footsteps that seemed to be approaching Mach speed, the door opened with such a force that I thought it would snap off its hinges. And then—
“Everyone listen up! I have good news!”
With a smile that would make the Sun God seem dim even at exactly noontime, our Brigade Chief, Haruhi Suzumiya made her entrance.
Just by looking at that face, I felt that the room had become 0.5 °C hotter.
- Spirit-like beings that take the form of children (related to Zashiki-warashi).
- An art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions.
- An amphibious demon typically depicted as green human-like beings with webbed feet and a turtle-like carapace on its back. Folk beliefs claim the cucumber as their traditional favorite meal.
- This refers to the paradox that arises when you consider a set of all sets that are not members of themselves. If you didn’t understand that, here’s an example, the Barber Paradox: Let the barber be defined as “the person who shaves all and only those who do not shave themselves”. There is a contradiction if you consider the problem of whether the barber shaves himself, because 1. If the barber shaves himself, he ceases to be the barber by definition, and 2. If the barber does not shave himself, he fits into the group that needs to be shaved by the barber, so the barber does shave himself.