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In the break room, several off-duty guards were chatting, including Kenbishi Masato the main character. Guard A complained that their paycheck is late again. In fact, they have never been paid ontime ever since the Mrs. Suzumiya took over after her husband died. The florescent light has been bad, but there's no money to replace it either. The main character tried to appease them, saying the money is just late, it's not like they are getting a decrease in salary. Guard A responded that, since they probably won't be getting the money anytime soon anyways, he'd rather sleep with Mrs. Suzumiya a few times and get less money later. Guard B laughed and said, "sure, then there'd be more money for me!"
Just then, the alarm clock went off, signaling a change of shifts. However, Guards A and B didn't get up at all. Guard A commented that since they aren't getting money, there's no reason to expect them to work hard, and besides, all the prisoners at this prison are very well-behaved anyways, so Masato can take care of things by himself.
Masato went to the sewing workshop to relief Guard C and Yoshinokawa Sayuri. When Sayuri realized Guards A and B slacked off, she was angry with their attitudes. While Masato said he can handle the prisoners alone, Sayuri said it's against regulations for only one guard to work during the shift, and offered to stay.
Just then, a quarrel started among the prisoners. Because Kagaya Touko wasn't good with her task, Prisoner A got irrated with her, and scolded her. The scolding, however, only frightened Touko and make her furthur more inefficient. As Masato was going to take care of the situation, he was stopped by Kurashiki Mizuki. Mizuki asked if she could take care of the situation as a fellow prisoner, and allow the prisoners certain degree of self-governence. Afterall, she argued, some stuff are best resolved quietly without getting officials involved. She also revealed that she knew about the prison's lack of funds and people quitting.
|Masato personally handle it||Let Mizuki take care of it|
|Masato told Prisoner A that this isn't an assembly line operation, so Touko's issue doesn't affect her. Prisoner A complained that Touko is within her eyesight and it bothers her. In the end, Masato asked if any prisoner could help by switching seats, and Nemuro Reika offered to switch with Prisoner A.||Mizuki asked Nemuro Reika to help Touko. Masato worried that Reika's past record of violence would just cause more problems. However, it turns out that Reika's mere presence was enough to deter the other prisoners into behaving, and the unreest was resolved.
When Masato returned to the guard's area, Sayuri worried the implications of giving certain prisoners a sense of authority. Masato said it's not going to be a precedent and that it'll be a case-by-case basis in the future, and besides, the prison guards were really understaffed.
After his shift was over, Masato went to Mitsuko's office to discuss Mizuki's suggestion of self-governence. He saw Guard A coming out, and on Mitsuko's desk was a letter of resignation. Masato and Mizuki ended up discussing the present state of the prison. Mizuki apologized for not being able to run the prison well and pay the guards, causing many of them to quit. In the end, the talk became so depressing Masato didn't bring up the issue of Mizuki, deciding that'd give him an excuse to pay another visit the office later.
When Masato went home, he was restless, and he knew why. It was because he saw Mizuki crying. The only other times he had seen her cry were at her husband Kazuo's funeral; and once more way back when she rejected him, apologizing because she was already in love with Kazuo. Then Masato started reminiscing about the old days, how Mizuki and Kazuo changed his ways and helped directed him on the right path, even offering him a job as a prison guard when the likes of him are rather more likely to belong in jail instead. Then Masato's memories fastforwarded to one year ago, when Kazuo was extremely ill and knew he didn't have much longer to live, and asked Masato to take care of Mitsuko, to support her, to not let her cry.
After taking care of his sexual tensions while fantasizing about Mitsuko, Masato wondered if there is any way to help with the prison's situation. How can the Suzumiya Prison make more money? What resources does it have?