“Translator: Goma/Editor: TheNix”
I simply wanted to avoid the situation whereby Ms. Yukihime would snatch the Nanana Collection from me before I can ascertain what kind of power it had.
「…..So that is the whole story. 」
「I see. 」
After hearing my explanation, Nanana (who was eating the fluffy pudding) seemed like she understood.
For some reason, she applauded me…… Hey? What’s going on? Nanana is in front of me, and she is holding the pudding and spoon in her hands. She shouldn’t be able to clap. Then who was clapping?
I turned around, and could not help but open my mouth in surprise.
D’arc was clapping with an expression of admiration on his face. Beside him was Tensai as of course. She looked surprised as well.
She started laughing like always.
Then, she punched my shoulders. She seemed overjoyed.
「Wow amazing, Jūgo! Of course you go to such lengths, you are my rival after all! 」
「Erm… sorry for interrupting when you seem so happy, but why are you here? 」
「I came to eat dinner. 」
「No, not that. I thought I had locked my door. 」
「Actually I had thought that it would be quite inconvenient to keep on asking you to open the door. Hence I secretly made another key. 」
「You really do whatever you want without regard, huh?! 」
Of course, I immediately took the key from her.
After this, we ate in room 202. Eating together had become such a normalized event already.
However, this time D’arc and Tensai had cooked the meal. I somehow imagined D’arc to be good at cooking, but I did not expect Tensai to be good at cooking as well.
「Here, eat this Katsu Don [1. TL Note: Typical Japanese dish that Japanese police give criminals to eat while interrogating them.]. 」
Hey, there isn’t any Katsu Don.
She interrogated me while we ate the meal.
「So anyways, your theory this time was half true and half wrong. I did not leak the information to Ms. Yukihime. That is why I really did think that Ms. Yukihime didn’t steal the item. But in the end, the thieves were the two ((Matsuri)) members. After that, your theory was almost correct. Your theory about how somebody had already obtained the Nanana Collection beforehand was correct as well. 」
「But I could not figure out that it was you. I see, the reason why you requested to sleep alone was in preparation to go to the ((Ruin)) alone? 」
「Don’t say that……well it’s true though. If I was in the same room as president Yuiga and Mr. Tsurezure, I had thought that they would find out when I sneaked off somewhere. 」
「I had thought you did so in order to meet with the other two ((Matsuri)) members. 」
Tensai talked while munching on the Nikujaga [2. TL Note: Nikujaga is a Japanese dish of meat, potatoes, and onion stewed in sweetened soy sauce and mirin, sometimes with ito-konnyaku and vegetables.].
「You tend to think too much. You would assume this because you keep on expecting me to do bad things, you know. In the end, the reason why you lost was because you thought I would definitely do something bad. As I said before, I don’t do bad things. 」
「You betrayed us. 」
She pointed this out.
「No, that was because I was being cautious of Ms. Yukihime…… And oh yeah, it turns out the president and the others tried to betray us as well. So all is fair and square you know. 」
「You can only say this with the benefit of hindsight. Before Mr. Yuiga and the others betrayed us, you had already finished everything. In the end, you had fooled all of us. You can’t deny that. 」
I did not like how she phrased it. But what she said was true.
「Don’t make such a face, Jūgo. I am praising you, you know? I love how underhanded you are. 」
「I don’t feel happy about that. 」
I really believe this from the bottom of my heart.
「Then? Are you going to talk about this to Mr. Yuiga and the others? 」
「Erm, you know…… 」
If I told them, Ms. Ibara would most probably beat me up.
「Well, sure. I lost this time. I don’t intend to complain whatsoever. Don’t worry, I don’t intend to tell Mr. Yuiga and the others either. That is why you should keep it a secret. No, you must keep it a secret, alright? That would make you the bad guy in this tale. 」
Hey. I am who I am, but this girl is really underhanded as well.
「Your sole purpose of hanging out with me is for me to do bad things while you’re there, huh? 」
「Then I shall ask you this; what do you want from me? 」
Erm, yeah but……
「Erm……I don’t mind you being like this, but. 」
「Then there isn’t a problem, right? I like how things work like this as well. 」
Don’t smile so happily like that, great detective.
Hey you assistant, stop pouting while biting your chopsticks. How rude.
After finishing our meal, I saw Tensai and D’arc off.
「I didn’t expect that, you know? 」
「Expect what? 」
「That you believed that that woman, Yukihime would not steal the Nanana Collection from you. 」
I was a little surprised.
「I do think it would be natural, of course, to betray, steal, and trick each other in obtaining the Nanana Collection. 」
「Jūgo, you should agree. In fact, you are a part of that as well. 」
「……That is correct. 」
「However, even if you have been able to fool others, you did not expect Yukihime to fool you as well. Even though you were wary that they might snatch your target before you obtain it, you did not imagine them trying to steal the treasure after you obtained it. 」
「Why is that so? 」
Even if she asked, I did not intend to reply. I tried to play it off just saying「I wonder. 」
Seeing this, Tensai put her hand to her chin, and said, 「Hm. 」
「It seems that you aren’t on great terms with the ((Matsuri)). 」
Leaving that comment out there, Tensai and D’arc left the room and said,「Good night. 」
After Tensai left, Nanana turned on the TV and watched a comedy show while eating the limited pudding.
Meanwhile I rolled on the bed and spun the Nanana Collection on my finger, while starting at the ceiling.
I was thinking about what happened.
I had thought something was off when I met Ms. Yukihime at the inn. Why did she appear when we were about to go to the ((Ruin))?
I had been cautious. This is why I obtained the Nanana Collection beforehand.
Since Ms. Yukihime and her partner had tried to steal the Nanana Collection from the Adventure Club, what I did was correct.
But that was the result, and the problem was with what happened in the process.
How did Ms. Yukihime and her partner figure out that the Adventure Club was going to the hot spring town?
Mr. Shū popped in my mind.
When I had met him coincidentally, I had talked with him.
Upon reflecting on that moment, most likely he had noticed from my vague reply to his question, 「Is there any new information? 」
That the Adventure Club has some new information.
There is a possibility that they monitored our actions after that. Then, perhaps they had found out that we were going to the hot springs over the weekend.
If this was so, I could understand why Ms. Yukihime suddenly decided to stay at the inn, and why Shū decided to disguise himself as an inn attendant.
Then the part about how I coincidentally met Shū was suspicious.
Was it really coincidental? In the first place, can such coincidence happen? I had been relieved at how I found somebody I knew in that dangerous town.
Can such coincidence really happen?
Why can’t I think of it this way?
I was already targeted by Shū. Then he met me at the best possible moment when I was worried in the Tsukuyomi town and tried to obtain information from me while I was careless.
When did he start stalking me? Surely, he had already started when I had accepted that secret part-time job. However, there were only three women in the tram I was in.
All the more, why can I be sure that Shū was not there?
Shū Todomatsu became an expert of disguise at such a young age, that he even has the second name ((Hundred Faces)).
If he was one of them?
Then everything would make sense.
Then, why did Shū stalk me?
Because he was instructed to.
The first face that popped into my mind was not my dad, but Ms. Yukihime.