Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
【Episode 2】Murder and Gift: Part A (4)
The plan of the floor had a lot of places circled with red color, and there were even red exclamation marks, as if they were trying to point our attention towards important points. It looked more or less like this:
1. Back door: the school entrance known to pretty much everyone. Only place to sneak into the school during the night hours!
2. Entrance: clock tower entrance. The doors are made of a bulletproof metal!
3. Librarian Committee’s Office: the lounge for Librarian Committees’ members. Could the giant clock’s face plate be hiding some kind of secret…?
4. Clock tower management room: The actual scene of the murder!
5. Bathroom: indecent erotic event happened here! ＼(^o^)／ (No event CG included)
「Hmm, nope, I’m good.」
How can I put this delicately…? These descriptions were written in such an over-the-top manner that it was hard to believe they were written by Shiki herself. And don’t even get me started on that number ⑤! Seriously, why was she so gung-ho about that particular happening? And she even adorned the note about with some weird emoji I have never seen before!
「Shiki-san’s text messages are very entertaining to read! She’s always using a lot of emoji’s, and even uses an ascii art, can you believe it?! How cute is that?!」
So it was actually an ascii art, huh? Now that I had a closer look, the margins of the page were littered with examples of emoji’s and ascii art so elaborate that you probably wouldn’t find them on the internet, even if you went looking all the way to its last page.
「Very cute, right?」
Now that was kind of unexpected. It might have not been quite on Fujisato’s level where she’d go and yell 「OMGDASSOCUTE!」 whenever she so something legitimately adorable, but I guess that hidden deep down under the guise of her weird antics was a perfectly normal girl who liked cute things. Putting those thinking aside, thanks to that note, we had a much better grasp at understanding what the heck happened on that fateful night. Holding them tightly in our hands, we descended from Shiinamachi-senpai’s room all the way down to the Librarian Committee’s office.
「By the way senpai, I’ve been meaning to ask this earlier, but are you feeling okay? You’re not nauseous or anemic, are you? After all, there was so much blood when you were stabbed…」
「I feel fine, but I appreciate that you’re concerned about my health. You really are too kind, Jiro-kun.」
Somewhat embarrassed, senpai smiled at me. This smile was the smile that soothed my heart and soul every time I saw it during the librarian committee meetings.
Every time I was reminded that a pure and sweet being like her met her end in such a vicious way, I couldn’t help it but to clench my fists in anger. If not for the fact that she was a Nightkin, this precious smile of hers would’ve been lost forever, and I also would meet my fate the very same night. After all, immortality is not something that belongs to this world. People die when they are killed, that is how it’s supposed to be.
So I guess we can say that two miracles did occur that night, and I couldn’t be more thankful for it. Oh, and there’s also a matter of Shiki using senpai’s bathroom at her usual time. If, by some bizarre twist of fate she would have decided to use the bathroom earlier, she would’ve probably lost her life too.
「By the way, Shiki, may I inquire as to why are you using senpai’s bathroom? Surely you have your own at home.」
Now that I calmed down, I could ask Shiki another question.
「Shiki-san’s so busy with her research in the computer laboratory’ caretaker’s room that she has practically no time to return home, so I told her to use mine whenever she see fit. It’s more convenient for her that way.」
So this initiative came from senpai? I was sure Shiki just forced herself on her. But wait, if Shiki used senpai’s bathroom on a daily basis, then it means that it was never her intention for us to be alone!
… I see, now I get it!
The management room was Shiinamachi-senpai’s private space. Well, it was more like a spacious suite than an ordinary room, but that’s not what’s important right now. If that was the case with senpai, then could it be that the computer lab’s caretaker’s room was remodeled for Shiki to live in it?
No matter how hard I thought about it, it still appeared as strange to me, especially since my only previous experience of sleeping in school was during one of the previous Night Gatherings: sleepover parties organized by senpai for the members of the Librarian Committee.
Could it be that beside senpai and Shiki, there were more people who secretly made this school their base of operations? I could feel that my perception of this place was gradually falling apart. I thought that this neighborhood had nothing going for it, but in reality, it might well be a gathering place for various freaks and weirdos.
「Shiki, what do you do use that room for?」
「You mean beside searching for and investigating other Nightkin and their vassals? Oh, you know, typical James Bond stuff.」
I feel like I just heard something that I was better off not hearing. So spies like that do existe in this world, huh? Just when I thought that it couldn’t possibly get any weirder…. Then again, I wasn’t really the one to talk. As a member of a long line of assassins, it wasn’t wise to point fingers at the kind of work Shiki did.
Of course, my own ignorance is partially to blame here, for up until recently I could have sworn that the world that surrounded me was painfully plain, and I thought that my own upbringing was nothing special at all. But, as always, it looks like this world is definitely more than meets the eye, and the happenings of those last few days only made me believe in that more strongly.
「Senpai, apart from Shiki, is there anyone else in this school who I should be aware of?」
「Yes… But they asked me to keep their identity a secret from anyone, since that would endanger them and the work they are doing, so I’m afraid I can’t tell you any more than that.」
Senpai made a hush gesture by raising one of her fingers to her lips. I see. If it was those people wish to remain incognito, then there was nothing I could do about it, other than honoring their wishes. But if things were that serious, then what kinds of people were they, and what kind of work were they involved in?
「By the way, Monjiro.」
When we reached the Librarian Committee’s office, Shiki pointed at the clock on the wall opposite the stairs and asked me:
「If someone hid behind the back of that large clock’s faceplate, would you be able to tell?」
「Maybe if it was daytime and there was a sufficient amount of light. But in complete darkness, similar to how it is here now… I think I wouldn’t have been able to tell.」
Aside from a few wall lamps there was almost no light here, so if someone suppressed their breath and pressed themselves against the wall behind the clock’s faceplate, then detecting that someone would’ve been practically impossible.
「Why do you ask that? If the other person had no idea that I was coming here, then there’s be no need for him/her to hide themselves in the first place, wouldn’t you agree?」
「I agree wholeheartedly, which is why I think that what the culprit did was actually…」
Shiki moved over to the clock’s faceplate.
「…just about to flee the scene when coincidentally Monjiro happened to be present, causing him/her to hide…」
She then got on all fours and behind the faceplate, completely hiding her body from view.
「… and remain unseen by Monjiro as he went up the stairs to Kaguya’s room.」
「Fine, but he/she could just use the opportunity to escape without any problems, so why bother with returning upstairs to finish me off?」
「That is actually an excellent question, and we shall use it to provide a certain hypothesis.」
Shiki took out a ballpoint pen from her chest pocket and handed it over to me.
「Now Monjiro, imagine that this pen is either a knife or a key to the clock tower, and use it to demonstrate to us what would the culprit done with them, according to you.」
「Hmm, let me think about it first.」
「Sure, no need to rush. We have time.」
Since senpai was counting on me, I had to give this performance my all. Gazing at the notes in my hand, I pondered what would I have done if I was in culprits shoes.
First of all, I walk from ① over to the clock tower then open the locked door at ②. Just as Shiki’s notes said, this is the only way to get into the school grounds at night. Without a key, the door will remain closed. Next I pass by ③, the room we were currently in, and headed over to ④, Shiinamachi-senpai’s room. The bathroom at ⑤ was of no importance for our investigation. It was just a memory for me to remember fondly.
「Senpai, did you hear anyone knocking at your door?」
「Yes. At the time I thought it was you, Jiro-kun, that’s why I opened them so readily.」
Even if I wasn’t the direct cause, I still felt guilty knowing that I might’ve indirectly caused senpai’s death. But now was not the time to be sentimental. I will have plenty of time to wallow in my self-loathing once we figure out what exactly had transpired here.
I stood in front of senpai and tried to imitate the motion of stabbing her, pushing the pen towards her.
「Monjiro, put yer back to it, matey.」
「Shouldn’t it rather be 「put yer hand to it?」 instead?」
「Is this pirate dialect really necessary? We’re just acting it out!」
「There is no need for it, I just wanted you to get a move on.」
As we continued, senpai imitated a motion of opening the door, and when she did so, I brought my pen closer to her chest.
「Oh, Jiro-kun, place your hand slightly lower.」
Poking senpai’s wonderful breast with the pen was a little too much for me. Noticing my hesitation, senpai simply smiled. Took my hand and guided it to her heart herself. I know it’s all for the purpose of retracing the killers movements, but that didn’t change the fact that I could still feel the soft elasticity and warmth coming from Shiinamachi-senpai’s bosom… except that it didn’t happen, because I pulled my hand back at the last moment like the chicken I was!
「Is something wrong?」
「N-No, nothing, nothing at all. S-So that’s how you got stabbed, senpai!」
Senpai looked puzzled, not knowing where my panic attack came from. In order to prevent her from asking any further questions, I continued to act as a killer and brought the pen closer to her chest.
「Actually… the culprit crashed into me when I opened the door, and he or she pushed me to the center of the room due to the impact.」
Hearing that, Shiki took out another pen from her pocket and pondered something for a while as she played around with it. We just stood there, waiting for her comment.
「Monjiro, let’s switch up for a second, I think I know what the culprit did.」
Then Shiki and I exchanged positions.