Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
【Episode 2】Murder and Gift: Part A (6)
「Monjiro, do you think it was possible for you to be followed as you were making your way to the clock tower?」
「It’s not impossible, but highly unlikely. Unless the person tailing me was an expert at those types of operations, I would’ve immediately noticed them.」
「Okay, then for the sake of our investigation let’s assume that we’re dealing with an expert. According to my speculations, your mind was in a state of 「Wow! I will be enjoying my lovey-dovey time with Shiinamachi-senpai soon, buahahaha!」euphoria, which leads me to believe that paying attention to your surroundings was not your top priority.」
「Shiki, hold your horses woman!」
「What? You want me to rephrase that sentence using more direct words?」
「No, that is not what I want at all. And what’s with that 「buahahaha」at the end, huh?」
「That was merely my speculation of your supposed mental state at that time.」
Okay, so maybe I had those kinds of thoughts for a while. Supposedly. Allegedly. The thing is, now that someone has spoke them out loud, I felt that they were very inappropriate for some reason.
「You know that deducing something doesn’t mean you have to share it with everyone, right? Have you ever thought you might be actually bothering someone?」
「Fine, have it your way. You made your way to the clock tower drunk on your teenage lust… how does that sound?」
「I did made my way to the clock tower, yes, but if possible, I’d like you to stop putting it in a way that makes it sound like I went there with something wicked in mind. And before you ask, I did lock the door behind me after I went inside.」
Shiki walked to the clock tower’s door, and turned the key, producing a heavy metallic sound in the process. Hearing this sound reminded me of something.
「Here’s where it gets interesting. Since I closed the door behind me, there should be no way for anyone to get inside, not without possessing the key.」
Just like Shiki wrote in her note: 「② Entrance: clock tower entrance. The bulletproof door are made of heavy metal!」, so there was no way of opening them without making quite a ruckus. And since it was the only way inside the tower, then we can throw the hypothesis of the murderer following me out the window.
But just as I realized this fact, I recalled Shiki’s suggestion, the one where she said that it was possible for the perpetrator to hide behind the clock’s faceplate.
「I see… even if he/she wanted to kill me, there literally was no way for them to achieve that.」
「Looks like it. So we can hypothesize that there was no need for the culprit to go through the door to end your life. Most probably, he/she was hiding inside all the time.」
That seemed to be the case. If his/her aim was to eliminate both Shiinamachi-senpai and me, then hiding inside the clock tower was the logical path to take. And since he/she didn’t know when exactly I was going to show up, waiting was the only option for them.
「Then we can hypothesize that after killing Shiinamachi-senpai, the culprit hid behind the clock’s faceplate, right?」
「Yes. Let us continue further with that idea as a base for our further assumptions.」
This was all getting too complicated for me to handle. Why would someone on a professional killer’s level make such a gamble with hiding in here for so long? It would’ve been understandable if killing both me and senpai was his/her intention from the start, but otherwise… no, wait, how in the hell could the killer know that I was supposed to meet up with senpai in the first place?!
「The culprit was hiding here, waiting for my arrival.」
「And after you got here, you went straight upstairs without any detours, right?」
Shiki walked over to the stairs, and as she began ascending them, each and every one of her steps produced painfully loud noises.
「Next, seeing as I went towards senpai’s room, the culprit rushed from his/her hiding spot…」
Following after Shiki, I went up the stairs. But then, after only a few steps…
「Shiki, stop right there!」
I tried to look up at Shiki, but immediately had to look away, because I almost ended up scoring a splendid upskirt view of her underwear.
「Want me to show you my panties, Monjiro?」
「No! It wasn’t my intention to look, I swear!」
「No, I don’t mind it, really. I mean, I’ve already seen every nook and cranny of your naked body, so to get even with you, I give you permission to look at my panties for as long as you want.」
What was with that immoral suggestion? And more importantly, can I really do it now that I have her consent?!
No, this was most likely another one of this dirty joker’s traps, so instead of pondering over it, I slapped myself back to reality.
「Ahem. Shiki, I think something doesn’t add up here.」
「Really? How so?」
Shiki was probably staring at me, but since my head was still turned to the side for safety reasons, I just spoken my mind without looking at her.
「If I was really one of the culprit’s targets, the he/she could’ve just finish me off as soon as I stepped on the stairs. There was no reason for him/her to wait that long.」
If the murder weapon was really a bladed weapon of substantial force, then killing me downstairs should pose no problem for our perpetrator.
「But you were offed only when you found Kaguya’s body, and was frozen with shock as a result. In other words: the killer waited for you to be at your most vulnerable before doing the deed. What do you think about such a course of action?」
Is she suggesting that the killer already knew that I was the descendant of professional killers, and adjusted his/her strategy accordingly? Certainly, that would’ve explained everything nicely, but only if we take into account the possibility that the killer was in cahoots with someone who possessed information about me and my background.
「Let’s just assume that the culprit silently ascended the stairs and killed be by stabbing me in the back, also without making a single sound. No matter how you look at it, it’s just not possible.」
Indeed. The stairs were so old that they began to creak as soon as someone set their foot on them, making it practically impossible to walk through them while remaining silent. But I heard nothing at all, either when I entered the clock tower or when I ascended the stairs. And when I found senpai’s body, her room was filled with the silence so loud that it made my ears hurt. That was the truth. I would’ve heard the culprit’s footsteps if he/she approached me from behind, I’m sure of it.
Hence, the only possible answer to this impossible riddle was…
「It can’t be….」
「And yet it’s very probable. And if that indeed turns out to be the truth…」
Holding the handrail tightly, Shiki moved around in place to make some creaking noises, which only got stronger the more she moved.
「Then… Shiki-san, does that mean…?」
Silent up to this very moment, Shiinamachi-senpai now spoke with a worried voice.
All Shiki did was to look at senpai and confirm har suspicions, uttering an ominous words:
「That’s right. If my hypothesis is correct, then the culprit was able to commit the crime and escape unnoticed because he/she was using a Gift to do so.」