Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
【Episode 2】Murder and Gift: Part B (5)
「What would you like to drink? I have coffee, tea, Avocado Spark…」
「The hell’s an Avocado Spark?」
「To think that you’d actually choose it. You must really not be afraid of death, Monjiro.」
Who said I’ve already decided?! But of course, Shiki ignored my frowned face, opened a small fridge next to one of the computers and took a green can out of it. So that’s an Avocado Spark, huh? The can itself had an image of an avocado imprinted on it, complete with a set of vivid letters that made up the drink’s name. Shiki handed this mysterious substance to me without a second of hesitation. Now, what do we have here… judging from the looks alone, it was probably a carbonated soft drink.
「Feel free to share your opinion with me after you drink it.」
「Oh sweet, so you’ve never actually tried it before?!」
「Nope, cause this looks like a seasonal product, and I’m not that fond of those. Anyway, enjoy it.」
In other words, I have no choice but to drink it. No helping it then. I reluctantly brought the can up to my lips.
「Well, down the hatch.」
A strange, leaf-like taste assaulted all of my senses. Just one sip of this thing was enough for me to know that I don’t want to drink this thing ever again. It was both sweet and sour, slimy, and yet a little fuzzy on the tongue. I’ve never tried an avocado before, but somehow I was sure that they don’t taste like that. Not in a million years.
「That’s certainly…. a weird taste.」
「Just as I expected.」
How did she got her hands on such a strange drink anyway? This only strengthened my conviction that avocados were not suited to be processed into any kind of drink, carbonated or otherwise. They’re much better in salads, or on a toast.
「Let’s get straight to business now. How did your little investigation go?」
She was probably referring to my conversation with Fujisato and Kuhoh from lunch break. Holding the can of Avocado Spark in my hands, I organize every bit of information that I managed to obtain from that roundabout interrogation. The taste of avocado was still lingering on my tongue, making me uncomfortable.
「I asked them all kinds of questions in all kinds of ways, and they both seem to be innocent, especially Fujisato. She has an alibi for the night of the murder, and she didn’t seem to be lying when she answered my questions in a natural manner. In my opinion, she’s not related to this case at all.」
I can’t believe I just used the phrase 「Has an alibi」 while talking about Fujisato. I really felt like a detective now.
「And Kuhoh Nagi? What about her?」
「She helped me organize all that I knew about the case, and was very proactive during the whole conversation. Quite unusual for a potential culprit, wouldn’t you say?」
I wanted to believe that she also was innocent. If she were to pop up now and announce 「Actually, I’m the culprit, teehee~~」 I think my heart would’ve stopped on the spot.
「So that’s how she reacted. I see.」
Shiki just kept on nodding. Her eyes were covered by her bangs, so I couldn’t see her reaction at all. What exactly was she thinking anyway? About this whole case? I had no way of guessing.
「Any other clues?」
「Let me think…」
I was still about unsure whether or not I should report this to her. But Shiki was a pro at her job, so she probably understood more about investigating and data gathering, so I decided to be honest with her.
「Kuhoh thinks that you’re the most suspicious out of all the suspects.」
「That is indeed true.」
Shiki’s voice seemed to be kind of excited all of a sudden.
「I thought about it logically too, as you seem like you’d be able to pull something like that off, even if you didn’t possess any Gift at all, Shiki.」
She was unusually calm and accepting about all of this. Could it really be her then? No, that was probably a part of her usual shenanigans. So in the end, I had no idea who was right at all. This only made me realize that I was really not cut out to be a detective. Not at all. I just lacked the wits required to be one. I really hoped that Shiki could take that role for herself, but unfortunately, the most suited person was also the most suspicious person at the moment.
And that fact was pointed out to me by our prime suspect.
Should I believe Shiki or Kuhoh…? That was the dilemma I was presented with right now.
「In other words, no matter who the culprit is, the fact of possessing a Gift makes them all the more capable of being the true perpetrator in this case.」
Shiki raised a finger and presented her opinion.
「If the culprit didn’t use a Gift to achieve their goal, then I am the prime suspect. In hindsight, this is a most natural conclusion, isn’t that right?」
「Kuhoh thinks that’s exactly how it is. God, I’d feel so much happier if the culprit was actually someone unrelated or unknown to us!」
「Why is that?」
「Because I want to get along with everyone peacefully, what else?!」
I voiced my feelings honestly, causing Shiki’s mouth to open slightly. Was what I said that weird?I believe that it should be very logical…
「Monjiro, you really are an amusing person. After talking to you, I’ve concluded that I was right in deciding to take an interest in you. Introducing you to Kaguya was definitely worth it.」
Seeing Shiki acting in a way I’ve never seen before, I was really puzzled. What was she going on about? The reason she introduced me to senpai?
「Until a few years ago, you were simply brought up with the goal of becoming a killer. But right now, you have become this plain and ordinary four-eyed boy posing as 「just another high-school student.」 It’s because you’re that kind of person that…」
To think she knew that much about my background… she really impressed me now: she really possesses some kind of special power.
「… Because you’re that kind of person, I think I’ve developed an interest in you.」
At this very moment….
I suddenly felt my vision go dark, and little by little, my surroundings grew unrecognizable and distorted.
「I’d really like to know, how far can you actually go.」
The world began to spin round and round.
Shiki also seemed to have noticed my abnormal state. She shoved my body lightly. Instantly, unable to fight back, I fell back on the bed.
What the… What’s going on here?
「Yes, I really would like to know more about you. To test every. Single. Detail.」
Next thing I knew, Shiki was straddling me. Drained of all my strength, I was completely at her mercy. Then she started to slide her fingers all over my face and neck.
And then I saw it.
Her other eye was shining with golden light.
Noticing that I noticed, Shiki smiled at me, observing my reactions with one blue, and one golden eye.
I felt an intense shiver run down my spine, and all the way back to my head. It was just so otherworldly beautiful, and yet so dangerous at the same time…. Was that what people called true terror?
Shiki touched my face with her ice-cold fingertips. It was an unpleasant feeling, but at least it helped me retain consciousness. I glanced at the can of Avocado Spark that was lying on the ground, and I finally realized…
I was poisoned. Drugged. That abominable juice had something mixed into it.
「From what I heard, Kaguya speaks very highly of you. I want to know why.」
Shiki’s face was getting closer and closer to me. Her golden eye was getting closer and closer to me.
It was like a golden abyss that transcended beyond human understanding, powerful enough to enslave everyone who dared to look into it.
Compared to my past self, this girl was far more terrifying.
That is the conclusion I’ve come to after witnessing its hypnotizing gaze.
So that was the reason why she kept her eyes hidden from the world by her bangs. If anyone stared into that golden eye of hers for long enough, it would’ve surely ended up ensnaring their soul.
My consciousness was quickly fading, but there was something that I absolutely had to ask no matter what:
「Shiki, are… you… the culprit…?」
Damn it, even finishing one simple sentence felt impossibly hard now.
「Sakuradamon Jiro, sleep.」
Shiki whispered into my ear with a sweet, tempting voice.
And just like that, I’ve finally lost consciousness.