Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
【Episode 3】Life and Mind: Part B (4)
「Wow, so that’s what the inside of the famed clock tower looks like! It really does have that mysterious feeling to it!」
Fujisato was scanning the surroundings of the Librarian Committee’s office with her eyes, barely able to contain her excitement.
「The office is equipped with every basic home appliance, so we have a heater, air conditioning, and even an oven and a microwave to cook, so it’s all quite handy.」
Kuhoh, a proud member of the Librarian Committee, is currently explaining things to Fujisato.
「Wait, is something like that possible? I mean, that’s so much better than what the other clubs are having! Could this be the rumored preferential treatment I’ve heard so much about?!」
It was more like this place was our home turf, but we did used it quite often, so there was nothing I could say to retort that accusation. At first, the installation of heating and air conditioning was justified as the means of preserving older books, but that argument became invalid the moment the rest of the appliances that were not-so-needed for the preservation of books were installed. Not to mention that senpai’s room was a fully-equipped, functional penthouse.
「Fufu, now you’ve done it, members of the Librarian Committee! C’mon, show me Shiinamachi-senpai’s room. Now I shall verify the myths with my own eyes!」
Seeing Fujisato so worked up, Kuhoh just sighed and smiled. Right now, it was impossible to deduce which one of them was actually the murderer. But according to senpai’s story, something was definitely going to happen tonight, so I couldn’t let my guard down just yet.
Was it really that selfish of me to think that even after today, the five of us could still be friends? Maybe it was, but now was not the time for that. All I had to focus on now, was defending the friendships I’ve established and the friends I’ve made. Nothing else mattered.
「What happened, Monjiro-senpai? Your face looks kinda scary.」
My dependable kouhai was sincerely worried about me. I didn’t want to trouble her anymore, so I just said:
「Huh? Oh, i-it’s nothing, I was just spacing out. Happens a lot to me lately.」
「Is that so? It was rather hot today, so maybe that’s a heatstroke? Are you sure you don’t need to lie down and rest? No? Well fine, just don’t go overexerting yourself. Promise me that, okay?」
Worrying about me and giving me such a solid advice, she really was so dependable that it felt like I was her kouhai, and she was my senpai.
「If you’ll feel bad, then just go hit the sack early, got it? That way the rest of us will be able to enjoy your comical sleeping face.」
Fujisato said that in a joking manner, but I knew that it was her way of showing concern about me.
「I’d better not do that, otherwise my glasses can run around by themselves while no one is looking.」
「And how does that even work?」
「Make me fall asleep and you’ll find out.」
「You say that, but the truth is that you want to stay awake to do the same to us, right? Go ahead, I dare you, but if you do see my sleeping face, know that I’ll make you take responsibility!」
「How exactly? By making you my bride? Fujisato, is that how you want me to take responsibility?」
「Monjiro, I see you’ve got quite bold, saying things like that with a straight face!」
Kuhoh and I laughed at Fujisato as she went bright red and turned her gaze away from us. Our dynamic was a goofy as usual, we just joked around happily and I had hoped it’ll stay that way even after the night was over.
「Sorry for the wait, everyone, the preparations are finally complete, come on in!」
Shiki poked her head from Shiinamachi-senpai’s room at the top of the stairs and called out to us.
「Okay! Monjiro, Nagi-chan, let’s go!」
Fujisato was skipping every other step, and Kuhoh walked slowly yet gracefully. With each of their steps, the stairs creaked loudly. Kuhoh was a few steps after Fujisato, so even if she made a wrong step and fell backwards, she’d be ready to catch her at any moment. I was the last one to walk upstairs, and when I did, I glanced back at the office’s lobby. The door was locked, and the lights off. There was no one else here but us.
No one should be able to get inside now unless our enemy had a Gift that allowed him to teleport or phase through walls. And there was also a barrier that surrounded senpai’s room and denied entry to anyone why wasn’t personally invited by her, so we should be safe, for now at least.
「Fujisato-san, Kuhoh-san, welcome, please come on in.」
「Sweet! Thanks for having us, Shiinamachi-senpai!」
「Pardon the intrusion.」
Nothing unusual happened when the two of them stepped into senpai’s room, and I also failed to sense killing intent of any kind. Right now, they were in the clear. It must’ve been the same for Shiki, for she just nodded at me ever so slightly when no one was looking.
So, once we close the door, we will create a locked room that no one will be able to enter, and no one will be able to leave. But that must mean that the killer really was one of those two…. No, you must not think like that. It’s fine, everything’s going to be just fine.
Telling myself that over and over again I entered the room, and when I did that, I heard Shiki closing the door behind me.
Nothing particularly worthy of mentioning happened afterwards, just your regular nonstop marathon of chatting about everything and nothing, you know, typical girly stuff.
Once again, I found myself unable to join in the conversation at any moment, so I decided that it would be for the better if I just observe them for now.
Sweets they’ve eaten, jewelry and cute accessories, recent happenings at school, those were the kind of subjects they were talking about. Or rather, most of the time it was Fujisato who was just jumping from subject to subject, and the other three just commented on whatever she’s chosen as the topic. Watching this peaceful scene really did brought a smile on my face. However, there was no continuity to their discussion, just chaotic jumping from subject to subject, so it was hard for me to keep up with the flow of the discussion.
This scene was so serene that even Shiki looked like she was having fun, as a faint smile rose on her lips. It also made me think that being able to smile and talk openly with others about even the mundane things was truly a precious gift in and out of itself. On a side note, it was more and more difficult for me to stay awake. I could literally feel my eyelids closing in on me.
Just then I noticed that everyone’s cups were almost depleted. Great, now I’ll have an excuse to go to the kitchen without being called insensitive. I was also some distance away from the living room, so I had an opportunity to stretch my bones for a bit without being seen by anyone.
Everything was proceeding smoothly, even though we’ve yet to reach the pajama party stage of the event. But the midnight was soon approaching, so the girls should get to that soon, and that would mark the time when our trap would be sprung into motion. All this time, Shiki was frequently checking on both Fujisato and Kuhoh, but none of them made any suspicious movements. Somehow I had a feeling that this state of perfect harmony won’t last forever.
*Sigh* I really wouldn’t make a good spy. I was unable to accomplish even a simple eavesdropping mission without having conflicting feelings in my heart.
I opened the fridge, trying to re-organize my thoughts. Just for this party, it was filled to the brim with all things sweet, like cakes, puddings, chocolate and the like, so even if most of it were not to be eaten today, then at least senpai won’t have to worry about food for some time to come.
Oolong tea bottle was almost empty, and I guess high-calorie soft drinks like cola or orange juice were a no go, so I guess we’ll go with barley tea for now. Now, where is that bottle, there’s so much stuff in here that it’s hard to see anything specific.
「So senpai, confession time: what’s your opinion of Monjiro?」
Fujisato asked senpai quietly, taking advantage of the fact that I moved away from them. Too bad for you, Fujisato. Thanks to my killer training, my hearing was extremely sharp. Not on par with Shiki’s 『Satori』 perhaps, but still good enough to hear every last word. So I did the only thing that I could do: perked up my ears and listen. This should be good…