Kirinomiya-senpai Cannot Solve The Mystery - Chapter 2
And so, we arrived at Eirin Academy. As it seems, the person Kirinomiya-senpai is searching for, attends this school.
Eirin Academy is a new private high school that was established five years ago.
The school culture seems to be relatively liberal, and the students I pass at the station are all wearing their uniforms. In a good way, the school emphasizes individuality, however the patterns on the uniforms look a bit boorish. The fact that the school has a system that allows the students to advance to their university without entrance exams, gives the impression that the students are not very dedicated to their studies.
Apparently their classes ended at the same time as my high school, and students were happily chatting around the gate as they left the school.
Well then, as for what was happening to me when I arrived at Eirin.
In front of the gate, I was desperately trying to stop her.
[Kirinomiya-senpai, let’s not do this after all! This is unnatural!]
[What are you talking about, we can’t stop now after dressing like this.]
The gate stood tall like a strong fortress, making an absolute stance that would not allow any intruder.
After Kirinomiya-senpai confirmed that there were no guards at the entrance, she quickly ran inside the school building.
I called out in a whisper, and she frowned, beckoning me to come quickly.
[Ahhhh, damn it.]
[Don’t worry, we’ll never be exposed while wearing these clothes.]
This outfit is the Eirin Academy uniform that Kirinomiya-senpai changed into, in a matter of minutes. She had prepared this on purpose in order to get into this place.
Kirinomiya-senpai, making the most of her connections and financial power, can easily sneak into most places by preparing the uniform of the company or school. Even if there is a security guard at the entrance, if she mentions the name of Kirinomiya, the guard will immediately shrink and say, “This is a special case.” The power of the Kirinomiya Conglomerate seems to be immense, and no matter which company it is, there is usually a related company from the conglomerate that is financing it, so they can’t just drop it so easily.
I want someone to stop this person’s useless economic strength.
And so, I was being dragged along by Kirinomiya-senpai, who was walking around the school like she owned the place.
[This is bad, Kirinomiya-senpai, this is completely trespassing!]
[What are you talking about? A detective can come and go as they please.]
[We’re not detectives, and the public doesn’t have the right to investigate.]
Really, where does this person get her baseless confidence from?
In the end, I was forced to change into this outfit in the bathroom of a nearby supermarket, and I became one of the respectable trespassers.
Kirinomiya-senpai showed no signs of guilt, strutting around the school grounds as if it were her own yard.
The inside of the school building at Eirin Academy was clean and neat.
The students seemed to be playing around, so I thought the school would be a bit more messy, but I guess they let a contractor or something do the cleaning. It’s nice to go to a rich private school, isn’t it.
I was nervous that someone would spot us and pick us up, but the students we passed didn’t seem to be suspicious of us. I suppose if we were wearing uniforms, they wouldn’t think we were strange, but I was still a little uncomfortable.
[It’s not that common for incidents to happen that easily. Even Kirinomiya-senpai can’t pinpoint precisely when someone is going to die, can you?]
[However, we should still inquire about the situation.]
[By situations, what do you want to hear if nothing happened!? Rather, wouldn’t a student from another school trespassing here while wearing their school uniform be the major incident!]
[It’s alright, if there is an incident, I’ll make sure it’s erased.]
[I don’t like that because I know you can do that sort of thing!]
At that moment, while we were arguing back and forth.
Suddenly, from outside the school building, we heard a high-pitched female scream.
We looked at each other and immediately ran towards it.
[Ah, the playground? Oi, someone’s there!]
Kirinomiya-senpai is fast on her feet. Normally, she hides herself quietly like an ornament, but when something happens that interests her, she runs like an antelope with her thin legs.
She ran down the hallway, out of the school building, and outdoors, pushing forward in a straight line and charging toward the prefabricated storage shed.
[The voice came from towards here, right!?]
[Probably so. There are some people there.]
I followed her and ran as fast as I could.
As I walked forward, I saw what appeared to be the owner of the voice slumped over the entrance of the shed. The person who screamed was an adult woman. She looked to be in her early fifties. From her jersey-like outfit, apron and boots, I guessed she was not a staff member but a worker of the cleaning company.
[What’s the matter!? Did something happen!?]
I asked, and she pointed to the inside of the hut with a pale face.
Looks like it’s not a trivial matter.
[T-the girl…! the girl….!]
Kirinomiya-senpai’s complexion changed.
I followed her into the shed without hesitation and jumped inside too.
Entering the shed, I instantly felt a sense of strangeness, and I froze as if I were sewn up.
For a storage shed, it was neat and tidy, without much stuff.
The smell of blood in the room and the red blood splattered on the floor made me hold my mouth and contort my face.
I was about to say something, but I lost my words.
I thought there would be balls and colored cones, but it was nothing like that.
The shed was lined with several tall shelves, stacked with old textbooks, books, and handouts.
There were only two sets of desks and chairs in front of me, and shelves on either side.
With this in mind, I desperately tried not to acknowledge what was in front of me. But I couldn’t just keep turning my back on it forever.
The head of a young girl on top of a desk
Her face was pure white, drained of blood. Long, lightly pigmented hair. She was bathed in the light that shone through the window, and even looked divine. If you only looked at her peaceful expression with her eyes closed, she looked as if she was asleep.
However, the most important part of her body was missing. There was nothing from the neck down.
There was red blood on the girl’s cheeks and under her eyes, as if it had been spattered when the head was cut off.
At first, I couldn’t understand the scene in front of me.
Maybe it was an artificial fake-
However, such a convenient escape route was cut off by the fresh traces of blood left in the room and the smell of iron in the air.
It was clear from just one glance that she was no longer a living person, and that someone had killed her.
Kirinomiya-senpai looked down at the girl’s head and calmly muttered to herself..
[I’ll call the police.]
I nodded silently and looked at Kirinomiya-senpai, who had a calm demeanor.
I wondered if this was what she wanted.
I squeezed my lips together.
No, it’s not Kirinomiya-senpai’s fault.
She was just following the guidance of the ‘Lycoris Radiata’.
So whether Kirinomiya-senpai was called by the girl’s corpse, we have to find out.
This girl, why did she have to be killed?
Apparently, because of the murder, all the remaining students in the school had to leave in an emergency. It was only natural when you think about it. There was no way they could have any normal club activities after the incident.
When we reported the incident to the police, a young detective and a forensic scientist came to the scene immediately.
As we stood there wondering what to do, the young detective grabbed us by the shoulders.
[Hey, I thought we sent the students home. This place is off-limits! Go home now!]
When I was wondering how to explain the situation, Kirinomiya-senpai, who was next to me, made the situation even more troublesome.
[How rude! We’re here to solve the case. You’re the ones who should be leaving.]
Kirinomiya-senpai only said things that would make the situation even worse.
The young detective got angry and grabbed us by the shoulders.
[What? You guys are suspicious. I got it, you’re the culprits aren’t you!?]
As I was lost for my words on how to respond, a low, calm voice came from behind the young detective.
[Hey, Tondabayashi. They were the first to discover the body. That’s why, let’s ask them about the situation first…]
The young detective seemed to be named Tondabayashi. While I was thinking that this was an unusual surname, a man with a large, sturdy physique appeared from behind Detective Tondabayashi.
He was dressed in a tattered, dark green coat and stroked his beard with the palm of his large hand.
Although his demeanor was calm, his eyes were sharp, and if he stared at me, I would have apologized even if I hadn’t done anything.
Tondabayashi-san bowed apologetically to him.
[Thank you, Inspector Sakisaka, for coming all this way on your off-duty day.]
[No, it’s fine, I was just in the neighborhood. That being said, the victim…]
When the detective stepped into the room, his eyes pointed at me and Kirinomiya-senpai.
I awkwardly bowed to him.
[No way, Shuuichi-kun… again?]
Again, it is.
Kirinomiya-senpai has a constitution that seems to be useful, but is almost useless. She can see a red ‘Lycoris Radiata’ in the background of people who are about to be killed by someone.
It seems that the red ‘Lycoris Radiata’ do not appear on people who die from accidents or illnesses, but only when it is a murder case.
It would be nice if it were possible to interfere with a murder, but unfortunately, the effects of the ‘Lycoris Radiata’ vary widely, from immediately after it is seen to about a week later, so it is difficult to stop the crime itself unless the victim can be followed around all the time.
Therefore, it is not uncommon that by the time you are able to see the person with the ‘Lycoris Radiata’, the person could have already turned into a corpse.
Apparently, Kirinomiya-senpai does everything she can (“with the best of intentions”, she says) to warn people who appear with the ‘Lycoris Radiata’ that they will soon be killed. However, it’s highly doubtful that anyone would believe such a sudden warning from a strange high school girl.
In addition, Kirinomiya-senpai wanted to confirm whether the person she saw was really dead or not, even though she shouldn’t have, so Kirinomiya-senpai and I became the first discoverers of the corpse and ran into Sakisaka-san more than once.
Sakisaka-san scrutinized my outfit from top to bottom.
[In the first place Shuuichi-kun, you’re a student of Tsurugamine right? What are you doing here in those clothes… No, I already know why.]
[I’m really sorry…]
Looks like he thinks it’s too much of a hassle to pursue it further.
If possible, I wanted to crawl into a hole and end myself.
It would be strange if we weren’t suspected in this situation.
Not only did we march into another school without permission, we also prepared uniforms to disguise ourselves. It’s like we were advertising ourselves to be suspicious.
Incidentally, Inspector Sakisaka is the father of a childhood friend of mine.
We live next door to each other and he has been taking care of me like a real family member since I was little.
Besides, reaching the rank of Inspector as a non-career officer in his mid-forties is an extraordinary achievement.
I only know the circumstances of the police from novels, but I think Inspector Sakisaka is a dedicated detective who cares about the citizens. He is always thinking about his work, and works himself to the bone without sleeping well, so much so that I worry about his health.
Knowing this, I feel really bad for interfering with his investigation every time.
Since we sometimes have dinner together, he knows that I’ve recently been pushed around by Kirinomiya-senpai and turned into a dress-up doll that can be dressed in various clothes.
I’m sure Kirinomiya-senpai didn’t break into another school without thinking about it, and she probably decided to bring me along because she thought there was a good chance that one of my detective acquaintances would be joining the investigation.
The young detective clenched his teeth in annoyance as he circled around us.
[Inspector, are you sure you’re okay to let these suspicious people into the crime scene? I mean, aren’t these guys the culprits!? These guys are definitely the culprits!]
Inspector Sakisaka smiled wryly and stroked his chin.
[Well, I’m not completely saying that they aren’t the culprits. Let’s ask them what happened.]
After saying that, Inspector Sakisaka introduced him to me.
[By the way, this is my subordinate, Tondabayashi.]
He was tall and thin, with an unreliable aura around him. Whenever he said something, he would have a funny look on his face. Simply put, he does not look like a detective at all. Moreover, his impression becomes even more prominent when he is next to Inspector Sakisaka.
Perhaps this thought had gotten through to him, but even after we greeted him, Mr. Tondabayashi folded his arms and stared at us suspiciously. He gave off the sense of being full of competitiveness. I guess it was understandable that he would react that way. If I were the police, I would definitely be suspicious too.
While we were talking, the crime scene inspection seemed to be progressing steadily.
The forensic scientist was taking pictures of the corpse, and the flashes were glowing white every time.
I fought back the urge to faint as I observed the room, trying not to miss even the slightest of evidence.
There was a uniform blazer on the floor near where her head was, but is it hers?
The room was cluttered, but there was no sign of disrepair. There was no struggle with the culprit, which means that the culprit was probably someone the victim knew.
Sakisaka-san frowns and mutters in a harsh voice.
[The victim is a third-year student from this school, Amase Ayano. She hadn’t been home since yesterday evening, and had been reported missing. I don’t know the exact time of the murder yet, but judging by the rigor mortis, it’s been exactly one full day since she died.]
In other words, it seems that the girl, Ayano Amase, was killed around six o’clock last night.
Tondabayashi-san covered his mouth as his face turned blue, perhaps feeling sick at the sight of the girl’s head.
[So that means this head has been here since yesterday evening. Uu, I feel a bit…]
Inspector Sakisaka said in a calm voice.
[Tondabayashi, if you’re gonna throw up, do it outside. Don’t contaminate the crime scene. According to her teachers, she had no noticeable troubles with relationships with her friends. Was the culprit a pervert who snuck into the school? However, the way she was killed is too much. Not only that, her torso is nowhere to be found.]
For some reason, while staring at her body, I felt apologetic.
The cut surface was stained reddish-black, and there were fresh scars where the flesh had been cut.
There was a splash of blood on the shelf near her neck, probably from the stab wound. The smell of iron stung my nose, and I frowned.
Where on earth would her body go? The more I thought about it, the worse I felt.
Inspector Sakisaka crossed his arms, muttering thoughtfully.
[There was no murder weapon found in the surroundings. The crime scene was unmistakably here, but I wonder what the victim was doing here. Maybe she was called here by someone?]
The forensic scientist handed something in a zippered plastic bag to Inspector Sakisaka.
[Inspector, there was a button from this school in the pocket of the victim’s uniform.]
When I looked closely, I saw that there was indeed a golden button inside the plastic bag. It’s the one attached to the uniform.
As soon as he said that, I heard an eerie, low laugh from right next to me.
Astonished, I stared at the origin of the disturbance.
…Of course, the voice belonged to Kirinomiya-senpai.
Wondering how she could be laughing at a time like this, I asked feebly.
[Kirinomiya-senpai, what are you laughing at? Did you eat a poisonous mushroom or something?]
Looking at Kirinomiya-senpai’s sudden fit of laughter, Inspector Sakisaka looked like he was staring at something strange.
“Fuhahaha!” Kirinomiya-senpai laughed unnaturally as she shook her head with her index and middle fingers on her forehead. What kind of pose is that? Is she trying to conduct a demon summoning ritual or something?
[No, I didn’t. I already figured it out. The culprit of this case!]
Taking her words seriously, Tondabayashi-san leaned forward.
[Really, you, you figured out who it is!? Before even the talented Tondabayashi!?]
There’s no way she knows…
Kirinomiya-senpai however, asserts confidently.
[This button, is a dying message to expose the culprit! At the time of murder, the girl probably struggled and fought against the culprit. Before she died, she tried to at least leave behind a clue, so she stole the button and left it as evidence!]
Tondabayashi-san clasped his hands excitedly and shouted to Kirinomiya-senpai.
[In other words, the culprit is someone from this school who doesn’t have a button on the sleeve of his uniform!]
Impressed by her words, Tondabayashi-san seemed to be in high spirits.
[All right, I’ll start looking for students without buttons on their sleeves in this school right away!]
Since I felt sorry for the police who were going to start searching for the owner of the button, I advised him from the side.
[I’m sorry to say this but, the button probably belongs to Amase-san herself.]
[What did you say!]
The voices of Tondabayashi-san and Kirinomiya-senpai shouted in unison.
I pointed to her blazer that had fallen nearby.
[Look, the button came off from the right sleeve of Amase-san’s blazer.]
Inspector Sakisaka also continued in an exasperated manner.
[You can tell from the fingerprints, but in all probability this button belongs to the victim herself.]
Hearing that, Kirinomiya-senpai hit her knee in annoyance.
[That’s misleading! Why didn’t you attach the button immediately!]
[Even if you tell me that… wouldn’t it be a bother? In the first place, no matter how much she wanted to leave behind a clue, it would be difficult for a girl to have the strength to tear off a button.]
Suddenly, Kirinomiya-senpai shouted. What a hectic person.
[Well, if that’s the case then it’s the women from a moment ago. She’s the culprit!]
It seems that Kirinomiya-senpai is referring to the lady who was sitting at the entrance.
[It is true that she is the first one to discover the corpse, albeit by a few seconds. If she was the murderer, would she really go to the trouble of letting us discover a dead body, the first thing that would arouse suspicion?]
[You don’t know that. On the contrary, she might have gone behind the scenes and dared to be the first one to discover the body.]
That’s probably, not possible.
[Speaking of which, where did she go?]
That question was answered by Tondabayashi-san.
[That person would be Tsukuda-san, but she got sick after seeing the body, so she’s sleeping in a bed in the infirmary. When she calms down, we’ll ask her to tell us what happened when hse found the body, but it might not be possible today.]
I felt sorry for her from the bottom of my heart.
Seeing someone dead like this without immunity must have made her feel sick.
This would be the normal reaction of an ordinary person who had witnessed a dead body. Kirinomiya-senpai, who instead of being scared and turning away, is happy to look for the criminal, is absolutely strange.
[What was Tsukuda-san doing here?]
A difficult expression on his face, Inspector Sakasaka answered.
[I’ll tell you all in more detail as we discover the details but Tsukuda-san was sent by a contractor to clean the school. Apparently she cleans the school four or five days a week, for a few hours in the afternoon on weekdays. It had been about half a year since she first started working at Eirin Academy. Today, when she finished cleaning as usual and was about to leave after putting away her tools, she noticed that the door of this hut, which was not usually used, was open, so she took a look around and found a dead body.]
I see, so that person was a cleaner after all.
Finding a dead body at the school where you came to clean might be traumatic in the future.
Kirinomiya-senpai seemed to have lost interest in the discoverer and asked questions about the victim.
[So what was this murdered woman doing here? It doesn’t look like the kind of place that students usually enter, does it?]
Sakisaka-san answered the question with a difficult look.
[It seems that the victim’s class had an assignment for home economics. It was to make Western-style clothes for children. Yesterday, after school… meaning before the victim was murdered, the home economics teacher had received her assignment, according to a testimony.]
Kirinomiya-senpai’s expression was unconvinced.
[What do you mean by that?]
[According to eyewitness reports, the victim was not sighted in her classroom, nor the home economics room. Most likely, I think the victim stayed here to complete her assignment.]
The reason why she was here, bearing that in mind, Inspector Sakisaka continued.
[The victim submitted the assignment to her home economics teacher, then for some reason or another, returned to this storage shed. Then someone killed her and severed her corpse.]
I then said, crossing my arms thoughtfully.
[So that means, the last person Amase-san talked to, was the home economics teacher?]
[Ah, that’s right. After receiving confirmation, the home economics teacher who is a woman named Ashida, was the last person to talk to the victim while she was alive.]
Hearing about the situation, only deepened the mystery.
Amase-san, why on earth would you come back here to do your assignment? It’s just a hut, cold without heat, dimly lit, and there was no reason to feel the need to come all the way here.
And the fact that she had come back after submitting his assignment meant that she had a reason to come here again.
The culprit must have been here, but what was he doing?
Tondabayashi-san, who had been looking bored the whole time, took advantage of the interruption in our conversation to kick us out.
[Alright, enough. Anymore than this will be a hindrance to our investigation. You guys are going home immediately!]
Kirinomiya-senpai tugged on Tomidabayashi-san’s hair and resisted.
[Oi, stop, I can’t leave yet!]
[Hahahaha, you guys are going to have a fun interview at the police station. You will be asked the same questions dozens of times. In the meantime, this talented Tondabayashi will arrest the criminal. I don’t know if you’re detectives or what, but you’re still just high school students. With this talented Tondabayashi on the scene, you’ll never get a turn. Hahaha!]
Kirinomiya-senpai, who was sulky after being kicked out, said something rude with a straight face.
[This detective smells of incompetence.]
I’m sorry, but I agree with you on that point.
Tondabayashi-san angrily said something like a child.
[Who are you calling incompetent? Call me the capable Tondabayashi-san! In fact, I still suspect you guys are the culprits! You won’t get away with it!]
As Mr. Tondabayashi had said, we were taken to the police station and questioned one by one.
After various things, it was after 9 o’clock in the evening that I finally got home.
In a small room, I was confronted by a scary-looking man who asked me the same questions over and over again. By the time I collapsed on the bed in my room, I was so exhausted that my appetite had disappeared, as I vividly remembered the head that had been placed in the storage shed.
There really is nothing good about being with Kirinomiya-senpai.
After I killed Amase Ayano, I had the same dream over and over again.
The same dreams, over and over again.
Today, I’m still having nightmares and thinking, “Oh, I’m having the same dream again.”
No matter how different the situation is, the first person to appear in the dream is always Amase Ayano.
Sometimes her boyfriend was with her, but it didn’t make any difference whether he was there or not. Either way, it was bound to be a miserable, cruel, and humiliating dream for me.
The setting of today’s dream was an empty, pitch-black place.
I couldn’t see much of my surroundings, so I gently reached out my hand. Then I felt something like a wall touch me. It seemed that I was surrounded by high walls on all sides.
I sat there, wondering what to do.
Suddenly, water was sprayed on my head.
I was shivering from the cold, and the next moment, the bucket of water was falling.
Laughter echoed from behind the wall.
Even without seeing her face, I knew exactly who had done it. The one who did it was, of course, Amase Ayano.
I desperately tried to hold the key in the lock, but the door was eventually kicked open and opened inward.
I was in a private stall in the toilet.
When she saw me soaking wet, she laughed gleefully, mocked me, and hurled abuse at me.
She pushed me, kicked me in the stomach, shoved me face down on the floor and forced me to eat spilled garbage. They screwed my face into the toilet bowl, and when I looked up, they pressed a cigarette into my arm.
It was hard to say it was a happy dream, but I was still glad it was just a dream.
All of Amase’s actions were things that I had actually experienced in reality. So I’m glad it was just a dream.
Because Amase Ayano, was already dead. I don’t need to be hurt by her actions any more, even in my dreams.
As I was thinking about this with a certain sense of serenity, Amase fell to the floor with a thud.
Before I knew it, a knife had been plunged deeply into her chest.
A slimy liquid slipped out from both hands.
When I realized that it was thick black blood, I fled the scene.
No matter how hard I ran, my surroundings remained shrouded in darkness.
When I looked up, tired from running, only the place where Amase was, brightened, as if lit by a spotlight.
The dream always ends abruptly, with Amase’s death.
Amase was lying on the floor, unable to move. Her eyes were wide open, staring at me resentfully with eyes that held a deep hatred.
Even this scene was the same, as what had actually happened.
Frightened by her expression, trembling, and hesitating, I still took her life.
I would do it again and again.
No matter how many times the same opportunity comes around, no matter how many times I can redo the past, I will always choose the future of cutting off Amase’s head.
No matter how terrifying, no matter how unforgivable it is, I desperately want Amase’s body. No matter how many times I am tormented by Amase’s spell, I can never stop.
Because Amase and “Angel” have a common point.
Even if I can’t love Amase Ayano, if she has a resemblance to ‘Angel’, I can love that part of her.
To assemble the Angel, even if I have to get my hands dirty, I’d still do it.
Ayano Amase had a lot of things that I didn’t have.
My ideal self had always been a small girl.
I wanted to be a delicate and lovely girl who could wear a fluffy dress like a princess with an extremely slim figure, which was not the case for me in reality.
Whenever I was alone in the corner of the classroom waiting for the lunch break to end, or when no one would let me join a group in P.E class, I always let the wings of my imagination fly.
My ideal self was a pretty, cheerful girl who was loved by everyone. Constantly imagining such a thing made the ideal me seem so real that it was as if I had really transformed into such a figure.
Even though Ayano Amase was not as good as an angel, she was still able to easily get what I wanted.
That’s why, isn’t it fine to take just one thing away from her.
Because she trampled on my dignity and soul as a human being to the fullest extent, I took away her torso. I should have the right to do that.
Without hesitation, I cut off Amase’s head. But the headless corpse began to move like a zombie, and grabbed my hand firmly.
Amase’s head, which had been lying on the floor, opened its bloodshot eyes, lifted its mouth, and said with a laugh.
[I’ll kill you.]
I’ve got what I need. I have no more use for her.
I dumped Amase’s head into a nearby hole.
Deeper and deeper, Amase’s head falls into a distant place.
I was so relieved, that I hugged the body I had cut from her.
Then, the previously pitch-black surroundings suddenly turned into a warm space, filled with affection.
Feeling satisfied, I rubbed my cheek against Amase’s body with a peaceful expression.
The anxiety I had felt up to that point disappeared, and I knew for sure.
I knew I hadn’t made a mistake.
No, I think that her body should be with me.
Rather, I was wrong until now.
This, is already mine.
I embraced her body gently.
Don’t worry, I’ll get you a friend soon. And I will finish the ‘Angel’.
I’ll keep the ‘Angel’ with me forever.
That was my only small happiness, my only small wish.
However, such happiness would not last for long.
The place changed again, and before I knew it, I was in my room.
I could hear the siren of a police car approaching me.
I could see a car parked by the wall of the house, its red lights glowing.
My heart was beating fast. If I don’t get away, I’ll be caught. Sweating profusely, I ran outside to see if I could find a place to run.
The police had already surrounded me, and there was nowhere to run.
No matter how hard I ran, many people rushed towards me, accusing me of being a criminal.
I wondered why they were all standing in my way.
Tears spilled from my eyes and ran down my cheeks.
I remembered the profile of the ‘Angel’ I had seen by chance a few days ago, and bit my lip.
I don’t need anything else.
All I need, is ‘her’.
I’ve had a worse life than most people, so shouldn’t it be fine to allow for just this much.
Surrounded by a large number of police officers who were slowly closing in on me, I collapsed on the spot.
I finally woke up after the policeman forcibly held my body down.
I frowned and observed my surroundings.
For a moment, I didn’t know where I was.
Ticktock, I heard the ticking of the second hand of a clock. The room was so quiet that I could even hear the ticking of the second hand.
Of course, there were no police cars or a lot of cops.
It’s okay, this is my room. No one is going to pursue after me inside.
When I got up from the futon, I wiped the sweat from my forehead.
Even though it was winter, I was sweating all over. My heart was still beating wildly.
I ruffled my bangs, which I found annoying, and reached for my desk in the dimly lit room. I opened the lid of the plastic bottle I had left behind and drank its contents in one gulp.
As if I had a slight fever, my whole body was tortured by a sense of fatigue and languidness.
Against my will, my hand was trembling as I gripped the plastic bottle.
As I clutched my cold fingers, I checked the clock nearby.
It was a little past four in the afternoon. Apparently, I’ve been having trouble sleeping at night lately, so I must have dozed off at an odd hour.
I looked out the window to see the setting sun turning the city orange.
I decided to close the curtains and slowly stood up.
It was a dream. I know it in my head, but I’m always frightened.
Of course there was no one outside.
It was the same scene as usual. No cops, of course. There was no one out there trying to catch me. At least not yet.
Breathing a sigh of relief, I pulled back the curtains and sat down on a chair.
As for killing Amase, I have no regrets.
Maybe it was the guilt, or maybe it was the fact that I didn’t want to think about it, but it brought back all these horrible memories.
The way Amase looked down on me. The taste of the vomit, purge, and stuff that I threw up when I was kicked in the stomach. The coldness of the water that was poured over my head.
How could I forget?
There was no way I could forget.
I was bullied by Amase every day, and many times I wished that Amase would die. I thought that if Amase died, everything would be over.
But in the end, I see her in my dreams every day. Maybe I’ll never be able to escape from her.
If that’s the case, this life itself is a nightmare.
When I think about it, I find it hard to breathe.
It’s okay. I’m sure I didn’t leave behind any evidence. I carefully wiped off the fingerprints, cut off the hands and feet from Amase’s body, put them in a bag and put them in the garbage in the morning, along with the clothes Amase was wearing. If they were collected by the garbage truck, they would never be found.
I got up from my chair and picked up Amase’s torso lying in the middle of the room.
Her body was heavy and stiff.
The rotten smell was not so bad now, but I couldn’t leave her here forever.
It was hard to leave, but I knew I had to go and hide it there.
I patted Amase’s smooth belly as I thought.
I wonder, how far the police have gotten with the clues to this murder.
Could it be that the murderer was from Eirin? Could it be a student of Eirin’s? Was it me who was with her right up until the last minute?
Just thinking about it, made my stomach churn again.
Hearing the sounds of raindrops hitting the window, I looked outside.
The next thing I knew, it was starting to rain. As I looked at the asphalt, dyed with raindrops, I thought back to that day.
If there was a turning point in my life, it would clearly be that day.
It had been raining that evening as well.
When I closed my eyes, as if it had happened yesterday, I recalled the dusty atmosphere of the reference room.
After school that day, I was assigned by the teacher to carry the materials to the reference room.
I wondered why the teacher always asked me to do this, even though I wasn’t in charge of it. I know it’s because I don’t do any club activities and he thinks I’m quiet and likely to listen to him, but I can’t understand why I’m the only one being forced to do chores. Muttering a complaint in my mind, I arrived at the reference room, carrying a large amount of materials. The library was dusty and lined with many tall bookshelves.
I checked the labels of the materials I was carrying and looked for the designated bookshelf. I suppose I could just shove them around, but I feel bad about my personality if I don’t clean up these things properly.
I found the bookshelf at the far end of the room and sat down in front of it to put away the materials.
After a while, I felt someone coming into the room.
It was probably another weak minded student from another class, who had been forced to help like me.
I felt sorry for them and continued to clean up, when suddenly, I heard a violent noise coming from a bookshelf a little far away.
Startled, I peeked out a little to see what was going on.
The person standing there was Amase Ayano.
I wondered why she was in this place. She wasn’t the kind of person who would be forced to do chores for a teacher.
But I would immediately get to know why she was here.
In a deserted place, she was waiting impatiently to harass her prey.
Amase shouted loudly.
[Okabe, you’re here, right?]
Not sure on what to do, I peeked fearfully out from the bookshelf.
It seemed that Amase was in a very bad mood. I’ve never had a conversation with her, even in the same class, and I thought she was someone I’d never have a chance to talk to in the future.
I had a bad impression of her, but I didn’t expect her to be so back and forth.
While I was astonished by her sudden appearance and her true nature, Amase threw all the materials nearby against the wall, without considering the conditions.
I averted my face involuntarily.
[Aah, damn, so frustrating. Oi, what the hell are you laughing at!]
Apparently, she hadn’t done well on the test. I found out later that Amase Ayano’s parents are quite strict. She would be severely rebuked when her grades declined, so she would have been looking for an outlet to hit the stress.
As if she wanted to destroy the very room she was in, Amase kicked the bookshelf repeatedly, all the while throwing out curses.
[I can’t stand that sneering look on your face when you’re trying to get me in a good mood. Oi, I’m talking to you, so say something, Okabe!]
The bookshelf that was kicked hard tilted unsteadily. It was supported by other bookshelves and didn’t fall over, but books were falling down from the cracks.
I was so surprised that I cowered in place.
Amase’s feelings don’t seem to subside at all. She rains down violence and hurls unbearably abusive words.
There was nothing I could do.
All I did was stay huddled up in that place, terrified, earnestly waiting for the storm to pass.
If I had done something at that time, I wonder if it would’ve ended differently.
Even so, what could I have done at that time?
Even if I had appealed to the teachers, I didn’t think they would have believed my story.
Amase was usually buttering up to the teachers, and her parents seemed to be on the board of directors for the school, so she held a lot of influence.
If I said anything, it would be simply swept under the rug.
I couldn’t bear to listen to her ranting any longer.
After hesitating for a bit, I slowly stood up, determined to escape.
That’s when I made a blunder.
The moment I tried to jump out of the bookshelf, my legs got tangled and I fell down on the spot.
Amase glared at me with a fierce look in his eyes.
I felt my heart freeze.
I didn’t know what to do, so I got up and ran away from the scene without looking back.
[I’ll never let you escape.]
Her eyes told me so.
Even after I escaped from the reference room, I couldn’t stop the chills in my back.
I still can’t forget the way Amase looked at me.
It seemed that Amase had been messing with various other students at that time. However, when other students stopped going to school or transferred, she was looking for her next target.
My actions in the reference room had made her realize that I was a good prey for her.
Immediately after that, Amase began targeting me regularly, often threatening me with violence.