Episode 1 Murder at Jouji Girls’ School
Kuramae, Taitou District1. The place crowded by houses from the past was the so-called old town. A famous tourist place, Seisou Temple, was nearby, and the Tokyo Sky Tree could be viewed from there as well.
This old town had already been built for over twenty years, and now Tamura is living in a crappy apartment.
After the bell rung for a few seconds, the old wooden door was slowly opened with squeaky sounds.
The facial features of the man who murmured “What do you want?” were… Unkempt hair tousled due to bad sleeping positions. A stubbly beard extended as lines around his mouth and on his chin. He probably had an unbalanced diet; he was skinny overall, but his stomach protruded from his body. You couldn’t tell he was twenty-one with a single glance.
The man in a creased jersey was Yukitoshi Tamura.
He was the suspect for murdering Azusa Nishino.
Kujou started the conversation with a smile.
“We are the police. We came to ask you some questions regarding the case of Azusa Nishino. Can we have your cooperation?”
He seemed like has already been questioned for several times. He did not hide his disconcerted face.
Kujou continued interrogating.
“Where did you meet Azusa Nishino?”
“By chance, I saw her at a convenience store in Akiba2 when she was working as a cash register..”
“Then you accosted her?”
“I didn’t accost her. Accosting a woman I meet for the first time is a little… I don’t even know what to talk about.”
“I see. This is why you gave her letters?”
“… Police, do you believe in falling in love at first sight? When I first met Azusa… I was convinced of its existence.”
“However, after you have handed her the letters, you were refused by Azusa euphemistically, right?”
“My letters were received. Receiving my letters was her reply, right? She continued receiving my love. That’s why I wrote letters and handed them to her everyday from that point on.”
The man who did not read the refuse literally but believed in the action of receiving the letters written with his love instead made them felt a little bit cold.
“I once wrote that ‘I like you. Please be my girlfriend. If you like me as well, please receive my letter tomorrow.’”
Recalling what the female students had said, Akira opened his eyes.
… Although she received the letters, she stopped reading them from the middle…
This was the crucial moment when misunderstandings started to exist.
Kujou and Yui realized it as well, and their faces became clouded.
“So after that, she continued receiving your letters. Is that’s true?”
“Right. I had never thought that resonance between two people was that exhilarating.”
Tamura hadn’t shown any changes in facial expressions until now, but he smiled.
“I see, I see. Azusa probably cherished the letters filled with your love.”
Pretending to agree with Tamura’s thoughts with words, Kujou’s eyes looked through Tamura’s innermost heart.
As Kujou had expected, Tamura’s expressions became incensed immediately.
“… But… ”
“What? ‘But.’ What are you talking about?”
“… But… She… Azusa… She tore up all the letters she had received from me and all of my love right in front of my eyes! One by one!! And she said! ‘Stop bothering me! You’re gross so don’t ever come again!!’”
Tamura knocked on the door with all his strength and crazy wrath.
“….So….What was that… Why did she receive my letters… What was the resonance between us two… Who was gross… Why was she treating my love like this…. Wasn’t her heart the grossest thing… Don’t kid with me…. Why do I have to be heart-broken…. This doesn’t make any sense…. The one who should be heart-broken… The one who should be heart-broken is Azusa!! Let her disappear from this world!! ”
The murderous intent exuded from the inside of his inordinate breathing.
“What you have just said are confirming your murderous intent.”
With a faint smile, Tamura took in a huge breath. Kujou turned his unfocused and vacuous eyes to him.
“Everyone has wanted to kill somebody at one point.”
“I see, that’s true. So let’s go back to our conversation. Where were you 22 o’clock at the day of the murder？”
“… At a game center in Akiba.”
“Do you often go to game centers?”
“Eh… Sometimes… ”
“Even a social withdrawal felt it’s not enough to stay at home to play game?”
“I, I just wanted to change my mood！”
“Oh, I see. Do you have any… friends? Or any witnesses?”
“That’s impossible. If… If… If you don’t believe me, just go check the security camera at the game center.”
“Yeah, you’re right.”
Kujou’s heels were ready to leave, but he recalled something and went back to Tamura.
“Mr. Tamura… Have you ever been to the Private Jouji Girl’s High School? ”
Tamura opened his eyes widely.
“Thank you very much. I appreciate your cooperation.”
Kujou smiled affably.
After leaving Tamura’s house, the three went to Akihabara on their way and started to investigate the alibi provided by him.
Because there were instructions came from the police, videos from the day of Azusa being murdered were kept. Just by looking at them, Tamura was at that single game center the whole day. Although he had left for several times, the longest one was only for twenty minutes. It would be fair to think that he went to restroom or restaurant. At least only a single way from Shinjuku to the crime scene in Numabukuro takes twenty minutes for electric train.
Furthermore, during the time of Azusa being murdered, from twenty-two o’clock to twenty-three o’clock, the figure of Tamura immersed in games stayed in the videos.
Also, according to the employees, they said that they saw a rarely seen customer wearing the same jersey and staying at the game center for a whole day three days in a row..
The videos from the security camera and the testimony provided by the employees.
Yukitoshi Tamura’s alibi was flawless.
The sky became darker, and in the dining room of Hakoniwa Detective Agency, the three including Akira were perplexed.
“Although it was unnatural that he stayed at the game center for a long time even though he rarely went; however, as a matter of fact, it was impossible for him to kill Azusa.”
“Right, what Miss Yui has just said. After that, I contacted Mr. G, and he asked, ‘Right?’ Then we ended the conversation.”
“I see. So the police had the same information as what we have obtained and are stuck now…”
“Since he still had the stalking case, he will not be acquitted…. Something like that….”
“Why… I thought the offender was surely him… ”
“Although he has alibi, we cannot remove Tamura from the suspect list easily. We have to closely examine his alibi and find possibilities besides this from now on.”
The first flush of darjeeling tea had already become cold.
Opposite to the brilliant yellowish water, the three were surrounded by a dark and heavy atmosphere.
After that, no one had opened his mouth that day.
The investigation had almost gone back to the starting point. Three days after Hakoniwa Detective Agency and the police were deadlocked,
… That case had happened…