Episode 1 Murder at Jouji Girls’ School
Akira went to Jouji High School. He hadn’t been there for several days.
When the female students saw the student teacher, they went to talk to him immediately; however, there wasn’t anything that could be a clue for this case.
“What are your hobbies?” “Do you like desserts?” “Let’s have lunch together!” “Do you have a girlfriend?” “You kind of look like a dog.”
“The last one was unnecessary!!” Akira was about to yell, but he had no energy left because of the storm of questioning. He decided to go to the rooftop because he also wanted to change his mood.
Since there were railings on the rooftop of the school, it was always open to the students.
Akira went upstairs and through the wide open door. The weather was nice, and his sight was whited out because of the sunshine.
After a few seconds, he saw the blue sky and a girl. She looked like she was reading a book about something.
“What are you reading?”
Leaning on the fence, she raise her head.
“U~h… Are you Mr. Satou?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
“This is an English novel.”
“Ah… My weakest subject!”
The girl grinned after hearing this and introduced herself as Kyouko Akihara.
“Kyouko, do you like English?”
“Yes!! I want to be a translator and create subtitles for foreign movies. ”
Her light brown hair was tied in a ponytail and she smiled. She was an adorable girl with impressive and noticeable canines.
“Aren’t English novels more complicated than what you learn at school? You can read that?”
“It was extremely complicated at first, but I started to understand them during the process of looking up words by myself.”
While saying this, an English-Japanese dictionary was placed beside her. Her steady endeavor would probably bear fruit.
“Then, aren’t English classes boring?”
“No, that never happens. Studying grammar and some basic things are very useful… But…”
Different then the light tone until now, she turned slightly clouded and continued the conversation.
“Since we currently have a Japanese teacher, I’m not satisfied.”
“Oh? What does that mean?”
“The teacher pronounces words in a Japanese way. Should I say that it’s not authentic?”
“Eh? So the teacher before was authentic, which means the teacher was a foreigner!?”
“That’s right. He’s a man named Robert Carter and was born in America.”
“Wow, an American teacher. Then, of course, comparing this teacher to Mr.Carter… ”
Akira stopped when he spoke to that.
Within the abrupt silence, Kyouko looked into Akira’s face, questioning.
“Kyouko. Was Mr. Carter the teacher who was transferred to Kumamoto1?”
“Ehh, yes. You’ve heard about it.”
“… Oh, no… I forgot about him completely…”
Akira recalled the name Carter from the investigation on the first day.
Kujou said the man who bumped into Akira at the front gate was Tamura Yukitoshi. He’s the one who murmured ‘That rascal.’
The person he was meeting with until that.
“Then… That man was… ”
Hearing Akira’s whisper, Kyouko arched her neck.
“Kyouko, please tell me whatever you know. What do you know about Mr. Carter? Why was he transferred suddenly?”
“I don’t really know the reason why he was transferred, but I remember it was actually suddenly. He was a thoughtful, tender, and intelligent teacher. His language skills were also impressive. He said he knew English, Japanese, French, and German. I think… He’s worked here since two or three years ago. His lessons were easy to understand and he answered my questions politely when I went to ask him during the break. He was not only tall but also handsome… To my knowledge, I don’t think I’ve heard any negative rumors about him from either students or teachers… ”
“And… He never mix official business with… Private affairs… He was a wonderful teacher.”
The last sentence Kyouko had said revealed some sorrow..
But, Akira would never notice that slight change and kept talking with optimism.
“Back to our conversation. Kyouko, you really look deeply into people.”
“I am the moral monitor, so normally I’ll hear or see some things..”
Kyouko returned joyful, like the sadness had been blown away.
“You’re the moral monitor!? I’m scared!”
“Ha, ha, ha, I am very serious ~ No one can violate the school rules as long as my eyes are still black2!”
“Oh no~ Kyouko is very serious, so I feel bad for everyone else~”
“What do you mean by you feel bad, stop!”
Kyouko became angry very adorably, and she started to leave, “I’m going to return to the classroom..”
Akira chased after her from behind quickly.
“Is it easy for outsiders to sneak into the school?”
“Outsiders? Umm~ I don’t know about that. But there are security guards outside, so I don’t think people can come in easily.”
“Then, are there many authorized people entering and exiting the school? Such as student teachers like me and substitute teachers.”
“Sometimes, I think. Probably once for every half year. Oh, but the merchants are often seen.”
“Right. They sometimes carry goods to the school’s store and sometimes deliver textbooks to the Chemistry stockroom. They are people wearing blue hoodies.”
“… Blue hoodies… ”
Because she cared that Akira stopped unexpectedly, Kyouko turn back and stopped.
“… It can’t be wrong… Carter was the one who met with Tamura when Tamura wore that merchants’ hoodie… Which indicates that Carter prepared the hoodies… But, then, what did they talk about when they met at school…”
Mumbling, Akira organized his thoughts in a low volume. Hearing his voice, Kyouko became astonished.
“Mr.Carter was there!?”
Kyouko asked while shaking Akira’s hand strongly.
“Eh? Oh, no. I just thought that perhaps he was there.”
Akira was surprised a little and he smiled bitterly, Kyouko showed her sad face.
“Kyouko, you really yearn to meet Mr. Carter that much?”
“Eh… No… That was… Because his transfer was so sudden that I didn’t get to say goodbye to him… It’s not like… I like him or something like that… ”
Hearing that, Akira smiled and said,
“Kyouko? I’ve never asked you, ‘Who do you like?’ Right?”
Realizing that she jumped to the conclusion too hastily, Kyouko became flushed all the way to her ears and looked down hesitantly.
When they was ready to start walking again, there came a familiar voice from the stairs.
“Oh, is it Mr.Akira and Kyouko?”
When they looked, they saw Mari Kitamikado, the president of the student council.
Kyouko hid her face back.
“What’s going on, Kitamikado？”
She answered Akira’s question with her gentle Mari smile.
“Since I heard talking voices from the rooftop, I wanted to remind them that the break was about to end.”
“Teacher, I am going to be late to class, so I’ll leave right now.”
Then Kyouko bowed to Akira and went downstairs without so much as a glance at Mari.
After watching Kyouko’s actions, Mari turned around.
“What did you two talk about?”
“Like something about herself and something about Mr. Carter.”
“Mr. Carter… He was the English teacher who was transferred several days ago, right?”
“Ah, yes, yes. Speaking of which, Kitamikado, do you know why Mr. Carter was transferred?”
“No, I don’t know that many details.”
“Kyouko was the same, sure that no one knows the reason~”
Affected by Akira laughing out “Ahaha,” Mari smiled as well.
“Oh! I want to ask something else. Was Mr.Carter very familiar with the merchants?”
“About the merchants… They are the people who carry the goods into the school, right? No, I don’t know it that many details, since I hadn’t talked with Mr. Carter that much.”
She answer regrettably and knitted her eyebrows.
“I see. Sorry, I asked a weird question.”
“No, that’s fine.”
She smiled sweetly.
They went downstairs until they reached 12th grade classrooms, Akira said goodbye to Mari, and slowly went downstairs.
“Did Kyouko talk about anything else?”
Unexpectedly, a question came from behind.
When Akira turned back, smiling Mari reflect in his eyes.
“No, nothing besides that… ”
… A moment of silence…
Her shining black hair waved intensely in the wind.
“I see. Then, I still have my next class period, so I’m leaving. ”
Her gentle voice as usual, she left after a deep bow.
“…That was my illusion… Right?”
Finishing their dinner for that night, the three decided to exchange information from the investigation in the living room of the detective agency.
The English teacher who named Carter. Blue hoodies that merchants wore when entering and exiting the school. Akira explained his conclusion from those to Kujou and Yui
“Your conclusion was too abrupt. Why do you think Carter was the offender?”
Kujou replied very calmly.
“Didn’t Takura bump into me at the front door? He was meeting with Carter there. And them for some reason I heard he said ‘that rascal’ because he was mad. Wasn’t Carter a teacher worked at that school? It shouldn’t be hard for him to get a blue hoodie!!”
“Then, you conclusion assumes that Carter, who was transferred, met with Tamura, who sneaked into the school, for some reason and then they did something, right?”
“Oh, right. However… Since I don’t understand the reason, I have to catch and ask him…”
Suddenly, Kujou smiled.
“This is your kind of thinking that is very direct. If you feel confident with your conclusion then go head.”
“Oh, oh, oh! I’ll do it!! I’ll solve the mystery with my conclusion!! Wahahahahaha!”
Akira felt a little surprised with Kujou’s unexpected response. Knowing that he was supported, he revealed all his triumph and enthusiasm.
“So what happened on your side?”
Kujou and Yui had been investigating the death of Tamura.
“The night before Tamura’s death, a person witnessed some people quarreling in the park. Since there weren’t that many street lights in the park, the witness said he didn’t know any details, like their faces; however, the person who was noisy seemed to have unkempt hair and wear a jersey.”
“What were they quarreling about?”
“Unfortunately, that witness did not hear those details. It was just two people quarreling loudly.”
“Usually, you would think that Tamura being killed after this argument is what would have happened.”
Yui was fighting with fondant au chocolat and she answered with a little chocolate stuck on her lip.
Agreeing with that, Kujou replied, “Yes.”
“Eh? But… Wait a second. But don’t we not know if he was killed by Carter? What about the possibility they said on the news? Something like he was drunk so he fell down.”
“That’s impossible. In the past, he had acute alcohol intoxication and couldn’t drink after that. In the first place, he seemed to be a non-drinker who couldn’t even handle a single drop of alcohol. His families and a few of his old acquaintance provided testimonies like that.”
“So the bottles near deceased Tamura were fake… Then, as I thought…”
Akira felt the the possibility of murder became higher. Information about Carter was lacking, which they wanted more of. Yui read Akira’s thoughts when he crossed his arms, and she gave off a tone of voice indicating to end this conference.
“Let’s survey the teacher named Carter, who was investigated by Akira, at first. Tomorrow, let’s talk to Kentarou together.”
1. Kumamoto – the capital city of Kumamoto Prefecture on the island of Kyushu, Japan.↩
2. As long as my eyes are still black – when she’s still living (because eyes turn white after a person dies)↩