Episode 3 Under the Cherry Blossom Tree…
“I won’t say ‘… Really… Don’t come.’ If you are coming, I’d like you to make an appointment earlier indicating that you are coming.”
While saying that, Kujou poured the Darjeeling tea for the new guest.
A man who was seated deeply into a chair in the dining room with widely opened legs ignored what Kujou said and started talking affably.
“By the way, Yui-chan, do you feel better now?”
“Oh. It’s been awhile since the cases of Goryuu Club and Roppongi. Now, there is nothing to worry about.”
“I see, I see! How about you, Akira?”
“Fine, how about you? Well, in the first place, I did not get injured like Yui did.”
“Well~~~ It’s good to be youthful! Just a few days ago, I was kicked on the waist by a professional wrestler and my back strain was so painful. It won’t heal because I am aged now, right! Kyuu1!!”
“Please don’t place me in the same position when everyone is confused.”
While placing the teacup in front of the three people after finishing pouring the tea, Kujou denied everything the man, who was called Mr. Gen, had said.
Alias, Mr. Gen.
The man’s real name was Genjirou Fujinami.
He worked in the police office in Shinjuku. He was not a serious man. Although he mainly handled the investigations of murder cases, he barely worked with a team and mostly did stand play2.
According to him, it was because people around him were not able to follow his pace.
However, as a policeman, his intuition was very outstanding. He also had the achievement of solving numerous difficult cases with Kujou. Because of that, he had the hidden side of a wide area special investigator.
With a trademark of an unshaven face, he was a cheerful and optimistic policeman who handled outlaw cases.
That was Mr. Gen.
“So. You came here so suddenly, is there anything urgent?”
“Oh, right. It’s the case about the corpse under the cherry blossom tree. You’ve probably heard about it”
“Ah! Wasn’t that the one in the special program of the news this evening?”
Akira was interested by Genjirou’s words.
“I heard that the police has already started interrogating the witnesses.”
“Well, just like what Yui had just said…”
“What happened? Was it wrong?”
Yui tilted her tiny head curiously because of Genjirou, who spoke ambiguously while scratching his chin.
“How am I supposed to say… Well… I don’t feel anything, anything that is related to this case….”
“Are you talking about the intuition you always have?”
Kujou unwillingly gave a helping hand for knowing Genjirou well.
“Right!! That’s what it is!! It’s the intuition I have for being a policeman!!”
“Wait, you mean your intuition? Really, is that going to work?”
“Of course!! That’s how I live!!”
“Now, there are three people that we are interrogating. Since two of them are the owners of the land of the crime scene and the land nearby, the information they can provide can only serve as a reference. But, the other one is a young man who lives in Shinjuku District by himself. He is the ex-boyfriend of the victim. He is now interrogated by the Shinjuku Police Office as a material witness.”
“What? According to the rumor, there isn’t an owner of this piece of land, right?”
Akira asked curiously.
“Oh, after all, a rumor is just a rumor. There actually was an owner when I investigated.”
“Oh~ I see.”
“By the way, Mr.Gen. You talked about her ex-boyfriend, which means you found out the victim’s identity?”
“Oh, after the police in charge of this place dug continuously, they found that personal belongings, such as licenses, were buried right beside the corpse.”
Hearing that, Kujou narrowed his eyebrow and showed a surprised face.
“The victim is Arieru3 Shimizu, female, eighteen years old. By the way, how can it be written as Awahime but pronounced as Arieru!”
“It’s something commonly called a shiny name. Kids are not pets, why can’t the parents think more about the kids who have those kind of names.”
Yui showed a surprised facial expression and sighed while taking the teacup up.
“Wait, but doesn’t Awahime seem cute?”
“Are you stupid!? Awahime is a word referring to soap girls4 since the ancient times..”
“Eh… Mr. Gen, is that true…”
“Currently, what we need is not origin of the name. And what about the crime scene?”
Although Mr. Gen was showing his knowledge to Akira, who was almost two dozen years younger than him, Kujou moved the conversation on indifferently.
“Since she was partially skeletonized, she passed away between one and two months ago. Since there was a mark with a shape of a string on her neck, she was probably buried with her clothes on after being strangled.”
“The offender that was in a hurry… Was him?”
“Yes, Miss Yui. I’m also curious about that…”
Kujou’s and Yui’s expressions became clouded in the same way.
Looking at them, Genjirou and Akira exchanged friendly glances.
“Well, I think you overthought it. Don’t worry. Also, what happened to the ex-boyfriend?”
Facing Kujou’s question, Genjiirou put his hands up, making the pose of surrender.
“He was not helpful at all. It seemed like he had dated the victim for about two months, but they had broken up more than one year age. He was the one who suggested to break up. Then, he shouldn’t have any resentment. Well, of course, we are still investigating.”
“I see. The material witness was innocent. Your intuition was murmuring that the offender was somewhere else.”
Warm Darjeeling tea was poured into Yui’s empty teacup.
“Exactly. However… This case. I don’t feel like it will end as simply as this.”
Genjirou’s ominous words, which were filled with confidence, froze the atmosphere.
Kujou slowly placed the teapot back to the table, crossed his arms, and adjusted his breathing.
“Then, Mr. Fujinami, I’ll ask you again about your reasons for coming here. What’s your request for this detective agency?”
“Alas. After two months, the Japan-US Summit Conference will be held in Tokyo, right? Because of that, our office is already out of people. Then this case about the corpse under the cherry blossom tree happened, right? We are so busy right now. Really, we are shorthanded, so help us!! Please!!”
Kujou lightly closed his eyes and sighed at Genjirou, who cupped his hands and bowed his head5 with momentum in front of Kujou.
“You appear always, always so suddenly and force me to deal with the atrociously difficult tasks… Really, you are making me feel dizzy.”
“Oh!? ‘Making you feel dizzy’ means!?”
“Right. I understand. I will receive this case.”
“You are truly the friend I should have!!”
Genjirou’s face beamed with a smile..
“You scratched a policeman’s back, Kujou.”
“Yes. I will definitely return this favor.”
Not knowing that Yui and Kujou were smiling, an optimistic voice replied..
“Oh! I’ll remember it!! If the time comes when you are arrested, I’ll release you immediately!!”
“That time will never come.”
Kujou replied immediately. Since Genjirou was even more optimistic than he normally was, he could not feel Kujou’s wrath.
“Kujou, then what should I do?”
Akira was listening without speaking a single word until now, then his offered to help the agency’s investigation.
Kujou changed his target of repressed anger immediately.
“You’d better go to the detention cell!!”
“What!? You! What are you talking about!!”
“Oh~ Okay, okay~ Do you want to come with me and stay there tonight?”
In the noisy conversation, Yui stood up from her seat secretly.
“Kujou. I am tired. I am going back to my room to rest.”
“Eh? Wait a moment, Yui!! Are you going to abandon me!?”
Yui was about to head to her room, but she turned back to Akira, who was feeling anxious and surprised.
“Don’t worry, Akira. If nothing happens, I can get out after forty-eight hours.”
Her face beamed with a smile.
There was no doubt that Akira’s death cry echoed in the room immediately after that.
1. Kyuu – Kujou’s nickname. In Japanese, the Kanji of ku also has the pronunciation of kyuu.↩
2. Stand play – conscious actions in an attempt to highlight one’s presence.↩
3. Arieru – according to the kanji, it should be pronounced as Awahime, but it has the pronunciation of Arieru.↩
4. Soap girls – girls who work for the soap land, a type of Japanese communal bath houses which provides sexual services to male customers.↩
5. Cupped his hands and bowed his head – actions of asking for help sincerely.↩