Episode 3 Under the Cherry Blossom Tree…
It had been three days since Genjirou Fujinami came to the detective agency. The world still had no clues about the offender. Wide shows1 and news were suddenly putting efforts into making special programs for it.
In the dining room of the detective agency, Akira was staring at the TV because he was told to collect all the general information.
The door behind Akira was opened.
“Kid, is there anything going on in society?”
Kujou asked directly when he stepped into the room while holding several documents.
“Hum~ I don’t think there was anything important. Well, compared to the identity of the offender, the mystery of a corpse buried under the cherry blossom tree is more attractive. People say that ‘Isn’t it one of the modern seven wonders?’”
“I see… Since people want the viewing rate. I thought that there should be programs that would only focus on the surface of the case… So the general public is attracted by mysteriousness the mysteries.”
“What do you mean?”
Kujou took out his phone and show the screen to Akira, who could not follow his train of thought.
“Is this Twitter?”
“Right. Look at the item under Trending.”
“Eh…What is this…”
Akira saw the item named ‘Under the cherry blossom tree…’ on the screen and there were millions of tweets about it.
“People are looking for the offender?”
Saying that, Kujou sighed.
“There are rumors ranging from speculations that ‘Wherever there are beautiful cherry blossom trees, there must be some corpses buried under them’ to affirmations that ‘There are corpse buried under the cherry blossom tree over there.’”
“Nobody cares about the victim. People are experiencing schadenfreude.”
Wearing a light pink jersey, Yui stood next to Akira without him noticing.
When Akira saw Yui in unusually scanty clothes, his face flushed.
Right after that, the corner of a phone hit Akira between his eyebrows.
“Don’t look at Miss Yui with lust, you erotic kappa2!!”
“Ouch… Wait… You, how can you hit me between my eyebrow?”
While belittling Akira, who was on his knees, Kujou pulled out a chair lightly in the dining room for Yui.
Sitting onto the chair nimbly as if she was following Kujou’s action, Yui noticed the documents Kujou was holding.
“Kujou, what are they?”
“The information regarding the victim I investigated these days. Here you are.”
After handing the documents, Kujou went into the kitchen. He seemed to be preparing to boil water.
“Damn it… That violent butler.”
Akira was rubbing the area between his eyebrows and slowly sat down onto the chair next to Yui.
“So Yui. What’s written over there？”
She read the documents aloud while slowly explaining them, so that there would be easier for Akira to understand.
“Arieru Shimizu, eighteen years old. Female. The cause of her death was being pressured by something similar to a string, causing suffocation.The hyoid bone was found fractured, indicating that the string was bold. Also, from the rate it skeletonized, she was probably dead about one or two month ago.”
“Up till now, it’s still exactly the same as what Mr. Gen had told us last time.”
“The victim had no delinquency history or arrest record. People living around her house said they were a good family because they had a good relationship.She went to coeducational elementary, middle, and high schools. Her grades were neither very good nor very bad, but she was a hard worker, so she left the teachers and students with a good impression. ”
“Eh? That means she had no problem that could lead to her death?”
“Just from reading the paperwork, the victim was not a person that would be hated by others.”
“Just like what Miss Yui said. She was a normal girl who was suddenly murdered and buried.”
Answering, Kujou placed the teacups, which were impressive due to their gold and blue lines, onto the table,
“Did her family member put out a notice for a disappearing person?”
“Yes. About two month ago, they send it to the local police office. Also, there wasn’t any expensive insurance on her.”
“Hum… Then there is only a small chance for the offender to be one of her relatives.”
Murmuring, Yui crossed her arms and moved onto the back of the chair.
It was at that time.
“Oh, no! I, I think I solved it!!”
Akira put his two hands onto the table abruptly and kept speaking after doing so.
“This is! A camouflage of the time of murder! Listen! Arieru was killed recently. After that, her corpse was placed on the ground. The offender waited for the point when the corpse was deteriorated enough and buried it under that cherry blossom tree! Then he could disguise the time of murder!!”
“Good job, kid.”
“Right!! I’m so awesome-!!”
Being praised by Kujou, who seldom praised others, Akira’s mood became extremely good.
“Then will you please explain your conclusion in detail, including the subtle differences between the skeletonization processes of corpses being above and underground.”
Akira had been in an extremely good mood. He, who had been lifting his two hands up towards the ceiling and dancing with joy, stiffened.
“Idiot. Whether the corpses are exposed to the air makes a huge difference in the skeletonization process. Also, if it is over the ground, you won’t be able to cover the stink during decomposition. Furthermore! Just a moment ago, we had talked about that a notice for a disappearing person was put out in the police office two months ago. Is there a flower blooming in your head3!? That’s joyful. ”
Akira’s mood dropped being in heaven to hell.
Akira’s heart was broken due the multiple actions from the hateful Kujou.
No, his heart pretended to be broken.
There were flames dwelling in his eyes.
Akira raise his head and announced another possibility.
“I solved it!! The one before was incorrect!! Arieru’s parents killed her about half year ago or a year ago! And then kept her body inside the refrigerator…”
“Shut up, Flower Garden!!”
“Fl… Flower… Garden?”
The words shocked Akira so much that he totally stopped thinking.
“I thought there was only one flower blooming in your brain, but now I know there is a flower garden. Let them wither right now!! Let everything wither!!”
Akira’s heart was… broken thoroughly.
He sat onto the chair powerlessly and lay on the table.
“In the first place, there isn’t a single reason for a complete stranger to take that many risks in order to camouflage the time of murder. Furthermore, it was a well-known fact that she had a good relationship with her family members. There wasn’t any expensive insurance on her. I can’t think of any merit in or reasons for her close relatives to murder her.”
Finishing this sentence, Kujou slowly pressed onto the teastick of the tea server, which was moderately red, and the tea leaves being pressed sank to the bottom.
“So, Kujou. Are there any witnesses who had seen the corpse being buried at the crime scene or any suspects?”
“Last night, I’ve heard from Mr. Gen that the police did not have any more information at the time.”
Yui sighed lightly.
“In the first place, the corpse was abandoned in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture. Normally, if there was a stranger, the residents should notice… However, this case happened in a remote mountain. There was no houses within two kilometers from the crime scene. The owner of the cherry blossom trees was living in another prefecture and was not even likely to visit there once a year.”
“… What… So there weren’t any witnesses?”
Drooping his head, Akira spoke regretfully.
Looking at the two who were blocked in every direction, Kujou poured the English Breakfast Tea into the teacups placed in a line.
“Continue from where we left off, regarding information from the police, the corpse was skeletonized and injured. They could not find any evidence besides the marks indicating that the neck was pressured by something similar to a string, causing suffocation. Also, the material witness was already interrogated returned to his normal life, although he is still monitored by the policy. Well, since the police were lacking information, there is nothing we can tell right now.”
Finished pouring tea, Kujou sat onto the chair silently.
Instead of mixing with the tea, the milk being added into the black tea sank to the bottom of the teacup similar to white smoke.
No one at the detective agency could even grasp the silhouette of the offender. The heavy atmosphere that was more astringent than black tea encompassed this room.
1. Wide shows – TV programs that mainly targeted at housewives. They include scandals and gossips about celebrities and politicians.↩
2. Kappa – a Japanese youkai which looks a child with a dish at the top of its head. It likes to play tricks such as drowning people.↩
3. A flower blooming in your head – describing Akira’s naïveté and positivity with a negative connotation.↩