Episode 3 Under the Cherry Blossom Tree…
Two days had already passed when Kujou returned to the house at night.
“That is all for the local report regarding the abandonment incident of Jedi Aoki’s corpse.”
After he finished hearing Kujou’s explanation, Yui placed the report onto the table and drank the lemon tea which had become slightly warm.
“Has Mr.Gen said anything?”
Akira poured the warm black tea into Kujou’s empty teacup with his awkward technique.
“He said that ‘The DNA of the skeleton found in Fuji matched up with the DNA found in his house. Of course, we will pay more attention to this case and continue the investigation.’”
“Then, what about Arieru?”
“The DNAs and teeth also matched up.”
“Then the items buried with them actually belonged to them, right?”
Akira poured the black tea into Yui’s teacup, who crossed her arms and was worried.
“By the way, what was the cause of death of Jedi?”
“We can’t really tell the cause of death from a completely skeletonized body, but from the fact that there weren’t any evidence of injury from blades on the bones and the fractured hyoid, he probably died from suffocation due to the pressure on his neck similar to Miss Shimizu. Of course, there’s the possibility of poisoning or illness, but it would be hard to tell from a skeletonized body. ”
Even Kujou was distressed. He closed his eyes and leaned into the chair.
“The two offenders are similar. Both had peaceful families and were eighteen year old high schoolers who were well liked by people in the surrounding areas and schools. They had no history of delinquency or crime and no evidence of people hating them. Although they were buried in different places, they were both buried under unknown cherry blossom trees.”
“There are a bunch of similarities!! Also, both of their names were weird!!”
After hearing Yui’s conclusion, Akira said these words with an air of importance.
“Listen to me, Akira. In this case, the offenders had too many similarities that we have the problem of focusing on one of them.”
“U~m, I see… Ah! Then!! Did Arieru and Jedi know each other?”
Kujou answered Akira’s optimistic question curtly with his eyes closed.
“Their respective friends were investigated; however, they only knew this case from the news and did not know anything about the other victim. In the first place, regarding to Mr. Aoki, he was thought to be murdered when he disappeared two years ago. Also, considering they were living two different places, there is a high possibility they did not know each other..
“I see… ”
Akira made that suggestion because he thought that they might come up with some new discoveries, but he missed the target and stared at the teapot with discouragement. He stood still.
The atmosphere was heavy.
Kujou turned to another topic with a cheerful tone in order to drive away the gloom.
“Kid, how was the world during the time I was out? Were there any new discoveries regarding the case?”
“… Umm, there was nothing in particular related to the case. The TV stations and magazines were, if anything, enjoying the investigation as best as they could, saying things like ‘How does the criminal look like?’ or ‘Who is the offender according to profiling?’”
Saying that, Akira realized something and quickly turned his head up.
“Oh! Yeah!! I realized something!!”1
“Of course not!!”
“So, what happened?”
“Don’t continue that arbitrarily!!”
Yui’s facial expression became milder because of the conversation between the two with sharp mind.
“Well, although the case is on the news as well, it’s out of control on Twitter right now. Wasn’t the second corpse found under a cherry blossom tree? Because the founders said they saw the Tweets on Twitter and they actually found one, so the people trying to dig under cherry blossom trees with the intention of treasure hunting are increasing now. There are also increasing Tweets about ‘There is a corpse buried under a cherry blossom tree somewhere.’”
“Seriously, there are too many tasteless fellows.”
Saying that, Yui sighed with dissatisfaction and anger.
“… Akira… Good job.”
Realizing something, Kujou praised Akira.
“Although I focused too much on cherry blossom trees… It is Twitter. I remember that the news regarding the discovery of the corpse of Mr. Jedi said something about that… That means there is a high possibility for the offender to send messages on Twitter.”
“If the offender is using Twitter, can we track him from there?”
“Exactly as what Miss Yui said, but the offender probably used a prepaid phone and created an account without leaving any evidence.”
“And there are countless secret ways to do that.”
“Although people are not necessary imitating, there are people who spread the fake Tweets for fun. Are we going to find the real ones out of the fake ones!? Isn’t that impossible? ”
What Akira had said was exactly on point.
It was extremely difficult to find the real Tweets out of all the fake ones that had spread after all this time.
“Well, I will ask Mr. Gen to see if he can search the logs. Akira, focus on Twitter completely. There will probably be more people who want to dig corpses out just for fun. If that happens, tell me immediately. I have a premonition that this case will affect a wide range of areas. Although this is against my will, I have to entrust you to be the hero for now”
“Ok, I got it. I will focus on Twitter!”
Akira hit his chest vigorously.
Kujou was satisfied by the answer and smiled.
“Akira, I need more tea.”
While saying that, Akira tilted the teapot in his hand and poured the warm black tea into Kujou’s cup.
Kujou nodded while checking Akira’s reaction. He said with a smile:
“Butler Akira. You are in the right shape.”
During the two days Kujou was away, Akira had read through the manual and put all his efforts into being a butler. He had reflexively poured the black tea into the teacup that was placed out.
Having realized what Kujou had said, Akira placed the teapot down violently.
“Ku, Kujou, since you are back now, this is no longer my job! Pour it yourself!!”
Answered reflexively like a dog, Akira became embarrassed by his own action. His face flushed and became sulky like a kid.
Kujou and Yui laughed at the Akira’s adorable action.
The next day.
The morning news program urged the audience to stop hurting and digging the cherry blossom trees for fun in addition to the report of the case regarding to the corpses under the cherry blossom trees.
“Seven cherry blossom trees were dug up just yesterday… Oh, seriously?”
After saying that, Yui put the scrambled eggs that overflowed with the scent of butter into her mouth.
“However, there were no corpses found under those seven cherry blossom trees. Also, according to Akira’s report, there are over one thousand of Tweets that say ‘There are bodies buried here.’”
“By the way, how is Akira?”
“Today is a weekday, so he is probably in school. He said he will come in the evening. Thanks to him, we can enjoy a tranquil breakfast. ”
Kujou put some of the green salad into his small plate, topped it with onion dressing, and tried to fit it into his mouth.
However, a call from his phone interrupted him.
He slowly put down his fork and tapped the “Answer” button.
“Hey~~~ Kyuu!! How are you~?”2
The energetic voice leaked out from the speaker furiously in the morning.
Kujou gave out a huge sigh exaggeratedly and put the phone next to his ear.
“You are so energetic in the morning, Mr. Gen. Are you drinking?”
“What~ Sighing in the morning is such a boring action. By the way, I’m not drinking!!’”
“…So. What’s going on with you? Why are you so sober, Mr. Gen?”
“Umm? Since it’s inconvenient to talk over the phone, I’m heading to your place.”
Kujou spoke with an unusually loud voice because his plan of having a tranquil breakfast was nullified.
Not leaving him with the time to calm down his astonishment, the door of the detective agency’s dining room was opened widely.
“Yo~ I’m coming~”
Genjirou was excessively energetic in the morning. He was standing there with his right hand raised up cheerfully and a smile on his face.
The melting butter on a thick slice of toast that had just been toasted released its rich scent.
The sour tasting Kilimanjaro coffee was placed beside it.
“Anyway, you haven’t had anything, right? Here you go.”
Receiving Kujou’s abrupt kindness, Genjirou laughed heartily.
“Oh, oh, oh, I will take it. Ah, oh, sugar. Do you have sugar?”
He scooped a heap of sugar out of the sugar pot that was handed to him silently from Kujou.
“If you put that much sugar into the coffee, you will ruin the rich taste and aroma of the coffee.”
Ignoring Kujou, Genjirou sprinkled a heap of sugar onto the butter toast.
“What!? Wait!! What are you doing!!”
“This is deli~cious! The food called butter sugar toast!!”
While speaking, Genjirou opened his mouth widely and bit down onto the handmade butter sugar toast.
“My head hurts… Such a perverse and indelicate action!”
Regretting for his own kindness, Kujou put his hand to the place between his brows and let out a deep sigh.
“Ku, Ku, Ku, Kujou… That… looks delicious.”
“What?” Kujou looked up.
As if she had discovered a novelty, Yui’s eyes shined with desires. She looked at Genjirou’s sugar toast that she wanted so badly.
There was a shiny drop near her mouth.
“P, Please stop, Miss Yui! That a food for plebeians. It isn’t suitable for Miss Yui’s mouth!!”
“Really? This is so delicious~ Hey, hey~ Yui-chan, would you like to have some~”
“So annoying!! You shut up!!”
While covering up Yui’s eyes with his two hands, Kujou moved on to the main topic.
“So, have you been investigating the log of Twitter all night?”
“Oh, of course.”
Saying that, Genjirou tossed several documents at Kujou’s hand.
“The username of the account that tweeted about the burial place of Jedi Aoki’s corpse was @ADO_1150. His followings and followers were zero. And that Tweet only mentioned that ‘There is a corpse buried under this cherry blossom tree’ after indicating the place… I see…”
Kujou frowned and continued looking for useful information.
“The user used a prepaid SIM card and created the account from a smartphone. At that time, the signal was sent from a location near Akihabara, Chiyota District, Tokyoto”
“Well, the user probably bought this SIM card at a garage sale or nearly illegal stalls that you can see frequently during the weekends. It’s impossible to search from there.”
While saying that, Genjirou drank half of the Kilimanjaro coffee at once.
“Right now, I’m concerned about the case before Aoki’s. For the case of Shimizu, were there any notices from Twitter?”
Being released from Kujou’s blindfolding, Yui asked a question to Genjirou.
“Oh, I was concerned about this. Yesterday midnight, I asked the founders who were waked up by the police. And then… Right! I was correct!! That information is on the last page of the document.”
Yui looked into the folded document beside Kujou’s hands.
“A week before the corpse was found, there was a Tweet similar to the one from Aoki’s case…. Then the Tweet was discovered by the president of Mystery Club by chance and actually took an action… The Tweet contains a similar message, including the address of the crime scene and that sentence of ‘There is a corpse buried under this cherry blossom tree.’ The signal was sent in Ouji, Kita District, Tokyo. And the username of the account is @ROK_1150.”
“This was probably tweeted from a prepaid SIM card as well.”
Genjirou drank the rest of the Kilimanjaro coffee with satisfaction and started to talk about the police’s opinions so far.
“Considering that the offender used prepaid SIM cards, the location of the signals are probably fake. This means that the offender probably does not want to be caught. However, there are several contradictions in this case.”
Genjirou put both of his elbows onto the table, leaning his body forward.
“The first one is about the items found with the bodies. In both cases, although there are not that many items, objects such as licenses that could serve as identification were buried with the corpsed. The second one is about the notice on Twitter. This action indicated that the offender hoped that the corpses could be discovered. What does the offender want to do?”
“… A game…”
Yui and Genjirou looked at each other because of the ominous words murmured by Kujou.
“Without leaving any evidence, the offender seems like he is ridiculing the police who is forestalled by his actions. And using Twitter is an action to attract the attention of society.”
“So he is a sadistic criminal!?”
The offender irritated Genjirou.
“Mr. Aoki was murdered two years ago and Miss Shimizu was murdered several months ago. Thinking about the criminal mindset and actions of the offender… It is possible that he has murdered more people within this time frame. Plus… Please look at this.”
After saying that, Kujou pointed to the two parts regarding the Twitter usernames within the document brought by Genjirou.
“In Mr. Aoki’s case, the username is @ADO_1150. In Miss Shimizu’s case, the username is @ROK_1150. Although the letters in the front are different, the numbers after the underscores are the same. I think this is a challenge, or a code, from the offender who owns the Twitter accounts.”
Genjirou became speechless.
“In this case, I think it’s impossible for the offender to kill more people from now on, because he has already murdered all the people and tweeted Tweets after he had finished preparing everything.”
“A well-planned… murder game?”
Finished hearing Kujou’s conclusion, Yui slightly let out a breath.
“Then if this is a game, what is this 1150? What is this!?”
“… As of now, we don’t know…”
Unable to answer Genjirou’s indignation, Kujou dropped his shoulders with chagrin.
“However… As what Kujou has said, if the intelligent criminal is enjoying this game, then there must be some kind of meaning behind the usernames. Tell Akira about this as well and ask him to monitor it. We must find out the joker who views murdering people as a game.”
Yui blew the dark, heavy, and negative atmosphere away with her positive voice.
“… Yeah… Right!”
Touched by Yui’s feelings, Genjirou cracked his knuckles energetically.
“Alright!! Then I’ll tell the police who is responsible for this case to reinforce the monitoring of Twitter!!”
“Hum? ‘The police who is responsible for this case?’ By the way, Mr. Gen, are you still not responsible for this case?”
“Well, not really~ Because of the order from people of higher levels, I have to be the secretary in the Counterterrorism Room of the Summit Conference. They are distributing people only to that side as usual.”
“Then what about the Investigation Headquarter mentioned in the TV?”
“Ah~ That kind of thing. It’s just a saying!! In fact, it has too few people that it cannot even investigate the case. It’s like compared to the security of most of the citizens, the security of top brass is more important~ I can’t understand the way of thinking of the higher ups!!”
Genjirou used abusive languages as if he was complaining about his daily annoyances. Then he stood up swiftly.
“As a result, you guys are necessary to continue the investigation. Please catch the insolent offender of this case. Kyuu and Yui-chan! I’ll leave it you!!”
Saying that, Genjirou threw a wink to the two and valiantly went out of the dining room of the detective agency.
However, two weeks later.
The worst part of Kujou’s conclusion was correct.
1. I realized something – it can also be interpreted as “Something bad is happening.”↩
2. Kyuu – Kujou’s nickname. In Japanese, the Kanji of ku also has the pronunciation of kyuu.↩