Episode 2: Immolation Game / Fire Inferno
-> RTS Page for Chousuinou Kei 4
Chousuinou Kei 04
*Reserved for use by the NilaiTP Group
Sidebar: The advent of a new mystery! An extremely dangerous, forbidden game begins!!!
Inset: Already, astoundingly popular!!! A super-science investigative mystery!
Episode 2: Immolation Game 
Chapter 4: Fire Inferno
Story: Gomi Kazuo
Art: Tanaka Yoshiki
Scenario: Mizuno Mitsuhiro
Inset: A quiet net café has become a hell!
Tadokoro: The first train’s about to leave, Kinoshita-san. / The literary training camp will soon…
Maori: Hey! I was at a really good part! “Measured from a cup; drunk from a funnel…” I can’t stop reading here!
Kei: So you’re reading Yokomizo Seishi’s A Devilish Temari Song…
Phone: Number Withheld
Maori: …… / Who’s calling you this early?
Kei: It’s got to be him, right?
Tadokoro: Understood. / I’ll tell him.
Tadokoro: That was Inspector Nikaidou. / He wants you at the internet café in front of the station.
Maori: So it was Nikaidou-san!
Tadokoro: So then, / I believe it’s time I make my…
Maori: Hey, Prez! You meanie!
Kei: I am Kazaoka Kei. / Due to some strange events, my brain has a next-generation supercomputer, a quantum computer, buried within it.
An alumnus of Komakou’s mystery club in the police department / takes advantage of my amazing abilities to solve the toughest crimes.
Maori: Ah! Detective Suzumori! / <aside: Good morning! >
Suzumori: Hm?! / You’re quick again. The boys from the lab aren’t even here yet.
Kei: So what’s the nature of this case?
Suzumori: Well, / a client at this store died while playing a game. / Have you heard of “Fire Inferno”? It was just banned for sale…
Maori: What?! They have it? Then…!
Suzumori: Yeah. / A person playing that game suddenly died…
Nikaidou: Oh! You’re here!
Kei: Nikaidou-sempai, must you take advantage of me by summoning me so early in the morning?
Nikaidou: Don’t you normally get up early the second Sunday of every month? / The mystery club’s literary training camp is a tradition dating back from my era. <small: So, come along.>
Maori: Nikaidou-san, the customer who died was playing the banned game, right?
Nikaidou: That’s correct…
The Flames of Hell, the Fire Inferno
Its graphics are extremely realistic and stimulating, and it has many shocking tricks and traps.
But players who witnessed its aberrant images / found themselves suffering dizziness, vomiting, headaches, and saw illusions.
Maori: So that’s why everyone started calling it the forbidden game…
Nikaidou: No… Well, there were some people who lost consciousness from shock, so… There were problems.
Suzumori: And those who reached a game over / would invariably see a certain fearsome thing…
Maori: What was that?
Kei: When they failed to clear the game and reached a game over, their character would be enveloped by realistic flames and perish…
Suzumori: Oh, Kazaoka, you’re familiar with it?
Kei: More or less…
Suzumori: However… I think this case will surprise even you.
Suzumori: Even now, this game’s fans are a fanatical bunch. / The victim was one of them. Nishi Hideo, age 34, unemployed. Basically lived in net cafes.
Suzumori: A large number amount of software and handheld games were in his bag. / Well, there are videogame addicts out there…
Suzumori: The victim brought Fire Inferno into the store and played it at his booth.
Suzumori: And he was killed when he reached game over… we think.
Kei: “You think”?
Nikaidou: The truth is, the victim died in a most perplexing manner.
Maori: Don’t… Don’t tell me he was burned, like in the game?
Maori: You’re kidding!
Nikaidou: Just take a look around the scene.
Haga: I’m so sorry, Detective… / I never… I never thought such a thing would happen…
Suzumori: This is the owner of this store, Haga-san.
Text: Haga Kazuyuki (35)
Suzumori: Haga-san, could you tell us about the accident?
Haga: The customer and I were the only ones inside the store.
Haga: It must have been around 4 in the morning…
Haga: I suddenly heard a scream from the booths… I never thought it was a person’s…
Kei: ….You thought it was the screams of the player character in Fire Inferno’s Game Over screen?
Nikaidou: Ah, sorry. I haven’t explained yet, have I? / These children are my juniors. They’re studying mysterious cases, so I have them come along as advisors.
Suzumori: Haga-san, would you please continue?
Haga: After I heard the scream, suddenly a column of fire rose from the booth…
Haga: The column of fire was huge…. / The sprinklers were activated by it.
Haga: When I rushed over from the counter, I found him like this… / He was playing the game right up until he died… What could have caused the flames?
Maori: The screams he heard—were they really from the game?
Suzumori: The victim’s headphones are still connected to the monitor…
Suzumori: The corpse doesn’t appear to display any signs of a struggle…
Maori: If it was his voice, then maybe…
Maori: Could he have burned himself alive?!
Nikaidou: I can’t deny that possibility. / But the circumstances are especially odd…
Nikaidou: Only the person was burned. The walls, the chair, / the headphones, and controller are all unscathed.
Haga: I… I also feel like something is…
Kei: That / is a surveillance camera, correct?
Suzumori: …Right! If we watch the footage, we might find something!
Nikaidou: May we view it immediately?
Haga: Of—Of course!
Haga: The footage is pretty washed out; I hope it’s not broken…
Suzumori: Wait a second! / This is important evidence. I’ll do it.
Haga <aside>: Ah…
SuzumorI: Umm, we received the report at 5:10 A.M., so the fire must have occurred just before then…
Maori: It suddenly burst into fire?! / Is this the proof of urban legends of spontaneous human combustion?!!
Kei: Contradictions in various locations. / The probability of an incompatibility is 91.7 percent!!
Prez: What a strangely lively crime scene. <small: Tee hee…>
Maori: Wah, Prez! / Why are you here?
Nikaidou: This is the boss of Komakou’s Mystery Club. / Long time no see, Tadokoro.
Tadokoro: It is a pleasure to see you again, Nikaidou-san.
Tadokoro: I was going to go to sleep when I saw on the net a post saying that someone in this net café had died the same way as in the game. It caught my interest.
Nikaidou: On the net, huh? The speed of information in this society is nothing but a nuisance.
Nikaidou: Well, you can see the scene for yourself.
Maori: Prez! I know this is a little soon, but do you think this is spontaneous human combustion?
Suzumori: What do you mean, a “spontaneous human combustion”?!
Tadokoro: “Spontaneous human combustion” is where the only possible explanation is that flames have erupted from a human being. / Such events have been reported all over the world. There are many suggested explanations, such as the plasma or wick effect theories… / but it is still a large unexplained phenomenon.
Maori: So was this a case of spontaneous human combustion, too?
Tadokoro: Well, I wonder…
Kei: No… / This is not spontaneous human combustion.
In front of the café.
This is the shop, right?! The net café where a patron mysteriously died!!
Exactly what happened here?!
…! / …!!
Suzumori: They’re her already? Where do they get there information?
Nikaidou: I don’t want things to get noisy… Help me chase them out.
Suzumori: Yes, sir.
Ah! Are you a detective?! / Could you give us a few words?!
Nikaidou: Yes, yes, thank you for coming out so early, but we have nothing to announce right now, so could you please go home?!
The banned game Fire Inferno is involved, right?!
Did a person playing that game really burst into flame, just like in-game?!
Is that true?!
Suzumori: No comment, no comment! You are interfering with the investigation! Please, go home! / Go home!!
Suzumori: Hah… Inspector, the press already knows about “Fire Inferno.”
Nikaidou: It’s already a legend amongst the core users. / Anything hard to explain will become the subject of rumors.
Tadokoro: That’s true… and there’ve been rumors lately of an “improved version,” too…
Kei: One which plays out in the real world, with no rules or story but does have “realistic slaughtering.”
Maori: You really do know everything, don’t you, Sempai?
Kei: Nikaidou-sempai, / may I take the game out and look at it?
Suzumori: Don’t, don’t!! It’s important evidence…
Nikaidou: You can! But don’t forget the white bag.
Suzumori: ……..You can look!
Kei: May I try it out?
Kikaidou: Do what you want.
Maori: Sempai, don’t tell me you intend to see the fire scene?
Kei: I won’t get a game over.
Maori: He beat it…
Suzumori: You’re a gamer…?
Maori: ….And that speed. / You’re godlike…!
Nikaidou: … How was it, Kazaoka?
Kei: I’ve found a breakthrough in this case!!
Sidebar: Kazaoka’s seen through the secret behind Fire Inferno!! Until next time!!!
Bottom: To be continued in the combined issue#21-22.