Investigation (Act 4)
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Story 4: Investigation (Act 4)
I thought it would be all antiques, but I see items exhibited in recent auctions here and there...
If she is the bidder, then as I thought, the family asset is...
Kudan: That was quite amazing.
I didn't think I would see things like white porcelain vase or the actual works of Sesshu here. TN: Sesshu Toyo was the most prominent painter of Japan in the Muromachi period.
Ayae: I have absolutely no idea if those things are worth anything.
You should probably talk to Harumi-sama after she comes back from the Otobiki Stone.
Kudan: Yes, I shall do that. It is truly fascinating.
Kudan: Are you on a smoke break?
Haji: Well, I'm just an outsider, and talking to the locals here is a pain.
Haji: So I just excused myself early.
Haji: I grew up in Tokyo you see...
Haji: There is no way to see such pretty night sky over there...
Kudan: ...You are working for a news agency overseas now, correct?
Haji: Yes, well...I used to be a reporter in Tokyo, but then I made a slight blunder.
Haji: I couldn't stay in that agency...so I was recruited by my current one.
Kudan: I see. Does it involve women?
Kudan: ...Did I hit the bulls-eye? (side) Kukuku.
Haji: Ye...well...but...how did you...
Kudan: There are remains of something like lip balm on your lips.
Was it Natsumi-san?
Haji(thought): It must be from before...!!
Kudan: ...Kukuku. You haven't met for very long, and yet so much progress.
Kudan: It seems that you are fond of alcohol and tobacco, but women is number one I take it?
Kudan: I have no intention of criticizing you.
Kudan: After all, people all have different interests.
Kudan-san, you saw through me completely.
Haji: ...Well, it's just as you guessed.
Haji: Back in the days of the old news agency, I was involved with the police.
While working on a certain case, I became intimate with the wife of the information provider.
Haji: For me, women is a necessary indulgence--- I start to lay my hands on them without thinking.
Haji: Even when I know better, I can't stop myself...
Just like with this cigarette right here.
Haji: But that aside, you also have a strange hobby, collecting those stories of yours.
Kudan: ---You see...I like humans.
Kudan: ---No, it's more correct to say the desire of humans.
Kudan: The desire to live,
The desire for fame,
The desire for riches, the desire to be superior to others.
Kudan: And, the desire for sex.
Those kinds of themes are often considered to be found in "unbelievable tales", but I think they are merely urban legends and curious stories.
That's why I love those stories and collect them.
Akihito: Ah, Haji-san, so this is where you've been.
Haji: Ah...Akihito-kun!? And the resident police officer.
Akihito: Hey--- I've been looking for you.
Akihito: Actually, I need a bit of help from you.
Akihito: I don't want to let the public know of it...
Haji: Ah, please don't worry.
Haji: He is Kudan-san...an acquaintance of mine.
Akihito: ...Fine, since we need more people anyway...
Akihito: Actually, Natsumi-nee called me just now on my cellphone.
Haji: From Natsumi-san?
Akihito: Yeah...she was asking me for a favor.
To go get Harumi-nee because she's late.
Haji: Now that you mention it, it's already 9...
Akihito: It takes about 30 minutes to get to Otobiki Stone, so since Harumi-nee left at around 7, she should've been back at around 8:30...
And around 30 minutes ago, Natsumi-nee---
Akihito: Still, she said that she can't find her anywhere...
Akihito: So, thinking that Harumi-nee came back already, she called me, but...
Man: ...It's possible that something may have happened since she was walking on a mountain path at night.
Man: Could I ask for help from servants so that we can split up and look for her?
Akihito: It's time for the guests to leave, so I have to stay here to send them off...
Akihito: So please help, Haji-san.
Haji: ...I understand. It's fine with you too, Kudan-san?
Haji: Damn...we can't find her...
Kudan: ...Is it possible that she climbed up a side path?
I found several of those at noon.
Ayae: That's true...we know them very well, so Haji-san, please stay on the main path and leave those to us...
Man: What about Harumi-san?
Natsumi: It's no good. I walked around Otobiki Stone but couldn't find her anywhere...
Man: Now is the time to split up...you need to calm down.
Someone: Heeey, she's here! I found her!!
Man: ...She's dead.
Haji: ...Oh no...!!
Kudan: ...By the way, Haji-san...why did you say "oh no"...?
Kudan: When we found Harumi-san's body, you let out an "oh no".
Haji: Ah...it has something to do with the last words of my friend...the previous head of the family, Chigira Hatsumi.
Kudan: Last words...?
Haji: He said this right before he died..."Please protect my sister".
Kudan: ...Sister...I see.
Haji: Yes, I came here to deliver his testament as a friend,
But also because I couldn't get those words out of my mind.
Haji: Protect her from what? What was it that Hatsumi feared?
---I had absolutely no idea.
Haji: Before coming here, I already knew that the Chigira family is extraordinarily wealthy.
When I heard that it was the eldest son who died, I thought there may be people who will prey on the family.
Haji: In addition, the second son is that type of person...
And the three sisters are all single---so it's not strange for the eldest son to worry about them...but...
Haji: I didn't think things would turn out like this...
Kudan: So you mean to say that Hatsumi-san foresaw that his death would trigger something...?
Haji: ...I think so.
Kudan: ...I see.
Man: Detailed examination will be performed tomorrow, but the cause of death is cervical fracture.
Man: She probably slipped, slid down the side of the mountain and hit her head somewhere.
Man: My condolences.
Man: At this unfortunate accident---
Kudan: I think it's best to not conclude that it was an accident.
Kudan: It's true that she could have slipped in the dark mountain path,
But wouldn't it be better if you draw up a conclusion after more investigation?
Man: You, what do you mean by that!?
Kudan: I'm saying that it could be an "incident"---and not an "accident".
Kudan: ---That's why it would be best to preserve the scene and not let anyone into the mountains tonight.
Man: ...Ridiculous. Saying that it's an "incident", among other things...
Kudan: An "incident" is when a person causes something to happen with some kind of intention in mind, no?
Kudan: I have taken photographs of Otobiki Stone's surroundings at noon today.
It's not a tourist attraction, and people probably wouldn't go there at night.
Kudan: So if anyone was there, then we could probably tell of any difference by comparing with the photos.
Kudan: And...we can check for footprints tomorrow morning.
Kudan: There should be many cigarette butts dropped by Haji-san.
If we can find any shoe prints on them, it would be proof that someone was at Otobiki Stone during the evening.
Kudan: We all know for a fact that Harumi-san went to Otobiki Stone.
Kudan: Is it so unbelievable to think that someone waited there to attack her?
Kudan: I shall be repaying you for the favor of letting me stay one night.