Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Detective School Q Tantei Gakuen Q Fan Fiction ❯ Codename: Athena ❯ Exposing the Perfect Mystery Room ( Chapter 3 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

SailorStar9: Chapter 2 goes up and no review. You guys don`t like me anymore. (Pouts)
Disclaimers: I own nothing.
Chapter 3: Exposing the Perfect Mystery Room
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Meanwhile, Ami was by a window outside the corridor by the seminar room.
“It's really coming down hard.” Ryu commented beside her.
“During this time of the year, I'm not surprised.” Ami replied.
“From the look you showed earlier today, you seem to have solved the doubly-locked room mystery.” Ryu remarked.
“It's a rough idea, nothing much.” Ami waved it aside. “I'll need Megu's photographic memory to confirm my theory though.”
“I have a theory too.” Ryu confessed.
“And you want to see if mine matches yours?” Ami guessed.
Ryu nodded silently.
“Who want to go first?” Ami asked, somewhat bemused.
“Ladies first.” Ryu replied, a small smile gracing his face.
“Looks like chivalry isn't dead.” Ami remarked jokingly, a small laughter escaping her mouth.
Ryu's smile widened slightly.
Turning serious, she replied, “All right, my theory involves the key, some ingredients missing from the kitchen, the rat hole, the sloping floor of the warehouse, the crates in the warehouse and of course the rats.”
Ryu nodded, “My sediments exactly.”
“There you are.” came Miss Katagiri's voice.
“Something happened. We have another murder on our hands.” she added, not giving the two blue-haired teens a chance to talk.
“Who?” Ryu asked hurriedly as the three ran down the corridor.
“Shishido-kun.” was her reply.
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“How can this be?” Dan-sensei commented angrily.
“Thank you for waiting.” Mr Shintarou nodded. “According to the autopsy results, after Shishido-san was killed, his body was cut into half with the same equipment, probably a chainsaw, as the one used on Saburoumaru-kun. The cause of death was bleeding caused by a stabbing with a sharp, knife-like object. The estimated time of death is about two to three hours ago. “
Dan-sensei pulled out a shotgun from his coat.
“A gun?” Kyu gasped.
Removing the safety, he hissed, “Unforgivable! Jack the Ripper!”
Turning to the students, he added, “All right, let's all search the island and find Jack the Ripper!”
“Wait a second, please.” Megumi voiced out.
“Megu…” Kyu blinked.
“Does Jack the Ripper really exist?” she asked.
Lowering his gun, Dan-sensei asked, “What do you mean?”
“I feel like something strange is going on. Yesterday, the kitchen was ransacked by someone, right? When we saw the kitchen, we thought that someone broke in to get food.” Megumi replied.
“That's right. And Jack the Ripper is the criminal.” Sakurako nodded.
“But at that time, no food was missing from there.” Megumi pointed out.
“Eh?” Sakurako blinked.
“I remember how the kitchen looked like the first time I saw it, and eliminating the food from yesterday's dinner, today's breakfast, and the food the rats ate, only the flour and butter were gone, not enough for someone to eat. Nothing else was taken.” Megumi explained.
“Only the flour and butter ?” Kyu echoed.
“Wait, that means…” Kazuma begun.
“The messed-up kitchen was a trick to make us think that there's another suspect besides us?” Kinta finished the statement.
“No way!” Miss Katagiri exclaimed.
“Just as I thought.” Ami muttered.
“It's hard to believe, but the murderer, Jack the Ripper, may be among the twelve people who are right here now.” Dan-sensei commented.
Outside, the storm roared.
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“Damn it! First Saburomaru, then Shishido.” Kyuosuke cursed.
“Hey, don't you think it's strange? I wonder why only Class A people got killed.” Sakurako pointed out.
The rest of the Class A students turned their attention to Class Q.
“Huh? Do you suspect us? Are you kidding?” Kinta questioned.
“Listen, I assure you that it's nobody from Class Q.” he added.
“Kinta…” Megumi smiled.
Hayato smirked, “Then what about the two who belong to neither to Class A nor Class Q?”
“Huh?” the four Class Q students blinked.
“Amakusa-kun, Mizuno-chan, is that right?” Hayato asked.
The attention was turned to the two blue-haired students in the back.
“Are you saying that the both of us are the perpetrators?” Ryu asked.
“Is there any proof that you're not? Or Touyama-kun, are you going to ensure us that the both of them aren't the criminals?” Hayato accused.
“Umm… that's a…” Kinta was speechless.
“Kyu-kun, what do you think?” Hayato asked.
Kyu was stunned for a while.
“What's wrong, Kyu-kun?” Megumi asked.
“I'm not sure. But when I think about who the criminal is, there's something that bothers me.” Kyu confessed.
“Something that bothers you?” Megumi echoed.
“The footprints at the crime scene.” Kyu added.
His mind going back to the footprints, Ryu realized something.
Ami smiled in mutual understanding.
“I feel that we're missing something very important.” Kyu noted.
“Humph, what a vague answer. At any rate, it's certain that one of us is the criminal.” Kyousuke scoffed.
“Why is that?” Kazuma asked.
“Because of the doubly-locked room.” Kyousuke replied.
“The doubly-locked room?” Megumi repeated.
“How on earth was the key left inside the locked room where Saburomaru was killed? There`s an easy way to solve that mystery. When his body was found, Amakusa-kun, you put the key there during the commotion.” Kyousuke accused.
“Huh?” the four Class Q students gasped.
“If that's the case, then everything makes sense.” Kyousuke added.
Ryu smirked.
“What's so funny?” Kyousuke retorted.
“Your theory is inaccurate.” Ryu replied.
“Because the doubly-locked room mystery can be easily solved with a little trick.” Ami smiled.
“What?” Kyousuke blinked in disbelief.
“Humph interesting. If you say so, why don't the both of you solve it?” he asked.
“The trick of the doubly-locked room.”
Ryu locked eyes with the girl behind him, and Ami returned a smile.
“If that's the way you want it, Kyousuke-kun, then we're prove it to you.” she replied. “But I have to get something first.”
With that, she walked out of the back door.
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Minutes later, everyone was back in the warehouse.
“Now then, let's review the incident once more in this room, where it happened.” Ryu began.
“Saburomaru-san's body was found behind the entrance of this storage room. And the murder occurred inside the two locked doors; hence, a double-locked room. Saburomaru-san's body was found, cut in half, vertically. And lying beside his body was the original key. How did the criminal create this doubly-locked room? There are two keys to solve this trick. One was when Kazuma-kun dropped the five-yen coin in that room, it rolled backwards. And the other was the butter and flour that disappeared from the kitchen.” he explained.
“I see.” Kyu gasped.
“As a matter of fact, the criminal used something to out the key back inside the room.” Ryu added.
“Used something? But the key doesn`t have a hole to pass a string through, and the trick of using the weight didn't work either.” Kazuma blinked.
“We don't need a weight or string for this, Kazuma-kun.” Ami corrected.
“What the criminal use, is this.” she added, revealing a ball.
“What is that?” Sakurako asked.
“A ball made of clay?” Kinta guessed.
“I got it! The key is inside that ball, isn't it?” Megumi beamed.
“Huh?” Sakurako blinked.
“What did you say?” Kinta asked.
“That's right. The original key for this room is inside that ball.” Ryu confirmed Megumi's statement.
“The diameter of the ball is about five centimeters. It's small enough to go through the mouse hold next to the entrance, and through the gap beneath the door of the back room.” he added.
Kyousuke laughed, “I was wondering what you were going to say, but even if you roll it inside the room, from the mouse hole, it would take a miracle for the ball to pass through this maze of crates to reach the back room. Moreover, the ball passed through the gap beneath the door and reached the back room? That's definitely impossible!”
“That's true.” Kinta nodded.
“Kyousuke-kun, what if I told you these crates were placed here for a purpose?” Ami posted a question.
“What?” Kyousuke hissed.
“I guess you have to see with your own eyes.” she smiled and opened the door.
The wind blew into the warehouse.
Seconds later, the door was shut.
Ryu smirked.
Then, Megumi and Sakurako looked down at their feet when Ami's ball rolled in.
“Look, the ball would just stop in the corner.” Kyousuke predicted when the sphere rolled to a crate's corner.
Just as he said, the ball stopped, blocked by the crate.
“See, it stopped. It can`t move from there, no matter what.” Kyousuke smirked.
Then, his smirk was replaced by a stunned expression as the ball started rolled along the edge of the crate.
“No way! How did it…” Kyousuke gasped.
“I got it!' Kazuma exclaimed.
“This floor is slanted. Most rooftops have a drain that collects the rain. But this rooftop is more slanted than others.” he explained.
The door opened again and Ami stepped into the room.
“That's right. Both Ami-chan and I noticed it when the five yen coin that Kazuma-kun used for his experiment rolled backwards.” Ryu nodded.
Spreading the floor plan on a nearby crate, he added, “Please take a look at this. It looks like these crates were placed randomly, but actually they were placed so that they won't get in the way of the ball. In other words, they were placed so that the ball would stop at a certain point.”
“Alright, let's go and see what happened to the ball.” he announced.
Opening the second door, both Kyousuke and Sakurako were stunned to see where the ball was.
“It rolled to the same place where the key was when we found the body.” Sakurako exclaimed.
“There's a drain there! That must be the lowest point.” Kyousuke noted.
“Wow.” Megumi awed.
“Wait a second.” Hayato replied.
“Okay, the ball got to where the key was at the time, but the key is still in the ball.” he pointed out.
“Hayato-kun, the criminal had a little help.” Ami replied.
“What did you say?” Hayato pressed.
“Just wait and watch.” was her simple answer.
The squeaking of mice was heard as the rodents rushed towards the ball and started nibbling at it.
“Rats!” Sakurako gasped.
“The rats are eating the ball at an incredible speed.” Hayato noted.
“Could the ball be…” Megumi realized.
“That's right.” Ryu replied.
“The ball was made from the flour and butter which disappeared from the kitchen.” Ami added.
With their job done, the rats scrambled out.
Ryu then picked up the key.
“Are you convinced now? That's how Jack the Ripper created the doubly-locked door.” he commented.
“Half a century ago and two days ago.”
“Wonderful job.” Dan-sensei acknowledged.
“Have you any clues about the murderer yet?” he asked.
“No, not yet. But one thing I can say for sure, is that the murderer is challenging us.” Ryu replied.
“Challenging us?” Kyu echoed.
“The criminal is probably smiling in the darkness, leaving many clues and thinking, now, solve this mystery. or find out who I am.” Ryu added.
“I see.” Dan-sensei nodded.
“Anyway, the mystery of the doubly-locked room is now solved. I'd say we're about halfway to solving this case.” he remarked.
“Everyone, next let's determine who the murderer is.”
After that, everyone trooped out of the warehouse.
Ryu, being the last one, shut the door behind him.
Aside, Kinta commented, “He's incredible, isn't he?”
“He sure is something.” Kazuma agreed.
“Humph, how naive you are.” Kyousuke snorted.
“Now, he's even more suspicious.” Hayato agreed.
“But he just solved the mystery of the doubly-locked room.” Kazuma protested.
“Don't you get it? He knew the trick because he`s the murderer.” Sakurako smiled.
“Hey, how could you say something like that? Then what about Ami-chan? She helped too!” Megumi added.
Exhilaration pumping into his veins, Kyu ran after Ryu.
“Ryu-kun!” he shouted after the older boy.
“Hey, Kyu!” Kinta protested.
Catching up with him, Kyu remarked, “Your deduction, that was awesome!”
Ryu slowly turned back..
“I want to reason as wonderfully you did! I know this is a real murder case, but I just can't hold it in… this excitement building up inside me.” Kyu added.
“You still have a chance.” Ryu told him.
Kyu blinked.
“I have a feeling that this case isn't over yet; as long as we're trapped on this island, as long as we haven't discovered the identity of Jack the Ripper. The next victim could be you or me. But even at a time like this, I find myself wishing that the mystery would go deeper.” Ryu remarked.
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“Anyway, even though the trick of the locked room is solved, we have no clue as to who the murderer is. Aren't there any clues at all?” Kinta complained.
“Yeah, you're right.” Megumi agreed.
“Oh Kyu, I just remembered. You seem to wonder about the footprints left in the hallway, didn't you?” Kinta pointed out.
Not getting an answer from him, Kinta knocked Kyu on the head.
“Don't look away when I'm asking you something!” Kinta scolded.
“Uhh… okay, and what was that again?” Kyu asked, his attention coming back.
“Ah! I was talking about the footprints you seemed to care so much about.” Kinta replied in desperation.
“Oh!” Kyu nodded, remembering the weird-looking footprints he found.
“You too! What have you been doing there?” Kinta shouted at Kazuma.
“Don't shout at me! I`m getting the results of the data I just entered.” Kazuma protested.
After a while, the analysis was complete.
“Oh I see.” Kazuma nodded.
“You found something?” Megumi inquired.
“According to the analysis of my detective software, there's a high probability that the footprints were a trick.” Kazuma concluded.
“Huh? A trick?” Megumi blinked.
“The culprit probably left the footprints beforehand, by walking from the hallway by our rooms, to the hallway by Shishido-san's room. After that, he took off his shoes, walked back downstairs, and knocked on both your doors. And then he hid.” Kazuma deduced.
“I see. After luring you guys to the crime scene , he returned to the scene as if he had no idea what was going on, in order to give himself an alibi.” Megumi nodded.
“Damn it! That means Kyu and I were tricked by the criminal.” Kinta cursed.
“What's wrong, Kyu?” Kinta asked, upon hearing Kyu's contemplative sigh.
“That might be trick, but I feel like there's something more to those footprints.” Kyu replied.
“Huh?” Kinta blinked.
“What else could there be?” he asked.
“Well, I'm thinking, because I'm not sure.” Kyu answered.
“What the…” Kinta sighed.
“But those footprints…” he added, rocking his chair back.
“Well, I guess a computer isn't very useful for solving cases.” he remarked.
“I think a computer is much better than an old man who was tricked!” Kazuma retorted.
“What did you say?” Kinta exclaimed.
“Hey, who are you calling old man?” he scolded.
“Not being able to use a computer is proof that you're old!” Kazuma reproached.
“What? How can you say that, you`re just a kid whose pubic hair hasn't even grown in yet!” Kinta shouted.
“Stop it, both of you!” Megumi stepped in.
“Oh yeah!” Kyu suddenly exclaimed.
“Did you figure something out?” Kinta asked.
Ignoring Kinta, Kyu walked over to Ryu.
“Ryu-kun, can I ask what you think of this?” he asked the older boy.
“Let's see. I can`t say anything for sure now, but like you said, I feel there's more to those footprints too.” Ryu commented.
“You think so too?” Kyu exclaimed excitedly.
“Hold on a second.” Megumi pointed out.
“Why do you both think so?” she asked.
“Those footprints were too neat.” both Kyu and Ryu replied in unison.
“Good to know I'm not the only one who noticed that.” Ami smiled, from the back of the classroom.
What's up with those two? Megumi wondered.
“Hey, how come you guys are harmonizing?” Kinta asked.
Kyu blinked and blushed.
Then, he frantically defended himself, “Umm… I mean those footprints were too perfect if they were there to lure us to the crime scene.”
“Why are you blushing?” Kinta pressed.
“That's right.” Ryu agreed. “I feel those footprints were too obvious.”
“Do you think there was another reason for those footprints, other than to lead us to the crime scene, Ryu-kun?” Kyu asked.
“If I conjecture too much I may end up misdirecting myself.” Ryu replied.
“Miss contest special award?” Kyu blinked.
Kazuma sighed, “Misdirection. Means to head the wrong way.”
“Eh? Oh! I see.” Kyu nodded and laughed.
“Man Kyu!” Megumi scolded.
“He's just being his usual self.” Kazuma added.
With that, the three burst out laughing.
Just then, the door slid open slightly.
Grabbing a mechanical pencil from the desk, Kinta threw the object at the door.
“Who's there?” he demanded.
“What is it?” Megumi asked.
Kyu and Ryu ran to the door.
Ami got up from her seat and joined Kazuma and Megumi.
Throwing the door open, Kinta demanded, “Who's there?”
Jumping on the intruder, he readied a punch when a stammer was heard underneath.
“Huh? Hayato-kun?” Kinta blinked.
“Why are you spying on us?” he asked.
“Of course I suspect you.” Hayato replied.
“What happened?” Ryu asked.
“Gouda's missing!” Hayato reported.
“Eh? Gouda-san? At this time?” Kinta frowned.
“Dan-sensei is calling us. Let`s go.” Hayato added, as Megumi opened the door wider.
“Yes.” Megumi and Kazuma chorused.
“Sensei! Dan-sensei!” came Hayato's shout minutes later with Class Q behind him.
Then, they noticed another cut-up portrait.
“Both arms and the neck were slashed this time.” Kinta noted.
“Couldn't be…” Kazuma gasped.
Turning to the assembled students, Dan-sensei reported, “Everyone, it seems like the light is on the one of the rooms with the closed-off west wing. The situation is critical. let's all go and investigate.”
With that, he wheeled off hurriedly with the two teachers hot on his heels.
The students followed closely.
Both Miss Katagiri and Mr Shintarou pushed the oak door open.
“Over there! The light's on!” Kyu exclaimed as he ran out with the rest.
“Something is sticking out of the window.” Sakurako noticed.
“It's a hand!” Kinta shouted.
Stopping underneath the window, Sakurako gasped, “Could it be that…”
“No way!” Megumi breathed.
Then. Kyu noted something.
“The hand!”
“It was pulled inside!” Kinta noted.
“Someone must have pulled it back from inside.” Sakurako added.
“That bastard. It must be Jack the Ripper.” Kinta cursed.
“Hold it!” Dan-sensei halted Kinta's advance.
“Dan-sensei…” Kyu blinked.
“I'm in charge here.” he reminded them.
Turning to the three girls and Mr Shintarou, he instructed them to stay.
“Yes.” Sakurako nodded.
“Minami-kun, you have a photographic memory. You'll suffer from the memory of it forever if you go.” he added.
Megumi's mind went back to the time they found Saburomaru's body.
“But…” she protested.
“Let's go.” Dan-sensei instructed, ignoring her protest.
“Please wait!” Megumi called out.
Ami rested a hand on her shoulder, “Don't worry. Just leave it to them.”
Megumi could not help but look on worriedly.
Sakurako let out a knowing smile.
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Back with the others, everyone, minus Dan-sensei and Miss Katagiri, ran up the stairs to the fifth floor.
“Is everyone all right?” Miss Katagiri asked once the elevator door open.
“It's exhausting to run up five flights.” Kazuma complained, panting for breath.
“Let's hurry everyone.” Dan-sensei urged, wheeling himself out.
Walking along the hallway, Kyu commented, “There are footprints coming out of that room!”
“He must have escaped.” Kinta hissed.
“Those footprints!” Kazuma gasped.
“Let's follow them anyway.” Kinta decided.
“No!” Dan-sensei objected.
“Just remember Shishido-san's case.” he reminded.
“It's dangerous to make a decision based solely on the footprints. Besides, Jack the Ripper may still be in there.. Listen Touyama-kun. We have to check inside the room. You go first and charge into the room. We'll back you up.” he advised, pulling out his gun.
“Yes sir!' Kinta nodded.
Kinta quickly positioned himself against the wall.
Dan-sensei readied his gun.
“Katagiri-kun.” he instructed.
“Yes sir!” Miss Katagiri nodded.
“Let's split up.” she suggested to the rest of the boys.
“Okay.” Kyu nodded.
Quickly everyone took their places.
Then, Kyu noticed that Miss Katagiri's hand was bandaged.
Huh? Shino-san's hand is bandaged. he wondered.
“Now!” Dan-sensei gave the order.
Kinta let out a battle cry and knocked the door open.
Then, he found the light switch and turned it on.
“Jack the Ripper! You`re under arrest.” he announced, poised to attack.
When the light came on, Kinta was taken aback when he stared right into Kyuosuke's dead face.
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“ I can't believe that Gouda-san was killed too.” Megumi remarked in shock.
“That was too cruel.” Kinta added.
“Do you think we'll all end up getting killed like that?” Kazuma suddenly asked.
Then, he broke into tears.
Kyu suddenly recalled a conversation he had with his mother something and he pulled out the school's notebook.
Hey Kyu, why do you want to become a detective so much?
I told you before. It's my dream to become a detective, like the one who saved me when I was kidnapped.
His musings were cut short when Ryu opened the back door.
“Wait!” he called out.
“Until now, I was stricken by fear when it came to serial murder cases. Even though I said that I'd solve the mystery, somehow, I haven't been very confident.” he confessed.
Pinning the school badge on his collar, Kyu added, “But I'll never give up. If the detective gives up, the case will remain a mystery forever.”
“You're right. If I give up now, I`ll disgrace my ancestors.” Kinta agreed.
“That's right. We shouldn't give up.” Megumi agreed.
“I'll do it too.” Kazuma nodded.
Turning to the two silent older teenagers, Kyu asked, “Ryu-kun, Ami-chan, the two of you will help us too, right?”
“Yeah.” Ryu answered.
“Naturally. I've learned that holding back only leads to regrets.” Ami smiled.
With all their hands in a stack-up, Kyu announced, “All right! Everyone, let's definitely reveal the identity of Jack the Ripper!”
“Yeah!” came the unison chorus.
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SailorStar9: Another chapter down!