Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Detective School Q Tantei Gakuen Q Fan Fiction ❯ Codename: Athena ❯ Evil Spirit in the Locked Room! The Unstoppable Murders ( Chapter 6 )

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

SailorStar9: Chapter 5 goes up and no review. You guys don't like me anymore. (Pouts)
Disclaimers: I own nothing.
Chapter 6: Evil Spirit in the Locked Room! The Unstoppable Murders
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Back at DDS, Dan-sensei received a call from Mr Koutarou.
“It's me.” he spoke into the phone.
“This is Nanami. My premonition was right. I'm sorry it happened, even though I was there. There was a murder at the Ichinose house.” Mr Koutarou reported.
“I see.” Dan-sensei nodded.
“Continue to assist them.” he instructed.
“Understood.” Mr Koutarou replied and the conversation was cut off.
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Back in the Ichinose house, Kaoru was sitting on the swing on the backyard when Kyu approached her from behind.
Kaoru let out a startled yelp and jumped out.
“Kyu-kun, don't scare me like that.” she chided.
Kyu chuckled and remarked, “It's nice to have a swing in the yard.”
Kaoru sighed and sat back on the swing, “I wonder how many years have passes since I last sat here. When I was little, I used to pull my mom`s hands while playing on the swing with my brothers.”
“My dad died of an illness before I could even remember. Since then, the family has been just he four of us. But I never felt lonely. Even when my mom wasn't home because of work, Tomohiko and Akihiko always played with me. But my brothers changed, ever since our mom's company grew so big and a lot of money started rolling in. They quit going to the schools that they studied so hard to get into. Tomohiko fooled around with women every night. Akihiko joined a gang. The reason the company almost went bankrupt was because a lot of money was spent bailing my brothers out of the trouble they caused. And then, our mom died in the plane crash. The company survived because of the insurance money. But at this rate, my family will be…” she added, unable to continue.
“Hey Ichinose …” Kyu begun.
“Let's find your mom's will.” he suggested.
“Finding your mom's will was forgotten after Asakura-san was killed, but your mom may really have left a will. Don't you feel that she might have written something so that you and your brothers could be happy together?” he added.
Kaoru was stunned.
“Kyu-kun…” she muttered, standing up.
“Right! Let's find it. I'll ask everyone to help us look for it.” Kyu nodded.
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“Search for her will?” Megumi blinked a while later.
“Right, if we discover the secret of her will, I think we'll be able to solve this case.” Kyu replied.
“Okay.” Megumi nodded.
At that, everyone went off searching for the will.
“I don't think she'll hide it in here.” Kazuma remarked, kneeling down alongside with Kinta as they peered through the basement.
“I know that. But just in case.” Kinta argued.
Both Kyu and Megumi headed for the greenhouse.
“What's that?” Kyu asked, when the glass house came into view.
“Is that a greenhouse?” Megumi questioned.
“It's locked.” she noted, once they reached the entrance.
“It can't be helped.” Kyu nodded. “Let's go back to the mansion.”
“Okay.” Megumi nodded and the two walked back to the manor.
“What should we do? We can`t look in people's rooms.” Megumi asked Kyu on the staircase, once they were in the manor.
“Yeah, that's true, but…” Kyu agreed and the two stopped a few doors away from a slightly ajar door.
“Sachiyo, did you find it?” Shouhei's voice sounded from the room.
“Hey, what are you doing?” his voice became more worried.
“You're so timid, aren't you?” Sachiyo chided her husband.
“It's okay. There's no one else who can wear my sister's clothes. This is just distributing her mementos.” she waved his concern aside.
Kyu and Megumi peeked in.
Slipping on a shawl, she turned around for Shouhei to see.
“How does it look on me?”
“This is what's called being a thief, isn't it?” Tomohiko accused, entering the room.
“T… Tomohiko-kun.” Shouhei stammered.
“I was wondering what you were doing, going into my mom's room like this. It's surprising to find that you were only going to steal her expensive clothes.” Tomohiko reproached.
Sachiyo smirked, “Are you sure you can speak to me like that?”
Still outside eavesdropping, Kyu bumped into Megumi accidentally and the door shut due to their weight against it.
Shouhei, Tomohiko and Sachiyo turned to the door.
“Who's there?” Sachiyo demanded.
Tomohiko walked over and opened the door to find Kyu and Megumi on the floor in a bundle.
“Oh the door was open, so…” Kyu stammered, trying to explain.
Hissing, Tomohiko walked out of the room in a huff.
“Listen you guys, I don't care if you're from a detective club. From now on, outsiders don't wander around in my mansion.” Sachiyo belated.
“If I find you guys here again, I won't be so nice, even if you're Kaoru's friends.” she threatened.
“I'm sorry.” both Kyu and Megumi apologized, before getting out of the tense situation.
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Scene cut to the living room where the grandfather clock stroke three.
“Did the police leave yet?” Akihiko asked, after tea was poured out.
“No, they're still investigating the crime scene. They said they want to question each of us after that.” Ootaguro replied.
“What the… there was no way we could have killed her.” Tomohiko hissed.
“But thanks to Kaoru's friends, we have an alibi.” Akihiko pointed out.
Turning to the newcomers, Ootaguro offered, “Okay you kids, please have some.”
“All right then, thank you very much” Kinta beamed as he took a piece of biscuit from the bowl in the middle of the table.
“Wow, it's good.” he nodded, munching on the cookie.
Picking up another piece, he commented to Kazuma who was beside him, “Kazuma, these cookies are good.”
“Hey, how could you eat right after witnessing a murder?” Kazuma chided.
“What are you talking about? If you don't eat now, you won`t be able to function at a critical time later.” Kinta protested.
“Kinta, Kazuma enough!” Ami rebuked the two.
“Sorry.” Kinta and Kazuma apologized, their heads hang low.
The door to the hallway opened and Shouhei stepped in.
“Shouhei-sama, your tea is ready.” Ootaguro greeted him.
“Do you know where Sachiyo is? I haven`t seen her in a while.” Shouhei asked, looking around.
“Huh?” Kazuma blinked.
“Auntie?” Kaoru echoed.
“We'll look for her with you.” Kyu offered.
“The key to the greenhouse?” Ootaguro questioned.
“I gave it to Kusaka-san a little while ago.” he added.
“The greenhouse?” Shouhei echoed.
“No, I don't think Sachiyo would go there.” he added.
“But we've looked everywhere except the greenhouse. The police also said that nobody left the mansion, so…” Megumi pointed out.
“Okay, let's check it out then.” Shouhei nodded.
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Scene cut to the greenhouse where Shouhei opened the door.
Walking around, Shouhei called out to his wife.
Finally reaching the end of the greenhouse, Shouhei looked up and was shocked to see the scene presented in front of him.
Sachiyo was hanging by the neck at the top of the conservatory's roof and she was dead.
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“How can another person be murdered while the police are here?” Odajima exclaimed incredulously.
“This is absurd!” he ranted, stomping his feet.
“Someone please shoot me.” Ami muttered, shaking her head.
Kyu looked at her and blinked.
After a while, he composed himself and cleared his throat.
“Let's review it once again.” Odajima announced.
“The victim is Kusaka Sachiyo. However, we found signs of strangulation which definitely does not point to suicide. We found her body inside the greenhouse in the backyard. You were the only one who had the key, right Shouhei Kusaka-san?” he accused.
“It's true I had the key, but…” Shouhei objected.
“There are no buts! Anyway, why did you go to the greenhouse? Huh?” Odajima pressed.
“The reason why I went there was…” Shouhei started, but could not continue.
“Huh? Is there a reason why you can't tell us?” Odajima demanded.
“The will!” Shouhei stammered out.
“The will?” Odajima echoed.
“I went to look for Hanayo-san's will. In case there was something negative regarding our inheritance. Sachiyo told me to forget it. But when I went there, it was empty.” Shouhei confessed.
“Kusaka-san, we only found your fingerprints on the padlock. There was no evidence that the lock was pick. And there was no duplicate key. On top of that, you admitted that you went to the greenhouse this means that the culprit can be no one else but you.” Odajima accused, showing him the padlock that was sealed in a plastic bag.
“But…” Shouhei protested mildly.
“But?” Odajima pressed.
“When I was searching for the will, I felt like there was someone outside. I thought someone might be there, so I looked around but I got scared so I went back to the mansion. Then this happened. This must be the work of Hanayo-san's spirit. Hanayo-san must have killed Sachiyo because she was angry.” Shouhei replied.
“That's ridiculous. We'll hear the details down at the police station.” Odajima retorted.
“Hey, take him in.” he ordered.
Tow policemen came in and was about to take Shouhei into custody when Ryu stopped them.
“Wait a second please.” Ryu sounded out.
“What is it?” Odajima asked, not pleased with being stopped by a mere boy.
“Kids shouldn't interfere in an adult's situation.” he rebuked.
“But Shouhei-san isn't the only suspect who could be the murderer in this case.” Ryu objected, coming forward to Odajima.
“What did you say?” Odajima pressed.
“Because with a little trick, anyone could have gotten into the greenhouse.” Ryu revealed.
“W…what?” Odajima blinked.
“What do you mean? explain!” he demanded.
“The trick is easy if you understand how a padlock works.” Ryu begun.
How it works?” Odajima echoed.
“It's a fact that you need a key to unlock it, but you don't need a key to lock it.” Ryu added.
“What? What? I have no idea what you`re talking about.” Odajima blinked in confusion.
“Explain in layman's terms so that I can understand.” he demanded.
“All right.” Ryu sighed.
Taking a padlock out of his pocket, Ryu continued, “First of all, this padlock is exactly the same as the one on the greenhouse.”
“Why do you have that?” Odajima asked.
“When I was looking for the will, I found this on the latch of the storeroom.” Ryu replied.
Turning to the butler, he asked, “Ootaguro-san, isn't this the same kind of padlock that is used in other places in the mansion?”
“Yes, the same padlocks are used in several places.” Ootaguro replied.
“Why didn't you say so earlier?” Odajima chided.
Turning back to Ryu, he added, “But the keys should be different from one another. Even if it's the same kind of padlock, you can`t use the same key to open it.”
“Of course not.” Ryu agreed.
“Kusaka-san, when you were in the greenhouse to look for the will, where was the padlock?” he asked Shouhei.
“I left it on the door.” Shouhei replied.
“I see.” Kyu realized.
“While Kusaka-san was inside the greenhouse, the culprit must have switched the padlock with a different one.” he added.
“Switched it?” Odajima pondered.
“That's right. When Kusaka saw a man's shadow outside, he left the greenhouse quickly. He won't have noticed that the padlock had been switched. He would have locked it and left. Sachiyo-san was probably already dead then. The culprit opened the padlock with the key he had, and put the body inside the greenhouse, in order to remove any suspicion from himself. And finally, he changed the padlock back to its original one. The sealed room trick is now complete.” Ryu added.
“I see. But that means the murderer is…” Odajima nodded.
Ryu's eyes widened as he continued, “While the police were investigating the crime scene, I doubt someone from outside could have snuck in. so it must have been done by someone on the inside. On other words, the culprit is someone among us here.”
“Ah! We've got to start all over again. Anyway, we need to inspect the crime scene.” Odajima smacked his forehead.
“Hurry to the greenhouse.” he ordered his men.
“The culprit is someone among us here? I can`t stay in the same room as a murderer.” Tomohiko echoed.
“You're a suspect also.” Akihiko reminded him and left
Kaoru broke down into tears.
Kyu suddenly stood up and headed towards Sayaka.
“Nabeshime-san.” he begun.
“Yes?” Sayaka looked at the boy.
“Can I take a look at the letter with the mother's handwriting, the one that Kousei Asakura-san brought?” he requested.
“The letter?” Sayaka echoed.
“Yes.” Ami nodded, coming beside the younger boy.
“But…” Sayaka protested slightly.
“Please.” Kyu begged.
A while later, Sayaka retrieved the letter from the drawer and placed it on the table before the two.
“Here you go.” she commented.
“The medium Kousei Asakura-san, said that this letter was sent to her in this envelope. The letter with the president's handwriting.”
Taking up the letter, Kyu noticed that the date on the postmark had been chopped off.
“The date on the postmark is cut off. I can't read the date on it.” he noted.
“But there is no mistake that the handwriting on the envelope and the letter is the president's.” Sayaka told them.
“Tomohiko-san and Akihiko-san had a handwriting expert analyze the letter and it was authentic.” she added as Kyu opened the letter.
Folding the letter back, Kyu blinked, “Huh?”
“What's the matter?” Sayaka asked.
This is strange. Why is this? Kyu wondered.
Just then, Kinta slammed the door open.
“Hey Kyu, come with me!” he shouted.
“What's the matter, Kinta?” Ami asked.
“Kaoru-chan is…” Kinta replied.
After a while the four burst into the mansion's hall.
“Ichinose!” Kyu called out.
“Kyu-kun!” Kaoru cried, running into his embrace.
“The detective said that I'm a suspect.” she wailed.
“Huh? What's going on?” Kyu demanded.
“By using the process of elimination, it became clear.” Odajima replied.
“Process of elimination?” Kyu echoed.
“Yes.” Odajima nodded. “Everyone was holding hands, and since you guys from the detective club have no motive, only the person not holding hands with you guys could have killed her.”
“What do you mean?” Kyu asked.
“You're so slow.” Odajima chided the boy.
“The culprit murdered the medium, Kousei Asakura, so that she won't disclose the location of the will, which reveals who would get the huge estate Hanayo Ichinose left.” he deduced.
Grabbing Kazuma's laptop, he added, “Look at this.”
“My laptop!” Kazuma protested.
“Kaoru Ichinose was the only one not holding with you outsiders. She was also between the Kusakas, who will get the inheritance as Kaoru's guardians.” Odajima reasoned, thrusting the screen in front of Kyu.
“Don't you get it? In other words, these three conspired together, and went the lights went out, it's very possible that the couple let go of Kaoru`s hands and she killed her.” he smirked.
“But…” Kyu objected.
“Well, Sachiyo Kusaka-san was probably killed because of an argument over her share of the inheritance. So that's how it happened. Shouhei Kusaka-san, please come with us too.” Odajima declared.
Kazuma took back his precious laptop and sighed in relief.
“But based on such circumstantial reasoning, can you really take them down to the station?” Megumi protested.
“I have other reasons too.” Odajima replied.
“Okay, let me show you.” he nodded.
“Hey get the confiscated evidence over here.” he ordered his men.
One policeman retrieved the tape recorder from the séance and placed it on the table.
“The medium's assistant, Fijisawa-san recorded this tape during the séance. I'm going to play it now, so listen carefully as to who's talking.” Odajima commented.
Then, he pressed the `play' button.
First, Hiroshi's voice was heard.
Now sensei, please begin
“That's Fijisawa-san's voice.” Kyu noted.
Kinta's voice was next.
It's really dark, and I can't see anything
“That's me.” Kinta remarked.
Megumi's voice was heard next as she hushed him up.
“That's me.” Megumi commented.
Hiroshi's voice was heard again.
Is everyone holding hands with the person next to you? Now, please step backwards to expand the circle slowly and give the spirit more space in the circle.
Odajima then pressed the `fast-forward' button as Tomohiko and Akihiko entered the room.
“What's wrong?” Kyu asked.
“The important part is after this.” Odajima replied.
The tape was forwarded to the séance when the medium started humming.
Suddenly she choked and demanded, W… what are you doing?
Kaoru's shocked voice was heard.
W.. what was that noise?
“That's my voice.” Kaoru blinked.
Sachiyo's voice was followed.
Could it be that my sister's spirit is suffering?
“It's Sachiyo's.” Shouhei noted.
Shouhei's voice was heard next.
We shouldn't talk.
“That's me.” Shouhei remarked.
Kaoru's scared voice followed.
We'd better not move right? If it's really my mom's spirit, I want to see her.
“Kaoru-san, you seem to be very clam huh?” Odajima questioned.
Kaoru gasped.
Sachiyo's voice was heard on the tape.
She's right. If you say something rude, the spirit might go away.
Hiroshi's hurried voice was heard as he tried to salvage the commotion.
Everyone, please calm down. Sensei should be okay.
Sayaka's voice was heard.
But this seems a little different from last time.
“That was Fijisawa-san and Nabeshime-san.” Kazuma noted.
Kyu's voice was next.
Fijisawa-san, Umm. I'm Kyu, can I talk to you?
Hiroshi replied nervously.
Yes, what is it Kyu-san?
Ami's concerned voice was heard.
Something seems strange, but is she really okay?
After that sentence, Odajima stopped the tape.
“After this, only you guys from the detective club were talking. See, it's suspicious right?” he stated.
“Huh?” Kazuma, Kinta and Megumi blinked in confusion.
“Don't you get it? You guys are slow. Listen, the only people who were talking were either Kaoru or the Kusakas. Why were they talking so much? It`s because they're subconsciously trying to cover the crime they had just committed in the dark.” Odajima reasoned.
Then, he chuckled at his clever deduction, “You can`t think of anything else, can you?”
Kyu then realized something.
Wait a minute, that recording… I see, maybe…!
“Shouhei Kusaka, Kaoru Ichinose , I will have to question you as key suspects. Come with us.” Odajima commented.
“That's ridiculous.” Shouhei protested.
“Okay, let's go.” Odajima ignored his objection.
“Kyu-kun.” Kaoru pleaded to Kyu for help.
“Ichinose. Wait, there must be…” Kyu tried to prevent the uncle and niece pair from being taken.
As Odajima opened the door, Ryu stood at the doorway, blocking their path.
“Please wait a second.” he remarked.
“Huh?” Odajima frowned.
“I'm sorry, but there's an obvious flaw in your deduction.” Ryu pointed out.
“Not you again!” Odajima exclaimed, thwarted once again.
“Ryu-kun.” Megumi breathed in relief.
“Just because Kaoru-san wasn't holding hands with the detective club members, it's too simple to just conclude that she committed the crime in the darkness. Now I'll show you why.” Ryu remarked.
“That's interesting. A kid like you is acting as a detective. Fine, let me hear what you have to say.” Odajima nodded.
Ryu stepped forward and turned to Megumi.
“Megu, I need you to remember something form your photographic memory.” he requested.
“What is it, Ryu-kun?” Megumi asked.
“Before the séance begun, Fijisawa-san instructed us to make a circle right? Can you remember who was standing where at the time?” he asked.
“Okay, I got it.” Megumi nodded.
“Kazuma, can you input that information into your computer?” Ryu asked the computer genius.
Kazuma nodded.
“Go ahead.” Kazuma remarked once his computer was set up.
“Let's see… just like last time, Tomohiko-san is at twelve o'clock. Going clockwise, the assistant Fujisawa-san, Sachiyo Kusaka-san, Shouhei Kusaka-san, Kinta, Akihiko Ichinose-san was at six o'clock, the secretary Nabeshime-san, Kaoru Ichinose-san, Kazuma. Kyu-kun, Ryu-kun, Ami-chan and I were not in the circle but were standing beside the window.” Megumi recited.
Kyu walked over and looked into Kazuma's computer screen.
“I see, just as I thought.” he gasped.
Ami too gasped in realization when the circle visualized in her head.
“Thank you Megu, Kazuma.” Ryu nodded and took the laptop to Odajima.
“Please take a look at this, Detective Odajima. At that time, Kaoru-san was between the secretary Nabeshime-san, and Kazuma.” Ryu pointed out.
“So what? I was talking about the formation when the crime occurred. The layout before the crime happened has nothing to do with it.” Odajima challenged.
“That's right.” Ryu agreed.
“But the formation when the crime occurred was created by us outsiders. As a result, Kaoru-san was standing between the Kusakas. Do you understand the contradiction?” he explained.
“Huh?” Odajima blinked.
“The conspiracy between the Kusakas and Kaoru-san that you've been suggesting was only possible because us outsiders just happened to suggest changing the formation.” Ryu concurred.
“Wah!” Odajima exclaimed in disbelief.
“In other words, Kaoru ending up standing between the Kusakas was pure chance and wasn't planned. Therefore, the conspiracy that you suggest between the Kusakas and Kaoru-san can be refuted.” Ryu concluded.
Odajima sighed in defeat.
Kaoru breathed in relief.
“But then, how did the victim get killed?” Odajima posted a question.
“It's impossible to kill a person standing the middle of a circle where everyone was holding hands with each other. Listen, I don't believe in evil spirits.” he pointed out.
“I feel the same way. There must be some kind of a trick to this case which seemed impossible at a glance. That is…” Ryu agreed.
“Now, I get it!” Kyu exclaimed.
“The trick to this case and the true identity of the culprit.” Ami added.
Kyu gave the older girl a knowing nod and Ami returned an acknowledging smile.
“What?” Tomohiko exclaimed.
“The trick to this case?” Shouhei echoed.
“You know who the murderer is?” Ootaguro asked.
“Really?” Hiroshi blinked.
“No way!” Odajima gasped, unable to believe that he was defeated by a couple of kids.
“Kyu-kun?” Kaoru blinked.
Kyu held up three fingers and declared, “There are three hints.”
“First, the clothes the victim was wearing. Second, everyone's voice on the tape. And third, the similarity between the layout of the two circles which Kazuma's computer showed just now. The answer is…” he recited.
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SailorStar9: Phew this chapter is down.