The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village:Bonus Part 3
6:50 - 7:10 PM
- According to the TV, the storm won’t settle down for a few days.
- Until then, we will all be staying at the mansion. They apparently have a decent stockpile of food, so that won’t be a problem.
- Kariba Toga, the butler with the bandaged face, smiles and chats with the maid named Matsushima Ren and the daughter. He might not be a bad person.
- Shuuren begins fortune telling for some entertainment. He seems to be making it up as he goes along → In other words, it doesn’t have any set rules like astrology or tarot.
- He’s fortune telling why the detective came this deep in the mountains. (←Is the old man interested in the detective?)
- The detective came here because of a report of what looked like a young woman’s arms and legs spotted on a mountain road after a landslide.
- It turned out to be nothing: just a broken mannequin. But something bothered him, so he stayed behind on his own.
- From the glances I took of the detective’s face, that seems to be the legit answer.
Enbi: “That storm was apparently due to an explosive low-pressure system sitting over us. What they were saying on the TV was scarier than how things looked outside.”
We will be interrupting the scheduled programming for a repeat of the weather information.
Currently, heavy rain warnings have been issued for northern Kanagawa, Western Tokyo, and all of Saitama. At this level, we urge you to take shelter immediately and the explosive low-pressure system in question will likely stay put for a few more days.
There is a fear that seemingly solid ground will be saturated with water, so be on the lookout for landslides and collapses as you travel to your municipality’s designated shelter. Taking shelter at night is incredibly dangerous as you cannot see your footing. It is possible the manhole covers will have been dislodged on flooded streets. Always carry a light with you and progress with caution. And if reaching your shelter point would be difficult for any number of reasons, head to a room on the highest floor you can while keeping away from mountain and cliff slopes. To repeat…
Hayabusa: “But about Shuuren’s fortune telling. The real fork in the road is whether you honestly believe he was using the occult or you assume he was intercepting the police radio signal.”
Enbi: “And take note that this also keeps the corporation group in check. A mountain road collapsed? And something like a corpse was spotted? Let’s pay careful attention to that.”
Hayabusa: “…I wish we could have focused on that.”
7:10 – 7:40 PM
- The bandaged butler named Kariba has started cooking dinner.
- A fight broke out between Yatsui Toshi who prefers Japanese food and Matsushima Ryou who prefers Western food.
- Enbi is not picky. (According to her.)
- Yatsui Toshi and Matsushima Ryou fall silent.
- Shuuren is going around locking up the mansion.
- The Glass House’s locks require a set of keys to be locked or unlocked from the inside or outside.
- Dounyuu, the son, is all fidgety and can’t clam down.
- Matsushima Ren, the maid, takes a shower (1st time).
- The detective is staring. (Grr)
Hayabusa: “Wait. This doesn’t count as peeping!”
Enbi: “Anyway, this will introduce the insane family rules that say no secrets are needed between family.”
Hayabusa: “The other important point is that Shuuren locked up, not the butler or maid. He claimed it was the head of the family’s duty to protect everyone from outside threats.”
Enbi: “Also note that Dounyuu, the crossbow collector, couldn’t calm down.”
7:40 – 8:00 PM
- Matsushima Ryou and Yatsui Toshi get into a fight over whether to play chess or shogi. They end up playing Reversi against each other.
- The meal is prepared.
- Enbi tried to swipe some ham, so I scolded her. At some point, I ended up in charge of her.
- Hatsutomo Naru really did swipe some ham.
- Ren the maid calls everyone in for dinner, but Shuuren doesn’t show up.
- We head out to search for him and find him dead in the entrance hall. He was killed by a crossbow bolt to the right lung.
- He didn’t die instantly? There are traces of him crawling a few meters after being shot in the chest. But wouldn’t that open the wound further? ← That’d have to hurt…
Enbi: “And here it is: the first murder.”
Hayabusa: “It’s sort of important that we all ‘went out to search for’ Shuuren. That would normally make sense, but this was the Glass House. And what was its special trait?”
Enbi: “Of course, the corporation group was the most suspicious with their grievances from the fortune telling, but it was hard to say the fortune teller family was completely ruled out either. We had to narrow things down some before getting started.”
Hayabusa: “Yes. She caused some real trouble when I took my eyes off of her for just a second.”
8:00 to 8:20 PM
- After calming the panicked people, I made sure to preserve the scene of the crime. Everyone passes through the entrance hall, so I couldn’t just seal it off forever. I started with a tentative investigation of the scene.
- Shuuren was shot from directly ahead by a crossbow. Based on the length of the bolt, it probably belongs to a small pistol-sized crossbow.
- There’s a dying message in blood near Shuuren.
- The keys Shuuren should have had are gone. That means no one can leave the mansion.
- The dying message said “bow” in blood.
- Now, what if I change that to “88w”?
Enbi: “And presto!”
Hayabusa: “I can’t believe you would do that! You actually rewrote the dying message!!”
Enbi: “Yeah, but do you really think the victim would leave a coded message in the last barely-conscious moments before death? And even if he did, do you really think the murderer who had shot him straight in the chest wouldn’t notice?”
Hayabusa: “So that means you rewrote the fake dying message the murderer wrote?”
Enbi: “Now, let’s take a picture with my smartphone and show it off! The murderer’s bound to be shocked after thinking they’d escaped to safety.”
8:20 – 8:30 PM
- We gathered in the living room and the others started ganging up on crossbow-collecting Dounyuu.
- According to Dounyuu, one of his pistol-style crossbows had gone missing before dinner.
- Toyokawa Ryuu continues to keep one hand in his pants pocket. He seems to be operating a cell phone or digital voice recorder.
- Let’s show off the photo of the altered dying message!
- The ones who reacted unnaturally were Kanpa who was accusing Dounyuu, the wife Akua who was trying to stop the fighting, and Dounyuu himself.
Hayabusa: “Kanpa-san looked like an elegant young lady in a wheelchair, but she very surprisingly turned out to be an incredibly active person.”
Enbi: “Yeah, when she got mad, she would grab a mop or broom handle and start hitting you with it.”
Hayabusa: “They were all trying to think it over seriously by talking about alibis and motives…but it was pretty much useless.”
Enbi: “When you start talking about that stuff in reality, it really just comes down to endless arguing. Give a nice logical explanation like, ‘I was here then and that person saw me,’ and that person can ruin it with an irresponsible ‘Eh? Were you really there?’ People’s brains aren’t hard disks, so their memories can be dragged around by impressions. The witness has no obligation to cover for them, so you can’t really trust them. You don’t even need a majority opinion to crush someone’s claim.”
Hayabusa: “If only there was a rule that everyone would accept the truth even if it was to their disadvantage.”
Enbi: “Also, there was the crossbow.”
Hayabusa: “Dounyuu’s claim was just that: a claim. He could always have been lying.”
Enbi: “By the way, these are the specs of the crossbow in question. This is from a catalogue in Dounyuu’s room.”
“Sainaka Hunting Industries – New Fall Releases”
Product of Sainaka Hunting Industries
Length: 25cm (55cm when collapsible stock and stabilizer are fully expanded)
Weight: 700g (850g with our scope [sold separately])
Maximum Range: 150m
Effective Range: 20m (25m when using our standard bolt)
Price: Discretionary Pricing
Thoughts: This is our latest pistol-style crossbow which has superb durability, light weight, and small size thanks to its ABS plastic body. Even the standard model can be used for excellent sharpshooting, but when combined with the optional synthetic fiber bolts (sold separately), the kinetic energy increases threefold to create a truly ambitious product.
Hayabusa: “Oh, honestly. A silent crossbow you can hide in a bag? Why do they have to sell these obviously malicious things!? How could this possibly be used for hunting!?”
Enbi: “That was almost certainly the source of the murder weapon, but we had to think of some other possibilities just in case. Like that Kanpa might have hidden a dismantled crossbow inside her wheelchair.”
Hayabusa: “Either way, they would have to ‘get rid of’ Dounyuu’s crossbow, so that would just be wasted effort.”
Enbi: “From a psychology perspective, preferring to use a crossbow – or any kind of projectile, really – is a sign of a desire to ‘overturn a position of inferiority’. It comes from the contradiction of wanting a direct confrontation (instead of hiding in the shadows like with a trap or poison) but not wanting an actual physical struggle. That’s why they wanted to free themselves from the tension at a safe distance.”
Hayabusa: “That’s just one example. Profiling is based on statistics. It’s not magic.”
Enbi: “And the dying message seemed pretty simple to me. Who had been surprised that the message in blood hadn’t pointed to the owner of the bow…in other words, Dounyuu? And who had reacted even though they had no reason to be surprised?”
8:30 – 9:00 PM
- I informed everyone we were locked in the mansion without the keys.
- There’s a storm outside and the tunnel collapsed, but we still decided to check for any way out of the mansion.
- The windows and doors won’t open. They’re made of reinforced security glass, so not even tools are enough to break them.
- Just to be sure, I checked the dresser and desk drawers in all the rooms. With their consent, I patted everyone down, but I couldn’t find the crossbow or keys.
- We found a digital voice recorder in Toyokawa Ryuu’s pocket.
- Ren, the maid, was shocked.
- Akua, the wife, looked displeased.
Hayabusa: “The keys are one thing, but it was obvious where the crossbow was hidden. The murderer was the only one who could go in or out, so if they threw the crossbow out and locked up afterwards, no one would find it. The outside walls weren’t transparent, after all.”
Enbi: “But how could those reinforced glass windows be so strong? The front door too.”
Hayabusa: “It’s the same stuff the police and even the Ministry of Defense use. But how much money went into that mansion to cover every surface with it?”
“Never Publicly Released Advertisement Sent to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s Equipment Procurement Committee”
The Crystal Shield Ver.12 we have developed is the latest grade of bullet- and bomb-proof glass expected to be used in vehicles for the president. Based on a miniscule truss structure created from various impurities mixed into a silicon base, this greatest masterpiece possesses hardness and elasticity one would never expect from glass. No ugly wires or films are mixed in. And as it is glass-based, it will repel most any chemical.
However, there are foreign export restrictions on this product, so transportation or resale to non-allied nations is strictly forbidden. Please be careful.
Hayabusa: “Don’t forget the digital voice recorder either.”
Enbi: “Yes, keep in mind why the Glass House’s walls and floors were transparent.”
Hayabusa: “And while it isn’t definitive, people in tense situations tend to focus on unnecessary things.”
Enbi: “That left the keys, but they weren’t in any of the furniture. But where else could they have been? There was nowhere else to hide something in that glass mansion.”
Hayabusa: “The answer was simple and it would become more important later.”
9:00 – 9:10 PM
- The murderer was able to freely kill with no one the wiser in the Glass House where everyone can see everything, so we needed a way to defend ourselves.
- The corporation group and the Hoshimi group split up and got into a fight.
- I calmed down Yatsui Toshi and Toyokawa Ryuu who tried to arm themselves with things like a kitchen knife or a hammer. I explained that close-range weapons would be meaningless against someone with a crossbow, that the murderer couldn’t lie in wait for a surprise attack with the glass walls, and that it would be more effective to take apart a bed and make a shield out of the blanket and plywood.
Enbi: “You’re a surprisingly smooth talker, detective. I was sure everyone was going to grab a weapon and create a situation where they could snap at the slightest provocation.”
Hayabusa: “No, you tried to get everyone worked up so they would do that! Even the carefree maid reached for a fruit knife! Do you have any idea how nerve-racking it was to calm them all down again!?”
Enbi: “Well, if the atmosphere got tense enough, the murderer might just have pulled out the crossbow to protect themselves. …And if all the suspects were killed, that would include the murderer too.”
Hayabusa: “Looks like you still haven’t learned your lesson. Shall I play back what you said back then?”
Enbi: W-wait. That isn’t something you should do in front of someone!”
Past Enbi (mimicked by Hayabusa): “Hey, do you believe in the grim reaper? I see. Then life will be nothing but one lesson after another for you. Nothing is as long and dark as a starless and moonless stormy night. You will have plenty of time to learn exactly how the world works.”
Hayabusa: “Um, what was that thing you did with your arms? You crossed them and placed the fingers on your forehead, right? Hm? This isn’t right. I’m all tangled up…”
Enbi: “Ababba! Ababababa! Byabyabyabyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!! (Tremble tremble tremble twitch twitch thud!!)”
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