I jump down and so does Satsukawa. I think I have seen enough of this place and its surroundings. In the end you could say that this whole area is pretty much the ideal place for a murder to happen, after 6:00 pm. Not only it would be dark and practically devoid of any students, even the bordering streets would be deserted since nobody has any reason to be near a bunch of abandoned factories.
Whether the murderer came from outside or from inside, it is still a fact that he or she could count on a relatively low chance of being spotted or heard by an occasional witness. There is however the fact that the abandoned shed apparently had been used frequently for months, and the candles may suggest that they gather after dusk. Well, this is not something I can conclude with certainty, that place is so dark that the candles are probably necessary even on a bright day, if the door is closed shut. But at any rate, either Gotsuji was there precisely to meet the people of the abandoned shed, or she knew that they would not be there that day. And in addition the murderer had to know that too if this was planned.
Certainly if this was not planned everything becomes more complicated, but that strange message and the three different fingerprints would suggest otherwise. This murder was planned, and yet many things that were not part of the plan happened. The real question is: what was part of the plan and what was not? Who is involved and how?
Something distracts me from my thoughts. A voice, no... two voices. Two peoples are talking in this isolated place. This is probably completely unrelated to the murder case that I am supposed to solve, but being an innately curious person I just cannot help but wondering who they are and what are they doing.
I look at Satsukawa, he noticed them too. I tell him to keep quiet with the sign language, he frowns, obviously suspicious of my intentions, but for now he is complying.
The voices are coming from behind a structure near the athletic track, they belong to two guys and they seem agitated for some reason. One is dull and sounds really dumb, the other is loud and exaggeratedly dramatic. A change in Satsukawa's expression tells me that he has recognized at least one of them. There aren't really many male students that he should know enough to remember their voices, so I am already getting an idea of who they might be.
Even if I am close enough now to discern what they are saying, I cannot make out the subject of their conversation. They seem to be discussing about something, but their comments aren't articulated enough for me to understand them.
Once I turn the corner I see the broad shoulders of a tall and slender student covered with unusually long hair. In front of him there is an even taller guy, but this one is so massive that he could be mistaken for a sumo wrestler. He notices me.
Kuon: "And that's why, my dear Baba, I regretfully need confiscate them, and may this serve you as a lesson so that you'll refrain from bringing forbidden material to these sacred grounds ever again!"
Baba: "Ah hmmm... Damn you, Kubota! It doesn't end here!"
Kuon: "Rules are rules! If I catch you red-handed again, I fear I'll have to discipline you more severely! Mark my words and repent! Repent!"
Kuon: "What is it, Baba? Is there a problem? Oh..."
Kubota, the slender guy, turns around and smiles at me. He is holding a suspicious and voluminous bag, which is probably what he just took from Baba.
Kuon: "Oh, but look at who we have here! It's our ever vigilant Satsukawa-dono and the mysterious lady that was with him yesterday! Enchantée, Madame!"
He greets me with an exaggerated western-style bow, and it seems appropriate for me to answer with my signature curtsy.
Erika: "It looks like there are already rumors about me circulating in this school, what a pleasant discovery. But it's a pity I'm only known as a 'mysterious lady'. Allow me to fix that: my name is Erika Furudo, I'm a great detective. As for you, you must be Kuon Kubota, the president of student council."
Kuon: "Unbelievable! Such a splendid lady that I never met before already knows everything about me! While I, so disgraceful of me, couldn't even make the effort to learn her name! Please accept my most deepest apologies!"
I hear Satsukawa groaning, I guess he doesn't really like this guy.
Erika: "It's quite alright, I'm a detective, it's only natural for me to be informed about the persons that are involved in the case I'm investigating. It is more surprising that you know about me."
Kuon: "Ha ha ha ha! I am the president of this fine institution!"
Baba: "You're just the president of the student council..."
Kuon: "Details, my dear Baba! Semantics! What matters is that I have the moral duty to watch over my fellow students and guide them to the right path in our darkest hour! By the way, my dear lady... when you implied that I'm one of the persons involved in the murder case... you meant it in a general sense... right?"
Erika: "Who knows? *giggle* *giggle*"
Baba: "Well, I'm outta here, bye..."
Erika: "Please, stay with us for a little while, Baba. I fear you're involved as much as your friend here."
Baba: "... He's not my friend..."
Kuon: "Ha ha ha ha! My dear lady, you shouldn't say things that might cause misunderstandings!"
Erika: "I see, my bad. So what did I interrupt?"
Kuon: "My fellow companion broke one of this school's rules by bringing here something he should have better left home."
Erika: "And I suppose the forbidden articles are inside that bag."
Kuon: "You're a great detective indeed, my dear lady!"
Erika: "Mind if I take a look, I'm curious."
Kuon: "Ha! A ha ha ha! Forgive my rudeness, but I believe the contents of this bag are not meant for the pure and innocent eyes of a lady such as you!"
Erika: "Hey Dlanor, he just implied I'm innocent and pure, what do you think?"
Baba: "Uh? Dlanor?"
Erika: "That's her name. She's from England."
Baba: "Heh, no offense, but if they ain't from Japan they ain't for me."
Kuon: "We aren't here to discuss about your fetishes, my dear Baba!"
Baba: "Heh, if you saw my collection of cuties, you'd fall in love with 'em too."
Kuon: "Heresy! There's absolutely no place in my heart for anyone else but... Ha! Ha ha ha! What are you making me saying, Baba? Ha ha ha ha ha!"
Erika: "Ooh? What you were just about to say, Kubota? Please continue."
Kuon: "Nnnooo! No no no! I can't possibly reveal the deepest secrets of my heart! They shall remain hidden under the veil of mystery!"
Satsukawa: "Sigh... are the contents of that bag part of your deepest secrets as well? Because my eyes are neither pure nor innocent, so..."
Kuon: "Oh well! If you put it that way, I guess I've no choice but to disclose that what's inside this bag is a collection of hentai doujinshi, and they're of the most disturbing kind! Traps, futanari, guro, and what not!"
Satsukawa: "Futanari? Guro?"
Erika: "Sometimes ignorance is a bliss, Satsukawa-san."
Baba: "Muhehehe! The chick's a lot less pure and innocent than the cop!"
Erika: "You sure brought a lot of them with you, Baba."
Kuon: "Aaah! The lust of a boy at the apex of his puberty knows no limits!"
Baba: "Kewl... I need to remember that line..."
Kuon: "Even so, rules are rules! Whatever would happen to human societies if rules weren't respected? As the president of this fine institution..."
Baba: "No, you're just..."
Kuon: "Whatever, my dear Baba! It is my duty to see that these foul publications you've smuggled inside this school will be promptly dealt with! Confiscated!"
Erika: "I see, and what are you going to do with them, Kubota?"
Kuon: "Ha ha ha ha! Nice question, my lady! Of course, I will destroy them, for their very existence is an offense to purity and to all that is good!"
Erika: "Destroy them, uh?"
Kuon: "Of course!"
Erika: "You don't seem to be upset about that, Baba."
Baba: "Uh... whatever, I've got a lot of those still."
Erika: "I see... and you're just fine with that, even though there must be about fifty doujinshi in that bag."
Baba: "It can't be helped..."
Erika: "Ha ha ha ha! Poor Baba! Okay, I'll help you then."
Kuon: "My dear lady! There's no need for you to help such a lowly individual!"
Erika: "Regardless of the man, rules are rules, and we must respect them. Whatever would happen to human societies if rules weren't respected? *giggle* *giggle*"
Kuon: "Nothing would happen! In the end rules are just meant to be broken!"
Erika: "Hey! You're contradicting yourself! And is it really fine for the president of the student council to say that?"
Kuon: "'Omnia munda mundis', my dear lady! It's Latin! It means that everything is right for the righteous!"
Erika: "What a stupid sentence, who the hell said that?"
Kuon: "Julius Caesar!"
Erika: "There's no way he said that!"
Kuon: "Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus!"
Erika: "Did you really memorize his full name?"
Erika: "Now you're being ridiculous..."
Kuon: "I really love the sound of Latin names! They truly are wonderful! So regal, pompous and awe inspiring, just like me! I think I should have a Latin name myself! How about... Kuonus Kubotus Nipponicus?"
Erika: "Stop that already! You're completely evading the subject!"
Satsukawa: "He does that all the time..."
Erika: "What was I saying now? Oh, right! I don't think you have the authority to confiscate a damn thing, and you certainly cannot destroy what substantially belongs to someone else."
Kuon: "What is this trickery?! Are you suggesting that I, Kuonus Kubotus Nipp..."
Erika: "Please, drop that ridiculous name already..."
Kuon: "Are you suggesting that I, Kuon Kubota, do not know which are my God-given rights?!"
Kuon: "Unthinkable! Unimaginable! Preposterous!"
Satsukawa: "At the very least I think you should return that bag to Baba when he leaves school. No matter how much questionable the contents are, as long as they aren't illegal, they need to return to their legitimate owner."
Kuon: "Oooh, I see! The laws of the country supersedes the laws of this institute! In that case I'll humbly comply! But as long as we're on these sacred grounds, I'll hold onto this. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have important duties to attend to!"
Erika: "Oh right, 'important duties'. Perhaps you can enlighten me on what exactly these 'important duties' of yours are."
Kuon: "My dear lady! I'd never dare to bore you by recounting such trivial details!"
Erika: "Is that the same thing you said to Meito Oda when all the three of you were supposed to work on a certain assignment? Did you tell him that you had 'important duties' to attend to?"