The Plan of Suspect X - Part 1/2
Shortly after she started her hunt for the traitor, Touka-chan recounted everything to Shouta-kun and roped him in as her ally. Thanks to that, the scene of betrayal event I had planned for Shouta-kun went up in smoke.
I wondered if Touka-chan suspected Shouta-kun to be the traitor, but from what I gathered after eavesdropping on them, it seems for Touka-chan, Shouta-kun is someone who could never pull off something as clever as the ‘red herring’ trick.
She thinks you are even more ignorant than Baba, Shouta-kun!
Unfortunately for Shouta-kun, anyone could be forgiven for having this line of thought. Shouta-kun admittedly is a genius when it comes to combat, but when it comes to strategy and study, he is a bit…meh~. He doesn’t have much general knowledge, and he can’t even make good use of what little general knowledge he does have. Touka-chan, who excluded Shouta-kun from the pool of suspects right from the beginning, was more or less correct in doing so.
But one thing I had desired was for her to consider the possibility of Shouta-kun being instigate by some malicious entity to betray his organization against his will. However, this outcome was still better than her overthinking things and getting paranoid, unable to believe anyone. The fact that she was thinking for herself and making a conscious decision to trust someone was already good enough.
After school, before heading over to Amanoiwato, I eavesdropped on them on the roof of the school building and heard they were suspecting the traitor to be someone among Kaburagi Shiori, Master, Boss, and Ronaria Linaria Vava-nyan (Ig was excluded as a matter of course), and decided they would install a small surveillance camera at the secret base first.
Their opponent was an adult. They couldn’t win verbally, and it would be troublesome if the traitor found out they were being investigated and ran away or rampaged. Moreover, their testimony alone would be weak as evidence. Therefore, the best option would be to record the traitor smuggling out the PSI drives on camera.
At that moment Shouta-kun muttered sadly, “It would be nice if it was a thief”, and hearing that made my chest tightened. No matter who the traitor is, there would still be lingering ill will. It sure is painful to suspect a close ally like this, isn’t it.
We had surveillance cameras in our equipment storage, but the two of them couldn’t trust those, so they went home and pooled their savings to buy a small surveillance camera costing 19,800 yen (~$180) at an electronics store.
Afterwards, they came to Amanoiwato with nonchalant faces. The ones in the bar were me, Kaburagi-san, and Ig. Baba was off at Kaneyama Tech.
Normally, Touka-chan would find Kaburagi-san and have their girl talk with her, but today, her mouth was shut tight. Shouta-kun has repeatedly stealing glances between the entrance to the secret base and his bag that contained the surveillance camera.
Haaah! So they want to do it when nobody is around?
Hmm. Ok. Let’s play along and leave the bar with a suitable reason…no, no, no. It would be interesting to see what method the two of them would use to drive Kaburagi-san and me out of the bar.
While Ig was frolicking on top my head when I passed her cherry, her latest favorite, the doors of Amanoiwato, where there was supposed to be a CLOSED sign, suddenly opened, and two men entered.
One of them was a large man with a sturdy build. He had swept-back hair and was dressed in a gray suit. His grumpy face had an uncanny resemblance to a bear. His gray suit was so worn out that I thought he might be older than me.
In contrast, the other one was a small-statured man with ruffled hair. It may be rude for me to say this, but his sloppy face resembled that of a rat borrowing the power of a bear. He was clad in a black suit, and wore an expensive (looking) wristwatch. He seemed to be in his early thirties.
A strong citrus-y smell was coming from him. It seems like Rat-kun soaked himself in perfume before coming here.
Who the hell are these guys?
They don’t look like those drunk customers who come here from time to time while totally ignoring the CLOSED sign.
The two of them casually looked around the store, but could not help themselves from staring several times.
To be fair it wasn’t their fault. Why, you ask? Because…
First there was me. A common marmoset was clinging to the back of my head with only half of her face peeking out and looking at the strangers warily.
Then there was Kaburagi-san who looked like a noble lady from the Middle Ages.
Moving on, there was Touka-chan who was gleefully staring at the statue of Buddha she had just received as a present from Kaburagi-san.
And finally, there was Shouta-kun, looking like a delinquent with flashy red hair sitting at a table with his legs crossed rudely while taking a drag from his chocolate cigarette.
The decor of Amanoiwato was that of a regular bar, but the strange personalities sitting in here could only be part of a comedy skit. However, to be fair this was nowhere near being strangest place in Tokyo. If you look carefully, you’d find mountains of strange people gathering here and there. Amanoiwato’s patrons are indeed strange, but they are not strange enough to merit any special attention.
The two detectives were surprised and perplexed, but they eventually settled their eyes on me, who looked the most ordinary and normal of the lot.
“Excuse me, I–”
In middle of his sentence, as he was reaching into his shirt pocket, Bear-kun suddenly froze. So did Rat-kun who similarly had his hand inside his pocket. Even Shouta-kun, Touka-chan, and the ventilation fan that was slowly turning around, all stopped.
“Search their pockets.”
I don’t know what she was up to. But she had excluded me the effect of time-stop. So, I just followed Kaburagi-san’s instructions and pulled out the contents of their pockets with my telekinesis.
What came out were plum-flavored cough drops, insect repellant, normal stationery memo pads, and their police IDs.
While checking their police IDs, I passed the memo pads to Kaburagi-san.
“Looks like they are from the Organized Crime Control Bureau. Probably the real deal. I knew something was suspicious about them.”
Kaburagi-san, who was flipping through the memo and reading it quickly, frowned as she spoke.
Oi oi, why the hell did the police come here?
“Weren’t the police supposed to be properly taken care of?”
“That was supposed to be the case, but….I see, I made a blunder. Hey Sago-san, let me ask you this: when you were a student, did you ever listen to your principal’s advice to finish your summer homework as soon as possible?”
“Umm… No, I procrastinated until the very last day. Ah…now I get it! Even if you control the top-brass, it’s probably difficult to thoroughly control the members at the extreme ends of an organization.”
“Correct. Also, I wasn’t able to make a strong enough connection with the police. I called their headquarters and had them stop looking into the Super Water-Ball incident. However, I could only make sure that their top-brass never have any intention of further investigation.”
I feel like you have done more than “making a connection”.
But that explains why this Bear-Rat detective duo ended up coming here. This means the police haven’t been completely restrained.
“So these guys came to investigate personally? Why did they pinpoint this place? Did they find something out?”
“No. As far as I can tell, they are going around investigating all suspicious looking places. Let’s send them back peacefully. I’ll restart the time. Put their things back in their pockets.”
I returned the plum-flavored cough drops, insect repellent, memo pad and their police ID back to their original place with my telekinesis, and the 44-second emergency meeting ended. Judging by how Kaburagi-san was able to stop time for 44 seconds while allowing me to move as well, it was apparant that she had also been training continuously.
As time began to move, the two detectives took out their police IDs without noticing anything wrong.
“–I’m Detective Kumano from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Organized Crime Prevention Department.”
“I’m Detective Yasui.”
We already know.
I stopped polishing the wine glass and looked up at Detective Kumano with my sour face.
What a freak. Isn’t he 190 cm tall?
Detective Kumano spoke in a matter-of-fact manner as I silently urged him to continue.
“I apologize for interrupting your work. I’d like to ask if someone suspicious…visited this store?…”
While saying that, Detective Kumano’s gaze fell at the members of Amaterasu.
“Excuse me, are those two high-school students?”
The two in question had changed into their casual clothes, but their heights and facial features were that of a young teenager. They seemed too young to be at a bar in the middle of the day.
Touka-chan could be seem reading her sutras while putting a composed front, while Shouta had a ‘Oh! Shit!' look on his face.
That face is gonna get you in trouble, Shota-kun. Don’t worry, we have taken countermeasures.
I flicked a few wine bottles lined up behind the counter. The light clink made it obvious that they were empty.
Seeing me starting to panick, Kaburagi-san jumped in and did explaining in order to protect my taciturn character.
“This is all part of the decor. This is a cafe during the day. Only at night does it turn into a bar. Master, two original blends please.”
I nodded, then proceeded to grind the coffee beans. It was a blatant attempt at appealing that we were a café.
Detective Kumano gestured to Detective Yasui who put on a serious face and straightened his necktie before heading over to the counter seat where Touka-chan and Kaburagi-san were sitting. He was obviously conscious of the woman with peerless beauty and the super cute high school girl. It seemed good to leave Detective Yasui to Kaburagi-san.
The problem is the big one here. How should I convince him to leave? Will he be satisfied if I gave some harmless answers? Will he leave then?