After a lunch break that seemed like hell on earth, finally, the fifth period arrived.
At the beginning of the class, the teacher told Teruya-san to go to the principal's office.
Because of that, I turned to look out the window.
And I saw Ryoko's car in the teacher's parking lot.
It was just as Ryoko had reported to me last night.
The police have identified Teruya-san's sister and her husband as the kidnappers of Misuzu Kurosawa and Masaki Haneda.
Besides, they were going to questioning Teruya Hikaru to determine if she was involved or not, Ryoko had said so.
I saw Teruya-san, who was being called, looked unfazed as if to say it was too much trouble.
Everyone in the class reacted with an air of “Oh no, not again”.
And now, we didn't think the police question was novel anymore, and it was beginning to feel like a regular event.
In fact, Kitora-sensei told me when I dropped by the infirmary that even the principal had complained about the frequency of police questions.
Of course, the police would have nothing to gain by questioning Teruya-san.
Because she had nothing to do with it and I was the real culprit.
Teruya-san leaves the classroom, looking very unhappy.
After watching her go, I fiddled with my phone under my desk and sent a short message to Ryoko.
Teruya-san indeed has nothing to do with this.
But her presence is too convenient for me.
And at the same time, considering Fujiwara-san's safety, I would ask her and her sister to take everything on their shoulders and leave instead of me. That's the best thing to do.
I have no choice but to come to that conclusion.
◇ ◇ ◇
「It's not that I'm doubting you or anything. Even if the story is at the level of rumor or slander, we just have no choice but to confirm it one by one, so please don't be offended」
The square-faced, masculine detective prefaced his statement with great care.
It seems that there is someone who has told the detectives something about me.
「Then, your name is Teruya Hikaru, right?」
「The victims, Misuzu Kurosawa-san and Masaki Haneda-san. Kurosawa-san has returned home, but....... Please tell me if you have any contact with them outside of school」
「I don't have any connection. We're just in the same class」
「I see. Actually, right after Kurosawa-san went missing, there was some talk that you might be involved......」
「Wait a minute! I have nothing to do with this!」
「Okay, I know. I know it's a groundless story」
When I raised my voice, the detective lowered his eyebrows and gave me a reassuring smile.
I could understand the logic of having to check, but to be honest, I was annoyed.
Because it must be that, right? At the very least, it means that someone suspected me and told the police.
「But...... I checked it out just to be sure. Your sister, Anna Kamishima, whose previous name was Anna Teruya...... has a record of forced prostitution」
◇ ◇ ◇
After I shut the door, I run up the stairs as fast as I can.
It's annoying! It's annoying! It's annoying! It's annoying!
I was particularly annoyed with the female detective.
Although it was the male detective who was talking to me, the female detective was observing me with a completely suspicious...... eye, as if she was already looking at a criminal.
Most of the questions were related to my sister.
She said, “It's just for our reference” but to me, she seemed to be almost certain that my sister was the culprit.
She seemed to be trying to determine whether I had anything to do with it or not.
Right now, after leaving the principal's office, I ran up to the balcony in front of the rooftop, hid behind the railing, looked down the stairs, and pulled out my phone from the inside pocket of my school blazer.
It was quiet because the class was in session. And the silence makes my ears ring.
From my address book, I select my sister's name and tap it. After a few calls, I hear the sound of the line connecting.
『What's wrong? Hikaru-chan』
The word “Hello” is already becoming a dead language because the name of the caller is displayed.
On the phone, my sister answered with a scratchy, alcohol-scorched voice.
My sister seemed surprised when she answered the phone.
『Sis, at our school. Do you know that two girls have gone missing from our school?」 (*Note: Aneki -> Sis)
『Oh, that's Hikaru-chan's place. Ryu-chan was annoyed that someone was kidnapping girls in our territory」
After all, my sister had nothing to do with this kidnapping.
If my sister or brother-in-law did it, it would be more insidious and thorough.
At the very least, it is unlikely that she would be found without a scratch on her body like Misuzu Kurosawa was.
『Do you remember Koganei? 』
『Nnn? Of course, I remember...... but ...... what? Did you find out where she lives?』
『Yes, her last name has been changed to Fujiwara, and now, she's in the same class』
Just from the sound of her voice, I can imagine the face of my sister on the other end of the phone.
I can imagine her mouth twisted in a grimace.
『I was questioned by the police today, and they seemed to suspect you or rather brother-in-law. About the kidnapping』
『It's not our business, but it's not fun to have someone digging into our belly when it doesn't hurt. Oh...... I see. So, you're saying that Koganei might have tipped you off』
『Well, you don't have to worry about it』
『I'm not worried about that. But I'm worried that if you get caught, I won't be able to stay in school』
『Oh, that's cold. Well, I'll be careful. In any case, no matter how many times they step in, nothing is going to come out of our house. Ryu-chan is very smart. I've made sure that all the other businesses can be cut off too』
『I hope so.......』
『Then, I'll be coming over there soon to see Koganei. Let's go eat something delicious. The food in the dormitory isn't good, is it? I'll treat you』
『Sis...... did you hear what I said? Don't worry about Koganei for now』
『It's okay, I'm not trying to kidnap her or kill her. It's just a greeting, just a greeting』
◇ ◇ ◇
After the call with the sister, I returned to the classroom just as the sixth-period was about to begin.
I took a seat as if nothing had happened, and glanced at the person behind me.
The seat diagonally behind me was occupied by a bottom-tier gross man.
I think Koganei is trying to flatter me by saying she has no intention of messing with Junichi-sama. Because of this, Koganei pretends to be in love with that bottom-tier and has recently moved to sit next to him.
I thought I would forgive her if she was so good to me, but it was only a short time before the police mentioned my sister's name. Because of that, I was convinced that Koganei was the one who had tipped me off.
「Alright, class is about to start!」
The cheerful math teacher walked into the classroom.
But even though the class was about to start, that bottom-tier gross man was nowhere to be seen in his seat.
And the only one I could see was Koganei holding a mechanical pencil between her pointed lips and nose, looking unconcerned.
I don't care if that bottom-tier gross man was not there, but the fact that Koganei looks so nonchalant really pisses me off.
And so, I wondered what kind of face she would have if I told her that my sister would be coming to her place soon.
◇ ◇ ◇
I couldn't get into my sixth period class at all.
I was pissed off, annoyed, and irritated.
The tournament is coming up, and I feel ridiculous being distracted by all this. More than anything, I just want to run and shake off this bothering feeling.
So, after class, I walked out of the classroom, ready to head to the club activities.
「Teruya-san, Teruya Hikaru-san. May I have a moment of your time?」
It was the female detective from earlier who stopped me in front of the shoe box.
「Yes... What is it? Do you have any more questions?」
「No, I'd like you to tell me a little something about...... Fumio Kijima-kun」
I've heard that name before, and I'm pretty sure that was the name of the bottom-tier gross man.
「What do you think of Fumio Kijima-kun?」
「What do you mean......?」
「For example, he's cool, he's handsome, or he's......」
「I think he's...... gross」
「I see. So let's say he's cool. In that case, which part do you think is cool?」
I wondered what this female detective wanted to ask me.
I was also on my guard, wondering what she was trying to find out, so I answered her incomprehensible questions (all about that gross man for some reason).
「Thank you very much. You are very helpful」
By the time the female detective left, it was already thirty minutes past the start time of the club activity.
What the hell is going on here?
It pissed me off.
Even though our practice time is limited.
After that, as I hurriedly changed my shoes and ran to the club room building, I looked towards the field.
I tilted my head.
None of the club members were running.
It looks like they haven't even prepared their practice equipment yet.
「Tsk... Is that person getting carried away and lecturing people again?」
I'm getting sick just thinking about it.
The advisor of the track and field team sometimes stops practice to give a lecture.
That person says it's for the sake of solidarity and gives a lecture to the whole team.
Even though that person doesn't have much of a track record and just trying to look good. It was an annoying thing to be shown.
As I stepped into the club room, I found it empty.
The only person there was Ninagawa, a second-year student, sitting on a bench in her training clothes. There were no other club members in sight.
「Nina, where is everyone?」
「I came late, but no one was there, and the clubroom was locked」
I didn't hear anything about the club activities being canceled or going on an expedition to another school.
The practice equipment was still intact, and there was no sign that anyone other than myself and Ninagawa had entered the club room.
In the end, no one showed up that day, and I ended the practice with Ninagawa and myself, just running the track lightly.
It was the next day that my homeroom teacher told me of the disappearance of all 18 members of the track and field team, except for me and Ninagawa.