Erika: "Ha! Fantastic! This is simply perfect!"
Satsukawa: "What do you say? Are you ready to confront her?"
Erika: "Now yes. She has much to answer for, and she can't deny her involvement anymore."
Satsukawa: "And I still haven't told you the best part yet."
Erika: "The best part? Something even more interesting than that? Hmmm... let me guess, it must be about the fingerprints you've found on the victim's message."
Satsukawa: "That's right, try to guess who they belong to."
Erika: "It can't be Teramoto again, I doubt she'd be that careless."
Satsukawa: "About that... we actually didn't find any of her fingerprints inside the shed."
Erika: "Not even one? That's pretty odd... So what exactly did you find?"
Satsukawa: "Hairs. We've found a few."
Erika: "It intrigues me the fact that she didn't leave fingerprints, especially when so many people did, including her lackeys."
Satsukawa: "This is something we'll be able to ask her very soon."
Erika: "But regarding that message, if it isn't Teramoto, then who that might be? Oh, wait, I get it, it must be Takamiya."
Satsukawa: "Wrong, we didn't find anything that belongs to her."
I don't like the smile on his face.
Erika: "All right, Satsukawa-san, who is this person?"
Satsukawa: "It's Kagami Hibari again."
Erika: "Hibari? That's... really interesting..."
Let us recapitulate what we know about that message.
It was written by Gotsuji, that much is practically certain. Her fingerprints are on that piece of paper.
The message was folded, probably by the victim herself.
The message was unfolded, likely from the intended recipient, and then it was crumpled.
The message was later found by Oda inside his locker. That was probably the time when he left his own fingerprints on it.
The third person who left fingerprints on the message is Kagami Hibari.
If we put all these facts together it becomes likely to assume that this last person was the intended recipient of Gotsuji's message. Kagami Hibari therefore has to answer why the victim wanted to meet her at that place, and why she didn't tell us anything before.
This line of thoughts assumes that the culprit somehow managed to retrieve the message after it was tossed away, and that this culprit took care as to not leave fingerprints on it.
However, if we assume that the culprit isn't a careful nor a smart person, and Hibari certainly isn't either, then it would follow that the third set of fingerprints is an incriminating evidence. At the very least it would mean that she tried to frame Oda. And why would she? Maybe because she is the culprit, but more likely because she was ordered to.
No, that doesn't make sense. There are actions that have been taken that could only be executed by someone with very scarce intellectual faculties. In other words it makes more sense to think that Hibari took decisions by herself, and very poorly. For example, who would try to frame someone else with a message without taking care as to not leave fingerprints on it?
Unless someone wanted to frame Hibari to begin with... Is this an elaborated strategy?
Satsukawa: "I think we're on a turning point. The fact that Hibari's fingerprints were found both on the message and inside the shed are pretty strong evidences. She's also the single element that connects the victim to Teramoto and her group. She must know something."
Satsukawa: "Plus, we know that she was still inside the school grounds at the time of the crime, and no one except Yuu Azuma can guarantee for her."
Erika: "That would mean that Yuu Azuma is involved as well."
Satsukawa: "That's what I think, and that's what my teammates think as well. In the first place it's very strange that they didn't go with the rest. It's as if they needed an excuse to remain alone."
Well, I cannot deny that what he says makes sense.
Erika: "Then, in other words, the general consensus is that we need to pressure Hibari and make her talk, because she's most likely the key person that can shed light on this case."
Erika: "May I suggest something, Satsukawa-san?"
Erika: "I think it'd be probably best to interrogate Hibari and Teramoto separately."
Satsukawa: "Hmmm... I see your point..."
Erika: "I'll make it even clear. The fingerprints on that message do not mean much against a smart person. Like I told you before, it might be that Hibari was simply the intended recipient of Gotsuji's message, which means she might have no relation to the attempted framing of Oda."
Satsukawa: "Do you really think that's the case?"
Erika: "No, but she could use that logic to deny any further involvement, and she might slip through our fingers. Or rather, that's what she could do, if she was smart enough."
Satsukawa: "In other words, there's really no chance she could come up with that plan by herself, but Teramoto might."
Erika: "I don't know her enough, but if what they say about her is true, then that's a realistic possibility."
Satsukawa: "This might surprise you, but you're not the only one who's made that thinking. We know we don't have enough to incriminate Hibari yet, and she might be just a pawn. But we think it's better to make her think that we believe she's the culprit and that we've enough to prove it. That should pressure her to say everything that she knows."
Erika: "For once, I completely agree with the strategy of those guys."
Satsukawa: "And if she's the culprit, that'd probably give her a big scare. She might make a mistake or even confess."
Erika: "Now, is there someone who actually thinks she's the murderer?"
Satsukawa: "Why not? Everything points to her in the end."
Erika: "I'm ready to bet she isn't the one."
Satsukawa: "I'm not taking any side. To me it might be both, I'm open to every possibility."
Erika: "What a cowardly detective..."
Satsukawa: "Uh? What do you mean?!"
Erika: "You should have the guts to make a prediction and bet on it."
Satsukawa: "This isn't a matter of having guts or anything, it doesn't make sense to jump to conclusions."
Erika: "Whatever. So, is this the only reason you're so happy today?"
Satsukawa: "Well, there's the fact that I'm in charge of this interrogation, I've been assigned the duty to handle this matter."
Erika: "Excellent! This means I can handle this interrogation as I see fit! Most wonderful news!"
Satsukawa: "Hmmm, no... Maybe you didn't quite understand what I said. I'm in charge of this..."
Erika: "Officially yes, of course. They couldn't directly appoint me, a civilian, but it's quite obvious that they expected you to grant me free rein on that."
Satsukawa: "That's not true..."
Erika: "Why else would they choose you for this important interrogation? Especially after what happened yesterday..."
I immediately regret mentioning that. Oh, well... too late.
Satsukawa: "You've no idea how much I've been laughed at when I told them... That was an incredibly humiliating experience..."
Erika: "Oh... I can imagine..."
Satsukawa: "But it could've been worse, I thought they'd look at me with scorn and disdain for making such a blunder... Instead they laughed, some even offered words of comfort... In the end they were expecting that something like that would happen... I really felt like an idiot, but in a sense it was a relief..."
Erika: "I guess they really are the same persons I met two years ago."
Satsukawa: "They seem to know you well, and you didn't leave a good impression. What the hell did you do back then?"
Erika: "He... that's a story for another time..."
Satsukawa: "Anyway I won't let that happen again, I've learned my lesson."
Erika: "You aren't angry at me?"
Satsukawa: "At first I was really mad... but then I just realized that this is what you do. It's just like what Nagaoka said, it really was my fault, I should've expected that, I was careless."
I can't believe this guy...
Satsukawa: "We need to go. There are preparations to make."
Satsukawa: "I'll explain on the way there. You're ready to go, right?"
Erika: "Yes, me and Dlanor are ready... but I haven't seen Rokudou yet."
Satsukawa: "I'll leave him a message, he can meet us there."
Erika: "Then there's no problem."
And without further ado, we are once again on our way to the Mitsugi institute.
Something pretty interesting is going to take place there, and I hope there will be many surprises. This day needs to make it up for its boring start.