FILE 3.3:

The Case at My Father's Island (Part 3)


"Idiot. Of course it isn't. We're watching live television, not a videotape. Everything that's happening there is happening right now."

Chiaki suddenly stopped in her place, and tilted her head in thought. "Live television?" She turned her attention back to the screen, which was now showing a laundry soap commercial. "Oh!" Then she laughed and scratched the back of her head in embarrassment. "I see, hehehehe..."

"Don't you worry your little head, Chiaki-chan," Hiro-pyon said, chuckling. "You don't have to wait long."

---

(VIDEO IN)

"AINA-CHAN!"

Apparently, while making her way towards the floating ball, Aina Hiroshi had stumbled and fell into the water. Fortunately, she was still pretty much near the shore, and the water was still shallow enough for her to stand. Yuji Shinya had rushed over to her immediately, and was already helping her to do so.

"Good Lord, Aina-chan! You scared the bejeezels out of me!"

She coughed up the small amount of water she had swallowed, and laughed in embarassment at him. "Stupid me. My foot suddenly sank in the sand, and I somehow lost my balance."

"You got that right!" The baseball player snapped, causing her to be taken aback. He stared back at her for a moment, before shaking his head. The expression upon his face has changed into that of concern. "Your foot is sprained. What if the waves had suddenly became stronger the moment you fell? You might have been swept away. I wouldn't..." He looked away briefly, before looking back at her. "We all wouldn't want that."

"Yuji-san..." At first, there was a surprised look upon the girl's face, then it was replaced by an apologetic and grateful one. "I'm sorry."

The man smiled. "Don't worry about it. Forget about the ball, I still have another one with me anyways." Then he looked towards the waters again. "I'll have to go and get your stick, though."

Aina had accidentally released her hold on her bamboo stick as she stumbled, and now it was drifting further away. She placed a hand upon his arm and shook her head. "It's okay. I think it's about time I should walk without it anyways. Let's go back."

"If you say so," His smile widened into a grin as he placed a hand on her shoulder and gently ushered her back onto the beach.

As they did so, they were greeted by a smirking Saaya. "My, aren't you two turning into a lovely couple."

At this, Yuji laughed in embarassment and Aina immediately blushed and waved her hands. "I-it's not like that!"

"How cute! How cute!" Uiko chuckled and clapped her hands. "Invite us to your wedding, okay?"

"Uiko-san!" Aina cried, flushing even more. The others only laughed in merriment.

(VIDEO OUT)

---

The show carried on without further incident. The camera continued to roll and change views from each contestant at various intervals of the day. In the morning, it showed clips of Uiko Yoshiko and Aina Hiroshi both washing their clothes at a stream, as well as clips of Yuji Shinya in an attempt to hunt using a makeshift spear as his weapon. After lunch, the camera showed clips of Aina reading at an isolated spot by the beach, of Yuji Shinya and Reiji Motokura fishing at their own separate spot, and of Saaya Shiozaki sunbathing on her own.

There was still no sign of Jimon Takao, that is until the camera stumbled upon his lifeless body.

---

(VIDEO IN)

The moment Jimon Takao's corpse was showed on the screen, the narrator's voice immediately came in. "What is this?! Jimon Takao-san is dead!!! This has certainly come as a great shock to everyone in Dragon Productions, and the police are now on their way to the island. As of this moment, we of Dragon Productions, as the producers of 'My Father's House', extend our deepest condolences to Takao-san's family and loved once. We have decided to take the responsibility of continuing the recording and airing of this show as an aid to the police and to provide information to the public. Later, we will be interviewing the rest of the Strong Six to find out clues of what happened and, as much as I don't like to say this, find out who did this horrible deed."

The camera changed its focus, and zoomed in upon the crime scene. Jimon Takao's body was found inside a small hut much like the one seen earlier in the day, at an anomalous part of the island. Upon a bench inside the hut, lay the corpse. The head and body were badly beaten, covered with dried blood. Lying on the floor next to the bench was the murder weapon, a piece of thick firewood with its tip also enshrouded in dried blood. Just outside the hut, on the sand along with natural debris left by the tide such as seaweed, shells, and the like, were a set of footprints. It looked as if the one who made them wore either slippers or walked barefoot. There was, however, a prominent round hole beside every right footprint.

The camera continued to show the crime scene and its surroundings for about ten minutes, before the screen faded out. The female narrator came in, and the screen faded in this time to show the remaining five contestants. Shock was evident upon their expressions, however, whether it was genuine or not, was yet to be determined.

"It is now fifteen minutes until three o'clock, and about fifteen minutes have passed since our camera crew stumbled upon Takao-san's body," The narrator began. "As of this moment, the police are still on their way to this island, and thus we still have no idea as to the exact details of Takao-san's death. As such, we will be commencing interviews with the remaining five contestants as to what they did during the day."

The first was Uiko Yoshioka. The woman looked utterly distraught, and though she looked straight at the camera, she tended to fumble around with a piece of lollipop in her hands. "I...I...after we gathered firewood, Aina-san and I went to wash our clothes at a nearby stream...then...after having lunch together, I became sleepy and fell asleep under one of the trees near the stream. I-I'm not sure how long that was, but I do know that I was sleep until one of the camera staff woke me and told me about the...incident." She shook her head and placed her hands across her face. "B-but who would do this?! I-I know Jimon-san wasn't exactly the nicest of people, but h-he didn't deserve to die like this!"

The second was Reiji Motokura. Though his expression did not show much concern, his aura was that of a thoughtful one. It seemed as though he was also trying to solve the case. "We all gathered firewood in the morning, I think you would all know that since the camera caught that certain event. Then I suggested having grilled fish for dinner, and everyone agreed with that. I invited Yuji to come, but as usual, he wanted to practice his pitching so he declined my offer. But he did agree to go fishing with me after lunch though. Thus I got my fishing gear ready and went to fish by myself, that is, until Yuji came in the afternoon."

The third was Aina Hiroshi. Upon this university student's face was a mixture of concern and excitement, much like the expression of a child whose fairy tale book suddenly came alive. "Well, Uiko-san and I went to the stream to wash our clothes. Aah, I really am so grateful to her. I don't think I could've done my washing by myself what with the sprain in my foot. We had lunch together, then afterwards she got sleepy and slept under a tree nearby. But I wasn't, so I decided to leave her there to read my novel at a certain isolated spot by the beach. That's all. I can't believe this has happened...right here!! Right now!! And to Jimon-san of all people!" Then she looked down and blushed in embarassment. "I know this may sound horribly cruel to you, but this incident has excited me a lot. It's as if the novel I am reading suddenly became alive..."

The fourth was Yuji Shinya. In contrast to the other three, this baseball player did not look much concerned. He still had a playful aura around him, as well as a smirking expression. "What did I do today? Well, my day started when the five of us gathered together and talked about how we thought about this island. Along the course of that conversation, we realized we wanted to have a bonfire tonight, and thus we decided to gather firewood afterwards. Reiji suggested about having grilled fish for dinner, and invited me to go fishing with him. Much as I would love to, I just can't abandon my morning pitching. So I decided to join him in the afternoon instead. Hah, that Demon Jimon is dead. Serves him right, in my opinion!"

The last person to be interviewed was Saaya Shiozaki. This woman was an epitome of calmness and was clearly someone who was used to facing the camera. The bit of skin revealed by the bikini top and the shorts she wore seemed to glow healthily. "I was by myself the whole day, after gathering firewood with the others. Yesterday afternoon, when we arrived from the House, I saw a good swimming spot around this beach. So that's where I decided to spend the day today. I swam in the morning, then sunbathed in the afternoon. I don't have a witness to confirm that. If you don't believe me, I couldn't care less."

After that, the narrator came on again. "Thus, our interview with the remaining five contestants has ended. We hope these interviews, as well as the crime scene we have recorded earlier, would provide significant clues as to who did this awful deed to Takao-san. Whether the veracity of these interviews holds or not, it is up to the police who will be arriving shortly. It is now three-thirty in the afternoon, and we at Dragon Productions will continue to air this incident until the crime has been solved. Updates will be provided by the hour, so please stay tuned."

(VIDEO OUT)

---

"Well, I think that's all we need to know," Hiro-pyon said as he switched off the television. He then stood up. "Shall we go, guys?"

Riku didn't answer, but he stood up as well. Chiaki, on the other hand, was staring up at them questioningly. "Eh? Where are we going, Hiro-pyon?"

Hiro-pyon blinked, surprised at such an obvious question. "Why, to the island of course."

"Oh I see," She said, nodding in understanding. Then she raised a finger, as if mentioning a point. "But since the crime is solved already, I think you should call the police first and tell them to hold the culprit right away."

"!!!" Both Riku and Hiro-pyon were astounded by that statement.

"What are you talking about, Chiaki-chan?" Hiro-pyon asked, still looking very much aghast. "We haven't even seen the actual crime scene yet!"

Chiaki tilted her head. "Hrm? It doesn't really matter does it? Because it's obvious who the culprit is already. I am pretty sure High IQ-san knows who it is too, ne High IQ-san?" She grinned up at the boy. There was no sarcasm in her tone, just the plain belief that he had already figured things out...perhaps even believed he had done so faster than she did.

But truth is he hadn't yet. Hell, he never even tried to process things while he watched. He just...watched...and remembered things. That's it.

Yet this airhead...

"So you know, Chiaki-chan?!" Hiro-pyon asked, getting excited. "Who is it?!"

The girl chuckled, very much amused at the excitement of the older man. "It's really very simple, Hiro-pyon. Do you remember how the crime scene looked like?"

"Well," Hiro-pyon scratched his chin thoughtfully. "He was in a hut, badly beaten by a thick piece of firewood...then there were footprints around the place...wait, FOOTPRINTS!"

"Need I remind you that sand is a terrible casting medium?" Riku said, crossing his arms. He had decided to sit this out and let the airhead talk, but of course it doesn't mean he was going to be outdone, right?

"Yes Riku-chan," Hiro-pyon said, raising a finger and waving it authoritatively. "But remember that there was a prominent hole beside every right footprint. Only someone with an object who could make that mark, say a walking stick for example, can do so. And the only one who does is…" He took in a deep breath, then said grandly, "Aina Hiroshi-san!"

Suddenly, Chiaki burst into laughter. "Ahahahahaha!!!" The two males stared at her, one in astonishment and the other in curiousity.

Her laughter had then faded into giggles, and she wiped some tears from her eyes. "Ahaha...I'm sorry for laughing like this, Hiro-pyon...it's just that...ahaha...It's just that I figured you'd fall for that trap...and you really did!"

"What do you mean...trap?"

"Remember that scene in the morning when they were all gathered together in a hut? The waves were lapping against the beams at the bottom of the hut...that means it was high tide back then."

"So?"

"So if those prints were made some time before that gathering they had, say, last night or early morning, it should have been washed out by the tide. Thus, the time frame of the crime has been restricted to this morning until this afternoon, more particularly after Yuji Shinya-san and Aina Hiroshi-san lost their baseball and bamboo stick to the sea."

"That means Aina Hiroshi-san was being framed!" Hiro-pyon exclaimed.

"That's right," Chiaki nodded. "Besides it really can't be her. She was shown on camera practically the whole day, doing the things she says she did."

"Then who did it?"

Chiaki smiled. "Someone who does not know about her lost bamboo stick. And of the five people, only one person fits that description. The one who left just before Yuji Shinya-san threw his ball..."

Riku's eyes widened slightly, finally understanding what she meant. "That gym instructor, Reiji Motokura."

Chiaki clapped enthusiastically. "So you really do know, High IQ-san!" She looked up at him, her eyes shining brightly.

He looked away quickly to hide the slight expression of guilt upon his face. "Not really..."

Then she turned back to the older man. "Eh, I have just one question, Hiro-pyon..."

"What is it, Chiaki-chan?"

"How did the police know there was going to be a murder in this show? I mean, they officially asked for our help right?" She asked, her eyebrows furrowing in thought.

"Well, they didn't, Chiaki-chan." Hiro-pyon answered. "Actually, our original job was just to watch the contestants and make sure no one tries to cheat their way into eliminating someone else in the game...although in a way, someone WAS eliminated...permanently. Poor soul." His eyes dropped their gaze for a moment, then he looked up and grinned at her. "But hey, the case is solved! The case is solved! The case is solved!" Hiro-pyon waved his arms gleefully.

Of course, being the frequent victim of the happiness virus, Chiaki also followed the same suit. "Yay! Yay!" Together, the two airheads latched their hands together and began jumping up and down like children. "We got the culprit! We got the culprit!"

"Shouldn't you call Detective Hiroaki first before celebrating?" Riku asked, crossing his arms.

"Ah, you're right Riku-chan!!" The Chief then pulled out his cellphone and began pressing buttons excitedly. "HIROAKI-KUUUUNNNNN!!!"

Riku then turned his attention back to Chiaki who was now trying to amuse herself by looking around the study. To observe and to process at the same time is definitely not an easy task to do. Yet this airhead of a girl somehow managed to solve this crime without even pausing to reflect as others would do.

Without even batting an eyelash, so to speak. He thought. The recent display of the her mind's prowess was starting to convince him that perhaps she was indeed fit to become an agent of STEEL, the world's most famous anti-crime organization.

Just then, an anvil suddenly dropped on the girl's head immediately after she pressed a random button on the Chief's table. "OUCH!"

Riku only shook his head and sighed.

Or maybe not. World's most famous idiot is more like it.


Victim: Jimon Takao (23). One of the six remaining contestants in the popular reality tv series, "My Father's House".

Location: In a hut, in an isolated spot by the beach in Father's Island.


END OF FILE 3.


Author's Notes:

Hello everyone!! Here's the last part of File 3! This case is actually shorter than the last one, but I hope you all liked it. It's Chiaki's turn this time! As usual, I will be diverting my attention to my other two stories, at least until I come up with the next case.

Of course, I would like to thank my beloved reviewers:

1. A.H. Fenald - I'm glad you thought the chapter was funny and cute, and it's not a problem when there's only one review. One is already enough to keep me going. Besides, there were more coming after, so I'm happy! And I'll go check out your story then!

2. Nanao Nagase - Oh, I'm sorry if the knife-chasing thing wasn't clear....Naoki-nii was carrying a knife because he was angry, hehehe. And I'm glad you liked the fluff, even though I'm not really good at writing fluff, heh. And I enjoyed reading Love. Stop. Love.

3. hiro-0911 - Hiro-pyon! Yes, we did have Big Brother here. It's Pinoy Big Brother actually, and it was really popular when it first came out. I'm glad you enjoyed the funny stuff. Well, we all wish for Hiro-pyon's house...without the traps, of course. And about the bad weather, well, it hasn't really subsided...we've had three typhoons in three consecutive weeks, but at least the last one was not as strong as the other two. Oh, so you're going to Manila? Where in Manila? Coz I live in Manila too. And yeah, you should see Mount Mayon. And about the Hiro with Angeles...he's actually Hero Angeles, a good-looking teenage actor who used to be popular. He's not as popular now though, but he's still good-looking. Hehehe.

Well, that's all for today!

Till the next file!