Investigation (17) From the Black Forest

… This is bad. This is really bad.

This new truth was disadvantageous to my side no matter how you looked at it. But if I had one question, it would be why this fact hadn’t come out up to now.

With the guard room’s security, no one would have been able to alter the CDs. But why didn’t Cate make that claim in last time’s trial?

The prosecution had hold of this fact. They went out of their way to interfere in the security firm’s dealings, so there was no doubt about it.

I tried putting the trial’s flow in order. And I found one contradiction.

… No, that’s strange. This truth, and the trial’s record faced a logical discrepancy.

Putting Claudia’s testimony to the side for now, the victim Hal Anderson was found in the park on the 12th. There was a part of his corpse, so let’s jst say there’s no doubt about it for now…

There was only one guard stationed in the security room. That one guard was killed. Then who in blazes made the report at 6:00 am on the 12th?

November. All the hotel staff- excluding the manager- were on holiday.

Was it the manager? Did that man with the throaty voice report it to the police?

The district police definitely received the report at six. What was the hotel manager doing in the park at such an early timeframe?

“If I may ask…” I spoke to Guard Lloyd. “Where is the manager of this hotel?”

“The manager isn’t here,” said he as if it were only natural. “Right now, that person is inspecting the new resort hotel he plans on opening next year.”

“Eh? But when I called yesterday, I got through to him on the phone.”

“When the hotel’s off business, all calls to the hotel are forwarded to the manager’s cell. Even if he isn’t here, you can reach him on the phone.”

What’s that supposed to mean?

“In that case, there’s no one in this hotel?”

“That’s not true. When noon comes around, the basement restaurant, souvenir shop and sports gym are open. Well, the hotel’s closed, so they barely get any customers though.”

… From noon?

“Are those people at this hotel around six in the morning?”

“No way. They don’t come that early.”

Lloyd refuted it with a dry laugh. “They’re actually supposed to come at ten, but the manager isn’t here. They calmly come in late at twelve.”

So even if you go down to the basement now, you won’t be able to buy anything, he added on.

That’s strange. On the 12th, the police came to the hotel because of a report of a body.

I had thought the report came in from a guard, or an employee of the hotel, but with this hotel’s situation, neither of them fit.

Who made the report?

… Good grief, what’s going on? My head’s starting to spin.

As I was thinking to myself, I felt a tremor from my bag.

“… Ah, pardon me.”

I took the satellite phone out of my bag, and walked out of the room. The hall that had been pitch black to that point sensed me the moment I leapt into it, the red fluorescent lights illuminating the path.

I answered the phone, and the moment I put it to my hear…

‘H… h-h-h-h-heeeeelllp!!’

I heard Jessica Belliqueuse’s high-pitched voice.

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