I played the next video. The bearded man could be seen on the screen, but for some reason, he had a bruise on his face that seemed like someone had hit him. Apparently, he was recording himself. This seems to have been taken in one of the private rooms, most likely his own.
“First, I’d like to introduce myself,” the bearded man said. “My name is Tanaka Ryouma. I am leaving my testimony in this video camera as evidence of this incident.”
The bearded man known as Tanaka Ryouma coughed a few times and continued.
“Today after 2PM, Ishikawa Hinako was found dead in her room by hanging. We’ve laid her corpse on the bed for the time being. Her body is very cold. I am not an expert, so I can’t say for sure, but she probably died some time between last night and dawn. If this was not a suicide but a murder, then it’s unlikely that she was killed later in the morning. We were already awake by that time, so committing such an eye-catching crime then shouldn’t be possible.”
Ryouma wiped his mouth as though he couldn’t calm down.
“Past 4PM, the body of Yui Nishimura was found at the bottom of the cliff near the cape. It is believed that she fell to her death. Her body has been left there for the time being due to the weather. Nishimura Yui was seen going out last night, so it is believed that she died late into the night.”
Ryouma heaved a deep sigh.
“Whoever is watching this video might find it odd why I’m leaving my testimony in a video camera like this, but to be honest, I think I’m going to be killed.”
As he said that, he tilted his head and made a difficult face.
“Sorry. I’m not used to stuff like this, so I might not be able to explain well, but umm… Everyone believes that there’s another person responsible for the murders. I’m the only one who suspects that someone among us might be the murderer. That’s why I think the criminal might go after me, and that’s why I’m leaving behind this video.”
“In the first place, if the murderer was really an outsider, there are just too many things that don’t add up. Nishimura Yui just happened to go out late into the night, so the murderer was conveniently able to use the master key, and Ishikawa Hinako’s murder was made to look like a suicide? It’s just too weird.”
Ryouma’s tone gradually became more heated.
“Nishimura Yui’s master key probably wasn’t even used. If Nishimura Yui was murdered, then what was the point of making Ishikawa Hinako’s murder look like a suicide? The moment Nishimura Yui died, Ishikawa Hinako’s death was bound to go under scrutiny, and the cops would have definitely tried to find out if it was suicide or murder.”
After saying that much, Ryouma shook his head lamentably.
“Why did the criminal go out of his way to make a locked room for Hinako’s murder? I don’t know, but I can think of a method. Just use Yui’s son, Akira’s, spare master key. Nishimura Akira has currently locked himself in his room because of the shock of losing his mother, so we can’t ask him the details right now, but I doubt he had the key on him literally the entire day. There should have been plenty of chances to get the key from him secretly, and as long as you return it without anyone noticing, no one will be the wiser.”
Ryouma wiped his mouth again.
“There’s also something off about Ishikawa Hinako’s death. She was killed through strangulation. And yet, there were no scratches on her neck, signs of resistance. If this were a suicide, then there wouldn’t be any problems in that regard. But if it’s murder, then the murderer would have had to make her unable to resist, like through a sleeping drug or something. Could an outsider be able to make her drink a spiked drink? Impossible. The only way to get her to drink something on recommendation would be if she knew the person recommending. That’s why the murderer could only be one of us. I don’t know who it is, but the crime must have been committed while everyone was asleep. No one has any alibi, so anyone could have committed the crime.”
Ryouma took a few deep breaths, then his countenance became grim.
“As for the motive of the murderer, if the culprit really is one of us, then I do have an idea what the motive might be, but I’m not 100% sure. It’s just a possibility.”
Ryouma started swaying as though he couldn’t calm down. He seemed really nervous.
“…It’s a story from long ago when we were still kids. Back then——”
But in the next moment, something appeared to hit the camera, and the screen went blank. Is the camera broken?
“What’s happening!?” But I could hear Ryouma’s troubled voice. “Why won’t the lights turn on. A blackout?”
Looks like the video camera didn’t break. The lights in his room just stopped working, that’s why the screen went dark.
“Damn it. What’s going on? Why would the power go out at a time like this?”
I could hear him tinkering with the video camera, and after awhile, the whole screen turned greenish.
“Good, I can use Night Mode.”
Looks like, he turned on the Night Mode and was using the camera to look through the room.
“Now where was that switch?”
He approached the switch on the wall and flicked it, but nothing happened. Frustrated, he flicked it several times to no avail. In the end, he clicked his tongue, opened the door, and went out into the hallway, where a streak of light could be seen. Someone with light was approaching him. Before long, it became apparent who it was. It was the slender man carrying a flashlight.
“What happened?” Ryouma asked.
“I don’t know, the slender man shook his head. “I was trying to fix the landline when the power suddenly went out.”
“I’ll go check the breaker.”
The slender man’s back could be seen as he walked away from the camera. Before long, he took a turn in the hallway and disappeared from the camera, and then… He screamed.
“Who are you!?”
“What’s wrong with that guy?” Ryouma said. “Suddenly screaming like that.”
The sound of a car trunk being forcefully slammed shut drowned out Ryouma’s voice.
“Guys, run!” The slender man said in distress. “There’s a pistol! We’re going to be killed!”
The sound from before could be heard again, then a person appeared from the end of the hallway. Something seemed to flash, then the sound of a window glass shattering resounded. Ryouma was under fire from the pistol.
The screen started shaking heavily. Gunfire continued to resound as Ryouma breathed heavily. I didn’t know whose voices those were, but a few more screams resounded. Pandemonium continued for awhile, then the video ended.
I played the next video. The camera was in night mode, and he blonde woman could be seen on the screen. They were in the woods, and water droplets could be seen on the screen because of the rain. The storm appears to have weakened, so the woods could shelter them from the wind and the rain.
“This far should be safe,” the bearded man, Tanaka Ryouma, said. “Relax.”
“There’s no way I could relax,” the blonde woman trembled from fright. “Just what is going on?”
“I don’t know who it was, but someone was firing at me with a pistol. Everyone was panicking because of that.”
“Is everyone safe?” The blonde woman said in a tearful voice. “Where are Sumire and the others?”
“I don’t know. I was desperate to get away from the mansion, so I don’t know what happened to everyone else. I’m gonna go back to check. You hide here.”
“No!” The blonde woman was shocked. “It’s too dangerous!”
“Calm down,” Ryouma said in a soothing tone. “We have to ensure everyone’s safety. I’m worried about Akira too. If he was left behind, he’d be killed for sure. Someone has to save him. Using a light when the power is out would be no different from announcing your location to everyone, so I’m going to use the night mode of this camera to look for him. This is something only I can do because I have this camera. You understand, right?”
“No, I don’t,” the blonde shook her head. “Please don’t go. Don’t leave me.”
“Sorry, I have to go. I’ll return immediately.”
Then the blonde woman jumped at the camera, or so I thought when the screen shook, but when it settled down, the back of the blonde woman could be seen, and around her were Ryouma’s arms. They were hugging each other.
“Make sure…” The blonde woman said. “That you come back. Don’t die no matter what.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t die. I’ll be sure to come back.”
The two embraced each other for awhile, and then the video ended.