The condemnation end is not suitable (1)
I kick the door open and look at the people inside. I couldn’t help but think it is similar to the room I was in.
The room is dim and an unfamiliar smell wafts about.
There are music stands, chairs and musical instruments in the room. It is probably the room used to store the instruments used by the orchestra members.
Meanwhile, there is a man with a gun behind the timpani.
He said with a gentle smile towards me, as if he knew that I would come here.
――Cedric Lewis. Charlotte Oliver’s childhood friend and a Senpai at Fitzgerald Private School. That is, until the other day.
He left school because of Eileen.
And what surprised me is the girl trembling in the shade of the timpani.
Our Villainess Young Lady, Eileen Aldington.
Her golden hair, which was neatly tied, is now severely disheveled, and her adorable face is painfully pale―― With traces of tears on her cheeks―― And when she looked at me, she felt even more pale.
“Don’t utter her name lightly.”
Cedric said in a low, cold, and bland voice. Completely different from when he was talking to me.
How terrified was Eileen in this room? She closed her mouth as soon as he scolded her.
Next to me, Win holds his gun silently. His eyes are sharp and narrow.
This time, he will be willing to aim at Cedric’s key points. But unless Eileen’s safety is assured, he cannot pull the trigger.
The poker stick is still in my hand, but it is useless against Cedric, who is with a gun.
How do I break the status quo?
I talk to him for now since I can’t come up with an idea.
“Cedric. Please drop your gun.”
“Sorry, Charlotte. I can’t do that.”
Cedric shakes his head. His muzzle pointing at Eileen does not shake.
“Charlotte. I finally hunted down the evil people who were aiming for your life. Do you want them to escape?”
Aiming for my life?
Apparently, he believes that the true culprit in this series of events is Eileen.
“Why is she the culprit…”
How does he affirm it?
I tried to ask, and lower my poker stick.
He laughed, and I don’t even have to ask him. But I couldn’t comprehend what he said next.
“Eileen. Could you show them the contents of ‘your’ bag?”
There lies a big black bag next to the timpani as if it belonged to Eileen.
I dared say that it “belongs to her.”
“These are… My belongings…?”
“Show them, Eileen Aldington.”
Cedric shakes his gun pointing at Eileen, who looks confused.
She makes a short -hii- scream, and then opens the bag with trembling hands. Looking at what rolled in from the bag――
Eileen couldn’t even scream.
A sky-blue coloured glass bottle.
A rugged looking gun.
Well, I thought it would be something like this.
This development is such a simple yet obvious template that I make a sigh and fold my arms.
“The poison in the glass back then, and the gun shot at Gonneau-senpai, if you compare them with those in this bag, they will definitely match.”
“That’s wrong. I―― I would never……!”
He attempted to erase even her little denial.
The light in Eileen’s eyes is getting dimmer and dimmer.
“You definitely aimed at Charlotte. It’s no use what you say now, admit your sins!”
Eileen seems to have no more strength to deny.
Win, as her servant, couldn’t bear seeing his Young Lady like that and the gun he is holding in his hand is making squeaking noises.
She rejected my call and held her head. ――This is not good.
Before, when she talked to Cedric, she must have managed to keep her cool, or simply have no idea what was happening. I don’t want to imagine how Cedric treated her to be in such a state of panic.
It is difficult to be calm when she is a hostage.
If only she at least recognized me as her ally.
However, Eileen behaved as if she is scared of me.
If I have a little more time, I would probably have a better hand to play.
But unfortunately, I couldn’t do that.
Win responded to me, who suddenly whispered something.
No, it’s not a big deal.
Although it’s important.
I spoke to Eileen while shaking the tip of poker lightly. I believe my voice would reach her.
Eileen is just holding her head and shaking it, not raising them.
To the Villainess who is likely to be broken by another push, I pointed at my face with my index finger.
……Cedric would not have understood it. He frowned, seemingly confused.
Win seems to catch on. “Oh,” he muttered in realisation.
Eileen too… No, Eileen doesn’t seem to be able to understand right away.
After a moment of silence, she raises her head in a frightened manner.
Her eyes peering through her disheveled hair reflected my figure.
“You know, right?”
Win and Dominique immediately know, so there is no reason she couldn’t do the same.
I flashed her a huge grin.
And she finally noticed.
She looked amazed at my appearance, but she called me right.
“Ko no… mi…?”
This is it.
The first thing I had to talk about before going into any topic― The current Charlotte Oliver is Kusunoki Konomi.
I remember that I haven’t told Eileen about what exactly was going on when we swapped either.
This time, she fell unconscious from a thug in the bathroom, and when she came to, she returned to being the Villainess Young Lady, Eileen Aldington, and is accused of intimidating Charlotte Oliver, and having a muzzle pointed at her.
And in that situation, Charlotte Oliver, whom she once bullied, appears, and her servant stands by Charlotte as if he is on Charlotte’s side…
That’s what things would be like in her eyes.
No, I am sorry for the lack of explanation every time.
I drew a small circle in the air with the poker stick.
Your ally is here.
Eileen’s gaze shifts a little from me, and she looks at Win.
I too glance sideways to look at him. And unexpectedly, he seems to have let go of the tension in his hand.
Wrinkles form between Eileen’s lovely brows.
She looks down as if she is ashamed at the shameful display she just showed, then she raises her head and looks at me with upturned eyes.
Her lips moved― “Don’t scare me like that.”
That’s our Eileen.
For her to be reassured, I must act accordingly.
I open my legs to shoulder width and put my left hand on my waist. Put my chin out, tilt my head a bit and hold it like that.
Poker face is a gamer’s basic skills…… Aside from whether I’m good at it or not.
“Cedric Lewis. What is your motive?”
When asked, Cedric stared at me with his eyes opened wide, while I had a sad look on my face.
However, I am just acting right now.
“Is this your pay-back for dropping you out of school?”
“What, Charlotte. You’re misunderstanding something, I…”
“Please don’t say anything. You tried to frame Eileen of attacking me. The bag wasn’t hers. It’s just something you made up.”
What would Cedric do next?
He doesn’t seem to be moving―― No.
His expression from before is gone. There is no power in his cheeks.
“Cedric Lewis… Konomi-sama, did he really do this…?”
“It’s a conclusion I came to by process of elimination.”
Win asked in a whisper, to which I whispered back.
――I recall Dominique’s report to us who have been moved to another room after the poison turmoil at the garden party.
His words were,
“For today, the servants at Cummings Annex are carefully inspected by the royal guards before they enter the hall.”
“The entrance to the premises is open only when invited guests arrive, who then leave their car there, and are guided to the mansion. All people moving in and out of the premise were recorded, and the items brought in by the servants were recorded, even for just one food item. Also, when the gathering is over, all people leaving will be confirmed that there are invited guests.”
They were all about “servants” and “invited guests.”
However, there are other people who have entered this mansion.
This garden party offered a light meal and music performed by the orchestra. And naturally, the concert has to be performed by― Those that have the talent in it.
I don’t know if Dominique didn’t mention anything about them because, “he couldn’t talk about them since he didn’t know,” or “he omitted it because they were still under investigation.”
By the way, speaking of Charlotte Oliver, a character related to her, who may be connected to the orchestra is―
As I read in Win’s material― “Influenced by his mother, a world-renowned pianist, he is also striving on the path to be a musician.”
“I believe Cedric Lewis is the one behind all these!”
I declared out loud.
If I aim to win when the odds are against me, I have to be intimidating and take the lead.
“I assert it. It’s impossible for Eileen Aldington to be behind this streak of crime.”
“…Why do you believe that?”
“She and I were invited by His Highness himself, and I was with her all the time, even before that.”
At home, at school, all the time―― I was with her even in the bath.
She wouldn’t have had the time to plan something when she’s out of my sight.
If the Eileen from before I became Eileen had grasped and planned something for Benedict’s party, her partners would have contacted me.
In this case, there would exist a number of perpetrators other than the true culprit, so it would not happen without the relevant parties sharing information.
Or rather, we were in a desperate enough situation trying to cope with the body-swapping, and we couldn’t afford to think about anything else.
“Why do I think you are the true culprit amongst all those who are in the orchestra? That’s simple.
A girl was discovered along with the weapons used in this incident, which, if we put in another way implies, ‘she was confined here after being abducted by the true culprit.’ I don’t doubt it, and you just declaring her as the true culprit is enough to make me doubt you. Well~”
Cedric sighed, and think―― Is he also aware of it?
His gaze at me is also becoming cold and irritable.
“What Eile― ……What I did to drop you out of school, if you delve into that, you might get an interesting story.”
He will know if he asks Eileen, the one responsible for that event.
His eyes look bloody and cold, his cheeks are blue.
But I have no reason to fear such things.
I scratch the floor with the tip of the poker stick, and said,
“I’ll ask you once again, Cedric Lewis. What is your motive for this crime?”
When I asked,
He flashed a smile and said,
“You truly are hopeless.”
TN: Stay safe everyone.
Thank you very much to my patrons 『Lan Hoang』 『Isabell Zultner』 and 『Sophia Faalogo』