Chapter 15 - Second Case: Time of Death

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I tried to compose myself but the strength in my legs disappeared. Ilang Segundo akong huminga nang malalim para matigil ang panginginig ng katawan ko.

Right. This is my life now. I need to get used to this kind of situation.

"He's dead," sabi ni Hiro habang nakalapat ang mga daliri niya sa leeg ng lalaki.

Lumapit naman si Riye sa katawan nito at hinawakan ang dibdib niya. "Cause of death is a fatal blow to the heart," she declared. "His heart wall and ventricles were beyond damaged."

Sinusubukan namang paalisin nina Akane, Reiji at Ken ang mga taong nakikiusyoso pero napahinto si Akane at tumingin siya sa direksyon namin.

"The police cars are on their way."

After a few seconds, police siren could already be heard from here. Riye immediately took some photos of the body and the crime scene while Hiro was still looking at the body.

"If Reina is here, the time of death can be easily determined," he muttered.

"Oh, you need me?"

As if on cue, we heard Ma'am Reina's voice nearby. Hinanap ko siya sa paligid at pagtingin ko sa itaas ay bigla na lang siyang tumalon mula sa isang building. I almost yelled at her but she gracefully landed beside me.

"Ma'am Reina!" tawag ko sa kanya at nakahinga ako nang maluwag dahil walang masamang nangyari sa pagbagsak niya. She just laughed at me in return.

"Why are you here?" pabalang na sagot ni Hiro sa kanya kaya natakot ako para sa kanya. How could he ask her that with that kind of tone?

"Well, you want my help, right?" she taunted while smirking at Hiro and he suddenly glared at her. "Pfft. You are really a cute kid."

Pagkatapos no'n ay hinawakan ni Ma'am Reina ang short sword na nakasaksak sa dibdib ng lalaki, pati ang sugat nito. After a few seconds, she looked at Hiro.

"He was killed around 9:17 A.M.," she confirmed. Pagtingin ko sa relo ko ay 9:30 A.M. na at halos fifteen minutes na rin ang nakalipas.

"His name is Victor Delima," sabi naman ni Riye habang hawak ang ID ng biktima.

"Guys, the cops are here!" sigaw sa amin ni Akane habang tumatakbo silang tatlo papunta sa amin.

Three police cars stopped in front of the street and several officers made their way toward us.

"Anong nangyari rito?" tanong ng isa. With his proud demeanor, he must be the highest-ranking officer in this squad.

"We're investigating a crime," sagot ni Miss Reina sa kanila na parang casual lang niyang sinabi kaya lalong kumunot ang mukha ng lalaki.

Napatingin siya sa bangkay na nakahandusay sa likuran namin. "Sabihin mo sa akin kung anong nangyari at pwede na kayong umalis—"

"No," Ma'am Reina interjected. "Hindi na 'to sakop ng mga pulis," sabay labas niya ng isang ID at hinarap sa mga pulis na nakapaligid sa amin.

Their expression suddenly changed and it looked like the arrogant attitude of theirs was replaced with humiliation.

"M-may maitutulong ba kami?" tanong niya at hindi ko alam kung matatawa o maaawa baa ko sa kanya dahil bakas sa boses niya ang takot.

"You can at least dispel those spectators away."

Pagkatapos sabihin 'yon ni Ma'am Reina ay agad na tumakbo ang mga pulis papunda sa crowd at agad nila silang pinaalis. Humarap sa amin si Ma'am at kumindat, sabay pakita sa amin ng ID na inilabas niya kanina. Pagkabasa ko pa lang ng nasa itaas ay nagulantang na ako.

"FBI? FBI agent ka, Ma'am Reina?" tanong ko dahil namangha ako sa Nakita ko.

"Nope. It's a fake ID."

"Whoa. Akala ko pa naman FBI agent ka talaga!" dagdag naman ni Akane.

"It's the Principal's order," she said and the five of them winced after hearing that.

"Order?"

"To not involve the local police and citizens anymore in dealing with solving crimes," she relayed. "There's a huge possibility that they might discover our existence, especially now that Shinigamis are making their move. Kaya naman pinagawa ko si Hiroshi ng FBI IDs na pwedeng ipakita sa humdrums to give them a message that this isn't their jurisdiction anymore."

Magtatanong pa sana ako kay Miss Reina pero bigla akong may naramdaman na kakaiba. It was the same eerie feeling I felt when I saw those glaring green eyes. The air around me felt dry and crisp, as if space would be torn in any minute. Tumaas lahat ng balahibo ko sa likod at batok kaya mabilis akong lumingon pero agad ding Nawala ang kakaibang pakiramdan na 'yon.

What was that?

"Anong tinitingnan ninyong dalawa?" tanong ni Ken at doon ko lang na-realize na pareho kaming lumingon ni Hiro sa likuran.

"N-naramdaman mo rin ba 'yon?" I asked but he just stared at me and after a few seconds, he marched toward the body.

"Anong sinasabi mo, Akemi?" tanong naman ni Akane.

"Ah. Para kasing biglang tumahimik kanina tapos kinilabutan ako," pag-e-explain ko. :Parang may nangyari o may dumaan sa likod ko," sabay hawak ko sa batok ko.

"Weird," Ken commented while scratching his nape. "Halos sabay kasi kayong tumingin ni Hiro sa likuran."

"Anyway, let's analyze what happened," sabi naman ni Reiji kaya nag-focus ulit kami sa case pero kaunti lang ang nakuha naming information tungkol sa kanya.


Name: Victor Delima

Birthday: September 11

Age: 43 y/o


"I can't . . . remove it . . ." ngitngit ni Reiji habang pilit na tinatanggal ang hawak na case ng lalaki. Lumapit naman si Riye roon at hinawakan ang kamay ng biktima.

"It already hardened," sabi niya. "Weird. It has already undergone rigor mortis."

"What? That can't be!" sigaw ni Ma'am Reina. "He died at 9:17 A.M. and it's been only 30 minutes after his death!"

"Don't shout at her. She's telling the truth," dagdag naman ni Reiji. "His body has stiffened and I can't remove his grip from his case. The muscles in his hand have already hardened."

"Ibig sabihin, hindi siya namatay ng 9:17. He died earlier," sabi ni Akane at tumango naman si Riye.

"Rigor mortis starts three or four hours after the death. That means he died around 6 AM or even earlier."

I really need to study Criminology. Ngayon ko lang nalaman ang rigor mortis. Kung gusto kong makatulong sa kanila ay kailangan kong makahabol sa mga kaalaman nila tungkol dito. Ayokong maging pabigat sa kanila.

"That's really weird. I'm pretty sure that sword killed him at 9:17 A.M.," bulong ni Ma'am Reina.

"Maybe he was not killed by that sword?" dagdag ni Ken. "Maybe the killer pierced his heart even though he's already dead to hide or mess with the cause and time of death."

Tumahimik ulit kaming lahat habang pina-process lahat ng napag-usapan naming pero agad na nabasag ang katahimikan nang biglang may sumigaw sa bandang likuran namin. Pagtingin ko ay may isang babaeng napaupo na lang sa may kalsada habang nakatingin siya sa bangkay. Tumakbo ako papunta sa kanya pero nagulat ako nang bigla niyang hatakin ang kamay ko.

"T-tulungan mo ako!" she pleaded with a terrified expression on her face. "A-ayoko pang mamatay," dagdag niya at nanginginig na ang buong katawan niya. "I . . . I'll be the n-next one."

At pagkatapos niyang bitiwan ang mga salitang iyon ay nawalan siya bigla ng malay.


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Tantei High (Erityian Tribes, #1) | Published under Pop FictionTahanan ng mga kuwento. Tumuklas ngayon