"One hour," sabi naman ni Akane.
"No. Thirty minutes," Ken retaliated.
Noong una ay hindi ko ma-gets kung ano ang sinasabi nilang time tapos na-realize ko na 'yon pala ang deadline sap ag-solve ng case.
"Here's what we got from the suspects, as well as the information you gathered from the other crime scene," Reiji said as he plugged his phone in Miyu's system.
Words and images were projected to Miyu's interior and we started connecting the dots.
The victim was Renato Sison, a 30-year old bachelor and taxi driver. According to his neighbors, madalang daw siyang makipag-usap at tuwing madaling araw lang umuuwi dahil sa trabaho niya. Pero may nakakita raw noong isang araw na may pumunta sa bahay niya na may dala-dalang susi at pumasok na lang ito, mga bandang tanghali. Ni-report daw nila ito kay Mr. Renato noong madaling araw pero mukhang kakilala niya raw iyon at siya pa mismo ang nagbigay ng susi rito. Sakto namang hindi muna pumasada ngayon si Mr. Renato kaya nasa loob siya ng bahay niya noong mangyari yung sunog.
"Sino ang pumasok sa bahay ni Mr. Renato? Lalaki ba o babae?" tanong ko sa kanila.
"Hindi raw alam ng witness, nee-chan, dahil naka-hoodie at likuran lang niya ang nakita niya."
"By the way, I searched a list of robber groups who are active these past few weeks," dagdag ni Reiji.
"Robber groups? Anong kinalaman nila?" tanong sa kanya ni Akane.
"There's a huge possibility that they are involved in the two crimes," Hiro added.
"He ordered that," sabay turo ni Reiji kay Hiro. Ah. So that was what he was doing with his phone a while ago.
"Teka, bakit?" tanong naman ni Ken.
"They look like they want to steal something from Felicity Andres given the numerous times they roam around the vicinity of her hous," Hiro responded.
Well, may point siya. Antique shop 'tong bahay nina Mrs. Felicity Andres ay hindi malabong maging biktima siya ng pagnanakaw. Mahal pa naman ngayon ang mga antigong bagay. Pero kung magnanakaw nga ang may gawa nito, ano namang nanakawin niya sa isang lalaking pagiging taxi driver lang ang pinagkakakitaan?
Bigla namang may nag-project na bago sa paligid ni Miyu. It was the list of active robber groups.
I read the other details and I gasped when I saw the estimated amount of their thievery. Hindi ba sila nahihiya sa mga sarili nila? At saan naman nila ginagamit ang napakalaking pera na ninanakaw nila?
"Pero, kung may kinalaman nga sila kay Mrs. Andres, ano namang kinalaman nila kay Mr. Sison?"
"I still don't know but it's possible that the one who entered his house is a thief," sagot naman sa kanya ni Hiro.
"Teka, ang sabi niya sa nakakita ay kakilala niya 'yon di ba?" dagdag ni Akane.
"Oh. Since the members of these robber groups are anonymous, there's a possibility that Mr. Sison do not know that his acquaintance is a thief."
Namangha naman ako sa kanila, lalo na kina Hiro at Reiji. It was as if their minds were always a step ahead. Kung ako, hindi ko maiisip na posibleng robber group ang may gawa nito. Maiisip ko lang na baka may grudge kina Mrs. Andres at Mr. Sison yung gumawa . . . wait . . .
"Hindi kaya may connection sina Mrs. Andres at Mr. Sison?" tanong ko nang ma-realize kong pwedeng mangyari 'yon.
"Possible," Reiji muttered as he typed something on his phone.
"What can you say about those two guys?"
Nagulat naman ako nang kausapin ako ni Hiro pero mas nagulat ako nang makita ko ang mga mata niya. They were both green.
Ikinwento ko sa kanya ang mga sinabi ko sa dalawa at ang mga sinabi nila sa akin. Bigla naman akong nahiya. Paano kasi, ang konti lang ng information na nakuha ko, samantalang sila, halos ma-deduce na nila ang nangyari.
Napatayo naman ako para sana magtanong ulit sa suspects.
"Ken, Akane, Reiji, Riye. Stay here. Analyze all the information that we got," Hiro suddenly ordered. Pagtingin ko, nakatayo na rin siya at sumunod siya sa akin.
"Saan ka pupunta?" tanong ko nang makababa na kami ng sasakyan.
"I'll go with you. I have questions for them, too."
Nauna naman siyang maglakad kaya sumunod na lang ako. pero bigla akong napatigil nang bigla akong kinilabutan. Chills ran down my spine and when I looked at Hiro, he also stopped moving.
"N-naramdaman mo rin ba 'yon?" tanong ko sa kanya at bigla niyang hinatak ang braso ko.
"Someone's here," he said and my skin tingled.
Kahit maraming tao sa paligid ay pakiramdam ko kaming dalawa lang ang nandito pati na ang sumusunod sa amin. I tried enhancing my eyesight and I could see within a 700-meter radius. I looked around and inhaled sharply when I saw someone on the other side of the road. Hiro tightened his grip on my arm and if he wasn't holding me, I'm sure I had already collapsed.
A pair of intense and sinister eyes glared at me. She was wearing a black cloak and her hair was short. She was about one hundred meters away from me but it felt like her hand was around my neck.
Lalo akong nanigas sa kinatatayuan ko nang bigla na lang siyang gumalaw. The next thing I knew, she was already in front of us. I thought we would be dead but something happened.
It was that moment that I knew I wasn't hallucinating.
"Mama . . ." I muttered as they both disappeared from my sight.
She just protected me from the most powerful Shinigami.
Hiro pulled me away from that place and I looked at his hand that felt too cold.
"Hiro . . ."
"We have a case to solve. Time is everything," he said, reminding me of our purpose.
Pumunta naman agad kami sa side ng suspects at muling nagtanong. I just hope we finish this as soon as possible.