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The Witching Hour [2]

146)
SFX: VROOOOM
SFX: HONK
SFX: VROOOM
SFX: SCREECH
SFX: SPUTTER...

147)
SFX: PUHAH...
SFX: SPUTTER...

148)
1: What's wrong, Nangou?
2: Why did you call both me and Yamada here? What is this, some kind of group date?
3: It'll be quicker if I deal with you both at once.
4: C'mon. This way.
5: One of my guys found him.
6: We haven't notified the police yet.

149)
1: Hiieee...

150)
SFX: smack...
1: This is the second one in two days.
2: An amateur won't be able to figure out an exact time,
3: but he was probably killed this evening.
4: Yumetoki...
5: and Yamada...
6: Let's sort things out before the police get here.
7: Where were you two tonight?

151)
1: W...
2: We didn't kill him!
3: After school today, we got called to the teachers' room and were asked about the previous murder until it got dark outside!
4: All of the teachers can give us alibis.
5: And you can ask any of the students who were still at school as well!
6: Ryuuji!

152)
1: People are gathering. We should call the police soon.
SFX: CLINK...

153)
1: What's that?
2: A watch... It must have fallen off the corpse.
3: Nope.
4: You can't touch it! It might be evidence!
5: Evidence...
6: Natsuo...
7: Apparently, there was a watch found on the ground
8: next to the corpse.
9: I'm sorry, but please, let me see that watch!!

154)
1: I just remembered something I heard at the police station.
2: Apparently, there was a watch found on the ground next to the previous victim as well.
3: Maybe if we show this to someone, they'll give us some kind of clue!

155)
1: Yumetoki,
2: what's wrong?

156)
1: I have a very keen sense of smell.
2: As sharp as a dog's.
3: I don't need any hypotheses or evidence.
4: I know who the killer is now.
5: They have the same scent of blood on them as that corps.e
6: And they're
7: among us right now.

157)
1: I always think to myself... I'm not a dog. I don't need a special ability like this.
2: It always makes me notice things that I don't wouldn't otherwise.
3: Yumetoki...
4: Things that I don't want to notice.
5: Please, Yumetoki...
6: Don't
7: say the name yet.

158)
1: The hands have stopped. It's broken.
2: 6:37...
3: I just remembered something...
4: 6:37 is the time that Shima Tetsuo, a kid from the same middle school as us, died.
5: It happened three years ago, during summer...

159)
1: The time when he died?
2: He fell off the roof.
3: He didn't really fall, though... Someone pushed him.
4: You've heard the rumors about Nogami, haven't you?
5: Nogami and I went to the same middle school.
6: Nogami never told me himself, but apparently he ordered one of his friends to kill that boy.
7: At 6:37.

160)
1: I'll never forget it, even if I want to.
2: The watch Shima had on was stopped right at 6:37.
3: That was the moment
4: when his body hit the ground, and he died.
5: Sano...
SFX: pitter patter

161)
box 1: 6:37 would have been twilight... And in summer, hardly even dim at all, when the sun had only just begun to set...
box 2: A rift between light and dark... A space where the human world and the magical world mix.

162)
box 1: And so,
box 2: twilight came once more...
SIGN: Library
book: Student List

163)
text: Name List
SFX: rattle
1: Hey, Yamada!
2: Is Yamada from Class 1-C here?
3: Nangou...
4: Oh, so that's where you were. Do you know where Yumetoki is?
5: Sano stayed home today. He has a headache or something.
6: He stayed home?!
7: What's his phone number?!
8: Guess I'll just check the student list.

164)
1: What happened? You look so pale.
2: It's Nogami...
3: He just took a few of my friends and went somewhere.
4: He said he figured out who the killer is.
5: I don't know what he's up to, but we need to stop him.
6: We need Yumetoki's help.
7: He never said so, but the two who died
8: were probably the people that Nogami ordered to kill Shima.
9: The killer must have left that watch there on purpose.

165)
1: By placing a watch that shows the time when Shima died,
2: they were making it clear that this is revenge for Shima's murder.
3: And now that the two who actually did the killing have died, the next one would naturally be Nogami himself.
4: That's why he's trying to strike first.
5: Nangou...
6: I was actually thinking the same thing.
7: About the watch...
8: Did you know that there was one found next to the first corpse as well?
9: No...
10: You said you heard that from the police.

166)
1: I didn't.
2: They interrogated us for a long time, but they never told us anything we didn't need to hear.
3: This is a copy
4: of Shima's family register.
5: He had a younger sister.
6: His parents divorced when he was a child, though, so she has a different last name.
7: His sister
8: is the one who told me about the watch.
9: I think that information
10: is something that only the killer and the police know about.

167)
1: Let me
2: go with you, Nangou.
3: Yamada...
4: Is Natsuo...
5: the killer?

168)
1: Nogami
2: apparently went to the middle school where Shima died.
3: I'm
4: not going.
5: Sano?
6: You really like to meddle, Yamada. I never asked you to try and clear my name.... And now you're trying to do something for Natsuo?
7: What can we do? The killer's already claimed two lies.
8: Call the police. That's the best answer.
9: My head hurts so bad I can't move. Bye.
10: Sano!

169)
1: I called the police.
2: But if something happens before they get here...
3: Sano, I...
4: Natsuo told me about the watch to clear your name, of course,
5: but I'm pretty sure...
6: She said what she did because she wanted someone to help her.
7: Sano? Hello?
8: My head hurts so bad...
9: My fever won't go down.
10: What's going on? Is this an aftereffect from my injury?

170)
box 1: The killer isn't human anymore.
box 2: The killer's long since lost their humanity. They're something else...

171)
1: That's it!
2: The school with the big clock!
3: Natsuo!
4: There's no school today. It's always closed the day after the foundation ceremony. Follow me.

172)
1: They're probably on the roof!
2: Where Shima died!
SFX: CRACK
3: Gwaaahh...

173)
1: Natsuo?!

174)
SFX: THUD

175)
SFX: HAA...
1: Stop...
2: Out of the way!

176)
1: Stop it, Tetsuo! Make it stop!
2: I want to stop! No moooore!
3: Nogami's the only other person that I want to kill!

177)
1: Hiieee...
2: H... Help!
3: Someone! Nangou!
4: Nangou!!
SFX: STAGGER...

178)
1: Stooooop!
SFX: LEAP...
2: You...
SFX: WHAM

179)
1: Nogami!
2: This is your fault! You need to take responsibility for it!
3: Nangou...
4: Yamada! They're all panicking. Talking isn't going to do any good. We have to stop this ourselves!
5: Yeah!

180)
1: Yumetoki...

182)
SFX: HOWWWWWL...

183)
1: It felt like I was watching a dream
2: in the dim twilight.
3: Two monsters leaping...

184)
SFX: WHAM
1: Heh...
2: Heh...
3: Natsuo!

185)
SFX: CLENCH
1: Uu... Gwehhh!
SFX: SNAP (x3)
2: Natsu...
3: Three years ago,
4: when Tetsuo fell from here, I was standing right below...

186)
1: I was right beside him
2: when he fell and hit the ground.
3: We looked
4: into each other's eyes...
5: That's when the demon who calls itself my brother
6: began living inside me.
7: I just want to turn back into the original me,
8: OK?
9: Ryuuji... Yamada...
10: I love you all.

187)
SFX: CRACK...
1: That's why
2: I'm going to turn back into the original me as quickly as possible. And when I do...
3: When I do...
4: Just pretend like everything that happened this evening...
5: was nothing but a dream!

188)
1: Natsuo!
SFX: HOWWWWL...

189)
SFX: HOWWWWL...

190)
Then, all of a sudden, Yumetoki disappeared from the rooftop.

191)
1: I later found out that after the accident, Yumetoki suffered from a severe fever and was bedridden for three days straight. After he recovered, he didn't remember anything about what had happened.

2: Were the two monsters I saw just an illusion cast by that dim twilight? That's what Nangou and I just kept telling ourselves...

192)
box 1: I'll never forget those two friends of mine.

box 2: The next year, after I transferred to a different school, I learned that Sano Yumetoki had gone missing. Nangou told me all about it in a letter, together with cutouts from the newspaper.

paper 1: Skating
Sano Yumetoki missing - The tragic disappearance of a young talent

paper 2: The figure skater who vanished

envelope: Tokyo, Minato-ku
Nangou Ryuuji

The Witching Hour / END

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