Nishihara had a serious expression on his face as he firmly pushed the cigarette into the ashtray, putting it out. The joking mood from before was nowhere to be found.
“Yes. And the location is a Shinto shrine at that… A few days after the incident, people started to report weird sightings.”
“Weird sightings? Ghosts?”
“Yes, a ghost. I went to have a look and there certainly was one. But its face was different from the victim so… I’m thinking it might just have coincidentally overlapped in timing.”
“The timing… A murder happened at Miyazaki-san’s place and then this. We the police were thinking that it could all be done by one perpetrator.”
“Yeah, that’s what Mutsu-san said too. Nishihara-san’s crime scene is also a Shinto shrine so we’re looking into the possibility that they might be connected.”
“So basically, because that possibility is strong it’s better if Hiroto-kun oversees both cases in case they’re connected? Since you’ve thought that far, then even Sanjou-san won’t be complaining, I suppose.”
“That’s right. So did a ghost also appear at Nishihara-san’s place then?”
When the smell of smoke disappeared from the car, Hiroto closed the window. Maybe because the window was open, it had gotten cold inside the car. Nishihara turned up the heating.
“Mmm. I wonder why murders happen at such places like shrines. How cursed…”
“When you say murdered, was it by stabbing or something?”
“Nope, pushed down the stairs. Incidentally, a Jizo bodhisattva statue was broken too, so it’s murder and property damage.”
“The year is ending soon and yet such a vile thing happened.”
“Yeah. I want to solve this before Christmas and spend the day peacefully.”
“Hiroto-kun, let’s go for a drink if you have no plans.”
As Nishihara gave a broad grin, Hiroto awkwardly shook his head. Nishihara took him out for a drink countless times but he didn’t want to go as far as to spend Christmas together. While it may be true that he had nobody to spend it with, he did have work on that day too.
“Miyazaki-san’s place? There was a murder, I think… Is that what you’re talking about?”