Murder At The Rainy Mansion ~The Never Ending 100 Tales~ - Chapter 2
T/L Note: In case you didn’t notice, chapter 1 was a flashback. You’ll find out what the ghost said later… much later =P
The First Murder
Chapter 2: There is someone inside the toilet
The sliding door separating the room from the veranda was fitted with thick glass. It was rare to see this type of doors these days. Behind the hydrangea blooming nearby the veranda, there was a silhouette of a female ghost like it was drawn with diluted black ink.
Sudo Takato was sitting on the white sofa with his elbow on the armrest and his chin resting in his hand. He watched the female ghost while admiring her beauty.
Takato used to think that he could see ghost because he was a resident of this mansion. He no longer lived here now, and yet he could still see ghost.
He had a roommate living in his current apartment – the kind of roommate that wasn’t paying any rent. It was a male ghost who always dressed neatly but never talked. Because the clothes that the ghost was wearing had no distinctive characteristic of which period it belonged to, Takato was unable to guess how long the man had been dead. Even though his apartment had a bathroom, the male ghost would carry a washbowl and went out to who knows where every 3 days.
It was a carefree living style with a ghost roommate. Takato didn’t mind to continue living like that, but currently he was a little bit troubled by the will left by his late grandfather, Sudo Sokichi.
That annoying old man. I’m going to complain later, Takato cursed at Sokichi inwardly.
Right at that moment, he saw a woman’s figure reflected on the glass sliding door. She had a long black hair – longer than any ghosts’ who lived in this mansion.
Her face was beautiful although it was always expressionless. It was as if all the parts were neatly arranged in her small face. And she didn’t put on any makeup. She wore a white top and a long jumper skirt with a high waist. It was a popular fashion nowadays, but when she wore it, it looked like an orthodox old-fashioned outfit. Perhaps it was because of her graceful posture and mannerism.
“Ayano.” Takato turned and called out to Hayase Ayano, who was standing on the corridor. “Why are you standing there not moving? I thought you’re an earthbound spirit.”
Ayano looked at him with her usual poker face. “Oh. I thought there’s a ghost sitting on the sofa. Takato, didn’t you die when you fell into shichinin bishaku?”
Her sharp tongue reminded Takato of when they were in the high school. Some of her classmates who didn’t know her before would admire her for her fragile appearance and then would be shocked speechless once they heard her harsh words.
Weren’t you the one who pushed me into the water? Takato thought to himself. He didn’t say it to her face because he knew they would get into a fight if he did.
In the hill behind the Rainy Mansion, there was a pond that looked like a swamp. It was said that no living creatures could live inside the water. All the children living in this mansion believed that if they fell into the pond, they would melt and die.
Takato had visited the pond many times before. He confirmed that there were no frogs living in the water, and then he would run back home. One day, Ayano had pushed him into the pond – but somehow, he didn’t die. It was an eye-opening experience to him. Well, it turned out that it was just a dirty pond. He didn’t die but he did catch a cold though.
“Grandpa should be in his room,” Ayano said and turned to walk away.
A month ago, the head of the Sudo family, Sokichi had passed away and his will was announced. It said: <The Rainy Mansion will be given to the last person to remain living in the house.>
Of course, the money hungry people living in the mansion were excited. However, Takato wasn’t concerned about this matter. The next part of the will said: <Sudo Takato will marry Takamura Hanae and become the adopted son-in-law of the Takamura family.>
It seemed Sokichi had took the liberty to discuss about his marriage with Takamura, a local congressman. Sudo was an influential family in the area, so Takamura wanted to use his name. Meanwhile, Sudo needed financial support from Takamura. Both parties shared a mutual interest.
Of course, Sokichi was not so cruel either. The marriage alliance would come to nothing if Takato refused to cooperate. However, he got carried away during an argument with Sokichi and ended up agreeing to the arranged marriage.
“It seems I’m going to get married next month—” Ever since he told Ayano those words, she had stayed away from his stupid self.
* * *
How can he be so shameless and come back to this house? Ayano thought silently. But immediately after, she realized she didn’t have the right to think that way since Takano was the heir to the Sudo family. On the other hand, she was just freeloading at this mansion. She had been living in this mansion all her life but she still hadn’t found out what was her connection to the Sudo family.
When Sokichi tried to chase away his relatives from the mansion, he felt pity for the orphaned girl and had never told her to leave.
Ayano glanced at the Western-style room where Takato was still sitting in, and then she went around the hallway from the entrance. This mansion had been enlarged and had a slightly interesting structure. A corridor was added outside the toilet near the entrance. So now, anyone inside this toilet could see people passing by the corridor through its window. But it was very unlikely that anyone using the toilet would open this window.
After confirming that no one was around, Ayano stood at the corridor and opened the toilet’s window from outside. She peeked inside and said, “Satoshi-san. Are you there?”
Then she heard a voice from the empty toilet. “Of course I’m here. It’s not like I can leave this toilet.”
 Engawa: Japanese porch/veranda.
 Shichinin bishaku (lit. 7-person ladle): It is a made-up word by the author which refers to the pond in this story. The word is similar to shichinin misaki, which refers to 7-person ghost who died from calamities and accident. This will be mentioned in future chapter. ↩
 Adopted son-in-law: The husband will take the wife’s surname. ↩
 If the room has tatami floor, then it is called Japanese-style room or tatami room. If not, then it is Western-style room. This naming is use in daily life. ↩
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