This house or whatever it is feels more like a castle. It's huge. I have no clue which way I'm going. Because it was dark and I was small I did manage to sneak around all the thugs rather easily. But eventually I got tired and leaned against a wall. Big mistake. A trap door was there and I ended up falling in some tunnel.
"Let us go already, you mad hatter!"
"How rude. There's nothing mad about me. And you can't go yet. I need all of your help."
The Ringmaster was talking to 4 people. 1 girl and 3 men. But their discussion got interrupted.
I feel down from the ceiling. That tube took me all the way to this room. Fortunately one of the other people broke my fall.
"Ah. Little Milla. How kind of you to join us!"
"Eh!? What are you doing in my escape route?"
"Escape route? Did you really think you were escaping. Hahaha! Amusing."
"You monster! You even brought a child to these games?"
The one that was making all the fuss was a knight. A male wearing armor. I he here to investigate this place as well.
"Well, now that we are all here, let's move on, shall we? Follow me, or else…"
"Little girl, stay close to me. I am knight of the Empire. I will protect you."
You're just a prisoner like me buddy. But, sure. Why not. I'll pretend to be a helpless little girl for your male ego. The Ringmaster guided us to another room.
"Now then! Please enter."
The 5 of us all went in.
"That's… is that a…"
Inside that large fancy room, there was a man that had an axe stuck to his chest.
"No way! Not him!"
"Little girl, do you know him?"
Everyone including the Ringmaster were left speachless.
"Umm… how did you come up with that conclusion?"
"Well the body is in the chimney. Why else would he be there unless he's Santa."
"Ehm. It's June. Also that is not Santa. He was supposed to be another contestant."
"Ringmaster, are you behind this?"
"I said it before, but I need your help. This is… stage 2 of the death games. Solve the murder! You see I can't just bring detectives in here for obvious reasons. So I want you guys to solve the murder. If you guess how the murder happened, you live! Guess wrong and you die."
Oh, for the love of… how many times do I have to say this? I'm not Sherlock Holmes. Ugh. After this hole conspiracy thing is over I really need to shove my face into Claire's boobs to get over this stress. I haven't read that many mystery books, but I did watch a few seasons of Case Closed.
"Wait. How can we be sure you didn't kill him. We clearly saw you opening the door with a key. And there are no windows here!"
"You'll have to take my word for it. I didn't lift a finger. The fact that this is a locked room, makes things more interesting! Now then, let the game begin!"
I had no choice but to play along. First, let's start with the 4 here with me. The female woman is called Lily and is maid. She said she was a slave and sold off to rich noble and eventually got in this place. The knight guy is called Darwin and he is basically working for the Empire too. He was trying to just like me to prove this place is evil, but got captured in the process. The skinny frail guy was called Leo, and he was a book store owner. He came here willingly because he heard some sort of competition was being held and the winner gets lots of money. And finally, a guy who looked like he hasn't taken a shower in ages. He's called Jack and is a criminal. The Ringmaster busted him out of jail to make him compete here.
And there's me. Interrogation is one part of solving a case, but finding clues is another. First, I analyzed the body. Something was fishy. The axe didn't reach his heart. After all the fights I've been in, I can clearly tell that this isn't fatal. It's also a heavy weapon. If a struggle did occur, the killer should have used more force to swing this. Adrenaline, fear, rage and certain emotions do allow the body to temporarily gain a power boost, but even so, this axe isn't planted properly in his body.
There's also the issue of the body's location. Why is it in the chimney to begin with? Even if you get pushed back, it's not normal to be in this position. Blood is only found inside the chimney. Technically that means this is where he died. If he were to die in the middle of the room for example, and say the killer moved him into the chimney, blood stains should have been visible from dragging the body.
Suicide is out of the question either. I take a close look around the room next. There was a bed, a dining table and a bookshelf. On the table there was a tray with glasses and water jar. The bed doesn't look suspicious at all. But I notice the knight looking at something on the carpet.
"It appears to be water stains."
"Could he have dropped his glass on the carpet or something?"
"No. This is more likely caused by ice. But I don't see ice cubes in any of his drinks. They must have melted by now."
Water stains from ice cubes. Hmm… there's still something that's bugging me. So I went over to the Ringmaster.
"You're a suspect too, so I guess I have the right to interrogate you!"
"I told you already, I got nothing to do with this."
"But, you are aware of everyone in this giant house. There's something that's been bugging me. How long was this guy in your custody?"
"How long? I don't see how that's relevant. But if you must know he's been here for around one week. The audience loves torturing him!"
"So that means you also provide food and water for him, right?"
"Of course. If you don't die in style, what's the point?"
Alright. That's just what I wanted to know. I think I got this case solved. It would appear at first glance as a locked room case, but it actually isn't it.
"I know who did it!"
"Hou? Is that so? Well it's your neck on the line. Let me gather everyone's attention and find out if you are right or not."