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Touhou Ronpa

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"It was obviously Reimu!"

Reimu flinched at Sanae's words and clutched the railing in front of her tightly. "You're wrong," she said. "The evidence doesn't point to that at all!"

"Yes it does!" Sanae glared at her, her arms crossed. "We found traces of blood on your door – looks like you didn't do a good job cleaning it all off – and it was your thread that was missing! Who else could it have been?"

"You, maybe," Marisa said casually, leaning on the railing and twirling her hair in her hand.

Sanae recoiled, as if Marisa had slapped her. "I would never!"

"You guys are boring," Monokuma said, sitting on his throne. "Hurry up and decide already so we can get to the vote!"

Reimu took a deep breath. She just needed to calm down, and the answer would show itself. Her intuition was always right – but right now, she couldn't get a good grasp on the answer. Komachi's murderer could be any one of them – except for Reimu herself!

She went over the facts in her head. Komachi was found in the cafeteria with multiple stab wounds, her hands bound to a chair with thread from a sewing kit. Reimu's sewing kit had been used, yes, but she hadn't touched the damn thing! Reimu shook her head and focused; the cause of death had been numerous stab wounds, all over her body, including a wound on her throat. All in all, it had been a messy kill.

Reimu's eyes wandered over the students. Kirisame Marisa, who was looking more and more bored by the minute. Kochiya Sanae, who was still glaring at her furiously – Reimu quickly looked away. Izayoi Sakuya, who seemed to be deep in thought, her brow furrowed and a small frown on her face. The others, Reimu passed over them quickly. Alice Margatroid. Kawashiro Nitori. Cirno and Sekibanki. The X-ed out portrait of Hinanawi Tenshi, who had been determined in the first trial to be the one who killed Kaenbyou Orin. Kamishirasawa Keine. Yagokoro Eirin. The portrait of Houjuu Nue, who had been killed by Monokuma for attacking him. The new portrait of Onozuka Komachi. And finally...

Reimu stopped. Konpaku Youmu was stoic as always, but Myon seemed agitated, bouncing to and fro in the air while Youmu stood with her arms crossed over her chest. It was impossible; Reimu knew Youmu, she had even worked with her in solving incidents together, not like Tenshi, who had always been a delinquent. But Reimu hadn't thought that Tenshi was capable of murder, either.

"Didn't we notice something strange about the body, Eirin?" she said.

Eirin looked up. "Yes," she said, "though I didn't think it was important."

"It is now," Reimu said. "Tell everyone."

Eirin glanced around, unsettled by everyone's attention turning to her. "Well... although there were many stab wounds, the wound on the neck was different. Her throat hadn't been stabbed, it had been slit. That was the killing wound. The others happened after death. You can tell, because they hadn't bled as much as they would have if they had been inflicted while she was alive."

"Ah," Sakuya said. "I understand. It hadn't been a messy kill, after all. The culprit inflicted those other wounds to confuse us. This was the work of a professional."

"Unfortunately, that doesn't narrow it down much," said Keine. "A frightening amount of us are trained in killing. Off the top of my head... Sakuya, Eirin, Alice, Youmu..."

Myon grew more agitated. Youmu's expression didn't change.

"That doesn't prove it wasn't you!" shouted Sanae. "What about your sewing kit?"

"My sewing kit was tampered with," snapped Reimu. "Not at the time of the murder – my room was locked then – but during the search. When the room swere being searched, if the culprit got to my sewing kit first, she could have taken out the thread and... done something with it, who knows! The point is, I was framed!"

"I knew it," Marisa said, grinning. "Reimu wouldn't hurt a fly. She can't even exterminate youkai half the time, how could she murder someone?"

"So who did it?" said Alice. "If they didn't use Reimu's thread, they must have used their own."

"We stopped searching the sewing kits once we got to Reimu's room," Sakuya said. "That was a mistake."

"Obviously," Reimu said. "So! We need to take a look at everyone's sewing kits again. Youmu, let's start with yours."

Myon froze. Everyone looked to Youmu. The corner of her mouth twitched.

"That won't be necessary," she said. "My thread has been used, but not for the murder. I started a sewing project."

"What was it?"

Youmu looked at Reimu. "Embroidery. Is this important?"

"Yes," Reimu said. "We need to see your project. Alice used her thread, also, but she was able to prove she had used it to sew a doll. So if you can prove that you used your thread for embroidery, I'll drop my suspicions and we can go on with the trial."

Cirno spoke up. "Reimu, d'ya really think it's Youmu?"

Myon was getting agitated again. "I have my intuition, that's all."

The moments ticked by, while Youmu stood there in silence. Finally, she sighed and dropped her arms to her side. "I have no proof," she said. "I don't want to hide anything any longer. Yes, I killed Onozuka Komachi."

Many voices started up at once. Reimu could only catch a few words and phrases out of the din.

"Why, Youmu?"

"I never would have thought it was you!"

"Why did you kill her?"

Youmu stared at Reimu, as if waiting for her to speak. Reimu wanted to be anywhere else but here, but finally, she cleared her throat and spoke.

"Why, Youmu?" she said. "Why did you want to get out that badly?"

"It was my duty," said Youmu. "You remember our motive. I will do anything to protect Lady Yuyuko."

Reimu thought back to the motive, a few days before. The letters they had received from Gensokyo. Reimu's had been from Yukari, and Youmu's... "Youmu, what did she say?"

Before she could answer, Monokuma spoke up. "Upupu! If you've all reached a decision, it's time to vote!"