Petit Bourgeois Volume 5: The New York Cheesecake Mystery (Part 4)

The New York Cheesecake Mystery (Part 3) | Contents | The New York Cheesecake Mystery (Part 5)

I unfortunately got lost since it was my first time in this building, so it took me a few minutes to get down to the sports ground.

There was a wide ring of students around the campfire, and no adults who looked like teachers. Kogi-san stood stock still in the center of that ring, a dumbfounded look on her face. She was carrying a stick with some red objects skewered on it. Osanai-san was not there.

She must have gotten injured and was carried away to the infirmary. Kogi-san did not have a good opinion of me, or to be precise, she thought me to be a nuisance in her quest to monopolize Osanai-san, but she was the only one present who knew the situation. I ran up to question her.

“A serious accident happened, right? What happened to Osanai-san?”

Kogi-san just stared at me intently. She hadn’t made eye contact with me at the cafe, so it was the first time we were actually facing each other. Her big, round eyes had turned deep red, as if she had been forcibly trying not to cry.

“…You alright?”


Seemingly having come to her senses, she steeled her face. She looked around, then spoke in a stifled voice.

“Senpai was… taken away.”

“Taken away, you say? By whom? And where to?”

“I don’t know where she was taken. The person who took her away was… someone from my school, I think…”

At that moment, Kogi-san raised her voice.

“Yuki-chan-senpai was kidnapped!”

“Huh? Again?”



As Kogi-san demanded an explanation to my careless utterance, I somehow managed to appease and persuade her to focus on the present situation rather than the past. She wasn’t very convinced, but agreed with my insistence to first decide on a way to save Osanai-san, and thankfully shelved her doubts for the time being.

“So, what happened? Calm down and describe the events that led up to this.”

I’d witnessed the boy colliding into Osanai-san, but it was better to have Kogi-san explain what happened from the beginning, since she was close by at the time. Thus I urged her to talk, leaving out the fact that I’d seen it happen as well.

“This isn’t the time to talk! We need to save Yuki-chan-senpai!”

“Of course, but… I don’t know where she was taken, so there’s nothing I can do if I don’t know what happened.”

While she bitterly complained that I was taking things too easy, Kogi-san must have realized that there was nothing else we could do, for she begrudgingly started giving her account of the events leading up to the accident.

“…After leaving the cafe, I went around the Cultural Festival with Yuki-chan-senpai. We received balloons, went to the Photography Club, looked at the Alice in Wonderland exhibition… After that, Yuki-chan-senpai said that she forgot to hand me a souvenir, so she gave me a beautiful cardboard box.”

Come to think of it, Osanai-san did say that she was buying souvenirs.

“I was really happy. I immediately opened the box to find translucent marshmallows that I had not seen before. They were colorful, like jewels. I said, ‘Marshmallows are eaten after roasting in a direct fire, right?’, and Yuki-chan-senpai looked out of the window and replied, ‘Let’s do that, then.’”

By “that”, she couldn’t mean…

“So the two of you went to roast marshmallows in this fire? Really?”

I was met with a faintly sheepish smile in response. I knew full well that there was no compromise to Osanai-san’s attitude when it came to sweets, but it seemed that Kogi-san was also quite a veteran in that field.

Looking at the campfire up close, it wasn’t as big as I’d thought. The logs arranged in parallel crosses barely came up to my stomach, and the fire was not burning high in the air. Well, there should be no danger in going close to it for the sake of roasting marshmallows, but… the planters surrounding the campfire had signs saying not to approach any further. They must have simply ignored the warning.

The red objects skewered on the stick in Kogi-san’s hand must be the marshmallows she’d missed the chance to eat. When I prompted her to eat them, she stared balefully at the marshmallows before devouring them in a mouthful and saying, “Delicious” in a subdued voice.

In any case, I now understood why the two of them went to the middle of the sports ground.

“We received dango skewers from a class running a Japanese-style cafe, and we walked to the sports ground after that. We went next to the bonfire while exchanging information about shops with delicious desserts, then we inserted the marshmallows into those skewers.”

I’d thought that the fire couldn’t be called a campfire since it wasn’t in a camp, but “bonfire” was certainly a better word for it.

“Just as we were about to roast the marshmallows, I suddenly heard running footsteps from behind, and Yuki-chan-senpai said, ‘Look out!’ I turned around to see that a boy wearing our uniform was charging at us while looking behind, and I couldn’t move… it all happened in an instant, so I can’t remember what exactly happened.”

I’d seen the moment of impact. Osanai-san had tried to dodge the charging student, but since he’d also attempted an evasive maneuver, their actions resulted in a collision.

“Before I knew it, Yuki-chan-senpai was knocked away, but she didn’t fall. Her hands were on the ground and she was spinning around, like she was trying not to fall.”

“Er, so you mean that Osanai-san broke her fall?”

Kogi-san tilted her head.

“Did she? I’m not sure.”

Well, it was at least clear that she hadn’t suffered a major injury.

“But because of her posture, her bag came open and its contents flew out. The marshmallows were also spilled onto the ground.”

Ouch… I could imagine what Osanai-san must have felt at that moment.

On the other hand, I was a little curious about some details in this recount.

“Osanai-san was holding onto the marshmallows? Even though they were a souvenir for you, Kogi-san?”


She said, then sank into thought.

“But, why was that… She held onto them for me when we received the skewers, and it stayed that way, I think.”

“What was the marshmallow box like?”

Kogi-san spread her hands to fit the frame of her body.

“It was a round and flat cardboard box that had lots of fruits drawn on it… is that important?”

“No, I was just wondering if its size made it troublesome to hold onto after receiving the skewers.”

Probably thinking that I had just asked her a non-critical question, a dissatisfied look appeared on her face, but she did not put it into words.

“What happened after that?”

“The boy who ran into us took a big fall. He got up, shouted, ‘Sorry!’, and started picking up the scattered objects with Yuki-chan-senpai. I was about to help as well, when I heard some rough voices coming from the school compound. I turned around to see three other boys approaching us.”

I nodded, urging her to carry on.

“The boy who collided into Yuki-chan-senpai tried running when he saw the group of three, but he probably got hurt at some point during the accident and was limping. He was caught since he couldn’t go anywhere, and he got punched and kicked by the gang. I was worried about Yuki-chan-senpai, but I was surprised that something like this happened right in front of my eyes, so I yelled, ‘What are you doing!’”

“You did?”

“Of course. Isn’t that what anyone would do?”

How many people would raise their voice when violence suddenly breaks out in front of them? To be honest, I had no confidence that I would be able to do that in such a situation. Yet Kogi-san had lashed out at them. Perhaps she felt some sense of security from being in her own school, but that was interesting.

“What are you laughing at?”

“No… sorry, it’s nothing. Erm, sorry to interrupt you in the middle of your story, but you don’t happen to remember what any of the boys look like, do you?”

Kogi-san nodded, though she seemed a little uncertain.

“They were underclassmen, I think. The one who ran into us is a first-year, while the three who came in later are second-year students.”

“Why do you think that?”

“When the boy was punched, he said things like, ‘I am so sorry’ and ‘Please forgive me’, while the three other boys who were doing the hitting said things like, ‘You understand your position as a junior?’, so I can tell that they are in different grades. Also, if the gang of three are third-year students, I would have probably recognized their faces, so I think they are in their second year.”

That made sense. She hadn’t presented any concrete evidence, but Kogi-san’s observation seemed quite credible.

“For the record, could you tell me what they looked like?”


Kogi-san stared into space for a while.

“The three of them looked rugged and I thought they were in some athletic clubs. One of them was taller, while the other two were average in height. All three of them did not have good faces.”

“You don’t need to mince your words.”

“I don’t like boys.”

Kogi-san declared, then stared at me, currently a boy as well.

“I see, thank you. So the trio chased after the first-year student, and you stopped them from punching him. What happened after that?”

“I’m not sure he is a first-year student, though.”

“Let’s just call him that temporarily.”

It would be difficult to talk about him without a provisional name. Kogi-san seemed to agree with that sentiment, and continued.

“After that…”

She started, but her face clouded over.

“The three boys said, ‘You’ve got nothing to do with this’, but they stopped hitting the first-year student. They talked to him while nudging his body here and there, and I thought they would begin punching him again, but the three of them suddenly turned to look at me. They pointed at me and moved closer to me, giving me a bad feeling about it… then they said, ‘Give us the CD.’”


“By CD, you mean for music?”

Kogi-san shook her head, frowning.

“I don’t know!”


A music CD could only have music stored within. However, if it was a writable CD, it could contain video, audio, aggregate data or even computer viruses.

“I did notice the first-year student holding a CD while running, but I obviously don’t know what is stored inside.”

That was understandable, but…

“What? You saw the first-year student holding a CD?”

She gave a light nod.

Did Kogi-san really see him holding a CD? Well, there was no way that three-man group could have made a mistake and chased after a boy who didn’t possess the CD they wanted.

“So I replied, ‘What are you saying all of a sudden? Have you lost it?’ The three boys turned to Yuki-chan-senpai and shouted, ‘Over there!’, then surrounded her. They angrily yelled, ‘You have it, don’t you? Give it up!’”

“What did Osanai-san do?”

“She said, ‘What are you talking about?’ Her lips were shaking, and she looked like such a poor thing…”

So she was afraid.

She might have been smiling, though.

“On top of that, they snatched away Yuki-chan-senpai’s bag and thoroughly searched it. I can’t believe they did such a thing!”

“Indeed… that’s terrible.”

“Even after they looked for it so persistently, they said, ‘It’s not there’ and they could have given up, but they still stubbornly maintained that she had the CD. I think that when the first-year student was being beaten up, he must have lied that he had passed the CD to Yuki-chan-senpai. If not, I can’t see why they so obstinately suspected her.”

Her theory was that the trio suspected Osanai-san because they were duped by the first-year student, but how plausible was that? I wanted to think about it, but Kogi-san rattled on.

“Yuki-chan-senpai said she didn’t know, but the three of them kept suspecting her, and in the end they wanted to take her away. I threatened to call a teacher, but Yuki-chan-senpai said, ‘I’ll be fine. Don’t make a fuss.’ So in the end, I couldn’t do anything… while senpai followed those three boys, as she was told!”

“She followed them as she was told? Not that they were dragging her away?”

I was met with a somewhat unexpected reply.

“Yes. The three boys said, ‘Come’ and just as they told her to…”

Kogi-san started tearing up again.

“It’s all my fault! I shouldn’t have suggested roasting the marshmallows!”

Then again, Kogi-san had only suggested roasting marshmallows, while the one to bring up roasting at the bonfire was Osanai-san. However, I did not point that out.

“Did Osanai-san say anything else?”

As I asked that question, she stared at me resentfully.


But Kogi-san faltered.

I kept quiet without urging her to continue, and eventually she spoke in a clear voice, as if she’d made up her mind.

“She said, ‘I’ll be fine. Don’t make a fuss, it’s nothing.’ And then…”

“And then?”

“…‘Call Kobato-kun.’”

Ah, so she correctly predicted that I would stick around in the school compound after eating the New York Cheesecake. However…

“But Kogi-san, you don’t have my contact number, right?”

“Ah, about that.”

An unconvinced look appeared on Kogi-san’s face.

“She said you would come if I just called out for you.”

…I’m not a dog, am I?

Osanai-san must have meant for Kogi-san to use the school public address system to call for me. That’s what I want to believe, anyway.

Regardless of the means, Osanai-san had told Kogi-san to call for me. I’d run over on my own accord, but she must have considered my presence to be necessary in some way. What could it be?

Thinking about it normally, she could want me to save her from the clutches of the mysterious, violent gang of three… but that would be a little strange. I didn’t know the identity of those three, but taking a girl away on a day of the Cultural Festival when so many people from outside the school were present was not a peaceable thing to do. If Kogi-san had made a fuss and called for a teacher like she wanted to, the trio would probably have had no choice but to capitulate. So why did the abduction succeed?

The reason for that was none other than Osanai-san’s refusal to resist. She assured Kogi-san that she was fine, stopped her from calling a teacher, and went with the trio by her own will.

Seriously! We were bound by the promise to stop each other’s bad habits, but did Osanai-san forget all about it? Basically, she was telling me to solve the mystery. And that mystery was…

“Where did the CD go?”

That would just about sum it up.

The New York Cheesecake Mystery (Part 3) | Contents | The New York Cheesecake Mystery (Part 5)

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