Episode 7: Premonition
Kuribayashi approaches Yukawa and Kaoru about an unfathomable case. This case occurred half a year ago. Kuribayashi’s friend, Sugawara, who runs a food-processing company, started fooling around with a lady called Fuyumi whom he had become acquainted with at a restaurant shortly after he married Shizuko. One day, Sugawara’s junior from university days, Minemura, comes over to the apartment to visit. Minemura was the one who had introduced Sugawara to Shizuko. At that moment, Sugawara receives a phone call from Fuyumi on his mobile phone. She tells Sugawara to look outside the window. Thereupon, Sugawara sees Fuyumi in the apartment across from his. She tells Sugawara that if he doesn’t marry her, she will kill herself and says she will attempt suicide by hanging herself from a rope. Because of this, Shizuko announces a divorce and takes a substantial amount in alimony.
Hearing Kuribayashi’s narration of the story, Kaoru declares that Sugawara got what he deserved for his fling and for driving Fuyumi to suicide. However, this case has one strange point. The truth is that Sugawara said that one week before Fuyumi’s suicide, he had seen a lady hanging from her neck in the same apartment.
That day, Sugawara said he had lied that he had a business trip and went to his friend’s apartment on the upper floor of the same condominium to watch AV DVDs. He had witnessed that scene around 2 a.m. Sugawara, who was about to draw the curtains shut, casually glanced at the apartment opposite. At that moment, he saw a lady place a rope around her neck, kick the chair she had stood on and hang from her neck. The lights in the room suddenly go off. Sugawara told this to his friend although he didn’t know who that lady was. Kuribayashi claims that Sugawara had foreseen Fuyumi’s suicide and tells Yukawa and Kaoru that he wants to solve this mystery …
After hearing Sugawara’s account of the incident, Yukawa and Kaoru pay a visit to the apartment Fuyumi had lived in. There, Yukawa and Kaoru learn from the condominium’s caretaker of Minemura’s appearance when he came to say that he had witnessed a suicide, that there hadn’t been a blackout one week before the incident and that Sugawara’s former wife, Shizuko, had continued to live in the same apartment after the incident. Yukawa overrides Kaoru’s objections and goes to see Shizuko.
Shizuko welcomes Yukawa’s visit. Yukawa begins by saying that Sugawara had had a premonition of the suicide, and asks if Shizuko had seen anything a week before the incident. Shizuko replies that she was already asleep at that time. “What time are you referring to?” Yukawa quickly counters and Shizuko calmly replies that she thinks it was in the middle of the night.
Yukawa leaves Shizuko’s apartment and sprints from that condominium to the one where the incident had occurred. He will take just under 1 minute to reach the opposite condominium if he runs at a dead sprint. Kaoru cannot figure out what Yukawa intends to do and feels confused. Yukawa doesn’t answer Kaoru’s question but just tells her that they will now proceed to see Minemura.
Minemura works at company that manufactures robots. He replies that he works out at the gym when Yukawa asks what sports he does. According to the testimony of the caretaker, Minemura had been dripping with sweat and out of breath when the incident happened. However, he shouldn’t have been sweaty because the distance between the two condominiums is just under 1 minute by foot. Yukawa, who thinks that there must be a reason for this, instructs Kaoru to check when Sugawara and Fuyumi had ended their conversation.
That night, Shizuko meets Minemura. Minemura is unsettled that Yukawa and Kaoru are starting to investigate the incident. Shizuko glares at Minemura coldly.
The next day, Kaoru informs Yukawa of the telephone records. They find out that there was approximately 4 minutes of spare time. In response to this, Yukawa and Kaoru visit Minemura’s company once again but Minemura is absent. At that moment, Yukawa sees goods mounted in one of the supplier’s trucks and something flashes in his mind. He summons Kaoru to his lab and recreates the suicide trick. ER liquid, whose viscousity can be change by energising it, was used to raise and lower the pipe hanger used for the suicide. ER fluid is used to play the role of robot muscles. Yukawa had seen the truck of an ER fluid trader while at Minemura’s company. At Minemura’s instigation, Fuyumi had staged a mock suicide. The mechanism of the pipe hanger used for the suicide has been created such that Fuyumi can lower herself with the use of a switch. What Sugawara had seen one week before the incident was Fuyumi’s rehearsal.
On the day of the incident, an unsuspecting Fuyumi, who had ascertained the safety of equipment she had used during the rehearsal, attempted the mock suicide as planned. However, through a remote control, Minemura made the electric current continue to flow through the ER liquid even though Fuyumi pushed the switch. Thus the pipe didn’t go down. Yukawa postulates that the 4 minute lapse was because Minemura had removed that equipment before calling the caretaker.
At that moment, Kaoru receives a call from Yuge on her mobile phone. Minemura’s drowned body has been found. According to Sakurako, the cause of death was drowning.
That night, Kuribayashi, who is alone in the lab preparing equipment, is joined by Yukawa. He confesses that he had been jealous of Sugawara. Yukawa helps with the preparation as he takes in Kuribayashi’s thoughts.
The next day, Shizuko receives a call from Sugawara. Just like Fuyumi, Sugawara has a rope around his neck in the apartment Fuyumi had lived in. He watches Shizuko intently. Sugawara says that he has no choice but to die if he can’t start things over with Shizuko, and adds that he is fighting end stage cancer. “I intend to give you my fortune for giving me a happy month at the end.” At Sugawara’s words, Shizuko rushes out of her apartment in a fluster.
Shizuko, who has rushed over to the apartment Sugawara is in, pulls out the cable that is attached to the pipe hanger from the electric socket. But there’s no change in the pipe hanger. The next moment, Sugawara, who should have been dead, raises his head. His body doesn’t have a rope around his neck but is hanging from a wire.
Shizuko is taken aback when she hears the voices of Yukawa and Kuribayashi, who have concealed themselves in the loft. As Shizuko utters words of relief, Kuribayashi tells her that Sugawara doesn’t have cancer and criticises her for being solely motivated by money. Yukawa stops Kuribayashi and asks Shizuko why she pulled out the plug. He tells her that it was because she had seen something similar and had that that if she stopped the electricity, the pipe would be lowered. “You took pains to ascertain everything – the plan, the mechanism and the method. You’re such a person aren’t you?” At Yukawa’s words, Shizuko seems to resign herself to her fate and smiles.
When Yukawa, Kuribayashi and Sugawara accompany Shizuko outside, Kaoru arrives. She is shocked that they had fooled Shizuko but takes her to the patrol car. Yukawa invites Kuribayashi and Sugawara, who still has lingering affection for Shizuko, to go for drinks.
Some days later, Kaoru informs Yukawa that Shizuko had voluntarily confessed everything. A debt-ridden Minemura had been a part of Shizuko’s scheme because he was promised a portion of Shizuko’s alimony. Shizuko had a hand in getting Fuyumi close to Sugawara but Yukawa has no interest in this, but is engrossed in a book on trains that Sugawara, a railroad buff, had lent to him …
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