Natake Erru was just a name; it was something to be known as, and nothing more... but for some reason, it has become more known to me than even my true name. The changes began a few weeks ago, when I was informed that I'd been accepted into Dan Detective Academy's Q Class. It came as a surprise, mostly because I had kind of hoped I wouldn't make it, and so hadn't done my best. But Morihiko Dan was sharp; maybe he'd known this. For whatever reason, I was enrolled, and the first day of class was quickly approaching. I didn't like that all the other members of the class would all be second year students who knew each other, because I didn't want to stick out. I had to gain some kind of relationship with the classmates I would meet, and that annoyed me. I really hated talking to people, to the extent that my father used to believe I was deaf or mute. What if I'd remained silent? Would I have become the same person?
These thoughts were swimming in my head the day I became a student at DDS. As I walked from my home to the school, I muttered to myself, "I will succeed, for my father." This strengthened my resolve to go through with whatever I began that day, and when I reached the building, I felt sure that I could handle the assignments given to me, and become a Class Q member.I'd expected a lot of my future classmates... that was a mistake. The moment I walked in, some annoying kid with a backpack on came up to me and started shouting, "Hey, you're the new kid, right? Why's your hair such a weird color? You're kinda short for a detective. Are you a boy or a girl?" At this point, the only girl in the room yelled, "Kyu! That's rude! You don't ask someone their gender. She's quite obviously a girl~!" The annoying one, Kyu, looked back at me. "... I don't see it, Megu..." I nearly punched the kid, but I really didn't want to leave a bad impression on everyone. Without a word, I found an empty seat in the back, and waited for class to start. I watched the other students arrive, trying to figure out everyone's strengths. I had absolutely no idea what Kyu's was, besides annoying the culprit to death, so I first focused on Megumi.
She had known at once that I was a girl, despite my short red-dyed hair and iffeminate clothing, so she was observant. Other than that I didn't know anything about her yet... Another classmate, this one dressed in punk-style clothing and toting a small pc, sat down near Kyu. It looked to me like he was just some tech-obsessed kid who probably got along better with computers than people. Then came a tall, loud student who looked to be the oldest of the group. From the friendly headlocck he gave Kyu and his boasts about martial arts, I figured he was the muscle of the group. But he had to have some other attributes of a detective if he was in Q Class, so I made a note to figure him out later. Before long another person entered the room. This time it was a quiet, calm boy who greeted the others with a small wave and then sat and read something silently. I was pretty sure this was the top detective, or at least the person with the most common sense, so I really didn't spend much time profiling him. From the conversations some of the other kids were having, I found out that the kid with the computer was named Kazuma, and the tall guy was Kintarou. And the name of the last kid was Amakusa Ryu.
When Dan-sensei, who I'd only met once, was wheeled in by the man I could only assume was Namami Koutarou, the class stood respectfully. I followed suit, and a few moments later we were all sitting and awaiting instruction. I really didn't feel like a part of the group, especially since Morihiko singled me out... "Class Q, I would like you to welcome a new member of your team, Natake Erru." I glared at my desk when he asked if I'd like to introduce myself. He asked again, probably thinking I hadn't heard him, and I looked up and shook my head blankly. There was no way I was talking to these people... After an interesting lecture on how to detect trace amounts of potassium cyanide, the teacher produced a file from within his desk, holding it out before him. Koutarou nodded once, took it, and began to explain the case. "Last week, a student from Tokyo University went missing." Kintarou yelled, "Was it Saburomaru?"
With a blank look, Nanami sighed, "No, Kinta, it wasn't... Now, apparently this student had run away several times, but he was found dead three days ago near his girlfriend's home." Kyu was now taking notes, and I was drawing a chart, labeling the victim's girlfriend as the first suspect. But there had to be more to the case if Dan was asking for help from Q Class. Nanami continued, "Five days ago, a student from Ryoka Boys' Academy disappeared from his home. He was found murdered yesterday." Now Nanami fell silent, and Morihiko spoke up. "I was informed this morning that Kuniko Touya of Class A is now missing. If this is in correlation with the serial murders, someone is targeting private school and university scholars, and we have a time limit of four days. If we do not find her within that time, I'm afraid she may become the next victim..."