It's been months since the body of Christina Berne was found. However, as Christina was a mysterious girl who normally kept to herself, the only person that she talked to being a now-dead duchess, the investigation went cold. But now, a rogue investigator wants to reopen the case as he believes that there is something to uncover.
The investigator made himself comfortable in a spare classroom. He placed his flask of coffee on the table and read through a file - containing the pictures of the students that he thought would be helpful to him, during his own investigation. "Bring them in," He ordered on the phone.
He spotted the two people that arrived and acknowledged them, before crossing off their names on a list in the folder.
Ji-yeon sauntered into the classroom, chewing bubble gum. She observed the room and the people in it for a few seconds before blowing a bubble and strolling towards Michiko. As she sat down in the desk next to hers, she popped the bubble and lifted her legs unto the desk, having no concern for the man up front.
He looked up at Ji-yeon and crossed her off his list. He sighed as there were still many people that needed to arrive. "Tough luck," He then thought, as he turned to face the three girls as a whole. They would get the headstart. "Right, any questions you may have, I will answer in a short period of time. Please do not interrupt me as I explain everything. Firstly, you will address me as Agent Crawford. And I'm assuming that from my accent, you have guessed that I am British. The final bit of information you will have about me is that I too am an Elemental. If I was not, I wouldn't even be here."
"No shit sherlock," She muttered. "Alright, dude, let's get something straight. I'm not calling you Agent whatever your name is, because I already forgot it, and don't care either."
He turned to Ji-yeon. "And I don't care if you get killed on this quest or not. You stick with whatever you want to call me then and we won't have problems." Then he turned to Genevieve. "I am an Air Elemental. That's the last bit of information I can disclose about myself." And then he went back to addressing everyone. "The reason why you are here is because you've been selected to help with a murder investigation. Do any of you have experience in that? Or any interest in pursuing that career path?"
"I won't have to worry about dying buzzkill," she snorted. "And no, because who in the hell would have experience at solving murders at the age of 18? This isn't stuff they teach us in school."
He didn't bother arguing with Ji-yeon. From the looks of it, an argument with her would be physically draining. "Well, there has been a plethora of murders recently. Some murders have been solved - even by your fellow students. I have brought you here because I want you to help me not only solve a murder investigation that went cold, unlike the investigations that I mentioned, but also possibly uncover a conspiracy. Have any of you heard of the name Christina Berne?"
"Indeed. She was found dead in the Lunar Classroom. Apparently someone of the Lunar Element discovered her body, but because the case went cold, they more or likely were made to sign a non-disclosure agreement - money in exchange to never speak of the discovery. Who that witness was, we need to find out."
"Witness, eh?" Ji-yeon sat, up, placing her feet on the floor. "So, this lunar elemental, Christina Berne, was found dead in a classroom, similar to the duchess that died in March. Thing is, the two are in different element classes, and found in their element classrooms. This seems extremely suspicious. There's only one witness for both cases, and on the Scarlett case, the witness was the murderer, or the puppet. Who's not to say the witness is the culprit's puppet?"
"You're onto something. Looks like we have our first lead. And that brings me onto what I'm going to say next. I'm going to give you your first task of this investigation. You need to go to the basement and take out the record for Miss Berne. Then you need to find more evidence that might help us progress further towards our current lead. Clearly the witness has a connection to the murderer or the culprit."
"But aren't there others coming?" She asked with a raised eyebrow.
"There are supposed to be other people, yes. It looks like you guys are going to have to gather them up. They are Kang Seung, Jeong Yi Caelum, Jax Deneris, Charlotte Petrova and Christina Petrova. And one final note, you'll get given money at the end of it all."
"One, you pronounced Seung wrong, it's So-un, not Sung. Two, where are we supposed to find them? I barely know half of the people you just mentioned."
"Theorists of the case say that it was the work of foul play and that the culprit is helping a corrupt royal. It's my job to prove or disprove their theories. But something inside me really wants to believe this one, especially because Berne was such a mysterious girl."
"Hopefully she did." As they left to find the other questers, the investigator headed back into the classroom to make edits to his 'Investigator To Do List'. "Brief them, check. Get them to gather the others, check. Give them their first task, check."
The three girls set out to find the others, before they were to venture out to the basement. However, some questers decided to quit.
She brushed down the hallway, unaware of her lateness.
"Talked about how the death of a Lunar elemental could mean something bigger, conspiracy theories and all. The investigator is a few classrooms down, if you care to talk to him." I say before I head out to go find Jax.
Since Ji-yeon knew exactly where her younger brother would be at this time of the day, she lead the way, but didn't bother to check if Michiko was following her.
Seung sat in the far back if the school library behind a dusty, forgotten, collection of shelves. He wasn't reading or studying, for that matter. No, he was focusing on something not in the library, trying to sink it. His concentration was broken when Ji-yeon appeared. He glanced up, "Since when were you discharged?"
"Two days ago. Got out of that coma few hours before that." She smacked her gum a few times, "We got another murder mystery." Seung glared at her and she shrugged. "They asked for you and a bunch of other people."
I nod and debrief Seung on the details of he investigation.
Seung listened, and once she finished, groaned, holding his head in one hand. "So, we're hunting down a witness with a cold trail. Can't say that's the easiest thing I've done in my life. Can't say it's the hardest either."
"We should go find Christina and Caelum now. I'd like to get this over with."
Back in the classroom, the investigator checked over the file. "I wonder if they're in the basement yet."
"We're not going to find this Christina girl or whatever her name is, so let's turn around and find Caelum now so we can head to the basement," Ji-yeon explained, after turning around to face Michiko and Seung.
He shouldered into the classroom, a cig dangling from his mouth but it was unlit. His usual scowl was plastered onto his face.
Her eyes dragged away from Gen as she saw Nate walk in, "wonderful, the douchebag," she breathed out, "better get this over and done with." she said as a goodbye to Gen and followed Nate in.
He noticed Nate, in which he mentally responded with shock, and Charlotte walk in. "I'll make it brief. Lunar Elemental died. Mysterious circumstances. There may be leads to her death through her record and there's a secret witness that you need to find out. If you don't want to participate, say so."
She took a side-way glance towards Nate before looking back to him, "a murderer?" She asked before nodding, "oh I know who it is."
The investigator sighed. "It's easy to blame people but actually proving it is harder."
"You didn't even ask me who I thought who it was," she said with a pout before directing her index fingers to be level with Nate's nose, "I bet it's him. He goes around chopping kids heads off, you know?"
He eyed her with a raised eyebrow, "of all the rumours I've heard about me, that is the most ridiculous," he declared and swatted her finger away before looking at the guy, "am I not meant to be here?" He asked, as he did register the surprise, "I got the message so I assumed..."
"Prince of the year." I say, appearing in the doorway, my arms crossed. "The only one who forgot to come was Mr. Life of the Party. Gen said she would get him, but I suspect she's gone off on her own..."
He tilted his head to look at her with boredom, "never my intention to be, but thank, I do appreciate the sentiment," he said with a humourless smile, "he's probably passed out in a trash can. Big party last night, you know."
I roll my eyes. "I don't give a damn about Jax. That wasn't my point. My point is that Gen's in the archives right now. What if she decides to search for more than just what's on the case? She seems nice, but I don't trust her."
"Oh, that's my sister," she said, "and she's the type to cry over a lady bug that she stepped on," she said, "but I'll go...check on her," she said and made a face. She took a step to leave and gestured at her, "shoo, you're blocking my way."
"This is the final time I'm going to say this. Right, so that you're all on the same level of the case (I apologise to those who already know), I'll give brief details. The deceased is a Lunar Elemental named Christina Berne. There was a witness who discovered her body, I have proof of that. But I have no idea who they are, due to a non-disclosure agreement and I want to discover who it is. I also have several more questions that are currently unanswered, but her file may have the answers. The ultimate goal here, however, is that I want to prove that Berne's murder is part of a larger conspiracy - one involving corrupt royals or royal even. I also have suspicions that Genevieve is already in the basement so I advise that you all go to the basement, now that you know the details."
Seung snorted, "I already knew that. Ji briefed me before I got here. I came to ask what the hell I get out of it for helping your sorry ass?" Unlike his usual self, he didn't seem to care about what words came out of his mouth, as shown by his expression.
"Oh I don't know, money, power, wealth, safety of your loved ones, depending on who the corrupt royal is." He replied sarcastically. "You can have anything you fucking desire once all of this is over. Don't want to participate? The door is that way. But if you want to help me as I requested, do as I say and go into the basement." He yelled, finally having had enough.
He raised an eyebrow at the angered investigator. "May I also ask why you recruited a group of ragtag teens?"
He clutched the bridge of his nose. "It's too complicated for me to explain fully. So I'll give the simple explanation. You were all selected because you have qualities that could be useful to the investigation."
"Ridiculous summary in my opinion, but whatever floats your boat." Seung spun on his foot and headed out the door, towards the basement, not checking if anyone was following him, for he simply did not care.
The investigator sighed. "So glad I left this place."
She stared at the investigator out of the corner of her eye, "you're a fool if you didn't think that royals being corrupt is something new. Everyone knows the royals are corrupt. Berne's isn't the first and I doubt she'll be the last. No matter who the murderer is," she pointed out before eyeing the girl, "and, as much as you'd love me to be a dumb blonde, I think I know where the basement and my sister is. So please, why bother standing in my way? The stench of this asshole is making me feel faint," she said jerking her thumb towards the investigator.
He clapped two times for the investigator, "nice," he said, "I'd have thrown in a few more insults and swear words but that was a fine scolding. And, to make it more threatening, a calmer voice too."
He chuckled before looking at Charlotte. "I already know that royals are corrupt. I've had to watch your frivolous lifestyle for years on end. I just want to know which royal is behind Berne's murder and inevitably, a grand conspiracy that could end up involving all of Elementrium and eventually lead us all into a war if not dealt with. If you know where the basement is, go. Your sister seems to be smart, so I have no doubts that she would have found some leads by now."
She came in rushing, with a plaid shirt and some basic jeans, clearly in a hurry, or at least her hair signales so by its unusual tengledness. She smiled nervously at the people in the room and tried breaking the ice, "This smart sister, or the actually smart sister?"
"Obviously referring to Gen and I, Christie, because you're neither smart nor the smartest," she said as she regarded her twin with a level of coldness that she didn't bother trying to hide. With that, she brushed past and down to the hallway and into the basement.
I entered the passcode and headed into the archives, under the Lunar elementals and started searching for the file. I had finished my secret plan of taking pictures of the rest of the team's files, which I was faxing back to my dorm room.
There were two copies of Christina's file - a copy under the Lunar Elementals section and a copy under the 'B surnames' section. One, however, contained something and the other did not.
I found the original file, then caught the second file as I pull out both and compare them.
The second file contained several, but strange information that could help the investigation: the fact that "the witness was a Lunar Royal" had been disclosed - with any traces of a name after it being erased, large portions of Christina's activity being erased and co-ordinates to Christina's belongings.
Seung tapped in the simple code to open the basement and entered, glancing around at the earlier records in disdain. He scanned the room and made a beeline for the "Lunar Elementals" section and began searching, oblivious to the Water princess in the room.
She descended down, "Gen?" She called out. "Are you down here?"
Christie followed Charlie but on the way, she found Seung, and offered him a genuine smile as she noticed his expression, "Were my sisters annoying? Can't say I'm surprised. Did you find any leads?"
Seung shrugged, "I guess. They're not exactly pleasant people, but I didn't talk to them too much. To answer your second question, no. I haven't really looked at the files yet, I have a clearer mind outside."
For when the leads are found and any characters in the basement head back to the classroom.
He gave a genuine smile. "I like you. You're the smartest of the bunch. Looks like we can go over the leads now." He then checked over the files and grinned when he found the leads. "I got three leads. The fact that the name of the witness had been erased, proving that they had signed a non-disclosure agreement, presumably money and their name erased from the file, in exchange for them never talking about the event. Who "them" is, we need to discover. That's where our second lead comes in. The witness was a Lunar Royal. Makes sense - the two of them were Lunar Elementals. But then again, we need to find out who the Royal is. And then finally, there's the co-ordinates to Berne's belongings." He then took a quick break to gather his thoughts before resuming to talk. "I can assort you guys into two groups - since leads one and two are basically linked. One team will use technology to convert the co-ordinates into the location of a place, then go to that place and gather the belongings. The other team will go on a little interview hunt, using this file." He then pulled out another file, containing the pictures of all of the Lunar Royals in the Elemental Academy. "My advice to the second team would be to interview these two, they're my main suspects for the witness position." The two pictures he pointed to were that of the Dange siblings.
After analyzing the files a little on his own, Seung returned to the classroom to report his findings. For some reason, the erased name didn't bother him whatsoever, instead it intrigued him more about this case. "This person is clever," he muttered under his breath as he approached Gen and Agent whatever-his-name-was.
Noticing Seung walk in, the investigator briefed him quickly. Then he smiled. "I guess you two are the smartest of the bunch. The team going to interview the Dange siblings are all of the Petrovas, Nathaniel and Jax - if he manages to show up. The rest will be going on a trip to find Christina's belongings." To make sure, he wrote it down on a nearby whiteboard.
"Lesson learned eh?" Seung commented, noticing that this time the Investigator had written it on the board. "Great, now that we've established we're not mentally slow, do we have to wait for these people? And who will lead the missions?"
She walks in and scans the board and frowns, "what has Christie done to get a search, and shouldn't one of her...family members be a part of it." She pointed out.
Christie got back to the classroom, following Seung only to find the investigator and the whiteboard with names written on it. She read it, "Isn't splitting up the worst thing anyone could do whilst investigating a murder?"
"I'm getting you to split up because the leads need to be investigated separately, Genevieve will be in charge of the Dange interviews and Seung will be in charge of the trip to find Christina's belongings. Christie has seemed to become a member of the quest, so I included her. All of you Petrovas are together. And you can proceed with the investigations of the leads when you are ready, but I'd like for you to do it soon." He replied to all of their questions.