While looking for Hyouka anthology past issues, Eru drags Hōtarō to school library where they encounter Satoshi and Mayaka. Mayaka tells them about a mystery which neither she nor Satoshi can solve. Is Hōtarō able to solve it?
SynopsisWith the president of the Classics Club chosen as Eru Chitanda, Hōtarō Oreki continues his lazy days, reading a book in the clubroom. Unable to stand the inactivity of the club, Eru announces that they would create the traditional "Hyouka", an anthology created by the club every year as the Kanya Festival was approaching. Though he is not up for it, Hōtarō is forced by Eru to find older copies of the Hyouka made by past club members. In the library, the duo encounters Mayaka Ibara, a childhood friend of Hōtarō, who is the library attendant at that time. The two ask, but Mayaka doesn't know, along with Satoshi who happens to be there. Impatient and wishing to go back to reading in the clubroom, Hōtarō attempts to leave, but in order to keep him together with the group, Satoshi makes a comment about a mystery. This hooks Eru, which ends up having her holding Hōtarō back from leaving the library.
The mystery Satoshi mentions about is one he and Mayaka had been trying to solve for the whole day. "Everday Friday, for five consecutive weeks, a student had checked a large reference book, only to return it at the end of the day. Every time, it was a different student, with the same book." Hōtarō, as usual, is not interested, leading him to wanting to leave, but Eru pulls him back, as she is the one interested.
Weekly Book Check-Out & Return CaseAs the Library attendant every Friday, Mayaka has noticed that every morning break, a female student comes by to pick up a thick textbook, only to return it after school the same day. You can borrow any book for up to two weeks, yet the book was returned, as said, on the same day it was checked out. This has occured for five consecutive weeks now, and each time, it is a different girl who takes and returns. Between the morning break and after school, there is only 3 class periods and 3 other shorter breaks, making reading the book very improbable. One guess was that the book was used to form a certain code when returned, but the book return section makes this feat very difficult, since the book could be placed in any fashion.
Solution: For five weeks, the same textbook has been taken at morning a break and returned afterschool, by different girls. Yet, all the girls were in the same second year and were also in either class D, E or F. If there isn't much time to read the book during the given short breaks, and if the book was not taken home at all, the book must have been used for classes instead. And if the girls collaborated on a certain work using the book, the chances the book was used for such events is more likely. Only few classes collaborate between classes, but with Eru's hint that the book smelled of paint, it was easy for Hōtarō to deduce that the book had been used for the art classes, which he was right.
- Hyouka Volume 1 (You Can't Escape)-Chapter 1 (Letter From Benares).
- Hyouka Volume 1 (You Can't Escape)-Chapter 3 (The Activities Of The Prestigious Classics Club).