“I can do it if I try.”
Hatori explored the shopping district with Kurosagi by his side. Kurosagi sighed and looked up at Hatori.
“Why are we shopping Ogami-San?”
“We need to buy some new ingredients that aren’t only for your cookies and to get you new clothes.”
“What’s wrong with my clothes?” asked Kurosagi with crossed arms. Hatori glanced down at the white dress she was wearing.
“You always wear that dress every day, so we should get you a different one.”
Kurosagi held the edge of her skirt and stated, “This is the easiest dress to repair from when I am shot, stabbed, or whatever happens. This is the only clothes I need to wear.”
Hatori sighed and turned away from her.
“I’m still getting you a new dress,” stated Hatori making Kurosagi pout. Hatori looked through the display windows trying to come up with a dress combo for Kurosagi that even she would agree to wear.
Hatori suddenly spotted a light blue spring time dress on a small girl dummy display wearing a bonnet with a white lily on the side. He examined it and began to envision Kurosagi wearing it. He chuckled to himself thinking that Kurosagi would burn the dress before wearing it. He looked back down at Kurosagi and gasped when he realized that she had vanished. He looked around frantically calling out her name. Hatori clenched his forehead.
Knowing Kurosagi, she probably spotted an ice cream stand or cookie stand.
Hatori began to walk around still calling Kurosagi’s name. He spotted Kurosagi near an ice cream cart and marched to her. He grabbed her hand making her gasp and said, “You shouldn’t wander off.” Tears formed in Kurosagi’s eyes making Hatori raise an eyebrow. Kurosagi burst out crying making Hatori jump back.
“Please don’t hurt me mister,” she cried. Hatori was filled with bewilderment.
Hatori looked behind him and saw Kurosagi standing behind him with a large chocolate chip cookie in her hands. Hatori blinked at her and then looked back at the other Kurosagi, who was still crying.
Kurosagi kicked Hatori behind his leg making him gasp in pain. He looked at Kurosagi, who sighed at him.
“If you look closely, that child is wearing a violet loose dress and is wearing brown hairpins.”
Hatori examined the other child and realized that he was mistaken about the child’s identity. Hatori stared at the crying child and added, “But she does resemble you a lot.”
“That may be, but this child is a male.”
Kurosagi nodded and added, “You can tell by the sound of his voice. Even if he hasn’t hit puberty yet, if you have a keen sense of hearing you can immediately tell the difference between a male and female.” Kurosagi bit out of her cookie. Hatori nodded in understanding.
The small child, revealed to be a boy, looked at Kurosagi with tears still in his eyes. He burst into a wide smile.
“You look like Emi!” screamed the boy as he pointed at Kurosagi. Kurosagi flinched making Hatori confused. Kurosagi glared at the boy and asked, “What did you say?”
“You look like Emi, the multi-talented star of Japan.”
“Star of Japan?”
The boy nodded and pulled out a magazine from the bag on his side. He showed it to Kurosagi and Hatori with a wide smile.
“Emi was a talented individual who made her debut by singing in the greatest stadium of Japan. She was on variety shows, dramas, movies, magazines. She even traveled overseas to sing to the leaders of each country.”
The magazine’s cover had a picture of a young girl that looked exactly like Kurosagi, except her eyes were emerald green. The boy hugged the magazine and said, “I want to be just like her.” Hatori stared at the magazine and then back at Kurosagi. Kurosagi ate the last of her cookie and frowned.
“If you want to be like her then act your own gender,” spat out Kurosagi making the boy and Hatori confused. Hatori looked back at the boy and asked, “So where is Emi now?” The boy sighed.
“The magazine didn’t say, but she would be dead by now.”
The boy nodded and added, “I bought this magazine from an antique store. It’s a magazine from the year 2020.”
“That long ago?” exclaimed Hatori. The boy nodded still hugging the magazine.
“I still like her though by just reading about her.”
Kurosagi suddenly grabbed the edge of Hatori’s shirt making him look down at her.
“Didn’t we come here to shop?”
Hatori nodded and looked back at the young boy.
“Can I get your name?”
“I like to remember the names of people I have spoken to.”
“OK, well my name is Lucille Arikawa, age eight.”
“Hatori Ogami, age twenty-one and she’s…”
The boy, Lucille, smiled and said, “I like that name.” Kurosagi clenched Hatori’s shirt and began to tug urging him to leave. Hatori got the message and began to walk off with her. Lucille watched them leave and suddenly noticed Kurosagi’s posture as she walked. He opened the magazine in his hands flipping through the pages. He stopped at one page that had a picture of the star Emi walking down a red carpet. It focused on her back as she walked. He looked back at Kurosagi and smiled.
“She’s like the real thing.”
Hatori looked down at Kurosagi and asked, “Why did you want to leave so badly?”
“How would you feel if a person who looks like you is comparing you to someone else?”
“It didn’t seem like he was comparing you to that girl in the magazine.”
Kurosagi remained silent releasing Hatori’s shirt. Hatori was used to Kurosagi’s silent treatment since working with her, but just for that day, he wanted to hear her speak. Hatori suddenly took notice of “Mizu Clothes Line,” a famous clothes store just second to the Whitman brands store. Hatori looked down at Kurosagi and smiled. He grabbed her hand making her look up at him.
“Let me buy you one dress and then we can go to our usual café and get you chocolate chip cookies with whip cream on the side.”
Kurosagi smirked at Hatori and nodded. Hatori and Kurosagi walked into Mizu Clothes Line. The place was filled with the latest brands of clothes. Hatori looked around and spotted a sign directing toward the children’s clothing. Hatori pulled Kurosagi along.
“There’s bound to be something for you to like.”
Kurosagi sighed. In truth, she still didn’t want a new dress, but she did want the cookies with whip cream in the café that they attended as regular customers. The minute Hatori turned a corner, he heard two men arguing about something. One of the voices sounded familiar to him, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. Kurosagi heard the voices too and peeked around the corner with Hatori.
At one of the clothes racks, there were two men. One of the men was wearing sunglasses, a red cap, and a toucan patterned Hawaiian shirt with matching shorts. The other man wore a brown suit with a black tie making him look more professional. Both of the men had brown hair, but of different lengths: the Hawaiian shirted man had long hair in a ponytail and the suited man had short brown hair combed back. The man with the Hawaiian shirt looked around the age of twenty-nine and the suited man looked around the age of thirty-five.
The Hawaiian shirted man was holding up a small light pink dress with frills at the end to the suited man with a pout.
“How about this dress? She bounds to like it right?”
The suited man sighed and said, “I already told you that she will never wear it.”
The Hawaiian shirt man groaned and stated, “Then help me choose one already. I haven’t seen her in so long, so I want to make sure to bring her a present that she will definitely like.”
“Just bring her a bag of cookies and let me get back to the office.”
“But I want to give her a present that will last forever,” wailed the Hawaiian shirted man.
Kurosagi sighed at the scene as Hatori chuckled.
“Those two are pretty funny.”
“They never change,” stated Kurosagi making Hatori look down at her in bewilderment. Kurosagi walked from behind the corner with Hatori behind her. She crossed her arms at the two men and smirked.
“Long time no see.”
The two men looked down at Kurosagi. The Hawaiian shirted man burst into a bright smile and reached out to her saying, “Kurosagi!” Hatori immediately picked up Kurosagi preventing the Hawaiian shirted man from hugging her. The Hawaiian shirted man looked up at Hatori with confusion on his face.
“What are you doing with Kurosagi and who are you?”
Hatori placed Kurosagi down and said, “My name is Hatori Ogami, Kurosagi’s assistant.” The Hawaiian shirted man snapped his fingers and pointed at Hatori.
“I spoke with you on the phone before.”
The Hawaiian shirted man nodded and added, “My name is Reiji Simmons, remember my voice?” Hatori remembered the phone call that he received in Kurosagi’s office a couple of months ago before they took the trip to Egypt.
“Oh yeah, that’s why your voice sounded familiar.”
Reiji nodded and looked at the other man, who was staring at them.
“I’m not sure if you met him yet, but this is Peter Khan, my dear friend.”
Hatori looked at the other man, Peter, and asked, “Are you one of Kurosagi’s connections?” Peter nodded and glanced at Kurosagi.
“I am, but Kurosagi hardly uses my services and she has also failed to tell me about her new assistant.”
Kurosagi sighed and said, “Well you run a huge company and I didn’t want to disturb you.” Peter groaned with crossed arms.
“So you get Terry to hack into my system to get information on family registry?”
“Is that a problem?”
“Of course it’s a problem! Every time she hacks into my system, she leaves a Cheshire Cat mark on the hacked folders. Do you know how long it takes me to remove those markings?”
Kurosagi chuckled making Peter give out a groan. Kurosagi looked at Reiji and asked, “So why are you here in Japan, when you are supposed to be in the States?” Reiji smiled with his hands on his hips.
“I was given a month paid vacation for my nonstop success. During this well-deserved vacation, I decided to visit you.”
“And how did Peter get involved in this?”
“Well I ran into him near his office building and decided that he should help me pick a present out for you.”
Peter crossed his arms and added, “In other words, I was forced to come here.” Reiji chuckled.
“Come on, we are friends from childhood after all.”
“Neighbors,” muttered Peter. Kurosagi sighed and turned away from them.
“Well just do as Peter said and get me a bag of cookies.”
“But that’s no fun,” complained Reiji. Hatori suddenly grabbed Kurosagi’s hand and said, “Well we better find you a dress that you will like.” Kurosagi groaned. Reiji gasped.
“So you’ll let him get you a dress and not me.”
“It’s a forced thing,” muttered Kurosagi.
“What are you doing to my child?”
Hatori, Reiji, Peter, and Kurosagi flinched at the sound of the voice. Kurosagi looked back and saw a woman around her thirties running to them. Her black hair ran down her back as she ran to them with her arm stretched out. She shoved Hatori roughly away from Kurosagi making him collide into Reiji, who in turn collided into a dress display. The woman grabbed Kurosagi’s arm roughly, but not enough to cause harm. She knelt down in front of Kurosagi, placing a hand to her pale cheek.
“Are you all right Emi?”
Kurosagi’s eyes widen as she slipped her arm away from the woman.
“What did you call me?”
Before the woman could speak again, Peter pulled Kurosagi to his side and glared down at the unknown woman.
“What do you think you are doing?” demanded Peter in a harsh tone. The woman glared back at Peter, but then her glare was replaced with a look of shock.
“Mr. Khan?” she exclaimed in a shrilling voice. Peter raised an eyebrow at her. Reiji and Hatori recovered and made their way to Kurosagi and Peter’s side. Reiji rubbed his head and asked, “Do you know this crazy woman, Peter?” Peter examined the woman closely, who was shaking in place. Peter heaved out a sigh when his memory of the woman came to light.
“Why are you here, Mrs. Arikawa?”
“Mrs. Arikawa?” repeated Kurosagi as she looked up at Peter. Peter nodded.
“Her full name is Ellie Arikawa. She works for my company as a family ancestry researcher,” explained Peter. He looked back at Ellie and added, “She said that she needed to go to the states for some research and wasn’t supposed to be back for two months.” Ellie inched back with sweat on the side of her forehead. Peter approached Ellie making her cringe.
“Mrs. Arikawa, you still haven’t answered my question on why you are here,” said Peter sternly. Ellie bowed her head down to Peter and said, “I’m sorry Mr. Khan, but an urgent matter came up, so I had to return early.”
Ellie nodded. She lifted her head focusing on Kurosagi.
“I’ll explain after you return my child,” stated Ellie. Hatori, Peter, and Reiji glanced down at Kurosagi, who had her arms crossed. Peter looked back at Ellie and said, “I’m sorry but Kurosagi isn’t your child.” Ellie’s eyes widen.
“What do you mean and why are you calling her Kurosagi?”
“Because that is her name,” stated Peter. Ellie’s lips moved but no words escaped her mouth. Peter placed a hand under his chin and asked, “Isn’t your child a boy and if I remember right: his name isn’t Emi?” Ellie pressed her lips together.
Hatori suddenly gasped making them look at him.
“Are you OK, Hatori?” asked Reiji as he adjusted his red cap. Hatori cleared his throat and looked at Ellie with a smile upon his lips.
“Is your child’s name: Lucille Arikawa?”
Ellie gasped and nodded. She ran to Hatori and asked, “Where is my child?”
“Kurosagi and I ran into him at an ice cream cart. It wasn’t that long ago, so he might still be nearby.”
Ellie sighed in relief. She thanked Hatori and ran out without looking back at them. Kurosagi looked at Peter, who still seemed to be in deep thought.
“Are you OK Peter?” asked Kurosagi. Peter looked down at Kurosagi with seriousness in his eyes.
“Mrs. Arikawa mistook you for her son, but he looks nothing like you.”
“What do you mean?” asked Kurosagi with a raised eyebrow.
“If I have to compare him, he looks like a younger version of my son.”
Kurosagi’s eyes narrowed. Hatori stood next to Kurosagi and asked, “What is Peter talking about?” Kurosagi looked at Hatori and said, “We better follow that woman.”
Kurosagi pushed a strand of hair behind her ear and said, “There must be a reason why she had to put her son through plastic surgery and change his name.” Hatori, Reiji, and Peter’s eyes widen.
Kurosagi nodded and ordered Hatori to follow. Hatori obeyed, but was surprised when Peter and Reiji were by his side.
“Why are you two coming?”
“We want to help Kurosagi the best we can too,” stated Reiji. Peter nodded in agreement and added, “Mrs. Arikawa is also my employee, so I am responsible in helping her.” Hatori gave out a sigh and looked toward Kurosagi, who was far ahead of him and was about to exit the store. He began to wonder if Kurosagi was ready to get involved in a case that wasn’t particularly given to her.
Kurosagi ran out of the store and looked in different directions. She didn’t see any sign of Ellie, just different faces moving to one store to the other. Her eyes widen when she suddenly caught sight of not Ellie, but the son: Lucille about to enter an antique book store. She dashed down the sidewalk just as Hatori, Reiji, and Peter were just exiting the clothes store.
“Kurosagi!” called after Hatori as he chased after Kurosagi.
Kurosagi entered the antique book store making sure that the glass door shut behind her. The book store just like many book stores had shelf after shelf filled with books. With closer inspection, she could see that the books’ publications were dated a thousand years from the past or more. The books were true antiques that couldn’t be located in any local book store. She noticed Lucille at a magazine rack that had all the magazines wrapped in clear plastic to preserve their beauty. Kurosagi approached him not making a sound on the wooden floor. When she reached his back, all she had to do was place her hand on his shoulder to make him look at her. Lucille gasped as he turned to face her, but then his look of shock was replaced with a look of admiration.
“I didn’t know you shopped at this store too, Kurosagi,” exclaimed Lucille. Kurosagi crossed her arms as she looked at him and then asked, “Do you know that your mother is looking for you?” Lucille flinched, but then frowned as he averted his eyes away from Kurosagi.
“I don’t want to see my mom now,” muttered Lucille. Kurosagi raised an eyebrow at him and asked for his reason.
“She just wants to keep me indoors at that weird apartment. The guys in suits are always watching me and they don’t even play with me. It’s so boring. This is the only way for me to have some free time.”
Kurosagi smirked at Lucille and asked, “Did your mother tell you to memorize a line if you ever got out from that apartment?” Lucille nodded and asked, “How did you know?” Kurosagi uncrossed her arms and ran her fingers through her short black hair.
“Tell me: If you were an animal, which animal would you be?”
Lucille gave out a sigh and then answered, “An eagle because they can see all from the sky.” Lucille’s eyes suddenly widened as he looked at Kurosagi.
“Are you connected with those guys in the black suits?”
Kurosagi chuckled as she reached into her bag that was upon her back. She pulled out her badge and dangled it in front of Lucille.
“I work for the Bureau as a detective and I have the knowledge to know the questions and statements for the individuals connected to the Witness Protection Program.”
Lucille gulped as he once again averted his eyes from Kurosagi.
Kurosagi placed her badge in her bag again and asked, “So why does a young boy like you have to go through plastic surgery and enter the Witness Protection Program?” Lucille gasped and faced Kurosagi again.
“You know about the surgery?”
Kurosagi nodded and added, “I figured it out when Peter mentioned that you look like a younger version of his son.”
“You mean Mr. Khan?”
Kurosagi nodded again. Lucille clenched his fist and asked, “Can you keep a secret?” Kurosagi nodded. Lucille sweated as he spoke.
“My mom is the second wife of the president of Arikawa Oil Wells: Iriya Arikawa.”
“I know of him. He was recently murdered wasn’t he?”
Lucille nodded and then held a hand to his chest.
“I witnessed his death when I went to his villa in the states. He was strangled by my half older brother, Yakuma Arikawa. I told my mom of what I saw and she immediately had us return to Japan. She also told the police and as a precaution they put me through plastic surgery and entered me for witness protection.”
Kurosagi eyed Lucille’s bag where the magazine was in and said, “I’m guessing because you are a fan of this Emi, you asked for her appearance and used her name for the fake identity.” Lucille nodded as he placed a hand on his bag.
“I always wanted to be like her and now my chance had come.”
Hatori, Reiji, and Peter suddenly ran into the book store panting. Hatori spotted Kurosagi and Lucille and ran to them. He placed a hand on Kurosagi’s shoulder making her look up at him.
“So you found him,” stated Hatori. Kurosagi nodded and crossed her arms.
“He is under witness protection, but he seems to have sneaked out,” stated Kurosagi.
Kurosagi nodded and added, “He snuck out because he was bored.”
Reiji saw Kurosagi and Lucille as he approached them with Peter by his side and gasped.
“There are two Kurosagis?” exclaimed Reiji. Kurosagi sighed and said, “He’s Mrs. Arikawa’s son, Lucille.” Peter gasped and looked at Lucille, who was beginning to blush as he hugged his bag. Peter placed a hand on Lucille’s cheek making him flinch.
“Why would you change your appearance this much?” asked Peter. Lucille frowned, remaining silent.
“He’s a witness for the murder of his father,” answered Kurosagi. Peter looked at Kurosagi and stated, “So a witness protection program?” Kurosagi nodded. Peter sighed and grabbed Lucille’s hand.
“Your mother is worried about you, so let’s go to her,” said Peter. Lucille shook his head and yanked his hand away.
“I don’t want to go back to that apartment,” spat out Lucille and ran pass them. He ran out the door. Kurosagi groaned and ran after him.
“Kurosagi,” called after Hatori. Kurosagi looked back at Hatori and said, “Find Lucille’s mother and then meet me at my office. I’ll be sure to bring him there.”
Before Hatori could say another word, Kurosagi was out the door. Hatori sighed and said, “I better find Arikawa-San.” Reiji placed a hand on Hatori’s shoulder with a smirk.
“I’ll help out of course.”
Hatori nodded and then looked at Peter wondering if Peter was still going to help. To his surprise, Peter was dialing a number on a black flip phone.
“What are you doing?”
Peter glanced at Hatori and said, “I’m calling my work to let them know that I am done for today and then my son to let him know that I won’t be back home by five.”
“Your son?” asked Hatori. Peter nodded and added, “Despite my age, I do have a son. He’s my only son, so I have to watch over him well.”
“What’s his name?” asked Hatori, now curious.
“His name is Peter the second,” stated Reiji jokingly. Peter glared at Reiji yelling that he was wrong. Peter cleared his throat and said, “His name is Utsuho. He’s fifteen-years-old.”
Peter looked away from them as he held his flip phone to his ear. Hatori watched Peter and suddenly came to a realization.
“What does Khan-San do for a living?”
“You ask that now?” asked Reiji with a chuckle. Hatori nodded.
“He’s the president of World Family Records.”
“World Family Records?” exclaimed Hatori in surprise. Reiji nodded and added, “Anything related to family history can be found in his company.”
Hatori suddenly remembered Kurosagi and looked at Reiji.
“Can you tell me when you first met Kurosagi?” asked Hatori. Reiji smirked and asked, “You really want to know?” Hatori nodded. Reiji held a thumb to his chest and said, proudly, “I first met her back in my high school days in Texas. I was seventeen and part of the Raven Claw Gang.”
“A gang?” exclaimed Hatori. Reiji nodded and added, “I was pretty messed up back then. I beat other guys, stole money, and broke city property. I even skipped classes when I felt like it.”
“That’s pretty bad,” stated Hatori. Reiji nodded and suddenly showed a warm smile.
“I was only like that because of my uncle’s abuse, but then I met Kurosagi. Kurosagi put me on the right path with her kind words.”
“She told me that there are other ways to fight back and that I had the right to find my own path.”
Reiji hugged himself and added, “She’s my savior.” Hatori smiled as he looked at Reiji. Hatori still couldn’t tell Kurosagi’s age with the information Reiji gave him, but he now knew that Kurosagi had changed Reiji’s life by just being there.
Hatori’s thought was interrupted when he heard Peter snap his phone shut. Peter looked at Hatori and Reiji and said, “I’m done so let’s go.”
“Can’t you just call Mrs. Arikawa?” asked Reiji cheerfully. Peter shook his head.
“If she’s part of the witness protection program then her number was changed too,” informed Peter. Reiji groaned. Hatori, Reiji, and Peter then left the book store to search for Ellie.
Kurosagi on the other hand was chasing after Lucille. She was finally able to catch up when Lucille stopped in front of a karaoke bar. Kurosagi looked at the bar and then back at Lucille.
“Are you planning to go in?” asked Kurosagi. Lucille nodded. Kurosagi held his hand and said, “Well too bad. We need to get to my office.” Lucille shook his head and tried to yank his hand away, but Kurosagi retaliated by twisting his wrist. Lucille yelped gritting his teeth.
“We are going,” said Kurosagi sternly. Lucille looked at Kurosagi with a tear on the side of his right eye.
“I’ll tell you more about what is going on about my case, but please let me go in this karaoke bar just once,” begged Lucille. Kurosagi sighed.
“Fine, but I am going in with you,” stated Kurosagi. Lucille nodded. Kurosagi released his hand allowing him to run in. Kurosagi trailed behind him.
When inside, there were five people including the owner in the bar. The stage was empty and the bar looked like even a ghost could live in it. Lucille looked around it and sighed.
“I read in the magazine that Karaoke restaurants and bars were popular and always full,” stated Lucille in disappointment.
“You read magazines that are from antique stores. Times have changed,” stated Kurosagi. Lucille sighed in disappointment. The owner of the bar, a man around his thirties, spotted Kurosagi and Lucille and burst into a smile. The owner adjusted his glasses as he made his way around the bar table. He approached Lucille and Kurosagi and asked, with a smile still on, “Did you two come here to sing and eat?” Before Kurosagi or Lucille could say anything, a black haired woman in her mid-thirties, stood up from her table and stated, “Come on Harold. They are children and aren’t supposed to be in here.” The owner, Harold, looked back at the woman with stern eyes.
“I know they are, but I need customers or this place will really be closed down,” exclaimed Harold. The woman shook her head.
“Don’t be so hard on the guy, Orihime,” said the brown haired man next to the woman, Orihime. Orihime scoffed and sat back down. A man around his forties lit his cigarette from one of the tables with a strand of hair over his right scarred eye.
“Even if he allows children in, this place is still going down,” said the man. The woman who looked around her twenties nodded in agreement as she scribbled into her notepad upon the table. Harold groaned.
“I guess we came in at a bad time,” stated Kurosagi. Lucille nodded in agreement. They were about to walk out, but Harold grabbed them by the back of the clothes, pulling them back in.
“Can you two at least order something to eat,” begged Harold. Kurosagi sighed knowing that Harold was not going to let them escape. Kurosagi managed to push Harold’s hands away from them and said, “Fine.” Harold thanked them as they made their way to an empty table.
Kurosagi sat in an empty chair as did Lucille and glanced at Harold.
“We would like two glasses of any type of juice you have.”
Harold nodded and ran to his bar stand. Lucille fidgeted in his chair and whispered, “This place is kind of scary.”
“You were the one who wanted to come in,” reminded Kurosagi. Lucille whimpered and placed his head on the table. Orihime glanced at Kurosagi and Lucille’s table with a smile upon her lips.
“You two are already here, so how about singing us a song?” asked Orihime. Lucille perked up and nodded happily. Kurosagi groaned. Lucille leapt from his chair and ran to the stage.
“This should be interesting,” stated the man next to Orihime. Lucille grabbed the lone microphone on the stage and looked toward the only people in the Karaoke bar.
“Do you have the song ‘Believe in Me’ by: Emi?”
Harold from the bar thought awhile and said, “I think so, but that is a pretty old song.”
“I still want to sing it,” insisted Lucille. Harold nodded and announced the program number for the song. Lucille typed it into the radio next to him. The screens around the stage switched on and the music began to play. Lucille took in a deep breath and then began to sing. Kurosagi flinched as did the others. Lucille was terribly tone deaf. Even a cat in heat sounded better than him.
Kurosagi shot up from her chair and marched to the stage. She went to Lucille’s side, grabbing another microphone. She glared at Lucille and said, “Let me sing the next verse.” Lucille nodded uneasily. Kurosagi listened to the music as the others looked up at her.
“This kid must be tone deaf too,” muttered the man with the cigarette. Kurosagi took in a deep breath and then began to sing. Kurosagi’s voice filled the room like a wave. Her voice was angelic. All looked at her as she sang. When listening to her voice, it seemed like all the worries in the world were nothing but a fairy tale. Kurosagi let out the final note and then heaved out a sigh.
Lucille clapped making Kurosagi look at him. She heard the others clapping and sighed.
“I’m guessing you guys enjoyed the show,” stated Kurosagi. Lucille nodded and said, “Your voice sounded exactly like Emi.” Kurosagi scoffed.
“Don’t compare me to her,” stated Kurosagi with a frown making Lucille confused. Kurosagi was ready to leave the stage, but stopped in her tracks when she heard Harold asking for an encore.
“I don’t want to,” said Kurosagi and jumped off the stage with Lucille. Kurosagi pulled out five bills from her bag and placed it on the table.
“This should be enough for our little show,” said Kurosagi and then headed to the door. Lucille followed close behind. Harold watched them leave and asked, “What about your juices?”
“Keep it,” stated Kurosagi and then she was out the door with Lucille.
“She can sing, but she’s pretty rude,” stated Orihime. The man next to her nodded in agreement. The man with the cigarette and the woman next to him stood from their table and went to Harold. The man smirked at Harold and said, “This place is as good as mine if you can’t pay your debt to me.”
“Just give me time, Maru-sir,” begged Harold.
“I want the million now,” demanded the man, Maru. Orihime looked at the five bills on the table that Kurosagi left and gasped. She picked them up examining them closely.
“Something wrong Orihime?” asked the man next to her. Orihime looked at Harold and asked, “How much do you owe?”
“One million dollars, why do you ask?” asked Harold as sweat covered his face. Orihime held up the bills showing that they were special bonds that could be reverted to cash.
“These bonds are worth a million each,” stated Orihime. Harold was silent and then exclaimed in surprise as did the others in the restaurant.
Lucille trailed behind Kurosagi and asked, “What kind of money was that?”
“Bonds that I accumulated over the years. That bar should be OK now.”
“What do you mean?”
“That man with the cigarette was a loan shark. I could tell because of his insistence that the place would close down and the woman next to him had a pad with debt calculations. I could see it from the stage as I sang.”
“So you gave him enough to cover the debt?” asked Lucille. Kurosagi nodded. Lucille smiled and stated, “You really are a kind person.”
“I guess, but right now, we have to get to my office.”
Lucille nodded and followed Kurosagi closely. As they walked, the sound of people’s voices began to fade and the sounds of cars were almost non-existent. As silence intensified, Kurosagi began to hear something that could barely be heard by normal hearing: a click of a gun. Kurosagi spun back by her heel and tackled Lucille to the ground making him gasp. A small object shot throw the edge of Kurosagi’s right ear and sent small strands of Lucille’s hair flying. Kurosagi pressed Lucille to the ground as her ear healed rapidly and glared in the direction of where she heard the gun shot. On top of a building across from them, she could barely make out the form of a person holding a long object, which was most likely be a gun.
Kurosagi pulled Lucille to his feet quickly and dashed down the sidewalk trying to get out of shooting range. The sound of bullets filled the air as they ran. Lucille was screaming the whole time, while Kurosagi kept up her pace. Kurosagi managed to pull them under a sun roof cover of a flower shop obstructing any view from above. Kurosagi took this chance to search her bag.
“What are you doing now?” asked Lucille in a panicked voice. One of the bullets managed to pierce through the sun roof nearly hitting Lucille’s nose. Lucille yelped covering his nose. Kurosagi managed to yank out three vials from her bag. She read the labels: “Rabbit, Cheetah, and Mere cat.” With a nod, she removed the lids and then poured the ashes within the vials into her mouth. Kurosagi shoved the empty vials into the bag and then readjusted her bag over her back. She looked back at Lucille, who was shaking in fear, and held her hand to him.
“Take my hand and don’t let go,” said Kurosagi sternly. Lucille nodded and grabbed her hand with both hands. Kurosagi pulled him to her chest making him gasp. She then dashed from the flower shop at a speed that was too fast for the human eye. They were moving so fast that Lucille was forced to close his eyes. In a matter of minutes, the sound of bullets could no longer be heard.
In the meantime, Hatori, Reiji, and Peter were ascending the stars to Kurosagi’s office. Reiji looked over the railing of the stairs and heaved out a sigh.
“Kurosagi really needs a new place to live,” remarked Reiji. Peter smacked the back of Reiji’s head and stated, “You have no right to say that when you lived in a practical dump when you were still my neighbor.”
“I moved,” retaliated Reiji. It was a pointless argument between Reiji and Peter. Hatori, who was still ascending the stairs, could have sworn that he was hearing two brothers having a verbal war.
The minute Hatori was on the second floor, he saw that the door was ajar. Hatori held the palm of his right hand to Peter and Reiji telling them to wait. He took soft steps toward the door and then peeked through the crack of the door. The lights were open. He nudged the door open with the tip of his shoe in a fighting position that he learned by watching Kung Fu movies. To Hatori’s surprise, he saw a teenage boy lying on the couch with an opened textbook covering his face.
“Hey!” exclaimed Hatori. The boy on the couch flinched. The boy removed the textbook from his face revealing his sky blue eyes. He shut the textbook with one hand and sat up on the couch, not taking his eyes off of Hatori. The boy ruffled his hair with a sneer.
“Who are you old man?” asked the boy in a rude manner.
“I should be asking you that,” answered Hatori, still in fighting position. Hatori and the boy were soon in a glaring battle, neither one of them refusing to back down. Peter and Reiji took this chance to enter. Peter gasped and exclaimed, “Utsuho, why are you here?” Hatori looked back at Peter.
“Utsuho, your son?” asked Hatori. Peter nodded. Peter approached the boy, Utsuho.
“Why are you here?” repeated Peter. Utsuho clicked his tongue.
“Come on dad. You call me that you won’t be home by five. Where else would you go except to this dump,” stated Utsuho. Utsuho glared toward Reiji and added, “And you also hanged out with that jerk without even telling me.”
“I resent that,” retaliated Reiji. Utsuho then glared back at Hatori.
“And who is this guy? Is he a new employee that you so kindly forgot to mention?” asked Utsuho with crossed arms. Before Peter could speak, Hatori stood in front of him and said, “I’m not your father’s employee. My name is Hatori Ogami and I work with Kurosagi as her assistant.”
Hatori nodded and added, “Now tell me how you even got in here.” Utsuho clicked his tongue and showed a key attached to a silver key chain.
“I made a copy of the key the last time I was here,” stated Utsuho proudly. Utsuho stuffed the duplicate key back in his pocket. He then rested his head on his right hand and asked, “So what did you-know-who want with you, dad?”
Peter sighed and said, “Kurosagi just told us to wait here and find Mrs. Arikawa.”
“Mrs. Arikawa? Isn’t that Lucille’s mom?” asked Utsuho. Peter nodded. Utsuho sighed, placing a hand to his forehead.
“What did Lucille do this time?” asked Utsuho.
“So he knows Lucille too?” asked Hatori. Peter nodded and added, “They get along as brothers.” Utsuho cleared his throat loudly getting their attention.
“So what about Lucille?” asked Utsuho.
“Lucille has run into some trouble regarding his family,” informed Peter, not mentioning the witness protection program. Utsuho examined them from the couch and pointed out, “Mrs. Arikawa isn’t with you guys.” Reiji scratched the back of his head and claimed, “We couldn’t find her no matter how hard we tried, so we were going to ask Kurosagi to call Terry to track down her cell phone.”
“Isn’t that pointless? Dad does have her phone number,” pointed out Utsuho. Peter massaged the bridge of his nose and stated, “Her number was changed.”
It was at that moment, that a gust of wind entered the room. They all gasped at the sudden wind, but then it dispersed. Hatori was the first to realize that Kurosagi and Lucille were now present.
“Kurosagi!” exclaimed Hatori. Kurosagi released Lucille allowing him to fall to his knees. Kurosagi pushed a strand of her hair behind her ear and glanced at Hatori with her red eyes.
“Did you do what I told you to do?” asked Kurosagi. Before Hatori could answer, Utsuho screamed making Kurosagi face him. Utsuho was pointing at Kurosagi and Lucille with wide eyes.
“Why are there two of you?” asked Utsuho in shock. Kurosagi looked down at Lucille, who was still trying to get himself together. She then looked back at Utsuho with crossed arms.
“Aren’t you supposed to be in school?” stated Kurosagi. Utsuho gritted his teeth and then yelled, “That’s none of your business; now tell me why there are two of you!” Lucille looked toward Utsuho and smiled.
“Hey Utsuho,” cheered Lucille. Utsuho flinched and stared hard at Lucille, who was smiling like an idiot.
“Lucille?” asked Utsuho uneasily. Lucille nodded. Utsuho turned away making Lucille confused. Kurosagi just gave out a sigh and looked back at Hatori.
“Now tell me if you did what I told you,” said Kurosagi.
“Well we did try to find her, but she was nowhere to be found, so we thought that you could call Terry to track down her phone,” answered Hatori. Kurosagi nodded. She pulled out her cell phone from her bag, flipping it open. She pressed the nine key, connecting to Terry’s phone. As the phone rang on the other line, Kurosagi glanced at Hatori and said, “Remind me to record Terry’s number on your phone, Ogami-San.” Hatori nodded.
“Can you give the number to me and Peter too?” asked Reiji in a hopeful tone. Kurosagi shook her head.
“Terry told me specifically never to give her number to you two,” stated Kurosagi bluntly. Reiji groaned at the rejection. Peter sighed knowing full well that Terry refused to give her number to them because she hacked in their system before. The other line finally picked up after a few more rings.
“Terry Cheshire speaking.”
“Kurosagi, nice to hear your voice, so what can I do for you?”
“I need you to trace down a phone.”
“OK, do you know the number.”
“The number was changed, but I think you can track down the phone by using her name or you could hack into the Witness Protection files and find the information there.”
“Witness Protection Program, is it that serious?”
“I’m afraid so. The one under the program and me were nearly assassinated not too long ago.”
Hatori’s eyes widen as did the others.
“Are you all right?” asked Hatori in a panic. Kurosagi glanced at him with a nod. She then returned her focus to the phone call.
“Her name is Ellie Arikawa and the program should be under her son’s name: Lucille Arikawa. Can you do this Terry?”
“Of course, just give me a moment,” answered Terry. Kurosagi could hear the clicking of the keyboard on the other end of the phone. Terry clicked her tongue.
“I got in and found the information, but I have some really bad news.”
“Yeah, really, really bad. The files are corrupt and by the way it looks, someone hacked into these folders before I could.”
Kurosagi narrowed her eyes and asked, “You can still track her down right?”
“I can, but if these files were already hacked, that woman may be in danger already.”
“Track her down right away.”
“All right, but it won’t be in seconds. If you want seconds you better get me a second pair of hands.”
The sound of the keyboard keys being punched in filled the phone. As this went on, Kurosagi looked at Hatori, Reiji, and Peter and said, “When I get the location, head there right away.”
“Right away?” asked Hatori. Kurosagi nodded and then looked down at Lucille, who had a puzzled look.
“Lucille’s mother may be in great danger,” stated Kurosagi. Lucille gasped and felt his heart begin to race. Even Utsuho showed a reaction of shock when he heard Kurosagi’s words.
Kurosagi focused on the phone call again.
“I found her phone’s location and I may be right about her being in danger,” stated Terry.
“Why do you say that?”
“Her phone hasn’t moved even once.”
“I understand. Send me the location to my phone.”
“Way ahead of you. You just have to get there fast.”
“No problem, now go.”
Terry’s end hanged up. Kurosagi turned her phone to the side and clicked a single button to open any new information that was sent.
“I have the coordinates,” said Kurosagi. She showed the location of Ellie’s phone from her own phone to Hatori, Peter, and Reiji. They nodded and raced out the door. Kurosagi was going to follow them, but Lucille grabbed the hem of her skirt making her look down at him.
“What happened to my mom?” asked Lucille in a panic.
“I don’t know yet. I have to go and see so stay here with Utsuho where it is safe,” stated Kurosagi. She pulled her skirt away from his grip and ran out her office door. Lucille burst out crying as Utsuho approached him from behind. Utsuho stared down at Lucille and began to see a blurred image of someone walking out the door. Utsuho clenched his fist.
“Even now she makes kids cry,” muttered Utsuho with spite behind his voice.
Kurosagi raced down the road at a speed that was too fast for the eye. She managed to run pass Hatori, Reiji, and Peter without them noticing. As she ran, she looked at the coordinates of Ellie’s phone on her phone. According to the data, all she had to do was turn right at a hotel building. She turned the corner and stopped in her tracks. She fell to her knees feeling her legs give out. Kurosagi cursed under her breath as she gripped her weak legs. She then remembered about Ellie and looked forward. Kurosagi’s eyes narrowed at the lone pink cell phone lying on the pavement ground. She crawled to the phone reaching out to it. She gripped it with her bare hands and flipped it open. It was at that moment that Hatori, Reiji, and Peter finally reached her. Hatori gasped.
“How did you get here first?” asked Hatori. Kurosagi remained silent.
Kurosagi showed the opened phone to Hatori, Reiji, and Peter making them gasp. On the screen of the abandoned phone was fresh blood. Kurosagi then shut the phone and said, “We need to get back to my office right away.” Hatori, Reiji, and Peter nodded.
Hatori, Reiji, and Peter were about to leave until they finally noticed that Kurosagi hadn’t moved.
Kurosagi sighed and said, “I used the power of the ashes for speed too much. My legs won’t move.” Hatori sighed and picked Kurosagi up bridal style making Reiji and Peter gasp. Hatori looked at Kurosagi and asked, “It’s OK to carry you right?” Kurosagi nodded gripping the two cell phones in her hands. Hatori walked pass Reiji and Peter.
Reiji watched Hatori walk off with Kurosagi and then looked at Peter.
“How come he gets to carry her?” whined Reiji. Peter sighed and said, “He is her assistant, so it’s fine.” Peter walked ahead of Reiji reminding Reiji that they had to return to the office. Reiji nodded still feeling a tad bit jealous over Hatori carrying Kurosagi.
Hatori and Kurosagi reached the office before Peter and Reiji. Utsuho, who was in the office trying to calm a crying Lucille, gasped when he saw Hatori walk in with Kurosagi in his arms.
“Why are you carrying her?” asked Utsuho in shock.
“She just overused one of her secrets,” stated Hatori as he walked pass Utsuho. Hatori placed Kurosagi on the sofa gently. Kurosagi thanked Hatori and then looked toward Lucille as Peter and Reiji finally entered the office.
“Let me get to the point: your mother was taken and she is most likely hurt,” informed Kurosagi. Lucille gasped with tears in his eyes.
“My mom was taken?”
Kurosagi nodded. Lucille ran to Kurosagi begging for her to be lying. Kurosagi shook her head refusing to lie. Lucille burst out crying saying repeatedly that it was his fault. Kurosagi held Ellie’s cell phone to Lucille and said, “Who ever took her left the phone, so they expected it to be returned to you.”
“They?” muttered Lucille. Kurosagi nodded and added, “There is most likely more than one person.” She placed her index finger under his chin making him look at her.
“Now tell me everything you saw when your father was murdered.”
“I already told you everything.”
“But you mentioned before when I took you into that Karaoke bar that there was more to your case,” said Kurosagi sternly. Kurosagi’s eyes grew serious and added, “I need to know every detail of your case if you want to see your mother again.” Lucille gulped and nodded.
Lucille knelt down in front of Kurosagi trying to wipe away his tears.
“I said that my older brother killed my dad, but to be honest I wasn’t sure. My older brother had been missing for two months and when I finally see him again, he kills dad. He did look different, but it might have been him.”
Kurosagi sighed and said, “So a missing brother comes back just to kill off the father. Now why would he kill the father?”
“I don’t know, but mom might have known something that I didn’t.”
Peter thought awhile and sighed. He looked at Kurosagi and said, “I think it might have something to do with the inheritance.”
Peter nodded and added, “You know that my company also has contracts concerning inheritance and one of them, now that I remember, was under Iriya Arikawa.”
“What did it say?” asked Kurosagi as Lucille looked at Peter with tears in his eyes.
“All of his fortune would go to his son: Lucille Arikawa,” informed Peter. Lucille’s eyes widen. Lucille shook his head and said, “I never heard of any of this.” Kurosagi frowned.
“Well it looks like your older brother knew. I believe he would have been outraged enough to kill his father and you.”
Kurosagi placed a hand under her chin and added, “But it is still a mystery of who would be working with him and why he was missing for two months.”
Reiji raised his hand getting Kurosagi’s attention.
“What is it Reiji?”
Reiji scratched the back of his neck and said, “What is this guy’s first name because the last name sounded familiar?”
“I believe it was Yakuma,” stated Kurosagi. Reiji snapped his fingers in realization. He turned his hat back and said, “I know that guy then.”
“Yakuma Arikawa, the mafia leader of the underground criminals.”
“Mafia Leader?” exclaimed Hatori. Reiji nodded and added, “I heard about him from my coworkers at the Traveling Agency in Texas.”
Reiji crossed his arms with a frown.
“I heard that he killed people that didn’t pay their fines in time, even kids. He also deals drugs and carries out illegal fights that could lead to murder. He’s pretty bad ass.”
Lucille’s form was shaking.
“Big brother is a real crook?”
Kurosagi frowned and asked, “Did your brother, when he murdered your father, have a tattoo of a skull with a bolt on his wrist?” Lucille held his head and said, “I don’t know, maybe.” Kurosagi held her hand to Lucille making him confused.
“Give me a strand of your hair then,” ordered Kurosagi. Lucille touched his hair bewildered. Utsuho clicked his tongue and asked, “Are you planning to eat his hair to see what he saw that day?” Kurosagi nodded. Utsuho went up to Lucille and plucked a strand of hair from Lucille’s head. Lucille squeaked in pain and looked up at Utsuho in confusion.
“She just needs to look into your memories and don’t you dare tell anyone,” stated Utsuho. Lucille nodded still confused. Utsuho dumped the strand in Kurosagi’s hand. Kurosagi thanked him, but Utsuho refused to reply back. All Utsuho did was lean against her desk.
Kurosagi placed the strand of hair in her mouth and then closed her eyes. Lucille looked at the others and asked, “What is she doing?”
“Like I said: she’s looking into your memories,” replied Utsuho looking away from Lucille.
Kurosagi’s heart pounded as running footsteps filled her ears. The darkness before her eyes cleared revealing what looked like an office. She approached the desk in the room. The desk was taller than her.
“No matter how many times I come here, it is always taller than me. Maybe I should drink more milk.”
Kurosagi saw a small hand grab a folder from the desk. Kurosagi heard a click of the door and the image changed to the door. She saw that the knob was moving. The image moved faster toward a cabinet. She saw small hands open the cabinet and then she climbed in. The small hands closed the cabinet, leaving only a crack. She heard the door open followed by voices.
“You have the nerve to come back after running away to another state?”
Through the crack of the cabinet doors, she saw a man around his forties wearing jeans and a black turtle neck shirt. The man had short black hair combed back. He was followed by another man who looked the age of twenty or more. That particular man had the same neat hair, but with a grey highlight in the middle and wore a long black suit that had a jet black coat that revealed his chest.
“Is there a rule that I can’t see my old man?” asked the man around his twenties.
“Big brother?” she heard the voice of Lucille say.
The man around his forties, who was Lucille’s father, Iriya, pointed at Yakuma, Lucille’s older half brother.
“You have no right to be here. Not after what you attempted to do to your own brother.”
“My brother? He has nothing to do with me. If you ask me, you should have let me drown him in the bath on that day.”
“Don’t you have a heart?” screamed Iriya.
Yakuma burst out laughing hitting his fist on the desk that Kurosagi was at before. Yakuma controlled his laughter and glared toward Iriya.
“You really say stupid things. You also do stupid things. Like giving it all away to that brat.”
“He’s my son,” said Iriya.
Yakuma slammed his fist on the desk and screamed, “And so am I!” Kurosagi saw Yakuma grab the lamp from the desk and slam it into Iriya’s face making him fall to the ground with a grunt.
“Dad,” whispered Lucille.
Yakuma pulled a wire from his coat and strung it around Iriya’s neck. Yakuma pulled the wire by both ends, beginning to choke Iriya. Yakuma had a crazed smile upon his lips.
“The contract wasn’t at the Family Records, so tell me where you hid it,” hissed Yakuma.
“Never,” choked out Iriya. Yakuma gritted his teeth and pulled the wire harder drawing blood. Iriya gagged, his eyes widening.
Kurosagi could hear Lucille hyperventilating. Kurosagi watched the image of Yakuma murdering Iriya and caught a glimpse of his right wrist. On his wrist was a skull with a thunderbolt: the symbol of the criminal underground. The location of the tattoo also indicated that he was indeed the new leader.
The image suddenly vanished. Kurosagi flung her eyes open and gasped. There was sweat falling from Kurosagi’s forehead.
“Are you OK Kurosagi?” asked Hatori in concern. Kurosagi gulped and nodded. She looked at Lucille and said, “Your brother is indeed the murderer and he is the leader of the criminal underground.” Lucille looked down feeling his world crash around him. Kurosagi then looked at Peter.
“Yakuma hasn’t found the contract that will give Lucille the entire fortune. Where is it being kept?” asked Kurosagi, still sweating.
Peter sighed and said, “Iriya-San took it from my company two months ago. He told me not to tell anyone.”
“After he took the contract, were there any break-ins at your company?” asked Kurosagi. Peter nodded.
“Excluding Terry’s hacking, there was a break in about a month ago. Nothing was taken, so I didn’t report it,” informed Peter. Kurosagi nodded wiping away the remaining sweat.
Kurosagi looked back at Lucille with seriousness in her eyes.
“I can tell you that your brother is insane to the point to kill. I have no doubt that a mafia leader like him would kill your mother at any moment.”
Lucille shook his head and said, “Please save my mom.”
Kurosagi sighed and said, “I will, but first…”
Kurosagi held her hand to Lucille and said, “I will take that magazine of the Japan idol Emi.” Lucille gasped and looked toward his bag where the magazine was located.
“Why do you want that?”
“You don’t have any money with you and I need a payment in order to take your case or the Bureau will give me Hell about it, so I will take that precious magazine as a substitute.”
Lucille pulled the magazine from his bag and stared at it with shaking hands.
“But it’s my treasure,” whispered Lucille.
“Which is more important: a magazine or your mother?”
Lucille remembered his mother’s smile and then handed the magazine to Kurosagi. He looked at her with tearful eyes and said, “Please find my mother.” Kurosagi smirked, placing the magazine next to her.
“The deal is done.”
Kurosagi looked at Hatori with her famous smirk.
“I need thirty more minutes before I can move my legs, so in the mean time, can you watch over Lucille and keep an eye on Ellie’s phone?”
“Why Ellie’s phone?” asked Hatori. Kurosagi glanced at the phone in Lucille’s occupied hand.
“They left the phone to be given to Lucille, so they can contact him and then lead him to a place where he can be easily killed.”
“So we are waiting for the mafia’s call?” asked Hatori. Kurosagi nodded. Kurosagi then looked at Peter.
“Peter, I need you to look in your company’s files to see if there are any clues of where Iriya-San would have hidden the contract.”
Peter nodded and headed to the door. Utsuho went to Peter’s side and said, “I’ll come with you, dad. I can’t stay here by myself with her.” Peter nodded and led Utsuho out of the office. Hatori noticed Utsuho’s cold attitude when it pertained to Kurosagi and wondered if Utsuho held a grudge against her.
“So what do I do?” asked Reiji. Kurosagi glanced at Reiji and asked, “Can you still bake cookies?” Reiji nodded.
“Then please make some cookies for Lucille and me,” ordered Kurosagi. Reiji nodded feeling a bit downhearted. Reiji entered the kitchen closing the door behind him. Kurosagi looked back at Lucille, who was biting his lip as he wiped his tears away.
“Boys shouldn’t cry, child,” commented Kurosagi. Lucille glared at her and said, “You look like my idol Emi, but you don’t have a nice personality like her.” Kurosagi chuckled.
“Well reality is completely different,” muttered Kurosagi making Hatori and Lucille confused. Kurosagi picked up the magazine on her side. She flipped the pages open with Lucille watching her. Kurosagi turned to page fifty showing a picture of the girl Emi holding a CD labeled “Believe in Me” in her small hands. Kurosagi traced her finger on the picture.
“What are you doing?” asked Lucille with a pout on his face. Kurosagi smirked and closed the magazine.
“I was just observing Emi’s smiling face: a true smile,” stated Kurosagi. Lucille smiled and nodded.
“Emi’s smile is the best,” agreed Lucille. Hatori smiled down at Lucille and asked, “So why are you a fan of Emi’s?”
“Well back in the states, I was feeling depressed because my dad was being hard on me about choosing my career. I actually ran away from home. I camped out near an antique book store and that was when I saw the magazine of the famous Japan Idol: Emi. Her smile on the magazine warmed my heart. Without realizing it, I bought the magazine and began to read it. It had all the information on her and her pictures. Emi accomplished so much at such a young age and I felt that I wanted to be just like her then I went home.”
“Thus you became her fan?” asked Hatori. Lucille nodded and added, “But it was sad when I learned that the magazine is from so long ago and Emi should be dead by now.” Kurosagi crossed her arms, leaning into the sofa.
“Well that’s life. People die when it is their time, but God can be cruel at times,” stated Kurosagi. Lucille looked back at Kurosagi with a frown. He suddenly remembered the shooting and asked, “Why did your ear heal after it got shot and why could you run so fast after swallowing the powdered candy?” Kurosagi touched the ear that was shot before.
“My body heals at an alarming rate when harmed and as for your second question: I could only run at that speed because of the ashes (not candy) that I swallowed.”
“Ashes, is that edible?” asked Lucille with a distorted face. Kurosagi chuckled and said, “I think I’m the only one who can get away with eating cremated ashes.” Lucille stuck his tongue out in disgust making Hatori chuckle.
Reiji came out of the kitchen with a tray of chocolate chip cookies. He placed them next to Kurosagi and then crossed his arms.
“I really wish that you would use my talents a bit more,” muttered Reiji. Kurosagi picked up a single cookie as did Lucille and glanced at Reiji.
“Well I don’t like to travel much,” stated Kurosagi. Reiji chuckled and said, “But you have too especially if Derrick or the Bureau needs you.” Kurosagi nodded and bit out of the cookie in her hand.
Hatori looked at Reiji and asked, “So how often does the Bureau contact her?”
“Not very often. They contact her as a last resort. That’s why Kurosagi can take other cases not related to the Bureau,” stated Reiji.
“Are you part of the Bureau too?” asked Hatori. Reiji nodded and added, “But I usually only work the cases when Kurosagi is involved.”
Hatori smiled and said, “You guys really like her.” Reiji nodded and was about to pat Kurosagi’s head, but Kurosagi immediately pulled out her road kill spray as a warning. Reiji withdrew his hand with a pout.
Lucille noticed the spray and asked, “What is that thing?”
“A defense weapon, so people can keep a safe distance away,” answered Kurosagi, tucking the spray bottle back into her bag. Lucille stared at her bag that rested next to her and asked, “What else do you have in that bag?” Kurosagi traced her fingers on the zipper of the bag.
“Many objects that help with my cases,” said Kurosagi. Lucille reached for her bag, but Kurosagi slapped his hand away.
“Please don’t touch my bag without my permission,” stated Kurosagi making Lucille pout. Ellie’s phone next to Lucille suddenly began to ring making him jump. Kurosagi looked at Hatori and ordered him to pick it up. Hatori nodded and clicked the receive button on the phone. He held the receiver to his ear.
“Are you one of the agents in charge of watching over Lucille Arikawa?”
Hatori glanced at Kurosagi. Kurosagi nodded at Hatori.
“Yes, I am,” answered Hatori in an uneasy tone.
“Then listen closely. Tell him to wait in front of the Karaoke bar on Numa Street in an hour. He has to be alone. If anyone goes with him, then we will kill his mother.”
Hatori gulped and asked, “Can I at least hear Arikawa-San’s voice?”
Hatori heard rustling in the background and Ellie’s cries of pain.
“Now speak up bitch!” yelled the man on the other line.
“Please help me,” cried Ellie through the phone.
“Mom!” exclaimed Lucille in a panicked voice. Hatori heard Ellie scream in pain and then the man’s voice saying, “She’ll live as long as we get the boy.” The line went dead.
Lucille was crying uncontrollably with Reiji rubbing his back in comfort. Hatori looked at Kurosagi and asked, “So what now?” Kurosagi touched her leg and gave it a small kick.
“I think my legs are strong enough for me to at least walk, but I still can’t run.”
Hatori looked at Kurosagi with wide eyes and asked, “Are you planning to go to the location yourself?” Kurosagi nodded.
Lucille shook his head and said, “But they asked for me.” Kurosagi looked at Lucille and said, “They know what you look like after the surgery, but they don’t know that we look the same. I am the adult, so it is best for me to go.”
“What will you do, if they kill you at the spot? What good is that?”
Lucille bit his lip with tears in his eyes. Lucille hanged his head down and stated, “I’ll try to wait.” Kurosagi nodded. She looked back at Hatori and said, “Just in case they don’t shot me, I want you to keep an eye on me.”
“Keep an eye on you?”
Kurosagi nodded and added, “If they don’t shot me then they will just kidnap me and bring me to Mrs. Arikawa.”
“Why would they kidnap you?” asked Reiji. Kurosagi smirked and said, “Because they might think that Lucille would know where the will is.”
Hatori sighed and said, “All right, but do you have some kind of tracker on you that I can follow just in case I lose sight of you?” Kurosagi nodded. She opened her bag and pulled out a small plastic container. She opened it revealing a pair of earrings above a device that looked like a touch screen. She pulled out the earrings from the box and clipped one of them onto her right ear. She handed the other earring and the device to Hatori.
“This is an earring tracking device that Terry made for me. Use the tracker to connect to the earring that I am wearing. It will reveal my location no matter where I am.”
Hatori nodded switching the device on to make sure it was functioning. Kurosagi slipped her bag on and slid off the sofa on her shaking legs. Lucille saw this and asked, “Will you really be OK?” Kurosagi nodded. She headed toward the door with Hatori behind her. She glanced back at Reiji and ordered him to watch over Lucille. Reiji nodded looking down at Lucille.
When Kurosagi and Hatori were out of sight, Lucille looked at Reiji and then smiled.
“Do you like apple juice?” asked Lucille. Reiji nodded.
Kurosagi and Hatori had reached the meeting point. Kurosagi waited in the front of the Karaoke bar that she was at before and Hatori hid behind the wall watching her closely. Kurosagi heard the karaoke bar door open and looked back only to see Harold looking at her.
“So you came back?” asked Harold happily. Kurosagi sighed and nodded. Harold opened the door for her urging her to come in, but she declined saying that she was waiting for someone. Harold looked around and asked, “Where is your sister?”
“She left without me,” lied Kurosagi. Harold suddenly smiled and said, “Don’t say that. She’s just across the street.” Kurosagi gasped and looked to the other street only to see Lucille crossing to her. Hatori saw Lucille too and gasped.
“Why is he here?” muttered Hatori in a panic. Lucille approached Kurosagi greeting her and Harold. Kurosagi glared at Lucille.
“What are you doing here and where is Reiji?” demanded Kurosagi.
“That guy decided to take a nap after drinking some apple juice and I am here because I want to save my mom too.”
“You’re being stupid,” chastised Kurosagi. Lucille frowned and placed a hand roughly on one of her legs making her flinch.
“Your legs are weak right now. How can I trust you to save mom in this condition?” chastised Lucille. Kurosagi smirked and said, “I see your point, but you still shouldn’t have worried.” Harold looked at Lucille and Kurosagi and asked, “Are you two in trouble or something?”
“You can say that,” they said simultaneously. Harold scratched the back of his head and said, “Well you two did help me pay off my debt to that loan shark, so maybe I can help.” Kurosagi spotted an approaching black car and frowned.
“If you want to help sir then please go back into your bar,” stated Kurosagi making Harold confused. The car sped up and the door in the back flipped open. Kurosagi spotted a gun and shoved Harold back just as the bullet left the barrel. The bullet missed Harold by an inch making him scream. Lucille grabbed Kurosagi from behind screaming. Two arms reached from the opened car door pulling Kurosagi and Lucille into the car roughly.
Hatori gasped and began to chase after the car. The car was too fast for Hatori, so he was forced to stop. He looked at the shaken Harold and said, “Call the cops.” Harold nodded and scurried back into the karaoke bar. Hatori on the other hand looked at the tracking device that showed Kurosagi’s whereabouts.
Lucille and Kurosagi were shoved into the back car seats. In the car were three men dressed in clothes fit for a gangster.
“I thought the kid would be alone.”
“The stupid service must have given the same face to some other kid and forgot which was which and decided to send them both.”
Kurosagi began to grow pale as the car raced down the road. Lucille noticed this and asked, “Are you OK?” One of the men noticed Kurosagi’s condition and asked, “What’s with you?” Kurosagi covered her mouth beginning to feel nauseous. She tried to dig in her bag, but the man in the back tugged it away from her.
“I don’t think so, kid.”
Kurosagi gulped, but felt it come back up, until she could take it no longer.
Kurosagi hurled in the back seat making Lucille scream and cover his nose. The man in the back gagged and tried to cover Kurosagi’s mouth with his jacket that got covered with puke. Kurosagi continued to puke with the man in the back screaming to the other men to hurry to the site.
Hatori followed the trail never removing his eyes from the device. He heard the honking of a car and looked back. A red car was approaching him and in the front seat, he could see that it was Reiji. Reiji slid the car to a stop next to Hatori. Reiji opened the passenger seat and told Hatori to climb in. Hatori did as told making sure to shut the door behind him.
The minute Hatori was inside the car, Reiji sped down the road with narrow eyes.
“How did you find me?” asked Hatori bewildered. Reiji glanced at Hatori and said, “That guy at the Karaoke bar told me which road you ran down on and I just used my wits to determine where you would be. Now tell me where that conniving little brat and Kurosagi went.” Reiji sounded like he was ready to go on a rampage at any moment. Hatori gulped and showed Reiji the screen of the tracker. Reiji looked it over and then pressed the accelerator of the car sending them racing down the road. Hatori was forced back in the seat.
“Where in the world did you get this car?” exclaimed Hatori.
“It’s a rental that I had near the shopping district, now shut up and let me drive!” screamed Reiji as he made a sharp turn. Hatori screamed as he gripped the safety handle of the car door. Hatori at that moment hoped that Kurosagi was alright and that he would live to see her again.
At one of the sea ports, the black car that had abducted Lucille and Kurosagi was driving into one of the many warehouses. In that very warehouse stood Yakuma Arikawa, mafia leader of the Criminal Underground of the States, with a sadistic smirk upon his lips. The car slid to a stop in front of Yakuma.
“About time,” stated Yakuma. The door of the car opened followed by a gruesome smell. Yakuma covered his mouth and nose with a single hand. Out of the car stepped out the three men. The man, who sat in the back, had Lucille and Kurosagi in his arms, his jacket was wrapped around the two. Yakuma stared at the men and noticed that they were pale and that the smell surrounded their bodies.
“What the hell happened to you three?” demanded Yakuma. The driver gulped and said, “One of the kids got motion sickness and threw up nonstop. The other kid began to throw up too after a while.” Yakuma peeked into the car and saw what he could describe as slime mixed with dog crud. Yakuma choked back his disgust.
Yakuma looked at Kurosagi and Lucille, who were still wrapped by the jacket.
“Why are there two of them?” demanded Yakuma with a glare.
“I think the service forgot which kid was which and just sent them both,” reasoned one of the men. Yakuma pulled out his gun and shot the man that spoke in the head. The man fell to the ground with blood flowing from the bullet wound. Yakuma shoved his gun back to his side and stated, “Don’t give me such a stupid reason.” Yakuma ordered the man holding Kurosagi and Lucille to dump them on the ground. The man did as told.
Kurosagi and Lucille fell to the ground and pushed the puke covered jacket away. Yakuma towered over them.
“Now which one of you is my gender confused little brat?” asked Yakuma with a sadistic smirk. Lucille shook in fear as he gripped Kurosagi’s arm. Kurosagi showed defiant eyes.
Yakuma sighed and said, “I guess the service told you not to speak to any kidnappers to hide your identity.” Yakuma snapped his fingers. At that moment, another man walked up with Ellie in his grasp. Ellie was crying as the man pulled her by her hair.
Lucille was about to call out to Ellie, but Kurosagi shook her head at him. Lucille gulped keeping silent. Yakuma grabbed Ellie from the man and forced Ellie to look at Kurosagi and Lucille.
“How about you tell me which one is your son, bitch?” demanded Yakuma. Ellie stared at Lucille and Kurosagi. Ellie gulped and admitted that she didn’t know. Yakuma slapped her making her gasp in pain and fall to the ground.
Yakuma glared at Kurosagi and Lucille and screamed, “Which one of you is Lucille?” Lucille and Kurosagi remained silent. Yakuma was ready to pull out his gun again, until he heard another car drive in. The car was a silver Mustang. Yakuma groaned and glared back at Lucille and Kurosagi.
“I’ll get back to you two later.”
Yakuma walked toward the car to Lucille’s relief.
Out of the car stepped out Maru with a frown. Lucille gasped and whispered, “Isn’t that the loan shark?” Kurosagi nodded and hushed Lucille.
“Did you shut that Karaoke bar down?” demanded Yakuma. Maru shook his head and showed the five bonds.
“He was able to pay off the debt,” stated Maru.
“You serious. I thought he was broke after we prevented people from attending his bar.”
“Well these two brats paid him off with these bonds,” stated Maru. Yakuma yanked the bonds from Maru and flipped through them. His eyes widen at the amount of the bonds.
“Do you know who these brats are? I bet we can hold them ransom for even more,” stated Yakuma. Maru shook his head and added, “But they were twins.” Yakuma flinched.
Maru nodded and added, “One was tone deaf, but the other sang like an angel.” Yakuma smirked and glanced back at Kurosagi and Lucille.
“Is that them?” asked Yakuma. Maru looked at Kurosagi and Lucille and gasped.
“That’s them all right.”
Yakuma burst out laughing and went up to Kurosagi and Lucille again making Lucille flinch.
“So you do know where the inheritance is. You can only have that amount in bonds with the fortune dad left you.”
Lucille and Kurosagi remained silent. Yakuma was about to speak again until he caught the scent of the vomit. Yakuma gagged making Lucille chuckle. Kurosagi hushed Lucille. Yakuma glared back at his men and demanded them to change their clothes. They nodded and began to carry Lucille and Kurosagi away. Lucille glanced at his fallen mother as he was carried off feeling tears well up in his eyes.
Kurosagi and Lucille were dumped near some crates and were thrown rags used to cover boxes.
“Change into that,” demanded one of the men. Kurosagi glared at the man and ordered him to leave them alone while they change. The man didn’t know why, but he felt a chill run down his back at the sound of her voice. The man felt he should do as told and went behind a crate out of their view. Kurosagi removed her white dress and glanced at Lucille, who was removing his dress slowly.
“You did well on not speaking to your brother,” stated Kurosagi. Lucille nodded as tears began to fall from his eyes.
“I’m still scared. I’m afraid he’s going to kill my mom at any minute and I’m afraid he’s going to hurt you too,” admitted Lucille. Kurosagi smirked at Lucille.
“I’ll be fine, so don’t worry. Just worry about your mother and yourself,” said Kurosagi as she wrapped the rag around her body like how the Romans’ wore their clothes in the past. She saw Lucille struggling and sighed. She grabbed the rag from him and ordered him to lift his arms. Lucille did as told and watched as Kurosagi wrapped the rag around his body skillfully. Lucille blushed and said, “This is embarrassing.” Kurosagi chuckled.
“You know Utsuho loved it when I changed his clothes for him when he was little,” stated Kurosagi.
“So you knew Utsuho since he was my age?” asked Lucille. Kurosagi shook her head and added, “He was even younger than you, but if you want to know more, you should ask him.”
“Why?” asked Lucille. Kurosagi tied the knot in the rag and glanced up at Lucille.
“Because that child will grow to hate me more if I say anymore,” admitted Kurosagi making Lucille confused.
“Are you done brats?” called the man from the other crate with annoyance behind his voice.
“Yes,” called back Kurosagi. As the man approached them, Kurosagi leaned toward Lucille’s ear and whispered, “Don’t let your clothes fall or it will reveal which of us is the real Lucille.” Lucille blushed realizing what Kurosagi meant. He gripped the front of the new formed dress with red cheeks.
The man ushered them back to Yakuma and Maru, who were calculating what they could buy with the new found fortune in their hands. Yakuma looked back at Lucille and Kurosagi with a smirk.
“Now that you guys are changed, how about telling me which one is Lucille.”
Kurosagi and Lucille remained silent. Yakuma gritted his teeth and swung his fist into Lucille’s cheek. Lucille gasped in pain as he fell back. Kurosagi held his hand, so he wouldn’t fully touch the ground and then pulled him to her chest. Yakuma’s eyes were filled with utter rage.
“If you don’t tell me right now then I will just beat you both half to death!” yelled Yakuma. Lucille was crying into Kurosagi’s chest as the bruise became apparent in his cheek. Kurosagi caressed his head and glared at Yakuma.
“You are nothing but a scumbag brother,” hissed Kurosagi. Yakuma smirked at Kurosagi and said, “So you’re Lucille.” Yakuma pulled out his gun and pointed it at Lucille making him scream.
“I have no need for the second brat,” said Yakuma. Kurosagi stood firmly in front of Lucille before Yakuma could fire the gun.
“You hurt her and I will never reveal where the contract for the inheritance is,” warned Kurosagi. Yakuma clicked his tongue. He put away his gun and then crossed his arms at Kurosagi.
“So tell me where the contract is, dear Lucille,” said Yakuma. Kurosagi nodded as Lucille pressed himself against her back. Kurosagi glanced at the car and said, “It is in my bag in the car.” Yakuma chuckled and then ordered the men to get her bag. The men groaned knowing full well that they would have to endure the puke smell in the car.
As the men made their way to the car, Yakuma looked back at Kurosagi and said, “Being impatient was always your weakness, Lucille.” Lucille flinched, gripping the back of Kurosagi’s cloth.
“Oh yes, now that I know where the contract is…”
Yakuma pulled out his gun quickly and shot Kurosagi in the head. Blood spread as Kurosagi fell back onto Lucille. Lucille was speechless as he held Kurosagi’s body.
“I have no need for you to be alive.”
Lucille screamed as he cried over Kurosagi. He hugged her begging for her to come back. Yakuma laughed at the sight and suddenly looked at Ellie, who was still sprawled on the ground.
“That worked out well,” said Yakuma. Ellie stood up straight removing the black haired wig upon her head revealing her short brown hair.
“It did, but that bastard nearly tore off my wig and you were too rough when making me decide which kid was which,” said Ellie as she ruffled her hair. Lucille stared at Ellie with wide eyes filled with tears.
“Who are you?” asked Lucille uneasily. Ellie smirked and said, “Rene Heim is the name. Did you really think that I was the brat’s mother?” Rene hugged Yakuma’s right arm and added, “I murdered that bitch the minute she got here.” Lucille felt his heart nearly stop. His mother, since the kidnapping, was already dead. Lucille gritted his teeth and then screamed, “Murderers!” Rene cackled.
“This other brat says such delightful things,” said Rene amused. Rene placed her hand on Yakuma’s gun and said, “Can I please shot her, pretty please?” Yakuma nodded allowing Rene to take his gun. Rene cocked the gun and pointed the barrel at Lucille’s head.
“Tell the Arikawa’s never to reincarnate when you reach the afterlife,” stated Rene. Rene pulled the trigger sending the bullet flying at Lucille. Lucille shut his eyes waiting for his death, but then he felt arms wrap around his neck and pull him down before the bullet could penetrate his skull. Yakuma, Rene, Maru, and the man stared with wide eyes at Lucille, who was pressed against Kurosagi’s chest. Lucille looked up at Kurosagi and saw her smiling at him as the bullet slipped out of her wound.
“You’re alive?” whispered Lucille. Kurosagi nodded as the wound healed leaving traces of blood on her forehead. She sat up with Lucille still in her arms and glared at Yakuma and Rene.
“I won’t let you hurt him anymore than this,” hissed Kurosagi. Yakuma grabbed his gun from Rene quickly and pointed it at Kurosagi.
“How are you still alive, Lucille?” demanded Yakuma with his hand shaking. Kurosagi chuckled and stood up with Lucille still in her grasp.
“My name is not Lucille. My name is Kurosagi and I am here to protect Lucille from you.”
Yakuma immediately fired his gun as did the other men, while Rene tried to make a run for it. Kurosagi held Lucille tighter and dashed pass Yakuma and the men at an incredible speed. She ran through the open door of the car, taking her bag with her. She stopped next to a crate placing Lucille to the ground and then opened her bag with one hand. She pulled out two vials labeled: elephant and rabbit. She devoured the ashes within them and then smirked. She pulled out the road kill spray next and dumped it into Lucille’s hand.
“Use this to protect yourself,” ordered Kurosagi and then ran off leaving Lucille with her bag. Kurosagi charged at the men at an incredible speed making them scream and shot at her. Kurosagi was shot in the shoulder, but that wound healed immediately as she leapt above the shooter and then did a mighty fall kick on his head. The man gasped at the surprise strength of the kick and crashed into the floor with blood seeping from his new formed wound on his head.
Maru pulled out a second gun from his side and fired rapidly at Kurosagi. Kurosagi managed to dodge the shots as she leapt into the air in a circular motion. She landed in front of Maru making him gasp and was ready to punch him, but was forced to dodge to the side, when a metal bat nearly slammed into her head.
One of the other men held the metal bat breathing heavily. He swung at Kurosagi, but Kurosagi dodged each swing. She saw Yakuma aiming his gun at her and leapt up. The bullet left Yakuma’s gun and flew pass Kurosagi’s feet. The stray bullet ended up grazing the other man’s left shoulder making him scream out in pain and drop the metal bat to the ground.
Yakuma cursed and then yelled, “Get out here now bastards!” His booming voice echoed through the warehouse. As the echo faded, the sound of running footsteps was approaching. Out from behind the crates and from a side door, other members of the Underground Criminal with various weapons came. Kurosagi smirked as she stood casually. Yakuma glared at Kurosagi with his gun pointed at her.
“Kill that brat!”
At the sound of his voice, the members dashed at Kurosagi with their weapons raised. Kurosagi kicked and punched as many as she could with graceful movements.
Lucille watched from the side lines with wide eyes.
“She’s amazing,” muttered Lucille.
“And you’re dead meat.”
Lucille squeaked and turned around only to see one of the underground members above him with a knife in his hand. The man was about to swipe at Lucille, but Lucille acted fast and sprayed the man in the face with the road kill spray. The man gagged covering his nose. Lucille took this chance to grab Kurosagi’s bag and run. The man was cursing as he chased after Lucille with blood shot eyes.
Kurosagi continued her fight with sweat against her brow. She saw Lucille running from the man with the knife and clenched her teeth. She managed to kick one of the men away from her and leapt up. She landed on top of one of the cars and held her hands in front of her. She moved her fingers in different angles. The men below her began to scream as the body of the man that Yakuma shot stood up. The body was twitching as it dashed toward the man after Lucille. Kurosagi shot her hands up making the body jump and slam against the man after Lucille. The man screamed as he tried to push the moving body away from him. Lucille managed to slip behind a crate as the man struggled with the body.
All the men were in a panic at the sight of the moving body. Yakuma glared at Kurosagi and shot her behind her neck. Kurosagi lowered her hands as a result releasing the body. Kurosagi glared back at Yakuma as the bullet slipped from her neck. Yakuma cocked his gun with a glare.
“You are nothing but a monster,” screamed Yakuma. Kurosagi smirked and asked, “Then what does that make you?” Yakuma flinched. Kurosagi pushed a strand of her hair behind her ear as she spoke.
“You tried to murder your little brother when he was still a toddler by drowning him. You ran away from home when your attempt failed and became the leader of the Underground criminal. Then you murdered your father when you learned that your brother would get everything. You then kidnapped your step mother when you learned that Lucille was part of witness protection and killed her immediately making that woman, Rene, pretend to be her to lure Lucille out. You planned to kill him after learning where the inheritance is. Killing your entire family for money makes you more of a monster compared to me.”
Yakuma clenched his teeth and prepared to fire his gun again, but flinched when he heard police sirens approaching.
“But how?” muttered Yakuma. Kurosagi chuckled and pointed at her earring.
“Ogami-San must have followed my trail,” stated Kurosagi. Yakuma cursed under his breath and ordered all of his followers to run. They did as told with fear in their eyes. Before they could run out, Reiji’s car slid in front of them. Reiji hit the brake stopping his car. He swung the door open and ran out toward the men making them gasp. Reiji smirked as he grabbed one of the men’s weapons: a metal pole. He swung the pole at the men forcing them to the ground. Reiji was laughing like a maniac. Kurosagi looked at Reiji as he fought and ordered him not to kill them. Reiji nodded as he continued his assault.
Hatori slipped out of the car from the passenger side as Reiji fought and looked up at Kurosagi, who was watching with her arms crossed.
“Kurosagi!” called up Hatori. Kurosagi smirked at Hatori and said, “Well done.” Hatori nodded. Hatori suddenly felt a gun behind his head and froze. Kurosagi’s eyes narrowed when she saw Yakuma holding his gun at Hatori’s neck from behind.
“Tell that bastard to fall back or I swear that I will blow this guy’s head off!” warned Yakuma. Kurosagi’s answer to the warning was removing a strand of her hair from her head and running it across her lips. The strand became solid. Kurosagi threw it at Yakuma’s head before he could react. The needle like hair sank into Yakuma’s forehead making him drop his gun and scream in pain. He gripped his forehead as he screamed. Hatori took this chance to pick the gun up and point it down at Yakuma. Kurosagi glared down at Yakuma and held her hand toward him. Yakuma looked up at Kurosagi with clenched teeth and tears running down his eyes.
“I won’t let you get away from judgment after killing your parents and attempting to hurt Ogami-San. Lucille’s memory was the key to the case now fall into the darkness: Yakuma Arikawa!”
Yakuma let out an ear piercing scream and collapsed on the ground. Kurosagi lowered her hand as Hatori nudged Yakuma’s side. Kurosagi looked toward Reiji, who was dangling one of the men by the shirt with one hand and said, “You better get your license ready for the police.” Reiji nodded with a chuckle knowing that Kurosagi figured out that the arriving police were chasing him because of his speeding.
Kurosagi heard Rene scream and looked to the side toward one of the crates and saw Lucille beating her with a broken piece of wood with anger in his eyes. Kurosagi leapt off the car and landed behind Lucille. She grabbed Lucille’s arms preventing him from swinging the piece of wood down on Rene.
Lucille shook his head trying to pull his arms free. He glared down at Rene, who was shaking in pain and screamed, “She killed my mom. She has to die!” Kurosagi covered his eyes and leaned toward his ear.
“Death isn’t the answer. If you kill her then you are no better than your brother,” whispered Kurosagi. Kurosagi could feel hot tears in her hand as Lucille began to cry. Lucille dropped the piece of wood and managed to spin around to cry into Kurosagi’s chest. Lucille cried for his mother repeatedly. Kurosagi glared down at Rene, who was struggling to get up. Kurosagi held her hand at Rene with Lucille crying against her chest.
“The blood and voice in the phone and Lucille’s tears showed the truth now fall into the darkness: Rene Heim.”
Rene screamed as she looked into Kurosagi’s eyes and then fell unconscious. Kurosagi lowered her hand and hugged Lucille as his sobs were covered by the sound of the arriving police.
The day after the incident, Kurosagi and Hatori visited the Family Records building, where Lucille was waiting in the lobby. Lucille saw Kurosagi and Hatori and ran to them. He hugged Kurosagi and asked, “Is it all over?” Kurosagi pried Lucille off of her and said, “The case of your brother trying to kill you is over, but we still need to know where the contract is.” Lucille lowered his head.
“I’m not sure I want to know. It’s because of that thing that I’m an orphan,” stated Lucille with a tear at the corner of his eye. Kurosagi placed a hand on Lucille’s shoulder making him look up at her.
“Continue to follow me until the end, Lucille,” said Kurosagi. Lucille nodded still feeling a weight on his heart.
Peter suddenly entered the lobby making them look up at him. Peter smiled at them and said, “Glad you guys came in time.” Peter motioned to them to follow him.
They followed Peter into his office. His office only had one brown oak desk that had a couple of different colored folders, three pens, and a small lamp upon its surface; a book shelf filled with green two inch binders with different dates recorded on the spine; two silver file cabinets; and four chairs: one, an office chair, rested behind his desk and the other three brown clothed chairs stood in front of the desk like audience chairs of a theater.
Peter sat in his office chair and gestured Lucille, Kurosagi, and Hatori to sit on the other chairs. The minute they sat down, Peter picked up one of the red folders upon his desk and showed it to Kurosagi.
“I looked through Mr. Arikawa’s files and found something in Lucille’s birth certificate that might give a hint of where the contract is,” informed Peter. Kurosagi took the folder with one hand and flipped it open with her small thumb. The birth certificate had all the information of where and when Lucille was born and took notice of something that shouldn’t belong: writing in the bottom right corner that could barely be seen.
“I want him to live his dream,” Kurosagi read out loud. Hatori looked over Kurosagi’s shoulder and asked, “What does that mean?” Kurosagi sighed and looked back at Peter.
“Ellie Arikawa wrote this right?” asked Kurosagi. Peter nodded and added, “I recognize it as her handwriting and she’s one of the only other persons that had access to birth certificates.” Lucille pulled the birth certificate from Kurosagi and looked it over repeatedly.
“What does this mean?” asked Lucille with his voice beginning to crack. Kurosagi pulled the certificate back from Lucille and said, “Your mother knew where the contract was because your father told her and told her to leave a clue if she wasn’t able to tell you.”
“I don’t understand,” muttered Lucille. Kurosagi reached out to Lucille and grabbed a strand of his hair making him flinch.
“What is your dream?” asked Kurosagi.
“To be great person like my idol: Emi Suwa,” stated Lucille. Lucille’s eyes widen making Kurosagi smirk.
“Do you understand the clue now?” asked Kurosagi. Kurosagi pulled out the Emi Suwa magazine from her bag and handed it to Lucille. Lucille looked at Kurosagi with wide eyes.
“You’re giving it back to me?” asked Lucille. Kurosagi nodded and added, “I didn’t save your mother so it’s a refund.” Lucille looked back at the magazine and began to flip through the pages rapidly. He stopped on a page that had the largest picture of Emi Suwa smiling like a flower and traced his finger around the edges. He then rubbed it roughly revealing a loose edge. He pinched the loose edge and peeled it off the page with Emi’s picture. Under the picture was a pure white envelope. He pulled the envelope out and tore it open. The paper within the envelope had a gold seal on the upper right corner. Lucille handed the paper to Kurosagi.
Kurosagi took it and read it out loud for all to hear.
“All my possessions, my company, and home will be given to my youngest son, Lucille Arikawa.”
“So the contract was in the magazine?” asked Hatori in disbelief. Kurosagi nodded and added, “His dream was to be like Emi after all.”
Lucille hanged his head down and said, “So that’s why dad asked me for my magazine.” Lucille slumped on the chair and added, “I don’t want any of this.” Kurosagi sighed and went to Lucille’s side. She pointed to the envelope and asked, “I think there’s something else in there.” Lucille blinked in confusion. Lucille peeked into the envelope and saw an extra note in the corner. Lucille pulled the note and read it silently to himself.
I know that my company isn’t what you always wanted to do, but I believe that you have the talent to keep the company going. If you decide not to do it, then follow your dream to be like that child star. I never really told you, but I believe you can do anything. I love you, Lucille.
Lucille’s tears fell on the small note in his hand. Lucille held the note to his chest and cried for his mother and father, but he knew that they could never come back. As Lucille cried, Kurosagi hugged him as a form of comfort.
When Lucille’s sobs had finally stopped, Peter took the contract and said, “I will hang on to this until you are old enough to honor the contract.” Lucille nodded rubbing his eyes from the tears. Peter kneeled in front of Lucille and asked, “In the meantime, do you want to move in with Utsuho and me.” Lucille looked at Peter with wide eyes.
“Really?” asked Lucille in surprise. Peter nodded and added, “If I can handle teenagers then I can definitely watch over someone like you.” Lucille burst into a smile and hugged Peter around his neck with tears of happiness this time. Kurosagi smiled at them and looked up at Hatori.
“I think my work is done now,” said Kurosagi. Hatori nodded and followed Kurosagi out of the office.
They walked out of the Family Records building side by side. Hatori looked at Kurosagi and asked, “Do you want to go to the shopping district to get a new dress for you?” Kurosagi sighed.
“Fine, but you do know that I have to go to the police station to help Reiji get his car back, right?”
Hatori nodded and added, “Well he did have that coming after driving like a crazy fool.” Kurosagi nodded.
Hatori suddenly remembered the incident and asked, “Did you know that Lucille’s mother was dead?” Kurosagi nodded.
“I realized that she was dead when I saw the amount of blood on the phone. It became more definite when the call came. If you remember her voice, you would know immediately that wasn’t her voice on the phone and the fact that she couldn’t tell Lucille and me apart even though she had met me at the clothes line store.”
“So the reason you didn’t want Lucille to come with you was because you knew of the mother’s death?” asked Hatori. Kurosagi nodded and added, “If he didn’t come, he would have had more hope of her being alive.” Kurosagi crossed her arms and added, “I also hoped that my deduction was wrong.” Hatori smiled knowing that Kurosagi thought of Lucille’s feelings.
Kurosagi suddenly looked back at the Family Records Building and added, “I wonder if Lucille will go back to his old face.”
“I wonder about that too, but if he does go back to his old self, I want to see it,” said Hatori. Kurosagi turned away from the building and said, “It would be best for him to go back to his old face, if he doesn’t want Utsuho to hate him.” Hatori remembered Utsuho’s avoidance to Kurosagi and asked, “Does Utsuho have a grudge against you?” Kurosagi smirked, but the smirk had sadness.
“I did something that he may never forgive me for,” muttered Kurosagi. Hatori was puzzled by Kurosagi’s remark, but he felt that it was best for him not to pry any further. He hoped that someday Kurosagi would tell him all the truth concerning her life before she met him.