Case 3: Taboo Blood

Kimi Hoshino ran down the noisy street in her sailor school uniform, her flower shaped hair pins glittering in the sunlight. She ran into a quiet area and saw Kurosagi’s complex. Kimi was breathing heavily as she looked up at the complex.

“Kurosagi.”

Kimi went up to the door of the complex and gulped. She reached out to the door knob.

“Are you a client?”

Kimi flinched and looked behind her only to see Hatori with shopping bags in his arms. Kimi stared at him.

“Could you be…?”

“Miss?”

Kimi embraced Hatori around his waist nearly making him drop the groceries. He looked at Kimi blushing and asked, “Is something wrong?” Kimi looked up at Hatori with tears in her eyes.

“Please help me, Kurosagi.”

Hatori was stunned silent. Hatori sighed knowing full well that he was mistaken for Kurosagi. Hatori pried Kimi off of him and said, “Sorry, but you have the wrong person.” Kimi stared at Hatori and then began to tear up again.

“I get it. It’s because I’m a kid isn’t it?”

“What?”

“You don’t want to help me because I am young. You want me to go to the police, but they can’t help me. You’re no different from them, stupid Kurosagi!”

Kimi was about to run off, but Hatori grabbed her arm. He pulled her to him and said, “That’s not the reason. I’m telling you that I am not Kurosagi. Kurosagi is in the office.” Hatori’s voice was stern. Kimi was confused as her tears subsided.

“You’re not Kurosagi?”

Hatori shook his head. He released Kimi’s arm and opened the door to Kurosagi’s office. He gripped the handle of the groceries and said, “Welcome to Kurosagi’s detective agency.” Kimi walked into the office and looked around.

“Where’s Kurosagi?”

Hatori sighed and said, “She might be in the kitchen making a new batch of cookies.”

“Cookies?”

Hatori nodded and added, “No matter how many times I tell her, she always makes them. She’s going to get a cavity someday.” Kimi could sense the displeasure in Hatori’s voice. Something suddenly dawned on Kimi.

“Kurosagi is a girl?”

“That’s right. I’m surprised that you didn’t know that.”

Kimi sighed and said, “It was actually my friend who told me about Kurosagi. She doesn’t care about gender when telling stories, so she told me that Kurosagi was a boy.” Hatori chuckled.

“That’s some friend.”

Kimi nodded. Hatori placed the groceries on the sofa and then looked back at Kimi.

“Kurosagi will see you soon, so please don’t worry,” said Hatori. Kimi stared at Hatori and smiled.

“The way you talk sounds just like my older brother.”

“Is that so? Well, I do have a younger sister. Does your brother take care of you well?”

Kimi suddenly began to tear up making Hatori gasp.

“Are you OK?”

Kimi burst into tears crying out, “Brother!” Hatori tried to calm her down. Kurosagi suddenly walked out of the kitchen with a tray of Dark Chocolate Macadamia cookies. She saw Hatori trying to calm down a crying Kimi. Kurosagi smirked as she placed the cookies on her desk.

“Making a girl cry isn’t very nice Ogami-San.”

Hatori gasped and looked toward Kurosagi, who was sitting on her chair. Hatori looked at Kimi and then back at Kurosagi.

“It wasn’t on purpose, Kurosagi,” said Hatori in his defense. Kurosagi chuckled. Kimi slowly stopped crying and looked at Kurosagi, who was now munching on a cookie.

“Who are you?” asked Kimi. Kurosagi smirked and said, “I am the great detective Kurosagi and that man next to you is Hatori Ogami, my assistant.” Kimi was stunned silent. Kimi gasped and then exclaimed, “You’re Kurosagi?” Kurosagi nodded munching on her cookie.

“But you’re a kid. You’re younger than me!”

Hatori sighed and said, “Kurosagi may appear this way, but she’s older than she looks.”

“How old?”

Hatori chuckled and said, “I never asked, but it would definitely be rude to ask now.” Kurosagi nodded and said, “That’s right.” Kurosagi devoured the last of her cookie.

“So are you a customer, young lady?” asked Kurosagi. Kimi stared at Kurosagi and nodded.

“My name is Kimi Hoshino, sixteen-years-old. I attend Soumei High School. I came here today to ask you to solve the murder of my brother, Keida Hoshino.”

“Do you have his murder file?”

Kimi shook her head.

“The police wouldn’t give it to me. They said that it is still under investigation, but they think that my brother’s girlfriend did it, but it can’t be true. I admit that I don’t like her, but she would never murder someone.”

Kurosagi smirked and said, “I get it. It is still under investigation, but it is leaning toward your brother’s girlfriend as the murderer, so before it is finalized, you want me to prove that she is innocent and to find the real murderer, right?” Kimi nodded.

“Will you take the case?”

Kurosagi sighed picking up another cookie.

“Well I need you to tell me more about the case and I am expensive, so what are you willing to pay me?”

Kimi gulped and asked, “How much are you asking?” Kurosagi looked Kimi up and down, while munching on her cookies.

“Soumei High School is a top notch school, but I doubt that you have the money to pay me. Chances are that you are on a scholarship, am I right?”

Kimi nodded clenching her fist.

Kurosagi smirked and said, “Only the desperate come here after all, but I still need a payment.” Kurosagi held her hand out and said, “As payment, I will take those hair pins in your hair.” Kimi gasped and covered the blue flower shaped pins on her hair.

“But I got these from my brother for my birthday when I was seven. Can’t you ask for something else?” asked Kimi with her hand shaking. Kurosagi shook her head.

“I always take something precious from my client if they don’t have the money.”

Kimi was shaking as she held the pins in her hair. Hatori noticed this and looked at Kurosagi.

“Why not ask for something else, Kurosagi?” urged Hatori. Kurosagi shook her head.

“She’s needs to decide which is more important: solving the case or the hair pins.”

Kimi shut her eyes and pulled her hair pins from her hair allowing her hair to flow freely. She held them to Kurosagi in a tight fist and flung her eyes open.

“Now take the case!”

Kurosagi took the pins with a smirk upon her lips.

“The deal is done.”

Kurosagi placed the hair pins into a drawer. She crossed her arms at Kimi and said, “Now tell me more about the death of your brother.” Kimi nodded with a strand of her black hair dangling in front of her face.

“My brother, three days ago, came home that day after celebrating Chiroko Kaname’s, his girlfriend’s, birthday. He seemed fine except for the sweat against his brow. He told me that he had to tell me something tomorrow because he was tired. He went to bed and never woke up. He was poisoned according to the police.”

A tear escaped Kimi’s eye as she clenched her fist.

“Kaname-San is the only suspect because she was with him that day. I do hate her, but I want her innocence proven.”

Kurosagi smirked as she pulled out her bag from under her desk. She slipped it on and said, “If Kaname-San is the main suspect, then I think we should pay her a visit, so please lead the way, Hoshino-San.” Kimi nodded and was ready to walk out, but stopped when she saw Hatori grab Kurosagi’s arm.

“Put your shoes on before going out.”

“Don’t be such a nag,” said Kurosagi pulling her arm away from Hatori. Hatori grabbed her arm again and said, “What if we have to go in a graveyard again? We can’t have your allergy acting up.” Kurosagi sighed in defeat. She slipped on a pair of slippers and showed them to Hatori.

“Better?”

Hatori nodded and then looked at Kimi, who was staring at them.

“We can go now,” said Hatori with a smile. Kimi nodded with a slight blush on her cheeks. They walked out of the office together.

Kimi led them to an apartment complex called “Shinobi Complex.”  Kimi pointed at it and said, “Kaname-San is in there in room 303.” Kurosagi nodded urging Kimi to lead the way.  They entered the apartment complex and made their way to Chiroko’s room. On the door of Chiroko’s room, written in red spray paint, was “Murderer.” Kimi clenched her fist.

“Kaname-San has also received notes calling her a murderer too ever since she was taken in by the police.”

Kurosagi glanced at Kimi and said, “Well we’ll see if she’s really a murderer.” Kurosagi walked past Kimi and knocked on Chiroko’s door. There was no answer.

Kimi knocked on the door next saying, “Kaname-San are you home?”

“Is that you Kimi-Chan?”

“That’s right and I brought someone who might be able to help you.”

The door clicked and opened a crack. Chiroko peeked through the crack with her brown eyes. She saw Hatori standing beside Kimi.

“Is that man with you?” asked Chiroko. Kimi nodded and said, “His name is Hatori Ogami, assistant of Kurosagi.” Chiroko’s eyes widen. She opened the door revealing that she was wearing a tank top and worn out jeans.

“Kurosagi? You were able to get the assistance of Kurosagi?”

Kimi nodded and held a hand down at Kurosagi, who was looking at Chiroko.

“This is Kurosagi, the detective.”

Chiroko stared at Kurosagi with wide eyes. Chiroko clenched her fist and screamed, “Are you making fun of me?” Kimi flinched.

“I’m already the main suspect, so now you want to make fun of me by telling me that this kid is Kurosagi? You’re horrible!”

Chiroko was about to slam the door in their face, but Hatori held the door open with his firm hand. He looked at Chiroko seriously and said, “Don’t be rash, Kaname-San.” Hatori looked down at Kurosagi and said, “Even though she looks like a kid, she is Kurosagi, so please listen to her or do you want to remain a suspect to your boyfriend’s case.” Chiroko gritted her teeth and nodded, still in doubt that Kurosagi was the real Kurosagi.

They walked into Chiroko’s apartment, which was a complete mess. Chiroko sat on the closes chair and pulled out a can of beer. She snapped it open and glared at them.

“So what do you want to know?”

Kurosagi crossed her arms leaning against the wall.

“What exactly happened that day, Kaname-San?”

“The day he died?”

Kurosagi nodded.

Chiroko sipped from her beer and then stated, “Well he visited my apartment that day to celebrate my twenty-fifth birthday. We had cake, beer, and baked chicken.” Chiroko placed a hand on the silver necklace around her neck and added, “He even gave this for my birthday.”

“He told me that he was getting tired and was going to head home. I told him goodbye and then next day the police came saying he was poisoned and that I was the main suspect.”

Chiroko clenched her fist and said, “I never killed him.” Chiroko was shaking. Kurosagi stared at Chiroko and then noticed something. Kurosagi sighed and asked, “Did you tell him something else before he left?” Chiroko shook her head.

“Why do you ask?”

Kurosagi sighed again and approached Chiroko. She slapped the beer can out of Chiroko’s hand. Chiroko growled and screamed, “What was that for brat?” Kurosagi glared at Chiroko and said, “As a future mother, you should not drink alcohol.” Chiroko gasped clenching her stomach.

Kimi and Hatori were shocked.

“Kaname-San is pregnant?” asked Hatori. Kurosagi nodded and pointed at Chiroko.

“There’s a bulge on her stomach. She’s thin everywhere else, so I expect that she’s pregnant, am I correct?”

Chiroko groaned and nodded clenching her stomach. Kimi stared at Chiroko in disbelief.

“You’re pregnant with big brother’s child?”

Chiroko nodded and said, “I discovered I was pregnant about a month ago. I’m six months pregnant.” Chiroko burst out crying.

“I told Keida about the baby that day. I wanted him to raise the baby with me, so why did he have to die?”

Chiroko couldn’t control her crying. Kimi was crying as well. Kurosagi stared at the two crying girls and looked at Hatori.

“Chiroko has no reason to kill Hoshino-San. There has to be another suspect.”

Hatori sighed and said, “So we need more evidence to support that Kaname-San is innocent.” Kurosagi nodded. Kurosagi placed a hand on Kimi’s skirt making Kimi look at her.

“Can you take me to your brother’s body?”

“Why?”

Kurosagi smirked and asked, “You want this case solved don’t you?” Kimi nodded.

“Then take me to Keida Hoshino’s body.”

Kimi nodded again confused by Kurosagi’s words. Kimi looked down at Chiroko, who was still crying, and said, “I’ll be back later.”

They left the apartment leaving Chiroko in tears.

As they walked, Kurosagi looked at the surrounding buildings. Kurosagi smirked and asked, “Is his body being kept at the Institute of Mura?” Kimi looked at Kurosagi in shock.

“How do you know that?”

Kurosagi chuckled and said, “I’ve been there many times and if we’re lucky, we may meet one of my dear friends.” Hatori looked at Kurosagi wondering who she was talking about.

They stood before the Institute of Mura side by side. Kurosagi looked toward the parked cars near the building. She smirked when she saw a dark blue Prius model 3000 parked near the building. Kurosagi chuckled and said, “Looks like he’s in.”

“Who exactly?” asked Kimi, now confused. Kurosagi looked at Hatori and Kimi and said, “My dear friend, Noda Sato.” Hatori gasped.

“You know Dr. Sato, the famous doctor that traveled around the world and help discover the cure for cancer?”

“That’s right, but the papers always left out that I was an acquaintance of his.”

Kimi cocked her head on the side and asked, “Is he really that famous?” Hatori nodded. Kurosagi chuckled and said, “Shall we enter and greet him.” Hatori and Kimi nodded.

They walked into the institute and saw a female receptionist at the front desk. Kurosagi approached the desk and asked, “Excuse me, can you please tell me where they are keeping Keida Hoshino’s body?”

The receptionist looked over the desk with a cocked eyebrow and asked, “Why should I tell you that young lady and where are your parents?” Kurosagi sighed and flashed her Bureau badge at the receptionist. Kurosagi repeated her question to the receptionist. The receptionist looked at the badge and giggled.

“That looks so real.”

Hatori, Kimi, and Kurosagi groaned. Kurosagi placed her badge back in her bag understanding the receptionist was a new employee or she would have seen that the badge was real.

“Then can you please contact Dr. Noda Sato?”

The receptionist looked at Kurosagi with wide eyes.

“Why do you know he’s here?”

“He’s the only idiot I know who still drives an outdated Prius, so please contact him.”

The receptionist sighed and said, “I’ll contact him, but if he doesn’t know you then I will have to contact the authorities to carry you out.” Kurosagi nodded and added, “That’s fine, Miss. Newbie.” The receptionist grew confused by Kurosagi’s statement, but still made the call. The receptionist spoke loudly through the receiver.

“Dr. Sato? There is someone at the front desk to see you.”

The receptionist looked down at Kurosagi and asked, “What’s your name?”

“Kurosagi.”

“She says her name is Kurosagi, do you know…”

A beeping noise beeped through the phone making the receptionist confused. The receptionist hanged up the phone and said, “Dr. Sato was cut off.” Kurosagi sighed.

“That means only one thing.”

Kurosagi pulled out a spray bottle from her bag making Kimi, the receptionist, and Hatori confused.

“What are you doing Kurosagi?” asked Hatori staring at the spray bottle in her hand. Right on cue, a blonde haired man around his thirties wearing thin glasses, burst from a nearby door. He saw Kurosagi and ran to her with a wide smile on his face.

“Kurosagi,” he cheered ready to hug her. Before the man could embrace Kurosagi, Kurosagi sprayed a substance into his face. He covered his nose immediately rolling on the ground. The receptionist, Kimi, and Hatori stared at the man in shock.

The man got up and looked at Kurosagi with tearful eyes.

“Why do you always spray me with that road kill smell every time I try to hug you?” asked the man tearfully. Kurosagi sighed clenching the spray bottle in her hand.

“Because I don’t want to be hugged by you, stupid Noda,” stated Kurosagi bluntly. The man, Noda, began to whine like a toddler. Hatori pointed at Noda and asked, “He’s the famous Dr. Sato?” Kurosagi nodded.

Noda nodded and said, “That’s me, the great doctor of the world.” Kurosagi looked at Noda and said, “Don’t start a speech. I just need you to do something for me.” Noda pouted.

“Work again? I wanted to play with you like old times,” whined Noda. Kurosagi kicked his shin making him cringe and grip his leg.

“Act like an adult for once,” scolded Kurosagi. Noda whimpered. He then looked at the receptionist and said, “I know Kurosagi, so please let her past and anyone who was with her.” The receptionist nodded.

Kurosagi, Kimi, and Hatori followed Noda into the doors inside the institute. Noda looked down at Kurosagi and asked, “So what do you need this time Kurosagi?”

“I need to see the body of Keida Hoshino, murdered three days ago.”

Noda nodded and said, “That’s the body I autopsied on, so no problem.” He led them down the hall of the institute. They reached a door labeled “Morgue.” Noda slid his card through the card reader. The door opened automatically allowing them to enter. Inside the morgue was drawer after drawer of bodies. Noda walked to a drawer labeled “Keida Hoshino” and slid it open. Inside the drawer was Keida’s body with autopsy marks across his chest. Kimi prevented herself from crying as she stared at her brother’s body.

Kurosagi looked at Noda and asked, “So was the cause of death really poison?” Noda nodded.

“The poison was arsenic, but it is strange that he didn’t die quicker.”

Kurosagi smirked and then looked at Kimi.

“Hoshino-Chan, you must promise me that what you see today, you will never speak about to another soul, understand?”

Kimi nodded even though she was confused. Kurosagi held her hand over Keida’s body.

“Now speak the three clues I need to solve this case, Keida Hoshino.”

Kurosagi placed her hand on his face and gasped as the heat rushed through her body. With her eyes glazed, she spoke the three clues.

“Family, tea, sister.”

Kurosagi released the body and nearly fell to her knees, but was caught by Hatori. Kurosagi smirked and said, “Family, tea, sister: the three clues I need to solve this case.” Kurosagi looked up at Noda.

“You said that he was poisoned, correct?”

Noda nodded.

“Was there any trace of tea leaves substances in him?”

Noda thought a while and nodded.

“There were traces of Rardell tea leaves in his stomach. Could that have been the medium for the poison?”

Kurosagi nodded and then looked at Kimi.

“On the day he was murdered, do you remember him ever drinking tea?”

Kimi shook her head.

Kurosagi smirked and said, “So he was given the tea secretly by someone. Kaname-San now looks even more innocent because she never gave him tea on her birthday.” Kurosagi stood up with Hatori’s assistance.

Kurosagi glanced at Kimi and stated, “I need to see your family.”

“Why do you need to do that?”

“One of the clues mentioned family, so bring me to them.”

Kimi nodded and began to walk out of the morgue with Kurosagi and Hatori behind her. Kurosagi looked back at Noda and thanked him for his assistance. Noda waved goodbye to her and then sighed.

“Kurosagi never changes.”

Kurosagi, Kimi, and Hatori walked down the road and then Kimi looked at Kurosagi and asked, “What happened in there? Why did your voice sound so strange when you touched my brother’s body?” Kurosagi remained silent, so Hatori answered.

“When Kurosagi touches a body, she is given three clues that will help solve the cause of death. You can say that she speaks to the dead through a touch.”

Kimi gasped and asked, “Is she a psychic then?” Kurosagi shook her head and muttered, “I’m just a freak.” Hatori was confused by Kurosagi’s statement.

After a long while, they reached a one story house. Kimi walked to the front door and unlocked it with a small key. She opened the door and said, “My mom is inside the house.” Kurosagi and Hatori walked in. Kurosagi looked at Kimi and asked, “Is your mom your only family?” Kimi nodded.

“My father died when I was six from the flu and you already know that my older brother is dead. My mother is my last family.”

There were traces of sadness all over Kimi’s face. Hatori patted her head in order to comfort her.

Kurosagi walked through the hall of the house and then looked back at Kimi asking, “Where’s your mom?”

“She should be here.”

Kimi walked next to Kurosagi and called out, “Mom, I’m home.” They heard footsteps and saw a woman around her forties emerge from a room. She smiled at Kimi and welcomed her home.

“Mom,” cheered Kimi as she embraced the woman. The woman noticed Kurosagi and Hatori and asked, “Who are they?”

Kimi looked at Kurosagi and Hatori and introduced them with a smile and added, “They came to help solve big brother’s murder.” Kimi’s mother stared at them and then showed a bright smile.

“Nice to meet you, I am Akane Hoshino, Kimi’s mother.”

Kurosagi nodded at her as did Hatori. Akane crossed her arms and asked, in a kind tone, “So what do you want to know?”

“Anything about the day Keida Hoshino died, Hoshino-San.”

Akane sighed and said, “The police already questioned me about the murder case and I already said all I know. I never got to see him that day because I was at the bar drinking with my friends. The police already confirmed it, so there is no more need to ask.” Kurosagi sighed.

“Then can you tell me more about your son?”

Akane nodded and showed a small smile.

“I first met him when he was only thirteen-years-old. He was such a sweet boy.”

“’Met’, so does that mean you adopted him?” asked Kurosagi with a cocked eyebrow. Akane nodded and added, “It was my late husband who wanted to adopt him. Keida was the son of one of his close friends, who died in a traffic accident. It was only out of pure kindness that he became my son.” Kurosagi looked at Kimi and saw that her hand was shaking.

“Did you know that your brother was adopted, Hoshino-Chan?”

Kimi nodded and added, “I was three at the time.” Akane nodded with a smile.

“Kimi took an immediate liking to him when we took him in.”

Kimi blushed and said, “Don’t tell her that.” Akane giggled at the blushing Kimi. Kurosagi stared at the redness of Kimi’s cheeks and chuckled.

“I think I understand,” muttered Kurosagi making Hatori look at her.

“Do you already understand the case?” whispered Hatori.

“I think so, but I need more proof.”

Kurosagi looked at Akane and asked, “If it is all right with you, can I explore your house tomorrow?” Akane nodded. Kurosagi and Hatori were about to walk out, but Akane grabbed her hand and asked, “Would you like to stay for dinner?” Kurosagi nodded.

Akane practically created a feast for them. Kurosagi ate the vegetables avoiding the meat. Hatori scolded her for avoiding the meat. Kurosagi just glared at him and continued to eat. She looked at Akane and Kimi who were eating their meals happily.

“Hoshino-San?”

Akane giggled and said, “Please just call me, Akane, I don’t mind. Besides, Kimi has told me that you are older than you look.” Kurosagi smirked and said, “Ok then. Akane, can I use your phone?” Akane nodded and added, “It’s in the kitchen.” Kurosagi stood up from her chair and headed toward the kitchen. Hatori was about to follow her, but Kurosagi glanced back at him and said, “Please stay with the young ladies, Ogami-San.” Hatori nodded as he sat back down.

When Kurosagi was gone, Akane looked at Hatori and asked, “So you are an assistant of Kurosagi?” Hatori nodded.

“How long have you been her assistant?”

“I’ve been her assistant for only a month and a half.”

Akane smiled at Hatori and asked, “Is working with her your only job?” Hatori nodded and added, “I was fired from my original job.”

“Why?” asked Kimi in surprise. Hatori sighed scratching the back of his head.

“I stopped going to work and spent all my money trying to solve the murder of my wife. Kurosagi actually told me that I was swindled by the people I hired for the case.”

“I see; you met Kurosagi when you hired her.”

Hatori nodded and said, “That’s right and she solved the case. Because of that, I am forever in her debt.” Kimi smiled and said, “That’s wonderful. Maybe she will solve the murder of big brother.” Kimi looked at her mother, who nodded at her with a smile.

The door to the kitchen suddenly opened revealing Kurosagi. Kurosagi looked at them and said, “I’m sorry, but Ogami-San and I need to head back to the office.”

Kimi looked at Kurosagi and asked, “Do you really have to go?” Kurosagi nodded. She suddenly ran up to Kimi and urged her to come closer to her. Kurosagi leaned toward her ear and whispered, “Are you sure you want me to solve this case?” Kimi nodded with a confused look.

“Then don’t sleep tonight.”

Kurosagi pulled away from a confused Kimi and went to Hatori, who was waiting for her at the door. Kurosagi looked back at Akane and Kimi and said, “I will see you two soon.”

Kurosagi and Hatori left the home of Kimi. Hatori looked at Kurosagi and asked, “Who did you call?” Kurosagi sighed and said, “A friend who knows a lot about poisons and another friend who has access to secret files.” Kurosagi smirked and muttered, “I wonder if Hoshino-Chan is really willing to follow me into the darkness.”

That night, Kimi sat on her bed with her legs against her chest. She remembered Kurosagi’s words and rubbed her eyes.

Why didn’t she want me to sleep tonight?

Kimi heard a knock on her window and gasped. She looked toward her window and saw Kurosagi waving at her. She opened her window.

“Kurosagi?”

Kurosagi nodded and floated into the room making Kimi gasp in surprise. Kurosagi landed on the ground gracefully and smirked at Kimi.

“Thank you for staying awake, Hoshino-Chan.”

Kurosagi held her hand to Kimi and asked, “Now are you ready to follow me into the darkness?” Kimi stared at Kurosagi’s outstretched hand. Kimi placed her hand in Kurosagi’s and nodded.

Kurosagi led Kimi out of her room into the darkness of the hall. She dragged her into the kitchen and released her hand. Kurosagi looked back at Kimi and said, “You loved your brother, right?” Kimi blinked in confusion.

“What do you mean?”

Kurosagi smirked and said, “Don’t play dumb with me. You said that you hated Kaname-San and your mother mentioned that you took an immediate liking to him when you first met him. I bet you were jealous of Kaname-San because she was dating your brother and the truth is that you fell in love at first sight with your brother who was adopted into the family.”

Kimi bit her lip and nodded.

“It’s true. I loved brother more than anything in the world. I even had a wish to marry him, but he had Kaname-San. There was no room for me.”

Kimi was beginning to cry. Kurosagi sighed.

“You fell in love with him, which is foolish in my opinion, but it is your heart.”

Kurosagi suddenly went to a cupboard under the sink and began to dig through it making Kimi confused.

“What are you doing?”

Kurosagi pulled out a plastic bag of blue leaves and showed it to Kimi.

“Do you recognize this, Hoshino-Chan?”

Kimi shook her head. Kurosagi pulled out a blue leaf and said, “This is a Rardell tea leaf. It was artificially made in the year of 2020 and has been in production as a popular product. Even though it is popular it is still very rare. It is a very strong and sweet tea meant to calm the nerves.” Kurosagi twisted the tea leaf in her hand causing it to crumple.

“The tea is strong, so it can hide any trace of poison like Arsenic for example.”

Kurosagi pulled out a small bottle from the same cupboard and showed it to Kimi.

“This is the arsenic that was used to kill your brother. This particular arsenic has a weak scent and can be hidden in the tea with just a single drop. It is also weak in dosage, so it kills the person slowly. In your brother’s case, it was only a day.”

Kimi placed her hand to her mouth in shock. Kimi’s hand was shaking.

“So the murder was done in the house?”

Kurosagi nodded and added, “The murderer is also in this house.” Kimi was confused. Kurosagi smirked and asked, “Isn’t that right, Akane?” Kimi gasped and looked toward the kitchen door only to see her mother looking at her with crossed arms.

“Mom?”

Akane sighed and said, “My, my, you shouldn’t let guests into the house so late at night, Kimi. Especially ones who search the kitchen without permission.” Kurosagi chuckled.

“So I searched loud enough for you to wake up, Akane?”

Akane glared at Kurosagi and asked, “Why are you here?” Kurosagi smirked and said, “I only came to solve the case as I promised.” Kurosagi pointed at Akane.

“You were the one who murdered Keida Hoshino.”

Akane smirked and asked, “What are you talking about? I was out with my friends when he was out, so how can I kill him?” Kurosagi chuckled.

“You didn’t have to be in the house to kill him.”

Kurosagi placed her hand on the table in the kitchen and said, “All you had to do was leave a cup of tea that he would obviously see and leave a note that it was for him. How can he resist a homemade tea from his mother?” Akane groaned. Kimi looked at Akane in shock.

“Did you really kill him, mom?”

Akane smiled at Kimi and said, “Of course not. How can I kill my own son?”

“He wasn’t your son.”

Akane looked at Kurosagi with wide eyes. Kurosagi sat on the table and stated, “He was adopted from your husband’s dead friends, correct?”

“So he was adopted. He’s my adopted son.”

Kurosagi smirked and said, “He’s your adopted son, but he was the real son of your husband, Kyouya Hoshino according to the DNA records.” Akane clenched her fist, while Kimi gasped.

“You husband had an affair with his friend’s wife and she bore Keida. When his friends died, he took in Keida. You later found out that he cheated on you and poisoned him making it look like that he died from the flu.”

Kimi was shaking as she looked at her mother.

“You killed father?”

Akane was shaking and screamed, “He deserved it! While I was at home cleaning, he was screwing around with that bitch behind my back.”

“Is that why you killed big brother too?” asked Kimi through her tears. Akane clenched her fist. Kurosagi sighed and said, “Your mother cared about your brother a lot as her own even though he was the son of a mistress, but then she saw something that drove her to kill him.” Kurosagi looked at Akane and asked, “Would you like to tell her or will I?” Akane looked at Kimi with seriousness in her eyes.

“The day before he went to Kaname-San’s apartment, I saw him go into your room. I followed and peeked through the crack. He kissed you in your sleep and I heard him say that he loved you.”

Kimi covered her mouth blushing. Akane clenched her fist and added, “He didn’t even know that he was blood related to you. I needed to protect you from him, so I left him the same tea I used to kill your father.” Akane looked at Kurosagi and screamed, “I killed him in order to protect my only daughter! What’s wrong with a mother caring for her child?”

Kurosagi glared at Akane. She leapt off the table and floated into the air making Akane gasp in surprise. Kurosagi clenched her fist as she spoke.

“You should have just told him the truth if you truly wanted to protect Hoshino-Chan. Now confess to the police.”

Akane stumbled back against a counter and pulled out a cleaver from one of the drawers. She ran at Kurosagi and screamed, “I won’t allow you to separate me from my daughter, monster!” Akane impaled Kurosagi in the stomach. Kimi screamed in horror as Kurosagi fell to the ground with the knife still in her stomach. Akane was shaking as she gripped the bloody knife in Kurosagi. Kurosagi smirked and looked at Akane.

“So you won’t come quietly?”

Kurosagi gripped Akane’s hand and forced the knife out of her stomach. Akane stumbled to the ground looking at Kurosagi with wide eyes. The wound on Kurosagi’s stomach healed instantly leaving the blood on her white dress. Kurosagi stood over Akane with her red eyes gleaming in the darkness.

“I gave you a chance for Hoshino-Chan’s sake, but you leave me no choice.”

Kurosagi held her hand at Akane with a smirk upon her lips.

“Family was the connection to the murderer; Tea was how the poison was passed to the victim; and sister was the reason why he was killed. The connection has been made. Now fall into the darkness, Akane Hoshino.”

Akane clenched her face with her bloody hands screaming.

The next day, Kurosagi sat in her office with Kimi. Hatori was serving them coffee. Kurosagi sipped from the coffee and asked, “Are you all right, Hoshino-Chan?” Kimi shook her head.

“How can I be all right? My mother turned out to be the murderer of big brother and father. She was my last family, but now she’s going to be in prison. I’m going to be all alone.”

“Don’t you have any relatives you can stay with?” asked Hatori as he set a cup of coffee in front of her. Kimi shook her head. Kimi shook her head with tears running down her cheeks.

“I have no one.”

Kurosagi sighed and said, “I had a feeling that was the case. That’s why I called someone to take you in.” Kimi looked at Kurosagi with wide eyes.

“Who?”

The door to the office opened revealing Chiroko with a bag on her side. Kimi looked at Chiroko with wide eyes.

“Kaname-San?”

Chiroko looked at Kimi with saddened eyes. She approached Kimi and sat in front of her.

“Kurosagi told me what happened.”

Kimi remained silent. Chiroko shook her head and pulled out a folded piece of paper from her bag. She held it to Kimi and said, “Read this.” Kimi took it and asked, “What is this?”

“A letter left from your brother. He gave it to me before he left my apartment. I didn’t say anything about it before because I was afraid that the police would take it from me and I would never see it ever again.”

Kimi opened the letter and read it.

Chiroko,

I do love you, but I love Kimi more. I dated you in hope of forgetting her, but I only grew to love her more. This will be the last time I can visit you as your boyfriend, but I want us to remain as friends. Be my best friend forever.

Keida

Kimi looked at Chiroko and asked, “He really wrote this?” Chiroko nodded and said, “It’s pretty sad that he was planning to break up with me on my birthday.” Chiroko placed her hand on her stomach and added, “Even though I revealed that I was pregnant, he would have still chosen you because he was truly in love with you.” Chiroko placed her other hand on top of Kimi’s head.

“You hate me for dating your brother, but I hate you for taking his heart. Let’s hate each other in the same house and hopefully we will learn to love each other as sisters.”

Chiroko then took Kimi’s hand in hers and placed it on her stomach.

“Let’s raise Keida’s child together as a family, Kimi-Chan.”

Kimi burst into tears and hugged Chiroko. Chiroko hugged Kimi back with tears falling from her eyes. Hatori smiled at the scene, while Kurosagi sipped from her coffee.

Kimi left the office with Chiroko waving goodbye to Kurosagi and Hatori. When they were gone, Hatori looked at Kurosagi and said, “You planned to go to Kimi’s house at night. That’s why you swallowed the ashes of a pigeon.” Kurosagi nodded.

“That’s right. I hoped that Kimi’s mother would turn herself in to the police if she saw Kimi was there, but she refused. I had to take extreme measures.”

“What did you do to Akane-San?”

Kurosagi showed a sad smile and said, “Something that will haunt her for the rest of her life.” Kurosagi pulled out a bag of cookies from her desk to Hatori’s surprise and popped it open. She pulled out a cookie and dipped it into her coffee. She bit out of the cookie and smirked.

“Let’s have some Rardell tea tomorrow.”

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