“I did everything for them.”
Hatori read through a book called “Winter Dreams” on the sofa. He glanced back at the wall behind him and asked, “Are you done in there?”
Kurosagi opened the small window over the sofa and looked down at Hatori.
“I just need to put the spare parts into the coffin and then we can go eat.”
Hatori nodded and watched Kurosagi close the small window. Behind the sofa was the corpse lab that took Hatori awhile to get used to. Kurosagi would burn dead animal remains in the Corpse lab and use the ashes for her power when needed. It turns out that she keeps one part of the dead body unburned and buries it as payment for the dead spirit of the animal.
Kurosagi walked out of her room and looked toward Hatori.
“Get my bag please,” said Kurosagi. Hatori nodded closing his book. While Hatori got Kurosagi’s bag, Kurosagi opened the door. To her surprise standing before the door was a man around his twenties with a smile upon his lips. Around his neck was a white collar and his shirt and clothes were pure black.
The man nodded and lifted Kurosagi off the ground. He hugged her gently and said, “Nice to see you again.” Kurosagi smiled and hugged him back. Hatori saw this and asked, “Who is he?” Kurosagi looked at Hatori.
“This is Father Sayoran Kinomoto. He’s a priest and an expert in every religion to exist. He’s one of my connections.”
Sayoran nodded and bowed to Hatori.
Hatori greeted Sayoran back and introduced himself. Sayoran nodded and looked at Kurosagi.
“So you finally decided to have a friend live with you?” asked Sayoran. Kurosagi nodded with a smile. The smile Kurosagi showed Sayoran seemed to be genuine. She also seemed to have more respect toward him because he was able to hug her. Hatori kind of felt annoyed by this.
Hatori pulled Kurosagi away from Sayoran’s grasp. Hatori placed Kurosagi down and asked, “Is there a reason for you to be here, Father Sayoran?” Sayoran nodded and looked down at Kurosagi, who was looking at Hatori wondering why she was pulled away from Sayoran.
“I need you to help me find someone.”
Kurosagi looked at Sayoran with a raised eyebrow.
“Isn’t he your senior priest?”
“Father Kelma was helping me with the donations for the church community. The last time I saw him was last month in the church. I tried to contact his phone, but his phone has been disconnected. I know something is terribly wrong.”
“Why don’t you go to the police?” asked Hatori with crossed arms. Sayoran shook his head and stated, “I don’t trust the police in this matter. They usually put aside the missing cases.” Kurosagi smirked.
“I see, so you want me to find him, but not him exactly right?” asked Kurosagi. Hatori grew confused by Kurosagi’s words. Sayoran smiled sadly and said, “So you know?” Kurosagi nodded.
“For you not to go to the police, I believe you think he is dead.”
“Wait a minute, you can’t just say that he is dead because you haven’t seen him for a month,” stated Hatori. Kurosagi glanced at Hatori.
“Father Sayoran doesn’t think he’s dead just because he’s been gone for a month, am I right?”
Sayoran nodded again. He dug in his pocket and showed a blood stained white collar with a cross at the end and the letters “K” and “J”. Hatori cringed at the sight.
“This is Father Kelma Jordan’s collar. He never goes anywhere without it. As you can see it is covered in blood, which I believe is his and if you look closely…”
Sayoran pulled the ends of the collar vertically showing a noticeable slit.
“This slit was cut cleanly. Clearly by its length it reaches to a vital point in the neck. If Father Kelma was wearing this when the slit was made, he would be dead from blood loss.”
Kurosagi took it into her hand. She examined it closely and asked, “Where did you find this?”
“In St. Matthew’s Church, the church where I last saw him. It was under the chair in the confession stand.”
Kurosagi turned the collar around and noted that the strap to keep it connected was broken, which would explain why it isn’t with the priest.
“I don’t want the police to make this public because the murderer might have a chance to escape.”
“A priest missing, disconnected calls, and a blood stained collar. This is going to be interesting.”
Kurosagi looked at Sayoran and said, “You know I am expensive right?” Sayoran nodded and pulled out a ring from his pocket. He tossed it to Kurosagi. Kurosagi caught it and looked at it closely. It was a ring with a rose shaped diamond upon it. Sayoran smiled and stated, “That ring belonged to my late grandmother. It’s worth millions by now. This is my payment and I believe you will take good care of it.” Kurosagi gripped it in her hand and nodded.
“The deal has been done.”
Kurosagi dropped the ring into Hatori’s hand and said, “Lunch will have to wait, Ogami-San.” Hatori sighed and nodded. Kurosagi slipped her bag on and was about to walk out, until Sayoran grabbed her shoulder making her look at him.
“Don’t forget your shoes, Kurosagi,” reminded Sayoran. Kurosagi looked at her bare feet and nodded. She removed her shoes from the bag and began to slip them on. Hatori looked at Kurosagi and pointed out, “You always complain when I tell you to wear shoes.”
“Father Sayoran is different, Ogami-San,” stated Kurosagi bluntly. Hatori frowned. He looked at Sayoran, who was just smiling brightly. Kurosagi nodded in approval at her shoes and then stepped out the door.
“My car is up front,” said Sayoran. Kurosagi frowned. Hatori got Kurosagi’s attention and said, “We can ride the bikes we got from Egypt.” Kurosagi nodded and went to Hatori’s side. Hatori smirked at Sayoran triumphantly making Sayoran confused.
From under the stairwell, she pulled out a bike just her size. She boarded it and then looked at Sayoran and Hatori.
“I’ll bike behind, you two take the car,” said Kurosagi. Sayoran sighed and nodded. He looked at Hatori and said, “Shall we?” Hatori nodded and followed Sayoran. Parked just down the street was black civic. Sayoran opened the civic with a single click of the key. Hatori sat in the passenger seat and Sayoran sat in the driver’s seat. Sayoran inserted the key in the ignition making the car give out a hum. With a push on the break and changing the car to drive mode, they were on the road. As Sayoran drove, he looked into his rear view mirror making sure that Kurosagi was keeping up.
“This is the first time Kurosagi isn’t puking on wheels,” said Sayoran in amazement. Hatori nodded with a smirk.
“She can control her motion sickness as long as she is in control.”
Sayoran chuckled and said, “That’s good to hear.” Sayoran looked at Hatori and added, “I was actually worried that her motion sickness would get a lot more serious, but this solves that problem.” Hatori glanced at Sayoran and asked, “How long have you known her?”
“Since I was in college, so nine years.”
Sayoran nodded and added, “I met her by chance.”
“That’s right. I was having problems during my college years to the point of suicide and then I met Kurosagi lying in a garbage heap. I took care of her and she helped me realize what I wanted to do in life. I became a priest and decided to aid Kurosagi.”
Sayoran smiled and added, “She’s like a daughter to me.” Hatori frowned. Hatori looked at the rear view mirror wondering again how old Kurosagi was.
They soon reached a church that had a radiant cross on the roof. Sayoran parked his car, shutting off the engine. They exited the car as Kurosagi slid the bike to a stop next to the car. Kurosagi parked her bike and climbed off. She looked at the church and asked, “Is this the place?” Sayoran nodded.
“This is the last place I saw him and where I found the blood stained collar.”
Kurosagi nodded and looked back at them.
“Let’s get going,” she ordered. Hatori and Sayoran followed her into the church. When inside the church they saw a much older man and a woman in her twenties talking to one another near the podium of the church. Sayoran approached them and said, “Father Albert, Miss. Miwa, hello.” They looked at him and smiled.
“Nice to see you too, Father Sayoran.”
“Hello to you too and I told you before to call me Maryanne.”
Sayoran smiled at them and then looked at Kurosagi. He held his hand to Albert and Maryanne and said, “These two are in charge of this church: Father Albert Wisher and Maryanne Miwa. Father Albert is the priest and Miss. Miwa is the assistant.” Albert chuckled and asked, “And who might these two be?” Sayoran looked back at Albert and Maryanne.
“These two are…friends of mine: Hatori Ogami and his daughter, Emi.”
Hatori bowed and greeted them. Kurosagi did the same. Albert nodded at them.
“Have they decided to join our church?” asked Albert. Sayoran chuckled and said, “They just want to look around first.”
“Then let them look for this is a church of God.”
Sayoran nodded. Kurosagi suddenly hid behind Sayoran’s leg making him look down at her. Kurosagi looked at him with innocent eyes and stated, “Those two are scary.” Sayoran got what she was trying to say and looked at Albert and Maryanne.
“Emi isn’t very comfortable with strangers, so just for now, can you two please leave?”
Albert chuckled and nodded. Albert looked at Maryanne and said, “Let’s go, so the child can feel comfortable.” Maryanne nodded with a smile. Albert looked back at Sayoran and added, “We will be back in two hours for the church service will begin.” Sayoran nodded.
Albert and Maryanne left the room. Kurosagi gave out a sigh releasing Sayoran’s leg. Hatori looked at Kurosagi and asked, “Why did you want them to leave?”
“I don’t want them involved with the case,” stated Kurosagi. Kurosagi looked at Sayoran and asked, “Where is the confession stand?”
Sayoran pointed out a box like area. Kurosagi walked to it. She looked at the two doors attached to the box like structure and asked, “Where was the collar located?” Sayoran pointed at the right door. Kurosagi opened the door revealing a clean small room with a single chair and window that showed what was in the left door with a flower design wood cover. Kurosagi entered the small room and knelt down. She looked back at Sayoran and asked, “It was under this chair that you found the collar?” Sayoran nodded.
“Is there anything else in there?” asked Hatori. Kurosagi traced her fingers on the ground and shook her head.
Hatori looked toward the opened door. He cocked his eyebrow as he ran his finger on the door.
“What are you doing Mr. Ogami?” asked Sayoran. Hatori looked down at Kurosagi and said, “This door was painted not too long ago.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Well paint usually fades over time, but the paint on this door looks brand new.”
Hatori pointed at the walls in the confession stand and added, “The walls’ paint in there is starting to fade, so why not the door.” Kurosagi smirked and looked at Sayoran.
“Did the confession stand go through any repairs?” asked Kurosagi.
“Not that I know of.”
Kurosagi chuckled and said, “It is strange to only have the door painted when the entire stand needs painting.” Kurosagi stood up as she looked at Sayoran.
“You said this is the last place you saw Father Kelma? What was he doing before he vanished?”
Sayoran thought awhile and stated, “He was gathering donations from the donation box. I just went out to the store to get us something to eat and when I got back he was gone.”
“So in that time frame something happened to him.”
“How far is the store?” asked Hatori.
“About thirty minutes by car.”
Kurosagi traced her fingers on the window looking into the other room. She pressed on the wood cover gently. The wood cover easily fell over making them gasp. Kurosagi smirked and asked, “Can one of you go into the opposite stand?” Hatori volunteered and entered the left stand. He saw Kurosagi through the window.
“Sit down,” ordered Kurosagi. Hatori did so. Kurosagi looked at Sayoran and asked, “Can you sit on this chair here?” Sayoran did as told. She looked at Hatori and said, “Now try to reach out to Father Sayoran.” Hatori nodded and stretched his hand forward. He was just inches away from the window.
“Now get up with your hand in the position,” ordered Kurosagi. Hatori sprung up and hit Sayoran in the nose. Sayoran clenched his nose bending over. Hatori apologized repeatedly. Kurosagi chuckled.
“If Father Kelma is truly dead then this is how he was killed. A person sits in the opposite stand and can easily reach him if they sit up and reach into the other stand without much effort. The wood cover is weak, so it will fall over when the person reaches into the other room and then can kill the person in the other stand. The victim wouldn’t see it coming.”
Hatori narrowed his eyes and asked, “But then how did the person get the body out and without spraying blood in the other stand.”
“The person can easily wait in the confession stand until everyone is gone as for the blood…”
Kurosagi placed her hand on the door and added, “The door was painted, so it probably had blood on it and the walls wouldn’t have blood if paper was placed on them.”
“You mean the paper to prevent paint from getting on it?”
“That’s right and the paper is easy to dispose of.”
Sayoran nodded in agreement and then asked, “But where was the body placed.” Kurosagi thought awhile and asked, “Is there a blue print of the building?”
“Yes, Father Albert should have it.”
“I will need that.”
Kurosagi opened the door of the confession stand swiftly. A high pitched yelp was heard making them confused. Hatori peeked out from the stand he was in and saw a middle school girl rubbing her forehead. Hatori helped her up asking if she was OK. The girl nodded and looked down at Kurosagi.
“You should say sorry, brat,” said the girl spitefully. Kurosagi sighed and said, “Sorry then, but why are you here, child?” The girl smirked and was about to speak until she saw Sayoran step out of the confession stand behind Kurosagi. The girl hugged Sayoran screaming his name. Sayoran gasped and muttered, “Miss. Miwa’s sister?” The girl groaned and said, “My name is Belle. How many times do I have to tell you?” Kurosagi looked at Sayoran and asked, “So you know her Father Sayoran?” Sayoran nodded pushing Belle off gently.
“Her name is Belle Miwa, Miss. Miwa’s little sister. She comes here often to help with the church.”
Belle nodded and said, “I would do anything to help the church, especially if it means to aid my sister and Father Sayoran.” Belle tried to hug Sayoran again, but Sayoran stepped back showing his discomfort. Kurosagi sighed.
“Well nice to meet you, my name is Emi and this,” holding her hand at Hatori, “is my father Hatori Ogami.”
Belle looked at Hatori and commented, “You’re a total hottie.” Hatori blushed and looked away from her. Sayoran suddenly realized something and urged Kurosagi to him. He leaned toward her ear and whispered, “Belle has photographic memory like you, so she may have memorized the blue print of the church already.” Kurosagi raised an eyebrow at him.
“Are you saying for her to help us with this case?”
Sayoran nodded and added, “It will save us time.” Kurosagi smirked and nodded. She looked at Belle and asked, “Do you know the layout of the church?” Belle nodded and asked, “Why?”
“Just curious. Father and I are trying to find a church to attend after all.”
Belle smiled and nodded. She pulled out a piece of paper and a pencil from her side bag and drew on the paper rapidly. With a single final stroke she showed the paper to Kurosagi.
“I hope you can read it.”
Kurosagi took it and smirked. The blue print looked professionally made. She handed the blue print to Hatori and thanked Belle. Belle nodded and then looked at Sayoran. She gave him a quick peck on the cheek and then winked at him.
“See you soon, Father Sayoran,” said Belle cheerfully and then walked off. Sayoran sighed with Kurosagi looking at him.
“You do know that being a priest you can’t…”
Sayoran covered Kurosagi’s mouth and said, “I know that. Miss. Miwa’s little sister is just a friend and she will soon realize that there is another man out there for her.” Kurosagi smirked and nodded. Hatori suddenly hung the blue print in front of Kurosagi blocking her view of Sayoran.
“Shouldn’t we explore the place already?” asked Hatori with annoyance in his voice. Kurosagi nodded taking the blue print. She looked it over and pointed at the rough sketch of the confession stand.
“If the confession stand is here, then there are three possible exits. One being the front entrance, but Father Sayoran came through there and the entrance points to the street so anybody passing by will see the person with the body.”
“So that exit is out,” stated Hatori. Kurosagi nodded.
“The second exit is the back door behind the stage of the podium.”
“That wouldn’t be possible because Father Albert would be in the room at the time. If I remember correctly, I was also getting food for him too. But forgot when I went to search for Father Kelma.”
“So that exit is out too.”
Kurosagi smirked and said, “Then the final exit would be the door closest to the confession stand.” Kurosagi pointed at the door near the confession stand in the blue print. Sayoran and Hatori stared at the picture. Hatori’s eyes widen and stated, “Doesn’t that lead to the cemetery?” Kurosagi nodded and added, “The perfect place to hide a body.” With the blue print still in hand, they went through the door near the confession stand.
Kurosagi walked through the door entering a solitude room. The room had a desk and book shelves filled with cemetery information. Kurosagi walked pass the furniture and walked toward the only other door in the room. She held the knob and then spotted a glimpse of dried blood near the foot of the door. She knelt down touching the dry blood. She smirked muttering, “The body was brought through here.” Kurosagi stood up and opened the door revealing the cemetery behind the St. Matthew’s Church. She walked into the cemetery with Hatori and Sayoran behind her. She looked back at them with seriousness in her eyes.
“Find anything that might lead us to the body,” ordered Kurosagi. They both nodded and then walked into the cemetery. Hatori examined nearby graves thoroughly. He suddenly took notice of one grave and approached it. He stared at the grave stone, which read, “Kate Josephine” and the date of birth to the day she died. He stared at the soil before the grave and saw that there was no growth of green and that the soil looked loose. He sank his foot into it noting that it was indeed loose. He looked at the gravestones next to it and frowned when he saw that a blanket of green grass was upon them. He looked back at Kurosagi and called to her.
Kurosagi approached him and asked, “What is it?” Hatori pointed down at the grave and said, “This grave isn’t normal. The soil is loose and unless it is freshly buried it shouldn’t be that way.” Kurosagi stared at the grave and added, “This person was buried around fifty years ago, so the soil should have solidified and the grass should be all over it.” Kurosagi looked toward Sayoran and asked, “Was anyone recently buried or unburied?”
“No,” stated Sayoran as he approached them. Kurosagi looked back at the grave and then noticed something. She smirked and asked, “What are the initials for Father Kelma’s name?”
“K. J., why do you ask?”
Kurosagi pointed at the name of the grave and said, “The initials for Kate Josephine is also K. J.” Hatori gasped and asked, “Could the body be here?” Kurosagi nodded. She looked back at them and said, “We need to dig up the grave.” Sayoran turned pale and asked, “Does that mean we are getting…?”
“That’s right, Mimi.”
Sayoran gave out a huge sigh making Hatori look at him confusingly. Kurosagi stood up and said, “Let’s pick up Mimi.” Hatori placed a hand on Kurosagi’s shoulder and asked, “Shouldn’t we just call her?” Kurosagi sighed and stated, “She doesn’t have a cell phone.” Sayoran crossed his arms with dissatisfaction in his face.
“Miss. Kusanagi needs to get with the times and it is rude to have you walk over there just to get her.”
“It’s fine and besides,” Kurosagi pulled out a pure black phone and added, “The Bureau contacted me not too long ago to deliver this to her.”
Hatori chuckled and stated, “I guess they wanted her to finally have a phone.” Kurosagi nodded. Kurosagi looked back at Sayoran and said, “You can stay here for a while if you want. I know that you have a hard time dealing with Mimi.” Sayoran shook his head.
“I’ll be fine.”
Kurosagi nodded and began to walk off with Sayoran and Hatori. Hatori looked at Sayoran and asked, “So you know Mimi?” Sayoran nodded and added, “She was my upperclassman back in elementary school.” Sayoran frowned.
“I still remember all the pranks she did to me back then, but as a servant of the house of God, I can’t always hold ill intentions toward her.”
Kurosagi boarded her bike and said, “I’ll meet you guys there.” Kurosagi biked ahead. Sayoran and Hatori rode the car trailing behind Kurosagi.
After a long while of riding her bike, she stopped her bike on a dirt road and parked it next to a tree. She glanced up at the residence of Mimi. She walked into the house as Sayoran parked the car. She peeked inside the house calling for Mimi. Mimi emerged from the back with a bowl of ramen. She smirked when she saw Kurosagi at her door.
“Kurosagi, what brings ya here? Is it another job?”
Kurosagi nodded and added, “I also came to deliver this.” Kurosagi dumped the phone in Mimi’s only available hand. Mimi stared at the phone and asked, “Did you buy it or the bureau?”
“The bureau bought it. It’s already activated and the Bureau will pay the bill for it. I’ll be calling you through that.”
Mimi stared at the phone and sighed. She stuffed it into her pocket and muttered, “This is going to be trouble.” She looked at Kurosagi and added, “I will pick up the phone only for ya, OK.” Kurosagi nodded.
“Now for the job: I need you to unbury a body back in St. Matthew’s church.”
Mimi nodded and added, “No Problemo.”
“Please stick with one accent.”
Mimi flinched and looked toward her door again. She saw Sayoran and Hatori walking in. Mimi smirked when she saw Sayoran.
“Hello mate. Haven’t seen you in ages,” said Mimi as she looked at Sayoran. Sayoran bowed to her and said, “Nice to see you too.” Mimi ruffled Sayoran’s hair making him flinch.
“If ya weren’t a priest, I would kiss ya,” teased Mimi. Sayoran shoved her hand away gently with a blush against his cheek.
“Please stop twisting accents, Miss. Kusanagi.”
Mimi laughed and then said, “Ya haven’t changed a bit.” She looked at Kurosagi and asked, “So why is Sayoran here?”
“He is my client.”
Mimi nodded and then looked at Hatori. She smirked when she saw Hatori and asked, “So ya still alive, mate?” Hatori nodded and added, “Nice to see you again, Kusanagi-San.” Mimi nodded.
Mimi flung her shovel on her back and said, “So let’s get to the graveyard.” She walked pass Sayoran, but suddenly turned hitting Sayoran’s head with her shovel. Hatori cringed, while Sayoran gripped his head in pain. Mimi looked at Kurosagi and asked, “Are you walking or taking the car?”
“I have a bike now to control my motion sickness,” stated Kurosagi. Mimi nodded and then turned back around hitting Sayoran again. Sayoran was gripping his head trying to control the pain. Hatori looked at Sayoran and asked, “Did she do that on purpose?”
“I don’t know, but this is a daily occurrence when I am with her, but I will still forgive her.”
Hatori could hear the spite in Sayoran’s voice. Kurosagi walked behind Mimi out of the building. The minute she was out, she boarded her bike and waited for Sayoran, Hatori, and Mimi to get in the car. When she was sure they were in, she pedaled down the road. Mimi watched Kurosagi bike and smiled.
“Glad Kurosagi got over her motion sickness with that little bugger,” said Mimi. Sayoran nodded in agreement. Hatori looked at Mimi and asked, “I was just wondering but when did you first meet Kurosagi?” Mimi chuckled.
“In elementary school, mate. She was the first person to find my digging habit interesting. Why ya ask?”
Mimi snapped her fingers and said, “I bet ya trying to fig out her age. Sorry mate, but none of us know.”
Mimi and Sayoran nodded. Sayoran sighed and said, “But we do know that she is very old.” Hatori looked at Kurosagi’s figure and sighed.
How old are you?
Kurosagi stopped her bike in front of the St. Matthew’s church. She parked her bike and walked toward the church. Hatori stepped out of the car and looked toward Kurosagi. He suddenly saw a statue of an angel move on top and topple over. Hatori gasped when he realized it was falling toward Kurosagi. Hatori rushed to her. He grabbed her to her surprise and slammed into the wall as the angel statue smashed into pieces where Kurosagi once stood. Kurosagi looked at Hatori, who was cringing in pain.
“Are you all right, Ogami-San?” asked Kurosagi. Hatori nodded. Mimi and Sayoran ran to Kurosagi and Hatori asking if they were all right. Kurosagi nodded showing that she was fine. Kurosagi and Hatori stood up. Sayoran looked at the fallen statue and said, “I’ll need to tell Father Albert to have that repaired.” Mimi nodded and added, “The place is fallin apart.” Sayoran flinched and muttered, “One accent, Miss. Kusanagi.” Mimi chuckled. Kurosagi stared at the broken statue and smirked.
“This is starting to get even more interesting.”
Kurosagi walked into the church with the others and entered the door that led to the funeral room, which in turn led to the graveyard. Mimi looked down at Kurosagi and asked, “So which grave, mate?”
Kurosagi pointed at the disturbed grave. Mimi nodded pulling her trusty shovel off her back. She removed it fast nearly hitting Sayoran again. Sayoran was aware of this and ducked. Sayoran glared at Mimi, who just approached the grave. She pushed her shovel into the dirt and began to dig. Mimi suddenly stopped digging and frowned.
“Something wrong, Mimi?” asked Kurosagi. Mimi glanced back at Kurosagi with a serious expression.
“The bodies of dead are buried six feet deep, but this here grave doesn’t even reach the mark. It about four feet deep. Talk about disrespect for the dead.”
“How do you know that it is only four feet deep?” asked Hatori. Mimi gripped her shovel and pushed it down into the dirt. The shovel made a bump sound indicating that it hit something.
“I already reached the coffin mate.”
Kurosagi approached the grave as Mimi shoveled off the remaining dirt. Kurosagi frowned when she saw that it wasn’t a coffin, but a trunk. Kurosagi looked back at the tomb stone. She traced her fingers on it and groaned.
“I should have noticed this before. This tomb stone was made by an amateur. The letters are all wrong and the letters weren’t smoothed out.”
“A homemade grave then?” asked Mimi. Kurosagi nodded. She looked back at Sayoran and Hatori with seriousness in her eyes.
“Help me get the trunk out.”
They both nodded and jumped into the hole. With a grunt they lifted up the truck that seemed to weigh a ton. They lifted it onto the grass and then released breathing heavily. Kurosagi saw that there was a lock and looked back at Mimi.
“Use your shovel to break this lock,” ordered Kurosagi. Mimi nodded lifting up her shovel. She slammed it on the lock shattering the lock instantly. Kurosagi removed the broken pieces and flipped the hatch of the trunk. She looked back at the others and said, “Hold your breath.” With that, Kurosagi flipped the lid open. Mimi cringed, Sayoran covered his mouth, and Hatori gagged. In the trunk lay a rotting corpse of a priest. The corpse had its throat sliced open and the eyes were already being eaten by maggots. Its clothes covered in dry blood leading from the neck. Kurosagi looked at Sayoran and asked, “Is this Father Kelma?” Sayoran stared at the body and noticed the birthmark under the right eye. Sayoran gritted his teeth and nodded.
“So he is dead,” whispered Hatori. Kurosagi gave out a sigh and asked, “We found the body so should we try to find the murderer?” Sayoran nodded. Kurosagi held her hand over the rotting corpse.
“Tell me the three clues I need to solve this case, Kelma Jordan.”
Kurosagi touched the body and gasped as she felt the rush of heat. Her eyes became glazed as her mouth opened wide.
“Church, candle, love.”
Kurosagi removed her hand and fell to her knees. She didn’t even notice the maggot on her hand. Hatori wiped the maggot off and wiped her hands down with a wipe he had in his pocket. Kurosagi smirked and muttered, “Church, candle, and love: the three clues I need to solve this case.” Kurosagi suddenly cried out in pain making Hatori gasp. Sayoran’s eyes widen when he saw the smoke forming under Kurosagi’s knees.
“Pick up Kurosagi now!” screamed Sayoran. Hatori nodded and lifted her up. Hatori cringed when he saw the burn marks on her legs. Sayoran went to Kurosagi and wiped off the grave soil from her legs. When the last of the soil was gone, her legs healed instantly.
“Your allergy?” asked Hatori. Kurosagi nodded and admitted, “My body can’t touch grave soil, but I only feel pain. It can’t kill me.” Kurosagi jumped from Hatori’s arms and looked at them seriously.
“We need to search for any clues in the church.”
They all nodded. Mimi suddenly raised her hand and asked, “Should I rebury the body?” Kurosagi shook her head and added, “We need it for evidence, besides…”
Kurosagi looked at the hollow grave.
“He needs a proper burial.”
Mimi nodded and said, “Well with the body out, I can’t return to my crib. I’ll help you guys with the case for now.” Mimi smirked. Kurosagi nodded. Sayoran sighed, while Hatori smiled.
They entered the church only to see Maryanne arranging the bread and wine for communion. Maryanne saw them and asked, “Are you done with your tour?” Sayoran shook his head and said, “They are still looking around, Miss. Miwa.” Maryanne nodded and then noticed Mimi next to Hatori.
“Who is that?”
Sayoran glanced back at Mimi, who just tipped her hat off to him. Sayoran smiled back at Maryanne and stated, “She is Mr. Ogami’s wife, Mimi.” Mimi held back a laugh. Maryanne stared at Mimi and then to Hatori. She then glanced down at Kurosagi. She giggled and said, “So the whole family is here.” Sayoran nodded. Maryanne stepped down from the stage.
“The service will begin in fifteen minutes. They can explore in that time.”
Sayoran nodded and watched Maryanne walk into a back room. Sayoran sighed in relief, while Mimi burst out laughing. She patted Hatori’s back and said, “I can’t believe he said you were my hubby.” Hatori sighed with a blush against his cheek. Sayoran looked back at them and said, “Well I couldn’t tell her the truth.” Kurosagi smirked at Sayoran and said, “You did the right thing, Father Sayoran.” Sayoran smiled down at Kurosagi. Hatori stepped in front of Kurosagi blocking her view of Sayoran.
“We only have fifteen minutes, so let’s find the clues,” stated Hatori. Kurosagi nodded pushing Hatori aside. Hatori stared at Kurosagi’s back. Mimi smirked at Hatori and whispered, “Ya did that on purpose mate.”
“Did what on purpose?”
“Don’t play dumb. Ya blocked Kurosagi so she wouldn’t give the eye to Sayoran, right?”
Hatori looked away from Mimi and stated, “I don’t know what you are talking about.” Mimi chuckled and patted Hatori’s back.
“Ya don’t have to deny it. All her connections feel the need to protect her too and we are always competing for that spot.”
Mimi smirked and glanced up at Hatori.
“As her protector of course.”
Mimi walked away from Hatori with her hands in her pockets. Hatori stared at Kurosagi, who was near the stage and wondered if he was really competing against Sayoran for her attention.
Kurosagi searched the stage thoroughly. She looked at the candles on the podium and noticed something peculiar. She grabbed one of the candles and smirked. She looked at the others and asked, “What happens to candles when they are lit?”
“They melt of course,” stated Mimi. Kurosagi nodded and showed the candle in her hand.
“This candle looks brand new and if you look at the other candles they are getting closer to the stand.”
“What are ya gettin at?” asked Mimi. Kurosagi gripped the candle and said, “One of the clues is candle.” Kurosagi yanked the candle off revealing the needle of the stand that holds the candle up. She showed it to them and asked, “Do you think this is sharp enough to cut someone’s throat?” The needle of the stand glittered in the light.
“I would think so,” stated Hatori. Mimi and Sayoran nodded in agreement. Kurosagi rubbed her hands on the candle stand and added, “It was cleaned well.”
They suddenly heard a scream in the back making them jump. Hatori looked toward the door and said, “Isn’t that scream toward the graveyard?” Kurosagi nodded. Mimi chuckled scratching the back of her head sheepishly.
“I think someone saw the body mate.”
“You didn’t close the lid?” yelled Sayoran. Mimi laughed uneasily. Kurosagi sighed and walked to the graveyard area. When in the graveyard, they saw Belle on the ground with tears in her eyes staring at the body in the trunk.
“Miss. Miwa’s sister.”
Belle looked toward them with tear filled eyes. She ran at them embracing Sayoran around his waist.
“A body…there’s a body.”
Sayoran petted her head saying, “It’s OK. Calm down.” It was at that point, Albert and Maryanne ran out of the church.
“What was that scream?” asked Albert. Mimi kicked the lid of the trunk closed. Maryanne noticed Belle crying against Sayoran and asked, “Belle what’s wrong?” Belle pointed at the now closed trunk.
Albert and Maryanne looked at the trunk with confusion clearly in their faces. Kurosagi breathed out a sigh and said, “Belle-San saw something a bit shocking in that trunk.”
“What was it?” asked Maryanne in concern. Belle looked at Maryanne with tear filled eyes and muttered, “Father…Father Kelma.” Maryanne grew pale. Albert looked at Maryanne and asked, “What’s wrong, Maryanne?” Maryanne looked at them seriously.
“Is the body of Father Kelma in that trunk?” asked Maryanne. All their eyes widened, while Kurosagi’s narrowed.
“What do you mean Father Kelma’s body?”
“It’s just as I said, so is he in there?” asked Maryanne with crossed arms. Sayoran nodded and looked at Mimi.
“There’s no use hiding it.”
“Fine,” said Mimi with a pout and kicked the lid open revealing the body. Albert gasped and fell back.
“What is this?”
Kurosagi looked at Albert and said, “The body of the missing Father Kelma.” Albert covered his mouth trying to control his nausea. Belle was bawling against Sayoran’s chest with Sayoran rubbing her back. Hatori looked at Maryanne and asked, “So how did you know that Father Kelma’s body was in there?” Maryanne closed her eyes and muttered, “Because I killed him and put him there.”
They looked at her with wide eyes. Albert grabbed Maryanne’s arm and asked, “Why would you do such a sin?” Maryanne looked downcast.
“Because he abandoned me.”
“That’s right, I loved him, but he chose the church over me, so I killed him as revenge.”
Albert’s hand was shaking as he gripped Maryanne’s arm. Maryanne looked at them and asked, “So who is the detective that cracked the case?” Hatori was going to point at Kurosagi, but Kurosagi pointed at Hatori and claimed, “He’s the detective.” Hatori looked at Kurosagi in disbelief. Sayoran and Mimi were just as surprised. Maryanne nodded and held her hands at Hatori.
“Can you please take me in?”
Hatori nodded and pulled out a pair of handcuffs that he kept in his coat pocket. He handcuffed Maryanne and led her into the church. Sayoran led Belle and Albert inside. Mimi looked down at Kurosagi and asked, “Why not reveal ya self now mate?”
Kurosagi smirked and said, “Because the murder is not yet solved.” Mimi blinked in confusion as Kurosagi walked past her.
When in the church, Hatori sat Maryanne on an empty chair. Kurosagi sat next to Maryanne making Maryanne look at her.
“Do you need something?”
Kurosagi nodded and asked, “So how did you kill Father Kelma?”
“I slit his throat, didn’t you see the body?”
Kurosagi nodded and asked, “With what and where?” Maryanne flinched.
“Why do you want to know?”
“Well father needs to put everything into a record, Miwa-san.”
Maryanne sighed and said, “I used a knife from my home to cut his throat and I did it in the graveyard.” Kurosagi smirked.
“That’s not right.”
Maryanne’s eyes widen. Kurosagi swung her legs back and forth looking up at the ceiling.
“His throat was cut with a needle of a candle stick and his murder was done in the confession stand.”
“How do you know that?”
Kurosagi chuckled and said, “Because we found blood in the confession stand and the candle stick.” Kurosagi looked at Maryanne with a smirk.
“So tell me who you are covering for.”
“Don’t play dumb.”
Kurosagi looked toward the stage and saw Belle examining the candlestick frantically. Kurosagi chuckled and said, “I lied about the blood, but you are holding the right candlestick, Belle-San.” Belle flinched making everyone in the room look at her.
Belle giggled and said, “I was just looking at the candlestick.”
Kurosagi smirked as she jumped from the seat next to Maryanne. She approached Belle and said, “What reason are you looking at a candlestick?” Belle was silent.
“Now that I think about it, why were you outside in the first place?”
Belle remained silent.
“Besides the priests and Miwa-San, you are the only other person to know the blueprint of the building. You knew the shortest way to get to the graveyard without anyone noticing. My guess is that when Father Sayoran went to get something from the convenience store, you lured Father Kelma into the confession stand to ‘confess’ your sins and then used the needle of the candlestick to cut his throat. Father Sayoran came back so you had to remain in the stand until he was gone and then you brought Father Kelma through the door to the graveyard and buried him in a grave you made yourself. Am I correct?”
Belle smirked and said, “But that is just a guess. Wouldn’t there be blood in the confession stand and on the candlestick stand?”
“There would be blood on the confession stand and candle, but they were cleaned.”
Sayoran nodded and added, “You did say that the candlestick stand was well cleaned.”
Belle shook her head and asked, “But how can I clean the confession stand.” Kurosagi looked toward Hatori and stated, “Ogami-San pointed out before that only the door of the stand was painted, so I believe that the stand where Father Kelma sat in was covered by paper. The blood splattered on the paper so all you had to do was remove the paper and paint the door, which doesn’t take very long.”
Albert gasped and stated, “Belle was disposing of some wall paper in a furnace a month ago.” Belle gritted her teeth.
“Then what about the grave, how could I make a grave in such a short time.”
“That’s easy, you made the grave ahead of time.”
Belle’s eyes widened. Kurosagi smirked and added, “You planned to kill Father Kelma a long time ago. You just needed to find the right time.” Kurosagi looked toward Maryanne and said, “She tried to confess to the crime because she believed you killed him too, so I’m guessing that your motive to kill him was related to her.”
Belle chuckled and then burst out laughing. She smirked at them with crazed eyes.
“Big sister loved that man, but held no ill intentions toward him, but I thought differently.”
Belle looked at Maryanne and said, “Maryanne is actually my half-sister. We became sisters when my mother married Maryanne’s father, who lost his wife to disease.” Belle clenched her fist.
“That man, he was the one my mother loved so much, but he rejected her for the church, so she had to marry another man. My mother died loving him and now big sister loves him and he rejected her too. How many hearts will he break before he is satisfied?”
Belle glanced at Sayoran and said, “Then I told him during confession time that I had fallen in love with a priest. He told me not to make the same mistake as my sister and mother. That’s when I decided to kill him. I made a grave using mother’s name and a made up last name so the initials would match. I placed wall paper in the stand with the excuse that it needed repairs and then got him alone and that was the end of Father Kelma.”
Belle smirked and muttered, “Let him rot in Hell.” Maryanne got up with tear filled eyes looking up at Belle.
“Belle please think logically. How could you kill a man in the house of God?”
Belle glared at Maryanne and screamed, “To Hell with God! That man always used God as an excuse.”
Kurosagi chuckled and stated, “So that’s the reason and I bet you already figured out that I am the detective and not Ogami-San. You figured it out a long time ago when you eavesdropped us reenacting the murder and made the blueprint for us. That’s why you tried to kill me in front of the church, so I wouldn’t dig up the body.”
Hatori gasped and said, “So that statue falling toward you wasn’t an accident?” Kurosagi nodded and pointed at Belle.
“She was the one who pushed it in order to kill me trying to make it look like an accident. It’s also the reason why she was outside. She saw the body exposed and pretended that she didn’t know anything about it making her look like she was innocent.”
Belle gritted her teeth. Belle yanked the candle off the candlestick stand and pointed the needle of it toward Kurosagi.
“I did know you were the detective, but that wasn’t the main reason for me wanting you dead. Sayoran paid more attention to you than to me.”
“Me?” asked Sayoran in shock pointing at himself. Belle nodded with tears falling from her eyes.
“I heard him call your name and yet he still calls me Maryanne’s sister. Why is it that you get special treatment?”
Kurosagi smirked and said, “So Father Sayoran was the priest you fell in love with. Sorry to say, but he is totally dedicated to God.” Belle’s eyes widen. She threw the candlestick at Kurosagi like a dart screaming, “It’s not fair!”
Hatori blocked the candle stick with his hand. The needle impaled his hand making him cringe. Kurosagi sighed and muttered, “I would have been fine.” Hatori yanked the candle stick needle out of his hand and stated, “But I would have felt bad doing nothing.” Kurosagi chuckled and handed Hatori a handkerchief from her dress pocket. Hatori wrapped the cloth around his hand. Kurosagi looked at Belle, who was shaking on the stage.
“You would have had a bright future with that photographic memory of yours but your feelings of revenge got the best of you. Now your future will be nothing but guilt.”
Kurosagi looked at Maryanne and mouthed an apology to her making Maryanne confused. Kurosagi approached Belle with her hand outstretched. Mimi and Sayoran looked away with sadness in their eyes. Belle looked up at Kurosagi and could have sworn that Kurosagi’s red eyes were glowing.
“Church was the connection to the murderer and where it took place; candle was the murder weapon; and love was the motive for the killing. The connection has been made now fall into the darkness, Belle Miwa.”
Belle’s screams echoed through the walls of the church.
In the office of Kurosagi, Hatori was sitting on the sofa, while Kurosagi sat in her chair eating chocolate chip cookies. Hatori looked at Kurosagi and asked, “I didn’t get a chance to ask you before, but what did Father Sayoran say to you yesterday after Belle was taken in?”
Kurosagi placed her cookie down and said, “He told me that he felt responsible for Father Kelma’s death because Belle-San loved him. I told him that he wasn’t at fault and then he told me that he would see me again some time.”
“I guess that’s good, but I do feel sorry for Maryanne. She tried to save her sister by confessing to the crime, but Belle was still apprehended.”
Kurosagi nodded and bit out of her cookie. She remembered the fake gravestone and smirked.
“Belle-San didn’t entirely hate Father Kelma.”
“What do you mean?”
“Belle-San created a tombstone using her mother’s first name and made up a last name to match the initials of Father Kelma’s name. In her heart, I think she always wanted Father Kelma to be her true father.”
“Is that so?”
Hatori leaned against the sofa pulling out a book. He read the book, but then glanced at Kurosagi who was munching on her cookie. He remembered Mimi’s words and smiled.
Father Sayoran is my rival, but for now I am Kurosagi’s protector.