The Dejected Detective
The sun rises on another wonderful day of spring! The freshly bloomed flowers hold remnants of the rainfall from the night before, the birds chirp to their friends saying “good morning”, I’m sure. The cicadas sing their wonderful song for all to hear… nothing in the world could disrupt this calm, that much is cl- sirens! Sirens all around “cover the back junior! If he gets away that’s more paperwork on Okazaki’s desk” the owner of the voice rounds the corner in a hurry. He’s suited, but it’s baggy. Shirt untucked, collar unbuttoned and the tie nowhere to be seen. His haste said “I’ll do anything to find the bad guy!”, his eyes said “I’ll do anything to ditch this loser and catch some beauty sleep”.
His partner hurried down a different street, “The captain does your paperwork for you, senpai?!” he queried without turning back or slowing down, while his senpai rolled his eyes and muttered “moron” under his breath.
The man they were seeking appeared out of thin air behind a large tree, he was panting heavily and reached into his pocket for some papers and a phone. Once he had finished dialling and wiping the sweat from his brow, the call connected. “How in the hell did the WWO find me so quick?! I thought you said they wouldn’t notice until two days later!” He remained vigilant, this part of town was very quiet. As it was so close to the port, it used to bring the hustle and bustle but nowadays it saw less and less deliveries thanks to the fancier new port built with all the new gadgets and gizmos. “No, no I got it. Almost lost an arm getting out but it’s fine, just make sure you get here quick or else your precious gift’ll be back in the hands of those goodie goodies”.
The man at the other end was sat comfortably in his warm office, with a nice cigar and a glass of the finest whiskey on the market which was given as a gift from the governor of course. “Fret not my dear Ougi, the Sea King shall be with you in a matter of mere moments''. Ougi looked at the crossroads and saw one of his chasers looking his way, “damn it. Too late they’re already here, I’ll draw them away.” Ougi hung up and placed the phone back in his pocket. “Minagawa-senpai! I’ve got him in my sights”. The young man yelled as he met the gaze of Ougi and ran in his direction. Ougi closed his eyes and began mumbling, as he progressed a circle of light appeared below him, filling him with power. His eyes opened once again, “Veil of Darkness!”. He cast his spell onto a small suitcase he had put to the side, and then cast the spell on himself before rushing towards the pursuer. He and the case vanished like they were never there.
The young man reached Ougi’s hiding spot but couldn’t spot him, he picked up his radio. “You get him, Kagari?” His elder asked. “Not yet, but I won’t rest until I catch him!”. The young man held out a small sheet of marked paper and, began to chant quietly with a grin on his face. “You think you can get away because you can’t be seen? Too bad for you all things have a scent, and I’ve got yours. Hunter's Instinct!” The air shifted, the papers burst into a crimson blaze and Kagari took a deep breath through his nose… “Gotcha”.
Minagawa had continued running down the high street looking for the perp… and at all the beds in the home stores whilst sobbing quietly “Soon, once I get this guy and get rid of the kid… I can finally get back to you my love…” his bed appeared in his mind before the crackle of his radio killed the moment and dragged the dreamer back to reality “Minagawa-senpai” he angrily grabbed his radio and answered the call “Didn’t I tell you to stop calling me that?! What’s the update?”, “I’ve got him cornered at the lighthouse. I need back up”. Minagawa hurried to the spot.
There he met a now visible, he stopped next to his partner and caught his breath. “Do you have… (panting) any idea, how much I hate running?! You sir, are getting put in the smallest and most uncomfortable cell I can find, you hear me?!”. “Uhh, Senpai… I don’t think that’s up to code…” Kagari hesitantly advised his senior, “Shut it, rookie. Now then. Mr. Ougi Shun. Wanted for the illegal possession of a dangerous, might I add, possibly lecherous, unregistered spell and for the distribution of contraband incantations that were stolen from the Arcane Vault two years ago. You are under arrest, your Veil of Darkness spell will be confiscated, and you will either help us find your friends willingly or forcefully, we will grant you that choice at HQ. For now, down on your knees, hands where I can see em. Kagari, cuff him”. Before Kagari could turn to his elder and nod in approval, Ougi’s dull laughter caught their attention. “You agents think you’re special. The bigwigs give you an order and you oblige happily wagging your tails like the dogs you really are. Little mutts like you should stay behind your masters else you get hurt!” Ougi claps his hands, a row of bombs appear between Ougi and the Agents “Get down!” Minagawa yells as he realises the danger.
The bombs detonate with tremendous power, evaporating windows and lights nearby and blowing a huge hole in the side of the lighthouse. Ougi was running towards the docks now, too far to catch him before he dives in and loses us, Kagari thought to himself after catching a glimpse through the smoke as he coughed up any that journeyed to his lungs. “He’s gonna get away!” He managed to shout out in the confusion, “He’s going nowhere!” Kagari turned to where the voice came from to see Minagawa enveloped with a golden glow, electricity surging around him, and then… he vanished. The air whipped around trying to fill the space where Minagawa once stood.
All Ougi heard was a thunderbolt, he turned back and saw only Kagari. That was because the golden glow found its way in front of him in less that a millisecond. “Flash Step” he announced as he returned to his ordinary state, Ougi turned back only to see Minagawa’s boot catch him in the mouth, he flew backwards like a dart. Barely conscious now he winced in pain and held his jaw, glaring at the agent. “Making me run around is one thing but making me use THAT. You’re gonna wish for the death penalty”.
Minagawa put his phone to his ear and squatted down in front of Ougi, “Target subdued. Heading back to Arcana. (Turns off his phone) Now then, anymore trouble from you and I’ll pass you onto Sigma team… and those boys make me look like a loving mother”. The agents took hold of their new captive, pulling him to his feet and escorting him back to their squad car. Minagawa took up the back seats, he was zipped all the way up in a sleeping bag, all three seatbelts fastened around him. Ougi was rather perplexed in the passenger seat before Kagari slapped on a pair of cuffs. “Those are Ward Stone cuffs. You try anything tricky with them on it’ll cancel out your magic”, Kagari closes the door and walks over to the drivers side whilst Ougi stares at him dumbfounded “and how exactly is Invisibility going to get me out of handcuffs?!”
As the car starts and the trio drive away the case reappears and is picked up by an ominous man. “The package has been secured, sir.”. The phone connects to Ougi’s boss, “good” he says as he swirls the content of his cup slowly “and what of Mr Shun? Shall I tail the agents?”. “No need, we have our gift. I need it here in three days, you understand what happens if you miss that deadline, am I correct?”. The current owner of the briefcase swallows his fear, “yes sir. I won’t let you down”. “Good boy”, he hangs up. After downing his shot he relaxes comfortably in his chair, reclining as far back as he can whilst calling another number. The plaque on his desk reads Takehaya Danzō. “I have it… that’s good, I’ll be there…”
It’s late in the city now, the sky is dark but the streets are bright. Signs illuminate the surroundings, inviting in all those they catch the attention of. Laughter and cheers are the song of this neighbourhood as the residents celebrate another weekend with booze in their hands and merriment in their hearts… and then there’s Minagawa and Kagari parked down the street. Minagawa is still half asleep whilst the always peppy Kagari makes sure their car is parked perfectly. When he sees no faults, he nods happily and grabs Ougi out of the passenger side. “I’ll take Mr Disappear to processing, you head back to Okazaki” Minagawa directed as he stretched his arms and stood up slowly. “Captain Okazaki said that the next time you bail on him he’s going to take your sleeping bag away from you”
Minagawa’s eye twitches at the thought. He accepts his fate and sighs “fine, you go book him in. Wait for me here, I don’t want to get stuck here with his favourite surprise case files gag. Last time he caught me with that I thought I was gonna die.” As the two decide on who gets to play bad cop, a man holding a box of papers and a mish mash of office utensils walks out and notices them. “The odd couple strikes again. You forcing the kid to do all of your dirty work again, Atsushi?”. Minagawa disapprovingly stares at the man. “They finally decide to kick your creepy ass to the curb, Sosuke?” Minagawa retorted. “Oooh, no sympathy for your former partner?” Sosuke had waltzed down the long steps and was face to face with Minagawa, Kagari wondered whether to step in or not.
“Not for you, no.” Minagawa stayed stern while Sosuke smiled menacingly. “Too bad. Try not to overwork your partner, you have a habit of that.” Sosuke walks past Minagawa but both face forwards, “Me? I’m sure you’ll be seeing me soon… real soon” his cryptic statement said quietly, only reaching Minagawa’s ears.
Kagari took Ougi to the side entrance while Minagawa just yawned and looked up at the building he was headed into like it was the lair of a dragon. It was old yet modern, recently refurbished. The letters W.W.O we’re built into the top left corner. Out front was a projected globe spinning in a charming pool, a few squad cars covered the parking lot scruffily. The half asleep agent placed his hand on the glass at the entrance then held up his golden badge to an internal scanner. The buzzer played and the door smoothly opened allowing Minagawa to enter much to his hesitancy. He meandered towards the elevators, his eyes glued to the break room longingly. “Yeah, not on your life” he told himself. Okazaki had a tight leash for the agent with a penchant for dozing off; the more he could deprive him of what he longed for, the more it made Captain Okazaki smile. The lift opened up to the weary wanderer and up he went.
The 4th floor was home to the top brass, they had the best views… if only they had the time to admire it. Okazaki had been part of the trio of agent handlers and only took orders from the regional commander, a title so prestigious it carried a constant crosshair. Okazaki had enlightened Minagawa with his progression goals, how he wanted to take that Commander role after 2 years and nothing would stop him… that was 5 years ago and he was still neck deep in reports and downing painkillers like they were chocolates from a nameless lover. The elevator reached the destination despite Minagawa’s pleas to break down halfway there, and the hapless dog. “This place never changes” he thought while glancing at the god awful colour scheme and uncomfortable furniture, perhaps added to discourage anyone with heavy eyes.
Before entering the office labelled with the name that brought him constant stress he steadied himself and took a deep breath before knocking and entering. It was surprisingly neat this time. The last time he found himself in this office, Okazaki had made a web of documents, “cleaners must’ve got on his case” Minagawa assumed, moving forward into the office and closing the door behind him loudly. The body in the chair winced in agony at the noise. “Would it kill you to close a damn door quietly?!” Okazaki sat back in his chair… if he sat up properly his tallest pile of papers would be eye level, the pile clearly marked Minagawa. He had a cooling gel covering his forehead and a bag of ice as a crown. His thumb and finger massaged his temples fruitlessly trying to alleviate the pain.
“My bad, let me try again” Minagawa teased as he reached for the door handle before his handler’s irritated reaction told him to knock it off. “Don’t be a smart ass, not now. I’ve got six divisions requesting assistance, two meetings about agent effectiveness in the workplace and zero patience for any of it”. Okazaki seemed to reach out for something that he was used to being there, when nothing was found he looked down at his desk and sighed. He had the front desk on speed dial, for his diligent assistant Ayame.
“Oi Ayame, I’m fresh out of smokes. Could you swing by the store and pick some up?” he asked rather pleasantly, a tone Minagawa hadn’t heard since his first few months working for the WWO. It was Okazaki’s way of asking nicely, as opposed to what he had become accustomed to, demanding. “Your wife told me if I caught you smoking again I have to report back to her, are you sure you want me to get them?” Okazaki sat back, frustrated. “Fine, (disconnects the call) damn demon woman”.
Minagawa would’ve loved to watch his twisted captain squirm but the issue of Ougi was still present in his mind. “We apprehended Ougi Shun. The rookie has him down in processing now, and should be in a slammer within an hour. You want to elaborate on the sudden push to put him behind bars? He’s hardly a threat.” Minagawa questioned
“You’ve heard of the criminal group that lovingly call themselves B.M.M right, Atsushi?” Minagawa scoffed “as has every old lady and annoying brat, what’s your point?”. The B.M.M, they had appeared a few years ago in the backstreets and alleys. They were extremely violent and had corrupted damn near an army of followers to their cause, what that cause was? No one knew, all they did know was that it couldn’t be good.
“Well, Ougi’s boss was a guy by the name of Danzo. Formerly of the Mori family, and the son of their leader’s right-hand man Takehaya Ieyasu. Joined some unnamed gang in the west and caused pandemonium before coming back here. He’s been quiet for a couple of months but we never took our eyes off of him and, wouldn’t you know it, he’s starting something with the B.M.M”. Atsushi leant back on the wall behind him crossing his arms as he tried to connect the dots, “okay… but what does Ougi have to do with it? Why not just cut off the head?” he queried. Okazaki chuckled to himself smugly, “Sure that sounds great, you know where Takehaya is? We’ll go pick him up now” still chuckling to himself while Minagawa rolled his eyes “now who’s being a smartass?” He retorted.
“What’s the difference between Gifted magics and Granted magics, Mr Minagawa?” Okazaki asked, still choking on his laughter and wincing lightly at the pain in his head. “Seriously? (Sigh). Gifted Magics are day-to-day, one use spells that are used by everyone and sold practically everywhere. They are incantations written on talismans; the user must chant this incantation to use the spell. Granted Magics come from within; only those with a portion of Merlin’s blood can manifest them. Due to them being internal, a chant is not required. They are much more potent but also come with side effects. We agents chase them down as to either extract and store them, or have the owner become an agent if they suit the role. They are magic at its purest” he explained as if he was reading it from a worn manual that had been scanned and explored thousands of times. “Correct, you did so well remembering what they taught you in elementary school.” He praised smugly while Minagawa planned out his next method to mess with Okazaki. “Magic at its purest. So what if this B.M.M were taking these pure magics,and tormenting them? Making them more powerful, more dangerous? Would that make these spells, Magic at its most impure?” Minagawa was confused, what person can reprogramme magics? “And this Takehaya is the one that has this ability?” he assumed. Okazaki stared at him “correct.”
The meeting with Okazaki had finished yet the captain’s words still echoed in Minagawa’s mind. “If Takehaya has the ability to corrupt magic, that’s one thing. But should he have connections to the B.M.M, this could cause a lot of problems.” Headed towards the holding cells, he racked his mind, still deep in thought. So deep that he heeded no mind of his surroundings. It was fine, he knew his way around this place, more so than that of his own home considering Okazaki loved to force his favourite agent to work overtime. “Takehaya… corrupt magic… B.M.M…? Where would you get such a spell? Surely if he had it from birth we’d have sent agents to take it away after the census took note of it… what are you hiding Danzo?” As his mind wanders a shriek is heard nearby, a few doors down, the records room. Minagawa opens the door cautiously, ready to activate Flash Step as he had been trained to do. In the centre of the room, a young girl, an intern. There is a box on its side close by with documents and images flung from it, “Should’ve seen that coming…” She starts to pick up the papers and notices Atsushi in the doorway. She pouts as she notices him “you gonna just stand there and watch or are you gonna help me?” she snapped, “oh sorry, I’ll be on my way” Minagawa responded, closing the door. “Oi!”
“Mind me asking who you are by the way? Not that I’d notice anyway but I don’t think I’ve seen you before” he asked, not really paying all too much attention but wanting to clear the awkward silence. “Name’s Saigusa. I started about a month ago here storing and taking stock of the records. Last guy who was here apparently had a nervous breakdown” It was clear why, this room was covered in dust and cobwebs, the only light in the room was broken and windows were seemingly a luxury books and documents could not afford. There were writings in this room that were penned before even Minagawa’s grandparents were born, and they were fraying and rotting because of it. A simple knock could delete hundreds of years worth of knowledge. “So you’re essentially a glorified librarian. How’d they rope you in?” Saigusa did not appreciate that comment and dropped a rather large tome on his dome. “I’ll have you know I was begged to transfer from the Regional manager himself.” She said confidently, “Well he is known to have a sweet spot for girls in short skirts…” he could see that lecherous old man’s blushing face now. “I WILL hit you again” she quipped back waving her cannon-like arm as Minagawa protected his face with his arms.
The records, now back in place, make the room look slightly more in order. “There we go. Much better” Saigusa smiled as she admired her work. The two leave the room and Saigusa locks the door behind her, “well thanks for the help. I’m gonna go clock out, what about you?” she asked politely, Minagawa remembered about Ougi and Kagari “damn it, forgot about the kid. I gotta go check in with my partner. Oh and before I go, next time you decide to throw boxes of old books around. Use this” Minagawa places a spell in Saigusa’s hand, it’s a Telekinesis spell. He runs off as she looks at him as she pouts.
Danzo stares out of his window at the night sky, one of his henchmen walks in but he continues to swirl his drink, smoke his cigar and look down on the lit up streets and the happy people walking them, with disgust “Look at that. When I was a child my father used to take me to the hill near our home, we’d sit there next to the peach blossoms and watch the night sky. These days, all those stars are drowned out by gaudy signs and lights, all for those sheep. They exist only to drink their fill and complain about their meaningless lives…”. “Uhh, sir. Sorry to interrupt you. Sir Akagawa has come to see you”. The henchman closes the door quietly as his boss’ eye twitches, he sets his glass down and walks to the door.
As his hand reaches for the handle the door bolts open, sending the old man backwards, falling over his luxurious desk. The door, now barely still attached to its hinges, is stuck in the wall and the boot of the cause, drops down to the floor revealing the guest. Red headed with a crazy look in his eye. His white undershirt was splattered with fresh blood and his black jacket was ripped and burned. The only part still clean was his Sgt at arms patch. Trailing behind him was the henchman before “I’m so sorry sir! I told him to wai-” before he could finish his sentence the boy spun around and punched him in the face. As the man fell to the floor the boy followed, swinging down hits like hammers with no remorse, more and more blood covered his fist before he gave respite and jumped back to his feet “friendly advice. Don’t talk out of turn, and show respect to your higher ups. Clean him up!”
A few terrified onlookers rushed over to the scene, bowed and dragged away the bludgeoned henchman. As they did the boy smiled and closed the door, Danzo got back to his feet and to his chair though he did not sit. He bowed “it is good to see you, Sir Akagawa. How have you been” he asked as he offered his seat to the boy. Akagawa cracked up and took the seat, placing his feet on the desk “You really need to teach these morons to respect the rules. You always run things with such a loose leash? Would’ve thought your old man’s experience had taught you that” Danzo looked uncomfortable and balled his fist so tight his palm bled “I- I’ll keep that in mind. I had assumed Sir Hisashi would drop by”. “Nah, the boss has other matters to attend to. You are my business today. I’ve heard word of a plan to use some new spell to take on the order. Big stuff, plan handed down by the boss himself. Only thing is that I heard your guy Ougi got caught”. Panicked, Danzo reached for the briefcase from Ougi
“He did, unfortunately. However he succeeded in retrieving the spell, please see for yourself” Danzo passed on the case to Akagawa who glanced at it then back at Danzo. His brow settled and his smile disappeared. “That’s good. But that’s not why I’m here. See, I hear that your man has been caught before… he was an easy one to crack. Almost brought down the family in the process. That, plus I heard that the suits showed up real quick… too quick. As if someone had tipped them off.” His statement was barbed, this man was the most feared member of the family. Loyal only to the boss who outranked him. He had been brought in as a soldier for hire with a really happy trigger finger. “You wouldn't happen to know anything about that, would you Takehaya?” he queried in a menacing tone. “Not, not at all. I will keep an eye out for it and you will be the first one I talk to sir” he responded, stumbling over his words.
Akagawa stood from his seat and took hold of Danzo’s tie. “Ooh, very nice. Real silk always was the Mori clan way. Flashy cars and super expensive suits, a way to show how well you were doing, or so I first thought. Then again that’s just another reason your old man died, he was more interested in covering up the crap he was than trying to make amends. I trust that you won't make the same mistakes…” Akagawa moved in close, with his mouth close to Danzo’s ear “I wouldn’t want you to end up like your old man. I’m not a fan of killing two failures from the same family.” Akagawa smirks as he walks past Danzo and out of the door, the old man can only watch as he tries desperately to not scream out. “Oh, and I wouldn’t worry about your friend Ougi. One of our guys is picking him up right now…” he waves as he walks away leaving Danzo to realise what was going to happen.
Minagawa had finally reached the cells. “C’mon kid. Time to leave this sweatshop, I’ve got a date with a mattress”. Kagari, now confused, stares at him “Mattress? Strange name” he responds as he tilts his head looking for a bit more info, “here’s another one. Airhead”. The two grab their things and start heading out before “I’ll be out of here by tomorrow morning. You do know that right?” It was Ougi. Minagawa gestured “you go ahead” to Kagari who obliged and left the room while Minagawa continued grabbing a few things “Why would you want to leave? Free bed, free food. This place is like a palace. You have yourself a nice night” Minagawa exits the room and as he leaves he notices the lights flicker.
Paying no mind, his first question is to where Kagari has gotten to, normally he’d wait at the door. The lights flicker again. “Cheap ass Okazaki, could at least buy some decent bulbs” he complains. The lights flicker again and a shadow in the shape of a person appears in the middle of the hallway. Minagawa is rooted to his spot; no sound can be heard. “Well that’s not creepy in the slightest. Who the hell are you? This is a prohibited area” Minagawa queries loudly, but the shade offers no response.
It starts walking towards Minagawa. “I’m warning you, if you come any closer I’ll have to take you down and I really can’t be bothered right now”. Still no response, but it starts speeding up, then running. “God dammit” Atsushi exclaims and swings his fist, timing it so he can knock the strange intruder down, but his fist fazes through its head and it runs straight through him. Minagawa tries to calculate what just happens, in his panic he swings again, and once more it fazes through. The Shadow lifts its arm and swings at Minagawa, connecting with his stomach, sending him into the wall with enough force to smash through it and then slam into a cell wall in the next room.
Unable to stand, Minagawa is forced to watch the shadow steal the keys off the wall and open Ougi’s cell. Ecstatic to be sprung free, Ougi is smiling away “Thanks. You sent by the old man?” Minagawa struggles back to a seated position, holding his ribs. “Not quite,” the shade answers, its voice like nails on a chalkboard. Ougi looked at it slightly confused… the shade fazed its arm through his body, but it wasn’t like before… Ougi started bleeding. He cried out in agony, Minagawa could only watch on in horror. The shade dragged Ougi close. “Akagawa sends his regards” , the shade slips free of Ougi, leaving a hole in his chest.
His body goes limp and drops to the ground, lifeless. The shade walks through the back wall and disappears, Minagawa holds an arm out. A few seconds go by, and Kagari rushes to his partner's aid… Minagawa passes out.