Chapter 25:

Escaped Relevance Brought To Light

X = Y


The Sun, rising in the sky, majestically, signified the start of a new day, forgetting tomorrow, ready for the future, living in the present. With six hours of sleep attained, Rei and Kei, primed for the next day, were, nevertheless, sleeping tranquilly.Bookmark here

Kei's phone began vibrating in his pocket, walking him up with a sour taste in his mouth. He pulled it out and read the caller identification, but it was an unknown number. Placing it to his ear, he heard what the person had to say.Bookmark here

"Oh, really! It's done already. I'll be there along with one other person. Tell the detective at the department that I'll take the case. He's done enough. Okay, bye." Kei responded, hanging up the phone.Bookmark here

Rubbing his eyes, advancing towards Rei, he slept in a fetal position, and Kei stood there gawking.Bookmark here

"He still sleeps like that. Some things never change." Kei thought to himself, shrugging his shoulders, indicating familiarity with his brother.Bookmark here

Shaking him delicately, Rei woke up, rubbing his eyes and still tired. Looking angered by a rude awakening, he stood up, his hands immediately in his pocket, glaring at Kei. He still had the black scarf around his mouth, his hood on, and all the clothes he wore for the past couple of days since exiting the Kirihoshin Dojo.Bookmark here

"We're going to the precinct. Detective Kensaku Sagami from Toshi Police Department found fingerprints and marks that we missed. We have leads. The person who did the explosive, the one who murdered Risa and made it look like suicide, and the people after Meya. We're going after all of them. We'll find who did all of this." Kei spoke confidently.Bookmark here

"Let's go." Rei responded.Bookmark here

Driving down the road, the brothers spoke to each other, the atmosphere filled with hesitation, resentment, and antipathy.Bookmark here

"Have Meya and Abe found a hotel room or someone to stay?" Rei inquired.Bookmark here

"I don't know. We can ask as the station." Kei responded.Bookmark here

Awkward silence drifted between the two, bouncing off one another like a game of table tennis. The suspense and tension began affecting their actions, and their motivation to talk increased drastically.Bookmark here

"So...what else do you know about the gang?" Rei asked politely.Bookmark here

"I know as much as you do. Before you returned, there were gang members, higher-ranking ones, killed. They evaded the police but were found dead, and I was investigating them. But whoever killed them had better methods of hiding themselves and not leaving DNA, unlike these fools." Kei added.Bookmark here

"Do you have leads on any of them." Rei replied.Bookmark here

"No. But on these, we do." Kei said boldly.Bookmark here

Kei's phone began ringing again. He picked it up, realising the importance of the caller.Bookmark here

"Good morning, Superintendent Masazaki Hamabe." Kei said.Bookmark here

"Superintendent? The one from this place or our town?" Rei thought to himself.Bookmark here

In Machira Town, the Superintendent sat at his desk, wearing a police uniform with a badge of higher status on his person. He wore glasses and was bold at his crown, but the hair grew on the sides.Bookmark here

"I told the Assistant Manager at Tatashi Industrial that you can't make it. Anyway, how is the investigation going? You couldn't make it back last night, so I was worried, but the Toshi Department told me about it." Superintendent Masazaki Hamabe spoke sympathetically, with concern, like a father.Bookmark here

"No, I'm fine." Kei responded.Bookmark here

"Oh, and I'm sorry for everything. I forgot to mention that. Take care of yourself, Kei, but do everything for justice. That gang or whoever needs to be stopped. They're just killing without caring." the Superintendent replied.Bookmark here

"Yes, I understand. This is more important to me. If I can find them, then I can bring my parents killers to justice. I'm at the police station now, I'll talk to you later." Kei said.Bookmark here

"Ah, okay. Goodbye." the Superintendent said, hanging the phone up.Bookmark here

In that room the Superintendent was in, another person knocked and entered. It was a man that looked like Ryotaro, but he was a different detective. He wore a black coat, up to his waist, with a white buttoned t-shirt undone at the top, a blue tie, black trousers and black shoes.Bookmark here

"Private Investigator Takuyame Kyomifu. Sit down." the Superintendent said, with his elbows against his decks, arms vertical and his fingers locked together.Bookmark here

"Yes, sir." Takuyame responded.Bookmark here

At Toshi Police Department, Kei entered the precinct, whilst Rei stood there watching from the outside.Bookmark here

"You're not going to come in?" Kei questioned Rei.Bookmark here

"No. I've said this a million times. I'm not going to show my face. The police will try to identify sooner or later." Rei said.Bookmark here

"Fine. Wait for me here." Kei responded in acceptance.Bookmark here

An important figure wearing a grander, prestigious police uniform, anonymous to Rei, stood there waiting patiently. Another person was standing behind him, wearing casual clothes. They both approached Kei willingly.Bookmark here

"You must be Kei. I spoke to you over the phone this morning. I'm Yasuhide Ogi. We've gathered all the evidence from what you found." Yasuhide said enthusiastically.Bookmark here

Yasuhide Ogi was the kind of person to be excited about most things, especially his job. His face scintillated with avidity.Bookmark here

"Now, no need to get too close. I'm Superintendent Tatsuoku Koedan. Without your help, many civilians would have lost their lives. I thank you for relaying that information to us, Detective Kei." said the Superintendent with high respect and admiration.Bookmark here

"No no. I just did what I had to." Kei responded.Bookmark here

"I'll let you two get on with ask. Ask for me anytime when you call, and I'll pick up when I can, okay? Goodbye." the Superintendent signed off, walking away.Bookmark here

"What did the forensic scientists find out?" Kei asked.Bookmark here

Inside a larger room within the precinct, a laptop was on the desk, along with evidence that Detective Takuyame, and Kei, gathered.Bookmark here

"All the criminals from yesterday are locked in the cells upstairs. I haven't interviewed them yet, but I did take everything to the lab, and I got the phone repaired." he spoke exuberantly with a passionate smile.Bookmark here

There were two identical flip phones on the table, with the hair, blood, pen, and swab samples on the desk.Bookmark here

"You did? Where there fingerprints on it." Kei said.Bookmark here

"That's the crazy thing because there was. What's even crazier is that this phone you found on the streets had called this phone." Yasuhide said, with the mystery phone in his left hand and the phone from the floor in his right.Bookmark here

"This mystery phone was on the guy in black that was beaten up at the front of the apartment, which belonged to the girl called Abe. We found traces of gunpowder on him while he was unconscious." Yasuhide stated.Bookmark here

"Are any of them awake? Is that why you can't interview them?" Kei added.Bookmark here

"Paramedics came by to check them. They sustained permanent brain damage. The person that had this phone suffered from asphyxiation. His brain didn't have enough oxygen. The criminals found on the street could still talk. Anyway! These two were linked in the explosives usage. We've found the criminals." Yasuhide spoke whilst typing away at his laptop, bringing up the profiles of three people.Bookmark here

Rei analysed the information presented to him. Reading their names, looking at their home location, and their appearance.Bookmark here

"Hidemasa Toyama. In his thirties, and the one who called the explosives carrier. He lives quite far, but he has a family. Masao Ageishi. In his twenties, and his fingerprints were found on the victim's neck and her crushed pen. He lives alone. His hair was also there. Shū Kurachi. He murdered those two police officers. He's also in his twenties and lives alone. I went back to the crime scene and found this." Yasuhide said. He brought out a bag, and from that bag, he picked up a bloody knife sealed in a plastic case.Bookmark here

"He tried throwing this away, probably in a panic. The blood of the officers were on it, and his fingerprints are also on it." Yasuhide declared.Bookmark here

"Wow. You did all of this?" Kei stated.Bookmark here

"Yeah, but your notes and photos helped a lot. You even wrote that you didn't have time to inspect the officers around the alleway. That's why I went to check." Yasuhide spoke with an encouraging smile.Bookmark here

"I'll visit them. If there in, then I'll make them speak." Kei said.Bookmark here

"You need a bodyguard. What if they run. We may be detectives, and you may be athletic, but you can't fight against them." Yasuhide said.Bookmark here

"I have more than a bodyguard. Don't worry about me. Keep everything safe." Kei said, bringing out his phone and typing their addresses up.Bookmark here

Kei, who finished briefing Yasuhide, was about to exit the station when he realised that Officer Akashi had entered. With a smile slowly forming, he ran up to him, intrigued.Bookmark here

"Officer! Good morning! Did you find Abe a new apartment?" Kei exclaimed, questioning the officer.Bookmark here

"Abe? Oh, yeah. I drove her there, left another unit to guard her, and then I went home to sleep. I'm on duty now." Akashi responded.Bookmark here

"Good to hear. Thank you. I have a suspect to meet now. I'll see you later." Kei responded.Bookmark here

"Yeah. Good luck. Do your best out there!" Akashi said, motivating Kei.Bookmark here

Rei was poised, waiting outside the department meekly, watching the sky move, the Sun drift, and birds fly against the wind freely. Kei, creeping up on him slowly, placed his hands on Rei's shoulder. Unfazed and unamused by his attempt to scare him, Rei turned around quickly.Bookmark here

"I could tell you were trying to creep up on me." Rei said gravely.Bookmark here

"We're going to our first suspect. In the car we go." Kei enthusiastically spoke as if infected by Yasuhide.Bookmark here

Confused, Rei shrugged it off and followed Kei into the car. After driving for thirty minutes, they stood in front of a door in a regular neighbourhood, implying that the street had seen no criminal activity. They knocked on the door, and some time passed. Eventually, a woman wearing a pink jumper, slippers, socks, and black trousers, opened the door. She had brown eyes and black hair. In her hands was her child, about a year old.Bookmark here

"Hello. I'm Kei Hirojima, a detective working for the Toshi City Police Department. I'm looking for Hidemasa Toyama. Is he here currently?" Kei asked kindly.Bookmark here

"Yeah. He's here. Let me get him for you." the woman responded. "Dear! There's a detective here for you!" she exclaimed.Bookmark here

Abrupt running, like elephants stampeding down the stairs, caused the wooden floorboards in their house to creak, creating a sinister atmosphere. He went past his wife and stood there with a look implying that he was in trouble. His blank expression, along with a worried look, solidified this notion.Bookmark here

"Detective...come inside. Who is this?" the man said.Bookmark here

"He's like a bodyguard. He's part of the investigation too." Kei said with a reassuring smile.Bookmark here

They entered and sat down on their sofa. The man closed the door slowly, staring at them in disgust, embed in anxiety. Whilst the mother was taking care of the child, Hidemasa sat down nervously, opposite the two brothers, further away from the door, staring at it purportedly. He was a normal man, with a big bush of hair, a short-sleeved green t-shirt with blue stripes, white socks, and blue trousers with a brown belt.Bookmark here

"How has your day been so far?" said Kei, kindly.Bookmark here

"Not bad." Hidemasa carefully responded.Bookmark here

"Why aren't you at work? You have a family to provide for, right?" Kei responded.Bookmark here

The evil glare from Rei, sitting beside Kei, made him incredibly nervous like a hawk was about to rip his liver out. Like death's glare would first be seen by him before the scythe appeared, ready to snatch his soul.Bookmark here

"This is my day off. I'm spending it with my family." he said, smiling to divert attention away from himself.Bookmark here

"Okay. I wanted to know where you were yesterday?" Kei spoke slyly, smirking.Bookmark here

"Me? Um...Oh. I was at work...eh...I told you, today is my off day." he responded, jittering lightly. He was prey in this situation, and the lion's pride had come after him, with the king sitting beside Kei, exuding omens of death.Bookmark here

"That's not what we heard. We called your boss ahead of time, and he said you were absent yesterday." Kei added.Bookmark here

"Wait, you did that? Impressive." Rei thought to himself.Bookmark here

Distressed, gloom and despair ruptured his nerves, knowing lying was futile. Hidemasa, in his mind, digging his grave with a shovel, his deportment began breaking apart. His eyes dilated, his heart raced faster, his concern evolved into trepidation.Bookmark here

"Oh...well there's a simple explanation," he said, smiling. "I didn't register in that day, and then I felt sick. I came back home, but I did go into work that day." he said.Bookmark here

"Is that so? That is interesting because I never called your boss. What I found was a phone yesterday. It called another person. One who planted an explosive. Does that remind you of anything?" Kei spoke slyly.Bookmark here

Fear swarmed the man's face. He quickly stood up and tried to run away, pushing the table between them against their shins. His wife heard the commotion and began running into the living room. Kei, hit by the table, was staggered, having trouble moving, and he looked at Hidemasa, who was trying to run. Unaffected by the attack, Rei rose instantly, sweeping Hidemasa with his left leg, tripping him over and landing on his face. Rei leapt onto him, grabbing both hands, placing them against his back.Bookmark here

"Dear! What's happening-" his wife exclaimed, obnubilated in shock.Bookmark here

"We know it was you who blew up that apartment yesterday! If you tell us what you want, then we'll let you go free!" Rei said with death-adorned eyes.Bookmark here

"NO! THEY WON'T LET ME GO! I'M GOING TO DIE! NO!" Hidemasa said, writhing on the floor, fighting against Rei's unyielding grip.Bookmark here

"Dear...what's happening..." his wife said, her legs were pendulums swaying side to side, quivering. "Let him go..."Bookmark here

"Who? Miss. Please sit down and drink water. I'll help you." Kei said.Bookmark here

"Listen to me! Who told you to do this! No criminal would leave evidence as easy as that!" Rei exclaimed, insinuating terror.Bookmark here

In his mind, Hidemasa was now digging his grave using the phone he broke that night, which he discarded carelessly.Bookmark here

"You're making this so much worse," Kei stated, letting out a sigh, but he remained calm. "Look. I can give you protection from the police. Your family will not be harmed."Bookmark here

"I CAN'T TRUST THAT! THEY'LL KILL ME FOR GIVING INFORMATION AWAY!" he screamed in panic.Bookmark here

Rei stopped holding his arms, and instead, he moved his left hand to Hidemasa's front, turned him around like a ragdoll, and stood up, holding him by his shirt aggressively. The devious, baneful eyes of Rei transfixed themselves onto him.Bookmark here

"If I tell you, then will you protect my family from them!" he said, terrorised by Rei's eyes.Bookmark here

"Put him down. He's willing to cooperate." Kei said.Bookmark here

Rei put him down at the command of Kei, who was understanding of the situation. The man fell to the floor, his body weak, his breath thin. Exasperated, Rei sat down, keeping his eyes keenly on Hidemasa. His wife began walking towards Hidemasa, staring at him distressfully.Bookmark here

"What did you do dear?" she said, on the verge of crying.Bookmark here

She knelt, hugging him benignantly.Bookmark here

Rei and Kei let the moment play out, apprehending their chance which presented itself to them. Letting go would be a mistake, but scaring their provider of evidence would be unfavourable. Hidemasa sat in front of them once again, now calmer and stolid.Bookmark here

"Take a deep breath. Start from the beginning. Why were you involved with gang business?" Kei said, condoling him.Bookmark here

"I turned my life around. I was a delinquent when I was young, but the gang I left came back for me. They knew that I lived here, and they threatened me. They told me I was hired to kill a girl, and they put me on the explosives. It failed." Hidemasa said, his regret pullulating.Bookmark here

"I was there. I'm the one who saved her. I saw you in your black coat acting suspicious." Rei said.Bookmark here

"Ah, so that was it. I was doomed to fail from the beginning." Hidemasa responds in hysterics. "I ran away in panic after I saw you run out. I broke the phone and threw it away and never looked back."Bookmark here

"Where's the location of the other gang members? Where is your hideout, and who are the higher-ups?" Kei questioned intensely.Bookmark here

"I don't know! I swear! But I know who the leader of this operation was, and were he is! I'll give you his address, if you promise to protect me. Take us to the police station!" he exclaimed, standing up.Bookmark here

"If you do that, we're going to have to arrest you." Kei said.Bookmark here

Hidemasa looked at his wife, he had disdain on her face, but she eventually smiles, supportive of her husband.Bookmark here

"Protect my family. Please." Hidemasa responded, bowing at them.Bookmark here

Kei stood up, and Rei followed him, both like towering forces of power. Hidemasa looked up, awestruck, only to wonder how he was in the presence of such stark people, who had dominant authority over him.Bookmark here

"Come with me. My car is parked outside. I'll get protection on you. Remember to bring your child." Kei said.Bookmark here

Thus, with the first suspect giving them the location of the gang leader, the brothers have taken a single step in the mile that they have to run. With the organisation of criminals working under anonymity, their ostensible leisurely pace would soon turn into a mad dash for the finish line.Bookmark here

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