Chapter 2:

Case file No. 0: Pandora (Final)

Pandora's Case Files

Located just downtown of the Imperial capital was the street of Babylon. It was a certain spot well known by the locals and tourists alike due to the number of plants and greenery that one could see as far as the eyes could reach

It gave a more province and countryside feel In contrast to the more modern and industrial atmosphere that the rest of the capital has

From Exotic flowers to the hard and sturdy trees as well as the delicious fruits and vegetation. People from this street were mostly stress-free and happy compared to the normal Imperial Citizen

"Ahhhh, now this is the life..." And a certain tenant from the street was no exception

Crouching down at one of the plants that were stacked together atop a pot was a man who was wearing a cheerful smile. The wind was brushing through his brown hair as he sprinkles a bit of water on the plants and his eyes sparkled in delight

It was around these times that the sunlight was at its strongest, but the man didn't mind it one bit, he continued watering and fixing the plants as if he derived a certain type of pleasure from it

"I hardly ever get a break from work so make sure to grow big okay? Make sure you spread your leaves and cover this entire place"

"I see you're still being weird as usual"

The man surprised by the feminine voice turned around and saw his fellow gardener that was setting up the plants. She was wearing an apron under a white shirt, and her black hair was tied up to a ponytail which made her look fierce with her crimson eyes

"Ooooh, you actually look great today"

"Shut up you plant freak, I always look good every day. And why are you at that spot? didn't you just work on that a few hours ago?"

"I did, but I need a few more finishing touches to make sure they really bloom well. I don't know If I'll be able to return from work soon, so I need to spoil them rotten for as much as I could"

With an intense drive and focus in his eyes, the man began to quickly cut down some of the excess roots of the plants with quite an accurate precision

"Heh, I really can't understand you at all. If you're at your break then rest, I'm more than enough to handle these you know? I'm sure an Ace detective like you has a lot on his plate"

"Please don't call me an ace detective, It's embarrassing. And frankly, I can't leave these poor children with you because you get so erratic under the sunlight so quickly Sophia, so I'm not sure if you'll properly manage them"

"Are you really saying that you're better than a god damn Botanist?" Sophia clenched her forehead as she let out a tired sigh

"Anyways move aside, I need to apply some fertilizers already"

The man reluctantly stepped aside as Sophia began her work, to be honest, seeing the plants getting filled with nutrients was giving him such an exhilarating feeling that he couldn't help but show a smirk

Sophia felt shivers, and Immediately knew where it came from, but she opted to Ignore it

And after a few moments of silence and peace under the green plants, both of them suddenly heard knocking that was coming from their front door

"That the papers?" Sophia turned to the man and asked, to which he shook his head to the side

"No, they just delivered it a while ago, My guess is that they're the bloody Imperial police"

"Hooooh, So I see they're turning to the oh so famous detective for his help again eh? I wonder what shenanigans they'll hook you in this time"

"Eh, only one way to find out"

After wiping his hands that were covered in dirt, he walked to the front door and quickly opened it. What greeted him were a bunch of tall Imperial officers that were wearing sunglasses. As expected, the man was correct, however, he only expected there to be two scrawny officers from his office to come and fetch him...Not a whole damn Battalion

"Um...Can I help you?" The man feeling a bit frightened asked in a timid tone

"Apologies for disturbing you good Sir, My name is Conor Wanster of the First division of the Imperial police"

"F-First division?" After the man showed his I.D and was confirmed that it was indeed legit, he continued

"We're Informed that a man named Chris MacQuoid is a resident here, do you have any idea where he might be?"

"Yes, that man would be me. Is there something wrong? "

The police officer, took off his glasses and inspected him for a moment before letting out a huh

"May I see some Identification sir?"

"Oh yeah sure...Just Wait..."

After reaching for his pockets, he took out his work I.D and his badge

"Hm...Strange...I thought you'd look more...Different..."

"Excuse me?"

"It's nothing" After returning both of them to him, the man once again wore his glasses and took out a piece of paper from the Envelope. From what Chris could see it was a directive order to report to the first division headquarters, after confirming that it was signed by the head of the Imperial Police himself, Marcus Armstrong, he turned to the officer

"I'm not sure of this but...The First Division isn't asking me for help with the Museum bombing right? Cause even that is out of my authority"

"Hahaha, heavens no. We already set aside that issue for now due to more pressing matters, matters that need your assistance, Officer Chris. The directive orders were given to us grant us full authority to either convince you or drag you to the headquarters by force...Which of them would you rather we do?"

"Ahaha...Don't worry I was planning on coming along anyways" It was a blatant lie, in truth he was planning to push them aside, to go back to his gardening, but seeing as how serious the atmosphere was he opted to follow along for now

"Excellent, let's go now"

"W-What? No way, I still need to change my clothes. I can't come in the first division headquarters looking like this"

"Some of my men will grab it while we're on the way, we need to hurry, time isn't on our side"

After grabbing him by the collar and effortlessly carrying him to the black police vehicle, they immediately went on their way

"Bloody hell...What about my day off?..."

Chris could only mutter this to himself as he sat back at the speeding car


In order to effectively serve and protect the Citizens of the Royal Empire, the police were divided into seven main divisions. Each with their own jurisdictions and assigned role in safekeeping the peace of the Empire

And out of those seven divisions, The First division is the one that handles major cases that could threaten the very national security of their country. So only the very cream of the crop was assigned there

So Imagine the surprise of Chris when he, a lowly detective of the seventh division which usually just manages minor problems such as squabbles and noise complaints on a busy day, was invited to the very spot of the Elites

"...Guess anything really can happen in life"

He mutters to himself as he sips the bland tea presented to him, he was quite surprised at the taste, Reason being despite the massive funding that they received and top-notch tools and materials that they get they still get the same old tea leaves that are given to the rest of them

But putting those thoughts aside, he took a glance at the office that he's in. It's the one being used by the director of the entire Imperial police, so it was no surprise to him at first if it seemed a bit luxurious, but it was surprisingly not much different from the normal ones that he used back at the seventh division

"Hmmm, I've heard the stories of him being humble...But I never actually thought that they'd be true..."

"Care to tell me those stories over a drink sometime?"

From behind him, the door opened. And the middle-aged director came along with her blonde secretary. Chris Immedetly stood up from his chair and gave the director a fine salute, to which he signaled him to sit back down before sitting himself

"I assume that no introductions need to be made considering you're an Officer. But for formalities sake, I'll do it again anyway. My name is Marcus Armstrong, the acting director who oversees the Imperial Police that serves as the shield that protects his majesty's subjects, It's a pleasure to finally meet you, Chris MacQuoid "

'The pleasure is all mine, sir" Chris let out a smile as he stretched out his hand and shook the director's

"I've heard of the stories of the assistance that you've provided to the rest of the divisions. And I must say, I'm impressed"

"Oh no, no, no. Those stories were mostly just embellished. In truth, my fellow colleagues were the ones that did most of the work"

"...Hmph, I see you have a strong sense of humility as well, I like that"


Chris averted his eyes as sweat began to build up at his back. In truth, he himself knew in his heart that he did most of the work. Those monkeys that he calls his colleagues couldn't even solve simple cases without stumbling about

He had to pull his weight for the sake of the people. But this in turn led to him being stacked with more cases, which he recently found to be becoming quite a hassle

"Anyway I'd love to talk about this more over a cup of tea, but there's a dire situation right now that we need your assistance with, give it to him Charlotte"

The Blonde placed down a brown folder with the insignia of the Imperial police engraved on it, one glance at it sent alarms down the head of Chris, he knew this meant quite a bit of trouble for him

But he had no other choice, it was his job and duty so he had to open it anyway and examine the contents. And upon reading the first few papers, he placed it back on the folder and let out a deep sigh

"...Are you sure I'm cleared for this, Sir?"

"I wouldn't give that to you if you weren't" Chris meant to ask on whether or not they found him to be trustworthy enough to view the classified information presented on it

"The bombings in the museum...The Legendary criminal mastermind wanted on the entire continent...And an assassination on the third prince...I think this is way above my paygrade..."

Chris let out a nervous chuckle as he laid back in his chair

"I realize that it might be too much for you to take at first, and I understand if you can't wrap it around your head just yet. But understand that this is a matter of national security, If we can't extract that Information from her then we'd be having a mess on our hands"

No kidding, Chris thought in his mind

"I get the gist of it...But I'm still a bit confused about one part. Why would you trust the information given by her would be legit? I mean for all we know this could just be one of her rouses. And considering that you led the operation to capture her, I expected you to be a bit more dubious"

Sure it might be about a potential assassination plan for one of the princes of the royal family, but in the end, it came from a criminal, and criminals can lie as easily as they breathe

Marcus smiled...Or more accurately, he showed a grimace. While the blonde secretary obviously looked a bit uncomfortable. Chris was worried if he accidentally stepped on a minefield without him knowing, but he realizes that this is part of his work, and those two themselves must also know to set aside emotions

"A logical question, Officer Chris. But it's exactly because I led the task force for her capture that I'm worried about the things she knows. That woman...I've known Pandora to be an unhinged anarchist that only cares about her own entertainment. Putting us on a goose chase like this is probably one of her pass frustrating as that sounds. And considering her connections and position to the criminal underworld, I figured that this possible attempt is extremely probable"


Looking at the folders once again, Chris compiled the evidence and pieces of Information in his head before coming up with his decision

"...alright, I understand my role here. Please take me to her"

"...Hehe, I like that fire in your eyes kid. Okay then, follow us"


Chris' heart began pounding faster and faster and they went on their way. Throughout his eighteen years of life, today was one of the few days that he actually felt this nervous for so long, mostly it's because he rarely gets into trouble and that he prepares for almost any possible problems extensively

So it made their silent walk to the detention quarters all the more nerve-wracking. Their footsteps echoed on the white marble floors as they closely approach the metal doors that could be seen in a distance

He unconsciously let out a deep gulp

Behind those doors is an Influential criminal that has managed to avoid capture from every country she's been in for the past nineteen years for selling multiple classified information to the public. When it comes to the deep sea of the criminal underworld, she wasn't just a big fish, she's a damn whale

"Alright...We're here. Just like what we've discussed Officer Chris. She refuses to tell anything if we send someone in here with you, so be sure to extract every Information that she has"

Marcus looked at Chris dead in the eyes as he explained. Charlotte on the other hand unlocked the many locks that the metal doors had

After closing his eyes, and taking a deep breath, Chris responded

"Understood, Sir"

"And this is from personal experience from dealing with her in the past...Never let her words manipulate your head, you hear me?"

Chris nodded as the metal doors finally opened


And he was caught off guard by the beauty that was sitting on it. She had a petite figure and snow-white hair which paired perfectly with her dark dress. Her golden eyes turned him, gazing at Chris with anticipation as her mouth curved to a smirk

She took a sip from the tea cup beside her as she says with a smile

"Well, well...If it isn't the man of the hour. It's a pleasure to finally meet with you in person, Officer Chris MacQuoid. Though I must say, you look taller than how you seem in the new

"Oh, umm...Thanks..."

Her voice had a certain charm to it that made him that hindered his thinking for a while, her sweet tone had a hypnotic tone just honestly sounded pleasant and...oddly comforting...

"...Don't just stand there Officer MacQuoid, take a seat. I imagine we'll be talking for a while~"

As if being snapped from a trance, Chris realized his first mistake. When interrogating a criminal, It's common sense to establish their positions first, The officer should always hold the reigns and not the other way around. But from his earlier, his position is already being shifted

Chris took a glance behind him and nodded before sitting down across Pandora. At that moment, the metal doors finally closed, signaling his time to do his job

First, Chris needed to gain a grasp of Pandora's personality in order to effectively manipulate the conversation. He already had an idea based on the data that was provided in the folder, but he wanted to see it for himself

Chirs first looked at her appearance. Everything from her well-maintained hair, her clothes that were made of luxurious fabrics, and the rings that were attached to her fingers just screamed the word rich

'Well, I guess that's not surprising considering she is a criminal...' He thought to himself

He turned to her face. Chris was thought in the past by someone special in his life that the expressions of people often tell their entire story better than they can, so he opted to move there

She was wearing a confident smirk as she looked at Chris with anticipation in her golden eyes. She hasn't done anything, and yet Chris could somehow tell that she was belittling him. Which shows quite a bit of arrogance on her part, considering her situation

'Rich...Arrogant...An Anarchist...Hmmm, this one is gonna be tricky' But he already knew this the moment he entered

"Do you like gardening, Mr. MacQuoid?" Pandora suddenly said

His heart rate spiked up the moment he heard this, but he remembered that he must take control

"...You wanted me so here I am. We don't really have much time to waste, so tell me about the plot against the third prince"

"I was never really one to enjoy activities such as those. But I've grown to appreciate it over time. When I saw the greenish mountains in the republic and the street of Babylon I was...Mystified. The feeling of placing a seed down, cultivating it, and taking care of it as it grows...I can relate to how that must feel..."

The conversation was going in a direction that Chris found to be too personal, but from the looks of it he can't exactly force her to give it up just like that, so he shifted the conversation

"...What are you playing at?...Why call for me? I'm just a lowly officer from the seventh district"

"Fufufu...How amusing. A man who found evidence that led to the downfall of a massive cartel, and solved a few cold cases that have staggered the Imperial police for ages, calling himself to be nothing but a lowly officer..."

"Like the papers said. It was my colleagues that did those. I just helped them for a bit"

"...Are you just this humble Mr. MacQuoid or is this your way of hiding your claws? Cause if it is then it's bad. Being modest is nice and all, but too much and it would come back to bite you. Ever wondered why the rest of the divisions are lumping you with their work?"

'Urk...Bloody hell how much does this woman know?'

Chris wanted to ask about this, but before he could do so the woman held up her hand to his face and said

"Anyway just like you've said earlier, our time is short. So listen to me, and listen well if you want your prince to live"

"Why you...Fine..."

Pandora let out a chuckle as she poured another cup of tea from the kettle. After taking a sip, she turned to Chris with a satisfied expression and said

"Let's start with this, What do you know about our little prince charming anyway?"

"Well besides that he's handsome, I know that he's a...Kind and respectable Individual. Over the recent years, I've heard that he's funded plenty of orphanages and charity programs that helped sick and starving children. The masses absolutely adore him. I mean, some of them even say that he's a saint sent by God"

"Pft...Ehem, Well if you know his dealings then that makes things easier to explain. Sometime around this week, the man named Benjamin Welshly will make his move. "

"Benjamin Welshly? Who's that?"

Chris tried to search in his remember if there were any famous wanted criminals by that name, but to no avail

"Fufufu, I'm honestly baffled by how little you clowns know of the inner workings of the shadows. Welshly is a man that specialized in crafting highly complex and destructive bombs. He was once part of a special force for the Royal army and now he's one of the very best freelance bomb crafters and is highly sought throughout the continent as a sort of niche hitman. Trust me, if you let this man do his work, he can turn any fine establishments in this world into a real-life Inferno"

"And how do you know of he'll attack?"

"Because he and I shared dinner just last week, and he went on and on about how this one job of his will finally land his name among the very top of the leaderboards. About how he'll best all of his competitions by laying out a big political figure like the third prince. It was a horrible experience by the way, that man seemed like he didn't brush his teeth for weeks, dear lord it makes me hurl just remembering it!"

Pandora seemed to look very repulsed. But that didn't really catch the attention of Chris as much as the other thing that he said before

"Shared dinner?... You mean you know this guy?"

"Of course I do, the very bomb that we used at the museum was created by the mad genius himself. You know, I absolutely despise that man but you can't deny that his work is a piece of art"

Chris' hand moved at night lightning speed as he wrote all of the Important details on a sheet of paper

"is that all? I have a feeling that you left something out"

"What else...Oh, and I heard that he's set up a crafting station at some warehouse just downtown from here. It'd be good if you can check that out as well"

After a while, Chris' hands stopped. And he turned at Pandora, staring at her golden mesmerizing eyes as he said

"...I'll ask again...Why are you doing this? Getting yourself caught, offering your friends on a platter to us... And why did you choose me?"

"...I don't have any friends, Officer MacQuoid. And if you're asking me why I showed myself now despite eluding capture for years on end, it's because a certain person has piqued my interest, and trust me when I say that something like that is hard to get"

"And who's that person?"

"Oh dear, you're really cruel for making a bashful maiden say it herself. It's you, Officer MacQuoid. Your admirable efforts of fighting down the injustices of this world after being plundered down by those injustices themselves, the way you picked yourself up after losing yourself and your family at that fire on that day...You've been through so much, Haven't you?"

Chris' eyes widened as he stared at the woman, the woman who was sitting across from him. Sweat was building up at his forehead as he asks

"H-How do you know that..."

Chris's mind went on an overload. She hadn't met this woman at any point in his life...At least he thinks he didn't. And yet why would a famous criminal as her know so much about his personal life? Information that even he hasn't shared with anyone, not even to the few who are close with him

'This girl...Pandora...Who the hell is she?'

Every time he looks at her, he can't come up with anything. Her unmoving smile, her overfamiliarity, and her sheer confidence...To Chris it was...Extremely frightening. Of all the criminals he encountered, none would show absolutely no fear when faced in a tense situation like this

Reaching for Chris' hand Pandora stared back at his eyes and said in an intoxicating tone

"Prepare yourself Officer MacQuoid. Because I believe that more troubles would bother you from now on whether you'll like it or not...But hey, look at the bright side. I'm going to turn you into a national hero, Chris. You're gonna be a superstar"

Pandora's Case Files