The culprit is That Guy - Part 2/3
It seems the two detectives have decided to investigate Amanoiwato regardless of how we feel. Since there was no shortage of locations suitable for a stakeout, they chose to spy on Amanoiwato from a room in a nearby building and continuously monitored our entrance. But due to them being so close, we were able to use [Stoprotein] and [Nenrikin]  to read their investigation notes and thus better judge their chances of success.
Detective Kumano and Detective Gesui do not always move as a two-man-cell. There were times when Detective Kumano would leave for several minutes. Like when he would go to eat something leaving the other on the lookout. Let’s use that opening for his chance encounter with the World’s Darkness and see his reaction. This would be the quickest way to ascertain his suitability.
Usually, the police would call for reinforcements in the event of a crisis. However, for us it won’t be an issue because it would be a while before reinforcements arrive as you have to gather people, weapons, and plan a formation.
Now, rumors of the World’s Darkness have already spread throughout the city. Unsurprisingly, it has reached the police as well but they have yet to confirm anything about the rumor. However, if they were encounter it directly, they will immediately know what is in front of them.
How will Detective Kumano react when he witnesses the World’s Darkness assaulting innocent civilians?
I could assess Detective Kumano’s desire for an extraordinary life just by looking at his response which could be anything from running away, observing, calling for reinforcements, fighting, etc. Somehow, if he were to ignore the police theory and tries to destroy the World’s Darkness on his own, I would appreciate if he thoroughly rampages and doesn’t stop.
Well, it’s premature to decide based on his bookshelves alone that he has desires for an extraordinary life. Normally as you grow older, you resist changes. Even if once you had wished for an extraordinary life, you’d be bound by the expections of society as you age. You’d have trouble sleeping. You’d make plans for your retirement. You’d prefer to walk the safe path as you could see what lies ahead. It takes a lot of courage to abandon the safe path and to traverse the path unknown.
In other words, even if he had yearned for an extraordinary life, when the extraordinary comes to him, he may choose to stick to his everyday life. There is that possibility as well. But to confirm anything I’d have to have him clash with the World’s Darkness.
That’s why I paid 10,000 yen to re-employ Baito-kun and had him say to Detective Kumano, who was inquiring on the streets, “I saw someone suspicious in that building, which is scheduled to demolished a few days ago”. This would guide Detective Kumano to a location suitable for the appearance of the World’s Darkness. Well, it’s the building where Shouta-kun and Baba met. Kaburagi-san, as the representative of the Duchy of Marineland, owns this property. As no one usually sets foot in here, this building is planned to be demolished.
Detective Gesui, the other half of the duo, was being given company by Baba. She had her ears covered with a hat and her hair dyed blonde. As she was pretending to be a lost child, she was crying loudly while clinging to his leg and making him unable to move.
This time, in order to set up a proper match pump for a professional detective, I spread [Nenrikin] around the building to deal quickly with any unforeseen event. I left it completely to Baba to stop Gesui from intruding. I asked her to keep him away for at least 10 minutes but she assured me that I would get 20. That being said, in times like this it’s good to have more helping hands. Yet, at the worst possible moment Kaburagi-san’s parents had arranged for a marriage interview and so to save face she had to leave.
I am worried about her, but right now I have to focus on Detective Kumano.
I searched around the dilapidated building one more time, so as to ensure civilians wouldn’t get caught up…
….And I found Shouta-kun.
Wait a second.
Why the hell are you here, Shouta-kun?
No, wait. Now that I think about it, Shouta-kun lives in Adachi Ward. His house, Amanoiwato, and this abandoned building are relatively close by. I should have taken this encounter into consideration.
Shouta-kun was merrily walking under the setting sun while humming a tune and stuffing a pack of chocolate cigarettes into his school bag. He was in proper delinquent attire with the buttons of his school jacket undone and his school bag over one shoulder. He was most likely on his way to Amanoiwato after he bought the pack of chocolate cigarettes. This timing couldn’t be any worse.
Does Shouta-kun have a disposition of getting caught in trouble?
Well, this is unexpected, but there’s no reason to panick. Let’s draw him away quickly.
I moved the campaign board behind Shota-kun a bit and made a light noise.
Now turn around… Look back.
Oh no! He is listening to music on his earphones.
Wait, if you keep going, you’ll bump into Detective Kumano at the corner. Hold on!
If I don’t do something, he’ll bump into him at the corner.
Where are you looking you idiot!?
I’ll be late, I’ll be late.
This isn’t looking good. OK. Calm down. Focus on getting them apart.
If they end up meeting, things will get complicated.
What should I do? Pull his clothes with [Nenrikin]. No, it’ll be too obvious.
Call Shouta-kun! No… Aaaaaah, I didn’t make it in time!
The two of them almost collided with each other at the corner, but they reflexively took a step back as if they had met their fated enemy.
Detective Kumano who took a karate stance and glared sharply at Shouta-kun who emitted an unnatural amount of killing intent just for a moment.
“Ah. Sorry. Hi. See ya later. Bye.”
Shota-kun relaxed his stance, took off his earphone, apologized, and tried to slip past Detective Kumano, but the detective grabbed his shoulders and stopped him.
A cold sweat ran down his back.
Due to continuously fighting the World’s Darkness he reacted reflexively. This wasn’t normal for a high school boy.
A suspicious boy prowling around the vicinity of an abandoned building where a monster-like figure was witnessed. Detective Kumano’s suspicion meter was cranking all the way up to max.
“Aren’t you the boy from that cafe? I’d like to talk to you a bit.”
“I’m sorry, I’m in a hurry.”
Shota-kun tried to leave, but Detective Kumano wouldn’t just let go of him.
“What is it? Have I done something wrong…”
“There are rumors of monsters appearing in Tokyo these days. Do you know anything about it?”
“… I don’t.”
Shota-kun answered Detective Kumano’s monotonous question after a brief moment of silence.
That silence is suspicious, Shouta-kun! I’m begging you, please do something and get the hell out of there!
“They say the suspicious men in black would appear at the same time at the place where the monsters appear.”
That’s a lie. No such thing ever happened.
No, actually that’s absolutely true, but the police isn’t sure about it… yet.
Detective Kumano was just saying this to shake him up. On the contrary, Shouta-kun thought, “Has he been found out?!". His body started trembling and he had difficulty trying to keep his calm. Well, a policeman who looked like a bear, was threatening him. Anyone would end up like this. I wouldn’t blame him.
But do your best a little more. Using my [Nenrikin] to intervene would only deepen their suspicions and would make them pursue us even more.
“The suspect is said to be a young man with red hair.”
“… Ah, um… isn’t red hair a fad in Tokyo nowadays? Not just red but purple, green, and rainbow colored as well. I saw a middle-aged lady walking around town with her hair done up like the Golden Pavilion—.”
Shouta-kun tried his best to change the topic, but Detective Kumano, who was towering over him, leaned in and whispered.
“You are hiding something, aren’t you? I could tell from your eyes.”
That was a lie, but Shouta-kun completely believed it. Even though it was a chance encounter, it appeared as if he had come to capture him with conviction. Shouta-kun was swallowed by the flow that Detective Kumano made forcibly.
In fact, the skill of seeing through a lie only exists in fiction. According to an experiment conducted by the FBI in the year 2005 involving several hundred skilled detectives, the probability of a detective seeing through a lie was between 49%-51%. In other words, it was as good as a guess. The technique of seeing through a lie is sadly a lie itself, because the movement of the pupils, the blinking of the eye and the number of times one catch their breath are few and far between. It’s just true for a small percentage of talented detectives but the detective-loving mystery-writers thought it was true for all and spread it around.
Thus, the moment he said, “I could tell just by looking,” he confessed that he was just a normal person, but Shouta-kun wasn’t a detective or anything, and he didn’t have that kind of knowledge. He wouldn’t know unless someone told him. That’s why he was deceived.
But it’s still alright, Shota-kun. Just be quiet and feign ignorance. He has no evidence. You don’t even have a criminal record in the first place. Just don’t say anything unnecessary, and Kaburagi-san and I will do something about the rest.
“…How did you know?”
Shouta-kun! You Dummy!
: Name of their powers (if have forgotten). ↩︎
: Word play on Yasui. Gesui means trash or sewage. ↩︎
: Search broken window theory. ↩︎
PS: I did minimal editing on this. Please point out any mistakes.