Volume 3 Epilogue
VOLUME 3 - THE LIGHT BEYOND THE DARKNESS epilogue ()
Ishii had come to the door that had the plate which read <Movie Research Circle> on it.
He was here to discuss what happened after the incident. Though this was usually Gotou’s job, that wasn’t the situation now.
‘I’m not going to bite. Why not come in?’
Ishii was startled when a voice suddenly called out to him.
He restrained his fear and opened the door. The owner of the room was sitting in a chair with sleepy eyes, as usual. His hair was all mussed up.
Unlike Ishii, who was hesitant, Yakumo was calm.
Ishii sat as he was told. Yakumo yawned, stood up and opened the refrigerator in the corner of the room.
'Ishii-san, would tea be acceptable?’
Yakumo brought back two plastic bottles of tea.
'Now, what has happened?’
Yakumo drank a mouthful of tea from one of the plastic bottles and sat in the chair.
'You may already know…’
'Ishii-san, since you are older than me, you don’t need to speak so politely.’
'Ah – oh…’
Ishii would try, but it wasn’t something he could do something about right away even if he was told to fix it.
Perhaps he empathised with Ishii, who didn’t know what to say next, because Yakumo said,’ Well, it’s fine,’ urging him to continue.
'Makoto-san has reported on the series of police scandals, so nothing can be hidden any longer.’
Makoto’s article had been taken up to the top.
After that, there had been a grand journalism war from all news outlets, and it continued even a week after the incident. It had developed into a huge scandal.
It was ironic, now that he thought about it. A scandal from police history had been reported by the daughter of the chief of the police.
Yesterday, Makoto had called him and said that she had finally been disinherited.
She had said she felt better, but Ishii thought that wasn’t true.
Just the one case had showered sparks on so many people and warped their lives.
However, Ishii thought this now. If Gotou and Yakumo hadn’t been there, that warping might have become even greater.
'I read in the newspaper that the chief of the police resigned. How about the others?’
'Chief Ideuchi was given a disciplinary dismissal. Currently, there is an investigation.’
It was a natural punishment, but Ishii had complicated feelings on it.
What Ideuchi had done had been completely unforgiveable, but was it really fine to reject all of Ideuchi as evil because of it?
'How about his son?’
'Ah, yes. He was taken back yesterday. The situation was explained to him, but it was too much for him to understand. He felt a bit like Urashima Tarou.’
Yakumo forced a smile at Ishii’s boring joke.
He spoke so smoothly that Ishii felt stupid for bracing himself.
In Ishii’s head, he suddenly remembered something Haruka had said. 'Yakumo can be very kind.’ She might have really understood him.
'Well, how about the middle-aged man?’
Yakumo put out the most important question.
To be honest, it was difficult for Ishii to answer.
'We don’t know yet. Detective Gotou hasn’t done anything wrong this time, but… well, there was the thing where he rammed his head into the chief of the police.’
'That was interesting.’
Yakumo let out a laugh – maybe he was remembering the scene.
'It isn’t something to laugh about.’
'No, it is. I mean, the police chief’s front tooth stabbed into Gotou-san’s forehead. Do you know what Detective Gotou did afterwards?
Ishii had been knocked out of the way by Gotou and lost consciousness, so he didn’t know the circumstances after that very well.
'Gotou-san took out the tooth stuck in his forehead, put it back in the mouth of the police chief, who had his eyes wide open, and said, “Yakumo, glue.” He tried to cover it up.’
Yakumo laughed even more loudly.
No, no, that really wasn’t something to laugh about.
'In any case, if the detective who exposed an internal scandal is fired in front of society, it would be rather bad for them, so there probably won’t be any particular punishment, but…’
The problem was what would happen next.
'Gotou-san is a traitor to the organisation now.’
He really was sharp. Even if there wasn’t any official punishment, he would be labelled as the man who sold his colleagues.
He wouldn’t be able to escape as long as he was in the police.
'I have no idea what Detective Gotou will do now.’
'Well, no matter what that middle-aged man chooses, it isn’t any concern of mine. Rather, it would be less trouble for me if he quit the police,’ said Yakumo with a yawn.
What was he saying? Ishii had started thinking that Yakumo might be kind, but there was no doubt that he was, as he thought, a cold man.
'And how about Kamiyama-shi?’
After laughing for a while, Yakumo narrowed his eyes and spoke.
'When the firefighters went in, he was already…’
Yakumo’s expression didn’t change, but it felt like there was a shadow in his eyes.
Ishii felt like Kamiyama himself had been a residual spirit.
A sad man who tied his own soul down for revenge –
However, if he hadn’t done that, he wouldn’t have been able to deal with his own emotions.
'Er, actually, there was something I wanted to ask.’
'What is it?’
To say the truth, they were more Gotou’s doubts than Ishii’s.
In the basement bar, Yakumo had read a portion of Rika’s suicide note, which had been lost. However, that note had not been found at Ideuchi’s house.
Ideuchi had snatched it since he suspected the note might have had something that would connect it to the culprit.
However, the contents of that note weren’t written anywhere. He had wanted to return it when it was safe, but he had lost his chance.
If Kamiyama had seen the suicide note – if he had known Rika’s true intention – this case might not have happened. When Ishii thought about that, it really was complicated.
A minor misunderstanding could bring about such darkness.
Putting that aside, what Gotou and Ishii wanted to know was why Yakumo knew about the contents of the note.
'About the suicide note. Where did you find out its contents?’
'I read the heart,’ said Yakumo with a sharp gaze.
Ishii was startled. He could read people’s hearts? No. That was terrifying. Was he reading Ishii’s heart now?
Ishii’s mouth felt parched.
Yakumo smiled when he saw how openly afraid Ishii was.
'It’s a joke. Please don’t mind so much.’
'Please stop it, really.’
Ishii uncapped the plastic bottle and drank tea to wet his throat.
Yakumo stretched out his hand, picked up Rika’s diary from the shelf by him and opened up to a page for Ishii to see.
There were signs that a page had been ripped out.
'She probably took the feelings she wrote into her diary and used them as they were for a suicide note. You can faintly read the words on the next page from the strokes. I looked at those strokes one by one to come up with the note.’
'Oh,’ Ishii said in his admiration.
'Why are you saying that so proudly? I was the one who did the work.’
The person who had come in while criticising Yakumo was Haruka.
'It’s simple work that could have been done by anyone.’
Yakumo scratched at his head like he found Haruka annoying.
'Treating people like idiots again. I won’t help you ever again.’
Haruka stuck out her tongue. That expression was cute too.
'Oh, don’t say that. That necklace matches you fairly well, doesn’t it?’ said Yakumo, his voice devoid of emotion.
'What? It’s too late to say that now. Ah! You’re drinking my tea!’
Ishii’s heart skipped a beat at Haruka’s words.
Could it be? Ishii looked at the plastic bottle in his hand.
'I-I-I sincerely apologise. I…’
Ishii stood up to bow his head deeply.
'Ishii-san, you did nothing wrong. He’s at fault.’
Haruka glared at Yakumo.
'You’re the one using somebody’s fridge without permission,’ said Yakumo while stifling a yawn.
'Honestly! That’s enough of that.’
Haruka approached Yakumo.
'Aah! You’re so loud!’
A yell echoed through the room. This voice was –
Everyone’s gazes fixed on the entrance.
In a wrinkled-up shirt and loose tie, the bearlike figure of Gotou stood there.
'What’s with all of you? It’s creepy!’ complained Gotou, as he always did.
’D-D-Detective Gotou, I was worried.’
Ishii clung on to Gotou.
'Worried about what?’
'I thought that you might quit the police, Detective Gotou.’
'That is, er…’
Ishii’s words were caught in his throat.
'Ishii-san was worrying pointlessly that you would become independent of the police organisation and leave, Gotou-san.’
Yakumo added his explanation in Ishii’s stead.
'Why are you saying something so idiotic? I’ve always been independent of them!’ yelled Gotou, hitting Ishii.
That wasn’t something to say with a puffed chest. 'Anyway, this isn’t the time to play around. Ishii, we’re going!’
Gotou grabbed Ishii’s arm and pulled at him.
'Go? Where are we going to?’
'To the case, obviously!’
Gotou was yelling again. Case. But it had just finished –
'Oi! Yakumo. You come too!’
Yakumo gave an immediate answer to Gotou’s words.
'What did you say?’
'Currently, I have done you two favours. I refuse to allow any more advances.’
'You’re so annoying! Ah, that’s right. I remembered. I promised I’d punch you once the case was over.’
Gotou leapt at Yakumo.
Ishii clung to Gotou frantically to stop him. Yakumo reclined on his chair like he didn’t care.
Haruka-chan laughed happily as she watched them.
Please, give a man a break!
At the time, Ishii hadn’t noticed the large shadow drawing near him. -
 Urashima Tarou is similar to Rip Van Winkle, in that he is allowed to visit the palace of the dragon god in the sea for three days and comes back to find that three hundred years have passed.