He opened the door and stepped inside.
"Where were you?!" Eri demanded. "You were supposed to be home two hours ago!"
"You mean that's when you called," Kogoro corrected, an annoyed look on his face. "I couldn't just bail on the investigation."
"This was more important!" Eri said.
"A stupid little spider was not more important," Kogoro said.
"Little?!" Eri said indignantly. "Excuse me, but you weren't here, you didn't see it! That thing had to have been a tarantula! It was as big as my hand!"
"Quit exaggerating, sheesh!" Kogoro said.
"Why do you think I'm exaggerating?!" Eri protested.
Nancy entered the room with a phone in hand. "Yup, Conan-kun was right, says here no one's ever died from a tarantula bite."
"You're taking this too seriously," Kogoro said. "I mean, what's there to fear from a tiny little...YEEEEHEE! You're right, that thing's BIG!"
The spider came into view.
Conan approached it slowly from behind, a bucket in hand.
He trapped the spider in the bucket and everyone cheered.
"Alright, I'm gonna crush it now," Kogoro said. "Hey brat."
"Who? Me?" Conan said.
"Yeah. Hand me your shoe."
"No way!" Conan whined. "I don't want spider gunk on my shoe!"
"You can wash it up afterwards," Kogoro said. "Now give it to me, quick!"
Jerk, Conan thought as he gave his shoe to Kogoro.
"Alright, on the count of three you lift the bucket and I'll smash it," Kogoro said. "One, two..."
Conan lifted the bucket, but there was nothing there. Kogoro just stood there, puzzled.
"Hey brat, are you sure you really trapped it?" Kogoro asked.
Conan turned the bucket over and...
"Gaah!" He threw the bucket away from him and the big spider crawled out.
Kogoro tried smashing it but he just ended up banging the show against the floor frantically as the spider was much too fast.
Suddenly there was a knock at the door. Kogoro sighed, stood up, and went to look through the peephole.
"Aah!" Kogoro said, taken aback. "What's he doing here?!"
"Who is it?" Eri asked.
She looked through the peephole and then opened the door. Standing there was...
"Y-Yamamura?!" Conan and Nancy said.
Misao Yamamura, that thoroughly incompetent police detective from Gunma Prefecture, laughed nervously.
(Cup of Trembling by B'z)
(Each fresh breath of life is a fresh chance to start anew! In today's case, a missing person! Yamamura has a twin sister? Perceiving the one and only truth! With the body of a child but the mind of an adult, my name is...DETECTIVE CONAN!)
Above all, I'm afraid of you seeing me like this
The youthful vigor sapped from my bones
Too afraid to proceed, too afraid to turn back
A wretch, recoiling from my own shadow
Wallowing in self-pity like a pig wallowing in its crap
I can't check my phone, lest you might try to call
I can't live at home, lest you might try to visit
All I have left is the clothes on my back and
That dreaded bottle, whose contents I dare not drink
Oh I'm going nowhere, a pinwheel spinning in circles
This Cup of Trembling I now raise to my lips and swallow
So I may face the demons haunting my restless nights
I can't show my face to you until I can call myself a man
Until I've walked a full moon carrying my cross
The Doppelganger's Rite of Passage!
"Officer Yamamura?" Eri said. "What are you...?"
"It's Inspector Yamamura!" he said. "Geez, I keep telling people that but they keep wanting to call me officer!"
"What is it you want?" Kogoro asked, a bit annoyed by the prospect that this guy knew where he lived.
"W-well, you see..." Yamamura said sheepishly.
He told them.
Huuuuhh? Conan thought.
Huuuuhh? Nancy thought.
Huuuuhh? Kogoro thought.
Huuuuhh? Eri thought.
"S-so let me get this straight," Kogoro said, a shocked look on his face. "You have a twin sibling and when you came to visit him in Tokyo you couldn't find him anywhere?"
"Yeah," Yamamura said.
Can this world even handle two Yamamuras? Conan thought with a deadpan look.
"What's his name?" Nancy asked, more out of morbid curiosity than anything else.
"Misato Yamamura," he said.
Huuuuhh? Conan thought.
Huuuuhh? Nancy thought.
Huuuuhh? Kogoro thought.
Huuuuhh? Eri thought.
(Author's Note: Misato is a Japanese feminine name.)
Kogoro tried hard to imagine what a female Yamamura would look like. It was just too disturbing a task for his brain to handle.
"Uh, why are you all looking at me like that?" Yamamura asked.
"N-no reason!" Eri said. "So can you explain some more?"
"Uh, okay," Yamamura said. "About once a month I spend the day or two visiting Misato, who lives here in Tokyo. It's been a month and a half, so I decided to pay my twin a visit."
"Did you call ahead of time?" Kogoro asked.
"Of course!" Yamamura said. "So anyways, I showed up at Misato's apartment and stood outside waiting."
"Did you check and see if she was home?" Kogoro asked.
"Wait, what? Uh, well, anyways, uh, yeah, I did," Misao said. "I arrived around 7:00 last night. Misato's car wasn't anywhere to be seen and I even rang the doorbell a few times. Then I tried calling, but there was no answer from Misato's phone. So I waited until morning, and then late into afternoon. I got nothing, and of course I tried calling a few times. I asked Misato's neighbors and even the landlady, and they told me the last time any of them had seen my twin was yesterday morning."
"Hence you came here seeking my help," Kogoro said.
"Hey, Yamamura-keibu," Conan said.
"Finally, someone gets it!" Yamamura said.
"Did you try going inside?" Conan asked. "Misato-san's apartment, that is."
"Well, no," Yamamura said. "I figured that'd be breaking and entering, and in case you forgot I'm a police inspector. I can't go around arresting criminals if I commit crimes myself."
"Perhaps you could explain your situation to the landlady and ask to be let inside?" Nancy suggested.
"Hmm, I guess I could do that," Yamamura said. "Mouri-san, will you help me find my twin?"
They knocked on the door.
The landlady, Sayuki Akiminato, answered.
"You again?" she said.
"Uh, yes," Misao said. "Well, you see..."
Kogoro stepped forward. "My name is Detective Mouri Kogoro, and I need inside Misato Yamamura's apartment for police-related business."
His name, of course, was enough to make the landlady comply.
The landlady opened the door to Misato's apartment and they all went inside.
"Dang, she's got a really neat and orderly home," Nancy said.
"Is this Feng Shui?" Eri asked.
"Yeah, that's what Misato told me first time I came here," Yamamura said. "It's all hogwash though. I mean, in this modern age where people across the globe can message each other in the blink of an eye it's silly to believe in outdated concepts like the flow of so-called positive energy."
"Ah-le-le?" Conan said. "What's this?"
On the short coffee table was a magazine. It was open to a page featuring an article titled "Rethinking The Body Mass Index In Prescription Medication Dosage Formulas".
Kogoro looked at it. "It looks like some kind of doctor's mumbo jumbo."
Then he saw the name of the article's author and he said "Wait, Yamamura, don't tell me that your twin's a...!"
"Yup, a doctor," Yamamura said proudly. "Well, more specifically, a researcher for a big pharmaceuticals company here in Tokyo. Misato spent three months researching to write this paper and recently it was published in a prestigious medical journal."
"I imagine she would've been quite proud of that," Kogoro said.
"Yeah," Yamamura said. "Hey, Mouri-san, why do you keep doing that?"
"Hey, Inspector Yamamura, have you tried visiting Misato-san's workplace?" Conan asked.
"Well, no," Misao admitted. "I guess I could try that."
Haruo Koarashi, the manager of Tohto Pharmaceuticals, was sitting in his office when three adults and two children entered unannounced.
He began to rise angrily. "Where w...!"
"I'm Misao Yamamura, Misato's younger brother by 16 minutes," he announced. "With me is renowned detective Kogoro Mouri. Did Misato show up for work today?"
Realizing the situation, Mr. Koarashi sat down. He shook his head. "No. And today in particular was a bad day for your twin not to show."
"Oh? And what's that?" Eri asked.
"There was a mix up in the data concerning one of our new drugs in development and we need Misato to sort it out," Mr. Koarashi said.
"I see," Yamamura said. "So, uh, when was the last time you saw Misato?"
"It was last night as Misato was leaving work," Mr. Koarashi said.
"And Misato gets off work at...?" Eri pressed.
"6:00 o'clock. Last night Misato left around 6:15."
So Inspector Yamamura's sister disappeared in between 6:15 and 7:00 PM, Conan thought. A roughly forty five minute window, beginning with her leaving work and ending with her not having arrived home by 7:00 despite the fact that it's only a fifteen minute drive from here to her apartment.
"Hey, do you have any idea where she might've gone?" Kogoro asked.
"What? Uhh, no. Where my employees spend their time off from work is none of my concern."
As long as they actually show up for their shifts, he thought sullenly.
"Hey, mister, did any of your other employees leave around that same time?" Conan asked.
"Uh, yeah," Mr. Koarashi said. "Last night one of my people claimed an emergency and another claimed not to be feeling well. They both clocked out early, just like a minute after Misato left. They both left at the same time. Hmm, now that I think about it, both of them drove off in the same direction as Misato, though if I'm not mistaken both of their homes were in the opposite direction."
Inspector Yamamura had a kind of panicky look on his face now. "And who were those two people?"
"Hold on," Mr. Koarashi said. "Surely you aren't thinking that they...?"
"Answer the question, sir!" Kogoro said. "Who were they?"
"U-uh, one of them was Atsukichi and the other was Tatsumi. They should both still be here right now. Atsukichi's wearing a long-sleeved green and grey shirt and he's got a Caesar cut. Tatsumi's got glasses and a ponytail, and she's wearing an orange shirt with short white pants. You can't miss them."
Without saying another word they ran out of the room. Nancy looked down upon the first floor lobby and pointed.
"There! I see them!"
Yamamura and Kogoro ran down the winding staircase, a very serious look on their faces.
Upon seeing Yamamura and Kogoro, the two bolted.
Conan and Nancy caught up with them in the parking lot. Wearing those special shoes, they each kicked a soccer ball. Nancy's ball missed. Conan's incapacitated Atsukichi. Visibly shocked, Tatsumi just stood there.
You're a terrible shot, Conan thought with a deadpan look.
Kogoro, Yamamura, and Eri caught up, panting.
"You sons of b****es!" Yamamura said. "What the h*ll did you do with my dear twin sibling?!"
"I-it was Tadakaze's idea!" Tatsumi said.
"Anyhow, it was just a prank, so please don't be too mad," Atsukichi said apologetically, standing up slowly despite his aching back.
"Wut?" Yamamura said.
"...So let me get this straight," Yamamura said. "Because Misato recently published that article in a medical journal, your colleague Tadakaze convinced you all to celebrate by kidnapping my twin and locking Misato in a cabin deep in the mountains."
"Y-yeah," Tatsumi said. "We excused ourselves from work early, then drove a short distance in our normals cars and switched to two motorcycles that we borrowed from Tadakaze's uncle, along with leather jackets, biker helmets, and model guns that I borrowed from a nerdy friend of mine who's into action movies."
"We then managed to catch up with Misato's car and pretended to be car hijackers," Atsukichi said. "We bound and blindfolded Misato and drove your twin's car up into the mountains. Then we used a cabin rented out by Tadakaze and locked Misato up in there."
"The plan was to keep Misato in there all night and all day today, then everyone at work was to drive up there tonight, surprise Misato, and hold a big party," Tatsumi said.
"W-we didn't think anyone would actually go looking for Misato though," Atsukichi said. "I mean, your twin lives alone."
"I see," Kogoro said. "This was just a case of a really mean prank by your sister's coworkers."
"Huh?" Yamamura said. "Mouri-san, did you really t...?"
"Hey, you say that your colleague Tadakaze-san was behind this, right?" Nancy asked.
"Yeah," Atsukichi said.
"And there's nobody watching Misato-san at the cabin, right?" Nancy asked.
"Yeah," Tatsumi said. "We locked Misato in there with no cell phone or other means of outside communication. It's in a remote location, surrounded by forest and right next to this big cliff."
"Hey brat, what are you...?" Kogoro said, annoyed.
"C-could it be?" Conan said aloud. "Could this be that...? Hey, is Tadakaze-san by any chance in competition with Misato-san for promotions at your company?"
"Uh, yeah," Tatsumi said.
"And is he at work today?" Conan asked.
"No, Tadakaze took the day off for some reason," Tatsumi answered.
By this point even Kogoro knew what was going on. "Hey, where is this cabin?"
Atsukichi and Tatsumi told them.
Misato was lying on the floor, too tired to struggle any further. Struggling since last night had done no good. The only hope left was that the kidnappers would accept a ransom, and that someone would be willing to pay it. If the kidnappers wanted Misato dead, surely they would've done it by now.
Suddenly, footsteps. The doorknob began to shake, and then the door opened. It was...
Tadakaze looked at Misato and, without a word, began undoing the ropes.
Afterwards Misato stood up. "Hey Tadakaze, what the h*ll's going on?"
Then, Tadakaze pulled out a gun. "Follow me, please."
With no other choice, Misato followed Tadakaze outside to the cliff face.
"Alright, this is how things are going to play out," Tadakaze said, a big evil grin on his face. "You're going to jump."
"And why exactly would I do that?"
"Because it'll be much preferable a death to me blowing both your kneecaps and letting you bleed out. Now, the police will find your body soon enough, and they'll conclude that you escaped the cabin and, not being able to see where you were going in the dark, fell off the cliff. When the police wonder how you ended up in the cabin in the first place, my friends of course will testify how we agreed to play an elaborate prank on their dear friend who recently succeeded in publishing a paper in an academic journal. If I get any jail time or legal penalty at all, it certainly won't be for murder, so I'll be able to recover my normal life and my old job at the company after a fairly short while. And at that point, there won't be any competition and one day...I'll climb to the very top! I'll be CEO! My face will be plastered on the cover of magazines!"
Tadakaze turned around and saw Inspector Yamamura standing there. Stunned, he was unable to react as Misato did a sweeping maneuver and disarmed him. Then, with a swift gut punch, he was down and out.
"The only place where your face will be plastered is on a mugshot," Misato said, calm and collected.
Kogoro and Conan caught up.
What they saw was shocking...and disturbing.
(Spirit by Rina Aiuchi)
There are only two kinds of people in this complex world
Those who'll fight for what's precious and everyone else
Sometimes I lay awake at night wondering why this is
Is it perhaps that we believe all hope is already lost?
It takes a lot less effort to tap out and forfeit the prize
Hang our heads in shame and defeat, a prisoner of war
Too many voices have cried out "Awaken, thou that sleepest!"
What we need is soothing balm so these bones may stir again
Come, you and me, together let's put on a show for the ages
Hurry, the curtain rises, the epic drama begins to unfold!
Oh you graceful swan, dancing in the middle of the downpour
All the world's your stage, and every eye is fixed on you
You've got heart, and nobody can ever take that away from you
Give them what they came for, the indomitable human spirit!
The cabin was filled with jubilant people. Thirty minutes prior, Misato's colleagues had shown up en masse, right on time to see Officer Takagi leading Tadakaze to the police car in handcuffs.
Misao Yamamura and his brother Misato stood in the center of the room, conversing eagerly. Kogoro and Eri at the far corner, staring.
"Did you know Misato was a man?" Kogoro whispered.
"Nope," Eri said. "They look exactly alike, don't they?"
"Yeah, if they were wearing the same outfit I wouldn't be able to distinguish them."
They walked over to Conan and Nancy. "Hey brats, let's..."
"Ah, Mouri-san!" Misao said. "You aren't leaving now, are you? The party's getting started! Stay a while, why don't you?"
And so they did. There was cake served, of which Kogoro had four slices (to Eri's chagrin). After Misato's friends started performing drunk karaoke, the Mouris new it was time to go.
As they were leaving the cabin...
"Mouri-san! Wait up!"
Misao caught up, panting. "Before you go, I was curious about something. That girl."
"Eh? Nancy?" Kogoro said.
"Yeah. I noticed she was with you guys all today. Who is she, exactly? I mean, she looks kind of like..."
"Yeah, she looks exactly like our late daughter," Eri said. "Regardless of that, though, Nancy's parents were in an accident, so she's staying with us for a while."
Misao Yamamura turned around and headed back towards the cabin.
As the Mouris were driving down the mountain...
"Sheesh, what kind of friends would lock a guy in a cabin for a whole day?" Kogoro asked.
"If I recall, you were involved in some crazy stunts in college," Eri said.
"Y-yeah, but they're all adults in the workforce!" Kogoro said.
"Who says you ever get too old to have fun?" Eri asked. "Speaking of fun, how about tonight we..."
Kogoro was getting excited now. Suddenly there was a...*ahem* strange bulge in his pants. "Yes, yes, let's! Let's!" He giggled like a dirty old man.
That was how Kogoro ended up sitting in the kitchen at 11:30 discussing plans with Eri to redecorate the house in accordance with Feng Shui.
"And I was thinking we could move the table over to the..."
I just want sleep, he thought sullenly.
In the other part of the house, Conan was lying in bed. He was nearly through a yawn whenever he saw the tarantula from earlier run by.
There's no way I can sleep now, he thought.