Chapter 8 It was - - in the Work Room with the Candlestick?
"Dead? Impossible! Not now!" Kaiba had arrived with the rest of the others who had been decoding the letters. The guilty French man was being dragged by his compatriots.
Bakura was still absent as well as Keith. As for Hugh, no one even remembered him in the burst of new information to reveal.
First, they rushed inside to check if Pegasus was, indeed, dead. Once there, however, no one wanted to touch him.
"No way I'm touching him," Honda said.
Mai, looking a little white, quickly commented, "I wouldn't want to risk getting blood on my outfit."
In a sound of disgust, Anzu bent over him. "You're all a bunch of babies," she said, though her own hands were trembling. Carefully, she rolled him over. Everyone breathed as one as they waited for a groan. No one wanted to do mouth-to-mouth.
But, all was silent. Hesitating again, the girl put her fingers to Pegasus's neck to feel for any beat of life.
"Pegasus is really dead!"
Disbelieving still, Kaiba shoved his way forward to feel the neck. When he saw the bloody wound on the temple, he knew any hope was lost. People did not get wounded at the weak spot in the skull and live to face tremendous trauma.
Looking around in order not to see Pegasus—blood made her queasy—Johanna spied the combination door.
"So, you found the use for the numbers?"
The Spirit of the Puzzle nodded curtly, all his attention absorbed by Pegasus's motionless form.
"He's dead," Kaiba certified in the silence.
"It's not some proxy to try to fool us again?" Mai asked.
Otogi wheeled on the speaker. "Don't you get it? The game's over. Pegasus is dead for real." With that, he stared at the island owner as if willing him to move his finger even then. While that was possible even in his state, doing so would only ensure fright to everyone looking at his corpse.
"Calm down. No need to get hostile, young man," Suguroku said. "But there is a reason for fear. How do we get off the island now?"
There was a small silence.
"There has to still be some goons around," Honda tried.
Jean-Richard was cursing his ill luck. Just when he had confessed everything, someone had murdered Pegasus and he would have had the chance to remain anonymous forever. He wanted to find Keith Howard and Saruwatari and see what they knew of this death.
"The real question is who killed Pegasus." The Spirit looked at each one of them in turn. "We read off the combination before so anyone could have snuck in here and done it."
Alibis were quickly asserted and confirmed by people. All those working on de-riddling the letters had an excuse. The rest were not so lucky.
"Maybe it's one of those still missing. These people always seem to be missing. I think it is suspicious."
Isis, hand hovering over her Necklace for some type of reassurance, asked softly, "What about the secret passageways in the walls? Is there an exit from one into this room?"
Instantly, the search abounded. People walked around the large room holding a desk, computer, chair, and fireplace tapping the walls to listen for anything out of the ordinary. Meanwhile, Otogi stood near Pegasus's body and just stared at the man's cold face. With the splotch of blood on one temple, he did not look at all like himself. This was especially true now that the amused smirk was absent. One lock of silvery hair remained where it was over one eye, and despite the temptation to look under it, Otogi had more respect for the man than that.
Carefully, he folded Pegasus's hands onto his chest and tried to make the man look more comfortable—not that it mattered anymore.
At one spot in the room, there was an echoing knock. Malik was apt to knock his head against the wall in his excitement to go through except he was not so dull. Jonouchi, on the other hand, was capable of attempting it and almost did when no one could open the wall. Fortunately, someone stopped him. People were trying all sorts of different tactics to try to make it open when Kaiba remembered seeing that bloodshot eye in the wall before. There had been a certain chink that had been opened. He went over to the wall and examined the stones. There, amidst an array of large block, he saw a smaller one. That was the one he struggled to turn in the direction he had seen the other one in.
Slowly, a grating sound vented out into the air. And, once the first stone was moved, the remainder of the door only needed a lot of pulling from the space to open it.
An exhale of stale breath came from the opening as of the decaying air present in old pyramids. At around eleven o'clock at night, the group passed into the secret tunnels, three missing from their number, one under arrest, and leaving one body behind them.
There were immediately two directions to choose from. Left or right.
However, the choice was no so difficult. Honda bent over the floor, and, with a light Isis had taken from the wall, investigated the floor. Plenty of dust and dirt had accumulated here, as well as crumbling portions of the wall. The most recent steps had come from the right and gone back to the right. That was the way they went.
Time, always against them before, seemed extraordinarily quick at vanishing. No one had explained the new rules, but it was obvious the person they were following was in a hurry and might actually escape if they did not catch up.
As they hurried along, Jonouchi decided to update them on the Chevereux's confession. While everyone was surprised, they were not particularly astounded at Bandit Keith's involvement in the crime. That was probably was he was still missing. Maybe he had been the last one to use this passage.
Meanwhile, Kaiba's thoughts were on his brother. What if Mokuba had not been kidnapped? What if some mad buffoon had killed him and secreted him away? These were thoughts Kaiba did not want to have, but he had to admit there was some logic to them. He, however, did not speak anything aloud.
A few of the others were giving the business man some nasty looks, while a few others were looking relieved. Obviously, they had a guilty conscience.
"I see something up ahead!" Honda rushed onward.
It was another choice of which direction to take. It was easier to follow the stranger, however, because of the noticeable tracks. So, they continued on until they reached a place where the prints left the secret passageway through a still-open door and went back into a different set of darkness. This one had a faint trace of light coming from numerous stars lighting up the sky.
They were outside the castle.
Below them, down a small hill, a man was running towards the ocean at breakneck speed. His black clothing blended in very well with the darkness. It was only his stumbling footsteps that revealed he was even there. The man was heading toward a small cove where a lit ship was pulling in.
Instantly, the others streamed out after him and caught up. The ship, much slower, was not close enough for anyone to escape on yet.
Eyes were swift at adjusting to the darkness. All of the "guests" made a circle around the man, their orbs glittering in a feral predator look.
"Hugh Hoturi." Kaiba grabbed his collar. "I knew you were guilty of something."
The man blanched and stuttered, "N-no, I didn't do anything! I was just searching the castle for escapes all this time. And I saw the ship coming in, so I ran to get on board!"
"As if we'd believe that!" Mai said. "Pegasus is dead and you killed him before escaping through the secret passageway!"
Hugh went even whiter—almost glowing in the blackness. "I didn't even know he was dead! And I have no idea how to get into secret passageways. Please, let me go."
Kaiba had no intention of doing that, but someone else gasped from behind them. It was Anzu, and obviously, something had happened. Kaiba turned Hugh as he looked.
From his buff shoulders and spiked hair, there was no mistaking Saruwatari. His bulging cheeks were smiling as he held a glinting gun to Anzu's head. Even in the darkness, he still wore his sunglasses.
"Do what I say or I'll kill her. I have no scruples. I killed Pegasus, after all."
Chevereux seemed close to passing out, though whether it was from relief or fear, the others could not tell. "I'm so glad—"
"Shut up," Saruwatari interrupted. "You're the one that made me have to kill him. Idiot confessor. You never confess." He turned to the others still gathered there. "But, I must admit there is some pleasure in it. You can gloat for your superior intelligence." The goon looked at the approaching boat. "I'm going to get on that boat and you will let me if you want this girl to remain alive. Then, you'll forget you saw me."
Kaiba released Hugh. "As if that'll ever happen. Where's my brother?" he demanded.
"And my sister! You creep!"
There was a high laugh from another portion of the cove. Bandit Keith Howard. Now, the only person still missing, besides those supposedly kidnapped, was Bakura. At least his white hair would make it difficult for him to blend in.
"Saruwatari had little to do with those others. He's too stupid to come up with the plan of using others." He straightened from where he was leaning and flashed them a grin. "I've seen them all in my wanders. I even managed to get this back." He held up his gun. "But, I want to know how Saruwatari here thinks he's going to escape. You have the money?"
Saruwatari did not answer.
"We had a deal, and if this bozo ruined his portion, I never confessed nothing." Yes, it was obvious Keith had written that other letter. "So, you'd better be including me in your little escape plan. Especially after I took care of all those other goons for you. They won't be getting out anytime soon."
"I don't owe you anything," Saruwatari said somewhat nervously. He dug the gun further into Anzu's scalp. "This girl will die if you don't do what I say."
Laughing again, Keith shrugged. "I don't care nothing about some girl. I just want my portion of the goods. Tell me: did you even get the goods? Offing Pegasus might have been a way to start, but where'd the man hide the money? If you killed him when we need a signature or something, you'll regret it."
Looking a little nervous, Saruwatari gulped. "There was money on his person that was to be awarded as prize money. It's mine."
Determinedly, Saruwatari continued, "I did all the dirty work, so it's mine. I'm the one who delivered your letters. I'm the one who was spying on everyone and making certain they weren't getting too close. And I'm the one who took the needed action when Chevereux confessed. I'm the one who needs the money. I even was the one who did the kidnapping for Pegasus."
"Tell me where my brother is!"
"Where's Rishid?" Malik cried at the same time.
"Be quiet," the suited man muttered. "They were just invited to be used against you anyway."
There was a sinister chuckle from up the hill a short ways. Another missing person was back.
"I thought we might like to hear from them sooner or later to help incriminate you, Saruwatari. So I took the liberty of letting them out."
"Bakura!" Honda cried.
His shout was minor compared to the clamor coming down the hill by two people. Both Rishid and Hopkins were relatively quiet, but Mokuba and Shizuka were making a racquet.
"Sis!" Jonouchi raced forward to hug her.
Malik put his arms around his taller brother. "I'm glad you're all right, Rishid!" Isis was smiling.
The boy flung himself on his brother and clutched him tightly. Very relieved, Kaiba returned the gesture.
Rebecca was holding her grandfather's midsection as everyone else felt a small relaxing. However, Keith and Saruwatari were not pleased and Anzu was anything but calm.
The other Yugi pointed at Saruwatari. "Now, we have multiple confessors who will be able to incriminate you! If you add another murder to the list, you'll be sorry!"
Something had snapped inside Otogi ever since his role model had been acting insanely. The death of him just made matters worse. So, it was with a grim detachment that he strode forward. Saruwatari had never seen such an expression before, and he reacted too slowly. He whipped the gun to face Otogi, but the teen could have cared less. One hand snapped out and grabbed it. Keith could have done something, but he was finding this amusing. Besides, he was not on Saruwatari's side unless Saruwatari agreed to share the cash.
"You killed Mr. Pegasus," Otogi was saying. "I'm going to make sure you're punished to the full extent of the law—the American law."
Mouth agape, Saruwatari's perfect plan was swiftly becoming unraveled. Nothing was as it should have been. The ship was supposed to have arrived and carried him away before anyone was aware of him. Drat Pegasus and his reluctance to have a way off the island. Because he could not find a way off for so long, he was going to be getting into trouble.
Malik, Rishid, and Johanna all kept a grip on Saruwatari.
"And don't think you're off the hook!" Otogi said as he pointed the gun at Keith. "You're in just as much trouble as Saruwatari."
Keith could have cared less that there was a gun pointed in his direction. "You can't even use that thing, kid. I, on the other hand, will be able to kill you before you find where the trigger is located. Especially in this dark."
Jonouchi released his sister and did the stupidest action of his entire life—and that is saying something. He charged headlong into Keith and knocked him over by the legs. Meanwhile, Otogi tossed the gun to Honda, who pointed it directly at Bandit Keith.
"But me? I don't miss."
Finally slacking his hold, Mokuba turned toward all the excitement. He still held his brother's blue coat, but now there was not such a frantic emotion passing from hand to clothing.
"Seto, what's going on?"
Trying to explain everything when he did not know was foolish. Nearby, others were wondering the same thing.
Glaring from one to the other, Mai asked, "I also want to know what exactly is going on. Now, since you're in a good predicament for it, why don't you three explain everything?"
Chevereux was shoved next to Saruwatari and Keith so all three were together. Looking surly, none of them wanted to begin speaking.
A light beacon from the boat was facing toward shore so that the boat would not get too close. It landed perfectly on the three, highlighting them in their guilt.
"So, you were the one sneaking around the castle." Kaiba snatched the sunglasses from Saruwatari's face. Beneath was one bloodshot eye.
The man grumbled. "Might as well start at the beginning. I needed surgery on my eye and that's why I wanted the money. That's why I still need it. I have debts to pay."
"Oh, now you're allowed to confess? I thought you told me never to confess."
"Be quiet, Chevereux. That was when there was still a chance for escape."
"I ain't saying nothing." Keith leaned back against the rock wall to watch the approaching boat.
"You'll say something or just say it to the police," Honda warned, the gun still pointed at all of them. While he had no problems with air rifles, pointing this weapon at people was disconcerting. What if his finger slipped and he killed one of them? He wished they would hurry up and finish their confessions.
Facing the ground, Saruwatari said nothing more.
Chevereux, a truly nervous man, said quickly, "You already heard what I had to say. There's nothing more to add."
And, except to put it all together, there really was nothing more to add. Saruwatari must have been the one they were following in the tunnel and after he got out, he must have known he was being followed and waited up top of the hill. It was just chance that Hugh had been down at the beach waiting for the boat as well.
Now, the boat was coming to a halt in order to be docked.
"How did you get a boat to come after Pegasus said there were no forms of communication?" Johanna asked.
Saruwatari kept looking down. "He was the only one who knew how to contact the boats back. He had the transmitter on his person ready for when you would enter the room. That makes me think this boat was just waiting to pull in.
"That was the final room, the one where you had to make your accusation. Then, he would have handed you this check and let you go home."
"Except the one who did it," Chevereux said bitterly.
"Well, that hasn't changed," Suguroku said. "All this has been too much for an old man. I can't wait to go home, Yugi." Then, with a sigh, he added, "Wait, you're not my grandson."
The Spirit of the Puzzle ignored him as he continued revealing more of the truth.
"And you, Hugh. You have been searching for a way off this island all this time?"
The man in black nodded, casting a nervous look at Kaiba. However, now that his brother was back and well, Kaiba ignored him completely.
"Oh, and I bet you're going to ask what I was doing, next," Bakura said with a smirk. "Well, I'm not going to tell you."
The Spirits stared down at each other for a minute, and then the other Yugi decided not to waste his time any longer.
A person was rowing a boat in to shore to bring them to the ship. Soon, there would be a lot of explaining to do. They could just hope their stories would be accepted. With the other goons that were trapped somewhere, it did not seem likely everyone would escape in innocence. And, while they hated to recall it, their minds constantly remembered Pegasus's still form with the red blob on his temple whenever they closed their eyes for a time. Someone should be paying for the lack of pure blackness when they closed their eyes.
Chevereux could always be counted on to confess. After the police arrested him on the island in the middle of the day (that was how long it took the police to be informed and arrive), his confession gave them enough proof to arrest the other two for more than twenty-four hours.
Pegasus's body was removed in a black bag, and Otogi was not the only one to avert his eyes in regret.
Yugi and his innocence, whatever was not marred from the Spirit of the Puzzle, was no longer the same. Shizuka was holding back tears when she heard. Even knowing the man had invited her only to kidnap her to use to force the others to keep working did not make her think any less of the man.
As for the rest of them, they slept for a long time in the jail cells where the police had been keeping them until Chevereux's confession.
The prize money turned out to be worthless to them because the names of those it belonged to had not been made out on anything. His money remained in his company except for the stock the Funny Rabbit representative had snagged for his employers.
Instead of suing for damage, Kaiba sent someone to demolish the rest of his craft and sell anything salvageable. Then, he spruced up another jet to be his main form of convenience in the air.
With so much excitement going on, Rebecca forgot to say farewell to her "darling," which did not bother him at all. At the moment, he was not even too concerned with what he was wearing on the plane ride back to Japan as he sat next to Anzu. His thoughts were too deeply involved with what had happened.
"Stop dwelling on it, Aibou."
The boy sighed. "I can't, mou hitori no boku. It all started as a game and ended with murder."
"It didn't start as a game. It started as a threat for murder. And we thought he had been dead once before."
"That doesn't make it any better!"
The other Yugi remained silent, now brooding as much as his younger counterpart. None of their friends could manage to penetrate the silence.
Even once they were back home, Suguroku could get nothing from the boy. Yugi just went upstairs and thought some more. He could not even figure out why this was bothering him so much. Pegasus was someone to pity perhaps, but the man had never been exceptionally nice.
"I think it's because I feel responsible," he admitted in his head. "If we had gone a little faster, he wouldn't've died."
"That's not right, Aibou. Saruwatari was always watching; he even admitted to it. That's why he killed Pegasus—because we were getting too close. Nothing we could have done would have changed that."
"I see," he said aloud softly. "And I guess he's happy now because he's with Cynthia."
The Spirit of the Millennium Puzzle nodded. There was always something good to be said of eternal rest.