Chapter 10

"All right," said Raito briskly, after he checked that Mrs Morel had really gone and was not listening at the door. "I cannot afford to waste any more time. I need to find out Holmes' true face. If the detective figures out the limitations of the death note, and what I can do- he may move to another location and I will never have the chance to see his face."

He paused.

"I have not been able to find Holmes' name in any of the newspapers I managed to collect… and from what I remember, I think it is mostly the police who claim the credit for Holmes' efforts. It is extremely unlikely that I can find a photograph in the newspapers… I have to be able to recognize him, even if I can't kill him yet."

"I suppose you still do not want my eyes…"

"For the last time, Ryuk. No."

Striding to his cabinet, Raito knelt and pulled out his paints and bundles of clothing. He paused. Due to the length of time he would be expecting to wait for Holmes to show himself (for he didn't know the latter's daily schedule), he knew that he had to pick a disguise that would lead to him not being suspected as a criminal, or draw unnecessary attention if he was caught loitering around.

Setting himself in front of the mirror, Raito began to transform himself. Uncorking a tiny bottle, he poured a greasy, soapy mixture upon his face and arms, and waited for the soap to dry. After about five minutes, he poured a foul smelling liquid upon the soap mixture, and it instantly blistered- resulting in Raito looking like a disfigured man covered with open sores. The young man then hastily applied powder over his face to disguise his Asian skin colour, and used a tattered eye patch and a large fake scar to conceal his own identity effectively. The ragged clothes of a beggar completed the disguise.

After finishing up the touch-ups, Raito hastily wrote a note on a fragment of paper, before clearing up his equipment.

"Very nice, Raito," commented Ryuk appreciatively, chewing an apple. "I can't recognize you at all."

Without a word, Raito stood up and crossed over to the door.

"Oi, Raito," said Ryuk as he swallowed the last of the apple. "Why are you ignoring me?"

Turning, Raito impatiently pointed at the large scar that twisted his lips in such a fashion that it was impossible to speak. "Oh…" said Ryuk apologetically. "Sorry, my bad. Didn't notice."

It took Raito a lot of willpower to treat the death-god normally, for he could never forgive what Ryuk had done to him- some nights he would awake drenched in sweat, seeing in his mind's eye the growing shadow before him, and those mocking protuberant eyes.

He opened the door.

And came face to face with Mrs Morel. "Uhm," she began brightly. "I brought you some cook-"


The platter of biscuits dropped to the floor with a clatter. Eyes wide, she stared at the unrecognizable tramp before her eyes. What ever happened to Raito? Who was this strange man? However, before she had the time to scream, Raito moved forward quickly. Clamping a hand over her mouth, he held up the crumpled note before the frightened woman's eyes.

After a while, she relaxed, and Raito carefully drew his hand away.

"Light? Is this some important police assignment?"

Raito nodded, gesturing towards the staircase.

"Please be careful…" she said, eyes pleading. Raito gave an impatient nod and strode past her quickly, ignoring the mess of plates and cookies on the floor. Walking down the stairs, he strode purposely towards the door. He did not turn back at all.

The sun was out- but it was weak, and the wind was blowing fast and hard. Raito cursed his bad luck. He had hoped for the sunny weather of the morning to continue into the afternoon, but evidently, that hope was misplaced.

221B Baker Street.

Although everyone knew of Mr Sherlock Holmes, his whereabouts was not exactly well- known before the publishing of Watson's memoirs. Raito thus was forced to check with the police the day before. Dressed impeccably with an expensive suit and hat, the police gave him no trouble and told him what he wanted. And as he had memorized already the layout of this part of England, his photographic memory ensured that he would have no trouble finding where the great detective lived.

People out in their cloaks gave him a wide berth, and while some looked at him sympathetically, most looked at him with disgust. Raito ignored all of them as he strode towards his destination.

Taking his place just opposite the building, Raito sat down and placed a tattered and worn cap before him. Beggars were a common sight in England, and so Raito assumed that this disguise was the best in order to achieve his objective (as long as there were no policemen about).

Now the only thing to do… was to wait and see.

It was going to be difficult to pick Holmes out, but Raito was fairly confident that he could do it. Remembering the details from the books he had enjoyed as a teen, Raito knew (if they were accurate) that Sherlock Holmes was an individual with very distinct and unique features. Possessing aquiline features, he had dark hair and was lean in stature.

Hours passed.

Raito was getting a cramp from sitting at that position for so long, but he persevered. He began to fear that Sherlock Holmes was not going to emerge, and that he had wasted a whole afternoon waiting. He cursed inwardly.

"Here, a sovereign for you, my man."

Raito jumped, and as his eyes darted upwards- they came to rest directly upon his opposite. Staring at him with dark and piercing eyes, the lean man before him nodded slightly- and turned away. Head bowed against the strong wind, Raito could see the strands of dark hair beneath his bowler hat. A middle-aged, portly gentleman who was at the former's side smiled at him compassionately, and threw in a penny as well before leaving.

Without even seeing whether they went into the house he watched, Raito at once got up and left hurriedly. Ryuk gave a small laugh. "Eh, Raito… Why the long face? You got what you wanted, didn't you?"

Even if Raito could talk, he would not have bothered to answer. His heightened sense of danger warned him that all was not well.

He had not counted on Sherlock Holmes being at such close proximity to him. His skill as a make-up artist was still amateur at best, and the knowledge of Holmes' great deductive skill haunted him.