(A/N): This fic is meant to be read in ½ alignment.
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» A Global Enigma «
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An invite to a World Country Meeting soon turns into a murder mystery.
And anyone could be the culprit.
• • ― Professor Layton and Axis Powers Crossover .
An Uncomfortable Nighttime Snack
As dinner ended in the large banquet hall, representatives with satisfied stomachs stumbled out of the large room and were off to chat with their close allies somewhere more private. For those who weren't in much of a talkative mood, some simply decided to march off to their rooms to retire. Hungary, on the other hand, was gone from sight as soon as dinner was over.
Luke, sadly, was in his own category. Despite the fact that he wanted to talk before going off to bed, he couldn't seem to find anyone that was willing to talk to him: Layton was caught up in conversation with Arthur while Latvia was nowhere to be found.
Sighing, Luke exited the banquet hall with dismay. As he trudged off into the hallway where his room was supposed to be, he caught sight of a familiar young boy adorned in a sailor suit. He was bounding down the hallway with his arms extended outward like a plane.
Curious, a desperate Luke chased after him.
"Hey!" he called as he ran after the sailor boy.
The boy halted to a stop and turned around.
"Aren't you Sea-?"
With surprised eyes, Luke offered his right hand out towards the boy.
"W-Well, my name's Luke."
"I know that."
Sealand briefly took a glance to the side.
"Do you believe me?" the young sailor boy asked.
"I said do you believe me," the boy reiterated. "About that stuff. Y'know. The culprit."
At this, Luke's eyes widened.
"Well! Do you!"
"Nobody believes me because they think I'm just some stupid kid," Sealand snapped as he folded his arms. "I don't even think that Professor guy believes me, either."
"Well I believe you about that light-haired stuff," Luke offered.
The young boy perked up from Luke's condolence and turned to look at him with hopeful eyes.
"Of course. I mean, if you got the hair down pat, then I'm sure that'll lead to the culprit quicker."
Sealand smiled at Luke's comment, happy to know that at least someone believed him, even if the person was around his same age.
"I was off to go get some pastries," Sealand began to say, "You want some?"
"I-I guess so." Luke turned around to look down the empty hallway. "But, I wonder if Latvia would want to come too…"
"Aw, losers, sch'moosers!" Sealand cried as he seized Luke's wrist. "You can get one for him if you want to! But if England finds out, I'll be doing double-duty tomorrow morning!"
"Cleaning the loos*."
"Now let's get a'going!"
The two new friends made a sharp turn to the left and went down a ways until Sealand stopped at a metal door. Using his shoulder, Sealand pushed the door just enough for him and Luke to squeeze past through without making a racket. As they went inside, Luke was stunned by the jubilant colors of fresh fruits and vegetables that lay out in the open air in intricate-woven baskets and smooth china bowls. Garlic, chile, bananas, and other tree-based foods were hung on metal rings, while breads and other wheats were all aligned neatly on the marble countertops. Glass cabinets with all types of cups and bottles were neatly displayed above the countertops and sinks. And the pastries, of course, were sitting in plain view atop the oven stove as they were neatly encased in wax paper.
"Oh goody!" Sealand cooed as he darted over towards the treats. "Looks like the chef just took them out for a cooling!" The boy immediately grabbed a few napkins before fishing out two puff pastries from the tray. "Quick! Get some for yourself!"
Luke scrambled over to the tray and copied what Sealand had done.
"Now let's get outta here!"
Before Luke started for the metal door, a shiny array of knives to his right caught his eye. Curious, he quickly counted the number of knives. And when he found the answer, his eyes began to widen with horror.
"Hey, Sealand," Luke asked, his voice almost inaudible.
"Yeah, what?" the country impatiently hissed.
"Are those the knives that England was talking about? The ones that he said he only had 12 of?"
"Yeah. Why? Look, Luke, can we please just-!"
"There are 12 knives right here."
At this shocking realization, Sealand's impatience faded. His eyes began to grow wider as well.
"I just counted, and there are exactly 12."
"No…" Sealand began to say as he started to march over to where Luke was standing. As he did so, he placed his poached pastries on the sole wooden table that was in the kitchen. "You've got to be counting wrong."
"No, I'm not. Count for yourself," Luke said, turning to look as Sealand began to count off the knives with his index finger.
"One, two, three…seven…nine…eleven…twelve."
Horrorstruck, Sealand slowly turned to look at an equally terrified Luke.
"W-What does this all mean?"
"It means that there were more knives involved in this," Luke answered. He put his pastries on the marble countertop and put his hands on his hips. "Someone's been messing around with these knives…"
"But England only has 12; he's always had 12," Sealand cried, his face confused. "He couldn't have had more than that! I should know! I steal pastries from here all the time!"
"But if the knife that killed Austria was England's, then why did you have a knife when you captured Prussia, and why is there are knife still here?"
"So…does that mean there are…2 more knives?"
"There's no doubt about it," Luke said, nodding his head gravely. "But…who would bring knives to such a conference?"
"Beats me." Sealand said, dumbfounded.
"Let's take a look around."
Immediately, the two adolescent boys began to scramble around the small kitchen area, opening up all sorts of cabinets and pantries, searching for any sharp shiny object that might be hidden behind pans and pots or the like.
"Score!" yelped a gleeful Sealand.
"What! What did you find?" Luke cried, turning his head to look at Sealand, who had discovered something in the cutlery drawer.
"Now I can put this on my pastry," he giggled. He ripped the red plastic cap off and began spooning out large blobs of sugary icing onto his breaded pastry. "This is gonna be the best pastry ever!"
"I swear," Luke muttered under his breath. "The nerve of such…" Suddenly, a glittering object caught Luke's attention from the drawer Sealand had just opened.
"Wait just a minute…!"
Luke ran over towards the drawer and found an odd-shaped knife poorly hidden beneath a bunch of silver forks. Spotting its handle, he fished it out of the pile and held it far away from him to examine it.
The knife had a weird edge pattern: is blade was in a zigzag pattern, with miniscule triangular teeth that made it look both deadly yet oddly mysterious…
"How strange," Luke whispered to himself, his eyes entranced by the complex blade pattern. "This couldn't possibly serve any purpose in England's home, can it…?"
"Mmmrph, beats mmmrpphh me," grumbled a gluttonous Sealand as he shoved a big piece of his iced-up pastry. "But that's definitely not a mmmrrpph knife of England's."
"I guess I'd better let the Professor take a look at this," Luke reasoned, putting the knife into his pants' pocket. "Maybe he'll have an explanation for it."
"Yeah, mmrpph, maybe."
Sealand licked his fingers clean of the white icing.
"So then I guess we should be going."
The two boys started towards the metal door. Sealand used his shoulder once more to open the door a notch, but for some reason, he was having a hard time getting it open.
"Need some help?" Luke asked.
"Nah, but…it's like something blocking our way ou-!"
Just then, a large force from the other side swung Sealand right off his feet as he collapsed onto the ground with a loud thump!
"Oh, I'm sorry," an apologetic voice said. A giant-like country of immense height stepped into the kitchen with a pair of worn dark brown snow boots. He stooped down as he offered a bulky hand out to the small sailor boy with an awkwardly sweet smile. "Here, let me help you up."
"Thanks," Sealand said as the representative raised the small child up effortlessly. "You wouldn't happen to be related to the chef, would ya?"
"Why, no," the country replied incredulously.
"Good. Because you didn't see us! …'Kay?"
Sealand gave a wink.
"Oh!" The tall countryman grinned and nodded. "Of course."
In contrast to Sealand's sociable personality, Luke stood beside his newfound friend skeptically as he examined this rather tall representative. His hair and skin were cream-colored, while his long beige military jacket uniform only made him look paler. But what was most shocking were his light violet eyes that pierced right through Sealand as he was talking to the young boy. Despite this young man's sweet overtone, it was eerie at the same time…
"U-Um," Luke piped up from beside Sealand. "P-Pardon me for interrupting, but, what's your name?"
"Ah! Sorry for not introducting myself sooner," the cheery country sheepishly replied.
He stretched out his long arm out to Luke.
"My name is Ivan Braginski. But you can call me Russia."
"Awww! That's so flippin' cool!" Sealand screeched, immediately grabbing ahold of the man's large hand and shaking it up and down. "So you're that country that's the biggest, right?"
"By land, yes," Ivan replied, softly laughing. "But we'd like others to move into our country, too."
"Oh I would! I would move! As long as I don't need to clean your loos*, that is!"
Well I wouldn't move, even if he paid me a million pounds, Luke thought to himself. Unlike Sealand, he was still uneasy about this tall man. There was just something about him that made Luke uncomfortable.
"W-Well," Luke interrupted again, "I think Sealand and I should best be going."
"Oh. Alright," Ivan said, rather stiffly. "I hope we meet each other again."
Well I don't, Luke thought.
Seeming to read Luke's face, Ivan gave a smile, making the situation for the small British boy even more awkward.
Shivering, Luke shoved his way out of the kitchen, with Sealand following behind him. Once the door was closed shut, however, Luke didn't hesitate to tell Sealand his feelings about Russia.
"Geez, that guy's a creeper," Luke exclaimed. He quickly turned his head to make sure the Russian hadn't heard.
"Whaddaya mean? That guy's so cool! And friendly!" Sealand reasoned. "He's much better than England. Trust me on that one."
"I… still don't know about that…"
"Well ANYWAY, we got our pastries, and that's it."
"I guess so..." Luke said. But to him, Russia still gave him shivers.
"Um, Professor," Luke said. He poked his head into the professor's quarters and gave a small knock on the door. "Do you mind if I come in?"
"Not at all. Come in," Layton replied. He was sitting on a dark green couch reading a periodical with a nice cup of tea on the table in front of him. It was a classic pastime of the ingenious scholar.
"Well, I came to you about this," Luke began to explain. He took the knife out of his pocket and handed it out for the professor to take. "I found it in the kitchen."
As Layton's eyes strayed from the newspapers' text, his eye immediately took hold of the glittering weapon in Luke's eyes. Indeed, it was quite a find.
"My goodness," the professor breathed. He took the knife from the boy's hands and began to examine it. "What an odd shape for a blade…"
"That's what I thought at first, too," Luke added, internally happy that Layton had thought of the same thing as he had. "But what do you suppose it means? I mean, when Sealand and I went into the kitchen, we counted the knives England had, and there were exactly 12."
"Twelve you say?"
"Yes. We double-checked, too! There's no doubt about it, professor. I'm sure that somebody brought knives to this conference."
"Oh, there's no doubt about that, my boy," Layton reasoned, flipping the blade over in his hands. "I'd already come to that conclusion when Sealand had given his personal account of the incident."
"O-Oh," a forlorn Luke sighed. Looks like Layton had already solved that part of the mystery long before he had done… "B-But, do you believe what Sealand had said?"
"Most of it, yes."
"That's good to hear."
"How strange," Layton mused. "I suppose the only reason that this blade would be designed would be to either cut a special type of bread, or…"
"Or what, Professor?"
"Or…be another half of another blade."
"Mmm. These folds clearly explain my hypothesis," Layton said. "Here, take a look, Luke."
Luke eagerly bounded over to Layton's side to see what his teacher had to say.
"See the end of the blade where it stops?"
"Well it's agular, see? And if another blade was combined with it and it was rounded at the end as well, then the two blades would form and even larger blade – one that would make an even sharper edge of its own."
"A-Amazing, professor!" Luke gasped.
"Mmm, yes indeed."
"So THAT'S why there must've been two blades brought here…but they form ONE."
"Exactly, my boy."
"But…where do you suppose we'd find the other half to clarify this case as true?"
"I'm sure the culprit must have hidden it discreetly," Layton said. "It would be difficult for use to find, especially with all the representatives here. It would be impossible for us to search all of their rooms thoroughly for valid evidence."
"But don't worry about that, Luke. You did an excellent job of finding this here knife. I'll keep it here with me, so nobody goes on thinking that you've got anything to do with this."
"Of course, Professor!" Luke said. He blushed a light shade of pink out of embarrassment, honored to have had his idol compliment him for helping make a breakthrough in the mystery. "I-I'll try and find more evidence right no-!"
"Now, now, shouldn't we be going to sleep? It's quite late and far past your bedtime."
"Aw, but Professor! I'm a grown boy! I can go without sleep!" Luke whined. "And why do you get to stay up later?"
"Because gentlemen are older, my dear boy." Layton replied with a wink.
-to be continued…
*Footnote: In British prose, 'the loo' is the bathroom.
-Sealand and I found 12 knives in England's kitchen…even though one of England's knives was used to murder Austria! And I found the evidence!
-The Professor had said that the blade I found could possibly be one half of an even BIGGER BLADE. Isn't that so witty? Of course the Professor would figure something so smart like that! Gah, I have to be smarter if I call myself "his apprentice"! (And don't make fun of me for saying this, Flora!)
-That Ivan guy's a creeper. He just gave me all shivers. Maybe he's a nice guy like Sealand says, but…I don't know. I think I'll just stay away from him and keep being friends with Latvia. Now I know why Latvia's so scared of him.
-Those puff pastries were simply scrumptious! I've got to find out who Mr. Arthur's chef is!
(A/N): And here's the third chapter! Hope you enjoyed it! It be nice if you reviewed and tell me what I can improve on. (Or just give me your thoughts about the chapter/story!) Thanks for reading. ~B.B.