Disclaimer: I do not own Tantei Gakuen Q (Detective School Q), anime, manga, or drama adaptation, nor am I profiting from it any way. This fiction was written solely for my own pleasure.
Characters: Amakusa Ryuu, Miss Yurie, Ken L Bellrose (Kerberos), Renjou Kyuu, Q Class
Fandom: Tantei Gakuen Q (Detective School Q). Dramaverse. Canon.
Summary: "What lies behind the slumbering dragon's eyes?" Ten reflections, from friends and foes, on Amakusa Ryuu.
Chapter Note: Post-series.
A/N: The final chapter (an epilogue of sorts) to Dragon's Mirror! It's been a short but fun ride—hopefully you guys have enjoyed reading. Leave a review to show your appreciation/constructive comments if you have a few minutes to spare!
Final Shard: Forging Fate
We had just finished dowsing the church in kerosene when Kyuu's cell phone rings.
"Hello? Yeah, we're still meeting up tomorrow afternoon…yup, the temple past the bridge…do you know how to get there? Okay, bye."
"Was that Megu?" I ask, though I knew the answer. No one else would be calling Kyuu so late at night.
"Ah, she just wanted to make sure she had the place and time right—we're meeting at four, right?"
I paused before striking a match, the flame flared up in the darkness like a fiery bird.
"Yes," I say. "You guys don't have to come if you don't want—"
"What are you talking about? We're coming because we want to." Kyuu smiles. "Besides, I wanted to greet your parents."
"Do as you please," I say, pretending it was not a big deal that for the first time ever, I would not be greeting my parents in bitter tears.
"Should we get started now, while there's no wind?" Kyuu reaches for his lit torch but hesitates. "Are you sure—"
"Yes," I interrupted. "It will never end otherwise. All of the murder plans are hidden in these walls."
"I see." This time, Kyuu accepts the torch. "Ready?"
I nod. Without another word, we throw the torches through the windows.
After a shower of glass, the church roars to life as the flames devour everything.
A thick plume of smoke rises to smother the sky.
They are already here an hour before the appointed time. The morning calls of songbirds filled the still morning air with joyful sounds. A dog from a house down the street barked, greeting the morning. The sun shone brightly, casting the polished gravestones in a dazzling white.
"You're early," I say.
"Ryuu-sama…" Miss Yurie's voice has changed now, as her appearance. She seems to have shrunk, her mysterious aura, which had granted her so much power, seemed to have disappeared into benign mundaneness. She seems like an ordinary, world-weary woman. "For such a request, how could we not be by your side at once?"
Kerberos cackles from atop a fancy headstone. He seems to have washed and combed his hair, though even in his new clothes—a black pinstripe suit and polished white shoes—he is still the slimy mongrel he always was.
"What she means, Ryuu-sama, is that you must be possessed by the old man to summon us here—you can't stand our existence, after all." His pendulum is still with him, but wound tightly around his neck, like an expensive collar. "Don't tell me you're planning to take over Pluto, now that the old man is gone."
"Kerberos!" Miss Yurie barks, though in her current state, it sounds more like a desperate plea. "How dare you besmirch Hades-sama's name—"
"King Hades, my grandfather, is dead," I cut in, before the two try to kill each other. "Pluto is destroyed for good this time. I have taken measures to make sure that every murder plan has been erased from this world."
Kerberos, instead of getting angry, whistles.
"Oh-ho…that was your fire?"
Miss Yurie wails as she falls to the ground with shock.
"Ryuu-sama, how could you? Hades-sama's plans…it was all for your sake! His gift to you…and you throw it all away? He loved you!"
"It was for his own damned sake, never mine!" My voice rises despite my efforts to keep calm. "He, who gave up on friends, who lost hope and faith in the kindness of others…he, who chose to drown in his own bitterness and to seek revenge…a man, who could not stand to see his grandson obtain what he could never obtain, this man, my grandfather, was willing to hypnotize me to murder my own friends. All to satisfy his revenge against Dan-sensei!"
I furiously wipe away the tears that were rolling down my cheeks. I am angry at myself for crying, like a child. I must not show any weakness in front of these two.
"So don't you dare say he loved me. Because he didn't. I wished he did. It would have made forgiving him easier."
Miss Yurie whimpers, cringing at the biting strength of my words. I have upset her. Kerberos, however, has a thoughtful expression in his eyes. It is a gaze I have never seen on him before. It is a gaze that is absent of his usual cruelty.
Somehow, the man seems to understand me.
"If Pluto's successor and legitimate heir bids the dissolution of Pluto, how can we defy his words?" Kerberos bows deeply, and smiles. "Is this your last order for us, Ryuu-sama?"
"What are you saying, Kerberos?" Miss Yurie asks, her voice breaking.
"He's setting us free, Yurie." Kerberos smiles crookedly, looking at me through half-lidded eyes. "And you're fine with that? Leave us to our own devices—who knows what havoc we will wreak on those poor innocent people?"
"You forget who I am, Kerberos." I am ready for his reply. "Amakusa Ryuu, a member of Dan's Detective Academy's Q Class. No matter how hard or impossible the case is, we will solve it. Together."
Miss Yurie hiccups.
"Ryuu-sama…do you really think you can just leave your past? Such a lonely path you've decided to take—"
"I'm not alone," I say and check my watch. "And don't think I'm just letting you guys go scot-free—you've hurt too many people for that. The police will be here in ten minutes to arrest you. I'd start running now if you want to escape."
"Ryuu-sama!" Miss Yurie struggles to her feet, looking horrified. "How could you?"
"Yurie-chan, I think we've overstayed our welcome. Shall we head out?" Miss Yurie lay on the ground, still sniffling, but eventually reached for Kerberos's hand.
"You are awfully cruel, Ryuu-kun." Kerberos's change in honorific did not faze me—in fact, I expected it. "Have the police hunt us down like dogs…I suppose you're feeling good right now? To have done a just thing—you never liked doing the dirty work yourself."
"Nothing would please me more than to catch you with my own two hands, Kerberos, but that would make me just as bad as you. But even someone like you deserves a chance. Without Pluto's collar, I wonder, what kind of person will you want to become?" I point at myself. "I told you once before, I will fight against my fate and I will not stop until I have overcome it. No one decides my path but myself."
How will you forge your fate, Kerberos?
"Saa…who knows?" Kerberos licks his lips, eyes distant. "It's been a while…since I've had the chance to think about it."
The two vanish into the trees. Undoubtedly, they already had a nondescript car prepared. Detective Moroboshi would have trouble catching them—the two were very good at making getaways—but with the entire police department mobilized on a manhunt for them, even Kerberos would find it hard to move around Tokyo.
I retrieve the bouquet of lilies from a paper bag I brought. Walking along the stone path, I listen to the sound of the birds, the rustling of leaves in the wind. It will be autumn soon.
Near the end of the path, I stop to turn and knelt. Megu was right—the lilies were a good choice.
"Father, Mother, it's been a while. I wanted to tell you—"
I sigh. Figures Kyuu and Q Class would come early. And noisily enough to wake up the dead—they should really work on their manners. But Megu has brought a large wicker basket. Kinta and Nanami-sensei are carrying a cooler. Kazuma and Dan-sensei have brought flowers and fruit. Kyuu is running, the red tablecloth streaming behind him like a flag.
I suppose it is a rather nice day for a picnic.
Bowing slightly in apology to my parents—they'll have to wait—I turn around and wave my hand.
"Over here!" I call to my friends.