Chapter 6: The First Investigation
If you're reading this letter, it means that too much time has passed since I told you where I was going. However, don't panic. And whatever you do, do not tell anyone the contents of this letter.
I don't know how much I can reveal here in case it falls into the wrong hands, but I'll try my best.
Risa, I came across something unexpected—something surprising, something ominous… something bad. I can't tell you exactly what it is, because it could endanger you and anyone else who knows about it.
And, the truth is, I'm not even sure if I'm right about it. That's why I'm going to Japan to find out more information. You might think me silly, to return to our home country simply to research something that may not even be true, but I have to know, Risa. You know how much I've always loved crime scenes and dealings with the law. But don't think that this "immature, reckless adventure" (I know that's what you're calling it, don't deny it) is stemmed only from my love of watching crime shows. I know there's something behind this; I saw enough to believe it. I just need proof now, and I'm going to Japan to get it.
Listen… This case involves a serial killer. I'm serious. I stumbled upon something… and realized that the murderer was still at large—and still very capable of committing more murders.
I'm not sure how much the murderer knows how much I know, but I know I'm in danger. And if I tell you who I suspect, then you'll be in danger too—so I'll keep my lips sealed.
If you've found this letter, it means that I haven't contacted you in a long time, and that you've searched my desk at home for any clues as to where I am. I know I only told you that I was going off to research, but now you know that the last place I said I was going to be is Japan. Osaka, to be specific.
Please don't tell mom and dad, or the authorities. If they poke their noses into this… I don't know what will happen to them. Too much attention in this area might make the murderer suspicious, and the last thing I want is for my family to be in danger!
I don't know whether I want you to look for me, Risa. I might not even be alive by the time you read this, if I haven't contacted you recently. I could be anywhere, and any unwarranted attention could endanger you also.
Well… here's my will, I guess. Everything I own, Risa, I leave to you. That's right, you can even have those lovely socks Gran gave me for Christmas last year, the brown Rudolph ones with the big red nose.
Tell Dad I'm sorry I wasn't able to finish business school, but that I had every intention of inheriting the family business. Well, that's your job now, Risa. Good luck with starting business school!
Tell Mom I'm sorry I never spent much time with her, that her attempts at getting me to dress up were futile since the beginning. But also let her know that I love her very much, even if my distaste in the dresses you two fancy distanced myself from her physically.
Oh, and, uh… I ran over our family rabbit. I know I blamed it on the neighbors but… well, Wiz wasn't supposed to be outside of our house in the first place, so shame on whoever left the door open!
I'm sorry for leaving such a burden on you. Tell everyone I love them.
And I love you very, very much, Risa.
Riku dropped the bags of groceries down onto the kitchen counter. She took a deep breath and rolled up her sleeves.
"Okay, you can do this, Riku…" she mumbled to herself as she took out the cookbook. She perused the table of contents until she found what she was looking for.
"Pork tonkatsu, miso-glazed salmon steaks…" She nodded, then set to sorting out the groceries.
After thirty minutes of staring at the frying pan in front of her, she scrunched her eyes shut and gave a disgruntled groan.
"I can't do this!" She brushed her bangs back from her forehead and looked resignedly at the phone. "Guess I'll have to call Freedert…" She knew Mio was busy at the boutique, given that it was a Sunday. Riku picked up her cell phone and dialed Freedert's number. She picked up on the third ring.
"Hello, Freedert here!"
Unsure of how to ask a favor of her, Riku fidgeted. "Uh, hi Freedert, it's Riku."
"Oh, hey! What's up?"
Riku relayed her plans tonight to the exuberant blonde on the other end.
Freedert giggled evilly. "Hehehe… another date with Dark?"
Riku blushed and huffed, "Yes, what of it?"
"Haha, nothing, dear Riku! Of course I'll help with the preparation, give me ten minutes, 'kay?"
She agreed and they hung up. She sighed again and went to sit at one of the table chairs. Well, this felt nice. She had a date tonight, and she had friends she could call when she came across problems getting ready for the date. She briefly wondered if she had friends in her previous life… well, if she did, none of them came to her aid after she was diagnosed with amnesia. Surely she wasn't that intolerable that people would run from her when given the chance to not know her… right?
Ten minutes later, Freedert rang the doorbell. When Riku answered the door, she was surprised to find not only Freedert, but also Towa and Emiko. They waved cheerfully from behind the ecstatic blonde.
"Hi Riku! I brought along more help," chirped Freedert, gesturing to the women behind her.
Riku's eye twitched. Wonderful, now all they were missing was Mio. The whole plotting crew for Riku and Dark's relationship was here. Riku took a deep breath and smiled anyways, knowing that they had her best interest at heart.
"Well then, let's get started, shall we?"
Risa took a deep breath. Was she supposed to reveal everything to these policemen, or keep quiet, as her twin had instructed her to do? Last April, Riku had told her that she was going away to research something. Only when August rolled along did Risa and her parents notice that they hadn't heard from the other twin in about a month—and that their calls, e-mails, and letters weren't getting any responses. The police were informed, but they couldn't find any traces of her; nobody knew exactly where she had gone. Everyone was curious and worried; they thought that maybe she had eloped or something.
Risa found Riku's letter in November after exploring her twin's room one day, just for nostalgic purposes. She had pulled open a desk drawer and inside, she found a white envelope addressed to her. After reading it, Risa had no idea what to do; inform her family and the authorities, or keep quiet? After a month of deliberating, Risa decided to go to Japan herself and find out the whereabouts of her twin.
Now, as she looked into the faces of the officer and inspector before her, she hesitated. How much to reveal?
"My sister… that is, Riku, came to Japan to find out… some stuff. She told me she was going somewhere last April, but I lost contact with her in August. I only discovered that she came to Osaka two months ago…"
"And how did you know she came to Osaka?" Inspector Kuramochi asked.
"S-She told me, in a letter I found just recently…"
"Where is the letter? Can we see it?"
Risa fidgeted. "No, I left it back home."
"Home?" Officer Yuji prodded.
"And the American authorities couldn't find your sister?"
Risa mumbled, "Riku told me not to tell anyone that she was coming to Japan. She said it was dangerous to know too much."
Officer Yuji and Inspector Kuramochi looked at each other.
"I think we need to see that letter…" the inspector said.
Risa looked up desperately. "I can't! She told me to promise not to show anyone!"
Kuramochi looked at her dubiously. "In that letter that you found just two months ago."
"Yes, but—" Risa glared at him. "You wouldn't know anything about our loyalties to each other. Anyway," she cut off what Officer Yuji was about to say, "now I know that she's not in Osaka; she's in Tokyo. Or that's where the evidence is leading now."
Kuramochi sighed and smoothed out his mustache. "Look, girlie, just because her wallet was found on the train heading to Tokyo doesn't mean anything. Maybe someone stole it and left it there, maybe—"
"Her money is still here." Risa gave him a contemptuous look. After a long staring contest between the three people in the room, Risa blinked and slumped in defeat.
"Listen, my sister… I don't know what…" she hesitated, debating whether or not to tell the truth. However, knowing that she was grasping at intangible straws already, she decided to be truthful. She took another deep breath. "My sister discovered some information on a serial killer, and has come to Japan to find out more information. She said that the killer was still at large, and that telling me too much information in her letter would endanger me and my family."
There was a silence. Then, Officer Yuji spoke up.
"I'm sorry, Miss Risa, but I highly doubt that an old serial killer case would reopen itself today."
Risa wrung her hands. "I know, and I don't know if it's a current case or a really old one. I'm assuming it's old though because Riku discovered it in America…" She looked up at the faces of the enforcers of the law in front of her and knew that they were not going to help her. She stood up. "You know what, it's fine. I'll go to Tokyo and find her myself."
But as she made her way hastily to the doorway, Yuji stopped her. He sighed, and looked pleadingly at the inspector.
"Inspector Kuramochi, I know we don't have sufficient evidence to reopen any case, but we can't let this young woman go off in search of something so dangerous, if what she says holds any truth in it."
The stocky, mustached man considered this for a moment, then looked over at Risa. She was looking dejectedly at the floor. He gave up and conceded.
"All right, I'll tell my superior to call up Tokyo and we'll see what we can do from there."
Risa's face lit up brilliantly and she dazzled the two men in the room momentarily.
"Oh, thank you thank you thank you!"
Riku surveyed the dinner table. She nodded satisfactorily at the successful pork tonkatsu, miso-glazed salmon steaks, shrimp tempuras, tuna skin salad… the array of entrees was more than enough for her and Dark. She turned back to her friends again.
"Please stay for dinner! After all you guys have helped me with!"
Freedert crossed her arms and Towa stashed the last of the ingredients into the fridge before turning to face the caramel-haired woman. Emiko finished washing the used dishes and wiped her hands on a towel.
"Nope, this is your date, Riku!" Freedert said with finality.
"But you guys helped so much! I hardly lifted a finger."
Towa giggled. "We did all this for you and Dark, of course, so make sure this night is special." She winked conspiratorially.
Riku flushed and looked away. The other three girls laughed good-naturedly and were preparing to leave.
"Remember, if anything gets cold, I suggest sticking it in the oven for a few minutes. It should still be warm," Emiko advised as she located her coat and bag.
"That is, if Dark's late," Freedert said, slipping on her heels.
"And I don't think he'll be late at all…" Towa's words drifted off. "He'll want all the time he can get alone with you."
"You guys!" Riku was torn between letting them stay to enjoy the extravagant dinner they had helped her prepare and pushing them out the door to stop their lascivious comments.
Emiko checked her watch. "Okay, well, I don't want Dark to catch us here. You are to tell him that you made all of this yourself, okay?" she instructed Riku sternly. "Nothing wins over a man than a good cook."
Riku sweat-dropped and nodded noncommittally. She was going to tell Dark the truth anyway; they knew the wily ways of these women as a sort of inside joke between them.
After waving good-bye to her friends and thanking them once more, she closed the door and looked around her apartment for any last minute touch-ups. She had changed when Freedert pushed her into her closet earlier, demanding that she wouldn't be allowed out of it until she (Freedert) approved of her outfit.
Now she was dressed in a dark lavender, frilly-but-Riku-acceptable-frilly top, and black shorts (she had bargained furiously with Freedert over the shorts, and obviously won). Freedert then deigned it her responsibility to make sure that Riku's hair was done, and added pastel pink ribbons to it…
She went to look at herself in the mirror, and debated whether or not to take them out. Freedert was gone, after all. She tilted her head slightly and saw that the ribbons did indeed highlight her hair and add some style to it. She shrugged and walked out of the bathroom, just in time to hear the doorbell ring.
Heart beating loudly, she walked to her front door and opened it. She found her beau smirking at her, and her heart stopped beating for just a moment. Even though they were already together, his attractiveness still overwhelmed her.
His hair was mussed in an untidy-yet-dashing manner, as always, and his maroon dress shirt was unbuttoned to reveal his collar bone. Riku didn't know what to do with this male specimen before her.
"How about… inviting me in?"
Riku jumped and looked up at his raised eyebrow. He couldn't have read her mind, could he?
"Oh—Gosh—Sorry! Yes, please do come in." She moved aside to allow him entry, and he laughed as he stepped inside.
"You don't need to fall head over heels for me every time we meet, sweet Riku. My ego will inflate too much if you keep doing that." He lightly pinched her arm as she locked the door.
She swatted his hand away. "I-I'm not falling head over heels for you! Your purple hair stuns me into a paralyzed state because of its startling, ostentatious color…"
Unsure of whether to take that as an insult or a compliment, he chose the latter. As she passed him on her way to the dining table, he pulled at her elbow to stop her and touched the ribbons in her hair. She froze.
"I like these," he breathed next to her. "They're so… uncharacteristically not Riku." He pulled back with an amused smile on his face.
"Courtesy of Freedert, of course," Riku smiled back. "In fact," she walked over to the table and gestured to the dazzling array of food placed on top of it, "most of these are courtesy of Emiko, Freedert, and Towa."
Dark followed her and raised both eyebrows this time. "So modest. What did you make?"
When she didn't immediately reply, Dark moved his gaze from the appetizing dishes to notice her fidgeting.
"I helped with… this and that… you know."
He chuckled. "But I'm sure they told you to tell me that you made all of these yourself?" She nodded. "Of course, even if you did say that, I wouldn't have believed you. I already know that Emiko is a good cook."
Riku huffed in indignation. "For your information, I can cook! Just probably not all of these."
"Right," Dark smirked. He walked over to her side of the table and pulled out a chair for her. "Well, then, mademoiselle, I happen to be famished, so if you'll relax and sit down, we can enjoy this lovely meal made by our nosy friends."
She smiled in defeat and accepted his act of chivalry—because it was definitely not dead. When she saw that he too had sat down, she raised her glass and he did the same.
"To nosy friends."
When Officer Yuji and Inspector Kuramochi promised Risa that they would try to help her, she did not expect to be taken to the Director General of the Osaka Prefectural Police. She also did not expect the Director General to be so young and—well—handsome.
She was currently standing outside the office of the Director General; Yuji and Kuramochi had gone inside to explain her situation. But when the door had opened, she had caught the briefest glimpse of long, silky blonde hair and an aristocratic profile…
She shook her head to clear her thoughts. You are not here to play, Risa! She tried to listen more closely to what was being said on the other side of the door.
"So you want to re-investigate this so-called serial killer case—that may not have been touched for decades—without even sufficient proof that the case can be reopened, and without even knowing who the murderer is?" a deep voice drawled dubiously.
"Ah, er, that is, we have, um," it was Officer Yuji who was stuttering.
Risa's ear was pressed closely to the door, trying to listen for any sounds. How come they weren't saying anything? Were they whispering? What was going to happen? Oh, she had to find Riku, she just had to—!
The door was pulled open from the other side and Risa stumbled into it. She had the grace to straighten herself before she fell completely to her embarrassment, however.
Looking up, she saw that Kuramochi had been the one to open the door, with a nervous Yuji behind him. The Director General was sitting behind his desk, chin on his casually clasped hands.
"H-Hello…" Risa started, when nobody seemed inclined to talk.
The Director General raised a delicate eyebrow.
"Sit," he said amusedly, his eyes flickering to the seats in front of him. Only Risa sat, however; the other two officers remained standing.
"So I hear that you want to reopen a case," Krad leaned back into his chair, "without any evidence and without any knowledge of who the murderer of this case is."
Risa knew rudeness when she saw it. She knew when she was being condemned by people who thought she was an airheaded bimbo, just because she looked like a wallflower.
She straightened in her seat and looked at the blonde determinedly.
"I have reason to believe that my sister stumbled upon a serious case not too long ago, and has now gone missing because of it."
The blonde blinked lazily at her. "Ahuh."
Risa fired up in indignation. "I am completely serious! She's been gone for quite a while now and I need to find her! Don't tell me you're just going to brush this off, Mr.—" she glanced at the flashy nameplate on his desk, "Krad Hikari!" She shouted the last part condescendingly.
Krad looked at the fiery girl in front of him. He wasn't complaining; it wasn't every day that an attractive young lady would come into his office and shout at him like he wasn't a very powerful man. It was a nice refresher, for a change.
But he had his pride as a man to keep up.
"I'm sorry," he said, not sounding sorry at all, "but I can't just open any case that I want to, even with all the power I have, because that would be very wrong politically and would no doubt cause a lot of disorganization if I were to reopen cases every day."
Risa was undeterred. "That's fine. I'll go look for my sister in Tokyo myself."
But as she stood up to leave, Officer Yuji and Inspector Kuramochi quickly jumped in.
"Director General Hikari, sir," Yuji said quickly, "we can't let this young woman investigate this herself! If it is indeed as dangerous as she says it is, and if the case concerns an old serial killer that is still out in the field, then surely we cannot turn a blind eye towards it!"
Krad looked at his two subordinates evenly. There was a silence, in which he contemplated his options. It wasn't that he couldn't reopen the case; he had more than enough hands capable of handling his whims. He just wanted to show some dominance over those he reigned, because who was a ruler who didn't have power?
Oh yes, he fancied world domination one day. But that would have to wait.
"All right," Krad conceded. "I'll make a call up to the Tokyo Police Department and see what strings I can pull. No promises, and this case, while not necessarily being reopened, will be investigated further in Tokyo." He looked at the two men in front of him, who both visibly sagged with relief. Then he looked at the woman still standing in front of the chair, and saw that her face had transformed into a beautiful, smiling girl.
He would have to remain on this case, regardless of who he called. He couldn't just let this girl walk away from his life now that he'd seen how beautiful she was.
A King couldn't rule without a Queen… right?
"I'm not going to lie, Riku," Dark said genially, "this movie kind of sucks."
They were sitting on Riku's couch, facing the out-of-date television set that had come with the apartment. The movie that Riku had haphazardly chosen at the local rental store was not only in terrible quality, but also seemed to be lacking in substance as well.
It was some corny love story with dramatic acting that only made movie watchers cringe at the pitiful actors.
Regardless, Riku snuggled her head closer to Dark's. They were quite comfortable in their current position, sitting closely together on her sofa.
"Next time, you bring a movie then. Or some other recreational activity that we can do," Riku responded.
Dark smirked down at her, wrapping an arm around her torso and pulling her closer. "I know of some recreational activities that we can do… together. And they're quite healthy for the body, too."
Too drowsy to understand his insinuation, she merely nodded. "Mhmm, sure, let's do that next time."
He chuckled and was about to poke her nose to wake her up when his cell phone rang loudly from the dining room table.
Riku sat up slowly away from Dark and brushed her hair back with her hand.
"You'd better answer that, sounds urgent."
"It's just a ringtone, how can it sound urgent?" Dark scowled at nothing in particular, frustrated that his intimacy with Riku had been broken. Regardless, the phone kept ringing, and he got up off the couch to retrieve his cell.
While Dark answered the phone, Riku's gaze strayed over to the TV and, subsequently, to the clock on top of it. To her surprise, it read nine o'clock. It would be customary to send Dark home before it got too late… She shook herself. She had no one watching over her; no parents to scold her for her behavior. What would it matter if a man stayed over at her place?
Still, she had only known Dark for roughly a month…
She heard his phone snap shut and looked over her shoulder. He sighed and turned to look apologetically at her.
"Sorry, some business came up at the department. I'll have to leave early." He walked over to the back of the couch and kneeled so that his arms were comfortably resting on the top of the couch. He was head-to-head with Riku, who was still sitting on the other side.
Riku smiled and ruffled his hair, to which he gave a feeble protest.
"Hey, remember what I said about the hair…" he said warningly.
"That it's fluffy and that I can touch it whenever I want?" she asked innocently. Before he could reply, however, she laughed and stood up. "Of course I forgive you. Duty calls, doesn't it?" She made her way to the other side of the couch, where Dark was standing up.
He pulled her closer and looked her in the eye. "I'll be back."
A smile tugged at her lips. "Not tonight, surely?"
He chuckled, then rested his chin atop her head. "No, I guess not tonight." They stood in their embrace for a moment and said nothing, simply enjoying each other's company.
Then Dark said, "You have a lumpy head."
Riku pulled abruptly away from him and frowned. "Maybe your chin is just uneven."
"Ah, you can't attack my face. Everyone knows that it has perfect symmetry; it's a well-known fact."
"My head is not lumpy."
"I don't mind a lumpy head, Riku; I was just commenting."
Riku narrowed her eyes. "My head is not lumpy!"
"I think it's time for me to leave now…"
Sorry this was late; I got caught up in some things.
I hope nothing is too confusing. If it is, feel free to ask any questions you have—though I won't answer any that have to do with the plot or what will happen, aha.
Some reviews and/or thoughts about this mediocre mystery would feed this humble author greatly. :)