Shinrei Tantei Yakumo

Volume 2 Epilogue



One week later –

Haruka headed for the prefabricated building in the back of Building B.

She had really wanted to show her face sooner, but she hadn’t been able to. She had been hospitalised.

Though she was only hospitalised for three days, her mother had rushed over from home and shut Haruka in her room to force her to rest.

This morning, her mother finally returned home.

Haruka had talked a lot with her mother for the first time in a long, long time.

More than half of what they talked about was stories from when her older sister was alive. The time at home after that had been halted without her knowing it.

Laughing, crying and getting angry from the bottom of my heart. I haven’t done that in a while.

I feel like I always live while holding myself back because of my sister.

I’ve noticed something from this case.

Like with Doctor Kinoshita, blaming myself for my sister’s death has tied her down –

But even if I know that, I can’t stop blaming myself.

I will always regret my sister’s death, but I think I can look forward, little by little.

I’ll try to live more as myself.

Well, it’s easier said than done –

She stood in front of the door with the plate <Movie Research Circle> on it.

Still, Yakumo didn’t come to visit her at the hospital even once. Even though she had kind of been hoping for it.

Though it might have just become troublesome since he would have suddenly run into her mother.

Plus, she would have felt uncomfortable for making him worry.

Ah, but maybe she could just make one complaint.

‘Yakumo-kun. Are you here?’ said Haruka, opening the door.

He was here. His hair looked mussed up from sleep as usual. Even though it was the first time they had seen each other in a while, he replied half-heartedly, 'Oh, it’s you?’ Honestly, this person.

'Hey, are you going out?’

Yakumo was dressed for something.

'Good timing. Are you going too?’ asked Yakumo with a yawn.

What did he mean, going –

'Where to?’

'To check on Ishii-san.’

'When you say Ishii-san, do you mean that Ishii-san?’

'Yes. That Ishii-san.’

'Is he injured?’

When she was saved, Ishii had been collapsed faced down and wasn’t moving, as if he had died.

'It’s not at the level of “injured”. His upper left arm, his right clavicle and three ribs on top of that are fractured. He is seriously wounded from the full-body beating.’

'Is it that awful?’

I didn’t know –

'At the time, Ishii-san was the one who held us up with the chain we were on, in Gotou-san’s stead, since he was attacked. Ishii-san didn’t let go even when Doctor Kinoshita was hitting him with an iron pipe.’

Even though they had only met a few times, Ishii had only left a vaguely weak impression.

That Ishii did –

'In a manner of speaking, Ishii-san saved our lives.’

Haruka nodded. She hadn’t known that was what happened at all. He had protected them with his body.

'I really wanted to go sooner as well, but there were a variety of things I needed to look into.’

Though Haruka had just arrived, she left the room together with Yakumo.

* * *

Hata fled from his room to the autopsy room.

Nobody would come here. He couldn’t stand the noise.

It was the same with the questions from the guys in investigation who couldn’t wrap up the case, but even though it was a week since the case ended, the press was only growing more energetic, to say nothing of dying down.

Doctor Kinoshita’s madness –

Society was making a fuss about it, but how much of its true nature did they grasp?

Hata understood the idea behind Kinoshita’s actions well. He might have done the same thing. Though Kinoshita chose the wrong method, Hata still thought he had been composed.

Hata sat on the chair by the wall.

In any case, a long trial was going to start.

It would probably be torture for Kinoshita. He would have to calmly look at what he had done. It was too harsh a reality to sum up by calling it an infraction of the law.

Will he be able to bear it in the end –

No, he would have to. That was the only path left for him.

He would have to atone for his crimes for the rest of his life. It seemed that there were some people who were worried that Kinoshita might commit suicide, but Hata wasn’t concerned.

Naturally, for somebody who believed the soul existed, the death of the body wouldn’t bring respite or an end.

Death wasn’t a place to escape to.

Humans, who existed to live and to die, had to think about something.

Having a soul meant that dying wasn’t the end.

Still, I’m interested in that man with the sunglasses –

In this case as well, it was like the man had not even existed.

What on earth was that man’s goal? Yakumo had said it was an experiment, but Hata couldn’t help but think there was something more –

* * *

Before we go to the hospital where Ishii-san is, there’s somewhere I have to go first.

The place they arrived at after Yakumo said that to Haruka was the water gate management office.

'It’s you two. What is it?’

Just as they reached the parking lot, Uchiyama called out to them from inside the office. A bandage was wrapped around his head – an injury from the case.

Haruka had heard from Yakumo on the way here that Uchiyama had been hit in the head by Kinoshita with a block.

Uchiyama had to be confused right now, with the death of the girl he had loved as a daughter and the incident that girl’s father – his friend, Doctor Kinoshita – caused.

Haruka thought that his heart might be more hurt than his head was.

'Uchiyama-san, I have a little business with you,’ Yakumo said, his expression blank.

Haruka felt the atmosphere change alarmingly then. Uchiyama also felt it. The friendly smile quickly disappeared from his face.

Yakumo entered the management office silently.

Though Haruka didn’t understand, she followed after him.

'Business with me, you say?’

Uchiyama urged Yakumo to sit across from him.

'No, I don’t mind standing.’

With his hands in his pockets, Yakumo stood in front of Uchiyama. Haruka, who felt nervous because of the strange atmosphere, stopped a step behind the two of them.

'So, what is it?’ Uchiyama asked.

'I will say this first. What I say after this is all my conjecture, with no proof to it at all.’

Though Yakumo said it was conjecture, he spoke with clear purpose.

'What is it?’

Uchiyama spoke cautiously.

'I will go right to the point. Uchiyama-san, I think that you killed Andou-san.’

Wait – what’s he saying all of a sudden?

Haruka could only be shocked by Yakumo’s unexpected outburst. She thought that Uchiyama would have felt the same, but she was wrong –

Rather than looking perturbed, there was a smile on his face.

'What are you saying? I don’t understand what you mean.’

'I mean exactly what I said. Even after Doctor Kinoshita was arrested, there were still many things in my head that I did not understand, so I started my investigation anew.’

'What did you find out?’

Uchiyama took a cigarette from his shirt pocket and lit it up.

He was playing the fool. That was what Haruka felt.

'One: Andou’s accidental death. According to the eyewitness’ testimonies, he staggered into the pedestrian crossing with a red light. He had not been drunk. He had not been chased by anyone. Then why would Andou have rushed out into the intersection?’

'Who knows? I don’t understand either.’

Uchiyama spread his arms wide and shook his head in an exaggerated manner.

'I found your name in the list of eyewitnesses. Don’t you think that is too much of a coincidence?’

'Well, I was there. It’s an amazing coincidence. But how would that make me Andou’s killer?’

Uchiyama’s smile made the corner of his eyes wrinkle, like he thought what Yakumo was saying was stupid.

'You chose a good time to push Andou-san from behind.’

'Why would I do something like that? There’s no reason for me to, right?’

He was right. It was just as Uchiyama-san said.

There was no reason for him to kill Andou. What was Yakumo thinking, saying something with no basis for it?

'No, you do have a reason. Andou-san was the murderer who killed Ayaka-chan.’

'Are you saying that I knew the murderer?’

'I am.’

Yakumo replied immediately to Uchiyama’s question with no change in his expression.

'You have a lot of confidence about something you said was just conjecture.’

'I have looked at the materials from that case many times. Ayaka-chan was killed at the water gate upstream from here. However, she was found at this water gate. Why do you think that is the case?’

'Isn’t that… because she was carried here by the current?’

Uchiyama looked up at the ceiling and answered after a bit of thinking.

His voice sounded like it was trembling.

'No, that isn’t right. If she had been carried by the current, Ayaka-chan’s corpse should have had numerous injuries on it. However, there weren’t any. Ayaka-chan was killed at the old water gate and then disposed of here in order to hide Andou’s hideaway.’

'I see; so that’s how it is… But how is that connected to my apparently knowing the murderer?’

Uchiyama restlessly spat out his cigarette.

'It is connected. When Ayaka-chan was disposed of here, she was submerged with a weight attached to her ankle.’

'And what about it?’

'She was submerged in the river. If you didn’t see her corpse being disposed of, you wouldn’t have been able to find her corpse so quickly.’

'You have an amazing imagination.’

Uchiyama nodded multiple times, like he thought it admirable.

However, it just looked like an act to Haruka.

'From a little ways away, you saw someone disposing of something in the river by chance. When you went to look, Ayaka-chan’s corpse was there. At that time, you saw the murderer’s face, or perhaps you looked for Andou by care. Naturally, you didn’t say any of this to the police, so that you could find the murderer yourself and have your revenge…’

Uchiyama started laughing aloud.

'That is quite the masterpiece. You’re amazing. Detective Columbo[1] would be white as a sheet. That said, the world would be a mess if everyone went to get revenge when their friends’ children were killed.’

'Yes. That is, if she was just the daughter of a friend to you…’

Yakumo took a pause there.

The two of them looked at each other without saying anything. The first to look away was Uchiyama.

'There’s something I planned on returning to you today.’

Like he had been waiting for this moment, Yakumo took a black notebook from his pocket and handed it to Uchiyama.

’T-this is…’

Uchiyama’s expression changed completely.

'This is something you dropped at the river when we met you before.’

There had been two photos inside. One of them had been of Ayaka-chan. The other had been of Uchiyama and another woman.

'I conducted a little investigation. The woman in this photo with you is Doctor Kinoshita’s dead wife. Ayaka-chan’s mother.’

Gripping the notebook tightly, Uchiyama said nothing.

'Before she married Doctor Kinoshita, it seems she was acquainted with you. I don’t know if something happened between the two of you, and I have no plans on investigating that far. However, I believe that carrying such an old photo with you even now is evidence that your feelings towards Ayaka-chan are greater than those one would have towards a friend’s daughter.’

Uchiyama made no reply.

However, the silence was the same as affirming Yakumo’s theory.

'Why did you think I was suspicious?’

After a silence, Uchiyama spoke.

'The first time I met you, you said this. “I couldn’t forgive the person who did that.” You spoke like everything was already over…’

'I see… But even if that’s true, what you’re saying is just conjecture.’

'It is as you say. This is all my conjecture. I have no physical proof,’ said Yakumo plainly.

'The police?’

'I haven’t told them this. I probably won’t tell them anything about this case in the future either. It’s up to you what to do next.’

So Yakumo had come here just to do this. Haruka didn’t understand his intentions.

Uchiyama furrowed his brows, looking troubled, like he felt the same way as Haruka.

'However, please just don’t forget that somebody else has taken the blame for killing Andou in a driving accident,’ Yakumo said, sounding like he was completely at ease.

Finally, Haruka could also see Yakumo’s intentions.

Though it was certainly up to Uchiyama what to do next, his choice would greatly change what would happen to the driver of the car that caused the accident.

Don’t involve other people in your revenge –

That was probably what Yakumo indirectly wanted to say.

'We’re going.’

Yakumo said that and promptly left the management office.

'Eh? Wait a second.’

Haruka followed Yakumo out the management office, escaping the suffocating atmosphere inside.

When she turned around in the middle of leaving, she saw Uchiyama hanging his head.

What choice will he make? It’s not something I’ll find out by thinking about it.

I hoped in my heart that he would make the nice choice.

But which choice is the right one –

* * *

Ishii was on the bed, contemplating the case.

He had a lot of time. He had thought it over a hundred times already, but he still didn’t know.

How could this case have been averted –

There was a knock on the door, interrupting his thoughts.

'Please come in.’

After Ishii spoke up, a large bear-like figure came in.

It’s Detective Gotou. I’m honoured. Detective Gotou came to visit me –

'Sorry. I really wanted to come earlier, but there was a lot of paperwork to do to wrap up the case.’

Gotou scratched his bristly chin awkwardly.

That was to be expected.

The case time had been solved completely separate from the investigation department.

The information was complicated, so everyone was probably in a great turmoil.

Gotou sighed loudly and sat on the round chair by the bed. There were shadows under his eyes, his shirt was slightly soiled, and his hair was messed up. He probably hadn’t slept –

'Oh – even you have someone who’ll bring you flowers?’

Gotou looked at the vase with a flower in it by the bed.

'No, that’s not it. The chief’s daughter came to visit me.’

'Oh, you’re pretty good,’ Gotou said, poking fun at him.

'Please stop. To be honest, I’m troubled since she comes every day.’

On top of that, the fear towards her still hadn’t left his heart.

She hadn’t done anything wrong, but despite that, every time he looked at her face, the terrible memory from when she had been possessed came back to him.

'That’s great. You’re definitely headed for a promotion.’

'Please give me a break. It means much more to me to have you come visit, Detective Gotou.’

When Ishii candidly shared his emotions, Gotou looked openly disagreeable.

What does he dislike so much?

So I have made him hate me –

'Hey, Ishii, I’m just going to say this, but I’m not gay.’

'Yes, I know.’

What was he saying all of a sudden?

If Detective Gotou were gay – Ishii felt bad for thinking this, but he would have found it disagreeable.

'So… I mean… you’re a man too…’

'What is it you want to say?’

Gotou cleared his throat awkwardly.

'In short, I’m telling you to shape up as a man.’

'That was my plan from the beginning. I want to become a manly detective such as yourself, Detective Gotou.’

'Eh? You’re not gay?’

'By no means. That isn’t true at all. There is even a woman in my heart.’

Ishii didn’t understand the point of Gotou’s question.

'That Yakumo…’ Gotou muttered with gritted teeth.

Yakumo. That mysterious young man –

'Detective Gotou, there’s just one thing I would like to ask, but who is that young man called Yakumo?’

Gotou looked puzzled at Ishii’s question.

Even if he looked like that, Ishii wouldn’t understand the things he didn’t understand.

'Oh, I didn’t say anything to you. His left eye can see the spirits of the dead.’

'Eh!? Really?’ Ishii exclaimed in surprise.

He put too much strength in it, so a current of pain ran through his body.

'You’re so noisy.’

'Is that true?’

'It’s true. I wouldn’t drag him along to investigate civilians if it weren’t.’

Gotou’s words made sense. After he said that, the things Ishii hadn’t understood before started lining up.

But that would mean –

'Forgive me for asking something so impolite, but aren’t you the psychic detective, Detective Gotou?’

'That stupid – you’re talking about that again!? I said you were wrong from the very start!’ yelled Gotou, crossing his arms.

'Then, this case…’

'Not just this case – the one before this one and the one before that – Yakumo was the one who solved all of them.’


'That’s what I said from the very start. I didn’t do anything.’

Something shattered inside Ishii.

Ah, what is this –

What would he do from now on? He was tearing up.

'Ah, right, right. Come to think of it, that Yakumo and Haruka-chan said they were coming to visit.’

'Eh? Haruka-chan is!?’

Ishii was assaulted by pain the moment he shouted.

Haruka-chan was coming to visit. That blew away the shock.

Gotou’s eyes narrowed as he smirked.

'Oi, Ishii. You mentioned that you had a woman in your heart early – were you talking about Haruka-chan?’

'Eh? No, that’s… but… er…’

When Gotou suddenly cut straight to the point, Ishii became flustered.

He wasn’t used to things like this.

'I see, I see. This’ll be interesting.’

'What will be interesting?’

'Got this, Ishii? In order to catch Haruka-chan, you’ll need to defeat a ridiculously formidable enemy.’

'A formidable enemy?’

'Yes. Yakumo.’

As I thought, that young man –

He would never accept that. He couldn’t forgive that young man’s attitude towards Haruka-chan. He couldn’t stand watching Haruka-chan being treated that way.

She seemed pitiful like that.

'Ishii. I’ll help you out.’


'Yeah, leave it to me.’

Gotou said that reassuringly and smirked again.

* * *

After leaving the water gate management office, they walked along the road by the irrigation channel that led to the hospital.

It had become so warm it couldn’t be compared to a week ago.

Along the irrigation channel, the cherry blossoms were in full bloom.

Countless pink petals were floating on the surface of the water –

'It’s beautiful.’

She stopped walking to look up at the cherry blossoms.

Yakumo, who had been walking beside her, also stopped and looked up the cherry blossom tree, like he had just noticed it.

That brusque, contrary young man with sleepy eyes who wasn’t kind at all showed a side of himself that was different from usual at the water gate.

When I was in danger, he came to save me without any hesitation.

His left hand is still red from where the chain dug into it.

Proof that he held on to my life –

'Let’s go.’

Yakumo started walking while still looking up at the cherry blossoms.

Haruka followed him and, for only a moment, she nonchalantly brushed the mark from the chain with the back of her hand.

– Thank you.

She murmured that in her heart.

If she said it aloud, he would definitely say something to ruin it, like 'It’s not like I did it for you’.

This contrary man!

'Hey, wait.’

When he turned around at her voice, a boy of about elementary-school age ran towards him.

The boy ran around Yakumo and handed him a folded-up scrap of paper and necklace.

'An uncle with black glasses told me to give this to you.’

Yakumo looked dubiously at the folded-up scrap of paper and necklace that had been placed in his palm.

The necklace looked like it belonged to a woman, a simple one that just has a round stone on a thin chain.

That stone glowed red like a blazing flame, just like Yakumo’s left eye.

'I gave it to you then,’ said the boy, and then he ran off.

Yakumo unfolded the scrap of paper and looked over what was written on it.

At that moment, his expression changed.

He frantically looked around, but he finally let out his breath, like he had given up.

What was written on the page? She felt bad about it even as she did it, but she stole a look at the scrap of paper from the side.

There was only one sentence written on it –

Before too long, again…


Haruka would finally come to know the dreadful meaning of these words –


[1] Columbo is an American detective mystery television series which is special in that the perpetrator is revealed to the viewer at the beginning. has it.

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