Chapter 3: Daiki-san Returns
To think, I had proceeded one step closer to understanding my incomprehensible Blessing, and yet, I’ve learned nothing at all…
Even though I feel like I’ve had half of my brain removed, listlessly floating here and there as I tried to continue the chores after my shock, there is always someone more miserable.
I can’t help stuttering.
I mean, Daiki-san returned, looking like he had just swam across an ocean.
Or rather, our foyer has turned into a swamp.
“Hahaha… I’m home…”
Even his voice sounds so miserable.
“Welcome … home … no, wait, get in here! Bath, I forgot to draw the bath, dammit! Ah, shoot, where is the laundry hamper and towels? If it’s this horrible out, you should have stayed at the police station overnight!”
“Because – letting you spend the second night in a new house all alone seems too pitiful…”
“Am I your newly-wed wife or something!? Nevermind, you’ll catch a cold, hurry up!”
This stupidly over-doting uncle!
The trees are still dancing in the heavy winds and rain, so what are you doing?! I was even waiting with my phone in my pocket; waiting for him to text or call me to tell me he was staying at his workplace overnight.
Instead of hurrying in, Daiki-san held out his COMPLETELY drenched through, supposedly waterproof nylon jacket, and gave me a curious look.
“… W-what is it?”
“Ah, no, I was just wondering… did something happen? You’re more talkative than usual.”
Ah crap. To think that just talking to that voice for a day could make me overlook this entire lifetime and revert back to how I used to speak… I even tsukkomi-ed outloud!
Daiki-san must be so confused.
“Y-you’re just imagining it…”
I took his sopping wet jacket and averted my eyes before I ran the jacket to the mudroom.
That dang voice! What will all my years of perfecting the best ways to be unapproachable without being detestable be for?!
“Haaaa … I’m revived…”
Daiki-san leaned back in the bathtub.
“This house is too damn luxurious.”
Even though he could claim child neglect against his brother-in-law, Daiki-san had to admit that Kousei’s father didn’t skimp in providing anything for his son.
“Even though it would be better if you just came home once in a while instead of sending money…”
The bathroom had a state-of-the-art, auto-filling, temperature-adjusting, constant-heating bathtub.
A house with the best parts of both western and traditional Japanese architecture, and all new, state-of-the-art appliances.
Even though he offered to go find an apartment and pay half the rent, Daiki-san was told not to worry about it, and this house was prepared instead.
Is this really alright?
Daiki-san couldn’t help but think it was way too nice for a bachelor and a high school kid to live in, and from Kousei’s expression when he had first entered the house, he could tell Kousei felt the same way.
Maa, if it’s the father’s way of trying to make up for a decade of neglect…
“… Then just come see your son, dammit!” – was what Daiki-san had to restrain himself from yelling.
Ah, but today, the luxuriousness felt great.
It was a bit of a nasty day.
And in more ways than fighting his way through a typhoon to get home.
Normally the first day is just to get acquainted with the others at the station and get introduced to the normal duties during the day … but to be thrown into a case on the first day?
To begin with, Daiki-san was expecting to be assigned to a police box, doing the whole local officer thing, so why is he doing crime investigation? Certainly he worked as a grunt in crime investigation before, but … perhaps he misunderstood the transfer documents.
Well, he was aware of Tsunato’s unique situation. A medium-sized town with two criminal investigation units was definitely more on the strange side, but they did also cater to many of the other towns in the prefecture, so … and he did hear they were short-handed, so … maybe it shouldn’t have been as surprising to him as it ended up being.
But honestly, to be thrown into this kind of situation right away.
Even though he applied for the transfer as a kind of retirement from the stress of his former life.
“Heheh, for a guy not yet 30 to think about retiring, going into the country and living a quiet life…”
Although it wasn’t quite the country … maa, don’t worry about the details.
He had given the excuse of taking his estranged nephew out of a bad situation as the reason for the transfer, but there was no way his colleagues didn’t also think that part of the reason was the death of his fiancee.
Although he still acted cheerfully, and honestly his cheerfulness wasn’t all an act, the things that hurt in life still hurt. Although he promised her he’d continue to live a fulfilling life, it was still hard to smile all the time in a place that the memory of her persisted in.
And about a year later, Daiki-san went to visit his older brother and met Kousei, saw the state his life was in, and shortly after that the transfer came up, and here they were.
By the way, Daiki-san hasn’t told Kousei that he had been engaged before.
“Nn, if he knew that, he probably wouldn’t have made that tsukkomi, huh? Hehe… Ah, moving here was a good idea after all, if he’s going to loosen up to that degree.”
But seriously, the kid was talking like he was another person.
“Normally he would just tell me to get in the bath, and maybe say I shouldn’t have gone out. Well, it’s good if he starts behaving more like an active kid his age…”
After getting out of the bath, roughly drying his hair with a towel, Daiki-san opened the bathroom door.
“Ooooh, something smells good.”
He had been so miserable, soaking wet and cold, that he didn’t notice the scent of cooking food, but now his stomach growled assertively. Just rice would have been a full meal for him, he was so hungry.
“Pork and vegetable miso soup (tonjirou), and meat and potatoes (nikujaga). Sorry, I didn’t have time to prepare anything else.”
“No no, your usual is usually too sumptuous. This is more than fine.”
“Is that… so?”
Ah. Kousei went back to his more subdued way of speaking. Maybe he lets the mask slip when he’s surprised … was what Daiki-san was thinking.
“Hey, it’s okay to speak frankly,” was what Daiki-san wanted to say, but let’s not push it.
Kousei filled the rice bowls and brought them over, and with two Itadakimasu’s, they began eating.
“How was work?”
“Somehow, I’m doing crime investigation again. Well, I understand they’re short on experienced people, but I wonder if I was just imagining that I was supposed to do public order instead? I hope that doesn’t mean someone got demoted so I could transfer in…”
It might be bad manners, but Daiki-san chewed on his chopsticks while thinking it over.
“That … well, don’t mind it.”
“Yeah, so today I got thrown into a case already. Although, technically there’s no crime – yet.”
Kousei tilted his head, looking questioningly at Daiki-san.
“Three separate instances of women, extremely late at night, being approached by a woman with long, dark hair and a sharp, knife-like object. She’ll chase them down, pin them to a wall, and swing that object at them, but at the last minute and hit the wall, saying, ‘You are not the one,’ before disappearing. And the thing is, each of those three women say she just melts into the air!”
“What’s with that modern horror – ah.”
Kousei caught himself making a retort again. Can’t be helped, he was the tsukkomi-maker in his group of friends, back in the day, and somehow he seems to have lost his mental filter. No good, no good. In another day, he’ll be starting high school.
“Hahaha! Yeah, it basically sounds like horror story, huh? But we can’t ignore it. Those words, ‘You are not the one’ means she’s looking for ‘the one’ to stab, right? Well, just be careful out at night. Right now, at least according to my senpai, it’s possible that the woman is going after anyone of any age or gender, not just women. Statistically speaking.”
“Yes, I will be careful.”
“Nn. There were some colleagues who were wondering if the victims were just making it up, and that was the most annoying part of today. Just because there’s no real evidence, you shouldn’t discount someone’s statement. Those women were really shook up… ah, well, you have those types everywhere. And truthfully, it’s good to have different people with all sorts of ways of thinking in the unit, but still…”
Kousei had thought this before, but Daiki-san was an unbelievably “good guy” in all meanings of the label. And with Daiki-san’s Blessings, Kousei couldn’t think of anyone who would be more suited to be a police officer, whether he worked in public order or criminal investigation.
Daiki-san’s Blessing writeup, from his recent check up, was:
Name: Daiki Manabe Sex: Male
||> [Logical Reasoning]Lv1
[Physical Ability] Lv2
… The [Physical Ability] Blessing always felt like a game character status to Kousei, and as always, he envied Daiki-san for obtaining it.
Obtaining that first level is always the hardest part.
While Kousei was thinking about somewhat-unrelated things, Daiki-san continued on.
“…And so, even though I asked if I could take half the day off to continue moving in tomorrow, I think I should go in after all… Is that going to be a problem?”
Daiki-san looked anxiously at Kousei.
Seriously, he’s too much of a good guy.
“No. We got most of it done yesterday.”
“No, well, I mean … is that so? I feel bad. You even had to get the storm doors up by yourself…”
“It’s fine. It wasn’t too troublesome to get the doors up. And there are only small things to get done around the house now.”
Besides, Kousei was worried about what would happen when the disembodied voice woke up and started talking to him again … with that in mind, sure! Please go to work, Daiki-san! Although it’s a pity that he just moved in, and already they’re working him hard… let’s make his lunch bigger tomorrow.
Ah, that’s right; after talking Kousei’s ear off and singing songs all through last night, now with a,
“Yaaaaawn, I was really pushing myself… the ‘air’ is just too thin within this seal… goodnight!”
The disembodied voice selfishly cut off without so much as a warning.
Even though Kousei wanted to ask more about that corrupted Blessing, about what she meant by THIS town and THAT kind of place, and more about the Language of the Gods…!
The house creaked under the violent storm outside as Daiki-san and Kousei finished their meal.
Daiki-san looked up worriedly at the ceiling.
“Really, the typhoon today is too much. It’s not even the typical season for typhoons, so I wasn’t prepared at all, or else I would have put up the storm doors before I left…”
“It really wasn’t too much trouble, Daiki-san.”
Daiki-san really was upset about leaving the doors to Kousei… even though Kousei thought he didn’t have to mind it.
“It’s true that it’s strangely early in the year…”
Kousei couldn’t help hoping that it wouldn’t storm again anytime soon.
Tomorrow he was hoping to visit the local shrine, and on Monday it would be new student orientation for school.
Kousei’s head swam a little.
He had only been in this town for two days, but already there were so many strange things happening.
<a/n: Well, I’ll continue updating this until I lose the current wave for writing it. Although it may appear to be regularly updating for now, this is not the case, it’s just some stuff I’ve finally finished over the months.
It gets solemn without Kousei’s inner dialogue running, huh?>