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File 154109548071.jpg - (1.41MB, 1600x1200, __yakumo_yukari_touhou_drawn_by_kaibu222__a1647039.jpg) [iqdb]
67033 No. 67033
The trepidation of a speeding train coming through with no destination in sight. Anyone riding the abandoned line between reality and fantasy could feel the pervasive foreboding: something awaited at the end of the track, wherever and whenever the train would eventually stop. The eerie violet glow seeping through the windows, obscured by thick, embroidered curtains of velvety touch. Creak after creak of uncertainty. Flickering neon lights, a small rocking, the interior going dark for a fraction of a moment, alone with the things outside. Shadows flashed over the rusting handlebars and adverts for discontinued products. Old scratches and damp spots and shrivelled filling littered out of seats unkempt for decades. And the drone and hiccup of the wagons’ wheels rolling on unending rails, the smell of the incense which Yukari Yakumo had lit to get rid of the stench of mold.

The youkai of boundaries had always had a soft spot for what could only be conceivably called a rust bucket on rails. As long as it suited its purpose, there was no need to spend effort in restoring the train to its former glory, and she had other more convenient methods to travel to the Outside. The velvet curtains were the only concession Yukari had made to making the interior more hospitable, and it was only because, for the first time in years, the Purple Express was carrying a passenger other than her.

The clack of her heels echoed through the train as the youkai slowly made her way across the endless cars. In normal circumstances, there would have been no-one riding this train at all. After all, it had been out of commission for years when she took possession of it, left to rust at an abandoned station. The way Yukari saw it, nobody would miss it, and she was doing everyone a favour by giving the old machine a second life—and for years it had run without stops, across the endless expanse of the boundaries between worlds, until she commanded otherwise. But these were not normal circumstances, and even the Yakumo Express had to reach a station some time.

Eventually, Yukari reached the car where the first passenger of the Express sat by their lonesome:

[]A stout, aloof woman, exiled in expiation for a crime with no absolution.
[]A gaunt, sharp-eyed man, looking for the answers of questions he didn’t know.


Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/02(Fri)18:00


--------------------------

Still very rusty after years of not picking up my notepad. I'll try to stick to short, daily updates over longer posts, but I make no promises about the quality or consistency of my writing and/or plot. Apologies in advance.
Expand all images
>> No. 67034
[x] A gaunt, sharp-eyed man, looking for the answers of questions he didn’t know.

it me
>> No. 67035
I like trains.

[x] A stout, aloof woman, exiled in expiation for a crime with no absolution.

I wonder how our mysterious passenger got here.
>> No. 67036
[X]A stout, aloof woman, exiled in expiation for a crime with no absolution.

This is Gensokyo, the girl is the only correct answer.
>> No. 67037
[x] A gaunt, sharp-eyed man, looking for the answers of questions he didn’t know.
>> No. 67038
[x]A gaunt, sharp-eyed man, looking for the answers of questions he didn’t know.
>> No. 67039
[x] A gaunt, sharp-eyed man, looking for the answers of questions he didn’t know.
>> No. 67040
>>67036

True dat

[X]A stout, aloof woman, exiled in expiation for a crime with no absolution.
>> No. 67042
[x] A gaunt, sharp-eyed man, looking for the answers of questions he didn’t know.

>>67036
>>67040
But anon, there are no trains in Gensokyo.
>> No. 67043
[x]A stout, aloof woman, exiled in expiation for a crime with no absolution.

There are no guys in Gensoukyou.
>> No. 67044
[X]A stout, aloof woman, exiled in expiation for a crime with no absolution.
>> No. 67045
[X]A gaunt, sharp-eyed man, looking for the answers of questions he didn’t know.
>> No. 67046
[X]A gaunt, sharp-eyed man, looking for the answers of questions he didn’t know.
>> No. 67047
[X]A stout, aloof woman, exiled in expiation for a crime with no absolution.

>30 minutes left

monkaS
>> No. 67049
File 154119306527.jpg - (188.22KB, 850x1202, __yakumo_yukari_touhou_drawn_by_laolixaio_niunai__.jpg) [iqdb]
67049
[x]A gaunt, sharp-eyed man, looking for the answers of questions he didn’t know.

The lanky man slumped in his seat in a way that suggested he was accustomed to sleeping in his commutes to work, along with the shadow of an unshaven beard framing his angular chin and the creases of his well-worn suit. His slender, calloused hands were clutching an inconspicuous leather suitcase tightly, the buckle side smartly pressed against his chest to dissuade any pickpocket. His long, slender legs folded neatly in a right angle—a posture trained over many naps to not trip other passengers by accident—yet Yukari noticed how they tensed under the fabric of his silken trousers, ready to stand upright at the first sound or touch out of the ordinary. It made her wonder how such a light dreamer ended up in her Express, when she had taken extensive precautions to avoid unwanted stowaways. Unless…

“How can someone like you stumble like this into the Boundary of Dream and Reality?” The youkai pondered aloud. “Most interesting...”

The man did not wake up, or visibly react in any manner. That all but confirmed Yukari’s suspicions: the man was not entirely there, his physical self likely snoring at one of the many trains running in the Outside, while his subconsciousness drifted aimlessly in the Dream World until it somehow entered the Yakumo Express. No, not aimlessly, Yukari corrected herself, I made sure noone could get here uninvited. This person, perhaps unwittingly, had made his way to her personal gap between worlds with a clear, singular motive. What motive exactly, Yukari intended to find out.

To pull one’s entire consciousness into the Dream World was an arduous task for even the most experienced sleepwalkers and the most powerful youkai, but for the Master of Boundaries, it was as simple as reaching her hand inside the man’s head and pull——


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


He couldn’t remember when was the last time he had had one of these dreams, the ones where he was vaguely aware he was dreaming, and everything teetering uncomfortably between reality and fabrications of his tired mind. This one, though, this one felt too real. And the splitting headache that made his head throb, that was also new. He felt as if someone had taken his brain, strung it up around his skull and dragged him for miles and miles to this…

He slowly became aware of his surroundings, ignoring the pain pulsing between his temples to force his sharp grey eyes open. As decrepit and neglected the old train he was in looked, it was surprisingly ordinary and definite compared to the usual dreams of old he recalled. The man stretched his body, dispelling the drowsiness and numbness that seized his limbs.

“Are you finally awake?” A smoky, severe female voice addressed him.

Startled by the severe, smoky female voice that addressed him from the opposite seat, the man straightened himself and blinked once, twice, the haziness away. He fixed his stare on the crawling, amorphous black expanse filled with palpitating red eyes the mature, voluptuous woman dressed in purple, looking back at him with her inscrutable eyes of unnatural violet. Her soft legs were crossed indolently, and she rested her gloved hands on her thigh, brushing aside a glossy lock of blond hair.

“It’s not often I get visitors in this place,” the woman said, tilting her head. “I understand you must be feeling unwell from the ride. Please take your time.”

The man suddenly became aware that he was gaping at her, and ran his fingers over his face to wipe the stupid expression he was surely making. Shaking his head—and earning a sharp throb of pain in the process—he stared at the abominable abyss blinked again and studied the blonde woman with as clear his head could be under the circumstances. Every alluring posture, every languid gesture of the gorgeous lady seemed calculated to give off the impression of an amicable, inoffensive friend you could confide everything. But he knew that kind of woman, had dealt with her ilk plenty of times in his line of work and in the back of his mind he screamed danger. He would not be so easily fooled.

“I’m sorry,” he managed to blurt out of his dry throat, “my head is hurting something fierce. Where…?”

“I am Yukari Yakumo, owner of the Yakumo Express,” the woman waved her hand, encompassing the entire interior, “my personal subway of sorts.”

It was definitely a strange weird, he thought. He didn’t remember being able to hold a normal conversation in any of his previous dreams. And the headache, the bloody headache, he could not think clearly.

“Right, uh, I’m—“

“Inspector Shin Moto, of the First Investigation Division in Tokyo, Criminal Investigation Section. Currently travelling to Chino, Nagano Prefecture, to investigate a recent murder.”

Shin recoiled, astounded at how the woman had recited his identity and mission like she had just read his mind. Yukari chuckled, finding the bewilderment plastered in his face amusing.

“Please, it should not be so surprising. What kind of railway tycoon would I be if I didn’t know about my passengers?” The violet lady’s smile retracted, barely touching the corners of her smooth face. “And yet you were not invited, or else you would not be here as you are right now.”

Yukari stood up, the clack of her high heels echoing ominously in the empty car. The headache intensified as she slowly approached Shin, and he averted his eyes—he could not bear to look at the endless chasm her glowing eyes, searching through Shin’s whole being and stripping him of answers. Too real. He had misjudged her completely. This was too real.

“I will get my answers one way or another, Mister Moto,” Yukari’s voice took on a glacial edge, one that conceded no defiance, “but I’d rather have you cooperate with me, of your own will.” She grabbed his chin, forcing him to look at her in the crimson violet eyes. “Answer me, how did you manage to find this place?”

[]”I don’t really know myself.”
[]”This doesn’t make any sense. What’s happening?”
[]”This is a dream, right? This is just a dream!”
[]”That is none of your business, miss.”
[]”I have no answers to give you. I am also looking for them.”
[]Write-in.


[18/11/03 12:00+1]

------------------------------

Apologies for the erased post and the ping, I spotted two big mistakes and could not stand leaving them there. This one *should* be corrected.
>> No. 67051
[timer=18/11/03 11:00+1]

Saging for screwing up the timer. Again.

Apologies in advance for the short time limite, but I work tomorrow evening and I can't write at work, so I'm hoping to finish a short update before lunch.
>> No. 67052
Bah, fuck this shit, I'm too tired to fix it. Assume the votes close in 12 hours approximately.
>> No. 67053
[x] “That is none of your business, miss.”

Bluffing is a core skill for any cop, let alone an investigator.
>> No. 67054
File 154119499599.png - (140.90KB, 300x300, 1535024972469.png) [iqdb]
67054
[x] "I don’t really know myself."
Much like how OP doesn't know how to make a timer.
>> No. 67055
[x] ”This is a dream, right? This is just a dream!”
>> No. 67056
[X]”I have no answers to give you. I am also looking for them.”
>> No. 67057
[X] There's no such thing as a private subway in Tokyo. Don' get all uppity just because you happen to be a wealthy contributor or something.
-[X] You'd also do well to keep your hands to yourself.

Tossing out her background knowledge was a good opening play, but you don't just casually one-up a detective and not expect a verbal spar on your hands.
>> No. 67058
[X] There's no such thing as a private subway in Tokyo. Don' get all uppity just because you happen to be a wealthy contributor or something.
-[X] You'd also do well to keep your hands to yourself.

Gonna have to copy >>67057 here, if any modern profession can start bantering with the supernatural it's a Inspector like this guy.
>> No. 67059
[X] There's no such thing as a private subway in Tokyo. Don' get all uppity just because you happen to be a wealthy contributor or something.
-[X] You'd also do well to keep your hands to yourself.
>> No. 67060
[x] ”I have no answers to give you. I am also looking for them.”

Firm but polite.
>> No. 67061
[X] There's no such thing as a private subway in Tokyo. Don' get all uppity just because you happen to be a wealthy contributor or something.
-[X] You'd also do well to keep your hands to yourself
>> No. 67062
[x]”I don’t really know myself.”

Keep it simple, stupid.
>> No. 67063
>>67054 here. I like the new vote a whole lot.

Changing to:
[X] There's no such thing as a private subway in Tokyo. Don' get all uppity just because you happen to be a wealthy contributor or something.
-[X] You'd also do well to keep your hands to yourself.
>> No. 67064
>>67051
[X] Name the train/line you fell asleep riding.
>> No. 67065
Closing votes for:

[X] There's no such thing as a private subway in Tokyo. Don' get all uppity just because you happen to be a wealthy contributor or something.
-[X] You'd also do well to keep your hands to yourself


I like this. >>67057 is a cool guy.

>>67054 though is the opposite of a cool guy and I will find him and stab him in his sleep after he updates Gaylus and Fluffy Cook, the absolute nerd.
>> No. 67066
File 154125396361.jpg - (116.06KB, 962x1008, __yakumo_yukari_touhou_drawn_by_moyazou_kitaguni_m.jpg) [iqdb]
67066
[X] There's no such thing as a private subway in Tokyo. Don't get all uppity just because you happen to be a wealthy contributor or something. 
-[X] You'd also do well to keep your hands to yourself.


The inspector forced himself to glare back at Yukari, ignoring the hazy visions of nothingness the ache in the back of head. He was a proud member of the First Investigation Division, dammit—he would not be so easily browbeaten by this monster woman.

“I don’t know who the hell you are or what is this place, miss,” he told her, growling between his teeth. He reached for her wrist and grasped it with a firm hand, crushing it, “but nobody lays a hand on an officer of the law and gets away scot-free, `tycoon` or not, so I suggest you keep yours to yourself before it gets ugly.”

Yukari didn’t bat an eye at the pressure Shin was putting on her joint—and he was sure stronger and bulkier men than her would have been grimacing at the pain at least, he noted with increasing concern. Contrary to his expectations, the woman let a half-smile creep up her face, as if she had just found an amusing little toy to play with. The detective did not let that deter him, however, and he redoubled his efforts.

”Besides, you have the gall to demand answers of me, when you’re not being truthful yourself?” Shin slowly stood up, removing the woman’s gloved hand from his face in his strong grip. His intentions to tower up before her were flattened when it became obvious she actually stood an inch taller than him, but he went on regardless. “If you really were a railway owner you’d know there’s no such thing as a private subway in Tokyo. Don't get all uppity just because you happen to be a wealthy contributor or something.”

To which Yukari responded with a husky chuckle. “Do you really believe this is Tokyo, Detective?”

Shin opened his mouth to respond, but his retort died in his throat. For a moment, he had forgotten he was in a dream. But it all seemed too real. Yukari, seeing him in his confusion, swatted his hand away, freeing herself of his weakened grasp.

“You really don’t know anything, do you?” She stepped away from Shin and gingerly sat down the same seat she was before. “And yet here you are, against all expectations. Sit. We must talk.”

The detective warily observed the fiend that was and was not the elegant lady, still on guard. Slowly, he let himself slump down the uncomfortably old bench, never taking his eyes of her while she produced a fan out of the abyss nowhere and covered her mouth with it.

“You must have come here for a reason, even if you don’t understand it yourself,” Yukari continued, “And I happen to be in need of a... very particular type of person, let’s say. I suppose your kind doesn’t believe in `destiny` or `fate` or what have you, but what else could explain this otherwise impossible meeting?”

The clack of her fan shutting punctuated her rethorical question. As Shin tilted his head in perplexity, Yukari introduced her fan into her sleeve, and pulled an impossibly large stack of papers in return—no, not just any stack. It was the very same documents Shin had inside his suitcase, the very confidential file of the murder case he was investigating. How in the hell did she…?

He...

[]Checked his suitcase to see if it really was his file.
[]Remained in shocked silence.
[]Reached out towards Yukari before she could read the papers.
[]Demanded she gave back his documents.
[]Write-in.


Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/04(Sun)10:00

>> No. 67067
[x] Pulled out his gun.

Freeze or meet... ZUN?
>> No. 67068
[x]Remained in shocked silence.
>> No. 67069
[x]Remained in shocked silence.
>> No. 67070
[X]Demanded she gave back his documents.
I mean, she won't, but doesn't hurt to try.
>> No. 67071
>>67067
This isn't America my dude. You can't just pull a gun on civilians for no reason.

Ok so, she can't actually have the papers if this is indeed a dream. Add on the fact that a thick stack of papers is a bit much for a light read on the subway. I'm guessing her angle here is a bit different. She is probably attempting to get Shin to think about the contents of the papers, and then pull the mind reading trick she did earlier.

I propose this plan of attack:

[X] Perform a simple, repetitive motion to occupy the subconscious thought and attempt polite but unrelated conversation.
>> No. 67072
[x] Perform a simple, repetitive motion to occupy the subconscious thought and attempt polite but unrelated conversation.

Sounds like a plan.
>> No. 67073
[X]Checked his suitcase to see if it really was his file.
>> No. 67079
>>67070 here. I'm changing my vote to this,

[X] Perform a simple, repetitive motion to occupy the subconscious thought and attempt polite but unrelated conversation.
>> No. 67082
File 154133634049.jpg - (460.71KB, 712x1000, __yakumo_yukari_touhou_drawn_by_rondo_umigame__bdb.jpg) [iqdb]
67082
[X] Perform a simple, repetitive motion to occupy the subconscious thought and attempt polite but unrelated conversation.

Shin stopped himself before he did anything rash, and thought critically, just as he was taught. He was fairly sure all of this was a dream—But everything seems so real—which meant everything he was seeing was a product of his mind. Which, by the way, still hurt like a bitch. That included the woman as well, and the papers that suspiciously looked like the case files. It followed that everything Yukari claimed to know, and the contents of those papers, also came from his own mind. So if he could deny her access to his own thoughts, then maybe he could stop her from prying into his confidential info. Probably.

The detective was not too well versed in telepathy blocking techniques—I don’t remember having that course in my criminology career, he snidely thought to himself—, but if all the admittedly-not-that-extensive fiction he had read in his life was of any indication, psychics couldn’t read minds of those minds were filled with simple, repetitive thoughts, as if they were TV-static. Shin was not too sure how that was supposed to stop a product of his mind from reading his mind—just trying to make sense of that was already confusing for him—, but it was worth a shot.

Chapter 26, Article 199: A person who kills another shall be punished by the death penalty or imprisonment with work for life or for a definite term of not less than 5 years. Article 201: A person who prepares for the commission of a crime proscribed under Article 199 shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than 2 years; provided, however, that the person may be exculpated in light of circumstances. Article 202: A person who induces or aids another to commit suicide, or kills another at the other's request or with other's consent, shall be punished—

The detective surreptitiously looked at Yukari, trying to discern if his mental recitation of the Penal Code was having any effect. Much to his disappointment, the woman continued skimming through his papers, completely ignoring him. He started to wonder if he was wasting his time, but the almost unnoticeable cheeky smile in her lips, barely curving upwards, showed him that she was aware of his efforts, and in fact she was mocking him for thinking it’d work on her. Or maybe she had read something amusing in those papers, who knew. He had the impression that derisive smugness was the natural state of being of this snooping lady.

The matter was that if Shin wanted to pry Yukari’s attention away from the papers, he needed to do something more than filling his mind with inane thoughts—Article 204: A person who causes another to suffer injury shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than 15 years or a fine of... If he could strike up a conversation with her, make her focus on him instead… Shin cleared his throat and straightened himself up.

“So...”

[]”If you wanted to know about my case, you could have just watched the news.”
[]”Do you know what’s the legal punishment for obstructing a criminal investigation?”
[]”Where is this train going? What line is this?”
[]”For such an esteemed railway tycoon, your cars are not in great shape.”
[]”What did you want to talk with me about, anyway?”
[]Write-in.


Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/05(Mon)08:00


-------------------------

Sorry for the short update, got work to do this evening too. Tomorrow's should be significantly longer, I hope.
>> No. 67083
[x]”For such an esteemed railway tycoon, your cars are not in great shape.”

Trainspotter route.
>> No. 67084
[X]”What did you want to talk with me about, anyway?”
She's just fucking with us. Let's just get down to business and hear her out for now.
>> No. 67085
[X] Check the messages/contacts on you phone. That should give you a good indication of if the documents are real as well.
-[X] You got a family Miss Yukari? I couldn't help but notice the lack of a ring.

Other options aren't nearly distracting enough.
>> No. 67086
[X]”If you wanted to know about my case, you could have just watched the news.”

Get to the point you...
>> No. 67091
[X]”If you wanted to know about my case, you could have just watched the news.”
>> No. 67093
File 154145569165.png - (603.30KB, 900x720, __yakumo_yukari_touhou_drawn_by_sakana44__d54ce2de.png) [iqdb]
67093
[X]”If you wanted to know about my case, you could have just watched the news.”

“I understand a murder of mysterious circumstances at a small town arouses the, uh, desire to satisfy your morbid curiosity,” the detective said, “but civilians should wait until we give an official statement on the news.”

“And miss the juicier details?” Answered Yukari with a hint of sarcasm, not taking her eyes off the papers for a second. She then recited a too familiar passage from the file: “Let’s see here… ’Preliminary cause of death: Traumatic shock due to massive injury in collarbone area, followed by blood loss. Possibly bitten by a large animal or human, pending exhaustive autopsy,’” her eyebrows arched in pretend shock. “My, you don’t usually see this kind of stuff on the TV!”

“Hey, stop it!” There was no doubt, the papers were the real deal, much to Shin’s alarm. “That’s confidential information!”

“Why, are you worried about me releasing it to the public and causing mass panic? Or that it’d put the culprit on guard?” Yukari raised her eyes from the paper and flashed him a mischievous smile. “Fret not, I can keep a secret.”

“That’s not what I—”

“Still, you have quite a messy incident in your hands, Mister Moto,” she said over his protest. “And I imagine your superiors want it to be solved as soon as possible, am I wrong?”

The detective glared back at the monster woman as she somehow fit the papers back in her sleeve like they vanished inside. In fact, he could not figure her at all.

“Get to the point already, Miss Yakumo,” Shin said curtly. “You said we must talk.”

“I was getting to the point,” the smallest of frowns blemished her forehead for a second, then it was gone. “I’d like to extend my courtesy to the first passenger of my Yakumo Express by assisting you in solving your case, if you allow me.”

The detective blinked in surprise. “… Excuse me?” Of all the things he was expecting her to say, that was among the lowest in his list. Myriad of questions raced in his mind, trying to make sense of the tycoon’s intentions. “Why? How?”

“Let’s just say that if my suspicions are correct, my interests are quite aligned with yours about the resolution of this particular case. As for the how...” The woman let out a weary sigh. “Unfortunately it is impossible for me to directly intervene. I can, however, lend you the aid of… an acquaintance of mine.”

“An… acquaintance,” The detective repeated slowly, the word leaving a slight distaste in his mouth. It carried many troublesome connotations. “Yeah, sure. Do you really expect me to let one of your spies be part of our investigation like that?”

“One of my spies? Ahahahahahah!” Yukari laughed, elegantly covering her guffaw with her fan. “If she heard you calling her that, you’d be already knocked flat on the ground!”

Shin tilted his head, unable to find what was so funny about all of it. He waited until her shrieking giggling subsided, and let her continue.

“In all seriousness, this person doesn’t work for me or any of my affiliates. In fact, I imagine she’d want absolutely nothing to do with me if she had any say in the matter,” Yukari waved her hand dismissively, downplaying the issue. “Regardless, she is an expert at solving incidents like the one that concerns us at the moment. I’m sure her assistance will prove invaluable towards your efforts at uncovering the truth behind this murder.”

Shin crossed his arms, deep in thought. He was not entirely sure about Yukari’s proposition—underneath her reassurances and honeyed words, she had barely given him any information to work with, and he could not bring himself to trust in her altruism. But above all, something about what she had said kept irking him.

“I appreciate your concern,” he said slowly, choosing his words carefully, “but I—no, the First Investigation Division is capable enough to bring the culprit to justice without the need of any external help from private investigators.”

“Oh, don’t get me wrong, I am sure you will definitely solve the case, of that I have no doubt,” Yukari answered. “But you will never learn the whole truth behind the incident, as you are right now.”

“… What is that supposed to mean?”

“I’m sorry, I cannot tell you more,” the woman shook her head, “not until I’m sure you’re fully onboard. So, will you take my associate with you in your investigation?”

[]”Fine, I accept.”
[]”Sorry, no deal.”
[]”What’s the catch?”
[]”What do you stand to gain in this?”
[]”You clearly know more than you’re letting on about this case. Mind enlightening me?”
[]”I’d need to learn more about your ‘acquaintance’ before I decide to accept your help.”
[]Write-in.


Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/06(Tue)15:00

>> No. 67094
[x]”I’d need to learn more about your ‘acquaintance’ before I decide to accept your help.”

I wonder who it is?
>> No. 67095
[x]”I’d need to learn more about your ‘acquaintance’ before I decide to accept your help.”

I really dislike scenes with Yukari. She's always written as some aloof meme with no real character.
>> No. 67096
[x]”I’d need to learn more about your ‘acquaintance’ before I decide to accept your help.”
>> No. 67097
[x]”What’s the catch?”
doubt.jpg

>>67095
It's not like her appearances in official media are that much better.
>> No. 67098
>>67097
Yeah. She's written like that, because she's uh, written like that (in the games)

[x]”You clearly know more than you’re letting on about this case. Mind enlightening me?”
>> No. 67099
[x] ”What do you stand to gain in this?”
>> No. 67100
[x]”I’d need to learn more about your ‘acquaintance’ before I decide to accept your help.”
There's obviously a caveat, but there's no chance in hell that she's going to tell him. So we might as well give Shin some relevant info.

Also
>no space after [x]
>Quotation mark facing the wrong way
DROPPED
>> No. 67103
[x]”I’d need to learn more about your ‘acquaintance’ before I decide to accept your help.”

If the case is youkai related then we do need a gensokyo resident to aid us. I was kind of hoping Yukari herself was gonna be involved but okay.
>> No. 67110
File 154154210125.png - (1.00MB, 700x1036, this is your sidekick this quest.png) [iqdb]
67110
[x]”I’d need to learn more about your ‘acquaintance’ before I decide to accept your help.”

“Sorry,” Shin answered, arms crossed, “but I’m going to need a more extensive résumé before you saddle me with a sidekick, Miss Yakumo.”

“Aww, and ruin the surprise?” She jested, with that half-smile Shin was starting to despise.

“Do you think this is a game, lady? Mine is a dangerous line of work. I won’t trust someone I don’t know to watch my back, even if they weren’t half as shady as you.”

The woman’s dark slits violet eyes squinted, barely concealing the contempt for the detective’s insolence. Shin held her gaze undaunted. He had let Yukari had her way until then, but there were some limits to his patience. After a few tense seconds that seemed to stretch for hours, Yukari let out a long sigh.

“I suppose it’s fair,” she said. “It is your job and your neck on the line, after all.”

Yukari produced a photo from her sleeve—Where the hell is she keeping all that stuff?, Shin thought for a second before he remembered he was in a dream—, and tossed it to the detective, who deftly caught it on the fly. A young girl of moderate height, dressed in a traditional red-and-white shrine maiden outfit, sat in what appeared to be stone stairs to a shrine out of focus in the picture. Her purple hair was adorned with a large red ribbon at the back of her head, and white tubes on her sidelocks. The candid nature of the photo was apparent by how it had captured the split second before the girl noticed the flash of the camera.

“A shrine maiden. Right...” Shin muttered incredulously. “Is this some kind of joke!? She looks young enough to be my daughter!”

“My apologies, this was the most recent picture I have. She’s very averse to having her picture taken, you know,” Yukari explained. “Now she must be… Eighteen? Nineteen? Ah, how time flies...”

“That’s still too young! Besides, what use would I have of a priestess? I’m trying to catch a murderer, not—” he waved his hand as he struggled to find the words in his outrage, “not exorcise a spirit or something!”

“The duties of a shrine maiden go beyond simple exorcisms, Mister Moto, and I assure you, she’s among the most skilled,” there was no longer any hint of mockery in the woman’s statement. “Bring her along, show her the ropes of the life in the big city, and she’ll help you out in turn.”

“I am not taking a girl to a murder scene, Yuka—”

“Ah, I’m afraid our time is running short,” she cut him off. “Your train is about to arrive, detective.”

“What?”

The self-proclaimed walking horror railway tycoon moved up towards Shin. He tried to move away, but his headache intensified, making him clutch his head in pain. He was feeling something pulling his consciousness away, and his surroundings became blurry. The only thing he could make out with any clarity was Yukari’s gloved hand, laying on his forehead. Her voice came muffled, as if she were miles away.

“… the old tunnel… meet… find the truth.”

And then she pushed

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Apologies for not having any choices. College exams called and I couldn't find time to complete the update entirely, so I had to cut it in half, but you can consider the prologue finally done and gone. Tomorrow will kickstart the actual investigation.
>> No. 67111
File 154161932975.jpg - (62.76KB, 640x480, e335d7b46ada3006447f79bf52d10e5d.jpg) [iqdb]
67111
“The next station is: Chino. The doors on the left side will open. Please mind the gap.”

Shin woke up with a start at the drone of the automated announcement. He let his trained legs walk him out of the train while he struggled to drive away the post-sleep fog in his head. How long had it been since he had had such a vivid dream? Maybe I do need more sleep after all, the detective reprimanded himself. The weird dreams would not go away no matter how hard he tried to avoid them. Shin had found that as long as he slept lightly, the visions were hazier and less memorable, and so he always tried to sleep as little as humanly possible by working through the long hours of the night, with the help of copious amounts of coffee and power-napping in his commute to work. He knew that kind of lifestyle was harmful for his physical health—as his colleagues never stopped reminding him—, but he would rather deal with constant fatigue over experiencing disturbing, confusing dreams any day.

“But this one… This one’s different,” he muttered to himself, as he climbed the stairs up to the station’s street level.

Shin could barely remember any specific details—there was an inhumanly beautiful monster woman in an old train and something about an old tunnel?—but he did recall it felt awfully real at the time. He hadn’t had one of those ever since he left his hometown to escape the nightmares pursue his career in criminology. And now that work-related circumstances forced him back here, in Chino, the lucid dreams came back? He could have blamed it on the fatigue of the 3-hours-ride on top of the lack of sleep, but Shin didn’t believe in coincidences like that one. However, it was no time to ponder about his sleep disorders. There was work to do.

Being able to find a free cab ready and waiting at the station entrance was a nice change of pace from the hectic hubbub of the metropolitan capital Tokyo. The small city of Chino, with its fifty thousand habitants, had stood as a bastion of the traditional Japanese lifestyle since the Edo period. Yet one look at the car’s window showed the first signs of gentrification: shops with huge storefronts adorned with hip, modern clothing and accessories peppered the streets among old sake dens and ramen carts. High-school and college students dressed in flashy colours and revealing cuts sharing the sidewalks with the elderly. Electronic outlets and big-chain convenience stores with their shining neon signs sharply contrasted against the small, humble shrines. Shin even saw a branch of that fast food chain from America dwarfing the two run-down grocery stores at its sides, closed down for business—a stark reminder that even a once backwater town lost in the mountains of Nagano could not escape the inexorable march of progress.

The high-pitched ring of his cellphone took the detective out of his reverie. He took it out of his jacket without bothering to look at the number, already imagining who was ringing him.

“Shin Moto speaking.”

“Ah, you finally pick up!” The familiar voice of his boss grated through the receiver, confirming his suspicions, “I’ve been trying to reach you for half an hour!”

Shit, has my phone been ringing while I was asleep? “Uh, my apologies, sir, the train was going through a long tunnel and there was no reception,” the detective lied, “I just got down a few minutes ago.”

“So you’re already there, good. I just received a call; the local police has finished transferred the victim’s body to a provisional morgue, at Suwa Central Hospital.”

“’Suwa Central Hospital’, got it,” Shin wrote down on his notebook. If memory served well, it was near that old shrine with the inari statue, “I’ll check it out when I can.”

“Good. The local agents are waiting for you at the police station to take you to the crime scene. They’re already been informed that you’re taking over the investigation, and they have instructions to cooperate with you should you need it.”

“Copy that.”

“We realize that we have deployed you in very short notice, but the higher-ups want this case closed tidily as soon as possible,” the chief said. “The media is already circling around like vultures, trying to snoop around for any kind of rumour. I don’t need to remind you how problematic it’d be if they learned there’s a dangerous killer on the loose, right?”

“No, sir.”

“We can’t afford any mistakes, Detective Moto. Be sure to read up on the file you were given, ask the local cops for any details, and get that sick bastard in jail, understood?”

“Leave it to me, boss.”

“Good. I’ll be expecting results. Call me when you get a lead.”

Shin couldn’t even say his goodbyes before the tone of the ended call beeped. He let out a long, weary sigh. It was going to be a long, long night, he thought bitterly. But at least it was a good excuse to not suffer another dream for a long while. He wondered if he could have the hotel’s stuff to bring him a double espresso to his room at those hours. But first, he had to think of his first move. For starters, he went to...

[]The police station to meet the local officers and get more details from them.
[]The crime scene first, in search of any evidence they might have missed.
[]The Suwa Central Hospital to take a look at the victim’s corpse personally.
[]Go over the case file once more at his room, to put everything in order.
[]Meet her at the old tunnel.


Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/08(Thu)15:00

>> No. 67113
[x]The Suwa Central Hospital to take a look at the victim’s corpse personally.

Hey kids, wanna see a dead body?
>> No. 67114
[x] Go over the case file once more at his room, to put everything in order.

General facts first, then get into the specifics.
>> No. 67115
[x]Go over the case file once more at his room, to put everything in order.

I feel like the corpse will last for another night if it's already in the morgue, the crime scene has been gone over by the local police already and they will appreciate it if we don't have to ask them about the obvious details. So our course of action is obvious:
Going to the old tunnel our room and re-reading the case file.
>> No. 67116
[x] Go over the case file once more at his room, to put everything in order.
What's a dead body gonna do, run away?
inb4
>> No. 67117
[x]The police station to meet the local officers and get more details from them.

Going over the case by himself seems more like it's for us rather than for Shin. We're gonna get a general view of the case as we go, so getting potential new info might be better.
>> No. 67118
[X]The Suwa Central Hospital to take a look at the victim’s corpse personally.
>> No. 67123
File 154171715875.png - (861.16KB, 700x1036, where had he seen this before.png) [iqdb]
67123
[x] Go over the case file once more at his room, to put everything in order.

After checking in at the hotel’s reception, Shin took the elevator to the third floor and fumbled with the keys to his room, while trying to maintain the balancing act with his suitcase, his baggage and the steaming cup of coffee he had gotten from the diner. Only after he pushed with his entire body did the creaking door finally gave in. His lodging looked in accordance to the meagre expenses allowance the government lent him—a small, humble room with just the bare necessities: a rudimentary table occupied the center along with two old cushions to sit on; on the corner lied a simple nightstand drawer, keeping a futon and a couple of grayed towels. Shin could barely fit inside the tiny, cramped bathroom, its limited space already taken up by the shower, the sink and the urinal. The only concession to commodities was a diminutive CRT television on top of the drawer. But despite all that, it suited him fine. He wasn’t planning on staying there for too long.

Shin didn’t bother to undo his luggage before sitting on the uncomfortable cushion, taking the case files out of his suitcase and skim through them once more while taking a sip of the still scorching coffee. He had already studied the papers more times than he cared to count while in the train, all in a (vain) effort to stay awake, but he figured one more time before heading to the crime scene wouldn’t hurt.

Victim Information:
Name: Akiba Hiroji
Age: 19
Occupation: Unemployed
Home Address: Suiren Orphanage


No matter how many times Shin read that line, his heart throbbed with a pang of guilt homesickness. The Lotus Orphanage. The place he had been raised in his infancy and adolescence, where he had made plenty of memories. Shin briefly wondered how Grandma was doing, but it had been too long since he had last contacted them, for one reason or another, and now the awkwardness was too big to overcome. Besides, had he any right when he had left them all behind to escape the dreams follow his own path in life? Shin shook his head, swatting those thoughts away. There was work to be done.

Description of Crime Scene:
Crime Scene Adress: Alleyway at 5-13 Honmachinishi, Chino, Nagano Prefecture.
Position of victim: Slumped against wall hidden behind trash bins, in a pool of blood, with obvious neck/shoulder wound.
Possible Murder Weapon(s): Butterfly knife in victim’s right hand. Unlikely given the size and nature of the injury and the fact the knife was not bloodied.


Shin’s educated guess was that it had been a robbery gone wrong. In his youth he was well acquainted with the delinquent gangs that roamed the streets at night, vandalizing shops and mugging lone people at night, and apparently the police didn’t bother to do more than the token effort to deal with them in all those years. This time, the victim had had the bad luck to mug the wrong person. Still, there was something bugging the detective: usually, these delinquents worked in pairs or trios to corner and gang up on their defenceless prey. He made a mental note to ask the local police if there were other people who had witnessed the crime. A more cursory look on the crime scene could also turn up some evidence of it.

Initial Coroner’s Findings::
Time of Death: Estimated from liver temperature measurement to be between 10:00 and 12:00 pm on 11/09/97
Preliminary cause of death: Traumatic shock due to massive injury in collarbone area, followed by blood loss. Possibly bitten by a large animal or human, pending exhaustive autopsy.
"

Attached to the file was a photo made by the first officers that arrived to the crime scene, showcasing the brutality of the fatal wound in all of its gory details. Although he was no doctor, Shin had seen enough injuries to surmise that a butterfly knife could not maul a person’s shoulder to the bone in such a way, especially not without the victim struggling. No, if anything, he agreed with the files—it did look like the shoulder was gnawed off in one bite. But before he jumped to any conclusions, Shin decided he had to pay a visit to the coroner to get a more detailed autopsy.

As he turned the page, something fell from between the papers. Shin reached under the table to pick it up. It was a photo of a young girl of moderate height, dressed in a traditional red-and-white shrine maiden outfit, sat in what appeared to be stone stairs to a shrine out of focus in the picture. Her purple hair was adorned with a large red ribbon at the back of her head, and white tubes on her sidelocks. The candid nature of the photo was apparent by how it had captured the split second before the girl noticed the flash of the camera.

“Huh? Where did this come from…?”

Looking at the picture was starting to give Shin a migraine. He had the feeling he was forgetting something very important, but the headache clouded his memories. Didn’t he have to meet this girl at a tunnel or something? Most likely it belonged to his chief, and it had accidentally slipped inside the folder while he was organizing his papers, before he passed it to Shin. Yes, that must be it. He put it in his pocket, with the intention of giving it back to his boss once the case was over.

The detective rapidly skimmed through the remaining papers filled with legalese, and finished his coffee. He had been so focused reviewing the files he had not noticed the dusty, grainy taste of the drink, and how little it did for his fatigue. But work waited for no one. There was a murder to solve and a killer to catch. The question was, where to first?

[]The police station to meet the local officers and get more details from them.
[]The crime scene first, in search of any evidence they might have missed.
[]The Suwa Central Hospital to take a look at the victim’s corpse personally.
[]Meet the girl from the photo at the old tunnel.


Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/09(Fri)15:00

>> No. 67124
[x] The police station to meet the local officers and get more details from them.
We'll probably exhaust all the options and then we'll do that striked-out option last.
>> No. 67125
[x] The police station to meet the local officers and get more details from them.

Might as well see if anybody else saw anything.
>> No. 67126
[x] The police station to meet the local officers and get more details from them

No point duplicating observations that've already been made.
>> No. 67127
[X]The police station to meet the local officers and get more details from them.

Same reasons as I stated last choice.
>> No. 67129
File 154180659940.jpg - (289.16KB, 1280x720, fdfEGTegWEGegh.jpg) [iqdb]
67129
[x] The police station to meet the local officers and get more details from them.

As the building came into the bus window’s view, Shin was hit with a wave of nostalgia. He was somewhat glad to see that the sturdy three-floor police station was still the same as when he had worked there as a lowly officer—which was ironic, considering he had worked his butt off back then to get that promotion to the First Investigation Division. The parking was unusually devoid of any vehicles; they were all on patrol after the murderer, as standard procedure dictated. Shin walked to the door after showing his badge to the officer on guard—who did not recognize him at all; probably a new guy—and made his way directly towards the office of his old boss in the second floor.

Much to his consternation, the detective didn’t cross paths with any other person in the hallways. Either all officers had been dispatched, or they were severely understaffed, and neither reason reassured him. When he eventually reached the door, he overheard the familiar gruff voice of Superintendent Murai Egawa speaking at the phone.
“—care if we he’s NHK, nobody is allowed near the crime scene! Drag him away if you have to, I don’t want any cameras pointing at that alley, you hear!?” Then the police chief noticed Shin standing at the door, and went on in a less harsher tone. “Listen, I need to hang up. Call me if something else comes up.”

The years had not treated Murai kindly—when before he had been a pillar of strength and leadership, the stressful work at the superintendent’s desk had eaten his once sturdy body until his arms turned into twigs, his cheeks hollowed and his black irises lost their determined shine. The bags under his eyes hinted at a long, difficult night with no rest or sleep. In honest, plain terms, he looked like shit, but Shin didn’t have much room to talk in that regard, he noted bitterly to himself.

“You must be the inspector they sent from Tokyo. I’m Superintendent Murai Egawa, in charge of this station,” the man bowed politely, “I apologize for my rudeness at the cellphone, sir, but my officers are not used to—” He stopped to scrutinize Shin up and down, and recognition flared up in his dull eyes. “Wait, Shin Moto? Is that really you?”

“It’s good to see you again, Chief Egawa.”

“I can’t believe it! Hah! Our young shooting star’s back!” He slapped Shin’s shoulder amicably, but the detective still felt the sting of the force he put into his friendly pat. Murai had still retained his strong arm despite how thin they looked. “And here I was fearing I’d have to defer to one of those stuck-up guys from the capital. Come, take a seat, boy!”

Shin opted to not remind his former boss that legally he was the one in charge of the investigation, and as such, Murai really should have minded his tongue in front of his superior, especially since he could report his slight to HQ and have his pay cut, or even him demoted. But the detective imagined this was the first piece of good news the chief had received for days, and he had to admit the familiarity which Murai treated him with was a refreshing change of pace. After all, he was right about his workmates at Tokyo being absolute sticks in the mud. Still, there was much work to be done before he could afford to spend time fraternizing with old colleagues.

“I’d love to catch up with you, sir,” Shin said, “but I’m afraid we’re short on time. Central wants this case solved fast before it blows into a mediatic disaster.”

“Yes, yes, of course. I also want to get this over with ASAP. But when it’s over we have to get ourselves a cold one, you and I,” Murai cleared his thought. “Well, on to business. I assume you’ve read the file already?”

“I did.”

“Good. Anything you want to clear up before we move on to the evidence?”

[]”Nothing at the moment.”
[]”Who reported the crime?”
[]”Are there any witnesses?”
[]”Was this a robbery gone wrong? If so, how come there aren’t any signs of a second or third robber? Wasn’t that how the gangs operated?”
[]”Do you think the victim’s injury was caused by a large animal, or a human?”
[]”Do you know about the girl in this photo?”
[]Write-in.


Quit livin' in the past


----------------------------

Apologies for the late update. Turns out I also have to work this weekend, so next update will be shorter and arrive sooner. Sorry for the inconvenience.
>> No. 67130
[x]”Who reported the crime?”
[x]”Are there any witnesses?”
>> No. 67131
[x]”Are there any witnesses?”
[x]”Was this a robbery gone wrong? If so, how come there aren’t any signs of a second or third robber? Wasn’t that how the gangs operated?”
[x]”Do you think the victim’s injury was caused by a large animal, or a human?”

Are we allowed to ask multiple questions here? If not, then I'll go with the first and second or just the first.
>> No. 67134
Since I need to head off to work in an hour, and I can't work with only two different votes, I decided to extend this vote's deadline to tomorrow and make up for not writing today by doing a double update this next Monday.

Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/11(Sun)09:00

>> No. 67136
[x] ”Who reported the crime?”
[x] ”Are there any witnesses?"
Everything else seems rather cut-and-dried.
>> No. 67137
[X] Did anyone check his cell phone for messages? He had to have been sitting there a few minutes before dying.
[X] does this prefecture have a k-9 unit?
>> No. 67138
[X]”Who reported the crime?”
[X]”Do you think the victim’s injury was caused by a large animal, or a human?”
>> No. 67142
Calling it for

[x]”Who reported the crime?”
[x] ”Are there any witnesses?"
[X]”Do you think the victim’s injury was caused by a large animal, or a human?”


Although >>67137's first question was an interesting one.
>> No. 67144
File 154194496856.png - (550.61KB, 683x1000, who could it be now.png) [iqdb]
67144
[x]”Who reported the crime?”
[x]”Are there any witnesses?"
[X]”Do you think the victim’s injury was caused by a large animal, or a human?”


“Well, I’ve read the file, sir,” Shin began, “and I noticed there’s no mention of the person who reported the crime.”

“Really?” The detective took the documents from his suitcase and handed them to Murai. His dimmed eyes quickly moved side to side as he skimmed through the pages. “Hm, that’s weird. I distinctly remember telling Maeko to not forget putting her name in her report,” the superintendent let out a vexed sigh, “I’ll have to give her another tongue-lashing when she comes back.”

“Maeko?”

“Officer Maeko Fujino. She’s the one that found the body in her morning patrol,” explained Egawa, giving the file back. “You do remember her, right? You two were in the same promotion, I think.”

“I... believe I do, sir.”

The name brought the detective memories of a short, bubbly woman, as peppy eager as a pupper, but also as air-headed. He also recalled the huge, round glasses she always wore, that did little to fix her near-sightedness. That she of all people was the first to discover the murder came as a bit of a shock to Shin. Then again, it’s been almost ten years since I saw her, the detective thought. However, there was something else nagging him.

“Wait, morning patrols start at 5 in the morning, don’t they?” He asked Murai. The chief nodded. “But the preliminary autopsy report says the time of death at 10 pm at the earliest. Did the body really remain there for the entire night without anybody noticing it?”

“We’re as stumped as you are, boy,” the chief ran his hand over his balding head. Shin took a bit of offence at being called that, but he swallowed his temper and let his former boss continue. “We haven’t received any report of any disturbance yet, and we have been questioning the neighbours if they had seen or heard anything out of the ordinary last night, but nothing.”

“No witnesses? I find that hard to believe,” the detective frowned. “From the way the victim was attacked, he must have had to cry for help while he was bleeding out. Or at least scream loud enough to wake the residents up.” Something fishy was going on, he was sure.

“It’s some messed up stuff, I tell you what.” Colour drained from the chief’s bony face. He was most likely recalling the image of the gored body in the photo. Shin could hardly blame him; Chino had always been a small idyllic town, certainly not used to having such a gruesome murder happen there.

“We still have to wait for the complete autopsy,” the detective said, “but I want to hear your opinion, sir. Do you think a human could have done this?”

Murai didn’t respond immediately, instead staring blankly at the wall, or something far beyond. After a moment he took a sharp breath through his nostrils and spoke in a hushed voice.

“If it really was a person who did this, he’s must be a mad bastard. Almost as if...” The chief shook his head, regaining his earlier poise, “Ah, nevermind.”

“Sorry, you were saying?”

“Don’t mind me,” he waved his hand dismissively, “just the blabbering of an old superstitious coot.”

“I insist, sir,” Shin pressed him, “anything you can tell me might be of help.”

“No, it’s, it’s a stupid thought, really,” Murai chuckled bitterly, but when he saw the detective wouldn’t relent, he sighed again. “Alright, fine! Just don’t laugh, okay?”

“I would never, sir.”

The superintendent rubbed his hands anxiously for a couple of seconds, before finally answering.

“...I was just thinking it was the work of a hungry youkai, or monster, or whatever.”

Silence hung in the air like the suspended moment before a falling glass shatters on the ground. It lingered in the room, thick and heavy, eerily underscoring how right he was concerning that assumption was, were it true. But this was no fantasy tale; there was plenty of no place for youkai in the real world.

“Monsters don’t exist, Superintendent,” Shin lied said, “only people pretending they are one. And it is our duty to stop them from hurting the citizens we swore to protect. We will catch them, boss.”

“Yeah… Yeah, you’re right,” Egawa rubbed his eyes against his sweaty palms. “I told you I was just talking foolishness.”

“Anyway, I’ll have to ask Maeko some questions about the crime scene. Where is she?”

“Oh, uh, she was instructed to stand watch at the crime scene, last I heard. I imagine she’s still there,” Murai answered. “I’ll have some officers ask more questions around. Someone must have heard—”

At that moment, the phone at the chief’s desk began ringing. With a quick apology, Murai picked it up.

“Egawa speaking. Yes—Uh-huh—Yes...” The chief’s brows suddenly furrowed. “You’re serious?—What was she doing there?—Yes—”

Unable to contain his curiosity, Shin asked him. “What’s going on, sir?”

“Well, uh, I don’t really get it myself,” Murai put a hand over the receiver, “but apparently some crazy woman just barged into the crime scene and snooped around for a while before our guys managed to detain her. She resisted the arrest violently, had to be cuffed up at gunpoint,” he spoke again to the phone, with a hint of incredulity in his voice, “and she was dressed as a shrine maiden, you say?”

A woman dressed as a shrine maiden. It couldn’t be...

[]”Have your officers bring her here. I’ll interrogate her.”
[]”I’ll go check up on her and ask her some questions while I inspect the crime scene.”
[]”Put her in jail and question her while I pay a visit to the coroner.”


Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/12(Mon)08:00

>> No. 67145
[x] ”Have your officers bring her here. I’ll interrogate her.”

Alright, time to bite the obvious bait.
>> No. 67146
[x]”I’ll go check up on her and ask her some questions while I inspect the crime scene.”

Meet up with Raymoo and check the crime scene. Two birds with one stone.
>> No. 67147
[x] ”Have your officers bring her here. I’ll interrogate her.”

I require Raymoo
>> No. 67149
File 154195801139.png - (327.63KB, 769x1000, 56b0552f4ddfb98146ebbe93b82b68f2.png) [iqdb]
67149
[X]”Put her in jail and question her while I pay a visit to the coroner.”

I'm picking this because I want to see how angry it makes her.
>> No. 67150
[x]”Put her in jail and question her while I pay a visit to the coroner.”

Local crazies are the local cops' responsibility. Dreams aren't real, anyways.
>> No. 67151
[X]”I’ll go check up on her and ask her some questions while I inspect the crime scene.”

Don't want the trail going cold.
>> No. 67152
[x] ”Have your officers bring her here. I’ll interrogate her.”
This tie is silly, we have next to no leads and you don't go straight for the bait?
>> No. 67153
[√]”Have your officers bring her here. I’ll interrogate her.”

Mikomiko time
>> No. 67156
File 154204279811.jpg - (327.48KB, 756x590, dgvbhadjnatjat.jpg) [iqdb]
67156
[x]”Have your officers bring her here. I’ll interrogate her.”

Shin brought his hand on his chin, pensively. Regardless of who that woman was, there had to be a strong reason for her to intrude into the alleyway despite the heavy police presence on high alert. Whether she knew the victim, witnessed the crime or really was the proverbial culprit returning to the crime scene, he could not figure at the moment. But the shrine maiden was the most promising lead he had at the moment, and he intended to get something out of her. Noticing Murai’s stare, Shin nodded his go-ahead.

“Take her in. The detective from Tokyo wants to interrogate her,” the superintendent spoke to the receiver, “yes—Good. Call me if something else comes up.” And with a brief farewell, he hung up. “Well then, there’s about ten minutes before they arrive so…” A long yawn escaped his mouth. “Sorry, didn’t get any rest today. I’m going to pour me some coffee, you want some?”

“Gladly, sir,” it had been too long since Shin last tasted that nasty, unpalatable broth they called ‘coffee’ at the Chino police station, but there was nothing more effective to stay awake. And the detective had a feeling he’d need all the caffeine he could get.


The clock had struck six in the evening. Down in the station’s basement, where the cells were located, it was the only way to tell the time. Back in his first years as a recruit, Shin had spent many long, tedious shifts guarding the cages, with only the snores and cusses of the occasional drunkard that had disturbed the peace that night to entertain him through the stretching hours. It was an experience he didn’t wish for his worst enemy. Only this time, the person behind the bars couldn’t be any more different.

The woman had grown up quite a bit compared to the girl pictured in that photo Shin found in his files. Where her face and arms used to have the tenderness and elasticity of a pubescent teenager, the shrine maiden’s features had grown sharper and tougher. Not only she towered imposingly even while sitting on the cold floor of her cell, her slightly tanned skin hid strong, powerful muscles acquired over a lifetime of training. Instead of the traditional miko garments, her uniform appeared to be custom made with matching red leotards and hakama, and detached white sleeves showing pale scars across her shoulders.

“A real demon, that one,” the officer standing guard (Konosuke? Shinosuke? Something ended in -suke. Shin hadn’t met him before; he probably was new meat) commented when he saw the detective staring at the prisoner, “I hear she punched Matsuda so hard she broke his nose. Took him, Teruo and Hiroshi practically throwing themselves on top of her to stop her! And even then she kept struggling until Maeko pulled up her gun and pressed it against her head,” he mimicked the motion with a finger-gun.

“Huh, she did? Really?” The Maeko Shin knew would have fumbled around with her pistol while trembling uncontrollably, maybe even fired it accidentally.

“That she did, sir. And just in time, too. I think that madwoman could’ve broken free if she hadn’t done that,” the guard glanced sidelong to the miko and shuddered, “never seen someone so strong and furious in my whole life, and I’ve been in my fair share of brawls. She’s been real meek after we cuffed her, though. Hasn’t spoken a word or moved a muscle since. It’s actually kind of unnerving.”

The woman had been sitting quietly on her knees, eyes shut and completely still, as tough and immovable as a statue. Meditating, Shin adventured a thought. Even from behind the bars, he could almost feel an aura of strength emanating from her. If what X-suke was telling was the truth, then she could have feasibly been able of ripping the victim’s shoulder off by strength alone… But that was a heavy assumption with zero evidence behind it. No, he’d have to get her to spill the beans before he could start forming an hypothesis. Shin exhaled a breath out of his nose—he had a feeling the woman would be a tough nut to crack.

“I’ll be taking her to the interrogation room,” he told the guard.

“Good luck, sir,” the guard reached for the cell keys, but before he walked to the door, he spun around and whispered low enough to not be heard by the miko, “I’d be careful if I was you. I don’t think those cuffs would stop her from bashing your head in.”

The detective nodded grimly. He really hoped it didn’t come to violence, and not only because he feared for his health. Yukari had told him His intuition told him this woman could very well be the key behind the incident. But first, he had to think about how to approach her interrogation.

[]It would be better if he went straight to the point and asked her directly about her involvement in the murder.
[]He’d attempt to strike a friendly, casual conversation, and earn her trust before throwing questions.
[]He’d pressure her to spill the beans. He’d not be intimidated by the likes of her.
[]He revealed the he knew she was associated with Yukari Yakumo
[]Write-in.


Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/13(Tue)08:00

------------------------------

Sorry, couldn't manage to find the time to do a double update as promised. Tomorrow I should have more free time.
>> No. 67157
[X] It would be better if he went straight to the point and asked her directly about her involvement in the murder.

Not gonna fuck with this Hakurei.
>> No. 67158
[x]It would be better if he went straight to the point and asked her directly about her involvement in the murder.

She overpowered multiple cops just because they were in the way. Does she look like she's into small talk?
>> No. 67159
[x] He revealed the he knew she was associated with Yukari Yakumo

Screw the rules.
>> No. 67160
[x]It would be better if he went straight to the point and asked her directly about her involvement in the murder.

Don't provoke the oni shrine maiden.
>> No. 67163
[x] It would be better if he went straight to the point and asked her directly about her involvement in the murder.
>> No. 67165
File 154212529448.jpg - (173.20KB, 600x600, gehgeaheatheahbq45hh.jpg) [iqdb]
67165
[x]It would be better if he went straight to the point and asked her directly about her involvement in the murder.

The interrogation room was a tiny, barebones cubicle barely three meters wide, with only a simple table and a pair of stools made of aluminium. The undecorated concrete walls and the lack of any lighting besides the desklamp helped make the chamber even more claustrophobic than it already was. Supposedly it was a way to crack the suspect’s reticence to collaborate while maintaining plausible deniability that it just was the way Japanese buildings were made; after all, the police had to have a room to interrogate people and all other rooms simply were being used already for other purposes. In Shin’s experience, most of the times this helped rattle them enough to make them want to get it over as quickly as possible, which lead to them revealing more than they first intended.

Not with this shrine maiden, however. She had been sitting by her lonesome in that room for almost five minutes, and the detective hadn’t seen her move or say anything at all during that time. Whereas most people would already be feeling somewhat anxious or impatient, it all washed over the woman, who stood as a pillar of serenity and stoicism despite being doubly cuffed to the chair and table by the hand and an ankle (“a necessary precaution”, Whateversuke had said). It would not be easy to make her crack, Shin thought, if possible at all. But it was fine by him. Noone had ever matched the detective’s determination to uncover the truth. And he liked a challenge.

The detective took a deep breath, mentally preparing himself for the ordeal. He needed to look professional, organized, confident in front of her—make her see he was the one calling the shots. And do not let her notice his distress over the photo of her he still had on his pocket. Calm. Collected. Professional. There was work to do.

With as much confidence he could manage in his stride, Shin opened the door and took a seat in front of the shrine maiden. Her hazel eyes followed him across the room with only the barest hint of interest.

“Good evening. I am Detective Shin Moto from the First Investigation Division,” he introduced himself. He then pulled the case files from his suitcase and placed it on the table, still closed, “I need to ask you some questions regarding an incident that occurred last night.”

Shin thought he had seen her perk up a little when she heard the word ‘incident’, but it was so slight it might had been her trying to stretch after being still for so long. The detective took out his notebook and pen, ready to write.

“First of all, since you had no identification on your person,” or nothing else for that matter, “the moment of your detainment, we need your name, ID number, date of birth and address before we proceed.”

The shrine maiden stared at Shin for a long moment, in complete silence. Whether she was thinking what to tell him, or whether to answer him in the first place, the detective couldn’t tell. Her stony face was like a closed book under key to him. But eventually, her thin, dry lips slowly parted as she spoke for the first time with a flat, yet assertive tone.

“Chiyo,” she finally responded. Then, after a few seconds, she added: “...Chiyo Hisamura. That’s my name.”

The detective eyed the woman suspiciously. The way she had pronounced it, as if she was not used to say it aloud, and how she said that last sentence like she was reassuring herself, made him almost sure that it was not her real name—likely one she had come up with on the spot, or given by someone else very recently. But it was too soon to contest her lie yet.

“Alright, Miss Hisamura,” he slowly muttered, penning the name down, “your date of birth, please?”

“… Is it absolutely necessary?”

Shin blinked, taken aback for an instant. Who the hell asks that kind of question?

“Er, yes, it is. I must take all your information for the report.”

“I don’t see how my age is relevant to the incident.”

Had she not been cuffed, Shin was sure she would have crossed her arms defiantly. Instead, she opted to glare at him through squinted eyes, daring him to ask her again at his own risk. The detective suppressed the urge to rub his eyes in frustration—Calm. Collected. Professional.—and wrote down his estimation: ”Eighteen? Nineteen? Ah, how time flies...” ‘Somewhere around early twenties.’ If her exact date of birth did become an important clue for the case, he could always ask her later.

“ID? Address?”

“… No address.”

“So you’re homeless?” Shin asked, arching an eyebrow. “You don’t live at a shrine, or a temple, or—“

“No!” Chiyo cut him off, raising her voice. There was a small, sad scowl plastered in her lips for a small moment, before she caught herself and returned to her previous expressionlessness. “No, not anymore.”

As he wrote, thoughts rushed around in Shin’s head. The uniform miss Hisamura sported was too elaborate and worn-off to simply be a disguise, meaning she at least used to work as a priestess at a shrine in the past. If she was unwilling to give her personal data, perhaps he could ask around to find which one she was previously living in. The problem was that Chino, as a town with a centuries-long religious tradition, had more than fifty temples and shrines in the area. With the entirety of the police force occupied with the case, there was no manpower to spare for going to each and every one of them. The detective needed some evidence linking the miko to the murder before they’d acquiesce such a request.

“Hey. Shin, was it?” Chiyo called him.

“Yes?” The detective blinked, suddenly taken out of his contemplation.

“You’re trying to solve the incident too, right?” Shin opened his mouth, but Chiyo didn’t let him respond. “We’re both on the same side. Take these things off me,” she shook her arm, making the cuffs rattle, “and let me do my job, and you won’t have to worry about it anymore.”

Shin could do nothing but stare back at the shrine maiden in consternation. Perhaps more shocking than her outrageous proposition was the fact that there was absolutely no hint of jest or sarcasm in her voice when she said it. The nerve of this woman...

“Sorry, miss, I’m afraid I can’t allow that,” the detective told her, shaking his head, “you haven’t answered my questions yet, and you’re not being exactly cooperative as of now.”

Chiyo let out a long, exasperated sigh—the first openly obvious sign of emotion she had shown yet—and muttered something between her teeth, too low for Shin to hear. Nothing very nice about him, if he had to take a wild guess. The not-so-imperturbable maiden was finally starting to lose her patience.

“Alright, fine!” she grumbled. “So if I answer all your stupid questions, will you let me out?”

[]”That depends on your answers you give me.”
[]”Not until I can confirm you had nothing to do with the murder.”
[]”Need I remind you you barged into the crime scene without authorization and assaulted several officers of the law not a half an hour ago?”
[]”First tell me: Do you know one Yukari Yakumo person?”
[]Write-in.


Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/13(Tue)20:00


-------------------------------------------------------------

I originally planned to have this part split into two, shorter updates, but it didn't flow right so they ended up merged. Next update will be much shorter, to keep with the original plan to do two updates today. Also, don't worry about the very short timer, this choice isn't really that important in the bigger scheme of things.
>> No. 67166
[x]”Not until I can confirm you had nothing to do with the murder.”

Threatening her would just annoy her even further. Keep it cool for now.
>> No. 67167
[X]”Not until I can confirm you had nothing to do with the murder.”
>> No. 67168
[x]”Need I remind you you barged into the crime scene without authorization and assaulted several officers of the law not a half an hour ago?”

I really don't see her being turned loose any time soon.
>> No. 67169
[X]”That depends on your answers you give me.”

I feel like we shouldn't bring up her resisting arrest. She's actually started talking to us and turning the conversation more "hostile" may make her defensive and clam up again.
But she has an implied connection to the murder ("her job" being something that would make it so we "don't have to worry about it"). We just have to find out how and why.
>> No. 67170
[x] ”That depends on your answers you give me.”

wakarimasen lol
>> No. 67172
[x]”Not until I can confirm you had nothing to do with the murder.”

I'm assuming she'll get angry that we're essentially telling her that she's a suspect, but oh well.
>> No. 67174
File 15421479503.jpg - (204.56KB, 728x818, 8b40fc296b4a172c2e39f69c6b3fe77b.jpg) [iqdb]
67174
[x]”Not until I can confirm you had nothing to do with the murder.”

“It’s not that simple, I’m afraid,” the detective said. “I must make sure you weren’t involved in the murder before I can let you go.” Not to mention the charges of trespassing, assault and battery she’ll get after this is over, he added mentally, but decided, perhaps wisely, not to tell her.

“That’s ridiculous!” Chiyo snapped. “Why would I be involved in a murder?”

“You tell me. What was an undocumented, homeless woman doing at a crime scene, punching police officers’ noses left and right?”

“… Investigating the rumours?” The miko answered, head tilted to the side, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

“What rumours?”

“You don’t know? What kind of incident solver are you?” Chiyo shook her head in surprise and disappointment in equal measures. “There’s rumours going around of a youkai on the loose, that attacks any foolish person who dares venture into a dark, solitary alley at night, and eats them alive, leaving nothing but bones.”

Youkai. Just thinking about that word was enough to give Shin a small migraine. Folklore creatures of many different types, responsible for endless mischief ranging from lost objects to disappearances and even killings; running all the gamut of strange, unexplained phenomena. But it was just that, reality folklore. There was no way they...

“Who… who’s spreading those rumours?”

“I heard from a nice old man at one of the ramen carts, but you could ask anyone and they’d tell you the same,” explained the miko. “It’s the talk of this town, from what I gather.”

Just as Shin figured—it was only a reasonable assumption misinformed gossip the elderly had come up with after they saw the news of the murder on TV, exaggerated for drama. Those old coots always loved a good horror story.

“And you believed it was true?” He asked.

“No.” The shrine maiden’s eyes glinted with grim determination. “I know it is true.”

No. No. There was no way. This madwoman was talking nonsense. Shin’s head began to hurt more and more. It’s just a stupid, baseless rumour. Only a human or an animal could have killed that poor sod. There was no place for youkai in the modern, logical world.

And yet...

[]Ridiculous. Youkai don’t exist.
[]…
[]… But what if...


Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/14(Wed)15:00


--------------------------------------------------------------

And we're back on the regular update schedule. And unlike the previous choice, this one is extremely important.
>> No. 67175
[] Ridiculous. Youkai don’t exist.
Because they don't until you start believing in them.
>> No. 67176
[x]…

.
.
.

Ya best start believin' in youkai stories, Mister Moto. 'Cause you're in one.
>> No. 67177
[x] ...but what if...?
>> No. 67179
[X] Ridiculous. Youkai don’t exist.

Because as >>67175 said, unless you start believing, their about as real as the dinosaurs; they existed at one point, but died out long ago.
>> No. 67180
[x]Ridiculous. Youkai don’t exist.

Even if he remembered the dream, he still has no reason to believe in youkai. And even humoring the idea of the supernatural is unseemly for a detective.
>> No. 67181
[x] Ridiculous. Youkai don’t exist.
>> No. 67184
[x]Ridiculous. Youkai don’t exist.

I mean, what's next? Arresting Santa Claus for trespassing?
>> No. 67187
File 154223739282.jpg - (226.91KB, 439x591, 5a3358b9404692eddc0711a8a5802b2f.jpg) [iqdb]
67187
[x] Ridiculous. Youkai don’t exist.

It was ridiculous. The fact that he even considered the possibility of monsters existing was laughable. Why was he letting himself be swayed by this crazy woman? There was only one thing a detective should believe in, and that was cold, hard evidence.

“Youkai don’t exist, Miss Hisamura,” Shin stated coldly. “I don’t know what kind of stories you heard, but they’re just that, stories. They have no basis on reality.”

“That’s exactly the problem!” Exclaimed the shrine maiden. “The more those rumours spread, the truer they become! That’s why I have to find that youkai and exterminate it before it grows more powerful.”

“That logic is completely backwards.” There was no more doubt to the detective’s mind; the woman was delusional. “You’ll have to come up with a better excuse for your transgressions.”

To which the shrine maiden scoffed. “You really don’t get it, do you? And here I thought you were different...”

“Different how?”

“I can see it in you, you know?” Chiyo glared deep into his eyes. “You try to deny it, but a part of you knows. You know there’s a monster hidden in this city. I know it, and so do you.”

“… Nonsense,” Shin averted his eyes, unable to stand the truth her piercing stare.

“You can see, but you close your eyes in fear of what you might find. But the monsters won’t go away just because you’re too stubborn to admit they exist,” Chiyo leaned in closer. “Personally, I don’t really care if you believe or not. But as long as that youkai’s loose, people’s lives will be in danger. If you’re too scared to do your own damn job properly, then let. Me. Go.

She can’t be right, Shin kept telling himself. She was just saying that to rile him up, to convince him to free her so that she could do… whatever the hell she was trying to do back at the murder scene. But he was a professional. He would not let himself be swayed so easily. If only he had some evidence to disprove the miko…

“You ask the impossible, miss,” the detective said, picking up the file from the table. Then he stood up and walked to the door. “We will speak again later, after you sober up in your cell for a while,” and after I get some incriminating evidence on you, he added mentally. “Oh, and next time, I suggest you leave the sleuthing to the professionals.”

Chiyo stared daggers at him, clearly not too pleased with his refusal. But instead of lashing out at him, like Shin expected, she calmly leaned back against her chair and closed her eyes, returning to her previous calmness and impassibility.

“Fine, then. I’ll play by your rules if that’s what you want. I’m sure you’ll come back in no time.”

Not wanting to hear any more of the miko’s spiel, Shin closed the door with a bit more force than it was necessary. He berated himself for letting her get into his skin so easily. Some interrogator I am. He couldn’t get her words out of his head. He could see? See what? What was so scary that it made him close his eyes? The detective shook his head. There was no time to wrack his brain about useless cryptic warnings. There was work to do—pieces of evidence to collect before he could start forming his hypothesis.

[]He visited the morgue to inspect the victim’s body and get a more extensive autopsy.
[]He went to the crime scene to look for any hint the local police might have missed.


Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/15(Thu)17:00


------------------------------------------------

>>67184
B-but the NORAD sets up a hotline and tracks his path every Christmas night! It's true!
>> No. 67189
[x] He went to the crime scene to look for any hint the local police might have missed.
Guess it's probably tainted from the miko poking around, but why not.
>> No. 67190
[X]He went to the crime scene to look for any hint the local police might have missed.
>> No. 67191
[x]He went to the crime scene to look for any hint the local police might have missed.

I think we already have all the info we need on the body.
>> No. 67192
[x]He went to the crime scene to look for any hint the local police might have missed.
>> No. 67193
[x] He went to the crime scene to look for any hint the local police might have missed.

> B-but the NORAD sets up a hotline and tracks his path every Christmas night! It's true!

*lauhs like an exiled, pants-wetting cripple*
>> No. 67195
File 154232231953.jpg - (129.57KB, 500x342, 3842644119_467f2c064a_z.jpg) [iqdb]
67195
[x] He went to the crime scene to look for any hint the local police might have missed.

If he wanted to make any leeway in the investigation, the detective thought, his best option at the moment was to go over the crime scene and inspect it carefully, in case there was some piece of evidence hidden away. In truth, he had been putting it off for too long—hard evidence were the pillars upon which hypothesis were made upon.

“So, uh, how did to go, sir?”

The jailer’s voice surprised Shin, who in his internal monologue had ignored him completely. It looked like the man whose name ended in ‘-suke’—it’d be too awkward to ask what his name is at this point, rued the detective—had been standing guard besides the door all that time, with his hand on his holster, ready to step in if anything went awry.

“Not too good, I’m afraid,” Shin answered, “I have a feeling she knows more than she’s letting on, but she keeps playing dumb. Maybe a day in jail will loosen her tongue.”

“I’ll go put her back in the cell, then.”

“Please do. Oh, by the way,” the detective stopped the guard as he was about to open the door to the interrogation room, “I’m about to go to the crime scene. Is there any car available to borrow for a while?”

“A car? Uh, don’t think so. They’re all on patrol, last I heard. We have a few bikes on the garage, though. …Or you could take the bus, I suppose,” he added when he saw Shin’s grimace. “The line to Honmachinishi passes every half an hour.”

“… I’ll take the bike, then,” Shin sighed in resignation.

It was apparent that not even being promoted to the First Division was enough to spare him a long ride on the notoriously uncomfortable bicycles he remembered dreading back in his days as a lowly officer. With grim resolution and lament for his soon-to-be sore legs and buttocks, Shin made his way to the station’s garage, grabbed the less shabby-looking bike, and pedalled off.

----------------------------------

About fifteen minutes later, the wheezing detective dragged his body and his bike along West Honmachi until he spotted the bright yellow cordon barring entrance to a dark, narrow alleyway. Two guards—a tall, slender man holding a bag of ice against his swollen nose, and a short, bespectacled female that looked familiar to Shin—stood guard at each side of the entrance, eyeing the crowd of reporters and cameramen that had gathered near the crime scene.

The news of Chiyo’s earlier rampage had spread like wildfire, and now it seemed like every single news channel in the country was there, prowling for the next scrap of scoop. The bright yellow tape was doing its job to prevent the journalists from getting too close, but Shin knew from experience that those cameras were rolling all the time, waiting to televise even the tiniest development for their next breaking news segment. His boss wasn’t kidding when he told him the case was a mediatic disaster waiting to blow.

But much to the detective chagrin, the moment he approached the crowd, one of the reporters at the back spotted him, and trotted towards him, microphone in hand and questions in her lips. The rest of the journalists soon followed suit when they saw the rest turning around. It took Shin most of his self-control to stop his displeasure from showing in his face. He had had to speak in front of the cameras multiple times in his career, yet for him it had never become any more bearable. He’d have to tiptoe around them with care.

[]He ignored all of them and pushed his way through the swarm to the cordon.
[]He gave them the usual, non-committal response he had fed the news every other time.
[]He answered some of the questions carefully, in hope they’d be satisfied.


Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/16(Fri)17:00

>> No. 67196
[x]He ignored all of them and pushed his way through the swarm to the cordon.

No comment! No comment!
>> No. 67197
[x]He ignored all of them and pushed his way through the swarm to the cordon.

We cannot at the current time confirm or deny anything other than that the investigation is ongoing.
>> No. 67198
[x] He gave them the usual, non-committal response he had fed the news every other time.

There's nothing special about this case, so it'll be handled the usual way.
>> No. 67199
[x] He ignored all of them and pushed his way through the swarm to the cordon.
Should have presented the miko with katsudon. That would have got her talking.
>> No. 67200
[x]He gave them the usual, non-committal response he had fed the news every other time.

Maybe we'll get an idea about the rumours going on in the area. He can also just ignore the specific questions.
>> No. 67201
[x] He gave them the usual, non-committal response he had fed the news every other time.

Giving too much or nothing at all will just feed into the superstitious nonsense.
>> No. 67209
File 154240850892.jpg - (747.32KB, 2000x1333, 1_uRasB58bT3ZKLg6eXDHYjg.jpg) [iqdb]
67209
[x]He ignored all of them and pushed his way through the swarm to the cordon.

When dealing with gossip-hungry journalists, the moment the detective gave them even the tiniest morsel of information, they’d all pounce on him like hyenas, ready to tear and misconstrue whatever carefully prepared reply he gave them. That had been how it usually went in Shin’s experience, and he didn’t want another repeat.

The tide of microphones and cameras quickly surrounded him, all vying to get a good shot of his face and voice. The shouted questions piled up on top of each other into a deafening cacophony.

“Are you in charge of the investigation, mister?”
“Have you found any leads yet?”
“Is the murderer still at large?”
“Can you confirm the victim was part of the delinquent gang?”
“Was the woman that intruded in the scene incarcerated?

“NPA, clear the way!” Shin shouted, raising his badge above for all to see, while pushing people away with the other.

It took him the good part of a minute to squeeze his way through—bicycle in tow—and reach the cordoned alley, all the while trying his hardest to not make eye contact with any camera. The crowd stopped harassing him once he stepped past the yellow tape, but they did not stop throwing questions his way. Fed up with them, the detective stepped away, into the alleyway, until the voices became a bearable drone in the distance.

The crime scene proper lied just at the end of the alley; a narrow passage connecting the running between the shoulders of two apartment buildings. At some point during the city’s renovation of its infrastructure, it ceased to be used as a secondary street, and only a few dumpsters and electrical boxes filled the space between the edifices. The apartment buildings crowding it on either side kept sunlight out year-round. Shadowy and oppressive, it was the perfect—and clichéd, Shin judged—scenery for a murder.

“Sir, you okay?”

The detective turned around at the brittle female voice, surprised anyone actually showed concern for him. He instantly recognized the short, spirited woman with pep in her step, and those huge round glasses she had always worn ever since he first met her at the academy.

“… Maeko?”

“Uh!?” She jolted in her feet, clearly not expecting to be called by her first name. Her jet black hair, rolled up in a tight bun on top of her round head, bounced as if reflecting its owner’s shock. “Y-yes, that’s me, officer Maeko Michizoe, at your serv—wait, Shin-chan!? Is that really you?”

“It’s good to see you again, Mae,” the detective could not stop himself from smiling warmly—I almost forgot how it felt—at his old colleague.

“Ha! I can’t believe it! Where have you been all this time!?”

Maeko lunged towards him, intent on wrapping her short arms around him and bear crush him with her surprising strength, just like she used to do, but Shin stopped her with a palm in front of her face. The woman titled her head in confusion, until she noticed the detective eyeing at the crowd of journalists behind them. Shamefaced, she stepped back meekly, the faint blush in her puffy cheeks barely noticeable in the dark.

“Right, uh… So!” But soon she regained her usual liveliness, and went on like nothing happened. “You finally became a full fledged detective, just like you always wanted, eh?”

“You’re not doing too badly yourself from what I see,” he retorted, “I’ve heard you’ve been busy lately, dealing with dead bodies and rampant shrine maidens.”

“Har har. Well, someone had to pick up the slack and deal with all the weird stuff after you left, yeah?”

“Yeah yeah, truly sorry about that,” the two shared a knowing chuckle, remembering how they used to trade barbs all those years ago. “Listen, Maeko, I’d love to catch up with you, but duty calls, so...”

“Oh. Yeah. Of course,” a pained grimace graced the woman’s lips. “It’s some nasty business, alright. I guess you’ll want to take a look at the scene. Just holler at me if you need my help, okay?”

Shin glanced at the alleyway. The local police had already scoured through the scene and took the evidence to the morgue, but there was the possibility that they might have missed something. On the other hand, the detective recalled superintendent Murai saying that Maeko was the one who first found the body. Perhaps asking her if she remembered something unusual could point him in the right direction.

[]He decided to examine the crime scene by himself, looking for hidden evidence.
[]He enlisted Maeko’s help to recreate how the murder happened.
[]He questioned Maeko about certain details about the case.


Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/17(Sat)10:00


----------------------------------------------

Sorry for the short timer again. Turns out I have weekend shift again. Next update will also be shorter because of it, so apologies in advance.
>> No. 67210
[x]He enlisted Maeko’s help to recreate how the murder happened.
>> No. 67211
[x] He questioned Maeko about certain details about the case.
Might as well go with this since, y'know.
>> No. 67212
[x]He questioned Maeko about certain details about the case.
>> No. 67213
[X]He questioned Maeko about certain details about the case.

This murder doesn't feel like it was elaborate enough to require a recreation. Having someone to ask about any details or irregularities we might find would be good though.
>> No. 67215
[x]He questioned Maeko about certain details about the case.
>> No. 67216
[X]He questioned Maeko about certain details about the case.

“Actually, I want to ask you some questions about the case.”

Maeko, who had already started to walk back to the cordon, stopped right in her tracks with her foot already raised, and spun around on her other leg.

“Wha, already? Okay, fire away, then!”

“According to Chief Egawa, you were the first person who found the body, correct?”

“Yup, that was me. I even did a report on it and everything,” Maeko puffed her modest chest proudly. “I even took extra care to make it ‘clear and concise’ for the big shots at the capital! You must’ve read it too, right?”

“Yeah, except you didn’t put your name on it.”

“… I didn’t? Aw shucks, I forgot again, didn’t I?” And she deflated just as quickly. “Normally it’s fine because everyone at the station knows my handwriting, although I always get chewed out for—“

“It’s fine, it’s fine,” Shin cut her off, “rather, I want to get your opinion on this, if you’ve seen anything out of the ordinary, that kind of thing.”

“Out of the ordinary? I dunno, a dead body in an alleyway’s already pretty unordinary in this town, if you ask me,” Maeko scratched her temple, “and this is the first time I’ve seen a murder in real life. I have no idea what counts as ‘out of the ordinary’.”

The detective had figured as much. Such a gruesome murder in a small, idyllic town like Chino must have had shocked everyone, accustomed to a quiet life as they had been. If he wanted to get some details out of the officer, he’d have to be more specific.

[]”You found the body in your morning patrol, but the murder happened at 10 last night. Is it really possible that noone heard or saw anything before you?”
[]”The victim appeared to be a mugger. Are there any gangs active in this area? And if he belonged to any of them, how come there there were no other members around?”
[]”Do you think it could have been a monster, like the rumours say?”
[]Write-in.


Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/18(Sun)09:00

>> No. 67217
[X]”Do you think it could have been a monster, like the rumours say?”

BELIEVE
>> No. 67218
[x] ”The victim appeared to be a mugger. Are there any gangs active in this area? And if he belonged to any of them, how come there there were no other members around?”
in b4 the whole thing becomes a closed-room puzzle
>> No. 67219
[x]”You found the body in your morning patrol, but the murder happened at 10 last night. Is it really possible that noone heard or saw anything before you?”

I think it's at least probable that someone could've seen something but not have reported it.
>> No. 67220
[x]”The victim appeared to be a mugger. Are there any gangs active in this area? And if he belonged to any of them, how come there there were no other members around?”

I don't think the other choice would give us a lead other than there MIGHT be a witness.
>> No. 67221
File 154247720380.jpg - (112.29KB, 724x1024, 71azht1WUpL__SL1024_.jpg) [iqdb]
67221
[X]”Do you think it could have been a monster, like the rumours say?”

This will slowly turn into X-Files now.
>> No. 67222
[x]”The victim appeared to be a mugger. Are there any gangs active in this area? And if he belonged to any of them, how come there there were no other members around?”

Nononono. Don't fall for it.
Because if it was true, shit would hit the fan.
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