Four days passed quickly as Rose awaited what Gratia would do. Her excitement couldn’t help with her stamina as she pushed herself too hard to get to Hitomi’s house. The spring air was beginning to get hot and today in particular seemed beaming. However no amount of sunlight beating down on her would stop her from getting to her destination. She didn’t even wait to knock on the door as she stumbled into the house. However what she saw as she turned the corner was just as taxing on her cognition. The scene was like something out of a dream. The first thing her eyes focused on was the nearly entirely red woman standing with a hat covering as much of her face as she could. Her clothes were so stereotypically european that she stood out even more than usual. Next to her on either side was the rest of her family. They were laughing so hard that they could even greet her properly. “Am I… interrupting something?” Hitomi took a deep breath to stop herself from laughing to answer Rose.
“Sorry, this morning has been quite something. As you can see. It’s ok to sit down, we are almost done, right mom?”
“You two are terrible for enjoying this.”
“Oh don’t say that dear. This suits you!”
“While I appreciate the attempt I’m still not enjoying this!” Mrs. Kagami was desperately yelling as quietly as she could. “G-Good morning Rose, it is I, Detective Kagami. Forgive my speech for I am obligated to do so.” She did her best, but in the end went back to sulking behind her hat.
“Ummm.” Rose raised her hand. She wasn’t sure what to do in a situation as absurd as this so she defaulted to her school manners. Luckily Seto could understand her blight and played along with her.
“What’s going on?”
“A wonderful question.”
“I’ll explain it.” Mrs. Kagami spoke up, clearing her throat. “Around four days ago you and my daughter made a deal with that devilish god of chance. As a payment she left no option than for me to play a role that she would find hilarious. I other words, the payment is my suffering for her amusement.” Once again she used an unfamiliar cadence in her voice that made her sound more professional. “That role is of legendary fictional detective Sherlock Holmes.”
“Oh I know who that is! But I’ve never actually read any of the books.”
“I read them a long time ago myself. I’m having Seto help me out with the role, but he just laughs every time I do something.”
“Guilty as charged. So I had Hitomi come down to help and well, you saw how well that went.”
“Aren’t you a real detective though? This should be easy!”
“I thought so too!”
“She’s been doing a great job. It’s just that it’s so out of character. It makes her look like a little kid.”
“Hey! I’m still pretty young you know. Right Seto?!”
“Of course. As young as when I first met you.”
“A-Ahem. Quite the sweet talker you are. Maybe you’d like to join us on our outing today?”
“Why not Mr.Kagami?”
“Oh well you see… I mean I guess I could handle it. But I’m not very talkative when I’m out.”
“Come on it’ll be fun!”
“Yeah dad, you haven’t gotten any sunlight recently.”
“Yeah Seto, what they said.”
“Fine. Fine, I’ll go get dressed in something a little more appropriate.” He was reluctant in accepting the offer but the smile on his face showed he was glad he could go along. Meanwhile Mrs. Kagami continued to practice while Rose and Hitomi caught up.
“You need some help with the weekend homework? Take out your notebook I’ll help you out.”
“Thanks. You are a lifesaver. I spent a few hours trying to get this right but I’m pretty sure it’s still wrong.”
“Based on what I can see you understand the concept, I’m sure you just made a small mistake.” Rose took out her notebook and opened it to the page she was looking at for the majority of the night. Hitomi took one look at it and nodded her head. “I see. Rose, you know you can use a new page if you need to, right?”
“I don’t like having to cross out all my work. But why?”
“Right here, the number is suppose to be eighteen but you wrote over it so many times that it looks like a ten.”
“How did you notice that right away?!” Rose took her notebook back, redoing the rest of the problem now that she knew what was wrong.
“I just did the homework myself last night. I don’t know what time we’ll be back so I felt it was better to get it done early.” Rose wanted to respond immediately, but she was too focused on making sure she was right this time.
“There we go. That looks right.”
“It does indeed. Have you tried using loose leaf paper before putting things in your notebook? That’s how I keep mine so clean.”
“I feel like I’m wasting paper when I do that. Maybe for these harder problems that’s a better idea. Thanks for the help. Are you ready for the quiz on thursday?”
“I need to go over a few things, but I’m pretty prepared. Let’s not think about school too much today. We have a role to play today too.”
“What? We do?”
“If my mom is going to be Sherlock Holmes, then that would make us Watson.”
“I don’t think I can be this Watson, but ok. What do I need to do?”
“Dad will show you. He might not seem like it but I’m sure he’ll take this seriously.”
“What does that mean?” Rose didn’t even know who Watson was. On top of that, the last person she’d expect to play a role like what Mrs. Kagami was her husband. He was like Hitomi with how shy he was.
“Oh I wouldn’t worry about that.” As if on cue Seto appeared wearing fairly formal wear. A fancy vest with a short dress shirt beneath it. Standing next to Mrs. Kagami he matched perfectly.
“Seems I picked well. I shall be your Watson dear, with our little watsons here.”
“Why must you make things harder for me?”
“Because if the situation was reversed you wouldn’t give me any mercy.”
“Yeah… I wouldn’t. Alright, well, you look dashing. And I’m sure things will be easier with both you and Hitomi helping out. Rose, you too will be helpful of course.”
“I’ll do my best at whatever I need to do! Umm, what am I supposed to do? I’m still really confused.”
“It’s quite simple little Rose. I, Sherlock Holmes, and my Watson will handle the hard deductive reasoning while you and Hitomi do what we cannot. Kids have a lot more freedom compared to us adults. And Hitomi is very shy.”
“Oh! I see. Leave it to me!” Rose was still a little shaky on what was going on but she was caught in a spur from the character Mrs. Kagami was playing and the prospect of being helpful. Hitomi also had an air of energy around her that helped calm Rose down about her lack of knowledge. Their target today was located at the amusement park on the border between this town and the next. It was quite far away, but the time flew by as the four of them fooled around for the entire trip. Despite it being a weekend, the amusement park was pretty empty due to just how hot it was outside. “It’s so nice out!”
“I should have worn something lighter.” Both Hitomi and Seto said at the same time. Mrs. Kagami had it worse as she was in multiple layers of thick fabric. Despite this, she was the most enthusiastic behind Rose.
“Alright Watson and mini-Watsons, someone write down everything we do. It would be unfortunate to backtrack.”
“We’ll handle that mo- Mr. Holmes.”
“That’s Mrs. Holmes to you.”
“ Right. Rose and I need to write something down for our social studies project anyway.”
“But neither of us brought our notebooks.”
“That’s where Watson comes to the rescue. Here, I always carry a few notepads with me just incase I go out and get struck by inspiration. You can keep it Rose, I rarely go outside enough to justify owning as many of these as I do.” Seto handed them small notepads with no more than thirty pages. Each had a small pencil in the spiral wire that held the paper together. Rose wasn’t sure why, but holding the notebook made her feel like she was a real detective going to investigate.
“Ok, now what?” Rose looked around, but the barren parking lot left little to work with.
“We shouldn’t rush things. First thing to do is enter the park properly. Allow me to take the lead.”
“You are better suited for talking anyway.”
“Enough sass from Waston. Here we go.” With the utmost confidence she walked up to the only open booth to buy tickets. “Excuse me, I am Detective Kagami of the International Criminal Police Organization Tokyo branch.”
“Do you have a badge?”
“Right here.” She took out a small blue card and showed it through the glass.
“I mean look at what you are wearing. What detective would actually wear that? Plus I wasn’t given any phone call about the NPA sending over someone.” Mrs. Kagami was actually so shocked by such a sound denial that she retreated back to her family.
“All my life work thrown into question because of this stupid outfit. What kinda cruel joke is this?”
“A fairly good one if I may be objective.” Seto straightened his vest as he took a step forward. “You bought enough time, allow me.”
“But I thought you didn’t like talking?” Rose was confused by the cool and composed aura that Seto had as he offered to talk.
“I guess you could say that between the two of us, I’m the more persuasive.” Rose felt a sinister power from his upper chest. She immediately identified that location as where the third eye was located. “Forgive me for my wife’s outburst. It’s true that she has no warrant to enter here, but there is a reason.”
“Oh, and what is it?” The clerk was clearly not having any of what he was trying to say but Seto was the one in control of the conversation.
“She is currently undercover. Why else would she bring her family along? The outfit may indeed look like an old fashion detective outfit, but that was only to remove suspicion from her even further. She wasn’t able to get any warrant as she couldn’t risk people finding out before we catch the target.” Seto answered each question before it was asked so smoothly it was as if he had all this information before he even began talking. “You are the only one we cleared to be safe to identify ourselves to without fear of you being an accomplice.”
“And how would you know that?”
“She is part of Interpol, her resources figured out the target was going to be here on this day, figuring out who you are would be no problem, Tsubasa Ueda.” Just like that, the man’s eyes opened wide.
“Holy… ok, you guys can go in. Sorry about the hold up.”
“Think nothing of it, it is better to make sure someone isn’t trying to get in for free.” With that last coy remark Seto motioned for the family to move forward. The clerk gave each of them a red bracelet. Before walking into the park proper he apologized to Mrs. Kagami. With entry out of the way, Rose took in the park with explosive excitement.
“Look at all the rides! Are we going to ride them all? Are we going to play those games? What about the food?”
“Rose, why did we come here?”
“To find- oh right. We can still go on a few rides right? To blend in.” Rose took a page from the story that Seto used earlier. Hitomi smiled in response.
“Right. To blend in. Which one do you want to go on?”
“You already know the answer to that.”
“I don’t like the answer to that try again.” Rose wanted the adrenaline. The most scary looking thing was her target. A giant skydrop that you could hear the screams from all the way at the entrance. Despite this Rose knew that Hitomi was the exact opposite. She would rather take something with less thrill. It wasn’t that she didn’t like the more intense rides, but that she didn’t like how they made her scream. Rose took all of this into consideration as time passed around her.
“How about the wooden coaster? It’s not really that scary.”
“That thing has been around since I was a kid.” Seto said as he looked into the distance at the rickety old machine. “They touch it up every so often so I’m sure it’s safe, but it gives me the chills.”
“Oh come on it was fun last time we went on it. It’ll also give us a vantage point.” She almost broke character but brought it back as soon as it seemed to wade. “Even if the park is barran it covers a large area. Identifying the location of everyone present would be a valuable piece of information.”
“Yeah let’s go with that! Come on come on! Lets go.”
“Ah, don’t pull me along.” Even if she complained, Hitomi was keeping up with Rose easily. The adults followed right behind them at a safe distance. Before they could even get there Rose had to slow down.
“I underestimated how far away this was. You win this time, coaster.”
“I don’t think it cares if it won or not. You need to rest?”
“No, I just can’t run. On the plus side, I’ve been paying close attention to what’s around us.”
“So you have. I would say write it down while we are in line, but there isn’t one.” Hitomi gave off alight laugh as they approached the empty rope lines.The two of them just ducked under them since there was no line. Mrs. Kagami followed suit, but Seto went around normally. There was an incredibly bored college student who just motioned for them to move forward. They didn’t even bother checking for a pass as the four of them boarded the ride, with a few others that were currently on it returning for round two. The ride only lasted for a couple of minutes, but Rose more than satisfied with the experience. Hitomi meanwhile was struggling to walk. “This was a bad idea.”
“Oh come on, it wasn’t that bad! I was actually a bit disappointed by how slow it felt.”
“You take too much after Gratia. I agree though I remember it going faster last time.”
“A thrill seeker just as much as Rose. Need help getting the hang of things Hitomi?”
“I’m good dad. Just give me a minute.”
“Well, I can’t say I’m unfazed but your mother has conditioned me to at least be unaffected by this much. How did the search go?”
“Five near the entrance, although there were a few building that obstructed sight lines. In the northern section of the park I saw four families of three, six, three, and four. The southern half was mostly obstructed but given the density of rides I’d say that oh best bet is there. The northern section was mostly large attractions for group activity. As I said earlier, it seemed like mostly families were there. On the other hand those carnival games are more suited to teens and smaller groups. Given what I know of who we are trying to find, this is the most likely place to find them.” For the first time Rose got to see Mrs. Kagami actually do her job. She was starstruck by how much she managed to take in while yelling on the ride.
“Well done. As observant as ever.”
“It’s elementary Watson. Someone as experienced as me needs to be able to notice these things with their eyes closed.”
“You could have seen all of that with your eyes closed?!”
“Sorry Rose, that was just an expression. But hopefully you see why I’m so busy all the time. Let’s not waste this opportunity. From here on out I’m going to need you to keep very detailed track of where we move.”
“I don’t know about the detail but I’ll do my best! Hitomi you can handle the details right?”
“Yeah I knew I’d have to.” Now fully recovered Hitomi took out the small notepad she was given and began to sketch right away where they were located and how they moved. “It’s going to take me more time to do this, so make sure you don’t slack Rose.”
“I’m not going to slack. Lead the way Mrs. Kagami!”
“That’s Holmes to you.” With that line they began moving south. Mrs. Kagami’s observations were spot on. There were a few groups around them, but they were mixtures of ages rather than a typical family composition. However Rose realized something as she looked over them.
“Umm, what does Yuuna Yamashita look like?”
“I have a decent guess, but her father only had an image of her from when he died.”
“Allow me.” Seto took the notebook from her daughter and began sketching something. He worked quickly and handed the notebook to Mrs. Kagami. “Here you are Holmes.”
“Thanks Watson. Let’s see. Yes… I don’t see anyone like this here but this is but a small sample. Let us walk around and play a few games to cycle through people. Feel free to play anything, I don’t think money is an issue.”
“Hmmm.. what looks the most fun?”
“Most of them are rigged against us. At least that’s what I’ve read.”
“That’s right, they are rigged, but like all things you can stack things in your favor. Speaking of which, aren’t we banned from playing this games?” Seto look at his wife, who shrugged it off.
“I doubt they actually went through with that. Just in case let’s stay a bit back.”
“What did you do to get banned?” Rose was curious, but the two of them couldn’t figure out the words to explain it.
“If you win too much they don’t want you to play anymore. You are supposed to lose more than you win so they make money.” Hitomi explained it while leaving out the details, but Rose didn’t mind. She was more worried about how she could stack the odds in her favor. She wasn’t very dexterous. She wasn’t strong either. As such, she left things to the one thing she knew she could rely on.
“That one!” She picked a game at complete random. She wasn’t nearly as lucky as her mother but it was better than relying on things she didn’t have.
“I can tell you picked that at random. Well, that’s fine. It’s a ring toss game.”
“It is?” Rose couldn’t tell from her first glance at it but it seemed like Hitomi was right. There was dozens of bottles lined up next to each other and a stack of rings on a wooden rails that surrounded them on each side. “Those rings don’t look very big.”
“That’s the point. The goal is to keep the rings flat so that you can get it around the bottle neck but it’s harder than it looks. Probably. I’ve never done it myself.”
“It’s much harder than it looks. While the bottles look close together, they are actually separated by a space a little bigger than the ring so that you can just miss completely. It really is a game stacked against the one playing.” Mrs. Kagami chimed in as she took out a small wallet. “Here, for you two. We are going to watch, just in case.”
“Ok!” Rose took the two bills and walked over to the more than aged man who ran the stall. “Umm, we want to play! Here.” Rose placed the bills down on the rail. The man took them and pushed two stacks of rings towards them.
“Five tosses, two or more gets you a prize.”
“Oh blessed god of luck, grant me your power as I leave the outcome to you.” Rose said a small but meaningless prayer to her mother before grabbing all five rings and throwing them all at once. Hitomi just watched in shock as the rings scattered around the bottles. Rose watched each ring closely and jumped with joy as two of the five managed to miraculously managed to snag themselves on the neck of the bottles. “Let’s do that again!”
“I would quit while you are ahead.” Hitomi took her time throwing the five rings, but despite her best efforts she wasn’t able to get a single one to land. “Luck is a truly scary thing.”
“Indeed. Here, take one.” They were just small plush animals but she took one as if it were one of the larger ones that hung from above.
“This time I’m the one with a prize.”
“Congratulations. These games really do play on what you expect to happen. Even trying I couldn’t get a single one.”
“I figured I wouldn’t be able to do it so I just threw them all. I was pretty happy seeing them fly through the air.”
“It was spectacular in it’s own way.”
“Are you two going to play again or are you going to just stand there?” Hitomi hid behind Rose instinctively. Rose protected her in an equally unconscious action.
“Sorry, we’ll get going. Come on Hitomi.” Rose brought Hitomi back to her parents, who had spent the time they had spent playing to question the other stall owners.
“I see that the god of luck smiled on you Rose. On us too it seems. I have tracked how out target has moved and produced a path they are taking. May I see one of your notepads?” Rose handed over her notebook. Mrs. Kagami took the pencil and began sketching out the movements. “Here. As you can see, we were on the right track. In fact, if we wait for a few moments they should be walking out of that building right there.” Rose and Hitomi looked at the building. It seemed very strange, as if the outside was plated with mirrors. “It’s a house of mirrors. A maze of sorts that uses glass and mirrors to mess with where you are. Like all other mazes simply keeping to one side will get you out, but keeping track of things is even more difficult. And this is my cue.” A group of students exited the building laughing with each other. “Rose, wait over there, I’m going to separate the target so we can talk without worry.”
“Okay!” Rose ran off in the direction she was told. She soon realized that ‘over there’ was about as bad instructions as someone could give. She turned around and watched as Mrs. Kagami once again acted professional.
“Excuse me, would you happen to be Yuuna Yamashita?”
“I’m Detective Kagami of Interpol Tokyo. May I take a moment of your time.” It was clear that this girl was both confused and scared, but thanks to that she was much more willing to listen to her. “This will just take a moment.” As soon as Mrs. Kagami saw where Rose was, she sighed and walked over to her regardless. “Ms. Yamashita, this is Rose Edith of the Edith Shrine.”
“Hello. Umm… Are you doing ok?”
“Mostly. Is that part of the investigation?”
“Kinda.” Rose was doing her best to not sound awkward, but as a result ended up unsure on what to say.
“Ms. Edith here was the one who employed me to find you. You aren’t in any trouble.”
“Oh thank god.” Now that she knew she wasn’t on the chopping block she lowered her guard, which helped Rose calm down as well.
“I know this is really late, but I’m sorry about your father dying three years ago.”
“It’s only been three years? Sorry, I shouldn’t be sulking about it anymore.”
“Please take this. I’m sure your father would want you to have it.” Rose took out a talisman she had hidden and handed it over to her. “This brings good luck. I think the charm works until you are an adult. You place it in the room you sleep in. Hopefully nothing bad happens to you again.”
“Thanks.” She took the talisman and took a look at it. “Wow this is elaborate.”
“I made it myself. It took around three days. Don’t go losing it now.”
“Haha, I won’t. Good luck huh? Some of that would be nice.” With her promise fulfilled, Rose motioned to Mrs. Kagami that she was done.
“Thank you for your time. You can return to your day of fun now.”
“Alright. Bye Rose. Bye Detective.” The girl walked back to her group of friends, leave Rose and Mrs. Kagami to return back to Seto and Hitomi.
“Seems like the job is done. Well done.” Seto and Hitomi clapped in unison.
“Seto, given what we know of their path, you should have detected them as soon as we entered the park.”
“Come now, the Watson isn’t suppose to solve the case. Plus I have my hand tied not having a panic attack.”
“Fine. I’ve upheld my end of the bargain Gratia. Let’s have a bit more fun here before we leave. It’d be a waste to get in here for free and not ride as much as possible. With reason.” Mrs. Kagami made sure to cater to Hitomi’s weaker stomach. The rest of the day was much more carefree. With their promise done, the two of them finished one task and would move onto the next. That is, if something would pop up.