It’s nearly the end of last period, and I’m busy shading in my picture of Ryuk devouring an unrealistically giant apple. Still, for how odd he looks, this picture makes him seem almost… cute? No, that’s not quite the word, maybe a bit silly.
I’m only vaguely paying attention to the teacher as he reads out of his book, “He found himself overwhelmed with happiness and satisfaction, knowing that, at long last, his dream had finally come true.” I only tune in slightly more at his next sentence. “Alright then. Yagami? Please recite this line for us.”
Light stands up, saying, “Sure.” Grabbing his book, he reads, “Having finally made his dream a reality, he was overwhelmed. Both by the magnitude of his achievement, and by the joy and happiness that it brought him.” He sits down again.
“That was very well done. But I'm not surprised, of course. Absolutely flawless.” The teacher compliments. “Well then, we'll leave it at that for today.”
The other students groan and stand up, talking to one another. I gather up my books and drawings before making my way to the door. I hear Ryuk behind me, saying, “I thought it'd never end. How do you do this every day? It's so boring here.” Evidently, he followed Light to school. I ignore him when I leave, as does Light. “Hey, where're you going?”
Once outside, Ryuk tries to talk to Light again. “Hey, Light, are you listening to me?”
I roll my eyes, as Light explains, “Don't talk to me in public. Unlike you, people can still hear me when I talk out loud. The same goes for Mirai-chan.”
Ryuk looks away, as if snubbed. “Hmph.” Truth be told, he kind of is. “Well, aren't you boring.”
Almost outside, a couple of guys walk up to Light. “Hey, what's up, Light?” One of them asks him. “We were just going to head down to the-”
“Sorry, I'm a little busy today.” Light cuts him off, not even letting him finish his offer.
“Well, that was rude.” I mumble under my breath while walking by them, accidentally catching their attention.
The one who was talking before blushes. “Oh, hey, Tsukino-san!” He says, rubbing the back of his head.
I smile politely, and nod at him. “Good afternoon.” Before walking right on by.
Ryuk hangs back a bit, probably to talk to me. “So, you’re popular with the boys?”
I smirk, looking down, and whisper quietly, “Not exactly. I don’t have too many friends, and I don’t exactly converse with people who have a lower IQ than me. It gives me an air of mystery, and I suppose some people like that.” I turn off the street, heading home.
Once within the safety of my room, I lock the door, change into some street clothes, and flop down on my bed, quickly finishing my homework. I then pull out my laptop, searching up “Kira”. Dozens of websites have popped up, telling the “Legend of Kira the Savior”, Kira being derived from the English word killer. Obviously, that’s what the public’s decided to name Light and I, though it seems like they’ve assumed Kira to be one person.
I’m about to keep website hopping, when Light texts me. Pulling out my phone, I read, “Meet me in the ivy covered building by the river in 30 min”.
Raising an eyebrow, I grab my evening jacket and shoes, and head out.
Upon reaching said building, I sneak inside silently, following the sounds of two male voices; Light’s and Ryuk’s. I silently creep into the room that they’re in, before intentionally kicking a rock in order to alert them to my presence. They both turn to me, and Light nods, acknowledging me, a gesture which I return.
“What are we doing here anyway?” Ryuk complains. “I don't understand why we're sneaking around this dump. Tell me.”
Light returns to organizing the bottles he’d brought with him. “Isn't it obvious? Anyone who touches the Death Note will be able to see you. I can't afford to carry something this dangerous with me anymore.” He takes one of the bottles, and unscrews the cap. “Up until now, I thought that if my family ever saw the notebook, I can tell them I was keeping records of various criminals in preparation for becoming a detective one day. But I'm walking a very fine line right now. I don't want to think about it, but if we make one mistake, I might end up having to kill my own family.” At this, he pours the bottle’s contents into the tray, which immediately ignites.
The three of us just stare into the fire for a few minutes, before I pipe up. “Is there a reason to my being here? All I’ve done is stand off to the side silently.”
Light looks up at me. “I just felt it appropriate that you be here.” He gathers the things he had brought, and stands up. “Don’t forget, we have a ‘tutoring session’ in about forty-five minutes.”
I smirk as he walks past me, “How could I forget? I’ll see you then, Light-kun.”
He nods. “See you then.”
I hurry back to my house, grabbing my book bag and a couple apples, before leaving again.
Back at the Yagami’s house, Sayu opens the door. “Oh, Mirai-senpai. You’re still here for Light? I honestly don’t know what you see in him.” She teases, turning away.
“Two words, Sayu-chan.” I play along. “He’s. Hot.” I say, holding up a finger for each word. She shivers in disgust, and I laugh at her reaction. “You know I’m kidding. Light-kun and I are just friends.”
She walks back to the living room, and looking over her shoulder at me, she says, “Yeah. For now.” She smirks, while I roll my eyes. “You know where Light-kun is, hiding up in his room.”
I nod, before heading upstairs to Light’s room, doing the knock, and entering without a response.
Both Light and Ryuk look over to me, before returning to whatever they’d been doing before I’d entered. “So, does that mean you were able to hide the notebook?” Ryuk asks Light.
Light leaned back in his seat. “Yeah. I hid it right here in this drawer.”
“But it doesn't seem to be particularly well hidden.” Ryuk complains. “You left the key in the lock.”
“And that's the whole point. I intentionally left the key in the most noticeable place I could think of.” Light leans forward to open the drawer, revealing a brown book labelled, ‘Diary’. I walk over to get a better look.
“Isn't that just a regular diary?” Ryuk asks, clearly confused.
“That's what it is.” Light looks up from the opened drawer to look at Ryuk. “I'm guessing that once most people find the diary inside my desk, that'll probably satisfy their curiosity. But,” He reaches over the desk to grab a pen from a can full of them, “the real key is this. Just an everyday item you'd expect to find lying around on my desk.” He starts to unscrew the top, taking out the ink cartridge. “A regular ball-point pen, and all I need is this part.”
“So that's the key?” Ryuk asks, incredulously.
“Yeah.” Light takes the diary out of the drawer. “If you look closely, you'll find there's a small hole underneath the drawer. Then you just insert this…” He says, pushing the ink cartridge through some hole, making the-apparently false-bottom of the drawer lift.
“Ah, a fake bottom. The diary will distract most people so I doubt anyone will find it.” Ryuk concludes.
“But that’s not all.” Light adds. “Even if someone figures out there's a fake base,” Light holds up the Death Note. “I've set things up so that there's no way they could get their hands on the notebook.” He lifts up the fake base to show us. “You see, once the ink reservoir is inserted, it accesses an insulator, preventing the flow of electricity around this circuit. When the fake base of the drawer is put back, this piece of rubber also prevents the flow of electricity. However, if someone were to try and force the bottom of the drawer open, the circuit would connect, and now would ignite the gasoline contained in this thin plastic casing, instantly setting the notebook on fire. The way I’ve got it set up, all the evidence will be completely destroyed.” He points out the different parts as he explains them. “If I'm ever questioned, I'd say that I was hiding the real diary, because I didn't want anyone to see it. It sounds like a pretty believable excuse. I mean, it is my diary after all.” He explains, leaning his head on his hand.
Ryuk looks at Light, clearly impressed. “I've heard of humans finding Death Notes in the past and typically the biggest problem they had was finding a good place to hide it. But you, Light, you're probably the first to have given it this much thought.” The Shinigami looks back at the drawer. “Though, it's a pretty risky setup from the look of it. If you make even the slightest mistake, you could be badly burned.”
Light looks back to Ryuk, “Risky? You say the strangest thing sometimes, Ryuk. This whole thing has been a risk since the very beginning, from the moment I obtained the Death Note. I'm sorry, but compared to that, this doesn't even qualify as a risk to me.” He smiles. “In fact, it actually protects me.” He leans back in his chair, both arms behind his head. “It all comes down to a choice: would I prefer to be executed, or deal with a little house fire?”
I smile, and finally speak. “Very clever setup, Light-kun. Risky? Yes, but it will serve our purposes well.” I go to sit on the edge of him bed, tossing Ryuk an apple when I pass him. Upon sitting down, I ask, “So, who’re we judging tonight?”
Light smirks, and turns back to the notebook. “Shall we get started?”
Over an hour of writing names later, I bring up a topic I’d been brooding on for a few days. “The police are bound to realize that someone’s killing off these criminals, sooner more likely, as opposed to later.”
Light looks over at me, one eyebrow raised. “Well, yeah, we’ve known about that for a while. Why bring it up now?”
I wrap my left arm around my midsection, my right hand squeezing my upper lip between my thumb and forefinger: my thinking pose. “When they find out, it’s not likely that they’ll side with us, as they’re used to their way of life. Therefore, they’re going to try and come after us. With the way the Death Note works, the death is untraceable. So the only way that the police would be able to find us would be if we make a mistake.”
Light faces me fully, almost offended. “Are you saying we’ve made a mistake?”
I shake my head, letting my arms fall to my sides. “I’m saying that we can’t afford to make a mistake. If we have one misstep, they could be at our throats. It’s always a possibility that they’ll try to provoke us into acting hastily, and therefore making a crucial mistake. I’d really rather not die this early in the game.”
“Fair enough.” He looks down, then back to the notebook. A few minutes later, he says, “Don’t worry about it. With both of us working together, there’s no way we’ll get caught.”
I nod in agreement, before looking at the clock. “Ah, it’s time for me to go. My parents will be expecting me home in a few minutes.” I get my bags, and toss the second apple to Ryuk. “I’ll see you on Monday then, Light-kun.”
He waves at me as I leave. And I ponder as to whether or not we’re really going to avoid getting caught.
The next day is Sunday, which means no school for me. I end up spending all of my morning and some of my afternoon watching TV and website hopping through Kira sites. The media hasn’t picked up on how these judgements aren’t just a series of mysterious deaths, but the people have. Though people in public won’t say it in order to keep up appearances, on the internet, where everyone is anonymous, good people with nothing to fear are rallying behind Kira, supporting us in our judgement. Whereas people who have committed crimes are hiding away, hoping to avoid our wrath. They know that someone’s picking off the bad guys, one by one, so now they’re hiding from an unknown enemy. It’s going exactly as we planned.
My TV suddenly changes, cutting into whatever I had been watching. I hadn’t really been paying attention.
The announcer looks flustered, and there’s some commotion in the background. “We'd like to apologize for the interruption. As of now we're bringing you a live worldwide broadcast from Interpol, ICPO.”
I sit up straight in my chair, surprised. “Worldwide broadcast? What for?”
The announcer continues, “We now take you live to the ICPO.”
The screen switches to show a man in a suit, with a nameplate of ‘Lind L. Tailor’. I am suddenly both nervous and curious.
He says, “I head up an International Police Task Force, which includes all member nations. I am Lind L. Tailor, otherwise known as L.”
I stand, shocked. “L? As in, the L? The greatest detective on the planet? What’s he doing showing his face, on international television no less?” Luckily, I’m home alone. My parents would be wondering how I knew this, or why I cared.
“Worldwide, huh?” I mutter, going into my thinking pose. “If it’s worldwide, why are you speaking Japanese? It’d make more sense to speak English, as it’s evident that this isn’t a voiceover.”
He continues. “Criminals around the world are being murdered by a serial killer. I consider this crime to be the most atrocious act of murder in history. I will not rest until the person or persons responsible are brought to justice. Kira, I will hunt you down. I will find you.”
I tense. I was prepared for some measly police force, not the detective L. “So, this is about Kira, then? Well, at least you didn’t assume it was just one person. Kudos to you, L. But still…” I trail off. “If he’s the one after us, we’re in trouble. He’s never struggled to solve a mystery. But even during the BB LA murder case, he never showed his face to the public. At present moment, this situation isn’t even desperate enough to warrant revealing your identity. What are you…planning…” My eyes widen in realization. Grabbing my book bag out of habit, I run to the Yagami residence.
Knowing that Light’s the only one there, I open the unlocked door without being invited in. I quickly rush up the stairs to the second floor, where Light’s room is. I don’t even bother knocking; I burst in, just in time to see Lind L. Tailor collapse. While I stare in horror, Light starts laughing maniacally. I walk over to him, and slap him across the face. He freezes, and looks down at me. I am seething.
“You idiot!” I yell. “This is exactly what I warned you about last night! Didn’t you think it odd that he was speaking Japanese, and the voice and lips were synced? He would’ve been speaking English if this was being broadcast worldwide! Not to mention, it’s too early in the game for the great detective L to reveal his identity to the public, he never has before, why would he now? Do you understand what I’m saying?”
Light looks at me shocked, before a look of realization crosses his face, quickly followed by shame and anger. But a new voice over the TV catches both of our attentions.
“Ah. I had to test this, just in case, but I-I never thought it would actually happen.” A modified voice says, with just a picture of a decorated ‘L’ on screen. “Kira...it seems you can kill people without having to be there in person. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't just witnessed it. Listen to me, Kira. If you did, indeed, kill Lind L. Tailor, the man who you just saw die on television, I should tell you that he was an inmate whose execution was scheduled for today. That was not me.”
“Evidently…” Light grumbles. I rub the bridge of my nose, fighting a headache.
“The police arrested him in absolute secrecy, so you wouldn't have heard of him on TV or through the internet.” The distorted voice continues. “It appears not even you have access to information about these types of criminals.”
Ryuk laughs. “He got you there.” I glare at him, before returning my attention to the screen.
“But I assure you, L is real.” L taunts. I clench my fists, trying not to break something. “I do exist. Now...try to kill me!”
“Bastard… Sending someone out to die in your place… You coward…” I murmur.
“What's wrong? Go ahead! Come on, right now! Kill me!” He continues to taunt. I look over to Light, and he looks like he could kill someone.
“Light-kun, calm down. We won’t be able to fight him if you’re blinded by rage.” I say, in a deadly calm voice. He looks over to me.
“Can't you do it?” L asks, innocently. “Well Kira, it seems you can't kill me after all.”
“Don’t listen to him. He’s just trying to get you to lash out. Don’t give him what he wants.” I continue to try to calm him.
“So there are some people you can't kill. You've given me a useful hint.” L continues. I roll my eyes. “A dealer to a saver. I'll tell you something that I think you'll find interesting. Although this was announced as a worldwide broadcast, the truth is, we are only broadcasting in the Kanto region of Japan.” I take a deep breath. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Very clever, L, but I figured as such. “I had planned to broadcast this message around the world until we found you, but it looks like that won't be necessary. I now know where you are.”
“Idiot. You can’t possibly figure out our location just by one broadcast.” I say, more to myself than anything. “Besides, the Kanto region is the most densely populated area in Japan, not to mention that it makes up a majority of the population. That doesn’t tell you too much now, does it?”
Ryuk laughs behind me. “But still, he is pretty clever to get you like that.”
I nod. “Agreed, but we’ll be able to take him. We just need to know who he is.”
“The police treated your first killing as an unrelated incident, but in actuality, the first of your victims was a suspect in Sinjuku.” L goes on. “Of all the criminals that recently died of heart attacks, this one's crime was, by far, the least serious. Furthermore, his crime was only ever reported inside Japan. I used that information to deduce this much. You are in Japan and your first victim was little more than an experiment, which means you haven't been killing for very long.”
“Huh. He’s better than I thought.” Light comments.
“We decided to broadcast in Kanto first because of its large population, and, luckily, we found you. To be completely honest with you, I never expected it would go this well. But it won't be too long now before I'll be able to sentence you to death.” L gloats. “Naturally, I am very interested to know how you're able to commit these murders without being present...but I don't mind waiting a little bit longer. You can answer all of my questions when I catch you...Let's meet again soon, Kira.” And the broadcast ends.
Light sits down. “Really? He's gonna sentence us to death? Sounds interesting. I accept your challenge, L.”
I smirk, sitting down on Light’s bed. “He dares sentence Kira to death? Ha! Good luck with that, fool. You have two people to hunt down, if you miss one, Kira doesn’t die. We only have to find you. It’s obvious that we have the advantage. Yet still, L, I too will partake in this game of death.” I sigh. “The first to discover the other side’s identity or identities will win.” I smile like a maniac. “Humanity’s whims are so very… interesting… when one watches with an outside perspective.”