Happy Wonderland

Hunt

Halo Five: Hunt:

The "Angel tadpole heaven" note was taped to the top of Mikado's computer. He sat on the floor on the phone again.

"Somehow, I expected you to call me again tonight," he said. "Well, you keep calling around this time. I'm trying to understand." Once again, the question ended up being dodged.

"My friend is doing well today," Mikado answered. "No. No headaches. She's doing well, actually." Just like the caller, the boy dodged questions when it came to Noriko. "Tell me, does 'angel tadpole heaven' ring any bells to you?"

Keiichi managed to track down Kamichika Rio as she was walking home from school. The junior raced across the street, flagging her down.

"Hey! Hey!" he shouted. Rio looked up with a strange expression on her face. Keiichi caught up to her, panting.

"Who are you?" Rio asked. Keiichi stood up straight.

"Are you Kamichika Rio?" he asked.

"Yes."

"Oh good, I'm looking for my friend, Honda Arisu. I need to ask you a few questions. Can we go somewhere and talk in private?"

Rio drew her mouth closed. "Okay." She followed Keiichi into the local park.

"She hired you to baby-sit Sora-kun when she had to work, right?" Keiichi asked on the park bench.

"That's right," Rio answered.

"Tell me about the last night you saw her."

"Okay, she called me over like she normally did."

"Did she seem worried or anything?"

"No. Arisu-san just gave me the usual instructions and went to her job."

"Then what happened?"

"It was a typical night. I bathed Sora-kun and put him to bed. Then I finished my homework, watched some TV, and fell asleep on the couch."

Keiichi took notes as fast as he could. "Right. Anything else?"

"She usually calls when she's just about near the apartment."

"And when is that?"

"I think about three or four in the morning."

"And she didn't call back?"

"No."

"Then what happened?"

Rio leaned back, trying to remember. "The next morning I called her landlady to come and take Sora-kun because I had to go to school."

"And Arisu hasn't called back since?"

"No."

Keiichi finished up his notes. "Okay, thank you for your time."

"I hope she's okay."

"Me too." They went their separate ways.

Keiichi had a plan to get into the Red Bunny. He turned to his journalist club for assistance. The boys didn't want to help out, naturally.

"Are you crazy?" Isao asked. "It's nearly impossible to get into that place!"

"I have to try," Keiichi said. "Our friend is missing. Don't you want to find out what happened to her?"

"Well, yeah but-"

"Tell me where I can get one of those red and black cards."

"It won't be that easy."

"Just do it!"

Isao sighed. "I'll see what I can do."

Keiichi made his way to Arisu's apartment by five. He knocked on the landlady's door.

"Hello?" she asked as she peeked through the open crack.

"Uh... hi. My name is Keiichi. I'm a friend of Arisu's," the junior college student opened the door wide.

"Oh, are you here to here to pick up Sora-kun?"

Keiichi stared rather confused. "She hasn't been here to come get him?"

"No."

"That doesn't sound like her. She hasn't called either?"

"No."

Keiichi peeked into her apartment. "Is Sora-kun inside with you now?"

"Yes, he is. He's eating dinner right now, in fact." The landlady moved aside to reveal a little dark-haired boy sitting at her kitchen table eating a bowl of rice. Keiichi relaxed once he spotted the child unharmed.

"How is he?"

"He's okay. He's been asking about his mother."

Keiichi thought about the situation at hand. "I see. Hey listen, can you keep Sora-kun with you a little bit longer?"

The landlady raised an eyebrow. "What are you planning to do?"

He broke into a charming smile. "I'm going to bring his mother home."

It didn't make sense. Arisu was punctual with her life. She would've called Rio or her landlady if she was running late. Before school, work, or her social life, her son came first. Judging by what he had learned from Rio and the landlady, Keiichi believed without a doubt that something must have happened to his friend at her job while investigating those missing girls around the city. He sat up on his bed

If I had some way to get into that club... At that time, his cell phone rang.

"Hello?"

"Minami?"

"Oshiro?"

"Good news," Isao said. "I managed to get you one of those red and black cards."

Keiichi's jaw hit the floor. "What? How?"

"One of those hostess girls stopped by Russia Sushi on her way to work. Long story short, we got to talking and she slipped me one of those cards before she headed to the club she worked at."

The junior college student gathered up his camera and notepad. "Where are you now?"

"I'm in front of Russia Sushi."

"Don't move. I'll be right there in ten minutes!" Keiichi hung up his phone and rushed out the door.

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