World“s First Demon Lord Chapter 15: Clues and Leads

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March 3, 4:00 pm London, England

"What on Earth are you doing?" I muttered.

Things were getting exciting, if I do say so myself. But then again, I was always the kind of person who liked the training arcs in anime.

Irade, for one, had started a new daily routine. Wake up, 20 push ups, go to school, 20 more push ups at lunch, more school, 20 push ups after school, running 10 km (usually took about two hours, but the time slowly got down to one hour and a half after a few days), 20 more push ups, homework, dance machine, then a final 20 push ups before bed.

At least, that was the plan. Most of the time, she managed to get about 10-15 push ups instead of all 20, and so she had not yet been able to do 100 push ups in one day yet. As such, had not been able to unlock the ??? task at the end yet.

That said, doing the Daily Tasks also increased her Exp, which allowed her to level. Since the first day, she had leveled twice, which let her increase all her stat points by 1. She had grumbled that the leveling was too slow, but I disagreed. To me, there was just something about watching a high school girl try her best at something that was...healing. I don't know how else to explain it.

Maybe that was why I had fiddled with the DDR Machine a little. Just to help her a little for the trials to come.

Ms. Watanabe's storyline, on the other hand, was in trouble.

In a good way, that is.

Her meeting with the detective was very interesting. I didn't expect her to be such a staunch supporter of LGBT rights. She did work for a center-right newspaper after all.

As such, watching her burn her one contact was very entertaining. It showed me what she would stand for, and where she would draw the line. She was surprisingly staunch in her beliefs; I didn't expect that in an aspiring journalist.

Furthermore, it seemed she was the type of person to actually put her money where her mouth was.

The first thing she did after the disastrous meeting with the detective was to walk into gay bars and start spreading rumors of a killer targeting the LGBT community. Surprisingly, people actually believed her. In fact, they seemed to know her quite well, and receive her pretty well too.

I guess she had a lot of gay friends. Who knew?

After that, she started to actively look for more leads. Having never seen a real person try to solve a mystery, this too was pretty interesting.

It was quite a bit different from what I expected. First, she bought a whiteboard and hung it on her wall. Then, she started working on the computer for a while. After a few hours, she started writing down names. I didn't recognize any of them until 'Detective Kiritaka.'

It took a few more hours of watching her to realize what she was doing. She was writing down a list of all possible people who had been at the site with her.

She had worked on that for about a day, but then…


"What on earth is she doing?" Ms. Kang repeated my question.

I turned, surprised, to see her standing next to me.

"How long have you been there?" I asked.

"Ten minutes," she said, still watching she projection. She narrowed her eyes.

"She's got all the pieces, so what..."

"Pieces?"

Ms. Kang explained that she had left a very deliberate trail that Ms. Watanabe could follow to get to the real bottom of the mystery.

"In this case, it's Jason Tachikawa," she continued. "I've had him appear at every site where there has been a chimera. See, she's even noticed!"

Ms. Kang pointed at a name on the board, which read 'foreigner/American' in Japanese.

"She noticed him, but it doesn't seem like she's found any other chimera sightings," I said. "She's been on social media the past couple days."

"She won't find anything there," Ms. Kang scoffed. "She needs to look harder."

We both watched as Ms. Watanabe lay down, listening to a recording on her phone.

"Ms. Watanabe, please calm down," went the recording. "I am simply asking for you to place your trust in us. Please trust that we have the public's best interest at heart."

"Why is she listening to that recording instead of investigating the clearly suspicious foreigner?" Ms. Kang wondered aloud.

"She's been at it for hours now...I think something is bothering her."

"I didn't plant any clues there..." said Ms. Kang, before trailing off.

Suddenly, Ms. Watanabe sat up, replaying something.

"We don't give any information out like that to the general public. You're not from another government body, I know everyone they've sent..."

She replayed it again.

"You're not from another government body, I know everyone they've sent..."

"You're not from another government body, I know everyone they've sent."

"You're not from another government body, I know everyone they've sent."

"What is she thinking?" said Ms. Kang. "What's so important about that line?"

I shrugged.

"I dunno, I can't read minds."

Ms. Kang gave me a look.

"You can create a gamer HUD in real life, but you can't read minds?"

"Those are two completely different things," I said defensively.

Wait, she was my secretary. Why was I getting defensive?

"You're not from another government body, I know everyone they've sent."

"How would you know that?" Ms. Watanabe said aloud.

Both Ms. Kang and I were silent for a moment. Then, Ms. Kang slapped her forehead.

"Oh, I'm thick," she said, grinning. "I can't believe I didn't notice!"

"Care to explain?" I said.

As Ms. Kang explained, Ms. Watanabe got up, and got to work.

***

Sakura

March 4, 1:03 am, Tokyo, Japan

Names, names, names.

All she had were names.

Names, and unconfirmed information.

Detective Kiritaka said that the killings had been going on for months. Yet, why was there no witnesses? No reports? He did basically confirm that the police was covering up these killings, but Sakura had no proof. Sure, she had the recordings, but they were obtained off the record. She couldn't use those, one for ethical reasons, and two, because it would make it impossible for anyone else to trust her if she tried to do another story in the future. She may as well kiss her career goodbye.

Of course, Sakura did consider it for a moment. What was her career, compared to actual people's lives?

The best case scenario would be if she were able to report this without using the recording as proof...and so…

But there was nothing. Nothing on social media, nothing in previous news stories. She had no contacts in the police (now that she had ruined her one lead). She had nothing.

So she needed a different angle.

For the past couple of days, Sakura looked through the directory of police officers, then made a list of all the officers that were there at the scene where she found the body. Soon she had a list of names of officers she was sure was at the scene of the crime.

However, there was one person that she could not find.

A white guy who came onto the scene rather late, once she was covered in a shock blanket and sipping hot chocolate. She noticed him cause he was a white guy, and all the other policemen were treating him like he was a king.

She wished she had asked about him at the time, but to be fair to herself, she had been a little busy dealing with the fact that there had been a dead man on her friend's grave with his face mauled off.

So. Who was the white guy?

Admittedly, it wasn't the strongest of leads. He could just be a new hire, in which case she should be able to find him pretty soon. However…

There was something bugging her about this whole situation. Something about what the detective said that made her journalist senses tingle, but she wasn't sure what it was exactly…

"You called to ask about a dead body?"

Sakura played back the recording. There was something here, she knew it. She just needed to figure it out.

"Yes? And?"

Urgh. Sakura hated her voice. But at least it was better than it was before.

"We don't give any information out like that to the general public. You're not from another government body, I know everyone they've sent..."

Wait.

She went back.

"We don't give any informa-"

No, not that part.

"You're not from another government body, I know everyone they've sent..."

There. That.

"You're not from another government body, I know everyone they've sent..."

What was it about this sentence that was bugging her?

"You're not from another government body, I know everyone they've sent..."

Hold on. Why would the government be sending someone to ask about dead bodies? Was that normal procedure?

Maybe for some sort of census? For deaths? That could be possible, but there was something bugging Sakura about this whole thing.

"...I know everyone they've sent..."

If it was for a census or something, why would a detective know who the government sent for the bodies? Maybe the detective was simply the type to want to know all these kinds of things, the type who was a detective to climb the ladder.

That made sense. That was the simplest explanation…

"...I know everyone they've sent..."

A good journalist always covers her bases. Even if it turned out to be a dead end, it wouldn't hurt to check it out, would it?

She would need to check police procedure then, see if the government sends people to do things like that. And if it turns out they didn't…

Then it would mean that Detective Kiritaka was dealing in some very shady business, possibly coming from the government itself.

No, she was getting ahead of herself. Research first, then draw conclusions from the evidence.

Nothing could argue against evidence.

Sakura smiled to herself for the first time in days. Finally. A proper lead.


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