In the flower shop, Youji, Ken and Aya sat, idling. It was another rainy evening and there was no one coming in to get flowers. There was an eerie silence as the three were lost in their individual thoughts.
After a little while, Aya, sitting near the transparent glass walls, noticed a figure running on the streets. As the figure eventually enlarged, it was visible that it was heading the direction of the flower shop.
"He's back." Aya said, breaking the silence. Youji and Ken got up and looked through the glass wall.
Omi ran straight into the flower shop. As he stepped in, Ken threw him a towel which he accepted and began wiping his wet head.
As Aya watched Omi dry his head, he asked, "So what have you found?"
"Megumi san was stabbed once in the back. That stab is most probably the cause of her death." Omi replied, lifting the towel from his head and hung it carelessly on a chair.
"Only 1 stab?" Ken asked incredulously. "Gosh… this must have been a very experienced killer…"
"You missed out a word… ruthless…" Youji commented.
"Does not seem the case though…"
"What do you mean?" Aya asked, folding his arms.
"Though it seems that the stab was the only wound found on the body, but when the pathologist looked at the wound, he said that the stab had only resulted in a superficial wound. It was not precise and deep enough to hit her vital organs… it wasn't even close… " Omi said, sitting down, also pondering over the points he had made.
"Eh? Then how…" Ken began.
"In my opinion, I guess the knife was coated with poison. And a deadly one too. So all the killer has to do is drive the poison into her bloodstream and it will cause her instant death…"
"Bingo." The woman voice caused everyone to turn to the door where they found Manx standing. "That was a pretty close guess from you, Omi. So now I will go into the details." Manx walked in and said.
"All right boys, don't just stand here! Get your cues and start moving!" The four florists obeyed and walked into the room underneath the flower shop.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Eh? What was that you said?" Youji asked.
"What's that?" Ken asked.
"Gift - meaning poison in German. This is all the information we can find on them so far. They have been very cautious, so we have not been able to get much information about them. Most of our spies have been killed by them…" Manx said, taking out a file.
"Method?" implored Aya, taking the file over from Manx.
"Poisoned daggers, poisoned drinks, and the latest - pills that can cause instant death."
"Is it the same kind of poison?" Asked Ken.
Manx nodded. "This is a very new poison. It is probably created by themselves. And deadly too."
"So it was the one that killed Megumi san?" Omi asked.
Manx nodded. Youji takes the file from Aya and glances through it.
"Organisation - Gift… members - unknown… Mastermind… unknown… symbol - pink leaf that resembles that of a lipstick mark… motives - unknown… why a lipstick mark?" Youji asked while flipping over to the next page. And continued reading.
"November 18th - poison coated on a car caused instant death for scientist Koyama Tetsuya…
December 4th - Spy Hayashi Katsuo found stabbed by a poisoned dagger…
December 5th - Spy Nakayama Yuichi found stabbed by a poisoned dagger… December 8th, 17th, 22nd… all spies…"
There was a silence after Youji had finished reading. They were all engrossed in their thoughts.
"As you can see here, we have lost many of our spies. This is the reason why we have not been able to find information. Be prepared. We will need you to aid us in collecting information about this devil organisation."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Dou, Omi?" Youji asked while the rest of Weiß hovered over the boy as he is finding information.
"Chotto…" mumbled the boy, as his fingers on the keyboard never stopped moving. After a little while the keys stopped typing as Omi pointed excitedly at the screen and showed the rest what he had found.
"Atta… Professor Koyama Tetsuya… He holds 2 doctorates in Chemistry and Pharmacology respectively. Teaching in Jihi na Juujika daigaku before he died. Also highly involved in research and development work on drugs and medicines, particularly on the drugs which can aid sleep…"
"Aid sleep?" Ken asked, a slight frown forming in the middle of his forehead.
"Sleeping pills, dude." Youji said, giving Ken a slight whack on the head. Ken, obviously not too happy about the whack, stood up and gave Youji a glare. Aya looked and cast a disapproving glance at the 2 before looking back at the screen. "Is that all?" He asked Omi.
"I have not finished. Other than sleeping pills, he also organised a great number of research projects into the studying of household insecticides, industrial poisons, you know, that line…"
"So this means that this professor is well versed in the chemistry of poison." Aya said, shrewd eyes looking at the screen.
"You can put it that way."
"Hey isn't this ironic? A professor who works with poison everyday is killed by poison… That should teach a lifelong lesson - O I forgot, he's dead." Youji remarks.
"Oi Youji! Are you gloating over his death or what?" Ken asked sarcastically.
"You boys are working quite hard, aren't you?" Manx's voice rang from the top of the spiral staircase, causing the four of them to look up simultaneously.
"Yo Manx! What brings you here again?" Youji greeted.
"New information for you boys, of course." Manx said, placing one foot on the stairs.
"New information?" Ken wonders.
Manx descended the stairs, taking a few steps before raising her head and called, "Why are you standing there? Come on down!"
A figure began to emerge from the shadows and as they watched, it began to get clearer and Omi gave a gasp.
"Ka… Kawamoto sensei?!"
"Eh?!" Ken blurted, looking up. Equally shocked, Youji and Aya looked up to see the man. The man, walked down the stairs steadily. Calm and composed, he gave the Weiß members a bow before looking up to see them.
"Omi? Why are you here?" He asked, his voice betraying a tinge of surprise to see his student. Ken and Youji got into a defensive position. However, Manx quickly came in between them and stopped them.
"Stop this you boys. Hear what he has for you first."
"Sensei… Are you the one responsible for Megumi san's…" Omi demanded.
"Indirectly - yes." Kawamoto interrupted, punctuating his line with a sigh. "Gomen, Omi. Believe it or not, I had no intention of getting Megumi involved with this…"
"Jaa…" Omi began.
"I can only say she was unlucky." Kawamoto continued.
"So this means Sensei is not someone sent from Gift?"
Manx now came forward and faced Weiß together with Kawamoto. "This man holds many answers to your questions. Boys, work well with him and destroy this organisation."
Aya came up from leaning against the wall and walked up to Kawamoto, facing him. "So maybe you'll like to begin with why you're such a crucial character, Kawamoto."
Kawamoto sighed and turned around, back facing Weiß. "It began with a pure and desperate attempt to find my wife, Yuri."
"Mrs Kawamoto?" Omi began.
"Un… She disappeared. Just like that. One moment ago she was smiling and happily rushing out of the house. I refused to believe that that was the last time I should ever see her again. I waited… one week… two weeks… and it turned into a month. Two months…"
"Didn’t you report to the police?" Youji interrupted.
"You think I didn't?!" The man retorted indignantly, "I even went there everyday to ask if they have found my wife… but there was no luck… so I got impatient and decided to take things into my hands."
"How?" Ken asked.
"That day, I was loafing in the house as usual, waiting for the phone call from the police that Yuri has been found. It was then I noticed a card in between the seats of my sofa…" As Kawamoto spoke, he slipped his hand into his breast pocket and out of it emerged a card. He held it out and Omi took over it. He gave a gasp as he turned it over.
"Pink leaf…" Omi muttered.
"Yes. Thus I began to conduct a series of investigations to learn about this organisation. But my effort was futile. This organisation was strangely careful. They had never failed to leak any information."
"Then how…" Ken began.
"They found me instead. I saw… er… was approached by a woman."
"You survived the poison?" Youji asked incredulously.
"No - something happened. While I fell into a dazed state, the woman tried to feed me the pill. Then somehow, the woman suddenly stopped and ran away. But I was lucky to find the pill which she was about to feed me lying on the floor. Then I did some investigations and found the pill to be a new and extremely potent drug poison that was created by Koyama and… Kawamoto Yuri."
Aya's eyes narrowed. "You said the woman was about to feed you the poison and she ran away, leaving the pill on the floor?"
"Yes… Why?" Kawamoto asked, sounding surprised.
"According to you and Manx, Gift is a careful organisation that hardly leaks information out to anyone, and anyone who tries to find out about them will killed by their poison, isn't it? So why could something that important such as the pill that they use for the victims should be so carelessly left behind?"
Kawamoto, stumped for a few seconds, looked at Aya blankly. Then he said. "That was a good point raised. That's in fact my doubt too… I have no idea why I was spared, or why the pill was in my hands. But I deduced that I have to do something about this organisation - "
"Yes, that's why Kawamoto is with us now. Boys, you have to work with him. Gift is a rising and dangerous organisation. We are unable to find anymore information about them."
"So is that what our mission is? To break up the organisation?" Aya asked.
"Yes. And until then you'll be working with Kawamoto. Is that all right?"
The boys stood up and nodded.
"Good. Kawamoto, I leave them to you now."
~~ END OF CHAPTER ~~