Bungo Stray Dogs

 
 
 

Bungo Stray Dogs Volume 1 Chapter 3.10-3.12


 

          “Until when are you going to pretend to be dead, you idiot. Wake up and get to work.”

          I kicked Dazai’s body.

          “Ehh? I want to sleep some more.”

          Dazai pouted.

000

          “Is it the next emergency?”

          “Yeah. From the criminal itself, threating to make a plane crash. If you’re really not the mastermind, help out.”

          “If it’s Kunikida-kun, I was sure you would shoot ‘that’ instead.” Dazai smiled while still on the ground.

          “You’re the same as ever, you bastard. That was a good strategy, but don’t drag me into one of your stupid plays.”

          I toss the pistol I used to shoot Dazai with at him.

          Dazai caught the gun.

          The gun turned back into a piece of paper from my notebook in Dazai’s hands.

          “But how did you know? I was given the exact same gun from the President. Did you really think I wasn’t going to shoot with that?”

          “That is trust of course. A cautious person like you wouldn’t suddenly use the real thing to make threats.”

          “When it comes out of your mouth, the word ‘trust’ is stained.”

          The gun I had pointed at Dazai with was made from a piece of paper from my notebook with my ability, ‘Doppo Poetry’.

          The bullet was also made the same way, so the moment it touched Dazai’s body, it disappeared due to Dazai’s nullifying ability.

          “When was the first time you noticed?”

          “From the words you said.”

          There’s no way Dazai would say something like ‘I don’t mind being shot, if it’s by you,’ so seriously. One of the things I learned by working with Dazai is that if he spat out some kind of fishy lines like such, there’s a 90% chance that it means he’s making fun of the other party. In that kind of situation, he should be happily dancing with victory while saying, “With this I can die.” He’s the kind of man where weird is normal, and normal is weird.

          “That, and one more thing. This fountain pen. This is not the switch to the bombs, but a listening bug, right?”

          “Spot on.” Dazai smiled and pointed at me.

          It’s not luck that kept my work as a detective. It’s easy to tell if it’s a bomb activating device or not from close up.

          To get rid of the listening bug, Dazai put on that little show.

          He could tell that I had prepared a jammer to render the bug useless.

          “When did it get secretly switched?”

          “At the fishing gear store. When we were looking at the dead body, there was a group of people, right? One of them did it. Seriously, I had loved that pen so much. I’ll have you compensate that. Although it was very hard to write with it.”

          “So at the time, that person placed a listening bug and the blue flag at the same time?”

          With this, the criminal must’ve wanted to frame Dazai.

          But that was a bad move on the criminal’s part.

          “It’s you. You knew the enemy came in contact with you, I bet you two didn’t happen to just pass by each other.”

          “Of course. In fact, the reason I keep playing the role of the mastermind was for that moment. I was waiting for the moment a listening bug will be planted on me, and in return, I placed a GPS on that person. It’s 2000 years too early to outwit me.”

          Dazai read through the criminal’s scheme and purposefully played along with it.

          The ‘Blue Disciple’ is the type of criminal to commit crimes without dirtying their own hands. Kidnapping, bombing, another person is always entrusted to carry them out. So that they themselves won’t be suspicious, they carefully planned everything until the very last detail.

          So maybe the role of the ‘Blue Disciple’ itself was also entrusted to someone else.

          That was what Dazai thought.

          “The first time I noticed was at the abandoned hospital when the gas was activated at the cage. At that time, I haven’t even touched the device yet. Yet the gas got activated. Which means, the criminal wanted to make it look like the poisonous gas was my fault and controlled the device from afar. Why did the enemy want to do that? My doubts started from there. It didn’t take very long for me to understand what is happening.”

          The enemy wanted to fabricate the ‘criminal’.

          The newbie with no history is the most suitable for that role.

          However, Dazai didn’t do anything to prevent the scheme.

          “The criminal won’t come out on the main stage. The enemy has completely destroyed all evidences and traces that leads to them. But even with an enemy like that, there comes a time where we had to come in contact with them. It’s when the enemy is making puppets to control. A good opportunity to come in contact with the enemy is, like the taxi driver or the terrorist, it’s only that moment when they were made to commit crimes. Which means, that to get in contact with the criminal, the only way is commit their crimes ourselves. If Kunikida-kun didn’t see through it, I would end up being prisoned as the criminal for real.”

          And so Dazai played along with the other party’s plans and the act continues, enabling us to destroy the listening bug naturally in the process. And the mastermind who had been listening secretly, along with the destruction of the listening bug, must’ve thought that everything is according to plan and that there isn’t a single problem.

          Only a brief moment of being unobserved.

          To make that one moment when the criminal lose their guard, he didn’t tell me the truth and made me doubt him instead.

          At the very least I admire him.

          He’s a scary man.

          To be able to control a terrorist with a military background, the enemy is really resourceful.  To be able to see through that kind of enemy’s plans to falsely accuse him, a keen eye is needed.

          But Dazai purposefully played into the enemy’s hand and as a bait to lure the enemy out, he stabs back.

          “Well, the enemy who placed the listening bug on me must be laughing non-stop right about now. Thinking that according to plan, I am being doubted and condemned. And then, it’s best to play their next move now.”

          I nodded. For the threat concerning the plane to come at such a timing, that piece of truth is probably not a coincidence.

          From the listening bug, the moment they heard the conversation in which I was doubting Dazai, the enemy must’ve believed that Dazai has been executed. That believe became the right answer for him.

          And then, aiming for the moment Dazai fell, the third threat came.

          “From the Agency’s point of view, this timing is the worst. There should be no way for us to remove something from a moving plane flying in midair. I, who was supposed to write that letter, has been shot dead by Kunikida-kun. We are cornered. This is the end for the Agency.”

          Exactly. If everything had gone the way the enemy wanted it to, that’s what would be happening.

          —If the other party wasn’t Dazai.

          “There’s only one way…. Using the GPS you placed on the enemy just now, we follow the coordinates and go to wherever it is immediately!”

          “Let’s give the enemy something coming to him.” Dazai stood up.

000

          We left both the listening bug and the jammer behind in the warehouse and started moving towards the car.

          Dazai started a cellphone-sized GPS system. The transmitter was closer than expected, it’s in the inner parts of the mountain. We asked the Agency to collect information regarding the place. If it’s really the enemy’s base, then we cannot leave out the possibility that there will be some sort of defense mechanism.

          However, the information we received from the Agency was, “We managed to get in contact with the airplane.”

          Among the things the passengers’ luggage, they found a video transmitting device with a communicating feature.

          The video was forwarded to my phone. It shows the passengers’ seats inside the plane.

“I….. I am, someone, who is riding the plane. The mother who had this seat suddenly feels nauseous…… In exchange, I will, speak. The plane’s, altitude, will slowly, fall, a lot of people, will cry, will scream…”

          “Damn it!”

          The one speaking through the video is a girl of about ten years in age.

          Inside the shaking plane, the face that is talking towards the video is in tears.

          “The intercom, told everyone to seat, by the captain… but no one is listening, everyone’s in panic…”

          “This is from land. Can you hear me? It might be difficult, but can you please tell me the condition inside the airplane?”

          “The airplane, keeps falling. They said, the engines don’t work, and the controls too.”

          The girl was overtaken with fear, but it seems like she understood what she had to do. She tried her best to explain.

          “Can you hear me, are we, going to die, everyone, says so… I am scared, Mama, she can’t move, she doesn’t reply, that’s why please help, somehow, help us…”

          “Miss. Can you hear me?” Dazai took over the phone. “We are plane professionals. Now that we know what’s going on, it’s going to be okay. We’ll fix the plane. Miss, can I have your name?”

          “Chi… Chiyo.”

          “Chiyo-chan, there’s no need to worry. Are you holding on to snacks?”

          “I have… the candy Mama gave me.”

          “Candy. I like candy myself. When you suck on it, somehow you feel calmer, right?”

          “Oi, Dazai.”

          “It’s fine…. Chiyo-chan, have that candy and carefully feel the taste. After that, can you bring this device to the captain? Do you know where the captain’s room is?”

          Wiping away her tears, she nodded once.

          “If you go there, no one will be screaming. That’s why it will be ok. Mama will be better.”

          “I can’t go… alone. Mama, is here.”

          “Mama will be okay. The captain will do something about it. Go to where the captain is and hand him the device, understand?”

          The girl cast her eyes downwards for a while, shaking, then eventually take the candy in her hand and stood up, walking towards the cockpit.

          My grip on the car’s steering wheel went tight.

          “This is the Captain of passenger flight 815S. Right now, the controls and engines of this flight has stopped working and we are cruising mid-air on inertia. Who are you?”

          The captain appeared in the video feed. By the looks of it, he’s a forty-something skillful pilot.

          I faced the video and replied.

          “We are from the Armed Detective Agency. Due to the military not being able to send support in time, we, the ones who understands the situation is handling this. How is the condition of the aircraft?”

          Armed Detective Agency? —– Aren’t you guys the ones that let the abducted people die by poisonous gas? Is this going to be alright? If by some chance—”

          “Too bad, but the only ones who knows everything about this case is only us. It would take several hours for the military to understand the situation and form a rescue party.”

          “We can’t wait for several hours! All mechanical features in this plane has stopped, forget accelerating, we can’t even roll. According to calculations, it will take about an hour until we crash land!”

          “Listen to me. This disruption is all caused by somebody. Are there no suspicious machines or destructive marks inside the aircraft?”

          “…My associate pilot went into the cargo and found a large iron metal. We know that it’s connected to the cables in this plane, but the metal itself it welded into the plane. We can’t destroy or remove it with the tools we have at hand.”

          I see. That thing is probably interfering with the flight’s system.

          The criminal must’ve infiltrated one of the hangars the passenger plane was parked in and welded the device that paralyses the controls and engines temporarily. Then, that device was turned on from afar after the plane took off, taking over the machines of the plane.

          I recall reading some documents about it while working. The military of long ago said that they were developing a device to control enemy planes — In the end, before they could use it, the device had to be carried by plane and so the development stopped, but the situation now resembles that one.

          If the installed device this time is the same type as that one, then it should be possible to suppress the signal coming from the ground by interference. In other words, if we cut off the restraining device from the ground, the possibility of recovering the plane’s controls is high.

          “Captain. We are going to remove the reason for the aircraft’s paralyzed stated right now. When we give you the signal, please prepare to return to high altitude immediately.”

          “I understand. However, if we get too close to the ground, it will be impossible to go back up. Please hurry. We have 410 passengers with us. Moreover, according to calculations, we will crash into the area around Yokohama’s tax haven in an hour.”

          One more hour.

          No matter how it crashes, it will be hard to avoid the deaths of all 400 and so passengers. What’s more, if it falls into a business-crowded place like the tax haven, then the damage done on land will also be massive. Alamta’s bombing cannot even be compared to this.

          There’s no time.

          I stepped on the accelerator.

          Chasing the GPS signal, we dash into the inner parts of Yokohama’s mountains.

          There’s no one around us, the wildly growing trees cast a shadow on the car.

          “So this is the place?”

          I stopped the car. Right in front of our line of vision, a black metallic gate is built into the mountain.

          Constructed during the last Great War, it is the Imperial Japanese Army’s abandoned base, it’s the entrance to the Air Force.

          An abandoned and unused military base just waiting to rot away. I see, if it’s here, even if a machine is carried in, or even if a cannon goes off inside, there will be no one to stop it.

          Suddenly, there’s gunshots can be heard coming from both sides of the incline. A rainfall of bullets showers the company car, the car shrieked.

          “Enemy attack! Get off the car!”

          I stepped on the accelerator and the car lurched forward with a sudden speed. At the same time, we jumped out of the car and run into the forest.

          “Doesn’t look like this is the wrong place……”

Behind the rocks, we are being shot with handguns by armed enemies. There are three… four of them.

          “What should we do, Kunikida-kun!?” Hiding behind an incline, Dazai shouted.

          Their aim is to buy time! I will back you up, so sneak inside!”

          Bullets are flying above my head from where I am shouting.

          I examined the enemy’s situation. They are just shooting wildly with their handguns from behind cover. Their guns are top-grade, but compared to the Port Mafia they have no skills.

          “’Doppo Poetry’—Flash grenade!”

          I used up too many pages this time!

          I hurl the flash grenade. The bright light and loud sound exploding over the enemy’s heads scared them.

          “Now! Go!”

          Shooting the pistol, I encouraged Dazai. Dazai dashed forward like he was being pulled in.

000