The Detective Prince
The first thing felt after stepping out was a wet drop which touched down upon his hand. He looked up in response, only to have a series of sprinkles fall down onto his face. He lowered his head down after the brief confrontation, finding a bit of comfort from the smoothening rain. Regaining focus took all but a few moments, looking directly ahead to find the last person of the small group he had set his focus to walk out from the bus to join the others.
"Got to stay put, it's their move to make."
The bus roared in its progression back to the road shortly thereafter, continuing down the path set to be driven. Not wanting for suspicion to arise he turned to face the roadside, pulling out his phone as if he were sending a message. He redirected his eyes back over to the three, seeing that it was only the two men engaging in conversation as they had before.
"No telling what they're discussing from this distance," Kaito thought. "There's got to be a way of listening in their conversation without closing the distance, the last thing I'd want is for them to become weary of me."
He brought most of his focus to the man wearing the wool jacket, being that he clearly had taken center stage. This was clear by the hand gestures he made while he began to speak.
"Looks like he's giving instructions."
Still keeping an apparent look to the street he noticed something out of place from the side of his eye, something crammed into place beneath his belt.
"Is that what I think it is?"
Getting a distinctive view wasn't easy from where he stood, but after giving what came to his attention a harder look he knew then that there was no mistaken what was lined into place at the side of his belt.
"So he's got a gun, this changes the dynamics completely."
Much went through his mind at this given point in time. All thoughts were cut short unexpectingly, watching as the three began to walk his way. He clutched his free hand as he looked back to the phone, thinking of what measures to take in response to this new development.
"This isn't exactly how I planned things to go, but most certainly a means of an opening."
The sound of their footsteps increased with every second that past. He knew whatever it was he was to do needed to be done soon. Just as they were a step away from closing the gap, He turned as if wanting to head for the opposite direction, colliding with high intent with the man who wore the comforting wool jacket.
"Watch where you're going." The man angrily grunted.
"My apologies," Kaito said in response. "I didn't see you there."
His shoulder clashed with his as the tall man violently pushed on past. The spiky haired man just behind did the same in flow with the first, glaring at him as he did. He turned to the left, looking just in time to see the woman walk past. She said nothing, simply tailing after the two who continued to walk.
"Doesn't seem like they're looking to make friends," Kaito said. "But that won't stop me none the less."
He looked down at the key component which was now in his possession, more than pleased with the results thus far. He reopened the bag he had purchased, adding it to his already growing collection. Once this was taken care of he looked ahead to see the three getting ready to turn the corner at the end of the block.
"Can't lose the edge on them," Kaito said making sure the strap was tightly in place. "There the key to what I seek."
He waited until they completely fell out of sight before making a move for where they had gone. He positioned his hat lower than it had been, picking up speed on his way to the end of the street. Once there he leaned to the corner of a building, having a peak around to see the three of them walking in proportion with one another.
"Good they're moving at a manageable pace, no way I'm going to lose them."
Every move made from there on out needed to be made with care. There were several obstacles between him and them, giving him the advantage he needed. He slowly followed the three in pursuit, coming to a stop behind a public tree after gaining nearly fifteen yards on them. He peaked out moments later to see them heading for the roadside.
"Looks like they're making a move for the other side."
They did just that, stopping shortly after reaching the other side. He waited for the three to decide on a direction, not taking long for them to head further up west. Once there was enough distance between him and then he made a move to follow after once again. After crossing the road he found a place behind a light pole just as a car passed by from behind
"So far so good."
Where they were headed was anyone's guess. He stayed in position for a short time more before taking a look out to see them readying to make a turn to the right. From where he stood several trees could be seen, unsure of what to expect up ahead.
"Is that a park?"
He picked up in speed as he continued to follow their trail, coming to a stop after reaching a sign which could be seen driven into the grass right next to the sidewalk.
"Robbinsville Park," Kaito read. "I wonder what they could be looking to do going through here."
The trees and bushes swaying throughout from the night breeze made for noticeable cover. The distance between him and them continued to decrease, the elements of the park allowing for this. The time seemed to drag for a time to come, minutes passing as it all began to sink in. It wasn't just the task but all that surrounded, stemming from a bird flapping from above to the crickets that shadowed themselves throughout every hidden corner. Though it was minor the lack of discussion between any of the three kept him alert even more so than he had been earlier.
"This is one of the quietest night strolls I've ever been on, these guys must really be focused."
Without a sign or warning the man sporting the wool jacket stopped in his tracks, causing the others to do the same. Nothing was said, just the sound of the forests inhabitants.
"What is it?" The man with the spiked hair asked.
"Quiet Jackson." The man finaly spoke
This was followed by another strand of silence. He stayed firm in his position, smiling at what had been learned.
"Jackson," Kaito thought. "That's one."
He took the next moment to peak around the tree, coming to find no further moves had yet to be made.
"I'm betting the big guy is the leader of the pack," Kaito thought. "They seem to only respond to anything that he says, I have yet to see the others talk to one another."
He then repositioned himself back into place, not wanting to run the risk of being spotted. This sudden fall back brought a small margin of concern, had they caught onto his whereabouts? Through all possibilities that ran through his mind, that seemed to be the high mark. Further movement could be heard in the coming moments, though he couldn't see he knew one of them had turned to peer into another direction. What was to come next weighed high on his mind.
"Forget it," The man who had opted for the stop spoke. "We don't have any more time to waste, we have a pickup to make."
"Why did we stop in the first place?" The man referred to as Jackson asked.
"I thought I heard something," The large man replied. "But it was probably nothing of concern."
"You sure about that," He said turning to have a look into the direction they had come. "I didn't hear anything."
"Drop it, we're already on the brink of being late."
"Whatever you say cap."
His head still remained rested against the tree, not planning to make a move until after hearing the three begin to walk once again. He took a step up after this occurred, flicking the tip of the hat upward just before having a look around the corner to see them making headway on their path to wherever it was they were going.
"The big guy mentioned time, sounds like they have a meeting to attend."
Whatever the situation, he was determined to find out. It seemed to get darker the further he pressed on, catching sight of a noticeable increase in the amount of trees that towered around on all sides. Not wanting to fall behind he moved further to the right in his path, staying step for step with them from about twenty yards out. He was more discreet more so than before, knowing there was a higher probability of being spotted with this change in tactic.
"They've defiantly picked up in pace, I wonder how much further there is to go before the destination is reached."
The length of time closed in on twenty minutes from when they had entered the park. No additional stops had been made along the way. He began wondering deeper about where they were headed, the possibilities were endless.
"None of them have said a word since that last stop," Kaito thought. "If they were really running late for a potential meeting wouldn't a call have been made to clarify their whereabouts?"
Things were starting to become clear within the next seconds. No longer could only the sound of the forest could be heard, but that of traffic humming in the clear just ahead.
"Now I see, we walked through this park to another side of town," Kaito said to himself. "But that does raise the question of why they didn't choose to take a cab, this trip would have been cut significantly shorter."
He stuck to the plan, keeping a distance to the right of the three as the sight of the roadside came into view in the seconds that passed. He kneeled down next to a bush, looking further down to the left to see the three he continued to follow step out from the darkness of the park out onto the sidewalk.
"Looks like they're heading my way," Kaito said making it a point to stay hidden. "If I remain still I'm certain they won't see me."
His planned turned out as hoped, listening as the sound of the three walked by from behind. With yet another success he slightly raised himself in position, watching as they came to a stop after reaching a street light at the end of the street.
"Crossing yet another road, this seems to be part of their routine."
The street light flashed red a short time later, signaling they were now open to cross over. He remained behind the bush for a while longer, not wanting to take the chance of them spotting him.
"Now, what are they to do next?"
He observed with heavy anticipation, ready to find out where this all would mount up to. Surprisingly the three didn't continue on much further after crossing to the other side. The apparent lead man of the group was the first to stop, resulting in the other two doing the same. They walked a short distance to the left, stopping after reaching the side of a box full of newspapers. This brought about a sense of confusion. Had they reached their destination, was there still a suspicion of someone following in their path?
"There must be a point to this and I've got the feeling I'm going to find out what very soon."
Suspense was all to be expected. Feeling the urge to find out he kneeled down before reaching into his jacket to grab hold of something.
"This will do."
He rose up just enough to where he could see, bringing the binoculars that had been nested in his pocket to his eyes. He surveyed across the way, bringing his focus to the three subjects of the night.
"Now what do we have here?"
He took this time to examine the three, starting with the man who seemed to be in charge of whatever it is they had set out to do. He had become blatant in his expression, nothing much to be seen to what could possibly be on his mind.
"Not much to gain from the big guy." Kaito said shifting his attention elsewhere.
Next came the shorter man of the two who wore white T-shirt. He was to the right of him, showing no real signs of intent himself. Though it wasn't much, he did notice the amount of emphasis he was putting into the time on his watch. This all but confirmed one of his beliefs.
"Just as I thought," Kaito said. "They're waiting for something, but what?"
Last came the woman, the one which he had paid the least amount of attention to. He took the time to look her over. A dark Fedora hat covered the top of her head. Getting a fixation on her eyes was difficult, due to the bangs from her hair hanging just above her eyes. She had on a sports jacket and a pair of black correlating pants to top it off. He continued to search, unsure if she had a concealed weapon hidden away.
"She looks clear from this angle, but I wouldn't bet against a hidden weapon."
Before anything further was to be done the vibration from his phone sparked for his attention. Agitation ignited as he reached down to grab hold of it.
"Not a good time."
"I apologize for the interruption, but I wanted to check on your progress."
"Not what you would call smooth."
"Where are you now?"
"I'm unsure of that, give me a moment."
He lowered the phone down to his side. Using the binoculars he scoured the area for a street sign, not taking long for him to discover one.
"Niten Street." Kaito answered bringing the phone back to his ear.
"You've traveled quite the distance," Konosuke said. "That's a good ways from the motel."
"It's a long story," Kaito stated. "I promise to fill you in later."
"If you're in need of assistance be sure to contact me."
"Then I'll leave you to it."
Once the phone was securely tucked back into place he focused his attention back to the three across the way. They had all remained in the same positions from the last he had checked. Over a minute passed with the situation remaining the same throughout.
"What's with these guys, do they plan on standing here all night?"
No matter how long the wait he chose to remain patient. He skimmed his eyes past the three once again before dropping the binoculars back to his side.
"The guy in the middle seems to be getting anxious," Kaito thought. "Whatever is to happen is bound to take place soon."
With that in mind he began to search the streets up and down. By this time it was obvious they were waiting for something, or someone. Just as the clock was to hit thirty past ten someone could be seen heading into their direction. He took this time to lock in on the figure. It was an older man from what he could tell. His appearance was hard to make out being that he had on a pair of shades with a black black hat to top it off. The suit worn was black as well, including a tie he was able to see.
"Could this be it, who they've been waiting for?"
He continued to watch from afar, pleased to see his beliefs confirmed soon after. The mystery man walked past the first two, not coming to a stop until reaching the third.
"Looks like things are finally getting underway."
From what he could tell the two began to engage in conversation. What was being said was unknown. The man in the suit of black seemed to be doing most of the talking. Trying to read his lips wasn't an option, being that his back was turned to him.
"I have to get in closer somehow," Kaito said dropping the binoculars down to his side. "But given the circumstances, now wouldn't be the greatest time to do so."
The two continued to talk for a bit longer. In light of this the big man raised a hand, pointing as if he wished for him to follow.
"What's going on now?"
The four began to head further down the left side with the two continuing to chat as they walked. It was now or never, the time he had been waiting for had finally arrived.
"Looks like they're finally moving again," Kaito said standing back to his feet. "I can't allow to lose them."
With that he placed the binoculars into his jacket before stepping out from the bush he had hidden behind. Luckily there were no vehicles to be seen in the distance, giving him a clear path to the other side. Once there he stepped behind the newsstand where they had been, peaking out to see them getting ready to make a right turn at the end of the block.
"What have I got myself into?"
They disappeared all together in the next seconds, allowing for him to come out of hiding once again. Knowing that they could turn another corner at any time he picked up in speed.
"Somehow I need to get one of my crafty devices connected to one of them," Kaito said. "That way I won't have to get in so close to hear what is being said."
He stopped once reaching the end of the block, taking cover behind yet another light pole. He looked ahead to find that the four had come to another untimely stop, looking to make a move across the road. This gave him the extra needed time to plan his next move. He raised the phone back to his chest, dialing his number with a press of a button.
"I was most certainly not expecting you to call back so soon."
"I have a favor to ask, there's something I forgot to bring to you earlier."
"I'm here for you at all times master Kuroba," Konosuke said. "Don't tell me you're in some kind of danger."
"Not quite to that extreme, but there is a search I'd like for you to run for me."
"The man's prints you forged onto that diamond," Konosuke recalled. "But what do you want to know about him, I thought all business was closed in that department for the foreseeable future."
"Something has come up."
"Alright, what would you like for me to dig up on him?"
"Anything that you can find," Kaito replied. "Public records, financial, friends, family, anything that could prove useful."
"I'll see what I can do," Konosuke said. "Is there a time limit for when you'll be needing this information?"
"As soon as possible."
"Got to go, I hope to hear from you soon."
Time was now a factor, not knowing how long it would take before they finally reached their destination. He tucked the phone away after setting it to silent, looking around the pole just as the street light turned red.
"Looks like it's the time for them to cross over."
He watched as the four did just that. After there was a comforting distance between him and them he steadily followed in their path. He kept his head low at the sight of a lone man walking in the opposite direction of him. The four took another turn, this time being to the left. As he neared the end of the block several voices could be heard, echoing through the night streets.
"Voices... is something going on?"
He slowed up as he neared, uncertain of what he would come to find upon turning the corner. What he eventually came to find was unexpected. The lights shined bright, from the dazzling jewels to the fine line of cloth that could be seen hanging in place. Where he had found himself was most apparent.
"A flea market at this time of night," Kaito said. "That's new for this time of night."
He quickly regained his sight of the four. It was clear they had slowed up in pace. They could be seen glancing at some of the stuff they passed, predominantly the man with the spiked hair who wore the white T-shirt.
"Great, this gives Jii some time to get back to me with that information."
He casually made his way into the mix of things, taking little time for him to blend in amongst the crowd. Unintentionally he found his eyes wondering, taking a liking to several items that came to his eyes. After falling further in he came upon a glass case of diamonds on the right side. He stuttered with hesitation, admiring the alluring beauty each showcased from behind the glass case. He immediately faced forward after realizing his attention had drifted elsewhere.
"Need to stay focused."
He took a shallow breath, refocusing to the task at hand. It didn't take long for him to see the spiky haired man had come to a stop, speaking with a woman who appeared to be selling a brand of clothing.
"There's one," Kaito said. "Where'd the other three go?"
Just as he turned to the other side he caught sight of him standing above all.
"There's the big guy," Kaito said then noticing the older man still at his side. "Now, where's the girl?"
With that he took the time to try and relocate her, knowing the importance of keeping everything in front of him. There was no sign of her on his first initial look, narrowing his eyes in hopes of closing in on here appearance.
"Where is she," Kaito said pressing down on his hat in attempt to keep his presence hidden. "She couldn't have gotten too far."
In the heat of it all he looked to make a move further. Just as he was to take another step he caught a glimpse of her directly to the right side. He gulped, finding that her back was luckily turned to him.
"That was close." Kaito thought as he turned for the left.
He wasted little time in setting up to turn things into his favor. In the top pocket of his jacket he reached inside to pull out his eye glass, placing it upon the railing sitting in front of him.
"Here we are."
Once in position he adjusted it, making sure he could see what was going on from behind thanks to what was being reflected. He made sure it was fixated on her, assuring he watched her every move made. With his head still lowered he took a look ahead to see the others were still in place. This was a much needed positive, giving him the additional time.
"I don't get it, was this where they planned to meet all along?"
There was no real way of telling. Regardless he chose not to make any further moves until all was in his comfort zone. After a moment's thought his eyes fluttered back to the glass piece, still reflecting her every move. She finished observing a brand of cloth soon after, looking to rejoin the others who were further up. He tried getting a clear look at her face as she turned, only to get the flash of her hair which waved past as she walked.
"Looks like she's done there," Kaito said reaching out for his possession. "Didn't get a look at her face, but it might not matter."
He continued to trail her movements with his eyes, watching as she passed the spiky haired man who appeared to be in the process of purchasing something. After confirming his location he looked further ahead to see the other two still standing in place where they had been.
"I see, they've been waiting for the others."
His belief were confirmed soon after when they were rejoined by the other two, which resulted in them continuing on.
"Just as I thought," Kaito said. "Question is, where to next."
He was determined to find out the answer to that. He followed just as discreetly as before, knowing he could be spotted at any given time.
Between what was being reported on the news and the bomb he continued to examine he still found the time to monitor the clock. Unsuspectingly the door to the room was pushed open, grabbing his attention in the process.
"I didn't think you'd still be in here," Alfred said. "I thought for sure you would be down stairs prepping for your nightly routine."
"It's only twenty after ten," Bruce pointed out. "I don't plan on heading out until after eleven some time."
"Will you be taking Damian along with you?"
"For what I plan on setting out to do, no."
"And where do you plan on going?"
"Mount Zomoph." Bruce replied.
"On what grounds?"
"To revisit the site where the bomb was found."
"But didn't Grayson finish his scoop of the place?"
"Yes, but I'm not just going in with the intent of shadowing everything he set in place," Bruce clarified. "Tim said where the bomb was placed was directly in proportion with the center of Mount Zomoph."
"Besides the location of where the bomb was discovered there is another area underground that was labeled on the map that he followed."
"I'm fully aware of that," Alfred said. "That was something I pointed out before handing over the blueprints to him this morning, but what of it?"
"It's all about proportion and meaning."
"Where the bomb was found was at the center of the park, directly under ground," Bruce began. "The second location examined by Dick was exactly a half mile from where the bomb was found."
"Did he find anything at that particular area?"
"No, he didn't," Bruce replied. "But it's not what was underground that has sparked an interest, but rather what is located on the surface."
"Wait... isn't that one of the companies that was linked with the case you just worked?"
"Yes," Bruce confirmed. "The Futures Building."
"Come to think of it the location where Mount Zomoph was built was the original plan to where the Futures Building was to be constructed."
"Exactly," Bruce said. "Everything up to this point has begun and ended with the Futures Building right in the clear."
"But what do you plan to learn?"
"There has to be a link to why that location was chosen for where the bomb was placed," Bruce replied. "Everything we've learned would seem to suggest this."
"I'll go and do further research on Cennals Inc," Alfred said. "With any luck there might be something to find."
"I'd appreciate that," Bruce said. "It will save me the time of doing it myself."
"Any word from Shinichi since his departure?"
"Nothing yet," Bruce replied. "I'll try reaching him again tomorrow sometime after all is handled with this."
"I'll let you know if he calls anytime sooner," Alfred said turning for the door. "Until then I'll go and begin that search."
"I'll check in with you later."
A marginable distance had been made in the last couple minutes. He looked over his shoulder as he walked, finding that the market passed was now far out of sight. Where they were now in location was a mystery to him. Every other street light passed by seemed to be burned out, making it hard to sight street signs from a distance. This was to be welcomed, the cover the darkness provided.
"We've been moving for nearly forty minutes now, why on earth would they choose to walk this far when they could have simply fetched a cab?"
Just as they were in the mist of reaching the end of the block they stopped upon reaching an entryway to something. He was not sure what had caused the stop. Though it was faint he could hear the big man speaking once again.
After a brief back and forth the four made a move for the entryway that was hard for him to make out from his position.
"Could this be it," Kaito thought. "Could this be the place?"
Though the end seemed to be near he still moved with high alert, knowing there was no telling what was to come. As staggering as the unknown may be he pressed on with the same drive. As he closed in on where they entered a sudden sound from the left him frozen. He turned only to find a pair of birds standing atop a mailbox. A grin came to his face upon realizing.
"Hmm, you little guys could prove useful," Kaito said with a long pause. "Now, what to do."
After further preparation had been reached he made his way into the direction they had gone. He came to find a fleet of stairs that lead down into the ground.
"This must be a subway station," Kaito said. "No doubt about it."
He contemplated on how to approach his next move, knowing he'd need a means of an advantage if he was to head in directly. They were completely out of sight by this time, whether they had come to a stop or continued to move was unknown to him. It was at that moment that he took notice of the pipes along the wall, but it wasn't their presence that had caught his attention, but rather the sound coming from them.
"What is that?"
He leaned in, bringing an ear to the side of it to hear its tingling sound, almost as if it were whispering to him.
"That's it," Kaito said with a grin falling into place. "Just the advantage I was looking for, no matter how lacking in potential success it may be."
It came at no better time, feeling the vibration of the phone within his pocket. He immediately reached down for it, bringing it to his ear as he took a step back from the pipes.
"Please tell me you've got something for me."
"I looked into your request," Konosuke said. "Luckily there was much information to find."
"Great, so what were you able to find?"
"Names of relatives, financial records, date and place of birth, business partners," Konosuke began. "You name it."
"What about his friends," Kaito asked. "Were you able to gain any of their names?"
"Not quite, but that doesn't mean I can't cross reference to find out."
"I'm not quite sure what you mean by that but I'll leave that to you."
"Where are you now?"
"By some subway," Kaito informed. "The guys I've been trailing have gone in already, I'm just making sure all is accounted for before I head in after them."
"Now tell me," Kaito said. "What do you know?"
"It will take time to get through it all."
"Then give me the information that matters."
"The information that matters," Konosuke questioned. "You'll have to be more specific than that, what do you plan to do?"
"Deception is my ace card," Kaito smilingly replied. "I have an idea, but haven't quite worked out all the details."
"Alright, tell me what you want to know."
"This won't take long."
With that he pinned down his focus, ready to hear what he wanted to know. He kept it short as possible, knowing that time was a factor. It took all but a minute for all necessary information to be delivered.
"Great," Kaito said. "That will be enough."
"I've remained dormant for long enough," Kaito replied with a lighting tone. "The time has come for the show to begin."
"You'll know in time," Kaito promised. "But right now I better get a move on."
"Master Kuroba… be careful."
"No need to worry," Kaito assured. "I've got this all figured."
"Well in that case, good luck."
The empty tune of a broken line played in the moments that past, letting him know the transmission had been cut. He placed the phone into his pocket, ready to carry on with a clear motive in sight.
"It's been a couple minutes since the last I saw them," Kaito said as he made his way back for the subway stairs. "I didn't hear a train pass by so if they're still on the move it must be by foot, which means they couldn't have gotten too far."
Though valuable time had been spent, he was almost certain he'd catch up to the group in no time. A sound bounced through the walls with no warning, echoing his way in small portions.
"That sound, voices?"
He became noticeably subtle in each step taken from that point on, unsure of what awaited around the corner. Then about five feet from reaching the bottom of the stairs a tone of familiarity struck, stopping at the gruffness of the voice.
He was almost sure of it. He pressed his back to the wall, inching his way down to the last step. He poked his head around the corner, confirming the voice he had heard was that of the man who wore the jacket.
"It's them, so they haven't made a move at all since arriving down here," Kaito thought. "Now that the stage is set and the audience in the wait, it's time to begin."
To Be Continued