For a mastermind, Fyodor's first crime was a stupid one.

His being quite ill and undernourished could be offered as reasons, or the fact that he was quite desperate for any roubles that might come by.

These pathetic excuses, however, would not justify his impulsive and unplanned actions.

Looking back on it now, he pondered, it would have been wise to have a method for house-searching laid out beforehand, as well as escape routes and stashes for the spoils.

It would have also been easy to manipulate the two men who almost caught him, as well as the porter. He could even manipulate the police into arresting one of these people the next day, when he has been summoned to the police station for his lodging debt. He could have even manipulated others to do the work for him in the first place.

The choice of weapons had been quite crude, but considering the circumstances none else could probably be found. He had no qualm about spraying blood and crushing skulls anyway.

He'd come a long way, from that first mindless deed.

Fyodor smiled as the notes of his cello became less reminiscent and more sinister.

A few more moves, and the Book would become his.

Crime and Punishment.

Dazai saw the possibility that, of course, high-school students somewhere could discuss without end about crimes and their assigned punishments, the law, the prosecution, the guilt that follows. Reintegration into society, second chances, execution, prison food quality bla bla bla bla.

These pointless arguments, however, are not suitable for Dazai Osamu's lazy musings.

He has other things to think about, other, more worthwhile things.

Such as how to hit on that beautiful lady he had seen on the opposite side of the street the other day, or the intricate art of finding the right vein with a knife point, or the next prank he would pull on Chuuya (after he finished reveling in Chuuya's steaming angry yell tonight, when he look into his wine storage)

Or, he suppose, the less significant matter of figuring out Fyodor Dostoevsky's troublesome ability.

Crime and Punishment.

Tsumi to Batsu.

Verbrechen und Strafe.

His clue so far lies in this name, which seems pretty straightforward compared to the other abilities, and that one time he had seen the ability used.

Instant death by touch, and not even skin contact.

It could be that the ability instantly inflict "Punishment" on the crime the victim has committed. With the victim being a government's special force, it is likely that he has committed lethal crime at some point.

That agent had probably kill before, not to mention petty crimes like corruption and bribery — unavoidable for government work at this point.

That would mean "Crime" isn't defined according to the law, though. But that is common since abilities tend not to pay to much attention to laws and rules of any kind, anyway.

Dazai needs more information than this, but the resources on him is so scarce. And filled with misleading lies. The master of the Rats, it seems, didn't take any chances on the intellect of the demon prodigy.

He would have to go to Ranpo-san first, though he doubts Ranpo would be able to figure it out on this barest hint of information.

The investigation is strictly professional, but as with most of Dazai's agendas, the personal entanglements are there. This time it wasn't Odasaku, but something in his stomach.

A coiling fear, and hope mixed with anticipation.

The nagging question he isn't willing to answer to himself yet, the question of whether "Punishment" has been what he was seeking, all this time.

He had tried to commit suicide at fourteen, manipulated, tortured, and killed many since, and let his one and only friend die.

He feared, a little, of what he would do if he was at some critical point presented with the selfish desire of simply accepting his "Punishments", or the selfless one of protecting the city.

For now though, that bundle of complicated knots needn't be dealt with just yet.