Chapter 18 - Untouchable

(Focus...)

"Uesaki!", Fumiyoka cried out hysterically.

"I don't need anything else."

With the barrel of the pistol against his temple, he stood there, staring with a deranged look at the frightened faces of the individual family members, their servants, and the police officers. Conan quickly looked around. He had to do something.

"NO ONE MOVES! IF ANYONE TAKES A STEP, I'LL F*CKING SHOOT MYSELF!", he shouted at them. The police officers also drew their pistols from their pockets and aimed them at Uesaki.

"Wait, don't shoot!", Inspector Megure shouted, holding the police officers back. Everyone stared pale-faced in his direction.

"DROP THE GUNS!"

A signal from the inspector, and the police officers lowered their pistols.

"Why are you doing this, Uesaki?!", Fumiyoka cried, taking a step closer.

"I SAID NO ONE MOVES!", he shouted, keeping his finger on the trigger. His eyes were wide open but completely lifeless. He took a few steps back.

"PUT THE GUN DOWN!"

"Tell me, Fumiyoka, did you never think that you were just a tool for me?"

"What?"

"I could have exterminated your entire family. All the lies, fame based on deceit and slander. Without the work of my family, you couldn't have accomplished anything anyway. What do you say now, Fumiyoka? Don't you feel any guilt?"

"I...", he started, wanting to take a step towards him, but his father interrupted him.

"That's enough now, Mr. Wakuta. Put the weapon down immediately.", he replied. Uesaki laughed again.

The man started to walk backward and approached a cliff behind him.

"Stay here!"

"How pathetic...", he muttered and slowly let himself fall into the abyss.

"Follow him, quickly!", the inspector ordered, pointing to the cliff.

Conan didn't hesitate and ran after him. He jumped down the cliff and rolled to cushion his fall.

"But Conan...! That's too dangerous!", he heard Yuzaki shout behind him, but he ignored it.

"Stop!", Conan called out to him. No sign of Mr. Wakuta... damn, he was fast.

"Search every vantage point. He shouldn't be far away!", he heard the police officers shout from behind.

Conan had to think fast. Mr. Wakuta mentioned "she" earlier, so he explicitly referred to a woman. The only maids he interacted with during his presence were Mrs. Botan and Mrs. Ogari. Which of the two women could be the accomplice?

The morning sun appeared on the horizon, illuminating Uesaki Wakuta's desperate face in a bright red as he ran down the mountainside as fast as he could. He just wanted to reach her. His goddess, his everything.

(You'd do the same for me if I were to leave, wouldn't you, Uesaki?)

He stumbled a few times over rocks and roots, bumped into some trees, until he finally fell onto the cold grass of a small treeless meadow, with his aching shoulders. He had been running relentlessly for about 10 minutes and there was still no trace of her.

(Your father would have been so proud of you.)

"No... I can't just give up like this.", he muttered, getting up to brush off the dirt and fallen autumn leaves from his jacket.

"Where am I?", he asked himself.

"Good morning, Mr. Wakuta.", he heard a woman's voice behind him. Startled, he turned around.

"You?"

"I suppose you know what you did wrong.", she replied in a calm tone.

"How...?"

"No? Did I ever give you permission to use the device without my consent?"

"But I..."

"Did I?", she asked him again, this time with anger in her voice.

"No, but..."

"Mr. Wakuta, that goes against our agreement and you know it. That's why I'll be taking the right to eliminate you. I dislike lone wolfs."

Eliminate? Mr. Wakuta trembled all over his body.

"No, wait, you've completely misunderstood!"

"I don't think so. Did you know that acting on your own should not be possible for you? Why did you still do it?"

"Well, I..."

"So, it means, that you must've used the device on yourself before I gave it to you. You resisted my orders, is that correct?"

She took something small out of a pocket in her maid's uniform and hid it behind her back. Uesaki's eyes widened immediately. He knew exactly what awaited him.

"No, please, don't do it! I'm begging you!", he screamed desperately, falling to his knees.

"How disgusting. Just look at yourself. Begging and crawling like a filthy rat, desperately clinging to anything that could save you from dying. You truly are despicable. It would be best to kill you here and now. Your sight alone makes one want to vomit.", she said and spat in his direction.

"I..."

He looked down at the ground, watching the tears fall from his cheeks onto the grass beneath him. To experience such humiliation…

"Stand up.", she commanded, snapping her fingers.

As if on command, he rose to his feet and stood before her with his head bowed.

"You are empty, have achieved nothing significant in life and YOU think you can defy me?"

"I beg you, I can still change the situation."

"That doesn't change the fact that you failed. I wish you good night."

"NO, WAIT! I'M BEG-"

She clapped her hands twice, and the man before her saw nothing but darkness. Uesaki Wakuta's lifeless body fell to the ground like a doll. His eyes were completely white.

"At least I don't have to dirty my hands anymore.", she said with a disgusted tone, about to leave but…

Something moved behind her. She hesitated.

"Don't move!"

She quickly turned around, but no one was there.

"I know who you are. You worked with Mr. Wakuta and disabled the security measures in this house to kill all the residents. Additionally, you wrote the threatening letter and pretended to be shy so you wouldn't have to answer any questions. In the end, Mr. Wakuta covered for you, redirecting the conversation to himself. Isn't that right, Mrs. Asakura Ogari?", the voice continued. The woman stood speechless for a moment. A woman's voice? Or perhaps just a child?

"And who are you, may I ask?", she challenged.

"I ask the questions, is that clear?"

Wiiiiiiiieeeee...

"Oh…", she murmured playfully.

"Answer me."

The woman laughed.

"Well deduced. I must say, the presence of a second detective here has truly surprised me. What's your name? I must know who I'm dealing with, don't you think?"

Was it one of the policemen chasing after this failure of a man? If so, how did they find her so quickly? She glanced briefly at the lifeless body in front of her, then back at the hill behind the corpse. She truly hadn't expected this. Paying attention to what came next was now more important to her than anything else.

"Very well.", he said, stepping out of a bush on the slope above her.

"A child?"

"Quite surprising, ain't it? And while we chat here, the police should be here in a few minutes, so I'd say I'm rather good at buying time."

So, it was just a child after all? How laughable.

"Then you don't mind if I kill you here and now, do you?"

"You'll have to catch me first. But I doubt it would do you any good when the policemen soon take out the handcuffs with your name on them."

"Leave that to me. I'd rather have you tell me your name, kiddo."

Conan hesitated, but then smiled with a challenging look on his face.

"Conan Edogawa. A detective."

"Very well, Conan."

She clapped once.

Goodbye, little detective. She couldn't help but smile. He won't even realize he's dying. Somehow it's a shame. He could have been of good use for her. But now, his light will truly be extinguished. How naive children are. She chuckled to herself. But honestly, this boy had become interesting in such a short time. But that's just it, goodnight.

But before she could clap a second time, her phone vibrated in her pocket. Conan watched attentively as she immediately took out the phone and answered it.

"I apologize, Boss... Yes… Of course…"

Her boss? Did that mean she really was a Member of the Black Organization after all? Then she would be a member that Rena Mitsunashi hadn't informed the FBI about, right? No, that couldn't be possible. Kir was always a good source of information in that regard. Well, thinking about it would only waste more time. This was the chance, Conan thought. Now or never.

"Very well, I'll retreat... Yes... Goodbye."

She hung up and returned to the boy...

"What...?"

...only to find that he was no longer where he had been standing before.

"What the hell...?"

Wuuusshhhh...

She didn't get any further as she realized that a soccer ball was flying directly towards her. Conan watched this from another corner and saw as the soccer ball...

"What the...?"

His eyes widened.

...simply passed through her as if she never existed in the first place.

"No way. That can't be possible. How did she...?", he whispered in disbelief before he noticed that the ground beneath his feet gave away and he tumbled down the slope straight towards her. He looked up and saw the woman before him.

"Did you shoot this soccer ball at me?", she asked threateningly.

Conan didn't answer.

What was he supposed to say to that? He would have never believed what he had just witnessed. How was this even possible? Was she just an illusion? No, certainly not, because Mrs. Ogari was constantly with them and the others could interact with her normally. Perhaps he missed the target, or she dodged it at the last moment. That and only that could be possible. There was no other explanation for it.

"That's it for you too. I was about to retreat, but you gave me a good reason to kill you as well.", she said, kneeling down beside him.

"N-No...", he managed to utter.

"Well, now that I think about it, there's one thing you overlooked in your conclusions, little guy... I can't remember ever sending a threatening letter to the Ichigo family.", she added, staring deeply into his eyes.

"What?"

Conan couldn't believe it. If she was right, then who wrote the threatening letter? Who knew about the attack besides Mr. Wakuta and Mrs. Ogari? Could it be...? No, it couldn't be true...

"Farewell, little detective.", she replied.

Mrs. Ogari clapped her hands twice, and he felt everything around him suddenly turn black, as if a plug had been pulled from the television. He too fell lifelessly to the ground. The woman looked disdainfully at the two bodies before her.

"A child... how interesting.", she murmured and left the scene through the bushes, leaving behind the corpses of Mr. Uesaki Wakuta and Conan.

A few minutes earlier...

"What the...? What happened?", Kogoro mumbled, feeling dazed as he rubbed his head in confusion.

"Mr. Mori, you've finally woken up!", the inspector noticed.

"Did I solve the case?"

"You're quite the one to talk, you solved the case with ease, but the culprit got away. Our officers are currently searching for him."

"It seems you were right about the whole accomplice thing. Conan just followed them.", Takagi replied.

Suddenly, Mr. Mori was wide awake.

"What are you saying?", he exclaimed excitedly, grabbing him by the jacket.

"Mr. Mori, what..."

He turned to Yuzaki, glaring at him angrily.

"Mr. Ichigo, why didn't you stop him?! You know how terrible the organization is!"

"He got away from us and we didn't have time to react. The police officers and Conan were already gone.", Yuzaki replied.

("Does the term 'White Lotus' mean anything to you?")

"An organization? Hey, what do you mean...?", Inspector Megure interjected, but he interrupted him.

"Damn it, I should have known. That little brat!", he cursed and ran after the police officers.

"Wait, Mr. Mori, we're coming with you.", Takagi and the inspector responded, joining him.

Together, they ran down the slope and past the trees. The morning sun dazzled them from the side and their eyes adjusted to the brightness around them. Several minutes passed without any sign of Conan until...

"Krrrshhh... Inspector?", a voice came from the inspector's radio.

"Go ahead."

"We found the boy. He's not injured, but he's having trouble breathing.", one of the officers replied.

Upon hearing this, Kogoro took the device from the inspector's hand.

"What are you saying?", he shouted into the microphone.

"He seems to be breathing very weakly. The suspect, Mr. Wakuta, is lying next to him, but he's no longer breathing and his pulse is gone. He must have been killed recently.", another officer confirmed.

Kogoro breathed a sigh of relief. That little idiot still could be saved.

"The boy is still alive, but his vital signs are weak."

"Give us the location where you guys found him and we'll be there as quickly as possible.", the inspector said.

When the three of them arrived at the scene, they brought the two bodies up to the estate where the staff, Yuzaki, Natsume and Fumiyoka were waiting for them. More and more rays of sunlight appeared as the morning set in. When Natsume saw Conan's lifeless white eyes, she became serious. She could have imagined what would have happened to her if Mrs. Ogari had caught her instead. They laid him on the soft grass in front of the garden and began performing life-saving measures while he desperately fought for his life.

("You can't die here...")

It was warm. Conan slowly opened his eyes and looked around. After a while, he realized he was surrounded by a green glowing liquid.

He tried to breathe but felt no oxygen. He couldn't move either - it was as if his limbs were paralyzed.

("You won't die...")

Wiiiiiieeee...

The beeping in his ears was louder than ever. This wasn't the Ichigo estate where he had been lying on the hill, watching as Mrs. Ogari killed Mr. Wakuta. Had he also died? No, that couldn't be. Then where else were these voices coming from if he was still alive?

Green. Everywhere he looked, it was green. Strains of Hair were blowing in his face. He couldn't recall ever having such long hair. The hair color was different too, but due to the dense green liquid, he couldn't make it out.

("Wait for me.")

Was it him who spoke those words? No, something made him say them.

("Open your eyes.")

His eyes were already open. What did that mean? He couldn't move anything else.

("Wake up.")

But the voice sounded familiar. Didn't it belong to Haibara? How could that be? The beeping slowly faded away.

"He's waking up.", another voice said.

"He's alive!"

"His pulse has stabilized again!"

Conan opened his eyes and rubbed his numb head. He looked into the faces of Natsume, Kogoro, Yuzaki, Fumiyoka and the inspector. Was it all just in his mind?

"How are you feeling, kid?", Fumiyoka asked.

"Wha-?"

"I was so worried. I really thought you were really dead.", Natsume exclaimed, hugging him and patting his back passionately. Confused, he looked around. Apparently he found himself laying in front of the entrance steps of the Mansion. The rays of the morning sun illuminated the wreckage of the destroyed estate before them - truly a disappointing sight.

"What was that...?", he muttered, looking at his hands. What happened to him? He couldn't make sense of the events that had unfolded before.

"Inspector, Mr. Wakuta's body is being taken to the autopsy station for further examination because the cause of death is still unclear.", a police officer, who was involved in the investigation reported.

"Ah... thank you."

"And one more thing... it seems that the person who killed him is one of the recent serial killers."

"What?!", Conan suddenly became wide awake.

"What are you saying?"

"On his right hand, two fingers are extended, while the rest are clenched into fists."

Two fingers? So it was true...

Mrs. Ogari belonged to the serial killers, just like the man who attacked Ayumi.

"That means...", Kogoro began, staring at Yuzaki with a serious expression, who nodded in agreement.

"I guess I was right with my assumption.", he replied.

The inspector sighed.

"We'll investigate further into the unknown cause of death. The case involving Mr. Wakuta seems to be resolved.", he said. Conan stared at the estate in front of them, still confused about what had happened, etching it into his memory.

Kogoro said his goodbyes to the family, who promised to deliver the money by tomorrow. Although he politely declined, Fumiyoka insisted that he had done his work and should receive his payment of 1.5 Million.

Before leaving the family, Conan cast a final, serious glance at Natsume, who waved at them with a smile. Had all of this been part of her plan? This girl wasn't what she pretended to be; he was a hundred percent certain of that. What was hiding behind her innocent expression?

"I guess we don't have to worry about the mold anymore, huh?", Yuzaki said as he, his son and Natsume watched the two detectives walk to the parking lot.

"Not funny, Dad."

"Sorry. Well, at least there's still a lot to rebuild, right, Natsume?"

"Yeah.", she muttered and waved goodbye. Then she turned away from the two and walked back into the destroyed estate.

"Wait, what are you still doing in there?", Fumiyoka asked.

"Nothing. I'm just looking for something."

"What could she be searching for?", he asked his father.

"No clue."

Yuzaki sighed.

"It looks like we'll have to stay at our headquarters until the repairs here are completed. God, your mother's gonna kill me."

"But it's not your fault, right?"

"Yes, but I still have to explain the whole thing to her, if you understand."

"Alright, then I'll probably go to the hospital."

"Is it because of Anya?"

"Yeah, sure..."

He cast a final glance at the estate before taking out his phone from his pocket and going through his contacts list. When he reached Mr. Okita's name, his hands began to tremble as he deleted the number from his contacts.

The walls were dirty and cold. She descended deeper into the hole, taking the stairs down until she reached a corridor. She coughed and waved away the dust with her hand. Using her phone as a source of light, she could see the light switch on the wall and turned on the ceiling lamps. At the end of the corridor was a dead-end, which consisted only of a thin wall that she easily pushed aside. Behind it was a room that was much more spacious.

Everywhere she looked, there were sticky notes on the walls, some blank, some scribbled on. Many had passwords written on them and a few consisted of sketches of various people. They were connected with pushpins and red threads, which extended further towards the center until they reached a picture. She walked past the bulletin board to a desk at the end of the room and turned on the light of a desk lamp. Under the desk, she retrieved a laptop from a compartment. She blew off the dust from the device and turned on the laptop, which booted up shortly after.

After logging into her user account, she opened several files and executed them. On the screen appeared a radar transmitter of some sorts with a GPS signal and an overhead satellite image of a vehicle.

Natsume smiled. The wait was finally over. She put on her headphones and turned up the volume. She heard the voices of an older man and a young boy who were inside the vehicle. From the sound of it, they seemed to be arguing with each other.

"...were you thinking with your behavior last night? Are you out of your mind?"

"She wasn't herself anymore, I could see that."

"I saw it myself. But this situation was too dangerous for a diaper-shitter like you."

Silence.

"I'll talk to Ran about it. You two scared the hell out of me this time. I don't want any more solo actions from you in the future, understood?"

"Understood."

"Good."

She activated the thermal imaging function on the satellite transmission, and the screen displayed three individuals inside the car.

"That should be him and the detective, along with his daughter. That's one thing off my list.", she murmured thoughtfully. Then she grinned and shifted her focus away from the laptop to something else. She pointed the flashlight at the bulletin board to her right, specifically at the photo in the center.

"I can't wait to play with you.", she said, taking another photo out of one of the drawers.

"And you'll help me, won't you…", she added, pinning the photo directly next to the image. Her smile widened.

The photo in the center depicted a man in his thirties with a scar on his face, wearing a brown jacket with a slightly oversized hood. The photo she pinned next to it showed a charismatic high school student with black hair and a blue school uniform, enthusiastically pointing his thumb at himself and smiling into the camera.

"...Shinichi?"

She turned her attention back to the laptop and closed it. Then she tucked it under her arm and left the room. Before doing so, she cast a final glance at everything this secret room had to offer.

"He almost would've found this room after all.", she murmured, nibbling on her fingernail. She had spent years here, observing the staff for suspicious activities. She knew from the beginning that Mr. Wakuta and Mrs. Ogari were up to yet...

Her gaze fell on an object that had been on the table where she took the laptop.

"Oh, I almost forgot."

She approached the object and took out a lens. She looked at it with relief. It had nearly been destroyed, risking exposure of her plans and rendering the data useless.

"The vase was really beautiful. It would be a shame if it broke."

The girl looked at it one last time and then turned her back to it. Natsume left the room and turned off the light, her figure swallowed by darkness. Since then, this place had not been visited ever again.

– Chapter 18 END –

Author's Note: Only one single Chapter left! I really can't wait to continue publishing Chapter 20 & 21, which both are really cool and interesting Chapters, if I say so myself. I'm really glad I can leave this Arc behind and focus on the most important Character (my opinion) in in this entire Arc: Ayumi or should I say Ayame, since she recently had to change her identity and everything. Can't wait to show more of her amazing sides and turns of her personality.

How have you been enjoying this Arc up until now? If your answer was 'pretty much', then I hope you're ready for the translation of Chapter 19, because I'll be having to place some Trigger Warnings at the beginning of it, because that sh*t is brutal and definitely nothing for the weak stomachs. (Weak stomachs, get it?)

Soon, I will be translating the final chapter of the Ichigo Household Mini-Arc and I'm so up for it. I'd be glad if someone could just give me more ideas for murder cases, because I'm really having a hard time with coming up with new and original ideas for them. Please message me on Twitter "LayverP" and I'll take your ideas to heart.

Since the Original FanFiction has been written in German, most of the dialogue might lose on quality over the course of this chapter and unfortunately I haven't found a way to fix it. Please note, that I'm not a native speaker yet still try my best to give you the best translation possible.

That'd be it from me. Have a good day.