The identity of the man is totally not obvious. Totally. Hmm no one will ever guess who he is.

(Would also like to clarify that yes, there are two men in the first scene. Conan and the man. My beta did not realize they were separate people for most of the scene and I'd just like to prevent anyone else from making that mistake lol.)

The man wasn't too sure why he waited. If he had a bit more sense, maybe he would have just went on with his life, pretended that he was normal and definitely not assisting criminals. However, his curiosity was too strong to resist, and that was why he sat here now, gazing at the ground below, a frown on his face as he saw the three moving figures below.

One of them called out his name, and with an exaggerated sigh, he finally hopped down.

"Miyano Shiho, I assume?" he asked the woman he had never seen before. Her appearance was ragged and she was taking deep breaths in and out, her eyes flicking in every direction as if she expected to be attacked any second. Logical, the man had to admit. This woman did not trust easily, and that was surprisingly a good thing.

When he spoke, she looked at him and gave a slight, distrustful nod. "Correct. And you are?"

The man said his fake name, a charismatic grin on his face, and performed a small bow. The performance was ruined a moment later as Mouri Ran turned to Shiho and told her his real name. If Shiho was distrustful, Ran was the opposite.

"I see fake names are the trend these days," Shiho said, looking at the man and then the other one that accompanied her. Edogawa Conan, as he claimed to most people, but the man knew what his real name was. "I've been thinking about having one for myself. Haibara Ai."

"Sounds much better than Edogawa Conan," the man said with a grin.

"Mine is better than yours," Conan muttered, his eyes narrowing.

"Whatever you say," the man said with a small yet still exaggerated bow, fake reverence in his voice. "Kudo Shinichi, the Avatar."

"I still don't see," Kazuha grumbled, "why you suddenly decided that we must pack our bags and head to the Earth Kingdom just because your father told you to."

Heiji looked at her. Their ostrich horses kept a fast pace, and if it were even slightly windier, Heiji knew he wouldn't be able to hear his friend. "I told you," he said. "I know that Edogawa Conan and Mouri Ran were the ones who took Miyano Shiho. And you heard their conversation. They're taking the red dove—Miyano Shiho—to the land under the hill. The Earth Kingdom."

Kazuha gave him an unimpressed look. "And how does this have to do with you following your father's orders for once in your life?"

If he's happy with me— a small part of Heiji's traitorous brain began to say, but he shut it down. "You got along with Mouri Ran very well. Maybe you'll be able to convince them to give Miyano Shiho back to the Fire Nation peacefully."

"So your plan is all dependent upon the two interactions I have had with Ran?" Kazuha's look grew even more unimpressed, if that was even possible.

"Shut your mouth," Heiji muttered.

Surprisingly, Kazuha did.

They rode in silence for a while before Heiji realized that their rides needed rest, and the two of them dismounted next to a small lake. Heiji groaned and flopped down onto the grass. "Wake me up in an hour," he said.

"What if I fall asleep as well?" Kazuha questioned, but Heiji was already unconscious.

When he woke up, he heard more than one voice.

"Is he dead?" a female voice questioned.

"No, no!" Kazuha's voice said frantically. "He's just asleep— oi, don't—!"

A finger poked his cheek, and he opened his eyes and glared at the person who did that to him. "Hey, what was that for?"

"You looked dead," the person replied, and Heiji quickly realized it was a young woman. And not one that was unfamiliar, either.

"Ooka Momiji," she said with a small quirk of her lips. "You're Hattori Heiji, and I'm sure your girlfriend here is Toyama Kazuha."

"Not my girlfriend," Heiji said, getting up, stretching slightly while still keeping a wary eye on Momiji.

"So you're single, then," Momiji said, seeming quite happy about that, though Heiji wasn't too sure why she would be happy about his lack of an ability to obtain a romantic partner. "This here is my bodyguard, Iori Muga." Heiji turned to see a man he hadn't noticed before glaring down at them. "What are you guys doing here?"

"We're going to the Earth Kingdom," Heiji muttered. He didn't want to disclose more details than that. Momiji was from a wealthy and well known family in the Fire Nation, and anyone with those sorts of connections weren't to be easily trusted.

"The Earth Kingdom, huh," Momiji said with a nod. "I'm going there too." She got up from where she was crouching next to Heiji, and a smile formed on her lips. "I seek to travel, you see. Foreign nations interest me."

"Really?" Kazuha said distrustfully. "It seems that men interest you more."

Heiji gave her a confused look, while Momiji laughed. "I can see where your impression comes from," Momiji said. "But I assure you, men are not my priority."

"Kazuha, we should get moving," Heiji said with a sigh.

"Allow us to accompany you," Momiji said immediately. "We are traveling in the same direction after all, are we not?"

"Young lady," Iori finally spoke up. Heiji had assumed the man was a statue. "They are strangers. You should be careful."

Momiji giggled. "Strangers? Really? The Hattori family is well known. It can be assumed that their son can be trusted."

"She just wants you in her bed," Kazuha muttered.

"What?" Heiji snapped at her. "There's no way she'd want that."

Kazuha rolled her eyes but said nothing more.

Heiji turned back to Momiji. "Yeah, uh, sure," he said. No harm done as long as Kazuha doesn't spill why we're going to the Earth Kingdom, he thought. As he looked at Momiji's grin, he thought again, No harm done…

They traveled for a long time, Momiji and Iori refusing to split off from Heiji and Kazuha (well, Momiji was refusing, Iori would probably be happy to leave the second he got the chance to). Heiji found that his conversations with Kazuha decreased as the things they could say to each other decreased as well. He suspected that if it were not for Momiji's presence, they would be talking about the Avatar and what to do once they found Conan, Ran, and Shiho.

"Why did Miyano Akemi even disappear?" Kazuha questioned during one of the few rare conversations they had without any possibility of their companions eavesdropping. "Especially if she loved her sister that much…"

"I don't know for sure," Heiji sighed. "But I do know that it has to be related to the Avatar. Same with Edogawa Conan and his group."

"You don't even have that much evidence, right?" Kazuha asked.

Heiji glared at her, but she continued.

"You rush to conclusions so fast sometimes, Heiji," she sighed. "What if we go to the Earth Kingdom, look in every nook and cranny, and we still don't find Miyano Shiho?"

"Then we'll know that she is nowhere to be found," Heiji replied. "And that's good for her. It's good for Conan and Ran as well."

Kazuha bit her lip but didn't respond. That seemed to be happening a lot these days.

Now, they were finally at one of the main cities of the Earth Kingdom. Heiji gazed at the giant building belonging to one of the wealthiest families of the Earth Kingdom, though he didn't know which.

"The Suzuki family," Momiji said, answering his unspoken question. "They used to be on good terms with the Ooka family before what happened three years ago."

"The Earth Kingdom was affected that much by Kudo Shinichi's death, huh," Heiji said.

"I don't know about the Earth Kingdom in general," Momiji admitted. "But I do know it's true for the Suzuki family."

"There are rumors," Iori said, "that they had a close relationship with the Avatar."

"How close?" Kazuha questioned.

"Some say that the daughter, Suzuki Sonoko, was childhood friends with Kudo Shinichi," Iori answered. "Others say that their relationship was more than that, but those rumors aren't that popular. Whatever their relationship was, it is almost certain that Suzuki Sonoko did know Kudo Shinichi."

"I've talked to Sonoko before the execution, and she made it sound like Kudo Shinichi was the most annoying person on Earth," Momiji said. "She didn't talk about him as much as her other friend, though… Moor Runner?" She shrugged. "It's been years. I don't quite remember her name as well now."

Moor Runner… Mouri Ran? Heiji's eyes widened. If Suzuki Sonoko knows Mouri Ran and the Avatar… This pretty much proves it. I need to talk to Suzuki Sonoko.

Kazuha seemed to know where Heiji's mind was running. "It's getting late," she said. "Maybe we could ask the Suzuki family if we could stay here tonight?"

Momiji shrugged. "Sure, why not. It would be nice to talk to Sonoko again." Giving a little gesture to Iori, she began moving towards the house. All three began following her.

When Heiji reached the door, Momiji was already knocking. Heiji felt a faint surprise at that. He had thought that Momiji would be the type of person to let her bodyguard knock instead. She's so sure that the Suzukis won't come at her with knives for killing the Avatar, huh. It soon opened to reveal a woman their age with brown hair. Her eyes scanned over the four of them, then lit up.

"Momiji!" she cried out. "I thought I'd never see you again!" She ran at the girl and caught her in a hug. The two women clung to each other for a moment before the woman pulled away and introduced herself to the others. "I'm Suzuki Sonoko, as I'm sure Momiji told you." Her eyes flicked back to Momiji. "What brings you here?"

Momiji smiled. "Sonoko, I'm glad to see you too. I'm traveling across the Earth Kingdom with my companions here." She nodded at Heiji and Kazuha. "We were wondering if you would let us stay the night."

"Of course!" Sonoko said cheerfully, waving them all inside. "What are your names?"

"Toyama Kazuha," Kazuha introduced herself. "And this is my best friend, Hattori Heiji."

"Nice to meet you," Heiji offered, though he wished to get these introductions over with so he could question Sonoko about Ran and the Avatar.

"I'll find my way to my usual room, then," Momiji said. "Iori, come with me." The two of them headed into the house.

Kazuha glanced between Heiji and Sonoko before saying, "Well, uh, I'll follow them," she said. "I hope her usual room is still open."

"It is," Sonoko confirmed. "You can have the room on the right side of it."

Kazuha nodded gratefully and headed after Momiji and Iori. And now Heiji and Sonoko were left alone.

Sonoko sighed softly, facing Heiji. "Well, spit it out," she said. "You wanted to ask me something, right?"

Heiji nodded. "Yeah."

"I'm not interested in you," Sonoko said. "I've already found someone."

"I'm not—" Heiji started hotly, then stopped. He took a breath in and then out. "I'm not interested in you that way," he said. "I just wanted to ask… Momiji said you were friends with Mouri Ran?"

Sonoko's eyes lit up. "Oh, Ran! Yeah, she's my best friend! Why?"

"I met her in the Fire Nation," Heiji said.

Sonoko nodded. "Yeah, she and her second cousin decided to stay there for a bit. I think they just got the urge to travel or something like that. I hope she's coming back soon."

"She should be," Heiji said. "She just vanished a day or so before I left."

"She's probably with her father, then," Sonoko said. "Mouri Kogoro. If you want, I can give you his address so that you can say hi to her again?"

Heiji silently thanked Sonoko's klutziness and said, "Yeah, thank you. That would be great."

As Sonoko rattled off an address, Heiji inwardly made plans to visit it tomorrow. He hoped he could keep Momiji's eyes off of him, though…

"Whaaaattttt? You're just gonna leave me here?"

Kazuha almost seemed to be pouting at Heiji, which shocked him, especially considering her current mood these days. He blinked, startled, a few times before saying, "Well, yeah. What's the point in bringing you?"

"You told me that your plan was for me to talk to Ran!" Kazuha pointed out.

Heiji had to admit that was true. "I'm just going to check on them first. If they do have Miyano Shiho with them, no way they'll expose her that quickly. I'll send a message to you if they're here." And they most likely will be.

Kazuha groaned. "Fine, but I'm never forgiving you for this, you know!" With that, she stormed off to the kitchen, a flicker of flame already appearing in her left hand. Heiji didn't know why she wanted to cook, since there were already servants, but if she really wanted to, he wasn't going to stop her.

With that, Heiji left for the door. He spotted Sonoko and Momiji chatting, Iori standing ominously in a corner, and waved at them before he opened the door and exited.

Using the directions he had received from Sonoko the previous day, Heiji began heading toward Mouri Kogoro's house. He passed by many stalls selling items such as food and books, neither of which he was concerned with at the moment. Finally, he reached a building with the words "Mouri Detective Agency" on it.

Detective, huh, Heiji thought. That was what Kudo Shinichi was… I wonder if Mouri Kogoro trained him.

Knocking on the door, he called out, "Mouri Kogoro?"

Soon, a middle aged man opened the door, looking sleep deprived and irritated. "What is it? Are you a customer?"

"Are you Mouri Kogoro?" Heiji asked.

The man stood up straight and beat his chest proudly. "Yes, I am!"

"I met your daughter back in the Fire Nation," Heiji said. "Mouri Ran. I was nearby and I decided to drop by and see if she has returned?"

Instantly, Kogoro deflated, looking almost depressed. "No," he sighed. "She hasn't. She just left one day with some second cousin—probably from her mother's side, because I sure don't know any second cousins on my side—with barely a goodbye."

Heiji's blood ran cold. Mouri Ran hasn't returned. "Where's her mother?" he asked. Maybe they're with her?

"With the Southern Water Tribe right now," Kogoro said. "Settling some dispute."

So if Mouri Ran and the others came to the Earth Kingdom—which they had to, based on their code—they aren't here, Heiji thought. He turned to walk away, then belatedly turned back and said, "Thank you."

Kogoro grunted and closed the door. He should have done that earlier. Then Heiji could have spared himself two words.

As Heiji headed back, he continued thinking. The land under the hill has to be the Earth Kingdom, but they aren't staying with Mouri Ran's parents or Suzuki Sonoko, so I have to research all their connections… They might not even be staying with someone they're connected to, goddammit. Where are they?

A book was shoved in Heiji's face. "You want a book?" the shopkeeper questioned.

Heiji shook his head. "No."

"Come on, come on! At least skim through a few!" the shopkeeper set the book down and gestured at all of the others.

Heaving a sigh, Heiji picked up a random book. He skimmed through four before he picked up one called The Legends of the Fair Folk. Skimming through, he froze as he landed on one page, describing Faerieland.

The land under the hill.

"What…?" he whispered out loud, then turned to the shopkeeper. "I'll be buying this!"

The shopkeeper grinned. "Great!"

After a quick exchange of money, Heiji once again journeyed to Sonoko's home. Looking through the book, he paused as he saw one of the names for the Folk.

The Folk of the Air.

They were never in the Earth Kingdom. This whole time, they were with the Air Nomads.

Heiji started running. As he slammed open the door, he yelled, "Kazuha!"

"She's not here," Momiji's voice answered.

Frowning, Heiji tucked his book into his bag and went to the room where Momiji was. She was drinking tea, Iori behind her. "Where is she then?"

"She and Sonoko left shortly after you did," Momiji said. "They said they were going shopping."

Heiji's blood ran cold.

Suzuki Sonoko is connected to the Avatar… just like Edogawa Conan and Mouri Ran.

"I'm sure they'll return soon," Momiji said upon noticing Heiji's concerned expression.

"Y-yeah," Heiji stammered. "Soon."

While waiting for Kazuha to return, Heiji tried to devise a plan to head to the Air Nomads, which was difficult when 1. He was distracted by the possibility of Sonoko forcefully taking Kazuha somewhere (which he had to admit was unlikely, after a little bit of reflection), and 2. Momiji was constantly hovering over his shoulder.

"Will you just leave?" he asked her at one point.

Momiji just shrugged.

Sighing, Heiji continued. He didn't even try to hide anymore that he was heading to the Air Nomads. There was no point.

However, what he didn't expect was for Momiji to say, "You think that whatever is going on with Suzuki Sonoko and Mouri Ran relates to the Avatar, right?"

Heiji froze and slowly turned to look at her. "...huh?"

Momiji smiled. "Yes, I know a lot more than you give me credit for. For example, I know that Sonoko is definitely not out shopping."

Heiji quickly got up. "You told me—"

"What I told you was a lie," Momiji said smoothly. "I admit, it did take me a while to realize. I myself had only just realized when you came bursting in. I decided to wait just a little bit longer to confirm my suspicions, and," she shrugged. "My point has been proven."

"You bi—" Heiji started, but Momiji interrupted him.

"Allow me to join you to the Air Nomads, Hattori Heiji," she said, meeting his gaze. "You will find my assistance invaluable. Besides, it would definitely be exciting to go there." She smiled lightly.

Heiji saw Iori staring at him through narrowed eyes, and a chill ran down his spine. Momiji may be hiding things, but she still seems to be genuine. But Iori…

"Alright," Heiji said slowly. It was two against one, after all.

Momiji clapped her hands together. "Excellent!"

And as Heiji stared at her, he realized, Maybe she's not as genuine as I believed her to be, after all.

They left the next morning after quick preparations, and on the trail, Heiji noticed a footprint.

"That's Kazuha's," he breathed.

"And that's Sonoko's." Momiji motioned at another footprint nearby.

We're on the right trail.

I will find Edogawa Conan.

And I definitely will find Kazuha.

They continued on.

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My upcoming works are on my profile!