A tall man in a suit sat on the guest sofa and took a look around the interior of Yorozuya.
“Is the company president out today too?”
Sousuke, who sat opposite him, didn’t say anything and showed a wry smile because that’s exactly how it was.
“Mutsu-san’s prediction was right, wasn’t it.”
Looking at the sighing Hiroto, the man in the suit, Miyazaki Toushirou, the very same one Mutsu had mentioned a while ago, looked curious.
“What did she say?”
“It’s nothing. What did you come here for?”
Come to think of it, Mutsu couldn’t be found, which made Toushirou feel puzzled.
Sousuke and Hiroto somehow felt that they didn’t want to ask this, and yet they urged Toushirou to speak.
Toushirou drank the green tea that Hiroto offered in one gulp and abruptly took out a file from his bag.
Sousuke and Hiroto motionlessly stared at the file on the table without saying anything. However, a hand stretched out from behind Toushirou and picked it up. It was Mutsu.
In the midst of slowly trying to put down the plate on the table with her other hand, Toushirou gently took it from her. This was because Mutsu’s eyes were already fixed on the file, and the castella sponge cake on the plate was tilting and looked like it was about to fall.
Toushirou did not look the least bit surprised about not having heard of Mutsu’s approach. He divided the sponge cake in half with a fork and put one piece into his mouth.
“It must be hectic, right?”
Even when Mutsu was busy looking at the sheets of paper in the file one by one, she turned to take a glance at Toushirou. Her face had a rarely seen gentle and affectionate look. And yet she immediately furrowed her brows, asking “You didn’t return home yesterday either, did you?” in a whisper that only Toushirou could hear.
Sousuke and Hiroto could only silently stare at the unusual air between the two of them.
Only, Hiroto seemed a bit sullen.
“Well, what did you come here for?”
Mutsu sat down next to Toushirou as she passed the documents from the folder to Sousuke.
“It’s been on the news, so you’ve probably heard about it, but it’s been discovered that quite a lot of people have gone missing during the last month.”
“I’ve heard about it. I also know that the police are not considering the disappearances to be of criminal nature.”
“But the truth is, you have no case or motives, right?” Unlike Sousuke who was studying the documents, Hiroto uneasily asked Toushirou.
“Well yes. Both age and gender are varied, it’s just that they lived near each other. Or rather, it’s only been happening in a specific area.”
Hearing the information for the first time, Sousuke raised his head from the papers.
“Sounds like they might have been spirited away then.”
Mutsu’s relaxed remark was met with silence from the others.
“I’d like you to investigate that possibility.”
“I wonder who you got that order from…”
Toushirou crossed his legs and slowly reclined on the sofa. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes, but they slowly blinked as if he struggled to open them.
“Are you that busy?”
Maybe Hiroto had become worried, as he slightly leaned forward and peered at Toushirou.
“There’s no crime scenes or potential motives, but people are disappearing. We get complaints from relatives asking us to find them, but there’s no point in strengthening our patrols.”
Toushirou, who was looking at the ceiling, truly looked worn out. Hiroto’s face morphed into a faint expression of sympathy.
Feeling an imploring gaze from Hiroto, Sousuke returned to the file.
“I understand. We’d like some slightly more detailed data though.”
“Thank you. I’ll pick some out to send to you once I return. Would it be fine if I sent it to your laptop, Yuno-san?”
“Yes, please do that.”
Toushirou showed a relieved smile and stood up without delay.
Next to him, Mutsu was broodingly stroking her chin with her finger tips. He placed his hand on her head without batting an eyelid.
“What is it?”
“No, it’s probably nothing.”
Mutsu gently removed Toushirou’s hand as she got up and went into the kitchen. Then, she came back and pressed a small tote bag into his hands, handing it over to him.
“You’ve lost weight. I’ll go take a look at things now, so you can eat this instead of me.”
“Mutsu’s bento? Is it really okay for me to eat it?”
“What do you mean by that?! I’ll have you know that I’m a good cook! … In return, give me a ride”
Hiroto seemed surprised, and Sousuke also stared at Mutsu with wide eyes.
“Will you be going first?”
“Yes, there is something that’s been bothering me.”
With those words Mutsu quickly started stuffing her things, including her cigarettes and phone into her bag. Then she stood up across from Nishihara and looked towards the door, as if urging him to hurry.
“Us guys should go find the boss first… will that be okay, though?”
“Yeah, I heard he’s at the manga café. It seems he’s out of money today.”
“Ugh, he’s useless. Why did I get a part-time job here?”
“Hiro-chan, you shouldn’t think like that.”
Mutsu chuckled as she left, pulling Toushirou towards the exit.