12. Jack the Ripper in Ueno Park
For the next morning, the weather forecast predicted another sunny day. The winter sun, however, would not be shining down on the secret base several hundred meters underground.
Only the light from the projector dimly illuminates the pointlessly large room. The person on the screen is a dark-haired woman with cool eyes.
“The target is this person, ‘The Sword Mountain Mysterious Being, Sword Minas,’ ssu.”
“Just by hearing that name, I don’t really want to meet that person anymore. It’s definitely someone as sharp as a knife.”
“What is being done is actually also pretty sharp, ssu.”
Over the past few days, there have been a series of incidents on the streets where the clothes of people are randomly shredded upon passing by one another. Victims are not targeted according to gender or age. The times of the attacks are also random.
The only unnatural point is that at the crime scenes, several knives that seem to have been utilized for cutting have been left behind. Nothing about either the source or manufacturer of the knives is known.
“So far no one has been injured, ssu.”
“With this kind of behavior, it’s only a matter of time.”
Ark Dominion has concluded that the series of events is the work of a mysterious being. Thus, from the database, this “Mysterious Being of Sword Mountain, Sword Minas” surfaced.
According to the documents, this mysterious being was detained two years ago in Sapporo thanks to the efforts of Hero Headquarters. For some reason, that mysterious being seems to have been causing trouble in Tokyo for the past few days.
Protecting stray mysterious beings causing trouble in the world is said to be one of the responsibilities of Ark Dominion. Rintaro’s being brought to Ark Dominion was a part of that.
“It’s Aniki’s first job, ssu! Samecchi is also excited, ssu!”
“Yeah, please take it easy.”
Samecchi, who has always worked alone, is elated at Rintaro’s offering to help.
On the surface, Rintaro is a subordinate of Ark Dominion, but this is of course not his real intention. This is also a strategy for escaping the underground organization and returning to Hero Headquarters.
From the depth of Rintaro’s heart, a black smile oozes out.
A chance to learn about the movements of a mysterious being organization in detail seldomly arises. This is especially so for the highly secretive and mysterious organization, the secret society Ark Dominion. This is in regards to not only in its existence but also in its various activities. There would be nothing more suitable than that as a souvenir for Hero Headquarters.
If I claim to have infiltrated the Ark Dominion as a spy to learn about the enemy’s movements… I’ll be able to return naturally… Kukuku, it’s perfect…..
When Rintaro was performing his duties as a Victor Ranger, his targeted mysterious beings would suddenly disappear every once in a while. The secret society Ark Dominion was behind it. If he can find out the full story behind this trickery, there would be no better accomplishment.
“The key to this job is to get it done before Hero Headquarters rushes in, ssu!”
“I see, hence it doesn’t matter whether a net is set up at the station or airport.”
That’s how most of the mysterious beings crawling around the Ark Dominion secret base were gathered. Hence why various remnants of destroyed organizations are present there.
Rintaro, too, was mistaken as one such mysterious being and brought there.
“This is also a duty of the Ark Dominion, ssu! This is Samecchi’s forte, so Aniki can also rely on Samecchi, ssu!”
I was abducted because Samecchi blundered, though!
Rintaro swallows the words that almost come out of his throat. What is more threatening is the fact that the mysterious being organization has a better intelligence network than Hero Headquarters. It takes a snake to follow the road of a snake, after all.
Information on stray mysterious beings has been collected into a thick file called the “Comprehensive Mysterious Being Dictionary” by Samecchi.
“That database looks quite convenient. Let me see it later.”
“Y- You can’t, ssu, not even if it’s Aniki! This is Samecchi’s identity, ssu!”
Rintaro clicks his tongue in his mind so that Samecchi does not notice.
“That’s a shame. I thought I’d be able use it for various things.”
“This is the only treasure I can’t let you see, ssu. Anyway, next I want Aniki to look at this person, ssu.”
Samecchi changes the image on the projector. It shows an enlarged map of Tokyo with several red dots on it.
“The first attack was in Ochanomizu, ssu. Then at Kanda Myojin Shine, followed by Ameyoko, ssune.”
“……It’s moving north little by little. Looks like Ueno might be next.”
“Mufufu, as expected of Aniki, ssune. Actually, someone resembling a mysterious being was reported having been spotted there earlier, ssu.”
—Not long after that, Rintaro is driving a car with Samecchi in the passenger seat.
The center of Japanese art and a home to many cultural facilities. Come spring, it crowds with a great bustle of cherry blossom viewers. With that thought in mind, even the withered trees that billow and the water that ripples from the north wind give the impression of being a refined work of art.
“Samecchi wants to ride a swan boat, ssu!”
“All right, then go ahead and ride by yourself. Aniki will watch you from here.”
“Uwaan, Aniki is so cold, ssu. Ah, taiyaki, ssu! Aniki, taiyaki, ssuyo!”
“Yes, you’re right, it’s taiyaki. Well then, shall we leave it at that and get going, Samecchi?”
“Uwaan, Samecchi doesn’t want to be left behind, ssu!”
Rintaro walks all around the vast Ueno Park while holding Samecchi’s reins as she keeps biting at all bait attempting to lure her left and right.
“Is Aniki the type that starts from the tail, ssuka? Mufufu, Samecchi is the type that eats taiyaki from the belly, ssu.”
Samecchi, having had taiyaki bought for her, is in high spirits.
“Don’t run. If you run, you might fall into the pond and get eaten by piranhas.”
“It’s okay, ssu! Samecchi’s specialty, despite appearances, is swimming, ssu!”
“Yeah, I am sure! No, that’s not the problem. Look, if you don’t pay attention to where you’re going–“
However, Rintaro’s warning comes a moment too late.
Samecchi accidently collides with a passerby and they both fall over. Rintaro rushes over in a fluster.
“Oh, seriously! Which is why I told you cut it out! I’m sorry for my stupid shark….”
“N, No, no, no no, no! It’s fine! I am also sorry, I was having trouble seeing what is in front of me!”
The woman declines Rintaro’s extended hand and cheerfully stands up.
“Hey, Samecchi apologize… too…!?”
“I am sorry…… ssu……!?”
Rintaro and Samecchi are dumbfounded by the woman’s appearance. She is wearing a tattered long coat and a tulip hat like Kosuke Kindaichi, which is fine. She wears dark sunglasses and a large mask that covers her mouth, which for argument’s sake is also fine.
What surprises them is the woman’s height. She is a head taller than Rintaro, someone who isn’t exactly short. That isn’t to say she is well built, but that she is tall and slender like a foreign model.
Combined with her suspicious appearance, she doesn’t come off as a respectable person at all.
Ah, we’re going to be killed by this person.
Samecchi’s adventure is ending here, ssu.
Rintaro and Samecchi are thinking that, but the woman, also being a woman, seems to likewise be in a hurry.
“I, I, I, I, I’m sorry too, excuse me….! Really, I’m sorry!”
No sooner does the woman bow her head that she runs off.
“…… How impactful, ssu……”
“Yeah, Samecchi should make sure to be careful from now on– Hmm?”
“What’s wrong, ssuka, Aniki?”
“Did Samecchi do that?”
Rintaro points at the taiyaki he had just bought for Samecchi. Not only is the head gone, the severed part is as flat as a piece of food set out for sampling.
“Ahh— —! The head of Samecchi’s taiyaki-kun—!”
The important head is lying on the ground in a miserable state.
Together with it is a knife.
The moment Rintaro picks up the knife, he remembers the explanation Samecchi gave him that morning. The indiscriminate and sudden assault, the way a dangerous weapon is left at the crime scene, it is exactly like—
“I’ll buy you another one. Rather than that, after her, Samecchi.”
“After her? That person earlier, ssuka?”
“Yes, that person is the ‘Mysterious Being of Sword Mountain, Sword Minas’!”