Chapter 04: Questioned

The police were called, Ryuuji came down, and waited for the arrival of the patrol car as curious onlookers encircled and surrounded Mr. Yodogawa from a distance. An ambulance was not called. It was obvious there was no need to call for one.
Eventually a patrol car came. Of course, a frightening-looking middle-aged policeman tried to get some information from Ryuuji. He seemed to conclude that it was a quarrel over drinks. From there he didn’t try to hide that he was beginning to doubt the circumstances.

However, the Seadragon’s waiter came outside and explained that the deceased, that is, Mr. Yodogawa, when he arrived at the restaurant by himself, already seemed emotionally unstable, and when Mr. Yodogawa began to become violent, Ryuuji tried to calm him down, and Ryuuji himself didn’t even drink a drop of alcohol.

For the time being he was cleared of any suspicion, but next time, in order to do an investigation of the scene, he would be called to come and act as a witness.

After that, each time someone came or went by the Seadragon and Mr. Yodogawa’s fall location, they had to look at the harsh work of a police officer.

They kept an eye on the people going back and forth, then moved Mr. Yodogawa’s remains before anyone noticed, the bloodstain spread out on the sidewalk in the evening hours. This was more graphic than when Mr. Yodogawa fell.

It started to get hot under Ryuuji’s left eye, on his cheekbone. He felt it to check and it seemed to be swelling. He was asked by the policeman he spoke with earlier whether he wanted to go to the hospital or to the station for questioning, so he decided to be taken to the nearest police station. The talk ended after about twenty minutes, but for some reason they left him waiting in the room for forty minutes. The pain in his cheek became worse. He almost considered it a good time to let them know that he would rebel against the state, when a small middle-aged police officer came with official documents and a first-aid kit under his arm. For the first time since this afternoon, he was able to see out of his eye. He put out his experienced hands and stuck a compress under Ryuuji’s eye.

Then, he thanked Ryuuji for his cooperation and pleasant behaviour and apologized for making him wait, then explained that he’d come to arrange to have Ryuuji fill out forms rather than question him.

The form work was finished in about ten minutes.

“There was no need to use up so much of your time. There are a lot of witnesses, and there will be no charges laid in this random suicide case,” said the officer.

“Random suicide?”

“Yes. Among Mr. Yodogawa’s personal effects we found a tranquilizer. Something to manage the stress, it seems,” said the policeman.

“However, it took some time to confirm Mr. Yodogawa’s identity. That’s why we had you wait here so long, Mr. Sogabe,” he continued.

“That’s quite alright. But, that’s kind of strange,” said Ryuuji.

“Mr. Yodogawa is the director of CyberConnect Corp. Couldn’t you simply get that information by contacting the company?” he added.

“Of course, we did call the company. They were not very helpful. In the end the call kept getting handed off to someone else, until the person in charge finally told us that there was no one who could help. Even when we told them that it was one of their own employees that died. Large companies are like bureaucracies. That’s what I say anyway,” said the middle-aged policeman somewhat indignantly.

“In the end, we contacted the wife of the deceased, and she confirmed his identity. We were very grateful for her help. This is a token of our gratitude for your cooperation.”

As he spoke, the officer passed an envelope containing a gift-certificate booklet to Ryuuji. Looking more closely, he noticed the envelope contained two slots with a telephone card in each slot. On these cards, pictures of odd mascot creatures dressed as police officers were drawn. He, or rather, these mascot-like characters looked up at Ryuuji with fearless expressions. As he closed the envelope, it looked as though the cute designs of the eyebrows rose to the forefront and became comically thick and imposing.

Image

“Ah, this is…” said Ryuuji.

“This is very lovely. Thank you very much. My daughter will be delighted,” he finished.

He thanked the officer and politely put it in his pocket.

The policeman saw Ryuuji out of the building.

“We’re very sorry for using up so much of your time. Thank you for your cooperation.”

“It was no problem at all,” said Ryuuji.

END OF CHAPTER

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