Taking a break from after stories to play the first of the routes for the side characters, Extra Story ~Herlock Sholmes~ (CV: Murakami Kazuya). This route continues from the first game‘s Prologue and Common Route. Also, I recommend having already gone through Van and Lupin’s routes from the first game. It will help you understand things better. Enjoy!
—-Humans are not lonely since birth. There’s no need to even question why. Father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, distant ancestors. Because it is impossible for a person to be alone……for an existence to be born without any connections to this world. And this is not restricted to only the moment you are born. Family, friends, comrades, coworkers. Humans can never stay disconnected for as long as they live. Yes……in other words, humans live by being connected. That’s why—-
—-that’s why. The fear experienced upon death is beautiful. How about trying to imagine it. The moment your life ends. If your consciousness ends, you will never……wake up again. The fear of losing everything and sinking into eternal loneliness, you can only savour it once in your lifetime. The more connections you have to others, the more fulfilling your life is……the greater, the more fearful you would feel. In other words, the depth of fear and despair would amount to the life you led—-there is nothing else more beautiful than that…..don’t you think so, Great Detective?
The detective thanks the criminal for his intriguing speech. However, his opinion slightly differs. Rather than agreeing that those who have led more fulfilling lives would feel more fearful upon death, he thinks that that would feel more at peace upon death. Those who would feel fearful, are those who have yet to accomplish things. They would be most fearful of their future being unreasonably robbed away – such as by the hands of a criminal as himself. He has come to pass judgement on the criminal, and to pull down the curtains on his own death, if he desires the beauty of death so much. The criminal finds it regrettable, for it feels that they could’ve become good friends. The detective replies that it’s impossible, as long as he is a criminal.
Detective and criminal. The pursuer and the one being pursued. They are at opposite ends. And so, they begin their confrontation. The scene skips to a monologue.
—-does a case beckon a detective? Or does a detective beckon a case? Either way, I believe that a detective is an existence which can’t be separated from a case.
The detective has been involved in many cases and exposed the hidden truth. The case of the fiance who was murdered, which started from a man’s revenge. The case which arose from a treasure in India. The case of the legend of a diabolical hound which cursed a certain family. But one recent case did leave a significant impression on him. If he gave it a name, it would be the “Train Snatch” case – in which they kidnapped the train which Finis, the leader of Tasogare, was on. They referring to Arsène Lupin, Impey Barbicane, Abraham Van Helsing, Saint-Germain, Victor Frankenstein – and a mysterious girl who called herself Lupin’s disciple. He investigated more after the case out of curiousity, but much about her is unknown.
He only came to know her name after another incident – Cardia. She appeared like a pure and transparent girl who was raised in a cage. But she is unlike those ladies raised in noble families. Her eyes reflected the knowledge of immense loneliness, and that she killed off all desires and hopes. How did she come to be in Lupin and gang’s company? What burden is she carrying? Is it because he is a detective, that he wishes to know? He doesn’t know if they will cross paths again, but he wishes to ask her if they do. Why is she so—-
Chapter 1: Private detective
Her steps are heavy-hearted, and her heart is still ruffled. With each step, the days she spent with Lupin and company in the mansion get further away. She’s afraid. Now that they know her true identity, those kind people may see her as a monster. That pains her more than anything else. Before she realises it, she has entered the slum streets which are still lively as in the daytime. A nearby royal guard asks if she’s alright. He advises her to stay away from this area, Whitechapel, as it’s dangerous. She’s aware about London’s biggest entertainment district, thanks to Saint guiding her around the streets. However, it is strange for so many guards to be present.
The guard informs her about recent Jack the Ripper case, and there has easily been 10 female victims already. The police caught the culprit once, but he escaped. Hence, they’re searching this area now. He advises her to hurry back home – but she no longer has a place to return to. Even if she returns to her house in Wales, there is the question of being able to buy any tickets for a train leaving today. It starts to drizzle at that moment, and she quickly seeks shelter. That being said, there aren’t many places to take shelter here.
Cardia ends up in the sewage. She probably could’ve found a better place, but she’s not in the mood for that. She curls up, as if having returned to the time when she was back in Wales. If she had not wished to touch others and remained there as told by her father, she would not be feeling this pain. The days with Lupin and company were filled with too much warmth for someone like her. Surely they’re worried. Perhaps they would’ve still accepted her, and allowed her to stay there. But she recalls what happened with Elaine and Etty. If they respond to her in the same manner, surely she won’t be able to recover from that.
She buries her head, and soon hears steady footsteps approaching. A creepy-looking man wearing a suit and a peculiar mask appears, praising her for praying and welcomes her to his shrine. She eyes the scissors he’s holding. While she questions what he means, she slowly backs away. There is a thick smell of blood coming off him. He tells her not to be so afraid, for she need not be purified immediately since she doesn’t seem to be dirtied. A distant scream belonging to a woman can be heard. The man claims that he is merely purifying this filthy world and is god’s messenger – though he is also known as Jack the Ripper. Cardia recognises this name. After all, she was just warned about him.
Instinctively, she dashes off and soon makes a sudden turn to take him by surprise, and knocks Jack down. Hoping to gain some time from that, she runs away. However, she can’t be sure of where she’s headed for as she doesn’t know the way. After a while, she stops to catch her breath. Unfortunately, the man catches up easily. He knocks her to the ground, reminding her that this is his shrine. Thus he knows every nook and cranny. Despite all of his preaching, Cardia points out that he will still kill her in the end even if she hadn’t ran away. He is just a murderer. But he rebutts that she is in no position to say that. He draws his face up to hers, and she sees the red glow in his eyes. Perhaps it is because he is always near death, but he can tell that she has killed someone before. She is unable to respond, as the memories of her sin replay in her head.
Jack asks how she did the deed for reference, evidently growing more excited. Cardia can’t bring herself to put up any resistance. If she is a lifeless monster, then there is no need to fear death. If it is to atone for her sin, it may be fine for her to die here. But why is it that – she has this strong desire to live on. Before she realises it, she pulls off her glove and grabs his leg. He screams from the burning sensation, and she quickly kicks him away. As Jack is about to approach her again, a single bullet shoots away his scissors. A voice warns him not to move any further, guessing that he is the rumoured Jack the Ripper.
A man holding a gun leaps in front of Cardia introducing himself as a normal doctor who has a bad habit of chasing after cases thanks to a bad friend’s influence. With a reassuring smile, he confidently aims his gun at Jack once more. But the latter throws his other scissors at them, and takes the chance to run away. It’s hard to imagine that speed of his, given that his leg is injured. The masked man leaves behind his resentment towards Cardia, claiming that he will pay her back for this wound. He shall not forget this pain. The man shoots repeatedly at his figure, but Jack escapes. He turns his focus to Cardia, checking if she’s hurt. She answers that she isn’t. Even if she is, she can’t possibly let him check her condition.
She thanks him for saving her and he casually answers – warning her not to be attracted as he’s faithful to his wife. For some reason, she recalls her first meeting with Lupin. She flatly rejects the possibility of that occurring, and he admits that her straight response is harsh. Putting that aside, he asks what she was doing here. He’s appalled at her reason, taking a shelter from rain. But she doesn’t seem like she’s joking, and probably has her reasons. He attempts to cheer her up, and reassures her that he won’t do anything. It would seem weird for her to remain here, so she follows him out. At least he doesn’t seem like a bad person. She introduces herself, and learns that he is John H. Watson.
The next morning, Cardia wakes up in Watson’s house/clinic. He greets her, offering a cup of coffee. She thanks him for the consideration, noting to herself that she can’t drink it from the cup due to her poison. He advises her to return home, as much as she may have her own reasons. Thinking of herself as a creation, she can’t possibly think of him as her father anymore. Watson is taken aback to learn that she has no parents. As he ponders over what to do with her, Cardia’s eyes wander to a photo showing three people at a wedding. There is Watson, and the lady in a bridal grown is probably his wife. Watson tells her that the last person is his good friend Sherlock Holmes – a great detective who has unfortunately passed away. He also shows her a scrapbook with a newspaper clipping describing his accidental death at Reichenbach Falls.
However, she recognises the person as Herlock Sholmes. There’s no way she wouldn’t recognise him. Hearing this, Watson asks her for further details. He tells her to wait for a bit, leaving her to study the photo again where the detective is smiling. It’s an unfamiliar side of Sholmes. That being said, she realises that she hardly knows him. What sort of life did he lead?
Soon, Cardia is following Watson outside. He mutters something about Lestrade, an acquaintance of his from the police. He eventually arrives at an apartment on Baker Street, realising that it was close to their former office. He angrily bangs on the door, and Sholmes answers the door. He doesn’t seem surprised, though he did not expect Cardia to be with him. Before she can explain, Watson lunges at the detective. But the latter trips Watson, who complains that he should have just remained still. Sholmes understands his anger though, and wishes to explain his side of the story first.
He prepares tea for them, while confirming that he is Sherlock Holmes and is still a humble detective. His friend points out that he’s the most famous detective in London, and Sholmes remarks that it’s thanks to Watson’s embellished tales. He tells Cardia to call him as she wishes, so she sticks to “Sholmes”. Eventually, he explains that he faked his death and took on a pseudonym, so as to corner a certain target – the worst possible criminal he has ever known. They have confronted each other several times, and one time he chased after the criminal all the way to Reichenbach Falls, Switzerland. They both fell down, and he was washed ashore. However, that probably also meant that the criminal was likely to be alive too. So he decided to fake his own death and take on a false name.
Sholmes apologises for not telling Watson. However he didn’t want to take any chances in exposing his real identity. The latter questions if that’s the only reason, before dismissing it. The detective asks for their side of the story now. Though he deduces that Cardia probably snuck out of Lupin’s hideout for some reason based off her appearance. It looked like she was out in the rain last night, and Lupin and company would never let that happen to her. Cardia honestly admits this. However his keen observation skills also scare her – maybe it’s possible for him to even see through that she is a monster, that she brought misfortune to others. Watson sees that she’s with Lupin and company, and advises her to return since she has a place to return to.
She knows that it’s the best option, but she’s still reminded of her painful memories. She doesn’t wish to return just yet, and Sholmes notes that she seems to be carrying quite the burden. He offers to listen to her reason, as it may be easier to tell an outsider. Feeling persuaded, she shares that that place is too warm and that the people are too kind. The thought of being hated by those who are kind to you, is frightening. She doesn’t wish to hurt them, just like what happened in the past. She’s sure that he doesn’t understand her past, her sins, from just this. However he averts his eyes, as if her words were directed at him. Sholmes replies that he understands her, and that she has her own reasons.
He asks what she plans to do now though, and if she has anywhere else to go. Watson answers that she does, reminding her that he let her stay the night at his place. He points at the detective too, saying that he’s her acquaintance too. Sholmes sighs at his words, for he had actually planned to persuade her to return. His friend grins, knowing that Sholmes can’t leave those in trouble alone. In other words, it’s fine for Cardia to remain here for the time being. The detective says that he’s actually against the idea, for he’s involved with a dangerous case. Watson asks if it’s Jack the Ripper, and Sholmes confirms this. He’s also investigating the real mastermind behind it. Watson declares that it works out since Cardia was a witness, and he will assist too. The detective sighs once more, noting that he has one more reason to let her stay. Watson happily announces that he’ll have to bring over his luggage then.
Cardia thanks him, and Sholmes tells her not to be so reserved. After all, he wouldn’t be a gentleman if he left her out in the streets. Meanwhile, Watson is in a cheery mood, toasting to the couple’s bright future. Sholmes reminds him to fix that bad habit of jumping to conclusions. Cardia thinks to herself that they’re treating her as a girl, a human. But how would they react if they knew about her poison? Still, she would like to remain human for a while longer.
Elsewhere at St Paul’s Cathedral, the headquarters of Tasogare lies in the basement. Finis learns from Arester that Cardia has left Lupin and company, whom are now frantically searching for her. Finis is delighted by the news, for it would make it easier to bring Cardia over to his side. He orders Arester to capture her soon. The older man obliges, but adds that he wishes to move a bit more freely as well. He has some personal things to handle, and will proceed with the search after that. Finis tells him to do as he wishes, as long as he doesn’t get in the way of his father’s plan. The boy whom was supposed to have died at the hands of Saint, disappears from the room. Arester mutters that his own matter takes priority. The way a certain case was handled, feels very familiar to him.
Chapter 2: Jack the Ripper
The next day, Sholmes calls Saint out and Cardia explains the situation to the Count. Saint notes that the reality must have weighed heavily on her. In any case, he’s glad that she’s safe. Though everyone was rattled when they received Sholmes’ letter which read:
I have Cardia. If you wish to know more, have either Victor Frankenstein or Count Saint Germain come to the following place. —-Great Detective Herlock Sholmes.
P.S. I cannot guarantee her safety if someone secretly follows. Lupin especially, is forbidden.
Sholmes remarks that it’s an invitation letter, though she finds it more like a threat. Saint chuckles as he recalls everyone else’s reaction. While he wished that she could have consulted them, he understands her feelings too. Because the place is too warm and gentle, you wish to distant yourself further from it. It’s something he understands fully well. The Count takes his leave, saying that he will convey the situation to the rest. Cardia promises to apologise to them in person, when things have settled down.
Saint: Yes. But……before I leave, please let me say this. None of us, has ever thought of you as a “monster”. We don’t mind it if you return any time. We will definitely come to your side if you are ever in danger.
She thanks him, as Saint takes his leave. Cardia thinks that perhaps she could’ve solved this by consulting them, and not running away. But she has already taken the first step. Sholmes asks if she regrets her decision. She can’t deny it, but this was what she chose. She can’t remain with them feeling uneasy, and she can’t rely on them too much. So she wishes to have become stronger, when she next meets them. Sholmes replies that he can only support her, and that he doesn’t dislike her resolution. They return to the office, where Watson is waiting. He’ll require her cooperation for the Jack the Ripper case.
That being said, Cardia reckons that she has to earn her stay. So on one day since morning, she has been cleaning his apartment. Sholmes asks if it’s alright if he doesn’t help, and she nods in return. She replies that he would only make things messier and it’s best to treat him as an object – or so that’s what Watson told her. The detective notes that there seems to be a grave misunderstanding, for it sounds as if he can’t clean at all. However, she recalls her exchange with Watson the other day. He had told her to cast away her impression of Sholmes as a polite, gentle-mannered and proper gentleman – at least while in the office. Watson said that he has a critical lack of life skills and is especially poor at cleaning and organising. So she was advised not to let Sholmes do anything.
The detective notes her logical judgement, and goes to water the flower so that he won’t be in the way. Seeing him sulk in a corner, Cardia finds it hard to imagine that he was the same person driving down Lupin. It’s a surprising weakness, though it doesn’t feel like Lupin can make any use of it even if he knew.
Sholmes: ……is there something? Though I currently have my hands full searching for four-leaf clovers.
Putting aside his sour mood, she questions if he and Watson are old acquaintances. She recalls the photo she saw in Watson’s house. Sholmes acknowledges this, explaining that they lived together till Watson married his wife, Mary. He considers Watson as his closest friend, though he isn’t sure if Watson still considers him as a friend. When she questions this, he doesn’t reply and only shows a lonely smile. So Cardia doesn’t probe any further.
Soon, Watson enters and is pleasantly surprised at how clean the place is. Since this morning, Watson had been searching the the sewage area with the police, as someone who had personally encountered Jack. However, there has been little progress. Sholmes heard that Leonhard has also been entrusted to help with investigations, so it’s likely that the case will be solved sooner or later. But the problem comes later. As the detective sinks into his own thoughts, Watson offers to prepare their meal. He asks Cardia if she can cook. However, she has hardly done any cooking. After all, it was mostly Impey who prepared their meals. Moreover, it would be hard for her to do much with her gloves on. While she struggles to explain herself, Watson concludes that she is another one who can’t cook and offers to teach her. After all, he’s sure that Sholmes would prefer a lady’s touch. Finding it difficult to reject, she ends up helping out in the kitchen.
After one hour, Watson proudly serves onion soup and scones, filled with plenty of love. Sholmes wonders exactly whose love he’s referring to. Cardia remains quiet. While helping out, she refused to remove her gloves and so mostly helped out by minding the fire and kneading the dough with paper. Before they eat, she decides to confess her secret, though she never imagined that things would unfold like this. But it feels that she would be betraying their trust otherwise. She reveals that her body isn’t normal and is poisonous, which explains why she refused to remove her gloves. Watson finds it difficult to believe, since as a doctor, he has never heard of such a condition. So she displays her poison to them, by touching a spoon and causing it to melt. Sholmes recalls that this was what he saw during the train snatch.
A heavy silence follows, as she quietly wears her glove again. She had separated the scones she had handled, on a separate plate. Even if she did wear her gloves, she’s sure that no one would want to eat those scones. That’s why she offers to eat them instead, while they eat what Watson had prepared. As Cardia picks a scone up, Sholmes takes her hand and takes a bite out of the scone. He praises the taste and texture, and apologises for being impolite. She protests, but he questions what is wrong with eating her food. It’s impossible for her scones to be poisonous. If it were, the scones would have already melted. It isn’t water-soluble either. If it were, an incident would’ve occurred when she was caught in the rain that day.
She can only stare in surprise, as he smiles at her. Watson also eats a scone, saying that the detective need not resort to such reasoning and should just say that no man can let that lonely expression pass by. Sholmes doesn’t deny this, and tells Cardia that he’ll eat everything if she doesn’t. Feeling happy, she answers that she wishes to eat together with them too. The scones that day tasted surprisingly sweet to her, almost enough to make her forget about her poison for a moment.
After some days on one afternoon, Leonhard comes to find Sholmes. He’s shocked to find Cardia there, and reckons that she has cut ties with Lupin. He even praises her decision, before proceeding to report on their findings. Last night, they found what is supposedly Jack’s “shrine”. They were able to confirm over 20 bodies, mutilated beyond recognition. Sholmes reckons that his victims are probably much more. Leonhard swears that retribution will definitely be served to murderers like Jack. Those words ring heavily inside Cardia’s mind, as she unwittingly asks if it’s bad to kill. The royal guard strongly agrees, saying that it’s a crime no matter what the reason may be. Watson notices that she looks pale, and Sholmes notes that they shouldn’t be discussing such a horrible subject before a lady. Leonhard quickly apologises, but she says she’s fine and tells them to continue – and tells herself that the topic has nothing to do with her.
Leonhard shares on the pattern they discovered, in terms of the time the victims disappeared and their occupation – Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes. 90% of the time, the victims went missing at night on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. And their occupation was all the same, women who worked as prostitutes at Whitechapel. Watson points out that today is a Friday. But the police has strengthened their patrols so he may change his plans. Sholmes agrees that normally, people would do so. However, Sholmes says that such logic doesn’t work with Jack, and that such criminals operate accordingly to their own rules. Judging from his murders, he probably has a strong faith. In other words, these murders are a sort of ritual for him. So it’s very likely that he will still strike tonight, regardless of the police. Leonhard swears to capture Jack, even if he has to disguise as a lady to be a bait.
Cardia volunteers herself, stating that she’s more used to such cases than others. Moreover, she would recognise Jack even if he disguised himself. Plus, he swore revenge against her. So her presence would draw him out even more. Leonhard is reluctant, till she insists that it’s the most effective way to reduce the number of victims. After a lengthy pause, the royal guard agrees. But he has her promise to escape if she senses the least bit of danger. He promises to not let her courage go to waste either. Sholmes furrows his eyebrows, but remains quiet, neither agreeing nor disagreeing. As the dusk falls, Watson and the rest prepare for the trap, while Cardia and Sholmes slowly walk towards Whitechapel. As they walk past River Thames, she tries to talk to the detective. However, his replies were all curt so she eventually stopped talking.
It is only when they reach the end of the road, did Sholmes speak. He tells her that she will soon arrive at Whitechapel once she turns at this path, and checks if she’s ready. He pauses, before asking why she volunteered herself. Having witnessed the madness of the killer personally, one usually wouldn’t want to encounter him again. Cardia replies that it’s because of that, she can’t leave things be. Moreover, someone needs to be at risk if they were to capture Jack. The detective narrows his eyes, questioning if she isn’t “someone”. Feeling as if her inner feelings are being exposed, she unwittingly takes a step back. Sholmes finds that she puts little value on her own life, that’s why she did not hesitate to volunteer herself.
She wants to deny this, but she can’t as it’s all true. His eyes which are staring at her, seem to be able to expose all of the truth. She admits this, because her life must be of less value than a normal human. That thought has been nagging her since the day she visited the underground laboratory, where there were 665 bodies of her. The only difference is that the horologium fitted her. Cardia says that she shouldn’t be loved, for she’s just a doll. The moment she says that, her tears flow down.
Sholmes: ……so because you aren’t human, it’s alright to throw your life away?
Cardia: There’s that……but that’s not all…….Herlock Sholmes. You have judged people’s sins in numerous cases till now right? Then I wish for you to judge my sin next. I—-killed someone in the past.
2 years ago. It’s too recent to forget. But it’s too long ago to redo it all. After confessing the memories of her sin to him, Sholmes remains quiet. She asks how she should redeem herself. Leonhard said that retribution will come to those who kill. Jack said that she should die to redeem herself. If it’s Sholmes, what would the great detective answer? However, he merely remarks that he’s a detective and not a lawyer. He can’t give an answer to her pain. As Cardia evidently looks disappointed, he smiles calmly, but with a hint of pain. Sholmes says that she shouldn’t have an answer either. There are only two people whom she can seek forgiveness from – Elaine who has passed away, and Etty.
Sholmes: Please don’t forget this, Cardia-kun. It is not you, who can forgive yourself. It is only for your own self-satisfaction, if you throw away your life in the name of atonement. That is definitely—-not forgiveness.
His words pierce her, as if untangling the threads of her misunderstanding. What did she do that day by running away from her sins? Nothing. She only remained alone in that house. She did not even apologise to the person she hurt the most, to the person she should atone towards the most. Her tears continue flowing, and her legs grow weak. Sholmes gently hugs her, refusing to let go. Watson often told him off for not understanding a lady’s heart. But he’s not that boorish of a man to not lend his shoulder at such a moment.
Sholmes: ……one day……one day when you go to seek for forgiveness, I will also accompany you. How much pain and grief you feel—-it’s fine if there is at least one person to speak on your behalf right?
Cardia: ……thank you, Sholmes.
Sholmes: ……just now. You said that you shouldn’t be loved. If that’s the case, surely it’s too late. There are people who will be sad if you get hurt. Lupin and company, Watson-kun……and me. Because surely somewhere in everyone’s hearts—-your existence already has a place. That’s why you……should love yourself more.
While Cardia is unable to bury her face in his chest, her fingers cling to him. Perhaps all she wanted was forgiveness. Sholmes sighs at how ironic this is, muttering to himself that he himself can’t believe in his own words more than anyone else.
Night falls on Whitechapel, as Cardia ignores the invitation by men and the shooing by the women. She hurries along, and ends up walking for almost an hour. Feeling tired, she drops her pace. While the others are nowhere to be seen, they are surely watching over her from afar. As she recalls Sholmes’ words, her artificial heart almost feels warmer. Is it alright for her to love herself, and others? An unfamiliar feeling resides in her, an important feeling she isn’t able to identity just yet. As she ponders over this, an eerie voice calls out to her. The masked man says that he has finally found her, limping as he approaches her. Her shrieks that he can no longer hear the voice of god, and that even his mother has abandoned him. Jack blames it all on her, calling her a demon, a monster.
A voice questions this. Sholmes steps before Cardia, remarking that Jack looks much more like the devil. He reassures her that it’s fine, as he readies himself. His stance looks different from any of the techniques which Van taught her, and he swiftly knocks Jack to the ground. The detective notes that scissors aren’t meant as weapons, and that knives are much more effective. Yet he, Jack Blackman, chose this item to scare people, to cause them pain. When he puts more pressure, Jack screams in pain. Sholmes already got the information that Jack’s strength is way more than of a normal person, that’s why he made sure to prepare. Cardia says that he’s overdoing it, but Sholmes begs to differ considering all of his victims. The crying figure of Jack almost looks like a child to her now, but there’s not a shred of sympathy in Sholmes’ eyes.
The detective found out through investigation that Jack was abused by his mother, but questions who he’s referring to as “god”. The criminal screams, saying that god gave him the power, and said to kill those who are tainted – that even the filthiest of women are the most beautiful when they’re wrought with fear upon death. Sholmes demands to know who that person was, and where they met. Leonhard arrives, and warns that Jack will die if Sholmes goes any further. The latter snaps out of it, and loosens his grip.
They caught the criminal, but that’s probably because the mastermind abandoned him like a useless toy. He sighs, and requests Leonhard to handle the rest as he’s feeling a bit tired. He walks away, as if wishing to avoid them. Cardia chases after him, observing that he appeared like a different person just now. Sholmes chuckles at the interesting observation. She asks what he’s thinking, and he replies that he’s only thinking of one thing – how to expose the truth and how to draw out the mastermind.
At the headquarters of Tasogare, Arester reports to Finis that he has yet to capture his sister. But that’s because he has something else to attend to first. He hands Finis the newspaper, asking him to read the front page. The boy frowns at this, unable to make out anything significant. The older man acknowledges this, and that only he would be able to decipher it. In other words, it’s almost the end of their playtime. Taking Finis by surprise, Arester stabs him. The latter did find his father’s plans brilliant. However, there is someone else waiting for him. He isn’t betraying Finis and his father. But he can throw away everything, if it’s to confront that man.
Finis laughs at how meaningless it is though, since he’s immortal. But Arester points out that all of his “back-up” are just normal bodies. Having been his right-hand man for so long, almost all of the control of Tasogare is in his heads. Of course, he also knows the secret behind Finis’ immortality. Finis angrily shouts at him, and Arester finishes him off. He then orders the subordinates to kill all of “Finis”, adding that it’s because of his betrayal. His eyes glance back at the newspaper, muttering that he had waited for the great detective.
Chapter 3: The city of fear
It’s been 2 days since Jack was caught. Cardia and Watson are out shopping based on a long list which Sholmes gave them. It’s been one hour since they’ve been shopping, and there’s still half of the items left on the list. Watson observes that the streets are too quiet despite the big incident wrapping up. Cardia recalls that the news of Jack’s capture has yet to be announced. He points out that usually one would report this big piece of news immediately. She acknowledges this, while recalling the severe expression on Sholme’s face when he was interrogating Jack.
Just then, Watson stops in his tracks as he finds the pavement stained red – blood-red. The two of them hurriedly follow the traces, and the smell of blood thickens as they enter an alley. To her surprise, she finds a wounded Finis leaning against the wall. Cardia thought that he had died, and Finis wonders if she did not hear that he was immortal from Van. That being said, he’s near the brink of death now. He laughs at how it must be fate, that he met her now. She knows that Finis isn’t her ally, but she worriedly tells him not to talk any further for he’s bleeding heavily. She desperately tries to do the first-aid which Fran taught her, but Watson tells her to stop. Being a doctor, he can tell that the wound is fatal.
The least they can do, is to listen to Finis’ last words. The boy calls her to come closer, chuckling at how guarded she is. He tells her to go to Tower Bridge, where something interesting will be waiting for her. He laughs when Cardia questions his motive. Since he’s about to die, all he wants is to get in the way of the one who betrayed him. He whispers that he never knew death was this scary, and apologises to his father. He passes away. Till the end, he was never on her side, and he only looked at her with anger and hatred. But Cardia feels sad, witnessing his death now.
Watson notices that there is a commotion nearby, and guesses that someone must have spotted the traces of blood and reported to the police. He doesn’t know what is their relationship, but offers to explain to the police if they retrieve his body. She nods in return, and adds that they should hurry to Tower Bridge. He agrees, making her wonder if he doesn’t suspect Finis’ words. He answers that his wife told him to at least listen to a person’s last words since he’s a doctor. He goes to explain to the police, while Cardia gently closes Finis’ eyes and lies him down.
At Tower Bridge, Herlock Sholmes waits amidst the cold breeze. But there’s a fire burning in his heart, ever since that day. One that is not fitting for someone who operates in the name of justice. But he will continue to be swayed by it, for the sake of that confrontation. He wonders what Cardia would think, if she knew about this darker side of him. Would she feel sad, angry, or look down on him? He actually had no right to say all that to her. That throwing away her life won’t make up for any atonement, so she should love herself more. The detective shuts his pocket watch, and waits for his nemesis to arrive any time soon.
But he’s startled to see Cardia and Watson instead. He questions why they’re here, as he had entrusted them to go shopping. They direct the question back at him, having thought that he would be at the office. It doesn’t look like he can give an excuse, and he admits that this was unexpected. Cardia refuses to leave till he explains the reason he’s here. Sholmes gives in, for it would be too late to come up with a counter-plan at this stage. The other side would’ve already seen them. He reveals that he’s waiting for the mastermind behind the Jack the Ripper case. By right, it would be difficult to trace the culprit, like a lizard which cut off its own tail. This method is in fact, extremely familiar to him.
Sholmes explains that the mastermind has a wide network of information, and is behind almost every crime in London. He probably anticipated Jack’s capture, and would have expected to see it in the news. That’s why Sholmes asked the printing company to not print the news, and to instead insert a hidden message: “Let’s settle our scores, criminal. I’ll be waiting at the bridge when dusk falls.” That’s more than enough for him to come. A voice responds that he’s right, for he wouldn’t reject his invitation. Arester greets them, though not having expected Watson and Cardia to be there too.
Cardia recognises him as part of Tasogare, and he acknowledges this. He goes by another name too. Watson is evidently furious, as he recognises him as James Moriarty while drawing out his gun. Sholmes understands his anger, but he advises against this. The other side already has their guns pointing at them. Cardia searches their surroundings, till she spots something glinting in the tall tower. The detective acknowledges this, adding that Arester subtly shifts each time they move so that he won’t be caught in the crossfire. The criminal confirms this, glad to see that the detective’s senses are still as sharp. He explains that he’s more guarded now, so he had to prepare insurance just in case. But he reassures that he won’t let Sholmes be assassinated just like that, for it would be too boring.
However, he can get rid of the intruders. Arester raises his hand, and Sholmes immediately pushes Cardia. A bullet brushes past his shoulder. Watson growls angrily, and the older man remarks that it was merely a greeting. But he did not quite expect Sholmes to cover for her. Cardia senses a quiet anger from Arester’s gaze. The mastermind declares that he will need to drastically change his plans, now that Sholmes has emerged. He will repay the invitation in his own way. As he makes his retreat, Watson shouts at him not to run away. But before the doctor can shoot, the ground starts to tremble – the bridge is starting to open up. Arester bids farewell, happy to have met the detective. Sholmes and the rest cling desperately to the side, as the figure of Arester disappears.
Cardia recognises him as Arester, someone whom Van knew in the past. And he’s also the criminal, James Moriarty, whom Sholmes has been pursuing. But there are still things which she doesn’t understand. The chilling words left behind by Moriarty. Finis who met his death. Sholmes who was waiting for Moriarty. And Watson who was shaken by Moriarty’s presence. Surely something she couldn’t possibly imagine, must have happened between all of them. Sholmes comforted her when she was feeling down. She wishes to be of help to them too, but she doesn’t know anything about them.
After a few days, the office is filled with tension as they’re busy chasing after the enemy. But the streets remain peaceful, like the calm before a storm. As breakfast is served, Sholmes shares a worrisome piece of news. He hasn’t been able to get in touch with Leonhard since yesterday. He’d wanted to warn Leonhard, but perhaps they may be too late. In any case, he decides to make a trip to the palace. But Watson lets out a panicked shout as he shows them the morning newspaper – the new of Queen Victoria’s assassination. It reports that terrorists attacked during last night’s dinner, and that Leonhard was killed too. It even reports that Sherlock Holmes is actually alive, and using the pseudonym Herlock Sholmes – and that he’s the culprit. It proceeds to list three names and photos on the wanted list: Herlock Sholmes, John H. Watson, Cardia.
It’s obvious that this was done by Arester. Sholmes peers outside of the window, observing the unrest among the people. The people are alarmed at how all the newspapers have the same report. The detective remarks that that’s how crowd psychology works. It probably won’t work even if they try to appeal their innocence, as Moriarty’s men are probably among the crowd, leading them on. He probably leaked the office address too. Cardia says that they have to escape, and can do so by leaping across to the neighbouring building roof. It’s a basic for a thief to always know an escape route after all.
So the three of them escape while avoiding the public eye as much as possible. After running for some time, they eventually end up in an abandoned warehouse. Sholmes thanks her, and she suggests for them to take a rest first. It’s not just physically draining, but also mentally draining to realise that everyone else out there is after you. They discuss their next move, and Sholmes thinks that it’s best to hide for now. But even his hideout may not be safe. Cardia proposes leaving London, but Watson points out that they will never be able to confront Moriarty then. At that moment, they hear the crowd approaching. Watson goes outside to check the situation, while telling them to rest a bit longer. To think that one man caused the whole of London to turn against them. Cardia can only describe Moriarty as the devil.
Sholmes apologises to her. Unlike him and Watson, she was unrelated to this. If he had made her return to Lupin and company, she wouldn’t have gotten involved. But Cardia says that she stayed behind on her own will. She’s thankful that he allowed her to stay, and there’s no reason for her to hate him. Moreover, his words saved her – when he told her to love herself. But Sholmes says that his words were a mistake, for he has no right to say it to her. Because he himself is a sinner. He passed judgement on other people’s sins, yet his hands were already stained with blood. It was ridiculous of him to comfort her.
Cardia doesn’t understand his pain, but she shakes her head, not wanting to see him sad. She wanted to save him, just like how he did when she was feeling lost. He says that his sin was stealing the happiness from someone. That’s why he can’t wish for his own happiness – he shouldn’t. His words contradict what he told her, and Sholmes replies that his situation is different. It was a tragic accident for her. But he killed someone, out of his own will. Cardia thinks that it’s wrong for him not to desire any love because of that. The detective slams his hand against the wall, his face inches away from hers.
Sholmes: ……then, will you give me love? Will you accept my sin, take my hand, and kiss me too?
Those were cruel words. Even if she knew that he was deliberately saying them to her, those words were much too cruel for someone like her, whose body was poisonous. He knows that she can’t do that, and he doesn’t wish for it either. He slowly strokes her hair.
Sholmes: I have no right to love, nor to be loved. Because there’s no way I alone can become happy, when I stole happiness away from Watson-kun……
Before she can question further, Watson returns and asks what’s going on. Sholmes brushes away the awkward atmosphere. The doctor must have realised otherwise, but now isn’t the time for this. The people are closing in. The trio run away, while doing their best to throw off the pursuers. However, it isn’t long before they find themselves surrounded. And it’s by the royal guards who have them at gunpoint. At that moment, Arester appears, asking how it feels to be the one being chased after. He openly admits that the queen’s assassination was his doing, that he had to become a sacrifice. He explains that while she did make measures in the case that she is absent, the people involved in the temporary governance – is almost all his “friends”. He laments at how frail the country is. Sholmes notes the implications, that the older man must have gained control of the government somehow. Arester says that he never intended to surface till this extent, but it’s good fun since there’s his nemesis.
When Cardia angrily confronts him, he corrects his words – everything else is entertainment besides his fight with his nemesis. She realises that he’s clearly mad. Arester wonders what the watchdog of law can do, now that the law has become his enemy. The guards encircle them at his command. At the moment they’ve lost all hope, a familiar voice calls out to them. It’s Lupin, riding the ornithopter with Impey. The guards duck as the vehicle dips past them. The gentleman thief informs Cardia to go with battle code 78845. While everyone else is puzzled, Cardia guesses that he’s probably trying to confuse the enemy. Sholmes can guess what Lupin’s next move would be. She nods in return, and waits for the perfect timing.
The moment a ladder is lowered, Cardia gives the signal and the three of them grab on. Impey worries about the weight overload, and Lupin tells him to deal with it somehow. The group drive away safely. Watson comments on how lively they are, and Sholmes slightly envies how well they worked together. The former climbs up the ladder first, followed by the detective and then her. But the guards continue shooting at them, and Impey is having trouble ascending any further. He tells them to hold on tightly, as he suddenly makes a swerve. Cardia loses her balance, and fortunately Sholmes catches her in time. With her feet dangling in the air, the warmth from his hand is the only thing keeping her connected. Despite the uneasy situation, he continues to smile kindly at her, reassuring her that he won’t let go. After all, a lady’s weight is like that of a feather’s to him. His grip tightens, as if to prove that he isn’t lying.
But a gunshot is sounded, and a burning sound is heard. Sholmes grimaces in pain. The shot had scraped her hand, and her cursed blood is eating through his gloves and burning his hand. Far away, Arester compliments his own skills. He wonders what Cardia will do now – let her poison eat away at his hand, or let go and fall to the ground. A mess of contradictory feelings swirl inside of her. She should let go if she doesn’t want to endanger Sholmes. But if she does, she will no longer see him. Cardia quietly apologises, for she can’t bring herself to let go. It’s utterly selfish of her, despite being a mere doll. She can only question why she was born like this, and why she always ends up hurting those important to her. The wind blows away her tears. Still, Sholmes remains smiling and says that it’s fine.
Sholmes: ……it’s fine, for you to be like that. There’s no need to feel ashamed of wanting to live. There’s no need for you to feel inferior about your life, your existence.
The detective apologises, for he never intended to get her or Watson involved in this. He was too naive. He should have truly stuck to being alone. He can’t make up for this, but he promises to at least handle the rest by himself. Cardia can only wonder where his strength comes from, as he pulls her up and asks Watson to help her. The moment she is handed to Watson, Sholmes collapses and tells them not to worry anymore. She can’t be sure if it’s because he has exhausted all of his energy, or if he intended to do this from the start. But it’s too late already, as he declares that he will defeat James Moriarty and falls down all alone. Watson and Cardia plead for them to turn around, but Lupin grimly instructs Impey to keep moving forward. Lupin tells them to endure it for now, and to leave the conversation for later.
Chapter 4: Napoleon of crime
After that, Lupin didn’t utter a word during the rest of the journey. Watson expresses his frustration, that he let the same thing happen again. Cardia recalls Sholmes saying that he stole his happiness, and wishes to know what occurred between them. The doctor reckons that she has a right to know, and shares his past.
Sherlock Holmes, a detective who could solve the most difficult of cases like magic. Watson wrote about some of them, but that’s really only the tip of the iceberg. Having solved so many cases, it was probably only a matter of time that the detective noticed – that over half of the atrocious crimes committed in London and almost all of the unsolved cases are by the hands of one man. He told Watson that it was the first time he had such trouble grasping clues concerning the real mastermind. Despite saying all that, he seemed to be having fun as he called the person his greatest archenemy yet. That was the start of it.
The other side probably also noticed the detective’s presence. While they did not know each other’s faces, they knew each other’s personalities and methods very well. He told Watson, that he could finally get a glimpse of the other side after having collected fragments of clues from many cases. He didn’t mean to brag, but he felt that probably only he himself could catch the mastermind. As he solved case by case, he finally reached the critical point whereby he had a knife against the culprit’s throat. But then a terrible incident took place.
While Watson was staying with Holmes, he married his wife and started living together with her instead. However, they still kept in close contact. But that didn’t last for long. Mary died. Watson heard the news from someone he knew in the police, when he returned from his trip to America. On that rainy day, he questioned Holmes as he held onto her cold body. But the detective only apologised, saying that it was all his fault. In the end, he never spoke the full truth. Ever since then, the two of them never really spoke and eventually lost contact.
What Watson knew was the conclusion by the police. That a criminal suddenly attacked Mary with a knife, and Holmes stepped in. Amidst the commotion, Mary was accidentally stabbed. As it was an accident, Holmes was deemed innocent and a hoodlum was arrested. Everyone could tell that the hoodlum was a scapegoat. It was precisely because Holmes remained quiet, that it was clear that the mastermind he’d been chasing after was the real culprit. It was probably a warning to Holmes, as to what may happen if he went any further. Of course for Watson, he’d gladly take up the challenge so as to exact revenge.
But the detective never got him involved. In fact, he only involved the police minimally. He probably didn’t want to get anyone else involved. After that, Holmes went after Moriarty alone, confronted him alone. And he never came back. Watson only learnt of the news when it was reported in the newspaper. That his good friend went all the way to Reichenbach Falls, Switzerland, that he died without him knowing. It felt too unreal and unbelievable, that he couldn’t even cry. He thought that perhaps, Holmes would show up somewhere again if there’s a big case. That’s why he developed a habit of chasing after cases too. The rest is as Cardia knows. So the enemy he’s after for revenge, is the same person Holmes is after too.
Sholmes wakes up, finding himself restrained in an underground cell. He looks around, and deduces that he is in the underground prison of Buckingham Palace. He notices that his wounds have been treated and bandaged up, including his hand which was burnt from the poison. This much is within his expectations. Now, he is able to confront Moriarty directly. He’ll use any means to defeat the criminal, even if it means going down himself. His hand throbs in pain, reminding him of Cardia. He knows that Watson would be furious at him if he went down with Moriarty. But what about Cardia? Would she be angry, or sad, or in pain?
His thoughts are interrupted as Arester enters the cell. He was in despair when he heard about the detective’s death, and even that despair feels nostalgic now. It’s as if a pair of lovers were separated against their wills, and reunited again. Sholmes bluntly remarks that he’d rather a lady, prompting Arester to mention Cardia as he brings his cane to Sholme’s neck. The older man commends on how he did not let go of her hand despite the situation, and how she clung on to life despite being a doll. Moreover, they left him behind. It was truly a heartless sight to watch. The detective does not bother to argue with him, and remarks that it’s his complete defeat. Arester does not believe his words, noting that the gaze in his eyes suggest otherwise. After all, why did Lupin even show up then? He’s aware that Sholmes must be waiting for his chance. The latter shrugs at this thought, reminding him that he is unable to move now.
Their positions are opposite, like the light and shadow. So it’s contradictory that Sholmes should feel this sense of closeness. Arester wonders why Sholmes did not use other opportunities to confront him, for example at Tower Bridge. If he was willing to risk his life, he could’ve killed Arester. Or rather, he’s sure that Sholmes had every intention of doing so till midway. What could be the reason for his change of heart? The detective remains silent, but the older man figures out that he now has something else more important than their confrontation and he finds it unforgivable. When asked what he is plotting, he merely replies that there will be a grand party for the whole of London.
After he leaves, Sholmes is left alone to his own thoughts. Ever since he killed Mary, all he could think about is settling scores with his nemesis. He wonders why he let go of that chance. After all, there’s no need to think about what happens afterwards as long as he kills Moriarty. He retrieves something he kept hidden in his mouth, an extremely thin thread. It was the same kind he used against Lupin on the train. He’s determined to end things with Moriarty this time.
Back at the mansion, Cardia is reunited with Lupin and company, including Dela and Sissy. Watson demands to know why they didn’t go back for Sholmes, and Van remarks that the gentleman thief must have his own reasons. While he was ordered not to reveal this, Lupin quietly explains that it was Sholmes’ decision to be left behind. That day, a child came to the mansion with a letter. The child was also handed a map, and told that he will be rewarded if he delivers the letter to Saint’s mansion. Sholmes probably prepared it beforehand. The letter recounted their predicament – and that if the situation calls for it, to save the two of them and to leave the detective behind.
Hearing this, Watson heads outside to cool his head and apologises for venting his anger on them. The atmosphere remains awkward, but nonetheless the members are glad that Cardia is safe. Her wound has been treated by Fran. It still hurts a bit, but it’s nothing compared to the pain of leaving Sholmes behind like that. She wants to recall his warmth, but all that lingers is the burning sensation. Cardia formally apologises to them, and also thanks them. The rest heard the situation from Saint, and in fact feel bad that they did not provide enough consideration. Saint puts a stop to the never-ending apologies, and says that they should discuss their next move. Van finds it difficult to believe that the Arester he knew, is Moriarty. Impey stresses that he saw the old man shoot Cardia with his own eyes. Fran attempts to calm the situation, and so Saint decides to recollect all the facts.
The criminal Sholmes has been chasing after is James Moriarty, also known as Jimmy A. Arester. By assassinating Queen Victoria, he has gained control of London. Dela adds that he incited the public into pursuing Sholmes. Saint agrees. Moreover with Finis’ death, he would also have control of Tasogare now. With all of this in mind, he asks Cardia what she wishes to do. When she replies that she wants to save Sholmes, he asks for the reason. After all, Moriarty’s goal is only Sholmes. And the detective chose to confront the criminal alone. In that case, she can choose to hide or to leave London. Impey remarks that there’s no need to put things so cold-heartedly, and that they should lend a helping hand. Lupin says that everyone will willingly help her, if she says so. However, by doing so they would be making an enemy out of the whole of London, since Moriarty has control of the city.
Fran suggests for them to decide tomorrow, as it’s already late. With that, everyone retires for the night. However, Cardia is unable to sleep. Surely the reason Sholmes chose to be left behind, is just as what Saint said. But surely that is not the result she desires. Wishing to talk to someone, she goes to find Lupin. The gentleman thief observes that she looks terribly tired. Cardia knows that if she choose to save Sholmes, she will be exposing them to danger. She doesn’t know what to do. Lupin reminds her of their initial meeting, and that he promised to grant her one wish. Her wish was to touch him, and he has every intention of granting that wish. With a lonely gaze, he asks if her wish is still the same. If she has another one, it’s alright for her to change, though it would go against his creed. In any case, he advises her to sleep soon. She ponders over his words as she leaves the room.
Next, she goes to find Impey at his work area. The latter happily welcomes her, wondering if she’s here to confess her love. He feels bad about Saint’s cold words, but Cardia understands his intentions. Suggesting for them to help her save Sholmes, isn’t something she should say so casually. After all, they don’t have any relation with Sholmes. However, Impey grins and corrects her. If Sholmes is her friend, then he is a friend of theirs too. She pauses to find an answer, thinking that he is really great at times. She thanks him, and takes her leave.
She proceeds to see Saint, who immediately apologises for his stern words. She shakes her head, and is in fact grateful that he said that. If he didn’t, she would surely take their kind intentions for granted and think that it’s only expected to involve them. So she thanks him instead. Saint remarks that she has changed, and has become stronger and more human-like. With a smile, he tells Cardia that he has nothing else to say if she realised it already. She may follow her heart then, and choose the path she wishes to.
After that, she is treated a questionable blend of tea by Van in the dining area. He had wanted to prepare some supper, and ended up serving his unique blend of English tea, green tea, herb tea and so on. As she downs the tea, Van remarks that he is not opposed to the idea. Either way, he wants to question Arester. So their goal is about the same. In that case, he doesn’t care even if he makes an enemy of the whole country. He just needs to defeat those in his path. Cardia remarks that he’s strong indeed. With Finis’ death and Arester involved, he should be feeling the most confused. She’s somewhat envious of how focused he is. As if having read her mind, Van says that it’s simple as long as you have a clear vision of your aim. He advises her not to think too deeply, and to keep things simple. He retires for the night, leaving her to finish the tea.
Cardia returns to her room, but she can’t quite sleep yet. Fran knocks on her door, wishing to change her bandages (which are anti-poison). As he carefully treats her, she wonders if Sholmes is alright despite her blood wounding him. Fran thinks that he isn’t in critical condition. The worst possible scenario would be to drink her blood. But from what they said, the blood was splashed onto his glove. She mutters that her poison is truly terrifying, and Fran is unable to deny this. But that’s also why he was shocked to hear how Sholmes didn’t release her hand even while being burnt. Surely that shows how much he wished to protect her.
After Fran leaves, Cardia decides to take a walk outside. She finds Watson, who is also unable to sleep. He remarks that Sholmes is an idiot for being trapped by his past sins, and being afraid of getting others involved. He took on all of the burden alone, and tried to end things by himself like a tragic hero. Watson feels that he’s partly responsible for this case too. He wished he talked more to Sholmes after Mary died, or even when they were reunited. But he didn’t as he was afraid. And now Sholmes is out of their reach. Cardia thinks that he isn’t.
She and Sholmes are probably similar in how they were afraid and ran away from everyone else, trying to solve things on their own. However unlike the capable Sholmes, she realised her limits very soon. She was taken in by Sholmes and Watson, and realised that she could do little on her own. Cardia says that there’s still time for them to see Sholmes. He can hit Sholmes then, and talk things out again. She wishes to do the same too. Watson asks if she likes Sholmes, and his question perfectly sums up the feelings that were bubbling inside her this whole time.
>> I don’t know: After some contemplation, Cardia replies that she isn’t sure. She does feel favourably towards him, but she doesn’t know if that is love. As she recalls Sholmes confronting her, she says that perhaps it’s better if she doesn’t know – that way she won’t get hurt.
>> Perhaps: She admits it, the feeling which her father had forbidden all this time. This wonderful and warm feeling when you think of the person you love, and wish to feel that person’s warmth. But even if she does, surely it is a feeling she shouldn’t wish for as someone who is poisonous.
Moreover, the burning sensation still lingers on her hand. Cardia reckons that they will only hurt each other, even if she admit her feelings. Because she can’t remain by his side. She can’t touch him, as she would hurt him. She can’t love him, as she can’t touch him. Watson questions if it’s really that important to be able to touch someone. If you can’t, does that mean your feelings will disappear? If the other person dies and you can no longer touch, is that the end of it? He doesn’t feel that same. After all, he still loves his wife more than anyone else. His words strike a chord in her. Cardia thanks him. She now knows what to do, for his sake, and her own sake. This time, she will properly tell everyone instead of running away – to lend their strength to her.
The next morning, Saint announces to them with a smile that they’ve all become famous – that they’ve been added to the wanted list as well. Fran is alarmed, and Van states that he should be used to it as it’s his second time. Impey is touched that he has made his debut on the news, and wonders if ladies will faint at his good looks. Lupin remarks that it’s an honour, as a thief. Cardia thinks to herself that Fran’s reaction is the only normal one. Naturally, one has to conclude that this is Moriarty’s doing. Watson points out that with Saint on the list, wouldn’t the mansion’s location be leaked as well? Lupin replies that it’s just as well – in fact, he was the one who gave out that information. It’s all preparation, but it all depends on Cardia as to whether they proceed with it or not.
With everyone’s attention turned towards her, Cardia expresses that she wishes to save Sholmes, and asks for their help. She’s fully aware that this is her selfish request and they will be in danger. Even so, she asks for their help. Watson bows as well, requesting for their help too. After a period of silence, Lupin asks for her reason. Is it love, or sympathy? Cardia looks at Watson for confirmation, before firmly answering that she wants to punch him. While the rest blink in surprise, Watson agrees wholeheartedly. Sholmes is such a selfish and hopeless man, who didn’t consider their feelings at all. Their anger won’t subside till they hit him. Lupin and company eventually burst out into laughter, and they all show their support. Fran reveals to her that they all agreed not to help, if she was going to carry the burden alone. But looking at her now, it looks like they don’t need to worry. Van comments that he would cooperate either way though. Cardia thanks all of them.
Lupin shares that he has already investigated about Sholmes’ whereabouts – the underground prison of Buckingham Palace. The location would be heavily guarded after the queen’s assassination. Moreover, Moriarty would be on the alert against them. However, the gentleman thief declares that he has a trump card. Dela opens the door to show in Queen Victoria and Leonhard, much to everyone’s surprise. Apparently, they were saved thanks to Sholmes’ warning of a possible terrorist attack. Leonhard says that it was his error not to act on that warning. But the queen knows that he tried to strengthen the security on the night of the dinner banquet. But the nobles who were attending objected, not wanting to ruin the atmosphere. As a result, the attack took place. Those nobles who objected were probably planted by Moriarty. After that, they managed to escape to a hideout as advised by Sholmes.
Saint explains that the letter from Sholmes also described about the queen’s situation. So while Lupin and Impey went to save them, the rest of them went to the queen’s side. In any case, the queen being alive will help them to turn the tables around. Lupin remarks that his mode of operation hasn’t changed. They just need to steal back London, which was stolen from them. It’s all part of the number one thief’s job. He puts on his hat and takes a grand bow. They shall now grant the princess’ wish, and save London while they’re at it.
Chapter 5: His last bow
Outside of Saint’s mansion, Tasogare members start to gather. They infiltrate the grounds, and Saint and Dela start to fend them off. Fran also utilises his concoctions, creating a mix of light and sound to knock out the enemies. Their goal is to serve as a distraction, so that the other team can infiltrate the palace. That’s why Lupin deliberately leaked the location.
Elsewhere, Impey is operating an airship Lupin had stolen from some pirates. Besides that, Queen Victoria and Leonhard are onboard too. Their role is merely to provide support for the last team. With Lupin and the queen on their side, the enemy will be misled into thinking that they are the main attacking team. Even if it becomes clear that they are bait, they wouldn’t be able to ignore the queen’s presence. And so the airship flies towards the palace.
“Humans are not lonely since birth.” That was what he once told someone. Humans can’t live while avoiding connecting to others. In that case, perhaps he himself isn’t human. After all, he is always alone, and has never felt connected to anyone. No matter how much of a criminal the person is, they feel fear the moment they peer into his darkness. So his only comfort was death. Humans are not lonely since birth. But they will definitely be lonely when they die. The beautiful feeling of despair when a life ends. Unfortunately, there was no one else who could understand his loneliness. And he thought that there was no way it could be quenched – till one man directly challenged him. That man came so close to searching, deciphering, understanding his intentions, thoughts – Sherlock Holmes. He handed out cases one after another. And the detective solved them all, and came so close to pressuring him. He was like a student solving problems given by the teacher. Or it was like a game of chess.
He felt so fortunate to have met someone who understood him, and he felt alive for the first time. That’s why he wanted to abandon everything when he heard about the detective’s death. And then a few years passed by. If he had a chance to confront Holmes again, he wouldn’t mind even if it ended up with both sides going down. It wouldn’t matter what happened to the rest of the world. He’s sure that the other side would be thinking the same way – or so that was what he’d thought. Moriarty sits on the throne in the palace, and Sholmes soon enters the room. The latter says that they can have a one-on-one just as he pleased. The former wonders about that, adding that he would be naive to think that way. At that moment, explosions and numerous footsteps can be heard outside. It appears that they have intruders.
Perhaps the distraction is working or perhaps there’s another reason. But there aren’t as many guards inside the palace, at least not enough to stop Van. As Cardia and company advance, they eventually find Sholmes. The detective is taken aback at their appearance. She explains that the rest helped to lure the enemies, and Watson adds that they used the ornithopter to enter from the east of the palace. Moriarty notes that that’s where St James’s Park is, and envies Sholmes for having wonderful friends come to save him. Cardia firmly denies this, for they’re not here to save the detective. She and Watson stride up to Sholmes, and the latter punches him. As promised, Sholmes did not dodge this time. She smiles and stretches out her hand towards him. As he’s about to thank her, she slaps him. Both Sholmes and Moriarty blink in surprise.
She remarks that it’s his job to deduce and to solve mysteries as a great detective, so she asks him to expose her feelings. He correctly deduces that she is angry. She affirms this, she’s angry at how he carried the burden by himself. Cardia takes his hand which is bandaged up, and is relieved that he is fine. The hand which protected her that day, which she hurt that day. She apologises to him, and he says that he should be sorry instead. Moriarty interrupts them with a slow applause, sarcastically thanking them for the ridiculous show. He’d expected them to show up, but he is annoyed nonetheless.
Van steps forward, demanding to know why the older man kept quiet about everything. He’d thought that he held the same sin of killing the vampires, the same pain of having their family killed, the same hatred towards Finis as a target for revenge. But the latter only replies that he has already killed Finis, and that he will never be revived again. So he should be satisfied. Van widens his eyes in surprise. Moriarty states that with the detective alive, he merely threw away an old toy – that includes Van too. Van raises his guns, demanding to know what he means. Moriarty is certain that he already has the answer, but he just doesn’t want to acknowledge it – that the tragic revenge story he has written is actually all wrong. He tells Van to believe what they said, that he is a criminal and is the target for his family’s revenge.
Enraged, Van starts shooting. Moriarty calmly walks forward, observing that he isn’t on target at all. He wonders if he should teach Van again about how to shoot – and how to hate. He remarks that he will will everything new again. At that moment, Van freezes. The older man smirks, commenting that it was their mistake to bring Van here out of all people. Van slowly turns towards them, his eyes now glowing red. Sholmes ducks with Cardia, as bullets come flying their way. As Van stares at them with vacant eyes, Moriarty instructs that his revenge isn’t over yet. The blood-red eyes remind Cardia of Jack, and she questions what Moriarty did. He answers that it was merely something he had incited long ago.
He approaches her, holding up something Finis had left behind. The moment the red pendant is near her, her horologium starts to react. Moriarty heard that the pendant is supposed to speed up her awakening, to strip away the human skin she’s hiding under so that she truly becomes a monster. Seeing her struggle, he sees that its properties are real. Cardia’s chest burns painfully, and she soon loses consciousness. Moriarty carries her limp body, and tells Sholmes to catch up once he is done with Van. He disappears, leaving Sholmes and Watson to deal with Van.
As they struggle to avoid the bullets, Sholmes explains that Van has Hidden Strength. It’s an immoral research Moriarty had worked on, which provokes the subject’s trauma so as to release the physical limits and allow the person to exert unimaginable strength. He himself had fought someone under the influence of it before, and reason didn’t work at all for she fought till her own body started to break down. The only way to make things easier for her, was to kill her. Watson realises the implications of his words, but there’s no time for confirmation as Van attacks them. While Watson and Sholmes each are confident in their own skills, it’s child’s play compared to Britain’s strongest human weapon. Sholmes deduces that Van’s trauma is the death of his family. Hearing this, Watson tells the detective to leave this to him.
Before Sholmes can protest, Watson steps out and declares to Van that he killed his family. The detective questions what he’s doing, and the doctor says that there can only be a happy ending for the latest work of the Sherlock Holmes series. He attempts to shoot back at Van, instructing Sholmes to move ahead. The latter knows that the odds are not in Watson’s favour. Even so, he orders him not to die before chasing after Moriarty. Left behind, Watson remarks that he understands the pain and grief of losing one’s family. But the ones in the most pain isn’t he himself, but his family watching from above, seeing him go crazy out of revenge.
Cardia wakes up to find herself on the rooftop of the palace. Her chest is no longer painful. But rather than the pain disappearing, it’s more like it has seeped into somewhere deeper. Moriarty stands a distance away, gazing down on the city streets. She can see flashes of lights in a section of Greater London, where Saint, Fran and Dela are fighting. There are also several airships in the sky, where Lupin, Impey, Queen Victoria and Leonhard should be. Everyone is fighting in response to her request. So she has to fight too. But even though her target is right before her eyes, her vision is swaying and she finds little energy in herself. She can only listen to Moriarty speak, as he describes how London is the perfect place for his showdown with Holmes.
He says that the detective is the only existence which can cure his loneliness. They’re very similar, almost like brothers. Cardia strongly denies this, for Sholmes judges evil according to justice, unlike a criminal like him. The older man only laughs, noting that she is indeed a doll who doesn’t understand anything about the human heart and the human world. Moriarty remarks that justice and evil are two sides of the same coin. The positions can be easily swayed and reversed. Jack Blackman is clearly evil in their eyes. But in his own eyes, he didn’t doubt that he was exacting justice by ridding of the prostitutes. She answers that Jack had clearly gone crazy. This time, Moriarty mentions Lupin. He means to act in the name of justice, but others see him as otherwise – a mere thief. Cardia is unable to argue, and he adds that Sholmes is in a bad spot too as the culprit behind the queen’s assassination.
As he steps towards her, she feels a chill run down her spine. They’re conversing, but there’s no way they can understand each other. Moriarty says that all he wished for was someone who understood this loneliness. However, Sherlock Holmes managed to take a step into his darkness. He was thrilled that a true comrade had finally appeared, however—- all of a sudden, he grabs her throat, ignoring the pain of her burning poison. He tightens his grip further, before casting her aside. He remarks that she and Watson pulled the detective back, and wants them to take responsibility for it. He places his hand on Cardia’s shoulder, and whispers in an almost kindly tone. He seeks for her cooperation in having Holmes fall into the same depths as himself. She replies that she refuses to be used as a hostage. She should have little value as one, since she only recently met Sholmes.
But Moriarty states that the detective fears sacrificing other people more than anything else. He has been cursed, ever since he made his friend’s wife die and robbed his friend’s happiness. That’s why he’s certain that Holmes will definitely come to her rescue. However, anyone will do. Even if it isn’t her, he will save the hostage. Cardia finds it harder to breath as her chest tightens up. She tells herself that it must be because of the horologium’s awakening. But why is she tearing up as well? She was happy to have been treated like a normal girl by him. That he ate those scones even after knowing about her poison. That he didn’t release her hand while enduring the piercing pain. Surely it’s because she’s fallen for him. But what about Sholmes? There’s no reason for him to feel the same way.
Moriarty remarks that there’s no need for her to feel sad. After all, she has Lupin, Van, Fran, Impey, Saint and Dela. She has many friends. However, he only has Holmes. So he asks her to give up the detective. Cardia angrily rejects this. For everyone is their own person, and no one can replace another. A voice agrees with her, saying that he has a right to make the choice too. Sholmes appears, heavily wounded, but with an intent glare. Moriarty welcomes the detective to attack, but questions if he can really do it. Cardia observes that Sholmes’ movements are duller, and the older man keeps counterattacking.
But the detective continues to stand up each time, reassuring her that he’s fine. But it’s clear to her that even the wound on his hand hasn’t fully healed. Moriarty asks what’s driving him – to defeat his nemesis, for his own justice, or to protect her? Sholmes answers that it’s all of the above for he’s surprisingly greedy. He had wanted to distance himself. But now that they’re so close to each other, he finds it dear. The older man laughs in response, admitting that he doesn’t like this one bit. He’d expected a different expression after he had killed his friend’s wife. He hits the detective once again, sending the latter collapsing to the ground. With Mary’s death, he thought that he’d taught Sholmes that your weakness only increases when you have more things to protect. He plans to make the detective recall that again.
Moriarty brings out the red pendant, and Cardia’s horologium shines brightly in return. It’s as if her heart is thrashing, and eating away at her. All she can do is scream in pain. Sholmes demands to know his intentions, and Moriarty states that he’s only continuing Finis’ plans. By using the pendant to awaken the horologium, it will soon change into the philosopher’s stone. He has no interest in the stone. But apparently large amounts of poison will be spread when it is completed – enough to consume a whole city. In other words, London will turn into a city of death when she turns into a monster. It truly has a beautiful ring to his ears. Cardia shudders at the sight of how delighted a man can be, at the potential damage she can deal.
She points out that Moriraty will be the first one to die. But the man is unfazed. He is more than happy to welcome death, while seeing the destruction of a city overflowing with death and despair. Sholmes can’t believe how warped he is, as he struggles to stand up again. But his nemesis says that he has the wrong target – who should he kill, if he wishes to stop her awakening? Who should he kill, to save London with the minimum sacrifice? To be honest, Moriarty doesn’t mind either outcome. No matter which choice he makes, he will have Sherlock Holmes fall down to the same level as himself. As he cackles joyously, Cardia can only describe him as the devil. She gazes down on London, where numerous lights are shining. Each light represents a person’s happiness, a happiness unfitting of a monster like her who can’t even touch another. There’s no room for comparison.
Cardia: ……The number one detective in London. Herlock Sholmes. An enforcer of justice of the law, who exposes the crimes of people……please. To me—-
Sholmes: ——–don’t say another word.
When she attempts to do so, he places his fingers against her lips. For a moment, there is a burning smell. Cardia instinctively leaps away, and he forces a smile.
Sholmes: If you do……let’s see. Shall I seal your mouth with my lips next.
Cardia: W-why……! Why, do you……!
Sholmes: I should have said it previously. There’s no need to feel ashamed of your own life……please. Cardia-kun. Please don’t turn me into a liar.
She feels happy. But this situation won’t allow this. Moriarty reminds the detective that he’s running out of time. The latter states that he won’t choose either. The criminal doubts that this situation will allow the convenient choice of saving both her and London. Sholmes acknowledges this. Unfortunately, his best friend loves such a convenient tale. That’s why he shall defeat Moriarty and end the story with a happy ending. The Napoleon of crime looks up to the sky, whispering that he hasn’t felt this sad in a long while. It appears that there is no one out there who can understand him in the end. Perhaps he was even shedding a tear. But when he gazes back at them, there is not even a shred of anger in his eyes – only emptiness.
Moriarty says that he has a medicine to temporarily stop her awakening. Of course, Cardia refuses to believe him. However, he vows that he isn’t lying. After all, it isn’t rare to have a back-up plan just in case. Finis did have records about it, though of course he barely bothered about them. He says that he has already made the medicine, and entrusted it to a person. Only he knows who it is. Sholmes notes that there is no merit for him. Moriarty says that if the detective won’t fall to his level, he will just make sure he falls into despair. After all, when there is hope, the despair is greater. The stronger the light, the darker the shadow. Just like his current position. Moriarty draws a gun out, and Sholmes asks if he has to defeat him to know where the medicine is. But the older man only smiles with a grieved expression. He denies this, as he always desires the greatest possible taste of despair.
To their shock, Moriarty shoots himself. With this, they don’t have anyone to seek an answer from. Sholmes is enraged, and his enemy is thrilled to see that expression. He shoots himself over and over again. He’ll be taking down him, as well as 2,000,000 people along the way. This way, he won’t be lonely, he won’t be alone anymore. The man slowly collapses to the ground, and passes away. The situation has in fact, worsened for them. The detective advises her to focus on their situation now. Cardia wonders if Moriarty was lying. Sholmes doubts that he is, based on his personality. But it depends on themselves if they can arrive at an answer or not. The seconds tick past, nearing the moment she turns into a monster. But who would Moriarty have handed the medicine to? Sholmes remains silent.
Cardia sways, and blood trickles from her mouth. She quickly wipes it away, forcing a smile. But her blood melts away her glove. It proves that not even her anti-poison clothes can fend off her poison. It’s a despairing sight. She firmly tells Sholmes not to come any closer. The moment her hand touches the ground, the ground melts away. She has to put a distance between them, if she doesn’t want to hurt him. She truly is a poisonous monster. She struggles to walk to where Moriarty is, and kicks the saber from there towards Sholmes. The detective angrily questions her intentions, reminding her that he told her to love herself more. It makes her a bit sad to see him like this, but even more so, knowing that she will never see his face again.
She says that it’s because of his words, that she thought of loving herself more. That’s precisely why she wants to protect him, whom she loves, as well as this city. She is the same as him. She doesn’t want to hurt others, and doesn’t want to get others involved – she wants to end things by herself. Sholmes is unable to respond, as she smiles at him. Surely, she will be swayed if he says anything else – that she doesn’t want to die. So Cardia continues speaking. She has always been hurting people ever since she lived – the mother and child who treated her kindly, and a very kind detective who embraced her sin. Now, she is about to hurt this city who took her in. She spreads her arms open, as if embracing the sky.
Cardia: So, let me protect it. I actually don’t want to be a sacrifice……but because even I, who possessed poison since birth, would like to protect something in my last moments.
The detective only bites his lip, and picks up the saber. He can’t believe that he can’t even save a girl he loves, despite calling himself a great detective. He slowly aims the blade at her chest, and bids her farewell. She can hate him all she wants. She denies this, but hesitates in her answer. But in the end, she is unable to resist. Despite knowing how much these cursed words would bind him. As the flower on her chest starts to shatter, she speaks her last words.
Cardia: Watson said this. That love won’t end even after the person dies. Goodbye, Sholmes……even if I die, I love you.
A month after the incident, Sholmes reads the morning newspaper. There’s no longer any reports related to the incident of the queen’s assassination, led by Tasogare. He glances outside of the window, at the familiar Baker Street. London is peaceful today too, almost as if everything had been a dream. But it’s no longer the same. She is no longer here. Did Watson feel the same way as well, after losing Mary? The punishment of having to live on even after losing your loved one unreasonably, is truly fitting for him. He shakes his head and looks down at the plant. There’s no way he would find a four-leaf clover.
It’s soon time for his next assignment. Sholmes knocks on the next door, calling Watson. He gained something important, and lost it. Even so, the world keeps moving on as if nothing had happened. It may not amount to any salvation, but he will continue to judge evil. So as to keep protecting this city, which she exchanged for with her life.
Knowing Moriarty, he would have handed it to someone whom they definitely cannot retrieve from. Van, perhaps? Sholmes agrees that it’s a likely person, but there would’ve been no time for Moriarty to have done so. Soon, Cardia’s vision sways and Sholmes catches her in time. She forces a smile to reassure him, but she herself knows better than anyone that her body can no longer move as she wants to. As she feels the poison seeping out of her body, she feels herself sinking deeper into despair. At that moment, Sholmes asks her if she will believe him, as he wants to take a risk. She agrees without any hesitation. After all, he believed in her without any hesitation too – when he ate that scone, when he grabbed onto her hand. So it’s her turn now. She is willing to try anything.
He appreciates her answer, and hugs her close to himself, wrapping his hand around her back. When she struggles to get away, he reminds her that she was willing to do anything. Cardia questions his intentions, for there is hardly any time left. Could he have given up already, that’s why at least he wishes for her to feel human warmth? Sholmes tells her that he has only thought of defeating Moriarty, ever since he robbed Watson’s happiness. Even at Tower Bridge, and when they were cornered by the public, that was all he could think of. Even if it meant giving up his own life. But when he thinks of her, he feels like clinging onto this life. He wonders what this feeling is, laughing at how he can’t deduce his own feelings.
The detective almost brushes his hand past her cheek, asking if she knows the answer. Cardia answers that she does, for she also feels the same way. It has just begun to sprout in their hearts, but bloomed just enough, that they can no longer ignore it. He remarks that he will have to live on, if he wants to make the answer clear. His hand touches her shoulder, her arm, her back. Out of the blue, he questions Moriarty’s purpose for driving them into this situation. She replies that it’s to see them struggle. He agrees, explaining that it’s important to get close to a criminal’s thoughts during an investigation – to peer into the darkness. His purpose is always to drive the detective into the abyss of loneliness. Then what would be the best method to do so now? Sholmes recalls what Moriarty said, adding that the criminal would what his complete defeat. His fingers start to comb through her hair.
If the detective had failed to find the medicine, he’s sure that Moriarty would say this: “I did say, a certain person. Even when you were told that, if you had removed Cardia-kun from the possible choices……wouldn’t it prove that you yourself had unconsciously recognised her as not a human……but a mere monster.”
Sholmes successfully locates the medicine around her neck. It’s a small bottle containing a sparkling liquid. He probably placed it when she was unconscious. The detective smiles at how bold and ironic this is, a truly effective trap. Very typical of Moriarty. However, he refuses to be defeated, especially in front of the woman he loves. He opens the bottle and gracefully hands it to Cardia. There’s no time to hesitate, and she swallows the liquid. The blue light gradually softens, and fades away.
Cardia: Shol……mes……am I……weird anywhere……?
Sholmes: Fufu, of course. You are beautiful as you always have been.
Sholmes: Ah no, you may appear weird. Your face is rather redder than usual. This is most likely……
Cardia: You don’t need to infer that……!
Even if temporarily, the awakening has stopped. London has avoided destruction for the moment. She thanks him in a whisper. Soon after, soldiers come storming in and surround them. They recognise them as on the wanted list, and Cardia turns to Sholmes for a bright idea. He smiles and suggests being obediently caught. They can only leave things to the heavens now.
At that moment, a large airship is seen falling in their direction. A loud scream is heard too as it crashes. It’s Lupin’s airship. Sholmes deems that it’s a sacrifice that had to be made, and that they should move forward. The gentleman thief tells him not to kill them off, as he emerges from the debris. The detective apologises, thinking that this was a chance to remove his love rival. Impey, Queen Victoria and Leonhard emerge as well. The queen immediately silences the men and orders for the fight to cease. She will also explain everything. Cardia collapses to the ground, asking if they’re saved. Sholmes nods, saying that it’s as Watson always says – happily ever after.
Watson: ……do you know this tale? A love story of a girl with a poisonous body, and a certain man. Haha—-are you curious? I will tell you if you wish to listen……the tale of my hopeless partner, and an outrageous tomboy who would risk her life for that partner……seriously—-where could they be now……
In the epilogue, Sholmes and Cardia are riding the train to Wales. The former is reading through a bunch of manuscripts about the love story, praising his friend’s writing. Noticing her intent stare, he questions if she has fallen for him as he’s a fine man. She chuckles at his words, which sound like something Lupin would say. He finds it unexpected for her to compare him to the thief. He glances down at the novel again, not used to being a model for these stories. But she’s looking forward to it, and wishes to read it after he’s done.
It’s rather belated, but they’re on their way to her hometown so that she can convey words she should have said to the girl she once hurt. And to confront her own sin. Sholmes asks if she’s nervous. Cardia admits this, for she doesn’t have fond memories of her hometown. She isn’t sure what she should say when she sees Etty too. He reassures her, for he’s with her. It is his role to convey just how much pain she was in. She thanks him, and leans against him. He smiles and takes her hand. Even if it’s through their gloves, the warmth from their intertwined fingers is proof that they safely overcame all of that and are alive.
The failed assassination of the queen, planned by Tasogare. The case finally came to a close, after Queen Victoria regained her throne. The details were announced to the nation, and they have also been removed from the wanted list. The streets of London have settled down once more. The influence of Hidden Strength on Van also vanished, once Moriarty died. But as the brainwashing effects are deeply rooted in him, it will take time for him to recover at Saint’s mansion, with Fran’s treatment. Surprisingly, Dela is helping to take care of him. Perhaps it’s because he saw the sad ending of Van’s revenge. Lupin and Impey are currently travelling. Tasogare’s terrorist plan which Lupin had been chasing after, went up in smoke with Moriarty’s death and Tasogare’s destruction. So this time he’s helping Impey find something.
As for Watson who was heavily injured, he decided to start writing a novel since he had to rest. He handed them a thick stack of manuscripts when seeing them off at the station – the original manuscripts of the Great Detective Holmes series, which he began writing during the time the detective disappeared. He even gave them his latest work. Sholmes thanks him for letting him have the first read. Watson retorts that he’s always the first reader. In any case, he has no plans of letting the series end just yet. Watson tells him to be happy, if not he will punch him again. He entrusts his best friend to Cardia, even if he is a sloppy person, an idiot who thinks too much and is a coward when it comes to happiness. She promises him. Even without him telling her to, she will make Sholmes happy. Sholmes remarks that usually the man makes that statement. Watson tells them to return to London once their honeymoon is over. The three of them will solve cases together again. He still wants to write about the tale of the detective and the girl’s future.
Sholmes asks if it’s alright for him to be happy. Cardia affirms this. Watson told her that he’s too mindful of what happened to Mary, for his wife isn’t that narrow-minded to not wish for her friend’s happiness. The detective chuckles at how true it is, as he slips out the old photo from his pocket. He can no longer return to the happiness then. It’s out of his reach. Cardia wishes to gain happiness with him, similar to those happy smiles in the photo. Their hands entwine further, and she leans her head against his shoulder. She can feel his warmth.
While the awakening has temporarily stopped, her poison has not vanished. She is still a poisonous monster, who can’t touch the one she loves. While that painful feeling has somewhat lessened now, she is still regretful. Even though Watson said that it doesn’t matter even if you can’t touch – she still wishes to touch Sholmes, to directly feel his warmth. He reassures her, after all he is an expert in searching. He will bet on his name as the Great Detective Sherlock Holmes, that he surely find a way to remove her poison. He adds that he’s a man too, and he wouldn’t be able to handle not touching her. To entwine her fingers, touch her skin, embrace her tightly, and kiss her – it would be lonely if he can’t do what lovers do. Sholmes gently brings her gloved hand to his lips, before bringing it to her lips. This is their limit for now. But one day, they will be able to kiss their loved one till they grow tired of it.
The detective tells her that he already has their next assignment after this trip ends. The blue diamond in the possession of a wealthy couple, seems to be a certain thief’s next target. Cardia chuckles at the mention of the thief, commenting that the assignment seems difficult this time. But of course, she will lend a helping hand as a member of his detective agency. Sholmes replies that they will have to catch a gentleman thief once they return then. She will have to confront her past, remove her poison – there’s much for her to do. But surely all of this won’t be impossible – with the one she loves by her side.
I finished……even Lupin’s post from the first game wasn’t this lengthy. Did I quote too much? Was it because that old man talked too much?? Anyway, I enjoyed Sholmes’ route. The fact that he has a way with words, like Lupin, is probably one of the factors. We already knew the spoilers from Van and Lupin’s routes, so no surprise as to who the detective has to confront. But that person really is crazy huh. I liked how they tied in Watson and Cardia, which eventually led her to Sholmes. There was also nice dynamics between the couple, including the mirroring similarities and his takeaway message to Cardia. The normal end was great too (in a despairing way). However, it’s a bit sad to see her part ways from the gang. After all, Lupin did save her in the first place…… :’)
I did not expect them to find a solution to Cardia’s poison – it would take even more chapters. Seeing how popular this series is…I’m wondering if Otomate will make a continuation or not. Not sure if there’s enough content or not though. Well, they’ll be busy with that PS4 port for now anyway. My next post will take a while as I’m alternating with Clock Zero (Vita) right now. Plus, I’ll be away for a period. That being said, I plan to play Van’s after story next. Till then~