Chapter 9: A Stolen Spotlight

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The soft murmur of the vehicle moving rumbled underneath her as the bus approached yet another stop. Kaede sat, eyes closed, with her head resting against the warm glass. The afternoon sun glared through the window at her as her blonde hair attempted to block the piercing light from her view. Today was the day she would finally be able to impress Shuichi. She was going to help her best friend with the case and Shuichi would appreciate her until the end of time. She was on her way to said detective's apartment building which was only a little while away from her own house. To save the boy the effort of travelling to her, she decided to meet him at his own place: another kind deed for the boy who deserved the world.

On her lap was her phone where she had been talking to Shuichi about her whereabouts and her travel and transport plans previously that day. When her phone began to vibrate her head perked up and a sweet smile began to form. Her beam only grew brighter as she anticipated reading the message Shuichi sent her. So, with a brilliant grin and wide pink eyes, she unlocked her phone to see a message from... 'Unsaved number'? Again? She frowned. Her happy expression melted from her face as she whispered out an annoyed groan. She debated whether she should read the message or not for a moment, but decided she'd be a lot less anxious and paranoid if she knew what they wanted with her this time.

She opened the text and upon mumbling the words displayed before her widened eyes, she could've sworn that she felt her heart stop. "Hello, Kaede. We know where you're going tonight. We have eyes everywhere - we'll be watching your every move. Be careful." Just what had she gotten herself tangled up into?

The blonde girl didn't reply to the message. Instead, like many times before, she deleted it. She would not reply - she never had in the past and she wouldn't start now. Interactions like this were pointless. Interacting with Shuichi on the other hand? That wasn't pointless at all. Kaede exited the chat and opened Powwow before tapping on Shuichi's private messages with her. She decided to update him on her whereabouts to distract herself.


Me: I should be over in a little bit!! Maybe 10ish minutes 13:26

♡BestFriend♡: Ah, thanks. Tell me when you're outside.
♡BestFriend♡: What's the plan for the day? You're the one who knows where we're going. 13:27

Me: Soooo when I get there we're gonna walk down to the train station and take the train right to the place
Me: Outside the venue there's gonna be a super long queue because people all want the books with limited edition covers, we're allowed to jump it and go straight in
Me: Then we'll find Toko and keep an eye on her until the event is over and ensure she and whatever the thief wants is safe!! 13:30

♡BestFriend♡: Sounds good. I'll be waiting for you in the lobby. 13:30

Me: I can't come in? 13:31

Kaede screwed her face up at her rose gold phone in confusion. Why wasn't Shuichi inviting her in for a minute? He always let her come in. What could he be hiding? He didn't have a secret girlfriend, did he? Not that she would care. Her only concern would be if whoever she was would ever try to hurt her best friend. Kaede never intended to be intrusive. In fact, she would give Shuichi all the space in the world if he needed it, and she would never in a million years pressure him to say or do anything he didn't want to. However, Shuichi never waited in the lobby. He didn't like being there - he'd always claimed it made him uncomfortable standing alone in there. The pink eyed girl couldn't help but worry.

♡BestFriend♡: Not today. Maybe another time. It's nothing personal, I promise. I just have work stuff everywhere and my apartment currently isn't fit for visitors. 13:32

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