Originally posted on 12 May 2016
Source: Official site
Chase: Cold Case Investigation Division Short Story, Chapter 2

Murky Air

The first day at my new post. Concealing my nerves, I walked quickly down the corridor, deciding to pretend that I'd never heard the stories of Mr. Nanase of the cold case investigation division. I would believe what I saw with my own eyes. It would be fine - we could work well together. Arriving before the door to the cold case investigation department, I took a deep breath.

"G-good morning!" I said in enthusiastic greeting upon opening the door, bowing.


Huh? Maybe no one was there... but I could smell tobacco. Cautiously looking up, a man with his feet lazily upon the desk, playing with a deck of cards and smoking a cigarette came into view. There could be no doubt about it - this man was Mr. Nanase. To ignore my cheerful greeting like it was nothing...

"I am Koto Amekura, assigned to the cold case investigation division! It's good to make your acquaintance, Mr. Nanase!"

I bowed once more. There was no response. He was even more formidable than I had thought... But the first impression is make or break. I made my way over to Mr. Nanase's desk.

"Mr. Nanase!"

"Pipe down, Dumbokura."

"It's Amekura!"

How rude he was being to someone he'd only just met. He continued to scowl at his cards, ignoring me completely. I had to show him how up for it I was.

"I'll do my best to be of use to you!"

"Don't waste your energy."

This guy might be tough to handle.

With sagging shoulders, I unpacked my things onto my desk. Positioning the PC in the same spot it had been in at my previous position, I started it up. ...What should I do? Even having read the division's files, the job description was so broad that I had no idea. I headed for Mr. Nanase's desk once more.

"Mr. Nanase? Could you tell me what work there is to do right now?"

"There's no work."


There was no way... Mr. Nanase stubbed out his cigarette.

"Take your seat."


Mr. Nanase looked me in the face for the first time. "Only come before me when I need you."

"T-then what should I do for now?"

"For now, shut up."

Mr. Nanase went back to playing with his cards. I shut up and sat down in my seat.

What on earth...? Was my job here to just shut up and sit here? I missed my last position. I was busy every day, but I enjoyed the challenge. I had friends, too. Why had I been sent to a place like this? Resting my elbows on the desk, I reminisced about what a happy time it had been.

I hadn't made any particularly bad mistakes. I was a capable worker. What, then, was I doing here...? I let out an involuntary sigh.

"Don't sigh," Mr. Nanase said, lighting another cigarette.

Smoking wasn't allowed indoors... I disliked the smell of tobacco... How had I ended up where it was just me and him working... no, just me sitting in silence? I didn't like the air here, in more ways than one.

I sighed purposefully, making sure that Mr. Nanase could hear.

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