Episode 2 Purification during Teatime
Although Yumiko’s facial expression could not be seen because she was looking down, they could tell that she was gripping her hands very hard.
“Since Mrs. Harue had to raise you all by herself, she probably put all her effort into her work. She showed her abilities and finally she could be in her position right now. Everything she did was to not make you suffer. However, although your home became richer, your heart became more distressed. When you came back from school, you didn’t even have a person to say ’I’m home’ to. You didn’t even have a person to talk to. You ate your meals alone. Since you were a child, you turned the thirst of your heart into anger towards Mrs. Harue unconsciously. Then the darkness in your heart exceeded the limit and leaked out. You wanted to trouble your mother, so you made up the stories of kamikakushi and youkai. ”
Yumiko trembled and breathe roughly while facing down, because the deepest part of her heart was exposed to Kujou.
Looking from the corners of his eyes , Akira understood Kujou’s words.
“So the case regarding the missing person was basically… Leaving home.”
The next moment, the tea set on the table trembled violently with the sound of a fist hitting onto the table.
“No, no, no!! I did not leave my home!!”
Standing up, Yumiko gabled on and on at Kujou.
“I really saw zashikiwarashi, and betobeto-san, makurakaeshi, hidarugami, and azukiarai really existed!! I saw them. I am not lying!! And that person! That person had really experienced kamikakushi and disappeared from home!!”
While speaking, she pointed at Harue and glared at her.
“… It was… It was!… It was all your fault!! Coming here that shamelessly, who do you think you are!? It’s too late!! It’s better for you to do your boring work every day, every day, every day, every day, or for your whole life!!… Why did you!… Why! Why did you give birth to me!!”
Shouting intensely, Yumiko could not calm down from her anger and her body was trembling.
However, there was one person who was infuriated by her yelling.
“Wait. You… How could you speak to your mom like that… And… You don’t even appreciate her for giving birth to you, what are you talking about!! ”
While speaking, Akira stood up, as if he was trying to grab at her.
“You are Kujou… Right?”
A quiet but transparent and distinct voice was sandwiched between the two who had released murderous intent.
It was Harue.
Yumiko and Akira also turned their heads to the voice.
“I, had experienced kamikakushi.”
Harue spoke and her face beamed with a smile.
“Aging is really annoying. I always forget things quickly. Sometimes I even forget where my home is. I have thought about going to see the doctor, but I’m busy with my work.”
She laughed with slight embarrassment.
“What?… W, wait a second. What are you saying, Mrs. Harue!?”
Akira was so perturbed by Harue’s words that he even forgot about his wrath towards Yumiko’s outrageous words and actions.
“Mrs. Harue, why are you not angry! Your daughter is being insane!? How much trouble has she made for you?”
Kujou suppressed Akira, who tried to cross-examine Harue, and spoke with a voice that only Akira could hear as if he wanted to adjust the atmosphere.
“Mothers are… Venerable.”
While saying, he looked at Harue and smiled.
“… What… Are you talking about… Why…”
Yumiko, the person who blamed the youkai for everything and made up the story that her mom had experienced kamikakushi, was confused by Harue’s words even more than Akira was.
Slightly looking downwards, Harue stood up. Her expression could not be seen through her hair that covered her face.
Then she gently hugged Yumiko, who was standing still next to her.
“… I apologize… I didn’t notice Yumiko’s thoughts… Until now.”
Warm drops dripped across Harue’s cheeks incessantly.
“I didn’t want you to suffer… I wanted you to enter a high school and a college, find a job and do something you are passionate about, and live freely… In order to reach that goal… It’s okay for me to work hard… ”
Harue’s voice was gradually muffled by tears. Hugged by her mother, Yumiko listened without saying a single word.
“Recently… I finished the project that I had been working on for a long time. So I was finally able to talk with you leisurely. I was thinking that we could finally do something together as a family… Then I… This time… I didn’t even know… What to talk about to you…”
“… M… Mom.”
Yumiko murmured with her lips soundlessly.
Then she awkwardly hugged her mother, who spoke while sobbing, with confusion.
“By the time I noticed… We live in the same house, yet you are so far away from me. The door of your room… Even a single door… Right now, I… Could not open it… I am… I am… sorry, Yumiko…”
Hearing that, Yumiko looked up with her eyes wet.
“That’s what happened. The youkai betobeto-san was actually your mother, Mrs. Harue.”
Kujou enveloped the mother and daughter with his unusually gentle voice.
“Mrs. Harue really wanted to abridge the distance between you two; however, the gap formed over a long period of time was extraordinarily deep. She did not even know how to deal with it.”
Yui and Akira listened to him silently.
“However, Mrs. Harue kept her chin up. Her positive way of thinking was probably trained by her work. ‘What are the topics among the college students? What are they passionate about? What are they playing with?’ Then Mrs. Harue discovered something she was able to do. It was the smartphone. Since Mrs. Harue seems to be burned out by work, she probably uses a computer to send mails. I think she used a Galapagos cell phone. She doesn’t need the functions that are unnecessary for work. Then she purchased her first smartphone in her life in order to have a common topic with Yumiko… However… Sadly, the current smartphones are excessively high-tech and have too many difficult-to-use functions, which made it an excessive merchandise for Mrs. Harue, who was a beginner of using a smartphone. However, she discovered a function that she was able to use. It was the camera.”
Kujou stopped for a moment after standing while explaining.
“Yumiko, do you remember? In fact, I haven’t exorcised the youkai azukiarai.”
Kujou slowly stood up and approached the two..
“The sound made by the youkai azukiarai was very characteristic. As you have heard… A sound like… Shakishaki. The sound varies in different regions, Usually, it is expressed as shakishaki or shakashaka. The night when azukiarai appeared in front of your room, you were probably were mentally exhausted and heard the sound as shakishaki. However, wasn’t that really shakashaka?… Shakashaka… Let’s break it down. Sha, ka, sha, ka, sha, ka, sha, ka1…”
Yumiko understood what Kujou wanted to say, she widely opened her wet eyes and soon tore out.
“Great. You understood it. Mrs. Harue was thinking and looking at you intently that much. So please answer Mrs. Harue’s heart… It is your turn to try your best.”
Kujou used his gentlest voice today to support Yumiko’s heart and to encourage her.
“… I’m… Sorry… Mom.”
Yumiko was touched by her mother’s true heart, and her voice became so indistinct due to the tears that it was difficult to be heard; however, to Harue, it was enough.
“Yumiko, this was the first time you apologized since you had come to this detective agency. Human beings make mistakes; however, humans have to admit their own mistakes in order to progress. You are probably able to open the last lock of this box now.”
While speaking, Kujou handed the secret box that Yumiko had fought with.
She used her hand to wiped the tears off from her misty eyes. With Harue and Kujou watching, she put a little force onto the last lock that she was unable to unlock.
At that time.
The lid of the irregularly geometric box was distinctly shift to the side and the inner part of the box was exposed under the light.
Being able to complete a task until the end, Yukiko’s hands trembled with joy.
The eyes that started to become misty again discovered a piece of paper in the largely opened box.
The piece of paper she held in her hands was written with calligraphy in ink.
“You tried your best. Congratulations!!”
The words no matter how many times Yumiko had thought about but could speak out overflew from Yumiko. Then they dripped off from her mouth with the momentum of her endless tears.
“Mom… Sorry… I’m really sorry… Mom…”
Harue hugged Yumiko fondly and gently.
1. Sha, ka, sha, ka, sha, ka, sha, ka – The sound of Harue tapping the shutter button of the camera on her smartphone.↩