The maid smirked and took a step away from the vault. “Maybe so…” She pulled her gloves off. “But you’re wrong in one thing.”
“And what’s that?” Conan chuckled. “Are you giving up?”
“No, I am not the person to open this one. That is job of a professional.” Seto’s hand touched something hidden by the collar of the maid uniform and her voice changed.
“Right, Tantei-chan?” The maid grinned just when yet another person stepped into the room.
Conan took a step backwards in shock.
“O-Okiya!?” He exclaimed.
“Bingo~!” The girl sang, tossing her gloves over the little detectives head. Kid, disguised as Tsukiko, caught them midair. Conan glanced at him too when he walked past the boy and to the vault and Tsukiko.
“Oh, good work Tsuki-chan…” The thief smirked after a glance on the notes. He removed an earpiece that had been hidden by the blonde hair and removed the glasses too, giving them to the girl. “I’ll continue from now on.”
“Good, I don’t fancy doing any mistakes and getting killed by this thing.” Tsukiko shrugged, taking off her head gear and letting her hair fall down. She wasn’t using a wig, just some hair dye to change the color of her hair. “Be careful Kid-kun.”
“Wha-… How? When?” The boy behind them was stuttering. Tsukiko held up her phone that Kid had tossed back her and took a picture of the chibi detective’s astonished face.
“Oh, that face I’ve wanted to see for a long time.” Kid grinned as he began to work with the vault. He took a better look on the notes on the door and swallowed. “Alright…”
“Yeah, it’s tricky… I wonder why you wanted to set it as a test for me.” Tsukiko muttered darkly. “I want my jacket intact by the way.” The girl gestured the jacket Kid was wearing. Conan noted it was the same one she had worn back at Haido Central Hospital.
“You’re my apprentice; of course I set up tasks and tests for you.” Came the reply.
“Why the scary face?” Conan asked suddenly, noticing Kid’s serious take on the task at hand. “Don’t tell me you need my help?”
“No, you’d just screw it up.” Tsukiko muttered dully, making sure to be out of the line of fire.
“That door behind you… There are many traces of being penetrated by something, right?” Kid stated. “That should mean if this dial is not turned correctly…”
An arrow shot out of the dial towards Conan. Tsukiko pulled the detective out of the way and the arrow jammed itself on the wood of the door.
“This will happen! Truly a pro’s work!” Kid laughed cheerily but nervously while patting the door.
“I think… I should leave the explanation of the current situation until we have safely opened the door. Okay?” Tsukiko suggested from her place, leaning against the wall next to the door and examining the arrow on it.
“Hey… Don’t these tiles over here look especially new?” Conan noticed, pointing the tiles right in front of the vault. “Look, here…”
“Hmm…” Kid turned another dial. Tsukiko felt like facepalming.
“Idiots…” She muttered while taking off her mask of Seto Mizuki.
A narrow panel that was hidden before opened and an axe swung down. Kid lifted Conan out of the way just in time.
“T-Truly a great safe made by the ‘Master of Traps’ Samizu Kichiemon…” The shrunken child stated, sweatdropping. Kid turned to glance at yet another dial that had opened. It revealed to have only a small doll with a fan. In the fan were the words ‘You lose’.
“This guy is really too much.” The thief muttered. “So, you should also know why I’ve been asked to come here? Otherwise you’ have told the police to arrest me…
“Ahem!” The blonde girl behind them coughed.
“Yeah, because of advisor Suzuki’s weird actions recently…” Conan answered. “Always taking away two plates is to use one to contain water, the other to contain food. And then, he tied those plates to his cane, and sent them into the vault through the space under of the vault! Besides, he was always talking to someone in the vault.”
“Yeah!” Kid turned the last parts of the lock he’d been lock-picking while the boy had told his explanation. “All of this for him, who was accidentally locked up in the Iron Tanuki…”
A rumbling sound began from the Tanuki and at that Tsukiko finally walked forward, the initial danger being over by now. The giant door lifted open easily and Lupin the dog trotted out.
“This little guy!”
“Woof!” Lupin went to lick Conan’s face and Kid took a look at the dog’s scarf.
“Just like Suzuki-san said then.” Tsukiko smiled. “It’s in the scarf.”
“Yes, the paper with the instructions to open the Iron Tanuki!” Kid examined the paper. “He has to look at this every time before opening the vault.”
“This means the reason was really…” Conan began.
“Yeah, he only realized his pet dog Lupin wasn’t with him after closing the door of the vault… In desperation he came to me for help. After all, who else is able to open this complex vault in such a short time…” A swish of cloak and ta da: Kaitou Kid was in his white attire again. “Besides me, Kaitou Kid. There shouldn’t be anybody else!”
“Except with the way you’re teaching me… One could think that you are trying to make me your successor…” Tsukiko picked her jacket off the floor where it had fallen now and put it on. “But it’s impossible. I’ll never be as good as you.”
“Yeah, but it’s fun anyways, right?” Kid flashed a grin at the girl who smiled back. He walked to the window then and pushed aside a curtain. “Looks like they’ve already found out that old man is the real one and are turning back.”
“Say, you’re really taking a risk… And putting Okiya in it too… Weren’t you worried this could be a trap devised by uncle Jirokichi to catch you… And by accident Okiya too.” Conan frowned.
“Aah, at first I thought it was a trap too… But after understanding the reason for asking my help I decided to help out. After all, as a fan of the ‘Gentleman Thief’ Lupin…” The magician climbed on the windowsill. “Seeing Lupin imprisoned in such a dark cage… It’s impossible not to help, right?”
And he flew off. Next to Conan, Tsukiko leaned her elbows on the windowsill too.
“Ya want an explanation now?”
“Yes…” The detective gritted through his teeth.
“Woof!” Lupin barked.
“Don’t get too friendly with me. Based on our names we’re enemies.” Conan deadpanned. Tsukiko chuckled.
“Okay… Let’s see… It began at Poirot. You remember the mysterious letter I got back then?” The blonde asked.
“I’ve got a date.”
“Well, it was from him. We planned the beginning of this about together but it was my idea that he’d come disguised as me and I’d be the maid.” Tsukiko zipped up her jacket. Conan noted that she looked about the same than Kid had while disguised as her. So apparently the girl had an exit ready too. “My job was to find out details of the days between the note in the paper and this day. So I did. Missing plates and such. And I gave those details to Kid-kun and you at the same time. Handy, ain’t it?”
“Yeah… And uncle Jirokichi? He believed it all?”
“Yep. This voice changer that I have in my collar has two settings. One is the Seto Mizuki voice and the other was Kaitou Kid’s trademark one which I used when I was talking privately with Suzuki-san. Kid-kun had an earpiece through which he listened to the situation.”
“And when Tsukiko went to the bathroom…”
“We stunned the servant guy, Akitsu.”
The man slumped on the arms of a grinning girl, well the thief with a girl’s face.
“Got ya!” He sang in triumph just when his partner in crime appeared behind the corner, her arms crossed on her chest.
“How long did you wait for him?” Tsukiko, the real one, asked.
“Not long. The tobacco store is right behind the corner after all.” Came the reply.
A chuckle. “You surely take a look on your surroundings.”
“So do you.”
“True that, true that…”
“Alright… Let’s get him to Jirokichi’s room like planned.” Kid took a proper hold on the unconscious man under the arm pit while Tsukiko grabbed the man’s legs.
“Guh, for a skinny guy he surely weights a lot…” The girl muttered while they walked along the corridor. Jirokichi had made sure it was empty.
“Yeah… You doing well this far?” The thief indicated to the blonde’s role as a maid.
“Oh please. This is easy. You?” Tsukiko had a bad feeling but hoped it was just her pessimistic realism kicking in.
“Just fine.” A grin.
“We gotta hurry. People might start wondering soon where we are…” The two of them hoisted the servant to Jirokichi’s room and into the closet. Kid pulled out a Jirokichi mask under his/Tsukiko’s jacket and pulled it over the man’s face. The wires would be Tsukiko’s job to place.
“But why? Why did you do this?” Conan leaned his head on his hands in a childlike manner.
“Well… Because it was fun. And your face was really worth of seeing!” The girl snickered. “Anyways, the story is like you deducted. Wrongly but that’s not the point. Kid was disguised as the maid to free Lupin, the end. I’m going home now.” She stepped back and eyed Conan for moment with a soft smile. “You won’t sell me out, right?”
“Nah… Nothing was stolen this time… But say… was it true? Are you his apprentice?” Conan was still looking out of the window.
“Kind of. He teaches me useful tricks anyways. Like lock-picking. I rather not get locked in my room ever again.” Tsukiko stated, placing her glasses on her face.
The bespectacled kid blinked.
“You are still pissed out that?”
“Well, didn’t I say that it’s one of those things that’ll make me tick?”
“Okay then…”The shrunken teen let out a suffering sigh.
“This night was pure magic, don’t you think? And it was perfect!” Tsukiko grinned before leaving the room. Conan’s head snapped up.
“Artfully you say… I think it’s just pure magic. And it’s perfect.”
“She… She gave me a chance to figure it out. And I didn’t notice her voice coming from a wrong direction.” The boy buried his face to his hands.
“Eeh!? That dog Lupin was trapped in the Iron Tanuki!?” Ran exclaimed on the next day when Sonoko told her the truth behind the case.
“Yeah, but don’t tell anyone else.” The rich girl pleaded.
“However, after getting Kid’s help he didn’t give him anything in return.” Kogoro stated behind his magazine.
“But he did, didn’t he?” Tsukiko pointed out while sitting on Kogoro’s desk, much to the man’s displeasure. “He gave a wonderful challenge. I bet Kid would’ve tried it anyways eventually.”
“Yeah… Although uncle said he’d thank Kid thoroughly… but ‘That’ll have to wait until he is handcuffed’. That’s what uncle said…” Sonoko sweatdropped.
“Eh… So it’s like that…” Ran smiled awkwardly.
“The rich and their joys and toys…” Tsukiko muttered. “Some people have too much free time…”
Conan gave a weird look at the girl for the choice of phrasing, probably considering about the possibility of her being the Kid again. The blonde girl caught her look from her place on the desk and stuck out her tongue at the boy playfully then.