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The Ultimate Detective and The Ultimate Hope Gaiden: Interning at the Saihara Detective Agency!

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“This is…your uncle’s detective agency?”  Kiki asked as she and Shuichi stood in front of a what appeared to be a small, one-story house. 

Shuichi smiled at the familiar building, its walls painted dark black and its roof a navy blue color.  “Not what you were expecting?”

“Well…when you said your uncle ran his own detective agency…I just assumed it’d be a little…you know…larger and more…business-like.  This just looks like a house that a small family would live in.  If it wasn’t for the sign, I wouldn’t even know it was a place of business.”

Shuichi chuckled in amusement.  “Ah, yeah, my uncle’s a pretty down-to-earth kind of guy.  He actually chose for this place to resemble a house.”  Seeing Kiki’s curious stare, Shuichi explained “You remember how I told you my uncle’s policy is to make sure every client is satisfied?  Well, he figured that it’d make clients feel a little more at ease if the place they were walking into was a little more…homey…?”

“So…like a bed and breakfast?”

“Ah, I guess it’s a similar concept.”  Shuichi admitted.  “Alright, what do you say we go inside?  I’ll introduce you to my uncle properly and we can get started on your internship.”

“S-sure.  Lead the way, Shuichi.”

As Kiki followed Shuichi to the door, she frowned nervously.  I’ve never actually met Shuichi’s family, especially not as their employee.  I’m…kinda nervous, but as long as Shuichi’s here to guide me, I should be okay!


“Uncle, ittekimasu!”

Minato hummed before he looked up and saw Shuichi leading a slightly nervous Kiki into the office.  “Ah, you’re Naegi-chan, ne?”

“H-hai!”  Kiki stammered as she bowed respectfully.  “G-Good morning, S-Saihara-sensei!”

Minato chuckled and shook his head in amusement.  “Please, there’s no need to be so formal here.  Saihara-san will do just fine.”

“O-okay.”

“Please, have a seat.”  Minato gestured to the two empty chairs before Kiki awkwardly sat down in one of them.  As Shuichi sat in the adjacent one, Minato smiled and greeted “So, Naegi-chan, welcome to my humble detective agency.  Your parents have spoken very highly of your capabilities, so I know you’ll fit right in.”

Kiki blushed, embarrassed to hear that her parents had propped her up before she even started working.  “I-I’ll do my best, Saihara-san.”

Though he couldn’t deny that a blushing Kiki was a cute Kiki, Shuichi took pity on her and cleared his throat.  “So, Uncle, how do you want Naegi-chan to start?”

Minato’s smile turned into a neutral pursing of his lips, reflecting the fact that they were discussing serious business.  “Well, based on her parents’ accounts, her biggest weakness as a junior detective is that in her excitement and enthusiasm, she has a tendency to rush to action at the first clue.”  His lips tugged into an easygoing, nonjudgmental smile as he turned his gaze to the young girl.  “Would you say that’s a fair assessment, Naegi-chan?”

“W-well…yes…”  Kiki sighed.  That’s how I got depressed in the first place…

Minato nodded.  “Well then, it seems to me that her first tasks should be focused on tempering that enthusiasm and teaching her to take her time.  So…I was thinking you could teach her how we do research during background checks.”

“M-me?!”  Shuichi exclaimed in surprise.  “Uncle, do you really think that’s a good idea?”

“You two are already thick as thieves.”  Minato smiled knowingly at his nephew.  “Plus, you’re one of the best researchers I’ve seen.  I think you’d be a natural mentor for Naegi-chan here.”  He turned his gaze back to the amateur detective-in-training.  “What do you say, Naegi-chan?”

“W-well…you’re the expert.  So if you think this is the best path…I’ll trust you, Saihara-san.”

Minato nodded approvingly.  “Alright then.  Shuichi, why don’t you give her a tour of the office?  Then we’ll regroup for lunch before my nephew teaches you about background checks.  I’ll check in on you when your shift’s over.”

“O-okay.  Kiki, let’s go, shall we?”  Shuichi stood up before Kiki followed suit.

“Sure, coming, Shuichi.”  Minato chuckled as the young girl followed her mentor out of the senior detective’s office.


“And this is where you and I will be working.”  Shuichi entered the office as Kiki followed him.

She observed the simple, wooden walls lined with bookcases filled with various books.  Two desks sat on either side of the room, with laptops and charger cords sitting on each one.

“It feels…cozy…”  Kiki concluded as she walked towards the desk, resting her hand on the mahogany surface.

Shuichi nodded.  “Yeah, my uncle wants to make sure all our clients feel at home, so he went out of his way to make sure this office building felt as cozy as possible.”

“…He has good taste.”  A small smile graced Kiki’s lips as she admitted “You know, at first I thought this place was a little on the small side to be a professional business, but now it feels a little spacious.  I’m surprised it’s just the two of you working here.”

“Ah, well, to tell you the truth, Uncle Minato always said he wanted to hire a couple more people around here, if for no other reason than to make it not feel as empty.  But…we just never got around to putting out an ad.”

“I see…well, I’m grateful that you and your uncle took me in as your intern.”

Shuichi’s cheeks flushed pink as he averted his gaze.  “Ah, well, we’re happy to have you here.  You…you have a lot of potential…”  A grateful smile crossed the more experienced detective’s face.  “You helped me to overcome my fear of the truth.  It’s…only fair that we help you with your own shortcomings.”

Kiki giggled before her stomach growled, causing her own cheeks to flush in embarrassment.

Shuichi chuckled and suggested “Come on, why don’t we go grab lunch in the kitchen?”

“Sure, do you cook?”  Kiki asked as she followed her mentor.

“Ah, no, I don’t really cook…but my uncle does.  I’m sure he’s got something planned to welcome you.”

“Well, he doesn’t really need to go to the trouble, but if he insists, I’m sure I’ll love whatever he has planned.”

Kiki smiled as they continued to wander the halls of the office, both of them looking forward to their lunch break.


“Itadakimasu!”

The three of them bit into their cheeseburgers, juices dribbling from their chins and landing on the fries on their platters.

“Mm, Saihara-san, your cheeseburgers are delicious!”  Kiki gushed, causing Minato to chuckle.

“I’m glad you like them, Naegi-chan.”  Minato smiled at the new apprentice.  “How are you enjoying the office so far?”

“Well, I haven’t gotten any work done yet, but so far it looks really cozy and warm.  It almost reminds me of home.”

“I’m glad to hear that.  I always want our clients to feel at home, so I’m happy that being here reminds you of such.”

Shuichi smiled as his friend and uncle continued to chatter happily.  She’s…really gotten her smile back.  I’m glad she’s got her spirit back!  Deciding that he needed to refocus on business, Shuichi cleared his throat.  “So, Uncle, which case should I have Naegi-chan start with?”

Minato smiled and assured him “I think I have a nice, simple one ready.  I’ll leave it on her desk before you two start work.”

Kiki nodded and confessed “I’m…still a little nervous.  I want to make sure I’ll do a good job, and I don’t want to let your clients down by being sloppy.”

Minato smiled appreciatively.  “I appreciate that, Naegi-chan, and that desire to do right by our clients will serve you well.  Just listen to Shuichi’s directions and take your time; you should be fine if you follow those rules.”

Kiki nodded solemnly and vowed “I won’t let you down, Saihara-san.”

Minato smiled approvingly before he suggested “Alright, enough of business.  Let’s finish our lunches before they get cold.”

“Sure.”  Shuichi nodded.  “Ah, Kiki, can you hand me the ketchup?”


“Okay, so this is my desk?  The one with the file?”

Shuichi nodded as Kiki sat down in the leather chair.  “Yeah, that one’s gonna be yours.”

“Alright, so…how do we start?”

“Ah, well, it’s probably best if we start with reading the client request form.”  Shuichi advised as he opened the front cover of the folder for her.  “It’s right here, on the first page.”

Kiki nodded and began to scan the form, skimming over the less consequential details like the client’s name, email address, and location.  “Let’s see…oh, it says they’re trying to hire a babysitter for their toddler but want to make sure that whoever they pay has a clean history.”  Kiki frowned as she pondered “Isn’t that a…a little much?  I mean, my parents never did that with me.”

“Well, everyone’s a little different.  The client might have had some bad luck with babysitters in the past and decided to exercise more caution this time.”

“Oh, good point…it looks like the client included several different candidate profiles.  So we can investigate one-by-one.”

Shuichi nodded in agreement.  “Okay, so now we’re going to turn on your computer and log on to the prefecture’s criminal records database.  That’ll be the first sign of any red flags, and we can cross any potential candidates off the list if they’ve had any recent criminal activity.”

“Oh, okay…does that include interrogations or being booked but let go later, or are we limiting ourselves to just court convictions?”

“Ah, good question.”  Shuichi hummed in contemplation.  “It honestly differs from detective to detective.  It’s not all that uncommon to have different opinions from different sleuths on the matter.  That being said, since this is your first time, I’d advise playing it safe and looking for everything.  Even if it’s just a drug possession suspicion, the smallest things can be giant red flags for clients.  Only let it go if you can justify that the incident doesn’t reflect honestly on the candidate’s character.”

Kiki nodded in understanding as the screen booted up.  “Alright, I’m online.  Now, which website should I go to?”


“Okay, it doesn’t look like any of the potential hires have any criminal history.”  Kiki announced after she logged out of the database.

Shuichi nodded in relief.  “That’s good.  The client will be glad to know that none of the candidates have any prior run-ins with the law.”

“So, that’s that, right?”  Kiki asked.  “We can tell the client that all the candidates are go…or…”  Kiki frowned as her brow furrowed.  “…Maybe we should look a little more into them.  There’s a chance that they might have had some civil complaints that just don’t rise to criminal conduct, right?”

Shuichi smiled and nodded approvingly.  “Yeah, that’s right.  We can start with any traffic citations they might have gotten.  It’s not a felony to speed, but if the candidates have a habit of reckless driving, that could be a major red flag to the client.”

Kiki let out a sigh of relief.  “Thanks.  I’m trying to slow down and take my time more.”

“That’s good, it’s easier to come to more complete and rational decisions if you exercise reasonable caution and take your time.”  Shuichi gently grabbed the mouse and opened a new browser tab before he began to type.  “Alright, let’s log into the prefecture’s traffic court database.  That’s a good place to start.”


“Kiki?”

Kiki looked up and saw her mother standing in the office doorway, Minato by her side.  “Oh, Mom!  Is it time to go?”

Kyoko nodded.  “Indeed.  Your father’s cooking dinner as we speak.  Detective Saihara was just filling me in on your first day.”  Kyoko’s lips tugged into a proud smile.  “It seems like this agency is a good fit for your training.”

Minato grinned.  “She’s a natural; she took her time and brought to my attention some glaring behavioral red flags regarding a client’s background check case.”

Kiki flushed with embarrassment as she replied “It’s just because of Shu-Shuichi’s guidance…I ne-never would have been able to do it on my own.”

Minato chuckled “And humble, too.  She’s going to be a perfect fit here; the clients will feel right at home with her when she’s ready to do interviews.”

“I can’t wait to hear all about it.”  Kyoko mused before she turned around.  “Alright, Kiki, time to go.”

“Right, coming Mom!”  Kiki stood up and gave Shuichi a quick, grateful hug, causing the experienced detective to blush.  “Thanks for all your help, Shuichi.  I couldn’t have done any of this without you.”

“Ah, it was no-nothing, Kiki.”  Shuichi stammered, flustered by the sudden hug as he awkwardly returned the embrace.  “You…you did good work today.”

Kiki giggled as she released Shuichi and turned to her employer.  “Thank you for taking me under your wing, Saihara-san.”  She bowed gratefully and told the elder detective “I’m grateful for everything you’ve done for me.”

Minato patted her shoulder and replied “Believe me, I’m grateful for your help.  But it’s late, so go and have dinner with your family.  We’ll see you here next weekend.”

Kiki nodded and told him “Sayounara, Saihara-san.  Bye, Shuichi!  See you at school!”

Shuichi waved as Kiki followed her mother out the door.  His cheeks flushed even darker as he caught his uncle’s knowing smile.

“Uncle Minato, not you too…”

Minato laughed and clapped his nephew on the back.  “Come, let’s tidy things up before we head back home.”

Shuichi sighed, grateful for the reprieve as he and Minato began to clean up the loose papers and place the case folders back where they belonged.  As he cleaned, Shuichi smiled at the memory of training the renewed junior detective.

Kiki…I’m glad you haven’t lost your enthusiasm for detective work.  It’s important to be cautious, but…I’m glad I can still see you approach this line of work with a smile!