Chapter 6 – Mireille Detective Agency

Chapter 6 – Mireille Detective Agency

by December 28, 2014

Chapter 6 - Mireille Detective Agency

Translated by Mecorx and Pixel

Kyrie and I walked at the end of the main avenue… People from the slums call it the start of the street… In other words, we were walking at the border between Edge and the slums. The atmosphere of the town changed completely here. The slums are like a huge maze. Kyrie advanced with ease through the labyrinth. I watched her feet move as if she was walking up steps, and inched after her. I liked to walk behind Kyrie. The reason, I can’t say.

“Fabio swore he wouldn’t steal anymore.”

“But if it’s for Vits, it can’t be helped. If it were me, I’d do the same—”

I wouldn’t. No. I couldn’t. Sure, I’d plan it, but at the same time, I’d find a reason not to go ahead with it. That’s what I think, anyway.

“It’s against the rules, so what are you gonna do? In reality, he’d be fired.”

“I’ll let it slide. We wouldn’t have anyone left.”

“The lifestream says…” Kyrie said suddenly. “Evan will stay here forever, because he knows this is the best place to be.”

Wouldn’t it be great if that prophecy was true?

“The Lifestream doesn’t do prophecies. There’s no such thing.”

“It would be awesome if we could make predictions. Then we’d be filthy rich, right? Livin’ it up in Costa del Sol.”

“Nah, we’d be lynched and hung from Midgar’s pillars.”


We— Kyrie, Lesley, Fabio and I— run a detective agency. Mireille Detective Agency. It’s got a nice ring to it. Mireille is a name we borrowed from Kyrie’s grandmother. The old lady spent her whole life as a crook. I guess it wasn’t the best name for a detective agency, but Kyrie liked it. By the way, Kyrie’s parents were skillful… not sure if that’s the right way to put it… but they were pickpockets. Before she started doing detective work, Kyrie lived a life of crime, as if it was the natural thing to do. You can imagine how we met.

Mireille Detective Agency’s main business is finding missing persons. It’s been nearly 2 years since we opened. There were many more detectives during the year after Midgar’s collapse. Seemed like half the population were our rivals. There were a lot of people with too much time on their hands, as well as a lot of people who were looking for someone or something. There aren’t many detectives these days, nor clients for that matter. It’s because the world has calmed. Most people and things are settling down in the right place. Things are falling into place. But it’s not a complete loss. Even though demand has fallen, we still get by, thanks to some creative business ideas.

‘We read the Lifestream’

That’s the slogan we use for Mireille Detective Agency. Kyrie’s use of her special ability, to access information hidden in the lifestream to find missing persons or items, is our selling point. Kyrie proposed the idea about a year ago, after 17 days without a single client. Of course, she wasn’t born with this ability. Nope, not even now. Lesley found it interesting, but Fabio and I were skeptical. Who the hell would believe that? But, surprisingly, it was right on the money. As it turns out, a lot of people believe stories that the memories and knowledge of those who leave this world merge with the lifestream. It was almost as if I was simply ignorant of the fact. In reality, there was even less than a 20% chance of us finding something we were asked to. Nevertheless, stories of our few successes spread by word of mouth, and we would have one client every 2 days. We decided to get a down-payment upfront, plus contingency fees. With the down-payments alone, we were able to make enough to support the four of us. It’s not really a scam. I mean, it is real detective work, since Kyrie gathers information for the client in good faith, and she’s pretty particular about being a good detective. Sure, the ins and outs are a bit dubious, but the results are legitimate.

Many of the requests are for people or items that went missing when the lifestream surged 2 years ago. If it were limited to Midgar and Edge, the world really isn’t that big. If a person we search for is still alive, and wants to make contact, surely they would have done so by now. In the case of an object, it has either been completely lost, or has passed through people’s hands, and will never be seen again. Two years is a long time. In other words, clients who rely on us now, are people who have half given up. Or people who intend to give up if this doesn’t work. Mireille Detective Agency is the last hope for them. That’s why we search in earnest. We sincerely weave events together into a story, based on the information we all gather, and throw in elements of the fairy-tale of the lifestream. Kyrie whole-heartedly tells that to the client. Of course, whether it’s a success or failure, the client is able to go home satisfied either way. What other job can provide comfort to people like this?

“What kinda person is today’s client?”

I called out to Kyrie ahead of me.

“Today’s client’s name is Mr. Arde. Can’t ask for too much, but I do prefer when the client is female. Men always get the wrong idea.”

It wasn’t just once or twice that male clients have made advances on Kyrie.

“Well, you are pretty attractive, Kyrie.”

As usual, I give the most neutral of favourable responses.

“Oh, thanks very much. Although, Leslie says I leave myself too open.”

One vote for Leslie.

“Well, I’m with you today. Nothin’ weird’s gonna happen.”

Here’s hoping Mr. Arde’s a wrinkly old guy.

The office is located in a secluded part of the slums. It was originally Kyrie’s family home. Well, I say family… by the time I had got there, only her grandmother, Mireille was left. It seemed that her parents had pick-pocketed a wallet from a bad guy, and were killed as a result. It’s a pretty gruesome story, but I believed it, since it was Mireille who told me. The old lady caught a cold, and died soon after. Kyrie was all alone. She was depressed for a while, but she remodeled the house into an office to overcome the grief. I collected building materials with Fabio and a few of Leslie’s friends, and finished it under Kyrie’s instructions.

The first thing clients see when they walk in is a big table. The top is a thing of beauty, but the legs are made out of rusty old iron rods that I found in the slums. I wrapped them with black cloth to cover them up. On top of the table were little things thought to help create the image of a woman who has the ability to ‘read the lifestream’. There was an old, moth eaten book, a cane that looked like it belonged to a magician, a round hand mirror, and a few old landscape photographs. On the back wall, there was a painting of this creepy looking spiky mountain, and some fluttery, black cloth instead of curtains. It looks like a collection of crap when it’s bright, but when we have a client visiting, we draw the curtains so it’s dimly lit, and Kyrie puts on a black hooded robe and sits down, it kinda looks other-worldly.

“I’m gonna go change.”

Kyrie goes to her room at the back, and I stayed. Seated in the three-legged chair next to the door. Before long, Kyrie comes back out to the office wearing her robe. She took off her shoes, so she was barefoot. She always has her socks off while she’s working, in principle, so that she can feel the lifestream flowing beneath her feet.

“He should be here soon. Thank for coming.”

I nodded, taking out a notepad from my shoulder bag to take notes.

“That looks darker than before.”

Kyrie pointed her finger right at my face as she said this. There was hardly any pain, but I made a grimace. We heard the sound of someone outside the door. I stood up to welcome the visitor. The door opened, and an old man with a receding hairline entered. He must have been around seventy, I’d guess. He had pretty good posture, and was just about as tall as me. He wasn’t the feeble old man I had imagined, but I was relieved he wasn’t like the skinhead guy from the Turks. He was holding a dark yellow paper bag in his hand, and he wore an old, but tailored charcoal grey suit. He looked wealthy. We should expect a pretty good reward.

“Mr. Arde, is it?”

“I’m Tyran Arde. You are—?”

“I’m Kyrie Canaan. Please, this way, Mr. Arde.”

Kyrie directed him toward a two-seater sofa facing the table, in a soft, business-like voice.

“Oh, excuse me.”

When Mr. Arde sat down, he started to look more like a frail old man. I think it was because he lowered his shoulders and hunched his back.

“Behind you is Agent Evan. He’ll be taking notes. Don’t mind him.”

Mr. Arde turned his head to look back at me, and nodded. Agent Evan. It seemed he liked the dignified sound of that.

“Nice to meet you.”

I spoke softly. Tranquility is essential to make it feel mysterious.

“This makes me a little nervous,” said Mr. Arde.

“It’s alright. A heightened sense of anxiety calls forth the lifestream.”

It’s all a lie.

“Well then, let’s begin.”

At the request of Kyrie, Mr. Arde took something out of the chest pocket of his jacket. Probably a photograph.

“Please, look at this.”

As I thought, Mr. Arde was holding out a photo. Kyrie reached across the table and took it.

“That’s my son, Gould, in the front row, on the far right.”

Gould Arde. Gould Arde. I repeated the rhythmical name in my head.

“With the longish hair?”

“Yes. Pretty scruffy, isn’t he?”

“Not at all. So, your request is for us to find your son, then?”

“Exactly,” Mr. Arde leans forward. “Do you, er— feel anything?”

Kyrie stared at the photo, and showed her palm to stop Mr. Arde.

“Could we have the time? Maybe 10 days or so?”

“Hmmm— it can take quite a while, I see.”

“As you know, the lifestream is constantly circulating within the planet. It’ll take a little time to find a memory that leads to your son. You shouldn’t get your hopes up…”

“No, it’s ok. If that’s the case, I can wait. I don’t know anything about those on the other side, you see. Well, I’ll be honest. I don’t believe in them either.”

Well then. I was wary of this. Sometimes, we get curious window shoppers.

“Then why are you here?”

Kyrie was calm.

“I’ve tried everything I could think of. I just want to be able to settle down believing that. That’s the truth.”

“I understand, but surely you will end up believing in the power of the lifestream. After all, your son must have gone missing on that day, right? That fateful night, when the lifestream wiped out Meteor.”

Kyrie excessively emphasises the lifestream. To a person who doesn’t believe, it might be a little much.

“It was some time before. My son was a Shin-Ra army Soldier, well, second class, so it’s no big deal. He contacted me to tell me he was going away on a special mission for a while… The photo was delivered later. What came after was ‘That fateful day’, as you call it. If I hadn’t stayed in Midgar, I wouldn’t have received it. I wanted to escape earlier, but I sprained my ankle… Although, thanks to that, I was still there to receive this clue to my sons whereabouts, so I thinking it’s a good omen that I had hurt my leg, I continue to search for him.”

“Where was this photograph taken?”

“Over the last 2 years, I’ve shown it to lots of people, but I still have no idea.”

Mr. Arde looked back around at me. Kyrie held out the photo to me, so I stood up and took it from across the sofa. Front row, far right. I found him right away. He was wearing a Soldier uniform. Soldier was the name given to Shin-Ra’s elite troops. Every child looked up to the Soldiers. At one point, I did too. But, it seems there were few who actually tried to become one. Maybe it was because of the weird rumour. People said that for them to acquire different abilities than ordinary people, their bodies were submerged in this special substance, or that they would spend days in tanks, soaking in the Mako energy.

“How did the photograph reach you? Around that time, the world was goin’ a bit crazy, right?”

Kyrie asked. I was wondering that too, so I placed the photo on my knee, and concentrated on the back of Mr. Arde’s head.

“—There was someone who knocked on my door one night. My son isn’t the kind of guy who would knock, and most of my acquaintances had left Midgar— so being cautious, I didn’t go out.”

“I know how you felt.”

“It was pretty late, so I fell asleep. The next morning, I was concerned, so I opened the door. A man had collapsed. He was a tall guy, wearing motorcycle gear. A black liquid was flowing from his ears and mouth. I know now that it was the Geostigma, but that was the first time I had seen it. The man was shaking with terror, but he moved slightly. I thought he murmured my son’s name, so I couldn’t just leave him there. I let him in my house.”

Mr. Arde fell silent. He must have been remembering that day.

“Not long later, about 30 minutes, the man was dead. Before then, I tried several times to get information about my son, but it seemed he was already delirious. When I checked his clothing, thinking I might be able to identify him, I found 10 of the same photographs. Aside from that, there were also some personal photos. I had one regret after seeing them— there was no doubt, that guy had come to convey news about my son. Why hadn’t I opened the door right away—”

He fell silent again. If only I had done this at that time. If only I had done that. When I think of the choices I didn’t make, those are my biggest regrets in life. I’m a mass of those kinds of regrets. I completely understood Mr. Arde’s feelings as if they were my own.

“Mr. Arde, I understand your request. But looking for a member of Soldier is more difficult than usual, so it may prove to take longer than I had originally mentioned. Will that be alright?”

“I don’t mind if it takes long, but what do you mean difficult?”

“Members of Soldier are more susceptible to the lifestream’s influence. If your son’s a Soldier, then it’s highly likely that his friends were Soldiers too, don’t you think? In other words, if the people with information about your son were Soldiers, and have also died—”

As Kyrie listed the lies, and it seemed Mr. Arde had taken to them, I returned to the photo. There was an old mansion… the kind of big stone mansion that you don’t find in Midgar. 15 men and women stood in front of it. They were all around 20 years old. Well, a few were probably middle-aged. It looked like a commemorative photo of some dispatched Soldier members and the inhabitants of some village. Almost no smiles, it seemed a bit strange for a commemorative photo. The only one smiling was Gould Arde.

“Well then, I look forward to doing business with you.”

Arde got up from his seat.

“Mr. Arde!”

My voice cracked. Mr. Arde and Kyrie looked at me with surprise.

“Oh, excuse me,” said Mr. Arde, nodding his head. “Here’s the down payment.”

He handed the paper bag over to Kyrie.

“This is what my son pilfered from the company shortly after he enlisted. I realise that was a crime, but I doubt anyone’s going to complain now. I’ll be waiting to hear from you. My contact details are in the bag.”

“Wait a minute. Mr. Arde, do you know the name of the man who brought this photo?”

I asked.

“Oh, look at the back of the photograph.”

When I flipped it over, a phone number and the name of a man were written on the back.

“I couldn’t get through to the number, since the phones in Midgar were cut off back then.”

“There were also personal photos, weren’t there?”

“Yes. There were lots of men and women of all ages… maybe the people in the photo were family. The same address was written on the back of all of them. It may be my imagination, but that man may have been walking around in spite of the illness, trying to reunite families…”

“Using the photographs?”

I stopped Mr. Arde and asked.

“I thought they may be useful to someone, so I put them on the bulletin board. Though that was a year ago, so they may not be there anymore…”

Mr. Arde shook his head regretfully and left.

“Wow, hey Evan! Look what Mr. Arde gave us, what do you think they are? Two materia. Does this mean we get two more if we succeed?”


“Shops used to sell them sometimes, right? Wonder how much they went for. You should take a good look.”

“Wanna go to the train station?”

“Right now?”

“Yeah, I want to check the bulletin board.”

“To find the pictures posted by Arde? They were from two years ago, right? They won’t be there anymore.”

Kyrie seemed distracted by the materia.

“Could be.”

“Hey, don’t Soldiers fight using these? They become able to use skills like magic, depending on their training, right?”

“I’m going home.”

“Huh? Let’s go get something to eat.”

Finally, she took her eyes off the materia and looked at me.

“Yeah, this is it for me, today. I’m not feeling well.”

“You alright? Is it your eye? From being punched by the Turks?”

Kyrie looked at me with a worried expression.

“I dunno. I think I’ll be fine once I get some sleep.”

I made every effort not to avert my eyes.

“Wait a minute. I’ll show you out after I change my clothes.”

Saying that, Kyrie went back to the room at the back. I left a note in the pad on the desk, saying that I would see her in Seventh Heaven tomorrow, at the usual time, then left the office.

I’m still not used to the roads in the slums. I was sure I’d get lost if I tried taking a shortcut. Despite knowing that, I figured I’d try, and sure enough, I got lost. When I arrived at the station, the hands on the clock were overlapping at the top. I ran up to the bulletin board near the house. It was one of the bulletin boards they put up all around the city. Lots of notes were pinned in a mess all over it. They ranged from ones posted pretty recently, to ones from a while ago that were now illegible due to exposure to the wind and rain. I searched for the photo Tyran Arde said he had posted. It wasn’t as if I was expecting that something from 2 years ago would still be there. But I just had to check. Of course, it wasn’t there. Though I wasn’t expecting to find it, I still felt like I had been betrayed. In a fit of anger, I kicked the struts of the bulletin board. The vibration cased one of the notes to come loose and fall to my feet. The words jumped out at me.

《Daddy, Mommy, it’s Ceddie. I’m at Aunt Liz’s house》… they were a child’s badly written words.

I quickly tried to put it back on the bulletin board, but I couldn’t find the pin. Reluctantly, I tore off what appeared to be an advertisement flyer and put it in my pocket, and used the pin from it to put Ceddie, the stranger’s note back on the board.

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