When hundreds of the recently deceased suddenly rose and greeted their loved ones, there was indeed an uproar among all the world's people, even more so than when Kira had first appeared. It sent waves of doubt through even Kira's staunchest critics. After all, any man with a knife could kill, but to bring the dead back to life must truly be the act of a god.
However, even as unprecedented an event as this was, the rest of the physical world carried on as though nothing was out of the ordinary. It should stand to reason that if there was a revived man whom no one was around to greet, the whole of the universe would ultimately take no notice.
And yet, on August 2, 2013, the universe felt the faintest of sinister stirs from a warehouse on Daikoku Wharf called the Yellow Box, as the man once called Light Yagami sat up and opened his eyes.
Mrs. Yagami gasped.
Sayu looked bewildered. "Taro, what are you talking about? Light's gone. How can he come back?"
Mrs. Yagami turned to Sayu. "Taro?"
Taro stepped in. "That's my real name: Taro Kagami. Sota Nakamura was just an alias that I used while Kira was around." Now that Kira was dead, there was no point in lying to his in-laws.
Mrs. Yagami scowled. "You mean, the man who married my daughter and has been a friend to our family for years isn't who he said he was?" She was angry, and Taro supposed she had a right to be.
"Mom," Sayu said, "it's not like that. Everyone hid their names during that time."
"Then why didn't he say anything when it was all over? What's he trying to hide?"
"He doesn't have anything to hide," Sayu protested, whirling to face Taro. "Do you?"
Taro gulped. This wasn't going to be a pleasant conversation. He'd have to give some explanation of how he knew Light was coming back, and that meant he'd have to tell them the whole truth, which even Sayu didn't know. He'd hoped that Light coming back would make them happy enough that they wouldn't care. Obviously that wasn't the case.
"You must have heard on the news that some people apparently rose from the dead this morning?" Taro asked.
"More Sakura TV trash," Mrs. Yagami insisted.
"No, other stations were talking about it, too," Sayu told her mother. "I can't believe it either, but I don't think it's Sakura TV just making something up."
"Well, Light's one of them," Taro said.
"But how do you know?" Mrs. Yagami demanded.
Taro sighed. He reached into his bag and pulled out the Death Note he had taken from the false Kira's house last night. "I'll be able to explain everything now. Please touch this, and don't freak out at what you see."
Looking a little suspicious, Sayu and Mrs. Yagami both touched the innocent looking black notebook, and immediately paled upon seeing Ryuk. "What is that thing?" Mrs. Yagami screamed. Sayu couldn't form any words: Taro could only imagine what was going through her mind.
"This is a shinigami, a god of death," Taro said, the words sounding absurd even to him. "The notebook originally belonged to him before he gave it to Kira, and it's how he kills people. If you write a human's name in it-"
"-that human will die," Sayu finished hoarsely. "You told me that you somehow knew about Kira's power before we were even married. So you really did know? All this time?"
"Yes," said Taro, hanging his head. "I didn't want to tell you because if Kira ever found out I knew, he'd try to kill me."
Sayu nodded that she understood, but she was still giving him a sour look.
Mrs. Yagami had finally regained the ability to speak calmly. "But even if this notebook does have something to do with Kira, that doesn't explain how people can come back to life," she said.
"That's because there's another part of the story," Taro said, "one that even Kira didn't know. You see-"
A loud knock at the door interrupted Taro, and all three humans jumped. Could it be Light?
Nervously, Taro walked up to the door and opened it. Sayu and Mrs. Yagami both looked expectantly.
It wasn't Light.
The man standing at the door would have probably been about as tall as Light, but he had a prominent slouch. Both his hair, which was black and stuck out in all directions, and his eyes, which had dark circles under them, gave the impression of someone who had just gotten up from a very long nap.
"Hello," he said, greeting Taro with a rather awkward bow. "Is this the Yagami residence?"
"Yes, it is," said Taro, a little thrown off by the man's appearance. "Who are you?"
"Oh, nobody," the man said. "Just a friend of Light's. May I come in?" And before giving Taro a chance to either answer or ponder what he had said, he boldly stepped over the threshold and into the house. Taro noticed now that he was barefoot.
The man glanced around like he was very familiar with the place. He bowed to Mrs. Yagami, but looked somewhat bewildered upon seeing Sayu. Then, recovering himself, he simply said, "You've grown."
By now Taro was extremely confused. Now only did this man apparently know Light, but he also recognized his family, while their faces plainly said that they had no clue who he was. Who is this guy?
Then the man glanced at the coffee table, and his already pale face lost even more color. "What's that doing here?" he whispered, pointing at the Death Note.
So he recognizes it? And he knows Light? Suddenly a thought crossed Taro's mind. "Are you L Lawliet?"
With surprising agility, the man leaped over and placed a long finger on Taro's lips, silencing him. "How do you know that?" he demanded.
By now, the man's rudeness was starting to annoy Taro. "Just answer the question," he snapped.
The man backed down. "I suppose I am. Just…please don't tell Light."
"If you were really a friend of Light's," Mrs. Yagami said, having found her voice, "you would know that he's been dead for several years."
Taro stepped in. "I think I can explain. If this is L Lawliet-"
The man winced. "Please call me Ryuzaki."
"-then he's actually been out of the loop for some time. He was also killed by Kira."
"Also?" Ryuzaki said. "How interesting. And yes, I died about…what year is it?"
"2013," Sayu squeaked, still obviously unnerved that this strange man knew her, in addition to everything that was happening.
"Nine years ago," Ryuzaki finished.
"NINE YEARS?" Mrs Yagami exclaimed. "But how?"
"All I know, is that in the middle of the night I woke up, and realized I was at the Task Force HQ, only it looked like it had been abandoned for years," Ryuzaki explained. "I still remember feeling that pain in my chest, but the pain was gone. I'm sure that I had a heart attack, so I really don't know how I could be alive. Then I got up, and came here."
Taro breathed a sigh of relief. Ryuk had told him that anyone who was brought back to life should appear near the place where they died, regardless of how long it had been and what state the body was in. Although Ryuk had also admitted that he didn't know for sure. Taro had had all kinds of nightmares about Light coming to life inside his coffin, six feet underground, unable to breathe (needless to say, he hadn't gotten much sleep last night). After hearing Ryuzaki's story, though, he felt much more confident that Light's resurrection had been successful, and that he would be here soon.
"I take it that this has something to do with my suddenly being alive." Ryuzaki pointed at the Death Note.
"Yes," Taro answered. So obviously Ryuzaki knew a little about how the Death Note worked. He pulled out the eraser. "If you kill someone with the Death Note, and then erase his or her name using this special eraser, they come back to life."
Ryuzaki raised his eyebrow, obviously intrigued by this new information. "May I see it?" Taro nodded. Ryuzaki touched the notebook, then he looked up and saw Ryuk.
"A shinigami…" His eyes narrowed. "You're not the one I met."
Ryuk laughed. "You mean Rem? Nah, she's dead. My name is Ryuk; I'm the one who gave Kira the notebook in the first place."
"I see," Ryuzaki said. Then, without a second's hesitation, he tossed the notebook into the fireplace. Everyone gasped.
"What did you do that for?" Taro shouted.
Ryuzaki glared at him, and something in his gaze gave Taro the shivers. "That notebook is possibly the most dangerous thing on the planet. I did the only thing a sane person would do and destroyed it." He stopped, as if waiting for something to happen. "I see, so that was a fake rule too."
"What was?" Taro asked.
"When we first found the notebook over the course of our investigation, there were two rules written in the back. One was that if the notebook was destroyed, everyone who had previously touched it would die. And the other was that if you wrote a name, you had to keep writing names every thirteen days, or else you would die."
Taro nodded. Those were certainly not any rules he was familiar with. Ryuk must have just made them up.
Then pieces started falling into place. Ryuzaki knew about the Death Note. He was part of the investigation team. And his name…
"Y-you're L," Taro blurted out. The instant the words came out, he was positive that he was right.
"But that's impossible. L was still alive. And Ryuk said his name was Nate River."
"Nate River?" L said. "Oh, that must be Near. So he was the one who succeeded me?"
Taro's mind started racing. He lied. Ryuk lied. How had he not seen it coming? But to what end?
L looked at Taro. "The only thing I don't know…is who are you?"
Taro took a deep breath. "My name is Taro Kagami. I owned the Death Note about a year before Kira did. After about four days, I brought back all the people I had killed, and told Ryuk to take the notebook away. Instead, he let me keep the eraser, and brought the notebook to Kira. I tried to find Kira so I could erase the names and undo all the damage he caused, but I wasn't able to, and now all the pages Kira used are burned." At least, that's what Ryuk said. That could also be a lie.
Sayu and Mrs. Yagami looked at Taro like they had never seen him before. They had never imagined that their close friend had been so intimately involved in the Kira incident from the very beginning. Even Sayu, who had just discovered his secret, was shocked at the revelation of just how large that secret actually was.
But meanwhile, L's mind was even more frantic. This new information changed everything. And the conclusion…gave him a chill.
"Shinigami, it seems that you find all of this 'Kira' business rather amusing. Watching humans scramble around, killing each other, and creating chaos must be entertaining for a supernatural being such as yourself."
"Yep," Ryuk said without embarrassment.
"Then I can only speculate that it wasn't exactly from the 'goodness of your heart' that I'm now back in the land of the living. You had some ulterior motive."
Taro stepped in. "I told him to bring me the pages from Kira's death note after he was defeated. But like I said, yours was one of the only ones that wasn't burned."
"I find it difficult to believe that I was simply that lucky," L insisted. "I can only imagine that he had some other goal in mind when he brought you the page with my name on it. And the other page as well."
Ryuk laughed loudly. He must have figured out whatever point L was getting at. "You haven't changed a bit, haha!"
"Perhaps not." L glanced at Taro. "The other name…it was Light Yagami's, wasn't it?" He didn't seem like he found the idea of Light rejoining the living to be as cheerful a prospect as the rest of them.
"Yes," Taro answered.
L's face fell. "Of course." He glared at Ryuk. "You must have been extremely bored all those years after I was gone. If Light has been dead for three years, you must have spent all of that time hoping you or another shinigami would find another human to keep you all entertained."
Ryuk nodded. "Unfortunately, the one Midra chose was just too weak."
"And so then," L continued, "having realized that a weak human would be of no use to you, you decided you would have to simply resurrect the two geniuses and begin anew. You simply had to have Light and I, didn't you?"
"I don't understand," Mrs. Yagami interrupted. "What does Light have to do with this?"
At the question, L's whole demeanor changed, and he looked ashamed. "After seeing how badly this affected your husband, I would prefer not to tell you. There's no easy way to say this. But I afraid that...your son Light is actually Kira."