Taro watched in horror as the NPA members and Near's people began to keel over. Sayu screamed. Soon, the only people standing were Taro, Sayu, Ryuzaki, Near, and Yamamoto.
Just then, a light lit up on the console of Aizawa's desk.
"That'll be Mr. Mogi," Near said, shaking. "He must have activated his emergency signal. Which means that he's no doubt suffering a heart attack too."
Sayu wailed. "How could this happen?"
"When we cornered Light, all of our names were revealed," Near explained. "As he was caught, and in no position to write anyone's name, we were safe. But if he is back, and has somehow acquired a Death Note, the first names he would write in them would be our own. That is, myself, and all the members of the Kira task force and the SPK."
"Th-then how come you're not dead?" Yamamoto asked, still in shock that the corpses of all his colleagues were on the floor.
"I don't know," Near said. "There's no doubt Light hates me the most of all. My name would have been first. I suspect...he wanted me to see this." He gestured at the bodies. "He wanted me to know that he was back. That he had finally beaten me. And that I had failed everyone."
At that moment, Near's eyes lit up, and he became stiff. Then, without another word, he fell over and died.
Now, Ryuzaki was shaking. But it wasn't with fear. It was with anger. Apparently, despite whatever he had said about the kids at the orphanage always being in competition with him, he still felt protective of them, and was obviously outraged that his successor had been killed.
Then Taro heard a knock on the door. "Excuse me, Aizawa? I brought your aspirin."
Sayu opened the door, and a police officer walked in, although he was a bit younger than the others, except Yamamoto. "Sayu? What are you-"
Then he saw Aizawa's body on the floor and yelled. "Ahh! He's dead!" Then he saw the other bodies. "Ide? Rester? Near? Why are they all dead?" Then he looked at Ryuzaki and screamed even louder. "Why are you alive?"
"MATSUDA!" Ryuzaki snapped. The name rolled off his tongue, like he was used to saying it in that tone of voice. The man, who apparently was called Matsuda, immediately shut up.
Ryuzaki put his hand on Matsuda's shoulder. "Well, at least Mr. Matsuda is still with us."
"But how, though?" Yamamoto asked. "If Light wrote down the names of everyone who was at the Yellow Box, Matsuda should be dead too."
"Light always seemed to like Matsuda," Sayu said weakly.
"But Matsuda was the one who shot him," Yamamoto pointed out, then immediately covered his mouth again, having slipped out another detail of Light's death. This time, however, Sayu didn't seem quite as bothered by it. She looked more numb than anything.
Matsuda was holding his head in his hands, obviously only hearing parts of the conversation. "Light? What about him? Is he one of the ones who came back to life? Ugh, why does this always happen?"
Ryuzaki stared at Matsuda, then tilted his head. "Matsuda, have you gotten married since I've been gone?"
Matsuda looked up. "Oh, you noticed?" he said, holding out his hand, where Taro could see a wedding ring.
"Yeah, once the Kira investigation was over, I finally managed to settle down, and I met this really nice girl, Erika Sanami. It's been a tradition in her family that when a daughter gets married, the couple takes her name. So I thought, 'Well, it's a weird tradition, but why not?'"
Ryuzaki nodded knowingly. "I see. Then may I offer my somewhat belated congratulations. And that 'weird tradition' just saved your life."
"Oh yeah!" Yamamoto realized. "Light must have written down Touta Matsuda. But his legal name is now Touta Sanami."
"So marriage changes your real name?" Taro asked. "I mean, the name Ryuk sees?"
"It would seem so," Ryuzaki said. Then he turned to Sayu and frowned. "That has probably saved your life as well," he added.
"My life?" Sayu pondered. "Because I married Ta-I mean, Sota? But why do you say that?"
Ryuzaki hung his head. "Even though Light has punished (or tried to punish) those who caught him, he cannot be sure that his identity as Kira is not still known to some. I suspect that his next move was to permanently cut ties with everyone who knew him as Light Yagami. That probably means...he'll try to kill his family."
"No," Sayu insisted. "No. Light wouldn't do that. He may have become...lost...in pursuit of a misguided ideal, but he must have had noble intentions to start with. And he wouldn't go so far as to kill me or Mom." Seeing the faces of the other people in the room, she asked, "Would he?"
"The Kira I know wouldn't have batted an eye," Ryuzaki said, probably a little more bluntly than he needed to. "I didn't mention the possibility to you or Mrs. Yagami before because there would have been nothing you could have done. I'm sorry."
Unable to speak, Sayu pulled out her cell phone and dialed desperately. She put the phone to her ear, hoping to hear anything that would let her know her mother was alright.
Silence was all she received. And Taro knew that Mrs. Yagami always kept her cell phone close. If she wasn't answering...
At that, Sayu completely broke down. That, Taro realized, had probably dashed the last hope she had had that her brother wasn't completely evil. Even upon hearing that Light was Kira, she had still wanted to believe that there was good in him, as many people believed that Kira was good. But upon realizing that he had tried to kill his only remaining family, it seemed that she could no longer hide from the truth: her brother was a monster.
"He seemed so normal," she finally cried, not quite with despair this time, but with anger. "He helped me with my homework...he made great grades...he even dated a pop idol-"
-Ryuzaki opened his mouth like he was about to say something, then thought better of it and remained quiet-
"...what happened? How did he become so bad?" Sayu asked desperately.
Taro knelt down and held her. "We may never know. But that notebook...its power can do terrible things to a person."
Ryuzaki nodded in agreement. "Light's father once said the very same thing."
"So, now what?" Matsuda asked.
"Well, we find ourselves in a unique position," Ryuzaki said. "We now know who our opponent is, and he thinks that all of us are either dead or no threat to him. If we move carefully, he may not even realize we're after him."
Nate River, heart attack. He learns that his team members are dead, and realizes that he has failed to stop Kira. Then he dies.
There, Light thought, that should be everyone. He was a little concerned about having to kill his own family, but he banished his doubts. He had been prepared to do that since the beginning. And it would be far simpler to continue as Kira under a new disguise, without any ties to his former life. Light Yagami was gone. Only Kira remained.
"Now," he said, looking at the shinigami. "I have some questions for you."
The death god shrugged. "Whatever," it finally said, leaning up against the wall of the alley. He looked even lazier than Ryuk.
"First, since you'll be following me around for awhile, tell me your name."
Light looked intensely into the shinigami's jeweled eyes, "Now then, Armonia Justin, why am I alive? Ryuk killed me with his Death Note, but I'm here, and I'm not dead."
Armonia Justin held up a small, ordinary looking eraser. "I suspect he used this. This special eraser is how shinigami can have true mastery of death. If I use this to erase a name I previously wrote in the notebook, that person will come back to life."
An eraser? Seriously? "Why have I never heard of this? I've met three shinigami, not including you, and none of them ever mentioned this eraser before."
"They must not have been highly ranked," Justin suggested.
"Yes. Death gods all have a rank, based on their intelligence, power, skill, and other factors. If a shinigami is not careful, he can accidentally kill himself by erasing a name and thus shortening his own lifespan. So only the top seven ranked shinigami are given erasers, to ensure the safety of the others."
"Ah," Light said. "So not all shinigami have erasers, then?"
"No. Ryuk is ranked sixth, so he owned an eraser, but kept it a secret from you, to serve his own plan and amusement. Shidoh is ranked eighth, so he wouldn't have been able to tell you anything about it."
"And Rem? She probably would have been ranked rather high, and she didn't have some kind of agenda. How come she never gave Misa an eraser?"
Justin shook his head. "The Death Note she gave to Misa belonged to Jealous, who was one of the lowest ranked of us. Since he didn't have an eraser, it did not pass to Misa. And Rem's own eraser remained in her possession."
Light considered that. "So what you're saying is that Ryuk used the eraser to bring me back to life? Even though he was the one who killed me in the first place?" Something about this didn't make sense.
"It's possible that Ryuk came to the conclusion that you were the only one who could entertain him the way you did," Justin said. "A few of us tried giving the Death Note to other humans that same way he did with you, but no one was any good. Most of them eventually wrote their own names down."
"And so Ryuk realized that I was the only way he could stay entertained," Light finished. "I guess he finally figured out that he killed me a little too hastily." Then he frowned. "I heard some people on the streets talking about people coming back to life. I suppose that's because of the eraser, too?"
"Yes," Justin said. "The latest human a shinigami tried to replace you with killed several sick and elderly people as a form of euthanasia. When he realized the police were onto him he committed suicide. Now, all of his victims have returned to life, and the eraser is no doubt responsible."
Light laughed. "In that case, I can use that to my advantage."
"Is that so?" Justin asked. He's just as hopeless as Ryuk, Light thought.
"Ryuk thought I could entertain him again. I'll show him just how right he is. It's time to let the world know that Kira is back."
Justin remained stoic. Okay, Ryuk, he thought, time to see just how good your former human is.