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Undercover (潜入捜査, Sennyū Sōsa, lit. "Undercover Investigation") is the eleventh chapter of Lost Judgment.

Plot[]

SPOILER WARNING: Plot details for Lost Judgment follow. (Skip)

A few days after the burner phone call, Tsukumo calls the Yagami Detective Agency, telling them he pinpointed the hospital Mitsuru is staying in: Touto University Hospital. He narrowed down the possible locations to the higher-quality hospitals available to the Health Ministry, then manually checked each hospital's database. Yagami states he will try to convince Reiko Kusumoto to turn herself in, as trying to hide a murder was what led to Sawa's death, despite the nationwide consequences it will have, as it will give the police a reason to hunt Soma due to no longer needing to defend RK. Due to Kuwana's opposing motive, they will not inform him. While Yagami and Sugiura are away, Higashi is asked to locate Soma and Akutsu through his ex-Tojo Clan acquaintances in RK.

Kusumoto hails a cab outside Touto Hospital driven my Sugiura, and Yagami holds up a display pad to her stating he is acquainted with Kitakata and her phone is tapped. Sugiura places her phone in a box and starts driving. Yagami informs her the call with Kitakata - now known as Kuwana - was to determine if her phone was compromised. He makes his respect for her known after she scouted her occupation due to her predecessors repeatedly being ousted, and a high amount of public sympathy due to Mitsuru's condition that makes the cabinet gauge her opinion. She states if any of her enemies were giving orders, Public Security would comply, as they maintain the status quo and they have reason to remove her for not complying. Public security likely learned about Kawai during Ehara's case from Ehara killing his son's bully, and questioning the fate of Kusumoto's son's bully, hoping to find her weakness. By digging further, Public Security learned Sawa was linked by being Mitsuru's former classmate, Toshiro's teacher, and his bully's master supervisor. RK learned from her of Kuwana's potential involvement, and Yagami reminds her Sawa was killed by them.

Mitsuru was transferred to Touto Hospital earlier in the year to try spurring his recover, but it was unsuccessful. Kusumoto states whoever her enemy is wants control of the taxpayer-funded 160 trillion yen pension fund, which is under the Health Ministry's jurisdiction, believing gambling with it is the only way to rebuild Japan's economy. Because of Kusumoto's power, she can override the fund management methods, and by finding a weakness, they can use her as a scapegoat if the gamble fails. Kusumoto remembers Mitsuru's classmates visiting him in the hospital, which was likely them checking to see if he'd woken up. After she saw the video of them bullying her son, she was enraged by the other classmates escaping punishment. She has Yagami pass a message to Kuwana, telling him to run far away to try escaping Public Security, as they would torture information out of him away from the public eye.

Yagami is still convinced Kusumoto should turn herself in. She states Kuwana approached her with the video, telling her everyone in it shoudl be punished, but she struggled with the decision, and traveled to Kamurocho to visit Kawai and see his reaction. While Kawai tearfully apologized to her for what he did to Mitsuru, he not only failed to recognize Kusumoto, but thought she was looking for a date, confirming to her that his apology was an act. She contacted Kuwana to have Kawai killed, and states she has no sins to atone for as she killed subhuman filth and has to deal with the uncertainty of her son ever waking up. Yagami states she is ignoring the fact that as a consequence of her actions, an innocent was killed. He gives her a phone to contact him in case she decides to turn herself in, then she is dropped off at the entrance of Touto Hospital with her phone returned.

Sugiura returns them to Isezaki Ijincho, and accepts Yagami's offer of staying back when he tells Kuwana he met with Kusumoto. Yagami meets Kuwana at Tesso's hideout and tells him of his meeting with Kusumoto. Kuwana is furious and tell him not to involve her, but Yagami reminds him that for all his talk of justice, he is avoiding the topic of Sawa. Kuwana replies that Kusumoto never overcame her son's suicide attempt, and there is no evidence of her killing Kawai, but Yagami remembers Mamiya stating Kawai's corpse is preserved somewhere. Kuwana then sends Yagami the recorded confession from Sawa which was used to motivate Ehara, telling him she felt guilty as well. He later adds that he will continue killing bullies if it prevents a repeat of Mitsuru Kusumoto's case, but he does not want to do this and wishes the law would punish those guilty. Yagami states he will stop him, but Kuwana states he will need to kill him. The next day, Saori calls Yagami, telling him the prosecution wants to meet them off the record to discuss if the footage of Mikoshiba's murder is viable evidence.

Yagami and Saori arrive at the Tokyo High Courthouse, and inform Ehara's prosecutor Sadao Takano that the groping was staged to fake a murder alibi. Takano states he heard their mentor Genda would push for an innocent verdict against all odds with hostility to the prosecution, and was known to fraternize with yakuza. He treated Takano like a child early in his career. Takano asks why Ehara agreed to the appeal, as it would scrutinize the alibi, but Yagami states Ehara's objective is to humiliate the legal system, from which Takano deduces the best course of action would be to ignore the appeal, and Yagami accuses Takano of being too focused on preserving their reputation over upholding the law.

Bando enters the meeting room due to having an interest in the prosecution of a former police officer, but only desires to listen to the discussion. Takano questions if the footage is a trap, and more footage will be uploaded which would reveal the doctoring of the murder video. He remains firm on his stance to assume the murder footage is fake to now allow Ehara to play with the court. However, because of the blind spot in the Shinjuku Station surveillance system, there is not enough evidence to reach a guilty verdict, as it does not rule out the collaboration between Ehara and Mamiya. Though a retrial is approved, the murder footage cannot be used as evidence. When the others leave, Yagami confronts Bando with his surveillance of Kusumoto, suspecting Bando's true reason for attending the meeting being Yagami's presence. Bando tells Yagami to turn in Kuwana to avoid more victims before he leaves.

Yagami returns to Genda Law Office and notes the presence of RK members at the entrance. Hoshino informs him Akutsu has returned to Kamurocho, and tells him he is a manager of RK-owned clubs who personally gives high-performing girls a bonus. Because RK bosses constantly change hideouts, they are difficult to pinpoint, and Saori accepts the challenge of luring out Akutsu. Saori dresses up and heads to Queen Rouge with a wireless earpiece. The owner recognizes her and is pleased to have her return, expressing his displeasure with the drop in quality after the change in ownership.

Saori and her fellow hostesses Megu and Kuniko meet their customers, Hoshino and Genda, and Saori notes to herself the increased difficulty in her job. During their session, they order expensive drinks to boost her sales and Saori accidentally causes Hoshino to cry with her brutal honesty. Eventually, her co-hostesses become suspicious due to their seeming familiarity with each other, but she deflects suspicion and the trio move on to other customers. The two other hostesses concede defeat to Saori, who is eligible for a bonus from Akutsu.

Saori is taken to the RK hideout via taxi, and Akutsu reveals that a thug she had previously seduced had told him about her true identity. Yagami and Higashi arrive to rescue Saori, with Kaito returning to the action as well. The trio defeat Akutsu and his underlings and ask him for answers, though he is clueless as to Soma's location. Akutsu states Soma thoroughly punished betrayal and he has never even attempted to lie to him. Soma's ability is near-psychic, as he was the first to leave the Tojo Clan after feeling its imminent demise, which he was able to do without consequence as the weakening clan could not spare any men to punish defectors. He encouraged Akutsu to leave as well. Soma then built the RK network as the Tojo Clan continued to weaken, and Akutsu was content with being Soma's lackey. Yagami asks Akutsu how Soma is connected to Public Security, but this fact is new to him. Kaito suspects Soma himself may be an undercover agent of Public Security, as they infiltrate certain groups for intel, a suspicion further reinforced by Soma's knowledge of the Tojo Clan's imminent dissolution. He would then for a place for all the ex-yakuza to gather and have their activity monitored. Akutsu panics at this information, fearing Soma may be listening and would want to silence anyone with this knowledge. Two men in police uniforms arrive and shoot Akutsu dead before fleeing.

SPOILERS END HERE. (Return)
Lost Judgment chapters
Black SheepVicious CycleTwo Sides of the Same CoinRed KnifeDouble JeopardyConverging HeatBlindsidedPhantom of IjinchoThe Weight of GuiltCatch a TigerUndercoverTo Nourish a ViperDarkest Before the Dawn
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