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Darkest Before the Dawn (夜明け前が一番暗い, Yoakemae ga Ichiban Kurai) is the thirteenth and final chapter of Lost Judgment.

Plot[]

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

At Genda Law Office, Hoshino informs Genda that the previous night's bombing was declared a terrorist attack, and the body recovered was burnt beyond recognition.

Mitsuru Kusumoto has trouble processing how much time has passed while he was unconscious. At the Touto University Hospital lobby, Yagami visits Reiko Kusumoto. He deduces she sold out Kuwana because Mitsuru woke up, and she did not want to lose him again. She adds that he would also be known as the child of a murderer, which was pointed out her by Bando when Mitsuru awoke. Though sympathetic, Yagami reminds her that Sawa and Akaike died as a result of this secret-keeping, and Kuwana may be next. She is told Kuwana quickly figured out she sold him out. Yagami said he only wanted to know why Kusumoto betrayed Kuwana, and wished Mitsuru a speedy recovery.

Yagami arrives at Yokohama 99. Kaito and Sugiura state they were unable to gain any information on Kuwana's whereabouts. Yagami gives Tsukumo the pendant he received from Kuwana meant for Ehara for inspection. Yagami heads to Genda Law Office to review Ehara's case with Saori and the others continue their search for Kuwana. Higashi and Mafuyu are also at the office. Saori and Genda discuss what they can use to convict Ehara for Mikoshiba's murder, and decide to arrange another meeting with him to find out. Hoshino and Higashi choose to ask Ehara's wife for any details.

When Saori is ready, she calls Yagami. They take a taxi to the detention center and tell Ehara the murder footage cannot be used as evidence, and the prosecution refuses to accept he murdered Mikoshiba. Ehara confirms he plans to confess to the murder after his sentence is over so the public knows the law cannot be trusted, and Yagami says he needs hard evidence to prove it. Ehara confirms he has evidence, and Yagami guesses the evidence is the murder weapon. Before Ehara leaves, Yagami informs him Kuwana has disappeared and is being hunted by Public Security with the intention of his death. Despite being able to prevent Kuwana's death by confessing, Ehara still refuses to admit to the murder as the two had already dedicated their lives to their mission. When he leaves, Saori requests Yagami be present at the trial as a defense attorney.

Yagami arrives in Isezaki Ijincho once again and is called by Kaito, who beckons him to the Yokohama Liumang hideout where he, Sugiura, Tsukumo, Higashi, Hoshino, and Tesso wait. Kuwana has not been found by either the detective or RK, and they suspect he may want revenge on Kusumoto for betraying him. Hoshino and Higashi were unable to gain info from Ehara's wife, as she moved out after Toshiro's suicide and had not kept in touch with Ehara or the news surrounding him. She is unwilling to divorce before of the effort, and lives in the same apartment as she did when Toshiro was alive. Though she let them pay tribute at Toshiro's altar, she was acting lifelessly. RK has a strong presence in Ijincho and has been harassing Liumang stores through tactics that would get a yakuza arrested due to the anti-gang laws. The detective have also been unable to locate Soma. Tsukumo and Hoshino return to their respective locations and Yagami spends the night at the hideout.

Tsukumo reveals the pendant contained an SD card with the murder footage of Mikoshiba. What makes this SD card special is that it is a WORM card, meaning it has the original data which cannot be altered and it can be used in the trial as evidence. Tsukumo suspects Kuwana entrusted the evidence to him to give to Ehara as he may not survive Public Security. Yagami is now more determined to expose Kuwana, Ehara, and the Kurokawa Academy alumni to lure out Public Security. Just then, Matsui walks in, informing Yagami that RK members were flirting with Akane, and they got her to share confidential information. When they asked her which student Yagami cared about the most, she named Koda. Akane quickly realized her mistake and informed Matsui, but he has not been able to reach Koda. When Yagami tells him to call Akane, she picks up and says she and Koda are held captive at the site where Mikoshiba's corpse was discovered. Another voice tells Yagami to come over and not call the police. Tsukumo contacts Kaito and Higashi while Yagami and Sugiura move.

The four of them and Tsukumo's drone arrive at the location. Tsukumo devises a strategy where the others act as decoys while he sets a smokescreen on the enemies. Kaito keeps the girls safe while the others neutralize the threat. The two are untied and Akane apologizes to Koda, who accepts. Before Akane can leave, Soma arrives. He explains that Kuwana plans to reveal the location of Kawai's body on the internet. Soma also considers himself a necessary evil to maintain order, as his organization is able to monitor criminal activity, and says Sawa's death was justified because she was the only one who suspected Kuwana's involvement with Mikoshiba's murder, and leaving her alive would risk her discovering Kusumoto's involvement. He then adds that due to a deal made with Kuwana with Kawai's body, he cannot kill any of them. Soma passes on a request from Kusumoto: Do not mention her name during the trial. With that, he leaves, but Yagami rushed to him and he shoots Akane in the stomach. Everyone is shocked, but it is revealed she was hit with a paintball while Soma escaped. Akane swoons over Sugiura when he unmasks himself.

One month later, Ehara's retrial commences with Takano as prosecutor and Yagami and Saori as the defense. Saori points out the flaws in the evidence used to indict Ehara: the man seen in the train with Mamiya was a stand-in, with the sexual battery's purpose being to fake an alibi. Yagami displays the blind spot in the Shinjuku Station surveillance system as the place where Ehara and the stand-in swapped places. Ehara is called to the stand, and he states he knew of Mikoshiba's corpse's location from a dream. Yagami and Ehara bring up the connection of Mikoshiba having bullied Toshiro to suicide, which did not have evidence in court. He states the fake alibi was to avoid suspicion for murder. Takano states this story contradicts the victim's claim, but Yagami replies that Mamiya was also an accomplice and gave a false testimony. Yagami adds that the bystanders who stopped Ehara and the ones who recorded footage of him were also accomplices. Aside from Ehara, the people involved are all Kurokawa Academy graduates, which is also the case for Toshiro's teacher Sawa.

Ehara states the lawyers are spouting baseless speculation, and Yagami brings up the original murder footage from the WORM card. Takano states it is not proof of murder, and asks for information on the stand-in. Yagami states he was using a 3D printed mask to disguise himself, a statement supported by the fact that the stand-in's mouth never moved. To make Ehara confess, Yagami mentions Kuwana, a name which causes trouble as it was not present in the submitted evidence. To prove their link, Yagami plays the recorded call where Sawa revealed Toshiro's bullying. Due to Sawa's death and Kuwana's disappearance, Yagami is likely the only one with that recording, and threatens to delete it, getting a strong reaction from Ehara. No longer able to suppress himself, Ehara calls out the justice system and admits to intending to humiliate the law by killing Mikoshiba, causing several journalists present, including Ko Hattori, to leave the room for writing articles. Ehara also confirms what he originall called speculation to be true, and states he had evidence in the form of the murder weapon hidden in an altar for Toshiro. In his closing remarks, Yagami states the law failed to serve justice for the Eharas. The court adjourns the trial until the murder weapon is recovered.

Takano states Kanagawa Police have recovered the murder weapon and he admits he was being arrogant, thanking Yagami for making him value upholding the law again. Kusumoto and Bando arrive to speak with Yagami alone. Kusumoto received a letter from Kuwana nearly a month prior informing her of Kawai's body, and that he wanted to talk to Yagami through her phone after Ehara's trial is done. He is calling from his own personal phone, knowing Public Security is tracing his call. He states he is standing next to Kawai's body that moment, and makes it clear he holds no ill will against her, because her betrayal meant Mitsuru regained consciousness. He tells Yagami he is in Ijincho having accepted his fate before hanging up. Yagami asks Tsukumo to locate Kuwana and returns to Ijincho.

Tsukumo informs Yagami that Kuwana released the photo of Kawai's frozen body on the internet, and obtained coordinates from it. The body is in a warehouse whose company is owned by someone with the same name as the Siren Owner. Yagami regroups with Kaito, Sugiura, and Higashi when RK members arrive to attack them. Officers arrive after the thugs are defeated, intending to detain the four. Watanabe and Sakurai arrive to let them go free, but they are prevented from doing so. Matsui, Akane, and Sakaki arrive and record the officers to allow the four to escape. Tesso and White Mask Liumang also restrain some officers.

The quartet arrives at the coast with Tsukumo's drone surveying the area, unable to find Kuwana or Soma. They fight through hordes of RK and Yagami receives a call from Kuwana when they are deep enough into the warehouse, telling him he was using the body as bait to corner Soma and expose him. He asks for help in capturing Soma, and states he had a backup plan in case they didn't come. The four set the far back of the underground warehouse as their destination. Higashi, Kaito, and later Sugiura stay behind to fend off thugs, eventually rejoining Yagami after securing a forklift for Higashi to drive and break down a door.

In the underground warehouse, RK find the freezer with Kawai's body and Kuwana tries to kill Soma by dropping boxes on him. As the four arrive, Kuwana reveals himself. They battle the RK members and Yagami takes Soma to a cold storage unit, where he emerges victorious over him, choking him out declaring that when he wakes up he be all alone without the darkness protecting him and that Bando will abandon him to his fate and rot in a cell for the rest his life.

Kuwana reveals his backup plan was that he rigged a bomb to explode if Kawai's body was pulled far enough out of the freezer, and it can be detonated remotely. Yagami and Kuwana debate over their motivations; Yagami wanting Justice for Sawa with Kuwana wanting Kusumoto to remain in power. The two brawl for one last time. This time, though, Yagami no longer holds anything back and is finally able to defeat Kuwana as Yagami tries to convince Kuwana to take responsibility for the collateral damage caused by hiding the truth and Kuwana, beaten, is left unable to effectively defend himself. Kusumoto arrives, telling Kuwana that seeing the agony preserved on Kawai's face made her decide to turn herself in. She acknowledged how her actions killed Sawa and caused her to betray Kuwana, that she was scared of Mitsuru learning her dark secret, and that she longer wants Kuwana to bear the burden of hiding her mistake. Kuwana breaks down in tears, no longer able to look away from the collateral damage he caused.

Kusumoto calls her son with Watanabe and Sakurai observing, telling him she may not return for a while. Mitsuru tells her he knew she was hiding something painful, and that he was able to take steps. He tells her he will one day stand up by himself and be there to support her, so she should do what she needs to without worrying about him.

Takano and Mafuyu arrive in Bando's room, confronting him with the information they learned of Soma and Bando's involvement with him. Soma was arrested by the Kanagawa Police and is a suspect in Sawa's murder. They believe he was acting on Bando's order to find something to manipulate Kusumoto with. Bando tries to reason with the prosecutors by telling them making the information public would affect many people in positions of power, but they are not deterred. They were also able to recover the camera footage from Sawa's apartment complex that showed RK in it from one of Bando's political rivals. They are prepared to face the consequences, inspired by detectives who persevered.

Ehara is arrested for Mikoshiba's murder and Kusumoto is arrested for Kawai's murder, both fully cooperating with investigation. Kuwana, however, is still missing.

Sugiura and Tsukumo meet Yagami and Kaito at Yagami Detective Agency, and Higashi arrives with five orders of sushi that Yagami paid for.

Yagami reminisces on the last time they saw Kuwana at the warehouse, where he chose to let them have Kawai's body, but chose to disappear. Yagami allows him to do so in order to prevent Public Security from gaining their scapegoat. There was also no evidence to convict him of the murders he killed. Before Kuwana walked off, he expressed how incomplete and flawed the law is, and that he would continue to expose its failures. Yagami agreed with Kuwana's assessment of the law, and countered that it evolves over time to improve them, and he will be there to save those the law cannot, though his method will be different than Kuwana's.

On Isezaki Road, a group of students is bullying another, but Matsui, Akane, Sakaki, Koda, and a nearby restaurant owner all come to the victim's aid and ward away her bullies.

A news report announces receiving an anonymous tip of the location of five murder victims' bodies that have been dead for years. The tip stated the victims were all formerly bullies, and the police is working to identify them.

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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