An enormous glass pot filled with white sugar cubes sat on a low table. L picked out the cubes with his left hand and popped them in his mouth one at a time.

There were over fifty monitors set up in front of the sofa. Until yesterday, every one of them had displayed news and surveillance video from around the world, but having served their purpose, all the monitors were now black. Except one.

L was watching a Japanese television program. A celebrity divorce was being reported as a big scoop.

Just as L turned toward the monitor, there were sounds of hurried activity in the wings of the studio. The broadcast cut away to an emergency press conference being held by the Metropolitan Police Department. Following a few words from the superintendent of police, Soichiro Yagami took the microphone.

”We are pleased to report that the case in the matter of Kiras indiscriminate murder of criminals is closed. Kira will never commit another crime. ”

The conference room buzzed with excitement at the announcement, and questions flew from every direction.

”Does that mean youve arrested him? Or is Kira dead? ”

”Can you explain how Kira was killing his victims? ”

”Answer the question! ”

With that single tantalizing claim, Soichiro Yagami ended the conference and left amid the presss clamoring for answers. The conference room was in an uproar.

I stared at the screen without any hint of emotion.

”So Kira…no. Light is dead. ”

L heard a voice ring out, though had anyone else been with him. they would have heard nothing. L. did not appear to be shaken, how- ever. It was because a grotesque non-human outline was silhouetted on the floor, a shadow blocking the light spilling from the open door of the room. Only a shinigami, a death god with the ability to pass freely through walls, was capable of entering Ls suite without trig- gering the security system.

”The Death Note brought to this world by you, a shinigami… ” There were actually two Death Notes next to L. Slowly he picked up one of them and brought it closer to the candle flame. The shin- igami Ryuk, despite looking somewhat displeased, did not try to stop him.

”Aww I was hoping you would find an interesting use for it. And I told you all the rules for it and everything. ”

”An interesting use…for this? ” L looked up and gave Ryuk a hard look. His image was reflected in Ryuks enormous eyes.

”I dropped this notebook in this world because all of us in the shinigami realm were bored. At least Light gave us a good show. I was hoping you would entertain us by finding an amusing use for it too, ” Ryuk said.

”There isn anything amusing about killing people. Besides, Ive already used the notebook. ” L opened the notebook and held it up pinched between his fingers. ”Ive written my own name in the Death Note. This will be the first and last time I will use it. ”

Bringing his face much too close to the notebook. Ryuk sniffed the pages and stared at the name.

”The name Light so desperately wanted to know. Who wouldve thought you would write it in the Death Note yourself? ” Ryuk twisted the large mouth that extended to his ears and snickered, his sharply pointed teeth peeking out between his lips.

With the notebook in his hand, L was still, as if hed forgotten that the shinigami was there.

Ryuk watched for a moment, and after a while, he twisted his body unnaturally and cracked his neck.

e really not going to use it? Thats no fun. ” Uttering the same words hed said when Light died, Ryuk flapped his wings wind- lessly and disappeared through the ceiling.

Then there was silence again. L continued to gaze at the notebook, biting his nails all the while.

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