Such speeches will stop, such stories will cease to be told, such meticulous notes will no longer be taken; not one sentence contains even a single iota of reason, up to the very last line. I am sick of this wild goose chase; to throw the matter down and finish it is the best I can do. Beyond Birthday’s wild farces are reminiscent of Holden Caulfield, and if they are so alike, then following and cross-examining his erratic thought patterns is not my intention (I, in my position within the government, remember pushing myself beyond my own abilities in an attempt to keep track his delusions). I have kept meticulous notes on this chain of serial murders he’s committed, but reciting them in this way should by no means raise their value. This report is not a novel. I do not like the fact that it has temporarily taken on such a form. There is no excuse for putting this case into such stereotypical, common words, but perhaps by bringing the matter to the public’s attention, I will be able to create a fresh start.
The result of the confrontation between L, this era’s great detective, and this Kira, a homicidal maniac he’d been hunting, is that the common people are forced to read these notes. Kira had prepared the metaphorical guillotine in order to spread his fantastic ideas across the globe, but it was a mere madman’s ideology; he set himself up as the god of his own little game, but he was a only fool who wasted his time chasing after his own childish beliefs. He ruled through terrorism and nothing more—or perhaps his desire was to be the god of a corrupt society, one filled with false accusations and betrayal. Such is probably the difference between gods of death and gods themselves, this negative intent, although it is something I don’t plan to think about often.
How in the world can Kira be good?
L will always be the most important thing in my life.
L was too talented to die like that. His death was unreasonable; it came too damn fast! He solved over 3,500 difficult cases, and there are three times the amount of people packing the prisons today than there would be without him. He was a private investigator, and even though he never showed his face, his influence alone was great enough to inspire the world’s organizations to move forward together—I think that only someone who can match such an immaculate reputation should be able to inherit such a title. I also think I know who that person should be. Something happened, and I am unable to succeed him. Instead I shall leave behind this report in full, and let his real successor take the title.
This legend of L, then, is my final will and testament. It is a dying message aimed at the world at large, and which does not belong to me. Near, arrogant brat that he is, will probably find these notes before anyone else has a chance to; I only hope he doesn’t burn them upon discovery, or destroy them some other way. Actually, destroying them might be best; he didn’t know L like I did, and I don’t want to shatter whatever idealized image he might have created of him. There’s a possibility that this may fall into that demon Kira's hands instead, but I don’t mind. This is for you, you homicidal maniac: you let that abominable death god carry you on its back from beginning to end, and you used nothing but some nonsensical notebook to kill in an attempt to keep your hands clean of your own victims’ blood. You do not deserve to kiss L's feet, and are nothing more than dirt so unclean he wouldn’t even bother dirtying a tatami mat by laying it over you.
I am one of only a handful of people who has met L in person. He told me three of his achievement stories during our times together, but I have no intention of sharing those memories with you. Instead I’ll tell you the middle story, the one that relates to me; the story of Beyond Birthday. I refuse to beat around the bush here; if I do not relate the tale of the Los Angeles Beyond Birthday serial murder cases in full, how can anyone glean any information from them? I was brought up in Wammy’s House and stayed there until I was fifteen years old; L wasn’t. It had a profound influence on my ability to adapt to situations as needed. It doesn’t matter if there were ten or more casualties in this case or if it took over a million dollars to solve; L, in addition to three or four other people, gave his life in the pursuit of justice, and his sacrifice was honorable. More details concerning L are brought forward later—though perhaps they concern me as well, and perhaps Kira too; regardless, what happened in that watershed and what happened during the Los Angeles BB serial murder cases is monumental.
Because that is the first time L identifies himself as Ryuuzaki.
I have no interest in the specifics of how Beyond Birthday committed his crimes. Such gruesome details, then, will be omitted. Instead I will go back and tell the complete story of his first and second murders, since they are what drew L's interest early on, and enticed him to embark on what would become the greatest case of his time. I’m only a third party in this; neither Near, arrogant as he is, nor Kira, crazy as he is, will be able to tell I wrote this unless I leave my signature as the narrator, the navigator, and the storyteller at the end of these opening remarks—although conversely, for anyone but those two people, such anonymity might actually be a good thing. I am, then, the one who died in vain, the best dresser of this pointless death, Mihael Keehl. I call myself Mello now, and am generally identified as such, but that’s already an old story.
My memories are vivid, but they’re filled with nightmares.