“Hatori, you'll be dead by tomorrow…”
Black (黒, Kuro) is the forty-third chapter of the Death Note manga series.
The Kira Task Force has identified the eight men from Yotsuba whom Matsuda recently overheard discussing Kira and murder. They believe that the current Kira is using his killing powers in order to boost the Yotsuba Corporation's profits and does not have the power to kill people by just looking at their faces because otherwise Matsuda would have been killed even after faking his own death.
On the other hand, they have not found any suspicious deaths within the immediate entourages of the men involved. L concludes that Kira is indecisive and has assembled a committee in order to get advice on what to do. They meet on Fridays in order to discuss potential victims and Kira commits the murders over the weekend.
One of the suspected executives, Masahiko Kida, is at work when he receives a call on his cell phone from a restricted number. The caller identifies himself as Eraldo Coil, a detective whom Kida hired in order to find L. Kida is caught off guard since he hired Coil through intermediaries and did not expect to be traced.
Coil is, in fact, Aiber, who is calling from Paris, France. (It's possible that Aiber is actually French and is calling from there in order to lend credence that Coil is European.) While Kida listens, "Coil" outlines his terms: He will take the case for US $10 million—with $2 million paid in advance—and if Kida turns him down then he will expect US $2 million anyway in return for his silence.
Kida had originally offered $1.5 million for Coil to find L. After Coil hangs up, Kida quickly calls Takeshi Ooi, another senior executive in the group, and they contact their six colleagues for an emergency meeting.
That evening, the Yotsuba Kira Group meet in their windowless inner sanctum. Shingo Mido and Reiji Namikawa quickly deduce that Coil's request for a large bribe indicates that he has not only traced his client but has also figured out the connection to Kira through Yotsuba's sudden growth.
Arayoshi Hatori suddenly panics and announces that he no longer wants to be part of the group. Looking amused, Kyosuke Higuchi warns him that he will be dead within the next 24 hours. Hatori quickly retracts his announcement, and Suguru Shimura warns that killing him will just make things more complicated than they already are. Ooi reminds everyone, including Hatori, that they are all too deeply involved anyway and could all end up in jail even if they do pull out at this stage.
They then return to the main topic: What to do about Coil? Higuchi suggests hiring him to find L and then killing him. Since Kira cannot kill a man without knowing his face, they'll make it a condition that he meets at least one of them who could then take his picture. Mido is against killing Coil, who is clearly very smart and knows that the Kira killings are being handled by an actual organization and not a single individual—which makes the potential suspects too scattered to be narrowed down anyway.
Namikawa agrees and even suggests that Coil has deduced what Kira is really after. He explains that Kira started out trying to change the world. He did this by killing criminals and this has led to a worldwide fall in crime. What Kira now wants is wealth and social status. Even the nouveau riche who have gained wealth through the lottery or clever business practice can find it hard mixing with wealthy and established people and institutions. By assembling such a committee, Kira is not only gaining advice but, as Yotsuba rises in power and prestige, he and the others will benefit from this with money and social position, including seats on the board of directors and eventually even the chairmanship of the company.
Coil's actions show that he is a mercenary, putting money and power above justice and curiosity over L's real identity. Mido suggests that they bring him on board so that they will all share the advantages, and a clever man like Coil could be very advantageous to them in the long term. Ooi, therefore, authorizes Kida to offer Coil US $5 million and another $10 million once he has exposed L. By increasing the fee by $5 million they can show how him how much they value his services. He may even become a director in the company as well.
After the meeting has broken up, Shimura approaches Ooi for a private conversation. He fears that Coil may actually be a spy for some police or intelligence service, maybe even L himself. Ooi dismisses his concerns as being too negative.
After receiving the offer, Aiber contacts L and tells him that he will soon be back in Japan and may eventually be working directly with Yotsuba. L warns him to be careful, but Aiber enjoys the thrill and the danger and is grateful to L for saving his life on a couple of occasions. Besides, he adds that this is better than the lifelong jail sentence that he could face if L were ever to expose the evidence he has on him. They even discuss actually presenting Yotsuba with a fake L in order to collect the $10 million.
Wedy then calls L to tell him that she can easily bypass the guards and security systems at Yotsuba. L and Watari have also arranged for her to meet a surveillance expert who will help her place bugs and hidden cameras in the meeting room used by the suspects.
The following Friday, the Yotsuba Kira Group hold their weekly meeting, little realizing that they are being observed. At their HQ, the detectives in the Kira Task Force watch them gather on their computer monitors, but then notice that one of the eight is missing!
The chapter's title "Black" refers to the question of whether the Yotsuba are guilty or not. Tsugumi Ohba added that the black suits and ties of the remaining seven members also relate to the title.