"He's waking up!"
"Here's some water..."
"Is he alright?"
"Here, drink this." Lin helped Oliver to drink. He only drinks a little and reclined his back again.
"What happened?" Naru asked in a weak voice.
"We saw you lying cold near the cliff." Bou-san said "Did something happen?"
"Sleep walking." He replied shortly.
His team didn't seem to believe him. They looked skeptical, but he ignored them and turned to Lin.
"What time is it?"
"Five minutes before seven." Lin said, still observing him.
"We need to wrap up."
"Are you sure you can manage?" Ayako asked.
"Why do you think I hired so many people to begin with?" He asked in return.
The red haired miko scowled at him. "Yeah right. You made us all worried while searching for you in the middle of the night and here you are, waking up looking so awfully grumpy, as usual."
Naru smirked. "I'll take that as a compliment." He said, slowly standing up. "I'm honored."
Bou-san snickered. "You never learn Ayako."
"What? I'm just worried! And if only I could, I'll nag Naru like Mai usually does."
"No thank you. I don't need a nagging old woman early in the morning." Naru said walking outside the room.
"Why you brat! Come back here!"
One startling sound echoes inside the whole room makes the brunette girl sleeping soundly jerked up. Her hands unintentionally covered her ears to minimize the loud sound. Frowning, she watched the flying wisp circulates the room while unleashing that deathlike shriek.
"I'm awake! I'm awake!" She yelled, hands still covering her ears.
If someone normal has this kind of alarm clock every morning, they're probably gone deaf by now.
"Geez! You don't need to shout you know!" She scratched her head and surveyed her dark room.
It's been 105 days since she woke up inside this bleak large room surrounded by the gloomy different shades of grey, the atmosphere wasn't any different it makes one dull. With wide walls, high ceilings and unusually high window, you would think that you're locked up inside a box. However this box was graced by the presence of some furniture consisting of a not so large wardrobe, beside it was a full length mirror, there's a queen sized bed across the mirror and a single sofa.
Nevertheless, even though it's a large room, somehow there's this feeling that it was a cell-turned-room. She had no idea where she was and what happened to her that leads to imprisonment. She couldn't remember anything except for a fleeting memory of being transported from a cemetery to this place via vehicle and a man's voice giving instructions.
'Take care of her.' He said.
'Bring her food on time, clothes and assist her when taking a bath.' He said.
'Do not let her out.' He said.
'Do not tell her anything or you'll answer to me.' He said.
She sighed. She doesn't remember how she gotten in this place. But sometimes she wonders if she had done a crime to be locked up in this kind of cell. Too bad, she can't recall any memories of her past. She didn't even know her name or where she came from.
She cocked her head a little and thought of her dream. She dream of something weird. In her dream she rescued a man from falling. It was so vivid but by the time she wakes up she couldn't remember what his face looks like.
The wisp made a hissing sound and started flying in circles.
"What is it?" She asked, frightened by the wisp's sudden change of attitude.
'He is coming!' It answers inside her head.
Her eyes grew wide. She quickly crawled on the corner of the bed and hid herself using a blanket. She bit her lower lip to prevent it from quivering.
A faint footsteps echoing in the whole corridor reach her ears. The wisp's movement became unquiet, informing her that 'He' is coming closer to her room.
'He is coming!' Says the wisp once again.
She closed her eyes, praying nothing bad will happen to her this time.
The footsteps became louder and clearer. It didn't take long before it came to a halt in front of her door.
She gulped when she saw his shadow on a small space beneath the door. Her feet wiggled, showing how nervous she was for this unwanted visit.
After a while, she heard a dangling sound-probably coming from that bunch of keys he always carry whenever he pays her a visit.
The door unlocked and a man with a Cheshire cat like grin walks inside holding a pair of clothes in his right hand and the keys in the left.
"Looking good, I see." He said, smiling at her.
She looked away, not even glancing at her guess.
"Are you hungry?" He asked and walked toward the wardrobe. "I cooked something for you. Is it fine if I dine with you this time?" He opened the wardrobe and hanged the clothes neatly.
She didn't respond.
"I am quite guilty for making you look like that." He closed the wardrobe's door and turned to her. "You don't have to be scared of me all the time. I just want us to be friends... ...that's all."
She remained silent.
The man's face twitched in anger. He stepped closer to the girl, wanting to hurt her. But before he can lay a hand on her a volt coming from her body reached him, giving him a strong electric shock.
"Ugh! Damn it! Do you really want to kill me?" He yelled.
Her face became worried. "I, I didn't mean to harm you... ...I don't know what I just did. I'm sorry." She apologized.
The man sighed. "You still haven't learned my name isn't that right?"
"I'm Kurogane Kagiri. Remember that."
She looked up at him and asked. "Do. . .do you know my name?"
"I don't." He replied. "But you can call yourself Number 23."
She scowled at him. Number twenty three? "I want to ask you again, have I done something terrible for me to be here?"
He smirked. "What do you think?"
For a moment she became silent. "-What do I think..." She looked down at her feet. "I, I don't know. I can't remember anything."
"Stop questioning me about so many things, it won't do you any good." Kagiri said. "And don't ever think that you can escape this place. You'll just end up hurting yourself." He placed a hand in his pocket and eyed the almost isolated room with boredom.
Her hair's shadow covered her eyes. "I won't." She said.
Kagiri frowned as he gives her a doubtful look. "You won't."
She sighed and looked up at him. "Being here is lonely. No matter how much I love to go outside, I can't. But its lonelier being with so many people you don't even know. That will be sad."
He didn't speak.
"Besides... ...aren't you lonely? Living alone is sad right?" She said.
"Are you saying that you won't escape because you think I'm lonely and sad?" He scoffed. "For the record, I'm not sad. This is the life I chose, that's why I have to live with it. I don't need any of your sympathy."
"I knew you're the one who keeps me here.."
His eyes narrowed. For a moment there, he wants to slap her face. "And that's your reason to judge me? Being lonely or sad is not the only emotion in this world. There's also hatred, envy, and anger. Don't be presumptuous."
"I know your reason behind all of this." She said. "I know sooner or later, you will kill me. That's your ultimate goal am I correct?"
"Who told you that?"
"Does it matter?"
His fist clenched. "You knew but you're not going to escape?"
"Do you want me to escape?" The girl inquired. "Even if you kill me here, it's no use. You can't bring him back. That's what he says."
She held the blanket tight. "Your brother." She said. "I'm not judging you. It's your brother who told me that you are lonely. You envy those who have a family, you have a hatred for your parents and you're angry at yourself because you failed to protect you're one and only brother. That's why you have killed far too many people just to bring him back."
Kagiri's eyes flashed an emotion of anger. She stated his life like it was something uninteresting. He smirked. Naturally his life would be unappealing for her.
"What do you know!?" He charged towards her and tried to hurt her but the shock is too strong for him. It stings his hand despite wearing a rubber gloves.
"Ah!" The girl yelp, startled by his sudden act.
"Even if I tell you everything you won't understand! Hell! No one can understand!" He yelled still trying to hurt her. He pushed his hands across her barrier with so much force. At last he managed to grasp her hair. "For people who did not experience such heavy hardships like I did, my life is just another forgettable tragic story!"
He ignored the blood dripping on his arms. At that time, he only wanted to shut her trap. But a stronger force pushed him and he ended up flying on the wall.
"You...you are not the only one who's suffering!" She cried. "Everybody does! He wanted to move on but you won't let him go! You're brother is tired!"
Kurogane Kagiri slowly stood up and gives her a death glare. "One of this days... ..."He said, clutching his left arm. "I'll make sure that I will kill you!"
He picked up the key and his glasses on the floor and quickly strode outside the room, slamming the door really hard behind his back. When he's gone, the girl clutched the hem of her blanket as she calm herself down. She was pale and the taste of fear was strong in her mouth. This is the first time he succeeded hurting her, his past attempt only results a slight pain in her skin but she's certain, it hurts a lot for Kagiri.
'I'm sorry... ...' The wisp said.
"I provoked him." She said.
'I don't want you to die. . .'
She laughed and watched the wisp that descended in front of her. "I know, that's why all of you are protecting me right?"
The wisp flew around her. 'Escape...' It says.
"But... ...I already said that I won't escape."
'Who cares...don't want you to die...We will help...he will kill you...need...escape..'
She looks at the wisp with uncertainty. Honestly, she's not afraid to die. And the only thing that keeps her unafraid of him was the thought that she could change his mind, but seeing him like that... ...it's already impossible.
"What should we do?"
_ _ _Two days later
A knocked from his door made Oliver looked up just to see a grinning girl leaning on his office door. He rolled his eyes, completely ignoring her.
Ruri pouted. "Why are you being so cold to me?" She walks toward him and put a hand on her waist. "You should be grateful! A famous actress and model bothered herself just to see you."
Oliver remains passive, thinking that no one is in front of him.
"It's lunch time! Have you eaten already? Let's go have lunch!" She said, smiling widely.
"I'm working." Was his only reply. Mai's the one he wants to be standing in front of him right now rather than this girl.
"You still need to eat! Do you want to get sick?" She said, smile slowly fading.
Oliver raised a brow. When this woman did become his mother? He flipped the page of the file, ignoring her once again.
But Umina Ruri is far from backing down. She won't leave until she managed to set a date with Kazuya Shibuya. His often declination made her want to possess him even more. Well, it's not challenging if her prey is someone who's easy to get.
"Say, do you like to eat in an Italian restaurant? Don't worry my treat." She said, leaning closer on his table.
"Need I tell you once again that I'm working?" He said, still looking at his papers. "And haven't you notice that I'm in no mood to dine with someone whom I found lacking a thing called common sense?"
That shot her straight!
"-Well...you haven't eaten yet and I'm just worried." She said, voice a little shaky.
"And do you really? That is something I never thought about." He said in his stoic voice. "Because in my perspective; you're only doing this out of your foolish self satisfaction."
"That's not true!" She protests.
"Then what is?" He said in a painfully cold manner. "Are you going to tell me now that you're honestly worried? When in fact the first thing that came in your mind when you get here was that how were you going to persuade me to follow your will." Oliver flipped another page. He's beginning to get tired of this like and dislike business.
"Is it wrong to invite you for lunch?" Ruri's eyes begin to show tears.
This is her last resort! No man can endure a crying woman and considering her acting skills, she won't fail on this one.
"I just want to have a lunch with you! Yet you're accusing me of something I don't even know!" She said, her voice quivering.
Oliver looked at her and smirked. "Crying in front me will not do anything." He said. "I don't tolerate such act of stupidity. And might I tell you that what you're doing right now is lame and childish?"
Ruri was completely shock. This is the first time her acting didn't affect a person. Whenever she's doing this, people always tried to ease her and make up to her. But Kazuya Shibuya was not affected. In fact he told her that it's lame which is true. He didn't see her like some people does. For him she was just a...normal brat.
Lin knocked on Oliver's open door. He saw Umina Ruri quietly facing his charge. And by the looks on Oliver's face-which is annoyed, Lin could tell that something must have happen. Something not good.
"Noll?" He called.
Oliver looked at him and Lin thought he saw relieve in his eyes. Poor Girl, Oliver Davis is not her average teenager. He thinks and acts like a thirty five years old adult, he's not the one to be interested in someone who he finds typical.
"What is it Lin?" Oliver closed the file and stood up. Not even glancing at the crying girl in front of him.
"Hirota-san is here." He told him.
He nodded. "I'll be there." He collected his notebook and pen before following Lin outside.
Ruri walked behind Shibuya. He embarrassed her but that only made her feelings for him grew even more. Forget everything about wanting to get back at him for embarrassing her. Now, the only thing she wanted is for him to notice her.
Hirota stared shock at Naru and then to the girl who sat on the other couch.
'Isn't that Umina Ruri?' He thought. He knew her as a famous actress. What is she doing in the SPR office? Not only that, she's inside Naru's office.
"Please stop your brain from thinking something stupid, Hirota-san." He heard Naru says.
Hirota cleared his throat, feeling a bit guilty. If Shibuya didn't say that, he would probably think that something is going on between those two. But then again it's Shibuya... so it's impossible. Maybe?
Oliver opened his notebook. "Did you find anything useful?" He asked.
"Actually, I did." He replied. "It's about one of the victims."
Naru gestures for him to go on.
"Her name is Kashiwagi Mayura. This victim manage to get back...but the bad news is. . .she's also dead."
Naru remained emotionless. "I'm not surprised." He said. "What's the cause of her death?"
"Another case of suicide." Hirota sighed. "I'm worried...what if Taniyama-"
"Didn't I tell you, restrain your brain from thinking something stupid?" Naru abruptly said, throwing a piercing glare at him. "She won't, she's the type of person that would be first to be trapped in a fire or earthquake and other dangerous situation yet can survive in one piece."
Hirota look down and apologized. "I'm just worried."
Naru just grunt.
Ruri gave the prosecutor a sideway glance. He looked troubled and something is telling her that it was something about the person he mentioned.
Taniyama? It seems that Shibuya also knew this person. And it disturbed her that he's talking about a girl.
"About the victim." Hirota begin. "She left something that might help us." He then took out a transparent plastic inside it is a green notebook.