Living and the dead

Chapter 13

"About the victim." Hirota begin. "She left something that might help us." He then took out a transparent zip lock plastic bag. Inside it is a green notebook. "I visit her house yesterday and made a few interview on her family. Luckily her family does still remember her."

"When did she die?" Naru asked.

"About a year and a half." He said. "She just came back from a trip in Kagoshima prefecture. According to her father, Mayura-san was acting strange after she came back."

"I will assume that it was a change of attitude."

Hirota nodded. "She's confines herself in her room a lot and most of the time, she just gazed at nowhere. They can't even talk to her." He handed Naru the notebook.

Naru took it and scanned through the notes inside. He saw some notes about cooking, appointment, dates and some reminders. He flipped another page and it made him frown.

The page was full of scrawled notes. There were numerous written kanji but most of them are readable for him. It appears to be a message of someone seeking for help.

Help!-I don't want to do this anymore-It hurts!-Help me!-I'm tired! Let me go!-I don't want his water anymore!-Drowning in pain!-Help me! Help me! Help meeee!-I don't want to kill!-Enough water! Enough water! Enough water!-Drowning in pain! Drowning in pain!-HELP ME! Don't want to kill!-HE'S A DEMON! DON'T LET HIM FIND HER! HIDE HER QUICK! THEY WILL KILL HER!

Naru stiffened after he read the last sentence.

Don't let him find her... ...hide her... ...they will kill her. . .

It sounded like a very bad news to him. And if he concluded it right-that Mai is the one they were looking for, it would only mean one thing.

They are going to kill her.

Naru immediately turn to his assistant who was currently typing. "Lin. Call Everyone, I want them to be here as soon as possible." He commanded.

"I understand." Lin stood up and walked toward the phone.

He pinched the bridge of his nose and think. Help? Was Kashiwagi Mayura in pain? I don't want his water anymore? Who's giving her water? What for?

"Did Kashiwagi Mayura killed someone?" He asked the prosecutor.

The prosecutor shook his head. "I don't know. But his mother told me something."

"What is it?" Naru started to tap his pen on his notebook. This case is like a big puzzle with so many missing pieces. The more they find a clue the bigger the mystery widens. And if this goes on, it will no doubt take long before they find Mai.

"Before her daughter died, she said something like 'I'm sorry, but I have to kill her'."

"Have to?" He asked, his tapping hand stopped.

"Yeah, that's truly confusing. If she had killed someone then she shouldn't have said that."

"Yeah." Ruri said. "It sounded like an apology before doing a crime."

Naru looked at her, annoyance in his face. "What are you still doing here?"

"I, I just happen to have some free time." She answered.

Naru smirked. "The last time I checked I'm running a Psychic Research not a cafe."

"I know." She said. "I just want to stay here for a while."

He let her be. For now he doesn't need any obstructions. Naru put his hand under his chin and think. He then remembered his conversation with Ibara Sachi.

'I saw another person standing behind him... ...he's pale and scary... ...somehow I thought I saw a tear in his dead eyes and his clothes are wet...

Pale and scary... ...Wet. . .

'I don't want his water anymore'

Pale. . .

Pale. . .

Oliver's eyes widened when the realization of what's happening dawn to him.

"Are you sure about this?"

The wisp flew around her then went pass through the door and back again.

'Escape. . .' It says.

She sighed and picked the blue flower in her bed. Whenever she wakes up, she always see a blue flower on her pillow. Somehow its color gives her hope that someday she could leave this lonely place.

'Escape. . .' The wisp repeated.

"How?" She asked the friendly spirit.

'We get. . .key'

"And how will you do that?"

'Watch. . .' It flew outside again.

"Wait!" She called but the wisp is already gone.

The friendly spirit flew silently in the narrow hall of that large mansion. When it reached the end of the corridor it turned left and stopped.

There's a woman carrying a laundry bin, walking closer to where the wisp is. The woman is a bit old but she will do. She can help to carry out the plan.

Wisp waited for the woman to walk through and when she already passes, the spirit moved behind her. It sticks on the woman's back, slowly entering her body.

The woman stiffened and dropped the laundry bin, scattering the clothes on the floor. Her body tensed, she then closed her eyes. When the sickening feeling subsided, she opened her eyes and sighed.

"Better than nothing." She said, moving her neck a bit to ease the stiffness.

After picking up and putting back the clothes in the bin, she started walking to her friend's room-cell direction. Having possessed someone is new to him, that's why he forgot that he has a body. Thinking that he can go through, he unintentionally slammed his body on the door.

"Ugh!" He winced, feeling the pain on her chest.

"What's that?" The girl asked in surprised. She decided to peek at the small window on her door. She saw a maid wincing as she held her chest. "Are you alright? Ar-Are you hurt somewhere?" She inquired, sincerely worried.

The maid slowly shook her head and smiled at her. "It's shocking," She said. "to feel something again after a very long time."

The girl cocked her head and gives the lady a confused look. "Are you sure, you're alright? You look un...well."

She waved her hand then stands straight. "Don't worry I'm slowly getting use to it little by little."

She slowly nodded her head while still looking at the lady with uncertainty. "-I see, where are you heading anyway?" She asked.

"Here," She answered. "Didn't I tell you that I'm going to help you escape?"

"Help me. . ." Her eyes widened when what she says sink in her mind. "Oh my gosh! You are... ...You borrowed a body?"

"Yes I did! I told you earlier to 'watch' didn't I? But it seems that you ignored what I've said." She said examining her hands, then her waist. "It's a bit strange though."

Her eyes narrowed and she muttered a 'hmp' "How am I supposed to watch it from here If I can't even see the whole corridor?"

The maid snicker. "Oh, I forgot! My bad!"

"But...what are you going to do now?" Her expression became troubled. "It would be dangerous to get the key from him. You may end up hurting that person's body."

She nodded. "I know, but this is the only way. Leave everything to me...besides, I'm not the only one who will help you escape this place." She said. "Everyone will help."

Her eyes sadden. Almost all resident in this place are ghost, but even if they have scary faces and distorted body, they were all nice. Some of them are snobbish, some are friendly, yet they only have one wish in common. All of them want to get out of this place.

According to one of the spirit, this place was covered by a barrier which prevents ghost from leaving its premises. Once the spirit enters the barrier, it can never go back outside. But there's a hole in this barrier, it can only abstain spirits, all living creatures are free to walk in and out. She figured that it must be the reason why Kurogane Kagiri locked her in a room.

Furthermore, there were hundreds of spirits trapped in this mansion but every full moon, many of them just vanished without a trace. Other spirits says that there's a cave under the mansion, some of them thought it as a passage connected to the underworld that only opens during full moon and the cause of the other spirits disappearances. They say those spirits used it as an escape route. While some conclude that it's a simple chamber.

But one ghost is certain that it's neither.

He says that it's served as a dining room for one horrendous creature

A Demon.

"A demon?" She remembered asking the wisp on her fifth day of waking up inside the room.

'Yes...eats...every full moon...' Its reply.

"The demon eats the soul in this house? But why?"

'Maintain power...that demon...dangerous...'

"But who was the insane person who summoned such horrible creature in here?"

It falls in silent for a while. '... ...Brother...' It flew around again.

She was stunned. If so, this spirit's brother was the one causing all of the other spirit's suffering? But why? What does he want to obtain?

"What does he want to acquire by summoning a demon?"

'... ...Me...' He replied '...Resurrected. . .'

Her eyes widen while her mouth opened. "Eeeee? You!? He wanted to bring you back to life?" She blurted out in surprised. "Bu...but why?"

'Brother. . .Lonely and sad. . .'

She sighed. "I see...wait, how about your parents? Where are they?"

'... ...Don't know. . .abandoned us long time ago.'

The girl's eyes turned sad. She gesture for the wisp to land on her palm. It floated down and rested silently.

"You're warm." She said in a hushed tone. "Do you want to live again?"

'No... ...tired, I want to rest.'

She sighed inwardly. She wanted to help them but she can't. She doesn't know what to do.

A hand waving on her face pulled her thoughts back. She looked at the lady in front of her. Is it really okay to involve her in this matter? What if she gets hurt? It would surely be her fault.

" you want to hear my plan?" The lady asked.

"Ahm... ..." She muttered. Still contemplating weather she's going to do this or not. But in the end she decided to follow his plan. "Sure. What are we going to do?"

She beams at her and nod. "My brother will be definitely back on the day of the full moon. He will collect souls inside this house and will go straight to the cave afterwards." She said. "We and the other spirits will use that opportunity to get the key."

She swallowed. Boy! This is certainly going to be difficult. "For how long would he stay inside the cave?"

"One hour and a half." She answered.

"That short... ..." She said. "Then we have to make sure this plan would proceed smoothly."

If they failed, her life will be put in danger. She knew that they're going to be in a heap of trouble if that Kurogane catch them and only heaven knows what he'll do to her if ever he catch her.

She looked at the woman in front of her, then to the corridor... ...she might not see every one of them now but she knew that they are watching.

All of them wanted to help her and as a compensation for their kindness, she will do everything to help them in return. Once she managed to get outside, she will surely find a way to free them from being trapped in this miserable place!

"Then we have to start preparing for everything. We only have eight days before the fool moon" The woman said, before collapsing in front of her.

The bell chimed clamorously when Takigawa, Matsuzaki, Yasuhara, John and Masako together with Madoka emerged inside the office.

Madoka was beaming widely at Lin and the latter decided to smile back a little that hadn't gone unnoticed by the monk and the miko. Yasuhara was looking a little weary but looks good nonetheless.

Naru gestured for them to sit. He figured it would be better if this information was disclosed to his team to avoid any misconception.

"Good timing." The boy wearing glasses said. "I was on my way here when Lin-san phoned me." He walks toward the couch and sat after greeting the two people who already seated on the black upholster.

"Umina-san, why are you here?" Bou-san asked, looking a bit suspicious at the girl. "Did the ghost girl returned?"

Ruri shook her head and looked down at her lap. "I, I was just inviting Shibuya-san for lunch." She said, cheeks blushing a little.

"But the timing was bad." Masako added, covering her lips. "I won't be surprised if Shibuya-san rejected your invitation... ...again."

Ruri glared at Masako. "Why said so? Are you thinking that you're better than me now because you're working with him?" She said. "But I noticed, Hara Masako also have a thing for Shibuya-san am I correct?"

"I won't deny that fact Umina-san." Masako answered. "However, I do know where and when to place myself as to not look pathetic in someone's eyes."

Masako already knew that Naru is in love with Mai a long time ago. Naru might treat them equally, yet she noticed how Naru gives Mai extra attention. It's not because he calls her in her first name. It's the way how he behaves whenever Mai was around.

Naru looks more human and at ease, he always extend his conversation with Mai be it a strange talk or something with sense. Thing he never did to her. She may be jealous with Mai but the girl already proved its worth for Naru, and Masako have accepted the fact that he will never see her like the way he sees Mai.

"Listen you medium." Ruri said with anger. "I'm not the kind of person who will look pathetic in someone's view. If what I'm doing looks pitiful to you, I don't care. At least I'm trying."

Masako smirked. "I'm not saying that it's not good to try but you must know first if you stand a chance."

"I have a chance." She said with a raised brow.

"Girls..." Takigawa mumbled.

"That's enough out of you two." Naru said, ignoring the two girls banter. "I have found something important, that's why I called all of you here. Everyone should listen as we only have little time before the worst happen."

Hirota watch Naru in amusement. How could he remain unfazed when two famous girls were fighting over him? If it was some guy, they would probably please at the sight. He secretly shook his head. This boy possessed an distinct character that can rival any powerful man in this country. A complete professional.

John became worried in his sit. "Did something happen?" He asked.

"Not yet." Naru answered. "Nonetheless, something bad might happen if we fail to solve this in time." He placed the green notebook on the table. "This is something Hirota-san discovered when he visits one of the victims house."

Bou-san picked it up and scanned the pages. When he got to the last page he looked at Naru and gave him an inquiring look. "Looks like a message to me."

"I figured that Kashiwagi Mayura wrote that message before she passed away." Naru begin, opening his black notebook. "As you can see, there are many written messages on that page. But the sentence 'I don't want his water anymore' is no doubt connected to Ibara Sachi's statement." Naru explained, underlining a certain sentence in his notebook. "Ibara-san mentioned something about a second person behind the first person who pointed a gun at her. A pale man wearing wet clothes. Only... ...this second person is not actually a person but a ghost."

"What?!" Ayako exclaimed. "Then, Kashiwagi Mayura and Ibara Sachi was..."

"Yes." Naru confirmed. "They were possessed, certainly by the ghost who had been summoned by the person behind all of these."

"Summoned?" Madoka asked, surprised then look at Lin.

"An onmyouji." Naru revealed.

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