Living and the dead

Chapter 16

"I have already arranged an appointment with the president of KHI hotel." Lin stated using his formal voice.

The taciturn man didn't mind if the person in front of him didn't budge. He's used to it, being with Noll for so many years taught Lin many things. One of them was expanding his temper.

Naru glanced at his assistant then back to his file. "Good."

"You'll be having a meeting with Kurogane Kagiri tomorrow afternoon at his office."

He heard what Lin said but he remained silent. It never occurred to him that Lin can made an arrangements for a meeting that easily. It made him think that he's walking in a lion's den. But then again, every danger is a challenge for Oliver Davis. If this Kurogane Kagiri is indeed a dangerous person, then Naru need to take him head on.

"Do you still have to finish something?" Lin asked.

He just nodded.

"Just tell me if you're finish. I'll be in my office." Lin said then exited his office.

Naru let out a soft sigh. He reclined on his chair then looked up, searching patterns on the ceiling.

He has a very boring problem, a problem with a very easy solution. That solution, however, was connected to a one annoying obstruction.

He doesn't need any evidence to put Kurogane Kagiri behind bars. He only needed a proof to make sure that he was the one who took Mai. If he's indeed the one then something is need to be done.

Naru ordered Lin to set an appointment with him using his real name Oliver Davis. Since SPR is slowly gaining popularity the past few months, there's a chance that he might recognize the name Shibuya Kazuya. If that happens, it will be hard for him to corner Kurogane Kagiri. Much more when the said man decided to bring Mai in a more faraway place.

He already planned everything and Naru couldn't care less if someone finds out about his real identity. If that's one way to remove that annoying obstruction, then so be it.

Nothing matters now... ...he only wanted to see Mai.

Up until now, he couldn't forget that particular dream. The dream when Mai saved him. That dream when she secured him with her warm embrace. The assuring aura he felt back then when she held him.

'That was certainly a dream ... I think.' Naru thought to himself.

It felt real, though the realization went running back when he woke up and she's not there. He was angry at himself. He allowed himself to grieve for someone who was never really gone. The same way he grieved for Gene all the time when the thought of him never coming back crossed his mind.

But Mai is still alive and he will get her back.

The ring of the bell revert his thoughts back. The office is already closed, so who would come at this hour? Did Lin forget to turn the signage? It's not usual for his assistant to overlook that. He didn't budge in his seat and let Lin deal with whoever that is.

"Noll!" Lin called outside. Sounding panicked.

Naru frowned. Now that's odd. What's happening out there that made Lin sounded like that?

"Noll! Come quick! You have to see this!" He shouted again.

Naru jolt up and rushed outside his office, only to find Lin standing frozen and looking bewildered at the sight in front of him.

He wheeled. Turning his sight on what Lin saw. It took a moment for Naru's mind to grasp what was happening, and when he does, a sudden pinch of elated feeling emerged from somewhere inside his chest. It was as though the person he was waiting for finally decided to come back home.

He couldn't believe it! Mai's spirit is actually in front of him!

"I sense a faint spiritual aura coming outside and ordered my shiki to check on it. Yet in some cause, it couldn't get closer." Lin explained. "I locked the door but...she opened it."

'So even Lin's shiki.' Naru thought.

He remembered what Gene said the last time in the here...

"No harm will come to Mai. The culprit is keeping her and for some unknown reason, he couldn't get near her... ...Mai is an astral projector. Most of the time her spirit wanders here, and whenever she's nowhere in here, her spirit certainly stays at the now which is the present. She roams around without any specific place to go. Her spirit jumps from places to places and these only happen whenever she sleeps." Gene said.

"But how did she end up here?" Naru asked no one.

Lin raised a brow at him. "There's something you're not telling me." Lin said.

"There is." He replied.

"Care to enlighten me of what's happening? Why is Mai's spirit here? Is she dead?"

The word dead clung in his mind like a poison. He glared at the Chinese man who didn't even flinch.

"Don't keep everything Noll. It won't help us if you're keeping some important information. Now, tell me about it." Lin said firmly.

He let out a breath. "Mai's spiritual strength is higher than any psychic we knew. Enough for her spirit to manifest in the real world but Gene says that she jump from different places without any specific place to go. Her memory had been erased by the culprit and I'm confused as to why her spirit is here."

He looked at Mai who stood motionless in the center of the room. She was quietly observing the whole place.

"She can't see us." Naru felt his face going rigid. Her soul must be in a different dimension. "She's in the quantum realm."

"You mean that realm? But..."

"I know … the realm before the astral realm." He said. "It's a buffer zone between the physical and astral worlds. From our perspective here on Earth, it is a place to tie up loose ends after we die and prepare to move on. We still possess a body of form and structure nearly identical to our physical body, but lighter, subtler and more vibrant." Naru explained. "But since Mai is not completely dead, her spirit can only see the half of the quantum realm. Therefore, she couldn't see any living things. It's rare for a spirit of the living people to reach the quantum realm."

Mai stepped forward to the couch and sat on it, head still looking around.

"Is it possible that she recalled being in this place?" Lin questioned.

"I don't know." He said.

A moment more, Mai lie flat on her back. 'I wonder what they're doing in this office? The aura in this place is light. Perhaps, the employees were happy working in this place.'

Naru's blue eyes widened just a fraction. "Did you hear that Lin?"

"Hear what?" Lin asked back. Confused.

Oliver slowly shook his head with a knitted brow. Did Mai develop mental telepathy? It's possible, because twins are not the only one who can develop telepathy. Sometimes when a person was closed enough to the other individual, one can hear that person's thought. Yet, that doesn't mean that it could work for the both person.

"She still doesn't remember anything." He told the confused Lin.

Wearing a curious look, the girl stood up and head to his office door. She opened it then entered.

Lin was about to move but Naru motioned for him to stay outside. "Let me handle this." He said then checked his pocket for something he could used to converse with Mai.

He found a coin. He took it out and stared at it. If Mai can see the things here, she will see this coin. He needs to use a small amount of energy to make the coin move like what he does when they both fall on the sewer. And if he's fortunate enough, he can use this to help her remember everything. Gene says he have to do anything in order to help Mai.

'This will do' He clenched his fist in his pocket tight and entered with the coin in hand.

"So, what do you have in store for me tonight?" Mai said, seated on his reclining chair. "How's our businesses, are they doing great?"

Naru smirked when she laughed at her own childishness. Same old Mai, she's still childish.

After a moment her laugh withered and she became silent. "It's lonely." She said.

Naru felt a clutch in his stomach. She felt lonely despite him being there. They're both near each other but the invisible concrete wall is still there, the shield that keeps them apart.

Mai didn't notice when Naru placed the coin on the table. He then mustered a small amount of his PK and started to control the coin.

"You're acting was not very convincing." Naru thought inside his mind. "Who are you? Who gave you permission to enter?"

Startled. Mai begin to look around, probably searching for that someone who broke the room's silence.

"I'm here!" He said, catching her attention. He made the coin whirl and jump.

Mai's eyes blinked, widened, surprised to see a talking coin in front of her. She leaned closer and curiously watched the coin.

"Coin?" She asked. "A talking coin?" She reached out a finger and touched it. "What are you made out of?"

"You're asking me what I'm made out of?"

She smiled. "Never mind, don't answer the question. This is just a dream anyway." She said.

"A dream?" Naru/coin asked.

"Yeah. I always dreamt of different things and place. But...this is the first time I have come in here."

Naru's hand rolled in a fist. This is not... ...this is not Mai's first time in here at all.

Lin on the other hand was silently eavesdropping. He could hear Oliver mumbling but he can't make out his words. Did he manage to talk to Taniyama? Lin sighed and moved away to the door. It's been a while since Oliver saw Mai. He'll let him to be with her.

Lin saw Oliver's face earlier. He must say that Oliver had completely changed over the years of staying here. Maybe some people can still see him as his old self. But for Lin who had been with him for a long time...something did changed.

The Chinese man smirked. A man with a stoic face but soul filled with intense emotion. That's how he described the great Oliver Davis now.

"This is your first time." Naru stated. "Yet you trespass and now sitting on my master's chair."

Mai giggled. "I know that! But somehow, it felt glad to be here." She placed her chin above her hand. "Where is your master anyway? I didn't saw him when I entered the office."

"I'm guarding this office." He dodged the question. "You still haven't answer my question. Who are you?"

She sighed. "Will you believe me if I say I don't know?"

The coin whirled again.

"That's the truth. I don't know who I am. I can't even remember a simple thing about myself."

Naru froze. This was that entire person's fault. If not for him Mai will... ...he clenched and un-clenched his fist. Oliver sighed then sat on the visitor's chair. "What's your name?"

"Number twenty three." She answered.

Even her name was changed. The only name he loves to call aside from Gene. Even that was taken away from him. Calling Mai in number just because he will kill her later on, just how much Kurogane Kagiri see her as a human?

"What an ugly name." Naru stated in a dull and cold tone.

Mai's eyes narrowed and one of her brow shot up. "Hey! What kind of rude comment is that? It's not my fault I don't know what my real name was." She said, sticking out her tongue.

Naru's face relaxed and he smirked. "And it's not my fault you have an ugly name. Why don't we change that ugly name of yours?" He suggested.

If by giving her name back means he'll able to call out to her again then he would gladly tell what her real name is. It's already lonely being by yourself and it's lonelier not to be able to remember who you are.

"A name? Really? You will give me a name?" She asked with excitement in her voice.

He nodded. "Sure. But there's a payment."

Her eyes widened again. "I don't have any money.'s weird, a money asking for a money?" She said stifling a laugh.

"Of course you don't." He said. "Can you touch a thing at all?"

"I think I can. Why?"

Naru frowned. How strong is her spiritual strength anyway? Now, he's really curious, he wanted to do some experiments on Mai to know whether she's like Gene or maybe more. "Then it's settled. I'll give you a name, you will make me some tea."

"Tea?" Mai asked like it's the most mysterious thing in the world. "You will drink tea?!"

"Not for me silly. That's for my master." He replied. "It will also compensate for your crime."

She pouted. "You talk like I have done a very bad thing. Your master left the door unlock and it's not-"

"Mai." Naru called.

The girl frowns and looked at the coin. "What?"

"I said Mai." He said, controlling the coin to move on her left. "That will be your name."

"Mai?" She asked, confused.

"Do you not like it?"

Mai fell silent for a while. "I like it. . .actually... ...but it felt like I've known that name before."

"Mai." He called again.


"The tea."

"Oh! Right the payment!" She said smiling while slowly standing up. "Ne...coin-san, can you do me a favor?"

"What is it?"

"Don't tell your master about me, kay?"

"You're not the only one who's afraid of him." He said.

She pouted again. "I'm not afraid of him!" She declared. "It's just guard this place, yes? He will definitely scold you if he finds out someone manage to get in."

Oh..she worries for the coin than her own self.

He smirked. "Okay. I won't tell my master."

"And coin-san. . ."


"Nice to meet you..I'm Mai." She said smiling brightly.

For a moment Naru was frozen on his spot. Though he's only looking at Mai's spirit and she couldn't see him, it made him somewhat happy that she's in front of him and smiling brightly like she used to before. Seem like everything is not too late for them. That's why even if the feeling of worry never leaves him, he allows himself to smile back.

"Mai … I … miss you."

Even if he conveys himself like this, it will never reach her. He knew that yet he wanted Mai to feel that she's never alone, that wherever she is he's always there for her. But … is it really that way? Or is it the other way around? Mai maybe alone in that place yet he's the one feeling the loneliness more. He's always been alone so loneliness shouldn't bother him, he already forgot how to be happy even so, when she disappears suddenly the feeling of loneliness grew still to the point that it already hurts.

Loneliness is just another chemical reaction in one's brain. Like other emotions he can control it but now, he lacks the power to do so. It is illogical for him to feel that way, but that's how human emotions are. You can express it but you can't calculate it.

It's a good thing that Mai was not there to see him like that. Because the last thing he wanted to see is a worried and hurting Mai.

You'll probably laugh at me if you were in your usual self ... after all I told you that I'm a stupid person with no feelings. . .

Naru looked away clearing his throat. He followed her outside and stopped when Mai also stopped down her track. She's staring at her desk.

"Something wrong?" He asked.

"I just feel like. . .there's something important inside that ball pen." She said.

Lin couldn't believe his eyes. He was standing at the entrance of the kitchen and watching how his charge ordered the ghost Mai to make some tea.


That was three liters-no! That's probably five! Their stocked of water is now altered with a lot of tea. And if this continue every day, Lin...the beanpole is not far from turning to Earl Grey!

After stuffing all the tea inside the fridge, Oliver gets a paper and marker. He then wrote 'OFF LIMITS', sticking it on their small refrigerator.

Lin shook his head. Guess he needs to find Taniyama Mai fast. If he wants a clean and refreshing water in their office. Oh well, guess he have to bear with tap water for now.

The next day_ _ _

_ _ _Three days before full moon

She woke up at the loud shrieking again. The first thing she was when she opened her eyes was the wisp flying around.

She sat up in her bed, stretching both her arms. She's really tired.

'What...happened? Tired...' Wisp said.

"There's a slave driving coin in my dream and he ordered me to make a tea A WHOLE LOT OF THEM!"

'Tea?' The wisp flew in circles. 'Coin?'

"Yep! There's a coin and he said that his master is a tea addict! And I made so many as a payment because he gave me a name!"

'Coin... ...gave you name?'

She nodded. "That good for nothing slave driving coin! But...hey! I made a new friend and I already have a name!" She said smiling.

'What name?'

"He gave me the name Mai." She told him. "Do you think it suits me?"

'Do it?' He asked.

If she's that happy, something good must have happened inside that dream. He smiled, that's good.

"I do! I do! It's beautiful isn't it?" She said, voice full of enthusiasm.

The wisp floats near her. ''re happy.. ...Then it suits you...Mai..'

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