A Daughter's Wish
Disclaimer: Part of this story will have settings and events taken out from various anime like Get Backers and Jigoku Shoujo, but I do not own any of them, nor do I own Naruto or any characters in this story save for OC characters
Chapter Eight: A Daughter's Wish
"This is a little brutal…even for Ragnarok," said Ino grimly as she looked at the two badly burned corpses on the wooden stakes as the coroner team took the bodies down. Sakura was currently emptying her stomach behind some trees and Ino can't blame her. Even she's fighting the urge to throw up her breakfast as the two corpses were burned so badly until their bones could almost be seen. Dried blood was pooled at the bottom of the two wooden crosses – evidence that the two bodies must have here for nearly an entire night.
ANBU had gotten a tip-off early this morning from an anonymous caller about the town of Towaka being burned down, and Rendoku and Akatsuki have both been dispatched. Shikamaru, Chouji and Kiba have been sent to the town of Towaka to investigate whilst the others do some investigating.
"I know," said Itachi with a sigh as he looked at the corpses that the coroners have just loaded into their van. "But as much as it pains me to say it, I think that they deserved what they got as well. Towaka had this coming with their open dislike of nin-users and murders of nin-users in that town. There have already been quite a few occasions when ANBU have been called there because of a case of severe abuse of a nin-user."
"Aa," agreed Sasuke.
Both Uchiha brothers turned as the sound of the dried leaves on the forest bed cackling alerted them to the presence of three of the ANBU agents that they'd sent to investigate the town of Towaka, and they saw Shikamaru, Kiba and Chouji walking up to them.
"How is it?" asked Sasuke.
"There's nothing to be found in the town at all," reported Shikamaru, his hands stuffed in his pockets. "The entire town was burnt down – nothing was left at all. But one of the people from the bomb and arsonist department told me that the fire was purely natural. No signs of kerosene had been found in the town."
One of Ino's eyebrows shot up. "How is that even possible?" she asked incredulously, and Kiba shrugged.
"Beats me," he mumbled.
Itachi frowned. "Let's pack up," he said. "We can do no more here."
Deep in a cave which hardly anyone knows about, Namikaze Shiki was squatting by the edge of a pool with beautiful sparkling water where the waters of a waterfall was falling into. The water was so clear that one can even see the symbols carved into the bed of the pool where some ancient designs were.
Around the walls of the cave were murals telling the story of the creation of the world and the rise and fall of the gods of creation. In the middle of the pool was what seemed to be a green stone box floating on nothing with a soft green light emanating from it with ancient designs carved around the box. Two crystal orbs were set above the box – one ruby red and the other dark purple, nearly black. Both orbs were glowing strangely, with fumes swirling around inside the orbs.
This shrine was the cave of creation…also known as the Bijuu Shrine, which existence was only known to the direct descendants of the gods of creation. Unfortunately, as time passed by, mankind had forgotten all about the gods of creation, and even Shiki only knew about the story through years of research and study. Other than herself, only the members of Ragnarok knew about the cave's existence, and even they were sworn to keep it to themselves as the Bijuu Shrine was a sacred place.
A beep sounded just then, and Shiki turned to look at her watch that was strapped on her left wrist. That watch was another way of communicating among Ragnarok members. The watch was an invention of Shino's, and the watch had several devices built into it which includes a laser, a torchlight, timer, bomb deactivating device, a transmitter, a communicator and many more.
Shiki then sighed and got up.
Akatsuki's Meeting RoomANBU Headquarters
"This is getting ridiculous!" said Nagato, frustrated with the lack of information on their latest case, throwing the file down onto his desk. "Nobody saw anything. Nobody even heard anything! I'm starting to think that it couldn't even have happened!"
"And why are you blaming me for it?" asked Deidara irritably. The blonde had originally been part of ANBU's arson and terrorist department before he was transferred over to the Akatsuki in criminal affairs, and most of the investigating fell on his shoulders which explains why the blonde was so grumpy and irritated as he had been up ever since two in the morning investigating.
"Are you picking a fight or something?" asked Nagato dangerously, and Konan immediately sensed incoming danger.
"Stop this, both of you!" said Konan hastily. "It wouldn't do if we started fighting among ourselves as well!"
Deidara and Nagato glared at each other before turning away and settling down at their own desks, much to everyone's relief. Kisame breathed a sigh of relief as it would practically spell doom for them should a fight broke out between Nagato and Deidara, especially with their individual nin-abilities.
The vice-captain of the Akatsuki blinked as he noticed that Itachi hadn't said a single word ever since they have returned to their office, and turned towards the Akatsuki captain's direction only to see Itachi reading a file that he had with him, his desk practically hidden by several files and papers – in fact, no one had managed to see Itachi's desk for about a month now, and Kisame can only wonder how Itachi can even hope to find anything at all. The raven-haired Uchiha was tapping the pen in his hand in a steady rhythm on the file, ignoring everything around him.
"Itachi? What's wrong?" asked Kisame, walking up to his best friend, and Itachi blinked as he looked up.
"Oh. Kisame." Itachi muttered before looking through the contents of the file that he's currently reading. "Well, I'm just looking through some of ANBU's old cases."
"Some of our old cases?" Kisame frowned before he took the file from Itachi and read the contents of the file that Itachi had been reading which turned out to be a murder case from about four years back which the culprit behind this crime is proven to be a nin-user, but said nin-user was broken out of ANBU's custody by a few others and hadn't been caught to this day. "This case… I remember this." Kisame frowned, returning the file to Itachi. "That was around the time when Tsunade-sama first informed us about Ragnarok, isn't it?"
Itachi nodded, glancing through the file once more. "None of us had ruled out the possibility that there may be a nin-user among Ragnarok," he stated. "If that is so, then the fire which torched Towaka can be easily explained. The nin-user which was broken out of ANBU custody back then…" Itachi glanced at Kisame. "It might be her."
Kisame nodded slowly. "That makes sense," he said. "Tsunade-sama did mention that the two who had broken her out back then were suspected Ragnarok members. If that is so, then we might have a lead on them at last. And it wouldn't be very surprising if more than half of their organisation are nin-users."
"I wouldn't rule out the possibility that all of them are nin-users," said Itachi grimly, and Kisame blinked and looked at Itachi. The raven haired Uchiha sighed. "Look, I've been looking through all the cases that had a connection with Ragnarok, no matter how small it is." He explained. "Half of the cases connected with them have nin-users involved. It seems to me that Ragnarok is a bit of a nin-user sympathiser. And I wouldn't be surprised if they are nin-users themselves since only nin-users understood the pain that a nin-user goes through."
Kisame nodded slowly. "And your point is?" he asked. "We can't just go and arrest every nin-user in the country! We'll have a civil war on our hands again!"
"No one suggested such a thing!" Itachi snapped. He then sighed, standing up and pulling on his jacket. "I'll be out for a few hours to clear my head. I can't think straight right now."
Kisame blinked. "O-Okay…"
Ragnarok's Headquarters (Boathouse)Hiraiko
The entire boathouse was silent as Shiki lay awake in bed that night, the blankets half-covering her. Hinata and Yugito who shared the same room that she did were currently fast asleep in their individual beds, and the only sounds which Shiki can hear is the sound of the water lapping against the sides of the boathouse and the sounds of the wind.
The group of them have arrived to Hiraiko sometime during late evening, and like they always did whenever they came to a town or village, they had done their usual stocking up so that they wouldn't run out of food, and Yugito had performed a quick maintenance check on the boathouse.
Shiki finally got out of bed and pulled on her jacket, careful not to wake Hinata and Yugito as she left the room, deciding to take a walk along the beach of Hiraiko, seeing as she can't seem to fall asleep right now.
Uchiha Itachi walked along the beach of Hiraiko, his hands stuffed into the pockets of his jeans as he kicked up some sand with the toe of his shoe. His ride on his motorcycle had somehow taken him to Hiraiko which is the one place where he is sure to have a greater chance of running into Shiki.
His mind was currently occupied with Ragnarok and their latest case. If truth be told, now that Itachi thinks about it, Ragnarok had never really done anything bad…unlike several of the criminal syndicates that Akatsuki have been chasing after ever since they have first became a team.
Itachi sighed. If nin-users really are involved with Ragnarok, then they're in some major trouble especially since not a single person in ANBU even knew how powerful any of them are or even what their abilities are, save for that one suspected member of Ragnarok which might be that nin-user who had been broken out of ANBU's custody four years ago.
"What should I do?" Itachi muttered to himself. "I don't think that Ragnarok is doing the wrong thing as well. But…"
"Hoshi ni yuki ni kiwokuniKimi no ashi a to sabashituDoka towa no yasurakiKoko wa yume no tochiuere
Asanai tsubasa deSakami chi kakedekuMichikara haku redeKono me wo tochi deku"
Itachi blinked as the sounds of sweet singing reaches his ears, and he looked up only to see a certain redhead whom he had been thinking about sitting at the edge of the cliff at the sea, singing an unfamiliar song.
"Hoshi ni yuki ni kiwokuniKimi no ashi a da sabashituDoka towa no yasurakiKoko wa yume no tochiuere
Ichika sibate nororiteSore no hate hi noikiriAnata damesi yasurakiHikari no hato no toshite"
"That's a lovely song," said Itachi, and Shiki turned around only to see Itachi standing behind her. The Uchiha smiled. "Don't stop. I'll like to hear it."
"Asanai tsubasa deSakami chi kakedekuMichikara haku redeKono me wo tochi deku
Yume ni aini kokoroniKimi no ashi a da sabashituTowa no hikari no toshiteKururin no nai tsubasa deTowa no aii wa anata ni"
"That's a wonderful song," said Itachi after the song had ended, and he sat down beside Shiki who shifted over to make room for him. "You ever considered a career in music?"
Shiki laughed. "I don't have much talent in that area, I'm afraid," she said. "That song…is one that my mother left behind when she died. She told me in the letter that she's left behind that the song is a special one. Long ago, people from her country sang that song as a prayer of sorts."
Itachi smiled. "Well, you're definitely good enough to be a singer," he said. "If I ever set up a band, will you be our lead singer?"
Shiki laughed. "What are you saying?" she said with a laugh. "Don't be silly."
"I'm serious," insisted Itachi. "So anyway…what are you doing here?"
"I could have asked you the same thing," said Shiki. "I happened to be visiting Iruka. I can't sleep. Thus, I decided to come and take a walk."
"Same reason for me."
Itachi sighed, tilting his head back to look at the millions of glittery silver stars in the sky. "Well, it's more like I'm troubled over two things," he said. "One is about Ragnarok. The commander had been putting more pressure on my team lately, and they've all been working so hard recently! They're all ready to snap as it is. And the second is that I've had it with that stupid dog!"
Shiki blinked. "Dog?" she echoed.
Itachi sighed. "A drug sniffing dog," he explained. "Our forces are all stretched thin lately, and I was sent to the airport to bust some drug syndicate that day. Me, an ANBU captain, has to lower myself to the position of an ANBU rookie! And that stupid mutt that I was landed with! When I say go right, he goes left. When I say go left, he goes right! It pisses me off! Why, out of all the hundreds of ANBUs, must I be the one to be assigned to him, and why must that damn dog even come to ANBU in the first place?!"
Shiki laughed, and Itachi blushed. "I rarely see you so frustrated like this," she said sympathetically. "Seems like you're having a really rough time."
Itachi sighed. "Well, I'll manage," he said. "It won't kill me."
Shiki sighed. "It won't, but the pressure possibly will," she said. "Why don't you talk to someone about your problems, or maybe find some other way to release pressure?"
"Oh yeah? Like who?" asked Itachi irritably. "You are aware that not even I can talk to you about everything, much as I like to."
"An internet chat pal or something," said Shiki with a small smile, and Itachi blinked. "I talk to this internet chat pal of mine whom I'd met on an online forum board recently. He's rather interesting."
Itachi blinked. He suddenly got a feeling that he knew who this internet chat pal of hers is…
"And…what is his handle?" Itachi asked carefully.
"Hmm?" Shiki turned towards Itachi. "RedEye001."
The Next MorningCat's EyeHiraiko
The sounds of bells tinkled somewhere in the shop as the door of the Cat's Eye cafe in the town of Hiraiko was pushed opened, and Umino Iruka called out a, "Welcome."
"Iruka, a cup of coffee for me please," said Shiki as she took a seat at the counter next to Gaara who was stirring his coffee. Save for the two teens, no one else was in the cafe at this time of morning yet.
"At once, Shiki," said Iruka with a smile. There were a few moments before a cup of steaming hot coffee was placed in front of Shiki. Silence fell as Shiki stirred her coffee before taking a few sips of it to keep her awake.
Gaara glanced over at his friend. "I've heard about a piece of information from Iruka earlier that you might find interesting."
"Oh?" Shiki raised an eyebrow, looking over at Gaara.
"Yeah," said Gaara with a nod. "Apparently, someone has been using our name."
Shiki's eyes narrowed dangerously. She didn't like the sound of that.
"The town of Nakawa."
The door to the boathouse of Ragnarok swung opened, and Hyuuga Neji as well as Sabaku no Gaara stepped in, both looking extremely irritated, and the rest of Ragnarok looked up save for Shino who was typing away furiously on the computer, trying to turn out some information that Shiki had asked for.
"How is it?" asked Yugito with concern, and Gaara sighed before Neji growled.
"It's that woman alright," said Gaara with a nod. "The one that Iruka had mentioned to us. The wife of the CEO of some rich company that had been rising rapidly in the business world lately. She's the one that had been using our name."
Shiki sighed. She was afraid that that will happen. If truth be told, she knew that there will be some imposters who will be using their name sooner or later. There have already been a few cases like that on the Internet, but in the 'real world'?
Gaara nodded before lapsing into an explanation. "The woman's name is Arika Mami," he said, ticking the points off on his fingers, and the rest of Ragnarok paid rapt attention to Gaara's words since each and every single one of them wasn't pleased with the fact that someone had been using their name out there. "She's the wife of the CEO of some electrical company which I don't care to name. She had a daughter who's currently in her first year of high school. And the person whom she's supposedly 'blackmailing' or threatening with our name is a woman named Sakurai Keiko. She's a normal housewife with a daughter who attends the same school and class as Arika Mami's daughter. Their family had just moved here because of her husband's job. Her husband works in the company of Arika Mami's husband as an executive of some sort."
"And?" asked Temari with a raised brow. "What did this Arika Mami do to Sakurai Keiko?"
"I'm getting there," said Gaara with a sigh. "It first started out as threatening letters. Anonymous, of course. Those letters were done by cutting out words from magazines so that the culprit couldn't be identified by their handwriting. After that, it became threatening gifts. Like the gift of a skull or even a gift of dead insects."
Everyone winced, feeling sorry for the poor woman who had been receiving all these 'gifts'.
"And? Didn't Sakurai-san call the police or something?" asked Hinata with a raised brow. "Any sane person would, wouldn't they?"
"Well, I'm not sure of the reason why, but no, she didn't go to the police," said Gaara hesitantly. "My guess is that something must have happened between her and Arika Mami, and she didn't dare to go to the police because of that." He sighed. "Or she really assumed that we are after her life."
Shiki sighed. "Well, whatever the reason is, we can't leave it alone," she said grimly, and everyone nodded, agreeing with Shiki. She then turned towards Gaara. "How long had this been going on?"
"About two weeks now," said Gaara.
There was a beep from Shino's computer just then which indicates that there's a new message, and everyone present turned towards Shino who was currently seated before the computer, ignoring everything around him.
Shiki frowned before walking towards Shino and looking at the screen as Shino opened the message only to see that it's another request from a client. Everyone in the boathouse was silent as Shino and Shiki read the message before the redhead spoke once more, not turning away from the computer.
"Gaara. Neji." The two mentioned turned towards the redhead. "What is the name of the daughter of Sakurai Keiko?"
"Huh?" Neji blinked. "Er…I think that it's Sakurai Yuka." He looked at Gaara who nodded, confirming it. "Why did you ask?"
"Because we got another revenge request," said Shiki, still not turning around from the computer. "Target: Arika Mami. And the client's name is Sakurai Yuka."
"I'm telling you! I didn't do it!"
"Everyone at the office is saying that you've slept with another man while I was at work!"
"You never cared about this family or Yuka anyway!"
"How dare you say that?!" There was the sound of a slap, then that of a woman crying. "What makes you think that I'm working so hard for?! It's all for this family!"
Haku sighed as she looked at Yugito and Temari who were all perched on the rooftop of some house in Nakawa, hiding behind the chimney so that no one in the streets can see them. Neji, Gaara and Shiki were both currently somewhere in the town investigating their client's request.
"What a disaster," muttered Temari, shaking her head. "The client sure has it rough."
Everyone in Ragnarok was concerned about this case as not only does the case involve a certain someone who had been foolish enough to use Ragnarok's name to blackmail and to threaten someone, but both parties involved in the request this time around are the same ones whom were involved in the case of some poor fool who had been using the name of Ragnarok.
Shiki was not pleased with Arika Mami, and Yugito isn't sure if she should feel sorry for the poor woman or not. She can't help feeling that Shiki might be harsher on this woman than they did to any of their other targets in the past, and Yugito can't blame Shiki as well.
A whirl of sand appeared somewhere behind Temari just then, and Gaara appeared. "How is it?" asked Temari curiously, and Gaara sighed.
"Well, the truth is out now," said her brother tiredly. "Apparently, Arika Mami had committed adultery, though she had managed to keep it under wraps so far." The three girls blinked owlishly. "We're paying the client a visit tonight as Shiki feels that we at least owe Sakurai Yuka the truth behind the reason why Arika Mami had been tormenting her mother."
"And how, pray tell, did you find out that Arika Mami had committed adultery?" asked Temari, and Gaara blushed.
"Well…I used my sand eye in a room in a hotel in this town where she was at and…" Gaara coughed, a light flush on his cheeks. "Let's just say that I've seen something similar to one of the scenes in those Icha Icha books that Jiraiya wrote that I saw by accident when we were all little."
Temari, Yugito and Haku blushed.
"Anyway, we should all get back now," said Gaara hastily. "Shiki's orders. And let me tell you this, she isn't pleased with Arika Mami. I wouldn't wish to be in the shoes of Arika Mami once we actually carry out our client's request." He shivered a little. "Shiki isn't happy."
Haku nodded. "Definitely," she said, hearing the wails of the woman in the house which rooftop that they were currently perched on.
Sakurai Yuka sat on the swing in the playground of the town, swinging gently to and fro, a sad look on her face. She didn't want to go back home right now. Things have gone horribly wrong ever since her family had moved here because of her father's work. Why is the Arika family targeting them anyway? She didn't know what had happened between her mother and Arika Mami, but whatever it is, it's bound to be something important. The only question is what?
Yuka looked up at the voice and saw a redheaded girl around her age standing in front of her with a dark haired teen with strange eyes standing beside her. Yuka nodded slowly and stood up.
"What can I do to help you?"
The girl smiled slightly. "You've called for us, didn't you?" she stated more than asked.
Yuka's eyes widened. "Ragnarok?" she nearly whispered, and Shiki nodded.
"What is your request?"
"I want Ragnarok to take out Arika Mami," said Yuka immediately, anger creeping into her tone. "She's been causing my mother so much grief. And I want to know what had happened with my mother and Arika-san."
Shiki studied Yuka for a moment. "I can't do anything to help your mother," she said at last. "All I and Ragnarok can do is to merely take revenge on your behalf. That's what we're here for. Besides, we have a personal issue with Arika Mami anyway, and we'll be paying a visit to her sooner or later." Yuka nodded dumbly, not knowing what that 'issue' is, but having more than enough sense to not ask. "But be warned though, every single one of our clients will be honour bound by a spiritual contract once they've requested our services."
"Yes. You will be bound to Ragnarok once you've officially made a contract with us. You will not be allowed to speak anything of Ragnarok to anyone – who our members are, what we did for you – anything at all. If you break that spiritual contract, you die. It's that simple. That's our only condition. Despite knowing that, do you still wish to make a contract with us?"
Yuka stared at the ground for a full minute before looking up to meet Shiki in the eye and nodded determinedly. "Yes."
Shiki nodded. "Very well," she said. "Then I shall show you." She turned towards Neji. "Neji. The barrier please."
Neji nodded before a ripple of air went through everything within distance, and a faint yellow glow surrounded the town, and it seemed to Yuka as if time had suddenly stopped completely. Even the leaves flying through the air – blown by the wind – seemed to be stuck in mid-air as if someone had glued them in mid-air.
Shiki then turned towards Yuka. "Come with me," she said, and she walked out to the main streets of Nakawa with Neji and Yuka following her before a pale blue glow surrounded the 'frozen' streets.
"Time Reversal," muttered Neji, his right hand glowing blue as well.
Time then started to go backwards only in a part of the streets where they are currently at before stopping to normal time, and Yuka's eyes nearly fell out of her head when she saw that herself and her mother were both walking down the streets. The part of the town where she saw herself and her mother had time flowing normally – with the blue skies and clouds and everything.
"They can't see us," said Shiki, placing one hand on Yuka's shoulder. "I shall let you see…what had happened that day."
Yuka stared as she saw herself and her mother talking about cakes and cookies. "It's that day," muttered Yuka, realising that she'd seen this scene before. "The day after we'd just moved in."
"…but Yuka, can you really bake a cake without blowing the kitchen up?" teased her mother.
"Mum!" protested Yuka from the past.
Sakurai Keiko then paused in her step and turned her gaze upwards as past-Yuka walked steadily on, not realising that her mother had stopped in her tracks. Yuka stared and turned her gaze upwards to where her mother was looking at, and squinted only to reel back in shock only to see the sight of Arika Mami in bed with another man.
Time started flowing forwards quickly again before the scene around them switched to that of a sitting room in a house…their house, Yuka realised. The room was dark and her mother was crying on the floor, her clothes tattered, and closing her shirt around her body. Arika Mami was standing at the doorway of the sitting room, a camera in her hand with an unknown man with her.
Mami smirked as she slipped the camera into her bag. "If you don't want these pictures distributed around, you'll hold your tongue about what you see, or we'll pay your daughter a visit next."
Yuka could feel tears leaking from her eyes as she covered her mouth with both her hands. "That's enough…" She managed to choke out through her tears. "That's enough!"
The scene vanished, and they were soon back in the park where Yuka had met the two members from Ragnarok. "Why…?" whispered Yuka, falling to her knees, tears falling freely from her eyes. "Why?"
Shiki looked at Yuka with a sad look, feeling sorry for the girl, but said nothing.
"This is life," said Shiki with a sigh. "Your mother merely saw something that she shouldn't have seen, and was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Yuka turned angry tear-filled eyes towards the captain of Ragnarok. "It wasn't my mother's fault!" She nearly yelled. "The one at fault is Nina's mother! Why must my mother go through this?!" Yuka looked at her hands. "What…should I do now?"
"That is up to you to decide," said Shiki calmly. "We cannot move in on a target unless our client wills it. That is your call to make. Do you still want to take your revenge on Arika Mami?"
Yuka wiped her tears away and nodded determinedly. "Yes," she said. "But I want another person taken out too."
"Her lover?" questioned Shiki knowingly, and Yuka nodded. Shiki nodded. "Very well. Consider it done. They'll be gone by the end of the week."
Shiki then turned away from Yuka, and when Yuka blinked, both Ragnarok members were gone, leaving her alone in an empty street with time flowing normally again, and the words of the captain of Ragnarok echoing in her head.
"With every life taken, there is a price to pay. And that price…is the guilt gnawing at your heart as well as the chains surrounding your soul. You may not be the one who had killed that woman, but you ordered it on her."
"I don't mind…" muttered Yuka to herself. "As long as Mom can be happy…I don't mind how heavy the price is…"
"Alright, he's in," said Kankuro, looking through the pair of binoculars that he had with him on top of some random building in Nakawa, watching as Arika Mami's lover walked into the Arika mansion.
"Why do I have to do this?" grunted Neji who was currently dressed as a delivery boy from a florist shop.
"Oh, come on," said Yugito irritably who was dressed the part of a delivery girl as well. "You and I both know that only our powers can enable us to do this part of the job. Let's go."
Neji sighed before jumping off the roof with Yugito and landing on the ground. Haku smirked as she pressed a finger to the communicator in her ear.
Hellish Nightmare Dimension
"Where is this place?" wondered Arika Mami as she walked in this ghost town which streets was empty with people. The last thing that she remembered was when her lover paid her his usual 'visit', and then, two delivery people from some florist shop knocked at the door, and that's the last thing that she remembered before being in this place. "Hey! Is there anyone out there?!"
Something fluttered against her legs just then, and Mami looked down only to see that it's a newspaper of some sort before she frowned and picked it up, smoothing the paper over only to have her eyes widening in horror at the front page photo which was unmistakably that of her and her lover doing unmentionable things in bed. And the headline was, 'CEO's Wife Caught Committing Adultery'.
"W-What is this?!" Mami gasped out in horror, dropping the newspaper before taking a few steps backwards only to bump into someone and falling to the ground. She then turned around only to see that a crowd had formed out of nowhere, and she can't see their faces properly, yet she can tell that they're all looking sneeringly at her.
"Look at her."
"That's Arika-sama's wife, isn't it?"
"How terrible. To have his wife cheating on him with another man."
"A woman at this age having such a vulgar body…"
"W-What?!" Mami managed to stutter through her fright, standing up, looking at the faceless crowd. "Who are you people?! I've done nothing wrong! T-That photo is a f-fake! That's right! That's a fake! It must be that bitch Sakurai! She must have done it! And she's the one who had committed adultery! Not me!"
The eerie laughter of the faceless crowd faded away just then, and with the laughter, the crowd themselves, and when Mami looked up, she saw a blonde girl standing beside a raven haired girl with a dark haired male with strange eyes standing on her other side, all three of them looking at her.
"Well?" asked the raven haired girl. "Feel like admitting to your sins yet?"
"Sins? What sins?!" Mami demanded. "Did that bitch Sakurai put you up to this?!"
"No one did," said a voice next to Mami's ear, and she staggered back in shock and turned around only to see a blue haired girl with strange eyes standing beside a redheaded male with pale green eyes and a brunette girl with her hair done up in buns, all three of them studying her.
The redheaded male looked at Mami with a look as if she was something that ought to be scrapped off the bottom of his shoe. "You've sure been bad lately," said the redhead. "You actually used Ragnarok's reputation as assassins and punishers to the wicked and the bad, and actually used their name to make that poor woman afraid and tried to find the site of Ragnarok to carry out your dirty work."
Mami nearly jumped out of her skin when a cool hand touched her shoulder, and she turned around only to see a redheaded girl with sky blue eyes whom she assumed to be the leader of these teens standing beside a raven haired teen with sunglasses, the girl studying her with a cool expression which made Mami nervous.
"This is the first time that we've met, isn't it?" said the girl calmly. "It's unfortunate, but you've accessed the wrong site back then."
"First time…?" Mami trailed off, staring at the redhead girl, suddenly recalling an occasion nearly a week ago when she's on the Internet, trying to find the site of Ragnarok before coming across the site on the search engine that she's used before typing in her request, name as well as Sakurai Keiko's name along with her address before submitting it. It wasn't long before a message had been sent to her email, stating that her request had been received.
"It's been causing us a lot of trouble as well," said the blue haired girl with a smirk on her lips. "There have been a lot of fakes recently."
Mami felt cold settle inside her stomach as she realised that this group of teens before her is the real Ragnarok, the group which she's been using the name of, and they don't look happy. "It can't be…"
Shiki stared at Arika Mami with an uninterested look before turning away, Shino tagging along after her – the insect user rarely participates in any of their clients' requests unless otherwise. "I'm leaving the rest of it up to you," she said, and the rest of Ragnarok nodded.
Tenten then smirked, and fire surrounded her hands.
Let the fun begin.
Shiki then looked at the two bleeding and broken bodies on wooden crosses in the middle of the town – both with torn clothes barely covering their modesty with Ragnarok's mark engraved somewhere on their bodies. This was Ragnarok's way to mark their victims who had committed unforgivable crimes and this was one of them.
Neji placed a brown manila envelope onto the ground before the two bodies, with all the photographs as well as the evidence that they have gathered about Arika Mami's crime of adultery as well as the evidence that she's been the one who had been threatening Sakurai Keiko and had framed her for adultery all within that envelope with a single phrase written across the front of the envelope: 'Play with fire and you will get burned'.
Hopefully, this will discourage any imposters from attempting to use Ragnarok's name to commit crimes in the future. They wouldn't be able to stop the imposters on the Internet, but they would at least be able to curb it in the physical world.
Shiki sighed silently to herself.
A/N: A pretty long chapter this time around! Also, the song used in this chapter is Raggs no Chikonka from episode twenty of the 07-Ghost anime. I kind of liked that song myself, and thought that it'll fit the mood of this chapter.
Anyway, I hope that you like this chapter, and please read and review.
Preview for next chapter:
"What is your name?"
"Do you hate that man?"
"Because of that man…my father…my father…!"
"What is your request?"
"Take that man…straight to the pits of Hell!"
"I hear and deliver this vengeance."