Officer Orcot stepped out of the car totally bewildered. Why they were back at the ruined house, he had no idea. More importantly, how Mr. Love-hope-and-dreams-enigmatic-petshop-owner seemed to know exactly what was going on was beyond him.
He stepped under the yellow tape, scanning the property for any signs of a disturbance. Nothing seemed amiss.
Behind him, D got out of the car, silently.
The morning sun shone brightly on the quiet street. The charred remains of the collapsed building were unchanged. The yard was still overgrown with bushes and plants. There was no sign of danger.
A motion in the bushes caught his attention. He turned… and saw a child with round, purple eyes and long, purple hair.
"Irina!" he cried. "How did you get here?"
The child whimpered, looking scared.
"Come on, kid," he said, taking her hand. "Let's get you home."
Just then, he noticed the corpses at her feet. They were the unharmed bodies of two children.
"What?" he scowled.
It was obvious that these murders were connected to the Ghost files. The location, the age of the victims, the lack of injury… it all pointed to the same killer. But could that killer possibly be…
"Did you do this?" he asked the little girl.
She stared at him. Her eyes were weird and blank.
He couldn't believe it. Seven murders had been committed by a child?! He knelt down, took her by the shoulders, and shook her gently.
"Was it an accident?"
The little girl started to cry.
"D!" shouted Leon.
Count D stood a few yards away, his long hands folded in front of him, watching placidly. "She cannot help herself, detective," he replied calmly.
"Great. Here we go again," muttered Leon.
D looked as mysterious as always in his black, brocaded robe. But there was something different about his eyes. Nah. Leon couldn't be sure. The changes of his expressions were always so subtle.
Still… his eyes seemed almost, almost… sad. Was it pity? Regret?
"Like any animal, she kills to survive."
"Animal! She is not one of your…"
"Where is my sister?" came a small voice. Irina looked at the Count with tear-filled eyes.
"Be a good girl," he said to her gently. "Wait a little longer."
"Do you honestly enjoy keeping me in the dark?!" demanded Leon.
D didn't say one word.
"Oh, don't give me that look."
The little girl suddenly tried to run away. Leon grabbed her arm and pulled her back. She tugged at his hand, wriggling and sobbing.
"Stop it!" he told her angrily. "Don't you see what you've done? Your friends aren't going to wake up!"
"You cannot blame her for what is in her nature!" D almost yelled, his eyes hard and his tone dangerous.
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"She doesn't understand!" D told him firmly. "In order to maintain her human form, she has to consume the souls of others."
"Detective," whispered the Count. "She has no soul."
He couldn't move. Human form… Consuming souls… Leon stood there, stunned. Before he could even recover his wits, the screech of tires made him spin around.
A blue car pulled up quickly in front of the house, and before it had even stopped, Amethyst got out of the passenger side and slammed the door hurriedly. Her actions were clumsy and frantic, almost as if something was controlling her every move.
The driver's door opened, and Leon recognized the woman that got out of the car. "Amy! Sweetheart! What's wrong?" Ella called.
Amethyst stumbled across the street.
"Sister!" cried Irina happily.
"You…" breathed Amethyst.
Leon's mind suddenly began working again. "Stop! Wait!" he shouted desperately. He tried to grab Irina, but she slipped away. He started to run after her, but a pale hand blocked him.
"No," D whispered, smiling. "It's all right, now."
Irina ran as fast as she could straight towards the singer and flung her little arms around Amethyst's waist. She hugged the child close, and for a moment, they stood in a loving embrace.
Then, Irina vanished, and Amethyst dropped to the ground, dead.