Flame in the Dark

Chapter 4

From dark clouds, slowly gliding all over the night sky, tiny raindrops started falling off. In the short time, the rain intensified rapidly and the drizzle became a real downpour. Fat drops hit the car body of the car and rivulets of water flowed down all windows of the vehicle. In spite of windscreen wipers, the visibility on the road was almost completely zero. The bald man seemed not to be upset by it, keeping the high speed. He wanted to walk away from the forest, in which Rei was attacked by physical manifestationbs of the ancient demon, as soon as possible. The girl was sitting hunched on the back seat, she avoided eyes of men and seemed to ignore any external stimulus. Masanori accompanied her, also being completely silent. He knew very well that he had been responsible for her physical and psychological poor condition and he was also afraid of the bald hunter of demons who had got him out of a safe place of his flat by a force and brought to the heart of the phenomenon which had frightened him for a few years of his life. Dale Arthur Knight spotted pitch-black silhouettes of industrial buildings made out of pipes supported by the complex system of bars and grates stretching on the night sky. The place was dead and abandoned, darkened by the blackness of the night and streams of water pouring from the sky. The bald man parked the car in the place, where the knocked over fence was rusting in a rainy mud. He ran out of the car looking all around. He swore something under the nose, because the rain was falling on his face and bald pate.

“Let us come in! We’re so far from the city that I don’t sense the hostile aura of this funfair!” He screamed pointing at the opened gate leading to the industrial area. When he didn’t hear the reply after the minute, he came back to the car. Masanori stood by the opened door. He was drenched, he was looked at Knight with a fear. The bald man noticed that one hand of the boy had held Rei’s hand. The girl was kneeling in a mud, her clothes were drenched and dirty from the wet soil. She was looking at her own knees and a cold wind was shaking her wet hair.

“What you are doing with her?!” Dale screamed at the boy.

“She... doesn’t want to move... I wanted her to go with us.” Masanori said, simultaneously pulling Rei to himself. The black-haired girl didn’t resist, she lost her balance and fell down straight into the puddle. Knight ran to the boy and slapped him in the face with all his might. Masanori staggered, and knocked over into the stream of the dirty earth which was formed by heavy rain.

“Can’t you see that she cannot walk alone? Can’t you see that she needs help?” The bald man screamed looking at the former friend of Rei sitting in the stinking stream. He came up to Rei to help her get up.

“Move and come with me! This building was residential lodgings for workers! We’ll hide there and you’ll find dry sheets or something similar. She cannot got sick. Did you understand?”

“Yes...” Masanori replied getting up from the fall into a mud. Everyone entered the building’s interior. The bald man found some bigger room which was probably a day room or other place of social activity for occupants of the house in the past and Masanori started the search of something which could give the girl the warmth. Knight put Rei on the sofa, then sat down on a billiard table with the torn fabric. The acquaintance of Rei quickly found blankets in one of habitable rooms.

“Go away!” The bald man shouted at him as soon as he took sheets away from him. When the boy ignored him, he repeated his order.

“Go away from here. You hurt her enough! I don’t want you to look at her!”

Masanori listened to him, vacating the room. He went in randomly chosen direction, somewhere to the interior of the building. In the same time Dale Knight took the wet shirt and trousers of Rei’s body and covered the girl with the brown blanket. Black-haired woman seemed not to know what was happening to her, she followed every movement of the bald man like a rag doll. Her eyesight was empty, expressing no emotions, but a goose flesh appeared on her skin. Knight noticed that the girl had been shaking with a cold. It was a good sign, because her body still reacted to stimuli from the outside world. The man covered her with two extra layers of blankets. He didn’t want to think what was going on in her mind, what awful visions she had to cope with, being destroyed by the magic virus. Dale knew that there had been no other rescue for her other than acting on the magic flame hidden inside her. If the fire had protected her from the evil magic, when she was a little girl, he believed that it could happen again. He had to make it to act, to free it from long sleep. He took the small, red stone out of his rucksack and moved it close to the face of the black-haired woman. He kept it motionless waiting for any reaction. At some point, the jewel started phosphorescing with warm glitter, and its temperature increased. Arthur didn’t stop his action, ignoring an unpleasant feeling of the heat which turned up at his fingers. The face of Rei was lighted by the red glow and the girl very slowly opened her eyes. She seemed to notice the flame forming in the hand of the bald man, but her eyesight was still absent and indifferent to everything what was happening around her.

“I have no choice. I knew that I would have to part with him one day.” He thought moving the stone closer to Rei’s face. A dancing flame appeared inside the jewel and it extremely quickly jumped on the girl’s skin to penetrate into the interior of her body. The bald man got up, he looked at his patient the last time and geared up to the serious conversation with her old acquaintance.

“I have to wait and hope that my theory was true.” He said. He looked at the window in order to become convinced that the heavy rain was still falling.

“Now we will have a word.” He said going to the black-haired boy.

The bald man went down the corridor to the factory neighboring with workers’ hostel. Behind windows, which were in majority without panes, heavy rain was falling and unpleasantly sounding wind was blowing. The room was huge, full of the rusted equipment. The main object was dead production line stretching out through the entire length of the hall. The arms of out of order robots and other devices, from which cables of different kind protruded, hung above belt conveyors. There was a huge crane with the hanging rust-eaten hook above man’s head. Arthur looked all around looking for the person for whom he came to the centre of the mechanical graveyard. He spotted him on the second end of the hall, looking at big window with broken panes. Immediately, he came closer to him.

“Now you’ll tell me everything you know.” He said to him.

“I’m not going to talk with a stranger who took me from my home in the middle of the night. I’m not going to be involved in some game with principles I don’t understand.” Masanori replied not facing the bald man. Dale took the gun out, reloaded it and directed at the back of boy’s head.

“Is it a game for you? The girl can die at any time and you think only about yourself? You’ll tell me everything what you know and if it won’t appeal to me...” The man said clenching his teeth.

“I will kill you.” He added with a voice deprived of all emotions. At the same moment, Masanori turned around and the light of the Moon, coming out through clouds, lighted tears flowing on his face.

“Who are you to judge me? Why do you care of her so much? You didn’t know her yesterday and she thought that you had tracked her! How can you judge me after a few days spent in this place? You haven’t lived in the nightmare for so many years, as I have!” The boy shouted out. The bald man lowered the weapon. He knew that he would not use it.

“Tell me how are you connected with everything what is happening around us. What is your and Rei’s role? If you aren’t cheating me, perhaps I will be able to help you to break free from this nightmare.”

“The only mean of leaving the nightmare leads through the barrel of your weapon. I tried many times... but she didn’t let me out. She didn’t let me walk away from here.” Masanori stopped talking to “Will she... will she survive?” He asked.

“I don’t know, I did everything I could to help her. Now it all depends on her, if she is able to come back or if she wants.”

“If I could somehow help her...”

“No. I told you a moment ago that all depended only on her now. You’ll help her, if you tell me everything what you know about this demon.” The bald man hid the weapon, leaning against belt conveyors. Black-haired man calmed down. He sat down on the wooden box, tired with all events and the sense of guilt.

“Ok. I don’t know exactly what happened then. I don’t remember it, perhaps because it was large shock or she didn’t wish me to know too much and simply erased my memory. As a matter of fact its unimportant... I told the truth. I really knew Rei when we were small children. I played with her when she arrived in our small town.”

“She doesn’t remember you.” The bald man announced.

“Perhaps her memory is even more messed up than mine. I don’t know. I played then not only with Rei, but also with Mei, the granddaughter of the woman living close to our city. When we went to the funfair on day, nothing announced the tragedy which turned my life into the nightmare. I don’t remember details, only images, sounds and feeling of the intense heat. A fire broke out, why I don’t know, and we were cut off from the rest of people. I, Rei and Mei. I remember that I was afraid very much, I could not breathe, I thought that I would be burnt alive. I managed to escape, Rei and I we got out of the hot hell. Unfortunately Mei didn’t have so much luck. The falling beam cut her off from the exit and she... she suffocated, or she burnt, I don’t know, they didn’t let us reach the body, which firefighters took out of the rubble a few hours later. The small town plunged into the mourning. Everyone was sad with death of the child, but her grandmother... her grandmother couldn’t cope with that . Couple of years later she... brought her back... don’t ask me in what way, but this happened. She resurrected her, or at least she thought she had done it. In reality she didn’t brought Mei, but something terrible... something overfilled with an anger. One certain night I was getting back home, I came across the circus group dancing in the middle of the street and among them there was Mei. The woman, completely not resembling the child who died in a fire. She was changed, overfilled with hate. She wanted to take revenge on me, because it was me and of Rei who took her to the park of amusement that day. She harassed me when I was alone. She drove me mad and to suicide attempts but she didn’t let me die. I tried to fight with her troupe, but all in vain. Later, she told me she had found a remedy to find Rei and get her here. She said that Rei was a special person and it wouldn’t be able to take revenge on her so easily as on me. She said that if I meet with Rei and cast a spell on her, she’ll leave me alone and let me leave this cursed city. I wasn’t thinking about consequences, I wanted my nightmare to finally end.”

“And so you infected Rei with magic virus?”

“I didn’t have a clue. I only carried Mei orders out, I didn’t know that she would want to kill Rei so quickly! I thought that she would be tormenting her as she did with me all those years. If I knew...”

“You would do exactly the same thing, because you’re a bloody coward and an egoist!” Arthur cut him off in mid-sentence.

“She played with us like pawns in some damn game.” He added after a moment.

“With us?” Masanori was surprised.

“I’m as guilty of what happened to Rei, as you. I met the envoy of that woman and he showed me the vision of you as children. I wanted to catch this bastard, therefore I got in touch with Rei through the dream in order to get her to this place. I believed that she would be the key to the riddle and defeating the demon. Actually I did exactly what that woman had wanted. I’m now not even a step closer to destroying the demon but the girl... we don’t know if she be alive at the dawn.” Feeling great anger, the bald man clenched fists.

“I’m going to return to the funfair. I’ll find this woman, or whether she is now and I will kill her. At all costs. ” He said preparing to leave.

“Wait. Rei will need you. She will never forgive me after what I did to her and I don’t intend to ask her forgiveness, because I don’t deserve it. But she’ll need help, support. You must be by her when she will regain consciousness. ” Masanori announced stopping the man.

“Am I supposed to sit around and wait?” The bald man replied.

“We’ll wait together. We’ll wait until she wakes up.” The boy said.

Rei was lying on the old couch, covered with blankets and in the same position as the hunter of demons left her. She wasn’t able to listen to sounds reaching her from the outside world, since voices of many non-existent persons filled her head. They were overlapping one another, trying to win the girl over and to force her to leave reality and embrace madness, which was unavoidably going to end her life. She was afraid to open her eyes, but in spite of it she could see moving colourful figures of strange beings. She wasn’t able to escape, to hide from terrible yelling and the feerie of colours created by her own brain. She lost all hope, she wanted to sink in the quiet nothingness. At some point, she felt warm moving across her skin of the face, penetrating deep into her. She felt safer, like somebody from the outside bolstered up her courage for the fight against internal demons. The girl opened her eyes. She could see dancing spectral silhouettes of beings, which she had come across the previous night, laughing at her and whispering her name. She was afraid, her movements were hindered by the irrational fear. Beating warmth of internal flame caused that she was able to raise both hands overhead. At that very moment, dancing flames appeared around Rei’s hand. Their glitter caused that apparitions became pale, they moved away from the mind of the girl. Their laughters and pointless rhymes weren’t so horrible anymore. The girl felt that she would be able to overcome the magic destroying her, her ability to think came back. She concentrated on the flame which burnt around her body and she put all her efford into increasing its intensity. She felt that the fire had had his own awareness, the personality which had wanted to protect her from the fatal action of the magic virus. The girl to open her mind for it. She breathed deeply inviting it into the interior of her soul. In the same moment, the intense power and faith in the possibility of defeating apparitions tormenting her, appeared in her thoughts. Her mind flamed with a real fire, repelling shadows, hushing their unpleasant voices up. The intelligent being behind a virus realized that it wouldn’t be able to control psyche of the girl, it decided to change tactics. This time it attacked her physical body. Rei could not catch the breath, her heart started beating fast and aching as if it was supposed to explode in a minute, she felt great pain also in the stomach. She rose from the couch, but all muscles in her body stabbed her as if somebody stuck thousands of small needles in them. The girl shouted, clenched fists so firmly, that she pushed nails into her palms. Drops of blood fell on the floor. She closed her eyes and ran outside without a second thought. The rain was as huge as earlier, when she had got off the car. Rei got soaked, but this time she had only an underwear on. In the same time, Dale and Masanori heard her shout. Frightened, they expected the worst. They ran to the room in which they had seen the girl for the last time. Unfortunately, only blankets lay on a couch.

“Where is she? ” The boy asked.

“Look there! ” The bald man replied pointing at the opened door. The dark sky behind windows suddenly lightened, became red from the glow of the fire in the surroundings.

“What’s going on?” Masanori looked like hypnotized to red glitter beating from behind panes.

“Better let us walk there!” The bald man urged him, simultaneously taking the handgun out. When both men were outside, they were greeted by the beautiful and at the same time terrifying view. Rei stood in the distance of a few metres from the building, raising hands above her head. She was completely naked and her body silhouette was consumed by the intense, red flame. Its brilliance was so strong that Arthur and Masanori had to protect eyes covering them with hands. The fire became bigger and bigger, until at last it formed a large fiery bird. After a few minutes, which seemed to men to last the entire eternity, the fiery mirage dispersed and after disappear a short time. Only Rei remained, standing in streams of rain. The girl had her sailor senshi uniform on and the red jewel on her diadem gleamed with bright glitter.

“I am free.” She said coming up to men. She looked at Masanori angrily.

“You lied to me! I almost died! I could hear everything in fever!” She shouted. She staggered and leaned against the wet wall of the grey building.

“Rei, come inside, you’re weakened.” Arthur announced.

“I united with the flame, as you said, but... I remember nothing.” She whispered. Masanori wanted to say something to her, but she avoided the contact with his eyes on purpose. She staggered again.

“You must lie down. You must give the flame chance to heal your body to the state before infection.” The bald man tried to persuade her for the rest.

“Okay, let us return.” She answered with a forced smile. When the man and black-haired girl crossed doorstep, Masanori stayed outside, in streams of rain. Knight turned to him.

“What you are waiting for! You’re with us until the end. You cannot escape from responsibility! ” He shouted.

Rei went to the bed, immediatelly fell asleep and had slept for a few hours. Outside the rain stopped and the blackness of night slowly gave in to the brightness of the morning. Rei was still dressed as Sailor Mars, she felt much better. Masanori didn’t try to approach her and Arthur was sitting by her bed.

“Rei, How are you feeling? ” He asked.

“Okay, I’m also strangely relaxed and calmed as if I found some missing part of me.”

“Maybe that’s ecactly what happened. The larger spark of the flame came back where it belongs.”

“I’ll start believe in your Golden Millennium.” The girl sat down on the bed.

“Do you want to stay in such a form? You should conserve the energy, we don’t know who or what can attack us now.” The bald man said pointing at black-haired girl’s sailor fuku.

“I don’t have a choice. My pants burnt in the night.” Rei replied. Knight laughed.

“Stop it. It isn’t funny at all!”

" Okay, I know. Masanori!” Dale shouted at the boy.

“Yes?”

“Has she ever appeared in the day? Or was a danger to somebody?”

“No, she was able to influence my psyche, but she has never appeared in the day personally.”

“Good. We can have a peace for a moment. We’ll returned to a hotel for your things. You’ll change and take ofuda. They can be useful to us where we’ll go.” He said to Rei.

“Where?”

“Masanori told me who was responsible for attacks on you. We know where we must start our search.”

“Masanori? Have you believed him? Perhaps he will lead us into the trap again!” The girl didn’t even tried to look at the boy.

“Things are not always as they appear to be.” The bald man replied.

“Exactly. Somebody says that he’s your childhood friend, you go with him to the coffee, to the river and then he gives you to bloody circus freaks! I don’t believe in a single one of his words!”

“Rei, you’ll settle it with him, when we’re safe. At the moment, we all are in a grave danger and we must stick together, do you understand?”

“Yeah well... what did you learn from him?” Rei asked, ignoring the boy again.

“Do you remember those fragments of newspapers in the house of the older woman? This girl who seemed familiar to you, Mei... you really knew her, you played with her in the childhood. One day, the accident happedned in the funfair, you and Masanori escaped from it in one piece, but Mei didn’t have such luck. She died.”

“I don’t have a clue whom you’re talking about, but don’t stop.”

“Her grandmother, the woman who you probably met that night, brought her back to the land living in some dark, forbidden way. She came back, but changed, as the demon of the revenge who used Masanori, but also me in order to get you to this city. She feels hatred towards you, she thinks that she died because of you. She wants to take revenge and she won’t sit down until she kills you.”

“Nice, somebody who I don’t remember, wants to kill me.”

“Rei, when you united with the Flame and you cleaned the virus off the body, couldn’t you see something from the past, some thing that could help us?”

“No, I said that I didn’t know whom Mei was, or what happened many years ago, but something changed inside me.”

“Yes?” The bald man was interested.

“When the flame penetrated into my body, I felt like some emptiness in me was filled. I don’t know why, maybe because I got well, but I have a purer mind, I can think more easily.” The girl shared her observations with him.

“Excellent, perhaps your memory will come back with time.”

“I’d like it. I would prefer to know whom I’m going to fight with and why.”

The bald man rose from the stool, he looked at Rei and the boy standing in the distance. He smiled cleaning his black glasses.

“I’ll leave now and you have to reach an agreement with each other. You have the time up to the moment when the Sun rises beyond the horizon.” Dale announced pointingat the pane behind which one could see the grey sky, the last breath of the dying night. He left the room banging the door. The girl looked around noticing the decor of the room, old wardrobes and chairs and the billiard table with the torn up cloth standing in the middle of the room. She was silent, not knowing what to say as well as not wanting to talk with somebody who had entirely lost her trust. Masanori became impatient with the silence and decided to speak first.

“I’m not going to say anything which could justify my behaviour. I’m going out. Let that guy think that we were reconciled and will be satisfied, if it is so important to him. We won’t see each other again, goodbye.” The boy came up to the door, grabbed the door handle and refrained as if he waited for some reaction of his friend.

" What are you waiting for?” Rei asked.

“Don’t you want to know why? Why did I send you straight into the embrace of the demon? Why did I help cast a spell?”

“Whatever the reason was, it won’t change the fact that you did it to me. I don’t need to know reasons. Real friend, as you said about yourself, would never agree on something like that, even if he would lose something.”

“Every night looked the same for me, never-ending psychological nightmare with the participation of this monster and her bizarre helpers. Don’t you think that I didn’t try to be through with it? I wanted to destroy her, to destroy myself, but she didn’t let me. If I had any choice... I would kill myself with the magic virus.”

“You had a choice, you could live in the nightmare or tell me about everything and ask me for help. As a matter of fact I tried to get to know something from you, when I noticed that strange things were happening in this city. A bit of the frankness and perhaps we would manage to do something, defeat her and maybe escape from this place. You chose an easy ride which freed you from nothing and deprived you of a friend. If your experiences were at least a bit similar to what I passed through in today’s night, then I can understand your decision. But I won’t forgive you so easily.”

“Rei, we told ourselves everything what we had to the say. I’ll go to Arthur Knight. The sun is shining through the window, which means we can come back.” The boy opened the door slightly. Rei got up and came up to him.

“Masanori, it would be much better if our friendship ended after our walk along the river. I would have something to remember.” She said. The bald hunter of demons appeared in the doorway.

“Everything’s settled?” He asked. Not waiting for the response, he continued.

“We must return to the hotel. We must rest and go to the home of older woman. Rei, take your ofuda and you Masanori... don’t try to escape from the responsibility.”

Rei, after returning to the hotel, changed her clothes into dry and clean ones, took the rucksack full of accessories for the fight against demons and after a short moment of peace decided to visit the room of her acquaintance. Dale was surprised seeing her in the door, but he was satisfied, because the girl was ready for the confrontation with her past and the difficult opponent.

“Why aren’t you resting? You experienced a lot the last night.”

“I’m having itchy feet. I’m feeling the power stimulated and full of the energy, I gained new power which enhanced me.”

“Sit down.” The bald man said to her, and then he also sat down on the sofa.

“Did something more change?” He asked.

“Yes... I’m not certain, because I didn’t try it, and I’m afraid to do it... but I’m probably able to control flames even without the transformation. I’m convinced, that if I thought about the flame it would appear for my call.”

“Try to do it. You’ll never know if you don’t see it with your own eyes.”

“And if something happens? If I set fire in the hotel or I hurt you?”

“Nothing will happen. Just think about something small, not being able to hurt anybody, imagine some shape.” The bald man offered the girl. Rei stopped talking, focusing her thoughts, she tried to get in touch with the flame. At some moment, a miniature ball of the whirling fire appeared in her opened hand. Its red glitter fell on brightly white walls of the hotel accommodation.

“It really works!” The girl was glad. She observed the strange globe of flames.

“You are far more better than me. I can see, that you’re a rightful owner of the Martian flame. ” Knight replied looking at Rei gladly.

“Are you able to do it?”

“I was able, I gave you the flame which I learn to master many years ago.”

“You lost something precious...”

“It’s ok. It saved your life besides it came back to its real house.”

“Arthur, tell me what do you know about the Golden Millennium? What it was, why did it fall down? Are all my friends using abilities originating in those times?” Rei convinced that the man didn’t cheat her, wanted to learn from him as much as she can.

“To tell you the truth, everything which I knew, came from dreams I had occasionally thanks to the flame living in my body. I know, that something like that existed, but I know no meaningful details, I’m sorry. But let us already chat no longer because it’s a waste of time. We have a demon to kill!”

Dale rose from the couch, put the sunglasses on and took the handgun lying on a bedside table.

“I’ll finally learn what it all means. And I won’t let myself to be deceived as before.”

“Okay, that’s good that you’re vigilant Rei, but don’t treat that boy so coldly. I know that he did wrong, but people can do terrible things under the influence of the powers of darkness.”

“I’ll try.” The girl answered unwillingly.

In the late afternoon, two men and one woman met in front of the breaking down house of the older woman, Mei’s grandmother. The weather was worse than in previous days, the sky was covered with grey clouds, but nothing announced coming of violent downpour like at the night.

“Are we entering? ” The girl asked.

“Yes. Let us already finish it once and for all.” The bald man replied.

“I thought like you, many times... but then matters took a turn for the worse for me.”

“You didn’t have us with you.” The bald man replied.

“Remember about one thing, if you try to betray Rei again, I will kill you.” He added gladly.

“When she wins, I won’t be such a lucky one.” Masanori replied. The girl moved in the direction of the door, because an exchange of words between men made her impatient. Knight overtook her and taking the handgun out, first crossed the doorstep of the old hovel. The interior was the same dead and quiet like the day before, dust lied on furniture, the floor and walls.

“I don’t like this place.” Masanori said.

“We’re going to the room in which the transformation took place.” The bald man replied. They found the aforementioned room with strange, mysterious drawn signs to for floor. Rei took her ofuda out. She refrained with using them, since she found something interesting in signs, shapes and symbols seen on dusty boards.

“Arthur, you said that the woman had brought her granddaughter back from the grave. In that case, why symbols on the floor mean the transformation? You told me yesterday.”

“I would like to know it Rei. Perhaps something stranger than I was able to depict happened here, or your friend told us some rubbish.” The bald man replied looking at Masanori.

“No! I heard about her return from her so many times I could quote her here for you!” The boy defended himself.

“Well. Rei, Could you use your spells?”

“I waited for it!” Black-haired girl smiled widely. She took sheets with painted ideograms in black ink out and whispering the spell she put them on walls and the floor, in the vicinity of key elements of magic symbols. No sound effects neither visuals accompanied her moves. Masanori seemed disappointed, but actually breathed a sigh of relief.

“Did nothing happen?” The bald man asked the girl.

“I don’t know... wait.” Rei hushed him. She closed her eyes trying to empathize with the atmosphere of the place, to catch all of the smallest changes which could provide her information that spells brought her the expected effect.

“Somebody appeared... or rather something.” The black-haired woman announced.

“Where?” Masanori was surprised.

“Not here, somewhere else in home...” Rei replied.

“Come with me!” She added. Knight and Masanori went in direction which Rei showed then. After a few seconds they reached the small room, the one in which there were cuttings from newspapers about the tragedy in the circus, Mei’s photograph and the breaking down. Everyone stood up like bricked in. The older woman was sitting on the bed. She held the doll in her lap looking in her dead, glassy eyes.

“What’s this?” Masanori shouted terrified. The bald man hushed him up. The old lady stroked the doll’s hair. When she noticed that there were other people apart from her in the room, she turned to their side, simultaneously hugging the dummy.

“Mei-chan, friends came to you. Say hello politely.” The spectral woman replied. She was silent for a moment and then continued.

“No Mei-chan, you are not allowed to go out alone. We don’t know them well, they can rude friends.”

“These are very rude friends!” The old person said angrily.

“Rei, prepare.” The bald man warned.

“Mei-chan won’t be playing with somebody as you!” The apparition shouted throwing the doll towards Rei and men. The toy opened its dead eyes and a laughter of a little girl got out of its mouth. Her wooden hands came near Rei’s face. Dale was very fast, the doll was struck by him. Unfortunately, when the toy fell on the floor, it bounced back from it and moved, this time in the direction of the bald hunter of demons. Rei thought about her new abilities and a fiery ball formed in her hand. The girl hurled it at the doll, catching it in an explosion. When smoking piece of woods fell on the floor, a terrifying shout of the child sounded all around.

“What did you do to my small Mei-chan! What did you do with her monsters!” The spectral woman looked at charred wood with a terror. She buried her face in her hands and started crying. The shock caused that the woman concentrated on her own pain, temporarily stopped defending the place of her transformation and the first contact with demonic power.

“What is happening here?” Masanori asked rhetorically again.

“I know what I must do!” Rei told, thinking aloud.

“Yes?” The bald man was surprised with her reaction.

“When my fire touched this doll, I understood. I know how way I can recover my memory! I know what happened here!” The girl was excited.

“Those patterns on the floor. They indeed concern the transformation, but temporary! She tried to connect the past with the future, to take somebody out of distant times rather than the place, she failed. The transformation was needed, in order to became immaterial and move backwards along the temporal dimension!”

“It’s astonishing how easily you’re using the knowledge of the flame, girl.” Dale commented on the monologue of black-haired woman.

“I must do exactly the same, I must move my awareness back in the time to the moment in which that tragedy took place! However I will need somebody who remembers those events better so that he will be my navigator.” Rei looked at Masanori.

“You’ll go with me, otherwise I’ll fail and I can get lost in the stream of the time.”

“What? Am I supposed to go through it again?” The boy got scared.

“It’s a unique chance for the confrontation with the demon and freeing your life. Are you such a coward to throw it all away?”

“No, I’ll go with you. What am I supposed to do?”

“Let us come back to that room. I’ll use the Martian flame to open the door to the time stream.”

“And what am I supposed to do?” The bald man asked.

“Guard this place and don’t let anybody break into the gate. It must remain intact before I come back. Otherwise, my awareness cease to exist or get forever lost in streams of the space-time continuum.”

“I won’t disappoint you.” Arthur Knight replied.

Rei watched the mysterious symbols of the pattern drawn on the floor as if she read some mysterious meaning which only she could understand, since her mind was connected with the incomprehensible intellect or awareness of the Martian flame. At some point, she squinted her eyes, as if she expected the very bright lighting. Two briskly red glimmers appeared in her hand and she throw them on the floor. To everyone’s surprise, the fire didn’t light wood and instead it situated on all lines forming the symbol, as if they were made of some flammable material. After a few minutes flames united in one, forming something in the shape of the gate. Rei looked at Masanori.

“Give me a hand, we don’t have a lot of time.” She said.

“What do you want to do?” The boy wasn’t enthusiastic about anything what Rei was going to ask him to do.

“Do not be afraid, trust me. Take my hand, because we must cross the gate together!”

“Are we going straight into the fire?”

“Don’t chat and give me a hand. We must go deep into our past.”

Masanori unwillingly raised the hand and reached the girl.

“Trust me.” Rei told once again. She entered, with the boy, into the portal. They both disappeared in it leaving the hunter of demons alone in the haunted house.

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