Shortly after Ranko introduced herself Ayaka did the same as Mariko and Shinobu served the pair some snacks and tea as any good host would. During exchange of pleasantries Ranko and Ayaka learned that Mariko was majoring in Anthropology while Shinobu was majoring in Archaeology. They both had a genuine interest in human history and human life throughout the ages. Their room was even decorated with what looked to be genuine dig site findings. Several ancient examples of weaponry and pottery was on display throughout the place. It turned out that they found those very objects themselves on digs they got to be a part of, of course donating any important findings to a museum either that was near the dig site or somewhere they could get to easily enough to do their own research on their findings later.
With this information obtained Ranko had decided that she now needed information on their case itself. Getting important character related information on her clients was helpful for sure but none of it seemed to be important to their case. So, after taking a sip to finish off her tea Ranko pulls out a notepad and simply says, "Okay. So far it seems none of these objects are related to the case, after all you never did stop describing them to say any ghost related things started happening after bringing them in. So, tell me what exactly has been happening to you girls? And how long ago did it start?"
Mariko was the first to answer after chewing on her cookie and answers, "Well, it started a couple of months ago. At first all it was objects floating in the air and maybe moving from one location to another. Or even floating and turning or spinning in the air, not quickly mind you. Almost like what ever was causing them to float in the first place was examining them. So, at first, we did say anything. Things were peaceful. And we were kinda excited at the prospect of sharing a dorm room with a ghost. It was fun."
"But it wasn't long until things became dangerous. Objects would start getting thrown around. Nothing acted like it was aimed at us initially. But that didn't take long to change either. That's when we started bringing things up to the school." Shinobu added in after finishing her own cup of tea.
"What did the school say? And who did you bring it up to exactly?" Ayaka asks seeing if this information might be in her files, and if it wasn't she might have to track down a teacher to get them to testify at the hearing.
"We brought it up to Mr. Takahata at first. He did say he would into it but either he never believed us and was just trying to humor us, or he never found anything and just never brought that up to us." Shinobu answers.
Ranko turns to Ayaka at that revelation and silently asks if that information is important or not. At seeing Ranko's look Ayaka nods and says, "Yes, it is. All the students here know they can turn to Mr. Takahata if they have any sort of problems. If he never got back to them then something important must have come up. Why don't you continue this interview and I'll see if I can get some answers from him? I'll be right outside the room, I'll just give him a call out there to not disturb your inquiries." And with that Ayaka got up from her spot on the couch, leaving the files on the table to help indicate that she wasn't going anywhere, and stepped outside to make her phone call.
With that simple gesture Ranko turned to her clients and says, "Mr. Takahata is one of our teachers. She's probably calling him so that I can ask the questions she may not want to overhear. Possibly thinking that she won't be helpful with the questions mostly. Also, one of our classmates is a ghost herself. So, there is a chance she might have been the tamer entity that you experienced before the violent incidents. Ayaka probably wants to check with her as well."
"What do you mean one of your classmates is a ghost?!" asked both Mariko and Shinobu suddenly and loudly.
Ranko gestures with her hands to calm down and answers, "Just as I said. One of our classmates is a ghost. Tell me you haven't noticed her before? You know all while, uniform decades old, floats to get around everywhere? Her name is Sayo Aisaka. Sweet girl, very inquisitive too. She's actually helping out the Mahora Ghostbusters as our dispatch and secretary."
"Her being a ghost makes more sense than her being some sort of psychic albino like some of our classmates suggested." Mariko replies back.
"Or her being a hologram like some of the other classes thought." Added Shinobu as they both thought back to the times they saw Sayo for themselves.
"But we can see her. We can't see what or who's moving the stuff in our room." They both quickly added in unison wondering how Sayo could be connected to their haunting.
"Apparently she wasn't always visible to normal naked eye. I'm still new to the school myself so I wasn't here for her invisible phase. But ghosts can accumulate strength overtime and go from being weak invisible ghosts to weak but stronger visible ones. There are some exceptions like Poltergeists genuinely being the invisible kind, but they are always strong and dangerous, mostly because they are invisible, but dangerous none the less." Ranko answers for both Mariko and Shinobu.
Ranko then quickly continues hoping to keep the inquires to the incidents themselves and how they can help her figure out what was happening in the room. So, she gestures with her hands again and says, "Let's get back to your experiences, shall we? You mentioned how the incidents suddenly changed to a violent ones. Do you think it was the same entity or do you have any sort of feelings that it may be a different one than the peaceful one?"
"Now that you mention it we do. We can't really explain why we do other than that sometimes when an object started to float it looked like there was some sort of struggle going on. Like someone was trying to stop whatever was trying to throw stuff at us. So maybe there is something more to our feelings than we thought?" Shinobu answers and of course ends with a question to herself more so than to Ranko.
Mariko shook her head at her friend's behavior and says, "Don't mind her. She tends to do that when a thought suddenly comes to her. But she isn't wrong though, but my question is why did you ask if we had any sort of feelings that is may be more than one? Why not experiences or something else?"
Ranko smiles and answers, "Because most people can't give an answer like hers. They will say things like it was some sort of instinct or something that tells them that it was something different. But your experience is a much better indicator of multiple hauntings. Now before we get any more of that can you tell me if there is any sort of history of this dorm I should know about? I'm starting to think there is a reason why there is no tree branch within reach of your window despite us being on the third floor and that the tree itself doesn't even look like it can support the weight of someone climbing it."
"What makes you think someone would climb the tree?" Mariko asks as Shinobu was still in the middle of her own thoughts oblivious to the world around her…...sometimes Shinobu does cause Mariko to worry about her friend and she was beginning to get worried for her again.
"Well, this is a girl's dorm. But it isn't a girl's school. I've seen my share of cute boys on campus already. I'm sure a few would try to climb into the room, or maybe someone would try to climb out and meet one of them after dark." Ranko answers with a shit eating grin on her face. She just loves to tease people like this after all. It helped her learn so much about the people she interacted with and throw opponents off their games in fights as well didn't hurt either.
"Actually, there is a darker reasoning to the missing branch. I wish I could tell you that previous students used it for the ways you hinted and mentioned. But the truth is the last girls to dorm in this room hung themselves after being expelled for the very same reason we may be tomorrow. Causing property damage to the school and blaming them on ghosts." Mariko answers solemnly looking down at the floor now worried for her own safety and her friends because if there really was a ghost then how likely was it that the previous tenants actually hung themselves there?
"How long ago was this?" Ranko asks now getting serious as the threat level suddenly rose to some real dangerous levels.
"Ten years ago. To the date actually. That's a lot creepier now that I said that out loud. But yes, it happened ten years ago. The victims were majors in history and educations respectively. One of them was named Ayaka Tachibana and the other was named Umeko Shimizu. Both were ordinary Japanese high school girls. Except they dormed in this room, complained about a ghost, got accused of causing property damage, expelled, and finally found dead the next morning after being officially expelled next to their rooms with bed sheets around their necks and a tree branch connected to said bed sheets." Shinobu answers finally coming back to reality at possibly one of the most depressing moments to do so.
Ranko not liking where this was going grabbed her cellphone and calls Kazumi. Once Kazumi answers she says, "Hey Kazumi, you still in your newspaper club meeting?"
"Yes, actually. It just ended actually. I was about to head to your place. What's up?" Kazumi replies on her phone before packing up her things.
"Do you have access to the school's backlog of newspapers? And how far do they go back if you do?" Ranko questions now knowing she may be able to get some additional info.
"Yes, and they go back pretty far. A couple of decades, probably even as far back as the school's founding. Why?" Kazumi answers getting a feeling she was going to not like the answer.
"I need you to go back ten years in the school's backlog. See if you find anything that mentions two girls by the names of Ayaka Tachibana and Umeko Shimizu. We may have our first case and it dates back at least that far." Ranko answers telling Kazumi as much as she needs to get started.
"Right, I'll start searching now. Do you want me to send anyone your way? Are you with anyone else on this case?" Kazumi asks as she starts heading to Library Island for their computers with access to the school's entire newspaper history. Why the school did it that way she would never know but that wasn't important at the moment.
"Is anyone with you now to send over?" Ranko simply asks calming down now knowing she had at least of her fellow Ghostbusters on the job with her.
"Not with me exactly but I can text them as I head to my source. Also tell the others if I see them on my way to Library Island…...that's where we keep the backlog." Kazumi replies quickly.
"Anyone you can send will help. Actually send me Makie, Mana, and Zazie. You get Kaede, Fuka and Fumika to help you at the library okay?" Ranko answers making the decision as team leaders tend to do.
"Right will do. I'll tell them to head your way ASAP…...which is where exactly?" Kazumi asks just realizing she never got Ranko's position during their entire back and forth.
"Dormitory Building 5, room 404. And tell them to suit up and bring their gear, and mine too. Thanks." Ranko replies and then ends her call abruptly as Ayaka had returned to the room and was wondering what was going on. Ranko then looked to Shinobu and Mariko and says, "The Mahora Ghostbusters are officially on your case. We will everything we can to solve it before your hearing tomorrow. In the meantime, I think you two should spend the rest of the day somewhere safer." Turning to Ayaka Ranko continues with, "Can you bring them to my place? I don't want anything happening to them while I do my investigation."
"Sure, if you think its necessary. But should I do that now thought? You don't have any more questions for them?" Ayaka asks wondering what she had missed.
"I got all I could from them. Right now, if whatever it is that has been threating them and causing the damage to this building is in this room right now then it knows they know of it. And know how dangerous it is. I don't want anything to happen to them while I do the investigation. Any further questions I have can be called in. I can just call our official number at my place and ask them over the phone. It'll be safer that way. And I don't want anything to happen to you as well." Ranko answers truthfully hoping it will get them moving quicker.
"Can we at least grab our dig collection before going?" Mariko asks as she didn't want any of them to get damaged or used to hurt anyone.
"Better keep them here, I mean the quicker you get out of here the better…okay take at least which ever one is your favorite with you. You don't have to give me that defeated look you know?" Ranko answers at first with authority and then finishes with defeat. Honestly did she pick up that weakness from her brother or something?
Quickly grabbing their favorite weapon finds and pottery finds the girls had exited their dorm room while Ayaka escorted them to Ranko's place. Ranko had sighed at the exchange as she looked around her with her PKE Meter quickly getting scans and jotting down the results of every object left in the room. This was going to be a long night.