READ AUTHOR NOTE FIRST! IMPORTANT!
I tried to develop a fluffy story based on my first version of summary, but end up writing half-fluff and drama. In the end I concede defeat that writing full blown fluffy story is not my cup of tea. I tried but end up writing something off... I don't know if any other writer think like me, but I just can't stand it when I wrote it didn't 'CLICK' with what I have in mine and ended up hauling the whole story to a different direction. Although... it end up minimizing presence of KHR character for first few chapters... =_=' However I don't know IF someone who read KHR but not GH can enjoy this so I need your opinion.
Disclaimer: This is a fanfiction, obviously I don't own anything but the plot!
She still remembered that fated day clearly as if it was yesterday. She was urging her older twin to push her swing harder even though he was scared she would get hurt. Mai didn't care and pouted, shooting puppy eyes she knew he couldn't resist until he relented. She was the luckiest sister alive to have such a compliant brother she could order as she please. Unlike her friends, whose brother always bullied them.
Tsuna never said no to her, Mai was his princess after all!
Suddenly Tsuna stopped pushing and the swing halted. Mai looked back at his brother was frozen on his pushing pose so his hands was touching her back. She looked at where he was looking, the sun had set and cast a dark shadow on the figure that was approaching the. It was a tall man dressed in black and a fedora on his head.
He knelt down to their eye level and wordlessly took Mai's hand to his lips in gentlemanly manner, "Good afternoon, Tsunayoshi, Mai... from now on I am your home tutor."
Mai still remembered how tight her older brother hugged her from behind as if trying to pull her away from this man.
"Mai, I am so sorry…
but never forget that you mean the world for me…"
Mai opened her eyes slowly, rubbing her eyes to get rid of crust that formed around it. She sat up, covering her yawning mouth. Hands shot up above her head, stretching the soreness from good sleep. Her hazel eyes softened at the pocket watch resting on her bedside table, soft melody of familiar song emitted from it. The pocket watch had classic design, on the lid embezzled an elaborate carving of butterfly with amber colored stones embedded on the butterfly body and wings. She clicked the button that opened pocket watch, revealing the backside of the lid where one line was carved in cursive.
Il Nostro Caro, Mai.
She closed the clock, beaming a smile at the framed photo rested on her bedside table. It was a picture of a young mother who looked like an older Mai, hugging younger Mai and her brother. They were smiling to the camera, but Mai thought her brother's smile was the most beautiful. His smile was not wide or sunny like hers in this photo, but gentle and kind.
"Ohayo, Okaa-san, Onii-chan…"
(April, third week, Tuesday) Mai's POV
It was spring, the season of beginning in Japan. I was so happy that my closest friends, Michiru and Keiko were in the same class with me. I didn't wait for summer to come to have ghost storytelling in AV room to celebrate, because there was no rule saying it had to be done in summer. Keiko and Michiru never understood why I love ghost stories, but my reason was perhaps pretty mean. Considering my dear Onii-chan couldn't stand it, and he cried easily whenever we were watching horror movies back then. I did love ghost stories, even though part of it was because I couldn't resist teasing my brother it was mostly genuine love for it I couldn't explain.
It was completely dark inside the AV room. Using a blue penlight's glow we passed around, the light too weak to illuminate the entire room but that was the idea. The blue light shone on the floating silhouette of the Michiru who was holding the penlight. It was her turn to tell her story.
"It's a story about this school..." Michiru began, the blue light is shining on her auburn hair, her hair that is hanging down from around her face.
"Mai, have you heard the story of the old school building?"
I shook my head in negative, and Michiru continued her story. It was about our ex-school building that was located at the opposite side of the sport hall, and she heard their headmaster wanted to build a gym in its place. It was already half-collapsed anyway, but for some reason there was no progress on that project.
Michiru's story was telling us why they never get to demolish that old building, the reconstruction stopped and that was why it looked half-collapsed. It was stopped because of a curse that prevented people from doing anything to it. A lot of strange incidents happened there, every year someone died there for various reasons, diseases, accidents, and other unexplainable causes.
The list of unfortunate incidents continued, a child from the neighborhood was found dead in the ex-building, three days after that a teacher committed suicide there and so on.
Michiru then continued to most recent incident, "The demolition was restarted last year in order to rebuild the gym. But again only the half of it got demolished, before the work got suspended. The same as last time. A machine broke, a worker got..."
Whoaa, that was horrible.
"Once a truck went out of control and drove through the sports ground during class. Two students died and seven were severely injured. It was on the newspapers too."
I believed I read that on newspaper before, the incident yes, but I didn't recall anyone died. If there was, there should be a bigger coverage on that accident.
Michiru lowered her voice, "My senpai's friend saw a man's ghost at the ex-building..."
Why don't just tell us which senior? Instead of vague way of addressing someone, obviously Michiru was retelling the story word to word.
Aah, no Mai! Don't think and analyze ghost story logically! It would suck out all the fun! Damn Spartan tutor who almost destroy my love for ghost story with his teaching!
"It was waving his hand like he was inviting me… I got the feeling that I shouldn't go inside the old school so I left staggering on my feet."
Much to my exasperation, Michiru didn't even notice she accidentally switched the story to first person point of view. You're so not helping your case to convince me that you heard it from your senpai's friend, Michiru.
"A-and..?" Keiko was still buying it.
I envied Keiko, she could enjoy a story full of plot holes without noticing a thing. There was never a day of ghost storytelling without cursing Reborn who corrupted my brain. I was thankful he was such a good and knowledgeable tutor to us, but I would never forgive the way he taught me logical thinking. He just had to tie me up and forced me to watch a marathon of horror series as explaining why all of that didn't make sense and fake.
Since then, even though my love for ghost stories persist, I couldn't enjoy all of it because my trained mind would always punch logic shaped holes on reflex like now.
"That's all. When I started walking, my dog burst out barking with great energy, so I got back there. I looked again at the window, but the person wasn't there anymore."
Because that person was never there, and the waving you saw could easily explained by classic curtain and wind. Not to mention it used to be a favorite haunt for local delinquents, smoking and other troublemaking activity. And also if… Argh! Stop trying to make sense of everything, brain!
By the way Michiru, you also forgot that you didn't have a dog.
"...I'm turning it off." Michiru said quietly, turning the penlight off. The room got quiet again but in my case it was because I was still cursing my logical mind.
"One..." Keiko said, her voice was trembling. After we tell the ghost stories and turn off the lights we have to count upwards from one. The last one should be a ghost.
"Two..." My voice sounded tired when I said it, how stupid of me arguing with my own traitorous mind.
"Three..." Michiru's low voice echoed.
There were three of us, and we were waiting for the fourth with excitement as we strained our ears. Not going to happen unless someone decided to add excitement in our life, just lower your voice a bit and said 'four/shi' that would scare any high strung schoolgirls after ghost storytelling.
Brain, don't make me hurt you.
They all screamed, horrified at once. I envied them because I didn't, because logical part of my mind told me the voice sounded human but… it was from a guy? It was a ghost after all?! Some part of my mind wanted to fall together with my friend's panic and let out an agonizing cries, but the logical part argued the voice sounded very calm and human.
"No-o, no-o！" Keiko and Michiru were hugging each other, judging from their muffled voice.
At that instant, the dark room was lit up, and my eyes blinked at sudden assault of light after staying in a dark room for quite some time. We turned to the direction of light switch, and saw a tall boy standing near the door, looking at us with amused expression.
He had a beautiful face, even by my standard –the girl who was used his brother's and his friends' good looks- and for a moment I was staring at him openly in awe before I caught myself. His hair was dark as if it could melt to night sky, a pair of dark blue eyes. His black clothes made his fair skin stood out in contrast like full moon in starless night sky.
My god, I was making a lyric out of this! Good looks only good for eyes, the inside was more important! After all, my mentor was the epitome of good looking guy with heart as black as his suits!
Back to reality Mai!
Keiko asked, "W...was that you?"
"Yes... did I do something wrong?" The stranger asked in deep, solemn voice.
Michiru slumped down in relieve. "Ahh that surprised me. I thought I was going to die."
"Excuse me. The lights were off so I thought there was nobody in here, but suddenly I heard voices... so I just…" The stranger trailed off.
"That's... it's alright!" Keiko said cheerfully, "Are you an exchange student?"
He paused a little, very brief that even I almost missed it. "...is it like that, I wonder..." His voice was calm and confident but I could fell the pause meant something. It was not hesitation, more like…
"...I'm seventeen this year."
What was that answer? This guy… he was trying to fool us!
"So, you are a senpai."
Ohoo, I knew something was off! Reborn played 'this game' with Onii-chan and me a lot in the past! Telling people a small truth or half-truth and let them concoct their own conclusion, very handy for impressionable mind like Keiko and Michiru. It didn't help the guy had beautiful face, I swore in the past Reborn said that pretty face was one of greatest tool on their trade. This guy would make a fine hitman.
"We are sorry to have surprised you too!" Keiko chimed in.
"We were telling ghost stories." Michiru added.
"Heeh," He said and smiled, a smile that eerily reminded me of certain hitman when he was cooking something up on his twisted manipulative brain. "Would you mind if I joined you?"
Everyone screamed in delight, and I got a headache. Hook, line and sinker! You guys didn't even last a minute, and he had you wrapped around his finger!
"Please, please...sit here." Michiru pulled his arm.
"What's your name?"
"Shibuya..." He said, throwing another charming smile at them and the reaction was immediate, I could almost see the pink hearts floating around Michiru and Keiko. "Shibuya Kazuya." However for some reason the way he introduced himself made me even more suspicious of him. This was why I hated half-truth, because we would get mixed signal from them.
"Shibuya-senpai, do you like ghost stories too?"
"Kyaaa!" They screamed happily.
Yep, he was playing that game with my friends. It was not a yes or no, and with his looks alone he made my friends fooling themselves with their own imagination. Was this manipulative behavior that made feel wary of this person? No, Reborn and a good number of person I knew were manipulative, including my idiotic father. However, they didn't make me dislike them at the first sight.
So far he had not done anything other than made my friends squealing in his glory, but I should stop this now before my friends embarrassed themselves even more.
"Shibuya-san..." I called, drawing his attention to me.
He had the nerve to throw the same charming smile at me, and my left eyebrow twitched in annoyance. Good try, pretty boy. Too bad I had experience with someone like you, who was ten times better at this. Your smile didn't reach your eyes, and that was a telltale sign of hidden intention.
"What are you doing in a place like this?" I asked bluntly, and I could feel his eyes sparked with interest. I almost instinctively took a step back, when I felt him trying to read me.
"I had something to take care of." He informed, eyes never leaving mine and it annoyed me because Shibuya was interested in why I didn't buy his bluff. Instead of making himself scram, he pushed in and I could almost see his lips was about to voice an inquiry to me but I won't let him.
"Then do it faster." I said in sternest tone I could muster, "Because we're going home now."
"Eeh!" Keiko and Michiru definitely didn't agree with me. "That Mai...Don't worry about it senpai." He wasn't our senpai! And he was definitely up to no good and I was saving you!
My friends, their mind was already addled by this pretty boy so badly. The pretty boy in the other hand was still staring at me from the corner of his eyes, he was pretty good at hiding it though.
"What is it that you have to do here? We will help you!"
"...Nah..." Shibuya was definitely forcing his smile, because he was trying to read me but my friends were distracting him with their questions. "The truth is, I'm in a hurry right now." Good! Shoo! Go away! "How about, next time you tell ghost stories, you let me join in?"
He was still looking at me from the corner of his eyes, and I could tell while I was not the main objective to join us, I was part of it. Any other teenage girl would be ecstatic that a boy this beautiful was curious of her but not me. I was definitely not happy to have a guy that eerily reminded me of certain hitman to be interested in me, more like feeling the dread of a hunted prey.
"Then, tomorrow after school!"
"Our homeroom! Room F1!"
"Take care." He bid us good bye and boy! I had never been happier to see someone's back since certain illusionist and his rival wrecked our home, and my brother kicked both of them out.
The bastard had the gall to throw last smirk at my direction, and my friends squealed, thinking it was for them. On second thought, the next time I was stuck in a room with that guy –which I pray would never happen- I would take a leaf out of my brother's book and kick him out myself!
For now since he was out of sight, hopefully my friends' brain start functioning again. I really need to talk to them about asking an unknown guy to join them in a dark room, and how dangerous was that. It seemed they had not learn since that disastrous double date.
The next morning
Oliver Davis, nicknamed Noll, and now using Shibuya Kazuya as his alias in Japan couldn't get his thought off of that girl from yesterday, the one her friends called Mai. Of course his interest was not romantic in nature, but scientific. Noll was well aware with his looks alone he could fool naïve schoolgirls to get information from them effortlessly. He was not above using his charm to get his job done.
However instead of displaying normal reaction like other schoolgirls -squealing and begging for his attention- she was looking at him with suspicion and her body language screamed cautiousness. In fact while Noll was no mind reader, he could almost see her expression screamed -Don't throw that pretty smile at me, I don't buy it- at him.
She saw through him so easily, as if he was an open book. She didn't like his presence, and especially because he tried to take advantage of her friends. Not to mention the last glare she threw at him was pretty alarming.
He had seen the same look on his ex-mentor's face before.
Definitely not your everyday schoolgirl.
His ears picked up the sound of something sharp hitting, almost like knocking in haunted place but not quite. He looked to the side to see a wire mesh fence surrounding a field, there was an archery target and a platform with tatami mats around sixty feet away from it. He recalled seeing this kind of setting before in international culture festival in London, for a demonstration of ancient art of Japanese archery.
Another arrow flew and hit just an inch away from the first that had hit the center of the target. It seemed the archer was better than the demonstrator he watched before. Noll glanced to the tatami platform, his eyes widened a fraction at the person of his concern.
The girl was quickly aware of his presence and sending the nastiest glare. It was almost cute how she tried to intimidate him. He took it as an invitation instead, and entered the field from closest door. She glared harder as Noll approached closer, smile firmly in place as he greeted the girl.
"Good morning, your archery is pretty impressive." Noll complimented.
Mai was sitting with her legs tucked in, Japanese traditional sitting position Noll recalled was very unpleasant. She was straightening her arrow on the long bow with practiced ease and grace, and for a moment Noll thought the girl was going to ignore him until he go away.
"So… I wonder why none of you show up yesterday…" He trailed off.
She reacted, and it almost took all his self-control to not activate his PK when she pointed her arrow at him. "Because I told them you're up to no good so let's don't go to see you." She drawled on, her voice was stern and unyielding.
"I see…" Feisty girl…
Mai looked pretty serious to shoot him but then as abrupt as her threat, she lowered her bow with a smile on her face. He almost imagined the girl was trying to mirror his smile. "So… Shibuya-san, to what I owe you this visit?"
Then it hit him, this girl was the only one who called him with honorific –san and not –senpai like her friends. She knew he was not a student and didn't jump to a conclusion like the other girls. No wonder she was suspicious of him, she was very observant and picked up something was amiss with him.
"May I ask you a few questions?"
She looked stunned for a moment, as if she didn't expect him to ask instead of… something else. She definitely wasn't expecting something romantic in nature if her expression was anything to go by. More likely something that would give her a legit reason to shoot him.
"Seriously…" She sighed loudly as she stepped down from the platform, "Shibuya-san, you're not a student… an outsider shouldn't…"
"Your headmaster hired me, I am permitted to enter the school ground." He returned smoothly.
Mai raised an eyebrow at that, "Hee… Kochou-sensei hired a seventeen years old boy for something?"
Okay, he walked on that one himself.
"Age matters not when talent speak for themselves." Noll retorted smoothly.
In return she gave him a long and hard stare, before coming to a decision. "Alright… what is your question?"
Why he felt as if he just passed a test or something? "I want to ask about the ghost story surrounding the old school building."
"…That's it?" She raised an eyebrow in disbelief.
"Including some details…" Noll added.
Her shoulders slumped as she heaved a sigh. It was a strange reaction in Noll's opinion, but at least it didn't seem like she was going to shoot him with her arrow. "Well, about the old school building…" She was not going to ask why he wanted to know? Could it be she just chalk him up as a ghost story enthusiast?
"In summary nothing is wrong with that old building aside from it should be demolished soon before someone gets hurt." Mai said in dry tone, and sensing Noll's inquiring look she elaborated. "It looks like it's going to collapse on its own, the pillars full of holes from termite… and when something heavy like truck passed nearby the whole building shook a little." She was shaking her head, "Most of students in this school don't want anything to do with that building because of the rumors, but some delinquents from other school sometimes sneaked in…"
She didn't tell him the story, but outright giving him her opinion instead. Which was very sound considering he did saw the frail structure of the building, it didn't age well. "Rumors?" He pressed on.
"Most of it are tragic, but hardly supernatural…" She supplied and she was about to say more when a soft tune coming from her duffel bag that rested on the corner of platform.
Noll narrowed his eyes at the object she fished out of her bag, it was a pocket watch and a classic looking one. A curious object for a schoolgirl like Mai.
She flipped the watch open, and said. "I am sorry but we have to cut this short… if I need to hurry to change my clothes, if not I will be late for my first period."
Not willing to leave empty-handed, Noll tried to persuade her. "May I meet you afterschool then? I would like to know more."
"I don't think there is any ghost in that building, Shibuya-san." Mai insisted.
"I would be the judge for that." He retorted.
She sighed, "Well… no promise, but where can I see you?"
She was surprisingly helpful in spite of her initial suspicion of him, perhaps it was because he left her friends out. "In front of old school building." He wished he could go to main building but he had to check on a lot of things today so it would be more sufficient to be in close proximity with his base. Not to mention he wanted to record his interview with her too.
Mai didn't answer, instead she gave him a curt nod and walked away briskly.
Well, that was one interesting girl.
"Is that all Mai-chan?" Kochou-sensei asked, rubbing his sweaty palm together.
She nodded, "Yes… I am just worried a stranger suddenly enter our school ground, and I don't know of it at all…"
Kochou-sensei looked nervous, after all her 'father' was the most generous investor for this school. Not to mention the headmaster was one of many people who owe her family a favor. "Well… I thought it's not important enough for you to be notified, but if Shibuya-kun disturb you… maybe I will warn him to stay away… or dismiss him."
"Iee…" Mai said sternly, ignoring his flinch. She hated sensing nervousness and fear towards her person, it was unpleasant. "Let him be… I was surprised, but that's all." She narrowed her eyes, "He is not dangerous or anything." Not to her at least.
Mai stood up from her seat, bowing at the headmaster. "Thank you Kochou-sensei, then I shall take my leave.
Afterschool (Mai's POV)
Ghost hunter… that sounded more like a western TV series rather than an occupation to me. So he was digging for information from students? At least he was not a weirdo, at least not the type I was worried of. However this Shibuya Kazuya really reminded me too much of my tutor for my taste. It would be more effective and less suspicious if he just asked about the ghost stories rather than seducing my friends for it.
I had a feeling he did it because he could get away with it, like Reborn. You knew, for shit and giggles, that was how Reborn rolls.
However I saw no reason to indulge him further in this ghost story, after all if he was really looking for a real ghost he was out of luck. I sensed nothing like ghost inside the old school building anyway.
However according to Kochou-sensei, he brought a lot of equipment with him so if he was anything like researchers back home he was not going to give up just because I said so. Until he confirmed it himself.
I didn't notice but it seemed my feet brought me to the old school building. "Auuh… I don't feel like seeing his face again but…" I felt bad if I didn't go, at least to tell him that the rumors were just rumors. Kochou-sensei was just unlucky with this project.
"Aah…" Since I was here, might as well going in and risking the ceiling to fall on me.
I opened the classic wooden door that lead to shoe shelf area, the air smelt of humidity and dust. It was pretty dark but I had no difficulty to look at my surroundings because of the sunlight coming through the ventilation. In between two shoe shelves, right in entranceway was a video camera, set on top of a tripod.
Anyone would be curious to touch the camera, it was pretty big and unusual for most people. I had seen this device many times when we were training, using it to watch our progress. This was most likely one of Shibuya's fancy equipment to look for ghost. I looked around but there was no sign of its owner and I was annoyed.
He made people wait when he was the one who need info? I turned on my heels, with intention to abandon my initial good will. After all if that guy was smart enough, at least half as smart as certain hitman he reminded me of. I was sure he would figure it out there was no ghost sooner or later.
I was about to take my first step from the camera when sharp voice of a male startled me. "Who is it?!"
To be fair this building oozed bad luck, and the shock was enough to sway me to the shoe shelf. My shoulder hit it and the shelf started to sway and I could see it was about to fall on me. I moved away as fast as I could and I knew I would make it in time. However the man who suddenly appeared out of nowhere was about to push me away missed my shoulder and the shelf fell.
When the dust started to clear up I saw the man who tried to save me was laying on the floor. Oh, crap! Accident or not someone got hurt because of me! "Are you alright?" I rushed over to him, and then I heard someone entering the building.
"What happened here?" It was Shibuya, and he quickly approached me and the collapsed man. "Lin?" He glanced at me inquiringly.
"He tried to save me." I was about to elaborate when the fallen man himself answered instead.
"I miscalculated." He grunted.
Shibuya asked him, "Are you hurt?"
Yes, he was. When he looked up we could see the side of his face that was covered by long fringe was bleeding. Damn… this was not going to end well for me.
The next day
Noll expected that Lin got hurt because of saving Mai, however while he was not off of the mark he was not right either. Lin corrected that, he tried to save the girl that was about to get crushed by the heavy shelf but he miscalculated. The girl didn't need his help, she was fast enough to dodge the shelf by herself and got himself hurt.
When asked how this accident happened, Lin once again revealed he was at fault –kinda- in which he startled the girl and made her trip and knock the shelf over. Mai didn't even try to touch the camera or anything, in fact according to Lin the girl was facing outside when Lin startled her. Which mean she was about to walk away, harmless and innocent.
Lin was not guilty either, it was a complete accident. He guessed that old school building was indeed infested by misfortune, ghost or no ghost.
However he still had a case to solve, an injured assistant and unfinished set up.
Well… if he played his cards right, he knew where he could get a free gofer.
Few Hours Later~
Someone got hurt because of her, and she didn't like the familiar feeling of guilt boiling within her. It felt like the incident with Xanxus' assassin squad all over again. She should learn her lesson in how to not get in trouble. Then again with her blood, there was no way she would get a break from trouble. She even had a theory that their institution was result of twisted evolution their family developed to survive their trouble magnet status.
Her brother had a good laugh out of that.
"Mai~ are you sure that we really can't see Shibuya-senpai? Such a good looking guy can't be dangerous, right?" Michiru whined.
They had reluctantly obeyed Mai's instruction to not follow Shibuya's request, because she got a bad vibe from him. This was not the first time they avoid trouble because of Mai's warning. Their friend was scarily sharp about people after all. Once Keiko and Michiru ignored Mai's warning when two boys asked them out for double date, and it was horrible. They didn't know what would happen to them after the boys spiked their drink, and Mai had coming to their rescue, dragging an officer along with her to that karaoke booth.
Which was why no matter how reluctant, they followed Mai's warning to not see Shibuya. Not to mention after Shibuya was out of their sight, Mai had explained what she saw wrong with the guy. Mai was right again though, he was handsome but also leading them on.
Mai sighed, "Well… actually…." She had found out what he wanted from her friends, and it was relatively harmless. "He just want to dig information from you, about the haunted old school building… pretty harmless actually, unlike those two guys from before."
Their face lighted up at that.
"It didn't change the fact he tried to lead you on though." Mai finished, "Beside… I told him what he wanted anyway yesterday so he will leave us alone."
Keiko pouted, "Mai… you're not interested at all, he is godly attractive you know."
Mai raised an eyebrow at that, "I didn't deny his attractiveness. It's just that I don't make a big deal out of it…" She trailed off, "It's also because… I don't like a guy who is using his good looks to get something from girls."
They sensed a history here but they didn't ask and suggested another round of ghost storytelling to cheer Mai up. As expected Mai perked up at the suggestion and they began discussing where they should hold it. Their discussion was interrupted by irate Kuroda, their class rep. She stopped them from leaving and inquired what they were up to.
It dampened Mai's mood again, and Michiru answered her inquiry. "We're going to tell ghost stories today…"
Mai could sense murderous intent from the class rep, and wondered if she secretly had temper problem. However before she could mull over it someone else came, giving her entirely different bad feeling than one she got from Kuroda. Shibuya had showed his face from the door.
"Ah, there you are." With how his eyes zoomed in to Mai, obviously she was the one Shibuya looking for.
His entrance drew Kuroda to turn to his direction, "What year are you? What are you doing here?"
Mai raised an eyebrow at her tone, even though she didn't like Shibuya she didn't outright interrogate the guy at first encounter like that. Although… she did try to scare him a little, the second time they met.
"Ah, I had an arrangement with her..." Shibuya answered smoothly.
"Arrangement? About the ghost stories?" Kuroda's eyes narrowed dangerously.
She whirled towards Mai and her friends, "Didn't I tell you to stop doing this?! No wonder I've been having headaches since this morning."
"Heh?" Mai blinked owlishly
I inclined my head doubtfully, wondering what this girl was talking about. Then Kuroda started to rant about her sensitivity towards spirit, claiming she got headache when a lot of them gather. She said a lot of low level spirit would gather when we were telling ghost stories, and those low level ones would attract stronger ones. Then finished her rant with a warning that we would get in trouble for that.
"So you shouldn't go around telling ghost stories for fun."
I resisted my urge to roll my eyes. Not even Reborn forbid me from this hobby, he thought it was hilarious because of my brother's reaction to them. He just forbid me from getting fooled by them like now… Spirits gathering because of people telling story about they was just superstition, if there wasn't any in the first place they won't gather. It was only true for old ritual of ghost storytelling popularized in Edo, with tea and so on. What my friends and I doing was not going to invite anyone as far as I knew.
Kuroda didn't stop though, and now she was trying to lecture Shibuya too. "It would be quite troublesome if senpai did it too. I'd have to do an exorcism,"
You had no idea that you were talking to an expert. It never end well for anyone to lecture this kind of person. "Isn't it just your imagination?" He shrugged.
"That's why people who can't sense spirits are annoying." She scowled to herself, glaring at Shibuya with intensity.
I could almost hear –Not as annoying as amateurs- coming from Shibuya, judging from how his eyes glinted with annoyance. "You, if you really can sense them then do you sense something from the old school building?"
Now I heard something resembling a boxing bell, signaling a start of a fight.
"Old school building? Ah, it seems spirits of those who died during the war are gathering there." Kuroda said quickly, almost too quickly as if she had prepared that answer beforehand.
Shibuya raised an eyebrow at that, "Died during the war…?"
"Right. I often see a man's shadow looking at me from the windows and it looks like a man from the war" Kuroda looked very pleased for some reason.
"Hee, which war?"
"Of course, the World War II. During the war there was a hospital on that place. The spirits of the dead nurses can be seen there. It had been air-raided once. Therefore a lot of injured spirits can be seen too"
Word War Two? In the background Shibuya said something sarcastic to Kuroda but I didn't pay attention because my mind was busy punching logic shaped hole on her story.
"Awesome." Shibuya said sarcastically, "I didn't know this was a hospital during the war…"
Then I blurted out without thinking, "Didn't our school just celebrate its eighty third anniversary last year?"
In short this school already exist in pre-war era, long before World War Two. No hospital, Kuroda was talking about. Judging from her scowl and red face, I just placed myself on her hit list number one. "I wouldn't know such a thing. Anyway, I've seen them. A person unable to sense them wouldn't understand." She insisted, gritting her teeth.
Actually I could, it was in my blood. By the way, why this guy looked so pleased?
"Anyway… I would like to borrow…" He pulled out a familiar looking student card, and I paled. "Sawada Mai-san…" He read my name that printed on my student card out loud with a smirk.
I panicked yesterday and dropped my card in hospital after dropping that guy off with him, it seemed. I didn't even notice it was missing. "Ah… thank you for picking up my card, what do you need?" I gave up, chop and boil me if you wanted!
"Do you have a spare minute?" He asked with a smile on his face, a smile that suggest my thought was exactly what he had in mind.
My friends looked envious but they saw how I looked like, I was not elated by this turn of event either. They were confused with what Shibuya had in mind for me and worried too. You guys were so sweet…
"Who's that girl?" Shibuya asked Mai as soon as they were out of their sight and hearing range. He was walking few steps ahead of her.
Mai shrugged, "Kuroda-san... our class-rep, it seems she doesn't like me." She said with a sigh.
"Yeah. Is she really a medium?" He asked with a thoughtful expression.
Mai cupped her chin, "Well, she said so…"
Noll smirked at that, this girl didn't answer him outright and avoided voicing her thought about the self-proclaimed medium.
"So… is your friend alright?" She asked worriedly.
"About that." Noll turned to face Mai, his cold, indifferent expression firmly in place. "He sprained his left ankle. It is apparently in very bad condition, so he won't be able to stand for a while."
"I am sorry…" Her apology was sincere but Noll had a feeling she didn't buy his cold expression. "Is his injury going to make it difficult for you to do your job?"
Noll saw the chance when it was presented to him on a silver platter. "Of course, he is my assistant." He waited for a comment about their age and how unusual of him to boss an older man. Mai didn't say anything on that, most likely she didn't really care of such trivial detail. "Not to mention we lost one of our precious camera." An insured camera, but he was not going to mention that.
Mai looked like she was about to say something before clamping her mouth shut, a strange behavior. "So… if there is anything I can help…"
Noll knew he had won, and for some reason getting one over this girl was very satisfying. "Then… I shall take your offer, Mai. You're going to take my assistant's place in duration of this case."
Her eyes were wide in shock, and Noll didn't know whether it was because familiar way he addressed her or his demand. Perhaps it was a quasi-combination of both.
WARNING, LONG AUTHOR NOTE but I try to keep it interesting ha ha ha... just to give you an insight of what running through whimsical world I called my brain, populated by plot bunnies.
From review I got in my other story, my impression is that you guys prefer something lighter. With regret... once again I inform you that I tried and it just didn't click with me, I tried to squeeze fluff and drama together, =_=' I end up writing something horrible in my own opinion.
So I end up with a full blown drama and it make me feels 'THIS IS IT!' like how I feel with POAST.
Yeah... basically why POAST is so hard to update, even though I KNOW what I am want to happen in next chapter didn't mean I can convey it RIGHT in my writing.
BTW I am also experimenting with switching POV. I did this before in my few first fic but SOMEHOW I didn't get it right, it just can't come out right and I wish to challenge myself in this again. The original novel of Ghost Hunt is in first POV by Mai and this story will be switched around between 3rd POV, and Mai, and Naru's POV. It's fun to write both, but I tend to go overly witty with their thought... especially Mai.
When you cross over fandom and background become different, of course personality change a little. This is what happen to Mai. In my head Mai who was Tsuna's twin was a tomboy, and she got to order her brother around. From how Tsuna's treated his adopted siblings in CANON, I think he will spoil Mai rotten. As said in my first version summary, Mai does have brother complex, with good reason. She also feel reasonably inferior in comparison of her brother, and this is based on her canon personality. Her confidence in her ability is a little odd, sometimes she believes in them but sometimes she denies them. Because of Reborn's influence I want her to have 'some' confidence but not overblown by it in the same time.
Once again... as said in AN before the story I ended up hauling the whole story to a different direction. Although... it end up minimizing presence of KHR character for first few chapters... =_=' However I don't know IF someone who read KHR but not GH can enjoy this so I need your opinion... I need honest review!