Demonic Times of Yako
Chapter 1: Gobble Gobble
Grabbing her notebook and bag, Yako Katsuragi quickly turned and waved at her red headed friend who patiently waited outside the classroom. "Ok, I'm ready," Yako said, walking down the hall alongside Kagohara Kanae, the red headed companion of the famed high school detective. "Why don't we go to that ice cream shop across from the hair salon?" she asked.
"Oh…sorry. I forgot…you just solved a murder there recently didn't you?"
"No problem. It's perfectly fine! I loved their ice cream!" Yako cheered.
"Really? I think you're the only person who could eat ice cream at a recent crime scene…" Kanae smiled.
Yako leaned towards the thick, cold window letting the drool flow from her mouth in a lustful daze. Small sample bowls of various flavors stretched across the windowsill of Yasonama's Icy-Goodness Parlor, fiercely pulling onto the blonde detective's gaze. Slowly, drool crawled down the glass until it finally splashed onto a snail below. "This looks so good!" Yako happily moaned. Immediately checking her purse, she let out a miserable moan. "I'm broke!"
"Don't worry, I'll pay for this," Kanae said, digging through her wallet for any spare bills. Handing the money over into Yako's claws, she worriedly stared. "What's wrong?" Yako asked.
"Don't you usually have money? You know…with that detective business?" Kanae curiously asked, watching her friend open the store door. "Yeah…well…Neuro usually uses it…for detective…gadgets…" Yako pathetically lied. An image of Neuro instantly popped in her head.
"Yako, stay here. My shipment from the demon world should be here any day."
"Oh really? What's in it?"
"Well, even lowly worms like you need food. I've purchased quite a few bundles of devil manure."
"Sometimes I don't know if he's kidding or not…" Yako whined.
"You know, he looks too innocent to me. Where exactly did he come from?"
A tone then began to play throughout the shop as the two stood in line.
"Kiss my ass, I'm worth less than dirt! I'm worthless! I'm worthless! I worthless! I rather die!!" the song jingled. Yako shrieked as she realized what had happened, quickly pulling a red cell phone from her pocket, nervously hiding it in her palms. "Hello?!" she growled.
"Yako, what's up with your ringtone?" asked Kanae, surprised by her friend's unusual taste in J-Rock. "I'm sorry. Sometimes Neuro likes to steal my phone and change the ringtone," Yako explained, grinding her teeth behind her fake smile. "Annoying the hell out of me!!"
"We have a guest, sensei!" Neuro excitedly reported. "Please come over so he can explain the case. It seems really important. And do it quickly."
Giving out a horrified squeal, Yako snapped the phone shut and returned the money to Kanae. "Sorry, I have to go! Seems like a client's just walked in to the office. See ya tomorrow!"
"It's…okay. We'll get ice cream some other time…"
Yako hastily exited the store, running down the sidewalk at full speed. Neuro's patience seemed to run thin whenever he was hungry and this week he was especially starved. Few worthy cases had emerged after the incident with HAL and Neuro was soon resorting to having Yako commit the crimes.
"I wonder how a mystery from you would taste like…" he hissed.
"Do-don't worry…I'm sure we'll find something soon…after all, I want to keep my hands blood-free…" Yako said.
"Oh well," she thought. "Maybe I'll get to pet that nice black cat that's been hanging around the office."
Walking up to the staircase, the box-filled space behind it housed no kitty. Yako sighed, wondering Neuro had thrown something at it or if Godai scare it away. "I'm all alone again," she said, dragging herself along the railing. Entering the office, her eyes turned to the middle-aged man on the couch. "Ah! You must be the genius detective right?" he excitedly asked, rising from the seat. The scent of sweat and cologne merged together to form a hideous aroma around the man, a powerful scent Yako smelled before he even came to her. Shaking her hands, his smile was one of relief, like the world was lifted off his shoulders.
"Ah sensei, you finally made it! You kept us waiting," Neuro politely said. His eyes quickly shifted to their eerie green, revealing the devil inside only to her. "I-I'm sorry," she said. "I was pretty far away. I had just left school."
"Well, it doesn't matter. You're here now. We can finally listen to Mr….um, what's your name again?" Neuro asked.
"Oh, I'm Higunasi Manko. You may have heard of me?" he grinned.
"No," Neuro rudely struck, catching Manko off guard.
"I've heard of you," Yako said. "You created Gobble right? That forum/dating website."
"Yes, yes! The number one dating and social networking website in Japan!" he modestly explained. "I'm quite wealthy so I can pay any sufficient price. Whatever it takes!"
"You sound quite desperate," Neuro coldly said. Yako could tell from his direct glare that he was beginning to gain interest in this case already. "Could you tell us what the problem is?" Yako asked.
"Oh…yes. Well, it's quite strange really. The police wouldn't investigate into and the only help I could find were…well, questionable resources to say the least," the business man chuckled. Yako watched as a drop of sweat rolled down his pale forehead. She could only deduce that whatever the problem was it left this man in a state of utter terror. Suddenly Neuro tapped her on the shoulder and pointing at the table at the edge of the room. She had never noticed the box there before and pointed at herself.
"Me?" she whispered. Neuro simply nodded. Yako rose from her seat and sat at the table, opening the box and the ribbon wrapped around it. The fallen sides of the box revealed a miniature cake with a tiny plastic knife. Manko continued talking, not noticing Yako's absence from the sofa across from him. She smiled at the frosted, black cake, struck in awe at the beauty. It was easy to tell it was home-cooked and made with love. She silently moved her lips, telling Neuro "Thank you." He devilishly grinned as he watched her eat it, turning back to the shaking man before him.
"There seems to be an entity in the office," he revealed.
"An entity?" Yako asked, her mouth already stuffed with cake.
"Yes…I know it sounds strange but please hear me out."
"There's no need to worry," Neuro kindly reassured. "My sensei will take almost any job as long as it allows her to fill her greedy face."
"Good. No one else would. You guys were my only hope!" Manko happily said, pulling out a napkin soon after to wipe the sweat off his face and under his fat neck.
"Could you please describe this entity?" Neuro asked, leaning back comfortably on the green pillows.
"Yes, of course. Every employee has at least heard it once and it seems to mumble things. I can't quite recall what those are but…well…it scares us and employee attendance has been at an all-time low. Business is dropping! I've even lost the nerve to deny it's a ghost! It could very well be a demon from Hell for all we know!" Manko explained.
"Indeed. My sensei will be more than happy to take this case, won't you sensei?" Neuro asked, leaning sideways to look at her. Yako rose from the pile of eaten cake and nodded, returning to her warzone of food.
"We'll be at your office first thing tomorrow," Neuro said, shaking the businessman's hand before showing him the exit.
"This doesn't really sound like a mystery to me. Why are you taking" Yako asked as crumbs of cake poured out of her mouth. Neuro grinned and slammed her head into the cake, splattering it all over the desk and walls. "I sense a puzzle…whether or not this ghost has anything to do with it is of little concern," he explained.
"Ok…I understand," she shivered, recovering from the minor assault from her assistant. "Anyway, what's up your sudden generosity? You've never treated me to real food before," Yako smiled, hoping this was a new side to Neuro.
"Oh, just a little something I picked up," he said, his lips curled in excessive pleasure. "Wow, that's really nice of you. I'm really starting to see a good side to you," Yako said, eating whatever debris she could pick up from the cake. "What's in it anyway?"
"You know that black cat that's started to hang around the office?" Neuro slyly asked.
"Oh my god!!" Yako shrieked, bracing herself to vomit. She grabbed the trash can and held her head over the bin.
The door then opened widely, presenting a rarely smiling Godai. "Hey guys!" he joyously cheered, waving even at Neuro. "So, did my girlfr-you bitch!!!"
Yako weakly smiled as she felt a rising force in her throat. "What the hell is she doing?!" Godai yelled, looking at Neuro for answers.
"Coughing up a furball," he smirked.
"What the hell does that mean?! She's eating the cake my girlfriend sent over isn't she?!" Godai exclaimed.
"Wait…your girlfriend sent this over?" Yako asked, seeing a ray of hope in her sea of misery. Godai sucked his teeth, noticing the shocked look in Yako's eyes.
"Yeah, so what? You saying I can't have a girlfriend?!"
"No, no! It's just a surprise. You don't seem like the kind of person to even have one…no offense," Yako carefully explained.
"What the hell? No offense? That's pretty offensive!" Godai shouted.
"Well, at least it was a lie about this cake being made out of cats," Yako happily said, cleaning the mush off the walls with a towel.
"Yes, next time don't send your women to the office," Neuro instructed as he sat down in his seat. "I might do horrible things to her next time."
"Fine! Like I want her to come here anyway!" Leaving the office, Godai slammed the door, causing dust to fall from the roof. Yako covered her mouth as she deeply chuckled. "Neuro, is it that you're just jealous you don't have a girlfriend too?" she smiled, resisting the urge to laugh. Neuro simply closed his eyes and turned his seat towards the window as Yako's hair began to nibble on her head. "Okay! Okay! I'm sorry! I won't say it ever again!" she quickly apologized, scratching the demon her hair had now become. "Please take the monster off my head!!"
Little did the two know, this unusual case would be the trigger to a greater fight, a war between two rivals who held the very stability and power of the demon world in their claws, a war that would bring Neuro and Yako closer together.