When They Cry ~ Dual Remembrance Chapter

Part 5- Getting Nowhere

The first rays of the morning sun pierced through the window of Ryuzaki's room. Ryuzaki sat in his strange posture all night after he got home, thinking about the murder cases and who the culprit behind everything was. Rena came walking down the hall and knocked on his door.

"Ryuzaki-san? Are you awake?" Rena asked.

"Never went to sleep," Ryuzaki answered drowsily.

"You look really tired. Are you feeling okay, okay?" Rena asked.

"I'm fine. I just had a lot on my mind since yesterday," Ryuzaki replied.

"What have you been thinking of?" Rena continued interrogating.

"I'm trying to decide who the person behind Oyashiro's Curse is," Ryuzaki said.

Rena's face became dark and her voice became deeper as she said, "Oyashiro-sama's Curse is caused by Oyashiro-sama. There are no humans that can do anything about it. It's a fact that you must accept or Oyashiro-sama will curse you like he once cursed me."

"You were cursed?" Ryuzaki finally glanced over at Rena.

"Since we moved away from Hinamizawa, I had the feeling that I was being followed by something. Everywhere I went, there were footsteps following me that weren't mine. At night, I felt someone staring at me, telling me to ask for forgiveness. Also, at about that time, Mother and Father got divorced all because we moved from Hinamizawa," Rena explained.

"I think you may have been a little too paranoid," Ryuzaki said. "Wait a minute; I think I do vaguely remember some footsteps following me. However, nothing else that you described has happened to me. But I did see something floating in the air not too long ago, but it disappeared. Why would I be cursed?"

"Because you have not been forgiven for leaving Hinamizawa," Rena said.

"Leaving? I never came here to begin with! When I was born, I was immediately taken from the hospital to live with Wammy who never came to Hinamizawa. Besides, I never felt "Oyashiro's" presence until I came here," Ryuzaki said.

"Just ask for forgiveness, Ryuzaki-san. Oyashiro-sama will forgive you since you are new to our customs," Rena said.

"Since when have you been Oyashiro's priest?" Ryuzaki asked rhetorically.

Rena simply stared at Ryuzaki with cold eyes. Ryuzaki stood up and changed into his school clothes despite Rena being in his room.

"Okay, let's go to school," Ryuzaki said as he turned towards the place Rena was when she first entered the room. "Huh? Where'd you go?"

Ryuzaki searched around the house, but he couldn't find Rena anywhere.

"Did she leave? I didn't think what I said was that bad?" Ryuzaki said.

Ryuzaki grabbed his school bag and ran out of the house towards the school. On his way there, he saw Keiichi and Mion waiting for him and Rena.

"Ryuzaki-san, good morning. Where's Rena?" Mion asked.

"I don't know. I said a few things about Oyashiro that she didn't seem to like and then she disappeared," Ryuzaki answered.

"Oh great. Now she's probably in her creepy Despair mode," Mion sighed.

"Despair mode?" Keiichi said.

"Yeah, it's like Omochikaeri mode, but this is the depressed version and she feels really religious and will probably try to launch a holy war against all nonbelievers. It lasts a while," Mion explained.

"How long is a while?" Ryuzaki asked.

"Beats me. Last time she was in Despair mode, she kept hearing noises and thought that it was Oyashiro-sama. So if she is hearing those sounds again, then she will be back to normal after they go away," Mion answered.

"So where is she now?" Ryuzaki asked.

"I don't know. Probably stalking you with her hatchet," Mion replied.

"That sure is comforting. It's like if Oyashiro doesn't kill me, she will," Ryuzaki complained.

"She probably thinks that she can protect you from anything that may try to kill you," Mion said.

"Right, because a giant cleaver-wielding teenage girl can stop a god. Makes perfect sense," Ryuzaki said sarcastically.

"I was about to say that," Keiichi said. "Why does Rena think that?"

"Well, she was being stalked by what she thought was Oyashiro-sama, and a lot of bad things began to happen to her. So she thinks Oyashiro-sama won't forgive her or something along those lines," Mion answered.

"That Rena… why didn't she tell us she had paranoia problems? I think this calls for a friendship speech! We need to let Rena know that she is safe if she is with us!" Keiichi said.

Ryuzaki let out a small cough and thought to himself, "That didn't happen in the last life. Of course, it was only by chance that they found us."

"What are you thinking about, Ryuzaki-san?" Keiichi asked as he noticed Ryuzaki was in deep thought by the position of his thumb in his mouth.

"Absolutely nothing at all," Ryuzaki said, "or at least worth mentioning."

The three continued their conversation on the way to school. Once they arrived, they noticed that Rena's shoes weren't in their usual place.

"Did she not come today?" Keiichi asked.

"It's probably best for her not to come like this. Only God knows what she would do if she did," Mion said.

"I feel responsible for some reason," Ryuzaki said guiltily.

"That's because it is your fault. But you didn't know she was like this because you haven't lived with her for that long," Mion said.

"That's true," Ryuzaki agreed.

"Hey, you three, hurry to class!" Chie yelled down that hall.

"Oh crap! I forgot about class!" Keiichi said in alarm.

The group ran to the class and met the stare of all of their classmates.

"Where's Rena?" Satoko asked.

"We're not too sure. She kind of pulled a Houdini and disappeared without a trace. We were wondering if anybody else saw her this morning," Ryuzaki said.

The students looked at each other trying to see if anyone had met Rena that morning.

"I see, well I guess we'll just have to look for her later on today," Ryuzaki said with a sigh.

"If you don't know where she is, Ryuzaki-kun, then I, as her teacher, am very worried," Chie said. "I'll go call the clinic and see if she suddenly came down with a cold or something."

Chie left the classroom and made the students have independent study while she was gone. She finally returned about fifteen minutes later.

"So apparently she has a cold and has gone out with Takano-san to the library. I'm not sure how that is supposed to help with a cold but I'm no doctor so who am I to judge their treatment methods?" Chie asked.

"I'm not entirely sure if going to the library is a treatment for a cold. As a matter of fact, I'm sure it isn't," Keiichi replied.

"At least we don't need to worry about her now. She's with Takano-sensei," Mion said.

"Now that that's settled, let's begin class," Chie said.

And thus, the class had a dreadfully dull day. Finally, the class was dismissed.

"Is class always this boring? Or does Rena somehow make it more interesting?" Keiichi asked.

"Hey, guys, what's up? Do you three know why Rena didn't show up today?" Satoko asked.

"I would very much like to know as well," Rika said.

"Apparently I accidently said something about Oyashiro that Rena didn't like and now she thinks I'm cursed and she went into a state of depression," Ryuzaki answered.

"So Rena's the one that goes insane in this world…" Rika mumbled to herself.

"Did you say something, Rika-chan?" Keiichi asked.

"What? Oh, no. I was just wondering if Rena was going to be fine. I mean, Oyashiro-sama could never hate anyone or he wouldn't have saved the village from the demons so long ago," Rika lied.

"Do you all want to go find Rena? I don't think club activities would be as fun without her," Mion stated.

"Okay," the rest answered in unison.

"Where do you think she is?" Keiichi asked.

"I think the first place we should check is the garbage dump," Rika answered.

"The garbage dump? Is she trying to find a good place to dispose of a body that she may kill in the near future?" Ryuzaki asked.

"Maybe she thinks that she can kill Oyashiro-sama," Rika speculated.

"So she thinks that she can kill a spirit… god… thing… by herself?" Keiichi asked.

"Yeah, maybe she took her hatchet with her," Ryuzaki added.

"What good would a cleaver-girl do against a ghost? Last time I used a sharp object against something invisible, nothing happened," Mion said.

"Why don't we just ask her, then? I mean, staying around here won't accomplish anything," Satoko replied.

And with that, the group went on an excursion to find Rena. They finally arrived at the garbage dump at around sundown and they looked all over for Rena. However, none of them know the dumps that well, so they couldn't cover much ground quickly. Finally, the group met back where they started searching the garbage dump.

"I can't find her anywhere," Keiichi said.

"Maybe she's in her trailer thing in this place," Ryuzaki replied.

"That may be where she is. She likes going there when something is on her mind," Rika said.

"Trailer?" Mion said.

"Since when have you two been such experts on Rena and her garbage dump?" Keiichi asked.

"How could Rika know something like this and not me? We're always together!" Satoko exclaimed.

"I know this because… she once told me last year about it," Rika answered.

"Do either of you know where this trailer is?" Keiichi asked.

"Follow me," Ryuzaki answered.

"How do you know where it is? Aren't you supposed to be new here?" Mion asked.

"I know because of my detective's intuition," Ryuzaki replied.

"I think you're too full of yourself," Mion muttered.

The group finally made it to the trailer in the middle of the garbage piles. One of the trailer's windows had a light shining through it.

"So she was here," Keiichi said.

"I can't believe Ryuzaki-san was actually able to bring us here without ever coming here himself," Mion stated.

Ryuzaki walked to the back of the trailer and opened the window.

"What the…? What are you guys doing here, doing here?" Rena asked.

"That's our line!" Keiichi replied.

"We were worried about you ~nipah!" Rika said.

"Rika's here too?" Rena asked.

"Um… yeah. Why wouldn't she be?" Mion asked.

"Well, it all became clear after I talked with Takano-sama. The reason why Rika is so different from the rest of us is that she is the reincarnation of Oyashiro-sama. So when I sense Oyashiro-sama's presence, its actually Rika trying to get me to repent in a special way. That way is the cotton drifting festival. In order to get Rika's curse off of us, we must have our sins washed away during the Watanagashi Festival," Rena explained.

"What the hell? That's like screwed up in eight different ways," Ryuzaki said.

"So, Rika-sama, we are sorry for making you angry. We would like you to quit cursing us, please," Rena said.

"Um… I think there was a slight misunderstanding when you were talking with Takano-sama. You look fine now, so did you really have to stay away from school today?" Rika asked.

"Takano-sama made it clear that in order for our sins to be cleansed, we must first confess all of our sins to the cotton balls. So I came here to think of every one of my sins," Rena answered.

"So does that mean that we all came out here for nothing?" Satoko asked.

"I don't see the point in coming out here, either anymore," Ryuzaki said. "Okay, I'm going home."

"Wait!" Rena screamed.

Everyone looked at her.

"It's too dark to go outside now! The demons will come and get you! If you are cursed, then you can not be outside during the night or you will die!" Rena said.

"So you are saying that we are all stuck here?" Ryuzaki asked.

"Of course not! Only you and I are cursed. No one here has ever left Hinamizawa and Keiichi is new here, but he hasn't wanted to leave it yet, so they aren't cursed," Rena tried to explain.

Ryuzaki let out a deep sigh.

"Fine," Ryuzaki said. "See you guys later hopefully. Don't die."