AN: This is my first attempt at horror. There are graphic descriptions in this, which may offend/disturb some readers. I hope you enjoy this, my first posted Nougami Neuro fanfic.

Disclaimer: Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro is not mine. This is a work of fiction, which money is not being made from. So DON'T SUE ME!


By: DemonSaya

Chapter One

It had all started out fine. In fact, the first day she'd arrived, the sun had been shining. People all around the resort were smiling. It was supposed to be her vacation, her first real chance to get away from Neuro and the mysteries he consumed since they'd begun working together. A chance to go at her own pace, to pretend that she wasn't Katsuragi Yako, the once schoolgirl detective, turned full-time puppet of one Nougami Neuro. He'd given her permission to go on this trip by herself. He said he hadn't caught the scent of a mystery, so he would likely go to feed on some small minor mysteries.

She'd been relaxed, calm, collected, and she didn't even minded when the clouds had begun collecting overhead, darkening the sky, blotting out the sun. Neuro's daily calls didn't bother her either. He was simply calling to find out if there was a mystery in the area. She didn't have a problem with the fact that she'd been having to pace herself with dinner, since her once unstoppable metabolism was beginning to catch up with her. She didn't mind that she'd gotten tricked out of the 'celebrity suit' and had been placed into a small room that was a good distance from...well, anything.

None of that bothered her. Yet, as she stood before the room directly in front of her, she couldn't deny that this had undoubtedly turned into the vacation from hell. It was supposed to be her reprieve from solving mysteries, a break away from the office, a chance to rejuvenate her body and spirit and for the first time in five years since she'd met Neuro, a chance to relax. Now, it was spiraling into a horrible nightmare.

The rain continued to trickle down outside, punctuated by periodic flashes of lightning and crashes of thunder. It had been bright and cheerful, and was now dark and dreary. Neuro would probably love it.

Katsuragi Yako didn't know how they found out who she was, since she'd come in under a pseudonym, but the fact remained that she'd been found out. Now, she stood before this door that she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she did NOT want to open. Yet, if she didn't check and see if this might be a mystery for Neuro, he would force her to endure who knows what kind of suffering when she returned from this vacation. So, she took a deep breath, put her hand on the door and slid it open.

She liked to think that she'd developed quite a strong stomach from working on murder cases with Neuro. She didn't freak out from seeing dead bodies. She was used to death. Yet, this was pushing it awfully hard. The phone which she'd tucked into her yukata began to ring and she nearly came out of her skin. She pulled it out and stared at the caller ID. Yep. Neuro. She wasn't surprised. He would have scented the mystery as quickly as she got there. What he didn't realize was that she was standing directly in front of it.

Her stomach churned with discomfort as she examined the room, but she was used to schooling her expression so that other's didn't know what she was thinking. She stepped fully into the room, closing the door behind her. It smelled of blood and evacuated bowels and bladder. There was also the faint trace of rot in the air, telling her that this wasn't too fresh. She swallowed hard, turning her attention to the body.

It looked like it had been torn apart. Organs trailed across the floor, stretched between the chest and hips. The head was in the far corner, resting on it's cheek, it's mouth sagging slightly, eyes slightly open. The left arm dangled from a wire attached to the ceiling while the upper arm was still connected to the upper torso. The other hand was on the ground. The legs were in similar condition.

It was barely recognizable as a human corpse.

The smell was going to make her vomit. She swallowed hard, praying the sizable dinner she'd consumed remained in her stomach and schooled her expression, opening the door and stepping from the room. She glanced towards the resort manager who was wringing his hands out with a tense expression. "I'm going to call my assistant in from the city. You should call the police." She said quietly, turning and locking the door before heading towards the resort entrance.

She should have known better back when she'd decided to take a vacation. She should have known that things like this always happen to her, so there was no way this was really going to go well. In fact, she bet that ripe bastard of a demon knew that this was going to happen and that's why he was calling her every day. Damn it, the least he could have done was clued her in that her vacation was going to go straight to hell like a scene from Dante's Inferno. Every time she managed to get away for a few days, she got drug forcefully back into her job as an 'investigator'.

She lifted her phone, speed dialing the office, and sighing heavily as she lifted the phone to her ear. She wasn't surprised when the phone was answered almost immediately. "Katsuragi Yako's Detective Agency!" Neuro's voice came across the air waves almost sickeningly chipper. She indulged briefly in a fantasy about wrapping her hands around his throat and choking the life from him.

"Neuro, it's me." She said quietly.

The chipper voice deepened and echoed when he spoke again. "Ah, it's my slave. If you ever fail to answer the phone when I call you again, I'll rip your tongue from your mouth." There was a definite sound of malicious glee in his deep voice. "Now, I scented a mystery while I was stabbing your voodoo doll with pins, and-"

His threat nearly broke her already fragile control. "I'm at Raigaku Onsenshi outside the city." She said evenly. "How fast do you think you could get here?"

There was a hum on the other end as Neuro pondered the question. "Two hours if you tell me why you didn't answer the phone when I called earlier." That same wicked humor in his voice. Damn him.

She shuddered, wondering why she was even going to ask this. "And if I don't?"

The response sounded darkly happy. "I'll rip open your stomach, pull out your organs and feed them to you with a knife and fork."

That did it.

Yako bolted past several guests, into the grass, and then behind some trees and promptly puked up her dinner, cursing Neuro silently. She didn't hear anything else the demon said and she was glad for it. Once her stomach was sufficiently emptied and she came back to herself, she heard Neuro talking to her.

"Slave? Slave? Yako did you die?"

She glared at the phone, once again indulging in a rather violently fantasy about kicking the bird demon so hard in his male parts that he had to pee from his mouth. "I found you a mystery." She said, still feeling green. "No, I wont give you a description of the crime scene, and no, I wont say anything else about it over the phone. Now, get your egotistical demon ass here as fast as you can, or I'm canceling dinner!" She slammed the phone closed with her chin, contemplating throwing it into the nearest onsen.

It had been like this lately. Whenever she found him a meal, he insisted on hearing about things over the phone so he could begin to draw conclusions on the way and consume his meal quicker upon arriving. She wasn't sure what annoyed her more about him. His unshakable ego, or his inability to be considerate to the people around him. Even to a lowly wood louse like herself.

He had a massive superiority complex.

Okay, sure, he was brilliant, with an ability to retain information and draw conclusions far superior to that of any human she'd ever met. He solved genius level math equations in minutes without even flinching, and memorized three books a day. But it really galled her how he treated humans like they were nothing more than insignificant ants, specks of dust, amoebas. Like they were less than spit on the sidewalk he walked upon.

As much as she hated to think of ever coming across a criminal that could seriously stump Neuro, she'd almost like to see it, just once. Just to see him try to sift through information that he didn't understand. Maybe a trick that had no real logical conclusion. Sure, he'd figure anything out eventually, but it would be rather entertaining for her during the time he was struggling with it.

Well, maybe not. Kaitou X was the only criminal Neuro looked upon as being nearly equal to him in intelligence, and he terrified her. A criminal that could actually stump the demon would undoubtedly be vastly worse.

She sighed, glancing at her watch, pacing in front of the resort. She was getting hungry. It was all Neuro's fault, he'd shattered her already unusually fragile control on her stomach with that threat. Usually it was made of iron, but she couldn't help but be a little freaked by what she'd seen in that room. Something about it seemed unnatural, off, and but she couldn't put a finger on exactly what it was-

A hand clasped her head with an extremely painful amount of force. Only one creature could put that much force on her head with a single hand. She glanced at her watch again. One hour, fifteen minutes. Funny how threatening a demon's food source could motivate them. She glanced towards where the demon was leaning over her shoulder, his bright green eyes promising a great deal of pain to her. "That was fast." She said calmly.

Neuro scowled at her darkly. "You seem to think that compromising my food is an acceptable threat, Slave..." He growled against her ear. She didn't even shiver. "Need I remind you who you're speaking to?"

She brushed the hand off her head, turning towards him and putting her hands on her hips. "I know, I know. You're the demon that consumed all the mysteries in hell." She said impatiently. "On that note, do you want to see the crime scene or not?"

He blinked, intrigued when his intimidation didn't work on her. Perhaps it was another step of her evolution. He headed towards the building, pretending not to notice the sizable amount of vomit near the entrance. From the quantity there was no question who it belonged to. That explained the retching noises she made after his rather colorful threat. Looked like she'd had chicken teriyaki, ramen and okinomiyaki for dinner. He didn't bother attempting to identify all of it. It would be nigh impossible, since she could consume an entire all you can eat buffet in less than an hour.

Yako watched him move inside and hurried after him. He was (as usual) dressed in that (ridiculous) blue suit he always wore. His hair seemed to have grown out a bit in the past five years, but otherwise he hadn't changed. She hadn't changed much either, but at least she didn't get as many kinks in her neck from having to look up at him. Her hair had was still short, and she still wore the same hair clips. The way they acted around each other hadn't changed at all.

As he approached the resort manager, she moved in front of him, deftly handling the introductions. "Shirobi-san, this is my assistant, Nougami Neuro." She said calmly, gesturing to the demon behind her. "We're going in to have another look."

"Can I clean up the mess soon? It'll be bad if the blood sinks in and stains-"

Neuro watched the girl stiffen and smirked, arching an eyebrow. He could tell that her temper was already on edge, no doubt due to her now empty stomach. She never handled being hungry very well. Idly, he wondered why she hadn't eaten more food before he arrived. She'd had an hour. No doubt she could have done significant damage to a meal in that time. Yet, instead, she'd paced in front of the entrance, waiting for his arrival. Interesting.

She turned towards the manager, her expression dark. "Let me explain something. I'm a private detective. Not the police. Until the police come here and record this crime scene, you will be held legally responsible for maintaining the condition of the scene. If you clean it up, change anything, even set one finger into it, it could be considered conspiracy and you will be charged." She turned on her heal, moving towards the entrance. She pulled some gloves she'd purchased for precisely this job, slipping them on. "Shall we, Neuro?" She pushed the door open and took one final breath of the somewhat clean air in the hall before stepping into the stomach turning stench once again.

Ah! This explained why she hadn't eaten. He peered around the crime scene in interest, while Yako closed the door behind them. In all seriousness, this had to be one of the most artistic crime scenes he'd seen to date. Even Kaitou X, who had quite the touch of finesse when he murdered someone didn't show quite this level of cruelty. For lack of a better description, it was a human jigsaw puzzle. Most interesting.

Yako moved beside him, her expression serious. "From what everyone says, the victim disappeared about three days ago, on her way to the onsen. They checked her room, but she was nowhere to be found. One of the cleaning staff came today to clean the room and prepare it for the next guest and found her like this..." Yako was unable to avoid the gore as the murderer had been quite successful in covering nearly every single square inch of the room. "Since I've been staying here and they know my reputation..." She gave Neuro a glare. "They asked me to assist. In reality, they probably want a nice, quick, clean resolution without the involvement of the police."

He smiled faintly, turning, taking in the whole room. Really, it was like a scene straight out of hell. "So, tell me, slave, which questions must be answered before the mystery can be solved and I can consume it?" Slowly, he'd been attempting to get her to take a more active participation in the case, since although her observational skills were lacking and her memory was terrible, she had a gut instinct that had proved quite useful in multiple investigations.

She blinked, looking towards him with a grown. "Well, first, how did the criminal manage to no only kidnap her in broad daylight without being seen by anyone, but also return her to her former room." She glanced around, trying to ignore the state the body was in. "If the intention was to simply kill her, it would have been far more effective to kill her hear and not take her anywhere."

"Hoooo..." Neuro smirked towards her, his green eyes amused. "No 'why'?"

She lifted her gaze, turning and looking him in the eyes. "You're not interested in the why, so I figured I'd keep those to myself." She said, turning her back to him and further examining the room. A frown turned down her lips. "Looks like wire was the method of...dismemberment..."

Both looked up as the door behind them slid open and Yako tuned towards it, not surprised to see Detective Sasazuka and his partner Ishigaki there. "Ah, Sasazuka-san...You're here, too?"

"Why am I not surprised?" He said calmly, moving into the room. He hadn't changed much in the past years, a few more lines around his eyes, his seemingly almost dull gaze misleading even the best criminals into thinking his wits were dull as well. A cigarette hung from his lips, which he pulled out as he moved farther into the room. "Still managing to be first on the scene?" He inquired, the faintest tinge of amusement in those gray eyes.

Yako shrugged, giving him a faint smile. "I was staying here, taking a vacation," she said easily. From the corner of her eyes, she could see Neuro examining the body with an interest which actually disturbed her. She gulped, hoping her stomach didn't try to void whatever food remained once again. "They recognized my name and requested my help."

Sasazuka eyed Neuro, a faint frown on his face. "You brought your assistant on vacation?"

She rubbed her head. "It's a long story." One she didn't feel like explaining to the detective. She glanced towards Ishigaki, who looked like he was going to wretch. "Bathroom's around the corner." She advised, watching as he bolted. Maybe all this time around Neuro was affecting her. She really wasn't as affected by things as most people were. Then again, Sasazuka didn't look particularly green. "You'd think after dealing with Kaitou X, nothing would be...disturbing." She shook her head. "But this managed to set me off..." She admitted.

This, and a few well placed threats from Neuro.

"Your assistant seems to be handling it well." Sasazuka crouched, eying the body with the cool expression she was used to from him. "Would be nice if I had an assistant that kept his cool that well."

Yako tilted her head to the side, glancing towards the Daemon, smiling a bit. "I'm sure lots of people would." She saw him investigating around the room, his eyes trained upward this time. A thought caught her and she stared upwards, eyes widening. There was an awful lot of blood up there. In reality, there was an awful lot of blood in this room in general. A glance at Neuro told her he seemed to be reaching the same conclusion.

During the course of working together for several years, she'd found that it was growing more and more simple to follow his logic, wood louse though she may be. It had become simpler to draw conclusions almost as quickly as he did.

"Neuro..." She moved towards him. "This much's almost as though it's being used to hide something." She saw the amusement in his eyes and something else.

"It's too soon to draw conclusions, sensei." He said cheerfully, pleased with the annoyance on her face. "Although now that you mention it, it seems a bit excessive."

Something else was troubling her. There was no shadow in the blood, no void in the pattern, where a human shape could be seen. Which meant the murder couldn't have been in the same room. This wasn't X they were dealing with, and she knew it, but this killer sent the same shiver of fear up her spine that X did. She glanced towards her 'assistant', who was staring up at something, something she couldn't see. Instead, she decided to do what she could. Try to figure out the why. That's why he chose her, after all.

She moved towards the door, noting that Sasazuka had slipped out quietly. Neuro's voice reached her, no longer the 'human' sounding one. This deeper voice was instantly recognizable.

"Where are you going, Slave?"

Yako turned towards him, her eyes serious. His green gaze was upon her, piercing, interest written heavily in his gaze. She glanced down, then looked at the door. "I'm going to go try to figure out the why." She headed towards the door, half expecting Neuro to put that painful grasp on her head once again. It never came. She paused at the door, glancing towards him. "Neuro-"

"Go." He said calmly. "I've gleaned nearly all I can from here. I'll join you shortly."

She nodded, slipping from the room.

Neuro stroked his chin, resting his elbow in his other hand. Watching her leave the room. This was an intelligent one. It would be a fine time to force the evolution in the louse. This crime intrigued him. The level of violence was almost unheard of, especially in this country. The girl was right, however. The amount of blood was being used to camouflage things that the criminal didn't want discovered until later. Perhaps it was because he could look at the situation without letting the image of the corpse bother him, but he was able to usually see through the plans of criminals.

This one, however...

This criminal was smart. He caught sight of something small that grabbed his attention, but just as he was leaning to get a better look at what it might be, Yako burst through the door. He straightened, frowning.

"Neuro...another woman's gone missing."

He looked around the room, frowning deeply. "Then..." He began, looking towards her, his eyes expectant.

She nodded. "If it's the same killer, and he follows the same pattern, we can expect another body in three days."

"Very good. You've progressed..." He said, moving towards the door.

"Progressed?" She frowned in confusion.

"From wood louse to grasshopper." He said, smirking as he walked from the room. Upon reaching the hallway, he was as usual faced with something that made life detestable. Crying humans. He waited for Yako to follow him, glancing around, taking note of all the humans in the area. In circumstances like this, it was never really certain who was the criminal. Whoever held this puzzle was no doubt holding it even closer now that the police and Yako were involved.

The owner of the onsen looked particularly distressed. "Tantei-san! Haven't you figured out who the murderer is yet?! At this rate, we'll have to close the onsen!"

Neuro saw her eyes flash in what he could easily recognize as annoyance after working with her for five years, it was easy to recognize the emotions on her face. Recognizing hers made it easier to recognize those of others. In short, he'd quite developed the ability to read humans thanks to the grasshopper. A glance towards the detectives said that they recognized the tell-tale signs as well. He leaned back and waited for the eruption of Yakoyama (AN: Yama means mountain. It's like saying Mt. Yako.).

Yako turned slowly towards the man. "What would you say is more important, Shirobi-san..." She said approaching the man slowly. "The money you'll lose from being closed, or the life of the woman who was taken...?" She glanced towards the family. "And you should consider the business you'll lose if the culprit isn't caught. No one wants to go to an onsen that is haunted by a murderer." She inclined her head, leaning towards him further.

Neuro bit back a laugh. He recognized that posture. He'd used it often enough on criminals in front of her. If she was able to control a few demon tools, he didn't doubt that one would be out and being used to 'persuade' the owner to her line of thinking. Evidentially, even without it, and despite her small stature, it worked quite well on Shirobi, who backed away, quibbling.

Without another word, Yako moved towards the family, sitting down beside the daughter and husband, beginning to quietly ask them questions.

Sasazuka walked towards Neuro, pulling out a cigarette and sticking it between his lips. "You've been a bad influence on that girl." He said calmly. "However, if she hadn't said it, I would have..."

Neuro glanced towards the detective, his green eyes amused. "I really don't know what you're talking about detective." His voice feigned innocence, but he could see the detective wasn't buying it.

"Any theories yet?"

"Sensei doesn't tell a lowly maggot such as myself her theories until it's time to reveal them." He watched her speak to the bereaved, not tasting the mystery on either of them. All they could give were things that Yako could deal with.

"Otou-san...where's okaa-san..." The little girl's lower lip trembled, tears dancing in her eyes.

Yako felt her pain and hoped they found the woman before the woman failed to entertain what appeared to be turning into a serial killer. A hopeful glance towards Neuro found him watching her, but there were eyes crawling around the wall behind him. He'd released one of his evil tools again. Idly, she wondered why no one else seemed to ever notice when he'd released one. It was like they didn't see them.

"It's okay, Mayuri-chan, the detectives and Tantei-san are doing their best to find okaa-san." The middle aged man said, his eyes grieving.

"If you don't mind me asking, when was the last time you saw your wife?" Yako asked gently. It was probably good that Neuro let her handle these situations. He really had no tact when dealing with humans. Well, really he had no tact at dealing with anyone.

"She...said she was going to the onsen after dinner..." The instinct that she'd honed while working with (for) Neuro told her that this man was not the killer. Then again, he had nothing to do with the other woman, so there was no reason for him to be the killer. "We...waited for a few hours, and when she hadn't come back, we asked someone to go check on her..." He was crying suddenly. "We looked for her, and I keep calling, but there's no answer...she always has her cell phone on her!"

She knew better than to give them false hope. That would just make it more painful in the end, if they didn't find her. Instead, she stood, nodding. "Thank you. We'll try our very best to find her..." She said quietly. Then, she moved towards where Neuro was waiting for her.

"Any theories, sensei?" He asked, a sadistic gleam in his eyes. He saw the frown on her lips and inclined his head to the side.

"We're checking the onsen next." She said evenly. She saw amusement on his face and frowned. "What?"

He put his hand on her head, squeezing it with a loving amount of violence. "Since when does a servant give her master orders?" He purred close to her ear. "Although that sounds like an excellent idea. What do you think we'll find there?" Ah, it was just like training a pet, he thought with malicious glee.

She glanced towards the family. "More of your how." She said quietly. "No one in giving me that feeling, though."

"Using your lowly instinct again, grasshopper?" He grinned at her half-hearted glare. "Without evidence, even the most accurate gut instinct will not put the criminal where all of the well meaning populace want them. Nor will it unravel the puzzle, revealing that food that I need..." He saw her sigh and inclined his head, examining her closely.

"Neuro, this crime really bothers me." She said quietly, walking towards the onsen. "More than they usually do."


Of course he wouldn't understand these very mortal, very human emotions. "Neither of these two women had anything in common. Except where they were vacationing. One had a family, the other was single. One was twenty-nine, one was thirty-five. Besides that, it's not like most of the crimes we've dealt with. Not even Kaitou X..."

He watched her walk ahead of him, her arms crossed. He could practically see the agitation in her posture. She did seem unusually troubled. "Does the murder bother you?"

As they stepped outside, Yako registered the time of day for the first time. Had it really gotten so late? It was black as pitch, save for the security lights overhead. "No. Murder is something I'm used to. It's the body that bothers me. The room. X is violent, sure. But that...that was sadistic. Normally when a body is dead, the eyes are partially shut, these weren't relaxed at all. It was almost like...they were glued open. The victim had to watch her body get torn apart."

"Hmmm? How would she be able to?" He asked looking across the mist covered land. It was a surreal landscape, to be sure. Yako came to a complete stop, turning towards him. There was something akin to fear in her eyes. That bothered him a bit. She'd gotten to the point where she really wasn't afraid of anything. After seeing so few things bother her in so many years seeing her like this was frustrating.

"There was a mirror across from where the body was. Covered in blood, but it was there." She began walking again. "And just a short time after the first murder, a second woman gets snatched." She chewed her lip. "I don't know if you've noticed, but we have very few serial...anythings here."

Neuro watched her stand near the edge of the Onsen and stood beside her. "You've dealt with serial criminals before. Histerrier, Hal, X. It's no different." He gripped the back of her head, considering shoving her head under the water. "Yako? How long can you hold your breath?"

She glared at him. "You're thinking about shoving my head in the water and holding it there till I drown, aren't you." She said quietly.

Ah, that was better. Less fear. More annoyance. This was a Yako he could work with. Seeing her frightened always put him on edge a bit. For the third of fourth time in the years they'd been working together, he considered telling her a few of the rules of 'contract'. But then, if she knew, she'd be disobedient. It was like dealing with a child, really. "You worry about the why, Yako. Let me think about the who and the how."

She looked up at him, a bit surprised. He'd done it again. A grudging smile turned up the corners of her lips and she turned her back so he wouldn't see. Demon's were weird. He was probably the only person who cheered her up by threatening her life, livelihood, or limbs. Mentally she thanked him and nodded. "Okay."


The onsen's source was a refreshing 98 degrees Celcius. It was dark and relaxing there. A place with no sunlight to weaken him, and the jyaki was strong enough to sustain him while the borrowed body searched for his food.

It had wound up being easier than he'd thought. Several demons had fled hell in search of better food, a trend started by the demon, Neuro, who'd complained often enough that the food in hell was bland, flavorless. Then, he'd vanished, presumably rising to the overworld in search of better, tastier food. Some of the demon's tastes were harmless. Pleasure, the energy released from humans doing activities they enjoyed. They usually were weaker, but plentiful. They sucked at those sensations until the humans could no longer feel the same pleasure and then they'd find another source.

They were practically parasites compared to his own greatness. One couldn't usually see them, and they had absolutely no control over the 777 demon tools.

Lumped into that general group were the incubi and succubi, the sex demons. Sometimes, if a particularly cruel sex demon decided that the human they were bedding was no longer entertaining, they'd go ahead and use their powers to kill them. They'd grasped the useful Demon Tools and didn't care beyond that.

Then there were the upper level demons. Queens and Kings of any other group of demons, the most powerful of their 'breed' were part of this group. Usually, they were granted the 777 Tools by proxy, and some had their own special weapons. Even they were less than a grasshopper in comparison.

There were the Gaki, the blood, soul, and flesh monsters, who dined on specific items, but the Demon Emperor kept those pretty well contained in hell. It was a rarity that one of those was given permission to rise and dine on the living. The blood gaki were like more vicious, dangerous versions of the western Vampire. They gorged themselves on blood and looked like scarcely more than monsters. The flesh gaki could clean the bones of a human in a matter of moments, leaving them clean, white, pristine. The soul gaki were probably the most terrifying, however, as they didn't just dine on human souls. They'd forcefully rip the soul out of anything living, demon, human, it didn't matter. If you were within a soul gaki's kill zone, you were already dead.

Finally there was his class, those just below the Demon Emperor himself. Neuro's class. Those who had full control of all 777 Demon Tools, and were granted use of the 7 Weapons of the Demon Emperor. Demon's who had peculiar tastes. Like Neuro. He proffered to dine on the energy released from solving a puzzle. The 'evil intent' as it were. His tastes were refined, and although he was driven by the same hunger as all other demons, he'd gone top-side in search of something with a better flavor than the bland mysteries found in hell.

He, too, had risen from the depths, searching for something more tasty. What he'd found were humans that were easy to possess, easy to torture. Easy to kill. Because that's what he fed on. Those screams of pain. Dead humans didn't scream with the same vigor as a living one. Especially if they'd been in hell for quite awhile, they knew what to expect, they knew it would hurt, they expected the pain. These pitiful little humans, these living ones...They cried out in pain, pain tinged with fear, hate, disgust, so many different emotions mixed in with that fear. His favorite was despair. It was collected from so many sources. The victims, those that found the body. So many delicious emotions to dine on.

And when this body became too difficult to control...

Well, he'd just find another, and let that one take care of the problem.

He rose from the onsen, walking towards the monitors that viewed the room with the body. It was an artful murder, so much viciousness, so much pain. Too bad the woman hadn't had family. That would have made it even more delicious. Watching the victim watch her own death had been a special treat. Too bad it only happened once. In hell he could have made her watch it again and again, but she'd eventually become numb to the sensation. This way was much better.

He pushed his black-tipped, red hair from his face, smiling at the screen. Then, his smile disappeared. A young lady was walking among the body parts. Her face was calm, none of her feelings were visible on her face. His eyes widened further when a familiar person, no, familiar demon stepped up beside her, wearing a faintly amused expression. A pale skinned, haired person in a suit stepped into the frame beside the girl.

He examined the girl closely. Good face, not a bad body either. Not as voluptuous as the others, but a tasty little morsel. And somehow tied to Neuro. Neuro, the only demon he respected as much as the Demon Emperor. Neuro, who had such elegantly vicious control over those 777 Tools of the Demon World. Neuro, who consumed all the mysteries of the Underworld. The same Neuro who was standing there, looking up at one of the camera's with a smile on his face. Oh, that demon knew he was being watched. He knew they were being watched. He just didn't know who watched them.

The demon's golden eyes flashed in amusement, dark, malevolent amusement. How would Neuro feel if he destroyed his little human toy? Those bright green eyes still sent shivers of something akin to anticipation through him. How he'd like to hear the demon scream in pain, in misery.

How he'd like to hear the girl scream in pain, in despair. The taste of her pain would be rich and filling. A tasty morsel to be sure.

And then, he could consume the pain of those closest to her, like that detective who had a protective stance whenever he was near her. Did the girl have friends? Family? People who would be hurt by her death? Perhaps parents who would scream in denial, despair when that same detective had to tell them that their precious daughter was dead.

He was already drooling in anticipation. But first...

He moved towards the cooler area's, towards where the jyaki wasn't as thick, towards where a human could actually survive and looked down at his servant with a cruel smile. It was time to drive her closer towards the brink of despair. Too bad these human tools broke so easily. He'd probably only have a few more days of fun with her. Those deceptively blank eyes. There was still some ability to feel, but she was mostly numb. That was fine. When he released her consciousness, she'd feel everything to it's fullest extent. If he didn't numb her a bit in between, her endorphines would kick in and the pain would fade.

This way, the pain was always fresh. No time for her brain to recover. No time for it to heal. Just intense, soul-searing pain.

A sadistic smile turned up the corners of his lips as he released the woman's mind and began the torture fresh. Two more days with this toy, this pet. Then, he'd have his next one take care of the problem. Not Neuro's servant. Not yet. Let her fear grow a bit more. Let the next crime scene be even more violent, even more terrible.

Yes, fear was delicious.

Let's see the desperation, the despair.

He stared down into the woman's eyes, imagining Neuro's pet in her place. He set his favorite demon tool down and leaned towards her, his lips curled into an evil smile. "I wonder how long it will take...breaking you." Then, he slammed her head back into the wall as hard as possible. A cry escaped her lips.

And he began to feed.


Chapter End