Disclaimer: I don't own Persona 4
"Ah... it seems we have a guest with an interesting destiny" somebody said before chuckling slightly looking up his body tensing at the unusual situation he meets the speaker's eyes.
"My name is Igor... I am delighted to make your acquaintance" the speaker was an older man of an unknown age with bolding white/grey hair and an unusually long nose, he was dressed in a rather expensive looking business suit and was sitting on the opposite side of what appeared to be the inside of a elegant limousine.
"This place exists between dream and reality, mind and matter... it is a room where only those bound by a 'contract' may enter, it may be that such a fate awaits you in the near future" the figure Igor was sitting next to a rather attractive woman smiled in amusement.
'Ok this is decidedly odd between dream and reality... is this lucid dreaming?' he thought to himself while subtly pinching the side of his leg.
"Now then... why don't you introduce yourself...?" Igor prompted after a few seconds to whom I replied a simple, "Littica Namikaze or Namikaze Littica if you prefer"
The short balding imp like man nodded "Hm... I see, now let's take a look into your future, shall we?" having said that he moved his gloved hand to the table and with a startling glow a deck of cards appeared.
"Do you believe in fortune telling?" he waved his hand and the cards spread out across the small round velvet table, "Each reading is done with the same cards, yet the result is always different... Life itself follows the same principles, doesn't it?" he finished with another amused chuckle.
He waved his arm and murmured with a sudden raised eyebrow, "Hm... The 'Tower' in the upright position represents the immediate future; it seems a terrible catastrophe is imminent" I breath out through my nose in exasperation.
'Story of my life Igor, story of my life'
"The next card is... 'The Moon' in the upright position, this card represents 'Hesitation' and 'Mystery'... Very interesting indeed" he meets my eyes "It seems you will encounter a misfortune ay your destination and a great mystery will be imposed upon you"
'Hesitation... that's called being cautious I don't hesitate'
"In the coming days, you will enter into a contract of some sort, after which you will return here, the coming year is a turning point in your destiny... if the mystery goes unsolved, your future may be forever lost"
'Well that's... ominous'
"My duty is to provide assistance to our guests to ensure that does not happen... Ah! I have neglected to introduce my assistant to you" Igor said as the cards disappeared with another elaborate wave of his arm.
"This is Margaret. She is a resident of this place, like myself" the pale blond waved an elegant hand "My name is Margaret; I am here to accompany you through your journey" the pretty velvet clad woman deferred to Igor.
"We shall attend to the details another time, until then... farewell"
--- --- ---
Walking off the train Littica looked around the Inaba station an unfamiliar voice called out, "Hey! Over here!" walking down the steps the teenager looked over at the two people waiting for him.
A tall man with hair that matched his own in shade a kind of very dark grey almost black he was dressed in a well worn business suite and red tie, the jacket was slung over his shoulder.
Reaching aout and shaking the offered hand of the man he now partly recognised the man Said with a smile "Well, you're more handsome in person than in your photo, welcome to Inaba. I'm Ryotaro Dojima I'll be looking after you"
He glanced into the air for a brief second "Let's see... I'm your mother's younger brother... and that about sums it up" yes defiantly recognising him now Littica gives the other man a small but warm smile and replies, "I remember you if just only so... It's been a long time"
"I'll say. You've really grown I still remember when you were in diapers... This here's my daughter" he gently pushed her forwards and prompted he to talk, "Come on, Nanako, introduce yourself to your cousin"
She looked up and briefly met my eyes, 'defiantly a shy girl' I thought as she managed a quiet "........'lo" before hurriedly hiding behind the elder Dojima, chuckling he said "What are you so shy for?" she blushed and smacked him from behind in embarrassment.
She looked away again suddenly shy.
"Well then Littica, let's get going, my car is over there" Dojima said before they all headed over and then into the car.
--- --- --- ---
The trip back to the Dojima residence was interrupted when they realised much to Dojima's embarrassment that they were low on gas.
As they pulled into a gas station an attendant called out "Hi! Welcome to Moel!" Dojima turned to Nanako and asked "Can you go to the bathroom by yourself?" she replied seeming nether certain or uncertain "Uh-huh"
The attendant called out to Nanako "Its in the back to your left, you know which way's your left? The side you don't hold your chopsticks in" she pouted cutely and replied "I Know... Geez..." before running off.
Turning to them the attendant asked curiously "Are you taking a trip?" Dojima replied with a shrug "No we just went to pick him up, he just moved here from the big city" looking over to him the attendant looked impressed.
"The City huh...?" cutting any further comment off Dojima told the attendant what he wanted "Fill up my car while you're at it, Regulars fine" "Right away sir"
Dojima pulled out a small slightly beat carton of cigarettes, "Good a time as any for a smoke" before walking away, the attendant went about his duties while shooting out "Are you in high school? Does it surprise a city boy to see how little there is out here, there's so little to do, I'm sure you'll get bored fast"
"You'll either be hanging out with your friends or doing part time jobs, speaking of which, we're actually looking for part time help right now, give it some thought why don't you? We don't mind if you're a student"
'Ah so that's his game, recruiting' he thought as he shook the other boy's hand, "Oh I should get back to work" as the other boy busied himself with work he felt the hairs on the back on his neck stand on end.
'Someone's looking at me... Nanako?'
His thoughts were cut short as he suddenly felt something pulse in time with his heartbeat before stopping, feeling momentarily weak he stumbled slightly and Nanako quickly moved around asking "... Are you ok? Did you get car sick? you don't look to good"
Feeling oddly exhausted to the point of being dizzy Littica nodded to the girl with a gentle but strained smile, 'Its... been a really weird day'
--- --- ---
Standing outside looking up at the quaint building I can't help but smile, it has a nice lived in 'Homely' feel to it even from out here much better than my old apartment.
Walking in I quickly put my things away and arrive back downstairs to find the small table already set up, sitting down Dojima looks up and says "All right, let's have a toast" tasting and taking a pull on my soda I look up as Dojima starts talking.
"So... your mom and dad are busy as always... they're working overseas was it, I know it's only for a year but getting stuck in a place like this because of your parents... it's rough being a kid, well it's just me and Nanako here, so it'll be nice having someone like you around"
"As long as your here, you're a part of the family, so make yourself at home" I nod and reply touched "Thanks living on my own this past months been kind of lonely too so, Thank you for your kindness"
Dojima grins and laughs "C'mon, there's no need to be so formal, look you're making Nanako all tense" seeing her look he hastily added "Well, anyway... let's eat" the food barley leaves the chopstick before someone's phone interrupts.
"Ugh... Who's calling at this hour?... Dojima speaking ..... Yeah? I see, so where is it? ... uh huh... all right I'm on my way, looks like I made the right choice to skip the booze" ending the call Dojima turns to the others.
"Sorry, but I gotta go take care of some business, go ahead and eat without me" Nanako stands up as he adds, "I don't know how long I'll be, Nanako you help him out ok?"
"...Okay" she looks disappointed as he walks out the door, "Nanako it's raining out, what did you do with the laundry!?" she yelled quietly in her shy voice "I already brought it in"
"All right, well I'm off" the sound of the car starting and it leaves quickly, Nanako turns on the TV, "—For this week. Next, let's take a look at the hourly breakdown of tomorrow's weather"
"With storm clouds moving in from the west, expect rain throughout the day tomorrow in most areas" turning to me with chopsticks in hand Nanako says "... Let's eat"
Finding myself alone with Nanako I decide to try and strike up a conversation, "So Nanako what was that about, what does your dad does?" she seemed unsure but managed "He... investigates stuff, like crime scenes, my dad's a detective" surprised I look impressed.
"And now for the local news" the news report loudly interrupts, "The city council secretary Taro Namatame is under fire for an alleged relationship with a female reporter, his wife enka ballad sensation Misuzu Hiiragi revealed to this station that she will likely pursue damages"
"In response, Eye Television has decided to cancel all of announcer Mayumi Yamano's televised appearances until allegations of an affair with Mr. Namatame are resolved , she'll remain off the air and out of the public eye"
Wrinkling her nose Nanako mutters "This is boring" and switches the channel and her eyes light up, "At Junes every day is customer appreciation day, come see for yourself and get in touch with our products, Every days great at your Junes!"
Grinning she sings along "Everyday's great at your Junes!" she looks over too be and asks her sombre attitude returning"...Aren't you going to eat"
After we finish we wash up quickly and I decide to look around the house, starting with the fridge it being next to the sink and all.
Rummaging around inside I find some fried rice probably old fried rice... feeling brave I decide to eat it, a few minutes later I blink as I wash up the bowl 'That had no taste at all... strange'
Waving to Nanako as I head upstairs I quickly enter my room, looking at all of the boxes I had brought up I sighed 'Another time I'm exhausted' deciding to get to bed early I move over to my futon and get ready for some sleep
--- --- ---
Consciousness returns to me and I'm kneeling down inside an amazingly thick fog, standing up in surprise, confused I talk to myself, "This is?" The area is covered in a thick fog, all I can do right now is proceed forwards.
"Man this fog really is thick I can't even see my own feet" I say as I walk cautiously my mind flashes back to Igor 'not hesitant couscous especially right now I have a bad feeling about this place"
Concentrating the teenager could just make out the dull red of the path as he progressed until a voice echoing around the area made him freeze.
"Do you Seek the Truth?"
Hearing nothing more after a few more seconds Littica pushed onwards, until not a minute and a hundred feet later the same voice reappeared.
"If it's Truth you desire, come and find ne..."
The voice is defiantly from up ahead so I pick up the pace while being as quiet as I feel is safe.
Reaching an odd door an even minute later Littica pushes it but stops as he feels sure there is someone behind it, focusing he pushes the door open.
As soon as the door closes I can feel it, a sense of oppression a fight or flight sensation as if something powerful and dangerous is in the room with me.
As if reading my suddenly stressed mind a heavy Katana appears in my grasp as the voice speaks from directly in front of me and a dark silhouette can be seen through the mist.
"So... You are the one pursuing me...Hmhmhm... Try all you like"
Somehow I know he means with the Sword in my hands, dashing forwards I swing the heavy sword across where I believe the figure to be, I feel the Sword bite into something but appears to no next to nothing to the mysterious figure.
"Hmmm... It seems that you can see a little, despite the fig..."
Using the voice as a target I lunge into a sweeping slash but again it appears to do no real damage despite making contact.
"I see... Indeed, you posses an interesting quality..."
It whatever it was, was clearly playing with my, suddenly feeling something spark in my mind I charge with unknown speed slashing into my adversary with considerably more power than before.
Disappointingly to the same affect.
"But... you will not catch me so easily... If what you seek is 'Truth' then your search will be even harder"
The fog suddenly increases double or triple what it was and I have no idea where my target is, lashing out I hit5 nothing.
"Everyone sees what they want to... And the fog only deepens..."
Again I strike out, at the location of his voice like before, but it's like the fog itself bewilders me and I miss by what was probably miles.
"... Will we meet again? ... at a place other than here, hmhm... I look forwards to it..."
Suddenly darkness encroaches on my vision and I find myself blacking out despite trying to stay conscious.
--- --- ---
Feeling groggy Littica just manages to make out a voice "Breakfasts ready" and with a groan the teenaged transfer student forces himself to wake shaking off the odd feeling of what was probably only a bad dream.
Quickly getting dressed and ready for school Littica walks into the kitchen slash living room, "Good Morning" Nanako says as she sets the last plate on the kitchen table, "Morning Nanako-Chan you sleep well?"
"ok I guess, let's eat"
Thinking on what to say he decides not to mention her father "Do you do the cooking Nanako-Chan this is pretty good"
The girl nods with an emerging grin "I can toast bread... and cook sunny-side up eggs in the morning, dad can't cook, so I buy dinner... you're starting school today right? My schools on the way, so... let's go together" I don't think I could have said no if I tried that grin is just so adorable and I'm not afraid to admit it... to myself.
--- --- ---
School Zone, Samegawa flood plains
It's raining pretty hard as Nanako says "You keep going straight from here, My schools this way... Bye" I watch her walk off before continuing on my way until I reach the intersection in front of my new School.
Blinking I couldn't help the imaginary sweat drop as a student passes he halt yelling out as his bike spins out of control.
Rushing over I find the noise was from the same out of control student who is clutching himself in pain, 'Damn that looked painful... and embarrassing, bet he is glad nobody but me saw that'
Walking by without commenting Littica arrived at the main gates a minute or so later, looking at the school for a second he shrugs and enters quickly finding his homeroom.
Waiting for the homeroom teacher from outside his classroom Littica leans back against the wall listening to the bickering and gossiping going on around him.
"Talk about bad luck... the homeroom teacher here is Morooka, Isn't it" he overhears one student asking easy to tell he is dreading the answer, "Yeah, it's King Moron alright... We get to enjoy his long-ass sermons every day for a whole year"
"Hey you guys, I hear there's going to be a transfer student from the big city in this class." Looking surprised one asks "Huh? Really? A guy or a girl"
A soft voice speaks up slightly over the other students and he decides to focus on that, "A transfer student from the city... Just like you, huh, Yosuke?... Huh? You look dead today" a boy replied quietly "Yeah, um... I don't wanna talk about it..."
'Now what's the chance that's the boy with the bike' Littica thought as he continued to listen, "What's with him?" another voice responds "Who knows?"
Mr Morooka arrives and I blink as he waves me into the room, 'Damn those are some big teeth' "I'm Kinshiro Morooka, your home room teacher from today forward!, First things first! Just 'cause it's spring doesn't mean you can swoon over each other like love sick baboons"
'Love sick baboons... Good god is this guy for real'
"Long as I'm around, you students are going to be a pure as the driven snow!, now I hate wasting my time, but I better introduce this transfer student"
'A 'Waste of time' am I Mr Moron' I though rolling my eyes 'someone Is fast getting on my bad side'
"This sad sack's been thrown from the big city out to the middle of nowhere like yesterdays garbage, and he's just as much of a loser here as he was there, so you girls better not get any ideas about hitting on hit!"
'Oh year this Snape Wanna be is going down'
"Names Littica Namikaze, Nice to meet you all" apparently being friendly appeared to be too friendly for Morooka's liking as he rounded on him.
"What's that look you're giving that girl back there by the window!? You thought I wouldn't notice!? Now listen up! This town is miles away from your big city of perverts and assholes, in more ways than one, you better not even think of getting involved with any of the girl here, let alone abusing them!"
I blink as his words sink in 'Jesus comments like that would have gotten him lynched back in England'
"But what do I know... it's not like the old days, kids grow up so damn fast, every time I turn my back you're fooling around on those damn phones, checking your life-journals and your my-places..."
"Excuse me! Is it ok if the transfer student sits here?"
"Huh? Yeah, sure. Hear that? Your seats over there... so hurry up and sit down already!"
As he walked over to his new seat he could help but think 'Man what a jackarse' sitting down, the girl who had set the ball rolling had short brown hair and cute brown eyes, she was wearing a green track sweater and... he had to force himself to not look down, a very short skirt and an amazing pair of legs.
"He's the worst, huh?" she whispered leaning over slightly, "Rotten luck for you to get stuck in this class... Well, we'll just have to hang in there for a year"
People around him were talking about him commenting on how bad his luck was for getting this teacher for his very first year, finally having had enough Mr. Morooka shouted out to the class.
"Shut your traps! I'm taking roll, and I damn well expect you to respond in an orderly manner!"
--- --- ---
The school day past surprisingly and before anyone knew it Morooka the moron as he had decided to think of him as called out to the class.
"That's all for today Normal lectures will start tomorrow" people get up to leave but had hardly made it three steps before the School intercom blared "Attention all teachers, please report immediately to the faculty office for a brief staff meeting, all students are to return to their class and are not to leave the call until further notice"
Morooka made a half frustrated half disgusted sound and spat out "Hrnh. You heard the announcement. Don't do anywhere until you hear otherwise"
A Random student muttered to his left, "he is seriously getting on my nerves" any more comments were stopped as a siren could be hears as it passed the building, "Did something happen? Don't those sirens sound really close" and exited student said well ... excitedly.
"Ugh, I can't see a damn thing, frickin' fog" someone else by the window relied to that "Yeah, like everything it rains lately it gets really foggy" and the final student by the window added his two cents or fifty yen in this case, "Hey, did you hear I hear the paparazzi's looking all over for that announcer"
"Oh Yeah. You mean Mayumi Yamano, right? I hear some guys spotted her at the shopping district" "Actually I heard that..." he whispered the rest making it imposable for him to hear but it apparently surprised the other.
"Are you serious!?" walking over to a beautiful long dark haired girl in a red top the Rumour-living student said, "H-Hey, Yukiko-San, Mind if I ask you something...? is it true that announcer's staying at your families Inn?"
She looked away troubled "I can't discuss such things" the boy nodded looked embarrassed, "Year I guess not"
The cute girl with the short honey brown hair walked up to the other girl Yukiko and asked rhetorically after sighing, "Sheesh, how much longer is this going to take?" she dark haired girl smiled encouragingly but added "There's no telling"
Sighing again in frustration the leggy brown eyes brunette groaned out "I shoulda left before the announcement came on, by the way, didja try what I told you the other day?" seeing her friends confusion she clarified, "you know, about rainy nights..."
Looking surprised the dark haired teen replies "Oh... No, not yet, Sorry" "Ahhh, that's ok, well it's just, I heard a guy in class next door yell something like, "My Soul mate is Yamano, the announcer!"
The intercom rang and everyone quieted down, "Attention all students there has been an incident inside the school district, Police officers have been dispatched around the School Zone, please stay calm and contact your parents or guardians as soon as possible and quickly leave the school grounds"
"Do not disturb the police officers, head directly home, I repeat do not disturb the police officers and head directly home"
The student he remembered as the 'Exited Student' looked around in obvious excitement "Incident!?" someone else he didn't recognise well added, "What something actually happened" yet another added "C'mon lets go take a look"
The two girls he sat by walked past him but stopped when the cute honey brown brunette seemed to realise something, "Hey, are you going home by yourself, why don't you come with us? Oh nearly forgot! I'm Chie Satonaka, you know I sit next to you right?" She looked curious as she waited for a reply and I didn't leave her waiting long.
"Of course If you didn't catch it I'm Littica Namikaze Nice to meet you" she smiles and returned his greeting the looked to her darker haired friend, "This is Yukiko Amagi" Yukiko obviously not quite as free as Chie blushed slightly in embarrassment but answered despite that.
"Oh, nice to meet you... I'm sorry that this is so sudden..." Chie interrupted mock whining "C'mon don't apologize like that. It makes me look like I got no upbringing, I just wanted to ask some stuff, really that's all"
We made to move to the exit but another student got in the way he was looking decidedly pensive "Uh, umm, Miss Satonaka...? This was really awesome, like the way they moved was just amazing to see..." he was holding what looked like a DVD in his hands... I had a sneaking suspicion what was going to happen next.
He bowed at his waist holding the DVD out and pleaded "And... I'm really sorry! It was an accident! Please just have mercy until my next pay check!" Chie too the DVD from the guys hands and confusedly looked it over as he rapidly shot out, "Seeya thanks!"
Yup my hunch was right, "Stop right there, what did you do to my DVD" she took off after him and kicked him painfully dangerously close to his ... gentlemen vegetables, "Wh Ouch!" "What the!? I can't believe this! It is completely cracked... My 'trial of the Dragon'...!"
Yup my hunch was right, dead on even, he had broken one of Chie's DVD a favourite one if I'm not mistaken, understandable as I had that move it was a classic and kinda rare.
"I think mine's cracked too... C-Critical hit to the nads..." Yukiko looked shocked and a little concerned "A-Are you all right?" the 'bleak looking student' looked almost hopeful despite the pain "Oh, Yukiko-San... Are you worried about me...?"
Chie still quite angry snorted "He's fine Yukiko, lets ditch him and go home" and walked out without looking back, he glanced at the guy still holding himself in pain with a little sympathy but decided to leave him alone.
Quickly catching up with his escorts... no bad choice of words his guides the trio walked out of the school without another incident until they reached the main gate, "You're Yuki, right? Y-You want to go hang out somewhere?" he came almost out of nowhere having obviously been waiting for her just outside the school gates an almost desperate glint his eyes.
It was most defiantly not a good glint, shocked Yukiko managed to get out "What...? Wh-who are you?" two students walked closer hearing the commotion and right away their comments got him on edge, "What's up with him? What schools he from?"
Two things clicked in his head, one his new friend Yukiko didn't know this guy had not even seen him before, and two he was from an entirely different school ... potential Stalker.
Not waiting he quickly moved behind the ark haired beauty while the other student added his own fifty Yen, he had unusual gunmetal grey hair and matching eyes that some had told him could be quite enchanting .
"Never mind that, he's going for Yukiko-San? Man you'd think he'd at least wait until she's alone to make his move..."
He listened ready in case he needed to step in now, "I bet you a can of TaP he gets knocked out" "No bet, haven't you heard how difficult the Amagi challenge is?"
Getting impatient the odd potential stalker said a little more insistently "Um, s-so... are you coming or not?" he glared slightly at how pushy he had sounded his grey eyes looking like shadowed pools of quick silver.
"I-I'm not going" she managed to get out eventually, it was not a response the guy was looking for and he started to move forwards to 'plead' his case more forcefully but stopped dead when he looked over her shoulder into an intense pair of shadowed quicksilver eyes warning him in no uncertain terms.
That that would be a really bad idea.
"F-Fine!" he shouted before running away like the hound of hell were on his tail, Yukiko looked shaken as she all but whispered "Wh-What did he want from me...?" Chie interrupted trying to raise the other girl's spirits, What did he want...? Obviously, he was asking you out on a date"
"Huh? Really...?" Yukiko asked shocked, "You really had no clue? Sheesh...But then again, that was way over the top, it was creepy how he called you Yuki all of a sudden"
Scraping drew their attention as a familiar face came out half dragging a defective bicycle, "Yo, Yukiko-San, turned down another lovelorn fool, huh? Man your cruel... you got me the same way last year" she looked surprised and blurted "I don't recall doing that"
"Whoa, you serious? So then, you wanna hang out sometime!?" she looked away "...I'd rather not" he flashed a sardonic smile "That'll teach me to get my hopes up... Anyways you two better not pick on the transfer student too much"
He sped off as she shouted out "We're just curious is all!" Yukiko looked directly at me for the first time and apologised "U-um, I'm sorry for dragging you into this..." more student gathered and Chie decided discretion
was the better part of valour "C'mon, let's go everybody is staring"
They had walked a good distance just idly chatting when Chie asked how he came to be in Inaba and to his story she said "Ah... So you came here because of your parents' job. Haha I thought it was something way more serious... there really is nothing here, huh?" she finished looking out over the farmland.
"That is what makes it nice, but there's nothing much we can show to people from outside, oh! Though there is something from Mt. Yasogami... I think our dyed clothes or pottery is kinda famous, oh wait, there's the Amagi Inn! Yukiko's family runs it, it's the pride of Inaba!"
Yukiko herself looked embarrassed and commented a rosy hue to her cheeks, "Huh? Its... just an old Inn" Chie grinned not deterred and added "Oh no way, it's been in all sorta magazines as a hidden treasure, It's a great Inn! It's been going for generations , and Yukiko here is going to take over someday"
"The Inn actually attracts a lot of visitors to Inaba, it pretty much keeps this town going" "I don't think that's entirely true" Chie's grin suddenly got mischievous, "So Littica tell me, you think Yukiko's cute, huh?"
'Oh... that was unexpected, yes she is gorgeous both of you are, but that's not the kind of thing I think I could just sprout out... ah hell with it' he thought and nodded after deliberately making it look like he was thinking it over.
"Ha,. I knew it!" she grinned and Yukiko looked down "Come on... Don't start this again" still grinning Chie went on regardless "She's really popular at school, but she's never had a boyfriend, kinda weird, huh?" literally glowing with embarrassment Yukiko pleaded, "C-Come on, stop it"
"Y-You shouldn't believe that, okay? It's not true that I'm popular or that I've never had a boyfriend... Wait, no! Wh-what I mean to say was, I don't need a boyfriend... Geez... Chie!" the aforementioned girl just grinned on unrepentant.
"Hahaha! Sorry, sorry, But this is our chance to talk to somebody from the big city, and you have barely said a word! ... Hey, what's that"
Moving up to a small gathering of people next to a cordoned of road they overheard the gossip, "So that high schooler left school early, and as she came down this street..." another added "Wow, who would have imagined THATY hanging from an antenna?" "I wanted to see it too"
"Uh, you got here too late.. The police and fire department took it down just a moment ago" "Well I think it's terrifying. I can't believe a dead body showed up around here..." Chie spoke up shocked.
"Wait... What did she say? A dead body" out of the corner of his eyes he spotted a familiar face and waved the elder man over, "Hey, what're you doing here?" Dojima Said looking a little worried, "Oh we were just passing by when we saw the crowd"
Nodding with a half sight Dojima replied "Huh... I should have figured that'd happen, that damn principle, we told him not to let them through here" looking at him Chie quietly asked "... You know this guy?"
He nodded and Dojima sighed "I'm Detective Dojima, his guardian. Uhh... well, how should I say this... I hope you get along with him, but you three really ought to stop wandering around and head straight home" Dojima waved them a good bye and headed back behind the barrier.
Before they could move on though a young man came charging out from behind the barrier and was violently sick just out of sight, "Ngh... Uuuuurrghhh...." Dojima shouted out angrily "Adachi! How long are you going to act like a rookie? You want to be sent back to the central office!?" a rather pitiful "I-I'm sorry... Nngh..." drifted din from the corner.
Sighing in pity Dojima muttered loud enough for the young detective to here, "Go wash your face. We're gonna go around and gather information!" as the young detective ran back across the barrier Chie sombrely said, Was this what that announcement was about..."
Yukiko asked the next question, "What do they mean... it was hanging from the antenna" both girls looked quite scared and he had to admit to himself he was a mite freaked out by this himself, "Hey, Yukiko...? why don't we go to Junes some other time"
She beautiful dark brunette nodded looking a little relieved "Good Idea..." the two girls turned towards him and Chie said some of her cheeriness and energy returning, "Alright then, we're taking off. Starting tomorrow, neighbour, let's do our best!"
As they walked off he found himself once again trying to drag his eyes away from Chie's rather pleasing legs hidden only by that small skirt, 'I think she is unintentionally going to kill be with those legs of hers she really is"
Shrugging that off he decided to head straight home.
--- --- ---
Sitting in the Telly room Nanako looked at the carpet to the side of her and said "I wander if dad's not coming home again tonight..." her musing was interrupted by the TV reporter making a special announcement, "Our top story this evening concerns a bizarre case in a quiet district Suburb, Around noon today, a woman was found dead near the Samegawa River in Inaba"
The School Zone was clearly depicted on TV.
"The deceased has been identified as Ms. Mayumi Yamano, a 27-year-old announcer at the local television station, the initial results of the Inaba police department's investigation have revealed" the announcer was interrupted by the panicked exclamation from Nanako.
"Ah! The Inaba Police Department! Th-That's where dad works! ...." she looked a second away from being distraught so I decided what I was going to do, "It'll be all right Nanako, you're dad can handle this, no problem" she looked up at him the panic significantly lessened.
"...I know. That's his job, so this stuff happens"
"The body was found hanging from a large television antenna atop a local residents' roof, authorities are uncertain as to why the body was in such a state, with the cause of death also uncertain police continue to investigate whether the death is an accident or a homicide"
"A thick fog common to the area has already slowed their progress, and plans to fully canvas the area are delayed until tomorrow"
'Quite the mystery an announcer believed to be in an affair, disappears and then reappears dead... murder or assassination perhaps, it would make some sense but he just had a gut feeling that was not really the case something's fishy about all this'
"They found her on the roof?, that's scary .... ! Oh, it's Junes!"
"At Junes, every day is customer appreciation day, come see for yourself, and get in touch with our product! Every day's great at you're Junes"
As he expected Nanako mirrored the Junes jungle after and did a damn sight better that the girl on the TV "Every day's great at you're Junes" she looks at me expectantly and I can't help but grin and play along, "You memorised it already? I'm the best one in my class!" she said before she sings the jungle to herself over and over.
'Seems she has forgotten about the news story' he thought with a soft grin as he watches her antics.
--- --- ---
04/13 W: Early Morning
--- --- ---
Walking to school the gun metal grey haired teen blink when a familiar face with a familiar bike race past clearly out of control, blinking at how the other teenager somehow managed to get himself trapped inside a large green dustbin Littica sighs the corner of his lips twitching.
"S-Someone..." the unknown student calls out clearly in distress as he rolls around on the floor unable to get free, telling him to hold still Littica pulls the two apart.#
"Whew, you saved me. Thanks! Umm...Oh yeah, that's right. You're that transfer student, Littica Namikaze-San right? I'm Yosuke Hanamura. Nice to meet ya" "Nice to meet you too Yosuke-San, you ok"
He half laughs embarrassed "Heheh, I'm good, Say did you hear about that incident from yesterday? They found that announcer lady handing from an antenna. You think it was some kinda warning? There's no way something that weird could have been an accident"
Thinking it over he had to admit it did sound plausible, "You might be right" nodding Yosuke shuddered and replies "Dangling a dead body over a roof like that... That's just messed up, Then again. It's pretty messed up to kill someone in the first place" he amended ironically afterwards.
Glancing at his watch Yosuke's eyes widened in shocked panic, "Oh crap, we're late! You wanna ride? It's a little squeaky but it should be fine" sweat dropping but agreeing Littica climes on the back and the duo head off too school.
Sitting in class Littica watches Mr. Morooka shouting at the class again, "Be quiet, you idiots! You guys ARE in right school, aren't you!? Can't you shut up during class? Don't you have any common sense; first of all, my job is to waste my precious time teaching you assholes philosophy! And since I'm so nice..."
I have to hold in a snort at that comment and by the sound of it I'm not the only one, "I'll straighten up your rotten attitudes while I'm at it! Aren't you honoured!? And I'll be going especially hard on any of you morons that're curious about the murder! Got it! Now get your books out!"
'Man this guy has a grating personality, but he at least has talent as a lecture, he should be bound and gagged every other time though'
Yosuke walked up to me while I'm packing away my books and asks cheerily, "So, you getting used to this place?" nodding in reply as I zip up my book bag I say "Yeah" he looks surprised and replies "Wow, that was fast, There isn't much to do here compared to the big city, but there is that certain... something you can't get anywhere else."
"The airs clean the foods great... Oh, you know about the local delicacy? It's grilled steak, man! Like that's anything special, huh? I know a place where you can get it cheap, Wanna come? You helped me out this morning, so it's on me"
Never one to turn down free food I was about to reply when Chie appeared from nowhere, "What about me, huh? No apologies? My 'Trail of the Dragon'" visibly sweating Yosuke groans "Urgh...You always come around when I'm talking about food... How about it Yukiko? Don't you think he should treat us, too?"
Looking over at the dark haired beauty he watched as she regretfully shook her head, "I'll pass... I don't want to gain anymore weight. Besides I need to help out at the Inn today anyway" looking impressed Yosuke replies "Wow, Yukiko-San! You started training to take over the business?"
Shaking her had no she looked away "It's not like that! I'm just helping out when it gets busy" 'It's defiantly something more than that; her eyes are oddly evasive... I won't push it not really any of by businesses'
Suddenly looking up she says "Well, I should be on my way" she was just about to leave when I say to her, "Ok then see you tomorrow Yukiko-San don't work too hard you hear"
"Oh well. We should get going too" Chie says with a small grin to which Yusuke groans a reply "Huh? So I seriously have to treat two people...?"
We leave the school and Yosuke leads up to the Junes outdoor food court, "This! Is the cheap place you were talking about...? They don't have grilled steak here" Chie commented, "Yeah well, once you hopped on the freeloader train, I had to change my plans" looking smug she replies "Still, that's no reason to take us to your place"
Blinking 'His place?'
"Dude, this isn't my place or anything" seeing his confusion Yosuke adds "Oh, right. I haven't told you get, huh? I moved here from another city about six months back. This location was just opened up, and my dad was assigned to manage it, so our entire family came out here"
Lifting his soft drink he finishes "Here, this is to welcome you into town, Satonaka, yours is on me to" Reaching for a drink she offhand replies "Yeah, I know"
We talk about a lot of things from what we like to eat to where we used to live, "It's only been half a year since this place opened up, but I haven't been to the local shopping district much since. A lot of stores started closing, and... Oh..., uh..."
"... You can't blame it all on Junes, can you? ......" he sighed for a second before something caught his eye, "Hey... it's Saki-Senpai! Sorry be right back" Yosuke quickly runs off and starts talking to a light haired girl.
Seeing his confusion Chie quickly fills him in "Oh, that's Saki Konishi. Her family runs a liquor store in the shopping district... I think she's working here part-time though"
Straining me ears I can just make out what the two are saying, "—look beat" she leans back stretching "Heeeey! I'm finally on break... What's up, Hana-Chan? Boosting the family business by bringing your friends here?" holding his hand over his chest like he was wounded he says mock seriously "Madam, you wound me!"
"Kidding aside... you look down. Did something happen?" sighing tiredly she relies "...It's nothing. I'm just a little tired" his eyes softening he says "Hey, if you need to talk, I'm always willing to listen, I..." he trails of as she giggles.
"I'm okay. Thanks though" she sighed and finished more to herself "Why'd I leave school early yesterday...? Hey is he the kid who transferred here?" walking over she asked "Are you the transfer student? Oh, did you hear about me already, it must be nice having someone from the big city to talk too, huh?"
"I don't see Hana-Cham hanging out with the other guys much" looking up suddenly Yosuke blurts out "N-Not necessarily" continuing despite the interruption she finishes "He doesn't have too many friends, so I hope you two get along good, Hana-Chan's a good guy, but he can get really nosey sometimes. You gotta tell him right to his face when he starts to annoy you"
"Naa he is a great guy, a bit clumsy on his bike but great none the less" she laughed and relied "Ahaha, I know... I'm just kidding" speaking up again Yosuke butts in "C-C'mon, Senpai. There's no need to worry about something like that"
"Well my break's just about over. Back to work I go...Laters!" waving she starts he walks away, "Oh, uh, Senpai...!" sitting down Yosuke grins at him "Hahah, Saki-Senpai says I'm annoying, but she's even nosier than me, She has a younger brother, and she treats me pretty much the same way..."
Chie an impish grin on her features comments "Ohhh, you don't want her treating you like a little brother, huh? Oh I get it... So that's how it is... The daughter of a local family-run liquor store and the scion of the invading chain... The flame of forbidden love!" she teases and Yosuke responds as predicted.
"Wha--!? Dude, it's not like that!" "Oh reaaaally... Well, I know just the thing to cheer up that lovesick heart; you ever hear of the midnight channel, you are supposed to look into a TV that's switched off, alone, exactly at midnight on a rainy night"
"While you're staring at your own image, another person will appear on the screen. And they say that person's your soul mate" raising an eyebrow Yosuke comments, "What? For a second, I actually thought you were going to say something useful... How can you get all excited over such a childish urban legend like that?"
Looking shocked Chie replies "Childish, huh? You don't believe it do you!?" shrugging like it was obvious Yosuke shoots "of course I don't" not to be outdone Chie challenges, "Well, It's raining tonight! Let's all try it out – then you'll see"
Pointing an accusing finger "Try it out...? Wait, you haven't even tried it yourself... wow, I'm trying to remember the last time I heard something this stupid... all that aside... you know that 'incident' yesterday? You guys think it was murder"
"Ooh, what it the culprit behind it was still lurking around...? Heehee..." rolling her eyes Chie replied "Sheesh, you shouldn't joke about stuff like that. Now who's the childish one...?. All I am saying is you guys better try it out tonight"
--- --- ---
Nanako sighs heavily as the two of you are eating 'Looks like another night without Dojima, this murder must really have them baffled'
"Don't worry Nanako he'll be fine" she sighs again but replies "... Yeah" as if to answer a unspoken call the door opens and the aforementioned man walks in, "Oh, He's home!" walking into the living room he sighs tiredly "What a day... I'm back. Did anything happen while I was out?"
"No. You're late again..." "I'm sorry... been busy at work" he walked over and almost collapsed onto the Sofa "Can you put the news on for me" he asks his daughter.
The announcers voice plays from the television, "Next, more details in the developing story on the incident in foggy Inaba, Announcer Mayumi Yamano's dead body was found hanging above a house in this isolated rural town. It is confirmed that Ms. Yamano had been involved in an affair with Taro Namatame, husband of enka singer Misuzu Hiiragi"
'Just a follow up report about the incident from yesterday'
"The police plan to investigate this relationship and question any personnel involved with them, in addition we now bring you an exclusive interview with the student who found Ms. Yamano's body"
Yawning Dojima comments, "An interview with the kid...? Where the hell did they find her?"
"What went through your head when you say it? Could you tell she was deal? Did you see her face?" looking shocked and out of her depth the female student who looked oddly familiar muttered out "U-Umm..."
The interviewer clearly trying to get a response egged her on, "Don't you think it's scary that someone was killed on a foggy day" "Huh...? She was killed?" he sounded put out by her lack of knowledge and response "Oh, errr... so did you see anyone suspicious around here?"
"No, not really"
"We heard that you found it when you left school early. Did you have some personal business to take care of?" sounding confused and more than a little perplexed she replied "Huh? That's..."
'Is that... Saki Konishi Yosuke's Senpai?'
"—a tragedy that occurred near the local shopping district, many storeowners are raising concerns about losing customers as a result..."
"Hmph. If they lose more customers, it'll be because you're making such a stink about it..." Dojima mutters.
"It really is a bizarre case, isn't it? I mean hanging someone upside down from an antenna... I'd have to say it's a warning or a sign from the culprit" "Yes but so far no one has come forwards for the crime"
Another tired comment from Dojima "Loads of prank calls, though..."
"So the cause of death is still unknown? And they still don't have a single suspect yet? Taxpayers' funds are going to a police force who can't even figure out if this is an accident or a homicide?"
A long drawn out sigh from Dojima conveyed his frustration, "We'll be right back after these messages"
"At Junes, every day is customer appreciation day, Come see for yourself and get in touch with our products! Everyday's great at your Junes"
Nanako's customary reply came not far behind "Everyday's great at your Junes! hey dad... can we go to Junes together sometime" her question was met with a quiet snore "... No?"
--- --- ---
It was raining heavily outside and it was almost midnight, 'Your soul mate appears if you look into a TV on a rainy night huh? Could something like that really be true?'
Standing in front of the TV he snorted and went to turn away when the TV activated, shocked he turned back and watched as someone briefly appeared on the screen, clutching his suddenly pounding head as a voice reverberated within.
"I art thou, and thou art I, thou are the one, who opens the door"
The pounding fades and the teenager approaches the TV, reaching out Littica touched the screen and quickly pulls his hand away as the screen ripples and lights up, reaching out again his and is steadily absorbed by the screen until it is completely submerged.
Eyes widened as something pulled on his arm until his entire head and one arm are inside the TV, luckily the TV was too small to such him all the way in and with a heave Littica manages to mull himself out.
Slipping he falls back painfully smacking the back of his head on a small table behind him.
He vaguely hears the sound of running before Nanako's voice sounds from behind the door, "Littica, Are you Ok... " Deciding to go with a partial truth he calls out, "Kind of, I banded my head when that Thunder strike surprised me"
"Okay... Well, goodnight" "Night Nanako-Chan" she replies before returning to her room.
'What... what just happened? ... I' confusion running rampant he sighs and tries to get some sleep.
--- --- ---
(04/14 Th: Morning)
Sitting in Class the following morning to the history Nut Ms. Sofue he listened to her lecture.
"Hello everyone. My name is Kimiko Sofue, and I don't know how much you know about world history, but I'm an expert. First a little about me. I love to use my dowser to look for lost Items, and there's nothing quite like a romance"
"In fact, world history is a magnificent romance. History is like a river: it was born in the past and flows ever forward. I hope we can all enjoy the profundity of history together. Hohoho"
'Good god Its Kodachi fucking Kuno'
"And since this is my first lecture, I'll start with an easy question, our transfer student, Mr. Namikaze please stand up"
Doing as she asked he waited for the question, "When did A.D. in other words, Anno Domini ... begin?" thinking only for a second he answers "When Jesus was born"
"Ah, you seem to understand this well. And does anyone know what B.C. stands for? Oh, I'll just tell you. Before Christ, or the years before Christ was born, this is of course the way we count our years today, but it wasn't adopted in Western Europe until the 15th century"
"Hohoho, it was around that time that there were many religious wars and power shifts occurring. Anyhow the world's beliefs have been in an ever-flowing tide since humanity began to emphasize religion. Most holidays are related to religion you know, if you do some research you may find some interesting facts"
"But regardless of the culture or the tradition, the tide decides who will survive in the present and the future, and those survivors ensure that their will is passed down to the next generation... But now it's time to start from the beginning. Let's take a look at the origin of civilisation "
--- --- ---
One student muttered to another "What's up with the body being hung upside-down? That's so freaky" another said "Is it supposed to be like, mimicking an execution? It's messed up..." nodding the first student commented again, "My Senpai told me it was a third-year named Saki who found the body"
"Y-Yo. Um..." Yosuke said oddly subdued, "It's, uh, it's not really that important, but, Well yesterday on TV, I... Oh, uhh... never mind. Look, I'll tell you later. Ahaha..."
Chie walked up to us and asked, "Yosuke, did you hear the rumor? Saki-Senpai's supposedly the one who discovered that body" the brown haired boy nodded "I wander if that's why she looked so down... She doesn't seem to be at school either"
Chie catching movement out of the corner of her eye looked over and talked "Huh? Hey Yukiko, are you helping out at the Inn today too?" "Things are really out of hand right now... I'm sorry"
"No need to apologies Yukiko-San with everything that's going on, I would expect the Inn to be kinda busy with all the reporters needing a place to stay"
"Is it just me" Yosuke commented "Or does Yukiko-San seem way stressed out today" Chie nodded concerned "I guess they are running her ragged... By the way, did you see... it... last night?" Yosuke gave a surprised "Huh..?" and shot back defensibly.
"Uh, well... What about you?" excitedly Chie said "I did, I seriously saw a girl. But... my soul mate's a girl? What's that supposed to mean? ... I couldn't quite tell who it was, but it was a girl for sure. Her hair was brown, about shoulder length. She was wearing our school uniform, and"
Interrupting her Yosuke declared "Hey... I think that's the same person I saw, I couldn't make out much detail though. The image I saw was much blurrier"
Shocked Chie exclaimed "Wait, so you saw it two!? And we saw the same girl...? Does that mean... we have the same soul mate?" looking confused he replied "How should I know? How about you Littica-San did you see it?"
"Yeah Same brown haired girl, just after I heard a strange voice say something, something like I am you and you are me and I will open a door, oh and I was almost pulled into my TV... I didn't though, cause my TV was too small... I didn't fit"
"It sounds like we all saw the same person... But weird voices aside, what was that about getting sucked into your TV...? Were you that tired last night? You must've just fallen asleep in front of your TV"
Chie added amused "That'd be one interesting dream, though. I like the part where you got stuck 'cause your TV was too small. That's pretty realistic. Well, if it had been bigger, the—Ohhh, that reminds me. Our family's been talking about buying a bigger TV"
Yosuke nodded "oh yeah? Well, flatscreen TVs are definitely in these days, wanna go check 'em out on the way back? We're beefing up our electronics department this month"
Suddenly looking exited Chie nodded her approval "Oh, definitely! My parents don't know anything about electronics, and I've gotta see my Kung-Fu movies on the big screen! Hwa-Taaaaa!"
Sweat dropping Yosuke grinned while saying to me "We've got some pretty big ones in stock. I bet they'd be big enough for you to fit into, hehe"
"That on was bad Yosuke" Littica said laughing it of, 'They don't believe me at all... hell I don't blame them I hardly believe it and it happened to me'
Leaving the school and moving to the Junes electronics department and the trio stood in front of a huge TV, "Wow, this is huge! And... Holy crap, its expensive! Who buys something like this?" shrugging not really caring Yosuke replied "I dunno... rich folks. Honestly, not many people shop for TVs here. That's why we don't have any clerks around"
Chie looked around at the displayed TVs "huh... Not worth trying then, I guess. Well, at least looking's free" as one the two moves forwards and touched the large screen and step back when nothing happens.
Teasingly Yosuke comments "... Nope, can't get in. Figures" Chie adds her fifty yen "Haha, this proves it, it was all just a dream"
Adding more Yosuke ironically adds "Besides, these flat-screen TVs are so thin, you'd just end up on the other side... Argh, what am I saying!? So Chie what kind of TV are you guys in the market for?"
"O-oh, they said they wanted one that's cheap. You got any suggestions When did A.D. in other words, Anno Domini ... begin?" The two walk over to a considerably smaller TV and Yosuke says in a posh businessman's voice "Well, Miss, might I suggest this one over here? It's the newest model, just released this spring"
Looking shocked she turned to him "Wha—that's not cheap at all! There's way too many zeroes!" folding his arms Yosuke muttered "I should've asked what you meant by 'cheap' right off the bat" "you've got connections, right? C'mon, hook me up!"
"You know I can't do that... hey how about this one over here? It's a display unit and it's a little old but..." blanking the two out Littica looks back at the huge TV.
'With a TV this size I really could step through' walking closer he reached out, as expected his hand was easily absorbed by the screen.
"Oh yeah, Littica, what king of YV do you---" trailing of in shock he stood gaping, gaping at something behind Chie so she asked "huh? Something wrong Yosuke?" her own eyes joining her friends in widening.
"I-Is his arm... in the T...?" "Whoa..." slightly in denial she commented hopefully "Uhhh... Is that some kinda... new model? L-like with a new... function?" "Hell no!"
Running to his side his two friends looked on in shocked awe, "You gotta be kidding me... Did you really stick your hand through the screen?"
Decidedly Freaked out Yosuke said slightly panicking "Oh man... This is for real... That's some magic trick, man! So" getting himself slightly under control "So how's it work, huh!? What's the magician's secret!?"
'I can probably put in more than just my hand'
Shifting forwards he braced himself and put his head inside the TV, "H-Hey, don't do that! What're you doing!?" Chie equally as shocked exclaimed "Oh my God!!"
"It's all empty space in here, I can't really make out any detail" Yosuke replies first "WH-What do you mean by 'Inside'!?" closely followed by Chie's "WH-What do you mean, 'empty space'!?"
"There's a lot of space in here, like it's another world but its shrouded in fog I can't see much but it's damn spacious"
"WH-what do you mean, 'Spacious'!?" "I mean what's going on!?"
"Holy Crap... I-I think this is all too much for my bladder..." Chie shocked at his comment rounded on Yosuke "What the--? Are you gonna pee your pants!?"
"I've been holding it in all day! I-I haven't had a chance to go... Aaarrgh! Can't... hold it... anymore...!" he went to run off but froze quickly running back, "Shit! Customers! They're coming!"
"What!? But we've got a guy half stuck in a TV here! WH-What're we gonna do!?"
What they did was probably the worst thing they could, they panicked.
--- --- ---
Inside the TV
Groaning the trio managed to get back to their feet after what felt like a heavy fall, "Haa... So... uh... we're alive... right?"
"Are you guys ok" to his question Yosuke's answer almost had him laughing "I think my butt's cracked now" Chie looked at him "Of course it is"
Looking up Yosuke exclaimed his amazement "Whoa!" "WH-What now!? Did you wet your pants!?" shooting her a mild glair he said "No stupid. Look around!" doing as he said Chie commented milliseconds before he did "Is this..." "A studio"
"All this fog... or is it smoke? There's no place like this in Inaba, is there...?" shaking his head Yosuke replied "Hell no... But man... this place is huge..."
Chie looked scared something he admitted he didn't like to see "What're we gonna do...?" looking around Littica mutters "We should look around" eyes widening Chie hurriedly says "WH-What no, look we need to get home and--! ... H-Huh..."
"Wait a minute... which way we came in from?... I don't see a way in... Or a way out!" Yosuke defiantly panicking now replied "What? That can't be right! H-How could that be" shocked and scared Chie almost yells "I don't know! Don't ask me!... I can't take this anymore! I wanna go home!!"
"Ok... so how!?"
Sighing "Like I already said let's look around, we need to find an exit and if its anything like getting in, it will probably be a TV" keeping calm despite the situation was not something he was unfamiliar with.
"Y-Yeah, an exit! We need to find one!... Let clam down and think about this, All right, so we need to find a way out" Chie nodded looking a little calmer "Is there really a way out of here...?"
"Well we got in so theirs gotta be a way out. If there's no exit we're trapped, so let's cross our fingers and look around"
--- --- ---
"What is this place...? It feels different from where we were before..." He had to agree with Chie on that one the whole area felt ... tense.
"It looks like we're in some kinda building, but... Damn this fog is so thick I can hardly see" Yosuke said to which Chie replied "Are you sure we're not wandering farther away?" crossing his arms Yosuke gave it some thought.
"I can't be positive, but we've gotta trust our instinct a little" "I know but..."
"There really isn't much choice 'but' to continue forwards"
Not far from there they walked through a door into what looked like an apartment, "Het, is it me or is the fog lighter here?" looking around Littica answered "Yeah now that I think about it... oh there's no service I already checked" the dark grey haired teen said when Yosuke pulled out his phone.
Walking up to when with his hands on her hips Chie spoke much calmer now "Can't you guys slow down a little? It's hard enough to see where you're going..." she stopped at seeing the looks on our faces and turned around "Huh? What the...!?"
"It's a dead end there's no exit!" Littica placed a calming hand on her shoulder momentarily before walking over to the walls, "Creepy" he commented to which Yosuke nodded "it keeps getting creepier and creepier the further we go"
"Aargh! I can't hold it any longer... My bladder's gonna explode...!" Running over to another wall Chie shocked shouted after him "Yosuke what are you doing!?"
"I gotta let it out before I piss my pants!" embarrassed and disgusted Chie all but spat "You're going here!? Oh, you have got to be kidding..."
"Turn around, I can't go if everyone's watching!... Aaaaargh... I can't do it! It's all your fault if my bladder bursts!"
"Like I care... " Chie said Relieved, "Anyways... what's with this room? Check out these posters... Their faces have all been cut out... Somebody must really hate this person"
Walking into the middle of the room Yosuke muttered "Dude... this chair and rope... That kind of arrangement id never good... It's tied in a noose... is this a scarf?"
"C'mon... let's go back to where we came from, and look somewhere else for an exit" they all nodded and started heading for the door when Yosuke stopped.
"Hey... I think I've seen that poster before..." freaked out enough already Chie butted in "Who CARES!? Let's go! I am sick of this place! ... And I'm not feeling so good" Yosuke nodded "Now that you mention it I do feel kinda weird"
"My body feel heavy... it's like the oppressive atmosphere is actually pressing down on us like extra gravity its tiring us out" Littica murmured, nodding Yosuke finished "Alright, let's go back. I'm seriously starting to feel sick..."
The journey back the strange starting area was spent in silence as they were too tired to talk 'This is really effecting them' Littica thought with concern, yes it was affecting him but not as badly as it appeared to be working on his two friends.
"Whew... We finally made it back here... Wait... What's that...?" Chie said with a strange look, "There's something over there"
Out of the fog padded a strange life sized ... cuddly toy?.
"What is this thing? A monkey? A bear...?" "What in the world...?"
The ... Mysterious bear much to the trio's surprise actually started talking ... talk about surreal, "Th-That's what I wanna know! Who are you guys...?"
"It talked!!" Gasped Chie as she drew back in shock, "Uhh... What are you!? Y-You wanna fight!?" jumping back and cowering in fear ... bear said "D-Don't yell at me like that..."
Stepping forwards Littica gently asked "What is this place?" looking up the odd bear commented after a few seconds "This place is what it is, it doesn't have a name, its where I live" intrigued Yosuke asked "you... live here?"
"If I was you guys, I'd hurry back to the other side, someone's been throwing people in here, it's a big headache" looking as confused as he probably feels Yosuke asks "Huh? Throwing people in? What're you talking about?"
The bear looked quite cross as he angrily stated "I dunno who's doing it! I just want them to think before they go doing something like that!"
"Hey, what's your problem? What gives you the right to yell at us like that!?... What are you!? Where are we!? What the heck's going on here!?" Chie raged causing the bear to yelp and scurry behind him, "I already told you... A-Anyways, you should hurry back"
"What it comes down to it, you want us to get outta here, right. Well so do we! We just don't know how to dammit!" growling from the ... safety behind Littica the bear shot back "Urrrrgh! That's why I'm saying I'll let you out!"
"Like I keep saying we don't know where the frickin' exit—wait... what" pausing as the bears words registered the group watched as the bear tapped its foot twice and the average sized ... Pink Televisions appeared.
Yosuke's words summed it up nicely "What the hell!?" Chie added her own shocked statement "WH-Where did these TVs come from!?"
Walking out from behind Littica the bear offhandedly commented "Okay, now go, go, get outta here! I'm a busy bear!"
"What's going on now!? Whoa! Hey, what're you doing!?" Chie said surprised, "S-Stop pushing!" was from Yosuke.
Everything went white momentarily ad with a less than stellar landing they reappeared inside the Junes store, "Huh? Is this" said Chie shocked and relived
"Did we... make it back?" the trio stood up as an announcer blared overhead, "Attention, shoppers. Our daily limited-time sale will now begin at the side dish area on the first floor, why not try the delicious, fresh produce Junes picked for you this morning as your side dish for dinner tonight. All ages are invited to take advantage of this incredible bargain!"
"Crap, it's already that late!?" Yosuke said, "Looks like we were in there for quite awhile... " Chie mentioned "That's right... Now I remember where I saw that poster before... look over there, that's the poster we saw!" Yosuke said excitedly.
"What's up now?" Chie asked she turned to look at what Yosuke was pointing at, "Hey , you know you're right, they're the same, I couldn't tell before without the face, but it was Misuzu Hiiragi... she has been all over the news lately, something about... her husband having an affair with that announcer lady who died the other day"
"Hey, so does that mean... That weird room we saw... could be related to that Yamano lady's death...? Now that I think about it... there was that creepy noose hanging from the ceiling. Yaaargh, stop No more! We gotta stop talking about this"
"I'm gonna wipe what happened today from my brain. I don't think my poor heart can take anymore" looking down Chie said "I'm feeling a chill too...let's go home... I wanna lie down and rest"
--- --- ---
Arriving back at the Dojima residence Littica walked into the living room, "Hey, welcome home" sitting down by the table he frowned for a second at how sluggish he was feeling.
"Uh—Hmm... Well, I doubt you'd know... But have you heard anything about a student named Saki Konishi?" not even needing to think about it he nodded, "She wasn't at school today not that anyone could blame her".
Looking down Dojima said "Oh. I see... To be honest... we got a call from her family. She's disappeared. We've got people looking for her, but she hasn't been found yet..." Dojima sighed "Work just keeps pilling up..."
The announcer interrupted their conversation, " And now, more on the case still casting a shadow over the foggy town of Inaba. Not long ago Mayumi Yamano was found dead in the small town, Up until now her whereabouts to her death had been unknown"
"But the police investigation has found that she had been staying at the region's famous Amagi Inn"
'The Amagi Inn... that's the Inn that Yukiko and her family runs'
"She had apparently been staying there alone. Perhaps she was taking a vacation to recover from her ordeal..." the commentator sitting next to the announcer spoke up briefly, "Oh yes the Amagi Inn! Their hot springs are first rate, the manager's teenage daughter also works there, and it's rumoured that she'll take over the Inn this spring, if that happens, she'll be one of the youngest managers on record! I should book another trip there!"
Back with the Announcer, "Uhh... I-I see... moving along, it's time for the weather report, the rain has begun to subside. For now until morning heavy fox warnings will be in effect in the Inaba region, visibility will be severely reduced so please be careful if you plan on driving in the area..."
Nanako looked up and asked "Is the Ramen ready now?" Dojima responded "Give it some more time" and Littica sneezed.
"Are you sick? You're probably still adjusting to the new environment, Nanako, could you get him some cold medicine?" wordlessly she ran off to do just that, "You should get to bed after you take it"
--- --- ---
He arrived down stairs just in time to get a farewell from Dojima, "...Dad had to do something. He got a call, so he left" 'She looks worried
Quickly eating breakfast and leaving Littica was thankful for the spare umbrella as he walked to school, along the way he could hear girls gossiping, "When I looked, I saw three police cars zooming by" "You live by the police station don't you?, did you hear anything?"
"I heard some yelling but nothing more. Total disappointment" "Geez you are supposed to pay more attention to stuff like that. How else are we supposed to get the juicy stories?"
'Another incident... I have a bad feeling' with that thought he quickly headed to school.
--- --- ---
Standing in assembly he listened to the chatting going on around him, "Hey... Did you see it yesterday" "Of cause not... What, is that rumor for real?" "I dunno, but it seems like a lot of people have seen it"
Putting away her phone Chie mumbles disheartened "Yukiko said she'd be here after lunch... I wander why they are holding an assembly all of a sudden, hey what's wrong Yosuke"
Looking up distractedly he answered without enthusiasm "Oh, it's nothing"
Ms. Sofue addressed the gathered students, "Everyone please settle down, the school assembly is about to begin, first the principle would like to say something"
"I... regret to say, that I have a terrible announcement for all of you, one of our third-year students, Ms Saki Konishi of class 3... Has passed away"
"Passed away...!?" uttered a gobsmacked Chie, "......" was Yosuke's response.
"Ms. Konishi was found deceased early this morning... The reasons behind her passing are currently under investigation by the police, if they ask you for your cooperation, I urge you as students of this school to provide only the facts"
Scattered Talking broke out around the gathered, "All right, please quiet down... I have been assured by the faculty that there's been no evidence that bullying was involved in the incident, so mind what you say not only to the police but to anyone who asks..."
"Found dead...? How could this happen...?" "........"
--- --- ---
Walking down the hall after the assembly Littica and Chie overheard two girls gossiping, "She dies the same way as that announcer right? That's so creepy..." "Well, last time it was from an antenna, but this time she was hanging from a telephone pole, its gotta be a serial murder case..."
"Someone said the cause of death was some unknown poison" "unknown...? C'mon this isn't some sci-fi drama, oh by the way did you hear? Someone saw a girl that looked like Saki on that midnight Channel thing, they said she totally looked like she was in pain... isn't that scary"
"Haha, sounds like someone had a nightmare, the media's been broadcasting their interviews with her nonstop, so maybe they just had Saki on the brain"
The girls walked off, "Sheesh, it's easy to toss around theorise if you're not personally involved..." Chie commented as she watched the two go.
Walking up behind then Yosuke asked "Hey... Did you guys check out the TV last night?" "Yosuke not you too!"
"Just listen for a sec! Something's kept bothering me, so... I checked it again, and... I think the girl on the screen was Saki-Senpai... There's no mistaking it... Senpai looked like... she was writhing in pain... she disappeared from the screen"
"You heard Senpai's body was found in a similar situation as that announcer's right...? Well remember that guy you told us about? How he was all exited that his soul mate was the announcer. Maybe... just maybe, but... Ms. Yamano might have been on that midnight channel before she died too" finished Yosuke.
Confused Chie asked "What's that supposed to mean...? Hold on... Are you saying... ? People who appear on that TV... die...?"
"I can't say for sure, but something tells me... I just can't dismiss it as coincidence... plus, remember what that bear thing said? About how that place was dangerous, and we should leave before the fog clears...? It also said that someone's been throwing people in their"
"And that room with the posters on the wall, it had to have something to do with the announcer's death, I mean... don't you think there's some kind of connection there? Couldn't that world in the TV have something to do with Senpai and the announcer's death!?"
Looking at him Yosuke asks, "Well... ? What do you think...?" nodding Littica exclaimed "You might be right it's to strange not to have some connection"
"...So it's not just me, huh? If there is a connection, then it's a good bet that the two of them went inside that world, that would explain the posters in that room, which means if we look around... we might find a place that has something to do with Senpai too"
Looking shocked Chie asks "Yosuke don't tell me..." "Yeah... I'm thinking about going in again, I want to find out for myself"
"D-Don't do this... You should just let the police handle this and—" she was cut off angrily by Yosuke, "You think we can rely on the police!? They haven't made any progress on the announcer's case. Besides even if we told them about the world inside the TV, there's no way they're gonna believe us!"
"If I'm completely off-base with this, that's fine... It's just... I need to know why Senpai had to die like this"
"Oh Yosuke" Chie said quietly defeated.
"After all I've seen and put together, there's no way I can ignore it now... Sorry Littica-San ... but you're the only person who can help me. I'm gonna go get ready, I'll be waiting for you at Junes"
After Yosuke ran off Chie said "I can kinda understand how he feels... but we can't be sure we'll be able to get out safely again. What should we do...?" she had asked imploringly "I'm... going with him, knowing that all this might be connected I have to know too"
"Y-You serious...? ~Uh... Anyways, let's go to Junes. We can't leave Yosuke alone"
--- --- ---
At Junes the duo found Yosuke waiting for them with a long rope and a golf club in hand, "You guys came...!" Chie grit her teeth "We came to stop you idiot! C'mon you really shouldn't do this, it's too dangerous"
Nodding he admitted "I know... but we were able to come back once right? If we go in from the same location, maybe we'll meet that bear again"
Swinging her arms Chie countered "Maybe isn't good enough!"
"Look I can't just act like everyone else and pretend this has nothing to do with me" "That's true but..." looking at me Yosuke asks , "What about you? Can you just walk away"
"No not really, but I'm worried about Chie"
"Yeah so it'll just be me and you, but don't worry I'm not going in without a plan, Chie I'm leaving you in charge of this" "Huh? What's that? A rope...?"
"We'll go in with this tied to me, so I want you to hold this and wait here" "WH-What? Then is this a lifeline? C'mon, wait a sec..."
"Here Littica... this is for you" he said while handing over a large Golf Club, "I thought it might be better than going in empty handed, alright lets go, there's no use wasting any more time, Chie Whatever you do don't let go of the rope"
--- --- ---
"Is this...? Look this is the same place as last time! So they are connected from place to place!" Said Yosuke, "You guys... Why'd you come back...? ... I get it! You're the ones behind this!"
"You're that thing from last time...! Wait what the hell did you just say!?"
"Lately, I can tell someone's been throwing people in here, its making this world more and more messed up... This is the second time you guys came here, and I don't think anyone forced you in, that means you're the most suspicious, you guys must be the ones throwing the people in here, Raaaawr"
"What're you talking about throwing people in, if someone was thrown in here and they couldn't get out they might die, who would do such a—wait a sec, all this talk about someone throwing people in here. Does that mean Senpai and the announcer?"
"Did that someone throw those two in here... H-Hey... what do you think" nodding Littica says "That must be it"
"Yeah, I agree... let's assume he's telling the truth... could it be that someone is throwing people in here, intending to kill them...? If that's the case..."
"What're you guys mumbling about? Why'd you come here anyway!? It's a one way door you can't get out once you're in! Remember how I had to let you guys out "
"Yeah whatever" Yosuke muttered. "We don't need your help this time! See this time we have a Lifeli—Whaaaaat!? H-Hey you better let us out once we are done investigating here!"]
"Grrrrr! I'm the one who wasn't to investigate! I've lived here a long time. But it's never been noisy like this till now, do you have proof!? Prove to me you're not throwing people in here!"
"See so it is you guys!"
"For the last time it's not us, so we've got nothing to prove to you! Hey you better answer our questions, it's not like last time when we came by accident. We're dead serious! Listen up 'cause people have died in our world... every time the fog appears a dead body shows up with it"
"It has to be related to this place somehow, if you know something, tell us!!"
"A dead boys? Whenever the fog appears...? I know that if its foggy on your side, the fog lifts here. It's really dangerous when the fog lifts, that's when the shadows get violent"
"Aaaah... I get it..."
"Huh...? If you get it explain it to us dammit, if its fogs on our side, it isn't here...? Shadows get violent...?" his confusion was evident.
"That's why I said to hurry back! It's dangerous when that happens! Ok no more questions I know you guys did it! You better stop right now!"
Truly frustrated at the bears idiocy Yosuke says "I've told you and told you, we're not the ones doing it, I've about had it with you... why the hell won't you listen to what we are saying"
Sweating the bear replies "I'm just saying... you might be the culprits, I'm just making sure"
"What...? Man, this bear's driving me nuts, what is this place anyways, it looks like a TV studio, is something being filmed here...? H-Hey, don't tell me... is that weird show being filmed here!?"
Confused the bear asks, "Weird show Filmed? What does that mean?" Yosuke answers the bear "Uh... I'm asking of someone's been filming the people that get thrown in here"
"...? Huh ... I don't get it... This world has always been like this, no one had ever done that 'Filming' thing here" replies the bear.
"Always been like this...?" Littica murmurs, "Only me and Shadows are here! I told you before!"
"We don't know what these shadow things are!, or what you are for that matter! You keep telling us to prove our innocence but you're the most suspicious thing here, maybe you're the real culprit, and what's with that stupid costume!? I'd say it's time you showed you face!"
Yosuke moved swiftly to the bear and tried to pull its mask of its face... only the entire head came off, "Whoa!... what the hell are you...? Its empty inside... "
"Me a culprit, I wouldn't do such a thing...I just live here, I just wanna like hear peacefully...ok I'll believe that you guys aren't the culprits, but I want you to find the real guy who did all this. You have to stop him, promise me... or else "
"I'm not going o let you guys out of here"
"This can't keep going on! My home here will be a complete mess! And then... and then... I ... Waaah"
"What are you crying for all of a sudden? Geez this things really weirding me out... Hey what should we do?"
"You're the only ones I can ask, will you help me...?"
'This must be the contract Igor mentioned it certainly had a mystery with it'
"Damn Bear... Practically holding a Gun to our heads... but it's true that we came here to figure things out. So far we're completely in the dark. Look for the culprit huh... Bring it on! You got my word too"
"Might as well introduce ourselves... I'm Yosuke Hanamura and this is my Buddy Littica Namikaze, you got a name?"
Yosuke groans "Figures, but how are we supposed to find the culprit in the first place" the bear called Teddie shrugged, "I Dunno... Oh but I know where the last person came in"
"The last person...? You mean Saki-Senpai!?"
"I mean the person who came in and disappeared last time, I dunno the name, I'll take you there, you might find clues. Oh one thing first. You two should put these on" Teddie handed over a pair of glasses to the duo.
"What're these glasses for...?" he on the glasses on and gaped, "Whoa, The difference is like night and day... With these on, it's like the fog doesn't exist"
"They'll help you walk through the fog, ... well I've been here for a long time. So you can rely on me, uh... But I can only show you where the place is. You guys will have to defend yourselves"
"What happened to relying on you!? Th-There better not be any monsters you understand, we brought weapons but I mean... they're more for show! We just got here! If it's so dangerous why don't you do something instead of relying on us!?"
"Uh uh. No way. I've got no muscles, Oh! Oh! I'll give you guy's moral support from a safe distance! How's that sound?"
Littica walked over to Teddie and tapped him with light force ... the bear was knocked to the floor like a stuffed toy, "N-Nooooo..."
"I-Is this thing for real!? Ugh this is so lame, we swore to find the culprit and this is all the backup we get"
"... Oh yeah. Can I ask you something, Who-s this Saki Senpai person? Someone you know?"
"....... That doesn't matter right now, anyways, at least now we know Senpai might have been thrown in here, maybe we can find more information too. Let get moving Littica"
--- --- ---
"What is this place, it looks just like the shopping district. What's going on here!?"
"Some weird places have appeared here recently, things have been getting so tangled, I dunno what to do..."
"Uh... by the way, why are you standing so far from us... you better not be planning to high-tail it if something does come up"
"Of course not! I mean I can't stand too close you know. I'd get in your way..."
"Hrrrm... Man, they really went all out on this. But out of all the places in town, why replicate this one?"
"How should I know? This is reality for the one who's here"
Sighing Yosuke replies frustrated "As usual, nothing you say makes any sense... But if this is our shopping district, we're not that far from Saki-Senpai's..."
They quickly run off after Yosuke down the street.
"I knew it..! This is the liquor store that Senpai's parents run. Does this mean Senpai disappeared here? What could have happened"
Teddie stopped Yosuke from entering the store by squeaking out "W-Wait a second. Th-They're here!"
"Shadows, I had a feeling they were going to attack...!
--- --- ---