Okay, so this is Neuro's life story, told by the demon himself. (-not really, I wrote it-)
-CoNtaiNS SpOilErs for the MAnGa-
- Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro is not owned by me.
It is one giant chapter, but please keep reading!
"Back and Forward." by Groves of the Pass'd.
September 11, 2010: I did some editing. Yay! And thank you all for reading and reviewing! I really, really apreciate it!
I can remember far back, deep into layers and layers of my intricate memory. I can recall huge amounts of information, nearly back to the day when I first opened my eyes...
I could hear a voice from somewhere close. I could feel warmth all around me. My eyes haven't opened, but my ears are already working. I hear heartbeats, my own, and the others around me. I think I fell asleep then. This is my earliest memory.
Then I remember a day when the sun was being tormented again, when I could first stand up and speak. I can still remember my mother, the one who laid my hatching egg, although she left me at a young age. But I do remember her. She was very tall, like me, with a thin, feminine beak and long, curling horns jutting out from maroon colored hair. I've never met my father. He was not my mother's mate, because he left her not long after they supposedly fell in love.
Now, I remember when my mother first gave me food. She did not know what to feed me. Demons do not only eat only one kind of food. It varies in each individual. Some eat objects. Others eat energies or emotions. But this was the day when I was handed some kind of tiny puzzle, for my mother it to me, insisting I play with it to ease my hatchling boredom. Simply I had to scratch a path out of a box filled with lines. My task: to complete a maze. It was then when we realized that after I finished, I could somehow consume the defeated energy, and turn it into a life source to sustain me. My mother looked at me with calculating blue demon eyes, and said, "You eat puzzles, child."
I remember being confused for a brief second, then to realize my stomach was yowling in complaint. I had to keep completing and defeating puzzles to keep my hunger at bay.
After awhile, I had a sort of reputation with the other demons in the area. They had mysteries for me: some were crimes, and sometimes they created challenges to test my hungry brain. Many times the tastiest meals came from murder. I earn the meals by breaking the culprit to tears and consuming the energy the culprit gave off.
My mother never called me anything except, "child." But I was growing up, turning into an older youth. But I could have still been called a fledgling, not yet able to fly and not yet understanding everything about my world.
But it was a dark night when I was walking off by myself when I realized that I should have a name.
I stopped in my path to ponder about it. I scanned my very smart mind for everything I know about me. About who I am.
I eat puzzles.
Well, actually I eat the evil intent that comes from crime. Kind of like eating a portion of thought from the brain.
Brain-Eater could be a name for me. It sounded good. Strong.
I told my mother my new name.
She told me I should pronounce it like how the people do in the Overworld.
"Nougami," she said. She told me we lived in a section of Hell below a land called Japan. My mother also knew many things.
So for awhile my name was Brain-Eater, or Nougami. Even though I was very young, people respected me. Respected my name, my ability.
I remember a time when I had a demonic companion. His name was Fog. Fog and I liked to run around together, creating mischief for the other demons. Fog showed me something very wonderful, something that I use so much nowdays.
It was a microphone. One end we stuck to a dense wall. The other we stuffed in our ears. With the microphone, we could listen to noises behind the walls.
"What is it called?" I asked Fog, my childish curiosity wondering. However, I don't think my sharp curiosity ever went away.
Fog looked at me with his wolfish eyes and snapped his sharp fangs together. He was my age, young and small. We had little voices with a higher pitch than the adults. Fog liked fooling around back then as much as I did, but he hunted and ate meat while I solved mysteries.
"It's called," he said quietly, as if it was a very special secret. "A Tool of the Demon World. Evil Butterfly."
"Yeah. Supposedly there are 777 different Tools. This is the only one I can get my hands on though. Apparently only high ranking demons can get all of them, including the 7 Tools of the Demon Court. Only the Emperor or someone really important can use those." A noise came from the speaker of the microphone. "Come on, Nougami, they're talking again."
It was then when I realized that I would really like to have those Tools. I decided I would try my best to get them.
Life went on as usual for the next several years. My respected reputation continued to slowly grow, I continued to eat the mysteries of the world, traveling more. And I was realizing I was growing. My horns grew longer, my face sharper, my teal eyes gaining more color. I was tall, nearly taller than my mother. My voice dropped pitches lower. My brain grew sharper. I was physically stronger. I could lift more and my wings finally got big enough to support me for flight. My mother taught me to fly. It was much easier than walking or running. Fog and some other demons I knew even started looking for mates. My mother said I should look as well. But I was always too hungry. No matter how many puzzles I consumed, it was never enough. I was too occupied in my terrible hunger to worry about females.
I was popular among my familiars. Often I would go to the hot springs, to the volcanoes, just to relax with them and bathe in the shouki and miasma the springs gave off. I had a good time when I was growing up.
Something else my mother taught me was to shapeshift. She told me if I ever had to go to the Overworld, it was important to blend in with the superior species there. Humans. Shapeshifting was natural for me. I could easily disguise my demon self with a human's form. I would stare at my human self for hours at the mirror, looking at this very different form. My beak was gone, instead replaced by a sharp nose and a long mouth filled with teeth. My horns had vanished. My hair, thankfully, was still there, blonde and maroon. My huge wings were replaced by arms that rippled with nicely built muscles. I still had my talons, except they were no longer on my feet. Instead, they rested on the ends of my arms. It looked out of place, those demon hands.
"You're a handsome human, Nougami," my mother said as she watched me stare at myself in the mirror. "But you're not going to fit in with the humans if ever you go up."
I looked at her by turning my whole head, my hair swishing.
"You'll need clothes," she said bluntly. "I'll find you some one day, okay, Nougami?"
I nodded. I suppose there was nothing else to say. I changed back into my demon form, then went out to look for something to eat.
It was a night when Hell's sky rained burning acid. I had to stay inside. My mother was sitting me down in the main section of our nest. She wanted to say something. I supposed it was something important.
And it was about my father.
My mother started by telling me that I took many traits from him. He was a handsome demon like I was often told I was turning out to be. I had his face and his colors. He had green eyes. I had a mix of eye color from my mother and father. Blue and green. Teal.
My father was a sadist apparently. He hurt people on purpose, then consumed the energy from their pain, like how I consumed the energy from evil intent. Once in awhile I liked to beat someone into a mess, but it was for fun, not for food. And I never hurt them too badly. I decided I shouldn't kill, because dead people could not muster any evil intent. My food was my whole world.
"What was his name?" I asked, clawing at the floor, creating deep grooves in the evil termite infested wooden boards.
"Synapse," my mother said. "His name was Synapse. I don't know why I ever fell for that monster." I saw green tears well in her blue eyes.
I fell asleep that night thinking about my father. I wondered if I would ever meet him in my nearly immortal life.
In the morning, I woke to find my mother gone. And for some reason I knew she would be gone for good. Besides, I was nearly full grown, I would be able to take care of myself. I never missed her, never felt any emotion that told me I wanted to see her again. But I never forgot her.
In the following day, I was thinking more about my father, who had long abandoned me. I realized how much like him I was. How much I took an interest in his story. Synapse's story.
Then, one day,as I was searching for a puzzle to eat, I suddenly thought of a single word: "Neuron." A nerve cell.
I knew it connected with Synapse. A synapse was a kick of energy between nerve cells. Between neurons.
"Neuro," I said to myself.
And suddenly somehow, that became my name. Nougami Neuro.
But Neuro was what I was commonly referred to. Nougami was sometimes still used, but I preferred 'Neuro.'
As an independent demon, I was respected even more than when I was younger. I think I had finally stopped growing, finally an adult. I was powerful and strong, a good fighter. I would fight some men for sport when I wasn't so hungry. Females would practically throw themselves down at my feet, begging me to choose one of them as a mate. I was given riches for solving mysteries, and I ate my fill. As tokens for my completed cases, high class demons gave me Tools to use whenever I wanted. I was collecting many Tools, climbing the carefully established ranks of the demon status, higher than Fog and Zera and many childhood companions.
At last I received every single Tool of the Demon World, and even the Tools of the Demon Court. I was practically feared and almost worshiped. My name was used commonly, and just about as honored as even the Emperor.
Quite often I would meet the Emperor. We would chat about useless things. At acid tea one day he told me what the demons were calling me. I was Nougami Neuro, The Man Who Eats Hell's Mysteries.
But some time ago, I realized that the flavor of the once delicious puzzles were becoming blander. Boring. The same thing over and over and over and over again. My hunger was never smothered any more.
I discreetly brought this up while talking with the Emperor as we sat comfortably outside, lazily watching young demons ganging up on the pitiful sun, a game that I liked to play when I was a child.
"Have you been to the Overworld?" I asked the Emperor.
The Emperor nodded. "Of course, Neuro. It is a very colorful world up there. Lot's of fragile creatures. But they are bright, full of secrets."
At this, I suddenly had an interest. Full of secrets were they? Plenty of inspiration to bring forth a mystery perhaps?
I pondered over this as I flew back home later that day. I did have a new nest, a new luxurious nest, with plenty of servants to tend to my every wish. But I flew away from that one, for I had a different destination. My old home. The one my mother and I used to live in before she left me.
I reached it, going inside to find a neat package on the front table. I nudged it open, gazing in wonder at the blue fabric that rested inside. I took it out. I was expecting this moment somehow. My mother said she would find me clothes to wear over my naked human form. To help me blend in. And here it was. Clothes.
I saw a note with the clothes. Instructions, I guessed. I quickly, then put on the clothes, one layer at a time. I had to wear shoes and gloves and undergarments and a shirt and a scarf and a jacket and pants. I gazed at myself in the mirror. I look like the humans in the drawings at the Emperor's library.
After the clothes were on, I read the rest of the instructions. When in the above world, I need to hide my demon eyes. Make them look human. Trying my best, I transformed my irises till I could no longer see the flowing demon world energy in the teal. These human eyes looked so blank without it.
The air in the Overworld is toxic to us. It will slowly drain me if I do not have demon world batteries attached to my body.
I've seen these batteries, seen them be crafted. They were incredibly easy and took no time at all to make, so I fixed a bundle up. I made them into clips, made them little golden triangles. I attached them to my jacket, put them on the buttons down the front and on the sleeve cuffs. I put them in my hair, clipping strands together in the front and sides. I left my hair free in the back and a few strands free in front of my face. I still looked okay. I felt energy flowing inside the batteries, felt them flowing into me. I knew these would come in handy.
Then I felt it. The earth shifted suddenly, and I knew what was happening. The Overworld and the demon world were parallel. It was time to go.
I went outside, then morphed, half-surprised my clothes were still on. I spread my wings. I felt drool form in my mouth. I was so hungry. "Not enough," I growled, looking up. "I must search up there."
I had to go right now. Looking back, back at my home, I knew this is what I must do to survive. I took off, going fast. I summoned a lot of energy, and it took so much effort as I broke through Hell and entered the Overworld. I instantly felt the toxic oxygen of this new atmosphere. It hurt. It made my mind flare and my head and throat burned. I almost vomited because of all the strain hitting my body all at a single moment.
I found ground, landing, folded my wings to my sides, then changed into a human form. I staggered, but the batteries let me quickly recover. Besides, I was one of the strongest demons in the demon world. I am the Man Who Ate All Of Hell's Mysteries.
I had a plan on catching my food. I decided to find a human to act as a shield. I will solve mysteries here, then put the credit on the human. I will eat without a care.
For one day I allowed myself to adjust to this Overworld atmosphere. I practiced acting human. Practiced acting friendly. In this one day I learned the entire language of Japanese, which was the language of the country I found myself in. I learned that some of these human customs were very different from demon ones. Some demon behaviors would seem very odd to them. And some of their behaviors seemed very odd to me.
The next day I began searching. I had heard of a murder of a human man, killed in a locked room. The man had some connection to a teenage girl, who was sad about the situation. I do not understand emotions well, but I could tell the girl was not happy about the death. Law enforcers, who I learned were commonly called inspectors or police, had ruled the case closed as a suicide. But I sensed a deeper mystery. It excited me.
I watched the girl as she walked home after the man's funeral. I supposed the man was her father. I suddenly thought about my own father, Synapse, but the thought quickly vanished. I followed the girl throughout the day without her noticing me. I learned she was generally liked among her kind, friendly, good at speaking to people. It was then when I decided that this girl could act as my cover. She seemed to be very impressionable, easy to manipulate and control.
I followed her home, snuck into her house, the dwelling where her father died. I waited for her to go upstairs, then went up after her. I could hear her, shuffling around in a room. I spoke from the hallway, asking her if she wanted to unravel her mystery. A spark of fear suddenly flashed from her inside the room.
Then, I stepped onto the wall. It was a demon ability. I could walk up sheer walls and on ceilings. I went into her room, and I happened to surprise the girl so much she screamed out loud. I looked down at her from above, reached down, introduced myself, then demanded her to be my slave.
I forced her, even though she really didn't want to work for me. But gradually she came to trust me. She liked me, I could tell, cared when I got hurt, even though I can always heal myself with my demon powers.
I made allies in the Overworld, like the girl who I came to know as Yako. Like the former mafia man Godai. Even policemen like Sasazuka eventually became great use to me. I made Yako famous among the humans. She acted as a detective, when it was really me solving cases. I kept fed, but I strained myself in this toxic world. I had to eat very often, and solving puzzles made me use a lot of demon strength.
I made enemies in the Overworld that my slave Yako came to know very well. And it was said we were a perfect team. I would destroy the outside of the mystery, while Yako would delve into the mind of the criminal and claw out the reason and emotion behind the intent.
In the Overworld I had not met any demons. But that was alright. The humans entertained me. While there, I met many criminals who surprised and amazed me. Like that woman, Aya Asia, who could control a human's brain through music notes. Her hypnosis failed to work on me, though, because I cannot feel the same emotions as the humans.
Denjin HAL, the cyber person, was very interesting. At first he weakened me, but then I destroyed him and devoured his delicious, huge mystery, a grand maze of evil intent. I believe that was the best meal I've ever consumed.
Kaitou X, or, Kaitou Sai gave me great fun in his games. His cells were always shifting. He could transform and morph, almost like I could, but he was human, and went through a horrible amount of pain. He had a great deal of mystery around his being, but it was all revealed in a matter of moments, when his master, a dangerous man named Sicks told us all about X's background.
Sicks gave me a great deal of misfortune and trouble. Two of his minions were heartlessly killing off my food source, their fellow humans. Both of them almost killed me, making me strip off some of my batteries and consume them to protect my stomach. After a bloody, painful battle, I had defeated both of them in my demonic, sadistic manner, and had strained myself so much that I was unable to move. Other minions of Sicks's the humans killed, although with my help of course. One Yako and I had broken so much she went down on her knees and began licking my shoes, an act I had told Yako to do many times. Of course my irritable slave refused.
Yako and I had some arguments. It was understandable I suppose, for we were completely different beings. She has a gentle heart. I do not. She has a pure soul, whereas I am from Hell. But we are a perfect team, unable to be broken, no matter the differences. Without her I am not able to eat. Without me she is heartbroken and guilty. I come to trust her with her success in many tests, and I depend on her. I think she became my first friend, a better companion than the demons I ran with in my not-so-long-ago childhood.
I almost died. My batteries were gone, my jacket torn and destroyed and lost. My hair was loose and dull. My eyes were dull too. I barely had any energy. My demonic power was completely sapped. I was as close to human as ever after I finally got Sicks to die. I slept on the sofa in the office-nest I had for many days, waking up to darkness or to Yako watching me with concerned eyes. The braid of dark hair that belonged to Akane, the corpse in the wall, which was once full of life, was now limp and gray. I gave the hair life and power, but now I am dying and powerless, unable to keep her moving.
Yako told me to leave. She told me to go back to my home world and heal. She told me she would be alright, she told me not to worry. Humans would still have mysteries, the same delicious mysteries that I lived for. She would grow smart, and she told me to return when I felt better. I wanted to stay here though. But I would surely die if I did.
For some reason, she made me laugh. I broke into a grin, then laughed, bringing her close. I think I would miss her. More than I missed my mother, who abandoned me. More than I missed my fellow demons, who I myself abandoned. More than I never missed my father. I decided I would come back to her when the worlds were once again parallel and I was as strong as I was when I first came to the Overworld.
Zera came to fetch me. She opened her mouth wide enough for me to step through. At once the demon world's power soaked into me, filling my frail body. I moved back into my new home and spent many days sleeping, being brought little puzzles by my demonic servants. None of these servants are as remarkable as the humans that had once served me.
For awhile I slept and soaked up energy and ate stale puzzles that sustained me enough to heal. I liked being able to breath evenly, liked having to shake my wings in this air. I liked to speak the language of demons. I saw demons that had missed me. Fog had a mate, a wolfish female like himself. He laughed at me for messing up in the Overworld, in my desperate chase to eat. I playfully restled with him, and I beat him. Once my energy returned, I became the strongest demon once more.
But I was still hungry. I had always longed for a meal that would keep me satisfied for a very long time. Something huge and full of flavor. An ultimate mystery. And eventually my hunger drove me to go back to the humans, back to Yako.
It was a few years before the worlds were once again parallel. I broke past Hell once more, disguised and equipped with my batteries. That silly Yako said she'd stand out among the many humans of the Overworld. That was why I laughed at her. But then I found she was right.
I found Yako, the same Yako. She did stand out. She was glowing with intelligence and a great knowledge of human psycology. She was still a famous detective, for the years I was gone she had been solving cases without me. I was actually impressed.
I found her many thousand feet in the air. On an airplane. The flying vessel reminded me of my final battle with Sicks, for we dueled on a crashing plane's wing. I glanced through her window. She had grown up, like how I did, not very long ago. I don't think I was much older than her, because she looked very much like an adult. Yako was sitting in a chair next to the aisle, and the window seat was empty.
I phased through the side of the plane, very quietly, and sat on the chair beside the woman named Yako.
At once she noticed the shift. Yako turned when she realized there was someone beside her and nearly screamed like she did when I first confronted her.
"Yako," I said first.
"Neuro," she said.
She opened her arms wide to embrace me. I accepted her as she wrapped her arms around my humanly form, even though inside I was still the same demon I was born as.
Looking back, those are most vivid memories I can recall. The rest of my life I can think back to, but the images are a bit fuzzy. I can't really remember who said what, even though I truly am the most intelligent being.
I am still searching for the ultimate mystery with the help of the humans. I like them better now. I wish I had the power to preserve them all in immortality, so they could keep creating wonderful mysteries for me. But like my mother, my companion Fog and many others, like my father who left me before I hatched, the humans are moving on. Many who I have come to respect have died. Humans are interesting creatures with interesting minds. But I will never truly understand them. Yako was right, though. They had never changed while I was healing. They are still spinning lies and stories and crimes with evil intent. I eat, gain some energy, fall hungry, then use up the energy while preparing another meal. I think I am content with this, even though being full for awhile sounds really nice.
If I ever consume the ultimate mystery, I think the Overworld will become peaceful. Maybe it'll become bland like it did in Hell and maybe I'll have to go in search of a new world to devour. Or maybe I'll stay full for a very, very long time and finally try to settle for a pleasant life. But it will be peaceful.
However if I die before or while I'm solving the greatest puzzle I'll leave you with a choice: You can either remember me or forget me.
Perhaps you have already forgotten me. Perhaps you have even met me, except you thought of me only as the famous detective's humble assistant. That's okay though, for that was my intention. Or maybe you've seen me in a crowd in the city, dressed in the blue clothes my mother once gave me and took no notice and continued with your life.
But now that you've read this, you can go ahead and stop reading and move on. Maybe you'll see me again, walking along with Yako or soaring through the sky. If you see a man in a blue suit with maroon and blonde hair, or a demon with wings and horns, you can think of me, or you can just ignore it and keep moving on.
You can keep this record if you want. It's the choices that you make that creates a puzzle. Perhaps I will solve your puzzle one day.
Don't die too soon. But if you do and you happen to go to Hell, be sure to greet Fog. Tell him you know of me. He'll like you. If you come across my mother or a demon named Synapse, tell them about me living on the Overworld. But you don't have to. That's your choice. I prefer you forget about me and keep building the story of your life. Your life sustains my life.
My name was originally Nougami.
Then it was Nougami Neuro.
I ate all the mysteries of Hell.
I'll never eat all the mysteries of the Overworld.
Not until every last single fragile human dies. I hope that never happens.
I've changed my mind.
Remember me, because I'm telling all of you to never stop trying to live, just as I never stop trying to eat.
Now go ahead and do what it is you strange humans do.
Hope you all liked it.
~Groves of the Pass'd.