A/N: Guys, guuuyyyysss... I'm sorry. I'm doing it again. If anyone tunes in for this new and improved chapter, I swear this will make more sense. I was kind of just throwing things at ya with the last reboot, but I swear. I'm on a role now. Not all chapters will be changed, but I'm definitely making my story easier to understand for you. And hey, it only took me... four years? Or so? Hehe... yeah.
And for new readers... welcome to my - story. I really wanted to say lair. But this isn't even remotely my lair. Head over to my profile page, where I can be all like "Eh, welcome to my crib... my lair, my realllmmm." Or not. You don't have to. Anyway... continue :D
Chapter One: Thriller
"Few people ever come into contact with these mystical creatures. Often confused for Gods due to their seemingly divine power, elemental spirits hold the incredible task of keeping our world in harmony" - Hajime Matsumoto, The Elementals pg.6
The sky was a myriad of colors, almost like a painter had taken the lightest of water colors and whimsically, confidently, drew his brush across the canvas that was their world. Straight ahead from where she stood against a 7/11, Ayano saw the dawning of night creep ever so slowly, like the inky tendrils of a sea creature, capture the sky and dyed it dark as the sun steadily faded away.
She leaned against the brick wall, tugging at the ponytail hanging over her shoulder as she listened half-heartedly to the person at the other end of the phone.
"There's been a string of disappearances linked to the KLG Night Club."
Ayano checked the time on her phone. They'd been talking for a full three minutes and she'd already lost interest. A new all-time record. "Uh-huh."
"It could be a wayward nymph or siren-"
"'Or a fae, imp… a number of things really.'" She interrupted. "'Which is why we're going to need a few days to get back to you, in the meantime we'll email the general info.'"
"U-um well, yes." Hamasaki Akio - the Informer for her sect of the Paranormal Investigative Department- said nervously. Akio was a nervous guy in general and didn't do well with confrontation of any sort. She frequently wondered when she interacted with him why he worked for the PID at all. Not to say she didn't like him. Ayano just rarely had patience for the protocol he strictly stuck to.
He sighed on the other end of the phone. "I also have another message for you... from your father."
Ayano yanked on her ponytail, teeth grinding. "What could he possibly have to say to me?"
Things had gone a bit off course three years ago, the relationship she had with her father being one of them. Now they maintained correspondence strictly through emails and Akio.
"He wants me to tell you h-happy birthday and that he's sent a present to your house."
Closer to her now, the darkness seeped into the water colors morphing sundown into early evening. Ayano pushed off the brick wall, stuffing her unoccupied hand into the pocket of her grey sweatshirt.
"Tell him I'm very thankful, although I'm sure I'll be anything but when I see my… present."
"Okay, will do." He sounded relieved to be done with the conversation.
She smiled. "Have a goodnight, Akio."
"You too." The line went dead.
Ayano slipped the phone into her pocket. Her mind whirred over the brief information she'd been given on the new case. Disappearances at a nightclub? They all knew it was most likely a succubus. Why they still stuck to the 'mandatory five days of research' was truly beyond her. But then again, she was the brawn and they were the brains, so what did she know.
It wasn't long before she reached the apartment building. Ayano entered, extracting keys from her back pocket as she walked up the stairs. She lived on the third floor but preferred to take the stairs over the elevator most times than not for exercise. After all, her job called for fitness and with the way she ate, Ayano legitimately needed to take advantage of any cardio she could fit in a day.
Nonchalantly kicking the door labeled 'five' as she walked by, she stopped at door six, sliding her key into the knob.
The apartment building she lived in also played home to four other agents. She lived next door to the singular couple team. It was routine to let them know she was heading in so they knew it was time to head out.
The apartment five door opened just as she was about to step into her own home. "Kannagi."
She paused. "Yeah?"
Out stepped one half of team Lovestruck. That was their team name, hand picked by themselves. Her eyes roved over the sleekly dressed woman, slowly meeting her darkly amused eyes.
"See something you like, Ayano?"
She smirked. "Yeah… that coat. Wherever did you get it?"
Maria waved her hand to and fro as an airy gesture. "Oh, I can't even remember at this point… did you hear anything today though, beautiful, that might make our job easier?"
Ayano shrugged, playing with the door handle. "Not anything huge. Corpses going missing-
"Probably a Kasha." Maria nodded smartly.
"Also, there may be a few oni downtown but that's all. Goodnight." Ayano smirked, heading into her apartment and softly closing the door behind her.
Instantly her body relax, losing the tension she carried during the day. Hastily she drew the grey sweatshirt over her head, throwing it into the coat closet next to the door. The apartment was a warm eighty degrees, in sharp contrast from the chilly sixty outside. August was coming to an end and New York was welcoming autumn thoroughly.
"Ayano!" A flash of blond was all the redhead saw before she was engulfed.
Catherine Mcdonald, blond bombshell and Ayano Kannagi's former rival, was the enthusiastic hugger that greeted her at the door. Ayano lightly returned the gesture, then gently pulled away, ignoring her roommates clinginess. "I'm exhausted, fuck, you have no idea how hungry I am right now."
Toeing off her boots and putting a pair of slippers on she softly padded into the kitchen. "Did you make dinner, roomie? That would be awesome… I could really go for some red curry right now to be honest. Or pizza. I don't know, did you make something?"
Ayano turned around, blinking at her friend that still stood in the doorway before a thought crossed her mind and she was ransacking the cupboards for ramen. "Oh, by the way my father said he sent a present for for me. Did a package arrive?"
The redhead glanced her way, hands still grasping ramen packets from the cupboard.
"Hm?" She asked, about to return to her task before her eyes locked onto Catherine's face. The girl was pale to begin with, but at the moment she was pasty white. Her hands shaky and her eyes wide.
"Ayano, you need to see… It's… he's in the living room."
The possibilities of just what or who as the case seemed to be, awaited her instantly ran through her mind. She was still thinking about it as Catherine grabbed her arm and began to drag her. Just who could render Catherine Mcdonald white as a sheet almost as if she'd seen a-
"Happy birthday, Ayano." A deep voice drawled.
All color drained from her face.
There, lounging on her black leather sofa as if he owned it, was none other than Kazuma Yagami the mother fucking Contractor himself.
Risen from the dead.