Chapter I: An Unfortunate Meeting
December 19th 1889, London, England.
Not many people were in the cafe. Even though Rin didn't order anything, the waitress didn't seem to mind that she was there. It was less work for her, after all, so it'd be better if Rin didn't order at all.
Rin scanned the newspaper once more. Out of the thirty jobs listed in there, only one attracted her attention. 10 pounds per hour. Although the job description wasn't very clear, it was still promising.
Need assistant. -Contact: Len
She had heard rumors about him. None of them were pleasant. He just got out from prison around 3 months ago, after murdering a boy.
'Who wants to be the assistant of a former murderer?' Rin asked herself.
"Looking for a job?" The waitress asked. The voice startled Rin. She was wearing a name tag that said 'Luka'.
"Um, yes..." Rin gently put the newspaper down. It isn't polite to talk while reading.
"We're short-handed. If you want, I'll ask the boss." Rin looked around. There weren't any people there. How could they ever be short-handed? One waitress is enough to handle zero customers, Rin thought.
"No thanks... I've already decided." Rin answered.
"I see... What job?" Luka asked. She seemed so bored she'd do anything to release herself from boredom.
"An assistant." Rin answered shortly, and pointed at the ad in the newspaper, wondering how she would answer.
"Ah, the psychopath..." Luka seemed to know who Rin was talking about. "Don't underestimate that job. You might lose your life." Luka's tone didn't change at all, which made Rin wonder if she was serious or not.
"I'm serious." Luka saw Rin's puzzled face. "Do you even know what you're doing by 'assisting'?" Luka asked.
"Doing laundry, serving food, and house cleaning?" Rin guessed.
"I doubt it. Some townspeople protested that the police released him from jail. He should've died by public hanging." Luka paused. "Well, that's what they all say. If I were you, I'd take another job... Like, working here?" Luka added.
"You changed my mind." Rin said. But a few moments later, she added. "Maybe I'll go to his mansion and ask what my job is, before I make any decisions."
Rin stood up and grabbed her newspaper. "Don't worry. As soon as I get a job, I'll be sure to buy something from you." Rin left the cafe and walked towards this "psychopath's" mansion.
The mansion stood tall with a large fountain to greet Rin. She entered the gate which was intertwined with beautiful vines. The mansion was 3 stories tall. Walking through the garden during the evening was so beautiful. Rin enjoyed the mansion already. Unfortunately, she wasn't there to enjoy a walk through the moonlight. "Need assistant. -Contact: Len" wasn't enough information for her.
Rin rang the doorbell. She waited for a moment, and a second later she could hear footsteps from the inside. Rin was so nervous her throat was dry, her hands were sweaty, and her heartbeat raced fast. She thought she already prepared herself, but she was wrong. Rin was nervous, and scared. The chat with Luka triggered her nervousness. If she hadn't talked with her, then she wouldn't have felt nervous. But why now? She felt fine when she decided to talk about the job. Oh well, there's no backing down now. Rin could hear the door being unlocked from the inside.
The large wooden door opened. The 'psychopath' wasn't as crazy looking as Rin thought he would be. He was well-dressed, with sapphire eyes and blonde hair. He smiled at her.
"Welcome." He said. "Come inside."
Rin came inside the mansion. It was dark, with only a few lights on. There weren't many things there; in fact, Rin couldn't see anything there. The light was too dim, though she didn't question why. It was around 8:00 pm, maybe it was his bedtime.
Suddenly Rin saw a spark, followed by a sound of crackling. Len was lighting up a fire in the fireplace. She could see things clearer now. There were 2 red mahogany chairs, and after he lit the fire, Len sat down.
"May I ask why you come here?" He asked.
It took a minute for Rin gathered herself up to answer his question. "A job. You're looking for an assistant, is that correct?" Rin tried to be formal with him.
"You may sit down if you want." Rin sat on the sofa facing him. From her angle Len seemed to be a 'normal' person. But she found something unusual. His right arm. Is she hallucinating? It looked like his right arm wasn't there.
"Yes, I see you've noticed my right arm..." Len squeezed his right arm so she could see that there was nothing there.
"You asked if I'm looking for an assistant, is that right? Yes, I am looking for an assistant. You came all the way here to ask only for that?" He asked back.
"No, I'm considering whether or not should I work for you. You didn't put many details about this job, so I wanted to know." Rin answered. So far, so good. She didn't have trouble talking to him, which was a good thing.
"I didn't bother to put any details. I doubted anyone would come, knowing that I am the one looking for it."
"What do you mean?" Rin asked.
"Once they see my house, the house of a murderer who had been released 3 months ago, they refuse the job. I saw a few people came from where I sat by the window. But none of them had any courage to walk through my mansion's front yard." He answered.
"Congratulations. I don't know if you're willing to do it or not, but you're the first person to come to my mansion after I was released." Len added.
His voice gave her a chill. Maybe it was a bad idea to visit his house. Something in her mind just screamed saying that she shouldn't take the job. But why did she want the job in the first place? The money? Rin had already forgotten the reason.
"So, by being my assistant, you will assist me on doing my job, and sometimes clean the house and cook food. I could do it by myself, but I think I would rather have you busy doing the work."
"What IS your job?" Rin asked. Her voice was small, like a whisper. She didn't realize that, but still, it did. Maybe because she didn't want to know what he does? The possibilities made her very uncomfortable.
"A detective." He answered shortly. "And what your job in 'assisting' me is to stop me from doing any harm." Len added.
"How?" Rin raised an eyebrow. That's very unusual, she thought.
"Do whatever you can to prevent me from doing harm. Anything. Kill me if necessary." He answered.
Rin thought for a moment. There was a long pause between the both of them, and Len was the first to break the silence.
"There is a reason why I didn't put much detail in the newspaper." He said. "It's to test your bravery. Surely you were nervous when you entered my mansion's front yard. As I said before, no one dared to enter besides you. If you have the courage to enter my mansion, at night time, I'm sure you can handle being surrounded by corpses, blood, and tragedies." Len continued.
Rin wasn't even sure if she could handle that. The question that was swirling inside her brain was, 'why not?' She was looking for an answer to the question. The worst thing that could happen was for Len to kill her, but if she became his assistant, then she has the right to hurt him. Kill him if necessary.
"So," Len said. "Are you willing to be my assistant?" He said with a somewhat cold voice.
For the last time, Rin thought for a moment. If no one's willing to do it, who will stop the crazy psychopath from doing harm?
"I will." Rin said with a trembling voice.
"You can go home and think about it, before you make a decision you will regret in the future." It was Len's turn to raise his eyebrows. He was sure that no one would be brave enough to stand near him 24/7. It would drive anyone or anything mad.
"If no one's willing to do it, who will stop the crazy psychopath from doing harm?" Rin repeated what she said in her mind.
Len gave out a faint smile.
'Finally.' He thought.
"I'll give you more details tomorrow. Come at 9:00 AM and you can start working." He added a pause. "For the second time, congratulations."
/EDIT: Starting from this chapter, both 'Flying in Distant Skies' and 'Rietto' are editing the chapters, more or less until the Japanese 'case'/