It was a gloomy night the time Miku Hinasaki closed her hand-book and decided to sleep.
Finishing some info-gathering Rei Kurosawa had tasked her with, Miku leant back on her chair and stretched her aching arms wide. She looked at the table-clock on her table which shown 11 : 42 on its digital screen. Well, staying up late was her on daily routine so why should she complain about it? Rei had been recovering from her past trauma lately, going on many occasions and taking several jobs, and that was a good news.
It was a month after the Manor of Sleep incident now, she mused, sighing inwardly.
Yes, after experiencing two weeks full of terror and trouble-sleeping, all the Manor of Sleep victims had returned to their normal lives, including Kei and Mio Amakura who briefly made it out of the nightmare realm. Although those who were already succumb to it, she knew, were never to return.
Miku got up from her seat, taking a black cat who was playing with an origami in her room, into her arms.
"It's bed time, Ruri," she said to the cat who whimpered at her touch.
Ruri was a gift from her deceased mother before she left Miku and her brother to live on their own. Well, maybe it could be called 'another' gift, since the cat wasn't the only thing she inherited from her parent. Her sixth sense, her power, was also a 'gift' from her mother who possessed a great deal of spiritual power. "It is a power to see things other people can't," Miku remembered herself saying it to Rei on a certain night. And that short phrase concluded everything in it.
After the incident a month ago, Miku realized that, both her and Rei's sixth sense were not completely gone. It was quite the opposite, actually. Unlike two years ago where her ability to sense and connect with the spiritual world completely vanished without a trace, she now could still sense their presence—and as odd as it might be, sometimes, even their 'feelings'. She had consulted it with Rei and Kei previously, each stating what was on their mind about their unique 'gift'. And from what the two had confessed, she was the only one who could grasp feelings of the deceased.
"Maybe it happens naturally because you were able to see them from a very young age," Kei once stated. "Mafuyu told me about your ability to sense things greatly surpassed his, so I think it's only natural that it reaches the state where you are more sensitive towards them now."
Miku smiled sadly at the remembrance. She had never wanted this kind of power. Never, even once. She could remember how she had suffered from that 'power' as a child, trying to shut herself so nobody would notice it. But fortunately, she wasn't as vurnurable as when she was a child now. It was true however, that she couldn't really control it well, but at least she could shove them off and shut her sixth sense to prevent things from getting worse. Well, not completely shutting it off though—she could still feel them lurking about—but at least it'd not be so bothersome as it was in her childhood days.
After turning off the main lamp in her room, Miku sat on the side of her bed, pulling off the red comb she inherited from her grandmother form her dark, chesnut hair, leaving the long strands astray. Ruri stroke her stretched hand affectionally before going to sleep herself.
"Godd night," Miku whispered to the cat as she pulled the blanket to cover her body. Although the heater in her room was functioning well, she could still feel the coldness of the air outside. It was Fall, so colder weather during nights were to be expected.
Miku closed her eyes, letting the darkness to calm her mind. She had already forget how tired she was when both she and Rei had severe trouble sleeping during the Manor of Sleep incident, but she couldn't bring herself to care about the past now: she had a future to work on. She had Rei, she had Ruri, and she had the Amakura family as acquintances now. After Mafuyu's death and the car accident, she finally felt that she had a familiy.
At that thought, Miku Hinasaki succumbed into slumber, not knowing what dream that soon would take her into another cruel reality of the unknown world.
Sun had already set down peacefully at the west horizon when the last airplane from England landed on Japan. Many people with tired looks came out from the plane, each carried luggage they brought from where they came. One of them was, a young man with a short hair. Wearing a black jacket and white shirt inside, his lofty stature quickly gained attention, mainly from the ladies. That was to be expected, since his hair was in the colour of silver. Well, it was originally whitish blonde, but it looked much more like silver since the colour was so thin, leaving only small shade of darker light.
The young man had a complexion of a young Englishman combined with East Asian features. The sunglassess he wore hid a pair of dark blue orbs which glanced from one side to another, seeking a certain someone who might be his clue.
"Are you, by any chance, the acquintance of Mr. Shikigane?"
A young lady, clad in a waitress' outfit, greeted him. The young man stood silently for some seconds before nodding in reply.
"He's been waiting for you," the young woman gestured at a hallway which had a 'Staff Only' mark on the side of the entrance. "Please do follow me."
The two walked through the hallway with many doors until they reached the end of the corridor. A large door was there, leading to the Director's room it seemed. "Director Miyama," the woman called as she knocked on the door, "Your guest have arrived."
A rough voice of a middle-aged man rang from the room. "Let him enter."
The young woman opened the door to the sumptuous room, gesturing the young man to enter as well. The room, although a bit dark because the lack of lit lights in it, was spacious and rounded with rich-decorated bookshelves. A desk was stood on its center, a figure was sitting behind it with its back facing the two.
"You may leave," the man gave a hand-sign to the woman as he turned to face his guest. He was a middle-aged man with a muscular complexion. His jaw was covered with layers of beard and his black hair was arranged in a low ponytail, leaving no bangs on his forehead.
As soon as the woman left the room, the Director fixed his glance at the figure before him. "Have a seat," he said while waving his hand to an empty seat in front of him. The young man took off his sunglasses and sat down.
"I'm sorry for calling you so suddenly," the Director said as he bowed his head slightly. "I'm glad that you've arrived safe and sound."
"I don't mind," the young man replied, his sharp-angular face refused to show any emotion. "I'm quite eager to see what my homeland looks like anyway."
The Director laughed at his last remark. "Yes, yes, enjoy your time as you stay here. I've prepared everything for you. You'll be staying at my apartmen, suite room of course—But that aside," he interrupted himself. "Down to business; I'll be asking you to do your usual stuff," he staid with a stern look on his face.
The young man raised his eyebrow and shrugged. "It's my job. I shall accept everything you task me with as long as it goes with the agreement we've both agreed."
"Of course: 'no murder and no thievery'—I remember that. Well, I believe you're a proffesional despite your young age; my concern of this job has nothing to do with your work, yes?"
"I don't question people who hire me fairly," was his reply.
The Director nodded approvingly, grinning as he did so. "I can see that you've been through hard times. Tell me, magi, how old are you now?"
"I have no birthdate. but if you want an exact count based on years alone, I should be arround twenty by now."
"I see you're used to fake identities, boy." He then handed the young man an envelope and a disc. "Everything you have to do is contained in that disc, including my personal number and people who may be your acquintances in the near future. I shall leave your identity to yourself, but everything else other than that shall be under my control. Do we agree?"
The silver-haired man nodded.
"Good. So, magi, have you encountered a 'fallen spirit' before?"
Director Miyama smiled darkly at his reply. "Then you surely now how dangerous they are. I'm sure you're already aware, but fallen spirits are the kind of spirits who have transformed into another... form, and attacked living creatures without consent. There are an increase in accidents caused by them in these last few months—it's as if their awakening is triggered by something. Of course, normal people only say logical things about their evil deeds." A cloud crossed over the Director's face as he folded his hands on the table. He then lifted up his face and stared right into the young man's unreadable blue eyes. "I need you to find the source of this breaking chaos and deal with it."
"I shall try my best. Mind you, I'm not the type to give promises, but I shall try to eliminate the root of this madness as you requested."
"Good," he nodded, more to himself. "By the way, what should I call you from now on? Since you'd be a member of the Shikigane clan for this job, I need not your surname anymore. And keep calling you 'magi boy' doesn't count either," he added lightly.
"My usual pattern of agreement that the hirer would grant me a name... But if you'd kindly let me decide, you can call me Rolve."
"Well then, Rolve," he said as he leant back on his chair, "you're free to leave. The driver's waiting for you, and he will take you to the apartmen. You can call me if you ever need anything. I'm a generous man. You also have a gift from me waiting at the basement, ready to use." Director Miyama then held out a car key from his pocket, handing it to the young magi who accepted it without a word.
"I'll be counting on you," the Director added before Rolve left the room. "The whole Japan will."
A/N : My third project based on Fatal Frame 3 alternate ending. And to be noted, unlike the game's time setting, I'll be using my own setting as any fiction would be. My choice of the setting is the year of 2007, so please don't get confused at the use of modern electronic devices which I'll be using in this fiction.
As usual, reviews are MUCH appreciated :)