I promise this will be more interesting in later chapters.

I own nothing.

The train departed Risembool quickly, with Izaya sinking into a seat.

"When we get into Pasloe or whatever the village we're going to is, I'm asking for a train map," he vowed.

"Good luck with that. Say…have you guys ever heard the legend of the Rail Tracer?" Claire asked. Isaac and Miria instantly paid attention, eyes widening a little.

"What about the Rail Tracer? Is it some sort of monster?" Mikado guessed.

"More or less so. It's said the Rail Tracer targets a train and slowly begins to eats its passengers, starting from the caboose, as it makes its way towards the front of the train. When the conductor is eaten, the train is left to run on its own, until it's eaten as well. They say the Rail Tracer nearly ate the Flying Pussyfoot…" Claire began, but stopped when he noticed Czeslaw, Isaac, Miria and Jacuzzi staring at Claire with wide eyes.

"Is everything okay, you guys?" Psyche asked.

"We were on the Pussyfoot when the Rail Tracer appeared. How do you know the legend?" Isaac questioned Claire.

"Well, you could I say I was the Rail Tracer himself…" the redhead began, a grin on his face.

"D-Don't joke about that! Nice and I saw him on the Flying Pussyfoot a few years ago! You don't seem like the kind of guy to just kill people, Claire…" Jacuzzi pointed out.

"People can change depending on the circumstances. Lovers become killers, psychopaths become heroes, and allies can backstab you," Izaya commented.

"Okay, if we can take our minds off the Rail Tracer for five seconds, does anyone know any town by the name of Pasloe at all?" Ladd asked.

"Oh! Oh! I do!" Erika responded.

"It's from Spice and Wolf, this series about a wolf goddess and a merchant!" Walker explained.

"…and explain to me how that's relevant?" Kyohei asked.

"Pasloe is the town Lawrence finds the wolf goddess in! Oh my gosh, Walker, we could be seeing Holo!" Erika squealed.

"Crud. I was looking forward to a fan girl-free time in a video game," Kyohei cursed.

"On the bright side, Pasloe does sound pretty interesting," Jacuzzi offered.

Izaya noticed how little Isaac and Miria were contributing to the conversation. Miria looked slightly pale, forcing a smile, while Isaac was staring out the window, pretending not to hear anything.

"You know, if what they're saying is bothering you, you could just say so," the dark-haired informant reminded them.

"That isn't who we are, though. We're Isaac Dian and Miria Harvent—the two idiotic lovers who grin and bear everything," Miria responded.

"So you're going to pretend all of this is okay?"

Miria looked at the floor.

"Why not? It's better than correcting them and letting everything go to pieces."

A sudden thunk on top of the train alerted everyone.

"What was that?" Rachel wondered.

"Probably something like the Rail Tracer coming to finish us off," Graham guessed. Izaya was surprised to hear the blonde for the first time completely normal.

"What? I can't speak as normal people do here?"

"No, it's just—"

Another loud thunk broke off the conversation. Isaac leapt back from where he was sitting, accidentally knocking Miria back as well.

"Isaac, what's wrong?" Nice asked.

"I saw the Rail Tracer!" the immortal responded, scrambling to get up with Miria.

"Are you sure?"

Isaac looked back at the window. All that remained was a few red spots that were beginning to be washed away by a just-starting rainstorm.

"But…I thought…"

"Isaac, maybe you're just stressed and seeing things?" Jacuzzi guessed.

"No…I'm sure I saw him!" Isaac insisted.

Izaya sighed and shook his head.

"If the Rail Tracer is on the train, then we're getting off as soon as possible."


That night, Izaya stayed awake, waiting for the announcement that they were arriving in Pasloe. As it turned out, Central—Izaya's intended destination for them to get off and continue to VIRUS's castle on foot—was in the middle of a situation with a terrorist killing members of the military, and Reole and Youswell were just recovering from tyrannical rule under a priest and lieutenant from said military.

"Citizens will be hostile in those areas, and I'd rather not be suspected of working for the military, whatever it is," Izaya stated.

Firo had suggested stopping somewhere in Xing, but it was quickly agreed that Pasloe would be a better place to stop, probably because of new interest in the wolf goddess, Holo.

"She does sound a bit like Ennis, actually. She's this great wolf who can make crops grow—maybe we could use her as an ally?" Walker had suggested.

"Using a goddess to do our dirty work sounds great in context. Have fun negotiating with her," Izaya joked.

"Izaya, Holo isn't a copy of Namie, she's really nice—"

"Gee, thanks for showing so much faith in me."

At that point, the conversation degraded from talking about a wolf goddess's possible help to Namie refusing to believe Walker was just joking, until Rachel finally broke the argument up and they went to bed.

Izaya found himself about to doze off when he heard the door open. A dark figure stood in the doorway.

"Who are you?"

"Oh, me? Just a figment of your imagination."

"Very funny. How about telling me your name?"

The figure walked forward, reaching the other end of the car.

"I'm afraid I cannot tell you that, or anything, really…except for one thing. You won't get any farther than Noct Town because of your status in this world."

"Because I'm the Black King's foe."

"Yes. Have fun beating him."

"Wait, why are you on the train?"

"I said I could only tell you that one thing. I don't go against promises, White King."

Before Izaya could question him any further, the mysterious person left the area.