*** ...trick and treat is getting a manga. Anyone excited? NEGI is awesome and whoever chose NEGI to be the illustrator is a genius. It'll be out in iTunes store and android market, that's what I heard. On... November, I think. Hope it's less than $10 heheheheeeheheehadsxovinsdx ***
Chapter 5: Fortune Telling
Len was proud to say he was getting a hang of everything now. He was at the dining hall with the other servants, ready to offer or serve passengers for a tray of champagne. Just two days ago he was the only servant there who carried the tray with both hands, not that it's wrong to carry it with both arms it's just that the other servants were more experienced and held them with only one hand; he looked like an odd one out in the pact (it's laughable that he couldn't do it considering the fact he only got one hand in the first place, and managed to play intricate song in piano but not holding a simple tray, although only one person knew that and laughed at him). On the bright side, after three days of working in the ship he hadn't broken anything.
"You're getting a hang of this, huh?" Apparently Lui was the first to notice Len's achievement. He had a tray on his hand as well and figured he'd stick around with Len until the shift was over. Another thing Len noticed about the ship for the past three days was the other servants. He'd always heard things on how sailors stick together and such, but the other servants were really distant. It's as if they have their own individual clicks. Lui mentioned how he didn't like the other servants or sailors being distant too, it made him feel like an outcast; ever since Len got there they both became outcasts so "it didn't feel as lonely and depressing as before" he said.
"Hey, hey, look at that lady over there!" Lui tugged Len's sleeve and pointed at a lady dressed in black. Not a bit of skin shown, all hidden by her scarf, hat, gloves and other accessory. "Don't you think she looks weird?"
"In what way? She's a woman and I don't understand a woman's logic in clothes aside from the fact that it's considered inappropriate for them to show much of their skin." That was the only fact Len knew about a woman's fashion life.
"She talked to a few people here and there about her job; she's a fortune teller. I noticed her since day one, but today she looks really nervous." He suddenly lowered his voice to a whisper. "I served her earlier, I lost count of how many glasses she had tonight but she kept on saying 'this ship will be the end of us' since she entered the dining hall. She's a fortune teller; do you think it's true?"
"Is this her first night drinking?" It was hard to tell on how that lady was feeling, he couldn't tell her expression or whether she really was nervous. Even though they were only a few tables away, the lady had her face hidden by her hat and scarf. It's impossible to judge her feeling through her expression.
"Yeah, this is her first night drinking, I think. Why?"
"It's possible that she's heavily drunk right now have you thought of that? When you're drunk your mind's not in place and pretty much anything can happen inside your mind." Len watched the lady called another servant who had a tray of champagne with him. She drunk it whole in one go and sighed. "Though I admit it's a bit weird that she's suddenly drinking." Len said said so quietly, Lui didn't even notice him say it.
People didn't change overnight. It's hard to change a habit. If she never drinks in the first place, it's very unlikely for her to start drinking out of the blue. Len wouldn't be surprised if she's only having problem and decided to make herself feel better by drinking, but if she really never drinks before, then her body wouldn't be used to alcohol yet. She should had been knocked out. Although Len wasn't sure if everybody reacts the same towards alcohol, the lady was still surprising. Len didn't know if she's still sober or not, but she's at least still coherent.
They stood in silence for a minute or two, until Lui broke the silence. "I need to refill my bottle for a minute, do you need yours refilled too?" Len shook his head and Lui left to the kitchen.
Len didn't feel like walking around asking whether passengers want to drink so he decided to stand in the corner instead. Being a servant was really boring; it's nothing he couldn't handle since he'd only need to stay there for another week (he survived three years in prison just fine, a fancy ship for a week should be a walk in the park). Len just wanted to go home and move on with his life, and for a second he wondered how Rin was doing the past three days without him. Kaito wouldn't let him anywhere near the telephone on his boss' office. A letter? No, unfortunately they didn't have magical owls that could send out letters a country away. Odds are his client Iroha (technically "their" client) was still bugging her, in an irritating and hopefully harmless way. The cat case bugged him a bit, and Len wasn't thinking of it as a simple case anymore, but still he hoped.
"Thinking about Rin now, aren't you?" Kaito's voice startled him. "Before you ask how I know this, I was a fortune teller, so I know stuffs."
"What, fortune tellers can read mind too?" Len didn't know why Kaito suddenly appeared next to him. It could be because he's keeping an eye on him, making sure he wasn't making problems, or perhaps he's keeping an eye on the fortune teller lady. Len was sure he took glances at her.
"Not exactly. When you visit fortune tellers in the beginning most of them will probably try and get to know you; what's on your mind in the present. Or in the past, it depends. Profession, family, relationships, things like that." He leaned on the wall before he continued on. "Wanna know a secret?"
"I'm gonna tell you anyway. The truth is, even though people think fortune telling is all about black magic it's not entirely like that. Mostly fortune tellers only say what you want to hear. I read around somewhere that when you do something, let's say, tell a lie. 80% of your actions are reflected through movements with the other 20% coming from your lips. Some actions are just involuntary, it's hard for some people to lie and not do some actions like avoiding eye contacts, odd unnecessary reflex movements... And fortune tellers have keen eyes; they could read your body. A single twitch could determine anything."
"What are you trying to say from here?" Len had no idea why he was telling him all of that but he just nodded along the way.
"Nothing. I just wanted to start a conversation, is that wrong?" Technically no, but Len thought Kaito was about to say something important for a second. "It's not just twitches or lies. There are other movements as well, for example, when you keep on rubbing or massaging your ring finger it means you've been thinking about a certain relationship. Non-stop eye contact for more than six seconds hints the possibility of wanting to murder or a certain want or lust. Oh, and here's another one! This goes to most girls; if you see them playing around with their hair in front of a guy it means they lik-, they love that person."
"If you fortune tellers already have your own dictionary or database or whatever you call this is... What will happen if someone's acting?" To Len the study of body movements seemed more believable than tarot cards or crystal balls. He's after all the son of a doctor.
"Give me an example, I'm having a hard time trying to grasp what you're saying."
"Let's say a girl acted like she's in love and played with her hair as she talked to someone. Would a fortune teller notice that she's in fact acting?"
"Hnn... Involuntary movement of the face muscles is pretty hard to fake, so if the said fortune teller can see her face I'm sure he/she will be able to see through it. Although... It's like, trying to fake a yawn; some people could make it seem natural, and the others couldn't." Kaito paused and looked at his watch. "Well, they'll serve dinner soon. I'll catch you around, Len."
"I've been on this ship for three days, and I still don't understand why we servants have to stand by. Who'd want our help in midnight? Or even those poor servants who have the 3:00 AM shifts help? I thought they would all want some privacy in their rooms doing God-knows-what," Len yawned. They were in the servant's office; as Len would call it to make 'that-room-where-servants-wait-until-someone-requires-their-help-during-their-shift' shorter. Lui pointed out what the name of the room was it sounded too fancy for something so lowly though, but he didn't seem to mind the name.
"Maybe they needed towels or maybe some passengers might be hungry..." Lui couldn't come up with a reason either. There were few servants there, all of them sat on the round table in the middle of the room; except for Len and Lui, there were few chairs unfortunately. They chose to stand in the corner far from them instead.
"In three in the morning? Really?"
"Well, yeah. In fact someone from room number 420 asked me to bring me some warm milk at midnight later. Some passengers just have strange appetites and we'll just have to suck it up." Len looked at the clock to make sure, last time he looked at the clock it was three minutes past midnight; and since time moves slower when you have nothing to do he doubted the number was far apart.
"It's five minutes past midnight already, shouldn't you prepare that order now?"
"Oh, wow I lost track of time!" Really? Time moved fast for him? They didn't even talk much and Len could tell Lui was as sleepy as he was. "Since you have nothing else to do, why don't you help me bring this order to her? It's better than sitting here, waiting for something to happen, right?" Well, Lui didn't have to ask twice.
Len still haven't figured out and memorized the map of the ship yet; of course he tried but with all the work he had to it was hard to spare a few minutes and try to memorize the map. He still had to count on Lui to bring him anywhere, it's easy to get lost in the ship. They were on their way to room number 420; with Len carrying the tray (to be fair, even though it was just a glass of warm milk that Lui made, Len wanted to do something as well)
"You know, room number 420 is the room of the fortune teller we talked about earlier. She asked a sailor for the milk so... I guess she was that drunk. 'Sailors don't take orders from passengers' was his exact quote. So that sailor told me to do it; when he said a weird drunk lady dressed in complete black I thought it must be the fortune teller." Number 413, 414, 415, they were a few rooms away.
"What if she's asleep?" 416, 417, 418, ... "Then she won't answer the door, right? If she won't, she'll blame us for it. I'm ready to give a long and hard argument." 419, 420, Len knocked on the door. His knocks get louder every time and eventually the door creaked open.
"It's not locked." Len pushed open the door, only to see the room completely empty. And by empty, Len meant her belongings weren't even there. No bags, or clothes, nothing. "Are you sure we're on the right room?" Len put the tray on the coffee table and opened the small wardrobe and found it to be empty as well. He doubted that black gown was the only thing she wore the past three days.
"The ship is packed, there shouldn't be any empty rooms." Lui closed the door behind him, looking a bit worried. "Where could she be?"
"This isn't right, I can't find her luggage anywhere. Lipstick. I remembered she wore lipstick, she should have some make up, accessories or even bath equipment, or clothes..." Len checked under the bed, no luggage either. "This is weird even for a weirdo."
"Leon, we could get in trouble, can't you be curious some time else?"
"Lui, she and her entire belongings are missing. Don't you think something might have happened to her?" Len looked at the wardrobe one more time, only more closely this time. He saw something sparkle and picked it up; a small marble attached to some metal? It looked like some sort of keychain.
"Are you saying she disappeared? Maybe, I don't know, as you said, her bags are missing maybe she's looking for it now."
"That in itself is weird. When did she talk to the sailor?" Lui really didn't feel comfortable with everything but unlike Len he felt it'd be easier and less stressful if he just kept on not knowing. Sadly, his only companion disagreed on that matter, and he was forced to went along.
"Around nine, maybe?"
"She ate dinner around seven, we left for our break on eight thirty, we returned to work around nine on the dining hall, and she left not too long after our shift started."
"You're overreacting, you know that...?"
"If I'm overreacting explain what's happening right now. I know she's drunk but I doubt a drunken person would carry luggage out and, what? Walk around the ship?" The bed wasn't messy at all, the other servants must've cleaned the room. Most cleaning services would work around 8:00 when most passengers are in the dining hall, and since the bed was untouched that fortune teller didn't go to sleep after she left the dining hall earlier. Or of course maybe she was a tidy person.
"She'll probably back in the morning, relax."
"No, that won't add up. That lady ordered a glass of milk at this exact time, and if she were to expect an order she wouldn't leave her room unattended, unlocked, and her luggage wouldn't be missing. She should be here right now. Something happened in between 9:00 PM earlier and right now." A few things just didn't make sense to Len, it was too weird yet at the same time a few things were explainable.
He thought up a few scenarios, none of them answered all the flaws. For example one scenario he came up with was the fact that the lady came in after she left the dining hall, went to her room, realized her luggage was stolen, left the room in a hurry, and was still out there in the ship somewhere. Len was confident she'd be smart enough to contact one of the servants or sailors, or even the neighboring rooms. Another scenario is if the lady came inside her room drunk, she left again without locking the door and was still out there, and while she was still out there in the ship someone stole her luggage. Wow, that seemed like a likely scenario. Then again, the milk was a bit weird. Or maybe...
'Maybe I'm just bored and wish for a case while she's really doing unreasonable stuff due to being drunk...' Len had all the rights to be worried, Kaito already gave him warnings about the ship and he did say anything could happen.
"You're right, I guess I'm over-thinking things. Let's just go back, I'm sure she'll be back in the morning." If he, a sane detective could get lost in a ship, a drunk woman would be more likely to get lost as well.
"LEON!" Lui shouted, only to make Len surprised and sat up from his bed... A loud thud to his head reminded him he was sleeping on the lower bunk of Lui's bed. "You're a heavy sleeper, you know that?"
"I didn't get much sleep last night." Len put on his fake glasses. "Why are you shouting? It's still six in the morning, doesn't our shift start at seven?"
"You can never guess what just happened, everyone's fussing about it even the passengers!" there was a hint of amusement in his voice and he looked a bit worried, typical signs of denial. Len could already guess what happened.
"Does it involve the fortune teller?"
"How did you know?"
"Seriously, Lui. What happened?" So he wasn't overreacting after all. Something actually happened and Len didn't like how this conversation was going.
"That fortune teller committed suicide. I don't know how it happened since I haven't seen the body... And I really don't want to. But she did!"
...No, the lady couldn't have committed suicide. She ordered that milk, she wouldn't order something if she knew she was about to suicide later on, drunk or not. Len knew she did it on purpose; though then again it depends on the cause of death which Len doesn't know so far, maybe it was because she was just drunk. Of course, at times like this what he should do is confront the most suspicious person in the ship.
"I need answers, now." Len and Kaito had an agreement, he promised to never ever visit the sailor's hangout. It's like the servant's office, the difference is the name and the people who hang out in it. Above everything else, Len still prioritize his job as a detective, no matter what deal he had made. "What do you know about the fortune teller who died last night?"
"Excuse me everyone." He sat up from his chair and pushed Len outside; leaving everyone speechless. Len figured it's probably over the fact that a servant just raised his voice to someone superior. "Why do you think I have anything to do with this? Because I talked about fortune telling with you last night?"
"I'm not saying you're the culprit, I'm saying you know something." A part of Len hoped none of the sailors were eavesdropping on them behind the door there. "You lied to me yesterday."
"Why would I lie, and when did I? I talked to you for a few minutes yesterday about fortune telling, after that I didn't talk to you at all!"
"Last night, you looked at your watch and you said you wanted to go to dinner. It was seven thirty." It was something Len noticed but chose to ignore.
"The night we had our match you told me, around 8:30 PM was your only break. I didn't say anything because I want you to think I'm a moron who doesn't know when his 'friend' lied to him. And it wasn't a planned out lie either, I expected better of you." That was it, Len could see it; Kaito twitched just a little bit.
"Sure, I lied. I repeat, so what? How does this have anything to do with that fortune teller?"
"Stop pretending as if you don't know anything, it wasn't a suicide, there was a murder last night! You expect me to do nothing? You're the most suspicious since YOU were the one who told me there will be a bloodbath in this ship in the first place!" Maybe if Kaito hadn't warned him about anything Len wouldn't be so confident on his theory; the "Kaito knows something real big" theory.
"You know you lost the bet and you're supposed to shut up and do everything I say, right?"
"And now you're turning the conversation away, I'm on the right track aren't I?"
"Doesn't change the fact that you lost the bet!" They started to raise their voices, the other sailors don't even need to stick their ears to the door if this keeps up.
"Fine. Fine. I lost the bet, I'm supposed to do whatever you say. But seriously, what makes you think you can stop me from investigating anyway?" And Kaito knew him well enough that Len would actually do that. "Do you really think I'd just sit here and do nothing? A silly bet will stop me?" Len was so close on leaving, he already took two steps back.
"Maybe not the bet. But what about information? About that girl who got you into this mess, to be exact." Kaito said monotonously, he wasn't shouting anymore either. He was calmer than before and that was never a good sign. Len stopped on his track and frowned.
"Get to the point, what are you trying to say?"
"It's weird, right? Someone pointed out a ship where she could have gone too, and you just happened to meet me. Me of all people." Kaito shrugged. "Do you think it's a coincidence that you just happened to be here?"
"Len, I told you about the difficulty of faking involuntary face muscle movement, and I assure you, I'm good at it. There are people who are better than me, perhaps, but my skill is enough to fool you. I tell you this, you will never figure out when I'm lying. Not even your medical knowledge will help." He added a weird chuckled. "Have you ever thought of the possibility of me calling her everyday? Of me being related to her? Ha, but even if I told you that, there's no way you can tell if I'm lying or not."
"Kaito, don't tell me..."
"If, assuming what I just told you are all true, don't you think it'll be easy to ask that pink haired girl to do something in England?" Len's eyes widened in horror at the realization. He was being blackmailed, but it wasn't him who's life was threatened.
Iroha, the mysterious cat lover, could still be with Rin, and there was no way for Len to stop her if what Kaito just said was true.