Chapter Warning: graphic depictions of violence/horror.

Chapter 16


Opening her eyes, Mai blinked slowly as her disorientated mind tried to grasp the current situation.

'What happened?' She thought dimly.

As she tried to remember, memories slipping out of her fingers like sand, she felt the thought slip her mind as she found herself gazing at a shoji screen. Hearing footsteps behind her, Mai looked over her shoulder to see the woman who had been in her vision from the courtyard walking towards her. Her eyes were set, her jaw tense, her walk determined as she neared Mai, her steps near silent on the wooden floors.

Taking a step back, Mai watched as she paused outside the door, hesitating, before pushing the shoji screen aside and walking inside. Quickly stepping in before the screen was shut tight, Mai looked around in confusion.

Quickly reading the situation, Mai realised they were in the Hime's rooms, who was currently sitting at her dresser. At the sound of the shoji screen, the Hime turned to gaze at the other entrant, her brows scrunching slightly in a puzzled frown.

Taking a step back so she could see the whole room, Mai watched the scene play out.

The second woman was gazing at the Hime in anger. Her eyes now burning into the Hime's, who remained calm and collected, sitting delicately on the embroidered pillow. Waiting. Resigned.

"How could you?", the woman hissed, her hands clenched in anger at her sides.

Turning back to her dresser and placing her brush down slowly, the Hime demurely turned in her seat so she was facing the woman, her face resigned.

"Chiyoko," She murmured softly.

"No" she hissed, halting the Hime before she could begin.

"The way he treats you! How can you let that man touch you?", she spoke in anger, her voice like venom.

Standing and watching, Mai's eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

'Wait…', she thought as she watched intently, her eyes narrowing.

The other woman stepped forward towards the now standing Hime, her hands raised placating, begging. Her beautiful face contorted in something akin to affection, love, but was marred with her desperation. Her anger.

"Break it off. I can look after you. You know I love you!", Chiyoki begged.

Mai's eyes widened, "Oooooh", she muttered in realisation.

"Leave that man. We can run away and never look back. That man will never be able to touch you again!", the anger seemed to seep from her limbs, her passion leaking into her voice. Her arm reached out as she grasped the Hime's wrist.

"Chiyoko!" the Hime suddenly shouted, shaking Chiyoko's hand off her arm, who's face flinched with hurt.

The Hime sighed, placing her hands together within her sleeves and placing her calm mask back on.

"We cannot and will not ever be. We have discussed this. I'm sorry, but you must accept this."

Her eyes and voice softening, she continued quietly, "This is my life now. I am happy. Please accept this."

Chiyoko was visibly shaking, her face still marred by her despair.

"Hotaru…" she whispered, her eyes filling with tears.

Hearing footsteps come from the hallway, becoming increasingly louder, Chiyoko visibly put herself together, blinking her tears away, her face becoming a blank canvas.

"Go", the Hime commanded, her eyes shifting to the door and back again, mild panic and fear entering them.

Hotaru, her face blank, reached down and grabbed a random article of clothing before turning towards the door and opening it, while walking backwards out of it.

"I'll have this washed right away, Hime-sama", she murmured while bowing at the waist, her eyes, while revealing nothing and appearing demure, were burning into the floor.

Slipping out of the door before Chiyoko shut it, Mai turned to follow the rapidly disappearing woman before her vision began to tunnel and she once again found herself in the familiar astral plane.

Wake up

Gasping, Mai opened eyes to see nothing but trees and a rapidly darkening sky. Blinking dazedly, Mai tried to gather her bearings and assess the situation.

The first thing she realised was that her body hurt. Her head gave a dull pulse that echoed around her head before moving to throb around her eyes.

Wincing, the next thing she realised was that she was freezing. Her teeth chattered as she felt wetness seep through the back of her jeans to rest uncomfortably against her skin. Her head rested against the snow-covered ground, allowing it to slightly sooth the pain in her head, but ultimately becoming increasingly unbearable.

Blinking her eyes, Mai took notice that it had begun snowing again. The snowflakes landed gently on her eyelashes as she blinked them away. A gust had begun to swirl through the trees, making them howl and sway gently, creaking eerily.

Hearing a crack, Mai snapped her head to the side seeing nothing. Gazing into the darkness before pulling herself onto her elbows and rolling to her feet, Mai groaned through her chattering teeth as the wind blew against her now exposed and wet back and legs. It bit at her skin, but Mai ignored it. Shaking her legs to try and regain some feeling in them, Mai glanced down to see blood on the snow where she had once been laying.

Raising a hand to her head, Mai gently prod through her hair looking for an injury.

"Ow", Mai murmured to herself as she found the lump. Bringing her hands back to her face, Mai rubbed her blood stained fingertips together before wiping them on her jeans. There was nothing she could do now. She had bigger things to worry about.

Taking a deep breath, Mai turned in a slow circle to try and see if anything was recognisable, hoping that maybe she hadn't been taken far from the Ryokan. Seeing nothing but trees, Mai felt her heart move to her throat. She didn't know how long she had been out, but if no one had found her yet, she could only assume she had made it a fair bit away from the Ryokan if they were unable to follow or find her.

"Hello?" she called out, hoping that if anyone were near, her call would lead them to her.

Pausing, Mai heard no reply. Taking a stuttering breath, Mai attempted again.

"Hello! Anyone?" she shouted, desperation beginning to leak into her voice. Hearing no answering call or sounds, Mai's shoulders slumped as hope began to flee her.

Swallowing against the lump in her throat, Mai decided the best thing to do was try and make her way back. She knew the number one rule of getting lost was to stay in the same place so that you could be found. But without sufficient clothing, the weather would take her before they would find her.

Squinting up into the trees to determine where the rapidly disappearing sun was, Mai thinking it looked to be maybe three, maybe four in the afternoon, Mai decided to put the setting sun to her back to keep her direction true.

Turning, Mai took two steps before she heard another snap behind her. Swinging her head around, Mai focused her eyes to try to pick out anything unusual.

"Hello?", Mai called out uncertainly, walking in the direction of where she thought she heard the noise. Seeing what looked like a small clearing up ahead, Mai stopped before she could take a step into the clearing, her heart beginning to pound, her senses telling her to go back.

Hearing another snap, Mai looked across the clearing.

It was like her nightmare all over again.

Standing across from the clearing with her back to her was a figure of a woman.

Everything was the same. The same old, worn sun bleached kimono covered in god knows what. It was standing inhumanly still among the swaying trees. Its long black hair was knotted and frayed. Everything about this figure matched Mai's nightmare from the van.

Not stepping a foot into the clearing, Mai began to creep backwards as silently as she could. Making sure she was stable on one foot before shifting the other back, avoiding any branches or leaves. Her heart was in her ears, her heartbeat echoing around her head.

Hearing the soft crunch of snow as she drifted backwards, Mai didn't even feel the biting cold anymore as adrenaline made its way through her veins.

Mai began to feel a slight hope as she began to lose sight of the clearing, the figure just an unmoving blur against the tree line the further the distance she put between herself and the clearing.

Just as she was about to take another step, Mai heard something. Stopping and squinting, Mai focused her hearing to try to determine what it was. Then her eyes widened in realisation, her breath freezing in her lungs.

The sound. It was breathing. Faint but rattling and coming from behind her.

Not wanting to turn around but knowing she had to, Mai slowly turned her head to gaze behind her, a scream catching in her throat as she gazed at what was making the noise.

Standing hunched over with a maniacal grin on her face was the woman. Her face rotten and teeth discoloured. Her fingers were crooked like claws hanging by her sides.

Shaking in terror, Mai stood frozen as the woman cocked her head to the side like a dog. Her senses were telling her to run. This one could not be saved. This soul would not find retribution. It had become insane the longer it had failed to move on, this spirit now a pale shade of whoever it had once been in its previous life.

Mai's mind raced for ideas but barely got enough time to before the spirit silently began making it's way towards her.

Letting out a choked cry, Mai turned and ran back towards the clearing as fast as she could through the deepening snow. Leaping over fallen trees and rocks, Mai pushed her body to the limit to avoid coming in contact with that thing.

Without any idea what to do, Mai glanced over her shoulder while running to begin the nine cuts to try and slow the spirit down.

"Rin! Pyo! To! Zai! Zu! Zet-"

Mai let out a scream as her feet disappeared underneath her and she was plunged into a black abyss.

Unfortunately, it wasn't unconsciousness that greeted her.

Whatever chasm she had fallen into wasn't a straight shot down. It curved and veered in directions. Mai's forehead immediately slammed into the chasm wall with a crack. Trying to use her hands to protect her face, Mai's decent continued.

Mai wheezed out as her side hit solid, sharp rock, stars exploding in her vision as her breath rushed out of her lungs before she was abruptly propelled in the other direction. Her fall continued, her shoulder then catching on jutting solid stone, pushing her shoulder away from her body, Mai choking on her gasp as her lungs struggled to take in air.

Mai continued to fall, slamming multiple times into unmoving rock until she met solid ground and she heard a startling crack as her arm made contact with the ground.

Lights flit before Mai's eyes as pain wracked her body. A choked, blood-curdling scream left her as she finally met the ground. Her diaphragm was making uncontrolled staccato movements as she sobbed, her breath not making in entirely in or entirely out as she failed to take in air. Only managing small, rapid gasps. She'd never felt more pain in her life. She felt dizzy and nauseas with the agony her body was going through.

Pain was radiating from her ribs, her shoulder, her head, her arm. Everything hurt. She could taste a metallic tang on her tongue.

Not moving off of her stomach, Mai continued to sob in anguish, which only managed to hurt her further as it jolted her ribs and shoulder back and forth. She remained there for God knows how long with no light to give any indication. She just continued to lie on the ground until she finally felt her vision begin to blacken further and she realised she was once again passing out.

Opening her eyes, Mai felt relief. No pain lingered in her dreams, her body only giving faint throbs of remembered pain.

Looking around, she realised she was in another vision.

Gazing around, she saw was in the forest again, only this time there were two very alive figures joining her.

Having had enough of her visions and the case, Mai stomped over to the figures before she realised it was Chiyoko and the Hime who seemed to be mid-discussion.

The Hime seemed to be trying to placate the other woman. Her hands raised in a calming gesture, her voice gentle. A hat adorned her head and a small bag graced her arm, so Mai assumed they had taken a walk through the forest, the path long since become overgrown and unseen in Mai's time.

"Chiyo-" She began, before she was cut-off.

"No!", Chiyoko seemed to have snapped, her eyes blazing, turning to face the Hime.

"No one can have you! You are mine and I am yours!", she yelled, grabbing the Hime's shoulders in desperation, "We can leave now. Let us keep walking to the next town. I have brought coin. No one will find us."

The Hime sighed.

"Chiyoko, you have been my dearest friend for a long time and will continue to be," the Hime pleaded, "Please, make peace with this. You cannot continue like this. Let us go back."

Clutching Chiyoko's hands that were clutching her own shoulders, the Hime gazed pleadingly into her eyes.

An understanding began to blossom in Chiyoko's unstable eyes. Gazing behind the Hime, her eyes seemed to catch something, a flickering understanding blossoming in them. Turning her gaze back to the Hime, her eyes softened, which Hotaru began to see, smiling in response.

"I understand", she said quietly, Mai barely being able to hear her softly spoken words.

Wrapping her arms around Hotaru in an embrace, Chiyoko began to walk forward, forcing Hotaru to walk backwards.

"Chiyoko, what are you doing?", the Hime questioned, feeling dread build up, turning her head to gaze behind her, her eyes widening in realisation.

Hotaru merely smiled into Chiyoko's neck, her arms tightening before she seemed to murmur something unheard by Mai's ears, forcing a now struggling, smaller Hime further back towards to what Mai could see was a gapping fissure in the ground, easily seen without snow and overgrown plant life obscuring it.

Clenching her fists, Mai knew this was in the past and that she could do nothing, resigning herself to watching their deaths, the Hime's begging and pleading making tears appear in her eyes.

Taking a final step, the ground disappearing underneath them both.

A scream was ripped from Hotaru as they plummeted head first to the cave floor before it abruptly stopped, both women becoming quiet.

Unable to see but knowing, Mai understood both had died, her hand coming up to cover her mouth as tears silently made her way down her face.

Rubbing the tears from her face, Mai took a deep breath to calm herself.

"I understand now", Mai said out loud to no one in particular. Seeing her vision begin to darken, Mai knew the vision had come to an end.

Hearing a faint chiming, Mai turned her gaze to meet the gaze of a serene Hime who was standing among the swaying grass, her gaze grateful yet sad. Before Mai's vision completely disappeared, the Hime bowed her head.

"Wait!" Mai called before she was completely engulfed in darkness.

Opening her eyes, Mai dazedly realised she was still lying on the cold cave floor, still very much in pain, and now extremely cold. Both feeling and hearing her breath rattle in her chest, Mai was coming to the conclusion that she was not in a good state.

Feeling tears begin to well up in her sore and unfocused eyes again, Mai's mind whirled with her thoughts.

'This could be it this time,' she thought as she pressed her lips together to keep from sobbing, her lungs already back to drawing faltering breaths, 'I don't know what to do'.

'I'm going to die'. A sob finally burst from her lips in a pitiful gasping sound.

'Think. There has to be something. You can get out. You need to look around', Mai thought through her gasping.

Getting up was a painful process. With one arm out of commission, Mai had to awkwardly manoeuvre herself with one arm and smarting ribs. Head spinning and every part of her body telling her to stop, to lie down, she finally managed to get to her knees, her breath escaping her in exhausted, pained wheezes as her head began to swim uncomfortably.

As her eyes adjusted and her head stopped spinning, Mai pulled her head up before realising she was gazing at the dead body of Umiko Sato, the girl she saw murdered in her dream on the drive to the Ryokyan.

Her body let out an involuntary and painful cry as she fell back, jolting her body painfully as she tried to scurry backwards before she felt herself hit something in her panic to move backwards. Looking behind, she found another but much more decomposed body of a woman. Sobbing and scurrying back to the middle of the cave, Mai gazed around in horror realising she was surrounded by multiple bodies of women, all in various states of decomposition.

When the smell finally hit her nose, Mai began to gag. The smell was unlike anything she had smelt before. Just the knowledge it was decomposing humans finally pushed her past the tipping point and Mai hunched over as she vomited what little was in her stomach. Becoming unbalanced, Mai finally fell heavily onto her knees, which immediately smarted from the fall. Tears running down her face, Mai held her ribs with her uninjured arm as she tried to jostle them as little as possible while her stomach emptied its contents.

After Mai had nothing left to vomit, she lifted her head again to survey the room while breathing through her mouth to minimise the smell. The cavern itself was large. Vaguely remembering her Geography class from highschool, this area of Hokkaido was known to have a smattering of limestone caves that were open to tourist exploration. This must have been a smaller, yet unknown cave. It was beautiful if it didn't have such devastation in it. In the darkness, Mai couldn't help but think it looked terrifying.

There had to be around ten, maybe twenty women in the cavern, all spaced out as to avoid the other, Mai imagined. Some looked mummified from how old they appeared, their clothing from various periods of the last two centuries.

Rolling to her feet, Mai began to limp further into the cavern before seeing two familiar bodies in front of her. Holding each other tightly was the Hime and Chiyoko. It must have been a quick death as they plunged head first into the cavern, their bodies having rolled further away upon impact. Both were still wearing their elaborate kimonos and remained wrapped in each other's arms from the fall, their bodies nearly entirely decomposed.

Shaking her head, Mai continued to look around for any clues for escape.

Her breath was still coming in pants as Mai remained unable to catch her breath. Blinking past the black dots floating in her vision, Mai was unable to find an exit. Looking up, the ceiling of the cavern had to be at least three metres above her head, and with the very faint light coming from the small opening, the cavern itself had to be several metres more from ground level.

Finding a piece of wall that was free from a body, Mai slid down to try and conserve her energy. She was freezing. What little breath she had was coming out in clouds of visible vapour. The only real blessing to being down in this cave had to be she wasn't in the freezing gusts that she could hear echoing over the caverns top most opening.

Closing her eyes, Mai thought back to when Masako was taken by Urado. Mai was able to communicate with her even though she had been in a seperate plane to her. If she could fall asleep with the goal of reaching the astral plane, maybe, just maybe she could reach the others.

Resting her back completely against the wall, Mai willed herself to ignore the cold, the pain, and to go to sleep. To go to the astral plane. Praying she wouldn't just fall unconscious to only die without any hope.

Evening her breaths as best as she could and remembering better times, Mai drifted off.

Opening her eyes, Mai blinked in surprise as she gazed at the whil-o-whisps floating around the astral plane. Giving a choked cry of happiness, Mai began to contemplate how to reach where she needed to go. Without Gene to guide her, how was she supposed to get to the group? Chewing on her lip, Mai began to concentrate. She knew what the others felt like. They felt like home. They were home.

Looking in straight ahead, Mai instinctively knew that was where she needed to go. Focusing, Mai began to walk forward before the scenery surrounding her changed. Blinking, Mai watched as the base room materialised around her, another sob escaping her throat.

Looking around, she could see members of SPR in all manner of emotions. Lin and Naru were standing and speaking to what Mai imagined were police investigators. Now that she thought about it, there were many professional looking strangers standing around the room, going through their paperwork and pouring over maps. Looking back to Naru, she realised he looked tired. He had a permanent crease between his brows and he kept reaching up to rub at his eyes. The first few buttons had been undone from his usually immaculate shirt, making him look very un-Naru like. Lin looked in similar disarray.

Turning, she saw a stressed Bou-san and Yasu all pouring over research files that they had pulled from the case, as well as what Mai recognised as historical books from Ryokyan's main office. John and Masako were sitting on the couch in deep discussion. Ayako was sitting close to Bou-san, her eyes glassy and red.

Standing in the middle of the chaos, Mai realised no one could see her. "Hello? Guys!", seeing no response, Mai felt her heart beginning to speed up. Had this been all for nothing?

Thinking, Mai reached her hand towards an old cup of tea that was sitting on the nearest table to see if she could move it. Huffing in frustrating when nothing happened, Mai focussed her mind, breathing in and out.

Snapping her eyes open, Mai swiped her arm back before propelling it forward, making direct contact with the cup and sending it shattering against the wall.

"Oh, shit", Flinching, Mai yelped, not expecting it to be quite that dramatic.

Focusing back on the room, Mai realised it had gone silent before she heard Bou-san voice began to chant.

"On kirikiri bazara bajiri-", Mai flinched as Bou-san began to try to exorcise her, John similarly jumping up and pulling out his rosary.

"Stop!" Masako suddenly yelled, cutting off Bou-san. Turning her head, Mai gazed at Masako.

"Mai?", Masako asked softly, unsure.

Feeling a sob burst from her chest, Mai ran forward and dropped to her knees at Masako's feet. Reaching forward, she tried to grab her hands but felt hers go straight through hers, causing her to sob harder.

Shaking her head and wiping her face, Mai gazed up at a now crouching Masako whose face was awash with concern.

"Oh, Mai…", Masako murmured in sympathy.

"Mai?!", Bou-san, Ayako and Yasu yelled, taking a step forward, looking around frantically.

Naru has also stepped forward, looking for something to gaze at. After finding nothing, he turned his fiery gaze to Masako.

"Is she… Has she passed on?" he asked haltingly, his hands clenched at his sides.

Mai's eyes widened in realisation.

"No! I'm astral projecting! I'm still alive!", Mai shouted pleadingly to Masako, willing her to convey what she said.

"No," Masako said calmly, "She's astral projecting".

A sigh ran through the room at that, while the police officers continued to look on confused yet suspicious, not really believing what was going on.

Lin asked them to be excused for a moment, escorting the men out of the room.

"Mai," Naru called, "Where are you?"

"I don't know", she began as Masako repeated, "I was in the forest before I fell into some kind of cave. It's hidden; you won't be able to see it from the air. I couldn't even see it in the ground."

"But Mai, what could-" Ayako cut in but was quickly cut off with a sharp look from Naru. He would ask the questions, as Mai was sure they were on borrowed time.

"Do you know who is behind this?" Naru further questioned, slowly coming closer to where she stood.

"It's the hime's previous lover. Her name is Chiyoko. I think she was a servant? I don't know," Mai answered flustered, frustrated at her lack of answers.

"Her?" Monk exclaimed in frustration.

Ignoring him, Mai went on to further explain the cavern and how it was the final resting place for Chiyoko.

"Mai, is there anything you can recognise? Any clues you can give us that would lead us to your location?" Naru asked firmly, his frustration beginning to seep through, reflected in his darkening eyes.

Letting out a sob, Mai shook her head, cradling her head in her hands.

Naru began to pace, running his hand through his hair in frustration. Mai had never seen him look this way, even in their more difficult cases. It was frightening to see the normally collected and composed Naru crack under the pressure.

It was Lin who finally spoke.

"Mai, do you have your phone on your person?", he asked, looking in the wrong direction, Mai's lips twitching in humor.

"We already attempted to track her phone, Lin," Naru said in frustration before Mai could answer, his voice exasperated, "The last activity was at the Ryokyan. She must have left it here".

Lins face dropped barely noticeably.

"No, wait", Mai began, "I put it in my pocket before I left. I turned it off because it was going flat," Masako relayed this back to the team.

Naru and Lin made eye contact, a silent conversation occurring before their eyes.

"Mai", Naru said quietly, "I need you to turn the phone on and try to get as many signal bars as you can. Even if it's just one. Can you do that?"

Determination filling her gaze, Mai nodded.

After the details were explained and decided on, Mai gazed around the group, memorising their faces. Naru in particular as his eyes shined with a new determination, his hands clenching, shaking in what Mai could only assume was fear, lips twitching as if to say something else.

"See you soon", Mai called softly to the group. Closing her eyes, Mai followed the pull back to her body.

Opening her eyes, Mai's breath caught at the pain that returned as her senses awakened. Wheezing, Mai felt around her jumper pocket, praying that the phone had not fallen out. Not feeling it in her pocket, Mai began to panic. After checking both pockets, Mai staggered to her feet before walking to where she had fallen, feeling the warm trickle of blood as it ran down the side of her face.

"No, no, no," Mai began to chant under her breath, blind terror beginning to swallow her hope whole.

Nothing jumped out to her. Continuing to peruse the whole cave, Mai began to turn away and search another part until she saw something shine from the corner of her eye. Turning, she saw her phone lying against the cavern wall against the leg of one of the bodies. Quickly stumbling over and snatching it up, Mai moaned in despair as she took in the cracked screen.

Hoping and praying, Mai held down the power button, waiting to see if the screen would light up. Seeing nothing, Mai closed her eyes to try and remain calm before she tried once more.

Finally, she saw the screen light up. Lips trembling with relief, Mai sank back down to her knees, feeling her head begin to swim again. Clutching her phone in her shaking hands, the cold beginning to truly affect her, Mai gazed at the phone.

Noticing only one bar appeared in the signal, Mai stumbled back to her feet and staggered to the cavern opening, raising it above her head with her good arm, wanting to give her friends every advantage she could give them. After a moment, Mai heard her phone give a warning chime and pulled it back down to see the screen had gone blank.

Mai stared in shock. Was that enough time? It wasn't on for even a minute. Why didn't she charge it like she was going to?

Dropping her head, Mai limped back to her spot on the wall as she felt her strength wane. There was nothing left that she could do. Feeling her breath rasp in her lungs, Mai rested her head on her knees the best she could, curling in on herself to try and conserve as much warmth as possible while trying to be as gentle with her arm and ribs as possible.

Time began to pass. Seconds, minutes, hours. Mai wasn't sure. Slowly by surely, the faint light at the opening of the cavern began to fade, signalling the passing of time and the end of the day.

Feeling her breath getting shorter and shorter through her chattering teeth, Mai tried not to panic. Trying to take deep breaths in through her nose and out through her mouth as they taught them in gym class, Mai felt it fail as she began to cough, trying to muffle it into her knees. Leaning back, Mai felt wetness on her numb lips. Looking down, Mai saw splotches of red on her knees.

Shaking her head, Mai felt sleep trying to creep up on her. However, she knew the worst thing she could do was fall asleep when you were near hyperthermia, as it usually led to death. Blinking her eyes slowly, Mai tried to think of ways to keep herself awake.

After attempting to go through the times tables in her head and mentally say the alphabet backwards, Mai realised it was a losing battle as her eyes drooped further.

Thinking of a song, Mai tried to hum it before another cough wracked through her. Forgetting that notion, Mai began to mouth the words to herself, imagining the music in her mind.

"Breathe…Just breathe…Oooh breathe…Just breathe", Mai mouthed to herself.

Eventually, Mai didn't know when, she felt herself slip into comforting nothingness as she lost her battle with sleep.

AN: Oooooh snap. Hope you liked it. This chapter has been really hard to get out. I've had what I can only explain as the worst luck. I managed to snap my glasses in two (I'm blind as a bat) and someone also did a hit and run on my car, which was ridiculously stressful as I was in the car when it happened.

Please let me know what you think. I'm sitting here um-ing and ah-ing trying to think of what to write next. It was an extremely long chapter, so I apologise if there were any spelling or grammar mistakes

Also, the song was 'Breathe (2am) - Annah Nalick'. I always found it very calming.