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𝔏𝔦𝔱𝔱𝔩𝔢 𝔏𝔦𝔤𝔥𝔱𝔫𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔅𝔲𝔤

Chapter Text

 

Murder mysteries always begin with a body or two...
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"Ugh, where the hell..." A young man awoke with a start when he realized he wasn't alone.  His disheveled appearance gave hints onto what may or may have not happened that night.

'Shit!'

Thankfully, he still had his clothes on, which meant he hadn't totally embarrassed the Shindo household.  Grabbing his jacket that was discarded on the floor, he slinked outside, silently closing the door behind him. Careful not to wake the two slim figures lying on the bed.

To save himself from the embarrassment, he used his wrinkled jacket to hide his face. Just as he was coming down the stairs, a middle aged woman stopped him.

"My goodness sir, don't tell me you were just about to leave without paying." She was fanning herself with a heavily decorated red and gold fan. She of course had a matching kimono as well, which was the fashion trend these days. He guessed business here was good with the amount of unnecessary jewelry she was wearing.

He coughed a little, before deepening his voice, taking a few quick seconds to disguise it.

"Of course how-"

He was cut off with a sudden loud gasp. "Young master Shindo? You've come back, you've grown quite a lot. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone about you and your friend's secret fun."

Mikaela could tell that he was bright red, but he perked up when he heard "friend".

"My friend? Who was it that came here with me." He demanded, removing his coat from his face. A few people looked at him in confusion at his sudden outburst.

Madame simply chuckled a little, before she started fanning herself once more. "Why, it was the little lightning bug. He found you knocked unconscious on the street. It was a simple mugger, and he caught him before your wallet suffered any damages."

She paused, before smiling, "that reminds me, he said to put everything he's ordered on your tab. So please pay the bar bill as well."

'What?'

Mikaela's eyes practically popped out of his skull. Begrudgingly, he forked over a couple of handfuls of coins. Before Madame's greedy hand finally closed.

"Now tell me, where does this little mosquito live?" He said through gritted teeth.

 


 

"Yuu-san!  Yuu-san where are you?"  A young strangely dressed woman all but practically screamed as she ran around the huge Ichinose workshop. 

She knew Yuu would be outside somewhere, since that's were he took his time to sleep, eat, and bat-

She stopped when the corner of her eye caught sight of something.  Frozen, she turned her whole body facing a suspicious lone wooden basin of water.

Stepping forward, she continued to stare, before suddenly ramming her foot into the side of the basin, causing a hole to appear.

The water sloshed, and immediately a young man appeared.  His black hair was obviously wet and his green eyes were practically sparking.  He seemed to be livid.

"What the hell Shinoa!  Why did you do that?  Shouldn't you be at the parade?  Your mother is supposed to be performing the yearly ritual!"  He said, glaring up at her.  Of course he didn't stand up, since he knew what he was doing before.

"Yuu-san, you know how my mother loves to bask in the spotlight.  Now the real question is how come you aren't at the parade?  By the way, where were you last night?  I searched the whole city for you!"  She said, waving her arms in a dramatic like manner before clumsily falling backwards.

On instinct, Yuu reached out for her, grabbing her strange dress. But unfortunately standing up in the process.  Once she was stable, her eyes widened in surprise, before screaming once more.  This time in both terror and embarrassment.

After those few mortifying moments,  Yuu shamefully listened to Shinoa rant even longer about how indecent he was being.

"This is exactly the reason why I dislike men!  You think you can walk around like you're fresh out of your mother's womb.  Well listen here-"

"Shinoa, the only reason this happened was because you came in when I was bathing!  Not only did you trespass, you also damaged private property!  Now let me change!"

Shinoa grumbled, but nether the less left the premises, leaving Yuu alone with his own thoughts.

'Stupid girl, what a real shock-brain.'  He thought as he stepped out of the tub.  'Breaking the tub that Guren got specifically for me.  Always poking her nose into my things.'

He dried off, before putting on his regular clothes.  Which consisted of a plain white button up long sleeve shirt, brown pants, and matching brown suspenders.  Much to Guren's dismay, he refused to have a hat, instead putting on his old work goggles instead.

He fixed on his bowtie, which was the only "classy" thing Guren could get on him.  Once he deemed himself ready, he grabbed his messenger bag full of tools and took off. He knew Shinoa was still here, the little demon.

He walked inside the workshop, spotting Shinoa with his master, Guren donning his own pair of goggles. He was currently working on a new project. Yuu heard that it would help the police catch criminals faster.  But unfortunately he was not permitted to ask Guren about his projects, the old fart.

Yuu was about to sit down, when he heard a familiar yet panicked voice.  "Little lightning bug!"  Yuu immediately looked up, Guren looked at him with disapproval.  He never liked people calling Yuu that name. A few seconds later, Narumi came bursting into the room, startling Shinoa who was drinking tea. Causing it to spill all over her patchy dress.

"Hey-"

 

"We need your help," Narumi said, blatantly ignoring Shinoa, "a parade float short circuited, there's electricity all over the place," he paused, "simple rubber won't do.  And besides, one of the other members spotted something....strange when they tried to get in."

Yuu reluctantly sighed before standing up, "alright, take me to the parade float." Shinoa stood up as well, "me too. I would like to help as well"

Yuu was about to disagree but Narumi did so for him. "Someone needs to make sure that master Guren eats. You know how he gets when he works on stuff Shinoa." He said, before bowing respectfully at Guren who simply nodded at his direction.

Shinoa pouted but didn't oppose. Sitting back down, she looked back at her tea cup. Seeing that half the tea was gone.

 


 

 

The street was chaotic to say the least. All the floats were frozen in place, and several reporters were there taking pictures. The police were doing the best they could to herd everyone away.

"The main float is what's the problem. The door is on the top of it." Narumi informed him and he nodded. He snapped on his goggles, and set to work, heading towards the float.

Once he was inside, he was immediately hit with the smell of smoke and the buzzing sound of electricity.

'Shit, I can't breath.' He thought as he let out multiple loud choking coughs as his lungs struggled for air.

'Curse my weak lungs, and body.'

He walked past the wires, he could practically see the electricity crackle in the air around him. But this simply didn't faze him, it never did.

Spotting in the darkness, hands covering his nose, he saw what he was really here for.

 

A dead body.

 

Mikaela pushed his way through the crowd of people. Something had happened, and his instincts told him it wasn't anything good.

Looking over the many heads of people, his eyes widened at what he saw.  A cold sweat washed over him as he pushed through the crowd. Stopping just in the front of it, to have a better look.

It felt like stones were sinking into his stomach as he realized just what exactly he was looking at.

His father was-

'No, that couldn't be him. Right? I had just talked to him on the phone in Germany a few days ago. I just came home, this couldn't be-'

Mikaela's racing thoughts came to a halt as he watched a pink haired lady rush over to the body. Tears were welling up as she inspected his father.

'Krul is here, that means...'

His body moved on his own as he finally proceeded closer, crouching down and touching his father's once warm hand.

Now it was cold, and was no longer going to move once again. As if something has possessed him, he took out his autopsy tools. His shaking hands trying to grab a knife

"Young master, we already know what killed him, he was electrocuted to death." She said, and he knew this was true, deep down, but he wanted to know for himself.

No.

He needed to know for himself, reaching out a hand, he was intending to unbutton his father's dress shirt, when someone else's hand stopped him.

Instantly he looked up, to see a man shake his head. "I already checked the body, there were some electrical burns on his chest, stomach and arm area." The raven haired man said in a steady voice.

Mikaela couldn't see the other man's eyes, but he somehow knew they were unwavering. "So you're the little lightning bug, huh." He said whilst standing up.

"Tell me, how the hell could you go in there without getting a single burn." He glowered.

When the other stayed silent, Mikaela snapped, he grabbed the man by the collar, causing everyone in the crowd to gasp and whisper. He knew he was causing a scene, but he could care less.

"Answer me! Or I'll-"

 

"Now, now young master Shindo. I let you have your fun, playtime is over." A unperturbed voice said from the crowd. Everyone parted immediately, Mikaela released the male before turning around.

He could hear the other hacking up a storm, but he kept his eyes on the person who interrupted him.

"Come on, don't bully the little firefly. He's apart of our police department you know." Mikaela rolled his eyes, he guess had been correct, the other was "the little lightning bug."

"What do you want Ferid." He grumbled, seeing Ferid with his usual two lackeys, Aito and Eiji.

"Now that isn't the way to treat the chief of police." He quipped. "But in all seriousness, I'm here to do my job."

Ferid made his way over, before his snapped his black leather gloved fingers, the two men behind Ferid began to pick up the body. Mikaela was about to object, when Ferid spoke once more.

"The police will personally deliver Mr.Shindo to your house. We just need to personally look it over again before doing so."

Krul finally spoke, the unshed tears gone from her glimmering eyes, "alright, thank you for your hard work." She said before slightly bowing her head. Her breath coming out slightly cold, she pulled her fur coat closer to her. Looking slightly more childlike.

"It's my pleasure, Mrs. Krul. Alright, hurry up, we don't want the body to rot out here do we? Chop, chop."

Ferid began walking away from the scene, and Mikaela's dead father followed him. Squeezing his fists, he whirled around, facing the raven hair male who seemed surprised.

"Right now, you're the biggest suspect." He said, with menace and venom directed towards the other. With a shuddering breath, he walked away. Ignoring Krul calling out his name, he needed some air.

 


 

"And then he claimed I was the biggest suspect! Can you believe that? Honestly, there's a reason I don't fool around with the rich." Yuu said as he took a swig of his whisky. It wasn't imported from America or anything like that, so it wasn't too fanciful.

"The rich really are assholes." Narumi said, causing everyone to laugh and agree with him. They were in the courtyard of Guren's workshop. A familiar place they met up after a long hard day of work.

They surrounded a table sitting on some small stools, each with a bowl full of curry. It was Yuu's night to choose what they had for the night. The others stopped complaining about his same choice a long time ago.

"Well, at least we're getting payed for two bodies."

Yuu froze his hand, before putting down his spoon and staring at Taro. "Two bodies? There were two?" Yuu exclaimed.

"Yeah? Didn't you know? There was a dead child left in one of the other floats. Shuusake discovered it. I mean, you are keeping it since no one has claimed it yet. So we thought you knew. Guren agreed, he usually tells you everything, doesn't he?"

'No, he didn't. Guren isn't telling me anything at all nowadays.' Yuu thought, staring into his curry.

There was a pregnant silence before someone spoke up.

"I say it's an illegitimate child from a powerful family. You'll probably be left with the baby until you have to burry it. You know how prideful rich families are."

There were several conversations around the table, but Yuu simply played with his food.

'Two bodies show up at the same time. At the same place. One is a powerful figure, and the other an infant. Could they possibly be connected to each other?'

Yuu didn't know why, but he had a foreboding feeling something wasn't right. There was something more sinister up ahead.

"Hey Yuu, if you're not going to eat that, can I-"

 

"No."

Chapter Text

A hurt man has no restraint, just like
a bloodhound catching the scent of blood in the air
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"I don't know master.  But all this, just doesn't seem right to me."  The raven haired man said whilst sorting several gears into different categories.

The older violet eyed male stayed in a thoughtful silence, before speaking.  "Best not to poke your nose into things.  The more you'll do-"

"The more the truth hurts."  Yuu said automatically, his almost fluorescent eyes seemingly became brighter in the warm flame he was working by.

"I'm not trying to get into this," Yuu said hesitatingly, "but two bodies in such a close proximity.  Doesn't that seem even the least bit odd to you? Shouldn't we at least check the child's body?"

Guren simply grunted, which meant the conversation was simply over.  It was an irritating way to shut the younger man down, but an efficient way no less.

They continued to work in a silence, thoughts running wilder and wilder by the minute, when abruptly, they heard the door slam open.  Yuu was surprised, but he couldn't say the same for Guren.

Turning around, he was shocked to find a fresh new badge shoved into his face.  Looking up at the culprit, his eyes widened at who it was.

The young master who was broken, leaving behind a jagged new shell.  Pricking those who dared to reach out to him.

"Yuuichirou was it?  You're put under custody to be taken for questioning by me.  As a new detective and head of my father's case."  The blonde said, snapping his badge shut, and putting it in his jacket pocket.

Yuu squinted up at the other, with disbelief in his eyes.  How in the *Susanoo did he even get the power to do this.

"Well, I'm waiting Yuuichirou.”

 


 

What Happened Earlier:

The long silver haired man was sitting in his office, completely relaxed. His feet relaxing on his desk while his chair leaned against the wall.

His boots were discarded on the floor, and his coat was as well, but on a coat hanger near the door. He had dozen off quite a while ago.

But, as quickly as he fell asleep, was as quickly as he was waken up.  Two swift knocks rapped at his door, before the door was swung wide open. 

Ferid awoke with a start, about to curse out the two incompetents who dared to wake him up. "You two idiots, you can't do anything right can you? I told you not to bother me at this ti-"

When the police chief finally sat up to see the "two idiots" he was surprised when he was met with a different face.

"Young master Shindo, whatever brought you here?" He asked as he tried to casually put on his boots and look proper.

Just then, the "two idiots" ran in. "I'm sorry chief! We tried to stop him." Ferid simply signaled them to leave.

Once the door was shut, Ferid put on a smile, "so what did I do to be graced with the presence of a Shindo?"

Mikaela's calculating cerulean eyes darted around the room. With an unknown intention, before speaking. "Actually I would like to talk about my father. You knew him quite well, didn't you?"

Ferid released a sigh before speaking, "why yes we were great friends. It's such a terrible shame, my condolences really. While I lost a friend, you lost a father. I just couldn't imagine the weight you must...." Ferid continued to drawl on.

Mikaela had stopped listening as soon as he opened his mouth. Having a sympathetic conversation was not what he was here for, his eyes zeroed in on a few things before he softly smirked.

"You have a family don't you?" Mikaela asked looking at a family photo, cutting off Ferid. "Why yes, a beautiful wife and two beautiful children."

He was always a good observer. This was when it came in handy. "If you don't mind me asking, what is that other room for?" He questioned.

From what he could see through the small window on the door, there was a whole bed inside. "As the head chief of police, I often work on several things, such as your father's case. So I often sleep in the office."

Mikaela could see the confusion come on Ferid's face from asking so many questions. 'Don't worry, it'll all come together.'

"Those are some lovely gloves." He said, turning his head to the small book case, on it sat two brown leather gloves. They were a small size, not big enough to fit Ferid's hands. But big enough to fit the hands of a delicate woman.

"Yes they're my wife's she visits often." The police chief seemed to shift almost like he was uncomfortable in his seat.

"Really? But I thought priestess didn't wear animal skin." He said as innocently as he could, but he took great pleasure in Ferid realizing his mistake.

"How did you know my wife is a-"

"What a beautiful teacup." He said, now on the other side of the room. He had saw the tea set earlier, once he carefully inspected it. He knew he had won.

Carefully picking it up, he turned it around before letting out a fake sigh. "It's a shame really. A great teacup stained with an obnoxious bright pink color. A color you can only get downtown. Somewhere I know your extravagant wife wouldn't be familiar of."

The chief in police leaned back and closed his eyes. Running his hands through his hair, "what would you like young master Shindo?"

"Full access and power to my father's case. I need detectives, police men, and the files."

"Now now, let's not be hasty here. I can't give you police men and detectives. They're working on several other cases. But, I can give you this."

Ferid stood up, and walked over to the file cabinet, riffling through some files, before stopping at the thinnest file Mikaela has ever seen.

"Here, come back later for the badge." Mikaela frowned, seemed that he was on his own for this one. Which was more than fine. It meant he wouldn't have so many limits and watchful eyes from the police.

Mikaela flipped through the few thin pages, his eyes wandering through the information. 'This isn't nearly enough, but I know where to at least start.'

"Say, what's that lightning bug's name?" Mikaela asked, eyes not lifting from the paper.

 


 

"Alright, alright. Take me for interrogation." The raven haired male stood up, not wanting a fight. 'Although I know even less than you.'

The colder man grabbed Yuu by the arm roughly. "Right choice."

Yuu sighed, before looking at Guren, who had paused his work. "I'll be back Guren. Make sure to-"

"Wait." His gruff voice interrupted Yuu, who paused slightly wide eyed. "The interrogation would be unnecessary, he knows little to nothing. From lowly grave diggers to royal emperors, every job has it's rules and limits."

Yuu immediately removed his arm from the arrogant "detective", before turning around slightly smirking. "Do you hear what he said, even if you're part of the Shindo household and a detective, you can't always have your way."

Mikaela gritted his teeth, ready to argue with the other. From the way he was presented in this situation, it made him look like a spoiled brat. He turned away, arms up on the top of his head.

"But, there is a place where you could get answers." The blonde male immediately whizzed around, and walked closer, until he was right across from Guren at the table. Eyebrows knitted together he demanded an answer.

"What do you mean? What do you know?" He slammed his hands on the table, slightly shaking the old wooden thing.

Guren simply continued on working, silent until he decided to continue, "there is one person who won't lie."

Yuu cocked his head to the side, as he walked closer as well, his shoes clacking on the stone floor. He was curious as well, did his master know something?

"There was a dead child found in another float."  It was like everyone seemed to stop breathing, they all knew something was wrong here.

"W-where is it?"  Mikaela said, coughing a little to cover up his stutter.   He was bewildered to say the least.

"We have him."  Yuu spoke up this time, causing the other male to turn and raise an eyebrow at him.   Yuu in turn sighed and ruffled his slightly neat hair, making it even messier than usual.

"I would tell him where he is, so you could piss off, but I don't have an answer to that."  He said, nodding his head in the violet eyed older man.

Mikaela was displeased with the choice of words the raven haired male used, but was otherwise silent.  Waiting for the man he now knew as Guren to answer.

Minutes pass of the two watching keenly at Guren to do something.  Finally, he suddenly stood up, "follow me."

Immediately Mikaela rushed forward, with Yuu trailing behind him.  As they walked through the workshop, Mikaela could feel the warmness of the fire finally fade.  But without a doubt, it was still cozy, despite it's stony interior.

Yuu however was now realizing just where they were going.  When Guren suddenly turned into a room, Yuu stopped at the door frame.

It was their guest room, of course. When he went to try to find the body of the child he brushed this room off. He was a complete idiot.

Guren slowly crouched down and reached under the bed, pulling a small basket. Perfectly child sized.

The young master waited however, almost impatiently, eyes hovering a little too long on objects in the room. When Guren finally removed the sheet on top of the basket, they all immediately crowded around it.

"How do you know this child is connected to my father?" Mikaela said, staring down at the frail once breathing baby.

"How do you know he isn't connected." Guren simply countered, moving towards one of the corners of the room.

Yuu was quiet, he knew something was wrong. Gently reaching over, he touched the baby's small hand, before moving the small cloth to examine the baby's body more.

"He didn't die from electricity." Yuu murmured, however Mikaela swiftly replied.

"There is a way to electrocute someone without leaving wounds, but it would require water. It's an easy way to get away with murder."

Carefully, the young master reached into his bag, pulling out some tools, so clean they were practically blinding.

"The first rules of autopsy is to simply observe, I've already completed the first step, I'll move on to the second-"

Yuu swiftly stopped the hand that was reaching towards the baby, glaring at the blonde man.

"Even if the baby is dead, their parents will come and collect them. It's best not to cut up someone's child."

"I'm performing science for the greater good.  It's parents will understand that."  Mikaela said coldly  as he snapped on his rubber gloves.

Yuu couldn't sit back and watch this, no matter how grim the young master's situation was, this was just unjustified.

"You can't touch this baby.  It's under our protection until their parents arrive, until then, you're not allowed to cut it up."

"You-"

"How about we do something else?"  Guren said suddenly, causing the potential fight to stop.  "I'm rather hungry right now."

 


 

That was how they all ended up having a meal with each other much to the two young men's dismay.

They had went to Shitoku, a restaurant which had the best Ramen he had ever tasted.  It was simple yet complex, if that was even possible.

He ate his noddles happily unbeknownst to him, someone was staring, more like glaring at him. 

"Do you even have manners?  If you really eat like that, you'll actually turn into a pig." 

Yuu paused, setting down his chopsticks, before slowly turning around and putting on a fake smile on his face.

"I'm so sorry young master, you're right, I wouldn't want to turn into you."  He said tauntingly.

Mikaela rolled his eyes as he set down his chopsticks as well.  Yuu snickered, but Mikaela could care less.  He had some more interesting matters on his mind.

"Guren, I believe that we'll cross paths often.  In fact, I believe you know more then you let on."

Guren continued to eat peacefully, but if you looked closely, you could catch a small smile on his face.

Slowly Mikaela stood up, walking towards Guren, wide eyed, Yuu watched still seated.  Unsure onto what was going to happen.

"So please," he said as he got onto his hands and knees on the floor, befode bowing.  Yuu's mouth practically dropped open, 'he couldn't be asking.  He couldn't have the nerve to-'

 

 

"Please take me on as your apprentice!"

 

 


 


*Susanoo is a powerful Japanese storm god.

Chapter Text

Sometimes your greatest enemy becomes your greatest ally
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After the unexpected turn of events at dinner,  Yuu was unsure with the blonde man's intentions.  He was egotistic his final conclusion after observing him discreetly during dinner.

But he was also extremely stubborn, stubborn as a bull as they say in some places.  It was a trait he could admit to admiring if it was anyone else.

"Master where are we going?"  Yuu asked, Guren had ask the two young men to follow him back to the workshop.

However, they didn't simply go in, they walked around the building first. The older man stopped at specific places, at first they were confused onto some various items on the floor.

Did he want them to clean it up? Observing closer, his emerald eyes held a deep look of confusion, "are these....traps?"

Guren stopped suddenly, almost causing both Yuu and Mikaela to bump into each other.

"We'll be having an uninvited visitor. I'm just doing my best to welcome in." He couldn't help but catch the smirk he had on his face which was lit up by the natural light of the moon.

Yuu only saw that smirk when he was about to be punished, so he couldn't help but shiver in discomfort. Finally they went inside the workshop, the older was walking in such a brisk pace the two could hardly keep up.

Meanwhile, a young master was more concerned onto where the much older man was taking them. 'It seems like the lightning bug isn't as stupid as he seems. They do seem to be traps, but for who, and why?'

It seemed their question was answered when they heard a loud noise come in the direction of the..

"baby room." They both said simultaneously. They glanced at each other, having a silent conversation among themselves before both rushing forward.

When they made it into the room, they spotted a figure wearing all black, carrying a familiar clothed item. Immediately they jumped out the window and the chase had begun.

The two followed, careful not to be cut by glass, but was immediately met with the same fate as the perpetrator. They slipped on some oil, causing the chase to momentarily pause to regain their balance.

The thief soon was on the run once more with Yuu following close behind, before suddenly stopping, causing the other male to become confused.

"Just what the hell do you think-"

The emerald eyed male raised his hand, stopping Mikaela, a look of determination was on his face. He had stopped both of them before they were stuck in another trap. Another trap he knew would be hard to escape.

And sure enough, the figure was slipping once more, but whether it be a strike of luck or intuition on Yuu's part, the thief fell to their back. And the baby was unmistakably thrown up in the air, away from it's kidnapper's grasps.

Yuu lunged forward, grabbing the baby before shoving it in Mikaela's direction who reluctantly took it with surprised look on his face. The next moment he knew Yuu had bolted off, leaving Mikaela alone with a dead baby.

'This wasn't how things should've went.' He thought whilst chasing after the two.

By the time he made it, the figure had jumped the wall surrounding the workshop. Causing the chase to end suddenly, although it wasn't total defeat.

"Any observations?" A voice suddenly said in the dark, causing the two men to whirl around before relaxing. It was just Guren, but what could he possibly mean by-

"It's a theft if he doesn't make a sound. It's a heist if he does." Yuu said suddenly before continuing his statement, "the thief didn't make a sound even when he almost split his buttocks. So it's very like that it's a..."

"A theft, they wanted to steal a dead baby."

Everyone went silent, and Guren simply turned back towards the workshop. "The baby never lies" He said once again quietly as they put the baby back where he belonged for now. Maybe the old man's words had some sort of meaning.

Both Yuu and Guren sat down, the older deciding to pull out a book whilst the younger was intending to get some shuteye. The young master however wasn't ready to give up so soon yet.

"Master Guren, I truly want to be your disciple." He said, approaching the two again. Guren slowly shut his book and looked up, his face showing not even a flicker or emotion.

Yuu however was the opposite, "that's a funny joke. But not enough to lift up our spirits." He said as Mikaela's cerulean eyes scrutinized and intimidated Yuu to shut up.

"Master Shindo, everyone has their line of work, and I'm afraid this wouldn't be the best for you." Guren was letting him down gently, his eyes softening.

Mikaela looked down, but he was still undaunted at the rejection. "I've seen some people better than me today. I can't solve my father's case single handedly on my own skills from abroad. I would prefer not be ridiculed by the people of *Hashihama city."

Finally, Mikaela got to his knees "please reconsider." He begged.
There was a silence, before it was broken by a spectator.

"You're already a laughingstock so it wouldn't make much difference. Don't you know why I'm the only apprentice master has? Skill, temperament, character and ability. None of them are dispensable." He glowered.

"I'm as good as you when it comes in these aspects."

"Don't be so pretentious, not everyone can have these virtues and you're included in that category."

Mikaela chose to ignore Yuu and focused all his energy at Guren. "Master Guren, don't worry. I'll always do my best."

Yuu was struggling to find a flaw in the other, it was irritating and a little disheartening.

 

"You'll have to pay a fee."

 

"How much?"

 

Yuu hesitated before continuing, "54,973 yen in cash."

 

"Alright."

 

"A three day family feast at *Soyukaze."

 

"No problem."

 

"A ten year apprenticeship where you can only serve the master. Your life is predestined. You will also occasionally have to chip in for new tools and building repairs around the workshop."

 

"Sounds good."

 

Throughout the whole ordeal Guren had been watching the two interact with each. He had a final conclusion but decided not to voice his opinion just yet.

"Geez, go home. You must be really out of it, how can you say all that with a straight face huh? Go get some rest." Yuu scolded.

"Alright I understand." Mikaela said while bowing low on the ground.

"Wait." Guren suddenly spoke surprising the two of them. Although he spoke softly there was authority in his tone still.

"For every job, there are rules." He said earnestly.

"Yes rules." Yuu said, interjecting himself into the conversation.

"Go ahead, I'm listening."

 


 

The raven haired male awoke with a start.  Roused not from his usual personal chorus of birds, but from the loud grumbling of humans toiling oh so early in the morning.

Now sitting up, his usually slightly greased back hair was a messy heap on top of his head.  His cowlick extremely prominent, a feature he didn't exactly enjoy.

Looking out his window, his mouth dropped open at what he saw, rushing towards his wardrobe, he put a white shirt and some pants. Not bothering to put on his suspenders for he feared he would have even less time.

At a hastened speed, he slid his feet into his shoes, rushing outside. Almost tripping, he stopped, watching the numerous amount of people go by in the courtyard carrying many exotic and expensive furniture.

Catching sight of his master, he watched silently before he scurried over. "Master what is-"

He paused, eyes shifting towards who his master was exactly talking to. The annoyingly golden haired male who didn't know when to quit.

"Is this your stuff." He interrupted, his emerald eyes practically blazing as he watched the other intently. Mikaela simply smiled, before tilting his head to the side. It was a way to show innocence and submission but Yuu wasn't buying it.

"It is, I had completed the trial to become master guren's apprentice, and he accepted me. Please take care of me senpai." The young master took off his newboys cap whilst bowing.

Yuu had visibly flinched when he heard Mikaela use honorifics. Almost like he was brushing off the fact he tried to arrest him just the other day, and was just sweet talking him. "Master? Why would you take him in?  Don't you know tha-"

He was interrupted when a man who was moving the other's stuff came towards them carrying a chair. "This master, is something I ordered straight from Germany. It was hand carved, and polished just for you. It's my thank you gift for taking me in."

Both Guren and Yuu were surprised, watching as the chair was placed down before them. The violet eyed male made his way towards the chair, admiring the craftsmanship, before shakily sitting down. He rested his back against it, eyes closing, he let out a relaxed sigh.

"Oh, I almost forgot!" The blonde haired male turned towards the black haired one. Immediately, another man came, this time carrying something not as big but just as expensive.

"I also exported this from Germany, handcrafted as well. This is for you, since you seem to be the kind of person who isn't always on schedule."

He was handed a small clock, it seemed to be made from the same dark oak wood as Guren's chair. He traced the edges, it was a delicate gift, but wasn't his style.

"Thanks I guess." He grumbled. He was still taught manners to say the very least. He would probably give it to the purple haired priestess instead, he knew how much she fancied this type of stuff.

'How did he even pass the trial?  Many have tried and all have failed, that's why I'm the only apprentice master has.  Something isn't adding up at all, and I'm going to be the one to find out.'

Whilst Yuu was having an inner turmoil, the new apprentice was talking to his new master.  "Thanks again for taking me in, especially after such an impolite meeting."  Guren waved his hands dismissively.

"*Even monkeys fall from trees.  Now come, let's all eat,  I'm starving."   

Somehow this situation felt familiar, but hopefully it would end differently.

 


 

Breakfast was strained, or at least for the two apprentices. Mikaela, itching to make a good impression had ordered the best fish in Hashihama. The rest was "homemade" but Yuu didn't believe that one bit.

Of course the elegant man introduced each dish before they could start eating, causing a certain someone to become irritated. When he finally sat down was when the viridescent eyed male snapped.

"What are you doing?"  Yuu demanded, as Mikaela took a seat, completely oblivious to the shrine behind him.  "What do you think I'm doing-"  The sapphire eyed man cut himself off, deciding to take the higher road.

"I just decided to sit down here, is something the matter?"  He asked,  sending him his signature smile.  However this smile was fraudulent, and his posture was stiff.

It was a good thing Yuu was just as observant as the other man beside him. And also the things around him that could be used to his advantage.

"You're sitting behind *Sanbō-Kōjin.  I didn't know your arrogance had no limits. Even master doesn't dare to sit behind the head god of this family. It's the rule here, and if you're crashing here you have to follow our rules. Just because you gave gifts and sweet talked your way in here doesn't give you a higher rank here."  He said bitterly.

The young master turned around, and sure enough there was a small shrine with an offering in place behind him.  Silently, he scooted his seat over so he wasn't directly in front of the sacred shine, under watchful eyes of course.

"First of all, you're right, just because I gave you gifts doesn't give me a higher rank. The fact I am both a witness and handle this case does however. You've never been truly cleared as a suspect, and I have every right to both live and investigate here." Yuu stayed silent refusing to meet his eyes as the other continued.

"Secondly, your *Electricity Committee is outside the personal quota of the police station. And now," he said whilst pulling out something Yuu was unfortunately familiar with, "I'm a special detective. I'm your superior in terms of rank. So under these circumstances, the best choice of action for you is to behave yourself and not step out of line."

The raven haired male had begun to think he had set up a bomb just now. He did admit he was rather rude, but the young master however had been worse.

"I do admit I have been hasty with you. But today I have been nothing but polite and disciplined, I can tolerate your degradation but don't take me for someone you can bully."

"You're actually getting mad at me right now? *Entering the village obey the village, you obviously haven't done any of that! And let's not forget your first impression you had on us! Just because you somehow cheated your way through the trial doesn't mean you're my master's apprentice!" Yuu countered

"You're not the final verdict, last time I checked. I'll become his apprentice by all means, even if it means surpassing you!"

Almost in synchronization they stood up with the intent to become physical before they heard a loud slam on the table. Breaking their fierce gaze from each other they turned towards their master.

"Enough! My rule is that there will be no talking at the table. Eat your meal and sit down." Guren's violet eyes held a cutthroat gaze causing both of them to finally submit and sit down.

"Sorry."

"I apologize."

They said at the same time, before eating awkwardly.

Although they were like night and day, there was something they could both agree on.

 

'Things would be better without you.'

 



Hashihama- a make believe city this story sets place in.

Soyukaze- a fancy restaurant which will be important later on in the story

Even monkeys fall from trees- an old Japanese saying, everyone makes mistakes

Sanbō-Kōjin- god of the fire, hearth, and kitchen. His name literally means god of the stove.

Electrical Committee- Is the committee Yuu works for which works under the police.  Their job is to retrieve bodies of electrical accidents and fix electrical problems.

Entering the village, obey the village- an old Japanese saying, when in Rome do as the Romans do. Or basically just follow the rules.

Chapter Text

Human nature are sets of unexplainable characteristics that every so often makes us meet our demise

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Breakfast ended quickly, much to everyone's relief. Yuu offered to clean the dishes, but Guren simply shook his head.

His violet eyes, shifted between the two young men before standing up. He wasn't as young as he use to, so it was quite a struggle.

Although their master was silent, they both knew what he wanted them to do. The emerald eyed male was slightly impressed with the other. But he of course didn't let it show on his face.

He learned to mask his emotions a long time ago. After all, you needed to to survive this cruel city.

They all went to the baby room. Whoever that person was wanted, no, needed this baby. Even if this baby wasn't connected to the young master's father's death, it would still be a huge story.

Guren hobbled over to a chair, and sat down, shifting into a comfortable position before he spoke.  "Both of you should tell me first how would you investigate this." 

Mikaela immediately jumped at the opportunity, walking around Yuu and went to Guren's side.  The emerald eyed man arched his eyebrow slightly.  What was he planning?

"What did the guy come here for the other day?  For the corpse.  Why would anyone steal a corpse?   What was his motives be?  Now it seems the easiest way to find out the truth is to figure out the baby's real identity."

Yuu continued on from where the blonde man left off.  It was a nice starter for his plan.  He had to admit that at least.

"If the thief was his relative, why did he try to steal the child instead of walking in openly.  Someone wanted the child's body without formally claiming it."

He walked over as well, to Guren's open side, he knew Mikaela was sizing him up, but he could care less.  It was his turn to speak now.

"So there is a huge possibility, that the child was a bastard whose identity couldn't be exposed.  So he had to steal the child by breaking in."

They both knew what they had to do, they had to split up.

 


 

The cerulean eyed male was sitting in an old carriage.  His destination was a familiar place, a place that so far has helped him.  Well, he had to black mail them first, but they haven't yet to disappoint.

When he arrived, he entered the building, not bothering to knock as he entered Ferid's office.  "I need the data of missing persons." 

The white haired male, not bothering to look up from his newspaper, questioned him.  "Data of missing persons?"

"Especially data of missing women and children."

Ferid sighed, putting his newspaper aside to look up at the young man.  "The police station has it's own set of rules.  I know you know that.  If you break them for your case, how would my subordinates think of me?"  He ruffled his hair his was impressed by his determination, but geez this kid...

"And I know that you know I have something on you."  Ferid grimaced as Mikaela looked down on him whilst smirking.  Ferid took back any compliments he had thought about him.

"Archives room it is.  Follow me."  He said as he broke into a cold sweat.  He stood up and hurriedly went to the archive room, with Mikaela striding behind him.

'You made the right choice.'

 


 

"You picked that to drink? Isn't that a little too bitter?" While Mikaela had went to the police station, Yuu went to an unexpected place but with the most information. Especially on this subject. 

"Aina, change the pot of *Sencha for Mr.Yuuichirou." Madame said as she rolled her eyes, the girl was a little too slow for her liking.

"Alright." She said shyly as she bowed. With her head hanged low she opted to leave before Yuu stopped her.

"Don't bother." He said, grabbing her hand. "This tastes just as good." He said, flashing a charming smile at Madame. They both shared a polite laugh before Yuu finally let the poor girl go.

She continued to pour the tea gingerly. She learned not to eavesdrop a long time ago and practically turned invisible as the two carried on their private conversation.

"Are you not busy with electricity business today?" She asked, she was trained to start conversations with customers, it was her job after all.

"I'm not busy today, thankfully."

"Good for you!" She said happily before her demeanor change completely. "Don't just stand there Aina. Sing a tune for Mr.Yuuichirou!"

The girl opened her mouth, about to sing when Yuu stopped her once more. Shaking his hands in a courteous like manner. "No it's ok. Don't bother."

Madame eyed the girl once over, before with a swift flick of her wrist, she dismissed the girl. Who was more than happy to do so, no one ever wanted to get on Madame's bad side.

"It seems that there is nothing that suits your fancy here. Why did you come to my place then?" She asked as she turned her full attention to Yuu.

"I hear, you have a new girl." Those simple words were enough to light up Madame's face. "Yes we do! She came from a government official's family. Her family was stricken by mutiny, she fled here to take refuge."

Yuu absorbed the information, before standing up, hands behind his back. He nodded his head before sitting down on the small sofa across the room.

"Mr.Yuuichirou let me tell you something!" She hopped up, careful not step on her kimono as she pranced over. "She is still a virgin!"

Yuu let out a fake sound of surprise, when in reality he was apathetic.

"Shall I ask her to come over and talk to you?" She was elated that he was finally showing interest in someone. Yuu came here often, but only stayed at the bar which caused great confusion for her.

"You're a class act.  Where did you get that information and how did you get ahold of such a girl?"

Her attitude was quick to change as she turned around, "for those who are wanting to survive in the underworld, one must have friends that know something. It is essential to us."

Yuu stood up, walking over to her until they were less than a few feet apart. "Ma'am, take a seat." He pleasantly said. He grabbed her hand and helped her sit down.

"I would like to ask you something." He said softly, taking both of her hands into his. Looking up at her he knew that she was unimpressed. Especially now that she knew he wanted something.

"Go ahead." She had crossed her legs in a lady like manner and was awaiting a question.

"Do you have a pregnant woman here?" Her face was blank as she stared at Yuu before she started to shake her head and bang her hand on the table.

Yuu was confused onto what she was doing, his emerald eye's watched carefully. She wagged her finger at him, and looked as if she had found the meaning of life. But answer was the most idiotic answer possible.

"You turned out to have that taste!"

"N-no that's not what I meant." He was beginning to feel embarrassed, a feeling he wasn't use to unless he was with a certain purple haired priestess. He removed his hands, and settled on leaving them on his lap.

"I meant to ask, what should my friend do if she was pregant?"

"She can give birth." She said bluntly.

"But what if she gives birth out of wedlock." He urged on, he almost regretted continuing when she smirked and raised an eyebrow at him.

"Mr.Yuuichirou, could it be that you're..." She stopped herself and giggled, bringing her hand to cover her mouth. Yuu looked down before he decided to play along.

"Ah, I was on the spur of the moment, and couldn't control myself." He said with mock sheepishness.

Madame, picked up her teacup, before she sighed. "You know, you didn't have to beat around the bush. It's not a big deal." She took a sip of her tea thoughtfully.

"Go to the black market and find the secretive midwife. It's as easy as that." She placed her cup down as she looked at the perplexed young man.

"The secretive midwife?"

"Though I must warn you. A ghost has it's own way, you have to seek blessings for yourself."

Yuu was lost in thought for awhile, before he finally realized what she meant.  He ruffled his raven hair, not looking forward to what he had to do.

 


 

"If Steward Tepes says anything about this, put all the blame on me."   The blonde haired male was reading a book, but he couldn't seem to focus. 

Putting it down, he continued, "it has nothing to do with you guys.  I will not go back until I find out how my dad died."

The men in the room were all apart of *Songbird Railway.  They each had known the young master since he was young and were worried for his wellbeing, especially now that he was moving to a workshop like this.

"Young master, let's not care about what outsiders think.  How can you solve the case by moving here?"  One of them inquired.

"As of now, it seems like the death of the child is a starting point in this mystery.  Master Guren either has the knack or clues on my father's murder.  I came to be his disciple, but my aim is to investigate."  He said, as he began to help them move a few more items in his room.

"I'll definitely find something.”

 


 

Guren rested on his new chair in his dark room.  His violet eyes resting on the ceiling.  The man seemed to be lost in thought, mind drifting aimlessly through his sea of his musings.

"There is some tea on the table, help yourself." He said suddenly as he sensed the presence of someone entering the room.

"Do you like the chair?" The rosy haired woman asked. Her ruby eyes had full attention on the man.

Guren moved in his seat whilst sighing, "it's alright." The male was never into fanciful things like this. A quiet and minimalistic life was more enjoyable for him.

"It's made of *Bubinga. We brought the log back from an overseas trip. It was made by *Kazuo Ito himself, there are few on the market." Her ruby red eyes seemed to be slightly glowing now, with the small amount of natural light coming through.

"Steward Tepes.  Did you come here to make another bet?"

Krul leaned forward, her hair hanged slightly forward from the ponytail. Now looking closer to her, she looked tired and stressed.  Her eyes were slightly hazy and was wavering slightly.

"Given the current situation of the SB Railway, I can't afford another bet. Where is Mikaela Shindo?"

There was a pregnant silence, before Guren answered, "haven't I just found him for you? Is he missing again?"

Krul looked away, her hands fiddling with her tight fitting coat. It was an unusual fashion choice for a woman this day and age, but she was a woman of power. "Why do you keep him here?"

She knew Guren never did things without planning or an ulterior motive.  They've gone way back after all.  But it was her job to protect Mikaela, even from his own self.

"Being kept or not, he has something he's destined to do here.  No one can say how far he can go." 

"I said I can't afford another bet."  She replied, "I can't have Mikaela in danger.  Destiny or not, it's not his place to decide because he doesn't know what he's dealing with."

Guren shook his head, Krul has always been loyal to the Shindo family, sadly that would be her downfall.  

"From the moment President Shindo was found I knew he was missing something."

Krul's grip on the chair immediately tightened.  Her face was stony cold, but her mannerism drastically changed.  "Whatever happens, Mikaela can not know about them.  He can't, if he does-"

"Put it back Krul."  Gurens eyes moved from the ceiling, now staring at the woman in front of him.  "I'll consider your debt payed if you do.  If not, I'll do it myself."

Krul stared at Guren, looking for a sign of sympathy in his eyes.  When she couldn't find it, she looked down, "just what are you planning Guren.  Especially with, the Colbat Order."
The two words didn't seem foreign on her tongue, but she still struggled to say them. 

"Maybe we'll be able to put them to rest once and for all, Krul."

 



Sencha- is a type of Japanese green tea, it's known to be very bitter.

Songbird Railway- is the company Mikaela is soon to be in charge of.  His father gained all his wealth from this company. 

Bubinga- is a beautiful wood species, and is among the most expensive and valuable wood in the world.

Kazuo Ito- is a famous carpenter who's known for his works.

Chapter Text

 

Gaining friends is a powerful tactic

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It was dark by the time the raven haired male left the brothel.  He had left the bustling city and entered his quiet neighborhood.

"With grains sprinkling towards four directions.  Please return to your hometown soon!" 

Well, almost quiet.  The male couldn't believe that he had forgotten something so critical.  A certain purple haired female roamed the neighborhood as well.

Swiftly, he pressed himself against the stone wall, inching along as Shinoa continued....whatever it was she was doing.

"There will be the Empyrean Fairy.  Young boys to greet your soul, Takara Chiko come home!"  She then began to bang two old pans together.  Yuu deemed she didn't have the necessary tools to perform an actual ceremony.

"Takara Chiko come home!"  She breathed in and giggled slightly, before looking down from the not so high terrace.

 

"Yuu-san?"

 

The emerald eyed male let out a heaving sigh whilst closing his eyes.  Stepping away from the wall to look up at the probably intoxicated girl.  "Keep on doing what you were doing."  He smiled sweetly but was stopped again.

"My, my Yuu-san.  I didn't think you missed me so much you went to look for me on your own.  I'm flattered!  How did you find me?"

"I wouldn't have come if I knew you were here."

"Huh?  What did you say?"  Although Yuu hadn't mumbled, Shinoa pretended not to hear.  He rolled his eyes at her childish antics before changing the topic.

"Where is your mom?  Is she getting drunk again?"  

"She wouldn't have come to this place even if she was sober.  So she sent me to do this job on my own," she paused as she watched a woman walk down the stone road pass Yuu before whispering.

"A man of this family has been missing for a long time.  They thought he may be dead so they asked me to invoke his soul."

 

"That's some serious business."

 

"Yes."

 

"Make sure you do a good job. Okay?"  He gave a thumbs up and started to walk off when he was stopped again.

"Wait Yuu-san!  Let me take you to *Dongarashi for some nice *oden.  My treat yeah?" 

"Forget about it Shinoa.  You always say that and I end up having to pay."  He was beginning to tire from this conversation.  Shinoa always took a lot of energy out of him.

 

"I'm getting my paycheck soon!  It's true!

 

"I don't believe it."  He walked off quickly as Shinoa yelled his name.  It didn't matter to him, she would probably be scolded by the whole neighborhood and he didn't want to stay and see that.

 

"*Sorceress, I think you're calling out the wrong name."

 

Two servants from the family stood behind her, as she turned around, she couldn't come up with a quick response so she denied the accusation.

 

"No I'm not."

 

"Really, then who is Yuu-san then?"

 

"Shinoa."

 

Turning back around, her amber eyes widened at who she saw.  She had never been so happy to see someone before.

 

"Come on, let's go get that oden you promised me, hm?"  He raised his eyebrows and Shinoa somehow knew they weren't going anywhere near comfort food.

 


 

"This isn't right, this isn't right at all.  Raise your hips a bit, shoulders back.  I have to practically feel the weariness and pain in your eyes."  

As Yuu ordered her around, Shinoa wasn't able to feel like Yuu was taking her somewhere dangerous.

"You should also look slightly nervous with a hint of excitement."  He tied a rope to a tree, before grabbing the rest of the rope.

"Struggle, do you know what struggle is?  It's the kind of grief that exudes itself from the inside out."  He animatedly continued, jade eyes gleaming.

 

"And then turn around.  It's like family separations or partings in life or death."

 

When Shinoa stared at him dumbly, he knew he had to tone down his artistic expressions and explain it in a way that she could possibly understand.

"It's like having a freshly baked sweet potato in your hand."  He raised both of his hands, still carrying the rope before proceeding with his analogy.  "It's still hot and you have it in your delicate hands." 

Shinoa stared into the palm of his hands, almost salivating as she could almost see and smell the potato.

"Just when you're about to eat it, someone bumps into you and you drop it.  And it gets stepped on by others.  It's that kind of sorrow."

After his story was done, Shinoa's face shifted into grief, too much grief that Yuu had to stop her. 

"Fine!  You show me then!  Since you want me to act like some weird penguin!"  She huffed and turned her head away.

"You're supposed to act like you're pregnant.  And you're about to bid goodbye to a family member." 

"But, the only thing I have in my belly is a pancake."

"It's called acting Shinoa!"  He sucked in an agitated breath.  Closing his eyes, he rubbed his temples, a migraine was beginning to come on.  

'Hell, even I would have a better chance than her at acting like I was pregnant.'  But Yuu dismissed those thoughts, he needed Shinoa so it would be realistic. 

"You always wanted to tag along with me to visit the black market, so I'll show it to you today.  Do not embarrass me, understood?" 

She looked away before nodding, her mood suddenly changing on what seemed to Yuu on a whim.

"Why are you so hard on me?"  She mumbled, the braid sitting on top of her head was lopsided now.

 

"Me?"  He questioned while pointing to himself.

 

"I'm not a fair lady from a rich family.  I'm not even a girl of humble birth.  I am not beautiful, nor am I rich with silver and gold." 

He looked at her quizzically, he was silent but he was wondering if he had ever pushed the girl too far.

"You can look down on me, but why did you violate me!" At the sudden raise of her voice and her her sudden movement to face him, Yuu fell down in shock.

 

"V-violate?  Since when have I ever touched you?"

 

"Do you know how much I suffered for just a moment of your pleasure?  The fetus in my belly is your own flesh!  But you want me to throw it away.  Why are you so ruthless?"  She began to breath heavily before letting out choked sobs.

Yuu quickly stood up.  "That's enough.  I'm glad you got the hang of it, but keep it down, ok.  We aren't the only ones out here.” 

"Well at least my acting was beyond satisfactory."

 

"Yeah, yeah take off your clothes."  

 

Shinoa eyes widened as she eyed Yuu.  "Y-yuu-san I thought we were just acting!"

 

He looked at her in a puzzled manner before explaining more, "just take off your robe and put this clothe in your clothes.  What did you think we were going to be doing?"

Shinoa let out a sigh of relief as Yuu threw the rope over the small cliff.  Hopefully her acting would be believable.

 


 

The two of them walked through the market, holding hands.  Yuu was in front leading her as the lavender haired female looked around in a daze.

The market was filled with the filthy, the suspicious, and the deranged.  Thankfully, he knew his way around.

He stopped at a laughing man's small cart.  He was petting a chicken and chuckling softly to no one.

 

"Can I ask you something?"

 

He replied with laughter, Shinoa looked between the two, wondering if Yuu went crazy as well.   

The raven haired male began to laugh along too.  She guessed her suspicions had been corr-

Yuu suddenly stopped laughing and returned stone faced as he slammed a bag of what seemed to be coins onto his cart.

The man was softly giggling now, he turned to stare at Shinoa's stomach, before moving his head in a certain direction. It was enough information for Yuu to set off with Shinoa stumbling behind.

It seemed as though some people stared as they past, but it was most likely because of Shinoa being new.  They stopped at a tent, lit with a single lantern.

He was about to go in, but was pulled back by the other.  "Let me check first."  She whispered before closing her eyes.

All of a sudden she started to shake her head, and do a strange hand gesture.  "The parentage is destined, but fails to fulfill one's desire.  The spirits lingered and the pain went away.  Follow the commandment and do good deeds.  To ascend to *Takamagahara-"

"Watch out your shoes will get dirty!"  An old women's voice suddenly warned as she came out of the tent and splashed what they hoped to be just water on the ground.

Thankfully, Shinoa was quick enough to get away in time.

"May I help you?"  The old woman asked, as she popped her head from the tent once again, Yuu quickly moved so he was seen before speaking on their behalf.

 

"It's about human beings."

 

The old woman looked down, although one of her eyes was covered with what seemed to be a makeshift wooden eyepatch and it was pretty dark, he knew she was uncomfortable.

"Anyone who comes to me is either a Buddhist preacher or a troublemaker."  Her voice was rough with age as she held scissors in one of her old and shaky hands.  "This young girl is still a virgin and yet she is pregnant."

They both looked at each other in surprise, they were sure nothing they did gave them away.  How could she easily tell.

 

"Whatever it is, I don't want any trouble.  Please leave."

 

"We aren't here to cause any trouble, we're here to bring you money.  It's just that we have a lady in our household.  For convenience she wanted to inquire about it first. If you want she'll come here tomorrow to ask personally."

There was a pregnant pause, before she released a shaky breath.  "Although I am blind in one eye, I'm not an idiot."

Strangely enough, she reminded him of Guren when he didn't get his breakfast.  He guessed all old people really were the same.

"Honestly, we just want to have a look at your midwifery skills.  Who came to you to deliver a baby recently?  We are just asking to see if those people are ok.  If nothing goes wrong then I'll just do what we're supposed to do." 

"The black market sees no daylight.  The ones I help are poor."  Although her voice was of a whisper, it was still strong and unwavering.  "I'm unsure of the identities of the victim's family.  You can come in if you trust me, otherwise please look for another way."  She turned to leave, this time Shinoa spoke up.

"Wait!  The River God leads but the cause and effects are unclear.  Things can be big or small, I'll draw a paper talisman to judge the vibe."

 

Yuu watched quietly, knowing if he jumped in, it wouldn't be a good plan.

 

"It should be fine.  I'm not going to disrupt your business.  If you don't want to, don't come running back to me when you're caught in a backflow of water.

Turning towards Yuu now, who was carrying her bag, she reached in and took a small bottle of red ink and paper.  Yuu watched, entertained, until she suddenly ripped out multiple pieces of his hair to us as a brush.  Yelping in pain, he held his head and watched her roll and dip his hairs into the ink.

 

She whispered gibberish, as she painted randomly on the "canvas".

 

"The water sprite reveals its feature."  Turning it around, she showed to old woman who looked extremely invested.  "Do you know what this is?"  The lavender haired girl asked.

 

"N-no."

 

"It's a face."

 

"Where is this face?"  The old woman was trying to be brave, but you could notice a slight shakiness in her voice.  She never messed with a sorceress. 

"Look at it again carefully."  She said, shaking the talisman slightly.

"It's a face of a male infant."  The old woman moved closer to try to make sense of the red marks on the paper but still couldn't see it. 

"It's obvious, can't you see it?  These are his eyes, this is his nose, and his small mouth wide open.  He's crying."  She started pointing at random spots on the paper, the old woman seemed to be buying it.  And Yuu couldn't help but be impressed with her con skills.

 

"Yes I see it."

 

"A male infant was born here.  He has an ominous life.  If he is left alone he will bring disaster to the soil and water.  And evolve into a river spirit.  The time should be.......should be..."

She turned her head to looked at the raven haired male who quickly jumped in.  "Right, a month ago." 

"Yes exactly.  Please tell us something about it so we can look for this evil baby."  The old woman was becoming more and more hesitant as the seconds passed.  But she still stood strong. 

"As an underground midwife, I've pledged a fatal oath.  If I disclose the identity of the victim's family, I will die  a sudden death on the street and will be denied reincarnation."

"But," Shinoa smirked as she finished her sentence "the fatal oath never forbids you from writing."  Grabbing something else from the bag that Yuu didn't recognize she showed the woman what seemed to be a regular stone.

"I'll give you this exorcism stone.  It will guarantee that no harm befalls you until you are ready to leave this earth on your own."  She moved the stone in a circle and the woman's head followed.

Yuu on the other hand couldn't believe how she was falling for this.  He guessed he really did need the lilac haired girl. 

Shakily, the old woman reached out a red stained hand.  They knew they had succeeded.

 


 

Shinoa looked smug as they were leaving the market.  Sighing, he gave her a thumbs up and she looked surprisingly pleased.  Probably because Yuu didn't praise her that much.

"But we aren't over yet."  He said, taking out his own piece of paper, with business names listed.  "Look into these bus-"

"You haven't paid me yet."  She said quickly whilst pouting, causing Yuu to look at her intently.  "I thought that was some random rock on the road?  How much is it, 538 yen?"

She inched closer, her amber eyes glowing as she whispered in his ear with a large Cheshire Cat grin, "10,765 yen."  Yuu almost tripped at the large sum she had just given away.

 

"A shabby stone for such a large amount?"

 

She made a happy sound as she watch him collect himself.

 

"Alright, it's on Mikaela."

 

"What does this have to do with him?"

 

"Well, this is his case after all."  

 

 

 


 

Dongarashi- is a name of a restaurant that Yuu and Shinoa go to often.  Although Yuu always pays, he still goes with Shinoa when she wants to.

 

Oden- is a type of nabemono (Japanese one-pot dishes), consisting of several ingredients such as boiled eggs, daikon, konjac, and processed fishcakes stewed in a light, soy-flavored dashi broth.

 

Sorceress- Although Shinoa should be a priestesses, the need for them decreased drastically in their city.  So her mother went down a different route which allowed them to do more things which gave them more jobs.

 

Takamagahara- is a place in Japanese mythology. In Shinto,  Takamagahara is the dwelling place of the heavenly gods.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

Favors must always be returned, or they shall haunt you in your next life

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The fair haired male sat in his new room, adorned with his usual silk black robe and reading glasses.  He was reading the reports he had gotten earlier that morning.

 

He had started in the evening, and before he knew it, it was night.   Sighing, he ran a nimble hand through his hair.  It seemed that so far, he hadn't found any valuable information that was worth taking note of.

 

Suddenly there was a knock at his door, without glancing up, he granted them access to come in.  Slowly the door opened, revealing an emerald eyed man carrying what seems to be today's dinner.

 

He entered the room cautiously, looking around at the sudden changes in the once empty and plain space.  Mikaela was seemingly unbothered with his gingerly behavior, and leisurely directed his cerulean eyes towards the other.

 

"Don't take it the wrong way.  Master made me deliver dinner to you."  He said whilst putting down the tray of miso soup with a side of rice and fish.    It was still warm, so they must've made dinner recently.

 

Mikaela made no move to retaliate, not even to reach over and start eating his soup.  'If he keeps up like this he'll pass out.'  Yuu mused.

 

"Stop pretending to be busy.  Come and eat first."

 

"I'm looking into the missing persons' data."

 

The raven haired male was immediately interested, as he began to explore the room.  

 

"Have you found anything yet?"

 

 

There was a tiny sigh, before an answer, "no not yet."

 

 

Yuu stopped, as he spotted jars filled with the glowing lightning bugs that Mikaela had somehow caught.

 

"How did you ever manage to catch all of these?"  He was suspicious to say the very least.  Many people have tried to complete the simple task of collecting 120 lightning bugs all in the same night.

 

The task was deemed almost impossible to anyone who wasn't Yuu.  Lucky for him, he had quite an advantage, and when he used that advantage, the little things practically swarmed him.

 

"Do you really want to know?"

 

 

"You're quite capable."

 

 

"I'm flattered."

 

With that, the conversation ended.  And Yuu was left to his own devices once more.  He decided to investigate a shelf off to the side.  It was filled with various items one would find in a forensic scientist's office, but one drew his attention.

 

"What's soaking in this jar?"  He asked.  It was some sort of pale fleshy thing, soaking in what probably wasn't water.

 

"It's a human brain.  The whole thing was taken out and bottled."  Mikaeala said nonchalantly, smirking at Yuu's little gasp.

 

After steadying himself, he looked above, spotting a tiny slimy creature in another bottle.

 

"Is this a slug?"  He asked, he didn't think forensic scientists would have animals with them.

 

"It's secretion can cure wounds and infections.  It has huge clinical value on the market."  With that, Mikaela flipped the page, his eyes scanning the many names and dates.

 

Yuu put that information away in his head, just in case he needed to use it later.  Although he hoped he wouldn't have to be in a situation where he did.

 

When he bent over and had once another puzzled expression on his face, was when Mikaela finally gave up.  Taking off his black rimmed glasses, he placed them carefully down, before turning to look over.

 

"That is a sample of *pulmonary tuberculosis.  The one next to it is a heart."

 

Yuu slightly frowned, as he continued to look at the items.  "No wonder the young master can live so comfortably in *Kaesan mortuary.  This place is scarier than Kaesan."  He murmured, but the blonde still heard him.

 

He stood up and stood behind him, of course at a reasonable length.  "Oh come now, isn't it also part of your job to retrieve dead bodies around the city?"

 

"I eat *nikuman almost everyday, but only occasionally eat the insides."  He countered back.  "I'm certainly not use to it."

 

Rolling his eyes, Mikaela decided to change the conversation.

 

"Here eat this."  He said as he shoved a food item into the raven haired male's mouth, using his chopsticks.

 

His emerald eyes widened before his whole face scrunched up and he began to freak out, ultimately spitting out the poor sibylline piece of food.

 

"Don't just shove things into my mouth!"  He exclaimed, glaring at Mikaela's informal behavior.

 

"They're just olives, they taste good.  And plus you're fun to tease."  He said, feigning innocence.  Yuu however was not entertained.

 

"Can you not mix and soak all this stuff together!  What if you eat the wrong stuff?"  The disgusted look on his face told it all.  "It seems to me you don't want to be master's disciple, you only want to bring disasters to me!"

 

"Science is a precise subject.  I will never get it wrong."

 

"Science?"

 

Turning back, he decided not to banter anymore.  Changing the subject to more conventional matters.

 

"Any progress on your dad's case or the missing child's?"  He asked, staring at a model of the skeletal system.

 

"What about you?"  Mikaela rebounded the question, popping a few olives in his mouth.

 

"Same as you.  No clues."  Yuu lied and turned around, catching him in the act of spoiling his meal.

 

"What are you doing?  You have a proper meal right here.  Don't eat these things, it'll spoil your palate.  With that, he took the olive from his chopsticks, that was halfway towards the cerulean eyed male's mouth and ate it.

 

He left as quickly as he came, leaving an intrigued young master in his wake.

 

 


 

 

Mikaela wiped the sweat from his brow as he inspected the foot print with a magnifying glass.  Although it was quite early in the morning, the sun decided to start it's job at an untimely hour.

 

He had constructed a small homemade perimeter around his evidence, made of sticks and string.  He took out a measuring stick, measuring with caution, before ripping the cap off his pen and furiously writing in his notebook.

 

As he did so, he realized a shadow that was most definitely not made by the clouds was casted on him.  Shifting around and looking up, he realized it was just Yuu.

 

"What are you doing?" The emerald eyed man asked, to him it looked like a child playing in the dirt with his toys.

 

"I've looked into all the missing persons reports.  But there were no children reported missing.  Then I went to the hospital, I found no birth records that matched the timeline."

 

Turning around, Yuu sat down at the workshop's steps, as Mikaela continued.  "Since we can't find out whose child it is, let's look into the thief who tried to steal it.  This is the primary crime scene."  

 

Mikaela stood up, and backed up until he was the same distance away as Yuu.  Animatedly, he explained in as much detail he could to him.  "You can tell a lot by looking at the size and depth of someone's footprint."

 

Yuu decided to listen, maybe Mikaela had actually found something that could help the case.

 

"We are able to identify the thief's height, weight, even his age and character.

 

"So are you able to tell me who the thief is?"

 

There was a pregnant pause before another voice entered the conversation, screaming excitedly.  "I figured it out!  I figured it out Yuu!"  Just as they both suspected, a purple haired priestess rounded the corner. 

 

"He is from the Watabe family!"  She scurried on over, before stopping besides Yuu and sitting down next to him.

 

"You figured it out?"  He asked, and she nodded her head excitedly.

 

"Two of the three families the midwife mentioned are doing fine!  Only the Watabe family is having a funeral."

 

Mikaela, feeling left out, interjected.  "What midwife?  And their child died?"

 

"It's none of your business."  Shinoa said coldly.  Causing a sheepish chuckle to escape Yuu at the icy tension between them.  "Go on, Shinoa."

 

"The daughter of the Watabe family jumped into the river, and died a few days ago.  But they kept it a secret.  They asked my mom to perform a religious ritual, the outsiders don't even know about it."

 

Mikaela's eyes widened, as he realized he recognized that last name.  The same exact last name was on the list, he remembered reading it and brushing it off.

 

"How old is Mrs.Watabe?"  He asked, licking his lips in pure excitement.

 

The amber eyed girl continued to talk to Yuu, ignoring the blonde's presence.  "She is exactly 19 years old."

 

"That's exactly child bearing age!"  Yuu muttered.  Everything was slowly coming together.  His thoughts went wild.  But unbeknownst to them, Mikaela was watching the two with an evil eye.

 

Becoming even more irritated, he inserted himself in the conversation once again.  "You said you didn't find any clues!"  

 

Snapping out of his imagination, Yuu stood up before coughing awkwardly He forgot that Mikaela was still here.  

 

"Are you going to dig into it?"

 

"Yes."

 

"The child was born in the south.  Dig into it."

 

"Right."  The now tamed Mikaela went to leave, but was stopped by Yuu who had a serious question to ask.

 

"Hang on.  How are you going to investigate it?"

 

Reaching into his pocket, Mikaela took out his temporary police badge confidently.  Yuu's eyes almost rolled to the back of his head in annoyance.

 

"Nothing else happened after they tried to steal the child's body.  They must be up to something.  Do you think they'll let someone with a badge to intervene, that would be careless."

 

Mikaela slowly put his badge, and sighed in defeat.  Now slightly embarrassed.  "What should I do then?"  There was still a hint of irritation in his voice, but Yuu decided to let it slide.  After all, he would make sure to teach Mikaela a lesson probably not even science could teach.

 

"Why don't you pretend to be Mrs. Watabe's friend offering condolences and sympathy upon hearing the news."  The now deemed gullible Mikaela smiled before nodding his head.

 

"That's a good idea.  I'll be on my way then."   Yuu returned a fake smile and with that, the blonde scurried off into the lair of the dragon.

 

"Cheap shot, what a cheap shot."    A violet eyed male said with a gruff voice.  Guren had listened to the whole conversation, and was shaking his head, although he did have a small smile on his face.

 

"I learned it from you, didn't I?  Someone has to throw the stone to find the way.  He won't improve unless he runs into some setbacks, if he doesn't this world will eat him up."

 

Shinoa, who had been listening with great interest, finally spoke.  "What do you mean?  Is something going to happen to-"  her eyes widened when she realized just how crafty Yuu could be.

 

 


 

 

Mikaela knocked on the door.  He was dressed up in a tweed jacket, matching pants and a newsboy cap.  It was formal attire for such an event.

 

Almost immediately, he was greeted with the sight of an anxious servant.  Before he could even open his mouth, the door opened and another servant was suddenly present.

 

Having a bad feeling about this, he opened his mouth to talk when abruptly, he was grabbed on either arm, and practically dragged through the courtyard towards the inside of the house.

 

He noticed the sliding door was already open, which meant someone was probably inside.  He was pushed inside, and the two servants retreated next to the only exit.

 

Taken aback at the amount of disrespect that happened in the first few seconds, he was silent.  Keeping his mouth shut seemed to be a good idea, especially with the intimidating older man in front of him.

 

The older man was sitting in the chair, drinking some tea with such grace that only those born into a wealthy family could accumulate.

 

"Young man, may I know your name?"

 

Quickly, he thought up a fake name.  Not wanting to give away his identity.  If the older didn't know he was a Shindo, he would like to keep it that way.

 

"I'm Micah Kosami.  And you are?"

 

"Tsujii Watabe.  I'm Akane's father."

 

Almost breaking into a cold sweat, he tried to act as respectful as possible without giving away anything.  Although that was harder than it looked.

 

"O-oh Mr.Watabe."  He bowed slightly before continuing, "I apologize I didn't realize who I was speaking to."

 

"How did you meet my daughter?"

 

The fair haired male wasn't the best at lying, especially when he was put on the spot like this.  But he knew if he wanted any information, he would have to come up with a decent one.

 

"Uh, I think it was about...a year ago.  About a year or two ago, I often went to the temple to paint.  She appreciated my paintings and often asked me for advice.  We talked and became good friends."

 

The man was keenly listening, leaning slightly forward.  When Mikaela finished, he leaned back in his seat, seemingly satisfied with the answer.

 

"How did you know, that my daughter had passed away?"

 

Mikaela was silent, his sapphire eyes looking off to the side.

 

"We never announced the funeral publicly."

 

Suddenly becoming hot, he pulled at his tie, whilst licking his lips nervously.    "W-well you see I-"

 

"Alright.  Since you've come, please help me fulfill my wish."

 

 

"Your wish?"

 

 


 

 

The cerulean eyed man was brought to a separate room by what seemed to be the family's personal butler.

 

"This way sir." He then pushed him into a changing room, quickly shutting the door behind him leaving him in a dark room.  Mikaela looked at the clothes he was given.  It was strange outfit, a simple white *kyōkatabira.  With some matching sandals.  And what seemed to be a *Hitaikakushi.  It definitely didn't look like a funeral outfit.  In fact, it looked to be an old fashioned burial outfit.

 

When he came out, he saw Mr.Watabe sitting in a scratched up chair, waiting for him.  "How is it, does it fit?"

 

"Yes, yes it does.  But...why do I have to change into these clothes, to offer condolences?  If you don't mind me-"

 

"Can I ask you a question?"

 

"Yes, of course."

 

"What is responsibility."

 

Mikaela was puzzled with the question choice, but nether the less answered.

 

"Responsibility?  It's about doing the things that one should do.  And completing one's given task."  The male could feel the change in the atmosphere.  It was hostile, and full of hurtful intentions.

 

"I believe you're able to shoulder the responsibility."

 

"Really?"  Mikaela chuckled whilst rubbing his head in an awkward like manner.  "I'm flattered."  He now knew something definitely wasn't right, he shouldn't have come here alone.

 

"But can I ask you a question, now in return."

 

The old man contemplated over this, before nodding his head in allowance.

 

"These don't look like clothes we normally wear."

 

"A *shroud is supposed to look like that."  With that answer, Mikaela's eyes widened.  

 

 


 

 

"W-wait there seems to be a misunderstanding.  Why am I wearing these clothes?"

 

He was being dragged once more, this time more forcefully, and with an intent on his demise.  "There's no misunderstanding, you had a *paramour with Mrs.Watabe."  One of them said, while the other simply snickered and continued were the other one left off.

 

"These are all the things necessary for burying alive."

 

"Burying alive!"  Mikaela shouted, and began to struggle even more, the coffin was ready and open for him.  And sure enough, the body of Akane was there to greet him.

 

The servants stopped him in front of it, and Mr.Watabe was off to the side watching.  "You know what they say, once a lover, always a lover.  Since you've fallen in love with her, you should sacrifice your life in order to accommodate her.  Just like what you said about bearing responsibility."

 

"No.  I don't even know this girl!" He pleaded, although his case wasn't looking too great.

 

Without warning, he was pushed inside the coffin, and held down.  He thrashed against the weight, but he knew it was too late.

 

The coffin was already beginning to close.

 

 


 

 

Pulmonary tuberculosis- an infectious bacterial disease characterized by the growth of nodules (tubercles) in the tissues, especially the lungs.

 

Kaesan mortuary- a made up mortuary that is being used in the story.

 

Nikuman- is the Japanese name for the Chinese baozi.  Made from flour dough, and filled with cooked ground pork, beef or other ingredients. 

 

Kyōkatabira- white kimono in which dead person is dressed

 

Hitaikakushi- is a white piece of triangular paper or cloth worn on the head by the dead.  An extremely old fashioned funeral wear, even during the time when this took place.

 

Shroud- a length of cloth or an enveloping garment in which a dead person is wrapped for burial.

 

Paramour-   an illicit or secret lover