The bell above the door rang, signaling that the door had opened. Uta looked lazily up at the faint scent of female ghoul that rolled in his shop. "How may I help you?" His soft, monotone voice filled the room.
"Are you no face?" Her words were slow and choppy; she wasn't a native speaker.
Still focused on the sketches for another project he replied, "Why."
"I heard he makes masks, and I need a mask."
Uta looked up at her, his kakugan active and locked in with her tinted glass covered eyes. Short, dishwater blonde hair covered mostly with a gray knitted hat, a dirty red tank top hung lazily off one shoulder and a small bag slung over the other. "Makes sense, you did come to a mask shop after all. I am no face." He turned his eyes back to his sketch pad, turning to the next page he began to draw. "Any allergies?"
She sat on the chair in front of him, "not any that i know of."
"I guess," she shrugged. "Nothing too heavy."
"Half mask or full?"
She thought about it, "full, but with my right eye fully exposed, and my left fully covered."
He looked back at her, "why?"
"Why does it matter?"
"I get motivated when I get to know someone, plus it's an unusual request, most people want to see with both eyes after all; even if one or both is covered by the mask." He continued drawing, keeping her wishes in mind.
She chuckled, "it's my good eye."
She took off her sunglasses, "look for yourself." Her left eye was light blue, her right was black with a red iris.
"Only one kakugan, interesting," he sketched some more before moving onto the measurements. "How were you made?" He asked, wrapping the tape measure around her head.
"We're not close enough for that story, hell I don't even know your name, Mr. No-face-MaskMan." she joked.
"I'm Uta," he held his hand out, "you?"
She grasped his soft hand with hers, "Vera."
"So where are you from, Miss. Vera?" He asked, writing down her measurements.
"Where do you think I'm from, Uta?" She questioned.
He glanced at her, surprised with her casualness, "blonde hair, a blue eye, your clothes, your accent," he tilted his head, "if I had to guess I'd say either Europe or America. Native English speakers seem to have trouble with our language the most."
"And if I said you were wrong?"
Uta chuckled, "I'd say you were lying."
Vera bit her lip, "you're right. America, land of the docile. Did you know most ghouls pay to get their food delivered to them?"
"I didn't," he honestly heard very little of ghouls outside of Japan, though he supposed there had to be others out there. "Although I'm not surprised, there's a ghoul run cafe in the 20th ward that gives meat to those who ask, and from what I've heard, Americans are very money hungry."
Vera laughed, "It's amazing how some of them could go their whole lives without killing someone. It's a shame, the first kill is always the best, do you remember your first?"
He nodded, "I was young, maybe four, father took me out for a hunt; it was... messy. Eyes are very weak, yet delicious."
Vera nodded in agreement, "I grew up on zombie films and vampire novels, it was everything I wanted and more. I was almost 20, way too old if you ask me."
He had to agree, he hadn't heard of someone so old never have had killed before,"So Miss. Vera, why did you come to Tokyo?"
She shrugged, "I heard there were a lot of ghouls here. Wanted to see for myself. Plus when I got ran out of Australia, I needed a place to go."
"You've been traveling a lot?"
"Oh yes, America is so boring. Ghouls in other places are so much more fun," she smiled.
"Hmm, well Miss. Vera, I just need a way to contact you, and I'll be done with this as soon as I can. Do you know where you'll be staying?"
"I'm staying here, in the Shinjuku ward."
'Stupid girl.' Uta smirked, "the 4th ward huh? Well I guess I'll see you around then." She grabbed her stuff and he watched her step out of the store; he would have to hurry on this mask if she was to stay alive around here. Oh well, it's not like he needed to sleep tonight anyways. He pulled out a piece of leather and began to cut.
Over the next few days Vera encountered many ghouls, one of whom was dead from the moment he decided to attack her. Being a one eyed ghoul means she smells a lot nicer than the normal human- so most can't tell that she's a ghoul from smelling her. She was used to it though; having to kill a few ghouls in the 5 years since she escaped. Ghouls in the 4th ward are desperate and untrained, and with the CCG headquarters not too far from there; most of them are just passing by, trying to find a meal before starvation sets in.
Vera on the other hand lived for the danger; she loved the idea of being hunted and attacked. After years of torment in America, it was nice to be on the other side for once so she didn't mind her overly attractive sent. But when she went into the mask shop she was surprised to see Uta with his kakugan out; she couldn't make out why he opened up so quickly. She thought maybe that's why she show him her eye. Since she was little she always kept her glasses on, yet within 5 minutes she was there exposing herself. 'Something wasn't right about the mask man...'
Despite her worries, she sat on the roof looking down at HySy, it been 3 days and her mask wasn't complete. 'I wonder what it'll look like'. She grabbed a slab of meat from a baggie within her bag and started to eat. Ghoul meat wasn't good, but she wasn't going to let all that meat go to waste. An hour later the doors to HySys opened and out stepped Uta with dark glasses covering his eyes. 'Maybe he can't control his eyes either...'
Uta sniffed the air and looked up to meet dark sunglass covered eyes. She was finishing the bag when she waved down at him. "Uta! How happy I am to see you." Placing a chunk in her mouth, she jumped down and landed in front of him, blood still covering her jaw.
The mask maker dragged her inside, "I thought it'd take longer to find you, here's your mask, Miss. Vera."
He held out a traditional styled, all black leather mask with bright red stitching, the red stitching running across the left eye in an X design, and a painted red zipper where the mouth should be. "I love it," she whispered, slipping the mask on, a black leather buckle attaching it in the back. Just like she hoped, the left side eye was completely covered, allowing the weak one to 'turn off' and let the strong one take over. She smiled behind the mask, "amazing. Definitely worth the wait. Thank you Mr. Uta."
He smiled at the strange formality she showed, though he had only met her twice, he knew she wasn't one for formalities. "It was no problem, I'm glad you like it. I have a question if you don't mind me asking, why did you choose to stay in the 4th ward? I'm sure you've noticed this isn't the easiest place to stay in, only slightly easier than the 1st ward."
"For that reason, it's only slightly easier than the 1st ward. Though I don't particularly care if I live or die, I don't really want to die, you understand?"
"I believe I do, if something happens and you die you don't care, but you won't do something suicidal." She nodded. "Is that why you wanted the mask?"
She shook her head, "no, honestly I kept seeing people wear them and I wanted one. I've been here for about a month you see, and at night, it was rare to see a ghoul without one." She shrugged, "if I was going to stay here I assumed I should get one, and they recommend you. 'No-face of the 4th ward'."
Uta closed his eyes, "that would be me."
"How much do I owe you?"
"Yeah I have to pay you for your work?"
"This one's on the house."
Vera smiled, "thank you so much Mr. Uta, but I can't not pay you something for your hard work." She looked around in her bag and pulled out another daggie of meat. "I'm not sure if you like ghoul meat, but here," she handed him the baggie, "freshly killed last night."
He took the red stained baggie from her hands, it's been a long time since someone had handed him a kill. "Thank you, it seems I'm not the only one who enjoys the taste." He took out a piece and popped it in his mouth, enjoying the bitter taste. "Thank you again, this will make it so I don't have to hunt soon. Do you have the kagune by chance?"
"The ghoul organ."
"Oh! Sorry everything sounds a lot alike. But yes I do; I usually save it for last."
"Want to share it? I've been working on some plating techniques and I'm wondering if you don't mind, my place is just up the stairway." He pointed to a doorway covered with beads.
"I will have to decline your offer, but here," she grabbed the bag with the kagune in it, "you can have it. Extra thanks for the mask." She handed it to him and was out the door seconds later. She had to get out of there, something about him made her uneasy; she couldn't risk going up into his place to find out why. After a short jog she was at her makeshift living areas, ready to put the mystery of the mask man behind her.