So I read this some odd years ago before I ever made an account on this site and have been agonizing about not having been able to finish reading it cause holy freaking gosh it was good!
Okay, this is how the story went - I think... bare with me here people!
- I think the story was a case after the anime finished and not post-manga. My reasoning is that I don't think they mentioned Naru disbanding SPR cause it was a shock to my poor little otaku heart a couple years later when I finally read the manga.
- The case was in a small town about a haunted theater. Forgot why, but I know it was murder (duh)! (Clearly, this is the work of an Earth Spirit!)
- Mai and Monk start speaking in code at one point cause Mai has made some headway on the case but in a reckless way and doesn't want to harm her chances of figuring out more which means she's going to continue being reckless. This brings us back to why they need to speak in code. They don't Naru and Lin finding out cause they know that they will try to smack it down cause Naru is all soft and squishy somewhere in a small corner of his heart and doesn't want Mai being out in danger. The others eventually get in on it and help Mai out by covering her a##. Inevitably, Naru figures them out and turns the tables on them and using the code right back at them - though he doesn't what it really means but knows their hiding something - with that narcissistic smirk on his face all the while saying "You are going to be in so much trouble when I figure out what you're hiding". To be honest... the code sucked, but it was really funny! XD
- Masako is still pining for him.
- The Scooby gang is staying at the local inn.
- The last thing I remember about the story is that Mai had been dressed up in a cute blue dress and was going to a festival being held in the town. She had been enjoying the festival when for some reason, she decides to spy on Naru (probably jealousy). She ends up ruining the front of the dress due to the dirt she gets on it from croaching on the ground.
- Oh, and the chapter had "[something] Money" in the title.
- 30 chapters at least.
I hope yall find it! It was a really good story and I hope I can share it with Y'all!~