Disclaimer: All Ghost Hunt/Akuryou characters belong to Ono Fuyumi.

Chapter 1: Just Another Day?

The last month of the school year could be summarized into one word. Exams. Students listened raptly to their professors and focused on taking notes. The professor of one class signified the end of her lecture and students filed out to head to their respective places to study. The students studied hard for their own sake and also to keep from disappointing their parents who wished for their children to stay in school.

This was no exception for 21-year old Taniyama Mai who had lost her parents many years before. However, while most of the students headed to libraries or home to study, Mai packed her notebook and writing utensils in a tote bag and rushed towards her part-time job. Her boss would not be pleased if she showed up late, even after her many years of part-time employment.

Her boss, despite being a year older than her, was not a man to be kept waiting, unless one wished to be insulted among other things. His sophisticated, mysterious, and not to mention, handsome appearance drew the attention of many. Indeed, Shibuya Kazuya, as Mai knew him by, had charisma, and performed everything with perfection.

Mai, slightly breathless from her brisk walk from campus, approached the door with the letters S.P.R. on it. Behind those doors laid the Shibuya Psychic Research office, where she worked everyday as one of the two assistants of Kazuya. Her boss was the ghost hunter, who denied having any psychic powers, and the other assistant, Lin was a form of onmyouji. The members of the office had discovered that Mai possessed ESP after she dreamed post-cognitive facts on her second case. She could also sometimes see ghosts and later discovered she could move solid objects through her dream states.

Mai opened the door and a sharp, cold voice barked out, "Mai! Tea!"

"I know, I know, good afternoon to you too Naru," Mai sighed as she made her way to her designated desk and pass a cold but attractive man decked in all black. When Mai had first met her boss, she had nicknamed him "Naru" short for "Narcissistic Naru" due to his overwhelming sense of pride and self-conceit. And that was how charismatic Shibuya Kazuya came to be known as Naru to those who worked with him his current office. Naru was currently sitting on a leather couch, reviewing what appeared to be a case file.

Mai made her way to the kitchen area to prepare tea for her boss, tilting backwards a bit to see if the other assistant was in his office. Not seeing the person she was looking for, Mai assumed the man was out gather information as she finished preparing the tea. Mai placed the teacup and saucer in front of her silent boss, wondering why he was not working in his own office.

"Those papers on your desk won't organize themselves," Naru said coolly, not once looking up. Mai let out a small huff and proceeded to her desk, itching to ask him what was wrong.

"Naru, why are you out here? There's nobody coming in today, is there?" Mai asked curiously.

"Can't you work silently for more than one minute? As I expected, you forgot that there was an appointment today with Mr. Higurashi. How are you passing school if you lack a brain?" Naru flipped over another page in file he was reading.

Mai stuck her tongue out at him and looked at the calendar, making another face when she realized he had been right. Even though she was used to five years of his insults and teasing, she still responds to them.

"That's not very lady-like. Apparently, you also lack manners," Naru finally placed down his file and took a sip of his tea.

"Manners? This is coming from the number one narcissist!" Mai exclaimed.

"A narcissist does not necessarily lack manners," Naru retorted as he gracefully placed his teacup and saucer back on the coffee table.

"If only Madoka-san were here," Mai grumbled under breath which did not go unheard as she had hoped. Mori Madoka was the woman who claimed to have gotten Naru interested in ghost hunting and the only person Mai had seen scold Naru like a child besides Lin, which was rare. Fortunately for her, Naru decided he had wasted enough time arguing with her and opted to silently glare at her. It worked. Mai quickly shut her mouth and busied herself with the papers on her desk. Usually arguments led to someone feeling bad, but Naru liked his little verbal exchanges with Mai; they were a means, like tea, to help him relax.

The rest of the hour passed by quietly as Mai was hoping to finish the pile of work before their client showed up. The only interruption was when Lin, the older Chinese man working as an assistant walked in. There was silent exchange of nods whereas Mai voiced a quick greeting and prepared some tea for her boss and her tall co-worker.

Mai finished organizing and filing the documents and clippings efficiently and a bit faster than usual. The brunette leaned back in her chair and stretched, quickly pulling down her skirt to keep it from rising up. At quick look at the couch told her that during the time she had been working, her boss had gotten up and entered his own office. She reached over to the corner of her desk and grabbed the day's newspaper, glancing for anything that might pertain to the supernatural.

Nothing in particular caught her eye; all the deaths that had been reported were justified by motives, nothing out of the ordinary. There was still half an hour before the scheduled appointment and Mai was feeling drowsy with the sunlight warming her backside. As she slowly drifted off, a random gossip she heard from school passed through her mind. Right before Mai fell asleep, she thought she heard a voice cry out softly, "Help me please…"

To be continued…

Lady Light

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