Disclaimer: I do not own Ghost Hunt. Manga 12 in English, guys.

A/N: Apparently automatically turns your alerts off unless you go into your account and turn them back on every 6 months. Pretty sure most of my readers will have no idea I've updated:(

Chapter 44 - Secrets Unburied


Gemma's grandmother (who preferred to be called Angela) was a fun woman.

Mai could see Madoka aging into someone like Angela. She ordered them all to sit down immediately and have dinner – which was delicious. Beef barley stew with chunks of potato and fresh-baked dinner bread. Mai wolfed down an entire bowl in five minutes and happily accepted seconds.

"So, Angela?" Madoka asked a few minutes later. "Your granddaughter seems to think you have stories of mayhem to regale us with."

Angela chuckled. "Indeed, I do," she replied with relish. "I like a woman who gets right down to business. I hear that your 'ghost hunters' think that poor Lady Selfridge – the one that was wife to the fifth baron – up and moved to Scotland with a secret lover, yes?"

"That is what the police report said," Lin replied, secretly annoyed that he couldn't pull out his laptop at the dinner table. How was he going to take notes?

Mai's spoon scraped the bottom of her soup bowl. "Hold on a second!" she cried, digging in the bag beside her. She yanked out her casebook and a pen. "I'm done," she told a surprised Lin. "I'll take the notes."

Lin gave Mai a rare smile.

Angela's eyes twinkled at the eager Mai as she continued. "Well... I suppose the police did decide that happened. But none of the staff really believed it."

"Why is that?" Madoka probed. "Gemma seems to think that it was actually Lord Selfridge who was having extramarital relations, not his wife."

The former maid nodded, her eyes growing harder. "Yes, ma'am. Lord and Lady Selfridge had an arranged marriage, and they did not get on very well. She usually dealt with the friction by staying in London at their townhouse after fights. But he had a habit of wooing the help."

Angela's expression darkened further. "He eventually got rather serious with one of the maids, a jumped-up little tart named Violet," she continued distastefully. "Violet was a head maid's worst nightmare – lazy, stuck-up, and beautiful enough to become a favorite of the master. The way she wore her uniform should have gotten her chastised outright, but the head butler was just as much of a sucker for her big eyes as Lord Selfridge." Angela sighed. "I wouldn't be surprised if Violet applied to work at the mansion because she heard that Lord Selfridge got handsy with the maids. We – the former staff and I – estimate that Violet managed to entangle herself with his Lordship within months of her arrival. I was the head night maid back then, and I remember seeing that girl slinking out of the master's bedroom at three in the morning." Angela clucked her tongue. "In a bathrobe with nothing under it."

Mai blushed a bit as she copied this down.

"Anyway, Lady Selfridge tended to look the other way about such matters. It wasn't as if there was any love lost between them. However, Lord Selfridge eventually became a little too obviously enchanted with his newest conquest – and told his lady that Violet was to become his, well, official mistress. That didn't go over well at all. Lady Selfridge thought that the master having an 'official mistress' – one that would travel with them and share the master's bed on a regular basis – would make a laughingstock of his actual wife."

"Quite right," Gemma threw in loyally.

"Anyway," Angela continued, "What followed was a spectacular row. I heard a fair bit of it; I was cleaning the master's sitting room at the time. Mind you, the master and mistress did fight quite often, but never like that night - screaming, throwing things, plenty of threats, etc."

"What kind of threats?" Lin asked quickly.

Angela hesitated for a moment, eyes far away as if experiencing the words anew. "Lord Selfridge threatened to 'end' Lady Selfridge if she got in the way of his 'love.'"

A pause.

"What exactly do you think he meant by 'end?'" Madoka mused.

"I suppose he could have meant anything," Angela replied. "He could have meant ending their marriage, ending Lady Selfridge's allowance, ending her association with London nobility..." Angela's grew grave. "But I'm almost sure he meant that he'd end her life. I didn't think he was serious at the time, and the police didn't seem very concerned when I informed them."

Mai guessed that Angela was right. Lord Selfridge 'ended' Lady Selfridge by killing her. As if in answer, hazy images of a room with a roaring fire and dim lighting swam before her vision.

A fire, a necklace in her hand, a gold chain in the flames, a screaming man, dark windows...

"We were all sent home for the Easter hols the next day," the former employee added. "And before you ask, yes, that was unusual. Neither the lord nor the lady enjoyed fending for themselves. But we were all so relieved to escape the tension that everyone practically ran home."

Mai saw empty rooms in her mind. Looking for someone, but no one was there...

"When we came back the day after Easter... her ladyship was gone, and a week later, the police announced she'd done a runner. But I will never believe that," Angela finished, a note of sadness in her voice.

Mai tried to blink the images away, but they just thickened into a more solid vision... a hand in a rich robe curling into a fist.

Her own hands reaching toward the necklace in the fire.

A black iron bar hurtling toward her face.


Naru stared at the clock for the tenth time in as many minutes. Eleven o'clock at night. Plenty of time to walk into the village, interview Gemma's grandmother, have some tea and return to the house.

So where were they?

He could understand if it had been only Madoka and Mai. Goodness knows Mai took forever to do anything. Madoka was generally more efficient, but she also knew they were only coming back to sleep. If Madoka found something more interesting to do – like go to a bar, find a place to eat, or simply talk to Gemma and the grandmother until midnight, she would do it – and drag Mai right along with her.

That was one of the reasons Naru had sent Lin. Lin was more efficient than even himself at times. Lin should have been there and back again twice by now. And yet. Perhaps Oliver should have considered that Lin's efficiency was often diluted by half whenever he was paired with Madoka.

Their romantic relationship affected not only their personal lives, but also spilled over into their careers with irritating regularity. Such relationships really did make a mess of things.

Naru could practically hear his mother sigh regretfully somewhere.

He flicked his eyes at the digital readout again. 23:02.

Father Brown and Yasuhara had returned from the library with very little besides the Selfridge family tree and historical maps of the property. John, Yasuhara and Gregory were currently checking camera and thermometer placement.

Inside the manor house, of course. Because it was pitch dark outside now.

Who knew how many times Mai would fall on the way back? She'd tripped on the bridge on the way to the village; it was entirely possible that she'd do so on the way back. And that guardrail looked old – with enough force, Mai could catapult herself through it and land in the stream. The stream didn't look very deep... but there were certainly enough rocks to cause serious injury...

Romantic feelings also made a person into an overanxious idiot, apparently.

Still, Naru's analytic mind couldn't help but compute the likelihood of Mai sustaining a head injury from a river-rock. It was more likely than it should be.

His brain subsequently conjured an image of Mai lying lifeless in a stream, blood running over her delicate forehead. An annoying shiver twisted his gut, and Oliver moved to the door...

...only to have to duck away as the door swung open to reveal a satisfied-looking Madoka.

"Hello, Noll," she greeted airily. She ran her eyes over her former student, taking in his tense posture and white-knuckled fists. "Aww, were you worried about us?"

Oliver Davis summoned his best glare, willing it to pierce her usually impenetrable armor. "I was forced to concern myself with your whereabouts, as you should have been back at least an hour ago."

Madoka remained smiling. "I'm so glad you care about us, Noll!" Her smile suddenly grew and her eyes sparkled. "But maybe it was Mai you were really worried about?"

Naru managed to ignore his meddling teacher with his usual aplomb, instead quietly padding back to his chair beside the monitors. Now that he understood why Madoka incessantly needled him about Mai, it was actually easier to brush off.

"As you should be," Madoka continued leadingly. "That girl has a way with trouble..."

This time, the master ghost hunter's baiting was rewarded; Naru's head snapped up and his eyes lasered into her own. "Did something happen?"

As if in answer, Lin hunched through the doorway with an unconscious Mai on his back.

Perfect timing, Madoka thought gleefully, as all expression slid from her former student's face.

He was up in an instant, across the room in time to help Lin detach Mai from his back. They deposited Mai onto a nearby couch, and Naru visually checked her body for injuries. Finding nothing, he slid his hand along the warmth of her neck and pressed two fingers to her pulse-point. Her eyelids flickered.

"Noll..." Lin started.

Naru looked up, waiting for Lin to tell him what happened.

"She's fine."

Naru peered at his assistant uncomprehendingly.

Madoka collapsed into a chair, laughing. "She just fell asleep at Gemma's house, Oliver. Mai can conk out anywhere – and damn, she can sleep. We waited almost an hour for her to wake up before deciding to head back as is. Mai barely stirred when we hoisted her up, and she slept all the way back to the mansion."

Oliver glared at his extremely irritating mentor. She had obviously set this up to make him look foolish. And she succeeded, his mind supplied helpfully. Naru shifted to face his tormentor head-on, not realizing that his hand was still on Mai's neck. It seemed irritatingly reluctant to part from her warmth.

Gritting his teeth at his own ridiculousness, Naru yanked his hand from Mai's neck... and accidentally swept his fingers across her lips. His digits exploded with warmth as if he'd suddenly developed twice as many nerve-endings in that hand.

Unhelpfully, Mai chose that moment to groan quietly and move her face to follow after his fingers. Oliver viciously tamped down on the butterflies swarming in his stomach.

And thankfully, John and Gregory chose that moment to enter the base and engage the base in conversation. Naru had never been so happy to hear a report on temperature findings. He gratefully retreated to his chair as Mai stirred and sleepily licked the lips he'd just touched. With effort, Naru tore his eyes from her and riveted them to the first-floor monitor setup.

Struggling to tamp down the stupid notion that he could still feel Mai's soft lips under his fingers, Naru refocused on the case. "So nothing new to report, as of nine o'clock this evening," he intoned. "The only consistently cold places in the house are still the bathroom of the Lady's bedroom and the first drawing room. And the servant's quarters still experience regular drops in temperature."

Madoka hmmed thoughtfully. "I would think that the ghost would have left the servant's quarters by now. The maids are here."

Lin thought a moment. "The entire maid staff has only recently relocated to the main house. The spirit may not be aware that its entire pool of victims has changed location."

"Except that Mai obviously met the ghost last night, in the same hallway where the maids now reside," Naru contradicted. "The spirit has already processed the change. Not only has the ghost found its pool of targets, it managed to attack Mai."

"Who is not a maid," Madoka pointed out.

"No, but the mistake is understandable. She is a young woman sleeping in the same hall as the domestic staff."

"She does spend loads of time running errands and making tea for one of her superiors," Yasuhara suggested teasingly.

"Indeed," Naru agreed, determinedly ignoring the jab. "If the ghost thought Mai was a maid and attacked her in this hallway, the current temperature reading should be colder than it is. The ghost should be in this hallway, but doesn't seem to be. Why is that?"

"Because... there wasn't anyone there until now," John gasped in realization.

Everyone turned to face him.

"Most of the servants have gone home for the weekend," he explained. "And there's a party in the kitchen. Lady Selfridge ordered some nice food – she feels badly about all the injuries."

Suddenly Mai groaned, twisting on the couch. Her hands reached up to push at nothing.

An alarm beeped – the temperature in the hallway was dropping.

Naru and Madoka spoke simultaneously. "Lin, Father Brown, go!"

The two men ran out into the hall. Madoka raced to the monitors, eyes searching frantically for any sign of visual or thermal disturbance.

Naru went back to Mai, who continued to twist and toss her head. She was sweating now.

Naru shook her shoulders firmly. "Mai!" he said sharply.

She moaned and murmured, "Naru." Why did she sound so far away?

"Mai, I need you to wake up now." Oliver wasn't sure what was happening. Mai didn't normally move around like this – her visions usually came from astral projections, which were out-of-body experiences and therefore caused no physically observable effects.

Which could have been why she'd been sleeping so heavily, Naru realized, excoriating his own stupidity.

John's voice came over the radio. "The spirit isn't here anymore," he informed them. "It's getting warmer here."

"That's because it's here," Madoka replied grimly.

Mai's eyes remained closed, but her thrashing only increased.

Perhaps she was possessed? But Lin would have said something...

"Naru, help!" Mai whimpered, her hand reaching out. Was she aware of his presence?

Oliver grasped her hand unthinkingly; he could feel the small holes Mai had cut into the black fabric.

All of a sudden, Naru felt... something. Like someone pulling on a cord tied inside of him. He felt like Mai... wanted to yank him closer? Ignoring the danger signals blaring in his head, Naru pulled Mai into his embrace. "Tell me how to help," he whispered into her ear.

The moment her hot face touched his cheek, the squirming and whimpering stopped. Mai went limp in his arms, and Naru panicked... but then her eyes opened and she gasped awake.

Mai Taniyama threw her arms around a flabbergasted Naru, hugging him desperately.


Trying to dispel the visions had made Mai very sleepy. Probably some kind of psychokinetic fatigue, her student's brain offered. It didn't help that the chair she'd chosen in Angela's living room was really comfy. It was also late at night - and she'd had an interrupted sleep last night, what with ghost attacks and all.

Luckily, Lin had taken over writing the case notes, and Mai was free to doze in front of the fire. She studied the flickering flames for a long moment before the image of the necklace in the fire superimposed itself over the reality...

A scream sounded. The same long, drawn-out scream she'd heard as the iron bar came toward her in the vision flash. Mai looked up to find herself back in the Selfridge home. When had they gotten here? And why was she in the lord's sitting room?

Mai's eye was immediately drawn to the flickering flames in the fireplace, similar to the ones she'd been watching in Angela's house. Then, all of a sudden, a cold breeze swept through the room. The window rattled and the fire died – instantaneously, as if someone had doused it. A butler came into the room a moment later, stopping short at the inexplicable lack of fire. He looked around nervously and hurried from the room.

The world shifted around the spiritual form of Mai, who was wondering why she'd seen this. It was an example of the current activity that she'd been told of, but was it necessary? She already knew that there was a ghost in the house, and putting out fires was actually pretty tame.

And then that same cold Mai had noticed burst through her consciousness.


She walked into the sitting room, where a fire burning merrily contrasted sharply with the pouring rain hammering against the window. Night had fallen, but Mai's anger hadn't cooled at all. Several of her things were missing, including one of her favorite necklaces. If her husband had stolen that bauble for his jumped-up maid...

There weren't even any servants around that she could send to fetch her derelict husband – had he sent them all home early for the holiday? Mai was forced to wander the vast house herself, trying to ferret Anthony out of his hiding place.

At first, she thought the room was empty, but then Mai spotted the top of her husband's head over the top of a wing chair. She crossed the room with angry strides and turned to face down Lord Anthony Selfridge.

"Where is my jewelry?!" Mai roared. "If you've given that whore my favorite necklace, I'll –"

"You'll do what?" Anthony asked coldly, sipping his brandy as if nothing were happening. "We have already discussed this – you are yourself a possession of mine, and anything that belongs to you is therefore mine. If I choose to redistribute such possessions, you will acquiesce."

"Are you insane?!" Mai screamed. "I am nobility, with or without you! And my money is more than half of this marriage! You have no right..."

"Quite correct, Lady. We are nobility," Anthony hissed viciously. "We follow the traditions of the nobility – and that precludes that you, my wife, belong to me. And all of 'your' money is mine." He gestured rudely to the diamond pendant around Mai's neck. "Mayhap Violet would like another bauble."

Mai drew up in fury and ripped the necklace off. "I refuse to be treated this way! If you won't throw that girl out, then I will divorce you and take my money with me!" Stamping her foot hard, Mai hurled her diamond pendant into the fire.

"That would look most disreputable," Anthony noted calmly.

They might have been discussing the weather, and it only made his wife even more furious. "Disreputable?!" Mai exploded. "It can't be more humiliating than having the world know I've lost my place to a housemaid! I'm calling my family solicitors in the morning!" Her eyes teared up, blurring her vision.

When Mai wiped the embarrassing tears away, her husband was only a scant few inches away from her. She jumped, not expecting him that close. The intense expression on his face made it apparent that Mai'd finally gotten through to him.

"I'm afraid I can't allow that," Anthony said coldly.

Mai didn't like the look in his eye. His tone was cold, but his expression was hot, frightening... dangerous. She backed up a step. "What do you mean, you won't allow that? Isn't this better for you in the end?" Mai tried to keep the nervousness out of her voice. "You get rid of an unwanted wife and can woo your servant to your heart's content."

"Exactly as you mentioned before," her husband said quietly, stepping into her space again. "Your money accounts for more than half of my assets. I can't afford to lose that. There will be no divorce, Gwendolyn."

"I will not obey a man who throws me over for a maid!" she rallied once more, still backing toward the fireplace.

Strangely, a phantom touch to her lips seemed to pull Mai out of the room for a moment.

"It's a shame you feel that way," Anthony replied gravely, eyes unblinking as he followed her backward. "I was perfectly content to let you remain Lady Selfridge, ordering dresses and throwing trinkets to your heart's content. I even generously suggested that you find your own secret happiness. But no, you are far too proud and ungrateful for that. You would rather I end my own affair, cleave unhappily to you – an aging, ugly, ill-tempered hag – and watch my days pass like sands through a glass. But now you leave me no choice."

"What are you talking about?" Mai hissed, confused and now deeply afraid. Her husband's eyes reflected the searing flames she felt behind her. She backed up another step and hit the fireplace grate. As Mai frantically searched for an escape, she heard the screech of something metallic.

As Mai spun back towards the sound, she saw something long and thin swing at her. She barely had time to recognize the fire-poker before it brained her.

Pain exploded across Mai's vision and she screamed, a long, high-pitched cry of hurt and terror. Sending the servants home for the holiday suddenly made sense – no one was around to help her. Mai struggled to pull herself up, she had to get up! She had just gotten her legs beneath her when something was pushed over her face and her husband's iron arm forced her back to the floor.

"Mai!" called a voice.

A welcome voice. She knew that voice.

It wasn't in the room because she was dreaming. Mai was in a ride-along death dream. How did he reach her in here? "Naru!" she tried to call.

But she couldn't breathe. She couldn't see. Mai could feel the heat from the fire and the stone under her head and the unbreakable grasp of Anthony's hand holding her own arms. Mai kicked, but the pain slowed her movements and lack of air left her confused.

Naru spoke again, indistinct to Mai's panicking ears. "Naru, help!" He was close, she could feel him. A streak of gold erupted in the blackness.

Her lungs burned, her head ached and now all she could hear was the grunting of the man above her as he held her on the floor with something over her face. Something sticky and wet on her face, running down into her ear... no air... so much...

Suddenly, Naru's presence filled Mai's senses and the darkness behind her eyes filled with golden light. "Tell me how to help," he said softly, his voice rolling over Mai's senses.

Mai answered the question by following the golden cord of light right out of the murder.


Mai breathed in deep breaths, relishing the air in her lungs. She buried her face in Naru's jacket, telling herself that she was fine, she was okay, she was alive.

She knew that she had just seen Lady Selfridge's death. Angela's suspicions had been right – Lady Selfridge had been murdered by her husband. Mai felt a resonance humming through her – the ghost and Lady Selfridge were one and the same.

Mai could feel that ghost again, too – it was in the hallway. Now that Mai had apparently kicked it out of herself, Lady Selfridge was angry and searching for a new victim. Oh no, the maids...

The teen psychic groaned, trying to free herself from the dregs of the possession.

A bright, golden energy folded itself around her. Naru. She felt again for their connection, pulled it. He could help her. He was like an anchor, yanking her clear of the possession. He was holding her now, helping her.

Mai pulled him closer blindly. Their connection warmed her like a wave of golden sunshine and Mai finally felt Lady Selfridge's hold on her snap. She relaxed in relief and released her death-grip on Naru's neck.

His worried face filled her vision. Slightly drunk with relief and warmth, Mai threw her arms around Naru again and hugged him tightly, comforting herself with his nearness, his solid form and his smell. She sobbed a little, overwrought.

Mai held on as long as she could without feeling stupid – and then released her former boss before he could pull away and ruin the moment. Bereft of his solid hold, Mai slid off the couch and collapsed onto the floor, her legs like jelly. Madoka appeared in her field of vision, looking worried – and then Naru reached for her again, one hand keeping her from falling over and the other lifting her chin. He stared into her teary eyes.

"What happened?" he asked, his monotone voice at odds with the stress Mai could feel in his aura. She reluctantly pulled back fully inside herself – yanking herself out of the death dream had left her nauseous and unwilling to exercise any more spiritual power.

Mai leaned heavily on Naru's hand. She couldn't talk yet. But she had to, so that they'd know who was doing this.

"I-I know who the ghost is!" she managed breathlessly.

Naru and Madoka both stiffened.

"It's Lady Selfridge," Mai forced out.

Madoka nodded encouragingly, but Naru continued to stare at Mai, lips in a thin line.

"How do you know this?" he asked tightly.

Mai put a hand to her face then, reassuring herself that she was awake and not being suffocated. "I... had a dream. I was Lady Selfridge. I went to the lord's sitting room to yell at Anthony – um, Lord Selfridge – about giving my jewelry to his mistress. He said that he could do whatever he wanted with his possessions, and that I counted as one of them."

"Use 'she' not 'I,' Mai," Naru interrupted.

"Huh? Why?"

"You need to internally separate yourself from Lady Selfridge. It could be dangerous to sync too closely with her emotions. She is a homicidal ghost now, after all."

"Right," Mai assented. "It did take a lot to break away from her just now. She is very strong. I'm still breathing heavy because I can remember being suffocated so clearly..."

"Suffocated?" Naru repeated flatly.

"Yeah, that's how he murdered her," Mai confirmed. "Well, first he whacked her in the head with an iron bar – Lady Selfridge called it a poker? And then he suffocated her with something." Mai mentally reviewed the contents of the sitting room. "Probably a pillow from the couch."

Madoka made a noise and shuffled through her notes. "Angela said that one of the weirdest things that happened after Lady Selfridge disappeared was that Lord Selfridge insisted on replacing all of the furniture in the first sitting room and the Lady's bedroom. He also removed all of her personal possessions. He said that he was reminded of her too much."

"So it was really because he wanted to get rid of evidence," Naru surmised. "It would have looked suspicious if just a poker and a pillow had gone missing."

"What a cold-blooded scumbag," Mai said fiercely. "I almost don't blame her for wanting revenge on him."

Madoka gave Mai an assessing look. "You know, Mai, I think that you should do the exorcism."

The master ghost hunter saw that Naru was about to issue a denial and cut him off. "You are definitely the person who understands the ghost the best – plus, she's possessed you a number of times. You've got a much better chance of reaching her than anyone else."

Naru gritted his teeth but remained silent. Madoka was right.

"Yeah," Mai nodded resignedly. "It makes the most sense. Also maybe keep Gregory far away during the exorcism. I want to try jourei first, and his... lack of empathy toward spirits might disturb the environment we need."

Madoka giggled. "You're right about that. He's the find-and-destroy type. Maybe you can show him how it's done, ne?"

Mai smiled nervously. "I hope I don't disappoint you," she said in Japanese, bowing slightly to her mentor.

Naru determinedly flicked through case notes. "Before we attempt any sort of exorcism, we need to search for the body. Given the circumstances of her death, a lack of proper burial likely has something to do with the haunting."

Mai nodded again, thinking. Lady Selfridge was restless, wasn't she?

"But how are we going to find her body?" A newly-arrived John asked from the doorway. "Are you alright, Mai?" he asked solicitously.

"Yeah," the young psychic said, finding Lin's gaze and holding it. "Naru pulled me out of it."

A small gleam of triumph shone in Lin's eyes, and Madoka gritted her teeth. Definitely hiding something.

"This is a huge estate," John continued. "Not to mention that she might not even be buried here; maybe Lord Selfridge took the body somewhere else."

"No," Naru said decisively. "It's here. The ghost is here. And she is too powerful, I think, to be distantly separated from her body. He would have needed a car, and his servants were gone. He might have needed help carrying something so large. No, the body is here somewhere."

"Not in the house," Gregory's voice said unexpectedly. "He had a lot of servants cleaning the house constantly," Gregory continued. "Stupid to risk them stumbling upon it."

"Unless he somehow threw her out with the furniture he had replaced?" Madoka mused.

"I don't know," John was skeptical. "What if someone had noticed the couch was too heavy or something and inspected it? What if the body smelled? No, I agree with Naru. She's on the grounds somewhere."

"But somewhere no one would look," Yasuhara pointed out. "He also had groundskeepers. So not in the garden, the stables, or by the great lawn. All of those areas are well-tended."

"The pond..." Gregory suggested. "What if he sunk her in the pond? No one would look there."

Everyone froze and tried not to look at Naru. Mai tentatively reached out with her senses and felt dark pain shooting through Naru's aura. Mai wasn't sure if Gregory knew that Gene had been thrown into a lake after he was killed, but she definitely wanted to kick him right now.

"No," Naru said emotionlessly. "There would be the possibility that she would surface. That pond is not very deep." Not like the lake in which Gene had been dumped, everyone heard in the silence that followed.

Mai thought wildly for something to say to cut the waves of tension emanating from Naru. As if responding to her need, Mai saw a flash of headstones on the edge of the woods.

"A cemetery..." she said, trying to keep hold of the image.

Naru looked up, reading Mai's face. "Father Brown's map lists a cemetery on the grounds – it was where servants buried their dead in previous centuries."

Mai's eyes were far away, as if she was seeing something that none of them could. "Yeah," she agreed. "That would appeal to Lord Selfridge. He said over and over that his wife was his possession. He probably thought of his servants the same way... so he buried her like he would someone who served him." Mai felt a roil of anger that might not have been only her own feelings.

"It's on the edge of the woods," Yasuhara noted. "If most of the servants were gone on holiday when she was murdered; as long as he did it quickly and at night, it should have been possible."

"And the cemetery would have remained largely undisturbed," John reasoned. "I mean, somebody probably cleaned it up sometimes, but nobody would have been digging there. It wasn't in use anymore."

Naru stood up and grabbed his coat. "We'll need flood lights. Yasuhara and Father Brown, ask for some shovels."


"Sure, let's go dig in the effing medieval cemetery in the middle of the night," Yasuhara muttered under his breath. "That definitely doesn't sound like the opening of a horror movie or anything."

Mai snorted. "We've done worse," she reminded him. "And odds are you're just annoyed that you can't go make a move on Daphne."

"I can't believe you think I'd work so slow, Mai-chan," Yasuhara teased. "I have already made several moves."

"Maybe you should keep your dick to yourself while the angry spirit hates on young people with a taste for romance," Madoka suggested lightly.

"Yasu I swear," Mai began. "If you get Daphne attacked because you can't wait until the case is over, I will yank you into an astral projection and leave you there!"

"Empty threat, Mai-chan," Yasu said meanly. "None of our research has suggested you can take a living person with you into a projection."

Naru stopped in his tracks, causing Madoka to walk right into his back.

"Alright, Noll?" his mentor asked quietly.

"Fine," Naru replied distractedly, his mind turning over Yasuhara's words. "Let's move on."

His body moved on, but Naru's brain stayed put. Mai wasn't able to pull a living person into a projection, which made sense... but, hadn't she just actually done that? How else could he have reached her in the death dream?

"We're here," Lin said loudly, watching Madoka watch Naru think through the supposedly impossible spiritual rescue he'd just performed. He set down a floodlight with more flair than necessary.

SPR surveyed the small cemetery under the white lights.

All of the visible graves were pre-1800, and no area jumped out at Mai. She was sure that they were in the right place, though.

Naru moved forward then, soundlessly as a cat. He touched each headstone and every big tree as he went along. Mai realized that he was using psychometry, and looked worriedly at Lin.

"Don't worry, Taniyama-san. It's not the clairvoyance that damages his body."

Mai smiled, reassured. She watched Naru closely as he wandered through the cemetery. She stretched out with her abilities, trying to feel for anything strange. Her clairvoyance didn't really work like Naru's – she couldn't see the past by coming into contact with personal objects the way he could. But this grave might be the ghost's 'home point,' so Mai might be able to feel traces of the spirit.

Then again, if the home point was inside the house – as Mai suspected it was – then she was useless right now. She hoped Naru could find something.

She brushed Naru again with her powers... and felt terrible sadness. Mai gasped a bit, wondering what was wrong.

"What is it, Taniyama-san?" Lin asked quietly.

"Naru feels so sad right now," she answered, voice quavering.

"It's probably because he is touching headstones, Taniyama-san. He can feel the sadness of the deceased's loved ones, of the person who made the stone – the emotions of anyone who touched a headstone are transferable to Naru's abilities."

Madoka felt Gregory shift out of the corner of her eye. He looked uncomfortable. Good. It was about time that boy understood the gravity of what they all did for a living... and about the downside of having psychic powers.

"Oh," Mai said, a bit relieved. "I thought the cemetery made him think of Gene."

Lin considered Mai thoughtfully. It was the first time she'd said Gene's name aloud in front of someone other than himself. Their PK-seeding lessons were going well; Mai was as ready as possible without actually working with Noll's PK.

However, Lin still didn't know how to present Mai and Gene's solution to Oliver without risking the highly beneficial partnership that Mai and Naru had developed since her transfer to Cambridge. Noll was observably growing as a person, showing enthusiasm for both work and family that he hadn't shown since Gene died. Given the emotional upheaval that had caused his extreme apathy in the first place (not that he'd ever been an emotive child), a personal 'betrayal' like Mai's transfer could do serious harm to his psyche.

Because Noll would definitely see it as a betrayal – by Mai, Gene, and Lin himself.

Of course, Noll had no idea that Lin's betrayal went deeper and further back than Mai's PK lessons.

Lin was positive that the only reason Naru hadn't already guessed that Mai underwent a PK marking procedure was because he wasn't aware such a procedure existed. Lin and Gene had hidden the true purpose of Gene's solo trip to Japan, knowing that Noll would not allow his twin to possibly mutilate himself for a spell.

For the umpteenth time, Lin considered involving Martin or Madoka in the unveiling of Mai's ability to psychically interact with Noll. Madoka would probably be best, as it wasn't her son that Lin had inadvertently endangered.

But Madoka had no patience. None whatsoever.

Halfway down one of the aisles, Naru tensed suddenly, clutching a headstone. "Here!" he barked. Visions of anger, desperation, and a hand wearing an expensive leather glove skated across his mind. The dead body of a woman, wrapped in a dark sheet, her lifeless arm lying on the earth at a strange angle. The thump as her body fell into the grave.

A warm hand on his arm pulled Naru out of the trance. He jerked his arm off of the headstone and met Mai's worried eyes. "She's here," he said loudly, ignoring his former assistant's concern. "Buried on top of someone else."

Lin and Gregory came forward without a word, shovels in hand.

"Wait," Naru said in his usual tone, "Mai and Yasuhara, go and tell Lady Selfridge we're digging. Ask her how she wants to handle the situation if we find something."

"Just Lady Selfridge?" John asked. "Her husband was awake when we left, we should probably..."

"No," Naru said curtly. "I'm not sure how Lord Selfridge will react to the news that his grandfather murdered his wife. He's a proud man with something to hide. I'm not even sure he will allow us to dig. So tell his wife and do it quietly. Father Brown, go with them."

Mai thought about the rotten core she felt beneath Lord Selfridge's polite manners. She nodded haltingly.

Naru turned to fully face John. "Ask for a private audience with Lady Selfridge, and inform her of our present actions. If we do find a body, the police should be notified."

John nodded and offered an arm to Mai, leading her away. Naru tried not to think about the troubled look on Mai's face as he turned back to face the grave site.


About an hour later, several people walked down the path to the cemetery. Naru immediately recognized Mai, who was walking arm in arm with Lady Selfridge. Yasuhara and John followed them closely. They led a small group of men, all with shovels.

Lady Selfridge met Naru at the edge of the graveyard. She looked as if a heavy weight were pressing on her shoulders.

"So you think you've found the Lady Selfridge who disappeared? And you think it was... murder?" the lady of the house spoke as if the words themselves were hard to shape.

"Yes," Naru replied, face impassive. "It is likely that the unsolved nature of the case and improper burial is part of what's keeping the ghost here."

"Only part of it?" Lady Selfridge asked keenly. "You think there's something else to it? If it's lack of punishment for the murderer, I doubt there is anything you can do. The murderer would likely be dead by now."

"Yes, he is," Naru replied softly. John, Yasuhara and Mai hadn't revealed the identity of the murderer when they'd sought permission to dig. A clever obfuscation. "But acknowledgement of the crime and a re-burial may suffice."

Still arm in arm with Lady Selfridge, Mai pulled a face. The murdered Lady Selfridge needed more than just her body being found. This was going to require jourei.

"He?" Lady Selfridge asked. "You know who the murderer was?"

Naru hesitated only slightly (though it felt like an eon to Mai), glancing at the increased number of witnesses to this admission. "We believe it was her husband."

Lady Selfridge inhaled sharply, and Mai felt the woman's grip tighten on her arm. She squeezed back comfortingly.

"The fifth Lord Selfridge – your own husband's grandfather – wanted to elevate the status of his latest mistress, and his wife threatened to divorce him," Naru said softly. "We believe he killed her to avoid..."

"Public ridicule," Lady Selfridge finished grimly. She looked up toward the house, where Naru figured her husband must be. "Of course."

She was a sharp woman, Naru mused.

As if hearing his thoughts, Lady Selfridge leveled Naru with a stare eerily reminiscent of his own. "The disturbances have been so much more prevalent of late," she said in a measured tone. "If the previous Lady Selfridge is the ghost, as Miss Taniyama here tells me, then perhaps what set her off is my husband's own... possible indecorous behavior."

Mai's jaw dropped and Naru's eyes widened perceptibly. Lady Selfridge observed the two for a moment before nodding slowly. "I think he's been with someone else, though I'm not sure who. My guess is Carolina – the girl ran at the very sight of me until I sent her away."

Mai gulped and looked at Naru. He gave a barely perceptible nod of understanding.

"And my husband has been mooning ever since." The current Lady Selfridge glared at the house behind her. "Not to mention he's been following your Miss Mori with his eyes all week."

"I figured he's just a chauvinist," Madoka said from Naru's left. She had wandered over when the household reinforcements had started digging with Lin and Gregory.

"True enough," Lady Selfridge agreed wearily. "But I know his game better than he thinks. And I am not noble, nor tied to some obsolete code of behavior. I will not allow this to continue. He obviously has no respect for me or our marriage. I will divorce him." Her tone was sad, but strong.

Mai swallowed what felt like a rock in her throat. "Um, just so you know, it was when Lady Selfridge said she'd divorce Lord Selfridge that he killed her." Mai didn't want this good lady to suffer a similar fate.

Lady Selfridge raised an eyebrow at this assertion, but squeezed Mai's hand. "I will not tell him myself, dear. I'm leaving once this is over and I'll have my lawyers tell him."

Naru nodded his approval. "That is a safer way."

Their attention was drawn by yelps coming from the grave site.

"We found something," Yasuhara said, running over. "A skeleton, and not in a casket or anything. And... what looks like a fireplace poker."

Mai gasped. "That's what he hit her with in my vision!"

Moments later, the entire group stood around the hole and regarded the dirty bones lying atop an old casket.

"I suppose there will need to be a DNA test," Lady Selfridge said. "My husband will refuse, but the examiners can take a sample from one of our children. That should work, as well."

"The remnants of this rope here..." Lin started.

"The rope was tied around the sheet he'd wrapped her in," Naru replied tonelessly, fingers twitching.

Lady Selfridge looked between Naru and Mai, eyes wide. "You two really are psychics, then. I know I hired you and all, it's just..."

"The proof is always shocking," Madoka finished, her countenance unusually severe as she looked at the skeleton. Then she frowned. "What's that, under the rope?"

Gregory hunkered down next to the bones and reached a gloved hand into the deteriorated rope. He pulled out... something very shiny. An earring glittered in the waning light of the sun.

"Jewelry!" Mai gasped. "It might match the necklace from my dream."

Everyone turned to look at her.

"Well, this proves it's not a servant at any rate," Gregory said. "I doubt that anyone buried here normally wore diamond earrings."

Mai hmmed in thought. "I wonder why her necklace isn't here, though. She threw it into the fireplace during the fight. And he buried all the rest of the evidence..."

Everyone stared at everyone else.

"Mai," Madoka started. "Do you think a proper burial will end the haunting?"

"No," Mai replied sadly, "The spirit hasn't moved from the house since we got here. And it's there now. She must be tied to the house somehow."

The living Lady Selfridge sighed. "I'll call the police now – and order the evacuation of the house. This may get uglier yet."

John nodded. "Yes, I think so," he agreed. "If your husband did have an affair, then that is likely what set the spirit off the rails. I think if we want to corner it, we should probably... reenact a similar situation."

"I vote Yasu," Mai joked. "He's the ladies' man of TTMPI."

But Madoka and Naru both nodded. "Yes, that might work well," Naru agreed. "The spirit is obviously attuned to happenings in the house, and Yasuhara's vulgar designs on the house staff might prove fruitful for our purpose."

Mai's mouth dropped open.

"Foiled by my superior charm," her fellow transfer student muttered. "Can't wait to get attacked."


A/N: Okay so I worked hard on this and still don't know if I like it. But we gotta move the story on somehow. Mai and Lin think they're so sneaky, don't they? Hint: they really aren't.

Also, a thank you to the reviewer who thought I might have forgotten about John... because I 100% forgot about John. This case was originally supposed to be the first case, so I had to rewrite a bunch of it and totally forgot that a) John's there and b) I already used the name Banderson in another case. Thank you to that reviewer, as well. This is what happens when I take too long to post things.

Hope you liked it anyway!