Greetings From Hell
Summary: Okita Souji died from tuberculosis at the age of 27 in the Bakumatsu era. After his death he was appointed as a guardian of hell whose job is to help people accomplish their grudges through hell correspondence. His days were gloomy until he met a certain geisha named Yukimura Chizuru a hundred year later in the Taisho era. Story inspired by an anime titled "Jigoku Shojo" which is also known as "Hell Girl".
"So, she's our client for today." Shinpachi smirked.
"She's still a kid." Heisuke let out a heavy sigh.
"Yeah, a kid just like you." Shinpachi grinned.
"Why you…" Heisuke gritted his teeth and was about to slap his mocker when he saw that Okita who stood just a little way away from them had taken several steps forward.
"I have come to settle your grudge." Okita announced as he showed a folded piece of paper to the girl in the yellow kimono.
The girl froze in amazement for a while before she talked, "I'm now convinced that the rumors about hell connection are true."
"Will you tell me what you heard about us, missy?" Shinpachi asked curiously.
"For your information, my name is 'Osen', not missy." She protested while she gave her caller an irritated look.
"Spit it out then, Osen-chan." Shinpachi replied. Osen sighed at the stranger's impoliteness.
"I've heard that a guardian from hell will come to settle your grudge if you put a letter inside that old post near the Shieikan dojo at midnight. Well, to be honest I didn't expect that all of you would find my house." She muttered.
"Well, you heard correctly, but the post can only be seen by those who have strong grudge and it seemed like you fulfilled the requirements." Heisuke added.
"Evil is as evil does. If you're absolutely sure, then just remove the red ribbon and I will accomplish your grudge but in return, your soul will be sent to the deepest hell after you die." Okita stretched out his right hand. A voodoo doll with a red ribbon equipped on its neck appeared instantly.
"I have no regret. Hell is the best place for that man." Osen gritted her teeth as she pulled the red ribbon off the doll.
"Confirmed." Okita replied before he and his assistants disappeared from the girl's sight.
Osen walked to her house and closed the main door then, she stared at her bruised wrists. When a thought of being free from all the sufferings she had been experienced crossed her mind, her lips curved into a smile of satisfaction.
"I didn't know that a brothel has an underground gambling place." Heisuke muttered as he looked around.
"Me either." Shinpachi added before he cracked the door open harshly.
"I'd like to have a word with Mr. Hideyoshi Takigawa." Shinpachi spoke out.
"What do you want? I don't think we've met each other before." A man in his late fifties who sat at the corner of the room glared at Shinpachi.
"My comrade will give his explanation later so, come with us." Heisuke demanded. The man clucked before he rose to his feet and followed his unknown guests to the exit door.
"Will you make it quick? I have some more games to play." Takigawa ordered when they reached a deserted park.
"Hideyoshi Takigawa, you will be sent to hell by the request of your own daughter." Okita announced coldly.
"Oh! Give me a break. I don't have time to hear your corny jokes." Takigawa laughed cynically.
"You committed violence toward your own daughter almost every day, Takigawa-san. Don't you think that you deserve to be sent to hell?" Heisuke asked as he gave the man a look of disbelief.
"I was just giving her punishment for not behaving properly and I believe that parents are responsible to educate their children. If my daughter behaved properly she wouldn't have been punished. So, I don't think it's a sin." Takigawa answered calmly.
"You are out of your mind!" Shinpachi claimed as he clenched his fists.
"Leave it to me, Shinpachi." Okita said before he walked closer toward Osen's father. His hair had turned pearl white and both of his eyes were crimson red.
"W-What the heck are you? Some sort of demon? Stay away from me!" Takigawa screamed as fear overwhelmed him.
"Pitiful shadow lost in the darkness, bringing torment and pain to others. A damned soul wallowing in its own sin, you should see what death is like once." Okita read the mantra with a loud voice as he held one hand in the air. A huge black hole appeared right in front of his target.
"No! I don't want to die!" Takigawa yelled as he turned his back to the guardians and tried his best to run but, his feet failed him causing him to stumble to the ground with his face first. Heisuke smirked evilly when he saw the wicked man absorbed by the black hole mercilessly.
"I'm sure that hell is the best place for that filthy bastard because of what he did to Osen-chan. Don't you think so, boss?" Heisuke patted Okita's shoulder when they came back to the dojo (practicing space for martial art).
"Watch your language, kiddo!" Shinpachi poked Heisuke.
"Ouch! That's hurt." Heisuke whined while rubbing his head.
"I'm sure that the old man will definitely turn into some sort of cricket in the next life." Shinpachi grimaced.
"Yeah, and he'll get killed by someone's foot." The two hell guardians laughed out loud.
"By the way, have you ever thought about who you were in your past life?" Shinpachi asked.
"Sometimes I tried to remember but it always failed me. I heard that some of the hell guardians didn't get their memories of the past life erased." Heisuke replied.
"Well, I'm not one of them then. I really have no idea who I was in the past and I don't give a shit about that." Shinpachi smiled.
"I thought you'd say so, Shinpachi-san. How about you, boss?" Heisuke turned his gaze to Okita.
"Neither do I. Anyway, I'll see you guys again at the headquarters." Okita turned around and was about to leave the dojo when Shinpachi caught his arm.
"Let go of me, Shinpachi." The head officer of the hell guardians emphasized his tone.
"You know what, boss? I think you've been working too hard so, you need to be entertained. I suggest you go to the red-light district over there and grab some chicks."
"What makes you think that I work too much?" Okita asked back sarcastically.
"You've been grumpy lately and those two dark marks under your eyes tell everything." Shinpachi replied calmly.
Okita let out a big sigh when both of his assistants disappeared from his sight. He started to walk while reflecting on what had happened today. The client had requested him to send her own father to hell. As anticipated, Osen's father was indeed a bad person since he had committed domestic violence and spent most of his time gambling. The man cried hopelessly as if he is a three year old boy who cried for losing his candy and begged for forgiveness when Okita was on the way to deliver his soul to the main gate of hell where the great Enmadaio, the person who is in charge of deciding what kind of punishment the soul shall receive in hell awaited.
To be honest, he had never thought that human beings could be that hideous. Okita was responsible to deliver the soul to hell by peddling a tiny ship through the River of Underworld. He and his assistants can interact with the living as though they were one as well. They can fall sick and feel pain like normal people but, their body stayed young no matter how many years passed by. He and his assistants had been doing his recent job of settling people's grudge for more than a hundred years.
Okita started to look around searching for a shop that sells sugarplums because, sweets is the best remedy to cure his stress after work. Somehow he regretted that he had lied to his assistants about not remembering his past life. He used to be a member of an organization called 'Shinsengumi' and renowned as of one the talented swordsman in that era. Heisuke and Shinpachi were his comrades back then and he had no idea why he was the only one who hadn't lost the memory of his past life.
He stopped walking when his eyes caught the figure of woman in her early twenties dressed in crimson red kimono with green butterfly pattern, sitting behind the wooden framed window of a small brothel. He noticed that she was a geisha upon spotting the huge yellow belt tied in the front part of her outfit. She noticed him and gave him a friendly smile. Okita could feel his cheeks heated. He had no idea about how to deal with woman and he had failed to experience the feelings to love and to be loved in return since he died from tuberculosis in his mid-twenties.
"It was very discerning of you to choose her, Sir. She is our best." A middle age man who seemed to be the owner of the brothel and was standing not far away from the window greeted him.
"No, I was just looking around." Okita declined.
"Don't worry about the fee. We give discounts to newcomers." The owner smiled. Okita had no choice but to enter the place. He sat on the tatami mat and waited. The owner's wife brought him a bottle of Japanese sake and some food were served on a small red tray in front of him. After a moment that seemed like forever, the entrance door slid open revealing the geisha he saw at the entrance.
"Pleased to meet you, Sir. I'm Chizuru." She bowed politely.
"I'm Okita Souji. Pleased to meet you too." Okita replied. Chizuru smiled before she took the sake bottle and poured the contents to a red cup Okita was holding. He nervously drank the liquid in an instant.
"I can tell from your accent that you are not from Kansai, am I right?" She asked.
"I'm originally from Edo." He answered.
"So, are you working in Kyoto?" He nodded in agreement.
"What do you do?"
"I help people accomplish their grudges." He answered blatantly.
"Are you telling me that you're a policeman?" Chizuru gave a quizzical look at her customer.
"I'm a secret agent." He replied. "Why don't you tell me about yourself?" Okita said again as placed his sake cup on back to the tray.
"Well, I was born and raised in Edo and I'm good at playing shamisen (traditional guitar)." She explained cheerfuly.
"I see. So, your parents are living in Edo, aren't they?" She paused for some minutes before she answered his question, "My parents sold me to this brothel when I was fifteen since they were too poor to feed two kids. Last month I was informed that they had died from cholera. I have a twin elder brother but I don't know whether he is still alive or not." Okita regretted questioning her when he saw the sad look in her eyes.
"I'm sorry for ruining the mood, Okita san. I will get a shamisen from downstairs." Chizuru stood up and headed to the exit door. All of the sudden she felt giddy, she lost her balance and was about to make a free dive to the tatami mat when Okita caught her waist just in time.
"Are you alright, Chizuru-chan?" He asked anxiously.
"I'm alright, just a little bit dizzy." She answered weakly. Okita placed his right hand on her forehead and frowned at the feverish sensation.
"You're having a high fever. I'll tell the owner to bring some ice cubes." He stood up. "No, please. If they know that I'm sick they will fire me." She clutched the edge of his kimono to prevent him from going further. Okita let out a heavy sigh before lifting Chizuru up in bridal style.
"Kyaa! Okita-san, what are you doing? Please put me down!" Chizuru protested panic.
"Not until we reach the bed." He claimed as he proceeded to the space behind a huge folding screen with a pair of black dragons painted on it.
"Now, don't complain that I'm being impolite since I can't use my hands." Chizuru nodded as she clung to his neck. Okita moved the folding screen aside then flipped the thin blanket with his right foot and gently placed the girl on it.
"Sorry, but I need to do this before it gets worse." He claimed. Chizuru bit her lower lip and shut her eyes tightly when she felt her obi being untied. The next time she knew she was embraced by two muscular arms and her eyes widened in surprise when she saw his bare chest, she started to tremble in fear.
"Don't worry I won't harm you. This is the only way I know of curing a high fever when you can't use ice cubes." He whispered as he caressed her raven locks. She noticed that he was trying to reduce her fever by using his body temperature. Speaking the truth, Chizuru was touched by his kindness. No one including her parents has ever treated her so nicely before.
"Why are you so nice to me?" She queried.
"Because I think you deserve to be treated nicely." He responded promptly. She blushed at his words and averted her look away so he won't notice the change in her expression.
To Be Continued
Author's Note: Thank you so much for reading this fic :D. I hope all of you like it. Critics, comments, suggestions are welcomed with a warm heart so please feel free to write them through review :). I forgot to tell you that in this story Okita doesn't know Chizuru in his past life since she didn't exist so, I'm sorry to have confused all of you. I'd like to thank Direction of Time for correcting my grammatical mistakes and giving me brilliant advises. If there's still any grammatical mistakes in this fic they all belong to me since I'm re-editing the fic.