Chapter 5 - The Cursed Child
As soon as he felt land, he whirled around to find Aiba and Sho reappearing in the greenroom. Aiba was holding Sho, who was panting heavily from running so hard. Naruse and Higashiyama was also breathing heavily, but they were standing firmly. Aiba helped Sho sit down on the chairs to rest, and Jun sat next to him as well.
"Sho? Are you alright?" Jun asked. "What happened?"
"Was it Fujiwara?" Naruse immediately asked.
They waited as Sho caught his breath and finally uttered, "Yes."
"And you said you saw Yami there as well," Naruse added.
"That boy," Higashiyama said. "It took us over a year, but about a month ago, he has finally shown himself."
"What does a child have to do with this?" Jun frowned.
"He's the one opening the portals," Sho answered. "I saw him do it. He just drew his finger on air and the way was open. The spirits started spilling out by the dozen!"
"A kid?!" Nino gasped. "Really?! How can a child have such powers?"
"We're not sure," Naruse said. "I've only encountered with him once, now twice."
"Was it with Hiro the first time?" Ohno asked.
"Yes. We've been planning the hunt for weeks, but Yami has proven himself too powerful."
"Why is his name Yami?" Aiba mumbled. "What parent would name their child something so sinister?"
Sho placed his hand on Aiba's shoulder. His voice was quiet. "Because he is what he is...darkness."
There was a cold chill in the room, and Jun watched Sho's expression changed. There was pure fear in his eyes.
"He looked so young, but I can't help but think he might actually be years older than any of us," Sho explained. "The way his presences fills the room, it's as if there is no light that can save you. His very being was walking on shadows. The very whites of his eyes were blinding in comparison."
"That's why we named him Yami," Naruse said. "We have no idea who he really is,, where he's from, or what his motives are. He's not willing to talk to us."
"But he looked like he wanted something from me," Sho said. "Why else was I kidnapped?"
"For now, none of you are safe," Higashiyama stated. "If Yami has tracked down Sho, it's likely he'll try to go after all of you as well. You too, Naruse."
"Why?" Nino said. "It is because of our Paradise connection?"
"Most likely," Higashiyama nodded. "Sho, I suggest you stay at Aiba's home. Going back to your place will be dangerous."
All of a sudden, the lights started to flicker. Jun immediately pulled his wand out from his back pocket, expecting the worst. The room temperature suddenly dropped; he could see his breath turning white. They all stood with their backs together as the lights continued to flicker almost rhythmically. Like a heartbeat...
At long last, the lights were back on, along with the temperature returning back to normal.
"What the hell was that?" Sho muttered.
"A ghost," Naruse answered. "Flickering lights and cold chills means they're close by."
"Are they regular ghosts or Paradise ghosts?" Nino asked, indignantly.
"Don't count on seeing anything regular," Higashiyama said. "Until this is over, I'm expecting to see everything from Paradise."
"What should we do?" Jun asked. "We can't let a ghost wonder around the building."
"We should split up," Naruse said. "We'll cover the building with more wizards on each floor. Just follow the cold spots and you should find it, but be careful. They have a tendency to possess others and steal their souls."
Naruse was about to reach inside his jacket when the greenroom door was suddenly flung open. Gin Okami came dashing in straight to Sho, and Naruse quickly withdrew his hand away.
"Where have you been?!" Gin shouted. "I've sent owls after owls! I told the producers to wait five more minutes, and they almost chopped my head off because of you!"
"I'm terrible sorry," Sho bowed slightly. "I thought...I make a quick stop to run an errand for my friend. His wedding is coming soon and he asked me-"
"I don't care if your friend marries Matsuko Deluxe! Your job is here first!" Gin ranted. "This is unacceptable! You are suppose to be here on time and prepared before the recording like always! I don't have to remind you that we are running on a tight schedule! But it doesn't matter anymore because today's guest went home. He was fed up waiting!"
"So good luck finding another guest!" Gin huffed. "The audience will probably leave as well as the staff. What a disaster! The guest was Fukuyama Masaharu The Masaharu! You lost a great chance for the best ratings ever!"
"How about I appear?" Higashiyama spoke.
"Higashiyama-san?" Gin gawked. He looked up at him completely star-strucked. "A-and Naruse-san? What brings you here?"
"I thought I visit my favorite juniors," Higashiyama smiled without a beat. "Naruse is an old friend of mine who always wanted to see the studio. He's been dying to see how I work." Naruse frowned at him. "If you don't mind him wondering around, I promise he won't be any trouble while we get ready."
"B-but you've already appeared in their show twice," Gin fumbled.
"Third times a charm," Higashiyama smiled wickedly.
"But we're not suppose to know who-" Aiba started, but Jun quickly bumped his knee against his leg to shut him up.
Higashiyama is trying to cover them up. Since they lost the chase to cover more ground, Naruse will be the only one available to search for the ghost. With the audience and the staff free to wonder the building, it would be dangerous for them if they get possessed by the ghost. But if they do this recording, those people will be safe in one room for the time being. They have to buy Naruse enough time with this recording. Immediately, Arashi followed along.
"Sure, why not!" Nino blurted.
"Higashiyama-san is always fun!" Jun nodded.
"The audience love seeing us do work-out sessions," Ohno grinned bitterly.
Gin slowly nodded, "A-alright then. I'll go tell the producers and round up the audience back."
When Gin disappeared behind the door, Naruse reached back into his jacket for a small pouch.
"Just in case, take these with you," Naruse said, holding out more glass orbs. "They're smaller, so they can be concealed. We can't be too sure if the ghost might possess someone in your presence."
"Like a staff member?" Ohno asked, taking one miniature glass orb.
"Or an audience member," Higashiyama said. "We'll have to keep an eye on them while we recording. We'll be keeping them save for now. How much time do you need, Naruse?"
"As long as you give me. I'll let you know if I captured it."
"Are you sure there's no other way we can help?" Jun pleaded. "Maybe call some back-up from the department."
"I doubt the workers in this building know anything about the Paradise threat," Naruse said. "The moment they see Aurors roaming around, they'll get nervous and they can scare away the ghost. We'd best avoid that."
"Naruse will find the ghost," Higashiyama said confidently. "Ever since I offered my services to the department, Naruse has been the top hunter. We have to focus on our jobs and smile."
"Exactly," Sho mumbled, staring down at his small glass orb. "Our job is to smile. I'm truly thankful of you for saving my life, Naruse-san...Higashiyama-san...and I'll help you this one time. But after this, please don't get us involved anymore."
"Sho," Jun sighed.
"When will you understand we have other jobs to do!" Sho stressed. "Just because we have a Paradise scent on us, doesn't mean we have to be involved. Naruse and the Ministry of Magic can handle this."
"We only have so few helping us," Naruse glared.
"I'm sorry, but this isn't our problem anymore," Sho resisted. "You didn't see me back there when I was fighting Fujiwara, but I was rusty and useless until you came. I am in no condition to fight like this."
"None of us are!" Jun retorted, but he quickly calmed down. "And I think we've come to a point where we can't decide. Even if we want to be out of this or not."
"He's right," Higashiyama said. "The enemy had their eyes on you Sho. Whether you like it or not, you're in this mess."
Sho looked like he was about to say more, but Aiba lightly squeezed his shoulder. Jun could see the turmoil going through his eyes. It was the look of going through the same horrors again. The fear that death might be upon them, and Jun couldn't blame him. Sho closed his fist around the glass orb.
* * *
"Let's begin," Sho smiled, "The very impromptu variety show, Arashi ni Shiyagare!"
Jun did his regular wave and smile to the camera as the audience clapped and cheered. It will be the most intense recording Jun will ever do. The possibility that a ghost might be haunting the building and him having to pretend everything was alright was a lot harder than Jun imagined. He would not stop scanning the audience to see any slight change in character from usual behavior. He also made a quick face scan of the staff members as well, but it was hard trying to read an abnormalities and keep up a normal conversation.
"Let's welcome our guest tonight!" Sho called.
The usual lights and song began to play as the doors swung open. Jun was surprised to see Higashiyama had the time to change his clothes to a more shiner outfit. Immediately, the audience went wild as well as laughing. It was awkward to have their senior on their show a third time, but what Jun was worried about the most was how much time they can buy for Naruse. Usually, the staff moves onto the next question fairly fast, and the assistant hosts always try to move things along way too fast.
"It's raining bad out there when I came," Higashiyama randomly brought up. "You guys might not have seen it, but I just came and it's pouring out there."
Arashi was just as confused as the audience.
"The audience at home won't know this, but just a while ago the building lights were flicker, right?" Higashiyama calmly brought up. "It's because of the raining awhile ago."
"...Ah!" Sho gasped. "It did flickered! So, i-it's still raining out there?"
Jun could see the staff was confused about their choice of topic, but he quickly understood what Higashiyama was doing. It was another cover up story.
"So if the lights start to flicker...don't be alarmed."
"Exactly," Higashiyama nodded to him. "Just in case it happens again, don't worry."
"It'll be cut anyway," Aiba grinned, trying to bring light to the subject.
'Smart move, Higashiyama-san,' Jun thought. 'If the lights flicker, we'll know the ghost is nearby, and the audience wouldn't panic.'
They started off the show as they usually do. Higashiyama was a pro keeping things on track and distracting everyone with new stories of his second newborn child. Every time the staff pushes them to the next question, Jun tried not to grunt. They were moving too fast. Naruse wouldn't be able to find the ghost in time. As long as they keep these people here in their sights, they'll be safe. On the other hand, there are still dozens more workers in the building. Naruse must act quickly.
A cue card was raised for Sho to read.
"So, today's activity will be...The Unguided Arashi Will Learn Straight From Their Senior. How to Be A True Gentleman!"
They all clapped and Jun waited for the annoying comedians to come, but no one appeared out from the curtains. Jun looked over his shoulder, but there was no one.
"Today, it's just me," Higashiyama explained. "Usually, Arashi would have a second pair of hosts for this show, right?"
"Today, I sent them home."
"Eh?!" The audience laughed.
"You have that much power?" Sho joked.
Jun did his very best to grin as well. In truth, he wondered if Higashiyama told them of the ghost danger, or perhaps they left home on their own for waiting too long. Either way, it was more time added for them. The set changed to begin an acting lesson. The moment it finished turning, the lights started to flicker rapidly. The audience started to murmur, and Jun immediately looked towards the crowd.
"It's alright, it's alright," the staff tried to calm them down.
The lights came back on, and they resumed back to work.
"I guess it's still raining out there," Aiba laughed to relieve the tension.
Jun kept a mental note to feel any cold spots while he was begin filmed. Higashiyama must have made a quick planning for today's recording to not overwork. If they were doing another work-out session, they might not pick up a chill from their overheating bodies.
Jun could see the other members keeping up a good face for the camera. Nino and Aiba were doing their best to have constant banter between each other to raise tension. Sho also did his best to make the audience laugh. Ohno was his usually self and seeming out of space, but Jun could tell the difference this time. Ohno was also keeping an eye on his surroundings. There were small moments, but Jun could tell the others were just as worried. It was hard to keep smiling.
The main lights dimmed so the spotlight was on Nino and Sho doing a skit. While he waited on the side, Jun felt a little spark behind his ear. He looked behind him and saw Naruse standing behind the audience stands. He looked disturbed as he quickly flashed him a shining white orb. He caught the ghost. Since the audience and the cameras were too busy focusing on Nino and Sho, Jun leaned forward and whispered to Ohno and Aiba in front of him.
"Naruse did it."
He could see Ohno making a quick side-glance and revert his eyes back to the duo in front. Aiba was too close to the camera to look, but Jun could see his body was stiff.
"What is he doing?" Ohno whispered back to him.
Jun quickly watched Naruse again. He was holding up one finger and then pointing it to the ground.
His heart sank. "There's still one more here," Jun translated.
"What now?" Aiba muttered.
Higashiyama heard him and muttered under his breath, "We move faster now."
Suddenly, the audience made a loud squeal causing Jun to jump a little. He thought they saw the ghost, but they were just flailing over Sho's killer line with Nino, and the lights came back.
"Good, good," Higashiyama smiled. "Now, Ohno and Aiba should try."
"No problem," Aiba bound forward. "I've been working on my best pickup line-"
"Aiba will play the female," Higashiyama interrupted him. The audience laughed as Aiba comically fumbled. "Ohno will play the male and be the gentleman. Remember, you have to really sweep her off her feet."
The audience wooed as the lights dimmed again. As soon as Ohno and Aiba started their skit, Jun quietly informed Sho and Nino the news.
"We left our wands in the greenroom," Sho grumbled quietly.
"I have mine," Higashiyama whispered. "Naruse should have yours. As soon as the recording is done, we head for the exit and find Naruse."
Just a little bit longer. They suddenly changed the tempo of the recording. Jun could see the staff watching them in confusion, but the audience didn't seem to mind. He tried to see if any of the audience look like they're possessed, but he didn't know the signs. Naruse was standing quietly in the back, keeping an eye on everyone. Surely, he'll know if the ghost left or not.
"We're glad you could come, Higashiyama," Sho said, closing the show. "Is there anything you want to share as well?"
"This is the part guest can promote their things, right?" Higashiyama said, bluntly. "Today, I'm here because I wanted too."
"Eh?!" Sho grinned. "There's absolutely nothing? You truly are powerful in this business!"
While they continued their fun closing chatter, Jun felt a chill run up his spine. He exhaled and saw small traces of white smoke escape his lips. He glanced at Naruse, who saw his reaction and stared at him with worried eyes. Even with the cameras still rolling, he reached inside his pocket where he kept the small glass orb.
"Alright, cut!" The director called.
At that instant, the lights went out and Jun whirled around. A translucent human was hovering over Jun with its mouth hanging open. The audience screamed and tried to hurried out the stands. Jun hurled the glass orb at it, but the ghost quickly vanished and reappeared away as the orb shattered against the pillar.
This ghost was a woman. Her hair was swimming in the air as if she was underwater, and it had a faint shade of green. Her eyes was sunken in as if she was born with no eyes. There nothing but a glint in her sockets. Her hands looked bony and frail as if they were solid, but she was still bleeding through the walls.
The ghost let out an ear-piercing screech, and Jun couldn't move his limbs. Everyone in the room went stiff, but he could see his friends were making an attempt to get their soul capturing orbs. The ghost laid eyes on a poor girl with a pink cardigan, who was trembling from head to toe. Higashiyama managed to pull out his wand first.
A jet of orange light flew from his wand and created a protective bubble, separating from the audience and the staff from the ghost. The audience was broken free from the ghost's clutching magic and they ran towards the exit. But they were blocking Naruse from coming closer to them. The staff was trying to calm them as well as lead them away from the ghost. Jun hoped the audience weren't Muggles, but they'll have to worry about that later.
The ghost turned around and glared at them.
"You filthy little ingrates!" The ghost remarked at them. "You cannot stop me! I will become human again!"
"It talks," Nino gasped.
"I'll eat your souls one by one!"
"Try me," Higashiyama smirked.
Aiba and Ohno both threw their glass orbs, but the ghost was too fast and easily dodged them. The orbs shattered into tiny pieces.
"Don't waste them!" Higashiyama ordered.
The ghost screeched again, but it soared up towards the ceiling and disappeared. They were the only ones left in the studio as Naruse came running towards them.
"We can still stop it," Naruse said. "She must be trying to find a girl to possess." He handed Jun and his members their wands. "We have to weaken it as much as we can before we can capture it. Ghosts are vulnerable against spells based on light or fire."
"And if we find it already possessed?" Nino asked.
"Leave that to Higashiyama and I," Naruse frowned. "Let's hope we don't come to that."
* * *
They split up and searched each floor as fast as they can for the remaining ghost. Ohno and Naruse were using their tracking UtaMahou abilities to help find it, but tracking an undead ghost is a lot harder than tracking a living person. Their only clue is following the cold breeze and small amounts of light.
Ohno and Nino went with Higashiyama, Sho and Aiba went to together, and Jun teamed up with Naruse. Before, they were running at a steady pace, but now that Jun was alone with Naruse, he realized the man was fast.
"Wait up!" Jun panted as they climbed up the stair.
"Every second counts, Matsumoto," Naruse said. "Pick up the pace. Even Satoshi is faster when he falls asleep."
Jun had forgotten that his old Potions teacher was still a jerk sometimes. They finally reached the top of the stairs, but the floor looked abandoned. The lights were turned off since it was late already. Everyone must have went home. Jun was about to turn back, but Naruse pressed on.
"They live in the dark," Naruse said. "We must be close."
Jun has been on this floor plenty of times, but he had never felt so nervous walking through the hallways. There was an eerie silence that was painful, almost pressuring. Jun wished he was with his friends, even if Naruse is a skilled wizard, Jun felt unsure going by themselves. When he went hunting for the poltergeist with Nino, he was scared but at the same time he was reassured he was supported. The threat of the ghost felt more terrifying, and Naruse didn't understand him as closely as his members.
"Wait," Naruse whispered.
They stood in the large lobby opening for long minutes. Naruse was looked up and around him, but Jun didn't see or hear anything. However, he did noticed the shadows in the corners were getting strangely darker...
"Perhaps it's nothing," Naruse finally spoke. "I thought I-"
A tentacle of darkness slammed into Naruse' chest, and he was thrown a good ten meters back. Jun raised his wand.
Suddenly, Jun's wand was pulled away from his grasp. Someone easily caught it in the shadows. Jun grabbed his glass orb, ready to throw it. But he felt something wrap around his wrists, he was pinned down on his back and he couldn't move his legs. He turned his neck to see if Naruse was okay, but the veteran wasn't moving.
"Naruse?" Jun called. "Naruse-san!"
"Please don't shout."
He was surprised to hear a child's voice, especially since he wasn't expecting it to be so soft and gentle. Jun lifted his head up and saw a young boy leaning against the wall. Jun's bonds lift him up to his knees, but his arms were forcefully swung behind him like a prisoner. Jun just glared daggers at him.
"Release me!" Jun growled fearlessly. "Fight fair!"
Even in the dark, Jun could see the distinct features of the boy's face. For such a young child, Jun could tell he would grow up to a handsome man. He remembered Sho's description from earlier. He truly was a boy shrouded in darkness, and his eyes burned with a powerful red glare. He pushed off the wall, and his surrounding shadows flowed with him as he moved closer to Jun.
"Yami," Jun glared.
"That is the name you give me," Yami said, listlessly. "At least, that man over there did."
Naruse was still unconscious.
"What do you want?!" Jun demanded.
"I told you once, please don't shout," Yami sighed. "There's no need to be loud."
Jun could feel the hair on the back of his neck stand. The way he was talking as if he was older than Jun made him sick, and at the same time, it frightened him. Jun wondered just how powerful this shadow boy must be.
"Very well. My name is Yami," he said. "I like to think myself as the Cursed Child."
"It is the burden I must carry," Yami explained. "The task that I have been given since birth. Maybe you might have noticed, but...I am not from this world, technically speaking."
"I can see that," Jun frowned. "So you're the one opening the portals to Paradise. Just what are you planning? Do you realize the trouble you're causing?!"
"Trouble to your people, perhaps," Yami raised an eyebrow at him. "How disappointing. I see you're just as ignorant as the rest of them. You have no idea, do you?"
"What do you mean?"
Yami started twirling Jun's wand between his fingers. "I know who you are, Matsumoto Jun. I've always wanted to meet you. And I don't mean I wanted to meet you because you're a famous idol. I wanted to meet the one who first forced the door open."
Suddenly, Yami lifted his head as if he heard something.
"This place is not safe for us to talk," Yami said. "I've come to leave a message for you. If you would like to know why I'm here, why I'm letting spirits roam freely, come find me. We'll talk. No need for pesky duels or wand magic. Fujiwara has been too brash for my taste."
"If you want to come to peaceful terms, take it up to the Ministry," Jun said, his voice low and trying to be menacing. "They'll gladly talk with you."
Yami looked bored at him. He quickly snapped his fingers and in the dark, a girl fumbled forward. Jun recognized her from before. She was the audience member with the pink cardigan. She looked scared, but she must be under a spell to make her unable to run away or cry out for help.
"If you don't agree to my terms, I'll have her soul devoured," Yami threatened.
"Just meet me at Fuji TV Headquarters tonight," Yami said. "Just you and me, alone. If you don't, the ghost will eat her soul, and I'll hunt down your friends' souls as well."
Jun couldn't trust him. After what happened to Sho, he knows it will be a trap. But he couldn't let the girl become a soulless victim, and he couldn't allow his friends to lose their souls. Yami snapped his fingers again, and the ghost from earlier reappeared through the walls. She just slid through the walls with her mouth still hanging ghastly open. The pink cardigan girl's eyes widen with fear and tears were leaking out.
"W-wait a minute," Jun quivered.
He could feel beads of cold sweat roll down his face. The ghost poised itself directly above her. She began to whimper.
"Alright!" Jun shouted. "We'll talk...and I'll come alone."
Yami smiled at him, "Now that wasn't so hard, right?"
"Now...let her go," Jun pleaded.
"Of course," Yami grinned. "I'll let her go. She can easily walk freely back to the streets...but it's not like she'll need her soul."
The ghost dipped inside the girls' body. Jun watched as she twitched violently on the floor, fighting the ghost from possessing her. Slowly, her skin turned a pale shade of green. Her movements became less fidgety until she stood up with her head bowed. Jun could barely hear his heartbeat as he waited to see what the ghost did to her soul.
She began to choke. She was hacking and gagging horribly until a sickening white ooze spilled out. It must have been forever watching her throw up a pile of white muck. Slowly, the white goo piled on the floor started to swirl and move on its own. Jun wanted to hurl himself. The girl collapsed in exhaustion as the white ooze took a more solid form. A head rose up, followed by the neck, torso, arms, and legs.
A naked, brand new poltergeist stood before them.
It laughed hysterically that made Jun grind his teeth in distaste. The poltergeist made eye contact with Jun, and he could see its new foggy eyes widen.
"More...more juicy souls!" The poltergeist crackled.
Yami calmly raised his hand from stopping it.
"Not today," he said coolly. "Go eat somewhere else."
The poltergeist looked confused at first, but it easily obeyed him and it disappeared completely. Jun stared at the girl huddled on the floor. The ghost only took a few minutes to possess her body and consume her soul. And he couldn't do anything to save her. Jun felt hot tears seeping from his eyes, and he lowered his head in defeat. Short and quiet sobs escaped his lips.
He felt soft cold hands gently touched his chin and lift his head up.
"Don't cry," Yami said, looking completely sympathetic. "She can still live a normal life. Maybe even a better one."
"For a kid, you disgust me," Jun growled and flicked his head away from Yami's hand. "You're totally not cute at all."
"You will understand soon," Yami stood back. "Don't tell anyone about our little meet up. I'll be waiting."
Yami dropped his wand and he walked away. The darkness was following him and the hallway was normal again. It was dark, but at least it wasn't a pressuring darkness like before. Jun could hear footsteps from behind as well as Naruse waking up.
"Jun!" Nino called.
He was freed from his invisible bond and Nino was the first one there next to him.
"No..." Nino gasped when he saw the girl on the floor. "What happened?"
"Was it the ghost?" HIgashiyama asked.
He couldn't tell them about Yami. He had to protect them...
"It got away," Jun sobbed. "I couldn't do anything...I lost..."
end chapter 5 T_T
To Chapter 6 http://arashiforyou.livejournal.com/49985.html
i don't know about you, but i like Yami :3
imagine a charming demon Ciel from Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji) XD