Introduction

A couple was walking into the mist at night, a little drunk. They were laughing and giggling, as the man was telling jokes to the woman. He had his arm around her, and they were just having a good time.

”Hey, where are we going to? ” the woman asked.

”Its a surprise. ” he said.

”Are you sure we aren lost? ”

”Don worry baby, I know where Im going. I know dis place like the back of my hand. ”

”Its kinda creepy here. ”

”Ill protect you, baby. ” said the man, and she believed him.

As they continued walking through the mist, the woman heard footsteps.

”Darling, did you hear that? ” she asked.

”Hear what? ” he asked stupidly.

”I swore I heard something. ”

”Non-sense. ”

More footsteps. Stealthy footsteps.

The woman said, ”I heard rumors theres a ghost here haunting people who pass by this mist. ”

The man was trembling. ”Its j-just a rumor…I don believe that non-sense. Well find our way out of here, I promise. ”

They continued walking while getting more and more scared every second. The rate of the footsteps increased. The couple began sprinting, then running. The woman tripped over a branch, and she screamed. The man looked at her, then kept running.

”Hey wait! ” Suddenly, the ghost appeared in front of her. The ghastly body, in a white two-sided mask, and pink kimono, approached. The woman screamed in a high pitch voice.

The man heard it, and grew frantic by now. He was trying to find his way, but he saw nothing familiar. He was completely lost. Suddenly, the mist in front of him began to shift, as the ghost walked towards him.

”No!! Nooooo!!! ”

Ghost of the Shrine

It was pouring in a quaint little town in Japan. People in Mistle Town usually stay home when there are storms as bad as these. But others still have to do business. Essential services such as supermarkets and local stores remain open. Needless to say, the police station has to stay open. Even in a small town like this, crimes still happen, although its just the occasional burglary here and there.

Shikura Sakume walked along the quiet streets of Mistle Town by himself. Some people like this town, some people hate it, but it doesn matter to Sakume. He was born and raised in this town and will probably retire here. He inherited his mansion and fortune from his late father. He decided to become a detective as a job and a hobby, and hes considered to be one of the finest detectives of the agency, even the town. His intelligence and logic allowed him to solve many cases that an average person was not able to solve.

He received a message from his colleague about a new case, so Sakume was on his way to the police station.

”It was horrible! ” said the man in the interrogation room.

Outside, the sky was dark and rain was pouring hard. Due to its small population, Mistle Town did not require a large police force, so the team was small. Sakume pretty much knew everyone here.

”It was horrible. Just horrible. ” said the man, grasping his own head. ”That ghost came out of nowhere… ”

”A ghost? ” asked officer Sakume. ”Youve gotta be kidding me. ”

”I swear, Im not lying, sir! ” The mans eyes were trembling He grabbed the detective. ”Im telling the truth! I saw it with my own eyes! ”

”Sir, this is the police station, not the supernatural ghost hunters. ” Sakume looked at the mans eyes, and he came to two possible conclusions: (1) either this man is telling the absolute truth or (2) he is completely insane. Sakume didn believe in ghosts, but this man sure did.

The man was still shaking all over. ”Its true, officer. ”

”Fine…lets say you did run into a ghost. What did he do or say to you? ”

”He was holding a long sword and he pointed it at me. Then he spoke to me in this scary voice…he said leave the shrine or else. If I ever come back, he will cut my head off. ”

”And your girlfriend saw it too? ” asked Sakume.

”Yes sir. But shes so scared she can say anything or eat anything right now. Like I told you, shes being treated in the hospital. ”

”I see. ” replied Sakume. This case is getting to be interesting. ”

After the questioning, Shikura Sakume walked down a dark alley, deep in his thoughts. Mainly, he was thinking about the ghost in the cemetery. If there is one thing he doesn like, it is the supernatural. He simply did not believe in that stuff as it goes against science and logic. To him, it is pure bull crap.

However, it was not just logic driving him to hate the supernatural; he might have a personal grudge. Sakumes father disappeared one day and some say it was because he was spirited away by a ghost. Of course, Sakume was devastated, losing a father after losing his mother. He believed that his father was kidnapped by an enemy…and to find out the truth he worked hard to become a detective.

Often times, hed think about the case outside of the office. Something about this ”ghost case ” just bugs him. To his thinking, there can be a few possible explanations. Maybe the couple was drinking a little too much, decided to go to the cemetery, and they were seeing things. The second possibility is that a person is dressed up as a ghost.

The second theory sounds better to him. But then whats the motive? A prank to scare away the locals? Possibly. He has to look deeper into this.

Sakumes thoughts were shattered when he heard a lady scream. ”Aaah! ” A burglar was grabbing her purse. They struggled and he took it from her.

Sakume ran to the lady. ”What happened? ”

”He took my purse! ” she yelled. ”He went that way! ”

”Ill be back. ” Sakume chased the thief. He was running with one hand reaching for his sword. The thief saw him coming and ran faster. They were at the same speed until he tripped over something. The thief quickly got up and ran for it. They were at a dead end.

”Give it up. Theres no where to run. ”

”Not in your life! ” yelled the masked burglar. He had a sword of his own. He drew it and attacked. ”Hyah! ”

Sakume dodged his attack and drew his sword. Slash! Slice! Before the thief knew what happened, his sword was cut into pieces. He gasped in fear and retreated while Sakume advanced. ”You
e under arrest. ”

The burglar was shocked the whole time about Sakumes sword skills. He moved faster than the eye could see.

He was brought into the police station. Naturally, the lady who got robbed had her purse returned and she thanked Sakume a million times.

Officer Saito came and patted Sakume on the shoulder. ”Congratulations on another arrest. That makes three this month. ”

”Oh, it was nothing, really. ” he replied modestly. ”I just happen to be there when the lady was being robbed. ”

Saito said, ”That man you just caught…hes been causing trouble in our town for months now. The thief who holds a sword. Many of our officers were injured while trying to arrest him. But you just come in and arrest him just like that. ”

Officer Hirata, another one of his comrades, came into the room. ”Oh Officer Sakume, congratulations. I heard. I need to speak with you about something. ”

”Sure thing, Hirata. ”

They went into Hiratas office. Hirata is a more laid back type of cop. He sat on his chair with legs on the table and he lit himself a pipe. He took a puff while Sakume waited.

”What did you want to talk about, sir? ”

”Officer Sakume, as you know, you are one of the finest detectives that we have. Recently we have some reports of people seeing ghosts in Ryojin Cemetary. And we are beginning to get worried. I am sure you heard about this? ”

”Yes… ”

”The government wants the Ryojin land since it is not owned by anyone. But they cannot take over with these rumors of the place being haunted. That is why I am putting you in charge of this case. ”

”You want me to handle this? ”

”Thats correct. ”

”Of all the detectives, why me? ”

”No one else is willing to do it. They
e probably all scared. ”

”You know I don believe in ghosts or the supernatural, Hirata. ”

”Which is why you
e perfect for the job. ” Hirata replied, taking another puff of his pipe.

With that said, it was settled that Sakume would take on the case. Sakume did not really like the case, but then again, this is the nature of his job. He made a good living from being a top-class detective, but he considers it more of a hobby than a way to make a living. He doesn really need the job, considering hes the heir of rich parents. When his father was presumed dead, his fortune transferred to Sakume.

Shikura returned home to his mansion where his personal servant, Merla, was waiting for him by the door. She bowed politely as he walked onto the steps that lead to the front door. ”Welcome home, master. ” she said. She is a nice and polite girl with red hair and black eyes. She was hired as a servant by Sakume directly. It was back when her life was at its lowest point. Merla had nowhere to go and no one to turn to, but Sakume gave her a chance and offered her a job as his servant at the mansion, and shes been working for him ever since. She was not only given a job, but a new life as well, a second chance at life, and she will be eternally grateful to him.

”Good evening, Merla. ” he replied. Before she was hired, his life was a mess. It was hard for a single man to manage a mansion of this size. He could never find anything and never made himself a decent meal. Having Merla around helped improve his life and health and feels grateful to have her around.

A man in a hat and cane was waiting for him by the door. ”Good evening, master. I heard about the arrest. Congratulations. ” said Uramaki.

”Thanks. ” He took off his coat and handed it to Merla.

The two men went to the living room and sat on the couch. Uramaki took a sip from his cup of tea. Merla came into refill the teapot. Although hes not a member of the Sakume family, Uramaki is as close to family as Shikura can hope for. He is more of the Sakume familys financial advisor and a good friend of Shikuras late father. Despite their age difference, Shikura and Uramaki get along just fine.

”Thank you, Merla. ” said Sakume.

”I heard about your new case. ” said Uramaki. ”It has something to do with ghosts and what not? ”

”This is clearly a false report. It has to be. ”

”Why do you say that? ” Uramaki inquired.

”Ghosts cannot exist. ” said Sakume. I just do not believe in them. ”

”So you are a man of science and logic, correct? ”

”I always have been. Its probably someone disguised as a ghost trying to scare people away from the cemetery. And this person, whoever he is, is a smart one. He hides in the fog. And the fact that its a cemetery adds to the fear factor. ”

Merla added her own opinion. ”I don know about that, sir. One time, a long time ago, my friend said she saw a ghost. And it was in the cemetery too. She was so scared she stayed home for five whole days and never left the house. ”

”Its probably in her own mind. Still, I do not believe in such things. ”

Uramaki took another sip of tea and read the police report. ”Hmmm, this could be a dangerous case. People reported seeing the ghost claimed that it was holding a sword. If this ghost is indeed a person, then we might be dealing with a swordsman. ”

”Or swordswoman. Youll never know. ” Merla added with a smile.

Sakume had a serious expression on his face, the kind of expression he has just before a big case. ”Swordsman or ghost, I am going to get to bottom of this case. ”

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