Now they have awakened from their slumber, and gathered in the Dark. On the night of that gathering, when Shinma and Humans met again a young girl strayed into their midst. This is her story. Her name is
"You cannot escape, Shinma," said Miyu holding a flame in her hand.
The Shinma stood shocked for a few seconds. Then, regaining his composure, began to concentrate. He started to glow intensely white, soon overpowering the light of Miyu's flame. As it subsided, there were a dozen brightly dressed Shinma, identical to the first one. The dopplegangers bounded and leapt, spreading out to occupy the entire lot.
Himiko suddenly felt overwhelmed with curiosity. She had to go down and find out what was happening. She ran to her closet, put on her coat and then half ran, half jumped and half fell down the stairs to the main floor. When she reached the lobby she looked around, not knowing where to go from here. She soon saw a crowd of people pushing against the emergency exit. She pushed through them all until she was just outside the door. There where people crowded behind and to either side of her but there was nothing but empty pavement ahead of her for several meters. Yet she, for some reason, did not what to move ahead any further. She looked up to see what everyone was staring at. In the darkness there was a person standing on top of a dumpster facing the parking lot... wearing a white kimono.
"Miyu!" yell Himiko, silencing crowd. Miyu turned around and levitated down to the ground. Himiko felt released from what was holding her back and took a few steps forward. Miyu walk up to Himiko and looked deeply into her eyes and after a few moments looked up and to the side and said, to no-one in particular, "So, that's where you were." Miyu disappeared, leaving no sound except the wind, the fires and her haunting laughter. This was soon drowned out by the sirens of the fire engines.
Himiko's thinking didn't get her very far. Miyu's appearance had, as usual, raised many questions, but this time had given no answers. Also, when ever she let her mind drift she would keep thinking about the numbers 42, 93, 2, 77, and 69. She could remember them from somewhere, but she didn't know where.
She looked up from he breakfast. It was to one of the people who worked at the hotel, the person who check her in. "Yes?" she answered.
"I understand your some sort of... supernatural investigator?"
"Yes... Well, many of my guests have concerns about what happened last night, and I believe reassurance from you would help calm their fears. Could you do a little investigating to make sure it is safe. I would be very grateful?"
"I am a professional. I don't work for free."
"I will look around, make sure it is safe and reassure your guests, in exchange for one week free stay and meals."
"Very well. Please," he started to sound desperate, "just make sure it is all right."
Himiko didn't find anything except the obvious physical clues, although she had never found anything in the aftermath of any of her other encounters with Shinma. This made the owner of the hotel happy, but it didn't make the guests happy. Most of them had only come to say that they where there when just after it happened, or, if they where a bit less honest, when it happened.
Suspecting this might be a paying a customer she treated herself to a taxi ride to the house... and what a house it was. It was a huge place in the best part of the city. She climbed up the many step to the front door and ring the door bell. It responded with the the first bar of "We're in the Money".
A female voice, distorted by the intercom, said, "Yes, who is it?"
"Se Himiko. You ask to see me?"
"Oh yes," the intercom answered and, just then, the door opened, "Won't you please come in."
After brief pleasantries they entered the drawing room and started talking about why Ito had asked Himiko here.
"Well," started Ito, "I'm not sure if you're the type of person I should be talking to. I've never done anything like this before. I'm not even sure if I believe it my self..."
"Please," Himiko reassured her, "I'm here to listen, no matter what the nature of you problem." She'd found that line always help people open up.
"Well, I believe that something supernatural killed by husband, or, at least, caused him to commit suicide."
"Please, tell me what happened, from the beginning."
"It all began about six months ago. Tony, my husband, bought a lottery ticket. That was strange in itself because he never considered buying one before. Sometimes, when my friend Caroline was over and was checking to see if she'd won he would joke that we'd won a 100 yen in the lottery this week, by not buy a ticket.
"When they where to announce the winning numbers he got the whole family to gather around the TV. We all watched in amazement as all our numbers where read out. We when the last number rolled down the chute and it was our's we all cheered. All of us, that is, except for Tony. His first reaction seem to be disappointment. After a moment he stood up, kissed me and said, 'I'm so happy for you.' From that point on he always seemed more worried and more unhappy then he had been before.
"I asked him then, 'Aren't you happy too?' He said he was, but I didn't believe him.
"From then on we spent our winnings freely. We bought this house and we took a trip around the world. We when to places he always talked about going to, but when he arrived there he was as depressed as ever.
"A few weeks ago we where in Price Edward Island. I'd always dreamed of visiting Green Gables and we where staying an extra week, at my request. One day, he woke me up, insisting we must return to Japan. He spared no expense in getting us here as fast as possible. We even took a private jet from Vancouver to Tokyo. He was being more and more impulsive as time when on. Like he knew..."
"...he was going to die?" Himiko completed her sentence because Ito was starting to break into tears.
Ito continued, "We did It on the plane, you know. After we got home, did we move into our new house? No, he said we could do that later. We booked into the most expensive suite in a fancy hotel. We went sky diving the first day we where back. The next day he visited a bunch of our relatives. I over heard him talking to my father. Tony asked him, 'If something happens to me, will you see that Ito is taken care of?' This when I first suspected he believed he was going to die. Oh, if only I had saw the signs sooner maybe I could have stopped it.
"I didn't dare bring it up in front of the relatives, and when we got home... Well, I didn't have the heart to bring it up then."
She was starting to cry again. After a moment to collect herself she continued, "The next morning I was woken up by the sound of a knock at the door of our hotel room. It was the police. They'd come...," she started to break down again, "to tell me... he had gone. His car had been driven off a cliff, up in the mountains. He must had left early that morning." Ito was sobbing. Himiko sat down beside her and put her arm around her.
After a while, when she seem better, Himiko asked her, "Why do you think it was something supernatural? I mean, it is a very strange story, but..." Ito reached to the coffee table and gave Himiko a diary that had been left open.
Himiko read the entry, "April 15. I have never written down my dreams before, but the one I had last night was so extraordinary I decide I should. This series of numbers is the primary thing I remember. I can't seem to get them out of my head. I find myself constantly thinking about them.
"That's not the disturbing thing about the dream. I remember talking to a strange man. His clothes where all colorful. It's strange, because I don't remember him from anything. Every time I dream it is always been about people and places I am familiar with.
"I've got this bitter-sweet felling about him. Now that I think about I think I had a conversation with him. It's coming to me now. He promised me I'd win his game, in exchange for my life."
Himiko stopped reading and put the book down. She had an incredible freeing of deja vu. For some reason she knew he had felt exactly the same way she felt. "Himiko," Ito interrupted her thought, "I know you can't do anything to bring back my dear Tony, but I remember about a year ago a report on the news talking about how two lottery winners had recently died a few months after they'd won. I thought there might be a connection. There might be someone, or something, going around allowing people to become rich in exchange for their lives."
Just then two people walked into the room. Both where dressed in black. The first was an adult woman carrying a tray of tea. She seemed pale and ghostly. Her eyes where distant, as if she was unaware of what was going on. The simile on her face seemed plastered on. Himiko thought she looked just like that boy who... and then Himiko looked at the child who followed the woman in. All she could say was, "You."
"Oh, you haven't met my sister," Ito injected, "She came in from America for the funeral. Her name is Ruth, and that's her daughter, and my niece, Miyu. I never saw Miyu before they arrived this week."
Himiko stared at Miyu unable to say anything. Miyu looked serious for a second and raised her hand to her chest and then lowered it to her stomach. "I'm famished," Ito suddenly said. This broke the trance Himiko was under and she looked back at Ito. "I'll get some biscuits to go with that tea," Ito finished.
Ito left and Himiko looked back at Miyu, but when she did the room they ware in had disappeared, replaced with the black and red of Miyu's realm. Only Miyu and Ruth remained.
"You seemed to be drawn to me, as I am drawn toward Shinma, Himiko."
Himiko was still in shock. She blurted out, "What are you doing here?"
"I am here for the same reason you are. Searching for a Shinma. I have yet to find this Shinma's name. You wouldn't know it, would you?"
"No!" Himiko was confused by the question. "Once your done with Ito, I suppose you'll turn her into somebody like her." She pointed to Ruth, who showed no reaction to any of this.
"Perhaps, if that is what she desires." Miyu changed the subject, "I'm looking for a Shinma. A Shinma that operates someways like myself," she emphasizes the following part more, "but in other ways he operates oppositely.
"He has the ability get bring people great fortune, to make people's dreams come true. Even being near him can make you lucky. For example, it was his luck that brought you this job."
"You mean when I saw him in the parking lot that night?"
Miyu didn't answer this question. "He will only come to people in dreams, which is why he is hard to find, and he will offer them wealth, glory or fame. What he asks in return is where he is the opposite of me. He asks for their lives, while I grant eternal life."
"Like what happened to Tony?" Miyu didn't react to this. She just slowly walked toward Himiko, staring into her eyes. Himiko stared back, but she did not see Miyu.
She was seeing the dream she was having the night Miyu and the Shinma battled in the parking lot. She could see the Shinma in his colorful, clown-like clothes. She could see herself being able to buy all the things she ever wanted, jetting around the country looking for, and then finding Miyu. Next, she saw herself being being lowered into her grave. Then the numbers 42, 93, 2, 77, and 69. Lastly, she saw the briefest image of them all, and the most disturbing. She saw herself sucking the life out of a beautiful young girl, and enjoying it, like she never enjoyed anything before. She searched for any regret in that enjoyment, but could find none. Himiko fell to her knees and moaned, "No!"
Outside the dream she heard Miyu's voice repeating, "Himiko, what was its name? What was its name?" But she ignored it. It reminded her of vampires. She was trying to forget that. Forget everything. All of it, Miyu, Larva, Lemures, that armor-monster, Miyu's mother, and that terrible night at the haunted house. Forget... forget...
Miyu looked down at Himiko collapsing under the strain of discovering her true destiny. "You are beginning to understand, Himiko. But, it is too early now." Miyu, with a wave of her hand, closed Himiko's wide eyes.
"Larva." At Miyu's call he appeared and she turned around and buried herself into his cloak. He closed his stiff arm around her causing her to disappear into his darkness.
In the quiet of the corner cubical he fell quickly into a dream. A dream unlike any he ever had before...
Himiko blinked the sleep from her eyes, "I don't think that will be necessary. I feel fine now."
"Oh, I'm so glad." Ito was very relieved. She didn't think she could handle two deaths in such a short time. "Do you know what happened?"
"I was meditating on you problem," Himiko lied. "I guess I got too intense and I fainted." Himiko got up and prepared to leave, her mind elsewhere. "I have found some valuable information. I will inform you of any developments. Good day, Miss Ito," and she left leaving Ito to wonder if she was to be informed of developments why she wasn't being told what this valuable information was.
"Oh well," Ito said to herself, "I guess that is par for the course when you're dealing with such people."
As Himiko walked down the street away from the house she thought about how Miyu said it was the Shinma Cadenza's luck that had brought her and Ito, and therefore Miyu together. She thought about how she was going to need a lot more luck to stop Cadenza and eventually Miyu. All this thinking about luck eventually brought her thoughts to the casino that had opened up and how that would be the perfect place for Cadenza to make his deadly deals. As luck would have it, she looked up just in time to see a bus stop in front of her. A bus that would stop right at the casino. Himiko trusted her luck and took the bus.
She when over talked to some of the people in the crowd. They were watching a man who was winning big at Blackjack. Some people said he won fifteen hands in a row, some said he won forty. One person said he got fifty blackjacks straight. What ever the truth, they all agreed he had gone from almost nothing to millions of yen in winnings.
Himiko tried to push through the crowd to talk to this man who may have paid dearly for this streak of luck, but she could not reach him. She shouted at him, but either he could not hear her or he was ignoring her.
Suddenly, after winning again with a blackjack he stopped what he was doing and looked very serious. This lasted only a second before his face suddenly transformed into panic. He shouted, "No! No! Not now! I've changed my mind!" His yelling didn't seam to be directed at anyone. The crowd around him moved back so that Himiko could now get to him.
With a final scream he collapsed on to the plush carpeting. Some one uselessly yelled, "Get a doctor!" but it was lost in the murmuring of the crowd. Himiko ran the dying man and pressed her finger on his neck. His pulse was so rapid and intense she thought the artery would explode in her hand. She had to get Shinma out of his body. The only way was to exorcise it, but she knew she didn't have much of chance of success. Her modest powers never had any effect on Shinma in the past. Even in the best of conditions an exorcism in the time he had left was impossible. She didn't want to admit it, but she really needed Miyu's help.
All the commotion had put the doorman on edge, but they told him to always stay at his post, so he did. He was facing into the casino, so he didn't see the two figures appear from nowhere. Miyu walked past the doorman, but didn't get far before his arm came into her way. "You can't go in there, little girl. You're too young." The doorman looked past the girl to the thing standing behind her. Larva raised his boney hand and put it on the doorman's shoulder. He suddenly became a great deal more nervous. "O-OK, as long as he stays with you." He stepped well out of the way of their path.
Himiko heard the crowd become quiet. She look up to see why. Miyu and Larva where coming towards them. Himiko was overjoyed to see Miyu, but took pains hide this. She allowed Miyu to walk right up to her then she asked her, "Can you help him?"
"Remove these people," was Miyu's only answer.
Himiko started yell at people to get them out. Most people cooperated, but one person complained, "Hey, he needs a doctor not some girl and a some costumed nut." Other people pushed him out.
The things that happen next helped clear to room quickly. Miyu stood back from the dying man and with a sweeping movement of her hand destroyed the many glasses and bottles for the bar, as well as the shelves that held them, leaving the fine mahogany wall empty. She yelled, "You will return to the Dark, Shinma, Cadenza!" The Shinma's name appeared, written in flame, on the newly cleared wall. Screaming out of the man body, Cadenza flew to the top of the room.
"Do you think you can stop me that easily, Vampire-Princess, Miyu?" said Cadenza, mocking Miyu's tone of voice. The Shinma looked up at the chandelier that was above Miyu and watched it as it suddenly gave way. Larva quickly flew up to push it out of the way so that it wouldn't hit Miyu, but it instead landed on the victim of Cadenza's. Himiko's scream from the side of the room was drowned out by the smashing of the glass.
Miyu ignored all of it. She created a flame and leaped at the Shinma. At the peak of her jump she met up with Cadenza and cast the fire ball into him, igniting him. She gracefully landed, turned and called out, "Shinma, return to the Dark!" A brilliant porthole appear below the burning Shinma leaving him no choice but to seal himself away.
Once everything returned to normal Himiko ran across the room to the dying man. She brushed away most of the glass, cutting her hand and arm in the process. She checked the man's pulse, but she could just barely detect it. She saw no evidence of breathing. Himiko didn't think he had a chance, until she realized...
"Miyu!" Himiko spun around to face her, "You must save him!"
"I shall not."
"Why! You said you could have saved that little girl who was possessed by that vampire. Why can't you save him?"
"When that girl surrendered herself to the Shinma she excepted a dream world. I would have given her that same dream world. This man has not expressed such as wish."
"But... Isn't there anything you can do?" Himiko pleaded.
"Once a human surrenders their soul to a Shinma nothing can be done, Himiko." This statement really struck Himiko. It was as if she wasn't talking about the dying man. She seem to be saying it her... but when she looked up, Miyu and Larva where gone.
If this story contains situation that would never happen in Japan, I apologize. I know little of Japanese culture, and most of what I do know I have applied to this, like the popularity of Anne of Green Gables. I have also given all the minor characters English names, because I'd be far likely to make a fool of myself if I tried to guess at reasonable Japanese name by stealing them from the credits of Final Fantasy III. This story is written by and for North Americans, so, while I won't impress anyone with my knowledge of Japan, I'll be less likely to confuse people.
I'd like to thank Guy Lefleur for his help with this story. The
UMJAFC (I think that long enough) for showing me the anime beyond the
Samurai Pizza Cats. AnimEigo,
for doing a excellent sub of an
excellent show. Of course, Narumi Kakinouchi and Toshihiro Hirano,
for creating the most chillingly charming vampire girl on a page or in
a video anywhere. Lastly, Christian Gadeken for the previous sentence
and the model for my author's note.
If you criticism don't make me cry you should expect a series of
these. The next one I've planned doesn't have a title yet, but cats
will play a big part in it.
If you got this from a zip file, particularly if you got it from
This is version 1.1 of this story, no changes have been to the story but the formatting has been changed a little. The story about cats is all but finished. It's called Cat-Nip. Himiko finds a Shinma that turns people into cats and this time Miyu isn't at hand dealing with it.
then it may contain formatting codes
for use with OS/2 Enhanced Editor. These code will be ignored by any
other Editor and file viewer and will not even be extracted from the
zip file with other operating systems.
If you criticism don't make me cry you should expect a series of these. The next one I've planned doesn't have a title yet, but cats will play a big part in it.
If you got this from a zip file, particularly if you got it from