Looks like we think alike! I wonder if it will continue once we get further into the story. @sakura_drop_:
Wow, that is one long comment you have about the last update, lol. I must thank you for breaking down into the nitty gritty part of the update to share your perspective on what goes on so far. You have some interesting theories and speculations as to what the premise is trying to hint at. In regard to the delusions, anything is possible. However, I've reread the past three posts I have made with this series and realize that it might be a little too hard to define what might occur and what might not. I've taken it into consideration and made it a bit easier to digest and narrow down the options on what needs to be focused on. (Thanks for it.)
Mayu's memories, huh. Might sound like an obvious clue, but I'm glad you brought that up. It could be a fragment of her memory, or could it be something else...? @bunny_rabbit:
You don't even know why, lol!? You've surprised me yet again as to what comes out of your writing skills! I'm certain you'll enjoy their development once their roles are integrated into the story. You also brought up some good theories and speculations as to what might occur with the characters, especially with Yuki and Rena. I won't say you're right or wrong, but perhaps it wouldn't be inappropriate for me to say that your remark is hitting close to certain themes. (It terrifies me slightly, lol!) It isn't wrong for you and Saku to be weary about Rena and Jurina. Heck, even Yuki and Mayu themselves are already suspicious enough on their own if you take their actions into consideration.
I'm grateful to have this series updated once again. It's receiving a much better fate than my other work, in which one chapter will probably take a year or two to manage.
hopefully Disappearance S2 will resume its activity after this series
Anyhow, hope you all enjoy this update. I will say for certain that things are going to get really spiced up from here on out. Expect to see key supporting casts enter the fray after this chapter. They will play a vital role that means more than just standing around as an informative NPC from a game.
Thank you very much for supporting this! Comments, criticisms, and/or a single glance at the title are appreciated.
[Chapter 3]None of her senses were actively functioning.
Touch, taste, sound, smell, and sight. All five were put out. Only darkness exist to have Watanabe Mayu believe she doesn’t exist in this world. Consciousness coexist with existence. Without existence, consciousness would not exist.
That is, until her nose managed to catch a whiff of something. It was foreign in an environment that has surrounded the female. Yet at the same time, it was a key component to awakening one of her five senses. Consciousness began to trickle back into her figure. A soundless ground left her partially parted lips as the university student eventually focused all of her energy to her sense of smell.
Something smells like eggs.
Her sense of touch and taste returned as a bit of saliva wetted her dry lips, the aroma of freshly cooked eggs awakening the desire for nutrients. The woman’s fingers curled inward, digging into an unbreakable soft material that too rested against the side of her face. Something smells… burnt.
Her sense of hearing made its comeback as she heard a loud bang from afar. Someone made a loud grunt. A tone filled with irritation were made, but none of the spoken words were digested by her brain. Mayu scrunched her eyebrows, and attempted to bury her entire face into the soft material. Both the noise and the bitter odor combined created nothing more than distaste.
Something sounds like the door has closed.
It was then, at that point, all five of her senses began their operation. Watanabe’s eyelids were slowly raised. At first, she was met with a blurry sight. Colors of white blanketed her entire vision. Raising her head, different hues were incorporated into the scene. Both of her eyes squinted, blinking a few times in silence. Soon, it dawned upon Mayu that she was resting on a bed. Stomach laid flat on the same-colored mattress, her arms went to work and allowed the palm of her hands to push her body up into a sitting position.
Right, this is a studio room. On the bed, the young Computer Science student noticed that the glass wall nearby had its curtain slid open for a full view of Shibuya. Daylight came pouring into the premise. Given the clue by its outdoor weather and the sun’s position, the morning has arrived. Coming to this conclusion forced Mayu to get out of bed. She scooted herself to the edge of the twin-sized furniture, arms stretched above her head as a loud yawn escaped from her wide open mouth.
In a single motion, she got off and is now standing on her two feet. Bare feet resting against the warm wooden floorings, her brown eyes fell upon the couch. There were traces of someone having slept here. A disheveled sky blue blanket was seemingly tossed on the left half of the furniture as a lone pillow remained in place on the opposite end. Mayu let out a soft exhale. ’Huh. Jurina slept on the couch…’
The young Matsui seems to be a nice classmate. For her to let the older female sleep on the bed as she stayed on the couch… Usually it would be the other way. How ironic considering the fact that Jurina is younger than her. A senpai should’ve been the one resting on the couch, not the opposite. It didn’t help her cause that the pajama she’s wearing is from Jurina’s wardrobe. (Luckily, the t-shirt and sweatpants fit just right.) The least she could do is prepare herself for a sleepover.
Mayu pressed her forehead with the palm of her hand, gathering some of her memories about last night. She stayed over with Jurina, and she felt like there was something important they had discussed. What was it though?1
Mayu can’t put her finger to it. It was certainly crucial, but her brain decided not to acknowledge it.
Both of her eyebrows furrowed as she walked over to the only bathroom located in this studio. The harder she thought, the more she was beginning to forget what it was about. Thus, after ten minutes of brushing her teeth and washing her face, Watanabe concluded that it was better left alone.
When she exited the bathroom, feeling refreshed, she next approached the dining table.
All of the annoying smell and sound from earlier were produced from this very location. Eyes scanning the area, on the center of the wooden table fit for four seaters was a small plate of food. Two eggs and a single piece of toast accompanied by metal utensils and a written note by the plate. Mayu picked it up and skimmed through the content. To Mayu,
I made you breakfast! Sorry it isn’t much. I realized that I don’t have enough ingredients to make anything more than eggs and toasts.
I burnt two of the four slice of breads. Sorry about that.
If you’re wondering where I am, I’m out shopping to restock my refrigerator. When I come back, let’s hang out and buy some lunch!
Here’s my number if you need to contact me.
She lowered the paper and glanced over at the modest dish. So Jurina made it… It’s no wonder why her nose and ears captured the morning action in the kitchen. And considering the amount of time she spent just getting up from bed and cleaning herself, the food must’ve cooled down drastically. Either way, it’s the thoughts that count.
The note placed back on the dining table’s surface, Mayu seated herself, snagged a fork, and was about to dig into her meal till she felt her heart race
. At first, she tried to ignore it. A racing heart? Could she be nervous about the meal’s taste? Maybe she was thinking the toast presented before her was one of the two that were burnt. However, that shouldn’t be enough to cause her strongest organ to slam against her chest.
Then, it hit her. Why was she even here in the first place? There wasn’t any reason to come over to the young Matsui’s home. After all, they’ve only met each other yesterday in school. It was strange that they’re almost as close as best friends in this manner. What exactly happened last night?
Mayu clenched her jaw, the loose grip on her fork causing it to slip through her fingers and loudly clatter against the wooden furniture. Bits and bits of her memory bank were leaking out of its invisible barrier. She remembers being terrified and having Jurina assist her… or was she? The student wasn’t sure of what caused her to violently react in that fashion. Could it have been someone or something dangerous? There’s also the possibility that Jurina is the dangerous one. She might’ve manipulated the situation and persuaded the older female to her place.
Once that potential scenario crossed her mind, the ponytailed female suddenly stood up from her seat.
She has to get out of here. There’s no point in staying cooped up till the other student returns. Who knows what might happen. Mayu soon rushed towards the front entrance. Without a care about her attire, she rapidly put on her socks and shoes, and, with trembling hands, unlocked the door.
There’s no time to waste. Lingering around here isn’t going to do her any good. If Jurina wasn’t as bad of a person as she had thought… Then she’ll apologize to the young girl. Otherwise, she’s made the right decision.
Leaving the building in a t-shirt that advertised an idol group and black sweatpants was the least of her worries. Even if the residents and staffs suspiciously eyed or spared pitiful glances at her direction, Watanabe just wanted to go back to her apartment.
The walking pace sped up at an interval of one minute. High volumes of pedestrians surrounded the young woman, which gave her a slight sense of relief. More people meant less chance of being placed in any danger. Yet another flashback interrupted that sensation. It wasn’t about imagery. It was as if her instincts realized that this situation was even worse than in Jurina’s room.
The 20-year-old female respiratory rate increased at a dangerously fast pace.
Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.
She was breathing so fast that her mind began to go numb, the quivering growing even more uncontrollable, noise level squished into unbearability, and consciousness becoming a blur. Mayu wanted to squat down, cower, and screech for help. Yet she can’t do that. Her mind’s voice rang in her head. It rang that it wasn’t the wisest action to conduct. Her best bet was to return home. There and only there will she feel safe.
It was a difficult transition. Both of her arms hugging her own frail figure, the young woman hurried onward in the bustling crowd. Everything moved as if she was the only slowpoke around. No matter how fast she moved her legs, everyone moved faster than her. Beads of sweat ran down the side of her face, the warm weather not the sole cause of her glands activation. Mayu wildly glanced over her shoulder at an interval of three seconds, constantly smacking and bumping into nearby civilians by accident.
Fifteen minutes felt like agonizing hours to the student. The crowds that surrounded her eventually dissipated into nothing the further she traveled. A quieter atmosphere hung in the air, yet the discomfort clung to the woman’s skin like a leech. This is the hardest part. In between the busy streets of Shibuya and the peaceful haven of her apartment, anything could happen. It would not be much of a surprise if Watanabe got mugged right here and now.
Fingertips dug into her exposed arms, the hunchback female desperately swallowed the potential bile that crept into her throat as she shuffled to her home, waves of nausea coming stronger the more time passed by.
By the time she’s arrived to the front of her apartment, her entire figure could barely keep standing. On the third outdoor floor of the five-story apartment complex, the black door representing one of the two rooms on the same level marked her numbered address. She wheezed and tried to prevent hyperventilation from occurring. ’I-I just need the keys.’Mayu stuck her hand into her pant’s pocket… only to remember that she wasn’t wearing her clothes.
T-shirt and sweatpants belonging to another owner, her eyes widen.
“No…” she hoarsely whispered. Her belongings were all left behind in Jurina’s home. How did she let this happen? Backing away from the wooden barrier that stood between the outside and inside setting, her hands frantically roamed her entire body in a vain attempt. “No… no no no no!”
With no access, the university student unstable state intensified. A bead of sweat ran down the side of her face as the Computer Science major turned around. Where could she go? She can’t return to Jurina. God forbids what might unravel if the young woman takes a step back into the building. But if she can’t unlock her own apartment’s entry, should she just coop out at a busy intersection or public premise? Considering her earlier violent reaction, that wouldn’t be a wise choice. Besides, she--
A chill ran down her spine, the hair on Mayu’s neck abruptly standing up. Another nauseating wave, much heavier than before, overwhelmed her gastrointestinal tract. She almost felt the acidity climb back up to her mouth. Almost. Instead, a dry heave came from the ponytailed female as her consciousness nearly wavered. Left hand grasping ahold of the metal railings, Mayu made an effort to straighten her back upon regaining control of her lurching stomach.
Then, she looked towards ground level. **No one was seen. However, a shadow from the nearby trees was spotted.
Although one could easily brush it off, it looks like someone might be watching her.Someone? Watching… her?
All of the bells rang in the girl’s head, a weak scream slipping past her quivering lips. Mayu’s entire posture nearly collapsed into a clump at the sight. Someone was down there and she needed to get out of here. Going back down is like committing suicide. Mayu would come into direct contact with the mysterious individual. If she is lucky, she might get away from them, If she wasn’t, only trouble would greet her with a smile. Heart racing, Mayu decided there was only one way to be free.**
Instincts kicked into her system. Not a single manual control were made as the Japanese student rapidly, but clumsily, ran up the stairs. Her shoulders smashed against the metal railings and concrete walls as she escalated, wincing with every contact. The pain was nothing thanks to adrenaline pumping as much energy as possible into the frail body.
Up and up she went till the rooftop was stumbled upon. She slowed her pace and stopped at the middle of the area.
A wave of fresh air only found from above ground welcomed the Asian. Other than a few supplies from the janitor left abandoned on the side, it was all clear. Not a single person was to be seen. Mayu was breathing fast, brain unable to hastily register the logical point of being in a pure state of terror. Immediately acknowledging that she’ll be safer here, she let out a weary sigh and nearly slumped down to her knees.
Eyelids lowered, she allowed the rest of the epinephrine that coursed throughout body parts. All of the sweats that leaked out of her pores dripped down to her chin. Droplets splat on the grey ground, evaporated instantly due to the intense sunrays. Everything is going to be fine now.
**”I was looking for you.”
A male’s voice. Mayu’s eyelids snapped open. Then, she gasped.
Black suit, sunglasses, faint wrinkles featured on his skin, mature aura emitted from his figure, and the golden badge clipped on his right breast pocket... HAA. It was him. Him out of all people. Mayu took a step back, arms raised as her gaze were fixated on the agency’s member. The man stood near the metallic railings. An umbrella in one hand, his other grabbed ahold of a weapon. Its metallic features and structural shape was difficult to not comprehend what it was. Lower arm raised till the limb made a perfect 90 degree angle, the tip of the revolver was aimed at Watanabe’s direction. His index finger at the trigger, the old man gently smiled at her.“I’ll end your pain.”2It was the same exact sequencing as her dream, it’s almost laughable.
The amount of stress that accumulated since she left Jurina’s room is enough to make her veins burst from the insane high blood pressure. Trembling hands slowly tightening into fists, Mayu decided that it was best to…**
Shibuya is a bustling premise. The number of pedestrians could rival those from Akihabara. What makes a contrast between the areas are the types of civilians that live within the city. Fashion lines, the nightlife, and music played an integral part of Shibuya’s development. Saturday morning, Kashiwagi Yuki and Matsui Rena didn’t hesitate to leave their dorm for a visit into the busiest part of the area.
Takeshita Street is one of the many places where both tourists and civilians alike wander about. A shopping block that gives literally no room for any personal bubble whatsoever. Yuki’s expression soured by the close proximity from multiple strangers that surround her figure as she trailed after Rena. Combined with the heat of the late morning sun and sweaty people brushing by, this entire experience is close to being unbearable. However, there are **possible clues in this area.
After all, the discussion with the older Matsui from last night narrowed down the possible settings where the crime would take place.**
A total of five females, all between the age of 18 and 25 went missing. **Four out of five of them went missing here in this area. Although it’s one of the busiest parts of Japan, it doesn’t mean that kidnappers couldn’t get away with their attempts.** It was, however, a bit strange to see the other student groan about coming to this place. Didn’t they discuss and agree about it anyway?
“How much longer are we going to get there?” Yuki asked as they continued onward. “I don’t really like being in these kind of places for too long.”
“Why are you asking me that?” Rena loudly proclaimed from the front. “You told me that if we came here, we’ll find something!”
A loud groan came from Yuki’s direction. This is contradictory. Anyhow, they were here, and her dormmate was half right about that statement. The Asian did initiate the idea that they should stop by Takeshita Street first.
It took them almost ten minutes to cross from one end of the street to the other. Their brown eyes scanned the premise in hopes of picking out anything suspicious or abnormal. So far, there hasn’t been anything. Breaking out of the massive crowd, the older Matsui wiped her forehead and glanced over at her friend. She shrugged her shoulders and shook her head.
“I haven’t found anything. Have you?”
No response came from Yuki. Instead, she was focusing her attention onto a nearby shop at the corner of the street. When Rena followed the other woman’s gaze, she found absolutely nothing in their interest. A bakery that sold all kinds of sweets and breads. Though the sight of it did make her stomach rumble a bit for her craving of some melon bread… Nothing pertaining to the rumored disappearances blown up by the media were hinted to be in or on the business. Both hands resting on her hip, she let out a loud sigh.
“Look, let’s just grab some melon bread, okay? Not sure why you took the rumors I told you so seriously last night…
but at least it’s confirmed that there’s nothing going on.”
Still no reply from Yuki. Not even a reaction. The 22-year-old female kept her vision aimed at the shop. Then, without warning, walked towards the building.
**There’s a clue. Certainly there is one! She knew it, there’s one hidden in the trash bin located right by the bakery. As the chef with his signature white hat walked inside his bakeshop, the young student approached the steel container. Most of the waste produced a sour smell predicted to derive from expired milk or sweets. That would’ve bothered the general public if they stayed anywhere near the disposal, but not to Kashiwagi. Her eyes fell upon a single piece of paper. Isolated from the other objects that were meant to be in the trash, she didn’t hesitate to reach out and snag it.
It’s clean in contrast to the dirtied products. White backgrounds and black prints fit for a business card. A single glance at the text held confirmation of her suspicion.
“HAA…” she mumbled. “I knew it.”
“Knew what?” Those words were spoken gently into Yuki’s left ear. Yuki’s heart increased its pacing as Rena wrapped her arms around the woman in an embrace. Chest pressed against her back, the older Matsui rested her chin on top of Kashiwagi’s shoulder, eyes staring at her face. “Did you find something important, Miss Detective~?”
“Of course I did.” Trying to ignore the seductive actions that were coming from her friend, she raised the card up to a level Rena could read. A symbol
was printed right behind the title “Human Advancement Agency”. It was accompanied by the contact information of the secretive agency with both its e-mail and phone number. Although there wasn’t a name to showcase who it originally belonged to, this much information is enough to prove its existence. She knew that symbol all too well.
“This is it! This is something that will help us move onward to discovering their existence. I knew they were the ones that did the kidnapping.”
Finally! Now she can determine and finalize the organization’s presence in this world. By giving them a call, that should confirm it. How easy! Then, and only then will the scientific woman be able to… to what? Stop the kidnapping? But she’s only thought of that last night. Surely there must be another reason as to why she seeks them out so much.
Thinking about it… There is actually something she could do with this information. Watanabe Mayu had known her for one year and vice versa. Hallucinations frequently appears with the young girl, and Yuki’s known about it since the day they’ve met. Lab…
Yuki tightened her fingers’ grip on the sturdy material. Those flashbacks... Yes, she remembers. She remembers there’s a reason as to why she needed to search for them. Not only did she need to acknowledge them, but to make the connection with Mayu and herself. Only she retained information as to what happened with the organization, and needed valid evidences to prove that they exist.
Otherwise, she might be written off as a patient fit for the mental ward.
A giggle came from Rena’s direction. Lowering her head, she closed her eyes and nuzzled against the bare parts of Yuki’s left shoulder. The gentle, yet ticklish, sensation of the woman’s nose brushed against the smooth skin. Every exhale that came from her nostrils sent bits and bits of pleasure crawling underneath her exterior. A shudder soon ran down Kashiwagi’s spine as she attempted to get a good look at her sly friend.
The older Matsui slowly reopened her eyes. She separated her figure from the other’s. Then, once Yuki turned around to face the female, Rena leaned forward to plant a smooch on her lips. Unlike the ones they did yesterday, this was brief. Maybe a little too short since the STEM student secretly yearned for something more. Yet she kept her external self poise despite the romantic confrontation. A hand stretched out to soothe Kashiwagi’s cheek. Taking a good look at the young woman, her sweet tone uttered, “Oh, you silly girl~** I think you really need to get your eyes checked.
The raven-haired female blinked. She immediately saw the other student stand right behind her. Hands still on her hips, both of her eyebrows scrunched together at the sight of what was held in Yuki’s hand. Rena motioned her chin towards the card.
“Seriously. That’s a contact information from one of the architects for the bakery shop. They probably redid the exterior design of the shop.
She eyed the card again.
**No, Rena’s wrong. Only a fool would mistaken the strange feather-like symbol to be from an architect.
Right there, the contact information listed that it was from the Human Advancement Agency. The person that needs to get their eyes checked is Matsui Rena. A scowl was scribbled all over Yuki’s facial features as she deposited the card inside of her pant’s pocket.
“I’ll keep it anyway…”**
Object now pocketed, Yuki pointed her thumb towards the shop they’re standing in front of. “You said you wanted to get some of those melon breads?”
The older Matsui raised an eyebrow. Eventually, she loosened her tensed shoulders and hung her head. “Yeah… Let’s go get some.”
Then, they entered into the building. Half an hour was well spent in the bakery. By the time they popped back out into the busy street of Takeshita, the two were each holding a paper bag, assortments of breads and cookies to their own taste buried in the container. Both females were grinning from ear to ear at the pick. Anything that pertained to the HAA was momentarily forgotten in this blissful moment.
“I can’t wait to eat some of this~” Rena hummed as she stuck a hand in the bag. Upon retraction, a melon bread came into view. Her eyes sparkled at the sight, almost as if she received a gift from God Himself. “One bite wouldn’t hurt~”
Yuki couldn’t say anything. Or rather, she chose not to utter a word about the manner, blankly watching her friend munch on one of the baked goods. Compared to the usual poise composure that emits from Rena… This is extremely out of character for the Biology student. Is she secretly a glutton? A glance at the woman’s figure spelled the opposite of what she was witnessing. How in the world is this Matsui fit? And wait-- She’s done with the bread already!? Rena’s taking out another one!? The corner of Kashiwagi’s lips twitched as she saw the second melon bread being consumed. If only this Japanese female could share the secret to retaining a lean figure… maybe she wouldn’t have to be so strict about her own diet plan. An exhale came from Yuki’s direction as she motioned towards the outer district.
“Rena… You should hold off on the eating and wait till we return to our dorm.”
“Or maybe to a park.”
A nod. “Today’s Saturday, Yukirin. We shouldn’t be cooped up inside our dorm for the weekend…”
“Coming from someone who likes to read books and doesn’t like to go outside often? How ironic.”
“Hey, I like to have some fresh air too, you know. Don’t judge a book by its cover-- AH!?”
Sirens startled the university students that were still standing in front of the bakeshop. Their brown eyes diverted to its source, they widen their eyes as a man was pinned down on the ground by two cops. One of them is barking orders into his communication device as another forcefully handcuffed the struggling individual. Police vehicles blaring their red lights as news reporters shuffled onto the scene. It was all happening too fast for the transition. One moment it was beginning to brighten up, the next resulted in a potential criminal planted on the concrete ground with enforcement on top of his body.
“Looks like we need to get out of here before it gets any worse,” Yuki muttered as she took ahold of her friend’s hand.
Without thinking twice about what the other might say, she dragged her along and out of the premise. There was no need to linger around any longer than needed. Besides, a large crowd from the unbearably clumped street full of pedestrians were beginning to move towards the scene of the arrest. Last thing Kashiwagi desired is to be stuck in the middle of it all.
They hurried off to another destination, and successfully made it. Now, behind the scene in the loud commotion, a young lady held up the microphone and stared straight into the lens of the camera. Make-up artists quickly making their last adjustments on her blonde hair, the reporter cleared her throat. “Here we have the abductor of the five females, all who range between the age of 18 and 25, from Shibuya. Police has caught him thanks to the help of the forensic team deducing the identity of the culprit. A man in his mid-20s who works at the supermarket, no one knows why he kidnapped them. However, the five females were recently rescued and released from their imprisonment from the man’s home a block away from Takeshita Street. They have not been harmed and will be receiving emergency medical treatment if necessary. Now back to the newscasters.”
“And… we’re off the line!”
The stiff stance eased into relaxation as the business attired lady lowered the microphone. She spared a glance at the hectic setting. “It looks like he won’t be causing any more problem now…”
Mayu really can't remembered what happened last night. There is a correlation to the previous chapters about this if you reread certain segments. 2
The terminology of "pain" has been brought up again. What could this mean?