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Author Topic: [ALL48+46] Shinigami Playground (NagiUha+Various) [CH.04]  (Read 4547 times)

Offline Ruka Kikuchi

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Re: [ALL48+46] Shinigami Playground (NagiUha+Various) [CH.02]
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2017, 12:04:58 AM »
I love that image of Ryouha waking up and seeing Nagisa in front of her. XD

I hope Rion and Nao are alright. I'm starting to think Rion knows something about the game.

And two new characters?! Oooooh I wonder who they are! ^_^

Awesome, awesome! Can't wait for next chapter~

Offline MaYukiIsLife

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Re: [ALL48+46] Shinigami Playground (NagiUha+Various) [CH.02]
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2017, 06:34:15 AM »
I love that image of Ryouha waking up and seeing Nagisa in front of her. XD

I hope Rion and Nao are alright. I'm starting to think Rion knows something about the game.

And two new characters?! Oooooh I wonder who they are! ^_^

Awesome, awesome! Can't wait for next chapter~

To be honest I dont think it's just Rion who knows something. I think both Kanon and Nao know something but I think it's just me. If Rion is in on it,  then Nao must be too. Heck I wouldnt be surprised if Nao was Rions Shinigami.

If those two are missing then I hope NagiUha can find them. I still want Furumarion!

Offline Rena-chan Daisuki

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Re: [ALL48+46] Shinigami Playground (NagiUha+Various) [CH.02]
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2017, 02:08:49 PM »
DAMN!!!! You finally post chapt 2 and i don't realize it~
well i'm going to read it later~
'cause i'm gonna watch Koe no Katachi First :yossi:

Offline Rena-chan Daisuki

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Re: [ALL48+46] Shinigami Playground (NagiUha+Various) [CH.02]
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2017, 02:50:59 PM »
well in the end i finally finished reading this, 'cause koe no katachi haven't aired yet
It's good and the servant or should i say the right hand man is coming!!!
can't wait to see the next detail~ :cow:

Offline jubethehare

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Re: [ALL48+46] Shinigami Playground (NagiUha+Various) [CH.02]
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2017, 08:11:55 AM »
Thanks for reading chapter 2~ And sorry for the late response, been busy lately haha...

I hope Rion and Nao are alright. I'm starting to think Rion knows something about the game.

And two new characters?! Oooooh I wonder who they are! ^_^


Well~~ We'll see about that~

To be honest I dont think it's just Rion who knows something.
If those two are missing then I hope NagiUha can find them. I still want Furumarion!

Oh, don't worry. They'll be back. Eventually... 

well in the end i finally finished reading this, 'cause koe no katachi haven't aired yet
It's good and the servant or should i say the right hand man is coming!!!
can't wait to see the next detail~ :cow:

Damn, I wanna watch Koe no Katachi----!!!!  They didn't air the movie at my place y'know...
The right hand men-- *shot for spoiler* We'll see what happen when they enter the fray...:kekeke:

Offline jubethehare

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Re: [ALL48+46] Shinigami Playground (NagiUha+Various) [CH.03]
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2017, 04:15:20 PM »
Hello and welcome back to Shinigami Playground! Here's chapter 3.  8)

Actually I've written this for a while now but I haven't got the time to draw the pictures, ha ha.
Enjoy~



Shinigami Playground
Chapter 03: Uso Happyaku ~Liar Liar Pants on Fire
__________________________________________________________


The whole class was silent when she entered. Nearly silent.
   
And even without raising her head, Ryouha knew that everyone was staring at her.

If it was the usual her she would've decided to skip school all together rather than being thrown into this nerve-wrecking situation but right now she couldn't care. Or to be precise, she didn't even have enough energy to feel embarrassed anymore. She simply closed the classroom door behind her and walked toward her seat, planting her face to her bag as she put it down on her desk, her arms hanging limply beside her. Soon the idle chatters returned to the room and Ryouha sighed. A long deep tired sigh.

“Err...”

“Don't ask.”

She mumbled the words quickly as she heard Chikako's voice.

“Just... don't ask...”

“Oookay?”

She heard the footsteps stopped beside her desk before another one approached. She could already guess who it was.

“So? You overslept again today and wear your gym clothes in mistake?”

“Sheesh!”

Chikako gave Kanon a quick elbow to her arm, and Ryouha let out another sigh.

“No. Some idiot spilled their food all over my spare uniforms, so I only have my school jersey left...”

“You really have a bad luck lately, Ryouha-tan.”

Bad luck? Bad luck?? Ryouha raised her face and gave Kanon a blank stare, before planting it back to her bag.

I rather have a year worth of bad luck than dealing with 'her'...


:.A few hours earlier—
 

“Okay. Calm down.”

Nagisa blurted out as she raised her hands, eyes locked on the enraged girl before her.

“Just calm down. Whatever yer thinking, it's nothing like that—woaah!”

She crouched, barely dodging the alarm clock that flew toward her face. The clock hit the closet door behind her in a huge 'clank' before falling into the pile of many other things scattered around her feet. It was almost an amazing sight, as if a storm just hit the room and swept all of the furniture to one side with the shinigami standing in the middle of it.

What's not like that!?

Ryouha seethed in fury as she gripped her blanket over her chest and clenched her fist. Even without the shout escaping her mouth it was clear that she was more than angry. Nagisa quickly stood and raised her hands again.

“Listen, I was just changing you out of yer school uniform! Stop throwing things like yer about to kill me~”

Oh, why wouldn't she? The first thing she saw as she woke up that day was the shinigami towering above her and unbuttoning her shirt. It's only natural that her reaction would be kicking the girl off and throwing everything at her in hope of killing her, if possible.

“Okay. I get it. I'm sorry.” Nagisa said in a slow careful manner. “I know it's my fault that yer uniform is covered with impure mud. I went overboard with the extermination last night.”

“...”

“I've reflected on that and I just wanted to make you feel more comfortable. I didn't do anything else. Besides there's nothing much to see anyway, ha ha—

SMACK!

Nagisa fell head first, the table lamp smacked to her face.

I wonder if mom wrote anything about a way to repel shinigami...

Ryouha huffed and walked toward her closet, ignoring the death god that was rolling and whimpering in pain on the floor. She took her alarm clock on the way, a bit disappointed to find it still functioning.

It's already noon again. Too bad she didn't have a choice to skip school today; she already did yesterday and if she did it on a row that would only make everyone worried. And there's also this shameless god in her house. She shot the said god a quick glare, before searching around her row of clothes. Great, and now she's running out of spare uniforms. Should she use the summer ones? No. It's still cold outside so she couldn't possibly wear them. That left her with one choice. She took the red school jersey on the far end of the closet, bringing it with her to the bathroom. She also made sure to lock the bathroom door afterwards. Two times.

Ryouha sighed, slipping out of her uniform and checking her body over the mirror. There's no apparent wounds and she couldn't feel pain on any part of her body save for the dulling headache. She needed a shower though, at least to wash away the remaining mud. That, and she needed the time to calm herself and put everything in order. The girl let out her breath and turned on the shower.

Everything that had happened until now was real.

Shinigami Playground.

A game conducted to stop the world from ending.

Ayakashi, death god, impurities, magatoki. 

She still didn't know much but she had no way to deny them anymore. Nor that she could run away from them.

Ryouha clenched her fist against the wall, feeling the warm water hit her skin and silently trickled down her body.

“...then so be it.”

If she couldn't run then she'd hide. If she couldn't hide then she'd crawl through the mud. She's not crazy enough to face those monsters head on. She didn't need to. Her only objective was to survive. Survive and keep on living until the end of this game, so that she could return to her normal life. Yes. She'd make it clear for that good-for-nothing shinigami. That's all there is to it. She turned off the faucet and dried off her hair, changing into her school jersey. She took another deep breath and opened the door, but as soon as she saw what was behind it her resolve instantly went down the drain.

“Welcome back~”

Ryouha froze. A giant circle was scribbled on her bedroom floor, a circle adorned with ancient patterns she didn't know with a small paper doll about the size of her fist lying in the middle. She slowly switched her gaze to the only possible culprit.

“Wait, before you throw anything let me clarify one thing; I didn't use permanent marker.”

“Then clean. This. Up.”

“That's why I said wait~ Remember about Koko-chan?”

Ryouha narrowed her eyes. She thought she heard that name before. Ah, yes. Someone who Nagisa gave her medicine to. She wondered why the shinigami suddenly brought up that topic, and seeing her big smile only added her unease.

“Aww, don't give me that look~ Koko-chan said she's finished analyzing the contents of yer dru—medicine so I'm calling her over.”

“...calling her over?”

“Yep. I prefer if she just talk through the phone but she said she want to meet you in person.”

Ryouha gave the shinigami another suspicious look. What does she mean by that? And what does it have to do with the strange circle? Nagisa didn't seem to care though. The girl simply stood and rubbed her hands in anticipation.

“Alright. Hope I still remember the chant.”

The shinigami extended her arms. She opened her palms and stretched out her fingers, keeping only her thumbs and forefingers touching each other to make a simple triangle.


   “ On chirichi iba rotaya sowaka... ”


The drawing on the floor lit up from the chant and Ryouha took a step back. She had a bad feeling about this.


   “ O’ spirit that dwells among the unseen, heed my call


   your root shall be [earth];
                          kokoro
   your purpose shall be [mind]


   come forth and serve my will—!”


Ryouha flinched, raising her right hand to block the roaring wind and the light that suddenly engulfed the room.


“!!?!?!”







POOF!





The unnatural forces slowly dissipated and between them stood a paper doll. The exact same doll from before. The only difference was that the doll was standing on its two feet, and slowly, the doll started to move. It flexed its thin paper limbs for a while, as if studying itself, before turning its empty face toward Nagisa.

“What?”

The paper doll hung its head, as if in disappointment, before turning to Nagisa once again. 

“It's okay, Nagi-chan. At least I can move the paper doll after you summon me this time.”

“Stop, don't pity me~! I know I suck at summoning shiki, okay I know!”

The shinigami fell to her knees in a dramatic manner, and the small doll patted her arm in condolence.

What...is going on? And did the paper doll just...talk?

Ryouha stared at the scene silently, trying to process whatever sorcery that had occurred once again in her room, before she wildly shook her head.

No. I don't have time to deal with her absurdity this time.

She held her breath and carefully tiptoed around the two, trying to stay clear from their field of vision as she retrieved her school bag from her desk, but it was too late.

“Are you Nagi-chan's divine vessel?”

Ugh...

Ryouha stopped, one hand reaching for her bag and the other stretched behind her to keep her balance. She let out the breath she was holding, before turning to face the doll.

“...yes. My name is Kitagawa Ryouha.”

“I see.”

The doll suddenly turned silent. Its blank face locked at her without moving, as if studying her, and Ryouha started to feel uncomfortable.

“Oh, I'm sorry for staring. I was worried what kind of person Nagi-chan chose as her divine vessel but you seem to be a good person.”

“Now what do you mean by that?”

The doll ignored Nagisa's protest and bowed.
                                                                                                                                                                         
“Nice to meet you, Kitagawa-san. My name is Naiki Kokoro; one of the shikigami serving [Byakko] clan."

“...nice to meet you too.”

“Oh by the way,”

Nagisa chimed, patting the doll head with her finger.

“Koko-chan's an ayakashi, y'know.”

“!?”

Ryouha stumbled back as she recognized the word, almost tripping on her own feet, and Nagisa laughed from the reaction.

“Hey, chill out~ I just said that she's an ayakashi but she's not a bad ayakashi.”

Is that suppose to give me an assurance!?

Ryouha gave the death god a skeptical look, and the doll raised its head.

“Are you perhaps not familiar with the art of shiki?”

“I've... read about shikigami. But it's the first time I meet a real one.”

“Really? That's quite a surprise. Usually humans of Kakuriyo1 are well-versed in—”

“Aaaanyways!” Nagisa suddenly cut in.

“The medicine~~ Did you find out anything about it, Koko-chan?”

“Hm? Oh, right. But first I want to make sure about something. Kitagawa-san,”

The small doll turned its attention to Ryouha.

“Do you feel any changes in your body when you consume those pills? Something like a wave of drowsiness or even a small headache?”

“I...guess.”

“Then it's exactly as I thought.”

Kokoro nodded its little head.

Those pills are [Skull Mushroom2], a drug used to seal and suppress spiritual energy.”







Huh?

Ryouha gave the small doll a perplexed look, while Nagisa simply tilted her head.

“Question.” The shinigami raised her hand.

“What's spiritual energy?”

“Do I really have to explain from there, Nagi-chan?”

“Ya know I couldn't remember anything Jonishi-sensei said~”

“I expect no less...”

Kokoro sighed, but she answered the question anyway.

“Every being with a soul emits spiritual energy. Each of those energy have a unique frequency and pattern, thus explain how shinigami can only choose human of compatible wavelength as their vessel. The more energy a vessel emits the more they can contain shinigami power, while the more stable the resonance between their soul and their shinigami's the longer they can maintain that power. A stronger connection between their souls can also make it easier to materialize the power.

'There are ways to manipulate this energy and a certain level is needed for human to be able to perceive creatures of Kakuriyo. Of course there are also those born with natural talent, but either way specialist have created several methods to strengthen this energy and use it for other purposes.”

“Hee...”

“Do you really understand what I said?”

“O-of course~ So what's that gotta do with the drugs?”

“I'll make it simple for you. Imagine spiritual energy like a water balloon and shinigami power like the water. The bigger the balloon the more water it can store and if you keep the balloon steady it won't burst from the water's pressure and movement. What [Skull Mushroom] does is like poking a needle to that balloon.

'[Skull Mushroom] scatters one's wavelength thus making them unable to produce a decent spiritual energy, let alone forming a stable resonance. It meddles with one's natural state and if consumed for long will render them unable to perceive Kakuriyo. What's worse, if you force a shinigami possession in such state it might physically damage your vessel as well.”

“Got it. No more of that drugs for you, Ryou-chan.”

“Eh?”

Ryouha stared at the two with wide eyes, and Nagisa shook her finger.

“No, no, don't 'eh' me. I've decided so it's final.”

Wha—who are you to decide!? And don't just suddenly call me 'Ryou-chan' so casually!   

Her expression quickly reverted to another glare but the shinigami simply chuckled, unaware of the situation.

“But I'm still curious.” Kokoro continued.

“[Skull Mushroom] is not an easy thing to obtain. How did you manage to get them, Kitagawa-san?”

Ryouha blinked.

How? How did she get that thing? She's been consuming them since she was small and it's always been there in the cabinet, along with other basic medicines for cold and everything else. It's been so natural that she never paid any attention to it. Who put it there for her? Her mother? Her father? Someone else? Did they know what it actually is? In the first place, when was the first time she started consuming them? When exactly?

Ryouha averted her eyes, trying to search for any trace of it in her memories.

She couldn't remember. She just couldn't remember. Even if she tried to the only thing she could recall was the memories of that day; the day from her childhood when she's still living in Nagoya, the day when she saw that old man with his head stuck on a fiery wheel waiting by the front gate. She quickly dismissed the thought.

“...I don't know. I've consumed them for as long as I can remember, and there's always new ones in the cabinet whenever I need them.”

“I see.”

Kokoro ended her sentence quietly, sensing the girl's unease.

“Whoa, wait, wait. You've been drinking 'em daily yet you still manage to materialize my power?”

“Nagi-chan...”

The small doll scolded her, but the excited shinigami seemed oblivious to it.

“What? Ain't that means she got some amazing spiritual energy?”

“Well if you put it that way, it's actually true.”

“Awesome! I knew she has great potential~ Glad I searched around with Tamamo's eye—

“You what?”

Nagisa clamped her mouth shut instantly.

“Nagi-chan. Can you repeat what you just said?”

“Eeh, what do you mean? I didn't say anything~ Aha ha ha...”

The shinigami let out a strained laugh and looked away, and Kokoro switched her blank face to Ryouha.

“She... said something about Tamamo—

“RELEASE!”

Nagisa suddenly shouted and swung her hand down, smashing the doll and crumpling it on the floor. The room turned dead silent.

“Oh, look at the time~! Isn't it about time you go to school, Ryou-chan?”

The shinigami plainly said as she discarded the paper and stood, pushing Ryouha away from the scene. A big smile on her face.

“Don't worry about your room; I'll make sure to clean 'em up so just leave and have fun. See you this evening. Bye bye~”

And with that, the shinigami slammed the front door on the girl's face. Ryouha blinked and stared at the door in silence, before she put her key into the doorknob and locked the house from outside.


:.end of flashback


That stupid god... I bet she's hiding something...

Ryouha grumbled as she absentmindedly listened to the afternoon homeroom. She made sure to lock the girl inside as well today, but now she wondered if it was really a good choice; that shinigami seemed to always find a way to escape, and when she did there will be one or two things broken in her house. That thought only made her head hurt again and Ryouha slumped to her desk.

She's more suited to be called god of misfortune rather than god of death... That aside, should I install a burglar alarm to keep her away?

She mulled to herself as the class rep called the whole class to give a final bow before heaving herself back to her seat.

“See you next week, class! Oh, and Kitagawa.”

Hm?

Ryouha blinked. Did Miyazawa-sensei just call her? The girl switched her attention to her homeroom teacher standing by the door.

“Meet me at the teachers' room after this.”

“Y-yes. I...understand.”

“So stiff! Oh, and don't you dare running away or else sensei will chase you home.”

Ryouha didn't know how to respond to that. She only nodded awkwardly, watching as Sae smiled and disappeared behind the door, and her heart stopped.

“Oooh, looks who's being called by Sae-sensei~”

The girl flinched as she heard that, her face instantly turned beet red.

“S-s-so what?”

She stuttered, her eyes avoiding Kanon all the while as she clumsily tidied her belongings.

“I'm sure she just want to scold me for s-skipping school and wearing a wrong dress code.”

“You're holding your bag up-side down, Ryouha-tan.”

“I-I know about that!”

Ryouha yelled as quietly as she could, fixing her grip on her bag and giving Kanon a quick glare.

“Will ya be okay on yer own, Ryouha?”

Chikako said as she watched her flustered friend.

“I'd like to accompany you but me and Kanon have club today so...”

“O-of course I'll be okay. I AM okay. See?”

“Right...”

The kansai girl narrowed her eyes in worry and Kanon snickered.

“C'mon, we shouldn't interrupt Ryouha-tan's precious lovey-dovey time with Sae-sensei~ Let's go, let's go~”

The small girl pushed Chikako out of the class, and Ryouha stared at them with a mix of fear and disbelief. Was she really going to see Sae-sensei? On her own!? Ryouha clenched her face and shook her head, trying to keep herself together. No, she won't! There will be other people in the teacher's room. What was she even thinking, being all nervous. Sae-sensei probably just wanted to scold her for skipping school yesterday. The girl said it over and over to herself on her way to the teachers' room, trying to calm her racing heartbeat. She took a deep breath as she reached the door, and she carefully slid it open.

“Excuse me...”

“Oh, Kitagawa! Been waiting for you. Come in.”

Ryouha nodded and mouthed a small 'thank you', closing the door behind her before she walked toward Sae's desk, her eyes locked on the floor all the while.

“Now, Kitagawa, I know this might sound trivial but can I ask why you were late today? And why are you wearing the school's jersey?”

“I-I'm sorry, I...overslept. And something...'unexpected' happened so I ran out of spare uniforms...”

“Kitagawa...”

Sae sighed, and Ryouha felt like she wanted to crawl into a hole somewhere.

“I also heard that you briefly came to school yesterday before you suddenly left.”

“...”

“Did something happen? I've heard that your parents are not home most of the time because of their occupation so you can talk to me if you want. Are you being bullied by someone at school? What happened to your right hand?”

“No, sensei. I...”

Ryouha paused for a while, before she finally raised her face.

“I appreciate your concern Miyazawa-sensei, but I'm fine. I just have a bad conviction lately. And my hand... I fell and hurt myself on my way home. It's just a small scratch.”

“Are you sure? You can have medical leave if you need.”

“No, I'll be fine.”

She gave the woman a small smile, and Sae hesitantly smiled back.

“If you say so. But remember; if you need anything, sensei is here to help. You can go now.”

“Thank you. Please excuse me.”

Ryouha gave Sae a quick bow, before she left toward the door.

“Oh, and one more thing, Kitagawa.”

She halted, glancing at her homeroom teacher.

“Would you consider joining the track-n-field club?”







Eh?

Ryouha blinked, still trying to process the words, and Sae gave her a small laugh.

“You know, I heard you're not enrolled in any club and it's quite amazing how you can jump over the school gate with ease. I also know your sprint time is among the top in class.”

“...”

“I'm also the supervisor for track club so you can always find me any time if you need me. What do you say?”

“I...”

I'd really love to! At least that's what Ryouha wanted to say. But as soon as she saw the white bandage on her right hand, she quickly stopped herself.

“I'm sorry but I have to decline. I have something to attend after school so I can't really join any club.”

“Really? That's too bad. A part-time job?”

“...kind of.”

“Can't be helped then. Well, see you next monday, Kitagawa. And good luck with your part-time job.”

I'll really need that... Ryouha quietly thought as she mouthed out another 'thank you' and closed the door behind her. She sighed and put her back against the door, trying to straighten up her thoughts.

Sae-sensei was worried about her.

She also asked her to join her club. And said that she could talk to her whenever she want.

Sae-sensei...

Ryouha squirmed and slid down to her knees, covering her burning face with her hands as she smiled. She was so happy that her chest felt like bursting. Today is a good day. Now it's time to buy some burglar alarm and keep Nagisa away before she started ruining it. Ryouha leaped back to her feet and left the school corridor, barely keeping herself from skipping in joy. She felt her phone vibrated in her bag and she took it out. Another message from Shinigami Playground. Somehow she just couldn't care right now and she dismissed the notification. There are also some missed calls in her call history. She tapped the icon.

   10 missed calls – “Your amazing god Shibuya Nagisa”

Hah. Ryouha smiled bitterly. Since when she had her number? And what with the ridiculous name? She promptly changed it into “Stupid Shameless Shinigami” and put her phone back into her bag.

Now about the burglar alarm, where should she buy them? The first place that came to her mind was the electronic store in Akihabara. She quickly dismissed the thought. There's no way she'd go there any time soon; she almost died in there and it still left a bit of trauma to her.

“It's Shinjuku then...”

Ryouha mumbled to herself as she stepped into the train station, walking toward the platform heading for that certain station. There's also a chain of electronic stores around the area, though not as big as Akihabara. She could also ask the store keeper to help her install the alarm in her house later. The girl thought to herself as she stepped into the train and took a seat by the corner, her eyes wandered to the window. It's 4pm. Now the sky was still dyed in a clear blue color but soon another dusk would come. Though how much she hated it she also needed to think of a strategy to survive today's Oni Gokko.

If her 'hallucinations' were real and it's actually her seeing ayakashi, then according to the usual rules she could deduct a few things. First, ayakashi tended to lurk around places with lots of people. From what Nagisa told her they seemed to feed from human's soul so that made sense. Second, they seemed to also like places with lots of negative feelings. And if 'negative feelings' equals to 'impurities' that Nagisa kept mentioning about then it's all added up. The only thing she needed to avoid them was going to less crowded area once Magatoki occurred, though she believed it's hard to find such place in Tokyo. She could always try her house since she believed it's in a quite peaceful neighborhood, but she didn't want to risk turning it into a messy wreck in case an ayakashi still appeared. That aside, what happened to all the destruction the previous ayakashi made in Akihabara? She didn't hear anything in the news. Could it be that destruction in Magatoki didn't affect the real world? Well, Nagisa did say that the game was conducted in a way that wouldn't harm uninvolved humans so should she try her house after all?

Ryouha silently thought as she watched the sight of tall buildings flashing outside the train's window. She could make up silhouettes of black shadowy creatures on the distance and she quickly averted her gaze.

It's decided then. She'd go to Shinjuku to get the burglar alarm and go straight home before dusk.

The girl nodded to herself as she exited the train and walked toward the city, trying to ignore the ayakashi she saw on her way out. She could see them more clearly now since she hadn't drink her medicine for the last two days but it didn't seem like they noticed her presence. They simply phased in and out of the crowded street, looking around the row of humans in uninterested, almost bored, manner. Could it be that they couldn't interact with humans outside of Magatoki? Her suspicion was quickly answered as she saw one of them phased their long claws through the humans without any difficulties like moving through thin air. Ryouha gulped, edging away a bit as the spider-like ayakashi skittered beside her. Calm down. It seemed that as long as she pretended she couldn't see them they would naturally ignore her. She just had to make sure which are which. It's easy to distinguish ayakashi with monstrous appearance but what about the those with human-like form?

For example, like that girl planting her face on the glass window of a store in front of her.

Ryouha held her breath, slowing her steps a little.

The girl with short black hair that hung just by her shoulder looked exactly like a normal human. She was wearing a long black jacket with a lot of belts and a red checkered skirt; a kind of clothes that she felt like coming straight out of anime or fashion magazine. She couldn't judge her simply from that though. She knew there's thing called cosplay and since the shop the girl was staring into was a hobby shop perhaps she was just one of those people called anime otaku3. Ryouha silently thought as she walked pass the weird girl, watching her from the corner of her eyes. It's same either way. Whatever she was, she just needed to ignore her and go straight to the electronic store—

Ryouha froze. She saw something on the girl's left hand that was planted on the window; a same red skull that she had on the back of her hand. She quickly averted her gaze. No way, is she a shinigami? Or perhaps a vessel? She didn't know. She simply quickened her pace, trying to put the thought away to the back of her mind.







“You.”

Ryouha stopped dead on her track, her blood ran cold.

“You can see me, don't you?”

It's a shinigami.


She thought to herself as she heard a footstep approached her, trying to decide whether she should run or face her or pretend not hearing her. Her experience with Nagisa proved that running was not an option and she had no idea what would happen if she interact with the shinigami. What if she found out that she's a seed? Wouldn't she be...killed? The thought made her heart race even faster and Ryouha hesitantly raised her hand, pretending to scratch her neck. She should ignore her and walk away. Now—

GRAB--

“Thank goodness~~~”







Ryouha froze, seeing the shinigami held her hands in hers while sobbing in joy. She blinked.

“Thank goodness there's a human with natural talent in the area! I thought I would miss that limited edition action figure I've been searching for so long.”

What... is this shinigami talking about? 

Ryouha silently thought as the girl shook her hands rapidly and bowed in gratitude, giving her a loud 'thank you' over and over. The shinigami seemed genuinely relieved from the encounter and she raised her face, releasing the grip on her hand.

“I'm sorry for startling you. I'm a god and I really need your help.”

“O...kay...”

Ryouha quietly mouthed as she let her eyes wandered around her, making sure that none of the ayakashi or human started staring at her. She switched her eyes back to the shinigami.

“What can I do for you?”

“Oh, thank you! You see I— I mean, my human companion, really want that action figure over there. It's an ultra rare limited edition item and I've been searching it all over the town. It's so hard to find and—”

It's definitely for herself.

Ryouha thought as she heard the shinigami explained about the figure with pure joy, nodding to everything she said.

“Long story short, I've finally found it! But right now I can't contact my human companion and the storekeeper can't see me...”

“So you want me... to buy that for you?”

The girl's face lit up as she heard that and she stared at Ryouha with hopeful eyes. Ryouha almost let her guard down as she saw the cute reaction. Almost.

“Okay, please wait.”

Ryouha pushed the front door and entered the store, watching the shinigami followed behind her.

I wonder if all shinigami are weirdos...

She absentmindedly thought as she approached the counter, catching the storekeeper's attention.

“Excuse me.”

“Yes?”

She paused for a while, thinking of what to say. She didn't know much about action figures and she didn't really listen to what the shinigami was rambling about.

“Um, could you get that for me,”

She pointed at the action figure.

“And...”

She glanced at the shinigami, seeing her holding up a paper for her. An address?

“A-and deliver it to my friend's place?”

“Oh, the limited item. Of course, miss. Is it a present?”

“Um, yes.”

Ryouha hesitantly said, seeing the shopkeeper taking a box of the new merchandise and putting it on the counter. She could see the shinigami planted her hands on the table and stared at it closely with glittery eyes.

“Please write the address over here and we will take care of the delivery for you.”

“Thank you.”

She wrote down the address and other information as the shinigami instructed.

Oota Yuuri.

Is that the shinigami name? Or perhaps her human partner? Ryouha saw the shinigami pointed to herself, telling her that it's hers. She nodded in response and handed the paper back to the storekeeper, before paying for the item. It's more expensive than she thought. Perhaps she should postpone buying the burglar alarm until she get her allowance next month. The shinigami seemed to realize her unease and she clapped her hands together in apology.

“I'm sorry, I will pay you back soon.”

The shinigami said as they exited the store, but Ryouha quickly dismissed her.

“It's okay. Just think of it as my...'offering' to you.”

“You're so kind~! I swear I will give you my divine blessing—“

“T-there's no need. It's okay.”
   
Ryouha waved her hand again in dismissal. One shinigami is enough, she didn't need another one tailing along. The shinigami gave her one last bow in gratitude and Ryouha walked away, secretly glancing back to make sure that the death god didn't follow her. Fortunately she didn't. She let out her breath in relief and continued her walk. Since she's already here maybe she could at least check the price for those burglar alarms. There's still time until dusk anyway. Ryouha mulled to herself as she made her way through the sea of people, avoiding as many ayakashi as she could. Alright. She's starting to get the hang of this.

RING~ RING~

Ryouha blinked, hearing her phone ringing in her bag. She quickly pulled it out.

“Hello—

“WHERE ARE YOU NOW!?”

She cringed and instantly pulled the phone away. It's Nagisa. She growled.

“Don't shout on my ears...”

“That's not important, where— wait, I see you.“

“Huh?”

Ryouha blinked. She turned around, her gaze slowly rose to the bluish sky.

Nagisa was there, hovering in empty air as she jumped off of the several stories building like it was nothing, her hands brought together in front of her face.

“ On araba sha noo sowaka; Veil of heat-haze.”

Her form flickered for a second before she landed in front of Ryouha perfectly in her two feet, sending a gust of wind as she reached the ground. The people around them flinched and shielded themselves from the sudden wind. Some of them looked around in confusion, unable to recognize the shinigami presence. Ryouha, on the other hand, could only stare at the absurd scene before her.

“Come on. Let's go.”

“W-wait, what, huh??”

That was the only thing coming out of her mouth as Nagisa suddenly grabbed her hand and walked in a quick pace, dragging her. She desperately tried to keep up, almost tripping on her feet a few times and apologizing to people she bumped on the way.

“W-what is going on?”

“I'll explain to ya later. Right now we have to run.”

From what?


Ryouha thought as she glanced behind her, trying to find anything or anyone following after them. She couldn't find anything in the crowd, but then, something told her to raise her face again. Her eyes widened. There's someone there, standing above the tall building, their left hand raised to the sky.


   God of the eastern sea, whose name is Amei...


“Shit...”

Ryouha switched her eyes back to Nagisa, feeling the shinigami quickened her pace.


   God of the western sea, whose name is Shukuryou...
   God of the southern sea, whose name is Kyojou...
   God of the northern sea, whose name is Gukyou...

   O’ great god of the four seas,
   Repel the demons and melt away all impurities



“Hang on tight!”

“Wha—!?


   Tear open the line between two worlds
   Kyuu kyuu nyoritsu ryou—!



CRASH!!







Ryouha closed her eyes, hearing a loud crash and a strong force lifting her from the ground. She opened her eyes after a while, finding Nagisa carrying her in her arms as they both suspended in mid-air, the reddish sky looming above them.

“Magatoki...?”

Ryouha mouthed in disbelief. No way—how!? There's still hours until dusk! She switched her eyes to the huge crater behind them, seeing that previous figure crouching in the middle of the destroyed road.

“So they sent her after me, huh?”

She heard Nagisa whispered under her breath, before the shinigami clenched her right hand tightly.

“Lemme borrow yer body again.”

Wait—

Ryouha didn't have any time to protest as she felt her unconsciousness being ripped out of her body again; a sensation she still couldn't cope with. She saw the figure from the crater jumped and swung something toward her. Nagisa quickly brought up her white halberd to block the blow.

CLANK— CLANK— CLANK—

The two weapons hit each other in perfect synch, and Ryouha could finally have a good look on her attacker; a girl with long black hair and a blue cap shielding her eyes, her baggy t-shirt swaying as she swung her metal pole wildly.

Is that her reaping tool? No. Somehow it gave a different vibe from Nagisa's halberd, and what's more she couldn't find any skull mark on the girl's hand. Is she an ayakashi? No, that's not it as well. Something felt wrong. What... is she?

“Still brutal as always, ain't cha?”

Nagisa playfully cooed as she switched her halberd to one hand and kicked the girl away. The girl blocked the blow with her weapon, sliding a bit on the asphalt from the force. The metal pole in her hands cracked and fell into small little pieces, and she raised her face, seeing the shinigami perched on the lamp post with a huge smile.

“But too bad~ Ya won't be able to stop me with a makeshift weapon like that, Shu-chan. Catch ya later~!”

Nagisa gave her a quick salute and leaped to the nearby rooftop, leaving the area.

“W-wait, what's happening? Who is she? You know her!?”

Ryouha asked in panic while Nagisa could only gave her an awkward laugh.

“Weeelll~ Kinda.”

A very vague answer. The shinigami leaped onto another rooftop and continued running.

“One thing for sure, it'll be really really bad if she catch us. But don't worry, she must've exhausted a lot of power from casting this fake Magatoki. Trust me, I know her limit; this barrier will only last an hour at most and as long as she's not using shinigami possession we can outrun her.”

“So she's... a human? And a vessel?”

Nagisa hesitated for a while, before she nodded.

“Yeah. Though sometimes I wonder if she's really not an ayakashi, fighting a god with mere strengthening spell like that. I don't know who's her current shinigami partner but it'll be game over once they fuse.”

Ryouha didn't know for sure what Nagisa was speaking about but she at least know that their pursuer was very strong. But still...

“Why is she chasing after us?”

Nagisa flinched as she heard that, not answering. She just kept on running. Ryouha narrowed her eyes in suspicion.

“Nagisa.”

“Because she's a bad guy? Ha ha...”

The shinigami let out another strained laugh, but Ryouha wasn't buying it this time.

“Spill it out, what did you—”

Nagisa suddenly skidded into a stop as she noticed someone on the other end of the rooftop, and Ryouha quickly switched her attention to the figure. She knew that person—no, that shinigami. And the shinigami seemed to recognize her as well.

“Huh? You are...”

“Gah, so it's Yuuri!?”

Nagisa turned away in panic, and as if in cue, their pursuer appeared behind her.

“Come, [Totsuka].”

The girl in black jacket disappeared in a flash of light and Nagisa cursed, leaping down the rooftop.

“This is bad.”

CLANK!






The two girls clashed once again, but this time it wasn't a metal pole that hit the halberd; it was a sword, a pure white longsword. The familiar red skull appeared on the girl's hand.

“Gotcha now.”

Ryouha froze, feeling a shiver ran down her spine as she saw the girl grinned.

The girl pulled her sword back, and Ryouha felt herself being forcefully put back into her body, the halberd leaving her grip. She could faintly saw a white translucent chain slithered around the halberd as she fell, its other end connected to the hilt of the longsword, before everything felt like moving slowly before her eyes; she could see the halberd flashed and reverted back to its human form, and the girl swung her sword at the figure, cutting Nagisa through her torso in one swift movement.

Ryouha closed her eyes, feeling a gush of wind slowed her fall and let her hit the ground softly. She quickly reopened them, seeing her shinigami partner falling to the asphalt in a huge crash.

...Nagisa?

She stared at the limp body with wide eyes.

No... it can't be...

Ryouha flinched as she saw their pursuer landing on the ground just beside Nagisa, a dark reddish orb floating beside her.

A soul...? Then she's really...

She shivered, not able to utter the word, but then she heard the shinigami groaned and started to move.

“Blergh... Stop pulling a soul forcefully out of me like that, I feel like puking...”

She's still alive. 

Ryouha unconsciously let out her breath in relief. Nagisa rolled, trying to push her face up from the asphalt as the chain still locked her arms tightly behind her. The girl with the cap simply growled.

“Shut up, ya twerp.”

She spat, stepping on the shinigami's back.

“Ya broke into the family's treasury, stole the cursed soul of Tamamo no Mae, and then ran away to the human's world. Think ya still have a room to protest?”

Ryouha narrowed her eyes, suddenly regretted worrying about the shinigami. She saw the girl released her sword, letting it reverted back to its human form. The red skull disappeared from the girl's hand.

“Shu-san! What do you think you're doing, you're stepping on the young mistress!”











...the what?


Ryouha watched as the girl called Shu pulled away her foot and rested her arms behind her head, rolling her eyes as her shinigami partner dusted off Nagisa's jacket and helped the girl up to a sitting position.

“Where were you anyway, Yuuri? Told cha to stay in position for our ambush.”

“That's, ahem, I have something more important to attend.”

Yuuri avoided her gaze and kneeled in front of Nagisa, her right hand resting on her chest as she bowed her head. Shu stared at her partner for a while, before letting out a loud sigh and did the same.


“Time to go home, Nagisa-sama.

The great master of Byakko clan, your father, is awaiting your return.”



Ryouha blinked, her mind still trying to register the words. She saw Nagisa clicked her tongue and childishly looked away, and finally her eyes widened.












WHAT IN THE WORLD!?




__________________________________________________________
Shinigami Playground : Chapter 03 // END












--Shinigami ☆ Q&A Corner--

1Literally means ‘the hidden world’.
The world where ayakashi, gods, and spirits dwell.

2Rare hallucinogenic mushrooms that grow by the entrance of hell. Its shape resembles that of a skull.
Some human artist once caught sight of the mushroom and used it as a theme for his works,
but the number of human to actually obtain the specimen is close to none.

3Someone who is very very obsessed with a particular aspect of popular culture
that sometimes it hinders their social skills. Seems to be a growing population in human's world. 





« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 04:42:10 PM by jubethehare »

Offline Ruka Kikuchi

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Re: [ALL48+46] Shinigami Playground (NagiUha+Various) [CH.03]
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2017, 04:46:43 PM »
Oooooh the plot thickens~

Just where did Ryouha's mother obtain that mushroom?

And now we have Shu and Yuuri added to the mix! Nice~ :D

Can't wait for more~~

Offline alice141

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Re: [ALL48+46] Shinigami Playground (NagiUha+Various) [CH.03]
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2017, 10:13:01 PM »
I like your style, it's like a light novel!!! :D I recommend you "Gekkou" one of my favorites 
Great chapter! Who is Nagisa??? and Shu!!! I really like NagiShu combi they are very funny!!
 :twothumbs

Offline jubethehare

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Re: [ALL48+46] Shinigami Playground (NagiUha+Various) [CH.03]
« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2017, 10:40:22 AM »
Gaaaah, I barely have the time to open this forum lately. Guess I'll start replying some comments for now.

Oooooh the plot thickens~

Just where did Ryouha's mother obtain that mushroom?

And now we have Shu and Yuuri added to the mix! Nice~ :D

Can't wait for more~~

Ryouha's mother... Well, actually her family going to play a big role later but that's all I can say for now, ha ha. Stay tune to it~~


I like your style, it's like a light novel!!! :D I recommend you "Gekkou" one of my favorites 
Great chapter! Who is Nagisa??? and Shu!!! I really like NagiShu combi they are very funny!!
 :twothumbs

Thanks! Those two will have plenty of time to mess around in this fic so no worries~ And is that title you mentioned a light novel? Guess I'll check it out later
« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 04:41:55 AM by jubethehare »

Offline jubethehare

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Re: [ALL48+46] Shinigami Playground (NagiUha+Various) [CH.04]
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2017, 05:32:04 PM »
Hello and welcome back to Shinigami Playground! Here's chapter 4.  8)

It's been a while. A long while. I'm glad I managed to update this...   
Enjoy~



Shinigami Playground
Chapter 04: Guru Guru Hashitteru ~Run, Run, and Back to Square One
__________________________________________________________


“Time to go home, Nagisa-sama. The great master of Byakko clan, your father, is awaiting your return.”

Ryouha stared at the scene, dumbfounded. Her eyes locked on the two figures crouching before her shinigami partner, while her mind was trying to make sense of the situation.

Let's do a quick recap.

She was just walking around Shinjuku like normal. And then Nagisa broke her peaceful moment, like normal. Then a pair of strangers chased them like they wanted to kill them, and now that same people are bowing and calling that shameless shinigami partner of hers 'young mistress'.







WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON?

Ryouha felt her head started hurting again from the absurdity. She took a breath and closed her eyes.

Okay. Enough. Stop trying to understand, Ryouha, there's no point. Just... ignore them...

She let out the breath, feeling thought calmed her a bit. Now, let's find a way to retreat from the scene without being found. She reopened her eyes, studying the situation. She could see Nagisa stood after a while, looking down on the two girls with a blank expression, before the shinigami scratched her head.

“Uh, who? I think ya guys got a wrong person.”



Of course. Who is she kidding.

Ryouha mentally scold herself. She didn't expect that response, but at the same time she kind of expected it.

If that person is a young mistress of some important clan the world might as well be ending.

She saw Nagisa turned and let out her usual goofy laugh.

“Well then, see ya. Hope ya guys find that young mistress—“

“Bind.”

SLAM!

The shinigami squirmed in pain. A swarm of enchanted paper slithered around her legs, pulling her and making her fall to the hard asphalt face first. The girl named Shu growled and stood in exchange, crossing her arms as she stepped on the girl's back for like the countless time that day.

“See my point now, Yuuri? There's no use talking to her. I say we knock her out, stuff her into a bag, and send her straight back to the palace right NOW.”

“Do you want the great master to kill us? And for heaven's sake, stop stepping on the young mistress!”

Ryouha gave the bickering girls another long stare, before raising her hands to her face.

I forgot. The world IS ending...

She gave up. She didn't know what to expect anymore. The only thing she understood now was that they wanted to take Nagisa back to wherever her home was. She'd be glad if they would do just that.

“Hmph. Ha ha, bad news for ya, Shu~ I'm participating in Shinigami Playground and already got my very own vessel over there. Ya guys can't force me back now~”

So much for that pipe dream. Ryouha thought to herself as she held her face tighter, feeling her headache returned ten-fold. No, it's not the side-effect of the skull mushroom; it's just her frustration plummeting out of the roof again. She peeked from between her fingers, seeing the new duo had turned their attention toward her. And now I can no longer escape... She sent Nagisa a piercing glare, but the shinigami didn't seem to notice even a sliver of her frustration. That's it. She gave up. She wouldn't expect anything anymore. For real now.

“I'm sorry, miss. Are you okay?”

Ryouha blinked and lowered her hands. The girl in black jacket, the one she met before at the hobby store, bent down and offered her own hand to her. She stared at the extending hand for a while before taking it.

“...I'm fine, um, Oota-san...was it?”

“Just call me Yuuri.”

The girl smiled and helped her up, before stepping away to give her some space. At least this one was thoughtful, Ryouha noted to herself as she saw Yuuri stood a safe distance away from her, her hands tucked behind her back as if showing that she meant no harm. The black-clad shinigami stole a glance at her grumpy partner, and the small girl let out a long sigh.

“Fine, fine. Sorry 'bout earlier, I just charged so suddenly without thinking. Thankfully you manage to activate Byakko's blessing before hitting the ground. Yer not hurt are you?”

“Y-yes, I'm perfectly fine...”

Byakko's blessing? What...is that? Is she talking about that wind from before? 

Ryouha silently thought as she tried to keep her straight face. It's better not to pry any further before she's roped into something more troublesome. Curiosity kills the cat; she'd learned that the hard way. It didn't seem like Shu had seen through her facade anyways. She just need to keep up with the flow and slowly retreat—

“Pfft, her? It's me who activated that. No way an amateur like her know any spell~”

WOULD YOU SHUT UP FOR ONCE!? YOU STUPID SHINIGAMI!!!

Ryouha couldn't help sending another glare at Nagisa. If it wasn't for her quiet nature she bet she would've shouted for real. Too bad she wasn't that good at masking her expression so Shu easily read through her bluff. The girl grind her foot down.

“Oi, Nagi. Did ya just drag some human from Utsushiyo1 and make her yer vessel?”   

“Ouch, ouch, ouch, stop grinding my back! I didn't choose her just because; I checked with Tamamo's eye and ya gotta believe the quality of her soul and compatibility with mine are top-notch.”

“Spout yer defense later after I drag ya to heaven's court.”

“Ha ha, nice one.”

“It wasn't a joke. Or do you prefer if I bring ya to Jonishi-sensei?”

“Muuh, I don't know which one is worse... But hey, I'm innocent~ She's been able to see ayakashi before I made her my vessel so I'd say she's more on Kakuriyo side. Which means I didn't break any rules per se.”

“Do you even know the definition of 'humans of Kakuriyo'? They are people who can perceive and have been interacting with residents of the hidden world on their own accord.”

“Well, she has been interacting with them. In fact she's being chased by an ayakashi before I helped her.”

“Oh really now? It's not rare for ayakashi to drag normal people to their nest sometimes, especially when they're hungry.”

“How convenience~ Isn't that what you call 'interacting', eh Shu?”

The two girls glared at each other, a smile plastered on both of their face. Neither of them looked like they'd yield anytime soon. That aside, why are they arguing about me like I'm not here? Ryouha could only wonder as she switched her gaze to Yuuri, seeing the shinigami let out a long sigh. Looks like she wasn't the only one having a headache from this.

“Excuse me for a while.”

The shinigami flashed her a quick smile, before she left her side and stepped in between the quarrelling girl. Ryouha stared at the current situation in silence. If she wanted to escape this would be the best time, but it seemed like her plan was thwarted again.

“Like I said, I didn't do anything wrong~” 

Nagisa yelled, before switching her gaze to her vessel.

“Go tell them, Ryou-chan; you chose to be my vessel yerself, ain't ya? Saying things like 'I want live' and all.”

Ugh...

Ryouha flinched. She couldn't deny that. Though how much she hated it she did ask Nagisa to save her life. Which mean she did choose to be in this whole vessel business, even if she's kinda forced into it.

“Oh, I get it. Yer using the situation to force her into making a contract.”

Shu growled and grind her foot harder, while Yuuri tried to stop her by coiling her arms around the girl's.

“Break that contract and let the girl go. I thought you've known how much I hate yer petty tricks.”

“Ouch—I didn't trick her! I genuinely tried to save her life.”

“Heh, right. 'Genuinely'. Right.”

“It's true~ She's half-dead already when I found her so I gave her the position of divine vessel to heighten her regeneration and fix her flesh.”

“You what?”

Uh-oh. Ryouha felt like she had been involuntarily pushed onto a land mine. She had no idea what these girls had been talking about but it sounded bad. Really bad. It was bad enough that it turned both Shu and Yuuri into frozen statues in an instant, and she's somehow there tangled in the middle of the mess, with no clue or any way to escape. Yuuri released her grip on her partner, while Shu turned her face upward and took a deep breath.

“You...”

The girl whispered.

“WHAT WERE YOU THINKING MAKING A PERMANENT CONTRACT SO EASILY!?”

Shu roared and kicked the shinigami with all her might, ignoring the painful grunt from Nagisa. Yuuri didn't even try to stop her anymore as she trembled and fell to her knees.

“The young mistress... made a permanent contract with someone outside of the branch family... And a person from Utsushiyo on top of that...”

“Do you even understand yer position as the heiress of Byakko clan!? Argh, I've had enough of your frivolous action! I've had enough!!”

The girl clenched her head and screamed to the reddish sky, while Nagisa simply tilted her head. Ryouha didn't even know what to think. The only thing left in her head was the word 'permanent'. Permanent. Permanent contract. As in the contract she made with Nagisa would last forever for some indefinite time. She slumped to the ground and hugged her knees.

Death... I should've chosen death...

Nagisa pushed herself up and looked around, completely oblivious of the mess she had created.

“What's wrong with you guys? Isn't this the best possible outcome? Even Koko-chan agreed with my choice.”

“How much of a moron are ya!? She's an ayakashi, she won't give a shit about the tradition from shinigami clans!”

“Like you're one to say.”

“At least I know which is allowed and not allowed, unlike you who don't even know common sense!”

“Ehe he he~”

“IT'S NOT A FREAKING COMPLIMENT!!!”

Shu let out one last shout, before she fell to her own knees beside Yuuri. Nagisa simply shrugged, switching her legs forward as she tried to pry off the enchanted papers around them. The whole place turned silent.

“...wait, something is weird.”

Shu suddenly raised her face, and Nagisa tilted her head again.

“What's so weird? That aside, can't cha remove this binding spell already?”

She ignored the girl's remark and stood, turning her attention to the other human. Ryouha seemed to realize the change in the atmosphere and raised her own face, staring back at the approaching girl.

“You said she was chased by ayakashi before. I thought it was the usual case of a human being spirited away2 but I just realized it's impossible. At least not in the duration of this game.”

What is she talking about? Ryouha slowly rose to her feet and stepped back, sensing the dangerous look on the girl's eyes.

“Shinigami Playground is held in a way that it negates any harm to ordinary humans, which means she's a human from Utsushiyo who is invited into the game.”

The girl smirked.

“You're a [Seed], ain't ya?”

Ryouha froze. Fear started to fill her as she saw the joyful look on the girl's face.

“Damn, why didn't I realize this sooner? We can easily finish our job now. Hey, Yuuri.”

Shu grinned and pointed with her thumb.

“Let's kill her.”







Huh?

“If she's dead the contract will be nullified and that idiot will be automatically disqualified from the game. We can finish our job and shave any potential war among the branch families. Plus, we can cover up the fact that the heiress of Byakko is using a filthy seed as her vessel. Sounds good enough?”

The girl said it so lightly, with no remorse or hesitation. A vessel like her, a human, was talking about killing her like she was a mere livestock. She knew it already, that shinigami had a different way of seeing human's life, but for another human think just like those gods of death...had she become something even lower than humans then?



That's right. How could she forgot? She was nothing but a fodder to their game. A seed—

  “Stop spacing out and call my holy name!”

Ryouha flinched. The loud voice brought her back to reality and she gritted her teeth, stretching out her right arm.

[Amanozako]

The red mark on her hand crackled as she said that. A familiar white halberd materialized in her grip right after, and without thinking her body moved and slammed the bladed end to the ground.

“Shit.”

CRASH!!

Shu leaped away, moving just in time before the ground crumbled under her. She landed a few feet away from the crater, seeing her target fell into the big gaping hole that extended deep into the dark hollow space. The girl growled and ruffled her hair.

“Tch, they ran away. I didn't know there's a huge tunnel right under Shinjuku.”

“Shu. Shall we go after them?”

The girl glanced at her partner, before turning to the almost forgotten red orbs that was floating in the air. The orbs had grown exponentially bigger from the time she retrieved it, and Shu narrowed her eyes as she realized that.

“Bind.”

The previous enchanted papers slithered around the orb from her command, covering it perfectly like a cocoon.

“You go and capture 'em, Yuuri. I'll be watching after this cursed soul.”

“Got it. How long can you still maintain the barrier?”

Shu shrugged, heaving her body to the ground and sitting cross-legged in front of the cocoon. Yuuri nodded, before jumping down into the hole.

“Just another thirty minutes at most.”


=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=


Ryouha slid to her knees. Her breath ragged as she grabbed the white halberd tightly, leaning her weight to it.

“Wheew, that was close...”

She blinked, hearing Nagisa's voice echoed in her head. Right, she's doing this again; the shinigami possession. This was the fourth time she used it and she could feel herself starting to adapt to the sensation. She gulped some more air and stood.

“Good job back then. Now lemme take over—“ 

“No.”

She quickly said, almost in a hiss.

“I'll let you take over when the situation grow dangerous, but before that... I will do this myself...”

“Sheesh, no need to be so mad~ I get it, this is yer body so I won't use it again without permission. I'll just give ya instruction when needed.”

Hm? She's quite surprised that Nagisa would back down so easily. The shinigami could just forcefully take over her body if she wanted but it seemed like she decided not to. Perhaps she didn't care as long as she cooperated. Ryouha decided such and started walking, studying her surrounding as she did.

“Nagisa... what exactly is going on?”

“Eeh~? Nothing much, really~”

Oh, she's not having that. The girl stopped on her track.

“Whatcha doing? Hurry up, let's move.”

“No.”

“You want them to kill ya?”

“...why not? That doesn't sound too bad... compared to spending a lifetime with you.”

She could hear Nagisa let out a big whine from that. It took her whole courage just to say that. To be honest she didn't want to die, but it's probably her only way to make Nagisa talk since the shinigami said she needed her for the game.

“Okay, I get it~ I'll tell you. The thing is shinigami are not supposed to help a seed so it seems like my contract with you will create, well, some kind of an uproar. That's why those two are trying to kill you as it's the only way to break the contract.”

“...the only way?”

“The only known and easiest way, at least. Don't worry, I won't break my promise of giving your normal life back after the game. I still have my trump card hidden.”

That barely explains anything. But she could pull some plausible conclusion: Nagisa is a heiress of some big shinigami clan so following the traditional way of how Japanese clan works, the permanent contract she made with an outsider will create a political uproar among the branch families. Plus, if the truth about her vessel being a seed is brought to light it will taint the name of the whole clan. Before that happens those two, who probably happens to be her retainers, will sweep the whole case under the rug. That is, by killing her vessel.

Which is me...

Ryouha couldn't help clenching her face. Why is everyone trying to kill her lately? She didn't have a slightest idea. She knew that she didn't want to die though, so she better start walking.

“...fine, I'll take your words for now. Do you have any plan to stop them?”

“Ha ha, nope.”

“...”

“I just told you to break the ground for distraction but I didn't expect this underground tunnel, so I don't know my way around. Bet that's also the case with them.”

Ryouha took in the information carefully. From her observation both Nagisa and her pursuers used the same accent which was unique to the western part of Japan, mostly around Kyoto and Osaka. They probably just arrived to Tokyo so it's given if they didn't know how to navigate around this underground complex of Shinjuku; this set of tunnels were among the largest in the country and extended throughout the town just like a maze, gaining it the nickname of Japan's labyrinth station. She'd have a field advantage here.

Now, her objective; she just needed to survive until this fake Magatoki ended. She remembered Nagisa saying the time limit was around an hour which means she still got another thirty minutes. The safest choice was to hide and avoid direct confrontation until then.

“This feels just like hide and seek~”

Nagisa lightly remarked, and Ryouha frowned.

“Do you have any way to track their position?”

“Nope. It might be possible with Tamamo's eye but it's in their hands now.”

The cursed soul. She didn't know the details but it seemed to be able to give its owner some kind of tracking ability.

“Wait... Doesn't it mean they can use its power now?”

“Nah, no way~ Only the leader of each clan can control the cursed souls and use them, without being corrupted by the immense impurities that is. If a normal shinigami uses them they'll be toast~”

And what were you thinking using such dangerous item so carelessly before?

If Ryouha didn't know any better she would've flipped, but she had learned that there's no point in questioning Nagisa's action. She just needed to focus on the current matter.

“Wait, stop.”

Ryouha stopped on her track, planting her back on the nearest wall in reflexes. She silently peeked from above her shoulder.





A single bird-like figure was perching on the railing a few feet away, the big eye that sat on the end of its neck carefully scanned its surrounding. 

Ryouha gulped and gripped the halberd tighter. What is that? An ayakashi? As if reading her thought Nagisa answered.

“Its one of Yuuri's shiki. A scouting type.”

“...what does it do?”

“Eeh, sending everything it sees to her? I guess. When we were small she used them just like surveillance cameras to stop me from sneaking out of study session.”

“...”

Ryouha decided not to ask any further. But surveillance camera, huh? That means it wouldn't matter as long as she stayed out of its view.

“How many of them does she have?”

“I'm not sure. I've seen her use around ten at the same time but she might be able to use more.”

That doesn't sound good. This place might be humongous but with ten cameras flying around she wouldn't be able to move so freely. At worse she might even need to find a way to disable them.

“But, hmm... This is weird. I kinda expect Shu to charge right on. She hates this kind of recon thingy.”

Another piece of information. If she considered that and her previous confrontation with the other vessel she had to agree with Nagisa, which mean Yuuri probably went after them herself. She didn't know why but this is a great chance. Maybe she could even...

“Are you thinking what I'm thinking, Ryou-chan?”

“...”

No. No. Stop it, Ryouha. That's crazy. There's no way you could defeat a single shinigami even if they're not using their vessel.

The girl quickly scolded herself and turned away from the perching shiki.

“...we're not fighting her.”

“Eeeh~?”

“You said it yourself; that it'll be bad if they catch us.”

“That's the case if they're together, but Yuuri alone? I can take her. I won't let you die anyway so I won't fight a battle I think we won't win~ Oh, heads up.”

Huh?

Ryouha halted. One of the winged shiki suddenly passed by her face and twisted its neck. Its big pearly eyes grew even wider as it caught sight of her figure.

SCREEE——

SLASH!

Ryouha fell backward, her hand swung the halberd upward and cut through the creature before it finished its loud screech.

“Nice reflexes~ Yer getting better at this.”

You're doing that on purpose!

She shouted inside her head, hearing the shinigami laughed at her reaction. This is bad. That screech was probably some kind of alarm to notify its position. She had to get away from here fast. The girl pushed herself back to her feet and ran, maneuvering through the narrow and identical corridors of the underground tunnel. She needed a concrete plan; if she just moved around aimlessly it wouldn't take long until Yuuri find her. She had to think of something. Something she could use from the field advantages she had.

“Another shiki up ahead.”

Ryouha skidded and changed her course, slipping behind a pillar. Okay, think. Where is she now? The girl glanced around and recognized some of the shops. She's on the west side of Shinjuku station, on the Keio line to be precise. The corridors around here are quite simple so she better moved further toward Odakyu line, where the maze would grew more complex. The girl mulled to herself as she saw one shiki passed by without noticing her, her mind already devising an escape route. She could use the many pillars to stay out of those shiki line of sight, then exited through Oedo line gate B and took the escalators up to Odakyu south exit. Or, she could take the further and more complex corridor toward the central west gate. She could also hide in the deepest underground of Oedo subway, but if Yuuri chased her there she'd be trapped.

“...let's go with the first option.”

Ryouha grabbed the halberd and moved out of her hiding place. She didn't need to think too much. If she could move around and trap that shinigami in circle inside this maze it would be her win—

“Hey, Ryou-chan~ I'm getting sick of running all the time.”

“...”

The girl kept on running, trying to ignore the voice in her head.

“Let's do something else, I just found an amazing idea~”


=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=


“They got me.”

Yuuri muttered as she took the remnant of her shiki, seeing the paper doll cleanly split into two.

Half of the shiki she dispatched had been eliminated and she still had no clue where her target was. She didn't expect them to simply waste their time like this, luring her deeper into the complex structure without revealing themselves. It seemed like the vessel was a lot level-headed than she thought. It's not like she didn't predict this outcome though. The shinigami sighed and stood, bundling all the remnants of her shiki into a small ball.

“Come forth and serve my will, [Hebi].”

The crumpled papers shook and twisted, before transforming into a white snake that slithered around the shinigami's extended hand. The new shiki hissed and flicked out its tongue once, before it leaped to the ground and slithered away. Yuuri silently followed after the creature.

Her targets had done well escaping until now but they made a fatal mistake by choosing to disarm her shiki; sure it would decrease her vision but every time they made contact with the paper doll, even if they only left a little particle of dust, everything would be recorded in its formula. Once all the information had been accumulated she only needed to reuse the remnants to make another shiki with a keen sense of smell.

“And then I will be able to find you. Right, Nagisa-sama?”

Yuuri ended her sentence with a smile, watching her target being crushed onto the station wall by her enchanted papers. Nagisa growled, before spitting away the paper that was covering her mouth.

“Bfft, that's not fair! What the heck with that shiki, I never know you have 'em!”

“Well, thanks to you who always try to escape on every possible occasion I managed to define a new formula.”

Nagisa let out another growl, and Yuuri glanced around.

“Did you make yourself as a bait so your vessel can escape?”

“That's right~ Quite gallant, ain't I?”

“You really like to show off, Nagisa-sama...”

Yuuri let out another sigh.

“Still, I kind of glad that you did. Because I actually don't want to kill her with my own hands.”

“Ha ha, what's with that? It's not like you to be so unprofessional~”

“I owed her big time, or something.”

SLIP--

The shinigami turned and twisted her body slightly, dodging the fist that was thrown at her from behind. It seemed like her attacker wasn't used to fighting at all; her blow missed by a huge margin and she tumbled down from the force of her own punch. Yuuri almost felt bad for her, but as she saw the small smile on the girl's face, her eyes widened.

“...amanozako.”

The shinigami froze. The human girl wasn't targeting her at all, but the little pouch of enchanted papers dangled on the belt around her waist. Ryouha spun her halberd, snatching the pouch with its hook as Yuuri stepped away to reach the remaining papers on the wall.

“Don't move.”

Yuuri stopped, her fingers only a few breath away from the papers as the spear end of Ryouha's halberd pushed against her neck. She slowly retracted her hands, raising them beside her head.

“Or? What are you planning to do with that, miss?”

“...”

Ryouha didn't answer. She only stared at the shinigami, her eyes observing her each and every movement. Heavy silence lingered in the air until suddenly a loud buzzing could be heard. Yuuri waved her hands slightly.

“Don't worry, it's just my phone.”

The shinigami took out the said device from her jacket pocket, showing the incoming call on the screen.

“See?”

Ryouha narrowed her eyes.

“...pick it up and put it on loud speakers.”

Yuuri did as she was instructed and pushed the button.

  --“Yuuri. Have ya got them?”

“Sorry, I got careless. They caught me instead.”

  --“Huh!? Yer kidding me!”

Ryouha could hear Nagisa laughing inside her head.

  --“Whatever, try to escape and get back here quick—

       BEEP...

The call suddenly cut off. Ryouha bit her lip and pushed her halberd closer to Yuuri's neck.

“...what's wrong?”

“I'm not sure.”

RUMBLE... RUMBLE...

The two girls snapped their head upward, seeing the lamps above them flickered from the sudden movements around the tunnel.

“What's that? An earthquake?”

Nagisa asked, and Ryouha carefully looked around her.

“I-I don't know. Probably—

  “Look out!”

CRASH!

Yuuri shouted and tackled the girl down, saving her from the black sludge that shot out of the wall just like a hungry snake. Ryouha scrambled away in panic, watching the creature pulled itself out from the debris and screech at her.

“Ayakashi? I thought Shu's barrier supposes to stop them from entering.”

Another screeching sound echoed in the dim-lit tunnel. Ryouha turned to the source, seeing some more of that black creature flooding down from the staircase. She gripped her halberd tighter, trying to stop her trembling. Yuuri glanced at her, noticing the fear in the girl's eyes.

“Say. Would you like to make a truce for now, miss?”

Ryouha snapped her head toward the shinigami. It might be a bad idea, but it seemed that the shinigami genuinely felt indebted to her considering that she did save her from the previous ayakashi. Besides it's probably her safest ticket out of this current situation alive. Ryouha nodded, letting the shinigami took back her little pouch from the ground.

“Wait, wait, who said you can do that?”

“Thank you. Oh, and tell Nagisa-sama to save her protest for later.”

Yuuri threw the remaining papers to the air and brought her palms together.


  on chirichi iba rotaya sowaka;
   come forth and serve my will, [Onibi3]!



The ayakashi roared as they heard the chant, charging toward them; the creatures never reached them as a wall of blue flames sprung from the floating papers, burning anything that it touched. The black creature fell to the ground, wriggling inside the flame.

“Now!”

Ryouha instantly moved, stabbing and slashing the fallen ayakashi before they managed to recover. Their body dissolved into thin air. More ayakashi flooded down from the stairs, blocking the narrow entrance.

“Aah, this is getting troublesome. You don't mind I take over from here, right Ryou-chan?”

“...you already did.”

“Ha ha, I guess~”

Ryouha laughed, her brown eyes turned jet black as her shinigami partner took full control. She rested her halberd to her shoulder and tilted her head.

“Ya ready, Yuuri?”

The other shinigami nodded, before they both turned to face the incoming ayakashi.

“Time to reap some souls~”


=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=


Shu let out a low growl. She leaped to a nearby building and caught the protruding sign beside the windows, hanging on it with one hand.

“Dammit, what the hell with this amount of impurities?”

She pulled herself up and swung to a traffic light next, dodging another black spikes that chased after her. The girl jumped straight away after she landed, climbing higher onto the building. She grabbed her bleeding arm as she reached the rooftop, catching her breath. The red blistering orb on the ground had grown larger than her own body now, black liquid kept spilling out of it giving off a foul smell of sludge. Perhaps it was just her imagination but the sludge had started to transform, from an undistinguishable spiky blob into something that resembled a four-legged creature.


“The queen of Kitsune4... One of The Four Great Evil Ayakashi, Tamamo no Mae.”





Shu mouthed the name in a growl, before snapping her eyes to another part of the city. More and more ayakashi started to emerge from the black holes that opened up on the ground, as if attracted to that orb. The newly formed creature didn't seem to care and consumed those ayakashi in its sludge instead. The creature started to gain a more solid form, black fleshy texture covering its front limbs just like a set of muscles without a skin. Its size kept on growing.

“Shit, is it trying to regain physical flesh by feeding on other ayakashi?”

Shu growled and stretched out her left arm, sending out more enchanted papers from under her sleeves. The papers flew and circled the creature.

“Bind!”

The girl clenched her hand into a fist, and the papers crushed the creature from the command, forcing it into another cocoon.

“Comee ooon....”

The creature shakily raised its half-made face toward the sky.

YAAGGGHHHAHHH---!!!

It let out a loud scream, creating shockwave and sending the papers away along with a portion of the town. Shu cursed and sent the remaining papers circling around her right hand.

“Strengthen!”

She pushed her palm forward, lessening the force as her body was hurled across the air at high-speed. She crashed against some debris a few times before skidding on the asphalt, forcing herself to stay on her feet despite her ragged breath. The pseudo-ayakashi had grown to almost the size of three-stories building now. She didn't have any enchanted papers left and her right arm was as good as dead.

“I'm so screwed...”

Shu growled. She should've called the officers from Hell to transport this soul the moment she had it; she carelessly handled it like a normal soul, underestimating the amount of impurities it could produce. Now what could she do? Even if Yuuri came to her aid, will she able to exterminate this monster? The monster that took even the strongest shinigami to seal in the past.

...

“Let's give it a try.”

BOOM!   

Shu smirked. A huge explosion shot out from the ground, obliterating all the lesser ayakashi on its wake and cutting off one of the cursed soul's limbs. She sighed and stood into her full height.

“Took ya long enough, Yuuri.”

Her partner landed right beside her, her face as calm as ever. Shu glanced back to the creature, seeing more sludge falling from its missing limb and regenerated it into a more gruesome state. The sea of lesser ayakashi kept flooding out from the hole.

“What with the flashy explosion?”

“That was the young mistress. You know that she can be very rough with her technique sometimes.”

“Heh, she's just showing off...”

Shu snickered, before she drew her head back and took a deep breath.

“ONE KILOMETER ON TWO O'CLOCK DIRECTION; LET'S REGROUP AT THE TOP, SHITHEAD!”

Her voice rang across the ruined town, and the creature looked around, trying to find the source of that voice. Shu already ran to the destined position by then, wielding her longsword with her good hand as she cut through the lesser ayakashi and slipped into the remnants of some alleys. She kicked off the ground and climbed up another building, perching on its rooftop as she watched the giant creature from afar.

“Oi, stop calling me 'shithead'. And what the heck is that thing?”

Shu turned to see Nagisa landed on the other end of the rooftop.

“It's the cursed soul. And what are you, a control freak? Taking full possession of yer vessel like that.”

“C'mon, little Ryou-chan can't handle such huge ayakashi~ She'll faint on place.”

“That's your fault for choosing an ordinary human as yer vessel. Anyways,”

She stood, resting her longsword on her shoulder.

“Here's what we gonna do; you chip out its outer flesh and I'll seal the core.”

“You still have enchanted papers?”

“No. But you know that I still have other technique.”

“Half-assed spell won't work on it, Shu-chan~”

The girl growled as Nagisa patted her head, swatting the hand away.

“Grrh, then what do you suggest!?”

“You chip the outer flesh, I seal the core.”

“Like you know any sealing spell.”

“I don't. But I do have the best instrument to stop a rampaging impurities~”

Shu looked at the girl in disbelief.

“Are you trying to consume the cursed soul again?”

“Exactly~ There's no better way to clean impurities than using the natural metabolism of a healthy working shinigami.”

“Healthy my ass, yer head is so broken...”

Nagisa only laughed at that. Shu didn't know what else to say. She had to admit that it's her safest bet for now but that means she'd be going back to square one; Nagisa would take possession of the cursed soul again and the shinigami might use that to her advantages later. That also meant she would aid the criminal act of handing a cursed soul to someone outside of clan leaders.



“Screw that, rules are made to be broken.”

“Alright~ That's the Shu I know and love~”

Shu groaned and pushed Nagisa away.

“One swing; I'll put my whole power into it and cut through its outer shell. Ya hafta deal with the lesser ayakashi yerself.”

“No problem. Can your body hold on for another ten seconds, Ryou-chan?”

Ryouha swallowed her voice.

“Yeah... I... guess.”

It hurts. It hurts a lot. This is the longest time she ever let Nagisa possessed her and her head already felt like its splitting apart. But she had to endure it. Even without knowing much about cursed soul she knew that letting that monstrous ayakashi ran rampant wouldn't lead to anything good. They had to stop that thing here before it grew even stronger.

“Get ready. I'll start the counting.”

Shu drew her sword back, and Nagisa leaped down the building, planting her feet to the asphalt. 


  10...

Shu closed her eyes, shifting her focus to her sword.


  9...

Nagisa ran toward the creature, cutting through other ayakashi that stood in her way.


  8...

The wind around Shu raged, the red skull on her hand starting to give off a dim light.


  5...


Nagisa slid under a four legged ayakashi, using the momentum to cut it in half before continued running.


  3...

Shu jumped off the building and raised her sword high above her head.


  2...

The creature roared, before it was split cleanly in two from the downward swing.


  1—

Ryouha stopped. Her body suddenly lost its balance. Her vision turned blurry and she could see patch of red dripping under her feet. Nagisa seemed to realize the strange condition and stopped her rush, planting the halberd to the ground to stop her fall. Blood slowly trickle down her nose.

“Ryouha you've reached your limit! I'm undoing the possession—”

No. No, she couldn't stop here. She looked up toward the creature, seeing it starting to regenerate itself in blinding speed.

She couldn't stop. If she stop that thing would kill her for sure. And then it would kill everyone else.

She wouldn't allow it...

“Aaaah!!!”

The girl screamed and raised her halberd, throwing it with everything she had toward the glowing red orb. Her body rejected. Her muscles felt like they're being ripped apart. Black spikes flew toward her, but they dispersed before reaching her, as if repelled by some unknown force. She could faintly see Nagisa transformed back to her human form, her hand digging into the center of the orb, before she collapsed to the cold ground.

“Dammit!”

The shinigami yanked the cursed soul away from its flesh, the core thumping in her grasp just like a real heart; she brought it to her mouth and chomped it down without another delay, taking in the blob of impurities. The remaining sludge fell to the ground like black acid rain.

“Ryouha!”

Nagisa ran toward the fallen girl, holding her in her arms. The girl was unconscious. The shinigami put one hand over the girl's nose, checking her breathing.

“Is she dead?”

She flinched as she heard Shu said that, tightening her grip around the girl's shoulders.

“...no. She's alive.”

“Tch, that's too bad. I thought I could at least get one job done.”

Nagisa didn't answer, and Shu raised a brow at her. She kind of expected the shinigami to either laugh or lash at her, so the quietness only added her unease. She ruffled her hair and released her longsword.

“Nagisa-sama! Are you unhurt?”

“..yeah. Yeah, of course. Ha ha~”

The shinigami let out a small chuckle,  though her eyes was telling another story. She seemed to be lost in thought, until the girl in her arms suddenly moved.
 
“Uurgh... Where am I...? How many hours...had passed?”

The girl opened her eyes slowly, and Nagisa face lit up as she saw that.

“Ryou-chan, you're okay~!”

Ryouha yelped as the shinigami snuggled her as if she's some kind of a stuffed toy, feeling her body cringed from the sudden movement. She looked around. There was no ayakashi left, her whole body felt numb and was covered in impure mud, which mean the battle was already over. It seemed like she only passed out for a few minutes this time. But still...

My last spare of uniforms...

Ryouha silently sobbed to herself, mourning at the fact that her red school jersey had now dyed in muddy black. She's never been glad that she doesn't have school tomorrow.

“Heh. Yer quite sturdy for a person from Utsushiyo.”

Ryouha looked up to see Shu smirking. She narrowed her eyes.

“...are you still...planning to kill me...?”

Nagisa flinched as she heard that. She growled at Shu like some dangerous animal and tightened her grip around her vessel neck, not even realizing that it started to choke the girl. Shu simply sighed in response.

“Nah, I'm beat. I'll take my chances later.”

With that the girl threw herself to the ground, laying on the cold asphalt. She gave a long look at the reddish sky, noticing the crack spreading on it.

“It's about time for this fake Magatoki to dissolve anyway.”











“Not if we don't allow it.”

The crack suddenly started to fix itself, and Shu groaned, rolling her eyes toward the source of the voice.


“What do you guys want?
Shinigami Playground Reparation Unit, the [Zaka] clan.






Two girls in military-like uniforms walked in, one in blue and one in white. They eyed the whole scene with cold eyes.

Ryouha stared back at them.

Reparation unit? There's... such thing in this game? But didn't Nagisa say the destruction in Magatoki won't affect the real world? And what are they doing here? This isn't part of the game. As if reading her mind the girl in white uniform stepped forward.

“We do have something to say about this fake Magatoki you created but first and foremost, we're coming for that little prick of shinigami.”

Everyone's eyes followed the direction the girl was pointing and Nagisa blinked.

“Me?”

All of the girls let out a sigh in unison, as if tired of the obvious development. Ryouha swore she would slap her face if she could move her body. The girl in white uniform nudged her temple.

“Hirate. Please read the list.”

“Yes.”

The girl named Hirate snapped her fingers, and from it a flame lit up. The flame spread in the air as she opened her palm, scattering into a list of ancient letters.

“Several buildings in Akihabara. The sidewalk area of Meguro river. And just now the underground tunnels of Shinjuku.”

Nagisa tilted her head as she heard that, and the girl in white growled.

“THAT is the list of things we have to repair thanks to you. And you haven't paid for any of them.”

Ah. Shu and Yuuri stared back at Nagisa. They seemed to understand what's going on, but it wasn't the case with the main culprit.

“Pay? Why do I have to pay?”

“You little...“

The enraged girl dropped her shoulders and leaned forward. Somehow Ryouha could see her teeth elongated like fangs and something sharp started to protrude from her back. Her voice grew deeper.

“Are you trying to test my temper?”


“Um, S-shiraishi-san... Fangs...”   

The girl stopped abruptly as Hirate tapped her shoulder, dropping her head. She let out a long breath and returned to her full height. Her previous monstrous traits disappeared.

“Ahem, anyways, pay your due. You always disappear once Magatoki ends and we can't even locate you because you haven't signed the players contract.”

“Eeh, what's that? Never heard about 'em.”

“That's because you didn't attend the opening ceremony, Nagisa-sama. You already ran off by yourself to the human world...”

“Is that so~?”

Yuuri nodded. Sometimes she couldn't believe how airheaded her master could be. She turned toward the two figures.

“Does it mean the two of you are here as representatives from both Tsuchigumo5 and Jorogumo6? I thought your clan leaders are the ones who oversee the registry.”

Shiraishi glanced at Hirate, who in turn pulled out a scroll from her side pocket.

“It's because our leader of Jorogumo is not... 'suitable' for dealing with troublemakers.” 

“That goes the same for us Tsuchigumo. You wouldn't believe how soft can they be.”

Shiraishi finished with a sigh and put one hand to her hip.

“So miss troublesome shinigami over there. Come here and get this over with.”

“Aye, aye...”

Nagisa let out a lazy answer, leaving Ryouha to Yuuri's care. She stopped in front Hirate as the girl unrolled the previous scroll and held it open with both hands.

“And then? What do you want me to do?”

“Please show your reaper mark and hold it above the scroll.”

Nagisa shrugged and removed her glove.

“Like this?”

“Yes. Please stay still.”

Stab.

Nagisa froze. A sharp black limb shot out of Hirate's back and stabbed through her palm. Her blood silently dripped onto the empty scroll.

“THAT HURTS!!!!”

The shinigami screamed on top of her lungs and rolled around the ground in pain, clutching her bleeding hand.

“Oh, shush. You're a shinigami; flesh wound like that will regenerate in a flash.”

Shiraishi brushed the shinigami away and approached Hirate, noting the serious look on the girl's face.

“This is...”

“Something wrong, Techi?”

She peeked from above the girl's shoulder, reading through the ancient writings that appeared on the scroll.

“I see. What an irregular, no wonder her works are so messed up.”

The earth spider hummed, before pulling out a phone from her pocket.

“Fine then. You probably don't know about this as well so I'll show you how to calculate your Kegare points for now.”

Ryouha blinked as she heard that.

Kegare. Impurities. Are they using it as points in this game?

She watched as Shiraishi pulled Nagisa's hand and scanned the reaper mark on it with her phone just like a QR code.

“Here are your current points.”


||Scanning Result||
Lv.A – 0 x 100   : 0 pts
Lv.B – 0 x 50    : 0 pts
Lv.C – 0 x 30    : 0 pts
Lv.D – 0 x 10    : 0 pts
Lv.E – 20 x 1    : 20 pts
------------------------
Kegare gained   : 20 pts 
Damages   : -10000 pts
------------------------
Total       : -9980 pts

 _________________________________________
|                                         |
| Good work!                              |
| Don't forget to send the purified souls |
| to the Ministry of Right and Wrong~     |
|_________________________________________|



Nagisa stared at the screen blankly, her mouth slightly agape. Shiraishi gave her a sweet smile and waved the phone in front of the girl's face.

“Work hard to pay those points back, shinigami.”

“H-ha ha, you're rigged that device, right? I defeated a Tatari before and I know they're at least C rank.”

“Did I hear a protest?”

The ayakashi pulled her phone back. Her smiling face suddenly turned dark.

“Do you want me to rip you apart and check if there's really any C rank soul inside? Huh?”

“...no, ma'am. I'm sorry.”

Shiraishi huffed, satisfied to see the shinigami planted her face to the ground in apology.

“And you, onmyouji7. We'll be taking over your fake Magatoki and start the reparation of reality now. Please leave immediately and tell your clan leader, that the [Game Master] want to speak with them about this.”

“Sure, sure.” Shu waved her hand in dismissal.

“Just start working already you giant creepers.”

Shiraishi gave the girl a cold stare, before she jumped into the huge hole on the asphalt, followed by Hirate. The two ayakashi quickly disappeared into the underground tunnel, blending perfectly in the darkness.

“Hah... Ha ha ha... Minus nine thousand, she said? What a joke...”

Nagisa laughed under her breath, her body trembling. She stood and walked toward the gaping hole.

“Just you see! I'll pay those points back a hundred fold!!”

The shinigami clenched her fists and screamed into the crater, her voice echoed throughout the underground chamber. Shu sighed, while Yuuri couldn't help letting out an awkward laugh. Ryouha hung her head as she saw that, feeling the little energy she had left disappeared in an instant.

This is going to be another disaster...




__________________________________________________________
Shinigami Playground : Chapter 04 // END












--Shinigami ☆ Q&A Corner--

1the ‘apparent’ world, in contrary to the 'hidden world' (Kakuriyo).
The place where humans and other physical beings resides.

2also known as ‘Kami-kakushi’ (being hidden by spirits).
A mysterious disappearance that happens when a creature of Kakuriyo,
usually ayakashi, takes an ordinary human away to their realm.
The said human will usually be found dead, have their mind broken,
or forever lost in the unseen.

3the demon fire. It has the appearance of a small ball of flame,
usually blue or white, that floats around the air.
They are known as spirits that born from corpses of humans and animals,
and also from the grudge of a living person towards others.
They usually don’t produce much heat but may grow bigger
when fed with impurities. That’s why ayakashi tends to avoid them.

4the word ‘kitsune’ literally means ‘fox’,
but it can also refers to ayakashi with the same appearance and name.
One of the strongest race of ayakashi, they are skilled in many kind of magic
especially shape-shifting. Most of them have a wicked demeanor,
but some are also known to protect humans as the servants of prosperity god Inari.
It doesn’t change the fact that their root lies in their cunning nature
so it’s better not to be involved with them at all.

5the earth spider ayakashi, one of the two races that make up Zaka clan.
They make webs in dark caves and lies in wait for their prey to venture in.
Because of that they’re known to be less aggressive than their sibling the Jorogumo,
while in reality they have bigger power and matching ambition.
Another special trait of theirs is their skill in construction;
it is said that they can construct any building in one night,
emerging above ground in one time and disappearing the next day.
This may explains why ayakashi’s structures are completed much faster than human ones.

6the fire-breathing spider ayakashi, one of the two races that makes up Zaka clan.
Unlike their sibling the Tsuchigumo they’re more cunning and may use all kind of trickery
to lure preys into their nests. They also have no fear of shinigami and have kidnapped
many humans from Utsushiyo in the past.
This tendency have been long gone but their ability to burn down any building in one night
as well as their eccentric nature make them widely feared even among ayakashi.

7the practitioner of the art of onmyodo,
the Japanese equivalent of divination and magecraft.
In the past the bureau of Onmyo have a high standing in imperial court
and even personally tasked by the emperor to protect the country from evil spirits,
but after a political clout during Heian period their authority have completely vanished.
Nowadays not many onmyouji are left and those who still continue the practices
do so in the shadow, acting as specialists in Kakuriyo.   









« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 05:47:05 PM by jubethehare »

Offline MaYukiIsLife

  • Furuyanagi x Furumarion
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Re: [ALL48+46] Shinigami Playground (NagiUha+Various) [CH.04]
« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2017, 06:09:56 PM »
Techi and Maimai appear!

Offline Shinoki

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Re: [ALL48+46] Shinigami Playground (NagiUha+Various) [CH.04]
« Reply #31 on: November 11, 2017, 02:32:55 AM »
Ryouha-tan, I'm totally cheering her on. Haha, I feel bad for her.
Yet... this fanfiction is amazing! (And your art is... ngh! Top-notch!)
Techi appeared. Techi is cool. Yay~ Every chapter makes me more and more interested in the story.
Kimi no haato ni~ REVOLUTION!

Offline Ruka Kikuchi

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Re: [ALL48+46] Shinigami Playground (NagiUha+Various) [CH.04]
« Reply #32 on: November 11, 2017, 03:14:04 PM »
Things just get more and more crazy for Ryouha. XD

And now, Techi and Maiyan are here! Sweet!

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