A/N: For those who have waited an extremely long time for this story to be updated, I apologize. I've been working on this for the past few weeks and I hope that it is enjoyable! Thank you so much for you patience!
~Much Love and Many Hugs~
Chapter Four: Employed for Misfortune
Arm in arm a young couple marched down a cleared path. Heavy scents of wine escaped from their foggy breath. They paused in front of a wedding shop and pointed out several beautiful dresses. A blush covered the man's face as he examined the girl's beaming expressions. He pulled up her chin then stared into her light brown eyes. Seconds seemed to gradually morph into eternity as their lips drew near to one another.
Unbeknownst to them the pair had a captivated audience atop the store roof; a tall golden haired male dressed in a white tuxedo and Satoru. The envy star glanced over to the other male then commented on the girl's natural beauty.
"Yes, she is a sight to behold. I hope you don't mind me being too brash, but what have you called me for? These next few nights are crucial for my wisher. This is the only window of time that I can get close enough to her boss to amputate his grabby hands."
"I need you to make a tragedy happen. Nothing to big though Okita, just a simple thing that will alarm a close friend."
"That is my job. You say you want this done to a close friend. Why? Who are these people to her? "
"Akio is a long time friend of mine. I have come to the conclusion that she is harboring the Cursed Star. But our stupid laws restrict us from interacting with normal humans in our true form, and the man she claims is her new boyfriend has shown no proof that he is the star. Yet it is bluntly obvious that he is no normal man. The couple down there is, Serna and Itachi, they are close friends with Akio, closer to her than I am unfortunately—"
"Ah…I see. You wish for me to scare her into turning him in by using her best friends."
"That is exactly my plan. I will tell her it is a reaction of the cursed star, that the persons she cares for can get hurt or worse, and if she doesn't admit the truth she may lose someone she truly loves."
"You can be really mindless and heartless because of your spite, but I find myself bored with watching an old man play with himself. Fine, I will stir up a little tragedy for you Satoru." Okita shook the star's hand, before vanishing.
The couple below parted lips slowly then embraced one another. A bright light drowned them out of visual sight and Satoru left the area.
Akio shot up from her futon while grabbing at her chest. She gasped for air as the sweat from her skin began to dry up. After realizing where she was, Akio rubbed her eyes then got to her feet. Events from the previous night's dream caused a deep throbbing in the front of her head. She pressured herself into believing it all being an illusion; perhaps a long shower would confirm her cynicism. As soon as she opened the door aromas of a fowl burning scent became etched into her nostrils. Vomit attempted to rush out of the girl's throat, but she guarded her quaking lips.
Not soon after did thuds of her fast pacing feet echo throughout the apartment. Within moments she reached the source of her displeasure. Her eyes grew wide with horror as she examined what was once an average kitchen. Smoke lingered about the space where the ash covered stove was. Sticky food dripped from the ceiling lamp and made an icky puddle in the middle of the floor. Her eyes then moved lastly to her unwanted house guest, who remained in a bent over posture with a crooked metal spoon hovering over a pot of excessively cooked rice. Both of Takeshi's gloves lost its fingers and the rest of the fabric was about to fall off.
"What the hell have you done!? Look at this mess!" Akio shouted, as she headed towards the disaster.
"Stop where you are now!" Takeshi instructed uncouthly. "I need you to listen to me. Your safety is in grave danger with me like this…my gloves are done for."
"Your gloves aren't the only thing that is done for Takeshi!"
"I think there is someone who can fix these for me. I just have to get there without touching anything that's living." He huffed before dropping the spoon to the ground. "Do you know how to get to the local witch? Perhaps she can aid us."
"Uh…personally I don't know anything about witches. Hmm, we could search the internet, but I would have to go to my parents and right now I don't think they want to see you or me. Wait…we can hunt through a phone book. Serna and I always keep one in the bookcase. After we find this witch person...you had better cleaned up that mess in the kitchen!" Akio responded, while walking into the living room. She went straight to the place where she thought it was, but it was nowhere to be found. Akio nervously laughed then peeked under her couch. When it didn't show she growled then stormed down the hallway. "I know it's here damn it!"
"This is going to be a long day." Takeshi sighed, before falling to his knees.
Even though the sun was near setting many pedestrians continued to travel through the snowy roads and sidewalks. Traffic built up heavily all over except for one block. A dark little dry cleaning shop seemed to be the cause of the road's desertion. Hundreds of black birds resided on its gothic roof and stained the shingles with droppings. Waiting at its main counter was a bored and outwardly fragile teen. Her eyes wandered across her empty store. Resting atop her neatly combed hair was her pet crow. It squawked before flapping its way down to the counter.
"You're frantic today…whatever for Nip?" She inquired, while caringly stroking its wings. "Is someone of real importance going to visit us today? I suppose it will just be surprise."
Jingling from the door bells drew her attention away from the creature nearby. A smile formed on her face as she walked over to greet the gentleman. They exchanged bows; he placed a pair of pants into her arms. With care he pushed up his spectacles before taking a seat at the counter.
"Hitomi, do you mind telling me why your shop is always so empty when I come around?" He asked, although he very well knew the answer. It was just the middle aged man's custom to engage in small talk with her. She smirked while opening a clothing press.
"With the sort of business I deal, you don't get too many costumers and when you do…it always pays well. What can I offer you today, Arakida?" The lady questioned, while hanging the pants near an ironing board.
"My eldest son has suffered a most regrettable loss recently. His wife-to-be was murdered in a hit and run." Arakida said, before pulling out a box of cigarettes. "He too was injured pretty badly, but he made it through. It should not surprise you that I mean to take revenge on the persons responsible."
"Isn't this something that you should leave in the hands of the authorities?"
"Ha, there is no such thing as justice within courts and prisons. You of all people should know that. What I truly need is special protection, someone that is humanly impossible to destruct. All I ask is that you point me to right person. I will pay extremely well."
Nip squawked before hyperactively flying around the store; the owner sneered before an ominous stench conquered the air. Black moisture filled Hitomi's eyes as the man laid a stack of bills on the counter.
"Yes...the payment is more than enough." She growled out, as her head went back. "You will find the one of which you are searching…the Cursed Star. He is the one of which you seek."
"How may I find him…this cursed star?"
"All you need to do is to wait here. He shall beckon us."
From underneath her coffee table Akio retrieved a musty white paged book. After hours of hunting she felt as though that common directory was worth millions. As soon as she opened the book a gold and tan page fell onto her chest. Akio held the sign up and showed it to Takeshi.
"This just fell out of the book, a sign that says: Oracle Dry Cleaning, Fortune Telling, and Luck Charms'. Serna's boyfriend used to go here all the time with his father. I over heard the manager there uses magic. Perhaps she'll know how to help."
"It's worth a shot I suppose." Takeshi stood to his feet, then stretched. "I promise this will be the last time I ever try to cook breakfast."
"Well thank goodness." Akio sighed as she ran over to the wireless phone. Quickly she dialed the number listed on the page. A sultry female voice answered, "Thank you for calling…this is Hitomi, what can I do for you today?"