Recap: Yusuke fought again Sensui, died, came back as a Mazoku descendant, and defeated Sensui in Demon World while being possessed by his ancestor. The group left Demon World and was briefly confronted by the Special Defense Force.
Komeko, inky black hair whirled into a messy bun, sat in her room. Several books were spread out on the edge of her small bed while her notebook remained on her lap. She leaned forward and read through more of the chapter for her math class. It wasn’t her favorite subject, but she was not doing badly in it either. Two hours passed as she melded from one subject and on to another one. Throwing the loose leaf paper back in the binder and slamming it closed, she treaded down her stairs and into her living room for a short reprieve from the gigantic load of work she had.
Even though Koenma had been on leave from the Spirit World, she had her end of the deal that she was obligated to uphold. The television brought light into the room and some of the news came on. She turned it off only a few minutes later and headed for the fridge to find something to eat. Head buried in the cold box, she came back empty. Nothing felt satisfying to her; she frowned at the refrigerator’s closed doors.
The doorbell chimed, giving her something to pay attention to. She opened the door and another disapproving look crossed her features. She was standing in the same situation she had less than a month ago. On her door step was a single rose in a clear vase with a small paper attached. Normally, she would have been happy to get a gift, but she was frustrated that it had gone on this long and Kurama had been indifferent to her. What was he playing at?
‘My sweet, I enjoy your company like a breath of fresh air,
You fill my lungs and sweep me from my feet,
To reveal myself to you, I dare,
Please, come to the park, so we may meet.
- Your Secret Admirer.’
A very surprised look crossed her features and a giddy feeling burst into her heart. She ran inside and placed the rose on her counter, note beside it. Jolting in and out of the shower rapidly, she hurried to get ready. After taking longer than she would have liked to choose an outfit, she clothed her body in jeans, chucks, and a light pink tank top before scrambling out the door. Since the card did not give a time, she believed it meant now or as soon as possible. She paused as she walked by his house; she could smell him clearly and she knew it wasn’t coming from his home.
Rounding the corner, she spotted a familiar red-head resting at the nearest bench. She paused for a moment, checked to make sure she still looked alright, and walked over to him. Sitting down beside him, she smiled in greeting. He smiled back and nerves flailed in her stomach playfully.
“I’m happy to see you here.” Komeko said after a few seconds.
“As am I.”
“I really loved the flowers. I wasn’t sure why you wanted to be so secretive, but I’ve enjoyed them nonetheless.” Komeko rambled, eyes temporarily glued to the foliage around them.
A confused look evolved from his features and Komeko’s smile dropped. “I’m sorry? I never sent you any flowers.”
Red heat flared over Komeko’s face in embarrassment and she was speechless. “Then,” she paused, “What are you doing here?”
“I came because of the letter you left at my home. I was perplexed as to why you would want to meet me here, rather than being direct, but I figured I would just come and find out.”
“I never,” her eyes searched his for any falsehood, “I never sent you any letters. I’ve received roses from you on three different occasions, left on my doorstep.”
A grave expression encompassed his normally serene and handsome features. A pin prick from aimed darts pierced their necks and both of them fell to the ground, unconscious.
Komeko rubbed her eyes groggily as she sat up. She felt crunchy grass beneath her palms and she stood on wobbly legs. She looked around, but all she could see were three green walls where the lush leaves concealed thorny branches. Taking a step forward, she felt fabric brush her legs. She looked down and noted her attire with distaste. She was wrapped in a white dress that reached past her knees. She did not even want to contemplate how she got put into the ensemble in the first place, so she ignored it and moved on.
‘Where is Kurama? I can’t remember what happened that well. I know we were in the park, talking about something important.’
After taking several lefts and getting frustrated, she sniffed the air. Nothing came to her senses, except for the smell of sweat that she was now lightly coated in. It was humid out and she noted the frizz in her hair accordingly. It fueled her frustration and she pulled up the skirt of her outfit to press on. Her next step halted mid-stride as a gnarled root caught her dress. She fell on her knees and stared at the offending plant as it receded from its spot.
Tears of exasperation collected in her eyes and she gave an angry grunt as she sat herself up. Eyeing the white mess analytically, she noted the tears it now had. She pulled the excess off in strips so she would not trip and trudged onward. Finally, a new scent wafted into her sensitive nose and she followed it. It smelled like flowers – like roses!
‘If I can just get close enough and find him. Maybe Kurama is here too.’
The sight that greeted her when she turned the corner was not precisely what she expected. She saw flowers, and roses were surely among them, but a man with short black hair also stood further off. He turned as she came towards him and bowed respectfully.
“Hello, Miss. What are you doing in this labyrinth?” he asked.
“I couldn’t really say. Who are you?” Komeko responded.
“I am Hachiro and I’m pleased to meet such a beautiful woman. What is your name?”
Feeling creeped out by the random stranger, she bowed politely.
“I’m Komeko. Where are we, exactly?”
He gestured her to move over towards a small table. They sat down across from each other after he pulled out the chair for her. She thanked him softly.
“We are in a very beautiful land.” He said.
Confused at the vague description, she stared at him awkwardly. He cleared his throat before offering her some tea. She declined the suggestion and asked him more questions.
“Why are you here?”
“I oversee this area.”
“What day is it?”
“Any day we please.”
“What does that mean?”
“Whatever we would like it to.”
She stood and began to leave the table. Hachiro did the same and followed her, grabbing onto her wrist roughly. His grip was tight enough to bruise most.
“Let me go.”
“No, you can’t leave.”
“I’ll do as I please.”
“No you won’t.” Hachiro’s eyes narrowed and Komeko felt something cold on her arm.
She yelled as she tried to pull the tentacle off her upper arm, but the squishy suction cups were strong, almost tearing her skin with their tenacity. She looked up at Hachiro, but her vision blurred and darkness encircled her eyes. Hachiro placed her on the ground and positioned himself beside her in the same manner.
A white mist enveloped the two bodies and Komeko sat up.