Ghost Hunt:Volume1 Chapter1
 Chapter 1 - Pressure Falling
The following day had nice weather and the sakura trees on the road to school were forming a beautiful white tunnel.
Along with the nice weather I, for some reason, was feeling better too. In the morning, when I saw the sky clearing away and the sun rising, I suddenly felt myself full of energy, and went to school earlier than usual.
I was passing through the tunnel of roadside sakura trees on my way to school when I suddenly felt like seeing the old school building.
The old school was standing on the opposite side of the sports ground facing the new one. A wooden, half-demolished building. A building that had many bad rumors going around about it. Everyone considered it a haunted mansion.
Are the rumors true?
I decided to go.
Maybe it is true. Being abandoned for a long time, the windows are clouded in dust. More than half of them are broken so one could see the gloomy inside of the school beyond them.
Dark hole openings in the windows. I feel something different from these holes, like they belong to another place, a different world than the one I know.
A distorted tiled roof. Half of the building is covered in a blue sheet. That originally beautiful blue color is soiled too, deeply ruined.
I approached the old school building.
The entrance way has an old-fashioned door with a glass window, which is clouded and broken too. A transparent vinyl put there is looking rather lonely.
I peeped in through that window.
Inside the entrance way the color of dusk is dominating. A rattly shoe shelf disposed to the faint light is standing there like a gravestone. A terrible amount of dust. A spider's nest. Its threads are dusty too. A completely dilapidated building.
Broken glass is scattered on the floor, something that looks like an old bowl, and other garbage is all over the place. Ruins. Dilapidated building. A haunted house. An old school building of bad rumors.
Peeping in, I suddenly notice a strange thing inside the entrance way.
What could it be?
A black machine.
Pretty big, looks like a video camera. Set on top of a tripod.
Why is such a thing here I wonder, I have to make sure what it is.
Spontaneously, I put my hand on the door knob.
A very dusty and rough sense of touch.
The door opened with a very unpleasant creak to let me inside.
I entered right after the door opened. As I thought, it's a video camera. It can't be... someone lost this?
I got closer to the camera.
Why would there be a camera?
This thing totally puzzles me. It's like seeing a car stopped in the middle of the living room of a friend's house.
Er, what is this?
Just when I stretched my hands towards the video...
"Who is it?"
A man's sharp voice.
In that ex-school building of bad luck. In that dark entrance way, inside that completely dilapidated building, there just when I saw a strange thing and felt curious...
At that time all of a sudden I hear a voice, it's impossible not to get surprised.
Of course I was surprised. Not just surprised. I literally jumped back. While jumping I unintentionally crashed into the almost collapsed shoe shelf.
At that moment the shoe shelf swayed turning around.
On my vision's edge I see a man's figure standing at the door.
I try to avoid the shoe shelf that was inclining towards me for the second time.
At the spur of the moment I trip and fall and the shoe shelf collapses grazing my uniform skirt, on top of that it directly hits the video camera... I take an innocent breath ...that surprised me...
Huh, I thought I was going to get caught in.
Taking a breath of relief, I turned to face the man just like a rogue would in front of two monks.
Now it is completely broken. The previously broken shoe shelf. And the man is lying on the floor.
"Are you alright?"
I rushed over to him. And at the same time heard a voice.
A man's voice.
The one who rushed over here from the door is the exchange student who made me unrest from yesterday. Shibuya. Today he isn't wearing a uniform either. He is as black as ever.
He ran over to check the collapsed man near me.
Does he know him? Saying that, he notices me, giving me an intense look.
Just when I was about to answer the fallen man raised his body.
"Are you hurt?"
Shibuya asks him.
Below the long forelock that is covering the upper part of his face, there is a red line flowing down.
My voice gets nervous.
"……Did you cut yourself somewhere?"
The blood falling from his chin is forming a circle of dots on the floor.
What should I do!
"I am very sorry! I was surprised and..."
I quickly try to give him a hand, but Shibuya stops me.
Using his perfectly calm hands, he is checking the state of the fallen man's injury.
"It's a small cut... Anywhere else?"
"I am alright."
The injured man gets up. He bends a little when his weight gets to his legs.
"Can you stand? How are your legs?"
"……Everything is okay."
But still he has quite a sickly look on his face. A thick layer of sweat is running down his forehead.
Not knowing what to do, I just stand there nervously.
"I am really sorry. But suddenly hearing your voice I was totally surprised..."
"He already told you, it's okay", Shibuya says in a cold voice.
I counter with an even colder look.
"We met yesterday, didn't we?"
But is it alright for me to give him such a grave look? After all this man got injured because of me getting surprised.
"That's right, but what's more important now is, is there a hospital or a doctor nearby?"
"Right after the school gate..."
"Take me there."
Saying this, Shibuya supports his friend with a shoulder.
I also try to help him, but he puts off my hand with his arm.
What's with this guy!
Glaring at me he says: "I'm fine. Your help is unneeded."
...This guy.. what's with his attitude. In the first place all this happened because you scared me like that. And I, like a kind person, lent you a hand...
"Lin, can you walk?"
"Yes, I am okay."
Shibuya takes a look at me.
"What's your name?"
"Then, Taniyama-san, I will be alright from here on, you can return to the classroom."
"I should let you know that the school bell just rang."
I got up early and I'm still late?
Getting up early, being scared to death, these two guys almost freaking me out and on top of that I'm late for school?
Ah, I should have never approached the old building.
As I thought, that place was full of bad luck!
Even though I ran in all my haste I was totally late for school. And as if to finish me off, the teacher had to scold me in front of the whole class... it couldn't get any worse. Thanks to this I was in a bad mood throughout the whole day.
And when I was about to go home, Keiko and the others gathered around my desk.
"Hey, Mai, are you going home?"
"Weren't we going to meet with yesterday's exchange guy?"
"Yes, let's meet him."
Don't joke around. I don't want to see that guy's face for a while.
"I'm going home." I make it clear to them that I won't go.
"Whyy? Mai... you've changed."
Even Michiru nods.
"What a weirdo you are. That guy's got the godlike coolness, don't you think so?"
No, I don't. They are too excited. I, too, think he's got a pretty face, but that's all.
Recognizing me as a weirdo, Michiru says,
"Well, that's fine. The lesser rivals, the better."
"That's right. We'll be the only ones to enjoy his enchanting eyes."
Keiko is really happy.
"You really don't want to come?", Yuuri adds in mistrust.
"Are you sure? You were quite interested yesterday."
With these words Michiru smoothed down her uniform, having nothing more to say.
Keiko too gives up on me and changes the topic.
"But I was really surprised yesterday. The atmosphere was so tense wasn't it? I thought that ghosts had appeared for real."
"Today, we'll tell stories again."
"But where? We won't get in the right mood here. What about we borrow the A/V room again?"
You're really into it, aren't you?
"Yeah, it isn't dark enough here. The A/V room? The school's mixer room."
"That sounds okay."
...Just when they were talking about this...
"Wait a minute."
The voice we hear is that of our class rep, Ms. Kuroda Naoko.
Somehow, she always looks nervous. It's been half a month since I entered this school, but I still haven't even talked to her.
"Ah, Kuroda-san, good-bye." Yuuri turns to her with an innocent smile.
"It isn't goodbye. What were you talking about just now?"
Ms. Kuroda seems to be in a bad mood.
But we didn't insult you or anything.
Then I replied, "We're going to tell ghost stories today. That's what we were talking about."
Keiko poked me.
I feel Ms. Kuroda's murderous intent.
What's with her?
At exactly that moment, Shibuya shows his face from the door.
"Is Taniyama-san here?"
Ms. Kuroda turns to his direction.
"What year are you? What are you doing here?"
"Ah, I had an arrangement with these girls..."
"Arrangement? About the ghost stories?"
Hearing Shibuya's answer, Ms. Kuroda turns at us without fail.
"Didn't I tell you to stop doing this?!"
...Ah? What's with this girl?
She angled her eyes.
"No wonder I've been having headaches since this morning."
I incline my head doubtfully. What is she talking about?
"Taniyama-san, I am sensitive to spirits. I have headaches when a lot of them gather. I am having headaches today. Spirits have definitely gathered here."
"Didn't you know? When you tell ghost stories spirits gather. These are mainly low-level spirits. But even if they are low-level ones, when a lot of them gather they attract stronger spirits. You will be in trouble if that happens."
……WHAT'S WITH THIS GIRL?
"So you shouldn't think of telling ghost stories as 'fun'."
Then she turns to Shibuya.
"It would be quite troublesome if senpai did it too. I'd have to do an exorcism," Ms. Kuroda says that with a thoughtful expression.
Shibuya shrugs his shoulders.
"Isn't it just your imagination?"
"That's why people who can't sense spirits are annoying." Her tone is persistently intense.
Shibuya looks at her with a strong intent.
"You, if you really can sense them then do you sense something from the old school building?"
"Old school building? Ah, it seems spirits of those who died during the war are gathering there." Ms. Kuroda says quickly.
"Died during the war……?"
"Right. I often see a man's shadow looking at me from the windows and it looks like a man from the war"
"Hee, which war?"
"Of course, the World War II. During the war there was a hospital on that place. The spirits of the dead nurses can be seen there. It had been air-raided once. Therefore a lot of injured spirits can be seen too"
Shibuya says with a sarcastic smile.
"I didn't know this was a hospital during the war. I heard that this school was here since pre-war days. And before that there was a medical faculty, wasn't there?"
……A really hard personality……
Ms. Kuroda bends her mouth. Then her face gets red.
"I woudn't know such a thing. Anyway, I've seen them. A person unable to sense them wouldn't understand."
Ms. Kuroda doesn't give up until the end.
"The school principal is bothered that the ex-building's demolition failed and was complaining.
Are you here to exorcise it?"
"...it isn't so simple。We'll do it when possible."
"I see.", Shibuya responds coldly, and turns to us.
"Since here is no good, let's go elsewhere?"
"It's still such a thing!"
Ms. Kuroda snaps at Shibuya with incredible force.
But Shibuya completely unconcerned comes to us making Keiko and the others restless again.
This extremely timid voice is Yuuri's.
"Let's put it off for today?"
"I agree...I'm not in the mood for it."
Keiko loses her enthusiasm too.
What's happening? No one is even looking at him, they will miss a chance for intimate experience with their cool senpai.
But still Michiru says, "...Shibuya-senpai, sorry. After all..."
"I see." Shibuya nods in assent. "Then some other time."
Saying that, he raises his hand. Looking at the seemingly-pleased Ms. Kuroda he says, "You are satisfied too, right?"
"...What are you talking about?"
"It's okay if you don't know. ――Taniyama-san, please." Shibuya invites me.
Keiko and the others throw a surprised glance at me.
"What is it?"
"Do you have a spare minute?" He says with a smile on his face. Keiko and company cannot notice his negative expression. My back is being watched reproachfully while leaving the room.
"Who's that girl?" Shibuya asks me while walking in a brisk step before me, where is he taking me I wonder.
"I don't know. Today was the first time I've spoken with her. She seems suspicious to me for some reason."
"Yeah. Is she really a medium?" He asked with a thoughtful expression.
"Well, she said it herself, didn't she? By the way, is the person from this morning alright?"
"About that." Shibuya turns to face me with his cold, indifferent expression. "He sprained his left ankle. It is apparently in very bad condition, so he won't be able to stand for a while."
"……Oh……I'm really sorry……" I say this, but still I wonder if I really should be apologizing to him. "Well……is he an acquaintance of yours?"
"Wasn't it obvious?" Shibuya glances at me with ridicule in his eyes.
"What kind of acquaintance?" I ask.
He was giving me a strange feeling. That guy from the morning was over the hill no matter how you look at him. That same person was talking to his partner, the seventeen-year-old Shibuya, in a polite manner, while on the opposite side Shibuya was always talking in an excessively rude way. Isn't this a reversal?
Shibuya replies with his peaceful voice in a casual manner.
Oh. What an arrogant assistant this is. Would you normally talk to your master in such a rude tone?
"Your boss seems to have a rather strict personality." I say this with a grain of sarcasm. I don't know if it was a sprained ankle or a broken bone, but I had already relieved myself from that responsibility by lending him a hand. "But it wasn't only me who was responsible for your master's injury. He was the one who surprised me--"
"It's the opposite."
The opposite? What is? I didn't surprise him for sure.
Shibuya speaks curtly--"I am the boss. He is the assistant."
……What the heck? This is a serious matter.
A seventeen year-old using an adult for his assistant? What in the world is this guy?
I stare at Shibuya with an "are you serious" expression.
He looks at me with all his pale glory.
"My assistant being unable to move is troubling. Don't you think you have a responsibility to take on, Taniyama-san?"
"Hey, don't joke around! Just to make things clear, I'm a victim too. Not only was I startled to death, but I was late for school."
All the world's cold is gathered inside his eyes.
"He was hurt. And how are you?"
"...That is... I'm pretty lively."
"Moreover, the camera was broken."
Ah, that video camera. Now that I think about it, it fell really badly. And it's a fragile precision instrument...
"Lin...I mean, my assistant, tried to prevent you from touching it, which lead to our current situation."
"That is……really……" A really bad situation. That was inevitable. It wasn't my fault. Even if I say so, it doesn't feel like he'll understand.
"I would have liked for you to pay compensation for the camera, but……"
Compensation!? Are you joking!
"It isn't like I broke it intentionally!"
"Didn't they teach you not to touch other people's stuff without permission?"
……But……I felt like "why in the world is there a video camera in such a place"..
"And, how much is the compensation……?"
What Shibuya estimated was an unbelievable sum of money. Such a great cost that only exists in dreams.
"Cut it out with the jokes! Why is that video camera so expensive?! This can't possibly be true!"
"That video camera was a custom-made, produced in Germany. Would you like to see the certificate?"
Foreign order. Custom-made, at that.
My eyes went black.
What am I going to do?
Shibuya said, "If you don't like this..."
……What? I can apologize for not being able to pay!
"Would you mind taking the place of my assistant?"
"By this……You mean I'll be working as your assistant?"
"I'll do it."
I'll do it, be it an assistant's job or a maid's job.
Shibuya nods his head in agreement.
At the same time I asked him a sudden question.
"By the way、what kind of work are you doing, Shibuya-san?"
Second-year, high school student. 17 year-old student, has an assistant, using an incredibly expensive camera. What the hell is he doing?
"Or in other words、ghost extermination. We've come here to investigate the old school building by the request of the principal. We are called 'Shibuya Psychic Research'."
"Haven't you taken any English lessons?"
I have. Well, excuse me. For being bad at English.
"A psychic phenomenon investigation service. And I am the head of it."
Head, this fellow, with the social standing of a 17 year-old!
Not only that, but what...? Investigation of the old school building? Psychic phenomenon investigation service!?
This is a joke, right!?
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