Ghost Hunt:Volume1 Chapter2
 Chapter 2 - Storm Approaching
"If you’re interested in listening, I can briefly explain the circumstances?" Mr. Shibuya says as he sits on the bench near the shrubs of the old school building.
"If I don’t listen, I won’t be able to do my job." My voice was sullen. What a thing to be caught up in.
"The principal heard that the old school building is haunted, so a week ago he asked me to come investigate. Apparently, he wants to rebuild the gymnasium. For that he wants the old school building demolished."
Ah, come to think of it, that was written in the pamphlet I got at the time of my admission into the school. Soon, a big gymnasium will be built.
"However, it seems that the many times in the past that they had tried to demolish the old school building, they had to stop the demolition because of the accidents that happened."
"Ah, and they wanted an investigation so they asked you?"
"That’s how it is."
"I see, and so you transferred schools for that?"
You went through a lot of trouble.
But Mr. Shibuya is staring at me with contempt.
"Who said I was transferring for the investigation?"
"But…yesterday, you said you were a transfer student."
"When I said ‘something like that’ and intended to be ambiguous?"
"That is what I said."
"Liar." I said in a small voice.
Mr. Shibuya gave me a frosty look.
"You were going to tell ghost stories. That’s why."
"I see. When we were telling ghost stories you might have brought up the old school building story, right? Then if you did that, it would be collecting information."
"Oh, so you have more wisdom than a monkey?" Mr. Shibuya said, impressed.
You jerk. Don’t compare a person with their ancestors and ancestry.
"I was collecting the rumors between the students. Yesterday when you were telling ghost stories, did a story about the old school building come up?"
"Yeah, but Michiru told it."
"What’s the story? Can you remember it?"
'Did you not forget it?' his tone seems to say.
"I still remember it. I’m not so out of it that I can forget what happened yesterday!"
Hmph. Rude jerk.
Mr. Shibuya inserted a hand into the inside pocket of his black jacket. He pulled out a small tape recorder.
Begin," He said as he pushed the record button.
Hmm. Well isn’t that interesting.
Despite what I was really thinking, I began talking about what Michiru had told me concerning the old school building.
After I finished the story, Shibuya stood up and asked, "Now then, can you take a walk with me?"
"To the old school building?"
He does have a point there.
"How much of Michiru's story do you think is true?" If it's all true, then I don't want to go to that old school building again.
Shibuya sat down again and pulled out a file. "Many people died in the old school building."
"Really?" I asked.
He turned to a page completely filled with writing.
I stared at it intently, but it was just like a medical record written by a doctor. It was all in English, and I couldn't understand a word of it.
"During the three years that the old building was being used...that is, eighteen years ago, one or two people died every year."
"After the new building was built, they made plans to demolish the old one. The roof fell during the demolition of the west wing. They say it was an operating accident."
"Is that true...?"
"Half of it is."
"The story you heard was that construction workers died, but that's not the truth. Five people were injured, but no one died."
"Really?" So then what?
"The demolition was completed as planned; they stopped after tearing down a third of the building."
"Oh? They didn't stop because of the stories?"
"Regrettably, no. At that time, a child died in the old school building. This most recent event occurred about six years ago."
"The child is..."
"The corpse of a seven-year old girl who lived nearby was found in the old school building. The police caught the murderer a month later. He originally wanted to kidnap her. Furthermore, a teacher really did commit suicide there, but he left a suicide note. Apparently he suffered from neurosis."
"Wow, you're amazing. That was really good research," I praised him sincerely.
"Of course. Don't underestimate my research ability."
...So it's like this. What a rude guy.
"In order to build a gymnasium in its place, the demolition of the old building began again last year."
"What about the truck that ran out of control?"
"Look at this."
Shibuya took out a copy of an old newspaper clipping from his files.
"Nine Students Struck by Construction Truck During Demolition" read the heading.
"The driver lost control of the rubble-filled truck near school grounds, causing it to skid though the volleyball court, leaving seven injured and two dead."
Below the news report were photos of the two deceased students. Poor kids... I couldn't help but feel sorry for them.
Shibuya continued indifferently, "There's a plausible reason for it: The driver was drunk."
"At that time the construction had to be stopped. Another reason was because of the rumors that were floating around."
I felt a chill run down my back.
"I investigated many claims, but they all turned out to be rumors. Despite being unfortunate ones, there is a clear reason behind each and every one of them. I don't think the old building is haunted at all."
After saying that, Shibuya stood up.
I don't want to go. Investigating the old school building? With me as an assistant?
Shibuya turned around and looked at me, as if he were urging me on.
So I followed him.
Shibuya lead the way, walking swiftly along the groves of trees in the front of the old school building before heading around the back.
A silver van was parked behind the school building in an inconspicuous area.
Shibuya opened the trunk. I couldn't see the backseats at all because a bunch of strange equipment blocked my view.
"Move the equipment out," Shibuya ordered.
"Move...all of this?" You must be kidding.
Shibuya coldly replied, "Move all the necessary equipment out."
A shelf was fixed on the inside of the van. On top of the shelf sat a stereo system, several small televisions, and a typewriter machine, all squished tightly together.
I didn't know anything about these machines, so I started to get a headache.
"So many machines...do you know how to run all of them?" I asked.
"Your brain and mine are different."
...Really now, can't you even be a little modest? This jerk...he really is too confident in himself.
"Retrieve the microphone before you start moving the equipment. Come here."
Okay, okay. Well, I am your substitute assistant. It's not like I'll be cursed to death by the old school building; I'll just be worked to death by you.
...Man, when I think of it that way, waking up in the morning sure seems scary now.
Shibuya went around to the back of the old school building.
There was a small path about two meters wide near the wall behind the old school building.
A row of microphones lined the path, the heads pointing in toward the old windows.
"Were you talking about these microphones?" I asked pointing to them.
"That's right. Take the microphones down. I'm putting them back."
"I got it. ...These microphones, what are they used for?"
...Ah, Shibuya's disdainful look.
"Wouldn't you think that microphones are generally used to gather sound?"
"I know that."
...Hmph, what a jerk.
"It's dangerous to enter a haunted building without doing research beforehand. That's why in the beginning, one should thoroughly research prior to arriving."
"For instance, gathering sound from outside the windows and setting up a camera."
...So that's how it is. Amazing.
"Is a haunted building really dangerous?"
"You're not scared?"
"There's nothing to be scared of."
..Eh? You really don't find it scary? "How come you want to do this kind of work when you're only seventeen years old?"
Shibuya's reply was very brief. "Because people need it done."
...If you weren't overconfident, you wouldn't answer like that.
I ignored his tone. "Then, there must be some cases that you couldn't solve, right?"
"None," Shibuya tersely replied, "because I am capable."
...This guy is really full of himself.
I figured anyone would start disliking him if they heard him say that.
"Wow, incredible—you're handsome and capable," I spouted out angrily.
Shibuya turned around and looked at me with piercing eyes. "I'm...handsome?"
"Is that bad? You got Keiko and the others to make such a big fuss over you."
"Right," Shibuya replied calmly, "they have good taste."
What is this? So people who think you're hot have good taste, and people who think you're not have bad taste?
Ah, I'll just call you Naru-chan from now on.
After I put the microphones back, I was ordered once again, to set up the equipment.
"Do I have to go inside the building...?"
"Of course you do."
"I want to stay out here and observe the machines."
Naru-chan gave me a cold look.
I'm just saying.
Not acknowledging my request, Naru-chan handed me some steel pipes, "Don't worry; I won't let you go alone. I'll go with you."
I unwillingly walked toward the old school building.
The building was old and worn, and the entrance hall was pitch black. I reached my hand out to open the door.
Inside the building, a little orange tint of light could be seen from the afterglow of the sunset. The fallen shoe cabinet lay in the same place since the accident from this morning.
Black water droplets dotted the floor. Those must be the assistant's bloodstains.
"Wait...wait for me."
Naru-chan carried a bunch of pipes inside, and I followed him in.
The smell of dust permeated the air, and the floors creaked with every step.
Deep in the entrance hall was a curved staircase. To the left and right of the staircase were hallways. There were two classrooms on the left, and three on the right.
The classrooms' nameplates hung down from the wall, unreadable and covered with dust.
"Use this room," Naru-chan said, glancing at a classroom near the entrance hall. It was the former lab room; big lab tables lined up in rows and columns.
Naru-chan went in.
A typical school would normally house many students. Even if some found it annoying, it was still a place were everyone could be together. Consequently, classrooms usually weren’t considered scary… Then again, they usually weren’t left to weather and rot to this degree.
Plus, there are creepy rumors about this place: The truck that ran out of control, the dead child, and the beckoning hand of a white silhouette by the window.
I carefully made my way into the room although I was really scared.
I let out a nervous sigh after noticing the classroom was brighter than the entrance hall.
The floor was covered with dust, and the walls were worn.
Naru-chan placed the steel pipes onto the table.
"Start building the shelves."
"Shi...Shibuya-san, what about you?"
"I have to bring in the rest of the equipment."
"Are you going out?"
"Of course, the equipment is outside."
"You're just gonna leave me here alone, to build the shelf?"
"Are you saying you'd rather move the equipment? Some of it weighs about 40 kg."
"I'll just build the shelf," I answered resignedly.
Naru-chan nodded and walked out of the classroom.
Luckily the classroom was still bright. Plus, there were no sounds except for the creaking of the floor when I moved.
I looked around.
It was still bright, so there should be no problem.
Right when I was feeling nervous, a blunt, grating sound filled the room. I was so scared I jumped.
Lifting my head, I realized it was just the ceiling.
I let out a sigh of relief and listened carefully.
It's okay.. It's okay...
While comforting myself, I looked at my surroundings. Naru-chan had stealthily entered the room.
His sharp voice dazed me a little, "You'd better work faster than that."
Annoying... I hate this guy.
While I was building the shelf, Naru-chan continuously bought in more equipment. Not long afterward, the classroom was completely filled with equipment.
After I finished setting up the shelves, I moved the rest of the equipment onto the tables.
I stood by Naru-chan, handing him this and that.
"Hey, what's this?" I asked, pointing at the tall machine beside Naru-chan.
"You can't tell it's a tape recorder?"
"I can't tell."
"This is a tape recorder. However, this one is special; it can record up to 24 hours. I rely on this and the microphones to collect sound."
Right after I said that, Naru-chan shot a frosty glare at me.
"I don't like speaking with amateurs."
"You knew very well from the beginning that I was an amateur. If you have a problem with that, I'm leaving," I spouted out without thinking.
Naru-chan looked at me, a hint of hurt behind his eyes. "It's to confirm whether or not there are ghostly sounds."
"Ah, so that's what it's for."
"I set up the microphones and spent the better part of today recording sound from the first floor windows."
"With those microphones just then?"
"Right. I will set up a tape recorder in this room tonight."
"...You're not gonna stay here, right?"
"Not today," he replied as he opened five tape recorders. The tape recorders used adhesive tape, not magnetic tape.
"If there are ghosts, I won't stay here unless I know what kind they are."
"So you're the kind who looks before he leaps."
"You're a very cautious person."
"Of course. ...Some haunted houses have abnormally strong ghosts. If you don't handle these things with care, you might never return."
"Don't scare me like that. ...What's this?" I pointed at a bulky camera-like object.
"I'm through explaining everything to you."
"Then never mind, but let's just say I make a huge mistake out of ignorance." In order to illustrate, I lifted my foot right above the camera, "Whoops, is this camera-like object a footstool?"
I'm going to step on it—
"It's an infrared camera. You use it to record in dimly lit areas. It's very sensitive and uses thermography to record temperature levels."
"Thermography indicates temperature. When a ghost appears, the temperature drops."
"Got it. Got it."
"Do you really understand? Then stop asking stupid questions and get to work!"
After Naru-chan placed the equipment onto the table, he connected the wires to an electrical circuit. Meanwhile, I was placing thermometers in different rooms.
Though it was a frightful task, I had to be courageous and go against Naru-chan.
I didn't want to go because it was scary, but I summoned up my courage so Naru wouldn't mock me again. I had no choice but to set up the thermometers.
Immediately afterward, I was given orders to record the temperatures in each room. None of these tasks would've been done without light. I exhibited exceptional bravery and fought tough battles—all this happened while I sat and recorded temperatures.
Naru-chan looked at my results. "Nothing out of the ordinary... None of the rooms are exceptionally cold. Well, the temperature of the room on the first floor is a little low, but not significantly so."
Now the lab room looked like a science research institute. Mountains of televisions and equipment were piled up on the shelf and table.
I asked Naru-chan, "Hey, you said that places with ghosts have lower temperatures. So does that mean this place doesn't have any ghosts?"
"I can't say yet; most ghosts are very shy."
"Paranormal phenomenon often occur in uninhabited areas. So when people move into such areas, ghosts usually hide themselves."
"...In conclusion, we must wait for the ghost to show up. For now, I want you to place four infrared cameras on the first and second floor, and one in the entrance."
What... I still have to work...
I helped Naru-chan set up a huge video camera in the lab.
I set up the tripods on the west and east side of the first and second floor.
Finally, I'm done.
"That must've been tiring. You can go home now."
"There's nothing else you can help out with for now. I'm going to leave before dark too."
Oh—you really are a cautious one.
"What about the equipment? Are you just gonna leave it here?"
"It's okay. I set up the camera to record automatically."
"I keep thinking, you really don't act like a psychic."
"But isn't a ghost exterminator.."
"It's ghost hunter. Don't throw me in with psychics."
Ah—Is that so.
What does that mean? Isn't that just a type of psychic?
I decided not to push the matter. Besides, arguing with Naru was really tiring. "I'm going then," I called out, waving goodbye.
Ah—my hands and waist are all sore—
Naru-chan's voice shot through the air, "Meet me by the van after school tomorrow."
Dammit. This guy is gonna mistreat me again tomorrow.
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