VOLUME 4 - FEELINGS TO PROTECT prologue
It should have been a night like any other –
Miyagawa Hideya went up the winding slope and stopped the car by the road.
He saw the three-storey home that he was headed for beyond the front glass. It felt like it could appear in a horror movie.
‘Honestly. The rich just build these crazy-huge houses. This is Japan.’
Miyagawa picked up the radio his car was equipped with.
’This is Seta-chou 152. I arrived at the scene. I’ll go look at the situation.’
’I really never get a break.’
Miyagawa sighed as he cut off the radio.
He’d been so busy with cases recently he was practically never home. Just when he’d thought he’d be able to go home early for the first time in a while, he’d heard the radio.
Once he’d heard the radio, he couldn’t ignore it. Even he thought that his personality was unfavourable.
When Miyagawa had advanced to the gate, he saw a middle-aged woman standing there.
She had a cardigan on top of her nightclothes. She also had no make-up on. It felt like she had rushed out of her house in a hurry.
’I’m Miyagawa from the Seta-chou precinct.’
When he displayed his police ID, the woman relaxed.
’You live here?’
The woman shook her head at Miyagawa’s words.
’I was the one who called. I heard a terrible scream and was so afraid...’
Miyagawa understood the situation.
’Stand back. I’m going to look inside.’
After saying that, Miyagawa opened the iron gate.
’Excuse me... Detective, are you alone?’ said the woman, sounding afraid.
’Backup will be here soon.’
Amateurs shouldn’t worry so much. It’s depressing.
Miyagawa swallowed the words he was about to say and then walked across the neatly growing lawn towards the entrance.
When he looked up at the building at such a close distance, he felt again how large it was.
The curtains were closed so he couldn’t see inside, but the lights were on.
Miyagawa rang the doorbell at the entrance. The beautiful sound of the bell could be heard outside.
However, there was no response –
’This is the police. Is anyone here?’
I’ll try knocking. As I expected, there’s no response –
His heart started beating noisily.
’Police – anyone here?’
Miyagawa raised his voice and placed his hand on the doorknob.
He slowly stepped into the entrance while calling out.
The atmosphere was heavy. He’d stepped into a different world – that was what it felt like.
And there was this smell.
The corridor went straight forward from the entrance.
The door at the end of the corridor was slightly open.
There was the sound of water falling, but he only heard it intermittently.
Miyagawa took the special police baton from his waist and went down the corridor in his shoes, slowly walking towards that door.
His heartbeat naturally grew quicker.
It’s dangerous. His instinct was screaming that.
Miyagawa used the tip of his police baton to push open the door.
What he saw right in front of him was the anguished face of a middle-aged man.
Miyagawa knew without checking that he was dead.
He wasn’t the only one collapsed there.
A man and a woman in their sixties. Plus, a woman probably in her thirties. They were in a heap, covered with blood.
There was a pool of blood on the floor.
It was like a painting of a scene in Hell –
What on earth had happened?
Miyagawa barely managed to keep calm and immediately turned around to call for backup.
He cowered in his shock.
A man was standing right in front of his eyes.
His long hair flowed down his back, and he wore a black suit with sunglasses. He had a child of about elementary school age next to him.
The chest area of the white pyjamas the child was wearing was dyed bright red.
What? What on earth happened here?
In his confusion, Miyagawa slowly stepped back to put distance between them. However, he stepped on something and fell face-up.
The man in the suit smiled and slowly took off his glasses.
Both of his eyes glowed red like a blazing flame.
* * *
There was a rumour in that elementary school –
When night fell, you could hear the sound of a child’s voice.
It’s hot, it’s hot –
Even if you heard the voice, you couldn’t turn around.
Otherwise, you’d be scorched to the bone.
It might sound like a common school ghost story.
However, there was proof behind this tale.
It went back twenty-odd years.
One child started a fire in the PE storeroom as a prank. That fire, which had been small at first, spread very quickly and swallowed that boy up.
Then, the fire swallowed up the firefighter who went to try to save that boy as well.
Afterwards, the PE storeroom was torn down and was now a pool, so that such a tragedy would not occur again...
However, the boy wasn’t released from his suffering...
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