Chapter 0:

Prologue: A beginning to behold of -The pains and agony of Hideko Kawagami-


Bookmark here

Ever since my first memory, I've always felt like an alien. Nothing I did was ever right. Some people even called me strange, and some people would just ignore me. My parents, on the other hand, dealt with a blow from their social life because of me. This led them down a path where a child wouldn't be safe anymore. My mother started selling herself for money to eat and my father killed himself after the argument of all arguments. Bookmark here

I was alone most of my time in primary school. Because I was speaking a language that didn't exist and would talk to someone who I thought all my life was near me, I had no real friends around me but one. Everyone would call me weird. I'd even get bullied every day by my class because no one likes the weird kid. Life every day was cruel, but I had one friend that would stay next to me all the time, even when I slept. Bookmark here

There would be times where I'd go into the bathroom and then get knifed by those bullies. They'd throw water on me while I ate in the bathroom stalls. They'd stick pins and needles from the sewing club into my outside shoes. The twins in our class, who are also part of the bullies, would take turns hurting me and touching me in the gymnasium's storage room. And give me a sign of hope from some random guy, only for me to get hurt. And she'd always say to me.Bookmark here

"Just give me the signal I'll do something about it!"Bookmark here

But I'd refuse all the time. I told her that it's not that bad and I'd brush it off. But I'd always come home with bruises. And it didn't help that I'd come home to more bruises since my mother would always be drinking.Bookmark here

She'd hit me with a bottle everyday, telling me she wished I was dead. Well, with that bottle hitting me, I was about dead every f****** time! My mother only fed herself, so the convenience store down the street, who knows my mother would often give me dinner. Sometimes she'd let men in and do dirty stuff. Some of those men would even try to touch me, but then I'd fight my way out of it, then run away that night. Bookmark here

Even at those times, she says the exact same words,Bookmark here

"Give me the signal and I'll do something… please!!"Bookmark here

And again, I refused because I didn't want to hurt anyone. Back then I thought that everyone didn't mean it. I thought they were just teaching me a lesson not to speak an otherworldly language. I thought to myself that it wasn't allowed and I'd hurt people. That's what my father told me.Bookmark here

With my only friend behind me, nothing could go wrong. After all, she kept me sane. I told her that she was my only best friend and I hope she stayed with me forever. But she told me that she wouldn't be here anymore after my 10th birthday. Those words broke me. I was losing my only best friend I ever had! I didn't believe that she'd leave me! What did I ever do to her! She told me softly, in different words I never spoke but could understand,Bookmark here

"I can't be here after you turn 10. You would have to deal with things yourself!"Bookmark here

I asked her in this otherworldly language, Bookmark here

"Why?! Don't leave me!!"Bookmark here

"I'd have to leave you. But I'll be coming back for you when you get older. Then we can go to an amazing world where you can have anything."Bookmark here

"I won't be able to survive!! I need you!! PLEASE!!"Bookmark here

I begged and pleaded for her not to leave me. If my will to live kept me alive this far without it… I wouldn't know what to do. And because I was loud, my drunk mother came in and smashed another bottle on me so I'd pass out.Bookmark here

And surely, I did. Despite me loving that b*******, I didn't want to hurt her. But my friend who was gonna leave me on my 10th birthday had plans once a streak of blood came down my face. Bookmark here

Some months later, my 10th birthday was here. I wasn't happy at all. Because when I woke up that day, everything was different. My friend was gone, and the words that slipped out of my mouth were words I never spoke but knew. On the way out to school, I spoke these unknown words to my mother. And she was frozen. It was like she was in flight or fight response. Bookmark here

"You're speaking japanese?"Bookmark here

Japanese? Is this the language that's proper? My mother was hysterical. She probably didn't remember that day was my birthday. After all, I didn't really celebrate it either. It was a day you celebrated a year of living. If living is already hard as it is, I wouldn't want to celebrate it. That's what I thought back then. Bookmark here

Next thing you know, she flipped. Bookmark here

"YOU NOW WANNA ACT NOrmal after ALLLL YOU DID?!"Bookmark here


"Your father died in vain…"Bookmark here


"Aaaaand now… you're normal... Hahaha..."Bookmark here

I realized she lost it and my life was in danger. So before she could react in any sort of way, I left the building to school. I thought to myself..Bookmark here

"Am I finally normal? Is this what everyone wanted?"Bookmark here

I said to myself as I stepped and skipped down crossways into school. Bookmark here

Once I reached my classroom, half of the class was missing. I thought that I was early to school. But around this time, everyone was here. And when school started, they still weren't there. It was a bit unusual for me. And not only that, the students that were missing were the ones that bullied me. Bookmark here

Later that day, my homeroom teacher announced that the missing students were found dead or missing last night, along with family members. All their deaths were varied. I was surely happy. I had no one that bullied me anymore! And the rest of the class were kids who were quiet. Because of the mysterious, varied deaths and missing students, school ended early.Bookmark here

I walked outside of school, and no bullies! I walked to the convenience store — no bullies! I went to the Internet cafe — no bullies waiting outside for me! This was definitely my best birthday ever. I went home, there's no sign of my mother.Bookmark here

I figured she went out selling herself again for more alcohol. I was full from eating convenience store food. So I didn't bother eating that day. I went straight to bed. But what made me sad was that I didn't have my friend any more. But I believed I'd get a new friend tomorrow.Bookmark here

The next day, I woke up to no appearance from my mother. Even though my birthday was the day before, That day seemed to be wonderful, too. My mother never made me breakfast, so I'm used to not eating in the morning. Bookmark here

I got ready for school, brushed my teeth and got my backpack ready, just like a good girl. And then I left for school. Today in school, we had a ceremony to celebrate the lives of the dead students. But how are you gonna celebrate rotten souls? They deserved it. I'm pretty sure no one wanted to celebrate them, since everyone hated them. After all, it was my class everyone hated. Bookmark here

When I got to school, my gym teacher, who had witnessed them hurting me and breaking it up before they hurt me even further, spoke to me,Bookmark here

"Kawagami-san, you don't have to show up to the ceremony. Just go to your homeroom and study for the exams next week."Bookmark here

I wasn't gonna show up anyway. I don't honor those who hurt others. And I still don't. But now I had a teacher's excuse. So I wouldn't get in trouble. I walked to the class and one of the faculty members stopped me. Bookmark here

"Kawagami-san! Follow me to the faculty office for a minute. I have to tell you something important."Bookmark here

"Okay."Bookmark here

The faculty member was taken aback. This was their first time hearing me speak normally. Bookmark here

"Wow… the rumors were true.."Bookmark here

Yeah. Everyone was taken aback yesterday after I spoke. News does spread faster than a wildfire here in this town. We walked back to the faculty office and everyone was sitting next to me, including one police officer and one detective. Bookmark here

At that moment, I thought I did something. I started nervously sweating because I wondered if all the bullies deaths were because of me. Bookmark here

"Your name is Kawagami Hideko, correct?"Bookmark here

I thought I was gonna be arrested. And this young? I couldn't believe it. Shaken, I responded back.Bookmark here

"Yyyye..s…."Bookmark here

"Good. I have a question for you. Did you smell anything weird when you left your home?"Bookmark here

My anxiety has left the building. I was relieved that the next answer wasn't "you're arrested." But I was curious why they'd even ask me that.Bookmark here

"No.. my mother knocked the sense of smell out of me.."Bookmark here

The detective wrote something on his notepad. My curiosity struck as he wrote down what I said. So I stood on my tip-toes to figure out what the heck he was writing. But I was so small, Me tip-toeing made no difference whatsoever. After he was done writing, he looked at me. His face was filled with distress. I could tell he was about to tell me bad news.Bookmark here

"Sorry to tell you this, but your mother was found dead in your kitchen with knife wounds to the neck. And cause of death was ruled a suicide. Was your mom in distress this morning?"Bookmark here

I could feel my heart skip a beat after hearing that news. I didn't care if the woman had died or not, but it felt like it was my fault. Bookmark here

"How did you know I didn't kill my mother?"Bookmark here

"Because we checked the DNA on the knife and it was your mothers. We found no traces of it being planned by someone or someone being spontaneous. I'm pretty sure something on her mind made her commit such a violent death."Bookmark here

"Violent death?!"Bookmark here

"The scene wasn't pretty. But as far as it goes, I've seen suicides like this from yakuza, but not from ordinary citizens."Bookmark here

My mom slept with a bunch of yakuza for money. So she learned a few things from them. Bookmark here

"Yesterday was the first time I spoke japanese after being mute for years only to speak a language that doesn't exist on earth. My mother flipped out in grief because my father also committed suicide after giving up thinking I'll never become normal."Bookmark here

The detective began to write down on his handy notepad again. To me, it was all my fault. I didn't care about that wh***, but the fact I felt like I killed someone close to me. It was hurting me a lot that day. Also made me think the deaths of the students could've been my fault.. Or my friend's fault. My friend was gone and these deaths happened. It felt like all too much of a coincidence to make my life better after she was gone. Bookmark here

The detective began to speak to me.Bookmark here

"We're gonna take you to the office to figure out where you'll stay. Don't worry, it's not your fault. It's just a coincidence."Bookmark here

The police officer escorted me down the stairs to the car. And I sat in the police car. Good thing no one saw me because they were all at the ceremony. We drove to the police station, where I'd be there all day due to the detective also going around to crime scenes.Bookmark here

The detective came back to the office to tend to me. But first he talked to another detective before coming to me.Bookmark here

"How many cases does that make it?"Bookmark here

"Six. All varied."Bookmark here

"What are the six again?"Bookmark here

"three students dead, two students missing, and one prosittute dead. All from the same school, same class, except the prostitute."Bookmark here

"Let's go over each case in specific detail so I can send it to the labs for DNA."Bookmark here

"Let's start with the first student, Mogami Hira from the Mogami family. She was found.. More like a part of her was found all throughout their kitchen. Neighbors called when they smelled burnt flesh coming from their windows. Her family was cooking her and was gonna eat her for dinner. The strange thing about this case is the neighbors claimed that the Mogami family were never cannibals, according to one of the kids who was Mogami Hira's friend."Bookmark here

"Strange… what do you think drove them to these lengths?"Bookmark here

"We have yet to ask the family. After we figure out where to take this child to, then we'll see the motives. But so far from what I've seen, they're clueless."Bookmark here

"Alright. Next case."Bookmark here

"2nd Student, Ito Aika from the Ito family. She was home alone when her parents were out at work. She was sick with the flu and stayed in bed as fire from an unknown source ran rampant inside their home. Ito Aika was so sick she couldn't get up, which ended in her death. The firefighters couldn't find the source of the fire, which made it strange."Bookmark here

"Next case."Bookmark here

"3rd student, Kazumi Inaba from the Hoizumi family. She was found in the lumberyard with her head decapitated. We found a text from her phone, supposed to meet someone there for compensated dating. Whoever texted had worked there. But one of the machines malfunctioned and a highly sharp piece flew towards her, decapitating her head. Whoever worked at the lumberyard hid her body and her head because they were dating an elementary-schooler. One of the employees came into work that day and reported the head. The body is still missing. "Bookmark here

"I was on the phone with one of ours, they found the body after one of the employee's wife called them after finding the body in the basement closet. They're on the way to arrest the guy. Stupid lolicons, am I right?"Bookmark here

"Yeah.. That sounds like karma for him. Now the next case, 4th student Hiro Yakuma and 5th student Shiro Yakuma. Both are brother and sister who are runaways. Their parents punished them after bullying the child we have in the office now. They've been missing ever since. They were last seen yesterday at the convenience store all the way outside Yoshino. Seems like they're skipping town."Bookmark here

"Sounds like they're brats. They'll come home once they realize they're hungry."Bookmark here

"Yep. Now the last case: Kire Kawagami: she's a prostitute that sells herself and sleeps with the yakuza around here. She learned a few things from them since she killed herself the yakuza way. From what the kid said, she must've been so heartbroken that her husband killed himself for no reason."Bookmark here

"That's all?"Bookmark here

"That's not the important piece here. All the deaths and missing persons spanned within a night. And not only that, they're all people who abused Kawagami Hideko. So for them to vanish off this earth in one night seems weird to me. I'm gonna watch this kid from now on to see why these people just suddenly die."Bookmark here

After that conversation, the detective came in and sat down in a chair in front of me. He starts tapping the desk, leaning over, trying to appear cool and relaxed.Bookmark here

"Hello. My name is Detective Uchiyama Akihito. I'm sorry to tell you this, but as you know, both of your parents are dead. And as both of your parents are dead, that means you would have to move with a family member. You're not old enough to live by yourself yet. Do you know who you'll be living with?"Bookmark here

None of my family members cared for me… except for Oba-san. But she was so busy with life, she couldn't even talk to us. But right now, she's the only one I can count on.Bookmark here

"Oba-san lives in Suginami City in Tokyo Prefecture.."Bookmark here

Detective Uchiyama took out his notepad and began writing what I said.Bookmark here

"Her number is 0XX-XXX-XXXX.."Bookmark here

After he wrote down what I said, he spoke to me.Bookmark here

"Alright! While at your Oba-san's house, I'll be keeping a close eye on how you are doing alright?"Bookmark here

"Okay…."Bookmark here

That day they called my aunt and she actually answered! More surprisingly, she let me stay with her! So detective Uchiyama took me in his car and we rode all the way to Suginami City. The whole time we were riding, I was happy to start over again. This time I was gonna make everyone love me! And I was figuring out what type of girl I'd be in society.. Now that I have nothing holding me back! I wondered and wondered… and I figured out what I was going to be.Bookmark here

Cover Volume 1


You can resume reading from this paragraph.