Chapter 1:


Love Pact

Clouded by thoughts of a countdown outside of his control, Haru treks up the hospital staircase towards the roof in what seems to be an endless trail of darkness standing before him.

Today marks 8 months that young college student Haru Mochizuki has been frequenting the hospital, but it will soon be coming to an end. It's actually a miracle that the stress he carries just began to weigh so heavy in his mind.

Finally, the dim light of the rooftop door is within view. He runs through it and proceeds until he reaches the guard rail.

Looking up at the night sky, he lets out a soft laugh and smiles. It was as if the radiance of the full moon above him had calmed his racing mind at just a moment's glance.

“The moon sure is beautiful.”

Right before his eyes the picturesque view of the moon slowly became muddled in crimson. The moonlight that gleamed upon him transformed into a barrage of red flower petals. They began swirling around him completely obscuring his vision before falling to the ground where they vanished.

Surely convinced that what just happened must mean he is somehow day dreaming, Haru tightly shut his eyes and slapped the sides of his face with both hands in an attempt to wake himself up.

Just as he opened his eyes a young female voice from behind him abruptly spoke.

“Oh I assure you that what you just witnessed was real.”

Before Haru could react, a scythe sliced through the air and stopped a millimeter away from his neck. His eyes widened as his heart dropped deep into his chest. Instead of yelling out for mercy he simply shut his eyes once more and let out a sigh.

"So I guess my time is up huh?"

“No not quite yet, I just came to speak to you and decided this would be the easiest way for me to keep you from running away.”

“Yeeaah… as exhilarating as this may be for you, I would prefer to have our conversation without a blade at my neck if it's not my time to die yet. You know just in case I sneeze or uh– your hand slips. I promise I won't run off."

"Very well."

The scarlet blade quickly withdrew from his neck until it vanished outside of his line of sight.

Haru turned around and now stood face to face with a girl of unmatched beauty holding the very scythe that almost separated his head from his body a moment ago.

The girl's lustrious white hair flowed in the gentle breeze of the night. Her piercing ruby eyes seemed dangerous yet captivating. And her perfectly sculpted body lay in a short black dress barely long enough to cover the black shorts she wears underneath. Draped over her shoulders lay a scarlet cloak to perfectly delineate her as a shinigami. However this shinigami was one that any man would graciously be chased by.

“I've come to make a pact with you in exchange for taking your soul."

"You--- what? Wait a minute? I'm not complaining or anything, but I thought you would just take it with that scythe of yours rather than bargain with me for it."

 "Contrary to what all of you humans believe, we don’t enjoy reaping souls with fates as unfortunate as yours. If we find you deserving of it, we offer you a pact that may grant you a slice of joy before you die."

"So what exactly does this pact entail?"

"As long as you keep in mind that the magic I possess has its limitations, I'll be willing to grant you something that your heart truly desires. All you have to do is pledge your soul to me so that no other shinigami may reap it when your time comes in one month's time."

He begins to mutter as he struggles to keep eye contact with her.

"Ok, I uh… I-I'm not really sure how to word it." 

“This is no time to be embarrassed, just spit it out."

“I’ve always dreamt of experiencing a romance full of adventures!”

“Ha! I guess you were right to be embarrassed. You must know that I can't swing this blade around and magically make women fall in love with you. I'm no Cupid!”

“No, I'm not so cruel as to want someone to fall in love with me against their will knowing that my time is fleeting. I was thinking that you might fill that role instead.”

She glared at him with her arms crossed and chin held high.

"Hmph… you can't be serious."

Haru couldn't help but grin.

“What? Don't tell me that you're scared that you might lose the nerve to take my soul once you fall in love with me?”

“Ha! There’s no chance of that happening. I guess I’ll just humor you so long as you make sure to keep me well entertained."

“I'm not too keen on that snarky attitude of yours but it’s fine as long as we still act a bit like a couple. And as for being entertained, I'm sure there will be no problems there as long as you humor my requests.”

She rolled her eyes and faced away. The moon perfectly illuminating her bright skin.

"Yeah yeah yeah…. I said I'll play along."

“Great, why don’t we make this love pact of ours official by visiting the Bell of Ryuren and writing our names on a lock?”

“Love pact? There definitely won't be any love going on. I would be more inclined to call this a soul pact.”

“Oh come on, just think of it as a symbol of our newfound partnership. Besides I thought you said you would be indulging my requests as part of the pact."

"Ugh, you sure are demanding. Where is this Bell place you speak of?”

“It's on Enoshima Island, but the trains aren’t running at this hour so we’ll have to wait until tomorrow.”

“The train? Yeah I don't take public transportation. Why don't you just step a bit closer to me really quick.”

She held the scythe up to the night sky as it transformed into a collection of red petals while maintaining its silhouette. The petals slowly wisp away into the night sky only to reveal a brush adorned with red spider lilies within her hand.

"That island is in Kanagawa prefecture right?"


She then wrote out the location in mid air with her brush. What flowed out of it wasn’t ink, but a dark magical smoke instead. Once she finished writing, the brush became petals again before it changed into the form of a kanzashi with a single red spider lily which she immediately began to fashion into her hair. Just as she let go of the kanzashi, the black smoke writing grew into a dark cloud before it spiraled around them as it quickly transformed into red petals. Just as before, the petals froze before falling to the ground where they vanished.

“Wait, is this the Bell of Ryuren?”

“Duh you're the one that picked this spot.”

In front of them now stood a single bell hung from the ceiling of an intimately sized booth to accommodate the atmosphere for couples that visit. Surrounding it was a wire fence adorn with padlocks, each of which represents the love of couples that have once visited. Past both the bell and fence was a marvelous view of the Pacific ocean beyond Sagami Bay.

"Wow, that magic of yours sure is incredible."

A adorably proud smile lit up her face.

“Yup and don't you dare forget it.”

He quickly grabbed her hand and led her underneath the bell.

“Let's ring this bell together to officiate our love pact.”

“I told you I'm not calling it that.”

“Love pact, soul pact. It doesn't really matter to me what you want to call it, just ring the bell with me already.”

“Fine, if you insist.”

They both grabbed hold of the rope and rang it.

“You know it's a shame that we got here so fast. I would've brought a padlock for us to put up on the fence. Maybe next time.”

“Oh I don't want to come back here again so take this.”

She opened her hand revealing a small wisp of smoke that quickly took the form of an open padlock and marker.

With a small grin on his face he quickly grabbed it and started to write on it before she decided to change her mind.

“I never told you my name so what exactly are you planning to write?”

"Well I was just going to write down the most beautiful shinigami in place of your name."

He winked at her in hopes that she would loosen up a bit.

"Hmph. Flattery will get you nowhere with me. My name is Minori, the shinigami of misfortune."

He finished writing on the padlock and locked it onto the fence.

“All done!”

“Well loverboy, the rest is all up to you. I expect these adventures of ours to keep my heart racing or else I might just cut our deal short. You have until the next full moon to enjoy this deal of ours before I claim your soul.”

Love Pact