Beyond Another Darkness V1C2 Part 1

A woman was laughing next to me.

At night, I heard the laughter again as it penetrated the surrounding darkness with a shrieking screech.
There was a tightness within my chest, as if I were suffering from a heart attack, but that woman’s laugh continued without end, no matter how I hid myself within the folds of my bed sheets, no matter how I covered my ears, the laughter was able to pierce through.
I couldn’t take it anymore and started slamming my head into the walls, blood spilled forth upon the repeated slams and dribbled all over the floor beneath. My wrinkled hands were covered in a deep red, like the color of menstrual fluids, and also like the time that woman gave birth. That deep red splattered all over the floor……as I began thinking about it, the sound of a laughing child erupted forth——-a crisp high pitched laughter.

I continued repeatedly slamming my head into the walls, and I heard screams coming from my family…….

Go ahead scream louder! Scream and drown out that repulsing laughter!

But that horrendous laughter continued on as lucid as ever, and no matter how bashed and dented my skull became that laughter continued on until dawn.

That woman was laughing next to me.
Woman and child laughing together.

Please spare me! Please spare me!
Spare me! Spare me! Just please spare me!

If this continues on I will go insane…

※ ※ ※

“So you then came running over to me begging for my help? How shameless.”

Although her words were harsh, Mayuzumi’s face contained no signs of anger and her tone was similar to that of reading from a script.
I stood behind her, watching the current scene in front of me nonchalantly——-the overly-spacious room stretched onward like a stage setting from a play, it was unrealistic. An old man was kneeling in front of Mayuzumi, the young girl dressed in gothic lolita fashion looked down upon the older man like some sort of queen.

I glanced behind me and a gloomy gray courtyard entered my vision.
And endless torrents of snowflakes drifted down from the darken skies.

“Did you forget what you once said to my grandmother? You’re actually the first who dared to call a woman of the Mayuzumi House she-devils, the people who refer to us as monsters or witches are actually in the majority. The Mayuzumi House will not forget the scornful words you call us, as they were simply heinous!”

The old man remained silent. Mayuzumi reached forth and began stroking the white hair that was utterly laced with dandruff.

“Come now speak up.”

“……Please save me.”

“And then?”

“Save me……please, please!”

The old man brought his head even closer to the ground, and Mayuzumi raised her foot in response, the foot underneath her black laced dress dug down onto the shriveled back of the old man as he yelped in pain. Mayuzumi didn’t even glance down at him and continued driving her slender legs down upon the old man as his spine started to creak and groan from the pressure.

Watching the two, I let out another sigh out of the countless ones from just today.

It was really cold, so could we wrap this up some time soon?

※ ※ ※

“What is all that laughter?”

“……..What?”

I held a freshly baked chocolate cake and asked Mayuzumi who was lying down on the sofa wearing a white shirt and frilled skirt. I looked down, my first attempt at baking sweets ended up in flames. Cooking had always been one of my fortes, but when cooking under a reluctant mood failure will essentially be inevitable.
Feeling disgruntled and annoyed with myself, I began slicing the cake into several pieces. This cake was the ultimate result of the brand new oven Mayuzumi bought on whim, her request or rather demand was an obvious enticement for conflict, she was likely hoping for me to be demolished by an ulcer development.

“Miss Mayuzumi, the cake is finished.”

“Oh? Good job! I’ve been waiting for so long……ah! It’s disgusting.”

The words were exactly as I had anticipated, but Mayuzumi still hurriedly ate all the disgusting cake.

“It’s likely the laughter of the deceased, the way it carries on crazily each and every night……my, hearing that everyday must really be terrible. Regarding the sound of laughter, if the person hearing it also hated the person doing it, naturally that person would hate the laughter as well, it would be as annoying as listening to the screeches of wild animals. And if that person continued hearing a laughter they didn’t want to hear, it would indeed entice death…….pour the hot cocoa into a thermos, also add in two teaspoons of sugar.”

“Here, enjoy. But if you don’t restrain yourself a bit, you’ll definitely end up dying from diabetes one day. Also I know the chocolate cake tastes bad so you don’t have to force yourself to eat it.”

“A life without chocolate, is as excruciating as being stuck in a malfunctioned submarine! Also Odagiri, I was the one who asked you to bake this cake, so even if it tastes bad I can’t just refuse to eat it, I wouldn’t do such a horrible thing.” If I asked you to bake a cake and you produce poison instead, then it’s on the person who made it. But if that person was trying to bake a cake and ended up baking poison instead, then that person who asked should just graciously consume said poison.”

It’s not bad to the point where you have to refer to it as poison right?
At least it doesn’t look like it.
I wanted to eat a slice to confirm its taste, but unfortunately Mayuzumi already took the last one.

“Finished! And Odagiri, like what was said before,  every night the deceased——-sometimes even in the morning——-would start laughing beside him, he was unable to bear it so he could only run to us for help.”

“Yes…….I also heard what he said, but……why did something like this happen?”

“For now it’s unclear, but the laughter he hears are apparently the voices of his dead wife and child.  Judging from his scared expression, it’s likely he ended up recalling something he did.”

Mayuzumi gave a small snicker.
Her smile was as spiteful as always.

“But Odagiri, the most interesting aspect isn’t actually this, hearing the voices of the deceased in dreams is a rather commonplace supernatural phenomenon, as a matter of fact it’s to the point where people even have an actual name for it called “visitation dreams”. To be honest, I’ve heard so many similar incidents that it’s already becoming a cliche. However, this particular incident has two peculiar points.”

Mayuzumi quietly extended a finger to list them, her painted black fingernail had a white butterfly drawn on it.

“He started hearing the laughter about a month ago, but his wife and child have been dead for over a year.”

“……So there’s a gap in between?”

“Yes, and he can only hear the laughter from his left ear, while not in his right ear, and finally——Odagiri, here comes the most interesting part!”

Mayuzumi lips curved into a wide smile and a ominous feeling fell upon me, since the incidents that this girl usually saw as interesting typically reeked of blood.

“A month ago, the client’s entire left ear was bitten off by a dog.”

What was up with that?
Mayuzumi smiled in a pleasant manner.
So within the dog’s stomach the digested ear was able to hear the voices of the deceased.
Mayuzumi was once again attracted by another peculiar case…….this incident was indeed befitting of Mayuzumi’s taste, I also began steeling my heart and prepared myself for the upcoming tides. But she smiled then suddenly faded.

“Now then, Odagiri, although this sort of case is quite rare and I personally also want to accept the commission……there is a problem.”

“What’s the problem? If you want to accept it, then can’t you just do so? No one is stopping you.”

After all, even if anyone tried it would be futile.
I had deliberately said this and Mayuzumi frowned upon hearing it.

“It’s like this, the client and I……or rather my family, are old acquaintances, if I were to accept his case, my family members would likely not stand by quietly.”

Mayuzumi wouldn’t have listened to my opinions anyways——-so I was planning on just simply listening to her speak, but I unconsciously widened my eyes and a bead of cold sweat trickled down my neck.
Mayuzumi’s family members……this doesn’t look too good.

“So it would be bad if your family finds out right? Uh……I’m actually unfamiliar with your family members, but is it also related…….”

“It’s not that bad……ah, you mean that? Don’t worry, “he” is still in seclusion. Also my family members aren’t within that sort of supernatural realm, the only rather unique people within my house are just “him” and me.”

Mayuzumi waved her hand assuredly, but I was unable to relax, a pain started arising in my stomach, as that thing began kicking my stomach from the inside, the kicks were heavy but Mayuzumi wasn’t unaware. I could clearly sense the feeling of flesh gradually sinking itself between the many organs.

It was sickening.

“The other party was slobbering tears all over the floor begging of me, and adding in that my grandmother has been dead for many years……if this incident concerned the first generation then it would be impossible to accept his case, but since it just concerns my grandmother it doesn’t really matter. Moreover, this isn’t just from the standpoint of myself, but even from the standpoint of the entire Mayuzumi House it should be entirely fine.”

Mayuzumi suddenly stood up and held out her hand, I also naturally handed a phone over to her. Mayuzumi’s phone was crimson-colored, it gave off the appearance of a chocolaty texture. She began inputting a number and also said to me at the same time…

“Anyhow, Odagiri——-”

“Yes!”

“—please don’t pull me off.”

At that time, I didn’t understand why Mayuzumi had said that.

But three days later I would come to know why.

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