For a while now, the Bureau had been looking for a serial killer who seemed to be killing innocent citizens without a sound reason.
Even till today, the Bureau and the general public knew nothing about them.
4 known victims.
All of the victims have a strange similarity, a trait distinguishable from murders committed by other people.
1. A black substance covering the sclera*.
2. Low body temperature, despite the suspected allotted time frame of murder.
3. The cause of death being a clean beheading. The body does not show any other injuries.
4. No blood splatters from struggling. Yet a puddle of blood is present.
Together with the strange beheading, the mystery of a chain of murders appeared.
Such news has been going around unceasingly, from flyers and newspapers flying everywhere to the gossip spread by unrest people.
However, Grissle wasn’t in the least bit worried.
Back then, she was young and didn’t know fear, nor did she know danger. Walking down the road, her face was lit with a smile like blooming flowers.
Before she knew it, she was already dragged into a dark alleyway.
‘Is this thing called kidnapping?’
Instead of yelling or struggling, this random thought flashed in her mind. She couldn’t help but feel that her current predicament was a little novel. The novel feeling disappeared as quick as the question popped out though.
The grip on her was tight and icy cold, his eyes were filled with madness, as if a man who went insane. The sinister face carrying extreme bloodlust.
…..He looked like he wanted to kill her.
‘I can’t go home now… Will he kill me?’
By the time Grissle realised the severity of the situation, she could no longer escape. The heavy feeling of fear and panic that weighed on her made her shut her eyes, waiting for the man to strike her head down or something.
It was only then she heard a chant. The voice was low and a little raspy. It didn’t seem to belong to the odd man.
The next thing she saw was the crazed man’s head rolling on the alleyway floor. It was quick and decisive while the sclera of the ‘victim’s’ eyes dyed black.
She couldn’t make out the new figure, but she remembered his voice.
He left without explaining anything.
It might’ve been a short and fleeting moment, but the memory of this incident, as well as the man’s voice was ingrained into her mind.
Surely, it was a very bizarre night.
The murderer was the one who saved her. She was almost certain about this.
Only after some time, did she browse through a bookstore. Coincidentally, she found a book that told the story of a little girl who was caught by a demon in the dead of the night. It wasn’t popular.
However, as she flipped through the pages, her eyes seemed to show a glimmer of light. It was similar to what she experienced!
Grissle’s eyes had lit up with hope and excitement. What if… this author was the one who saved her? A very crazy, absurd thought. But just what if? It could even be a coincidence, but the many books she read had fuelled her imagination and made her head spin with countless thoughts and assumptions.
Her heart thumped. Even if there was only a small chance it may be him, shouldn’t she at least try to find the author?
It was set in stone.
After mulling over it for some time it was decided.
To find the author, she’ll just return to the bookstore everyday!
After all, he would have to drop off the books at some point.*
She was willing to camp it out.
Thus began her daily life of visiting the bookstore.
The results of her labour bore fruit. It wasn’t long before she managed to meet the author.
She eavesdropped on his conversation with the clerk and when she heard his voice, her eyes twinkled.
‘I found him! I found him! I found him!’
It was dark on the night of the incident. She couldn’t make out his face and she wasn’t one who could tell faces apart. But she remembered his voice very clearly. He even had a minor lisp!
The man clearly felt the little girl’s obvious and intense stare.
He stared back at her and was in for a pleasant surprise. It was the girl he saved that night.
Grissle took the initiative to speak.
“Mister, thank you for saving me!”
“It’th not a problem.”
He definitely has a lisp.
“Mister, can you tell me what happened?”
Here was the real question! She recalled the strange night and felt very curious.
“Can you keep a secret?”
The author stared at the strange little girl whose eyes were bright and sparkly as if she found a hidden treasure. She wasn’t scared at all.
“I can. I’m very good at it!”
She nodded enthusiastically.
He hesitated for a while, before giving her a simple explanation.
He blurted out, “Demonth.”
The author nodded.
The people that he killed were not actually people, but demons that had taken the form of people after eating them.
He hunts the demons at night. They couldn’t be exorcised.
They came from another world, not all are bad, but the good that come are close to none. The only demons that came here are weak ones trying to feel powerful by killing humans. Or demons wanting to get stronger by eating more souls.
What they didn’t know was, once they started harvesting souls, their own soul becomes corrupted and they slowly lose their sanity.
He was a ‘hunter’, an ‘exorcist’ or a ‘saviour’ rather than a murderer.
There was a simple reason for him telling this to Grissle. He was getting old. However, if he stopped, the world would be thrown into chaos and the world would be much more dangerous to live in.
The little girl who appeared before him was brave and curious, a good candidate in his eyes.
“Mister, mister, can I ask you more about them when I have questions?”
It was in line with what he wanted. He then left her his address.
Before she went away, Grissle held out her little hands and gave him a smile.
“By the way, my name is Grissle! Nice to meet you, mister…?”
“Thio. I’m called Thio.”
This was Grissle’s official first meeting with Thio.
*1. sclera: white part of the eye
*2. Publishers weren’t common at those times