by on May 17, 2015
To Save Your Life: Note V

Page 21: Don't Fall Prey

"Only one question remains," Watari reminded the group as their little meeting at the hotel continued. Near and Mello nodded in agreement as if they knew exactly what he was talking about. "What were you planning to do?"

L knew there was no use denying it. "To continue on my own so that your safety would be assured. Persy is the one protecting all of us, she's the only one who is in a position to do it. I wanted her to stay with everyone here while I try to find queen Persephone by myself. If it was only me, maybe I could find her, Hades is more interested in keeping Persy from finding her. It would be a good opportunity to investigate."

"But he wouldn't let you return with the information," Persy warned him.

"You were counting on her," you realized.

L confirmed it. "Yes, I was counting on Persy to stop Hades from killing me. I also intended to send all of you in a mission so that Persy will go along and serve as a distraction. It would not stop the shinigami from finding me, but I would no longer be the target of priority."

"Daddy could just end your life!" Persy was quite upset.

"That would upset you and it seems he really doesn't want to get on your bad side. Like I said, you're the one protecting all of us. Hades won't take the risk." L explained.

You blinked; L had all of that figured out. He put all the pieces together in his head. He really was a genius, using nothing but little clues, legends, stories, rumors and supernatural reports that anyone would classify as fiction. No doubt many of them were false; but somehow he was able to distinguish what was based on reality and what was purely fiction. L found the place he was looking for. It all fell into place, but what was the next move to be made?

"It seems you have no intentions of letting me move on my own, even if it's to protect all of you," L concluded and everyone agreed.

"We'll be in this together and I'll protect everyone here. You too (Name), even if in a way we're rivals, I'll help you." Persy looked towards Traizo for a moment.

"I understand, in exchange I won't try to hurt L and I will sincerely try to keep him safe, everyone else as well and (Name) is still my priority," Traizo agreed.

"Then it's settled, all of us are in this together," Near said.

"Right," Mello agreed, if the protagonists of a very odd love triangle, or rather square, could work together, then he could handle working with his brother and rival, Near.

xoxox xox xoxox

Plans and ideas were formulated and the situation was discussed, but as if it wasn't complicated enough as it was; the next day brought even more problems. Kira had returned.

"This can't be," Persy stared at the news reporter on TV in disbelief. A hundred deaths had occurred simultaneously at dawn. "The Death Notes, the shinigami... how?" She had arranged everything herself, before the investigation. This wasn't part of the plan, it wasn't supposed to happen.

"Hades," L had been fearing this. "Since he cannot attack us directly he is taking it out on everyone else. This was my worse worry."

"You lied," Persy realized. "You weren't going to investigate at all. You knew this would happen and you were going to make a deal with father. You wanted to be alone so you could speak to him. Because of me, he wouldn't kill you, but he doesn't want me to find mother so he could use you to keep me away from her."

"Your skills of deduction are quite good, my apologies," L admitted.

"Then it was true!" This was not something you expected to hear from L. "But Why? We were supposed to free Persy's mother!"

"Please understand that Persy is protecting us, but she cannot protect the entire world. As things stand now, every other human in this world is Hades' hostage. I wish I could help Persy, but I can't put so many lives at risk, I'm sorry." L looked like he really was sorry, he had no choice and the situation was making him feel powerless. Usually, L was always one step ahead, but for the first time, he couldn't achieve that. He knew what was going on but there was little he could do. This was more frustration than he had ever dealt with in his entire career as a detective

"You're a traitor! I'll kill you! I can easily get my Death Note back and you know it!" Persy yelled.

"Don't you understand the situation? You're asking for too much!" Mello yelled. Near and Watari decided it was best to remain silent.

The atmosphere had become very tense and filled with anger. Persy was deceived and so were you. Still, you saw L's point; too many lives were in danger. Why couldn't there be a way for everything to work out? It seemed as if L's frustration hung in the air for everyone to feel.

"Hades using Kira as his messenger to us is a turn of events that requires immediate action. In the past, Kira didn't kill this many people at once. I can only conclude that he has protection from Hades, an easy way to find information and some kind of deal. The deal possibly involves not harming us. Persy, would you be willing to go back to the shinigami world?" L already knew what she would say and he knew he couldn't easily change that.

"I don't want to go back and you can't make me! If you want my help there are two things you can do for me. If you do at least one, then I'll see if I can talk to daddy so he stops helping Light. I don't want to leave with nothing!" Persy flew through the roof in anger and frustration, disappearing in the distance of the cloudy skies outside.

"Persy!" You called after her, but it was too late.

"It is very important that we don't lose her. Traizo, you understand right?" L urged.

Traizo nodded. "(Name) could be in danger."

"Exactly, you're the one who can most effectively follow her," L confirmed.

Traizo didn't want to leave you with L, but he had no choice if it was to protect you. "Fine, I'll go look for Persy, but she's stubborn so I don't know how long it'll take me to get her to come back. During that time you have to stay away from (Name). Make sure no harm comes to her, but don't get too close."

"I understand," L assured.

Traizo left and with both shinigami out, one running away in despair and the other in pursuit, you felt more vulnerable than ever before. You tried to remind yourself that Hades would not kill you, L, Mello, Near or Watari, he would not kill anyone who was under Persy's protection, for as long as she continued being interested in providing that protection. Then your thoughts wondered to your family and friends, you felt a cold chill. For a moment you stood in frozen shock as the possibilities reflected themselves all too clearly in your mind.

"(Name)?" L's voice woke you from your thoughts and you realized everyone was staring at you.

"Are you alright?" Mello asked.

You nodded; you didn't want to add to the stress. "Yeah, I'm okay."

"Should we try to track down Kira?" Near inquired.

"Yes, that should be our next move," L replied. "We'll locate him, assuming he is no longer in Japan, which given the circumstances is 75% possible. We need to find out the details about what kind of deal Light made with Hades. Hades is probably using Light because we're rivals. He must be controlling Kira, I'm sure he wouldn't make the mistake of giving him extra room to move. Even if Kira, Light, is a human; Hades must have learned not to leave any open options in his deals anymore; we must find a flaw in the king's plans."

Near, Mello and Watari got to work on their research right away. You stood there for a moment, L just said that Hades wouldn't leave any room for options, yet he was searching for a flaw in a plan that he didn't even fully comprehend yet, and he sounded like he was certain that it could be found. "L..."

L tried to remain strong for everyone's sake, "in the end, justice will prevail." You could easily notice the worry in his voice, but there was a certain confidence there too, and you also tried to stay strong.

xoxox xox xoxox

Kira had proven to be very hard to track down. They were finding mixed clues as if he was traveling from one place to another faster than any human could. L wished he had arrested Kira earlier, but if he was to follow the law he couldn't, since the law didn't really cover such supernatural cases and extensive proof was needed. "I can only conclude that Kira is being aided by the shinigami."

Things were not progressing well with Persy and Traizo still gone. Were they aright? Was Persy just being stubborn because she was upset or did something happen to them?

You suddenly felt someone or something take your hand and realized that you somehow held two pieces of paper. They were back, the cat like shinigami twins, and now they were visible to you outside of the shinigami world after touching pieces of pages of their death notes. You had seen them in an illusion before and you remembered them well from the shinigami world; it was hard to forget those glowing eyes like the brightest lights and the fur that looked like fire with bits missing to reveal bones. "Why are you here?"

Everyone paused what they were doing to look at you. "Such a welcoming..." The one who's left side had more missing fur spoke. "Allow me to first introduce myself. We've met before but I have not told you my name. I am Higure."

"We would expect a warmer welcome after we came such a long way." The one's who's right side had less fur and more bones spoke. "I am Hakumei."

Page 22: When Things Don't go as Planned

L now stood next to you. You gave him the pieces of Death Notes which were passed around and soon everyone on the team could see the shinigami twins, Higure and Hakumei. "Why are you here?" You repeated the question.

"Quite simple, little girl," Higure started.

"To take you away," Hakumei finished.

"I cannot allow that," L hardly stood a chance against a shinigami, let alone two, being human and all, but he had to try. If they had no intentions of killing him for Persy's sake, then maybe that would be enough.

"Don't worry, you get to come too," Higure told L.

"Indeed you do," Hakumei nodded. "Because the king is growing impatient."

"Very impatient," Higure emphasized. "That's why, to get the princess to return, all her friends will wait for her at home."

"All of us will be one happy family!" There was something in Hakumei's tone like sarcasm mixed with annoyance and just a hint of amusement.

"You're both coming..." Higure started.

Hakumei continued, "and you don't get to return!"

As Higure and Hakumei were about to abduct you and L, Higure paused and rubbed his head. "That did not hurt but I know something hit me!" He picked up the small wooden block that had bounced off his head to the floor. Then another one hit him, and another, and another.

You looked at Near but the white haired boy was just sitting there with a bar of chocolate in his hands. "Mello, please do not let your emotions run wild."

"Shut up! Just hold my chocolate while I kick their tails! No way am I letting two poorly groomed, zombie cat, pet show rejects, kidnap my brother and his girlfriend!" Mello continued throwing things in a fit of anger and frustration. You were so surprised; you didn't even have time to correct him about the entire girlfriend thing.

"Enough!" Higure yelled in anger. "Now you've asked for it!"

"You can't kill us, we're under Persy's protection! You dare go against your princess?" Now it seemed that Near had lost his cool. Well it's about time, that kid had been way too calm throughout the entire case.

"That is not our only option," Higure explained.

"Looks like we'll have more guests then expected. Is that what you mean, brother?" Hakumei asked.

Higure nodded. "I'll carry the girl and the little guy. You can carry the blonde and the dark haired one."

"Is grandpa, coming too?" Hakumei asked.

"Watari will stay," L replied in Higure's place. "Persy will come back here; someone needs to tell her what happened." Then L looked at you, "I'm sorry (Name) it is our only choice. But there is a 97% chance that we will meet Hades. Persy wants us alive so he won't kill us. Clearly he wants us away from the queen. This should mean that at least I'll have a chance to talk to him and perhaps make a deal."

"Like that will happen!" Higure mocked. "You humans think you're so great. You have no rights to choose or complain. We shinigami will have the final word!" He paused to look at Mello who was furiously stomping on the shinigami's tail. "I told you, it doesn't hurt me. You're only wasting your energy like that."

"Persy will not come for us even after being told where we are. She will still want to continue protecting us, even if she must do it from afar and Hades will speak to me." Whatever detail L knew that the shinigami were not taking into consideration, he was certainly confident about it. "Watari..."

"I understand." They had a special connection, it wasn't just something previously planned and said, maybe there was some of that, but when one spoke only a little, the other heard so much more.

Watari's mission was assigned; whatever it may be. You wanted to know, but of course you couldn't ask about it with Higure and Hakumei there. So it had come to this, traveling from one place to another and one world to another. It was stressful and it was getting to you. You had a feeling L had already formulated a plan to bring everyone back to Earth. Because of Persy, the group was safe, but that didn't necessarily mean free. Hades seemed to focus the least attention on Watari so he was the best choice to stay behind. His research would seem unrelated to the case, he could make it look that way. Now it was time to return to the world of death. The feeling sunk in with heavy foreboding.

"Alright, let's go!" Higure approached you, but his brother stood in the way.

"I will carry her," Hakumei said.

Higure pushed him back. "We already agreed on it. I'll carry the girl. If you want to trade then I'll give you the three boys to carry by yourself, you can trade me back one of them if you want."

"Not fair! I want to carry her!" Hakumei complained.

"What are they arguing about?" Traizo had slipped back into the room unnoticed.

"Traizo! When did you get here? Where's Persy?" You asked.

"A second ago and I don't know. She said that I didn't' need to follow her around and she was in a really bad mood, like sad and angry all at once. I came to see how you were doing." Traizo explained.

"There's only one way to settle this!" Higure's voice rung out.

"A battle to the death," Hakumei concluded.

A battle to the death? But they were shinigami, how would that work? Besides they would do that just to decide who would carry you to the shinigami world? "Wait!"

"It's been decided!" Higure got ready.

"A battle to the death!" Hakumei also prepared.

"I think that they are using a metaphor," L said. "I'm 99% sure..."

"Rock, paper, scissors!" Higure and Hakumei said at the same time. Higure's hand was shaped like paper while Hakumei's hand was representing a rock.

"I won! Paper always wins! Paper is the strongest, deadly paper! Hahahaha!"

Hakumei pouted. "Don't rub it in, meanie. Besides, did you see who's here?"

"What do you mean? Oh, well hello Traizo, sorry you're late. I've already won the right to carry the girl to the shinigami world!" Higure announced.

"That can't be!" Traizo was absolutely horrified by the thought. "I won't allow it! (Name), why?"

"I had nothing to do with it!" Honestly, those shinigami had some nerve making decisions for you.

Traizo nodded to himself in determination. "Then it's settled, I'll carry you. I don't know why the plan was changed to going to the shinigami world, but I don't care as long as I can go with you."

Before another word was spoken, Traizo had already picked you up and flown out the window. "Traizo, slow down, you have to warn me first!"

"(Name!)" L called out to you from the window.

"Which one of you is the fastest?" Mello asked.

"Mello, you should-" Near was interrupted before he could finish.

"Calm down?" Mello asked. "No way, L's girl is being stolen by a shinigami!"

"She's not my girlfriend," L pointed out as a matter of fact. Not that the thought was unpleasant. All the opposite, it was quite pleasant, but he knew or rather thought, that it wouldn't work out.

"We're wasting time! Which one is the fastest? Tell me!" Mello insisted.

Hakumei raised his hand a bit surprised by the human's outburst. "My brother always wins at death battle," that was what the shinigami called rock paper scissors, "but I can fly faster than him."

"I can still run faster and I'm better looking!" Higure said in his defense.

"Then let's go!" Mello jumped on Hakumei's back. "L!"

"Mello, you are being rash. You really should calm down and-" L wasn't given a chance to finish before Hakumei picked him up and flew out the window with L in his arms and Mello riding on his back.

"Hey! Don't leave without me! Let's go little guy." Higure picked up Near and took off, leaving a surprised Watari behind.

"Things might get more complicated," Watari reflected as he looked out the window at the shinigami disappearing in the distance.

xoxox xox xoxox

"Traizo, what's that noise?" You heard something big and loud approaching but it was still a little far, just close enough to be heard. Then you saw it up ahead. "An airplane?"

"Do you want to go see it? It's okay we'll make all the stops you want!"

"No, wait!" Too late, Traizo was now flying beside the airplane. Shinigami were quite fast in the air.

There was a young girl sitting next to the window with big blue eyes and red hair, or more like peach or light orange. You weren't sure but you were concerned with more important things anyway. "Look darling!" You couldn't really tell what she was saying but it appeared that she was trying to get the boy sitting beside her to look out the window. He had an annoyed expression and refused to acknowledge her request. It didn't look like she was affected by his mood in the least and kept trying to make him look. Traizo must have appeared invisible to her so what she saw was a flying girl.

"Traizo, we better move on, fast!"

It wasn't until after you were gone that the boy finally looked out the window. "I told you, there's no one there!" He crossed his arms and sunk into his seat. A flying girl, Rizel certainly had an active imagination.

Page 23: Returning to Where We've Been

The scenery began to change from the blue skies of Earth, to the atmosphere of the shinigami world. "There they are!" You heard Mello's voice calling.

Traizo looked back but continued flying backwards. He didn't notice the tall stone pillar behind him and flew right into it. The impact made him drop you suddenly.

"(Name)!" Assuming he wanted to be released, Hakumei dropped L.

"That's all nice and romantic but if you catch her who's going to catch you?" Mello yelled at L, he then proceeded to pull on Hakumei's cat like ears. "Why did you drop him? You should have caught her instead of dropping him!"

"Even if you can't hurt me, that's annoying!" Hakumei flew around in circles but Mello didn't let go of his ears.

"I'm here and I'm not happy you flew off without me!" Higure had just arrived and was quick to act upon seeing the situation. While you and L fell from a great altitude, Traizo had his wing stuck on the thorny vines surrounding the pillar and in his panic because you were falling, he could think of nothing else than to pull at it to get free, which was not the most effective solution. Higure tossed Near into the air and caught you and L, one on each arm.

"I said you couldn't carry her!" Traizo finally broke free just in time for Near to suddenly fall into his arms.

"I do not enjoy being thrown around!" Near clung to Traizo, the fright was still abundant in his mind, even if his tone and expression didn't really show it.

"Can we land?" You tried to put an end to the chaos.

Higure nodded and landed, setting L on the ground first. "I got to carry the human girl after all!" He gave you a hug like a child would hug a plush toy.

"Not fair! Put her down!" Traizo complained while, waiving Near around. "Here I'll give you this!" He tossed the white haired boy towards Higure who caught him and gave him a disapproving look. "Why would I want this thing?" He then set Near on the ground.

"L!" Near hugged his brother for dear life.

"It's okay, no one will treat you like an object anymore." The dark haired detective than addressed the shinigami, "everyone please be more considerate."

Flying above, Hakumei was getting dizzy and Mello was already very dizzy. The shinigami spun around some more and finally landed. A dizzy Mello got off and attempted to walk but lost his balance and fell on you. Luckily you managed to stay on your feet while supporting him.

"Why is everyone trying to steal (Name) today? She's mine!" Traizo yelled.

"I'm not... trying to... steal her..." Hakumei dizzily said.

"Me either, I just wanted to carry her for a little while," Higure added.

"I'm not trying to steal her." Mello replied as soon as his head stopped spinning, or at least slowed down. "I would never try to take away my brother's girlfriend."

"I'm not your brother!" Traizo then realized Mello was referring to L and pointed at him accusingly. "I told you to stay away from her!"

"Please calm down, I'm not trying to harm (Name) in any way and you have nothing to worry about because there is no way," L stopped upon seeing the look on your face. He meant to finish with something along the lines of 'no way she'll like me' but he didn't want to say it.

"No way, what?" There was an uncomfortable silence in the toxic air as you insisted, "finish it."

L shook his head. "It doesn't matter."

"Fine, be that way!" You couldn't help it but to wonder what he was going to say, yet at the same time, you weren't sure if you wanted to hear it.

"I guess that's the end of the road for us, we'll see you all again later," Higure said.

"Yeah, our job is done for now," Hakumei added. Higure took off, followed by his twin brother, Hakumei. The two cat-like, fire colored shinigami, disappeared in the distance and the uncomfortable silence continued.

"This stinks," Near quietly complained.

"I know, L doesn't know how to handle his feelings. Keeping his crush bottled up isn't good for his health," Mello whispered.

Near shook his head. "No, I meant it stinks here, the ground stinks like it's rotten."

Mello rolled his eyes. "What did you expect from the world of death? A lively flowery scent?"

The atmosphere was dry, stinky and toxic. The temperature was beginning to become unpleasant. It wasn't this hot the last time you came, but now it felt like a desert. The white stone ruins became more abundant as you moved forward. Most of them were covered in some sort of dry vine like plant with thorns. There wasn't a lot of vegetation in the shinigami world and what little vegetation could be found, had a certain hostile look to it.

"Don't get too close to the plants (Name), they bite." As Traizo gave the warning an odd dry bronze flower with unusual triangular petals stretched as far as it could trying to bite you. You jumped back but soon realized that the deathly plant couldn't stretch any further than that.

After walking a short distance, the group arrived at the ruins of a palace, unlike the outside, within the ruins, the temperature was cool. The place looked like it could collapse any minute. Pieces of the floor were missing and most of the ground of the first floor was desert-like dry land. Whole walls were missing and it defied the laws of logic that the structure somehow still held together supporting the weight of the upper floors.

"This is the royal palace," Traizo announced.

Some palace, it seemed that most shinigami didn't really have a house of their own or any place to live. They were all over the shinigami world, wasting away just like the world itself. This so called palace appeared to be the best building around and it was a mess. "Interesting, is it part of their culture?" The question seemed innocent enough but in his genius head, L was already making a number of connections and analyzing many theories.

"My guess is they don't have five star hotels in this world," Mello correctly concluded.

Near rolled his eyes, "I hope you can survive."

"Yeah, well, I hope you can survive without toys!" Mello argued.

Near's eyes went wide at Mello's words for just a split second. The rest of his face remained expressionless and soon the look in his eyes returned to normal. "I'll endure it." He wasn't looking forward to that.

"Food is a necessity. The king understands that, right? We'll still be given chocolate, right?" Now it was Mello's turn to worry. He didn't want to endure living without chocolate.

"Of course there's food," Traizo assured. "Higure and Hakumei are supposed to bring things that are needed so they can get some food from the human world, and if you don't like it, I can get something else for you (Name)."

"Thanks Traizo I appreciate it, but really anything will be fine as long as it's edible for humans." Somehow you didn't think anything that originated from the shinigami world would be edible for a human.

"Okay, just remember that the food here is really bad. I don't eat it and I don't think it's a good idea for you to eat it." Traizo then looked at L with a mix of mischief and jealousy. "Mr. Detective can eat as much as he wants."

"You're too kind," L decided to smile, he sure looked cute smiling.

Traizo made a pouty face then stuck out his tongue at L. The rest of the way was spent in relative silence as you went up the abundant stairs, narrow passages and rooms that seemed to shake with every step you took.

You finally reached a large room made of black stones instead of the white stones that formed the rest of the structure. The floor was slightly tilted and the tall black columns seemed to reach for the skies endlessly. Strangely, you didn't see them sticking out of the building from outside. There were a few uneven steps ahead, covered by a ragged, red carpet and at the end there was a throne made of bones.

Ragged, black curtains hung in the places where pieces of the walls were missing. The room had no ceiling yet the light from outside didn't reach it. On the throne sat a figure in a black robe with a scythe at his side and a skeleton body. "All of you are to remain here until my daughter returns. You may stay within the palace if you wish, now go."

"Just like that..." So what if he was the king of the Shinigami World, you weren't going to be, in a way, taken hostage and not do something about it. You just wished you knew what to do.

"She won't come back, but maybe I can think of a way to change that," L confidently spoke.

"What makes you so sure?" Hades stood from his throne taking his scythe as he approached L.

"For a long time, Persy thought there was no way she could ever meet her mother. Recently she gained hopes of meeting her after learning of her location. Because of this, her goal right now is to meet Persephone the first. Just as your goal is to stop her," L explained.

"Fool!" The temperature dropped suddenly and every human did what they could not to visibly shiver. Clearly the queen was a sensitive point for Hades. It seemed that he was not the kind of king to keep himself secluded from the rest of the population of the shinigami world but he didn't like talking about his human queen. "Do not speak of what you do not understand!"

Page 24: Waiting for a New Day

The shinigami king was angry, but L did not back down. "Humans change their minds." L felt Hades' scythe against his throat, it was ice cold and burning at the same time.

"L!" You, Mello and Near rushed towards him.

"(Name) don't get involved!" Traizo called after you, but you just couldn't allow L to get hurt, or killed, without trying to save him.

"It's alright; his highness needs my help so he won't kill me." The confidence the human named Lawliet displayed annoyed Hades to no end.

"Humans who challenge death find nothing but sorrow. Humans fear death, they fear their end, it is natural." Hades reasoned. The temperature started to rise to an unbearable heat. You wondered if the room was always this unstable and if the shinigami could feel it even if it probably didn't bother them as it would bother a human.

"It is true that humans do not wish to die, normally they don't. They feel a certain satisfaction from escaping death in a sense. They might want to avoid it, negotiate maybe. Some even have quite an arsenal of tactics at their disposal." You wondered where L was going with all of this.

By the way Mello kept nodding to himself as if confirming that his own unspoken theories matched L's and by the knowing look Near had, you concluded that they knew where this was going. You had heard nothing but legends, but maybe some of them were true. Maybe Persephone the first became Hades' queen to escape death and maybe she regretted it.

"How much do you know?" As Hades asked his question, in a voice that demanded a clear, direct and truthful answer, the temperature once again changed. This time it was normal yet the air felt more toxic. The scent was different from before, almost chemical instead of rotten.

"Before becoming Persephone she was Nymda. She had two sisters and was the youngest daughter of the countess of-"

"Enough," the shinigami king had been taken by surprise. He did not expect Lawliet to voice such specific facts.

L continued, "there was a deal, what happened was..."

"Silence!" The entire world violently shook with Hades' anger. "I will consider using your skills, but I am not asking for nor accepting your help. I will give the orders when I've made my decision. Leave now!"

The four of you left the throne room and wondered around the palace in search of decent rooms to stay in. It seemed that you would end up at least spending the night there. There was no telling when you could return to Earth.

"This isn't a proper place for a human." Traizo was happy to be with you, but he took notice of your discomfort, plus he was feeling quite upset because you didn't seem to like the idea of Hades threatening L's life. "(Name) needs yummy things to eat and a soft place to rest," with a deadly glare that wished to erase the numbers that floated above the detective's head, Traizo blamed the entire situation on L. "It's your fault! Maybe if you die, the king will be in a better mood and (Name) and I can go back to the human world!"

"The king wouldn't want you to do that. He needs help, it will only take a little longer for him to accept that, then..." L had to admit, it felt nice to be a step ahead against all odds.

"You've caused too much trouble for (Name)," Traizo retrieved his Death Note and a bony pen.

"Traizo stop!" You tried to get the pen or Death Note away from him. But not a single letter was written when the notebook of death slipped out of his hand as Mello jumped in to defend his dear brother. Traizo held the blond by the back of his shirt. "Mihael," the shinigami retrieved another Death Note, that one once belonging to his brother.

"Hey, that's mine!" You claimed it.

"Really (Name)? You want to write his name in the Death Note?" Traizo tossed Mello aside, causing him to collide with Near and both boys fell to the hard stone floor. "Write Lawliet's name too!"

You shook your head. "Don't kill L, Mello or Near, promise?" Traizo picked up his own Death Note from the ground and gave you a frustrated look before switching to looking like a sad puppy and nodding his head. Before anything else happened, you had to do something for him. "Traizo... Show me around the shinigami world tomorrow, okay?"

"Only you and me?" Traizo sounded hopeful, though his eyes revealed he was expecting you to say that the other three humans had to come along as well.

"Alright, just the two of us," you agreed.

Traizo stared at you for a moment before it sunk in and he became very, very happy. "I'll show you all the best places! It'll be great!"

xoxox xox xoxox

As you lay in an oversized bed staring at the ceiling, you wondered if Persy was the only one who actually had a bed in her room, she was probably one of the few who had a room to sleep in. Shinigami probably didn't need sleep but maybe they liked to sleep sometimes. Out the window, which was more like a missing piece of wall, you could see a few shinigami sleeping on the ground. The king had said you could stay in his daughter's room, you knew Persy wouldn't really mind, but you wondered where she was.

It seemed that Persy's desire to meet her mother was strong enough to keep her in the human world. She could choose to follow the owner of her Death Note, which she had been previously doing, or follow the Death Note itself. Her Death Note was on Earth so she must have chosen to stay with it. She was the only shinigami capable of stealing Death Notes and hers was hard to take away by another shinigami even if its location was known.

You had given your death note back to Traizo for safe keeping, though it was still yours, as was Persy's death note even if you didn't carry it, you were sure that Persy wouldn't reclaim it since she would have to return to her world if she did.

Not surprisingly you couldn't sleep, so you decided to go for a walk. When you saw the shinigami twins Higure and Hakumei earlier that day when they brought food from the human world, they told you of their mission which they had completed. To go all over the Shinigami World and spread the word that by order of the king, no shinigami was allowed to write your name or the names of Lawliet, Mihael and Nate in their Death Notes. It seemed that if you were to die by the hands of a shinigami, it would be in the handwriting of Hades himself, if at all. L appeared to be rather confident so that might not be a problem for now.

Your footsteps led you to a tower with spiraling stairs. There were torches of unnatural blue fire held by incomplete statues on the walls, worn and missing large chunks. As you went up the stairs, you felt a soft breeze. The fresh air was very welcome as it was surprisingly pure unlike the toxic air that reigned around the rest of the atmosphere. The palace certainly didn't make any sense; it defied space and nature as did the entire Shinigami World. Even so, you were thankful for the clean air. The stairs appeared endless but you kept going. The breeze became a little stronger as you went up, but it was still too gentle to be called wind.

Finally, you reached the top of the tower which had no roof or walls. On the floor was L, sitting in his own special way. He looked towards you with a smile. "Couldn't sleep?"

"Yeah," you sat down beside him to enjoy the fresh air of the night.

He looked up to the skies. "Amazing isn't it?"

The horizon was dark, completely black but when you looked straight up into the skies you were left in awe. Brilliant violet and blue stars shone in a black background with more light than any star you've ever seen on Earth. A line of light seemed to be flowing from another tower at the center of the palace, which was surprisingly in good conditions in comparison to the rest of the structure. It was like a river of stars flowing into an endless sea of light and dark. "It's beautiful."

"When I first saw the dark skies of this world I never thought they hid something like this. I wasn't even sure if night existed here but if it did, I didn't imagine it would be like this." Even with the current situation, even in the mist of unresolved chaos, L felt at peace at that moment. The king, the queen, the princess... he still had questions, but he also knew and understood a lot. He had found the last piece of the puzzle reflected in that beautiful sky. Everything, from the reason why Hades did what he did, to the way to grant queen Persephone's wish. Then there was Kira; Kira and his mysterious return. That was the only question that remained, he had help from the shinigami world, L was sure, but he would first have to solve the current case before returning to the original one.

"This world appears to be dying, but it has such a lovely night sky." It was beyond a doubt an unforgettable experience, to see a sky most humans could only see in their dreams.

"Those stars are the life of this world." L's words were not mere poetry. You should have known he could only speak in facts, but for that moment you missed it and only focused on the beauty of the skies above and L's comfortable presence next to you.

You weren't sure why you had the sudden urge to make a certain confession. Maybe it was because you had a rare moment alone with L, in which you could speak to him without upsetting your shinigami companion. Maybe it was the effect of that beautiful sky shining impressively. You weren't sure but you said it, the words flowed out before you could stop them. "L, I have a confession..."

L took his gaze away from the skies to look at you, "I'm listening."

Page 25: Closer to Finding What we Seek

You looked at L, then to the skies once again. "I heard you talking to Persy, when we were on the boat."

"I know." L's reply took you by surprise.

"You knew? But then why did you say such things if you knew I was there?" You couldn't make sense of it, yet to him it was so obvious.

"Because it's true," simple and to the point.

You searched for a hint of something, anything, then decided L needed a hug. "You really need to give yourself more credit, Persy was right about that."

L hugged you back and savored the moment. "Some things just don't work out, but thank you."

After the hug had ended, the two of you stayed close. "Why do you think that way? Is it past heartbreak?" You stopped. "Sorry, I didn't mean to ask like that."

"It's alright, I don't mind and it's not that. I don't think I can be heartbroken if I've never been in love. Maybe that's why I don't think it could work out, I've never gone past 'like', it seems out of my reach."

"Don't give up so easily." You thought it sounded more as if he was almost afraid to get there rather than not being able to.

"There are things I need to do, as L. I'm always busy, always secluded, until recently. It was the only way to stay safe. I don't think most people would want that kind of life. I can't be with someone who would accidentally reveal my location and identity or worse, with someone whose life I would endanger." So that was it, the reason why he was convinced he could never have a relationship of any kind.

"You're a genius, you can think of a way. You don't need to be afraid to try."

"I've lost..." L suddenly became quiet, speaking just above a whisper. "I've lost many people in the past, family, friends, colleagues, risking their lives to protect others. Sorry (Name), let's just enjoy the night sky. I heard from Higure and Hakumei that night doesn't come to this world after every day. Sometimes it can be three or four days, even one or two weeks before a night comes."

L might have worked with the police in the past, officers who were exposed to dangerous situations. He might have worked in an environment with other elite agents, people whose lives were in danger while he tried to lead them to safety with his strategies. It was a lot of pressure.

In such an environment, no matter how careful L was, accidents could happen, lives could be lost. Unexpected turns of events happened, even if they were rare with his level of skill to predict people and read them like books, but it wasn't entirely impossible.

Mello and Near, his adoptive brothers, Watari, a father figure, his precious family. They were all L had after losing so much, yet he went on. He went on helping others, solving what no one else could solve, becoming the greatest detective in the world. L was truly amazing and you decided that you would make him realize that somehow. You weren't sure what you would do, but somehow you would let him know.

xoxox xox xoxox

"Mello! Wait for us!" Near called a lot louder than Mello would have liked. "Traizo, I'm really tired, can't you give me a hand?"

The shinigami gave the white haired boy a suspicious look. Why did he have to yell if he was right next to him? "Didn't you say you could manage?"

"I'm not very good at walking and even worse at going up stairs. Please?" Surely Mello had gotten the message by then, but Near would give them as much time as he could.

Mello cringed at the loud voice and L snapped awake from one of the rare occasions when he actually slept. The surface in which he slept was rather hard but what caught his attention was the familiar girl using him as a pillow. You must have stayed up too late looking at the stars and fallen asleep on L.

Mello had seen the two of you and quietly informed Near of the good news. The blond hastily made his way to the top of the tower once again for the sake of curiosity, while his white haired brother lagged a little behind, then Traizo arrived and saw them.

You weren't sure where Traizo disappeared to that night, but he was back. He followed Near and saw Mello enter the tower's spiral stairs. He flew up only to be held back by Near, whom Traizo didn't know was only buying some time so that L's name wouldn't end up in a Death Note due to the shinigami's jealousy.

"L?" You couldn't help it but to feel your face become warm as a red tint invaded it.

"Good morning." How could he smile so casually as if nothing happened? L was special indeed, one of the kind.

Mello cursed the bad timing under his breath and rushed to deliver the official warning. "Don't look suspicious, Traizo's on his way. Near won't be able to hold him off much longer."

"What do you mean suspicious?" You questioned.

"I know you two slept together." The way Mello worded it, made it sound as if it was quite different from what had actually happened.

"It's true," L spoke, "but perhaps it is best if you don't say it that way."

Mello only grinned mischievously. "Right..."

"I'm falling, I'm falling! You're going too fast, it's scary!" Finally Traizo arrived with Near, who was riding piggy back and putting up an act to slow him down.

"What an annoying little human," Traizo set Near down. "You said (Name) would be happy if I helped you, but I'm not sure why that would be true."

You took the hint reflected in Near's eyes right away. "Thank you for helping Near get here!"

"Then you are happy because of that? Alright but I don't like that you were up here alone with those two, at least it wasn't just Lawliet, then I would have killed him." There was that eternal glare that Traizo held for L.

"No killing my friends, remember?" You reminded your shinigami of the previous agreement.

"I remember but do you remember about yesterday? You wanted me to show you around today. I flew all over the Shinigami World last night, looking for places to visit. There are not a lot of interesting places here, but I found a place you might like. Higure and Hakumei already delivered food from the human world. Go eat and have lots of energy to spend the entire day with me!" Traizo glanced at L from the corner of his eyes searching for any hints of jealousy or discomfort. He didn't like the detective's blank expression, but it wasn't as bad as it could be, it was just hard to read.

"Right, I did promise," you agreed.

xoxox xox xoxox

After munching on a Poptart of your favorite flavor, you were off to see the Shinigami World. "This is the only interesting place around here." Traizo landed close to an odd sphere. It had large pieces missing and inside you could see a strange glow. "If you concentrate it can show you anything happening in the human world."

"I want to try it." You focused on your house. Your parents were there just as you thought they would be.

"Do you think she's alright? She hasn't called in such a long time," your mother sounded worried.

"I'm sure she's fine. She's probably busy with her studies and visiting the country. She probably made some friends by now too." Though your father tried to sound calm and optimistic, the look in his eyes revealed that he was worried too.

"I need to remember to call them when I get back to the human world." Next you focused on your best friend's house. "Just as I thought, sleeping in on the weekend. You saw something that caught your attention in the nightstand next to the bed where your friend slept. It was a picture of her and a boy she liked, hugging. "Did they finally get together? She's had a crush on him for so long." You knew that when you got back, which by the looks of it wouldn't be any time soon, everyone would have many stories to tell. You would also have to make up a few stories to tell them about your trip. "Thanks for showing me this, Traizo."

"You're very welcome (Name), the Shinigami World isn't as interesting as the human world, but it has this. My brother and I used to come here all the time." It was a special place to Traizo, the place where he fell in love with you and now he was on a date with you, or at least that's how he thought about it.

"This really is a special place..." Suddenly you got an idea and concentrated on Persy but no image appeared. "Why can't I find her?"

"Who?" Traizo asked.

"Persy, I'm trying to make her appear here, but she won't. Finding my parents and best friend was easy. Is it because I don't know her possible location?"

"Concentrating on the one you want to find should be enough, but shinigami cannot be found this way, even half shinigami," Traizo explained.

"I see..." You would not give up. You were certain there had to be a way to use this. Maybe Persy had gone back to Watari. He was a human, so finding him shouldn't be a problem, even if you didn't know his exact location, you were pretty sure he must have moved by now. Sure enough, focusing on Watari's image was sufficient to find him and Persy was there. "Just as I thought!"

You watched the scene taking place on Earth. "Watari, are you sure that it's coming from the Shinigami World?" Persy asked.

"Yes, I'm 100% sure," Watari replied.

"I see, so this is where L gets the percent thing. He picked it up from you. Anyway we need to find a way to communicate with everyone and tell them." Persy and Watari appeared to have found something important by the hopeful look on her face.

"That will not be necessary," Watari assured her. "L must have already figured it out by now. From the Shinigami World the answer must be a lot clearer than we can see it from here."

To be Continued

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To Save Your Life: Note VI

Page 26: In a Place Seen by Few

"I can't believe that all this time the answer was right in front of me but I didn't know. I can't believe I thought it was just a normal part of the Shinigami World, at most I thought it had a connection to the human world, but not like this. I want to talk to mom, I want to ask her what she wants to do, because I know what needs to be done, but I don't want to. But if she wants me to go through with it, even if I don't want to, then..." It was hard to figure out what Persy was talking about, since you didn't catch the conversation from the beginning, but it was obvious it was something important.

As the scene progressed, Watari occasionally looked over his shoulder. He paused for a moment and asked. "Have you ever felt like you're being watched?" The question made you think.

Countless times you had felt like you were being watched when no one was around and everything was quiet and still. When there was nothing that could occupy your mind and distract you, you felt like there was someone there. You shrugged it off as nothing, just a trick of the human mind when it wasn't occupied. Then later you realized it must have been Traizo all along.

Could it be that Watari's odd feeling was because you were watching? You've heard people say that humans have an extra sense. Maybe that feeling really was because he knew deep in his subconscious that someone was watching. Weather it was that or not, the point was that you would continue to listen and get whatever message they needed to communicate.

"I guess so, everyone feels like that sometimes," Persy admitted.

"The flow of light from the sky, invisible in the human world but visible in the Shinigami World at night. The life of the Shinigami World, connected with the life of queen Persephone the first, originally Nymda. The key to reaching the queen is to enter from the Shinigami World. Reaching her from Earth is impossible. The castle appeared visible only because those who saw it had seen shinigami before. Any human who had not seen a shinigami, could walk straight across the area and find nothing."

Persy nodded as Watari finished his explanation. "Right, that's pretty much the recap and you think L has that figured out? Well he is a genius so let's hope he does."

That was it! There was a connection between the queen and the tower in the center of the Shinigami Palace, the place where the line of light was coming from reaching for the skies. L said it was the life of that world, it was like Watari said. It was what kept the queen alive; that must be it, she was a human. Persy had said it before, her mother could be older than a human lifetime, it was the Shinigami World itself that was keeping her alive. Was L planning to enter that tower? One thing was for sure, the king wouldn't like that.

"Traizo, I want to go to the place they're talking about!"

"That's impossible, I can't take you there" It came as a surprise since Traizo always seemed ready to do even what he thought was impossible for you.

"Why is it impossible? I saw the tower, I saw the line of light, it was in the center of the palace and we were there earlier. Let's go, please!"

To say it was hard for Traizo to say 'no' to you would be an understatement. The shinigami nodded. "Alright I'll take you there, but the tower is locked. No shinigami has even been able to open it and those who tried too hard didn't come back. They say that if that towers falls, the Shinigami World will collapse and if it is unlocked, it will fall after a short time." It seemed that this was something Traizo had heard many times, it was probably something they told shinigami ever since they were young.

"I don't think that will happen. You trust me right?" You asked.

"Of course! I trust you with everything, with my very life and heart and soul if shinigami even have one. I trust you more than Nu!"

You wondered what 'Nu' was, but that might take some time to explain. Maybe it was something that was part of the shinigami civilization. Just because their world seemed to be falling apart didn't mean they didn't have their own culture, their own history and their own stories to tell. "Fly me there?"

Without a second to waste, Traizo picked you up and flew back to the palace. He spent the entire night searching for interesting places in the Shinigami World, but it's not like he found many, so it was good that you came up with ideas of where you wanted to go. Although he didn't like that this seemed to be turning into a mission rather than a date, as long as L wasn't involved, Traizo was happy.

xoxox xox xoxox

After landing in the palace and entering the old building, as Traizo led the way, your curiosity finally became too much. Besides, it would be nice to have something to talk about on the way. You knew the palace's structure didn't exactly follow the laws of physics, so the way to the tower might be a little different and longer than it looked. "Traizo, what's Nu?"

"Everything begins with Nu and ends with Nu!" Traizo explained as if it was the most obvious thing.

You nodded and left it at that, somehow sure that even if he elaborated you wouldn't get it.

The statue in front of Traizo didn't appear to be different from the others in that room. It looked like a cross between an angel and a vampire, unnatural yet handsome looking eyes, fangs, long messy hair, majestic feathery wings, bits and pieces missing just like the other statues. The same as the other, this one extended its hand as if waiting to shake, Traizo did just that. After the hand shake, a noise was heard but nothing happened. "It's kind of inconvenient that the lock is at the opposite side as the door."

"Then the real door is in the other side of the palace?"

Traizo confirmed your guess. "That's right."

You thought about the shinigami world, about their lives and their history as you walked. "Traizo, do you know who built this palace?"

"I don't know. It's been here for a long time, since before I existed," Traizo replied. "Sorry I'm not a better tour guide."

"It's okay; I'm guessing writing down historical events for future generations to learn about isn't something that they do here." At least the young shinigami wouldn't have to memorize a bunch of names and dates. Then again it didn't look like they had schools, and children were not abundant either, you were yet to see one, but guessed that even shinigami were children at some point.

"Not really. It's all about what is happening and what will happen. Shinigami don't worry about the past because it doesn't really affect us as much as humans. I've been watching the humans, to survive they need to improve and the past information helps them avoid mistakes; that's what I've seen. They look to the future a lot too; I don't understand that they pay little attention to the present though. Getting information from the past is understandable and looking to the future could serve to make it better, but why not live the present? They should, especially with their... life span... Humans are confusing." It was clear the part about life spans made Traizo feel uncomfortable, because deep down he knew that one day you would die like any other human and he would still be alive. Unless he saved your life before then and therefore gave his own; but that aside, he had already written enough in his Death Note to live well beyond a human lifetime.

"I guess humans can be a little confusing sometimes, even for other humans. We do enjoy the present a little; less than we should, but I guess we're always looking forward to that 'something' better that is to come. Shinigami don't really worry about the future, right? I guess it's because they have such a long time to do things," you reasoned.

"Even if there's not much to do here..." Traizo added.

Sure the Shinigami World was falling apart now but you wondered if it was always like that or if that palace was once majestic and new instead of in ruins.

"Here we are," Traizo announced.

You had gone through countless passages, up and down stairs, to the point where you had no idea where you were anymore, but even if you did, it probably wouldn't be right since the palace's dimensions were not fitting of what it looked like. Such a structure could only exist in another world different from Earth and it's laws of logical size, shape and physics.

The room the two of you had entered looked like an indoor yard. The grass was a coppery brown color as if it had dried up long ago. Dry trees of rotten wood and somehow partially made of stone, circled the dry well in the middle, made of pale gray stones. Traizo approached the well. "This is the entrance, the door is through here, the well is opened by the statue and closed the same way, but we don't have the key to the lock. Are you sure you want to go on?"

"Yes I want to take a look at it. If many have tried and they haven't been able to open the door, then I don't think we'll be able to do it without the key, but I want to take a look. Is it far?" You asked.

"Not really; but only if you know the way. I used to spend a lot of time playing here. I got lost a lot, but then I figured it out. The way is two left turns, then straight ahead past the fork and a turn to the right on the next fork." If Traizo played there, then the king must have been confident on the tower's lock if he didn't bother keeping other shinigami out.

"Left, left, straight, right, got it." You memorized the directions and allowed Traizo to carry you deep into the dark well. "I can't see a thing."

"I'll show you the way. There will be light when we get to the last door," Traizo explained.

Page 27: Together We'll Stay

After walking around in the dark, you arrived at the door. To your surprise it was made of glass, it looked fragile but you knew it was strong. A large silver lock hung from the glass double doors, the lock no one had been able to open. They were rather plain, but the lack of design made it easier to see what was behind them. It was like a box in the middle of the room and in that glass box was another well. The well seemed to emit a strange aura and a line of light was visible in the room's darkness. That was the light Traizo mentioned. The lights were even more beautiful up close than in the sky and surprisingly gentle, but that wasn't all there was in the room. Resting against the glass doors, there was a very small shinigami, a shinigami child you assumed. "Do you know him?"

"I've never seen him before," Traizo replied.

You wondered what a child would be doing there, maybe he went there to play like Traizo had in the past, the lights were pretty to look at. The boy had three knife-like claws where toes would be. The rest of him was hard to see hidden under a ragged gray blanket. "Hey kid!" Curiosity killed the cat. "Wake up!" But you weren't a cat.

The little boy woke up and looked at you and Traizo curiously. "People!" He said pointing with his tiny paw-like hands. The top half of his body was white, gray in the middle and black on the legs. The fur faded smoothly from white, to gray, to black. His eyes were the purest blue where a human's eyes would be white and the pupils were silver.

His left ear was cat like and his right ear was more like a rabbit's ear. His face looked like a combination of a bunny and kitten, his triangular nose was silver and appeared metallic. He had a metallic silver wire spiraling through his right rabbit ear for a total of seven piercings on that ear.

On his left cat-like ear, he had a silver earring with a shiny blue orb hanging at the end of a short silver chain. His tail started as a gray cat like tail, the fur faded into metal and it ended as a chain that he could move just as easily as a feline moved its tail. It had a blue sphere at the end as well, larger than the one on the earring.

The tiny claws in his little hands were quite different from the ones on his feet; they seemed to be rounded instead of sharp. His knuckles were slightly big and also silver. The kid could probably deliver a killer hook and deadly kicks, though that was not easy to imagine, since he was so small and cute.

"Hello, what's your name? What are you doing here all alone?" You couldn't help it but to take an instant liking to the mysterious child.

"I don't have a name and I live here in this world." The little boy replied. "Mama and papa used to talk to me a lot, they say the world was boring so they forgot how to write but they didn't explain what 'write' is. I know what drawing means. The world is big but it's all the same except this part, it's pretty. You're pretty too, shinigami lady. Do you have a name?"

Shinigami lady? That was the first time anyone had confused you for one, which hinted at how little the boy knew about Shinigami. "I'm not a shinigami, I'm a human and I'm called (Name)."

The little boy looked puzzled. "What's a human?" How did he not know what humans were? Didn't shinigami need to know that to survive?

"This kid's like me," Traizo observed.

"Who are you, are you a human too?" The little boy asked. He was so adorable!

"No, I'm a shinigami like you. I was born here too," Traizo explained.

"Born here?" Well of course, he was a shinigami so he had to be born in the Shinigami World but 'here' must refer to some place more specific than that. "Here as in the palace? In this section of the palace?"

"Yes, that's right..." Traizo confirmed. "Listen kid, this place isn't the world; it's just a small part of it. The world is a lot bigger than this, it's not just a bunch of rooms that are the same and one is different. It's a lot more than that. Oh yeah and my name is Traizo."

It was clear that the nameless boy was eager to hear more and so were you. You sat down beside the child to listen. "Will you tell us your story?"

"You want to hear about me? Yes, yes! I'll tell you!" Traizo was quite happy that you had taken so much interest in what he had to say and began to tell the story of his past. You already knew the story of his brother, but this was the story of his childhood. "I was born in this area of the palace, the labyrinth or maze as some call it. The way in and the way out are different that's why people get confused, but I've made it out many times so I know. In the past, my brother and I used to think that this was the world. A bunch of dark rooms that looked the same and one that looked different and had light. There was no light in the rest of the 'world' so we liked this room the best. Our parents got lost here; they haven't written a single name in a long time. A lot of shinigami are like that. They get so bored of their world that they lose the will to live and sometimes even forget how to write. It seems the same thing must have happened to your parents. Instead of writing names my parents drew on their Death Notes for entertainment until their time came. The Death Notes were full by then and unusable. My brother and I were still small at the time. We didn't know how to read or write, just doodle. We got rid of those pages later when we became real shinigami; shinigami that could read and write. Not all shinigami can do this; some just copy the symbols they see floating above a person's head, even if they can't read those letters. That's enough as long as their face is in their minds. Anyway, my brother and I wondered out of here one day while exploring the 'world' and realized that the world was more than this. An older shinigami taught us how to use our Death Notes. You have one too. right?"

"Yes!" The boy retrieved his Death note which he had left in a corner of the room. "Look!" It was full of drawings of the well, the door, two shinigami, apparently his parents, drawings of him, by the look of it based on the light reflections on the glass, since he didn't have a mirror. It was full, completely full without a single name written on it.

"You're very talented," you smiled.

"Thanku!" You guessed the boy meant 'thank you'.

"You're welcome," you smiled at the boy then asked Traizo, "what happens in these cases?"

"Normally, we can ask the king for a second Death Note when the first is full and hand in that first Death Note as proof. We can only have one at a time, but shinigami have been lazy lately, so the king stopped making them. These days, shinigami don't even fill up the Death Note they're born with," Traizo explained.

It all translated to the boy being in trouble, but at least he wouldn't go around killing people. "How long will he live and shinigami are born with a Death Note?"

"About the same as a human and yes, we are born with Death Notes in the eggs," Traizo explained. Eggs, huh? So they came from eggs. Unusual eggs you were sure, nothing like any other egg from Earth. As if anticipating your question Traizo continued. "The eggs can be different and not all of them hatch. Some are soft, others are hard. Metal eggs are the worse. There's little chance for them to be broken. Most of the time the shinigami just stays in there until its lifespan runs out. I guess they sleep all the time or something, but to them that's the entire world so they don't know what they're missing."

You shivered as a cold chill went down your spine from the mere thought of it. It felt so cruel. It was true that shinigami took human lives to add to their own lifespan, but when seen in a certain way, they were just trying to survive, yet it was so sad that many didn't seem to have a reason to live. There was just no way to win. Still you couldn't leave that child there. "Come with us chibi, we'll show you the way out, so you can see the rest of the Shinigami World."

"Chibi? Is that my name?" The adorable shinigami boy asked.

"Chibi means small in Japanese," you explained.

"I'm small... or you're big... Anyway, I like it. Can I have a name? I always wanted one, but there was no one to give me one because mama and papa didn't." The little shinigami was barely two feet tall; he had big eyes and was super cute so the name fit.

"Okay, then I'll call you Chibi. Let's go out and see the world. Traizo lead the way." Chibi took your hand and you took Traizo's.

"Right but it'll be a little longer this time." To say it was a little longer was definitely an understatement. The way in and the way out were different, which was illogical but true. You could tell it wasn't only an excuse to hold your hand for a longer time. After walking for twenty minutes and being reassured several times by Traizo that he knew where he was going, the three of you finally made it back up the dry well that marked the exit.

"This is different, Chibi observed. It was also the first time he saw dry grass. "What is it?" On the floor?" He pointed.

"That's grass but it's dry," you explained.

"What's that?"

"A tree," you replied.

"And that?"

"A rock."

"You're smart!" Chibi was adorable and very curious.

As the three of you walked around the palace, you heard a familiar voice. "That's why I need to stop Light. Why continue with a plan that didn't work? It would be uselessly throwing away human lives!" That was L. Hades was walking down the halls looking annoyed, with L following him and complaining in defense of the human race.

"Just shut up!" Hades yelled.

"More people!" Chibi pointed at them. Mello and Near were also following, Near lagging a little behind and using the wall for support. He had not walked that much in a long time and he wasn't sure his legs would last much longer before he collapsed to his knees and was unable to get up, yet he pretended it wasn't happening.

Page 28: As the Hourglass Runs Out of Sand

"Go out and play child, don't get in the way." Hades continued walking with L following after him.

"You know it's the right thing to do, it's what Nymda would have done. Take Light's powers away and free her." L insisted, clearly taking the case directly to the point. It's like he was no longer fearing for his life, because he knew how far Persy could go for revenge if need be.

"Leave me be humans, or I will kill you regardless of what my daughter may do afterwards." Hades slammed the doors to his throne room shut and ended the argument.

"Was that wise?" Mello asked.

"It's alright; he knows Persy would go as far as suicide when she realizes that her orders were not followed. She can be rash and act in the heat of the moment without thinking, but we'll make sure she doesn't need to go that far." L explained surprisingly calm.

"Sounds like someone I know," Near commented obviously referring to Mello and receiving a glare from the blond.

"A new friend?" L observed the small shinigami.

"Hello, I'm Chibi, what's your name and what's a friend?" Chibi asked.

L smiled, no one could resist that shinigami boy's cuteness. "I'm L." He found it a little odd that the boy didn't know right away what his name was by reading it, but then he realized the child must not know how to read. "A friend is, someone pleasant to be around, there's trust and loyalty, mutual help when needed, friends are... something I didn't have until recently, though I've had two brothers for a long time... Where are your parents?"

"They melted into sand and never came back." Chibi spoke with sadness but also as he had accepted it. In his simple life and innocence, he only knew how to accept things.

"I'm an orphan too..." L patted the boy's head and gave you a quick glance that seemed to say 'I need to talk to you later'. It seemed that Traizo didn't catch it and he was quite pleased that L was finally following the rules and not even talking to you. You caught the look and immediately started to think of a way to go to L by yourself, so Traizo wouldn't be upset and possibly affect L's plan.

Chibi watched L walk away while Mello and Near stayed, they knew of L's plan. With the most innocent and cute look he asked. "What's an orphan?"

Mello and Near couldn't resist his cuteness either. "Someone whose parents are not around anymore. But you have us." Mello extended his arms and Chibi got the message happily accepting the hug.

"Aw, Mello you're such a softie," Near teased.

"Shut up!" Mello growled in annoyance, though Near only smiled.

"I think he's cute too, my turn," Near joined and the next few minutes passed as everyone petted, hugged and cuddled Chibi.

xoxox xox xoxox

After a while, you were able to get everyone to play with Chibi and with a little help from Mello and Near, Traizo got distracted. The little shinigami's timing was really lucky for this. 'Sorry Traizo but I really need to help L with his plan, I'll see you later' you thought as you sneaked away to meet L. You weren't sure where you had to meet him, but your guess would be the room with the dry well.

You were right. There was L sitting on the dry grass in his peculiar way, waiting for you, certain that you would come. "You knew where to find me." He had instructed Mello and Near not to tell you, but rather let you figure it out. If his theory was correct, then you must have already been to the source of the light in the sky.

L meant to ask you to request from Traizo to tell you about that tower, since he wouldn't tell L even if he asked. Even so he had a feeling that you would somehow figure out what was going on and obtain the needed information. Though you might not have known from the beginning, now you were pretty sure about what L needed to know, how to get to the well were the light originated.

"I thought you would be here and you want to know how to get to the source of the light?" You asked.

"Yes, I trust you have this information?" L was smiling, as if his plan was going how he wanted.

"Of course," you smiled back. "And there's more, when Traizo was showing me around, I saw the device shinigami use to watch the human world from this world. I saw Watari and Persy was with him. They have it all figured out. Watari explained his theory almost as if he knew I was watching."

"His sixth sense has always been good. It's about the line of light right? Reaching the queen is only possible from here." L explained.

"Right, but maybe the king feared we would find another way and kept us away from the castle in the human world," you shared a theory.

L agreed. "He probably was concerned about that, but he is very confident in the methods he used here in the Shinigami World and he believes there is no way to open a certain lock. Have you seen anything like that?"

"Yes, there's a lock on the doors of a glass box. Inside there is a well and that's where the light is coming from," you explained. "How do you know all of this? Traizo showed me the way, but how did you figure it out?"

"This room is different from the others; it has grass so it must be the entrance. Some of the life of this world filters out through here and causes grass to grow. It doesn't reach other parts of the palace so there is no grass there, even if the floor tiles are missing. That light is life, the life of the world itself being infused with the queen's human body to extend her life but she, if my theory is correct, must remain asleep. She must wish for rest even in her subconscious slumber. Even if it was arranged so that she has pleasant dreams, her human soul must be exhausted after so many years. She longs to be mortal, opposite of that which she wanted before, to be young and beautiful forever, never fearing death." L explained.

"Is that why she married death? To avoid dying? The life of this world... is that why it's in such bad conditions?" You asked.

"Yes and no, this world never had a lot of life to begin with. It will always be a little barren and dessert, but it has deteriorated far beyond what it used to be like. For the good of this world, for the peace of the queen and to restore natural order, Persephone the first, also know in the past as Nymda, must be freed. If Persy and Watari are already aware of this, they will be waiting. When the seal is broken from this world, the castle will finally become accessible from Earth and they can join us there." L gave you the details.

You took a deep breath and tried to let it all sink it. It was all amazing and L was amazing. "How did you know about the lock?"

"Because I have the key and I knew this key had an important purpose. I'm 99.9% sure, that the first Death Note a shinigami uses is one that they are born with. Persy was born with a golden Death Note, one that hides a secret in its hard cover." L took a golden key out of his pocket. "I believe not even the king nor the princess herself knew about this. Nymda's later wish was to be granted and her daughter was born with the key."

When you saw the golden key you knew right away it could open that silver lock. You weren't sure how, but you knew. Maybe you were finally developing a detective's instinct. "I know how to get in but the way out is complicated, that's no problem right? Because we'll end up on Earth."

"Right," L replied.

"What about everyone else?" you asked.

"When we open the way, everyone will know. Mello and Near will follow us. Remember when Traizo carried Near to make you happy? His real problem seems to be with me. I'm confident they can get Traizo to help; then they'll meet up with us, Persy and Watari in the castle on Earth, after the seal is broken. Persy will finally meet her mother," L was confident in his theory.

It was happening, it was truly happening, you would finally find the queen. "Let's go." The well was still unlocked, since no one went back to shake hands with that same statue and L was prepared with a flashlight.

"It's a good thing Higure and Hakumei didn't ask any questions and just brought the supplies." L was rather amused seeing the shinigami twins faces when he told them that he needed a flashlight and a rope and hook to take care of some 'natural human needs', they looked as if they had no idea what he was talking about and no intentions to find out. L wasn't sure if he wanted to know what was going on in their imaginations, what ever it was, it had to be strange. He placed the metal hook on the edge of the well and tested the rope going down while you held the flashlight. "Toss me the flashlight." You did and he caught it then he waited.

It was so much easier to go in with someone to carry you, but L couldn't fly. He set the flashlight on the ground, pointing up, lighting up the way, and extended his arms as if to reassure you that he would catch you if you fell. Luckily you managed to get down without falling.

L handed you the flashlight. "Lead the way."

"Right, this place doesn't really follow normal logic, so we can get lost." It was an excellent excuse to take his hand, so you wouldn't be accidentally separated and you didn't waste that chance.

Even if it sounded like a contradiction, the well seemed creepier in the light than in the darkness. You didn't see all those statues before or the ghostly mist that filled each room. It was all darkness the first time you came and somehow you found out that there were creepier things than pure darkness.

Page 29: We're Back Home in a Blink

"First it's left," you recalled, there were three passages. One of them was straight ahead, one on the left and one on the right. While the first passage was narrow, the room after that first turn was big. At the end, it had five tunnels, the one from which you came, one on the right wall, two on the opposite wall and there had to be another on the left wall which was were you were going, but the left side of the room seemed to extend endlessly as the light grew dim. The two of you made your way to the far left wall. The flashlight still had some light left in, it but it was very dim all of a sudden. "Another left, then straight ahead, and finally, we'll go right," you recited.

"The batteries were supposed to be new." L had one hand in yours and the other with his thumb in his mouth. "Try pointing it that way." He stopped chewing his thumb and pointed to the right side of the room. Somehow the light could easily reach the right wall, even if it was dim against the left wall, which was now a lot closer.

"I guess this place defies logic in more ways than one..." You concluded.

L nodded. "It seems to have a natural darkness to it, but a little light should be enough to find our way." He gave you a sense of security, the feeling that everything would work out somehow.

"Right, it's not too far, we'll get there," you remained optimistic too. Even if the place looked like it came right out of a horror movie, there was no real danger; unless Hades found out, but he didn't even know about the key. By the time he found out, you would have already found the queen and things would somehow work out on Earth.

As you crossed the next dark room, heading for a door straight ahead, barely visible in the dim light, you remembered that time L tried to run off on his own. "L, about that time you tried to go off on your own and Persy was really upset..."

"I should apologize to her... My plan was to get Hades' attention. He would try to bring me to his side and to the Shinigami World thinking that I would betray Persy to protect people from Light. I actually wanted to do both, protect people and help Persy, but tricking her was the only way. Hades sent spies, if he saw Persy upset, that would motivate him to hastily make a move and we could use that. It seems he caught on a little, but not completely. He must have suspected we were planning something, but didn't know what. He thought that we could get in the way only from Earth, since he didn't know about Persy being born with the key in her Death Note's cover. He was confident in the lock in this world. He couldn't kill us because of Persy's possible revenge, so in the end, Hades thought it was best to keep us in this world, where he thinks we can't do anything." L explained.

You knew he had to have a reason. "But if that worked, you have ended up coming here alone."

"I didn't want to put you in danger, but I've realized that you're not one to give up." L admitted.

"Right, I would eventually figure it out and find a way to follow you. We're in this together."

"I wasn't used to working with someone like this. I work with Watari all the time and I've worked with Mello and Near before, but that was different," L admitted.

"Do you think I have what it takes to be a detective?" The last room was very dark but you knew you only needed to turn right. It was odd that the well room had so much light, yet somehow it didn't leave that room.

"I think you've been doing a great job," L was truthful.

The two of you arrived at the well room where the light came from. L had the key and the lock was right in front of him. He placed the small golden key into the relatively large silver lock. It opened effortlessly as if by magic when it came into contact with the key. Both the key and the lock dissolved into metallic sand and on Earth, Persy felt something, she didn't know what, but she felt something.

For a moment everything was calm and peaceful. Light and warmth eradiated from the well and you could feel the energy now that the glass doors were open. "This tunnel of light is the way to Earth. It is made of life, so we will not be endangered by it. Do you want me to go first or would you prefer to go first?"

"Can't we go at the same time?" It seemed better if you both went together; it was safer, wasn't it?

"It's possible but," before L could explain, there was an earthquake and the tower began to crumble. "Go in name, hurry! This will take you back to Earth!"

"I'm not leaving you behind, we'll both go together." L could see that you had decided and would not change your mind. You held your hand for him to take and firmly stood your ground. You saw no reason why the two of you couldn't jump into the well of light together, it was certainly big enough.

L bit his lip and shook his head, but you didn't move. He had learned to read you fairly well and knew you wouldn't leave. There was no time for this, he took your hand and the two of you jumped into the light together.

At first you fell, but then you floated higher and higher as if you were completely weightless, made of pure energy. The light surrounded your body and you flew towards the Shinigami World skies. You saw the tower falling apart, but between the rubble and the clouds of dust, the light was still there, the way back to Earth was still open for Mello, Near and Traizo to follow you and L into the queen's castle.

Thoughts and feelings could be felt more intensely than ever, but it was confusing. Theories and information that you were certain you didn't know before, rushed into your mind. That feeling, you liked someone but didn't want to. You blocked it all out, all attachments; save for a few whom you treasured. You didn't want to add another to that list because it might not end well. You had to be there for everyone, no distractions.

What? Those weren't your thoughts. You weren't going to deny yourself liking someone out of fear of not having it work out. Leaving? This person was leaving? Who was it? "L, I..."

"Don't think right now..." He almost begged.


"You'll be back to normal soon, just don't think right now, please."

You didn't understand at first, but soon the answer came to you. L's thoughts were flowing into your head. That's why two people shouldn't travel this way at once. Maybe he didn't know for sure, but he had a theory and it was correct. He was really good at figuring out what could happen and his detective instinct was amazing. Yet those feelings; did that mean he was starting to like you but stopping himself?

Did L think you would leave as soon as this was over and never even bother talking to him again? Was it best that way? Safer? No, no, no, that's not right. You had to tell him, but then you wondered if your thoughts were flowing into his mind as well. If that was the case, then he already knew. Then maybe he would change his mind when he was ready.

xoxox xox xoxox

"I'm going to kill Lawliet, I'm tired of waiting!" You heard a voice, it sounded like Traizo.

"Wait just a little longer, we both see her lifespan. (Name) isn't dead, she's just sleeping." The next voice sounded like Persy.

"Unconscious is more like it, in a coma." That was Mello's voice. You could hear them all around you but you were too tired to open your eyes.

"Coma? Her position is not curved like a coma." Good old Traizo taking things literally. At least there were no beans involved this time.

"That's not what a coma is!" Mello tried to explain.

Traizo didn't believe him. "I know how to write, I know what a coma is!"

"I think we should leave it as it is, Mello." Near was there too. Mello probably didn't realize that if he explained what kind of coma he was talking about, he would be giving Traizo another reason to kill L. The shinigami was already very angry that the two of you were found unconscious in Queen Persephone's castle hand in hand.

For two people to travel into the castle at the same time was possible, but you and L were both thinking too much, the pressure and emotion eventually knocked you both out. You weren't really in a coma as Mello said, you were just tired.

"Why?" Was that L's voice just now?

"She will be fine, her vital signs are normal and she's not injured." Watari? They were all there, everyone together.

"Then why?" L sounded frustrated, but it was only a small hint that you could detect in his choice of words, rather than his tone of voice. You imagined what his expression would look like, probably calm or unreadable.

"Because not everyone sleeps as little as you do." L didn't insist on his question anymore after that, so it seemed that Watari's answer was accepted.

L only asked 'why' when directing the question at the only person who could possibly answer it and even then he had a theory before hearing the answer. To ask Watari like that, seeking reassurance instead of a logical answer, he had to be worried. But L was L and he would go back to his normal calm self in no time. You surprised yourself thinking that way. It seemed you had become pretty good at understanding him. L was more than a little unusual, but now you couldn't think of ever saying goodbye.

You slowly opened your eyes, you were still tired but, this was no time to sleep. Everyone was there; they all looked at you relived as you sat up. It was then you noticed you had been moved into a soft bed, in an elegant room. The walls were covered with jewels, bases with rare flowers decorated the room, sending a soft sweet aroma to the atmosphere and the furniture looked shiny, soft and new even, though you knew it was ancient. Everyone was there, L, Mello, Near, Watari, Persy, Traizo, Hades... "Hades?!"

Page 30: With a Challenge to Slay

Traizo looked shocked. He must have seen Hades standing there before, but he still looked surprised. "Why did she say the king's name first?" It seemed that Watari had the answers so Traizo asked him.

"Because she's surprised," Watari tried to explain.

Though Traizo didn't say it loud enough for the king to hear, he muttered something about Hades ruining the moment because he wanted you to wake up and recognize him first, or at least before L. Yet it seemed that your attention was with the king and princess.

"Now that you're all here and conscious, I will be waiting with my queen. If you make it to where she is, you may wake her up and she will decide what will be done," Hades spoke bitterly. He appeared to have given up after Persy made it as far as inside the real castle of her mother.

"What's going on?" You asked.

"Daddy is still being stubborn, but he knows I'm right. I had a long talk with him and made him realize he shouldn't be so selfish. Days ago I felt something and I had the need to find my Death Note but I waited. Later when I went to take a look at it, I realized why I thought I should look at it, someone messed up the cover. I went to ask Watari about it and it all fell into place. Since it was for mother I'll forgive Lawliet," Persy explained.

"No, don't forgive him! I'll write his name in my Death Note since you didn't reclaim yours!" Traizo complained. "He messed up your Death Note and worse, he won't stay away from (Name) so he deserves it."

Persy shook her head. "No, if L didn't have this plan from the beginning, then he wouldn't have taken the key. If I knew I might have accidentally blown his cover but..." Persy quietly paused, her skull side remained expressionless and her human-looking side changed from angelic to angry. "I'm still mad at L for tricking me! Lawliet if you want my forgiveness, you must make a promise!" There was a dramatic silence as Persy froze in her pose. "Just a moment..." She searched for something in her robe and found a little book. "Promise... promise..." She turned the pages until she found what she was looking for. "That even if it's just by one day... no wait..." She turned the pages again and looked over the quote before stating her request. "Promise that you will never make (Name) cry!"

Everyone stared at Persy as she hid the little book in her black robe again. "Why? When did he?" Traizo lifted L and shook him harshly. "When did you make (Name) cry?"

"I didn't," L replied and still remained calm. He was getting used to Traizo's constant threats by now, but he would never actually provoke him on purpose.

"Well if you didn't, then keep up the good work." Persy nodded and gave two thumbs up.

"Have you been reading cheesy romance novels this entire time?" You asked Persy.

"Cheesy? There was no cheese involved, only romance, and reading is not all that I've been doing. I've been helping Watari with the investigation and watching soup operas on TV!" Persy proudly revealed.

"Soap operas?" You corrected while trying to get Traizo to put L down.

"Yeah that, and I'm in a good mood because I'll finally get to see mom! Nothing can go wrong! All you have to do is find her. I made a deal with daddy. When L finds mom, she will be woken up. As part of the deal, us shinigami can't help. This is your quest L, but I know you won't mess up!" Persy certainly had a lot of confidence. She had no idea what she had gotten L into. "You may only choose one human helper in this quest but don't worry about it because I chose for you. (Name) will be your helper!"

"No!" L and Traizo spoke at the same time, though at different tones far more calm for L.

"I don't want do endanger (Name)" L explained.

"It's not dangerous, you'll be with her and nothing can beat true love!" It seemed that the happiness of finally meeting her mother, combined with the many romance stories she was exposed to, made Persy a little too optimistic.

"But they're not in love!" Traizo half whined and half ordered. L, or any other man, was not allowed to have such thoughts and feelings about you, as far as Traizo was concerned.

"Sure they are! Just like you and me, you just haven't realized it yet" Persy had studied shoujo manga and she now had a long list of plans to try out to win Traizo's heart and help L win yours. With her new tactics and the elimination of competition by pairing you up with L, Persy could win Traizo over for sure; at least that was her plan.

So it was decided, you and L would venture further into the unknown castle to find the queen. This was definitely a trap, no doubt Hades would have everything set up to make you and L fail. You wondered what dangers lay ahead and how you would face them, but after coming so far, you weren't about to give up and neither was L.

xoxox xox xoxox

You were given a day to recover and the next day the new adventure began. It all started after breakfast, with a door leading to a slightly dark corridor. L of course had cheese cake for breakfast that morning.

"I don't want (Name) to go!" Traizo was still against it.

"It can't be helped," Near acknowledged.

"It's okay Traizo, I'll be fine. I'll return soon," you assured him. He didn't look happy with the situation, he was quite upset but he had no choice if you were willing to go.

Mello was quietly talking to L and judging by the dark haired detective's expression, he was probably giving him couple advice. You were surprised you could read L's expression at all, as it didn't truly change beyond a few barely noticeable details. It seemed you had learned to catch even the smallest details in him.

Soon, you and L were on your way and the door was closed behind the two of you, leaving you in a dimly lit long hall that extended beyond what the eye could see in the darkness. You sighed. Why was it that you always ended up walking in creepy places with L? It would be so much more enjoyable if it was a nice place.

"(Name)" L woke you up from your daydream.

You smiled as sincerely as you could. "I guess we should get going."

L nodded. "We'll get through this." He was, as always, confident, but you knew he was worried about you.

"We definitely will," you reassured him and yourself.

After walking for a few minutes you came to a door. Though the hallway was dark, judging by the light that could be seen under the door, the next room was quite bright. For once it made logical sense as you and L entered. The room was very large, the floor was made of glass and there was a big pool under it creating the illusion that you were walking on water. Indoor waterfalls adorned the walls, it was truly amazing. Maybe your walk with L would turn out to be nice after all. At least that's what you thought until a door at the opposite end of the room opened and a shinigami stepped forward.

The shinigami was a female, a bit short but imposing. She had long golden hair in pigtails and her red eyes shone brightly. Her skin was ghostly pale and her ragged dark red outfit was rather revealing. She had long sharp fingernails and toenails in a glossy black color to match her eye shadow and lipstick. She wore long earrings with black jewels hanging from golden chains that went to her shoulders. She wore similar decorations in bracelets, anklets, a choker and belt. She also had a longer chain wrapped around her entire body. "Don't worry, I'm only here to watch."

"Who are you?" You asked. L appeared to be in deep thought, it was almost as if he recognized her but couldn't quite figure it out. She looked familiar, but who was she?

"A messenger; that is all you need to know." She was rather cheerful and appeared carefree with a hint of childishness.

"You won't interfere?" L knew, you could tell by the look in his eyes that he had already figured out who this shinigami was. He had that certain special look he got when he figured out a mystery, when all the pieces to the puzzle fell into place.

"I promise; I'm only here to watch, just as he asked me to follow what the king said. I won't get in the way but I won't help you," the shinigami girl replied.

"Very well," L agreed. "We should continue."

You followed L out of the room. The shinigami girl followed too, but made sure to stay several feet behind. As you walked, the scenery began to change with each room. The windowless tunnel like passages connecting each room, were dark but elegant with many jewels decorating the walls, large bases with unknown flowers and a sweet scent in the air.

The red plush carpets were soft and easy to walk on, and a gentle melody was heard in the distance. Each large room was different. There was a very large room which held a river with a glass bridge that simulated ice, the river magically flowing from wall to distant wall. Another had a forest with trees that were so perfectly alike it was hard to believe they were real. Such an amazing architecture was beyond what a normal human could construct.

Another room held a tower of gold. High above you saw a bridge connecting to the top of the wall. The golden tower was filled with only spiral steps of pure gold. At the top you could see the blue skies beyond the room's glass ceiling. After crossing the bridge you would reach the next door. The shinigami girl was still on the lower floor; apparently she was going to fly instead of taking the stairs. "Who is she?" You took the opportunity to ask L.

"She could be a problem, but she isn't the real enemy, it's the one who sent her." L replied as ambiguous as he could possibly be. You blinked in confusion and he smiled. "Justice will prevail."

You nodded. So that's what he was playing at. If it became vital that you knew he would tell you, but for now he would give you the opportunity to figure it out on your own. You would, you were determined to do it.

To be Continued

Using a well to travel between worlds is from Inuyasha. Page 26 has references to Chrono Trigger (about the Nu at Zeal) and Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (the directions to get to the Forest Maze treasures).

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To Save Your Life: Note VII

Page 31: Every Danger we Meet

As you and L approached the door, the shinigami girl flew after the two of you. Her wings were made of amazing golden feathers with black at the tips and small red spots as if stained with blood, yet they still held vast majestic beauty. Though with a marked touch of gothic darkness and revealing mischief, no one could deny that shinigami was unusually beautiful in a race where what was considered beautiful from a human's point of view was very rare.

In the next room, there was a small hill covered in soft green grass, it was an unusual shade of mint green. On top of the hill there was a small silver table with a chess board on it. The chess pieces were already set up, there were no windows on the diamond covered marble walls and no door except the one you used to enter the room. The ceiling was not of glass this time, it was a bright blue covered in sapphires. L approached the chess board. This was the first challenge. He moved a white piece and a black peace moved in response by itself.

You gasped as a number appeared floating above L's head and wondered if shinigami saw something similar. But this number was rather small, a ten. "L there's a ten above your head, a seven by now."

L looked up and saw the floating number. He moved another piece and the number was reset to ten. "I see, so I only have ten seconds to move." He observed the game. It didn't really frighten him, if anything it calmed him. He remembered playing chess with Mello and Near in the orphanage.

You remained quiet and watched. L was a genius after all, so he should be fine. The shinigami girl stood quietly at the door uninterested by the game. The chess game progressed slowly and you noticed that several pieces belonging to the invisible opponent were dangerously close to L's king, but he didn't seem affected by it. You weren't really an expert at chess, but you knew that it would end if his king was captured.

xoxox xox xoxox

It was L's move and he smiled. "I'll win this now." You wondered how he was going to do it. He didn't have any pieces close to the black king, plus the white king was surrounded and would be captured in the next turn unless L won. He moved the white queen and reached the black queen. "Check mate."

Water started to fall covering the opposite wall. When the water stopped, a door was there. The crystalline water flooded the room and the shinigami girl was now flying above it. Everything except the hill with the chess board was underwater. Then the water started to go down, as if the ground was rapidly absorbing it and the path to the door was left open. "How did you...?" You looked at L in confusion. Was this a different type of chess?

"This is the queen's castle. Capturing the opponent's queen with my queen was the most likely goal." Of course, it was a trick to make L think this would be played like the classic version of chess, but L didn't fall for it. Still, you had a feeling that the challenges would only get harder.

When you and L reached the next room, after going through a tunnel of rubies, you found yourselves in an active volcano. There was a path of large amethysts, aligned floating on the lava. Fireballs flew from one side of the room to the other, to and from holes in the walls.

"Looks like we have to jump." L observed the fireballs as you did. There was a certain pattern to them and if you missed one jump you would be trapped.

"I thought Persy was protecting us," you reminded L. "Was she tricked by her father?"

"Possibly, but if he wanted us dead he would have already killed us. He found a way around Persy's threats, he won't kill us, but he will injure us until we back down," L concluded.

"You got that right!" A familiar voice was heard as Higure emerged from the lava unharmed.

"As expected from the genius detective," Hakumei appeared the same way.

"Don't worry, we're supposed to play by the rules, the king said so himself." Higure wasn't too reassuring given the situation.

"Right, we can only step in if it's to save your lives. But that won't happen right? You've come so far. Will this be like those moving pictures in the little boxes humans like to watch?" Hakumei asked.

"An action movie..." L pondered the situation. It wasn't that he needed to jump an excessive distance; the challenge was in the setting. The lava and fire were sure to scare most people and either make them give up before trying or cause them to make fatal mistakes.

"Something like that," Higure told L. "And you have two cutie pies to watch you." The cat-like shinigami winked at you and the shinigami girl.

The shinigami girl made a childish pouty face and shook her head. "I'm taken."

"I know, I know, by the little foolish one," Higure laughed. What was he talking about?

"Take that back!" The shinigami girl seemed to have a temper. "My love is the best ever, he's absolutely perfect in every way and I would gladly give my life for him!"

"I can see it." Hakumei curiously poked the empty space above the shinigami girl's head.

"Stop it!" she slapped his hand away.

"A life span? Is that what you can see?" You asked.

The shinigami twins both nodded simultaneously. "And her name too but writing it on a Death Note won't work because of the contract. Not that it would do much. Her lifespan is short, less than a year now," Higure explained.

"It doesn't matter, my beloved is creating a new world and I'm helping him. He'll always remember me and he'll always love me, that's all that counts. I'll give my life for his dream with no regrets," the shinigami girl insisted.

Creating a new world? The one she loved? This sounded familiar, you had read about something like this before. You had seen many files from the Kira case since you got involved. This fit perfectly. "You're a human, or you were a human. You made some kind of deal to become a shinigami at the cost of your life so you only have a year left, or you had a year when it began."

The shinigami girl glared at you. "I hate you and I want to kill you, but my love told me to follow the rules that the king decided. I want to kill you and Lawliet, Lawliet most of all because he got in our way. We would be happy if not for him and you. You had a part in it too, you and your shinigami friend. Making friends with the princess and using your connections against us. I hate you both and one day you'll die, if not by my hand then by my love's!"

"Misa... You're Amane Misa!" You had figured it out. It seemed that L knew from the moment he saw her. It all fit, she was Misa, you saw the resemblance now. Then there was something about a contract that turned her into a shinigami, but she only had a year left to live. "You can't extend your life."

"Only those who are born shinigami, or half shinigami, can extend their life," Hakumei confirmed.

Misa decided to ignore the twins. "I don't care what happens; I would die for him without a second thought." Some would call it love, but when that love wasn't returned, maybe it was foolishness. Misa was being used by Light, couldn't she see that?

"(name) If we get the timing right we can cross." L brought your attention back to the difficult path that awaited. He took your hand and held it tightly; Traizo would throw a fit if he saw. Alas, it seemed that you were once again holding hands with L in the mist of danger. Was it a running gag that the world had against you? "We can't always stop after each jump. Just jump when I say and we'll be fine, I have the pattern figured out. Ready?"

The pool of boiling lava didn't look inviting at all. You could feel the heat as if you were already burning and that was just from standing close to it. "No, but let's go."

L waited a moment for the timing to be right, then the journey to the other side of the room began. The amethysts were a little slippery and very hot; it was a miracle they didn't melt, probably preserved by magic. After jumping from one to the other and having many close calls, you and L made it to the other side.

Those were the longest five minutes of your life, and just when you thought it was over, the room began to shake and the lava started to rise. L opened the doors to the next room quickly and everyone rushed in. Instead of the usual hall or tunnel connecting each room, this time there was an icy wall and another door high above.

"You need to climb," Higure said while Hakumei looked amused.

"This is cheating!" You yelled. There was no way you or L could climb that wall of solid ice. The lava set the door on fire and started to pour into the room.

One of the large amethysts was still floating in it. "(Name)!" You and L jumped on it. You held on to him for dear life as the lava continued to rise and melt the icy wall faster and faster. At the same time as the lava went up, the wall of ice sunk as it melted. "We need to go to the next room before the lava reaches it. We have to jump to the door." There was no time to think so you did as L said.

The two of you tackled the door open and ran down the slippery, icy tunnel as fast as you could. You came to another tower made of gold and rushed up the stairs. At the top there was an emerald switch. L pressed it and the lava stopped. You could still feel the heat; the lava had only stopped a few feet away from reaching the top of the tower, where you were. The two of you crossed another bridge similar to the first golden tower and entered the next room, a grave yard.

Your breaths were uneven and your heart was pounding, your entire life flashed before your eyes. Hades was serious about trying to scare you and L away, and judging by the looks of the new room, which was so large the walls and ceiling could not be seen in the distance, things were not getting any better.

Page 32: Finding Out What No One Knew

Persy's deal included keeping the two of you alive, not safe, she was tricked. You could be injured but if you were alive then technically, Hades would have kept his end of the deal, no matter how traumatized or injured you ended up.

L held you tightly in his arms. "We're going to make it."

You believed him; he made you feel so safe. As long as you were with L, you would be alright. You would make it out of this alive and healthy. The two of you would face whatever traps Hades had prepared and win. The queen, Persy, everyone; they wouldn't be disappointed.

"Told you we were missing the action!" Higure's sudden voice made you hug L tighter, if that was even possible.

"You were right, humans are like that after all." You wondered what Hakumei was talking about.

Misa shook her head. "I would rather be with my Light than here." Somehow it sounded like she knew what the shinigami twins were talking about.

"What do you mean humans are like that?" You would soon wish you haven't asked.

"If you leave them alone, they start making out," Higure sounded amused, Misa pouted and Hakumei laughed.

"It's not like that!" You let go of L. Why did everyone always had to ruin your fluffy moments together with L? Since when did you start thinking about him this much? You weren't sure. For a moment you thought it started after the well of light, but then you realized that you thought about L before that. Maybe it was his confession on the boat after Forel attacked, or even before that. You weren't sure anymore, but you realized that you liked L, a lot, you were falling for him, or maybe you already had.

L liked you back, you knew it, but getting him to admit it wouldn't be easy, plus bringing it up now would only further convince him that it wouldn't work out. He was in the middle of a very important case and he didn't want distractions. Fine then, you would just be there for him and let things progress naturally.

After the case was over, if he hadn't made his move by then, you would find a way to come up with the courage to be the one to take the first step and tell L how you feel in a more direct way than the hints that were often thrown. It was something you both knew, no doubt L must know, but he still had doubts about how long it could last, plus knowing and admitting were two different things.

However, you were sure it would work out; you didn't know how, but somehow it would. First things first though, you had to get to the next door, find the queen and solve the case, then you would figure out how to work things out with your crush on L, find a way to make it work so Traizo wouldn't kill L, and take care of any other issue that came up along the way, plus the possibility of Light's return. You would be very busy, to say the least.

The graveyard was as creepy as it could possibly be. Ghostly sounds were heard, it was foggy, dark, with sudden horrific screams coming out of nowhere. Though L kept a good poker face, you knew he wasn't feeling exactly comfortable with the atmosphere.

You had lost count of how many times you hugged L when a random zombie would pop up. He held on to you tightly until you both realized that it was time to run and find rocks and twigs to throw at the undead creature so it would stop chasing you. Hugging L was fine and wonderful, but not under these circumstances. Okay, so it was still good, but it could be so much better.

It was a welcome change when you finally got out of the graveyard. Misa, being originally human, also looked frightened and had shrieked louder than the undead several times. While she muttered something about her precious Light, you realized that maybe you weren't so much better off after all. Zombie tigers with bat wings trying to make you their scratching post would haunt your dreams.

During your journey in the queen's castle you ended up facing all kinds of dangers, a rope bridge over a crocodile infested river being among them. It was clear the shinigami twins were instructed to let the ferocious creatures chew you up a bit before saving your lives and that's not something you were willing to go through.

You gripped L's hand so tightly while crossing that bridge, he made a face as if you were about to break it, it was a miracle you didn't. What did break on one side was the bridge, leaving you and L holding on for your lives. You managed to climb up the ropes only to be chased by a bear, which was somehow on fire but it didn't seem to be bothered by the flames.

You had never run so fast in your entire life. You never know how fast you can run until you're running from something that's trying to eat you. Other than a few minor scratches and bumps from getting thrown around like a rag doll when the trees in the indoor forest came to life after escaping the bear, you were more or less okay, just very exhausted.

"We're almost there," L was out of breath, you had never seen L out of breath, never until now. Sure he had been saying that for the past two hours to comfort you, but you tried to make yourself believe him.

It seemed that the world was finally being merciful and you reached the last door after going all around the castle. The door was opened and you came to a room that looked like a hotel lobby, in which the others from the group were waiting.

"What took you so long?" Persy observed you and L, and before you could begin to say all you've been through, she started to scold L. "Look at you Lawliet! You're not going to win (Name)'s heart like that! You're dirty and sweaty and muddy!"

"Who cares about Lawliet, why is (Name) like that too?" Traizo stopped and tried to sound supportive. "You still look pretty."

"Getting here wasn't easy!" You couldn't even express it all in words.

"Can we get this over with? I want to see my Light!" Misa whined.

"Quiet, false shinigami, you're an enemy of L, so I've decided you're my enemy too!" Persy stuck out her tongue, mocking the girl whom she found to be so annoying.

"My Light will take over the world one day!" Was all that Misa could say in her defense.

Persy merely rolled her human looking eye in response. "You have no idea what's going to happen."

While Traizo fussed over you and tried to get you cleaned up with a peach colored silk curtain he ripped off a window, you glanced at L. He was a mess, but somehow still handsome. His hair had mud and leaves in it, as did yours, he looked tired, more so than usual and his jeans were a ragged mess from when he carried you piggy back across a field of thorns. He wouldn't let you cross otherwise. "Let's go see the queen..." You were tired and so was L. You wanted to end this and make sure he recovered.

"Yes! Time to see mom!" Persy cheered. "Misa-Misa can go home to her stupid Light now."

"Light is not stupid, and I'm not going, I have to watch and tell him about it. Don't you dare insult my Light!" Misa didn't care who this shinigami was, even if she was the princess, insulting Light was going too far.

"Out!" The castle shook and echoed as Persy yelled her order.

Misa remembered that Light warned her not to mess with the royal family, not to get on their bad side. Grumbling about how much she was annoyed at Persy, Misa left.

Persy then smiled sheepishly. "Pretend that didn't happen, okay? I'm not too much into the overly bossy image, but that girl annoys me so much. She'll be gone in less than a year anyway. That contract was meant for Light, but he had Misa sacrifice herself instead and she agreed to it! That's so wrong; she needs to grow some guts. Anyway, now let's move on to more important things"

xoxox xox xoxox

Hades was waiting in the queen's throne room, though it didn't really look much like a throne room. It was a strange place with many machines that seemed to have come out of a science fiction movie. The machines were also decorated with precious gems, as was everything else in the palace. In the center of the room, there was a large crystal and inside it there was a beautiful woman frozen in time, the queen. Her eyes were closed as if she were sleeping, her hair a rare shade of blond that looked golden. Her expression was troubled and... fangs? She had fangs?

"A vampire?" You asked.

"I don't know but I'm glad to finally see her," Persy slowly approached. "Daddy let's wake her up!"

"Not so fast," of course Hades hasn't completely given up yet. "It's true that she is a vampire, daughter of Dracula. In the past people thought the undead existed, they treated vampire stories as facts. Do you think it was because science wasn't as developed back then as it is now?"

"You're saying that back then, it was a fact? I thought so, with the existence of shinigami confirmed, I knew that other legends had to be more than just legends. Then vampires and other beings that are considered to be mythological in the present, actually existed in the past." L had suspected this and if his conclusion was correct, they would start to emerge again.

"Yes, do you know why they stopped appearing?" Hades then asked. It somehow bothered him that a mere human had so much figured out, but he wanted to know how much L knew.

"That is simple logic," L replied. "You were sending the energy of the Shinigami World here, focusing it and directing it, to keep queen Persephone, Nymda, alive. If not, then that energy of the Shinigami World would have escaped into Earth and cause certain mutations."

"Then you do understand, and you know that it will happen again if things go back to being the way they were?" Hades stated more than asked.

Page 33: No Matter What they Say

You were shocked to learn the truth about the legends of the past, but L expected it and spoke with confidence. "That was how it originally was, if that's how nature is truly balanced, then let it be. If that is the ultimate truth, it can't be stopped. You're holding the queen here against her will. You give her pleasant dreams and keep her young and alive, but she stopped wanting that long ago. Her soul wants rest; even as a vampire she has lived far longer than she could have, even feeding on the blood of humans. You know that and that is why you didn't try your hardest to stop me. Deep down you want to let her decide, you truly care for her, but goodbyes are painful."

"Enough of this," Hades was tired of it all, he knew how it would end, he knew it was what his wife and daughter wanted. "One final duel Lawliet."

"Hold it!" Persy stepped forward, while the twins and everyone watched. "I've decided that after everything L has done, I'll be his shinigami in shining armor! Well, I'll get the armor later, maybe, it's a line I read in a story. Ehem, anyway, what I mean to say is I'll protect Lawliet with my life so no unfair fights, daddy. You're a shinigami and L is just a puny human who looks like he never sleeps and hardly has enough meat in his bones, let alone any muscle, even if he eats like a pig!"

Higure and Hakumei muffled their laughter and L decided to say something before Persy continued 'defending' him. "I thought we were on the same side..."

"We are!" Persy paused and realized what she said. "Did I just say L doesn't get enough sleep? Um... well... he's just really hard working that's it! Guys like that are hard to find. He's also in great shape, very athletic and strong, I'm sure. He's as sweet as his sweet tooth, what a great guy! Yes, well, anyway, L needs to take a break so I shall protect him, yeah."

You couldn't help it but to laugh when Persy discredited L, then complimented him. Of course you wouldn't stop liking him regardless of what she said. It was just funny because she was hoping that you and L would end up together and felt she had to amend her words to that purpose.

Humans always try to explain everything, all that surrounds them and their own selves. If something doesn't make sense, it must be made to make sense somehow, it must be interpreted in another way. If, even then, it still doesn't make sense, then there's only one explanation, it was a lie. Vampires, shinigami, all of those things, they are nothing but mythology in humanity's eyes.

Back then, there was not enough technology, back then, people were naive and gullible. Back then, science had not advanced enough to question things as much as they should be questioned before concluding that they are true. In the present, things are different; science has found no evidence of anything like the vampires of legends, zombies, the undead or ghosts.

Evidence was not fount because it never existed, humanity concluded. But what if the real reason why none of that was found by science, was because by the time science advanced, all those things were already gone? What if all of that returned? What would happen then? "Chaos, no doubt, unless we prevent it," L concluded.

"Chaos?" You asked.

"Vampires, undead beings, ghosts, things humanity cannot explain. The reasons people fear death may vary, but the most common reason is fear from the unknown. People tend to fear what they cannot understand, because it means they don't know how to control it. For the world to become accustomed to the way things used to be, it will take time, but this will happen slowly and we will adapt." L explained.

Undead beings? If shinigami existed and so did vampires, then there must also be so much more. You imagined how the world would be with vampires in a modern era. It would certainly be interesting, it might take a lot of getting used to and people would probably panic, but humans are adaptable, so in the end, it would work out somehow.

"Higure, Hakumei, your duty is complete; return to the Shinigami World." The twins didn't look happy to be sent away at the most interesting moment, but they had no choice but to listen to Hades' orders. Then the Shinigami king himself left. "I will speak to my queen alone, you may see her first."

"Poor daddy, he's heartbroken, I can tell." Persy observed her mother's sleeping form. She placed a hand on the crystal. "Mom, it's me, Persephone the second, I came to see you. Can you hear me?"

A magical mist filled the room and the lights were dimmed while everyone, including Mello, Near and Watari who had been silent, watched closely. The spirit of queen Persephone, a vampire from the human world called Nymda, appeared. "My child, I am happy to see you one last time. I wish I could stay with you, but my soul is fading, if you free me from this crystal, I will not be able to recognize you. It's been so long, a vampire can only take so much. Mortals need to rest, even the undead, which last so long, eventually die. My dear daughter, I love you always and I hold no grudge against your father. Now I must ask something of you, free me. Let me rest in peace." The spirit faded away leaving a feeling of foreboding behind.

Persy was crying quietly, happy that she finally saw her mother, but sad that she couldn't stay. L didn't feel like this was a real conclusion, one case would end and another would begin. No, not a simple case; an entire era, an entire history would start from that day forward. L's mission was far from over; he knew it never truly ended.

xoxox xox xoxox

After Persy waited a few moments longer she told her father of her mother's decision. Hades kept his word, you, L, Mello, Near, Watari and Traizo were made to wait outside, while the shinigami father and daughter were in the queen's room. After some time, Persy returned. The queen was no longer in her crystal and Hades was gone as well. "Mom is resting in peace... Daddy went back home. He's sad but also angry at Lawliet, even if he knew this was the right thing to do. He also left this." Persy handed L a dark red envelope. "It's magically sealed so I couldn't open it, not that I was trying to be nosy or anything."

L received the sealed envelope, a letter from the king; maybe that would explain things. He opened it and inside there was black paper with a message written in golden ink. "It's empty?" Mello asked, looking at the paper.

"It appears only I see the message." L looked over the letter as everyone gave him curious looks.

"What does it say?" Mello asked.

"Patience Mello, let L finish reading," Near's tone was calm as usual.

"Shut up, this is important!" Mello argued.

"I didn't say it wasn't," Near replied.

"To the one who freed my queen from her dreams," L read. "Be warned that the forbidden spell that kept her in this world will not be kind to those who break it. Be warned that anyone who kills a direct descendant of the vampire king of ancient times, Dracula, will receive a curse. Us shinigami will not be affected by it; the curse will fall upon one of the humans involved, the leader of the group. This is an inevitable consequence, but it does not signify your death, live with the curse or find a cure for it. Do not forget that Light still wants to kill you and while my daughter forbids your death by Death Note, accidents may occur." L finished reading.

xoxox xox xoxox

The car stopped in front of your house and Traizo happily jumped out passing through the door. He then opened it for you. "Let's go (Name)!" He was glad that you didn't have to spend any more time with L, or at least that's what it looked like.

You remained inside the car, arms crossed, expression royally pissed. Earlier you had an argument with L. You thought that you were being taken back home to visit your family, not to leave the team. L had insisted that it was for your own protection. You had insisted that you could take care of yourself and you were sure you could help. Though he admitted that you could, he still wanted you to be safe. L was as clear as mud explaining his reasons, safety and the chance to live a normal life were just excuses. He was hiding something, you knew about the feelings he was trying not to develop for you, but was having them anyway and he knew of your feelings as well, yet he was hiding something.

The argument became louder when Mello joined in, with what Near described as an emotional outburst. It was rather obvious he knew what was going on between the two of you and had his suspicions about L's secret, possibly related to the curse that fell upon him. The argument ended when Traizo stepped in and punched L, tossing him across the room for upsetting you. After you rushed to see if L was alright, everything faded into silence and the entire group headed towards the jet. The trip by air was long since over and you had been taken from the airport to your house where everyone would see you off.

Mello grumbled about L being stupid to let the girl he liked slip away and Near tried to tell him to keep quiet and not further upset L. Traizo was happy and Persy was calm. With a confident pace the princess exited the car. "(Name) still owns my death Note, which is still under custody in Japan, this time I choose to follow the owner instead of the note. Come (Name) you haven't shown me around your house and there are a few things I want to talk to you about. A little girl talk will benefit us both."

You caught the hint right away and got off the car. L followed and quietly started to help unload your luggage from the trunk, it was new luggage of course, since the old one ended up in the bottom of the ocean. The left side of his face was still red, turning purple from the shinigami's punch. "You know I'll come back, right?"

L nodded at your statement, he couldn't stop you forever. "I know, but not too soon, not until I know what I'm dealing with."

Page 34: Nothing We Can't Stand

You tried to make L understand you could be of help. "Is that the problem? You want me to stay away until you figure out how to get rid of your curse? I can help you." You glanced at the shinigami, Persy was keeping Traizo busy lecturing him about why he shouldn't hit L, even if he looked 'totally cool and hot' doing it. It wouldn't be long before your parents noticed the car, it was late evening and they should both be home by now.

"I don't want to hurt you." L voiced quietly.

"You won't. Whatever the curse is, I'll help you cure it." You watched him looking for an answer or a clue.

"Give me a few days to prepare," he requested.

"L, you know what it is don't you? The curse, you already know what it is and are trying to find out how to break it." You should have known, the genius detective was always a step ahead.

L nodded slowly. "Please take a week off and if you feel like returning to work with me then, I will gladly welcome you, but keep in mind that you might have to leave home for a long time, longer than this time."

"I understand." You knew he wanted to make sure you had no regrets about your decision, but there was also something else. He was worried about something, as if having an internal conflict trying to decide, but you were determined to find out. You would prove that even after a week your mind was made up, but then, it might not take that long for L to come to terms with himself.

xoxox xox xoxox

Even if your family missed you and you missed them, you had already decided to return to work with L. It had only been a day and you missed him already. You had seen your family again and visited your friends, all the while followed by Traizo and Persy, visible only to you.

Higure and Hakumei came by now and then to check up on things. Persy was needed in the Shinigami World, but of course she refused to go. The changes concerning the Earth were happening very slowly so you wouldn't have to worry about an army of blood thirsty vampires suddenly attacking, at least not for now.

For the time being, Light continued to keep a low profile. He was probably worried about L's alliance with the Shinigami World princess or maybe he was plotting.

xoxox xox xoxox

"Princess! Princess!" The sudden alarmed voice woke you up early in the morning, it was still dark.

Persy floated in mid air next to your bed while Traizo flew directly over it. He probably spent the entire time looking at you while you slept. "Quiet you woke up (Name)!" He glared at the twins.

Higure quickly delivered the news; there was no time to waste. "It's an emergency! Forel, the traitor, he assembled an army of shinigami and is attacking. He plans to take the throne!"

That's all it took to make you become fully awake. You still remembered Forel, a knight of the Shinigami World, Persy's arranged fiancé whom she refused to marry. A shinigami made of metal bones covered in needles. That time when the jet was crashing he tried to kidnap you, but had to carry you by holding your parachute because if he touched you directly, those needle feathers that covered his entire body would sink into your skin and deliver a deadly poison. He was a shinigami in everyway, so deathly he couldn't even be touched.

"He wanted to rule the Shinigami World, I knew that all along, but I never thought that he would go as far as this." Persy was needed in the Shinigami World. She couldn't abandon her people and her father, even if she wanted to stay on Earth. "How is the situation?"

"It's bad," Hakumei solemnly spoke. "The traitors are numerous; Forel promised them a lot of things would change, to give them a reason to live. Most shinigami died out of boredom, because they were too lazy to write a name in their Death Notes."

Higure's expression carried the same hopelessness as his brother. "Those who remained loyal to our king are few and vastly outnumbered. It's not just the numbers, but the skills as well, we're at a disadvantage in every way."

Persy closed her human-looking eye. Her expression changed, she looked serious, honestly worried; she understood the situation. She opened her eye, the right side of her face an expressionless skull while the left revealed determination. "(Name), your parents still think you're only visiting right?"

"Yes," you confirmed.

"Good, then there will be a misunderstanding and your plane will leave earlier, in the morning to be exact. I'll make sure it's arranged. I will take half my Death Note and leave half locked up in Japan. That way when you go to the Shinigami World you can take it there, it will be safely hidden and with a piece of my Death Note in both worlds, I'll be able to travel freely if I need to. Higure, Hakumei, who is in command of our army? Daddy?" Persy's last word didn't seem to fit with her overall serious tone.

"No, he's working on his own. We don't have much of an army anyway." Higure revealed.

Hakumei nodded hopelessly. "There's my brother and I, then there's a shinigami called Shidou, a little kid who calls himself Chibi and doesn't even have a usable Death Note and that's it."

It sounded almost as if Higure had already given up. "Chibi and Shidou aren't much help, one's a child and the other's a wimp. Shidou's really worried about this entire thing; you'd think he's scared of dying. A shinigami scared of dying? That's just weird."

"Okay, so we have only a few people. Daddy went off on his own, Chibi could work as a spy, a shinigami is a shinigami and a child would be less suspicious. Shidou will just have to be brave. I guess that makes you two, Traizo and me, the main attack force." Persy paused and looked at Traizo. "You're on my side, right?"

"If (Name) is on your side then I am too," Traizo assured.

"It's settled then. We'll have L plan our strategy. Hakumei and Higure, return to the Shinigami World. I will go to Japan, get half my Death Note and inform L about this. Traizo, stay with (Name) and transport her to the Shinigami World in the morning. Any questions?" Persy sounded more like a military commander than a princess.

Higure, Hakumei and even Traizo saluted. Persy nodded, taking it as meaning they all understood and flew off. The cat like twins flew off as well. You knew you wouldn't be able to get any more sleep, so you checked over a few things you wanted to pack and tried to become mentally prepared for a shinigami war.

xoxox xox xoxox

By the time you arrived, after saying goodbye to your family who wasn't happy that you had to leave so soon, L was discussing some things with Higure, Hakumei, Persy, Shidou and Hades, who had surprisingly returned. "Keep in mind that I cannot and will not cure you Lawliet." Hades reminded him. "However, I order you to serve as a strategist in this war." It was a little late for the king to say such things, since L had already accepted. Forel and his followers would surely increase the number of deaths in the human world and he had to be stopped. It was best for humans when shinigami were lazy.

"I'm certain I can find my own cure. For now I'm doing alright." L glanced at you with an unreadable look. Mello, Near and Watari had come as well. L looked back to the group of shinigami in front of him, after acknowledging the new arrivals. "Let me look at the map you mentioned earlier and I'll come up with a way to use the land to our advantage. Traizo, Persy, please join us." You found it odd that L didn't look directly at you while speaking. This was very suspicious.

"I have to go, stupid war getting in the way of my time with (Name)," Traizo grumbled and followed after the others.

"Do your best," you called after him and that seemed to be enough to get him motivated. L, Watari and the shinigami disappeared into another room of the newly built base in the Shinigami World. It was in the same location where the palace used to be, but even if the construction was new, it didn't look it. At least it appeared more stable, made of white stones that fit into each other like a puzzle and had no paint.

"Kaasan!" Chibi ran to hug you.

You hugged the little shinigami and smiled back at him. "How have you been Chibi?"

"I'm okay, a little bored without L-tousan and you, but Uncle Higu and uncle Haku play with me sometimes." It was a good thing Traizo didn't hear Chibi.

You still kept a smile but you glanced at Mello and Near, as if looking for an answer. "It was Mello's idea," Near informed you.

"I wouldn't deny the credit," Mello proudly declared. "When you and L ran off to the well and Traizo ran off to find you, we told Chibi that the two of you would adopt him. He was really happy. Then you two unlocked the well and you know what happened next."

"Don't you want to adopt me?" Chibi's big innocent blue and silver eyes were watery. With a rabbit ear, a cat ear and his face holding features of both, he was just too cute, like a baby bunny or kitten you just need to hug. He moved his chain like tail from side to side, the blue jewel at the end shining.

"Of course I'll adopt you." Chibi was very happy to hear that.

You spent some time with Mello, Near and Chibi, the little shinigami mentioned L-tousan saying he should stay and help out at the base, Chibi wasn't sure what was going on, but he wanted to help, of course L wouldn't let a child go to battle, even if he was a shinigami. As you thought the humans would serve as the strategists while the shinigami carried the power.

"Ryuk and Rem are neutral," Mello informed you. He shared his theories about it, deducing things from the information he had obtained in his short time there before you arrived. Near shared his theories as well, mostly agreeing with Mello but sometimes disagreeing. From what you could gather, Ryuk appeared to be the only one who was truly neutral. Rem was on Misa's side and Misa was on Light's side.

Page 35: Even if the World Sinks

Mello's theory was that Light was on Forel's side and Near's theory was that Light was hoping to gain Hade's trust by helping against Forel and trying to take L's place.

"Maybe he doesn't know what to do; I mean we're with Hades so Light knows taking L's place won't be easy. Misa must have told him everything she saw. Forel doesn't seem too human friendly. Not to judge by appearances, but he doesn't strike me as the kind of shinigami to value humans unless they're hostages or a way to extend his lifespan. He might not accept advice from a human even if Hades does." You shared your theory as well.

Mello and Near paused then nodded in agreement. "Light must be hoping both sides destroy each other." Mello came up with a new theory.

"To aim for the Shinigami World? It is possible, Light is persistent and overconfident, though he sometimes appears to be careful. He must be waiting to strike when both sides are weak. The human world may not be enough for him anymore." Near voiced.

"But we won't let that happen, we'll stop him. L and all of us will come up with something." You were certainly not about to give up, even if you were worried about L and whatever he was hiding. You knew Mello and Near must know and you knew you wouldn't get it out of them. You knew they weren't just helping you keep an eye on Chibi and building little lego houses for entertainment. They were keeping you busy and helping L hide. But you could play their game and you knew a quick way to win.

xoxox xox xoxox

Hide and seek, from the second you suggested it, Mello and Near grimaced, you were on to them. They tried to make you the seeker, so they could watch you from their hiding places and make their presence so obvious you just had to find them, such as jumping out pretending they were trying to switch hiding places.

But you knew that was coming. Chibi would be the seeker and you would insist that hiding in different places would be more convenient. Of course they would still follow you, but as you thought, their attempts only made them get caught, giving you a chance to sneak away.

xoxox xox xoxox

Once you were out of the established hide and seek area, leaving Mello and Near to take care of a very energetic little shinigami, who was now your unofficial adoptive son, you were home free to find L and find him you did. He was in the place that became dubbed the map room, due to the vast amount of old maps it housed in an underground library.

"The Shinigami World had many tunnels; shinigami can't go through walls here in the same way as they can on Earth. The maps are outdated though. Everyone is working to make a new map reflecting the effects of the palace's collapse and the effects of time; this world has changed a lot. They can work fast, but it might be a while until they return. What took you so long?" L sat on a chair with his back to you but you somehow knew his sitting position must have been his usual unusual one.

You couldn't help it but to smile, just like that time in the well room, L knew you were coming. "Mello and Near didn't make it easy, but why keep me away? I want to help; I know I can help somehow. Just tell me what I need to do."

L knew you weren't only talking about the shinigami war, but about helping him. "I don't know how strong the medicine Watari prepared is. If it starts to fail, do not come near me."

You walked around the desk containing a map and a slice of half eaten cheese cake. "My guess is vampire," you declared.

L smiled showing his long fangs. "Correct. The medication prevents me from requiring blood, at least for now."

"But why not just tell me? I don't understand. You suspected this from the beginning, didn't you?"

He nodded. "I didn't want to endanger you if I lost control."

"That's not going to happen to someone as smart and strong willed as you. Besides, you have a medicine, you said it yourself. You'll be fine L and I want to help. You if you don't want to hurt me then don't push me away."

xoxox xox xoxox

"This is bad!" Mello yelled as he and Near followed Chibi around after being found. The little shinigami kept searching for you within the agreed area to play hide and seek and you were not there. Chibi seemed too focused on finding you to pay any attention to the conversation going on between his two uncles.

"L doesn't have as little self control as you." Near followed with some difficulty.

Mello glared. "But he's the one with the crush and you heard Watari. Any form of attraction will only serve to awaken his vampire instincts. If he's alone with her, then of course there will be attraction! Worse yet, he's been keeping his feelings bottled up and I don't think he can do it anymore. I can see it now, L admits his feelings, (Name) tells him she feels the same way, then he bites her neck and drinks every drop of blood she has. Tortured by the guilt of taking his love's life, he's unable to go on and it leads to a terrible fate in which he too dies!"

"This isn't a soap opera," Near rolled his eyes. "Besides, L is a lot better at controlling his hormones than you are." The comment earned the white haired boy a smack on the back of the head courtesy of the blond.

"In case you haven't noticed, I'm happy for them, yeah she's cute, but I'm not trying to steal her from L. I've been the one helping Persy play matchmaker all along," Mello grumbled.

"I never accused you of that; it was only a mere comparison." Near rubbed his head.

"Either way we need to help them." With that said, Mello ran off followed slowly by Near.

"Where are you going? Is it tag now?" Chibi decided to tag Near. "You're it uncle Near!" The little shinigami then flew off seemingly forgetting all about the game of hide and seek. Hurray for short attention spans.

Near sighed, for obvious reasons he was never good at tag, and he never liked the game anyway. It seemed that the task of babysitting was left to him, though. "Chibi wait, let's go play with my toys instead!"

xoxox xox xoxox

The doors suddenly flew open and you and L both looked to see who it was. There stood Mello, almost out of breath from running. He walked over to where the two of you were sitting talking about the Shinigami World and its mysteries. He observed your neck and L's mouth. "You didn't bite her?" Of all the things to ask.

"Why would I do that?" L was curious to hear Mello's theory.

"Because..." Mello realized that maybe it was best if he didn't say anything beyond that. "Never mind, I'll leave you two alone now."

xoxox xox xoxox

Things were like that for the next few days while everyone got organized. Shinigami could not be killed unless they took a life with their Death Note to save another life. Although, they could be injured with a combination of Earth weapons enhanced with shinigami magic. However, the war could go on forever that way, or if their Death Notes were destroyed, it would go on at least until their lifespan ran out, which was longer than a human lifetime.

The only one who could create more Death Notes was Hades, and the key to that was his scythe, the symbol of the ruler of the shinigami. The magic from that scythe turned out to be quite useful in the war. Tunnels were sealed, and ways to advance were blocked. If Forel wanted to attack, he had to do it directly. Spells were being considered as a way to imprison Forel and his army, but nothing had been decided yet.

Days passed and you traveled back and forth between the Shinigami World and Japan, a lot had been accomplished in terms of improving defense, but not much progress had been made in the actual battle.

xoxox xox xoxox

"We're doing alright so far. The explosives worked and trapped the enemy troops under an avalanche of rocks. We managed to capture a few and put them in shinigami jail, but to keep Forel from trying this again, a stronger imprisonment spell will be needed." Persy gave L the full report.

The humans had been moved back to Japan, since it was not safe for them in the Shinigami World at that point. Forel didn't bother trying to kill them and he told his army not to. He wanted to prove that there was no way a human could defeat him, no matter how much of a genius they said that human was, he was still a mere mortal.

"The next strategy should be plan S." L had countless diagrams and maps displayed on the screen. The maps had been updated and digitalized displaying a three-dimensional model of the Shinigami World.

"Got it!" Persy saluted. "Any news on Light?"

"Not right now. He won't make a move yet. Thanks to Misa, he knows what's going on in the Shinigami World. He's worried about getting killed if he makes a move now." At least that was one less worry for L, but it seemed that everything was getting in the way of capturing Light. But he would be brought to justice eventually and with the changes the Earth would slowly undergo, proving his guilt would be so much easier.

"Okay, then, I'll deliver the message." With Persy gone, that only left the humans at the base in Japan and one shinigami; L, Mello, Near, Watari, you and Chibi. Persy, Traizo, Higure, Hakumei, Shidou, Hades and most other shinigami were in the Shinigami World. Ryuk and Rem, as well as Misa, remained out of the battle, though Misa occasionally visited the Shinigami World to deliver the latest news to Light.

L yawned, even if there was a war going on in another world, the afternoon in Japan was peaceful and quiet, not too hot and not too cold. Mello was quietly looking over the Shinigami World virtual model, while Near preferred the plastic version. He said he got ideas by playing with it. Watari kept everything in order, assisting the geniuses however he was needed. Chibi was sent out to fly around the Earth and make sure Light or Forel didn't make a move in the human world undetected. He was instructed to report back right away if he found anything. He had already flown all over the world and all was quiet.

To be Continued

Special thanks to Clojahken and Nattie.

My Main Site: http://azurelight.net
Deviant Art: http://mikaristar.deviantart.com
Fanart Central: http://fanart-central.net/user/AzureMikari/

To Save Your Life: Note VIII

Page 36: We Can Take a Break

Occasionally, reports of unusual occurrences would appear in the news, but not the famous ones, at least not yet. Only small news stations and newspapers showed that kind of stories, ghosts, zombies, those sort of supernatural things, and they quickly faded into being disregarded as nothing but urban legends, but many were actually coming true.

Things were going according to plan in the Shinigami World. Some of the Shinigami that had joined Forel switched sides again when they realized that they were not winning as easily as they thought. King Hades had given them an opportunity to redeem themselves by fighting against Forel and what was left of his army. Things were going so well thanks to L's strategies that the base at Japan had become quiet one day.

Persy, Traizo and the other Shinigami were still busy in their world and, as if everyone had conspired to leave you and L alone given that L was handling his condition so well, Mello had ran off somewhere with Near and Watari.

Currently, L was doing some research, noticing your presence standing behind him; he answered your unspoken question. "After this war is over, Light will most likely strike again. He must be frustrated by the delays, but I'm sure he hasn't been wasting all this time. He must be looking for ways to use our world's new condition to his advantage."

"The magic?" You asked.

"It can be called that, but it's actually energy. Now that the queen has been put to rest and is no longer absorbing it, we can manipulate that energy. But because we haven't done it in so many years, and many people doubt it could be done, the process of adaptation will not be easy or fast.

"Then it's possible for us to use energy to cast spells?" You inquired.

"Yes, with some practice. Of course there are limits, for example I don't think it's possible to materialize a cheesecake out of nowhere."

You laughed. "That's too bad. I'm sure you would have liked that spell. There must be some cheesecake around here though, I'll see if I can find some for you."

"Thanks," L smiled. The entire vampire look worked for him somehow, though it wasn't something the queen did on purpose.

xoxox xox xoxox

When you got to the kitchen, an open book on the counter got your attention. On the book, there was a note with your name on it. "Dear (Name)," you read. "This is a very good cheesecake recipe and it's easy to make. All the ingredients and utensils can be found in this kitchen. Don't forget that foods, especially sweets, are the way to a man's heart. I'm sure L will love the cheesecake. Good Luck!" The note was signed by Mello, Near and Watari, though the handwriting belonged to Mello, save for the messages at the end. "PS: Near here, this was all Mello's idea. PS2: This is Watari, I thought you and L could use a break so I agreed with Mello's plan."

You folded the note and put it in your pocket. No need for L to read that. The picture of a delicious slice of cheese cake on the book motivated you to make it, almost as much as the note did, but you knew those homemade recipes never turn out exactly like in the books. Besides, you had a hungry vampire detective to feed and you were sure he didn't want to wait for the cheesecake to be prepared. But sadly, the refrigerator held no cheesecake. They had planned this well.

You heard footsteps approaching and knew right away it was L. "Did we run out of cheesecake?" He must have been wondering what took you so long.

You had raided the kitchen in hopes of finding some cheesecake hidden somewhere, but there was none. You did however, find a box full of chocolate bars, probably Mello's, and were currently eating one. "I couldn't find any cheesecake but I found some chocolate."

L accepted the chocolate you gave him and started eating it while looking at the open cooking book on the counter. "Have you ever made cheesecake?"

"I have a feeling I'm about to." The idea sounded good, you and L making cheesecake together.

"If we have the ingredients." L pointed out.

"I'm pretty sure we do." For the next few minutes, L read the ingredient list while you searched for them in the kitchen. Pretty soon all the necessary ingredients and cooking utensils occupied the space on the counter next to the book.

The two of you followed the recipe and talked while mixing the different ingredients together. It was a peaceful and enjoyable time that you would treasure. After a short time, your masterpiece was in the oven with L staring at it hungrily.

"It's not done yet." You reminded and L looked at you with that adorable expression, his thumb on his mouth and pleading eyes. "I can't make it go any faster. The cheesecake will be done when the oven goes 'ding'." You decided it was best to entertain L before he got the half baked cheesecake out of the oven and tried to eat it. "Let's go wait in the living room, I'm sure we'll still hear the oven."

L nodded and followed you. He sat on the couch in his special way and focused on his laptop.

For a moment you sat next to L quietly, assuming he was doing research. Then you became curious and peeked at the screen. "Free Cell?" It wasn't just Free Cell, but Free Cell at it's highest level of difficulty and L was making it look like it was nothing.

"It's a fun game." That was L, just when you thought you could read him like a book, he did something unexpected. "Have you played Columns?" L switched to another game in which the screen was divided in two. "It's similar to Tetris but it has jewels instead of blocks. All you have to do is match three or more jewels of the same kind and they disappear. If you cause a chain reaction your score, and my screen, go up. The first one to have their screen filled up loses."

This one looked like a two player game. "Is that a challenge?"

"Does that mean you accept?" L pushed the laptop a little to the left on the coffee table so that it was between the two of you.

"Sure, I'm up for a game." Of course challenging L to a puzzle game might not be the wisest thing to do, but you couldn't refuse and even if he won, it would still be somehow fun. Besides, you got to sit very close to L to reach your keys, since both of you shared the keyboard.

As expected, L was really good at the game. So far the score was three to zero wins in favor of L. In the following game, you realized he slowed down and took the opportunity; that one ended as a draw. The game was restarted again and L was slowing down even more. That last time you beat him easily.

"You don't have to let me win." You looked at L. You had been focused on the screen and didn't notice how pale he looked. "L!"

L got up from the couch and walked a few uneasy steps. He seemed to be losing his balance, but you caught him before he fell and helped him sit down again, this time in a 'normal' way.

"L what's wrong?"

L didn't reply, he just held on to you, eyes closed, breathing deeply. Then you felt his lips on your neck. You felt him slowly open his mouth and lick a little; then he seemed to wake up from a trance and shoved you to the side, making you fall into a sitting position on the couch beside him.

That was weird, to say the least. "L..."

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry (Name) I almost..." You noticed his fangs again, you had seen them before, but now you noticed them more. There was an unnatural glow in L's eyes.

"Blood..." You spoke softly. Is that what it was about?

"There is a medicine I've been taking for this." L held his head, his eyes were closed and his expression was pained. "I left it in my room, please bring it to me and some water."

"I'll be right back," without waiting for a reply, you rushed to get the medicine. You found a small glass jar on the nightstand with crystalline pills that contained a red liquid. That had to be it. You hurried to the kitchen and got a glass of water than returned to L.

L seemed to calm down after taking the medicine that was supposed to help him control certain aspects of being a vampire, but he still looked quite pale. "I'm sorry..."

"You didn't do anything wrong." You replied gently.

"I have to find a cure, if I don't... I'll die," L confessed.

"I won't let you die. Even if I have to give you my blood, I won't let you die," you offered.

"(Name) I can't, I don't want you to get hurt."

"It will all work out." Though you said that, you were genuinely worried about L. You hugged him and he returned the gesture.

L tried not to feel tempted to bite you. It was hard, but somehow he managed to avoid it even holding you so close. Your eyes were closed as he gently stroked your hair and you wished to stay this way forever.

"Ding!" Stupid oven! Bad timing! The two of you slowly parted as you mentally cursed the oven. Couldn't it have waited a little longer? You sighed, that cheesecake better be good.

L eagerly led you to the kitchen. You had to stop him from pulling the tray out of the oven with his bare hands and getting burnt. The cheesecake didn't look anything like the cakes Watari bought, very much less like the cake on the picture of the cooking book. What a rip off, in more ways than one. Though you had to admit, it tasted really good despite its looks and you and L enjoyed it.

Page 37: We'll Find A Way to Victory

Reader's Point of View

Life feels like such a rip off right now. I felt as if I hardly did anything and suddenly the case was over. Okay, so maybe there wasn't all that much for me to do, but still. L's genius strategies led the shinigami royals to victory. Forel was defeated and imprisoned; the war ended and Light was out there causing trouble. That wouldn't really last too long.

As thanks for all the help, Hades captured Light as well, his power was taken away and he was imprisoned. He was sentenced to death, but before that happened, Misa went to save him, as expected. Hades, king of the shinigami, took away her shinigami powers and made Misa revert back to her human state.

As a result of this, the one year she had to live was also undone and she once again had about thirty more years to live, not too long but better than one year. Everyone thought that wasn't possible but it turns out it was. The king didn't' care about the 'stupid human' as he called her, so of course he wasn't affected by her complaints about Light.

After going through so much, everything else happened very fast. No one seemed too upset about the curse anymore, not even L. Actually not even Mello and he is usually more upset over things than anyone else from our group.

Now a new era has begun in my life as I received a permanent job with L. I fetch his cheesecake, give my opinion about the clues, share theories if I have them and at his request, try to find flaws on his theories even if they're always perfect. I do a lot of research and look for details that the police or clients might have missed, that happens a lot since most people are not used to taking supernatural conditions into consideration in serious police investigations.

Supernatural events are occurring more and more often. I've heard about how superstitious people were in the past and now I know it was all actually true, but even so many more things than what I imagined are happening, slowly at first then suddenly and abundantly. Ghosts, spells, witches, wizards, vampires, zombies, werewolves, you name it, it's happening.

Our latest case brings us back to the Yagami residence where they claim the ghost of Light has been seen. Sayu and Mrs. Yagami were in a terrible accident, according to Mr. Yagami, it was meant to be for him, but it was Sayu and her mother who were in the car that day, innocently heading out to buy groceries, while Mr. Yagami took the subway to work. They live in the United States now, were no one knows who they are, it is for their own safety.

"This is so unfair," it truly is. Sayu didn't ask to be Light's little sister and the Yagamis didn't ask for such a traitorous son. Who knows why he turned out that way and why his sister turned out to be so different.

"Are we really going to see Light here?" Amane Misa, she spent some time in jail and was later recruited to help. This isn't really an optional job for her, either she assists in the cases or goes to jail and kisses her fame goodbye. Everything was kept quiet, her artistic reputation was saved and her name was cleared, that was only done so that same fame could be used to get us into places where they would happily allow a singer and actress, but not the police. Places were they have something to hide, haunted places where the ghosts don't appear for people who are looking for them; it's a risky job, but better than sitting in a cell.

"Possibly..." I know L is in deep thought. Misa was brought along in this case as bait, hoping to lure Light out if L's presence didn't. We don't know for sure if this is Light's ghost or a random angry spirit. It could be someone who found the Yagamis and wants revenge because of their connection to Kira, we don't know that yet.

"I want to see him..." We all know that Misa, we all know. She's still in love with him, despite all he did. Just because he used to kill criminals, just because she thought he would be her hero who protects her, she refused to realize she was being used.

"Stupid..." Persy spends most of her time on Earth with us. Her father doesn't mind anymore. She'll return home after our human lives end, to him it's not such a long time. Persy gets upset when human lives are mentioned because she is reminded that her human friends will not live as long as she will. To her, our lives are as fast as the blink of an eye. "Don't you know he was using you?"

"I know that!" Misa yells, she pauses and speaks normally afterwards. "I know..."

"Then why?" Persy insists.

"Does it matter? The point is I was in love and wanted him for myself. It's that simple." Misa gave her all for Light, more than he deserved.

"I don't get it." Persy shook her head and took a seat on the couch next to Traizo, he was next to me and on my other side was L. Misa was sitting across from us with some empty space between her and Mello who was busily typing into a laptop as was L. Near was sitting on the floor building a model of the house with his blocks and tearing it apart, then building it again.

"Everything is set." Watari enters the room and places a small machine on the coffee table. A detector for ghosts and such creatures, to make sure none tried to sneak up on him while he set up some special cameras. We carry a lot more specialized equipment now.

"I guess I'm up." Misa stands up and starts walking towards the garage. The neighbors claimed to have seen a ghostly figure fade into it and the Yagamis have been having nightmares about Light. The neighbors know nothing about the Yagami family's past, now here as the Kamiya family, their last names remained Japanese so as to not sound out of place, since they are obviously Japanese, but they were changed for their protection.

We don't know if this ghost is Light or not, but we'll try to lure it out by having Misa cast a spell. Of course L makes sure she doesn't learn any advanced spells and only gives her access to spells that any of us can easily disable. He doesn't really trust her yet, I doubt he ever will.

We can clearly see Misa in the computers from images recorded by the cameras in the garage. Detection devises are there as well. A pale red aura appears around Misa as she chants, this would be invisible to most eyes, but we can see it with the equipment and get a visual of how much energy she is focusing and releasing.

Everything is quiet as we watch. The room starts to get cold, the lights flicker and strange noises are heard. Steps, scratches and suddenly a scream, I jumped but managed to stay seated. Persy however was spooked. "What?" She asks as we give her surprised looks, she is a shinigami, the princess; she has the least to fear if anything at all. "I've been watching too many human horror movies, that's all." She scoots closer to Traizo. Near has left his blocks and is watching along with all of us.

Misa had her eyes closed most of the time while focusing. As if feeling watched, her eyes snap open as a blurry white figure appears on the camera. Then she stops her chanting, frozen in shock and fear. "Misa don't stop." The tiny microphone Misa has on her ear should be able to deliver L's message clearly. This girl doesn't fear death; she once experienced being a shinigami and throwing her life away to do so. Then why is she suddenly paralyzed in fear with tears streaming down her face?

L reacts quickly and run to the garage, I chase after him chanting the spell Watari had explained. L is still a vampire. Until he is cured, he cannot use certain spells, spells that are meant to protect humans, spells that can drive away powerful ghosts and vampires alike. He certainly has the intellect to cast very powerful spells but he can't or it might affect him too in his current state. He has to keep it low level, that's where I come in to back him up.

Misa's very soul is halfway out of her body by the time I manage to drive the spirit away from her. She's shaking and crying, unable to explain what happened. The shinigami cannot interfere too much they can't cast spells or weaken the supernatural beings, maybe because they are similar in a way. However, after the beings are weakened, only shinigami can put them to rest. Besides, Persy and Traizo keep us company and provide clues when ever they find them.

In case the ghost was not hiding in the house when we arrived and was planning to return later, we didn't seal the house. Now that we know it's here, it's time to trap it inside the house. Ghosts have a way of hiding themselves that not even the equipment can track until they show their presence. I'm sure that at this moment, Mello, Near and Watari are putting an energy field around the house so that nothing ghostly can cross it, in or out.

"What happened?" There's no answer to L from Misa, all she does is ramble incoherently.

"L, did the ghost do this to her?" Never have I seen Misa is such a state, and I've saw her very upset when Light's sentence was carried out.

"No, if the ghost had such a power we would have known. Misa allowed it to happen, the ghost wasn't powerful enough, the cause is with her." I'm not sure what L means and for once it looks like he isn't completely certain of what he's talking about either. If we can get Misa to calm down and tell us what happened, then maybe we can understand her connection with this ghost, that didn't really look like Light after all.

After a while Misa finally calmed down. Mello and Near took care of weakening the ghost and Traizo did his job. With wondering spirits popping up everywhere, shinigami are to put them to rest when ever they see them, though many times the ghosts hold on to this world so strongly that it cannot be done.

It is the human's duty and power to prepare the human souls to leave this world, if a wandering spirit wishes to remain that way, a shinigami has to let it be, they can take lives, not souls. But if we weaken them to a point where the ghost seeks rest, then the shinigami can act. Lost souls that are willing to leave are easier to deal with, but those are usually taken care of by other shinigami. The king is making it so that they stop being so lazy.

Page 38: Bringing Peace and Changing History

Reader's Point of View

The house is safe now, the ghost wasn't Light, just a ghost attracted to this house by the despair of a young lady, Sayu, she has been stressed adapting to life in a far away land. Ghosts have strange motivations, and sometimes those motivations can give clues about their lives. That ghost must have been some kind of criminal with most his victims being young women. I suddenly start to connect the pieces in my head and come up with a theory. L must be rubbing off on me after all.

"Misa..." She's curled up into a ball of self pity in Sayu's room. The Yagamis, now Kamiyas won't be returning until tomorrow and we will stay the night in the house just to make sure everything goes well.

Lately, L has been taking more ghost and supernatural related cases then regular police cases. Maybe because these, although not taken too seriously by some despite the Kira experience, can only be solved by those who understand and are willing to look beyond what used to be the realm of possibilities and into what it has become.

"It was him." Misa peeks out from under the covers. Persy, Misa and I are sharing this room tonight, since the house isn't too big.

To prevent Traizo from turning L into an undead creature, since death may not have the same effect while he is a vampire, unless Traizo kills him twice, we came up with a happy medium plan on what to do if there are not enough rooms in whatever haunted place we're staying at. Either we're all together, or guys and girls in separate rooms.

"If it wasn't Light, who was it then?" Persy asked, Shinigami have trouble identifying ghosts. When we realized the ghost that attacked Misa wasn't Light, we were surprised that she apparently knew him, now I think I know why, I just need to hear the final confirmation.

"It was the man that attacked me, he would have killed me and who knows what else, if he hadn't suddenly had a heart attack. A shinigami died to save me from that man and I saw his ghost. I was scared; I felt the same fear as that time. I was willing to give my life for Light, and I still am if that will bring him back, then why was I scared? He wasn't that strong a ghost, he was feeding on my fear and I knew that, but I couldn't stop." Even if she is a famous singer and actress now, Misa's past wasn't easy. "Why did that ghost appear? Shouldn't it be gone?"

"Sometimes it doesn't work; it's hard to explain even for a shinigami. Humans souls are quite strong, even after their bodies die." Persy and Misa, they can shift from arguing to getting along in seconds. "He simply couldn't accept death, he didn't pass on, he just floated about and his spirit was finally able to manifest itself as a ghost."

To think that this was how things were meant to be and that draining the energy from the Shinigami World to keep the queen alive was what kept the worlds from connecting as they are now; taking the path they were meant to take.

"Is he truly gone? Can you tell if he's gone this time?" Misa sits up and dries her eyes. This really scared her; it must have been a very traumatic experience. What started her Kira obsession perhaps, was connecting that close call to Kira. Although it was a shinigami who saved her, she must have imagined Kira could be doing something similar for other people.

"Yeah, when a human life ends we don't know if that human will cling to this world or not, until we see it happen or not happen. If it happens there's not much to be done until it accepts to leave or humans weaken it enough so that it wants to leave. But when a ghost is finally put to rest, shinigamis know if it worked. I'm sure Traizo took care of everything, he would have told us otherwise if not. Ghosts like that one, those who cling to this world for too long and those who have lived unusual lives, they don't really pass on, they become nothingness. He faded into nothing, as if he never existed," Persy explained.

Light was meant to have that fate, but he was only killed once, by human means, if he returns as a ghost he would have to be put to rest again, killed again in a sense, dissolved into nothingness.

Misa slowly nods. "I wish he had never existed, I could never get that face out of my memories." She took a deep breath and tried to keep her cool. "Let's talk about something else that's not so depressing. I could tell you about Light and-"

"The way his hair was so soft and his eyes shone likes stars?" Persy finished Misa's eternal speech, which we all had memorized by now. "You're what humans call a broken record Misa, a looping mp3 as it were in this era."

Misa pouts and glares at Persy. "At least I'm not in love with someone who is in love with another girl." Don't go there Misa, this is really no time to be disregarding death.

"You don't see me bending backwards for a man, I have my pride, value and self-esteem; you're pathetic, you were dumped!" Persy yelled back.

It was obvious Misa was referring to Traizo who still has a crush on me. Just yesterday those two were giggling and having girly-girl talk and now they look like they want to kill each other, which Persy can easily do. She isn't carrying her Death Note, which is technically mine, it's still locked up back in Japan, but the princess could just fly into the air and drop Misa from high up, just as easily causing her death, she almost did that once.

"At least I try! I didn't give up no matter what, because my love is true!" Obsession Misa, I believe the word you're looking for is obsession.

I'm not sure how, or when or why, but at some point the noisy arguments turned into giggles and a plan of lets get Traizo to notice Persy began. Well that's all fine and dandy, but sometimes I think those two are really insane.

xoxox xox xoxox

The night went by without anything out of the ordinary, unless you count an improvised slumber party with a shinigami as one of the guests and only three total attendees as being out of the ordinary, but in my life it truly isn't. The Kamiya family, formerly known as Yagami, returned to their home and life went on. The rest of us moved on to our vacation.

xoxox xox xoxox

For once, we had an airplane ride that went by smoothly. "It's just like I said!" Persy cheered as the private jet landed. "All us coming here together one day, it was delayed, not cancelled, our vacation!" I do remember when Persy said that, even if it feels so far away.

This will be a good vacation, all of us in Disney World, the shinigami are invisible to most people, at least until Persy's crazy plan comes into effect, we discussed that some time ago. It's nothing that would cause a panic or anything like that, we're here on vacation not to cause trouble.

Things are going smoothly so far, let's hope it continued this way. Traizo has only threatened to kill L four times today, that's a lot less than usual so things are going very well. The entire group is here and Chibi has joined us. L, Mello, Near, Watari, Persy, Traizo, Chibi and me.

Luckily we don't have to put up with huge lines, having the right connections pays off. We're sent to the hotel fairly quickly and the vacation officially begins, but we have two things to do first, get ready to put Persy's plan into effect, which shouldn't be too hard, and the more challenging task, to get L out of his room because he's such a big workaholic.

"We should just leave him there and go have fun," as expected, Traizo would be more than happy to leave L behind.

"You know we can't do that," I try to reason with Traizo, even if I know it's a lost cause, at least for now.

"But Watari is staying!" That doesn't really work as an excuse Traizo.

"Watari is old, resting is his idea of fun, but L is still young, he just needs to be reminded of that," Persy applies her own special logic.

"Misa can keep him company." I know very well what Traizo means by that, he would be happy to get L out of the way.

But in her own peculiar way, Misa always reassures me. "Ew!"

I can't help it but to laugh. "What's wrong with L?"

"A lot," Traizo replies before Misa can.

Even so, Misa adds her own little reply as well. "He's not Light."

"That's a compliment," I really think it is.

"Agreed!" I thought Persy would agree with me. She isn't too fond of Light either.

"Well I just don't like L." Misa crosses her arms impatiently and pouts.

"Fine, fine, maybe you'll meet someone here..." Persy knows Misa doesn't like being teased about liking another man.

"Never!" Misa loudly declares. To each their own I guess.

Page 39: In a World Full of Mystery

It's truly unbelievable how realistic Persy's human disguise is. We were having fun, Persy was amused blending in, and then there was that emergency call. Why do our vacations always get interrupted? So here we are, in a creepy castle instead of somewhere near Cinderella's castle.

Persy is trying her best to be adorable and Misa seems happy playing makeover, she really needs a distraction. Watari Mello and Near are exchanging theories, well mostly Mello and Near are exchanging theories and Watari is keeping the peace between them.

Traizo is determined to find the ghost that haunts this place before L does, which is quite convenient because that leaves me alone with L and it's about time I had a little talk with him, which is possible after sending Chibi to play with Mello, Near and Watari.

"What do you think (Name)?" L motions to something on the computer screen, something about the history of this place. "Based on this, I would say the ghost is not truly violent but people are frightened simply because it is a ghost." He has that thoughtful expression and his thumb on his mouth; he always does that when he's absorbed by a case.

I pout and sit next to him in a normal way, while he sits in his usual one, or should I say unusual. "I'm sure your theory is correct," whatever it might be, I'm not really paying attention.

"This is important." L mutters, what's that supposed to mean? "I was talking to Watari before," about the case no doubt, "not about the case," what? "I mean about you."

"Am I in the way?" Excuse me for not matching your genius, but I do know I make a pretty good detective and I'm not the only one who says it.

"Watari said that it was good that I'm dedicated to my work, but that I won't be happy unless I think more about what I want too." What's he getting at? "Because of this job I've never really had time for other things. But you're here, you've made yourself a part of my life and you're patient. Thank you."

I blink and stare at L. I'm glad my companionship is meaningful to him, but I can't help it but to wish for something more. "You're welcome," I push out the words wondering if I should be happy or disappointed or an ironic blend of both.

I lean back on my seat and rest my head and back, this couch is pretty soft. I see L smile and nod from the corner of my eyes, then return to his typing. I close my eyes and try to relax, even if my mind screams to smack L over the head and tell him I love him. I'm sure he has feelings for me; I know he does.

I feel him shift, and slowly come closer. My eyes are still closed and remain closed until I hear a soft warm whisper in my ear. "Be my girlfriend."

I open my eyes suddenly and look at L who is leaning closer than I thought. When I turn my head, he is a mere few inches away, with eyes that request an answer, even if he should already know. "Yes," I breathe, and no sooner had the syllable left my lips when L closes the distance between us in a kiss.

We completely missed the process of the ghost being put to rest, and Chibi cheering when it happened. We missed Traizo jumping in to save Persy because for a moment, her disguise was so good he forgot she was a shinigami and in no real danger what so ever. We missed Mello teasing Traizo about secretly starting to like Persy, which he denied with tell-tale embarrassment.

All of those things we did not witness, but were told about later. Our help was not needed anyway; this case was not as serious as they made it sound.

xoxox xox xoxox

I guess it was only a matter of time before Traizo realized that Persy's position is similar to his, liking someone who likes someone else. I appreciate Traizo and infinitely love him as a friend, but when it comes to couple love I'm in love with L, I wonder if Traizo has seen that, I wonder if he's allowing L to be with me for the sake of my happiness. I don't want to hurt him, I hope he takes it as well as possible.

Behind closed doors there was much cuddling, and kisses and the next day Misa and Persy would ask about it, while L received a similar interrogation from a curious Mello and Near. One thing is for sure; we certainly let out all the tension and bottled up emotions.

The cases continue, and we travel all over the world. The adventure goes on, but a it's little different this time, because L and I are truly together now.


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