A High Price

Chapter 6

By Lizard


"Watari-san, I am not entirely sure this is such a good idea." Tatsumi couldn't help but feel apprehensive about the scientist's latest ingenious plan. Everything else he had thus far come up with had been disastrous.

"Tatsumi-san, if you can think of anything better to try, then I will stop by all means, but as of yet, you haven't. So I shall attempt this in the meantime." Watari gave the secretary one of his widest grins. It didn't make him feel any better, but he had to concede that the blonde was right. He couldn't think of anything to try.

Lifting the poorly drawn sledgehammer that he had scrawled over several sheets of paper, and brought into existence with his powers, Watari took a deep breath and swung it at the wall by the door. At first nothing seemed to happen, save for a few cracks, and he looked rather annoyed. Again he swung, giving a loud grunt, and was rewarded by a widening of the already existing cracks.

"I think it's working!" He called cheerfully, even as Hisoka watched scornfully from where he was leaning against another wall. Watari didn't seem to notice that his colleagues didn't share his enthusiasm. Hefting the sledgehammer over his shoulder one last time, he sent it crashing into the plaster, and a large section of the wall crumbled, sending up a cloud of white dust that sent both Watari and Hisoka into a coughing fit. "We're through!" The longhaired blonde chuckled sheepishly, wiping dust from his glasses.

"Baka." Hisoka spluttered, eyes watering. Sometimes Watari was a little too cheerful for his liking.

The scientist strode confidently towards the gap, expecting to be able to walk through what seemed like an open space. Just as it had in the doorway, the barrier repelled him again, and he was sent sprawling at Hisoka's feet. The boy closed large emerald eyes, shaking his head in disgust. Tatsumi, as always, looked most displeased.

"If the owner decides to charge for the damages, it shall be coming out of your pay, Watari-san." Tatsumi, despite the newest failure, was still managing to maintain his calm.

"Tatsumi-san, this is ridiculous, let me go and find Tsuzuki, you know I could track them down on my own!" Hisoka's patience had finally dissolved, and he was even considering going against Tatsumi's orders if he should not allow it. They were wasting too much time here, there was nothing he could do to help Tatsumi.

"Kurosaki-kun, I understand your eagerness to find your partner, but it is too dangerous for you to go alone. Muraki is too dangerous an adversary, and you know we must always work in pairs at the very least." Tatsumi fixed him with a glare that would have frozen most on the spot, but Hisoka seemed beyond the reach of even the fiercest gaze today.

"He's right, Bon. If you show up alone, who knows what Muraki might do if he catches you?" Watari brushed his hair out of his eyes, trying to look sympathetic.

"I don't care! I don't want Tsuzuki scarred like I was!" Hisoka cried through clenched teeth, fists balled up, and his voice cracking with emotion. He was about to turn and run when there came a fluttering from further down the corridor, and 003 appeared, leading the Goushoshin brothers. The little owl fluttered in circles around Watari's head before nesting in the mass of wild hair.

"Tatsumi-san!" The elder of the two brothers seemed to skid to a mid-air halt, moulting feathers at a frenzied rate. There was a heavy book clasped between his feet that was almost as large as he was. Watari relieved him of his burden, and the chicken-like librarian breathed a soft sigh of relief. "Tatsumi-san, we've managed to find a barrier spell which might have been the one Muraki used to cut off your powers within this room!" Tatsumi sat up as much as his bonds would allow him, a fleeting glimmer of hope in his eyes. The brother continued. "It seems it is not a spell he commands himself, but one put in place by a summoned creature, a low ranking demon, and that it must be destroyed to break he spell!"

"Ooooh! A demon!?" Watari almost squealed in excitement, but Hisoka only seemed more perplexed.

"How're we supposed to find this demon though? For all we know, Muraki may have it chained up somewhere with another barrier around that which we'd have to break." The boy gave a defeated sigh, strands of hair the hue of dark wheat flopping over his eyes as he bowed his head.

"No, this demon has to be close by. Because it is only low ranking, it must be within a short distance to maintain the spell." The younger Goushoshin explained, nodding in that typically know-it-all way. "It is most likely somewhere in this building."

"Well that narrows down our search considerably." Tatsumi was understandably relieved at all this news. He had a feeling that, had this all been left to Watari and Hisoka, he may very well be still sitting here when the spell wore off as promised the following day. "I advise that you all split up to shorten the search. Do not attempt to fight the demon alone if you should find it, but confront it as a team. Even if it is low ranking, it is still a demon, and therefore a foe to be taken seriously." It felt like a moment in which he should push his glasses further up his nose, as was his habit, but even this little gesture was lost to him. He let one slender brow arch as he stared at the other Shinigami, wondering why not one had moved to do as he commanded.

"I don't think searching will be necessary Tatsumi-san." Hisoka murmured, and the secretary followed the direction of the boy's wide-eyed gaze towards the ceiling of the room in which he was trapped. A pair of multi- faceted eyes peered down at him from above, and he could vaguely see the outline of something shifting stealthily.

"I don't think it would be the wisest of ideas to move about too much." Watari hissed at Tatsumi, the fascination obvious from his expression. Tatsumi gave him a look that said plainly."Oh really, you don't say!?"

Hisoka sighed, closing his eyes briefly. With the demon inside the barrier, they could not attack it. The barrier would remain up, and Tsuzuki would remain in Muraki's clutches for the allotted time. If Hisoka had been alone, he would have burst into tears.

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