The Masahiro Inn was name that every person in the neighbourhood was familiar with. The name carried a great deal of ambiguity, because it was an old-fashioned building that had always stayed the same for as long as people could remember. There was even a small urban legend floating about that Masahiro had been standing since the beginning of time. Naturally, many people regraded this as somebody’s idiotic ramblings, yet they could not exactly deny the claim either. The inn itself was shrouded in mystery, nobody knew all that much about it; apart from the fact that the building was old and that there was a beautiful, young woman with long black hair who was managing it. Other than that, Masahiro Inn was more or less a complete mystery. A great number of the locals had stayed there beforehand to attempt in figuring out the mystery behind the inn, but they were greeted with smiling staff members, content customers and exquisite service. Nothing was out of the ordinary, but that only further fed their curiosity to find out more. However, despite numerous attempts after their first venture, nothing new was uncovered.
As a result, Masahiro retained its mysterious, yet intimidating image in the neighbourhood.
Finally reaching the front entrance of his new home, Niko practically fell over from exhaustion. The sky above him was now turning a warm orange colour; it looked like a considerable amount of time had passed since he’d first encountered that headless person. The teenager knew that logically he should not have even been slightly intimidated by the person, since he had been hanging around a lost spirit for the best part of the two days he’d been in Shibuya. Nevertheless, there was just something unsettling about seeing a headless person act, well, not dead. “D-Dullahan…Headless people are called Dullahans, right?” Niko mumbled to himself. “Well, it looks like it didn’t chase me at the very least…”
Dullahans, to Niko’s knowledge, were creatures that usually rode on horses. They were bringers of death and only stopped riding to call out a person’s name to kill them. ‘S-Should probably research into them some more, now that I’m dealing with a real-life Dullahan…’ the highschool student thought as he went to let himself into the inn.
Just before Niko could open the door though, he heard a loud crash from the inside that resembled the sound of a bottle breaking. The sudden sound practically scared the life out of him making his hand flinch away from the door. Actually, the inn sounded rather lively from Niko could tell. There was the sound of people walking around and talking, which was strange, because it had been dead quiet inside, a couple of seconds ago. The front door suddenly flew open by itself, similar to what happened to the one at school. But by that point Niko was in a complete state of confusion.
Walking cautiously inside, the first thing that the teenager saw was darkness and the last thing he remembered hearing was voices. A collection of them, they sounded close, but distant at the same time. Despite being able to understand the native’s tongue, Niko could not work out what the voices were saying for the life of him. It just sounded like unrecognisable nonsense or more accurately, white noise. The sound was low and numbing. Niko felt like light-headed just by hearing the noise. His brain felt like mush as the teenager struggled to make sense of his current situation, but to no avail. The sensation made it seem like he was losing his mind; all of a sudden, Niko could not recall anything that had happened before he’d set foot into the inn… Tears began to stream uncontrollably from his eyes, despite the fact that the transfer student’s mind was not even capable of registering or portraying emotion at this point. It was like completely wiping a computer’s memory. There was nothing…absoulely nothing...
“Niko? Are you alright?”
The voice seemingly dragged the teenager back from whatever nightmare he had been in and back into what seemed to be the front entrance of Masahiro. The proprietor of the inn was looking at him with a mixture of concern and excitement in her eyes. “Oh, you’re back with us now? Looks like Masahiro really took you on a ride!” she smiled, whilst her tenant stared at her with a blank look. “M-Masahiro? As in the inn?” Niko replied, finally beginning to get his bearings back. “Well, you must be exhausted. Take a seat in the communal area, I’ll go and get us something to drink”
And with that the landlady walked off down the corridor, after pointing out the location of Niko’s destination. “The inn took me for a ride…? What does that even mean?” the teenager muttered to himself as he approached the Communal Area that was only a couple of steps away from the front entrance.
Opening the door with extreme caution, Niko looked into the room only to lay eyes on the person he had last expected to see after his most recent ordeal…
Completely wasted, floating slowly around the room, holding a can of beer and giggling to herself. The spirit exploded into hysterical laughter the second she saw Niko’s face.