"So, will you take on the job, or not?"
The question has been bugging V, to be perfectly honest.
And it all started when a client visited the shop that one uneventful day.
V was busy sweeping the floor ( Dante was, as usual, sitting on his favorite chair with his booted feet propped up on the desk ) when the door suddenly opened, revealing a woman in her mid - twenties.
"Welcome to,... ah,..." the poet awkwardly began as he looked up from what he was doing ( he was instructed by Dante to keep practicing his greetings as a way of helping him loosen up in front of strangers and possible clients ) and took a look at the woman, who just ignored him and walked pass him.
"Are you Dante, the Legendary Devil Hunter?" The woman asked with her low and raspy voice.
"Yeah? How can I help you?" Dante lazily inquired as he stretched his arms like he just woke up from a long, undisturbed slumber
"I need you to drive out the evil spirit that's haunting my house." The lady demanded in a very bossy tone. "I'll pay you - "
"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Calm down, señorita!" The Devil Hunter, who was wide awake now due to the woman's brash attitude, held up both his hands in an attempt to interrupt his very demanding client. "This is a Devil Hunting Agency, and not some fancy paranormal shop for old wives."
The woman's eyes widened as she placed her hands on her hips, clearly annoyed at the ugly attitude that Dante just showed her. "As I've told you, I could pay you - "
"Nope! Not gonna drive out ghosts for ya, miss." Dante rested the back of his head against his raised arms once more as he settled his feet back on the desk. "And I hunt Devils, not spirits. They're just, eh. Small fry,..."
The woman closed her eyes, holding up her hands and balling them to fists as she kept her temper in check. And when she opened them once more, V saw her grab something from the pocket of her ripped jeans and carefully placed it on the desk. "If you ever change your mind, you should be able to find me on this address."
V's eyes never wavered from the woman as she made her way out of the shop, ignoring him once more and walking pass him like she didn't even see him standing there. He carefully placed the broom and the dust pan on one corner of the room and made his way towards Dante. He saw the business card on the table, picked it up, and faced the man behind the desk.
"The electric bill is due tomorrow." V reminded the man, hoping for him to reconsider. "Why did you refuse?"
Dante opened one eye and peered at him curiously. "Eh, I'm not interested in it."
Dante sighed and closed his eyes as he made himself comfortable on his favorite spot. "I told ya. Ghosts are just small fry. Not worth my time."
"But, the lady needs help. And she is willing to pay." V reiterated, stressing on the word pay. But, he was ignored by the Devil Hunter.
What's with people and their tendency to ignore him?
With a deep sigh, V left the man and read the contents, pondering for a while if he should accept the job in place of the lazy Dante. The simple card contained the name of the client and her address. Nothing more.
~ Avery L. Edwards ~
• No. 794 Swan Lane, Red Grave City •
He dragged his gaze off the words that seemed to hypnotize him and went out of the shop, hoping to find Avery L. Edwards.
And there she was, about to start the engine of her shiny dark bike with purple highlights.
"Miss Edwards,..." V called her attention, slightly running to catch up to her before she could drive away.
Avery fortunately ( and finally ) noticed him and removed her helmet, turning her gaze towards him and appraising him from head to foot. In fact, she looked so surprised that a man such as V was trying to have a conversation with her.
Was it his unusual appearance?
"And you are - ?"
"V." The poet answered, taking a deep breath and leaning on his metal cane for support. He, then, straightened his back and tilted his head to the side. "You can call me V."
"Oh. What can I do for you, V?"
"About the commission - "
"Stop. Right. There." Avery pointed at V, cutting him halfway through his sentence. "If you're planning to take on the Poltergeist at my home, then you're making a HUGE mistake."
Huh? "And may I ask,... why?"
"Furniture floating and smashing about. Disembodied voices in the middle of the night. And your skinny, princess ass begging to be fed and given vitamins. Are you goddamn sure?!"
Now, Dante may have sensed her odd attitude, but her wrongful assumption of him being incapable of the task did somehow put him on the edge. He looked at her straight in the eye, slightly bowing his head, and showing her his devilish smirk - a sign that he was more than ready for the simple task she originally have for Dante.
And this slightly unnerved the woman.
"I would like,... to see myself try." V simply told her.
The woman raised a scornful eyebrow. She knew that Dante was her one and only hope and choice. No other person in Red Grave could do it but him.
But, this man?
"So, will you take on the job, or not?"
"I would like to,... if you would allow me."
Avery furrowed her eyebrows and regarded him like he was some suicidal maniac begging to be fed to the lion. "Alright. I'll expect you tomorrow, then. Move into the house for a week. Bring whatever or whoever you need. You know my address."
"Would a cat and a bird do?" V innocently asked as he playfully twirled his metal cane in a display of confidence. This woman,... must be taught a lesson.
Avery pursed her lips and wore her helmet once more. "Sure. Whatever. I don't care. Just,... get rid of the ghost for me. I'll pay you. That I can assure you."
And with those words, she finally drove away.
Despite the question strangely bugging him, he was, in fact, feeling excited of this new mission. Yes, Dante might consider it as "small fry" but, facing Poltergeists was definitely a welcome change compared to his boring Devil Hunting routine. And he wanted so much to prove that woman wrong about him.
He was about to go back to the shop to pack what little belongings he have when he noticed Nico staring at him with wide eyes and open mouth. Apparently, she has been standing near the door for quite a while and must have heard the conversation between him and Avery. She almost dropped her groceries as she attempted to close her mouth and control her drooling.
Wait, did she look,... excited?
"Whoa, a paranormal investigation!" The Artisan gasped. "Can I tag along?"
"I don't - "
"Come on, man! Ya gotta let me!" Nico strode closer to him, flailing her arms about and almost sending her groceries flying everywhere. "This is like,... a dream come true for me! Okay, how about this: we'll split the pay 70 - 30. But, I'll be happy with nothing, though, if you don't want 70 - 30! But, come on, that's good deal, yeah?"
"Nico, I - "
"Please? I'll drive you on the way there. I will not be a bother."
V felt cornered. The woman looked really excited that he would surely feel guilty if he refused her.
Him, Griffon, Shadow, probably Nightmare, as well, and finally, Nico.
What could go wrong with this simple task of driving away a single evil spirit from someone's home with some comrades? After all, Avery did say he could bring just about anyone.
And what does her house look like, anyway? And what was the reason behind this Poltergeist's ceaseless haunting?