As I headed back from the mausoleum at sundown my head was filled with thoughts about the next day- especially public school. Public school! With other kids! The only other kids I'd met in my life were my sister Dawn and Nick. Dawn wasn't a kid for long, but Nick, well, was my bestie. My only bestie. But as I headed out of the mausoleum I suddenly realized something.

" You're strong, Rika. Keep on being that strong even through the hardest of times, even when we're not here."

Even when we're not here.

Take out the even.

Not here. Dead.

They knew.

Didn't they?

As this realization hit me, so did an idea. I knew I tended to jump to conclusions, but I was certain about this. My father had said this to me shortly before my parents' death. He loved to play with words. After that he'd said:

" 15's the key to this one."

At the time Dad was holding a key ring, so I thought the fifteenth key would unlock something. But I was now certain. Dad's common word play would be one word did not belong. And he'd hide the number in a sentence later. But how did it happen?


To my surprise, I had ran straight into the door of my house. The storage one. I needed to water the plants anyway, so I went to get the hose. My mother's gloves were still hanging on the wall. I took them off the shelf- and as they came off, so did a note. I picked it up.

"... 1st clue...." I read, squinting my eyes to read the smudged text. " Love and money pay 1st."

What? That didn't even sound right! But something seemed fishy. I noticed someone's footprints- not Dad's or Mom's but someone else's.  I shrugged and walked out with the hose. I'd figure it out later. As I walked out of the door, I didn't notice the eyes. The eyes that were normally hollow in a painting slung on the wall- had eyes. That followed me outside.

( Switch to Nick's POV)

I paced back and forth under Rika's house. The Society had left Rika's clue, but I wasn't sure who to trust. The thing is, the night before Rika's parents were killed, I heard two Society members, Teji and Satsujin, conversing. About something. So I spied on them, and here's what I recollect:

Teji: .... happen tonight. happen?

Teji: We've... ambushers... outside... Mr. and Mrs.  Ayuzawa's.... workplace.

Mr. and Mrs. Ayuzawa- Rika Ayuzawa's parents. Ambushers. So I put two and two together. But I was still skeptical. I didn't want to tell Rika, in fear she'd get hurt. But how could it be confirmed? I'd hate it if Rika found out. She'd be mad I didn't tell her. She'd hate me. But even if she did- I'd still love her. No matter what happens. And I silently swore to protect her and kill anyone who dared hurt my love. Burn them all down for what they did to her- the loss of her parents. Because I loved her.

- End of Chapter 4-

So yeah! I'll make 5 soon!

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