Volume Six

Tatsumi's upset because the department is over budget...again. It's not that they buy so much, it's always having to fix things after Tsuzuki wrecks them. The Gushoushin brothers are ecstatic that the library has finally been rebuilt after Tsuzuki demolished it while possessed by Sargatanis the year before. Hisoka comes by to return a book he had borrowed, then nearly faints because he hasn't been sleeping well. The brothers tell him to take the day off and rest, but he doesn't want to be treated like a child.

Terazuma's partner blackmails him into going to see the new library. Tsuzuki brings flowers to celebrate, but they won't let him in until he swears up and down not to hurt anything on penalty of being banned forever. Of course, as soon as Tsuzuki and Terazuma meet up, chaos ensues (which makes Tatsumi snap at realizing it's happening yet again). Hisoka gets fed up at having his reading disturbed and threatens them both into submission. (To Tsuzuki: "I'm not lending you any more money." To Terazuma: "I'll touch you.")

Hisoka's sleepiness catches up to him and he collapses in his partner's arms, so Tsuzuki takes him home. The next day, Kachou wants to fire the two troublemakers, but Tatsumi convinces him that'll only mean they can never pay back what they owe. (Work them for another 300 years, then fire them.)

* * *

Hisoka is suffering from the heat to the extent that he can't eat, which makes Tsuzuki extremely concerned. (Tsuzuki: "Of course I worry about your health, I love you!") The Hokkaido girls appear and give Hisoka a dress they brought for him, which pisses the boy off, though Tsuzuki thinks it's cute. Tatsumi interrupts the scuffle to tell them they've been assigned to help out in Okinawa, which is extra busy in summer. Hisoka is dreading the heat, but he steels himself to endure it. Tsuzuki uses weepy eyes to convince Tatsumi to let the girls come along.

As soon as they arrive, Hisoka collapses from the heat, so the Okinawa shinigami Chizuru shows them to a place in Shinkou-chou where it's air-conditioned. (Chizuru had been a police officer and can't bear to part with the uniform.) There is no work the next day, so they all relax at the beach. Chizuru takes them to their lodgings, a small bed and breakfast. When he sets foot inside, Hisoka gets the sense that *something* is there.

Chizuru admits that she brought them because the place is haunted. The rumor of the haunting started half a year ago, and it's scaring all the guests away. (The shinigami use being scared of ghosts as an excuse to latch onto Hisoka, but he doesn't appreciate the joke.) Chizuru continues that the owner of the huge hotel right next to them is trying to force the place out of business. Rika, the owner of the B&B, is a friend of Chizuru's from before she died; Chizuru pretends that she's still alive so she doesn't have to explain the shinigami part.

The big hotel owner, Taira (an acquaintance of Muraki, who calls him from Kyoto), has ordered his subordinate Nakijin to use any means necessary to buy the B&B. They had started the ghost rumor, not realizing the place really was haunted. The owner believes he can have anything he wants, including Rika. Rika refuses to sell in memory of her deceased parents, who worked hard to keep the place going. She's been rebuffing Taira's advances since they were classmates, since she has no interest in men.

Tsuzuki immediately agrees to help. Hisoka is annoyed that he's so quick to volunteer, but he agrees to join in, saying he gave up his resistance when he became Tsuzuki's partner. They set about trying to attract customers, but they have no luck with the ghost still a problem. It appears in the yard, yet strangely Hisoka can't sense a ghost, which puzzles everyone.

They try to think of what they can do to enhance the place's reputation (starting by refusing to allow Tsuzuki to cook). What finally does the trick is setting up Hisoka as a fortuneteller, his empathy making him a natural. Tsuzuki wallows over not being able to help. He tries to get Tatsumi to supply menu advice, but of course Tatsumi charges top dollar for his services.

The ghost appears again, and this time Hisoka senses something, but before he can explain what the creature really is, Tsuzuki attacks it with Byakko. (The guests think it's a magic show.) It runs away to its territory where it has traps set for them. Chizuru comes to the rescue and punches the beast before it can take a swipe at Tsuzuki. (No one troubles the public in front of a dedicated policewoman.)

Nakijin shows up at the B&B and has a long talk with Hisoka to have his fortune told. He's fed up with the spoiled Taira and wants to know what he should do. Outside, Tsuzuki confronts the "ghost," which is a small shikigami that was only making itself look fierce. There are four gates barring the way from Gensoukai, so it usually takes a summoner like Tsuzuki to bring the shikigami across, but recently there have been unpredictable wormholes opening between the dimensions. That's how the little one fell through, and he couldn't get back.

Hisoka reports that Nakijin got together with other dissatisfied workers and took over the company. Tsuzuki compliments him for giving the encouragement the man needed to act on his decision. Then he gets mad at Tatsumi for having Chizuru pay him to assign the shinigami to help her, but Tatsumi easily distracts him with food.

Rika invites Chizuru to stay with her, but of course it's impossible. Chizuru realizes that her friend knew all along what she really was and only pretended to accept the bluff. They say their goodbyes, the shinigami coming to meet Chizuru and cheer her up. They return to their regularly scheduled wackiness.

* * *

[Note: This little adventure takes place in the past, since it's Hisoka's first encounter with the Earl.]

Watari puts the finishing touches on his latest concoction, which he immediately takes to share with Tsuzuki. Tsuzuki (in a bad mood because he's broke) refuses to be a guinea pig, so Watari offers him a year's supply of beer as a bribe to get him to agree. It's supposed to be a potion to change one's sex. Watari prods Tsuzuki by suggesting the things it would be okay to do as a woman...

They guzzle it down and poof into little children. They go back to the library from which Watari had borrowed the book with the recipe, where the Gushoushin brothers take the opportunity to lecture the pair on their failings while they're the same size. Tsuzuki tries to summon Byakko in retaliation and loses his balance, falling on the floor. Watari locates a book with an aging potion, but one of the ingredients can only be found at the Earl's mansion.

Tsuzuki desperately doesn't want to face the Earl, though Watari thinks he should use his "charms" to get what they need. The Earl appears and tells them the flower they're looking for is out in the garden, and they can have it...if Tsuzuki pays him what he owes on the spot. The others abandon him and go outside.

They find the flowers, but there are two kinds, red and black. (Tsuzuki manages to escape and catch up to them.) Watari takes a black flower for his potion, but of course it was the red one he was supposed to have used. It winds up turning them both invisible instead.

End Volume 6

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