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Chapter 6
Chapter information
Series

Deadman

Chapter

6

Written by

Wonderfully weird

Editor(s)

Moon Beam

Chronology
Last chapter

Chapter 5

Next chapter

Chapter 7

This is the sixth chapter of Deadman by Wonderfully Weird.

The Story So Far

When the blizzard begins to die down, Aang and Toph part for the Middle Ring to do some investigating and discover that the so-called murder victims aren't dead--they're in a state of spiritual limbo.

Meanwhile, Ari has an idea as to what the riddles signify.

Back at the Jasmine Dragon, Poppy, panicked, scurries around to look for Toph, but severely injures herself in the process.

Chapter 6

Small gusts of winds started up once Ari, Khan, Sung Jie, and Jin entered the dim lit apartment building. Khan suggested that Ari and Sung Jie go to the landlady's room on the fourth floor while he returned Jin to hers, which was, luckily, just a few doors down from the main entrance. When the four split, Khan couldn't help but notice a strong, sinister air about the place, something very different from this morning. Even with cases that he'd worked on in the past, none of them made him feel so wary for his personal safety.

As for Ari and Sung Jie, they were looking for a room that, as Khan put it, had no door. Soon enough, they found the apartment that fit the rather stark description. Sung Jie shook a little bit.

"Don't be such a girl," Ari hissed, taking a jab at his name.

"What? My folks were expecting a daughter when I was born, so they named me accordingly."

Ari began to understand why Khan really didn't like this kid. That was not the point, though, for they were asked to wait for Khan while investigating the apartment room. As they entered, something seemed...off; then again, the room was fairly dark, aside from the light coming in through the large, frosted windows, casting a murky blue glow. On the floor closer to the window were two bodies, one of an old woman, the other of a rather large, muscular man. Sung Jie grabbed onto Ari's uniform, his body quaking.

"Boy, have you never seen a crime scene before today?"

"Actually, yeah. As a detective's assistant, I'm usually doing Khan's paper work. Occasionally, he might take my input on evidence, but aside from that, I'm more or less his bitch."

Crackling sounds were heard above their heads. Snow, perhaps? As they walked further into the apartment room, there was merely only enough light to distinguish the writings on the wall. Then, Sung Jie stepped into some kind of dark, sticky mass, which made his feet ache and bones brittle until he drew his foot away.

"Look Ari! Another Haiku!"

There were two.

"I'll read the one on the wall first, if this murky light is kind enough to let me: For a murderer, valuing benevolence is not a forte. Hold on...I remember Jin talking on the way here about a man named Guiren; Guiren means 'valuing benevolence.'"

"So, you're saying this creepy killer embedded the name's of his next victim into the haikus?"

"Yes. Speaking of which, do you think you can read the one you stepped in earlier?"

"I can't see it very well. The shadows from the bodies over there...I-I just can't read in this light."

Ari groaned, but then decided to decipher the haiku from where she was standing:

Before heaven, there's A road to gallop over Then, peaceful soaring

Ari's face was filled with dread, making Sung Jie even more uncomfortable and afraid.

"Ari...Ari I'm not liking the look on your face."

"The murderer is after the Avatar. See the characters for 'peaceful soaring?' That's how the Avatar spells his name!"

"The Avatar isn't in the city, is he?"

Ari didn't want to think about it. Then, the two heard a load creak in the floor, jolting their bodies in the direction of the sound, only to find Khan...with a floating flame in his hand? This day just couldn't get any weirder.

"The killer isn't just after the Avatar. Someone else's name is embedded in that haiku as well."

"Whose?" Ari and Sung Jie both perked.

"Well...if there is one thing you should know about me...it's that my name is not Khan."

~

"Toph, where exactly is Khan's apartment building?"

"I just know that it's like a mile or so from the Main gate into the Middle Ring and two blocks from the Train Station. From the air, I got no idea!"

"Thanks...that'll do."

Aang visually scanned whatever buildings or structures appeared to fit Toph's description. When spotting a five story building that seemed as if it could house tenants, he descended carefully into the snow. However, as Appa lowered in altitude, Aang's scars began to sting, as if Azula's lightning strike pierced through him once again.

"Aang, you sound terrible! Is something wrong?"

"No, Toph, I'm fine."

"You're lying! Tell me what's going on with you."

"Well...remember that injury Azula gave me? The one that nearly killed me? It's acting up really bad! Like—Auck!"

Aang's spasm made him skid off Appa.

"Aang!"

Appa flew down after his master, biting the collar of Aang's tunic before the bison landed softly into the snow. Toph ran down Appa's back and snout, sliding down the bison's wet nose onto the slush ground; the snow seemed deeper here than in the Middle Ring.

"Aang, as weird as it's gonna sound, would might wanna stay out here with Appa if you're hurting so much."

"Toph...I'm having these spasms because whatever is in that building is messing with my chi."

"Then at least use me as a crutch so you don't jerk about and fall down the stairs."

Gingerly, Appa transferred Aang's body from his jaws onto Toph's shoulder. She then walked through the already opened main door to the building, gently moving Aang's pain stricken body so that his feet would be touching the ground. He hissed in discomfort the further they walked into the building. Toph, too, was feeling a little uncomfortable inside and could sense that the other people living in the apartment building were too, locked inside their rooms, prisoners in their own homes. Yet she and Aang had to brave the unbearable negative energy the building exuding within its halls. They could even intuit the epicenter of all the energy. Just a few flights of stairs and they'd be there. The more stairs they climbed, though, the greater Aang's pain became, saying quiet prayers to ease his suffering and to much sure Katara and Kunsang would be okay in order to distract himself from the shocks and prangs that were rocking him.

Then, on the fourth floor, Aang's body seized up entirely, as if his own chi had paralyzed him.

"Really Twinkle Toes? Really?"

After that remark, Aang was able to move a little bit, but only if he balanced against Toph or the walls of the narrow hallway. Toph could feel Aang's chi locking and crackling, almost like the chi in the woman's stomach back in the Middle Ring; it made Toph wonder what kind of spirit had the power to make the Avatar succumb to such a state. Then, she heard voices down the hall.

"The killer isn't just after the Avatar. Someone else's name is embedded in that haiku as well."

Toph knew that voice form anywhere.

"Aang, hold on!" she beamed, tossing Aang up onto her back as she sped to the room that appeared to have no door.

"Toph, what the hell are you doing here? And is that the Avatar with you?" Khan scowled. Toph nodded, panting.

"You should leave! The murderer is after Avatar Aang!" Ari shrieked.

"The bodies," Aang managed, sounding as if he were on his deathbed. "The bodies are in limbo. There isn't a murderer on the loose."

The sound of clanking metal echoed through the fourth floor. Aang gagged in pain. Khan, too, was starting to feel faint, collapsing to his knees, grabbing at his face and chest as he writhed on the floor in pain.

"Guys..." Sung Jie whimpered. "I think we're screwed."

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