Another Japanese lesson for you! Rin shouts 'Kami-sama' in this chapter, which is the rough equivalent of shouting 'My God!' She eliminates the polite 'desu' at the end of her sentence because of the gravity of the situation. I should also add that Rin has a tendency to curse when she gets mad, so be forewarned.
The destruction of the down-town butcher shop had started, oddly enough, in the shop's dumpster. The green metal had been torn from the building's brick wall and twisted beyond all recognition, spilling scraps of rotten meat all over the ground and exposing the huge sewer pipe the dumpster had previously covered. A huge hole had been blown through the back wall and the interior was a total mess; the glass display cases had been shattered, the back freezer rendered useless, and deep scratches had been left on the wall.
"The hell happened here?" had been the first comment made by one of Chief Beatcom's officers and the Chief had to admit to himself that he was mentally screaming the same question. Just what was happening today?
"Chief!" Another officer, accompanied by a fireman, raced up, eager to report.
"No one's been hurt," the fireman quickly reassured the Chief. "The family who owns the shop is own vacation and there really wasn't anything left in there to rob."
"You call this a robbery?"
"That's my guess," the officer replied. "Whoever did this must have realized that there wasn't anything to lift, so they just destroyed the place instead."
"Yeah, well, make sure the scene is properly secured. The sooner the forensic team can examine it, the sooner we can catch the perp. Or perps." Chief Beatcom cast another glance at the razed butcher shop. "I sure hope these people had insurance. Hopefully, they can-"
"Kami-sama! What happened here?"
Like an avenging angel, Rin dropped from the sky and surveyed the scene with wide eyes.
"Well, it looks like the accident on the wharf isn't the only one we have to deal with today."
"Then it's most likely that neither this nor the building on the wharf was an accident," Rin replied darkly. The young half-demon looked disheveled; her skin and hair were shiny with sweat and her clothing was streaked with grime. But it was Rin's eyes that caught Beatcom's attention; she looked worn out, as if she'd been running herself ragged that day, but what she had been up to, Beatcom could only guess.
"What happened to you?" he asked now.
"None of your damn business!" Rin snapped. "Stop staring at me and focus on doing your damn job!" Rin eyed the scene once more and then launched herself into the air, departing as quickly as she had arrived.
"What was that about?" a fireman asked, watching the half-demon vanish into the sky.
"Who knows?" some one-a police officer- answered. "Who knows about anything that goes on in her head?"
"Hmmm... hopefully, Rin'll be able to find out about something concerning both situations that we missed," Beatcom mused.
"Yeah, well, I still think it's weird that once Rin shows up, buildings start falling," the officer muttered.
"Johnson!" Chief Beatcom began, but Officer Johnson's partner cut him off.
"Look, Chief, you have to admit it is suspicious. Not that we want to start pointin' fingers or anything, but those scratches in there look more like claw-marks to me and I can think of only one... one person with claws in this city."
"Yeah, and only Rin would have the strength to tear up that dumpster. Good thing no one was around when this happened..." The officer shuddered. "Besides, you've said it yourself plenty of times, Chief. Rin has a real temper."
"But no motive," Beatcom replied sternly. "Why would Rin want to do something like this?"
"She needs a reason?" Johnson asked. "C'mon, Chief, she probably got mad at some one and took her anger out on some one else's livelihood."
"Enough! Johnson, unless we have proof- actual, concreate proof- I don't anyone making these kind of accusations! Everyone in this city is to be given the basic human right of innocent until proven guilty, understand?"
And although his underlings agreed, the Chief could read their minds like a book: why bother giving a human right to some one who was only half-human?
James carefully fitted the last wooden piece into the slot and smiled at his finished masterpiece. Among the treasures he and his friends had discovered was a strange sort of wooden puzzle in which the pieces of thin wood could be fitted into wooden slots at random, but James quickly discovered that only one combination would allow all the pieces to be interlocked. After heading home, James had passed a cozy early evening putting the puzzle together as the rest of his family came home.
Now, the front door opened and shut yet again. James looked up to see Rin enter the living room and though he was happy to see his sister, the half-demon's ragged appearance surprised him. Nonetheless, he greeted her cheerfully.
"Hi, Rin! I finished the puzzle!"
"Hmmm? Oh, I had a feeling you'd like that," Rin replied, giving her brother a weary smile. "I have one myself back on Hyokai Island and I find it quite relaxing."
"You look like you could relax right now," Mrs. Ladybug said as she entered the room, followed by Centipede.
"A bath and a rest would be nice right about now," Rin admitted. "But I doubt I'll sleep long. Too much to think about."
"Ya heard then?" Centipede asked.
"I heard. And I'm sure you heard of my little visit to the second scene."
"Beatcom mentioned it," Centipede answered.
"So, what's yer opinion on all this, Rin?"
"Yeah. No offense to the cops here, but if I had ta chose, I'd listen to you."
Rin didn't answer right away, but James saw a wry smile flit across his sister's face, as though she was flattered by Centipede's words.
"Don't get your hopes up. All I can say for sure is that these two incidents weren't accidents and if I had to guess, I'd say whoever did one did the other."
"Hey, every little bit helps."
"Speaking of which, a bath would help me right now, so I'll bid you all good evening. I have much to do tomorrow."
"Are you going to train again?" James asked.
"Most likely," Rin answered as she headed upstairs.
"What's she training for, dear?" Mrs. Ladybug asked, looking curiously at James.
"I don't know. Rin just told my friends and I that she liked to stay sharp."
"Hmmm, I suppose that makes sense. And goodness knows Rin needs a way to spend all that energy, but I do wish she wouldn't push herself. She looks so worn out."
"Guess we're in good hands if somethin' happens here, eh, Jimmy?" Centipede asked, grinning at the boy.
"We are," James affirmed. But it wouldn't be long before other opinions about the half-demon began to surface.