A reticent woman with hair braided into three braids and a pair of black-rimmed glasses, Tamaoku Mutsu, was leaning as far back into her creaking chair as it would permit, taking a break for the umpteenth time today.
“What a slow day. Are we finally going out of business?”
“Please stop saying such ill-omened things”, — the baby-faced college student who sat at the desk across from Mutsu grumbled in protest as he diligently typed something on his keyboard.
“Well, there’s no work to do. Like at all. And anyway, the boss was playing with slot machines again today, isn’t it?”
Yuno Sousuke, a broad-shouldered man with a large build who sat next to Hiroto stood up from his chair with a chuckle.
“Who wants some coffee?”
“I’ll go make some.”
Mutsu, who had zero intention of getting up from the beginning simply raised her hand.
Sousuke used one hand to gesture for Hiroto to remain seated and disappeared into the kitchen at the back of the office.
Only the sound of water flowing could be heard from the quiet kitchen.
This place, the Yorozuya, which was in a perpetual state of lack of work was a business that does various odd jobs. Desks with three chairs each were lined up facing each other, but only three seats were used.
The desk that’s slightly separated from the others was the company president’s, but it was rare to see it occupied.
Today he had also gone out to play with slot machines. Or, rather than going out, it would be better to say that he simply hadn’t come in to work at all.
Putting aside the issue of why it was viable in the first place; why has a company with so little work not gone out of business yet?
The reason the company hasn’t gone bankrupt can’t be known to outsiders.
Mutsu, Sousuke and the part-timer Hiroto who work here all have powers out of the ordinary.
Mutsu’s lineage can be traced back to an onmyoji sorcerer from the Heian era (794-1185), who’s powers she has inherited.
Sousuke owns a kuda-gitsune1. Hiroto just has the ability to sense supernatural things. And so, these people who are only slightly different from others, carry out tasks that cannot be talked about with ordinary people.
Even back in the Heian era, the main work of those with such powers was doing something about mysterious events such as hauntings.
Because they had a lot of spare time and days with no work at all, they also did things like taking on jobs where they had to act as investigators, but their main job was managing unnatural phenomena.
1Sousuke is a kuda-mochi, which likely means that his family is possessed by a kuda-gitsune, (see http://yokai.com/kitsunetsuki/ for details on kitsune possessing families). That actually means that he (or his family) is the master of the kuda-gitsune, which has to do as he says, so it’s not the same thing as what ghost or demon possession in the West usually is