A withered old man sat in a large velvet-covered chair a blanket over his lap and cat nestled in one arm as his other arm rested on the chair’s long boney gem-encrusted fingers tapping the ornate hand rest. He had an old pair of spectacles and long dishevelled hair over an antique-looking smoking jacket. Stood the opposite him behind a desk another old man stood, with short grey hair, a monical and a brown suit, a walking stick in one hand and his coat folded over his other arm.

“So this was all you could find?” The old man gestured to an open box on the table.

“Yes. We searched the whole place from top to bottom but there were no more signs.”

“She was my great-granddaughter Neil, are there no leads?”

“None. It’s as though she was spirited away.”

“Was she?”

“There were no residual signs of anything ritual. It isn’t impossible but there’s no clue. Even if it were the case we have no idea where she was taken, how or, by who.”

“It’s not good enough Neil, ” The old man shook his head, “she’s my last living relative, I can’t have it all end here, there’s still so much to be done.”

“I know, we haven’t given up, we will keep looking, I have my best on the case.”

“Of that, I have no doubt, I’m sorry, I’m old and irritable, and afraid of what may have happened. I need answers Neil, and I need them before my time runs out.” The old man looked Neil in the eyes and shook his head.

“Don’t despair, it is not her time, nor is it yours just yet.”

“Ha don’t try to placate this old fool, I know full well that my essence is slipping away into the void and I would have no fear of it if that impetuous child were somewhere safe, it isn’t just what she means to me, but to what her unique ability means to us all.” The old man sighed and looked down at his cat. “And what do you think little one hmm?” He asked the gold eyed cat that stared up at him, it purred.

“Perhaps we need to change our tactics, if our brave investigator can’t find her here, maybe we should ask what those from the other sides know?” A voice from nowhere entered the men’s minds.

“We’re investigating that avenue as well.”

“Of course you are.” The old man nodded. “Perhaps Shiba, you could be of help? You were fond of her after all.” The cat stared at him and seemed to nod in agreement jumping down from his lap and over to Neil.

“We will return to investigation.”

“Very well.” The old man nodded.