"Hai! O kyaku sama, what can I get for you?" Ken cheerfully greeted the lady who went into the shop. She was tall and slender and was wearing very tall high-heeled shoes. She was dressed in a soot-black outfit which bared one of her shoulders. The usual crowd is not around the flower shop and the florists were relatively free.
"Hmm… I don't really know…" was the woman's reply. She began to do a slow scan on what the flower shop had in store.
At this time of time, Omi who had returned from delivery steps into the shop and sees Ken entertaining the woman. Instead of walking over to help however, he chose to stay in his usual chair and looked at the woman from the corner of his eye, for there was something about the woman that made him feel unusual, but he could not really pinpoint what it was.
"Hmm… … I want to send some flowers to an old friend of mine, but I can't really remember what he likes… …" The woman finally said after looking for a long time.
"I see… well, you could always send him other flowers, like you know, you could get him a few nice stalks of white roses … … they represent respect. I'm sure your friend would like them."
The woman pondered for a few moments, then shook her head. "Never mind, I really can't recall. I'll have to come back another day." She then walked out of the flower shop as silently as she came.
The four florists sat in the flower shop, idling yet as there were no customers. Kawamoto entered the shop with a bag in his hands.
"Go kuro sama! I've brought snacks for you guys!" He greeted.
"Gee, thanks… I was about to doze off…" Youji said, reaching his hand for the bag.
"Is business that bad?" Kawamoto implored.
Youji shook his finger. " Bad is an understatement. It's in the *pits*."
"Omi interrupted a little cheekily. "Er… I believe there were 2 customers just now?"
Youji scorned. "2 young boys! They are yours, Omi dear… Bring on the babes! I don't see any around…"
It was this point of time Ken thought of something. "Speaking of babes…" He began.
Youji leaned forward. "Yes, what about them?"
"There was one around just now…"
"There was?! When? And you didn't even inform me! Some friend you are!"
"How was I to know where you were?" Ken answered indignantly. "Anyway, that's not my point."
Omi interrupted, "Are you talking about the woman in black just now?"
Ken nodded. "She was rather strange. She walked in, looked at all the flowers in our shop before finally deciding that she couldn't remember what her friend likes and walked out of the shop again."
Youji scorned, " Nah… That's because you're bad. You should've called me to your rescue."
"Nan da to?" An indignant Ken defended, glaring in the direction of Youji. However, they were all stopped by Omi's voice.
"That woman was strange…"
Aya leaned forward. "What makes you say that?"
Omi shook his head. "I can't tell. But I felt she is not ordinary. There was something that I recognised about her, but I can't really pinpoint."
"Not ordinary? She was too sexy?" Youji teased. Omi shook his head vigorously, a little cross at the low joke.
"Come to think of it, she wore very heavy perfume. And the perfume also didn't smell like the regular ones." Ken commented.
"What did it smell like?" Kawamoto asked sharply.
"It smelled like a mixture of many flowers… but yet there also seemed to be another element present which I could not make out…"
"Sulphur…" Omi blurted absently, then snapped his fingers in a sudden revelation and all the eyes turned to him. "Why that's it! That was the smell of the perfume on the messenger that hypnotized me!"
"Are you very sure that is the smell?" Aya double checked.
Omi thought for a while, then said, "yes, there's no mistake about it. I remembered the smell because it was so special. I thought it strange that a perfume company would actually put sulphur into a perfume."
"That's indeed a good point raised. And I can confidently tell you that is no ordinary perfume too. It is one that is produced by Gift and used exclusively by the Gift female messengers." Kawamoto said.
"What makes you so confident of it?" Aya turned and asked.
"The female messengers have the habit of feeding the poison through the mouth. I had always thought it strange that how could they contain poison within their mouths and still stay fine. Now I know the answer." Kawamoto replied.
"Huh? Sensei, oshiete yo…" a confused Omi said.
Kawamoto smiled. "You will understand after I show you the chemical formula of the antidote. Sulphur is a major component of it. That is the only reason why anyone would put so much sulphur in the perfume."
"Aa… … So the perfume is actually their antidote!!" Omi exclaimed.
~~ END OF CHAPTER ~~