Immediately, the shrine temple stood out to Hotaru as a place of great foreboding. With hanging scrolls, adorned in messages the likes of "away," "barrier," and "banish," hung from every eave, alongside decorative chimes made of clay-formed pieces, and what appeared to be bone. The wood was finely polished and still bearing a dizzying scent of chemicals—as though it had just been scrubbed that same morning—like it were a heritage site with a haunted past.
Hotaru, taking a deep breath, advanced toward the shoji screen door. A
When suddenly, Mina rushed forward to touch him on the shoulder—stopping him, as he turned to her with a questioning look.
"Once you walk through that door..." she said with a serious face, her eyes straining, "there's no turning back."