The Krovosos Family

Arjun tries to solve the mystery of bloodless bodies which everyone at first thought was the work of vampires but turns out to be something else.

Reading time 20 minutes 49 seconds.


Attention to all science fiction lovers! Make sure to check out the website of a regular reader of XTales.net, Daniel Chesler. He has written a novel and a novela. They are both available on amazon.

Website: https://danielchesler.com/

"Science fiction and urban fantasy with a dash of romance."


Previously- Bloodsuckers – A college senior suspects that vampires are behind the recent disappearances but his roommate is too busy with his girlfriend to pay attention so he decides to solve the mystery by himself.

&

Cottage Number 13 – Two young YouTubers go on a life-changing adventure to a haunted cottage in a forest.


Chapter One
Not a Vampire

The Explorer's Tales xtales.net

It was a serene night. Calm, peaceful and lonely. It was a beautiful night to go out. There was no traffic or pollution. No honking of the loud horns, no smoke polluting the air, it was a fresh, healthy and clear night. It was a night to take a walk on a long lonely road, dimly lit by dingy street lights and the clear sky filled with hundreds of thousands of stars, twinkling as if they were giggling. It was a lovely romantic night.

“I had a great time tonight,” said Nina who was half drunk and was leaning on Raj's shoulder.

Raj was both looking at Nina's, stuffed into high heels, feet to make sure she doesn't trip or something and talking to her, "Me too.”

“Thank you for walking me home.”

“Well, I wasn’t gonna let you walk by yourself.”

They were walking to Nina's home after a dinner date. They had met each other in a bar, just a couple of days ago. Raj was a businessman. He ran a small business in Metro City and he was really handsome and quite wealthy but that wasn’t the reason why Nina had decided to go out with him.

Raj lived alone. He walked out of his parents' house after they had a huge fight. He had never tried to contact them after that nor did his parents. He had been living all by himself for the past five years. He rarely made any friends. That’s why Nina chose him. Nobody knew that Raj was out on a date tonight, nobody Raj worked with knew anything about a girl named Nina and most importantly, nobody would look for him if he went missing tonight.

A few days later, Dr Guatam Vishwas was about to finish his shift in the mortuary. He was writing the report on the post-mortem examination of the body of a young man that was discovered a day before near the river bank. It was late at night and there was rarely anyone there. The doctor was busy in his work when somebody entered the office.

It was a man, tall, square-faced, with small eyes wearing a blue-green-white checkered shirt and jeans with leather shoes. The Doctor stopped working and looked at the man who walked up to his desk. He was about a foot taller than the doctor because he had to lift his head up to make eye contact.

“Dr Vishwas?” he asked.

“Yes. Who’s asking?” the doctor was not sure if he was an ‘official’ because honestly, he didn't look like one.

The man had a very kind but strong voice. “Name’s Arjun. I uh— um— I've come from the Library, to uh—”

“It’s okay. We’re alone. You can talk.”

“Oh, good. Uh– Mansi sent me.” Arjun seemed relieved.

“Yeah, she called. Come with me.”

The doctor took Arjun to the morgue. As they entered, the cold prompted Arjun to go for his salt bomb but then he realized it was just normal cold. He looked away to try to hide his embarrassment but the doctor wasn’t even looking. He was busy putting on gloves then he pulled a body out.

It was Raj. Pale, cold and dead.

“Male, twenty-seven, been dead for a few days. The blood was removed surgically with a syringe. I found a needle mark on his right arm.”

Arjun clenched his jaws. “But you said to Mansi it was a vampire’s job.”

“Yeah, I mean I think so because I found this,” the doctor pointed towards two small puncture wounds on Raj's neck. “At first, it looked like a snake bite or something like that but the distance between them suggested a wider jaw.”

Arjun leaned in to take a closer look. He had barely even looked at it when he pulled himself up, looked at the doctor and asked, “Tell me, doctor, how much do you know about vampires?"

“Not much. They hate sunlight and they drink human blood and um– yeah, that’s about it. Why do you ask?”

“It wasn’t a Vampire.”

The doctor looked confused. “What? But– uh– then—”

“Yeah. They don’t bite. They rip their victim’s throat apart. They have a different set of about a hundred teeth, maybe more. This was not a vampire and clearly whoever did this doesn't know about vampires either. Maybe they are trying to pass it on as a vampire.”

The doctor looked away in the air, thinking. “Then this must be it,” he said to himself.

“I’m sorry, what?”

“Uh- I also found tiny traces of a chemical, not sure what it is, I’ve sent the sample to the lab.”

Arjun nodded and then pointed at the body. “What do we know about him?”

“Not much. He lived alone. No friends. Family is away too.”

“Hmm, you said he was found in the river? So they tried to get rid of him, he wasn’t meant to be found.”

The doctor thought that this Arjun guy was pretty dumb but he didn't say it, instead, “Well, obviously. Why would they want him found?”

“No, I mean what if he isn’t the only victim? Maybe he’s just the one we found.”

The doctor was now thinking that maybe he wasn’t that stupid. He was the one feeling foolish so he tried to distract himself from that thought. “Oh no, there had been others before.”

“What?”

“Yeah, these bloodless bodies have been washing up on the shore for quite a time. They could not be identified, wait.” He went out and came back with a few folders. He then showed Arjun the pictures of other bodies. They all had the same marks on their neck.

“I don’t get it, why are we only hearing about this now?” Arjun asked.

“Because I wasn’t working here. I was just transferred here a few weeks ago. When this one arrived, they said ‘There’s another one.’ I asked and they told me they have found bloodless bodies before but they could never identify them.”

Arjun must've come to a conclusion because he sighed and— “Okay, uh- thanks for your help,” —he extended his hand.

The doctor quickly removed the right glove and shook Arjun’s hand. “I’m sorry I couldn’t help more. I didn’t know about vampires, Mansi never tells me anything.”

“Oh yeah, she does that,” Arjun snickered, “I mean don’t get me wrong, she is a gentle soul but she loves to play Dumbledore, never tells anyone everything. I didn’t know about you until she told me. Don’t think about it too much, now you know about vampires.” He smiled.

They both left the morgue. The doctor went back to desk and Arjun to the door where he stopped, turned back and said, “Oh, one more thing, vampires don’t hate sunlight, I mean it’s not the light, it’s the heat they despise.” And then he left the Mortuary. When he walked out, he took out his phone and dialled a number.

It rang and Mansi answered.

“Hey,” she said.

“Hey there, just came back from the morgue. I looked at the bodies.”

“And?”

“They drained the blood but with a syringe, though I did find bite marks on the bodies but—”

“But what?” she asked.

“But they are not the bite marks of a Vampire."

“So what do you think?”

"Uh– who's working the missing persons' case?”

“Why do you ask?”

“There might be others whose bodies we never found, might give us a clue, a link between the victims, a pattern.”

“Oh, call Dev, he’ll help you.”

“Okay, I’ll call you back if I find something.”

Arjun hanged up and dialled another number. He had urgency in his nerves. He wanted to do this before anybody else went missing but he didn’t know that he was already very late.


Chapter Two
Keeping up with the Keepers

The Explorer's Tales xtales.net

Not very far from where Arjun stood in the street outside the Mortuary, making a call to inspector Dev, Nina and her family’s next victim were playing with each other on the couch in their living room.

“Uh– where’s your mom and your aunt?” he asked, looking around hoping for something.

“They’re out. We are alone,” Nina grinned.

“Oh, great,” he smiled too because that’s exactly what he was hoping for. He pushed Nina down on her back and started kissing her.

Nina tried to push him away but not too hard. “Whoa, what’s your hurry cowboy?”

But he wasn’t even listening. He had already started pulling Nina’s dress down so she too went along. She moved her lips down his neck and—

He screamed. At first, he didn’t even realize what was happening with him. He thought that Nina was just being too aggressive but then he felt it. He felt the venom spreading through his veins and his muscles going stiff. He tried to move them but couldn’t. Nina pushed him on the floor. He dropped like a mannequin. He heard a hissing and then he saw two older women come out of the kitchen and the last thing he felt was the needle pushing through his arm, the last thing he saw was their smiling faces, their elliptical pupils and their forked tongues.

The next day Arjun went to Metro City College. He had already been to a few missing person’s houses in the list that inspector Dev gave him. It was a scrimp warm noon of late November. He knocked on the door of a room of college dormitory. Someone opened the door and Arjun looked who it was. The boy must’ve been in his early twenties but his beard was so thick he looked forty. His eyes were red as if he hadn’t slept forever. Arjun could smell alcohol in his breath. This boy looked miserable. Arjun threw a pity on him.

“Um– Ahmed?” Arjun asked.

The boy didn’t answer. He left the door open and walked in. Arjun didn’t know what to do so he followed and closed the door behind him.

“Are you Ahmed Qureshi?” Arjun asked again.

The boy snapped. “And who are you? Another reporter? Come here to HELP me? You’re gonna run too after listening to my story? Leave faster than you arrived?”

Arjun calmly listened to him. When he was finished and was staring at him grinding his teeth, he softly, slowly said, “I’m not a reporter. My name is Arjun Warrior.”

“Warrior?” Ahmed startled upon hearing the name. “Are you related to—”

“Yes,” Arjun spoke before Ahmed could even finish his question, “I’m his son. That’s why I don’t usually give out my last name.”

“Well, what are you doing here? What do you want?”

“I am searching for whoever took your friend.”

“Oh,” Ahmed pretended to look amazed, “So you are a Vampire Hunter. Well, look at you. Look at the great Arjun Warrior, son of one of the richest man in the country, bored of his life, his luxury. A friggin' Vampire Hunter. Leaves at night to kill the bloodsuckers, well boo-hoo. Sorry to burst your bubble Bruce Wayne but there ARE NO VAMPIRES.” Ahmed had lost it. He was enraged by the fact that Arjun had come there hoping he could actually play his game. That he had decided to ignore the fact that Ahmed had lost his best friend, his brother. But he was also angry at himself to ever believe in such nonsense. He was angry because he saw himself in Arjun. “They are not real. They never have been. Only if I could've brought myself to believe this earlier, my friend might still be alive. Leave, Arjun Warrior. Leave the way you came. Leave before I call the police.”

Arjun silently watched Ahmed break down. He watched him crash on the floor. He watched him sob. He knew that however, he could not feel his pain because he had never lost someone so close to him, not like this but he could understand his pain. He could understand that he had to be more than himself this time. He had to be a brother.

"Ahmed," Arjun grabbed him by his arm, pulled him up and sat him down on the bed. Then he took a seat on a chair and held Ahmed’s face straight with his hands. “Ahmed look at me. Look. At. Me.”

Ahmed looked into his small fiery eyes.

"You were right. Vampires didn't take your brother. Yes I know he was like a brother to you. They weren't vampires but it doesn't mean that they are not real. Yes,” He went on reading his expressions, “They are real. And not just vampires, everything you have or haven’t heard about is real. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, witches, monsters, everything, everything is real. The world is covered in so much darkness, that it’s impossible to see them. There is so much evil in the world that one can never imagine.

“But it doesn’t mean that you would throw away a beautiful thing, the only thing we have that they don’t– life. The beautiful gift of life. Faith. A noble cause. Love. Compassion. A sense of being a part of something bigger than us. A bond that ties us all.

“I know you have lost your best friend. I can never even begin to imagine what it feels like. Only you do and if you don't want someone else to go through what you are going through right now, if you don't want someone else to lose their friend or family, please, tell me everything you know and help me find out who did this.”

Arjun let go of Ahmed’s face which was blank for another minute but then an expression of disgust appeared on it.

"You don't have to find out WHO did it, I know already. It was that bitch. You just have to find out WHERE she is."

“Who? Who was it?”

“That bitch, Nina Krovosos.” And then he went on to tell Arjun how he and his friend Vikram had met her in a club, how they became friends, how she took Vikram to have dinner with her mother and her aunt.

He told him how she always purposely left Vikram’s phone behind when she took him to her house so its location history couldn't be traced to her house. He told him what happened the night he last saw his friend and after that. He told him how no one believed him and how the only thing he ever found of his was a shoe that he had given him as a present.

When Arjun left he didn’t have many answers but he had a name - Krovosos.

The sun retired for the day and the moon took its place in the black-purple sky. A few patches of clouds covered it as if it was a canvas and they were trying to complete the painting, adding in more beautiful details. Though it was a pleasant evening, Mansi didn’t look happy at all. She was tired and still working. She had a bunch of books opened on her desk and she was scrutinizing them, looking for something. She only looked up because she heard someone on the front stairs. It was Arjun.

He too was very tired but not as much as Mansi and he was about to see that. He climbed the stairs and entered through the huge door which had “तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय” engraved on top. He didn’t have to struggle to find Mansi which was usually the case because she was always somewhere in the basement but not this time. The whole library was deserted, as usual, only a few lights were on. It was awfully quiet. He looked to his right and there she was. She had a small face but a bit long furrowed forehead. Long black hair which was tied up in a pony with a hairband. Arjun knew she did that when she was working. She had also rolled up the sleeves of her top and she was looking at him with big but tired eyes, they had dark circles below them.

Now the thing with Arjun was that wherever he went he always had this authoritarian look on his face like he was in charge. That’s just how he worked but as soon as he laid his eyes upon Mansi, that look vanished from his face because now Mansi had that look on hers.

As soon as Mansi saw who it was on the stairs, she let out a soft, “Oh, it’s you,” and buried her head back into the books.

Arjun slowly approached her desk. He opened his mouth to say something but—

“So, did you find anything?” Mansi asked.

“Yeah,” Arjun began but he looked at the books on the desk, “You working a different case?” he asked pointing at the pictures of the creatures on the books.

Mansi looked up and sighed. She ran her hands down her face, that’s when Arjun saw her eyes and he understood why she was avoiding eye contact.

“Whoa, when was the last time you,” —Arjun flicked his palm, bent his lips— “slept?”

“Uh— Gautam called. The chemical found in the victim’s body was a venom.”

“A wh— oh.”

“Yeah, that makes sense since it’s not a vampire so I’ve been looking at every venomous bloodsucking creature. No luck yet.”

“Wow, you have to look, I thought you’ve memorized every book in your library.”

Mansi narrowed her brows, “Funny. There are thousands of books, century’s of knowledge, nobody could memorize it all. I only memorized the event log.”

“Of course you did. Wow, venom huh? That doesn’t really go with my theory.”

“You have a theory?”

“Yeah, I mean the way the blood was removed from the bodies, I thought maybe they are trying to preserve it for– you know.”

“You think it’s a drug cartel from Crime City?”

“Yeah, why not?” Arjun asked upon seeing the reaction on Mansi’s face.

“It could’ve been true but there’s one thing. We found the bodies intact. Even if they are selling human blood to vampires why would they just throw away a perfectly good body full of healthy organs? And I’ve a man there. Also, there’s venom.”

"Yeah, I see that now." Arjun did not look disappointed. It wasn't the first time his theory turned out to be wrong. In fact, that happened more often but he always had something else, something more and so was the case this time too. “I got something else.”

“Yeah?”

“Just a name, Krovosos.”

Mansi’s face fell so quickly that Arjun didn’t have to wait for an answer. “What?” he asked.

“No, it can’t be. It’s not possible.”

“What? Why is it not possible?”

Mansi was thinking rapidly. Her pupils were moving left and right so fast Arjun thought she was having a seizure. Then she hurried back towards the door that led to the basement. Arjun followed. He was one of the few who were allowed to go down there. The basement was huge and the insufficient lighting made it look even larger because some dark corners didn’t seem to have an end wall. He climbed down the stairs right behind Mansi who, as she was looking for the right shelf, spoke, “Krovosos, literally means bloodsucker in Russian.” She pulled out a book once she figured out which shelf then she turned pages with an electric speed that Arjun started to worry that she might rip a page or two. When she found the page, she put the book on one of the many wooden tables which practically filled the remaining space that was left by the ceiling-touching bookshelves and turned on the lamp that sat on there covered in dust. She pointed to an event log. “On January sixteenth, nineteen ninety-eight, my father exterminated a family of dark wizards in Siberia. They were practising dark magic with human blood and snake venom. My father wrote they were trying to remain young forever. They killed humans and drained their blood which they would later drink after a ritual. The locals there called them 'Кровосос' which translates to 'bloodsucker'. That’s why I didn’t think of it. It has no mention of themselves being venomous and I thought they were all dead.”

Arjun read the log and then he looked at Mansi who was already waiting for him to finish reading. “You think they succeeded?” he asked.

“Even if they did, it doesn’t make any sense. My father killed them all. It says here, the head of the family, their two sons and his brother.”

Arjun remembered the name – Nina Krovosos. “Only males? What about the females?”

“It doesn’t say.”

Arjun closed his eyes, sighed and walked in a circle. He then looked at Mansi and, “It’s the remaining females of the family. They are practically mocking us by calling themselves 'Krovosos'.” Then he told her everything he had learned from Ahmed. Everything about Nina Krovosos, her mother and her aunt. When he finished, they just stood in the silence for a full minute.

“Okay, good job Arjun, really well done, like always. I’ll take it from here.”

“What? What do you mean you’ll ‘Take it’? It’s my case.”

“No, your job was just to find out who did this, I’ll handle it now. I have trained exterminators.”

“They were not born trained, I could train too if you just don’t take away everything.”

Mansi stared at him for a second, “Do you remember what happened last time?”

“Well,” Arjun looked embarrassed, “I took care of it.”

"You burned its whole body, I needed its skin.”

“Okay, but you don’t need anything this time.”

They were throwing a remark on each other one after another without stopping.

"I do. I need their venom to make an antidote for other creatures' venom."

“So I’ll bring some venom for you.”

“Don’t be stupid Arjun, they have super heightened senses.”

Arjun had already opened his mouth to say something but he stopped and then after several seconds he said, “Do they now?”

"Yes, they would hear your heartbeat from a kilometre away, they would smell you from even farther.”

Arjun contemplated the situation and, “In that case, you take care of it.”

“Thank you,” said Mansi with relief.

They both climbed the stairs back to the level.

Arjun asked Mansi to get some rest which she agreed to. He wished her good night and was about to leave when Mansi said to his back, “Don’t worry Arjun we’ll get them. We will.” She said the last bit with a smile. She never said that to Arjun but she considered him a friend, unlike others who were just colleagues to her.

“I know, I just—” Arjun stopped to say one last thing, “I just hope you get them before they get anyone else,” and then he walked out.


Chapter Three
Extermination

The Explorer's Tales xtales.net

Mansi sent some of her best exterminators to the block where they have pinpointed the location of the Krovosos family based on the clubs where the victims were last seen and the river bank where they were found. They scoured the block for about a week. They easily blended in with the people. They carried their equipment and weapons in normal-looking backpacks. Sometimes they would pretend to look for an address asking people and local vendors but they were not even close enough.

About a week later, Nina brought in another one. It was a rather noisy evening maybe because it was Friday and everyone was rushing to get home faster. She unlocked the door of her apartment a few blocks away from where the exterminators were patrolling, turned the lights on and welcomed a young and tall but very shy boy.

“Come on Nick, you can leave your backpack by the door or if you’d like you can put it by the couch.”

Nick hesitated to come in, he stood by the door.

"Oh, come on, I didn't know you were this shy,” Nina chuckled, “You are very sweet, now come on.”

Nick finally entered. He had just stepped into the living room when, “Oh my god,” he said gaping at the stereo in the corner, “You have Behringer MS20, wow, this one’s so much bigger than mine,” he went on to unpack his backpack and reveal a smaller stereo set. “Can I play something on it? Please?”

Nina smiled, “Be my guest, I’ll get something to drink?” When she turned she said, “Nerd!” under her breath.

A few minutes later, a piece of nice romantic music was playing on the stereo, when Nina pushed Nick on the couch, the death seat. she was being impatient, she pulled him closer to her and leaned in to kiss but Nick pulled his head back.

“Um– I uh–”

“Come on, no need to be shy.”

“Uh– no it’s not that, it’s just– before we do this, shouldn’t we–?”

“What? Come on say it, don’t be shy,” Nina said smiling at him.

“Uh– okay,” Nick dropped the act, “Shouldn’t we call your mom and your aunt?”

Nina’s smiled vanished. She quickly threw herself away from the couch at a safe distance.

Nick too stood up and smiled cheerfully, “I mean isn’t it rude to just leave them behind?”

Nina made a hissing noise, her face transformed. She now had elliptical pupils and a forked tongue. Her mother and her aunt came out too. One of them said, “Quick, lock the door.”

“Oh, don’t worry about it,” Nick showed them a small shiny key and then put it back in his jeans, still smiling as wide as he could.

“Who are you?” one of the older women asked.

“Name’s Arjun,” he finally revealed. He couldn’t control his smile because everything had worked out exactly as he had planned. “Do you remember the keeper that killed your family? I’m friends with his daughter. Oh, and she didn’t say hello.”

“So you are one of them? Huh? So today, after all these years, I will finally avenge my husband and my sons.”

“Uh– I don’t think so.”

“Ugh– KILL HIM!”

Nina stepped forward cautiously.

Arjun just took a step back and, "Oh, come on Nina, I thought we were having a moment, I even brought a present for you,” he said and reached into his pocket and pulled out what looked like a smoke bomb but it wasn’t one. He threw it on the floor and a blinding flash of bright white light shot out of it. Arjun turned his back in time and closed his eyes.

The Krovosos Family wasn’t prepared for this. They all screamed as the light was too much for their eyes. They put their hands in front of their faces, rubbed their eyes but nothing helped them see again.

“You think you’ve got us, I could still smell you from kilometres away.”

“Of course,” replied Arjun who was now looking for something in his backpack. “But you don’t think I only brought a present for Nina, do you? I mean that would be rude.” He pulled out an automatic fragrance dispenser and turned it on. It started spraying rose fragrance everywhere. Within seconds the whole apartment started to smell of roses.

The three women were trying to find there way around in the living room, Nina’s mother tripped once. The other woman however was trying to listen to Arjun breath or the beating of his heart. Arjun knew he didn’t have long before they would start to see again.

“Oh, don't struggle, Nina's aunt. I did bring something for you too but Nina already had so much bigger and better,” he said as he turned the volume of the stereo to the top.

The Krovosos Family now didn’t have a chance. They put their hands on their ears. The attacks on their senses were unbearable. They all started crying and begging Arjun to stop.

Arjun on the other had put on headphones and was now dancing in the living room with an imaginary partner. Soon the smile on his face disappeared, he channelled rage in his eyes. He reached in his backpack once more and pulled a machete. He pulled it out of its sheath with a clenched jaw, not because it was difficult to pull it out. He clenched his jaw because he knew what he had to do next.

The music stopped. The effect of the flash also started to wear off. The only thing left though was the rose fragrance. Just as the Krovosos family opened their eyes, they saw the Grim Reaper in the form of a tall young man holding a machete in his hand and rage in his eyes. They all heard the machete slashing through the air. Only Nina heard it thrice.

It was not as serene a night. Not calm or peaceful or lonely. But it was still a beautiful night. It was still a fresh, healthy and clear night. It was now really a night to take a walk on a long lonely road, dimly lit by dingy street lights and the sky filled with hundreds of thousands of stars twinkling as if they were giggling, maybe this time with a few patches of clouds. It was a lovely night.

Mansi was waiting, still awake, in her pyjamas, in the library when Arjun walked in, happy, cheerful, smiling and maybe taunting Mansi but before she could say anything before she could burst and take it all out on him, he showed her a duffle bag which probably contained severed heads of the Krovosos family.

“Got your venom,” he declared.

“HOW IN THE BLOODY HELL DID YOU FIND THEM?”

“Um– your welcome?”

“How? My exterminators were looking for them for an entire week.”

“Pattern Mansi, pattern. I mean nothing against” —he raised his hands to do air quotes— " your ‘exterminators’ but they are not detectives. I looked for a pattern and I found one. They were targeting loners, orphans, people who lived alone, people who no—”

“No one would look for," Mansi completed Arjun's sentence.

"Exactly, I just went outside each of those bars and clubs and asked for donations for an orphanage. She fell right for it. No one Mansi, no one donated as much as a rupee. She donated five hundred.”

Mansi was nodding without even realizing it. “Well done. You did great. You’ve proved yourself. I’m sorry that I doubted you.”

“Well, you had your reasons. I couldn’t bring that damned skin to make into your handbag.”

Mansi looked guilty. “Wh–uh–how– how did you—?”

“Oh come on, don’t pretend like I haven’t seen your collection. To be honest, I burned it partially on purpose. It had horrific skin. It would look awful as a handbag."

They both let out a small burst of laughter. Then Mansi’s phone started to ring.

“Uh– I’ll see you later, good night,” said Arjun.

“Yeah,” Mansi replied and went on to answer her phone.

Arjun walked out into the intoxicating night. He took a moment to look at the crescent moon, appreciating its aura. Somethings are still beautiful despite being incomplete, he thought.

“Arjun!”

Arjun turned back. It was Mansi. She was climbing down the front stairs.

“New case?” he asked.

“Yeah.”

“What is it this time?”

“By the looks of it,” Mansi paused and said, “Shapeshifters.”

...


Arjun will return.

Meanwhile, read the story of the shapeshifters, The Companion – A seven-years-old boy finds a doppelganger of him while playing in his backyard and he does the worst he could've done, he brings him home.

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