Chapter Twenty-Five: Baby Monster:

Anna ran her finger ran down the bottom of the baby’s foot. “A yaoguai?”

“Half,” Tsuzuki said.

“I see,” his wife said. She looked down at the baby. “You hear that, Kirika-chan? You’re a little half-monster.”

Tsuzuki tilted his head. “Kirika-chan?”

“I had to give her a name. We just couldn’t keep calling her ‘the baby.’”

“But why ‘Kirika?’”

“I don’t know. I just thought of my aunt when I saw her face.”


Anna frowned. “You don’t like it?”

“No, no. It’s fine. We can call her Kirika.”

“Alright. So what do we do with Kirika-chan?”

“Ah, that.”


“Keep her here for now.”

“But we don’t know how to take care of babies!”

“What choice do we have?” Tsuzuki took in a breath. “Look, it will only be a temporary thing. Watari’s still trying to dig up information on Kirika-chan. These things take time.”

Anna opened her mouth to argue. When she came up with nothing, she drew her mouth closed. “Fine.”

Tsuzuki patted her on the head. “It will be okay.” Anna chose to go along with it for now.

“We’re going to need more baby supplies,” she said.

“I’m on it!” Tsuzuki said.

“I’ll make the list.” She turned and headed into the kitchen. Her husband’s shifted to the baby. He picked her up and tilted his head. Kirika-chan, huh? A little smile came on his face. I can see how that could work.


-December 24th, 1945-

-Hong Kong-

Delun sat up with his cigarette hanging out of his mouth. “What?”

“I heard about you project,” the man said on the other line. “And I want to help.”

Delun lay back on his mattress. “Why?”

“You want to keep the gate sealed, don’t you?”


“I can help you with your project.”

Delun raised an eyebrow. “What would you get out of this?”

“Just the joy of keeping this living world around for years to come.”


“Maybe a little bit of pride.”

“Uh-huh… And what would I get out of this little deal?” Delun asked.

“Oh… equipment, money, test subjects, material. Anything that you need for your experiments,” the man on the other line said. The scientist frowned.

“What’s the catch?” he asked.

“You’ll have to come and find me to see,” the other man answered.

“Are you kidding me?”

“No. Will you take it or not?”

Delun frowned. “Do I have a choice?”

“Not if you want us all to be giant food again.”

The scientist groaned as he picked up a pen and notepad. “Fine, give me your address.”

“Wise decision, friend.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Minutes later, Delun walked out of his dorm.