Chapter Six: Bleeding Kitsune:

Airi stood on the apartment roof. She already hated how this was going to go. But she had to pay the price. The kitsune pressed her lips together.

“I’m here,” Airi said. “Come out you bastard!” The wind blew overhead. She turned around.


Tsuzuki awoke to a weight at the end of his futon. The shinigami lifted his head. Airi sat staring at him.

“Airi… -chan?” Tsuzuki asked.

“We need to talk,” she said.

“What do you mean?” he asked. She put her finger to his lips.

“Just follow me,” Airi said. She stood up and walked out of the room. Curious, Tsuzuki climbed out of his futon. He looked back to see Anna sound asleep. She turned in her futon. Tsuzuki took one more look before leaving the room.

He followed Airi to the living room. The kitsune stood in the middle of the room.

“Airi-chan, what’s going on?” Tsuzuki asked. “What is the matter?” Airi grabbed her right arm.

“I’ve done it. It’s already started,” she said in a low voice.

“Why? What are you talking about?” he asked. Airi turned her head.

“My youth,” she said. “It will be my penance.”

“You’re not making any sense,” the shinigami said. “What are you saying?” Airi shook her head. Her mind went back to the early hours of the morning.


His whistling was the worst. Airi breathed in hard.

“Good morning,” he said. Her nostrils flared.

“Good morning,” she said back. He looked her up and down.

“You’re looking well,” he said. She sneered at him.

“Yes,” Airi said. “I know. Thank you.” He cleared his throat.

“Anyway,” he said. “You want to get down to business, yes?”

“Well, yeah,” the kitsune said. He pressed his fingertips together.

“Right,” he said. “Let’s begin.”


Airi held out her right wrist.

“Do you remember when Kirika-chan got sick?” she asked.

“Yeah,” Tsuzuki said.

“Well…” the kitsune said. “I had to give something up to save her.”

“Airi!” Tsuzuki said. The kitsune trembled.

“I hate it!” she wailed. “Why do I care so much about you people?! This is what I get for caring!” Tsuzuki said nothing as he pulled her into his arms.

“Thank you,” he whispered.

“Don’t you get it?!” she shouted. “I’m going to age again!” Airi tired to tried to push him off in vain.

“But is that really a bad thing?” Tsuzuki asked. The kitsune frowned.

“Bullshit!” she shouted. “Don’t start with me! Just don’t!” His embrace felt suffocating. The shinigami wouldn’t let go.

“I’m being serious,” he said. “And thank you for saving our daughter. You are becoming a real parent.” Airi gritted her teeth. But she couldn’t stay mad at him. It annoyed her how right he was. The kitsune gave up the struggle and let her husband hold her in his arms.


“So when will this take effect?” Airi asked. He gave her a cold smirk.

“You’ll know when you feel it,” he said. She frowned at him.

“That’s it?” the kitsune asked.

“That’s how it is, my dear,” he said. “But you will not die. Enjoy domestic bliss!” And he was gone. Airi shivered as she grabbed her right arm. She hated how right he was. Airi cured herself as she knew what was coming next.