Chapter Seventeen: Broken Pieces:

Haruka panted in the darkness. That first blow took serious hits. As to be expected. That would be the last time though. Right now, they were all in the same boat. It didn’t help that time played against them either.

“Why don’t you just give up?”

Haruka glanced behind her. There was that voice again. The old lady growled.

“You will not get to me,” she hissed.

“Aw, don’t be like that.”

“Why are you here? You’re dead. You hear me? You’re dead!”

“I know.” His voice chilled her. She refused to turn around. Haruka could feel his breath on her ear.

“And you will too.”

“No.” She slapped him away but only felt air behind her. His laughter made her burn.

“Face it. You know what is coming. Why bother dragging this out?”

“Shut up.”

“Hm? Why should I? You and I both know the truth.” His words stung.

“Shut up.”

“Why?” His hand rested on her shoulder. Haruka shivered, trying not to scream. He probably could see her trembling.

“Tell me. How long do you think you can keep up this spell?”


“Haruka. Dearest. You can’t keep this up. Your body is breaking down internally. You’re not trying to die with them too, are you?”

“No.” His voiced started to annoy her.

“So why? Why put yourself through all of this? You will not win. Just give up and save face. What is the point? You are just going to die.” His breath came within inches of her ear.

“You will not win!”

Haruka finally snapped and turned around, screaming. There was no one there. The old lady breathed heavily. Her head started to spin. Haruka sank down onto the floor. She looked up at the ceiling, cursing herself.

“Mistress?” she heard in the darkness. The old lady lifted her head. Aki floated of her head. Haruka had no emotion on her face.

“Oh,” she said.

“Shall I go again?” the kitsune said. Haruka didn’t respond at first.

“Hm? Go ahead, sure,” she said. It was then she saw it. There was a giant chunk of skin and fur missing from Aki’s side.

“Aki… -chan?” she asked. The kitsune looked at her with a strange look on her face.

“Hm?” she asked. Her mistress shook her head.

“Nothing,” she said. “Go.” The kitsune disappeared. Haruka laid back and sighed. She suddenly felt the pain in her side.