Chapter Fourteen: Circle Reality:

Family meetings. Haruka rubbed her forehead. Her older relatives were in a panic.

“We’re dying at alarming rates,” an old man complained. “They’re killing our children!”

“My granddaughter was murdered last week!” another wailed. “She was five months pregnant!”

“All of my grandchildren were murdered too,” a third one said. It started to repeat itself. Haruka gritted her teeth. She muttered something under her breath at first.

“Enough, already,” she said. “Enough!” The elders didn’t hear her. Haruka slammed her hand on the table.

“Enough!” she shouted. The living room grew quiet. Haruka moved her hands to her lap.

“We have not lost yet,” she said. “Stop crying like little babies!”

“But…” one of the old men said.

“Act like a man!” she snapped. “So we lost some children. So what? We are here!”

“We need the youth to carry out the clan,” another old man said.

“Why?” the old woman asked. “The Mother made her decision! She wants us dead!”

“What?” her family asked. Whispers filled the room.

“Wake up!” Haruka yelled. “You must have seen it now! She’s killing us all!” Admitting that tasted so bitter. She glared at her family.

“Look at all of you!” Haruka shouted. “Whining and crying! Fight back!”

“We can’t,” the old men said. “Our kitsune are getting weaker.”

“It doesn’t matter!” Haruka snapped. “We either fight or die! I choose to fight!” All eyes rested on her. The old lady snorted.

“Pathetic!” she snapped. Haruka rose to her feet. The elders yelled at her to come back. She gritted her teeth.

“Don’t fuck with me!” the old lady screamed. “Stay away from me!” Haruka stormed off upstairs. She stayed in the hall and listened. The chatter made her blood burn. Fools! How could they be this weak? Unforgivable?

Haruka slammed her fist into the wall. She made up her mind.

“I will not die with them,” the old lady muttered. Even after Yasuo’s end result, Haruka would be fighting with her granddaughter and grandson-in-law alone. She didn’t go back into her room until she heard the elders leave.