Chapter Twenty-Six: Confrontation:

-1:00 a.m.-

Haruka made it back to her room. A flash of anger ran across her face.

“I know you’re there,” she said. “Come out and show yourself, Iwao!” She turned around when she heard laughter. Kato materialized in front of her.

“You got me,” he said. The old ghost tried not to laugh. Haruka looked ready to kill him again.

“What do you want?” she asked. Kato broke into a wild grin.

“You are losing your own war,” he said. “How sad.”

“Is that all?” Haruka asked.

“Yes,” Kato said. “Don’t you think you should surrender?” Haruka snorted.

“Me? Surrender?” she asked. “Not a chance.” Kato smiled and shrugged.

“Oh well,” he said. “I tried to warn you.” Haruka wrinkled her nose.

“I refuse to let it end like this,” she muttered.

“You don’t have a choice,” Kato said.

“Shut up!” she yelled.

“Why? Because you don’t want to hear what you’ve known all along?”

“What do you know? You’re dead!”

“I know.”

Haruka gave it her all not to lunge at him. He was just the same as he was in their youth. Why did he get under her skin so much? He noticed her, but that made it worse.

“But, seriously,” Kato said. “Haven’t you had enough?” Haruka stared at him.

“Excuse me?” she asked.

“How long do you plan to drag this out? Your children are almost gone. Your only grandchildren left have turned against you. The younger generation is being slaughtered. The elders want to end this. Why are you still holding on? What’s the point anymore?” The more he spoke, the more Haruka wanted to scream.

“What do you know?” she asked.

“Enough to see Anna wants to move on. She wants revenge for her father and aunts,” Kato said. The old woman’s rage boiled over.

“Anna! Anna! Anna!” she shouted. “Why is it always her?! She’s not worthy of the Mother.”

“But she chose her,”

“I understand it. Why her? Her father was a failure. Why not someone like Victoria? She would’ve been perfect! Why Anna?”

Kato shrugged. “Sorry, that’s just how it is. Oh and the Mother hates you too now.”

“That’s impossible.”

“Come on. Haven’t you noticed it by now? Your kitsune have stopped eating souls. You’re getting weaker. Face it, it’s over for you. Everybody knows it. Why won’t you accept it?” He noticed the look of rage on Haruka’s face. She gritted her teeth. Kato raised his eyebrow.

“What is this?” he asked. “Nothing to say? You have to know that I am right. Maybe you’ll accept it now?” Haruka clenched her fists by her sides. She let out a loud scream and ran towards the ghost.

“Shut up! Shut Up! Shut up!” the old woman shouted.

Haruka awoke in her bed, panting. She looked around in the darkness. No one was in eye sight. Her eyes shifted back and forth.

“What’s wrong, Haruka-sama?” Aki asked. The old lady shook her head.

“He’s back,” she said. “He’s mocking me.”

“What are you talking about? Who’s mocking you?” the kitsune asked. Haruka waved her off and climbed out of bed.

Haruka-sama?” Aki asked. The old lady stared out the window. What was this fear in her chest? His words haunted her the worst.

“Face it, it’s over for you. Everybody knows it. Why won’t you accept it?”

Haruka trembled as she mashed her teeth. Her screaming could be heard from outside in the early morning hours.


Three days later, Kato would be caught again. This time, he couldn’t talk his way out of it. The ghost didn’t act surprised. In face, he put up his hands and smiled.

“You got me!” was all he said. And just like that, the case was over.