Chapter Twenty-Four: Connections:

April and Kyosuke arrived in Watari’s lab.

“Oh good,” the blonde scientist said. “You made it.” 003 happily flapped her wings.

“What did you find?” April asked. Watari grinned.

“Behold,” he said. The shinigami turned to his laptop. He pulled up a map of Japan on the screen.

“Found them!” Watari said. April and Kyosuke crowded around the laptop. Thirty-five glowing dots flashed all over the map.

“It this…?” Kyosuke asked.

“Yes,” Watari said. “I found them.”

“Nice,” Kyosuke said.

“Is it under one person?” April asked.

“Yes,” the scientist answered. “I can’t trace who yet. I only have the marking.” Watari pulled up a picture of a snake wrapped around a peony flower. The pink and gold colors popped out on the screen. April gasped.

“I’ve seen that before!” she said. The English shinigami pulled out her phone.

“I saw this in Shinjuku last week,” April said. Watari and Kyosuke crowded around her phone. The same snake and flower were spray-painted on a brick wall.

“Where in Shinjuku did you see this?” Watari asked.

“Near the police station,” April said. “But, humans couldn’t see it.”

“They couldn’t?” Kyosuke asked.

“No,” she said. “Only I could see it.”

“Just as I figured,” Watari said. “Guy, we have a core ring on our hands.” He went back to the map. The lights went up east Honshu. One was in Hokkaido. Two in Kyushu.

“Where do we start?” Kyosuke asked. Watari rubbed his forehead.

“Find the leader of course,” he said. “Killing the farms will take up too much time.”

“Don’t you think we should find the main farm first?” April asked.

“Yes,” Watari said. “I went on ahead and found it.” He clicked on the light in Hokkaido.

“I checked,” he said. “I am certain this is it. Most of the signals come from the towers inside.” Watari turned to the other shinigami.

“He might not be there, but we can draw him out,” he said. “I’ll already have friends up there waiting for you.”

“Yes sir,” Kyosuke and April said.

“Go in and destroy the whole core farm,” their manager said. “Once that farm is destroyed, the other will follow. You will get three days to do it.”

“Yes,” April and Kyosuke said.

“I will send the directions to your phones,” the blonde scientist said. “I’ll cover the costs of your tickets.”

“Yes sir,” the shinigami said. They bowed and headed out of the lab.

“Good luck,” Watari said. Suddenly, his cell phone rang.

“Hello?” the blonde scientist asked. The following words drew his attention straight forward.

“I know who’s hunting Kimoto-san and the Mother.”

Watari’s eyes shifted to the phone. “And why should I believe you?”

“Because, I am the employer’s son.”

“Go on…” Meanwhile, Watari started to take notes. Something about this call sent off red flags in his mind.