Chapter Four: Contract Terms:

Hitomi sat alone in her room. Kato left her with a heavy option.

-Days Earlier-

“I want you to help me stop Haruka,” he told her. “She can’t keep trying to kill Malchik.”

“Malchik?” Hitomi asked.



“We know Haruka can’t keep doing this. The clan is dying. I can feel that the Mother is trying to kill them.”

Hitomi’s jaw dropped. “The Mother’s back?”

“You must have felt it yourself.”

The kitsune pressed her lips together as she lowered her head. “I have. I just didn’t want to believe it.”

Kato gave her a curious look. “What makes you say that?”

She closed her hands into fists. “It means the end for all of us.” Hitomi lifted her head. “I felt her regret when she got free. She means to kill her children for their crimes.”

“And why are you worried about that? You can’t seriously support this madness.”

“I don’t! I don’t.”

“Then why?”

“She saved me.”

Kato snorted. “Heh, yeah.”

“I mean it. She saved my life.” Hitomi lowered her shoulders. “I would’ve died without her.”

“That’s how that family operates. Always picking up the strays.”

“Why are you so bitter towards Haruka-sama?”

Kato tried to force himself to calm down. “She killed Juriko-san.”

“But that was an accident.”

“No, it wasn’t!” He slammed his fist against the wall, shaking the room.

“Hey!” Hitomi shouted. “The principal’s renting out this apartment to me! I can’t any damages done to it!” Kato cleared his throat.

“I apologize,” he said.

“What was she to you?”

“A friend.”

“Were you close?”

“Not really.”

Hitomi tilted her head. “Then why?”

“I feel that I have to. Please don’t you my motives.”

“Does it involve your wife and daughter?”

Kato whipped his head around. “Who told you about them?”

“They were in the news.” She reached under her bed and pulled out a shoebox. “I collect things about my targets. Helps me take form of their loved ones.”

“That’s how you killed me?”

“Yes. And I apologize again for that.” Hitomi opened the box. Kato looked at the various photos, watches, rings, and newspaper articles. He whistled as he shook his head.

“Shit, that’s a lot of stuff,” the ghost said. Hitomi lowered her head.

“Yes,” she muttered. The teacher closed the box. Kato noticed the sorrowed and guilt in her eyes.

“Well,” he said. “I can free you from killing.”

Hitomi looked up, big-eyed. “What?” He put his hand on hers.

“Just think about it for me,” Kato said.


Hitomi stared at her box. Freedom from killing. It would be nice. She kept the box of targets as a reminder of her crimes. Hitomi shut her eyes. Haruka-sama, we can’t keep going like this. Why didn’t you tell how bad it really was? Don’t you trust me enough? She opened her eyes when her phone rang.

“Hello?” she asked after she picked up.

“Hitomi-chan?” a woman’s voice asked. A chill raced down Hitomi’s spine.


“Are you feeling okay? You seem so worried. Did something happen?”

The kitsune shook her head. “Oh. No. It’s just school stuff on my mind.”

“Grading and children?”

“Yeah.” Hitomi rubbed her forehead. “Is something on your mind?”

“Ah, no. I’m just calling to check on you.”

The kitsune raised an eyebrow. “Since when?”

“Excuse me?”

She took a deep breath. “You never call to check on me. You only call for jobs.”

“Is something bothering you, my dear?”

“Look, just tell me if you are dying or not.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Please! Just tell me if you are or not!”

Haruka sighed over the phone. “Yes, we are dying. It would appear that the Mother is trying to kill us.”


“Stop, please.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Oh, dearest. I didn’t want you to see me as weak.”

“But Haruka-sama…” Hitomi sank to her knees. “Don’t you trust me enough?”

“I do. But there are just some things I can’t have you worrying other.”

Hearing her say that stung the teacher in the chest. Sure, Haruka tried to protect her from the ugliness of the clan, but now that ship was sinking… Hitomi clutched her phone.

“Thank you and good night,” she said.

“Wait, you won’t stay on and chat?” Haruka asked.

“I’m sorry, I’m going to bed early tonight.”

“Okay then, good night.”

The teacher hung up and laid on her small bed. She used a nail to write a message on her hand. Hitomi closed her fist.


Outside, Kato opened his hand to reveal a small piece of crumpled up paper. He opened it and smirked to himself.

“I figured as much,” he said to himself.

Tell me what I need to do.