Chapter Twenty-Six: Cursed:

May 23rd, 2009, 10:00 p.m.

Tsuzuki and Hisoka appeared in front of Kimoto Manor. Right off the bat, they could sense something off.

�Anna�s in trouble,� Tsuzuki whispered.

�Yes,� Hisoka said. Suddenly, the boys felt someone else present. They looked and saw the demon trio appearing next to them. Emiko looked at the Shinigami and grinned.

�Hey guys,� she said, waving at them. Hisoka glared at them.

�What do you want?� he growled at the ladies and gentleman. Emiko shrugged off the hostility.

�Now, now,� she said, �We�re all here for the same reason. Can we at least be civil for one moment to save Anna? Something tells me that we don�t have much time.� The butch demon had a point there. Tsuzuki nodded.

�Alright,� he said. �Let�s go!� They vanished into the manor. Haruka was just about to stab Anna when she sensed someone in the building. A smirk came onto her face.

�Oh how cute, you�re friends are here to rescue you,� she said.

�Huh?� the younger woman asked as she jerked her eyes open at those words. Haruka smiled at her granddaughter wickedly as she leaned into her ear.

�I�ll deal with you later,� the old woman hissed. Haruka walked to the doorway and found the rescue party standing before her.

�Well, well, well, Shinigami and demons,� she said, �This is rather unexpected.�

�Let Anna go!� Tsuzuki snapped. Haruka shook her head smiling.

�I�m afraid I can�t do that,� she said, �She has the kitsune locked inside of her and I�m going to kill her for it to save the bloodline!�

�Save the blo�� Tsuzuki began to ask. Then, it donned him, �You�re all dying, aren�t you? Your kitsune are rejecting souls now?� When Anna heard that, shock and anger swept over her.

So that�s why she had papa killed!, she thought. Haruka glared at them with her knife still in hand.

�Then we�ll take her from you!� Emiko yelled as she took a step forward. The old woman snorted at them.

�I really don�t have time for this!� she hissed, �So I�ll make it quick.� Haruka held up two fingers to her chest and began to chant under her breath. Thin white clouds formed beside of her. Tsuzuki reached into his coat with the intent to attack. The white-silver kitsune floated by her master.

�Yes mistress,� she said.

�Shiroko, take care of our annoying guests for me,� the old lady commanded her.

�Of course, mistress!� the kitsune said. Shiroko flew to attack as the icy fire raged in her eyes. Tsuzuki drew out his fuda while the demons chanted their own spells. Tsuzuki chanted his spell to crush Shiroko, but she dodged the first with such grace.

�What the hell?!?� he blurted out. Haruka smirked at them.

�Fuda won�t work,� she blurted out, �This kitsune has had a little more experience!� Shiroko sailed closer to bite the Shinigami. Her fangs resembled icicles in a cave. Mike quickly pushed him out of the way and took a bite to the shoulder.

�You okay?� Tsuzuki asked.

�It�s fine,� Mike said through clenched teeth, �It�s just a scratch, but my shoulder feels so heavy. Finish them!� Haruka laughed at the results.

�Oh my, Shiroko just gave you her icy kiss,� she said, �I wonder how long before the ice takes over you?� Mike sucked in a mouthful of air as the ice began to spread on his shoulder. Emiko stepped up to attack.

�Hoto-chan, tend to his wound,� she commanded her girlfriend.

�Roger!� the loli demon answered. Emiko turned back to the old lady and the kitsune. She drew her fingers into a circle and a hazy green light began to form around them.

�St. Mary lend me your strength and come forth!� the demon chanted. The light intensified into flames around the circle. Emiko turned to Tsuzuki as sweat ran down her face.

�Now, Tsuzuki!� she yelled, �I can only hold it for so long!�

�Right!� the Shinigami agreed. The man drew out his fuda and tried his chant again. Shiroko got up for more; her elegant smile looked more like Satan�s mask. Emiko watched closely, not letting up on the spell as sweat stained her shirt.

Come on, she thought to her target, Come to mama, you bitch! As if in a hungry trance, Shiroko sailed over to the demon. Emiko smirked at the results.

�Now, Tsuzuki!� the butch demon yelled. The Shinigami summoned Byakko for attack. The white tiger flew through the circle and bit Shiroko right in the neck. The kitsune shrieked aloud in pain as sparks from the ring shot out and landed on anything in their path.

�Shiroko!� Haruka yelled in shook as Byakko ripped into the kitsune�s body with his teeth and claws. The stunned creature collapsed to the ground with its silver white now being soaked with red. The old woman ran to her kitsune and held her in her arms. She felt a sharp pain in her chest as if the kitsune�s was flowing into her body. Shiroko was still alive, but seriously injured. Blood poured from her wounds, soaking her mistress� clothes as she wept. Then, her sorrow turned into rage as she looked up at the crew.

�You monsters!� Haruka yelled. Then, she heard the clock chime in the background. The old woman cursed herself softly.

�Damn it,� she muttered, �It�s too late; I failed to kill her!� The old woman stood up with her kitsune.

�I will be back to kill Anna for this! Mark my words!� she snapped. The crew moved to trap Haruka, but she got away while teleporting out. On the up side, Anna was still alive. The crew hurried over to the woman. She still sat in the chair, now free to move again.

�Kimoto-san, are you alright?� Hisoka asked.

�Yeah,� she said dryly, �Just happy to move on my own again.� Close to midnight, Anna and Tsuzuki sat on the front porch. Anna fidgeted with her hands in the warm early spring morning.

�They killed Papa to keep themselves alive,� she murmured, �It�s just so� so��

�Stupid?� Tsuzuki suggested.

�Yes,� she said nodding. Anna tightly pressed her lips together. She pressed her hands together in the same manner.

�I know the truth now,� Anna said. She turned to Tsuzuki.

�You can take the Hell Stone from me if you want,� she said. The Shinigami smiled as he shook his head.

�Nah,� he said, �We need you alive to track down your family. We can�t let any more innocent people die.� Anna looked at him oddly.

�Is that all?� she asked with an eyebrow raised. Tsuzuki shook his head as he lightly took her by the hand.

�I want to get to know you better,� he replied. Alarm spread all over Anna�s face. His hand clutching hers added onto the effect.

�Why?� she asked. The Shinigami shrugged at her in a goofy way.

�Just cause�� he said.

�Just cause what?� the woman asked.

�Just because I want to,� Tsuzuki answered playfully. Anna just couldn�t help but to smile at that logic.

�Good enough,� she said to him in an upbeat tone. She held his hand as well as both sat in the silent dark.

May 27th, 2009, 7:00 a.m.

Hisoka got off his cell phone with Konoe. He found Tsuzuki and Anna in the living room.

�The boss called,� he announced, �We�ve got another body.�

�Let�s go!� his partner said. Hisoka left first. Tsuzuki turned to Anna.

�Ready to do this?� he asked.

�Yeah,� she said in a low voice. They both got up off of the couch. Tsuzuki lightly took her hand in his. Anna�s heart fluttered in her chest.

�Tsuzuki�� she murmured. The Shinigami shushed her gently.

�It�s okay,� he whispered. Anna looked at him in a joking way.

�But, they�ll talk,� she whispered with a smile on her face. Tsuzuki gave her a little shrug.

�Let �em,� the Shinigami replied, smiling back at her. The pair headed out to join their friend on the new part of the Ed-Kimoto case.