Chapter Thirty-Four: Dark Carnival:

Shichiro looked out the window of his bedroom at the street below. Kohaku floated over to the old professor. Shichiro smiled to himself.

"Ah Kohaku," he cooed as he patted the kitsune on the head. The creature’s ear laid back as it took in the affection.

"You summoned me, my lord?" Kohaku asked.

"Mmm," Shichiro replied. "I have a job for you." Kohaku's head perked up.

"Ooo," the kitsune said. "What is it?"

"I want you to take care of some pesky shinigami for me," the professor said. Kohaku felt like flying high in the sky. Shichiro petted it to keep it calmer.

"I'm not done yet," he said. Shichiro blew on the glass. The kitsune looked along with him as Hisoka's image appeared before him.

"The little one here will be your target," Shichiro replied. "He seems to have developed some strong feelings for his partner." He looked at his pet with a deviant smile on his face. "Now," he said. "I want you to exploit him. Get inside his head. Use his feelings against his partner and Anna. Can you do that?" Kohaku squinted and frowned.

"Yeah, but…" it replied.

"What's the matter?" the master asked with an eyebrow raised. The kitsune glanced at him.

"It's just, why him? " it asked. "Why not go after your niece? She is the real target, isn’t she?"

"Ah, you are familiar with the domino effect, right?" Shichiro cut in.

"It's where one domino falls and the rest follows, yes?" Kohaku asked.

"Correct, and the little one is the first domino," the master summed up. The kitsune nodded as it said where Shichiro was going with this plan.

"Oh, I see!" it said, licking its nose afterwards.

"So, you up to the job?" its master said. Kohaku grinned and nodded.

"Yes my lord," it replied. "I won't fail you." The kitsune vanished. Shichiro smirked to himself as he looked back out the now-clear window.

And so the present begins, he thought.


On that same morning, Hisoka peeked into Anna and Tsuzuki's room. His heart sank when he found it vacant as he wandered further inside. The futon still looked slept in. The boy knelt down on the sheets. His fingers touched Tsuzuki's pillow.

Still warm…

"Isn't it?" a voice asked behind him. Hisoka froze in place.

"Who's there?" he asked. The room suddenly became veiled in black. The shinigami jerked around.

"It's only me," the voice said. A child stood in the open darkness. Could be a boy or a girl, Hisoka wasn't sure. It looked about eleven or twelve tops, maybe thirteen. The child had snow white robes on with equally snow white hair and blood red eyes. Hisoka squinted for a better look through the overpowering white. Alarm shot through his brain when he caught a look at the child’s true nature for only a second.

"You're a kitsune!" he exclaimed. Kohaku giggled. The beautiful sound made the shinigami cringe with dread.

"Very good," the child said. Hisoka looked around for a weapon. The child shook their head at him.

"All that's not necessary," it said. "I just want to talk." Hisoka didn't trust the child; the cold look in his eyes said it all. Kohaku shrugged at him.

"Fine, I'll talk then," it said. Hisoka glared at the child.

"Geez, not exactly friendly, are you?" Kohaku asked. "Anyway, I can see your feelings. You're in love, aren't you?" Hisoka's cheeks flushed a heated red.

"It's not like that!" he protested. Kohaku smirked at him.

"Sure it is," it replied. "I can smell the infatuation leaking out of your soul." The child shut its eyes and took it all in. "Mmm!" it said. "You're making my mouth water." Kohaku paused as he drew his hungry eyes open.

"But what's this?" the kitsune asked. Hisoka froze up. Kohaku licked its lips at him. "Oh, I see," it said. "You've got some ballast in your soul." Hisoka's mood changed to jagged fear. The shinigami felt an icy prickling cover his body as Kohaku closed its eyes again.

"Stay back!" he snapped. "Don't look into my mind! Don't look into my mind! Don't look into my mind! Don’t look into my mind!" The kitsune held out its hand. Suddenly, its eyes snapped open. The child smirked as arousal drowned its eyes.

"This is much better than I hoped!" it cheered. "I understand now." The child walked up to its victim. It sniffed him again. "Your parents saw you as a monster, didn’t they?" it said in a low voice. The kitsune nuzzled his neck. "They locked you away,” its voice rolled out as smooth as honey. “They hated you; they wished they had killed you at birth." Kohaku licked Hisoka on the neck as it pushed him to the floor. "Then there's Muraki!" it hissed with its eyes glowing with its hunger. Hisoka's eyes widened with dread.

"No! Stop it! Please!" he pleaded in a hoarse voice. Kohaku embraced Hisoka as if he were a new lover.

"Oh yes,” it hissed in its target’s ear. “You saw something you ought not to see that night didn't you?" Kohaku slid its hand under Hisoka's shirt. "Mmm. Muraki tackled you, stripped you of your clothes, raped you, and cursed you to die a slow, agonizing death for three years."

"Stop it, please! No more!" the shinigami pleaded in a weak voice. Kohaku eyed him from nibbling his neck sensually.

"Stop?” the kitsune asked in a husky voice. “But we've only started." Kohaku stripped off Hisoka's orange shirt. "I haven't gotten to the good part!" Kohaku kissed Hisoka's neck again long enough to leave a mark on the pale skin.

"Three years in the hospital led to nothing but an early gave. Then, you met Tsuzuki-san." The child gave the shinigami's bare, cursed chest many tiny, butterfly kisses. "Mmm, your curse is so good,” it whispered. “It adds a tangy kick to your soul, just like Tsuzuki-san keeps your life from being boring." The kitsune licked around his nipple. "But then, she came along,” the beast lowered its voice. Oh yes, Kimoto Anna-san herself." Hisoka shut his eyes as if to block out the mental pain. Kohaku nipped at the warm, naked flesh under its mouth.

"She ruins everything, doesn't she?” it pushed. “Thirteen years and he hasn't even given you a second look. Then after ten years, she appears in his life and boy do the sparks light up and fly!" Kohaku's hands slid down into Hisoka's jeans. It looked deep into the boy's eyes.

"You know what I think?” the kitsune asked. “He's going to push you out of his life and replace you with her. That's not right. You're more worthy to have him than she'll ever be! You should steal him back from that little bitch!"

"But how? Show me what to do," Hisoka whispered in a hoarse voice. Kohaku backed away and leaned into Hisoka's ear.

"Let me show you," the kitsune whispered. The darkness faded; Hisoka looked to find himself back in Tsuzuki and Anna's room. A new emotion filled him, one of jealousy and bitter rage with only one way to fix that.


Kohaku sat back and watched the first domino fall.