Chapter Twelve: Hunting Party:

Tsuzuki didn’t need more headaches. Sadly, a huge one fell in his lap.

After his secret date with Anna, the shinigami slipped down to the bar. His distraction game was successful, but could he keep it up? He stared at his glass.

Maybe I should spice it up some?


Tsuzuki frowned. You’re still here?

This game by that asshole makes things more interesting. How could I not stay away?

This isn’t a game. People are dying.

Hasn’t stopped you before.

But this is different. Anna-chan’s being dragged into the game as a prize. It’s too dangerous.

Which is why you have to keep her distracted.

And how long can we keep that up?

So what do you plan to do? You can’t tell her about his game. He said not to, remember?

Tsuzuki gritted his teeth and cursed himself. However, it didn’t take him long to realize he wasn’t alone. Against his better judgement, the shinigami turned his head. To his dismay sat Thanatos drinking her beer. Tsuzuki chuckled in discomfort. It got worse when she turned her head.

“You!” the bounty hunter shouted, glaring. “Why are you here?”

“Um… I’m having a drink.”

“I know that, dumbass. Why the hell are you in this stinkin’ dump of a love hotel?”

“We’re working a case.”

Thanatos raised an eyebrow. “So the brat’s here too?”

“Yes, he is my partner after all.”

“Uh-huh.” She downed her beer. Tsuzuki tilted his head.

“And why are you here?” he asked. Thanatos shot him the evil eye.

“Why should I tell you?” she asked.


“Because why?”

The shinigami shrugged. “I just want to know.” Thanatos rolled her eyes.

“You’re annoying,” she muttered.

“Hey, you spoke first,” Tsuzuki said. “Speaking of which, where is Eros?”

“Sleeping.” She set down her beer. “We’re hunting.”


Thanatos smirked. “Oh, didn’t you know? There’s a nice, new juicy bounty on the loose.”

Tsuzuki rolled his eyes. “Is it my wife again?”


The shinigami raised an eyebrow. “Huh?”

“Does the name Kato Isao ring any bells?” She took note of Tsuzuki’s wide-eyed expression. “I take it you have.”

“What’s he doing out?” Tsuzuki finally asked. The bounty hunter shrugged.

“You’re asking the wrong person,” she said. “But he’s got a huge price on his head.” Tsuzuki’s eye twitched. Kato still isn’t judged? He had been dead for a year and still hadn’t become a onryo? Sure he used to be a priest, but it didn’t make sense at this point. Thanatos smirked.

“Don’t worry,” she said. “I won’t go after the blow-doll for now.” Tsuzuki gave her a blank stare at first.

“Huh?” he asked.

“You didn’t think I knew you were sneaking her here? You’re lucky that old man’s on the loose. But, I can’t say the same for the others.” The shinigami about spit out his sake.

“Others?!” he asked. “There are more hunters here?!”

“Uh-huh,” she said. “I doubt that they will be so understanding to your blow-up doll.”

“I don’t get it.”

Thanatos raised an eyebrow. “Get what?”

“Why are you telling me all of this? I thought you wanted Anna’s soul that badly.”

“I still do.”

“So why?”

“Just a fair warning. If you get in my way, I will change my mind.” Thanatos got up and paid her tab. Just before she left, the bounty hunter stood behind Tsuzuki.

“If I was you,” she whispered. “I would watch my back.” And then she was gone. The shinigami lowered his head and groaned. Why now? Asmodeus already gave him a headache with this case. Why wouldn’t it just stop? Tsuzuki pulled out his cell phone.

“Hisoka?” he asked.

“Tsuzuki, what’s the matter?” his partner asked. The older shinigami placed his free hand on his forehead.

“We’ve got another problem,” he said. “There are hunters in the area and they are after Kato’s soul.”