Chapter Thirty: Illness Illusion:

Muraki found Anna huddled up on the floor in the darkness. By now, his eyes adjusted to his surroundings. They were in what looked like a room, an attic of some sort. Large pieces of furniture were covered in plastic. The wooden floor creaked with each step. This place looked familiar to Muraki. It didn’t come from his childhood or his current residence. Maybe it was one his old hideouts?

He didn’t have time to think about that.

There was Anna huddled on the floor on the other side of the attic. A crazed look filled his eyes.

“You,” he said. Anna didn’t respond or move. Muraki already saw this was a trap. He smirked and shook his head.

“How long will you keep this up?” he asked. “You must be tired of this by now. You’re almost out of time.” Muraki slowly approached the woman on the floor as he spoke.

“I do mean what I said about kitsune marriages?” he said. “I do not think you and Tsuzuki-san will last.” Muraki didn’t want to make any sudden moves. He didn’t like whatever she was cooking up. She hadn’t moved an inch. That could be her in front of him there. The doctor looked above him. No holes in the ceiling. No cracks either. Muraki checked the walls next. No holes or cracks either. So, that is her on the floor in front of him. The doctor slowed his pace.

“You must have heard the stories,” he spoke up. “The wife is usually chased away when she is found out.” Maybe this was an illusion. It was possible. But, his powers hadn’t returned yet. Hers shouldn’t have either. Did she put a spell on him earlier? That can’t be it either. When would she have the time? The doctor dug in his brain over the previous hours. There was no way. She didn’t have the time. That was Anna lying on the huddled on the floor before him.

The doctor started walking again.

“Do you really think you and Tsuzuki-san will stay together?” he asked. No answer. Was she even alive? Was she asleep? No, this was a trap. He was sure of it. But, what was she doing? His hutch told him that she was hiding a weapon under her body. Muraki stood on his tip toes for a better look.

“This plan won’t work on me,” he said. “I know you have a weapon under there. Do you really think you can kill me that way?” Anna didn’t even budge. Another thought crossed the doctor’s brain as he walked closer. Was that really Anna huddled on the floor in front of him? It could be the Mother inside Anna’s body. They seemed to have been switching back and forth this whole time. Who was that really in front of him on the floor? Muraki stopped in his tracks.

“Who are you really?” he asked. “Are you Kimoto-san or the Mother?” The woman didn’t respond. Muraki gritted his teeth. This lack of response was starting to get to him. How long was she going to drag this out? She wanted him to run over to her and spring the trap. The doctor refuse to give in.

She will not take me. I won’t let her win.

But then, he heard a rattling noise around his head. Muraki jerked upwards. Nothing. His eyes trailed the darkness. Nothing. Still nothing. He turned back to the woman huddled on the floor half a way away from him. Anna hadn’t moved from where he found her. The move he stared at her, the angrier the doctor became. He mashed his teeth.

“You!” Muraki barked. She mocked him huddled there. His resolve went to war with his patience. How could she get to him like this? She was just a mere woman with a kitsune. He had the advantage over her. Muraki had the money and the power. There was no way she could beat him like this. What made it worse was Tsuzuki. They were happily married with a child. This wasn’t right. The more he thought about it, the more his anger burned. Three years was far too long for him to keep it together. Cracks grew deeper in his mask. Tonight, Anna and the Mother drove them in deeper. Since when did he become the puppet in her game?

And then, her voice rang aloud in his head once again. Her words were just the thing to make him snap.

“You will never have him.”

Muraki turned and raced towards the huddled woman on the ground. He had his claws above his head. The doctor resembled nothing of the cold gentleman doctor he was in the public. She turned him into a wild animal. Muraki let out a wild barbaric scream.

“You!” he shouted. The doctor pounced upon the couched woman.


Anna sprung up like a serpent and took Muraki’s head clean off with the knife. She stood with numb legs, panting. Muraki’s body fell to the floor. The head landed at her feet. Anna snorted with a cold glare on her face.

“Animal,” she muttered. The attic around her disappeared. Anna found herself back in the park. She kicked away Muraki’s head. Anna wiped down the knife and closed her eyes.

“It’s over,” she said to herself. “I did it. It’s all over, Asato-kun. I did it for you.” She dropped her shoulders and breathed out.

“You good?” Airi asked.

“Yeah,” Anna said. She turned and walked out of the park.


Hisoka awoke in his bed, screaming. His body felt like it was fire. He took off his night shirt and ran to the bathroom. He looked in the mirror. The curse marks faded at first. Hisoka winced.

“What is this?” he asked. The marks suddenly grew darker. Horror washed over his face.  Hisoka sank to his knees.

“No…” he murmured. The shinigami drew his knees to his chest.


-Three Weeks Later-

Tsuzuki and Anna were laughing and walking home from the movies. She smiled and leaned on his arm.

“When was the last time we had a night out like this?” Anna asked. Tsuzuki took a moment to think.

“I don’t know,” he said.

“I love you, Asato-kun,” she said. Tsuzuki patted her on the head.

“I love you too,” he said. Anna basked in his love. But then, a feeling of dread washed over her. Against her better judgement, she looked up ahead of them on the street as they passed a drugstore. A figure in white stood under a dimly lit streetlight. Anna shook her head as the color drain from her face.


Muraki Kazutaka stood inches away, staring at her. His smirk made her blood run cold. Anna shook her head.

No… That can’t be possible. You’re dead! I killed you! I cut your fucking head off! I saw it! You’re dead! You’re dead! You’re fucking dead! You’re fucking dead!

Muraki’s smirk made Anna’s heart pound against her chest. Her eyes widened she heard him laugh in her head.

Usagi-chan? Usagi-chan?” she heard next to her. Anna quickly turned her head. Tsuzuki looked at her with concern in her eyes. His wife blinked.

“Hm?” she asked.

“Are you feeling okay” Tsuzuki asked. Anna turned to the streetlight. There was nobody there this time. Anna turned back to her husband.

“Yeah,” she said. “I’m just tired. Can I just go to bed?”

“Uh… sure, I guess,” he said. Anna rested her head on his shoulder.

“Thank you, you baby,” she whispered. The feeling of foreboding wouldn’t leave her throat.