Chapter Two: Inside Anna’s Mind:

She stared in the mirror. This had to be a dream. Anna pinched her cheek. She looked down her wrists. The cursed scars were gone. She was still alive. She was happily married. The tsukai had a daughter. A kitsune lived in her soul.

And Haruka was dead. But still…

Anna should be happy. She got revenge for her father and her aunts. The clan is dying. It’s all over. So why did she feel like something will go wrong?

She couldn’t help it. Anna kept waiting for something to go wrong. Yes, yes, she should enjoy the peace and all. But why wouldn’t this tension leave? A hand rested on her shoulder.

“You are in a funk,” Airi said. Anna turned her head. The Mother smiled.

“Are you here to tell me to suck it up?” Anna asked.

“No,” Airi said.

“Hm?” the tsukai asked. The Mother grabbed her by the shoulders.

“Just do what you need to do to get it out of your system,” she said. “Take your time. We’re here for you.”

“Thanks,” Anna said in a flat tone. Then Airi was gone. The tsukai leaned against the wall. Sure they were. They loved her.

“I just want to be alone right now,” Anna said to herself. She buried her head in her hands. Another day was about to begin. Tsuzuki had to work. Kirika-chan would need her care again. And then what?

Anna lowered her hands. She needed something to do. A realization washed over her.

“I know what I need to do,” she said to herself.