Chapter Twenty-Seven: Logic Moon:

Daisuke froze at the seriousness behind his words.

 “There is something I didn’t tell you,” Kato began. “I knew your mother when we were younger.”

“What?” Daisuke asked with shock in his voice. Kato didn’t wait for him to ask any more questions before he continued.

“I met them when I was about eleven or twelve years old,” he picked up. At first, Daisuke didn’t see where this was going.

“Them?” he asked.

“You mother and her twin sister, Juriko,” the old man replied. Daisuke shook his head really puzzled. “Mom doesn’t have any siblings,” he said.

“She did,” Kato insisted. “She was your aunt, Juriko.”

“She never told me about this,” Daisuke said.

“There are many things your mother never told you,” the old man said in a stern tone. He now had the younger man’s attention.

“Okay,” he said in low voice. “When did you meet them?” Daisuke looked over his shoulder to check if his daughter was sound asleep in her bed.

“We all live in a small village in Nara,” Kato went on, “They lived with their parents and their father suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from World War II.”

“Now, she told us that,” Daisuke said. “What happened to this sister of hers?”

“She died in 1950 on her birthday,” the old man explained.

“What?” he asked.

“She was skating on an icy pond and for no reason at all, the ice broke underneath and she fell in,” Kato replied, “She drowned and died of hypothermia.”

Daisuke already had the next question in mind when he caught his tone. “You don’t believe it was an accident, do you?”

“Your mother killed her,” Kato said in a serious tone.

Daisuke looked rather puzzled over the phone. “But how? Aunt Juriko was out on the ice, right?”

“You remember how your powers manifest in your clan, yes?” Kato asked.

“Of course,” Daisuke replied. “Our powers manifest after we make one certain wish in our teens years--” He froze when he said those words as he drew his own conclusion. “You don’t mean to say…”

“Yes,” Kato answered.

“But why?” Daisuke asked.

“Jealousy,” the old man simply said.

The younger man’s eyes widened with such alarm. “What did you say?”

“Juriko was pretty popular and not bad to look at back then,” Kato explained with a little nostalgia in his voice. “Your mother was also lovely too, but nobody took notice of her.”

Daisuke tried to put the facts together in his head. “So, mom probably killed my aunt because she got more attention than she did?”

“That’s my belief, anyway,” the old man summed up. He paused when another thought crossed his mind. “It’s funny, Haruka always wanted to be alone.”

“I believe that,” Daisuke replied. His own questions started up in his head again. “Hey, Kato-san.”

“Yes, boy?”

“Did you know who I was when I came running to the village?”

“Not at first,” the old man admitted. “But then, I did a little background check on you through a couple of detective friends of mine.” Daisuke’s face dropped when he heard his answer. How many connections does this guy have? Who is he?

“So, why didn’t you try to send me back to my family?” the younger man asked.

“Your daughter,” Kato replied.

Daisuke looked rather confused when he heard that.  “But why?”

Kato paused as he grinded his teeth over the phone. “There are two reasons for that.”

“And they are?”

“First, Anna-chan reminded me of my own daughter,” Kato said. Daisuke really hadn’t expected to hear that one.

“You had a daughter?”

“And a wife,” the old man replied.

“What happened to them?”

“I’m going to tell you a little story,” Kato answered. “Do you have time for this?”

Daisuke looked at the kitchen clock. Something told him this would take a while, but he needed to know every single little detail order to stop this madness that had returned to him. He might as well hear him out. “Sure, why not?”

“Alright,” Kato said. “Did you know I used to be a priest?”

The younger man’s jaw dropped at that question. “What?!?”

The old man chuckled over the phone. “It’s true.”

Daisuke’s eyes shifted around at first. “Then, why did you stop?”

“I fell in love,” the former priest said simply.

“Fell in love?” Daisuke repeated.

"Back in spring of 1959, I met a young woman named Hino Michiko," the old man answered, "Me being young and naïve then, I fell in love with her. Michiko-chan was a bright and beautiful sweetheart. She came from a wealthy high-class family. I didn't care about any of that. I loved Michiko-chan for who she was. There was a problem, however. I was a priest and wanted to keep my vow of chastity.”

“Then what happened?” the younger man asked.

"I turned to another priest for help. He told me to act on my feelings in a pure way. He suggested taking it slow. I wasn't sure at first. In the end, I asked Michiko-chan out on a date. She said yes. From there, we became a couple,” Kato explained, “Four years later, Michiko-chan and I were married. We were a happy couple, yet Michiko-chan kept having the feeling that we were missing something. She didn't know what it was for years. So one day, I wished that the answer would find her. Then in summer of 1968, Michiko-chan started feeling sick. I thought my wife had come down with a stomach virus. Turns out, my Michiko-chan was pregnant. She had finally gotten her answer. On February second 1969, our angel, Midori-chan, was born. Her mother and I loved her so much. You could say that we were an ideal family, but then it all went to pieces."

“What happened?” Daisuke asked.

"A month after her sixth birthday, Midori-chan fell ill," Kato went on, "At first, it was minor, but then, it just got worse and worse. The doctors couldn't help her and Michiko-chan and I didn't know what to do. All we could do was watch our daughter's life slip away. On September twelfth, Midori-chan died when she was only seven. I couldn't even do the funeral ceremony; another priest had to take my place. Then a month later, Michiko-chan became ill with the same disease Midori-chan had. Six months later, she was dead too."

“That’s terrible…” Daisuke said.

"It was as if after Midori-chan died, my wife had lost the will to live,” the old man said with a trembling voice. He began to chuckle.

“I have healing powers,” Kato spoke up. “How ironic! A man with great healing powers and I couldn't even save my own family from illness! After that, I lost interest in life. I quit being a priest after Michiko-chan's death and have kept to myself ever since until you and Anna-chan came along.”

The last statement brought Daisuke to his other question. “What was the other reason you didn’t turn Anna-chan and myself back to my family?”

Kato paused to recollect himself and deliver the other bombshell. “Anna-chan is the key to end your clan’s curse.”

Daisuke was blown away when he heard that man confess such a thing. “What?!” He had to cover his mouth and look around rather nervously. The man relaxed when he heard nobody coming for him.

“I had a vision ten days ago,” Kato explained. “A kitsune in red told me that only the Mother Kitsune of your clan can put a stop to the bloodshed and violence they have spread upon Japan.”

“But how?” the younger man asked on his end of the line. “She doesn’t even know how to use spells. I didn’t teach her any tsukai magic at all. I even sealed Anna-chan’s kitsune away.”

“Is the shield complete?” Kato asked. Daisuke looked down at his feet rather sheepishly.

“Not really…” he admitted in a mumble.

“And why is that?” the old man asked. Daisuke bit his lower lip.

“I wasn’t strong enough then,” he admitted in a low voice.

“Kid, you don’t have to lie to me, you know?” Kato said, “You can tell me, it’s fine. Now tell me why you really didn’t complete the shield.” Daisuke swallowed hard before breaking down and telling him the real reason. For a moment there, he forgot that he was talking to an actual former priest who was pretty much familiar with the clan and kitsune-tsukai magic. He guessed that he really didn’t have much of a choice in that matter. Outside the house, crickets lightly buzzed in the night.

“I see,” Kato replied. “Have you been preparing for the worse, then?”

“Yes, I have.”

“Then, let me offer you this little warning,” the old man concluded. “Please be on your guard. You and Anna-chan are now in danger because you left the village.”

“Yes,” Daisuke replied.

“When the time comes, Anna-chan has to be ready to fight against the clan in order to end the curse,” Kato finished up. “That is all I can tell you for now, goodbye.” Daisuke stared at the receiver moments after the old man hung up. Anna-chan’s going to be the savior to this clan? The man sighed and lowered his head. It all just sounded like more of a mess to him.