Chapter Thirty-Six: Lost at Sea:

They found Amaya's body they day after the murder. A junkie found her while looking for a way to chase his fix in the alley. In an hour, the police crawled all over the place. "The Eda-Kimoto clan killed her." She had the markings on her wrists as proof. "Eda," "Kimoto," and "Fish" were all in Kanji. Just like her husband's victims in the past. No one doubted who did it when they learned the news.

Haruka watched her work among the crowd. Yet, she wasn't finished. There was still one more end to tack. She quietly slipped away.

Shichiro heard the news at Kyoto University. The professor stayed in the bathroom until it was time to go home. He couldn't function for the rest of the day.  The police contacted him at school and asked him a few questions. Shichiro couldn't focus the whole time. He even looked like he would throw up. Sensing that they wouldn't get much out of him in this state, the police let him go for the time being. Amaya's dead? No! It can't be! No!

Kohaku watched from a distance as it shook its head. She actually did it. The kitsune paused in thought. Shit! She can't be� Damn! She wouldn't! He counted down to his master's ruin.

That evening, Shichiro went home. He didn't even make eye contact with anyone. His mind wandered off elsewhere. Amaya� He missed everything about her: her perfume, her nagging, her laugh, her moans in bed, her soft hair�

Shichiro tightly shut his eyes. My heart hurts. He put his hands to his chest. Who could've done this? He shook his head. It doesn't make sense, Amaya-chan� The man finally came home. His kitsune still watched with its tongue held shut. It couldn't tell the truth.

Her powers are suppressing mine. Damn it! She really thought this through. The kitsune couldn't warn the master.

Shichiro closed the front door. He froze when he heard someone clear their throat. He turned to the darkened living room. Haruka sat in Amaya's old chair, waiting. Her son blinked.

"Mama?" he asked. "What are you doing here?"

"I heard the news," she lied as she started up her spell. Shichiro lowered his eyes.

"Oh�" His heart sank again.

Haruka kept her poker face. "Want to avenge her murder?" The sorrow-filled loneliness took over his heart. Kohaku knew what was coming next. Haruka mentally shushed it. Don't say a word! The kitsune nodded at the door. Haruka turned back to her son.

"Well, do you?" she asked. Shichiro got down on his knees before her.

"Yes," he whimpered. His mother smirked.

"You're a good son," she murmured. "Cut out your heart." Shichiro fell under her trance.

"Yes mama," he said. The man put his finger to his chest and drew a diagonal line. His clothes and skin split open. Haruka didn't even flitch as the blood hit her face. She reached in and took out her son's heart. While Shiroko took control, the old lady ate up her son's still heart. She licked up all the blood from her mouth. Shichiro's body fell at her feet. Kohaku watched as he felt his body taken over.

"Now, it begins," it said. Just one more sacrifice�

Then came the morning.