Chapter Twenty-Two: Mama Fox in Protection Mode:

Airi sat brooding in the dark. Tsuzuki made it to living room. The kitsune turned her head.

“Good, you’re here,” she said.

“What do you want?” the shinigami asked.

“Sit down,” Airi commanded. Tsuzuki sat down next to her.

“How is Kirika-chan?” Airi asked.

“Fine,” he said. “She’s asleep right now.”

“Good,” she said. “I saw everything.” Tsuzuki turned his head.

“Who was it?” he asked.

“A low-level spirit,” Airi said. The shinigami gave her an odd look.

“What do you mean?” he asked. Airi gave him a serious look.

“This rarely happens,” she said. “But somehow Kirika-chan woke him up.”

“So… what do we do?” the shinigami asked.

“We still have time,” the kitsune said.

“Huh?” he asked.

“He’s still not strong enough,” she said. “He will get stronger. As long as he has that tie to our daughter, he won’t give up.”

“So what do we do?” Tsuzuki asked. Airi took him by the hands.

“I will go down and severe the ties,” she said. “It won’t be easy. There might be a price to pay for it.”


“There is no other way. Only I can do this.”

“Does Usagi-chan know about this?”

“No.” She saw him frowned at her.

“What?” Airi asked.

“She has to know,” Tsuzuki said. “You are in my wife’s body after all.” Airi had no emotion on her face.

“And that’s why she needs to stay out of this,” she said. Tsuzuki frowned. Airi took him by the hands.

“Look,” she said. “I understand how you feel. We don’t need to drag her into this. Anna might try to interfere. We can’t afford it. Our daughter is in danger. Do you understand this?” Tsuzuki clutched her hand.

“Understood,” he said.

“Thank you,” the kitsune said. She took a breath. Her hand slipped from his grip.

“What do we do for the time being?” Tsuzuki asked.

“Keep an eye on her,” Airi said. “You might want to handle her aunt too.” Tsuzuki blinked.

“What did she do now?” he asked.

“She hadn’t done much yet,” Airi said. “However, I wouldn’t put it past her to try.” Tsuzuki frowned.

“Yeah,” he said in a dry tone. Airi rose to her feet.

“Going to bed?” Tsuzuki asked. The kitsune stretched her arms above her head.

“Nah,” she said. “I have to get going. The best time to act before the sun comes up.”

“So you are leaving now?” he asked.

“Uh-huh,” Airi said. She turned and looked at her husband.

“Listen to me,” she said. “I might not be back for a few days.” She put her finger to his lips.

“Don’t talk,” the kitsune said. “Just listen.” Tsuzuki closed his mouth.

“Good,” Airi said. “I won’t be back for a few days. You say a word, I will make you miserable. Got it?” Her husband slowly nodded.

“Goo,” she said again. Her hands rested on his cheeks.

“I will let you know where to get me,” Airi whispered. “Keep our daughter safe, okay?”

“Yes,” Tsuzuki said. The kitsune gave him a quick kiss on the lips. She slowly backed away. Airi put her hand up in the air She closed her eyes and chanted to herself. In a flash, she had vanished. Tsuzuki didn’t sleep for the rest of the night.