Chapter Nineteen: Monster on Tape:
December 22nd, 2009.
The crew caught onto a hint of the game in the middle of the afternoon. Emiko, Hotaru, and Mike arrived at Kimoto Manor. Emiko knocked on the door. She and the other two demons didn't have to wait long for the door to open. Tatsumi looked at the trio.
"How is she?" Emiko asked. The shinigami shook his head.
"No change," he replied. "Watari-san's still working on breaking down the poison."
"Who's with Anna now?" Mike asked.
"Hisoka and Willow," Tatsumi replied. The demons frowned.
"And the Americans?" Hotaru questioned.
"Still here, regretfully," he answered.
"You have to get rid of them," Emiko reminded him.
"I know!" he said. Tatsumi then noticed a brown box with Hotaru's name, but the address was scrabbled in a mess in Emiko's hand.
"What do you have there?" he asked. The butch demon handed it forward.
"Oh, this came by our house by accident," she said. "That mailman, I'm convinced he needs new glasses each year."
"Alright," Tatsumi said as he took the box. "I'll get it to Kimoto-san when she recovers." He was about to close the door when Emiko stuck her foot inside. Tatsumi gave her an odd look.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
"You need to hear the tape inside," she said.
"Okayï¿½" he said, missing the boat. Hotaru shook her head.
"No," she pushed. "You need to hear it!" The secretary took it all in.
"Fine, fine," he said. "Come in." The three demons followed him into the house. Tatsumi got out Daisuke's tape recorder and set it up. Emiko put in tape and hit play.
"Tell me, you are a good girl."
"I need to go to the hospital Asato-kun."
"Please Asato-kun. Let me go to the hospital."
"Please!" Slap! A whimper followed behind.
"Now say it!"
"Please! I have to go to the hospital!"
"Not until you say it."
"I am a good girl."
"That's better. Say you love me."
"I really have to get toï¿½ theï¿½ hospitalï¿½"
"Grrr! I said say it!"
Tatsumi waved his hand. "Stop the tape!" he choked out. Emiko complied.
"Well?" she asked. Tatsumi tried to form his thoughts to speak.
"Is thatï¿½?" he started to ask.
"We believe so," Mike answered.
"And is thatï¿½?" the shinigami asked.
"Yeah," Hotaru said with a nod. "Afraid so." Tatsumi sank back on the bright blue couch. He shook his head again.
"That can't be rightï¿½" he muttered.
"When was the last time you saw Tsuzuki?" Emiko asked. Tatsumi dug in his mind for the answer.
"We haven't seen him since the fifteenth," he said.
"The fifteenth?" Hotaru asked.
"Yeah," Tatsumi replied.
"I see," the loli demon replied. "Have you heard from him since?"
"No," the shinigami answered. "He hadn't returned any calls or showed up for work."
"I see," Hotaru replied.
"Had Anna heard from him?" Mike asked.
"No," Tatsumi said. "And even now we can't reach him. Nobody knows where he is."
"I seeï¿½" Emiko replied. Tatsumi looked at all of the demons.
"So what are you saying?" he asked. "You think Tsuzuki-san didï¿½?" The man shook his head.
"No! He's not like that!" Tatsumi insisted. "Tsuzuki loves Anna too much. He would never poison and rape her like this!"
"Yes, we know," Mike cut in. "It's safe to say that an outside force may be controlling him." Tatsumi looked at him with big eyes.
"Like a possession?" he asked.
"Well we can't say without looking at him," Emiko said. She turned to the shinigami.
"Could you try to call Tsuzuki again?" she asked. Tatsumi lowered his shoulders.
"Little good it'll do," he said. The man drew out his phone and dialed Tsuzuki's number. After four rings on the other line, the kagetsukai frowned and hung up the phone. The three demons watched him as they waited.
"Nothing?" Hotaru asked. Tatsumi sat back, breathed out.
"Oh," she said.
"Now what?" Mike asked.
"Keep looking," Tatsumi said. His stomach flipped at the direction this could be heading.