Chapter Twenty-One: Nobu:

In the Kyoto Psychology Center’s waiting room a man in his fifties saw Anna with Dr. Yamashita. He quietly left the room out the back entrance. His brothers had to hear this.

Yasuo and Shichiro were having lunch on the Kyoto University Campus across the street when the man came over to their table. He stopped in front of them breathless. Shichiro looked him up and down.

“Nobu,” he addressed.

“Hey!” the youngest brother said.

“What brings you by?” Yasuo asked.

“I found her!” the youngest man exclaimed.

“Who?” Shichiro asked rather puzzled.

“I found her! I found her! I found her! I found her! I found her!” Nobu shouted over and over.

“Found who?” Yasuo demanded. Nobu stood up straight and cleared his throat.

“I have found Anna,” he said in a calm voice. The other two stared at him in stunned silence. Yasuo raised an eyebrow at him.

“You sure?” he asked. Nobu made a face at him.

“Of course!” he yelped, “I could sense our Mother Kitsune inside of her!” Shichiro nodded as if in thought.

“So it is true,” he said, “The kitsune is trying to escape Dai’s shield.” Yasuo clapped his hands together.

“I’m going to go kill her now!” he declared with excitement in his voice. Shichiro shot a look at him.

“Why do you always get the best kills?” he complained.

“Mama depends on me the most and I’m the oldest!” the oldest son bragged. His brothers rolled their eyes.

“What?” Yasuo barked.

“My kitsune needs the work!” Shichiro shot back.

“Do you need the work or does your wife say you need it?” the older brother challenged.

“Leave Amaya-chan out of this!” his brother yelled. Yasuo only shrugged at him.

“Just saying,” he brushed off.

“Don’t!” the younger brother snapped. Nobu cleared his throat and the other two looked up at the younger man. He stood up straighter with his suggestion in his head.

“Let me try and kill her,” he offered. The brothers tried to not to laugh.

“You?” Yasuo asked. Nobu nodded at him.

“Yes,” he said without a thought.

“But you’re too gentle!” Shichiro argued.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” the young brother asked with an eyebrow raised. Yasuo set down his tea on the table.

“You’re too soft,” he pointed out, “Anna deserves a violent death for this time.”

“Plus, you couldn’t kill a baby if your soul depended on it,” Shichiro added. Nobu fought to keep down his anger. He clenched his fists by his sides.

“I can too!” he argued back.

“Prove it!” Yasuo challenged. Nobu looked around rather puzzled with how to respond. The man bit his lower lip.

“Now?” he asked in a tiny voice.

“Yeah,” his oldest brother answered, “Go out and kill the lamb now.”

“Now?” Nobu repeated, blinking.

“Yeah now,” both brothers pushed. Nobu fidgeted as he wished he hadn’t said anything. He nodded as he realized that he couldn’t take it back.

“Okay!” he shouted aloud. The old man hurried off as his older brothers watched.

“He can’t do it,” Yasuo said.

“No,” Shichiro agreed.

Meanwhile, Anna walked into the city to pick up lunch with a head full everything that she had just learned. Dr. Yamashita dumped so much on her.

“What?” Anna asked, blinking at him. Dr. Yamashita swallowed before he spoke.

“It’s kind of hard to explain…” he mumbled as he shifted his eyes away from her.

“Tell me what happened,” his former patient inquired, “How did you cause their death?” Her former psychiatrist took in a deep breath.

“Six weeks ago, a disturbed young woman came to see me,” he began, “She was notorious at KU for drug use, suicide attempts, drinking, and sleeping around. She came for my help and I did so.” The old man shuffled his feet as he spoke. ‘However, her therapy wasn’t going anywhere. Last week, I terminated our sessions,” he said, “This morning; they found her three weeks pregnant and dead in her dorm bathtub.” Anna blinked at him, not seeing where this was going.

“She committed suicide,” she reasoned, “That’s not your fault.”

“Not with the Eda-Kimoto clan’s burns on her wrists!” he whispered aloud. Anna’s eyes shot wide in alarm at those words.

“What did you say?!?” she asked. Dr. Yamashita looked down at his feet.

“Now, everyone at the center and university thinks I sent her to be killed because I terminated her sessions,” he said rather sheepishly worried. His former patient looked at him confused.

“So what do you want me to do?” she asked likewise with her facial expression. The doctor grabbed her shoulders.

“Help me, Anna!” he pleaded, “I’m innocent! You know that! Everyone thinks I am supporting your family, but I hate them as much as everyone in this country! Can’t you help me?”

Anna stood there in silence.

Now, she had an overloaded plate: Tsuzuki was depressed, Dr. Yamashita was in trouble, her family wanted to kill her again, and plus her time was running out. “Bad day” was an understatement in this case. She bumped into someone rushing by her. Anna paused and bowed quickly.

“Oh, I am so sorry,” she said, “Are you hurt?” The person turned around.

“No, I’m good,” he said. Nobu looked up and saw his niece. His whole face went aglow as he held out her arms to her.

“Anna-chan, it’s you!” he said aloud. The woman shook her head and backed away.

“No,” she said, “You must have me confused with someone else!” Nobu didn’t listen.

“My niece!” he cried, “It’s really you!” Anna looked around for an escape. Instinct told her to run away right now. She shook her head as she started to back away.

“Uh… I have to go now…” the woman blurted out. She tried to flee from him as quickly as she could. Nobu lunged forward and reached out for her.

“But my niece, it’s me, Nobu!” the old man cried. He grabbed her by the arm and held on tight. Anna tried to fight back, but her body went limp and numb. Nobu slowly let go as his spell was his favorite. So quick and painless, Anna would be dead in seconds. Nobu stood there and waited.

Any time now!, he thought.

Anna opened her eyes and looked around at the endless dark indigo black.

“This again?” she asked in the empty space surrounding her. A feather-like wave began to sweep her away. She tried to go back to where she originally was standing. (If she was standing that is.) The harder she struggled, the heavier the pressure became. Yet, she didn’t stop or cave under.

“I don’t have time for this crap!” she screamed, “Asato-kun needs me! I have to get out of here!” Anna began to feel a white hot light on her back. It didn’t take her long to have a vague notion of what was happening to her.

That bastard did something to trap me here, she thought. Anna gritted her teeth.

“You will not trap me in here!” she screamed. “I’ll fight my way out even if it kills me!” The woman upped her own struggling against her uncle’s spell. “I can’t die yet! Asato-kun, papa, Aunt Yumiko, and Aunt Kirika need me!” she shouted. The woman kept fighting the death that was coming to swallow her up.

Nobu was about to strangle his niece when something caught his eye.

“Huh?” he asked rather startled. Anna quickly came to and shoved him off. She didn’t even stick around long enough to see the results as she took off running and didn’t stop until she made it back to the hotel.