Chapter Thirty-Five: Ravished Mind:
February 2nd, 2010.
The virus hit the crew hard then. It all started with a call to Kimoto Manor that morning.
"Hello?" Rihoko asked.
"Is this the Takahana residence?" a man asked on the other line.
"This is Principal Tsukimoto. We've been having some trouble with Tojo-kun lately."
"What do you mean?"
"We need you to come down and talk to us."
By nine o'clock, Rihoko, Anna, and Tsuzuki made it to Seita's school. The boy and Tsukimoto-san sat in the office, waiting. Seita looked apathetic as usual.
"What's the problem, sir?" Anna asked. Tsukimoto-san fought to stay professional.
"Tojo-kun has been starting many fights lately," he explained. "Cutting class, harassing female students, smoking on the roof. Oh god. I could just go on. It seems that he has fallen back into his old habits again." Three adults turned to the ward. He refused to speak. Anna couldn't understand this.
"Has there been any trouble at home lately?" the principal asked.
"No," all three adults answered.
"Everything's been fine," Rihoko answered.
"I see," Tsukimoto replied. He sighed and took off his glasses. "So strange."
"Why is that?" Tsuzuki asked.
"He isn't the only case," the principal said as he cleaned his glasses.
"What do you mean? How many other problems have you had?"
The other man took a breath. "Five, all over them relatively good kids."
"I see." Tsuzuki tried to put the pieces together in his head. Anna looked at him, curious. Tsukimoto put back on his glasses. His right hand tapped the polished surface of his desk. Tap. Tap. Tappy. Tap. Tap. Seita gritted his teeth. Under normal circumstances, he would tune out the sound along with the upcoming lecture, but nowï¿½
Seita leapt forward and gave the principal a big right hook. The man fell backwards against his bookcase. The boy jumped on him with more punches.
"Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" he screamed over and over again with each punch.
"Seita! No!" Rihoko yelled. Tsuzuki rushed forward and pulled the boy off of Tsukimoto. The principal panted in pain. The Shinigami dragged him into the hall.
"Let me go! Let me go! Let me go!" Seita yelled over and over again. Tsuzuki turned him around and put him on his feet. Anna and Rihoko joined them in the hall. Anna hurried over to him.
"Seita!" she said. "What's gotten into you?" The boy shook his head.
"I don't know," he said. "He made me mad."
"That's still no excuse," she said. She drew out her cell phone. Seita looked at her panicked.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
"What else? Calling the police!" Tsukimoto shouted. That's when something caught Tsuzuki's attention. Seita's eyes widened.
"Butï¿½" he pleaded.
"I'm sorry, Seita, but this is the onlyï¿½" Anna said.
Tsuzuki held up his hand. "Anna, wait."
She turned to him. "Not now, I'm trying to discipline here."
"That might not be necessary." Tsuzuki took a step forward. He took out a flashlight. "Now hold still for me, Seita." The boy didn't speak. Tsuzuki flashed the light in his eyes. Seita flinched.
"Keep still," Tsuzuki said. In a few seconds, it came together in his mind. Dilated pupils and black rings around the eyes.
"Seita has the virus!" Tsuzuki said. The women looked confused. Could this be the reason for the regression in his behavior and constant headaches at home over the past couple of days? That would really explain so much.
"What?" they asked. Tsuzuki kept his attention on the boy.
"Tell me, have you been feeling sick lately? Think hard now," he told him.
Seita thought about his question. "Well, a little."
"How do you mean?"
"Wellï¿½ I keep having headaches andï¿½"
"I keep doing strange things."
"Strange? Like what?"
Seita frowned. "Why do you keep asking me these questions?"
Tsuzuki lightly shushed him. "I only want to help you out." He reached forward to touch Seita on the shoulders, but the boy flinched away.
"Don't touch me!"
"Care to explain what's going on?" Anna cut in. Tsuzuki turned to her, smiling.
"I just found a break in our case," he replied.