Chapter Twenty-Two: Scar Tissue:
Several hours later, Anna went home and took a shower. The new information lingered in her ears. Emiko sat in front of the other woman as Anna came to.
â€œHi,â€ Emiko whispered with a smile. The woman blinked for a moment.
â€œWhat happened?â€ she asked. The butch demon smiled at her.
â€œA lot,â€ Emiko answered.
â€œHow do you mean?â€ Anna asked still trying to recover her senses. Emiko leaned in, smiling.
â€œAfter the whipping, we gave you some electrical shocks,â€ she said in a low voice. Anna looked at her with big eyes. Emiko chuckled at her reaction.
â€œOh donâ€™t worry, youâ€™re not dead,â€ she explained, â€œBut, something interesting did happen.â€
â€œAnd what was that?â€ her student asked with a puzzled look on her face.
â€œWhen we finished the experiment and checked on you, you had two big white wings on your back,â€ the butch demon told her. The look on Annaâ€™s face said that she didnâ€™t get where this was headed.
â€œWhat? Why?â€ she asked frantically.
â€œThatâ€™s what we wondered,â€ Emiko added, â€œSo, I did some research on you while you were resting. I found two things: the cracks in the shield are deeper now and your Hell Stone protected you.â€ Anna blinked on the last part.
â€œHuh?â€ she asked.
â€œThe wings come out to prevent you from dying from serious injury,â€ Emiko said as she leaned back in her chair, â€œHowever, the more the wings come out, the weaker the Hell Stone becomes. Your extended life span shortens because of it.â€ Anna slowly took it all in.
â€œBy how much?â€ she asked. Emiko shrugged.
â€œWho can say?â€ the butch demon said, â€œIt depends on how strong the stone was made.â€ That new information stayed with Anna.
Even with papaâ€™s shield breaking, I still canâ€™t escape death, she thought as the cold water rained on her body. This time, I could end up bringing myself to a quicker death in battle. The smart thing to do would be not to fight, but that was out of the question. Why? She was still working on that part. Anna had just got out of the shower when there was a knock on the door.
â€œYes?â€ she asked she looked up.
â€œItâ€™s only me,â€ a voice said on the other said on the other side. The woman froze up almost immediately.
â€œTsuzuki?â€ she asked.
â€œIs this a bad time?â€ he replied.
â€œUhâ€¦ no, no!â€ she said in one breath, â€œI just got out of the shower. Iâ€™ll be there in a second.â€ Anna quickly dried off and got dressed, but as she was putting on her bra, the woman finally noticed something. Anna looked in the mirror and saw the scars on her back. Such ugly things they were; a price to pay for her unanswered need to fight and defend herself. Now she would have to have these scars until she died again.
â€œAre you sure this is a good time?â€ Tsuzuki asked, â€œI could come back later.â€
â€œNo, no!â€ Anna insisted as she came back to earth, â€œIâ€™m almost dressed!â€
â€œYou sure?â€ he asked.
â€œYeah, hang on a sec!â€ she yelled. Anna quickly hooked up her bra and put her shirt on. She opened the bathroom door. Tsuzuki looked straight at her.
â€œHey,â€ he said with a small wave.
â€œHi,â€ Anna said back, â€œWhat brings you by?â€ Tsuzukiâ€™s face became serious.
â€œI played the tape for Ju-Oh-Cho,â€ he told her. Anna became serious as well.
â€œAnd?â€ she asked. Tsuzuki gently took her by the hands.
â€œThey are looking for Yumikoâ€™s body and examining Kirikaâ€™s,â€ he said calmly, â€œWe are getting closer to closing the case.â€ Anna looked at him happily.
â€œThank you!â€ she murmured as she bowed down. Tsuzuki embraced her tightly.
â€œWeâ€™ll get to the bottom of this, I promise!â€ he said. Tsuzuki was too caught up in his excitement that he didnâ€™t notice the fresh wounds on Annaâ€™s back. The woman let out a painful gasp and collapsed in the Shinigamiâ€™s arms. Tsuzuki looked up in worry.
â€œAnna? Anna?â€ he asked clutching her tight in his arms. He slowly lowered the woman to the hall floor on her stomach.
â€œAnna! Anna! Anna!â€ Tsuzuki yelled in panic. He began to fear the worst. Was the Hell Stone finally breaking down? Was she going to be white ash now? However, something caught Tsuzukiâ€™s eye. He looked at his hands and saw them covered in blood. Confusion coated his face.
Blood?, the Shinigami thought. He looked down and saw Anna bleeding through the back of her cute white t-shirt. Tsuzuki quickly lifted up the cotton fabric. He was horrified to see the old and fresh whip lashes all over her back. What the hell had Anna been up to the past couple of weeks?