Chapter Twenty-Four: Shinigami and Old Man:

Tsuzuki and Hisoka came in through the door. Shinya put up his hands.

“Welcome,” he said. “You caught me.” Tsuzuki, Hisoka, and Izumi looked bewildered.

“Huh?” Tsuzuki asked. Shinya studied his new guests.

“Hm,” he said. “It’s getting to you, isn’t it?” Tsuzuki blinked.

“Huh?” he asked.

“How long have you been a shinigami?” the old man asked.

“Me?” Tsuzuki asked.

“Yes,” Shinya said. The older shinigami counted up in his head.

“Quite some time,” he said. “Years. It’s been so long.”

“And you?” Shinya asked. Hisoka pointed to the bridge of his nose.

“Yes,” the old man said.

“Since 1996,” the younger shinigami said.

“I see,” Shinya said. He rose to his feet.

“You know what?” he asked stretching his arms. “I’m just tired.”

“You’re tired?” Tsuzuki asked.

“Yeah,” Shinya said. “I just want it to end. Wandering is boring. There’s nothing for me here. My family’s gone. This apartment’s for sale. I mean… there is no point.”

“Wait,” Izumi spoke up. “Why didn’t you come with us then?”

“I don’t like bounty hunters,” the old man said.

“Huh?” the bounty hunter asked. Shinya waved his hand in the air. A light rumble ripped through the air. The old man put up his hands.

“Well then,” he said. “Let’s go.”

“What?” the shinigami asked.

“Come on,” Shinya said. “I’m not standing here for my health. I’m tired and ready to go. Let’s go. Hurry up. Chop-chop!” Tsuzuki and Hisoka looked at each other.

“What about me?” Izumi asked. Shinya turned to him.

“Oh, you’re still here,” he said. “Why?” The bounty hunter shrugged and shook his head.

“Don’t know,” he said.

“Well, you can go now,” the old man said. “You served your job with me. Thank you for your time.” Izumi blinked.

“Uh…” he said. Shinya shoed him off.

“You’re done now,” he said. “Goodbye.” Izumi opened his mouth.

“Bye!” Shinya said. The bounty hunter tried to talk again.

“Bye!” the old man said. After four times, Izumi gave up and left. Shinya folded his arms across his chest as the door closed.

“Took him long enough to take a hint,” he said. The old man turned back to the shinigami.

“Now, where were we?” he asked.

“I don’t get it,” Tsuzuki said. Shinya raised his eyebrow.

“Get what?” he asked. The older shinigami put up his hands.

“Why are you doing this?” he asked. Shinya put his arms behind his head.

“It’s like I said,” he said. “I’m just tired. Come on, let’s get this over with.” Tsuzuki blinked and took out the book.

“Oh, there is something else you need to know,” the old man said.

“What?” Hisoka asked.

“The other two souls,” Shinya said. “They won’t be so easy to capture. I hope you know this.”

“Yes,” Hisoka said. “We are prepared to chase them down no matter what it takes.” Shinya bowed his head.

“I wish you luck,” he said. The old man started glowing white and vanishing.

I can finally rest now. Hey, it’s not so bad. I’ll tell my son about it when he gets here.

Two souls left.