Chapter Eight: Spider Webs:

Aiguo frowned. Kirika-chan ended up further from his reach. He needed that baby. The gate could crumble at any time. Kirika-chan’s blood needed to be tested. Aiguo pulled out his phone.

“She still with the shinigami?” he asked. “His wife’s back? How is she? I see. Interesting. Keep up your surveillance. Goodbye.” Aiguo sat back in his chair. At least he had that going for him.

Viper’s Teeth back in Hong Kong struggled to keep the gate closed. They could hear the giant demons hissing from Hell.

“Let us out! Let us out!” they yelled. Aiguo checked his e-mail. No changes yet. The mob boss sighed. How do I get my hands on that baby? Being nice never worked. He couldn’t go in and take the baby. Aiguo made a second phone call.

“It’s me,” he said. “Are the shinigami and his wife still home? Good. You stay right there. Oh, I figured it was time to see the baby’s new home.” He hung, smiling.


9:00 p.m.

Tsuzuki had just put the baby to bed. He had hoped that Anna would be more welcome to the idea of motherhood. She looked so aloof around Kirika-chan. No, that wasn’t accurate. He saw her eyes when she held Kirika-chan. Why would she be afraid of the baby? Tsuzuki ran his finger down the child’s right foot.

“It’ll be okay,” he whispered. “Mama loves you. She’s just…” Actually, the shinigami couldn’t explain Anna’s behavior entirely.

“Just know mama and papa love you,” he said. That’s when the doorbell rang. Tsuzuki lifted his head. Huh? Who is that at this time of night? Tsuzuki wandered down to the front door with a fuda in hand.

“Who is it?” he asked. The shinigami peeked out the peep hole. A man in a fancy suit waved outside.

“Is this the Tsuzuki apartment?” he asked. Tsuzuki raised an eyebrow.

“Why?” he asked. The man outside shrugged.

“I just want to talk,” he said.

“About what?”

“Open the door and see.”

Tsuzuki gritted his teeth. Already instinct told him to keep the suited man out. What was he doing here? Who was this guy?

“Uh… who are you?”

“Oh, a man here to stop Asia’s destruction.”

A puzzled look came on Tsuzuki’s face as he opened the door. The suited man grinned.

“Good evening,” he said.

“Who are…you?” the shinigami asked. The man looked around inside the apartment.

“Is your wife home?” he asked. Tsuzuki glared as he drew out his fuda.

“How do you know I’m married?”

“Relax, relax. I just want to talk.”

“Why should I believe you?!”

“This is really important.”

Tsuzuki folded his arms across his chest. “About what?”

The suited man broke into a small smile. “Your baby girl.” The fuda fluttered down to the floor.

“What did say?” Tsuzuki asked.

“Baby?” a woman sked in a tired voice. “What’s going on?” The men looked up to see Anna stepping into the living room, yawning. The suited man slicked back his black and gray hair.

“Perfect,” he said. “You’re both awake. I need to talk to you about the baby you have living with you.”