Chapter Seventeen: Strains:


Aki smiled as she looked out the window of the internet café. Her plan took shape. Jotaro didn’t fully trust herm but he was desperate. That boy didn’t want to die. But alas, that would be his fate. Why not put it to good use?

She rang up for more juice. Something about the taste made her mouth water. Haruka drank sake and old alcohol from her youth. Aki never liked alcohol. Too bitter and it burned her mouth. No, she liked lighter and sweeter drinks. Just like her new freedom.


Such a concept chilled her. She and Haruka had been together since birth. Same with the others in this curse bloodline. Now, she was only one of a few left.

“Heh,” Aki said to herself. Who would die first? The kitsune laughed to herself. Has it always been like this? Since when? It’s almost so sad.


She didn’t have to do much with this plan. Jotaro would be the one to find what she needed. The kitsune left him something. They should have found it by now. Aki looked at the time on the computer. Still afternoon, huh? Haruka didn’t know that she was out here. How long would that last? Aki looked up at the ceiling.

“This kind of scares me,” she muttered to herself. In truth, she knew the end was coming fast. Neither side wanted to fold. But, they knew that this could go on forever. Haruka already started taking action by herself.

“What do you know?” she asked. “Looks like the connection is not really broken.” She put her hands behind her head. Aki glanced behind her.

“Oh,” she said. “So you managed to find me. Heh.” She turned to face the intruder.

“The question is, what will you do now?” the kitsune asked. She gave them a curious look.

“Oh? So that’s why you’re here,” Aki said. “I’m afraid I can’t let you do that. Why? Oh, he’s now part of me. Sorry, that’s how it is. Hm? Ho!” Her lips curved into a wicked smile.

“Well now,” Aki said. “That sounds tempting. But, no. I will can’t let you. Not yet, at least. When? I will let you know. You shall see.” She turned back to the window. It looked like she found another answer to her grand plan.