Chapter Twenty-Five: Strike Back:


Airi came back to the inn. By now, Hisoka told everyone what he saw. Airi noticed the looks on everyone’s faces.

“What?!” she asked. Tsuzuki’s face looked so pale.

“They’re here,” he said in a hoarse voice. The kitsune frowned.

“Oh,” she said. The room felt heavy with silence. Airi lifted her chin.

“Don’t worry,” she said. “I found the source.” Everyone looked up.

“Where?” Anna asked.

“Does the name Sakamoto man anything to you?” Airi asked. The couple paused.

“Yeah, yeah!” Tsuzuki said. A confused look came over his face. “But… Why would he do that?” Anna gently held his arm.

“It might not be him,” she said. Anna turned to her kitsune.

“Is it?” she asked.

“Not him,” Airi said.

“One of his children then?” Tsuzuki asked. The kitsune nodded.

“Can it be reserved?” he asked.

“Yes,” Airi said. “The one who placed the curse has to be the one to remove it.”

“You don’t have time,” Hisoka said. “They are already here.”

“We can still make it,” Tsuzuki said. “We have to try! We have to! We have to!” Anna pulled him into a hug.

“Shhh. Shhh,” Anna whispered. Tsuzuki wouldn’t look at her. Tatsumi stood up.

“I understand,” he said. Everyone looked at him.

“Tatsumi?” Konoe asked. The secretary pushed up his glasses.

“We need her alive, don’t we?” he asked. He walked up to Tsuzuki. He patted him on the shoulder.

“We’ll keep them away as long as we can,” Tatsumi said. “Just go.” Tsuzuki’s eyes widened.

“Are you. Are you serious?” he asked.

“Yes,” his former partner said. “You have to get going We do not have much time.” Tears welled up in the older shinigami’s eyes.

“Thank you! Thank you!” he shouted over and over. Anna bowed her head next to him.

“Yes,” Tatsumi said. “Now!” He let go of Tsuzuki’s shoulder. The other shinigami bowed. Airi held out her hands.

“Let’s get going,” she said. Tsuzuki gave her an odd look.

“Do you know how to get to the manor?” he asked.

“I can find it,” Airi said. “Come on. We have to go!” The couple turned to everyone in the room.

“Thank you, everyone,” Tsuzuki said. He quickly bowed. Then the shinigami and his wife took the kitsune’s hands. All three vanished into thin air.

“Good luck,” Tatsumi said with a wave.