Chapter Fourteen: Tracing the Line:


Tatsumi waited for Christine at the front entrance. Tsuzuki told him everything this morning. The secretary rubbed his forehead.

“If what he said is right…” he said.

“Tatsumi-san?” a woman’s voice asked. The shinigami looked up. Christine stood inches away.

“You wanted to see me?” he asked. Tatsumi lowered his hand.

“Yes,” he said. “Come inside.” Christine followed him into the building.


They walked into an empty conference room. Christine went inside first. Tatsumi closed the door behind him.

“Tell me, Aizawa-san,” he said. “Does the name Cho ring a bell?” Christine frowned.

“No…” she said, shaking her head. “Why?”

“Go back to the day you lost your book,” he said. “Go from the moment you lost it and go backwards.”

“Okay… I ran into Hisoka. I walked around Ju-Oh-Cho looking for my book. I realized it was gone in the garden. I paid for my coffee. I got a chocolate-cinnamon blend.”

“Did you talk to anyone?”

“Yes. There was one woman at the coffee machine.”

“Describe her.”

“Tall. Forcing herself to smile. Really pale. Wearing too much make-up. Big breasts and crooked teeth.”

“What color was her hair?”

Christine gave him a puzzled look. “What?”

“What color was the woman’s hair? This is really important. Think hard now. What color was the woman’s hair?”

Christine tried to think. “I think it was blue.”

“Light or dark?”


Tatsumi put it all together in his head. “That woman’s name was Cho Miki. She was the one who stole your book.” Christine blinked at him.

“What?” she asked. “Why?”

“That’s what we’re trying to figure out,” Tatsumi said. The female shinigami tilted her head.

“Now that I think about it, there was something,” Christine said.

“What?” the secretary asked.

“It might nothing, but that’s my boyfriend’s ex.”

“Have you met her before that day?”

“No. I wouldn’t even pick her out now.”

“Does your boyfriend talk about her much?” Tatsumi asked.

“Not really,” Christine said. “He doesn’t like talking about her. It was a nasty break-up from what I gather.” Christine froze and eyed Tatsumi.

“You don’t think she would…” she began to ask.

“Now, now,” he said. “We don’t know that yet.”

“But why?” Christine asked. “I’ve never really met the woman before.” He grabbed her by the shoulders.

“Look, you’ll get to ask her yourself,” he said. “Tsuzuki and Hisoka are finding those souls right now. They only have eight more to go. They’re get your book back to you in time. Do you have faith in them?”

“Well, I…”

“Do you believe in them?”

Christine slowly nodded. The secretary patted her shoulders.

“Good,” he said. “Meanwhile, let’s track down Cho-san and find out why she did what she did.” Christine blinked.

“But how will we find her?” she asked. Tatsumi gave her a devilish grin.

“Leave that to me,” he said. “I have just the method to do things.” The female shinigami shivered as the secretary opened the door. She couldn’t help but wonder, who was this man?