Chapter Twenty-Eight: The Trial of Sakamoto Aya:

Before they left, Anna knelt over Kirika-chan. She kissed the little girl on the forehead.

“Don’t worry, baby,” she whispered. “We won’t let you die. Mama and Papa won’t let you die! I promise you!” Anna kissed her on the forehead and walked out of the room.


-Present Time-

Aya looked confused. “What is this?” Her father stood up.

“Aya, we need to talk,” he said. She took a step back.

“Why? What’s going on?” she asked.

“You’re killing my daughter!” Airi yelled through Anna. Aya froze. She started shaking her head. Sakamoto-san rang the bell at his side. Blue flames appeared in the air. They took shape into a woman in a maid’s uniform.

“Yes my lord?” she asked.

“Bring me the Lotus Box,” he commanded. The color drained from Aya’s face.

“Dad…” she said. The maid bowed.

“Yes, my lord,” she said. She vanished into thin air. The maid returned with a small silver box.

Thank you,” Sakamoto-san said. The maid bowed and vanished. He opened the box once it landed in his hand. Sparks of red shot up into the air. A circle of fire formed on the floor. Aya’s eyes grew wide.

“No…” she murmured.

“Stand in the Circle of Fire,” her father commanded. Aya stepped back.

“Oh no,” she said, shaking her head. “No! I don’t want to!”

“You have to!” Sakamoto-san said. “Don’t you want to clear your name?”

“Yes, but…” the girl said. “But… But…” Anna gave her a stern look. Tsuzuki shared the same look. He had only seen the effects of the box of those who lie. Sakamoto-san tilted his head.

“And may I ask why not?” he asked. Aya lowered her head.

“I can’t,” she said. The girl started to tremble. Her father’s eyes clouded in anger.

“Aya!” he shouted. She clenched her fists at her sides. She muttered something under her breath.

“What did you say?” Sakamoto-san asked. His daughter wouldn’t look at him. The man snorted.

“I don’t believe this!” he shouted.

“You don’t understand!” Aya yelled. “I had no choice!”

“To kill a child?” Tsuzuki asked. The girl’s face grew pale.

“A child?” she asked. Aya gasped. Her father frowned.

“Disgraceful!” he said. “How could you?” Aya shut her eyes, trembling, and shaking her head. Sakamoto-san snarled.

“You have crossed a line you can’t come back from,” he said.

“But…” Aya said. Sakamoto-san had tears in his eyes. He walked over to her and patted her on the shoulder.

“I am cutting you off,” he said with sorrow in his voice. “You will no longer be welcome here. I have no daughter!”

“Papa, no!” she cried.

“Don’t call me, Papa!” Sakamoto-san said. He shoved her from him.

“No! Please don’t! That would ne the worst thing you can do!” Aya pleaded. Sakamoto-san turned to Tsuzuki and Anna.

“Do as you like with her!” he shouted. Aya looked at the couple in fear.

“Thank you,” Airi said through Anna. Sakamoto-san bowed and walked away. Airi turned to the scared girl. Anna cracked her knuckles.

“Start talking,” she said. “Who put you up to cursing our daughter?” Aya’s eyes shifted back and forth.

“I can’t tell you,” she whimpered. “He’ll kill me!” Anna violently grabbed her by the shoulder. The younger let out a loud gasp. Anna was inches from her ear.

“You should be more worried about what I can do to you if you don’t tell me the truth!” Airi hissed. Against her better judgment, Aya turned her head. Anna’s face into one of a wild kitsune filled with rage. Eyes glowing bright red. Anna opened her mouth, revealing blood-covered fangs. Aya could hear the hissing and cursing escaping from her mouth. The younger girl’s face washed over with fear. She tried not to scream.

“Who put you up to cursing my daughter?!” Anna/Airi asked. Aya drew her eyes closed.

“It was Ito-san!” she shouted. Tsuzuki had an odd look on his face.

“Ito-san?” he asked. “That man who confessed to murdering his daughter on TV?” Aya dropped her shoulders.

“He got mad after being forced to confess to the murder of his daughter.” The girl trembled.

“I didn’t know I was cursing a child to death!” she wailed. “I thought it was just a ferret.” It all started to make sense. Tsuzuki remembered the day at the checkpoint. Mimzie had escaped and must have slipped into Chijou on a whim. Tsuzuki rubbed his forehead.

“Damn it,” he murmured.

“Can you reverse the curse?” Anna asked. Aya sighed.

“Yes,” she said. “But…” The couple glared at her.

“What is it now?” Airi asked.

“Ito-san scares me,” she whimpered. Tsuzuki patted her on the shoulder. The girl nervously looked up. The shinigami gave her a sympathetic look.

“We’ll deal with that later,” he said. “Remove the curse. Please.” Aya looked back and forth at the couple. Like she had a choice.

“Alright,” she said.

“Thank you,” Anna said. Aya sighed again.