Chapter Thirty-Five: Wolves and Lions:

Josuke took a sip of his wine. Now that the game was set up, he could really play. The middle-aged man set down his glass.

“Let the fun begin,” he said.


Tsuzuki and Hisoka appeared in the lobby. They walked up to the front desk.

“Excuse me,” Tsuzuki said. “Have you seen this woman?” He showed the receptionist a picture of Anna. She narrowed her eyes at the photo.

“Oh yes!” the receptionist said. “She checked in here three days ago. Let me see, hang on.” She began typing into her computer.

“What is the name?” she asked.

“Either Kimoto Anna or Niwa Midori,” Tsuzuki said. He could feel himself trembling. Hisoka held onto his arm. The older shinigami glanced down at his partner. The boy shook his head. Tsuzuki took a breath.

“Here it is,” the receptionist said. “Niwa Midori.”

“Which room?” Tsuzuki asked.

“Room 118,” she said. “Shall I give her a call?”

“Yes, please,” the older shinigami said

“Alright,” the receptionist said. She picked up the phone and dialed the room. Tsuzuki’s heart raced against his chest. Anna-chan…

The receptionist hung up the phone.

“I’m sorry, sir,” she said. “She’s not picking up.”

“What?” Tsuzuki asked.

“Do you want me to try again?” the receptionist asked.

“Yes!” he said, slamming his hands against the desk. Hisoka grabbed his arm.

“Calm down,” he said in a low voice. “We will find her.” Tsuzuki took another breath.

“You’re right,” he said. “You’re right. We will.” The receptionist blinked.

“Uh… I everything okay?” she asked.

“Yes!” the shinigami said.

“Okay…” the receptionist said. She dialed the room again.


Anna glared at her captor. “You gonna hold me here all day.”

“No, actually,” Jotaro said. She gave him a strange look.

“Huh?” the woman asked.

“I’m supposed to take you down to the tea garden at noon,” he said. “My father will be there to pick you up.”

“Why?” Anna asked. Jotaro looked away as he muttered something under his breath.

“What did you say?” she asked. The boy looked her in the eye.

“For the wedding ceremony,” he said with red cheeks. Anna blinked.

“You’re kidding,” she said.

“I wish I was,” he said.

“But, I’m already married.”

“He doesn’t care.” Jotaro looked away. “The Mother is needed to revive our clan.”


“I’m so sorry.”

Anna tried not to break down screaming. “Stop saying that.” The boy lowered his head. Anna rubbed her forehead.

“Fuck,” she muttered. “I did not sign up for this!” The woman sat down on the bed.

“I need a drink,” she said. “Take me down to the bar.”

“You sure?” her captor asked.

“Yes,” Anna said, glaring at him. “Am I at least allowed that?”

“Fine,” Jotaro said. “Please don’t try anything.” The woman raised her eyebrow.

“You don’t want to do this, do you?” she asked. He clenched his fists at his sides.

“No,” the boy admitted. He lifted his head. “He’s wasted his life on this quest! Mom died years ago. My dad has lost his way. I can’t take it anymore.” He leaned against the wall and sighed.

“I can help you,” Anna said. Jotaro sighed.

“Are you serious?” he asked. “You can’t do anything to help me. We’re both in the same boat.”

“You have to let me try,” Anna said. “I will get us out of this.”


“Leave it to me.”

Jotaro raised his eyebrow. “You don’t know, did you?”

“Let me figure it out. Have faith me.”

Airi and Jotaro rolled their eyes. Anna forced herself to grin.

You’re overselling it, you know? Airi said.

Shut up, Anna said back. I’m trying here.

You keep saying that, you know?

I said shut up!



Josuke rose to his feet. He finished his wine.

“Time to get dressed for the wedding,” he said to himself. The middle-aged man vanished into thin air.