Ten years have passed and Anna turns up dead. Tsuzuki goes to pay his last respects to the woman. But then, a change of plans take place.
May 2009. The shinigami met for what seemed to be a normal case in the Ju-Oh-Cho. The Chief pulled up the case report on the laptop screen. An image of a woman appeared with her profile.
“Kimoto Anna,” the Chief spoke up. “Age twenty-six and interpreter from San Diego, California. She was found murdered outside of a hotel in Tokyo. Murdered by strangulation and thrown out the window. The police found the mark of the Eda-Kimoto clan burned into her wrists. The people above suspect that she’s another victim of the clan’s blood sacrifices.” Tsuzuki took another bite of his cake as he glanced at the picture. Something about Anna caught his attention.
“/She looks so familiar…/” he thought as he looked on at the picture.
“Tsuzuki,” the Chief went on. “You and Hisoka may have met Kimoto-san ten years ago during the first Eda-Kimoto case.” Both boys’ eyes grew big in shock. Tsuzuki put all of the pieces together in his mind. This woman was the girl he stayed with that same Halloween night. The shinigami remembered the kiss that he gave her on that same night. He couldn’t believe Anna had been killed now. Tsuzuki’s mood became a serious one.
“And what would you like us to investigate?” he asked.
“Stop the Eda-Kimoto clan from killing anyone victims!” the Chief ordered. “I am told from above that we can’t have any more victims!”
“Yes sir!” Tsuzuki and Hisoka said together before bowing.
Anna’s body had been taken to Tokyo for crematory preparations. Tsuzuki went alone to pay his last respects. He tracked down the funeral house through the paper. It only took him a minute to get there. Tsuzuki made it inside without being seen. He made it to the casket. A man stood over Anna’s dead body. Curious, the Shinigami walked over to him and the body. The man looked up and saw him. This man seemed to be in his early fifties. He wore all black. His reddish black hair had just been neatly cut. Tsuzuki froze up for a moment. The man smiled at him kindly.
“Ah,” he said aloud. “Come here to pay your respects?” Tsuzuki nodded at him.
“Yeah,” he replied. The man stepped aside some. Tsuzuki walked over to the open casket and looked in. Anna looked more asleep than dead. She seemed to be peacefully dreaming, in fact. Such a young beautiful woman dead at twenty-six. Such a shame. Tsuzuki’s heart ached in pity for her.
“Twenty-six years old,” the other man spoke up. “Such a shame.” The Shinigami looked up at him. The other man turned to him.
“Oh sorry! Just talking to myself out loud,” he replied quickly. “I’m Kato Iwao, by the way. I knew Anna and her father personally.”
“Tsuzuki Asato,” the Shinigami said back. “I’m a friend of the deceased.” Both men shook hands. Tsuzuki had a strange feeling about that guy as they shook hands. But, he kept it to himself. They let go and turned back to the body.
“Wonder what happened to her?” Kato asked Tsuzuki. The Shinigami looked up at him again.
“Wasn’t she murdered by her family?” he asked.
“You heard about the mark burned onto her wrists?” the other man asked him.
“Yeah!” Tsuzuki called out. “But why?” Kato gave him a little smile.
“Why don’t you ask her yourself?” he suggested. Tsuzuki looked at him confused.
“How?” he asked. Kato smiled at him still. He didn’t speak at all. The man reached into his heavy black coat and drew out a black jewel-like stone. Tsuzuki’s eyes grew big in shock.
“A Hell Stone?” he asked almost aloud.
“Shhh!” Kato whispered to him. “Not so loud.” Red flags went off in Tsuzuki’s mind. The Hell Stone wasn’t stable at all. The stone went into the mouth of the corpse. The stone could only stay in a body for thirty seconds or else someone else had to die in their place. Plus, if the Hell Stone dissolved, the body would become white ash—soul and all. Tsuzuki looked on uncertain.
“But that only lasts for thirty seconds without killing anybody!” he whispered back.
“So?” Kato suggested. “That’s all you would need. You can’t let this key information slip away.” Tsuzuki thought about that for a moment. The Hell Stone carried many risks. But he needed anything to stop the Eda-Kimoto clan from killing any more victims. If he had only thirty seconds to talk to the victim, then so be it.
“Okay,” Tsuzuki said at last. “I’ll bring her back.” Kato nodded at him gracefully.
“Wise decision,” he replied. The man handed him the stone. Tsuzuki took the stone and turned back to Anna’s dead body. “/I’m so sorry about this, Anna-chan!/” he thought. Then, the Shinigami slipped the Hell Stone into the dead woman’s mouth. She came to life right away and nearly shut the coffin again. Anna sat up and looked around.
“Where am I?” she asked. “And what happened to me?” Tsuzuki stepped forward.
“You’ve been murdered,” he explained to her. “Strangled and dumped out a window to be exact.” Anna took it all in piece by piece.
“By who?” she asked. “Any why?”
“That’s what I’m trying to figure out…” Tsuzuki replied. Anna slowly climbed out of the casket. The shinigami became distracted from there. Ten years had been a long time. Anna had grown into quite an attractive young woman. So much so that the Shinigami couldn’t focus at all. Such a waste for her to die so soon. Then, a bit of a bad idea came into his head.
“What if… you didn’t have to be dead?” he asked her. Anna looked at him slightly puzzled.
“What do you mean?” she asked. Tsuzuki got lost in her green-tinted brown eyes. Right then, time ran out. Anna’s thirty seconds had just expired. In place of her being alive, the greedy old funeral director croaked in his office. He died of cardiac arrest. But, Tsuzuki and Anna didn’t think about that at all. They had other things to worry about at the moment.
Suddenly, the pair heard footsteps coming their way. They looked up right away.
“The undertaker!” Anna whispered in surprise. “What do we do?” Tsuzuki quickly covered her mouth.
“Shhh! Listen closely to me,” he whispered to her. “Just hide in the casket for now. I know the mortician there. I’ll get him blind drunk. Once he’s passed out, I’ll get you out right away, understand?” Anna nodded at him quickly.
“Okay, quick! Get in!” Tsuzuki instructed her. The woman climbed back into the casket. The shinigami closed the lid and vanished. The undertaker’s assistant came and took the coffin away. Tsuzuki watched them do so. Suddenly, he felt that this plan wasn’t a good idea anymore. Too late to worry about that now. Just go with the current plan and hope for the best.