Chapter Eleven: Locked Power:
October 7th, 1988.
Ever since Anna was conceived, Daisuke worried about her powers. Despite running away from home, the Eda-Kimoto name still haunted him. He feared his daughter for a long time. It had been forty generations already. He worried about what powers his five-year-old daughter would have. The man worried that her powers would manifest too soon. He got his second answer that afternoon. Anna rushed into Kato’s living room excited.
“Daddy!” she exclaimed as she ran towards Daisuke with open arms. The twenty-three year old man embraced his little girl.
“Sweetheart!” he said, “How was your day?” Little Anna looked up at him smiling with those little green-brown eyes of hers.
“I got many kitties to come to school today!” she announced proudly. Daisuke froze and looked at her.
“What did you say?” he asked.
“I saw a kitty lying dead in the bushes near the playground today,” she went on, “He made me feel so sad. I wished that he was alive again. Suddenly, the kitty got up and walked away. Then, I looked up and saw many kitties watching me. All of the kids liked the kitties, but the teachers looked at me funny all day.” Daisuke’s stomach turned. In his bloodline, a kitsune handler’s power manifests through one simple wish. Anna’s powers must have manifested this afternoon with the cats coming back to life in the city. However, something was off here. Most of the ages for powers to manifest ranged from twelve to seventeen. Anna was only five years old. His daughter was part of the fortieth generation of the third wave.
While Anna did her homework in the living room, Daisuke and Kato talked on the porch.
“They have manifested,” Daisuke said to the older man. Kato looked at him surprised.
“Already?” he asked, “Are you sure?”
“Yeah, which means…” the younger man began to say. Both men went silent at the thought of what could come next.
“So what are you going to do?” Kato asked. Daisuke turned to him with a dead serious look in his eyes.
“I have no choice…” he mumbled.
“You mean…” Kato began.
“I have no choice,” the younger man said, “I’ll wait until after dinner though.”
“Will it hurt?” Kato asked concerned.
“No, no,” Daisuke said, “A sealing spell is completely painless and she won’t know what’s going on because it is so quick.” The older man relaxed after hearing that.
“That’s good to know,” he said. Dinner went as planned. All three sat at the table eating. When he finished his rice, Daisuke lowered his chopsticks and looked at his little angel.
“Anna-chan,” the young man said, “How would you like to play a little game?” His little darling’s eyes lit up in surprised delight.
“A game?” she asked. Her father tried to remain cheerful and upbeat about the whole scheme.
“Sure,” he said, “Come with me.” Daisuke stood to his feet and walked out the front door. The child followed behind curious with Kato watching in silence.
Father and daughter came out into the woods. Daisuke looked behind him every few steps. Anna stayed close behind him the whole time. He couldn’t let her know what was going on; that would probably frighten the child off.
Father and child came into the center of the woods. A circle of white chalk waited for them. Anna looked up at her father rather confused.
“What is this, daddy?” she asked. Daisuke turned around and knelt down to his little princess.
“It’s okay, honey,” he said softly. “This is part of the game.” Anna looked on uncertain. Daisuke gave her a little smile and gently patted her on the head.
“It’ll be fine,” the father promised. The little girl began to believe him as she said nothing. Daisuke kissed her on the forehead.
“That’s a good girl,” he whispered. The man rose to his feet. “Now step into the circle,” Daisuke calmly instructed her. The little girl walked into the circle and turned to face him.
“Good, good,” Daisuke muttered, “Now close your eyes and hold out your hand.” Anna hesitated at first. The man sensed her nervousness and fear.
“It’s okay sweetie,” he insisted, “Everything will be fine!” The little girl didn’t move at first. Then she shut her eyes and held out her hand.
“That’s good,” Daisuke mumbled. His fingertips lightly touched her on the forehead. He shut his own eyes and began to chant the spell. A small vibration shook through the child. She could feel it started from her chest and spread through her tiny body. She wasn’t sure what was going on. Daisuke used up all of his energy and might for his sealing spell on his little girl. When he felt himself starting to give out, the man opened his eyes and removed his hand. He placed a piece of Botan Rice candy in her hand.
“Okay, you can open your eyes now,” the man said. Anna complied and looked in her hand. Her little face lit up when she saw the candy.
“Thanks, daddy!” she cheered. Daisuke gave her a little smile.
“You’re welcome,” he said.
May 19th, 2009.
Tsuzuki knocked on Anna’s front door the afternoon. Rihoko answered it and saw him, Hisoka, and Watari looking in. The young mother perked up.
“Hey guys,” she said, “Anna-san’s in her room on the computer. I’m heading off to school and Yoko-chan’s starting summer cram school. So make yourselves at home.” She paused as her mood changed.
“Though, I must warn you,” she whispered, “Anna’s not been in the best of moods since this morning. She hasn’t even come out of her room to get her lunch that my daughter made.” The Shinigami didn’t have to ask for the reason.
“Alright,” Watari replied with a smile to turn the mood around. Rihoko bowed and turned inside the house.
“Come on, Yoko-chan!” she yelled. “We’ve got to go! Get a move on!”
“Yes, mama!” the little girl replied. Yoko-chan rushed over to her mother with her little pink Hello Kitty backpack. She nearly fell over due to the bag’s weight. Rihoko had to hold her up. The mom turned to the Shinigami.
“Bye, guys,” she said.
“Bye,” the boys replied. Mother and daughter departed for the day.
“Come on, Yoko-chan,” she said softly as the Shinigami watched them leave. They turned back to each other. There was just something they had to see about Anna. Tsuzuki made it down the hall to Daisuke’s office and knocked on the door.
“Come in,” a soft muzzled voice spoke. Tsuzuki slid open the door. Anna sat at the computer typing away. She had been there for quite a few hours as Rihoko told the boys in the hall. The Shinigami slowly approached her from behind. The woman froze and looked up. The sight of her sight tugged at Tsuzuki’s heart. Anna looked like she had been crying over Henry all morning. He decided that he best not to talk about him. Tsuzuki looked over at the timeline. He noticed that the pictures of Anna and Henry were taken down. The whole timeline had been rearranged as if the couple never existed. The Shinigami looked back over at her.
“Some of your pictures are gone,” he pointed out.
“Yes,” Anna said, not looking up from the screen. The Shinigami dropped it from there.
“You okay?” he asked. The woman clicked on a link about the Swedish judicial system.
“Yeah,” she lied, “Never been better!” Tsuzuki knew that wasn’t true. He knew because he felt pain of his own every single day. Maybe he saw a bit of himself in Anna.
“Did you just come here to ask that?” Anna asked cold and distant. Tsuzuki came back to earth after she spoke.
“Wha? No, no!” he said, waving his hand back and forth. “Watari, Hisoka, and I had to see you about something.” Anna’s face changed from worn out to rather confused.
“What for?” she asked.
“There’s something we have to check out,” the Shinigami told her.
“What is it?” Anna questioned.
“Come outside with me,” the man said. He left the office with Anna looking after him. This all felt so familiar, yet she was interested though. The woman got up and left the room to follow her guardian.
They came out into the backyard and found Watari and Hisoka already waiting for them. Anna noticed a laptop sitting out open on the ground with some pricey machinery attached to it. She became even more curious as it all reminded her of the night. Tsuzuki turned to her.
“Anna,” he said, “We just have to know about your powers.”
“What are you talking about?” the woman asked, blinking. Hisoka stared dead on at her.
“You are familiar with your family history, aren’t you?” he asked.
“Vaguely,” Anna replied. “I have heard the stories growing up. I asked papa about them once, but he refused to tell me anything. Days before he died however, he briefly told me that we were kitsune handlers. I thought he was joking at first, but he drilled into my mind that it was true.” The Shinigami relaxed after hearing this. Good, she wasn’t completely in the dark.
“Good to know,” Watari said, “Saves time from explaining everything.”
“But why are we out here?” Anna asked. Tsuzuki braved himself for this part.
“We want to see where you stand with your kitsune and powers,” he answered.
“Alright,” the woman said, “What do you need me to do?”
“Just step into the center,” Tsuzuki told her, “Watari is going to scan you.” Anna looked over at the other two Shinigami. She still wasn’t sure about this.
“Okay,” she said. Anna stepped into the center. She turned to her waiting audience. This was just like the “game” she and Daisuke played all those years ago. Watari got on his laptop and got to work. Amazingly, it only took five minutes to scan Anna’s power.
“I’ve got it!” Watari announced. Anna looked up confused.
“Already?” she asked.
“What do you have?” Tsuzuki asked.
“Take a look,” he said. Everyone crowded around the scientist. A round red beating circle sat in the middle of a cool white background.
“What is that?” Anna asked.
“Your kitsune,” Watari explained, “As you can see here, it is very awake at the moment.”
“Can you tell us how strong it is?” Tsuzuki asked. His friend shook his head.
“Unfortunately, I can’t seem to get a full report,” he said, “Her power is locked up tight.”
“Can’t you unlock them?” Hisoka asked.
“That’s the thing,” he replied, “The only one who can unlock Anna’s kitsune died ten years ago.”
“Daisuke,” the other two Shinigami said together. Watari nodded.
“Exactly,” he said, “But look at this!” He clicked on a spot that was in the center-right and blew it up. The detail grew magnified 100x.
“See,” he said. Everyone watched as he moved the mouse to the details.
“Are those… cracks?” Hisoka asked.
“Yeah,” Watari said.
“What does that mean?” Tsuzuki asked.
“Her kitsune is trying to break through the sealing spell,” the scientist said, “Its power is trying to grow, but Daisuke’s spell is preventing it from doing so.”
“When will the shield break?” Tsuzuki asked. Watari shrugged.
“It’s hard to say,” he said, “It could break at any time.” They all looked at the scan. They now had a time bomb to deal with along with increasing damage.
“Locked powers, huh?” Emiko asked as she watched the crew on the monitor, “Things just got a whole hell lot more exciting!”
“So what happens now?” Hotaru asked as she sat in her lap in their living room. Her girlfriend smiled and kissed her on the forehead.
“Well dearest,” the butch lesbian said, “We keep watching and move in when the occasion rises.” Hotaru giggled and nibbled her girlfriend on the ear.
“Can’t wait!” she chirped. Her lover caressed her leg. They shared another afternoon kiss together. Everything made for a good prelude to the piling storm Kimoto Haruka was releasing from Pandora’s corrupt bloody box.
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