Chapter Twenty-Three: Shichiro II:
Anna made it back to the house and found the boys had been waiting for her. She looked around at all of them huddled around Watari's laptop.
"Did I miss anything?" she asked.
"Not really," Tsuzuki said. "In fact, we found out more about your family's kitsune." Anna raised an eyebrow at him.
"Oh?" she asked.
"Yes," Watari said. He turned the laptop and pointed to a chart of a kitsune on the left. A trim and glossy looking creature sat in the picture. "A copy of a kitsune needs souls to maintain its life force," he began. "The one on the left is what the copy is supposed to look like." Anna nodded as she studied the picture. Watari moved his finger to the picture on the right.
"This is Shichiro's kitsune," he said. Anna squinted for a better look.
"It looks puffier and duller than the other one," she said.
"Exactly," the scientist shinigami replied.
"Why is that?" she asked, looking up.
"Ah, you see, some of the kitsune in your family have a higher metabolism than most copies,” Watari explained. “They burn souls almost too quickly though."
"How quickly are we talking about?" the woman asked.
"Weeks or days usually," Hisoka answered. "In your uncle's case, five days."
"It's a rare condition, really," Watari added. Anna tried to understand what she just heard.
"But shouldn't he be killing more because of it?" she asked.
"Correct," the blonde scientist replied.
"Then…" she began to ask. Watari held up his hand and smiled.
"Two things," he said. The man turned to his laptop and changed slides. "The tsukai take pills to sustain the kitsune and keep them stable between hunts," he explained. "They trick the kitsune into thinking they have already eaten a soul; probably why Daisuke never killed anybody." Anna gave him a funny look.
"He must have been taking them when I wasn't looking, because I never saw him take any pills of any sort," she said. That statement faded into the room. She kept finding out new disturbing things about Daisuke. First their family and now drugs; she figured it be best keep her mouth shut about Daisuke until she solved the whole puzzle.
"Anyway," Watari went on. He pulled up Shichiro's medical records. Anna’s jaw dropped when she read the information.
"He's going through pills like candy!" she gasped. The woman looked up at Watari. "How did you access all of this?" Anna asked.
"I hacked into the university’s infirmary records," Watari replied. "Never mind that now, look at the latest test result taken three days ago." Anna leaned in for a better look and raised an eyebrow at the screen.
"What's this spike in the blood work?" she asked.
"There is the problem at hand," the scientist answered. "Shichiro's body has started to reject the pills." Anna looked up at him.
"He'll die unless…" she said. “But, how is he going to…?" Watari grinned at her.
"Here's the other thing," he said. The shinigami drew out a picture from his pocket. "Meet his accomplice," he said. "Kimoto Amaya, his wife and your aunt. She helps with the kills." Anna was beyond shocked.
"What sane human being would want to marry any of them?" she almost shouted. Nobody dared to answer her. Anna breathed out roughly.
"Either way," Tsuzuki said. "You have any more information on Yamashita and Miyazaki, right?" The woman quickly recovered.
"Oh yeah," she said. "Turns out, Miyazaki was having an affair with Rieko. Yamashita found out and tried to scare Miyazaki into breaking up with her. When that didn't work, Yamashita terminated her therapy."
"I see," Tsuzuki spoke up at last. "It all makes sense." He looked at Anna. "Did he know the baby was Masayuki's?" the shinigami asked. Anna shook her head.
"Yamashita didn't tell him," she said rather grimly.
"I knew it," he mumbled.
"So, Miyazaki panics when he finds out that Rieko is pregnant and has her killed," Hisoka summed up.
"Exactly," Anna said. "So how do we catch him?"
"We'll have to trap him somehow," Tsuzuki answered, "But first, we need bait." Anna gave the boys a devilish grin.
"I know just where to get it…" she said.
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