Chapter Fourteen: Sea of Crimson Spray:
Tsuzuki and Hisoka finally found the abandoned warehouse. Right away, they noticed little drops. These little drops formed a path to the doorway. There came the first body. Li looked like a doll thrown to the ground. In fact, Tsuzuki and Hisoka thought he was asleep.
"Hey," Tsuzuki whispered as he nudged him in the back. "Hey! Hey!" The boy's body flopped backwards. That's when they saw it: dried blood around his mouth and on his clothes. At first, the shinigami didn't want to believe it.
"Is he…" Tsuzuki began to ask. Hisoka leaned forward and touched Li's neck. He froze and sat up.
"He's not the only one!" Hisoka shouted.
"What?" Tsuzuki asked. His partner ran inside the warehouse. Both followed the blood trail. Each time they came across more bodies. But where was Anna?
-Five Hours Ago-
Nobu approached the front of the warehouse. A boy guarded the entrance. The old man took a moment to study the lad. Twelve or thirteen years old tops, definitely not Japanese. Chinese, maybe? Still had a boyish face and tall kid too, but not that strong. Nobu took in a deep breath. Li looked up and saw the old man. His guard sprang to life immediately.
"Who goes there?" he asked. Nobu walked forward as Li tried to keep his fear down.
"What do you want?" he asked. "Who are you with?" Nobu towered over him.
"I am irrelevant," he said. "But, what about you?" Nobu put his fingertips to Li's forehead. The boy tried to swat him away.
"What the hell are you doing?" he cried. "Don't touch me!" Suddenly, his body became light and stiff with every inch of his being relaxed.
"Shhh," Nobu whispered. "It's okay now. Your job is finished now. Go to sleep."
"But…" Li murmured.
"Go to sleep. Dream of your homeland," Nobu whispered. Li's body went limp in seconds. Nobu already saw his past.
"You poor child," he murmured. "I will end your suffering here." He took his other hand and traced along Li's chest and chanted a soft incantation. The boy's heart slowed down to a complete stop. He fell straight to his feet. Nobu kept his stoic face. He proceeded inside. The burns appeared on Li's wrists when he was gone.
The old man walked further in and took a sniff. Mold, dust, damp, more dust, and sweat. Nobu paused in his place. Two more are coming this way!
"Li!" a man's voice called. "Are they here yet? What's going on out there?" Nobu waited for his next victims to arrive. Two older men walked into the room.
"Li!" the taller one complained. "You can't be getting scared of the dark now. We haven't even finished…" He and the shorter guy looked and saw Nobu standing before them. They blinked at him.
"Uh…" the older one said. “Who are you?" Nobu didn't answer; instead he walked up to the gentlemen. They prepared to attack. Nobu shook his head.
"Sorry," he said. "I don't like violence." He touched them on the forehead. In two minutes, they fell to the ground as well. Nobu walked with bloody hands. But then, something caught his ear. The old man suddenly slowly looked up. Someone tried to hide in one of the empty closets. Nobu walked over to the heat source running through his body.
"I know you are here," he said. "Come out. I just want to talk." No reply. The old man stepped forward.
"It's okay, I won't hurt you," he said. "Just come out and talk." No reply. Nobu made it to the closet. He pushed open the door. The fourth guy looked him in the eye. Nobu gave him a calm little smile.
"Hello," he said. The younger man's lower lip trembled. Nobu reached out to touch him.
"There, there," he said. "I just want to talk." The guy pushed his hand aside and fled. Nobu shook his head.
"Such a shame," he muttered. "He just made things difficult." Nobu followed him down the hall.
"Fan!" the victim cried as he ran to the main room. "Fan, help! We have big trouble!" The leader and Meixiang turned to him.
"What is it, Guozui?" he asked. The young man ran in and caught his breath.
"Li, Han and Niu are all…" he cried. Suddenly, his body froze up and started to float. Fan and Meixiang began to panic.
"Guozui?" Fan yelled. "Guozui, what's wrong? Talk to me!" Blood burst out of his comrade's mouth before he collapsed to the ground. Fan and Meixiang looked on with horrified faces. Nobu stood before them, shaking his head.
"Oh dear," he muttered. "Such unnecessary roughness." He looked and saw the remaining two.
"Oh, hi Anna," he said. His niece shifted her eyes, frowning.
"Hi…" she mumbled.
Tsuzuki and Hisoka found the main room coated in blood.
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