Chapter Forty-Eight: Mercy:
Tsuzuki followed a high burst of energy racing through the sky. This wasn’t the first time he had such a shock. He had encountered this once before. He, Anna, and Hisoka were lost in that maze then. No, not like that time. The waves seemed to rip at his chest. Tsuzuki took in heavy breaths for help to keep it together.
/It’s here/, he thought. But in which direction? Luckily, Tsuzuki had a clue in the sky.
Purple tears filled the empty space above. A decaying scent filled the Shinigami’s nose.
“They are close,” he said.
“What will you do?” Hisoka asked. His partner turned to him.
“I have to go out,” he said.
“You what?” Watari asked.
“I’m going to end this for her!” Tsuzuki declared.
“Don’t make this about Anna-san!” Hisoka yelled.
“But I have to,” the older Shinigami said. “She became my responsibility when I brought her back to life. She needs me. I can’t abandon her now!” One tense pause passed them. Hisoka clenched his fists.
“Then I’m coming with you!” he declared. Tsuzuki reeled back in shock.
“You can’t!” he cried. “I have to do this alone!”
“No, you don’t!” Hisoka argued back.
“Because I’m your partner!”
Tsuzuki went quiet as he drew back. He turned to Watari for help. The blonde scientist shrugged.
“He does have a point,” he said. Tsuzuki dropped his shoulders.
“Alright,” he said. Hisoka regained himself.
“Thanks,” the boy said with a bow. So, here they were now. Tsuzuki tried to push this predicament to the back of his mind.
I can’t drag him deeper into this/, Tsuzuki thought. /I have to end this quickly. The Shinigami followed the purple streaks as they grew frequent and heavier in the sky. Tsuzuki breathed harder as he looked behind him. Hisoka didn’t look fazed at all.
What is with him?/, Tsuzuki thought. /Did Kohaku do this to him from last time? Must be convenient…
But then, Tsuzuki paused. A tale cold in the air surrounded him. The Shinigami’s eyes looked around. No buildings. No cherry blossoms. No people. Just… nothing. A black-purple nothing swallowed up everything around him. Tsuzuki’s stomach turned.
This is so creepy…
Then, something caught his ear in the airless silence. He turned when he heard what sounded like a dying patient trying to breathe loudly with ventilator. The bright lights nearly blinded him. Tsuzuki shielded his eyes with his hand.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
Tsuzuki’s face washed into confusion. What… is that? The white plump skin made the heart-thumping noise. The veins looked like roads on a map. The eyes looked sullen and dead. This creature’s mouth stayed stuck open. No limbs attached to its body. In fact, it looked to be floating. Tsuzuki blinked in further confusion. The creature had a human face.
Shichiro? The Shinigami looked harder. His eyes shot wide open.
It is! But what the hell? It didn’t take him long to figure out a small clue of what happened.
“Haruka did this to you!” he gasped. “That’s just so…” He paused when the poor creature made a sound as if to try and talk.
“Hm?” Tsuzuki asked. The Shinigami took baby steps closer. He leaned his ear in really close.
“Kill…me…” the creature pleaded. Tsuzuki pulled back in startled pain.
/No/, he thought. He didn’t want to kill. It was against his gentle nature. That’s what being a Shinigami hurt him so much. But yet…
Tears ran down Tsuzuki’s cheeks. He reached up to wipe them away.
What’s this? Why am I crying? He’s Anna-chan’s enemy. But, he doesn’t deserve this. How… How could Haruka stoop that low?
“Kill… me…” Shichiro pleaded again. Tsuzuki toughened up some.
“I understand,” he replied. The Shinigami pulled out a fuda and held it to the creature’s beating core. He chanted a soft spell. The beast shut its eyes. The fire spell blew him up from the inside. Black blood exploded everywhere with the mass ball of grey-white wrinkled flesh. Tsuzuki watched on with pity in his eyes as black blood hit his face. He couldn’t think of a single word to voice what he thought.
In her house, Haruka gasped aloud as her heart snapped in pain. She fell back in her black and gold armchair with a thump. Shiroko fainted at her mistress’ feet. The old lady panted as she gripped the arms of her chair.
“He broke my spell!” she hissed. “Bastard broke my spell! I refuse to lose just yet! I won’t!” She began to rebuild her connection to her nightmare world. She still had the reminder of the virus after all.
In the space of nothing, Kohaku open its eyes.
“It’s done,” the kitsune said. It vanished to its new vessel leaving the body to dissolve as the eaten souls floated away to freedom.
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