Watari tries to work through all of the souls that Kohaku ate while Shichiro goes to trial for all of his crimes.
Chapter Three: Shichiro:
Shichiro left quite a mess. Ju-Oh-Cho had so much to do. First came all of those souls. Shichiro had been hunting since the 70’s. Watari was put in charge of managing the project.
“He lived in Kyoto,” he pointed out. “So, he’s my responsibility.” Hard to argue there. Ami’s soul made it back to Hong Kong safely. Speaking of which, the chief of Hong Kong’s Meifu wanted in.
“We would like to try Kimoto-san as well,” he said.
“Fine,” Konoe said. “Do as you please.” Shichiro process helped shed light on the Eda-Kimoto killings. First, came the kitsune. Watari kept a journal on everything.
Souls from the seventies. Majority of them Japanese. Small number of Americans. Nothing special, really. Watari decided to ask the souls about being trapped within Kohaku all those years.
“So tell me,” he said. “What happened to you guys? What was it like?” No one could really answer.
“We can’t say,” they said. Watari took time to observe each one.
/Memory loss?/, he thought. He would have to see further.
More souls from the seventies. Yet, there was a bigger problem.
“Sir,” a colleague spoke up. “The kitsune’s heart is gone.” Watari stared at him.
“You’re kidding?” he asked.
“No sir. Look,” the lab colleague said. He showed the blonde scientist the chart. Watari read the content with a puzzled face.
“That can’t be right,” he said. He read over the charts about two more times.
“Take me to the research lab,” he said. The men hurried down the hall.
Souls from the seventies and eighties.
When the handler dies, the copy of the kitsune break down and fades away. That is if no new host is found. Such as the case with Kohaku. First, it still had the frame intact. Watari blinked.
“That’s not right,” the colleague said. The scientist shook his head.
“How is the frame still intact?” he asked. He put on gloves and stepped forward. The coat felt breakable like dust. The bones stayed strong. Watari carefully lifted the chest. Shock bitch-slapped him hard.
“Where’s the heart?!?” Watari asked.
“Exactly,” the colleague said. Watari took a closer look.
“Lungs. Liver. Kidneys. All here. It has everything still here. Everything but the heart…”
His colleague stepped closer to his side. “What does this mean?”
Watari frowned. “The kitsune found a new host.”
“I’ve heard of cases like this. When the copy is tired of its host, it’ll abandon them to find a new one. They take out an organ as payment for the transfer.”
“So the heart was…”
“Uh-huh. But the question is, where’s the kitsune now?”
Silence greeted him.
More souls from the eighties.
Watari began the search for Kohaku.
“The heart is dormant at this time,” he explained as he fired up the scanner. “There is no telling when it’ll manifest.”
“So, what do we do?” Konoe asked.
“Wait and see,” Watari replied. He frowned at his own words. Couldn’t this get a little more interesting?/, he thought. /A tiny bit, at least?
Elsewhere, Shichiro’s sentencing began in Tokyo as scheduled. They found his soul guilty in minutes. Enma would hand down the final word in Japan.
“Any final words?” he asked. The former professor looked up with desperate eyes.
“Amaya-chan…” he murmured. “Amaya-chan… Where is she? My Amaya-chan! I want my Amaya-chan! Amaya-chan! Amaya-chan! Amaya-chan!”
“Seize him,” Enma said. The guards grabbed the screaming man and took him away.
“Amaya-chan! Amaya-chan!” he screamed over and over again. Enma shook his head. The same results occurred in the Hong Kong Meifu. His punishment? Kimoto Shichiro ended up in the deepest circle of Hell. Yet, business with the second Kimoto son wasn’t quite finished yet. Same with the rest of Eda-Kimoto clan.