Recap: A new tunnel to Demon World was opening in Mushiyori City. The group split up, with Kurama’s group ending up at a hospital where Yusuke’s attack was seen.
The hospital was straight ahead of the group, not more than five minutes of walking. Komeko froze in her steps and more than enough expletives fell from her lips.
“What’s wrong?” Botan asked.
“I smell Keiko and Shizuru. They shouldn’t be anywhere near here. If they’re not with the others, then they’re in trouble.” Komeko explained.
“Seriously?” Botan’s face became worried.
She started to take a few steps forward before Kurama held her back with his hand.
“Listen carefully.” He instructed.
She did just that and heard nothing; it was eerily silent.
“We know Yusuke fired a large blast of energy from here, but there’s nothing going on. No one is running away. It’s too quiet. We assume the worst for everyone in that hospital. They’re detained, hurt, or dead.” Kurama continued.
Komeko groaned as she held back a snarl of agitation. His eyes rested on her momentarily before making the decision to enter by himself. Komeko followed after him.
“What do you think you’re doing, running off like that?” She kept pace with him.
“It’s too dangerous for them to be in here.” Kurama responded.
“Hypocrite, you’re not shaking me on this one.” Komeko was peeved at his dismissal.
“I figured you’d follow along regardless.”
Kurama pulled out his rose whip and caught on to the fencing along the top of the hospital. Komeko mimicked him, jump for jump, effortlessly.
“I’m not that easy to get rid of anyways.” She added with a small sound of indignation.
Both of them stilled as they caught on the change in the air – they were in a territory. Sheets billowed around them with the wind and they carefully walked between the flailing fabrics. They approached the door and stood on either side before entering.
They made their way quickly down the stairs, skipping steps in between. Komeko held Kurama’s arm and pointed over at the elevator where they saw the insects crowding it. Kurama used his rose whip to destroy some of the bugs, while Komeko held her arms out to blast the remaining ones with her demon energy. Shizuru and Keiko dove from the elevator, skidding on the floor.
“What exactly are you guys doing here?” Komeko asked, hands on her hips.
Kurama held a similar face of question and Shizuru looked up at them wearily, surprised.
“What’s wrong with Keiko!?” Komeko yelled, picking the girl up.
Kurama stood next to her as Shizuru spoke. “One of those insects bit her.”
“She smells so sick.” Komeko pushed some of Keiko’s hair behind her ear.
“I’m sure I can make an antidote. We’ll just need some of her blood and – “ Kurama was cut off as Keiko’s color began to return to her.
“Oh my goodness, woman, you scared the life out of me!” Komeko yelled and hugged Keiko tightly.
“Komeko… too…hard…” Keiko muttered.
Instantly loosening her grip, Komeko sweat-dropped and helped her stand. “Sorry about that.”
“It’s okay. I feel a lot better now. I wonder what happened.” Keiko said.
Komeko and Kurama exchanged looks of understanding before working their way down the hall to get back with everyone. Puu flew ahead of them as they found Genkai and Yusuke. Yanagisawa sat on the floor in a nurse’s outfit with Botan healing him. Genkai and Yusuke turned around as Kurama spoke.
“Well, this certainly is a reunion.”
“Hey sis, why are you here?” Kuwabara asked when he caught sight of Shizuru. “You sick?”
“Yeah, bro, sick of tracking you down.” Shizuru said with sarcasm. “What trouble are you in?”
“Well, that’s a pretty long story, actually. Ya know, tunnels and stuff.” Kuwabara answered.
Genkai began walking to the doors as sirens were heard. “This is a crime scene and we don’t want to be part of it.”
Kaito offered to stay and oversee Kido, while everyone else bolted.
It was only a few days later that Komeko sat around a table with Genkai, Yusuke, Yanagisawa, Keiko, Botan, and Kaito.
“Give me a break! What do you mean, he’s missing?!” Yusuke yelled angrily.
“He didn’t come to school today.” Kaito added.
“Wish I could help you, but he’s managed to hide his scent – tricky fox that he is.” Komeko added.
Worry bubbled inside of her at Kurama’s absence that day, but she did her best to shove it down for the moment. Wherever he was, she was sure he was fine. Especially since he had gone to the trouble of hiding his scent, meaning he really did not want to be found. All she could do in the mean time was respect that.
“First Hiei, then Kuwabara, and now Kurama! You can’t count on anybody! I’m destined to do this alone!” Yusuke continued his rant, fist balled up.
Genkai hit him with her tea cup. “Shut up. Now that we know where these psychics are hiding, we can mount an attack. We must plan it carefully.”
“I’ve heard of Demon’s Door Cave. It’s like an urban legend.” Yanagisawa muttered.
“It’s said scorned lovers go there to die, which shows our enemies like irony. If we go unprepared, it’ll be suicide as well.” Kaito added.
“Hey, I don’t need a lesson from you too, rookie! Stupid freckles…” Yusuke argued as he left, even refusing to stay for Keiko’s sake.
“I don’t know what’s gotten into him. He shouldn’t be going out alone, should he?” Keiko asked Genkai.
“Give him space. If he’s that dumb, he deserves to die, but I suspect he’s worried about Kuwabara.” Genkai responded.
“Don’t worry, doll. He’ll be okay!” Komeko added, giving Keiko a hug that was returned.
“I hope so.” Keiko stared out at the window with Puu in her lap.
Komeko stood from beside Keiko. “If you guys will excuse me, I’ll be right back.”
She walked to the back of the room and entered the bathroom. She splashed some water on her face and dried it, letting her mind wander. She wasn’t sure how to feel about Kurama leaving. Since he didn’t feel the need to clue anyone else in, it felt like a cold move. It bothered her, but she tried to give him the benefit of the doubt in thinking he did it for a good reason. He was quite the tricky fox, hiding his scent from her. The one thing that most people did not know was how to do that and keep it from a Tsuiseki demon.
In her state of vulnerability, or her idiocy, she had let one of those ways slip to Kurama. She certainly wouldn’t do that again. The method wasn’t too taxing, but it involved a few rare plants that Kurama just so happened to have access to. Maybe he enjoyed trying to test his boundaries with her, but she didn’t necessarily like it. A feeling of dread formed in the put of her stomach, but she shook it off. She gave herself a hard look in the mirror before leaving.
She walked out in time to see Genkai knock Yusuke around.
“What the hell’s your problem, old lady?”
“I thought you were leaving the group to look after Kuwabara. He can’t use his powers right now. He hasn’t lost them, they just haven’t awakened yet. It’s like a hatching egg. His body had to have sensed the coming danger months ago to prepare for it without him consciously knowing it. If the enemy realizes this, then he may not be their last target - he’d be the first.” Genkai explained.
He ran off into the darkness, Botan and Komeko following him steadily. Rain pelted down onto their bodies, chilling them to the bone with its coldness. Eventually a very large amount of energy caught their attention. They ran towards it. Blood was mixed in the air as they rounded a corner, ending up right back at the apartment. Kuwabara and four others were on the rug of the lobby.