Chapter Thirty-Four: Narratophilia:

March 1st, 2010.

4:15 p.m.

Tsuzuki took a break from his secret wedding shopping to enjoy the afternoon with the birthday girl. He and Anna sat on the bench, watching the people walk by. The shinigami had his arm around her shoulders. She cuddled up in response. Her fiancé couldn't help but smile.

"Do you like your birthday?" Tsuzuki asked.

"Yes," she said.

"That's good," he said back. They looked out on the crowd. Three high school girls walked into one of the sweet shops. Tsuzuki remembered that he still didn't know some things about his fiancée.

"Anna-chan," he spoke up.

"Hm?" she asked.

"I have to know," her love said. "What was high school in America like?"


"But how?"

Anna looked at the crowd as if in a daze. "I felt dead inside in the beginning."

Tsuzuki's eyes filled with pity. "Anna-chan…"

She shook her head. "Much like our beloved Japan, I closed off my heat from the outside world. I was like the walking dead while life swirled around me. I was in another country after Papa's death. I'm sure there were people helping me adjust, but I just couldn't connect with them."

Tsuzuki eyed her with a heavy heart. "I'm so sorry to hear that…" She turned to him, smiling.

"Then in college," the woman said. "Becky became my Matthew C. Perry and forced me to try and open up."

"I can see that," Tsuzuki said. He laughed, but paused.

"Then, what does that make me?" he asked. Anna leaned in close to his face.

"My Japan's future," she whispered. The woman gave him a little kiss on the tip of his nose. Tsuzuki smiled for he already had that notion in mind.

April 18th, 2010.

6:00 a.m.

Anna had just gotten out of the shower at Kimoto Manor when the flowered trap was sprung. She dried off her hair when she noticed a cherry blossom branch in front of her. She paused and stared at it.

"Huh?" she asked. Her eyes trailed to her right and spotted the suited male geisha gave her a little smile.

"Well hello there, Princess," he said. Anna raised an eyebrow.

"Uh… who are you?" she asked. The angelic devil reached into his jacket and pulled out a card.

"Here is all that you need to know about me," he said as he handed her the card. Anna took it and read it to herself. She narrowed her eyes as she read the card's content.

"Inouye Gesshin?" she asked. "Male geisha?"

"That's right!" the host bragged.

"O-kay…" she said. "How did you get into my roommate's house?"

"The door was open, so I let myself in," he said. Anna frowned at him.

"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't phone the police right now," she said. Gesshin gave her a flirtatious smile.

"I haven't done anything wrong."

"Breaking and entering."

"Someone invited me over here."

"Who?" Anna took small steps towards the hallway. "This is a test, isn't it?"

"Maybe," he said. The woman glanced around the bathroom for any sort of weapon.

"Stay back!" she shouted. "I will phone the police!"

"Take it easy, Beautiful," Gesshin said. "I mean no harm."

"Right," Anna said, nodding. Her foot came just outside the door. "Yeah, I believe you. Sure." The host shook his head, smiling.

"Look, I'm not here to harm you," he said. "See?" He opened his jacket and turned out his pockets. "I don't have any weapons on me. I am completely unarmed." Anna stayed near the door.

"Alright," she said. "I suppose… I believe you. Why are you here?" Gesshin smiled and bowed at her.

"I only wanted to meet the legendary kitsune beauty in person," he said. Anna felt her fists trembling.

"Wait a minute!" she snapped. "Who the hell…" The host held up his hand.

"To be continued until next time," he said. "Excuse me." He walked out of the bathroom. Anna stayed where she was until she was sure that he had really left. She raced across the hall and grabbed her phone. Because of this, Anna ended up back in Kabukicho for the rest of the case.

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