Chapter Three: Old Fox:
November 3rd, 2010.
Hitomi walked up to the front desk at the hospital.
“Welcome, how can I help you today the receptionist asked.
“I’m here to see Kimoto-san,” Hitomi answered. “Which room is she in?”
“One second,” the receptionist said. She pulled up information on the computer. Hitomi fidgeted with her hands. Haruka-san… Why did you take it that far?
“She’s in room 330,” the receptionist said.
“Thank you,” the teacher said. She bowed and walked to the elevators. Inside, Hitomi held her fist to chest. She knew the plan ahead of time, but it still hurt. She gulped as she remembered the morning she got the news. Hitomi froze in the kitchen. No. No! Haruka-san! The kitsune didn’t want to leave her friend alone that night.
“No,” Haruka said. “Just stick to the plan.” Against better judgement, Hitomi went home.
Hitomi knocked on room 330′s door.
“Come in,” a voice murmured on the other side. The kitsune’s turned as she opened the door. Haruka sat up in her bed. Bandages covered the woman’s neck, arms, and torso.
“Hello, friend,” she said, waving. Hitomi collapsed to her knees.
“You’re alright!” she said.
“Of course I am. Why wouldn’t I be?” Haruka frowned as Hitomi began sobbing. “Oh don’t do that!”
“But… But… You could’ve died!”
“But I didn’t.”
Hitomi trembled. “Don’t do that to me again! You had me so worried! I spent days asking for updates! Just… Just…” She clenched her fists at her sides. “Don’t!” Her longtime friend put up her hands, shushing her.
“Okay, okay,” the old lady said. “I won’t take that risk again.”
Haruka sighed. “Yeah, yeah.”
“I mean it!”
“Okay! I promise. Happy?”
“Thank you.” Hitomi rose to her feet.
“Anything else?” Haruka asked.
“What happened that night?” the kitsune asked. The old lady leaned back on pillows.
“It started out simple enough. I started talking and then I went to the kitchen to make the tea.”
“Why yes.” Haruka leaned forward. “Your blood is really strong. How’s your arm?”
“Fine. I don’t even have a scar.”
“What was that spell for exactly? You said you would tell me when it was over.”
“Ah yes. That.” She leaned in, smiling. “It’s just a little something I whipped up to open direct contact with Mother.”
Hitomi looked so pale. “That spell’s too dangerous. You could’ve killed Anna before she had the chance to attack you.”
Her old friend shrugged. “I would’ve won either way.”
Her friend frowned. “Then what happened?”
“Anna felt the spell’s effects, so I sent her to my bathroom for some medicine. I waited and followed behind.” Haruka leaned back in her bed. “Want to know how attacked me?”
Hitomi shook her head. “No, I don’t.”
“Oh come on! Ask me.”
The teacher kitsune sighed. “Fine, how were attacked?”
Her friend put her arms behind her head. “She stabbed me.”
Hitomi didn’t know whether to be confused or worried. “How?”
“With a knife.” She chuckled. “I am impressed, though. Anna with that much strength and rage. Whew! Killing her will be that much more exciting!” Her friend chuckled as her eyes shifted left and right. She didn’t what scared her more—Haruka’s words or the tone that she used as if talking about what she had for breakfast this morning.
“Uh… what happens now?” she asked. Haruka pushed back her gray-midnight blue hair.
“She and I will recover. I will change my tactics. Work from there.” Already, that didn’t sound pleasant. With Nobu still mental, that only left Yasuo and Victoria to help out. Aside from the granddaughter being reliable, the son was still a suck-up.
“Right,” Hitomi said. “Do you need anything else?”
“No, you can go if you want.”
Her kitsune friend shook her head. “No, I’ll stay for a while.”
“Oh? What about your darlings?”
“They went home already. I came here when school let out.”
“Well then, do as you like.”
“Thank you.” Hitomi bowed her head and sat in the chair next to Haruka’s bed.