Chapter Twelve: Eros' Warning:
Anna walked home in shock with the box held tightly in her arms. The sudden news hadn't worn off yet. Kato-san is dead? The conversation lingered in her head.
Kyoko led Anna inside while the younger woman gave her a serious look.
"What's going on?" Anna asked. "How did Kato-san die? When did it happen?" Kyoko sat down, pale and trembling. She clenched her hands into fists on the coffee table.
"I don't know the details," she said. "I just got the letter." The old woman reached into her jacket and pulled it out. Anna took the piece of paper and read it. The woman shook her head.
"I don't believe it," she said. "Where is the body?"
"The morgue," Kyoko said.
"How did he die?"
The old lady shook her head. "I don't know."
Anna sat down on the other side of the coffee table. "And the e-mails?"
Kyoko lowered her head. "Me and him."
Anna tilted her head at her. "But why?"
Kyoko shook her head. "I can't tell you that."
"He told me not to tell you."
Anna frowned, trying to take it all in. "He's dead. He's really dead."
The old lady lifted her head, nodding. "Yes."
"Whoa…" Anna turned to Kyoko. "What happens now?"
"Be careful, I guess?" the old lady suggested. Anna lowered her shoulders.
"Do you know where he kept Papa's boxes?" she asked. Kyoko rose to her feet.
"Follow me," she said. The old woman headed out of the apartment with Anna following behind.
Anna currently found herself at a loss. Kato-san is dead? It can't be. Did he die trying to help me against my family? If so, did Haruka kill him? Or did she get someone else to do it? Her thoughts came to a halt when Anna felt someone grab her from behind. The woman cried out as a soft, heavy hand covered her mouth. She fought back in vain, but found herself dragged into an alley.
"Let me go!" she yelled through the muzzle. Despite her attempts to get free, the assailant wouldn't let up.
"Shhh," a male's voice whispered. "I won't hurt you." Anna glanced up over her head. A pair of golden eyes stared down at her.
"Why should I trust you?" she hissed under the hand. The eyes leaned in with a young-looking face. Anna looked angry and puzzled.
"Who the hell are you?" she snapped. The man with the boyish face shushed her again.
"I am called Eros," he whispered. "I am a shinigami bounty hunter." Anna's eyes widened as she tried to escape again, but Eros held her in place.
"Don't worry," he said. "I'm not here for your soul. I only have a message for you." He took his hand from her mouth. Anna narrowed her eyes at him.
"Why should I believe you?" she asked.
"Because Tsuzuki-san and his partner are about to kill an innocent," Eros said without any emotion in his voice.
"Asato?" Anna asked. "Why would he?" Eros let her stand on her own.
"They are investigating the murders in Nihon University Junior and High," he said.
"Yeah," Anna said, whirling around. "Asato told me yesterday."
"A demon is behind the killings."
"I know that. Asato told me. What else is new?"
Eros looked deep into Anna's eyes. "They have the wrong suspect."
The woman looked at him with big eyes. "What did you say?"
"My partner thinks the same thing and is going to kill the girl in question."
Anna took it all in while blinking. "Okay… but why are you telling me this? Why me? What do I say to them?"
Eros's calm demeanor never changed as they spoke. "Just be careful and tell them the one they seek is not the demon."
"Then… who is?" she asked. Eros shook his head.
"There is no more time for questions," he said. "Just go to Nagasaki and stop the lamb's blood from being spilled!"
"But what about my box?" Anna asked. The woman looked around her to find that Eros already vanished.
"Hey, where did you go?" she asked. Anna stood still as she closed her mouth. She still had her doubts, but her curiosity made the thought about buying a ticket to Nagasaki settle in her mind.