Chapter Two: Release Mother:
Anna didn't understand it. What did Kohaku mean by "mother?" Did he mine my kitsune? Her own mystery deepened when she went out to the shed in the backyard to help Rihoko clean it out.
"There are so many boxes in here," the paranormal otaku said.
"Yeah," Anna said. "Papa kept many notes since we left my old community." In truth, Anna had her own motives for cleaning the shed. An answer for why Kohaku called her "Mother." Maybe the answer is in Papa's notes, Anna thought.
"Where do we start?" she asked. Rihoko looked around at the many taped-up boxes.
"Um… You get the back corner, I guess," she said after some thought.
"Alright," Anna said. The "ghost" woman took three boxes back to her. She paused to settle herself. Inside these boxes were the truth to "mother." Do I really want to know? Might as well, she had already been dragged into this mess when she first died.
Anna opened the box with an open pair of scissors and looked inside. Stacks of paper saw the light of day for the first time in years. Anna took her time reading the first set of notes. A puzzled look washed over her face.
What is all of this? The language wasn't in Japanese and the woman certainly didn't recognize it. What the hell? She lied back on her futon.
"I'm going to need some help with this," she said to herself.
Anna knocked on the door and waited. She looked up to a surprise when she saw Emiko looking rather pissed off at the doorway.
"Uh… is this a bad time?" Anna asked. The butch demon quickly changed her face.
"No, no!" she brushed it off. "What can I do for you?" Anna looked around at first.
"It's really important," she whispered. Emiko nodded once.
"Oh," she said. The demon turned inside the house. "Follow me," she said. Anna followed her inside, still puzzled. As she took off her shoes, the woman tried to guess what happened moments before she came to the door. I hope it's nothing too serious, she thought as she rose to her feet. Emiko led her former student into the living room and sat in her red recliner.
"Talk to me," she said. "What do you need?" Anna looked around again.
"Where's Hotaru?" she asked. Emiko puffed out a bitter breath.
"We got into an argument last night," she answered. The other woman tilted her head rather puzzled.
"An argument?" she asked. "What happened?"
"Just a stupid, childish thing," the butch demon summed up. "She's being a little bitch and avoiding me. In fact, she just left a few minutes ago."
"How sad," Anna said. Emiko shook her head.
"Not a bother," she said. "She'll be back soon. She does this when she gets pissed at me." The butch demon clapped her hand together. "Okay," Emiko said. "What'cha got?" Anna handed her the notes in a file. The butch demon read over them.
"Oh?" she asked. "What do we have here?"
"Papa's notes," Anna answered. "They're in some language I don't understand." Emiko looked rather perplexed by this.
"Really now?" she asked.
"Yeah," Anna replied. "I may be multi-lingual, but I have never seen this before in my life." Emiko paused and looked up. Anna noticed the look her face and raised an eyebrow.
"What?" she asked. The butch demon narrowed her eyes at her.
"Why did you come to me with this?" she asked. Anna tried not to show her worry as she looked Emiko in the eye.
"I sent it to Watari-san this morning and asked him to translate it for me," she admitted.
"And?" the butch demon asked rather amused. Anna shook her head with a frown.
"He said no," she admitted.
"Why is that?" Emiko asked, intrigued.
"Asato told him not to," the other woman admitted.
"I see…" the butch demon replied in thought. Emiko glanced at Anna again. "Why do you want to know about these so badly?" she asked.
"One of the kitsune called me `mother' when it was about to kill me a few days ago," Anna said. Emiko froze at her words.
"What did you say?" she asked with a sharp look in her eyes. Anna explained the whole battle to the demon. Emiko began to see the whole picture. She shook her head at the woman.
"I'm sorry, but I have to side with the boys on this one," the butch demon said at last.
"What?" Anna asked as her face dropped. Emiko gently took her hands.
"Listen," she said, calmly. "Tsuzuki is trying to protect you." The other woman sneered.
"I know," she forced out. "I do appreciate it, but I want to be able to fend for myself as well. I'm tired of feeling useless." She squeezed Emiko's hands.
"Help me do that, or at least tell me the truth of what's going on!" The butch demon smirked at her.
"You sure about that?" she asked.
"Yes!" Anna almost shouted. Emiko snickered at her. Anna raised an eyebrow at the demon.
"What?" she asked. It slowly came to her. "Wait a second!" Anna said. "You were going to help anyway, weren't you?" Emiko grinned at her.
"I just had to see how committed you were to do this," she said.
"And if I wasn't?" the other woman asked. Anna narrowed her eyes at her as the butch demon shrugged. Emiko patted the woman on the shoulder.
"So, let's see what Papa Kimoto has in his notes, shall we?" she said. Anna gave her a blank stare.
"Okay…" she said. Emiko rose to her feet.
"Come with me," she said. The butch demon disappeared down the hall. Anna suddenly had a bad feeling about this, but her curiosity got the better of her. She rose to her feet and followed behind.