Chapter Twenty-Three: Yumiko's Body:
February 14th, 1982.
Valentine's Day is supposed to be sweet and romantic, right? A former went out to find new land to grow crops on. He begrudgingly took his wife out with him. She practically nagged him to take her with him.
"We never spend enough time together!" she complained.
"So?" he questioned, "I'm only looking for new fields for planting."
"Let me come with you!" the wife insisted, "It's Valentine's Day! Please?" The farmer sighed and rolled his eyes. So here they were, spending a cold Valentine's Day together against his will. The wife stood around in the field, bored.
"Honey, I'm bored!" she whined. The farmer rolled eyes.
"Told you that you would be!" he shouted.
"Are you done yet?" she asked.
"No!" he shouted as he looked out at the land. The wife leaned on his body.
"How long will that take?" she whined. Her husband groaned and rolled his eyes.
"Longer if you don't shut up!" he barked. The old woman began whining under her breath.
"Honey, I've got to pee," she whispered in his ear. Her husband sighed aloud. Twenty years of marriage came to this?
"Go find a tree or something!" he complained, "Just please, shut your trap!" The wife huffed and stormed off to find a place to pee. Silence for the farmer at last.
"Honey! Honey! Honey! Honey! Honey! Honey! Honey! Honey! Honey!" the wife screamed over and over again at a distance. The farmer paused and rolled his eyes.
Now what?, he thought. The stressed man sighed and went to go check on his wife. She stood petrified in the winter sun further down the field.
"What is it now?" the man demanded. His wife pointed to the ground ahead of her. The farmer slowly looked in front of them. Shock fell on him like a bomb.
"What… is that?" he stammered out. The couple looked at the charred and bloated remains of a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl.
June 13th, 2009.
"Is something wrong, Tsuzuki-san?" a small voice asked. The Shinigami looked up and saw Yoko-chan peeking into the hall at him and Anna. Her little face went pale.
"What's wrong with Anna-san?" she asked in shock. Tsuzuki tried to calm the child down.
"Shhh! Shhh," he whispered, "Yoko-chan, listen to me. Go call the paramedics! Quickly!" The little girl nodded and ran straight to the living room. Tsuzuki looked down at Anna as he tried to stop the reopened wounds from bleeding out.
"Come on, Anna," he murmured, "Hang in there! You can't die yet!" Anna was still out cold from the pain and blood loss. In thirty minutes, the medics came by to treat Anna's bloody wounds. Tsuzuki insisted that they not go to the hospital and patch her up here. The procedure took another thirty minutes. Tsuzuki sat out in the living room waiting. Kobe walked over to his feet and sat down whimpering. The Shinigami lightly patted the puppy on the head.
"I hope she's okay too," he whispered. The Shiba Inu puppy whimpered again. Tsuzuki looked into the kitchen again.
You have to survive, Anna, he thought, Daisuke-san, Yumiko-chan, and Kirika-chan need you to survive for them. Not just them, for the other victims as well. You can't die yet! I won't let you! Finally, a medic came back out. Tsuzuki quickly leapt up to his feet and hurried over to him.
"How is she?" he asked. The doc smiled at him.
"She's going to be fine," he told him, "You called us just in time. Any longer and your friend would have bled to death." Tsuzuki relaxed.
"Ah, that's good," he said, "Can I see her now?" The medic held up his hand to stop him.
"She's resting right now," the other man said, "We just took her back to one of the rooms down the hall."
"When can I see her?" the Shinigami asked.
"Soon, just let her rest for now, okay?" the medic told him. Tsuzuki went silent and nodded.
"Okay," he said calmly. The medic smiled at him.
"Very good," he said with a bow. The medics left shortly after that exchange. Tsuzuki relaxed again; Anna was safe again. In an hour, she came back out with a blanket over her shoulders. She gave Tsuzuki a kind little smile.
"Hey," she said softly. A mix of relief and answer washed over Tsuzuki's face.
"What happened to you?" he demanded. Anna's lips trembled as she debated on telling the truth. The concerned anger in his eyes made her realize that she had no choice anyway. Another soon thought crossed her mind.
He probably saw the… the woman thought in fear. Anna bit her lip again.
"I was flogged… and electrocuted," she admitted. Tsuzuki looked at her puzzled.
"Today?" he asked in shock.
"Actually," Anna admitted, "The electrocution was today and the flogging… many weeks now…"
"Weeks?" he asked. Anna lowered her head to the floor.
"Why did you do that?" Tsuzuki shouted. Anna breathed in heavily to talk again.
"I wanted to defend myself," she answered.
"Huh?" he asked caught off guard. Anna looked up at the Shinigami again.
"You asked me to help me stop my family, right?" she began to reason.
"Right," Tsuzuki said trying to keep calm.
"Well, I figured I would be useless to you with my powers locked up," she went on, "I went to Emiko and them to try and break papa's shield." That of course didn't sit well with Tsuzuki.
"Emiko?" he asked with his tone rising again, "You went to the demons? Don't you realize that they could have killed you in the process?!"
"Better by them than by Haruka or Yasuo!" she yelled. It was then Tsuzuki saw what Anna was saying. She didn't want to play the victim anymore. He sighed and smiled as he lightly patted her on the shoulder.
"Just be careful, okay?" he said.
"Okay, I promise," Anna answered with her head bowed. Tsuzuki felt much better after he had all the answers that he needed. Suddenly, his cell phone rang. Both of them looked up.
"Excuse me," the Shinigami said. He pulled out his phone and flipped it open. Anna waited as Tsuzuki talked on the phone. The conversation only lasted about five minutes.
"Oh," he said, "I see; I'll be right then." The Shinigami hung up and Anna looked on at him.
"What is it?" she asked. Tsuzuki looked up at her.
"That was Watari," he said in a steady tone, "He and Hisoka found Yumiko's body." Anna's eyes grew wide in surprise as she quickly grabbed him by the arm.
"Let me come you with!" she pleaded. Tsuzuki looked concerned.
"You sure about that?" he asked, "You sure you're up for that?"
"Yes!" she insisted, "No more keeping me in the dark. I want to know it all! Take me with you!" Tsuzuki said nothing and nodded.
"Alright, you can come with me," he said. Anna smiled and bowed her head.
"Thank you," she murmured. Tsuzuki took her into his arms and teleported out of Kimoto Manor. They made it to the morgue in a few seconds. Watari and Hisoka stood near the locker waiting.
"Where is she?" Anna asked as she raced over to them, "Where is Aunt Yumiko?" Watari and Hisoka stepped away from the drawer. The scientist pulled it open and everyone looked inside. Before them lied a cold bloated body of a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl. Her limbs, stomach, and face were covered in third degree burns. What was left of the skin looked a grey-white color. The silky long black hair was still there as well. Anna looked up at the Shinigami.
"Are you sure this is her?" he asked in a low voice. Watari didn't speak, but showed her the girl's ribcage. Anna looked and saw "Eda-Kimoto" and a flower burned into the white-grey skin.
"Anna meet Yumiko," Watari spoke up, "Yumiko meet Anna." The woman trembled as she imagined what her aunt's last moments could have been like.
"If there was only some way to…" she mumbled to herself. Tsuzuki looked up at her.
"Find out how she died?" he asked.
"Yeah," the tsukai said with a nod with her eyes still on the body. An idea came into Tsuzuki's head.
"We can," he said. Anna looked at him oddly.
"How?" she asked. Tsuzuki looked over at Hisoka.
"Would you mind finding out how she died, Hisoka-kun?" he asked his partner. The boy's face didn't change.
"Sure," he said indifferent. Hisoka stepped forward and put his hands on the girl's burnt right wrist. He closed his eyes and focused as everyone else waited. In three minutes, Hisoka came back and quickly let go.
"Well," Tsuzuki said. "What did you see?" Hisoka shook his head as he looked pale all over. He slowly backed away and went outside. The Shinigami and woman heard the boy throwing up. The crew went outside to investigate and found Hisoka standing before them trembling.
"What happened?" Watari asked. Hisoka sucked in a mouthful of air.
When he could speak again; the boy said, "How could someone do all of that to their own daughter?! It's just so sick!" The others looked at each other in shocked silence.