Tea Leaves and Silver Rings


Match Seven: Sena:

The world is potentially folding into a crisis. The older countries have become aware that Japan is the key to getting to the bottom of this. However, one obstacle stood in the way of this task.

Sena wouldn’t let anyone get near Kiku.

Ever since he first came from the hospital, Sena had pretty much cut her husband off from outside contact. Kiku was only allowed to go to world meetings and therapy. She monitored his calls and tried to talk to his therapist. Things only got worse when said therapist was found dead in a bathroom stall in the psychiatrist office last year. (That case was still active along with three other therapists that had either died or disappeared connected to a child psychology center in Ikebukuro.)

When she learned about Project Gomorrah, Sena wasn’t taking any more chances.

Upon Kiku’s second release from the hospital, she took to Facebook with a rather blunt and short message.

Due to the stress of recent events, please do not contact my husband while he’s recovery. I will not allow anyone to see him. Sena.

The countries dubbed her as the pit bull. Normally, they would back off and listen to her. However, the situation had changed. The older countries needed to talk to Kiku as soon as possible. But, Sena refused to let them through.

For three days, Antonio tried to visit the Japanese man. On day one, he knocked on the door. As he predicted, Sena greeted him with a frown.

“What do you want?” she asked in a cold tone.

“Is Kiku in?” the Spanish man asked.

“He’s napping.”

“Can I see him?”


“Can I come in?”


Antonio rubbed the back of his head. “Well, am I going to have to come back later?” All he got was a slamming door to the face. The next two days ended the same way. By day three, Antonio could predict what was coming before he even knocked.

“Come on, Sena,” he said. “This is really important. All of our lives are on the line here. I have to talk to Kiku.”

“I don’t care!” Sena shouted. “Kiku’s already stressed and he doesn’t need more!”

“At least let me see him,” the Spaniard said.

“No! Now fuck off or I’ll call the cops!”

Antonio put up his hands as the door was slammed in his face again. “Okay…”

Phone calls didn’t work either. Sena always answered the phone. She had the battery taken out of his phone and hid it. This morning was no different.

“Hello?” she asked.

“Is Kiku there?” Sadik asked. Sena frowned and hung up. Before this, she would fight off Heracles and Sadik whenever they called for Kiku. Jealousy had a strange way of working in that woman’s mind. She didn’t enjoy how those two seemed so close to her husband. Whenever they would leave him a message, Sena would hit the magic button called delete.

But this time, Heracles and Sadik were calling frequently trying to reach Kiku. It wasn’t just them, either. They always ended up talking to Sena. This was the calls would go:

“Hello?” one of the older countries would ask. Sena would roll her eyes at the call.

“What?” she asked.

“Is Kiku in?”


“Can we talk to him?


“Can we talk to him later?”

Sena would snort on the other line. “We’ll see.” She hung up before they could say a word. As for leaving a message, that wouldn’t work either. Just like with Heracles’ and Sadik’s calls, Sena would delete the messages on the answering machine.

However, tonight was a weak moment.

“Tell me everything that you know about her,” Gilbert said in a low voice. Kiku took steps backwards to the door.

“No…” the Japanese man said in a soft voice.

“Please!” Gilbert pleaded. “This is really important! All of the older countries know that she’s coming. What did she tell you?” Kiku trembled as he shook his head.

“I can’t,” he mumbled.

“Kiku!” the Prussian man shouted. The Japanese man sank to the damp ground. He grasped his head looking so pale. Why did they have to track him down with the questions? The one moment that Sena should’ve been here she had to go out and get him something warm to eat. (That woman couldn’t cook to save her life. Kiku did all of the cooking, but he hadn’t been lately due to his condition.) Gilbert reached over and unlocked the fence. His footsteps sounded like a demon walking through hell in the ears of the Japanese man.

“We only want to stop this before we all get swallowed up,” Gilbert said as he sank to eye level in front of Kiku. “But we can’t do that if you won’t tell us everything that you know.” The Japanese man shook his head.

“I want it all to stop,” he whimpered.

“So do we,” Gilbert said. “Take your time if you need to. But we really have to know so we can fight back.”

“You can’t fight back.”

Gilbert’s eyes widened. “What do you mean?”

Kiku’s eyes looked so worn out as he looked up. “She isn’t alone this time.”


The Japanese man gulped as he struggled to speak. “Someone is freeing her.”

Gilbert leaned in closer, grabbing Kiku by the shoulders. “Who?! And how?!” The Japanese man shook his head as he choked on his words.

“I don’t know,” he said. “She wouldn’t tell me who.”

“So she has reached out to you! What did she say? You have to tell me! Tell me!” He noticed gripping the wet grass at their feet as he clenched his teeth. “I don’t care if you have a heart attack because of this! You might be the first step to stop this before it’s too late! Fight it and tell me what the Woman in Red said!”

Kiku shut his eyes. “She said that something glorious is about to happen and Ikebukuro and I will be the centerpiece!” The Japanese man collapsed onto the ground, trembling. Gilbert struggled for about ten minutes to say something.

“What the hell does that mean?!” he asked.

“Kiku!” the man heard someone shrilly shouting. They looked up to see Sena walking through the open fence. She raised an eyebrow as she held a bucket of fresh nijaku in her hand.

“May I ask what the hell you are doing here?” she asked Gilbert. The Prussian man rose to his feet.

“I was just… leaving,” he said.

“Leave faster or I will call the cops,” Sena said. She glared at the Prussian man as he walked away. The woman was quick to lock the gate and rush over to her husband.

“Are you okay, baby?” she whispered. Kiku leaned against her chest, trembling. She kissed him on the cheek.

“I’m sorry for being gone too long,” Sena whispered. “That won’t happen again.” Her words sounded so distant to him. His body went limp as she pulled him to his feet.

“Let’s get you to bed,” Sena whispered. As she walked him back to the house, Kiku felt like he was walking to an execution.

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