Author: OneAmahira
Content Rating: T-13
Published: 2011-08-11 19:42:35
Tags: yu yu hakusho, yyh, hiei, kurama, yusuke, anime, second person

Yusuke Urameshi gave up being Spirit Detective after the first Demon World tournament. Now three years later the next tournament to determine who shall rule Demon World is slated to begin and a new Spirit Detective has been sent to observe. Something is awakening that endangers the very existence of all three worlds. Old friends must reunite and team up with new faces to save everything they hold dear. Or die trying.

Author´s Notes and Disclaimers:

Still preserved in it's original Quizlla form, part 25 of Somewhere Between Hope and Fear!

Quizilla Memo: All right, some shout outs before we get things going! To Alillanta for all the messages. She's got a YYH story too that I should get around to checking out, called "Kuro Tenshi". Again to Moldyspamsandwich who also has a YYH story, "Orange Blossom". Finally, a shout out to jessicann who writes a Kurama story entitled "A Blue Rose For You".

Yu Yu Hakusho is property of Yoshihiro Togashi, Shueisha, Studio Pierrot, Funimation, and several other people or companies that are not me.

Chapter 25
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After your blatant lie you retreat to your room, under another blatant lie about continuing your efforts to find your father. You need a way to get out tomorrow without drawing suspicion from the others. Yusuke, Botan, and Keiko don't worry you much, but you aren't sure Kurama bought into what you were saying and there's no telling with Hiei.

"Please call any time if you need anything, Miss Fujiwara." You recall Yasuyama's offer earlier, before he left. You get out your cellphone and contemplate giving him a call. It seems in bad taste to be calling for a favor after having just tried so hard to dissuade him from wanting to get involved. After taking a deep breath you punch in the numbers and hit send.

"Hello?" Yasuyama answers after two rings.

"Hi, it's me. Um, Chiyori." It feels weird to be calling him like this.

"Is something wrong? Do you want me to come back over?" He speaks quickly.

"No, nothing is wrong. You, uh, said I could call you if I needed anything, right?" You hate to drag him into this, but it's the only way you can think of.

"Yes of course. How can I help you?" He sounds happy that you need his assistance, which only makes you feel worse about the situation.

"You have a car, right?" You inquire.

"Yes." Yasuyama answers.

"Sorry to bother you, but do you think you could pick me up around five tomorrow?" Leaving the house then should give you plenty of time to get outside the city and crash your father's meeting.

"It would be my pleasure. Where is it you need to go?"

"... I need to meet with my father. I don't want anyone else involved." You keep your voice low. "Could you pretend that we're going out for dinner, or something?" You hope it isn't too big a favor to ask of him. He was genuinely interested in you and can't help but feel a little bad to be using him this way.

"You want to lie to your, er... friends?" He seems to hvbe a hard time referring to your demonic companions as such.

"I just don't want them involved." You sigh. "They mean well, I guess, but this is between my father and me."

"He came to the funeral, didn't he?" Yasuyama asks.

"Briefly. Will you help me?" You leave out the extra details.

"Yes... but will you let me come with you?"

"I don't know."
"We'll see."

You say good bye and end the call. You'd rather he just drop you off and wait for you somewhere, but know he'll protest. It seems better to argue that with him later when he won't have as much time to protest. Obviously you don't want him there to see you kill your father; you aren't sure he'd take it well without knowing all the facts.

"You're going out tomorrow night?" Keiko asks after you make the announcement over dinner.

"Yeah. Yasuyama really respected my grandfather, so I think he feels like he's got to look after me." At least that isn't a lie.

"Aw, that's so sweet!" Botan coos.

"No, it's not." You sweatdrop. "I want to set him straight. If he keeps coming around here it'll just cause us problems. He'll be more comfortable if he isn't around all this demonic energy, so it will be easier to talk to him."

"Why not meet here? We can leave." Kurama inquires.

"He wanted to go out." You shrug, lacking a better answer.

"Can you trust him? We wouldn't want something to happen to you." Kurama presses the issue, locking eyes with you. He seems suspicious, but you laugh it off.

"My grandfather wanted me to marry him, Kurama. I trusted my grandfather and if my grandfather trusted him, then so do I." Though you have been thinking about what Yasuyama said, about pain and suffering. It's lingered in the back of your mind since he left and part of you wonders if everything has been worth it or not. In essence, you are fighting an impossible battle.

"All right." Yusuke shrugs. "Have fun on your date."

"It isn't a date!" You protest, then change subjects. "Kurama, have you been tending the gardens?"

"Yes." He seems slightly embarrassed to be found out.

"Thank you so much, I've been neglecting so many things these days." You smile at him.

"Of course you've been neglecting things, you've been too busy taking care of his ass." Yusuke points a thumb at Hiei, who grunts with disdain.

"The gardens here are lovely, it'd be a shame to just let them fall apart."

You smile again on the outside and thank Kurama once more. On the inside you're feeling...

Bad about lying to everyone.
Apprehensive about facing Nibori.
The thrill of secretiveness.

You lean against the kitchen counter after washing the dishes with Botan and Keiko.

"So..." Botan leans toward you.

"So what?" You raise an eyebrow.

"So why didn't it work? The arranged marriage. He seems like a nice boy." Thankfully she isn't making any odd cat faces.

"Grandfather acted as the go-between... and Yasuyama and I went out a few times. I just wasn't that interested, I wanted to go to Europe and there was becoming Spirit Detective to consider around that time." You shrug. "Besides... he's the kind of guy who needs a traditional Japanese housewife. I'm just not that."

"Being Detective has a way of interfering with your life." Keiko laughs.

"Tell me about it." You sigh, and ponder how your life might be different if you haven't accepted the offer.

"Well, I believe people should marry for love, anyway. Right, Keiko?" Botan smiles as the three of file out of the kitchen.

"Arranged marriages work for some people." Keiko flushes slightly.

"Marriage is over rated." You know you've said it once, but say it again anyway.

Yusuke is the only one in the main room and you briefly wonder where Kurama and Hiei have disappeared to.

"Aw, you only say that because you're bitter about some old flame." Yusuke teases.

"I, uh, don't have any old flames to be bitter about." You sweatdrop. Everyone else sweatdrops at your answer.

"... Never been kissed?" Yusuke inquires.

"Never." You answer.

"Never necked?" He presses.


"Never made out?"


"You're a virgin?"

"Don't say it like it's a bad thing!" You can practically feel a storm cloud above your head. "Shrine maiden, hello! That's one of the requirements!"

"Yusuke! You don't ask a lady those kinds of questions!" Botan stares at him in shock at his bad manners.

"Fujiwara is like one of the guys!" Yusuke protests. Your imaginary storm cloud grows and you hang your head.

"You're such a jerk, Yusuke!" Keiko scolds him. "In fact, I bet you don't even remember what tomorrow is!"

"The day after this one?" He sticks his tongue out.

"Hmph! This is why no other girl can stand you." She turns on her heel and walks out of the room.

"Keiko, wait!" Yusuke groans and follows. "Is it your birthday tomorrow? An anniversary for something?"

Both you and Botan sweatdrop.

"Um, what is tomorrow?" You look at the ferry girl.

"It's White Day, silly! And Yusuke always forgets it!"

"Oh." You shrug and sit down at the table with her. "So, you have any old flames?"

"Nope! I'm a career girl." She answers proudly.

"Glad I'm not the only one then." You smile. "But you're sure awfully nosy about other people's relationships."

Botan makes her cat face and doesn't respond. You stay up awhile longer talking with her before retiring to your room for the night. For awhile you sit at your desk...

Reviewing your curse.
Writing in your journal.
Reading some manga.

Later, after several uneasy hours of trying to fall asleep, you get out of bed. You make yourself a cup of tea and wander outside onto the veranda in your bathrobe, looking over the less extensive garden that is your backyard.

"Sneaking out, Detective?" A voice inquires from the roof.

"Why, Hiei, we've got to stop meeting like this." You scoff. "And if I was, what business of it is yours?"


"Good answer." You roll your eyes sip your tea. Tomorrow... Tomorrow it will be done. It's silent now and you aren't sure Hiei is still up on the roof above you. You close your eyes and count your grievances against Nibori.

When you finish your tea you quietly return inside. You place your cup in the sink and glance at the kettle of hot water. You stare at it for a few moments, they sigh heavily. You get a clean cup and make some more tea.

You carry the steaming cup outside and set it down, calling quietly up to the roof. "Some tea..."

"If you insist on sitting in the cold all night."
"But this isn't an apology for what the other day."
"Best you drink it before it gets cold."

You don't wait around for any kind of answer. Returning to your room you turn out the light and close your eyes to try and sleep again. You manage to fall into a light doze, but you alarm clock rousts you all too soon.

After getting dressed and such, you head into the main room. You can smell breakfast cooking and wonder who else is up already. Inside the kitchen you're surprised to find Kurama.

"Good morning?" You rub your eyes.

"Good morning." He responds.

"Why are you cooking breakfast?" You sweatdrop.

"A return to gift for White Day." He smiles. "I thought it would be a nice gesture, since usually Keiko or Botan makes breakfast for everyone."

"I make it too... okay, so I haven't lately, but still." You sweatdrop.

"There's a return gift for you as well." He chuckles at you.

"Um... that isn't really necessary. I'm kind of like Yusuke. I completely forgot about it." You shake your head, then go back to the main room to sit and wait for breakfast.

"Good morning!" Botan seems as chipper as ever when she comes in, followed by Keiko.

Yusuke still hasn't shown himself when Kurama brings out pancakes, eggs, and bacon for a breakfast feast. Hiei you assume is outside somewhere. Everyone is about to dig in when the front door is opened abruptly.

"Okay, Keiko!" Yusuke's face is obscured by and armful of gifts.

"Yusuke?" She blinks.

"I didn't know what I was supposed to get you, so here's a birthday present." He sets down a wrapped box. "And chocolate. And some flowers. And a teddy bear. Oh, and cards! I got cards, too!"

Yusuke piles up the gifts in front of Keiko. You, Kurama, and Botan chuckle in the background.

Keiko says nothing, looking at the pile of gifts.

"You're not mad anymore, are you?" Yusuke asks, almost pathetically. "I know I screw up a lot, but it isn't because... well, you know. I just... ah, would you say something, Keiko!?"

She bursts into laughter. As realization dawns, a dopey grin spreads slowly across Yusuke's face.

"Yusuke, you're so stupid." She laughs. "What am I gonna do with all this?"

"Um..." He sweatdrops. "I guess it depends on what day it is."

"It's White Day." Kurama chuckles.

"Why didn't you tell me that, Kurama!? Help a guy out next time!" Yusuke face plants.

"That means you owe Chiyo and me gifts as well, Yusuke!" Botan waves a finger.

"What!? I'm not dating you two!" He protests.

"You accepted our chocolate!" Botan counters.

"Why don't I split these up?" Keiko laughs.

"Sure." You shrug and go to get a vase for the flowers.

After breakfast you disappear to your room to prepare the death curse with your father. It'll most likely be a tedious process, so you want to get started as soon as possible. You're just about to draw some of your blood with the athame you bought when a tap on the door startles you.

"Yes?" You scramble over to open it. Kurama is there.

"Sorry to disturb you, but there's still your gift, Chiyori." He smiles.

"Oh... um." You look at his empty hands. "Where is it?"

"Outside." He starts walking. Slightly exasperated, you follow him. Knowing that he's probably suspicious of you makes you suspicious of him.

"Close your eyes." He instructs when you reach the front door. You do so and let him lead you outside. You know you're steps are taking you into the courtyard.

"Can I open them now?" You ask when you stop. This feels silly.


Lifting your eye lids it takes a brief second for your eyes to adjust to the sunlight, and even then it still takes you a second to realize the difference. The trees are healthy again, with crisp green pine needles, and the few cherry trees that suffered some of the ill effects of the sickness demon's miasma are now blooming out of season.

"Kurama..." You can't help but gape.

"It's a gift, for White Day." He chuckles at your expression.

"I told you not to worry about it..." You mumble, wonder at the blooming cherry trees replaced by guilt over your lies.

"One less thing to worry about, since we all have enough on our minds as is." Kurama puts a hand on your shoulder. "You seem to have a lot, especially."

"Yeah..." You look down.

"Care to talk about it?" He inquires.

A ploy! It suddenly hits you. He knows you're hiding something. You don't know whether to be angry or not at him for doing things this way.

"J-just my father." You force a smile. "It's hard, he's always in the back of my mind. When I find him I intend to fix that."

Kurama only nods quietly.

"I should get back to what I was doing... The sooner I find him, the better." You're exit isn't as tactful as you'd like it to be.

You isolate yourself in your room for the rest of the day, under the guise of continuing to scry for Nibori. There's a nagging concern that Kurama will follow you tonight, or worse yet get Hiei to keep an eye on you. It makes preparing the curse that much more difficult.

Four identical ofuda need to be made in your blood for this. There isn't room for error and it takes you more tries and blood than you're prefer to make the perfect four.

You're a little light headed after you'd bandaged your hand, and while it gets a few odd looks from the others, the assumption is that it's related to your scrying. With the injury taken care of you get dressed for your supposed dinner with Yasuyama and wait at the front gate for him to arrive.

"Miss Fujiwara." He arrives at the gate, giving an uneasy look up into the pine trees.

"I'm ready if you are." You shoot a dirty look up into the branches. You know Hiei is up there, but you aren't going to give anything away to him. "I was thinking sushi. I haven't had any in awhile."

"That sounds delicious." He puts an arm around your shoulders and the two of start down the steps. "The trees look so much better than they did the other day."

"Shuichi has a way with plants." You laugh as he unlocks his plain blue sedan. You open the door before he gets the chance to hold it open for you and climb in. He walks around to the other side and climbs into the driver's seat.

Several moments of silence pass. You're relatively certain you aren't being followed by anyone and let our a sigh of relief.

"So where are we really going?" Yasuyama glances at you.

"Here." You hand him the note with the location. "He's meeting someone under this train bridge."

"Are you sure about this, Miss Fujiwara?" Yasuyama frowns.

"I have to confront him." You turn away and stare out the window.

"Why now? After so many years? It would be better just to forget about him."

"I can't forget." You're words are hard and cold. "Not what he did to me."

"Did he do something at the memorial?" Yasuyama asks with concern.

"No, after. I don't want to talk about it." You respond tartly.

"Then at least let me go with you when you see him. I could never forgive myself if something happened to you. Master Fujiwara would have wanted someone to look after you for him."

"I can take care of myself."
"It doesn't have to be you."
"I don't need a babysitter."

You continue to stare out the window at the passing scenery.

"I see." Yasuyama sighs, giving up on the topic for now. The conversation dies until he pulls the car to the side of the road. Outside his window you can see the train bridge going over the river.

Under that bridge. You unfasten your seatbelt. The highway bridge runs parallel to the train's.

"Miss Fujiwara-"

"Go over the bridge and pull off the road." You instruct as you climb out.

"But-" Yasuyama tries to protest.

"You can wait for me there. I don't know how long I'll be, but my father shouldn't get here until after the sun has gone down." You close the car door, leaving no room for further protest.

There's probably only around a hour of daylight left as you make your way down the embankment. You sense a demon, but were expecting that much. Aside from other members of the cult, who else would he have been meeting?

Crouched in the bushes you can make out a black form leaning on one of the support pillars. Black horns curve out of his skull to form a perfect crescent. No hair or clothes cover his body, which is a gross misporportion of human form. Long, skinny arms hang down almost to his knees, ending in large clawed hands.

You wait for what seems hours for the noise of a passing train to cover your movements. When one rumbles overhead, you sprint around and conceal yourself behind one of the other pillars. Knowing this demon is no weakling, you fan out five of your ofuda. You put your telekinesis to work on one of them.

Silently the slip of paper floats through the air. You haven't really worked on moving objects you lose sight of, but when the demon screams you know you've tagged him. But now he's on guard and looking in your direction. Waiting around for him to find you isn't the best idea, so you come right out into sight.

"Well you aren't the Fujiwara I was expecting, Detective." He sneers, clutching a wounded shoulder. If his blood is red, you can't tell against the pitch black of his skin. Sharp white teeth provide the only contrast.

"Waiting for my father, Mister-?" You inquire.

"Reahu." He smirks as he gives you a name.

"Reahu." You nod. "Well, Reahu, I'm only here for him. If you want to leave, I'll let you."

You make the offer not out of mercy, but because the biggest priority is your father and you want to conserve as much energy as possible for activating the death curse.

"Hardly." Reahu laughs. "Lord Ethelred wants all of you meddlesome creatures dead." He lets go of his wounded shoulder and drops into a fighting stance. You hold your ofuda defensively and say...

"If you think you can win, then come on!"
"Don't say I didn't give you a chance!"
"The only one scheduled for death is my father!"

Rather than charge you like you were expecting he would, Reahu steps back. You wonder if he's actually planning on fleeing.

You don't know what he's doing, let him make the first move. You tell yourself.

He jumps over you and you turn to make sure you don't have your back to him. He isn't making any attack, but you get an uneasy feeling.

"Eclipse!" He shouts, and you realize the setting sun is lined up perfectly between his horns. Everything goes dark and you feel a strange rush of wind. You shut your eyes against the gust and when you open them you see nothing but darkness. You don't hear the river or any passing trains. Even your footing seems different now. The only alleviation of the darkness is something akin to an fully eclipsed sun in the sky. The light is useless and you can only make out your white ofuda. There isn't any sign of Reahu.

"Where-!?" You try to find him in the dark.

"It's a subspace I can create." You see Reahu's white teeth flash in the dark as he speaks. "I prefer fighting the dark, you see. Or rather, you can't see, can you?"

Claws suddenly rack across your arm. You move away fast enough to avoid possibly losing your arm.

"But I can see you." You briefly see the flash of his smile.

Damnit, if I can't see him, how can I hit him? You're starting to think doing this alone was a mistake, but even if Yasuyama was here you don't think he'd be much help.

Reahu kicks your legs out from under you and you roll away from a blow targeted at your head.

"You humans rely too heavily on your vision. It dulls all your other senses!" You catch sight of his teeth before they disappear into the darkness and hurry to your feet, preparing to create a barrier to buy some time.

"Turtling?" Reahu sneers, tearing the ofuda from your hand. "That might have worked against little Furei, but it won't help you here."

"Furei?" A clawless blow to your chest causes you stagger back a few feet and try to catch your breath.

"Furei, the little sickness demon who was supposed to infect you all." Reahu snears. "I knew she'd fail."

Furei... so that was her name? It's an absurd thing to be thinking about at a time like this. Your eyes are drawn to the brief flash of teeth in the darkness and mere seconds later a large hand grabs your neck, lifting you into the air.

"Ugh." Your airflow is cut off.

"Maybe I should keep you alive long enough to lure the others to their deaths..." Reahu muses.

Bastard... You manage a low growl.

"I didn't think you'd like that idea. But you'll like this one even less. I'm feeling rather hungry." His grip tightens.

No! I can't die here, not like this! Not after what they've given up for me. In your mind you can see Kin and your grandfather. You swing a leg back and kick Reahu solidly. Surprised, he drops you and you scurry to put some distance between you and him. You're breathing heavily to replenish your lungs.

"It's so much more fun when they struggle instead of just giving up." Reahu sneers again. "That last flicker of defiance in my prey's dying eyes is so amusing. The disbelief, and the foolish hope that they might yet escape. The cruel lies of hope."

That's just a distraction. You try to keep your eyes from shifting to the bright white of his teeth as he speaks. You sprint wide to the left in an anticipation of another attack. His claws only snag your jeans, tearing a hole.

The contrast and movement draw my attention on reflex... then he moves to attack from another angle.

"It's been such a long time since I've had any human flesh." He practically purrs.

You barely dodge Reahu's grasping arm, knowing you can't just keep on running from him. You grit your teeth and fan out ofuda in both hands. You've got another one hidden on you that you brought to finish whatever demon you'd encounter.

"Preparing your last stand?" He laughs.

"You humans rely too heavily on your vision. It dulls all your other senses" ... Then maybe if I stop relying on my eyes. You clamp your eyes shut, though you know your other senses won't work nearly as well for this kind of fight as Yomi's could. "I can see you though" ... That means he's relying on vision too. If I can just take that away from him-!

The sound of his movement is faint, but you can feel the the faint shift of air created by his movements and step back out of his path. He lets out a dissatisfied growl in surprise when you slap an ofuda over his eyes. It burns into his flesh, searing eyes.

"Gah!" It sounds like he's staggering back. "My eyes, you little bitch! I'll kill you!"

You open your eyes and move out of the way of Reahu's lunge. With his lips curled back in a snarl you can easily tell where he is.

"Can't see, can you?" You throw his taunt back at him. "Maybe you shouldn't have relied so heavily on your vision."

"You stupid human, you aren't strong enough to defeat me!"

"What I lack in strength I make up for with skill!"
"I don't have to be stronger than you, just smarter!"
"Who said anything about defeat? I'm going to kill you!"

Reahu growls in response and charges toward the sound of your voice. You can't help but smirk as you move aside and bring an ofuda down on his uninjured arm. It sears into his flesh and the disgusting scent fills your nose.

"Augh!" He cries out in anger and pain.

You unfold a larger ofuda from your back pocket. This should do it. You press it against Reahu's spine as he staggers and snarls. For it to work you have to maintain contact long enough to transfer energy through it to him. It's like an electric shock to his system and he screams and writhes. Then he drops dead and smoldering to the ground.

The darkness around you shatters and even the setting sun seems horribly bright to your eyes.

I did it. You squint at Reahu's fallen form, then check your watch. There's still time before your father is supposed to arrive, so you drag the corpse out of sight, then make your way back up to the highway to find where Yasuyama has parked.

"Miss Fujiwara! You're hurt!" He practically flies out of his car at the sight of you.

"It's not that bad." You glance at your bleeding arm.

"But your arm- and your neck! It's bruised!"

"You've got a first aid kit in the car, right?" You shrug, looking over the gashes on your arm and the miscellaneous scratches and bruises. Despite them and the blood you lost earlier today, you aren't feeling bad. Victory has raised your spirits.

"Yes." He opens his car trunk and pulls out the small box. "I'll clean and bandage your arm for you."

"Thanks." You smile slightly at him and lean against the car.

"How on earth did this happen?" Yasuyama inquires.

"I was fighting a demon." You see no sense in lying about it.

"A demon!? You told me you were going to meet your father!" He stares at you.

"I will be. My father was going to be meeting that demon." You feel the antiseptic sting.

"You're injured... let me come with you." Yasuyama starts wrapping your wounded arm.

"No." You look away. "I have to- I need to do this on my own. I'm sorry." You straighten up when he's finished.

"Please be careful..." He mumbles, looking down.

"Right." You make your way back down beneath the train bridge and watch the last rays of sunlight fade. Alone with your thoughts, you find yourself feeling...

Anxious with anticipation.
Nervous and very uneasy.
Almost disturbingly calm.

Night has fully set in by the time Nibori arrives, navigating a motorcycle down the embankment. You aren't waiting in ambush. Killing him isn't nearly as important as confronting him and you're willing to give up the element of surprise for that. You lean against the support column in Reahu's place, illuminated by the one headlight until your father turns off the engine. He lights a cigarette, a katana carried casually at his side.

"I'm surprised, Chiyori." Nibori isn't wearing gloves this time and you can make out the chevron tattooed on his hand.

"Bring your little friends?" He inquires.

"No. It's just me." You stand up straight.

"Really? Here I thought I had raised you smarter than that." Your father shrugs, clearly not threatened by your presence.

"You barely raised me!" You snarl, feeling anger begin to well up inside you.

"Regardless, I'm still your father." His blase demeanor is starting to piss you off.

"Hate is thicker than blood." Your voice is full of venom.

"Stubborn, like the old man." Nibori watches you. "So are you just here to talk and become a hostage again?"

"I'm here to kill you."

Nibori laughs. He laughs at you.

"Is that so?" He raises his brow in false shock, then drops his cigarette to the ground and crushes it beneath his foot. "That won't stop the rebirth. It's all ready been set in motion by the Red Mother. I'll give you a chance to change your mind and join the right side."

"This isn't about the cult, or the Goddess." You growl. "This is personal. This is about you and me, Dad."

"If you insist, daughter." He unsheathes his katana with a laugh. Nibori isn't taking this seriously at all and that sparks more anger in you. He stops laughing when his sword is wrested from his hand by telekinetic force, landing gently in your own.

"Don't mock me, you bastard!" You point the katana at him accusingly.

"You don't even know how to use a sword." Nibori narrows his eyes, waiting to see what you're going to do.

"I don't need it." You cast the blade aside, into the river.

"Hmph. So you really think you can kill me? You're too weak willed." Even now Nibori doesn't seem to be taking you as seriously as you feel he should.

"Shut up!" You snap at him.

"If you weren't, it wouldn't have been so easy to manipulate you, Chiyo." Nibori answers casually.

"I will never forgive you!" You shriek and with more telekinetic force than you intended hurl his motorcycle at him, knocking him to the ground. "I won't forgive what you did to me. You cowardly shielded yourself with me and you used my love of Mom to torture me!"

Nibori struggles to get out from under the heavy weight of the motorcycle as you approach.

"You've dishonored Mother! Even though she loved you! She waited for you, held on to the very end hoping to see you, but you never came home! Not even to her funeral! And this is how you repay that love!?"

He's almost got himself free by the time you reach him, but it's far too late for him to get away now. With one of the four identical ofuda you made for the death curse, you tag a shoulder.

"The first seals Body." You hiss. Nibori's limbs fail him and the motorcycle falls with him back to the ground.

"Chiyori..." He stares up at you. You can feel a tug and the reality ripple around you. It's almost too much for your amulet to hold up against, so you quickly bring the next seal down on his opposite shoulder.

"The second seals Spirit." That should cut off his ability to use spirit energy and thus create any illusions.

"Chiyori, I loved your mother!" There's fear in his eyes and his voice now, but his words only invoke more anger. His bold faced lies.

"No! You only love yourself! What you 'loved' was that she loved you, too!"

"I'm your father!" I taught you how to swim, to ride a bike. Remember? The vacations we all took to Hokkaido, because Shizuka loved the snow there! The three of us, as a family. The first time you were on the ski lift you were so scared, you wouldn't let go of me even after your feet were on the ground-"

"The past is dead, and so are you!" Your voice is shrill with rage. To drudge up such things now, the audacity to think that any of those memories would make you spare him, has only enraged you. The past won't protect your future. You know sparing him will only cause you more suffering.

"The third seals Mind!" You affix the third identical seal to his forehead. He stares at you, a pleading look in his eyes. Hot tears sting your own, but they stem only from the intensity of your rage.

"The fourth seals Fate." You complete the curse, activating it when you place the final seal on his chest. The writing on them glows, and you can feel an immense energy being released. It's a horrible sight to watch, but you refuse to look away. His body decays at an accelerated rate before your very eyes and you feel nothing. Not sorrow, not joy. Nothing. Everything seems silent as you turn away.

It's done. There are no more tears falling down your face. You weren't expecting to feel this way. You were expecting to at least feel something. Anything. Remorse, or even satisfaction in you revenge. You're walking away when a tight pain seizes your chest and you drop to your knees from the pain.

What!? Did I make a mistake? You hold yourself tightly and look back at Nibori's dried up corpse. The seals are still glowing. The death curse is still active. It hasn't finished.

Why!? It feels like something is trying to tear you apart inside as you recall Mrs. Yoshikawa's words. "Be careful when you call on Death, for it does not discriminate." ... She knew. She tried to warn me...

Despite the pain, a sound rings in your head; something akin to water dripping. It echoes in your head, then is suddenly replaced by the sound of shattering. Pain overtakes you and you scream.

An aura flares up around you in a whirlwind, swirling and crackling it picks up dust and stones. Vaguely you can hear the water in the river bubbling furiously.

"Chiyori!" Through the haze of pain you make out Kurama, not sure where he came from. He must have followed you somehow, but such thoughts don't matter to you right now.

"Miss Fujiwara! Miss Fujiwara!!" You're barely aware of Yasuyama screaming your name and hurrying down embankment towards you. A strange pillar of light illuminates the sky as you vision begins to blur. There's a figure descending in the pure white light. Nothing makes sense as someone tries to reach for you, either Kurama or Yasuyama, you aren't sure who. The tempest of energy forces to them recoil. It feels like you can barely keep yourself together, that any second now everything will be over.

"Chiyori, fight it!" Kurama shouts at you, trying to approach.

"Don't touch her!" A woman's voice commands. "She could kill you."

The figure from the pillar of light lands and approaches. The contrast of her pale skin and dark hair is fairly clear to you, but it's difficult to make out any more. With a faint glow around her she pushes through the maelstrom surrounding you and wraps her arms around you. Immediately she is able to cancel the energy out. You struggle to see her face as consciousness leaves you.

"Sleep, my child." Golden eyes. The last thing you register is her golden eyes and a last thought flickering in your mind before accepting what must surely be your death...

What a stupid way to go.
I don't understand why.
This is so not fair.

Who is this woman and did you die? You'll have to come back for the next chapter to find out! But will you find more questions than answers?

I want to give a big thank you hug to everybody, who reads, rates, messages, and has picked. It's one of those things that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when I come home after a hard day and see the notices on the "My Quizilla" page. [Or rather, now when I see notices from!]

Aw, you're welcome! *hugs*
No hugs. Don't touch me.
What!? I can't be dead!

Chapter 25
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