Published January 03, 2017 by

How I was Murdered by a Fox Monster Chapter 9

Summary: They say life flashes before you in that moment before death. I could see it all reflected in the blade. I was standing under the cherry blossoms at my school entrance ceremony, eating cake at my sister's wedding, standing outside praying the monster wouldn't come tonight. I might not be dead yet but I can see what's coming, this is the story of how I was murdered by a fox monster!

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Chapter 9

I thought I would have to hide my new secret life from my family (just like they did in movies), but Sis had me ratted out fast. I forgot I was dealing with the daughter of Kousuke Matsumoto.

"What's this? Sealing charms? Why do you have sealing charms in your bag?" Sis waved the paper in my face before she dived her hand into my backpack for another look. "And what's this? An encyclopedia of Obake! Have you," she paused for breath, "been exorcising?"

I wasn't sure how I could save myself.

"Maybe, perhaps," I stuttered. "I met some kids at school who are exorcists and they let me join their club."

"What do you mean they let you joined their club? Since when has there ever been an exorcist club at high school?"

"You know. The one they have after school, at school, where you learn about mystical stuff which doesn't exist, because there's no such thing as Obake."

I thought I'd done a great job at saving myself, but Sis was not fooled.

"Do you take me for an idiot? I know what this is! It even has property of Miyake South Headquarters printed on the cover. Is this where you've been spending all your time after school?"

"Yes. Maybe. I could have been there. Once or twice."

"What were you thinking!"

"Come on Sis, please! Please let me be an exorcist. They're all so cool and get to fight Obake," I decided to omit the part about skipping school. "You always said I should do more after school activities."

"When I said after school activities, I meant basketball or soccer. You didn't even think to consult me before running off to join the exorcists."

"Come on Sis, it's really not that dangerous, I don't even have to fight anything until I complete training."

"There's not going to be any completion of training."

"But it could be useful in the future. What would we do if we were suddenly attacked by Obake? We wouldn't be able to defend ourselves would we? But if I learned how to be an exorcist-"

"Forget it!" She snapped.

"Why?" I pouted.

"I don't think you understand what being an exorcist really means. This isn't some computer game or cartoon, you could actually die."

"I know that!"

"No you don't! Do you have any idea how many friends and family members I lost to Obake for just being exorcists?"

"I know, I know. I promise to be extra careful. I won't fight any Obake until I'm ready," and because Akito wasn't going to let me. "If I see an Obake who looks even remotely scary, I promise to run far far away."

"The answer is still no."

"Please Sis."

"You're not going there ever again, and that's my final word!"

In the end it was impossible to sway her decision. I discovered that even Shuro knew about Obake (Sis had probably told him) and claimed to have seen one in real life.

"I was once walking home with your sister," he said. "We were going through the park when a strange animal emerged from the bushes and glared at us. It had blood red rabid eyes, and the biggest teeth I ever saw."

"That was a rabbit," Sis corrected.

She continued to be mad at me for the entire evening, and even threw my lunch box at my head the following morning.

I finally gave in and yelled "fine, I won't be an exorcist! I won't go anywhere near them if you'll just be nice to me again!"

Despite my sister's protest, I decided to ignore her and still go to headquarters the following afternoon. It was my first observation and I wasn't going to miss the chance to see an Obake again. I was still slightly afraid, but I was also hoping that it would be as big and scary as the last one. Maybe they would even let me have some shots in.

Everyone used to call me an idiot back then and I can finally understand why. I was so naive and stupid, I treated Obake like they were some cool new toy, and it all came back to bite me in the end.

The other exorcists and I gathered in front of the shrine as Akito lectured us on exorcist safety. The others stared at him with spaced out eyes, and I assumed they'd been subjected to the same lecture a million times before.

Taisei had his head down, and I assumed he was in deep contemplation about Akito's words, until I noticed he was just playing on his phone.

When Akito pulled out a charm and began meditating, I began to wonder if he had tricked me into thinking we were going to have fun.

"What is that?" I hissed at Taisei.

"It's a location charm," he said. "It begins to glow when there's an Obake nearby, but Kiyori's been working on a way to stop it from working so that we don't have to go out on Sundays."

"But it's already glowing," I said as I noticed the faint glow that the paper was omitting.

"That's because we're all here. Exorcists gain their spiritual powers through a deal our ancestors made with Obake, so all of us have a little Obake blood."

Obake blood? I thought in one had told me that before. I never realized that I was part monster.

"Hey, Taisei, does that mean that any one of us could go crazy and start eating people?" I looked around nervously. Kiyori certainly looked like he would eat someone if he got hungry enough.

"Don't be ridiculous," Taisei hissed. "It's barely anything, just enough to channel into the charms."

"Oh," I felt relieved.

Akito then proceeded to walk around the perimeter searching for any hint of an Obake nearby. I followed behind to see if the paper would really glow brighter, and for some reason Souta also decided to accompany me.

"It could be hours before we find anything," said Souta. "Most of our time is taken up by searching for Obake. Sometimes we don't find anything until five or six in the morning."

"What!" I yelled. Souta had the tendency to over exaggerate everything so I looked at Kiyori to confirm if it was true. He nodded.

Akito did a few more laps of the perimeter until he finally announced that he had found a trace.

"This way!" He commanded.

We spent half an hour climbing over the mountain until we finally located a small raccoon Obake. Akito told me the town was full of them and they were currently in the middle of fighting off a raccoon invasion.

Akito stood beside me and attempted to explain what was happening, but he spent most of his time yelling out commands to the others.

"Watch your form Nina!"

"Stop taking pictures and pay attention Taisei! No! Mana will not take them for you!"

"Stop standing there Souta! Do something. Put up a barrier!"

"Good job Itsuki!"

Much like what I saw the previous day, the others fought it off until Itsuki hit the raccoon with a lightning charm and it was reduced to a smoldering pile of ashes.

I asked Taisei what their strategy was, only to be told "it's simple, we steer the Obake in a certain direction and then Itsuki does all the work."

"Hey, I'm not certain that's really fair," muttered Itsuki.

"Shut up you," said Taisei. "Who was the one who said they didn't like getting close to the Obake?"

"Yeah, but," Itsuki suddenly went silent.

It was the first time I'd seen him unable to think up a witty retort. I decided to celebrate the occasion by laughing at him until Akito whacked me over the head.

"This isn't something to laugh about!" Akito scolded. "You all still have a long way to go!"

The sun was setting by the time we finally made it back to the shrine. Akito spent a good half hour lecturing the others on their mistakes, so none of them were particularly happy. Akito was only there for my sake, so it wasn't hard for them to conclude that it was all my fault, and I was given the cold shoulder all the way back to headquarters. Taisei also spent the trip grumbling about all the perfect photo opportunities he'd missed.

"Did you see that guy's teeth Kiyori," said Taisei. "We're never going to find one like that again!"

"Well if it weren't for a certain someone," muttered Itsuki.

I wasn't sure why he was angry at me, because Akito spent at least ten minutes praising Itsuki, and used him as an example to the others. They should have all been mad at him for being such a show off.

The only person still talking to me was Souta, because the guy wasn't capable of holding a grudge. It could have also been because he didn't have many friends, and the others were often angry at him too. Maybe it was because he didn't have any tact.

"You might suck now," said Souta. "But if you train really hard for the next ten years, I'm sure you'll make a great exorcist."

"Thanks Souta," I said while trying not to feel any worse.

"Beat you to the top dumb arse!" Yelled Kiyori.

He punched Souta in the ribs as he ran past, and then took off out of sight.

I expected Souta to follow (maybe even scream out his own declaration of war) but he remained standing next to me, rubbing his side which must have been in pain.

Kiyori seemed quite charismatic and helpful. We had gotten along well until then, but his sudden actions reminded me of his bad side.

I'd seen Kiyori bully Souta on several occasions, like punching him, or telling Souta to shut up. It was painful to watch and Souta never did anything.

"I don't get it, why do you let that guy treat you like that?" I asked.

"It's OK," said Souta while forcing a smile. "Kiyori's not a bad guy. He feels frustrated about his current circumstances, and he's only taking his anger out on me."

"Oh, I see, I hadn't thought about that before."

"At least that's what my mother keeps telling me," said Souta.

I frowned. It didn't seem like a good way to treat anyone. I really liked Kiyori and he seemed like a good friend, but I also thought of Souta the same way, and watching him being treated like that was slightly mortifying.

"But you should really try and stand up for yourself more," I advised.

"It's fine, just forget about it," said Souta. "So if your adopted father passed away when you were small, who do you live with now?"

"With my sister-" I suddenly stopped because of the horror which stood before me.

Standing at the base of the stairs was my sister. She was leaning against the stair banister and her arms were crossed. You could tell from her eyes that she was mad. I wanted to turn and run, but unless I ran away from home I would eventually have to face her.

I attempted to dive behind Taisei and hide, but I had already been spotted.

"Dai-chan!" She yelled out to me.

I suddenly realized how stupid I'd been.

Sis was from an exorcist family so of course she would know where to find headquarters. My fantasy of living a secret double life was crushed.

I was about to open my mouth to beg for mercy until an equally shocked Akito interrupted me.

"Kanako?" Akito asked.

Sis squinted at him like she was unsure of his identity. "Akito?"

I raised my eyebrow in surprise, but it didn't take a genius to figure out that Sis and Akito were already acquainted.

"Yes, it has been a long time, hasn't it," said Akito nervously. "You look so much more... mature."

"Mature? Akito, what's that supposed to-" her voiced died in her throat when she caught sight of Kurumi, Nina, and the weapons they were holding. "So girls are allowed to join now!?"

Akito looked at the ground and coughed."Yes, we became low on numbers after," he paused. "You know."

I was hoping that Akito would provide the opportunity I needed to escape, but Sis was far too angry to forget about me that easily.

"Dai-chan what are you doing here, didn't I tell you not to hang out with these people."

"Well, I," I tried to come up with a good excuse. I now had a part-time job carrying their bags, sounded good, but I had promised not to go near the exorcists again.

"Someone's in trouble," said Kurumi in a sing song voice.

"Ha! Dai-chan," Taisei laughed. "Good luck."

"Come on, let's go home now," Sis reached out to grab me but Akito suddenly moved in between us.

"Look, I can see you're upset," said Akito. "But maybe we can take a moment to discus-"

"That's very kind of you Akito," she snapped. "But I don't think Dai-chan is suitable for the organization."

"But on the contrary I believe that Daisuke can be an important member in our fight against the Obake."

"Really? An important member? Like my brother and all those other friends of yours who bragged about becoming exorcists, but were then shredded to pieces and left to die in pools of their own blood!"

"There's no need to be so dramatic Kanako, things have chang-"

"Dai-chan, is not going to be an exorcist!"

She reached out, grabbed my arm, and began to pull me away. I thought this was the end of my exorcist career, until Akito grabbed my other arm and began to pull back.

"Kanako can you please just wait a moment?"

"We're going!"

"Can we please just discuss this like adults?"

"There's nothing to talk about!"

What followed was a tug of war match between Sis and Akito with me in the middle. Instead of breaking up the fight like responsible individuals, the others stood around and cheered.

"Come on Akito, you're not seriously going to loose to a girl are you!" Yelled Taisei.

The others must have been angry at Akito for chewing them out because they began cheering for Sis.

"Go Daisuke's sister!"

"You can take him!"

"Go for the knees, Akito's weak spot is his knees!"

"Dai-chan's only fifteen!" Yelled Sis. "He has his whole life ahead of him!"

"Nothing bad is going to happen Kanako!"

I felt honored that Akito suddenly had so much faith in me, but the pain in both arms was overwhelming and I couldn't take it anymore.

"STOP! STOP!" I yelled. "My arm hurts!"

It was enough to make them both let go. I let out a sigh of relief and rubbed my wrist where Sis had gripped on like her life depended on it. "Geez Sis, that really hurt," I muttered.

My sister's anger suddenly evaporated and I could see the regret begin to surface on her face.

"I'm sorry," she muttered.

I felt terrible for making her look at me like that, but I realized I could use her guilt to my advantage.

"What's the harm in just letting me train to be an exorcist?" I said while trying to put on my best sad face.

She chewed her lip, and looked like she was going to protest, but I slouched my arm and tried to pretend I was in pain.

"Ow, my shoulder," I moaned.

"Dai-chan," she sighed. She hung her head and looked exhausted. "How about this? I'll stay and talk to Akito if you'll just go home now."

"OK," I nodded.

I pretended to limp off into the direction of home, until I remembered that my legs weren't supposed to be damaged, so I quickly returned to walking normally.

I felt bad for seeing that look on her face, but those feelings were quickly erased by the prospect of Akito convincing her to let me join.

"Exorcist, exorcist," I hummed to myself as I made my way home.

I was blissfully unaware that I had just refused my last opportunity to distance myself from the exorcists and Obake.

Akito's chat with Sis worked wonders because she finally agreed to let me undergo training to become an exorcist. She still didn't look pleased about it, and spent over half an hour lecturing me on the hardships of being an exorcist in an attempt to make me quit.

"You have to train for hours every day," she lectured.

"I know."

"Even in winter. Sometimes they make you stand outside until your toes freeze."

"I'll bring a blanket."

"You have to practice throwing paper charms until your fingers bleed from all the paper cuts."

"I'll wear gloves."

"My father was forced to retire when he was almost killed by an S-level Obake."

"I know Sis, I know."

The worse thing was that ever since my sister made an appearance at headquarters, they all began calling me Dai-chan. It was like a curse. I was terrified that they'd use it at school and I'd be called Dai-chan no matter where I went. People would forget that I even had a name.

I'm certain if Sis has her way, Dai-chan might be the only thing engraved on my headstone.

Go To Chapter: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

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