Published May 24, 2018 by

How I Was Murdered by a Fox Monster Chapter 20

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 20

That night I swore that I was awoken by a voice calling my name from outside Itsuki's window.
"Daisuke Matsumoto, Daisuke Matsumoto," it called out to me like the wind.
I was too tired to understand its true form, and by morning I had dismissed it as a dream.
Little did I know that my approaching death was out there attempting to communicate with me.

Akito must have been in a particularly good mood, and I walked into the kitchen for breakfast only to discover him grinning from ear to ear.
"Good morning," he called out as I entered.
I realized that maybe his days of treating me like the plague were finally over. He must have also been attempting a peace-offering with the others and I, because he brought us all lunch for school. A small pile of several department style bento boxes sat stacked up on the table.
"Wow, this looks like expensive shit!" Said Kiyori while staring at the food through the plastic wrap.

Akito had to slap Kiyori's hand away to prevent him from eating one for breakfast.
"Here you go Daisuke," said Akito as he handed over the packed lunch and patted me on the shoulder.
His hand lingered for a moment and I expected him to soon pull away, but before I knew it Akito was grabbing onto my shoulder with so much strength that I almost cried out in pain. I looked up to ask why he was attempting to break my arm, but then I noticed that his face was deathly pale.
"What? What is it Akito?" I asked nervously.
"Just stay still for a moment," he hissed.
He was staring in fear at something outside the window. I turned around and squinted to see what could be so horrifying, but I saw nothing but trees.
"Is there something there Akito?" I asked.
He continued to stare intensely for a moment, before his face relaxed and he finally let go.

"No, it was just my imagination," he sighed and shook his head. "Hurry up and get to school, your sister will scold me if you're late. You need to get your homework organized before we start training again."
My face almost broke out into a smile, but then I quickly remembered all the other times Akito told me we were going to do something awesome, but then it turned out to be lame.
"Are you serious?" I asked skeptically. "Are we really going to begin training again?"
"Of course," Akito replied. "It's time for you to stop slacking off and start hitting those books."
In the past those words would have been enough to make me grind my teeth and scream, but instead I was overwhelmed with joy.
I raised my arms and yelled "finally!" Then ran through the halls of headquarters like I'd just won a marathon.
Even Kiyori sticking his foot out to trip me couldn't ruin my happiness.
Nothing eventful happened at school that day so I won't bore you with the details. Things only began sliding downhill once the final bell rang. Taisei recently got his motorcycle license and somehow convinced Akito to use exorcist funds to buy a scooter. Taisei claimed it would be useful for tracking Obake in a hurry, but he only used it to commute to school. He also liked to sit on it after class and wave at any girl who passed by.
All the exorcists and I stared in awe as Taisei jumped on at the back of the school. I used to see him practice every morning while staring at his reflection in the windows.
"Come on Kurumi, I'll give you a ride back?" He said while throwing her his spare helmet.

He leaned casually over the handlebars and attempted to appear as suave as possible. I'm a pretty suave guy myself so I could see what he was doing.
"OK," shrugged Kurumi as she hopped on the back and wrapped her arms around Taisei's waist.
"What about me?" Mana asked.
"You have Itsuki to go home with," said Taisei.
"But Itsuki has judo practice," she pouted.
"So, just wait until he's finished or catch the bus."
"But I watched last week, it's all just a bunch of grunting and moaning."
"Hey, can I go to judo practice?" I asked, it sounded like fun.
"Just sort it out yourself!" Taisei yelled as he hit the accelerator and sped off into the distance.
"Taisei you arsehole!" Yelled Mana as she stamped her foot and continued to yell out profanities.
I noticed that Nina was also staring at them as they drove off into the distance. Her eyes were full of longing, and I couldn't help but wonder if she also wanted a ride home.
"Come on, let's go back," said Kiyori as he turned to leave.
I averted my eyes momentarily to Kiyori, but when I turned back to Nina she'd suddenly vanished. I looked around frantically and caught a glance of her dashing behind the school building.
"Hey Nina!" Mana yelled after her.
She attempted to pursue Nina until Kiyori grabbed Mana by her arm.
"Just let her be," said Kiyori. "It's probably just one of those weird girl things."
"But Nina looked sad," protested Mana.
"Don't worry about it, Nina always looks sad," said Kiyori. "Let's just go home before the bus leaves."
I knew that it was best to leave with them, but I lingered and watched the spot where Nina disappeared. I cursed my inability to run after her. I felt like she'd fled to a distant place which even I couldn't reach.
Something like that wouldn't have caught my attention, if it weren't for what I saw the day before.
Due to Akito's negligence of my training, I decided to take matters into my own hands by going to the library to teach myself something. I hadn't been since Akito stopped assigning compositions, but I thought I could conduct my own research.
I walked through the door only to find Nina with her head down against the desk. I was overjoyed that there was someone else to keep me company as I studied, and I slid into the seat next to hers. Nina knew a lot about Obake so I was hoping that she could teach me something awesome.
"Hey Nina, how's it going?" I asked.
"Daisuke," she muttered lethargically. "I'm sorry Daisuke, but I don't feel like talking now."
"Hey is there something wrong? Did Akito chew you out, or did you get into a fight with Kurumi?"
"It's nothing," she muttered. "Could you please just leave me alone for a moment."
I wanted to know what was wrong, but I couldn't think of the right thing to say, so I gave up and left.
Nina had been looking depressed for a while, and as much as I wanted, I wasn't sure what to do to make her smile again. I tried joking around, or accidentally dropping all my books on purpose, but Nina just looked at me with the same blank expression as though I didn't exist.
"Hey Mana," I turned to ask Mana if she knew the reason behind Nina's sudden lack of energy, but they'd all left. The only one still standing there was Itsuki.
"Hey you wanted to go to judo practice right?" Asked Itsuki. "It's about to start so we better get going."

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