Chapter 13:


The God's Child

Takuya walked through the halls of the Kase residence, his mind feeling scattered as he tried to go through a mental checklist of everything he needed to do before their departure. It was a vague list, mostly because he really had no clue of where they would actually be heading. “I know I need to drop the kid off with Aphrodite, but how the hell am I even supposed to find this woman?”

Takuya had decided long ago, he would never refer to the goddess as his mother. That title had already been taken. Absent-mindedly, his hand went up to his chest where his late mother’s locket hung around his neck, replacing the sapphire gem that had once been there. He felt he would rather wear something from the mother who raised him, rather than a gift from a mother he never even met.

Following at Takuya’s feet was Jesus, his soft paws hardly making a sound on the old wood. They both stopped at the door of Rika and Yuki’s room. Since he was now being accompanied by the twins, he had been forced to postpone his departure so they could have time to prepare. The notion that they were tagging along, still left Takuya feeling unsettled.

“Just one more thing I have to worry about.” He thought bitterly, images of both his father and mother’s corpses lying on pure white coroner tables filling his vision. He shook himself, needing to stay focused. To distract himself, he slowly opened the sliding door to peek in and make sure they were actually getting ready.

Their backs were turned to him, both of them huddled in front of a laptop screen. Annoyed, he opened his mouth to snap at them but paused when he spotted Rika’s bright smile. Her amber eyes were beaming as she gazed at the computer.

“Wow, I can’t believe you did all this!” She exclaimed, flushing happily as her twin. “Look at all the comments! Some people are starting volunteer groups to go out to Ugajin-sama’s shrine to clean it up!”

Yuki crossed her arms over her chest, trying hard not to look smug but failing miserably. “Well, it was pretty simple really. Lots of people use social media nowadays to spread news and start groups. All I did was post pictures of the burnt shrine and asked people to still to visit ‘so it will continue to live on through other generations’.” Yuki quoted dramatically with a grin. “ It didn’t take people long to start reminiscing about the old shrine and wanting to begin restoring it. It’s amazing what nostalgia will do to people.”

“I’m so relieved.” Rika replied, once again scrolling through all the comments where viewers were starting to post past pictures of themselves visiting the shrine. “With this, Ugajin-sama will definitely live on.”

“I’m sure she would have been fine.” Yuki said, shutting the computer. “But it never hurts to have a little backup. Plus…” She added, giving her sister a sharp look. “I could tell you were worried. You really are an open book.”

“Sorry, I’ll work on that. “ Rika replied with a laugh. Yuki rolled her eyes, but Takuya secretly saw her smile while her sister was turned away.

Quietly shutting the door, he casually raised his voice from the hall. “Hey! I’m heading out now! When I get back, you two better be ready!”

“OKAY!” They called back in unison. He heard shuffling as they quickly started rummaging around the room. His lips twitched slightly.

“It’s amazing what you can do with the internet nowadays!” Jesus piped up, startling Takuya who had almost forgotten he was there. He glanced down at the cat, whose green eyes were shining brightly back at him. “That was a very nice thing they did for Ugajin-sama, wasn’t it?”

“Hmmm.” Was Takuya’s only reply, as he made his way towards the entrance. He paused at the altar, where a framed photo of the twins’ deceased father stood. A small, thin man with sharp spectacles similar to Yuki’s, the picture showed him holding identical twin toddlers with a jubilant smile. Removing the bracelet containing the demon snake, Shironaga, he carefully hung it over the frame.

“Shironaga.” Takuya spoke low, “Protect this home and all its inhabitants from harm. That is my command.” The bracelet glowed brightly for a moment, a low hiss penetrating the air, before it returned to normal. Glancing down at the photo, Takuya bowed his head respectfully to the deceased. “I’ll do my best to protect your daughters. Please allow my sister to stay here safely.”

Jesus watched the exchange solemnly, following Takuya as he walked out the door. “You're leaving your gift from Ugajin-sama here?”

“I rather the innocent be protected.” Takuya answered quietly, as he slipped on his shoes. “Besides, I didn’t do anything to deserve a gift from her anyway.” The feline purred in amusement at his answer.

“You really are quite kind aren’t you?”

“And you really are annoying.”

“Onii-chan!” Takuya paused, looking up to find his sister approaching with a fretful frown. “Are you already heading off?”

“I’m just going out to run a quick errand.” Takuya replied, not wanting to reveal that he was going to meet up with Daisuke, his friend from forensics. Shortly after breakfast, he had received a call from him asking for them to meet up later that day at a nearby tea shop. Daisuke was a childhood friend, so he knew Kikyo would instantly want to tag along. “Sorry Kikyo, this is a meeting you can’t be part of.” It hurt him more than he thought it would to lie to her, his one last family member.

“Oh, I see.” Kikyo replied disheartened, making Takuya feel even worse. She hesitated before asking timidly. “ you know when I can go home to get my things?”

A stone seemed to drop in Takuya’s stomach at the question. For a moment, all he could think about was seeing a room covered in blood, with the writing of ‘One True God’ smeared onto the wall. “I’m sorry Kikyo, you’ll have to be a little more patient.” Takuya replied gently, putting a hand on shoulder. “Crime scenes have to be fully investigated before anything can be removed. Daisuke will come and bring you to gather your things when it’s all clear.”

At the mention of Daisuke, his sister seemed to instantly brighten. “Oh okay.” She replied, cheeks flushing slightly, much to Takuya’s annoyance. “I’ll wait then.” She turned, walking away with a small grin.

Takuya stared at her retreating back, scowling. Jesus glanced up at him, eyes shining mischievously. Before he could speak, Takuya pointed an angry finger at the feline. “Don’t even start.”

“I wasn’t going to!” Jesus replied, pouncing up on Takuya’s shoulders. “May I join you on your errand?”

“Do whatever you want, but I’m not buying you anything.”


Half an hour later, Takuya walked into a quaint tea shop where many elderly folks sat sipping their hot beverages and playing shogi. Jesus followed at his heels, jumping on his lap as they sat down at a secluded table.

“So who are you meeting?” Jesus asked, glancing around the shop with interest. “A friend of yours.”

“You can call him that.” Takuya muttered, as a server set down a glass of water for him. “He's a coworker of mine but we’ve known each other since we were kids.”

“Does he know about…”

“Yeah.” Takuya whispered, just as Daisuke entered the shop. “He’s the only one I’ve ever told besides Rika and Yuki.”

Jesus eyed his friend curiously as the bespectacled man flirted with the server. “Your friend is….not what I expected.” It was like comparing the sun and the moon. Compared to Takuya’s sullen temperament, Daisuke wore a cheerful expression, his light hair playfully ruffled as he wore a bright red Hawaiian themed button up shirt. A big grin spread across his face as he approached their table with two cups in hand.

“Wow, you really are hiding out in the middle of nowhere.” Daisuke joked, setting the cups down. “I couldn’t even find this shop on the map. Did you know they don’t sell lattes here? Luckily I grabbed us some sugar packets!” He dropped a handful on the table, beaming. “Oh, you picked up a cat? That’s so unlike you.”

“I didn’t pick him up. He followed me here.” Takuya commented dryly, tearing open a sugar packet. “Don’t touch him. I’m positive he has worms.”

“Always the jokester.” Daisuke laughed, taking a sip from his drink. He made a face, grimacing slightly. “Hmmm, maybe I should have just ordered the tea….”

“Did you get what I asked?” Takuya asked, getting to the point. Daisuke blew on his drink, not bothered.

“It wasn’t easy.” He pulled out an old battered cellphone. “But I came through as always.” He pushed it across the table to Takuya. “You’re welcome.” Takuya instantly powered up the device, scrolling through its contents as his friend continued. “There’s a number that continues to pop up in your dad’s call history. It's called him quite a few times over the last few days. Recognize it?”

Takuya looked, but it didn’t ring any bells. “No. It doesn’t look like a local area code.”

“That’s because it isn’t.” Daisuke explained, sounding perplexed. “In fact, this area code doesn’t exist in any of our databases. It’s got our tech team in quite a fix since it practically means it’s untraceable.”

Takuya studied the digits, eyes narrowed suspiciously. “This has to be her.” He glanced back up at his friend. “ Did anyone attempt to try to call the number?”

Daisuke nodded. “Yeah, no luck. Went to a dead line. Whoever's number this is rigged it so it can forward calls but not receive any back.”

“That’s annoying.” Takuya grumbled, tucking the phone safely away in his coat pocket.

“Speaking of annoying.” Daisuke began, pointing his stirring spoon at Takuya. “I have a bone to pick with you about this crime scene you so kindly asked me to investigate.” He pulled out his camera, showing Takuya digital images of his father’s office. “How in the hell am I supposed to come up with an explanation for these?!” He pointed to rather large canine paw marks, imprinted in the bloodied floor. “Do you see the size of these pawprints? This is not normal! And look…” He pulled out a zip lock bag filled with white tufts of fur. “I ran an analysis of this. It’s wolf hair! A wolf in the middle of Japan?! And not just any wolf by the size of those paws.”

Takuya took the camera, brow furrowing as he flipped through the many prints. “Has anyone else seen these?”

“Only me and Lieutenant Tachibana.” Daisuke answered, tapping his fingers on the table anxiously. “Something tells me your dad may have confided with the Lieutenant about the situation. He’s been awfully helpful with some of my requests and has even agreed with your plea to not have the murders broadcasted on the news.” He took a sip of his drink, frowning. “Hiding the double murder of a chief of police and his wife from the public isn’t an easy feat, but he’s managed to convince the higher ups.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised. The Lieutenant and my dad were pretty close.” Takuya replied, thinking of all the times Mr. Tachibana used to come to eat dinner with his family. He handed the camera back to Daisuke, adding. “I know there are some odd things in the crime scene.”

“Odd is a simple way to put it, yes.”

“But the less you know the safer you will be.” Takuya explained unhelpfully. “Just say there’s a possibility a wild animal got loose inside the building.”

“What animal has paw prints like these?”

“Say a large, unknown animal did this.”

“And what about all these little claw marks on the floor? These are obviously a different size from the pawprint.”

“Fine. A lot of unknown animals are on the loose.”

Daisuke gave him a skeptical look. “You know you’re giving me a lot of late night paperwork to do.”

“I’ll leave you some cash to get some free drinks for yourself.” Takuya said, pulling out his wallet. Daisuke stared.

“Don’t tell me you’re leaving right now!” Daisuke exclaimed, shocked.

“You know it’s not safe for me to stay.” Takuya explained grimly. “Especially with Kikyo. I don’t want anything to happen to her.”

“I get it but seriously how are you going to get by?” Daisuke asked, frowning worriedly. “It’s not like we’ve been in the workforce that long. I mean, you just graduated from the academy a year ago!”

“I’ve been working part time jobs since my freshman year of highschool.” Takuya explained briskly. “So I’ve got plenty of savings. Once that’s dried up I’ll just pull money from my retirement funds. Not like I’ll live long enough to retire anyway.”

“Did I ever tell you how much I appreciate that positive attitude of yours?” Daisuke asked, lips twitching. He set his cup down, looking serious. “Look Takuya, I know you’re going through a lot right now. And I know your situation is one you can’t safely talk about in the open. But I’m worried mate. Do you even know where you’re heading?”

“Not at the moment.”

“Reckless as always.” Daisuke sighed again, opening another sugar packet. “So what am I supposed to tell Kikyo when she starts begging me for information about you? You know I hate lying to her.”

“Just tell her the truth.” Takuya answered. “That you don’t know.”

“Guess that means you aren’t going to give me any update, eh?” Daisuke asked with a strained smile.

“The less you know, the better for both of you.” Takuya repeated stubbornly.

Daisuke grumbled, taking a deep sip of his coffee. “So when are you heading out?”

“Whenever the girls are ready.”

Daisuke’s drink spewed out of his mouth as his head swiveled towards his friend. “Did you say….girls? You never said you were traveling with girls!”

Takuya knew it had made the biggest blunder of his life. He rubbed his forehead, feeling a headache already beginning to emerge. “Yes…” He answered slowly. “I’m traveling with two girls.”

A silence fell between the friends. Daisuke watched him, chin resting in his hands as he waited impatiently. “And….”

“And what?” Takuya growled.


Takuya sighed. “They’re twins.”

Daisuke’s eye twitched, sweat building on his forehead. “Go on….”

Takuya sipped his drink, saying nothing.

“How about age?”

Takuya took another sip of his drink, not answering. He could feel both Jesus and Daisuke watching him like a hawk, with his friend’s eyes now narrowed down to suspiciously slits.

“Their age?” He repeated again. Takuya again refused to meet Daisuke’s glare.

Finally, the former officer snapped under the heavy silence. “They’re seventeen.” He muttered, his hand half covering his face.

A few moments passed of just them staring at each other before Daisuke held out his hand towards Takuya. “Do I need to take your badge, officer?”

“I already turned in my badge yesterday. I’m no longer a policeman.” Takuya replied gruffly.

“Oh.” Daisuke answered, pulling his hand back and instead, pulling out his cell phone. “Do I need to call the police then?”

“Can you cut it out?! It’s not like that!” Takuya snarled, whacking his friend over the head.

“Okay! Okay! Geez so violent!” Daisuke complained, grinning cheekily at his embarrassed friend. “But seriously, what are you doing traveling with a bunch of high schoolers?”

Takuya leaned his elbow on the table grumpily. “It’s not like I planned it this way. They sort of just got involved in all this….in a big way.” He added, thinking of their unworldly transformations.

“When you say involved ….in a big you mean…” Daisuke made a rocking baby motion with his arms, smiling mischievously. Takuya shot him a glare, not amused.

“You know I still have my gun right?”

“Okay! Okay!” Daisuke laughed, holding his hands up in surrender. “So what are these girls like anyway?”

Takuya groaned. “Why do you even care?”

“Isn’t it natural to want to know what kind of people your best mate will be traveling with?”

“Fine.” Takuya sighed, giving in as Daisuke made a victory sign. “Let me think...I guess there’s Yuki. She’s a moody stuck up brat who thinks she knows everything. She’s distrustful of others and has absolutely no people skills!”

“Sounds like someone I know.” Daisuke commented, grinning. “Bet you two get along wonderfully.”

“Yeah right!” Takuya growled, sipping his coffee aggressively. He paused, setting his cup down as images of the blue harpy tackling Ugajin-sama to save her sister came to mind. Along with the scene from this morning, of her creating a website to save the goddess’ home. “I guess she’s also a little smart.” He admitted painfully. “And despite her complaints, she also pulls through to help her sister out.”

“So what about the other twin?” Daisuke asked, enjoying watching his friend squirm.

“Rika is…” Takuya paused, not sure of how to describe her. “Naïve, headstrong, always doing things without even thinking of the consequences.” He thought about her being by his side as he mourned his parent’s death and how she stood up to him at the shrine. “But she’s also kind and very brave.”

Daisuke waited impatiently for Takuya to continue. “But most importantly...are they hot?”

Takuya scowled. “Are you a high schooler or an adult?”

“I’ll always be a high school boy at heart!” Daisuke answered, elbowing a blushing Takuya playfully. “Come on buddy, humor me a bit!”

Takuya growled, feeling Jesus’s mischievous eyes also waiting for a reply. He sighed, not really knowing what to say. In his mind, he replayed the scene from this morning. Both twins still in their lounge wear, smiling and talking eagerly to each other about the success of their web page. Even he had to admit at that moment they both did look very cute. But he would rather die than admit that to his nosy friend.

“I guess….one of them has big boobs.” Takuya answered bluntly.

Daisuke raised his hand, nostrils flaring excitedly. “Guess who’s hitting the road with you?!”

“Check please.” Takuya called out to the waitress, completely shutting down his friend. As he rose to leave the table, Daisuke suddenly reached over and grabbed his wrist.

“Takuya wait. Before you go, just promise me you’ll call every once in a while.” Daisuke asked, smiling sadly. “You don’t have to tell me anything. I just need to know you’re alive. That’s all.”

Takuya nodded, suddenly realizing this may be the last time he saw his old childhood friend. The thought hurt more than he thought it would. He bumped Daisuke lightly with his fist. “Take care of Kikyo for me.”

Takuya left the tea shop, feeling as if a heavy weight had been dropped on him. Slowly, he was leaving behind everything and everyone he had ever known. Jesus followed at his feet, sensing the mournful mood he was stuck in. Suddenly, a soft ringing town filled the still country air. Both boys paused, looking at one another in disbelief.

“Is that….?” Jesus began.

“It is!” Takuya finished, fishing out his father’s phone. There, flashing on the screen, was the mysterious phone number that had been contacting his father before his murder. With shaking hands, Takuya pushed the green receiving button. He put the phone on speaker as they both waited breathlessly for an answer.

There was a short pause before a young female spoke, her voice thick with a french accent. “Bonjour, is this Mr. Yamamoto?”

Takuya felt his heart beating fast. He glanced at Jesus, who gave him an encouraging nod. Slowly answered, “This is Takuya Yamamoto. Son of Kenji Yamamoto who is…. now dead.”

A long pause followed this statement. Takuya was almost afraid she was about to hang up when suddenly she spoke again, her tone terse. “I he did not make it. This is unfortunate news.” Another pause, where both Jesus and him could hear her speaking in French to someone on the other end.

“Very well.” the voice continued, this time in Japanese. “If this is the case. Then your mother would like to speak to you in person.”

“My mother?” Takuya felt his breath catch itself. “You mean…”

“Yes, Aphrodite will await your presence in Paris.”

With that the call ended with a loud click.