There was someone at the door. No! Not again! Karasu groaned mentally. He never expected Kurama to keep his promise to 'visit him again soon'. Kurama had been visiting him almost everyday since that day he came a hunting for him. Why is he doing that? Does he really care? Or does he just want to get close to me to uncover my weaknesses to better plan a long and painful end for me? It had to be the latter. Karasu could not for the world imagine why Kurama would even want to be civil to him.
He never dared to hope. He liked Kurama. Denying that fact would be
an act of self-deception. However, he knew Kurama hated his guts. That
being the case, since he could not get Kurama's love, he was happy to make
do with his heart, literally. Not an easy task. Especially since, he was
still rather weak after that blood-sucking plant act Kurama pulled on him.
Having one's life-fluid being sucked out as plant chow from the heart was
not very pleasant. He almost died. He would have, if not for a healer on
the loose in the stadium then. Fortunately, that and the fact that he was
a Quest-class youkai helped save his scrawny hide. Were his powers any
lesser, he would never have survived long enough for the healer to be of
any aid to him. Koenma was that close to gleefully stamping a
'deceased' across my profile.
The incessant ringing of the infernal doorbell was preceded by several impatient raps. Sometimes, Karasu wished that Kurama had never brought that noisy contraption into his dwelling. With all that noise pollution disrupting their much needed fitful rest, it was no small wonder that humans had a pathetically short lifespan. Karasu sighed. Perhaps it would benefit him to return to those good old pre-meddling-youko-invasion era...
"What's that thing?"
"It's called a doorbell, Blackie-dear." Karasu bristled at silver-haired youko's taunting demeanor.
"What in the world is it doing on my wall?! And that other thing?"
"That's a latch, dear."
"But I don't need them!"
"Oh yes, you do! You'll never know when uninvited guests might want to drop in."
Kurama wisely decided to ignore that and went on, " Leaving your door unlocked and yelling 'COME IN!' in reply to any youkai that comes a knocking isn't a very good and healthy life-preservation tactic." Kurama admonished while testing out the device he had attached to Karasu's wall.
"It works like a charm, even without electricity. I created a solar panel that will absorb the heat energy from the sun and transform it into-"
"WHAT IS THAT HIDEOUS NOISE?!"
"That's what a doorbell is supposed to do," Kurama replied cheerfully.
"I know but... I'll never sleep in peace again... Do you honestly think that that filmsy ningen technology will be of any good if any uninvited visitors insist on dropping in on me? Besides, I'm a Quest-class youkai, I can handle any trash."
"Were. You were a Quest-class youkai. However, at present, you're no better off than a human."
"Get out of my house, fox. Before, I lose my cool and rearrange your innards."
"Oho! You can try it! Whenever you start to use your powers, you come close to having a heart attack. A youkai who can't use his powers without killing himself off in the process is no better than a human."
"How about a free plastic surgery, fox?"
"No, thanks. I think I'll pass. I'll be taking my leave now."
"Before I go, here's another ningen contraption for you." Kurama threw a tiny metal device to Karasu. "In case of an emergency, just hit the red button in the middle."
"And my house will blow up," Karasu cut in.
"And I'll come running," Kurama continued unfazed.
"That's a very comforting thought indeed," Karasu remarked dryly. "And what makes you think any youkai would use that doorbell thingie you just installed?"
Kurama thought hard. "At least, I will. And since your house is windowless, I guess Hiei will too."
"HIEI?" Karasu shrieked.
"Bye!" Kurama ducked out of the house, making a hasty retreat before the explosions began.
Just as Karasu made his way to the door, his impatient visitor decided
that he had had enough of waiting. The door exploded inwards, the force
of the explosion flung Karasu backwards and he slammed painfully into the
far end of the wall. Any harder and I'll be part of the wall.
Karasu seethed. If this is that damned youko's idea of fun... He looked up.
It wasn't Kurama.
BEEP BEEP BEEEPPP!!!!!!
"Ok. Who is it? 'Fess up!"
The offending student turned beet red.
"Minamino Shuuichi! Of all students!" The class giggled. " You know the drill, hand it over." Shuuichi obediently allowed his pager to be confiscated.
"Sorry, Madam." Shuuichi alias Kurama said meekly.
Kurama had sneaked an apprehensive peep at the pager before he handed it over to his teacher. He wasn't in the mood for another one of Koenma's missions for the Reikai Tantei. It was Karasu. And he could jolly well wait. Kurama remembered the first time Karasu had experimentally hit the emergency red button that automatically allowed Kurama to see who was in dire need of his aid. Kurama had feinted illness and skipped half his classes, rushing over to see who had attacked Karasu. When he arrived, everything was as it should be. Karasu was lounging on tree.
"Hmm... it really works!" Karasu looked bemused. "You sure took your own sweet time."
Kurama almost had a fit. " I told you to hit that button only if there was an emergency!"
"Well, I do have an emergency for you. I'm DYING of hunger here. Fix lunch, Red."
Kurama fixed Karasu for lunch that day.
After school, Kurama hurried over to Karasu's house. As he neared it, a wave of unease swept through him. The deadly silence of the forest was penetrating. All wildlife seemed to have disappeared. It was as if time had been stopped.
As Kurama stepped forth before the cave wherein which Karasu's house was located, he gasped. The door had been blown apart. His olfactory senses detected the unmistakable metallic scent of blood. Through the semi-darkness that cloaked the interior, he could barely make out Karasu limp form as he lay unmoving on the ground like a pile of crumpled black clothing. The blood that had been spilled clearly belonged to him.
End of Part 2.