It was past 9pm, certainly not an early hour for a high school student to be returning home. As Nakajima hesitantly pressed the intercom button, the door swung open.
"Sorry I'm home so late. Professor Feed was..." Sensing a strange coldness in his mother's stare, Nakajima stopped in mid-sentence.
This isn't the first time I've been late. Why is she so mad?
However, his mother's expression soon softened into a smile, and she pointed inside.
"There's a guest here to see you."
"To see me?" Nakajima pictured Yumiko's face. The sight of a pair of high-heeled shoes in the foyer soon dispelled his hopes. "Who is it?"
"She says her name is Ohara."
"WHAT!?" Nakajima darted into the living room, without bothering to take off his shoes.
The woman sitting on the sofa with her back to him slowly stood up and turned to face him.
"It's been a while, Nakajima.
The voice was familiar. The face covered in bronze scales was not. Surreal. Nakajima felt like he had been pulled into a nightmare, his will sapped out of his body.
"What...are you here for!?" he finally managed.
"I'm here to kill you, of course." Speaking casually, a crazed smile flashed on Ohara's face as she assaulted him.
With the demonic blood flowing in her veins transforming her into a powerful demon-human hybrid, Ohara was not an opponent that Nakajima could take on barehanded. Without any resistance, Nakjama simply let Ohara hold him down, which caused her to let her guard down slightly.
"What's wrong, Nakajima? Are you trying to suggest that I'm not worth killing!?" Sneering, Ohara's rank breath assaulted Nakajima's senses. However, he did not falter.
I'll make you regret not using this opportunity to kill me...
Nakajima had been picturing two blue spheres in his mind. They were spheres he had been given in Yomi, and were used to summon Hi-no-Kagutsuchi. Knocking the two spheres in his mind together, they gave off a shower of sparks, and a blistering aura surrounded his right hand. Suddenly, Nakajima grasped the Sword of Hi-no-Kagutsuchi as it glowed with crimson light.
Feeling the intense heat, Ohara instinctively jumped backwards. Immediately the crimson blade came crashing down, slicing into her arm. Nakajima charged Ohara, knocked backwards by the force of the blow, thrusting the sword to finish her off. But he was not adequately trained in sword arts, and Ohara escaped its tip by a hair's breadth.
Nakajima noticed his mother in his field of vision, watching their battle as if possessed.
Nakajima became worried; he needed to get his mother outside safely before Ohara attacked her.
"Do you want to be skewered on the sword that defeated Loki too?" Standing between his mother and Ohara, Nakajima threatened his opponent. But that one sentence reignited the dwindling flames of Ohara's desire for revenge.
"You killed Loki...!?" Holding her wounded arm, Ohara ground her teeth together and took a step back.
"The minute you let me bring out my sword, you lost. Wake up already!" Nakajima's eyes almost seemed compassionate as they reflected the red glow of his blade.
An intense pain shot through his right arm. Of all things, his mother had stabbed him from behind with a fruit knife. Nakajima reflexively pushed his mother away, but he could not understand what had happened and just stood there confused. And in that moment, Ohara slipped behind him and grabbed him in a headlock.
"Your mother has been possessed by a demon called an Apep, and is completely under my control. Letting you get killed by your own mother is the least I can do for you. Come on, do it!"
Responding to Ohara's orders, Nakajima's mother walked toward her son slowly, brandishing her fruit knife.
"Mom, please stop!" Trying to break Ohara's grip, Nakajima cried out desperately.
Yumiko had arrived at Nakajima's apartment building and was about to press the intercom when she felt a strange presence. Without hesitation, she put her hand on the doorknob and focused all her energies on it. As a noxious smoke filled the area, the expensive, high-security lock system melted, and the doorknob fell to the ground. Yumiko had used a tremendous power: spontaneous combustion. Running into Nakajima's home without taking her shoes off, Yumiko dashed into the living room to see Ohara holding Nakajima in a headlock, moments before he was about to be stabbed by a silver knife.
"Nakajima-kun, look out!"
The two cried out at exactly the same.
Yumiko's eyes flashed with a blinding light for an instant. The arms of Nakajima's knife-wielding assailant burst into flame. In mere moments, the fire spread, engulfing her entire body in crimson flames, burning her to a crisp as she wailed in pain.
Meanwhile, Ohara had escaped outside via the veranda.
"Mom..." Not noticing the white snake crawling out of the conflagration before it disintegrated, Nakajima merely stood agape as he watched his mother perish, wreathed in flames.
Finally Nakajima turned around, his eyes wandering aimlessly. "You just killed my mom..."
Nakajima's strained voice tore out Yumiko's heart.
No, it can't be...
Covering her face with her hands, Yumiko ran outside.