It was a month before the wedding of Yukina and Kazuma, Yusuke and his friends were hanging around the Ningenkai Café, planning a bachelor party for his friend and old rival. “Do you remember the party we threw you a week before your wedding, Kurama?” Yusuke commented, sipping his coffee.
“I am surprised you even remembered that night. I thought you had killed most of your brain cells,” his friend responded.
“Hey now, I didn’t drink that much,” Yusuke denied, “Only had one or two.”
“One or two what, pints? Dude, you left my apartment at 3 AM in a taxicab completely nude.”
“I was not that drunk, I thought it was hot that night.”
“Dear, I remember you left for the party dressed, but when you came home, I awoke to find you standing in the bathtub, urinating like a horse, and singing “Jingle Bells” in April,” reminded Keiko.
“Fox boy, you have no room to talk,” Shizuru sighed, as she sipped a cappuccino and read the morning paper.
“Now Shiz, you know I don’t drink. I am a responsible intelligent demon who doesn’t do stupid stuff.”
“Oh so then tell me, Einstein, why I came to your apartment to find you cheating on me with a toaster oven in the bed. And an hour later I hear a huge commotion from the bedroom to the bathroom, and the next thing I hear is ‘Someone’ heaving his guts into the toilet. You are just as bad about being drunk as Yusuke is, and you two are the worst liars I have ever met.” Shizuru folded the paper in four quarters and placed it on the table in front of her. She shuffled through her purse that was hanging by a strap on the back of her chair.
She paused suddenly and a blank stare drew across her face. “Honey, are you okay? You look pale as a ghost,” worried her husband, “Are you sick or going to be sick?”
She shook her head, “No I am fine, I just…Kazuma, do you feel that?”
Her brother sat in a chair next to her with Yukina on his lap. “Yeah I feel it, I need to get up and go to the little girl’s room. Urameshi are you coming?”
“Nope, I’m fine.”
“That’s not what I mean, something’s weird. I feel like something is misplaced or out of order,” Shizuru pondered.
Suddenly the shadow of a woman fell upon the floor from the front window. Yusuke gazed up into her face, staring at her lavender eyes and her long sky-blue hair. Her face wore scratches of dry blood and the top of her pink kimono was ripped in half.
“Botan, what happened to you?” asked the worried tantei. Her friends gathered around her. The woman’s eyes turned towards Shizuru’s gaze and started to stream tears. Shizuru held Botan in her arms, feeling her body shake like a rat being chased by a snake. “Hey, Kurama-kun, could you get a glass of water please?”
“Hey, Mr. Todaka, can I order a glass of…?” he asked the owner of the café.
“I heard your wife, Doc,” smiled the bald wrinkled 79-year-old shopkeeper, “It’s on the house.”
“You are too kind, Gramps,” remarked the red-haired man, retrieving the glass from the old man’s counter.
“Aw, it’s enough to spoil you kids. Since I lost my family to a tsunami back when I was your age, you are all like my grandkids. That’s all a lonely old man can do anymore.”
Botan gathered herself up trying to stifle her tears. “Are you going to be okay?” asked Shizuru.
“Hey Old Man, the can is messed up again. It won’t flush,” informed Kazuma.
“Yeah I know, I’ve been meaning to put a notice on the chalk board that the men’s room is out of order. The women’s works fine, any of you fellas who need to use the restroom, go use the ladies. My maintenance man, Kikuma, is on a holiday in Australia with his new wife, Chiyoko, for the rest of the month. He’ll come back and fix the men’s.”
“So what’s going on with Botan? Why is she here?”
“S…someone attacked me last night. He tore into me while I was in my apartment, asleep. He grabbed me and shredded my kimono.”
“Botan did he…you know?” Kurama created a hole with his left index finger and thumb and inserted his right index in the hole.
“No, he didn’t have sex with me. Everything from my waist on down, remained untouched, but what frightened me was the way he touched my chest and upper body. His body was naked, but it was covered in thick black hair, almost like fur. He kept leering at me with three golden eyes.”
“Three eyes? You mean this b*****d wasn’t human? He was a three-eyed demon?” Yusuke asked with a puzzled look on his face, “Where can I find him so I can destroy him?”
“Do you think Hiei has become this thing? He has three eyes,” questioned Kazuma.
“The description Botan gave doesn’t describe him at all, Kuwabara, for one thing this guy is covered in fur, like an animal. Also his three eyes are gold, not red, red, and purple,” responded his black-haired friend.
“Botan, was there anything more unusual about this guy other than his fur and three eyes?” asked the fox demon.
“His face and hands were very strange. He chained my arms outstretched to the headboard bedposts and my feet to the bedposts at the foot. Then he ripped the top of this kimono open and exposed my breasts and stomach. While I watched him, I notice his claws on his outstretched fingers drawing slash lines across the skin of my stomach. He turned his gaze to me, and I saw his face and became terrified. His nose and jaw were drawn out like that of a wolf’s; he had his lips and black fleshy nose curled back in a snarl. He bore his pearly white fangs in my face and attempted to snap his teeth and growl, like an angry wolf. His voice was in low growls and snarls. He snarled at me, ‘Remember this winch, upon the night of the full moon, your heart will be mine.’ Then as the dawn broke the night, he disappeared into darkness.”
Suddenly an eerie feeling came over Yusuke’s mind, upon hearing Botan’s story. “What’s the matter, dude? You look as white as a ghost,” asked Kazuma.
“I had the weirdest dream last night. I felt as though my body and mind had changed and I was this wolfman on the hunt for blood. I had captured this blue-haired virgin and was going to devour her, when the sun arose and I found myself sleeping on the front lawn of my house completely naked.”
“Well, as a fellow animal demon,” recalled Kurama with a stern look in his eyes, “I took stalk of the night’s dark shadows. I once witnessed a mortal human who had been done in by such a predator beast. The demon wolf had been slain by the human and his hunters. Years later the ghost of that demon had remerged and had found himself a home in that human’s body. For several weeks the demon would lay dormant inside the man’s body, feeding off his ki energy. Then during the week of the full moon, he would take over the man’s own spirit and manifest himself into this wolfman, or werewolf. Though at the time I was the Youko and feared by other demons, I knew when that creature approached. The weaker tribe members would hide in the Valley of No Scent, in the northern mountains of Makai. Only the strongest fighters, like Ashanti, Yomi, and myself would defend the tribe and attack that monster. The werewolf had the taste and unquenchable desire for blood. He preferred the fair blood of young virgins and children. To make matters even direr for us, Ashanti himself had a young vixen at his side, and she was with child. We feared that night of the full moon, the werewolf would pick up the baby’s scent and would devour him for sure.”
“How long did the nightmare continue for your tribe?” asked Shizuru curiously.
“It went on for two years, before the man became so riddled with guilt for what the demon wolf had done, like slaughtering hundreds of women and children, that he stabbed himself in the heart and sent both his own soul and that of the wolf’s straight to hell.”
“Yusuke, I am frightened. What if this thing Botan saw were to come after Megumi, our unborn son, and me, what will we do?” worried Keiko.
“Well, you know I won’t leave your side while he is on the loose,” her husband promised, “I will guard you with my life. That b*****d will have to get through me.”
“Shuu, you don’t need to worry about the kids and me. I can defend the three of us tonight, you can guard Botan if you want.”
“No, I think she would be safer tonight in Spirit World. A werewolf cannot get you there. I might however set up a decoy to lure him to a made-up hideout, where I can ambush him. I could then use my rosewhip as a rope to tie him up, so we can know who this guy really is. As I remember, a werewolf only comes at nightfall. By the first sign of morning light, he is reverted back to his original human form.”
That night was the night of the full moon. As promised at the café that morning, Kurama set into motion the plans to catch the werewolf. He set himself in the same apartment Botan had stayed in the night before. He dressed a mannequin he had borrowed from a local women’s shop. “How are things holding up, Shiz?” he asked, his cell phone pressed between his ear and shoulder.
“I felt that the kids would be better safe with mine and Kazuma’s parents, while this monster is on the hunt. Kazuma has sent Yukina back to Ice World for safety sake. I’ve got Keiko and Yusuke on the computer line. They are doing fine under the circumstances, although Keiko is still scared about the night.”
“What time is it now?” asked Kurama, “As I remember from Botan, she was attacked at midnight.”
“I am looking at the clock radio right now. It is almost 11:15 now. I have tried to go to sleep, but my brother is at the house acting restless. I too have a bad feeling about tonight. Hold on, honey for a bit, Keiko’s on the other line and she is scared. Keiko, listen to me, we are going to catch this creep. Kurama’s at Botan’s apartment and is waiting for that beast to arrive. Yusuke’s there to protect you and your kids.”
“I can’t do this, what if Yusuke can’t stop him, what if that thing comes after the kids. I can’t handle this, I want this night to end,” Keiko’s throat swallowed tight and her voice shook as she spoke.
“Girl, listen, you are going to be fine,” Shizuru reassured her with a faint degree of doubt in her own voice, “You’re in safe hands, Yusuke’s a very strong man, he can guard you from this…hello, Keiko are you there?” Shizuru asked in a worried tone, hearing the sound of the phone click.
“Shiz, what happened, did she hang up?” asked Kurama on the main phone line.
“I don’t…Hey, Kazuma, something’s wrong. I just got cut off from the Urameshis’ phone. I was talking to Keiko and the line went dead,” she commented to her brother, feeling confused and concerned at the same time.
“Let me try Urameshi on his cell phone.” Kazuma held his own phone against his ear. “Ura…nope I am having trouble reaching him. Ura…no that time I got his voicemail. This is weird, in dire situations, he leaves the cell on for emergencies.”
“Kazuma, Shuu, I don’t feel good about this. I will feel much better if all three of us were over there at their house. Maybe Keiko had good reason to worry, maybe Yusuke was unable to keep the werewolf from her.”
Thirty minutes after their conversation, the three met at the front entrance of the house. The front walk was over drawn by the shadows of the night. Along the walk, deep in the shadows, both Shizuru and her brother felt the presence of evil looming over the grounds. She noticed a glint of golden eyes darting in and out of the black bushes and trees lining the walk. “Guys, there is definitely something here. I feel this ominous feeling that someone or something very evil is watching us.”
Kazuma sniffed the air and discovered a very rich lemony smell. “When did Urameshi have lemons growing out here?”
“Lemons? Did you say lemons? Then that werewolf must be here. According to Botan, she did smell lemons prior to him tying her up. It seems that scent is his calling card,” replied the fox demon.
Shizuru turned the knob on the door. Surprised to find it unlocked on this eerie night, the three crept cautiously into the house. Kurama’s hand felt along the wall on the front entrance. He flipped the switch, only to find the lights not turning on.
“Is there simply no power or is it a broken light?” worried Shizuru.
“I can’t feel any heat on in this house and this is a very cold January night. I have my doubts there is any electricity. Of course if I was the wolfman, why would I have lights on in a house?” Kurama replied, “This creature isn’t too interested in drawing attention to its murderous acts until the break of dawn when he can appear as human again. This can’t be a simple power failure, because I see lights on in what I think is a bathroom next door.”
The light from the full moon illuminated the windows, casting dim light into the chilly house. In between the darkness, Shizuru kept seeing the gleam of golden eyes staring at her with interest. She felt the hot breath of a ravenous animal follow close behind her. Whenever she turned to face the evil, the entity vanished from her sight. Shizuru stepped in front of her husband.
“Shuu, I feel like I am being hunted. That thing is here, I can sense him.”
“I have never b…been this scared of this house,” Kazuma stuttered, as he gazed into a bathroom. The moonlight exposed the silhouette of what looked like a man with the side view of a head of a wolf. Piercing through the black silhouette was one of three golden eyes and the pearly white fanged teeth. The creature had its body pressed up against the window the light was beaming from. The light cast itself across the creature’s back, combing through the black fur as Botan had described it earlier that morning. Quickly the trickling sound coming from its body ceased, and the creature turned itself to face the two men and the woman.
“Tha…s the cr… It’s the w…werew,” Kazuma chattered, as he stared at the beast. The beast stared back at him, snarling at him. The werewolf quickly shifted his gaze towards Shizuru. He stared at her, rubbing his fleshy tongue over his razor sharp teeth.
“Kurama, didn’t you say he enjoys the blood of a woman?” Shizuru whispered loudly to him.
“Yes, it favors the flesh of a woman and her blood.”
“Do you think we should flee then?” she cried in terror, with her throat clenching her voice box.
“If you run, it will trigger in his mind to chase after you. That’s how the mind of a predator works.”
“But he’s looking right at me, whether I run or not he will come after me.”
“Kurama, how did you say a creature is borne like this? What it that he was bitten, or did something come back from the dead?” questioned Kazuma intently.
“No the way this creature would have come about is if the soul of a wolf demon had come back and had invaded a human body. He would have taken over that person’s spirit energy and fed off of its endless supply.”
“Do we know any demons like that that have been slain recently?” Kazuma asked with a shaky voice.
Shizuru stared intently at the creature. Suddenly she backed slowly away from the werewolf and the boys, hiding herself behind Kurama. “I think I recognize him. Shortly after Kurama’s birthday when we were fighting Ani Toguro’s demons, I had killed a demon attacking Keiko, myself, Saito, and Megumi.”
“It was after Yomi’s death, I remember that,” recalled her husband, “The wolf demon was Dakota. Yomi fought with and was slain by him. Then Dakota headed into Genkai’s temple and was attempting to kill and eat you girls.”
“Yeah that was when I drew the Spirit Spear. I felt a huge surge of energy flow through my body, concentrating it in the palms of my hands. He lunged at me and I stabbed his heart with the spear. My guess is he has come back to get after me.”
“It’s so good you figured me out, Missy,” the creature uttered in a bellowing growl, staring straight at her, “Now is the time that I do what you did to me. This will be the night of your demise, I can assure you.”
Shizuru gazed at the monster with much apprehension in her eyes. Trying to overcome her fear, she gave him a fierce stare. The werewolf snarled at her and snapped his teeth together. He drew his hand into a fist in front of his face and crinkled his fingers, showing off his razor-sharp claws. Once again, Shizuru’s hands became warmed by the steady flow of ki energy.
“Hey Missy, do you remember one attack my human’s body possesses? He’s got such a huge supply of energy that it is hard for me to contain.”
“Hey Sis, what you suppose that means? His human’s body has a huge supply of energy.”
“Think about it, Kuwabara, who do you know who has enough spirit energy to tear down a mountain and destroy a stadium full of demons?”
“You can’t mean…why him though? I thought he was going to kill this werewolf. He was protect Keiko from this thing.”
“Kazuma, how would he know were to look for something that was in his body the whole time. Do you remember that dream he had last night? He said he dreamed he had turned into a dog and had captured a blue-haired virgin. That same night, this werewolf was attacking Botan in her apartment. Did you find it sort of odd that Yusuke woke up in his front yard stark naked?” commented Shizuru.
“You mean the person we have to fight is…but now with Urameshi’s energy, Dakota can destroy us all,” Kazuma stuttered in fear.
“Hey Kurama, what did your tribe do when you were confronted by this type of demon? You said the weaker members were hidden in that valley you mentioned.”
”The Valley of No Scent?”
“Yeah, but what did you do to defend the valley? You didn’t kill him; he died at his own hands. But is there a way to separate the demon from his human host?”
“There might be a way, it would require a few sutras to separate the evil soul from the pure. The only one I know with that kind of power is Genkai. We will go see her in the morning, by then he would have been reverted back to his original form,” replied Kurama.
Suddenly the heat of energy drew around the werewolf’s fingers and he produced a massive ki energy ball. The energy ball was thrusted at the three humans, slamming in front of them at their feet.
All three had been thrown by the blast. Kazuma shook his head and faced the werewolf head on, locking a gaze with his eyes. Snarling at the beast, he remarked in an outcry, “Urameshi, how can you do that to us? What happened to you? You used to try to protect us humans from demons who wanted us destroyed. Now what, do you hate us that much to try to kill us?”
“That’s not our friend, it’s Dakota who wants us dead. He’s after both Shizuru and Keiko’s blood.” Kurama tried to search the darkness for his beloved. “Shiz, where are you? Are you all right, baby?”
“I’m fine. You know what, if you guys will stall him for me, I’ll try to find Keiko and Megumi.”
“Not so fast, Missy,” snarled Dakota, as he sprang from his feet and pounced on the floor in front of Shizuru. “We aren’t done with our fight, yet.” Dakota wrapped his clawed fingers around her neck and held his fangs in front of her face. “I think I shall finish you once and for all, little girl.”
He clenched his hand around her throat, holding her as tight as he could. “How do you want to die, Missy? Quick with the snap of your precious neck, or slow, painful and bloody as I drive my fangs into your neck. Either way suits me just fine.”
Unbeknown to him, his victim clenched her fists together and drew her Spirit Spear, stabbing his abdomen. Caught off guard, the werewolf held his stomach with his free hand, while the other still held tight around her neck. At that moment, Kurama seeing his wife being choked to death quickly drew a rose from his shirt pocket and grew a rose rope. The rope twisted itself around to the back of the werewolf’s neck and wrapped itself around. With a good hold of the rope, Kurama gave it a slight tug causing Dakota to release his victim and slump over on Shizuru’s back. Kazuma rushed to his sister’s aid, finding her breathless and unconscious.
“Kurama, she can’t breathe. She is dying and I don’t know CPR,” her worried brother claimed in an exacerbated voice.
Quickly the fox demon laid his wife on the floor and opened her mouth. Kneeling beside her, he placed his mouth over hers. Immediately he breathed into her mouth and down her lungs. He removed is mouth and placed his hands together and pushed on her stomach, just under her ribcage. He repeated his methods for fifteen minutes until he saw her throat start to gargle. Immediately he rolled her onto her side, letting her throw up fluid and air from her lungs and stomach.
“Welcome back, my love,” Kurama smiled, with tears in his eyes. Shizuru gazed into his eyes and placed her right hand on his face. Tears streamed from her eyes to either side of her face towards her ears.
Slowly she raised herself to a seated position on the floor with her husband’s hands supporting her body. She clanged desperately to his shoulders, resting her head on his neck. “I thought I was going to die. I felt myself slipping from your grasp. I didn’t want to leave you and the kids. I just…” Shizuru’s words fell silent and changed to a burst of tears.
“Hey, hey, it’s going to be okay. The nightmare is over. Look out the window. I can see the sun start to show itself outside. Do you see it? Honey?” Suddenly Kurama felt his wife’s body slump in his arms.
“Is she dead?” worried her brother.
“No,” Kurama yawned, feeling his own eyes becoming heavy, “she’s just asleep.” He lifted her body in his arms and carried her to a sofa in the living room. He laid her on the soft cushions and laid himself beside her. Instantly, he too fell fast asleep.
Later on in the morning, while the Minaminos’ were still sleeping, Kazuma combed the house looking for Keiko and Megumi. He peeked in Megumi’s room and found her in her bed. He then approached Keiko and Yusuke’s room and found Keiko asleep and tied to a chair with a bed cord and her mouth taped shut.
She opened her eyes to the sound of Kazuma’s presence in the room. He removed the tape gently from her mouth. “Hey, Kuwabara, thanks for saving me. Please untie me quickly, I have to pee.” He untied the cord as without hesitation, setting the pregnant woman free from the chair. Before darting to the bathroom, she thanked him and his sister and brother-in-law for coming to her rescue.