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Chapter 9 - 22 Cards of Fate - Part 2

Tizze acted younger than she looked. Her curiosity led her to ask about the meaning of each and every card. Together at the counter, Agnes performed the reading, and announced her conclusion. The results were...not bad.

'This would indicate that...yes, your father's job will go well for the most part. I'm sure everything will be fine.' Agnes smiled.

Tizze beamed with a bright smile. She thanked Agnes, but it was actually Agnes that wanted to thank her. Her overwhelming anxiety had vanished, and she felt more like herself. Tizze left soon thereafter, and Agnes waved her goodbye. The doorbell clattered as the door swung shut.

'Now, then, what about Ed's fortune...?' wondered Agnes. She sat at the counter and carefully gathered the cards. Her palms were sweaty, but she tried to pay it no mind. 'It's not important,' Agnes muttered to herself. For readings that required more accuracy, Agnes had developed a simple method. First she centered herself, and then proceeded to draw a single card.

'All right, Ed. Just what are you up to?'

'Miss, you dropped one!'


For some reason, it was Tizze who stood beside Agnes. She crouched and picked up a card from the floor. Agnes took it and thanked her. She looked down at the card and suddenly froze. It was as if she had been petrified.

It was Death, the reaper's card. Agnes was overcome with dizziness, and in her daze, Tizze disappeared once again.

The leaky faucet stopped dripping. The cards in the deck Agnes held shifted. Then one after another, they flitted from her hand and floated in the air around her. All the while, her focus was pinpointed solely on the card in her hand: Death.

Agnes was suddenly shaken back to consciousness. She looked up to see Kagemaru staring back as he perched upon the top of her head. The tarot cards that were hanging in the air fell to the floor. 'Kagemaru...?'

The cat slunk down into the counter and drowsily stared at her as if to say, 'What are you doing?'

'I-I know... I was just a little surprised.'

Agnes muttered to herself as she gathered the scattered cards. For whatever reason, her uncle and Purdue seemed to not notice anything. 'That was careless of me. I need to forget about all this and get back to work...' she thought.


Agnes placed the Death card on the counter and drew a card from the now reformed deck. She couldn't read the same fortune twice, so she tried to focus on whatever it was that Ed had been chasing this past week.

'...For our next story, yet another traffic incident occurred at around 1:40 this afternoon...'

The orbal radio had somehow turned on by itself.

'I must be putting too much power into the reading,' thought Agnes. After shaking off her dizziness she returned her attention to the newly-drawn card: The Sun reversed-- otherwise known as darkness.

Agnes pondered the potential meaning of this revelation. There had been more accidents than usual lately. Perhaps darkness was somehow linked to those events? Maybe Ed found a lead towards the truth of the matter and, for whatever reason, decided to handle it on his own.

'Meooow,' chided Kagemaru with a languid expression.

'I know, but neither Purdue nor Uncle even noticed!' refuted Agnes. She once more reached for the deck of cards, but stopped herself midway. It would be faster to ask the Eaton News staff about Ed's whereabouts.

Agnes hurried to the orbal telephone beside the clock and called the office.

'Eaton News, how may I help you?'

'Oh, Brandon, sorry to bug you, but around noon, Edwin ran off somewhere to work on his article. Do you happen to know where he went?'

'Ed? Haha, what are you talking about? He's been here working at his desk since this morning.'

Agnes' face went pale. Ed's at his desk? 'N-No, that can't be the real Ed!' she thought.

A shrill sound resounded from the street in front of the cafe. Through the window, Agnes watched as a crushed orbal scooter flew through the air before careening into the ground. She suspected the rider had died before they even hit the ground. Purdue and her uncle continued to chat as if all was right with the world. She shook their shoulders, but neither reacted at all... Then the world began to violently shake beneath her, and she squatted in place. Agnes was just now beginning to grasp the depth of the terrible power running amok in the city.

'I've got to stand...' she thought.

As she did, Agnes peered over at the Death card on the counter. For now, it was the only truth she could believe in.

第9回 22枚の運命Ⅱ






「……お姉さん! 1枚落ちてるよ?」










「ブニャー!」カゲマルが眠そうな顔で嗜める。わかってる! でも叔父さんもパデュー爺さんも気付いてない! アニエスはもう1枚タロットを引こうとしてやめた。エドの居場所なら、通信社に問い合わせた方が早いかもしれない。大時計の隣にある通信機に駆け寄って、アニエスはイートン通信社にコールした。



「エド? はは……何言ってんだよ。エドウィンなら朝から大人しいもんだ、ずっと席で仕事してるぞ?」

アニエスは今度こそ青褪めた。エドが席にいる? ……違う、それは本物のエドじゃない!!


……立たなくちゃ……… テーブルの上にDEATHのカードが見えた。アニエスが信じられるのは、もうそれだけだった。