I trembled when an image of Maru appeared above mine and Ren's head. What kind of toy could Maru have gotten his paws on to use this power? I swallowed. It felt like I was choking on a hairball even though I knew I was swallowing clean.
"Here is the deal." Maru's head swiveled back and forth.
It's like he can't see us. I blinked.
"I want you to bring The Ancient Tanuki Toy to my Fortress of Perrrrrrfection."
The Ancient Tanuki Toy? I began to tremble and instinctively covered my face with my front paws. But ... it's guarded by The Great Monster. I wanted to scream.
Ren lifted me by the scruff of the neck as the image vanished. "Where is this Fortress of Perfection?"
"If you come without The Ancient Tanuki, I will kill your mom without a second thought ... ." Maru's image completely dissipated.
While hissing, Ren shook me. "Where is it?"
I knocked his paw away and stood up straight. "We have to get that toy first."
Ren bared his teeth.
I returned the favor. "Your choice ... stay here and search for Maru on your own or help me?"
I knew what Ren's choice would be. A good thing since I couldn't face The Monster alone. ... I just couldn't.
Next: Part 9