Chapter 3:

Bloody Valentine


The next day, Romeo heads to school early in the morning, something completely out of his normal routine. He plans to attend class for the first time in a while, determined to become a better student from now on. Being someone worthy of meeting Yuri is his goal.

But there is also another reason.

Since there was absolutely no doubt in his mind about leaving the Makai behind, Romeo gathered his courage the previous night and wrote a note for Yuri, asking her to meet up on the rooftop after class. He signed it with his name, hoping that their meeting was memorable enough to remember him by.

This is a romantic gesture, right? Pure girls like this kind of thing, right?

Oh no, his heart starts to race again. Love confessions are truly a frightening thing, scarier than any fight he's ever had to face before. But unlike his regular brawls, he can't just clobber his way out of this feeling... although he sure wishes he could.

He reaches her locker in no time, feeling like a creepy loser scurrying about with his eyes darting back and forth looking for anyone else that could be around. Once he's convinced that he's alone, he quickly slips the note inside; his heart is ready to burst out of his chest with each passing second.

I did it!!

He quickly runs away from there and towards the direction of his classroom, terrified for the outcome but excited nonetheless.

All he has to do now is wait.

* * *

Yesterday afternoon, after he mentioned his decision to depart from the Makai gang to a sobbing Jojo and an unreadable Meru, news about Romeo’s change of heart had spread like wildfire.

Jojo couldn't keep his mouth shut for too long and was crying eyes out at the Makai hideout, where the rest of the gang were talking amongst themselves. They wondered what was causing Romeo to drop out, when he clearly was the strongest of them all, possibly even stronger than their boss.

Romeo didn't explain himself to Jojo, so speculation was brewing in every direction. Some said he had been scouted by a scary gang of adults; others that he had been recruited by a cult, and a few of them simply thought he had been brainwashed by some secret evil organization.

The news didn't take long to reach the Kappore gang.

When someone as notorious as Bloody Bat Romeo decided to retire, it never went unnoticed. His absence reached the ears of their rival gang's leader too, the fearsome and ruthless Raging Fist Endo.

* * *

The day had turned overcast before he knew it, and although there were still a few hours to go before their meeting, Romeo was starting to get worried that Yuri might not show up if the weather turned for the worst.

After all the dirty looks he got from his classmates and teachers, Romeo decided it was still too soon to come back to class like a proper student. He skipped out early, taking his bat from its hiding place near the lockers on his way out, and headed to the back of the school building.

Jojo and Meru probably won’t be there today, huh. Not like it matters. I don’t think they’ll want to see me, anyway.

Approaching the corner that leads to the back, a strange feeling starts taking over him. Something feels... wrong.

The wind quietly blows some leaves away, as it usually does during fall, and the gray sky feels more like an omen than anything. He turns the corner with caution, and his bad feeling finally finds a name.

"Raging Fist Endo...!?"

Romeo quietly calls out in surprise.

Behind the school building, which clearly was Makai territory, stands a very tall, bulky young man with a buzzcut. Many piercings adorn his ears and face. He cracks his knuckles while calmly glaring at Romeo with disdain. There are around twenty others standing behind him with different weapons and similarly smug expressions on their faces.

Romeo never saw a single member of the Kappore gang in Makai territory before, never mind this many. And never mind their leader!

"Yo, Bloody Bat Romeo. I heard you're quittin' your gang. Are you tryin' to run away from us?"

Endo's voice is deep and menacing, just as his entire presence.

"No," Romeo scoffs. "This has nothing to do with you losers."

"Yeah? 'Cause you've put many of my guys in the hospital before. Almost like you think you can just do that, then go around livin' your merry little life with no consequences whatsoever. You know that's not how things work with us, do ya?"

Yes, of course Romeo knew that. He expected his own gang to get on his case about it too, and maybe they will once he faces the Makai boss face-to-face about his decision. But right now—right now, he has this other boss to take care of.

"I suppose a simple apology won't cut it?" Romeo says cheekily, unwrapping the bandages around his bat slowly.

"Haha. You can apologize from the grave, you little turd."

And with a tilt of his chin, Endo gives his gang the signal to attack.

Every single guy standing behind Endo lunges after Romeo with a battle cry, who manages to unwrap his bat just in time. They're all strong fighters from the Kappore gang who either had faced Romeo before or knew someone that had; all of them held a strong grudge against him.

These powerful members of the Kappore gang became number one in the city simply from sheer numbers. Now, they were baring their fangs at Romeo, ready for carnage.

But not a single one of them comes even close to being a good match for Romeo, who swiftly dodges their attacks and counters back with powerful kicks. He has nasty surprises of his own, relying on his bat to do most of his dirty work.


One after the other, the Kappore start falling over like flies. Horrifying screams of pain echoing as a single splash of blood splatters across Endo's cheek. He stays there with his arms crossed at the same place he'd been since the beginning, unmoving.

The numbers he brought makes him smug, but as the bloodbath continues and his gang members slowly fall one by one, it begins to contort into surprise, and eventually... rage.

A few moments later, all of his men are down, either unconscious or writhing in pain on the ground. Endo let out a loud roar to the heavens.


His voice echoes at the same time as the sky rumbles, and rain begins to fall.

Romeo, his chest heaving to breathe away the exhaustion, tilts his head to the side and brings his bat to his shoulder. The downpour flushes away the blood from his weapon and his face. Very little of it is his own for someone who just took on an entire army of thugs.

He looks over at Endo and makes a disappointed noise.

"Hey... I really didn't wanna fight you guys, y'know. I meant it. I'm not doing this anymore. I know I did some nasty things to the Kappore in the past, but so did you, yeah? To me and the rest of Makai. That's the kind of life we live. I'm not asking for forgiveness here, I just wanna end the revenge cycl—"


Romeo couldn't finish his line before Endo lunges at him with all he has, planting his big, bulky fist straight into Romeo's jaw. Romeo is sent flying back. His bat slips from his hand and is spinning on the pavement.

Dizzy, Romeo takes a moment to peel his face off the ground with a pained noise, checking his jaw in his hand.

He manages to get himself into a sitting position and reach for his bat, barely stopping yet another quick attack from Endo; one of his signature, super strong punches that earned him his nickname.

Romeo feels an immense pressure as he holds the bat horizontally in front of him with both hands, struggling to push the attack away.

Endo's fist is unmoving and relentless, and his face is twisted into that of a rampaging beast. Romeo hears his bat cracking under the pressure.

Taking a chance while Endo is busy trying to break through his weapon, Romeo pulls back his leg and snaps it sharply forward, turning it into a powerful kick aimed directly at Endo’s stomach. This time, it's Endo who goes flying.


Endo hits a lamp post with his back, sliding down against it, disoriented.

Romeo finally has enough time to wipe the blood from his mouth. Drawing deep breaths with difficulty, he staggers up right after and walks slowly towards Endo. The bat drags across the pavement with a foreboding scrape.

"Y-You... monster...!"

Endo cries out with a clear look of fear in his eyes. Romeo's face is obscured by his hair, wet from the rain, but a small glint of bloodlust peeks through his pupils.

He stands in front of Endo, looking down at him with an unreadable, dark expression.

Slowly, he lifts his bat up to the sky, never taking his eyes off Kappore’s leader, who now raises his arm up in a futile attempt to protect himself.

"Stop! Don't do iiiit—"