X = Y
Driving in his car with Rei, Hidemasa Toyama, his wife, and his child, Kei remained calm, whilst Rei was apprehensive. The streets were bustling with people, the enjoyment on their faces, the companionship between two people, the love and friendship felt by everyone. The feeling of belonging, and the attitude towards life, was impartial to Rei, longing for it since his departure.
"Where did you get the guns?" Kei questioned whilst in his car.
"I don't know. The gangs have a supplier, but I don't know who it is." Hidemasa responded.
"I didn't know you were a part of a gang, Hidemasa." his wife spoke fearfully.
"I'm not. I was, but I didn't think it would get to this point. There were rumours about a new kid climbing the ranks to the top. I didn't believe it, but things changed when they approached me a month ago. I was dragged into it without the option of getting out." Hidemasa monologued.
"Why did you tell us that earlier?" Rei rebuked angrily.
"They were just rumours! I didn't know any better." Hidemasa answered timidly.
"We're here. That may have been an important piece of information." Kei said.
Kei, along with the family, exited the car, leaving Rei inside to contemplate his actions. The names of the criminals were unknown to him. Nevertheless, he knew becoming the instigator would be the best solution to resolving the predicaments presented to him.
Inside the Toshi City Police Department, Hidemasa is standing in front of his wife, handcuffed. Kei is watching, and detective Yasuhide is walking towards them. Officer Akashi, the one holding Hidemasa by the arm, escorts him away. With a smile, he bids farewell to his wife.
"Hidemasa..." she said, crying bitterly.
"I deserve this. I'll finish with my prison sentence, and I'll be back to see Yukimaru grown up." Smiling, happy about the outcome, Akashi takes him away.
A female police officer approaches his wife.
"We'll get protection for you. Come with me." The female officer said kindly.
"What brings you back here?" Kei asked Yasuhide.
"There was one more thing. Who got the guys? Someone smashed their heads against the wall, or hit them with a hammer! I saw the photos of the apartment, and there are markings against the wall...with blood. Blood markings!" Yasuhide enthusiastically enquired.
"I don't think we need to know that. They dealt with the villains at the end of the day." Kei responded. "I have to go now! There's still two more people left to inspect." Kei said, running off.
"Good luck with it, detective!" Yasuhide exclaimed, supporting Kei.
After leaving the precinct, Kei entered the car, whilst Rei began staring outside the car, watching the other side of the road, thinking about Kanda. He turned his head after hearing Kei enter the car with relief.
"Who's next? The guy who did that to Risa?" Rei enquired.
"Yeah. He's the one who's going to get it the most. If you have to fight, then fight him, Rei. I'll give you that option now before it's too late and you hesitate." Kei said.
"I never hesitate. That's not the Rei Hirojima I know." Rei responded, smiling behind his scarf.
"I wonder why Hidemasa didn't say he was doing it for money. Isn't dirty money highly rewarding, but both illegal and risky?" Kei asked Rei, trying to start a conversation.
"How would I know? He had his reason, but his reason told him to help us. How do you think Kanda's doing? What is he doing anyway?" Rei responded with a question, ponderingly.
"He works at Tatashi Industrial. He got the internship, and they're paying for any fees he has. They also gave him his own house. I hope he's enjoying it there." Kei spoke with a smirk.
Revving the engine, preparing to depart, Kei and Rei drove off towards Masao Ageishi's house, the person present at Risa's death, supposedly forcing her to take her life.
Within Tatashi Industrial, inside a room with a window open, no cold air flying through, and a fan whirring away, Kanda sat there, working tirelessly, vexed by his working conditions. Programming and typing like no tomorrow would come, he began staring at the screen, yawning, rummaging through files.
"This isn't a good life or the life that I wanted. But it's going to get me there. I have to finish this paperwork for the Assisstant Manager. This is such a bore. When will I begin to code?" Kanda thought to himself.
The door to his office room swung open, and a familiar face appeared. Kanda looked up, only to see a colleague of his. He was wearing a grey blazer over a white shirt, grey trousers, brown shoes and a black tie. Relieved, Kanda looked at him with content.
"Kanda. The Assistant Manager wanted to talk to you in his office." he said.
"Okay. I'll be there." Kanda responded.
"What does he want with me now?"
Walking down the corridor, tired out of his mind, bored of the world, wanting something thrilling to happen, with the thought of adrenaline coursing through his veins, Kanda was unimpressed. Thoughts of his friends, and the delight they could be having, was on his mind.
"I wonder what Kei is doing. He called me on that scary night with the police, but he's never spoken to me after that. I should call him.
Kanda arrived at the Assistant Manager's room, peering in, wondering why the door was wide open. He took a glance and found no one there.
"Hello? Assistant Manager Eisaku Tonegawa?" he thought to himself.
He seized the opportunity, walked inside, and started looking around at the items on his desk. His computer was still on, and Kanda stared at it. There were emails, but there was nothing else of interest. He sat down on the chairs at the front of his room, waiting, tapping his fingers against his lap, shaking his knee subconsciously. The buzz of a phone, vibrating, caught Kanda's attention. He stood up and jogged towards it like it was his phone, with relative importance.
There was a message from a person the Assistant Manager called 'Boss'. Kanda read the text message in his head, deconstructing every word and its hidden meanings, reading between the lines astutely.
"'We have new targets. Find information on them, quickly.' New targets? Customers? You would need their information, but why quickly? Is it an overdue assignment?" Kanda wondered to himself, perplexed and somewhat flustered.
A new messaged popped up.
"Get it now."
Kanda, reading that, quickly left the desk and sat on the chairs. He pulled out his phone, typing away, pretending like he had not seen anything. He attached his headphones and put them on, neglecting the outside world, but only as a disguise. Another person entered the room, surprised by Kanda sitting there.
"Waiting inside the room now, are we?" the person said.
Kanda looked up, staring calmly, trying to maintain composure, not to seem suspicious. He stood up, pulling his headphones out of his ears, bowing at the presence of his manager.
"Hello, Manager. I was told that you wanted to speak to me." Kanda said.
"Sit down, Kanda." Assistant Manager Eisaku Tonegawa said, with his deep raspy voice. He wore a dark blue suit, dark blue trousers, black shoes, and a blue and red tie. He was relatively young to have obtained a prestigious position in his early thirties.
Kanda sat down per his orders, and Eisaku sat down at his desk, staring at his phone. He picked it up, examining it, turning it around, and looking for anything that was not supposed to be there.
"Did you read what was on my phone?" He questioned Kanda.
"I couldn't hear anything. I was using my headphones." Kanda replied.
"Oh, good. I wanted to talk to you about your position. You're an intern in your second year of university, but by the end of the year, you could have a proper job here." Eisaku said charitably.
"Really?" Kanda responded.
"Yes. If you choose to accept now, I can guarantee you a job with equivalent pay." Eisaku said sinisterly.
"Yeah. I'll take the offer now. Thank you." Kanda said blithely, becoming sceptical of the manager.
"You can go now. That's all I wanted to ask." Eisaku said, glaring at him, though Kanda did not perceive it that way.
He stood up out of the chair, proceeding to walk away, musing about the messages he recited mindfully. The tapping of shoes irritated him whilst he advanced down the corridors. The walls were bland, and everything felt the same. Nothing unique, nor visually appealing to the eye, was hung on the walls, except for plaques that had achievements of Tatashi Industrial. Sitting down at his desk, he began typing away, feeling like a hacker, trying to gain access into prohibited areas of the network.
"Okay. I've just gone into the public access area of the files in this company. I'm risking my place here, but what were those messages? Were they from the actual president, or did he name someone boss as a joke? I might as well leave it for today." Kanda thought to himself.
With his day nearly ending, Kei and Rei's day had just begun. At the house of their second suspect, they knocked, waiting for anyone to answer. Rei turned around, like a snake, waiting for an enemy hiding in the shadows to act. The house they were at looked normal with two floors, among many homes in a commercial district.
"This one feels different. No one's going to open the door." Rei said instinctively. "How big were the marks on Risa's neck?" Rei inquired.
"They wrapped around her entire neck. That person had big hands, but not that big." Kei replied.
Rei began walking away, and Kei followed after him. The door to the house suddenly opened slowly, enticing them to enter, compelled by the mystery and feeling of accomplishment when something new awakens. Faint sounds of footsteps, followed by creaking floorboards, reached their ears. They looked back, shivers scuttling through their bodies; their minds told them not to go.
"This is clearly a trap. Stay close, Kei." Rei said, walking headfirst into the door.
"Yeah, this isn't a good idea.
Kei was following behind him, sticking like glue, when they entered the house. Keeping an eye out and feeling the vibrations, hearing for breathing, they wandered in tentatively. In the tight corridor connecting the door to the stairs, and the living room, Kei examined the area whilst Rei trodded on.
Suddenly, a group of three men armed with knives burst into the house after they left the door open. They created a huge commotion, signalling to someone in the house. A tall man, about six feet, ran from around the corner of the living room, in Rei's blindspot, towards them. He was wearing casual clothes and tried assaulting Rei. Within the moment, the brothers assigned themselves a target, glancing at each other before panic ensued.
The tall man tried to punch Rei, and he blocked with both arms sustaining damage. Another punch, flying like thunder, tried to catch Rei off balance; however, Rei adjusted his feet, moving his body eloquently away. Like a meteor against the earth, he performed a straight counter punch into the man's Solar Plexus, staggering him. With little space to move, he jumped into the air, performing a Khao Loi (Flying Knee Strike) into his Solar Plexus, and then an uppercut with his right arm, launching the man's chin upward. Smashed into the wall, the man squashed his hands against the objects around him, trying to use any surface to stand up.
Rei turned around to look at Kei, who was holding his own. Whilst he was not looking, Kei grabbed the man's arm the knife was in, pushing it away. Little did anyone know, Kei was well versed in Karate, though he could not hold a candle to Rei. In three swift moves with impeccable skill, Kei performed an Oi-Zuki (Lunge Punch) to the armed man's chest, stunning him. Following through, Kei executed a Shuto Uchi (Knife Strike), his hand like a blade, and chopped his neck, causing him to choke. The man dropped the knife, and Kei kicked it behind him. Finally, with great form, a Shotei Uchi (Palm Heel Strike) to his chin, knocking him down.
Breathing heavily, the tall man ran into Rei again, his eyes locked onto him. This time, that man, under Rei's Sovereign Subjugation, hesitated with his punch, giving Rei a massive counter opportunity. Conquering it and the fear within the man, Rei performed a Kata Guruma (Shoulder Wheel), clenching the tall man's arm rigidly, pulling him over his back, planting him into the ground.
Everyone stopped to turn around, and the man began screaming in pain. Disillusioned by his ability, Rei stood there with crossed arms, waiting for him to get up. Kei, realising everyone stopped, ran up to Rei, their backs to each other.
"Now we can finally talk! Give it up! We know who you are, and I'm the police dammit!" Kei exclaimed whilst Rei turned his head around, staring at the men.
"Close enough to the police. If you guys move, I'll do that again to you." Rei spoke slowly and scarcely, warranting the three armed men.
Instantly, Kei pulled out his gun, pointing it to the three men.
"You throw those knives, and I'll shoot you. Not to kill, but to stop you from running." Kei spoke grimly.
"Fine! Fine!" The tall man on the floor said, choking aplenty. "Boys, stop. We either die here or die because we failed." he said.
"We only came here to ask questions, but seeing as you attacked us, you know who we are." Kei said stoically.
"Yeah, we know." the man in black, on the floor, said. He stood up slowly and put his hands up. "We have nothing to lose. Our lives are on the line. They know everything about us..."
"Who? Tell us now!" Rei exclaimed. "Stand up! Now..." he said, instilling dread.
The tall man stood up, holding his stomach, supporting his crippled body with all his vigour.
"A higher up in the gang. He told us to kill that girl, and then he gave us more targets..." said the tall man.
The sound of police sirens inculcated despair and dismay with the gangsters. Rei and Kei turned around, looking out the door, which was still open.
"The neighbours must have heard. You four, if you want to come out of this with a short sentence, then stay behind me." Kei said, lowering his gun but holding it firmly.
Rei and Kei walked past them towards the door. Kei was facing the outside world. Rei had his back to Kei, glaring at the gangsters, verifying they would not move, intimidating them with his Eternal Rule.
"Now don't try it. I've already told you once. If we had our backs to you, I don't want to think about what you could have done." Rei said, establishing his dominance and ascertaining more fear. "Tell me what your names are. We were looking for two more people. Yo. Tell them." Rei said, nudging Kei's back with his elbow.
"Masao Ageishi and Shu Kurachi." Kei said.
"I'm Masao Ageishi." the tall man said.
"You're giving it away that easily. Fine. I'm Shu Kurachi." the man, who Kei beat, said. "We're going to prison, but it's better than dying."
"The other guy said this too. How evil is this person you work for? Do you even have a choice." Rei questioned.
"No. He took over all the gangs. He killed our leader right in front of us, who was our close friend. He has generals, which is what all the gang members call them." Shu Kurachi said.
Three different cars parked up, and there were four police officers in total, pointing their guns at the house.
"Please put the guns down, and walk out slowly-" one of the officers said before discerning the badge on Kei's trench coat.
"Kei Hirojima. A detective, who came here, to ask these suspects behind our back's questions." Kei said, affirming to the police his alliance.
An amalgam of people gathering along with the neighbours, filming the incident, began eavesdropping on the situation. Trying to get closer, the other police officers tried warding them away, unsuccessfully.
"Right. Bring them out." the officer said.
"Out you go. All of you." Rei said, unconcerned about the safety of the gangster.
The armed gangsters, who dropped their knives, walked out with their hands up. Rei and Kei lead the charge; however, Rei turned, his face in disgust, raw with disdain.
"Stop! Tell me one more thing. Did you kill Risa, or did Risa take herself away from the world?" he said indignantly, eyes sharp, ears tuned.
Masao paused for a moment, conversing with himself in his mind, paving a path for his words to take if they were hurtful or would institute hatred towards himself.
"Yes. The girl wanted to end her life. When I found her, she was crying and could not do it. Without knowing, I grabbed her and tried to choke her out. I couldn't finish it when she told me she wanted to go. I helped her with it, and I saw her note." he responded.
"Were you the one who crushed her pen and put it in a drawer? That's where we found your fingerprints." Kei stated.
"Yeah." Masao responded, disgusted with himself, inducing tears. They ran down his face gently.
"What about the officers? Did you kill them?" Kei asked again.
"Yeah. I did. He was taking too long, so I held them up, but things got out of hand, and I lost control. I killed them because they were about to kill me." Shu said, saddened by his friend's tears.
Rei began walking away, his head down, with his hood up.
"I've had enough of you all. The closer we get to your leader, the better." Rei said.
"Tell us where the higher up is, or however you run a gang. Tell us, and we'll stop them. You saw his abilities in fighting, right?" Kei spoke with absolute faith in his brother's martial artistry.
Rei turned around, surprised at first, but he settled quickly. A glimmer of hope, an extinguished luminescent sparkle, lit up. He found admiration and respect for Kei in those few words he spoke.
"This is taking too long. Find the information at the precint. Take them in. Detective and the hooded person. What are you going to do?" the officer responded.
"We'll go to the precinct with you. My car is over there." Rei responded.
Thus, finding the ones who took Risa from them, linked to a higher-up, Rei and Kei were closer to the leader than they ever were. However, elsewhere, Kanda would be facing a threat unsuspecting of his intelligence. With people working simultaneously, and those running compared to walking would taste victory, the time has nearly come for Rei to shine.