Chapter 29:

The Strong Overpower The Weak

X = Y

The closer one falls to the ground, the further the distance to get up. What you cannot give is what you do not have. The mind is but a battery, operating without conscious thought of the bearer, slowly running out, creating as much as the world offers it, perplexed by opposing ideals, uncomprehensive and unwilling to cooperate unless forced, a human has a mind that exists but cannot perceive others like it. The distance the mind is required to make, after plummeting, increases the longer the unwillingness, the further the drop.Bookmark here

Confidential, guarded by the doors of the precinct, Rei and Kei, along with Detective Yasuhide, sat down comfortably, revealing information uncovered, following the turmoil between Yasuhide and the brothers. Rei placed his laptop in front of them, displaying the profiles of two people.Bookmark here

"Naruki Jin. He's the one we caught. This is the first time I've seen his record. Apparently, he's one of the generals that Masao and Shu told us about." said Kei.Bookmark here

"Are you talking about the tall guy and the knife guy?" Rei responded.Bookmark here

"Yeah. Naruki Jin went missing three years ago. His home was abandoned, and everyone who knew him didn't know where he went." Kei added. "What's surprising is that our encounter with him was the first time anyone has reported seeing him. He has gang affiliations, committed robberies, and other convictions."Bookmark here

"You guys caught him by yourself? That's pretty commendable. I commend you two for that. But more importantly!" Yasuhide grinned, placing his laptop in front of them, with a profile of a new person, a regular citizen, who had hair spiked upwards, relatively short, and the side shaved off with a fade; he also had black eyes and hair.Bookmark here

"This is Osugitachi Ehamame. I called you over because of this guy. He got into street fights, robberies, and drug trafficking. He disappeared four years ago, and we have no leads on him. His DNA was on that worker called Yuki Go that we found dead in the janitor's closet. He could know where the leader of this is, or he could be the leader." Yasuhide elaborated.Bookmark here

"What does the autopsy say about Yuki's body?" Kei inquired.Bookmark here

"It was fresh. But the closet had no ventilation, so the body started decomposing quickly. The smell of blood with it leaking gave it away. Yuki most likely died on the same night as the explosion, but the receptionist found it this morning." Yasuhide said.Bookmark here

"What's the plan now?" Rei asked.Bookmark here

"I'm surprised that the officers haven't taken you away, Rei. They've let you get away with pretty much all of this." stated Kei.Bookmark here

"Yeah, well, it helps to know a detective personally." Rei responded, grouchily tired.Bookmark here

"Rei? Are you okay?" Kei questioned him, with Rei's face growing more emotive.Bookmark here

"I can't feel my arms! They're hurting badly right now..." Rei responded, his arms pulsating with pain, like the wings on a hummingbird flapping. "They feel so they've been filled with lighter fluid!" Rei exclaimed.Bookmark here

"Pain killers will do the trick. We'll end it for today, Yasuhide. I'll see you tomorrow." Kei said, standing up, Rei following him.Bookmark here

"Yeah, sounds good. I'll be here earlier than you!" Yasuhide said elatedly.Bookmark here

Rei and Kei left the room, Rei slowly putting his hood up and his hands in his pockets. They left the precinct, went to a pharmacy for painkillers, travelling back to the hotel room to sleep the night — reinvigorated for the next day.Bookmark here

On that same night, Kanda was at home within Toshi city, working on his laptop, sat on his bed. Untypical of a hacking scene, commencing with furious typing, Kanda, looking through documents and files, scouring for anything abnormal, intended to find illegal machinations working inside Tatashi Industrial.Bookmark here

"Okay. This is where you can get to normally without breaching past security. The VPN is active. Trying to look for a port into the network. This is going to take some time, even for me. The laptop switched IP addresses because I connected to a dud ISP. I'm glad I know how the security works." These were some of the thoughts raging in his mind, coupled with his heart beating, battering his chest, causing his fingers to twitch, off tempo. Making his way into the network stealthily, remaining anonymous, without tripping the security system, with the world oblivious to his hacking capabilities, Kanda found files inaccessible to the public.Bookmark here

"Okay. I'm into my Assistant Manager's files...after thirty minutes. This hacking stuff is impossible if you don't know what you're doing. If I find data that incriminates anyone, and I save people, then the police will overlook my hacking. Forget the fame. That's too much hassle. I even have Kei to back me on it. It's like when Russia protected that one hacker from the American Government. Now, let's go into the messenger system that he used." Kanda planned.Bookmark here

After going into the messenger system, Kanda saw the message sent from a contact named 'Boss' to the Assistant Manager.Bookmark here

"For a big company, they don't even have encryption. No wonder why they have competitors who stomp them. Tatashi Industrial is popular in a few cities and towns, in and around Toshi City. What? Their targets were a target audience, and he had to find information about them. They seem to be trying to create holograms for a children's card game, but they'll entice everyone using holograms. Interesting...why couldn't I work on this?! Wait. Let me search through the entire Management Team's network they use for messaging."Bookmark here

After doing so, working tirelessly, his curiosity the titanic driving factor, the fame last, Kanda managed to search through the messages sent by the higher officials in Tatashi Industrial, including the owner, Sagakiro Tatashi.Bookmark here

"Why am I still doing this? There's nothing suspicious about my manager. I'm going to be found out if I stay on the network like a pesky virus any longer. But it wouldn't hurt to know. What word do I look for? Kill? Death? Virus? Evil? Money? Scam? Launder? Let's go for all of them." Kanda monologued.Bookmark here

Serious regarding his thoughts, bored of his laborious work-life, Kanda whimsically decided to search those words, not caring what he would find. Whilst staring closely at the messages, his heart became languid, twisted by egregious words formed using unornamented chains of letters, odiously inhumane, a single vile message prevailed over his psyche.Bookmark here

"This is from Assistant Manager Eisaku Tonegawa! How?! No wait. They used an alias...and encryption? This one person is encrypting their name, but they somehow introduced it without the rest of the company knowing, and they're hiding the receivers name too...and their phone numbers. Let's try a brute force attack. It may take a long time, but it's easy to do."Bookmark here

Kanda, diligently working, writing an algorithm to destroy the encryption algorithm to unlock the sender's name and recipient impersonating his manager, came to fruition. Subsequently, ten minutes passed, cracking the code, surmising a spy being present within the company. To Kanda's dismay, the sender's name was a figure he knew all too well, being introduced to the company by him and seeking guidance.Bookmark here

"Yasaburo Toyoda! He sent those messages...but to someone named 'Eternal Ruler'. Their numbers are here! I need to write them down. I need to give them to Kei. But I don't know if it's him. I need to make sure!" Kanda thought, hastily grabbing the nearest pen and notepad from his desk, writing it down.Bookmark here

"I need to write that conversation down too! All of it onto paper. It'd be useless on my phone if they find it. I need to keep my phone with me to seem less suspicious, or not suspicious at all."Bookmark here

He returned to his laptop, quickly configuring programs, taking screenshots of the conversation and the numbers.Bookmark here

"Take screenshots and save them, Kanda! If anything happens to the paper, then I have these! Now quickly! Exit the network and leave everything intact!" Kanda thought.Bookmark here

His ears, stinging with red, blood flowing through, ebbing, severely anxious, anticipating the worst was yet to come. Switching off the laptop, slamming it shut, and preparing for a specialist team to raid his house, Kanda put his laptop away, pretending to be safe, but presaged a monstrosity chasing after him, shackling him to the underworld. Turning off the lights in his room, he tucked himself away into bed, his dreams stoked by what he saw, wishing he never hacked into his company.Bookmark here

The birds, tweeting to wake everyone up, never missing a rhythm nor rhyme, beckoning the start of a new day. The sun rose gloriously, illuminating the entire city that masked terror behind umbrae.Bookmark here

A man, adorned with black eyes, spiky black hair, and a relatively muscular physique, imperceptible when wearing clothes, woke up in his blue pyjamas striped with white, rubbing his eyes and leaving his bed. After a change of clothes, assuring his hygiene was immaculate, showering and brushing his teeth, he ran downstairs into the tailoring shop he worked for during the day.Bookmark here

The residence he lived in was above that shop, owned by the tailor he was helping. It was a straightforward apartment with two rooms: a bathroom and a bedroom. The tailor's shop was called 'Hasaka's Fit', named after the current owner's late grandmother.Bookmark here

Iroha Hasaka, a woman wearing glasses with red frames, her hair a dark brown colour in a bun, coupled with her dark eyes, wearing a pink long-sleeved jumper with a green apron and green trousers, sat down at a sewing machine, mending garments left by her clients. She had a soft, kind heart and was tender towards people.Bookmark here

"Eien! Good morning!" Iroha said, smiling kindly.Bookmark here

"Good morning, miss Hasaka." Eien replied, sitting down on a sewing machine.Bookmark here

Eien wore blue trousers, white sneakers, and a vertically striped top alternating with blue and white stripes, which he rolled up to his elbow.Bookmark here

Diligently working, there were papers with requests on a desk nearby. Per their customer's instructions, he created cuts, designs, indents, marks, imbuing magnificence into pieces his fingers caressed delicately. Eien used both needle and machine, converting ragged, torn clothes into masterpieces, likened to paragons.Bookmark here

Iroha stood up, desiring to watch Eien work, his fingers prancing eloquently; everything he did seemed natural, his movement felt orchestrated like an art perfected without erring. It was divine, far beyond magnificent, divine almost. The works he created were resplendent, candy to the eye.Bookmark here

"Your sewing skills are better than mine, Eien." Iroha said, complimenting Eien kindly.Bookmark here

"I can't be better than a master of mine. You taught me everything I know. I'm going to deliver these to the customer. He paid a lot for these, and I made sure he gets what he deserves." Eien spoke considerately, but hints of deceit fell through his articulate speech.Bookmark here

He stood up and gathered all the clothing, placing it in multiple bags, putting on his black jacket with a hood, and he ran outside.Bookmark here

"Make sure not to get lost, Eien!" Iroha exclaimed, smiling delightfully, admiring his industrious attitude.Bookmark here

Inside their hotel room, Rei woke up, feeling absurd amounts of pain within his arms. They were molten metal rods inside his body, burning his shoulders, creating tingling sensations, heavy and obsolete.Bookmark here

"Damn! They hurt more now than yesterday!" Rei exclaimed in his thoughts.Bookmark here

Waking up, he grabbed pain killers they bought yesterday from the bedside drawer and loaded a glass with water, swallowing about four tablets whole, the water gushing them down his throat, and he gulped arduously. Kei entered their hotel room, unlocking the door and closing it behind him. Rei, who slept in the same clothes, sat on his bed staring at Kei.Bookmark here

"Good morning. I went downstairs to pay for the night." Kei explained himself.Bookmark here

"What are we going to do now?" Rei asked.Bookmark here

"First, how are your arms?" Kei responded with concern.Bookmark here

"They hurt more than yesterday, but they should be fine. I've experienced worse before." Rei responded, adhering to Kei's concern.Bookmark here

"Naruki Jin, the general that blew up the warehouse walls. We're going to his last house and to Osugitachi Ehamame's house too. Both of them are still abandoned. I also want us to enjoy the day, so we're going on foot." Kei added with a smile.Bookmark here

"Yeah, well, I guess I need it. But we have to get to work. No stupid business. How far is it?" Rei responded.Bookmark here

"Not too far. A half-hour walk maybe?" said Kei, smiling.Bookmark here

On the streets of Toshi City, passing a café with tables and chairs outside, covered by a white and red striped parasol, Eien noticed the people sitting there, but they were not his customer. However, a man, wearing a completely black business uniform, stood up, tucking the newspaper he was reading away, slowly walking up to Eien. He looked exactly like the man who stood at the hotel reception, who killed Yuki Go, before the explosive detonated at Abe's apartment.Bookmark here

"Eien. Take a seat, please." the man said respectfully.Bookmark here

Eien, looking at him blankly, sat down at a table isolated from everyone else. He placed the garments in bags to the side. His expression changed, becoming more cynical.Bookmark here

"Osugitachi," Eien said.Bookmark here

"Yes, my liege." Osugitachi Ehamama, one of the Eternal Ruler's generals, responded. "Are you still in the retail sector? You still do tailoring and blacksmithing. Am I right in saying that?"Bookmark here

"Yes. In the morning, I tailor, and in the afternoon, I am a blacksmith. How are the people we're looking for doing?" Eien replied, smiling.Bookmark here

"Well, very well. In fact, they remain unharmed. Out of the thirty-two, only two we found. The police are good at their job. Naruki is in the hospital, being protected by the police. That warehouse was destroyed, and all the men were killed. All the other members failed their job. But, we still have our information link." Osugitachi explained, standing up, and going to his ear.Bookmark here

"The police are going to escort the prisoners from the gangs we hired, as well as Naruki Jin, tomorrow to a facility." Osugitachi whispered. In response, Eien smiled heinously.Bookmark here

"Then go forward with a plan to get rid of the problems." Eien said, standing up, taking his garments away.Bookmark here

"Understood, my liege." Osugitachi whispered, walking away into the dark alleyway, wearing his glasses to hide his face.Bookmark here

He stood up, walking away, but on the other side of the road, crossing it to get to the café were Rei and Kei, oblivious to the people who just convened concomitantly. Eien continued walking to his destination, the house of a customer who requested glamorous threads handcrafted by an experienced tailor, away from the police station.Bookmark here

Kei carried his massive duffle bag, housing his forensic equipment, over his left shoulder whilst carrying his briefcase in his right hand. The briefcase contained tools and other items organised neatly, ready for use.Bookmark here

"Why did you want to take me here? For a coffee break?" Rei questioned Kei, his hood up, still wearing the same clothes.Bookmark here

"No. There's some amazing cakes and desserts in there too." said Kei, excited.Bookmark here

They entered Café House, serving coffee with sweets, buying their delectable cupcakes, exiting with their mouths stuffed, sprinkles scattered around their lips, cream creating a line above their top lip. Smiling like little children, they were complacent, content with the delicacy they demolished.Bookmark here

Thus, the brothers, enjoying their day, would soon learn of the catastrophe planned by the darkest of generals, eager to abolish inimical constructs which could potentially conceive adverse situations for the Eternal Ruler.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.