Chapter 21:

Inferno of Retribution

who I am is not who I want to be

31st October 2020:

The night hung heavy with the weight of danger, yet Zack's unwavering resolve was a shield that he would not lower. He was determined to protect Akane, regardless of the malevolent forces lurking in every shadow of the town. Even as the gravity of their situation pressed upon him, a simple act of kindness shattered the tension—a cup of coffee from Akane.

"You can go home and rest. I am fine. Saho won't be able to kill me," she assured him.

Zack's concern refused to waver. "We should report about Saho right now. I am not willing to leave you alone."

But Akane had other plans, plans that left Zack torn between duty and curiosity.

"You'll be my help. I don't need the police. I need you to help me. With your brain, with your hands," she declared, her eyes gleaming with a glint of determination.

As the night grew colder, Zack's nervousness manifested in his trembling hands and anxious thoughts. He grappled with the unfolding events, fully aware of the dangerous path he was treading. He couldn't help but be drawn further into Akane's enigmatic world.

With a bitter smile and a wry sense of irony, Zack understood that there was no way he could refuse her request. His heart was inexplicably tied to Akane, and he was willing to go to great lengths to assist her.

"What is it that you want?" he asked, the words carrying the weight of his unwavering loyalty.

For Zack, Akane was irreplaceable, a presence that had brought light to his life and filled his memories with happiness. The mere thought of a life without her was unfathomable, a prospect he would not entertain.

Akane contemplated her answer, her gaze fixated on the depths of her own desires. The darkness of her past and the thirst for revenge swirled within her, and she spoke with unwavering determination.

"It does not matter. All I want right now is revenge."

1st November 2020:

At the early hour of 4:24 a.m., the cold embrace of fear settled over Akane as she embarked on a dangerous mission. Her childhood home, a place she had long abandoned, now beckoned her back, a place where nightmares had been born.

Steeling herself against the chilling memories, Akane journeyed into the past, determined to set a course for the future. With each step she took, creaking floorboards served as a haunting reminder of the house's secrets. Her old room, once filled with innocence, had become a battleground for her vengeance.

Her actions were deliberate, fueled by a profound desire for retribution. The scent of petrol permeated the air as she doused the house, every drop echoing her burning resolve. In her mind, there was no turning back.

But fate had other plans, as her father emerged from the shadows, an unexpected obstacle to her meticulously planned vengeance. The confrontation that followed was intense, a battle of wills, as she fought to free herself from his sinister grasp.

As her father closed in on her, fear coursed through her veins, but her spirit remained unbroken. She unleashed her anger in a relentless onslaught, each blow an embodiment of her pent-up fury.

But it was Eiji who ultimately intervened, his timely arrival saving Akane from her father's clutches. Eiji's intervention was swift and decisive, ensuring that Mr. Manzo would never threaten her again.

With her father defeated and her past up in flames, Akane's journey toward vengeance continued. Eiji provided her with a glimmer of hope, evidence to clear her name and expose her father's crimes.

The world watched as her father's reputation crumbled, and her heart swelled with a sense of vindication. The fire that had consumed her childhood home was symbolic of the inferno of retribution that had ignited within her.

As the news of her father's malevolence spread far and wide, Akane found herself at a crossroads, a juncture where the pursuit of vengeance and the hope for a brighter future intersected. It was a moment when her choices would shape her destiny, a destiny forged in the fires of her determination and resilience.

And as the night turned to dawn, Akane found herself alone, her mind heavy with thoughts of the future. The wounds of the past were deep, but the promise of redemption burned brightly in her heart. She had set a course, and there was no turning back.

The road ahead was uncertain, but one thing was clear—Akane was a force to be reckoned with, a phoenix rising from the ashes, ready to face whatever challenges lay in her path.