Chapter 27:

Good Riddance

BLOODY BAT ROMEO


“What do you mean, he’s gone!?Bookmark here

Tama, with his hands on his hips, leans closer to a very intimidated follower of Cutter Knife Matsuri.Bookmark here

“I-I mean exactly that, Mr. Fire Jet Tamaya, sir! Some guy came here this morning and took his knife! T-Then he told us he’s gonna be gone for a while and they left just like that! We can’t reach him or anything!”Bookmark here

Romeo and Jojo are closeby, looking around the park for clues as to what happened to Matsuri. Tama pats the lackey’s back reassuringly.Bookmark here

“Aw, come on. No need to be so formal with me! I've retired from the Summer Fireworks too, actually. Planning on starting my own gang and all. You’re free to join if Cutter Knifer Matsuri doesn’t come back! Hehe.”Bookmark here

“Maybe this is for the best, Boss,” Jojo says as he lifts a wooden plank from the ground, as if he would find Matsuri hiding underneath. “We can just tell Amon that Cutter Knife Matsuri’s already gone, so there was no need to take him down!”Bookmark here

Romeo frowns, nudging away some dirt on the ground with his foot.Bookmark here

“No. Amon would never believe that. Plus, the timing of this attack is pretty suspicious.”Bookmark here

Jojo nods. “Yeah, super sus.” Bookmark here

Tama walks back towards them, shaking his head.Bookmark here

“Sorry, guys. Matsuri’s gone. There’s no way we’re getting that knife.”Bookmark here

Romeo sighs, fixing the headband over his hair in frustration. Bookmark here

“What if we bought a new cutter knife and gave it to him instead!?” Jojo gestures grandly with his arms, as if he had just been hit with an epiphany. “Amon won’t know the difference!”Bookmark here

“He will,” Tama and Romeo respond at the same time.Bookmark here

Romeo rests his bat on his shoulder, closing his eyes. He taps it lightly against himself, lost in thought.Bookmark here

“...Boss?”Bookmark here

“...Right. Whatever. I’ll give what I’ve got to Amon. Cutter Knife Matsuri being out of the picture isn’t my fault, either way. He can either take it or leave it.”Bookmark here

Boss!?” Jojo tangles his hands in his hair and starts messing it up nervously. “Are you sure!?”Bookmark here

Romeo opens his eyes and looks at both of them, his voice calm and resigned.Bookmark here

“I have no choice, do I?”Bookmark here

“I—I mean, I guess not…”Bookmark here

Romeo brings his free hand into his pocket to pull out his phone, typing with one hand. A ding comes from it a moment later, indicating his message sent.Bookmark here

“...There. I asked him to meet me at the hideout.”Bookmark here

* * *Bookmark here

Despite Jojo's misgivings, the three of them find themselves at the Makai gang hideout later that day, Romeo’s the first to stride in. Amon sits on his high throne, with Oue, looking better than ever, grinning at the base of the wreckage. This time, there are other Makai members sitting around the abandoned warehouse, each one intimidating. Bookmark here

When Romeo enters, all eyes are on him. Jojo trails behind him, scared out of his mind.Bookmark here

“Well, well, well! Bloody Bat Romeo!” Oue opens his arms with a smile from ear to ear. “How lovely it is to see you back so soon! I see you brought your pet with you, as usual?”Bookmark here

“Zip it, Pain Killer Oue!” Jojo growls, flipping him off. “Boss saved your ass by taking you to the hospital and you never so much as thanked him!”Bookmark here

“Why, I simply didn’t get the chance! But now that we’re all here and we’re all friends, I’d be more than happy to—”Bookmark here

“I did what you asked me to, Amon.”Bookmark here

Romeo interrupts, and the building goes quiet. Amon simply looks down at him from his throne, resting his chin on his hand.Bookmark here

“...Show me.”Bookmark here

Romeo takes out the whip he took from Kagiya and the lighter he took from Tamaya, throwing them both at the floor near Oue’s feet.Bookmark here

Amon takes a glance down at the objects, then looks at Romeo again.Bookmark here

“I count two.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, well. Cutter Knife Matsuri was nowhere to be found. Apparently someone else took him out before I got there.”Bookmark here

“Oh, dear!” Oue gasps, dramatically. “Is that an excuse I hear?”Bookmark here

Romeo glares at him.Bookmark here

“It’s the truth.”Bookmark here

“Well, we don’t believe you,” Oue answers in Amon’s stead, placing his hands on his hips. “So sorry, Bloody Bat Romeo, but unless you do exactly as you were told, you’ll be staying in the Makai gang for a long, looooong time.”Bookmark here

“No.”Bookmark here

Romeo’s response is calm and direct. Oue raises an eyebrow, tilting his head.Bookmark here

“No? What do you mean, no?”Bookmark here

“I mean I had it with your games,” he glares up at Amon. “I did what you asked me to do, and I’m done with it, so now I get to walk away.”Bookmark here

The thugs all around started whispering to each other, some in amusement, some enraged. Amon simply narrows his eyes.Bookmark here

“Is that so?”Bookmark here

“Yes,” Romeo reaches behind him for his bat, taking off the bandages. Oue shrieks.Bookmark here

“Stop! W-What do you think you’re doing!? Are you planning to attack our leader, you—”Bookmark here

CLANK!Bookmark here

The bat makes a loud, metallic noise as it hits the ground and rolls forward. Oue looks at it with surprise as it rolls to his feet, stopped by the whip and the lighter.Bookmark here

“....I said I’m done.”Bookmark here

Conversation erupts around them, the Makai thugs loudly wondering what's going on. Romeo fixes his headband again.Bookmark here

“Boss!?” Jojo steps closer in a panic. “W-Why did you throw away your bat like that!?Bookmark here

Romeo doesn’t answer. Instead, he simply turns around and begins walking away, back to the entrance.Bookmark here

“Let’s go, Jojo.”Bookmark here

Boss!!!” Jojo rushes after him. Bookmark here

Oue, completely taken off-guard, can only babble incoherently: he keeps opening and closing his mouth, starting to say something each time but finding that all his words fail him. He can't even begin to grasp how he could react to that.Bookmark here

“Yo, boss!” One of the Makai thugs picks up a pipe and grips it tightly in his hands. “We’ll stop that little bitch for ya!”Bookmark here

A roar explodes from the other delinquents after this bold declaration, and Oue gasps, turning to look at Amon.Bookmark here

“B-Boss… What should we do!? D-Do we just… let him go!?Bookmark here

Amon’s eyes remain fixed on Romeo’s back as he disappears into the darkness at the outer edges of the hideout. He looks largely unfazed, taking out a cigarette and lighting it up, bringing it to his lips. He closes his eyes for a long moment, then suddenly opens them once more.Bookmark here

“...Oue.”Bookmark here

“Y-Yes, sir!?”Bookmark here

“...What you told me about Bloody Bat Romeo’s reason to leave… is that true?”Bookmark here

“Huh?” Oue blinks, then gasps. “Oh, the thing about Raging Fist Endo’s sister? Yes, it is one hundred percent true!”Bookmark here

Amon takes a long drag of his cigarette and exhales. Bookmark here

“...Good. Tell Silent Step Meru to move.”Bookmark here

Oue grins from ear to ear.Bookmark here

“You’ll be pleased to know, sir, I already did.”Bookmark here


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