Chapter 17:


Densetsu Kenshi: Beginnings

   "Yo. I've been waiting for you guys."

   I had waited for a solid thirty minutes outside of Occult Club Inc. That entire time, there was no communication from anyone about the attack later that night. It had me worried, I really didn't think I'd be able to do it all alone. But thankfully, they came. They really were a sore for my eyesight, ergh, sight for sore eyes.

   "Idiot! You've been standing outside admiring yourself in the breeze this whole time! We've all been inside waiting for you! Seiji-kun!!" Mituski yelled at me.

   Ah. The thought hadn't even crossed my mind that they'd be inside. I turned around to the source of her voice, and sure enough, they were all staring at me from one of the open windows.

   But why coop yourself up when you can enjoy this type of weather? After the rain broke this morning, the air was free of humidity and the puddles of water beautifully reflected the city lights. It was the perfect setting for a photoshoot, but given Mitsuki's mood right now, I don't think she'd want her picture taken.

   "Seiji-kun, come on man. This is serious, okay?"

   "O Seiji-san, thou art troubled by something. It is most obvious. Written upon your face, no. But written on your heart, yea."

   "No, I'm fine. Maekawa-sensei, what's the plan here? Where are we headed?"

   "Yeahhh, Sensei-pan, where are we going?"

   "Their party should be starting any minute now. It's best that we get there a little late, so there's more people to witness Seiji-kun's revenge. Anyway, it's in a skyscraper a few blocks away from here, so we might as well walk, okay?"

   "Let's go, I'd rather not waste any more time," I said to the whole group. They looked at me and nodded in agreement. It felt good to have some allies on my side.

   We started the walk down that metaphorically fated road. There was nothing special about the road we were physically walking down. Nothing special about it at all. Just your average dirty downtown street. But today it was a little bit different. Today it was a little bit cleaner.

   The rain probably washed away a lot of the dirt and grime and trash to who knows where. It was like this street had been dirty for so long, and finally the clouds all got together to clean it up and give it a chance to stay clean. It was just a chance, and ultimately the street would become full of trash and junk over time, but at this moment, it didn't look too shabby.

   I kind of related to the street we were walking on. I clearly had a spot in life, but like the end of the street was unknown, the end of my life was just as unclear. Similarly, I might experience some kind of road block or construction that holds me down and obstructs my progress as if the road was also closed and impossible to drive on. Not to mention the constant cleaning and removal of the dirty and ugly things on the street. Like those things on the street, sometimes in life there are just some things that you have to throw away or get rid of. 

   Fortunately, a group of clouds came along for me and cleaned me out of all the bad and self-destructive feelings I had. Right now the road is clean, but there's a bit of traffic backing me up. Soon enough, everything will be cleared up and I'll be on my way. On my way where I'll choose what's next for me and how I want to pave out the rest of my life.

   One thing is certain, no matter where I go, I'll make sure to pave my way for others. Not for them to follow me, but for them to simply have a place to walk. I don't want to be the hero in my own story. That's a pretty selfish mindset. I'd rather make everyone else the hero as they gain the courage to walk on their own roads. All the while I cheer them on, knowing they're doing the best they can.

   That attitude was absent for a long time in my life. Everything was always about me, but now I realize that I'd prefer to just take a back seat and support everyone else. I'll let everyone else be the hero in my life as I learn from them and witness their unique talents and individuality influence the people around them.

   With all that out there, the heroes in my story were actually with me at this very moment.

   Italo Maekawa-sensei all dressed up as if he's going to a casino to gamble away his inheritance. Today he chose to wear a sharp champagne colored two piece suit. The contrast was very subtle compared to his loosely buttoned white shirt, but it really was a complete outfit. Of course, the tattoos up and down his neck and all across his hands suggested an artistic childhood. At least I'll just say it like that so he doesn't completely sound like a black market goods and services con-man.

   Takiashi Takenaka was wearing his normal clothes. Today was nothing special for him and I even questioned his commitment at times. With his singular wardrobe, he always managed to make himself look somewhat presentable. To each their own when it comes to fashion sense, but Takenaka never failed to wear the same clothes. He always wore a tattered set of robes like he was a pastor. I wouldn't be surprised if he had found them in a trash can behind an abandoned church. They were in super bad shape, with the sleeves torn off, exposing his massive arms to the public. He always kept his hair high and tight, like he was in the military or something. He really must be a man absolutely loaded with confidence because tonight he was an ocular magnet. All of the pedestrians we passed by on the street looked at him like he was an alien, but he didn't seem to notice at all. And if he did notice, it didn't bother him. I commend him for his courage and I hope to be someone that he respects in the future.

   Mitsuki Miyamoto wore something light and semi-casual tonight. She chose a simple white dress. It was fairly plain, but there was a special charm to its plain design. I'd really only say the dress was nice because Mitsuki was wearing it. To sum up her outfit, the white dress contrasted beautifully with her light silvestre hair, perfectly accentuating her piercing blue eyes. Tonight, Mitsuki was most definitely wearing the dress, the dress was not wearing her.

   As for me, I was still wearing the clothes I wore to the funeral. All black, naturally. The spirit of the occasion was dark, and I matched the mood perfectly then and now. Black pants, black button up shirt, black suit jacket, black loafers with gold accents. Everything was fitted and tailored to my liking, providing me with enough confidence to share with everyone I saw on this street. I dressed to impress and well, if I may brag, I may have even impressed myself with how great I look.

   Our extremely fashionable and dangerous crew wandered the downtown streets until we reached our destination.

   "Sensei-pan… is this really the right place?" Mitsuki asked in awe.

   Asking in awe was probably what I would've done if Mitsuki hadn't beaten me to it first. In front of us was an awesome sight. Truly something that none of us were expecting except maybe Maekawa-sensei. Obviously he knew about this, it was his plan, right?

   To best explain the scene in front of us would be to, well, hmm, how would I explain it?

   There was nothing in front of us.

   No, that doesn't describe it at all.

   There was a giant medieval castle with sprawling lawns and an expansive moat in front of towering walls and turrets.

   Nope, we were in the middle of downtown. Not possible.

   There was an ultra modern skyscraper in front of us.

   In front of the ultra modern skyscraper and directly outside of its lobby was what looked like some kind of media related award show. Photographers lined up by the dozen, the cameras clicking and flashing while reporters ran around trying their best to get the best scoop possible. It looked thoroughly impossible for people like us to make our way through the crowd. An excuse for us even being here was promptly inconceivable.

   That was the best explanation of the scene in front of our eyes.

   "Ha. There's nothing for us to fear here, okay? This thing doesn't even have to do with Thermo Corp." Maekawa-sensei broke the awe-inspired silence.

   He was allowed to say things like that due to his extravagant free-wheeling lifestyle, but for the common folk like Mitsuki and I, we were shook to the core.

   "Remember what I taught you all those days ago. Yes, even Takenaka-baka knows this lesson! The three C's! Okay!" Maekawa-sensei rallied us together with this cry of desperate motivation.

   "Cosplay!" Shouted Takenaka.

   "Conventions!" Added Mitsuki.

   I closed us out,"Confidence!"

   "Yosh! Let's go!" Maekawa-sensei cheered and led us through the crowd.

   The crowd was a sea of people. There was always some type of push or pull on our little group, making it hard for us to work against the tide and reach our destination.

   "Brethren! Persevere! The ox is slow but the earth is patient! We can make it through this!" Takenaka called out to us as we were nearing the lobby's open doors.

   "Just a little more, okay!"

   We stumbled out of the sea of paparazzi and entered the lobby.

   The receptionist motioned us over to his desk and asked us for the reason for our visit.

   I looked him straight in the eye and said, "We're here for a convention!"

   He looked down at his papers, then looked back at me. He looked down again and then back at me again.

   What's this guy's deal? Why is he looking at me like that? Is there something on my face? If there is, just say it!

   "Uh, excuse me, but there's something on your face." The receptionist said to me.

   "Huh? What!?"

   "Haha. Just kidding. Sorry, this job is boring, so I try to make jokes sometimes. Go on ahead to the elevators."


   Punk receptionist wasting our time. Typical.

   We headed over to the elevators and called one down to the lobby.

   "Which floor shall be the destination?" Takenaka asked when the elevator arrived.

   "The highest floor, okay?"

   We entered the elevator and followed proper elevator etiquette by facing the elevator doors. I was always taught that there was never a bad time to practice good etiquette. We pushed the button for the highest floor, the doors closed and our ascent to the 99th floor started.

   "Okay everyone, let's go over the plan one last time, okay?" Maekawa-sensei popped the question amidst the silence. "No? Okay then. Good luck, because I forgot the plan completely, " he said after nobody answered him.

   "Let's discuss it then."

   Mitsuki allowed the discussion to happen. There didn't seem to be a reason not to talk about it, but it also felt like reviewing something trivial like walking or a step-by-step instruction on blinking.

   "Okay, well first things first is that the elevator only goes up to the 99th floor, but there's actually 100 floors. The highest floor is where we need to be, okay?"

   Maekawa-sensei began to explain the plan again, but I tuned him out. It's not like I didn't want to participate in the review, but I just kind of got bored as soon as the elevator started moving up.

   I mentioned it earlier, but this was a super nice skyscraper. I actually think I remember it finishing construction just a few years ago.

   Right now I didn't particularly focus on the building itself, but more on just the elevator.

   Everything about the elevator was completely silent. From the mechanical devices for the ascent and descent to the buttons or the opening and closing of the doors, everything was completely silent. Unfortunately it was full of people like Mitsuki and Takenaka who couldn't stop talking once they started, but for the majority of the time it was completely silent.

   It was a bit surreal and also unsettling in a way. This building was basically brand new, and the elevator gave no indication that it was actually moving except for the digital counter showing us the floor number each time we moved up.

   I felt that this was close to the pinnacle of what the best engineers in the world could create. I'm not knowledgeable in this subject at all, but I was certain that this was an elevator of extremely high quality. It's not everyday you take an elevator like that.

   It may seem random, but those thoughts came to me because of something Maekawa-sensei said. As he was reviewing the plan with everyone, he mentioned that the elevator would only reach the 99th floor, but there were 100 floors in total. In order to reach the 100th floor, we would have to take some kind of stairwell.

   It all made me think that no matter how ultra modern the building is, there will always be a stairwell somewhere. It may be an emergency stairwell, but it'll be there. It's there to serve as the backup for when this elevator can't get the job done. It's there to help people evacuate when the elevator is too dangerous to use. Sometimes I wonder just how genius an invention is if its predecessor still serves as a practical alternative.

   Elevators and stairways were very interesting to me, the person who compared himself to a dirty street, but unfortunately I didn't have more time to think about them.

   The elevator reached the 99th floor, and the doors opened up, welcoming us into the hallway.

   The plan was simple. All we had to do was follow it exactly and I would be able to get my first taste of revenge.

   When I put it like that, I kinda sound like a bad guy. I was telling the truth earlier when I said I wouldn't be the hero in my own story and it doesn't bother me that I'm not. I came here for a reason and I will finish what was started.