Chapter 2:

Chapter 2: The Big Leagues

Screw the Omega



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Akita Shipping Port Year 1600. Bookmark here

The sun beat down on the beach as a small band of samurai made their way towards the port on horseback. The Date clan head Terumune, his 13 year old son Masamune, and a small regiment of soldiers slowly trotted towards the Akita shipping port, where Terumune had arranged for an “exoctic” purchase. Yasuke’s arrival in Japan was met with befuddlement in many quarters of Japanese high society, however those who had served alongside him in other capacities than warfare were aware of a startling fact about the obsidian samurai. Yasuke was not a mere weapon bearer as many accounts seeking to minimize his presence in history will be quick to say, nor was he simply a retainer to the Oda as other sources state. While it was not what he was in Japan for, the African Samurai was a seasoned demon slayer. As the Daimyo and their Onmyoji struggled to keep the demons of feudal Japan at bay, they were amazed by the feats of agility, strength, and skill that Yasuke displayed. While a number of factors could have played into the man’s ability to slay demons, to the Japanese of the period, it was clear; black skin aided man in the slaying of devils. It was for this purpose that Teramune and his young son approached the beach. They wouldn’t have a single samurai already at his zenith, they’d raise a small army of them from their youth. Bookmark here

Bom dia! Hello! Nice meet!” The Portuguese sailor said, in whatever Japanese still lingered in his alcohol-addled mind. The sailor was a stout man with a double chin and thin brown hair. His shirt was stained with rum, and his pantaloons were ill fitting for his frame to an embarrassing degree. To wit, this captain was the most presentable out of his crew. Bookmark here

“Barbarians.” The young Date muttered under his breathBookmark here

“Play nice,” Terumune said calmly. Heeling his steed. He turned his gaze towards the slaver. “Where are they?” He said sternly. Bookmark here

“Gold! No Gold? No negros!” The slaver said haughtily. Bookmark here

At that moment, a group of Date soldiers carrying a large container swiftly made their way in between Lord Date & the crew of sailors. After the box is dropped, the slaver fiendishly rushes to inspect the boons. The man then made a gesture to one of his crewmates behind him. About 20 to 30 black skinned young boys were then escorted out of the port house where the slaver and his crew were operating out of. The young boys all seemed to be aged around 10 to 15. They had sullen faces, eyes of anguish & confusion. Some looked around quizzically, some cried, others simply remained dejected. One young boy however was more visibly perturbed than the rest, repeatedly brushing off the sailors who tried to touch him. As one sailor tried to get the boy to calm down, the angry child threw a ball of dirt in the man's face, he then attacked the man, successfully bringing him to the ground. He reaches for a stone and strikes once, wounding him viciously before being pulled off and beaten by two other sailors. Bookmark here

“That ones a tiger…” Terumune said, a scheming twinkle in his eye.Bookmark here

“They’re hurting him!” Masamune said as he drew his sword and rushed to the boys aid on horseback. “Stop you worthless dregs, touch him and I’ll sever your testicles!” Masamune said angrily. Bookmark here

The two sailors who were getting ready to beat the boy further looked shocked that the young lord was so displeased with them. In a panic they left the child alone and tended to their wounded friend. Bookmark here

Terumune caught up to Date and began to circle the young boy. Bookmark here

“Just like Yasuke, skin as dark as lacquered wood… fascinating.” Terumune said while inspecting his new purchase. “Boys!” he bellowed, like a teacher to a rowdy classroom. “First things first, we need to get you all fed, clothed, and educated!” Terumune said enthusiastically. “Welcome to Japan!” Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

“So you see, it was pretty much a case of mistaken identity, they thought I was a commoner because I chose not to wear royal garments. Now I’m here with no way to reclaim my throne.” The young man said. Bookmark here

It had been 3 years since he and his compatriots had arrived as cargo on a Japanese beach. In that time the Date clan had worked hard to care for the boys; feed, clothe & educate, just as Terumune proclaimed that day. Now that some of the boys were of age, and were beginning to grasp fluency in Japanese, the Date clan summoned a court to have the boys formally introduce themselves so they could begin training as Samurai. Bookmark here

“So you’re a prince!” Terumune said while laughing. “That explains quite a bit to be honest. Do you remember what you did the first day we met?”Bookmark here

“Forgive me my lord, I’m sure it must have reflected poorly. Those slavers were outright bastards. I wasn’t sure who I was being sold to was worse or not.” the young man said, bowing his head. Bookmark here

“Nonsense.” Said Masamune, lazily gesturing for the young man to raise his head. “You were obviously mistreated on the way here, my father and I should be bowing our heads for bringing you here against your will.” The young Date continued. Bookmark here

“My son is right. My boy, you and your brothers will know the reason for being brought here in due time. However, first we must name you, and provide you with training. You won’t be allowed in the town, or in the outer compound, but you will be fed, and free to read and learn whatever you please outside of your lessons. We’ll make fine samurai out of the lot of you!”Bookmark here

“Father, I think his name should be Hitora,” Masamune said confidently. “You said it best when you first saw him. He’s a tiger. Our Secret Tiger.” Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

Neji wakes up with a violent gasp. He begins to feel around his body for scars or any abnormalities. Once that has been done, he quickly rushes to his bathroom mirror. Neji gazed upon himself to see anything amiss; despite being in his second semester of freshman year his hair hadn’t seemed to have grown much longer since highschool. Neji wore his hair in a dread fringe, his locs swooping over the left side of his face, while the sides of his head remained shaped up and shaven, there were piercings on his right ear and eyebrow meant to match his signature spiked choker, Neji wasn’t the kind of person to let public opinion have much sway over his fashion choices. Bookmark here

As Neji continued to gaze at the mirror, trying to make sense of what happened the previous night, he heard three loud knocks on the door… Felix. Bookmark here

“I’ll be there in a second.” Neji said frantically while splashing water on his face. He had known the previous night that there were classes today. He had forgotten however, that his motorcycle was at the shop and had been going to school with his roommate for the past week. Bookmark here

“Dude are you even dressed? Class is in 45 minutes, we can’t even hop the train. You owe me for gas man.” Felix said in his usual groan. Felix Lombardi had been Neji’s classmate, confidant & closest friend since the two reunited at a convention whilst Neji was practicing his art by drawing con-goers. Prior, the two had briefly known each other as neighbors, when the two of them lived in Little Italy in their childhood. Years later, the two can now be spotted tagging newly opened hipster hotspots with vulgar anime graffiti. Bookmark here

Neji cobbled his signature Hoodie & techfit cargo joggers combo, coupled with his goth accessories, and met Felix at the door. Bookmark here

“Where did you go last night? I went to sleep at like 2 am and you still weren’t back.” Felix said to Neji as he closed his bedroom door. Bookmark here

“Had to take care of some stuff for work.” Neji said matter-of-factly. Bookmark here

“The thing your uncle hooked you up with?” Felix said ponderously. As the two of them exited the apartment. Bookmark here

“Yea, the family thing.” said Neji. Bookmark here

His intentional vagueness wasn’t lost on Felix, but the Sicillian knew not to question Neji when he kept information discreet. When Neji’s avoidance is confronted, it’s usually met with a throwing knife. Bookmark here

The two young men made their way out of the building and into Felix’s Mustang GTO. Bookmark here

As the two get seated, Felix hands Neji a large envelope. Bookmark here

“My brother sent a deposit this morning.” Felix said gleefully. Bookmark here

While the two were in school, Felix’s older brother, Louis, had been providing funds to keep the boys situated. Because Neji’s Uncle had been a friend of Felix’s parents, Louis saw no problem in providing for Neji as well. Bookmark here

“How much was it?” Neji responded, intrigued.Bookmark here

“Enough to finally get that death machine of yours out the shop” Felix said as he started the engine. Bookmark here

“I don’t know why everyone’s always on my case about motorcycles. People die in cars too.” Neji said in a disgruntled manner. Bookmark here

“Way more people die on motorcycles.” Felix said smugly. “If I’m not mistaken, your bike’s in the shop in the first place cuz ya crashed it, no?” Bookmark here

“Something like that,” Neji said blankly. Bookmark here

It was true that Neji’s bike was in the shop due to damages incurred during a crash, however it was not a traffic accident. Despite being a relative novice at fighting demons, Neji began his Kuro Ryoushi training scouting parts of the Backside for reconnaissance. Because the other side is constantly shifting & changing, young hunters are dispatched to keep track of the differences. It was during one such mission that Neji damaged his motorcycle by trying to use it to escape a demon. Bookmark here

“It was more a personal error if anything, it’s not like I crash every damn day or nothing.” Neji obviously couldn’t be honest about the nature of his bike's damage. Despite knowing him & his uncle since his youth, Felix was still blissfully unaware of the supernatural world, at least as unaware as any average weeaboo in their early 20s. “What classes you got?” Neji asked in a nakedly half hearted attempt to change the subject. Bookmark here

“Brand Management and Marketing” Felix sighed, in a defeated tone.Bookmark here

“Nigga, isn’t your major animation?” Neji responded with confusion. Bookmark here

“You know how the school gets about ‘electives with career application’. They’re always on some ‘take these business classes, you don’t want to graduate with no idea on how to sell yourself do you?’” Felix said, his expression showing early signs of actual frustration. Bookmark here

“Which is crazy, cuz I seen ya resume and that jawn steep as fuck, if we keeping it bean” Felix either didn’t notice Neji slipping into his Philly accent as a joke, or he intentionally ignored it on account of not being in the mood for jests. Bookmark here

“I have literally done cuts for 3 shows this year. Real. Fuckin. Anime, bro, and they keep talking to me like I’m some starving artist,” Those early signs were now full on, thinly veiled anger. Bookmark here

“Well I mean, you’re drawing anime, you kinda are.” Neji said with his trademark sardonicism. Bookmark here

“I get it man, you got jokes, but this is real shit. You know what I mean. I’m not an amateur, I’m gonna be a senior soon, and they’ve rejected my films for every contest I’ve entered since I got there. The only time I’ve ever felt anything coming CLOSE to recognition was that time Anno came to speak at the animation seminar, and you somehow managed to hijack the monitor to play our short.” Felix said, hurriedly. Bookmark here

“You’re welcome by the way,” Neji said jokingly. Bookmark here

“I know, I know, I’m whining, Felix is moping about again. I’m sorry, being a drama queen is one of my, multiple, MULTIPLE, talents!” Felix said, with his voice beginning to raise. Bookmark here

“Chill bro, believe me, I get it.” Neji said, in an assuring tone.Bookmark here

“Do you?” Felix said snidely. Bookmark here

“The fuck is that supposed to mean, Felix?” Neji said, in an uncharacteristically upset manner. Bookmark here

“Oh, well the schools never asked me to present work at a fucking gala-” Bookmark here

“My nigga, when the FUCK, have you cared about impressing high society? I NEVER show when my shit is put up there, I’m at the crib with YOU playing smash. Have you lost your damn mind?” As Neji snapped, the car made a sharply violent swerve. They were on an empty street, but the jolt was still violent enough to whip Neji back and forth. Bookmark here

Something was wrong. Felix was a downer, but rarely ever in a self pitying way. Bookmark here

“Fuck! I’m sorry man, I’m- Fuck.” Felix looked physically pained, like something was pressing down on him. For some reason, Neji hadn’t sensed anything supernatural all morning, so he hadn’t felt the need to use his evil eye. Bookmark here

The evil eye is a technique occultists have used since ancient times, is an ability that allows users to peer into the backside, and view cognitions in physical form. This was the first time Neji had activated his eye in around 36 hours, and immediately upon usage something was very different. Neji saw the backside, but more clearly than he ever had before. A fog of cognition miasma was thick enough to blind an average evil eye, but Neji could make out clear shapes regardless, and here it was clear as day. A good old fashioned demon. Neji couldn’t place it’s type immediately but it’s shape was reptilian, and it seemed to be secreting a kind of slime onto the car's interior. Bookmark here

“Felix. Park the Car.” Neji said sternly. Bookmark here

“Wait what? This is the middle of the street I can’t just park the-”Bookmark here

“PARK THE CAR MY FRIEND!” Neji bellowed. Full naija. Bookmark here

Felix swerved the car to a park at the sidewalk. “Will you tell me what the hell is happenin-” As Felix began his inquiry, Neji used a charm to stop him in place. After locking the doors, Neji darts after the escaping demon.Bookmark here

The creature was trying to keep away from bright areas, which was difficult on account of it being 11 in the morning on a spring day. Neji had made sure to keep Hyoukiri in the car, on account of it being difficult to conceal, however he always made sure to keep a wakizashi in the lining of his hoodie. With the short blade, Neji confronted the lizard demon in a nearby alleyway. Bookmark here

“*HIIISSSSSSSSSS*” the Demon...well, hissed violently. “Hhhkkkkyyyyooouuuu bitccchhhh!!!! HIS RAGE WAS DELICIOUSSSSSSSS!!! HISSSS JEEAAALLOUUUSSSSYYY… SSSSSSUBLIMEEE!!!” the demon spoke in a bone chilling, rasping lisp. Bookmark here

“Great, a creepy crawly that can talk.” Neji said sarcastically. Bookmark here

“HHHHWWWWWWHAAAAAT DID YOU JUUUSSSSST CAAAALLLL MEEEE?????” Neji was mistaken, this was no mere small fry demon or ‘creepy crawly’ as they are colloquially described. In that instant, the demon began to grow in size till it appeared more like a grotesque dragon than any lizard. Bookmark here

“Oooooh, a shifter. Well, that complicates things a bit. The schoolgirl laughs at my expense once again.” Neji said dryly while unsheathing his short sword. Bookmark here

HAHAHAHAHAHA, HWWWHAAAT DO YOU SEEK TO GAIN WITH THAT? I’LLLLLL KIIIILLLLLL YOUUU AND FFFFFFFINISHHH WITH THE SAD BOY, APOSIDHFH HAHAHAHAHAHAHA'' The slimy dragon bellowed. Bookmark here

As the dragon laughed, two kunai struck in quick succession in a neat vertical line in the Dragon's nose and forehead. Before it could let out a scream, a moderately powerful explosion struck. In the wake of the blast, Neji darts towards the demonic dragon at lightning speed, almost losing his balance. He jumps towards the demon still reeling from the explosion, and rotates his body mid air to make powerful horizontal slicing motion, decapitating the almost 12 foot lizard-like dragon before it was even able to make a counterattack. Bookmark here

Despite being in complete control of his movements, Neji felt something deeply off about what he was just able to do. Neji had only been an active demon hunter with field training for about a year and a half, this was the first time he had ever faced off against something this large by himself, and what troubled him further was how effortless it was. It was almost as if his body was a marionette, being puppeted by his will to do whatever intricate and precise motions he wanted. It was almost a feeling of controlling oneself in the third person. It felt deeply unnatural. Bookmark here

Neji was sure this had to do with Hyoukiri’s contract. He was also perplexed as to why the catboy hadn’t made any contact with him since the happenings of the night before. They almost seemed like a dream at this point.Bookmark here

“BOY DO I LOVE FRESH DEMON BLOOD IN THE MORNING!” screamed a voice from far above. A familiar voice. An annoyingly familiar voice. “RIPPA TO THE RESCUUUEEE!” Of course. It was none other than his demon hunting partner. Reba “the Rippa'' Daniels. Bookmark here

She lands, combat ready, only to be confused at the sight of the dead dragon. She points towards the dragon, then points towards Neji questioningly. All Neji does in response is nod.Bookmark here

“I’M SO PROUD OF YOU! YOUR FIRST SOLO KILL!” Rippa said elated. While squeezing Neji in a hug.Bookmark here

“Please, you’re saying ‘my first solo kill’ like this isn’t the first time EITHER of us has taken down anything bigger than stalkermen.” Neji responded, prying her off of him. Bookmark here

“Stalkermen aren’t demons dingus, check the bestiary.” Rippa argued.Bookmark here

“They’re negative backside cognitions, basically the same thing.” Neji said dismissivelyBookmark here

“Demon’s need more than just raw cognition, they need-” Rippa responded before being cut off.Bookmark here

“They need intent, and a shape they can manifest in, good girl, do you want a gold star?” Neji interrupted rudely, with a big ol’ dose of smug condescension to boot.Bookmark here

“Ugh! And here I was trying to start my day right, an impossible task around you, Okalu.” Rippa groaned. “You took the thing out by yourself before I even got here. And it was big. I've been tracking it for half an hour now. Not surprised you got here first.” Rippa said matter of factly as she knelt down to observe the dragon’s corpse. Bookmark here

Neji began to panic silently. He hadn’t noticed the demon at all, he hadn’t even thought to activate his evil eye until he noticed Felix behaving strangely. If the demon’s cursed ki was that immense, how did he ride in a car with it all morning without noticing a thing? Bookmark here

Reba was still surveying the body of the fallen demon. “Clean slice…, superb placement on the throwing bombs too, didn’t even know what hit him. Oh, by the way did you ever follow those leads on your ancestors sword?” By the time Reba turned around to face Neji, he had already peaced the scene back to Felix’s car. Bookmark here

Following an awkward silence for the duration of the car ride, Neji and Felix finally made it to their college. The two were enrolled at the Empire institute for Art and Media Studies; EAMS. Or as it’s colloquially known, “The Empire”. Felix majored in animation, whilst Neji majored in illustration. As both exited the vehicle, Neji felt he should say something to his friend before leaving for class. Bookmark here

“Felix, I hope you know I appreciate everything you and Lou have done for me this past year.” Neji said sincerely. Bookmark here

“I know man. Don’t be late to class. See you at home.” Felix said sullenly. The demon was gone, but Neji could clearly notice by his expression that Felix’s bad mood had not passed. Bookmark here

They then parted ways. Neji’s mind raced as he set pace towards his first class. His friend’s mood was one thing, but more than just that plagued him. He still couldn’t sense any cursed energies, which actively shook him, because institutions of higher learning are hotbeds for cursed ki. Upon activating his evil eye, things seemed… different. When one uses The Evil Eye, the surrounding environment begins to reveal elements constructed by human cognition. The loose unorganized thoughts and feelings of the masses emanate as a thick multi-colored fog. Things were different. The fog was still visible, but he was able to see through all of it somehow, even able to pinpoint specific emotions and where they emanated from. He could see more now than he had ever been able to, even with all his practice. Problem was he just couldn’t feel anything. Bookmark here

Ki sense is an invaluable tool in a demon hunter’s toolkit. The evil eye reveals the truth behind one of the senses, ki sense reveals the truth behind the other four. For some reason however, Neji’s senses had been dulled all day, he didn’t notice it at home, but now, being in a populated area he was familiar with, it almost felt unnatural not being able to make out cursed ki without his evil eye. Bookmark here

All this internal racket was cut short however, when a Campus police officer stopped Neji on his way to class. Bookmark here

“What’s that in the bag son? This is a weapons free campus. That includes knives and long blades.” The officer said sternly, pointing towards the Sword bag Hyoukiri was in.Bookmark here

Neji was so wound up in all his own nonsense, he had completely forgotten that he was carrying an extremely illegal bladed weapon on his person in public. Bookmark here

“It’s not real. It’s a wooden practice sword, for theatre class.” Neji was an exceptionally good liar, that Nigerian DNA doesn’t quit. Bookmark here

“Is that right? Mind taking it out the bag, Let me get a quick look see?” The officer responded in an extremely combative tone. He doesn’t have to do any of this, but he’s bored, and you know how racial profiling works. Bookmark here

Neji locks eyes with the officer as he slowly pulls the sword bag off of his shoulder, slowly unlatching it to pull the sword out. As he grabbed for the sword he was shocked. It wasn’t the sharkskin handle the katana was fitted with… He was gripping wood! Neji pulls Hyoukiri out to reveal that the blade had indeed fashioned itself into a Bokken. Bookmark here

“See? No sword. Just a prop. I got to get to class, is that all?” Neji said snidely, While putting the sword away and back over his shoulder. Bookmark here

The officer scoffs and shoos Neji away. Bookmark here

“Thank you catboy.” Neji muttered under his breath. Bookmark here

From that little incident, it was clear Hyoukiri could hear and make sense of Neji’s surroundings, but the demon hadn’t spoken to Neji since contracting with him. It was worrisome, but Neji decides class is more important than pontificating. Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

Once classes were over, Neji decided he'd take Felix's brother's money and do just what his Sicilian buddy said: Get his death machine out the shop. Said death machine was a modified Ducati Paningale, a present he'd received from his uncle for his 18th birthday. In fact, it was the last present Neji received from his uncle, Ndukwe before his mysterious passing. It was said uncle's passing that led to Neji’s moving in with Felix. Bookmark here

The Bike was located at the Purgatario Mechanic shop located in Bushwick Brooklyn. Purgatario wasn’t much different from most chop shops you’d find in the area, save for one key distinction. Julio & Fabio Torres, the patrons of the establishment, were born in the Silver Lakes; a City located in the BackSide. You’ve most likely heard of the hidden city of gold and other treasures. Conquistadores spent centuries trying to find El Dorado, only to either die, or get tired trying. Julio & Fabio found their way to the FrontSIde after they found out how much money they could make servicing occultists in America. Even in the BackSide, not everyone gets a fair shot, so people often traverse worlds doing what they can for their families. Julio & Fabio are no exception. Upon Neji’s arrival, the twins seemed to be doing repairs on a lowrider. The thing was tricked out to the point where the make and model didn’t even matter anymore. Bookmark here

“Back so soon, hermano?” Fabio said jokingly. While rolling out from under the car. Bookmark here

“Yea, your hogs only been here, what? 20 minutes?” Julio followed sarcastically looking at his watch. Bookmark here

“Haha, very funny guys. I’m sorry I couldn’t pay you sooner, if you’d let me open a tab, you know I’d be good for it.” Neji appealed, dryly. Bookmark here

“We don’t do tabs for trainees” they both said in unison as they continued work on the car. Bookmark here

“It’s bad enough Lex doesn’t pay at all. The shit we do for him.” Fabio followed in a grumbled tone.Bookmark here

Alexandre “Lex” Ogunbawo was Neji’s boss at the Brooklyn Chapter of the Kuroryoshi, but more on all that later. Bookmark here

“Wait Lex doesn’t pay? He’s always got me luggin shit in here though.” Neji said, genuinely confused.Bookmark here

“Pays to be the boss, hermano.” Fabio retorted, still disgruntled. “Might change soon though! You finally cracked your shell!” He continued. Bookmark here

“Cracked…my shell?” Neji responded in befuddlement. Bookmark here

“You got your first contract right?” Julio asked. “Must be a strong one too. You been leaking all over since you got here” Bookmark here

Neji, being a relative novice demon hunter, wasn’t entirely aware of what exactly the Purgatario twins were talking about. His confusion must have shown on his face because Fabio followed shortly after. Bookmark here

“No need to be shy ese, we don’t care what you do as long as you’re careful.” said Fabio.Bookmark here

“And as long as you don’t fuck with business.” Julio followed. Bookmark here

“Well, I’ve been having a hard time sensing cursed energies, you think a contract could be the cause?” Bookmark here

The brothers both laughed. Bookmark here

“If you’re runnin’ around with demon ki flowing outta ya, it’s gonna be tough to make sense of anything less potent. First, sense the ki flowing from you, then once you’ve got a handle on that, shut it off from your senses. Everything else should work fine from there” Fabio explained in a manner akin to a tech support call. Bookmark here

Neji took heed and began to apply ki sense on his own energies. His own emotions felt like small droplets in comparison to the energy he had taken on from Hyoukiri, it wasn’t hard to make sense of what exactly the energy was, but once he could see the sheer breadth of it, he was shocked. The ki emanating from Hyoukiri, now that Neji could really sense it, covered him entirely, like a bubble blocking outside penetration. Normally, energy from cursed objects only covers the physical shape of the object itself, but in this case, the energy flowed from Hyokiri into Neji, treating him almost like an extension of the sword’s cursed ki. Once he figured this out, it wasn't hard for Neji to consciously tone the intensity down, slowly but surely, other energies began to come into focus. Bookmark here

"Takes some practice but you’ll figure it out ese.” Julio said reassuringly. While handing Fabio a wrenchBookmark here

Neji could sense ki normally again, he felt hypersensitive to it at first due to not having done so for a whole day. It left him almost… dizzy…Bookmark here

“So do you got the money for your crotch rocket or not?” Fabio asked after tapping Neji on the shoulder. It shook Neji back to reality after being taken in by the energies of the city. Bookmark here

“Right here chico, I got your money” Neji said sarcastically in a fake latin accent while pulling out the envelope of Boss Louie’s hard earned mob cash. Bookmark here

“I should slap you for that, but with a stack that big, you can talk like Speedy Gonzalez for all I care. Julio, count it.” Fabio commanded as Julio took the wad from Neji. “Right this way, Okalu.” Fabio said to Neji as he gestured for him to follow. Bookmark here

The two went to the other side of the Garage where a lone motorcycle covered in a tarp. Bookmark here

“I put in all the stuff you asked for. It was already pretty souped up to begin with, I just put in some better brakes, a new turbocharger, doubled up the Exhausts, and tweaked the transmission a little.”Bookmark here

“And the paint?” Neji said as he looked at Fabio sternly. “You said if I gave you extra you’d do a performance upgrade, and any design I made for you. Were you able to translate the drawing?” Neji continued, somewhat worried. Bookmark here

“See for yourself, hermano” Fabio said as he drew the tarp of Neji’s newly re-serviced Motorcycle.Bookmark here

There it was, Neji’s Panigale, painted in a metallic bright purple & black, with the exact design he had drawn up; A Ghostly Tiger, surrounded by birds, symbolic of his Samurai heritage. It was perfect. He could almost cry. Bookmark here

“He’s good for it bro!” Julio shouted from across the room, it seemed he’d finished counting.Bookmark here

“Here” Fabio tossed the keys to Neji. “Tell your boss to stop by sometime. There’s a few things I need his help with. Bookmark here

“Why? Trouble in El Dorado?” Neji asked semi jokingly. Bookmark here

“There’s always trouble back home, and stop calling it El Dorado that’s racist.” Julio scolded. Bookmark here

“Just tell him Fabio Torres needs one of his many favors cashed in. Enjoy the bike hermano. Don’t crash it this time.” Fabio said calmly. “Oh, and be careful with that blade there, ese. I can sniff a curse from blocks away, and that's a mean one.” Bookmark here

“Aaah don’t worry about it holmes. This is your time! Welcome to the Big Leagues Hermano…” Julio protested in a jubilated tone. Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

Neji got on his bike and zipped back to his and Felix’s apartment. The two rented a duplex in Williamsburg. It wasn’t really the kind of place Neji ever pictured himself living, even though he'd made a home of it in the past year he’d been there, there wasn’t much in the way of cool things to do in the uptight hipster paradise. Now that he had his Panigale back, Neji was free as a bird to travel as he pleased.Bookmark here

“Felix, what you wanna eat? I’m thinking thai food again.” Neji shouted across the apartment. Bookmark here

Upon not hearing no response, Neji checked Felix’s room to find his roommate hadn’t made it back from school yet. In confusion he dialed his number to be met with a deadline. It was exactly when Felix was about to dial a number for Felix’s older brother that he got a wholly different call. From Lex. Bookmark here

“Meeting tonight. 40 minutes. Bring Hyoukiri”. Lex said in his usual dispassionate tone. Bookmark here

“Wait, how did you?-”Bookmark here

“I know Satsu. The old man who gave it to you. Said you were very polite, I’m proud.”Bookmark here

“If you knew where it was, why the fuck did you put me through that goose chase! I was running through forums for months nigga!” Neji screeched frustratinglyBookmark here

“Thrill of the chase, youngblood. Be here in 40 minutes. Eyes on the street say you have your bike again, so I expect you to make good time. Odabo.” Lex said, Bookmark here

“Ka o di, lmao.” Neji responded, chuckling as he cut the line.Bookmark here

“Guess it’s time to see the family.” Neji groaned as he got his things ready to head to the Kuroryoushi meeting. Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

Screw the Omega


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