Chapter 11:

Winter Finale


End of January, 1999. 


It was the after-party, one to celebrate our recent acquisition of Chinatown. The locals may hate it, but with Lee and Gory out the picture all month, moving out of the old was a breeze. We celebrated in the North district's Benjiro Banking offices. The pushover was kind enough to let us borrow the office for a party. Gisei and Kikuchi were on the break couches, resting after a long night of ripping the place apart. Gota, Shuga, and a few more of his underlings were on the tables passed out with coke all over their noses. There were also some red crystal things on the table. They have broken apart, looked like they were smoked as well. I moved over to the balcony to see Star, sitting on the edge, looking at the snowfall over the city once more. It was gonna be the last chilly day of the season, the weather reports said. The offices were 15 stories up, so it was a nice sight to see the lights, the cars cruise on by. I leaned on the railing, starting to smoke. "You're chilly, I know it." I started with. She was wearing a dress, of course, she was. 

She shrugged at the thought. "I like the cold. It feels good."

I chuckle, not saying anything. 

Star looks at me while I blow smoke. "Why do you fight?"

"That's a loaded question." 

"A loaded question you can answer."

After a few minutes of thinking, I think of the proper answer. "I fight to be the best."

"The best? What's the best?"

"When the competition is crushed. When there is no more people above me. I call the shots."

"So that's why you joined the army?" She asked. 

"I joined the army to free my father. I stayed in the army to become the best. If the war was longer, I would've become the best. Whatever organization I'm in, whatever thing I'm a part of, I'm gunning for the top spot."

"By any means, I assume."


"You know that Gota is your..." She stopped, she knew what I was planning to do in the future. I nod, answering her silent question. 

It was my turn for questions. "Who are you, Star?" 

My girlfriend shuffled a bit. "I don't even know that question, Kunshu."

"Try me."

"I'm...not from Osaka. I moved here with my parents when I was a kid, I did some odd jobs to get by, I was shammed for being Japanese and Chin..." She stopped, shaking her head. I knew what she was planning to say next, so I didn't bother to investigate further. 

"We'll take it slow," I responded. 

"Thank you." Star hopped down to kiss my cheek. "I..."

"Love you?" I interrupt. 

"Yeah. I do." 

Joe Gold