Chapter 16:

We Party As One


We still sat there at Golden Boy, with Gisei doing his own reflection. I look over with slight empathy. "Hey. You should sleep it off. I don't want you too stressed out, man."

Gisei silently agreed. "I gotta re-learn what you told me about killing. I got too used to just beating people up." He downed his drink and stood up. I got up to follow. 

The warm, wet night was smelling of soaked concrete and felt stuffy as we got in the car. Gisei turned on the car and started driving, letting the assortment of police cars speed past us. 

"They really want whoever did it," I say in passing as I pulled my lighter and cigarette to smoke.

Gisei weakly chuckles. "Uh-huh. Just another day in Osaka for them. They know they won't get a soul."

I cough a bit as I took a long drag. "Yakuza got their teeth in this town this deep? Already?"

"Yup. It's not too hard. Look at Benjiro for example. We just pushed him around a bit and boom, he's in our pocket."

I roll my eyes. "So you telling me that Gota of all people knows the right people? He can do all that? Give me a break."

Gisei shrugged as he neared my apartment. "Could be Kikuchi. I wonder why he just pop the fat bastard in the face and rule on his own. The clan wouldn't care too much, right?"

"Who knows?" I did, actually. I knew the basic rules of a family takeover, but I hadn't proven myself as a top earned quite yet to make that big of a move. "Alright man, see ya tomorrow." We nodded at each other as I left the car and went up to my apartment. I walked in to see her, in one of my shirts, watching the news. 

"No new updates in the hitman-like shooting that left two men dead in their own cars. The victims, whose names have yet to be released to the public, have been rumored to be tied to gang activity in the past, which most likely led to this tragic affair. Most civilians are calling for the investigation into the Yakuza, saying that crime has seen a boost since their arrival here a few months ago. This is Rose Takamura, signing out."

The woman seemed mixed. She spoke with a strange accent, like how an American would speak Japanese. I sat with Star, slowly undressing and relaxing. "How was your day?" She asked. 

I took my shoes off to lay with her. "Could be better. Not a fan of spring weather. Did you work today?"

"Yeah. Only a few songs this time. Thank God I'm off tomorrow."

"Wish I could say that." I rubbed my face to release some stress. I soon moved to rest on her thigh. 

She poked my nose in jest. "You like working hard, don't say that."

She had a point. I made a bit of a face. "Spring just sucks."

Star felt curious. "Why do you hate spring so much? You've been complaining about it for a while now."

I sigh out as I remember the reason. it still hurt to say. "Spring was when malaria was at its worst. There weren't enough tablets to go around, so here I was helpless to help my team who were dying in front of me. Spring just reminds me of failure."

"Surely you don't blame yourself. That's nature, Kunshu."

"I know, but..."

She kissed my forehead. "No buts. Let's get some sleep. You look like you need some."

I get up with her and we head to bed, sleeping soundly. I was so tired I just collapsed in bed. 

The next day, I got up and was eating breakfast when I got the call I've been waiting for. Kikuchi wanted us to head to the same office, so Gisei and I headed over with little to no distractions. Gisei's outfit was a silk black dress shirt matching pants. I just wore the same thing from yesterday, a bit more wrinkled due to me sleeping in it. We walked in and sat down in the office, looking at Gota who was preparing for a nose party as soon as we left. 

"Good job with the hit yesterday. The news got the good angles too. I love it. Now I want the heads these punks." He throws two pictures of two young-looking men. No older than 19 it seemed. Gisei looked slightly concerned but he hid it well. "They call themselves 'The Ichi.' They mostly stick to the Westside where they love to race and traffic my drugs across the country. Now after they stabbed me in the back, I feel like I need the leadership dead. Once you kill the kings, I'll have my boys mop up the rest of the rats. Now as for where, I know they love to party. We've been studying the punks for a while, I know they love to head to the techno club, I think it was called City of Lights or something. You head in there around 10 or 11, deal with them, and leave. Easy."

We silently agree and leave, walking outside to plan our attack. I start. "I say we use the crowd to our advantage. I don't want it to be a massacre, and I know we'll have no real way to follow them anywhere, So I say we make it loud for that second, use the panic to slip out, and we'll be in the clear."

Gisei pondered the plan. "I assume we'll be needing guns." 

"Exactly. I already got one. Get one and pick me up at around 10. Oh, and dress less extra. Blend in."

He scoffed. "Yeah. I don't want the women to be all over me, now."

I laugh out as I enter the car. "You wish."

A few hours later...

The club was hot tonight, figuratively and literally. It was a sea of bodies growing and dancing to music I personally didn't care for. It was loud, thumping, and soulless. The robotic tunes echoed the club as the people grooved to it accordingly. Kikuchi pulled a favor and had us enter in without much of a wait and pat down. We walked in, armed and dangerous. We wondered the place for a bit, walking past the sweaty patents and bright orange lights dominating the room. The floor flashed the same color of orange and red. As the music changed to something more aggressive, I felt the heat from each person, that how close everything was. I lost Gisei, so I was on my own. As the floor changed to orange, I saw one of my targets. I pushed through the crowd, pulled out my pistol, and shot him dead in the face as the dance floor emitted red. The people panicked and screamed for their lives as I hunted for the next man. I saw him and aimed, only to be stopped by somebody. He grabbed my arm, allowing the kid to escape through the back. Gisei saved me by punching him in the face. I had no time to kill him, only get a glimpse as we ran to the back to give chase. They looked like triads, oddly...

We opened the doors to the alley to chase the kid, only to see him near the end of it, hopping into a car that held two other people in. We shot at the car a few times before hopping in Gisei's ride to speed after it. "Hold still, I'm gonna shoot it!" I yelled. 

"Don't let them shoot my car!" Gisei yelled back.

"Just shut up and drive!" I aimed my gun to shoot at the car repeatedly. They shot back, missing and hitting a car a bunch. Gisei wined in pain, but he was just upset at the state of the car. I shot at one of the tires, making them pop and crash into a nearby department store. Gisei stopped near the wreak, we ran out to investigate. By the time we got there, it was too late. they escaped. I kicked the ride in frustration. "Damn it! I bet it was those triad punks, too! How the hell did they know?"

Gisei nodded. "It was pretty clear who were our targets. The whole damn city knew. Plus Lee and Gory ain't dead, and now we know they didn't leave town, so they need all the allies they can get to mount a comeback."

I hit the car again. "I should've killed them."

"Nah. There was nothing you could do. Now, let's wind down."

I shake my head. "Not in the mood for a drink."

"How about a park?"

I look at him for a bit. I sigh out. "Yeah. Fine."