Chapter 16:

The Hero Apologizes To His Kohai

My Cute Kohai is Actually My Archnemesis?!

The moment they stepped into the room, Hoshi stretched his Power to the next five minutes. While he had been sure nothing bad could happen in the middle of a police station, they were still going up against someone who seemed to have no qualms against burning down an orphanage.

All things considered, Hoshi had thought that he would need to step in for Reyna a few times, but apparently the brief rundown of the strategy he gave her was enough to get her rolling. Hoshi was actually impressed…and a little scared. And now, here he sat quietly with Reyna as they watched their interviewee cry.

Through her weeping, Rina said, “It was distant…I knew—I knew it was too good to be true. But they paid up front and I gave it to my family, and then they, they gave me a gun and I was terrified and—“ She shivered and wrung her hands together. “Th-they said not to speak or say anything to anyone…and then I found out what was happening and before I knew it…”

Hoshi frowned. While Rina continued to spill broken explanations and apologies, he realized some things weren’t adding up. He’d heard of the Moon Ravens before: They were a rising gang that didn’t amount to much in terms of power or status. Yet, from what Rina was describing, it seemed that the Moon Ravens were now a danger that needed to be investigated. On top of that, burning down an orphanage of all things just to cover up their evidence was telling of their confidence in their strength.

After what seemed an eternity, Hoshi signalled for Reyna to stop. “That’s enough,” said Hoshi gently. “We have a good story now. Thank you, Miss Rina.” As harmlessly as Hoshi could, he set his hands over her own shaking ones and smiled. “We’ll do our best to get your story told and warn others about the Moon Ravens.”

“Th-thank you,” Rina whispered hoarsely. “Thank you.”

The speaker popped for the last time. “Time’s up.” A moment later, the door behind them opened, and a stone-faced Samson stepped in. “Don’t worry, Miss Rina. You and your family will be safe with us. You’ve done this city a service today, and we will repay it in kind.”

Rina could only nod as the two officers behind Samson moved to uncuff her from the table. Hoshi and Reyna proceeded to follow them all out of the room. The door swung shut, and as the two officers and Rina disappeared, Samson turned back to them.

“That was a lot to take in,” Samson muttered. “I didn’t think you’d get anything out of her in ten minutes. Guess I was wrong.” He turned to Reyna and nodded. “You’re a natural, kid.”

Hoshi watched as Reyna wilted under Samson’s attention. “Oh! Uh, yeah, sure. It was nerve-wracking, but, uh, I managed to do it.”

“You did good, Reyna.” Hoshi patted her on the back, but pulled his hand away at the last second when he saw her flinch away. Quickly, he said, “Just relax, okay? It’s done. We have the scoop. Take a deep breath.”

It didn’t seem like Reyna actually needed his pacification, but he wanted to try. It seemed something he’d said had struck her though, as she nodded and sighed a few times. “Yeah. Thanks. I’m good.”

“Great.” Hoshi turned back to Samson and smiled weakly. “So…we’re good to go then?”

Samson nodded. “You’re good to go. Just remember the standard procedure.”

“Right,” confirmed Hoshi. “Sufficiently censor all references to sensitive information and specifics on the individual.”

Hoshi then grinned as Reyna blinked in surprise and looked at Samson and Hoshi with curiosity. “Standard procedure, huh?”

Samson laughed lightly. “You really didn’t give her much to go off of, eh, Michiaki?” He began leading them out of the station. “I’ll let him tell you more. For now, you should probably get moving so we can all do our jobs.”

To his credit, Hoshi blushed and looked at Reyna apologetically. “I’ll give you a real rundown while we’re walking and when we get back, Hikaru. I’m really sorry about throwing you in the deep end right off the bat.”

In response, Reyna shook her head. “It’s what I’ve come to expect from you, Michiaki,” said Reyna in an exasperated manner. “I think I’ve got a good handle on your personality, and I’ve only known you for a day.”

“Funny you should say that,” Hoshi said. “I was thinking the exact same thing.”

A few officers waved at Hoshi and Samson as they made their way out. Once they reached the lobby, Samson quickly bowed and made his farewells before rushing off. That left Hoshi and Reyna standing at the steps to the station, facing the new rush of foot traffic.

“That really was a lot, huh?” Hoshi asked. “Are you okay, Hikaru? You seemed really tense in there.”

“No thanks to you,” Reyna said. “I thought I was going to die from seeing so many police officers.”

While it struck Hoshi as a little odd, he wasn’t one to judge someone’s fears. “Not a fan, huh?” asked Hoshi with a grin.

“Of course not. I think they’re terrifying.” She then began walking away from him, which lead Hoshi to yelp in surprise. “What?” asked Reyna as she cast a glance backwards. “Can’t keep up? I definitely can’t with you.”

Hoshi groaned. Of course she reverted back to snarky the moment she didn’t seem stressed out of her mind. “Look, I said I was sorry, okay? And you got a good experience out of it, so I’d say that’s a win!” He definitely wasn’t going to be delusional and proclaim to be a good teacher, but he thought he did alright.

“A win, huh?” Reyna laughed. “I will admit, your plan was pretty ingenious. I probably would have brute-forced it myself. That being said…” She turned around and looked him in the eye with an annoyed glare. “I want you to tell me beforehand if you’re going to do something like this again! Got it?”

Hoshi gulped at the look. He was scared by it, of course. It definitely wasn’t because he thought she was more like a hissing kitten than an actual danger. “Right. Sure. We have each others numbers after yesterday too, so it really is my fault, huh?”

“Yes, senpai, it is.”

“There it is.”