Chapter 17:

The Villain Is Conflicted

My Cute Kohai is Actually My Archnemesis?!

The entire walk back, Reyna was in a daze. While she was still conscious enough to banter with Hoshi, her heart wasn’t into it. Eventually, it seemed he realized that Reyna wasn’t in the mood to talk and walked silently beside her. Reyna appreciated it.Bookmark here

Her thoughts dwelled on the woman she had questioned. Rina’s genuine terror at exposing herself, and the concern she showed for her family was unsettling to Reyna. She didn’t like how human it made Rina seem. The people she still seethed at, the people she wanted to hunt down and scorch to the earth…Bookmark here

Reyna looked down at the notepad she held, staring at the questions and answers written down on there. Rina was just a pawn in a bigger scheme. To think that she had wanted to beat her down along with everyone else…And yet, the thought made her blood begin to boil even further. To think that the Moon Ravens were using people and casting them aside to burn down buildings on top of everything else they must be doing…Bookmark here

The notepad began to wrinkle as her grip tightened. Reyna knew who the Moon Ravens were. She had gotten some help from them in the past when she had started out using her masked persona to get money. If Reyna had known exactly what type of people they were back then, she would have caused the greatest fire the country had seen in years. And yet again, doing so would also harm everyone who wasn’t working for them willingly.Bookmark here

Damn it! Reyna thought. There’s no right answer! Bookmark here

Of course, she wasn’t exactly in the position to question her own morals considering who she was and what she had done, but Reyna had set one rule for herself at the beginning of her downward spiral. It was one she promised she would never break. A promise so that she would never be too far gone, and that was to never put innocents in danger. To her, it didn’t matter who she hurt, as long as she hurt the right people. But this was too frustrating to even begin to think about.Bookmark here

A poke on her shoulder and the sound of a voice jolted her out of her thoughts. Reyna’s free hand immediately went to attack the offender, but then her eyes caught up with her brain. Hoshi was looking at her strangely. When Reyna finally took stock of her surroundings, she realized she now stood next to Hoshi’s desk on the DC floor of the Globe. How had she gotten there?Bookmark here

Her gaze then turned to Hoshi’s raised arms, and fell down to her outstretched fist. “Okay…” Hoshi laughed nervously. “Note to self: Don’t startle you when you’re thinking.”Bookmark here

The fist dropped along with Reyna into a bow as she felt her face burst into heat. “Sh-shoot!” cried Reyna, “Sorry! I didn’t notice you there!”Bookmark here

Laughing again weakly, Hoshi said, “I mean, I was here the whole time, but no harm no foul!” He let his arms fall and Reyna watched as he sat down facing her. “Are you sure you’re alright, Hikaru?” he then asked. “You seem really out of it.”Bookmark here

That got Reyna to straighten back up quickly. “Y-yeah. Just thinking about how we should write this. I’m really working my brain up here, you know?” She knocked on her head to emphasize her point.Bookmark here

Hoshi seemed to study her for a moment longer before breaking into a simple smile. “That’s great!” He clapped. “You can really put your writing skills to the test, then, because you’ll be doing a majority of the article!” He then spun around and logged into his desktop. “Remember, you can ask me anything, alright?”Bookmark here

Reyna sighed in relief and nodded. She was glad he wasn’t going to ask anymore questions. Instead, she now felt slightly peevish at having to figure it out herself once again. Moving around to her desk and sitting down, she resolved to make Hoshi’s life a little more miserable today. Upon logging in and opening a word processor, she began to pester him with questions.Bookmark here

Hours later, they finished with a fantastic article spinning a tale of circumstance and danger around the burned orphanage. Reyna proudly gazed at the screen and ignored the slumped husk that was Hoshi at his desk. “Jeez,” he groaned. “You sure know how to be specific.”Bookmark here

“It comes with the degree,” Reyna said simply.Bookmark here

Hoshi picked himself up off his desk and stretched. “At least we’ve dealt with the bulk for today. Now we just have some paperwork to do.”Bookmark here

Reyna frowned. “Paperwork?”Bookmark here

“Yeah,” said Hoshi. “Just a few things for our trip to the station and to send this article up to the A-Teams.”Bookmark here

“We seriously need to do that?” asked Reyna before quickly shaking her head. “You know what, no. There’s paperwork for everything. Why did I even ask.”Bookmark here

Hoshi grinned at her. “That’s the spirit! It’s not a lot, so we can finish it quickly and just relax until our shift is over or leave early.”Bookmark here

“Leave early?” Reyna wondered. “Why would we do that? I want to get paid, Michiaki. I need that money.”Bookmark here

“It’s just a technicality that comes with the job,” explained Hoshi. “I’ll explain it another time. For now…” Hoshi cracked his knuckles and turned back to his computer. “Let’s get this done. You should have some of the e-forms in your email now..”Bookmark here

Reyna stared at Hoshi in confusion. Was there something she wasn’t getting? Shaking her head, she opened her inbox and began clicking through the pages of jargon she couldn’t really care less about. Meanwhile, Reyna’s thoughts turned back to her problem of finding and destroying the Moon Ravens.Bookmark here

It definitely sounded easier than it was probably going to be, but that didn’t deter Reyna at all. She relished the challenge, because she knew it would be more satisfying in the end when she collapsed the whole network from the inside out.Bookmark here

Reyna was well aware of how evil that sounded, but everyone already thought of her as a villain. It was time to play the part.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.