Chapter 18:

A chair in the darkness

The Dusk of Revenge

   On the first floor underground, the lights were too dim for someone to read. The whole area was covered in moisture. Seriously, who would think of even bringing a book to this disgusting place? I wouldn’t do it of course. Probably the other boys won’t do it… The last they read was maybe a Shōnen manga! I don’t remember reading one of those… I always loved light novels…

The sound of the drops of water hitting the ground was making a perfect combination with darkness that covered all the corners to create a great scene from a horror movie. All that was left was some corpses and we can create… perhaps a party!!

In the middle of this chamber a broken wooden chair was fixed to the ground. Tied to that chair a middle-aged man with black hair that would definitely turn to white when he wakes up. I wanted to make sure that the ugly scenario I had in mind would turn into reality.

Aside from that man, I was the only human existing there. Cockroaches and ants surely loved the place. From time to time, one can spot a sudden brightness that lights a very narrowed area around it. Before even understanding the source of that light it disappears. Probably, it’s a rat who came out from the sewers in search of something to eat. Those creepy creatures loved the old books thrown here and there. Some of those books were really a treasure. Books that dated for a hundred years or less. Some of them were volumes of famous manga, light novels, and English novels…

The voice of the water drops became weaker as a rat walked on the broken pipe. No! That time it wasn’t a rat, it was a mouse who was dragging some torn pages of a book to a crack in the wall.

[I wonder, do mice and rats love each other? Since we humans hates them both equally]

Waiting for the thin man tied to the chair to wake up on his own surely made me think of strange things. I got curious about the pages the mouse was pulling so I went to scare him a bit. Before reaching him, he abandoned them and ran for his life.

[Great! Now, I started bullying hopeless weak creatures out of boredom!]

I moved the pages a bit on the ground with my boots… The darkness made it impossible for me to recognize anything. Frustrated, I walked away from that place, and stood once again before the unconscious man.

“…Ai! What time is it now?”

“… It’s 16:32, Master!” She waited for me to react to her answer which was obviously weird, but I kept silent.

Few seconds later, she resumed talking: “… Master! You do realize that you’ve only been in that room for less than 5 minutes?”

“… Wait what?!” I screamed out of surprise.

“… I think you should wake him up by force! At this rate, you will waste your time in vain! The others may come in at any moment. You surely don’t want any of them to see the horrific scene!”

Ai’s words were correct. I had the feeling that I'd been waiting for more than 30 minutes. If I wasted any more time, I might have killed the man instead of interrogating him.

Luckily, the man started moving his head a bit. That was a good sign… I got really close to him and looked at his eyes waiting for him to open his eyes.

“…Master! You’re going to wait again?” Ai asked.

“…Perfect timing! Close all my connections with the other squad members, even Asahi!” I ordered her with a serious voice.

“You’re going to do it master? Asahi was kind enough to send me a new security system last time he tried to act funny with me. I did some modifications… Now even for him, eavesdropping is impossible.”

“You can disconnect if you want Ai-chan… I am not going to force you to hear this!”

Ai kept silent for a bit. I bet she was surprised because I added the honorific “chan”. That was maybe one of the few times I acted as if she was really a living girl… I wanted her to act like a girl and ignore what was going to happen. I seriously didn’t want her to hear anything ugly that could influence her development.

“Master! I am mad at you!”

Her words shocked me… I kept silent waiting for an explanation.

“You know that I am your partner. We lived together through all the small things! Now it isn’t the time to ask me a question like that! I am your only friend after all!”

“… You’re the ghost of my only friend… Yet now, you’re the only friend I have!” I sighed. “Do what you want! More importantly, can a half-android die from blood loss?”

“That depends if the majority of his internal organs are artificial or not.”

The man finally opened his eyes… He looked around to see nothing but darkness. His eyes were fixated on the computer screen moments before getting knocked down. A minute later, he started to see a bit. He turned around for the second time hoping to understand the situation. As he kept looking around, a blue dim light suddenly appeared before his eyes. He focused there for a moment to finally let out the first scream. He understood that he was staring all that time at my face who was a few inches away from him.

“… Good morning! Or shall I say good afternoon?”

He screamed once again then asked: “… Who’re you?”

“… You really forgot me?! We’re your allies you don’t remember?”

The man started looking around once more trying to know where we’re. A diabolic smile was all over my face as I retreated for a bit.

“… I know that you’ve remembered everything now! Mr. Karuizawa the technical expert that supports the third squad. You’re a true professional when it comes to the job you do. However, don’t you think that your job was a bit dirty?”

I looked him in the eyes once with that smile on face. He tried to retreat back to realise that the chair was fixed in the ground along with his legs.

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“… Oh! I am so sorry! My words were a bit vague! Hmm… Let’s see… How about this? As an expert, what do you think of people who deceive each other?”

The thin man started trembling as he asked: “… What expert? What do you want? Where am I?”

My tone kept getting calmer and calmer as I talked with him: “… You know what I am talking about! You are an expert at deceiving people! You kept spying on the special forces for more than 7 years! You were part of the special forces when the first attack happened and today you were there too. Nice job! You deserve an Oscar! With those acting skills of yours you should’ve gone for acting! Is the mind reading talent of yours that powerful to the point where you were able to deceive everyone around?”

I started walking around the chair in a circle and from time to time I jumped at him looking him in the eyes to make him get even more scared.

“The Red Claws will lose an important member today… But don’t worry I will send the others to join in hell where you will rotten… You asked me where are we? This is an old bookstore that contained the oldest books in the Setagaya ward. What do you think? Only one hour has passed after you guys destroyed the dome! Look at the scene around you! Isn’t that beautiful?”

The man answered in disgust: “… Where do you see a beautiful place?”

“… Eh? What are you talking about? This is the place you created with your own hands!! Wasn’t this what you wanted? You should enjoy the scene! Can you smell the sewage smell? Isn’t that the smell you wanted? You’re the one who guided them to destroy the dome. We’re a few meters away from the place where the explosion occurred. Everyone in this store got killed immediately!”

The man suddenly started screaming: “… Damn it! I told the leader that Asahi should be killed! Damn that nerd giving us a hard time 6 years ago and now!”

I froze in my place as I heard those words. The smile that was on my face disappeared and I felt cold suddenly. The man’s words were definitely something I didn’t expect.

“…What do you want from one of my soldiers?!” I glared at him with murderous intent.

The man decided to go silent.

“… You know someone called Takahashi Akira?”

The man got scared immediately and started trying to jump but couldn’t.

“… You can’t escape, do waste your breath! I heard that your eyes shine as lamps when you use that mind reading thing of yours. Why don’t you use that power of yours and try to read my mind? Simultaneously you can look at the chair. You’ll find an incredibely beautiful sight.”

The man’s eyes became two shining balls that made the room look bright as if it was in the daylight. The man looked down to the chair for a second then he screamed immediately: “…My legs!”

The man’s legs weren’t tied to the chair. They were simply cut!

“I told you; you can’t escape! How does it feel tasting the pain others suffered because of you?”

The man screamed once again as he looked at me: “… Commander Akira has a son and he’s in the special forces?!”

Another shocking sentence came out of that criminal’s mouth that froze me once again.

“… Commander Akira, you said?” I asked with soft tone filled with murderous intent. “…You really are hiding a lot of things! Looks like I’ve found a treasure. Too bad the time won’t help to discover anything important. I just hope you won’t die of blood loss yet! I can’t make you talk easily, especially when your lips are sealed and when I am eager to kill you more than taking information.”

I started walking around the chair once again as I continued talking: “… All of this just to get the position of the other members. Setagaya is large and I don't have the time to search every corner.”

I grabbed the man’s head from his hair and asked him: “… What do you know about Asahi! Where is my father! Where are the other members!”

The man laughed at me as he coughed then said with a dying voice: “… Go to hell!”

I looked at the man in the eyes then yelled: “… We’re in hell already thanks to you!” I took a few steps away then picked from my pocket a small test tube that was wrapped in aluminium foil.

“Your ability to read minds can only be used once a day because it needs a lot of stamina! You can now only tell if my answer is yes or no without speaking! How about a game?”

The man looked surprised but kept silent.

“Don’t be afraid you just need to know with which hand am I going to hit you next you can ask me twice you don’t get the correct answer you’ll receive a penalty and if you win, I will take you myself to the police station instead of letting you die here.”

The man’s eyes shined once again. He smiled and asked:

“… You’re going to hit me with your right hand?”

I kept silent. As he looked at me.

“… You’re going to hit me with your left hand?”

The man's face became pale as I looked at him waiting for the answer.

“… You’re not going to hit me!”

I laughed at that pathetic answer and said: “… Too bad wrong!”

“… But how? You said no to the two questions!!”

“… How about asking me if I am going to hit you with both my hands?”

The man started having difficulty in breathing after asking that question.

I took the test tube that I was hiding behind my back and showed it to the dying man.

“Do you know what this is?”

The man chose to keep silent once again!

“… You see the blue liquid inside this tube? It is something you guys invented 6 years ago. How about that hint?

The man immediately started screaming and begging for mercy. I smiled as I saw the man crying desperately saying immediately the position of his allies, the member of the Red Claws.

“… So, you have a good memory after all! The one who invented this liquid is an evil genius! This beautiful blue is actually a poison. If I make you drink this liquid, you will die immediately and if I pour it onto the floor a dangerous disease will spread in the whole area just like 6 years ago! What do you think I should do with it now?”

The man kept crying as he explained everything that he knew.

6 Years ago, they abducted a 14-year-old girl to force Asahi to participate in their dirty game of creating an app that can take over the security system in the cities. After doing what they wanted Asahi started fighting back. He tried to reveal the boss’s identity which even old members like this man didn’t know. Asahi got too close to know the truth to the point where the majority of the members were forced to leave Japan in order to hide. My father left Kawaguchi with the leader of the Red Claws in order to end the whole attack on Japan. A self-sacrifice in other words. The members of the Red Claws were ordered to escape once they encountered me. They were ordered to engage in a fight against me only in case they are in a group of more than 3 people at least.

The moment the men said the sentence: “… That’s all what I know.” I Forced him to drink the poison and left the building. Just seconds after that the whole building exploded due to a Gas leak…

“…Master!” Ai called me, “…Are you okay?”

“Things are getting too complicated to the point where I started to think whether I will be able to keep up or not! What about you?”

“I will be next to you in every move you take!”

I walked toward the others who were waiting for me in another house. I ordered them to take some rest there since I was the only one who took a nap in the camp before arriving here.

A burned page of a famous manga fell slowly before me. I looked at it then smiled as I continued walking. It was the source of inspiration for the last game I played with the dead man… What a bizarre adventure!

I felt a bit of relief mixed with a feeling of disgust. This mixture of opposed feelings was probably because it was the first time in my life that I killed a human who kept begging for mercy until the last second in his life…