Chapter 27:

Second Phase ( part 1: Two days later)

The Dusk of Revenge

   The last thing I was able to remember after all the fight that happened was the sensation of water all over my lower body. I lost the fight against my father and as a result I nearly got killed…

I opened my eyes in a small white chamber of a hospital. My left hand felt a bit heavy, and I wasn’t able to move it immediately. I looked in its direction to find that Rin was asleep on a chair next to my bed while holding my hand. There wasn’t anything that I could do about it. I decided to leave things as it was as I seated myself on the bed. I looked at the window on my right side.

It looks like we’ve returned to Shinagawa during the time I was unconscious.

I was wearing a large white shirt. Underneath of it, bandages were covering my left shoulder.

[So that’s where the bullet landed in my body]

I tried moving my shoulder, but I felt some pain. However, this pain wasn’t a problem at all. It was a mild pain after all.

I looked at Rin again who seemed to start waking up. She was using the palm of my hand as a small pillow to rest her head.

Seconds later, immediately after she opened her eyes, she looked at me silently with a confused surprised face then with a cute smile: “Good morning!”

I kept looking at her silently trying to understand the meaning behind that expression.

“Are you okay?” She asked

Before I could even answer her question, she asked another one and another one…

“Do you feel any pain?”

“Do you remember what happened?”

“When did you wake up?”

[Someone is a bit more enthusiastic than usual]

“Calm down a bit!” I replied as I looked at the window. “I will answer your questions one by one!”

“So, do you love me?”

I turned to her direction instantly out of surprise. The voice that I heard a second ago definitely wasn’t that of Rin. It took me a moment to understand the situation before replying.

“How about you show yourself, Shuna?”

“Was my voice that obvious?” She appeared from behind the curtains as she laughed.

Rin looked confused as Shuna petted her head. “Since when you were there?”

“Hehe! Seconds ago!”

“And?” I asked, “About that question?”

“You see, our little kitten here looked so worried about you, so I tried to give her a bit of…”

Rin jumped on Shuna, preventing her from finishing her sentence.

“Is everything alright?” a puzzled expression was all over my face as I asked.

“Do you remember anything from the time you were unconscious?” Shuna asked as she moved Rin’s hand that was covering her mouth.

“No, nothing in particular!” I responded as I kept thinking for a moment. “I just felt an unfamiliar warmth that I didn’t feel before!”

“You heard him Rin, right?”

Rin blushed as she tried to hide her face with her hands and hair then left the room running.

“Did I say anything wrong?” I asked.

Shuna laughed at the situation as she took a few steps to sit in the chair Rin was sitting on. “Let’s just say I woke up in the worst possible time for her!”

[What is that supposed to mean?!]

“And? I don’t think that you sat there just to have a friendly conversation!” I asked with a firm tone.

“As expected from our leader!” She smiled then looked at me with a serious look. “I know that you just woke up, but I think you should know everything that happened during the two days in which you were unconscious!”

She took a moment of silence to verify whether someone was dropping an ear over our conversation then.

“… This is the worst situation ever! The government is searching for someone to blame after everything that happened!”

“Didn’t we push the Red Claws away and take down many of its members?!” I asked.

“The destruction of the Setagaya dome was one of the possible cases that the government was expecting when they started this mission. That’s why the evacuation went smoothly.”

“I know that already! But what was the thing that made the situation look bad?”

“The reaction of the people!” She replied with a sad voice. I looked at her silently as she waited for me to say something then continued explaining: “Due to the secrecy of the mission people didn’t know that there was even a possibility for such a thing to happen. Now the government needs someone to put the blame on to calm the citizens. Sadly, with the death of Karuizawa, they are going to blame our squad since this was our first mission and people will think that it’s a bit logical if they say we messed up.”

“Is that so?” I replied with a cold tone. After all I was the one who killed that traitor so I was the one that should be blamed. “So, what are they going to do with us?”

“Probably they are going to disband the squad or even worse. Either you or Rin will be held responsible for everything!”

“What does Rin have to do with all of that?!”

She looked away for a second then replied: “Both you and her have a link with the Red Claws. Aoyama Tomori and Akira Takahashi are dangerous members of that organization and for their children to be in the special forces is something anyone would think is very suspicious.”

“Did she explain everything to you? I mean about her father and the accident 6 years ago?”

Shuna stood up and started walking toward the exit: “Yes! But I think I shouldn’t be the one who tells you what happened. After all, you're a part of her story! Anyway, just put in mind that you got injured badly in this last mission while she was unharmed. I don’t need to tell you what that means!”

“Either the whole squad or her. I am just the third option for them!”

As she reached the door she smiled and looked at me: “Focus on healing for the time being! Grandpa, I mean the commander told me that they won’t do anything now. The investigations are taking place now. So, it should take at least a month for anything to be sure.”

Immediately after she left the room Asahi, Rin and the three troublemakers entered.

“Leader! Thank goodness you’re still alive. We thought you’re dead!” They jumped on me to hug me even though they knew I was injured.

“This was our fault! If we didn’t act without permission! We would’ve been able to follow the initial plan without any problem!” Akira said.

“We will assume responsibility over everything we did!” Kazuto and Rintaro said as they walked to stand near Asahi who kept silent looking at Rin. Rin looked a bit uncomfortable with his looks. It wasn’t like he was acting weird or anything. She just didn’t want to stay next to him.

She advanced toward me and said: “I took these from you just before the arrival of help!” she handed me my connection device and my secret device that I use to talk with Ai and then she left saying that she will pass by later.

[That’s definitely strange!]

The others looked silently at the whole scene. Immediately after she left Akira turned to Asahi and said: “You should do something about this situation! You should tell her that you’re not angry!”

“What are you talking about?” I asked as I looked at them with a puzzled face.

“Asahi needs to accept Rin’s apology! He knows very well that she was a victim just like him.” Akira answered, trying to explain the situation only to make it more complicated.

“I know that! I am not angry indeed!” Asahi looked a bit stressed as he said those words. “… But I just couldn’t find the proper way to talk to her!”

I looked at them as I scratched the back of my neck. “I woke up after just two days to find that the whole squad turned into a big mess!”

“This isn’t the time for any of this! Just focus on healing now! We will come back later!” They decided to take their leave after that. It seemed to me that they didn’t know anything about what Shuna had told me. That’s a bit reassuring. It meant for me that we still have enough time to change the government’s decision.

After everyone left, I put my connection device on the table next to my bed and equipped myself with the other one.

“Ai, do you hear me?” I asked.

“Master!! Master!! Don’t do that again!” Ai answered with a crying voice. “I thought I lost you there when you lost consciousness second after getting shot!”