Presenting–Black Bullet v1c2. Will be updated randomly here whenever I want to (Another reason is that I lost my password for BT)
The morning sun shone through the clouds and rained down on the land in stripes, and the chirming sparrows were frolicking on the branch.
There were 8 young boys and girls gathered at the empty space behind the apartment Rentaro’s group were staying at. Their eyes were dazzling as they looked up at him. He felt that he had met them before somewhere, only to realize that they were all Enju’s classmates.
Rentaro resisted the urge to yawn as he stood on the empty land blankly with his messy bedhair. This awkward atmosphere caused him to sway slightly, and his stare was drifting swimmingly nowhere.
“What? You mean you want me to be your master?”
The children answered loudly with such intensity that it could overwhelm Rentaro, and he ignored them for the time being as he glanced sidelong at Enju in a frustrated manner whilst the latter remained unable to hide her gleeful expression.
“Oi, Enju…I hope these brats can go home quietly for now. What do you say I should do?”
“isn’t it okay? Just give them a few lessons.”
Rentaro sighed with a disheartened look. It seemed that this was a result of Enju boasting at school that Rentaro was some sort of ‘Martial Arts expert’.
Because of this, he was woken up early in the morning, and the morning of this rare off-day was wasted as a result. Normally, Rentaro would be nestled in his futon, rolling about in his sleep.
“Master, is it true you could scare a brown bear to death with a glare?”
And the rumors have been exaggerated to such an extent.
“Master, is it true that you could destroy a marine battalion bare-handedly?”
It seemed he had killed a marine squad before.
“Master, is it true that you can catch a nuclear warhead and throw it back?”
Rentaro gave a chiding look to Enju. ”How much did you boast exactly?”
Once their eyes met, Enju gave him a thumbs up, ‘you can do it, Rentaro’ and it seemed she really had confidence in Rentaro when she showed this expression.
Rentaro really wanted to sigh. Enju’s bad habit was that she believed that he could do anything if he really got serious.
He scratched his head hard. Any person had gone through a time where they thought they were some superhero with special effects, and Rentaro too did not deny that he wanted to protect the dreams of these innocent children.
Mentally prepared, he nodded. It was important to give a good first impression.
Besides, dealing with kids was nothing to him.
“Oi, so you guys are gathered here? I’m the Rentaro Satomi they talk about!”
At this point, he was at a loss of what to do, and he turned over to Enju, pleading for help.
However, Enju waved at Rentaro with a gleeful expression. It seemed she did not understand Rentaro’s intent at all.
“Then, listen up. The original Tendo style concept is established by the first practitioner of the Tendo style—Sukekiyo Tendo. Simply put, the Tendo fighting style is based on one type of punches, and two types of kicks, so there are 3 types in all. Sorry that I won’t be able to meet your expectations however. I’m still a beginner, so the number of moves I know are limited, and for someone of my level, there are still skills I still haven’t learned—”
“—Master, those don’t matter. Please hurry and teach us a super move.”
“Tch, can’t be helped then.”
Rentaro was frustrated by how energetic the kids were, and walked to the Maple tree on the empty land.
He lowered his center of gravity, showed off the basic ‘Hundred Infinite Stance’, and took a deep breath.
“Tendo Style Martial Arts, Type 1, Number 3—”
He quickly exhaled, spun around, and punched in the midst of his momentum.
The punch hit the target, ‘THUNK!’ and with a blunt impact, the Maple Tree swayed greatly, and the leaves fell.
Rentaro exhaled, relaxed himself, and turned towards them expressionlessly.
“H-How about it?”
“Eh—it’s too fast. I can’t see!” “It’s just a simple punch!” “…Isn’t that too dull?” “Right?” “Why didn’t you break the tree~” “I want my money back~”
Rentaro clutched his head in frustration. What do I do? I want to beat them all up!!
“Eh, don’t be so hasty. That was just a warm-up. There’s still a secret skill I have. One of the Ultimate moves in the Tendo Style Martial Arts. Type 2, Number 11, “Concealed Zen, Weeping Water”.”
“Ohh~” “Sounds cool.” “It’s just the name that’s cool though?” “How do you know without seeing?”
Rentaro told himself that he had to succeed as he faced the large tree, gathered enough momentum to kick the tree trunk down, and jumped high.
“Tendo Style Martial Arts. Type 2, Number 11—”
At that instance, Rentaro’s mind recalled the incident that happened in the conference room the previous day.
The term Kagetane spoke of continued to swirl in Rentaro’s mind.
—“New Human Creation Plan”.
Seitenshi said this previously, ”“As everyone knows, currently, the Tokyo Area is protected by the Monolith barriers. I shall abstain from the details for the time being, but if anyone intends to use the Inheritance of the 7 stars for malevolent purposes, it can open a huge hole in a corner of the monoliths. With that, the storm of death shall invade the Tokyo Area. The situation is critical, and every second counts. Everyone, please take back the Inheritance of the 7 Stars whatever the means.””
Rentaro narrowed his eyes slightly.
”I mustn’t lose to that guy—Kagetane Hiruko no matter what.”
Rentaro narrowed his eyes slightly.
He gathered strength in his lower abdomen, and glared at the tree.
“Here I go. Secret Art—”
At that moment, from a corner of his eyes, Rentaro noticed a boy who seemed uninterested as he played with a soccer ball, and proceeded to kick the ball at Rentaro.
Rentaro, whose attack was interrupted so easily once he was attacked, and his momentum caused him to fall headfirst into the canal. Laughter exploded around him.
Enju was pressing her temples with her hands, giving an embarrassed expression as she shook her head.
“This is really stupid. That kind of useless attack can’t even kill any trash bug.”
“Never mind them. Let’s go back and play the Playstation, shall we?”
“O-oi, you guys, hold on—”
Rentaro’s plea to stop them fell on deaf ears, and Enju’s classmates broke off in order. Afterwards, Rentaro and Enju were left behind, and a short moment later, Enju stamped on the ground angrily.
“Muu~ come back!! Rentaro’s really amazing! He’s also amazing at night too!”
“S-Spare me the agony…”
Rentaro checked the time, and found that it was still morning. However, he was not in the mood to head back to sleep.
“Enju, is there anywhere else you want to go to?”
Enju’s face immediately brightened, and she leapt about, jumping for joy.
“Right right, I get it.”
After getting off the cramped train filled with the stench of sweat, Rentaro was dragged by the impatient Enju to the toy store. This toy store was very large, and took up the space of an entire level in a large electronics department store.
As it was a holiday, there were many people moving about, and some came here in families.
As he looked at the children standing in the middle of their parents, holding their hands and asking to be pampered, Rentaro wondered what others would see him and Enju.
Rentaro picked up the block-type jigsaw puzzle sample; this feeling still remained in his memories, and a sense of nostalgia rose in his heart.
“It’s a long time ago, but Kisara and I played with this before. I didn’t expect you to like this though.”
Once Enju said that, she pointed at the anime goods corner in the IMOD area.
The name written in pop-up words was “Tenchu Girls Corner”. Speaking of which, it seemed Enju was talking about this anime with her classmates the previous day.
“What is this anime about?”
Rentaro was not interested in it despite asking, and he soon regretted his action. Enju’s eyes dazzled “You wanna know?” as she looked up at him.
To summarize what Enju said delightedly, in a quest to take revenge for the murder of her foster father Asano, a girl called Yoshiko Ooishikura Ranosuke (magical girl) gathered 46 warriors in the entire counter (magical girl) to attack the Kira residence. It seemed to be some expansive epic anime.
It seemed the ‘Moe Ako Warriors’ were the latest trend.
“…It’s a magical girl anime, and it became some story of revenge in the end?”
“Fufu, that’s what makes it interesting, right?”
Rentaro glanced at the sword that was placed in the special corner. It was a sharp Japanese with a silver-like glare, but only the hilt was redesigned as a magical stick. It seemed this thing was called a stickblade. Rentaro again stared at the promotional movie, “DDIIIIEEEEEE!!!” and saw the heroine, the Tenchu Red let out a blood-curdling scream as she swung the extremely long sword, and the savage look on her face was given a close-up.
It really was unknown what demographic this show was targeted at, and there was no use of magic at all.
Upon seeing the stickblade and the magical girl costume that were placed at the most obvious of places, Rentaro could only groan at the exorbitantly high prices.
“…Why is it so expensive.”
“Expensive? Isn’t it normal? I’ll buy this using my own salary, so you don’t have to worry about your wallet, ‘kay?”
After leaving these words behind, Enju started eyeing at the goods that filled her sights.
Soon after, Enju brought a bracelet as she returned to Rentaro. It had patterns made of chrome plating on it, and as it was possibly made of aluminum, it felt exceptionally light.
“The bracelet the tenchu girls wear. This is the proof to identify the 47 warriors, and if there is anyone lying to their allies, this bracelet will show cracks, and reveal who is not being honest amongst them.”
“Oh, it feels somewhat like the ‘broken mirror’.”
“What is this ‘Broken Mirror’?”
Rentaro drew some kanjis in the air for Enju to see.
“I heard from my teacher before that there was a couple who went on separate ways. They took a mirror, divided it in half, and took a piece each as proof when they reunite. However, the wife broke the agreement and had an affair. At this moment, the mirror broke on its own, became a bird, and returned to the wife, causing both of them to break up. It’s this kind of story—now then, young Aihara, what kind of lesson have you learned from this story?”
“Right, teacher. If you want to steal, don’t get caught.”
Enju placed a hand under her chin.
“But it really seems similar. That broken mirror or something probably copied the Tenchu Girls concept.”
“…This isn’t a case of who copies who. Speaking of which, how much does this cost anyway?”
“6980 Yen. It’s really cheap!”
“IT’S DARN EXPENSIVE! THAT’S 2 MONTHS OF OUR RATIONS FEES!!”
Before Rentaro could even stop her, Enju had already ran all the way to the counter and complete the transaction.
“Here, put it on too, Rentaro.”
“This comes in a pair. If Rentaro doesn’t put it on with me, who am I going to give it to?”
Upon seeing Enju put that gimmick on her right hand, Rentaro too got ready to put it on his right hand, but quickly decided to put it on his left instead.
With a beaming look on her face, Enju stared at Rentaro.
“This is like a package for couples, and now Rentaro can’t lie to me or try to bluff me anymore, and Rentaro can’t have affairs with other women too. The bracelet will break apart if you peek at Kisara’s breasts for example.”
“Ehh—I, Rentaro Satomi, deeply loves Enju Aihara…it didn’t break.”
“That’s because it’s the truth.”
“Damn, there’s such an excuse too? I never thought about that.”
Both of them chatted as they held hands and walked out of the department store. The main aim actually was for Enju to speak up, and Rentaro was to answer at times. However, it seemed talking with Enju like this was a viable way to ease his melancholy from the previous day.
Upon seeing the figure of Seitenshi on the street television panel, he stopped in his track.
It seemed to be a news recording. Unlike previously, Seitenshi’s expression was extremely serious, and she was describing the proposal for a law to respect the basic human rights the “Cursed Children” had. This was the “Gastrea New Law” that was currently hotly debated.
Could that law really pass through?
Rentaro really hoped that it could, and held onto Enju’s hand tightly.
Not too long ago, the “Cursed Children” would normally be born secretly at the riverside and drowned to death before their eyes could even open. Also, due to their exceptional regenerative abilities, they were easily mistreated and abused cruelly by their parents.
It was said they, inflicted with the trauma, upon seeing the red eyes, would trigger a post-war traumatic stress disorder—the Gastrea Shock, and could not look at their children straight in the eyes as a result.
Also, because the hereditary genes were infected and mutated by the Gastrea Virus, they would be unable to prove the parent-child relationship even if they want to. Some even brazenly doubted if they should be legally considered human.
The “Robbed Generation” that had gone through the Great War were practically discriminatory parties who latently despise the “Cursed Children”. In this situation, there were few that would stand on their side.
To be honest, Rentaro did not feel this was a problem a person could solve alone. He was certainly welcoming of the notion that the Higher Management of the Tokyo Area was willing to understand their plight, or rather, he even thought of leaving this troublesome matter for Seitenshi to handle—
“It hurts, Rentaro. Let go.”
Rentaro immediately let go of her hand. At this moment, he saw that the news topic had changed, and Enju looked up at him doubtfully.
“…Sorry, I was thinking about something. Let’s go.”
Just when he was about to turn away, he spotted a human wall on the other side of the road. He was feeling curious, and at that moment, there was growl that ostensibly came from below the ground, and there was killing intent dissipated from what resembled onlookers.
He did not know the reason, but the annoying premonition caused him to remain rooted.
Rentaro, whose athletic abilities and gunmanship were ordinary, could remain as a member of Civil Security simply because of his precise instincts. It was telling him to quickly get away.
“Enju, let’s go back from the other way—”
A shriek-like scream rang, and a girl broke out from the human wall practically at that moment. She was holding onto a supermarket basket with a logo belonging to a large company, filled completely with food. Rentaro had been there to shop before.
Upon seeing Enju and Rentaro in her way, the girl immediately stopped in her tracks as she was taken aback. Rentaro too remained rooted, unable to move.
The girl’s clothing consisted of a leather belt around her denim skirt and a white tunic, but like her black-ridden face, it was unknown when was the last time she washed her clothing, and there were patches everywhere. Like the food in her clutches, these clothes were most probably stolen.
Anyone could tell on first glance that she was a child living in the “Outer Area”. Also, the eyes reflecting the image of Rentaro and Enju were wine red. She was one of the Cursed Children, just like Enju.
Numerous hands reached out from behind, interrupted the elongated stare between them. The large adults grabbed her by the back, threw her down violently, and even Rentaro could clearly hear the sound of the bones creaking. The vegetables and fruits rolled out from the basket and rolled towards his feet.
The girl’s face was stuck onto the asphalt, and the pretty face was distorted as she bared her teeth and flailed her hands about like a wild tiger. However, nobody in the crowd showed any pity to her.
“You scum, you all are the trash of Tokyo area” “Nice work! This damned Gastrea.” “Stop howling away, you killing monster.” “If you “Red Eyes” never killed all my relatives in the first place…” “You dead meat, “Red Eyes”!”
Rentaro walked over and patted a certain person on the shoulder.
“What do you mean? This brat stole something, and when a guard called out to her, she beat him up to near death!”
Rentaro stared over at Enju’s face, and as expected, her face was pale as she shuddered.
At this moment, that unknown girl too stared at Enu.
Once the “Cursed Children” hide their red eyes, their appearances would be no different from that of an ordinary child. Thus, even if she stared at Enju, she probably would not be able to realize that Enju was someone similar. For some reason, she continued to reach her free hand out to Enju, pleading for help.
Rentaro quickly waved her hand away, and glared at her.
Stop it. Don’t get Enju involved.
Upon seeing Rentaro’s expression, the girl showed an obvious terrified expression.
“What are you gathered here for!?”
At this moment, two policemen whisked the onlookers away to clear up the mess. One of them was a skinny bespectacled man, while the partner was a bald man with a hulking figure.
Rentaro could not help but secretly heave a sigh of relief once he saw that this mass lynching was finally at its end.
However, the bespectacled policeman gave a few glances at the crowd, which had quiet down, and the girl who was held down. it seemed he understood the entire situation, “Ah”, and coldly remarked.
The policemen forced the girl to get up, and without asking the passersby about the specifics, lashed handcuffs on her.
The bespectacled man ignored the befuddled Rentaro, thanked the crowd as a representative, and whisked the girl into the police car. Did that policeman really ascertain what crime the girl made?
After the girl was taken away, there was murmuring amidst the crowd as it dissipated.
All these happened in such a short time, and in the end, only Rentaro and Enju were left.
I have no choice. There was nothing I could have done.
Rentaro felt guilt in his heart, and as he glanced aside to Enju while intending to pull her home, he was shocked by her. Enju’s fists were tightly clenched as she glared angrily at Rentaro,
“Why didn’t Rentaro do anything back then!?”
Enju’s eyes were bright red, and Rentaro was overwhelmed by her presence. The crowd, which was slowing breaking away, turned back to show skeptical looks at them. He kept any faltering within him hidden “It’s none of your business.” as he called out to the onlookers.
He grabbed Enju by the hand and walked to an alley between the buildings. The exhaust pipes let out a nauseating stench.
“I had no choice, Enju. If you’re exposed in that situation as well, you’ll definitely be lynched there.”
“But Rentaro shook off that outstretched hand pleading for our help!”
“I can’t do everything! She did something wrong too! No matter how bad the living conditions in the outer area is, she can’t just steal things here!”
Rentaro could not stop himself from lecturing her, even though he clearly knew that such a reply would only add on to Enju’s anger.
She shook her head vehemently.
“THAT’S JUST AN EXCUSE! RENTARO COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING IF RENTARO WANTS TO HELP HER. RENTARO’S AN ALLY OF JUSTICE. THERE’S NOTHING RENTARO CAN’T DO!”
“Don’t push your immature illusions on me! I can’t do anything…nothing at all.”
As Rentaro was in the middle of his sentence, he suddenly recovered and spotted Enju holding in her sniffles as she sobbed. He reached out to her shoulder, but she took a step back.
“…Enju, just maybe…you know that girl?”
Rentaro was not really certain of this, but Enju really bawled her heart out as she nodded.
“When I was living in the Outer Area, I met her several times. We never talked to each other, but I think she remembered me.”
“is that so…b-but I just waved her off because the atmosphere was tense back then. I didn’t think too much…”
Rentaro could no longer look right into Enju’s eyes as he said this. His conscience was berating him, and soon after, he made his decision.
“Enju, can you go back alone?”
Before he realized it, Rentaro’s legs were moving on their own. He dashed out of the alley, looked around, and found a youth riding on a scooter, waiting for the green light. He patted the youth on the shoulder, and without waiting for a response, immediately showed his Civil Security pass,
“Civil Security. There’s a Gastrea in this area. I’m taking your scooter.”
“H-hey, wait, what’re you blabbering about?”
“Looking at your physique, I’m guessing you’re a Middle Schooler. You don’t want things to get out of hand here, right?”
Rentaro watched the tentative youth as he got the permit, and then snatched the scooter violent. The engine let out a deep buzzing as the vehicle spun towards the opposite direction, and went off to where the police car was just headed.
Rentaro was not only without a helmet, but also flagrantly ignoring the traffic rules. In fact, even if he was stopped, the other party would understand the situation once he shows his Civil Security pass. However, that would take too much time.
Rentaro swerved about dangerous between the vehicles, but a tension completely unrelated to the potential of an accident caused his heart to race.
Why did the policemen whisk the girl away without asking her or the victim? What did this unorthodox method mean?
There was nary a small police post, let alone a major police station, in the direction Rentaro was driving. If he continued on, it would simply be the Outer Area.
Rentaro started pleading to the god he did not believe in, and hoped he was simply overly worried.
Just when he was thinking about this, the monoliths far away that seemed small on first glance continued to expand in his sights. He could see the wreckage of several broken and abandoned buildings around him. This was the Outer Area—the shadow to the bustling Tokyo Area.
Rentaro thought that the policemen would simply pass by, but found a police car parked at the base of a tower twisted in the middle.
He pressed on the brakes lightly 30m away to avoid making loud noises, parked the light scooter at what seemed to be a derelict gas station, and cautiously approached.
At this moment, Rentaro himself was not sure about why he was sneaking about, but he was more confident about believing in his instincts more than his doubts.
He went around the abandoned building and approached the police car. On his way there, he spotted the ground floor of a certain building, stripped bare to its frame, the concrete within completely worn away, and the dangling wallpapers and pipes made it resemble a haunted house. After touching a few times, something similar to concrete dust fell off. Nobody would believe that this was abandoned for only 10 years.
The surroundings were eerily quiet, and there was nary a person in sight within the vicinity.
Rentaro turned around the corner, approached the patrol car, and peeked inside. As expected, the girl and the policemen were not in the car. Just when he felt a little frustrated for secretly sighing, he looked at the radio tower, and then proceeded over there.
He passed through a damaged metal fence, only to suddenly hear a sound, and he hurriedly hid behind a wall.
He stealthily turned his head over around, peeked out from the corner, and found the skinny man and bald policeman standing with their backs facing him. The girl was not too far away, her back leaning at the wall.
It was unknown if the girl was mentally prepared, or whether she was unsure of what outcome awaited her as she continued to shudder, her face deathly pale.
The two policemen facing away from him remained silent, and the precarious atmosphere caused Rentaro to hold his breath.
Just as he frowned, wondering what would happen next, a gunshot suddenly rang.
The girl, standing near them, she fell on her knees as blood spurted out from her hand. She slowly reached her hand, touched her head, stared at the blood gushing out from the wound, and seemed to be trying to her best to comprehend what ust happened.
Bullets then rained on her, tearing holes through her abdomen, chest and limbs. Her body was ostensibly electrocuted, and after a massive tumble, crashed into the metal fence behind.
“Damn it. She’s still alive!”
The skinny bespectacled man approached her and fired 3 shots at the head. The girl fell forward, and as a large amount of blood spread on the floor, she was finally immobilized.
Rentaro covered his mouth with his hands, and swallowed the wail he nearly let out.
After some cussing, the policemen looked around for a while, and made a quick getaway from the scene.
Rentaro moved his trembling legs to the door, knelt down and used his hands to support himself off the ground.
DAMN IT. Rentaro exclaimed in his heart spitefully.
Without entertaining the concern that his clothes might be dirty, he held the girl tightly in his arms. He felt the body cool down due to the loss of blood, and rage surged in his heart.
Isn’t Civil Security supposed to do the noble job of protecting the innocent citizens and maintaining justice?
Protect innocent civilizations? An ally of justice? Damn it! I just stood by and watch a kid get killed here!
What’s right, and what’s wrong? And what is the enemy I should beat exactly—
Unable to vent his frustrations, Rentaro shook his head as the chaotic thoughts filled it.
At this moment, the girl in his clutches coughed, and spat out blood.
Rentaro’s mouth was slightly ajar. She was alive; there might be a chance to save her.
Before he realized it, Rentaro was carrying her in his arms, running off.
Unlike the warmth during the day, the night still had traces of spring cold, and Rentaro staggered his way home. He did not understand if it was out of fatigue, but the unbearable thirst and headache continued to strike him. Too many things happened that day, and it was probably an aftereffect.
Thinking back, he was riding on a light scooter while holding a girl, weighing more than 30kg, in one hand, and the hard work was not something that could be simply waved off. However, he did not find the girl overly heavy, perhaps because it was a life-and-death situation; this was probably similar to an adrenaline boost in the midst of a fire.
Upon reaching the hospital, the girl was immediately ushered in by the doctor in the emergency room.
In the midst of operation, Rentaro sat on the corridor bench, and took all sorts of questions from another doctor. He was vexed by the doctor’s expression when the latter learnt that the girl was a migrant from the Outer Area, with nowhere to go.
The orphans in the Outer Area were not under census, let alone registered with healthcare insurance. The hospital would not be able to get operation fees for such people, and would have to bear the full cost.
If Rentaro had not stated that he was willing to pay, the hospital might have uttered a laughable lie “the surgeon is not in” that could have been seen through easily.
After a long 8 hour operation, the girl managed to remain alive. The bullet was of a small caliber, not a Varanium, but an ordinary bullet. The “Cursed Children” have astounding regenerative abilities and sturdy skullcaps; if any of these factors were lacking, the girl would not have been saved. The surgeon in charge explained to Rentaro.
Luckily, that doctor, who was ostensibly about to retire soon, understood the girl’s plight. “Who in the world did this? You have to report it to the police soon.” He also suggested this to Rentaro, but the latter could only leave with a wry smile on his face.
Rentaro was naturally delighted that the girl was saved, but upon thinking about the operation and inpatient warding fees, he really could not find himself much happier.
Late into the night, Rentaro was on the highly, obediently waiting for the traffic light as he looked around. However, there was nary a vehicle in sight, let alone a pedestrian.
Soon after, he spotted his room, 8 tatamis wide. The room was not lit, and naturally, Enju would not be awake at such a late time. However, Rentaro was originally a little expectant that she would be waiting for him, and inadvertently felt a sense of loneliness within.
“You look really tired there, Satomi.”
Rentaro instinctively raised his handgun and pointed it at where the voice came from.
He slowly turned behind, and a handgun was pointed at his nose.
The custom weapon was probably originally a Beretta, and the gas port was equipped with a muzzle pipe used for Close Quarter Combat. The large stabilizer used to restrict the gun’s recoil had a retractable blade attachment, and right at the bottom was an enlongated magazine with more bullet capacity. On the left side of the slide, there were the words ‘Give the life with dignity’, and on the right side ‘Otherwise, give the death as a martyr’. There was a medallion with the wicked god Cthulhu engraved on the grip, and numerous screws on the other parts of the gun. As for the one wielding the gun—
“You really have a horrible taste in guns, Kagetane Hiruko.”
“Heheh, good evening, Satomi.”
The masked gentleman dressed in a tuxedo simply lowered his gun. Shockingly, he was also wielding another custom Beretta with a different color.
“This black automatic pistol is called ‘Spanking Sodomy’, while this silver one is called ‘Psychedelic Gospel’. These are my beloved guns.”
“…What are you here for?”
“To be honest, I came here to talk. Would you please put your gun down too?”
Kagetane Hiruko snapped his fingers.
“—Kohina, cut off that obstructive right arm.”
Rentaro instinctively leapt backwards, and with the sound of wind ruptured, a slash came at blinding speed towards where he last stood. Without any forewarning, a girl dressed in a black one-piece dress stood beside Kagetane. Kohina looked ready to cry as she showed a troubled look.
“Hey, don’t move, or your head will fall off.”
A chill ran down his spine, and cold sweat broke out.
This is bad, I can’t see her sword slashes. If she does it again—
Kohina again raised a dust cloud and disappeared from Rentaro’s sights. He tried to focus his eyes on her, but was unable to keep up. At this moment, he could only close his eyes helpless.
GINK! Two objects clashed in the air, letting out a loud sound. A chafing sound then rang, and both of them were sent flying away. They both exclaimed in unison.
“I didn’t manage to kick her?”
“Eh, I didn’t slice her?”
The blazing red eyed Enju stood beside Rentaro.
Kohina raised her swords as she proceeds forward, ostensibly protecting Kagetane. She showed a completely different expression from her previous tentative look, steadied her footing, crossed her two Varanium black blades, and got into a unique battle stance.
“Be careful, papa. That child…is strong. She’s probably an initiator who specializes in kicking.
“Oh, if Kohina is able to say such a thing now, it looks like you have quite the impressive Initiator.”
“The little one over there, state your name!”
Her face red with fury, Enju was jumping about,
“How rude, you’re the pipsqueak there! I’m called Enju, Enju Aihara, a rabbit-type initiator!”
Kohina lowered her head, and murmured with a piqued expression.
“…Enju, Enju Enju—understood. I’m the model mantis type, Kohina Kagetane. I’m invincible in close combat.”
Kohina then tugged at Kagetane’s coat with a dejected expression.
“Can I chop that rabbit up? Is it okay if I just chop her head off?”
“What are you saying, foolish daughter? No can do.”
At his wits end, Kagetane adjusted his top hat, and again turned to Rentaro,
“It really looks like we’ll be in a stalemate here. Are you sure you want to battle?”
Rentaro did not dare to let his guard down as he stared at Kagetane and looked around. It was a residential area, and there would be major damages if they were to fight at this place.
Rentaro bit on his lower lip hard, and then lowered his handgun.
“Hurry up and say what you want, fool. I’m sleepy, and I still need to study for a mini-test next week.”
Kagetane let out a chuckle from behind his mask as he kept his handgun in his holster, and with the moon in the background, he suddenly reached his hand forward.
“I shall go straight to the point then. Satomi, do you wish to be my comrade?”
“To be honest, when I first met you, you’ve piqued my interest for some reason, and I just can’t bring myself to kill you. If you are willing to follow me, I’ll spare your life.”
“…I’m still a member of Civil Security either way.”
“So what? I used to be one too. Unfortunately, the Tokyo area shall be blown into oblivion by the storm of extinction, and right now, I have a powerful backer. As long as you become my ally, I can get you anything, whether it’s women, power or anything else.”
“Satomi, have you never thought of changing this irrational world? There is an issue with the issue of the Tokyo Area. Have you never had such a notion?”
Rentaro recalled the image of that unknown girl in his mind. Back then, her head jerked backwards slowly, and blood spurted out from her forehead. It slowly dripped down, and was slowly absorbed by the ground surface.
He recalled the image of the girl’s eyes as she refused to accept the predicament that faced her, the image of the policemen smirking because of this dark humor they enjoyed, and the image of his cowardly self when he did not dare to charge out for fear of being shot down.
Kagetane suspected that Rentaro was still hesitant, took a white cloth from his pocket and dropped it onto the floor. He counted to 3—and removed it, revealing a briefcase there.
“From what I heard, it seemed you aren’t very well off financially.”
Kagetane then kicked the briefcase, and once it slid to a stop in front of Rentaro, the lid sprang open. There were stacks of cash inside.
“This is a little token from me.”
Rentaro continued to stare at the bundles of cash laid out in front of him.
“I suppose you made that little Enju there attend school while disguised as a human. Why do you do that? Those girls take the form of humans from the next generation, surpassing the existing homosapiens—the only ones who will survive the apocalypse are people with power, like me. Follow me, Rentaro Satomi.”
Rentaro kicked the briefcase back with all his strength, and fired three shots at it.
The briefcase bounced up, and there were holes in the bundles as several notes fluttered about.
Kagetane stared at the briefcase that was shot,
“…You made a grave mistake there, Satomi.”
“Mistake? If I made one, it would be that I didn’t kill you at the first moment we met, Kagetane Hiruko!”
“Fool! Are you going to follow through on every request? No matter how you serve them, they continue to betray you!”
Rentaro glared at Kagetane, and the latter repaid the favor.
Some time passed, and the sirens of the patrol cars could be heard approaching from afar after having heard gunshots from afar.
“Humph, I suppose we should pause here for the moment, Satomi. Though this isn’t in my best interests…you shall understand when you head to school tomorrow. It’s about time you should see reality.”
Kagetane hissed at Rentaro, took a great leap backwards, and faded into the darkness.’
Rentaro stared at where Kagetane disappeared, and asked Enju,
“What do you think of that initiator?”
“Strong, frighteningly so.”
The words Kagetane left behind seemed to be some heavy lingering existence that was impossible to erase.
Rentaro held the cellphone tightly in his hand as he got up, causing his classmates, who were chatting away leisurely, to turn around and stare at him in shock. He hurriedly lowered his voice,
He covered his cellphone, immediately dashed out of the school building, and sprinted towards Magako Elementary School, located just 2 blocks away.
He hurriedly changed into the slippers for guests at this main staircase, and moved towards the staff room, only to meet the male homeroom teacher who was ready to head there. His face was pale and skinny, and there were large black rings below his eyes. He was probably shorter than Rentaro, but he was still pressing his forehead with a handkerchief even on this head. His large psychotic-like eyes were popping out,
“Ahh, you’re the guardian…”
“What is this you just said? Is Enju really—”
Rentaro loomed closer, ostensibly ready to grab the other man by the collar and raise him up. He knew it was pointless to vent his rage on Enju’s homeroom teacher, but he could not curb his emtoions.
The latter looked back at Rentaro, and stuttered.
“Yes, we don’t know where the rumor that Aihara is one of the “Cursed Childen” came from, but during meal time, there was…something akin to bullying on Aihara.”
“How did…this happen. Enju…didn’t she deny it?”
The homeroom teacher lowered his head, and continued to press the handkerchief on his forehead. The answer was clear as day.
“Mr Satomi, I guess you’ve been hiding the fact that Aihara is one of the “Cursed Children” from us and let her attend school, am I right?”
“Even if I told you beforehand, you would have rejected her from entering school through some other excuse, right?”
The teacher looked away from Rentaro, and again used his handkerchief as he wiped his lips this time.
“It seemed Aihara was seriously shocked by this, so I let her return early. I shouldn’t have the right to say this, but would you please accompany her, Mr Satomi?”
Rentaro could not remember how he got back.
He unlocked the door, entered his home while gasping for breath, and the chilling air greeted him, stroking his skin gently.
Enju was not in. There was no sight of her inside the house.
An eerie chill passed through him, and without taking off his socks, he immediately opened the bath and toilet, only to see that she was not there.
Once he realized that Enju had yet to return home, Rentaro’s face inadvertently paled, but once he opened her wardrobe, he found telltale signs that she had once returned home.
Having fallen into a state of panic, Rentaro let out a long sigh, sat on the floor, fished out his cellphone from his pocket, and gave Enju’s cellphone a call.
It seemed she had switched her cellphone off, and he sent an umpteenth number of mails.
But there was no response.
Rentaro kept taking deep breaths countless times, telling himself, It’s fine, Enju’s house belongs here.
Rentaro continued to wait.
But in the end, on that day, Enju never returned home.