Halo Eighteen: Ryosuke:
Masaomi and Mikado followed Nagisa to her master. She blended into the crowd with ease. At first glance, you couldn’t even tell she was a crane familiar. Mikado tried to figure out where he had seen her before.
“You have seen me before,” Nagisa said, glancing over her shoulder.
“When?” Mikado asked. She stopped and turned around.
“You can’t remember everything, do you?” Nagisa asked. The tadpole boy shook his head.
“You?” she asked Masaomi. The Yellow Scarves shogun shook his head.
“Hm…” Nagisa said, thinking. “That’s strange. You should have most of your memories back by now.”
“What do you mean?” Masaomi asked. The crane familiar waved him off.
“Never mind,” she said. “It’ll come back to you soon. We’ve got other things to worry about right.” Nagisa picked up her pace and hurried down the crowded street. The boys looked at each other before catching up to follow.
They made it to an apartment complex near Sunshine Aquarium. Nagisa walked up to number 35 and knocked.
“We’ve been here before,” Mikado whispered. Masaomi turned to him.
“Hm?” he asked. The boys looked up to see the door open. A man about eighteen years old stood in the doorway. He looked like he had just woken up. His black t-shirt and striped shorts were wrinkled. The man rubbed the back of his head.
“Huh?” he asked. “Who are all of you?” Nagisa smiled and embraced Ryosuke.
“I’m home,” she said. This was enough to wake up the man. He pulled Nagisa into his arms.
“Welcome home,” the man said.
“I did as you asked,” she whispered. “I brought them here.”
“Hm?” her owner asked, looking up at Masaomi and Mikado.
“Uh… hi…” Mikado said.
“Yo,” Masaomi said. It took the man a moment to realize who was at his door. He covered his mouth.
“Oh crap!” he said. “I am so sorry! I should’ve known that you were coming today!” The man quickly bowed.
“No, it’s okay,” Masaomi said. “Really.” The man stood up straight.
“Oh, I’m Takizawa Ryosuke,” he said. “I’m so glad you’re here. Please, come inside.” Ryosuke pulled Nagisa inside with him. Mikado and Masaomi looked at each other before following them inside.
The apartment looked standard. Everything was cleaned up. Ryosuke walked over to the couch and sat down. Nagisa joined him. The boys sat across from them on the love seat.
“There is so much to talk about,” Ryosuke said. “Go ahead and ask questions.”
“When have I talked to you?” Mikado asked.
“It was back in the previous cycle,” Nagisa said.
“How many cycles have been there?” he asked.
“We’re still counting,” she said. Masaomi remembered something that Michiko once said.
“What was this about a gate?” Mikado asked.
“Ah yes,” Ryosuke said. “How much time do you two have?”
“We have plenty of time,” Mikado said. Masaomi nodded. The older man grabbed Nagisa and clutched her by his side.
“Okay, what all do you remember first?” Ryosuke asked. The tadpole pressed his lips together before he began to speak.
-Haru and Honoka-
Haru walked back to the apartment that he had been staying in for the past couple of months. Eight patients of Kitano died at his hand. In between his mission for revenge, he still had to take care of his sister.
“I’m home,” he said as he opened the door. Honoka looked up from the couch. They had gotten used to sensing each other when Haru came home.
“Welcome home, nii-san!” she said. Haru set down the bad and closed the door behind him.
“How are you?” he asked.
“Good!” Honoka said. She held up her hands covered in white laced gloves. Haru bought her those beautiful gloves. He picked them up when he saw them in a shop window.
“I can’t have you using your powers on accident,” he told her. Honoka was just happy to get a present from her brother.
“Thank you!” she cheered. Honoka wildly hugged her brother. Even though he couldn’t kill her with his touch, Haru was hesitant to hug her back.
“Are you hungry yet?” he asked.
“No, not really,” she said.
“Did you eat already?” Haru asked as he took off his shoes.
“Uh-huh,” she said. Her brother walked over to the kitchen and set down the bags. But then he froze.
“Honoka?” he asked. The tadpole wandered back into the living room. Honoka stared up at him.
“Did you feel that?” Haru asked.
“Yes,” she said. Her brother walked over to the front door. He pushed back the curtain and looked outside. Two men about nineteen stood outside staring at him from across the street. His stomach dropped.
“Oh…” Haru mumbled.
“Who is it, Nii-san?” Honoka asked. Her brother turned to her.
“Stay inside, okay?” Haru said. The older twin put his shoes on and dashed out the front door.
“Nii-san?” Honoka asked. The door slammed shut.
“Great job, girls,” Yamato said three days earlier.
“Thank you,” Reo said in a small voice. Yamato crossed Koizumi-sensei’s name off the list. He and the others in the group took a look at the staff list. The “innocent” ones were crossed out in another color.
“Who’s going to be next?” Yamato asked. He ran his finger down the list. Tomoya happened to look on the next page and spot another familiar name.
“There,” he said. Tomoya pointed to the name on the list. Everyone took a look. Right away, the memories came back. Yamato looked at his group.
“This will only take two of us,” he said. “Who wants to do it?”
“I will,” Tomoya said.
“Alright,” the leader said. “Who else wants to come with him?” There was a pause at first. Shuichi took a step forward.
“I’ll do it,” he said.
“Very well,” Yamato said. “Don’t let us down.”
“Yes,” Shuichi and Tomoya said.
“We do not have much time left, do we?” Mikado asked.
“No,” Ryosuke said. Masaomi could already predict what was going to be said word for word between them.
“How many days do we have left until the final gate is opened?” Mikado asked.
“Ten days,” Ryosuke said. Masaomi couldn’t hold back with the one thing he that surfaced in his mind.
“It’s the school, isn’t it?” he asked. All eyes fell on him.
“How did you know?” Nagisa asked. Masaomi lowered his eyes.
“You told us before,” he said. There was a pause. Ryosuke shook his head.
“I didn’t tell you that,” he said.
“Huh?” the Yellow Scarves shogun said. “Then… who was it?” The older man fidgeted as his eyes shifted away from his guests. He mumbled something under his breath. But Mikado caught it with his sharp hearing.
“Your grandma?” he asked. All of the color drained from the older man’s face. Nagisa had to shush him and rub his back.
Michiko walked up to Makoto and Evie’s apartment and knocked on the door. Ten more days were all that was left. The girl held her breath as she pounded on the door. Come on. Come on!
Michiko backed up when the door opened.