Tea Leaves and Purple Robes


Match Twenty-One: Chort:

Five deadly sins were released in Ikebukuro. Michael woke up. Time for Vozrozhdeniye to make their move.

Ivan already knew what was coming up next. He had already arranged things for his wife.

“Are you leaving again?” Li Ying asked last night.

“Yes,” Ivan said.

“How long will you be gone?” she asked.

“Just a few days,” he said. Ivan turned and looked up at her. Lin Ying stood in the doorway. He walked over and kissed her on the forehead.

“I will be back,” he said. She gave him a little smile. Ivan tried not to show any attachment towards his wife. He knows that she will be lost to the apocalypse. Her family was starting to fall apart. She didn’t know about Im Yong just yet. Ivan pulled his young wife into his arms.

“Ivan?” she asked. Her husband said nothing. He just looked the past the darkness with no emotion on his face.

He needed to be at the airport at ten. Ivan does have breakfast with Lin Ying. They do not speak. She wasn’t going to be alone. Wang Ja and Katyusha would be in the house with her. The Russian man didn’t have to worry. He finished his breakfast.

“I’m leaving now,” he said. “Thanks for breakfast.” Ivan stood up from the table.

“Please take care,” Lin Ying said. He bows his head and leaves. His wife sat at the table and watched him walk out of the dining room.

Ivan made it to the airport just in time. The members of Vozrozhdeniye were already waiting for him. Alisa turned to him.

“You are here,” she said. “The plane is ready.”

“Did you bring her?” Ivan asked.

“Of course,” Alisa said.

“Where is she?”

“She’s already loaded into the cargo section of the plane.”

“Think it will hold?”

“I know so.”

Ivan took a moment to think about it. “Good enough.” Ivan walked to where the plane was waiting. The rest of the group followed behind one by one. No one in the airport looked up or asked questions.


Hecate looked up at the sky. She pulled out her phone and made the call.

“They are on their way,” the nightcomer said. “What do you want me to do?” The call doesn’t have to last long. Hecate nodded.

“Understood,” she said. “Goodbye.” She hung up her phone. Hecate then tapped the screen and went to the messenger app. She typed up a quick text and hit send. The nightcomer couldn’t help but smile. Why should she stay silent on something big like this? Besides, she just had to throw in some curves to make this game more interesting. She looked out at the people walking around in the streets.

Okay, Mikado. What are you going to do next?

Ivan sat in the aisle of the plane. How many times had he flown to Japan now? It became an annual thing. Sometimes the wife came with him. This time, she couldn’t. Too dangerous. He already made arrangements for her safety. He doesn’t care about this game honestly but his vows were to protect his wife. Ivan promised that he would call Lin Ying when he landed at Narita Airport.

“How’s your wife?” someone asked next to him. The Russian man turned his head. Alisa had a curious look on her face.

“Fine,” Ivan said. “I’m leaving her alone for this trip. She doesn’t need to see what’s about to go down.”

“Heh,” Alisa said. “Since when are you the sentimental type?” He didn’t respond. They would be in Japan shortly after lunch.


Kitano called his inner circle for a meeting in the middle of the night. They already had an idea of what was coming next.

“Which one is acting now?” Junko asked.

“Vozrozhdeniye,” Kitano said. The nurse rolled her eyes.

“Are they still pouting about not having your tadpoles?” she asked.

“So what is the next move?” Etsuko asked. Kitano plugged in a flash drive into his laptop. He opened up and video in the folder.

“I received this from an unknown source two days ago,” he said. The therapist hit play. The inner circle took a watch. A pale and skinny woman sat on the floor. The front of her white gown was covered in something like blood. Her bright blonde hair covered her face. A man in a plague doctor suit walked up to her. He placed gloved hand down onto her head. The man spoke in Russian. There were no subtitles in the clip. He lifted the woman’s head. She let off a loud hiss. Despite the grainy image, the audience could clearly see her fang. The woman lunged forward for a bite. The man pushed her back. He said something else in Russian. There came more hisses and growls. The man patted her on the head.

The video stopped.

“Uh… what was that?” Osamu asked. Kitano closed up the folder.

“I believe they are trying to make the answer to our dear pets,” he said. “From everything that I have seen, they are catching up to us.”

“Is this all they have?” Aya asked.

“Yes,” Kitano said. “And they are heading here to run a test.”

“And you want intel on this creature so you can know what to do?” Etsuko asked. Osamu wrinkled his nose and snorted.

“Are you going to send Izaya out there again?” he asked.

“Not this time,” Kitano said. They all looked up at him.

“You can’t be serious,” Daichi said.

“I’m afraid so,” the therapist said. “He’s preoccupied at the moment.” Aya raised her hand.

“I can lend Dom out for this job,” she offered up. Kitano raised his eyebrow.

“Can he speak Russian?” Junko asked.

“A little bit,” the therapist said. “But it would be enough.” Kitano took a moment to think.

“Good enough,” he said. “Send him out this afternoon.”

“Yes, sensei,” Aya said, bowing. Junko frowned and rolled her eyes.

“Very good,” Kitano said. “That is all. Have good night.” Everyone bowed and went their separate ways.

The plane landed at Narita airport around 1:27 p.m. Ivan was the first to step off. The cargo would be shipped to the hotel later this evening. He didn’t need to worry about Valya. She had been in a cell in the lab for months. A few hours in a crate would be nothing.

Feeding would be the only problem now.

Ivan felt someone tap him on the arm. Ivan turned his head. Alisa looked up at him with a stern look on her face.

“It’s time,” she said. “Let’s go.” Ivan nodded his head once. He and the rest of the group headed out of the airport to their planned destination.

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