Halo Seventeen: Senbo:
“Dante Killer, I actually like that,” Kitano said as he was watching the Ikebukuro PD press conference. “It has a nice ring to it.” He turned back to Daichi and Osamu.
“Anyway,” he said. “You have it, right?”
“Yes, yes,” Daichi said. “Here it is.” He handed over the bagged up glasses. Kitano turned the bag over back and forth.
“Good,” he said. “These look really nice.”
“He didn’t like them, though,” Osamu said.
“Well, I don’t blame him,” Kitano said. “He had to wear them to seal off his power. Probably couldn’t see where he was going either.” He looked up at Daichi and Osamu.
“Well, that’s that,” the therapist said. Kitano walked over to the altar. By now, it was shaking and glowing a hazy black light. The therapist opened the bag and dumped the glasses into the right slot. The altar went still as the light grew intense. Kitano looked behind him.
“Come take a look at this,” he said. Daichi and Osamu walked over to the shrine. The men looked down at the six little charms before them. Lust’s locket, gluttony’s flask, greed’s wallet, sloth’s watch, wrath’s gun, and the glasses. All of that items were turning black. Only one empty slot remained.
“We still need one more slot, right?” Osamu asked.
“That’s right,” Kitano said. He turned to the men.
“You should be seeing her in a couple of days,” the therapist said.
“Her?” Osamu asked.
“Yes,” Kitano said. “Oh, and there’s going to be an inner circle meeting later this evening.” Daichi and Osamu looked at each other for a moment.
“Are one of the other groups on the move?” Osamu asked.
“Yes,” Kitano said. “I will go into more details this evening. Right now, you just get back to work.” Daichi and Osamu bowed before leaving his office. Kitano looked down at his altar. Just one more charm and the next round can begin. However, Tandeki wasn’t the only one getting ahead in this game. It would only be a matter of time before the effects of Michael’s awakening came from them out in Japan.
This could hinder them or this could play in their favor.
Izaya held up his knife. “And who may I ask are you?” His unwanted guest pondered.
“Oh come on,” he said. “You know who I am!” The information broker shook his head.
“No… I don’t,” he said. The pale man frowned and shook his head.
“You know who I am,” he said. “Don’t you remember?” Izaya narrowed his eyes. Little sparks clicked in his head. The information broker frowned.
“You again?” he asked. The man smirked.
“I’m so glad that you remember me!” he said. Izaya still kept up his knife. The pale man looked like a hurt little puppy. The information broker rolled his eyes.
“What do you want from me?” he asked. His unwanted guest eyed him.
“You know what I want,” he said.
“No, I don’t,” Izaya said. The man folded his arms across his chest.
“You ought to know,” he said.
“Get out,” the information broker said. The older man put up his hands.
“Fine,” he said. “Fine.” The man stood up and started walking out of the room. Izaya watched him with his knife out. His unwanted guest stopped at the door. He looked over his shoulder.
“I will see you tomorrow for our duel,” the man said in a low voice. And then he was gone. Izaya turned around as the slammed shut. Right then, he remembered what was coming next. The information broker looked down the hall before pulling out all three phones. It would only be just a matter of time…
In the early morning hours, a young woman with long blonde hair appeared in the city. She stood in the street and looked around. It’s quiet. Too quiet. The woman pushed that thought out of her head. He needed his daily “medicine”.
She straightened her skirt and began her walk. The whole time, she kept her eyes open around her. The smell of demons made her want the wretch. The woman shook her head and tried to focus.
She turned around when she heard a sound. A little boy about seven years old looked up at her. He held an ice cream cone in his right hand. The woman narrowed her eyes.
“Tell me something,” she said. “Are you a good boy?”
“Yes,” the child said. The woman leaned in closer.
“Don’t lie to me,” she said in low voice. “Are you a good boy?”
“Yes,” the child said. The woman’s eyes flashed red.
“I said don’t lie to me,” she said. Her voice turned into a growl. For a second, her face looked like a demonic mask. The boy froze with big eyes. The woman smirked and looked normal again. The child stared at her like she was going to eat him. She patted him on the head.
“Now you be good and stay away from demons,” the woman said. “Run along.” The child turned and ran. The woman smiled to herself and walked on to her destination.
Along the way, she found an old skateboard left on the side of the road. The woman picked it up and looked it over.
“Hm,” she said. The woman set it on the ground and skated off to her destination.
Around ten in the morning, another knock came on the door. Izaya rolled his eyes. What is it now? The information broker pulled out his knife and walked up to the door.
“Who is it?” he asked. Izaya looked through the peep hole. A young man with short blonde hair stood outside. As if on instinct, Izaya opened the door. His new guest looked about his age.
“Oh, it’s you,” Izaya said. The young man clicked his tongue.
“You got the text yet?” he asked. The information broker pulled out his main phone.
“This one?” he asked. The young man read the screen. He could see the string of numbers going across.
“Okay,” the young man said. Izaya narrowed his eyes.
“You’re here to take me there, right?” he asked. The young man snorted.
“Yeah, yeah,” he muttered. “Let’s just get this over with.” The young man turned and walked out the door. Izaya tilted his head.
“Are you coming or not?” his new companion asked. The information broker shrugged.
“Coming,” he said with a sigh. Izaya followed after the young man. He turned to his new fighting buddy.
“You don’t really like me, do you?” he asked. The young man rolled his eyes as he kept a distance.
A tape recorder clicks on.
A woman in her forties looks down with her hands in her lap. Kitano watched the woman squirm in her seat on the couch.
“How are you holding up from your loss?”
She took a heavy breath. “I’m still coping.” The woman paused for a moment.
“Take a moment if you need to.”
His patient nodded. The clock ticked in the background. She looked over at the window.
“Do you want me to open the window?” Kitano asked. The woman shook her head. The therapist sat in place. His patient’s eyes welled up with tears.
“It’s so hard. Sometimes, I think she’s going to come in and say, ‘hi mom!’ But when I turn around, there is no one there.” She put her hand to her chest.
“It just hurts too much.” Thin tears ran down her cheeks.
“Who do you blame for your daughter’s death?”
“All of them.”
“All of them?”
“Her classmates, the school, me.”
“Who would you blame the must? If you had to choose.”
“Her classmates. They did this to her. She was a happy girl until she started high school.”
“How do you feel about them?”
The woman took in a deep breath and lifted her chin. “I don’t really want to say it here.”
“You are in a safe space. Anything you say will stay within these walls.”
She looked out the window as she trembled. “I wish they would all die. Murders, all of them! Some of them don’t even feel any remorse! My baby girl didn’t deserve what they put her through! Why should they get to go on and live their lives while my daughter doesn’t? It’s just not fair.”
“Do you want to hurt them like they hurt your daughter?”
“Do you want to kill them?”
The woman lifted her chin and took in another breath. She gave up on really saying how she felt at this point.
“If you were given the chance, would you?”
She froze. “I… I don’t know.”
“Do you need a moment?”
Kitano reached over and hit stop on the tape recorder.
The woman skated along the streets. She could see the apartment up ahead. The journey had been rather simple. No guys to harass her. Then again, the woman was invisible. Only that little boy was able to see her. She would will herself to be seen once she met up with him. The woman skated closer to the apartment building. Oh and look, he’s coming home right now.
Mikado was just about to go up the stairs to his apartment when he heard the wheels of a skateboard getting closer. Already, he could tell who coming. He looked up in time to see the woman on her skateboard.
“Charlotte,” Mikado said. She pulled up to him and stepped off the board.
“Yo!” she said. The tadpole’s eyes shifted back and forth. Charlotte looked the same as she did when he last saw her. Her long curled blonde hair came down to her waist. She was dressed to go work in a bar. She stared at him with those small red eyes. Charlotte was lovely and she knew it. But then he froze. If she was here then…
“I’m in trouble, aren’t I?” he asked.
“Uh-huh,” Charlotte said.
“Give it to me straight,” Mikado said. “How bad is it?” She moved up closer to him.
“We don’t know yet,” she said. “But we need to keep feeding you.”
“Feed me?” he asked. Charlotte took him by the cheeks and kissed him on the lips. Mikado could feel a spine run through his body. More memories started to feel his head. He felt cold when she pulled away. Mikado forced himself to focus.
“How many more of you are coming?” he asked.
“All of us,” Charlotte said. “We will all be coming in shifts to feed you.”
“Shifts?” the tadpole asked.
“That’s right,” she said. “Though we might not be enough.” Mikado narrowed his eyes.
“Don’t tell me…” he began to say. Charlotte gently patted him on the back.
“This is the only way,” she said. “It has to be with a consensual partner for it work effectively.” Mikado stood quietly. Right then, he know what had to be done. Charlotte gave him a curious look as if she heard what she was thinking.
“Oh? Have you made your decision on how to fix your little problem?” she asked. Mikado walked past her back down to 7-11. The woman smirked to herself.
“I believe you have,” she said. Charlotte vanished into thin air.
“Please give me more,” Chiyomi pleaded. “Pretty please!” She rode Ikki on the hotel of a seedy love hotel. Her boyfriend looked up at her.
“But you already took one, didn’t you?” he asked. She looked down with a glazed look in her eyes.
“It’s not enough at all,” she whimpered. “Please?” The thug boyfriend smirked and shook his head.
“Geez, you’re hopeless, Chiyomi-chan,” he said. Ikki reached over for his little baggie on the nightstand and pulled out another little pink pill. He placed it on her tongue. Chiyomi smiled back the pill and threw back her head. She let out small whimpering noises.
“You really do like those pills, don’t you?” Ikki asked.
“Yeah!” his girlfriend screamed. “It’s all Ikki-kun’s fault that I got hooked into having sex while I’m high.” She moaned as she pounded harder. Her moaned circled the ceiling.
“It’s my fault?” her boyfriend asked. “You’re just a little slut, aren’t you Chiyomi-chan?” He moaned as she went as hard as she can go. Chiyomi only moaned in response.
“Slut?” she asked. “I’m fine with being called a slut, so…” Ikki leaned up towards her face. She glazed into his eyes with a dreamy, drugged look.
“Please kiss me,” she said. “I’m close to coming.” Ikki smirked at her.
“What am I going to do with you, Chiyomi-chan?” he asked. “You always come when we French kiss.” He leaned and kissed her on the lips. He slipped his tongue into her mouth. Just as he predicted, Chiyomi reached her climax.
It doesn’t take much for Ikki to fall asleep after sex sometimes. Chiyomi on the other hand couldn’t sleep. Things seemed to be going great for her so far. But something just didn’t sit well with her. Ikki and Chiyomi had been dating for a few weeks. He showered her with attention. They would see each other two or three times a week. Every time they had sex, Ikki would get her Cherry Boy Pills. Plus, Chiyomi had just gotten into trying Molly thanks to Kururi. It was like she became a different person while she was high. The girl shivered as she thought about how frightening and exciting this felt.
Things between her and Kururi seemed fine. Chiyomi always felt so small around her. Her dear friend seemed like the perfect queen. All of the boys and even some girls loved her. Kururi knows what she wants. Meanwhile, Chiyomi always felt invisible in their group. She would either be at home or out to one corner with Aoba, not saying a word. That changed a little bit about two weeks ago. It was just her and Kururi hitting the club that night. Despite that boy dragging them out and making them go home, that was a good night. Chiyomi even got to try molly. But still, she couldn’t connect with anyone else outside drugs, partying, and sex.
Chiyomi shook her head. What is wrong with me?
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.
“Are we there yet?” Izaya asked.
“No,” the young man said. The information broker frowned.
“Have I offended you, Shuichi-kun?” he asked. The tadpole narrowed his eyes at him. Izaya put up his hands.
“Okay, okay,” he said. “Geez.” Shuichi snorted. He had better things to do with his time. Why did he have to get dragged into this headache?
“So lame,” he said under his breath.
“What did you say?” Izaya asked. The tadpole man shook his head.
The men kept walking down the street. The information broker noticed that there were suddenly no more people around. He held his knife by his side. Shuichi turned to the right down a dirt road. Izaya followed him until they came down to their destination.
“Oh,” Izaya said. He and Shuichi ended up in a graveyard. The tadpole snorted.
“Fitting in way, somehow,” he said. The men looked up when they heard someone clapping. The pale man in the white and black rooms came out from around a headstone. He held out his arms.
“Welcome, welcome,” the man said. “You finally made it.” Shuichi rolled his eyes.
“Can we just get this over with?” he asked. The man pouted like a little hurt puppy.
“Aw, where’s the fun in that?” he asked. Shuichi folded his arms across his chest. Izaya had his knife pointed out to the man. The pale man threw back his head and groaned.
“Fine, whatever,” he said. He held out his arms.
“I am Senbo, the deity of envy,” he said. “We have one hour to fight. You either have to defeat me or time runs out. Don’t worry about the headstones. We are surrounded in a barrier. Anything we do won’t effective this graveyard. See, look.” Senbo picked up a rock and tossed it towards a headstone. The rock flew back into his hand.
“See?” he asked. “Now, I will give your three questions to ask.”
“Why are you all here?” Izaya asked. Senbo smirked.
“We are here to add to the game,” he said. “The ending is coming, my friends. We might as well embrace it with open arms. Next question.”
“What is the point of all of this?” Shuichi asked. Senbo had a huge grin on his face. He held out his arms.
“This is out welcoming back into the living world!” the deity shouted. “We need our powers back. Next question.”
“What do you know about the Diss Program?” Izaya asked.
“No,” Senbo said. He reached into his coat and pulled out his knives. “Enough with the games. We fight now.” Shuichi had his needles ready with the information broker had more knives.
Izaya was used to dodging human opponents. He could dodge them with ease. But this was not a human he was dealing with.
“Too slow,” Senbo said behind him. Izaya whipped around with big eyes.
The information broker fell down to the ground. He rolled out of the way in time. Senbo laughed aloud.
“Get up, boy!” he shouted. Izaya gritted his teeth and jumped to his feet. He chucked his first knife and his opponent. Senbo jumped out of the way in time.
“Is that the best you can do?” he asked. He came out the information broker with his knives again. This time, Izaya was able to dodge in time. Meanwhile, Shuichi pulled out his needles and threw them at Senbo. The deity was able the fend them off with his knife.
“Come on, now!” he shouted. “You can do better than that! You are starting to bore me!” Izaya sailed towards him with two knives. Senbo jumped out the way in time. Shuichi clinched his teeth. They couldn’t keep this going. If there was some way to…
Izaya reached into his jacket and pulled out a small pair of silver scissors. Shuichi looked up in time to see the information broker throw them right at his target.
“By the way, here,” Shuichi said. He handed Izaya the scissors. The information broker looked down at the tool.
“What is this for?” he asked.
“This will help you win,” the tadpole said. “It’s made from Purgatory itself. Just take it.” The information broker shrugged and took the scissors. He stashed them in his coat.
Senbo turned his head. He smirked as he shook his head.
“Really?” he asked. “You might as well just give up and stop wasting my—”
The tip of the scissors went right into his throat. Izaya smirked as Senbo slowly reached up to feel the cold metal. The deity slowly fell to his knees, gasping. Blood started pouring from the wound. Izaya didn’t say a word as his opponent fell to the ground. He smirked to himself. Somehow, a deity dying in a graveyard felt so fitting.
“Heh,” Izaya said. “Looks like this match is mine.” But then, he looked up when he heard low groaning. Senbo pulled out the scissors and leapt to his feet.
“You actually managed to make this fight more interesting,” he said. “Well done. Well done.” The deity clapped aloud.
“Well done! Well done!” he shouted. Shuichi tilted his head with a confused look on his face. Senbo bowed with grace.
“Goodbye,” the deity said. He floated up into the air and disappeared. Shuichi threw his hands up in the air.
“Welp, I’m done here,” he said. “I hope that I never have to see your face again. Bye.” The tadpole teleported away, leaving Izaya all alone.
When Mari woke up around noon, she made another mistake. She just had to go on her laptop and take a look at the last point where she worked on the Diss Project. The programmer didn’t know why she was doing this. Maybe instinct compelled her to do this.
When she did, the color drained from her face.
“Oh no…” she murmured. Suddenly, the situation grew even worse.
Meanwhile, Izaya walked back home alone with his phone in his hand.