Halo Five: Concupiscence:
She looked like a goddess.
Her body was positioned on her bed of silk red sheets. Whoever killed her took the time to wash and dress her. Short red silk teddy with black lace. Hair spread out on her pillow. Make-up done up with a professional hand. Arms out to form a triangle with her upper body. Mouth slightly opened. Legs slightly pushed apart. Cherry blossom and rose petals scattered all over along with her sex toys. Candles lit at her feet.
She was the most beautiful sex worker in the soapland.
The police couldn’t figure it out. Her clients all loved her. No enemies either.
“Did she have any obsessed stalkers as clients?” the detective asked the owner of the soapland.
“We usually keep those types out,” the madam said.
“Did she seem worried or anxious prior to death?”
“No. Mirai always came to work cheerful as ever. Last night was no different.”
“Any clients that seemed out of the ordinary? From what you’re used to, I mean.”
“No. Though, there was one girl who was looking to use the phone to get a ride. I told her this wasn’t a taxi service. She didn’t say a word. She just walked out of her room.”
“Can we check the footage?”
“Yes, follow me.” The madam led the detective into the building taped off by police. Everyone stood outside watching as the police tried to shoe them away.
The texts wouldn’t stop coming. Mikado thought about turning off his phone altogether. He did at one point but the texts still didn’t stop. They all said the same thing.
“I am waiting for you.”
Mikado had a good guess as to where this was from.
However, it came to his attention that he wasn’t alone anymore.
“What you want, Cheri-san?” the tadpole boy asked. He turned to his head. The curvy light purple-haired madam sat on his futon, smirking at him.
“How did you know it was me, darling?” she asked.
“I could smell your perfume,” Mikado said.
“Aw, I’m so flattered that you remember,” Cheri said. The tadpole frowned at her.
“What do you want?” he asked again. She crawled over and looked at his phone.
“Oof, she’s persistent, isn’t she?” the madam asked. Mikado frowned as he puffed up his cheeks.
“Do you want to fight her?” Cheri asked.
“No,” the boy said, wrinkling his nose. The madam frowned as she gave him a sympathetic look. She took him by the hands.
“You can’t get away from her,” Cheri said in a low voice.
“What do you mean?” Mikado asked. She pulled his hands towards her chest. Already, he didn’t like where this was heading.
“There is no way out of it,” Cheri told him. He started to speak but she put up her hand to stop him.
“She’s not going to stop chasing you,” she said. “And darling, you can’t call up your little friends in the Dollars either.” Mikado’s jaw locked up closed.
“I’m so sorry, darling,” Cheri told him. “Once you are marked, you can’t avoid it. However, there is a way to win.” Mikado lifted his head.
“How?” he asked.
“You’re going to need a weapon to fight,” the madam said. “Here.” Cheri reached behind her and pulled out a long staff from thin air. An odd look came over Mikado’s face.
“That’s it?” he asked.
“Uh-huh,” Cheri said.
“But… why does it look so… phallic?” Mikado asked. The ghostly madam looked at the deep pink dildo-shaped staff. Cheri smiled like a drunk as she leaned into the tadpole boy’s ear.
“Don’t ask stupid questions,” she whispered. The madam pulled back. “Now, listen closely. This staff is blessed with all of the girls that love you in Purgatory. I had Victor-sensei craft it by hand.” She tried not to laugh.
“You should’ve seen his when I showed him the design,” Cheri said. Mikado blinked at her.
“But why does it look like a giant dildo?” he asked as his cheeks grew redder.
“Isn’t it obvious?” she asked.
“No…” the tadpole boy said. The madam sighed.
“You really don’t remember all it, do you?” she asked. Mikado shook his head.
“Whew,” she said. “Should’ve guessed as much. What all do you remember?” That question alone sparked up more memories in his head. The color started to drain from his face.
“I’ve fought her before, haven’t I?” he asked.
“Yes,” Cheri said. Mikado sat up straight with a serious look on his face.
“Tell me what to do,” he said. Cheri smiled and put her hands on his.
“It’s a good thing you are a quick learner now,” she said.
It was a good thing that Keiichi had help. Celty got into his mission on accident.
-Five Months Earlier-
Keiichi’s phone rang on his desk. He didn’t recognize the number at first.
“Hello?” the boy asked. Whimpering came through the other line. Keiichi stared at his phone with a confused look.
“Hello?” he asked. “Who is this? Hello? Hello?” More whimpering and sobbing came through. Suddenly, Keiichi froze.
Wait a minute. I know what voice!
“Nanami-sensei?” Keiichi asked. “Is that you? Sensei? Sensei?” More whimpering came before the other line disconnected. Keiichi stared at his phone. It didn’t take him long to get up and run out of the apartment.
It’s hard to look for someone and help them if you don’t where they are. Lucky for Keiichi, he had a clue. Not a good one, mind you. He didn’t have time to worry about that now. The boy needed to get to Nanami before it was too late.
Keiichi looked around and wondered if it would be better to call a cab or not. Would he even be able to make it in time? The boy turned his head when he heard a motorcycle going by. Celty was passing by. On an impulse, Keiichi stuck up his hands in the air.
“Hey!” he shouted. “Hey!” The motorcycle pulled to a stop. Keiichi jumped onto Shooter without saying a word.
“Hurry! We have to get to East Village Apartments!” he shouted. Celty looked confused with her non-existent face behind her helmet.
[What?! Who are you?!] she typed on her PDA.
“Don’t ask questions!” Keiichi yelled. “Just go! We don’t have much time!” Celty felt compelled to comply. Shooter took off ripping through the streets. He could’ve left a trail of fire in his wake.
They managed to find the apartment complex. Keiichi hopped off and raced towards the stairs. Celty took off after him in curiosity. They made it to apartment number 18. To his surprise, the door was unlocked. Keiichi pushed it wide open.
“Nanami-sensei!” he shouted. Nothing looked out of place in the living room. Keiichi’s stomach dropped as he tried not to think of the worst.
“Nanami-sensei?” he asked again. The college boy took slow steps inside. That’s when he heard the water running.
“Sensei!” he shouted. Keiichi ran after the sound. Celty followed behind. They found Nanami-sensei in the bathroom slumped over her tub. The bathtub was starting to overflow. Both of her wrists were cut.
“Sensei!” Keiichi yelled as he ran over to her. He pulled her out of the water in time. He pressed two fingers to her neck. Keiichi sat back and breathed out.
“She’s still alive,” he said. “We made it in time.” Celty used her shadows to bandage up the wounds. Keiichi pulled out his phone and called an ambulance.
Hours later, Nanami woke up in the hospital. She had a confused look on her face.
“Huh? Where am I?” the teacher mumbled.
“The hospital,” a voice spoke up. Nanami whipped her head around. Keiichi and Celty sat by her bed. The teacher blinked at first.
“Who are you?” she asked.
“It’s me, Keiichi,” the college boy said. “You called me yesterday crying and sobbing. And you called me again a while back in the middle of the night.” Nanami nodded as if in a daze.
“Uh-huh…” she mumbled. “And who is she?” Celty leaned forward and started typing.
[My name is Celty. We found you in your apartment. Do you remember what happened?] she typed. The teacher froze. The memories from the previous evening filled her head. Nanami looked down at her bandaged up wrists. Tears landed on them as she started to tremble.
“Why… why did you save me?” Nanami asked. She broke sobbing. Keiichi tried to shush her as he rubbed her back.
“Shhh, it’s okay,” he whispered. “It’s okay. It’s okay.” It was then that Celty had to at least stay near Nanami through whatever she was going through.
Keiichi took his phone out of Shirley’s hand and dialed up a familiar number.
“Hey, Celty,” he said. “I’m going to need your help again.” The college boy nervously laughed as he rubbed the back of his head.
Cheri had worked hard to make sure Mikado would win this fight. He wouldn’t be allowed to back out of this. It wouldn’t matter if he won or not. The Tandeki group would be the real winners.
First came the weapon.
Cheri walked up to Room 508. She smiled and knocked on the door.
“Coming!” a muffled voice shouted. She could hear crashing around from inside. Cheri took a step back as the door opened. A young-looking man with messy dark brown hair poked his head outside.
“Yeah?” he asked. Cheri clapped her hands together.
“Sensei!” she said. “So good to see you.” The man rolled his eyes.
“What do you want, Cheri?” he asked. The madam had a serious look on her face.
“I need a weapon,” she said. The doctor didn’t say a word. He ducked into his room. Cheri followed behind.
“What type of weapon do you need?” the doctor asked.
“A spear,” she said. The doctor paused and turned around.
“What kind of spear?” he asked with an eyebrow raised. Cheri didn’t miss a point when she described exactly what she wanted. The doctor’s face grew pale.
“You want me to do what?!” he shouted.
“Please?” the madam asked.
“Aw hell no!” the doctor shouted.
“Come on, Victor!” Cheri said. “You know who this is for!”
“Well, yeah,” Victor said. “But why does it have to be that shape?!”
“You know who he’s going up against, do you?”
The doctor folded his arms across his chest. “No!” Cheri gave him a little pout.
“Please?” she pleaded. Victor frowned as he looked away. He already knew what was going to happen but he wasn’t going to give it to her right away.
But Cheri was not deterred.
It took the doctor about two weeks to craft the staff. Just before she went to see Mikado, Cheri stopped by Victor’s room. She knocked on the door. The madam stepped back as the door opened. The doctor held out the staff with gloved hands. Cheri’s eyes lit up brighter than diamonds.
“It’s perfect!” she shouted. The madam clapped her hands together. “I knew I could count on you!”
“Touch it,” Victor said.
“Hm?” Cheri asked.
“You have to touch it to power it up,” he explained.
“Ah!” the madam said. She took hold of the deep pink staff with two hands. A quick jolt ran through her body, making her toes curl. She let off a small gasp before letting go. Cheri panted as she turned to the doctor.
“What was that?” she asked, flushed. The doctor gave her a sly smile.
“You just fed the staff some of your energy,” he said. “It didn’t take too much. You just made it little bit stronger.” Cheri gave him a curious look.
“So the more people who touch it, the stronger it gets?” she asked.
“That’s right,” Victor said. The madam’s lips curved into a hungry smile.
“That’s just what I needed to know, doc,” she said.
It took Cheri days to get all of the girls in Purgatory to touch the staff. Not just her kittens either. She went room by room to all of the girls who adored Mikado. Cheri even went as far as to go down to Limbo at Maria’s bar to have those women touch the staff.
With each pair of hands on the wood, the weapon got stronger. Still, Cheri needed one more set of hands to make it powerful. She knew the right place to get it.
The ghostly madam appeared at Anri’s door on Sunday evening. She started to knock but paused. There was a faster way to do this. Cheri vanished into thin air.
“Hey Anri!” she called in a sing-songy voice. The girl whipped around with a yelp. Cheri stood behind her in the kitchen, grinning. She got a good look at the girl’s petite and busty figure. So it was true. Mikado did like girls with big breasts. Cheri stored that away in the back of her mind for later.
“Aw don’t be like that,” she said. “I’m not here to hurt you. I’m here to talk.” Anri looked so confused.
“About what?” she asked. Cheri gave her a serious look.
“It’s about Mikado,” she said. “He’s in danger.”
“What?” the teenaged girl asked. Cheri put up her hand to stop her for a moment.
“He is going to fight a really strong woman,” the madam said. “He isn’t allowed to have any one to back him up. He has to do this alone. But there is still a way to help him.”
“How?” Anri asked. Cheri reached behind her from the thin air and pulled out the staff. She shoved it towards to the girl.
“Touch it,” she commanded. “You have to bless it for him. Give him your strength.” Anri stared at the large phallic weapon in from of her. A strange warmth filled her chest. As if it a trance, her hands itched towards the staff.
No! Don’t do it! Stop! Saika screamed inside of her. Cheri cut the girl’s chest a cold glare.
Shut the fuck up!
Saika instantly went quiet. Anri reached forward and grabbed the staff. A high shock ran through her body. Her cheeks flushed red as she started to tremble. Her toes curled as she gasped. Anri quickly dropped the weapon. Cheri caught the staff in time.
“W-W-What was that?” Anri asked, still trembling. The madam put her arm around her, gently shushing her.
“It was you sending him your love to help him through this fight,” she whispered. “Mikado-kun will be grateful to you for helping him. You will be fine in a few moments. Here, let me help you lay down.” She gently carried the girl off to her living room. Anri stared wide-eyed the whole time.
Meanwhile, Mikado got another text as he came home. Already, he had an idea who this was from.
Against his better judgement, the tadpole boy opened the text. His stomach turned as he read that brief message. All of the other texts from her had been blank. But this one was different because of the actual message attached to it.
“I am looking forward to our fight, baby. You better not stand me up. If it’s one thing hate more than anything is being stood up! I will hunt you down if you do.”
It was then Mikado knew that he had no choice but to fight.
Mikado remembered all of Cheri’s directions down to a tee.
“It will be on her terms. Everything from the location to the rules. The only thing you have control over is the weapon.”
“But I don’t have any fighting skills,” Mikado told her on Sunday night. Cheri gently took his hands.
“You are more capable than you think,” she said. “Just remember everything I have to say.”
Back in present day, Mikado pulled out his phone.
“She will send you the coordinates to the battle ground. No directions. No map. You are smart enough to figure out where you need to be.”
He pulled up the text on his phone. Sure enough, Yokubo had sent him coordinates to the battlefield. It didn’t take long for him to figure out where to go.
Mikado ended up at an old entry to an abandoned subway station. A confused look came over his face. He could feel the pulsing waves come from downstairs. Too late to turn back now. The tadpole boy took a breath and walked down the stairs.
He could feel the pulsing energy around his body. Mikado gulped as he kept walking. Each step made his stomach drop. Suddenly, a strange warmth filled his chest. Yokubo’s perfume made his nose tickle. Just a little bit longer.
Mikado finally made it to the bottom step. Yokubo stood across the platform. Her lips curved into a hungry smile when she spotted him. Her mismatched eyes lit up as she clapped her hands together.
“You made it!” Yokubo shouted. Mikado frowned, unimpressed. She reached behind her and pulled out her staff from thin air. The tadpole boy stared at the top of the black curved blade. The designs on the surface seemed to be singing.
“We have one hour to battle,” she said. “We can only use our weapons. The duel will only end if one of us wins or time runs out. And don’t worry about falling on the tracks, we are in a barrier. See?” Yokubo pulled out a coin and threw it towards a train rushing by. The yen piece hit the wall and bounced back into her hand. Yokubo smiled at her opponent.
“Any questions? You are only allowed three before we begin,” she said. Mikado stood up straight.
“Who are you really?” he asked. Yokubo giggled. Such a saccharine sound made him want to vomit.
“You already know who I am. But I will humor you and tell you,” she said. She flipped back her long black hair.
“I am the deity of lust,” Yokubo said with grace in her voice. “At your service.” The pale curvaceous woman bowed.
“Two more questions,” she said.
“Okay…” Mikado said. “Why me?” Yokubo licked her lips.
“Your energy drew me to you,” she said. The woman held up her hand before Mikado could waste his final question. “Some of you have that energy that just draws us deities to you. The gates being opened has made us that much stronger. As for you and me, yours just happened to be the first one that floated through my body as I woke up.”
“Last question,” Yokubo said. Mikado’s shoulders stiffened up.
“What happens if either of us wins?” he asked. Yokubo chuckled again. There she went with that laughter again.
“Nothing,” she said. Mikado had a confused look on his face. The pale woman held up her hand again.
“It doesn’t matter who wins or loses,” Yokubo said. “We just have to fight to free up my full powers.” She winked and blew a kiss at him.
“But, enough of the chatter,” Yokubo said. She drew her staff forward, curved blade pointed at her target.
“Show me your weapon!” she shouted. Mikado had a nervous look on his face.
“Come on!” Yokubo said. “Don’t keep me waiting. I don’t like teasing with you pay off!” Mikado sighed and dropped his shoulders.
“I don’t want to have to carry this around with me!” he complained to Cheri on Sunday evening.
“You can keep this in the space like I do,” the madam said. “Try it.” The tadpole frowned as he reached behind him. To his surprise, his fingers touched wood.
“Wait…” he said. Mikado pulled out his staff from thin air and held it out in front of him. His jaw dropped.
“Whoa!” he said. Mikado turned to Cheri.
“How is this even possible?” he asked. She smiled and tapped the side of her nose.
“Just a little special magic,” the madam said. “You can just pull out the staff when you’re ready.”
“So I won’t have to carry it around in public?” Mikado asked.
“No,” Cheri said.
“Thank you for that that,” he said, bowing. The madam only smiled to herself.
“Anything to help out my beloved pet,” she said.
Back in present day, Mikado reached behind him and pulled out that phallic-looking staff out of thin air. Yokubo whistled as her mismatched eyes lit up.
“Oh!” she said. Her smooth voice dripping with honey.
She made the first move. Was it possible for such a beauty to move so quick? Her long black dress clung to every graceful curve of her body as she sailed forward. The dull atmosphere of the train station couldn’t even touch her skin and hair. Her breasts stayed in place behind her dress. Even her bladed staff looked elegant next to her.
Despite not being able to take his eyes off the blade or her body, Mikado was able to move out of the way in time as if on instinct. Before he realized what he was doing, he already had his staff in front of him as a staff. Yokubo smirked at him.
“Not bad,” she said. The pale woman leapt back and went in for another thrust. This time, she let out a scream meant for the bedroom. Mikado started to breathe heavily as he put up his staff for blocking. This time, she was so close when they made contact. The seductively vile woman leaned in for a kiss. This was quicker than the knee to the stomach she gave him.
It was a good thing he couldn’t feel that.
However, Mikado was knocked backwards to the ground. He still wouldn’t let go of the staff. The boy managed to take a swing to her flat abdomen. Yokubo tumbled back as the breath caught in her throat. Mikado ran forward with his staff.
The woman of lust giggled to herself. When was the last time she had this much fun? In truth, she was worried that Mikado was going to be a weakling. At first glance, he didn’t look so special as she had sensed underground. But since that first blow, she was proved wrong.
Her laughter grew louder.
“My, my, my,” she said. “I never thought this fight was going to be so much fun!” The woman’s laughter got louder. That saccharine laugh most Mikado want to vomit. He ran forward with his staff. Yokubo looked as Mikado aimed his staff at her chest. Part of her wanted to embrace his deep pink staff. But instinct wasn’t going to let her give in just yet. She jumped up and took another jab to the stomach. Yokubo let out a low moan as she threw back her head.
“Oh!” she cried. Mikado panted harder as sweat formed on his brow. How many rounds were they going to go? The pale seductive woman rose to her feet and licked her lips.
“I could do this all night if we could!” she shouted. Yokubo rushed in for another kiss. She moved too quick for Mikado to block her. A dainty foot kicked his own feet out from under him. He used his staff to break his fall. Not so gracefully, though.
“Aw, you’re so cute,” Yokubo said. “Too cute.” She took a swing with her blade. A cut from his cheek to chest. Blood slowly ran down the skin. It was a good thing Mikado couldn’t feel it. His opponent frowned.
“How come you’re not screaming in pain?” she asked. By now, the tadpole had no emotion on his face.
“I can’t feel it,” he said. An intrigued look came across the elegant woman’s face.
“Oh,” she said. “So you have no limits?”
“No,” Mikado said. The woman licked her lips as her eyes lit up.
“Well, that makes things more interesting, doesn’t it?” she asked.
“Huh?” the tadpole boy asked. Yokubo smirked as she rushed forward and tackled him by the waist.
Both ended up on the ground. She straddled him and started hitting him about the face and neck. The look on her face was one of a hungry animal. Her mismatched eyes were drowned in her namesake. The woman had her mouth slightly open with her tongue slipping out. Her thick thighs had an irony grip on his body. Did her body have to be so close to his? Her cinnamon mixed with fruit perfume choked him. The overpowering smell made his head spin. Mikado tried not to stare at her large breasts as she wailed on him. He could feel her fists making impact but no pain in his face. It didn’t help that she moaned with each blow.
“Come on!” Yokubo said as she bucked her hips back and forth. “Fight back! Fight back! Fight back!” She moaned aloud and threw back her head. Her words had a hypnotic spell on his mind. Mikado used the strength that he forgot he had to push her off.
“Oh!” Yokubo cried in pleasure. “Hit me again, Big Boy!” Mikado jumped on her on impulse. It was his turn to straddle her. By now, he was lost in his own passionate fever to continue this fight.
Mikado’s eyes were glazed over as he started wailing on the woman. He was breathing so heavily. His fists landed on her face, neck, and collar bones. The tadpole boy made animalistic noises with each blow. His own hips bucked back and forth. Mikado wasn’t aware of how strong he was. It didn’t matter to him. He just wanted this battle to end. Yokubo moaned in pleasure as she threw back her head.
“Oh yes! Give me more! More! More! Hit me as hard as you can, big boy!” she shouted the whole time. All of that compelled her opponent to hit her faster. Groans escaped from his lips.
“Fuck!” Mikado let out. Yokubo laughed aloud. The boy wrapped his hands around her throat. A series of choking and moaning managed to come out of her mouth. Mikado bucked his hips faster. This wasn’t going to kill her but he needed some sort of release from this duel. If he could just get her to lose consciousness long enough for him to escape…
A vice like grip wrapped around his wrists. Yokubo started pushing back.
“What the-?” Mikado asked. His opponent lifted her head and managed to sneak in a bite on his right forearm. It was a good thing that he still couldn’t feel pain. She used her leg to push him off. Mikado ended up trembling backwards. He lay on the ground, panting. Yokubo lifted her head, smirking. Her hair was spread out all around her. She looked like a rag doll all laid out.
“Looks like time is up, my dear,” she said. A crooked smile of afterglow spread across her smile.
“No!” Mikado said in between breaths. She gave him an odd look.
“Oh?” the woman asked.
“This isn’t over yet!” he said. “You cheated!”
“Cheated?” she asked. Mikado held up his bare arm.
“You bit me!” he hissed. She shrugged her dainty shoulders.
“That’s just how it is,” the woman said. Yokubo pushed herself to sitting up. She broke into a huge grin.
“Anyway, I had such a great time,” the woman said. “If you were this much fun in a fight, I can’t wait to see how much fun you are in bed.” She winked and blew a kiss at him. Mikado gritted his teeth. She winked and blew a kiss at him. Mikado gritted his teeth. He wobbled as he tried to push himself to stand up but he toppled over. Yokubo wagged her finger as she shook her head.
“Tsk-tsk,” she said. “You shouldn’t overdo it. There’s going to be plenty of time for us to fight and play again.”
“Never,” Mikado hissed. Yokubo giggled.
“Now, now,” she said. “You don’t have to be so cruel. I do enjoy one-offs. But you. You’re too much fun to give up. After all, I left a little piece of myself to remember me by.” Mikado gave her a strange look.
“What do you mean by that?” he asked. Yokubo rose to her feet.
“You will see in all due time,” she told him. The pale woman blew him a kiss.
“Goodbye,” Yokubo cooed. Then she vanished into thin air. Mikado still frowned at the empty space. A lingering sense of unease refused to leave him. He made a mental note to try and avoid her the next time.
Mikado shuddered as he pulled himself to his feet. The staff was already stashed away into the thin air behind him. He dragged himself up the stairs. By the time Mikado reached the top, it was starting to be daylight.