Halo Eight: Okui:
“Thank you, gentlemen,” Kitano said. He held out the fancy brown and silver flask in the plastic bag in front of his face.
“He didn’t leave too much of a mess, did he?” the therapist asked.
“A little bit,” Osamu said. “We got cleaned it up though.”
“We collected a sample for later,” Daichi added.
“Good, good,” Kitano said. He walked over to his altar and opened the bag. The flask landed on its rightful spot. The table started to shake for twenty seconds before going still. The therapist smirked.
“Five more to go,” he said.
“We’re heading back to work now,” Daichi said.
“Alright,” Kitano said. The younger men bowed and walked out of his office. The therapist pulled out his phone.
“Is she ready to make the next kill?” he asked. The therapist took a listen. “Good. We can begin.”
Walker, Erika, and the three tadpoles got the coordinates in text.
“What is this?” Walker asked.
“These are coordinates to where we are supposed to fight,” Anzu said. The otaku looked up at her.
“I don’t really know the exact place it is,” she said.
“We have to go then!” Walker was quick to say.
“Wait!” Sota shouted with his hands up. Everyone turned their heads.
“Wait,” he said again. “What all can we do?” He turned to Yukari. The girly tadpole looked up.
“I can see people’s dreams,” he said. “I read them too.”
“You?” Sota asked Anzu. The other tadpole stood up straight.
“I can make weapons out of my blood,” she said. “Look.” Anzu reached into her black shoulder bag. She pulled out a knife and held out her left air.
“That’s okay,” Sota said, grabbing her wrist. “We got it.”
“Aw, I wanted to see her do it!” Erika said with a pout.
“I wanted to see it too!” Walker shouted.
“Maybe later,” Sota said. “It would be better to use that as a last resort.”
“What can you do?” Yukari asked. Sota swung around to Erika and Walker.
“Could one of you punch me in the face?” he asked. Anzu tilted her head.
“What are you doing?” he asked. Sota put up his hand.
“Anzu, please,” he said. Erika and Walker looked at each other. They shrugged.
“I’ll do it,” Walker said. He walked over and punched Sota in the jaw. The tadpole smiled the whole time. The otaku fell back to the ground on his ass.
“Yumacchi!” Erika shouted. Walker rubbed his jaw looking confused.
“Uh… what just happened?” he asked. Sota stood over him, grinning.
“Anyone who tries to beat me up will have the pain go back on them,” he bragged.
“Whoa!” Walker said.
“What do you guys have?” Sota asked. “Weapons-wise, I mean?” Erika and Walker grinned as they showed him their impromptu arsenal. Yukari whistled.
“Dude!” he said. Erika and Walker snickered. Sota clapped his hands together.
“Okay,” he said. “Looks like we are all set.” The boy turned towards the direction they needed to go.
“Let’s get this over with,” Sota said. He hopped onto his scooter and rode off. The other four followed behind. What else could they do- again?
“I love violence.” She took in a deep breath. Her body shivered. “I don’t know what it is. But something thrills me about it. I… I almost, no, I do get off on it.”
Have you masturbated to the thought of violence before?
She shook her head. “I have never tried. Whenever I have sexual thoughts, I hear that bitch’s voice in the back of my head.” She shudders at the thought.
How have you been lately?
She sighed. “Not much. The come down is the worst. I’m antsy. It makes me want to go out and attack someone again.”
Remember why you’re here.
She took in another breath. “Yeah, yeah. Let me ask you something.”
She shifted into place. “Is this supposed to cure me or something?”
Do you want to get better?
She shook her head. “No.”
Then what do you want personally?
She leaned forward on the couch. “Freedom.”
The tape stops at this point.
The group followed the coordinates on their phones.
“It’s up here,” Erika said. Everybody sped up. They reached their final destination. The tadpoles had confused looks on their faces.
“A tunnel?” Anzu asked. Walker scratched his head.
“Has this always been here?” he asked. Yukari started walking forward as if in a daze.
“Wait!” Anzu shouted. Erika and Walker followed behind. Same with Sota.
“You guys!” the blood tadpole said. “Come on!” She dropped her shoulders and followed behind. What choice did she have after all? Chills ran down her arm as she started walking.
“How is everyone’s phones?” Erika asked. “I have ninety-four percent of battery left.”
“Ninety-seven percent,” Anzu said.
“Eight-five,” Walker said.
“Ninety-two,” Yukari said.
“Seventy-eight,” Sota said. Erika took a breath.
“Right,” she said. The five of them walked in silence with phones and weapons at their sides.
“I think this tunnel splits off into two directions,” Yukari said. “What do we do then?”
“Split off, I guess,” Sota said.
“Are you crazy? No!” Anzu said. “That’s how people get picked off in horror movies.” The boys turned their heads. The blood tadpole shrugged.
“Not that I would know,” she said under her breath. Walker stopped in his tracks. Erika turned her head.
“What is it Yumacchi?” she asked.
“Shhh,” he whispered. “Did you hear that?” Everyone took a listen.
Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip.
Anzu froze when she heard a raspy laugh. She whipped around, whipping out her bamboo sword.
“Gah!” she shouted. Okui stood, grinning like a hungry cat.
“Found you!” he said. Everyone jumped into the attack. Their opponent clapped his puss and blood-covered hands.
“Yay!” he said. “Now we can begin!”
“It’s just as I thought,” Vanessa said. She and Miiko stared at the computer screen.
“Now what?” Miiko asked. The manager took a step back and frowned.
“This is worse than I thought,” she said. Vanessa took a moment to think.
“We are really going to have to up the game,” she said. “Hang on.” She walked over to her desk and picked up the phone.
“Sensei,” Vanessa said. “Do you have the weapon ready?” There came a pause on the phone. Vanessa listened with a frown.
“Things have become urgent,” she said. “We have to act now.” There came another pause. Vanessa took a breath.
“Thank you,” she said. “We will get it to them right now.” The manager hung up the phone. Miiko stared at her with big eyes.
“How are we going to get the weapon to them in time?” she asked. “The fight is already about to start in the tunnels.” Vanessa lowered the phone by her side.
“I have a way,” she said.
Okui waved his hand in the air. Grey waves of air covered the tunnel walls. Erika and Walker winced at the high-pitched whistle around them. The tadpoles didn’t break their gaze.
“There,” the tall man said. “Now we can fight with no distractions.” He broke into a huge grin. “We’ve got one hour to fight. We can only use weapons. Our duel will end when either of us wins or time runs out.” The man in his dirty waiter suit took a bow.
“Allow me to formally introduce myself. I am Okui, deity of gluttony!” he said. “A pleasure to meet you—again.” What was with this guy? Okui looked up as a little bit of blood trickled from his mouth.
“I will give you all three questions to ask before we fight,” he said. Sota got off of his scooter.
“Why are you here?” he asked. Okui chuckled.
“The End of Days is coming,” he said. “You’ll know when you see it. Next question.”
“How many more of you are there?” Yukari asked.
“Seven in total,” Okui said. “Sister Yokubo is already here. The other five will be coming shortly. I don’t know who their targets will be. Final question.”
“We can go all out for this fight, can we?” Walker asked. Okui’s teeth turned razor-sharp as he grinned.
“Why yes!” he said. The man reached his hands above his head. Okui grinned as he drew out two long swords.
“Time to fight!” he shouted. The giant man rushed forward with a beast-like roar. The party all dodged. Walker pulled out his lighter and hairspray.
“Eat this!” he shouted. Okui turned his head. Walker pressed down the cap and lit up.
“Hey!” the tadpoles yelled as they dove out of the way. Okui’s jaw came down to his feet. The flames all disappeared into his mouth. Anzu cringed at the sight. Walker wouldn’t let up with spraying the big man. Drips of blood and puss landed on the ground. Neither side was going to let up.
“Yumacchi, I don’t think that’s working!” Erika shouted. Her fellow otaku didn’t seem to hear her. It didn’t take long for him to run out of spray. Okui closed his mouth. Smoke came out of his nostrils as he grinned.
“Got any more flames?” he asked. Walker reached into his backpack.
Okui whipped his head around. Erika had her stun gun to his stomach. The man laughed to himself. He used his elbow to knock her to the ground.
“Erika!” Walker shouted as she fell back onto the ground. Erika clenched her teeth as she landed. She looked up to see Okui smirking at her.
“That was a good attempt,” he said. “I will give you that.” Anzu ran forward with her bamboo sword. She let out a loud battle cry. The deity snickered.
The tip of Anzu’s sword fell to the ground with a dull thud. Sota turned his head.
The fuck you do that for?
I just acted on impulse. I’m sorry.
Sota shrugged. I don’t know! He looked up in time to see Okui charging towards Walker. The pain transfer tadpole ran in the way seconds before impact. The deity had a long cut going downwards across his chest. Dark red blood oozed from the cut. Okui grinned wildly.
“Not bad,” he said. “We’re getting somewhere! Much better than last time!” The deity charged again.
“If you’re going to do something, act fast!” Sota shouted.
“Right!” Walker shouted. He pulled out another spray bottle.
“That’s not going to work!” Sota yelled.
“I know,” Walker said. Okui raised his eyebrow. The otaku smirked and lit up. Another wave of fire shot out towards his opponent. The deity opened his huge jaw. Sota happened to catch a glance behind him. Anzu held out her arm with a knife in her hand. She made a deep cut from wrist to middle of forearm. The tadpole reached into the cut and pulled out a large blood-covered blade. She panted as drops of blood hit the ground. They turned into little knives.
“Sweet!” Erika said. She grabbed two of them off the ground. Yukari picked two more knives too. Anzu raised her sword above her head. She let out a loud scream. Okui turned his head. The blade came down upon his head. Erika and Yukari stabbed him in the stomach. Walker added more fire to Okui’s back. Sota looked around. He stopped more knives on the ground. The pain transfer tadpole picked them up and ran forward. His blades went into the deity’s side. All five of them were swings and stabbing. Okui broke into laughter.
“Yes! Yes! Yes!” he shouted. “This is what I am talking about!” It didn’t take long for Walker’s fire to die out. He was about to reach in for another can when something poked him in the back. Walker turned his head.
“Hm?” he asked. Something long and large was coming out of the air. It looked like a large Louisville Slugger bat. Walker’s eyes opened wide as spikes began to all over it.
“Whoa!” he shouted. Walker grabbed onto the handle. Anzu panted as she looked up. Erika stole a glance at her follow otaku looking at his new weapon.
“When did you get a bat, Yumacchi?” she asked. The deity of gluttony turned his head.
“Eat this!” Walker yelled.
The spike made contact with Okui’s face. Blood and puss splattered everywhere. Walker yanked back the bat. He took a step back and laughed.
“How is that?” he asked aloud. Everyone else drew back. Okui reached up and felt along the holes in his face. More blood and puss dribbled down his cheek and chin. Walker could see the teeth through the holes as Okui grinned.
“Not bad,” he said. Walker took another swing at him. This time, Okui bent backward.
Walker took another swing. Sota felt the knives crumbling in his hands. Blood streaked his fingers. He winced as he tried to wipe off the blood.
“Yuck,” he mumbled to himself. Yukari seemed to have the same problem as well. Same with Erika. Anzu’s blade was starting to crack and crumble. Just by looking into her eyes, Sota could tell what was on her mind.
Anzu lifted her head. But…
I don’t want you to lose too much blood. Hold back some, would ya? He saw her frowning as she put away her knife.
Walker took another swing with his bat.
He managed to give the deity another blow to the head. This time, he managed to pull away some of the scalp. A cold smirk came across Walker’s face.
“I hadn’t had this much fun since I was in the Blue Squares!” he shouted. A little bit worrying but Okui did give them permission to go all out. Erika whipped out her stun gun again to aid in the final blow. The otaku pair let out a battle cry.
Okui grinned with missing teeth as he fell back to the ground. The shield around the tunnel shook as a result. Walker, Erika, Yukari, Sota, and Anzu walked over for a closer look.
“Is he… dead?” Yukari asked.
“I don’t think so,” Anzu said. Walker poked Okui with the handle end of his bat. The deity stuck up his right hand in a V-sign.
“You won,” Okui managed to say. “Well done. Well done!” He leapt to his feet and saluted. His wounds were already starting to heal. Okui clapped and cheered aloud.
“Yay! Yay!” he cheered. His opponents had confused looks on their faces. The deity took a bow.
“Good night all,” he said. Okui vanished into thin air. The group just stood there in silence.
“What was the point of that?!” Sota asked. No one had an answer.
The next victim was found sitting up in her kitchen. She was heavyset woman in her late twenties. In fact, she was a body-positive icon on YouTube. Vomit and saliva were dried around her mouth. Her eyes looked clouded over. She only had on a bright pink lacy apron. The set-up around her was even weirder.
Her table was covered in little cakes. These didn’t look cheap either. They had to come from the high-quality bakeries around Tokyo. A bottle of red wine sat by the body with a filled glass. Same with a small bouquet of dried red roses. The light bulbs had been removed from the kitchen. The detective took pictures of the scene.
“No sign of forced entry,” his partner said.
“So the victim might have known her killer?” the detective asked.
“Seems that way,” his partner said. The detective frowned. Four bodies and one attempted murder. None of the victims had anything in common. A yakuza wife, a sex worker, and a YouTuber. Why these women? Why was this person or these people doing all of this? The detective rubbed his forehead.
“This just keeps going from bad to worse,” he muttered to himself.
“And if we don’t solve this case, it could go from worse to where,” his partner said. The detective gave him a strange look as he wrinkled his nose.
“Seriously?” he asked. His partner just shrugged. The detective sighed and rubbed his forehead.
Walker was awoken out of bed when he heard a knock on his door. He tried to ignore it at first but the knocking wouldn’t stop. The otaku mumbled to himself as he pulled himself out of bed. He rubbed his eyes as he opened the door.
“Who is it?” Walker mumbled. He paused once he fully woke up. Two police officers stood at his door.
“Oh…” he muttered.
“Yumasaki Walker, we have a warrant for your arrest,” one of the cops said. Walker didn’t even put up a fight as he put the handcuffs on his wrists.
“What for?” he asked. The otaku didn’t know why he didn’t even try to fight off the cops.
“Assault and attempted murder,” the cop said. “Your victim in the bookstore is pressing charges.” Somehow, Walker wasn’t surprised by this. Oh yeah, this did happen before, didn’t it?