Tea Leaves and Red Silk


Match Eighteen: Ava:

December 23rd, 2013.

10:00 a.m.

Alfred stood in the park with his hands stuffed in his pockets. Three hours earlier, he received an e-mail from a Google account. He sat at his computer for the morning when the notice flashed on his desktop.

Hm? What's this? Alfred clicked on the notice and his e-mail popped up. The message title made his eyes widen.

"Ava?" he asked. Another popup appeared on is screen. This time, it was an invitation to chat on Skype. Without thinking, the American man clicked accept. A screen popped up and a revealed a woman with strawberry blonde hair. Alfred nearly jumped back in his chair.

"Whoa!" he said. "I didn't see you there."

"Are you Alfred Jones?" the woman on the other line asked.

"Yes, why do you ask?"

Ava reached her had to her chest. "Oh good, I'm so glad I caught you."

He raised an eyebrow. "What do you want from me?"

"I haven't properly introduced myself. My name is Ava Evans. I write a light novel series entitles Wasteland 2011. I think I might have told you this before."

Alfred gave her a puzzled look. "What?"

"I will explain to you at a later date. You have to listen closely to me when I say this. There is going to be a threat to the Liao clan and Honda-san tonight."

"Huh? What do you know about China's business partner and Japan?"

"I will make this as short and sweet as possible. The baby of the clan has turned to some shady people to avenge another member of the clan."

Alfred would've thought this lady was crazy if he hadn't remembered overhearing Ju complaining about how Szu's rapist was still at large. "Uh… how do you know all of this?"

"I wrote it out."

That sentence alone made his head spin. "I think I know you…"

Ava nodded once. "Yes?"

"You have a comic here in my backyard!"



"That's good to know you are starting to remember me."

"So what about Kiku and Qian?"

"Qian is going to drag us all into the wasteland with his vengeance. He's about to have Szu's rapist attacked."

"So… why are you telling me all of this?" Alfred asked.

"It's too late to stop the revenge plan, but you can help Yao and Ju gain the upper hand in the aftermath."

The American man raised an eyebrow. "How?"

"I sent you the information you will need on Zhong Junjie. Ivan and Kiku also have the same files as well. I tried to send it to Yao and Ju, but their e-mails came back with a failure to send message."

"Can't you send it to everyone else in the clan?"

"I don't know their addresses. Ju's father wasn't exactly tech savvy. Just hurry or everyone here in Ikebukuro will be pushed into Tandeki drags further into the wasteland."

"What are you talking about?"

"I have to go. We will talk after Christmas."

"Hey, wait a minute!" Ava already hung. Alfred sat back in his chair, staring blankly at an empty screen. His poor brain nearly exploded as he tried to process what he had just learned through this Skype call from an unknown indie writer.

-Present Day-

"America?" he heard someone ask. Alfred looked down and saw Kiku looking him in the eye. He blinked as his suffering Japanese friend.

"What?" he asked. Kiku tilted his head.

"What did you want to talk to me about?" he asked. Alfred pressed his lips together as he handed over a large brown envelope.

"What can you tell me about what's inside?" he asked. Kiku's face went grim as he looked his America friend in the eye.

"She contacted you too, didn't she?"


Kiku looked down at his hands. "Could you take a walk with me?"

"Sure, I guess…"

"Follow me." Kiku led Alfred further into the park with his own envelope tucked in his heavy black coat.

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