Halo Twenty: Watanabe:
Mikado looked at his phone. He grew tired of this game. Clearly, he wasn't going to get a straight answer from the caller. Why did he even bother? Mikado could just let the next call go to voice mail. Come on, no one would notice. It's not like his friends knew of these secret nightly conversations anyway. This could be the last one tonight…
Mikado sat up when the caller spilled something in his ear.
"What did you say" he asked. The repeated truth made the boy's blood run cold.
"Heh?" Junko asked over the phone. "Are you serious? Etsuko is running the second phase?"
"Yeah," Aya said on the other line. "The boss chose Etsuko to run it this time." The school nurse sat back in her chair and sighed.
"Oh, crap," she muttered. Junko pressed her hand to her forehead. She knew that playtime would be over, but did it have to go to her? Still, Kitano always had the last word in this game and the Inner Circle didn't argue. The results alone were enough to keep them happy.
Junko frowned. But it was Etsuko running phase two, though…
Keiichi had three problems now. He still needed to find Arisu, Nanami begged for his help, and now Shirley was staying in his apartment. The last part was rather dumped on him. Right now, he sat across from her in the living room.
Shirley led him to the special VIP room. She sat down on the heart-shaped bed covered in red silk sheets and took off her white silk dress. But, Keiichi held up his hand.
"No, no," he said. Shirley stared at him with a blank stare. Keiichi put his hand over his eyes.
"I can't do this," he said. "It just doesn't feel right."
"What do you want with me tonight?" Shirley asked.
"Could you please put your dress back on?" the undercover journalist asked. He peeked through his fingers as she put back on her dress. It was in that moment that Keiichi decided to get as much information out her as he could. He took off his mask.
"What is your name?" he asked.
"Sliver Dreamer," his prize answered.
Keiichi shook his head. "No, what is your real name?"
"Shirley… That's a pretty name." He tried to get back on track and pulled out his cell phone. "Have you seen this woman?" Shirley stared at the picture of Arisu on his phone.
"I think I have…"
Keiichi did his best to keep his emotions until control. "Do you know what happened to her?"
"I see." He should've known. Shirley probably was kept in the dark about the "little people" of Red Rabbit. Still, Keiichi felt compelled to stay with her and talk for the rest of the night.
Keiichi's phone rang in his jacket. "Excuse me." He pulled out his phone and slid his finger across the screen.
"Hello?" he asked.
"Congratulations on your win, Ono-san," an old voice croaked on this other line. Keiichi about jumped out of his couch.
"How did you get this number?!" he shouted.
"I had to get the name of Shirley-chan's newest handler."
Keiichi looked at his phone. "Handler?"
"That's right, Shirley belongs to you for the next six months."
"Don't worry about payment, you will make up for it in different ways."
"What do you mean?"
"You will see real soon."
Keiichi sank further into his couch. Shirley watched him with innocent, blank eyes the whole time. Her handler's eyes shifted around as his heart raced.
"Oh by the way," the old man said. "I haven't introduced myself. My name is Watanabe Seita. Pleased to make your acquaintances, Minami Keiichi." Keiichi lowered his phone after Watanabe hung up.
"Was that Papa?" Shirley asked. Her voice sounded too far away for Keiichi to hear. Arisu-senpai, what did you get yourself mixed up into? Where are you?!