Chapter Twenty-Three: Closing In:
Takeru sat in the hotel with his mind astray, somewhere out in space. What's the point anymore? He looked up when he heard the bathroom door open, noticing Hiroji step out, drying his hair.
"What is it?" the other boy asked. Takeru shook his head. Hiroji glared at him.
"Look!" he barked, "You better not be pussying out on me now!"
"I'm not!" Hiroji grabbed him by the shirt.
"We've come too far now to quit!"
"I know!" Takeru shouted back. "But…"
Takeru looked away sheepishly. "What's the point?"
Hiroji saw red upon hearing that question. "What's the point? What's the point?!"
"Yes!" Takeru shouted. "We've been on this hunt for eight years! And what have we to show for it? Nothing! We lost everything! My mom left dad! What about your aunt, huh? What have we been doing this for all this time?!" Hiroji gritted his teeth and punched the younger boy into the wall.
"Don't ever talk about my aunt so freely!" he yelled. "This hurt is worth everything!"
"I don't see how! It's all stupid!"
"No, it's not! We are hunters; this is all we know!"
"Well maybe I don't want to be a hunter anymore!"
"What did you say?!"
Takeru pushed himself to his feet. "I quit being a hunter!"
"You can't do that!" Hiroji barked.
"Watch me," the other boy hissed. He got up and walked out of the room. The other boy snorted at his defiance.
"Fine! Who needs you anyway?" he snapped. "I can finish this mission all by myself!" Hiroji whipped out their marked up map. Every entrance had an "X" marked on it. He nodded, satisfied. It's ready. It's finally ready.
After eight days had passed, Hiroji turned on his radiophone.
"Yes?" the leader of the camp said from the other end.
"Everything's ready," Hiroji told him.
"Where can we enter?" the leader asked. Hiroji took a quick look at the marked-up map.
"There are two entrances in the west, three in the north, seven in the east, and a hidden one in the south," he read off.
"Good," the leader answered. "Where's Takeru?" Hiroji gritted his teeth.
"What do you mean, gone?"
"He's walked out of the mission."
"And why would he do that?"
Hiroji shrugged his shoulders. "He just quit, sir."
"Oh, well that's unfortunate," the leader said.
"What shall we do?" Hiroji asked.
"Continue on, as planned." The boy saluted over the phone, despite not being seen.
"Yes sir," he replied.
"Meet my party at the south entrance," the leader instructed. "Send off the flares to begin the charge."
"Yes sir! Over and out!" Hiroji cut off the radiophone at the sound of a knock on the door. "Coming," he said, rolling his eyes. He opened the door, thinking it was Takeru.
"So, have you finally calm down and ca-?" He paused when he saw the barrel of a gun in his face. With one shot to the head, the hunter boy fell backward onto the carpet, starting a full-on war in Wonderland.