Since my first day, Sato didn’t address me again, but I saw him speaking with Emile several times and judging by Emile’s face, their conversations were not very pleasant. I hoped it wasn’t my fault. I did my best to work efficiently and played obedient in front of Sato. Besides, had it been my fault, Emile would have surely said something to me.
Saturday night, as we were leaving the Mansion together after the work, I noticed Emile was more quiet and thoughtful than usual. He passed me the envelope, eying me with an odd, intense stare.
“So, you like working here, Nik mon ami?”
I counted the money. “It’s fine, for a temporary solution.”
“And the pay is fine too?”
“Yeah, sure. Anything the matter, Emile?”
“So you could say I did you a favour, yes?” he pressed.
“And remember I told you, it’s not for free?”
“Yes.” I tucked my hands together with the envelope in the pockets of my jacket. “I figured you’d collect sooner or later. So, how can I repay you?”
He looked down and shook his head a few times. “I was hoping things would resolve, and that taking a cut of what you earn would do it, but –”
“Wait, you’re taking a cut? From my money?”
“Of course. I arranged this job for you and I’m your senpai. Don’t worry, it’s only 25%.”
“25%? Fuck man...that’s...I owe you nothing else then.”
“Yes, you do. The money is just the minimum, it’s not really returning me a favour for providing you with such a great job.”
I sighed. He was determined, and I didn’t want to get into conflict with him.
“Ok, fine, what else do you want?”
“You’ve met Sato. He’s a prick, right?”
“He’s more than just a prick. He’s making my life a living hell at the Mansion, and he undermines every chance for my promotion. He is the right hand of Ogata sama, and she listens to him about everything. If he stays in the Mansion, I will never get what I want. So, I want your help with this. Tomorrow, after we finish working, we’ll wait for him in an alley. I know his way home, I followed him, so I know the best place to ambush him.”
I tilted my head toward him, raising my voice slightly: “Ambush him?”
“Yes. Nobody will see us there and we’ll have time to escape.”
“What are you talking about, Emile? You want to rob him?”
“No,” he shook his head, his face very serious. “I want you to hurt him, badly, so that he won’t come out of the hospital for months.”
I stood there looking at him, hoping it would all turn out to be a bad joke, but he remained serious and was waiting for my answer.
“Fuck no,” I said and started walking away.
He hurried after me and pulled me by my elbow. His voice and eyes became aggressive. “I gave you this job, and I also can take it away, just like this...” He snapped his fingers. “I can call authorities on you, for illegal working.”
“You wouldn’t do that.”
“Trust me, I would. This thing with Sato is not just one of my whims, it’s very important to me. Yes, he’s an ass and a bully, and he thinks because he’s Japanese he’s entitled to all the privileges. But the main thing that bothers me is that as long as Sato is in the Mansion, I will never get a chance for a promotion, even though I’m much better at the job than he is.”
“So that’s it? To get a higher post and more money, you want to injure a guy?”
“You don’t get it. I’m fed up with being just a butler. I have an ambition of my own. Why do you think I’m living in that shithole of a hostel? It’s ’cause I’m saving every yen to buy my own bar one day. Being the right hand of Ogata sama is a good way to achieve this. But with Sato in the way...I need this and I’m willing to do everything it takes. Geez, I’m not asking you to kill him.”
I snorted. “No, just hurting him bad enough to put him in a hospital. You’re ridiculous, Emile. I can’t risk getting thrown in jail or be banned from Japan. Not even for you.”
“There’s zero risk. I planned everything. If you do this, I promise I’ll ask Ogata sama to arrange a working visa for you as soon as possible. And...I’ll only take 10% of your money from now on. If you don’t do this, you risk everything anyway. I said I’ll report you and I will. My ambition is very important to me. I think you can understand that very well. ”
Was he really that crazy? I thought of my ambition. Emile could endanger all my plans. I promised myself I would not leave Japan, not before I became a fighter for Yamato Damashi. Or I make it, or I die trying. I realized I had no choice.
“Fine, I’ll do it. But then that’s it, Emile. You and I are done. No more favors and you make sure I get the visa. And if you ever report me, I’ll put you in the hospital. Are we clear on this?”
“Yes...yes, sure! I promise.” His face brightened up and I could see he was relieved. “By the way, it has to happen tomorrow because at the beginning of the next week Ogata sama evaluates her employees and I want to be her only candidate.”