So I see that you guys enjoy the little art? Well well, after that two cute pictures here it is... DUN DUN DUN! Chapter 4.
This time let's see Ryouha's side of the story. Oh, and there's another update on the characters profile.
Enjoy~ (p.s: the part about the boys and some old lady's garden is real. Nagisa told the story in her radio once. She's scary when angered, seriously... But it is that gap that makes her interesting~ Childish yet mature, fluffy yet tough, laid-back but working hard behind~ *enter flailing mode*
*please don't mind me and enjoy the story*
The Epitome of Justice
Chapter 04: The Philosopher's Ramble
A familiar neighborhood, that empty street of Nagoya she had known for long…
The girl closed her eyes and took a deep breath, taking in everything.
The song of the cicadas cry, the gentle winds blowing her hairs, the soothing sounds of bells chiming; she let her legs guided her through the nostalgic scenery, and soon she reached a simple two storey building of a little shop. She reopened her eyes, finding a little girl crying in front of her.
“Why…” The girl sobbed. “Even though daddy didn’t do anything wrong…”
She watched as a man, somewhere around his thirty, bended down to his knees and stroked the little girl gently on her head. A soft smile on his face.
“It’s alright Ryouha, daddy is fine.”
..oh, so it’s this dream again.
How many times has she seen it? Looping over and over and over, just like a broken record she could never throw away.
“They are just bad people. Justice will come to serve them when the time comes.”
“That’s right. So don’t be sad, okay? Mommy and daddy and Ryouha, we just have to do what is right. Can you be a good girl and do that for me?”
A lie. A typically sweet and innocent lie for a father to tell his child. She closed her eyes again, knowing for sure what she would see the next time she opened them. She could already feel it, the abnormal temperature rising in the air.
“No! Let me go! Mommy and daddy are—“
A big fire engulfed the once so peaceful neighborhood, its crackling sound mixed with the loud cry of a little girl calling desperately for her family. She watched the girl in pity, but still, there was nothing she could do. There was nobody to save her, no one at all. Not even herself. She watched the flame grew bigger and bigger, swallowing the very place she once called home.“Justice will never come.”
She whispered quietly, hoping that her words would somehow reach her young self. “No matter how hard or how long you wait...”
“No…it will… Daddy said it will, so it will come.”
The girl froze as she saw her younger self stood slowly and turned, facing her with a tear-streaked face. Something is wrong. Usually her dream would stop here, but now… A strange chill ran up her spine as the little girl smiled and raised her hand, pointing at something behind her.
She quickly turned. The scenery around her shifted, replacing the warm summer of Nagoya with the dark autumn night of Zoshigaya district, an eerily restless footsteps echoing from afar. And it’s getting closer.
“She’s coming for us! Daddy was right; daddy never lies to Ryouha, unlike her.”
She felt the girl touching her right hand, leaving something cold on her grip, and she switched her gaze to it. Her eyes widened as she realized what it was. A…gun?
The little girl giggled and hugged her arm tighter, whispering softly.“Ryouha hate justice, you see. Because she never come when Ryouha need her the most. So can you help Ryouha punish the bad guy in her stead, ms. Police Officer?”
“Why are you hesitating? Isn’t it the one reason you join the police, miss? Because justice never came for us, you decided to be ‘justice’ itself so that nobody will suffer like us anymore.”
“…”“Oh, look! She’s finally arrived~”
She gasped, watching as a familiar figure closing in from the distance. That blue beanie, that long wavy hair, those lonely eyes that were twisted in worry; she could see her partner reaching out to her, running with all her might.
She felt her hands moving by her own, pointing the deadly device toward the arriving figure. The girl tried to fight back but she couldn’t control her body at all; it was as if she was reduced into a simple spectator, watching a movie laid out for her from the front-row seat.
“S-stop! She got nothing to do with this!” justice“Eh? What are you talking about? Isn’t that how they call her? Seigi.”
“!!”“What is she hiding from us this time? What kind of lie is she making now? Even after all this time… Maybe she’s only using us, just like all those people?”
“No… She’ll never…”“How can you be so sure?”
“…please…just stop this…”
The girl was only a few steps away from her and she could only stare on with horror. Her finger trembled as it slowly pulled on the trigger. The sounds of her own giggle filled her ears.“I SAID STOP—“
A split second. That was all it took for the tiny metallic toy to sing the only song it knew, sending the running figure into a sudden stop and falling slowly to the cold ground, a magnificent red flower bloomed madly from the little gush on her forehead. Ryouha froze, watching the little light left on those jet black eyes disappeared into nothingness.
The girl opened her eyes, feeling the sense of gravity hit her. Had she finally awaken from that dream? Her vision was still a bit blurry; there was something on her eyes and she tried to wipe it away, but suddenly a sharp pain coursed through her right arm. She yelped. “Phalanges. Metacarpals. Carpals. Radius and Ulna.
All of the bones on your right forearm are practically broken now, so I suggest you stop using it for a while.”
Ryouha flinched, trying to find the source of the strangely high-pitched voice.
“But don't worry, I have treated it so it will return to normal function if left alone.”
Who...? She tried to move her other hand but found that she couldn’t, feeling a handcuff around her left wrist stopping her movement. What is… ?
“It is better if you stop the pointless struggle, Kitagawa-san.”
Ah. She remembered now.She was kidnapped.
Her memories were scattered bit by bit, but she did remember waiting in front of her partner’s apartment when suddenly someone attacked her from behind. She was shaken awake not long after and forced to speak through the phone, finally managed to catch the sight of her attackers; a group of high school girls around her age with white uniforms that resembled a nurse outfit. And there’s her partner talking on the other side of the phone. What’s going on? She couldn’t think clearly back then. One thing she knew for sure was that they’re dangerous and she couldn’t let them get Nagisa too. She tried to warn the girl but it seemed like her action only provoked her kidnapper, and the last thing she remembered was the sound of a metal bat crushing her bone before everything turned black.
“But hmmm, this is interesting indeed. For Kimotama to resort to torture, she must have hated you so much for ‘stealing’ her beloved Seigi.”
Ryouha closed her eyes tightly as she felt a rough towel against her face, feeling the mysterious person wiping the tears on her eyes.
“Good morning. Did you have a bad dream?”
A girl with short black hair and matching black eyes said that to her; she was wearing the same uniform as those kidnappers so she’s probably one of them. No. She’s definitely one of them. Ryouha narrowed her eyes dangerously as the girl stood.
“From the look of your eyes it seems like you have taken grasps of the situation quite well.”
“What do you want…?”
“Who; Me? Kurobara? Kimotama? Or probably the principal?”
“Each of us has something we need intertwined which resulted in this very situation.”
The mysterious girl walked away, running her fingers through the bookshelves as she passed them by; the room was unkempt and a bit dim save for the sun ray seeping through the broken windows, and with all the bookshelves put in disarray Ryouha concluded that they got to be in some kind of rundown library. She tried to analyze the best course of action. Her right arm couldn’t be used and her left one was bound to the nearby stair. She didn’t know anything about her kidnappers nor their numbers. So for now she could only listen.
“Have you finished studying everything?”
“You’re a bright one, I see. What a relief… I’ve gone through quite a trouble retrieving you from those brainless savage so it’ll be frustrating if I can’t even strike a conversation with you.”
The girl spun and sat behind of what used to be the librarian’s desk, folding her arms neatly above the wooden surface.
“My name is Sutou Ririka, 2nd year of Gekioko High and also one of the three generals of Kango-ka. They called me [ GAKUSHU ]
around here though, so I suggest you do the same.” She put on a small smile.
“And as what I want, it’s simple.” She leaned forward, resting her chin above her hands and lowering her voice slightly above a whisper. “I need your help, Kitagawa-san.”What…is she talking about?
Ryouha furrowed her brow, trying to find some senses among the information she was given. Gekioko? Generals? Kango-ka? And moreover she need her help? Gakushu seemed to realize the confusion in her eyes.
“So Seigi always keep you in the dark, I see…”
“I’ll try to explain it as simple as I can.”
She pushed away from the desk and bended down, retrieving a box from under it. What is that? Ryouha blinked, studying the girl as she walked closer and lowered her stance, unloading the contents of the box between them. Are those...Mahjong tiles?
“Well then, shall we start?”
The Gekioko’s general sat cross-legged on the floor and assembled the tiles into three piles.
“As a member of police force you must have at least heard some rumors about Osaka. Hmmm, how do you guys call us again… The most dangerous area in the country, is it? That being said, there are numerous amounts of delinquent schools around here and those schools are ruled by the three strongest schools.” She pushed out three tiles, turning it over one by one.
“ [ MAJISUKA ]
which rules The East and a portion of The North. --The red dragon. [ YABAKUNE ]
ruling The West and the other half of Northern area. --The green dragon.
And [ GEKIOKO ]
which controls The Central and Southern area of Osaka. ” --The white dragon.
“Gekioko itself—“ She put four other tiles beside the white dragon tile. “—is ruled by a department known as [ KANGO-KA ] , led by a chief along with her vice-chief and three generals.”
Gakushu paused, waiting for the other girl to process the information. After a while she resumed her story.
“One day, one of our three generals suddenly went missing. Her disappearance created a tug-of-power within the school which brought Kango-ka into its current disorder. After digging for information here and there I’ve finally found her whereabouts, but to make sure… Can I ask you something, Kitagawa-san?”
“…what is it?”
“One year ago, around the second semester of your first year in high school; was there any student transferring from Osaka around that time?
Ryouha froze, staring at the girl with wide eyes. What is she trying to say…
“I believe you can connect the dots by now.”
or the one you know by the name Shibuya Nagisa, was our missing general.”
She couldn’t believe her ears. Nagisa…a yankee?
No. She has to be joking.
“You must be thinking that I’m joking, correct?”
Ryouha gave the kansai girl a skeptical look.
“…of course. Nagi…I don’t think she can even hurt a fly…”
“You’re right. She can’t
…what did she just say? Gakushu ignored her confusion and gathered the tiles again.
“She can’t hurt an innocent insect, but she can crush the skull of a robber without an inch of hesitation.”
Ryouha switched her gaze away as she heard that. There were so many things that Nagisa hide from her, even then, something inside her told that she couldn’t deny that statement. Because she could see it, the eyes her partner was always making while chasing down a suspect, it was as if the girl was trying to reel in her murderous intent
, pushing it behind a laid-back attitude. Perhaps that’s why she’s always absent on a capture operation; because she wouldn’t be able to stop herself by then. Gakushu glanced at the troubled girl as she proceeded to assemble the mahjong tiles on top of each other.
“Say, Kitagawa-san. Have you ever heard about ‘Berserker
Berserker? Ryouha blinked, returning her attention to the yankee as the pile of mahjong tiles started to resemble a short tower.
“If you search about it in a dictionary, you’ll find this: Someone who fights with uncontrollable rage, performing inhuman feats while being completely numb to their pain and the killing that they were doing.
Their existence corresponds with Nietzsche’s theory of ‘Will to Power’, but actually their origin goes way back to the ancient Scandinavian.”
Eh? What is she suddenly babbling about?
“A few years ago I’ve heard of a yankee called 'Bakamono' who fight by closing off her intelligence, gaining an immense power by doing so. But that’s still incomplete. She’s missing the main thing that drives a true Berserker. Anger
Anger…? Ryouha gasped as she finally realized what the yankee was implying.“Nagi…is that what she is?”
“As I thought, you’re very bright~” Gakushu paused from her little tower-making and clapped her hands in a mocking praise.
“So that is your reason…? You kidnapped me…so you can awaken her rage and lure her here?”
“You’re definitely correct~ In fact,
the one who provoked the principal and made an uproar inside Kango-ka,
the one who hacked through the security cameras and tracked her down,
and also the one who told Kimotama about you and your connection to Seigi... All of it; it was my doing.
Ryouha clenched her fist, trying her best to stop herself. She gave her a dangerous glare.
“You…what are you planning to do with her?”
Gakushu didn’t budged and kept building up her tower.
“You see Seigi, she’s docile most of the time, isn’t she? But it doesn’t mean that she has no feelings. All those negative emotions, she always piles them all inside.” The tower had started to reach her waist and the yankee slowed down her pace. She put one tile on the top carefully. “On and on and on…” The makeshift tower started to sway as it seemed to have reached its critical height. “Until—“CRASH
Ryouha flinched as the fragile structure crumbling down in a loud crash, sending the mahjong tiles scattered all around the floor in a huge mess. The yankee chuckled as she saw that.
“Amazing isn’t it? Once you’ve hit her switch nothing could stop her. Not even herself...”
Her chuckle grew louder until it turned into a full-blown laugh.
“Ha ha… Aha ha ha ha!! She truly perks my curiosity, you know~~!
' I have known her since middle school so I can say that she’s the most perfect example of a Berserker I’ve ever seen~ I was surprised the first time I found out too; who would’ve thought I’d see the class clown and number one idiot beating down some boys by the street?
And that was for ruining a garden owned by some random old lady she didn’t even know.”
Ryouha stared at the girl with wide eyes.
“What did she say that time again? Ah yes, ‘The heck are ya doing!? Trampling around people’s hardwork fer nothing!!’
She had truly exploded back then~”What the…this girl…
“Isn’t it such an irony? Her overly strong sense of justice turned her into a monster! How interesting~ What is the reason for that abnormal psyche? A brain damage? A psychological defect? Or perhaps it was not an error at all? If Nietzsche said in his theory that human is just another stage of evolution, then how far can she evolve? How strong can she get? If you chop off her head, will her body keep attacking until her nerve systems completely stop? Just thinking about it makes my brain jolting in excitement.” She’s insane!
Ryouha watched the yankee doubled over from her own laugh, before she finally running out of breath and stopped. Gakushu let out a long sigh, giving the other girl a sad smile.
“Or so… that’s how it all started…”
“Oh, sorry. You haven’t eaten anything since yesterday, have you? Wait here, I’ll get you something.”
It took Ryouha some time to cope with her sudden mood swings, but knowing that she couldn’t do anything for now, the captured girl decided to simply nod while keeping her alert high. It was better not to provoke these yankees any further; she’d learned that the hard way. She watched as Gakushu stood and disappeared to the deeper end of the library, taking the time to calm herself and study her surrounding better. If Gakushu was telling the truth then she’s probably inside Gekioko High right now. Those yankees must have no use for books so the philosopher-wannabe turned the school library into her private lounge.
“I found some onigiri and tea.” Ryouha flinched, turning her attention back to her captor. “Don’t worry, they’re leftover from my breakfast and since Ibukuro’s the one bringing it you can be sure that they are edible. Now be a good girl and hold still.”
She gave another nod as the yankee put down the makeshift breakfast in front of her and searched around her pocket to reveal a key. She tried not to make any hostile movement as Gakushu unlocked the handcuff around her left wrist; her shoulder had started to grow stiff so she was relieved to have finally able to move her good arm. The yankee put away the handcuff to her pocket and crouched, tilting her head.
“Do you need me to feed you?”
“N-no. I can eat just fine with my left hand…”
It was very awkward, Ryouha thought, as she felt the yankee watching her nibbling on the onigiri, staring at her every movements like she was some kind of interesting specimen. But she had no room to protest. So she tried her best to ignore the stare, locking her eyes on the floor.
Ryouha paused, glancing at Gakushu’s expressionless face.“What do you love about Seigi?” BPPFFFT——
She almost choked on her food as she heard that.
“W-what do you mean by t-that?”
“That sudden change of skin color around the face, are you embarrassed? Aren’t you her girlfriend?”
Ryouha looked away, trying to cover her flushed face.
“I-it’s not…like that…”
“So I was mistaken? I’ve never seen Seigi doing things like holding hands or such with someone so I thought— “How long have you been watching us!?”
Gakushu blinked from the sudden outburst. Good job, Ryouha. Just forget about NOT provoking the yankee.
“I was waiting for the right time to take action, so around a few weeks or so?”
“I also know that when Seigi fell asleep on her desk, you—“
“...alright. Sorry to bother your meal.”
She could swear that the yankee was sneering at her right now as she closed her eyes and hid behind her hand in a mix of embarrassment and frustration. Do they have no delicacy? She wondered if the rest of those Gekioko’s folks were all like this; at least she know where Nagisa got her dense and bluntness now.
“Do you want to help her?”
Eh? Ryouha blinked.
“Haven’t I told before? I need your help, Kitagawa-san. I need your help, to help her.
She lowered her hand, staring at the yankee’s serious face.
“If you agree then I will tell you everything. About a yankee called Seigi and her previous life here; about the principal and 'the dark secret' of this school
, and their shadow that are still haunting her until now…”
“What’s up, chief? I’m busy so make it quick.” --“Where are you now? Report your status.”
“Ikebukuro station. Imma headin’ to central Tokyo right now to catch the next train to Osaka.” --“Stop doing anything rash. Return to the office and——" “They kidnapped Ryouha.” --“…”
“They’re taking her hostage. ‘m the only one they want so—” --“Return to the office.”
“…come again?” --“We will make a countermeasure and form a rescue unit.”
“There’s not enough time! I need to get there by tonight—” --“This is an order.”
“…” --“Did I make myself clear, deputy Shibuya?”
“…heh. I see. So this’s how ya gonna play?” --“What?”
“You told me about Ibukuro and Otona on purpose. You knew that they’d attack my place and yet you let Ryouha went there. Haha, it’s so obvious. How can I be so stupid…” --“What are you talking about…" “This is yer way to take a revenge on me, isn’t it? 'cause I took away your other half.”
--“…” “Am I right, chief—no, Kamisori ?” --“Deputy Shibuya Nagisa. I order you return to headquarter right now——” “Goodbye, chief.” BEEP--
The Epitome of Justice : Chapter 04 // END