Another day, another new room; Kochiro awoke feeling quite refreshed nonetheless. Perhaps it was the clean High Deck environment that was doing him good, perhaps it was the glass of water from the night before, whatever the reason, Kochiro was not his usual doom gloom self as he brushed his teeth, showered, and pulled on a plain black tee early 8 o’ clock.
After neatening his hair, Kochiro headed out to the kitchen and into the fridge to find his fast-food left over; however, it wasn’t there anymore. When it came to food, Kochiro suddenly realized, it really sucked to live with two guys. He himself could cook fairly well, but there was little he could do without ingredients. Every drawer and cupboard was spotlessly empty, and Kochiro resigned to sigh in defeat as he trudged into the living room.
As was the apparent trend, in the living quarters, Kochiro found Uriel lying affront the plasma television, watching yet another excessively loud and violent cartoon and lying a few feet too close to the set. He entered the room as discreetly as he could, stood himself in the corner....... Uriel looked up, contempt apparent on his coy little face. Kochiro frowned in reply and looked toward the TV feigning interest and shortly after, Uriel snorted and turned back around. Kandai was not to be found anywhere within the abodes so Kochiro decided to sit in although he could sense that Uriel was itching for a fight.
At exactly ten o’clock, Kandai arrived with a ‘hello’ and promptly clicked off the TV. “Heeyy!!!” Uriel jumped up to voice his protests when he noticed the plastic bag in Kandai’s hand. “Is that breakfast?” he asked instead. Kochiro got to his feet as well as Kandai had turned in his direction to speak,
“We have breakfast after our first bout training,” he said. “It is... ten o’clock.” On the dot.
Kochiro had not forgotten why he was there in the first place, but since he had managed to avoid the task for a while, he wasn’t alert to expect it. And now, here it was. Kochiro wondered exactly what Kandai had planned. Surely he couldn’t expect much of Kochiro?
In the meantime, Uriel had apparently gotten used to the idea of a stranger in the house already and was unbothered to show any restraint in his behaviour and ways. He was loudly pestering Kandai for the TV remote.
“Aye, what about me? I don’t have to do no training... turn back on the TV.”
“But you do have something to do,” without looking at the youngest boy. Kandai beckoned for Kochiro to follow him and headed down the corridor.
“Wha..??” Uriel scrambled to his feet to rush after Kandai and Kochiro, “what’s that?” he asked. Kochiro glanced back at him as he followed them, then back to see the reaction of his unstirrable ‘sensei’. Kandai had stooped to retrieve a pail of something metallic clinking in its wake, and... a hammer.
“You have to fix the door of course.”
“WHAATT!? Why me!!???” Uriel became livid but Kandai paid him no heed. “Why should I do it? We was just playing!” At this, he cast a glance at Kochiro, daring him to disagree. Kochiro wasn’t to be baited however, Kandai was there and he was to be the mature one. He needn’t be bothered by a simple-minded thirteen year old. He wasn’t like that; he didn’t like scuffles. He simply folded his arms and stood stonily beside Kandai.
Uriel gnashed his teeth, “yea you shut your mouth if you know what’s good for you... anyways... I wasn’t even there!”
“Hmph!” Kochiro tossed his head but said nothing else.
“Thought you said you both were playing,” Kandai said.
“I made a mistake; I was way in my room!”
“So the wind knocked the door clean down then?”
Uriel got red in the face. “N, no... it was him that done it!” he pointed directly into Kochiro’s face. “I swear, I saw him! I was walking by!!”
“And I thought you’d been in your room Uriel.”
“Yea well I changed my mind,” Uriel snapped back. Kochiro couldn’t help a tiny smirk for a fraction of a microsecond but instantly Uriel’s head swivelled and he rounded on him, “what you think you’re laughing so for you stupid little trouble maker, want me give you something to laugh about??”
Kochiro swelled but Kandai covered for him, “Uriel none of that ok.” Sigh. “If you don’t fix the door, you won’t be having breakfast. That’s just how it is.”
“That’s just how it is!!??” Uriel basically exploded. “This is madness! How dare you treat me like this! Have I been nothing but a faithful irreplaceable trustworthy comrade to you for these past few decades... depriving a fellow of basic necessities such as food is a crime you know!!” I won’t stand for this, I’ll quit... I’ll QUIT!!!” Uriel’s face was getting redder by the second that even Kochiro was becoming mildly concerned. “Bakayero!! This is injustice!! Just how it is???” he was just about ready to pop, “JUST HOW IT IS MY-”
Kandai slid the door shut and blocked out the remainder of Uriel’s rant effectively. “Uh...” Kochiro looked up at Kandai who’d turned and was now walking across the yard. He glanced back at Uriel's steaming shadow at the door once then jogged to catch up with Kandai. Kandai was standing still, facing the sky. Kochiro walked up to his side and stopped. Then-
“Nice weather we’re having huh.”
“Yeah... I guess so,” Kochiro couldn’t disagree.
“Do you know where we are kid?”
Kochiro’s face squinted, “at your dojo,” he answered semi perplexed. “In... the courtyard. On uh... HighDeck.”
“Ah, yes we are.” Kandai agreed mysteriously. “But there’s more to it than that.” Once again, Kochiro thought Kandai was being unnecessarily abstract but decided to wait. He hoped everything Kandai hinted at would eventually make some kind of sense;about his father, and the Nobles, the Muscles etc. For now though, he’d promised to be a non-argumentative pawn. “What do you know about the Pillars?”
Was this even relevant? “The Pillars are the passages of transport between the Decks. There are in a circular fashion along the Decks borders, ranging from 100 to 25 per Deck. They are the power plants of our planet.” Kochiro gave Kandai the textbook answer, uncertain of where this was going or if this was just another of Kandai’s custom changes of subject. It seemed to be the right answer however, since Kandai was nodding at him.
“Right, I want to expound on that point. It’s the reason we are here, geographically speaking.” Kandai put up three fingers. “The Pillars are energy sources,” he put one down, “and they’re arranged in orbits,” the second down. “Do you know what that means... K-kun.”
Kandai indicated the last finger downward, pointing to the ground. “This happens to be located something very central of High Deck. This is where the energy field, the epitome is potently enhanced. That’s why the air, grass, even the atmosphere is so positively charged. Myself, Angel Gabriel and Uriel amongst others trained here.”
“Are you going to tell me why the L. D. Angels destroy the Pillars then?”
“Not yet,” Kandai folded his arms. “That will be revealed when we rendezvous with Gabriel on Noble Deck. Just remember, this place is especially essential for you, nonetheless.”
“Kandai...” Kochiro was beginning to become wildly and fantastically suspicious, “is there something innate going on here? Do I have like-”
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” Kandai cut him off bluntly. “But as I said before, trust me and that the reason I brought you here is valid. Now; onto our intense, brutal, crash course.”
“Oh!” Kochiro started. “Right... training.” He looked down at his palms as he realized they were starting to sweat a little bit. He clenched and unclenched them nervously. Brutal training he said.... Kochiro gulped and looked up at Kandai who was waiting for him-
“Just kidding,” Kandai had a tiny gleam in his eye. “I was just fooling, I don’t expect a military turnaround from you Kouichi kun... it’s just a bit of hand to hand sparring, some concentration, speed, aiming exercises and of course... some stealth.”
“..........Oh.........” Sweat drop on Kochiro’s head.
“First, your training gear.” Kandai put his hand inside his shirt neck and pulled out a neatly tied folded suit of clothes from within his garment. “You just have to take it from me.” Unexpectedly, he took a bound backward way over a wide stretch of pond and onto a random rock in the midst. Then he leapt back four or five more times across rocks without looking back once and then stopped... far out away from Kochiro.
“Uh!” Kochiro stared startled then fixated himself.
“This is simply to test your level and direction of thinking Kamui-kun.” Kandai said from the distance. “And by the way, I wouldn’t wade in the waters; there are some nasty piranha fish in there, believe it or not. I leave you up to your own mechanisms.” Kandai had a seat atop the clothing pile on the protruding rock.
“Hmm,” Kochiro looked down at the waters doubtfully. Piranha huh. He looked up at Kandai in the distance again then toward the nearest rock to the bank. The first rock was no less than ten yards away.
“That’s the spirit... you can try jumping as I did.” Kandai declared casually seeing what Kochiro was watching.
“!!” Is he crazy??! A gloom drop streaked down Kochiro’s head again. This is just impossible, his inner voice whined.
“Huh?” the breeze suddenly wafted the trees shadows in the waters and Kochiro looked up at the branches looming over the ponds. Well, maybe he could... climb them..?... “Yea right,” he muttered and hung his head. Sigh. Why am I even here???
“Snap out of it.” Kochiro slapped his cheeks then and made a determined fist. I have to do this since I’m now an L. D. Angel. He walked over to the nearest tree and stood below, peering up into its meagre greenery. The section of the courtyard was mostly pond with rocks trailing in it and tall trees lining. His initial thoughts had been to try to swing across from the branches but they were too far apart and he had no rope to use as a swing. Plus, the trees there in the courtyard gardens were all so slim and flimsy. He put a hand on its trunk; he would probably break it with his weight. But really; the trees seemed to be his only fair shot.
That was it! Kochiro thought. The trees would probably break beneath his weight, but using the universal laws of physics, his weight would not be a problematic factor when applying momentum and height. He would catapult himself across. Kochiro gulped. Oh boy... He was a genius at whichever type of mathematics in theory but this?Was a simple bookworm like himself really capable of such a feat?
Kochiro tried not to think about what he was going to do and instead concentrated on what he knew and was good at. Just calculate correctly, he told himself. He looked around for a rock of just size and found one some way aways. Good. He walked over to said rock and stooped to heave it up. Simple.
Nothing. Okay, Kochiro thought, guess I’m going to have to strain a little bit. That’s all. Here we go and...
LIFT!!! .... Nothing. “No bother, I wasn’t really trying, that’s all.”
And LIFT!!!! Nothing...... LIFT!!!!!!!!!! Nothing.
Push PUSH PUSH!!! “Owwwww...” Kochiro’s head slumped down against the rock as he stooped down cradling it. The rock hadn’t budged one inch. This wasn’t going well at all. SIGH... He was so friggin weak.... Gloom gloom.
“Hmph. That’s not gonna stop me.” Kochiro stood up and started looking around again with Kandai watching bemusedly from afar. He went back to the water’s edge and tiptoed against a fir tree, grabbing a branch to break it off.
Pull. “Eh?”Kochiro looked at the skinny branch he was holding onto over his head. You have to be... joking, right...?
“Well, well... this is certainly amusing.” Kandai propped his chin onto his palm. What in the world was K-kun doing? “No time for games... K-kun”
Boink boink boink.
Kochiro hmphed angrily as he bumped up and down on the branch. This isn’t fun at all you know!!! “Grrr!!!” he pulled with all his might but the branch just kept bending with him then sent him bopping up and down like a toy. Kochiro let go of the branch furiously, “stupid tree-”
“Aw!!” He held his head where the branch hit him and grit his teeth. “Fine!!! If that’s how you want to play it!” Kochiro swivelled around and started clawing at the tree’s bark, Kandai stared in wonder.
“!!! AHH!!!” Scrrchh!!! Kochiro’s nail broke and started bleeding. “No way!” He held his offended finger angrily, “why is everything against me so??? I just need a piece of the bark!” He’d gone so far from his plan that he was beginning to wonder if it was going to work at all. Kandai probably thought he was so stupid. Kochiro sucked the blood off his finger and sniffled Chibi like. Mommy...
“What now.” He looked about him some more. Now he needed something to help cut the bark off the trunk of the tree. All this to get across the water. Kochiro composed himself once more. He stooped down and dusted the ground, prying out some pebbles. Finally he found a sharp looking stone and picked it up. It fell. He picked it up again pretending that didn’t just happen. “Now.”
He went back to the mildly scratched up tree trunk and began working with his stone sliver. It was going well; he managed to cut out enough length of the bark to pry loose. He managed a smile at his small victory but it wasn’t time to celebrate yet. With bark in hand, Kochiro reached upward to get the flexible branch again and caught it firmly. Then, he proceeded to saw at the branch, ignoring the splinters falling into his eyes.
Crack. It separated, Kochiro had the branch. “Yay,” Kandai uttered weakly and stifled a yawn. From there, Kochiro Jinchi went all the way back to the massive rock and used the branch as leverage, capsizing it and rolling it all the way to the water’s edge. He pulled a low branch and held it down by having the stone onto it. Kochiro then climbed onto this bent branch and gulped. He kept the other long branch in his hand. Catapult time. “Hmm,” Kandai stared.
“........” Kochiro braced. Dadada da dummm....
Kochiro kicked the rock off- “Ahh!!!!!!”
Through the air Kochiro was actually flying/ falling and hoping not to pitch too far. “Oof!” he landed on the 1st rock and held on nauseously, heart pounding. He’d... made it!
“Congratulations... K-kun.” Kandai voiced calmly. Kochiro looked up. “You’ve made it to the 1st rock. Now you only have 15 more to go.”
“Hmph.” Kochiro stood up and brushed himself off. Sure he felt a bit silly but compared to what he’d just gone through, the rest would be easy. “Pole vaulting time.” And he stuck the stick out affront him.
“Oh?” Kandai finally sat up straight. “Well... this at least would be interesting.”
Kochiro landed on the final rock after a perilous journey. He was half wet and panting as he stood himself up and dropped the mishap stick into the waters.
“Well, well... that was unexpected.” Kandai was on the rock adjacent to Kochiro’s and merely 2 feet away. He was standing too and had the training uniform folded in his arms. “So......”
I made it. Kochiro thought, and lifted his hand toward Kandai. Finally......
Kandai bounded upward and jumped up a tall tree behind him in several quick strides. Kochiro stepped back in surprise and bent his head back, shielding his eyes. “What the hell!!?” How’s it I never saw that giant tree!!? That wasn’t there before!!!
“K-kun... you’re not afraid of heights, are you.”
Kandai was leaning calmly against the tree trunk on one of the highest branches of the tree. 100 feet into the air, it loomed over the entire dojo. Kochiro was a speck at the bottom. “I’m not...” he said vexedly. “But how am I supposed to-”
“There are ridges on the trunk, kid.”
“Hm,” Kochiro could see that there were. He hopped over to the rock Kandai had been on and touched the lowest ridge. Sigh. But they weren’t very deep at all. “I’d better not die here,” Kochiro muttered to himself. Kandai looked on impassively.
Grip, grip, grip...
Kochiro started on the course, he stuck his sneakers into the crevice and deliberated before taking a step. Grip, onto the third one, Kochiro was still at a safe distance to the ground but nowhere near the top. His soft fingers were getting dirty and his shoes were already filled with water, he had to be very careful not to fall.
“Huff, huff... damn it.” He was halfway up. The wind was blowing and he stopped to hug the tree as not to lose hold. It was really hard to climb but not impossible. After this, I’m alright. The first test is always the hardest... “Ah!” Kochiro slipped.
Kandai didn’t budge.
“Rrgh!!!” Grip! Kochiro caught back hold and pressed himself against the tree. “Damn it,” he exhaled harshly, “damn it.” He looked up at Kandai who remained still nonchalant. He was looking stupid again. Kochiro cursed silently and then continued his embark. Just a little more...
“Good job... kid.”
Kochiro faced Kandai, hand still on trunk.
“I thought you were a goner for sure.”
“Are you going to trick me again?” Kochiro glared at his mentor. He didn’t trust the guy whatsoever at the moment. Kandai shrugged callously.
“Whatever are you talking about?” he took a step back. Kochiro gnashed his teeth. Another step... another... Kandai walked backward to the end of the branch. “This is the end.”
Kochiro glared annoyed. “Damn you,” he paused. Kandai waited. “...” Kochiro let go of the trunk and started outward toward the head Angel. One step, two... not so hard... thre- Boink! “Ah!” Kochiro stumbled and knelt down. Something had bumped the tree. He looked up and about... nothing... he looked back at the branch where he stooped then up its length.
It was Kandai.
He should have known. “Don’t do that!” Kochiro gripped the branch. “Stop shaking the tree!!!”
“But I have to,” Kandai knocked his head to the side. “It’s just so.”
“Rrghh!!!” Kochiro stooped low. Kandai continued bouncing the branch up and down. This is a madhouse.... inch by inch, Kochiro drew nearer. Boink boink boink. Kochiro continued to shimmy forward and then, he took to his feet... directly in front of Kandai.
The bouncing stopped. “Ah well, seems like I really am trapped now. Here you go... K-kun.” Kandai held out the uniform in his hand casually but Kochiro still didn’t trust him. “What’s with that look?”
“AHH!!!” Kochiro dived at Kandai. Flip, Kandai easily flipped over his head. “!!!” Kochiro’s eyes widened, watching a slow motion Kandai catapult over him. And then...
“Got ya,” Kick. Kandai back kicked him off into the air.
Kochiro started flailing wildly.
Chibi. “HEELLP!! MOMMY!!!” The piranhas!!!
“Don’t worry kid,” Kanai called down indifferently, “there isn’t really piranha in there.”
“Eh?” Sweat drop on Kochiro’s head as he stopped mid yell.
Kandai jumped down onto the rock before Kochiro. “A ninja wouldn’t fall for a simple trick like that. Seems like we have to work on your speed, balance, co-ordination and oh well, everything.” He dug into his shirt neck and produced a clean white towel, “here.” Kochiro flushed and glared.
“So how was I supposed to get across the water anyway?”
Kochiro, Kandai and the youngest angel Uriel were finally sitting around the dining table to have breakfast. Kochiro was scrubbing at his damp hair with the towel whilst Kandai was setting everything on the table. Uriel was sulking making it a point not to speak with anyone. Kandai and Kochiro ignored him. “I heard ninjas in a certain show could walk across water.”
Kochiro pouted, “well that’s just stupid.” Kandai shrugged at him.
“Hm, oh now where did I put that?”
“Huh?” Kochiro looked across at Kandai who stuck his hand into his shirt again. What else can he fit in there...?
“Ah, here we go,” he pulled out a pair of chopsticks. “Itadakimasu.”
Cogs leant against the file cabinet with folded arms. She was looking around at the HighDeck hostages furiously as they lied huddled and tied up, whimpering on the floor. There were quite a lot of them that they had to be kept in two rooms, but there were also a number of angels guarding them carefully. Cogs had had them gather all the citizens that had been in the Tradings building that unfaithful day and secured all the exits. No one on the outside could tell what was transpiring inside the building.
Cogs was annoyed though. It was taking too long. The head Angel ‘Michael’ had severed connections with them as though they weren’t all part of the same group and had left them at a loss to his current plans and whereabouts. Did he think them stupid? And worthless???
Well they weren’t worthless now, weren’t they? Cogs and Hammer and the rest of the L. D. Angels now held a number of notable HighDeck individuals’ lives in their hands and could bribe the Nobles as to their plans. This was exactly what they needed; action, strike! Michael’s plan had been too hazardous and time consuming. Blackmail and reveal the Nobles secret project!
“Tssk,” she made a fist and punched the wall. But Nobles weren’t running to the rescue after all. Seemed they didn’t want their dainty little hands sullied in something so trivial? Only HighDeck officers were being alerted.
On the other side of the room, Hammer saw his partner cuff the wall in frustration. He was huge; 7 feet and heavily built, an aggressive 26yrold punk angel. He had tanned skin, bleached blonde highly spiked hair and ripped attire consisting of an open denim jacket and ripped three quarter jeans bearing holes. Naturally, the jacket had anarchy and anti racism logos on it and on his feet he wore a worn pair of trench boots. His jaw was set in a rigid scowl and an eyebrow was slit down the middle, whether purposefully or due to an accident it was uncertain.
Cogs was also offensive looking. She was 24yrs, fit, somewhat muscular with a colourful Mohawk. She wore a black baby tee with a bleeding heart, a blue short ripped jeans with hanging belts and beneath- full length plaid pants all red and black. On her gun wielding arm, she wore a wristband with a washed up band logo proudly. They were the two most outrageously coloured objects in the room and were the forefront of the L. D. Angel Muscles.
Hammer was the silent gruff type; he saw Cogs fist the wall and made his way over to her. She turned to face him, frowning as usual. “Seems we are yet to get their attention. We need to step up the game, yea?”
“Mmph.” Hammer grunted in reply.
Cogs turned back to the captives on the floor. They were looking at her frightfully, lips quivering and eyes wide. She hitched her AK47 onto her shoulder and walked in between them, catching each look of fear. Some wouldn’t meet her eyes, but there was one guy sitting up straight with a determined bold expression on his face. Cogs paused, and walked over to said individual. The lady beside him tugged at his arm and whimpered but the man paid no heed. Cogs stooped down before him. “Eh?”
“You won’t get away with this.”
“Oh???” Cogs snickered, “says who?”
“Nobles are much more efficient than you think.”
“Sho... please,” the lady beside him tugged his arm again and Cogs looked across at her, then back at the defiant ‘Sho.’
“So your name’s Sho eh,” Cogs said to him, “you don’t think we can get away with this... Sho?”
“They’ll come get us.”
“They haven’t come so far.”
“They’ll notice we’re missing soon.”
“Why would they...” Cogs stopped talking as realization dawned. She stood up and grinned. “Ohhh...... I see. You two in particular are...” she pointed at them with the AK47 in her hand. She saw the cross insignia on his jersey; “Nobles. Aren’t you...”
The lady beside Sho grimaced again and trembled. Cogs instantly knew that she was correct. “Well well well...” this was something she could use. All the other Angels were looking at her expectantly whilst Sho continued to look at her devoid of fear. She spun around on her heels, “Hammer!”
“We’ll be taking ‘Sho’ here, upstairs, to make a point.”
Hammer grunted again and made his way over to her, gripping Sho by the arms. “Sho!!” The lady shrieked and Cogs kicked her angrily. Sho started but couldn’t move much in Hammer’s firm grasp. The lady whimpered some more.
“Don’t worry honey, it’ll be alright,” Sho said resolutely.
Cogs tssked and grabbed his other arm, “yea right you Nobles scum. We’re taking him to the roof Hammer, to show them we mean business.” Hammer grunted and the Angel Muscles parted as the two carried Sho the Nobles guy, out of the room.
It was a bright and beautiful day on Nobles Deck, as per usual. Totomi Hamasaki was leaning on the balcony of the front porch, contemplating silently. His initiation had gone well and for now, he had nothing to do until duty called. To imagine that he’d wilfully chosen to join the Nobles Soldiers after all this time...
A figure approached in Totomi’s peripheral vision and he inclined his head slightly. It was Mikaza. From the distance, Totomi could see that she had something in her hand as she entered the gates and walked up the lane, the guards bowing respectfully to her. He stood up straight. She was walking up to the second gate now and into the veranda on the far side. “Mika,” Totomi turned around to face her direction. Mikaza paused. Her eyes darted toward Totomi for a second, and then she continued on her way through the archway and into the castle.
Totomi paused semi perplexed. Had she seen him? A stray wind blew his hair affront his face and he grasped it softly, pulling it out of the way. “Mika...”
Mikaza closed the drawer of the cupboards in her room and then went to sit on the lofty softness that was her bed. She was feeling so tired sitting there. She didn’t feel like moving. She placed her hands into her lap and stared at her palms vacantly. Who was... that boy..? She stared down vacantly, I feel so...
Knock knock knock.
Mikaza looked up and managed to sit up straighter. Totomi... “Come in,” she said and the door opened. Totomi entered the room, looking albeit dreamy as usual as he turned around to face his sister. She waved at him cheekily. “Come closer, don’t be shy.”
“Mika,” Totomi sounded mildly surprised but went to her at her bed nonetheless.
“So what’s up... ni-chan?” Mikaza stressed on the word and bounded backward to sit fold legged on the bed. “Talk to your sister, I haven’t seen you in almost forever... how was the initiation?”
“It was...” Totomi drifted back in memories, nothing memorable worth mentioning. He looked back at his little sister smiling at him on the huge bed. She was wearing different clothes from the traditional Nobles outfit she usually donned. This one wasn’t long sleeved and white, but a black short sleeved jersey with a high collar. Her hair was no longer up in a ribbon but it remained short around her face and she now had bandages wrapped from her elbow to her wrists in a ninja fashion. Mikaza cocked her head to the side and made a monkey face at him.
“Oh, oni-chan... you’re daydreaming again.” She chuckled. Totomi blinked dazedly.
“Oh... I was wondering...” he said, “where you were Mika.”
“Who me?” Mikaza pointed at her face, “well I was just out, girl stuff.” She grinned and comically fanned herself.
“!!!” Mikaza stopped rocking back and forth on the bed, all motion stilled. Was she... okay..? She put her hands back in her lap and stared at them. “Of course,” she said lowly without looking up, “I’m okay.”
Totomi’s expression didn’t change. He hadn’t gotten a chance to speak with Mikaza in a while, so much was happening. Composedly, he went beside her and sat on the bed, next to the bright pink heart pillow she had there. “You know,” he said, “you can always converse with me Mika. I’ll always be here for you, and I will protect and care for you through all time no matter what. You can trust me, Mika.” He glanced at the garish pillow once more. It had been a gift from Shimazu; he also had a purple one among his many white pillows on his bed. He looked back at Mikaza who was examining her hands in distress.
“Well...” she said, “It’s about Shimazu.”
“Shimazu?” Totomi interjected bewildered.
“Yes Shimazu,” Mikaza spun around dramatically. “I want to know... what is everyone doing about it? What do you plan to do?”
“Mika...” Totomi was startled. Mika was looking at him with wide pink eyes full of anticipation. He could almost feel something like a magnetic force pulling him toward them...... “I......”
“Hamasaki, do you copy.”
“Uh,” Totomi turned from Mikaza... his Soldier cell was vibrating. He clicked it on. “Yes.”
“You need to report to Headquarters immediately. We have a dire situation on our hands.”
“Understood.” Totomi replied simply and clicked it off. He turned back to his sister. “Sorry about that.”
“No no it’s alright.” Mikaza shook her head swiftly. “It’s Soldiers right? They’re calling you for an investigation?”
“Yes, that is correct.”
“This has something to do with Shimazu ni-san’s case right? You’re going to find the killer?”
“I don’t think this has anything to do with that in particular Mika. I understand it’s regarding some incident on HighDeck.” Totomi tucked a lock of hair behind his ear. “Something like this already...” he muttered lowly.
Mikaza stared at him for a moment. “So,” she began, “what about Shimazu.”
“Of course,” he nodded at her. “As a Soldier now, these things do take priority. I will be doing my duty. So... you want to talk about Shimazu? I really must hurry though.”
“...” Mikaza shook her head and smiled, “oooh it’s okay. I suppose I was getting excited what with you now being a Soldier and all.” She started rocking as she sat and pouted, “gee, I’m going to be so bored now.”
Totomi smiled gently at her, “oh dear Mika, stay out of trouble alright. Do you want me to stay, or shall we continue this talk later.”
“Go on go on,” Mikaza yawned, “you’re boring me already.”
Totomi nodded to her and stood up. “I’ll see you tonight, Mika.”
“You too oni-chan.” Mika flopped backward and waved, “Sayonara.”
“Farewell... Mika,” Totomi walked toward the door and slipped out quietly. Mikaza let her arm fall as she heard the door close and heard her second oldest brother... leave.
“Alright, K-kun. The target is over there and I’ve shown you how to shoot the arrow, so... when you’re ready.”
Kochiro took aim at the target, his arrow at the ready. This doesn’t seem too difficult, Kochiro thought. However...
TADAAH! Kochiro peered over his shoulder and glared. What the hell is he doing??? Uriel, who had apparently finished his job was standing about a mile back from the target, taking aim with exaggerated concentration. “He’s such a distraction,” Kochiro closed his eyes wearily. Stupid show off.
Kochiro looked toward Kandai. “Kandai,” he said lowly, “can’t you do something? He’s disturbing me.” (Whine whine whine.)
“Disturbing you??? You’re the one distracting me!!!” Uriel yelled out. (Why was he listening?)
“I’m the one doing training here!”
“That doesn’t mean anything!”
“It means you’re a distraction!”
“I’m an inspiration!” (Self proclaimed.)
“Why are you even here! Go away!”
“I was here first!”
“No you weren’t!”
“Yes I was!”
“Grrrr!!” Kochiro glared at Uriel. Uriel glared Kochiro. Kandai sat quietly between the noisy exchange, eyes shut. “Kandai!!!” Kochiro finally broke and cried out in a baby voice.
“Sorry kid,” Kandai propped his chin on his hand. “It can’t be helped; I’m not the one who controls Uriel. That’s Gabriel’s job.”
“Gabriel?” Kochiro said. Gabriel was the L. D. Angels spy still missing in action. Kochiro peered back at Uriel once more. I really want this Gabriel person to return soon. “Hm?” Kochiro’s eyes widened. Uriel was notching the arrow back, “but wait-”
Uriel loosed the arrow and it shot out in a straight course towards the bull’s eyes, Kochiro hardly had time to react. The arrow sailed smooth toward Kochiro’s face and he turned his head swiftly, the arrow only zipping his cheek and it was knocked slightly off course, sailing and sticking into the far end of the target. Kochiro was in shock, so was Kandai. Kochiro touched his cheek and looked at the dot of blood on his finger. What the...
Kandai stood up. Kochiro gnashed his teeth and turned to face Uriel. “Are you cr....”
“You moron! You knocked my arrow off course!” Uriel yelled.
“I’m to blame???” Kochiro was flabbergasted. “You, you...” But Uriel was pissed too. He was running to Kochiro with his fist raised. He dove on Kochiro and ruffed him by the front of his uniform. Kochiro shielded with his arm and yelled out “Kandai!!!”
Sigh. Why does he have to call my name in that kind of voice? Kandai started toward them as they started grabbing each other by the hair and scuffling.
“My nail!” Uriel cried out. Kandai reached into the tangle and pried them apart. He held them apart as they panted, Kochiro much worse off. “You little brat!”
“You’re the little brat here!” Kochiro rubbed at his dirty cheek. I’m too cute for this. I hate fighting!
Uriel writhed in Kandai’s grasp. “What was that???”
“Ah! Don’t come near me!” Kochiro shielded his face.
Kandai casually tossed Uriel aside on the ground. Kochiro snickered. Uriel flipped up easily and dove at Kochiro again.
Kandai sighed. This was going to be a long day.
And it was. “99, 100.” Kochiro dropped the skip rope and wiped his forehead.
“100, 101.” Uriel was there too and he dropped the rope and grinned. Kochiro tssked and ignored him. Kochiro did 25 push ups and Uriel did the same with a huge rock on his back. Kochiro did 5 laps and Uriel did 5 laps running backward. It was getting Kochiro peeved although he tried his best not to show it. He ignored Uriel whilst pouting angrily.
“Now that you can balance the bucket on your head K-kun,” said Kandai, “it’s time to walk the plank.”
Kochiro got to his feet steadily, the bucket of water sloshed about on his head. This was the balancing exercise; he had to walk across a narrow plank above the pond without spilling any. Kochiro looked to his side. Of course, of course Uriel was there. “The little idiot.” And he had two buckets in each of his hands, the one on his head, and two more over his shoulder held on the ends of his stick weapon. Kochiro hmphed and went to the plank. Uriel followed.
Kandai watched the two silently. “...” Kochiro was doing ok but Uriel in the back was rushing him, stepping on his foot. Kochiro turned around to snap and so on so on.
“Hurry up slowpoke!” Uriel swished the stick and the bucket hit Kochiro in the back. He stumbled. Kochiro said nothing. “Hurry!” he did it again. Kochiro turned around-
“Stop it!” he tried to shove Uriel but Uriel was skilled after all. He ducked and spun; the bucket from the posterior end of the stick caught Kochiro full on and sent him into the waters.
“Kandai!!!” Kandai got to his feet. Another fight was sure to come.
“This is the second time for the day!” Kochiro broke the surface of the water angrily. He pulled Uriel in by the ankle.
“Ah!!!” Uriel went in. Kandai stopped walking. He looked toward the sky. The sun was going down. “You cheat!”
“Rrgh!” SPLOOSH sploosh sploosh, fight fight fight. Kandai reached in and brought Kochiro up by the arm. Kochiro coughed up water on his hands and knees. Uriel got out by himself and stomped toward them.
“This isn’t over yet!”
Uriel continued forward and grabbed at Kochiro. Kandai caught his wrist.
Uriel ignored him and pulled his arm free. He went at Kochiro again and Kandai caught his shirt collar.
“Grr,” Uriel performed an elaborate spin and slipped right out of his shirt and hopped back, free out of Kandai’s reach. “Hey!!!! Give that back you thief!”
“Uriel. It’s time.”
“Huh,” Uriel paused. Kochiro stopped coughing and sat up. Kandai was in a serious mood. “Time...”
“Night will fall shortly. It’s time for your first mission.” Kandai turned to face Kochiro, “you; ‘Raphael’,” he looked back at Uriel, “and you, ‘Uriel’ are going to infiltrate High Decks Tradings building and confront the Muscles. It’s gone out of hand. Go get your gear.”
“...” Uriel straightened up. He nodded without another word and turned, headed toward the dojo. Kochiro pushed his hair out of his eyes and stood up too. Kandai turned to face him.
“Your equipment is in your room. And also... here,” Kandai held out his hand to give Kochiro the weapon. Kochiro’s eyes widened. A gun. “You might need it.” You will need it. This had been his intention all along; Kochiro couldn’t possibly have been trained in one day. And now, he was officially, the L. D. Angel Raphael.
Totomi Hamasaki along with some other Nobles Soldiers had been called to Headquarters to watch the incident the helicopter was transmitting. An L. D. Angel woman had a Nobles guy on the rooftop with a gun to his head.
“Are you watching this Nobles scum!!!?” Cogs cried, looking at the camera protruding from the helicopter the Nobles had finally sent.
“You...” Sho gaped, gripped tightly by Cogs, “you can’t be serious...”
Cogs grinned maliciously. One second passed and then she pulled the trigger of the gun. Nobles’ brain matter splattered everywhere.