Revenge, Inc. Part 16: A Short Story
Hello everyone and welcome back. Before I begin, I want to thank all of you for helping to make Revenge, Inc. Part 15 have the highest one day score for any of my Revenge, Inc. series/fictional hubs as it reached the high-water mark of 95! In addition to this, it was also a featured hub several times over and got the most views out of any of my installments in it's first week. So for that, I thank you kindly. Maybe one of these days, one of these installments will garner a 100 score. That would really make me proud!
I'm certainly on a roll not only with this story, but with my being late again and again, so once again, I thank you for your patience, your penchant for reading this, and your interest in this body of work which I struggled with for the past seventy-two hours trying to put together in a relatively coherent piece. Thank you for reading!
I really do hope that you take the time to read this series from its start beginning obviously with Part 1. It's hard for me to believe that didn't think to make this into a series until a friend of mine made the suggestion!
A Dire Message
An entire day had come and gone since we first arrived in Kyoto. I was enjoying my time being back in the clutches of civilization after having been removed from it so suddenly such a long time ago. Never before had I been to Japan and I was soaking it up as much as I could. It just felt right. It felt like progress. The sounds and smells were a wonder to behold. The architecture was incredible and people were welcoming and came across to me as if they and I were old friends who have not seen each other in years. I wondered if they realized that I’m white. I felt a certain release while there. But more than anything else, I was enjoying my time being with Natsumi. The time with her was long overdue ever since I first saw her. I envisioned something much like this.
“What’s wrong?” I asked Natsumi. Since first we woke early that
morning when, she wore on her face an obvious concern and her
eyes were distant. Something was bothering her.
“It’s my brother. I just know that he’s in danger.”
“Katsuro’s a big boy. I’m sure that he can take care of himself.” I couldn’t help but to smile.
“What? What is it?”
“I don’t know…Maybe he met a girl last night and that’s why he didn’t come back. I mean he’s been away on Jirai for almost as long as I have…He does like girls, right?”
“Yes, of course he does! But that's something he doesn't take too much interest in. Right now, he’s completely focused on finding the Four Demons of Legend. Nothing can stop him once he becomes determined to get things done. It’s just not like him to not come back after such a long time. Usually by now he would have sent word to us on his whereabouts.” Suddenly from behind us a familiar voice called out amidst the crowded sidewalk of downtown Kyoto. It was Kenji. He was calling out to Natsumi.
“This is for you,” Kenji said and handed her a folded piece of cloth of a kumo shibori or spider-web like design. Upon unfolding it, the cloth revealed the Four Demons of Legend with the caption, "Kyoto Station, 2000" or in other words, the message meant for us to meet them at Kyuoto train station at seven o'clock that evening. She then looked at Kenji who was visibly sweating, no doubt from all the running he did while looking for us. She was tried her best to read his face.
“How do I know this isn’t fake?”
“That's an easy question to answer, Natsumi. I’m still alive, aren’t I?” With lightning speed, Natsumi then produced a single-bladed shuriken from underneath her sleeve and pressed it against the nape of Kenji’s neck. With her other hand, she grabbed a clump of his thick coarse hair. But Kenji wasn't a bit ruffled. He maintained his composure and continued talking: “The Odas could have easily killed me and burnt down my business if they wanted to but didn't because they wanted me to deliver this to you!”
“And how do I know that I can trust you Kenji?” The blade Natsumi held that was pressed against Kenji’s neck went deeper. I was amazed that it didn't break the skin.
“Was it not Katsuro himself that said I could be trusted?” Although still angered, Natsumi backed down and retracted her shuriken. Kenji quickly went for his neck to check for blood and was relieved after having found none. "I may well be your only ally here in Kyoto, Natsumi. I hear your clan was wiped out on Jirai
“Almost wiped out,” I added. I went to reach for my katana from behind me but grabbed only air instead. It was back at Kenji’s. “We’re still here in case you haven’t noticed.”
“You’d be smart to watch your tongue, Kenji. Even a dog knows which master he serves.” Kenji then quickly bowed to her in response.
“Forgive me, Natsumi. I didn’t mean what I said, only that I am here to help.”
“Good. Then that’s all we need to know.”
Walking into a Trap
While back at Kenjis' and preparing to meet with Katsuro's captors, I couldn't help but to contemplate entirely the problem at hand. Katsuro had been captured and was being used to get a hold of Natsumi. The Odas obviously wanted to rid themselves of all the Watanabes and only Natsumi and Katsuro were left. I wasn't comfortable with any of this.
“You know that this is a trap, don’t you?”
“Of course I do, Cody. But nothing’s going to stop me from helping my brother. I have not other choice…If he was your brother wouldn’t you save him?”
“He’s my Master’s son and that’s enough. And even if he wasn’t, he’s the brother of the woman I love and that would make him reason enough.” Natsumi then turned around to look at me. I was expected her to do just that.
“Do you mean it?”
“You know I do.” She then walked over to me and placed both her hands upon my face.
“With all my heart, Cody…With all my heart.”
“Will there ever be a time when we can live in peace?”
“I hope so. But right now, Katsuro needs our help.”
The Kyoto Exchange
From a distance I watched as Natsumi walked atop the platform of Kyoto station while being accompanied by Kenji and so was on standby—ready for anything. To everyone else, they looked every bit like a normal couple, waiting for the next bullet train to arrive. For a time, I saw nothing unusual. I wasn’t sure what it was I was looking for, with the exception of some indication of foul play on the part of the Oda Clan who we obviously didn’t trust. Natsumi and Katsuro represented the only two children of Master Akira and the only next of kin in his passing—the remains of the Watanabe Clan and quite possibly the only blood relatives of the ever famous Hattori Hanzo. But aside from all of these facts, something more so was weighing heavily on my heart: When the Oda Clan ambushed JiraiIsland, they sought to destroy the entire Watanabe Clan, notably Master Akira. Only Natsumi and Katsuro remain. They were using Katsuro to lure in Natsumi. In responding to their request, they’ll have both Natsumi and Katsuro. It was plain and simple: The Odas want both of them dead in that way they would put an end to the Watanabe Clan once and for all. “Not if I can help it,” I whispered.
Two men in business attire and dark glasses approached Natsumi and Kenji. I could not see the action, but I was able to listen and before they reached them, I spotted them fifty-yards before the fact, having mapped out the entire station: One was carrying a suitcase. They looked normal enough but I knew better. Fucking chameleons, I thought. They’re blending in nicely with their surroundings. I stood by straining my ear to hear their conversation which wasn’t easy due to the fact that we were at one of the busiest sections of Kyoto. It was also clever move by the Odas to have chosen such a place as not only was it out in the open, but loud as hell. I was hamstrung by their choice of location. First, he acknowledged Kenji and then Natsumi.
“Kenj! You had time to get away from your shitty building, eh? Ah, Natsumi!” One of the business men said. “You certainly have grown! You remember your old boyfriend Toji, don’t you?”
“How could I forget?” Natsumi said.
“Die in hell, bitch!” The other businessman whom the other referred to as Toji said.
“Enough of this, where is my brother?”
“Easy, girlfriend! First we must have some small talk…” A pause. “You know, if I didn’t hate your guts, I’d ‘throw it in you.’ Isn’t that what the Americans say, Toji?
“The fuck should I know?” Toji said. “Do I look like an American?” Laughter.
“Here is the deal, Natsumi. You come along with us and we set your brother free, okay? I trade you my Watanabe for your Watanabe, okay? Kind of like Pokemon!” Another pause. I could’ve sworn Natsumi’s eyes turned to find me in her hesitation.
“Okay, fine. I’ll do it. But where is he?” I then heard a whistle and a few footsteps approached the group.
“We’ll kill you another time, asshole.” Toji said. Next was Katsuro’s unmistakable voice:
“If you lay a finger on my sister, Ritsuko…” So his name Ritsuko.
“No why would I ever dream of doing that? She’s too beautiful to simply kill.” Ritsuko said.
“I will find you, Natsumi,” Katsuro said. “For as long as it takes.”
“I am not afraid, Katsuro.” Just then, amidst the commotion, the train arrived, interrupting all other sounds of the conversation. It was my cue.
The one called Toji screamed in horror as a shuriken found his right eye and was soon silenced upon hitting the platform floor. Suddenly the crowd at Kyoto station erupted in panic and all bodies were scattering in every direction. The others who at first seemed to be just stationary around the area who were also dressed in business attire suddenly came alive were meeting me head on. On of the Odas drew a gun from his coat pocket but never did take aim of me, as the hand that was holding it separated from his wrist. I then reached back and grabbed a hold Natsumi’s katana and threw it over to Katsuro who caught it in mid-flight. And it was just in time too, as more of our “surroundings” came alive to participate. Kenji struck Ritsuko in the face but then Ritsuko produced a revolver from his coat pocket and pointed it at Natsumi.
“Let her go, Ritsuko” Kenji demanded.
“She has a lot of crimes against my family to pay for. Unless you’d want to take her place she is coming with me. Would you die for her, Kenji?”
“Yes, I would.”
“Excellent!” Ritsuko then raised his revolver and fired. Kenji immediately dropped to the floor and remained motionless. In response, Natsumi screamed as she was dragged inside the train by Ritsuko. Once the doors closed, her screaming was instantly cut-off. The train then began to move and pick up speed. Just as soon as I tried getting evenly remotely near the train more Odas in disguise surrounded me, making it impossible for me to anything to help Natsumi. Gun shots were heard in the distance and the Kyoto police made their presence felt in all of the commotion. The Odas scattered away like cockroaches just as a battalion of cops arrived on the scene, telling us to not move and threatened to fire if we did.
“Time to disappear, Marak.” Katsuro said. Although I didn’t want to, I did exactly that.
© Copyright 2010. All Rights Reserved.
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