Chapter 1: Worse Devil

"Lady Balalaika, this is all the information that I could gather," Vladimir said, putting down a compilation of documents on Balalaika's desk. "I'm sorry I didn't meet your expectations. His identity is top secret."

Balalaika briefly glanced at the envelope, and then she glanced back at Vladimir. "No. You've rather done the opposite. I didn't expect you to get this much."

"Thank you, Kapitan."

"Now, will you give me a briefing about him?"

"Yes, ma'am. He was a class-S assassin, laboratory-trained under the Kutzmann Project; a wanted man with a bounty of one hundred million US dollars; had killed many important persons in different countries; was behind the dissolution of two infamous revolutionary groups in the Middle East and the destruction of a nuclear research facility in Southeast Asia. His name, date of birth, and nationality are still unknown. Last seen in Iraq, where he was reported killed by the military. He was known as 'Cold Knife' in respect to the method he used to kill his victims."

"Impressive record." She pulled a drawer under her desk and took out a bundle of cash from there. "Good work." She placed the bundle beside the envelope.

"Thank you, Lady Balalaika. Do you want me to research further about him?"

"There's no need. I will take it from here."

"As you wish."

Vladimir took the money, said his goodbye, and then left.

When already alone, Balalaika shook out the contents of the envelope. It contained newspaper articles, police reports, and documents about the Kutzmann Project. She spread the pieces of papers on her desk, apparently uninterested with them. "This papers are useless. I can't believe I paid for this garbage." She kept on searching for something among the papers, regularly picking up a piece to read, until she found a picture of a young boy. "This is it." She stood up, took her military coat, and left.

"Whom should I sleep with?" Revy asked Dutch, sounding as if she heard an unbelievable tale.

"Rock," Dutch replied.

Revy bolted up from the bed, where she and Rock were seated, and confronted the huge black ex-Navy face to face. "Rock? Did I hear Rock?"

"Uhuh."

"Dutch, tell me, are you joking?"

"Nope."

Revy glared at Rock. "With this wimp? I'll gonna be sleeping with this wimp?"

"That's the third time you asked about it."

"Like hell no! There's no way I'll let him sleep with me in the same room."

"You have no choice unless Rock volunteers to sleep in the hallway."

"Why not with Benny?"

"He has a lot of equipments. Even he might sleep on a chair."

"Then let's get another room."

"It's easy to say. We have no enough funds. If we have, then I'll not be sleeping in the Black Lagoon."

"Then I'll be sleeping in there."

"Hey, Revy, don't make this more difficult, okay. I'm not sleeping in the boat for nothing. I'll do a lot of repairs. Besides, Rock doesn't look like he could do anything to you. Why are you so worried to sleep with him in the same room?"

Revy blushed. "I…"

"Ah, ano, Dutch, may be it would be better if I help in the repairs, don't you think?" Rock cut in.

"You'll only get in my way," Dutch replied.

"But you see…"

"If you're thinking of sleeping with me in the boat, forget it. I don't plan to be disturbed. Well, if you want a decent place to stay in, talk it out with Revy here. You're a businessman, right?"

"But…"

"Just bear it for a while. When my dock is finally reconstructed, everything will return to normal. And Revy," he said, turning to Revy, "don't spend too much. We need to be careful."

Revy just nodded like an obedient child.

"All right. Then it's settled. I'll be going, now." He started walking away.

"Hey, Dutch," Revy called out. "What do you mean it's settled? You just changed the subject."

"Did I? Well, if you're not in to it yet, settle it yourselves. I have many things to do." He opened the door, went out, and left.

"Dutch! Damn it, he didn't even turn back." She shifted her gaze from the door to Rock. "Hey, Rock, I'm sure you were, at least, listening to the words I said, earlier. I hope you're not an idiot to understand."

"What do you mean by that?"

"I mean there's no way you'll be able to sleep in this room. I don't care where you'll throw your ass at, but you'll not be sleeping here."

"But why? Why can't I stay in this room?"

Revy fished her pistol from the holster on her waist, and poked it on Rock's forehead. "You know, I don't want explaining myself. If you don't want me to end your life here, you should not play dumb and just nod yes."

"But I want to know why I'm not allowed here."

Revy unlatched the trigger and pulled down the hammer. "Don't make me repeat myself!"

Instantly, Rock's eyes became determined. "Fine, then kill me, but only after I hear your reason. I don't understand you. I'm a weakling. If you're afraid that I might kill you, you have your guns. If you're afraid that I might rape you, you have your guns. So, why? What's your reason?"

Two things came instantly to her mind. One, she didn't really understand why she felt something different and threatening about Rock, something dark and monstrous, something that could make persons like her to feel apprehensive. And the other one...

"Because I like you!" she shouted and then accidentally pulled the trigger.

They were both shocked. No bullet came out from the pistol because the magazine was unloaded, but still they couldn't help freezing. Rock was totally awed because he couldn't believe that his life could have ended on that instant if the gun had been loaded. Revy, on the other hand, was completely cold not because she had pulled the trigger, but because of what she had said. She had just announced to Rock that she liked him.

"You really wanted to kill me." Rock softly said. "I thought I died, Revy. Why? Why did you hire me if you will just kill me, eventually?"

Revy felt her throat contract. "I…I…"

Suddenly, the door opened and Benny, with a carton of electronics spare parts, came in. The American hacker didn't realize yet what was happening. "Hey, Revy, would you mind if…" He accidentally glanced up at them. "What the…" Benny immediately threw the carton aside and ran towards them. "Hey, what's happening here?" He immediately took the pistol away from Revy and threw it to the wall. He then pulled Rock behind him.

"Revy! What the hell are you doing?"

"I…"

"She killed me," Rock whispered.

Revy and Benny jerked towards him.

"She killed me," he repeated.

"What? I don't understand you," Benny said, confused. He took hold of Rock's shoulders. "What really happened here?"

Rock took away Benny's hands from him and then slowly walked away, still dazed. Benny was very confused, now. He glanced back at Revy who was looking at the floor.

"Revy…"

"I'm resigning," Rock said. "I'm sorry to bother you so much."

Benny, surprised, took hold of Rock's arm. "What are you saying all of a sudden? You can't resign."

Rock pulled his arm away. "I don't want to die yet. I better find some other company to work for." He walked on towards the door.

"Rock!" Benny looked at Revy for a second, and then he decided to run for the door to stop Rock. Before Rock could go out, Benny was already before him. "You stop right there and tell me what is happening!"

Rock didn't answer for a while. Then he said, "Just ask her." At that, he pushed Benny aside, opened the door, and got out.

Benny couldn't help but stare at Revy. Instinctively, he closed the door behind him. "Revy…"

Suddenly, Revy repeatedly kicked the bed. "Shit! Shit! Shit!"

"Revy…"

Balalaika went to Boris's office. She found her assistant researching in front of his computer.

"Boris," she said. "I have something I want you to do."

Boris glanced up at the blonde woman. "Kapitan?" He hastily got up from his chair. "I'm very sorry I haven't realized you're there."

Balalaika approached him. "Don't bother for unnecessary things. More important, I want you to compare this to the picture of our suspect." She showed him the picture of the young boy.

Boris took a good look at it. "His eyes…I can't believe there's still someone who possesses those eyes."

"The Devil's Glare, eh? Yes, nobody in the world possesses those eyes anymore. Cold and emotionless. When I looked at it, I felt some kind of excitement. The eyes that low-people possess now are just dog's eyes. Devoid of any fear but, nevertheless, speak of their weakness of being humans."

Boris took the picture from Balalaika. "Indeed, Kapitan. Even ours are only of the dogs."

"I want to meet him, that boy. Make sure you don't miss anything, okay."

"Don't worry ma'am. The one I purchased from the CIA will unmask our suspect."

"I'm counting on you."

At that, Boris went to do his work. He finished after two-and-a- half hours. When he went back to where his boss was, he found her smoking on his chair, watching some porno film on the Internet.

"Kapitan, I'm finished."

Balalaika non-chalantly looked at him. "So?"

"It's a match."

Balalaika excitedly grinned. "As what I have thought."

"What do you want us to do?"

Balalaika stood up, showing her killer's eyes to Boris. "Let's make sure we are not deceived by our eyes. Prepare me the limousine and hire a sniper! I want to have a date with him…in hell."

"Hey, Revy, could you please tell me what happened here? I'm getting worried you know. Rock's eyes were so afraid. What did you do to him?"

Revy walked slowly towards the wall to pick up her pistol. "Nothing."

"What do you mean nothing? Would Rock suddenly resign if you did nothing?"

Revy glared at him. "Are you blaming me for that wimp's tantrum? I said I didn't do anything."

"Hey, Revy, I know you. You just don't want to say it, but I know you did something."

"Don't misunderstand me, Benny. I don't want to repeat myself."

"I will tell Dutch about this. You're going overboard."

At that, Revy rushed towards the blonde hacker and pointed her gun at his temple. "Don't mess with me, Benny! Resigning was Rock's own decision—"

"I don't see it that way."

"What?"

"I will tell him no matter what, so you better kill me before that happens."

"Are you threatening me?"

"No. I don't threaten anyone."

Revy thought for a while, bristling like a dog at Benny. Then: "All right, all right, I'll get him back! But if Dutch is informed about this, I will burst the crap out of your head."

"You better get him back, Revy. I know that you also don't want him to leave."

"I'm getting him back, don't worry. But don't assume you know everything about me. Never before did I trust that guy. I don't know why, but sometimes I think that he could do anything to me."

"Oh? You've been like that too towards me when I first came here."

Revy holstered her gun. "No. It felt so different. Anyways, I will use anything even this pistol just to get him back. Just wait."

"Ano, Revy, are you forgetting something?"

"What?"

"I have your bullets. Isn't it that you asked me to buy them for you yesterday?"

The black limousine rolled out the mansion of Hotel Moscow. Balalaika sat in the last compartment, thinking about the boy. I haven't been this excited since the war in Afghanistan. Now, boy, I want to know what you really can do. Show me what it feels to meet with someone with the Devil's Glare. Show me how to be scared.

Rock walked the alleys of the rowdy market, where merchants coming from different parts of the world were gathered. Not like when he first discovered the place, this was the first time when he did appreciate it.

So it's over a year, eh, he thought. Being in Japan was a great experience, but this is more fun. Deep inside, I really feel like this is where I really belong. He sighed. It's been a while since I haven't done that and, really, it felt great. I felt at peace for a while, and I didn't expect that this would be a very nice experience. I'm happy that before I die, God let me experience this kind of life.

Someone bumped him in the way. "I'm sorry," the man said.

He smiled at him. "That's okay."

The man smiled back and went on his way.

He sighed. This life. I want to live this life forever. He sighed again. But I think I can't. It's impossible. Just earlier, I almost killed Revy. If that time I smelled that there were bullets, she could have been dead by now. As the set date is getting nearer and nearer, I am becoming more and more itchy about myself. Maybe this is the right decision, am I right, doctor? If I stay with them, I will just endanger their lives. Yes, this is just the right decision. Anyways, I will be gone from this world forever after two weeks. At least I could give back the favor they've done for me by not killing them. Unfair, huh?

Suddenly, he bumped to someone in his front. This woke him up from his thoughts. He glanced up to see who it was.

"Revy?" he asked, surprised.

"Hey, Rock! I, you know, about what happened, it was…"

"Just an accident. I know it was. Don't worry." He smiled.

"Huh? You know it was? But, earlier, didn't you…"

"It was just drama. You know, I really plan on leaving you someday. So, when you did that, I thought that that would be a good reason for me to leave, don't you think?"

"Bastard! You—"

Suddenly, Rock pulled her close and kissed her deeply, much to Revy's surprise. It lasted for a few seconds. When Rock let go, Revy was furiously blushing and confused.

Rock smiled at her. "Revy, I didn't know that you like me."

Revy was speechless. She couldn't help but stare at Rock's sincere eyes.

"That's my reply. Now that you know it, could you let me go?"

Still blushing, Revy put her hand over her pistol.

"I know you want to shoot me now. But let me say this for the last time. You are the most attractive girl that I've ever met." Rock waited for her reply. He could clearly see that her eyes were becoming overbrimmed with tears. "Revy," he said, finally, "you will not be able to see me again after two weeks. No one will be able to see me again after two weeks. It's best that this will be our last meeting. But before that, I want to say my sincerest appreciation to you and to the Black Lagoon for giving me a kind of life very different from what I have been living all my life. Thank you very much." He made a courteous bow at Revy.

Eventually, Revy loosened her grip from her pistol. "Why do you have to leave?"

Rock straightened up. "I have to. But you'll know why. Count on me. Someone will tell you about me. So, this is it. I'll go now." He started to walk past by her.

When he had taken a few steps away from her, she turned around swiftly, pulling her gun and aiming it towards Rock. "Stop right there!" she commanded. "You can't just leave after kissing me. Everything is paid in this world, you know."

Rock didn't stop.

"Rock, my hand is getting tensed. Stop right there!"

Rock didn't comply and there she started firing. The people, who were from the very start of their confrontation had been very anxious, began to run away from the place. Cartridges rained down to the ground. The shouts of the people mixed with the sound of the gunfire. And it was like that for a few seconds until Revy's gun stopped.

Rock was motionless, his back still facing towards Revy. She believed he was already dead and she had killed him. She was crying.

"Rock, I told you to stop. Why didn't you listen to me? Damn it! Why did you choose to die? You could have stopped. I hoped that you would stop. But why did you continue?" She paused and lowered her pistol, still crying incessantly. "I thought that you would be my savior. I thought that I already found a light for me to follow. But why do you have to leave now, now that I…I already know how to love?"

"Don't worry, we will meet again someday," Rock suddenly said, much to Revy's surprise. He started walking again.

Revy glanced up immediately after she heard Rock talk. Now that she realized it, there had been no blood that had flowed from Rock's body. She didn't want to believe what she was seeing because she knew that she had aimed him well. But, nevertheless, deep inside, she was glad he was alive.

Damn it, Revy! You almost made me kill you again! he thought. A line of blood flowed down from his mouth. If I didn't bit my lips in time, you could have been dead by now!

When he reached the road, a bald mad bumped with him. The man fell to the ground.

"Idiot! Could you watch—" The man's eyes ridiculously went wide along with the gaping of his mouth when he glanced up to look at Rock's eyes. They were colorless like those of the dead and the pupils were enlarged, as if they were in a pitch-black environment. The man couldn't help screaming while he struggled to get up. When he was on his feet, he ran wildly away like someone who had gone crazy.

Author's note: Hey, I hope you'll like this one! So please if you do feel free to comment on it, okay. I will wait for your reviews. Thank you!