The once clear blue skies and fluffy white clouds of Takeshita District transformed into black monsoon clouds, slowly covering the gleaming hot ball of fire, which indicates a heavy downpour that would eventually descend into the earth. Gradually, cool drizzles started to fall, allowing the redwood and beech tree leaves to dangle as the rain continues. Heavy thuds resound at every rooftop in the district, including the white marble, century-old Nakahara mansion.
Inside the colossal walls of the stately manor, three handsome youths gathered around the wide oak dining table for a seemingly important conference.
"How are we supposed to get some facts or even a single data regarding Ruu's emblem?" Yuki Toyama broke the ice, sipping his cup of hot cocoa but stopped and got teary-eyed as he almost burnt his tongue. OUCH...Hot!
"And to manage to avoid the suspicions or gravely endanger our kin," Ranmaru Morii emphasized, stirring his green tea with a silver spoon, and eyeing on his raven-haired friend who was sitting opposite to him.
"I was thinking about that for days since we found Ruu," Takenaga Oda finally spoke, "We could barely get some information from our families though we should do it cautiously." He sipped his decaf then laid his cup.
No wonder women would fall for his seriousness, especially Noi. Ranmaru looked admirably proud at his long-time pal. Wait! Am I turning into...NOOOO! Ranmaru vigorously shook the idea from his head.
What is he thinking now? Takenaga looked intrigued. "We can use the archive at the local library," Takenaga continued, "They must have some journal or lists of influential families."
"That's right!" Yuki beamed, "I think I have read a magazine on interviews of rich men and women in Japan." Ha! Good for me, I'm used to libraries.
"Ahhh...yes!" Ranmaru smirked, "I remembered Oji-san was interviewed before when I was I kid." And that news reporter was one hot lady. Reminiscing, he brushed his hair with his long fingers.
Showoff! Yuki and Takenaga glinted at him.
"Yuki and I will visit the library tomorrow morning," Takenaga proposed which Yuki readily accepts. "You can gather a bit of information from your women," he added and glanced at Ranmaru. At least, for once, we can use his womanizing attitude for something beneficial.
"Ha! Now you're talking!" Ranmaru announced enthusiastically. Leave it to me, the Master of Romance. With my charms, I'll definitely get more information.
"But...," Yuki interrupted Ranmaru's gleaming moment, "how are we able to escape from Kyouhei's and Sunako's inquisitive skills?" They're like detectives to me.
"Sunako wouldn't suspect a thing however Kyouhei's the problem. Just leave the reasoning to me." Takenaga stated firmly.
"Okay! That's settled then," Ranmaru stood and announced excitedly, "Let's begin with our OPERATION RUU!" I'll be busy dating beautiful, confident, and gorgeous women.
He sure is hyped! Takenaga and Yuki look stunned and sweat drops formed from their heads.
Meanwhile, at downtown, where the tall corporate buildings erected, noisy screeching sound of various automobiles echoed from every corner of the street, and the fast paced steps from humans resounded to and fro from the cemented pavement, as if nothing would made them stop despite the heavy rainfall.
Within one of the buildings, a well-known coffee shop opened its doors to its valuable customers. Due to the sudden change of weather, the shop was inhabited and was almost full. Men and women sat on their comfortable cushioned seats, minding their own business in a modern yet cozy English-style ambience.
Among these patrons, a long yellow-brown haired young man sat at one corner by the glass window. He was comfortably leaning his back on the cushioned couch with his long left upper extremity resting on the seat's shoulder board and the other was on his crossed legs. He was wearing a red and brown plaid long sleeve collared polo accentuated with a plain brown vest as part of its design, which rolled mid-forearm, and a lighter shade of brown trousers. He paired his casual look with black sleek Oxfords. Indeed, he was good-looking. Apparently, he was fixing his eyes expressionlessly outside the window.
Where could she be? Where ever you hide, I'll definitely find you.
His deep thoughts snapped when someone called his attention. "Eh?"
"Ummm...Gomenasai," a mauve haired teen-aged girl in a green office-type uniform and clean white apron uttered apologetically, "Here's your café latte." She placed his drink on his table. "If there's anything else you want, please don't hesitate to call me."
"Thank you...," Kimura smiled, took a quick glance on her ID, "...Chiyo." His presence created a dazzling effect on her that made her bleed.
He knows my name! "You're welcome," she blushed and nervously leaves him in solitude.
Kimura watched her smilingly and then glanced at his cafe latte, which he saw a vivid image of the raven-haired girl he bumped into at the marketplace few days before since he arrived at Takeshita District.
She resembles Hanako; her hair, physique, and smile, almost everything. Though, Hanako's more of a human being than that girl. He groaned from the idea of his initial encounter of the unexplained girl he met. Probably a doppelganger.
Kimura grabbed the silver teaspoon, whisked the creamy liquid before him, and chose to omit sugar. He preferred it plain or with a touch of cream. He dislikes too many sweets from the time when he was little or as long as he remembered.
Surveying the establishment, it was obvious that women, both young and old, ogled at him. With his build and features, Kimura Fujiwara doesn't appear much of a twenty-seven year old business executive. He inherited his father's robust features and hair though he had his mother's deep blue eyes and a fraction of her dominant and competitive nature. He used to be the only child, the expected heir to all of his parents' fortunes and had their attention solely to him until his half-brother; a child born out of wedlock came to the picture.
He raised his cup, smirked, and managed to make a toast to his audience, who all fell from their feet or seats and nosebleed. I guess I still have the charms. He moaned and sipped the warm liquid from the ceramic China cup.
"Kyaaaaa...it's Kyouhei-kun!" the ladies shrieked from the top of their lungs, and they were evidently brought to life from their death by a single mere presence inside the coffee shop.
Curiously, Kimura had a glimpse of the commotion from his seat. The sight of the so-called Kyouhei made the adrenaline inside his body rush and run into his veins, which instantly made his blue eyes dilated. The tall blonde-haired adolescent walked in from the glass door entrance, which made the bell rang that was situated atop it and served its purpose every time a regular arrives or leaves the shop.
Kyouhei Takano wore a grey long sleeved sweater with a white skull design and covered it up with a black leather jacket with golden-yellow linings. He paired it with dark blue denim, a black and white Nike rubber shoes, and a silver crucifix choker. His hair was slightly damp and run his fingers through it, settling his ashen locks.
This made his gender counterparts swooned and swept from their feet and, once more, blood surged from their noses. "Kyouhei-kun..."
Geez, why should I be the one to buy their coffee beans? It should have been Sunako's job. And of all places, in a flashy coffee shop? Kyouhei mumbled. He was instructed authoritatively by his roommates exactly almost two hours ago to buy a bag of high-quality coffee beans.
"We need you to do us a big favour, Kyouhei," Takenaga pleaded, "Do buy me a bag of La Esmeralda coffee beans."
"A what?" Kyouhei fell from the red majestic cushioned sofa, where he was lying. He was enjoying his afternoon break and from his duty of babysitting the newest member of their household.
"It's a delicate coffee bean that was imported from abroad," Ranmaru implied.
"Buy yourself an instant coffee! What's the difference anyway?" Kyouhei shifted his position, turning his back on them.
"Come on! Don't be a bummer." Takenaga snatched the pillow from his head and made a little white lie, "Ranmaru and I have been missing it since we moved here."
"Yes...yes! It's the only coffee bean that suits my elusive taste buds and I have been yearning its aroma for quite some time now," Ranmaru added, giving Kyouhei a puppy-eyes look.
Bluffers! Kyouhei thought, glinted at them, and grasped the pillow from Takenaga's hand. "It's rainy and gloomy outside! It's the best chance for me to take a nap."
"Here," Takenaga took his wallet from his pocket and handed him five 1,000 bills, "Take this. I don't know how much it costs today but I guess this would do, and then take the change. It's all yours." He knew Kyouhei wouldn't resist such offer.
Kyouhei's eyes widened as he admirably gawked at the crisp bills resting on his palm. "Are you serious? I could kiss and hug you, you know that."
"Don't you dare!"Takenaga defended, "And yes, I'm dead serious about you keeping the change."
Seeing this opportunity to lure Kyouhei from leaving the mansion as they have planned, Ranmaru gave another five 1,000 bills to his blonde-haired roommate. "Buy yourself anything you want."
Kyouhei raised an eyebrow at Ranmaru, who winked and gave him his signature killer smile, "I won't fall for this, Ranmaru."
"How could you?" Ranmaru whimpered hurtfully, "We've been friends and you don't trust me? It's just once in a while that I'm giving you a part of my allowance. Call it a gift."
He's acting it out again! Kyouhei gaped at his crimson-headed friend. "Thanks!"
Kyouhei stood from his seat, clutched his black leather jacket from the adjacent sofa, headed for the living room's main door, and peeked at them behind his back, "Is that all you need?"
"Yes!" They followed him until they reached the mansion's main doorway.
"You two are very suspicious," Kyouhei bluntly said while tying his shoe laces.
"Eh? What are you talking about?" Takenaga fretfully asked, "We just wanted a cup of coffee from La Esmeralda beans, that's all."
"Nothing," Kyouhei rose after tying his shoe laces and donned his jacket
"Just take your time, okay?" Ranmaru bade him good-bye.
Something's fishy. Kyouhei sensed and left.
"Whew!..." Takenaga and Ranmaru sighed from relief. It was obviously hard to persuade Kyouhei and they had to use, no, give him their week's allowance to finally achieve it.
It was of course unsurprisingly for his two well-off friends to purchase luxurious items, but this was out of the blue. Damn those rich kids!
Kyouhei buried his hands inside his jacket's pocket and strolled casually towards the posh counter, overtaking and giving the crowd of women around him a 'don't-you-dare-mess-with-me' glare.
"Hey! Old man," Kyouhei tried to be polite and patient in spite of the attention he's getting from the clienteles, "how much does your La Esmeralda coffee bean cost?"
"A two-pound bag of beans will cost you 4, 500, Sir," a man in his late thirties, who seems to be the manager, replied him in all honesty. Another handsome kid with big wallets! Hehe...
"I'll take one," Kyouhei demanded, took 5,000 cold cash from his pocket, and placed them on the counter. And make it quick please!
"Very well Sir, please wait for a moment," the manager took his cash and called for one of his personnel to get the beans.
Unknown to Kyouhei, one pair of eyes was trailing him and was studying his actions. He felt that bitter stare and made him shiver down to his spine. He recognized the kind of sensation that was hitting him directly. In the face of that unfriendly atmosphere, he was ecstatic and was prepared to seize upon a battle that he would not miss. He never had an enjoyable brawl from the time when he left his previous school and his old gang back from his hometown, well, with the exception of fighting Sunako on a daily basis. With his peripheral vision, he scanned the coffee shop until he found what he was looking for.
So! It's you! He glinted on the yellow-brown haired stranger who was sitting at one area. The young man narrowed his eyes, giving him an evil fixed stare, and a sinister grin shaped his lips.
Setting his eyes on him, Kyouhei stood confidently and gave him that identical gaze - a compelling mutual feeling. He felt the exchange of fire and electricity when their eyes met.
You want a fight, eh? Kyouhei twitched his head, as if inviting an opponent for a round of 'friendly' competition.
Kimura Fujiwara simply sat there; witnessing his prey's every move. Even though the teenager was a complete stranger, he had that persuasive connection, which made him believed that he had run into him in the past. Studying him from head to foot, Kimura noticed a mirror image of an individual he had a zealous disgust with. Although a resemblance, maybe a false one, he never considered that the young adult would assertively trade that impression with him, which he certainly not found on someone he loathed the most.
Well, what do we have here? I never thought I'd find someone worth of my time. Kimura snorted as the blonde-headed lad tilted his head, tempting him for a quick blow. I won't be easy on you, kid.
Kyouhei, for no reason, maintained his eye contact on his supposed rival. The gentleman crossed his limbs and propped more comfortably on his seat, resembling a big Mafia boss belittling on his associates and thugs. Kyouhei realized he was giving him the 'you-don't-know-who-you-are-messing-with' appearance from his stern face.
"Excuse me, Sir," the manager coughed in order to get Kyouhei's interest. "Here are your beans and your change," he presented Kyouhei both the items respectively.
"Eh?" Kyouhei snapped, "Arigatou gozaimasu." He grabbed the beans and loose change, hid them inside his pocket and zipped it securely. He instantaneously took his attention on the corner where the unfamiliar person sat, but Kyouhei's eyes widened in amazement. Alas, he was gone!
Damn it! Where is he? Kyouhei bit his lip and clenched his fist.
"Looking for me?"
Kyouhei heard a hoarse voice behind him. Gradually, he shifted his body and turned his head on the voice's direction. Taken aback, Kyouhei stepped back. How did he?
Oh, did I surprise you? I haven't even laid a finger on you. Kimura sniggered.
Standing at six foot three, Kyouhei was considerably one of the tallest among his acquaintances and schoolmates. However, the male figure standing opposite him was taller. Akin to him, he had long light-coloured hair, but of a different shade, lean and athletic physique, and from what he can make out, this new arrival is an excellent fighter.
"They look like brothers, don't you think?" Kyouhei heard someone murmured. Don't mock me.
Hearing this, Kimura gave the younger one a genuine smile, much to Kyouhei's astonishment. "Well, that was a flattering compliment, isn't it?" He was provoking him. Looking at you excites me.
"Tch..." Kyouhei remained his sight on him, anticipating for an offensive move. Don't change the subject!
Kimura advanced, positioning himself closely, a few inches apart, at Kyouhei.
"You wouldn't die young, would you? I bet you wanted to get hitched and start a family on your own," words came with a deathly rasping tone.
"What?" Kyouhei exclaimed in disbelief and tighten his fist. Damn you bastard!
I'm starting to like you and your attitude but you just might end up wounded and disappointed. Kimura sneered yet again gave him a guiltless smile. Sneaking a quick look outside the window, he remarked that the rain drops have ceased from falling "Hmm...Looks like the rain have stopped."
Kyouhei merely stood there, frozen. Changing subjects again! He's making me look like I'm stupid. Just get on with it and fight!
I wouldn't make a false move if I were you. You still got a fine future ahead of you kid, that is if you don't want to die. Kimura snickered and calmly checked his silver watch. 5:15.
"I'll be going then." He turned his back on Kyouhei and coolly marched on his way to the entry. As he was reaching for the door's handle bar, he swiftly glanced at Kyouhei for one final look, "Nice meeting you..." Little brother...
Kimura strode from the coffee shop and deemed an eerie satisfaction with his encounter with someone unrelated to him. I just hope I could see you again, and finish what we've started.
Meanwhile, at the cafe, Kyouhei remained stationary and without a tinge of his foe inside the shop, all of a sudden he regained his composure. Why you?...Kyouhei sprinted his way out and saw a black Chevrolet Cruze accelerated and veered on the next curb. I'll catch you next time!
"Eh?" Kyouhei acknowledged that recognizable tone of voice from behind and turned his head. Nakahara?
Sunako Nakahara stood, a few feet away from him and shaken with his presence.
"What now?" Kyouhei retorted. I'm not in the mood for any argument with you!
Sunako darted and halted barely inches away from his brightness, and she was totally aware that she would melt and pass away in on the spot. "What are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to be watching over the baby?"
"I'm not your nanny!" Kyouhei barked, "Besides, I was kicked out from the house."
"You were?" Sunako looked dumbfounded. Heh! I'm not even surprised.
She's faking it! Darn you Nakahara! "Yeah...," Kyouhei fumed, "The boys dragged me into buying some weird coffee beans. If I had known you'd be going outside, I should have asked you to buy them for me."
"Ohhh...," Sunako plainly responded, "They asked me to do some errands too." She showed off four large bags of grocery items. And I also bought some Haagen-Dazs for myself!
That's a month's worth of food! Kyouhei eyed on the packed plastic bags. "Did they give you some cash for these?"
"Yes...," Sunako answered, "How did you know?" Does he read minds now?
"Eh?" Kyouhei grinned. I knew it! They're up to something! You're so naive Nakahara! He had a glimpsed of Sunako, until he realized how she looked unusual.
Sunako was wearing a plain white tank top, a buttoned navy blue cardigan, deep blue skinny jeans, a pair of black closed stiletto heels, and accentuated the transformation with a long black beaded necklace. She gave the impression of a model out of a chic fashion magazine in her casual wear. Kyouhei had seen her dressed differently but this one was relatively unusual.
"What with that guise?" Kyouhei chuckled. I think I already know why and who. Haha...
"They made me do it!" Sunako was irritated. They use Ruu on me and blackmailed me!
"Well, it looks good on you," Kyouhei smiled.
"Don't get any wrong ideas!" Geez...
Knowing that this would lead to something else, Kyouhei decided to change the subject, "Are you hungry? I'm starving! Let's grab a bite before we get home."
Kyouhei snatched two bags from Sunako's grip and grasped her wrist, dragging her beside him while Sunako was skipping to catch up with him. They walked together into the dusk as the lined-up lamp posts started to flicker, an indicative of nightfall has come.