don't expect all the updates to come this fast, haha. i had today free and just started writing and this is what happened. i wanted to try and give Aaroniero somewhat of a dual personality, that didn't pan out quite like i had wanted however. originally i was going to have it so obvious that there were points that he would be talking to himself, but the chapter kind of wrote itself in a lot of ways and it just never came up. i hope you all enjoy and i hope my characterization of Aaroniero is pretty good, i sure think he fits greed well, hehe. Thank you to my three reviewers from chapter 1. i'd love to hear what everyone thinks, please feel free to share with me! i'll start on Szayel Aporro Granz when i can. hehe, i love saying his name, it's really fun for some reason =D
We all know how a hollow is made…
And we know of the Espada, the most feared of them all…
What makes an Espada?
Let's once again turn the pendulum back…
Greed: noveno Espada – Aaroniero Arruruerie
Aaroniero Arruruerie was a simple businessman. At least that's what he ordered everyone to say about him at the gunpoint of his thugs.
The short, portly man was currently walking to work. It was something he loved to do when he could, even though it would be incredibly easy for him to ride in any of fifteen different vehicles. He preferred the limo. It was most traditional and most opulent.
You see, Aaroniero loved tradition and opulence. He fashioned himself as a "modern day Second-Estatesman," as he told his competitors and the trash beneath him, usually when they were groveling on the floor of his grand office. Aaroniero wore old-style French suits, complete with frills and on occasion, a cane. His favorite one had a glass top with two shockingly large diamonds floating in it, which was the perfect symbol for someone of his stature. His fingers were adorned with fancy rings, all solid gold and encrusted with various jewels, and the watch on his wrist (one of several) had four zeros behind the first number in its price tag.
Aaroniero had taken over a very powerful corporation from his father, who was an exceedingly rich but philanthropic old gentleman that had renovated many areas of Tokyo; naturally, the board of executives had assumed his son would carry on in his footsteps after the old man passed away.
How wrong they were.
Upon his ascension to power, Aaroniero immediately dissolved the board and wrested all power from anyone who stood in his way. His brutal tactics had many secretly wondering if he had Yakuza connections, but no one in the company dared to question him. They'd end up dead. And not secretly dead either – many an employee had witnessed a lumpy object wrapped in a bloody sheet being dragged from the elevator leading to the top floor of the corporate office. The police, however, were in Aaroniero's pocket, so there was nothing to be done about it. As for competitors, they were called in for a meeting, and left in one of two ways – pale and in tears, having signed away all but their very soul in "a fair proposition," or wrapped in the aforementioned bedsheet. Within a few years, the corporation had grown from a profitable and respectable name in Tokyo to a business giant with fingers in nearly every import, export, technological advance, and market in Japan. With dissenters brutally repressed and the law comfortably paid off, Aaroniero stood proud and rich at what he fashioned as the pinnacle of the world.
The man in question smiled arrogantly to himself as he walked, turning his head and admiring the tall, sleek buildings of the downtown business district. It was an oily look, as smooth and slippery as he was.
'Such a beautiful block this is,' he pondered, 'I believe this is on… next month's budget? Or is it in the next quarter? No matter, I simply must have these towers as well, I'll have to advance the purchase of them, I want them now! They'll provide a nice headquarters for research and development, perhaps that very tall one can be made into security headquarters…' Aaroniero continued to muse to himself as he walked, greedily coveting almost everything in sight as he imagined a perfect world, at least what would suffice as perfect in his mind.
The corporation president stood behind his desk, facing the full wall of windows that looked out on the city from the top floor of the skyscraper. The roof above was angled and glass as well, giving the office a grand, open feel that made it seem even larger than its considerable size. The desk was cherry and far larger than necessary, trimmed in real gold and adorned with a solid gold lamp in the corner. The carpet was a rich dark blue and royal purple, and the walls were paneled in dark redwood. The decoration scheme was pre-revolutionary French, and between the view and the décor it was like standing in a mind-bending dichotomy of ancient and futuristic.
None of this mattered to the little shopkeeper standing in the middle of the room, who was reminding himself to breath slowly and trying not to visibly shake. As he glanced out of the corners of his eyes he noticed the guards stationed near the double entrance doors. And in the corners. And along the sides of the room. And near the glass. He gulped and whimpered almost silently, but judging by the widening of the president's oily smile it wasn't silent enough. The little shopkeeper was too old for this, he just wanted to run his corner store and be left in peace, but it just wasn't to be.
"You see, Makoto-san," Aaroniero began, "I am a simple man. I do not ask for much, in fact I barely ask for anything at all." He paced slowly in front of the windows, appearing deep in thought as he spoke evenly, almost congenially. "All I truly desire is to keep the gangs of the city appeased, for I very much love this city, my city." He never paid the gangs, of course; not that this little shopkeeper needed to know that. His grin widened, looking more like a shark now as he turned to face the shopkeeper. "This, however, requires money, for I must pay for your peace. Why then, Makoto-san, have you not paid me? I must, after all, have money if I am to pay money."
The shopkeeper shivered more and opened his mouth, but no words came out. Aaroniero descended the few stairs in front of his desk, walking past the shopkeeper and standing behind him.
"I am a keeper of the peace, Makoto-san. Surely you desire peace, do you not? My city cannot function without peace and order…"
"Y-Y-You are n-nothing m-more than a c-criminal," Makoto stuttered out, shaking some even as he spoke and looking at the floor, "Y-You don't pay anyone, you just k-keep the money for yourself and e-extort everyone until no one can pay. A-And then you just take everything for yourself!"
Aaroniero grinned, walking over to the walls and appearing to admire another of his decorations, a fancy French coat of arms.
Makoto's eyes widened and he shivered more at the confession.
"This is my city, Makoto-san. Mine… I will buy it up. Piece. By. Piece. I will take it all, from the very government down to your little corner store, I will own it all and I will control it all. And if the stewards of my property are uncooperative…"
Makoto gagged and gasped as the steel saber exploded out from his chest, buried to the hilt in his back. Aaroniero leaned in close, his lips nearly touching the dying man's ear.
"Then they must be eliminated…"
He jerked the saber out, letting the body collapse to the floor as he withdrew a small monogrammed handkerchief and wiped the blade from the coat of arms clean.
"Take out the trash," he ordered his guards, "and shampoo my carpets, I don't want the filth soaking in…" He casually dropped the bloody handkerchief on the man's head, obscuring his eyes (still open in shock) as he walked back the window and stared out at his city, the whole matter entirely forgotten.
This was the plan for his utopia, and it nearly made him shiver in pleasure as he reached his grand headquarters building and entered the lobby. Aaroniero would buy everything. And that which he could not buy, he would buy control of, for this was the very same thing in essence. His company's power would extend to all facets of life in Tokyo – he would have power over the goods shipped in, where they were sold, how much they were sold for, and at each stage he would make money. He would control the exports, where they were sent, and how much they would sell for, and at each stage he would make money. He would control the research and technology of the most advanced city in the world, creating new goods and services that would be marketed and sold to every nation in the world, where new branches would be set up and his empire would grow and grow and grow until all ends of the world would one day be under his sway as Tokyo was destined to be.
And at each stage, he would make money.
The elevator dinged and he entered the hall leading to his office – marble floors, paneled walls, and chandeliers every five feet, gold and with real candles burning despite the electric lightning. They were changed daily, he could afford it. He paid no mind to the absence of the armed guards who usually stood in the recesses every several feet along the hallway, and the four who flanked his double doors. It was likely there was a shift change, but he could always yell at them later if he was in a bad mood. For now he had every desire to get on with the acquisition of the next block of skyscrapers, the ones he saw today and so dearly wanted.
As he opened his doors though, Aaroniero was met with a wooden bat to the face, breaking his fat little nose and sending him sprawling to the floor. He made to scream for his guards but could only manage a gasp of pain as he was pulled up to his knees by his hair, held in place despite his rather pitiful attempts to break free. He finally took stock of his surroundings and all resistance fled him.
Sitting at his desk with his feet up was Yoshio Tsunoda, boss of the Inagawa-kai Yakuza, who was wearing one of Aaroniero's watches and admiring several of his rings which now shone on Tsunoda's fingers. In front of Aaroniero's desk were two dozen of his guards in a pile, the blood soaking into his opulent carpet. The room held only 6 more men, which was likely done for intimidation and the rest of the attackers were hiding elsewhere. It was working.
"Ahhhh, you finally grace us with your presence, Aaroniero Arruruerie. I was beginning to think you were not coming in today," Tsunoda said pleasantly, hopping up with energy and walking around the desk.
"What do you want with me?" Aaroniero ground out, trying and failing to sound intimidating, especially with such a bloody and broken nose.
"Aaroniero, did you really and truly think you could buy this city out from under me," Tsunoda continued, "when you know as well as I do that the Inagawa-kai are growing daily, and making inroads all over this city?" He chuckled and shook his head condescendingly. "We have made several very generous offers and have been very patient with you, you know. A modest place in our organization, protection, honor… All you had to do was know your place," he smiled.
Aaroniero glared and tried to stand, only to be jerked back down by his hair again. Tsunoda walked by him, behind his kneeling form and out of his line of sight.
"What did you truly hope to gain, resisting us for so long?"
"THIS IS MY CITY!!!" Aaroniero shrieked.
He never even felt the bullet.
Tsunoda withdrew the pistol from the back of the dead man's head and tucked it away, motioning to his guards and heading for the elevator. The bodies were left as a reminder of what happens when someone tries to take what belongs to the mob. The price of greed is high in Tokyo.