Tokyo, Japan. 9 pm.

Police searched the area for hours it seemed and no evidence left behind from the gruesome murder that occurred.

16 dead bodies in the same building. All of them, stabbed, shot, whipped and stripped nude. One of them had a rope around his throat, tightened horribly.

Officer Yakura was awestruck, but irritated all at once. He ran his hands through his hair after removing his hat, looking around at the photographers taking pictures. Blood covered the area, staining everyone's shoes, though no one cared. It was their duty to get the facts of what happened...

Though it was safe to say that this was no shock of what happened.

A tap on Yakura's shoulder stunned him for a moment. He turned and saw his assistant, Oishi, handing him a piece of paper. He asked,

"Got any idea of who could've done this?"

"You really need to ask? This has Mizuno all over it. How did the camera's not catch anything is beyond me."

"He might've snuck in through the vents and disabled them. You never know."

Yakura sighed again and looked at the paper. Another long day, all because Mizuno had to be a monster once again. It was like this for years. They would get a call about screams and shrieks and by the time they got there, it would be too late. Takeo had already made his mark.

And it's not hard to tell if it's his work or not. Takeo's crafty work came in the form of art. He would leave the bodies displayed in erotic or just exotic positions. Either that or at least one or two bodies would have evidence showing rape or some kind of humiliation before death. That was his calling card. That was how people knew it was him.


Yakura looked up and saw one of his men waving him over.

"You might want to come over here for a minute. There's something you need to see."

Nodding, Yakura walked over to him and saw he was holding a crumpled up piece of paper in his gloved hand. Yakura put on his own glove, took the item and unfolded it, smoothing it out. His eyes widened a little, along with Oishi. And Oishi said,

"It's a photograph?"

The photograph in his hands showed three boys, all smiling at a park. One had black hair, the middle had blond hair, and the other had dark drown hair. It was a little off putting. Yakura said,

"It's not like Takeo to leave us presents. How interesting...I wonder who these three are."

"I think it's safe to say that that one is Takeo," said Oishi pointing to the black haired boy. But Yakura wasn't convinced.

"I don't think so. Looks too young..."

"Could be an old photo."

"True...the background...this looks like Himiziwa Park in Fukushima."

Yakura paused for a moment, then turned to Oishi saying

"Get a hold of the Fukushima police station and tell them we need to have a word. It seems that our little friend is trying to tell us something."

"Yes, sir."

Oishi walked off while his boss was looking over the picture a few more times. Curious, he turned it over and saw that there was writing on it. It looked like red ink.

'Friends by Choice...but together in death.'

Yakura stared at the quote for a moment, unsure of what it meant. He looked at the picture again, staring at the smiling faces of the three teenage boys...had Takeo killed the other two for sport? What was his motive?

...Now what could that mean...?


It took a couple of days to hear back from them but once they did, Yakura and Oishi were on the first flight to get more info on this photo and the people on it.

The police station wasn't very crowded but when the chief appeared, he looked surprised to see two Tokyo officers waiting for him. Nonetheless, he welcomed them in and sat them down, laying the picture on the table. The picture, now hard evidence, was resting in a plastic bag.

Yakura lit his cigarette and said,

" what can you tell us about this picture?"

The chief shrugged and said,

"What would you like to know?"

"For starters, who are these three?"

The chief looked at the picture through the bag and shuddered. He pointed to the black haired boy.

"That's Mizuno Takeo."

His finger trailed to the brown haired boy.

"Nazawa Naoki."

His finger rested on the blond haired boy.

"And that's Hanasaki Sono. They were all students here years ago at the high school."

Yakura and Oishi looked astounded. Students...years ago...Right now, Takeo was at least 33 or 34 years of age...trailing backwards in his head, Yakura silently said,

"This picture was taken..."

"19 years ago. When they were freshman. My nephew took the picture for did you find this?"

"It was at one of Takeo's latest crime scenes."

The chief shuddered again and moved the picture away, folding his hands. It was silent for a few moments before Oishi said,

"Sir, we believe this is connected to Takeo's long strand of murders in the last 10 years. If there's anything you can tell us about these three, it can help us plenty with-"

"All you need to know is that Takeo is a murderer and that's that. There's not a soul here in Fukushima who doesn't know his name. No one has seen so much suffering in this city since...well since I was a young boy. Much longer than any one of them were alive."

"Sir, please. This is vital to our case. We've been tracking Mizuno down for years and have gotten nowhere since. This picture could help us understand why he's doing what he's doing. Tell me. Is there anyway we can get a hold of Nazawa or Hanasaki? To ask them some questions."

The chief gave out a small, but weak chuckle. It made Yakura and Oishi look at each other in confusion. The chief died it down and said,

"You're shit out of luck...Naoki's been dead for years...and there's no doubt that Sono won't answer any questions about Takeo. He's left bad marks on their minds and it's best left alone."

Oishi was determined to get his facts. He held out his notepad and quickly asked,

"What happened to Nazawa-kun?"

Yakura slapped Oishi's leg, telling him to shush. But he wasn't going to give up. He stood and said,

"Chief, I understand that Mizuno has left a horrible mark on this city but we must know his motives. He's a sick, twisted man, or lack thereof, but as a student in the law enforcement, I am desperate to know more. So please sir...please answer our questions. And we'll be out of your hair in no time."

Groaning, the chief said,

"Naoki was shot down in an ally, but died at the hospital. At first, we thought it was the result of his protecting his best friend. But after w while, he learned that Takeo instigated the murder. He hired two hit men to condone rape upon Hanasaki-kun, but Naoki stepped in and saved him. Takeo gave the men orders to kill anyone who got in their way...obviously, Naoki was the unlucky soul...look are we done here? This is a subject best left for dead. I'm sorry."

The two were pushed out of his office and Oishi sighed, saying,

"Now what? We're so close on him...where do we get our answers now?"

Yakura said nothing but sighed along with Oishi as they walked out of the station. It was a cold day, people bundled up in sweaters and boots. But the cold didn't seem to bother the two officers as they walked into a coffee shop, sat down and instantly, Oishi asked,

"No one in Fukushima will even discuss Takeo."

"He's a mass murderer from here. I'm not exactly surprised..."

The younger sighed and layed his head on the counter, hearing his boss order them some coffee. But soon, nature called and Oishi bolted up to use the restroom before downing any kinds of hot liquid. Yakura chuckled at his young assistant, running the the bathroom at mad speed. That boy could be such a pest, but he grew on him quite a bit. He pulled out another cigarette, roaming through the newspapers on hand, seeing if there was anything of interest. He noticed that Fukushima was under a lot of media pressure, being that they're the home of Takeo, famous killer of Tokyo.

Sighing, he turned to the directions of the bathrooms, wondering what was taking Oishi so damn long.

Oishi let out a sigh of relief, zipping up his trousers. It felt like he had been holding that in for days. Sighing once again, he walked to the sinks, unware that someone had walked into the bathroom. As he was washing his hands, he heard footsteps behind him, making him slightly nervous...he felt the person directly behind him and he gulped, trying to keep his cool.

He then heard,

"I hear you're after Mizuno a cop?"

Oishi jumped at the sound of the mans voice and turned to see a middle aged man staring at him with an intent look in his eyes and a book in his hands. It looked to be a manga. All of Oishi's brain power surged to his mouth, trying to find his calm words as a cop...finally, after picking out the best words, he said,

"Yes! I am a cop. Well, a student cop, but still a cop. We found some evidence at one of his latest crime scenes and we're having trouble interpreting it."

"What was the evidence?"

Oishi was stunned, mostly because the man wanted to know about private evidence...well, it couldn't help. The man looked as though he couldn't hurt him.

"A picture of him and two other think their names were-"

"Naoki and Sono...I'm not surprised. Takeo was always a little obsessed with those two."

"How do you mean?"

The man leaned against the sink and said,

"You see, all three of them were students of mine in my art courses. Naoki was in the creative writing course. Sono in my advanced illustration course. And Takeo in my sculpting course. All of them were such bright young's sad that only one of them managed to make their dream a reality...Poor Sono. Takeo left a large imprint on his brain for life."

Oishi was excited. This man knew so much about Takeo already; Maybe...

"If I may you have any idea if this picture is connected with all the Mizuno murders?"

"I have a theory, but it's more factual than anything else. After he killed Naoki, he set his sights on his ex, Sono. Made his mental life horrid...especially on graduation night...screaming, shrieking...they were lucky when they found him. Takeo had beaten him within an inch of his was tragic. After that, Takeo began a string of murders that seemed to grow as he did..."

Oishi looked astounded. By god...Fukushima really was under a dark memory of Takeo...and he was only a high schooler when this started. Flipping through his book, he cleared his throat and said,

"Um...on the back of the picture, it said 'Friends by Choice, but Together in Death.' Does that strike a cord for you, sir?"

The man looked hesitant, almost afraid to answer. Slowly, he flipped through his manga, as if hunting for something. When he found it, he said,

"Right here. In Hanasaki's manga 'Love by Candlelight', there's a passage that says, 'We are only brought together by the hands of destiny to fate. We became friends by choice...but as lovers...we must be together in death.'"

He closed the book and said,

"Takeo simplified it and he's giving not only you a message, but he's giving Sono a message as well."

Oishi tilted his head, confused yet very intrigued. The man knew more and this would seriously help them. They could know what Takeo was up to...

"And...what message is that?"

"I don't know...but like I said, I have a theory that could be true. Takeo wants all of them together. Him, Sono and Naoki...all together. And since one is dead..."

The man's eyes widened suddenly and he suddenly grabbed Oishi's shoulders, shaking him. Oishi gasped, but stood his ground as the man stared deep into his eyes.

"You need to find Sono and tell him what you told me. Because if what Mizuno said is true...if he finds Sono...oh god...I don't even want to think about what might happen if he finds will end badly. He'll hurt him worse than he ever did...he might even kill him."

Oishi gulped and nodded, trying to pry the man off his shoulders. He pushed the man off of him and said,

"That's such a strong theory..."

"No, it's the truth. Takeo never makes jokes about the people he threatens...He's after Sono and I don't want to know what will happen if he finds him...please, go and find him. Protect him..."

"Sir, we wouldn't even know where to begin searching for him..."

The man nodded and quickly snapped out,

"Osaka. He's probably in Osaka...check there."

Oishi gulped again and nodded, slowly walking backwards to the doors, hunting blindly with his hands. When he stepped out of the bathroom, he pressed his hand to his heart, which was beating rapidly...well, this certainly helped a bit...not to mention scared Oishi to shreds. He had to inform his partner about this new information and now.

He walked away from the bathrooms and back to his partner, who laughed at him at first.

"What happened? You get lost or-Oishi? What's wrong?"

Oishi looked at his superior, shaking a little. That man frightened him a little, but he did get some information. He sighed and said,

"Sir, we need to find Hanasaki and inform him that Mizuno is in fact after him. The thing we found on the back of that was a quote from one of Hanasaki's manga. Takeo's trying to tell us that he wants all of them dead. He wants all of them together in death."

Yakura shot up from his seat, eyes wide.

"Are you absolutely sure? How do you know this?"

"Don't ask questions...We need to get to Osaka...I was told that's where he might be..but we need to find him and make sure he's aware of this...otherwise...his life could be in absolute danger. His and everyone's around him."


Haha, got chapter one fixed!