IX


━━━━━━┓༻❁༺┏━━━━━━


Arc IX Chapter 8


━━━━━━┛༻❁༺┗━━━━━━


"We have arrived." Tetsuya led the group to their hideout, an infamous establishment located in the middle of Amegakure.

The mysterious girl employed him as a guide on a rather involuntary basis, but Tetsuya was versed in these matters. The criminal underworld taught him much. He understood that cooperation was sometimes not a matter of choice.

Tetsuya pointed at the sign and the door. Little suggested this was the base of one of Amegakure's major crime syndicates. The bar appeared innocent, without any connections to the underworld. A honest business of the shady kind like many others, but Tetsuya knew better.

Asami was pleased with her newest subordinate and clapped her hands "Superb work, Tatsyua."

Tetsuya grumbled. "Tetsuya. Not Tatsuya."

Asami tilted her head. "What's the matter, Tatsuya?"

"Never mind." Tetsuya gave up. The little princess did as she pleased. Not that he expected otherwise.

Asami shifted her attention. "Yuji, Mayumi, should we make an entrance, or not? It's up to you to decide."

Yuji decided. He was the leader among both of them. "We prefer the less conspicuous. We don't want to cause a scene. We have already gathered enough attention."

Asami didn't object. "Understandable, inconspicuous is a plausible choice indeed. "

Asami strolled towards the door and knocked. Her frail fists caressed the sturdy wooden door.

Her knocks faded away, barely audible, certainly not from inside. Music, loud voices, laughter drowned out her weak knocks.

...

...

...

Asami tilted her head, contemplating. "I am disheartened. Apparently, we need to resort to more drastic measures."

Yuji stiffened. Her ominous voice, her grin ... unsettled him.

Asami summoned a purple sphere and compressed her chakra. Her orb targetted the flimsy door.

Tetsuya panicked. NO! "NO! Wait!"

Too late.

The blast breached the door and the entirety of the wall in a shower of wooden splinters, fragments, and projectiles. Her little demonstration made her point. Hopefully, no unfortunate soul got hurt. That would be counterproductive.

Asami stepped across the vanquished wall and entered the illustrious establishment in a more dignified manner.

Silence greeted her as fun ceased. Her appearance ruined their harmony in the bosom of beautiful women and alcoholic beverages. All gazes were drawn to her. The eyes of lesser men even betrayed fear. Their faint hearts weren't used to such turmoil.

Asami smiled. Her petite figure belied her dangerousness. "Greetings, gentlemen, if I am allowed to intrude, I desire to speak with a certain Tsuyoshi. He might be a busy man, but I hope he can spare some time. It's a matter of utmost importance."


━━━━━━┛༻❁༺┗━━━━━━


...

...

...

The silence continued, and Asami relished the attention. Reverence and silence were the correct response, a sign of respect befitting her status.

Asami closed her umbrella and wandered down the stairs, navigating towards a free table to take a seat.

Asami smiled. "Yuji, Mayumi, follow me ..."

"What did you not understand? Don't you understand the definition of inconspicuous? Are you crazy?" Yuji exploded. His face turned red.

Asami was dismayed. She extended her hand, and now this. Such an ungracious little rascal. "Crazy is a relative matter, a subjective matter, Yuji."

Asami moved her index finger. "Don't judge me by your standards."

Yuji experienced a mental breakdown. His poor nerves. The girl was killing him. They never should have trusted the evil princess. "You are even worse ..."

Asami poked his forehead and interrupted him. Her uncompromising glare shut him up for good. She had tolerated his rambling long enough. "Yuji, you are talking too much. Keep calm and observe. Onee-san will handle this. Onee-san knows what she is doing."

Mayumi nodded. "Onee-san is right."

Yuji mumbled, "I hope so for all of us."

Asami commandeered a chair and kicked up her legs, making herself comfortable. This was going to be a tiresome affair, but this was part of her duties. Reining in the syndicates was an inevitable step on her path.

Asami snapped her fingers. "Waitress. Waitress."

The waitress reacted, freed from her stupor. "..." The girl, a few years older than her, pointed at herself. The girls started young in this line of business before the flower of their youth wilted.

Asami folded her hands. "I feel thirsty. What does the house offer?"

The girl hesitated, fidgeting. "We have a wide variety of drinks and beverages."

Asami tilted her head, contemplating. Her fingers caressed her lips. "Such a hard choice to make. My heart is unsure. Surprise me, I am open to suggestions."

The waitress departed and returned with a glass of red liquid. The glass was neither a wine glass, nor a flute. It was a normal glass filled with a dark red liquid. Her nose noticed the sweet sugary fragrance and the lack of ethanol.

This was

...

...

...

cherry juice.

Asami shoulders deflated and her lips sipped on her cherry juice. Despair. Fourteen years and she was still treated like a child. Cherry juice ... Cherry juice ... Cherry juice ...

The waitress smiled, holding her tablet tightly. "I hope the juice is to your liking."

Asami made the best out of the situation and rewarded the waitress with a polite smile. "The juice meets my expectations. Thank you, you are dismissed."

Her senses tickled. An intense glare met her from across the room. A man resided near the bar counter. The man drummed his fingers on the counter, surrounded by his guards and henchmen.

"Who are you, lass?" The man sipped on his drink. His iron glare scanned her. Determination and charisma. No wonder he achieved such a high position.

Asami opened her arms. "Who I am? Such is of minor importance. You will know when the time is due. You are Tsuyoshi, aren't you? Unless I am mistaken, you are one of the leading crime bosses of Amegakure."

Asami smiled. "I have come to talk with you. We have much to discuss."

Tsuyoshi furrowed an eyebrow. "Do we? You barged in without a proper invitation. You are an undesired guest."

Asami bowed in graceful mockery. "My apologies, but I have a tight schedule. No time for formalities."

Tsuyoshi clicked his tongue. His annoyance was clearly visible. "I figured out as much."

His gaze inspected the destroyed door. The girl was far from innocuous. Throwing her out might not be the best course of action. Better not to provoke her.

He didn't rise through the ranks of Amegakure's criminal underworld without relying on his keen instincts. His instincts served him well throughout the years. They screamed. Beyond her adorable cheeks lay danger.

Asami smiled. "Your subordinates were certainly less forthcoming. They quickly saw the errors of their ways."

Tsuyoshi examined his men. Tetsuya averted his eyes, denying any responsibility. He brought the little demon to their base.

Orochi looked uncomfortable, while Iwao was preoccupied with his dislocated chin. They had a rough time.

Tsuyoshi returned his attention to the mysterious girl. "What do you want? I doubt you are here just for your personal amusement." He listened. Her power lent her authority.

Asami giggled. "You are a smart man, I am glad you understand. Yuji, Mayumi, do these names ring any bells?"

"Not that I remember. I am a busy man. My activities run deep and wide." Tsuyoshi sipped on his drink.

"Understandable, you can't have your eyes and ears everywhere." Asami grinned and folded her hands. "I am here to settle their debts, Tsuyoshi. Cancel their debts and everyone is happy."


━━━━━━┛༻❁༺┗━━━━━━