The police and ambulance sirens were both singing in harmony, causing an auditory nightmare. Asuka was looking over the many black bagged bodies wheeled off on stretchers with a frown. The Watanabe Casino was a mess- no, a total rekt, a near ruin. The police had put the yellow crime scene ribbons to keep away the many bystanders who were glancing with curiosity at all the destruction. It didn't stop them from taking pictures however, much to Asuka's annoyance.
"It could have been worse," Tokaku said nonchalantly as she looked at the damage she and her friends caused.
"That's a pretty light way to put it," Asuka replied. "I couldn't have expected that I would be the one to 'hush' the truth, if you know what I mean."
The detective had her team get rid of any evidence of Class Black's involvement in the casino's destruction and make it look like an unfortunate accident.
"Thanks," Tokaku simply said, sincere.
She then saw Kouko and Suzu near an ambulance, looking at the paramedic sealing Shuri's corpse in a black bag and moving it.
"Do you want to go be with them?" Asuka asked, glancing at them. "I understand if you are not ready to talk to me."
"I'm fine. I just need to talk to them for a moment, so just wait for me, okay?"
Happy yet a little bit nervous, Asuka smiled.
"Take your time."
Tokaku nodded and walked away as Asuka's two subordinates joined her; Kamito, a middle-aged man with a slightly unshaven chin and short black hair, and Niko, a young woman with long blond hair tied up in a ponytail and green eyes.
"The cleaning is done," Niko notified her.
"Good," Asuka replied.
Both her subordinates remained quiet with some discomfort in their eyes.
"What's wrong?" the detective asked.
"Nothing, it's just… I still can't believe those teenage girls were involved in such a massacre… They are just kids and yet… They are assassins," Niko said.
"Too young to be doing such a shady job," Kamito added.
"Why are we covering up for them again? These girls are dangerous."
"I… I know it's hard to swallow, even though I haven't comprehended the whole thing, but… I want to help them. I know they aren't bad kids. So for their sake, let's keep this a secret, okay?"
Both Kamito and Niko seemed hesitating before they finally nodded.
"Thank you," Asuka said, taking a brief pause. "So, how did you proceed?"
"The forensic agreed to edit certain details about the corpses, like the cause of death," Kamito replied.
"Every trace of explosives will be altered to some accident related to a malfunction in the electrical system, starting a fire that then caused multiple explosions when it came in contact with certain combustibles," Niko started to explain. "As for the witnesses' testimonies, only a few selected ones will be used."
"What about the corpses? Have they all been retrieved?" Asuka asked.
"Only one is missing. We couldn't find Handa Itsumi's body. But our agents are still actively searching for her body," Niko assured.
"I see... And regarding the Watanabe family?"
"They made no public statement and simply lawyered up," Kamito answered. "All they said was that Watanabe Shuri was a victim in the casino incident."
Asuka sighed. She was expecting the lack of cooperation from the Watanabes. As long as they weren't asking questions regarding the incident though, it should be fine.
"Thanks again for your help. I know it wasn't easy and I'm sorry for putting you through this."
"I just hope we won't get involved in more shenanigans or dangerous situations," Niko said.
"Yeah, cuz that kind of mess is beyond our capabilities," Kamito added nonchalantly. "And it's too risky compared to anything we have been trained for."
"Don't worry, everything will be alright," Asuka assured them. "When it comes down to it, I'll take full responsibility. You are dismissed now, we will talk more about this later."
Both Kamito and Niko nodded in respect and walked away, seeing that Tokaku was done talking to her friends.
Asuka felt bad for involving her subordinates in such a situation, but she promised herself that she will keep her words and not let them bear the weight of her own choices.
"I still can't believe this," Niko commented. "Class Black, this mysterious chairwoman who seemed to be more than just in charge of Myojo Academy… and that infamous Azuma Clan."
"You're not the only one having a hard time believing this," Kamito said with a sigh. "I can feel it, you know? There's a rope around both of our necks, and it's slowly tightening around them…"
Kouko glanced one last time at Shuri's body before it was sealed in the black bag. She watched the paramedics bring her corpse in the truck, followed by a few more victims, including Teru and two other bagged bodies.
"I'm fine, Suzu. It's over. Now, we can just take a breather."
Softly, Suzu took Kouko's hand into hers, gently rubbing it with her thumb.
Before they could go further they noticed Tokaku walking towards them.
"So, what's the verdict?" Kouko asked, adjusting her glasses.
"Inspector Kagami took care of everything. I don't know all the details, but we should be clean now."
"Can we really trust this woman? She's working with the police," Kouko replied.
"I trust her. I don't think she's an ill-intentioned person- I'll have a talk with her later, just to confirm we can believe her. And also… she… knew my aunt…"
Both Kouko and Suzu looked surprised.
"You mean… Oh, I see. We won't keep you too long then," Suzu said. "You must have so many questions you want to ask her."
"I'd be the same if I met someone who knew Irina-senpai," Kouko admitted.
"Thanks… But, she… she doesn't know… that Mako oba-san is dead…"
"Ah… that might be an issue then," Suzu replied.
"Are you going to tell her?" Kouko asked.
"I… I'm not sure. I don't want to hurt her… but giving her false hope that she might come back might be worse… or… I don't know…"
Tokaku felt a gentle hand on her shoulder and Kouko smiled at her.
"Do what you think is the best, Tokaku. I know you will eventually figure it out."
"Ouch…!" Shiena whimpered.
The brunette was receiving treatment from a paramedic for her injured hand. Luckily for her, the bullet went through her hand and thus, didn't have to be removed. But regardless, getting her wound cleaned up and stitched was still quite unpleasant and even painful.
"Oy oy, can you be more careful? My Shiena-chan is a delicate flower after all," Otoya scolded the paramedic with a cold and dark glare.
"'My'...?!" Shiena exclaimed, blushing.
The paramedic immediately looked quite uneased by Otoya's barely hidden threat. The serial killer then grinned as she kneeled in front of Shiena.
"After all, only I am allowed to elicit such cute moans from you, Shiena-chan."
Shiena blushed even more at that statement as her heart started to race like crazy. The paramedic just looked awkward as they finished bandaging up Shiena's hand and left, like they were desperate to get away from Otoya. The latter sat next to Shiena, who was still a blushing mess.
"Thank you, Takechi… Thank you… for protecting me."
"No problem, Shiena-chan! And you know you can just call me Otoya."
With gratitude, Shiena gave a chaste kiss on Otoya's cheek, which was enough to make her own heart pound like crazy. Then suddenly, Otoya took Shiena's hand, making sure to hold it softly so it wouldn't hurt her.
"My poor Shiena-chan… You know, my offer still stands. I can help you relieve some of the pain," Otoya said, smirking.
"You… you mean…"
"How about we continue what we started before we got interrupted by Kirigaya-san and Mizorogi-sensei?"
"Of course not. I mean, once we are settled down somewhere, alone…"
Shiena could feel Otoya's warm breath on her neck as she whispered those tempting words seductively right into her ear. Shiena's whole body was now burning with desire no matter how strongly she tried to resist the temptation and eventually conceded.
Mizorogi could barely focus on anything. He could hear the sirens but they felt so far away. All he was conscious of was that he was lying on something and his body terribly hurt.
"Damn dude, you sure got quite the bravado attitude," Haruki praised him.
"I'd more say he's quite the lousy big brother if you asked me," Isuke teased.
"Don't be so mean, Isuke-sama."
Mizorogi could hear Isuke and Haruki's voices but everything was just so blurry around him that he couldn't see them, nor fully remember what they were talking about.
"Come on, don't tease sensei like that. The poor guy went through so much already," Chitaru scolded them before she turned to Mizorogi. "Sensei… sorry. For keeping the truth from you."
"You truly were the best teacher we could have," Hitsugi added.
Before Mizorogi could answer anything, the paramedics pushed his stretch and brought him inside the ambulance.
The teacher suddenly got a brief moment of consciousness and started to protest.
"W-Wait… Girls! I won't give up on you! Even if I'm no longer your teacher, I'm still your big brother! I promise you I'll come back and help you!"
The girls remained stunned for a moment before finally answering.
"No, it's fine. Don't stress yourself over this, sensei," Chitaru replied.
"We wouldn't want you to get hurt again," Haruki added.
"We will be fine on our own, trust us," Hitsugi said.
"You will only get in our way," Isuke commented.
"What? I'm right."
"Sometimes, it's better to lie," Hitsugi mentioned.
"..." Chitaru simply stared at her girlfriend.
"No! It's my role as an adult to take care of you girls-"
"I'm an adult too…" Isuke said nonchalantly.
"I promise you! This is my promise as your big brother! I swear that I'll pay you back and help you too!"
The girls continued trying to decline his offer but Mizorogi remained stubborn until he finally lost consciousness.
"Ugh… I'm feeling dizzy… and nauseous," Banba complained.
"Don't force yourself, Banba-san," Sumireko said with a comforting voice. "You have a concussion. Just lay down for a while, okay?"
"Sumi… I… I can't see you… Everything is just so… blurry and… dark… I'm scared…"
"Shhh, everything will be okay," the heiress said softly as she gently caressed Banba's head. "You just need some rest."
"Do… Do you promise me?" Banba asked, with such vulnerability in her voice.
Sumireko wasn't sure if it was Mahiru or Shinya talking, but it didn't matter. She smiled to reassure her, even if she knew Banba couldn't see. She was convinced she could at least feel it.
"I promise," Sumireko said.
The heiress remained near her girlfriend, who was lying on a stretcher, paramedics taking care of her wounds. Not so far away, the other girls were giving their own statement to the police, while Haru was by Rion's side near an ambulance, the latter sitting on a stretcher.
"So it's really over, huh," Rion muttered.
"Yes. You don't have to listen to them anymore- to her. You're free to do as you please and go where you want," Haru said with a smile.
Rion let out a soft laugh that sounds quite awkward.
"I don't even know where I would go…" she admitted before she looked away. "So… she's really gone, huh. It's all over, I'm… free… from her…"
Tears roll on Rion's cheeks, tears of sadness but also relief.
"She never loved me… and now she can't hurt me…"
No longer able to contain her emotion, Rion burst into tears and started crying, immediately comforted by Haru who hugged her fondly.
"It's ok, Rion-san. You can cry. You are allowed to be sad. Let all those negative feelings flow through your tears, and start over. Things can only get better now."
Rion cried for a little longer on Haru's shoulder before she regained her composure and offered a weak smile to Haru.
"Thank you, Ichinose-san. For everything you did for me, for… believing in me. For forgiving me."
"As long as you regret your actions, everyone can be forgiven. I knew you had a good heart, Rion-san. Being alive itself means you can always seek forgiveness."
Rion wiped away her tears and smiled with more assurance.
"Thanks again. I won't forget those words. Farewell, Ichinose-san. Take care of Tokaku-san."
Rion laid down as the paramedic carried her inside the ambulance, next to Mizorogi. She heard the last words his old students told him as well as his before he lost consciousness. She felt bad for what her cousins did to him as well as guilty and thought that she should do something to redeem herself.
"Don't worry… I'll keep him safe," Rion assured them.
"Eh, whatever. He was useless in the end. We don't need such a liability," Otoya commented coldly.
"Takechi!" Shiena scolded her.
"What?! Oh, right… Please, take care of our poor and weak teacher, Rion-san!" Otoya said cheerfully.
"More importantly… Do you know anything regarding what the Azuma clan has planned next?" Hitsugi asked.
"I can't say I know for sure unfortunately… I do know however that there was some third party observing from the shadow. Shuri-san knew but she didn't do anything about it… as if she actually knew she would fail or something."
"And who is this third party?" Chitaru asked.
"If I knew, I would tell you, but I don't know their name. Sorry I couldn't be of more help..."
"It's okay. We will figure it out in due time. In the meanwhile, take some rest, and watch over Mizorogi-sensei, okay?" Haru said with a comforting smile.
"I intend to!"
The ambulance finally drove away, Rion's heart finally being freed from the heavy burden it was carrying.
"... That will be all for the report," Nio said solemnly.
"Very well. Thanks for your hard work, Nio-san," Yuri's voice came out from her tablet.
"I can concur everything Nio-san just said! She sure did work hard just for you, Chairwoman," Sachika added as she clung to Nio's arm.
"S-Shut up! I'm just doing my job," Nio said, blushing with embarrassment.
Yuri let out an amused chuckle.
"Good, good. You both did a good job. Keep up the good work and I might give you a special reward. Oh and Nio-san. Don't hesitate to rely more on Sachika-san. It's cute to see you all flustered towards someone else," Yuri teased.
"Ughh… s-sure, anything you want, Yuri-san," Nio replied, suddenly feeling tense.
Yuri cut the communication and Nio sighed before glaring at Sachika, who was still clinging at her.
"Why did you tell her that!? You're making me look desperate!" Yelled the blonde as she pushed Sachika away, earning a little pout from the latter.
"Aww, I just thought you'd be happy that the chairwoman knows how devoted you are towards her. And she is right, you know. You can rely on me more. That and the fact you are cute when you act all flustered."
Nio couldn't help but blush a little as she looked away.
"I… I'm not cute…!" Nio weakly protested. "I'm ugly!"
"Tsk-tsk, lying isn't good, Nio-chan."
"Don't call me so familiarly!"
"Alright alright, Nio."
"That's still too intimate!"
"Huh, you don't want to be more intimate with me?"
Sachika laughed a little as she walked away with Nio, who was both annoyed and blushing while pouting at Sachika's antics.
Tokaku wasn't expecting she would even step inside a family restaurant. But the day had come as she had promised a certain person she would have dinner and a drink with them.
Sitting in front of her, Asuka took a sip of her beverage, before resuming what she was saying.
"So as I said, I met Mako in university. You see, we were roommates at that time. Mako lived most of her life in an isolated village, so to her everything in town and the campus was so new to her…" Asuka sighed as she laid back on the couch, looking nostalgic. "It was so funny and refreshing to see her being so excited by whatever catches her eyes. But… she was so sad sometimes, even crying in her sleep…"
The blue haired girl simply listened, fully knowing the reasons for Mako's behavior.
"I eventually learned the truth when we were one day attacked by some hoodlums. Mako panicked and when I was comforting her, she made me a confession. She told me about her family being an assassin clan, even though she wasn't an assassin herself. She feared that she might have been targeted simply for being an Azuma and that it could put me in danger too. She really felt guilty over it."
"From what I heard, oba-san lacked the skills necessary to become an assassin, thus became an outcast in the clan," Tokaku said.
"She told me that too. At first, I was caught off guard by this but I still decided to stay by Mako's side through all our university time together. I didn't think it was fair to judge her only because of her family."
As she said that, Asuka took out a pendant and showed it to Tokaku, revealing inside a picture of her and Mako.
"I saw something in Mako that made me want to protect her and be with her no matter what," Asuka continued before she let out a chuckle. "When Mako confessed her love to me, she called me something like the moon, seeing me as gentle and comforting."
Tokaku felt touched by those words as if they were bringing her closer to her aunt by that comparison.
But then, Asuka's expression became kind of dark all of a sudden.
"It all changed one day, after she visited her old house- to see you. It wasn't the first time she visited this place, but only this time did it change Mako. Then one day, she left, giving me a kiss and promising that she would return and our life would become a little bit busier…"
A single tear rolled on Asuka's cheek.
"But she never came back to me."
This sentence felt like a stab in the heart for Tokaku.
"This is the reason why I joined the police and even put up a missing person case, to find her. But it was all in vain. No leads and my superiors couldn't help since they didn't want to get involved with the Azuma."
"I… I'm sorry-"
"Tokaku, do you know what happened?" Asuka suddenly asked.
Tokaku stayed quiet for a moment. She knew she should tell her the truth, but she didn't want to hurt Asuka more than she already has and simply didn't know how to tell the truth anymore.
"I'm afraid that I don't know either… I was just a kid when oba-san disappeared."
"I figured out she wanted to take you back to live with us, away from all that shady assassin business. So she had to at least go back to her old house, right? You must have seen her before she disappeared, right? So please, tell me. What happened to Mako?"
"I… I don't know, really. She never came back to see me."
"So are you implying she simply ran away!?" Asuka snapped back, raising her voice a little.
"N-No! That's not what I meant…! I'm sure… oba-san had her own reasons…"
"All those years I spent looking for her, working myself to the bone, advancing my position to get more influence and power in hopes of finding her, only for all of it being in vain…"
Tokaku didn't know what to say. Asuka eventually calmed down and took out a small box, revealing that inside was a ring.
"I… I wanted to propose once she came back with you, so we could be a family, the three of us…"
Tokaku discreetly clenched her fist, holding back her tears the best she could.
"I'm sorry. I didn't want to blame you for Mako's disappearance, to blame a child for something she has no part in…"
Tokaku felt the urge to confess but simply couldn't at this point so instead, she put on a fake smile.
"Please, tell me more about Mako oba-san."
Despite her evident sadness, Asuka obliged, smiling too.
But unknown to them, someone else was listening to their conversation...
A few days have passed since the Watanabe Casino incident. Things had started to calm down a little bit for the Class Black girls, but they knew full well that it would be only temporary. So, they decided to fully enjoy this moment of respite to rest comfortably in another one of Sumireko's villas.
And once again, they were paired with their old Myojo roommate, much to Shiena's displeasure.
Or maybe pleasure after all.
The brunette was lying down in bed, with Otoya straddling her. Her hand was firmy encased in plaster, preventing her from using it for a while. She won't be able to do many things by herself for a while and would require assistance- which Otoya happily obliged.
"Remember our promise? I told you I'd help you deal with the pain. You didn't forget, did you?"
Shiena sighed. Of course she didn't, and of course Otoya didn't either. But right now, she had something else in mind.
"Takechi, why were you so harsh about Mizorogi? What you said was mean. All he wanted was to help us…!"
In a split-second, Otoya's expression turned stoic.
"Huh… But, Shiena, you know I was right, don't you? Mizorogi is nothing more than a liability for us- he's weak and useless. It doesn't matter if he wants to help us, he can't. And you know that very well."
"P-Perhaps, but…! It wasn't a reason to be harsh…"
"Shiena. You know I don't care about him. Why are you so surprised by my behavior?"
"Because… you're usually a better liar than that…!"
For a moment Otoya looked surprised before showing a weak smirk.
"I see. So you do understand me. I'm relieved. But you know, I also understand you. I know you don't want sensei to get hurt. You don't want him to stick with us, right? You are worried about him and his well being and feel guilty about what happened to him. I don't."
"But, we both can agree that Mizorogi is a liability. It shouldn't matter how we prevent him from sticking with us. As long as he stays away from us, he will be safe. Isn't it what you want?"
"Y-Yeah… but I don't want him… to feel hurt…"
"You can't have your cake and eat it, Shiena. He will be hurt no matter what. Do you prefer him to actually get hurt, or just having his feelings hurt?"
"Urgh… I suppose… it's best if it's just his feelings that are hurt, I guess…"
A beaming smile appeared on Otoya's lips.
"Glad to see we have an agreement, Shiena-chan! Now we can continue where we left-"
"W-Wait! … Why?"
"Huh? Didn't you want that…?"
"No, I mean… Why me? Why do you… act this way with me? I… I know very well I'm not your type. So why… are you so interested in me?"
Once again, Otoya turned stoic and seemed thoughtful for a moment as she placed a finger on her chin, pondering on how to answer.
"I'm not quite sure myself, to be frank. But, I can say you have a certain value to me other women didn't have. Something that makes you way more valuable than anyone else- alive."
Shiena could feel her heart racing.
"Do… do you love me?"
"Hm, if I'm being honest, I can't tell for sure what I'm feeling is the same as others would if they are in love, but… from my own perspective, I'd say yes," Otoya said as she got closer to Shiena. "I love you, Shiena."
Now Shiena's cheeks were burning.
"How… How can I trust you? You probably… said those words to all your victims, d-don't you?"
"Yes, but I never meant it. I mean it with you. I do love you. You said it yourself, you're not my type of victim, so why would I be lying to you? I lie with a goal in mind. What goal would I have to deceive you that way?"
"I… I don't know… You wouldn't have any reason to deceive… a person as bland as me… And you protected me so many times…"
Shiena remained perplexed. Could Otoya actually be in love with her? Could a psychopath like her actually love someone? And more importantly...
Could she herself love Otoya?
Shiena was left without an answer for her last questioning, but one thing was sure in her mind: Whatever it was called, Otoya did have feelings for her. And deep down, it did make her happy.
"Please, call me Otoya."
Otoya smiled at that.
"Shiena. I love you. You're the most important person to me, and in my eyes, the most beautiful too."
The brunette was left into a blushing mess, which seemed to amuse Otoya.
"It's your first time, right? Don't worry. I have plenty of experience. I know how to pleasure a woman the right way. You can relax and entrust your body into my capable hands, Shiena-chan."
Shiena didn't reply anything to that and abandoned herself to Otoya, who kissed her softly at first before introducing her tongue inside her mouth, making the brunette utter a muffled moan.
Otoya's hands started to gently caress her body, slowly slipping under her clothes to undress her. Shiena didn't offer any resistance as the serial killer stripped her naked. It didn't take long for Otoya to do the same, offering a delicious sight to Shiena, who was badly blushing at Otoya's naked beauty. Otoya took the time to contemplate Shiena before licking her lips with anticipation, and lay down on her, pressing their naked bodies together…
And the fun finally began.
Sitting in her chair in her rather dark office, Yuri was humming to herself, quite satisfied with how things evolved. Things were getting fairly quite exciting and unpredictable. And as much as she trusts Nio's skills, she didn't intend to be left out.
The chairwoman pulled out her phone and selected a number in her contact, under the name Tachimori, a sly smirk creeping on her face.
"Tachimori-san. It's time. You know what you have left to do. Feel free to bring your two cute little proteges with you."