"The Port Mafia rules Yokohama. Give me the information, and your reward would be more than you ever imagined."
The voice coming from his phone nearly made Izaya laughed. He did anyway, a snarky laugh bordering on the edge of sanity. Then in a perfectly calm voice, "If you have nothing more than money I have little information for you, Mafia-san."
"This is a rather unusual offer," the aggravatingly monotone voice replied in that old fashion of speaking, "but Yokohama with its ability users would be a nice 'playground.' I will send you escorts and provide lodging in exchange for your services."
The informant of Ikebukuro narrowed his eyes. It seems his employee has done their homework well.
But as they said, an entire new city would present a perfect entertainment for him, especially when Shizu-chan is out of town. Izaya was quite indescribably bored.
He swiveled his chair to take another good look at the busy Shinjuku from his apartment great windows, then gathered his indispensable tools, a few change of clothes, and wasn't surprised to find a car already at his doorsteps even as the deal had been implied just minutes ago.
Whoever his new employer was, he was just flooding with confidence, and an air of haughtiness. Though, those traits are hardly rare in the underworld. Izaya would rather say it was essential.
The caller had never stated his name, and Izaya had kept his a secret likewise. But he has his ways of knowing things. And he knows exactly who was hiring him this time, and why.
Smirking as he took the elevator down, Izaya couldn't wait wait to see in person the Mad Dog of Port Mafia.
"Kunikida-san, good morning..." Nakajima Atsushi greeted his senpai with an air of lethargic exhaustion, in contrast to the enthusiastic norm, this drop in energy incite a spike of concern in the newcomer.
"Good morning. Are you all right, Atsushi?"
"Yes, Kunikida-san, I'm fine!" The earnest boy said hurriedly. "Just a nightmare last night."
The taller person paused midstride, on his way to his desk, and turned his full attention to Atsushi.
"That's strange. I've had some nightmares last night, too."
"Eh! Did Kunikida-san also had a dream about a bomb killing a good samaritan who wanted to help, too!?"
Kunikida's eyes narrowed, and he shook his head.
"Mine was about my— someone trying to convince me to commit suicide."
Dazai's eyes shot open, but he maintained his relaxed posture sprawling across the tabletop, pretending to take a nap.
"It was so real."
"Yeah, like... I don't know. Like it really did happen, somehow."
"It was horrible for me."
"Me, too. But we have work to do. I do paperwork in the morning. No time for small talk, I'm already 24 seconds late. Get back to working."
The bandaged man had been listening carefully.
And noticed he had had no dreams last night.
Akutagawa gripped Dazai-san's coat sleeve. A moment later, the fabric disintegrated entirely, and he was looking at nothing.
He turned and saw Nakajima Atsushi. Thin, frail, and weak. And surrounded by people helping him for no reason whatsoever that he could see.
He saw Dazai-san there, but he couldn't walk closer. He couldn't move.
He looked down into his hands, and they blurred together indistinguishably.
Did he forgot to bring his contact lenses?
No, this is a dream. It has to be a dream.
What do you see? a voice asked in his head.
With a jerking movement his eyes opened, and the real world crashed in again, the familiar surroundings of his apartment. It really was a dream, then.
But he remembered it so clearly, could feel the grains that used to be Dazai-san in his hands, the wind blowing it all around him, the sudden aversion to dust, one of his allergens, accompanied by the constriction of his throat before a bout of coughing.
People simply don't weave that much details into dreams. This is something else. And he has been tasked with it, with getting rid of an enemy he could not locate and kill.
And so, he got up and grab his black coat, determined to outwit the informant he's going to meet today.