Don't fuck with someone who was there from the start! Sano Mitsuo sighed in depression. Helping his best friends with their vendetta had taken him down roads best never walked.
When he had a high schooler framed and expelled from her school her guardian finally popped up like a toad from a boiling pond. All a matter of how to smoke people out. Now that retard tried making trouble instead of go down and disintegrate like a good kid. Only after the loss his mother's hospital care and Mitsuo making sure the wife got fired from her job for stealing, did the man understand what kind of opponent Mitsuo was.
Still, didn't expect her to take her life as well. Bah, shit happens.
Mitsuo knew rumours were spreading. He did the spreading after all, but the last week rumours of a digital bakemono making their way to him weren't his, and Mitsuo wondered who the hell were digging up shit on his targets behind his back.
His father's teachings worked for the dirty job he was doing now, but repressive suppression methods from early Showa just weren't applicable on-line.
And someone did anyway. Who the hell are you? He sighed again. I'm too old for this shit. Damn, I'm twice too old!
Contacts from organised crime refused to talk to him over the phone. A friend of his as well as a mole flat out told him to get his arse to Osaka if he wanted to talk banking frauds and refused to continue the email conversation.
The last day or two Mitsuo's suspicions grew. One out of two. If the boyfriend, then a major pain in the arse, admittedly a damn skilled pain. That was the good option.
If it was his granddaughter, if it was Tina, then it was time to get the hell out of the area. From what he read in her eyes Mitsuo knew you didn't end up sorry if you stood in her way; you ended up dead. She was his relative through and through. She was also the only person he knew who scared him.
A phone-call to his friends revealed that they were absolutely clueless. The Wakayamas were as ruthless as naive. One of the reasons Mitsuo loved them so much.
What do I do? That Ulf kid didn't scare him. He could probably be talked with, even included for mutual benefit, but Tina. If it was Tina he could end up dead before she even knew.
Unbeknownst to either of the latest arrivals Mitsuo had milked Ashiga James for as much information as possible. Mitsuo never expected to stay in Tokyo for a second evening, but when it came to Christina Agerman, The Billion Dollar Empress, there was no end to the stories. She was a long way removed from the Princess of Scandinavia, and Mitsuo wondered what had turned her into a monster.
He knew, that she knew, that both of them knew, that you couldn't feign innocence and lack of knowledge. Chag was her personal beast, and Chag ate people all over the world.
A doctorate in history, it turned out, was a highly efficient vessel for memorising and classifying data pertaining to society. In fact Ashiga James was a goldmine when it came to anything relating to the upstream world before he arrived here.
I have to risk it.
Mitsuo's next target was a businessman. He had two sons, and the younger could be tied tighter to the yakuza, if Mitsuo paid the right kind of people some money. Nothing much. What Mitsuo wanted was for the business to get associated with organised crime. The kid could just lie down and die for all he cared.
I don't think Natsumi and Tadao would agree, but you both knew I was broken from the beginning. Mitsuo shook his head. And you still called me to fight your war? What am I getting myself into? Anything bad enough for his two friends to give up their decency had to be disgustingly bad. I hope you'll be able to live on when it clings to you. This kind of dirt can never be washed away.
Oh well, I need to know. He prayed he had guessed right and sent Ulf Hammargren an email. After that it was time to hang enough shit around the throat of an eighteen year old child to make sure he wouldn't be accepted at university. Nothing less would make his father budge.
And I'm one of the good guys? Sheesh, where did the world go wrong? Grinning more honestly now Mitsuo rang a contact of his, who didn't know exactly where he was going to be hit by a drunk motorcyclist. After the accident Mitsuo wasn't needed any longer. The former athlete knew how to spin a web of lies well enough without any instructions.
There was a response to his email. Yes! Thank all gods!
Would the kid be interested in cooperation?
Yes, but what was in it for him?
No, he made enough of those. Names and places.
What the hell? They were hunting the same people. Or almost the same people. Difference being Ulf didn't want anyone killed, and Mitsuo didn't need a naive kid to tell him how to solve a problem.
And then, very suddenly, Mitsuo found out there were two persons in the world who scared him. In less than ten minutes he had no working phone, no assets in the bank, and a paper delivered to where he was walking, by means of a taxi, told him in no uncertain terms what would happen to his ownership of that spa south of Ise if even one more person died.
Sano Mitsuo, almost a hundred years old subjectively and forty objectively, grinned like a retarded teenager when his telephone came alive again. Hell yeah! Whenever you want to marry Tina, just say the word and I'll walk her down the aisle.
Guts and integrity. What was there not to like? Never before had anyone dared to bring down the hammer of doom on his head without a moment of hesitation. Natsumi eventually did, but Mitsuo was certain there had been quite some deliberations before.
I had forgotten how much more fun it is with new arrivals. Fine Ulf, I'll deliver them by their balls. Alive, but by their balls.