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Chapter 4 - Day 2 with Nazo-san

This is the story of Koizumi, a young ninja who has awoken from a long, long sleep and fallen in love with a dashing (and cute!) young rock star. :3

Chapter 4 - Day 2 with Nazo-san

Chapter 4 - Day 2 with Nazo-san
Daaaaaay 2! Long, but still not as long as day 3. I don't even have day 3 all typed yet.

By the time the sun had risen, I felt sick. Fighting this thing was a lot harder than I had thought it was going to be, but I wasn’t giving up so easily. There was no time to dwell on my upset stomach. I would just have to shake it off.
A phone rang in the bedroom. That was Nazo-san’s wakeup call. I heard him rise from his bed and lethargically dress himself. When he came out of the bedroom, a pair of large sunglasses masked his eyes. I stood and looked at him indirectly.
“Ohayo,” I said with an expressionless face.
“Ohayo gozaimasu, Koizumi-san,” he answered tiredly.
“Try not to sound too enthusiastic.”
He waved his hands in the air. “Woo! I get to sing!”
“That’s better.”
While the four members of Hydrangea practiced, I conversed with my three teammates. They all seemed quite enthusiastic about this mission (well, as enthusiastic as Kureno can be). They all noticed that I was acting strange.
“Koizumi-sempai, do you have something on your mind?” Misaki asked curiously.
“I feel like something’s coming…something big,” I answered.
“Are we talking future past here or regular, normal future>“
“I’m pretty sure we’re talking about both.”
Her eyes widened. “This IS going to be something big!”
If you are confused right now, you’re not alone. The future past is where we came from. This is probably the most confusing aspect of our existence. Even I am confused by it. I will try to explain it to the best of my abilities. From what I have been told, we are born from mortal humans as mortal humans. I apologize in advance if your brain explodes from this statement, but the way Master Yoshida explained it, time goes on in the same cycle for all of eternity. The age we are when we are recruited for this job is the age we are when we meet ourselves. As a child, we are taken back in time so that we may maintain the passage of events.
“Koizumi-sempai, are you still listening?”
I suddenly realized that I was idle. I quickly sprang back to life.
“Were you thinking about the future past again?” Misaki giggled.
“Yeah… you think maybe I could be close to meeting myself?” I asked quizzically.
“Or maybe you are going to have an encounter with a family member?”
“I did have a vision earlier last night about my grandfather.”
Kureno looked up suddenly. A suspicious grin spread across his face.
“How do you know it pertains to your normal future?” he asked strangely.
“I just have a feeling,” I answered.
“He can see the future, Koizumi-sempai,” Misaki whispered in my ear.
I groaned. “Oh, so Kureno-kun already knows what’s going to happen!”
A small snicker escaped his throat. “Hai!”
Junichiro spoke up, “I don’t think Yamada-san likes me very much.”
I laughed out loud. “Junichiro, you’re lucky. I think Nazo-san likes me a bit too much.”
“Are you acting just as cross as you normally do?”
“Even more than I normally do.”
Kureno looked at me again. “He’s probably trying to get some emotion out of you.”
Misaki laughed. “You can act quite emotionless sometimes.”
“I do that on purpose. When emotion is not present, friendship has no ground to thrive on.”
“It’s hard not to make friends with our clients though,” she whined.
“That’s not the case with all of them…unless they’ve chosen you. If friendship bore the same punishment as love, you would be burning in hell right now.”
She frowned. “I guess I’m just too personable for my own good.”
I sighed, “How many years did Soeki say we were getting for this mission?”
Junichiro lifted his head, “I heard her say we were getting five years for the mission, and that’s only if we kill the Shinigami.”
“How much of that is for putting up with the band members?”
“I’d say probably about two months of it…you get decent pay when you kill a Shinigami.”
“That isn’t nearly enough years considering how troublesome it is to baby sit these kids.”
“Well, their security didn’t pay Master Yoshida very well…”
Kureno laughed, “Troublesome? Koizumi-chan, something tells me you are going to change your mind about our clients before this job is over.”
I jumped to my feet and pointed an accusing finger right into Kureno’s face. “Don’t you say one more word about the future! The things you are seeing will NEVER come true!”
I turned and angrily stormed out of the room. I didn’t want to hear what Kureno had to say. He was only going to tell me how Nazo-san and I were going to fall helplessly in love. The part where I go to hell was something I couldn’t stand to hear about. My eyes filled with tears. Nazo-san could not become the single black mark on my nearly perfect record, but a promotion was the only hope I had left. I decided that I was going to continue to fight my fate even though I knew it would be fruitless.
As I turned to walk back into the room, I collided with Misaki, who had been standing behind me.
“Woah! Are you alright?!” I exclaimed, steadying myself.
“I’m okay, Koizumi-sempai,” she giggled.
“Why are you out here?”
“I wanted to make sure you were okay…have you been crying?”
“Misaki…I’m damned.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“I shouldn’t have listened to Kureno.”
“Oh, c’mon, he was only teasing you. There’s no need to be worried.”
“He’s not one to tease. Most of the time, Kureno-kun tells the truth.”
“But, sempai, how can you be damned? You don’t give mortal humans a chance to LIKE you.”
“You remember me talking about the vision I had about my grandfather?”
“Yeah, what about it?”
“Well, he was telling me what it will feel like when I meet my soul mate.”
“That sounds quite suspicious. Maybe you’ll fall in love with your grandfather.” She began to laugh hysterically and I whacked her upside the head.
“Misaki, I’m serious!”
“So, are you trying to say that this is one of those love at first sight things?”
“I’m saying that it could be, but I’ve decided that I’m going to fight it.”
“But isn’t it sort of a waste of time if you already know your fate?”
“Yes, but I’d rather be stupid than in hell.”
“You know it won’t save you.”
“I know…”
“So, what can you do?”
“I can refuse to let him get through to me until I find some way to get a promotion.”
“Good luck with that. They’ve stuck with the same four ninja for so many years that I’ve lost count.”
“I think there are more than four.”
“But, sempai, the number on your grave is five, so there couldn’t possibly be more than four.”
“Yes, buy Kureno-kun came to us from the fourth grave. I would have been next in line for a promotion.”
“That’s the part I can’t figure out.”
I looked past her. “I bet it’s one of those “need to know” type things that we usually end up learning about anyway.”
In order to become a first rate ninja, one must master a single element, and be able to significantly control it in a powerful attack. In other words, we learn to use magic. To be able to control our element, we must immerse ourselves in it. I was at a slight disadvantage, because my element was electricity, also known as lightning. I was at a disadvantage because I was no troubled youth who enjoys pain. The easiest ways to immerse myself in electricity included sitting at the top of a telephone pole, licking light sockets, and standing in the middle of an open field with a metal rod during a thunderstorm. None of these activities sounded like very much fun to me.
Later in the day, Nazo-san had some time off. The two of us sat in his hotel room, doing basically nothing. It was in this time that I began to think things I probably shouldn’t have.
“Koizumi-san, do you play shogi#?” he asked in a bored tone.
“Not really. I never had time to learn,” I answered flatly.
“I could teach you.”
I wanted to try to avoid contact with him as much as possible. “Is this what you usually do when you have time off?”
“I just didn’t want to be too much of a burden to you…” he looked down.
I couldn’t’ look at his sad little face without feeling at least a small amount of pity. Sitting there, looking at him, I began to look at this situation from his perspective. I knew that already been too long. I knew that, if I were to go to hell because of him, he would be heartbroken. I decided that it would be wrong for me to break his heart. That was the moment I began to fall in love with him, and, all at once, I was fighting for a very different future.
“Nazo-san, let’s go shopping,” I said suddenly.
“You want to go shopping?” he questioned doubtfully.
“Yeah, why not?” I almost smiled.
“Are you sure it won’t be too troublesome for you?”
“Well, being out and about does make an attack more likely, but I think that just makes things more interesting.”
“Of course.”
“Okay, let’s go shopping.”
Nazo-san had cheered up quite a bit. I could tell he liked to shop. We went around to several stores. I was able to make a few purchases. At the end of our little trip, I had bought a cheap lamp, some light bulbs, and a pair of scissors. Nazo-san was quite puzzled# by my odd purchases.
“Koizumi-san, why did you buy all this?” he asked confusedly.
“I’m going to try a little experiment tonight,” I answered.
“Oh really?” he sounded curious.
“I’ll be starting as soon as you’re asleep, so don’t try to stay up and watch.”
“What kind of experiment?” He pretty much ignored my previous statement.
“All you need to know is that, if it succeeds, you will have a smaller chance of getting killed.”
“Hmm, maybe I should go to bed earlier.”
“It’s way too early now. It’s the middle of the afternoon.”
“Can I teach you how to play Shogi now?”
I almost smiled. “Each of my teammates are going to call me to report in about a minute. Then I have to step out of the room and report to my master. After that, I’ll let you teach me how to play Shogi.”
* Shogi- Shogi is like a Japanese version of chess, but we play chess too. Do not ask me, I’m not very good at Shogi.
* Haha! What a funny little pun! “Nazo-san was quite puzzled?!” (Nazo means puzzle or riddle.) Well, I guess that sometimes the puzzle puzzles itself.

“Yay!” He clapped his hands together cutely.
“I take it you like to play Shogi.”
“Well, I’m pretty good at it. The only person I can’t seem to beat is my grandfather.”
“That is quite impressive.”
He smiled very cutely. At the same moment, my cell phone rang. Each report lasted exactly two minutes, and each began directly after the one before…just like clockwork. Each report was also perfect, aka boring. Not a Shinigami in sight. It’s never fun when the mission had no conflict. I sighed and walked out into the hall to deliver the boring news.
I swear the pone didn’t ring for two seconds. “Konbanwa#, Koizumi-san!” Soeki exclaimed.
“Soeki, can we please just get to my report?” I sighed.
“But Koizumi-san, I want to know how you have been! I heard you were working on mastering your element. How are you doing?!”
“If you really must know, I haven’t even begun to train yet, and I’d like to get this report over with.”
“Oh, I’m sorry! Get right to your report.”
“We’ve had no contact with the Shinigami. So far, all is well.”
“That’s good. Master Yoshida wanted me to let you know that you won’t need to report every day.”
“So, he wants me to report only when I feel it is necessary?”
“That is correct. He also wanted to make sure I told you that he would prefer you had experience with your mind ability before he promotes you.”
“I understand.”
“Good luck, Koizumi-san!”
“Thank you.”
The phone flipped shut, and I waked back into the room.
“I’m sorry, Nazo-san, but there’s been a change of plans,” I said as I walked to my bag and pulled out a small, travel size amp.
“No Shogi?” he questioned disappointedly.
“I’m afraid not. I have training I need to complete.”
“What are you going to do?” he had a look of concern on his face.
“Don’t worry; I’ll make this fun for the both of us.”
I walked back over to the couch and reached for my guitar. All right, I know I said that the guitar was only a prop, but I lied. I love to play the guitar…well, not just any guitar. My guitar was a glossy black Stratocaster with the outline of Santana painted on it. He was my most favorite guitarist. I even named my guitar Carlos.
“You’re going to play the guitar?” he asked curiously.
“Yeah, sort of,” I answered hesitantly.
“Do you like to play guitar?”
“No, I love to play guitar.”
“Oh, good. I was beginning to think that guitar was only a prop.”
“No, actually I’ve been playing since I was a little girl.”
“So, what kind of training are you doing that involves playing the guitar?”
“Mind training. I’m going to play my guitar without touching it.”
His eyes got big. “You can do that?!”
“Well, I can. Each of us had a unique mind power. Mine is the power to move things with my mind.”
I smiled. “Hey, do you know this one?”
I closed my eyes and felt the strings with my mind. Then I played the solo of “Black Magic Woman” without laying a finger on the strings.
Nazo-san shook his head and frowned. “No, I don’t think so.”
“No? Hmmmm…” I thought for a moment, then smiled again. “You might know this one.”
I closed my eyes again and slowly strummed the opening of “Free bird” with my mind.
* good evening
He smiled excitedly. “It’s Free bird!”
I nodded. “That’s right!”
“Yay!” he clapped his hands together again.
“I’m not sure if you would know any more of the songs I like.”
“You might be surprised by the amount of songs I know.”
“I might be, but I doubt we’ll have time to find out.”
“What makes you say that?”
“Look at the time.”
He glanced over at the clock and jumped up.
“I guess it’s about time for me to be going to bed,” he said, scampering into the bedroom.
“Nazo-san…” I called.
“Yeah?” he poked his head into the room.
“Good night.”
A smile spread across his face. “Good night, Koizumi-san.”
He happily closed the door, and I heard him skip off to bed. A few minutes later, I stood up.
“Alright, time to get this over with,” I sighed.
There was one simple goal I hoped to achieve with this experiment, and that was to electrocute the hell out of myself. I had to become the aforementioned troubled youth who finds joy in their own pain. Because of my abilities, sending a dangerous electric current through my body would never kill me, but, until I got used to it, it would cause much pain through my body. I had to make certain that I did not scream, because I didn’t want to wake Nazo-san.
I began by slipping a pocketknife out of my shoe, and cutting the black protective cover on the plug of the lamp. This left the silver wires that attached the lamp to the plug exposed. Next, I carefully broke one of the light bulbs over the trashcan, and screwed it in the lamp. The only thing left to do was plug in my little “torture device”.
I hovered above the lamp for several minutes. The low, electric hum of the lamp was causing me to have second thoughts. The thought of how much more painful hell would be drove me to persevere. I shoved my hand into the broken light bulb with such force that I broke the wire, sending an even more powerful shock through my body. I nearly yelped, but stopped myself just in time.
I was in pain for only a minute. Then the pain turned to a feeling of raw power. I felt almost dangerous. As soon as the feeling was gone, my phone rang. I picked it up and answered it with shaky hands.
“Who is this?” I asked quietly.
“Koizumi, proceed with caution,” came the voice of my master from the other end of the receiver.
“What do you mean, master?”
“If you absorb too much power at one time, you will have to release some, and that could be a potential danger to the people around you.”
“So, you’re saying that I have to do this slowly?”
“But, I don’t have that kind of time.”
“Well, you’ll have to decide that for yourself. I trust you’ll make a wise choice.”
“Master Yoshida, I don’t mean to sound rude, but I’m pretty sure you don’t fully understand the position I am in at this time.”
“I do.”
“You do?”
“Koizumi, Nazo-san isn’t the only one who has noticed your sudden, extreme change in attitude. I noticed yesterday when I woke you.”
“Are you going to take me off of this mission?”
“No…I need you on this mission. Here, at this time, I am faced with a very difficult decision. Koizumi, you are one of the very best Kunoichi# I have ever recruited. I don’t think I can afford to loose you, but I can’t put you above the sacred law.”
* female ninja
“Give me a goal, Master. Is it possible to finish this training by the time they play Budokan?”
He was silent for about a minute. “You can…the key is rigor. Make sure you work all night, every night. I’ll give you a goal. When you can use your phone without the battery, I’ll promote you.”
“Easier said than done. I’ll have to absorb a lot of electricity to do that.”
“Then I suggest you get busy. I’m not making this any easier for you. Tell me, are you doing this for yourself, or for Nazo-san?”
I paused. “Ask me at the end of the week. I’m not sure I know right now.”
“I know what you will say. There hasn’t been a Kunoichi yet who hasn’t faced this challenge at least one time in their life. They all say essentially the same thing.”
“Yes, but I didn’t have much of a choice.”
“You will say it; regardless of weather you had a choice. Now, get to work.”
“Yes, Master.”
I rushed back over to my torture device. Not knowing where to begin, I placed each finger on the cord, one at a time. I started to notice that the more I touched the cord, the more the strands of electricity began to stick to me like spider webs. It was a strange, but painful sensation. Every time I brushed against the wire, an electric blue explosion tickled my hand. My brain and my voiced whimpered in protest, but my heart pushed me forward.

Ahhhh! That was the longest chapter ever! :O
Shinji-san, aka Yamada-san. Shinji-san is allergic to everything and he has hamsters. ^^ He's very laid back unless he starts drinking. (then he's as bad as Yuya-san. Did Emi-chan mention that beer is Yuya-kun's favorite thing in the world?)


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