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Chapter 5 - Track Five

The legend Ryuichi Sakuma is dead, he leaves behind the gift of a daughter which is passed to Shuichi and Yuki to raise. Now that she is 16 can she find the truth in her existence she has been searching for?

Chapter 5 - Track Five

Chapter 5 - Track Five
Claude K. Winchester – K for short, ex-chief head executive of the US’s Secret Service, Ryuichi Sakuma’s former manager and long-time manager of Bad Luck. Wherever Bad Luck is, you can bet he’ll be there, guns and all. Considering he was Ryuichi’s manager, one would expect him to be another crazy thorn in Ryuko’s side, however he’s never compared Ryuko to Ryuichi in any serious manner. His cheerful, caring and down-to-earth manner makes her think of him as an uncle, she wishes her real uncle, Tatsuha, could be more like that.

The taxi comes to a stop in front of a standard, middle-class house. Sara pays the fare, and nudges Ryuko to get out.

“For the amount of money he makes, he doesn’t look like it,” says Sara, putting away her purse.

“He told me once he has a bigger house in America. This house is mostly for long-term business trips,” Ryuko explains, as the two make their way up the driveway. “Now Sara-chan, what’s going on?”

Sara winks, pressing the doorbell. “It’s a secret.”

Ryuko sighs. The door slowly opens. The two shriek as a two-barrel gun is aimed at them. They hold each other, shaking. “Like my new gun? It’s an antique, I got a great deal on the Internet for it.”

Sara lets go of Ryuko and clears her throat. “Mr. K, don’t scare us like that.”

“God help us!” Wails Ryuko, shivering in fear on the doorstep.

K stands down his gun and laughs, “Sorry, I forget how she gets when a gun is aimed at her.”

Sara rubs her head, “Mr. K, that’s how everyone reacts when a gun is aimed at them.” Sara taps Ryuko on the head, to indicate the danger was over. The two are led into the modest home, which is eerily quiet. They continue walking through the house, until K stops at a door in the polished, wooden floor. He bends down and opens the door, pointing his thumb. “Cool, eh?”

Ryuko claps, “Just like you’re a mass murderer or something, who just hid the bodies and now will kill us!”

Sara’s eyes bug, she then turns to K and stares at him suspiciously. K cheerfully dismisses her, and pushes them toward the basement stairs. The two make their way down, followed by K who keeps his gun close to him. As they near enter the dimly lit basement, Ryuko gasps, realizing she’s joined a gathering.

“Welcome to the party!” Greets Saki Ukai, the grown daughter of Noriko Ukai, the former keyboardist for Nittle Grasper. Saki is a university student, studying to become a historian. She’s a fun-loving girl, however she can get a little too fun-loving and over-do it with the alcohol. Most people she knows try to avoid Saki, who’s made it a habit to hit the bottle at the most inopportune times.

“My favourite brat has joined the party, I’m so happy!” Saki throws her arms around Ryuko, who tries to wriggle from her grasp. “My, my, it takes more and more effort to put my arms around you each time we meet, your breasts have become so voluptuous!”

Ryuko blushes furiously, “It’s nice to see you two, Saki. Think you could let go? Kumagoro’s suffocating.”

“Oh, very well,” Saki loosens her grip, so Ryuko can spill out.

Nervously smiling, she takes a moment to look around. In the basement, she can also see Michael, K’s son, who’s been training to become a policeman. The young blonde man sits on an old couch, going over his manual.

“Studying hard?” She calls to him.

Michael looks up, “Yes, I’m going over when I cannot shoot and any loopholes.”

Sara and Ryuko gulp. Perhaps he wasn’t as gun sensible as they thought. Her eyes then wander to Himeka, who sits on the other side of the couch. Her arms are folded, and legs crossed, she’s frowning. Ryuko goes to hug her, when she puts her hand out to stop her. “Not now, Sakuma.”

Ryuko draws her hands back, and settles for a confused wave. Lowering her eyes, she sits by her feet on the floor, awaiting an explanation.

“You’re probably wondering why we’re all here,” begins K, walking back and forward, locking and unlocking his gun.

Sara raises her arm, as if she was in class, “To give Sakuma Senpai the treatment? Though I’m not quite sure what that means - ”

K points his gun at her, “No.”

“No…?” Sara lowers her arm. “But you said before - ”

Himeka takes out her nailfile from her handbag, rolling her eyes, “This had better be good. I didn’t appreciate being ambushed infront of my grandparents. Damn it, I am so going back to Kyoto tomorrow.”

“All will be fully explained, as soon as my special guest arrives,” K checks his wristwatch, “and he seems to be late.”

From above they can hear a frantic stampeding, like the sound of a herd of elephants. Their eyes turn to the stairs as a ball of dust races down and jumps beside K.

“You are late.”

His guest bows, “Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!”

“Mr. Sakano,” they gasp.

Sakano falls to his knees, puffing and panting. “I apologize for being behind on schedule, I was delayed by a meeting with the orchestra.” Fixing his glasses, he bows to their guests.

Saki sits on the edge of the couch’s back, sipping an orange and vodka. “You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Mr. Sakano.”

“I am!”

“Good then.”

Sakano opens his briefcase and quickly hands each a sheet of paper. Ryuko yawns, looking over it. “Um…I’m a little lost and so is Kumagoro.”

Sakano smiles, bowing again, “After many discussions with Mr. Seguchi, we have decided it would be a good idea if the children of Bad Luck did a song together, and then the children of Nittle Grasper.”

They stare at him.

Sakano nervously laughs. “You see, since the special is a concert of nostalgia, it was considered to be a good idea if we had a, you know, wave of the future intermission.”

They still stare.

“Since Miss Sakuma has declined the proposal to perform with Nittle Grasper, we would be most honoured if the two bands could do a song each, as you each can play an instrument. So…how does this sound? Good? Right?!”

Their eyes don’t leave him. Sakano goes red; sweat rains down his head. “Please say something!”

Sara looks over the proposal on paper, “Why did you decide to do this now? A month ago at least would have been more feasible. We can’t work on these conditions.”

“You’re nuts,” scoffs Himeka, scrunching the plan into a ball, “I bet you guys came up with this plan this morning.”

Sakano’s glasses crack.

“Oh, so I was right,” she decides. “Well, forget it. I don’t play the guitar professionally; there is no way I am going to make a fool of myself infront of the world. Besides, the storyteller princess is definitely not going to sing, so what the hell is the point?”

“You seem mad today?” politely points out Ryuko.

Himeka folds her arms, “Oh, you want to know why I’m mad today? OK then, I’ll tell you why. Ever since I can remember, whenever I’ve come to Tokyo my dad has gotten me to baby-sit your bimbo sorry @$$. And on this particular occasion, I thought things would be different. I thought I could enjoy myself, and not have to hear your name every ten seconds. But noooo, you decide to chuck a fit because they want to sing ONE stupid little song. Five minutes of your time, and you run away crying. Then for the rest of the day, when the band wasn’t rehearsing, I had to listen to them mope about how bad they felt and ways to cheer you up. And if that wasn’t bad enough, early this morning a sack was thrown over me and I was rushed here to be asked to play guitar just to glorify your image.”

Sakano wipes his sweaty brow, as he trembles, “No, Miss Nakano, that’s not what – “

“Shut up four-eyes!”

Mr. Sakano melts away into a puddle of despair. “I’m too old for this!”

Himeka rises to her feet, looking down at the wide-eyed Ryuko. She narrows her eyes in fury, “I don’t care anymore about your little issues. I’m not gonna put up with this crap anymore.” Without another word, she storms up the stairs, without looking back.

“Wait, Nakano Senpai!” Sara jumps to her feet, chasing after Himeka.

Saki finishes off her drink. “Short party, who’s up for a whiskey?”

Sakano’s puddle raises a hand.

Michael looks up from his reading, “Did something happen?”

“The children are being melodramatic again, I think,” says Saki. “Loud little thing that Hime-chan, ay, Ryu-chan?”

Ryuko sits there quietly.


Ryuko stares at the floor. Saki thinks she is crying, until she tilts her head up to show that she is frowning. Ryuko forms a fist and punches the ground, breaking the floorboards. “How dare she talk to me like that,” she icily demands, “I won’t forgive her for this insult.”

Sakano bursts into tears, crawling along the long. “Everything finally goes for Bad Luck; no traumas, no arguments, no romantic crisis, no slumps – everything…perfect! And now…now everything’s going wrong for them! It’s all shot to hell! Wah! I can’t take this pressure! I’M ENDING IT ALL NOW!!!” Sakano snatches K’s gun and points it at his throat. He presses down on the trigger, closing his eyes. Nothing happens.

K takes it back, “It’s an antique. I haven’t got bullets for it yet.”


“There, there, I’ll get in some next week,” he cheerfully assures him, patting him on the back. “You can commit suicide then.”

Mr. Sakano wipes the tears from his eyes. “Tell me, Miss Sakuma, what did you think of the proposal.” She’s gone. “Waaaaah! It’s all falling apart!”

Saki waggles a bottle of red wine infront of him. “You need a drink.”


Draped over by a single white blanket, his body naked beneath, enjoying the sensations from the chilled wind that flows through his large opened window, Slacker Seguchi sits cross-legged in the middle of his king-sized bed. His eyes are closed, as if in meditation. The ringing of the telephone by his bed breaks his world of silence. Slacker falls back, and picks up the phone, pulling it his ear. “Did all go well?”

“Everything went as you predicted.”

“Excellent, K. All is secure. Give my sympathies to Mr. Sakano.”

“Will do.” K hangs up.

Slacker stretches his arm out, putting down the phone. He quietly sits up again, lowering his sheet so his upper torso can feel the full force of the wind’s ice. “The body longs for eternal warmth, without fire man would die. Why does he seek out the cold then? Why does he enjoy its pain? Ice can burn the skin, just like fire. Is it possible that fire and ice are one and the same?” Slacker falls forward, burying his face in his soft blankets.


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