Dawn of the Black Year
Chapter I: There was Darkness in the Heart of the Men
-2 months have passed after the war that almost consumed the whole world- A woman voice sounded on the T.V, as a young man watched from a bar deep in Tokyo’s Downtown, the bar was sleazy to say the least, with dirty tables and dusty floor, the stench of old cigarettes and cheap beer surrounded him almost like a stinking mist, a not very friendly looking bartender poured another drink on his glass after being gestured by the man. He looked regular, not really attention worthy, maybe because he was so covered in dirty and his hair was untidy and greasy, maybe if he took a bath and tidied himself up he would look presentable, even handsome. His mood was akin to the one of the other patrons, he stared at the screen almost without even really watching, his brain was too soaked in booze to notice -The dreaded Kisekian Warlord, better known in the world by his nom’d guerre, Newdeath, waged a personal war against the world, taking advantage of a planetary alignment that granted his army, composed by aliens such as himself, a massive boost in power, allowing them to overpower any resistance from the country on our planet. Dozen of heroics denizens of Earth fought bravely against the invasion- The woman took a pause, almost of credible pain, but as the young man knew, after working for 10 years in the showbiz, she was faking that small emotional outburst. Acting needed to be balanced and measured; she was obviously overacting the grief for something that she knew was horrible, but never affected her directly. The young man knew grief, and this crisis was the cause of it. – We have a special guest tonight, one of the men that put his mind into the resolution of the whole world problems, and was a important piece, maybe crucial in saving our world, with us this morning, Prime Minister Usso Namae- The studio gave the newly appointed political leader of Japan a standing ovation. He walked calmly to the sofa assigned to him, with the air that can be only seen in a member of a royal house. A perfect smile, warm and kind lightened up his face, making him look younger than his age, almost 60 years old, but he already didn’t seemed so old as he kept a rigorous training regime, thanks to his company Garyuu Zaibatsu, personal trainer. He was the wealthiest man in , a man known by every inhabitant of the rising sun country, and possibly one of the most known in the world after his involvement in the recent war. The man in the bar took another long sip from the dirty chop of beer. His blurred vision didn’t allow him to focus in the screen quite well, but he knew Usso Namae, he was, sans multiple subordinates, his former boss, when he worked for the Garyuu Talent Agency. – Hello Tsukiame-dono- Usso tone was friendly and open, his voice didn’t get affected by age, so his voice was still firm and unwavering, he bowed at the host and the greeted her in a much informal way, he sat down after her, and kept talking – I’m honored to get invited to your show, I use to watch whenever my timetable allows me- He smiled warmly as the young woman hosting the program, one of Japan most viewed shows, Tsukiame-1Hour-Special, replied to the Prime Minister – The honor is all ours, thank you very much for coming-
The show kept with the interview, but the young man was too drunk to notice, he only overheard phrases and saw glimpses while he rested his head on the bar. He heard the words, Hero, World Savior and other similar words. He wanted to laugh at the T.V; they didn’t know a real hero even if he bit them in the butt. With zigzagging steps, the young man left the bar, after leaving a handful of yen in the bar. He was running low on cash, his former fortune, built working like a dorama actor, and was already gone, taken by the loan sharks and his lawyers. He was stranded in , drowning on booze and blaming himself for the death of his younger brother Taiyou, which died a heroic death protecting people he didn’t even knew in . He blamed himself, but deep inside him he thought that his family was to blame, the Maeda clan had fought in the stupid struggle known as the Crest War for centuries, a battle for supremacy between 9 clans, all of them sending a champion with a particular crest, representing a feeling or virtue. He was the first born in his family and he thought he would get the responsibility, and he disliked it. But in the end, his younger brother, a boy so brave and innocent was assigned with the hazardous task. Hoshi Maeda punched his father in the moment he heard about the Head of the Clan decision, not because he wanted the power, he just didn’t wanted to see his brother suffering. He tried to change their decision, but when he reached his household, almost in the southern borders of , they had already sent his younger brother to train with an old family friend in Sakurajima. He tried to search for his brother, but his family didn’t allow it, he was sent back to his life without any chance to visit his brother. Next the War started, and a week after the riots, when the new Prime Minister was elected, starting a reform over and then the world. That week, Hoshi found out that his brother died, his family knew for almost five days, and they informed him only that the Crest picked a different guardian and that they would contact him later. Hoshi knew what that meant, his younger brother was dead, and he couldn’t do anything to stop that, as he confronted his family, all the support the Clan was making for his career was removed, and he ended up fired from the Talent Agency and lost his job. He decided to drown his sorrow in booze and he was doing a pretty good job. Unknown to him, somebody was watching him; to be exactly three pair of eyes stared at his curved walking from a dark alley.
The show ended with another standing ovation, Usso had to stay for several more minutes, signing autographs and greeting people, but as the people understood he was busy. Usso left the studio in a black limo, provided by the new government, that wanted him to travel by helicopter, but Usso humbly rejected it, and after a grueling negotiation he forcefully accepted the Limo. As the door closed, the newly appointed Prime Minister warm smile vanish, and his face returned to his regular expression, an emotionless mask, lacking of any regard for anything but power. But power as means to reach his ultimate goal, he could savor it. He was about to call Tsukimori-san to talk about the recruitment for the tournament fundraiser he was organizing. This event had multiple objectives, but mostly he wanted information, several new super humans and strange warriors had surfaced after the War, and his intelligence was busy in several hundred assignments. But as he was about to establish the commlink through one of Mangetsu thousands of private satellites, Kuro-san, the true identity of Usso Namae, also known as the Yakuza Emperor, noticed something in the other extreme of the limousine lounge. A woman clad in a kunoichi like attire, with a motif of water or tears, was staring at him with her large, almost shining eyes. She carried a sword behind her back, and several dozens of kunai attached all over her athletic body, she seemed to be in her late 30’s, yet she seemed to be in her physical prime. Her eyes, the only part of his face, half covered by a dark blue mask, that could be seen, had inexplicable sorrow imprinted on them. A medallion of pure silver, and bluish marks, pretty similar to the one used by other of his subordinates, an Assassin called Juro Fuuma, was pinned on the inside of her. According to the Intel and the small bits of exposition that Juro said, those items were linked to an emotional wavelength, or a virtue of some sort, increasing the powers of it’s user by absorbing that emotions and turning them into pure energy. You are Usso Namae, officer from Mangetsu, right? She asked while shifting her crossed legs seductively. Usso could admit she was a beautiful woman, but his heart and his mind lacked any interest for her. You are correct, miss? The woman smiled grimly under her mask. Danzo, Rei Danzo. I’m here looking for a job, sneaking in your Limousine is a good introduction of my skills, don’t you think? She seemed extremely confident, the keyword was seemed, as Kuro-san noticed that she was lying, Rei Danzo seemed almost as good as himself in faking emotions. He also noticed that she wasn’t trying to seem capable; she was only trying to rush her employment. Without speaking his theories out loud he replied, Danzo-dono, I’m really impressed, but considering your relation with a man so capable as Juro, and what that really means, this is the least I’ll expect now that you’ll be working under me. Under her mask she smiled, and the Yakuza Emperor, finished speaking. Please report with the other general Tsukimori-san in , I’ll inform him, he is in… Rei interrupted the Overlord …The Tsukasa Shrine in the old part of town. Kuro-san nodded in approval, and the woman vanished with a puff of smoke. The Yakuza Emperor informed his right hand, the only man alive that knew about his real identity, and then opened a new line of communication, this time a regular one, using the contact information found by his Zaibatsu. Good day, is this Crow Cementerio’s office? I’m want to propose a business proposition, my name is Usso Namae and I could bring him into in 2 hours if he is interested.