Even while being a beacon of development and justice, Inazuma City had a darker side, a place where a century old criminal organization still managed to survive with cunning tactics and careful planning. The Saiko Clan was an old style clan that embraced technology and didn’t lost their spirit in the process and was smart enough to be overly secretive with their activities and their hideouts during the first years of Shin Nihon. In the limit between the Business and the Residential District they have their den, where illegal gambling and whorehouse exists. The authorities now about them, but they turn a blind eye about it, as the Saiko Clan stops more crime in a month than they do in a year. The Clan only commits crime against the people that endanger their turf and most of the time the ones that do that deserve a beating or even worse. The Saiko control 10 blocks square in a neighborhood called Jigoku no Kinjo by the media, but truth to be told their territory couldn’t be more far from hell, as they have tight honor code and enforce it with swiftness and no second-guessing. The Saiko Yakuza only follow three rules. “This town is my home and I’ll protect it” meaning that they would even give their live for the protection of Jigoku no Kinjo. “My comrades are my life” swearing to protect the members of the clan. “I always pay my debts and I collect theirs without fail” A declaration of their main income and their impeccable honor. There are 7 core members of the family, Minamoto-Sama, the leader of the Clan and master Aikidoka. The Yoshida Brothers, Akio and Akito, the marksman pair of the group, each with a different approach. Saitou-san the second in command and former Karate Champion. Roberto, a half Brazilian half Japanese suave guy that is in charge of the organization “Public” relations. Yamagiri, the not so dumb muscles that runs the Clan finances and Karasu a swordmaster with the worst attitude ever.
They survived the criminal purge after the Kisekian Conflict by having a low profile and laundered all of the money thanks to the legalization of gambling and bets in Osaka, and hid their assets until they could find and new HQ. They took over the shady part of Inazuma and from that moment they act as self appointed guardians of Jigoku no Kinjo as well as jury and executioners. They keep the crime in the city to a minimum as they declared that the city is their turf and thieves and other criminals think it twice before trying to make a move in their town. To take care of some of their troubles they usually hired independent mercenaries, and sometimes even Private Senshi, but this time they were searching for somebody that would accept taking an Assassin’s job. Captain Rio, a known thief and modern day pirate planned to assault the bank of Inazuma city, and as they lacked the resources to get him, the Saiko Clan decided to hire an unregistered super human to do their dirty job. Anybody that would go near Jigoku no Kinjo and get detected through a scan they managed to get from a government facility will be detained and subtly offered the job. Also job brokers in town will also be vigilant for the type of guy the Saiko are looking for.
In other zone of the city, a much brighter and secure area, a man just jumping off from his horse caused a sensation and gathered a crowd. Hoyt was a charismatic and popular hero, even in the other side of the world. The media was all over the place, taking enough pictures to cover the side of one of the futuristic spires of glass and steel alloy that formed the city skyline. With only a phrase coming from the Famous Hero a young girl was also part of the media circus, with flashing lights and snapshots over her. Ariana blushed, she didn’t like so much attention, and being near somebody that was almost known as a living legend was more that she could handle. –I..I..- She stuttered shyly while fidgeting her fingers over her spear shaft. The young squire wasn’t ready for a situation such as this one, as she was only a amateur in this job, taking over for his dad only months ago after extensive training to harness the power she used to fight against criminals. The cameras and the lights started to move faster. She was feeling the pressure of failure, she didn’t want to say anything with fear of screwing up, luckily for her a sudden blast and the appearance of a flying battleship interrupted the situation, and all the cameras suddenly turned to the skies. Ariana thanked God for giving her a break and jumped away from the crowd, lifting a gust of wind from the shockwave of her jump, that left a pair of feet shaped dents in the street. With swiftness and covered in a blazing aura she used her spear to pole-vault from a tall rooftop and jumped into Rio’s ship – Stop right now by the power given to me by the Inazuma Government- Ariana shouted at the thieves.
In the Hollow Bullet Bar, Falken could barely stand, swaying from side to side with the hair covering his eyes in dreadlocks caused by the lack of cleaning and the dust. His right eye could be seen in between to dreads, shining with a mad and sinister glow. Crow replied to Falken drunken banter with pity and sadness. The former Falcon Eye Killer was being insulted and pitied by the Lighting Gunslinger. In his drunken ears the voice of Crow Cementerio is a faint echo reverberating inside his skull. Falken fails to focus his aim, with his hand shaking and his vision blurry. Pain engulfs the former Mercenary mind, as he realizes how gone are his skills. “I told you Falken I am not here to fight you so I’m not going to. But if you want to shoot me go right head. I’m standing right here shoot me Falken. I dare you amigo.” Crow started moving forward, while the Twin Barreled God of Death shook without control. Even with a target so close as Cementerio was moving to become, Falken couldn’t shoot. “How many beers have you drank Falken? 10. 20. 30. 50…I wonder how many doubles you see of me? Maybe even triples? Shoot me Falken what are you waiting for?!” Crow moved forward with his arms open, in any other situation the former Best Assassin in the world would shoot without doubt, but as his hated enemy noted he was too drunk and too broken to shoot. Crow didn’t knew the truth about Falken retirement, almost nobody did, nobody but one man. Falken could remember the reason of his retirement; it haunted him in his nightmares, and the booze was the only way to stop those horrid visions.
“I can see your hand trembling Falken I guess that gun most be heavy. Is it heavy with the shame you feel towards yourself? Is it heavy with the self loathing and self hate? Or is it heavy with the past?!...What’s wrong why can’t you shoot me? VAMOS! Shoot me! Shoot me damn it!” -Cementerio got it all wrong..- Was the phrase that lingered on Falken mind as he heard these words. He was ashamed of himself, but not about losing against Crow, nobody could get as good as the Falcon Eye Killer was without learning to cope with defeat. Something completely unrelated that just happened at the same time was the reason behind Falken trying to booze himself to death. Thanks to Crow continues banter about his reasons, the horrible images he saw on Mangetsu satellite about Kuro-san plan were more than enough to traumatize him. And the worst part is that he knew, against the common knowledge of the world that Kuro-san was still alive and that his plan was about to get bigger. “I said shoot me.” Crow swated the gun out of Falken hand, but in the state the former Mercenary was he could have easily took it from him. The brightness in Falken eye died, as Crow kept his verbal beating. “Are you going to bury yourself in the past! You know who else took that path you good buddy Wolf and things worked out for him you see! What about Dragon, Devil, or Fairy they let their past consume them! Thankfully Fairy was the only one who still had a choice and decided to move forward. I may not have agreed with any of their morals or ethics but I respected them! I respected you when wouldn’t let that past consume you.”
Falken fell into the ground incapable of keep standing up “Get up Falken move forward on your path and never stop even if a river of blood lies ahead. You may have one arm but you got to fine legs damn it!” Crow shouted at him as spark filled the air. The electricity sudden spike caused the only light bulb in the bar to suddenly switch on and then exploded, the TV did the same. The Nanites in Falken also reacted, going into an overloaded mode, that started to metabolize the alcohol much faster, reducing greatly the Falcon Eye Killer numbness. Crow moved to the door and turned around for the last time “The reason I came here amigo was because I was looking for information. I thought that Wolf may have told you something about the Numbers that I needed to know but I may have wasted my time. I am looking for the Altar of Bullets Falken and I may have lead.” Falken sudden clarity was almost shattered by the shock of hearing those three words. This time much nimbler, he stood up, still shaky on the legs. -Wait! Cementerio! You don’t know what you’re dealing with!- Falken finally managed to stand up tall. Even if his main reason to retire was about Kuro-san plans, he had to admit that losing to Crow was also a main factor. The Falcon Eyed Killer moved towards the Lighting Gunslinger. This time without any trace of malice, maybe it was because of the sparks, or maybe something else was taking cards on this matter, but for some reason Falken mind slowly drifted away from the depression and saw in Crow a small light of hope that could stop the incoming storm.
The Armless Mercenary stopped meters away from Crow. –I’m not sinking in my past mistakes Cementerio, if I was a man like that I would have already shot myself long ago. What leaves me sleepless and makes me drinki until I can remember how to hold a gun- Falken glanced sadly to the gun lying over the bottles – Isn’t the past, Wolf himself would come back from the grave to bite me if I did. What worries me, and you should worry too is the future- Falken moved heavily towards the counter and sat down. – Wolf didn’t know shit about the Numbers, that nutjob Dragon was also wrong if he spoke. The Real Numbers are something completely different than a group of crazy killers with showy gimmick Cementerio, and the Altar of Bullets isn’t a cabal of old men searching for the perfect killer…- Falken grabbed a beer bottle but when he was just about to sip he took it and launched it against the mirror behind the counter, that shattered leaving a fragmented image of him. –The Real Numbers are something else, and the Altar of Bullets is a lie, a ruse, a fairy tale, a myth. Call it what you like, but the point is that the Numbers never got their orders from the Altar of Bullets, and the sad thing is that all of them believed it. HEHEHEHE…- Falken laughter was empty and emotionless, almost as if he lacked any feeling or spirit, as if his veins didn’t pumped blood at all, he seemed deader than before. When this sinister chuckle ended he looked right into Crow eyes. – There is only one man that can tell you the truth Cementerio, and he is in this city. The man that holds all the answers you seek is the same man that five years ago, was thought to be dead.-
Falken voice got grim and his eyes went sinister. –You’re looking for Kuro-san, or to be precise and correct, you’re looking for Usso Namae, the leader of Shin Nihon and founder of Mangetsu and of the Numbers.-
In the other side of town, in the top floor of the highest building of the City, a massive window gave the sole inhabitant of the floor complete view of the city. Garyuu Tower stood like an obsidian spire over the shining glasses of the nearby buildings. All the windows in the building absorbed the solar light and turned into energy as lot of buildings did. An old man with long black hair with white streaks, stood besides the window thanks to a cane. His face seemed tired and bored, he his eyes glanced all over the city. Soft classical music was playing in the room. Wagner. One hand of the old man moved like the conductor of an orchestra, following the perfectly timed streams of cars and buses, the people and the aerial transport moving in his city. – Aniki, aniki I have troubling news- a voice came from the television, as the music automatically was turned off. Kuro-san turned around with some problems, moving with the cane through the room up until he reached a comfortable black chair. –What is it now Tsukimori-san? Another so called hero discovered Mangetsu? Or another of your sons got in jail? Be quick I don’t have all day- The old Emperor lied, he did have all day, but he talked with a bored and empty tone as if he had nothing to keep being alive anymore. Tsukimori-san gained a lot of weight in ten years, having an office job didn’t really do him well as he now needed help to stand up from his chair – Falken opened his mouth to the wrong guy- Kuro-san felt intrigued for first time in years, he knew for a fact that his former employee was too broken to do anything, and he knew that because he broke the once proud mercenary. – What did he say? He spoke of the killings? The theft? The coup?- A sinister smile, as the ones he usually had ten years ago slowly started to form on the Inazuma Prime Minister
-No, he told Crow Cementerio about the real you….- Kuro-san changed from cold smile to a single second of shock, but he wasn’t afraid or angry, only pleasantly surprised. –Oh Falken, Falken, even without getting payed you still work for me- The Old Emperor smile grew bigger –At last something to do that requires my attention. Tsukimori-san! Get your boys ready, tonight the old days are back, the good days, when making somebody disappear wasn’t so hard.- Kuro-san stood up with a sudden burst of energy –Call the Four other Generals of Mangetsu, at last a good foe to fight against, prepare a meeting right away.- Tsukimori was extremely surprised from this sudden energy, as he had been the closest witness to his boss decadence and decline this past ten years. – Right away aniki!- The comm. Line closed and Kuro-san looked at the window. –I have nothing left, I’m an empty my goal was shattered, my dreams smashed and my heart and soul were lost *cough**cough*- a line of blood dripped from his mouth – But nothing will stop me from taking my revenge upon you Cementerio, you killed my hopes 5 years ago, and now you made the last mistake you’ll make in this life. You came to my city *cough*- This time much more blood come out from Kuro-san mouth and he checked his jacket for a pill bottle –There is no*cough* place you can hide now…- The Old Emperor barely managed to stay standing, leaning over the window railing – Even if my body shatters I’ll have my revenge Cementerio! You destroyed my last chance to bring back my beloved Tsubasa, I’ll shatter your life!-