76 – Wilted Flowers
1.8k 23 60
Reading Options
Font Size
A- 15px A+
Table of Contents
Loading... please wait.

Tuesday morning, around eleven AM.

After a grueling night of being knocked out and woken up by that vengeful ghost, Maji, Kai finally arrived home.

Getting out of the blacked out sedan, he shut the door of the car behind him and quickly walked towards his house before the driver changed his mind.

Before he went too far though, the car window rolled down and mad cackles echoed.

"Well aren't you in a rush?" Maji's voice called out.

Kai tensed and then turned back to look at him. "You... aren't planning to pop up somewhere later and ambush me, are you?"

Maji adjusted the rim of taxi driver hat and smiled. "As fun as that'd be, I don't have the time to spare like with Kiri. Ah, the good old days..."

Kai sighed.

That was one trouble off his mind then. He didn't know if he could handle having to fend off a crazy bastard like that, let alone one whose fighting skills were enough to take out an entire family without killing them.

Maji tipped his hat and said, "Enjoy your time with your daughter, kid! Things are gonna heat up starting tomorrow, so get things ready!"

Before Kai could respond, Maji drove off. Seeing that, Kai sighed and adjusted his shirt.

Because of the long fight, his suit was in tatters, the sleeves all cut up and torn. The dress shirt beneath it was the same, along with his pants. The only part of his attire left relatively unscathed were his shoes, the black leather boots only a bit dusty in comparison to the rags that everything else had become.

"Well at least I didn't lose my phone, wallet, or keys..."

It was a small blessing. Somehow, Kai had managed to hold onto those in his pocket as well as avoid damaging them.

Which was good. John had already made him have to switch phones three times so that he could call the guy, and he really didn't want Tsuki to have to update his contact information again.

And speaking of John...

"Some friend that bastard is." Kai grumbled as he pulled the key out from his pocket and headed towards the front door. "People say good intentions pave the way to hell, but that bastard's dragging me there and saying he'll pull me to heaven later. He's lucky that Tsuki and Rin like him or I'd give him a piece of my mind, international crime syndicate boss or not."

Kai probably wouldn't be able to do much, but he was certain he'd be able to at least scar that pretty boy face of John's.


Then again, considering that those legends were willingly serving under him, that guy might be even stronger than all of them. No, he definitely was considering he laughed off the thought of facing Shin.

Kai opened the door and shook his head. Walking inside, he pulled off his tattered suit and tossed it to the floor. That done, he closed the door behind him and started taking off his boots.

"Oppa? Is that you?" A female voice called out from the kitchen. Not long after, footsteps echoed as someone approached.

Kai finished taking off his boots and then looked up.

A young woman was standing in the hallway. Her black hair was a curled mess and she was chubby. However, her face was cute. If she slimmed down a bit, there was no doubt that she would be a great beauty.

At the moment, she was wearing a loose flower-patterned sweater along with gray sweatpants.

Seeing her made Kai reflexively let out a wry smile. But he quickly fixed his expression and said, "Good morning, Yura. Was Tsuki any trouble?"

The young woman, Yura Kim, brushed her hands down on her pants and then smiled. "Of course not! Tsuki's an absolute angel! But..." She eyed Kai's clothes and frowned. "Did something happen to you at 'work', Oppa?"

Kai waved his hand and said, "Don't worry about it. I just got a bit too excited in sparring with my teacher."

Yura laughed and then walked over to pick up Kai's tattered suit. Seeing the cuts, she shook her head and said, "That's what you get for being rusty, Oppa."

Kai chuckled. "I don't think that I could scratch that guy even at my prime, but I appreciate your faith, Yura." He walked forward and said, "Where are the other girls?"

Yura followed after Kai and said, "Sumi's cooking right now and Sayuri's playing games with Tsuki. We were just about to get together for breakfast, actually!"

"Then I made it just in time, huh?" Kai started unbuttoning his dress shirt and walking over to his room.

"Yep! Oppa's timing is perfect, just like always."

Kai winced at that.

"Ah." Yura realized what she said and looked away. "Um... Sorry. Didn't mean to make it awkward, Oppa."

"It's fine."

As the two walked into the living room, a delicate voice called out from the kitchen.

"Yu-chan? Did I hear Uncle Kai's voice?"

Yura left Kai's side and headed to the kitchen. "That's right! Oppa's finally back, Sumi!"

"That's wonderful. Little Tsuki was worrying all night."

Kai winced again and then looked towards the speaker.

Another young woman. Like Yura, she wore flower-patterned clothes, a black dress with violets. Over that, she wore a simple white apron that was slightly splattered with flour and dough.

Amamiya Sumire.

Unlike Yura, who had the appearance of someone who enjoyed her food, Sumire was thin and frail. Her dress, which looked to already be the smallest size, hung loose over her body. It was the appearance of someone that could get blown over by a strong wind... a far cry from how she used to look.

Seeing that made Kai frown. "Sumi. Are you eating well?"

Sumire wiped her hands down on her apron and said, "I am, Uncle Kai. It's just..." Her gaze shifted to the side and she said, "...It's sometimes hard to keep it down."

Kai's hand twitched at that. At the same time, a surge of anger welled up in his heart.

"Ah!" Sumire smiled, her kind face bright. "I remember to take my vitamins though!"

Hearing the conversation, Yura walked over and pulled Sumire into a hug. Looking at Kai, she grinned and said, "Don't worry about Sumi, Oppa! I make sure she eats well! I mean, look at me, right?"

Sumire frowned and then huffed, pulling herself away. "You eat a bit too much, Yu-chan. And you always make too much bread at our bakery."

"Better to have too much than too little, Sumi! And you like nibbling on them when you watch videos, don't you?"

"That's true..."

Watching the two chat, Kai couldn't help but feel mixed emotions. On the one hand, he really wanted to chastise them about their diets like the past. But on the other, the current situation was his fault, so...

A door opened somewhere, and then a soft girl's voice called out. "Daddy? Are you back?"

Not long after a harsh female voice followed up. "He had better be back. Leaving you alone the whole night like this... What would Boss do if we weren't around?"

Kai let out a wry chuckle and turned towards the voices. "I'd be at a complete loss, Sayuri."

The end of a hallway off to the side. There, Tsuki walked out from her room, followed after by a young woman with short-cropped black hair.

"Daddy!" Tsuki immediately reacted to seeing Kai and ran forward, jumping for a hug.

Kai laughed and grabbed her, spinning around to dampen her momentum before setting her down and hugging her like normal. "Sorry I'm late, Princess."

"It's fine!" Tsuki stepped back and said, "The pretty nee-sans played with me a lot! Especially Sayuri nee-san!" She turned back and pointed at the young woman with the short hair.

Kai shifted his gaze towards her.

Sayuri Li. That was the young woman walking over from Tsuki's room. Unlike the past, her beautiful wavy hair was chopped short, like an army man's haircut. Yet, that couldn't hide her beauty. But her sharp eyes with dark circles beneath them warned off anyone that tried to get close, like a rose's thorns. Even so, that sharp gaze softened a fraction when she saw Kai.

Kai nodded and said, "Thank you, Sayuri. Really."

Her mouth twitched, as if she wanted to smile, but she quickly suppressed it. Instead, she nodded and said, "You're welcome, Boss."

Tsuki looked at the two and let out a bright smile. But then her eyes widened. "Oh no! It's almost time for Hana's unarchived stream! I have to set up the recording and text Rin good luck!" Saying that, she quickly dashed off back to her room.

Kai chuckled.

Well, it was good to see that his little princess had something to be excited about.

The door slammed shut, Tsuki closing too hard in her haste. Almost immediately after, her muffled voice called out. "Sorry!"

"It's fine Princess!" Kai answered her and then shifted his gaze back to Sayuri.

The young woman with short hair sighed. "Boss. You need to stop staying out so late. I don't mind watching Tsuki... and I'm sure you two don't either, right?" She glanced over at Sumire and Yura.

Yura nodded, smiling. "Of course not! Tsuki's an angel!"

Sumire let out a soft smile as well. "What Yu-chan said. I don't mind spending the night with little Tsuki."

Sayuri nodded and shifted her gaze back to Kai. "Anyway, we don't mind, Boss. But Tsuki needs her father around. At least as much as you were there for us."

"...I know." Kai sighed. "I know that all too well."

"Mm. So long as you do. I don't want you to make another mistake because you were too busy, okay, Boss? We can... handle what happened, but if something happened to-" She paused and shook her head. "No. Better to not jinx it. Anyway... go clean yourself up." Sayuri wrinkled her nose and said, "You reek, Boss." 

Kai chuckled and said, "Fine, fine. You girls be good in the meanwhile." Saying that, he walked to his room with a smile on his face.

When he shut the door behind him though, Kai's smile vanished and his eyes narrowed. Standing in the dark room, he muttered, "Shin Seiryuu... and those NHK bastards hiding behind his name." He flicked his wrist, causing a knife to fly out from his sleeve before catching it in his right hand. Glancing at the silver blade, Kai stared at his eyes, sharp and almost crimson in the low light. "...I don't know what John's plans are for you, but you won't escape this time."