After I received a call from Grace around noon, I decided to pass the time by doing laundry and cleaning up the house. Dust had built up the last few days and some of the trash was starting to stink. It wasn’t really messy as Evelyn cleaned the whole thing when she was there. As I picked up a piece of her clothing, my resolve strengthened. I definitely was going to take her back.
I looked at my smartphone’s clock, it was 8.00 P.M. Alright, it was time to get ready to meet Grace. After a long shower, feeling clean again for the first time in days. I shaved, combed my hair, and got dressed. With each step, I felt like I was coming back to life.
I was wearing dark jeans and a black button up shirt, my long sleeves rolled to slightly below my elbows as I studied my reflection in the full-length mirror confidently. Placing my reflection under further scrutiny, I finally felt satisfied. Good. I thought.
Stepping out of my room, I called for an Uber to head to the club. What? Not a taxi? Japan also has an Uber! I preferred Uber over Taxis because the driver could be a female… oops, I let out my true intention there. I definitely did not have such intentions!
Stretching my arms, I exited my house waiting for the Uber to pick me up.
Well then, I had plenty of time to let my mind wander over what had transpired over this morning. No matter how I dressed it up in my mind, I had just cheated on Evelyn. I wouldn’t blame Marie for that. It was nobody’s fault but me. Seriously, I couldn’t seem to avoid the part of my conscience that was screaming that fact at me. Now that the moment was over, the guilt was washing over me like a flood and tearing me apart from the inside out. What kind of asshole was I?
A BMW stopped in front of me, breaking up my thoughts. Oh, right on time.
I climbed into the back seat, and found myself disappointed. It was a male driver, not a female. The driver was a short, stocky guy wearing a white shirt.
Sighing, I gave the driver the address.
“Luben Club, please,” I explained. Then the driver gave me a nod and started driving.
Thinking back, what the hell was I going to do once I got there? What could I say to Marie after what happen that morning? Should I have pretended nothing had happened? Should I have just ignored her and headed straight for the V.I.P room? Was she even working tonight at all? Part of me hoped she wouldn’t be there or would be too busy in the back to notice me.
Really, my head was spinning when I thought these things. The silence in the car was also getting on my nerves. I would’ve appreciated some kind of music to ease my stress. Why did this guy have to use no radio? He kept clearing his throat and I was quickly growing to the point of murder.
“Sir, we are here.” He said just in time to save his life.
The car came to a complete stop as the Uber Driver made the announcement. With that, I let out a sigh.
Without realizing it, we arrived already? I looked out from the passenger window to confirm it. Yeah, we were in front of the ritzy club. It was still a little early, but the lights were on and I could hear music thrumming from inside.
I slid out of the driver’s seat and handed the man a tip. The driver drove away without a second thought. Before heading through the entrance, I went to parking lot to check my car. And gladly, it was still there.
Alright, I made it there. But seriously… what should be done with Marie? I asked myself the same question again. Just remembering what I said to her this morning felt like my guts were on fire with guilt. I should say something better this time. I didn’t want to leave her hurt like that. I took a deep breath and went inside. I just had to be cool, that’s what I told myself. I reminded myself that I was coming to meet Grace, not Marie. Please, Marie, be out sick today.
I went inside the club. It wasn’t as crowded as the previous night, but it was quickly getting that way. My eyes shot to the bar, to see whether Marie was there or not, but I didn’t see her. Only the other bartenders were there. Where was she? I looked around and let out a breath of relief. This was what I wanted, wasn’t it? I guessed she was not there. Was she so heartbroken she needed to take the day off? Well, it was alright. Maybe, I’d swing by her place after meeting Grace. I couldn’t help but laugh, my brain was seriously a mess. Did I or didn’t I? With that thought, I decided to head to the V.I.P Area.
“Looking for someone?” A familiar feminine voice suddenly spoke up from behind me, causing me to feel goosed.
I turned to that voice and my jaw dropped immediately. I saw Marie dressed in a black evening gown. The smooth, flowing fabric was cut at the waist and back, revealing her smooth shoulders. There was also a long slit along her skirt to allow her easier mobility. Her long hair had been tied up in a ponytail that drifted down her back, her bangs cradling her pretty face but not hiding it. On top of that, I could detect a subtly provocative smell from her. To be honest, she looked stunning, no, absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. I was speechless.
Marie looked up at me. Her face was slightly flushed, but embarrassment didn’t appear to be the cause. We both suddenly fell silent, but the silence didn’t last long. It was Marie that broke the growing uncomfortable atmosphere.
“So, how do I look?” Marie asked, opening her arms to show me her body better.
I stared at her, completely thrown off guard by her question. Were we going to ignore what happen this morning? But she was looking at me as if waiting for my answer. Also, what was with those eyes of expectation? I rejected her, didn’t I? Why was she still looking at me so lovey-dovey?
“You’re just…” I began.
She narrowed her eyes waiting for me to finish.
“…Amazingly beautiful,” I told her truthfully with a sigh.
Hearing my honest opinion, her lips curled into a grin.
“Really?” She said, almost giggling, biting her nails seductively.
“Yes, you are gorgeous…”
She looked delightfully tantalizing thanks to my answer. Then, I suddenly remember her without any clothes on this morning while spreading her legs for me. I felt my boy down there give a slight response. Shit, what the hell was I thinking? I shook my head as I tried to stop my natural male reaction.
“…. Is it okay for a bartender dressed like this?” I shifted the subject.
Marie smiled, “No, it’s not, especially in this club. This club has strict employee dress code. Then again, I make the rules.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Well, I am the owner of this club, darling.”
“Huh?” I was shocked.
“You are the owner? But last night…”
“Yes. I am the owner. Everything here belongs to me. Being Bartender is merely my hobby. So, sometimes, I play around at being the bartender. You just caught me on one of my days.”
Ok, that was quite the twist. I didn’t really know how to feel about it. Marie was a bit more impressive than I originally thought. Not to speak down to the noble profession of bartenders, but Marie had to have something a little extra to run this club all on her own. It was clearly successful and profitable.
With a grin, she turned and headed on to the V.I.P. room. As she walked by the bouncer watching the room, she gave a wink and he stepped aside. I could see the respect on his face as he looked at her. The guy didn’t even check her out. Good security.
When I passed Marie, she suddenly grabbed my arm tightly, pressing her chest against me. Once again, I was thrown into a confused state. I dumped her, right? Maybe she didn’t understand our relationship? Yeah, she was an attractive woman, and yeah she was a successful club owner, but I couldn’t turn my back on Evelyn. She pulled me into the V.I.P. room, and I glanced around to find the room empty.
“She didn’t come.” I sighed.
However, Marie moved forward, pulling me along with her. When we went half way, her hand fell down and squeezed my butt. Okay… what game was she playing? Did she drag me into the V.I.P. room so she could fondle me? It wasn’t that I was flattered that she was interested…
She pulled me up to a velvet curtain and then pulled it back. Instantly, my eyes fell on a certain lady. It was Grace… She was still beautiful as ever and she don’t look like she’d aged a day. Because she was still the same Grace I knew from twenty years ago.
Grace was woman with straight black hair, which was cut to the nape of her neck. She had brown eyes, her skin was alabaster, looking glossy and smooth. She was tall, with an hourglass figure, and an athletic frame. Man, she still hadn’t changed at all. In fact, she became more beautiful.
Like Marie, she was actually dressed very sexily and drop dead gorgeous. My son, don’t react please.
Between the two women, I couldn’t determine which looked better. Except, it was Marie who had her hands all over me. Grace’s eyes narrowed as she glared at the pair of us. She seemed to catch Marie’s hand on my butt in an instant.
“What are you doing, Marie?” Grace demanded, looking somewhat frustrated.
“Just returning his keys.” Marie responded innocently, patting my butt twice.
It was only then I realized my keys had been slipped back into my back pocket while she was groping me. Or was I just misunderstanding her and she wasn’t being perverted at all?
“Oh…” Grace looked away, but still seemed to have a complicated expression. “Well, you brought him like I asked. Thank you.”
Marie let go of my arm and then gave a little nod. “Of course, I just couldn’t let this one get away.”
Her vague answer caused Grace to frown again, but after a moment she shook her head and held out her arms. “I love you.”
My eyes widened. She loved me? What was this sudden proclamation? My heart started beating fast, but I was completely frozen. How was I supposed to react to my ex-girlfriend suddenly wanting to hug and tell me she loved me? Especially right in front of the woman I just slept with the previous night!
I didn’t get a chance to say anything though, because a second later it was Marie who moved forward. She fell into Grace’s arms and the two embraced in a very affectionate way. I was even more lost. They were lesbians? Did Marie want to sample the “meat” her lover had once tasted? No… that didn’t make any sense! My brain was completely frozen and lost. What Marie said next was what caused everything to come crashing home.
“I love you too, Mom.” Marie said, kissing Grace’s cheek.
“Mom!” I nearly fell over, despite there being nothing to trip on.
The two women parted and Grace gave me a questioning look. “Oh? Marie didn’t tell you? She’s my daughter. You knew I had a kid, right?”
My eyes shot to Marie, the daughter of my ex-girlfriend. No… the girl I slept with last night! That delicate hand holding her mom was stroking my cock earlier this morning! What the fuck! Marie had a mischievous and knowing look in her eyes. There was no loss or confusion there. She knew exactly who I was, and yet she chose to sleep with me anyway! This vixen was a succubus!
“I need to go check on the bar stock, Mom, enjoy your chat with your boyfriend.” Marie winked, and started walking away.
“Marie! What would your father say if he heard you say that!” Grace’s face exploded with a deep red blush as she glared at Marie angrily.
Marie just kept walking, her hips swaying in a way that in that dress made her look very dangerous. As she reached the door to the V.I.P., she turned back and blew a kiss. Whether the kiss was for her mother or me, that was left up to interpretation. I was still staring at Marie’s backside as she left with my mouth stuck open when Grace looked back to me. Noticing where my eyes were, a frown worked its way on her face.
“Kyou…” She growled, pursing her lips. “I said… Kyou!”
“Y-yes, Ma’am!” I turned, nearly giving an army solute.
Grace crossed her arms, looking away with a vexed expression. “So, what do you think?”
“Your daughter…?” I responded in disbelief.
“She’s your daughter?”
“What’s that supposed to mean!”
“She’s way too grown up!” I slammed my palm on the table fervently, “You two could be sisters!”
Grace’s eyes widened and she gave a blush, suddenly looking shy. “Wh-when you put it like that… you don’t look as old as you should be either.”
Hah? What’s she going on about? I felt like I had been completely had! Marie was a beauty beyond compare, and so was her mother. If the two women were standing next to each other, they didn’t look like mother and daughter at all. I mean, they had some physical similarities now that I looked at it, but still, I’d slept with both of these women at some point! I would have sworn Marie was 25 or 26. However, that would have meant she was born while we were together! OH SHIT! This caused me to break out into a cold sweat. Don’t tell me… she was… I shook my head immediately.
“How old is she?” I demanded fervently.
“Marie? Ah… um… just twenty-one.”
“Twenty-one…” I let out a breath of relief but the the cold sweat returned again. “Wait… if we account for pregnancy, then it would be right around the time we broke up!”
“Sh-she’s not yours!” Grace let out a noise, her face growing flush. “You think I would do that to you?”
I finally relaxed, sitting back in the chair with a breath. “Oh, thank god.”
“Eh…” Grace put on a hurt expression, looking down. “Would it be a big problem if it was…?”
“Absolutely!” I said passionately, but when Grace looked even more hurt I realized I was saying the wrong thing. “I-I mean… if she was my daughter, how could I call myself a man not being able to be a proper father to her? How could I live with myself after I missed twenty-one years of my daughter’s life.”
I had to come up with something on the spot, and that is what came out. Of course, the real reason, that I slept with her and if she was my daughter I would never be able to move past that, was not something i was ever going to say to her mother. The words hit me where I didn’t expect though. My own daughter, I had spent the last few years pretending didn’t exist. I hadn’t been a proper father to her either. My hands shook as I thought about it. In the future, I’d try to reach out to Kirino again.
Grace didn’t show the expression I thought she would. Rather, she seemed somewhat sad. Was there a little guilt mixed in as well?
“D-do you think… we could have had a daughter?” She asked this strange question.
I forced myself to calm down, offering a little bit of a smile. “We could have… in another life.”
“A-and Marie?” She asked again.
I sighed, reaching out and grabbing Grace’s hand. “Marie is incredible. She’s as smart and as beautiful as her mother. To own this club and to do everything that she could, I know that you raised her well.”
Grace finally put on a pleased expression, a smile breaking out on her face that only seemed to enhance her beauty. Finally, I had said the right thing. I breathed easier knowing that she was happy. That was only the first step. The next few steps would be more difficult.
“Well, she resembles her father more on that part though. Hard working and diligent,” Grace said.
Father… Right, Grace just mentioned that. I looked at the finger on her hand and found a wedding ring. She… was married. Yeah, I expect that… yeah… totally… But what was this uncomfortable feeling bubbling inside me?
Grace noticed my eyes on her finger and started to look uncomfortable too.
“Your husband …Was…he a good man…?”
“…Yes. He was good man and father.”
Another silence followed, after that long silence, Grace spoke up.
“You didn’t come to reminisce about what could have been.” Grace sighed. “You came about the job.”
I let go of her hand and sighed. “There has been a development recently. I no longer need the job.”
Grace’s eyes widened, “What happened? Kyou you-”
“Kyou!” A voice broke in from across the room, and a person shoved aside another curtain revealing himself. “I thought I heard the voice from that two-timing bastard.”
The man sitting behind this other table was another Asian man.. Or I should say an Indonesian man. He had a snake-like appearance, with brown skin and muscular physique. He was bald, and gave off a dangerous aura as if he had killed people before. Worst of all, I recognized this man. I immediately stood up so fast that my chair fell backward with a clatter.
“It’s you… two-timing? Who’s two-timing, you snake!” I hissed.
“Kyou… don’t…” Grace bit her lip as she looked at both of us. “I’m the one who invited him here. He’s actually…”
“I don’t care why this bastard is here!” I cursed. “Send him back to bumfucked Egypt where he belongs.”
“Oh, hoh… is that how it is, Bangsat?” The man stood up casually, reaching into his coat. “Aren’t you the little deserter that ran away from the army so he could get cucked by a slutty bitch!”
“Kiss my ass!”
The man grinned, standing up himself. “I’ve grown so used to seeing your ass run away, we might as well be bed partners!”
I sneered. “Always so good with your words… well you had to be, it was only way to talk women into bed, you certainly couldn’t do it with your tiny prick!”
The atmosphere was growing more violent by the moment. The bouncer had noticed the potential dispute, but the amount of bloodlust coming from the two of us left him shaking. He was only a bouncer, after all, and couldn’t handle the feel of these two murderous men about to go all out. Wait, you supposed to be the guard, right? He was distinctly giving us a look that suggested if shit went down, we were on our own.
The man’s hand tightened on whatever he had under his coat, his eyes narrowing like a snake about to strike. “I just have one last for question for you…”
I also lifted up my hands in fists. “What is it?”
The man pulled what he had out from his coat. It was a wallet, and then he pulled his other hand out, opening them up in an embrace, his face growing into a smile.
“Sobat, it’s been forever, how are you?”
“RK!” I let out laugh opening my arms and hugging the other guy.
In an instant, the violent nature of the room dissipated like smoke. The bouncer shook his head in disbelief. Grace only sighed, rolling her eyes and muttering something about boys.
RK was my best friend and brother in the army. We served together, fought together and went to brothels together. Ahem. Don’t mind the last part. RK is just initial name, not his real name. He was an Indonesia soldier that joined our Taskforce due to various reasons. No, he was not a spy or anything. As you could see, he was a crude man. In the battlefield, I always heard him shouting “ANJING LO SEMUA” or “MAMPUS!” while shooting his gun like a wild man. Well, despite being Indonesian, he was quite fluent with Japanese.
“What’s this then?” I asked, pointing at the wallet.
“Come, come…” RK dragged him to the table next to Grace. “It’s pictures of my kids.”
He opened the wallet and a plastic stream of wallet sized photos spilled down to nearly the floor. I could only chuckle wryly as he looked down at it.
“How many kids you have now?” I asked.
“Fifteen, last I counted, but I think one of my women might be pregnant, she’s been a real bitch lately.”
“One of-?” I asked with a smirk on my face.
“Of course, you think I only stick to one woman? Harems man, harems is where it’s at. I never understood why you broke things off.” He pointed between Grace and I. “Who cares you were getting married, you should have just married Grace too.”
Grace flushed at those words, while I stuck out my tongue. “Well, one wife ended up cheating on me, so…”
RK snapped his fingers, “That’s why it is perfect! You lose one slut and who cares? You got another one back home.”
As he said that, he rocked Grace’s shoulder and then laughed.
She gave a pout while looking up from his pictures she was glancing through. “Who are you calling a slut?!”
“Haha! Why do you take it as a bad thing? Just like Kyou, I’m a very worldly man, so you should listen to me when I speak. I’ve been all over the world, and I can say that deep down, all women are sluts, and that’s a good thing!”
Grace’s frown deepened, but RK seemed completely unaffected by it. She turned and poured a drink, clearly feeling like she needed alcohol to continue dealing with this boisterous man.
“Oh… don’t give me that look. Deep down, all women want a good fuck, just like any guy.” He nodded as if this was a given, and then his eyes brightened as he glanced at Grace. “In fact, you look like a woman who hasn’t had it in a while. Wouldn’t you like a man like Kyou here to give it to you?”
“W-what?” Grace ended up coughing up the alcohol, her face turning bright red.
“RK, don’t pull me into your fantasies.” I growled. “I have someone in my life right now.”
“R-right!” Grace nodded, while still trying to recover. “And I’m also married woman!”
RK shrugged and ignored Grace, continuing to speak. “That’s why you form the harem! Who cares you have one girl, you just get another.”
Grace’s face tightened in displeasure and she crossed her arms. “How could I be happy knowing Kyou was sleeping with other women?”
RK shrugged again.
“That’s for you to come to terms with. Some men are too much for one woman, and if you find such a man and love him, you must adapt. Although…” RK leaned to me, speaking lighter but still loud enough that Grace could hear. “My secret is to just not tell the women.”
“Cheater!” Grace’s thoughtful face turned to a frown.
“I got three woman in Indonesia, one woman in Japan, I even got a girl in the USA. The less they know about each other, the better.”
“Which is to say… not at all?” I asked with an amused expression.
Rk laughed. “You got it! It’s tough convincing women this day and age to join your harem.”
“Ahem-” Grace put her foot down on the conversation, no longer liking the expression on our faces. “As I was saying, it was RK here who was offering the job.”
“Ah, you have a job?” My eyes widened.
RK nodded, pulling out a cigar and lighting it, offering one to Grace and me as well. Grace never smoked, so of course she declined. I suddenly realized that with the Bond, I’d never get cancer. I lite up the cigar and poured a drink.
“The pay is excellent, and it’s right back into the stuff you’re used to doing. Not too dangerous for a man like you… as long as you’re as fit as you were back then.”
“That’s unreasonable… “ Grace frowned. “He’s been out for the last twenty years. You can’t expect him to have kept in shape.”
“I can handle it.” I responded, feeling a little provoked by Grace’s lack of confidence.
I wasn’t boasting blindly either. With the bond, not only did I feel younger and stronger, but my speed, strength, and agility had all taken a massive increase. In reality, I didn’t know how strong I was, but I was certain in this world it was beyond the realm of a normal human.
As RK looked back and forth between Grace’s doubtful look and my assured one, he raised an eyebrow. “How about we test you?”
“A test?” I gave a confused look.
RK shot Grace a glance. “Is the basement still hooked up?”
Grace sighed and nodded. “Yeah, Marie maintains the training facility like her life depended on it.”
The pair of them stood up and gestured me to come along. I could only look on in confusion as I followed them. They took me farther back into the V.I.P. area to a locked door. The card Grace pulled out wasn’t platinum, but blood red. She swiped it and the door unlocked. We ended up heading down a stairway into a new area. As we left the V.I.P. room, the music deadened until I couldn’t hear anything. Whatever was down here was heavily soundproofed.
When I realized what I was looking at, my mouth fell open. The entire basement to the Luben club was a massive room. In one corner was a shooting range. There was also a place to lift weights, an obstacle course, and more. It was at this point that RK walked forward to a large room sectioned off with metal grating to create a new room. The lock for this room was a physical key which RK seemed to have on him. When he opened the door, he gestured to me. I entered the room and found a lots of guns, from high caliber rifles and shotguns to service pistols and small hold-out revolvers.
“So, you are still weapons dealing…” I nodded, staring at the weapons lining the walls of the cage. “I can’t believe Lubens is involved… that means Marie?”
Grace sighed. “How do you think she afforded a club at the age of 21? The place is a front for paramilitary organizations, weapon’s sales, and under-the-counter deals.”
“This is some heavy shit, Grace.” I said, looking at rows of guns that were illegal to have in most countries.
“It’s Marie’s show.” Grace sighed. “She’s got her hands in stuff even I don’t clear for. The government knows about her operation. They’re just as invested as everyone else. It may seem dangerous, but there are many men who owe Marie their lives. In a way, she’s the safest person around, because any man who hurts her would have to answer to a dozen paramilitary groups and a flood of trained assassins.
“Is that so? Ahem…” I cleared my voice as it came out a bit high. “Sounds like a pain for her… um… boyfriends.”
“It’s a bit of a joke that the reason Marie never had any long term ex-boyfriends is because anyone who would break her heart stopped existing.” Grace shrugged. “But as far as I know, she may flirt occasionally but she never had an interest in boys.”
“R-really…” Suddenly, it felt a little suffocating in this basement.
As a man who both recently had sex with and then broke her heart, suddenly I felt a lot more vulnerable.
While we were chatting, RK pulled out a simple 9mm handgun and loaded it. With a nod, he handed it to me and gestured towards the nearby shooting range. I nodded and took a stance in front of gallery, lifting the gun up with both hands. This was the first time I had held a gun in over a decade.
“His stance is a little sloppy.” Grace muttered, biting her nails.
“Mm… perhaps this mission-”
I pulled the trigger. Then again. Then two more times. After that, I cleared the chamber, pulled out the clip, and put the gun down. As the paper target moved back to me, I looked down at my hands with a frown. Grace leaned forward and grabbed the target, glancing at it. Once she looked at it, her eyes widened.
“Dead center.” She muttered.
“Well, it wasn’t hard. You had the target really close. Anyone could hit it when it was right in front of them.” I said.
The two looked at each other.
“Is he bragging?” RK chuckled.
“Don’t be cocky. I’m going to send the target to the distance of a professional marksman. If you can hit this, we might consider you for this mission.” Grace sniffed.
“We?” RK smiled wryly, realizing that the barrier was no longer his approval, but Grace’s.
Grace put a fresh target up and then sent the target back. I wasn’t trying to be cocky with her. The target felt really close. Not only was it crystal clear in my vision, but my hand felt perfectly steady. Creating a visual line between my hand and the target was easy. Grace kept holding the button, and the target kept going back. Finally, it stopped with a thump. RK raised an eyebrow in Grace’s direction, and she merely winked and then turned to me.
“Take your time on this one. Aim carefully.” Grace responded.
I looked down at the target with a slight frown. Is this range really so small? I guess it was in a basement after all. It had really been a long time since I last was at one. By the end of it, the target was barely even visible. However, this target was perfectly clear. The only conclusion was that this was a smaller range.
I sighed and picked up the gun again, reloading it. After reloading the chamber, I didn’t wait a second.
Bam. Bam. Bam. Bam.
I unloaded the rest of the gun, using the remaining bullets to make a star on the target. When I was done, I put the gun back down. Grace rolled it back, and as it grew closer, her mouth started to open. When it stopped, there was complete silence. There were four holes dead center, and a perfect star formed around it.
“How far back was that…” RK spoke slowly.
“Three hundred meters.” Grace shook her head in disbelief. “That’s three times the effective range of a pistol. Even a machine couldn’t have made this shot.”
“Ah… so we’re good?” I asked, suddenly feeling sheepish.
I guessed the basement was a bit larger than I gave it credit for. I had some curiosity about some of the other stuff too, but I was afraid of further shocking these two, so I pushed them back to the gun rack.
“I must say…” RK chuckled. “You’ve left me a bit speechless. You’d be an excellent edition to the team.”
“Actually…” I sighed. “A new deal came up. Before I can even consider work, I need to take care of some things first.”
“Oh?” RK rose an eyebrow.
“That’s right, you mentioned something like that.” Grace looked over at me.
“Actually, what I need right now are weapons. A lot of them.” As I spoke, I was eyeing the massive arsenal sitting right in front of us.
RK’s eyes followed mine and he put on an amused expression. “You need a gun, huh? Well, this is surplus stock anyway, I’d be happy to sell to an old friend. Um… you can buy, right? That gun you’re touching is only $13,000, since we’re friends, I’ll give you $12,999.”
“What? $1 off? What the hell man?”
RK shrugged. “Business is business, my friend… if I was selling below the market price and it got out, my negotiation capacity would be destroyed.”
“What about that time in Grenada?” I snorted. “Don’t you owe me?”
“I knew you’d bring that up!” RK frowned. “You barely even saved my life.”
“Yeah, barely! The bastards managed put the bullet on my ass! Not one bullet but FIVE FREAKING BULLETS! Do you know how painful it was?! And you just fucking laugh at me! That’s count as barely!”
“Besides, I turned around and saved your ass in Varacue…”
“Varacue… you… how about Moscow.”
“You’re the one who started the thing in Moscow! Besides, what about Egypt?”
“Saving me from banging a Tranny is hardly… ahh… cough…” I suddenly noticed Grace watching us with dull eyes.
“What is this about an Egyptian Queen?” Grace growled.
“N-nothing… it was before we started dating, I swear!” I said tearfully, then wondered why I was defending myself to someone who wasn’t my girlfriend. Well, she was my ex-girlfriend.
“Forget it.” Grace sighed. “Kyou, I know you don’t have that kind of money lying around and RK, I know you’re too stubborn to change you price. Kyou… just pick what you want… I’ll buy it.”
“Just tell me one thing…” Grace held up her hand. “Is it really that important?”
After a moment, I sighed and nodded. “Yeah, it is.”
“Then get what you need.” Grace stepped back, suddenly looking a little shy.
“Grace, I appreciate your offer. By I will not borrow money from you.” I stood straighter and looked at RK. “Is there no way you can put me on some kind of payment plan? For old time sake?”
Grace pouted at my answer and RK shrugged.
“Kyou, sahabatku, I love you like family but as weapon seller is only as wealthy as his bottom line. If you had something you can exchange. A car? Jewelry? Maybe we could work out a trade…”
I lowered my head, feeling once again like a failure, but then his last suggestion suddenly echoed in my mind. That’s right! Jewelry! Evelyn had given me some of her jewelry to sell! I immediately reached into my pockets, seeing if I had brought it with me. There was one thing, a ring she had handed me. I had been keeping it in my pocket to remind me of my purpose. Well, I picked it up when I clean the house. It hadn’t done much good, but at the moment it was the only thing I had.
I pulled the ring out and immediately pushed it into RK’s hand. “Will this do?”
RK sighed, think I had just handed him some random item and only giving me the benefit of the doubt because of our friendship. He raised the ring up to his face, and the second his eyes locked on it, he froze. He continued to stare at the item for nearly three minutes. Finally, he started shaking, like his entire soul had left his body through his shiny head.
“T-this… where did you get this?” He demanded, his eyes growing somewhat feverish.
“A friend? What friend? Whose friend! I’d like to know this friend!” RK grabbed onto my shirt, his eyes wide.
“It’s just a friend!” I pushed him back. “And you can’t meet her. That’s why I need those weapons.”
“A beautiful diamond ring and a girl?” Grace gave a sour expression and glared at me. “What is that about?”
“No!” RK snapped his fingers. “If your friend had this… it’s no wonder they are in trouble!”
I frowned, not sure what he was talking about. Of course, there was no way this world knew about that other world, was there?
“It’s just a diamond ring…” Grace looked at it like a viper.
“Not diamonds….” RK was shaking as a he spoke. “This isn’t diamond at all. This is a special stone. A very special stone… it’s called… A Magicite!”
“Magicite? That sounds made up…” Grace frowned.
“It might as well be…” RK laughed. “This stone is made out of materials that don’t exist on the periodic table. Any machines used to analyze it go berserk, and it emits a strange radiation that sometimes causes things to happen… like magic…”
As he spoke, my eyes started to widen. This was a magic ring from another world. I knew that much. I didn’t know that it was different from anything our world had. The gem on the ring was called Adamline. I assumed it was just gemstone plus magic. However, that combination seemed to fundamentally change what it was. Ah, according to Evelyn, it’s very expensive.
“Are you sure it’s this Magicite stuff?” Grace asked, still looking suspicious.
“Absolutely! It absolutely has to be! The striations, the form. This is a magicite ring. Kyou, I don’t know how you found this, but do you know how valuable this is? If you refined every piece of known Magacite on this planet, you wouldn’t have a pellet any bigger than this ring! You just handed me half the world’s supply of Magicite!”
I looked over at him thoughtfully, and then grinned. “So, it’s valuable then.”
RK froze, suddenly realizing he had completely given away all of his cards. “Th-that…”
He lowered his shoulders, holding his hand out with the ring in it. “Here… there is nothing I have that could possibly come to this value. I won’t screw over my best friend. Selling this ring through the right channels and you can live richer than Bill Gates for the rest of your life. Taking this would be-”
I closed his fingers around the ring. “I said, I need weapons. Whatever you have. Consider this an investment.”
“An investment?” Rk looked up suspiciously. “What for?”
“What if I said… I could get more.” I asked.
“If you were anyone else, I’d call you a liar!” RK straightened. “But since it’s you, I’d say, I’m in! What do you need?”
“Like I said… weapons… a lot of them.”
“Take what you need. Any weapon… all of the weapons.” RK waved his hand. “Give them hell!”
I took a step forward when a hand grabbed me. I looked back to see Grace looking at me worriedly.
“Kyou…” She spoke softly, looking somewhat shy. “What you’re involved in… you’re coming back, right?”
I looked down at her, and then gave a nod. “Yeah… I am.”
I rummaged through the weapons grabbing several guns along with copious amounts of ammo. I grabbed a duffel bag and started filling it up. Then my eyes stopped on something in the corner. It was a jacket. The pieces were all jet black, and stuffed into several boxes. When I lifted one of the boxes, I felt how light the thing was.
“What is this?” I asked, picking up something that resembled a hoodie jacket.
“Oh… that…” RK put on a smirk. “It’s a prototype. A supersuit, the first of it’s kind.”
“A supersuit?” Grace scoffed. “Things like that don’t exist.”
RK’s smile dropped a bit. “Grace, can you let the boy dream? I admit it isn’t practical. It barely works. But it’s called synaptic armor. I suppose you could call it this generations version of a power suit.
“A power suit!” I looked down at it with excitement.
Rather than looking like iron-man or some kind of slick thing, it actually had a feel closer to Dark Arrow from Earth X, right? You people know about it, right? There were boots that went to the knees, gauntlets for the arms, and a black and red hooded jacket that was lined with something that looked like chainmail.
“What’s wrong with it?” I finally asked, looking back up.
“Well… It’s a prototype.” RK finally sighed. “The suit was incomplete and not properly refined. While it was very light yet at the same time, it was extremely durable. But this suit puts a lot of wear and tear on the user. And even the most trained seal would collapse after training in it for half an hour. It may be a super suit, but you’d need to be a superhuman to wear it! Maybe because it was made by unknown material name Code-T, I want to share more info about it but it’s very classified.”
While I was listening to RK’s sale about the suit, I saw something that resembled a cool looking helmet.
I picked up the helmet, which I could see now was actually a mask. I saw a small button, when I clicked the button, the mask retracted, opening up the face.
A retractable mask?! Holy shit! I looked at both RK and Grace.
“Retractable masks are becoming quite popular in mercenary groups, when there is a desire to keep your identity hidden.” Grace explained.
A dark grin started to form on my face. “I’ll take it.”
This masked made it very easy to talk to someone or get a better sight of something without completely removing the head protection. As I packed everything up, I once again fermented my resolve.
One way or the other, I was getting Evelyn back. Even if I had to start a war to do it!.