The old tailless #14

He should have been proud; an entourage of eighty-nine students came out to greet him first thing in the morning, with wooden swords and baseball bats to boot. Had it not been for an anonymous tip messaged directly into his phone, the boss would have walked right into a massacre.

Amazingly enough, even though Daisuke had lost half of his gang in last week’s devastating defeat, he still retained the most combat force in Fukuoka High. As long as he and his underlings remained at the school’s entrance, there was nothing the boss could do to get through…

…Unless, of course, he rented a car and used it to plow right through the flesh and blood blockade.

The car’s owner would not like human parts on the windshield at all but that was what automatic car washes and insurance companies were for.

Seeing a two-ton vehicle careening toward them, the students screamed and scrambled to safety. Every man ran for himself, the group scattered like a flock of sheep to the howl of a wolf; some barely avoided being run over by the skin of their teeth. And the big bad wolf emerged from the driver’s seat of the car with an unsheathed katana. He attacked with a combination of precise non-lethal slashes, hilt strikes, and kicks.

The prone students stood no chance against such a furious attack; more than twenty of them were taken out of the fight without realizing what just hit them. By the time the group of students on the passenger’s side crawled their ways around the car to engage the boss, their right half had been reduced to fewer than ten combatants.

“What the hell! You’re crazy, old—”

His glare cut the student’s line short. The cold and merciless edge of his curved katana caressed the boy’s neck.

“Eek!”

“What did you call me?”

“Nothing…Mr. Shinoda…”

There were still more than fifty of them but the will to fight had been shattered by the boss’s masterful execution of shock tactic.

Even worse for them was the fact that all the hyenas had shown their faces on the sideline, waiting for this pitiful creature, this once dominating gang, to shed its last breath and be crushed in the maw of a lion.

There, in the hallways, Sayaka and her gang once again gathered. Sadistic delight flared up in these juniors’ eyes as they watched the scene unfolding in the schoolyard like Medieval townfolks at midday’s execution. And there, on the third and second floors, members of the other gang also showed up to observe this public execution though their expressions remained neutral and unabashed.

“Tsk! Damn opportunists…All of you, back off and recover our troops. Leave this fight to me!”

The young blue-haired Jjang clicked his tongue at the sight. He then gave the order for his underlings to back off and let him do the fighting alone. He must have known if he lost any more underlings, his gang would be swallowed up by the other two gangs and thus this was his way to minimize the losses.

“You really pushed me into a corner, old man,” Daisuke spoke with a slow clap, completely unaffected by the boss’s menacing glare. “You must be at least as strong as master Ishii, if not stronger…—”

“I’ll take that as a compliment. But, I’m still going to beat you and your friends up because you just said the words.”

The Jjang paid no heed to these remarks, his speech went on uninterrupted:

“—I did some digging around yesterday and found out that Mr. Shinoda in Nishi ward was a middle-aged man without any relatives. His father died of old age fourteen years ago in Kyoto. His grandfather died in Hiroshima’s bombing in world war two. Old man! You are neither Mr. Shinoda, nor his father, nor his grandfather. Who exactly are you?!”

So the boy found out. No matter, as long as he kept his mouth shut for the next two weeks, he would pose no problem to the raid plan.

With that in mind, the boss had made his decision: he would put this boy on an extended vacation in the hospital and focus on recruiting the other two Jjangs.

“I am Shinoda and you will call me Mr. Shinoda,” the boss said, more as a taunt than a rebuttal, and turned his blade on the youngling.

“You sound like a buggy NPC in a third-grade indie game. But, serve yourself!”

The boy picked up one of the wooden swords on the ground and gripped it in his right hand. His fingers fidgeted about, grasping for the right spot to best hold this particular sword.

“Hmm? Not doing the kicking thing today? Are you afraid of a real sword? Just so you know, I’m not switching to a wooden sword just because you don’t have a real sword. This ain’t sport, you know? This is a street fight. You come ill-equipped; you suck it up and deal with the consequences.”

The boss grinned as he taunted the boy.

“No, old man. This is a real sword…”

At length, the boy took from his blazer’s pocket a sealed glass bottle, the type of milk bottles often found in bathhouses but instead of milk, the glass bottle contained a semi-transparent fluid. From the viscosity, it appeared to be some kind of oil. He opened the rubber cap and coated his wooden sword in this unknown fluid.

Suddenly, the boy swiped the sword horizontally, sending some droplets of the fluid flying toward the boss.

Naturally, the boss was not going to stand around and let an obviously dangerous chemical touch his skin. He quickly shielded himself with his jacket and retreated until the distance between the two of them was about three meters.

“Young Daisuke, I don’t know what that is but I’m not playing around anymore,” the boss grunted, sounding alarmed.

“What is that, old man? Are you afraid of a real sword? This ain’t sport, you know?” the boy taunted, throwing the same words from before back at the boss.

The boss gritted his teeth. This was no B-rate movie, his opponent was not going to reveal what kind of toxin he coated that wooden sword with. He could not assess how severe the threat was but he could come up with at least two dozen oily toxins that were definitely lethal through skin contact and that could be obtained by a regular high school student.

The only appropriate response to this sort of mortal danger would be to get the hell away from that toxic sword. He should not be engaging in this nonsense any longer.

He really should not be doing this…

He really should not be doing this…

He really should not be doing this…

He could not believe he was still doing this!

“On your guard, you milk-sucking kitten! I change my mind now. I’m not going to put you in the hospital. I’m going to put you in a body bag and then, I’m going to throw your corpse in the Imazu bay!” the old boss angrily shouted and assumed his battle stance.

The boy also assumed a battle stance, a high one characteristic of Kendo.

“And I promise you. Your death will not be swift…nor will it be painless. It will be slow and agonizing. And, by the end of it, I’ll turn you into fertilizer for the sakura tree over there. Don’t underestimate me, old man! Come to your sweet death!”

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