"So do you think Neko-san knows about us?" Chikane asked.
"I don't think so. She seems to be as normal as usual. She does have a interesting look on her face whenever I talk about you."
Chikane laughed, finding it humorous, "Well that's Nekoko for you. As long as she's not being mean or nasty to you, that's fine with me. But if she does anything to you, I'll..."
"Chikane-chan," Himeko playfully noted. "She would never hurt me, she's my friend."
At first Chikane thought how naïve Himeko could be, but she realized that maybe she's right. After all she thought, Nekoko did go out of her way to protect her quite a few times and to help her out.
"Well that's true, but I don't know how she will act when she finds out about us. She was getting nasty to you when I stuck up for you at Hana-chan's. I could only think it would only get worse."
Himeko saw a great deal of concern and worry on Chikane's face, even though Chikane does worry a lot, so she gave her a soft squeeze.
"Don't worry about it, Neko-chan would never hurt me. She's not that type of person… Or cat."
"Sorry about that. You're right, maybe it's my instinctual nature of not trusting anyone."
Himeko looked at her and said, "I understand your concern, but I'll be fine." As she was about to explain more, she spotted the tower, "Hey look, it's the Tokyo Tower!" They were a mile away from it but the Tokyo Tower still dominate the night skyline with its luminescence. Chikane turned her head and looked. It was nothing special to her, she have seen it a million times, but to watch Himeko's face light up like a little kid brought a smile on her face. Himeko was already taking pictures of the tower and its surrounding areas, including Chikane. As Himeko was taking the pictures, they got closer to the tower. At around 200 feet from the Tower, Chikane noticed someone familiar. Chikane took a break from her "model shoot" and walked up closer to examine the person in more detail since the night lights weren't strong enough. At first Himeko wondered what Chikane was doing, so she followed her and then she recognized the person herself.
"Hey isn't it that Ed Hagglin, President of the World Organization of Evangelicals?"
"It sure is," Chikane noted.
Ed was visiting the country, trying to convert a few Japanese to Evangelical Christians. He was with a group of Japanese Evangelicals, ranging from a few young preteens to a 70-year-old elderly woman. They were all wearing a "Jesus Saves" long-sleeve shirt. Even though he's the President of an organization, he is also the pastor the Rock of Life Church in Colorado, USA, so they refer to him as 'Pastor Ed'. He was just talking to the group, telling them how excited he was about visiting Tokyo Tower.
Chikane said to Himeko in her usual cold and expressionless tone, "Maybe we should pay him a visit," and she slowly walked up to him.
Himeko looked at her and wondered, "But why? I mean he's busy talking to the people. I mean it's not like he knows you or anything, but... Oh my! Chikane-chan! Chikane-chan!" She hurried towards her, but Chikane was already about 10 feet behind the man before she stopped. She was just standing there, wondering if he would finally realized her presence. It wasn't until he heard Himeko's pleadings that he realized Chikane was over there. As soon as he laid his eyes on her, he took a quick jump in fright. He was indeed the guy Chikane whispered in Himeko's ear.
After that he started to act nervous. While trying to regain his composure, he looked at Chikane and said to her in English, "Hey, it's my old friend from my last visit here. What brings you here, and may I ask you who that little girl with you is?"
Chikane, knowing it was an act, went up to him and gave him the typical American greeting, a firm handshake, "Hi there! My friend and I were just hanging around the area. That's all. This is Kurusugawa Himeko, and she's not a little girl, she's my age," she said with a matter-of-fact tone in very passable English.
"Oh I'm so sorry, I didn't know that. Anyways, it is nice to me you ma'am," then he offered her a handshake.
"It nice to greet you too," she said in her flawed English, a total contrast to Chikane's flawless English, as she bowed. Then she realized her mistake and shook his hand feverishly while apologizing. "So sorry, so sorry!" she apologized, like a stereotypical Japanese. Chikane closed her eyes and shook her head in embarrassment. Ed just laughed it off.
"Heh heh, no problem. I understand what you mean. So how long have you known each other?"
"Known each other?" she questioned, not fully understanding that part of English. Chikane noticed it and she translated it her in Japanese. "Oh, hee hee! Four month." Again, not using proper English since Japanese don't distinguish singulars and plurals. It wasn't a problem because Ed understood.
"That's good to know, and where are you from?" He asked. This time it was the translator who translated to her but she understood what he said.
"I am from Mahoroba."
"Oh, just like Chikane. I've been to Mahoroba before; it was almost 10 years ago. I knew a few people there, very beautiful city."
She only understood bits and pieces of his sentence, so she gave him a puzzled look. It wasn't until the translator repeated back that she understood and replied back in her imperfect English, "Yes, Mahoroba very beautiful."
"It sure is. Anyways, let me introduce both of you to the group." As he introduced the group, he called them by their first name, not familiar with the Japanese honorific customs. "This is my translator and pastor of the Eiji Evangelical Church, Jiro, and this is his wife Madoka and his fine and handsome son Masahiro. Then there's Deacon Nobuyuki, his wife Hisoka, and their two daughters Harumi and Hideko. And finally, two very faithful members of the church, my good and intelligent friend Fumio, and the woman who is always young in heart, Megumi." Yes, Megumi was the 70-year old woman.
"Nice to meet you all," Himeko spoke in Japanese.
"Nice to meet you too," Madoka responded. "Tell me, are you two Christians?"
Chikane, being on the spot, lied through her teeth, "Yes I am."
"I am!" Himeko said proudly.
"What denomination are you two? Are you an Evangelical?"
"I'm a Pentecostal," Himeko proudly noted.
"Ano, I am too," Chikane said, beginning to sweat, even though it was November. Himeko was surprise but she tried not to show it. There were some strange looks from some of the members when they heard Himeko's denomination. Chikane couldn't understand why but Himeko did and it made her feel more tense. She knew that Evangelicals and Pentecostals don't think highly of each other's denomination, contrary to popular belief. Fortunately for her, one of the members did.
"Really? I know a few Pentecostals. They're good people, and they really love the Lord."
"Yes, we really love the Lord," Himeko assured the lady, as she started to relax.
"That's good to hear. What school do you two go to?"
Her tensions went right back up as she was speechless, she didn't know any of the schools around Tokyo. The pastor translated what she said to Ed. Ed then got nervous, figuring that she, just like Chikane, was homeless and didn't go to school.
"Ano..." Was all that she could say as she was drawing blanks in her head as the situation clouded her thoughts. Chikane intervened once again saving her.
"We go to Yuushuu Public High School in Minato." The reason Chikane picked that school because she knew that there was a highly unlikely chance that anybody in that group attended that school. The school was known to be very secular and very liberal.
When they heard that, some of the members had pity looks on their faces, feeling sorry for the girls. One of them, Harumi, sympathized, "Oh I feel sorry for you. I heard they banned any type of religious activities there. We were planning to protest there since we got some friends who go there. They can't be allowed to stop us from proclaiming that Jesus is King!"
"Amen!" Chikane exclaimed, acting like she had the Holy Spirit jumped into her, while continuing on with her shenanigan. "We should have school prayers three times a day, right Hime-chan?"
Himeko was now in a tight spot. She didn't want to lie, but she didn't want to be caught either, so she simply responded, "Whatever you say, Chikane-chan."
Ed saw this and got upset about it, so he went up to Chikane, "Can I see you for a moment?"
"Sure, no problem," Chikane replied. She followed him and when they were a few feet away from the group, he scolded her.
"What are you doing? It's bad enough that you are here."
"I'm not doing anything bad. I was just trying to protect me and Himeko's butt. So I made up that story."
"Did you come here and try to blackmail me since you knew I was here?"
"NO! Not at all! I didn't even know you were visiting this country. It was mere coincidence that we met. My girl and I have what you would call in English, a 'ritual', when we go each night and she takes pictures. We just happen to choose this destination."
"Your girl? I knew you were 'different'," he said with a sly grin. Chikane on the other hand, wasn't so flattered.
"Oh shut up, me and you are in the same boat. It was me who introduce you to that hunky Filipino male stripper, right? He doesn't go around telling everybody that he's bisexual."
"True, but that doesn't mean you can just walk by and approach me. You know I have a respectful reputation to keep, a very respectable image in my church and in my community."
"That depends on who you ask…" Chikane sarcastically noted, knowing full well that his religious views are not very well liked to many people. He responded by giving her an angry look, but she continued, "Which is why I need you to do me a favor."
Ed looked at her hard and said, "What is it?" Although he had an idea of what it was.
"I need for you to take us with you to the Tokyo Tower. Himeko really wants to go to the top level."
"What! Are you kidding? How would the group feel that we are taking total strangers to the top?"
"Well from the looks of it right now, they sure wouldn't mind having us joining them. Well at least they don't mind Himeko," she stated as she turned around and looked at Himeko and the group. It seemed they were enjoying Himeko displaying her photo shoots on her camera. Then Chikane added, "Plus, you owe me one. Remember the one guy who recognized you when you were walking out the building? I had to lie for you, telling him it was one of your missions to introduce Jesus to the male strippers! Don't you remember that?"
Ed reluctantly relented to Chikane's demand, "Okay, okay. I'll let you two join us, but I don't want you to do too much interaction with the group."
Chikane agreed, "Fair enough, but what about Himeko? It seems that she doing quite fine with the group."
Ed looked over and saw the group surrounding Himeko, listening to what she had to say. Back at the group, Himeko was responding to the school's ban of prayer.
"I believe that Jesus is king, but not everybody does, and we got to respect that. It's a public school and it was made for everybody, so we got to respect everybody's views. The best way to show that Jesus is king is to be like Jesus, that means helping others out, participating in community events that benefits everyone, provide goodwill to others, standing up for what's right for everybody, and maintaining our integrity. If we do these things and live by his teachings, then others would want to be like us. That's how we proclaim him to being king, by being like him!"
There was a bit of eerie silence from the group, realizing the she was right. It also probably made them take a deeper look at their actions. Himeko noticed it and tried to break the tension, "There's no need to feel ashamed. Just because you guys started protesting doesn't make you bad people. We all make mistakes, it's how you handle them that really matters. You can still make it up," she said, learning for her experience with Chikane. When Chikane heard that, she had a huge smile on her face. Then the members in the group smiled and then they started bowing to her, thanking her.
Ed saw the entire thing and knew it would be detrimental for him to restrict her like he did to Chikane, so he reluctantly relented once again, "Okay, she can mingle with the group."
Chikane simply said, "Good," without breaking her smile.
After their private conversation end, they headed to the group. While they were walking over there, Himeko was now showing small portraits of her drawings and paintings she keeps in her pockets.
"... This is another portrait of my drawing of Jonah and the Whale."
The group was amazed at the quality. "Wow, it's so amazing how you drew the whale," said Hisoka.
Himeko smiled, "Thanks. It's one of my favorites. And this is a drawing of my neighbor's cat. His name is Yoshi."
A few squeals came from the young girls when she showed the drawing.
"Ahhh! He's so adorable! Wow, you're a really good artist!" said one of the girls.
Himeko smiled again and lightly blushed, thanking her, "Why thank you!"
While standing a few feet away, Chikane called her, "Hey Hime-chan, Pastor Ed is letting us come with him to the Tokyo Tower."
A gleaming smile showed on her face that was very present even in the night lights.
"Really? Wow! Thank you," she elated as she ran to Chikane and hugged her. While hugging her, she was thinking that Chikane did another one of her schemes, so she whispered to her, "I hope you didn't do something bad?"
Chikane whispered back to Himeko's ear, "No, Himeko, I didn't do anything bad. I'm honest. He owed me for a favor I did for him a long time ago." Himeko stopped hugging her, stepped back, and then looked at her straight at her eyes. Chikane knew what she was doing, but she had nothing to hide, so she simply told her, "It really was a favor. He was coming out of a male strip club when someone recognized him. So I lied for him, telling that guy that he was there doing the Lord's job. Please Himeko, you got to believe me."
Himeko saw the honesty in her face and in her eyes. She smiled back and said, "I believe you."
"Thanks," she simply replied, but Himeko wasn't so patient.
"Well what are we waiting for? Let's go!"
"But, wai-," She didn't have the time to utter her words and she was quickly grabbed Chikane's hands and pulled her to the group. Ed couldn't help but laugh. He walked up to the group and addressed them, "Well it looks like everybody's ready, so let's go!" And so they headed to the lines. Even during night time the line could be long and it's wasn't until forty minutes later that they were finally able to get inside Foot Town, a building directly underneath the tower. It's where they have to use the elevator to go to the top. As promised, Pastor Ed paid for everybody and then they got on the elevator. The tower has two observations: the Main Observatory and the Special Observatory. The Main Observatory is located around the middle of the tower and the Special Observatory is near the top of the building. In order to get to the Special Observatory, one must go to the Main Observatory, purchase another ticket there, and then take another set of elevators to get to the Special Observatory.
While they were going up to the Main Observatory, Himeko was looking through the "look down windows" on the bottom of the elevator, amazed at how far up they were going.
"Wow, it's so amazing looking down from up here," she said to Chikane.
Chikane looked down as well, "It was the first few times I've rode it, but then I got used to it."
"I've haven't been this far up since that skiing trip to Mt. Okisawa."
"You've been there too?" she replied, remembering when that rich girl in the club brought that up.
"What do you mean 'I've been there too'?"
"I knew a few of my high-level executive clients who went there."
Chikane was thinking in her mind, Whew! That was a fast one!
When they got to the Main Observatory, they looked outside through the big windows. It displayed the surrounding area of Minato. Himeko was in awe of how the city's lights lit up the Tokyo skyline.
"Wow, this is beautiful. I need to take a few pictures of this!" she said as she grabbed her camera.
"I prefer this view over the Special's view. I think we get to see more of the city that way."
Ed was enjoying the view; it was all new to him seeing Tokyo this way. As for the rest of the group, some have already seen it, so it was nothing new to them. However as for the two young girls, Harumi and Hideko, it was their first time so they were amazed as well.
Chikane wanted to use this time to get closer to Himeko, but she couldn't as Pastor Ed wanted another private discussion with her.
"Look, sorry to interrupt you but I'm only going to be here for at least a week. Do you know any 'hotspots'?"
"I no longer work for Fujihito, however I'm now an independent consultant," she lied, knowing very well that if she let Ed know that she's homeless, he would lowball the payment. As mentioned earlier, Ed knew that she was already homeless from an undisclosed source and knew that she was just making sure he wouldn't screw her over.
"Look Chikane, you're not fooling me one bit. I know that you don't have a place, but don't worry about me taking advantage of you. I will pay you the usual charge, if not more, but I assume you still have some connections?"
"Of course. In fact, I have more connections than before," yet another lie. "I'll get you something in about three days."
"Make it four, I got a conference in three days. After which, I am free until my flight back to the States."
"Fine, just give me your pre-paid cell number and I will contact you."
"Okay. How much would be for your end of the service?"
"The same, about 20,000 yen (around $245 USD)."
"Okay, it's good to see that prices haven't changed much since eight months ago."
"Okay, well it's a deal, and you better let no one else know about this," he stressed. Chikane had a small gulp when he said that, since she suspected that Himeko already suspected. Ed saw the concern on her face and replied, "Don't tell me that girl knows!"
"She's very perceptive and observant. It's one of her traits of being an artist."
"Shit! I swear to God you better have her not tell anyone else," he panicked. So much for being a man of the Lord…
"She won't, I promise," Chikane confidentially assured him, but he wasn't sure himself.
"You better make sure she doesn't tell anyone. Because if I go down, you're coming with me," he threatened.
Chikane just gave him a cold stare and said "That's what you think, sir. You don't know me very well."
"And you don't know me very well either, miss. But I'm not here to make threats; I'm here to enjoy myself, so I think it's time for me to get the group ready for the next trip." However, the conversation didn't end there, "But Chikane, really? A Pentecostal?"
Chikane rolled her eyes in total disbelief and sighed, "Pastor Ed, please. Like I'm going to find some openly gay Evangelical girl to date. Can we just go now?"
With that being said, he rounded up the troop, paid for their tickets to go to the Special Observatory and got on the elevator. While they were on the elevator, Himeko once again looked through the glass at the bottom of the elevator, amazed at how far up they were going.
"I can't wait to see the Observatory, it will be great."
Chikane calmly noted, "Yeah but it won't be as great as the main one. What you mostly see will be the skyscrapers. If this was daytime and the sky was clear, you would see Mt. Fuji."
"I would love to see that!"
"You're better off going to the Shinjuku building during the daytime. It's a much better view."
"Oh ok. Anyways, Chikane-chan, I was wondering, how do you know English so well."
"Well one of the nuns back at the orphanage was from New Zealand. She taught us how to speak English. I knew that learning English was vital in me making money, since English is the main language people use to conduct business. Plus me and Otoha made a vow that if we ever leave the orphanage, we will move to San Francisco or London, so me and Otoha made sure we got our English down correctly. Otoha and me developed a friendship with the nun; she was very helpful in correcting our English. I also learned some Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, and a little bit of German during my time here."
"Wow, that's amazing."
"So how do you know some English yourself? I know it wasn't from those crappy classrooms," Chikane curiously asked.
"Well my relatives had a lot of guests from America coming to our place, so I had to know some English to communicate with them. They're really good with English, since they've gone there and England so many times."
Then they finally got to the top. When they got there, they were able to see more of the Tokyo skyline.
"You are right Chikane-chan. The other one is better, but I still like it!" she said to her in English since Ed was nearby.
"It still looks beautiful to me," Ed inserted. "It's amazing to see all these wonderful skyscrapers. It wasn't long ago that Tokyo was a small town, now it has all these skyscrapers."
"Ano... I understood the first part, but what did he say in the second part?"
Chikane translated the second sentence to Himeko and the she replied back to Ed, "Yes, it is amazing! Tokyo small long time ago."
After that, Himeko whipped out her camera and start taking photos. Chikane decided to leave her to her own device and went to the other side of the observatory where the group was looking. Pastor Jiro came up to Chikane, "So where do you attend church at?"
Chikane nearly broke into a sweat, she had no idea of any Pentecostal churches in Tokyo, but she did know a few in Mahoroba.
"Ano, Spirits of the Lord at Mahoroba."
"Oh I've heard of that one. That's where they do those so-called 'faith healing'?"
Chikane, who just like Jiro, thought it was all BS, but had to respond back in a way to support it.
"Well if you got the Holy Spirit in you, anything can happen, hallelujah!" she exclaimed with quite a bit of phony joyfulness. Amazingly enough he didn't pick it up, but nevertheless, he was skeptical.
"Sure... Anyways, how did you learn English?"
"I had a nanny from New Zealand who taught me. She was an Au Pair."
"Really? You had a Western nanny? Wow, you must be rich!"
Chikane was about to break into a sweat when she heard that, "Ano, yeah! My father works as a television producer at NHK TV."
"Really? Well here's my business card, please hand it to him. I am trying to have my church service broadcast on TV so that people in Japan knows about our church and about God. Our church service may not be 'exciting' as yours, but it's very informative and it's by no means boring," he added, clearly putting down the Pentecostal service.
"I sure will give it to him when I see him," she replied with a bit of nervousness.
"Thank you very much. I would greatly appreciate it."
Chikane then had a question for him, "Now how do you know English so well?"
"Well, me and my family used to live in Colorado for six years, where Pastor Ed's church was located. We just move backed here two years ago, and my son still has that nasty habit of saying things in English. I hope that-" he was about to continue but his wife unexpectedly interrupted him.
"Honey check this out, the Toyota blimp is outside!"
"Anyways, we'll talk later. I got to attend to my wife. Thanks for the offer."
"You're welcome," she sighed in relief. Then she said to herself, "Thanks goodness he's gone, I don't know how much I can put up with that act."
With him out of her hair, she went to where Ed and Himeko were at. It seemed that they were having a conversation, even with Himeko's limited English. Much to Chikane's surprise, he was able to put up with her 'Engrish.' She was describing an event that occurred in her church, with Pastor Ed trying his best to be polite and not to criticize it.
"... Then man started to speak in tongue when Holy Spirit went in him. He then sing and dance up and down aisle."
" I think you mean the aisle," he corrected.
"Yes, the aisle, thank you. Anyway, after that, he become joifuru-"
"That's joyful, Hime-chan," Chikane intervened
" Ah yes, thank you! He have much joy in him, he fell on ground and have... How do you say 'konvorixyu-shon'?"
"You mean 'convulsion'? Are you sure that's the word you want to use?"
"Yes, that what he have, a convulsion. You never see people have Holy Spirit in them to have convulsion?"
" Ano.. No?" she questioned. In the back of her mind, she was thinking, "And I thought that the Catholics were nutty, they really take the cake here! And I thought that all that stuff they do on TV was just made up for it. They actually believe in that!"
Before she responded, Ed interrupted, "A convulsion?"
"Yes, a convulsion."
Ed tried not to roll his eyes, trying to hide his disdain for some of the Pentecostals practices that include speaking in tongues, faith healings, and personal revelations. Nevertheless, Himeko noticed it.
"So I see... Well I got to check up on the others. I'll be right back."
As soon as he was far enough, Himeko pouted, "He thinks we're a bunch of weirdoes. All Evangelicals do. They say we are nutty."
Chikane put Himeko's head on her shoulder and comforted her. "Don't pay him any mind. His religion is not that much better from what I heard."
"I know, but he still doesn't have to be mean to us."
"Like I said, don't pay him any mind. At least you don't have to hide who you are and you are no big hypocrite."
Himeko smiled, "That's true."
With her right arm around Chikane's back, she turned around looked at the sky. She was in wonder of how the lights from the skyscrapers made the atmosphere look surreal.
"It looks so pretty, but it's not like how it is in Mahoroba," She said, smiling softly at the thought.
"What do you mean? It's nearly dark during this time at Mahoroba?" Chikane said, looking at Himeko.
"Yeah, but sometimes I miss the mountains and trees, and all those beautiful flowers that comes up in spring. Sometimes I miss the quietness and the natural beauty of Mahoroba. I especially miss going to the beach during the summer, that's whenever I can," She said, playing with the fabric of Chikane's shirt. She smiled, looking down at Himeko as the girl continued.
"Mahoroba is unique that it's not far away from the mountains yet it's also not far away from the beaches," She spoke, closing her eyes as she snuggled closer to Chikane.
"I know what you mean, Himeko. But Mahoroba also reminds me of all the bad times in my life. The orphanage, the people who ran it, the beatings, the abuse, the…" Chikane spoke out of spite, narrowing her eyes at the memories. She bit her lip as she couldn't continue, starting to feel the tears from ghosts past breach the corner of her eyes. Himeko gently lowered Chikane's head to her shoulder as she cried, running her fingers through the girls hair, hushing her quietly.
"I know the feeling. Sometimes it also reminds me of all the cruelty, and the humiliation I suffered when I was there. Maybe we are better off staying here in Tokyo," She whispered softly, holding her lover close. Chikane responded by nodding her head in Himeko's shoulder, tears slowing to a halt as she sniffled lightly.
"Chikane-chan?" she asked softly while stroking her hair.
"Yes," she responded softly with her face still flushed.
"Will you always be there for me? Will you stand up for me no matter how much I may fail? Be the one who supports me when others left me cold. You mean everything to me and I will do my best to prove that to you," Himeko spoke barely above a whisper, tears of her own gathering at the thought of a negative answer.
"Of course, as long as you do the same for me. You mean the world to me as well, Himeko. And I thought I was the one with trust issues," she replied then put her head back on Himeko's shoulder, closing her eyes and sighing softly.
There was something that Himeko really wanted to say, but she was afraid of how much damage it could bring. While she thought there were some things better left unsaid, she felt that if she didn't bring this to light, she would never know where she stood. The thought alone made her heart race as beads of sweat trailed along her brow, biting her lower lip.
"Well it's just that… Sometimes I think you still love Otoha-san and you haven't really gotten over her," Himeko said, closing her eyes tight as if expecting something bad to happen.
Chikane immediately sprang her head from her shoulder, "Himeko, I'm done with Otoha. It's you that I love, no one else. I do miss her but I'm no longer attached to her," she protested lightly, touching Himeko's chin so as to make the girl open her eyes and look at her.
"But why do you tend to bring her up so often?" Himeko stared to shed tears at the feeling of guilt that stabbed her in the gut for having asked.
"Because she was the only person besides you that I've ever been close to. She's the only other person who I've ever trusted with my heart. But that doesn't mean that I don't love you any less. Please believe me Himeko, I really mean it," She said, smiling softly as she brushed the tears that stained her lovers' cheeks.
The look on her face showed her true feelings for her. Himeko saw it and just smiled. Chikane smiled back in return and then Himeko laid her head back on her shoulders. They finally had their moment together, as they look silently outside, embracing each other. They were able to forget their surrounding for a moment and instead enjoying the picturesque view outside and their short time together.
About five minutes later, without warning, Ed interrupted them.
"Ahem, the group is coming this way. So if I were you two, I would stop the lovey dovey stuff.
Chikane quickly let go of Himeko. Himeko did the same as well. Then she asked, "Lovey Dovey? What's that?" Chikane explained to her and then she blushed. "Oh that, sorry!"
"No problem, just act normal." The group came just as soon as he finished his sentence. The two lovers pretended that everything was normal, thus there was no suspicion from any of them. Nothing eventful happened for the rest of the time they were up there. Chikane and mostly Himeko were just mingling with the rest of the group.
They finally got back down to the ground. It was fun experience for everybody. As soon as they were back in Foot Town, Himeko and Chikane thanked Ed and his group and then went their separate way, heading back to their home.
On their way back home, they were walking together, holding each other hands and talking about the trip.
"That was really great! I got some wonderful pictures."
"Yeah, you should have some, you took quite a lot."
"Yeah, I think I nearly filled up my SD card."
She didn't respond back, instead Chikane was in her own thoughts. Himeko noticed and asked her, "Hey, what are you thinking."
"Pastor Ed asked me to take him to another place where he can pick up some men. He is willing to pay me some good cash. I know that you take your beliefs seriously and that you might not approve it, so I want to check it with you first before I go ahead on it."
Himeko stopped and paused for a moment, then she told her, "I don't see any problems with him seeing other man, but it is against the rules of his religion and his organization. Plus churches like his don't take adultery kindly, thus they will see him as lying to the church."
"But don't Christians forgive?"
"Yes, we do, but we also know that we must pay for the consequences for our action. So I don't think you should be helping him go behind his church's back. Instead you should help him out dealing with his issues. I bet he's torn inside."
Chikane thought about it for a while, she sees Himeko's point. His escapades could be exposed and she could go down with him. Given that thought, she told Himeko, "Okay, I'll call him tomorrow and we'll talk about it. It seems that I'll have to let him go."
Himeko smiled, "Thank you very much."
"You're welcome. You're right. I would just make a bad situation even worse. Anyhow, let's go this way, we will get to your home quicker," she pointed. It was a properly lit back alley.
"Okay," she said, seeing no danger coming from it, but little did they know they were about to regret it.
Five minutes after they decided to go through the back alley, they started hearing some noise.
"What was that?" Himeko asked.
"I don't know, but just be quiet," Chikane whispered. Then they heard some more noise. Himeko was nervously shaking.
"Chikane I don't like this..."
"Don't worry, nothing will happen to you. I'll protect you."
But suddenly, out of nowhere a man jumped out and frightened both of them. Himeko screamed in fear and so did Chikane, but not as loud.
He was very shaggy looking with messed-up, long teal hair; rotten teeth, and long, dirty fingernails. His appearance was frightening to say the least. He was wearing tin foil all over his body, especially on his head, shielding his mind from invaders so to speak. The man's body seemed to be quivering to some extent, as his eyes darted left and then right, as if someone was attempting to steal his brain. Drool seemed to seep from the corners of his mouth as his senseless babble dribble past his lips, fingers drawing imaginary shapes in front of him as his mind processed what little it could comprehend. It was none other than Tsubasa, Souma's brother, and he was on his schizophrenic rage.
"Who you are? You come kill baby brother? You come from Jupiter?" The man spoke quickly, tilting his head to the side as a sneer graced his lips.
Himeko and Chikane were perplexed. Chikane said, "Who are you? What the hell are you talking about?" During that time, she tried to pull her tanto out nonchalantly and was gripping it intensely with her hand.
The "voices" in his head were saying, "It's the blue demon. You must kill it, kill it!" Referring to Chikane as the "blue demon." He nodded, holding his head as if believing that the "voices' rang true and he must yield to his inner demons.
Then he screamed, "I know you, you blue demon. You must die!" Pulling something out as the glimmer of silver flashed, Chikane knew exactly what it was. With a wicked grin and a maniacal laugh, Tsubasa gripped the blade he withdrew, throwing it violently toward her. She tried to dodge it but the blade hit her right shoulder.
Chikane yelped in sudden pain as she gripped the wound, blood staining her fingertips as it seeped between her knuckles. Himeko let out a loud piercing scream that managed to make some of the dogs in the alley start to bark in rage.
The dogs sparked his attention as he held his head suddenly, shaking from side to side in panic.
"Must be KGB! Must be KGB!" Running away, he fled the scene.
Chikane was on her knees, started to pull the knife out of her shoulder.
Himeko started to cry, "Chikane-chan, Chikane-chan, is you okay?"
"Yeah I'm fine. It's nothing life threatening. Just give me your shirt so I can put some pressure on it to slow the bleeding," she said as she finally pulled the knife out of her shoulder.
Himeko complied and balled up her shirt, then she put it on the wound and Chikane held it there to slow the blood flow.
"Do we need to go to the hospital?"
"Yes, but a police station could do."
They didn't need to do either, as about two blocks later, a policeman who heard the barking, spotted them and drove them to the Shinjuku Police Department.
While they were there they were sent to a room. Chikane was being treated for her wound, while Himeko was being questioned by the investigators.
"Can you tell us what the man looked like?"
"Ano, he was skinny and he had a Teal-colored hair. It was very long. He also had long nails and he looked kind of like a girl. He looked very dirty, like he didn't bathe for over two weeks."
So the police officer went to his computer and showed a listing of all the green haired, skinny fugitives based on what she described. They went through at least sixty different pictures before she found Tsubasa's photo.
"That's it! That's him!"
"Yes, that's him! He was it!"
"Oh yeah, you two were lucky. He's a paranoid schizophrenic."
Himeko gulped when she heard that, "Really?"
"Yes. He escaped from a mental institution a while back."
"Oh my," she said.
"Those are they crazy types that even scare me. I remember running into one who was just like him the other day at the station. He said that I was the Angel of Death and that he must kill me before I can kill anyone else. Luckily he tripped over the steps while he was chasing me and I was able to get away," Chikane shared.
When Girochi walked into the room, he immediately recognized the two girls.
"Hey there Himeko-san, what happened to you two?" He knew Himeko's name, but not Chikane's. He was familiar with her, since almost all the other policemen who worked at the station have dealt with her one time or another.
"Some weird guy who spoke a lot of gibberish threw a knife at Chikane-chan."
"Really? Who was he?"
The police officer pointed to Tsubasa's mug photo on the screen, "That guy."
When he saw the picture, he was in shock.
"Uh, nothing!" He didn't want to reveal that it was his sister's ex-boyfriend. "Is it possible for me to speak to those two privately?"
"Just when he was about to speak to them, his captain called him."
"Martinez-san, we need you immediately."
"But Captain, I need to talk to these two girls."
"That can wait. There's a guy we brought from a bar who was once a former mixed-martial arts fighter and now he is beating everybody up. Plus he's under the influence of PCP, so we need all the manpower we can get!"
"Oh shit, I'll be right back. Make sure they don't leave before I talk to them."
"Yes sir," so he asked the girls a few more questions before leaving the room. After he left, Himeko turned her head and talked to Chikane.
"You don't know how scared I was when he threw that knife at you. He could have killed you."
"He could have, but thanks to my quick reaction, he didn't."
With no one in the room or even looking inside, Himeko drew herself close to Chikane and then they started kissing each other.
Later on, when he had a break, he called Miyako, but all he got was her voicemail, so he left her a message.
"Miyako, soy yo, Girochi. Escucha, tengo que decirte algo muy importante. Tsubasa atacado a alguien simplemente hace una hora. Todavía en este ámbito y vamos a buscarlo. Por favor devuelva la llamada cuando recibas esta carta, adiós." ("Hey Miyako, it's me, Girochi. Listen, I need to tell you something very important. Tsubasa attacked someone just about an hour ago. He's still in this area and we are going to look for him. Please call back when you get this, bye.")
After that he went back to the room. But when he opened the door, he unintentionally caught them kissing each other. Immediately, they pulled away from each other. Feeling a bit embarrassed, he said, "Ahem, sorry I mean to disturb you two. I just want to ask a few more questions."
Chikane didn't like it and she made it clear, "We already told you guys everything. We were just walking through the alley when he came out of nowhere, saying some nonsense, then he threw a knife at me."
"But where was that at?"
"Like I said earlier, it was near the Municipal building area. Not too far from a Pizza-la shop."
Before Chikane could speak any further, Himeko asked Girochi.
"I guess you know that guy, since you're so interested in asking all these questions."
Girochi stopped looking at them and just pulled his head down. He let out a rather loud sigh and then he looked back at them. Then he finally answered Himeko's question.
"Yes I do. He was a good friend to my sister at one time. He was like a big brother to me. He really is sick and he needs to be sent back to the institution."
"I see," Himeko sympathized.
"Well don't worry. When we find him we will contact you two. Did you give your cell-phone number already to Officer Pango? Well that's if you two have a cell phone, since you girls are homeless."
They didn't say anything but just nodded their heads in agreement.
"We did. We got a pre-paid one," Chikane added.
"Ok, at least that's cleared up with. Well since the report is already done, you two can leave now."
"Thank you officer," they said in unison.
"No problem. Just be careful out there."
"We will," Chikane ended and they left the room and the building, now heading straight to Himeko's place.
When they left, Girochi's cell rang.
"Soy yo, Miyako, ¿qué pasa?" ("Hey it's Miyako, what's up?")
"Tsubasa todavía está en el suelto. Se acaban de atacar a dos niñas no hace mucho tiempo, afectando a uno de ellos. Caminaban en el callejón no lejos de aquí cuando lanzó un cuchillo a uno de ellos. " ("Tsubasa is still on the loose. He just attacked two girls not too long ago, hurting one of them. They were walking in the alley not far from here when he threw a knife at one of them.")
Miyako was shocked to hear that, even though she knew he was capable of doing such a thing.
"Oh, Dios mío! ¿Está bien? ¿Él la mató? ("Oh my God! Is she okay? Did he kill her?")
"No, él no la mató, pero estuvo cerca. Se le pegó en el hombro. " ("No he didn't kill her, but he came close. It hit her in the shoulder.")
Miyako sighed in relief, "Bueno, al menos no hubo muertos." ("Well, at least there were no dead bodies.")
"Sí, gracias a Dios por eso. Otra cosa interesante es que una de las chicas es alguien que conocemos." ("Yeah, thank God for that. Another interesting thing was that one of the girls is someone we know.")
"¿En serio? ¿Quién fue? " ("Really? Who was it?")
"Fue Himeko, el que nos dijo sobre el Clan Serpiente, el otro día." ("It was Himeko, the one who told us about the Snake Clan the other day.")
"¿Quieres decir que Himeko? El rubio de pelo, ojos de color púrpura-chica que vive en el parque? " ("You mean that Himeko? The blond-hair, purple-eyes girl who lives in the park?")
"Sí, ella. Pero no fue el que resultó herido, era esa chica de pelo azul que vive en la estación que siempre causando algunos problemas. Lo gracioso fue que nunca supe cómo se llamaba hasta hoy. " ("Yep, her. But she wasn't the one that got hurt, it was that blue-hair girl who lives in the station that's always causing some trouble. Funny thing was I never knew what her name was until today.")
"¿Cuál es su nombre?" ("What is her name?")
Sister Miyako nearly dropped her phone when she heard that name. She was in total shock and didn't say anything for a while until Girochi called out her name.
"Miyako? Miyako? ¿Sigues ahí? " ("Miyako? Miyako? Are you still there?")
"Oh, sí, todavía estoy aquí. ¿Siguen ahí? " ("Oh yes, I'm still here. Are they still there?")
"No, ellos ya se fueron." ("No, they already left.")
Miyako said, "¡Dispara!" (Shoot!) That was probably the closest she would come to cursing.
"¿Por qué? ¿Qué sucede? " ("Why? What's up?")
"Hay algo que usted debe saber acerca de Chikane..." ("There's something you should know about Chikane...")