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Chapter Text

Himuro stares up into the sky. Above him, floating down like angels – angels of death, five figures in dark cloaks alights in front of him. The one directly in front of him is a hard-faced woman in an incongruous black top hat. Behind her towers three gigantic figures indistinguishable in their cloaks. Himuro wonders if they're even human.

The tallest of the towering figures flip back the hood of his cloak, showing that he – or his face at least – is no different from a human's. "Hey~ You just came out of that train, didn't you?"

Himuro keeps silent, looking at them appraisingly. Saying he came out of the train isn't exactly wrong; but it would be more precise to say he fell out of it – making a running jump through a window one of the guards had carelessly left open and fully expecting to fall to his death. He still can't quite believe he is alive.

A smaller figure, that had been overshadowed by the others, makes his presence known by sinking an elbow into the side of the tallest one. "Isn't there something you're supposed to do first, before you start asking questions?"

"Ah," the figure replied unconcernedly. He doesn't even seem to notice the elbow.

The hard-faced woman steps forward, sweeping her hat off in a gallant bow that is ruined by her no-nonsense expression. Unbidden, Himuro's gaze is caught by the glint of metal on one arm. So that's how it is. "I am the Captain of Circus's Sixth Ship, Araki Masako."

"I'm a Fighter of the Sixth Ship, Murasakibara Atsushi," the only cloaked figure that had flipped back their hood drawls out lazily, pointing a large finger at his own chest.

The smallest figure besides Araki flips back their hood as well, "I'm Fukui Kensuke, also a Fighter for Circus."

The final two cloaked figures finally reveal themselves as well, introducing themselves as "Liu Wei," and "Okamura Kenichi."

"We have reason to believe that train you were on belongs to Kafka," Araki says grimly. "Are you a member of Kafka?"

"Not anymore," Himuro says firmly, and then realises what he just said. "I'm not with them. I'm not with them anymore." It is pathetic how much that little fact makes him want to cry.

Araki's expression softens infinitesimally. "Would you like to come with us? We would like to ask you some questions regarding Kafka. And we can protect you from them as well."

Himuro looks over at the train vanishing into the distance. Nijimura is still on there, distracting the guards to give Himuro a chance to get away. "Yes. There's someone I'm looking for. I believe he may be in your – in Circus's – custody already." There's nothing Himuro can do for Nijimura right now.