Night had fallen once Kiryu emerged from the depths of Purgatory with his latest prize from the coliseum. The cool air was refreshing against Kiryu’s lightly sweaty forehead and after a short break that followed a few bloody matches earlier in order to get what he needed, he was certain he had it in him for one more. Double checking to make sure he had the image depicting a snake as Komaki requested, he headed for the fountain just outside of the entrance. As Kiryu expected, his mentor was resting against it always waiting for the next round.
“There you are, my prized pupil! Have you brought me the image of a snake?” Kiryu wordlessly handed it to him. Satisfied, Komaki glanced upwards, squinting seemingly over Kiryu’s shoulder into the dark. Just as Kiryu was about to turn and see where he was looking, a figure in a black tuxedo brushed past him. He blinked in confusion as a glimmer of gold atop the man’s head grabbed his attention. Were those horns?
The newcomer stepped up onto the edge of the fountain before turning to face Kiryu without so much as a greeting to him. For some reason Kiryu couldn’t place, there was something so alluring in the way this man presented himself. Thankfully he seemed to be a man of few words himself. His face was almost fully masked save for his handsome jaw by that of a hannya mask and the tuxedo was quite sharp on him. Not only was his mask adorned with gold horns but the upper jaw had a sharp row of matching gold teeth. Kiryu hadn’t realized how long he had been staring until Komaki spoke up again.
“This man is called ‘Hannya-Man.’ I met him many years ago, far to the west. He came to Kamurocho to do some sightseeing, so I have brought him here to see the sights of the arena.”
A tourist? What was he doing in such a place as this? As if Komaki read his mind, he added on, “Worry not, I shall take him to a pub, or karaoke, or some other Tokyo landmark after this.”
For some reason Kiryu felt a pang of jealousy that even he had not been expecting. Here he had just met this strange man, but he felt as though he should be the one taking him sightseeing. He told himself it was because he wanted to learn more about him, why he wore a mask like that and why he chose not to speak. Also, karaoke? Does he even sing let alone speak?
Now that Kiryu had a better look at Hannya Man, he couldn’t help but notice the eyepatch covering one eye of the mask, that haircut, those awful shoes, the jawline and the familiarly trimmed facial hair there- he had seen this man before elsewhere, hadn’t he?
Nah. It couldn’t have been.
If it were him, he would have already been teasing and taunting Kiryu. Majima was hardly ever quiet around Kiryu and the very idea that he could be for this long seemed nearly impossible. This was likely just a weird coincidence. It wasn’t as though Majima was the only person with an eyepatch after all, right? Right. Not to mention, there was no way Komaki would have been lying to him let alone be in on some weird scheme of Majima’s. Did he even know the guy?
Oh. Right. Komaki said he was going to take him places. Kiryu had been staring again.
“Wait, Shishou. You said you would take Hannya Man sightseeing?” Thankfully it was dark out and Kiryu had a good enough poker face to hide the fact that he was feeling heat rise in his cheeks the longer Hannya Man silently stared him down from above. Why did he choose to stand up there anyway? Was it to seem more imposing? “Can I take him in your stead?” Komaki shook his head, much to Kiryu’s dismay. “He and I go way back. I’ve already promised I would take him, it’s not your responsibility. No, instead he will be your opponent tonight.”
Well, that wasn’t how Kiryu was hoping it would go but he wasn’t exactly surprised.
Kiryu never felt less focused in a training session.
Part of it had to do with the fact that he couldn’t read Hannya Man with his face hidden but the other reason was because he couldn’t keep his gaze off him. The boldness in his movements and the air of mystery about him only made him want to get closer despite the danger that came with it. Not only that but he was strong and Kiryu was certain it was a strength that matched his easily, familiar even.
Somehow Kiryu managed to take Hannya Man down and was given the new Komaki technique which was just a bit of wisdom in defeating stronger allies. After Komaki finished his piece Kiryu turned about to leave them be when Hannya Man stopped him with a light tap on his shoulder. Very delicately, a stark contrast to how fiercely Hannya Man fought earlier, he slid a piece of paper into Kiryu’s breast pocket. It took Kiryu a moment to register what was there his touch was so light. When did he have the chance to write him a note?
As soon as Kiryu was out of sight and out of purgatory, he found the nearest street lamp to read the note Hannya Man handed to him. It was folded neatly but not written as neatly. In fact, the writing was scratchy and hastily written. Kiryu had to reread it a few times to make sure it said what he thought it said.
[Meet me here tomorrow, same time.]
As though he had been looking at something he shouldn’t have in public, Kiryu hastily shoved the note back into his pocket and made his way back to Serena to rest up, his heart pounding at the thought of what he had just gotten himself into with this mysterious man.