T/N: NSFW illustration
Or: The Next Prologue | The Avenger
“Have you tracked Shijima down?”
Five days after the incident, Shiki asked his subordinate this again.
But the answer remained unsatisfying as the one a few days before.
“No, there’s no trace of him…”
It was clear that Shijima was the one to found the Headless Rider cult.
That had been confirmed again by the testimonials of the cultists who had regained their rationality in the hospital.
“It’s unlikely.. that he only packed up and fled when he saw us coming, either.”
Not all of the people on the villa grounds had been Headless Rider-fanatics escaping from reality.
Some of Shijima’s old acquaintances had been employed as bodyguards via means of money and drugs. In fact, the guard that Shiki had beaten up was one of them.
But even they confessed to know nothing of Shijima’s whereabouts.
It was true that Shijima had founded the group, but apparently the cultists had upscaled on their own. He had not discouraged this, but all he had done was provide funds and Heaven Slave.
The Awakusu-kai had threatened his grandfather, chief of Shijima Group, and his father, an executive; but they said their son had remained missing for more than a year now.
A man that should have been reduced to dust. Just what was he planning?
With a sense of omen, Shiki looked out of the office window, and murmured.
“Honestly… I thought things would go a little smoother after that informant disappeared.”
“But the moment we solve one problem another one pops up. What an unrewarding job…”
Somewhere in the city. A rented office.
A small office in a certain building.
The floor above appeared to be rented out to a group that operated phone call scams; the chatter of their conversations drifted down from the ceiling.
In this empty room there was a chair, and on the chair was a man.
The upper half of the his face was wrapped in bandages, and the gaps between revealed a pair of eyes that gazed into the empty space.
A woman’s delicate hand curled around the man’s neck.
On closer inspection, her fingers were littered with scars. Stroking the man’s neck seductively, she spoke.
“Orihara Izaya… didn’t interfere with this case, hm.”
“No, he didn’t.”
“I wonder what’s up with him. Is he really dead, you think?”
“I don’t care about that. I just want my own revenge. Orihara Izaya comes second.”
At that, the woman tilted her head in surprise.
“Oh? …I thought your plan was to take revenge on Orihara Izaya. Apparently not.”
“What about you, Earthworm?”
The man – Shijima – asked coldly. The woman he called Earthworm hummed, and replied with some consideration.
“I don’t know. I guess I’d be glad to kill him if I could, since he was a jerk.”
With the way she snickered, it was hard to tell how much of it was truly joking.
She leant her cheek against Shijima’s head, and asked, bemusedly,
“Since you don’t care about Orihara Izaya, who are you going to take revenge on? The Headless Rider? Heiwajima Shizuo? Awakusu-kai’s Akabayashi?”
Shijima’s answer was toneless.
There was a quiet madness in his eyes; if any who knew him before were to see him now, they would probably ask:
Was this man really Shijima?
The man stared into space with a silent, hollow gaze – and visualising the scenery beyond that emptiness, simply uttered, gravely:
“I chose to take revenge on the city of Ikebukuro.”
“Grand ambitions… So, what do you have in mind precisely?”
Still expresionless, Shijima, without a glance at Earthworm’s beautiful figure, continued.
“There are plenty of seeds for tragedy strewn through the city if you look. It’s merely that most never get to sprout.”
“I’m just… adding a tiny bit of water and fertilizer.”
Just as he said, despite that the giant waves of the ‘Dollars’ and ‘Orihara Izaya’ had died off, at this point in time there were countless ‘seeds’ left behind in their wake.
Would these seeds sprout forth fortune or tragedy?
At this time, no one knew.
Including even the madness of this twisted avenger –
The city begins to weave a new tale.
So long as people continue to exist within it.