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[A dirty corner in the street. A gangster bent over the lying body of some poor fellow.]

Businessman: Stop… P-Please… No more… I’m sorry… Sorry!

Gangster: When you pick a fight in this town, you’d better pick carefully. Especially when you’re carrying a wad of cash.

[He takes the money out of the guy’s wallet. Leaving the corner, he steps on a newspaper.]

[Newspaper]
“Kamurocho 21st Century Redevelopment Plan Begins”

December 9, 1988
Kamurocho, Tokyo

Drunk Student: Emi-chan, you can’t bail yet! Besides, you could wave cash around forever and not find a taxi at this hour!

Emi: Oh, hush you! If you really cared, you’d pay my cab fare!

Drunk Student: Aw, why don’t I book us a suite at the Plaza instead? You and me can get it on till the break of dawn! Eh? Eh?

[Someone is pushing a drunken student.]

Drunk Student: What the hell!? That friggin’ hurt, man!

[This someone is our gangster.]

Student’s Friend: Yo, get your ass back here!

[Seeing the gangster’s face, the eyes of a drunken student’s friends widen in terror.]

Drunk Student: Hey, asshole. You gonna just walk away after plowing into me like that? I believe you owe me an apology! Get down on your knees, punk!

Student’s Friend: Yoshio, don’t. Not this guy!

Yoshio: Huh?

[Gangster turns around. His face is stained with blood.]

Student’s Friend: (bowing) Sorry to bother you, sir.

10:43 PM

[A man drives up to the gangster in a car with a personal driver.]

Loan Shark: Hey. How’d it go, huh?

Kiryu: It’s done. Pardon the loose change. I didn’t bring an envelope.

Loan Shark: Don’t sweat it. Cash is cash. Spends just fine without an envelope. You Dojima boys work fast. Sure makes my life easier. Anyway. Here’s your cut. Ten percent, as promised.

Kiryu: Thanks.

Loan Shark: Also, here’s a little bonus from me. Consider it a gift to commemorate our first job together.

Kiryu: That isn’t necessary…

Loan Shark: Most heavies take half these days. I’ve got you working cut-rate. Getting real yakuza at this price? You’re the one doing me a favor here, trust me.

Kiryu: Still…

Loan Shark: Look around you. Other kids your age are waving 10G bills at cabs. A proper yakuza’s got to keep up appearances. Consider it a gift to commemorate our first job together. Here. Take it.

Kiryu: …Thank you.

Loan Shark: Just don’t make my mistake and lend it to an idiot. 300 grand’s a drop in the bucket, sure… But if I don’t collect, it sends the wrong message. Right?

Kiryu: I guess so.

Loan Shark: Lend money in this town long enough, you learn a thing or two. The world these days… Hardly anyone knows what money’s worth anymore. You may not have book smarts, kid… But knowing the street’ll get you further in life than a fancy degree. Am I right?

Kiryu: I really couldn’t say. Will that be all then?

Loan Shark: Hey. Why don’t you come work for me, son? A man with your skills could really rake in the cash. And a lot easier than on a yakuza payroll. Every meal a feast, every night an orgy… And that’s just the beginning. Money makes the world go ‘round. It can even buy happiness, if you spend it wisely. It takes a long time to make it as a yakuza. But money’s a good shortcut. Come work for me, and you’ll get places quicker.

Kiryu: Three years ago, I might have taken you up on that offer. But once you’re yakuza… There’s no turning back.

Loan Shark: That’s your answer, then?

Kiryu: I wonder if being a yakuza can lead to a fulfilling life too…

Loan Shark: Heh, beats me. I’ve never been a yakuza. I couldn’t tell you. Well, call me if you change your mind. See ya around.

[Loan Shark drives away.]

Kiryu: What an asshole… Waste of my time.

Chapter 1: BOUND BY OATHEdit

Kiryu: (This is where Nishiki said he’d meet me. Guess I beat him here. 724106, huh? That’s code for “Whatcha up to?” …I’m waiting for your slow ass to show up. May as well have a look around and see if I can find him.)

Find NishikiyamaEdit

Yocchan: C’mon, hand over the money. I told you I’d pay you back when I can, didn’t I?

Meek Student: B-But you won’t! Please, just leave me alone.

Yocchan: Quit your whining, nerd! Just fork over your wallet!

Meek Student: Please… Somebody help me!

Kiryu: (Running shakedowns on our turf? Somebody needs to set them straight before they try anything really stupid.)

Kenji-kun: Hey, somebody’s coming.

Yocchan: What do you want? This ain’t a show!

Kenji-kun: Wait, are you sure he’s not yakuza?

Yocchan: So what if he is? He’s our age. If he’s yakuza, he’s probably just an errand boy.

Kiryu: You guys new in town?

Yocchan: And what if we are?

Kiryu: My family runs this part of Kamurocho. If you were regulars, you’d know better than to do anything stupid here.

Yocchan: Excuse you!? Where’s a piece of yakuza trash get off lecturing us!?

???: Well, well… I see it’s still all or nothing with you.

Kiryu: Nishiki.

Nishikiyama: You kept me waiting so long I was beginning to think I’d been stood up.

[AKIRA NISHIKIYAMA of the Dojima Family.]

Kiryu: That’s my line. You were so late I had to find a way to kill time.

Nishikiyama: You’re picking fights to kill time… Go get a massage. Be an adult for once and do something for your “health.”

Kiryu: I’m not interested.

Nishikiyama: Uptight’s what you are. Let’s get to the drinking then. We’re going all night tonight, right?

Kiryu: Sure.

Meek Student: Um… Thank you very much!

Nishikiyama: Huh?

Meek Student: Er, no, I mean… I wanted to say… Thanks for, uh, coming…

Kiryu: Let’s go, Nishiki.

[They leave the alley.]

Nishikiyama: I’ll admit, though, you’re finally starting to look the part. You make a pretty convincing yakuza. You’re done with collections today, right?

Kiryu: Yeah.

Nishikiyama: Good. That should put Kazama-san’s mind at easy a bit.

Kiryu: Heh, dunno about that. But he always knew all I could do is fight. You’re the one who’s good at the dance.

Nishikiyama: Please. You see the times we’re living in? You’d be crazy not to enjoy all this, bro! Learn to use your head a bit.

Kiryu: Once the new year rolls around, Kazama-san gets out of prison. I’ll try to learn a few new tricks by then.

Nishikiyama: Yeah? How about we start with those rags you’re wearing?

Kiryu: Huh?

Nishikiyama: Try sporting a suit that runs 500 grand for once. Trust me, you’ll see the world in a whole new light.

Kiryu: Fashion’s not my thing. Besides, Kazama-san never wore flashy clothes.

Nishikiyama: You do realize he’s the family captain, right? Number two in the whole Dojima operation? You get to that level, you can wear whatever you damn well please. But for the rest of us, “flashy” is part of the business.

Kiryu: So that fancy new car you bought was just “business”.

Nishikiyama: Yeah, and that fancy lighter of mine, too. Which you still haven’t given back.

Kiryu: You want to play the rich guy, quit being so stingy.

Nishikiyama: But you get what I’m saying, right? People see the expensive car, the designer jacket, and the gleam of that little Dojima pin, they pay attention. A yakuza’s only as good as his image.

Kiryu: If you say so.

Nishikiyama: I do say so. Take your buddy today. These squeaky-clean idiots, borrowing money just to blow on tits and booze… Nobody in this town gives a crap about substance. What you see is what you get.

Kiryu: Fine, I get it already. Are we going drinking tonight, or are you gonna keep ranting?

Nishikiyama: Hell yeah, we’re drinking. What say we mix things up, hit Pink Street tonight? I know a nice little spot over there. Let’s go.

[They walk down the street.]

Nishikiyama: You been trying all these places out? Some are great, some not so much. We gotta know which is which. Be boring, tuck all your money away if you want. But these are fast times we live in, bro. Spend it smart and you can double it overnight. You want in on the next hot tip, though, you’ve gotta get around and keep that antenna up. That’s how you make it big in this city. They tell you its a buffet of college babes, but you get there and it’s hag salad? They say it’s just , then gouge you? All part of the learning experience, my man. I mean, what’s the alternative? You’d go crazy! …What? Look, that was just an example. I’m not talking from personal experience here. Anyway, forget that. Tonight’s my treat! You gotta learn to chill out! Have some fun!

[Soon they meet two people fighting. Both very drunk.]

Nishikiyama: What is this, a fight?

Kiryu: Looks like it.

Nishikiyama: Come on, you’re in the way!

Middle-aged Man: Whatser… What’s yer problem, bro? You got a… a problem? We’re in the middle of some… ‘portant business!

Trendy Youth: Hey, old man! Quit talking to those… them! We’re not done here! …Urp!

Middle-aged Man: Who’s an old man!? You snot-nose little… punk!

Trendy Youth: Who’s a snot… Whatever you said!? (pushes him)

Middle-aged Man: Gah!

Nishikiyama: Oof!

Middle-aged Man: Ohhh, NOW you’ve done it!

Trendy Youth: Yeah? C’mon, grampa… Take yer best shot!

Nishikiyama: Screw it, they’re completely wasted. It’s not worth the trouble. Let’s take a different road.

Kiryu: No need. I’ve got a faster way to fix this.

Nishikiyama: Oh?

Kiryu: Yeah. I just need to sober them up a bit… with my fists.

Nishikiyama: Again? I can’t tell if you’re a sadist or a charity worker.

Middle-aged Man: What’re you blabbin’ about… Stay outta this!

Trendy Youth: Yeah, butt out, you… butts!

[Kiryu gives the drunkards some healing punches.]

Middle-aged Man: Huh, wha…? Where am I?

Trendy Youth: What was I doing here? …And who are you?

Kiryu: Sounds like that sobered them up.

Nishikiyama: Must be your delicate touch.

Trendy Youth: I remember watching music videos at that bar… to talking about which idols we liked… Then we got…

Middle-aged Man: Yeah, then some smartass started making fun of poor, sweet Shoko-chan, and then… Rgh, my head’s throbbing. I can’t remember past that.

Nishikiyama: I think you two have had enough for tonight. Go home.

Middle-aged Man: Y-Yeah. …Owww.

Trendy Youth: Whoa, you okay, mister? Here, I’ll walk you to the train. Take it slow.

Middle-aged Man: Oof, thanks. You’re awful considerate for a kid your age.

[They leave.]

Nishikiyama: All’s well that ends well. Let’s hit that bar.

Kiryu: Yeah.

Aging Foreigner: What a waste. A damn shame, I say!

Kiryu: Hm?

Aging Foreigner: You’ve got a punch like a two-ton gorilla, and you go wasting it on drunks? What do you think that talent was meant for? All that raw fighting prowess!

Kiryu: Look, I just helped a couple of guys work off some alcohol. That’s all.

Aging Foreigner: Yes, that’s the point! That’s the problem! You want to talk alcohol? You’re like taking one swig from a vintage bottle and tossing the rest! Hmm… Going from the look of you, you’re Japanese mafia, yeah?

Kiryu: Something like that.

Aging Foreigner: Yes. Seems like you’re pretty confident in a fight. A real dynamite boy.

Kiryu: You’re calling me “boy“?

Aging Foreigner: Ha ha! Don’t get ruffled now, kid! Compared to me, you’re practically a toddler.

Nishikiyama: Hey, Kiryu! What’s the holdup, man?

Kiryu: It’s nothing. Be right there! (No sense wasting time on this drunk. I should just go.) Too much booze is bad for you, gramps. Take care.

Aging Foreigner: Hey, now. Hold up! Wait! I got one piece of advice for you!

Kiryu: And I’ve got a friend waiting for me. If you’ve got something to say, make it quick.

Aging Foreigner: Oh ho! Out for a night with your main dog? Me and the boys used to really wreck it, back when I was your age. But if you spend all your money playing around, you’ll never get stronger. You gotta invest in yourself!

Kiryu: What, like a gym membership?

Aging Foreigner: Nah, nah. That’s no better than spending it on booze! I’m talking about investing in yourself. Literally.

Kiryu: Literally? What’s that even mean?

Aging Foreigner: Glad you asked, my boy! Here’s a special lecture, just for you.

[He opens his Ability Shop.]

Aging Foreigner: You keep pouring money into yourself and with a little training, that talent of yours will grow in no time! So keep the women and wine on a budget, hear?

Kiryu: Huh. Investing in myself, literally… Never thought of that.

Aging Foreigner: Ha ha! Bet you’re glad you stopped and listened now, eh?

Kiryu: Yeah, I guess I am.

Nishikiyama: Yo, KIRYU!

Kiryu: I’m coming!

Aging Foreigner: All that serious talk killed my buzz… Time for round two! You have a good night, my boy!

Kiryu: (What a weird old man. What’s his deal?)

Nishikiyama: Ready to head out? It’s this way. There he is. C’mon, stay close. (sees a vomiting guy) Stay classy, Kamurocho…

Kiryu: Ha. Isn’t that part of the draw? This town’s a perfect fit for the newly-minted rich playboys this economy’s churned out. They come thirsty for booze and women, and Kamurocho’s got both in spades.

Nishikiyama: When did you start waxing poetic? Not that you’re wrong.

Kiryu: You impressed?

?: Nishikiyama-kun!

Nishikiyama: Yo, ladies!

Kiryu: Who are they?

Nishikiyama: Heh, “college-girl-slash-hostesses,” Madoka-chan and Yui-chan.

Kiryu: What?

Yui the Hostess: I’ve been ringing your pager, but you never call me back! When are you coming back to the club?

Nishikiyama: Tonight. I’ll drop by in a bit.

Madoka the Hostess: You promise?

Nishikiyama: What, you don’t trust me?

Madoka the Hostess: Well, I WANT to…

Nishikiyama: Aw, don’t be like that. (pull out some money) Here, buy yourselves something nice.

Yui the Hostess: Yaaay! I trust you with my life!

Kiryu: These two have got this down…

Madoka the Hostess: Thanks! We’ll see you later.

Yui the Hostess: Don’t keep us waiting, Nishikiyama-kun!

[They leave.]

Kiryu: When did you get so popular with the ladies, Nishiki?

Nishikiyama: Wait, don’t tell me you think I just let those two play me for 40 grand. It’s not like that. Building connections with girls is important.

Kiryu: Oh?

Nishikiyama: I’ll let you in on something. The guys higher up the chain than us in the family? Not very popular with the ladies. One look and anybody with eyes can tell they’re yakuza, and not the fun kind.

Kiryu: Yeah, so?

Nishikiyama: So, if you show up with a pack of girls every time the bosses invite you drinking, they remember you. Half the time they give me cash on the spot. If you’re in this business, you’ve gotta claw your way up that ladder using any means possible. Right?

Kiryu: Yeah, maybe you’ve got a point.

Nishikiyama: All right, this is the place. Hope you’re ready, because I’m not stopping till morning.

[In the bar…]

Kiryu: You come here a lot?

Nishikiyama: Hm? This makes twice. Why?

Kiryu: You’ve got a personal bottle here. I thought maybe you were a regular.

Nishikiyama: Looks a lot cooler than sitting around ordering beers, doesn’t it? Helps the staff remember you, too. But mostly I just can’t stand being taken for a bum.

Kiryu: Heh, makes sense. You’re a big, important man with a big, important image to uphold.

Nishikiyama: And if you hope to get anywhere in this world, you could stand to follow my lead a little.

Kiryu: ……..

Nishikiyama: But I guess you’re just not the type, huh?

Kiryu: I… I entered this life chasing after Kazama-san. You and I were just a couple of orphans, and he took us in. I’d do anything to repay him, but all I can give is my life.

Nishikiyama: You know, maybe you’re fine just the way you are.

Kiryu: Hm?

Nishikiyama: You keep pulling your weight under Kazama-san, maybe he’ll bring you with him when he makes it really big. That’s just as legit an approach as mine. Just remember, you’re technically not one of Kazama-san’s boys. You’re in the Dojima Family. Why do you figure the old man didn’t take us on as Kazama Family men? Sure, the Dojima Family’s higher up the pecking order, but still…

Kiryu: Doesn’t matter. I’m sure he had his reasons.

Nishikiyama: Yeah, you’re probably right. Anyway! That’s enough serious talk for one night! Let’s get crazy on some karaoke! C’mon!

Kiryu: Heh. Yeah, okay. I did sign up for anything tonight.

[Kiryu sings karaoke and gets a high score.]

Nishikiyama: Ha. I never knew you took karaoke so seriously.

Kiryu: Hey, you’re the one who said to get crazy. I was just trying to humor you.

Nishikiyama: Suuure. And you loved every minute of it. Do you sneak off and practice on the sly? You so do.

Kiryu: Come on, quit busting my balls.

Nishikiyama: All that singing worked up an appetite. How about we move this party to the ramen shop?

Kiryu: You’re hungry again? I’m still full, man.

Nishikiyama: So? You can watch me eat, then. Tengokuken work for you?

Kiryu: Yeah, all right, fine…

[They go outside.]

Nishikiyama: Ready to head out?

Passerby: Hey, watch out, man!

Nishikiyama: I ever tell you what a great voice you have? You pick songs like an old man would, though.

Kiryu: Sue me. I don’t know what’s popular now.

Nishikiyama: Then you gotta learn. Girls like a man who’s living in the current decade, bro.

Kiryu: Heh. That so?

Nishikiyama: I’ll admit I’m still learning about the male idol scene, though. I just nod along and pretend I know what’s what.

Kiryu: And you think everybody doesn’t know that?

Nishikiyama: Maybe. Who needs guy idols anyway? Girls or forget it. Some of these new girls are seriously cute.

Kiryu: Oh yeah? Huh.

Nishikiyama: Yeah. Do some research. It’s worth the time, Watch it become your new obsession. Then you’ll be telling ME who to watch.

Kiryu: Heh, it could happen.

Nishikiyama: Before long, both of us are gonna be at some concert, screaming along to all the lyrics.

Kiryu: …That’s a mental image I don’t need.

Nishikiyama: Yeaaah… Here we are. This is the spot.

6:50 AM

Nishikiyama: Hm? Hey, come on. You’ve barely touched that.

Kiryu: I told you I wasn’t hungry. So you buy me an extra large like an ass.

Nishikiyama: Aw, quit whining. You gonna wuss out?

Newscaster: 11:00 PM last night, the body of a young male was found severely beaten in a quiet corner of Kamurocho. Police are investigating the case as a homicide. We have a breaking update-- Authorities have released the victim’s identity. The deceased was a resident of Tokyo. Taichi Kurihara-san, age 32. Police say Kurihara-san carried debts from several loan companies. Questioning will begin with these leads.

Nishikiyama: Kiryu, look.

Kiryu: Hm?

Nishikiyama: A murder in Kamurocho.

Kiryu: It’s hardly the first.

Nishikiyama: No, wait. Your job last night… You said you roughed him up pretty bad, right?

Reporter: Kurihara-san’s body was found here.

Kiryu: That’s… That’s the place.

Nishikiyama: Wait, wait… Are you serious!?

Kiryu: It’s not like I beat the guy to death, though.

Reporter: This lot is just a few steps removed… from Kamurocho’s busy, neon-lit streets. Nestled between the tall buildings, this odd, inconspicuous lot feels anything but peaceful. This rare remaining pocket of undeveloped land is where Kurihara-san’s body was discovered.

Kiryu: It’s him.

Businessman: (in Kiryu’s memories) Please… No more…

Kiryu: That’s the guy I worked over.

Nishikiyama: Hold up. You’re SURE that’s him?

Kiryu: …Yeah.

Nishikiyama: The fuck were you thinking!? It was just a collections job!

[Kiryu’s pager beeping.]

Nishikiyama: Who is it? HQ?

Kiryu: Yeah. They’re already calling me in. I’m gonna go call in.

Nishikiyama: You think… It’s gotta be about what they were saying on the news, right? This is bad. You’re obviously screwed, but this also paints a giant target on Kazama-san’s back.

Kiryu: What?

Nishikiyama: They’re gonna use this to bring him down.

Kiryu: How do you figure?

Nishikiyama: Everybody in the Dojima Family knows it was Kazama-san who brought us in. That means our screw-ups become his responsibility, too.

Kiryu: What? But this was my mistake. He had nothing to do with it.

Nishikiyama: That’s not how it works. Murder is a big deal. Everybody with an eye on his position is going to come at this with everything they’ve got. The three Dojima lieutenants, for starters.

Kiryu: Shit…

Nishikiyama: Rumor has it, it was one of them that sold Kazama-san out to the cops and got him pinched six months back.

Kiryu: Wait, what?

Nishikiyama: The gambling hall he was running never stayed in the same place, but then they suddenly get hit with a raid? The only way that happens is if somebody with family info tips them off. And the way I hear it told, it was one of the lieutenants that talked… Kuze.

Kiryu: You really think Kuze sold Kazama-san out to the cops?

Nishikiyama: Well, it’s not like I’ve got hard proof. But you know Kuze’s been on a power trip ever since the old man got locked up. And where there’s smoke…

Kiryu: Either way, I’ve got no choice but to call them back… Right?

Nishikiyama: Yeah… I guess not. All right, you go. I’ll see if I can get some advice.

Kiryu: Thanks.

[Kiryu goes out.]

Kiryu: (I’ve got to call Dojima Family HQ. There should be a pay phone around here…)

Find A PayphoneEdit

[He finds a payphone.]

Kiryu: (Better call the family office.) This is Kiryu. Did somebody page me?

Guy on Phone Duty: Ah, yes! Lieutenant Kuze told me he wanted you to come down to the office right away, Kiryu-san. Actually… the three lieutenants are here waiting for you, Kiryu-san.

Kiryu: Okay. Got it. (Well, I guess I’d better take a taxi to the Dojima Family headquarters.)

Go to Dojima Family HQEdit

Taxi Driver: The taxi fare starts at . Where would you like to go?

Kiryu: (I need to get to Dojima Family HQ.) Take me to the Dojima Family headquarters.

Taxi Driver: Very well, sir.

Tojo Clan
Dojima Family HQ

[Kiryu enters the office. Three men in expensive business suits look at their guilty subordinate with enmity. He bows.]

???: Finally. Kept us waiting long enough. We interrupting important business, eh, Kiryu?

[DAISAKU KUZE. Lieutenant of the Dojima Family, patriarch of the Kenno Clan.]

Kiryu: I’m sorry for the delay, sir.

???: You have the lieutenants of the Dojima Family all lined up, taking time out to see you… I assume you know why?

[KEIJI SHIBUSAWA. Lieutenant of the Dojima Family, patriarch of the Shibusawa Family.]

Kiryu: This has to do with the body they found in Kamurocho… doesn’t it?

???: So that WAS you. So much for gettin’ in some golf today. Eh, Kuze?

[HIROKI AWANO. Lieutenant of the Dojima Family, patriarch of the Taihei Association.]

Daisaku Kuze: We got a call from that loan shark you were collecting for.

Kiryu: The loan shark…?

Hiroki Awano: President of Toko Credit. You whacked the guy he asked you to handle, right? ‘Course, he was pretty emphatic that it wasn’t his idea.

Keiji Shibusawa: I expect he was surprised as anyone that a pro would screw up this badly over a measly 300 grand. He’s a bottom-feeding leech, but I can sympathize.

Daisaku Kuze: Well, none of that really matters. Whatever your reasons, the issue now is how you make it right for murdering a civilian.

Kiryu: Now just a minute, please. I didn’t--

Hiroki Awano: Quit your damn whimperin’! Just relax, kid. He may have been a civilian, but the guy was debt-riddled scum. Seven, eight years of eatin’ the government’s shit food and you’ll be out.

Kiryu: You’d have me go to prison?

Hiroki Awano: That should square away this murder business with the cops. That leaves the bigger problem… How we draw attention away from the venue.

Kuze: Exactly. You really fucked us with this, kid.

Kiryu: What do you mean, the venue?

Kuze: Don’t be a dumbshit. The place you dumped the body.

Awano: C’mon, Kiryu. Of all the places in town to kill a guy, why do it there, huh? This wouldn’t happen to be a case of Captain Kazama pulling the strings, would it?

Shibusawa: ……..

Kiryu: What strings? And what’s Kazama-san got to do with any of this?

Kuze: Just answer the goddamn question! (hits coffee table)

Awano: Why’d you pick that lot? You tellin’ me it wasn’t the captain’s orders? Eh?

Shibusawa: And where did you get a piece? Did he give you that too?

Kiryu: Piece? What are you talking about? I don’t have a gun!

Awano: In this deep and still playing dumb?

Shibusawa: The body they found was beat to hell, but it was a bullet to the face that ended him. The police haven’t made that public yet, but it’s fact.

Kiryu: Really? Are you sure about that!? Then it wasn’t me that killed him. I roughed him up with my bare hands, and that’s all. That’s the truth!

Shibusawa: If that’s true, it would mean somebody’s set you up here. Is that what you’re saying?

Kiryu: Yes, sir. No matter what happened there, I didn’t shoot him.

Shibusawa: So says the accused. And what say we all?

Awano: I think it’s a load of shit, and you’re trying to worm your way out of this. Who the fuck bothers to frame a nobody like you?

Kuze: Listen, Kiryu. I’m only gonna ask you one more time. Why stir up trouble there of all places?

Kiryu: That’s what the loan shark told me to do. He said he’d call the mark there so I could teach him a lesson and collect the cash.

Awano: That’s the whole truth?

Kiryu: Yes, sir.

Shibusawa: Then it sounds like we’ll need to ask this loan shark a few questions.

Awano: Still, doesn’t change the fact that one of our boys was involved in the killin’. And in that lot, on top of it all. This is gonna have repercussions on that other project.

Kuze: ………

Awano: What do you think, Kuze?

Kuze: Only one possible answer.

[Awano and Shibusawa leaves the office.]

Kuze: Look on your face says you’re totally lost.

Kiryu: Yes, sir.

Kuze: That place they found your dead guy in… It’s a complicated spot. The “Empty Lot,” they call it. You rank-and-file kids probably don’t know… But the boss gave a direct order to the three of us Dojima lieutenants. He wants that Empty Lot, by any means necessary.

Kiryu: An empty lot?!

Kuze: That pleasure district’s packed so tight you couldn’t fit a pin through it… save one hole. The boss wants that land. And when the boss says he wants something… It’s our job to make sure he gets it. But, now that patch has become a murder scene. That kind of attention makes it a lot harder for us to make a move on the land. You see our problem now, yeah?

Kiryu: But what’s that got to do with Kazama-san?

Kuze: There’s one other thing about that lot… Whoever delivers it to Dojima gets one hell of a prize for his trouble.

Kiryu: Prize?

Kuze: Yeah. Kazama’s seat now that he’s gone. Next captain of the Dojima Family. So that little scrap of land is lot more than just an “Empty Lot” to us lieutenants. At first I figured this was Kazama using you to try and make life harder for us… But judging by the look on your face, I get the feeling you had no idea.

Kiryu: Hold on a minute, though. You’re fighting for Kazama-san’s seat? Where does that leave him!?

Kuze: Beats me. But he’s not much of a captain if he’s in prison now, when the family really needs him. Not to mention the sweet little kid he raised went and knocked off a civilian… There’s protocols for that.

Kiryu: He had nothing to do with that. And besides I didn’t kill the guy!

Kuze: Tell it to the cops, kid. Not that they’re gonna make time to hear a yakuza out. Turn yourself in by the end of today. And… Leave your little finger behind. You’re yakuza. When you say your goodbyes to the boss, you gotta do it right.

[Outside Dojima’s HQ.]

Kiryu: (It looks like that loan shark set me up. I don’t know what his game is, but he and I are going to have a talk.)

Aging Foreigner: Hey, boy!

Kiryu: Oh, you’re the old guy from last night.

Aging Foreigner: Finally! I’ve been searching for hours.

Kiryu: For me? …Ugh, you reek of booze. You’re wasted!

Aging Foreigner: Ha ha! This whole town’s one big bar. It was MADE for drinking! Me and Kamoji-kun here have been at it all night.

Kiryu: Yeah, well, glad somebody’s having a good morning…

Aging Foreigner: You’ve got a face more sour than a lemon. What’s wrong? I can’t promise much, but I’m happy to lend you an ear.

Kiryu: It’s… I’ve just got a lot going on right now.

Aging Foreigner: Uh huh… Well, all rights Anyway, I had a favor I wanted to ask you.

Kiryu: Yeah? You mentioned you’d been looking for me. Actually, wait. Sorry, but I don’t have time for any of this right now. I’ll see you later.

Aging Foreigner: Thanks, I just need you to talk to a couple guys. They’ll be here real soon. They’ll also be real angry.

Kiryu: Ugh, you’re not even listening… Why should i take care of your problems?

Aging Foreigner: That’s a great question! Ask them. They’re real eager to talk to you, too!

Kiryu: ..?

Aging Foreigner: Oh hey, speak of the devil. Here they are now!

Thuggish Man: Alright, gramps… Is this the kid?

Aging Foreigner: Yessir! My prize pupil!

Kiryu: I’m sorry, “pupil“?

Thuggish Man: The million-yen loan I gave these two deadbeats is way past due. I need it back, and I ain’t waiting much longer.

Kiryu: Why tell me about it? …Wait, you don’t expect ME to pay, do you?

Aging Foreigner: That tip I gave you the other day’s worth at least that, no? Besides, the debts of the master are the debts of… y’know, you.

Kiryu: Like hell they are! And since when are you my master, anyway?

Thuggish Man: I don’t really give a shit who you are. Just gimme my money, before the big gentleman behind me gets impatient.

Bruno: ……….

Thuggish Man: Bruno here, he’s got a short fuse. Especially for stubborn types. For your own sake, I’d pay up before I got hurt.

Kiryu: ………..

Aging Foreigner: Hey, boy?

Kiryu: What now?

Aging Foreigner: You think you could take big Bruno there in a fight?

Kiryu: …Couldn’t say for sure. Doesn’t really matter either way, because you’re not going to drag me into your problems.

Aging Foreigner: Oh, so you think he’d beat you.

Kiryu: I didn’t say that! …Look, if you’re trying to bait me, it’s not going to work. It’s your debt, you handle it.

Aging Foreigner: Nyeh, that’s a let-down. Can’t have you getting spooked over a chump like him. He’s bargain-bin muscle. Dime a dozen. Bottom of the bracket.

Kiryu: Bracket? What are you even talking about?

Thuggish Man: Hey, what’s with all the whispering, boys? Are you paying, or does this get ugly!?

Kiryu: I told you, this has got nothing to do with me.

Aging Foreigner: Okay, all right! I’ll pay you the money!

Thuggish Man: Wise choice.

Aging Foreigner: I feel terrible, just terrible for all the hassle I caused. Tell you what, why don’t we make it two million?

Thuggish Man: You wanna pay me double!? Like I’m gonna buy that! You’re drunk off your ass, old man!

Aging Foreigner: Oh, I’ve got the money. Be happy to give it to you, even. …On one condition.

Thuggish Man: Yeah, and what’s that?

Aging Foreigner: You have your tank back there fight us for it. He beats all three of us, the two million’s yours! We win, and we don’t owe you a thing.

Thuggish Man: Shit, you’re not drunk, you’re crazy! Bruno’s famous around here for busting heads. All three of you could rush him at the same time and he’d snap you like twigs.

Aging Foreigner: Nah, nah! Fight’s gotta be one-on-one. Rules and all. Three against one wouldn’t be fair.

Thuggish Man: Ha! You want to take him on SOLO!? Well, hell. If you don’t mind me taking the money off your corpse, I’m game. You got yourself a deal!

Aging Foreigner: Well that’s just lovely.

Kiryu: I’ll tell you right now I’m not bailing you out. If you don’t want to get hurt, I’d start apologizing now.

Kamoji: Okay, I’ll go first then!

Kiryu: Hey, are you even listening!? Are you sure you want to do this?

Aging Foreigner: He’ll be fine. Just a little workout. You just focus on keeping an eye on the action, boy. Watch Kamoji’s moves.

Kiryu: Seriously?!

Aging Foreigner: Aaand, FIGHT!

Kamoji: Let’s do this! Show me what you got!

[Kamoji beats up Bruno in seconds.]

Kiryu: That’s rad.

Kamoji: Huff, whew… I’m tired. Gotta remember to eat before I do this stuff.

Kiryu: Kamoji, was it? What were those moves just now? Actually, forget it. Are you okay? You shouldn’t push yourself like that.

Aging Foreigner: Ha ha, he’s fine! Told you, didn’t l? Big guy didn’t land a single punch on him.

Thuggish Man: Hey, you in the coat. Homeless dude! Bruno’s barely got a scratch on him. You gonna try to finish the job with those weak-ass punches?

Aging Foreigner: Ah, no. Kamoji-kun, you sit this one out. I’m calling the round as your manager! Let the kid take it from here. You know what to do, don’t you, boy?

Kiryu: Heh… Yeah, all right. I meant it when I said I wouldn’t bail you out, but watching him just put me in the mood for a quick round.

Thuggish Man: Right, then. On to round two of the two-million yen murder parade! Bruno? Take him!

[Kiryu defeats Bruno with his new Rush Style.]

Thuggish Man: What just happened? Bruno barely got a punch in! Just who the hell ARE you?

Kiryu: Name’s Kiryu. Dojima Family. Which family are you guys with?

Thuggish Man: Whoa, wait, you’re a proper yakuza!? Er, s-sorry, sir! I didn’t know! We just work for Toko Credit.

Kiryu: Well there’s a coincidence. I have business with your boss. Need to meet with him as soon as possible. You know where he is right now?

Thuggish Man: The president? I figure he’d be at the office at this hour.

Kiryu: I see. That’s in a building on Taihei Boulevard East, right? I’ll pay him a visit then.

Aging Foreigner: And that takes care of that little debt of ours, right?

Thuggish Man: Yeah, fine. A deal’s a deal. Bruno here will have to cover the difference. That’s how our kinda debt collection works.

Aging Foreigner: Ha ha! Whew, it’s a tough world, I tell ya.

Thuggish Man: Well, I better get moving. C’mon, Bruno. Pick it up!

[They leave.]

Kiryu: Hey, tell me something.

Aging Foreigner: Oh?

Kiryu: Just who are you? Why approach me? What are you after?

Aging Foreigner: Me? Yes, well, people here call me Bacchus. And I came to you because I had an angry thug on my butt!

Kiryu: Yeah, nice of you to dump him on me… Look, if you’re in some trouble, tell me. Maybe I can help. And that goes for him, too. Those weren’t the moves of an amateur. What’s his deal?

Bacchus: A real steal of a deal, is what it is! He’s got a gig sweeter than honey. Real fascinating to watch. You should go have a look too, boy!

Kiryu: At Kamoji’s job? But he’s homeless, right? What kind of work does he do?

Bacchus: He’s a… whatchacallit. A fisting artist!

Kiryu: Whoa… That’s not really my scene.

Kamoji: That ain’t it! It’s PUNCHOUT artist.

Bacchus: Yeah, that! A punchout artist. Heh, slip of the tongue.

Kiryu: …All right, so what’s a punchout artist?

Kamoji: The customer pays a fee, then they get to throw as many punches at me as they like.

Kiryu: I don’t think I follow. This some new S&M thing?

Kamoji: Naw, nothing like that! Come on by and watch, if you got questions. I work in the Shichifuku Parking Lot.

Bacchus: Kamoji-kun here’s got plenty to teach you about fighting, my boy. You’ll kick yourself if you don’t check it out.

Kiryu: All right, I get the picture. Shichifuku Parking Lot, right? I’ll swing by if I can find the time.

Kamoji: It’s Kiryu-san, from the Dojima Family, right? I’ll be waiting! See you soon.

Bacchus: Well, that takes care of my troubles for today… I suppose I still can’t convince you to take on the world?

Kiryu: The world? What does that even mean? Are you still trying to recruit me into pro fighting or whatever it was?

Bacchus: That’s exactly what it was! You got potential most men can’t even dream about! That world champ title could be yours.

Kiryu: Sorry, I’m not some starry-eyed kid who’d fall for that line. If you’re looking to scout somebody, keep looking.

Bacchus: I’ll tell you one thing, boy. You keep living street fight to street fight, you’ll wind up with a knife ‘tween your ribs in some dark alley. That’s no way to go out. You belong in the light. The spotlight! And I can get you under all the brightest ones. What do you say? You and me versus the world!

Kiryu: ………

Bacchus: …Yeah, okay. We just met. You’re not gonna change your life around because some old geezer asked you to. I get it. I’ll give up… for now. But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up for good! You got room to grow like a tree. I’ll keep coaching you along the way!

Kiryu: You’ve got skills as a trainer, that much I believe. But I’m really not in a position to be worrying about anybody but myself right now. Sorry. But hey… Maybe I’ll see you around.

Bacchus: All right, my boy. Just steer clear of dark alleys till then, you hear? No knives in those ribs! Or bullets, for that matter!

Kiryu: Are you TRYING to jinx me? …See you later, Bacchus.

[Bacchus leaves.]

Kiryu: (Apparently the Toko Credit President’s in his office on Taihei Boulevard East. I’ll start there.)

Go to Toko CreditEdit

Kiryu: (Toko Credit… This is that loan shark’s office. I don’t know what they’re up to… Better go in prepared. All right, I’m going in.)

[At the entrance he is met by three thugs with bats.]

Kiryu: Looks like you’ve been expecting me. I’m Kazuma Kiryu, of the Dojima Family. I just dropped by to thank the president for trying to frame me.

Yakuza: The President has no interest in speaking with you, Kiryu-san.

Kiryu: Well… I guess I’ll have to change his mind by beating you guys half to death.

Yakuza: You alone, against all of us?

Kiryu: Yeah. I’m pretty close to blowing a fuse at this point… So clear a path, you punk-ass trash!

[He keeps his word and beats them half to death. After that, Kiryu goes up on the elevator to the director’s office. He is very scared. There’s a gun in his hands. He aims it at Kiryu.]

Toko Credit President: N-No way… How’d you make it here!?

Kiryu: It’s just you and me now, Mr. President. Now we can talk without any interruptions.

Toko Credit President: Talk? About what?

Kiryu: Don’t waste time playing the fool. Why did you set me up? What are you after?

Toko Credit President: Hey, stay where you are! F-Fine! I’ll tell you everything! Just calm down a minute, okay!?

Kiryu: ………..

Toko Credit President: I don’t know anything about any set-up. I just did what I was told. He said I should have you collect the cash there in that back lot…

Kiryu: And who was it that told you that?

Toko Credit President: It… It was-- Ah!

Kiryu: Kuze… Sir. No way. It was you?

Kuze: What’s that? What are we talking about, Mr. President?

Toko Credit President: N-No idea…

Kuze: Kiryu, what are you doing? Huh? Pretty sure I told you to turn yourself in, and instead you’re over here doing dumb shit!

[He hits him in the stomach. Kiryu bends in pain.]

Kiryu: Hrngh!

Kuze: Damn, I knew I was getting soft. Back in the day, one punch was enough to straighten out little shits like you. Mr. President, think I could get a little privacy? Gotta give my boy here a little lecture.

Toko Credit President: T-Take as long as you need…

[The president is running away. Kuze gets a cigarette pack, gives one to Kiryu and lights it.]

Kuze: That’s the good stuff. I’m glad we have this opportunity. I wanted to have a chat with you. No bullshit. You and Nishikiyama… You’re orphans, right? Grew up in Kazama’s joint. Sunflower Orphanage, wasn’t it?

Kiryu: ………….

Kuze: There’s no shame in being an orphan. It’s rare when a yakuza comes from a normal family. Still… That Kazama’s a cruel son of a bitch.

Kiryu: What do you mean by that?

Kuze: He takes in these kids, then he owns them for life. He’s got you and your boy Nishikiyama acting like human shields for him. You’d be willing to give your life for him, wouldn’t you? That’s some brainwashing kind of shit right there.

Kiryu: And the point is, sir? I’m not seeing where you’re going with all this.

Kuze: Kiryu… I want you to spy on Kazama for me.

Kiryu: What?

Kuze: I told you about the Empty Lot, right? I get that land, and I’m the next captain. Next in line to lead the Dojima Family. But there’s one piece of information I need in order to get it, and Kazama’s sitting on it.

Kiryu: Information?

Kuze: Yeah. And I want you to get it out of him. I doubt he’d ever think to suspect you. Pull this off, and I’ll personally guarantee your future in the family.

Kiryu: ……..

Kuze: The Tojo Clan’s 25,000 men deep, and the Dojima Family is one of the major players in it. Making the upper ranks here is no small accomplishment. As a bonus, I’ll give you the guy who actually murdered your man.

Kiryu: So it WAS you who set me up.

Kuze: Maybe, maybe not. But you can be damn sure you’re serving time if you turn this offer down. Join me, or go down with Kazama’s ship. Choice is yours. …But I want your answer right now. Right here.

Kiryu: …Lieutenant Kuze.

Kuze: Yeah?

Kiryu: You think you’re smart enough to control the board… But you’re too clumsy to hold the pieces.

Kuze: What?

Kiryu: You don’t know a thing about me, and you sure as hell don’t know Kazama-san.

Kuze: Cocky little shit! You’re gonna make an enemy of me? You think you’re ready for what that entails!?

Kiryu: I’m ready. If I weren’t, I’d have no business calling myself a yakuza.

[He leaves the building.]

Kiryu: (Hm? That’s my beeper. …Don’t recognize the number. It’s not his number, but that’s got to be Nishiki calling. I’ll find a phone and call him back.)

Find A PayphoneEdit

Nishikiyama: Hey, Kiryu? It’s Nishikiyama.

Kiryu: Yeah. I figured it was you trying to get a hold of me. Where are you?

Nishikiyama: The Kazama Family office. On Tenkaichi Street.

Kiryu: Kazama’s office? What are you doing there?

Nishikiyama: I’m talking with Kashiwagi-san right now. I thought he might be able to give us some advice. He’s Kazama-san’s right hand, after all.

Kiryu: Makes sense.

Nishikiyama: So how’d it go on your side? You left the Dojima office, right?

Kiryu: Yeah, but there were some complications.

Nishikiyama: Complications?

Kiryu: I’ll tell you when I see you.

Nishikiyama: Okay. I’ll stay here with Kashiwagi-san at the Kazama office, but get here quick. I think you need to hear what Kashiwagi-san has to say. Have you heard about the Empty Lot?

Kiryu: Kuze told me about it just now. I guess nothing gets past Kashiwagi-san. I’ll be there in a bit. (Better head to the Kazama Family office.)

Go to the Kazama Family OfficeEdit

Kiryu: (The Kazama Family office… Nishiki should be inside.)

Nishikiyama: Yo, Kiryu. You made good time.

Kiryu: I’m sorry, Kashiwagi-san. I never wanted to make trouble for you like this.

Nishikiyama: Um, sir…?

Kashiwagi: Ermgradurohey.

Kiryu: I’m sorry?

Kashiwagi: I’m glad you’re okay. Nishikiyama filled me in up to the point where HQ called you in.

[OSAMU KASHIWAGI. Captain of the Kazama Family, a Dojima Family subsidiary.]

Kashiwagi: I’ve got a pretty good guess what happened after that, too. …Did Kuze approach you? Ask you to sell out Kazama?

Kiryu: Yeah. He did.

Nishikiyama: Wait, what’s going on!?

Kashiwagi: The man who Kiryu allegedly killed in the Empty Lot was shot to death. Of course, I don’t need to tell you he wouldn’t do that. Which means somebody framed him.

Nishikiyama: Holy shit, that’s a relief! You couldn’t have told me that sooner, sir? This whole time I was thinking my brother actually offed a guy!

Kiryu: Nishiki.

Kashiwagi: This isn’t good, Kiryu. Tell me everything Kuze said, from the beginning.

[Kiryu retells his conversation with Kuze.]

Kashiwagi: …I see. So the three lieutenants are all jockeying for Kazama’s place while he’s out of the picture in prison.

Nishikiyama: That’s crazy. Nobody but Kazama-san could hack it as Dojima captain!

Kashiwagi: Calm down, Nishiki. Back to the Empty Lot Kuze mentioned. You boys are only just hearing about it, right?

Kiryu: Yes, sir. Kashiwagi-san, do you know more about it?

Kashiwagi: Yeah. There’s a big redevelopment project in the works involving a chunk of Kamurocho. Dojima’s had those three racing against each other to clear out all the tenants in the area so he can get at the land.

Nishikiyama: I did hear about that. They’ve been buying up land and buildings owned by a bunch of different people to bundle it all together and resell it for a major profit, right?

Kashiwagi: Right. But amid all that, there’s one tiny patch of land that nobody can get their hands on.

Kiryu: And that’s the Empty Lot?

Kashiwagi: Yeah. They only recently figured it out, though. They bought up 80% of the neighborhood before they found it. And it’s sitting in the dead center of the redevelopment area. If they can’t get that plot, there’s no way they can sell any of what they’ve already bought.

Nishikiyama: That’s a hell of a snag… And you say nobody’s managed to make a move on that lot yet?

Kashiwagi: The owner’s gone missing. If they turned up now, the price I’ve heard being thrown around is one billion.

Kiryu: A billion…?

Nishikiyama: A billion yen for that tiny lot!?

Kashiwagi: Sure. That tiny lot could sink the whole redevelopment project, and Dojima’s already sunk ten billion plus into buying up the area. They can’t go back now, even if it means coughing up a billion yen for a postage stamp of land.

Kiryu: Kuze said that Kazama-san had some key piece of info they needed in order to get the land.

Nishikiyama: What is it Kazama-san knows?

Kashiwagi: I couldn’t say. That’s the first I’ve heard of it.

Nishikiyama: But you figure it’s gotta have something to do with the missing owner, right? Well, whatever it is, Kuze set Kiryu up to force him to get that info out of Kazama.

Kiryu: Right. At the cost of somebody’s life…

Kashiwagi: You two realize the situation we’re in, right? Kiryu’s in the crosshairs here, but so is Kazama. They make Kiryu out to have murdered a civilian, and they can demand accountability from Kazama. And, that’s only the beginning. Watch Kuze get the Empty Lot captain. He’ll drive Kazama out of the and become Dojima’s family entirely.

Kiryu: Drive him out?

Nishikiyama: No way… You really think they could get him expelled!?

Kashiwagi: They’d find a way. And with Kazama in prison now, he can’t stop them.

Kiryu: Kazama-san, expelled…?

Kashiwagi: And I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what happens to yakuza after they’ve been cut loose. Getting kicked to the curb after having climbed all the way to the top… Most men don’t survive that humiliation. “Ex-yakuza” is a common phrase in the obituaries for homeless suicides.

Nishikiyama: But… Kiryu didn’t actually kill anybody! If we can prove he’s innocent, they can’t use that to get Kazama-san booted!

Kiryu: The only way to prove that is to catch the guy who did it.

Kashiwagi: Right. But whoever it is, he’s in Kuze’s pocket. We can’t make a move against a Dojima lieutenant. Pick a fight with the brass in our world, and you’re finished.

Nishikiyama: But if we don’t do something, Kiryu’ll get thrown in jail!

Kashiwagi: If we act, move from it hurts Kazama’s standing even more. One wrong us, and they’ll have their reason to expel him.

Nishikiyama: So what, then? What do we do!?

Kiryu: Kashiwagi-san.

Kashiwagi: Hm?

Kiryu: My innocence and the Empty Lot can both wait. What matters most to me right now is protecting Kazama-san, and that’s what I’m going to do.

Kashiwagi: You have a plan?

Kiryu: Yes, sir… I let this happen. I’ll take responsibility for it alone. There’s only one way to keep this from coming back around to Kazama-san.

Nishikiyama: Take responsibility alone? Just what are you planning, Kiryu?

Kiryu: I… I’ll leave the Dojima Family, effective today. Terminate my oath and retire from the yakuza.

Nishikiyama: Kiryu, are you serious?

Kiryu: I’m taking care of this one myself. Once I’m out, I’ll put pressure on Kuze and get him to hand over the killer.

Nishikiyama: Are you insane? You think they’ll let a yakuza only three years deep in his oath leave in one piece? Worst case, they’ll kill you, man! It hurts to say it, but Kuze’s holding the Dojima Family’s reins right now. And you think you can turn him down and then walk away alive!?

Kiryu: I’m not going to ask Kuze, I’m going straight to Dojima! Besides, we don’t know they’ll kill me for sure. Get your car, Nishiki. I’m going to the family headquarters.

Nishikiyama: Like hell you are! You’re just desperate. This is nuts!

Kiryu: Shut up! There’s no other way. I’m not going to sit here and let them do this!

Kashiwagi: That’s enough, Kiryu. Nishikiyama is right.

Kiryu: I don’t care who’s right. I’m just a punk kid who only became a yakuza to follow Kazama-san. If my screw-up is going to bring him down… I’m ready to do what I have to.

Kashiwagi: (pushes his table) Do you even comprehend how serious this is? Huh!? Are you too big to do who you’re told now? Is that it, Kiryu!?

Kiryu: Yes, sir… Even if Kazama-san himself tried to stop me, I’d go.

Kashiwagi: You… (punches him) Idiot!

Kiryu: Please forgive me, Kashiwagi-san. Nishiki… Get the car. Thank you for all you’ve done for me, sir. (bows)

Kiryu: (Nishiki should be waiting with the car. I need to get to Showa Street.)

Go to Dojima Family HQEdit

Nishikiyama: Bro… Just because you say you want out doesn’t mean Kuze’s gonna just let you go. Who knows what’s going to happen in there? Just… be ready.

Kiryu: I am. Let’s go.

Nishikiyama: All right. Get in.

7:38 PM

[While Kiryu is going to meet with Kuze, he recalls his childhood in an orphanage.]

“Sunflower Orphanage”

[Young Kiryu and Nishikiyama are lying on the ground. They are badly beaten. Kazama stands next to them.]

Kiryu: Wh-Why not? Why can’t we, Kazama-san? It’s our lives. Our future. We can decide… I owe you everything, but this isn’t about that. And don’t play the saint. You’re yakuza yourself! Considering that… You have no right to tell us we can’t be yakuza… You’ve got no right!

Nishikiyama: Kiryu…

Kiryu: We’ve looked up to you for all this time. Your car. Your confidence… The way everybody bows to you. We idolized you. I want that life, too. Is that so wrong!? Is that too much…? Do orphans not get to dream!?

[Kiryu is sitting motionless in the Nishikiyama car.]

Nishikiyama: Hey. Whatchya thinking a out?

Kiryu: Nothing… Just spacing out.

Nishikiyama: Well, I was just thinking… about that time Kazama-san beat the snot out of the both of us. Then the next day… We were yakuza. And if I know you… I’m guessing you’re thinking the same thing.

Kiryu: Figures… It’s scary how good you are at that, bro.

[At the office…]

Nishikiyama: I’ve seen this place a million times, but it n as scary as it does now.

Dojima Guard: Evening, gents!

Nishikiyama: Is the boss… Is Dojima in today?

Dojima Guard: Yes, sir. He’s inside.

Kiryu: It’ll be just me from here.

Dojima Guard: Sir?

Kiryu: Please give the boss a message. Tell him… Kazuma Kiryu is here to end his oath.

Dojima Guard: Kiryu-san? Wait, seriously!?

Kiryu: Yeah. Thanks, Nishiki. And sorry. You head on back.

Nishikiyama: You’re really going through with this, Kiryu?

Kiryu: I’ll have a talk with the boss. It’s not like I’m a dead man just yet. I’ll try to finesse it, like you would.

Nishikiyama: Shit, now you’ve really got me nervous, you fool.

Kiryu: See you later, bro.

[Kiryu enters the office full of yakuza. His lieutenant, Daisaku Kuze sitting in his chair near a coffee table.]

Kuze: So, you want out of the family… That why you’re here, Kiryu?

Kiryu: Yes, sir. I came to ask the boss to expel me. Please let me through to see him.

Kuze: Yeah, that’s a shame. Saturdays at eight’s bad timing. His favorite show’s on TV. If you’ve got something to tell him, you’ll have to tell me instead. The hell? Your pinky’s still on your goddamn hand. You’re asking to leave, and you show up empty-handed? That’s not how things work in the yakuza, dumbass!

Kiryu: I’m not here to talk to you. Where’s the boss?

Kuze: I’m the one handling things right now. And you think that kinda tone is gonna fly with me, junior?

[He hits Kiryu in the stomach.]

Kiryu: Hngh!

Kuze: No pinky, no cash… You seriously think you can come in here and just ASK to be let go?

[He punches Kiryu in the face.]

Kiryu: Rgh!

Kuze: The yakuza’s not some after-school club you can just quit when you get tired of it, you little shit!

Kiryu: ………..

Kuze: C’mon, use your head here, Kiryu. It’s not too late to put this all behind us. Pump Captain Kazama for that info on the Empty Lot. That’s the only way you come out of this alive.

Kiryu: May I please see the boss now? I came here to get expelled.

Kuze: So that’s a no, then? Heh, all right… Then we’re done here. I’ve got no use left for you.

[He hits Kiryu in the stomach again.]

Kiryu: Hrrnf!

Kuze: You had the chance to climb the ranks as one of my boys. If you’d have taken that, you wouldn’t have to die now. Hey, Yoneda!

Yoneda: Yes sir.

Kuze: Figure out how we erase this trash.

Yoneda: It’s not fancy, but a live burial up in the mountains is probably easiest. Or we could melt him down with chemicals and just dump him in the river.

Kuze: No, leave a body. It’s better if he’s found, down the line. Sends a message that Dojima’s big on discipline. Tojo HQ will appreciate that.

[Yoneda kicks Kiryu in the face.]

Kiryu: Really…?

Kuze: Huh?

Kiryu: You’re gonna just kill a family member… without the boss’s permission?

Kuze: Are you high, kid? The boss has got nothing to do with this now. You just left the family.

Kiryu: Yeah… Yeah, I did. That’s what I was waiting to hear.

Kuze: What?

[Kiryu knocks Yoneda out with a couple of powerful blows.]

Yoneda: You fucker…

Kuze: What the fuck are you doing? He outranks you.

Kiryu: Outranks me? I’m a civilian now.

Kuze: You just said so yourself. You’re free to come at me if you want… But I’m not gonna pull any punches.

Yoneda: Lieutenant Kuze! I’ll kill this little shit!

Kuze: He’s yours. Do whatever you like.

Kiryu: Hold it. I’m not done talking to you.

Kuze: I’m done with you. Besides, you’re dying here. Look, you make it up to see me alive, and I’ll hear what you have to say.

Kiryu: Fine. I’ll be right there.

Yoneda: You ready, bitch?

Kiryu: Anytime. Let’s go!

[Kiryu makes his way to freedom by defeating dozens of yakuza on different floors. From time to time, Yoneda attacks him, but Kiryu successfully reflects off his sneaky moves. Soon he gets to the top floor.]

Kiryu: Huff… huff…

Kuze: Looks like you can actually back up that big mouth of yours. Not bad. Kazama scouted himself a solid kid. If I’d met you back when I was boxing, I’d have offered to be your promoter.

Kiryu: Kuze… Talk, before I break your jaw. Who’s the one behind the Empty Lot hit? Where are you hiding him?

Kuze: Now, don’t get ahead of yourself, junior… I think those idiots downstairs might’ve given you the wrong idea. You don’t screw with the Dojima Family, Kiryu. Yeah… I’m gonna serve your ass myself and I’m gonna enjoy it.

Kiryu: Done with your little speech? Let’s go already.

Kuze: Yeah?

Kiryu: All right, fine. I’ll come to you!!

[The epic standoff begins. The stakes are high, the tension increases with each hit. And yet Kiryu manages to defeat his formidable opponent.]

Kuze: Kiryu. You bastard…!

[The other two lieutenants, Hiroki Awano and Keiji Shibusawa enters.]

Kuze: Brothers! Gimme a hand here. Take this little punk out!

[Kiryu rises his hands, preparing for a new fight. The lieutenants step aside and Dojima himself enters the room.]

Kuze: Boss…

Kiryu: Dojima, sir…

[SOHEI DOJIMA. Patriarch of the Dojima Family, a Tojo Clan subsidiary.]

Dojima: Wasn’t this a one-on-one thing, Kuze? I won’t have Dojima lieutenants making goddamn asses of themselves. You’re no Kazama, I’ll tell you that.

Kuze: But, boss! It was the captain that took this kid in! This is him, Kazuma Kiryu!

Dojima: So… I hear you wasted a guy on a collections run. You sound like a fucking moron.

Kiryu: I came to see you about that Incident, sir. I swear to you that I didn’t kill that man. But I understand that even just being a suspect brings the family unwanted attention. So please… Expel me from the family.

Kuze: You think that’s gonna fly, bitch!? I’ll take care of this one, boss. He won’t make any more trouble for you!

Dojima: Oh, really? You going to murder a civilian? Your decided on your own to let Kiryu out of the family, didn’t you?

Awano: That’s not… Sir, I didn’t! Lyin’ to the boss? That’s bad form… Bro.

Kuze: Awano!

Shibusawa: I heard him loud and clear as well. “Kiryu’s already left the family, so I don’t need the patriarch’s permission to kill him.” Something to that effect, wasn’t it, Kuze?

Kuze: You rat bastards!

Dojima: Kuze. You plan on digging yourself even deeper?

[Awano brings Kuze a stand and puts a tanto on it.]

Shibusawa: Now, brother… As head of the Kenno Clan, you know the drill.

Awano: You love this accountability shit. Show us what kinda man you are.

Kuze: (screams) Goddammit! (pulls the tanto out of its sheath) You fucking watch close!

[He screams and cuts his little finger off. Shibusawa collects the finger and Kuze leave.]

Dojima: (to Kiryu) A lieutenant of the Dojima Family gave you an answer, so I have to honor it. Kazuma Kiryu… As of today, you are expelled from the family.

Kiryu: Dojima, sir… (he kneels) Thank you, sir.

Dojima: Tell me, Kiryu. Why go through all this to get kicked out?

Kiryu: In order to prove that me and Kazama-san are innocent, sir. I’m not the one who killed that man, and Kazama-san has nothing to do with any of this! But the man I collected from died in that lot, and that’s made trouble for the family. That’s on me, so I’m leaving the family to take responsibility for it. So please, sir, just leave Kazama-san out of this!

Dojima: …It’s about time for dinner.

Awano: Yes sir.

Kiryu: Dojima, sir!

Dojima: Just how do you intend to take responsibility for this now?

Kiryu: I’ll catch the one who really killed that guy! That’ll prove that me and Kazama-san are innocent.

Dojima: I see. You don’t need to bother.

Kiryu: What? But the killer’s still…

Shibusawa: The killer? Let the police sort that out. You’re a civilian now.

Kiryu: But I have to do this. To make things right!

Shibusawa: Make things right? You’re a civilian, damn it. Get it through your head and stop whining.

Dojima: You admit you screwed up this time, right?

Kiryu: Yes, sir. At the very least, if I hadn’t done it at that spot, all of this might have been avoided.

Dojima: So you asked to be expelled.

Kiryu: Yes sir.

Dojima: Well, relax. I’ll make sure responsibility’s taken.

Kiryu: Sir?

Dojima: Your screw-up made it harder for us to get that land, Kiryu. And it was Kazama that brought you in. Accountability falls on him. You were a yakuza till a minute ago. You understand the logic, right?

Kiryu: Sir!

Dojima: There’s no coming back once you’re out of the yakuza. I suggest you find a nice little job and live a nice little life.

[Dojima and his lieutenants leave.]

Kiryu: What now…? What the hell am I supposed to do now?

11:28 PM

[Rain. Kiryu is aimlessly walking down the street. He falls to his knees. Passersby look at him with surprise. Suddenly one of them stops.]

Mysterious Man: Can you stand? You’ll catch a cold if you stay down there. My name is Tachibana.

Kiryu: Tachibana?

Tachibana: I am aware of your present circumstances. I’ve… I’ve been waiting to meet you. I’ve waited a long while, actually. Might I have a moment of your time? …Kiryu, Kazuma-san.

Chapter 2: THE REAL ESTATE BROKER IN THE SHADOWSEdit

[Tachibana leads Kiryu to his home. Kiryu takes a shower and goes out in a bathrobe.]

Tachibana: I assume you have not eaten? You are welcome to join me, if you like.

Kiryu: Sorry, but I don’t have much appetite. Not big on taking food from strangers.

Tachibana: You have my assurance that I am no threat to you, Kiryu-san. Please, make yourself at home.

Kiryu: Where are my clothes?

Tachibana: They were in need of cleaning, so I took the liberty. I will have them back to you momentarily.

Kiryu: Tachibana-san, was it?

Tachibana: That’s correct. Please, be at ease. I am a civilian. I operate a real estate business in Kamurocho.

Kiryu: And what does a real estate guy want with me?

Tachibana: Are you certain you won’t eat? My right hand is prosthetic. Please excuse my table manners. I lost it years ago, and now it aches in the cold months. A curious thing. I feel it throbbing, down to the fingertips, even though it’s gone. Painkillers have no effect. So I simply live with the pain. In time, grimacing became tiresome, so I stopped.

Kiryu: I don’t recall asking.

Tachibana: Kiryu-san, are you familiar with the term, “pseudanthium“?

Kiryu: Pseudo… ?

Tachibana: Pseudanthium. A botany term referring to a cluster of many flowers, gathered to form a single, large flower. You are intimately acquainted with one such flower, as it happens.

Kiryu: What are you talking about?

Tachibana: The sunflower. Each large bloom is in fact a collection of tiny flowers, each petal its own entity. A fitting name for a place where children gather. A fitting name for a place where children gather. Was it Kazama-san who named the orphanage “Sunflower“?

Kiryu: …Who are you?

Tachibana: You and Nishikiyama-san grew up as brothers at the Sunflower Orphanage. A young woman named Sawamura, Yumi-san as well. You and Nishikiyama-san regarded Kazama-san as a father, in time following in his footsteps to join the yakuza. And now you find yourself framed for murder, with Kazama-san facing the risk of expulsion as a result.

Kiryu: That’s enough! You proved your point. It’s obvious you’ve got quite the network to dig all that up. What I don’t get is why. What are you after?

Tachibana: There’s only one thing any real estate broker in this town is after. I want the Empty Lot.

Kiryu: That place again…

Tachibana: I would like for you to join me, Kiryu-san. If the Dojima Family lieutenants acquire the Empty Lot, Kazama-san’s expulsion is a certainty. But if I can beat them to it… I can protect Kazama-san. And then there is also the matter of proving your innocence. The reach of my Kamurocho network is considerable. Join me, and you will have the means to bring the culprit to light.

Kiryu: Why go to the effort of winning me over? What is it you’re really after here? I’d like my clothes back, Tachibana-san.

Tachibana: So you are rejecting my offer?

Kiryu: It’s too good. Too convenient. In this town, that’s when you have to be careful, if you want to survive.

Tachibana: I see. It would seem I was naive. Still, I have faith that you will reconsider in time. For now, I would ask only that you accept my card.

Kiryu: Yeah… right.

Tachibana: I will have your clothes brought up immediately. If you’ll excuse me…

[Outside.]

Kiryu: (I should let Nishiki know I’m not dead yet. He’s probably still at the Kazama Family office.)

Go to The Kazama Family OfficeEdit

[He walks to the headquarters of the Kazama family and sees Kashiwagi looking at him from the window and then leaving.]

Kiryu: Kashiwagi-san…

[Nishikiyama approaches Kiryu.]

Nishikiyama: Kiryu!

Kiryu: Nishiki…

Nishikiyama: You’re okay!? I can’t believe you made it out of there alive!

Kiryu: Yeah, I’m not dead yet, anyway. But it’s official now. I’m out of the Dojima Family.

Nishikiyama: Yeah? So Kazama-san’s in the clear, right?

Kiryu: Not yet. The family intends to hold him accountable until I can prove I was set up.

Nishikiyama: What? Why!? You’re out of the organization now!

Kiryu: I know. Still, this is a step forward. Now that I’m not yakuza, I’m free to take action. I’ll pay Kuze a visit and make him hand over the killer.

Nishikiyama: Yeah… Yeah, that makes sense. Well, first we should go fill Kashiwagi-san in. Come on.

Kiryu: No… I’ve been expelled from the Tojo Clan. I can’t be in the Kazama Family office. You go tell him for me.

Nishikiyama: Oh, come on. Don’t be like that. It’s fine, come inside.

Kiryu: This is about me taking accountability, Nishiki. Let me do this right.

Nishikiyama: Accountability for what, though? You didn’t do anything. Fine. You’re heading back to your apartment then? I’ll meet you there in a bit. You can fill me in on everything.

Kiryu: All right.

Nishikiyama: Okay, see ya later.

[He walks away.]

Kiryu: (I should head home for tonight. From here, it’d be fastest to walk north through the Hotel District.)

???: Hey. You.

Kiryu: …There a problem?

Giant Man: Yeah, you seem to think you can just walk by me without a word.

Kiryu: Do I know you? This isn’t your turf. Why should I have to tell you anything?

Giant Man: I’m not here to chat. If you don’t want to get hurt, you’ll leave all the cash you’ve got and get lost.

Kiryu: Heh, so this is a shakedown? You should pick your targets better. I don’t have a single yen for chumps like you.

Giant Man: Then I guess we’ll do this the hard way. Hope you’re insured.

[Kiryu beats the guy.]

Giant Man: Heh… You’re not half bad. I’ll let you off the hook this time.

Kiryu: What?

Giant Man: If I’m having trouble with somebody like you, I need to change my training regimen. Time to bump up the intensity… Which is going to be expensive. If I want to save up that kinda money, I’ve got some shaking down to do. (runs away)

Kiryu: Damn it, get back here!

Businessman: Hey! You okay, man!?

Kiryu: Yeah.

Businessman: You just had the misfortune of meeting Hiroya Egashira. “Mr. Shakedown,” they call him.

Kiryu: Mr. Shakedown?

Businessman: Yeah. He’ll go after anybody that crosses his path, and then he takes everything they’ve got. You seem like you can hold your own in a fight, but that guy’s on a whole different level. If he sets his sights on you, you run for it.

Kiryu: He’s definitely more than your average tough guy could handle.

Businessman: Still! I wish somebody would come along and beat all that stolen money out of him, though!

Kiryu: What, did he get you, too?

Businessman: Damn right he did. Took my whole holiday bonus… I knew I should’ve made a beeline to the bank with it. You be careful too, next time you’re sitting on a stack of cash. Oh, and rumor has it Egashira’s not the only Mr. Shakedown. And that they aren’t just a Kamurocho thing. Stay sharp if you ever go out of town.

Kiryu: (“Mr. Shakedown,” huh? He was insanely tough. I probably haven’t seen the last of him. Better keep my eyes peeled. I should just head home for tonight.)

[He takes a taxi to home.]

Kiryu: (Feels like I haven’t been home in forever. Way too much has happened the last couple days. )

[Arriving home, Kiryu is having dinner with instant ramen and beer. He lights a cigarette. Nishikiyama enters.]

Nishikiyama: It’s me, Kiryu. I’m coming in.

Kiryu: All I’ve got is beer.

Nishikiyama: Please. You think I’d expect any different?

Kiryu: Nishiki, did Kashiwagi-san say anything else?

Nishikiyama: But he started chowing down on his cold noodles like a man possessed after seeing you turn up alive. Up till then, he’d just been sitting there all intense, not saying a thing.

Kiryu: That’s so him.

Nishikiyama: Heh, right?

[A couple of beers later.]

Nishikiyama: That’s some story. Bet Kuze didn’t think he’d be losing a pinky when he woke up this morning. Heh. Goes to show, you never know what the future holds.

Kiryu: Yeah, and a lot more is about to go down. If any of the three lieutenants gets their hands on that Empty Lot, Kazama-san’s out of the family. I need to clear my own name, too. If the police get me in their sights, I’m done.

Nishikiyama: Uh, about that… up dead a few Kiryu, the president of Toko Credit turned hours ago.

Kiryu: What?

Nishikiyama: It’s on the news. He was shot in his office. He sent you into the Empty Lot on Kuze’s orders, right? Kuze must have wanted to keep that fact quiet.

Kiryu: Kuze… Is it really so easy for him to just murder someone?

Nishikiyama: It’s his neck on the line here. That son of a bitch will do anything. So I think beating down his door and hoping he’ll talk is probably a good way to wind up dead. There’s got to be a better way.

Kiryu: Such as?

Nishikiyama: Sorry… If there were an easy fix, we wouldn’t be here racking our brains.

Kiryu: Nishiki… You ever heard of Tachibana Real Estate?

Nishikiyama: Hm? Tachibana Real Estate? Kiryu This guy Tachibana came and found me after I left Dojima HQ. He wanted me to help him get the Empty Lot. Said he could help me prove my innocence, too.

Nishikiyama: Whoa, hold up, Kiryu… I DO know those guys! What, now they’re after the Empty Lot, too!?

Kiryu: What’s their story?

Nishikiyama: For starters, they’re not the sort of business that’s got an office. I’ve only heard bits here and there, but they’re like property acquisition specialists homing in on Kamurocho.

Kiryu: They take over real estate?

Nishikiyama: Yeah. Kamurocho’s packed tight, end to end with little bars and night spots, right? And most of them are run by various Tojo Clan families, too. But somehow, Tachibana Real Estate came along and started poking holes in that iron wall.

Kiryu: How do you mean, exactly?

Nishikiyama: Any business they set their sights on is shuttered in days, the tenants cleared out. Doesn’t matter how successful the place was, they’re gone. Bribes, threats, harassment… They’re more yakuza than the yakuza. Whatever it takes to crush the business, then scoop up the vacant property. They’ll even go toe to toe with Tojo Clan muscle protecting a place without batting an eye. Real estate right now is an insane cash war. That means plenty of shady business gets attracted to the action. But Tachibana’s playing on another level. Even Tojo HQ is trying to shut them down.

Kiryu: Seriously?

Nishikiyama: Tells you how nasty they are. Although if you had them on your side… things suddenly get interesting.

Kiryu: Yeah, if they can be trusted. Tachibana hopes to gain from I still can’t figure what winning me over.

Nishikiyama: All right, then tomorrow you and me can dig around for more info on Tachibana. It’s worth investigating.

Kiryu: No, I’ll look into it alone.

Nishikiyama: What?

Kiryu: You and I work together and we’ll draw every eye in the Dojima Family. I need you to keep your distance.

Nishikiyama: Kiryu…

Kiryu: It’s fine. I was prepared to do this myself when I decided to leave the family.

The Next Day

Kiryu: (Maybe Nishiki’s right and I should accept Tachibana’s offer. But I need more to go on before I can trust him. I should hit the town to see what I can find about him.)

Gather Info On Tachibana Real EstateEdit

[Kiryu returns to Kamurocho. He sees badass girl trying to collect from some guy.]

Badass Lady: Shut your hole, fatass, and open your wallet!

Kiryu: (Whoa, what?)

Party Boy: I’m telling you, I can’t pay. I’m dead broke right now!

Badass Lady: Don’t give me that bullshit, tubs! I watched your sorry ass come out of that soapland last night!

Party Boy: Wh-What!?

Badass Lady: Yeah, then you marched your little buddies around from club to club drinking till dawn. Living pretty large for a broke guy, ain’tcha?

Party Boy: You were spying on me?

Badass Lady: You’re goddamn right! You know how many different lenders you’ve dicked over, porkchop? It’s collection day, and your ass is getting beat!

Kiryu: (A female collections agent? Pretty unusual. Sounds like a real ball-buster, too.)

Bacchus: Ha ha! She’s terrifying as ever.

Kiryu: Bacchus? What, she a friend of yours?

Bacchus: You got that right! Sure wouldn’t make an enemy of her. That there’s Miss Tatsu the debt collector. She’s a legend in Yokohama!

Kiryu: Miss Tatsu, huh?

Bacchus: She takes on the jobs that make other collections boys run away crying, and she always, ALWAYS gets the cash. Her style’s bold, blunt, and brutal. Add that to a bulldog’s own tenacity and you get one mean bite, my boy.

Kiryu: You seem awfully familiar with her methods. This the voice of personal experience?

Bacchus: Ha ha, you got me, boy! I was this close to getting my face caved in over a silly little debt a while back.

Kiryu: Why am I not surprised?

Bacchus: Hey! Look there, boy! We’re about to see what makes our lady, Miss Tatsu, so incredible!

Party Boy: Heh… You think you can get the money out of me? I’d like to see you try!

Miss Tatsu: Hah! You boys and your tiny toys… You think your little butter knife there is gonna stop me!?

Party Boy: Drop the tough act, sugar tits. I’ve put a dozen dudes in the hospital with this baby. If you have a tear-stained apology ready for me though, I’ll hear you out.

Miss Tatsu: That’s my line, sugar moobs. ‘Cept the part about hearing you out, since you’ll be too dead. Now make your move!

Kiryu: Ugh, pulling a weapon on a woman? That’s going too far. I’m stopping this.

Bacchus: No need, boy. Just wait.

Kiryu: Hm?

Bacchus: No blinking now, boy. Keep those eyes on Miss Tatsu. Aaand… showtime!

Party Boy: I’ll fucking kill you!

Miss Tatsu: That’s real cute.

Party Boy: You…!

Miss Tatsu: We’ve got a feisty one!

[Miss Tatsu breaks down fatguy’s hands, knocks him down with a powerful blow, and then throws him on the ground.]

Kiryu: That’s rad.

[He learns new fighting style - “Beast”.]

Kiryu: Whoa, those moves…

Bacchus: Heh, looks like that beatdown gave you a few ideas.

Kiryu: Yeah… More than a few.

Bacchus: Fantastic, boy! Hope you’re ready to put ‘em into practice!

Kiryu: What?

Bacchus: Look over yonder! Looks like our bad guy here’s got some friends.

Thuggish Coward: Aw, shit, Jin-kun’s getting beat to hell. He paid the tab last night, so what say we pay him back bysucker punching this crazy bitch for him?

Bacchus: Hear that, boy? Those dim bulbs are planning on getting the drop on the little lady from behind.

Kiryu: Sounds that way. Lovely crowd. They’re a perfect match for the sort of scum that’d pull a knife on a woman.

Bacchus: Why don’t you give ‘em a little demo of what a man’s supposed to be? ..And no saying this doesn’t involve you this time.

Kiryu: I wouldn’t. She can clearly defend herself, but there’s a whole pack of them. I’m jumping in.

Bacchus: Yes, that’s my boy! Keeping chivalry alive, and working in a fine bit of training in the process! Ha ha!

Thuggish Coward: (to Kiryu) The hell do you want?

Kiryu: You guys planning to sucker punch that woman in the back?

Thuggish Coward: You got an eavesdropping problem? …And damn straight we are! You think I want that psycho bitch to see me coming? We’ll drop her before she can get those claws out.

Kiryu: I don’t care how tough she is, you don’t hit a woman. And needing a group to do it is just pathetic. You call yourselves men?

Thuggish Coward: The FUCK did you say!? You got a big mouth and a death wish, pal. Yo! We’re dropping this guy before we take care of the broad!

[Kiryu defeats the goons.]

Thuggish Coward: Ngh… What IS this guy!? All of us beating on him, and it’s like he doesn’t even feel it…

Kiryu: You want more?

Thuggish Coward: Rrgh! I’m not leaving till I at least punch that uppity bitch out!

Miss Tatsu: Well, well… If it isn’t porky’s little friends. I saw you boys crawling the bars last night.

Thuggish Coward: Ah…

Miss Tatsu: But I must be hearing things. Because it SOUNDED like you said something about punching a bitch out? If you’re interested, this bitch is ready to go.

Thuggish Coward: N-NO, ma’am! That’s just crazy! What kind of man would punch a lady? And w-with a group? So pathetic! Haj ha… Ha… ha.

Miss Tatsu: Riiight. Now pick up that sad sack lying over there and get the hell out of my sight! I got what I came here for. Got no use for him now.

Thuggish Coward: Yes, ma’am!

[They move their sorry asses away.]

Miss Tatsu: …Bacchus. Been a while.

Bacchus: Same ol’ Miss Tatsu, strong as a bear on bearoids!

Miss Tatsu: You’re one to talk, old man. So, gonna introduce me to my knight in shining armor here?

Bacchus: Oh, right! This here’s my latest find. A real diamond in the rough!

Kiryu: Name’s Kiryu.

Miss Tatsu: Kiryu, huh? I’ll remember the name. If you’ve got Bacchus singing your praises, you’ve gotta be pretty tough.

Bacchus: He is! This boy here’s a future champion. I’d stake my career on it!

Miss Tatsu: Ahhh, okay. Now I’m seeing what this is. You’re thinking Kiryu here is your ticket to a fat stack of cash. Which you’ll then use to pay me back so we get to stay friends.

Bacchus: Easy, tiger! I told you it’d take a while, but you’ll get it all back. Ooh, and speaking of favors, why don’t you train the boy here?

Miss Tatsu: Wait, what? Do I seem like the patient teacher type to you? Sorry, no can do.

Bacchus: Nah, now don’t be like that! We both need him to get stronger. Once he’s a champ, we’ll be rolling in dough! Besides, I know you’re secretly the doting type. He’ll make champion a hell of a lot faster with you beating him into shape. That means you get paid sooner, see? Win-win-win!

Kiryu: Bacchus… What do you think you’re doing here, man?

Bacchus: Negotiating an apprenticeship with Miss Tatsu for you, obviously! Trust me, you train under her, you’ll be master of the ring in no time flat!

Kiryu: You’re insane. I’m in seriously hot water right now. I don’t have the time to humor your little fantasies.

Bacchus: What!? You’re in hot water too, my boy? Are we talking knife-in-the-ribs here? ‘Cause I warned you about that.

Kiryu: I’ll be lucky if that’s all I get. And seriously, what’s this obsession with me getting stabbed about?

Miss Tatsu: All right, chucklehead, that’s enough! Neither one of you’s making a damn bit of sense. But, I hear where you’re coming from, Bacchus. Ditch the championship talk and just say you care about this Kiryu kid. If you’re worried about him, own it.

Baccus: ………

Miss Tatsu: Look, you did me a solid a minute ago. I can do this. Besides, the old man IS right that my training will make a real man outta you.

Kiryu: ………

Miss Tatsu: Hop a cab out to the pier sometime. I’ve got a training space there.

Kiryu: You train at the pier?

Miss Tatsu: You got it. Kinda live there, too. Pay me a visit sometime, see for yourself. I think you’ll like the digs. Anyway, that was my last job in the city, so I’m headed back to base. Kiryu… You, me, pier, training. I’ll be waiting.

[She leaves.]

Kiryu: Bacchus, I’ve already got a future planned. I’m sorry, but I can’t be your champion… What sport are we even talking about? Boxing? Not that it matters. I can’t.

Bacchus: Oh, I know that. Doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying.

Kiryu: ………

Bacchus: But I know when to stop making a nuisance of myself. I’ll give you some space, champ. It’s about time for my afternoon drink anyway. Help me clear my head.

Kiryu: Good luck with that… Just don’t have too many.

Bacchus: You think a guy called Bacchus can’t hold his wine? Hah! See you around, boy. Keep those ribs knife-free, now!

Kiryu: Get outta here. …And thanks, I’ll be careful. (Didn’t expect to get wrapped up in that mess, but at least I didn’t come away empty-handed. Now, back to looking for leads on Tachibana Real Estate.)

Yakuza: Hey there, buddy. Been looking for you.

Cafe Blend Proprietor: You again… You got a lot of nerve showing up now. What do you want!?

Yakuza: I think it’s protection Kamurocho, pretty clear what I want. Time to pay your money, pal. If you’re doing business in you’re doing business with us.

Cafe Blend Proprietor: To hell with that! It’s not protection money if you don’t show up to actually protect me when I need it! And you have the gall to ask for MORE!?

Yakuza: When you need it? What are you talking about?

Cafe Blend Proprietor: I’m talking about Tachibana Real Estate! When they came and chased me out, you people were nowhere in sight! Some protection!

Kiryu: (Tachibana…?)

Yakuza: What? Oh, Tachibana Real Estate… Yeah, they’re… Look, it’s complicated.

Cafe Blend Proprietor: Complicated my ass! You got scared and ran away. What could be simpler?

Yakuza: S-Scared!? Who do you think--

Cafe Blend Proprietor: Thanks to you, I had to relocate! Now I’m scrambling to get new customers to make up for all the ones I lost. I couldn’t pay you even if I wanted to!

Yakuza: I think you better keep that attitude in check, asshole!

Kiryu: Mind if I cut in?

Cafe Blend Proprietor: Huh? …What do you want?

Yakuza: Who are you? What family you with!?

Kiryu: I’m not in anybody’s family. And pipe down, it’s this guy I’m talking to.

Yakuza: EXCUSE me!?

Cafe Blend Proprietor: Wh-What do you want from me?

Kiryu: You say you opened shop here because Tachibana Real Estate forced you out of your last location? That right?

Yakuza: Oh, I see what this is. You’re trying to be this guy’s new muscle! Oh hell no!

Kiryu: What?

Yakuza: Our family’s handled this cafe’s protection for 30 years! You try to swoop in on our turf, it’ll mean war!

Kiryu: Looks like you need some convincing to stay quiet while I speak with the owner here.

Yakuza: Shut your mouth and try me. I’ll kill you!

[Kiryu kicks his ass.]

Yakuza: Wh-What the hell… I’m not losing to some kid!

Kiryu: You just did. Now get lost, and don’t show your face around this guy’s shop again.

Yakuza: Damn it… This ain’t over!

Kiryu: There. Now we can finally talk in peace.

Cafe Blend Proprietor: S-So what, in the end you’re just taking his place as the guy squeezing me for protection money? Please, can you just leave me alone?

Kiryu: I already said it wasn’t like that. I’m not even yakuza. I really just want to talk for a minute.

Cafe Blend Proprietor: Talk about what?

Kiryu: Tachibana Real Estate. I’m doing a little investigation, and I’d like you to tell me what you know. Anything is fine.

Cafe Blend Proprietor: What I know isn’t a hell of a lot. Besides, I’d prefer never to deal with those guys again. They’re terrifying.

Kiryu: Terrifying how? What did they do to you?

Cafe Blend Proprietor: It’s not even what they did. They just knew about me. Like… EVERYTHING about me.

Kiryu: Like what?

Cafe Blend Proprietor: My parents’ home address, my daughter’s school… Where I source all the cafe’s supplies, who all my customers are. With that much ammo, they didn’t have to DO anything… Cafe And to top it off, they’re not even yakuza. At least with that lot, you know what to expect.

Kiryu: I see. And where would I go if I wanted to meet the guy from Tachibana’s office who paid you that visit?

Cafe Blend Proprietor: They’re probably still there, finishing what they started.

Kiryu: Still where?

Cafe Blend Proprietor: The Hakua Building on Shichifuku Street. The place my cafe was in. They’ve driven most of the tenants out, so the place is practically empty, but there was one stubborn guy who said the only way he was leaving was in a casket.

Kiryu: And he’s still there?

Cafe Blend Proprietor: Probably. They were making him all kinds of sweet deals, but he turned down every last one. If he’s still there now, Tachibana’s boys will be, too. Go have a look if you really want to get mixed up with them.

Kiryu: All right, thanks. I appreciate it. (Tachibana’s been running tenants out of the Hakua Building on Shichifuku Street. It’s worth checking out.)

[He finds the place.]

Kiryu: (Looks like this is the place Tachibana Real Estate’s been trying to buy up. No business signs… It seems Tachibana’s boys live up to the rumors. “Namase Bar“… Guess they’re the last holdout.)

[He comes inside. On the door of the bar hangs a sign “Closed”. A bum is sitting at the door.]

Kiryu: What time does this place open?

[The bum leaves without a word. The door of the bar opens and a man with glasses peeps out.]

Middle-aged Man: Who are you? We’re not open yet.

Kiryu: I’m here to ask you a few questions about Tachibana Real Estate. Do you work here?

Namase Bar Owner: I run the place. Are you with the Jinsei Family?

Kiryu: Jinsei Family?

Namase Bar Owner: Oh, you’re not?

[He closes the door, but Kiryu manages to block it with his foot.]

Namase Bar Owner: Whoa, what gives!?

Kiryu: Please, I just want to talk for a few minutes. Tachibana Real Estate is trying to drive you out of the building, right?

Namase Bar Owner: Who ARE you?

[The bar owner lets Kiryu inside.]

Kiryu: So what’s this Jinsei Family you mentioned?

Namase Bar Owner: Tojo Clan, like four tiers down. They run the protection racket here. They came by for the money each month like clockwork, but those Tachibana guys sent them running.

Kiryu: The yakuza flinched against civilians?

Namase Bar Owner: Yeah. Pathetic, right?

Kiryu: And all the other businesses in the building have already been driven out?

Namase Bar Owner: Yeah… Tachibana Real Estate just dropped in one day out of nowhere and announced that they owned the building and we all had to leave. Some of the other tenants bailed as soon as they heard the name Tachibana. I’m the last holdout.

Kiryu: You’ve got your family living here?

Namase Bar Owner: Can’t afford a separate home. The wife hasn’t left the back room in weeks. Says she’s too scared of the homeless guys who took the place over. They’re on the Tachibana Real Estate bankroll, too. They pay those guys to scream and shout and piss in the halls. Even had an arson attempt a few days back.

Kiryu: And do these Tachibana Real Estate guys come by every day?

Namase Bar Owner: Lately I’ve just been getting silent phone calls. Hundreds of ‘em, all through the night.

[Knocking on the door.]

Kiryu: Expecting someone?

Namase Bar Owner: Th-That’s them! Why now, all of a sudden? Shit, there’s at least five, six guys out there!

Man’s Voice: Namase-san! Tachibana Real Estate here!

Kiryu: You mind letting them in? I want to talk to them. Relax. Whatever they try, I’ll keep you safe.

Namase Bar Owner: A-All right…

[He let them in.]

Namase Bar Owner: Oda-san…

Oda: Hello, Namase-san. Have you given some thought to that relocation for me yet?

Namase Bar Owner: W-We’re not leaving.

Oda: Well, you say that… but we’re already the legal owners of the building. Can’t have you causing trouble by sticking around for your own selfish reasons.

Namase Bar Owner: Selfish? You’ve been harassing me non-stop for days. We’ve got an infant here!

Oda: Don’t believe I’ve seen you before. …You know, Namase-san, turning to yakuza brawn like him will only make it worse.

Kiryu: Sorry to disappoint, but I’m not yakuza. Just think of me as this guy’s bodyguard.

Oda: Bodyguard? To protect him from whom?

Kiryu: From a bunch of yakuza in civilian’s clothing called Tachibana Real Estate.

Oda: Right. Well, it doesn’t matter much what an outsider like you has to say. Back to the point, I came bearing gifts today. (pulls out some money) Something from the boss over at the Jinsei Family.

Namase Bar Owner: What the hell is that?

Oda: The protection money you’ve paid him to date. Three years’ worth at 30 grand a month, rounded way up to two million. I took the liberty of getting it back for you.

Kiryu: You shook down the yakuza? What, you personally?

Namase Bar Owner: Two million…

Oda: Plus another two million as a gift from our president. And hey, here’s two million more. Milk money for the baby.

Kiryu: ………

Oda: What do you say, Namase-san? Let’s call this a deal. Can we expect your departure in the next few days?

Namase Bar Owner: This-- It isn’t about the money. It’s that attitude! You think you can roll in with your one-sided demands and muck around with us little people’s lives however you like!

Oda: Let’s drop the false pretenses, Namase-san. Throw all the tantrums you like, this is all you’re getting.

Namase Bar Owner: Huh?

[He throws money in his face. Bills fly around the bar.]

Oda: Wasting our time with this pathetic act… If it isn’t the money, then what the fuck is it!? Huh!?

[Kiryu rises between him and the bar owner.]

Oda: Something to say?

Kiryu: You don’t hear that crying? Throwing cash in a fatheqs face in front of his kid--is that how Tachibana does business?

Oda: You don’t exactly look like the kind of guy who’s in a position to give an ethics lecture. But very well. I can see our: show of sincerity has Namase-san on board.

Kiryu: That’s not for you to decide!

Oda: Namase-san. I’ll expect a call from you this evening. I look forward to your cooperation. This city, this day and age, that fetish for playing the hero will get you killed, buddy. Keep that little hobby of yours in check.

Namase Bar Owner: (picking up the money) Heh heh… heh heh heh…

Kiryu: So what, you’re going to close shop and leave?

Namase Bar Owner: Of course. All the guys who packed up and left the minute they were told to are idiots. A little patience, and just look at the returns!

[Kiryu walks outside and talk to a bum.]

Kiryu: Hey. Where’d all your other buddies go?

Homeless Man: On’ta the next job. They told us this one’s all done.

Kiryu: The next job? Where’s that?

Homeless Man: Who knows? There’s lots around. Tachibana-san’s got his fingers in all sortsa pies.

Kiryu: Just what kind of outfit is Tachibana Real Estate?

Homeless Man: I dunno why yer asking, but you shouldn’t mess with them guys. They’re the very shadows of this town.

Kiryu: Shadows?

Homeless Man: Way I sees it, they’re way scarier than any yakuza. They got eyes and ears on every corner here. Whoever ya are, yakuza, doesn’t matter. They know yer secrets. Have ya by the balls before ya can blink.

Kiryu: And that’s how they chased off the Jinsei Family?

Homeless Man: Last I heard, Tojo headquarters made the Jinsei boss hack off a finger.

Kiryu: What?

Homeless Man: Came to light he’d been skimming off the top of his payments up the ladder. Anonymous tip. ‘Course, they only ratted him out for a tiny bit of it. If the Tojo Clan got the full scope of it, he’d be dead.

Kiryu: I see. And now Tachibana’s got him on a leash.

Homeless Man: Hey, I never said one word about it being Tachibana-san who did it. Not that there’s anybody else in this town who could dig up that kind of dirt on the yakuza.

Kiryu: …………

Homeless Man: All’s I can tell ya beyond that is this: Fer your own sake, steer clear of Tachibana.

Kiryu: ………… (A real estate company willing to make an enemy of the Tojo Clan… The owner of Cafe Blend may have been right about them being worse than the yakuza. I still want a bit more info. Hopefully I can track down those other homeless guys. In this neighborhood… I usually see them hanging around Park Boulevard. Maybe I’ll start there.)

Find The Homeless MenEdit

[He finds a couple of homeless down the street.]

Smelly Homeless Man: Yo, you got word on any good jobs?

Cart-pulling Homeless Man: If I did, I’d be doin’ em myself. Speaking of, I hear Saku-san just got back from that gig for Tachibana Real Estate.

Smelly Homeless Man: You serious? Lucky bastard… You think he’d cut me in on some of that if I asked him?

Cart-pulling Homeless Man: Who knows? Can’t hurt to ask, I guess. He’s probably over at Public Park 3 with his buddies.

Kiryu: (A homeless guy who worked with Tachibana Real Estate might have some info. I’ll head to Public Park 3 and check it out.)

[He go to the park.]

Bearded Homeless Man: Gotta love Tachibana Real Estate. I wasn’t expecting a sweet little year-end bonus! This calls for a toast, fellas!

Hatted Homeless Man: Yeah! We deserve to forget all the bad crap for one day. Let’s live it up!

Kiryu: (Looks like these are the homeless guys Tachibana employed.) I was hoping you guys could answer a few questions. Is this a good time?

Bearded Homeless Man: Huh? Yeah, I don’t mind. …Actually, wait. Sorry. It’s too cold. My tongue’s frozen stiff.

Kiryu: What?

Bearded Homeless Man: Hmm, if only I had some booze. That’d thaw it right out. If you’re that eager to chat, buy us a round. Only fair, right?

Hatted Homeless Man: Ooh, great plan, yeah.

Kiryu: Your tongue seems to be working just fine to me.

Bearded Homeless Man: Mope! It’f mumb. Cam’t tawk!

Kiryu: Fine. You’ll talk if I bring drinks? Well, first just answer me this. Who out of you has actually done work for Tachibana Real Estate?

[Everyone rises their hands.]

Kiryu: Heh, I see. Then at least it looks like I’ll get my money’s worth.

Bearded Homeless Man: Oh, and not just ANY booze will do. We get to choose our order, okay? Tongues are tricky like that. If you don’t give ‘em exactly what they want, they’re just no good.

Kiryu: (It’s probably quickest to just give them what they want… I’ll take their orders and bring what they tell me to.)

Bearded Homeless Man: Me, I’ll stick with beer.

Kiryu: Heh, after all that talk, I was expecting fancier.

Bearded Homeless Man: Yeah, well. There’s just no beating a beer at the end of a job!

Kiryu: What job?

Bearded Homeless Man: Whoa, you almost got me there. Nope! First the beer. And I got a bottle opener on me, so I don’t care if it’s a can or a bottle. Whichever works.

Kiryu: (Okay, beer’s easy. They sell that pretty much everywhere.)

Hatted Homeless Man: There’s nothing like sake to warm you up in winter!

Kiryu: Whoa, whoa. You don’t expect me to bring you hot sake, do you? Because that’s more than I can promise.

Hatted Homeless Man: Ooh, that’d be amazing. But I’m not that greedy. Room temperature works.

Kiryu: (Sake, huh? They sell that in convenience stores.)

Preachy Homeless Man: For me? Hmmmm… I’m in kind of a sweet potato shochu mood.

Kiryu: …It has to be potato shochu?

Preachy Homeless Man: What are you, crazy? Sweet potato shochu’s the only shochu worth drinking. You one of those kids who only drinks beer? You gotta expand your horizons! You’ll never get a woman. When I was a young stud, I’d take gals out, get ‘em wasted, and…

Kiryu: Yeah, I don’t need to hear any more. (If I check a few different convenience stores, someone’s bound to have sweet potato shochu.)

Cheery Homeless Man: Ee hee hee, didn’t expect a free drink tonight! Life’s just great, I tell ya. Oh, and I’m a whisky hound, thanks.

Kiryu: Whisky? Got it.

Cheery Homeless Man: Oh, and I’m real particular about my whisky. Make sure it’s a scotch, would you?

Kiryu: (Hmm, scotch… If I hit a few convenience stores, somebody should have some.)

Quiet Homeless Man: …Champagne.

Kiryu: Champagne? Awfully fancy choice.

Quiet Homeless Man: …Christmas.

Kiryu: Ahh, yeah. I guess it is that time of year.

Kiryu: (Champagne… They probably have some at Don Quijote.)

[Kiryu finds and buy all booze they need.]

Kiryu: Here’s your beer.

Bearded Homeless Man: Ooh, perfect! You’re a decent guy for a kid your age!

Kiryu: Here’s that champagne. You’ll have to ask Santa for the next bottle.

Quiet Homeless Man: …Merry Christmas.

Kiryu: Here, this one’s yours. Scotch.

Cheery Homeless Man: Ooh ho ho! It pays to ask, I guess! Ahhh, tonight’s gonna be a fun one!

Kiryu: Here’s that sweet potato shochu you’ve been waiting for.

Preachy Homeless Man: Nice! Now let’s induct you into the club of connoisseurs, kid!

Kiryu: Thanks, but I’m not drinking tonight.

Preachy Homeless Man: Whaaat? You got the wrong attitude, kid! When an elder offers you a drink, you drink it! Doesn’t matter if you’re a featherweight, that’s the rules if you want to get ahead! Back when I was a businessman…

Kiryu: The sake you ordered.

Hatted Homeless Man: Ah, beautiful! This is the only stuff that gets me buzzed. You’re the best, man!

Bearded Homeless Man: Aaaah! Booze really is the water of life!

Kiryu: Tongue limbering up now?

Bearded Homeless Man: You bet! My whole mouth’s nice and warmed up… *hic*!

Kiryu: Should I be worried?

Bearded Homeless Man: I’m fine. I’m fine! …Not that there’s really all that much I can tell you, buddy.

Kiryu: Let’s start with the work you’ve done for Tachibana’s firm.

Hatted Homeless Man: Sure. You just go wherever they tell you and camp out for the day. Make a nuisance of yourself. Its easy money. We just finished our shift at one spot today and got paid. Tomorrow it’s on to the next place.

Kiryu: You were at the Hakua Building until a little while ago, right? I was there myself.

Bearded Homeless Man: What, you already knew that? Then what else crad you wanna know?

Kiryu: Is it Tachibana’s company that reaches out to you for jobs like that, or do you go to them?

Bearded Homeless Man: Yeah, they come to us, same as you did.

Bearded Homeless Man: Sometimes yakuza from the Tojo Clan hire us to do the same thing, They’re in the business of chasing people out, too. It’s a bull market for us homeless folk these days.

Hatted Homeless Man: And we don’t really care if ifs for the yakuza or for Tachibana-san. Anybody wants to pay us, we’re there.

Kiryu: Fair enough. One last question: you know where the Tachibana Real Estate guys hang out?

Bearded Homeless Man: Yeah, that’d be the Champion District. I see ‘em going in and outta there all the time. That area’s a gold mine for land speculators. It’s nothin’ but tiny bars, all packed tight. If you could chase ‘em all out and bundle those properties together, you’d make a killing.

Kiryu: All right. So you think their next target’s the Champion District?

Hatted Homeless Man: Pretty sure. Though they’re not the only ones. The Tojo Clan’s been going after those properties, too. If a yakuza-type like you waltzes in there, all the locals are gonna clam up, though.

Kiryu: I see. Thanks for the advice. I appreciate it. (The Champion District… That may be my ticket to bumping into Tachibana’s boys again.)

[Kiryu leaves.]

Kiryu: (Well, here’s the Champion District. The Tachibana Real Estate guys have apparently been coming here a lot lately. It’s worth a walk around to see.)

Champion District Resident: You lost, friend? Why are you here? There’s no place in this neighborhood that’ll serve a yakuza like you.

Kiryu: I’ve heard men from Tachibana Real Estate have been coming around lately. Are they here now?

Champion District Resident: What, you another Tojo boy?

Kiryu: No, actually. And I’m not here to chase anybody out of town.

Champion District Resident: Sure. So why are you asking after Tachibana’s guys, then?

Kiryu: I just want to know more about them. I promise I won’t make any trouble for you or the others here. (they ready to fight) Not the warmest welcome I’ve gotten.

Champion District Resident: We’re sick and tired of you yakuza! You don’t give a rat’s ass about any of the businesses here. But this place is all we’ve got left. If you want us out of here so bad, you’ll just have to kill us!

Kiryu: I told you, I’m only here to talk to Tachibana’s men.

Champion District Resident: Cut the shit, man! You assholes have never bothered with talk before. You just TAKE!

[Kiryu beats their asses.]

Champion District Resident: What… What IS this guy!?

Kiryu: Are you finally ready to hear me out? I didn’t come here looking to hurt anybody. All I want is to know what Tachibana Real Estate is up to here. That’s it.

Champion District Resident: I’m not selling them out to you… And neither will anybody else in this neighborhood.

Kiryu: Hm? Wait, aren’t they trying to chase you all out, too?

Champion District Resident: No! They’re… They’re trying to protect us from getting run out by the yakuza! The district’s only still standing right now because of them.

Kiryu: What?

Champion District Resident: Isn’t that right, Oda-san?

Oda: Evenin’. Well, if it isn’t the guy from Namase’s bar. Thought you said you weren’t yakuza.

Kiryu: Apparently it’s hard for people to believe, but I’m not. Used to be in the Dojima Family, though.

Champion District Resident: Shit, the Dojima Family? Of all the Tojo groups around, why did it have to be them?

Kiryu: I was expelled, though. Got nothing to do with them now.

Oda: So, what’s got an ex-yakuza sniffing around after us?

Kiryu: Your boss asked me to partner with him.

Oda: What? What’s your name, kid?

Kiryu: It’s Kiryu.

Oda: Well, I haven’t heard a word about this… Stay put. I’m calling the boss. (he call the boss) I understand. Then that’s how I’ll proceed. Yes, sir. Goodbye.

Kiryu: What did he have to say?

Oda: He said if you want to know more about us you should come by the place you met him last night. He’ll meet with you himself.

Kiryu: Yeah? All right.

Oda: Just don’t come back around here. The people in this place don’t take kindly to yakuza.

Kiryu: I hear it’s you guys protecting the district from the yakuza. There any truth to that?

Oda: Some. The boss has his policies.

Kiryu: Policies?

Oda: He says the people in this district have been here since before Kamurocho burned down in the war. That this place is the root the whole town’s grown out of. He says newcomers like us have no right to meddle here.

Kiryu: That’s quite a change from your attitude at the other place.

Oda: The Hakua Building? Ha, please. The tenants there all drifted into town looking to cash in. You saw the guy at Namase Bar, didn’t you? Sure, he played the “I’m a poor civilian victim” role, but how do you think they got those locations? By chasing out the people who were there before. I call it karma. Not that my philosophy really factors in. I’m just following the boss’s orders.

Kiryu: But you’re saying you guys play by a set of rules.

Oda: My name’s Oda. I’ve been with President Tachibana for a long time now. I run on-site acquisitions at most places. So, what’s it gonna be? You going to meet with the boss or not?

Kiryu: I’ll meet him. I’ve got plenty more to ask… Seems like Tachibana Real Estate’s harder to figure out than I’d thought.

[He goes to Tachibana apartments.]

Kiryu: (That Oda guy said if I wait in the penthouse here, Tachibana will show up. Anything I’m forgetting before I head up? I’m good. Let’s go.)

[He enters the building. Three man meet him.]

Kiryu: Tch. Look, it was Tachibana who invited me here. Aren’t you with his real estate agency?

Tachibana Employee: The president isn’t in.

Kiryu: I heard he’s coming later. He told me to wait for him up in the penthouse.

Tachibana Employee: Heh, I’m afraid you’re mistaken, sir.

Kiryu: What?

Tachibana Employee: One of our coworkers, Oda, left us very clear instructions. He said a young thug would come barging in, and that we should greet him with a gentle bruising.

Kiryu: Oda said what, now?

Tachibana Employee: This is your chance to pull an about-face, pal. Leave quietly, and I’ll just watch you walk away. Dude, your ears broken? I told you to get the hell out!

Kiryu: It feels like this is the only sort of welcome I get, lately. But getting bounced at the door from a party I was invited to is a new low.

Tachibana Employee: I already told you nobody invited you here, asshole!

Kiryu: Move. Talking to you is a waste of my time.

Tachibana Employee: You lost your mind, dude? Or are you in that big of a rush to get to the hospital!?

[Kiryu kicks their asses. He goes up an elevator and finds Oda in Tachibana’s apartment.]

Kiryu: Is that you, Oda?

Oda: Yo.

Kiryu: Did you have the guys downstairs attack me? Why?

Oda: Hey, you did your homework on us. I figured it was only fair that we got the chance to take a look at the goods, too. I mean, it’s clear you’re pretty good in a fight. But good enough to merit President Tachibana personally recruiting you? I just don’t know.

Kiryu: And you thought having your crew attack me would give you an answer?

Oda: Not really. Some things you’ve just got to do for yourself, I guess. I tell ya, it’s tough not being able to delegate. The real estate business in Kamurocho is a rough scene. But it works out, seeing as my blood boils hotter than your average yakuza.

Kiryu: So you’re more than just a crooked suit, is that it?

Oda: Oh, I’m nothing special. But I am the perfect match for a half-assed ex-yakuza.

Kiryu: In that case, I guess neither of us needs to hold back. Bring whatever you’ve got!

[JUN ODA bossfight begins. Even though he has a boton Kiryu manages to defeat him.]

Oda: Pfft… Ahhahaha! No fucking way… A total rookie, one-on-one, and he wins!? Heheheh. You gotta be kidding me.

Kiryu: Oda…

Tachibana: Are you satisfied, Oda-san?

Oda: Very! He’s, well… He’s got me beat, boss!

Kiryu: What’s going on here? You signed off on Oda testing me like this?

Tachibana: Correct. Oda-san is invaluable to me. He is practically one of my limbs. Thus, I needed his approval before I could officially welcome you into our circle.

Kiryu: Is that so? …I’m beginning to feel more and more like an idiot. I was about ready to put my trust in you people until a few minutes ago. Tachibana… Isn’t it about time we dropped the secrecy? Why did you approach me? I need the reason.

Tachibana: Very well. But first let me ask you this. What is Kamurocho, in your eyes?

Kiryu: Kamurocho? Couldn’t say. I doh’t follow your question.

Tachibana: I have a theory, Kiryu-san. I see this place as a feeding ground for the Dojima Family and the other Tojo Clan entities. People flock to this neon paradise, bearing their money. The streets are awash in it, and the Tojo yakuza drink it all up, every last drop.

Kiryu: What are you getting at?

Tachibana: The Tojo Clan’s power has encapsulated this city in glass. I aim to crack it open. Like so.

[With a wave of his hand, he turns off the light in the whole area.]

Citizen: Whoa, a blackout?

Kiryu: What the hell?

Citizen 2: No way! What’s going on?

Tachibana: Money is power. I intend to see just how far my own power can get me against the Tojo Clan. I’m afraid the present answer is “not very.“

[The power in the city goes back on.]

Tachibana: As it stands, I can manage a meager a ten seconds. But by securing the Empty Lot, I plan to stake my claim among those who control Kamurocho. Such is the value of that patch of land.

Kiryu: Just who are you?

Tachibana: Kiryu-san, I do not know how aware you are, but the Tojo Clan is far from united. By way of evidence, I would offer the name of one Tojo member acting as my ally in all this. In fact, it was at his insistence that I was led to approach you in the first place.

Kiryu: So you’ve got a mole inside the Tojo Clan? Who is it?

Tachibana: The man who wishes to see the two of us allied… is the Tojo Clan’s Dojima Family Captain… Kazama, Shintaro.

Kiryu: What? Kazama-san!?

Tachibana: The Dojima lieutenant Kuze-san approached you to spy on Kazama-san for him, didn’t he? To extract from Kazama-san the information he possesses on the Empty Lot. The secret information in Kazama-san’s possession is the identity of the person able to locate the owner of the Lot. …In other words, me.

Kiryu: You?

Tachibana: In the race to secure the Empty Lot, we have made far greater progress than that of the Dojima Family. Of course, the moment they learn of that, they will be quite furious and will turn their full attention to destroying us. Nevertheless, that you and I would join hands, despite that fact, was Kazama-san’s ultimate wish. It was half a year ago that Kazama-san entrusted you to my care. Before he departed for prison, of course. Even then, he knew with considerable certainty that Kuze would set his sights on you, and that you would find yourself unable to remain in the family.

Kiryu: That’s crazy. Not even he could possibly have seen all that coming!

Tachibana: Kazama-san is a man capable of rising to the very top, not only of the Dojima Family, but of the Tojo Clan itself. His abilities and wisdom cannot be overstated. To him, predicting the events that would unfold around you was a simple endeavor. What’s more, I am certain that his motives for acquiring the Empty Lot go far beyond merely protecting his own position. Knowing him, his designs are in service of something far greater.

Kiryu: Then… If he’s so all-knowing, why’s he in prison!?

Tachibana: That must be another necessary step in his scenario. That is what I believe, at any rate.

Kiryu: What? That’s insane…

Tachibana: Have I earned your understanding, Kiryu-san?

Kiryu: Tachibana… What proof have you got that you’re the guy Kazama-san entrusted all this to?

Tachibana: Kazama-san led me to believe that this would serve as sufficient proof.

Kiryu: Th-That watch…

[Inside the watch there is a phone of young Kiryu, Nishikiyama and Kazama.]

Tachibana: You are familiar with it, I believe. To Kazama-san, from Sawamura, Yumi-san. It was a present, or so I have heard.

Kiryu: And Kazama-san gave it to you!?

Tachibana: I merely took care of it until I could pass it on to you. I ask that you return it to Kazama-san directly… once all of this has been settled.

Kiryu: I guess… I still didn’t have any clue just what kind of man Kazama-san really is. But… if he wants something from me, I’m ready to do it. Even if it costs me my life. That’s something I decided the day I went against his wishes and joined the yakuza.

Tachibana: In that case… I am pleased to count you as an ally, Kiryu-san.

Chapter 3: A GILDED CAGEEdit

Sotenbori, Osaka

[Elite cabaret “GRAND”. Nice music is playing. People have fun and spend a lot of money.]

Middle-aged Man: Wow, this place is amazing. Not even Tokyo has anything I’ve ever seen like this.

Young Man: No surprise there. She’s the number one club in town. A trip to Sotenbori that doesn’t end in a trip to the Grand’s like takoyaki with no octopus! We put you through the trouble of makin’ the long trip down to see us, Chief. The least cant do is make sure you have fun tonight! So, let’s get to it!

Middle-aged Man: Say, uh… Are you certain this is safe? Aren’t there a lot of… you-know-what around here?

Young Man: Aw, don’t even sweat it! Honestly, chief, how many times will you make me say it before you believe me?

Middle-aged Man: Yes, but isn’t Sotenbori supposed to be the Omi Alliance’s backyard? I’ve hear this whole town is just crawling with yakuza. And this sort of establishment in particular… Take the booth over there. He’s GOT to be yakuza! I think it’d be best if I headed back…

Young Man: It’s fiiine! I’m serious. Sure, we’ve got some rougher clubs in town, but this place is absolutely safe. Guaranteed. And yeah yeah, that guy was probably a mobster, but they all behave themselves here!

Middle-aged Man: You’re awfully adamant about this place…

Young Man: Details! No more worrying, ya hear! Now, let’s have a seat and get things rollin’! C’mon! Take a load off!

Middle-aged Man: Still, though…

Girl 1: Evenin’! Excuse us.

Girl 2: Are we interrupting?

Middle-aged Man: N-no… Good evening.

Young Man: Nice, huh? Prettiest girls in town here! (to Girl 2) The chief here’s a big man at one of Tokyo!s biggest firms! Go on, now’s your chance to get in good!

Girl 1: Oh, so he IS someone important. I thought so, just from the look of him!

Girl 2: You’re here all the way from Tokyo? That’s so cool! Do you come down here often?

Middle-aged Man: (laughs) Oh, no. Just a chance business trip. And only to this club because he insisted.

Young Man: Yup! So if you two don’t help me make it a great night, my reputation’s shot. I’m countin’ on ya!

Girl 1: Uh-oh, that’s a lotta responsibility!

Girl 2: Well, let’s start with drinks then, hm? What’ll it be? (hands Yong man a menu)

Middle-aged Man: Let’s see. Hmmm… 100 thousand for champagne? That’s really up there, isn’t it?

Young Man: In that case… with champagne!

Middle-aged Man: Wait, wait, are sure? It’s 100 thousand!

Young Man: No problem, no problem! Can’t have you worryin’ about the bill, chief. You just focus on havin’ a good time! (to Girl 2) Champagne it is!

Girl 1: Thanks so much. But will one bottle be enough?

Middle-aged Man: What?

Girl 2: True. We’ve got a Tokyo bigwig here with us. A single bottle would go awful fast. He’ll think us Osakans are all cheapskates!

Middle-aged Man: Ladies, please…

Young Man: Hmm, you make a valid point. Yup, very convincing! So be it! Let’s do this right. A bottle each!

Girl 1: Four bottles, then!

Young Man: What, you two get your own!? Oh, fine. Four bottles it is!

Girl 2: Wow, spoken like a true man!

Girl 1: (to a waiter) We’re ready to order!

[Some time passes…]

Middle-aged Man: Hahahaha! This club is great. Very lively. But last time I was in town, I’d never even heard of it.

Young Man: Ah. It was only recently that this place really picked up.

Middle-aged Man: Oh really?

Young Man: Yessir. The management changed, and then boom!

Middle-aged Man: That so? Does a manager really make that much difference?

Young Man: He poached the best girls from other clubs. Also did things ya shouldn’t about, if the rumors are true. He took what used to be a big, sad, empty box of a place and brought it all the way to the top.

Middle-aged Man: He must be quite the businessman.

Girl 1: Oh, he is. Our manager’s famous. Anyone in the nightlife-business here knows about him.

Middle-aged Man: Is that so? I hope I’m lucky enough to meet him sometime, then.

[Below you can hear the voice of one of the girls that entertaining the visitors.]

Girl: Hey, I said that’s enough!

Pervert: I’m payin’ good money here. Just lemme get a decent handful. C’mon, you’re enjoin’ it anyway, aren’t ya?

Girl: Like hell I am! Let GO!

Waiter: Sir, this establishment has a firm no-touching policy. Please restrain yourself. (he doesn’t stop) Look, I’m warnin’ you here…

Pervert: Ehhh? You’re warnin’ me you’ll do WHAT if I don’t stop!? (pushes him) You’re gettin’ my money - Quit yer gripin’!

Waiter: All right, asshole…

Middle-aged Man: (to Young Man) You see that? What part of this is okay!? We should get out!

Young Man: Of all the spots to start somethin’… Don’t sweat it, thief; It’ll be over in a sec.

Middle-aged Man: How can you be so sure?

Young Man: Because he’ll come handle it. Him.

[A guy with a pony tail walks down the stairs.]

Middle-aged Man: Him? That guy? Is he supposed to be the muscle?

Pony Tail Guy: (to the pervert) Sir. Your patronage here today is much appreciated. Thank you very much. (bows)

Pervert: The hell are you? A bouncer or somethin’?

Pony Tail Guy: A common mistake. But, a mistake nonetheless.

Pervert: Yeah? Then what the hell ARE ya?

Pony Tail Guy: My apologies. I am the manager of this cabaret. My name is Majima. (gives him his business card)

Pervert: YOU’RE the manager?

Middle-aged Man: Wait, that’s famous guy?

Pervert: What, they got yakuza runnin’ this place?

Majima: I apologize for the crude impression I give. Despite appearances, I am assuredly a civilian. But I digress, sir. I must ask that yo refrain from touching and acts of violence while yo are our guest.

Pervert: If it bothers a that much… Why don’t ya try stoppin’ me by force, huh!? (hits a chair) Or is that face of yours just for show!?

Majima: I’m afraid I can’t do that, sir. “The customer is king,” you see.

Pervert: Oh? Quite a policy ya got there. (grabs a bottle) Real impressive. I’m a big fan. Here, this one’s my treat. Drink up, friend. (pours it on Majima’s face)

[The waiter and the girl seem shocked by what they saw.]

Pervert: Well? How do ya like your king now?

Majima: Very kind of you, sir. I had always said I love this brand so much, I wish I could bathe in it. You’ve made a dream come true.

Pervert: Smug prick… You got some balls!

[He tries to hit Majima with a bottle, but misses. Majima easily avoids his strikes.]

Majima: Sir, I must repeat my earlier request. Perhaps you’ve had enough fun for one evening? If you insist on interrupting our business here any further…

Pervert: Then you’ll do what, huh!?

Majima: If that’s bow ya want it… (to orchestra) Boys! Gimme One with a beat!

[Buoyant and cheerful music begins to play]

Pervert: Wha--!?

Majima: If you insist that I overstep my station, sir, then l, Majima shall dance with you. I will not, however, rise a hand against you. After all… “The customer is king.”

Pervert: You still goin’ on with that? Smart-ass bastard!

Majima: It’s showtime!

[Majima evade pervert’s attacks a few times.]

Pervert: The hell is WITH you!? Goddammit! (grans an ice picker) You little… Stop screwin’ with me!

[Majima dodges his attack and picks up the ice picker.]

Majima: For your own safety, I’ll hold on to this.

[Everyone in the cabaret applause to him. He bows.]

Waiter: Thank you , sir! (to the pervert) On your feet, asshole! We’re marching you to the cops!

Customer 1: Serves you right!

Customer 2: Suck it!

Majima: Your attention, please! As you’ve seen, this gentleman violated several cabaret rules… and has caused a disturbance for you all. We would be justified to turn him in to the police, yes. However… I ask instead for your compassion.

Waiter: What? But why?

Majima: If the gentleman were given over to the police, he would lose the social standing a lifetime of hard work has built. Is that not too harsh a punishment for a single evening’s misguided actions? Instead… I would ask the gentleman a favor.

Pervert: Me?

Majima: Yes. As is the custom in the night life… I ask that your make amends for soured wine with fresh wine. That you cover this evening’s tab for the club, and treat everyone here to a night’s libations. As head of sales for Soten Pharmaceuticals HQ, I imagine you annual entertainment budget clears one hundred million with ease.

Pervert: Hey, that’s my… When did you… ?

Majima: (kneels down) I do not wish to see a customer made a criminal. However, I must also ensure that the other patrons enjoy themselves. I understand this is a selfish request. But please, will you grant me this indulgence?

Pervert: Yeah, all right! If everybody’s okay with it… (to the customers) I’d like you to let me buy for y’all tonight! Would that be enough to make it up to you guys!?

Majima: My sincere thanks. (to the customers) You have all heard the gentleman’s appeal. Ladies and gentlemen, what say you?

[Everyone applause.]

Majima: My humblest thanks! I am deeply touched by generosity of your hearts tonight. If you would, a round of applause for the gentleman’s courage! And now, please continue to enjoy your evening!

[Majima leaves.]

Middle-aged Man: So that’s the manager…

Young Man: Yup.

Middle-aged Man: I see what you mean now. I can understand this place got to be number one under him. That’s what everybody says after seein’ him in action. Manager of the Grand Cabaret… Goro Majima. Sotenbori’s own lord of the night.

[Majima goes to the stairs outside and lights a smoke.]

Majima: ………

[Below, a bum with a cart passes by. He smiles at Majima. He nods and goes back to the building.]

Floor Manager: Thank you for resolving that, sir. I’m sorry the need arises so frequently.

Majima: How’s the floor lookin’? People calmed down?

Floor Manager: Yes, sir. Not much different than before the incident. Though, orders are pouring in now that they’re drinking on someone else’s dime.

Majima: I’ll bet. Any injuries?

Floor Manager: No, sir. Ono got shoved and took a spill, but he’s fine.

Majima: See that Maki-chan gets a bonus tonight. Nothing kills morale like gettin’ felt up for nothing.

Floor Manager: Of course. I’d already taken the liberty.

Majima: Good. Otherwise, just tell ‘em to keep an eye on captain grab-ass. I got his card, but that don’t mean he ain’t stupid enough to try to run out on the tab he’s about to rack up.

Floor Manager: Already done as well, sir.

Majima: Nice. And how’s the staff lookin’ these days?

Floor Manager: No major concerns to speak of. Although…

Majima: Out with it.

Floor Manager: The hostess we got in last month, Kanae-chan. She seems to be butting heads with some of the other girls. Especially Sakurako-chan.

Majima: This shit again? Herdin’ these women is gonna put me in the nut house.

Floor Manager: I tried to speak with her about it, but she’s… tenacious.

Majima: Alright, fine. I’ll go drop some wisdom.

Floor Manager: Sorry to trouble you with it, sir. That’s all from me.

Majima: (May as well go see her now and get this over with. She’s probably in the dressin’ room.)

[He goes out to the main hall and comes up to a waiter.]

Majima: Hey, got a minute?

Troubled Waiter:

Majima: Ahem.

Troubled Waiter: Hm? Ack, sir! S-Sorry about that! What can I do for you?

Majima: Can you call Kanae for me? I need to talk to her.

Troubled Waiter: Yessir! Of course!

Majima: (What’s his deal, spacin’ out on the clock?)

Kanae: Hi, sir! Nice work out there tonight!

Majima: Thanks, Kanae-chan.

Kanae: So… you wanted to talk to me?

Majima: (He said she was lockin’ horns with Sakurako. Hmm, where do I start…)

+Lay Down the Law
Butter Her Up

Majima: The hell do ya think you’re doin’, dummy!?

Kanae: What!? I… what? What’s this about?

Majima: That’s the question, isn’t it? Think long an’ hard. Anything come to mind?

Kanae: What? Sorry, but you’ve gotta be a little more specific.

Majima: (Guess that was a little out of the blue.) It’s been about a month since you came on here, yeah? How’s it goin’? Think you can make a real go of it at the Grand?

Kanae: Oh, I think so. The hall’s much bigger than the last club I worked at, so it was pretty daunting at first, but I’m totally used to it now. And more an’ more customers are coming here specifically to see me!

Majima: Yeah? That’s great to hear. Not surprising from the number one gal from one of the oldest cabarets in the Kita area. Guess I was imaginin’ things, then.

Kanae: Hm? What do you mean?

Majima: Oh, see, the one month mark’s actually when I see that most girls up and leave. I was a little worried you might be gettin’ the itch, too.

Kanae: Oh, have no fear of that. I wouldn’t dream of quittin’ now. That hag Sakurako’s been tryin’ to play the seniority card on me, but I don’t even notice her.

Majima: (Damn, girl. Hag? This is pretty serious.) Aw, don’t be like that. Sakurako’s a vet here. She looks after the other girls too. Most love that about her. Try to get along, yeah?

Kanae: Ugh, I hate nosy types like that. And she’s got a whole entourage. But whatever, soon I’ll have my own clique and I won’t have to deal with them.

Majima: (Does she even realize she’s gettin’ lectured here? Dense as a door, this one. She’s even givin’ me a little ‘tude…)

+Go More Direct
Keep It Roundabout

Majima: (Better make it loud and clear for her.) That ain’t right, Kanae-chan. You gotta learn to read the room.

Kanae: Huh?

Majima: Doesn’t matter how good ya are at your job or how popular ya get. Keep snubbin’ your seniors like that and you’ll wake up one day with nothin’ but enemies here.

Kanae: Fine by me. Not like I do this job to make friends with the other girls.

Majima: Really? That the best you can do? I’m disappointed. I doubt you’ll be around here long enough to make those enemies, then.

Kanae: W-Wait, what’s that supposed to mean? Is there a problem with my work?

Majima: (Nailed it. She’s the competitive type. Put her pride on the hook and she’ll take the bait.) Look, I ain’t askin’ you to be friends with Sakurako-chan. In fact, you two make much better rivals.

Kanae: Rivals?

Majima: Yeah! But not the kind that shanks the other in the back. Compete! Push each other to get better! You’ll bring up all the other girls with ya. Right now, you’re just trippin’ over each other, and that makes it harder for everybody around you to step up.

Kanae:

Majima: Customers may love a gal like that, but I got no use for ‘em here. The Grand needs girls who are popular with the guys AND the girls.

Kanae: The guys and the girls…

Majima: Thing is, I KNOW you could be that girl, Kanae-chan! That’s the only reason I’m comin’ down on you about it like this.

Kanae: You really think… I’m sorry, sir, I was acting like a spoiled brat. I’ll work on being that girl. On being more considerate. Please, give me the chance!

Majima: There, see? You DO get it! I knew you were a keeper, kid!

Kanae: And I hope you’ll keep helping me improve when I need it!

Majima: (Gah, finally. Took long enough. And wait, what was that waiter’s deal? Can’t have him zonin’ out on me like that. Better go have a chat.)

Troubled Waiter: Man…

Majima: Why the long face? Need to use the facilities?

Troubled Waiter: Ah, sir! No, I… I got a letter from my little sister, back home.

Majima: Yeah? And what’s the word?

Troubled Waiter: That my father’s sick, unfortunately. The doc says he needs to be hospitalized, but the procedure they wanna do runs . But I ain’t got that kinda cash…

Majima: Sorry to hear it. You try askin’ the floor manager for an advance?

Troubled Waiter: Another emergency a while back already forced me to ask for one… I’m afraid if I ask again, I’ll get canned. Especially for so much.

Majima: You in the habit of breakin’ mirrors, kid? …Here, I’ll spot ya.

Troubled Waiter: What? But, sir, I can’t…

Majima: Don’t sweat it. You can always replace money. Same can’t be said ‘bout people. Once they’re gone, that’s it.

Troubled Waiter: Sir…

Majima: As I recall, you ain’t been back home in a while, yeah? Take a few days off, too. Go visit your pops.

Troubled Waiter: Th-Thank you, sir!

Majima: (Only thing that matters right now’s keeping this place runnin’ smooth. I’ll throw as much money at it as I need to… Looks like that’s it for my staff troubles. It’s about time I checked in on the hall.)

Waiter: Um, sir? There’s a problem…

Majima: Shit, what now?

Waiter: One of the customers is placing insane orders now that he knows he isn’t paying for it. He went down the line of our top vintage wines to start, then started in on our best whiskies and brandies… He’s already racked up about four million worth.

Majima: Start at the priciest and work yer way down the list, huh? The real class acts come out in times like these.

Waiter: Indeed. I figured we should stop him, so…

Majima: Where’s he at? Show me.

Waiter: Right this way.

[They’re coming up to the table.]

Drunk Guy: Hey, what’s the holdup on that order!?

Waiter: That guy. Something wrong?

Majima: Nothing. I’m sorry to interrupt, sir.

Drunk Guy: What, you finally got my drink? Well, if it isn’t Mr. Eyepatch Manager. Man, nothing better than booze somebody else is buying, eh?

Majima: Sir, I would like a word with you. May I ask you to accompany me for a moment?

Drunk Guy: Whaaat? And here I was finally getting a buzz.

Majima: It won’t take long, I assure you.

Drunk Guy: Yeah, fine, okay. But only because it’s a request from you, Mr. Manager. All right, back in a minute, babe.

Waiter: Sir, should I…

Majima: I’ll take care of him. You get back to work.

Waiter: Understood, sir.

Majima: Shall we, then?

Drunk Guy: Lead the way.

[They’re going into the staff room. Drunk man sits on the couch and smokes a cigarette.]

Drunk Guy: Business is really blooming, huh? This place was practically dead not that long ago. Amazing how things change.

Majima: Why’re you here, Sagawa-han?

Sagawa: Aw, don’t be so prickly, Majima-chan. I just dropped in to see you in action. Part of my job. Was a nice bonus to drink for free, though.

Majima: If you’re gonna come here, can you at least behave? You’ll drive off my customers.

Sagawa: Ah, sorry about that. Guess I got a little carried away. I heard what went down tonight. You turned a pickle into a profit. That’s my boy, Goro Majima… Sotenbori’s lord of the night. You get a problem customer and turn him into part of the show, then drive sales through the roof by sticking him with the tab. Pretty genius. I keep telling you, straight and narrow’s a good look for you. Don’t you agree?

Majima: Screw that. Who’d live like this on purpose?

Sagawa: You don’t know how good you’ve got it. Money, standing, fame, you got all three. Which means you’re probably drowning in women. But hey, if that’s not your flavor… Ironic, huh? The one guy who’s got what everybody in this town wants is the one guy looking for something else. Heh. Happiness is a real bitch that way.

Majima: You’re awful chatty today.

Sagawa: Well, you’re certainly not going to keep the conversation going. Still, I get it. Only natural you’d be unsatisfied. After all, this is supposed to be your punishment. If you were having too much fun, it’d be a problem for both me and brother Shimano.

Majima: Can you get to the point? How much longer ‘til you let me back in the yakuza, Mr. Owner?

Sagawa: Wow, you’re a real broken record with that question. Why the big rush to get back to this? I honestly just don’t get it.

[TSUKASA SAGAWA. Retainer to the 5th Omi alliance chairman, patriarch of the Sagawa Family.]

Majima: It ain’t for you to get. Here’s this month’s take. If I can keep up the pace, you’ll have your 100 million by next month.

Sagawa: Whoa, color me impressed.

Majima: Cut the bullshit. I get you that money and you convince Shimano to let me back in the family. That was the deal.

Sagawa: Was it? Hmm, my memory’s a little hazy.

Majima: I got no patience for jokes on this.

Sagawa: Oh well. Show me another 500 mil. Then I’ll have that little chat for you.

Majima: You weaselly rat bastard!

Sagawa: What, you gonna hit me or not? … Silly question. You can’t. Because if you did, you’d be headed right back in the hole. Wouldn’t want that after finally seeing daylight again, hmm?

Majima: Ff…

Sagawa: This is how it works in the world you’re so bent on getting back to. You think a yakuza’s going to let a cash cow like you go free? What do you say? Civilian life starting to sound more appealing?

Majima: Fuck it. 500 million, a billion, whatever. I’ll make it. If it gets me back in the game, I’ll do anything!

Sagawa: Oh ho… Anything?

Majima: You heard me!

Sagawa: Even a hit?

Majima:

Sagawa: Which is it, then? If it meant getting back into the family, could you kill? Relax, I kid. Sorry for pushing your buttons, buddy. Just saying though, in yakuza life, that’s a line you may have to cross someday. And I wanted to see if you were aware of that. Anyway, you’re doing a bang-up job. Keep it up, Mr. Manager.

Majima:

Sagawa: Oh, right. Forgot one little thing. You’ve got a hostess here. Noriko, I think?

Majima: What about her?

Sagawa: Yeah, I need her over at another club. She starts tomorrow.

Majima: What?

Sagawa: Place needed a shot in the arm. Noriko’s your number one here, right? Figured she’d be perfect for the job. I already let her know, so you just need to help her pack up her things. And don’t go letting those profits slide, yeah? You’ve got another 500 million to go, buddy boy.

Floor Manager: Pardon me, sir! I just got a call from Noriko-chan saying she’s jumping ship to a different club starting tomorrow…

Majima: Yeah, I just heard it myself.

Floor Manager: Oh, you knew? Still, couldn’t she have given us more notice!? Losing her will have a serious effect on our numbers!

Majima: Tell me about it. But it’s the owner’s call. Nothin’ we can do to stop it.

Floor Manager: Oh, I see. Still, how do we come back from this?

Majima: Please. We ain’t got time to mope about it. Who’s the hottest hostess in town that we don’t already have?

Floor Manager: At other clubs? Hmm, from what I’ve heard… Nozomi-chan from Odyssey is the clear winner. She’s a big part of why they’re our strongest rival.

Majima: Yeah? Then I guess I’m headed out.

Floor Manager: Er, sir? Where are you--

Majima: You gotta ask? I’m poachin’ Nozomi over to our team.

Floor Manager: Er… Isn’t it asking for trouble to headhunt your top competitor’s best earner!? How would you even go about doing it?

Majima: The nightlife biz is a jungle. The strong eat the weak. We trip, and the Grand’ll come crumblin’ down in days. My job is to do what it takes to prevent that. Hold down the fort.

Floor Manager: Understood, sir… Just please be careful!

Majima: (Odyssey’s in Shofukucho. Time to pay them a little visit.)

Go to OdysseyEdit

[Majima’s leaving his place. On the way he encounters a strange man in a classic Japanese attire.]

Mysterious Man: You there!

Majima: …Huh?

Mysterious Man: You are the master of that alehouse, the Grand, yes?

Majima: Yes, that’s me…

Mysterious Man: I knew it. Even the way you walk is refined. Guarded. You have no blindspot, despite appearances.

Majima: I’m sorry, sir, have we met?

Mysterious Man: My name is Sometaro Komeki, heir to a certain form of martial arts and its present master.

Majima: Martial arts?

Komeki: Yes, but lately I’ve felt my technique slipping. My edge has been dulled. So I left the lights of Tokyo in order to train. Yet even here, I find this age of excess, gluttons and fools gorging on carnal pleasures. Nobody hungers anymore! Then I heard talk of a lounge called the Grand. They said it was the home of a most interesting man.

Majima: Pardon my asking, but have you visited our establishment?

Komeki: What kind of question is that!? Guzzling booze with painted ladies hanging all over you? Bah! Wanton excess! Of course I haven’t been!

Majima: Well then why the hell am I doin’ the song and dance if you ain’t a customer? Besides, what’s a washed up martial artist want with me?

Komeki: That hungry air about you… It is far beyond the men I’ve fought in recent years. Would you do me the honor?

Majima: Which honor? What, you want me to fight you?

Komeki: Precisely! A deeper strength sleeps within you. I refuse to let it lie dormant and unused any longer!

Majima: You okay upstairs, pal? Fightin’ you don’t earn me one skinny yen’s profit. I’m a busy guy.

Komeki: Hide behind your merchant’s guise all you like. I know money isn’t what feeds that hunger. Whatever honest life you make a show of living, I can see the demon gnawing at you inside.

Majima:

Komeki: There’s only one way to appease the demon, son. Face the strong in combat and set loose those fighting instincts struggling to burst free.

Majima: And you’re tellin’ me you’re that strong guy?

Komeki: Hoh hoh, as it happens, I am. Now do you see a reason to face me? Not that it will stay my hand either way.

Majima: There’s no talkin’ sense to you, is there? …Fine, you win. I was just thinkin’ it’d been a while since I really cut loose. Not here, though.

Komeki: Hmm, if you insist.

[They’re going to a quiet, deserted street.]

Majima: This place should work.

Komeki: Hrm… You are awfully unhesitant in agreeing to this. I am starting to think you keep the true extent of your strength hidden away. You must have your reasons. I know I have mine.

Majima:

Komeki: But the fist is like the sword. Leave it in its sheath to rust, and you will not be able to draw it when it’s needed. What say you? Ever feel an urge to shrug off your restraints and fight to the full extent of your abilities for a change?

Majima: If you’re offerin’, I’m game… Not too big on the idea of openin’ up a can on a creaky old guy like you, though.

Komeki: Hoh, cast aside such worries. Even dulled, the edge left in me should prove sufficient to handle a pup like you. Show me everything you’ve got!

[Majima vs Shifty-Eyed Man.]

Komeki: Hmm. Glad to know I still have an eye for talent. You will surpass me one day, I can promise you that.

Majima: Hey, gramps… Just what kinda life you been livin’?

Komeki: One of unarmed combat, wagering my life on my own bare fists for the last few decades. Not that my opponents have always been so gracious. I have faced swords, firearms…

Majima: …An’ you think I’m gonna get stronger?

Komeki: Much. Even now, I see there’s been a change in you. I spar with you and regain the strength I once had. You spar with me and gain strength you’ve never known. A mutual benefit for us both, is it not?

Majima: …Yeah, I guess.

Komeki: I will be walking about the city for a while. You shall see me again, when the time comes.

Majima: Alright, I’ll be waitin’.

[Komeki leaves.]

Majima: (Now, if there are no more weird old guys to interrupt me, I gotta go pluck Nozomi from the Odyssey roster. Odyssey’s in Shofukucho. I could head straight there, but it wouldn’t hurt to gather some intel, first… I should take a lap around town and see what kinda info I can dig up on Club Odyssey from the people livin’ it.)

[Having walked through the town, the Odyssey Club was found.]

Majima: (Odyssey… This’s the place. Ready to make the magic happen, Majima? Let’s get to work! Can’t just charge in and blow my cover…)

[He takes the eyepatch off and wears aviators glasses. The perfect disguise is ready.]

Odyssey Waiter: Welcome to Odyssey. Party of one?

Majima: Yeah.

Odyssey Waiter: Apologies, but we’re full at the moment. May I ask you to wait to be seated?

Majima: Sure, no problem.

Odyssey Waiter: Much appreciated! Please follow me, then. I’d be happy to bring you a drink while you wait…

Majima: Nah, don’t put yourself out. I’m in no rush here. (Full-up but still not turnin’ customers away… Nice. Still, I’ll probably get in quicker if I don’t put in a request for Nozomi.)

Odyssey Waiter: So sorry to keep you waiting. We’re ready for you, sir. Please follow me.

Majima: (Wonder where Nozomi’s at… Better scope things out first. The hostesses feel oddly old-fashioned. Like their clothes are screaming, “Let’s relive the college years!” Maybe it’s a classic look, but I say it’s straight up dated. Guys their own age probably don’t get anything from it, but I bet it makes the old boys club feel right at home. The fact that all the girls got the same look means it’s probably club policy, not their personal taste. That spot’s lookin’ pretty good. A pair of 50-something guys. Designer suits, watches look Italian. Gotta be in finance, maybe real estate. Doesn’t look like one’s tryin’ to impress the other, and they got a bottle on keep. Must be regulars. Judgin’ from how hard they’re talkin’ those girls up, those guys are in pretty deep. Big fish like them are what keep a place running for years.)

[He notices almost naked guy dancing at the stairs.]

Majima: (What the shit is THAT!? Dude is like a lust machine! Is Odyssey popular with that crowd? Is there even a crowd for… whatever that is? That table’s hoppin’. One old guy in flashy clothes, a middle-age playboy, and a kid in rags.. Gotta be entertainment biz. The director, the talent, and the young one’s a PA or some pissboy job. Three customers and only two girls… Feels off balance.)

Hostess: Hi there! I’m Takako.

Majima: (Figures they wouldn’t waste Nozomi on a first-timer. Still, I can probably pump good intel outta this gal.)

Majima: Whoa, they sent me a ten and a half!

Takako: Aww, thanks! Now, what can we get you to drink?

Majima: Hm, why don’t we kick things off with champagne?

Takako: You got it! Drink order, please!

Majima: (Okay, what’s my plan of attack here? What do I ask to get info on Nozomi?)

Ask About Takako
Ask About Odyssey
+Ask About the Hostesses Here

Majima: I’m still reelin’ at how many cuties there are here! About how many girls are on staff here in all?

Takako: Hmmm… Probably about a hundred,all told? I think only about 40 are workin’ today, though.

Majima: Gotta be hard to keep track of ‘em all, yeah?

Takako: You said it. And a bunch of girls only work maybe one shift a week. Seems like every other night I’m sitting in a booth with a girl I’ve never talked to before in my life.

Majima: Wow, you got new girls comin’ here in droves, huh? Guess that’s a top-tier cabaret for ya.

Takako: Naw, it’s just ‘cause so many girls up and quit.

Majima: They quit? What for?

Takako: The hierarchy here’s way scary. Any hot new girl comes in threatenin’ to upset the pecking order, all the girls on top come down on her like a ton a’ bricks.

Majima: Sounds like competition’s tough. Any girl who makes it to the top in the middle of all that’s gotta really be something though, eh?

Takako: Yeah, I s’pose. Our number one gal, Nozomi-san, has guys linin’ up for her before the doors even open each night.

Majima: (Bingo! I like where this is headed…) That so? What’s this Nozomi girl like?

Takako: Nozomi-san? Hmm, we’re not really supposed to talk to customers about other girls… But if I had to sum it up in one word, she’s a professional.

Majima: Professional?

Takako: Like… A lot of our clients are bank bigwigs or politicians and stuff. So management’s always on our case to read the paper and follow the news so we can keep up with their conversations. Nozomi-san’s super motivated with stuff like that, so she’s always been popular with those types. Now a lot of them request her when they come in.

Majima: Sounds like she’s on top here for good reason, then. Makes sense she’d be popular.

Takako: Yeah, but the other day, some younger guys came in and she was totally lost tryin’ to talk to them. It was hilarious! Ooh, keep that last one between us, yeah? If the other girls heard I said that, it’d cause drama…

Majima: Ha ha, relax. It’s our little secret. Still, sounds like even a pro like Nozomi-chan’s got her cute side. (Nice, sounds like there’s good reason why she’s got a reputation for bein’ the consummate hostess. She’ll do just fine, even with the high rollers. Okay, what’s my plan of attack here? What do I ask to get info on Nozomi?)

+Ask About Takako
Ask About Odyssey

Majima: So, got any hobbies, Takako-chan?

Takako: Me? I’m super into skiing lately. I’m on the slopes just about every weekend! I got my eye on this new snow suit that’s MEGA cute! Now I just need someone to come along and buy it for me, ha ha…

Majima: Plannin’ to get one of your customers to buy it for ya?

Takako: Aw, none of my regulars are that sweet… Which means this is the perfect chance for somebody new to make their move!

Majima: Sure sounds like it. If you’re a good girl, maybe Santa will bring it for ya. You got a stocking big enough to hold it?

Takako: Heyyy, don’t be mean! And whatever, I’ll just buy it for myself, so nyah!

Majima: (Ugh, why am I chattin’ this girl up like a tool? Damn near forgot why I came in. Okay, what’s my plan of attack here? What do I ask to get info on Nozomi?)

+Ask About Odyssey

Majima: Awful busy in here tonight. Is business always this brisk?

Takako: Well, the holiday season certainly helps, but they also told us girls we’ve all gotta bring a guy in with us every night, so maybe that’s helping too?

Majima: Oh, yeah? Huh… Gotta say, this place don’t look like it’s so hard-up that they’ve gotta force the hostesses to bring dates in.

Takako: Oh, that’s just their pride talkin’.

Majima: Pride?

Takako: Yeah, we been drawin’ fewer customers than the Grand for a few months now, so management says if we don’t beat ‘em this month, the whole staff’s payin’ a fine. It’s crazy.

Majima: The heck is that about? Long as you’re turnin’ a solid profit, why stir up trouble? What’s the Grand got to do with anything anyway?

Takako: Believe me, I feel the same way. But the manager here doesn’t seem to agree… And honestly, even if we go out with them before comin’ in, it’s not like our regulars are droppin’ hundreds of thousands in here every day. We need new customers.

Majima: Hmmm, you make a good point… (Looks like they’re really desperate to beat the Grand here. Problem is, they’re runnin’ out of steam. I’ll bet they’d kill for some fresh clients.)

[They keep talking about distracted topics. A man in a blue suit approach them.]

Yamagata: Sunglasses indoors is a hard look to rock… especially for a man as famous as the manager of the Grand. Welcome to Odyssey. Enjoyin’ yourself?

Majima: Well, if it ain’t Yamagata-han. Quite an honor to get greeted by the manager himself.

Yamagata: Think we could get a few minutes alone, honey?

[Takako bows to Majama and leaves.]

Yamagata: Here for Nozomi, I take it?

Majima: Heh. I can see why your shop’s our competition. You know what I want, and you’re straight to business. I like it.

Yamagata: And you’re awfully roundabout. Sneaking around, spyin’ on the competition… That how you run things at the Grand? No need to bother with all that. If you wanna see Nozomi, I’ll call her over. Negotiate with her to your heart’s content.

Majima: Wouldn’t get me very far if I can’t get you on board, boss. I ain’t here to talk to Nozomi. I came to sweet talk you, Yamagata-han.

Yamagata: That so?

Majima: From where I’m sittin’, it looks like this place is doing business at a good clip, but your clientele’s skewed toward the grey-haired types. Which ain’t a problem right now, but if you’re hopin’ to expand at all, you’re gonna need to tap into a fresh market.

Yamagata: Heh, you do realize we’ve got over a hundred gals on our roster, right? We cater to all tastes here just fine.

Majima: Please. What you got is a whole lot of one hostess. The kind geezers like. Chicks a younger guy’d be into, though? You got zilch. Look, you’re a smart guy. You see where I’m goin’ with all this, yeah?

Yamagata: Hmph… Right. So you’ve got us all figured out.

Majima: Nozomi is Odyssey’s number one girl. That said, you got plenty of other hostesses who can cover for that client type if she was gone. This place is swimmin’ in home run batters. Seems like it’s about time you got somebody who could bunt, no?

Yamagata: And? Just what are you offering in exchange for our cleanup hitter?

Majima: Ten million cash in earnest money, to start. I can have one of my boys bring it by as soon as tomorrow.

Yamagata: Oh?

Majima: I’m just gettin’ warmed up. I been trainin’ a gaggle of girls, aimed square at the younger crowd. Any one of them could be your future leadoff batter. Take however many you like. Your pick.

Yamagata: Majima-han, you’re seriously going to just hand over the fresh blood you’ve scouted?

Majima: Sure. And these girls are all the complete package.

Yamagata: That so? You really wanna be that generous to your enemies?

Majima: I need big sales right now. You make this trade, you get big sales down the line. This deal’s honey for both of us.

Yamagata: I see. You certainly know how to get what you want without way. Wouldn’t have guessed, by makin’ enemies along the the look of you. So, this is Goro Majima…

Majima: I’m assumin’ we got a deal?

Yamagata: We do… But remember, you and I are rivals here. No more stunts like this, or else. Starting tomorrow, Odyssey will do everything it can to win. …Am I clear?

Majima: Heh, you do what you want. And me… Well, I got some fine wine for my troubles. Bring me the check, will ya?

Yamagata: Heh. Your visit was very educational. Let’s call your tab my treat.

Majima: That’s doin’ me a solid. See ya ‘round.

[Majima leaves the club and goes to the pay phone to call his floor manager.]

Majima: Yeah. The hunter bagged a trophy. Eh, a little of this, a little of that. I’ll work out Nozomi’s shifts and all that with you tomorrow. (It’s been a helluva day… Time to get some grub and pass the hell out. Maybe I’ll hit up Sotenbori Street tonight.)

[He walks Sotenbori Street then suddenly…]

Menacing Voice: You think this is a joke, pal!?

Majima: (Hm? What’s that guy on about? Sounded pretty pissed… There a fight goin’ on down there?)

Menacing Thug: What kinda ass-clown goes on a raid with a big honkin’ sword like this, ya moron!? Don’t you got any daggers or guns? Y’know, NORMAL weapons?

Sharp-Eyed Man: You can’t see the appeal of a Chinese broadsword? …This is why I was hesitant to sell to you.

Menacing Thug: You’re makin’ this about ME!? Awful cocky for a two-bit black market front. Whole point a’ business is givin’ yer clients what they want!

Majima: (Sounds like an arms deal. This ain’t something I wanna get involved with.)

Sharp-Eyed Man: I deal only with clients I respect. If you would prove that you are worthy of my weapons, undergo my test.

Menacing Thug: Test? The hell you on about now?

Sharp-Eyed Man: You and I will spar. Defeat me, and you pass.

Menacing Thug: I’m gettin’ REAL tired of yer high-an’-mighty talk… Fine. You want a fight, I’ll take you! See how you like your precious can opener when I’m usin’ it on you!

Sharp-Eyed Man: Indeed, that’s the point. This is a test of your proficiency with a weapon.

Menacing Thug: Hah! I ain’t gonna feel sorry when you lose an arm or if I straight up end you! You dumb fuck! I hope you’re prepared.

[The guy strikes him with a few beautiful stick blows.]

Menacing Thug: You piece of shit!

[Completing the combo, the guy breaks the thug’s head.]

Majima: Holy shit!

[He learns the moves.]

Majima: (The hell are those moves with that stick!? That’s no martial art I’ve ever seen, but he’s got the other dude’s sword lookin’ like a damn chopstick!)

Menacing Thug: S-Sonuvabitch!

Sharp-Eyed Man: …You fail.

Menacing Thug: Y-Yeah, well whaddya expect, givin’ me a shit sword like this!? That staff you got’s a way better weapon!

Sharp-Eyed Man: This is merely a piece of lumber. The sword you hold, on the other hand, is a masterwork I painstakingly crafted.

Menacing Thug: What…?

Sharp-Eyed Man: But apparently you were unfit to wield it. I would ask that you do not return to my shop again.

Menacing Thug: To hell with yer damn shop! I hope it burns with you in it! Rumors said you were the dealer to beat, so I went to the bother of trackin’ you down, and for what? You fraud!

[He runs away.]

Majima: (Shit, I’ve just been starin’. Don’t wanna get dragged into somebody else’s dirty dealin’. I’m outta here.)

Komeki: Ah, Majima. Curious meeting you here.

Majima: …Oh, it’s you. Don’t spook me like that, gramps.

Komeki: I was merely wandering about, in search of a place where the two of us could spar uninterrupted.

Majima: That so? Well, the riverside’s occupied at the moment. A real nasty customer at that.

Komeki: His name is Fei Hu. A local arms dealer. Quite the master himself, too, so long as a weapon rests within his hands.

Majima: …!? What, you know that guy?

Komeki: I knew his father for ages, back when he walked this earth. Checking in on him was half my reason for coming to Sotenbori.

Majama:

Komeki: As long as we all are here, why don’t I introduce you?

Majima: Hey, I didn’t ask for any favors!

Komeki: Oh, don’t be so stubborn. This will be good for the both of you.

Majima: How do ya figure?

Komeki: Besides, the time to sneak off has long passed. It seems Fei Hu has been aware of your presence from the start.

Majima: Wha -- !?

Fei Hu: …Apologies, Komeki-san, but I do not trust this man. He has an air of danger about him.

Komeki: Now don’t you go being stubborn on me too! Delay no longer, and put him to the test. I can tell you already, this young man will most certainly pass.

Majima: Say what!?

Fei Hu:

Majima: Why the hell do I gotta take a test? I got no business with this guy’s shop!

Komeki: Come, come, Majima. I saw that look on your face as you bore witness to their fight. A look of inspiration.

Majima:

Komeki: And now your silence speaks volumes of truth. That curiosity of yours is one of the keenest tools in your armory.

Majima: Nothin’ fancy enough to call inspiration. Just a few dumb thoughts rattlin’ around.

Komeki: Yes, but what if they were enough to match Fei Hu’s skill? They would be less dumb, stray thoughts and more akin to a full-blown revelation.

Majima:

Komeki: Whether you give that revelation life or snuff it out is your choice. Care to at least give it a try?

Majima: Feh… Listen, I’ve had a long-ass day, and I’m tired as a dog. Let’s make this quick.

Komeki: I assume you have no objections, Fei Hu?

Fei Hu: If you recommend him so strongly… Very well.

Komeki: It is settled, then! Now, what’ll it be? The man is an arms dealer. He can procure for you most anything you might want.

Majima: Hmm… Nah, I’m good with that beat up old bat over there.

Fei Hu: …!? A baseball bat?

Komeki: Ho ho! This should be quite an entertaining match. Steady now… BEGIN!

[Majima vs Shifty-Eyed Man.]

Fei Hu: I certainly did not expect you to use a bat so well… You’re quite the interesting fellow.

Majima: Just remembered usin’ one back when I was runnin’ raids on the competition. Think I’ve improved since then, though.

Komeki: Surprised me, too. I knew you could fight, but I did not think a spur-of-the-moment selection like that would get you far against Fei Hu. Shows what I know.

Majima: So, uh… Fei Hu, right? What’d ya think of my bat work?

Fei Hu: You passed with flying colors, of course. You are precisely the sort of person my business exists to serve.

Majima: Your weapons shop, you mean? That’s nice of you to offer, but as you’ve seen, I ain’t real interested in the conventional stuff.

Fei Hu: Heh, so much the better. I’m not a common dealer pawning off weapons I’ve scavenged.

Majima: Well that’s cryptic. Whaddaya mean?

Fei Hu: Are you free at the moment? My shop is quite close. I would enjoy the chance to escort you there and explain exactly what it is we do.

[At the shop…]

Fei Hu: This is our shop, the Dragon & Tiger. Outwardly, a Chinese restaurant operated by myself and my wife.

Majima: Yeah?

Fei Hu: This is my wife, Long Hua.

Long Hua: New customer, yes? Many happy returns!

Majima: …And? You said it wasn’t yer average weapons store. What exactly is it, then?

Fei Hu: Most of the products we sell here are meticulously hand-forged by me. Bespoke arms, you might call them.

Majima: Made-to-order, huh? So you ain’t an arms trader, you’re a smith, is what you’re sayin’.

Fei Hu: Precisely. Now, if I may, I would like to explain how it is I go about making weapons.

Majima: So you send these agents around the globe lookin’ for rare, materials and such? That IS pretty different.

Fei Hu: Our goal in all this is to develop a robust network with arms dealers the world over, but some agents’ work takes them far from civilization.

Majima: So basically, you got these guys searchin’ for treasure out in the jungle and shit? …I’m all about that, actually.

Fei Hu: Indeed, remote archaeological sites produce some of the most beautifully wrought and historically important weaponry. My shop is always on the lookout for such gems. Furthermore, customers whose contributions pass a certain level are given a special reward: private arms lessons.

Majima: Yeah? … So I’m guessin’ that means you were holdin’ back when we fought out there?

Fei Hu: Naturally. That was only a test.

Majima: Heh, you’re one slippery eel… Aah! Speakin’ of fish, I just remembered I ain’t ate yet. I’m half starved to death here! You said this place is a Chinese spot by day, yeah? Gimme the house special, would ya?

Long Hua: Aiya! You customer for that side of business too? You wait, I fix you a feast!

[Having eaten up, Majima goes out of the store and meets Komeki.]

Komeki: Majima… There’s a favor I would ask of you.

Majima: What now?

Komeki: I don’t need to tell you not to spread word of their business, but I’d also ask you to keep vigil over them.

Majima: Why’s that? The happy couple in some kinda trouble?

Komeki: I cannot share the details now, but in time their shop may draw the ire of a terrible foe.

Majima: What’s that s’posed to mean?

Komeki: Nothing to worry yourself over just yet. I ask only that you drop by when you think of it, perhaps buy something, send them out on a search, that sort of thing.

Majima: …Yeah, all right.

Komeki: I’m headed into the wilderness to train. Don’t go letting that edge of yours dull, either.

[Majima’s and goes on. In one of the alleys he is shouted.]

Thug: Hey, hold up, Majima.

Majima: Huh? Do I know you?

Thug: Yeah, I’m with Odyssey. Ring any bells?

Majima: Odyssey? Look, if this is about Nozomi, Yamagata an’ I worked out a deal.

Thug: Just ‘cause the manager okayed it don’t mean we did! You got balls like boulders to come poach our number one girl.

[Majima’s surrounded.]

Thug: Heh, I heard about your little “customer is king’ policy. They say you’ll even get down on yer knees and beg. Some “lord of the night.” Sounds friggin’ pathetic. You that hard up for cash?

Majima: …….

Thug: Well, lickin’ our boots ain’t gonna get you outta this one. You’re welcome to shine ‘em, though! Hahaha!

Majima: You fellas got me right.

Thug: Huh?

Majima: My customer IS my king.

Thug: Heh…

Majima: I’ll bow to anybody who wants to drink at my shop. Lick their boots, too. But if you ain’t a customer, that’s different. And if you’re some sorry punk beggin’ to get served, you’re gonna find I’m more than willin’ to accommodate.

Thug: Grr! That smug talk’s gonna sound funny comin’ from a busted mouth. Do him, boys!

[Majima’s crackin’ their heads with a baseball bat.]

Thug: Th-This guy’s some kinda monster… What ARE you!?

[Majima’s approaching him.]

Thug: (frightened) Eeagh!

Majima: You want revenge, come drink at my club. Long as you’re my customer, I’ll get down on my knees and grovel as much as ya want. Do your worst.

Thug: …….

Majima: Just make sure you’re ready to pay your tab once you’re done bein’ my customer. The customer IS king. Ya got it?

Thug: …!

[They’re running away. Majima goes up to her apartment and opens the door. When he opens a window to smoke, he notices he’s being watched by almost the entire city.]

Majima: This city’s a prison… How long till I’m free of these walls? …Eh, bro?

Chapter 4: PROOF OF RESOLVEEdit

Three Years Ago. Kamurocho.

[We’re seeing a bunch of flashbacks from Majima’s past in black and white colors.]

Saejima: Hey, bro.

Young Majima: Hey.

Saejima: You got the stuff?

Young Majima: Yeah.

[He’s opening up a bag in which we see some revolvers.]

Young Majima: Not a fake among ‘em. They’re the real deal, sourced through the Dojima Family Six guns in all. At six rounds apiece, that gives us 36 shots.

Pumped-up Man: Thirty-six…

Young Majima: To take out Yoshiharu Ueno and every Seiwa Clan goon he’s got there with him.

Saejima: Why call me to meet up in a place like this? Shibata-han.

Saejima: I’ll be blunt with you. Today’s raid on Yoshiharu Ueno… Majima-san, please don’t go.

Young Majima: How’d you know about that?

[It’s raining. From the limousine comes out a bald man. Saejima with two pistols in his pants and one in his mouth is going for him.]

Saejima: You and Saejima plan to strike Yoshiharu Ueno, freshly released from prison, at a ramen shop. That’s today’s plan, yes? Well, it turns out that plan is problematic. So we’re making a few minor changes. If you go ahead with the attack… It’ll be trouble for the Dojima patriarch… and for Shimano-san as well.

[Young Majima is yelling at Shibata.]

Young Majima: My bro’s already on his way out there! The hell do you expect me to do!?

Shibata: Ma--Majima-san!

Young Majima: Are you tellin’ me to betray my sworn brother!? Just sit here and let him die on his own!?

Shibata: Calm down. Calm down!

Young Majima: I’m goin’. I don’t give two shits about what happens after. Saejima’s the only brother I got in this world.

Shibata: Majima-san! You’ll be signing your own death warrant--

Young Majima: Shut it! You think I care? I’m ready for what comes after. I been ready to die for a long time now!

Shibata: Is that so? Well, then I’m afraid I have no choice. Boys!

Young Majima: Shibata!

[In the next scene, Majima’s already been beaten and chained to a pole. Shibata cuts out his eye with a short blade.]

Shimano: You disappoint me… Majima.

Majima: Shimano… Boss…

Shimano: Orders are absolute in the yakuza. Figured a guy like you would know that much.

Majima: Boss… My brother… What happened to Saejima!?

Shimano: Hmmmm.

Majima: Please, tell me. Boss!

Shimano: Yakuza who lose their way wind up here in the hole.

Majima: Bo… Boss…

Shimano: Don’t worry, we won’t kill ya. Although… All the guys we throw down here end up cryin’ and beggin’ to die. Wonder why that is?

Majima: Boss… Where’s my brother!? Please, tell me… BOSS!

[Shimano leaves the room. When the door closes, he smiles meanly. Meanwhile, Majama wakes up as if he had a nightmare.]

Majima: (…Another shit night’s sleep. Gotta get to work. Not much else I can do right now.)

[He’s going to his club.]

Floor Manager: Good morning, sir. And again, thank you for managing to strike a deal with Odyssey yesterday.

Majima: Just doin’ my job. Now it’s up to you guys to keep this place on the upswing.

Floor Manager: Still, that was quite the surprise to wake up to! Why didn’t you tell me another girl was coming besides Nozomi?

Majima: Another what now?

Floor Manager: Sure, she’s not at Nozomi’s level, but she’s still a veteran with a solid following. With any luck, all her old regulars will come straight to us now. We gave up some of our girls in the trade, but considering what we gained, I’d take this deal any day.

Majima: Yeah? Glad I hauled my ass over there, then. Gotta make myself useful around here somehow.

Floor Manager: Even just getting Nozomi is a small miracle. Asking for anything more would just be greedy.

Majima: (Looks like my little talk with Yamagata went well. Honestly, though, I was hopin’ we’d make out a little better than what we got. A little more research ahead of time or a closer look at the insides of the club mighta given me a few more cards to play with. No sense worryin’ about it now, though.)

Floor Manager: Now, if this is a good time, I’d like to work out the new shift schedule.

Majima: Sure.

[A waiter running up to Majima.]

Waiter: Telephone for you, sir. Um, when I asked who was calling, he just said “the owner’…?

Majima: …I’ll handle it.

[He’s coming to the phone.]

Majima: What now?

Sagawa: Hey there, busy bee. Think you can cut out from work a sec?

Majima: Huh?

Sagawa: Nothing big, I just feel like grabbing drinks, you and me.

Majima: The hell kinda stunt is this? Sorry, but I’d rather down a hot mug of my own piss than suffer through beers with you.

Sagawa: Haha! Don’t, though. That stuff tastes about as good as you’d think.

Majima: ……

Sagawa: C’mon, the place won’t burn down if you leave it to the minions for one night, will it? I’ll meet you in Ashitaba Park. Don’t keep me waiting, yeah?

Majima: HEY! …Tch. (to the waiter) The owner needs me. Not sure how long I’ll be. I’m leavin’ the club to you guys.

Waiter: Sir!? Er, understood. I’ll let the floor manager know.

Majima: Thanks. (Ashitaba Park… Classy spot for a classy guy. No tellin’ what shit he’ll pull if I’m late. I better get movin’.)

[He takes a cab and drives to the park. Sagawa’s sitting in a small bar outdoors.]

Sagawa: Hey.

Majima: Mind tellin’ me what I’m doin’ here?

Sagawa: Aw, don’t be so tense. I told you, I just felt like grabbing a round with my guy. Take a seat, tiger. Guess we better get a drink in you first. Hey chief. Get my buddy here situated.

Bartender: Sure.

Sagawa: Times are strange. Fugu platters for a hundred grand, Matsuzaka beef that’s 10G a gram. I’ve tried it all… Yet it still can’t beat the 80 yen daikon from this beater of a food cart. Makes you wonder what the hell money even is.

[Majima’s sitting there, looking at the counter thoughtfully. Sagawa offers him sake. ]

Sagawa: Eh?

[Majima sets up his glass and Sagawa pours sake for him. He drink half a glass like he’s forcing himself. Sagawa smirks and drinks too. Some time passes…]

Sagawa: Ahhh… Hey, c’mon, you haven’t touched your drink since the first swig.

Majima: Sake don’t taste right sittin’ next to you.

Sagawa: Heh, has it already been two years since you and I met? All that time, and you’re still sulking. Makes me wonder why my oath brother even bothers keeping you alive. Heh, it doesn’t make a damn bit of sense. Yakuza who willingly defy their bosses always get served. Expelled, disavowed… That’s if they’re lucky. Worst case, you disappear into some black site for a nice, slow death. You got the hole. Blackest site I know. You should be history. But you toughed out a year of torture like a champ, so Shimano let you out. How you made it through that without cracking’s a mystery, but why he brought somebody back from the hole is even harder to figure out. But getting let out and forgiveness aren’t the same. You were banished from the life without a proper expulsion OR disavowal. And now Shimano’s punted you to me, his brother flying other colors. Asked me to keep you as a civilian pet. For a guy known to talk straight or with his fists, Shimano sure picked a weird, roundabout way to deal with you. Can’t say I see his point with all this.

Majima: Who knows? I’d like to ask him myself.

Sagawa: Heh. Maybe we’re overthinking it. Could be he just can’t get enough of fucking that ass of yours.

[Majima’s silently sipping off his sake glass.]

Sagawa: No reaction? Such a stick in the mud… Hey, there’s something I always wanted to ask you. Why are you so desperate to get back in the Tojo Clan? A rebellious shit like you choking down his punishment for this long blows my mind. Taiga Saejima, wasn’t it? Sworn brother from back in your Tojo days, right? You said you were doing this for his sake.

Majima: ……

Sagawa: “18-Counts Saejima.” …l remember. It was huge at the time. Solo raid on the Ueno Seiwa Clan who’d been making trouble for the Tojo Clan. Hard to believe he took out 18 men and walked away breathin’. The guy’s a living Tojo Clan legend. Made all the headlines down here in Osaka, too. And now he’s sitting in prison. Small wonder, after 18 murders. All that’s left for him is to wait for the axe to fall on his death sentence. Meanwhile, you’re here working to get back in the Tojo Clan for his sake. That’s the part that throws me for a loop.

Majima: My bro ain’t the type to die inside those walls. He’s comin’ back… to kill me.

Sagawa: Kill you?

Majima: Nothin’. Forget it. All in the past, now. Anyhow, I don’t care what happens to me. I’ll take any pain, any humiliation. I gotta get back to the Tojo Clan.

Sagawa: Hmmm. All right. So you’re really gonna spend your life waiting for a brother who can’t possibly come back to you? Clawing your way back to the Tojo Clan so you can carve out a seat for him to come home to… Haha, real tear-jerker of a tale, isn’t it?

Majima: Don’t see how it’s any of your business.

Sagawa: I’ll tell you one thing. Different clans or not, my sworn brother Shimano has always done me right. But you wouldn’t see me throwing away my entire life so I could live for somebody else’s sake. His, or anyone else’s. You’re a grown-ass man. Isn’t it time you learned to cut yourself some slack and just live a little?

Majima: ……

Sagawa: Hey, you do you. I know you’re not the type to hear anything I have to say and take it to heart… So I’ll do you a favor and cut to the chase. Can you kill a human being?

Majima: A hit!?

Sagawa: Yes, that’s right.

Majima: The hell would I kill somebody for?

Sagawa: You said it yourself. You’ll do anything to get back in the game. Or has that changed?

Majima: Why do that when I can just make another 500 million at the club and buy my way back?

Sagawa: What, by poaching Nozomi from Odyssey?

Majima: So you already heard about that.

Sagawa: Funny thing about that, though, is one little phone call from me to Odyssey and I can scuttle that whole deal.

Majima: What the hell for!?

Sagawa: Just a healthy reminder that I’ve got your future in my hands, buddy.

Majima: First you make me earn for you, now you want me to kill?

Sagawa: Both important parts of the business. Important for the both of us.

Majima: Who am I supposed to take out?

Sagawa: Makoto Makimura… Heard the name before?

Majima: Who?

Sagawa: Not ringing any bells? Runs a prostitution ring here in Sotenbori that’s been blowing up lately.

Majima: Prostitution?

Sagawa: Yeah, snatches up young girls, college students, puts ‘em to work earning hard money, then takes all the profits. Word is, any girls who try to get out of the ring get beat so bad they’ll never have kids, to serve as an example. Lucky you, the mark’s total scum. Easier to do the job, eh?

Majima: Where do I find this Makimura guy?

Sagawa: Finding out’s part of the job. Makimura has his girls use telephone clubs to hook their johns. The gals at the bottom of his food chain are your best lead.

Majima: So I hit up the telephone club crowd and try to follow the trail back up to Makimura.

Sagawa: Your deadline’s two days. Have the issue resolved by then. Any longer than that… It’ll be you with the target on his back. We clear on that?

Majima: Yeah, can’t wait.

Sagawa: I’ll leave the details up to you. Once the job’s done, call this number.

Majima: Fine.

Sagawa: Majima-chan, one last check. With murder, who and how many don’t matter. You kill one guy or you kill 18, a saint or a scumbag, murder’s murder. When you end a life, that’s the end of any hope of normalcy for you, as well. Whether you’re out walking the streets or at home in your bed, you’ll never escape the memory. Just a little advice from somebody who’s been doing the yakuza thing a lot longer than you. If you can get by without killing, do it. Goes without saying, right? Are you really capable of offing a total stranger for your own personal agenda?

Majima: (angrily) Quit yer naggin’! Not like there’s a future for a yakuza who can’t pull the trigger. I’ll do yer damn job!

Sagawa: All right… Thanks for the food, chief. Here’s for his share, too. Keep drinking, if you like. Oh, and the meatball’s great here. Don’t miss it. I’ll leave it to you then. (leaves)

Majima: Makoto Makimura…

[He drinks the rest of the sake in his glass. The scene ends.]

Majima: (…This is a good thing. My big chance to get back to the yakuza life. (l still got time. Absolute worst thing I can do is rush it and screw up. I’ll start tomorrow, do it right. Tonight, I just need to get to bed.)

[He goes back to his apartment and goes to bed. The next morning…]

Majima: (I’m ending Makoto Makimura… Step one’s findin’ the guy. Sagawa said to try hitting the telephone clubs for girls in Makimura’s ring. Guess it’s time to go make some calls.)

[Majima’s visiting the nearest telephone club to his house.]

Telephone Club Employee: Welcome. How much time would you like today?

Majima: …Gimme two hours.

Telephone Club Employee: Thank you, sir. Please head down the hall to room number five.

[Majima walks into the booth and picks up the phone.]

Majima: (He said Makoto Makimura’s usin’ college-age girls. Hope I can get lucky and find one.)

Majima: …Hello?

Female Voice: Oh, hi! Hey there.

Majima: Hey, your voice is pretty damn cute. What’re you up to?

Female Voice: Now? Just lying around.

Majima: I’m jealous. You got the day off?

Female Voice: The baby finally went down for his nap. Now that I’ve got my hands free, I figured I’d call in.

[Majima’s dropping the call abruptly.]

Majima: (Housewife with a kid? That’s off the mark. Guess it’d be too lucky to strike gold on the first call. This is gonna take a while…!)

90 Minutes Later

Majima: Hello?

Young Woman’s Voice: Oh, hellooo?

Majima: Yeah, hey there. Name’s Goro. What’s yours?

Young Woman’s Voice: Me? Akko.

Majima: Akko-chan? You seem kinda down. Let’s keep it fun here!

Akko: Whaaat? I’m super wiped. I went to class for the first time in forever, but wound up bailing right away…

Majima: (Class? We got a college student?) What, you a college girl, then?

Akko: Yup. What of it?

Majima: Hmmm… (l still dunno if she’s connected to Makimura. Gotta keep diggin’ here.) So Akko-chan, you call in to the telephone club often?

Akko: Yeah, I guess. I hate bein’ bored, so I use this to find guys who want to go out and have fun.

Majima: Oh, so ya meet up in person?

Akko: Sometimes.

Majima: And how do ya decide who to meet up with?

Akko: Hmm? I guess… When I’m hungry, mostly?

Majima: Ha, fan of the free lunch, are ya? So anybody works, long as they’re footin’ the bill?

Akko: I never said that just anybody works… Oh, I just remembered. Goro-san, right? Goro-san, you don’t happen to have any tattoos, do ya?

Majima: Hm? Tattoos, now?

Akko: Yeah. I been kinda interested in them lately.

Majima: And if I said I did, what then?

Akko: Oh, really? If you really got one, would ya tell me what it’s of?

Majima: Now why would you be curious about somethin’ like that?

Akko: I’m studyin’ to be an artist. But nobody really shows their tattoos in public, y’know? So when I get somebody with ink on the line, sometimes I’ll meet up with ‘em in person to get a look at it.

Majima: It’s a Hannya.

Akko: Eh?

Majima: I got a Hannya on my back. A demon lady.

Akko: Hmmm, yeah? Hannya, huh?

Majima: (If she’s interested in tattoos, she’s no ordinary student. Might have some criminal connections. I’m running low on time here. Better make my move…) Hey, Akko-chan? Now it’s my turn to ask you somethin’.

Akko: Hm? What’s that?

Majima: You happen to know anybody named Makoto Makimura?

Akko: …!? Sorry, I gotta go.

Majima: (Bullseye!) H-Hey, hold up a sec!

Akko: What?

Majima: See, I’m actually a freelance writer. I’m interested in maybe doin’ an article on Makimura-han. So I was thinkin’ it’d be really great if I could talk to somebody who knows him. Akko-chan, would ya happen to know anything about Makimura-han? If so, think there’s any way I could get ya to meet up for a bit just to talk? Oh, and I’d pay you for yer time. I swear I won’t make any trouble for you, or for Makimura-han. Whaddya say?

Akko: You promise?

Majima: Cross my heart.

Akko: (after thinking a few seconds) Okay. Come meet me at Iwao Bridge.

Majima: Iwao Bridge, got it.

Akko: What are you wearin’, Goro-san?

Majima: Shades and a black jacket. Hair’s long, back in a ponytail. I tend to stand out, so you won’t have much trouble.

Akko: All right.

Majima: Great, see you at Iwao Bridge in a few. I’ll be waitin’. No standin’ me up, now.

Akko: Okay, later.

Majima: (Yesss… I got a girl connected to Makimura. Now I just gotta hope she actually shows. Time to head there and find out, I guess.)

Male Voice: Hey. Buddy.

Majima: Mm?

[He sees a man with only his underwear on.]

Walking Erection: You’re the manager of the Grand, aren’t you? Majima-san?

Majima: Wuh? Er, yeah… That’s me.

Walking Erection: You were enjoying yourself at Odyssey last night, mm? I saaaw you theeere… Surrounded by pretty girls all day, and you still go to a cabaret on your off time? You’re a real poonhound, huh?

Majima: Look, that was strictly business…

Walking Erection: Hew ho need to hide it. And now you’re running for the telephone club first thing in the morning… You’re real hard-up, aren’t you?

Majima: …I guess that’s how it must look. But wait, what’s your story? The fact you been everywhere I have means you got business with all these establishments, too, don’t it?

Walking Erection: Yeah, three rounds a day just isn’t enough for me, so I wind up just going from spot to spot most days.

Majima: What, from massage parlor to porn hut to who-knows-where? And shit, three times a day and that’s not enough? How much jizz you got in you!?

Mr. Libido: Haha, I get asked that a lot. My libido has a reputation to uphold! But I feel like you and me are in the same boat.

Majima: Like hell we are! …So, you stop me for a reason?

Mr. Libido: Oh, just got the feeling we’re birds of a feather, that’s all. Thought we could trade tips.

Majima: I’m prayin’ you mean info.

Mr. Libido: Yeah! About where the cutest girls in town are. Who was good at what shop, that sorta thing.

Majima: I’ll pass, thanks. I ain’t that thirsty.

Mr. Libido: Yeah? That’s a real shame. Still, there’s way more hotties around lately, huh? If some of them put out videos, I’d be there watching for sure.

Majima: What kinda videos we talkin’ here?

Mr. Libido: You’ve been to the private video booth spot, right? I’m talking about the softcores they screen there.

Majima: Ah.

Mr. Libido: Every time I pass a cute girl on the street, I make a note to check whether she’s put a video out!

Majima: Goddamn, you’re one certifiable perv.

Mr. Libido: Hey, I know you’d think the same thing if you saw some of these honeys! I’ll let you know where to find some of my favorites. Go have a look!

Majima: Maybe, if I feel like it.

Mr. Libido: I’m pretty much always in one of the spots around town. Come find me if you ever want some fresh recommendations.

Majima: …Yeah, okay.

[The perv runs away.]

Majima: (I’m supposed to meet Akko on Iwao Bridge. Guess if I head there, she’ll come find me.)

[He comes to the bridge and looks around.]

Majima: (This is where I’m s’posed to meet Akko. I’ll just have to wait and hope she finds me.)

[A well-dressed girl in a red coat comes to him.]

Akko: You Goro-san?

Majima: Oh? You’re Akko-chan, huh? Thanks for comin’! I really appreciate it.

Akko: ……

Majima: (Shit, her guard’s up sky-high. She bails on me and I’m screwed. Gotta find some way to put her at ease here.) Don’t tell me. Ya figured out I’m a celebrity, didn’t ya?

Akko: Huh?

Majima: Nuts! I guess not even a getup like this was enough to disguise myself from a sharp kid like you! It’s a real curse bein’ this handsome sometimes, y’know? Aw, but don’t clam up! I’ll autograph anythin’ ya want. Just keep it our little secret, yeah?

Akko: …Pfft, I’m overthinkin’ this. No way a goofball like you’s the guy.

Majima: Hm? What guy is that?

Akko: It’s nothin’. I’m glad you seem like the nice sort. I’m Akko.

Majima: (Alright… That’s the first hurdle cleared.) Not to rush things along, but you got time for a little chat over a cup of tea?

Akko: Tea? I’m starvin’ here.

Majima: A meal it is, then. Whatchya feel like?

Akko: I’m cravin’ some sushi.

Majima: Sushi, huh? Figures a college gal like you’d have refined tastes.

Akko: Well, sure. These days you’re a total bum if ya don’t have at least 50 grand on hand for a date. Goro-san, I’m sure a workin’ man like you’s got that much, right?

Majima: ‘Course I do. Get ready, ‘cause I’m about to show you a feast most college kids can only dream of!

Akko: Really? Goro-san’s got it, yaaay! ♪

Majima: (Sheesh. I figured I probably wouldn’t get this info for free, but… Well, gotta do what ya gotta do. I’ll pay whatever it takes.) Alright, ready to hit the sushi bar?

Akko: Let’s get goin’. You like sushi, Goro-san?

Majima: Huh?

Akko: I love it. I always get uni and ikura. Def. We waiting around for a reason? I’m starvin’ here.

Majima: Sorry ‘bout that. Just gimme one sec.

[They enter small sushi bar called “Ganko”.]

Sushi Chef: What can I get started for ya?

Majima: Gimme 10G’s worth of your finest. Oh, and some sashimi of today’s best catch.

Akko: Ooh, and make sure there’s uni and ikura in there!

Sushi Chef: You got it!

Akko: Goro-san, you not drinkin’?

Majima: Well, I AM at work here, technically. I’ll pass for now. I’m way more interested, Akko-chan, in hearin’ your story. Ya seem awful at home here, for a college student. Come to places like this a lot?

Akko: I guess, yeah. Lately, I’d say once a day?

Majima: Every day!? Yeesh, you girls got quotas that strict?

Akko: Quotas? What are you talkin’ about? The best part of what I do is that I can work whenever I want, no strings attached.

Majima: Nah, hold on, it’s a job, right? So somebody’s askin’ ya to do it. I thought the guy runnin’ the show was Makimura-han? Way I heard it, he’s got college girls finding johns through telephone clubs, then he sweeps in and grabs their take.

Akko: Huuuh!? Makoto-san’s nothin’ like that! First off, when most of us girls meet up with guys, it’s just to get taken out to meals, nothin’ more. And second, Makoto-san’s never asked me for cash once.

Majima: Wha--? Wait, sorry, so you’re not sellin’ the goods, Akko-chan?

Akko: ‘Course I’m not! Say, Goro-san, you’re not tellin’ me that interview bit was a lie and you’re just here hoping to get some action, are you? ‘Cause if so, sorry. Doesn’t matter how much sushi you buy me, I ain’t goin’ to no hotels with you.

Majima: Whoa, hold on! That’s the farthest thing from my mind! I’m just sayin’ those are the rumors I heard.

Akko: Riiight… Well, you’re makin’ the right choice, there. Anything happens to me, and you’re in a worlda’ hurt.

Majima: Huh? What’s that mean, exactly?

Sushi Chef: Order of kohada up!

Akko: Aaah, yummy! Well, I’m diggin’ in! ♪

Majima: (Okay, don’t get ahead of yerself, Goro. She’ll be more eager to talk once she’s gorged on Sotenbori’s finest.)

Cashier: Your check, sir.

[You paid ¥20,000.]

Cashier: Thank you, sir. Please come again soon.

Akko: Thanks for that! ♪

Majima: Sure. Ready to go?

[Outside.]

Majima: Alright, feelin’ full and satisfied? I’d love to get back to that talk we were havin’…

Akko: Ooh! I wanna go there!

Majima: Go where now?

Akko: The game center!

Majima: Game center… What, ya mean an arcade? Nothin’ but miscreants in there. You fit in with that kinda crowd?

Akko: Arcades ain’t like that these days! They got super cute stuffed animals and stuff there!

Majima: Game centers have stuffed animals? How’s that work?

Akko: You’ll see when ya get to the arcade. C’mon, let’s go!

Majima: Okay, okay… On to this game center, then.

Akko: Ready to go? Don’t be in such a rush. Hey, Goro-san!

[They enter the game center.]

Akko: Ooh, see, right there!

Majima: “UFO Catcher“? …The hell’s that?

Akko: You use that button to move the little crane inside and try to lift the toys inside over to the chute there!

Majima: And it’s ¥100 a go? Who’s that stupid? I’m guessin’ they make it hard on purpose, right? Why not just go buy the damn thing in a toy store?

Akko: What are you talkin’ about? You gotta win it here because they don’t sell ‘em anywhere else. Ya can’t solve all of life’s problems by throwin’ money at ‘em, you know. Anyway, I’ll pay for it. You just control it. I’m terrible at stuff like this.

Majima: Huh? How come I gotta…

Akko: You wanted to hear about Makoto-san, didn’t ya?

Majima: Alright, fine… Get ready, ‘cause I’m doin’ this!

[He’s pulling out a toy dilophosaurus.]

Majima: Got it. This is what you wanted, yeah?

Akko: That’s so awesome! Coro-san, thank you! ♪

Majima: Heh, piece a’ cake! So about Makimura-han…

Akko: Ehh, you wanna stand around talkin’ in a place like this? Let’s go find someplace where we can actually relax.

Majima: Well, guess that’s a fair point. Let’s head out.

[Outside.]

Akko: So, off to the disco next?

Majima: Disco? I don’t see how anybody could eat that much food and then feel like dancin’.

Akko: Haha, I actually just made a call and reserved us the VIP room! I always wanted to see what it’s like back there.

Majima: When the hell’d you have time to do that? You’re really makin’ the most outta havin’ free reign on a guy’s cash…

Akko: Hey, no whining! Bring me there, and I’ll tell you everything about Makoto-san you wanna know.

Majima: I wonder… Well, alright, can’t turn that offer down. Let’s roll. (The disco’s in Shofukucho. I’m sure they got a dress code there, but hopefully this getup’ll look the part enough.)

Akko: Let’s get goin’. Don’t be in such a rush. Hey, Goro-san! Quit it, jeez!

[On the way to Majima’s disco, he crosses the bridge, where a huge crowd of people gathered. Two young men started a fight.]

Petite Youth: Ain’t tellin’ you again, specs! This is OUR patch, always has been. Now clear out my yard, son!

Angry Young Man: You high!? I had my eye on this bridge for a while now. Don’t matter who was dancin’ here before, that don’t mean you own the place!

Majima: (If they’re gonna fight, did they have to take up the whole bridge? I got a disco to get to.)

[Komeki’s coming up to him.]

Komeki: Ahh, Majima! There you are.

Majima: …Old man Komeki? What, you still out hunting for a place we can go at it?

Komeki: No, just out for my afternoon constitutional, taking in the city… Hmm, you seem troubled.

Majima: Well, yeah. I gotta get across this bridge, but those punks are doin’ a good job of blockin’ the way. If they wanna break each other’s faces, that’s fine by me. I just wish they’d hurry up with it.

Komeki: Fisticuffs, mm? …Knowing the rituals of their kind, I doubt things will take such a violent turn.

Majima: Rituals? What, you know those guys?

Komeki: Judging from their attire, they are practitioners of the new “breaking dance” the kids are so fascinated with these days. It is their custom to settle disputes by dancing.

Majima: Dancin’ to assert dominance? What are they, some kinda horned-up birds? How the hell do ya fight with dancing?

Komeki: Just watch. …There, look, they’ve begun. Watch their performances closely.

[Young men start dancing. Majima is amazed by the sight.]

Majima: Holy shit!

[He’s shaping a new fighting style.]

Majima: (Holy… That was dancin? I never seen moves that sharp. Wonder if I could pull some of that off…)

Petite Youth: Looks like my win. This bridge is, was, and forever remains property of A-ReShi Crew.

Angry Young Man: … Fine, keep it. For now. But this ain’t over! I’m gonna up my game and be back for blood!

Komeki: Ho ho! Seems the boy in the red frock won. Quite the sight, eh? An intriguing way of establishing pecking order.

Majima: Yeah… Not bad, as street performances go.

Komeki: Playing coy, Majima?

Majima: How do ya mean?

Komeki: Watching them dance sparked something inside you, did it not? The look in your eyes was hungry. Ravenous, even.

Majima: And you got eyes like a damn hawk… Yeah, awright. Still dunno if I could actually apply it, though.

Komeki: Heh, that’s marvelous news. Another thing to look forward to in our sparring.

Majima: Sorry, but I’m kinda in the middle of something here. I get that you’re rarin’ to go with this, but it’s gonna take me a while, yeah?

Komeki: Ho ho! Out on one of these “dates” with a young lass, are you? You’re a formidable man in many arenas, it seems!

Majima: Wh-What!? Naw, it ain’t like that!

Komeki: Only teasing, my friend. …But I have found our venue. Ashitaba Park.

Majima: The park? Okay… I’ll drop by when I get some time.

Komeki: And I shall be waiting. I will have my training to occupy me until then. Farewell!

Majima: (to Akko) The crowd’s clearin’ out here. Let’s hustle to the disco before somethin’ else comes up.

Akko: Let’s get goin’. Hey, Goro-san!

[They enter “Maharaja” club.]

Receptionist: Hello, sir. The VIP room entrance fee is ¥30,000.

Majima: Here you go.

Receptionist: Thank you, sir. Please enjoy your time at Maharaja.

[Majima and Akko are sitting at the table.]

Akko: Wow, I totally feel like such a celeb in here!

Majima: Yeah, but it’s pretty dead back here with just two of us. Ain’t the whole point of a room like this to bring a big ol’ party, pop some corks, an’ cut loose?

Akko: Sure, like I got that many friends.

Majima: You don’t? Coulda fooled me.

Akko: Not many girls out there are keen on pallin’ around with a kid who ran away from home. Or letting her couch surf. And the ones who are, their parents always kick me out. There’s a few girls I’ve met through this job, but we’re not the sorta friends who get together and party. That’s why so many grab guys and the hit hotels, just to have a place to sleep. But it’s so risky. Ya just to hear stories…

Majima: And that’s why Makoto Makimura’s lookin’ out for girls like you with no place else to go, keeping ‘em safe on the streets at night? Still, some of the guys makin’ those phone calls must be bad news.

Akko: Soon as things go south we put in a call to Makoto-san’s pager. He sees that, then comes runnin’ to the rescue in no time flat.

Majima: Huh? That’s right, you said somethin’ about that earlier, too. Is this Makimura guy really that good in a fight?

Akko: Oh, strong ain’t the word for it! He’s tall as a tree, with muscles like a bear. Most guys get one look at him and they can’t apologize and get out the door soon enough!

Majima: Huh… Sounds like quite the fella.

Akko: Ooh, I’m gonna go dance!

Majima: What, had enough of the VIP room already?

Akko: Well I’m not gonna come to a disco and not dance, am l? Especially when I don’t drink.

Majima: Heh, still just a kid on that front…

[On the dance floor, a man comes up to Akko and grabbing her hand.]

Akko: Hey, let go!

Short-tempered Man: I finally found you! I been keepin’ watch at all the places you seem to turn up in, just hopin’ to run into you again.

Akko: What? What do you want from me?

Short-tempered Man: Oh, drop the act, sugar. I figured I owed you for last time. You drag me all around town makin’ me foot the bill, then when it comes time to hit a hotel, ya call yer roided-up buddy to come beat the shit outta me!

Akko: You got what ya deserve! Don’t think I didn’t see you put that pill in my drink. Ya think I’m gonna let a creep like that put his hands on me?

Short-tempered Man: What, ain’t got yer musclehead boyfriend with ya today? You can go call him if ya like. I brought my own friends with me this time!

Akko: You’re a real scumbag!

Short-tempered Man: Sticks an’ stones, baby.

Majima: Hold up.

Short-tempered Man: Haw? The hell’re you? Another one a’ this bitch’s bodyguards?

Majima: Hah, you crazy? I don’t even know that girl. I’m just sayin’ you’re in the goddamn way.

Short-tempered Man: ‘Scuse you?

Majima: Discos are made for dancin’, pal. You wanna pick up chicks, try showin’ her your moves, if ya got any. I’ll show ya how it’s done. Clear me some space.

Short-tempered Man: There a circus missin’ its clown tonight? Fine, you wanna dance so bad, you can dance with my boys and me. Hope ya like breakdancin’, pal, ‘cause you’re gettin’ broke!

Majima: (Perfect. I was hopin’ I’d get a chance to try out that breakdancin’ shit I saw on the bridge.)

Short-tempered Man: We’re takin’ this outside! I’ma bury you!

[Majima kick the ass of the menacing men with his new break-dance style.]

Akko: Goro-san, you’re amazin’! That was sweet!

Majima: Heh, just another day in the life. Still, you best keep the whole milkin’ guys for freebies thing in check. I was here to step in this time, but your man Makimura-han may not always be there to keep ya safe.

Akko: Hmmm, you’d think, but Makoto-san’s always real close by. One phone call and he really does come flyin’ in.

Majima: That so?

Akko: Makoto-san’s a chiropractor most of the time. Got a place in Shofukucho South called Hogushi Kaikan.

Majima: Really? Figure I could meet the big man himself if I headed down to his clinic?

Akko: Probably.

Majima: (Makoto Makimura… I’ve finally nailed you down!) Akko-chan, you’re a lifesaver. You really helped me out today. I’ma go interview the big man in person now.

Akko: Ooh, just don’t tell him it was me who told you, okay? You seem nice so I made a special exception, but details about Makoto-san are s’posed to be super top secret!

Majima: Don’t worry, I got it. You really trust this Makimura-han, don’t ya?

Akko: Well, yeah. If not for him, there’s no tellin’ what coulda happened to me by now.

Majima: Ain’t that givin’ him a little too much credit? ‘Sides, who can say what kinda ulterior motives a guy has for bein’ so nice to so many girls?

Akko: Naw, he’s not like that, no way! Sotenbori’s overflowin’ with girls who’ll tell you it was Makoto-san who saved their lives! Girls who got tricked by terrible men, girls who been through all kinds of hell, girls on the verge of suicide… To all of us, he’s practically a saint. Doubt a guy THAT good, and you’re askin’ to get struck by lightning or something!

Majima: Huh…

Akko: Oh, well I guess there is one thing. Just a little favor he asks us to help with.

Majima: A favor?

Akko: Mhm. If we’re ever workin’ and find a guy with a tattoo of a bat, we’re s’posed to let him know right away.

Majima: A man with a bat tattoo? Who’s that?

Akko: I don’t know any details. Sounded like Makoto-san’s been lookin’ for him for a long time, though. Makoto-san hardly ever asks for our help on anything else, so all us girls are workin’ together to try to find the guy.

Majima: I get ya… So that’s why you perked up when ya heard I had a tattoo.

Akko: You got it.

Majima: (to himself) Using his girls to find a man, huh…

Akko: Oops, I gotta go! I’ll be late to meetin’ up with the next guy if I don’t hurry.

Majima: There’s a next guy!? How much partying you doin’ today?

Akko: I’ll see ya around! Bye-bye!

Majima: Drop in on your parents sometime!

Akko: If I feel like it!

Majima: (Well, I know where Makoto Makimura’s at now. But this ain’t adding up right. He sounds nothin’ like how Sagawa described him. How’s a total scumbag exploitin’ women for cash turn into a saint goin’ around saving ‘em? And what’s the deal with this bat tattoo…? …Doesn’t matter. Saint or scum, I’m killin’ Makimura. That’s the job. He should be at Hogushi Kaikan in Shofukucho South. I’m gonna finish this tonight.)

Go To Hogushi Kaikan MassageEdit

Petite Youth: Yo, shades!

Majima: Hm? Who… No, you’re the guy from Iwao Bridge who was duking it out with the big dude with yer breakdancin’ or whatever.

Petite Youth: BOOM, son, I FELT that!

Majima: Huh!? The hell are you explodin’ for?

Petite Youth: That battle was SICK, yo! Those moves got me seriously buggin’! I thought I’d seen the best Sotenbori had to offer, but your skills are to the CURB!

Majima: Oh, that’s what this is about? Look, I just tried out some random stuff that came to mind. It’s nothin’.

Petite Youth: The hell you talkin’, man!? It was like a bolt from the blue to me! A shout-out from God! You gotta join my crew. We need you!

Majima: Crew?

Petite Youth: Yeah, A-ReShi Crew! If you joined up, we’d be kings of Sotenbori, no question! A-ReShi’s the crew’s name, and Areshi’s my name. So yeah, welcome aboard, dog!

Majima: You nuts? Why should I waste my time playin’ around with you and your friends? Go find somebody else.

Areshi: I ain’t playin’, fool! Me and my crew, we in this for real. I’m throwin’ down every DAY! We gonna take over this town, then Japan, then the WORLD, feel me?

Majima: Yeah, that’s great. And just how ya plan on takin’ over the world by dancin’ on the side of the damn street?

Areshi: Hey, lots of folks come through Sotenbori. Entertainment bigwigs gotta be in the mix, yeah? You get one of those cats’ attention, who even knows!?

Majima: …I suppose it’s not impossible. Got plenty of guys like that comin’ through my club every night.

Areshi: Way I see it, if I want the big boys to take notice, I gotta stand out more’n anybody else in this town. Do that, and gettin’ my ass on TV’s totally possible.

Majima: Huh, that’s some plan… And I figure into all that how, exactly?

Areshi: It hit me while I was watchin’ you battle, dog! We take your ill moves and pump up the volume a bit, we’ll be crushin’ every other crew in Osaka! I already got ideas for a whole bunch of sick new moves. You get those under yer belt, you’ll be unstoppable, son!

Majima: (Hmm… Can’t say I care much about dancin’, but I am pretty curious about where I can take this fightin’ style.)

Areshi: And hey, you don’t gotta gimme an answer right now. Think on it. We practice in the alley behind Shofukucho West. You decide you’re in, you come see us. Cool?

Majima: Awright, sure. Shofukucho West, right? Maybe I’ll drop by. Don’t go gettin’ yer hopes up, though. Name’s Majima, by the way.

Areshi: Majima-san? Tight! We’ll be waitin’ for ya. You gotta come by sometime!

[He’s running away and Majima’s goes on.]

Majima: (Hogushi Kaikan… Here it is. Makoto Makimura’s in here. Whack him, and I’m back in the family. You got this… No reason to hesitate. I been playin’ lap dog this whole time for a chance like this. I ain’t goin’ through that humiliation again. This time, I’m gonna do it! Ready to bust in? Alright… Here we go!)

Majima: Here we are.

[He pulls out a short blade decorated with flowers.]

Majima: MAKIMURA! Where ya at!? What, nobody home? Fine… I’ll come back.

[He sees a picture of Makimura on the clinic’s poster.]

Majima: This is Makimura, huh? “God Hands” my ass…

Girl’s voice: Is somebody there?

[Majima’s scared and hiding the blade behind her back.]

Girl with white stick: Huh… Um, are you a client?

[Majima swallows, picks up the blade again and goes to the girl. He need to eliminate the witness.]

Girl with white stick: That’s so odd. Sorry, is anybody in here?

Majima: (whisper to himself) What? She’s blind…

Girl with white stick: Did I leave the door open when I went out?

[The phone rings.]

Girl with white stick: Coming!

[A blind girl goes to him and bumps into Majima.]

Majima: N-No, this ain’t--!

Girl with white stick: THIEF! Heeelp!

Majima: I’m not! I’m a client! A customer!

Girl with white stick: Let go!

Majima: Listen! HEY! C’mon, listen to me! A thief woulda bolted already! Calm down, would ya!?

Girl with white stick: Where were you?

Majima: I was… just came in! Then you steamrolled into me so fast I couldn’t clear outta yer way. I’m the one who oughta be in shock here!

Girl with white stick: But we don’t have any more bookings today.

Majima: Y-Yeah? No, see, I… I’m hurtin’ so bad here I’m about to fell apart. So a friend of mine, he says the guy who runs this place is a real wizard. They say he’s got what, God Hands? So I came runnin’ to try to get some relief. …You okay?

Girl with white stick: I’m sorry, I was just so scared. I’m sorry.

[She’s starting to cry.]

Majima: It’s fine. So, the boss… He not in?

Girl with white stick: He’s out for the day and won’t be back in. I’m sorry.

Majima: Why’s she still apologizin’? Right, got it. I’ll come back later.

Girl with white stick: Really, I’m really sorry, sir!

Majima: Don’t cry, cmon!

Girl with white stick: Where… does it hurt?

Majima: Haw?

Girl with white stick: You said… you were falling apart. If you’d like treatment, you should make an

Majima: Er, right. I’m actually feelin’ better. See ya around.

Girl with white stick: I knew it…

Majima: Knew it?

Girl with white stick: THIEEEF!

Majima: I AIN’T! I’m tellin’ you, I’m not! Aaah, fine, okay! Maybe I can get you to work on me. Yeah? Would that convince you I ain’t lyin’?

[The scene ends and a new one begins. Majima lies naked on the couch and a blind girl massages his back.]

Massage Therapist: ……Goodness, sir, you’re so stiff! You must have been in a lot of pain.

Majima: Y-Yeah…

Massage Therapist: You’ve really done a number on yourself. I don’t mean to pry, but may I ask what you do for a living?

Majima: My job? Err…

A securities trader.
+A cabaret waiter.
That’s a secret.

Majima: I’m a cabaret waiter.

Massage Therapist: Oh, I see. We get a lot of customers in your line of work. It must be really taxing. We had someone in the other day from a pretty famous club. The Grand? He was saying it was like a war zone because the manager there is totally out of control.

Majima: Y-Yeah? (whisper to himself) Who’d dare…

Massage Therapist: They say there’s no rest for the weary, but I like keeping busy. It gives me the chance to meet so many interesting clients. I love asking clients about their jobs, or about the city. Hearing them talk about their work, I like to imagine them going about it, then figuring out what caused the pain or stiffness they came in for.

Majima: Ohhh? (If I keep quiet, she’ll just keep askin’ questions. This is my chance to turn the tables and get some info from her.)

Ask about Her
+Ask about the Boss

Majima: What’s yer boss here like?

Massage Therapist: The owner? Hmm… Apparently he’s got a pretty scary facade.

Majima: A “facade” meanin’ what? He’s actually different?

Massage Therapist: Oh, absolutely. You’d never find a kinder soul. Sure, it’s really intimidating when he yells, but other than that…

Majima: But he’s, y’know, not the type to use force or anything?

Massage Therapist: Force? Well, it must be true that he’s strong. The clients getting shiatsu from him make the funniest noises sometimes.

Majima: Hah! Nah, I meant more like--

Massage Therapist: But for all the pressure he applies, there’s never once been a client that’s reported any soreness or bruising!

Majima: Must be those God Hands.

Massage Therapist: He’ll even offer house calls to clients who can’t make it into the clinic. His number one priority is always the health and care of his customers. I really look up to him, not only to his therapy skills, but his humanity too.

Majima: Huh…

Massage Therapist: Plus, he really saved me…

Majima: Saved you?

Massage Therapist: …Anyway, so he’s totally not scary underneath! Just goes to show, you really can’t judge a book by its cover. Not that I’ve ever seen his cover.

Majima: Hey, hey, no dark humor now… (Sounds like Makoto Makimura saved this girl too, same as Akko. Guess I’m just gonna have to meet this fella in person and see for myself. If I keep quiet, she’ll just keep askin’ questions. This is my chance to turn the tables and get some info from her.)

+Ask about Her
Ask about the Boss

Majima: Tell me about yourself. Any hobbies or anything?

Massage Therapist: Hmm, let’s see… I do like to read books in braille, but I probably listen to the radio more.

Majima: The radio, huh? Lately I feel like there’s better stuff on TV than the radio, but I guess radio’s pretty great because people who can’t see can enjoy it too.

Massage Therapist: Definitely. But I always have more fun chatting with clients than just listening to a one-sided monologue, so I guess you could say my job is my hobby too.

Majima: If ya really like talkin’ that much, you’d probably make a great hostess.

Massage Therapist: Who, me? I don’t know about that…

Majima: Nah, I’m serious. Guys who go to places like that are just lookin’ for somebody they can talk about themselves with. Most important thing for a good hostess is to be a good listener.

Massage Therapist: That’s really all there is to it?

Majima: That’s it. There ya have it, I’d say you got a promising career if ya get tired of massagin’. But still… I’m jealous that ya like yer job.

Massage Therapist: You don’t like yours, then?

Majima: Hm? Oh, my boss is kinda… y’know.

Massage Therapist: Sorry to hear that. I guess I’m pretty lucky in that respect. Meeting my boss here really turned my life around. The only reason I’ve made it this far has been because I’m working here. Any other clinic, and I’d never have managed.

Majima: (She seems pretty grateful toward him. Just who is this guy?)

[A blind girl continues to massage Majima’s back. Relaxed, he falls asleep. When the girl finishes the massage, she has to wake him up.]

Massage Therapist: Sir. Sir…

Majima: Huh, wha--? Was I sleepin’?

Massage Therapist: You must have been really exhausted. Your lymph wasn’t circulating at all, either. I’m guessing you haven’t been sleeping much?

Majima: Yeah… Yeah, I guess not.

Massage Therapist: Now, can I ask you to turn over for me? I’ll go get you a pillow.

[She’s going to the next room.]

Majima: The hell… What am I doin’?

Massage Therapist: Huh? Boss?

Majima: Haw?

Makoto Makimura: Boy, what a disaster! Didn’t notice I’d left my wallet here till I was done eatin!

Majima: You’re always forgetting things, boss.

Makoto Makimura: Oh, you workin’ on somebody?

[He’s coming into Majima’s room. Makoto Makimura turns out to be a pumped-up man with a lot of tattoos.]

Makoto Makimura: Welcome!

[He sees that Majima’s wearing a lot of tattoos, too.]

Makoto Makimura: Huh… Am I interruptin?

[He’s watching Majima closely and aggressively.]

Massage Therapist: He came in asking for you.

Makoto Makimura: Work must be rough on him.

Massage Therapist: He’s stiff as a board. I practically bullied him into letting me work on him. Isn’t that right?

Majima: Yeah, ya did…

[He’s looking at a short blade lying on his bedside table.]

Makoto Makimura: Oh? And what kinda job puts a guy through all that? You got me curious.

[He goes back and takes a few needles off the tray.]

Massage Therapist: Hm? Boss, are those the needles?

Makoto Makimura: Yeah. Figure it’d be rude to leave a new client to my apprentice the whole time. Thought I’d throw in the acupuncture option.

Massage Therapist: Whoa, really? You’re so lucky, sir! The owner only offers needle work to regulars. His hot needle treatment might be just what that stiff body of yours needs!

[Majima reaches for the blade, but Makimura throws a needle right next to his crotch.]

Massage Therapist: Hm? Um, what was that noise?

Makoto Makimura: Ahh, damn! Forgot somethin’ important. Hey, run out and pick me up some smokes.

Massage Therapist: What? Me?

Makoto Makimura: You know I use ‘em to light the ends of my needles when I’m workin’, yeah? Be a doll and grab me some.

Massage Therapist: But it’ll take more time if I go…

Makoto Makimura: No problem. Gotta find all the client’s pressure points first… I’ll take my sweet time with it.

Massage Therapist: All right, then I’ll head out.

Makoto Makimura: Yeah, you be careful.

[She leaves the clinuc.]

Makoto Makimura: Why don’t yo ugrab that knife of yours, cyclops?

Majima: You seem pretty used to situations like this.

[He jumps out of bed quickly and grabs the blade.]

Majima: Eh, Makoto Makimura-san!?

Makoto Makimura: And just where’d you hear that name?

Majima: Hardly matters. Rope enough phone girls into doin’ weird research for ya and yer name’s gonna get around.

Makoto Makimura: Oh? Sounds like you been sniffin’ around.

Majima: And you sound real relaxing, considerin’.

Makoto Makimura: I don’t know if you’re an Omi axe or what… But any rookie hitman dumb enough to get comfy in his mark’s shop ain’t shakin’ me.

Majima: Haw!?

Makoto Makimura: I’ll cut you a deal. Turn tail and go quiet, and I’ll let you walk away. Hmph. Not in the walkin’ mood? Then here’s God Hands full-service special! Get ready!

[They knock each other’s weapon out and start a real men’s fight. Majima wins.]

Makoto Makimura: Had you pegged for a two-bit hatchet man. But that ain’t it. Just who and that are you?

Majima: I could ask the same.

[They keep fighting when suddenly a few bandits enter the clinic.]

Yakuza: We interruptin?

Makoto Makimura: Hmph. So you’re a trash punk after all. Called your little girlfriends to come help and everything.

Majima: You mental? Ain’t these your ladies?

Makoto Makimura: What’s that?

Yakuza: We catch you at a bad time? You’re the owner here, Wen Hai Lee, yeah? Where’s Makoto Makimura?

Majima: Eh? You’re Lee!?

Makoto Makimura: What are you talkin’ about? I’m Makoto Makimura.

Yakuza: Yeah? (laughs) Why even bother feedin’ me a line like that? That one mighta gotten you this far, but we ain’t buyin’ it.

Majima: What the… Wait…

Massage Therapist: Hey, boss. I got your cigarettes. Hm? Boss?

Makimura?: Makoto…

Majima: What the hell!?

Yakuza: Oh, perfect timing! Welcome back, Makoto Makimura-chan.

Makoto Makimura: Huh…? Are you a client, sir?

Yakuza: Boys! Grab her and let’s go!

Pumped Up Man: Run! Makoto!

[He’s running at bandits, but they shoot him in the shoulder and leg with a silencer gun.]

Makoto Makimura: Boss!? What’s going on?

Pumped Up Man: M-Makoto… Just go, get out!

Makoto Makimura: What’s happening? Where are you, boss!?

Majima: Makimura… It’s her?

Yakuza: You stay put, big guy. Move! What’re ya standin’ around for!?

Makoto Makimura: Who-- What are you doing!? Let me go!

Yakuza: Go! Get her outta here!

Majima: Holy shitballs… The hells goin’ on here!?

Yakuza: Whoa there, slim. Where d’ya think you’re goin’?

Majima: That girl’s really Makoto Makimura?

Yakuza: And? What of it? While we’re at it, who the fuck are you?

Majima: That girl’s My mark. I’m not lettin’ you jerks steal her!

Yakuza: Took the words right outta my mouth, punk! Doesn’t matter. You can die, too.

[He’s aiming his pistol. A few moments pass and the bandit’s hand is pierced by a needle.]

Pumped Up Man: Help her… Get her away from them!

Majima: Whaddya--?

Pumped Up Man: You’re the only one who can… Hurry… Hurry up and go!

[They shoot him again and he falls to the floor.]

Yakuza: I told you to stay put, asshole.

Majima: Everything’s fucked… This’s insane.

Yakuza: Gettin’ rid of bodies is a pain, but screw it. The both of ya are gonna be floatin down the Sotenbori River tonight. Hope you said your goodbyes, slim. Boys! End him!

[Majima kicks their asses with his breakdance style. He’s running out on the street.]

Majima: (Crap, which way’d those guys take the girl? (There! I dunno what their endgame is, but gettin’ her away from them is priority one. You guys aren’t goin’ anywhere!)

Find The Kidnapped GirlEdit

[Majima’s catching up with the bandits who kidnapped the blind girl.]

Majima: Now you’re gettin’ it!

Heavyset Yakuza: The hell are you? Stay outta this, fool!

Majima: I dunno whose men you are, but I got business with the girl. She’s comin’ with me!

Heavyset Yakuza: Shit… Whatever, murder this one-eyed freak!

[Majima kicks their asses too.]

Majima: You okay? Can you stand?

Makoto: What? Yes… That voice… The man from the clinic? Please, can you tell me what’s happening?

Heavyset Yakuza: Listen… You’re not… gettin’ that woman! More of my boys’re… already on their way…

Majima: That’s freakin’ great. (to Makoto) I’ll explain later. We gotta get outta here!

Makoto: Wh-What?

Majima: Shh! Keep real quiet…

Junior Yakuza: Bro! Dammit, what’s goin’ on here? Bro, you okay!? Alright, the girl’s gotta be close still. Find her, NOW! And call for backup already!

Yakuza Underling: Y-Yessir!

Majima: Tonight just keeps gettin’ better… (There’s still more of ‘em back at the clinic. Best bet’s to get her up north to Sotenbori Street without these bastards seein’ her!)

Take the Girl and RunEdit

Majima: We’re moving.

Makoto: Are they gone?

Majima: Yeah.

[He’s leading Makoto around town, hiding from bandits. The road next to the Venus Club is blocked by a large number of them.]

Majima: Shit! That way’s not happenin’… This way! Down the stairs!

Makoto: Wait, stairs!? Whoa-- Hold on!

Majima: No time for that! Hang on to me tight, now! Hey, stay behind. It’s dangerous.

Makoto: Okay, sure.

Majima: We cut through here and we should be able to shake ‘em…

Yakuza: You turned out to be a real pain in my ass, slim. Now, let’s end this with you handin’ over Makoto-chan.

Majima: Crap, couldn’t ya have just stayed down? (to Makoto) You stay put right there.

Makoto: What? …R-Right.

Yakuza: Makoto-chan, feel free to go on ahead on your own. Not like you’ll be getting far before we catch up. You, though, I’m makin’ DAMN sure I kill here and now! Then I can take my sweet time grabbin’ the girl!

[Majima’s doing what any normal man would do - he won’t let some bastards offend a girl.]

Majima: Who ARE you guys, huh? Why’re you after the girl!?

Yakuza: …Ya don’t even know that, and you’re tryin’ to get involved?

Majima: Meanin’ what?

Yakuza: You don’t know anything… Got no clue what she’s worth. You’re a… a goddamn idiot. No clue what you’re… about to step in… (loses consciousness)

Majima: HEY! I want answers here! Dammit.

[Majima grabbed Makoto’s hand and they ran away.]

Majima: We should be good this far. You okay?

[Makoto sits on the pavement, grabbing Majima’s leg.]

Majima: Hey, what are--

Makoto: I’m scared…

Majima: What?

Makoto: So scared… I was so scared!

Majima: It’s alright. It’s… alright now.

Makoto: And the boss…?

Majima: Don’t worry. He made it out, too. You’ll be together soon.

Makoto: Really?

Majima: Yeah…

Makoto: Why… is this happening?

[Majima reaches for a short blade decorated with flowers. He sees his reflection in the polished blade of the blade… The chapter ends.]

Previously, in the tale of Kazuma Kiryu…Edit

Woman’s Voice: (offscreen) It began in Asia’s largest pleasure district. A murder in the backstreets of Kamurocho. The man falsely blamed for the crime is Kazuma Kiryu of the Dojima Family. To shield Dojima Captain Kazama, the man who raised him, he risks his life and leaves Tojo Clan. The man behind the plot is next in line to Kazama, Dojima Lieutenant and Kenno Clan Chairman, Daisaku Kuze. His ultimate aim: a patch of land known as the Empty Lot, a forgotten square of Kamurocho and the lynchpin of a massive revitalization project. Amidst the yakuza’s furious battle for the lot, one man draws Kiryu under his wing. Tachibana Real Estate President, Tetsu Tachibana. Guided in secret by Kazama’s hand, he prepares to make his move and to change Kiryu’s fate forever.

Chapter 5: AN HONEST LIVINGEdit

[We found Kiryu and his friend Nishikiyama on the baseball field. Nishikiyama kicks off the balls and Kiryu sits on the bench.]

Nishikiyama: So, what, you finally decided to join up with Tachibana?

Kiryu: Yeah. Officially, I’m an employee at his real estate firm.

Nishikiyama: You’re a real estate agent now? Wow, look at you and your overnight jump to a legit career. Well, not that they’re exactly what I’d call upstanding.

Kiryu: No kidding.

Nishikiyama: So let me get this straight, Tachibana Real Estate’s helping you clear your name in the murder investigation?

Kiryu: Yeah. Tachibana’s already digging around for info, using the firm’s information network.

Nishikiyama: So hopes are high?

Kiryu: I’d say so, yeah. Just… from what Tachibana’s heard, my name’s already come up with the cops. My prints turned up on that body in the Empty Lot.

Nishikiyama: Whoa. So does that mean they’re out there looking for you right now?

Kiryu: No. He’s on that, too… Tachibana’s been pulling strings around the force. He can’t get them to drop it entirely, but he says he can slow them down a little. At the end of the day, I’ll still be a wanted man if I can’t find the real killer. I’ve got maybe two, three days left of being able to walk around the city without having to look over my shoulder.

Nishikiyama: Gotcha. Still, that’s pretty impressive. Tachibana’s got to have some serious connections in the police to pull something like that off.

Kiryu: Seems that way.

Nishikiyama: I guess there’s not much you can do on that front but leave them to it and hope for the best. So, whatchya up to now?

Kiryu: I told you. Real estate.

Nishikiyama: Huh?

Kiryu: Just until we can pin down the owner of the Empty Lot. It sounds like they’re just one step away at this point. Until then, they asked me to help out with the rest of the firm’s work. I couldn’t really say no.

Nishikiyama: Wait, really? You, doing honest office work?

Kiryu: Yeah. One of Tachibana’s top men, this guy called Oda, is showing me the ropes. I’m meeting him after this at Cafe Alps. But before that, I need to do something about these clothes.

Nishikiyama: Your clothes?

Kiryu: He told me I can’t show up to work there looking like a yakuza. Said I need to get a proper businessman’s suit.

Nishikiyama: Ahh… Is THAT why you called me out today?

Kiryu: You always know best when it comes to fashion stuff. I was hoping you could help me find something classy that makes me look less like a criminal.

Nishikiyama: Heh, then you’ve come to the right place, buddy. All right! Leave it to me.

Kiryu: No pressure. I’m not expecting much here. I just figured your pick would be less of a train wreck than mine.

Nishikiyama: Screw you. Is that how you ask a guy a favor?

[They exit the baseball field.]

Nishikiyama: How much time till you’re supposed to meet that guy?

Kiryu: Not a whole lot. If we can, I’d like to take care of this here in Kamurocho.

Nishikiyama: Well, that limits our options a bit. Places around here that sell business clothes… Guess you’re looking at Men’s Suits in Nakamichi Alley.

Kiryu: Nakamichi Alley? Since when is a clothing store back there?

Nishikiyama: It’s where a lot of rookie hosts get their suits. You’re not gonna find any high-end brands there, but they should get the job done at a decent price.

Kiryu: No complaints from me there. Let’s get going.

Buy Civilian ClothesEdit

Nishikiyama: You asking me to pick out clothes for you means you admit you have terrible taste.

Kiryu: Oh, shut up. I’m just trying to avoid making waves. Pick one that’s safe and boring, okay?

[They’re coming up to the clothing store.]

Nishikiyama: Here we go. This is the place.

Kiryu: Wow, there really is a clothing store back here…

Nishikiyama: Let’s dive in. You see one that grabs your eye, let me know.

Kiryu: Right.

Nishikiyama: Playing it safe… you’re probably looking at one of these.

Kiryu: Eh, I’m not really feeling it. They’re boring.

Nishikiyama: Welcome to clothes for the respectable working man. All that talk about flashiness only applies to yakuza, remember?

Kiryu: Yeah, but this is like… Won’t I look broke in that?

Nishikiyama: Fits you like a glove, then.

Kiryu: Yeah, real funny. Oh, how about this one?

Nishikiyama: Are you stupid? Absolutely no freaking way. Yet somehow I knew that’s the one you’d pick.

Kiryu: What’s wrong with it?

Nishikiyama: That suit’s so loud it’s practically screaming. It’d be hell to coordinate the watch, shoes, hair, accessories… Pair it with the wrong stuff and you’d look like a clown. Fashion aside, it takes effort to work a look like that. An oblivious guy like you would wind up looking like it was the suit wearing you, not the other way around.

Kiryu: Geez, fashion’s a real pain in the ass.

Nishikiyama: Here, how about this? The color’s muted, but with the peaked lapel, it’s gonna look flashier than you’d think.

Kiryu: Oh… White, huh?

Nishikiyama: It’s a lot less crazy than that print monster, at least. Well, go ahead and try it on.

[Kiryu dresses up as a white suit, which is almost no different from its usual appearance.]

Kiryu: Yo. What do you think, Nishiki?

Nishikiyama: Ki-- Kffft!

Kiryu: What’s so funny?

Nishikiyama: Ahaha… Sorry, it’s just that it totally doesn’t matter what you wear, you still don’t look legit! Hahaha!

Kiryu: Tch, you’re the one who picked the damn thing out.

Nishikiyama: Nah, I know, man! But still, just… Haheheh.

Kiryu: I don’t care what you say. I like this outfit. I’ll take it.

Nishikiyama: Huh? Wait, are you sure? You don’t look like an office type like, at all.

Kiryu: Oda just said to get some new clothes. I did what he asked. If he’s got complaints, that’s his problem.

Nishikiyama: Is that right? Okay, then! If you’re really sure, then the suit’s my treat. Gotta celebrate my bro’s fresh start!

Kiryu: What are you talking about?

Nishikiyama: Huh?

Kiryu: I hadn’t planned on buying it from the start.

Nishikiyama: Tch. Greedy bastard.

[The screen goes out and we hear a voice.]

Men’s Suit Employee: Thank you very much.

[It’s getting absolutely unclear what happened. It feels like Kiryu just bought the suit, not trying to steal it.]

Kiryu: Sorry to rope you into helping me out, Nishiki. Thanks.

Nishikiyama: Sure. Now, you’ve got that meeting to head to, right? With Tachibana’s guy… What was his name?

Kiryu: Oda. Yeah, we’re meeting up at Cafe Alps.

Nishikiyama: Ah, that’s right… Oh, and be careful, Kiryu. Word is that Kuze’s on the warpath, and he’s dead set on ending you. Your last run-in left him short on fingers AND on patience.

Kiryu: I’ll bet.

Nishikiyama: If things get hairy, gimme a call anytime. See you around. (leaves)

Kiryu: (Okay, it’s about time to meet Oda. Pretty sure Cafe Alps is on Nakamichi Street. I should get moving.)

[He’s running to the cafe nearby.]

Oda: Hey, you’re here. I was getting tired of waiting.

Kiryu: Oda.

Oda: You’re forgetting a “-san” there, junior. What kinda employee talks to his boss that way? And while I’m at it, what the hell’s with that getup? I told you to get a proper suit, didn’t l? You think you look like a civilian in that?

Kiryu: Like you can talk…

Oda: Huh? Really? …You think so?

Kiryu: You sure there’s nobody more qualified to train me? Tachibana doesn’t have anyone else?

Oda: Heh, don’t kid yourself. You think anybody but me can keep you in check? Hope you’re ready. I’m a tough love kind of teacher. …Kiryu-KUN.

Kiryu: What are these?

Oda: Vanity specs. They magically turn a face made for mugshots into that of a civilized human being.

Kiryu: You seriously expect me to wear these things?

Oda: Quit your whining already. Hmm… Well, it’s better than nothing, I guess.

[As it turns out, Oda gave Kiryu his glasses.]

Kiryu: ……

Oda: Right, then. Let’s get started, yeah? First off, we’re meeting a regular of ours here. Older gentleman. Naive for his age, though, and too rich for his own good. Seems our pal’s run afoul of a particularly nasty squatter.

Kiryu: Squatter?

Oda: Huh? You’re a yakuza and you don’t know about squatters? You’re hopeless, kid. So, squatters. Basically, they take over properties in order to extort a sizable relocation fee from the owner.

Kiryu: How do they take them over?

Oda: Okay, so if a mortgage owner defaults, a lot of times the court puts the building up for auction. Properties like that tend to go for a lot less than market value. But, they also have a tendency of bringing squatters out of the woodwork who slide in while it’s vacant. These guys dig their heels in and say they refuse to leave. Whole point being to get the property buyer to pay some insane amount to get them to clear out.

Kiryu: Even though they weren’t proper tenants to begin with?

Oda: You got it. Though most of the time, the squatters are in cahoots with the previous owner. The old owners tip off their buddies that their place got auctioned in exchange for a cut of whatever they extort.

Kiryu: So let me guess. Our job is to kick squatters to the curb?

Oda: Nope, not that easy. Poor, vulnerable residents like them are protected to hell and back by the law. We use force, and it becomes a police matter. And it goes without saying we’d be the ones the cops put in cuffs. Pretty screwed up, right? At the end of the day, the buyer’s got to suck it up and pay some big bucks to get rid of them.

Kiryu: Yeah, that’s not right.

Oda: Which is why our client here is coming to ask us to resolve the matter for as little cash as possible. He should be here soon… Guess we can wait for him inside. Oh, almost forgot to give these to you first. Your very own business cards, Kiryu-kun. You’re an official Tachibana Real Estate agent now. But stay sharp. I’m using today to gauge your business skills. You pull some slacker bullshit on me, you can bet your leisure-suited ass the boss is gonna hear about it.

Kiryu: Fine by me.

[They come into the cafe.]

Alps Server: Welcome, gentlemen. Please sit anywhere you’d like.

Kiryu: (Anywhere I like, huh? Where’s good to talk business?)

[He chooses the table.]

Oda: Whoa, hold up. We’re not sitting by the door, genius. Every time somebody comes or goes we’ll get interrupted. We’re here to talk business. Times like that, pick a table further towards the back.

Kiryu: Got it.

Oda: Consider class officially in session. Try to use your brain.

Kiryu: ……

[He pick another table.]

Kiryu: (This looks as good as any.)

Oda: Good, this should work fine. The perfect spot for a professional chat.

Take the Farthest Seat
+Take the Nearest Seat

Oda: Good, at least you know to sit at the foot of the table. If you sat yourself in the back there, I was going to lose it.

Kiryu: The business world’s no different from the yakuza as far as strict hierarchy goes. Sit down without thinking of your proper place and you could get a lot worse than decked.

Oda: Heh, glad you’re applying your experience to this. Keep it up and we’re golden.

Kiryu: Will do.

Alps Server: Hello, gentlemen. Are you ready to order?

Kiryu: Ah, right…

+Coffee
Beer
Nothing

Kiryu: Coffee for--

Oda: No, we’ll be ordering after our guest arrives. Mind coming back in a few?

Alps Server: Of course, sir. (leaves)

Oda: You better not have been about to order. You gonna sit there leisurely sipping your coffee while you wait for the client? This is basic business etiquette.

Kiryu: You figure?

Oda: I’m not expecting much from you here, but at least try not to make me repeat myself.

Kiryu: Right. Still, all these rules are a pain in the ass.

Oda: What are you complaining about? The yakuza are way more uptight about protocol. The higher up the ranks, the more formal those guys know how to act. Same applies in business. Ah. Look sharp, he’s here. That older guy’s our client. Hello, Yamanoi-san. It’s been too long.

Yamanoi: It has. Sorry about this, Oda-san. The whole situation’s a bit of a mess… And who is this?

Oda: Our newest hire, Kiryu. I’ll be having him help on this case for you, sir.

Yamanoi: Oh, is that so?

[Kiryu gets his business card out like a ninja.]

Kiryu: Kiryu, Tachibana Real Estate, sir.

Oda: Nice. Business cards are step one in any business exchange. Doesn’t matter how hard you sell yourself. If they don’t walk away with a business card, you’re history to them. Close, but… your card’s upside-down there, champ.

Kiryu: …!

Oda: Heh, it’s still a nice effort for your first try. I’ll cut you some slack.

Yamanoi: Kiryu-san, is it? I look forward to working with you.

Kiryu: Thank you. The pleasure’s mine, sir.

[Some time passes. Mr. Yamanoi explains his situation.]

Oda: I see. What you’ve described sounds like a typical squatter. You purchased the property at auction last month, correct? Meaning the squatter took up residence just before that?

Yamanoi: Yes, I think so.

Oda: And ifs just the one occupant?

Yamanoi: Yes, a man named Tsuji. Early forties, I’d say? Filthy fellow, looks like he’s homeless.

Oda: And has he asked you for a relocation payment yet?

Yamanoi: Not yet. I was hoping to leave those negotiations to you Tachibana guys, if possible. I’m no spring chicken, and the whole thing makes me nervous. I do hope you’ll be able to chase him off without trouble.

Oda: Of course. If I may, Yamanoi-san, how much did you have in mind as the most you’d be willing to pay him?

Yamanoi: I’d like to be done with it as quickly as possible, so… Maybe five million or so?

Kiryu: Five million? To a guy who’s just squatting there?

Yamanoi: Well naturally, less than that would be ideal, if possible.

Kiryu: But why the hell should you pay this punk any money at all? If it were me, I wouldn’t cough up a damn yen.

Oda: Hey, watch your tone.

Yamanoi: This Tsuji fellow says he has the yakuza behind him. If I put up a fuss now, it could mean worse trouble later.

Oda: I understand your concern, sir. But please, rest assured. Our man Kiryu here is an expert at handling yakuza.

Kiryu: Huh?

Yamanoi: A yakuza expert…?

Oda: Hmm, how do I put this? He’s a yakuza otaku who really gets into character when he starts nerding out. Sometimes he likes to play dress-up and pretend he’s a real yakuza for the hell of it. Isn’t that right, Kiryu-kun?

Kiryu: Yeah. That’s me.

Oda: In any case, we’ll get that payment down as low as we can.

Yamanoi: Can I leave the matter in your hands, then? Needless to say, I’ve also set aside funds to thank you for your services.

Oda: You’re very generous, sir. But Tachibana instructed me to politely decline any such gesture. He said to thank you for all the kindness you’ve shown us.

Yamanoi: Did he, now? Well, that’s Tachibana Real Estate for you! Always going the extra mile.

Oda: Now, may I ask where to find the property in question?

Yamanoi: On Tenkaichi Street, the Sugita Building.

Oda: Understood. We’ll handle everything from here, sir. Won’t we, Kiryu-kun?

Kiryu: Yeah.

[Oda and Kiryu are leaving the cafe.]

Oda: You got the gist of that, yeah? Basically, we just need to clear that squatter out of the building. I’ll handle the negotiations. You just watch and learn.

Kiryu: But this squatter guy’s got the yakuza backing him, right? Do you really think negotiating is gonna cut it?

Oda: Guess that depends on how good I am. In the meantime, Kiryu-kun, I’ll bestow upon you your first mission.

Kiryu: And what’s that?

Oda: Run along and fetch me a confectionery gift box.

Kiryu: Huh?

Oda: Even if we’re dealing with squatter trash, you don’t show up to the negotiating table empty-handed. We’re back to business etiquette 101, kid.

Kiryu: Tch, this again? …Fine, understood.

Oda: Once you’ve got those sweets, meet me in front of the Sugita Building. I’ll wait for you there. See you soon.

Kiryu: Yeah. (He said this Sugita Building was on Tenkaichi Street. Can’t say the name rings any bells, though. That whole area is Dojima Family turf, so I know it pretty well, but I don’t remember any place like that… Might be tucked away on one of the smaller streets off Tenkaichi. I’ll have a look once I’ve got this gift box.)

[After going around a few shops, Kiryu finds candy. He comes up to Oda waiting for him.]

Oda: Hey, Kiryu-kun. You buy that confection gift box?

Kiryu: Yeah, this one work?

Oda: Nice. Gotta be able to handle errands this simple, right? Well, this is the Sugita Building.


Kiryu: So our squatter’s holed up in here?

Oda: Right. Let’s head on up.

Kiryu: Yeah. Time for you to show me what you got.

Oda: Heh, watch and learn.

[They go inside the building and go up to the right floor.]

Oda: This should be the unit. (knocking) Excuse me! Are you in, Tsuji-san? We’re here on behalf of Yamanoi-san!

[The door opens and the untidy man looks out of it. Oda and Kiryu give him their business cards.]

Oda: We’re with Tachibana Real Estate.

Tsuji: Tachibana Real Estate?

Oda: (giving him a box of candy) Here. It’s not much, but enjoy it with our compliments.

[Sleeping Tsuji’s guard down, Oda opens the door to the apartment abruptly.]

Tsuji: HEY! Who said you could come in here!?

[The apartment is a mess - there are boxes and sake bottles everywhere. There is a Sega Genesis connected to TV on the floor.]

Oda: Ah, this place is a pigsty. You’re gonna have your work cut out for you cleaning this all up so you can move out.

Tsuji: Move out? What’re you talking about? I’m not going anywhere.

Oda: Well, you can pretend, but this building is Yamanoi-san’s, now that he bought the place. And you outstaying your welcome isn’t doing him any favors.

Tsuji: Civil Code, Article 395.

Oda: Come again?

Tsuji: If you’re in real estate, do your homework. In the case of mortgaged property, short-term rental tenants are legally protected from the mortgagee’s demands. In other words, the law’s on my side in all this. You wanna take this to court?

Oda: Let’s not be so obstinate, hm? If you agree to move out, we would be happy to cover your expenses. My firm can point you to a new location quite similar to this one.

Tsuji: Hey, I happen to like it here. And I don’t take kindly to you thinking you can throw money at me to make me go away.

Kiryu: Says the squatter who’s only in it for a relocation payment.

Tsuji: What’s all this “squatter” talk about? Are you slinging baseless accusations at me now?

Oda: C’mon, Tsuji-san. Let’s drop the act. The new owner’s eager to bundle up this rat’s nest and flip it for a tidy profit.

Tsuji: That sounds like his problem, not mine. I’m done talking to you errand boys. You bring the owner here to talk to me, eh?

Oda: …Then why don’t YOU bring out the yakuza you work for?

Tsuji: Yakuza? I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Oda: I told you not to bother with your piss-poor performance. Don’t think for a second you’re anything more than a warm body to park in this shithole. I’m sure they don’t.

Tsuji: The hell did you say!?

Oda: The owner’s got better things to do than meet with the likes of you. Go on, pass the word along to your yakuza handlers. Tachibana Real Estate’s handling this case.

Tsuji: You talk an awful big game for a fucking real estate agent.

Oda: You have your message. We’re done here, Tsuji-san.

[Oda and Kiryu are leaving the building.]

Oda: Well, that went about as well as it could’ve.

Kiryu: Heh, awfully rough negotiations there. You forget your precious business etiquette back at the coffee shop?

Oda: There’s a time and a place for everything. Besides, that squatter trash Tsuji isn’t who we’re actually dealing with here. Step one is to bring them to the table.

Kiryu: “Them” meaning the yakuza backing him?

Oda: Yup. End of the day, they’re in this for the money. Once we can get past pretenses, we should both be eager to get this deal done.

[A three men comes up to them.]

Kiryu: What do these guys want?

Oda: Not the sharpest knife, are you, Kiryu-kun? Say hello to our real negotiation partners. More punctual than I expected.

Yakuza: You two with Tachibana Real Estate? I heard you’re here on Yamanoi-san’s behalf.

Oda: And who might you be?

Yakuza: Oh, friends of yours… That squatter in the Sugita Building giving you any trouble?

Oda: Sure, a bit.

Yakuza: We’d be happy to go have a little chat with him. He’ll be packed up and moved out in no time.

Oda: I’m sure. And how much are you asking for the pleasure of your negotiating services?

Yakuza: Straight to business. That’s Kamurocho realty for you. Let’s see… Seven mil should cover it. Sell a building that size, you’re looking at 100 million yen in profit. Seven’s downright reasonable, wouldn’t you say?

Oda: The guy parks himself in a room for a few days and you’re quoting seven million? Seems like a lot of easy money.

Yakuza: We’re both making easy money here, aren’t we? These days, you real estate fat cats are tripping over your piles of cash.

Oda: Doesn’t mean we’re sharing any of it with you. And yet… You’re still going to go chat with our squatter friend.

Yakuza: Huh. And how exactly do you figure that?

Oda: Oh, by force, of course. Isn’t that right, Kiryu-kun?

Kiryu: Oda… was this your plan from the start?

Oda: Pretty much. Why, is this too overwhelming for a rookie’s first day on the job?

Kiryu: Nah. Shouldn’t be a problem.

Yakuza: Psh, amateurs dicking me around… I’m adding a fee to that previous quote for wasting my time.

Kiryu: Heh, and just how much will that run us?

Yakuza: Three mil. That brings us to ten million yen! Now, pay up!

[Kiryu kicks their asses.]

Yakuza: Bastards… Nobody pulls this shit and gets away with it!

Kiryu: ……

Yakuza: I’m gonna remember your two, smug-ass faces. Heh heh…

Kiryu: What family are you with?

Yakuza: Tojo Clan… Taihei Association.

Kiryu: Taihei Association? So you’re his boys. Dojima Family Lieutenant, Hiroki Awano.

Yakuza: Too late to unfuck yourselves now. You made the wrong enemies. All you can do now is wait for the hammer to fall!

[They’re running away.]

Oda: Kamurocho’s got more yakuza than friggin’ stars in the sky, and we had to bump into a Dojima man’s goons. That certainly makes things messier.

Kiryu: ……

Oda: ‘Course, the moment we started going after the Empty Lot, we were bound to butt heads with them anyway. This can serve as a friendly greeting between our two organizations, hm?

[He notices a guy in a corner shaking in fear.]

Oda: Heyyy, it’s our favorite squatter, Tsuji-san!

Tsuji: Y-Yeah…

[He tries to escape but fails.]

Oda: If you’re still eager to stick around up there, I’m happy to continue our conversation where we left off…

Tsuji: Urg…Yeah, no, that’s…

Oda: Your backup is, well, you can see for yourself. Care to make a stand by your lonesome, Tsuji-san?

Tsuji: N-No, sir! Wouldn’t dream of it!

Oda: Oh, good. Then be out of that room tonight. If he finds you there tomorrow morning, there’s no telling what Kiryu-kun here might do.

Tsuji: I-I’ll be out tonight! And I’m s-sorry for any trouble!

[He’s running away trying not to shit his pants.]

Kiryu: So this is how you do business.

Oda: It’s not all me. Everything I know, I learned from the boss. Not bad, for your first job. How was it for you? A lot easier than yakuza work, huh? And having people actually thank you for doing it has gotta be refreshing.

Kiryu: That’s not the point. I didn’t join the yakuza because I thought it would be fun, or for people’s gratitude.

Oda: Hm? Wait, don’t tell me you’re planning on going back to the yakuza after we land the Empty Lot.

Kiryu: I honestly haven’t thought that far ahead.

Oda: Fair enough.

Kiryu: Back to the present, what do we do next?

Oda: Right. We chased off our squatter, now let’s have you go report in to old man Yamanoi. Once that’s done, come meet me at Serena. It’s a place near here on Tenkaichi Street.

Kiryu: Serena? What is it?

Oda: Just a cozy little bar. Relax, this time it’s pleasure, not business. I figured we’d have a little post-work drink to celebrate. My treat.

Kiryu: Surprisingly generous of you.

Oda: Sure is. In return, you’re giving Yamanoi-san a solo report. He’s a hardcore bowler. Got his own ball, the whole shebang. I’d head to Mach Bowl. You’ll probably find him there.

Kiryu: Mach Bowl. Got it.

Oda: See you in a few, man.

[He’s leaving.]

Kiryu: (Yamanoi’s at Mach Bowl, just up ahead.)

Toady: Eh, that old geezer Yamanoi’s too stubborn for his own good.

Kiryu: Hm?

Toady: Barely any properties left to his name, and the old cuss still won’t back down, even with all the ‘encouragement” you’ve given him.

Man of Wealth: You said it. I’m hoping a few bruised ribs will serve as a reminder the next time he forgets his place. Though my bet is, there won’t be a next time.

Toady: Once Yamanoi’s out of the game, you]l have that entire patch of the city to yourself, Shitara-san. It’s not hard to see why people call you the Leisure King.

Leisure King: Heh, I expect you’re right. Good thing, too. This’ll earn me some real bragging rights with the rest of the Five Billionaires.

Kiryu: (Leisure King? Five Billionaires?)

[Leisure King bumping into Kiryu.]

Leisure King: Oof!

Toady: Asshole! What the hell’re you standing there for!?

Kiryu: ……

Leisure King: Easy, bucko. It’s no problem. I’ve already hit my quota on beatdowns for the day. My fists could use a break after that last session. Besides, I’m the magnanimous type. I’ll let you off the hook this time, buddy. It’s like they say: the hungry fight, the wealthy forgive.

Kiryu: ……

Leisure King: Heh…! Quite the mean mug you’ve got, friend. So long. And don’t ever stand in my way again… Let’s roll.

Toady: Y-Yessir!

Kiryu: (Who the hell was that? His little pet called him the “Leisure King” with a straight face… They definitely mentioned Yamanoi, though, and I don’t like what I heard. I’ll need to check up on him right away.)

[He finds Mr. Yamanoi lying on the sidewalk.]

Kiryu: Yamanoi-san? Hey! You all right!?

Yamanoi: Ngh… Kiryu-san? Did you… Did you have any trouble getting that unit cleared out?

Kiryu: It’s handled. Forget that, are you okay? You need me to get you to a doctor?

Yamanoi: No. I’m all right. Could you help me to the Sugita Building?

Kiryu: Of course.

[Kiryu brings Mr. Yamanoi to his apartment.]

Yamanoi: Sorry to trouble you. I appreciate the help. And it sounds like you resolved the matter with the squatter, too.

Kiryu: It’s no trouble. Forget that, are you sure you’re all right?

Yamanoi: Yes, thank you. It’s really nothing too severe. Haha-- Ohhh, that’s tender…

Kiryu: Help me understand. What the heck happened?

Yamanoi: There’s a group of men looking to drive me out of business. I’ve been refusing their demands for some time now, and this is what it bought me. Haha…

Kiryu: This group of guys who have it out for YOU… They’re not related to someone called the Leisure King, are they?

Yamanoi: What? Kiryu-san, where did you hear that?

Kiryu: I had a little run-in with the guy on my way to see you. He was talking about driving you out, beating you down… Rough stuff. I just put two and two together.

Yamanoi: I see…

Kiryu: What’s his deal? Who is this guy?

Yamanoi: The Leisure King is a tycoon who made his fortune running pachinko parlors and other attractions. Now he’s one of the Five Billionaires.

Kiryu: Five Billionaires?

Yamanoi: A group of five men. Between them, it’s said they move more money around Kamurocho than anyone else. There’s the Leisure King, the Pleasure King, the Electronics King, the Gambling King, and the Media King. They’ve been snatching up every property in Kamurocho they can. And when their overwhelming capital can’t seal a deal, they use violence and extortion through the thugs they’ve bought.

Kiryu: How did I not know about these guys? This is all news to me.

Yamanoi: The lot of them have sliced Kamurocho up into five areas, each dominion claimed by its respective king. The Leisure King has it out for my business because I’m an obstacle to him completing his monopoly of the Tenkaichi Street area. I have a few key holdings in the area, you see. He’s eager to take them from me, so he made a show of force.

Kiryu: Got it. So it’s not you they care about, it’s your properties. Why go that far, though? What do they need all these buildings for?

Yamanoi: For profit, in a word. To play their little money game. In this bizarre boom economy we’re in, every property you flip nets major profits. Money’s growing on trees, especially here in Asia’s biggest pleasure district. Those five are preparing to play financial chess, so right now they’re all desperate to secure the strongest pieces.

Kiryu: Properties as chess pieces, huh? What about the hardworking people on the board trying to live their lives in peace?

Yamanoi: I agree, of course. But those five give no thought to anything but their own bottom line. The lives of their tenants and the state of Kamurocho don’t factor in at all. Their games have already ruined the lives of so many. I want to stop them, if such a thing is even possible. At first glance, you’d think this economy has made Japan a more prosperous place. But I believe someday this upward trend will end, and that it all might come crashing down. If that happens--if Kamurocho keeps serving as the board for these men to play their money games on--it’ll end up a wasteland, stripped completely bare.

Kiryu: ……

Yamanoi: I’ve shared the better part of my life with this city. I love Kamurocho. I don’t want to see it end that way. That’s why I’ve been fighting them for so long, but… I’m afraid this old body just can’t take any more. I’ve reached my limit.

Kiryu: Don’t say that. Can’t you hang on just a little longer? The city of Kamurocho deserves better than to get torn apart by a pack of hyenas like them.

Yamanoi: Believe me, I’m right there with you in wanting to take the city back from them and restore Kamurocho to the way it was. But the Five Billionaires have more money than you or I can imagine, and no compunction about using violence to get what they want. I can’t say the same for myself.

Kiryu: Damn… So there’s nothing we can do about it?

Yamanoi: …… Heheheh…

Kiryu: Hm?

Yamanoi: Maybe just one thing.

Kiryu: And what’s that?

Yamanoi: Kiryu-san… it’s you.

Kiryu: What?

Yamanoi: You have the physical strength to match their goons, and a strong sense of uncompromising justice. You also have the personal skills to minimize loss and resolve conflict. Take the matter with that squatter. You solved a problem I couldn’t handle, in no time flat. If you were to take over this office… it’s possible we might just be able to take a stand against them.

Kiryu: That’s crazy talk. You’re giving me way too much credit. I have no business skills at all, and even less experience.

Yamanoi: Everyone has to start somewhere. You needn’t overthink this. And as part of me asking you this favor, I’m committed to supporting you in every way that I’m able. Don’t worry. Besides, you’re looking to learn about real estate, aren’t you? This endeavor is sure to be an invaluable experience. Besides, if you fail, so be it. As it stands now, it’s simply a matter of time before this office folds.

Kiryu: Still… There has to be somebody out there better qualified for the job than me.

Yamanoi: I think you overestimate the number of men like you out there, Kiryu-san. Besides, I trust you. More than you know.

Kiryu: Why is that?

Yamanoi: Kiryu-san… You’re acquainted with a man by the name of Shintaro Kazama, yes?

Kiryu: Huh!?

Yamanoi: I hear you grew up in a facility Kazama-san operates. That makes him a sort of father figure to you, I would imagine. And you’ve kept that sense of gratitude toward him, honoring your debt even after swearing an oath to the Dojima Family.

Kiryu: How… Where did you get all this?

Yamanoi: I’ve been looking for a man I can trust. Tachibana-san recommended you.

Kiryu: Tachibana?

Yamanoi: Yes. He was kind enough to share your story with me, under the condition it remain strictly confidential, of course.

Kiryu: Which means Tachibana’s already signed off on this crazy proposal of yours?

Yamanoi: Correct. I expect Tachibana-san also believes that you are the right man to take on this role.

Kiryu: You… From the way you’re talking, it sounds like you know Kazama personally. What’s your connection to him?

Yamanoi: Heh heh, that’s ancient history now… I can’t give you too many details, but I can tell you this. Kazama-san is the man I trust most in this world. Enough to make me believe I can trust everything I own to a man who respects him, and who so closely resembles him in his youth. You have his clear eyes and piercing gaze.

Kiryu: ……

Yamanoi: Can I ask this favor of you, Kiryu-san? Kamurocho needs a man like you now.

Kiryu: All right… If you’re that sure, I’ll do my best. It’ll be a learning experience, at the very least. Just… don’t blame me if everything falls apart.

Yamanoi: Of course. I’m honored to be working with you on this, Kiryu-san! Right, no time like the present. Let’s get you up to speed on the basics of our business. But, hmm. It’s a bit distracting with the place in such a shambles. I’ll call my secretary to help me straighten up.

Kiryu: Secretary? Didn’t know you had one.

Yamanoi: Oh, yes. I’ll introduce you later. She’s quite the charmer, and I think you’ll agree, Kiryu-san. So, can I ask you to step out for a bit while I get the office put together? It shouldn’t take too long.

Kiryu: All right. (Yamanoi’s cleaning up his office. I should go for a stroll and then check back in later.)

[Kiryu’s pager beeps…]

Kiryu: “89” is “all set” and “01104” is “come by.” Guess he’s done cleaning the Sugita Building.

[He’s going back to Mr. Yamanoi. He meets some girl at the apartment.]

Female Voice: Kiryu-san.

Kiryu: Hm?

Marina: Pleased to meet you. I’m Marina, Yamanoi-san’s secretary. I look forward to working with you.

Kiryu: R-Right. Kiryu. Good to meet you.

Yamanoi: What do you think, Kiryu-san? The place looks great, doesn’t it?

Kiryu: Yeah, it’s… incredible.

Yamanoi: Now, how about I walk you through some business basics? Is this a good time?

Kiryu: Sure, sounds good.

Yamanoi: In that case, I’ll let my secretary take it from here.

Marina: There’s a lot to remember, but if you forget anything, you can ask me anytime. For now, I’ll walk you through the whole process once.

[She explains the basics of doing business.]

Marina: I think that about covers it. Did you follow all that?

Kiryu: I think so.

Marina: Then let’s get to it. Please give the order to begin collections for our current property holdings.

[Kiryu is making some changes in Kimorocho.]

Marina: You gave that collections order like a pro! Now you just need to relax for a bit, and that cash will come flowing in. Oh, and Yamanoi-san left me some funds to serve as your initial operating capital. I’ll give that to you now.

[You received ¥15,000,000.]

Kiryu: This is a fortune. Are you sure?

Yamanoi: Of course. That nest egg and Yurizake down on the first floor of this building are my little sendoff to you. Please, use them with my blessing. Though relying on a single shop’s profits is putting a lot of eggs in one basket. Why not buy another with that cash? If you want a solid starter, I’d recommend Sukiyaki Muranaka, on Tenkaichi Street. It’s a pretty popular spot, but still a comparatively affordable acquisition.

Kiryu: All right, I’ll go have a look.

(First, I’ll check out the place Yamanoi-san told me about.)

[He’s going to the restaurant to see him in person.]

Kiryu: (Sukiyaki Muranaka… It’s the main outpost of an old school sukiyaki restaurant. They’re always booked solid with reservations. What should I do?)

[He buys the restoration.]

Kiryu: I’ll make an offer… in cash!

Marina: Ooh, welcome back. Looks like you acquired a new property! Also, those collections you ordered are in. The money is ready and waiting for you.

Yamanoi: Looks like those profits are in. This is exactly when you need to keep watch for one of the Five Billionaires picking a Money Battle. If you lose in that Money Battle, you’ll lose ownership of a property, so be sure that you always appoint a manager.

Kiryu: Right, got it. though. It’s definitely a lot to keep in your head,

Yamanoi: Haha, true, but I’m sure you’ll have it soon, Kiryu-san. Basically, you want to expand your holdings, grow those properties, and enhance your personnel roster. That will build your share and earn you greater profits. The bigger we get by repeating that process, the closer we’ll be to shutting down the Five Billionaires.

Kiryu: Right, I’m on it.

Yamanoi: Oh, one other thing. I’m leaving it up to you how to spend any profits and operating capital. In this line of work, you end up spending money in all sorts of ways. Invest wisely. That includes investing in yourself.

Kiryu: I don’t see how I’m going to spend this much money anytime soon, but thanks. I’ll use it well, I hope.

Marina: Heh heh, I trust that you will, Mr. President!

Kiryu: Wait, I don’t remember becoming president.

Marina: Hmm, no, but as a secretary it just feels natural to call the one making all the business calls “the president.” Doesn’t that feel really secretary-ish to you?

Kiryu: Does it? I wouldn’t really know. But Yamanoi-san’s the president here, isn’t he?

Yamanoi: Well, yes, officially… But what’s the harm? If Marina-san wants to call you that, I say let her.

Marina: This is actually my first gig as a secretary, so I’m eager to be as secretary-ish as possible!

Kiryu: Oh, you’re a first-timer at this too? What did you used to do before Yamanoi-san hired you?

Marina: Heheh! That’s a big, juicy secret.

Kiryu: Y-Yeah…? Okay then. I don’t really care what you call me, so knock yourself out.

Marina: Yay! Then let’s aim for the top here, Mr. Prez!

Kiryu: Right… (She seems capable enough, but she’s a little… odd. I see a lot of headaches in my future. Ah, well. I agreed to do this. I’m going all in.)

[He’s coming out of the building.]

Kiryu: (Whew… Okay, I was going to meet Oda for that drink. He said the place was called Serena, on Tenkaichi Street.)

Go to SerenaEdit

[Kiryu walks into the building and takes the elevator. A woman meets him at the entrance.]

Woman: Welcome.

Kiryu: No, I…

Woman: Hm? Is this your first visit, sir?

Kiryu: Y-Yeah.

Woman: Have a seat anywhere you like.

Kiryu: No, I’m waiting for someone.

Nishikiyama’s Voice: Relax a little, would you?

Kiryu: Nishiki!

Nishikiyama: Yo.

Kiryu: Why are you here?

Nishikiyama: What, I’m not allowed to have a usual spot? This place is my number-one favorite right now. Right, Reina?

Reina: Friend f yours, Nishikiyama-kun? Oh, this is THE Kiryu-san?

Kiryu: …I suppose I am?

Reina: Wow, I finally get to meet you! I’ve been hoping I’d get the chance. Nishikiyama-kun, he won’t stop talking about you… especially after the first drink. Right?

Nishikiyama: Hey, he doesn’t need to know that! Whatever. Why don’t you have a seat, Kiryu? Heh, talk about surprises. What are the odds?

Kiryu: No kidding. You come here often?

Nishikiyama: Yeah, I guess. The family higher-ups still haven’t found this place, so I can actually relax while I drink. I was planning to bring you here soon.

Kiryu: Guess I saved you the trouble.

Nishikiyama: Oh, didn’t you say you were meeting somebody here?

Kityu: Yeah, Oda from Tachibana Real Estate. I would’ve figured he’d beat me here, but…

Reina: Oda-san hasn’t been by yet. Here you are. The first drink is on me.

Kiryu: Heh, it was supposed to be on Oda.

Reina: Uh Oh. I’m not getting the sense you’re a big spender.

Nishikiyama: Hey, just you wait, the two of us are rising stars!

Reina: I’d love to meet Yumi-chan, too. Bring her by next time.

Nishikiyama: She’s still in school. Actually, if you really want to meet her, you should offer her a part-time job.

Kiryu: Whoa, you want Yumi working as a hostess in this town?

Nishikiyama: Don’t you think she’d be great at it? Even back at Sunflower, she had all the older guys charmed.

Reina: Sounds like another rising star, then.

Kiryu: Tch… You could be right.

Reina: You sound like Yumi-chan’s father, Kiryu-san.

Nishikiyama: Aw, at least tell the poor guy he sounds like her brother.

Reina: (laughs) Haha, my mistake.

[Some time passes…]

Nishikiyama: I gotta say, your Tachibana Real Estate buddy… Oda, right? He’s certainly taking his sweet time.

[Kiryu doesn’t answer.]

Nishikiyama: What do you want to do? Grab another round?

Kiryu: No, I’ll wait. Would be rude to get plastered on my own before the guy who’s buying even shows up.

Nishikiyama: Oh? Listen to you, starting to sound like a responsible salaryman.

Kiryu: You make it sound like this is some weird ritual. It’s just basic manners. Common courtesy.

Nishikiyama: Yeah, and since when have you had that?

Kiryu: Heh, wise-ass.

Reina: Hey, in that case, how about a round of karaoke?

Nishikiyama: Ooh, hell yeah! I’m singing!

Kiryu: Idiot. How is him walking in on that any more respectful than drinking? Besides, we did karaoke just the other day.

Nishikiyama: Then you can just sit there and listen while I rock it! No complaints then, right?

Reina: I think even a businessman’s allowed to cut loose a little after work. Just sing, I’m sure Oda-san will turn up.

Kiryu: Tch, if you’re gonna twist my arm…

Nishikiyama: Sweet! In that case, let’s get right to it! Music, START!

[Nishiki sings a song and Kiryu claps his hands.]

Nishikiyama: How was THAT!?

Reina: Amazing, Nishikiyama-kun! You sounded like a pro!

Nishikiyama: Right? Right!? And for all your bellyaching you were pretty into it, too!

Kiryu: Ha, I was only doing it to humor you.

Nishikiyama: Riiight. You’re so full of it. I could tell how bad you wanted a mic in your hands.

Kiryu: Oh, come off it. Sheesh.

Nishikiyama: Anyway, this Oda cat is SERIOUSLY late by now. From how you talk about him, he doesn’t seem like the flaky type.

Reina: Really. I hope he hasn’t been in an accident or anything.

[The door to the bar opens.]

Reina: Welco-- (freezing in terror)

[Oda goes to the bar. He’s covered in blood, and that blood is not someone else’s. He’s falling to the floor.]

Kiryu: Oda!?

[Five yakuza come out of the elevator with… Hiroki Awano.]

Hiroki Awano: Yo. You’re lookin’ well.

Kiryu: Awano… Sir.

Nishikiyama: Why are you here?

Hiroki Awano: Sit down, Nishikiyama. These boys look familiar to you, Kiryu?

Yakuza: Still haven’t properly thanked you for before, Kiryu-san.

Kiryu: You were with that squatter… You guys did this to Oda?

Hiroki Awano: Not before you got in the way of our business. (takes out Oda’s card) Tachibana Real Estate’s been pecking at the Tojo Clan from the shadows for awhile now. And you join ‘em, fresh outta the family? You got any sense of gratitude at all?

Yakuza 2: Boss. Let me handle this.

Hiroki Awano: You know this guy? One of mine, name’s Okabe. That squatter was his deal, and look how that turned out.

[We see that Okabe has a hand wrapped and no pinkie.]

Hiroki Awano: Poor bastard wound up having to take responsibility on account of your meddling.

Nishikiyama: The fuck did you do this time?

Hiroki Awano: (grabbing his head) Lackeys shouldn’t interrupt.

[Awano hits Nishiki’s face against the table. Nishiki’s nose begins to bleed.]

Kiryu: Nishiki!

Hiroki Awano: (to Nishiki) Hey, I’m having a nice little chat with this civilian here. Got it, Nishikiyama? Bitchass punk like you should keep his mouth shut.

Kiryu: Nishikiyama’s got nothing to do with this. I just ran into him here by chance.

Hiroki Awano: Don’t worry, I’m gettin’ back to you.

Yakuza: Yo, boss! Can we ice this guy already or not? Just lookin’ at his ugly ass is makin’ me sick!

Hiroki Awano: Sure. But don’t make any trouble for the locals. Take it outside, boys. I’ll be here grabbin’ a drink with Nishikiyama. And this hot number of a mama.

Okabe: Let’s go, Kiryu.

Kiryu: I’ll be right back.

[The Yakuza are taking Kiryu outside.]

Hiroki Awano: Now how’s about we have some fun here? Eh, Nishikiyama?

Okabe: Way I see it, you musta lost your goddamn mind. Not two steps out the family door and you’re pissin’ all over it. Your little stunt cost us our cut of ten million yen. You got a death wish, that’s on you. But find a way out that doesn’t dick over the rest of us just doing our jobs.

Kiryu: ……

Okabe: Why’re you still standing? Get on the ground! Hands and knees! You even understand the position you’re in, dipshit!?

Kiryu: I think there’s been a misunderstanding.

Okabe: Huh?

Kiryu: I have no intention of apologizing to you. No reason to let you slap me around, either.

Okabe: You wanna fight us? Seriously? Heh, you’re a laugh a minute, kid. Go on, take a swing. Don’t keep me waiting… ‘cause this is the last line in the sand. Lieutenant Awano’s right upstairs. Came out here in person. If you’re ready to do this with him around, well… I’d say you got balls, but no damn brains.

Kiryu: My friends are bleeding.

Okabe: Right, Nishikiyama and that Tachibana Real Estate buddy of yours? Heh, that guy coughed up your whereabouts after just a couple minutes.

[Kiryu hits him in the face.]

Okabe: Nghff! …Son of a bitch!

Kiryu: Screw your line in the sand. You crossed that a while ago. Bring it on!

[He gets mad and beats them with his bare hands.]

Okabe: K-Kiryu… You son of a…

[Awano’s coming down.]

Awano: Heh, so the kid can throw a punch after all. No wonder Kuze was havin’ trouble. You’ve gotten way more yakuza since leavin’ the family. Funny how that shit works.

Kiryu: You want next?

Awano: …Try me.

[Kiryu attacks, but Awano easily blocks the strike.]

Kiryu: Krgh!

Awano: Kiryu, c’mon… Why’re you with Tachibana Real Estate?

Kiryu: What?

Awano: Not like I don’t already know. Captain Kazama’s orders, no? Only reason I dragged my ass out here on a job like this is ‘cause I heard you were wrapped up with Tachibana now. You, Captain Kazama’s little pet. Far as I’m concerned, it looks an awful lot like Kazama’s using Tachibana Real Estate to make a move on the Empty Lot. Whaddya say? Am I right, or am I right?

Kiryu: Think whatever you want.

Awano: Heh, you’re pretty shit at hiding things. Way I see it, that’s all part of your charm though, eh? Has Tachibana found the lot’s owner yet?

[Kiryu stand silent.]

Awano: Not yet, huh? But he’s at least got a clue by now.

Kiryu: I haven’t said a word.

Awano: Didn’t have to. Your eyes tell me everything I wanna know. I love how easy to read you are.

Kiryu: I don’t have time for this.

Awano: Hey, Kiryu. Set me up with a meeting with your boss over at Tachibana Real Estate. He’s been doing a good job stayin’ hidden. Having you arrange it seems like the quickest route to the guy.

Kiryu: I left the Dojima Family. I’ve got no reason to do you any favors now.

Awano: You do this for me and we’ll forget about this squatter business. And the fact that you and Kazama made a move on the Empty Lot. Or would you rather paint a big ol’ target on your back? Every crew under the Dojima Family’d be gunnin’ for you. Now don’t think you could run away to prison. We’d stay on your ass till you drew your last breath, wherever you hide. And don’t think for a damn second it’d be a quick death.

Kiryu: Take your best shot.

Awano: Heh, you got your brain plugged in as I’m tellin’ you this? This shit doesn’t end with you. After you’re in the dirt, we move to your next of kin. Nishikiyama, your bro. You keep this up, he’s collateral damage. Your damage. Do the guy a favor.

Kiryu: And you… What do you plan to do if you meet Tachibana?

Awano: Beat every bit of intel he’s got on the Empty Lot outta him. That’s all. Well, that, and send a message to outsiders who wanna meddle with shit that don’t concern ‘em.

Kiryu: Meaning… have him killed?

Awano: I’ll give you till morning to decide. Hand over Tachibana, or die in his place. Take your pick and call me tonight. If I don’t hear from you… the hunt’s on. We’ll be coming for your head, to add to the collection.

Chapter 6: THE YAKUZA WAYEdit

[We’re going back to the bar. Oda lies on the couch. Raina tries to wash the blood off him.]

Oda: Mama, that’s enough, thanks… Sorry for the trouble.

Reina: Oda-san…

[Kiryu enters.]

Nishikiyama: Kiryu. I’m sorry, bro. I didn’t do a damn thing to help you out.

Kiryu: No, it should be me apologizing. I went and got you involved. …Sorry.

Nishikiyama: ……

Oda: Hey… What are you gonna do now? That Awano guy… told you to give up the boss, didn’t he?

Nishikiyama: Awano mentioned it while you were busting heads downstairs. The Dojima Family is kicking off an all-hands search for the president of Tachibana Real Estate.

Kiryu: Yeah…

Nishikiyama: He “suggested” I start trying to convince you too. He wants to make sure you know, giving up Tachibana’s the only way you get out of this alive.

Oda: C’mon. The boss is going around town right now, digging up enough info to get your ass off the hook for that murder. You planning to serve his head up to Dojima on a platter?

Nishikiyama: (screaming) You stay outta this!

Oda: Excuse you?

Nishikiyama: If not Tachibana, it’ll be Kiryu’s head on that plate! With the whole Dojima Family on the hunt, there’s no escape!

Oda: But it’s fine with you that Tachibana has to die?

Nishikiyama: (screaming) You shitheads are the ones who dragged Kiryu into this!

Kiryu: Ease off. He’s been hurt, Nishiki. Besides, I already knew I’d be making an enemy of the Dojima Family, eventually. Just happened sooner rather than later.

Nishikiyama: (angrily) You’re seriously planning to go head-to-head with them? You’ve gotta be outta your fucking mind! Not even Kazama-san could have known things would get this bad!

Oda: Yeah, you might actually have a point there… Even Tachibana was planning to have the Empty Lot in his pocket long before going to war with the Dojima Family. To Dojima, that little plot’s worth more than a billion yen. Play that trump card right, and we could buy control over a huge chunk of Kamurocho. We’d be a force even the Dojima Family couldn’t shuffle out of the deck so easily. But now… We never figured the Dojima lieutenants would force our hand this early in the game.

Nishikiyama: You guys underestimated Awano. You can’t lump him in with a brute like Kuze. He’s actually pretty sharp.

Oda: I need to talk to the president. Mama, can I use your phone?

[Reina’s giving him a cordless phone.]

Oda: There’s gotta be some way everybody gets out of this alive. If we can pin down the Empty Lot’s owner, we get the chips to bargain with the Dojima Family on our terms.

Nishikiyama: You better be right.

Oda: Sir, it’s Oda. I’m with Kiryu, in a bar called Serena. Yes, sir. So then Dojima’s man Awano told Kiryu to hand you over to them, or die. That’s right. They know we’re after the Empty Lot. Which is why… Sir, you need to hide. Fast. I don’t think we can trust Kiryu anymore. He might sell you out to Dojima.

Nishikiyama: Hey, hang on a goddamn minute!

Kiryu: It’s fine, Nishiki.

Nishikiyama: But he--

Oda: Heh heh, that solves that… Now even I don’t know where the boss is going to be.

Nishikiyama: Shit!

Oda: Nothing personal.

Kiryu: Sorry for all the trouble, mama. I know all that must have been frightening.

Reina: You’re worrying about me? Forget it… What are you going to do now?

[Thinking a little bit, Kiryu turning around and leaving.]

Nishikiyama: Hey wait, Kiryu! What the hell are you planning!?

Kiryu: Panicking now won’t get me anywhere. I knew when I left the family that I’d be walking this path alone. I’ll nab Kuze, and then clear my name. Back to square one.

Nishikiyama: You idiot. You really think you’re in any position to pull that kind of stunt off now?

Kiryu: Doesn’t matter… It’s still my only option.

[He’s leaving the bar.]

Kiryu: (Back to clearing my name, huh… Come to think of it, I still haven’t been back to give the Empty Lot a proper once-over. The cops may have cleared out by now. Could be worth going to take a look.)

Go to the Empty LotEdit

[Going into Empty Lot, he remembers the guy he killed at the beginning of the game. Suddenly someone comes up behind him…]

Kiryu: Tachibana… Why are you here?

Tachibana: The police have thoroughly scoured this place top to bottom. Any evidence that may be linked to the real culprit is gone.

Kiryu: I know that much…

Tachibana: I have looked into Kuze using my network. If he is really the one who framed you, he must have hired a killer to perform this hit. And yet… Kuze left no sign of any such activity.

Kiryu: Meaning what?

Tachibana: Meaning that the one responsible for setting you up is not likely to be him. Someone other than Kuze is behind this.

Kiryu: What?

Tachibana: That is all the information I have at present. I wanted to pass that on to you in person.

Kiryu: You came here just to tell me that?

Tachibana: Yes. But please do not worry. I have no intention of disappearing from Kamurocho. I did think that it would take the Dojima Family a while longer to catch on to our activities, but the situation is still well within expected tolerances.

Kiryu: Oda sure didn’t seem to think so.

Tachibana: I have yet to inform Oda-san of this, but as it happens, I have located the owner of the Empty Lot.

Kiryu: Huh?

Tachibana: Though for various reasons, I have yet to make contact. Regardless, if we can find them and acquire the Empty Lot, the Dojima Family will come to us, hat in hand, begging us to sell it. Such is the power this plot can wield. Which is why, Kiryu-san, I must insist that you stay alive until we can broker such a deal.

[Kiryu is silent.]

Tachibana: Or does that seem an unreasonable request?

Kiryu: How long until you can pin down the lot’s owner?

Tachibana: Give me one day. I must ask, however, that you tell no one. Not even Nishikiyama-san or Kashiwagi-san.

Kiryu: You realize I could just sell you out to Awano, and get taken off the Dojima hit list altogether.

Tachibana: If you were the sort of man to do that, I certainly would not be visiting you in such a place as this. I will get in touch with you tomorrow. Until then, please stay safe and out of the Dojima Family’s hands, Kiryu-san.

[He’s leaving.]

Kiryu: (All I can do now is wait for word from Tachibana. Better head home and lie low there.)

[Walking out of the lot, he sees a few scumbags harassing a chubby young man dressed in funny green suit.]

Mugging Thug: Whoa there, buddy. Not so fast. You planning to just waltz past without a word? You want through here, you gotta pay the toll.

Young Man: ……

Kiryu: (A shakedown? I feel bad for the guy, but I can’t really afford to get involved right now.)

Mugging Thug: Oi! You mute or something, blondie? If you don’t wanna get hurt, let’s see some cash already!

Young Man: Hoho, if you insist… Just be sure you pick it all up, hmm?

Mugging Thug: Eh?

Young Man: Huzzah!

[He’s scattering a pack of bills.]

Kiryu: …!?

Mugging Thug: Wh-Whoooa! It’s MONEY! Right on! I’ve never seen so much dough in one place!

Mugging Thug 2: Whoa, HEY! I had my hand on that one first! Keep yer grubby mitts off MY dough!

Mugging Thug: Shut up! And move your freakin’ leg!

Young Man: Ohoho! My, my. Peasants truly are a sordid lot. (to Kiryu) Hm? Oho, did you want some of my money as well?

Kiryu: No…

Young Man: Then I shall be on my merry way. Till next time, cheers.

Kiryu: Wait… Do you always throw wads of cash just to clear the road like that?

Young Man: But of course. Why?

Kiryu: At the point you cough up the money, it’s no different from getting mugged.

Young Man: Hohoo, I suppose commoners just can’t understand.

Kiryu: Excuse me?

Mr. Moneybags – Fukushima: You see, when you’re not just wealthy, but OBSCENELY rich, physical capital is like dust. It just accumulates. Gets in the way, really. That was loose change. I won’t miss it. On the other hand, having my precious time wasted by base ruffians like them is a serious loss. If I can buy that time back with coin, why, I’ll pay as much as it takes.

Kiryu: Buying time, literally…

Mr. Moneybags – Fukushima: Precisely so. Why not give it a try, if you’re curious?

Kiryu: Um. Give what a try?

Mr. Moneybags – Fukushima: Let fly with a great whopping wad of wealth.

Kiryu: Oh, no, I wouldn’t… I’m just not in that big a rush, honestly.

Mr. Moneybags – Fukushima: Hm? Truly, have you never been out on a stroll and felt the other pedestrians were in your way? Not ever?

Kiryu: Well… Sure, I guess a few times.

Mr. Moneybags – Fukushima: Hoho, you see? Then give it a try right now. I’m sure you’ll feel the thrill of sending those human hurdles scattering.

Kiryu: Hm. Sure, but I don’t have that much cash to burn on a whim.

Mr. Moneybags – Fukushima: Not to worry! I will be your financier this one time, as a special gift. You need focus only on enjoying the rush of flinging cash confetti.

Kiryu: Okay, deal. If you’re really going to pay for it, I’ll give it a go.

[He’s trying to attract women and avoid fights with the new Cash Confetti ability.]

Mr. Moneybags – Fukushima: Ohhh, truly magnificent money-blasting! For a moment I completely forgot you were merely another plebian.

Kiryu: Hrm, is that what being rich is like? Honestly, I can’t say it feels very good to waste it like that.

Mr. Moneybags – Fukushima: Perhaps, but aren’t there times when you’re far too hurried to be embroiled in the petty squabbles of the underclass?

Kiryu: That’s not… Okay, yeah.

Mr. Moneybags – Fukushima: Right? Really, whoever said “time is money” is an utter buffoon. Time is the far more precious resource. It’s finite.

Kiryu: Fair enough. I can see a weird sort of logic to that.

Mr. Moneybags – Fukushima: Then I’ve made my case. Take my advice--if you’re ever in danger of being dragged into a meaningless fight, just let loose with a heaping helping of legal tender.

Kiryu: So, you’re clearly loaded. But how’d you earn all that cash?

Mr. Moneybags – Fukushima: Hoh, I take it you’ve caught a case of money fever, hmm?

Kiryu: Maybe. I’m just thinking it’d be convenient if there was a quick way to make some extra money. Common sense tells me that’s crazy to wish for, but I might as well ask.

Mr. Moneybags – Fukushima: Oh, but there is.

Kiryu: Seriously!?

Mr. Moneybags – Fukushima: The very epitome of high-risk, high-return. It’s been my golden goose, and now I dine on diamond foie gras.

Kiryu: “It” being…?

Mr. Moneybags – Fukushima: Head for Theater Square. If you’re truly a man of means, you’ll find your way from there.

Kiryu: What am I looking for?

Mr. Moneybags – Fukushima: Oh, you’ll know it when you see it. A paradise exclusively reserved for the upper echelons of wealth and taste.

Kiryu: ……

Mr. Moneybags – Fukushima: Though naturally that isn’t my only source of income. I’ve quite the diverse portfolio. I--or should I say, WE--put most of our capital to work in a certain system that gives rise to considerable profits. If you wish to hear more about that as well, drop by “Vincent. ” You’ll find me there most of the time.

Kiryu: Vincent… Got it.

Mr. Moneybags – Fukushima: This has been a most stimulating use of my time. Ta-ta. (leaves)

Kiryu: (Tachibana may have new intel tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean everything will be over then. I should tuck away as much cash as I can now so I’m ready for whatever comes. He said I’d find a way to make big money at Theater Square. It’s worth a look…)

Kiryu: (Tachibana’s supposed to get in touch tomorrow, but… am I really supposed to just sit here until then? There may still be something I can do. I’ll hit the streets for info in the morning. It’s fair to expect the family will be looking for me, and if they find me, there’s no getting around a fight. They’ll be coming for me with guns blazing. Better make sure I’m ready now, before things go down. …Anything left I should do before hitting the sack? Getting some sleep now’s part of being ready for tomorrow.)

Kazama Family Office
Kamurocho

Keiji Shibusawa: It’s dawn. Kiryu’s not giving up Tachibana.

Hiroki Awano: Get me Chief Dojima on the phone. Boss. It’s Awano. About what we discussed… I’m gonna have to end Kiryu. He wouldn’t sell Tachibana out. And the Dojima Family doesn’t tolerate ingrates. Yeah. Yeah… Got it. (to Kuze) No objections from you, right? Kuze?

Daisaku Kuze: I don’t see why you’re asking me. You’re point man on this one. I’m just the infantry here.

Hiroki Awano: Aw, don’t be like that, bro. I’m tryin’ to make sure I treat everyone fair.

[He takes a picture of Kazama, Kiryu and Nishikiyama and shoots her face down.]

Hiroki Awano: Speakin’ of. I assume I got the Kazama Family’s understanding on this too? Kashiwagi-san.

Osamu Kashiwagi: And what do you mean by that?

Hiroki Awano: We wouldn’t be dealin’ with this mess if Cap’n Kazama hadn’t brought Kiryu in. If the Dojima Family’s gotta take him out now… Only right that every last man in the Kazama Family should hunt harder than anyone else. Am I wrong?

Osamu Kashiwagi: No, sir. It’s precisely as you say.

Keiji Shibusawa: Then, let the hunt begin.

Hiroki Awano: Alright.

[He glances to Kuze.]

Daisaku Kuze: Listen up! You find Kiryu and you bring him here! He doesn’t get to die just yet. I want him alive, on his knees in front of me!

[Those present in the Yakuza’s office take orders from their commander. Nishikiyama looks at Kashiwagi. He nods. We’re back to Kiryu.]

Kiryu: (If I’m gonna look into the case while I wait for Tachibana to get in touch, I should stick to places without a lot of people around. And even then, I should be ready to run into Dojima’s men at any moment.)

[When Kiryu walks into the alley, a few yakuza come up to him.]

Kiryu: ……

Dojima Family Thug: Go. Get as many guys as you can. Tell ‘em we found Kiryu.

Subordinate: Yessir.

Kiryu: Guess nowhere’s safe in the city now…

Dojima Family Thug: You gotta know how this ends for you, Kiryu! Struggling’s only gonna make it hurt worse. This place’ll be swarming with Dojima crew in a minute. You’re not going anywhere.

Kiryu: And I’ve got no backup coming, so there’s no reason for me to hold back. Let’s just get to the fun part.

Dojima Family Thug: You that desperate to delay your execution? Pathetic. A traitor like you should shut up and swallow his medicine!

[Kiryu has to run down the alleys, kicking the asses of the Yakuza running up. ]

Kiryu: (Did I lose them? I can’t keep this up forever. There’s too many of them…)

Female Voice: Hey.

Stripper: The yakuza are after you, aren’t they? You stay out on the streets like that and they’ll find you in no time. If you wanted… you could step inside the club awhile.

Kiryu: What?

Stripper: The floorplan’s a little unconventional. Back doof Ieåds right into the sewers. You can get out from this part of town without anybody seeing you.

Kiryu: Why are you helping me?

Stripper: Because it’s the Dojima Family who’s after you. Those assholes think they own this town. You won’t find one honest person in Kamurocho who doesn’t hate those lowlifes. Besides, it’d be a waste to let the yakuza take out a hot young stud like you. But hey, if you’ve got a better offer, by all means.

Kiryu: (Being able to move around underground would be huge… But can I trust her? This could be a trap, but I don’t have many options.)

Kiryu: All right, lead the way.

Stripper: This way, sugar. And step lively, before they catch us.

[Kiryu’s going down to the gutter.]

Kiryu: You weren’t kidding about this place being unconventional. What do you need access to a place like this for?

Stripper: I heard the previous owner wasn’t exactly the upstanding businessman type. I dunno what he was so afraid of, but he wanted a quiet escape route. Stinks, but them’s the breaks.

Kiryu: Where does it lead?

Stripper: Theater Square, apparently. I never bothered to check myself. But it’s got to connect back up to street level somewhere. Not much use as a secret passage otherwise.

Kiryu: ……

Stripper: By now, the Dojima guys are probably all parked outside the club looking for you. Use this passage to pop up somewhere else and you’ll probably throw them off.

Kiryu: Let’s hope. And thanks, I owe you for this. Once I can walk around Kamurocho without being hunted down, I’ll come back as a paying customer.

Stripper: ……

[Kiryu leaves.]

Stripper: Sorry, stud. I don’t think that day’s coming.

[Kiryu runs down the gutter when he sees the light at the end of the tunnel. Someone on a motorcycle is driving at crazy speed towards him.]

Daisaku Kuze: KIRYUUU!

[Kuze strike Kiryu with an iron pipe, but doesn’t calculate the speed and flies off the bike himself.]

Daisaku Kuze: You asshole… You’re makin’ this fun.

Kiryu: K-Kuze… So, that woman was one of yours.

Daisaku Kuze: I’ll let you in on a little something. The yakuza game, it’s not like boxing. The man who gets beat down isn’t the loser. The guy who can’t tough it out to the end, he’s the one who loses. Eh? Don’t ya think?

[Kiryu’s trying to get up. Looks like his arm and maybe his ribs are broken.]

Daisaku Kuze: (taking off his glasses) In the yakuza life, there are no KO’s. I’ll tell you what, Kiryu. To me, a finger or two don’t mean shit. Having Awano or Shibusawa beat m to the captain’s spot? Couldn’t give a fuck… As long as I’m alive, I’ll keep getting back up for more. Which is why you… A half-ass like you’s the one thing I can’t stand. Now DIE, you little shit!

[He’s hitting with a metal pipe, but Kiryu’s blocking the blow… with his bare hands. The epic battle begins. Kiryu in a burst of rage and adrenaline rashes a hail of blows on Kuse.]

Daisaku Kuze: Fuckin’ shit…

[Kiryu picks up his iron pipe… there’s a very tense minute… and he throws it on the floor, turns around and leaves.]

Daisaku Kuze: Get back here!

[Kiryu stops.]

Daisaku Kuze: You’ll regret this… Not killing me here, when you got the chance.

Kiryu: It’s like you said before… I couldn’t hack it as a yakuza. I guess Kazama-san knew that. Knew it before I ever started… That’s why he didn’t want me joining up.

Daisaku Kuze: Huh?

Kiryu: A real yakuza, though… That’s probably someone more like you. But even a guy like me’s got his own brand of pride. And I plan to sticking to it.

Daisaku Kuze: Kiryu. You little…

Kiryu: No matter how many times you stand up in my way.

[Kiryu leaves and finds a way out of the gutter. They are given some kind of club. Fun dance music is played. A man and a girl dancing on the dance floor.]

Kiryu: Where is this? Awano?

Hiroki Awano: Been waitin’ for ya, Kiryu! Figures Kuze would come up short again.

Kiryu: What are you doing?

Hiroki Awano: Use your eyes. I’m dancin’! Yeah! So, how come you didn’t call me yesterday? You had me waitin’ by the phone all night! Don’t just stand there looking bored, kid. Get your skinny ass over here. Dance with us, Kiryu!

Kiryu: Is that a joke? Aren’t you trying to kill me? If we’re done here, I’m going. I don’t have time to play with you.

[Kiryu is going to leave. Suddenly, the lights and music turn off.]

Hiroki Awano: Aww, hang on, Kiryu. I’m real grateful to you, y’know.

Kiryu: Grateful?

Hiroki Awano: Both Captain Kazama AND Lieutenant Kuze… You’ve given me the ammo to take down two guys who’ve been standin’ in my way a long time. Far as I’m concerned, you’re my lucky charm. That’s my angle here, Kiryu. I want to help you out. Repay a little of that debt. Besides, it’s not like you got anywhere to run once you cut outta here. Why not hear me out first?

Kiryu: All right, talk.

Awano: You know, I was thinkin’ about a little while back, maybe just after you and Kuze threw down the first time? I went golfing. Koshu Country Club. Friggin’ gorgeous course.

Kiryu: What’s your point?

Awano: You may not know this, but the food these golf spots serve is fan-fuckin’-tastic. 18 holes, then curry ‘n a sauna. Once you taste that, the rest of the world’s pleasures start feelin’ like a joke.

Kiryu: I’m not sticking around to talk hobbies. Get to the point.

Awano: Still young ‘n impatient. Y’know, the world’s chock fulla shit that don’t seem like it has any connection to anything, but then it turns out it’s real important in the long run. Anywho… So I was comin’ back from golf, and I took a little detour. Visited you ‘n Nishikiyama’s old place.

Kiryu: No…

Awano: After hearin’ Kazama was lookin’ after the joint, I figured it’d be nigh palatial, but nope. Was more like a kennel. Sunflower Orphanage. The geezer runnin’ it seemed lively, for his age.

Kiryu: Bastard. What did you do to Sunflower!?

Awano: Whoa there, down boy. Relax, I ain’t done a thing. I told him I worked with Kazama and gave him some pocket change, maybe a million. Guy started crying. Sweet old man, that caretaker.

Kiryu: Awano, I swear…

Awano: Heh. You wouldn’t want to make an innocent guy like that sad because of somethin’ you did, wouldya?

Kiryu: ……

Awano: Am I bein’ direct enough? Even if you make it outta here alive today, you got nowhere else to run. I know every li’l thing about you. ‘Bout your friends, where you live, where you grew up, even your favorite ramen joint. Look, it’s nothin’ personal. The Dojima Family’s always split up the responsibilities. The Kazama Family writes the script, the Kenno Clan’s the muscle. Boring paperwork’s Shibusawa’s game. And me…

[He puts his hand on Kiryu’s shoulder.]

Awano: “Public relations.” Extortion’s my department. …Kiryu, I ain’t like ol’ Kuze. I couldn’t give two damp shits about livin’ like a proper yakuza. I wanna eat good food, wear nice clothes, and blast down the highway in a sweet-ass car. If I got a hot girl during that, so much the better. Being yakuza’s a career for me. A job. My means to enjoy the sweet life. Come over to my side, Kiryu. You gimme that real estate bum, Tachibana, and you’re on the winning team. Set for life on easy street. And if you don’t, you’ll die a painful, pointless death. You only just clawed your way outta that kennel with Nishikiyama, right? No reason to throw your life away now… Right?

Kiryu: That’s your idea of extortion?

Hiroki Awano: What’re you--

[He’s taking Awano’s hand off his shoulder.]

Hiroki Awano: Fuckwad!

Kiryu: What a joke.

[He’s leaving, but he stops when he hears the gunshot. Awano killed the girl he was dancing with.]

Hiroki Awano: You’re about to join her! I got a hundred Dojima boys parked out front, all of ‘em packing heat. This may just be a job but I’m thorough with my work. So, what’s your move, Kiryu? Waltz out there and get ventilated? Or come and chase the dream with me? That call, it’s yours to make,

[Awano throws the gun aside.]

Hiroki Awano: What’s it gonna be!?

Kiryu: No decision to make. I’m out of here.

Hiroki Awano: What?

Kiryu: You may think you’ve shaken me up, but I don’t care if I live or die.

Hiroki Awano: You’re fulla dogshit.

Kiryu: You make your choices based on what’s fun or not. Me… I decide based on whether I love it or hate it. I’m going, and the reason’s simple-- I hate the idea of joining a guy like you,

Hiroki Awano: Kiryu, you cocky shit!

Kiryu: In fact, I would rather get shot.

[Kiryu’s leaving. After climbing the stairs, he breathes deeply before going outside, where a crowd of yakuza awaits him. However… There are only ordinary people on the street. Awano smokes a cigarette downstairs next to the girl’s corpse. ]

Hiroki Awano: Threats don’t work on a goddamn idiot. Shoulda seen that comin’…

[Kiryu, meanwhile, is walking down the street. A car approaches him.]

Nishikiyama: Kiryu!

Kiryu: Nishiki?

Nishikiyama: Quick, get in. We’re boned if anyone sees you.

Kiryu: But…

Nishikiyama: Just get in! Keep your head down and stay low. I hoped I’d run into you if shadowed Awano. I got lucky.

Kiryu: Nishiki, you understand what you’re doing? Get involved and you’ll be a target, too.

Nishikiyama: Shut up! This is the last time I can help you out. They’ve got every inch of the city covered. Right now we’ve gotta get you out of Kamurocho.

Kiryu: Where are we going?

Nishikiyama: Out of Tokyo, for starters. Won’t keep you safe, but it’ll buy us some time.

[They’re driving till dark. Kiryu manages to sleep.]

Nishikiyama: We’re here, Kiryu.

Kiryu: Nishiki… Where are we?

Nishikiyama: Dunno. I just kinda kept driving.

[He pulls out a cigarette.]

Nishikiyama: Want one?

Kiryu: Thanks.

[Nishiki’s going through his pockets looking for a lighter, but he can’t find it. Kiryu offers him his.]

Kiryu: I was still bogarting it.

[They’re smoking cigarettes. Kiryu gives Nishiki the lighter.]

Nishikiyama: Keep it. I won’t ask for it back again.

Kiryu: That so?

[Kiryu inhales and exhales the smoke.]

Nishikiyama: Be sure to savor it. Brother…

[The camera moves to the right and we see a gun in Nishiki’s hands…]

Nishikiyama: That’s your last smoke. Make it count.

Kiryu: What are you doing? Isn’t this going a little far for a prank? Come on, bro. Put that thing away.

Nishikiyama: (screams) JUST STOP! It’s too late. This is the only way! (barely holding back tears) How did it come to this, man? When did everything get so fucked?

Kiryu: Are these the family’s orders, Nishiki?

Nishikiyama: They’ve got nothing to do with it.

Kiryu: Hm?

Nishikiyama: Kiryu… You know what they do to guys who fuck with the family? Dojima’s crew are the experts when it comes to making examples. They know exactly how bad you can torture a guy before he goes… and they make damn sure it lasts! They’ll keep you clinging on… Make it hurt as bad, as LONG as possible! Make you watch while they dissect you. Then, when they’ve broken the last little part of you… The bodies of these guys they find… You can’t even tell they’re human anymore! I can’t let them do it, Kiryu… (screams) I’m your sworn brother! I’m NOT watching you die like that! That’s what it means to cross the Dojima Family, Kiryu… Once they’re after you, you can never be free! (screams) There’s no statute of limitations in the yakuza! You KNOW that! At this point, I’m through as a yakuza, too… And Kazama-san with us! But at least… At least I can keep you from dying in pain. I can end it for you, I can make it quick. That’s all I CAN do…

[Kiryu drops his cigarette and turns around.]

Kiryu: I’m sorry, bro. It’s my fault you’re being put through this. Brother. I’ve got one request. After you plug me… Bring my head back to them. Use it to fight your way to the top of the clan. Promise me. It’s up to you now.

[Nishikiyama explodes with tears and backs off.]

Nishikiyama: What the hell… (screams) Don’t look at me! Don’t look at me, Kiryu! Please!

Kiryu: Man the fuck up and do it! You can’t get to the top by crying!

[Nishiki shoots, but misses because of his crying eyes.]

Kiryu: What’s the problem? Aim carefully! I’m not dead yet.

[Nishiki falls to his knees.]

Nishikiyama: Can’t do it… How could I shoot you!? Without you, I’ll always be nothing. Can’t make it as a yakuza… No. I wouldn’t even still be alive now if I didn’t have you beside me! I’m just… If you’re not with me, I’m useless! Nothing means anything!

Kiryu: Me, too… We’re the same.

Nishikiyama: Kiryu…

Kiryu: That means we’re both still just kids. Getting caught up in something way over our heads. Making trouble for Kazama-san… Thinking we can die and make it all better. Forget about whether I had what it took to be a yakuza. I wasn’t even a man yet.

Nishikiyama: Look at me. Talking all cool about ending it for you quick… I’m so fucking… pathetic.

Kiryu: Seriously. But, we can’t stay kids forever.

Nishikiyama: Kiryu, you and me, together we could--

Kiryu: Nishiki. Forget you saw me today. I’ll forget all of this, too.

Nishikiyama: Huh?

Kiryu: I’ve gotta go.

Nishikiyama: Where? What are you gonna?

Kiryu: Back to Kamurocho. There’s still work I need to do there.

Nishikiyama: You can’t, Kiryu… They’ll kill you for sure.

Kiryu: No, this is the life you just gave me. I want to see for myself how far I can take it.

Nishikiyama: Kiryu…

Kiryu: Nishiki, let me do what I have to do. You and I end here. From this moment on… We are no longer sworn brothers.

Nishikiyama: K-Kiryu!

Kiryu: I don’t want you having anything to do with me.

[Kiryu gets into Nishiki’s car and leaves. Nishiki is left to cry and scream in the middle of the forest at night.]

Previously, in the tale of Goro Majima…Edit

Woman’s Voice: (offscreen) Osaka’s Sotenbori, paradise of the night… Crowning it, the Cabaret Grand. Its manager, Goro Majima. But in the shadows of these neon lights, Majima’s fate is held in the vice grip of a man named Sagawa. Three years ago, Majima was a Kamurocho yakuza, but when he defied his boss’s orders, he was erased from the family, tortured, and banished. Now, as the price of his return to the yakuza, Sagawa orders him perform a hit. The name of Majima’ target-- Makoto Makimura. But when other yakuza appear and threaten her, Majima finds himself protecting the life he was hired to end. But there is no tolerance for killers who cannot kill, and his choice will surely have consequences…

Chapter 7: A DARK ESCAPEEdit

[Majima takes Makoto to some old warehouse.]

Makoto Makimura: Where are we?

Majima: Just get in.

[He’s grabbing her hand and leading her sharply.]

Makoto Makimura: Wait!

Majima: Sit.

Makoto Makimura: What is this place?

Majima: A warehouse. Full of old sofas and stuff. Wander around and you’ll hurt yerself.

Makoto Makimura: Uh… What’s going on? Why is all this happening to me?

Majima: That’s the question, isn’t it now? Those yakuza were askin’ for you by name. You can’t tell me ya got no idea why.

Makoto Makimura: But I really don’t…

Majima: The name “Makoto Makimura“… All the telephone club girls know it. They know Makoto’s lookin’ for a man with a bat tattoo. So, is that Makoto Makimura you? Or is it the big guy who was usin’ the name?

Makoto Makimura: It’s…

Majima: It IS you? Then is THAT the reason those yakuza, are after you!?

Makoto Makimura: I don’t know. I don’t… Who are you?

Majima: What, me? I’m a lost cause.

Makoto Makimura: Huh?

Majima: Can’t even take care of one person. I’m a joke of a…

Makoto Makimura: A joke of a what?

Majima: Of a hitman.

Makoto Makimura: No…

[Makoto’s in shock. She’s barely holds back tears.]

Majima: All I was told was to kill a Makoto Makimura. Didn’t know it was a blind girl. But I ain’t the only one gunnin’ for ya. Just who the hell are you? What’s this bat tattoo? Why are ya lookin’ for this guy?

Makoto Makimura: (screams) No more! Where is Lee-san? Let me see Lee-san!

Majima: The big guy’s… The yakuza who came to grab you shot him.

Makoto Makimura: He was shot!? But you said I’d see him soon…

[She tries to run away, but she stumbles over the tiles and falls. Majima catches her.]

Majima: Relax. Dunno what his story is, but I know he avoided takin’ a bullet anywhere it’d kill him. Not enough blood loss to kill a guy.

Makoto Makimura: Really?

Majima: Once we’re done here I’ll take you to him. But first I need ya to tell me everything you know. …Makoto Makimura.

Makoto: If you came to kill me, why help me? Why haven’t you… done it?

Majima: What, do ya want me to?

[She’s scared to death.]

Majima: Doesn’t matter. Soon as the guy who hired me to do it finds out I’m keepin’ you alive, he’s gonna kill us both.

Makoto: What?

Majima: But if I knew WHY everybody wants you dead, I might actually be able to do somethin’ here. What’s the bat tattoo thing about? Why’re ya after this guy?

Makoto: It’s…

Majima: Is he the guy who hired those yakuza to get you? Why the hesitation, then?

Makoto: Lee-san knows about the man with the bat tattoo.

Majima: Huh?

Makoto: Please ask Lee-san. He’ll tell you everything you need to know.

Majima: And I can trust that?

Makoto: Yes.

Majima: Then why the hell didn’t ya say so sooner?

Makoto: Huh?

Majima: He may not a’ gotten plugged in any organs, but the guy’s still shot up! What if he bleeds out and dies on me!?

Makoto: But you just… You said he’d be all right!

Majima: Sometimes ya gotta tell a white lie!

[He’s going to the exit.]

Majima: Listen up. If you don’t wanna die, DO NOT leave this room. For any reason!

Makoto: A-All right!

[Outside.]

Yamagata: Would it kill you to say thank you before you bailed?

Majima: Yamagata. Sorry to drag ya out so early.

Yamagata: Odyssey hardly uses that shed. If it can buy me a favor from you, I call that a bargain. Still, askin’ me to lend you space to keep a girl locked up? You’re into some sick shit.

Majima: Don’t breathe a word about her to anyone.

Yamagata: Heh, that takes balls. Is that really the sorta request you make to your biggest rival? What makes ya think I won’t go spread this little secret around?

Majima: If the wrong guys knew about this, I couldn’t stick around. And a Sotenbori without me’s a problem for you, too.

Yamagata: Oh?

Majima: Sotenbori is what it is because the Grand and Odyssey are lockin’ horns. If it were just one or the other, you think hall as many people’d visit this little dirt stain on a map? Just like baseball. Nobody watches a series where one team steamrolls the rest. You think Odyssey has what it takes to keep a one-sided game interesting?

Yamagata: Fair enough. So our “lord of the night” really can see the big picture. Very well. I’ll keep your private indulgences to myself for now. But a favor’s a favor. Don’t forget you owe me now. Oh, and Majima-han?

Majima: Hm?

Yamagata: You ever go to the cabaret clubs?

Majima: Cabaret clubs? Guess those are gettin’ more common lately. They’re a little different from full cabarets like the Grand or Odyssey, no?

Yamagata: Right. They charge by the hour like a cabaret, but offer the top-grade hospitality of a luxury club, hence the name.

Majima: Haven’t been myself yet. Why?

Yamagata: Maybe you should, then. If folks found out Sotenbori’s lord of the night ain’t been to a cabaret club yet, they’d be laughin’.

Majima: Oh? They that good?

Yamagata: They are. The dawn of the cabaret club is upon us, no doubt about it. Men and women both’ll make the shift soon enough. Full cabarets got another few years, tops.

Majima: Huh. If you’re that big on ‘em, why haven’t you got into the cabaret club game yet? I know business ain’t great over at Odyssey, but you gotta have that much lyin’ around.

Yamagata: I already tried… Couldn’t make it happen.

Majima: Whatchya mean?

Yamagata: Go and take a look for yourself sometime. You’ll understand real quick. Whoever rules the cabaret clubs rules the night… I think you’ll see why.

Majima: …….

Yamagata: I’m talkin’ too much again. So long.

Majima: (Gotta track down that big guy, Lee. Wonder if he’s still at Hogushi Kaikan…)

[He returns to Hogushi Kaikan. The floor shows signs of a recent fight.]

Majima: (He’s gone… Where the hell’d he disappear to all full of holes?)

[Someone’s coming into the clinic. Majima is hiding behind her short blade at the ready. When a man walks past him, he presses him against the wall and holds a blade to his throat.]

Majima: Who are you? Why’re ya here?

Little Guy: A-Aaagh!

Majima: Can’t understand if ya don’t use your words.

Little Guy: I not involved! Just come to get clothes for Lee-san!

Majima: Clothes for Lee? So you know where the guy runnin’ this place is at now? Where is he? Is he alright!?

Little Guy: Lee-san is at my hospital now…

Majima: What, you’re a doctor?

Chinese Doctor: All Chinese around here come to my hospital. Lee-san come in last night.

Majima: Where’s this hospital at?

Chinese Doctor: N-No, I not…

[Majima puts the blade down and let the doctor go.]

Majima: I’m on Lee’s side, doc… That means you know Makoto, the girl that worked here?

Chinese Doctor: Makoto? Y-Yes, I know her! Lee-san very worried about that girl!

Majima: She’s the one who asked me to meet with Lee. So please, tell me where this place is.

[The doctor is silent.]

Majima: Quick, before I make this hurt.

Chinese Doctor: A-All right… My hospital in Mahjong Jambalaya, Shofukucho West. That is where I see all my patients.

Majima: It’s a mahjong parlor? So it’s an underground thing…

Chinese Underground Doc: C-Can I go now?

Majima: Not yet. I don’t want Lee knowin’ I’m looking for him…

[He hits the doctor in the stomach and he falls on the floor.]

Majima: Take a power nap.

[Outside.]

Majima: (Place was called Jambalaya, a mahjong parlor in Shofukucho West. The big guy with the bullet holes should be there.)

[Soon he finds the right place.]

Majima: (Mahjong Jambalaya… This’s the place. Big guy from Hogushi Kaikan should be in here gettin’ patched up.)

[He’s going inside. Lee and some of the patients at the clinic play mahjong.]

Lee: Hey. Was wonderin’ when you’d get here! Took ya longer’n I figured.

Majima: What?

Lee: Heh heh, drop the scowl, friend.

Majima: You… You’re tellin’ me you expected me to find this place?

Lee: Eh, let’s say it was a distinct possibility. See, I ain’t yer average acupuncturist. God Hands, remember? (to other players) Whoa, hold up! You didn’t think I’d let that one slide, did ya? I been waitin’ for that east tile.

Chinese Man: Gah! You’re killing me, Lee-san!

Lee: You just suck, buddy. Why don’t ya give the newcomer there a turn? (to Majima) You’re in, right? Why else would anyone show up at a mahjong parlor? See, I always wanted to play a round of mahjong with a hitman.

[Majima thinks for a while and sits at the table.]

Majima: You seem fine for somebody with holes in ‘im.

Lee: You fuckin’ crazy? Hurts like a bitch. Can’t move my arm, either… Wish I could trade with you.

Majima: You not gonna ask what happened to the girl?

Lee: If Makoto was dead, you got no reason to come lookin’ for me. She’s alive, right? You’ve never killed before, have ya? I can tell just lookin’ at ya. You got the look of somebody strugglin’ to cross that line. So riddle me this. What’s a guy who can’t kill doin’ taking hit jobs?

Majima: You don’t know shit about me.

Lee: Chill out. Green kid like you can play tough all he wants, you ain’t scarin’ anybody. I can tell plenty about you. …Everything, really. That’s ron. Sorry, pal. Makoto ain’t hurt, is she?

Majima: Nah. The girl’s fine. Relax.

Lee: Good… Heh, then what? You here to try to find yerself a way outta gettin’ whacked? Now that the killer’s screwed the pooch, he’s tryin’ not to be the next name on his boss’s list, huh?

Majima: Just so we’re clear, I… I still ain’t decided not to kill her.

[Lee’s obviously not happy.]

Majima: I’m not the only guy after her. Take the yakuza who put air holes in that body of yours, for instance.

Lee: What about ‘em?

Majima: Why do they want her?

Lee: Go ask your employer. He’s after Makoto too, ain’t he?

Majima: Is she a target because you two have been sniffin’ around about a guy with a bat tattoo?

Lee: …Hard to say.

[A concerned doctor, whom Majima met at the clinic, comes into the room.]

Chinese Underground Doc: Lee-san, are you all right!? I brought help! That man is after you!

[There are a few Chinese with swords, bats and chains.]

Lee: …Nice playin’ with ya, “slim.“

Majima: We ain’t done talking here. You still don’t know whether I’m on your side or not. You gonna fight me anyway?

Lee: If I can’t tell whose side you’re on, it’s safer to just kill ya. That’s how the Chinese in this town do things.

Majima: So much for diplomacy, then.

Lee: Don’t bother holdin’ back, guys! Let ‘im have it!

[Majima pulls out his bat and kicks the asses of the Chinese thugs.]

Lee: Well, now. I guess you’re more than just a lousy hitman. Could be I underestimated you.

Majima: I ain’t here to mess with your turf. I really just want to know why the girl’s a target.

Lee: If you were thinkin’ the reason they’re after her has anything to do with the guy with the bat tattoo, I’m tellin’ ya you’re wrong.

Majima: And how can you be sure of that?

Lee: Makoto didn’t tell you anything?

Majima: She said you knew. Told me to come ask you.

Lee: She knows. Just doesn’t like talkin’ about it herself.

Majima: Meaning what, exactly?

Lee: Her eyes… She’s only blind because of the man with the bat tattoo.

Majima: What?

Lee: About two years back, Makoto first came to Osaka. No people here, no place to go… Just an 18-year-old girl on her own. She got gigs as a live-in hostess or whatever else. Bounced around a lot. Problem is, that made her the perfect prey for Sotenbori’s less-than-savory crowd.

Majima: Prey, huh?

Lee: Easy mark. A guy approached her. Real scum. Chatted her up long enough to find out she was all alone here, then dropped the nice guy act in a hurry. …Kept her locked up in a cage so she couldn’t get away.

Majima: What the hell was he after?

Lee: Money. It’s always money, ain’t it? That guy with the bat tattoo sold her off for cash. It was Korean mafia that bought her. After that, you can imagine the sorta thing she faced every day, morning till night… I won’t get specific. But that’s why she can’t see now. Post-traumatic psychogenic blindness was the official diagnosis… And from that gloomy cage they kept her in, the last thing she ever saw was the tattoo of a bat on the arm of the scumbag that sold her.

Majima: Well that story’s a real kick in the dick.

Lee: It was about six months ago I took Makoto in.

Majima: And you been searching for this guy with the bat tattoo to get revenge for her?

Lee: Makoto says she just wants to stop the same thing from happenin’ to anybody else. Me, though… I want to snap the fucker’s neck in half. Peel the goddamn bat right off his arm. But there’s yer answer, right? The bat piece’a shit is small time, goes around town picking off innocent girls where he finds ‘em, probably all by himself. Can’t imagine a man like that’s behind what’s happenin’ to Makoto now. The yakuza hire street punks to do their dirty work, not the other way round.

Majima: Then what? You got any other ideas?

Lee: Can’t say I do. That’s all I can tell ya.

Majima: The girl… She’s inside the Haru Building on Shofukucho Street. In a warehouse a club called Odyssey owns.

Lee: So what, you’re plannin’ to just give her back? The hell you plannin’ to tell yer boss if you don’t kill her? You’re a dead man. Besides, that just means Makoto’s gonna get hunted down by the guy they hire to replace you.

Majima: So what? What do you want me to do about it?

Lee: It ain’t impossible to get away. There’s just one way you, me, and the girl all get away clean from the yakuza. I’ll warn you now, though… it ain’t pretty. Keepin’ what really matters safe means givin’ up something equal in exchange. You and I would need to work together.

Majima: You need me?

Lee: Yeah. And I’m gonna need you to decide whether you’re in or out before I tell you the plan. Well? You prepared to do anything? …Just how serious are ya?

Majima: I’m dead if I don’t do somethin’.

Lee: I’m askin’ if you’ll do THIS. So… you in?

Majima: Fine. I’ll do it.

Lee: All right. Good… You get back to Makoto. Look after her for today, yeah?

Majima: Huh?

Lee: I got somethin’ I need to get done in a hurry now.

Majima: Just what are you plannin’ to do?

Lee: I’ll tell you once I got it worked out. Till then, it stays secret. How do I get in touch with you once I’m ready?

Majima: Cabaret Grand. I’m there from evening on. I run the place.

Lee: You serious? You’re the guy in charge of the Grand?

Majima: Next time you’re thirsty, drinks’re on me.

Lee: Heh, all right then. I’ll get in touch tonight. What’s your name?

Majima: It’s Majima. Goro.

[Outside.]

Majima: (Whoever that Lee guy is, he’s a piece of work… Nothin’ I can really do now but go check on the girl, I guess.)

[He’s going back to Makoto.]

Majima: You stay put in here?

Makoto: Where’s Lee-san? Is he all right!?

Majima: He’s fine. That ain’t the sorta guy who dies from a bullet or two. If ya ask me, the guy was doing TOO well.

Makoto: I see… Thank goodness. But, that means… you heard the whole story.

Majima: Yeah. You had it rough for a long time there. Hell. Guess things ain’t much better for ya now. Stuck in a dusty ol’ warehouse with a guy sent here to kill ya. Well, at least it looks like the guy with the bat tattoo ain’t the one gunnin’ for you now. Lee said so, too.

Makoto: I see.

[She’s starting to cry.]

Majima: Sorry to dredge up bad memories. It’s hardly the same, but I went through some similar shit. I’m… It’s just one eye, but I was blinded, too. And I got locked up, for a long time, in a place where any day coulda been my last.

Makoto: Huh?

Majima: Was probably heaven compared to what you went through. I still got one good eye, too. Next to you, I’m a lucky guy. Sorry, not doin’ a very good job at cheerin’ you up here. Ahh… Look, sorry. I went and made ya feel worse. Ooh, I know! You hungry? Eh? Haven’t eaten anything since last night, right?

Makoto: …I’m fine.

Majima: C’mon, there’s no way you’re fine. You’re just depressed ‘cause yer runnin’ on empty! Best thing to do when you’re down is eat, and y’know I ain’t wrong.

[Makoto keeps crying.]

Majima: I’ll have you a snack in no time. Anything special you want?

Makoto: …Some takoyaki, then.

Majima: There, see? I knew you were hungry. You got it! Sit tight for just a minute, okay?

[He’s coming out of the warehouse.]

Majima: (Oof… And I thought dealin’ with professional women was rough. Well, let’s get her some food for now. She said she wanted takoyaki…)

[He starts running around town looking for a takoyaki.]

Takoyaki Seller: Hey, perfect timing! I just made a fresh batch. Get ‘em while they’re hot!

Majima: Perfect. Just what I wanted.

[He buys some piping hot takoyaki.]

Takoyaki Seller: Thank you! Make sure you eat ‘em before they get cold.

Majima: (Okay, got the takoyaki, nice and hot. Let’s get it back to her before it gets cold.)

[He’s going back to the warehouse.]

Majima: (Alright, I got some smokin’ hot takoyaki. Hopefully it’ll help calm her down a little.) Hey, got that snack for ya. Takoyaki.

Makoto: …Thank you.

Majima: Feel yourself calmin’ down now?

Makoto: Yeah. But… now I’m hungry.

Majima: Heh, that’s a good sign. People’re machines and food’s fuel. Gimme half a shake, I’ll have a plate ready for ya.

[Some time passes. Takoyaki are eaten. Majima sits on the floor and smokes.]

Makoto: Um…

Majima: Yeah?

Makoto: What… What happened to your eye?

Majima: Mm?

Makoto: Well… you said you lost vision in one of your eyes. I was curious how it happened.

Majima: Oh, right. Yeah, in my case it was an injury. Almost more of an accident. Totally destroyed.

Makoto: That’s terrible.

Majima: Nah, I still got one. And hey, it does the job.

Makoto: Poor thing…

Majima: Huh? You daft? I’m a lot better off’n you, ain’t l?

Makoto: But mine is caused by emotional trauma, so there’s a chance I’ll recover. That’s what Lee-san said…

Majima: That true? …So you still got hope then. That’s great.

Makoto: But yours is…

Majima: I’m used to it now. Doesn’t slow me down any. My only complaint’s that it ruined such a handsome face.

Makoto: So you’re handsome?

Majima: I was with a matchin’ pair of eyes, anyway. Cryin’ shame I can’t show ya.

Makoto: (laughs quietly) Haha… That IS a shame.

Majima: There it is, nice to hear that laugh on its way back. Hm? Wait, you wear a wrist watch?

Makoto: Huh? Oh, yes.

Majima: Ain’t that a little odd for a blind girl?

Makoto: I suppose… But it’s cute, isn’t it?

Majima: That’s my whole point, how would ya even know? Yeesh…

Makoto: I know it’s strange. But this one plays a little music box chime. It sounds so cute, it always makes me smile.

Majima: Huh. What’s it sound like?

Makoto: …It doesn’t play anymore. The watch is broken.

Majima: Are you kiddin’ me!?

Makoto: Some things you just can’t throw away, you know? Even if it seems pointless to other people, some things are just really important to you… I lost my sight, lost all track of time, the watch broke, the chime stopped playing… I know. I have no need for it now. But it’s a memento of back when my life was still normal. If I got rid of it, I feel like… I’d never…

Majima: Hey now.

Makoto: Still, I would love to hear it chime again…

Majima: I get it?

Makoto: Huh?

Majima: If ya can’t bring yerself to throw it away, keep it. Hang on to it long enough, and eventually it’ll bring ya good luck.

Makoto: Good luck… eventually.

[She’s taking off her watch.]

Majima: Hm? What’s wrong?

Makoto: You’re right, it’s silly. It’s because I keep clinging on to stuff like this that I still can’t face reality.

Majima: Hey…

Makoto: It’s fine. Thank you. You’re very kind. I appreciate that.

Majima: That ain’t right! If ya feel like ya still need it, then it’s somethin’ ya still need. I believe that, really.

Makoto: No, it’s fine. l… need to get stronger. I WILL get stronger.

Majima: …….

[He’s taking the watch that Makoto left on the couch.]

Majima: Oh, and I got some news. Yer boy Lee says he’s got somethin’ he’s gotta look into on his end. I’ll have him come straight here to get ya once he’s done. Just sit tight till then, yeah?

Makoto: Okay… Are you leaving?

Majima: Yeah, it’s about time I got to work. You ever heard the name Sagawa before? A yakuza with the Omi Alliance.

Makoto: I don’t know him…

Majima: Gotcha… Could be Sagawa’s only doin’ it because somebody else told him to. Still, why’s a girl like you got yakuza after her?

Makoto: So is this Sagawa person blackmailing you into this?

Majima: Close enough. But I ain’t innocent here. Killing you was the price of him doin’ me a favor. He was gonna get me back in the Tojo Clan.

Makoto: Tojo Clan?

Majima: Nothin’ you need to worry about.

Makoto: So then… what happens if you keep letting me live? Will that yakuza come and… kill you?

Majima: I’ll be fine. Lee says he’s got some kinda plan. If that works, could be the both of us come outta this alive. …That’s what he made it sound like, anyway.

Makoto: Really?

Majima: Hey, the guy’s your boss, right? Have a little faith. Alright. I’ll be back soon as work’s over. You good?

Makoto: Yes…

[Outside.]

Majima: (Hm, maybe I’ll drop by a cabaret club like Yamagata-han suggested on my way to check ih at the Grand. I mighta seen one in the Hoganji Yokocho area, maybe? It’s worth a check.)

[When he walks through the streets, he stumbles across a cabaret.]

Manager(?): Care for a little break, sir? You won’t regret paying us a visit here!

Majima: Hm?

Manager(?): My name is Youda, and I’m the manager here. Come in now, and I can pair you with our number one girl! What do you say?

Majima: (Sunshine, huh? Didn’t know there was a spot like this tucked back in this part of town.) You guys a cabaret?

Youda: No, sir. We’re a cabaret club.

Majima: Cabaret club? Well that’s just perfect. Still ain’t been in one of those.

Youda: Then this is the perfect opportunity! Cabaret clubs are an excellent time, sir!

Majima: (Guy like Yamagata wouldn’t recommend ‘em without good reason. Gotta be somethin’ to it. Guess it’s worth a look.) Alright, lead the way. But I expect you to make good on that promise about your number one gal.

Youda: Of course, sir! Right this way!

[Majima walks in and sits on the couch.]

Majima: (Man, I’ve been to livelier graveyards than this. Not a soul in here ‘sides me.)

Youda: Here we are, sir, thank you for waiting!

Majima: Hm?

Youda: Our very own number one girl, Yuki-chan!

Yuki: Hello. I’m Yuki. It’s… It’s nice to meet you!

Majima: Y-Yeah. You too.

Majima: (For this club’s top girl, she’s pretty low-key.)

Yuki: Um, let’s start with a toast then, I guess…

Majima: Er, right.

Yuki: Ch-Cheers!

[They’re smacking glasses.]

Yuki: ……

Majima: ……

Yuki: ……

Majima: (Is this lady seriously the best they got here?)

Yuki: Um, sorry… I know I’m not really… I’m sorry.

Majima: Huh? What, naw, that’s-- You’re fine. Just… Are you really the number one gal here?

Yuki: Er, yes. Technically. See… there’s only three of us working here, including me.

Majima: Wha-- Three girls!? Ain’t that a little low? Explains why the place is a ghost town, though.

Yuki: Yeah… We were doing okay until a while ago, but since the Five Stars came around, every day’s been like this.

Majima: Five Stars? What’s that?

Yuki: The Five Stars of Sotenbori. There are five cabaret clubs in town that have muscled out all the rest. The Five Stars are what people call the owners of those clubs. There used to be a ton of cabaret clubs in Sotenbori, but ever since those five set up shop here, all the other clubs have had to shut down.

Majima: Shut down? How come? Are the Five Stars’ clubs that much better than the rest?

Yuki: Well, their clubs are really popular, no one would argue that… But that’s not the only reason the competition’s all folded.

Majima: Yeah? What else is there?

Yuki: Well, to put it bluntly? Harassment, I guess you’d say.

Majima: Harassment?

Youda: I’ve had all the harassment from you I can take!

Majima: Hmm?

[He sees a manager arguing with a man at a distance.]

Youda: Crank calling us day in and day out, causing a scene during business hours to chase off our guests… I won’t stand for it anymore! If you’d beat me in honest competition I could accept defeat gracefully, but this is just… dirty!

Pudgy Man: Heh heh heh. Mind your manners, now. Just where is your proof that I’m behind any of this alleged harassment? Oh right… You have none.

Majima: (to Yuki) Who’s the rotund ton of fun?

Yuki: That’s one of Sotenbori’s Five Stars that I was just telling you about.

Majima: Huh. That guy?

Yuki: Yes, believe it or not… He’s one of the Stars. His name’s Hino, owner of Club Mars. Mars basically has a monopoly on the customers in this part of town. We’re some of his last local competition, so he’s been leaning on us hard.

Majima: Huh.

Youda: I may not have proof… but you guys are the only ones who would stoop this low! If we close shop, the only cabaret clubs left standing in Sotenbori will be the ones you Five Stars run. That’s the plan, right? Getting the full monopoly?

Hino: Heh, I’m surprised you’ve pieced that much together. Good. That makes it simple. Close this roach motel and clear out. Accept now, and I’ll pay you a reasonable amount for your troubles. But if you continue to defy us, the terms of this little reward are gonna be quite a bit different. Heh heh… Honestly, I’m offering to pay money for a trash pile like this. I would think you’d be thanking me.

Youda: Get out. How many hard working men and women have the five of you vultures put out of this line of work now? You’re just a gang of low down dirty bullies, and I won’t let you take over Sotenbori!

Hino: Heh… I suppose that’s the mark of a man running the once- popular Sunshine. You’re a tougher nut to crack than the other club owners were. Very well. I’ll leave it at that for today. But I expect an answer on my next visit.

Youda: Y-You’ve got my answer, and it’s not changing. Don’t bother coming back!

Hino: So stubborn… But let’s not be rude, hmm? I’ll drop in again soon, neighbor. Oh, that’s right! I meant to ask after your daughter. Living in Tokyo these days, isn’t she? I must say, I was surprised at just how adorable she is.

Youda: ……

Hino: Being a parent, there must be no end to the worry. Such a darling little girl, the thought of someone hurting her must keep you up at night…

Youda: …! What do you plan to do to her!?

Hino: Hmmm? Me? Not a thing. But that doesn’t mean that the sort of brute who would hurt a child isn’t out there. These are frightening times we’re living in. Do be careful… I’ll be seeing you soon.

[He leaves.]

Youda: Dammit… What am I supposed to do?

Yuki: Sir…

Majima: ……

Youda: *sigh* …What CAN I do?

Majima: Looks like you got it pretty rough, boss.

Youda: Oh, sir! I’m so sorry you had to see such a shameful display.

Majima: Don’t sweat it. I mean, what’s that guy’s problem? Sotenbori’s Five Stars, was it? Why’re they gunnin’ for your club so hard?

Youda: Sotenbori’s Five Stars are colluding to form a monopoly on the city’s cabaret clubs by forcing every club but their own out of business. Cabaret clubs are an up-and-coming industry with plenty of momentum behind it. At one point, Sotenbori was full of them, and it was a healthy, competitive market. But then the Stars came in with their underhanded tactics, buying other clubs’ girls, harassing their staff, hiring thugs to use violence… They’ve crushed the competition. And now… the only cabaret clubs left in Sotenbori are the five they control and us.

Majima: Gotcha. Makes sense why they’d be chompin’ at the bit to swallow you up and make that monopoly complete, then. What I don’t get’s why they’re that desperate to get total control of Sotenbori.

Youda: I can’t claim to know all of their plans, but from the rumors I’ve heard, they’re planning to use their cabaret club monopoly as a cudgel to crush the full cabarets.

Majima: Crush the cabarets, now?

Youda: Yes. Even with the rise of the cabaret clubs, the big-box cabarets like the Grand still control a great deal of money and power in the nightlife industry here. Their aim is to take those cabarets down, and claim that cash, influence, and personnel network for themselves. And apparently securing an airtight monopoly on the newly-minted cabaret club industry is essential to them getting the leverage to tackle the cabarets. Now it makes sense. If they can get the cabaret clubs AND the cabarets, they could have control of the whole city all to themselves.

Youda: Exactly. But it isn’t fair that clubs like ours should have to suffer such treatment for their ambitions. I’d sooner swallow glass than give in to them… But… much as I hate to admit it, their constant pressure and harassment’s taken a steep toll on our business. Just have a look around. Pathetic, isn’t it?

Majima: Welp… I’d be lyin’ if I said this was anything but grim.

Youda: If you can believe it, we were leading the pack just a short time ago. First, maybe second most popular club in the area. Then they started causing trouble here in the club. After a string of incidents, we’d lost our clientele, and most of our girls were poached. At this rate, the club can’t stay open long, no matter what I do. Perhaps accepting their offer really is the only sensible course. It boils my blood to think of letting those bullies have their way, but maybe that’s reality…

Majima: (Don’t much care what happens to this town, but the thought of dicks like that doin’ whatever they want pisses me off. Plus, if I let them go now, they’ll be trouble for the Grand’s bottom line down the road. Which means trouble for me if I’m still around. I’m curious about the cabaret club business, too. Maybe I’ll try to learn a bit more by helpin’ out around here a bit.) Alright, you twisted my arm, boss. I’ll help ya out.

Youda: Sorry?

Majima: Yeah, that cabaret the Five Stars’re goin’ after, the Grand? I run the place.

Youda: Wh-Whaaaaaat!? Manager of the Grand, that’s… You’re the one everybody says is a genius! That’s you!?

Majima: Dunno about genius, but yeah. So it’s in my own interest not to let those guys build up any more steam here. Not to mention they sound like a pack of flamin’ assholes. So, how’s about you and me whip this place back into shape and take the fight to them instead?

Youda: Y-You would really do that? I can’t believe the manager of the Grand would waste his time on an empty little club like ours…

Majima: Hey, we all gotta help each other in tough times, right? ‘Sides, I’m interested in learnin’ more about the cabaret club business model. This’ll be like a classroom for me.

Youda: (bows) Th-Thank you so much, sir!

Majima: Whoops, guess we still ain’t been introduced. It’s Majima. Let’s stir up some shit.

Youda: (bows) Majima-san, got it. Well! I’m in your debt, sir!

[They’re going to the other room.]

Majima: Huh. This the back office?

Youda: Yes. It mostly serves as a staging area for the staff. I organize things back here, manage the girls, that sort of thing. Speaking of… What would you say to taking over as manager, Majima-san? Would you mind?

Majima: Say what? Manager, just like that?

Youda: Yes, sir. You certainly have the experience, and I fear Sunshine can’t reach its full potential under my direction. I’d give you total authority. Of course, I’d still be here supporting you in any way I can as floor staff! Will you do it, sir?

Majima: …Yeah, alright. If you’re that serious about this, I’ll do my part, too. Leave it to me.

Youda: Thank you so much! I’m at your disposal, Manager Majima!

Majima: Hell… Feels a little weird hearin’ that from you.

Youda: Now, if it’s all right with you, I’d like to jump right into an explanation of how a cabaret club is run. That said, there’s a lot to cover and I know you’re a busy man. Let me know when it’s a good time for you, sir.

Majima: Gotcha.

Youda: Ah, Majima-san. I was thinking this might be a good time to run you through the basics of cabaret club management. Do you have a moment?

Majima: Yeah. Lay it on me.

Youda: Right! Then let’s get to it. …I’d say that about covers the basics, anyway. Need me to run back through that again?

Majima: Nah, I got it, thanks.

Youda: Sure thing. In that case, the next step is… Hm, let’s have you actually open the place up and do a round of prep. This is the sort of thing where the quickest way to learn is to actually just do it. Let’s give it a try! I’ll chime in with advice as we go.

Majima: Alright. Let’s do this thing!

[Majima’s starting to run the club. First of all, he trains Yuki-chan.]

Majima: Okay, let’s do a little conversational training.

Yuki: Y-Yes… Thank you for your help with this!

Majima: What’s up, Yuki-chan? Ya nervous or somethin’?

Yuki: N-No, I wouldn’t call it nerves. It’s more like… battle butterflies!

Majima: That so? Well, I guess that’s encouraging enough. Alright, ya ready to pretend I’m a customer?

Yuki: Y-Yes… H-Hello, customer! I-I’m Yuki! I look forward to a fun conversation with you!

Majima: Uh, you sure you’ve got this? Okay, well, let’s start with an easy topic. Tell me ‘bout some hobbies of yours.

Yuki: S-Sure. Hobby talk… Um… So all I have to do is tell you about them, right?

Majima: Yup. Come to think about it, I don’t know much about you either. Let’s use this little practice to get better acquainted, eh?

Yuki: Hobbies, okay. Let’s see here. Hobbies… Hobbies… Ah!

Majima: Got anythin’?

Yuki: (happily) Yes! I… don’t have any hobbies!

Majima: Hey, hey, if you wanna be a hostess, that kinda talk ain’t gonna cut it. You just flatlined the whole conversation.

Yuki: But, I really don’t have any hobbies… Oh! I doubt it counts as a hobby, but I do write in my diary every day!

Majima: A diary, huh? That’s a great start, actually. What do ya write about in it?

Yuki: Oh, just boring stuff like what happened today, what I should make for dinner, how my bonsai plant’s growing… That kinda thing.

+Bonsai?
Little details work.
Yeah, boring…

Majima: Wait, wait, back up a bit. Bonsai?

Yuki: Huh?

Majima: Wouldn’t you think that tending bonsai would count as a hobby? I bet your older clientele would love hearin’ you babble on about that.

Yuki: Oh, I see! You’re right, that might work. Majima-san, you’re a lot sharper than you look.

Majima: …Are you sayin’ I look dumb, Yuki-chan? Anyway, why didn’t ya mention your bonsai hobby in the first place?

Yuki: I-I only have about eight years’ experience with bonsai, and in the bonsai world, that makes me a nobody. A more experienced hobbyist would just laugh at me.

Majima: Hmm, I see. Well, I think it’s pretty amazin’.

Yuki: ……

Majima: ……

Yuki: ……

Majima: ……

Majima: You really clam up when the guest stops talkin’, don’t ya?

Yuki: Y-Yeah, I guess I do. It’s just, I feel like it would be impolite if I just started talking all of a sudden.

Majima: Impolite? That ain’t the right idea at all. Our customers are here specifically to talk to girls, Yuki-chan. You’ve gotta lead ‘em in with some topics.

Yuki: B-But l… I don’t have a clue what I should talk to them about! What should I do if it gets quiet?

Try to smile a bit.
+Try to compliment them.

Majima: If you’re drawin’ a blank on somethin’ to talk about, try a compliment. Ain’t a man in the world who would turn down a compliment.

Yuki: A compliment? Like, say something nice about his face or something?

Majima: Yeah, his face, his voice, maybe his personality? If he looks even a little well-off, try sayin’ something nice about his clothes, his shoes, or, hell, even his watch.

Yuki: Wow! Now l… Majima-san, I think this is the first time I’ve felt like I can really look up to you! I guess you don’t wear that janky eye patch for nothing!

Majima: Wait, is that your idea of a compliment?

Yuki: Wh-What? I was trying really hard to compliment YOU… I-I’m so sorry.

Majima: Hoo boy… The road to success is gonna be long and bumpy for you, Yuki-chan… Let’s see, what else is a good conversation starter… Do you have some kinda talent, maybe? Eh, on second thought, scratch that…

Yuki: Wh-What are you talking about? Even I have something I’m good at!

Majima: Oh, no kidding? Okay, what is it?

Yuki: Um, well… I’m… O-Older people do tend to like me…

That’s a talent?
+Older gents, huh?
You’re a grandkid type.

Majima: Hey, ya see, everybody’s got a hidden talent. That’d make you perfect for the older clientele.

Yuki: Oh, maybe you’re right. I was always my grandpa’s favorite, so I bet that’s why I can speak a little more naturally in front of older customers.


Majima: Hey now, why didn’t ya tell me sooner? We can’t be lettin’ a talent like that go to waste, Yuki-chan.

Yuki: Majima-san, I’m sorry. But thank you!

Majima: Then it’s decided. Yuki-chan, you’re gonna be our older customer specialist. Every grandpa who walks in here is gonna get assigned to you!

Yuki: Whaaat? I’d like to talk to some younger clients too…

Majima: Alright, let’s change gears. Why don’t ya tell me about a weakness you’ve got, instead. Anythin’ come to mind?

Yuki: Weaknesses? I have a lot of those…

Majima: Why does that not surprise me?

Yuki: Hey, don’t be rude!

Majima: Heh, I’m just messin’ with ya. Well if you’ve got a lot, how ‘bout ya pick one for me. Anything’s fine.

Yuki: Let me think… To be honest with you, I-I guess I’m not very good at talking to men.

Majima: Eh? If you’re no good at talking to men, why the hell would ya work in a place like this?

Yuki: Um, that’s, uh… It’s because… Oh, I know! It’s because I’m not good at it! I thought I could get used to talking to men by working here!

+Y’know, I’m a man too.
You’re lying!

Majima: Yo, you do realize… I’m a man too, right?

Yuki: Oh, that’s true. But Majima-san, I can talk to you just fine.

Majima: Haha, and why’s that? ‘Cause I’m such a supportive and considerate guy?

Yuki: Haha! I don’t think so. I’m probably okay with you because you don’t seem like a man at all.

Majima: Hey, what the hell does THAT mean!?

Yuki: Eek! I-I’m sorry!

Majima: Alright, I think that’s a good stoppin’ place.

Yuki: Th-Thank you for the lesson.

Majima: Sure thing. Good job. So, let’s see… It was a perfect lesson! I was havin’ such a good time, I practically forgot we were trainin’ you!

Yuki: R-Really? That’s great. Thank you so much!

Majima: Keep it up, and you’ll have these customers meltin’ like chocolate on a dashboard.

Yuki: You really think so? I do feel more confident, now! I’ll do my best to work harder!

[Then Majima works all day as a manager of the club. At the end of the day…]

Youda: Thank you for coming!

Majima: Phew! Not too shabby. Still, we’re short on guests AND gals. Is there no way around that outside of the daily grind?

Youda: If we wanted to hire new girls… I suppose scouting them around town is the quickest way. And word-of-mouth from everyday business is one way to bring in new customers, but I hear signing deals with other local businesses is also effective.

Majima: Makes sense. Scout for girls, partner up with local shops… Got it. Looks like I’m gonna be busy outside the club, too.

Youda: Absolutely. The whole city’s our battleground! There’s a lot to do, but good luck, sir!

Majima: I’ll take my best crack at it, anyway. (This place REALLY needs more girls. Hardly any point to openin’ the doors, as it stands now. Hmmm… Ah! There’s the girls over at the Grand I got from Odyssey in that trade! Long as we got Nozomi, we’re covered at the Grand. Should be fine if I bring the rest over here. I’ll put in that call now.)

Youda: I’m amazed, if not surprised, Majima-san. Hard to believe that was your first time! Keep that up, and we just might really manage to beat those bullies back!

[Unexpectedly, Hino enters the room with two tough guys…]

Hino: And which bullies might those be, exactly?

Youda: Ugh, Hino!

Hino: I’m here for your answer, as promised. Well? Ready to sell this hovel to me yet?

Youda: I told you before, the answer’s NO.

Hino: …I see. And I was so hoping to do this amicably. Shame. All right, you lot.

Youda: What are you--!?

Hino: Teach this stubborn fool the reality of his situation.

Youda: Rgh! So you resort to violence in the end? You’re a coward, Hino!

Hino: Sticks and stones. We’ll see which comes first--you give me what I want, or you die. Either way, I can’t wait. …Do it!

Majima: Hold up a second.

Hino: What are YOU supposed to be?

Majima: Name’s Majima. Youda-han’s asked me to take over operations here. And as long as I’m standin’, nobody’s making trouble in my shop.

Hino: A new manager? Heh, I see. I’ll grant you, it’s a wiser choice than letting a dimwit like Youda keep running this dunghill into the ground. And you seem like you know your way around a fight… So you’re the boss AND the bouncer. Clever choice, for an idiot. I’m impressed. Truly.

Hino’s Henchman: What you want us to do? Take this guy out, too?

Hino: No… I find myself curious to see how they plan to claw their way out of this hole. We can crush them anytime. I look forward to being entertained as I watch just how far you manage to crawl after making enemies of the Five Stars.

Majima: ……

Hino: You were lucky today, Youda-san. And Majima-san? Well… Why don’t you try your best? If I get bored, I’ll drop by and swat you down like the flies you are.

Majima: Bring it, porky. Enjoy watchin’ your wobbly little house of cards come crumbling down on top of ya. Hope yer ass is ready to get buried.

Hino: Hmph. We’ll see how long that big talk lasts. I advise you not to take the Five Stars lightly.

[They leave.]

Youda: Thank you, Majima-san.

Majima: Don’t worry about it. The real battle’s just startin’. We gotta whip this club into fighting shape fast if we want to take them on.

Youda: We will! I’ll give it all I’ve got, Majima-san! Any time you want to open the club for business, just let me know. Any time at all!

Majima: I’ve got my hands full with my own place too, so I can’t be here around the clock. I’ll make a point to drop by whenever I get a minute, though. (So that’s one of Sotenbori’s Five Stars… This might be tougher ‘n I thought.)

[There’s a woman outside the club.]

Mysterious Woman: Heh, Goro Majima… Things are about to get interesting.

[She’s leaving. Majima comes out of the club.]

Majima: (I’m startin’ to get why Yamagata-han told me to check out cabaret clubs. But that ate up more time than I planned. I should get goin’ back to the Grand.)

[Back in his cabaret and coming up to his office, Majima hears a voice of a waiter.]

Waiter: Sir… I’m sorry to interrupt, but do you have a moment?

Majima: Hm?

Waiter: A guest in the main hall has asked to speak with you, sir. It’s just…

Majima: What’s he look like?

Waiter: Not Japanese, I don’t think. I would guess Chinese. Rather short, and… There’s no word for it but ragged.

Majima: (Short and ragged? Can’t be Lee, then. Who in the hell is it, then?)

Waiter: What shall I tell him, sir?

Majima: I’ll be right there. What table?

Waiter: I’ll take you there. If you’ll follow me… This is the gentleman, sir.

Majima: You wished to see me, sir?

Chinese Underground Doc: Ahh! Manager-san! Remember me?!

Majima: The underground doc from Jambalaya? I got you.

Chinese Underground Doc: Grand really nice place! Plus all drinks on Manager-san’s tab! Right?

Majima: (sighs) Look, got this. I’ll deal with him. And whatever his bill is, I’ll cover it. Got that?

Waiter: Of course, sir.

[Hostess and waiter leaves.]

Majima: Sorry about earlier. You hurt anywhere?

Chinese Underground Doc: Oh, fine, fine. Ancient history. Plus we outnumber you. You really strong! Even Lee-san can’t compete, haha!

Majima: Whoa, how about you state yer business before gettin’ completely wasted?

Chinese Underground Doc: Ah! That right! I came with message from Lee-san. Lee-san not like to show his face around places like this, so I come instead.

Majima: A message?

Chinese Underground Doc: Don’t worry! I not drunk yet!

Majima: …Get to the message, would ya?

Chinese Underground Doc: Can you leave club right now?

Majima: Yeah… Why?

Chinese Underground Doc: You leave club, head straight to your home. You live far away, Manager-san?

Majima: No. Just along the river.

Chinese Underground Doc: Good, good. Once you get home, Lee-san contact you. Lee-san will be watching from when you leave club.

Majima: What, he wants to get a bead on where I live?

Chinese Underground Doc: I just bring message. No need to know why.

Majima: All right, I got your message. You drink as much as you like tonight.

Chinese Underground Doc: Really!? I can!? Such big man! I love generous Manager-san!

Majima: (Lee’s bein’ awful roundabout here. …Ah, well. Guess I’ll dip out for a bit.)

[When he comes out of the Grande, he’s welcomed by a some yakuza.]

Yakuza: Majima! Heh, it IS you. Who wouldn’t recognize that ugly mug? The Grand’s manager, Goro Majima… I owe ya one from last night, pal.

Majima: Last night? …Sorry, who are you?

Yakuza: Don’t matter who I am. Where’d you put Makoto-chan? I know you hid the girl… WHERE!?

Majima: Oh, it’s you guys… The wannabe kidnappers. Heh… Didn’t expect you to save me the trouble of trackin’ you clowns down.

Yakuza: Smug bastard… You think this is funny? This amuse you?

Majima: Yeah, I’m really lookin’ forward to figurin’ out why this girl’s in everyone’s sights.

Yakuza: The fuck do you think you are? You got us by surprise last night. That ain’t happenin’ again, patches.

[We see that the Yakuza holding iron bars and bats in their hands.]

Yakuza: At this point, we’re done fightin’ fair. Time for you to see where screwin’ with the yakuza gets ya!

[Majima is beating a dozen armed Yakuza.]

Yakuza: The… The hell’s this guy made of? Who ARE you!?

Majima: Not so fast, buddy. I thought you had business with me?

Yakuza: Sh-shit!

Majima: I know I’ve got questions for you. And I aim to get answers.

Sagawa: You raising hell right outside the club, Mr. Manager?

Majima: Sagawa…

[The Yakuza are running away in fear.]

Sagawa: Did you get you to bust heads mixed up in some kind of trouble? It’s not like right on your own doorstep. Hmm?

Majima: It’s nothin’. Forget it.

Sagawa: Then where are you going? Not work, apparently. …Have you found Makoto Makimura yet?

Majima: Not yet.

Sagawa: Huh… And yet I hear you didn’t go home last night. Here I figured that meant you’d tracked Makimura down.

Majima: I’m still lookin’ right now. You just gave me the job. I still got time.

Sagawa: I suppose you do. And once you find the target, killing ‘em is the quick part. Still, sooner’s better than later.

Majima: Then are we done here? I don’t got time to waste on chit-chat.

Sagawa: This isn’t just chit-chat, tiger. You know what they say about “ABC,” don’t ya?

Majima: Huh?

Sagawa: Always Be in Contact. Rule one of contract work’s keeping your boss in the loop. A. B. C.

Majima: Alright… Oh look, we made contact. That’s all I got.

Sagawa: No snags you want advice on?

Majima: I’d sooner ask a telephone pole than come to you with my problems.

[He leaves.]

Sagawa: Uh-huh…

Majima: (Right, I was headed back home. Lee’s gotta be watchin’ from somewhere or other.)

[Near Majima’s house…]

Majima: That you, Lee?

Lee: …Yeah.

Majima: How you holdin’ up, ya bear?

Lee: Hmph. You know the trick to forgettin’ your pain?

Majima: Huh?

Lee: Havin’ yer balls to the wall. We don’t shake these yakuza now, they’ll chase us to the grave. Ain’t got time to be feelin’ pain till this job’s done.

Majima: Yeah, fair enough.

Lee: Forget me. The hell’s up with this place?

Majima: Huh? How do ya mean?

Lee: This apartment’s bein’ watched from all over. Got at least four sets of eyes on it.

Majima: I’m impressed you noticed.

Lee: Do they know you’re hidin’ Makoto?

Majima: Nah. This place’s been under watch for a long-ass time. My client’s the guy behind the eyes.

Lee: And there’s more around your club, too.

Majima: Oh, I know. And you can add more on every road leadin’ out of Sotenbori to that list. I ain’t allowed outta the city. That’s why they’re all watchin’. Keep me from skipping town.

Lee: So what, this town’s your prison cell?

Majima: You got it.

Lee: The hell’s that about?

Majima: I used to be yakuza up in Tokyo. Then I crossed the guy runnin’ my family and my life went down the shitter. Even now, just ‘cause they got me on a leash in Osaka don’t mean they won’t kill me if I give ‘em reason.

Lee: That’s rough… Heh, we all got our baggage, I guess. But that means we can’t just stand here chattin’. Let’s take this someplace safer. Meet you where Makoto’s hidin’. Here, I’ll show you a route where nobody can follow you.

Majima: Yeah, how’s that work?

Lee: See, I got a secret door in the back of the patient room at the clinic. Keep it hidden behind a bookshelf. That’ll get you through to the building next door. Even if you’re bein’ tailed, that passage should be enough to throw most anybody off.

Majima: How come a massage clinic’s got a secret escape route?

Lee: Thought I just told you… We all got our baggage.

Majima: Hmph.

Lee: Just be careful when you’re goin’ to where Makoto’s at. You got into it outside the Grand before, didn’t ya? The boys who came for Makoto last night know your face. No tellin’ where they could be watchin’ from.

Majima: Right. So I’ll use yer little backdoor at Hogushi Kaikan. Happy?

Lee: Thrilled. Once you’re through that, head straight for Makoto. I’ll meet ya there. Got it?

Majima: I got it… Go on already.

[Lee walks away.]

Majima: (First off, I gotta try to figure out whether I’m bein’ watched. Time to play it cool like I’m just strollin’ around and try to suss out where they’re watchin’ from.)

Slip Through UnnoticedEdit

[At Hogushi Kaikan…]

Majima: (Looks like more of Sagawa’s clowns. Guess the bastards got everywhere I might wanna go on lockdown.) Oof, another exhaustin’ day. I’m ready for a nice massage to beat my busted-up body back into some kinda shape! (Hopefully that’ll keep ‘em thinkin’ I’m still inside a while. Long enough to find this door and get gone, anyway. He said there was a bookshelf blockin’ the door… Here it is! Sonuvabitch really had a secret passage. It’s s’posed to connect to the building next door… Guess I’ll see for myself. Never thought somethin’ like this was here yesterday… Even if I was bein’ followed before, I’m clear now. Now to haul ass to where the girl is! There’s eyes up ahead. Can’t go gettin’ myself seen after goin’ through the trouble of shaking ‘em off me. Looks like they ain’t seen me yet. Gotta keep my distance.)

[He’s successfully getting to the warehouse.]

Majima: (Good, nobody’s lookin’. If I’m goin’ in, now’s the time!)

[He goes into the warehouse.]

Makoto: Ah--

Majima: It’s me. I’m comin’ in.

[There’s an envelope on Makoto’s knees.]

Majima: Hm? What, your boy Lee already get here?

Makoto: Yup. He’s out getting us something to drink. He said he’d be right back.

Majima: What’s with the envelope?

Makoto: I don’t know. Lee-san said to have you open it.

Majima: ……

[Majima comes up to her and takes the envelope. There are photographs in it.]

Majima: The hell is this?

Makoto: What was inside it?

Majima: Photos of some young lady. Lots of ‘em, all the same girl. Surveillance shots.

Makoto: Lee-san brought photos? What for?

[Someone enters.]

Lee: Yo. Already diggin’ in? Nice shots, huh?

Majima: Lee. What’s up with these photos?

Lee: Easy, tiger. Don’t get yer panties bunched up. I’m about to explain.

[He puts a bottle of drink in Makoto’s hands.]

Lee: Here, drink up.

Makoto: Thanks, Lee-san.

Lee: Got one for you too.

Majima: Lee. These photos are that big plan you were talkin’ about? Who the hell is she?

Lee: Serial marriage fraudster, this chick. And it gets better. The guys who fall for her got a bad habit of dyin’ suspiciously. You ask me, she drains ‘em dry, then serves ‘em with a lot worse than divorce papers. But even this monster’s got her redeemin’ features. Take her age and build… Awful close to Makoto’s, yeah?

Majima: What of it?

[Makoto’s falling asleep unexpectedly. There was sedative in the bottle.]

Lee: Those drugs really pack a punch.

Majima: Lee! The hell’re you thinkin’!?

Lee: What comes next ain’t for her ears. So, time for a little nap.

Majima: Haw?

Lee: You’re awful dense for a hitman. The girl in those photos? She’s Makoto’s body double.

Majima: Body double?

Lee: Look, when somebody calls in a hit, what is it they actually want?

Majima: Results. That their target’s dead. And the result of a murder’s a dead body.

Lee: Exactly, results. You offer up a body, yer boss is happy. Which is why we take the girl in the photos… and have her volunteer for the role instead of Makoto.

Majima: Now just a…

Lee: You and me’ll do the job. Dress the body in this.

[He takes the bag he brought and pulls out the uniform from the clinic worker.]

Lee: When the cops go to verify her identity, it’s me they’ll be comin’ to. So I’ll give ‘em their answer. “No doubt about it, that’s my poor ‘little employee.” And boom…

Majima: You stupid? Soon as they start investigatin’ they’ll see it ain’t the same girl!

Lee: That’s fine. After she’s dead, we give the girl a face job.

[He’s squeezing his hand in a fist.]

Lee: Long as she’s unrecognizable, we’re in the clear. And a little acid takes fingerprints right off.

Majima: …The fuck ARE you, man? I want the truth. Just who the hell are you? ‘Cause you ain’t just a goddamn acupuncturist. You got nothin’ to say!?

Lee: (sighs) …Used to be the same as you. A hitman.

Majima: What?

Lee: Did contract work for a mainland organization. My last job was about six months back.

Majima: Six months… Wait, that’s around when you said you took in the girl.

Lee: Good memory. Heh, but try thinkin’ that one through. The girl was organization property, locked away. How was I gonna get her? You think she was just lyin’ on the side of the road? Six months back I took a job runnin’ a raid on some Korean mafia. Turf war over the slave trade. They’d already killed a bunch of our men. There was two of ‘em in that storehouse. After killin’ them, I’m left with a room fulla half-naked girls in cages. Soon as I unlocked the doors, they all bolted… All except one. One of ‘em couldn’t move an inch.

Majima: And that’s…

Lee: Yeah, that was Makoto. She starts reachin’ out in the dark for my hand, totally blind… Once she found it, she latched on and wouldn’t let go. Just knelt there cryin’ and saying “thank you” over and over. Her hand was so tiny, man… I couldn’t bear to let go.

Majima: So you’ve been playin’ big daddy to her ever since.

Lee: Yeah. See, way back in the day… I really was a father.

Majima: Yeah?

Lee: She was always real sick, even as a baby. The side effects of the drugs she needed were rough… By the end, she could barely see. That grip on my hand… It was just like the one I remembered. Majima… I ain’t about to let a daughter die before my eyes again. If it’s to protect my girl, I’ll kill any stranger you put in front of me. I know it ain’t right, but… I got no other options left! And you’re gonna help me with it, Majima. I need you to report back to yer boss that Makoto’s dead.

Majima: Tsk. Damn fool.

Lee: Huh?

Majima: You ain’t givin’ the yakuza near enough credit. He’ll see through a trick like that in no time.

Lee: (screaming) Alright. So what other plan do we got here!? YOU got any bright ideas!?

Majima: We’re done talkin’ here. Count me outta this.

[Majima turns to the exit.]

Lee: You just gonna run away again? Don’t think I can’t tell. You lost that eye of yours from runnin’ away, just like you are now.

Majima: Excuse me?

Lee: Sure, you got yer justifications, but I’ll bet you came all this way without ever gettin’ yer hands dirty, actin’ like a damn choir boy. But you’re yakuza, no better’n me. Once a man steps into the shadows like that, he’s black as night till the day he dies. (screaming) In that case, sack up and meet hell halfway already!

Majima: You don’t know a DAMN thing about me!

Lee: I’ll ask just one more time… You’re sure ya won’t join me in handlin’ this?

Majima: No way in hell.

Lee: Alright. In that case… I’ll show ya how we do things in the shadows. Can’t have anybody who knows about this little plan leavin’ this room alive. (screaming) It’s over, Majimaaa!

[The epic battle begins. From the subtitle we learn that Lee’s full name is Wen Hai Lee.]

Lee: W-Wait, Majima! There really ain’t any other option than a body double! If I want to keep Makoto safe from here on… I need Makoto’s dead body! Otherwise… Someday, somebody a lot meaner’n you’s gonna track her down and kill her. Not to mention you’ll be long dead by then. How can you not SEE that!?

Majima: If and when that happens… All I gotta do then is kill everybody who comes gunnin’ for me.

Lee: What? You can’t seriously think you can --

Majima: You said it. Once you step into the shadows, you’re stained black for life. No gettin’ that mark off ya. But… You can still choose who you bring down with ya. You’ve got my answer.

Lee: Hey, stop it!

[Majima tearing up the pictures and picking up a bag with the uniform.]

Majima: Don’t let her catch cold now. She’s like your daughter, ain’t she?

[He’s leaving. In the next scene we see Majima sitting at the bus stop and smoking. There is a lot of ashe at the end of his cigarette - it seems that he has plunged deeply into thoughts.]

Majima: The hell am I even doin’?

[He’s throwing the bag in the trash. After he leaves, someone unknown takes the bag. The next morning, we see Majima at his home.]

Majima: (……This makes three days… Didn’t wind up changin’ much. If anything, things’re worse now than before. ……Jig’s up as soon as Sagawa finds out I’m keeping the girl alive. Can’t risk headin’ to the storehouse now. Better play it cool and head to the Grand like normal.)

[He’s going back to his workplace.]

Floor Manager: Ah, sir. Good morning!

Majima: Mornin’.

Floor Manager: We just got a call from a Lee-sama from “Hogushi Kaikan” a moment ago asking for you, sir.

Majima: Lee called?

Floor Manager: Someone you know, then?

Majima: Yeah. What’d he say?

Floor Manager: Well, it’s not much of a message, but he asked that you meet him at that Hogushi Kaikan as soon as possible.

Majima: (Yeesh, the hell does he want, after what happened last night?)

Floor Manager: Sir…?

Majima: I got the message. Thanks for the heads-up.

Floor Manager: Of course. I’ll leave you to it, sir.

Majima: (Guess Lee needs to talk. Says he’s waitin’ for me at Hogushi Kaikan.)

[After leaving his workplace once again, Majima goes to the clinic. Inside he finds Lee. He smokes and watches the news.]

Lee: Oh, Majima! Glad you’re here. I been waitin’!

Majima: Whoa slow down. What’s got you all pumped?

Lee: How am I NOT gonna be pumped?

Majima: Huh?

Lee: Lookit you, playin’ the hero all by yerself. Still, now this whole thing’s behind us. You done good, Majima!

Majima: What’re you on about?

Lee: What am I… You did her, didn’t you? The girl from the photos.

News Reporter: Early this morning, the body of a young woman was found in the Sotenbori River. From her delothing the deceased is believed to be Makoto Makimura, age 20. Her disfigured body has led Osaka police to believe Makimura-san met with foul play.

Majima: (shocked) The hell is this!?

Lee: Wait, it wasn’t you that did it? That’s her, from the photos.

Majima: I… I ain’t killed anybody. I told you I wouldn’t!

Lee: Yeah, but… the body’s wearin’ Makoto’s uniform that you took with you yesterday!

Majima: What’d you say?

Lee: Cops came by this morning with a snapshot of the body, asked me to identify her. Her face was all caved in, but she was wearin the outfit I gave you, plain as day!

[The phone rings. Lee picks it up.]

Lee: Yes? Hogushi Kaikan here. Huh? …It’s for you

Majima: You asked for me? It’s Majima.

Caller: You see my little present yet? How you like it?

Majima: The hell you talking about?

Caller: Whaddya think I’m talkin’ about, buddy? One dead Makoto Makimura.

Majima: What!?

Caller: She’s officially dead, now. That should please your employer, no? No worries he’ll be comin’ for your ass, now. You should be thankin’ me.

Majima: Who are you? What’s yer game here!?

Caller: I’m lookin’ to trade. You and me.

Majima: That ain’t a proper answer!

Caller: So… right now I’m over at your club, enjoyin’ a drink.

Majima: You’re at the Grand?

[We’re switching to the Grand. A man sits at the table and massages the breasts of a hostess. When the camera pulls back, we see five more girls sitting next to him.]

Hostess: Heyyy, that’s enough!

Caller: Some place ya got here, Majima-kun. I’m a fan! Why dontcha come enjoy it with me? Don’t keep me waitin’, stud.

Chapter 8: TUG OF WAREdit

Lee: …The hell is even happenin’? How’s some random guy know about my plan!? Hey, I’m waitin’ here, Majima!

Majima: The guy on the phone… He musta picked it up after I threw it out. Pulled it from the park trash can.

Lee: Huh?

Majima: The Hogushi Kaikan uniform I got from you… and the photos of the girl. I threw ‘em out. And he musta been watching me.

Lee: Guess that makes sense. So then he takes that, whacks the girl, and plays Makoto dress-up with the body? Why, though? Who is he? …You don’t think it’s your boss, do ya?

Majima: Nah. If it were him, he’d call me himself. This guy was someone else. Though from the way he talked, he knew I’d been ordered to kill Makoto.

Lee: Which narrows it down to… what, the yakuza who came here?

Majima: Or somebody related to ‘em. The guy on the phone said he wanted to make a deal. Only one thing I figure that they want… Makoto Makimura.

Lee: So what’s yer move?

Majima: He’s waitin’ for me at the Grand. You stay with the girl.

Lee: Fine with me, but you’re really just gonna waltz in there alone? You said yerself he’s waitin’ for you.

Majima: Better than having him sneakin’ around me. Besides, he’s gotta know the reason why everybody’s after her. I’m way past ready to get that nailed down.

[Outside.]

Majima: (Guy who called me said he’s waitin’ at the Grand. Let’s go meet my newest customer!)

Go to the GrandEdit

[Majima’s going back to Grand. He is greeted at the doorstep by a Yakuza from the clinic.]

Yakuza: Hello again, Majima-san.

Majima: You…

Yakuza: The last couple times have been a real pleasure… The patriarch is inside, making himself at home.

Majima: Patriarch?

Yakuza: Yes. I believe you received a phone call from him? And the gift of Makoto Makimura’s dead body. Please. The boss is waiting for you.

[Inside.]

Caller: Yeah, you like it there, huh? Ahh, fffuck! Lemme in on the action too.

[He takes the girl’s hand and starts to jerking off with her hand.]

Hostess: You’re so bad! Just this once, okay? Wha-- Ew, you’re hard!

Caller: You bet your ass I am!

Hostess: Not okay! Let me go.

Caller: My bad…

[He pulls out a wallet full of cash and puts it on the table.]

Caller: How much until it’s okay, sugar?

Hostess: Hmm, let’s see… Fine, ten grand a second!

Caller: Oh yeah? Then a mil buys me minute forty!

Majima: Sexual contact is prohibited in this establishment… Sir.

Hostess: Boss…

Caller: Oh? So you’re Majima-kun. Loosen up, pal. Ya gone and killed the mood.

Majima: Nevertheless, those are our rules.

Caller: Yeah, yeah, so terribly sorry. Yer boss is a scary guy! Huh?

Majima: Damn straight. What kinda manager’s gonna let you ruin everyone else’s night with this bullshit?

Caller: Ya got me all wrong! I ain’t the type to do you like that. I played this fair and square, y’know? See, I got your staff in on it… Rented the place out for myself.

[We see a huge pile of cash on the table. The caller asks the girls to leave.]

Caller: Way I figure it… You don’t want people hearin’ what we say here, either. So I cleared the place out. Pretty goddamn considerate, wasn’t it? C’mon, c’mon, sit. A man deserves a drink in his own bar now and again, no?

Majima: Who are you?

Caller: Me? I run a little outfit by the name of the Kijin Clan. Name’s Nishitani.

[HOMARE NISHITANI. Retainer to the 5th Omi Alliance chairman, patriarch of the Kijin Clan.]

Majima: Kijin Clan?

Homare Nishitani: And I think you know what I want, Majima-kun. Makimura. Makoto-chan. Where you got the little sweetheart stashed? So I had some guys pay the acupuncturist’s place a little visit to grab Makoto-chan, right? But they came back sayin’ you were too hot to handle. So here I am handlin’ things myself.

Majima: You’re the one leadin’ that idiot parade?

Nishitani: Way I hear it, you’re pretty strong, eh? I do looove me the strong types… But then I hear my new favorite guy’s in a real fix ‘cause he can’t whack a lady. My heart just bled for ya. It’s almost cute, y’know?

Majima: …You got all your marbles?

Nishitani: No call for gettin’ snotty, now. Hear me out. We ain’t after Makoto-chan’s life. All’s we want with her’s to have a nice, friendly conversation. So, any chance I can get you to hand her over? What’s the harm in that? You got the stiff they pulled from the river. Tell yer client that’s Makoto-chan, you’re set. It’s Sagawa, right? Big mister owner of the Cabaret Grand. That braindead chimpanzee ain’t gonna figure out the body’s a fake. And my lips are sealed. Long as I get Makoto-chan in my hands… that secret stays with me. I’ll carry it to the grave.

Majima: Talk. Why is it you’re after the girl?

Nishitani: Ahh! Can’t help you with that one! I got a client I’m workin’ for here, too. Though, it ain’t like I don’t get why you’d be curious. So I’ve got an idea… Why not try to beat it outta me? That’s the whole reason ya came here, ain’t it?

[They’re getting up from the table. Nishitani beats Majima in the face but he does not answer.]

Nishitani: Uhh, hello? What gives, Majima-kun? There a problem?

Majima: I can’t hit a customer in my club.

Nishitani: What the hell?

Majima: Call it my policy as manager.

Nishitani: Hehheheheh… Oh man, Oh man, you are just the precious little gift that keeps on givin’! But isn’t this a predicament!? Gotta respect your policy, Majima-kun. But I also gotta fight you. I’ve got a real blood chub comin’ on! Sweet! I got just the thing. Gimme a sec.

[He’s happy to run up to his phone and quickly presses the buttons.]

Nishitani: Oh… Yello? Coppers? Great. This is the manager of the Grand Cabaret.

Majima: What?

Nishitani: I got this whack job of a yakuza in here right now wavin’ a big ol’ knife around! No siree, he’s definitely not a customer! He’s a robber! Get down here quick, okay!?

Majima: You’re outta yer damn mind…

Nishitani: Hehehe… Guess who’s not a customer anymore? I’m a bona fide robber! Just ask the cops… Don’t tell me that manager policy of yours extends to robbers, too. Gotta protect yer own club, don’t ya? So quit playin’ the tease and lemme have it, Majima-kun. This ain’t even about work anymore. Let’s have some fun!

[He’s pulling out a tanto.]

Majima: Hmph. If you’re that bent on it, I’ll play along. Be nice to take a little break from work myself…

Nishitani: You ready, Majima-kun? Don’t go lettin’ me down, now!

[Majima wins in a spectacular and dynamic fight.]

Nishitani: Ahh… That was fuckin’ amazing… Never felt this way in all my life…

Majima: How are you even still talkin’?

Police Officer: Police! Don’t move!

Nishitani: Aww, man… Time’s up already? Alright, copper! I’m the big, bad robber who busted in on this place! Sorry to say it, but I caused a goddamn scene!

Police Officer: What? Is this some kinda joke!?

Majima: Hold it, Nishitani. Let’s hear that reason why you’re after the girl. Who’s givin’ the order!?

Nishitani: Heh hell… Gotta save a little fun for next time, big boy. I’ve decided you’re my favorite new toy… Majima-kun.

Police Officer: Geez, if this is some kinda prank… Alright, walk, pal!

Floor Manager: Ah, er… sir? What happened? That was the customer who rented the club out, is he…?

Majima: His rental’s up.

Floor Manager: Huh? He paid that much, and he’s already done?

Majima: …You just deal with the police, would ya? And tell the others to get ready to open. We’re back to regular business.

Floor Manager: U-Understood, sir. We’ll have the doors open as soon as we’re ready. What will you do until then, sir?

Majima: Well… I’ll be in the office till we’re rolling. Hit me if anything comes up.

Floor Manager: Yes, sir.

Majima: (Guess I’ll wait in the office till opening.)

[He’s going upstairs to his office.]

Maki: I’m real sorry about before. He seemed like he’d be good business, so I figured I’d make one little exception… Er, we’re openin’ shop, right? I’ll put calls in to some of our regular customers.

[He’s got an unexpected meeting at the office.]

Majima: Sagawa-han…

Sagawa: Yo. Made myself at home.

Majima: How long you been in here?

Sagawa: Since just after the cops busted in. Pretty wild scene down there on the floor, eh?

[Majima’s standing there like he’s lost his voice.]

Sagawa: But what’s got me even MORE curious, Majima-chan… I thought I told you to call me when the job was done.

Majima: The job?

Sagawa: Makoto Makimura. You offed her? I saw the news. Leaving her floating down Sotenbori, now that was a bold move. So why didn’t you call me as soon as you were done? What happened to ABC, buddy?

Majima: Look, I forgot. Till just now--l came up here to call you.

Sagawa: Right… You forgot. Still, lots of sticky little details on this one. Like the girl’s body. I just can’t figure it out.

Majima: Huh?

Sagawa: Like… Why go through the trouble of smashing her face in? And then you turn around and leave her in her uniform? Can’t tell if you’re trying to hide who she is or broadcast it. Kinda funny, isn’t it?

Majima: …That was my first time killin’ somebody. I can barely even remember what I did.

Sagawa: Still in shock? …Huh. Well, guess that’s not impossible.

Majima: What’s it matter anyway? I did yer job. Your side of the bargain’s gettin’ me back into the Tojo Clan. You had that chat with Shimano yet?

Sagawa: One more question before I do. The guy making a scene downstairs… What were you two fighting about? His name’s Nishitani. You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but he’s Omi Alliance brass, same as me. Heads a group called the Kijin Clan.

Majima: He’s Omi Alliance?

Sagawa: Yup. Omi’s got all kinds, but even by that standard, the Kijin Clan are loose cannons. Not exactly team players. They’ll roll in on anybody’s turf and do whatever they like. Sotenbori’s little band of troublemakers… I’m not saying I’m not a fan, though. Anyway, out of curiosity… Why’s the Kijin Clan throwing down in your club? You get into something with them?

Majima: …Just yer average drunken brawl. Maybe the guy wasn’t used to drinkin’ the good stuff.

Sagawa: Gotcha… Well, can’t say that Nishitani getting smashed and picking a fight’s anything new. All right, fair enough. It’s just… you’ve been acting funny for a while now. Couldn’t help but wonder if you were keeping secrets.

Majima: The hell am I gonna lie about?

Sagawa: Haha, don’t take it personally. But you’re right, there’s no way you could keep something from me. …Because you’ve still got the scars to remind you what would happen to you if you did. Okay then, I’ll put in that call to my oath brother. You keep the fires burning and the profits coming here in the meantime. Got it?

Majima: (That fake body’s only gonna throw Sagawa off the trail so long. Hell, he may already be wise. I gotta talk to Lee in a hurry. He should be with the girl. )

[Outside the Cabaret.]

Chinese Underground Doc: Ah, Manager-san, wait! Good I find you!

Majima: You’re the underground doc from the mahjong parlor.

Chinese Underground Doc: Where Lee-san now!? I must see Lee-san right away!

Majima: What’s the hurry?

Chinese Underground Doc: He need drugs. Lee-san run out of painkiller soon. He say he come get more, but never show up!

Majima: Lee was supposed to come see you?

Chinese Underground Doc: Did something happen to him? I so worried! Where Lee-san?

Majima: Calm down, doc. I was just plannin’ to have a little chat with him myself. Tell ya what, I’ll deliver your medicine to him. You got it on you now?

Chinese Underground Doc: Yes, here. Very strong painkiller. Take it. Please, get that to him fast. When drugs run out, gunshot wounds cause him terrible pain. Too bad to move. Hurry, Manager-san.

Majima: (Somethin’ happen to Lee? I better haul ass over to him.)

Go to the Odyssey WarehouseEdit

[Majima returns to the warehouse and finds Lee and Makoto there.]

Lee: Yo! Glad to see you’re still in one piece.

Majima: Yeah… All quiet here?

Lee: Hm? Yeah, nothin’ to report.

Majima: Good. Here, got something to pass along to ya.

Lee: What is it?

Majima: Painkillers, he said. Doc from Mahjong Jambalaya asked me to get it to you.

Lee: Huh. Not that I really need ‘em…

Majima: Huh?

Lee: Anyway, how’d it go? You met the phone guy at the Grand, right?

Makoto: Um, did something happen? Who is this phone guy?

Lee: He’s… Look, some stuff happened. Nothin’ you need to worry about. Now--

Makoto: Lee-san! Why won’t you tell me what’s going on?

Lee: Whaddya mean? …Where’s this comin’ from?

Makoto: This is all happening because people are after me, right? And you two are working to fix it?Then… let me help too. With anything. Staying shut in here while you two put yourselves in danger for me is… I can’t.

Majima: Remember the guys who came to get ya at Hogushi Kaikan?

Makoto: What?

Majima: The guy on the phone was their boss. Went by Nishitani. He runs an outfit called the Kijin Clan. He asked me to hand you over.

Makoto: And then?

Majima: Went and met with him. Figured maybe I could get the reason why everybody’s after you outta him… Cops picked him up before I got an answer, though. Nishitani’s part of the same group as the guy who hired me, Sagawa. The Omi Alliance. Seems even within the Omi, they can’t figure out if they wanna nab ya or just send ya down river.

Lee: So Nishitani’s the nabber, and Sagawa’s the killer?

Majima: Yeah. Right now, Sagawa’s our biggest problem. I’m pretty sure he’s wise to the fact I didn’t kill his girl.

Lee: What? You serious!?

Majima: You two should get outta Sotenbori soon as possible. Only a matter of time till Sagawa finds you in here. Lee, you know someplace you can hide out with her?

Lee: Yeah… Got a few ideas, anyway. But the yakuza ain’t gonna stop lookin’ just because we skipped town. She gonna have to live the rest of her life waitin’ for a bullet?

Majima: I’ll figure somethin’ out. You just get her out for now.

Makoto: What about you, though? You can’t come with us?

Majima: This town’s my prison. Havin’ me with you’d make it damn impossible for you to get out clean.

Makoto: ……

Lee: Alright… Makoto, we’re leavin’. Don’t think we got time to wait.

[The door squeaks.]

Makoto: Huh? Is someone else here?

[It’s Chinese Underground Doc.]

Majima: What’re you doin’ here? Wait, did you follow me?

Chinese Underground Doc: Lee-san… You taught me when I met you.

Lee: Huh?

Chinese Underground Doc: You told me… Very hard for Chinese to live in Japan. So, we have to help each other. But, only thing that can keep you safe… is money, every time. Lee-san, you told me… (cries) So you have to forgive me… Lee-san!

[A few people in here who look like ordinary workers enters the warehouse. They are armed.]

Lee: Goddamn snake… You sold us out!?

[Majima remembers that it was these people who were watching his apartment.]

Majima: Lee! These are Sagawa’s thugs!

[The oldest thug hits the Chinese doctor with… a crowbar in the chest. He’s in terrible agony.]

Lee: What, no use for him now he’s played his part? These guys ain’t right in the head!

Majima: Lee, you watch the girl. These guys have been keepin’ me company a long time now..

Lee: Makoto, come on.

[Majima’s getting in a fight stance.]

Majima: (screams) Let’s do this shit!

[He wins, of course.]

Chinese Underground Doc: Nh… Nngh…

Lee: Take money over your countrymen… Shit, I guess I did say that.

Chinese Underground Doc: Ha… Ha…

Lee: But if you go and die, you can’t even use the damn money you got… Idiot.

Chinese Underground Doc: Lee… Lee-san?

Majima: Lee. We ain’t done yet. You know Sagawa didn’t call up these four and call it a day. Leave him already. He betrayed you.

Lee: ……

Majima: C’mon, what’s the holdup, Lee!?

Lee: If I leave him like this… he’s gonna die.

Majima: So what, you stayin’ to save him?

Lee: You take Makoto and get outta here. I gotta get him to Jambalaya.

Majima: ……

Lee: I’ll catch up with you after. You and Makoto make for Hogushi Kaikan.

Majima: Hogushi Kaikan? Why there?

Lee: You’re not gettin’ out of the city with her on foot. Need a car. I got the clinic van parked out front of the place.

Makoto: (almost crying) What’s going on? Lee-san!

Lee: Makoto… I’m sorry, but I gotta…

Majima: Your man Lee’s meeting up with us in a minute. I’ll be keepin’ ya safe till then.

Makoto: What?

Majima: We gotta hurry. More men’ll be here any minute now.

Makoto: All this, because of me… ? I’m so sorry. This is my fault. I’m sorry!

Majima: Nothin’ to cry about. You ain’t done a damn thing wrong.

Lee: Take care of Makoto.

Majima: I will. …Let’s go.

Go to the Hogushi Kaikan MassageEdit

[They leave the warehouse. They meet some scumbags on the way. Majima pushes Makoto back.]

Majima: You fools bring Sagawa a message. Tell him we’re leavin’ town. Whatsa matter? You come here to fight or not?

[He gets up in the fight stance and screams.]

Majima: If ya think you can stop me, give it yer best goddamn shot!

[He kicks their asses and they moving on.]

Makoto: I’ve dragged everyone into this again…

Majima: I told ya it ain’t yer fault. Don’t waste another second worryin’ about it. Alright, let’s go.

Makoto: Okay…

Majima: Over here…

Makoto: I… I won’t just sit around and be protected.

Majima: If that’s how ya feel, better do what ya can.

Makoto: …But what would that be?

Majima: Right now, you can run. Past that, you’re gonna have to come up with something yourself.

Makoto: Right.

Majima: Hey! Stay behind me. It’s dangerous.

Majima: Yes. I hope Lee-san’s okay…

Majima: That guy’s a truck. Ain’t the type to go down easy. He’ll be fine.

[Majima sees someone on the road and stops Makoto.]

Makoto: What’s wrong?

Majima: Just a sec.

[He runs up quietly and snap some poor guy’s neck. He and Makoto are moving on.]

Majima: (Shit, an ambush… Guess that means I gotta take ‘em all out!)

[He’s protecting Makoto by beating up a few thigs with his bat.]

Majima: Still in one piece?

Makoto: I’m fine… What about you?

Majima: No problem.

Lee: Hey!

Makoto: Lee-san!

Lee: You guys okay?

Majima: That was fast. How’s the doc?

Lee: He’ll be fine. His friends’ll patch him up. But we gotta get that car. More guys on the way, right?

Majima: Yeah.

Lee: That’s it there. Gimme two seconds.

Majima: (grabs Makoto’s hand) This way.

Makoto: Right.

[Lee gets into the car and inserts the key into the ignition. When he turns the key, the machine is exploded. Majima and Makoto are thrown away by the explosion.]

Majima: What… the hell? (to Makoto) Hey. Are you… Stay with me. Makoto!

[She’s barely alive. Someone’s coming up to Majima.]

Majima: Sagawa!

Sagawa: You are the worst, buddy. How could you lie to me like that? Breaks my heart. I don’t wanna do this kinda shit. And here I was, ready to actually honor my part of the deal this time!

Majima: Wha…?

Sagawa: I made you a promise I’d get you back with Shimano if you killed the girl for me. So why pull a stunt like this? If you’re gonna lie to me… There’s nothing I can do for you, man. Now I’ve got no choice but to kill you. But ya know what? I’ll make sure you both go together.

[When he almost pulls the trigger on his back, someone shoot him with a silencer gun.]

Sagawa: What the--

[He turns around to shoot his killer, but the killer shoots the gun out of Sagawa’s hands.]

Sagawa: Wh-What the hell?

Majima: Wha…?

[The killer walks to Makoto to look at her face.]

Majima: Who are you?

[The killer hits Majima with a pistol grip and he passes out.]

Previously, in the story of Kazuma Kiryu…Edit

Woman’s Voice: (offscreen) Since Kiryu’s departure from the Dojima Family, its top lieutenant, Kuze, has fallen. Meanwhile, the Dojima Lieutenant and Taihei Association Patriarch, Hiroki Awano, has ascended to center stage. Awano, eager to extract President Tachibana’s vital information regarding the Empty Lot, blackmails Kiryu to hand over Tachibana, or die. When met with Kiryu’s blunt refusal, Awano mobilizes the entire Dojima Family to hunt him down. Kiryu, with the help of his sworn brother Nishikiyama, manages to escape Kamurocho. But he and Nishikiyama soon part ways. Despite the Tojo Clan’s fierce Dojima Family still being out for his blood, Kiryu returns to Kamurocho once more. Awaiting Kiryu there is an overwhelming foe, and only a precious few friends to aid him…

Chapter 9: ENSNAREDEdit

[Quiet evening, the residents are walking down the street. Three yakuza notice a guy in a white suit…]

Yakuza: Hey. Look, the son of a bitch is tight there!

[But it’s not Kiryu, it’s Japanese Elvis Presley.]

Yakuza 2: That ain’t Kiryu!

Yakuza 3: (beating Elvis) Asshole! You wearing that just to fuck with us!?

[The other Yakuza are also searching the city. They even go into arcades to scare the kids.]

Yakuza: Not Kiryu.

Yakuza 2: You see this guy, we need to know. Got it?

[The real Kiryu comes to his house, which is embraced by the tongues of flames. Apparently, the yakuza have already been here.]

Man: Has anybody called the fire department!?

Woman: Anyone still in there? Is everybody out!?

[The Yakuza roam the crowd of gawkers. Kiryu hides around the corner and then leaves.]

Kiryu: (Damn, Dojima’s goons torched my apartment just to tighten the noose around me…! I can’t risk wandering around out here. I need to find a place to lie low, and wait for word from Tachibana.)

Tachibana: (in Kiryu’s head) I will get in touch with you tomorrow. Until then, please stay safe and out of the Dojima Family’s hands, Kiryu-san.

Kiryu: (I just hope I can find someplace that’ll take me in…)

Find a Place to HideEdit

[Wandering the streets of Osaka, Kiryu comes to his former place of work…]

Kiryu: (Hmm, the Kazama Family office… But if Kashiwagi-san took me in now, the Kazama Family will have officially betrayed Patriarch Dojima… All that does is make trouble for Kashiwagi-san. I can’t come running to him for help this time.)

[A drunkard stumbles over him.]

Drunk: Nwargh!? Hey. HEY! Stupid brat… How come you s-standin’ there, eh!?

Junior Employee: Whoa, let’s take it easy, sir!

Drunk: HEY… I’m talkin’ to you! Got nothin’ to say!? You th-think you’re better’n me!?

[Kiryu is carefully checking his surroundings… and gives the drunkard his hand.]

Kiryu: My bad. Are you all right?

Drunk: You think that’s gonna cut it, boy!?

[The drunkard hits Kiryu in the head with a bottle.]

Kiryu: Tch…!

[He’s leaving quickly before he gets too much attention. Soon we see him sitting in an alley touching his bruised head.]

Kiryu: Huff… Huff…

[A girl comes up to him.]

Reina: Umm, is that you, Kiryu-san? It IS you, Kiryu-san!

Kiryu: Reina…

Reina: Wait, what happened to you!? You’re bleeding! You’re hurt! Are you all right!?

Kiryu: Yeah. It’s just a scratch.

Reina: What happened?

Kiryu: Nothing, it’s fine. You should go. You don’t want to be seen with me right now.

Reina: I know. Dojima’s men are after you, aren’t they?

Kiryu: Yeah…

Reina: Then come to the bar. You don’t have anywhere else to go, do you?

Kiryu: I can’t do that. It’ll make trouble for you. Really, don’t worry about me.

Reina: I’m used to trouble, and I’m not just walking away. I won’t leave Nishikiyama-kun’s brother to the wolves.

Kiryu: (quaetly) He and I aren’t bros. We cut ties.

Raina: What?

Kiryu: You should do the same. I don’t want you on my conscience.

Reina: And you think saying that’s enough to change my mind? Give me a little credit here… Look. Either you come with me, now, or I start screaming. I mean it. A place like this, it’s just a matter of time till they find you. Now please, don’t make this take any longer. Okay? I’ll go close the bar now. Give me just a few minutes, then come on up. Use the back entrance, it’s more discreet.

Kiryu: …All right.

Reina: Then I’ll see you in a minute… I’d better.

Kiryu: Reina… I’m sorry.

Reina: That’s the last apology I want to hear from you.

Go to SerenaEdit

[Not wasting a minute Kiryu running to the bar.]

Reina: Good, you actually showed up, Kiryu-san.

Kiryu: I won’t stay long. Just until a man named Tachibana gets in touch with me. Until then, thank you.

Reina: Of course. Have a seat. We need to get that head patched up.

Kiryu: Reina… Have you heard if anything’s happened with Nishiki?

Reina: I think he’s out in the Kazama Family office now. I saw him go in a little while ago He looked really upset.

Kiryu: I see… That’s good to hear.

Reina: The cut doesn’t look very deep. I’ll just clean it.

Kiryu: Thanks.

[Some time passes. Reina treats Kiryu’s wound.]

Reina: Before… Kiryu-san, you said you cut ties as brothers with Nishikiyama-kun. That’s just to keep him safe though, right?

Kiryu: Right now I’ve got the whole Dojima Family after me. It’s best if he has nothing to do with me anymore.

Reina: I figured as much. You two make quite a pair… Both of you are more worried about each other than yourselves. Every time he’s here, Nishikiyama-kun tells stories about you two with this big grin on his face. I’ve never had a friend that close… I envy him.

Kiryu: Even so, I don’t want to weigh the guy down any more than I already have. I’ve done enough… I don’t want to hurt a brother.

Reina: You know, Kiryu-san, I think you should hear the police are looking for you, too. A detective came in today, saying he wanted to ask you a few questions. Any guesses why?

Kiryu: Yeah… Guess I’ve hit my time limit.

Reina: Time limit? What do you mean?

Kiryu: I’m being framed for murder. The shooting that happened over in the Empty Lot. Tachibana pulled some strings to stall the cops from looking into me. That grace period’s over now.

Reina: But you say “framed,” so…

Kiryu: Yeah, I didn’t do it. The whole thing’s a setup.

[Elevator doors close at the bottom floor.]

Reina: Kiryu-san, someone’s coming. This time of night, nobody should be using that elevator! Hide in the back room!

[Kiryu is hiding. A few yakuza enter the bar. One of them hits Reina in the face.]

Dojima Family Goon: What do you take the Dojima Family for, lady? Get your ass out here, Kiryu! We had this place staked out the whole time, moron! Quit sneaking around and man up!

Reina: Kiryu-san, don’t! Run!

Dojima Family Grunt: The man of the hour… Bring me everyone! EVERYONE!

Dojima Family Thug: Right!

Kiryu: I’m sorry, Reina… I shouldn’t have come here.

Reina: Kiryu-san!

Dojima Family Grunt: You got nowhere left in this world to go, Kiryu!

[Kiryu proves them wrong with his fists.]

Reina: Kiryu-san…

Kiryu: …Sorry for wrecking the place, Reina. This is all my fault. More of them will be here any minute. I’ve got to go.

Reina: Wait! I’ll call the police! They might arrest you, but at least you’ll still be alive.

Kiryu: I’m afraid not. If the yakuza are going this far, a few cops on the scene won’t stop them. They’re not calling this off till I’m dead.

Reina: Then… there’s no one else you can ask for help?

Kiryu: If there were, I wouldn’t have dragged you into this, too.

Reina: You didn’t drag me anywhere.

Kiryu: Then can I push my luck and ask one more favor?

Reina: Huh?

Kiryu: Please… give this to Nishiki.

Reina: A watch?

Kiryu: When you do, tell him… I don’t want him to try to avenge me, no matter what happens. If he crosses the family, he’ll wind up right where I am now.

Reina: Kiryu-san… Kiryu-san!

[Outside.]

Dojima Family Thug: Nowhere to run, Kiryu.

Kiryu: True… but at least I know I won’t be lonely when I bring all you guys down with me.

Dojima Family Thug: You stupid? There’s even more of us coming. Doesn’t matter what you try, the only one going to hell today is you. All right, get to work on him!

[After the fight.]

Dojima Family Thug: No way… This guy’s not even human!

[Kiryu looks at them and slowly comes out of the alley. On the street he is met by even more yakuza, as well as Awano, Shibusawa, Kuze, Nishikiyama and Kashiwagi-san.]

Nishikiyama: Bro…

Awano: Heh, stubborn son of a bitch, ain’t ya? You had to know it’d pan out like this, though. Thing is, we’re past the empty threats stage now.

Kiryu: Awano…

Awano: We can take our time working you over for Tachibana’s little hideaway later. Not that coughing it up is gonna save you.

Kuze: Bro… I’ll let you take the credit, but I’m the one who gets to break him.

Awano: Hey, Kiryu. Where do you figure Tachibana is now, after you covered his ass all this time? Haven’t heard a peep… They cut you loose, boyo. Looks like Kazama’s just gonna sit by and let you die, too. Raw fucking deal, am I right? People today are so heartless.

Kiryu: Tachibana’s going to be the one to get the Empty Lot. Then it’ll be your turn to sweat. Do your worst, I’m not giving Tachibana to you. Think hard. Am I really the only one who’s cornered here?

Awano: That cocky attitude’s gonna get you hurt, boy.

Kuze: Let me at him, bro. I’ll shut him up.

[He’s got iron knuckles on his hands. One of the palms is missing and the knuckle is attached directly to the stump.]

Kuze: I’m gonna have some real fun this time, Kiryu!

[Kiryu defeats him and a lot of his men.]

Daisaku Kuze: Son of a bitch! This isn’t over by a long shot.

[One of the yakuza runs up to Kiryu from behind and hits him with a bat.]

Daisaku Kuze: Gimme that!

[Unexpectedly, a car is entering the street.]

Awano: Who the fuck!?

Daisaku Kuze: I’m gonna paint the sidewalk with your brains!

[The car’s run him over.]

Kiryu: What the…?

Tachibana: Kiryu-san, get in!

Kiryu: Tachibana!?

Tachibana: Quickly!

[Kiryu runs up to the car and sits on the passenger seat.]

Tachibana: Excuse my delay, Kiryu-san. I fear driving is not my forte. Hold on tightly, please!

Awano: Don’t let ‘em through!

[A few yakuza are trying to get the car dropped off, but unsuccessfully. Awano pulls out the gun and starts shooting.]

Awano: No you fuckin’ don’t… Shit!

[Shibusawa, standing there all the time, hasn’t dropped a word.]

[After a while, we see Tachibana’s car in a parking lot.]

Tachibana: The added pressure from Dojima’s men has hampered our information network these last few days. It has been difficult to keep track of your situation… let alone to pass instructions on to Oda-san. Hence… my impromptu debut as the world’s worst chauffeur.

Kiryu: I’m surprised there’s anything you can’t do.

Tachibana: It seems I at least know one pedal from the other… but that’s the most I’ve driven since getting licensed. It was terrifying.

Kiryu: Well, it saved me. If you hadn’t come when you did, that would’ve been the end of the line for me.

Kiryu: I was… naive. Thought I was stronger than I am. I figured no matter how far I pushed, I’d be able to see it all through by myself. Make it alone. But now, just being around other people puts them in danger. Everyone who’s tried to help me has paid for it. The owner of Serena, Kazama, Nishiki… You, too. This whole time I tried to be the lone wolf, I’ve had people protecting me. And now I’m finally paying for being blind to that for so long… I’m an idiot.

[Tachibana’s face is covered in sweat. He barely speaks as if he had just run a marathon.]

Tachibana: Were I in your place, that would not bother me remotely. You see, Kiryu-san, I firmly believe that we must all use anyone and everyone around us. Such was the way of the world where I grew up. Any less, and one would simply not survive. To say nothing of climbing the ranks. The only question was how to extract the most from others, whether through money, force, or any other means. I am sure it was a world far different from the one that gave rise to a gentle soul like you.

Kiryu: So the only reason you came running to my rescue was so that you could use me now?

Tachibana: …In so many words, yes.

Kiryu: What are you… Why tell me this?

Tachibana: By using those around me, I have amassed money and power… It seems what talents I have lend themselves naturally to such pursuits. However… unlike you, I have no friends who would risk their lives for my sake. In the end, those who have gathered around me have done so to use me in return. You describe yourself as an idiot. Well… I suppose I too aspire to be such an idiot.

Kiryu: Tachibana…

Tachibana: Those who would risk themselves to protect you are aware that you are not a man motivated by personal gain. What’s more, once you’ve decided to trust someone, you are able to do so blindly, recklessly, heedless of the costs. That sort of person is exceedingly rare… especially in this day and age. I regret to admit that I am still unable to risk my own life in order to protect yours. However, I can place my trust in you, and place my life in your hands.

Kiryu: Tachibana…

Tachibana: Apologies… Perhaps that was the sort of thing better said AND heard after a few drinks.

Kiryu: The first round’s on me.

Tachibana: It is best we postponed that. We shall abandon the car here.

[A van is slowly entering the parking lot.]

Kiryu: That van…

Tachibana: He is… not an enemy.

Kiryu: Oda?

Tachibana: Even in this city… There are a few corners left beyond the Tojo Clan’s reach. We’ll head there… And regroup…

[He’s wriggling in pain.]

Kiryu: Are you all right? Hey, Tachibana!

Oda: Boss! Hang in there, boss!

[Tachibana puts his head on the wheel and passes out.]

Chapter 10: A MAN’S WORTHEdit

[In the next scene, Tachibana is lying on a hospital bed connected to life support equipment.]

Kiryu: Is Tachibana going to be all right?

Oda: For now, at least. Keep this quiet, but the boss’s kidneys have been shot for years. Even within Tachibana Real Estate, I’m the only other one who knows.

Kiryu: Is he sick?

Oda: Back when he lost his hand, he lost a lot of blood. Took too long to get a transfusion. His kidneys haven’t worked since. It was a rival gang that did the hack job. Chinese mafia. Rest assured, I did a lot worse back to them in return.

Kiryu: Not exactly the words of an upstanding businessman.

Oda: This was a long time ago. We weren’t a real estate firm back then. Just a band of punks. Ever since, he’s needed dialysis every other day. If he goes without that, he’ll die.

Kiryu: Tachibana’s picking a fight with the Tojo Clan with a body like that?

Oda: If he were healthy, he’d have already done the job by now, single-handed. No pun intended. Hell, with two good kidneys, he wouldn’t have needed the real estate firm… or you and me.

Kiryu: So then, what’s our next move?

Oda: Everything’s on hold till the boss wakes up. Relax. This is the one place in Kamurocho where the Tojo Clan hasn’t got eyes. Little Asia, it’s called. Heard of it?

Kiryu: Little Asia?

Oda: It’s just Asian immigrants living in this neighborhood. Perfect place to hide from the Dojima Family.

Kiryu: You guys have connections in a place like this?

Oda: Sure, the boss and me… Neither of us are Japanese.

Kiryu: Huh?

Oda: We’re ex-Chinese mafia living in Japan. This hospital’s all underground. Neither of us have the papers for a legit doctor.

Kiryu: Ex-mafia… This is all news to me.

Oda: It’s not like I’ve tried to keep it secret. Though the only reason Tachibana Real Estate’s managed to play keep-away with the Tojo Clan this long is because of this place. Little Asia’s sacred ground. All the shops here pay the mafia protection money, and so our little ghetto here can keep eking out a humble living. And as long as they keep it within this patch, the Tojo Clan turns a blind eye. That’s the deal.

Kiryu: Sure, but doesn’t us coming in here go past that? If they knew, wouldn’t the Tojo Clan come down on this place?

Oda: No doubt about that. But we’re paying the guy who runs things here more than enough to offset that risk.

[A man enters the room.]

Kiryu: Who’s that?

Oda: He works for the guy I just mentioned.

Chinese Mafia: (on Chinese) [Elder Chen wants you. Bring the Japanese, too.]

Oda: (on Chinese) [All right.]

Kiryu: There a problem?

Oda: We gotta work out what happens to you with the local boss. Gotta admit… Doesn’t sound like he’s throwing you a party. He’s in a Chinese restaurant nearby. You’re coming with me. Let’s go.

[Oda leaves the room. Kiryu briefly looks at Tachibana lying in bed, notices a bat tattoo on his left arm and also leaves. Outside…]

Oda: All right, let’s go see the big man… and don’t you go wandering around. The locals won’t take too kindly to it. You ready? Outside Little Asia, the city’s crawling with Dojima Family thugs. We’re safe in here for now, though. Gotta go clear it with the local boss. Just some lame protocol. …Hopefully.

Chinese Guy: [Hey, Oda. What the hell is your company thinking? Why are you helping Japanese yakuza?]

Oda: [It’s complicated, okay? He’s got nowhere else he can hide.]

Chinese Guy: [Elder Chen hates yakuza. You know that. Are you listening to me, Oda?]

Oda: [I’m on my way to work it out with him now. Get off my back.]

Chinese Guy: […Don’t get cocky, Oda. You Tachibana guys seem to think your money buys you anything back here, it won’t.]

Oda: (to Kiryu) This is it. Come on in.

[They go into a little Chinese restaurant. At the table sits an elderly Chinese man of good-natured appearance.]

Oda: [Elder Chen, this is our Japanese guest. Would you mind if we conduct this in Japanese?]

[The old man nods.]

Oda: Chen-san here oversees things in Little Asia. Chen-san, this is--

Elder Chen: Kazuma Kiryu, yes? Formerly of the Dojima Family.

Oda: Chen-san is one of the three elders leading the Chinese immigrant population in Japan. His network is a major part of how Tachibana Real Estate stays informed.

Elder Chen: I expect this is your first time in Little Asia. It is a cramped, run-down place. I’m sorry we can’t offer much in the way of hospitality. Contrary to appearances, we once stood on equal footing with Kamurocho’s yakuza. That was until your bosses, Sohei Dojima and Shintaro Kazama, broke that balance with force. Much blood was spilled that day. Women and children were butchered. In the end, we were all driven underground.

Oda: That was before Kiryu’s tenure with the Dojima Family.

Elder Chen: I am aware, obviously. Just making small talk.

Oda: Apologies, sir.

Elder Chen: Ever since, we have been left in this gutter to watch as the changing times brought wealth to the Japanese, our own slum crumbling around us. Oda-san… I cannot welcome your guest to Little Asia. He is being chased by Dojima and the police both. Hiding him here invites disaster upon us.

Oda: My boss and I are fugitives from the Tojo Clan, too.

Elder Chen: Little Asia does not turn away its own. But Kiryu-san is a Japanese yakuza. Furthermore, Tachibana Real Estate did not see fit to advise us of his arrival ahead of time.

Oda: It was an emergency, sir. We had no other choice. If we cast Kiryu out of here, the Dojima Family will kill him.

Elder Chen: A sad fact that will cause us no inconvenience.

Oda: Please reconsider, sir. Our firm’s contributions are a big part of what keeps Little Asia afloat. We’ve enjoyed a mutually beneficial partnership up till now. Surely years of good faith merits this one favor.

Elder Chen: Mutually beneficial, as you say. We have provided you with information equivalent to the price you’ve paid… but we owe you no favors.

Oda: Of course, I understand that. Then… Then we’ll pay a separate fee for this service!

Elder Chen: When you look at my face, do you see a “for sale” sign?

Oda: If not money, then what is it you want? Just tell me!

Tachibana: That is enough. There can be no negotiation without courtesy, Oda-san.

Oda: Boss!

Kiryu: Tachibana. Should you be up?

Tachibana: Chen-san, I apologize for the trouble. Oda-san. Chen-san is not the sort to reverse a decision once made. As guests in Little Asia, we are to accept that. We cannot shelter Kiryu-san here.

Oda: But, boss!

Kiryu: Oda, that’s enough. The man’s made his position clear. …I’ll find somewhere else.

Elder Chen: (to Kiryu) How about a cup of tea before you leave? You may remain my guest until you’re done.

Kiryu: No thanks. I won’t put you out.

[Outside.]

Tachibana: I apologize, Kiryu-san. I underestimated Chen-san’s fear of the Dojima Family.

Kiryu: I remember Kazama-san talking about it once. That the family grew to its current size by taking foreigners’ turf. He said it was pretty brutal.

Oda: Yeah… That was before we came to Kamurocho, though. I guess that’s why it’s a deeper wound for Chen-san.

Kiryu: It’s fine. I’ll get out of here. Get in touch when you can.

Tachibana: If not here, might I recommend you seek refuge in West Park? I’m afraid it is not as safe as this place…

Kiryu: West Park?

Tachibana: The homeless have gathered there. It should offer you a certain degree of camouflage from Dojima’s men.

Kiryu: All right… But I feel like all I’m doing is hiding. Are you making any progress on the Empty Lot? The plan was for you to pin down the owner, right?

Tachibana: Yes, though I will have to speak more on that later. Head to West Park and weather the night there. I will return for you tomorrow.

Kiryu: Didn’t think I’d be sleeping outside in this cold.

Tachibana: I haven’t the words…

Kiryu: Heh, care to join me, then?

Tachibana: The two of us together would attract unwanted attention. Besides, I have preparations to make for tomorrow.

Kiryu: Preparations? …What for?

Tachibana: Nothing too elaborate.

Kiryu: I see. Then I’ll see you tomorrow?

Tachibana: Yes. Take care until then. Do whatever you must to stay off the Dojima Family’s radar.

Kiryu: Understood. (Tachibana said I should head for West Park. I don’t have anyplace else, now that I’ve been kicked out of Little Asia. Might as well take his advice.)

Go to West ParkEdit

Kiryu: (This is West Park. Hope there’s somewhere for me to sleep.)

Bearded Homeless Man: Oh, it’s you.

Kiryu: Hm?

Bearded Homeless Man: What, you forget? You bought us a round a while back. We told you where to find those Tachibana Real Estate guys.

Kiryu: Ah, that’s right. You guys were at Public Park 3.

Bearded Homeless Man: Yep, that’s us. You remember, huh? Anyway, what brings you out here?

Kiryu: I lost my home. Same as you guys.

Bearded Homeless Man: You serious? Welcome to the club, buddy.

Kiryu: Thanks. Hey… Any chance you know of a place I could sleep for the night? As long as I don’t freeze, I’m not picky.

Bearded Homeless Man: Sure, yeah. You can crash in my space. Just, uh… No funny business, yeah? I don’t swing that way.

Kiryu: Tch, you’re a regular comedian…

Bearded Homeless Man: Haha, sorry. Come on, my place is right over here. Under the blue tarp. Make yourself comfortable. For you, only… Does 100 grand a night sound fair?

Kiryu: Huh?

Bearded Homeless Man: I’m kidding, buddy! Just a joke. Look, buy me another drink sometime and we’re golden.

Kiryu: I really appreciate it. Thanks.

Bearded Homeless Man: Bah, no trouble.

Kiryu: (This has to be the shelter he mentioned. Should at least keep me from freezing to death. I should call it a day.)

[Later that night.]

Shouting Voice: Get lost, you trash! You’re stinking the place up!

Kiryu: What now…? (to Bearded Homeless Man) Hey, wake up!

Bearded Homeless Man: Hrrngh…? Aw, shit… It’s them!

Kiryu: The Dojima Family?

Bearded Homeless Man: Dojima? What’re you saying? These guys are homeless hunters!

Homeless Hunter: Yo, we got two live ones over here!

Hobo Harasser: Hey, hey, hey, heyyy!

Homeless Hunter: Ehh? That bum’s dressed different. He don’t look homeless.

Hobo Harasser: Who cares? He’s hanging out here, so he’s just more garbage.

Bearded Homeless Man: Eaaagh!

Bum Basher: (hits him with a bat) Don’t you run!

Bearded Homeless Man: S-Stop it!

Bum Basher: Who you giving orders to, old fart? I think you meant, “Please stop, sir!“

[He’s waving a bat, but Kiryu hits him in the face.]

Homeless Hunter: The hell is this guy?

Hobo Harasser: Aww, shit. Now you’ve done it. Serious injury like this, you’re gonna need to cough up some hospital fees.

Kiryu: You’re seriously hopeless, kid.

Homeless Hunter: You said it, boss. We’re just kids. Totally legal minors! We could kill a guy and not do a day’s time.

Kiryu: You think prison’s the worst punishment out there? You’ve got a lot to learn about the world.

Homeless Hunter: Ooh, this one talks big. Heheh, you wanna go?

Bum Basher: Yo, that asshole hit me! Cave his skull in!

Homeless Hunter: That’s the plan. And let’s take this one all the way… I always wanted to watch a guy die!

[Kiryu punishes bats armed hunters.]

Bum Basher: Ow, OWW! What the hell, man? Are you fucking kidding me?

[Kiryu slowly approaches him and grabs his collar, lifting him from the ground.]

Bum Basher: H-Hey, stop it! You think you can get away with this!?

Kiryu: Get away from who, exactly?

Bum Basher: Ngh… F-Fine, I’m sorry, okay? I’m sorry! Just let me go! Please!

Kiryu: You call that an apology? Besides, you’re telling it to the wrong guy.

Bum Basher: Wuh…?

[Kiryu drags him to a bearded homeless man.]

Bum Basher: Waugh!

[The homeless man has a bat in his hand.]

Bearded Homeless Man: Hey. This is yours, isn’t it?

Bum Basher: Uhh…

Bearded Homeless Man: You were about to use it to split my head open. So I’m guessing it’s yours, right?

Bum Basher: D-Don’t! Get away from me, freak!

Bearded Homeless Man: Shh! People are trying to sleep. Keep it down.

[He raises the bat above his head.]

Bum Basher: W-Waaaaugh!

[Some time later, in the homeless man’s hut…]

Bearded Homeless Man: Thank you. I’m only alive right now ‘cause you were here. Those kids have been attacking my friends for a while, the little shits. Hopefully they won’t be coming back now.

Kiryu: Here’s hoping.

Bearded Homeless Man: Oh yeah, I never got your name, buddy.

Kiryu: It’s Kiryu.

Bearded Homeless Man: Kiryu-san. I see… Thought it might be. Been hearing that name a lot lately, what with Dojima’s men scouring the city. Haha, don’t worry. There’s not a man here who would sell you out. Not after tonight. We take our debts seriously here.

Kiryu: Heh. Good to hear.

[On the next day.]

Bearded Homeless Man: Yo, Kiryu-san. You got a guest. Says he’s looking for you.

Kiryu: A guest? …is the Dojima Family?

Bearded Homeless Man: No, said he was with Tachibana Real Estate. I told him I’d never heard of you, just in case.

Kiryu: Nice. Thanks for that. Where is he now?

Bearded Homeless Man: His car’s over by the park entrance. Check it out, if you’re curious.

Kiryu: (Tachibana said he’d come for me. I should head for the park entrance.)

[At the park entrance…]

Oda: Yo, Kiryu-kun.

Kiryu: Oda? What, you’re my ride?

Oda: Seems so. You sleep okay last night? Cold one, huh?

Kiryu: It was fine. At least I had a roof over my head. …So, where’s Tachibana?

Oda: The boss is waiting for you someplace special.

Kiryu: Special? Where?

Oda: It’s somewhere you’re real familiar with, actually. I won’t spoil the surprise. If you’re ready, hop in the van. Good to go?

Kiryu: Sure, let’s go.

Oda: Great, let’s get rolling.

[They get in the van and leave.]

Oda: …I don’t see anybody tailing us, at least for now.

Kiryu: After spending the night under a tarp in the park, I feel like I’ve earned a little peace. So, where we headed? You guys find a new hideout?

Oda: Nah, not exactly. But as long as the Dojima Family are combing the streets up in Kamurocho, there’s nowhere in town you could stay hidden for long. So the boss decided to be proactive, and make his own move to shut their little search down.

Kiryu: And that move is what, exactly?

Oda: He’s somewhere you’re real familiar with, as we speak. We’re headed there to meet him.

Kiryu: You can’t just tell me?

Oda: Don’t have to. It’ll be obvious soon enough.

2:16 PM

[Oda brings Kiryu to a huge castle in classic Japanese style. A huge park is laid out next to the castle.]

Kiryu: This is… Are you joking!?

Oda: Finally figured it out?

Kiryu: Tojo Clan headquarters! Are you insane, Oda?

Oda: The boss is inside now, bargaining with the Tojo brass for your life. He says the only way to tie Dojima’s hands… is to strike a deal even higher up the chain.

Kiryu: Hold on. Isn’t the Tojo Clan out to end Tachibana Real Estate? Tachibana, you, and me… All three of us are dead. What were you thinking!?

Oda: You think the boss doesn’t know that? Even so… There’s always wiggle room for negotiation. This is your stop. They’ll take you to where the boss is.

Kiryu: …I still say this is crazy.

Oda: He wouldn’t have come if he weren’t confident. He knows it’s a dangerous gamble. But any business deal bears a certain amount of risk. You’re a Tachibana employee now. Shut up and trust the boss.

Kiryu: …Next time, tell me before we do something like this.

[He’s leaving with two guards.]

Oda: Go do your part, Kiryu-kun.

[Kiryu goes up to the second floor and enters a huge office with a lot of sort chairs. He is already expected there.]

Tachibana: Kiryu-san.

Kiryu: Yeah.

Tachibana: As I assume you’re aware, this is the Acting Second Chairman of the Tojo Clan, Nihara-san… The highest authority within Japanese yakuza organizations.

Nihara: So, you’re Kiryu. I see. The look in your eyes reminds me of Kazama’s, when he was young.

[TAKASHI NIHARA. Acting Second Chairman of the Tojo Clan.]

Nihara: Sit wherever you like.

Kiryu: No, sir, I’ll stand.

Nihara: As you like. Shall we begin, then?

Tachibana: As I was saying earlier, my goal is for my company and the Tojo Clan to coexist peacefully in Kamurocho.

Nihara: We welcome anyone who wants to come to Kamurocho. That’s a large part of why our city’s grown as it has. However… those with no fear of the Tojo crest are the sole exception. The business you’ve been doing flies in the face of that one rule.

Tachibana: I assure you I understand precisely how fearsome the Tojo Clan can be. The purpose of my visit today is to show the depth of my deference, in material form.

Nihara: So you’ve come bearing gifts, have you?

Tachibana: Indeed. And with the hope that you will hear one humble request, Chairman.

Nihara: …Out with it.

Tachibana: Please issue an order as Tojo Clan Chairman instructing the Dojima Family to pursue Kiryu-san no further. Nihara-san, I am not certain whether news has reached you, but the Dojima Family seeks to kill Kiryu-san.

Nihara: Dojima isn’t an idiot. If the boy is being hunted, he’s done something to earn it.

Tachibana: The Dojima Family is pursuing Kiryu-san in order to get to me. Because I possess certain key intelligence necessary to acquiring the Empty Lot.

Nihara: The Empty Lot… I see. Dojima can scarce afford to let an outsider beat him to that plot. But the profits from that project will be coming back to the Tojo Clan. I have no reason to help you.

Tachibana: If I may shift topics somewhat, am I correct in my understanding that the Dojima Family is your top earner? As I understand it, there is no one even within Tojo Clan headquarters equal in power to Dojima’s faction… including you, Chairman.

Nihara: …Dojima tithes a massive amount to the clan. He’s a competent and loyal subordinate.

Tachibana: He is also the likeliest successor to the Tojo chairmanship at present. It is quite probable that Sohei Dojima will be the clan’s third chairman in the near future.

Nihara: And what of it?

Tachibana: If the Dojima Family succeeds in acquiring the Empty Lot, it will grant him even greater wealth and influence. It would mean the rise of an absolute autocrat within the Tojo Clan. Men of that sort seldom remember to pay deference to those still above them. Put frankly, your long years spent climbing to the top will only earn you a retirement spent impotent and forgotten.

Nihara: I beg your pardon?

Kiryu: Tachibana.

Tachibana: Nihara-san. You must not allow Dojima to secure the Empty Lot. If a single officer grows more powerful than the entire clan above him, the Tojo Clan will undergo a drastic change.

Nihara: Dojima’s development project is a huge piece of business. The Tojo Clan will see similarly huge profits come of it. That’s all. Nothing past that will change.

Tachibana: Anyone blinded by such short-term concerns is unfit to lead such a grand operation… “Acting” Chairman.

Nihara: You need to learn to choose your words, boy.

[Someone knocks the door.]

Tachibana: It appears the gift I brought has arrived.

Nihara: Let them in.

[Oda enters the office with a large and heavy suitcase. He comes up to Nihara and opens it. It’s loaded with money to the top.]

Tachibana: 500 million. Please accept it as payment for Kiryu-san’s life.

Kiryu: 500 million?

Tachibana: In advance. And another 500 million once I have verified that Dojima’s men have stopped. Furthermore, offer 30% of our Kamurocho profits to Tojo Clan Headquarters.

Nihara: A single yakuza, a failed one at that… You’ll pay one billion? You think he’s worth that much?

Tachibana: It is an amount I can easily make again. But a true friends… Those are harder to come by. Speaking in more immediate terms, I require Kiryu-san’s assistance to secure the Empty Lot.

Nihara: You certainly hold the boy in high regard.

Tachibana: What do you say, Nihara-san? You, of course, also have the choice of offering up our heads to Dojima… Though I cannot imagine doing so would earn you much recompense from him. Now, or in the future. But, if we could instead enlist your assistance in this matter… Perhaps we can ensure that Dojima-san remains the “loyal subordinate” you describe. If I may offer a personal opinion… Dojima-san is better suited for that role than one of any real leadership.

Nihara: I see. Your reputation precedes you. You know how to spread a yakuza’s legs. Know how to use money, too. Small wonder Dojima has his hands full.

Tachibana: You are too kind.

Nihara: You. Send word to Dojima. Kazuma Kiryu is Tojo Headquarters property now. He can keep his hands off.

Tachibana: I sincerely appreciate your time, Acting Second Chairman.

[Tachibana, Oda and Kiryu bow and leave.]

Nihara: Kiryu. Kazama was your age once… Do you know what sort of yakuza he was?

Kiryu: No, sir. Not specifically.

Nihara: In a word… unrivaled. Strong and fearless. Even I admired how dauntless he was. He redefined what it meant to be a man. If I could go back and buy him for a billion… I’d do it in a heartbeat. Are you a man worth a billion yen as well? I look forward to finding out.

[Kiryu bow and they leave the office. There’s a whole gang of scumbags waiting for them on the first floor. All this reminds me of a scene from “Kill Bill.“]

Kiryu: I guess your money didn’t buy us the right to walk out the door.

Tachibana: I expected such a response if our negotiations failed, not succeeded. The yakuza certainly keep things interesting.

Oda: Just means they’re stabbing us in the back!

Kiryu: That’s not it.

Oda: What is it, then!?

Tachibana: Though the business side of things has been resolved, there is still a matter of protocol. We need only walk this gauntlet, and I expect they will uphold their end of the bargain.

Kiryu: That’s the idea.

Oda: Walk this gauntlet… That’s insane! We’re smack-dab in the middle of Tojo HQ!

Kiryu: Insane or not, this is how the yakuza work. Oda, you stick with Tachibana.

Oda: Shit… I’m on it!

[Kiryu jumps on the first floor and starts to make his way to the exit on the heads of the yakuza.]

Tachibana: Kiryu-san! Are you all right?

Kiryu: Yeah… Looks like you guys are, too.

Tachibana: Yes, I had Oda-san to see to that.

Oda: Well, forget walking out the front door… These assholes are sending every man they’ve got against three people!

Tachibana: Are you so surprised? I thought we both came here knowing the risks.

Oda: Well sure, but…

Tachibana: We have weathered worse storms together numerous times. And we have Kiryu-san with us today. This hardly seems impossible.

Kiryu: Tachibana…

Oda: Heh… Guess I forgot. All right, then let’s do this thing! Can’t let the rookie think he’s the only one pulling his weight here.

Kiryu: Okay, let’s head through there and outside.

Tachibana: Right. Lead on.

[Kiryu fights a whole crowd of yakuza in a park by the Tojo Clan headquarters. At the end, he kicks out the closed gate with one of them.]

Kiryu: Are you okay?

Tachibana: Yes, somehow… We should hurry, though.

Oda: Exit’s that way. Let’s go.

[They have more than one fight to go through before they get to the exit. In the end, all the heroes <i>(even Tachibana fought) are almost completely exhausted.]</i>

Oda: Is… Is everybody still in one piece?

Tachibana: Let’s not linger here. Come.

[They’re going out on the road. Kiryu turns and exchanges a gaze with Nihara and then leaves too.]

Nihara: Kazuma Kiryu… I can see why Kazama would take an interest. He too, may turn into a real monster one day.

[The Dojima Family HQ.]

Sohei Dojima: Tojo HQ have gone and stuck their noses in the Kiryu situation. The Dojima Family is “not to touch” Kazama Kiryu.

Keiji Shibusawa: That’s Tachibana Real Estate’s doing, boss. With the pressure we put on them, they had nowhere to ruh but clan headquarters. Anyone could have seen this coming.

Sohei Dojima: Kuze and Awano didn’t, apparently.

Keiji Shibusawa: But I did, and I can see how Tachibana plans to use Kiryu next, too.

Sohei Dojima: I see. Tired of waiting your turn and holding back around Kuze and Awano, Shibusawa?

Keiji Shibusawa: The Empty Lot is yours… (takes off his glasses) And I’m the one who’s going to hand it to you, boss.

[Meanwhile, in some port, our heroes are taking their breath away…]

Kiryu: How long are we going to stand around here?

Tachibana: This is my first moment of rest in a long while. A fellow has to slow down now and again or he’ll never last. I’m a frail man, after all.

Kiryu: Heh. If you can hold your own against a pack of yakuza that size, you’re doing all right.

Tachibana: I was desperate then, that’s all.

Kiryu: Tell me one thing.

Tachibana: Yes?

Kiryu: Why pay a billion for somebody like me? And wind up owing Tojo HQ a favor on top of that. You said you got money and power, and you’re using it to gun for the Tojo Clan. That’s why you’re after the Empty Lot. Why, then? Unless you’ve got some other motive. And if so, why risk your neck for the Empty Lot like this? Is there some other meaning to that plot I’m not seeing?

Tachibana: That’s…a trade secret. Perhaps you’ll let me leave it at that?

Kiryu: A trade secret you can’t tell an employee? Man, the guys you hire sure have their work cut out for them. Even staying alive is a chore.

Tachibana: Which is precisely why I need men like you. And precisely why Kazama-san brought you to me.

Kiryu: But we’re still no closer to the Empty Lot. What’s our next move? What should I be doing?

Tachibana: There has been movement on that front. Last night, I was at last able to locate the owner of the Empty Lot. In Osaka’s pleasure district, Sotenbori.

Kiryu: Sotenbori?

Tachibana: Yes. Though I fear we cannot make our move just yet. Another faction in Sotenbori is already in pursuit there.

Kiryu: You’re saying, someone else knows who the owner is?

Tachibana: If I had to wager, I’d say someone from the Shibusawa Family.

Kiryu: Shibusawa? He knows?

Tachibana: But the real problem is that beyond Shibusawa, the Omi Alliance has begun to move as well.

Kiryu: The Omi Alliance? They’re after the Empty Lot, too!?

Tachibana: Indeed. And I do not yet know the scale of their efforts. To us, Sotenbori is a more dangerous place right now than Kamurocho. At the very least, any action on our part will have to wait until we have a clearer picture of the situation.

Kiryu: That doesn’t sound like you at all.

Tachibana: Oh?

Kiryu: It’s like Oda said. Any business proposition has its share of risks. Wasn’t it you who taught him that?

Tachibana: ……

Kiryu: And with your kidneys, you can’t leave Little Asia for long. But I’ve had enough of just running around. I never was the type to sit and wait to begin with. I’m headed to Sotenbori whether you want me to or not. I just need to bring the owner back up to Kamurocho, yeah?

Tachibana: Yes, but…

Oda: I’m going with him. I’m with Kiryu on this one, boss. It’s BECAUSE the situation in Sotenbori’s so murky that we should go and take direct action ourselves. If anyone else gets their hands on the Empty Lot before us, all our work up to now goes up in smoke. If we play it safe, we’ll be late to the party.

Kiryu: You make a good point every once in a while, Oda.

Tachibana: So you wish to go despite the danger? You would travel to Sotenbori and take on that risk for us, Kiryu-san?

Kiryu: Yeah.

Tachibana: This is not a company order, so whatever happens… don’t expect any workman’s comp.

Kiryu: Heh. You’ve already shelled out a billion yen for me, boss. I think that’s more than my fair share.

Tachibana: Is that so? In that case, I’m on board.

[Oda brings Kiryu to Sotenbori.]

Tachibana: Kiryu-san, please make any preparations you must before departing for Sotenbori.

Kiryu: Will do. What about you?

Tachibana: We will return to Little Asia. I will arrange with Chen-san for you to meet us in the restaurant we spoke at earlier. Oda-san and I will await you there.

Oda: It looks like most of Dojima’s boys have cleared off the streets. Seems the Tojo Chairman pulled those strings, as promised. Still… Don’t get careless, Kiryu-kun.

Kiryu: I won’t.

Oda: All right, see you later.

[Oda and Tachibana drives away.]

Kiryu: (Didn’t expect the owner of the Empty Lot to turn up in Sotenbori. It may be a while before I’m back in Kamurocho. I should make sure I’m ready before heading out. Thankfully the Sugita Building’s close. Might not be a bad idea to make some extra money there, just in case. I should head for Chen’s restaurant once I’m ready to go. Shouldn’t have any problems getting into Little Asia now.)

[Kiryu completes all his business in Kamurocho and returns to Little Asia.]

Oda: Yo, Kiryu-kun. If you’re ready, let’s skip town. Get down to Sotenbori. No unfinished business left here?

Kiryu: Yeah, I’m good to go.

Oda: Okay. Then head on in. The boss is waiting inside.

Tachibana: I am glad you have arrived, Kiryu-san. Before you head for Sotenbori, I wanted to speak to you about the owner of the Empty Lot.

Kiryu: Right.

Tachibana: The owner is presently in the care of… an organization allied to our cause.

Kiryu: And what organization is that?

Tachibana: Oda-san can give you the details regarding that at a later time. However, Osaka is the Omi Alliance’s backyard. It is impossible to hide anyone from them for long. The success of our plan lies in how quietly we are able to extract the Lot’s owner from the city, and how quickly.

Kiryu: Makes sense. So me and Oda will handle that?

Tachibana: Yes. You two are the only ones I can entrust with this task. Earlier, you asked what meaning the Empty Lot held for me.

Kiryu: Yeah, and you said it was a “trade secret.“

Tachibana: Yes, however… I expect that I will be able to share it with you soon. Once you return safely from Sotenbori. Consider it one more reason to make it back to Kamurocho alive… Kiryu-san.

Kiryu: Deal. So… What did you want to tell me about the Empty Lot’s owner?

Tachibana: She is a young woman. Though, I am told she is sight impaired. She is functionally blind.

Kiryu: Huh?

Tachibana: The owner of the Empty Lot… is a woman named Makoto Makimura.

Previously, in the tale of Goro Majima…Edit

A woman finds herself in the crosshairs of several criminal organizations… Makoto Makimura. Searching for the reason she is targeted, Majima earns the trust of Lee, a Chinese acupuncturist who has looked after Makoto. Lee had once worked as a hitman for a mainland syndicate. Makoto’s two defenders are then faced with a new challenge: The Omi’s Kijin Clan boss, Homare Nishitani. Kansai is the domain of the Omi Alliance, and Nishitani and Sagawa clash for control of Makoto. As the web around Makoto comes into focus, Majima’s clandestine efforts to shield her… are discovered by Sagawa. In the end, Makoto falls into the hands of a mysterious man who steps out from the black of night in a white suit…

Chapter 11: A MURKY RIVERBEDEdit

Majima: Who… Who are you?

[A man in a white suit hits him with the handle of a pistol and Majima loses consciousness. Then he picks up Makoto. Sagawa watches everything that happens. It’s been a while… Sagawa beats up Majima in some basement.]

Sagawa: (hitting too hard) Son of a…! Fucking hurts!

[Majima’s already maimed.]

Sagawa: Majima-chan, man. Didn’t I warn you? If you can get by without killing, do it. But you took the job, Majima-chan. I was all ready to call up brother Shimano and get you set up with the Tojo Clan again. But then you couldn’t kill Makoto Makimura. Look, fine, okay. Let’s be generous here and say I understand the sentiment. Back when I was a brat, I found a sparrow with a broken leg and took it home. Tried to nurse it behind my mom’s back. What’d I call it…? Mametaro, maybe? Never once had an interest in animals till then, but I fed the damn thing every day. Cute little shit, too. But I shouldn’t have lied to my parents. One day, I get home and they’re feeding it to the cat. I watched little Mametaro get eaten alive. I saw in a moment of clarity… That a kid can’t play his parents.

Majima: I bet you were a model son.

Sagawa: Model son? True, I was a sweet, obedient kid. In front of my parents.

Majima: Huh?

Sagawa: Day after that… I killed their damn cat.

[He plays with the bat he was given and strikes… but stops a millimeter in Majima’s face. He drops the bat.]

Sagawa: (to Majima’s ear) And sure as shit… I’ll kill you too. But before I do… We’re gonna snuff that tidy son of a whore who stole Makoto Makimura. Our pristine thief wasn’t a familiar face around these parts. He an old friend of yours, Majima-chan?

Majima: Never seen the guy.

Sagawa: Uh-huh…

Majima: Why’s everybody and their mother out for this girl anyway!? She ain’t running any prostitution ring or whatever you said. What value’s one lady got to these guys?

Sagawa: You want to know? Well, I couldn’t tell you if I wanted to. I don’t got a damn clue myself.

Majima: What!?

Sagawa: “Use Majima to kill a person named Makoto Makimura.” That’s all my bro ever gave me.

Majima: “Bro“? So the one who wants the girl dead is Shimano? These are Patriarch Shimano’s orders!?

Sagawa: Yup. That’s the whole reason why this was going to be your big chance to get back into the Tojo Clan.

Majima: Why’s the boss want me killin’ anybody?

Sagawa: Beats me. Not my place to know, apparently… Back to the point here, you really have no clues on Mr. White Suit?

Majima: None. Though there is one thing buggin’ me…

Sagawa: Hm?

Majima: He took her, but it didn’t look like he wanted her dead. Same as Nishitani.

Sagawa: Huh? Hold up. Nishitani, as in the Kijin Clan guy who made a scene over at the Grand?

Majima: He was there to say I owed him Makoto since he went and made me a stand-in body. If he just wanted her dead, he wouldn’t go to all that trouble.

Sagawa: Nishitani got you a body double… Strange. That’s the first I’m hearing of it. But at least we know Nishitani and the white suited asshole are after the same thing. Decent odds they’re in it together.

Majima: Could be.

Sagawa: So Nishitani picks up a random stray and makes him look like a new challenger… Feels like a Nishitani special. I’d love to go drop the hammer on Nishitani and get him to spill the girl’s location, but since he got picked up by the cops, he’s still cooling in the tank…

Majima: Sure, but even if we can’t get at Nishitani, it sounded like his boys knew somethin’ too.

[He remembers something a yakuza he bets up…]

Yakuza: You don’t know anythin’… Got no clue what she’s worth.

Sagawa: Hmmm… Then start with them. The Kijin Clan offices are on Sotenbori Street East, in a place called the Third Namiki Building. Third floor, if I remember.

Yakuza: Alright…

Sagawa: And Majima-chan? There’s nothing you’re hiding from me past that bit about Nishitani… is there?

Majima: …Nothin’.

Sagawa: Uh-huh. ‘Cause if there is…

Majima: You’ll kill me. That what you’re gettin’ at?

Sagawa: You’re catching on, Majima-chan.

[Majima is being released. He gets dressed and goes out on the streets.]

Majima: (The Kijin Clan offices are in the Third Namiki Building on Sotenbori Street East. Time to go ask the boys there real nice where Makoto is.)

Go to Kijin Clan HQEdit

Majima: (The Kijin Clan office is up on the third floor here… All good to go up and bust some heads? Alright, time to get acquainted!)

Kijin Clan Thug: Huh!? M-Majima!? The hell’re you doin’ here!?

Majima: Yo. Where’s Makoto Makimura at?

Kijin Clan Thug: What!? You got brain damage or somethin’?

Majima: The guy who stole her from me… He’s a buddy of Nishitani’s, ain’t he? So where is she now!?

Kijin Clan Thug: I got no clue what you’re on about. Even if I did, I wouldn’t tell yer sorry ass a goddamn thing! The hell do you think ya are, comin’ up here all casual like you’re askin’ directions? This is a yakuza office, genius. Show some respect.

Majima: So what, you tellin’ me I should let my fists do the askin’? How many times you clowns already lost to me? I think we both know how this one ends. Now, do you know where the girl is, or don’t ya? Let’s have it.

Kijin Clan Thug: Doesn’t matter if we do or if we don’t, you ain’t walkin’ out that door alive!

Majima: (sighs) You guys gotta be masochists. Alright, then… I’ll make ya cough up everything you know!

[He beats up all the thugs in the office. After that, he grabbed one of them by the collar.]

Kijin Clan Thug: …Aghah!

Majima: I’m askin’ with my fists now. Where is Makoto Makimura!?

Kijin Clan Thug: I… I really… I dunno!

Majima: That the truth?

Kijin Clan Thug: I really don’t know! We thought you still had her this whole time!

Majima: If that’s the case, who’s the stick-up-the-ass that took her from me!? You tellin’ me he ain’t with Nishitani!?

Kijin Clan Thug: E-Even if it was someone the boss knows, we haven’t heard! The boss never tells us anything! About the girl, or why he wants her! Honest… If you got questions, you gotta go ask the boss himself!

Majima: Nishitani is rotting in a jail cell at the moment!

Kijin Clan Thug: So why don’t you get put in there with him?

Majima: You tryin’ to be funny!?

Kijin Clan Thug: W-Wait! It ain’t a joke! You just gotta ask Billiken-san!

Majima: Billiken?

Kijin Clan Thug: Yeah. Detective called Billiken-san. He’s the boss’s liaison with the police. Ask him, and he might sneak you in to see the boss!

Majima: What, I give this guy a bribe?

Kijin Clan Thug: That’s his call, not mine. He won’t let just anybody through, but he’s your best chance. Go talk to him! He hangs out on Bishamon Bridge!

Majima: Hmmm… Alright. I can buy that. You wanna know why Nishitani never clues you monkeys in on shit?

Kijin Clan Thug: …Huh?

Majima: You run your mouths soon as somebody slaps ya around. (knocks him out) Can’t stand yakuza with loose lips.

[Outside.]

Majima: (This Billiken guy’s a detective who can get me into the can to see Nishitani. Hangs out on Bishamon Bridge, the guy said… It’s worth a look. )

[On the bridge, he finds an old man smoking and looking at the water.]

Majima: Hey… any chance you’re Billiken-san?

Billiken: Hmmm? Who’re you, slim?

Majima: Name’s Goro Majima. Word on the street is that if I ask nice, you’ll let me in to see Nishitani in the can.

Billiken: Hmmmmm.

Majima: There’s somethin’ I gotta get in there and ask him about, whatever it takes.

Billiken: And you’re Nishitani’s what, now? Buddy of his?

Majima: I ain’t his friend. Nishitani’s an enemy. And an asshole.

Billiken: And you think I’m bringin’ somebody who says they’re his enemy in to see him?

Majima: You prefer I say we’re best friends when you know I’m lyin . Nishitani’s a cautious guy. He wouldn’t pick a cop who can’t sniff out a lie to be his man. Figured bein’ honest about it saves us both the time.

Billiken: Huh. Ain’t that considerate? Still ain’t gettin’ me to say, “Sure thing, right this way.“

Majima: Didn’t think it would. What’s your price?

Billiken: Have some class… Shit, these days everybody tries to handle everything with money.

Majima: Whaddya want, then?

Billiken: Majima, you said? Come join me for a drink.

Majima: Huh?

Billiken: Timing’s perfect. See? Boat’s right there.

Majima: A pleasure barge? We drinkin’ on some historical tour?

Billiken: Just shut up and get on the damn boat. You want in to see Nishitani, right?

[We switch to the boat designed in classic Japanese way. Billiken drinks come sake.]

Billiken: Majima, was it? You’re Nishitani’s what, now?

Majima: I told ya, we’re enemies. You drunk already?

Billiken: More than one kinda enemy, right?

Majima: How you figure?

Billiken: Some enemies ya wanna put in the ground… (drinks) then there’s the kind ya mighta been friends with if things’d been different.

Majima: I only just met Nishitani. Hardly even know the guy. You known him for a long time?

Billiken: Long enough. He was practically a baby when we met.

Majima: So what kinda kid was he?

Billiken: Never seen a baby so good at shopliftin’. By kindergarten, he was pickin’ pockets and swipin’ stray bags. Shakedowns in elementary school. Breakin’ into cars by middle school. He was that kinda kid.

Majima: Not so hard to imagine. Considering the pace he was keepin’, was it armed robbery by high school?

Billiken: He stabbed a guy to death. That was high school.

Majima: Guess he skipped a few grades. So what compels a detective to serve as point man for a guy like that?

[he boat stops and start to… transform.]

Majima: Wh-What…!? Hey! The hell’s goin’ on!?

Billiken: What’s a drink without a show?

[The floor they sat on falls to the bottom of the river in a glass container.]

Majima: Where… Where’s this thing goin’!?

Billiken: The Bed of Styx.

Majima: Bed of… Styx?

[Later on, they walk a long underground corridor.]

Majima: What is this place?

Billiken: Tunnels were dug back in the war, who knows why. I made a few changes.

Majima: You made this?

Billiken: Technically conned some rich pricks into doin’ it for me. Place ain’t got an official name. The people who know about it took to callin’ it the Bed of Styx.

Majima: Picked a real cheery name.

Billiken: Place like this got no business bein’ cheery. After all, this place is… (he opens huge metal doors) …where criminals become executioners.

[Billiken leads Majima to a large hall where fights without rules takes place. A huge crowd roars with delight. Weary fighters beat each other up with the last of their strength.]

Billiken: This world’s fulla criminals the law can’t touch. Killers without the evidence to nail ‘em. Terrorists walkin’ free ‘cause they’re friends with the right politician… We take guys like that from around the world, and we throw ‘em down here.

Majima: What’re they fightin’ for?

Billiken: They make it through a year of fights down here, we let ‘em go back topside. No rules at all. Cheat all you can, kill the other guy, anything goes. Nothin’ brings the animal out like a free-for-all for survival. But I don’t care how tough you are, fight every day for a year, you ain’t gonna last.

Majima: So you’re just lettin’ convicts carry out each other’s death sentences. Real classy.

Billiken: All in the name of atonement and world peace, kid.

Majima: And how does the audience factor into that?

Billiken: Heh heh… Not many places you can see guys fight for their lives. And whenever ya got somethin’ rare to offer, people are gonna pay cash. Lots of it.

Majima: Atonement my ass. This is a racket.

Billiken: Hey, don’t knock it. This is just an underpaid cop’s little thing on the side.

Majima: Alright, why’d ya bring me down here?

Billiken: Truth be told, the convict lineup here ain’t changed in a while. Matches are gettin’ stale. People’s wallets got a way of closin’ up when they get bored. Sooo, if you spiced up the ring a little, maybe it’d be the shot this place needs…

Majima: You tellin’ me to fight?

Billiken: Nobody’s askin’ you to stay down here a year. Win against three or so guys and that’d be plenty. I’ll take ya to meet Nishitani after.

Majima: Cops as rotten as you are a rare breed, pal… But fine. I’ll go take my disgust out on the guy in the ring.

Billiken: Hoped you’d say that.

Majima: Then you’re takin’ me to see Nishitani after the third guy, or you get to be number four.

Billiken: Yeah, you got my word. Alright, I’ll have ‘em work you into the next match. You ready to fight?

Majima: Yeah, I’m good. Just gotta put three guys down, right?

Billiken: Heh, I hope it goes as easy for ya as you make it sound… Well, good luck all the same.

[Majima’s coming into the ring.]

Ring Announcer: Aaand now to unveil the next fight on today’s card! You all know our very own cannibal clown, the serial killer who ate all the evidence… Gingerrrrr Chapman! And in the challenger’s corner, a new fallen star freshly landed in the Bed of Styx, the one-eyed monster whose crimes are literally unspeakable… Goroooo Majimaaaaaa! No time limits, no rules!

[Majima win the fight.]

Ring Announcer: WHAT AN UPSET! The one-eyed monster, Goro Majima, appears out of nowhere with a resounding win in his debut match! Expectations for round two are soaring! Let’s get right to it, folks. The next killer to take the ring is this man! The pleasure-killing practitioner who passed his patients’ deaths off as natural causes… Doctor Kirihitoooo! Can Goro Majima manage an encore victory!? No time limits, no rules!

[Majima win the second fight.]

Ring Announcer: The magic is real, people! Goro Majima wins again! I don’t think anybody saw this coming, and the crowd is throbbing with excitement! …But I’m afraid our mysterious rookie rumbler’s streak may be at its end. That’s right, in his next fight, he’ll face the legend himself! He’s the world champion of “accidental” in-fight deaths, the reaper of the ring, immune from the law… Dead Puncher! Which of these warriors will be the one to sink into the Styx!? No time limits! No rules!

[Majima win the last fight.]

Ring Announcer: ITS OVERRRRRRR! Ladies and gents, we just witnessed the birth of a new legend, and its name is Majima! GORO MAJIMA!

[Majima lights a cigarette and goes to Billiken.]

Billiken: You can fight. Been a while since we had matches that good. Whaddya say? Any interest in spicin’ the ring up here and there in the future? There’s money in it.

Majima: Not sure you could afford me.

Billiken: Every time. It’s always about the money…

Majima: Yeah, world’s a bitch. I won my three rounds. Time for you to come through on your side of the bargain.

Billiken: Fair’s fair. Follow me…

[They’re going back to the bridge.]

Majima: Crazy. I never imagined somethin’ like that was hidin’ at the bottom of this filthy trough.

Billiken: Dirty water serves a function when it hides things. Sometimes it’s best when ya can’t see the bottom…

Majima: Huh?

Billiken: A little dirt can hide away the real ugly truths. The stuff nobody wants to see.

Majima: Hm?

Billiken: Years back, the body of a high school gal came floatin’ up to the surface. Poor thing’s face was beat unrecognizable. Body stabbed a few dozen times… Victim came from a single-parent home. A dad raisin’ his little princess as best he could… But our investigation went nowhere. Couldn’t pin down a perp.

Majima: Talk about a kick in the dick…

Billiken: Took a year before we finally tracked the guy down, but… it only wound up bringin’ the girl’s dad lower.

Majima: What happened?

Billiken: Perp was a street punk minor. No court, no hard time. He got outta juvie and was back on the streets like he never did a thing. You got any idea what that does to a guy? To a father?

Majima: Musta been unbearable… I’d want to kill that kid.

Billiken: You ain’t alone… Kid turned up dead with a couple dozen stab wounds

Majima: What, so the girl’s old man…?

Billiken: Nope. Guy who did it was a high school kid named Nishitani.

Majima: Nishitani!?

Billiken: Nishitani had been in the care of the victim’s old man ever since he was just an ankle biter. Gotta figure Nishitani was able to sense it. How bad the old man was hurtin’. Some people’re born to be monsters. Some jobs, only a monster can do. Ain’t the sorta jobs that earn any proper thanks, but it makes those of us livin’ on the right side better off. After he realized why Nishitani did what he did, the old dad went and built the Bed of Styx. Now I hear he’s Nishitani’s liaison with the force…

Majima: What!? So the girl was your…

Billiken: Let’s get goin’. Alright, I’m good to bring ya down to the clink. You all set?

Maijma: Yeah, I’ve been ready. Let’s go pay Nishitani a visit already.

Billiken: Right… Follow me, then.

[They go into some building that says “蒼天堀警察署”/ Satenbori Police Station. Billiken is handcuffed Majima as a criminal and leads him to the cell.]

Jailer: Oh. Hard work as always, Billiken-san.

Biliken: Yeah, nabbed a real beast for ya this time.

[He gives him a few folded bills 10,000 yen each - about 100,000 yen.]

Biliken: Book him, huh?

Jailer: Hm? Isn’t this more than usual?

Billiken: Just take it. Your daughter’s startin’ college this year, right?

Jailer: Thanks, sir.

Billiken: (to Majima) In ya go. Have fun, now.

Majima: Appreciate it, old man.

Billiken: (to Majima) I’m sure you and Nishitani’ll get on great.

Jailer: I’ll go make us some tea.

[Majima walks into the cell and looks around. The inmates are sitting at the corners, immersed in routine. Nishitani sleeps on the floor. Majima comes and kicks him.]

Jailer: Hey, Nishitani. Hey!

[The other inmates obviously didn’t like this behavior. They’re surrounding Majima.]

Nishitani: Huuuh? (to the inmates) It’s cool, it’s cool… Majima-kun, my boy! What happened? Get caught shopliftin?

Majima: I came to see you, Nishitani.

Nishitani: You serious? I’m flattered, pal! I was just thinkin’ how much I wanted to see you again, too.

Majima: Huh? Whaddaya want with me?

Nishitani: Wasn’t our last little scrap a riot? Just thinkin’ about it’s got me leakin’! But the damn cops had to come spoil it before we got to the climax, huh?

Majima: You’re the genius who called ‘em.

Nishitani: I played by your rules, Majima-kun… Couldn’t fight ya in the club otherwise! Anyway, it was great, but even the best fights don’t count if ya don’t get to finish! It’s kinda like baseball… A play that’ll go down in history don’t mean shit if the game’s called for rain, y’know?

Majima: Game still counts if it’s past the bottom of the fifth.

Nishitani: What’re ya talkin’ about? That fight was still the top of the first! I wanna pick it back up where we left off, ‘cause it’d be too fun not to!

Majima: You’re a weird guy, man. But that ain’t what I came here for.

Nishitani: Huh?

Majima: Makoto’s been taken. Was it your man who took her?

Nishitani: What, this is a business call?

[He waves and one of the prisoners runs up to him offering him a cigarette. He also offers Majima a cigarette. He reluctantly takes it.]

Majima: Makoto’s captor wore a white suit. Never seen the guy in play before. Is he a buddy of yours or not?

Nishitani: I don’t got any friends like that.

Majima: What?

Nishitani: But I’ve got a pretty good hunch. A third party, neither your side or mine.

Majima: A third party? So who the hell is he?

Nishitani: Like I say, I got a few guesses.

Majima: You know or not!? Who!?

[A jailer approaches the cell and offers Nishitani an ashtray.]

Jailer: Hey, Nishitani-san. Here.

[One of the prisoners takes it away.]

Nishitani: (to jailer) Oh, hey. Think you could buy us some drinks? Make it somethin’ nice. We got company,

Jailer: Understood, sir. Gimme just a moment.

Majima: The hell is goin’ on in here?

Nishitani: In our line of work, safe hideaways are in short supply. You got the same problems, don’t ya?

Majima: Huh?

Nishitani: Well, you’re lookin’ at the safest safehouse in Japan. Best security the taxpayers can buy.

Majima: You think you’re safe with these guys around?

Nishitani: Ain’t nobody dumb enough to come at me with just their fists. It’s always knives, guns, some other bullshit. Can’t get behind bars with those toys though. I sleep like a baby in here. Home, sweet home.

Majima: Nishitani… Who’s this third party that swiped Makoto?

Nishitani: Ahh, right. I’m sure you’re curious, Majima-kun, and they ain’t the sorta guys yer pal Sagawa could pin down in a million years. I should be a pal and tell ya, but maybe I won’t. What to do…

Majima: You best clue me in, or I’ll make sure the next beat down ain’t half as fun for ya as the last one.

Nishitani: Keep sweet-talkin’ me like that and you’re gonna get my hopes up, Majima-kun! You’re tellin’ me I’m about to get even more from you than I got the last time!?

Majima: Sure you want it? Be a shame to break half yer bones in the comfort of your second home here.

Nishitani: I can’t wait! Just lookin’ at somebody strong gets my juices flowin’. I’m rock hard, buddy 01’ pal. Can’t hold this back!

Majima: You just get weirder and weirder… Guess you’re in luck. I’ll smack you down till you stay there!

[Majima beats Nishitani’s ass.]

Nishitani: Huff… Ha… This fuckin’ guy… You’re makin’ me fall in love all over again here, Majima-kun!

Majima: You’re… pretty entertainin’ yourself… Yer pal Billiken was right. If we’d met better, we mighta been good friends.

Nishitani: We met with a reason to beat on each other. How you gonna go and improve on that?

Majima: Shit, now you’re startin’ to sound reasonable… So, let’s hear it. Who’s this third party?

Nishitani: Hey, Majima-kun? Screw that raisin-dick Sagawa and come work with me.

Majima: Huh?

[They talk business for some time and then…]

Nishitani: Makoto-chan’s third group of hunters is a pack of wolves who call themselves the Nikkyo Consortium.

Majima: Nikkyo Consortium?

Nishitani: They report to the Tojo Clan, directly.

Majima: Tojo Clan? You’re crazy. I ain’t even heard of a group called the Nikkyo Consortium there.

Nishitani: ‘Course ya haven’t. They ain’t the sort of operation that’s flashin’ the Tojo crest. Whole thing’s underground. Makoto-chan’s man is probably the Nikkyo group’s president himself, Masaru Sera.

Majima: Masaru… Sera?

Nishitani: Few days back, I got word that Sera had his pack in the neighborhood. I figured it probably had somethin’ to do with our girl, Makoto-chan.

Majima: Why’re two groups from the Tojo Clan after the same girl?

Nishitani: Two?

Majima: My kill order came down from my old boss, Patriarch Shimano.

Nishitani: Shimano, like the Tojo’s Shimano Family?

Majima: Yeah. Sera and Shimano are both Tojo…

Nishitani: Long as we’re talkin’ Tojo, I got another tidbit for ya.

Majima: Hm?

Nishitani: Guy who hired me’s a Dojima lieutenant. Name’s Shibusawa.

Majima: Dojima Family!?

Nishitani: Yeah, another direct Tojo Clan family. So we got Sera’s Nikkyo Consortium, the Shimano Family givin’ you orders, and the Dojima Family… All three of ‘em Tojo Clan.

Majima: Shit… The hell’s goin’ on here!?

Nishitani: Pretty real, huh? I mean, not like Tojo Clan infightin’s anything I give two shits about, but hey.

Majima: You know where this Nikkyo bunch is hidin’?

Nishitani: I do my homework.

Majima: Where is it?

Nishitani: Whaddya plannin’ to do when you hear?

Majima: Go get Makoto back, obviously.

Nishitani: Nope.

Majima: Huh?

Nishitani: Majima-kun, you’ve shown me how strong ya are, but… those Nikkyo fucks aren’t the kinda guys ya take on alone.

Majima: And why’s that?

Nishitani: They do the kinda work even the Tojo don’t want their names on. Black ops shit. They’re like the CIA in America or the Soviet KGB. That said… You and me team up, and things start to get more stimulatin’. Besides, that ain’t the only perk of signin’ on with me.

Majima: Go on.

Nishitani: Sagawa’s orders are to kill Makoto-chan, right? Long as you’re workin’ for him, your fairy tale ends with a bullet in the girl. But nobody’s askin’ me to kill her. All my guy wants is for me to bundle her up and ship her over. You ditch Sagawa and come with me, you never have to worry about havin’ to hurt Makoto-chan.

Majima: Sorry, but I’ll pass.

Nishitani: Why, though?

Majima: That Nikkyo guy, Sera, didn’t look like he was gonna kill Makoto, either. If all I wanted was to keep her alive, I’d just sit tight and let the Nikkyo bunch hold on to her. But the underworld’s already fed off that girl more than enough. Took her goddamn sight away… I couldn’t kill Makoto… That means I got a responsibility for her bein’ alive. That don’t end just ‘cause I know she’s still drawin’ breath. I’m responsible for lettin’ her live a real life. As a person, not as scraps for the beasts.

Nishitani: Goddammit.

Majima: Hm?

Nishitani: I’m pissed I’m only just meetin’ a guy like you now. It’s a goddamn shame.

Majima: Where’s this comin’ from?

Nishitani: Heh, seriously… The hell’s a guy like me doin’ getting all sentimental? The Nikkyo Consortium’s camped at the Camellia Grove.

Majima: Camellia Grove?

Nishitani: Wait, you been down here how long and never been there?

Majima: Me and Sotenbori got a complicated relationship… So? The hell is the Camellia Grove?

Nishitani: Nickname for an old dining and lodging district. Real traditional and historic. The Consortium’s set up in the Benten Inn. Makoto-chan’s gotta be in there.

Majima: Some inn?

Nishitani: The Grove ain’t the sorta place that turns up in guidebooks. …You’ll get it when you see the place. I’ll take ya. Throw down on some Nikkyo guys with ya too, while I’m at it.

Majima: You sure? I ain’t lettin’ you have Makoto, even if it kills me.

Nishitani: Ah, we can work all that out after gettin’ Makoto-chan back from the Nikkyo. Shit, I get to beat some ass with Majima-kun! How fuckin’ exciting is that! Alright! Time for us to get this party started! Paging Mr. Cop! All done here! Check out time! Majima-kun wants out too! What, nobody home? Suit yourselves…

[The cell appears to be not locked…]

Nishitani: We’re lettin’ ourselves out!

[A muffled gunshot is heard. Wounded Billiken coming out of the corner.]

Nishitani: U-Uncle B?

Billiken: Run. Nishitani…

[He fall on the floor.]

Nishitani: The hell’s all this? Uncle B!?

[A jailer’s coming out of the corner. He holding a gun.]

Nishitani: Y-You…

Jailer: Billiken-san always took good care of me… But my daughter wants to go to college. I gotta take what I can get…

Nishitani: The hell’re you on about?

Jailer: He said if I… If I killed you guys, he’d pay me a hundred times what Billiken slips me. These Tokyo types all got deep pockets, y’know?

Nishitani: You goddamn… Who bought you!? Tell me!

[He shoots Nishitani.]

Nishitani: That… can’t be good.

Majima: Nishitani!

Nishitani: Just like the old man always said… Make mischief long enough, and it’ll bite ya in the ass. Right… Uncle B? Majima-kun… I got a bone to pick with this fuck….

Majima: Nishitani, you’re…

Nishitani: Bust as many skulls as you can… And ya best have a blast doin’ it! Yakuza dyin’ early is all part of the deal. So fuck the consequences… And blaze your path… on your own terms. Right?

Jailer: What are you talkin’ about? Why aren’t, you dead yet!?

[He shoots Nishitani several more times. Ammo in his six-charged revolver is running out.]

Nishitani: Hurry it up, Majima! Makoto’s life is your responsibility… So make fuckin’ good on it! GO! Majimaaa!!!

[Majima leaves. Nishitani is like a zombie walking slowly to the jailer.]

Jailer: Forgive me… P-Please, no!

[The door behind Majima closes and we hear the jailer’s desperate cry.]

Chapter 12: DEN OF DESIRESEdit

[Majima runs as fast as she can through the streets of Sotenbori, knocking down passers-by. Suddenly, he runs into… Sagawa.]

Sagawa: Welcome back, Majima-chan.

Majima: Sagawa… han?

Sagawa: A little bird tells me you strolled out of Sotenbori for a hot second today? Had me worried, tiger. Got me thinking somebody popped you and I’d find you bobbing in the river, y’know?

Majima: I hit the jail to meet up with Nishitani.

Sagawa: You went all the way down to the slammer? That’s real dedication, kiddo!

[He grabs Majima by the neck and drags it to a deserted, dirty public toilet.]

Sagawa: Sotenbori’s not your backyard, asshole. It’s your cage! Your CAGE! When you step out at a goddamn hotel you let the front desk know! So who the fuck are you leaving your cage without a word? Huh? HUH!? So where are you off to now all in a rush?

Majima: Naturally… to come report in to you…

Sagawa: That so? Oh good. ‘Cause killing you in a place like this… would break my heart. Think of the poor cleaning lady. I assume if you met with Nishitani, you got it out of him. Makoto Makimura’s location?

Majima: …Kinda, but I also learned the guy in the white suit’s got nothin’ to do with Nishitani. Makoto’s new guy is from the Nikkyo Consortium. Sera.

Sagawa: Nikkyo Consortium?

Majima: They don’t fly clan colors, but they’re on team Tojo.

Sagawa: Tojo Clan? Same as Shimano, then?

Majima: Nishitani was on Tojo Clan payroll, too. Somebody from the Dojima Family.

Sagawa: So what, there are three different factions within the Tojo Clan all gunning for Makoto Makimura? And you got all of this out of Nishitani in the can?

Majima: Yeah.

Sagawa: Damn, and Nishitani’s not an easy nut to crack. You must’ve really put it to him with some sick torture shit, yeah? What’d you do?

Majima: This and that…

Sagawa: Uh huh… So, we know Makoto-chan’s popular with all the Tojo boys. Where is she now?

Majima: Some old place in the Camellia Grove. “Benten Inn.” That’s where the Nikkyo Consortium’s holed up, anyway.

Sagawa: The Camellia Grove, huh? Savvy pick. Gotta hand it to these Nikkyo gents, they’ve got good taste.

Majima: Meanin’ what, exactly?

Sagawa: A girl like Makoto Makimura shuffling around wailing and sobbing’s not gonna get a second look in the Grove.

Majima: Hm?

Sagawa: You’ll see when we get there. Let’s get moving.

Majima: Huh? What, you’re comin’ too?

Sagawa: You see a lot of people send their dog out to walk itself? Fuck no, right? If you leave Sotenbori, it’s with me holding the leash. Understand?

Majima: Hmph.

Go to Camellia GroveEdit

Sagawa: Aren’t you ready yet, Majima-chan? As we speak, those Nikkyo gents are probably doing unspeakable shit to that girl of yours. Doesn’t that make you sad? All right, we’re heading to the Grove. They’ll be expecting company--go into this half-assed and you’re gonna end up more than half dead. You ready?

Majima: I’m set. Lead the way already.

Sagawa: Heh, somebody’s eager. Try not to disappoint me this time, yeah, Majima-chan?

Majima: ……

Sagawa: Okay, let’s roll out.

[They’re going over the bridge to another part of town. Majima doesn’t really seem to have ever been here. They walk into a street with a sign 園椿 / Camellia Grove above it.]

Brothel Mama: Whaddya say, handsome? Time for a little fun? I’ll give ya a special rate!

Sagawa: Sorry, granny. We’re here for one gal in particular.

Brothel Mama: What a tease. Where ya goin’?

[He points to a huge luxury hotel with a sign at the entrance 屋夫弁.]

Sagawa: Right there.

Majima: The Benten Inn… Makoto’s in there?

Sagawa: If what Nishitani said was true, anyway.

Majima: I’m comin’, Makoto.

[They enter the building.]

Majima: Which way first?

Sagawa: Let’s get this over quick. We split up and find the girl. I’ll take left, you take right, Majima-chan.

Majima: Sure you’ll be all right on your own, Sagawa-han?

Sagawa: (pulls out a gun) Don’t you worry about me. I’ll kill on sight, plain and simple. Whether it’s a Nikkyo goon, Sera himself, or Makoto Makimura hardly matters.

Majima: …Try not to run outta bullets.

[They run in different directions. Already at the corner, Majima is met by three strangely dressed men…]

Majima: Huh!?

Nikkyo Consortium Thug: Goro Majima-san, I presume?

Majima: And what if I am?

Nikkyo Consortium Thug: President Sera has no desire to claim your life. Please see yourself out and drop this matter while you’re still in the Tojo Clan’s good graces.

Majima: How good can those graces be, comin’ from a troop of weasels that won’t even raise the clan flag?

Nikkyo Consortium Thug: Please be rational. If you insist on pressing further, I’m afraid we can’t allow you to live.

Majima: Huh. Sounds to me like you got somethin’ real tasty you’re hidin’, huh? Now ya got me real damn curious.

Nikkyo Consortium Thug: Are we to understand that you refuse to back down?

Majima: Goddamn right, I refuse! Now quit flappin’ your lips and decide if ya wanna fork over Makoto or get yer asses beat!

Nikkyo Consortium Thug: I decline both your generous offers. Don’t bother going easy on him. He needs to learn that the Nikkyo aren’t to be crossed!

Find MakotoEdit

[Majima runs through the hotel corridors fighting the Nikkyo Consortium Thugs. In one of the rooms, he sees several geisha leaning in front of him.]

Majima: What the--!?

[The geisha get up, and we see that they’re just disguised men.]

Geisha Man: Nowhere to run now!

Majima: What a pain in the ass.

[He kicks their asses and continues his victorious march through the floors of the hotel. On the top floor…]

Majima: Sera!

[It turns out to be the same man in white suit who shot Sagawa and took Makoto.]

Sera: Impressive work, getting this far against Consortium men. I can see why you were one of Shimano’s favorites.

Majima: Makoto… Where’s Makoto Makimura!?

Sera: I’ve placed her in the care of a colleague. She just departed.

Majima: You what!? Who’s this colleague!?

Sera: No need to get riled up. I have every intention of telling you.

Majima: What?

Sera: Trust me. I am not your enemy.

Majima: Sickin’ your clowns on me is a funny way of showin’ it!

Sera: I apologize for being so rough, but I needed to know the extent of your resolve.

Majima: “Resolve”?

Sera: You are aware that the Nikkyo Consortium is not the only group interested in Makoto Makimura? Most are operating just as I’d expect them to, save one surprising exception. That would be you, Majima. Three years ago, a Shimano Family man vanished without a trace. And now he turns up in Sotenbori? Furthermore, why are you involved with Makoto Makimura? The Omi Alliance’s Sagawa extorting you into making a move on her is easy enough to piece together, but after that, it gets a lot murkier… Why then betray Sagawa and help the girl? Knowing what she’s worth, are you attempting to cash in on it?

Majima: Screw Makoto’s worth! I don’t--

Sera: Exactly. You don’t know her worth. So, why risk your life getting here? Did you fall in love with her? Surely not.

Majima: The hell do you think you know about me!? Do I need some special reason to help someone out!?

Sera: No need to get defensive. Whatever the reason, your desire to keep her safe is clear, and I have no intention of denigrating that desire. But we stand now at a crossroads for the future of the Tojo Clan. Too much blood has already been spilled. If you plan to charge into this predicament guns blazing, out of some half-baked notion to be her hero, I can’t stand idly by and watch. Hence the need to test your resolve.

Majima: Yeah, real civilized way of doin’ it… So? How’d I score on your sweet little test?

Sera: I’ve always been the cautious type, you see. Never could trust a result until I’d verified it with my own two hands. Majima, if you are willing to protect Makoto Makimura with your life, prove it by defeating me.

Majima: And then you’ll tell me where you put her?

Sera: I will. You have my word.

Majima: Pisses me off that I gotta play by your rules, but I talk faster with my fists than my mouth anyway. Fine then… You got it!

[He has a fight with Nikkyo Consortium President, MASARU SERA and win.]

Majima: …Well? Satisfied?

Sera: Very… Your determination to keep Makoto Makimura safe… is painfully clear.

Majima: Then start talkin’. Who’d you pass Makoto off to?

Sera: He’s a real estate agent.

Majima: Real estate? Why the hell’s a real estate guy got her!?

Sera: Unbeknownst to her, Makoto Makimura had been willed the deed to a piece of land. Three square meters worth a billion yen--the Empty Lot.

Majima: A billion for three square meters!? On what fuckin’ planet!?

Sera: It’s in a city you know well.

Majima: …Kamurocho? They took Makoto to Kamurocho!?

Sera: Yes. And right now, the future of the Tojo Clan hangs on who acquires that land. The billion to buy it is pocket change by comparison. That plot is the key to the Kamurocho Revitalization Project. The money and power at stake are immeasurable.

Majima: So it takes an army of yakuza to pry the deed outta the hands of a blind girl by force? The Tojo Clan has really gone to shit since I’ve been gone…

Sera: Please believe me. I have absolutely no intention of allowing the girl to come to harm.

Majima: Hey, good for you. While you’re playin’ nice, the other guys are all comin’ in hot. Already came a ball’s hair away from gettin’ lit up in a damn car bomb! And now you’re tellin’ me some house-peddler’s got her? Why not send out a formal invite sayin’ “come and get her”!?

Sera: This particular firm is… unorthodox. As long as Makoto is in their custody, she will be safe.

Majima: In what world are some pencil-pushers gonna be able to keep her safe!? Now gimme that name and an address!

Sera: What do you intend to do with it?

Majima: Haul ass up to Kamurocho, obviously!

Sera: Even if doing so only places her in greater danger?

Majima: How do ya figure that?

Sera: You think the company you keep will let you head out to Kamurocho alone?

Majima: Sagawa…

Sera: He will attempt to kill Makoto Makimura by any means. If you go to Kamurocho, death will be following at your heels. If you’re truly acting out of concern for her, isn’t staying in Sotenbori to serve in Sagawa’s shackles your priority?

Majima: You got any guarantees these real estate nerds can actually keep Makoto safe?

[Sera takes out a gun and throws it to Majima.]

Majima: What gives?

Sera: If you can’t trust me… Aim the gun and kill me. The real estate agent’s business card is in my breast pocket. You can take it off my corpse. I told you what I have because I trust you. Now I need to know if it’s mutual.

[Majima’s aiming, but not shooting. He throws the gun away.]

Majima: In Kamurocho… If Makoto gets so much as scratched, I’m draggin’ you to hell.

Sera: I’ll protect her with my life. You stay in Sotenbori and keep Sagawa--

[He doesn’t have time to end his sentence. Sagawa is killing him.]

Sagawa: Chatty for a thief… Nice combo play there, Majima-chan. You got his gun so I could swoop in for the kill, right?

[He kicks the corpse over with his leg and takes a business card out of his pocket.]

Sagawa: Here he is. Makoto Makimura’s new real estate agent. Turn that frown upside down. You wanted to know, right?

[He throws the business card on the floor. Majima picks it up.]

Majima: Tachibana Real Estate… Kazuma Kiryu.

Sagawa: Guess it’s time to let ya outta the cage, eh Majima-chan?

Majima: Huh?

Sagawa: I’m saying Sotenbori can’t hold you back from roaming free anymore. You’re in, right? Kamurocho?

Majima: You lettin’ me?

Sagawa: Come on now. What choice do we got here but head up to Kamurocho and hunt Makoto down?

[Joking or not, he’s pointing a gun at Majima.]

Sagawa: We’ve come this far. We’ll chase that bitch to the gates of hell to finish this. You and me, tiger.

Previously, in the story of Kazuma Kiryu…Edit

Woman’s Voice: (offscreen) As the snare laid by Dojima Family Lieutenant Hiroki Awano tightens, Kiryu finds himself trapped within Kamurocho. But Tachibana snatches him from their clutches in a last-ditch gambit. Stakes in the brutal race for the Empty Lot reach new heights as even Tojo Clan Headquarters, lords of the Japanese underworld, become involved. Battle lines are redrawn with dizzying frequency, and the war surges into its next bloody phase. Kiryu is given the name of the person at the center of it all: the owner of the Empty Lot. A young woman… Makoto Makimura. Extracting her safely from Sotenbori to Kamurocho becomes his top priority. For she is the only hope Kiryu and Tachibana have of forcing back the Dojima Family.

Chapter 13: CRIME AND PUNISHMENTEdit

Sagawa: So this is our guy. The real estate agent who’s with Makoto Makimura now. How ‘bout a smile, tiger? You wanted to know, right?

Majima: Tachibana Real Estate… Kazuma Kiryu.

Eight hours before Majima reached the Camellia Grove

[Kiryu and Oda are slowly walking down a crowded street.]

Oda: Whole place feels weird…

Kiryu: Hm?

Oda: Something’s different about the city since back when I lived here. Similar, but off. You know the feeling?

Kiryu: You lived in Sotenbori before?

Oda: Me and Tachibana were both down here before moving up to Kamurocho. That was maybe a year and a half ago. We called ourselves a mafia outfit, but it was small-time. Four, five guys tops. Even so, all the Omi yakuza knew who the boss was. I was just riding on the big man’s coattails.

Kiryu: Was that around when he lost his arm?

Oda: More or less. One of the guys in the group back then runs a shady-ass video shop in Shofukucho West now. Place called CAL Videos. Think you could get there ahead of me? I already called and explained the story to him. I’ve gotta make one stop first.

Kiryu: A stop where?

Oda: I just want to get a feel for the city now. I’ll drop in on the old crew and trade some info. Might give us a clue about what Shibusawa’s boys or the Omi have been up to.

Kiryu: Sounds good.

Oda: You head to the video store and wait for a call from a guy named Sera. He’s the one looking after our Makoto Makimura right now. We’ll work out the handoff details over the phone.

Kiryu: Is this Sera another Tachibana Real Estate guy?

Oda: No, he’s Tojo Clan. A group called the Nikkyo Consortium.

Kiryu: Nikkyo Consortium? Never heard of them.

Oda: I don’t know much, either, but apparently this Sera guy’s in deep with your man, Kazama. He was tracking down Makimura here in Sotenbori based on intel our boss handed him.

Kiryu: I see how it is. In other words, you’re going to hang around town while I sit and wait by the phone.

Oda: Heh, gotta love seniority. Well, see you in a few.

[He leaves.]

Kiryu: (Sera’s supposed to call us at CAL Videos in Shofukucho West. I should go check it out.)

Go to the Video ShopEdit

Kiryu: (CAL Videos in Shofukucho West… This is the place. Time to head inside.)

Video Shop Owner: Welcome. Hm? First time comin’ in? Top quality stuff, every one. Whatever yer flavor, we got somethin’ to get you there. Just be careful whether you’re grabbin’ VHS or Beta, yeah?

Kiryu: I’m with Tachibana Real Estate. Oda said he talked to you?

Video Shop Owner: Oh, right. You Kiryu-san, then?

Kiryu: Yeah.

Video Shop Owner: Gimme just a sec. I got a room in the back.

Kiryu: Hm?

[He pulls the movie rack to the side.]

Video Shop Owner: For the extra-special customers. Got a phone in there, too. The call from that there Sera guy’ll patch into the back.

[Inside is a well-furnished room with a movie theater.]

Kiryu: So is this your own private little fun room?

Video Shop Owner: Tachibana-san was a big fan, too. He’s the one who laid out the money to build it. Make yourself cozy. So, Tachibana-san doin’ alright?

Kiryu: Yeah, more or less.

Video Shop Owner: The dialysis’s gotta be hard.

Kiryu: ……

Video Shop Owner: Didn’t need it, when he was still livin’ here in Sotenbori.

Kiryu: Do you and Tachibana go back far?

Video Shop Owner: I’ve known Oda-san longer, actually. Me, him, and a couple other guys used to run a two-bit gang. Then maybe two years ago, this lone wolf Tachibana turns up. Got into a fight straight outta the gate over some stupid shit. Bumped shoulders or something. Four of us versus just one, and Tachibana-san totally mopped the floor with us. Oda-san’d never lost a fight before, but Tachibana-san schooled him like a kid.

Kiryu: Hard to picture that, the way Tachibana is now.

Video Shop Owner: This was before he lost an arm. But even more mindbogglin’ was Oda-san’s reaction to gettin’ his ass whooped.

Kiryu: Hm?

Video Shop Owner: Fell in love with the guy’s badassery on the spot, and wound up beggin’ him to be our new leader. The difference in caliber was apparent to anybody. Ain’t no wonder, considerin’ the kinda upbringing he got.

Kiryu: What do you mean?

Video Shop Owner: You ain’t heard? Tachibana-san’s the kid of a Japanese war orphan left stranded in China.

Kiryu: A war orphan?

Video Shop Owner: Yeah, Tachibana-san’s ma was Japanese. Just after she was born there in China, the war took a turn for the crazy, and she got separated from her parents. They booked it outta there, but she got left behind in Manchuria. Some Chinese farmers took her in, and when she came of age, they married her off to their son. That’s Tachibana-san’s parents. Half-Japanese kids like Tachibana-san weren’t real popular, as you’d imagine. He had it damn rough, growin’ up. Chinese all hated his Japanese guts on account of the war. Said he coulda been killed for bein’ a half-blood any day, and nobody woulda batted an eye. Minus one exception. Apparently the local mafia were the only ones that never treated him rough for it. Guess they were all outcast types. Nobody had any money, and most of ‘em came from bad families, y’know? So Tachibana-san just naturally went down that road, too, from a real early age. He’d been walkin’ the walk for a hell of a lot longer’n any of us. Hell, Oda-san’s the older one, but he started callin’ Tachibana-san his big bro.

[Oda enters the room.]

Kiryu: Oda…

Oda: Yo, your shop gonna tend itself? You got a confused customer waiting out there.

Video Shop Owner: Crap, really? Sorry, gotta go. Make yerselves at home.

[The owner leaves.]

Oda: He talk your ear off?

Kiryu: Yeah. He was telling me some of your crew’s backstory.

Oda: The one about how I jizzed my pants over the boss? Take it with a grain of salt.

Kiryu: Heh. How about you? I figured you’d take longer to get here.

Oda: Me, too. Heard an interesting tidbit, though. Apparently Makoto Makimura’s corpse turned up floating in the river a few days back.

Kiryu: What?

Oda: The real one’s alive, so it’s gotta be somebody else. Heard about a few other incidents, too. A body count like this means the Omi, Shibusawa’s boys, or both are on the move, and you can bet thefre still out for Makimura.

Kiryu: ……

Oda: But I guess bitching about it won’t help much… I’ll take over phone duty. Why don’t you go grab a bite or something?

Kiryu: Huh?

Oda: Doesn’t take two grown-ass men to wait for a phone call.

Kiryu: You have a point there.

[Outside.]

Kiryu: (Never would’ve thought he’d offer to wait by the phone. Not that I’m complaining about a little free time. May as well enjoy a taste of Osaka until the call comes in.

[He kills time walking around town.]

Kiryu: (Hm? My pager’s beeping. Oda wants me. Guess that means he got his call from that Sera guy? Anyway, I should get back to that video shop.)

[Kiryu walks back to the shop.]

Video Shop Owner: If you’re lookin’ for Oda-san, he’s in the back room. Guess he got his call from that Sera guy.

Kiryu: All right, got it.

Video Shop Owner: Ah, hold up! This is a big deal you guys are takin’ on, right? You sure you’re all ready for it?

Kiryu: Ready for what?

Video Shop Owner: Anythin’. I don’t know none of the details, but I imagine it’s got somethin’ to do with the string of yakuza incidents happenin’ around town lately, right?

Kiryu: I… can’t really say anything.

Video Shop Owner: Don’t have to. Tachibana-san’s involved. That pretty much guarantees it ain’t gonna be pretty. Anythin’ could go down around that guy and it wouldn’t surprise me.

Kiryu: (True, I can’t think of a single job I’ve gotten from Tachibana I’d call “pretty.” I should probably assume that trend will continue. Plus we’ll head straight back to Tokyo once the dears done. I should do everything I want to in Osaka first.) Fair enough. You’re probably right.

Video Shop Owner: Right? So don’t lemme rush ya. You take all the time you need to get good and ready.

Kiryu: Thanks, but I’m ready.

Video Shop Owner: Yeah? Okay, head on back.

Oda: Good, you’re here, Kiryu.

Kiryu: Yeah. You got the call from Sera?

Oda: I did. He’ll hand off Makimura at a place called Benten Inn, in the Camellia Grove.

Kiryu: Camellia Grove, Benten Inn…

Oda: Right. We’ll head there now and meet with Sera. If the coast is clear, we’ll take custody of the girl.

Kiryu: We’re leaving right now? Seems kinda rushed, doesn’t it?

Oda: The town’s crawling with guys out to get her. We don’t have the time to be proper about this. Apparently Makimura didn’t know she’d inherited the Empty Lot until Sera told her. The previous owner was her grandfather. Died about two years ago, now, but by that point she’d already run away.

Kiryu: She ran away from home?

Oda: Yup. Hence the reason nobody had a clue where the hell she was all this time. And while we’re talking mysteries, she’s also gone blind for some reason. She goes from one tragedy to the next, then suddenly inherits land worth a billion yen… Guess God figured she deserved a break.

Kiryu: Yeah, one that comes with getting hunted down by the yakuza. Ask her how much she’s thanking God right now.

Oda: Don’t really need to ask, do we? From what I hear, they’ve had her running scared for days now, and the bodies are piling up around her. In any case, she says she’s got no attachment to the land. She wants to get rid of it, quick style.

Kiryu: I see.

Oda: Okay, ready to do this? Here’s the plan to get her out… First, you head into the Benten Inn and collect the girl. I’ll wait outside and keep an eye on who comes and goes. Soon as we leave the inn, we make a beeline for Kyoto. We’ll take the bullet train from there.

Kiryu: Too dangerous to get on at Shin-Osaka, you think?

Oda: Just being cautious. It’s possible Shibusawa and the Omi have eyes on the local stations.

Kiryu: Right.

Oda: Hey, Kiryu-kun… This mission’s basically the whole reason you were let into Tachibana Real Estate. I expect you to deliver. Whatever happens, you keep Makimura alive. If we can get the Empty Lot, you’ll have the leverage to see about keeping your man Kazama safe.

Kiryu: ……

[They approach the inn…]

Kiryu: So this is Camellia Grove…

Oda: Quit staring like a damn tourist. You ready? I’ll be here watching for anybody suspicious coming in.

Kiryu: I know. See you in a few.

[He enters Sera’s office.]

Nikkyo Consortium Aide: This is Kiryu-san, of Tachibana Real Estate.

Sera: Sera, Nikkyo Consortium. Have a seat.

[Kiryu pulls his business card out of his pocket.]

Kiryu: Kiryu, Tachibana Real Estate.

[He respectfully bows and stretches out to give Sera his card, but the head of the Nikkyo Consortium is reluctant to take it away.]

Sera: Kazama-san has told me all about you. I’m aware of your present circumstances as well. But now’s not the time for etiquette or chitchat.

[One of the consortium soldiers comes in, leading Makoto by the hand.]

Sera: This is Makimura-san.

Kiryu: I’m Kiryu, from Tachibana Real Estate.

Makoto: Makimura… Nice to meet you.

Kiryu: I’ll be seeing you to Kamurocho, together with a colleague named Oda.

Makoto: You’re my bodyguards, then?

Kiryu: Yes.

Makoto: I didn’t even realize my grandfather had passed away until just now. Getting dragged into this insanity because of some piece of land my grandfather owned that I’ve never even heard of…

Kiryu: It must have been hard.

Makoto: A man who’d been protecting me was killed…

[She remembers the van explosion in which Lee died.]

Kiryu: ……

Makoto: I couldn’t care less about the money. Just let me be done with this land already… Please.

Kiryu: I understand.

Sera: Give Tachibana-san my regards, Kiryu.

Kiryu: I will.

[He comes up to Makoto and helps her get up.]

Kiryu: If I may. (to Sera) Excuse us.

[Kiryu takes Makoto to the street where Oda is waiting for him. He already called a taxi.]

Oda: C’mon, hurry! Get in!

Makoto: That voice…

Kiryu: Is something wrong?

Oda: What are you doing!? Get in the car!

Kityu: Let’s go, Makimura-san.

Makoto: R-Right…

[They get in the car and leave.]

Oda: Something up?

Kiryu: No. …I don’t know.

Oda: (to Makoto) Sorry for the late introduction. I’m Kiryu’s co-worker, the name’s Oda.

[Makoto continues to sit quietly.]

Oda: (laughs) Huh? Whoops… I do something to offend you, miss?

[They’re going till late tonight.]

Oda: Kiryu… Behind us, car in the right lane.

Kiryu: Hm?

Oda: It’s been following at that distance for a while. It’s speeding up!

Kiryu: Shibusawa!?

Oda: (startled) What!?

Kiryu: Damn, they found us! Floor it!

Makoto: What’s going on!?

[Shibusawa’s car drives up to the taxi, the rear door window goes down and Shibusawa takes out the gun, aiming at the driver. He shoots him in the head. Makoto screams and Oda grabs the wheel. Shibusawa’s yakuza are starting to fire at the taxi.]

Oda: Are you fucking serious!?

[Oda gives Kiryu a gun.]

Oda: Kiryu! Use this.

Kiryu: What the hell do you have this for?

Oda: You should be thanking me! Now shut up and shoot!

[Kiryu shoots at approaching Yakuza cars and motorcycles.]

Makoto: What’s that sound?

[There’s a helicopter flying over them.]

Oda: Are they fucking insane!?

Kiryu: Seriously…?

[He shoots Yakuzas in the helicopter.]

Oda: Shit, incoming!

[They’re being shot with RPG-7. Kiryu is aiming and firing exactly at the missile, destroying it.]

Kiryu: Gotcha.

Oda: Hang on!

[The shootout continues. Kiryu destroys the helicopter.]

Kiryu: I think that’s the last of them.

Makoto: So… ware, we safe now?

Kiryu: Yeah. For the moment, anyway.

Oda: Who knows when more might turn up!? I’m taking us off the freeway!

[They come to a port. Oda hides the driver’s body in the trunk.]

Oda: Dammit… We’ll lay low here for now. Goddammit… When did Shibusawa pick p our trail?

Kiryu: Calm down, Oda. You’ll scare her.

Oda: Oh, shut up. Who gives a shit!?

Makoto: I’m all right.

Oda: Yeah, well I’m sure a hell not!

[He raises his hand to hit Makoto, but Kiryu stops him.]

Kiryu: What the hell are you doing?

Oda: …I’m gonna go have a look downstairs.

[He’s going upstairs.]

Kiryu: Sorry about that. You okay from the car ride? Anything hurt?

Makoto: It’s Kiryu-san… right?

Kiryu: Yeah.

Makoto: There’s something I need to tell you. About Oda-san.

Kiryu: What?

Makoto: I’m pretty sure I… I know him.

Kiryu: Huh?

Oda: I figured… Cat’s out of the bag, eh?

[He’s got a gun in his hands.]

Kiryu: Oda!

Oda: Don’t move, Kiryu. I said don’t fucking move!

[Oda is taking Makoto hostage.]

Kiryu: What do you think you’re doing?

Oda: Sorry… But I can’t let this girl meet with Tachibana.

Kiryu: What?

Oda: So I’m afraid. The two of you are gonna have to die here.

[Inside Makoto’s white stick is a dagger. Apparently she’s now the Blind Ichi or something. She’s stabbing Oda in the leg.]

Kiryu: Oda!

[Kiryu quickly takes his gun and hits him in the stomach. Oda falls. Kiryu is pointing the gun at Oda.]

Kiryu: You all right, Makimura-san?

Makoto: Yes…

Kiryu: That cane…?

Makoto: Sera-san gave it to me. Just in case, he said. I didn’t expect to use it on someone from Tachibana Real Estate.

Kiryu: How about an explanation, Oda? Why turn on us? Aren’t you supposed to be Tachibana’s sworn brother!?

Oda: ……

Makoto: Kiryu-san… On his left arm, does he have a tattoo? …Of a bat.

Kiryu: Oda?

Oda: ……

[He rolls up his sleeve and shows a bat tattoo on his arm.]

Kiryu: It’s there. He’s got a bat tattoo.

Makoto: I knew it… As soon as I heard his voice, I was almost certain.

Kiryu: What’s this all about?

Makoto: Two years ago, that man abducted me, kept me prisoner… Sold me like cattle.

Kiryu: What? Have you got anything to say about this?

Oda: …You heard the woman. To her, I’m the scum of the earth. Killing me’d probably be letting me off easy…

Kiryu: So you figured you’d shoot the two of us instead? What did you mean, you can’t let her see Tachibana? This doesn’t make any sense, Oda. What the hell is going on here!?

Oda: ……

Kiryu: Explain. From the beginning.

Oda: ……

Kiryu: ODA!

Oda: …Fine. I’ll talk. The tattoo… It was our mark. All the guys in the gang I headed up got one.

Kiryu: ……

Oda: I borrowed money from the mafia back on the mainland and stowed away on a ship to Japan five years ago… Ever since, I took any work that’d pay in Sotenbori. Burglary, armed robbery, you name it. Conned girls and sold ‘em off more than a few times. She just happened to be one of them.

Makoto: ……

Kiryu: What’s that got to do with Tachibana?

Oda: …It was pretty soon after I sold her that I first met him.

[He’s immersed in his memories.]

Oda: He was different… First who ever beat me by pure force. It was so one-sided I didn’t even feel bad. He was more than strong… I’d always wallowed at the bottom… But he gave me hope. I begged him to be our boss. Got him to get the same ink as us… Pride, ego… Screw all that. I knew my place in life was under him, carrying him straight to the top. But instead… I wound up costing him an arm. He lost it protecting me. A rival gang took us by surprise. I swore that day… Whatever happened, Tachibana-san was the one person I’d never betray. Life is ironic… Soon as I promise myself that, I was with Tachibana-san… when he saw that damn show. It was some news piece on war orphans in China. One of the spots was some old footage from a few years back. Some orphans who discovered relatives in Japan, so they came over… Soon as I saw the girl, I remembered. She was the one I had just sold to a crew of Korean mafia types. Age checked out, too… I would’ve laughed it off as a coincidence. Except…

Tachibana: Mother… Xiao Qiao?

Oda: I couldn’t believe it. There’s the girl I’d just sent to hell for a stack of yen… and the bro I dedicated my life to serve… says she’s his fucking little sister.

[He’s coming back the present.]

Kiryu: Makoto Makimura… is Tachibana’s sister?

Makoto: Is… Is that story really true?

Oda: I think we’re… past the point of lying here. It was too late to do anything. It was a long time ago, but I knew that wouldn’t make a damn bit of difference to Tachibana-san. I had one of two choices. Let you meet him, knowing it would be the end of me… or double down. Erase you from the equation permanently, like none of it ever happened.

Kiryu: So… that’s the real reason you tagged along to Osaka?

Oda: Yeah… Nobody but me had any clue I had reason to kill her. If I said it was Shibusawa’s people or the Omi that got her, nobody’d question it. But now… Now that’s all over.

Shibusawa Family Thug: (from afar) Hey, over here! There’s a way upstairs!

Oda: That’s Shibusawa’s crew.

Kiryu: Damn…

Makoto: Oda-san, can you stand!?

Oda: Huh?

Makoto: We have to get out of here!

Kiryu: You’re…

Oda: …You still want me coming with you? Heh. Seriously, how naive can a person be? Kiryu. Can I have my gun? I’ll slow ‘em down as best I can.

Kiryu: What?

Oda: Look at my leg. If I’m gonna die here, I want… I want to go out being useful to Tachibana-san.

Kiryu: Oda!

Oda: I know it’s ridiculously selfish, but… will you tell him I said that? Tell Tachibana-san I really… honestly loved him…

Kiryu: I will. But don’t be a hero. Go easy and at least they shouldn’t kill you.

[Kiryu gives him the gun and goes to Makoto.]

Makoto: Kiryu-san, what about Oda-san!?

Kiryu: Please. No more words right now.

Oda: (whispers) Thanks, Kiryu.

[Kiryu and Makoto are leaving. On the way, they hear a voice.]

Shibusawa Family Thug: Over there! I see ‘em!

[Four Yakuza runs up.]

Kiryu: I’ll keep you safe. No matter what.

Makoto: O-Okay…

Shibusawa Family Thug: Give us the girl, Kiryu! This is the last stop for you, anyway!

[Kiryu is attacked by many Yakuzas, even a smart guy with a chainsaw. Kiryu’s almost completely exhausted, but he wins.]

Kiryu: (to Makoto) This way.

[Meanwhile, Oda dies on the floor. He’s breathing hard, his lung’s been shot through a few times. Shibusawa comes up to him.]

Oda: Sh-Shibusawa… san.

Shibusawa: Where is she?

Oda: I don’t know anymore.

Shibusawa: I thought you ditched Tachibana and signed on with me. Why didn’t you hand her over right away?

Oda: It’s not obvious? You guys let Sera… get the drop on you. And after I… told you she was in Sotenbori. Served her up on a plate. If you’d just grabbed her sooner… I wouldn’t have had to come to Osaka at all.

Shibusawa: That’s on Nishitani of the Kijin Clan. Paid him a fortune and he still screwed up. Well, he’s not the only one. You earned this.

[He shoots at Oda. Meanwhile, Kiryu is checking into a couple’s room with Makoto.]

Kiryu: Don’t worry, this isn’t me making a pass at you. I just needed a discreet place to spend the night.

Makoto: I know. What sort of person is my brother now?

Kiryu: Well, most of the time he’s extremely calm. Smart. Keeps his emotions in check pretty much all the time.

Makoto: I see. That’s quite a change from the brother I knew.

Kiryu: How long since you saw him last?

Makoto: Ten years. I was ten… He was still just 15. But he left our mother and me and came to Japan. He said he was headed to Osaka. That’s all I heard.

Kiryu: That so? That’s why you were in Sotenbori? Looking for Tachibana?

Makoto: Mm-hm. Two years ago, I ran away from home in Tokyo… When I got to Sotenbori, I started asking every Chinese person I found if they’d seen him. The man with the bat tattoo was one of them.

Kiryu: Oda…

Makoto: He said he thought he knew the man I was looking for. So I went along with him. But if what he said is true, he still hadn’t met my brother. It was just a lie. I’m such an idiot. Honestly…

Kiryu: Even so… This time you’re going to see your brother. In Kamurocho.

Makoto: I’m almost scared to see how he’s changed. The brother I knew wasn’t a strong person. Back in China, he and I were always bullied for being children of a Japanese woman. At the movies, as soon as the lights went down, the people in the seats around us would start spitting on us. Through the whole film… My brother and I were too scared to move. I think joining the mafia really was the only way he had to defend himself. And then he was gone. For me, it wasn’t till years later, when we learned my grandfather was here in Japan. My mother was ecstatic to finally have a way out of China. So was I. He welcomed us into his home, but… the warmth didn’t last.

Kiryu: Huh?

Makoto: How could it? We were family, but we couldn’t understand a word each other said. So I studied Japanese so hard I practically forgot Chinese. Tried to adapt to Japan, to my grandfather But mother… She didn’t have time to learn the language before she… She killed herself.

[She drop her stick and start crying.]

Makoto: And since then, too, the people who’ve helped me… One died. One, I don’t even know if he’s alive or dead. My life’s just a train wreck. It’s just…

Kiryu: Yeah, that’s terrible. You walk alone in the dark long enough, it starts to feel like the light’ll never come. You stop wanting to even take the next step.

Makoto: What?

Kiryu: But there’s not a person in this world who knows what’s waiting down the road. All we can do is choose. Stand still and cry… or make the choice to take the next step. You pick whichever one feels right to you. I can get you as far as the starting line.

Makoto: Okay. I’ll… go to Kamurocho. I want to see my brother. I’m sure of that. So please… Take me there, Kiryu-san.

Kiryu: Sure.

Chapter 14: UNWAVERING BOUNDSEdit

West Park, Kamurocho

[Kiryu approaches the shack of the homeless man we already know.]

Kiryu: Hey. Anybody home?

Bearded Homeless Man: Hm…? Oh! If it ain’t Kiryu-san. Didn’t know you were still kicking, man. (sees Makoto) Er…? Look, she’s a real beauty, but… You seriously bringing a girl to a place like this?

Kiryu: Sorry, but we don’t have anywhere else to go. I was hoping you’d let us hide here just for a little while.

Bearded Homeless Man: Y-Yeah, sure thing…

[They enter the shack.]

Bearded Homeless: Er… Sorry the place ain’t anything fit to show a lady. Especially the, uh, smell.

Makoto: I don’t mind. Sorry to intrude.

Bearded Homeless Man: Aw, it’s nothing to apologize for, miss. Just, Kiryu-san. this really is no place to leave a young gal like this…

Kiryu: I know.

Makoto: Please, sir, just until my brother comes to get us.

Bearded Homeless Man: Your brother?

Kiryu: Yeah… Except he’s not picking up when I call him, so now I need to go see him in person. Can you stay with her until I’m back?

Bearded Homeless Man: Got any idea where this brother of hers is?

Kiryu: He should be in Little Asia.

Bearded Homeless Man: What the? Oh, so he’s in Kamurocho. You had me thinking I’d be keeping her here for days. If it’s just to Little Asia, why not take her with you?

Kiryu: The Dojima Family’s why. This time ifr her thefre after, not me. I can’t take her anywhere till I’m sure it’s safe. Not even Little Asia.

Bearded Homeless Man: Dojima’s men are after her? This girl? What for?

Kiryu: You’re better off not knowing.

Bearded Homeless Man: That’s the truth… Well, I still owe you for saving us from those homeless hunter punks. Leave her to me. I’m on it.

[Outside.]

Kiryu: (How come Tachibana’s not responding? Guess heading to Little Asia’s the quickest way to find out.)

Go to Little AsiaEdit

Little Asia Resident: You Kiryu-san?

Kiryu: I’m just here to see Tachibana. I can’t get him by phone. …Please let me through.

Little Asia Resident: I know. I’m not here to stop you. Chen-san asked me to wait here for you.

Kiryu: Chen-san… The local elder, right?

Little Asia Resident: Yeah. Follow me.

Kiryu: Is Tachibana all right?

Little Asia Resident: Come see yourself.

[Kiryu enters the room of the local homemade clinic, where they recently left Tachibana.]

Kiryu: Tachibana…

Little Asia Resident: He’s weaker than before. His condition got pretty bad for a couple of days… He just woke up a while ago, now that he’s finally stabilized.

Tachibana: Apologies for being out of touch, Kiryu-san. I’m… I’m fine now.

Little Asia Resident: Take all the time you need. (leaves)

Kiryu: Tachibana, Makoto Makimura is here in Kamurocho. I left her with one of the homeless guys camped out in West Park… She’s waiting for her big brother to come get her.

Tachibana: Oda-san told you, then? That she is my sister.

Kiryu: ……

Tachibana: Then I owe you a second apology. I was planning to tell you everything once this was settled. I thought I’d made that clear to Oda-san as well…

Kiryu: Tachibana…

Tachibana: Yes?

Kiryu: Oda… He tried to kill Makoto.

Tachibana: I am… afraid I don’t understand.

[Some time passes. Tachibana dresses up and Kiryu tells him what’s happened lately.]

Kiryu: …That’s the last I heard from Oda. Haven’t been able to reach him since we left Osaka.

Tachibana: I expect Oda-san is no longer alive…

Kiryu: Maybe not.

Tachibana: This… All of this is my fault.

Kiryu: ……

Tachibana: Ten years ago, I chose to flee instead of properly grappling with my own fate. That choice threw both my mother’s and sister’s lives into chaos… Now it has claimed Oda-san’s life as well.

Kiryu: Tachibana…

Tachibana: My blood made me a pariah in China. They called me a “Japanese devil.” Behind that term was a war’s worth of venom against Japan. I grew up fearing everyone around me, until the day I fled the country… leaving my mother and sister to fend for themselves in China, alone. After growing up hated for being a Japanese boy in China, now the Japanese called me Chinese. Those early days in Sotenbori were spent just desperately trying to stay alive. To defend myself. Once a person sets foot in the underworld, the only way to survive is to devour those around you. To climb a ladder fashioned from their bones. Show a moment’s weakness, and they’ll devour you instead. Just after I had finally grown numb to it, lost all sense of good or evil, or any interest in the difference… I learned my mother and sister had come to Japan. To Kamurocho. I left Sotenbori to find them, and used whatever power and influence I’d won to set down roots in Kamurocho. To form a network of knowledge. What I would do once I found them, I had no idea. I only knew I could not live not knowing what misery I had caused them by abandoning them in China. In the end, all I learned was that my sister had vanished from Kamurocho just before I could find her, and that my mother and grandfather had already died. That, and one other thing… That the tiny plot of land my sister now held the rights to had the potential to become a fatal obstacle to the Kamurocho Revitalization Project.

Kiryu: You mean, the Empty Lot…

Tachibana: Correct. The Dojima Family began funneling tremendous sums of money into real estate acquisitions for the project. If their plans bore fruit, Dojima stood to gain that money back tenfold. But if their plans met with an obstacle due to the existence of the Empty Lot… My sister would become a target for the yakuza.

Kiryu: Right. Which is exactly what we’re seeing now.

Tachibana: That is why as soon as I realized the possibility, I approached Kazama-san, captain of the Dojima Family, in an effort to negotiate my sister’s safety.

Kiryu: So you struck a deal with Kazama-san, but why?

Tachibana: Because Kazama-san feared the consequences of Sohei Dojima gaining any more power than he already possesses.

Kiryu: What?

Tachibana: Dojima’s influence already far exceeds the bounds of both his intelligence and judgment. Kazama-san feared the sort of rampage unique to small men drunk on disproportionately large power. If Sohei Dojima acquired the Empty Lot, it would likely buy him the seat of captain at Tojo Clan Headquarters. In time, he would become the Tojo Clan’s Third Chairman. Even Kazama-san would be unable to stop him. Kazama-san advised me to build a real estate firm around the intelligence network my search had created. So that I could secure the Empty Lot before the Dojima Family and protect my sister. And so that the firm would hold as much power as possible in the process.

Kiryu: So Tachibana Real Estate… That was Kazama’s idea?

Tachibana: The birth of Tachibana Real Estate, as well as these events revolving around the Empty Lot, have played out according to Kazama, Shintaro… the perfect play, penned by a genius. The reason you and I are standing here together now is that he and I joined hands. Me to find my sister, and Kazama-san to control the Tojo Clan from behind the scenes. Still, my sister… After I walked out on my family, she has every right to hate me. A few days ago, Sera-san informed me that she’d lost sight in both eyes. I thought it would be best if I kept the fact that I was her brother silent.

Kiryu: Meaning you feel different now?

Tachibana: (holding tears) Indeed. The woman you described to me, this Makoto Makimura… It’s her. She is every bit the sister I remember. The whole reason she was in Sotenbori? It was to look for me… For a man like me. And still she kept looking!

Kiryu: Tachibana…

Tachibana: Kiryu-san, I… I want to see my sister. I need to see Xiao Qiao. That’s the only reason I’ve hung on to life for this long! I won’t run again… Not ever again!

Kiryu: The long wait’s over. And I can tell you, she doesn’t hate you. Although… She does still need your help.

Tachibana: Right!

Little Asia Resident: The Dojima Family’s here! They’re telling us to hand over Tachibana-san! They know you’re in here!

Kiryu: What the hell?

Tachibana: Why did it have to be now?

Kiryu: Can you stand, Tachibana?

Tachibana: Yes.

Dojima Thug: Here he is! It’s Tachibana!

Kiryu: You came for Tachibana?

Dojima Thug: Heh, you’re here too, Kiryu? You shoulda died ages ago!

[Kiryu and Tachibana are kicking their asses.]

Tachibana: It would appear they were the only ones, for now.

Kiryu: But they know you’ve been hiding here. More will be coming.

Tachibana: Indeed. We should leave through the back. It is this way. I cannot stay in Little Asia any longer. Kiryu-san, let us hurry to West Park.

Kiryu: To where Makoto is?

Tachibana: So long as Dojima is after the Empty Lot… Nowhere is safe for her. The only way is to hurry and process the paperwork for her to release ownership.

Kiryu: What is it?

Tachibana: We’re being watched.

Kiryu: What?

[Dojima’s hired gun on the balcony fires two bullets from a silencer pistol at Kiryu, in the chest and leg. Tachibana helps him get up.]

Tachibana: Kiryu-san!

[The killer spectacularly jumps off the balcony. Tachibana tries to take Kiryu away.]

Tachibana: There is no worse adversary,

Kiryu: You know him?

Tachibana: I saw him once, in the mainland mafia. He is the most effective hitman I am aware of. His name is… Lao Gui.

Kiryu: Lao Gui?

Tachibana: The murder in the Empty Lot appeared amateur… to such a perfect extent the police focused, entirely on you. That takes a professional. For Lao Gui, it would be simple.

Kiryu: What’s that mean?

Tachibana: If an assassin of his caliber is working for the Dojima Family… it’s almost certain he’s the one behind the killing you were framed for.

Lao Gui: [in Chinese] (Come out, Tachibana. I was ordered to take you, not kill you.)

Kiryu: What’s he saying?

Tachibana: His aim is to capture me alive. Kiryu-san. In our current condition, we cannot hope to run from Lao Gui, let alone fight. However… You should be able to escape alone.

[He picks up a piece of glass.]

Tachibana: Please, take care of my sister.

Kiryu: Tachibana, don’t!

[Tachibana goes out to the killer. He puts a piece of glass to his neck.]

Tachibana: [in Chinese] (Behave yourself and I will stay alive for you.)

Lao Gui: [in Chinese] (The other man is not in my contract. He is nothing to me.)

[They leave.]

Kiryu: Damn…!

[Kiryu is trying to get up, but he’s too weak from losing blood. He loses consciousness and comes to himself in a homemade clinic.]

Kiryu: Y-You… Chen-san?

Elder Chen: Tachibana-san was taken by the Dojima Family about three hours ago. I have men from Little Asia looking for where he was taken. A Dojima officer called Shibusawa knew that Tachibana-san was receiving dialysis here. It seems that Oda was leaking information to him.

Kiryu: So Shibusawa was just letting him run free until now?

Elder Chen: Oda was Shibusawa’s lapdog. I assume his plan was to let Tachibana-san do the work of finding Makoto Makimura, then swoop in and take her. That is what I would do, were I him.

Kiryu: Damn. But you really think you can find where they took him?

Elder Chen: I can’t promise anything, but we’re doing all we can. I’d even considered naming the boy my successor. I do want to help him. Truly.

Kiryu: …….

Elder Chen: (sighs) …Perhaps you were already aware.

Elder Chen: The Empty Lot was just one piece of the land owned by Tachibana-san and Makoto Makimura’s grandfather, a man by the name of Genzo Makimura.

Kiryu: Hm?

Elder Chen: After the war, hard times forced him to sell off most of his property. But records show that he negotiated with four different buyers to deliberately sell the land off in small parcels. Most likely, in order to retain the rights to one small sliver of it.

Kiryu: Why would he do that?

Elder Chen: At the time, Genzo Makimura had a daughter living in China, though they were separated. That was Tachibana-san’s mother. Perhaps he hoped that one sliver of land would serve as a beacon to help her find him, should she ever come to Japan in search of her father. Mind you, that’s simply what I might do in his place.

Kiryu: ……

Elder Chen: Ironic, isn’t it? That a father’s love for his daughter should condemn her children to be placed at the center of a yakuza power struggle. But that isn’t Makimura’s fault, nor was he wrong to will his grandchild the land. It is you yakuza who are to blame. Is that not so?

Kiryu: ……

Elder Chen: By now, the Dojima Family will be subjecting Tachibana-san to extreme torture, in order to capture Makoto Makimura. Yet if we were to take direct action against Dojima, the Tojo Clan would doubtless no longer suffer Little Asia to exist.

Kiryu: I’ll go as soon as you tell me where. I’ll get Tachibana out, whatever it takes!

Elder Chen: That is why we tended to your injuries. However badly they may still hurt, you must assist us in this task.

Kiryu: You couldn’t stop me.

Elder Chen: Very good. We will contact you once we learn Tachibana-san’s location. Go and watch over his sister until then.

[Outside.]

Kiryu: (I should check on Makoto… Not like I can do much till they find Tachibana, anyway.)

Dojima Family Thug: Kiryu!

Kiryu: The Dojima Family…

Dojima Family Thug: You had us looking for you. The men upstairs decided they’re tired of dealing with your crap. Kill on sight, they said.

[But Kiryu’s arm is still hurt.]

Kiryu: Hngh… Damn.

Dojima Family Thug: Seriously, how long do you plan on taking to die already?

Kiryu: ……

Dojima Family Thug: Tell me, how’s it feel, eh? You let Tachibana talk you into picking a fight with Dojima, then got the rug pulled out from under you. Heh, though he’s probably six feet under by this point, too. Ain’t that right? Nishikiyama.

[Nishikiyama suddenly enters.]

Kiryu: Nishiki!

Nishikiyama: ……

Dojima Family Thug: You’ve got no friends left. Let’s just put an end to it, eh, Kiryu?

Nishikiyama: Kiryu… Kuze’s torturing Tachibana right now. It’s only a matter of time till he gives them the Empty Lot. Do you still think there’s any hope?

Kiryu: Where’s Tachibana now?

Nishikiyama: They’re not telling us rank-and-file guys. Even if I did know, I couldn’t tell you…

Dojima Family Thug: Heh heh, this is where things really get fun. Fantastic! We’ll be the witnesses. How ‘bout you two slug it out till one of you drops dead?

Kiryu: What the hell?

Nishikiyama: ……

Dojima Family Thug: We’ll even let you take the credit, Nishikiyama. You can climb to the top over your brother’s dead body!

Nishikiyama: I tell you… Yakuza are some of the dumbest sons of bitches I’ve ever seen.

Dojima Family Thug: Huh? You talking about me, smartass? How ‘bout you explain what the fuck you mean by that!?

Nishikiyama: The Empty Lot’s going to be Dojima’s soon enough. Once it is, that’s the end for Kazama-san. And you think I’m going to sit back and watch that happen? …No matter who’s ass I’ve gotta kick to stop it.

Dojima Family Thug: Eh?

Nishikiyama: Am I right, Kiryu?

Kiryu: Fool… You realize what you’re doing? I told you before. If you side with me, you’ll--

Nishikiyama: Shut up! As for me… I’m not interested in climbing the ranks of a Tojo Clan without you in it! So say whatever the hell you want. You and I are still oath brothers!

Kiryu: Nishiki…

Nishikiyama: You best be ready. I’m sticking with you till death do us part.

Kiryu: If you’re all in, I guess I’ve got nothing left to say.

[Nishikiyama pulls off an expensive suit with one move. Kiryu do the same.]

Dojima Family Thug: C-Cocky little…!

Nishikiyama: Let’s rock and roll, bro.

Kiryu: Yeah… Come on!

[Together they’re destroing the Dodjima gang.]

Kiryu: Nishiki, I need to head to the homeless area in West Park.

Nishikiyama: Hm?

Kiryu: Makoto Makimura’s hiding there. Until we can get Tachibana back, you and I need to keep her safe.

Nishikiyama: Yeah? Cool, you got it.

[They walk to the park.]

Nishikiyama: Hey, Kiryu. How are you still alive at this point? It’s kind of amazing.

Kiryu: Got lucky I guess. And I had a lot of help.

Nishikiyama: I’m damn glad you made it, bro.

Kiryu: We’re not out of the fire yet… Right now it’s Tachibana we need to be worried about.

Nishikiyama: Yeah, I know.

[They enter the shack.]

Makoto: Kiryu-san? Oh, there’s someone with you? Is that… my brother!?

Nishikiyama: Brother?

Kiryu: (sighs) Right. I should catch the both of you up. Get comfortable, it’s a little complicated.

[After a while.]

Makoto: No… The Dojima Family’s got my brother!?

Nishikiyama: Brother? Wait, Tachibana!? She’s the Empty Lot owner, right? How are the two of them siblings? This is crazy.

Kiryu: One question at a time. Actually, forget them all. Right now we need to get Tachibana back.

Makoto: Why’s this happening? I finally caught up to him…

Kiryu: Dojima’s men grabbed Tachibana on Shibusawa’s orders.

Makoto: Shibusawa?

Kiryu: He’s the guy who attacked us in Osaka. One of the Dojima Family lieutenants. Apparently he’s the one calling the shots in the family right now.

Makoto: But it’s not my brother they’re really after. The Dojima Family wants me, right?

Kiryu: I’m sorry. I failed to keep him safe, but I swear I’ll bring him back to you… even if it kills me.

Kiryu: ……

[Kiryu’s pager beeps.]

Kiryu: It’s from the elder of Little Asia. I’ll go call him back.

Nishikiyama: I’ll go with you.

Makoto: Kiryu-san. Please help my brother. Please… I can’t lose him now!

Kiryu: I’m on it. You’ll see him real soon… I promise.

[Outside the shack.]

Nishikiyama: Let’s hurry, Kiryu. If Little Asia’s got info on where Tachibana’s being held, then make the call.

Kiryu: Right.

Nishikiyama: So can we trust this Little Asia kingpin?

Kiryu: Yeah. The guy who took Tachibana left me passed out bleeding in a Little Asia alley. (The guys in Little Asia should have tracked down Tachibana by now. Gotta hurry, or he’ll be killed!)

[He walks into a phone booth.]

Elder Chen: Kiryu-san?

Kiryu: Chen-san, have you found Tachibana?

Elder Chen: In an abandoned building next to the Empty Lot. The Crescendo Building, on Shichifuku Street. They are holding him in the basement.

Kiryu: Crescendo Building. Got it.

Elder Chen: There are only about seven of them, but Kuze is there. You know him, right?

Kiryu: Yeah…

Elder Chen: It seems Kuze is acting on Shibusawa’s orders. It looks like he has started following Shibusawa rather than Awano. He is running out of options. That makes him dangerous.

Kiryu: I know.

Elder Chen: Tachibana-san’s life is in your hands, Kiryu-san.

[The phone call ends.]

Kiryu: Nishiki, Tachibana’s in the Crescendo Building on Shichifuku Street. Kuze’s there, too.

Nishikiyama: Got it. We better move quick!

Go to The Crescendo BuildingEdit

Nishikiyama: All right. Let’s do this, Kiryu! So Makoto was searching for Tachibana this whole time?

Kiryu: Yeah. Apparently that’s what she was doing in Sotenbori.

Nishikiyama: Ahh, okay. And does Tachibana know that?

Kiryu: Yeah, he knows.

Nishikiyama: Here’s the Crescendo Building… Tachibana’s in here?

Kiryu: Yeah, somewhere underground.

Nishikiyama: Kiryu, once we head in there’s no turning back. You ready for this?

Kiryu: Yeah. Let’s go!

[They enter the building. Inside, it looks shabby and deserted. Several Yakuza led by Kuze.]

Yakuza: So, what’s next? Sixth little piggy?

[He shattered Tachibana’s toe with a sledgehammer. A huge puddle of blood is spilling on the floor.]
Yakuza: Awww… Seventh little piggy went with him!

Tachibana: Fingers and toes… are densely packed with nerves… making them an excellent way… to inflict extreme pain.

Yakuza: No shit.

Tachibana: Counting fingers and toes… You only have eight left. Do you think they will be enough… to get me to speak?

Yakuza: Arrogant prick! Just spit it out already!

[He punches Tachiban in the face.]

Yakuza: Where the fuck is Makoto Makimura!?

Tachibana: You’ll have to do your job properly… instead of just barking at me… or Shibusawa-san will be cross with you. You don’t have… many chances left, do you? …Kuze-san.

Yakuza: Mouthy bitch!

[He raises his hand to punch Tachibana again, but Kuze stops him.]

Kuze: We’ll get nothing out of him if he’s dead. Or is smacking guys around all you’re good for? Hm?

Yakuza: He’s just about to talk!

Kuze: You still don’t get it? He’s not the type you break with torture. Figure out something else already.

Yakuza: You really think I got another answer?

Kuze: Huh?

[Yakuza abruptly breaks out of Kuza’s hands.]

Yakuza: Look here, sir. I joined up with the yakuza ‘cause I like hitting people. Ain’t that your reason, too? Telling a yakuza to use his head… Shit, when did you become such a pussy!? That’s how come you keep fucking up!

Kuze: Watch your goddamn tone with me, boy. Looking at you just reminded me… why I joined. To beat on guys who’re stronger than me. That’s why I’ve busted my ass in the game. Don’t go confusing me… For punk trash like you.

[He’s untie Tachibana.]

Yakuza: Hey, what do you think you’re doing!?

Kuze: If some fucking numbnut offs him before I can get the info out of him… I’ll be worse off than I am already.

[Tachibana smiles at Yakuza.]

Yakuza: Sonuvabitch… You laughing? Eh? The FUCK you lookin’ at!?

[He hits him in the head with a sledgehammer.]

Kuze: Stupid piece of shit!

[Kuze presses the Yakuza against the floor. At that moment, Kiryu bursts into the room.]

Kuze: Kiryu? How’d you find this place?

[Kiryu sees the beaten Tachibana and rage embraces him.]

Kuze: Oh well. Guess these things have a way of working out.

Kiryu: KUZE!!!

[He’s hitting Kuze hard in the face, smashing his glasses. An epic battle is about to begin. Kiryu and Nishikiyama against Kuze and his Yakuzas.]

Nishikiyama: (helping Tachibana) Kiryu!

Kiryu: Tachibana, I’m sorry. I took too long.

Tachibana: You have nothing… to apologize for… Kiryu-san.

Kiryu: Hey, Tachibana! Don’t do this, your sister’s right there! You’ve been waiting so long. She’ll be right here! Nishiki, please. Get Makoto here!

Nishikiyama: On my way!

Tachibana: No time… It’s too late.

Kiryu: Tachibana!

Tachibana: Kiryu-san. Lao Gui… The one controlling him is… Dojima… Sohei.

Kiryu: What?

Tachibana: Kuze… said… Dojima is the one… pulling all the strings. He hopes to… drive out Kazama-san. That’s why he… He framed you for…

Kiryu: Hey… Tachibana!

[But… he’s dying.]

Kiryu: No. This isn’t happening. This isn’t… Tachibana. I’ll keep your sister safe. I promise you. I keep her safe, no matter what.

[Tachibana takes his last breath.]

Kiryu: Dammit… Damn it… Goddammit…! GOD DAMN IT!!!

Kuze: I just… I only did what I had to do. The Empty Lot… It’s not just a Dojima Family problem anymore. Somebody’s trying to sell it… to the Omi Alliance. Someone inside the Tojo Clan. A traitor. We still don’t know who, but… It’s a fact that they’re trying. If the Empty Lot falls into Omi hands… They’ll take over the revitalization project. They’ll march on Tokyo. Declare all-out war on the Tojo Clan…

Kiryu: I don’t give a damn.

Kuze: Kiryu. Give us the girl. You planning to make an enemy of the entire Tojo Clan?

Kiryu: You lay one goddamn finger on Makoto Makimura… And I’ll bury the Tojo Clan.

[He lifts Tachibana’s body in his arms.]

Kiryu: I’ll crush it down to the last man. That I swear to you.

[He leaves.]

Kuze: I’ll be damned… The punk kid’s finally turned. Turned into a real yakuza.

[Kiryu leaves the building with Tachibana’s body.]

Nishikiyama: Kiryu!

Makoto: Brother? Where’s my brother? Brother, where are you? Huh?

[She touches her brother’s body in Kiryu’s arms and start crying.]

Makoto: I see… You’re tired. It’s been hard, I know. My big brother… I’m home. …Brother.

Previously in the tale of Goro Majima…Edit

Woman’s Voice: (offscreen) Makoto Makimura is missing… having vanished just as her only ally, Lee, was murdered. Majima resigned himself to working alongside both Sagawa and Nishitani to find her--Her trail leading to the man in the white suit that took her. The events that transpire aim the light… on the shadow of Majima’s former home in the criminal underworld, the Tojo Clan. They had already used a Kamurocho real estate agent… to secret Makoto out of Osaka toward Tokyo. To find her, Majima is set free from his Sotenbori cage… and now makes for the city he once prowled as yakuza, Kamurocho. But the task that awaits him there remains… the murder of young Makoto Makimura.

Chapter 15: SCATTERED LIGHTEdit

Kamurocho, Tokyo

[Majima walks down the street and sees some yakuzas mocking a young man.]

Man: I’m sorry! Please just let me go!

Yakuza: Where’s all that piss and vinegar now? Eh? Get the fuck up. I said get on your feet!

[A young man grasping at Majima’s pants.]

Man: P-Please, help! They’ll kill me!

Yakuza: (to Majima) What are you looking at?

[Majima notices a pin with a word 泰平 <i>(Taihei) on it.]</i>

Majima: Nothin’. I ain’t seen shit.

Man: H-Hey, wait!

Yakuza: (to the man) Dumbass… Try some cute shit like that again and you’ll be fuckin’ sorry!!

[Majima leaves. He enters a building there he meet Sagawa.]

Sagawa: You got any news for me, Majima-chan?

Majima: Whaddaya expect me to find, just strollin’ around? I ain’t heard so much as the “T” in Tachibana.

Sagawa: ‘Course you haven’t. How could you when you’re not actually trying to find shit?

Majima: ……

Sagawa: The only way you live to see another day is if you find and put a bullet in that girl. I thought we were clear on that. A full day’s passed since Makoto Makimura left Sotenbori. If we don’t get her back from Tachibana Real Estate soon, we lose her for good. If her trail goes cold, so does your body. You understand that?

Majima: Yeah.

Sagawa: Then it seems to me you might want to start putting a little more effort into this, eh tiger? I’m putting up with the sardine treatment here in this tiny room. An Omi man goes strutting around Kamurocho and it’s suddenly a thing. You’re my only ears and eye out there.

Majima: Fine, but why not call Shimano in on this, then? Own up to the fact you let the girl give you the slip.

Sagawa: Can’t. Shimano doesn’t hear about this. This girl is our problem to solve.

Majima: ……

Sagawa: Heh, don’t get me wrong here. I’m not afraid of Shimano. It’s just politics, is all. As an Omi guy, I can’t show Shimano any weakness on this one.

Majima: Why’s that?

Sagawa: This business with Makoto Makimura’s a joint operation between the Omi Alliance brass and Shimano. The Omi’s got a deal to buy the Empty Lot from Shimano for ten billion.

Majima: What the hell?

Sagawa: The Omi’s got their eyes on the prize. Kamurocho. That lot’s the cornerstone of the whole Kamurocho Revitalization Project. If the Omi gets their hands on it, they can snatch that whole fat slice of Tojo turf right out from under ‘em. Then it’s just a matter of the Omi Alliance flooding into Kamurocho with ground troops before the Tojo even knows what hit ‘em. They make the ten billion back in no time.

Majima: So what, Shimano’s selling the Tojo Clan out? He’s selling the Empty Lot knowin’ that’s their plan!?

Sagawa: Yup. Shimano’s end-game is to use those Omi troops as muscle to take over the Tojo Clan for himself. He gives the Omi a slice of Tokyo in exchange for getting to sit on the Tojo Clan throne. When the time comes, Shimano and the Omi will have to work out how they split Kamurocho. If I show weakness now, I’m giving Shimano leverage down the line. ‘Course, it was Shimano who picked you to play hitman. I’d say he’s at least as guilty as I am in losing her.

Majima: Hold on a sec. If he’s after the land, why’s he need the girl dead? Killin’ Makoto don’t get him the deed to that lot.

Sagawa: Shimano’s keeping that card up his sleeve. I asked him to show me the trick, but all he said was that seeing would be believing. And for whatever reason, the Omi higher-ups are lined up for the show. He’s one impressive son of a bitch, Shimano.

Majima: So what are you gettin’ outta all this, then? Gotta be some prize in it for you, right?

Sagawa: Mm… Heh. Kamurocho is my prize. Or the Omi half of it, anyway.

Majima: Before, you said Shimano didn’t tell you a thing about all this. That don’t exactly square with what you’re sayin’ now.

Sagawa: That info was on a need-to-know basis. Situation’s getting kinda fluid, huh? I think you’ve been on break long enough, Majima-chan. End of the day, we’re still boned if you don’t find Tachibana Real Estate and the girl. If you’ve got no other leads to go on, try the Champion District.

Majima: What am I gonna find there?

Sagawa: I hear Tachibana’s people were in and out of there up till recently. Not the freshest tip, but it’s something.

Majima: ……

[Outside.]

Majima: (So Tachibana’s boys been seen in the Champion District? …Good a place to go as any. Let’s have a look.)

Go to The Champion DistrictEdit

Majima: (Well, here I am in the Champion District. Any of Tachibana’s guys still kickin’ around here?)

Champion District Resident: …What do you want?

Majima: I heard tell Tachibana Real Estate’s been up in this part of town lately. Mind if I pick your brain a sec?

Champion District Resident: You another, uh… family man?

Majima: Nah, I’m no yakuza.

Champion District Resident: Uh-huh. Well, whatever. Haven’t seen any of Tachibana-san’s people around here the last few days. Just more yakuza land sharks. We want to know where they’re at as much as you do. But it seems like shit’s really gotten bad this time, though.

Majima: How bad we talkin’?

Champion District Resident: I hear the Dojima Family’s chasing ‘em. Don’t know the details, though.

Majima: Got it… Thanks, pal. (Another swing and a miss… Where the hell is she?)

Shimano Family Thug: It really is you… Majima-san.

Majima: You guys must be… Shimano Family?

Shimano Family Thug: Word from our guys on the street was that you were back in town. Figured you’d be rotting in a Sotenbori ditch by now.

Majima: ……

Shimano Family Thug: What’s somebody the family erased doing back in Kamurocho? I’m real curious to hear. Let’s take a walk to the office.

Majima: Sorry, but I’m in a hurry. I’ll be sure to make a house call next time I’m in the neighborhood.

Shimano Family Thug: That’s not what we want to hear, man. Besides, these streets are off limits to you. I don’t recall hearing the boss give you permission to walk free.

Majima: ……

Shimano Family Thug: What, the silent treatment now!?

Majima: Just kinda surprised the family boot lickers are givin’ me lip. How d’ya figure you outrank me?

Shimano Family Thug: You gotta ask? That’d be the day you straight up defied the family, asshole!

[Majima beats this guys up.]

Majima: Tch, there’s more of ya?

Shimano Family Veteran: You haven’t changed, Majima-san.

Majima: Huh?

Shimano Family Veteran: I hope you’ll cut the young blood some slack. rd like to make up for their rudeness by escorting you somewhere.

Majima: Like I just got through tellin’ these guys, I’m kinda busy at the moment.

Shimano Family Veteran: Patriarch Shimano wants to see you.

Majima: …What?

Shimano Family Veteran: If your current business is more important than that, we’ll leave you to it… but I think we both know the answer to that, don’t we?

Majima: ……

[In the next scene, Majima is already sitting at the table next to Shimano. The boss eats sashimi and drinks sake.]

Shimano: You ain’t touched a drop, Majima. You stop drinkin’ since I seen ya last?

[FUTOSHI SHIMANO. Patriarch of the Shimano Family, a Tojo Clan subsidiary.]

Majima: No, sir…

Shimano: Nothin’ to be scared of now!

[Majima remembers the torture.]

Shimano: I just wanna talk a little business.

[Sagawa enters.]

Sagawa: This invite was awful sudden, bro.

Majima: Sagawa?

Shimano: Don’t be such a stranger. If you’re gonna be in town, ya oughta drop me a line! Now that we’re all settled… it’ll be the first time I enjoy a drink in a fuckin’ while.

Sagawa: So? What’s this sit-down about, bro?

Shimano: Don’t you got the answer to that one? Bro, maybe ya wanna tell me what brings ya out to Kamurocho?

Sagawa: Fine, you win. You gonna make me say it? You already know, or you wouldn’t have bothered with the fancy dinner.

Shimano: Heh heh heh.

Sagawa: Makoto Makimura fled Sotenbori. Right now, guys from some “Tachibana Real Estate” group have got her up here in Kamurocho.

Shimano: Hmmmm. Well ain’t that a helluva plot twist? But hey, relax. Everything’s goin’ according to plan.

Sagawa: Say what?

Majima: What do you mean by that?

Shimano: I’m bout to blow your mind, Majima. Whole reason I sent ya to kill Makoto Makimura… was ‘cause I knew ya couldn’t do it.

Majima: Wha--

Sagawa: Hey, what the fuck?

Shimano: Haven’t ya figured it out, Majima? I know ya better than ya know your damn self. I can just picture it. You get orders to whack the girl, but ya go hide her away someplace safe instead, right? Exactly what I wanted ya to do.

Majima: You serious right now?

Sagawa: You maybe wanna explain this to me, bro?

Shimano: Before I do that… You guys been to see the Empty Lot?

Sagawa: Huh?

Shimano: The Empty Lot’s a shit stripe of land sandwiched ‘tween Shichifuku Street and Taihei Boulevard. And right now it’s got the whole fuckin’ Tojo Clan by the balls. Dojima’s been pourin’ fucktons of money into this Kamurocho Revitalization Project. And that Empty Lot’s got the power to shit the bed on the whole deal. Guess what happens if Sohei Dojima scores that land? Tojo Clan profits go through the fuckin’ roof, and they make him next chairman, guaranteed. With a shit-fer-brains fuckwad like him runnin’ the show, the Tojo Clan’s fuckin’ done. Even now, his own captain, Kazama’s been tryin’ to put a hard stop on that.

Majima: Kazama? Shintaro Kazama?

Shimano: Yeah. Ain’t a bigger pain in the ass on this green earth. He’s the main obstacle standin’ between me and control of the Tojo Clan. Anyway, this Kazuma Kiryu prick from Tachibana Real Estate who’s got the girl now--he’s one of Kazama’s boys.

Majima: Kazuma Kiryu…

[He look at the business card from Sera.]

Shimano: Not even Kazama can openly dick with Dojima, though. Thats why he’s usin’ his pawns over at Tachibana’s to fight by proxy.

Sagawa: Heh, not like you can cast stones, bro. The Shimano Family may be Tojo Clan direct now, but you used to be a Dojima branch yourself. C an’t just turn your guns on ol’ Sohei. So you’ve been using Majima-chan here, whose name’s been conveniently wiped from the family roster, no?

Shimano: Heh, guilty.

Sagawa: So? What’s your game with all this? Why send Majima-chan off to kill-but-not-actually-kill Makimura?

Shimano: To earn her trust. Real trust, not some back door deal cut over a dirty chat.

Sagawa: Ha, I’m seeing it now… Love.

Shimano: Exactly. From that girl’s view, there ain’t a man alive she’s gonna trust more’n a man sent to kill her but saved her instead. Keep buildin’ on that, and eventually she’ll do anythin’ he tells her to. Including selling me that chunk of land.

Sagawa: A woman in love’ll do anything for her man, huh? I guess love is as blind as her.

Shimano: And that ain’t quite all. I had another reason I needed Makoto Makimura to lay low a while.

Sagawa: And what’s that?

Shimano: To flush out all of Kazama’s little shits in the Tojo Clan. Need to know who to toss overboard before I take the helm. Heh, and no sooner than the girl goes missin’, one Tojo rat crawls outta his hole. That shiny Nikkyo Consortium asshole… Sera. You get the credit for ferreting Sera out, Majima. I had no clue Sera was connected to Kazama till ya did.

Sagawa: Hmph. I made sure that guy won’t be a problem.

Shimano: Nah, he’s still kickin’. Tagged him up here in Kamurocho, just earlier.

Sagawa: What? You sure about that?

Shimano: It’s better this way. It ain’t time to kill him just yet. Now that I know he’s got Kazama backin’ him, I can use the Nikkyo to prod at Kazama.

Sagawa: ……

Shimano: Majima. You don’t gotta kill Makoto Makimura anymore.

Majima: What!?

Shimano: Yer new orders’re to get her back from Tachibana Real Estate and bring her to me. As an honored guest, mind. I’ll buy her land off her for the full billion. You manage that, and you’re back in the Tojo Clan. Hell, I’ll throw in the girl as a bonus.

Majima: ……

Shimano: Hey, you ain’t sprung on her, are ya? That little minx.

Sagawa: Yeah, well, sorry for the reality check, but we have no idea where she is. If this is all playing out to your script, how about a little help, bro?

Shimano: The guy draggin’ her around is Tachibana’s grunt, Kiryu. You find his oath brother, Nishikiyama, and hell lead ya straight to Kiryu. Nishikiyama’s another one of Kazama’s charity cases. Drops by the Kazama Family office a lot.

Sagawa: Tch, some fucking day… But hey, lucky you, Majima-chan. You don’t have to kill the girl. You’ll get back in the Tojo Clan, too. Just as long as you don’t screw this up. I’d say you’re makin’ out like a bandit in all this, huh? It’s happily-ever-after for everyone involved.

Shimano: Ya see, didn’t I tell ya I had good news? Eh, Majima?

[But Majima continues to sit quietly. In the next scene, he goes outside to get some fresh air and think.]

Majima: Just a goddamn clown this whole time…

[Three people are coming out of the slot machine joint.]

Man 1: Aw, lighten up!

Man 2: If you’re gonna get pissed every time you lose, stop playing pachinko.

Man 1: Hey, shut up!

[Immersed in his cheerless thoughts, Majima accidentally pushes Man 1.]

Man 1: HEY! Yo asshole, I said wait up!

[Majima turns around.]

Man 3: Man, this guy’s bad news…

[But Man 1 does not listen and runs to Majima.]

Man 2: Dumbass, that’s a yakuza!

[Unexpectedly for all, Male 1 pushes Majima on the sidewalk and starts beating him. Majima hasn’t even moved.]

Man 1: You plow into me and can’t even apologize!?

Majima: I don’t really care.

Man 3: What?

Majima: Do what you want…

Majima: Seriously?

Man 1: (keeps punching) All right, maybe I will!

Man 2: Ooh, let me get one in!

[He kicks Majima on the head and Majima loses consciousness. He regains consciousness after a while. The scumbags are long gone.]

Majima: …I’ll be your damn clown. Bring it on. (…Mopin’ about it won’t get me anywhere. I gotta find her. I’ll start with this Nishikiyama at the Kazama Family office. Make him tell me where Kiryu is.)

Go to The Kazama Family OfficeEdit

Majima: (The Kazama Family office… This Nishikiyama guy’s s’posed to be a regular here. I’m sure I’ll have to throw down whether he’s there or not… Am I ready? Let’s do this shit!)

Kazama Family Rookie: …Whoa, hold up. Who the hell are you?

Majima: Name’s Majima. Nishkiyama of the Dojima Family-- He around?

Kazama Family Rookie: Huh? Are you… a friend of Nishikiyama-san’s?

Majima: Nah. We’re about to get acquainted.

Kazama Family Rookie: Huh!? Is this some kinda joke? What the hell’s your deal?

Majima: I take it that’s a no on Nishikiyama?

Kazama Family Rookie: Shut your damn mouth. And get the hell outta here already! Where the fuck do you think this is!?

Majima: ……

Kazama Family Rookie: I said, get lost, asshole!

Kashiwagi: Enough. That’s Majima. He’s well out of your league.

Kazama Family Rookie: Majima… Wait, like, GORO Majima!?

Kashiwagi: Three years ago, the Shimano Family wiped him off the map. But here he is.

Majima: And who’re you?

Kashiwagi: I’m the Kazama Family Captain, Kashiwagi. What’s your business with Nishikiyama?

Majima: None of yours. Just gimme Nishikiyama already.

Kashiwagi: And is there some reason I should listen to you?

Majima: ‘Scuse me?

Kashiwagi: You’ve been erased from the Tojo Clan. You are not welcome here.

Majima: Enough talk. All I’m askin’ here’s for you to cough up Nishikiyama. Now if you got that through yer damn head, where IS he!?

Kashiwagi: Nishikiyama, Kiryu… I’m not giving them to you.

Majima: We’ll see about that.

Kashiwagi: You all stay here. This is mine. Majima, follow me. We’ll do this outside. This office is sacred ground. I won’t have it stained with your blood.

Majima: Yeah, hate to get blood on all the dusty office supplies. …Fine, whatever.

[They walked to the roof.]

Majima: Where are we?

Kashiwagi: It’s a building I look after. In return, I’m free to use it as I like. Excellent janitorial staff. A dead body would get tidied up in no time at all.

Majima: Heh, you sure you want to do this solo? Not too late to back out now. Or do ya wanna call in the cavalry?

Kashiwagi: What fun would that be? I always wanted the chance to try you one-on-one. To be honest, the prospect’s had my heart racing since you walked in… Call it a yakuza’s nature. Let’s see where this goes… Come at me, Majima!!

[Majima takes the challenge and wins.]

Majima: (pants) Who knew the Kazama Family was breedin’ monsters like this…

Kazama Family Rookie: Ka-Kashiwagi-san!?

Majima: (with a knife in his hands) Hey, yer timing’s perfect. Where’s this Nishikiyama guy at?

Kazama Family Rookie: Uh…

Majima: Stay tongue tied, and I’ll dig out your buddy’s left eye. He can join the club. Don’t make me do this shit.

Kazama Family Rookie: ……Se-Serena! Try there! There’s a bar called Serena on Tenkaichi Street. Nishikiyama-san is a regular there.

Majima: Alright then. …If he ain’t there, I’ll be back.

[Outside.]

Majima: (Nishikiyama’s s’posed to be at this ‘Serena’ on Tenkaichi Street.)

Go to SerenaEdit

Majima: (Serena… This is the place. Nishikiyama’s favorite drinkin’ spot. If he ain’t in here, it’s back to square one. Either way, I gotta get a lead on this Kiryu guy. Alright, here goes!)

[He enters the building. Nishikiyama drinking at the counter and Raina severing him drinks.]

Reina: Welcome.

Majima: Nice place ya got.

Reina: Thank you very much.

Nishikiyama: …See ya later.

Majima: Say, mama… I heard a guy named Nishikiyama comes around here to get his drink on. Would ya say he comes often?

[Nishikiyama stops.]

Reina: Er, yes…

Nishikiyama: Who are you?

Majima: Name’s Majima. And you?

Nishikiyama: What if I said I was the guy you were looking for?

Majima: I’d say you ain’t the one I’m really lookin’ for. I need to find a girl named Makoto Makimura. She’s with a guy from Tachibana Real Estate. Kiryu. All I want is somebody to lead me to him.

Nishikiyama: Majima, you said? Right?

Majima: Yeah.

Nishikiyama: Before I got my stripes, I remember hearin’ about a guy named Majima in the Shimano Family. I hear he screwed up so royally, they carved out an eye and erased him. Does this mean you’re back in the Tojo Clan, Majima-san?

Majima: Not yet.

Nishikiyama: Then why are you after Makoto Makimura?

Majima: If I said it was to protect her… would ya believe me?

Nishikiyama: What?

Majima: Where’s yer brother at? Where’s he got Makoto Makimura hidden?

[Nishikiyama pulls out a gun buy Majima slaps it away.]

Raina: Nishikiyama-kun!

Majima: You can’t beat me, kid.

Nishikiyama: Don’t make me laugh. What could you even begin to know about me?

Majima: If what I just did told ya nothin’… Then that’s why you don’t got a chance.

Nishikiyama: You’re about to learn something else about me. I don’t know what you see me as… But I’d die before I sold out my sworn brother.

Majima: I see. That how this goes down then?

Nishikiyama: The stories say you’re pretty tough. All the same… I’m not backing down on this one!

[Nishikiyama fights fair and square, but Majima is stronger.]

Nishikiyama: Grh… Shit…

Reina: Hey, that’s enough!

Majima: If you’re done swingin’, then start talkin’, Nishikiyama. Where’s Kiryu?

Nishikiyama: ……

Reina: Wait. You’re searching for Makoto Makimura, aren’t you?

Majima: Huh?

Nishikiyama: Stop, Reina!

Reina: She’s… She’s gone. Disappeared. Kiryu-san doesn’t know where she is either.

Majima: Wait, what? The hell happened?

Reina: Nishikiyama-kun is looking for her now, too. He came here to see if I’d heard anything.

Majima: That the truth?

Nishikiyama: It happened maybe three hours ago. Right after her brother was killed, she--

Majima: Hold up. What’s this about Makoto’s brother?

Nishikiyama: You didn’t know? Tetsu Tachibana… The president of Tachibana Real Estate was Makoto’s older brother.

Majima: You serious?

Nishikiyama: They were the kids of a Japanese war orphan in China. Hadn’t seen each other since they got split up ten years back. Tachibana came over to Japan solo as a stowaway. Once he heard she’d come here too, he started looking for her. Makoto was searching for him the whole time, too. The whole reason she was in Sotenbori was because she might find him there. But her brother was killed… Butchered. She just kind of shut down. Kiryu and I didn’t know what to do. What do you say in a situation like that? We turned around for one second, and she was gone. She’s freaking blind… Where would she go?

Majima: Where’d you see her last?

Nishikiyama: West Park. The homeless village. We brought her back there, then she disappeared.

Majima: So what, she’s just out walkin’ the streets right now? You understand this girl’s got about a million yakuza on her ass, right!?

Nishikiyama: You said… When you said you were looking for her to protect her, was that true?

Majima: Yeah.

Nishikiyama: Then you’ve gotta help us find her. If anything happens to her, Tachibana will beat the shit outta me and Kiryu from the afterlife!

Majima: Shit…

[He leaves the bar.]

Majima: (She’s somewhere here in town… If I don’t find her soon, she’ll get snatched again!)

Find MakotoEdit

[In search of Makoto Majima wanders the streets helping random passers-by.]

Majima: (Wait, am I where I think I am?)

[He remembers Shimano’s words…]

Shimano: The Empty Lot’s a shit stripe of land sandwiched ‘tween Shichifuku Street and Taihei Boulevard.

Majima: (It should be just up here…) This is the Empty Lot?

[He notices Makoto standing on the roof nearby. He darts off and run to her.]

Majima: You’re… Makoto, right? What’re ya doin’ up here? Makoto?

[She turns around.]

Makoto: I thought we might meet again.

Majima: Wait… Can you see?

Chapter 16: PROOF OF LOVEEdit

Majima: You… Can you see?

Makoto: Just well enough to walk around town. I can tell you’re standing there.

Majima: How’s this happenin’?

Makoto: Today… Down in that Empty Lot, I saw my brother for the first time in ten years. ‘Except that I was still blind, and he… He’d already been murdered. When I touched his cold body… Something changed in my eyes… There was light coming into them.

Majima: Is that even… possible? No matter how close I got to his face, I couldn’t see it clearly… All I knew… was that he’d been brutally tortured. The Dojima Family yakuza murdered my brother. For a barren patch of dirt!

Majima: No way… Don’t you go down the road to revenge. Don’t get desperate! The situation’s changed. My boss ain’t tryin’ to kill you anymore. He doesn’t want to hurt you at all. All he wants is to buy that land off ya. If you just offload it on him, nobody will have a reason to bother ya anymore. Don’t worry, I’ll be there beside you! Whatever happens, I’ll keep you safe.

Makoto: My safety is pointless! There’s something I need to do, whether I live or die. If you really want to help me… Then help me. My brother was killed by yakuza who were after the Empty Lot. The Dojima Family’s three lieutenants. And Sohei Dojima.

Majima: And… You’re askin’ me to kill ‘em?

Majima: I can pay you. Is one billion enough? You agreed to kill me once, didn’t you? Then please… Kill them. I know in my heart that that’s why my brother brought the two of us together. Now that he’s gone… Doesn’t that mean he wants me to avenge him?

Majima: That ain’t who you are. Can’t imagine it’s who your brother was.

[She lowers her head and goes to the exit from the roof.]

Majima: Wait.

Makoto: Let me go. I’m fine on my own now.

[She trips and falls.]

Majima: Makoto!

Makoto: Leave me alone!

Majima: Hey… Wanna grab some takoyaki?

Makoto: What?

Majima: Takoyaki. If you still want me gone after that… I’ll take a hike.

Makoto: You think I’m just getting emotional because I’m hungry again?

Majima: That a no?

Makoto: Didn’t say that. But… after we eat… Let me worry about myself.

Majima: Let’s just talk. Over some grub, huh?

[They’re going down the street.]

Makoto: Are we really grabbing food? Takoyaki?

Majima: Damn straight we are. Let’s roll. (She claims she’s fine on her own, but her eyes are tellin’ a different story. Better take it slow for her.) Watch your step. Eyes still ain’t seein’ too well, right?

Makoto: ……

Majima: Surprised you made it around the city like that. You fall and ‘scrape yerself up?

Makoto: I’m fine.

Majima: Cold night, ain’t it?

Makoto: ……

Majima: Think it’ll snow?

Makoto: …Fifty percent, they said.

Majima: Hm?

Makoto: The chance of snow. I heard the forecast.

Majima: Huh… No wonder it feels cold, then. Hm, guess we better, keep movin’.

Makoto: Sure…

[They come up to a street takoyaki seller. There’s a huge line to him.]

Majima: The hell is all this?

Makoto: Is something wrong?

Majima: Like a million people decided it was takoyaki night…

Makoto: Oh… Ah, actually… Earlier I think I passed a food cart.

Majima: What, a takoyaki one?

Makoto: I think so? It smelled that way, at least.

Majima: Where was it?

Makoto: Um, some kind of plaza area, I think. Lots of big buildings all around it.

Majima: Hmm, around here, that’d probably be Theater Square ? Alright, it’s worth takin’ a look.

[They’re going to the square.]

Makoto: …Thanks.

Majima: Huh?

Makoto: For walking slow.

Majima: Oh. Yeah, no problem. A guy gets tired of runnin’ everywhere. Still, make sure ya stay close.

Makoto: Okay. That food cart must be close. It was right around here… I think, anyway.

Majima: Yeah? Let’s have a look, then.

Makoto: You really don’t have to get me any takoyaki. Really, I’ll be fine on my own.

Majima: Sorry it’s takin’ awhile. All I’m sayin’ is, let’s talk after a nice, bot snack. That was the right?

Makoto: ……

[They come up to the takoyaki seller’s cart.]

Majima: Curb, watch your step. (to the seller) One each, please.

Granny: Coming right up.

Majima: Quick, yeah?

Granny: Okay, okay.

[Majima removes a fallen leaf from Makoto’s head.]

Granny: Such a gentleman.

Majima: Yeah right.

Granny: He’s a keeper, huh?

Majima: Less talk, more cookin’, lady!

Makoto: He is a keeper. He’s been through terrible things for my sake, yet he’s still trying to help me. If not for him, I’d never have made it this far… I’ll bet they’re delicious! They smell amazing.

Granny: Don’t they? I tell you what, sweetheart, I’ll throw in an extra one free.

Makoto: Really? Are you sure!?

[They sit on a bench by the house and eat.]

Makoto: …Thanks for that. Osaka may have met its match against Kamurocho’s takoyaki.

Majima: Yeah. Just goes to show ya how much of the world you still gotta figure out for yourself.

Makoto: You’re right.

Majima: Just how’re you plannin’ to get revenge on the Dojima Family, hm?

Makoto: …I can’t tell you that.

Majima: Don’t be stupid. ‘Sides, even if I helped you do it, soon as you make a move on them, the family wouldn’t relent till they made hell look downright cozy. And, they’d get ya eventually. At that point, I couldn’t even begin to tell ya what they’d do.

Makoto: I told you to let me worry about myself.

Majima: I just want ya to think it through a bit. Doin’ this all hasty like is gonna be real trouble.

Makoto: I would tell you to do the same. Think on whether you want to help me or not. Who says I’ll be the one to change her mind here? …That takoyaki was good.

Majima: Hm?

Makoto: Want another one? I’ll go buy this round.

Majima: You stay here. Eyes still ain’t workin’ too good, right? I can go grab it.

Makoto: Sorry.

Majima: I’ll be right back. Hang tight just a sec.

Food Cart Lady: Hello there! …Hm? You’re the gentleman from before.

Majima: That was some damn fine takoyaki. I’ll take one more.

Food Cart Lady: Is that so? Aren’t you the sweetest? You take just as many as you’d like, honey. On the house!

Majima: For real? All the same, just one right now, and you bet I’ll be back to buy more another day. Thanks, lady.

Food Cart Lady: Any time, dear!

[He’s got Piping Hot Takoyaki.]

Majima: (Alright, got some hot takoyaki. Now to get it back to the Children’s Park before it gets cold.)

[He comes back in the bench, but Makoto has disappeared somewhere.]

Homeless Man: Hey, buddy.

Majima: Huh?

Homeless Man: Gimme that takoyaki.

Majima: …The hell you on about?

Homeless Man: This girl who just left said to give you a message.

Majima: What?

Homeless Man: She said she didn’t know your name, so I should just give it to the guy with the takoyaki. Said her name’s Makoto. That ring any bells? You’re the guy, right?

Majima: That damn idiot…

Homeless Man: Tomorrow at five, come to the roof above the Empty Lot. …She said that’d be enough for you to understand?

Majima: Tomorrow, five, on the roof…

Homeless Man: She said if I gave you the message I could have the takoyaki.

Majima: Tch… Take it already.

Homeless Man: Heh, thanks, buddy.

[Majima is resting in a hotel room.]

Majima: (…It’s about time to go meet Makoto. Who knows why she gave me the slip last night, but she wouldn’t do this without some sorta plan… I ain’t about to leave her by herself, regardless. She wants me there, I’ll be there.)

[He goes back to the Empty Lot…]

Majima: (Makoto should be waitin’ up there… Whatever comes next is a problem I gotta solve when I get to it. No time to stand here thinkin’!)

[He’s standing on the roof, smoking and waiting for her.]

Majima: Where the hell’d you go wanderin’ off to, Makoto?

[Couple of yakuzas enter the roof.]

Majima: …The hell is this? And whose team are you guys on?

Shibusawa Family Thug: We’re Shibusawa Family.

Majima: Shibusawa’s?

Shibusawa Family Thug: We paid good money hiring the Kijin Clan. Thanks to you, that got us fuck-all. Then we had the added hassle of having to put them in the ground.

Majima: Huh?

Majima: You guys did Nishitani?

Shibusawa Family Thug: You’ve been a pain in our asses for way too long. We’re done with you.

Majima: What’d you do with Makoto?

Shibusawa Family Thug: She reached out to our boss saying she wanted him to take that land off her hands. We gave her a warm welcome.

Majima: What? She got in contact with Shibusawa herself?

Shibusawa Family Thug: Bitter that you got dumped? Heh, the boss is probably serving her up to Patriarch Dojima on a platter right now. I tell you, women are scary things. She even went out of her way to let us know you’d be here. Said she was tired of you followin’ her around like a lost puppy.

Majima: Where’s she meeting Dojima?

Shibusawa Family Thug: Don’t see why you’d care. The only place you’re going is off this roof and into a little box.

Majima: She wants me there. Sendin’ you clowns here’s as good as a formal invitation.

Shibusawa Family Thug: What?

Majima: Now… Where’s the girl!?

[He beats them with his bat.]

Shibusawa Family Thug: Nh… nhaagh…

Majima: Where is she!?

Shibusawa Family Thug: I… I can’t…

Majima: Talk quick… or I’ll move on to one of your buddies. You’ll be too dead to watch what I do to him. I said TALK!

Shibusawa Family Thug: R-Roppongi… The Sebastian Building… rooftop terrace.

Majima: ……

[On the street.]

Majima: (Gotta get to the Sebastian Building, now. No tellin’ what she’s plannin’ to pull.)

Go to The Sebastian BuildingEdit

[He catches a taxi.]

Taxi Driver: The taxi fare starts at ¥470. Where would you like to go?

+To The Sebastian Building

Taxi Driver: Very well, sir.

[Meanwhile, Makoto meets Shibusawa on the roof of the building. Everything is decorated like a real ceremony. There are many people present. Sohei Dodjima himself is sitting at the table.]

Shibusawa: Boss. Makoto Makimura… Here she is.

Dojima: Good work, Shibusawa. Let’s hear it for our new captain.

Shibusawa: My brothers were instrumental in this. Surely we have their support… in the Dojima Family for years to come.

Dojima: So tell me, Makimura-san. I understand you have an’ffer for me concerning the Empty Lot?

Makoto: You can have the land. A dead patch of concrete is useless to me.

Dojima: Your grandfather left you that land. You shouldn’t speak of it like that.

Makoto: I have a condition.

Dojima: The billion not enough?

Makoto: No of money interests me. However. Your three lieutenants who scrambled to get you that Empty Lot… Those men are responsible for murdering my brother. The president of Tachibana Real Estate. He was my brother.

Dojima: And so?

Makoto: The heads of your three men… I want you to line them up before me, Patriarch Dojima. That my price for the Empty Lot.

[Meanwhile on the lower floor…]

Slim Dojima Family Thug: Hey. We got somebody coming up.

Portly Dojima Family Thug: Huh? …Just one guy? Who the hell is it?

Slim Dojima Family Thug: M-Majima!?

Portly Dojima Family Thug: Didn’t Shibusawa’s guys take him out already!?

Slim Dojima Family Thug: Majima! Not another step closer!

Majima: I’m done talkin’, dumbass.

Slim Dojima Family Thug: Huh?

Majima: Don’t got the time to waste on trash. Clear a path or bleed. Your call. I said step aside, assholes!

[He kicks their asses and runs to the roof.]

Majima: MAKOTO!

[He’s running to her. Lao Gui shoots. He’ll miss a few hard seconds. Makoto falls to the floor.]

Majima: What the hell…?

[Dojima and his lieutenants along with Lao Gui are leaving.]

Majima: What the fuck have you done!?

[He runs at them, but his path is blocked by many Yakuza. They surround him.]

Majima: Makoto…

[Dojima and the others fly away in a helicopter. Majima tears off her jacket, showing her demon face tattoo.]

Majima: I’m takin’ every last one of you…. straight to the pits of hell. (screams) Nobody leaves alive!!

[He defeats a whole crowd of Yakuza and approaches Makoto’s body. He falls to her knees in front of her. Makoto flinches a little.]

Majima: You’re alive! Makoto! Can ya hear me? Hang in there!

[Some people enter the building.]

Majima: Неу… Don’t you recognize me!? Say something! Makoto!

Makoto: I’m… sorry.

Majima: Makoto!

Makoto: I couldn’t do… anything on my own. I just… caused you… more trouble.

Majima: No, that’s enough!

Makoto: Please. L-Listen…

[She’s retelling a conversation with Dojima.]

Makoto: The heads of your three men. Line them up before me. …Patriarch Dojima. That is my price for the Empty Lot.

Dojima: You want me to buy your land with the heads of my poor boys? You really think I’d take that bite? …Miss?

Makoto: If you choose not to accept my terms, that’s perfectly fine. It simply means I’ll be selling my land to someone else.

Dojima: Heh, is that so? The way I see it, though… That Empty Lot of yours… is a bit overpriced. You may not be aware of this… but that patch was only discovered by chance after all the land around it… had already been bought. Nobody had a damn clue a little scrap of land was sitting in the middle of town. Not even the bureaucrats.

Makoto: …And?

Dojima: And if it’d stayed that way… the revitalization project could move ahead.

Makoto: What…?

Dojima: So, the only problem is if the project moves forward… and THEN the title-holder makes a claim on the land. It goes to court, and we’re all screwed. Situation like that could sink the whole project. But, from another angle… As long as the owner never causes a scene… Then it’s smooth sailing for the bureaucrats AND the yakuza. At this point, the only person with any claim to that land… is you. Who’s still drawin’ breath, anyway. My people have been digging on that to make sure, and it’s true.

[Lao Gui points his gun at Makoto.]

Dojima: Women and children oughta know… Yakuza are not to be fucked with.

[Lao Gui shoots.]

Makoto: I’m.. so stupid… and naive. If I had the Empty Lot… I thought I could do it… That’s… all I have…

Majima: I know. It’s all right!

Makoto: I had to…

[She dies.]

Majima: Dammit, please! Somebody help her!

[The people who enter the building go out on the roof.]

Sera: Majima!

Majima: Sera?

Sera: What happened? She’s been shot. Get her downstairs! We can’t let her die!

Majima: Where’re you takin’ her!?

Sera: Relax. You’re coming too. If you want to help the girl… Trust me. That is… Unless you think you can save her alone?

[They bring Makoto to the hospital and put her on a gurney. She’s taking her to surgery right away.]

Majima: Makoto! Can you hear me!? Don’t die Please don’t die!

[They’re bringing her to the O.R. Majima stays outside.]

Majima: I’ll do anythin’. Revenge, you name it. Whatever you want. So please… PLEASE!

Previously…Edit

Woman’s Voice: (offscreen) The Tojo’s Clan strongest group, the Dojima Family, has fixed its gaze upon the prize: The Kamurocho Revitalization Project. At the crux of that project stands the owner of the Empty Lot, Makoto Makimura, estranged sister to Tachibana. The yakuza are merciless, and despite years of childhood abuse at their hands, the siblings face a cruel fate. After her brother’s murder, Makoto swears revenge, only for a Dojima bullet to find her, as she too is swallowed by the dark violence of the underworld. Yet, even with Kamurocho now all but fully crushed under Dojima’s fist, the yakuza chain to be broken by two men. They must act upon their ideals, and ascend to the halls of legend…

Finale BLACK AND WHITEEdit

[Majima’s been waiting the operation to end for hours.]

Majima: How long’s it gonna take?

[Red sign 手術中 – surgery in progress - goes out. A woman surgeon comes out of the operating room.]

Majima: Is she outta surgery? How is she!?

Surgeon: I’m sorry, sir, but who are you?

Majima: The guy who brought her in.

Surgeon: Well, good news. The surgery was a success. However… She has yet to regain consciousness. She may wake in an hour, or a week, or never.

Majima: What…?

Surgeon: That’s the latest status, Sera-san.

Majima: Sera…

Sera: Majima. Makoto Makimura needs to be moved. It’s not safe here. If the Dojima Family learns she’s alive, it’s a given they’ll come try to finish the job. Too risky here.

Majima: So where you takin’ her?

Sera: Somewhere with more defense than this. The doctor’s coming too. Will you be joining us?

Majima: Sit around and wait for her to wake up? I can’t help her here. Sera, Makoto’s yours.

Majima: Me… I’ve got somethin’ I gotta do in her place.

Sera: Hm?

Majima: She’s in too deep as it is… And I ain’t about to let the darkness take her. Long as the Dojima Family’s around, she’ll be a target, even if she does wake up. Screw that… I’m gonna put an end to it all.

Sera: You can’t be serious… You’d die just to take a run at Dojima’s life?

Majima: You look after her too, doc. Whatever it takes, you get her back awake.

[He leaves.]

Sera: Majima…

The Same Night
Dojima Family Office

Dojima: The Kamurocho Revitalization Project… The Empty Lot stalled it for a long-ass time, but the bureaucrats are finally moving forward. Shibusawa, that’s all you.

Awano: Guess we better get used to callin’ Shibusawa “captain” around here, eh?

Shibusawa: There are still other matters to attend to.

Kuze: What do you mean?

Shibusawa: The Kazama Family’s mess. Tachibana Real Estate, the Nikkyo Consortium… All of them were mere puppets of Captain Kazama. The Dojima Family must answer treason with a reprisal. We have to maintain order.

Awano: What then, Kazama turns up dead in the clink?

Shibusawa: Taking half-measures like that… That’s not how one gets to the top. Outside of extortion, you’re an amateur.

Awano: Eh? You wanna watch your goddamn mouth!?

[Shibusawa gets up and Awano stops talking.]

Shibusawa: Anyone with Kazama Family ties has to go. Until the Tojo Clan can be cleansed of them, upstarts like Kiryu will keep sprouting. To me… A job like this requires my thorough hand. Boss?

Dojima: Looks like our new captain… has a taste for blood.

[In the next scene, we find Kiryu on the Empty Lot…]

Nishikiyama: So this is where you got off to, Kiryu.

Kiryu: Nishiki.

Nishikiyama: Still no word on Makoto Makimura. The guys in Little Asia are helping us look, but nobody’s got any leads yet.

Kiryu: I see.

Nishikiyama: Hey, Kiryu? You know a guy named Goro Majima?

Kiryu: I’ve heard the name, but never met him. Why, what about him?

Nishikiyama: He’s looking for her, too. He stormed the Kazama Family office and beat the crap out of Kashiwagi-san, one-on-one.

Kiryu: Kashiwagi-san lost?

Nishikiyama: Guess who Majima came to see next.

Kiryu: …You lose, too?

Nishikiyama: Honest truth is I didn’t stand a chance.

Kiryu: A guy like that, and he’s looking for Makoto…

Nishikiyama: But, it didn’t sound like Majima was on Dojima’s payroll. He said he was trying to protect her. Maybe he’s not our enemy here.

Kiryu: Doesn’t mean he’s on our side, either. We won’t know anything until we find Makoto and regroup. I can’t let her die, for Tachibana’s sake. We have to protect her at all costs.

Nishikiyama: Yeah…

[Kiryu’s pager beeps.]

[X70-2940. That’s not a number I know. Guess I’ll have to call back and see who it is.]

Kiryu: I don’t recognize the number… Who’s it from? (Who’d be calling me now? …It could be a trap, but I can’t afford to sit here watching the clock tick. If it’s got anything to do with where Makoto is, I’ll take the chance. First, I need to find out who it’s from. Time to find a pay phone.)

Find A Pay PhoneEdit

Kiryu: (Somebody rang my pager. Not sure who it’s from, but I should call them back.)

[He walks into the booth and calls the number.]

Sera: …Kiryu?

Kiryu: Yeah. Who’s this?

Sera: Sera, from the Nikkyo Consortium.

Kiryu: You called me, Sera-san?

Sera: I heard what happened to President Tachibana… That the Dojima Family killed him.

Kiryu: ……

Sera: I’m at Chen-san’s restaurant in Little Asia. I’d like to speak with you one-on-one. Can you come here?

Kiryu: What’s this about?

Sera: I’ll tell you when you get here. …And be careful. Dojima’s men are still hunting you.

[Kiryu hangs up.]

Kiryu: (I guess Sera’s in Kamurocho, too. I need to meet him in Little Asia.)

[He walks into Elder Chen’s favorite diner.]

Elder Chen: Kiryu-san. Your guest is over there. I was sorry to hear about Tachibana-san. To suffer so, then not even get the chance to see his sister… But I know you did your utmost to help him. I speak for all Little Asia’s residents when I say thank you.

Kiryu: Please, don’t… I couldn’t do anything. I haven’t earned anyone’s thanks.

Elder Chen: ……

Kiryu: There’s no time to talk here. What do you have?

Sera: You can take it easy. That’s what I wanted to tell you.

Kiryu: Huh?

Sera: Makoto Makimura… was shot by Dojima’s men.

Kiryu: Wha--!?

Sera: She’s past the worst of it, post-surgery, but her condition’s still unstable. She hasn’t regained consciousness.

Kiryu: What… happened?

Sera: ……

[He tells him everything he knew.]

Kiryu: …So she’s not blind anymore?

Sera: Her eyes can detect light and shadow, not much more. Better news is though, the Dojima Family thinks she’s dead. They’re back to work on the Kamurocho Revitalization Project in earnest now. She should be safe for the time being.

Kiryu: But, that Majima guy knows she’s alive, right? Can he be trusted?

Sera: I believe so. He was originally acting on orders from Shimano to kill her, but now… I believe he sincerely wants to keep her safe. All the same, I can’t predict what his next move is. Let’s focus on the Dojima Family. Lieutenant Shibusawa’s almost officially promoted to captain now. He’ll be the one calling the shots there from here on out. He’s never been the type to work out in the open. He’s kept quiet and built up his forces, patient and thorough.

Kiryu: ……

Sera: Still, the Shibusawa Family is a young organization. If they’re going to stand atop Kuze’s Kenno Clan and Awano’s Taihei Association, they need a show of strength. I can guarantee, the first thing on his list’s a thorough purge of Kazama’s old guard. You’re his poster boy. Plus, you still haven’t been cleared for the Empty Lot killing, so the police will be after you, too. You should get out of Kamurocho and lie low for a while. If you can buy some time, there’s hope yet.

Kiryu: Hope?

Sera: If Makoto Makimura wakes up, the Nikkyo Consortium will take the Empty Lot.

Kiryu: What?

Sera: This whole time, that’s been Kazama-san’s true aim.

Kiryu: What do you mean?

Sera: He wants to prevent the Dojima Family from growing any more powerful, and he chose me and the Nikkyo Consortium as the counterbalance. Tachibana had intended to turn the Empty Lot over to the Consortium as well. The ultimate goal was to thwart Sohei Dojima by establishing me as the Tojo Clan’s successor instead of him.

Kiryu: So, Kazama-san plans to put you at the head of the Tojo Clan?

Sera: It seems that way.

Kiryu: I had no idea. I didn’t know you and Kazama-san had that deep of a connection.

Sera: Maybe not quite as deep as yours, but he’s been a huge part of how I came this far. He was the one who first showed me the ropes as a yakuza. I’ll never forget the debt I owe that man.

Kiryu: ……

Sera: Kiryu, Kazama-san has also asked me to do all that I’m able to for you, too. I promise you, I’ll find a way to take care of that false murder charge. But for now, I’m afraid all either of us can do is pray that Makoto Makimura wakes up.

Kiryu: Then… there’s really nothing I can be doing?

Sera: You’ve done plenty. If not for you, there’s no way Makoto would have made it to Kamurocho alive. She’s clinging to life now in part thanks to you.

Kiryu: The girl… Where is she now?

Sera: I had her moved from the hospital. I have a ship docked in Tokyo Bay, at Shibaura. She’s there. Can’t afford to risk Dojima finding out she’s still alive.

Kiryu: Shibaura…

Sera: I told you that out of respect for the part you’ve played in this. You worry about getting out of town and staying safe, and leave the rest to us. All right?

[Outside.]

Kiryu: (I guess there’s really nothing more I can do… I should meet up with Nishiki for now. If I head to West Park, I’ll run into him eventually.)

[He meets Nishikiyama near West Park.]

Nishikiyama: Kiryu!

Kiryu: Nishiki. What, is something wrong?

Nishikiyama: The Dojima Family’s headed for the Kazama Family office! They looked ready to start some serious shit!

Kiryu: What!?

Nishikiyama: It’s Shibusawa… He’s been named the next captain. He’s putting every last Kazama loyalist to the sword. You and me both are basically walking targets.

Kiryu: The order’s coming from Shibusawa, right?

Nishikiyama: Look, the city’s gonna be flooded with Dojima muscle real soon. We’ve gotta get out of here.

Dojima Family Thug: Hey, there they are! It’s Kiryu and Nishikiyama!

Kiryu: Nishiki. Makoto is with Sera from the Nikkyo Consortium.

Nishikiyama: Huh?

Kiryu: The Dojima Family thinks they killed her and took care of their Empty Lot problem. But she’s alive, and as long as she stays that way, that lot is Sera and Kazama’s ace in the hole. They should be able to beat Dojima back with it. If we can just get through this and buy some time, hopefully things will change.

Nishikiyama: Meaning? What the hell do we do, exactly?

Kiryu: You go to the Kazama Family office. Tell Kashiwagi-san he needs to lay low, too. I’ll hold these guys back.

Nishikiyama: Kiryu…

Kiryu: Hurry up and go, Nishiki!

Nishikiyama: …I’m gone!

[He runs away.]

Kiryu: You all get to deal with me.

Dojima Family Thug: Heh, big talk from Kazama’s little errand boy. Every last one of you is getting buried. You wanna blame anyone, you can tell Kazama in hell!

[Kiryu beat their asses with a newspaper stand.]

Kiryu: (Wonder how the Kazama Family guys are holding up… I hope they all make it out okay.)

Go to The Kazama Family OfficeEdit

[Kiryu is moving quickly and confidently towards his goal. Ordinary citizens scatter in different directions. The street is empty. On Kiryu’s way, Kuze stands up.]

Kiryu: Kuze… You alone?

Kuze: Yeah. I asked the family to clear out. No jackasses standin’ in the way now of you and me doing this for real. We haven’t made a move on the Kazama office yet. Nishikiyama’s up there now.

Kiryu: What’s the Dojima Family plan to do with the Kazama Family? Rather… Whats their plan for Kazama-san?

Kuze: They’re all gonna die dumbass. Both the Kazama Family and you. Heh, it’s Shibusawa calling the shots now, but whoever’s in charge has a simple enough job. The way the Dojima Family’s going now, the entire Tojo Clan’s gonna be under us soon enough. That means we’ve got all the ground troops we could want to force you rats outta your holes.

Kiryu: Maybe so… But I’d rather fight a hundred Tojo punks than go one-on-one with you right now.

Kuze: Oh?

Kiryu: You’re here for one reason… to break me. There’s no worse fight than going up against somebody who’ll risk his neck without a thought to what he stands to gain or lose.

Kuze: So you understand that, huh? The only thing driving me at this point… is a man’s pride. As long as a man’s got pride, he can die with a smile on his face. Be fun to see whose pride dies harder here… Yours or mine.

Kiryu: …Let’s settle this for good, sir.

Kuze: Hah, cheeky bastard… I’m ready anytime. You better hit like you’re tryin’ to kill me!!

[He fights like a beast, but Kiryu wins anyway.]

Kuze: Huff… hah… You’re a damn monster, kid… You just… keep getting together.

Kiryu: Lieutenant… Kuze…

Kuze: I can tell, you know? Captain Kazama… He knew this’d happen. Held it back. Tried to keep you from turning into a real yakuza. And we went and broke the seal. The Dojima Family did this. But… you’re not the only one. There’s another guy… fighting to become a real yakuza right now. Go to the Nikkyo Consortium, Kiryu. He’s there… Shibusawa’s there.

Kiryu: Shibusawa… at the Consortium?

Kuze: …Makoto Makimura’s alive, ain’t she?

Kiryu: Nh!?

Kuze: Shibusawa had the hitman shoot her, but he didn’t want him aiming to kill. Hasn’t told that to Patriarch Dojima, though. He let the Consortium take her… watched how they moved. They led him right to their base.

Kiryu: What?

Kuze: He needs all of you gone… the girl, Sera, you. Everybody who ever so much as blinked at Captain Kazama. Thats the only way Shibusawa can take control as Dojima captain… The only way he becomes a real yakuza.

Nishikiyama: Kiryu!

Kiryu: Nishiki…

Nishikiyama: I just got word from Little Asia. Shibusawa’s leading a Dojima Family raid on Shibaura right now… Isn’t the Nikkyo Consortium in Shibaura too?

Kiryu: Yeah. Makoto’s there, too.

Nishikiyama: Are you serious? …Shit, then we’ve gotta move, Kiryu. I’ll get the car!

Kuze: You best know this much, Kiryu… You’re about to step into the… the deepest, darkest, shit pit of the yakuza world. Kazama kept you from walking that path for a long time. But if that’s gonna be your choice… then go!

Kiryu: Yeah. I’m ready. For whatever comes… sir.

[He bows and runs away.]

Nishikiyama: Kiryu, you get in this car and that’s it. There’s no guarantee we’ll ever come back. There anything you’ve got left to do here? If so, now’s the time to do it.

This is your last chance to move about freely before the final battle begins. Speak to Nishikiyama for a list of options. Choose “Switch to Majima” from that list to change protagonists. After switching to Majima, you will have the opportunity to return to Kiryu, so you can prepare thoroughly. Just so you know, this is a perfect time to make a new game save in case you need to come back.

Nishikiyama: You’re ready then, Kiryu? Nothing left to do here in town?

Kiryu: Yeah, I’m ready. Floor it to Shibaura, Nishiki. The Nikkyo Consortium’s set up in a ship docked there.

Nishikiyama: …All right.

[Meanwhile Majima sits on a couch in his hotel room and thinking.]

Majima: (This’s probably my last day on earth… Gotta make sure I go out with nothin’ left undone. Nothin’ left on the bucket list? This’s the end of the line. If I go, I go with no regrets. Time to put an end to all this. Hold tight, Makoto!)

[He exit the room and walks to the street. He accidentally meets the same scumbags who recently beat him up.]

Man 1: Heeey! Hold up, hold up. You ignoring us?

Man 2: Did you really forget who we are? If you think you can just strut by us… Maybe we better beat your ass again!

[Majima remembers their stupid faces.]

Man 1: When you see us, you bow your head, fool. And, to warm us up… Let’s have your wallet, little guy. What is it? Too busy pissing your pants to talk?

[Majima beats him so hard he falls on the asphalt.]

Man 2: Son of a…!

[The other gets the same thing. The third one is frightened and lies on the asphalt, bowing respectfully.]

Man 3: S-Sorry! I’m sorry…

[But Majima beats him, too.]

Sagawa: What the hell are you picking on street trash for, Majima-chan? You really got time to be playing around? You found the girl yet?

Majima: I ain’t playin’. I got someplace I need to be right now.

Sagawa: Yeah? And where’s that?

Majima: The Dojima Family.

Sagawa: Dojima Family? Hey, what’s your game? They got the girl in there?

Majima: Makoto Makimura’s down. Shot by a Dojima Family hitman.

Sagawa: What?

Majima: You go tell Patriarch Shimano. The Empty Lot’s nobody’s land now. It’s lost in the shadows.

Sagawa: (grabbing Majima’s collar) Hey! I need answers here, Majima! Precise ones! The girl! She’s dead!?

Majima: Get yer hand off me. I’m done takin’ orders.

Sagawa: Are you…

Majima: Leave the girl the hell alone. Anybody makes another move on her even if it’s Patriarch Shimano himself.. I’ll be there.

Sagawa: So wait, you’re headed to Dojima’s offices… You gonna take Dojima out? By yourself?

[Majima doesn’t answer and walks away.]

Sagawa: That girl’s driven you off the deep end, Majima-chan! You’ve got the eye of a mad dog! (to himself) Son of a bitch finally busted outta his cage.

Tojo Clan
Dojima Family Office

[Majima treads on the bodies of beaten half dead Yakuza.]

Dojima Family Thug: Wha-- Who the hell are you!?

Majima: I’m Makoto’s special delivery… A hitman who’s gonna get in your shit!

Tokyo, Shibuara Wharf

[On the pier by the luxury yacht there are several cars and many armed with Yakuza batons. One of them runs up to Shibusawa’s car.]

Yakuza: Boss. Sera’s still not back on the ship. Your orders?

Shibusawa: It’s fine. Get started.

Yakuza: Yes, sir.

[A car pulls up to the pier.]

Yakuza: What the hell’s that?

[Kiryu and Nishikiyama are coming out of it.]

Nishikiyama: Kiryu… They’re Dojima Family. And I’d say they came ready to kill every Nikkyo man on that boat. You think the two of us can do this?

Shibusawa: It’s about time.

[He gets out of the car and smiles at Kiryu.]

Kiryu: Shibusawa… Shibusawa!

Yakuza: You get to play with us, Kiryu.

Kiryu: Son of a…

[Sera’s men open fire on Shibusawa’s yakuza from the yacht.]

Yakuza: It’s the Consortium! Return fire!

[Shibusawa’s yakuza are getting on board, killing guards.]

Yakuza: Let’s get started, Kiryu!

[There are two trucks coming to them at high speed.]

Yakuza: Wha--!? What is that!?

[Someone on the truck is throwing a Molotov cocktail at the Shibusawa’s yakuza.]

Kiryu: Kashiwagi-san!

Yakuza: It’s the Kazama Family!

Kashiwagi: Kiryu, Nishikiyama! Get after Shibusawa on that boat! This trash on the pier is the Kazama Family’s!

Nishikiyama: Kiryu, let’s do it!

Kiryu: …Right!

[Kiryu and Nishikiyama fight their way through the corridors of the yacht. On deck, several Yakuza try to shoot Kiryu, but Nishikiyama saves him.]

Nishikiyama: Kiryu! Shit, they’re coming from behind us, too! What the hell, Kashiwagi-san!? Kiryu, I’ll stop them. It’s all you from here.

Kiryu: Nishiki!

Nishikiyama: Don’t worry, I’ll be fine. You go keep Makoto safe. If you don’t hurry, Shibusawa’s gonna kill her!

Kiryu: Still…

Nishikiyama: Just GO! If we don’t stop him here, how are we ever gonna face Kazama-san again? …Or Tachibana, when that time comes!? If Shibusawa’s gonna get his face caved in, it’s gotta be you. You go, and you finish him.

Kiryu: …All right.

Nishikiyama: Start running as soon as I open fire, got it? You better have Shibusawa laid out by the time I get there. All right… GO!

[While Nishikiyama is distracting, Kiryu is running away. He faces a big opponent in the best tradition of Uncharted. Only, unlike Drake, Kiryu just beat him with a chair.]

Kiryu: Huff… huff…

[Makoto is already under Shibusawa’s control. He sends some of his men to deal with Kiryu. Kiryu takes care of them and goes up to the second deck.]

Kiryu: Shibusawa..

[Meanwhile at Dojima’s Family Office…]

Majima: Like roaches to the slaughter… It’ll take more than a few bugs to stop me!!

Dojima Family Thug: This guy’s got a screw loose. He’s crazy!

Fat Dojima Family Thug: You don’t stand a chance, boy!

Majima: You fucks don’t even add to my body count. Now outta my way, you meat sacks!

[Maddened by Majim’s anger, he climbs up the floors of the office beating the Yakuza with his baseball bat. On the top floor, a more serious opponent is waiting for him.]

Awano: Ex-Shimano Family, Goro Majima… Taiga “18 Counts” Saejima’s sworn brother. Heh, the two of you are some real nostalgic shit.

Majima: Finally, a face I recognize.

[He remembers the meeting at the rooftop of Sebastian Building.]

Awano: Dojima Family Lieutenant Awano. Maybe you&e seen me around?

Majima: Yeah. Kinda sad to see a guy like you end up as a meat shield for a guy like Patriarch Dojima.

Awano: You here to take revenge for the girl? Ha. You rolled up to the lion’s den, punched your way through Dojima HQ just for that? Guess the thought of livin’ wise never crossed your goddamn mind.

Majima: A yakuza tryin’ to live the safe and comfy life is the only dumbass in the room.

Awano: The age we’re living in, cash money is the true king. Yakuza gotta adapt to that and evolve. Hardly matters if your philosophy or mine’s the right one. Bottom line is, you’re a goddamn dinosaur.

Majima: If that’s what ya really think, why don’t ya come try me, ‘stead of wastin’ both our time with sorry excuses? Save ya the trouble of justifyin’ your weak-ass way of livin’ through that smarmy-ass grin.

Awano: Maybe you’re right. Every time I come across a guy like you… a red-blooded type? My brain starts spinning up the speeches.

[Awano takes off his jacket. He’s got anime samurai killing a demon tattoo underneath it.]

Awano: Nrah… Golf, women, expensive liquor… They’re all bullshit. The ink on my back’s faded half to hell in the time I spent lost in the easy life. I got my start ‘cause I liked hitting people. I didn’t fight ‘cause I was pissed at the other guy. I fought ‘cause I liked beating on a guy’s face. I was the yakuza mint, but somewhere along the line, gettin’ bloody started feeling like a pain in the ass. I figured out that bein’ the smart guy takin’ baths in his cash was a helluva lot easier. ‘Course… Living the easy life ain’t always half as much fun.

Majima: Lucky you. Least you’ll get to enjoy the end, then.

[Majima takes off his jacket. We see his demon tattoo.]

Majima: The Empty Lot had you bastards droolin’ like animals, and you tore Makoto to pieces over it. I ain’t lettin’ her get hurt on account of yer bullshit again. I’m endin’ all this tonight, right here. Don’t you worry… I’ll be sendin’ all yer little Dojima Family buddies along… to meet you in hell!

[He enters into an epic battle. Despite the lack of practice, Awano shows his strength, but he can’t compete with Majima, who is constantly fighting.]

Awano: Majima… Goro Majima.

Majima: A goddamn shame. If you hadn’t gotten swept up in the glitz, those fists coulda taken ya to the top. You had that potential, no doubt.

Awano: The longer… this yakuza shit… goes… Ya start… to see it a little too clear. Where you stand in it. Long as guys like Kazama are around… Guy like me… won’t even get a sniff… of the top. But maybe… Maybe if I was more like you. More of a balls-first idiot… Maybe then…

Majima: I ain’t exactly been the oblivious fool myself. But lately… I seen a few guys who lived like idiots… and they died like idiots.

[He remembers Lee and Nishitani.]

Majima: But that batshit crazy lifestyle. I’d say it made ‘em some of the finest bastards I’ve ever known.

Awano: Lucky… You lucky fuck.

[Lao Gui enters the room and aim at Majima. Awano takes the bullet for him.]

Majima: Awano!?

[He remembers that it was the same guy that shoot Makoto.]

Majima: You!

[Awano stands up and closes himself to Majima. Lao Gui doesn’t hesitate to put some bullets in him. ]

Awano: The hell you doing…? Two guys in here talkin’ ‘bout serious shit… Outsider like you can stay the fuck outta it!

[He goes to his killer, but Lao Gui stabs him with Wolverine’s claws. Sohei Dojima enters the room.]

Dojima: Never expected Shimano’s little project… to come back around and try to bite me. Majima. You’ve gone and wasted Awano… Now I gotta cap Shimano too. You’re a pain in the ass.

Majima: Sohei Dojima!

Dojima: The man before you is the most expensive hitman in Asia. Long as I’ve got the cash and the access to him, I can end any life I choose. That’s what real power is.

Majima: Both of you… I don’t care what happens, I ain’t stoppin’ till you’re dead. I gotta… Or that girl will never be free.

Dojima: Lao Gui. Don’t get careless.

Majima: I’m draggin’ you to hell’s deepest ditch, Dojima!!

[Dojima leaves and Majima is left alone with the most dangerous man in this world. In a deadly battle, Majima defeats the killer who framed Kiryu and shot Makoto.]

Dojima: What the fuck!?

Majima: (to Lao Gui) We ain’t done by a long shot, asswipe!

[He hits his knee on his jaw, turning it into mincemeat. Dojima’s cramping through the drawers looking for a gun. He shoot but misses.]

Majima: You can wait your damn turn. I’ll just be a sec. You get to be next.

Dojima: Majima!

[Someone shoot the gun out of Dojima’s hand.]

Dojima: Seraaa!

[Meanwhile at the yacht…]

Shibusawa: Kazuma Kiryu. I understand. I see what Captain Kazama saw in you. I should have noticed it sooner. You were just a punk… And yet now… You’ve nearly become a dragon.

Kiryu: Spare me the poetry. Let the girl go. If you’d wanted to kill her, she’d already be dead.

Shibusawa: Doctor. Take the girl and leave us. She’s done her part.

[Woman surgeon takes Makoto away in a wheelchair. She looks Kiryu in the face briefly. ]

Shibusawa: She can die later. But you come first. That will be the final nail in Kazama’s coffin. As for Sera, I’ll have all the time in the world. Right now, my priority… is you. The heir to Kazama’s ethos… torn down by my hands. I seek one thing. The triumph of surpassing Shintaro Kazama.

Kiryu: What?

Shibusawa: People have needs. Once they’ve attained money and power, the last thing they seek is glory. Call it… a legacy.

Kiryu: You went to war against Kazama-san for something that trivial?

Shibusawa: For such a “trivial” thing… Some men would give their lives for it. My father was an aide to a politician in the House of Representatives. Everyone around him expected him to rise up the ranks as a politician, too. But credit for all his accomplishments went to his boss. Worse, he was later made to take the fall for his boss’s corruption. It drove him to suicide. That’s the limit of a man trying to make it on talent alone. That’s the way of the world. Anyone who takes the high road in a world that answers diligence with indifference is a fool. So I found a new world. One where power is everything. A place I could author my own fate. I spent my life earning money. Whatever the boss wanted, I got it for him. But… The yakuza turned out to be just like politics. In the end, one thing brings yakuza to heel. A title that commands a yakuza’s respect.

Kiryu: Kazama-san’s more than that. He’s more than the legend. He slaved under a shit boss. Grew the Dojima Family to be the biggest in the Tojo Clan. He’s nothing like the politician who killed your old man.

Shibusawa: I know that! Kazama’s in a league of his own. vent time he me lo contrare priete I don’t have the means to stand apart, myself. But if I can’t reach the top of the heap without his title… I’ll mint it myself.

Kiryu: You think you’ve got the whole thing worked out? Any title a man draws up for himself isn’t worth wearing. Titles and glory follow on their own.

Shibusawa: Say what you will. Diligence is my version of effort,

Kiryu: Shooting a girl is your diligence? Killing Tachibana and Oda? If you’re so desperate to draft yourself a title, write it in your own blood, not others!

Shibusawa: And you? Didn’t you become yakuza out of envy for Kazama’s title? Well, that same Kazama used to be a Tojo hitman. He killed plenty. It takes a serious body count to become a legend. He’s not the paragon you seem to think he is. Take the business of the Empty Lot. It was an internal family matter to start. Who’s the one who dragged civilians in to die? At the end of the day… It was Kazama, working against his boss, Dojima.

Kiryu: What’s your point?

Shibusawa: This is Captain Kazama we’re talking about. You think he didn’t know the girl and Tachibana would be in grave danger? Whose blood tipped the brush for his script? He used Tachibana and Makimura as sacrificial pawns. We write in other people’s blood. That’s the yakuza’s way. And I aim to pen my title in yours.

[He takes off his jacket.]

Shibusawa: You’re not the only one with a dragon on his back, boy. I’ll kill you, surpass Kazama.. and become the Dragon of Dojima.

Kiryu: You can keep the cute nickname. But… There can only be one dragon.

Shibusawa: Yeah. I couldn’t agree more.

Kiryu: I’ll give you your fight. And I’ll end your war!

[He takes off his jacket showing his black and white dragon. They run at each other.]

Shibusawa: Kiryu!

[The epic battle begins. Opponents strike each other powerful blows, the earth itself seems to shiver from their power and strength. But there can only be one dragon. Kiryu wins.]

Shibusawa: There’s just one thing… I learned from Kuze. A yakuza who can hold on… hasn’t lost yet. You… Kazama… and that girl… I’ll kill you all. …Like I killed Tachibana.

[Kiryu furiously punches him in the face. He keeps hitting remembering everyone who died because of that freak.]

Shibusawa: Is that all? You’ve got no choice now. Do it… Kill me, Kiryu. Follow in… Shintaro Kazama’s footsteps… and become a true… yakuza!

[He’s preparing to strike the final blow, but Nishikiyama stops him.]

Nishikiyama: You can’t, Kiryu!

Kiryu: Nishiki?

Nishikiyama: You can’t cross that line… You cross it once, and you can never go back! What does killing this guy get you? A lot of nothing!

Kiryu: You’re…

Nishikiyama: (holding tears) Don’t go getting ahead of me… Brother! Hold out. Someday… if the time ever comes where you have to cross that line… then I’ll cross it with you! And then…

Kiryu: Nishiki.

[Back to Dojima Family Office.]

Sera: Will you kill them, Majima?

Majima: Damn straight. Long as they’re around, that girl’s a target. She will be all her life. Only way to end it… is if I kill ‘em right here and now! Killin’ them… It’s gotta be me.. Not Makoto.

Sera: When she learns what you’ve done, it will hurt her.

Majima: What?

Sera: She may thank you. She may apologize. But eventually, she will suffer for it. When Taiga Saejima killed 18 men without you.. You felt a similar type of pain. Her hands will be clean, but only because yours are soaked in blood. She’ll know that. There’s no way in this life to repay someone for killing on your behalf. Do you intend to saddle her with a debt she can never repay?

[Lao Gui is nervously giggling.]

Majima: This… son of a whore!

[He attacks with a tanto, but misses a millimeter from the head of a Chinese killer.]

Majima: So what the hell am I s’posed to do, then!? If even killin’ this scum ain’t enough to save her… What am I s’posed to do!?

Sera: It’s over, Majima. Makoto Makimura regained consciousness. As we speak, the Kazama Family and Kashiwagi are escorting her to the hospital.

Majima: Makoto’s awake?

Dojima: Wh-What the hell are you talking about? The girl… She’s alive? Impossible! Then, the Empty Lot… What happens to the land!?

Sera: Dojima-san… She is no longer the owner of the Empty Lot. The paperwork is filed in my name. My asking price is one hundred billion. I would happily discuss those terms.

Dojima: What the…!

Sera: The age of the Dojima Family has ended.

[Dojima sits in his chair in powerless anger.]

Sera: The Kamurocho Revitalization Project’s vast profits belong to the holder of the Empty Lot. The Dojima Family has enjoyed unrivaled power within the Tojo Clan, but that changes now.

Majima: Why should I care!? You’re really tellin’ me not to kill these two?

Sera: We need the assassin. He’s killed multiple people on Dojima’s orders. His testimony could end Dojima overnight. I’ve already informed the police of that.

Majima: So, what? You gonna just hand him over to the cops and call it a day?

Sera: I’m not that benevolent. The Nikkyo Consortium will take custody of him. The Tojo Clan’s Dojima Family, it’s largest force… is bridled now by this insurance policy. Besides, which seems more fitting? Giving that man a quick death now, or letting him live out his days in the hole you left? I admire your restraint, Majima. Makoto Makimura will never be threatened by the Dojima Family again. You’ve saved her.

Majima: Spare me the pretty speech. You just used me to do yer dirty work. Same as Patriarch Shimano did.

Sera: You just happened to have already crushed the Dojima Family by the time I arrived here. I could hardly have predicted that.

[Majima hums and goes to the exit.]

Sera: Majima… There is one matter still to resolve. Your boss, Shimano. Will you bring him a message from me? You tell him… Take responsibility for betraying the Tojo Clan.

[Sera gives him a gun.]

Majima: The hell?

[He goes to Shimano Family Office. Sagawa meets him on the way to the main office. He stands carelessly smoking a cigarette.]

Majima: Sagawa…

Sagawa: Here to see Brother Shimano?

Majima: He’s in there, right? I gotta talk to him.

Sagawa: My bro’s talking to the head of Omi Alliance headquarters.

Majima: The head of Omi HQ’s here?

Sagawa: They’re hammering out the details of the Omi’s big Tokyo debut.

Majima: Well, I got bad news. The Empty Lot’s the Nikkyo Consortium’s now. No room left in Kamurocho for you guys to weasel in.

Sagawa: Oh. Well then… After you cap Shimano, I guess everything ends up nice and tidy, huh?

[He nods to a gun in Majima’s hand.]

Sagawa: Hey… We had some fun, right? All things considered? Put through hell by a little blind girl, and this’s where it wound us up, but still. Life’s a crazy ride like that, huh?

[Majima enters the main office.]

Shimano: Majima?

Majima: Boss. Sera from the Nikkyo. …He asked me to give ya a message.

Shimano: Yeah?

Majima: Somewhere in the Tojo Clan… there’s a traitor working with Kansai. He wants the guy trying to sell the Empty Lot to the Omi Alliance found… and he wants the Shimano Family to do it.

Shimano: You gonna walk in here and talk like that to me, Majima?

Majima: Sera… He wants to believe you’re innocent. But he’s gonna need proof.

Shimano: Ain’t that some shit?

[Majima points a gun at his boss… and then he puts it on the table.]

Majima: As for me… Whatever happens, I’m still a family man.

[Shimano takes the gun.]

Shimano: That bein’ the case… You’d be willin’ to die for me, right?

Majima: Yes. But, I have one request. Tell my bro, Saejima… Please tell him I said I was sorry.

[Shimano giggles, points the gun at his companion and shoots.]

Shimano: He’s got my answer. Pass it on to Sera. The Empty Lot and the head of Omi HQ ain’t got a damn thing to do with me.

Majima: B-Boss..

Shimano: Lemme drop some wisdom. If all ya care about’s climbin’ the ranks, ya gotta be thinkin’ one step ahead. But if ya wanna look down from the top… it’s the endgame that matters. Rulin’ the world don’t mean shit if you lose it the next day. Kazama and the Nikkyo’s time won’t last long. Ten years from now, it’s gonna be the Shimano Family callin’ the shots. After all, I got a weapon like Goro Majima on my side. They say if ya really love yer kid, send him out to see the world. Wouldn’t ya say, Majima?

One Month Later
Tojo Clan Officers Assembly

[It is a big meeting of all the heads of families in the Tojo clan. The chairman is Takashi Nihara.]
Nihara: You’ve had a rough go of it, Dojima. Awano’s dead. Kuze and Shibusawa got pinched by the cops. Even after Kazama gets out of prison… you’ll have too much on your plate to worry about the Kamurocho Revitalization Project.

Dojima: (bowing) Acting Chairman… I’m sorry for any distress.

Nihara: Oh, don’t worry about me. More importantly, live called all of you here today to make an announcement. As you know, since the Chairman passed… I have filled his seat as Acting Second Chairman. As such, the position of Clan Captain has long remained unfilled. At the repeated requests of Dojima here, I’ve decided to rectify that.

[Dojima is tearing apart from anger and despair.]

Nihara: I hereby appoint the Nikkyo Consortium’s President Sera… to the role of Tojo Clan Captain. Dojima will serve as his guardian. Sera holds strong approval among the patriarchs of the direct families.

[Sera politely bows.]

Nihara: And so I am entrusting him, as our captain, to oversee the Kamurocho Revitalization Project Dojima has been forced to step back from.

[The old man gets up from his chair.]

Nihara: I believe… My work in the clan is nearly at an end.

[He walks through two rows of sitting heads of the families. Next we have a long awaited scene. After solving his problems, Kiryu gets the opportunity to visit Kazama in prison.]

Kazama: It’s good to see you. I’m sorry. I put you through a lot.

Kiryu: I’m here today… Sir… to report something. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to hear it… But I have to.

Kazama: I see.

Kiryu: Sir, I’m sure that… You already know it… You know, don’t you?

Kazama: I do. But, can you do it? Kazuma?

Kiryu: I’m prepared. Whatever it takes.

[In the next scene, Kiryu drinks whiskey at Bar Serena. He’s wearing a new red shirt. Nishikiyama comes in.]

Nishikiyama: Hey, Kiryu! You wanna explain this!?

Reina: Come now, Nishikiyama-kun, no need for theatrics…

Nishikiyama: For real… You’re going back to the Dojima Family? Seriously!?

Reina: What?

Nishikiyama: You went and saw Kazama today, right? Did you tell him about this?

Kiryu: Yeah, I told Kazama-san a little while ago. He said I should stay a civilian. He doesn’t think I’m cut out for the yakuza. He said part of why he sent me to Tachibana… was to get me out of the yakuza and into a real job.

Nishikiyama: And despite that, you’re going back anyway? I mean, fine, but at least join up with the Kazama Family, man. You go back to the Dojima Family after screwing them that hard… they’re gonna tear you to shreds, man. I’m serious, think this thing through.

Kiryu: No… I feel like this is the first thing I need to do to square things up right.

Nishikiyama: Huh?

Kiryu: Through this whole ordeal, I saw a lot of people try to set things right. It blew me away, man. Not just yakuza. Civilians, too. It really drove home just how green I still am.

Nishikiyama: Yeah? Makes me wonder, though… Just what is it you and I still don’t have?

Kiryu: Dunno. I don’t know, but… All it means is I can’t run away. If I can do this without running away, then whatever path is left… That’s the one I’m meant to walk. I figure, maybe that’s how it was for all of them.

Nishikiyama: So your way of finding the right path… is going back to the Dojima Family?

Kiryu: Yeah. In terms of setting things straight, that’s the best I’ve got right now. But, I want to stick it out. Find my own way as a yakuza. Different from Kazama-san’s. Make my own style of yakuza.

Nishikiyama: Huh? Hey, where’s the usual suit?

Kiryu: Oh, right. I got this the other day. It spoke to me.

Nishikiyama: Aw, c’mon, the stark white was way cooler. That suit was crisp. Not to mention, that suit’s cut is already on the way out. Besides, it’s just not you, you know?

Kiryu: Not me, huh? Maybe, but from now on, I’ll decide what “me” is.

Nishikiyama: Look, I’ll grant you that joining up with whatever family is your call. Whatever. But when it comes to picking a suit, you oughta take your damn friend’s advice.

Kiryu: Nah, I like this one.

Nishikiyama: You’re killing me here. How about black? Can’t go wrong with a sharp, black suit…

Kiryu: I’m not feeling black or white these days. This is where I’m at right now. I chose it myself. I’m making it a fresh start.

Nishikiyama: Fine, fine. See if I care! Wear it the rest of your life!

Kiryu: Thanks, man.

Nishikiyama: I see how it is. Goin’ all cool guy on me.

Kiryu: Nishiki. I’ve really racked up the debts I owe you.

Nishikiyama: Wha-- What is this crap?

Kiryu: If it takes me the rest of my life, I’ll pay you back.

Nishikiyama: What are you babbling about… But sure. How ‘bout we grab a bite, then? Your treat, huh?

Kiryu: S-Sure…

Nishikiyama: At Kamurocho’s finest steak house.

Kiryu: Y-Yeah, but…

Nishikiyama: What?

Kiryu: I, uh… don’t have much cash on me.

Nishikiyama: You ass! Start walking. C’mon.

[Meanwhile Sagawa talks to someone on the street.]

Sagawa: Really!? That’s the tackiest jacket I’ve ever seen.

[That “somebody” turns out to be Majima. He bought himself a new jacket, too. Only without a shirt. He also got a haircut to look more like himself in his youth.]

Sagawa: What happened to the classy guy who used to run the Grand?

Majima: Get off me. My mind’s made up. Right, wrong… Nobody’s got a clue what the difference is in this town. So I’m gonna have more fun… and live crazier than any of ‘em.

Sagawa: Ha! And I had you pegged for the straight and narrow type. Hey, I’m all for it.

[He hands him his pack. Majima is hesitatingly taking a cigarette. Sagawa lights a cigarette for him and himself.]

Sagawa: You and I went on one hell of a ride. But now we’re colleagues, and I’ve got your back. You ever want to hit up Kansai, just drop me a line.

Majima: I’ll have to pass. If I never see your ugly mug for the rest of my life, I’m good.

Sagawa: No doubt. Well, we’ve both got plenty of enemies. Let’s see just how much life we’ve got left.

Majima: Guy like you is damn near immortal.

Sagawa: Maybe so.

Majima: Well, see ya.

[He walks away but stops.]

Majima: Much obliged, Sagawa-han.

Sagawa: Huh? Did I hear that right?

Majima: You never gave up when shit hit the fan. You’re tenacity incarnate, man. Watchin’ you, I figured out how important hangin’ on really is. So I’ll be tenacious too. Goro Majima is gonna live his own way.

Sagawa: Go nuts, tiger.

[Majima leaves.]

Sagawa: Catch ya on the flip side, Majima-chan.

[Some yakuza touches his shoulder.]

Sagawa: Huh. You work fast.

[They all have 近江 pin. It’s Omi Alliance.]

Sagawa: Well, time to go. Isn’t it.

[The scene changes to the sound of a gunshot.]

Girl 1: Leave us alone!

Man 1: No harm in hearing us out, right babe?

Man 2: Say, you girls like money, don’t ya? I know a ton of easy jobs where cuties like you could make some real cash.

Makoto: We said NO. Now stop harassing us.

Man 1: Aw, pussycat has her claws out.

Man 2: Come on, let’s just chat over some tea. This way.

Girl 1: Hey! Let go!

[Makoto slaps his mug.]

Man 1: Oh really… Ain’t that goin’ a little too far?

Man 2: That’s called assault, lady. You’re gonna have to make amends.

Makoto: I’ll hear you out. Alone. She goes free.

Man 1: Interesting! Fine. Run along, girly.

Girl 1: (whisper to Makoto) Hang on. I’ll run and get help.

Man 1: You’ve got guts, kitten. I like a bold lady. How about we head to a hotel and let our fingers do the talking?

[She slaps his mug too.]

Man 1: Little bitch! I pay you a compliment and that’s how you answer!?

[Majima approaches.]

Man 1: Oh, sir…

[Majima stares at Makoto for five minutes.]

Makoto: Wh-What is it!?

Man 2: How’d we do? She’s fine, isn’t she? If we shoot some video of her after we get a turn, it’ll be good money. In fact, you’re welcome to join in, sir! Sorry girly, no more fun and games. You got any idea who this is? Eh? The legendary Maji--

[Majima hits him in the face.]

Man 1: Huh!?

[He’s got the same bonus for hard working. Majima stares at Makoto for another five minutes. While they staring at each other Makoto’s friend brought help…]

Don Quixote: You stay here.

Girl 1: But, sensei…

Makoto: Ah, sensei!

Don Quixote: Y-You! What have you done to Makoto-san!?

Makoto: No, not him!

Don Quixote: Get away from her, this instant!

Makoto: You’ve got it wrong, this guy saved me!

[Majima grabs him and takes him aside.]

Majima: That your girl?

Don Quixote: No, she’s… She’s my patient.

Majima: Oh, a doctor “sensei” huh? You love her?

Don Quixote: Wh-What!?

Majima: Yes or no?

Don Quixote: It’s none of your--

Majima: Yer fists say that’s a yes. But once a man’s got his fists up, he’s gotta follow through. What’ll it be, sensei?

Don Quixote: If you lay even a finger on her…!

Majima: You really wanna fight me, doc? Doctors can’t be punchin’ dudes. And a fight ain’t the only way to see this through. Man up. Do the right thing. For my sake, too.

Don Quixote: For you?

Majima: Gimme a goddamn answer already!

Don Quixote: She… was blind until recently. You’d never know it to look at her now. She still needs time to adjust to her surroundings.

Majima: And? Which is it? You fall for her or not?

Don Quixote: I love her. Not as a doctor to a patient… As a man to a woman.

Majima: Ya wouldn’t lie to me, would ya?

Don Quixote: I wouldn’t. I haven’t told her yet, but… Then, hurry that shit up. And… you better keep her safe. Get it together.

[Majima leaves. Don Quixote runs up to Makoto.]

Makoto: Was everything all right? Did he try anything?

Don Quixote: Not at all. He didn’t do anything.

Makoto: I see… That’s good… His… His eye was so sad. But sensei… What did you two talk about?

Don Quixote: Er, well… Actually… are you free? Do you have time to talk? Or no?

Makoto: What? Sure.

[She’s watching the outgoing Majima. He’s holding back, so he won’t get closet to her.]

CREDITSEdit

Dojima Family Patriarch Sohei Dojima became guardian of Third Tojo Clan Chairman Sera, but soon falls from grace. His captain, Shintaro Kazama, assumes de facto control of the family, leaving Dojima to languish in his glorious past. On a stormy night in 1995, a gun shot rings out from the Dojima Family office that will reverberate throughout Tojo Clan history.

Following Takashi Nihara’s retirement, Nikkyo Consortium President Masaru Sera rises to Tojo Clan Chairman. here, he enjoys a long and stable r pn over eastern Japan’s yakuza. His political connections earn a great of money for the Tojo Clan coffers, but in 2005, his actions send the clan into another chaotic upheaval.

Futoshi Shimano and the Shimano Family become a pillar of the Tojo Clan in the wake of Sohei Dojima’s decline. Shimano continues to form alliances, including those with the Omi Alliance of Kansai and the Snake Flower Triad. In 2005, as the clan is thrown into turmoil, Shimano steps from the shadows in a new gambit to rise to the top.

Dojima Family Captain Shintaro Kazama becomes a stalwart ally of Third Chairman Sera with significant influence in the clan. In 1995, as events begin to shake the foundation of the Tojo Clan, Kazama rises to a direct patriarch. In this position of power, Kazama begins to guide the Tojo Clan’s fate with all the finesse of the legendary tactician that he is.

Akira Nishikiyama’s role in the Empty Lot incident earns him standing, and he climbs the Dojima ranks with Kiryu. Sworn brothers since their days at Sunflower Orphanage, he stays Kiryu’s confidant, but 1995 is a dark year… In the events that follow, while Kiryu serves time in jail, Nishikiyama becomes a changed man. His ambition to climb the ranks of the Tojo Clan steers his fate.

Under the aegis of Sera and the Tojo Clan, the area around the Empty Lot underwent a dramatic revitalization. Today, a new emblem of Kamurocho stands proudly atop that storied lot: the Millennium Tower.

Goro Majima rejoins the Shimano Family as its Captain, where his ferocity earns him the title “Mad Dog of Shimano.” Feared and uncontrollable, his legends rival those of the Dragon of Dojima. Majima continues to play a wild card role in the events that shape the yakuza. Alongside his sworn brother, Taiga Saejima, he eventually becomes an unpredictable pillar of the Tojo Clan.

Kazuma Kiryu rises to Lieutenant Advisor of the Dojima Family, known and feared as the Dragon of Dojima. In December of 1995, an incident that will change his life forever occurs, and Kiryu serves ten years in prison. In one massive struggle after another, Kazuma Kiryu is drawn back into the raging conflicts of the yakuza. His current whereabouts are unknown.

[SCENE AFTER THE CREDITS]

[Makoto carries a huge bouquet of beautiful orange flowers to the Empty Lot.]

Makoto: It’s all over. Finally, huh. So now you can rest easy. Brother. Thinking back, so many people helped me. Lee-san, Kiryu-san, Sera-san… Really, so many. But there’s one… Just one who I never got to thank properly. We went through so much together, but I don’t even know his name. And the one look I got at his face was so blurry. I’m terrible, aren’t I? Though I guess I shouldn’t complain about it to you. Sorry.

[She folds her hands in prayer and… she hears music. It comes from under the ground. She’s digging up a paper-wrapped watch.]

Makoto: It’s my… (cries) Thank you. Thank you!

[In the next scene, Majima walks around town. He’s meeting somebody… their eyes intersect in a silent fight.]

Majima: Yo. (madly) Kiryu-chan!

[In return, Kiryu smiles. I guess so at least.]

END


The story continues in...

Yakuza Kiwami

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