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Discussion in 'GT4 Race Reports' started by uMadson?, Jan 12, 2012.
Cool , without words
At least update your sig every time you update the story, that is a wall of text right there.
Also, I noticed the name Kallen and Akari - it sounded too familiar to a name I know all too well.
Well, I'm marathoning the series down
It's a month without updates I guess, blame my lazy ass.
- Chapter 24: Declaration of War on One's Self -
Thanks to that book given by Akari, Daiki is starting to regain his sanity. As Days pass, he continues to feel more normal in comparison to that faithful day. He believes in the hope of the Ressurection as he has read in one of the Chapters of the "What does the bible Really Teach book?" and is starting to visualize his reunion with Chloe in the near future. It still sounds hard to believe but it doesn't hurt to believe in something that the world would ignore.
This however, doesn't stop Daiki's hurtful dreams. During his sleep, he moans deeply, rolls from side to side, and screams in anguish. Why so? It's Silverblood, haunting him by mixing up his memories - blending what is good into what is bad. 'It' loves to do this to its host. Now that a minimal number of Wangan Racers are out every night, Silverblood decides to haunt down its own host, making it suffer bit by bit until they have lost all control of themselves. It's primary objective is obviously to become the next unbeatable legend, then disappear into the night with its host, ending his or her life by a forced suicide run afterwards, leaving no trace of evidence that a legend was once around.
Daiki is already the 7th host that Silverblood has possessed. The previous 6 were undoubtedly unworthy for Silverblood's calibur. They have all failed in accomplishing its objective and were more so disposed of.
As Daiki prepares to return to his own racing Academy, his body feels weak but his resilience is strong. He feels his heart ache numerous times but he still holds his ground. There were instances, like now as he walks down the stairs, he loses balance but he still holds his body upright. Daiki has no idea, however, that all this pain is Silverblood's bidding.
Greeted by his heartwarming staff a well said "Good Morning, Master Akiyama." He bids them good morning with a smile right back at his servants. He snabs a Piece of buttered toast on the dining room table and immediately heads for the garage. One of the maids humbly Approached Daiki before he enters the garage, just to give him his coffee on a thermos cup. "Sir, you might need this."
"Hmm... Thank you very much." Daiki thanked the maid, again with a smile.
He boards his Z and ignites the engine. It still has the demonic 700 plus horsepowered v6. The body however, was reverted to the standard Nismo S-tune aero kit. Slowly he passes by his other cars in the garage, en route to the gate: A BMW M3, Spoon Sports Tuned Integra DC2 type R, a Nissan CarbonR R34 Pennezoil Nismo GT500 imiatation, Mugen Twincam Honda S2000 GT, NSX type R NA2, Audi S4 2000, and a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado.
Entering the Shutoku's Kanagawa district, en route to an exit by the C1 district, Daiki starts to feel tired all of a sudden. "Argh... What is wrong with me today? I am not like this!" He thought to himself. Again, you know who's doing this to him.
His vision is starting to blurr as he passes by 160 km/h. He decides to slow down to a mere 100 km/h to play it safe. As he enters C1, a familiar looking Lancer Evolution Meets up with Daiki's Z. It's Seiji Tsuchiya. He runs side by side with Daiki's 350Z but he can see Daiki's expression that he isn't interested to battle. "Not now, huh?" Seiji wonders. "Alright. Maybe later." Seiji increases his press on his accelerator and blasts out of the tie. As he shifts to gear 3, balls of fire engulf the Evo's exhaust pipes.
There was something about Seiji's Lancer Evolution 8 that doesn't add up. At the front, it looks somewhat the same but somewhat different too. It had canards and the front end seems to be lower than usual. The rear has a immensely large GT wing in replace of the standard issued-Evolution wing. Inside, he has equipped his car with a level 2 rollcage, the type that makes a cross at the back of the car's interior for even more stability. He didn't mind being rejected by Daiki but he won't miss another chance when he's ready to battle. He heads down the C1 en route to his job at a journalist's building by the Edobashi district.
Bringing his Z to a halt at his usual parking space, Daiki enters the ARS to see if things are working in tip top shape. Upon entering, he meets up with Naoko who had a slight wound on her left cheek. "Naoko! What happened to you?"
"Oh, hey Daiki... I mean, Daiki-sama. Ohayo-guzaimasuta."
"What happened to your face?" He asks again.
"This?" She points to her bandage. "Well... this happened days back. My fan belt snapped when I was out on the Shutoku racing with a couple of cars of the same class. I was gunning a red Integra DC5 until the strangest of things happened. My fan Belt snapped as we enter the New Belt line's Trophy Dash. It was weird because I checked my car from head to toe before I even went out to the Wangan. My MR2 was in pristine order..."
"Were you alright?"
"Yeah. Then I pulled over to the side, checked it and there was something like a stone that blasts by my side hitting my cheek causing this deep wound. It must have been a sharp stone of sorts."
"Well, at least you're alright." Daiki assures Naoko with a pat on the shoulder.
He goes on his way to his office until...
"Why are you being so nice to me all of a sudden?" Naoko asks.
"Is it wrong to be nice to someone you knew for so long?"
"No, I mean... It's like it's 'us'... You're not that caring or casual to others before... Why the sudden change? Does it have to do with that girlfrie-"
"No. It doesn't involve Claudia." Daiki immediately counters.
"Where is she then...?" Naoko follows up a question. It is hard for him to say it to her. It was meant to be just between him and Claudia alone. He didn't answer that one.
"Something happened to her, am I right?"
"Like she dumped you?"
"No. It's nothing like that."
"Then what happened to you two?"
"I don't want to talk about it. Anyway, is Kitana Tioseco back in class?"
"Yes she is. Um... WAIT! YOU'RE STRAYING AWAY FROM THE QUESTION!" Naoko breaks into a fit. "Tell me! What happened to her that made you change your ways?"
"I said I don't want to talk about it! DOn't be so stubborn when I said that I wouldn't say it!"
Naoko didn't say a word when he saw Daiki's face full of deceit.
"I-I'm sorry, Daiki-sama." Naoko apologized.
"Just... don't bring up this conversation about her ever again." Daiki seriously returned an answer to her and leaves.
Once Daiki was out of sight, Naoko has the feeling that something treacherous happened to Chloe. But what?
The day passes quickly and it is now sunset. Daiki saw Kitana taking make up classes under Naoko and was glad enough to see a striving student. He had his Z vinyled by some of the staff of the school. It now has a Nismo vinyl on his side. He must be planning on remaking a Nismo S tune, for sure. Or maybe he has other plans for it.
He enters the Wangan and stops by at Daikoku Futo. There wasn't much of a crowd around that early evening. The only cars he saw around are Raymond Yamazaki's R34 and a beat up BMW M3. He was curious to what happened to this M3. "How could this have happened?" He thought aloud.
"You know who did this." A familiar voice from behind answers his rhetoric quiestion.
"Raymond!" Daiki gasped as he turns his head. Raymond was with Schneider, who had his entire left arm casted and with a cane on the other hand. His left foot too is casted. "What happened to you um..."
"Schneider. Karl Schneider's the name." Schneider introduced himself.
"What happened to this M3? What happened to you? Don't tell me this is your-"
"Yes, it is my M3. And if you want to know who did this... well..." Schneider rasies his casted left hand slowly until it directs to Daiki.
"More specifically. Silverblood."
"Silverblood?" Daiki asks again.
"Remember what I told you? When YOU are not around, HE is." Raymond quoted.
"He slumbers within you, Akiyama. Just as long as you are awake, he won't appear. But you can't be awake 24/7 now can you?" Schneider said. "Even in the day, he appears. Whatever time it may be, just as long as you're asleep. He'll appear."
"What happened to all the other racers? Isn't there supposed to be a gathering of sorts every night here at Daikou?" Daiki asks.
"Well..." Raymond staggers. "Majority are severly injured and are confined at the hospitals around Tokyo whereas a number of which died due to accidents..."
"Caused by this... Silverblood."
"If I may ask, Daiki. Have you seen your suitor around?"
Daiki became silent after hearing that. It is like when Chloe's not around, they are all looking for her, through Daiki. "I can't say..."
"By the looks of that face..." Raymond notices. "Something bad has happened to her. Something tragic if I may say so myself."
"Don't tell me you're gonna blame-" Daiki's words were interrupted when all 3 of them had an idea who did that to her - Silverblood.
"Perhaps... it wants to get rid of the Fortescue family members who are involved in such 'sports'" Schneider thought. "Her Grandfather was once a well known Shutoku racer here. He died trying to win against Silverblood when he was about to become the next legend. Maybe you have heard of it - a Green Porsche 911 RUF BTR..."
Daiki sways his head side to side, indicating a 'no'.
"Oh, yeah... right... You rarely come to this place just to hang out and share information."
"Yeah. I don't usually run around the Wangan just for the meetings or such. I just run my Z, snatch a few battles, and on my way home right after the race. I occasionally stop by the parking lots just to get a drink or something, when nobody is around."
"One of Schneiders Anti-Silverblood squad died when he crashed. That red TVR V8S,right?"
"That's right. Raymond. Good thing Shin wasn't stupid enough to come and get himself involved." Schneider quoted.
"What are we gonna do, then?" Daiki asks.
"At this rate... there won't be any Shutoku racers left standing once we are all eliminated. I mean, aside from all these newbies... the only ones capable enough to take SIlverblood down are Seiji and I. I could involve Kazuhiko but just like when your suitor shared to us this story of Silverblood, he detested it." Raymond remembers.
"You said that he exists only when I am asleep, right?" Daiki recalls.
"What if I am able to issue a formal challenge to this Silverblood... so that none of this would continue?" Daiki suggests.
"That sounds quite stupid don't you think? People might think then that you are autistic... or weird... talking to yourself just to issue a challenge."
"What about that paranormal stuff you Japanese traditionally do?" Schneider suggests.
"I don't do those stuff. I barely even know our own country's paranormal culture." Daiki admits. "Same goes for me." Raymond agrees.
"But there's one thing I know for sure... sometimes... Dreams act as a counterbalance and medium to communicate with certain spirits..."
"Oh, now you're going paranormal... This is just getting dumber by the minute." Raymond interferes.
"So what you're trying to say is that I issue a challenge through my dreams?" Daiki verifies. "That's much what I am trying to say..." Schneider admits.
"Let's give it a shot then..." Raymond suggests. "I know it sounds hard to believe but we might just try that...
"Or better yet... run at the same pace as him on the Wangan and then start the battle from there..." A mysterious voice calls out to the three.
"Keiichi Iwata." It's Keiichi. He parked his Integra, which has a new bodykit, outside of Daikoku Futo parking area with its hazards lit. "It's just a hunch. I don't believe in this paranormal stuff as you do Akiyama and so I think doing just this... running on the wangan at full force might attract Silverblood's attention."
"That sounds better... Better than acting all foolish in my dreams making my servants think I have Night terrors or sleep taking syndromes or something like that." Daiki said, sarcastically directing the statement at Schneider and Raymond.
"But how would that be possible...?" Raymond asks. "He only appears when Daiki isn't around or sleeping..."
"Then... better yet... Daiki must be half asleep. With his subconsciousness driving..." another voice lurks from behind Keiichi. It's Seiji Tsuchiya.
"Seiji!?" Schneider jolts in place. "I thought you didn't believe in this?"
"Well... after what just happened with that Pink R34's side mirrors flying to my windshield that other day... I have to believe what that woman is saying... I know... hard to believe... sounds stupid... but its better to make a solution out of it rather than wait for our doom." Seiji uttered. "And besides..." Seiji looks at Daiki with a stern look.
"I don't want to die just yet... not unless I get my revenge match on this guy."
"I am not as much of a Wangan Racer as you said I am back at Umihotaru. But Things like this make me want to become one... And becoming one... means that I won't back down on an issued challenge such as this one you're giving me, Tsuchiya..."
"Now you're starting to sound like the Wangan racer I want to defeat!" Seiji smirks.
"So Daiki..." Raymond interrupts. "Can you do it? Subconsciously drive and summon Silverblood out to issue a challenge?"
"No. I'll subconsciously drive and summon it out to race it for good!"
"The only way to end this monstrosity is by simply outrunning it... I've asked a few people about the Silverblood matter and even interviewed Chloe once after that huge Daikoku Meeting we had... and have formulated the best way to win against it."
says another voice from behind Seiji and Keiichi's back. This time, it is Kazuhiko.
"Normally, I am the tactical adviser but since I am new to this game, Kazuhiko calls the shots..." Keiichi narcistically comments. "You'll get your time." Seiji assures.
"As what Chloe told me... Silverblood only wishes to become just one thing - the undefeated legend. He wants to witness it by selecting th fastest Z driver of this generation to ensure his goal's success, in this case, Daiki. Whoever he selects, would be his host and medium in accomplishing it. Over its rage against the gunning Hakosuka back in the day, it wants to eliminate all competition to ensure a flawless victory. The only reason why its host doesn't counteract its motives is because, most of Silverblood's hosts were weak-willed. So if the host counteracts it, then the host too is considered as a challenger, to be eliminated. But once the host is eliminated... Silverblood has to leave... but we don't want that right? So the even better plan formulated for this is for Daiki to ensure an absolute victory over Silverblood. I suggest a full round around the entire Tokyo route: From C1 to New belt line, straight to the Wangan Line, past Daikoku Futo, onto the Kanagawa line, through Yokohane and back to the C1... only then would one be considered the ultimate Wangan legend. And if Silverblood fails... he'd simply fade away into oblivion... Oblivion as in... for good. IT would understand that he's no longer somebody or something that could conquer the Wangan because there is somebody greater... somebody whom it cannot defeat..."
"That sounds like the greatest plan I have ever heard... for the dumbest cause..." Seiji thought aloud. "BUt let's go with that. It is the most logical plan, as a fellow Wangan racer, formulated."
"So... Are you prepared for this, Akiyama?"
"Well... I do have the C1 memorized at the back of my head... but with this monster... a 700 horsepowered monster... I need to practice a bit to rememorize the braking and acceleration points... But leave it to me."
Schneider gives a smile and says... "WE'll be counting on you."
"To those not involved in this, it might sound just like a typical time attack. But this is different for us. It is for the future of Shutoku racers..."
"700 eh..." Seiji thought to himself... "I need to increase my Evolution's overall power too before one of us declares a challenge after this monstrosity."
"So... Seiji... would you mind that?" Raymond asks him. "Would you mind Daiki becoming the true legend before your name could even hit the books?"
"If it weren't for this dumb thing we call a spirit, then I won't let it happen. But because it is here, then I don't mind... We all don't wanna become the next victim... How about you?" Seiji directs the same question back at Raymond.
"Well... before I could even face Daiki... I need to beat your pal Kazuhiko. We've been in a tie for years and I don't know when either one of us would break it... But until the time comes... Kazuhiko is still my prime Wangan rival. So I am leaving Daiki to your hands once this is over."
"Hey, I am right here you know..." Kazuhiko ironically comments.
[November 23 - 11:59 p.m. WANGAN AREA - C1 DISTRICT]
Daiki is smoothly running at gear 2, on a standard speed of 80 km/h. He just past the dividers and into the junction where one of them would head for the New belt line district. He brings his car up to speed until he reached the Wangan line. Shifting to gear 5, his Turbine hisses monstrously. His engine response is faster, just like the racing car's, after every shift. He immediately reaches 350 km/h down the Trophy Dash thanks to the tri-aspiration imitation system he has on his Z. All power was excreted from the Z's standard V6 engine, much like that of a Supercharger's. But out of that hairpin before the dash, his car turns and runs gracefully like an NA. Yes, his car is a turbo but he gauges have been set to that like of both an NA and Supercharger; paired with the appropriate suspension setup resulting in the same values.
Entering the tunnel, 500 meters ahead, a sillouhette slowly departs from the 350z. Slowly, it takes form of a full bodied dark silver Nissan 1978 280Z Fairlady. The car looks completely stock but runs faster than Daiki's Z, at a speed of 365 km/h, slowly breaking the tie with Daiki's Z. Until the Z isn't completely solidified, Daiki has his eyes half open. By the time the engine roar of the 280Z emerges, he became wide awake all of a sudden.
He gasps as he sees the old 280Z gunning infront of him. "So this is Silverblood... You'll pay for what you did to Chloe and the others..." He grinned.
My host... became my prey
For yet another casualty...
Your decision to go against me...
Would be your most fatal mistake...
I could've given you immense power on my account...
But you decided to take it to your own hands...
Very well, If your wish is to leave this world...
Then I hereby grant it with your life as the price to pay
From then, everyone will know and fear...
The true meaning of...
AS both cars enter the tunnel, their dispute begins... running at 360 km/h... Would Daiki survive?
- Chapter 25: The Ultimate Battle -
The battle has begun... or so for just those who believe in it. The war between Daiki and Silverblood has begun. Down the Kasumigaseki tunnel, Silverblood slowly breaks free from the boundaries of Daiki Akiyama's presence. Once the shadow has been released, its body takes form. The form though, to Daiki, is still blurred as he isn't sure whether he'd believe this stuff about Silverblood or not. To the likes of Raymond and the others though, who are all at the Ohi Parking area near the Ohi U turn area, they too are in a pinch as Seiji raises a curious question.
"What if... this thing we fear... this thing we call as silverblood... doesn't actually exist?"
The group of Shutoku racers stood there doubtful of Seiji's words. He has a point though. They never actually saw this thing in the first place. The only idea they have is that it is a silver 3rd generation Z, the one right after the HS30.
"But what about those casualties? and those accidents? They can't be just by chance. Majority of those who went to the wangan checked their cars through the checkpoints and they all check out. How can you say that he doesn't exist, Seiji?" Raymond contradicted.
"We can't jump to conclusions yet. This battle, though would explain it all for us, so don't worry." Karl Schneider assured the group to prevent futher guesses of Silverblood's existence.
From the Hamazakibashi Branching, Daiki took a left into the C1 section. Before that section is where Silverblood has started to emerge from Daiki's Z. Once they have entered the Kasumigaseki tunnel, The race finally begun as Silverblood trails Daiki from behind. Daiki, who is unsure though if Silverblood IS real or not to him, simply visualizes a complete 280Z behind him and ups his pace. As he accelerates, so does Silverblood at that exact point.
Reaching speeds of 258 km/h upon entering Chidoya tunnel, Daiki decelerates his Z retained at gear 5 through the tunnel, up to its exit. As soon as his Z reaches the exit, he downshifts to gear 4 and accelerates 'further away' from Silverblood upon reaching the Edobashi branching exit. The speed increases and Daiki is getting pulled back by the horizontal G forces upon pressing deeper on the accelerator.
Upon reaching the Kiba exit, Daiki slowly maneuvers his car from the inside to the outside then attacks on the inside's apex. "An out in out is the most essential tactic through the Kiba exit... I wonder if this... thing... could do the same..." As Daiki glances on the rearview mirror... he simply smirks to the 280Z behind him... "Nice job... Either that or... what I do... Silverblood simply imitates it..." He thought.
After one corner, he enters the Wangan Line - the ultimate stretch of straight road that every driver... or Wangan Racer desires of. As Daiki sees the area, free from any traffic, he pounces on the gas but cautiously. He knows of the Silverblood curse, but whether or not he is sure if it would work on the host himself. Reaching speeds of 343 km/h, the 350z and 280Z go on route the Wangan Line, to Ohi; even the flashy ferris wheel didn't distract Daiki, or even made him remember of needless stuff unrelated to the battle ongoing.
Because Silverblood has threatening speed down the Wangan Line, Daiki makes use of this moment to sacrifice a bit of some bodywork for some extra speed. He blocks Silverblood's way and waits for the opportune moment to gain a momentary boost of speed. Because this is a battle between what we call a human and a supernatural, no laws of physics and Wind geometrics could rule down their strategies.
As both cars enter the Tokyo Port tunnel, they have reached a phenomenal speed of 366 km/h down the tunnel. The speed they're at is so intense, that to a spectator, it seems like a flash of lightning just blasted by them. Daiki has passed the Ohi U-turn and is now going side by side with Silverblood's Z... wait! Side by side!?
"Tsk... I left my inside open through the long high speed left before the Ohi turn..."
Once their cars steadily go down the long stretch of road at 370 km/h, they enter the Airport District of Tokyo... The status of their battle? Still at the same old constant pace, side by side. Their next checkpoint would be the Tamagawa Tunnel. Daiki may have the upper hand at this high speed chase's point. As soon as they enter the tunnel, Daiki's predictions weren't according to plan. Silverblood may have fallen back - by only a few centimeters from Daiki's side. But, by a nose, it is obvious that Daiki is leading. As long as the tunnel is curved, Daiki is slowly recovering his ensured lead.
Exiting the tunnel, they reach the half point of Ohgishima. The speed loss they have gained down the tunnel is slowly being recovered down the Ohgishima stretch, before the Wangan Line Tsubasa Bashi bridge. The race is still neck to neck, with Silverblood, once again, gaining by the side, taunting Daiki to do a dirty trick to retain his lead. But Daiki resisted and focused on his own pace, as he watches Silverblood take the lead from his side.
He's not thinking that it is over, though.
Down the bridge, for some reason, Daiki's Z seems fine and dandy. Nothing is wrong with anything about the car; the gauges, the tire angle... everything... It seems that Silverblood's curse does NOT work on its host. This gave Daiki utmost confidence... or so he thought...
Upon reaching the end of the high speed festival, The Daikoku Junction (JCT) is up and Daiki is forced to slow down immensely. The most unnatural thing is happening in this battle that shocked Daiki off his feet. Silverblood did not brake upon entering and is facing the incoming corner at 370 km/h, whereas Daiki decelerated already to a safe 230 km/h corner entry, and blasts through the corner's inside. The gap between Daiki and Silverblood significantly increased to a sudden 10 car gap as soon as Daiki exits the Daikoku JTC.
Back at the Ohi PA... kazuhiko raised a valuable question.
"What is the last record throughout the entire Wangan area - of both areas: Tokyo and Kanagawa combined?"
Everybody crossed their arms and started thinking amongst themselves. "If I remember right..." Raymond thought. "The last record was made by someone driving a Fairlady Z as well... The time was..." His words were interrupted as Seiji recalls the exact time record: "19 minutes and 30 seconds flat is what I remember" Seiji answers.
"Raymond..." Keiichi uttered. "What Z was that person driving?"
"The Z was... an S30? or a Z32? Z33? Sorry. I can't remember."
"It must probably belong to that Silverblood thing... There aren't enough Z drivers around here capable of making such a god-like record." Raymond hypothesized.
"As what Schneider told us. We can't jump to any conclusions." Seiji reminded.
"Then who must have made that record?"
"I dunno." Majority of them blurted out.
"If Daiki manages to break that record... he'd become the next undisputed Wangan King..."
"Or Wangan God... Even my 34 has its limits..." Raymond uttered.
"Well... that's why we tune them, right? To make them better..." Kazuhiko reminded the others.
"If time permits... I might break that record before he does..." Seiji wondered to himself aloud.
"But your last record was 19'30"485 if I remember clearly..." Kazuhiko interrupted. "That was a close time though..."
Seiji just stared at the starry night and wonders...
"Is Akiyama giving it his all? He's probably at Yokohane's upbound by this time..."
Unknown to Seiji, his guess was right. Daiki has recently entered Yokohane, with a gap unbearable to recover. At the Namamamugi JCT, Daiki attempts to grip the Z at a high speed just to recover from the gap made by the 280z. The engine tone of the VQ35DET echoes around the Kanagawa vicinity upon reaching the rev line of 7850 rpm close to the 8000 red zone.
As Daiki slowly closes in on the 280Z, he notices its cornering movements upon entering the wide corners of Hamakawasaki. Intense concentration engulfs Daiki's eyes as he looks intimately on the 280Z. "It may be a ghost or a fickle portion of my mind but a car is still a car.
As the 280Z reaches the turning boundary of the corner, its rear swerves to the outside, with all of the 280Z's weight on the outside tires as it closes in on the inside wall, nearly enough to cause a spark. But the Z didn't, however, induce its rear tires to spin. A grip move, perhaps?
"So that's how it works..." Daiki thought to himself.
He imitates the same movemets of the 280Z but enters the corner earlier. He has the strong feeling that his Z would understeer more due to its weight in comparison to the 280Z. 150 meters from the corner, "This is it!" He shouted as he turns his steering wheel with all his might. His Z's rear tires spun slightly but not enough to hinder his top speed. He exits the corner at a speed of 299 km/h down the Hamakawasaki district's corners.
The gap decreased now to a mere 6 car legths.
Yokohane line is a highway district with not that much treacherous corners, majority of them can be taken at high speed. Daiki makes good use of this opportunity to close in on Silverblood's 280Z. Down another left corner and a right, Daiki repeats his attack, slowly, the gap lessens to a mere 2 car lengths.
He makes a perfect shift upon shifting to gear 6. Releasing the clutch and the gas simultaneously as if it is automatic to him within half a second or less, the Z rockets forward, even at the slightest. He lunges forward, enough to gain on the 280Z. As they clear the remaining corners of the Yokohane district, Silverblood gains more ground than Daiki. It didn't give him the impression though that he's losing speed because he is in the 'cursed zone'. Rather than that, this drove Daiki to double his pace at the last half of the Kanagawa area before they head on fort to the Tokyo district once more, where their goal is after the dividers, right before the branching to the New Belt line area.
As of this moment, they enter the Haneda tunnel. The down point before the tunnel is mostly curved so Daiki's positioning on the tunnel's entrance is his key. Majority of drivers understeer at this point when they enter too fast and only a few made it out unscathed even at a fast pace.
As the drop intenses, Daiki removes his foot off the gas before the drop. Once the tires made contact with the pavement, he nudges his wheel to a slight countersteer and floors it halfway through the corner. Once at the tunnel, he enters a fictituous slipstream and gains on the 280Z. If by numbers, the 280Z's speed is at 284 past the corner and Daiki is in full force at 294 km/h.
As speeds increase, they enter the last set of corners of the Yokohane: the Katsushima district. Silverblood takes the first corner head on where as Daiki slowed down on that portion - the slow-in-fast-out tactic. To his surprise, they came out with the same gap. And here Daiki thought that his plan would work; then again, he wasn't disappointed.
Down below, at Ohi; everybody can hear the whistiling of the 2 Z engines roar by. But to some, it sounded only just as 1 Z engine.
"He's here. That was fast." Some wondered.
Seiji just gave a stern look at the headlights that passed by him from above.
Down the straight, Daiki retook the lead from the 280Z and blasts his way down the long straight, warm-lit road. He waits for the Hamazakibashi road before he concentrates. While on 6th gear, he relaxes his mind and gives a huge sigh. A bit too early to relax, huh?
After his short moment, he didn't detect Silverblood close in on his right. They race down neck to neck; bumper to bumper down the road to Hamazakibashi. Entering the said district, everybody thinks that they took the right lane, which obviously takes them back to C1 outer area. But Daiki changes his plans and goes to the left branching, taking him straight to the C1 inner loop.
Silverblood's 280Z, slowed down and trails him from behind. Daiki halves his accelerator upon entering the all famous, yet dangerous Ginza area. After the S curves, Daiki and Silverblood are in a tight sopt with Daiki, being pressured by both the course and the 280Z behind him. The first underpass is up. and Daiki clears it smoothly on the right lane. The 280Z takes the left lane however. As they enter the second divider, Daiki is still on the outside aiming hard. Upon exiting that area, his heart pounds intensely as he can feel that he and Silverblood's 280Z are about to cross paths and crash onto each other.
He didn't give in to fear and just went on with his foot firm on the gas pedal. They did collide but Silverblood was the one in fear and decelerates, with just their ends meeting. Daiki continues his rampage and passes the 3rd divider on the right side still. The gap between them increases and Daiki's aura begins to form around his Z - a dark maroon one; larger than Silverblood's blood red aura.
Entering the Edobashi Branching, he raises his E-brake and countersteers 75 meters before the turning radius of the branching to the C1. He clears the corner with his rear almost lifting off sparks with the wall. Silverblood has realized his host's willpower and has accepted his worth as the fastest. Clearing the rest of the Kandabashi S curves in full force at the exact points, Daiki has one more goal left in mind...
Beat the previous record that everyone was talking about.
Originally, the previous record done by the old Z and the one about to be beaten by Seiji is ends on the Edobashi district, from the C1 outer side. Clearing the Entire C1 area as a finale, would take Daiki longer to beat. Will he be able to do it with such an extension?
Entrance to the Chidoya tunnel, Daiki floors it even more and lets his rear tires burn. He removes his gas off the pedal and clears the other half of the corner in the inside at a devastating speed of 275 km/h. He exits and gets ready to exit the Kasumigaseki tunnel and onto the last hard right before his 'goal'.
His goal is the Hamazakibashi branching. Once they hear the squealing of the tires, they end the time.
Daiki doubles his acceleration once again and shifts to gear 6, a blast of flames purge out of the exhaust and he prepares his foot on the brakes.
Down at Ohi, they can hear the Z roaring onto the Hamazakibashi. Daiki's Z is the only car around the pass at this time. Pressing the brakes and downshifting two gears at the same time, Daiki turns the wheel and never bothers to countersteer. The guys heard the skid and closes the watch.
"It's done." Schneider utters.
"So... how did he do?" Raymond wondered.
Keiichi notices the watch and declares: he accomplished it in 19'23"468.
"Even with a course extension, he manages to clear it? If he did take the C1 outer route also, he would have cleared it in less than 19 minutes. It's a new record!!" Kazuhiko declared aloud.
"So... Tsuchiya..." Raymond taunts. "Do you still want to race this bakemono?"
"I'm not giving into defeat just yet. He's even more of a worthy rival than I imagined... Of course I will." Seiji said with a smirk on his face.
The engine sound of the 350Z dies down as he exits the Wangan and wents home to sleep. Typical Akiyama, as he told them; he'd not waste any time on the parking lot. He'd accomplish his goal and that's it. Home.
By the time he woke up the next day, his nightmares have ended. Another day passes, he no longer had the nightmare again. 3 consecutive mornings and he woke up full of energy. Must the rumors of Silverblood be true, he has finally rested. The threat of the 280Z no longer suppresses Tokyo. He even got word from Raymond that when his lover Kallen drove around the Yokohane and the C1 area, there was no ominous presence and that no loose parts came off her car. It was a sarcastic joke but they both knew... that it is gone.
Days passed and... The question still remains however... what Seiji said...
"What if Silverblood does NOT exist at all?" What could have explained that predominal incidents happening during 'its' stay? The day is now Friday, the 21st of December.
Daiki has a few ends to meet before the holiday. And he still has a battle pending for him - his rematch with Seiji. They haven't finalized when they'll battle though. As they give it some more thought, the sky starts to fog and an intense cold wind blisters about all throughout Tokyo.
- Chapter 26: The Road to a Living Legend -
Things have turned back to normal right after the vicious stories of Silverblood and the battle to decide its fate, with thanks to Daiki Akiyama. The greatest victim to this scenario happens to be Daiki Akiyama Himself. He has suffered a lot with all due respect, because of this so-called entite. As he has testified, he lost his love, Claudia Fortescue, all for the sake of Silverblood's return. Nobody ever knew the exact reason why and the highest probability for this to be believed by future generations are very slim. The entire story of silverblood, as pointed out by Chloe, herself; a night before her untimely death, and her fellow witnesses to her testimonies, seems nothing more but a mere child's horror tale. Nobody would ever believe a thing they'd say if ever this was to be brought out in public.
At the brink of 2:30 p.m., Daiki decides to stop by his racing school, to check how things are doing. He steps out of his Z, which looks like it went through a huge body makeover, and enters his premises. He watches as the students, and fellow colleagues, greet him with respect. Then came Naoko, the newly appointed vice president of the Akiyama Racing School, dubbed by Daiki himself.
"Daiki..." Naoko greeted with a smile. She suddenly came to her senses and greeted him more formally. "It's nice to meet you, Mr. Akiyama."
"Thanks for the usual greeting Naoko-san." Daiki answered back. He asks her by gesture to walk with him to his office.
"You seem to be in a cheerful mood, sir. Have you slept well?" Naoko asks politely.
"Yes. Yes I have." He replied.
"Well, that is good to hear." She spoke with a smile. Upon glaring at Naoko's smile, Daiki had a thought that he thought has ended.
Within his own subconsciousness, in his own personal visions, Naoko was replaced by a golden blonde beauty. She gave the same smile as that of Naoko only with calming blue eyes to back it up. "Chloe..." he moaned softly.
"Excuse me?" Naoko asks.
"Oh... I'm sorry. It was rude of me to talk foolishly."
"No, no. Apologies aren't needed." Naoko refused. "You never exactly hurt me or anything so it's alright."
"Speaking of which... I know I am not supposed to bring up this matter again but I need to know." Naoko spoke firm yet in a famished way right infront of Daiki's office. "What happened between you and Ms. Fortescue."
Daiki was silent, as a group of students passed by the two heads of the Racing School.
"I'll tell you everything inside my office." He answered as he wishes for Naoko to enter. Both of them enter the office and Daiki closes the door. Inside, things get serious and Naoko was surprised of the news - surprised in a more negative sense. She wasn't happy to hear the awful experience that Daiki saw and that Chloe had gone through.
Upon the clock hitting 3:00, Naoko steps out of Daiki's office, all depressed. Even Daiki's old complexion has returned, bringing up the story of his late love. "I-I'm sorry to hear about that. My condolences, Mr. ... Akiyama." Naoko spoke softly.
"It's alright. I am glad that you understood our situation. Do you promise to keep this matter just between the two of us? Nobody has to know of this."
From the end of the hall, another employee rushes to Daiki's place.
"Sir! Sir! We ask a favor of you!" The teacher pleaded as he ran.
"Hideokawa..." Naoko identified him. "What's wrong."
"The papers... Class B's... Final Examinations... The proctor... he's out... a cold..." Hideokawa panted and explained altogether.
"So the proctor for the B class's finals didn't arrive..." Daiki analyzed the situation.
"And the office cannot release the exam papers without prior authority from none other than the proctor and you, sir." Naoko explained to Daiki.
"Very well... I'll take over for this absent proctor's place-" Daiki volunteered.
"But you have to proctor the A class' hands on exercises at the Motorland course, sir." Naoko reminded. "And I cannot fill in either as I have to proctor the S class' written examinations."
"And I only passed by, sir. I cannot fill in either. I am handling the WRC Class's registration forms for a trip to Hokkaido by this weekend. I need to go there right now to validate the training area." The panting teacher explained.
"What to do..." Daiki wondered.
"Perhaps you could use a hand, Akiyama." A lingering voice from the back of the crowd hollered out to Daiki.
All 3 of them turned their heads to see a man wearing a beige turtle neck sweater and dark brown slacks waving his hand to Daiki.
"Shimizu..." Daiki remembers.
"The guy who I strangled the last time he arrived." Naoko realized.
"I'll proctor for this class' examination. I won't mind at all." Shimizu volunteered.
"Thanks, Shimizu. You're a lifesaver." Daiki thanked.
"Ah!" Naoko just remembered. "Speaking of the S-class... I have a letter for you, sir." Naoko hands an envelop to Daiki.
"Who is it from?" Daiki asks her.
"It's from Kitana. She didn't show up again." Naoko explained.
"What do you mean ... 'again'?" Daiki wonders.
"Well... she did show up one time while you were not here. She was here for a few days but has decided not to come today. Instead, she told me to give this letter to you and left this morning."
"Is she planning to flunk the program? I won't tolerate such."
"I wouldn't jump to conclusions if I were you." Naoko warned. I think it is best that you read the letter before you make your judgement on the girl."
Naoko, Shimizu, and Hideokawa made way to their assigned classes and Daiki walks to the Motorland race track with Kitana's letter in hand. The lineup of the 6 cars executing their A-class time attack session are the following: A Mitsubishi FTO GP version R [DE3A], Honda Integra Type R [DC2], Mazda FC3S RX-7 GT Limited, Toyota AW11 MR2 G-Limited, Nissan 180SX type X, and a Subaru Impreza WRX STi type II [GC].
"Sir, we will be starting our time attack sessions." One of the students greeted with respect.
"Alright. You all do your best, you hear? Once your sessions have ended, give me your papers and you may go." Daiki reminded.
"Yes sir!" All the students confirmed.
While the session begins, Daiki opens the letter up. He begins to read the letter:
I know this is quite a bit of a short notice. But please, don't misunderstand my decision on things. I don't plan to end my session too soon but I have no choice either. My mother has decided to move to Italy and take me with her. But our departure has come accross with the sessions of your racing school. We have paid much for you to train me but I have no say to the matter either. I am sorry if my leave has to come so soon, I really wanted to be under you more.
Naoko-san has taught me lots on your behalf when you weren't around. Please give her my deepest gratitude and appreciation for her hard work and cooperation. If only I were a bit older, I could've chosen to stay to finish my S-class course under you, Daiki-sama.
I hope this letter of mine doesn't change your outlook of me. Even when I am not attending class; although I am not sure if this is something for me to be proud of, I am still involving myself with automobiles with my current boyfriend. He too has taught me stuff that I think you'd possibly tell me in the future. Even in my upcoming stay in Italy, I'll still strive to excel in my automotive skills and practice to my utmost best. In order that when we meet in the near future, I'll become even more of a racer that you'll ever know.
I have to be frank with you, Daiki-sama. You are also the reason why I got interested with racing in general. at first, it was just about my love for Lamborghinis. But you have shown me what racing really is all about. I begin to appreciate it the way you do too, even though there were times you deserted me after sessions, like the one with that touge battle with Kansai's Masayo.
Please, remember, Daiki-sama. Even though we're far apart... even if I am with somebody now... even if I may seem to be a quitter in your eyes for not prioritizing my application to your racing school, to me, you have a very special place in my heart. I thank you from the depths of my heart, for everything you have taught me right up to this day. I swear, on behalf of my name as YOUR student, I will become the best that this world has ever seen, even despite my current age. It won't hinder me from attaining this goal that I have made. I will not back down from my word, Daiki-sama.
I'll see you soon.
P.S. ~Bokuwa... kimi no Ai****a~
P.S.S. I am sorry to have heard about the loss of your loved one. I witnessed it all, I admit. If only I had the courage to save the two of you from the catastrophe, all of this should not have happened. I give you also my sincere condolences. But remember that there's someone caring for you too, just like how you cared for her.
After reading through the letter, he sheds a few tears. He was touched with Kitana's letter. "So she was there..."
He never gave a second thought to those around him. All that time, the only people he thinks about are himself and Claudia. His face shows a deep sense of gratitude for the likes of Kitana and Naoko. He thought to himself regarding Kitana's condition.
"She may have flunked the program but I could say that she's my greatest student. Her resilience is something. And to think... before, she defeats an A class Impreza with just a stock C class MR-S. She better keep her word for it. I'll be expecting her rapid improvement soon."
AS soon as the day ends, Daiki gets ready to board his 350Z. Before boarding, he looks at his Z with sheer intimacy. Looking at his car's bodywork, he can't help but get serious over it. His Silver 350Z has a Nismo S tune body kit and it has the exact Decals as that of the original Nismo 350Z. The only thing different is that it has a unique kind of formula-style hood. In addition to that, the engine of this is much more demeaning, and is tuned to Daiki's preferences - and maxxed out to 750 hp.
"I hate to admit it but this Z of mine is a blessing and a curse..." Daiki thought.
"I wouldn't say that it is a curse, my friend."
"Shimizu... you just got out?"
"I just had a little chit chat with the faculty. No biggie. Oh, and one of the female staff digs me."
"No... some girl with pink hair holding the D Basic class." Shimizu admits.
"Oh..." Daiki sarcastically gasps.
"But when you went to our place at Suzuka, you never had your Z with you that time. You could never claim your own to be a curse if you possess all that skill within you." Shimizu explained.
He does have a point. Back at Suzuka, he used an NA2 NSX, and his consciousness is wide awake that time. Maybe Seiji IS right. If Silverblood doesn't exist, then Daiki musn't be human. His driving skills aren't human at all. Being able to beat such high powered rivals in a totally underpowered Wangan-tuned Z before being told of the tale, his racing skills and knowledge is superficial and beyond logic.
"I have to know more of this side of me. If I retire or quit now, then I'll end my life with one thing unanswered. I don't want that when my time comes, I want everything answered." He told himself.
"And... um... It's a funny story as to what I was doing there in your little staff problem... I was about to remind you of the team invitation but the matter diverted when you decided to take that member's place. But heck, it doesn't matter now. If you don't want to join, then so be it. I won't mind at all. It won't dramatically hurt us or anything. We aren't even that socially related yet; not even the rest of the Midnight Masters. But I guess... that skill you possess right now... the team and I... well... must discover our own on our own... Anyway, sorry to have barged in unannounced Akiyama. 'Till then!" Shimizu raised his hand waving so long. Before he could even board his R390, parked right infront of the Motorland gate, Daiki stops him with a question.
"So what does your team need training at? When do we begin with me on the group?"
Shimizu couldn't believe what he is hearing. Is he really accepting the invitation despite his already-hectic racing school?
Turning around, he sees Daiki extend his hand to him. "Glad to be on the team... Midnight Master's founder." He told Shimizu. Shimizu gives a cool grin and takes Daiki's hand with his hand, enclosing the deal with a firm handshake.
From then on... I am affiliated with a racing group aside from my own school. My racing paradises now reside in 3 areas... My Kanagawa Racing school... Tokyo's Shutoku freeways... and now... Suzuka Circuit... Mie prefecture...
During his debut as the head coach and prime time ace of the group, he treated the lesser members like that of his students. Training them hard with respect and camaraderie. At that exact moment as well, new recruits with special driving abilities joined in - among them is a well respected mechanic and 3 time street stock car contender - Kawasaki Abashi Kochiiro, 2 time Compact Car division Rally contender - Momotaro Kazamo, and a young gun of the tuner's test racers - Hiroya Kagami. Within a few months, as a promise by Daiki, they'll be made to become elite members of this semi-street racing group. With that, the elite line up is complete as of the 23rd of December, with Daiki as the head of the entire group.
With most of his affiliations settled, he has one more affiliation to deal with before he lays low for the holidays... his association with the previous king of the Wangan... Seiji Tsuchiya.
Down the Hamazakibashi junction, Seiji's Lancer Evolution 8 MR-FQ400 blasts through the corners as if they are straightaways without the bodywork scratched or anything in between. With the AKiyama-Silverblood story ended, he is able to regain some lost ground and even expanded his own territory; he has conquered Nagoya and Osaka within half a day's time and has set new records for the locals of the Nagoya Speed ring and the Osaka Line.
He had another overhaul for his Evo 8, and most probably his last. He had his Evo's gearbox expanded further, making it capable of reaching top speeds of 350 km/h maximum. He also installed a 10-point rollcage which is made of a mixture of carbon fibre and aluminum steel. The only parts of furniture remaining in his Evo are the front passenger seat and his driver's seat which are both Sparco branded. He had the gauges changed for that special Ralli-art feeling and installed new water, turbo, and oil gauges as well on his dashboard. Inside the car's hood, it now holds as much power as Daiki's 350z. They are almost equal. The only advantage that Seiji has over Daiki is straight line acceleration as his Evo is a 4WD in comparison to Daiki's FR-type 350Z.
The car's practically down to less than 2300 lbs... which almost equates to more than a thousand kilograms, it's becoming as light as a C-class AE86's standard body weight. Not to mention he had his stock Evolution 8's carbon hood replaced with an aftermarket carbon Hood provided by IGNS+ body engineering. The rear wing was replaced with a universal carbon GT wing which is longer than the car's rear width. He still has his Ralliart black type 5-star Rims, though. All of this amounts to the second most menacing Wangan Machine. He has brought his Lancer to its ultimate Evolution. It's ten times stronger than it was back with his battle at Daiki from Umihotaru to Kanagawa.
As he blasts down Yokohane on to the Daikoku Futo Parking area, he barely nudges the steering wheel past the 30 degree angle. His key point down Yokohane is most definitely positioning. To Seiji, his car's positioning matters most of all - it will bring him better times without needless braking distances. With that theory, he can accelerate more, and brake less but still overcome corners at phenomenal speeds. But to Seiji, this theory of his only works best at Yokohane.
By the time he has had enough... from 5:30 to 8:00, he stops at the Daikoku Futo parking area to rest. Upon arriving at the parking area, the seemingly crowded parking area was dead empty. Those who believed the story of Silverblood were so scared that they rarely enter the Wangan. They fear that they'd soon become the next targets... and Die. Unknown to them, that phenomenon has recently ended and is in peace.
"Tsk..." Seiji makes a sound with his mouth as he bites on a Walnut biscuit he has with him. "What a bunch of idiots believing this hulabaloo. There's no proof of this so called ghost's current existence any longer. Well... at least... what's weird is that accidents are slowly dying down in number and the Wangan is starting to become peaceful once again." He looks around to see no sign of an aura-filled car anywhere in the parking area. Just at the edge of the parking area is a couple making out inside a Suzuki Alto Works RS-R. He can tell by the shaking of the Alto's suspension from left to right.
"Make that... deserted... not peaceful..." Tokyo's Shutoku passes are getting fewer combatants for the likes of Seiji. Even complete newbies to this forbidden sport start to fear the Shutoku before they could even ride on it. Nagoya and Osaka get more racers day by day as Tokyo's get fewer and fewer.
The only active ones left in the Wangan are Raymond Yamazaki, his lover Kallen Koizuki, Shin Ayamazaki, Kazuhiko Aizawa, Keiichi Iwata, Karl Schneider's lackeys and Karl Schneider himself, despite his aggravating accident down the Wangan line, gets back on the Wangan in his traded in BMW M5, the late 90's model; like the one from the hit US game, Need For Speed High Stakes.
Before he decides to walk on home, he catches the tone of a familiar V6 engine; the high revving kind. He watches as the fair of Xenon 800K headlights that blind him enter the parking area. A special looking Nismo 350Z parks right infront of Seiji, who is standing at the right side of his Evolution 8. The Z resembles an S tune but the rims says otherwise. "A custom made Nismo S tune?"
The driver of the Unfamiliar Nismo Z steps out and shows himself as he corrects Seiji's misjudgement. "It's actually a Z tune." The man utters out. "The only tune that could be seen in a video game. It is a prototype tune that never got underway of production... or perhaps is retained in Nissan's project books and never revealed to the driving public and just the gamer's population...." Daiki shows himself to Seiji, wearing a blunt face and a long sleeve polo shirt with a contrasting tie and matching slacks with leather shoes on the end.
"Daiki... you look pale... like that time when you decided to face "it"." Seiji utters.
"Hmph... "it" you say..." Daiki thought aloud.
The parking lot is engulfed in silence. Neither one bothered to start a conversation that would build up their social credibility with each other. Not until Seiji throws the first blow...
"Do you consider yourself a monster... or somebody possessed by a monster?"
"Is this about that Silverblood thing again?"
"Don't take me wrong Akiyama." Seiji apologized immediately. "I don't believe this nonsense either. A spirit monster doesn't exist to me... only somebody who acts like a monster could only be considered as a monster to all."
Daiki thought it through and thinks what to say to Seiji that would at least mend their last conversation - the one at Umihotaru.
"I talked with a friend of mine... he never considered me as someone possessed. He said that I was 'blessed' with it. We had one session once; his car is far superior than the one I used... and yet, I won."
"Well... at least there is somebody who agrees with me. And who would've thought... that that somebody happens to be the one who is thought to be possessed by a dead spirit... puhlease. Some people are just too superstitious. It's like saying how could the God and the God's son be one if the son has explained to the public a million times that as how he says it... 'the Father sent me'?... Really, the nerve of some people..."
"Why are you so happy about this realization, Seiji? Mind if I ask you?"
"To be honest... I did some research and investigation on the matter myself... and all results point that no such a thing as a lingering spirit exists." Befor Seiji could continue, he raises his hands in a manner as if a policeman is telling him to put his hands in the air and says. "Don't get me wrong okay? I'm not saying I'm not proud of our country's tradition and culture."
"So... what does this experiment of yours tell you?" Daiki asks eagerly.
"The only fact that supports the superficial minds of those blind-minded people is that there was a Silver 280Z that trodded the Wangan before. And it did become a legend among old timers of the Wangan scene. But it doesn't say that it spirit hasn't rested peacefully or something like that. None of that exists."
"Then what about those stories that my late love Chloe told you guys?"
"She was just probably another victim of false information handed down to her, sad to say. But what bothers me is not the number of accidents happening right after her story... but why that so called story involves you..."
"Why it involves me?"
"I have no doubts on that though... I mean there's still logic and facts playing around you - you have the resources, the connection, the knowledge, and the skill. No wonder golden boy cannot defeat you even if it was a close fight. You got everything."
"Almost got everything." Daiki corrected.
"Almost? Why so?"
"I still can't find the answer to why... why must I be a forerunner of racing. Am I destined to become one?"
"WE all have our callings. OUr callings can be simple, something that developed during our childhood, or through somebody we aspire to become. It could be any of that. Maybe your interest to things such as cars has brought you to this. Or we may be subconsciously liking something that we once hate because we feel that there's nothing to this consciously."
Daiki gave Seiji's words a thought and agreed with him on the last part. At early April, he was thinking of giving up street racing overall and pursue something else... but what else is there that he would pursue that would give him such a thrill and excitement? Maybe at the back of his mind, all that training his parents gave him as a youth in regards to his future as part of the Automotive world, he does like it and loved it. He wasn't discouraged or anything by his old man. It was something that attracted him bit by bit. To Daiki, cars are no luxury nor are they something just for show. It's like chemicals to a scientist... raw food and meat to a chef... a score sheet to a musician... an empty canvas to a painter... Cars are more than that for him and it seems he and Seiji are on the same wavelength.
"If this is my true calling... then why do I wish to quit before? Why didn't I see the point of things before?"
"The reason? Your development might be too vast that you see things in an accelerated and less appreciative pace; that's why. Well, that's how I think of things." Seiji reasons back. "It's natural for us humans. When we find no competition to things we once loved, we lose a desire of it and try to find something else... only to see a new knowledge made by a new generation to make things more interesting for the likes of us to rekindle that old flame that has possibly died out."
"Maybe... that's the reason why I am thrilled to join the Midnight Masters team at Mie..." Daiki thought to himself.
Seiji looks at his digital watch for a moment - December 23 - 21:54...
"9:54 eh? Would it be alright for us to have a battle?"
"We did agree upon a rematch before right?"
"You do have a point there, Tsuchiya."
"Would tonight be good? Tonight as in right now?" Seiji offered.
"Would it be a clean fight? With no grudges or principles that would contrast to each other's belief's on life and this?" Daiki suggested.
Seiji can't help but smile. He's starting to sound like a true Shutoku racer. A true Hashirya...
"You're starting to sound like that true Hashirya I am telling you before. You're starting to sound like one and that makes me happy." Seiji smirked.
"Well, It was a mistake on my part to misjudge you before just because of hierarchial class of understanding, Seiji." Daiki apologized. Seiji simply turned around and faced his Evolution 8. He prepares to board his car. "I'm not trying to get you mad or anything, Seiji..." Daiki pleaded.
"Who says I am mad? Let's do it. Just between us. You and me. We start at C1 inner, right at Edobashi and down the Wangan Line. Our stop is here. " Seiji plotted out as he gives the call of their match's route.
"Just a flat out speed chase?" Daiki verifies with a smile.
"That enough is enough for me. Now that I got to understand you more, Daiki Akiyama. It doesn't matter to me who wins or loses. Just give it all you got in this run. We'll use the Yokohane line as a warm up. Our starting point would be the GINZA DIVIDERS." Seiji said.
Daiki boards his own Z and trails Seiji's Evo 8 from behind.
(10:30 p.m.) [Soundtrack: Yuzo Koshiro: Stream of Tears]
Both drivers have reached the Drag Strip of Daiba's second half heading for C1 at a constant pace of 120 km/h. As soon as Seiji turns off his hazard lights, he lets his rear tires smoke as he puches down at gear 2. Daiki does the same as both enter the Ginza tunnel. Down the first 2 dividers and Seiji's starting to form a gap. Daiki isn't bothered with it, however. He just gave a smile. "So he is true to his word. Then I should too."
Exiting the third and final tunnel, Daiki trails Seiji behind by 30 meters.
At the uphill before the Edobashi Branching, Seiji glances at his rearview mirror. "Show me, Akiyama... Show me your true spirit. If you don't want me to take back what I said about you being the ideal Hashirya rival I've longed for, then show me that you can do this pass!" They reach the braking point, 100 meters from the corner's turning radius at an entry speed of 274 km/h both at gear 5. Both drivers simultaneously downshift to gear 4 and yanked their steering wheel to a hard right without countersteering. As the rear tires smoke and the turning radius lessens, They jerk the wheel back to it's 90 degree position and downshifts to gear 3 to regain a bit of acceleration feedback from their cars.
The gap remains constant and both are reaching 300 km/h upon ending the long straight towards high speed corners. Once they have reached the turning point to the Wangan, Daiki unleases his slipstream tactic before the hard left ahead after the medium right corner. He closes in on the Evo 8 and goes side by side down the Wangan line. Seiji,in his seat, smiles and thought that he won't give in that easily.
[Soundtrack: Yuzo Koshiro: Enjoy the Process]
Passing by the delivery trucks and family vans, both drivers follow one lane which the leader, Daiki, is taking. Looking at their tachometers, they have reached 332 km/h before the Tokyo Port tunnel. They battle it out side by side down the tunnel with neither one foolish enough to play a dirty trick on the other. They promised a clean fight. With their sides inches away from causing sparks to flare out, they maintain their pace down the Wangan line.
Passing by the Ohi district, they never let go of their gas pedals. With both glued on it and their gearboxes on gear 6, the only obstacle on their way is none other than traffic and the Wangan Line itself. In their cars, neither one is serious... nor bored. They are both happy as they battle it out. Both have a huge smile on their face but their determination to conquer the entire Tokyo-Kanagawa Line is in their flaring eyes.
As the pass gains a bit of degree on one side, the driver on the outside lets the other pass and regains the tie via slipstream once again. Both of their cars, the Z and the Evo, run phenomenally down the line and look as if two rockets running down the same path. Their speeds if you may ask? Both are in the borderline of 349 km/h with neither one looking bad. Both are on tip top shape.
To them, the traffic doesn't exist... nor do the neon lights of the Tokyo Commercial areas blinding their sense of sight. All they see is an aurora - an aurora of immense beauty, the beauty that doesn't distract but the one that aids. To Daiki and Seiji, they seem so close... yet beyond their reach. This place is only reachable if one truly appreciates the world of the true racer. This place has a name and only those who trod on its speed and appreciate its wonder could see it - the Sanctuary of Speed. It's the first time that both Daiki and Seiji saw this. And they may BE the only ones who would see it; nobody else.
As the desires of two people, two hashirya, mend to one, the sanctuary shows. To the rest outside of this world, they may seem like just dancing around the crowd in a blink of an eye and after another blink, they disappear into the darkness.
Before they new it, they have passed the Airport tunnel and are now past the airport itself. Both cars retain their speed at 349 km/h and at a close distance, they literally are in a tie. It's hard to tell who is winning. And what is happening is beyond logic and physics. Racing, to them, has started to become a whole different world. Even with their consciousness in this sanctuary, they are still aware of their location. Their goal is at the tollgates.
It would be the most remarkable battle that I have had in my life.
Sad to say, the only witnesses to this sprint would be just the two of us. No one else.
And through this battle...
I have found my calling...
To the answers I seek...
I feel myself getting closer...
This is my destiny!
- Chapter 27: A Prince Immortalized -
No one ever knew what happened between the battle of Seiji Tsuchiya and Daiki Akiyama. The only rumor that they could receive of the said battle is that it was the most epic battle ever done around the Entire Shutoku area. Imagine... a flat out sprint from the C1 outer all the way down to the Daikoku Futo JCT. No one knows of the final result... or even at least the details. The only witnesses to this battle are none other than the competitors; just the competitors.
Thanks to Seiji, Daiki has tested his ultimate Z - His self acclaimed Nismo 350Z Z-tune. The tune that he has brought back to life and might only be the existing Z tuned Fairlady in the entire area, if not the entire world.
Because it is the day before December 25th, the racing school is closed for the moment. Although Naoko is not designated to check the school once in a while, she surprisingly appears right infront of Daiki's mansion. She wants to go to the school but Daiki has the master key. And besides, she handed it over when Daiki was back in tip top shape as the president of the said school.
Naoko, who had her green hair tied to a pony tail, looked at her reflection on her green MR-2's window, checking if she has fixed herself properly. She pressed the doorbell and waited for Daiki or anyone in the mansion to answer.
"Um... is Mr. Daiki Akiyama home? I'm her workmate, Naoko Takahashi."
"Naoko? Wow. What a surprise. Do come in." By the tone of that voice, she knew that it is Daiki.
"Ah... uhm... about that..." Naoko staggers.
"Then if you won't come in, I might as well come to you." Daiki replied. He runs to the main door and down the garden path to meet up with Naoko. Wearing a semi-formal short sleeved polo shirt with grey denims to match it he shows his face to Naoko. "So, what is it about this time? I thought you're enjoying your well deserved vacation?"
"I am just curious about one thing in our race course, back at the school." Naoko replied. "Could I take you there, if you have the time that is?"
"I'd be happy to accompany you." Daiki assured. Those words made Naoko's heart race - much like that of Kitana's and Chloe's.
He steps out of the gate to see first hand Naoko's own car. Her Toyota MR-2 SW20 GT is well taken care of; not to mention the added widebody kit that is from the TRD2000GT. "This is your car, huh?" Daiki raised a question. "Sure it is!!" She answered with pride. "It's my pride and joy. Although it is not a monster in the Wangan in comparison to your Z, I still love my MR-2 the way it is." Naoko followed up with a smile. The two of them boarded the MR-2 and drove off to the edge of the Kanagawa area - to where the Akiyama Racing School is located.
Upon arriving at the said area, Daiki opened up the gates to the Motorland race track as Naoko drove her MR-2 in - right into the pits. "Here? What's with the motorland that bothers you?" Daiki asks her. "Well..." she started. "My final duty yesterday was checking the entire area along with the maintenance crew. All was well until one reported that there is one garage unit that cannot be opened." Hearing that last statement made Daiki feel a sudden chill on his spine.
"What's the matter?" Naoko asks. "You look as if you committed a crime or something..." she joked around. Daiki cannot hold the guilt in and immediately admits to Naoko what the garage unit contains. "Sorry, but that happens to be my fault, Naoko. I have the only key to that garage unit."
"What's inside it?" Naoko curiously asked.
"It's..." Before he could answer, he gazed up on the sky, as if his eyes are talking to the sky - asking permission from it. Naoko did'nt understand Daiki's gestures at that moment and bluntly gave a confused look. When Daiki faced Naoko again, he told her. "...Chloe's car."
"Chloe's car? What make is it?" Naoko continuously asked.
"The make is a Porsche... more specifically, and RUF"
"That's the only thing that she left for you before she... saved you, huh?"
Daiki nods in agreement.
"Where are the keys to that car?" She asked one more time.
"It's in the garage. I locked the unit permanently so that it will be immortalized as part of the school; and personally, in memory of her. She risked her life to save mine that night. And this is the only thing that I am able to do to pay back for her loving kindness." Daiki admits. "I can open it if you want, afterall it's just the two of us here."
Naoko was about to say 'forget it.' but she can't say it. Half of her wants to see the last thing that represents Chloe to him.
Daiki takes out a key numbered 3400 and inserts it on the key hole. Upon turning the key, they both heard a click. Afterwards, Daiki raised the gate up and exposed the Porsche to Naoko. He, soon after that, took the car's keys and slowly brought it out of the garage, letting it idle until its entire pink-shaded body gets blessed by the rays of the cold bright sun. Naoko gazed at its beauty. It was a well made Porsche.
"A 911 cabriolet? No... a Boxster?"
"This Boxster, under the RUF code, the 3400S, is her car. She had it in stock for a long time now. The only modification we see on it is just the Yokohama brand 6 spoke rims, like that of the street version of that famous yellow RE Amemiya FD3s. I did a dyno check before when I was all alone here." Daiki shared with her. "It tops a maximum output of 300 flat brake horsepower and has a maximum speed of 285 km/h. Amazing for a car such as this, isn't it?"
"Well for one thing. It is a tuned Porsche, so even if she claims it to be stock... a tuned car is a tuned car. RUF is not a maker at this context as they are Porsche's tuners, like Gembella. So from the start, it is a tuned Porsche already straight from the factory. The stock Boxster pumps out 230 - 250 tops right?" Naoko distincted.
"As I expect from my very own vice president and long term workmate of mine." Daiki complimented with a smile, sending Naoko in her most embarrassed state. Her cheeks puffed up a pinkish red color, exposing her embarrassment right in front of Daiki.
"But I am not going to take it out of its garage just yet. I'll conduct an annual test run to ensure it runs smoothly. Now that you've seen it, we'll be seeing it again next year. And I'll be appointing this task to you and you alone." Daiki commanded humbly.
"Do you trust me that much?" Naoko wondered.
"Why would you doubt? Of course I do." Daiki assured her.
As the soft, weak wind becomes even colder, Naoko decided to take him back home. Down the freeway back to Daiki's mansion, more specifically near the C1 district, Naoko plans to show off a bit of her skills to Daiki - their route is from the New Belt Line's Ohi district back to the Edobashi exit. She floors down the gas and lets the revs dance on her tachometer. Reaching speeds of 280 km/h and constantly rising, she gets her left foot ready to brake by the Hamazakibashi district's junction to the C1.
Approaching the 1st S curve at the Ginza tunnel, she brakes 120 meters ahead and turns upon braking. She nails the inside and presses the gas by the second half of the S curve. She didn't stagger, giving us the impression that she is used to the C1. Truth of the matter? She isn't. She's more vexed on Yokohane than the C1. She's just not showing to Daiki how vulnerable she gets when under pressure. Daiki just observes how she'll be tackling the dividers. She zooms by the first, almost hitting the outside of the second and blasts down the third without much effort. "Whoa. That was close. Who could've known that I could take it on and eventually dominate the treacherous Ginza area..." Naoko thought to herself. "How does Daiki see my driving?"
She glances at Daiki who is talking to himself. "Her movements through the corners are quite something. She had her car's positioning down. All in an average speed of 179 km/h through that section. Impressive." Daiki faces Naoko and was about to say "I have to say, Naoko... your movements through that section are quite impressive". But he caught Naoko blushing in place and Daiki was acting all innocent wondering why the hell is she blushing?
Within moments, they have reached Daiki's mansion once again. Daiki boards off the MR-2 and thanks Naoko. "Thanks a lot for that round trip, Naoko." "Anytime. You know... it may not seem like it but it also feels like a date, don't you?" Naoko admits and asks Daiki's opinion. "It's more like a business venture to me..." Daiki fools around, about to get into Naoko's nerves. "Hey I didn't just blaze past the Ginza area like nothing in comparison to you. I was scared to death, you know!" Naoko thought in her mind. "But if you put it that way, it does." Daiki smile. "So, do you have any plans for Christmas day or even Christmas Eve?" Naoko asks before leaving. "I'm not sure but I do have something in mind."
"If you feel you need some company, Daiki, you know you can call me." Naoko said, giving a wink to Daiki. She then drove off to the horizon, towards her place. Daiki walks towards the inside of his own mansion and decides to find something in his room. As usual, his maids and servants greeted him with a warm "Welcome home, master Akiyama." Daiki afterwards, announced to them that they deserve a well timed vacation, whether within Daiki's household or at their own homes. The servants were overjoyed and made way to their own decisions.
As for Daiki, he decides to sleep as the sky begins to become gloomy. The clock on his room reads 11:27 a.m. but Daiki still cannot get himself to sleep. He just bluntly stares at the sky thinking of what to do. He just had his application as the next racing representative for the GT500 cup's team Pennezoil Motul ready. He'll be piloting the Pennezoil Motul GT-R on the next round at Fuji Speedway by January next week. Shimizu and the Midnight Masters have no meeting whatsoever at Mie from this day until the 30th of December. Thinking of all those technicalities has made Daiki sleepy and has finally dozed off.
[Soundtrack: Paramore - Until Tomorrow]
During his sleep, he had a dream. The dream however was unusual and at the first moment, lame. All he could see are just blank white walls and a strip of red carpet down the white floor. At the end of the long red strip, he could see a familiar figure of a woman she has missed. In fact, he could even see himself run towards the figure. But as soon as he gets closer, the figure flees away from him. "Wait! C-come back!" He tries to run and run.
Every step he takes, he gets farther and farther away from the person he tries to catch. At one instance, she turns around while moving and gave a faint smile back at him. Her golden hair however covered her blue eyes, which were not that hard to see. When she stopped moving, Daiki is gaining on her as he ran. But once he manages to get in close contact with her hand, his hand just passed through. The woman infront of him fades slowly into oblivion.
"No! C-come back! I need you with me!" Daiki pleaded to the girl. The girl simply looked at Daiki with intimacy and told him... "Thank you." With the gestures of her cherry red lips. The only thing that was left of the woman before she finally disappeared completely is her purple berret.
Daiki turned weak, and fell on his knees. "Why!? Why must I lose everything that I love in a short span of time!! WHY IS THIS SO!!" He shouted and begged for an answer. He held tight to the berret in his hand and thinks of an answer. At the same time, no matter how hard he wanted it so, he just cannot shed a tear for a loss he had... lost.
Somebody behind Daiki shows himself and starts talking sense to him.
"We lose everything we love because this world is finite. Love IS a many splendor thing but such a thing can be lost easily with just the simple action of a false word out of an innocent tongue or a false move done by intricate hands." the person said. Daiki looked to see who is this person talking to him and couldn't believe that it was himself. Daiki speaks to Daiki to regain his worth as a determined person.
"Are... you... me?" Daiki wonders, addressing it to the person behind him.
"I am you and I am not you." The lookalike answered. "In this current world, everything is finite. Nothing is infinite. Nothing is limitless; all but one thing. If you desire to know what this thing is, then you must first understand the frailty of this system - whether be concrete or abstract." he continued.
"Well... I agree with you. Everything happens so fast in a short time yet I have lost the greatest thing of all in this short time, despite the fact that I regain something within myself at that period too..." Daiki admits.
"The sky and the thrill of speed..."
Even if this is a dream, Daiki couldn't put his finger on what this 'thing' is saying.
"Speed , Space and Sky... the only things that are limitless. Limitless in the sense that man has tried to search for a limit. They have assumed yet they want to earn evidence of this truth. But they have not attained this evidence they seek. As for the sky, we are too weak to trust on our own bodies to see how far we can go - how far we can take ourselves to the sky. Next to this sky, comes space; where there is no limit to its vast distance. We have to depend on machines to accomplish that."
"But aren't cars man made machines too?" Daiki reasoned out.
"They are and they are not." 'Daiki' answered Daiki. "Most of man who had an intimate attachment to these machines has considered 'it' as a 'he' or a 'she', therefore, human. These... cars... are beings as well... they are a part of us... In fact, they are us. The road is our field, thus the cars are the people. We walk to places, cars do the same. Can that satisfy your doubt? Cars are machines and cars are NOT machines."
Daiki stands up, holding the woman's berret in hand, and faces this Daiki lookalike face to face.
"If you are me... and you are not me..." Daiki thought aloud. "Who might you really be?" He asks.
"Your role is... to make ourselves and these... machines... more real. In that sense, I am not you... yet. But if you realize this soon, you will be me. Succeed in this sport, let man realize what he is missing, the missing thing in him that would make him love himself with respect."
"Through... cars and racing?" Daiki thought.
The person infront of him nods. "These cars... they are What binds us together is what keeps us apart. A truth shrowded in the shadows of reality. Your role... would be to take things to new heights. Show them this power that you possess. Nobody can do this but you. And you have proven it time and again - from the moment you faced the Purple Rotary down to the battle with your own imagination, that is the Blood-ridden Silver."
"What binds us together... is what keeps us apart?" Daiki reiterates once more. "Blood-ridden... silver... Silverblood? The 280Z?" Looking back at Seiji's words, he finally agreed. "So Seiji was right."
"Daiki Akiyama... the soon sought after Prince of Racing... you have been reborn... Prove your worth to the entire land. Show your skill... And you will come across the greatest rival other than yourself..." The white room gets even whiter until it illuminates the entire vision.
Daiki has woken up; time that has struck him is 7:27 p.m. in the evening. He looks to his hand to find a berret clinched in his right fist. He stands up from his bed, still with the berret in hand, and grabs his Z's keys. He glances at the picture frame next to where his keys were and gave it one last thought. "Chloe..." he uttered.
[TOKYO SHUTOKU FREEWAY - DAIKOKU FUTO, Kanagawa area]
[Soundtrack - Yuzo Koshiro: Shine]
December 24, 2004. 11:55 p.m. The sky has turned grey, blue, and dark altogether. Nobody is around the Daikoku Futo area. Empty, as the time when Seiji parked days ago. But this time; no Seiji, no couple making out in a Suzuki Alto, exactly no one around. The parking area is bed ridden. Daiki drives his Nismo 350Z z Tune into the empty parking area, with only one thing in mind - Chloe.
As he got out, he starts to feel sentimental about all that he has been through in the Wangan - it is the place where the fire in him is rekindled, it is the place where he met and lost his first & only love, and it is the place where he became a legend. All of it took place there.
Looking around the Daikoku Futo parking area, he sees nothing. He only sees his 350Z Z tune with its headlights on. He turned around to see 'Chloe'. She's just a few feet away from Daiki, carrying her heartwarming smile. She smiles at Daiki with her sincere blue eyes. As soon as Daiki turns around, he sees 'Chloe' close her eyes and fade away, much like in that dream of his.
He extends his hand, hoping to feel her but he didn't catch anything.
Disappointed, he faces his 350Z. Next to Chloe's Porsche Boxster/ RUF 3400s, his love for Chloe also resides in his 350Z. He starts to feel empathic and considers his own Z as Chloe. He then became even more emotional as midnight is about to strike. He rubs his palm down the Z's flawless hood. Upon realizing that his love for Chloe continues, he begins to cry and kneels down next to his 350Z, letting go of the guilty and regretful feeling that built up. Coincidentially, the first snowflake starts to fall on Daikoku Futo.
December 25, 2004. 12:03 a.m.
This same legendary 350Z that was brought to its debut back at the 4th of April of this year, continues to trod the Wangan endlessly, proving his worth here and in the professional world. Whatever place he may race on, he continues to dominate. Old Legends fall as the new legends, much like Akiyama here, rise. Down the all famous ferris wheel near Tokyo Bay, and parallel to the Wangan Line, the Z with its entire finesse runs down flat at an astonishing speed of 367 km/h and rising. With full control, Daiki holds down his speed. Passing through the Tokyo Port tunnel, the sound of the Turbocharged, tri-aspiration performanced 350Z echoes around its walls.
The wangan embraces Daiki's emotions and blends together to form a distinct path that Daiki can see at the back of his eyes. Pretty much like the Sanctuary of Speed but with the influences of what his twin in his dream mentioned - The thrill of speed, the vastness of space, and the essence of the sky: The 3 things that are infinite to that of just mere man. What he could see is what he will only see from this time hereon. He has opened up a new road on the Wangan - The Prince's road is what most legends call it. To a Japanese Shutoku Legend, he who masters all; circuit, wangan, touge, and grew up on the wangan, will experience the path to the Prince's road. There will be no turning back though. Racing has opened up a new page to those who has entered this road. Daiki is one of them.
In real time, a Lancer Evolution 8 MR-FQ400 runs side by side with the upcoming legend. He has proven his worth as well but has decided to trod his own path - an infamous, unknown path with an anonymous route. He runs on the same speed as that of Daiki's 350Z and is running as if he is flying with the sky. Seiji Tsuchiya - as of this moment, is the first person who has parred up with Daiki Akiyama yet isn't considered as the first to come close to beating him. Right now, Seiji doesn't care about such a title. All that matters to him - is riding on his own pace, experiencing this new form of speed in his own way; even when he runs at the same pace as that of his rival.
Both the Z and the Evolution run parallel down the Wangan line as they enter the Airport Tunnel. Again, their engines echo and scream in and out. With nobody around to witness it yet again, the two vanish into legend. Their names will be remembered but their battles won't be. Only a few have seen them battle each other but nobody witnessed who won and lost - for who won... and who lost... does not matter to these two Hashirya.
Tokyo, engulfed with Neon lights warm and cool in color, are joined by a pair of lights from the freeways... As they make way down their legendary route, they vanish into the mist. Soon at that day, a field will cover the roads they have taken; so that no one would imitate this road that they took.
Daiki Akiyama. He is known for many names: the silent assassin. The Silver knight of the Wangan. The charismatic miracle worker. The last host of Silverblood. As many as they come; no one dares undermine him but not one has dared to face him in an all out battle down the Tokyo Expressways. But from this moment forth, he will be known... as...
The Prince of All Racing Divisions
...yet his home... will still be on the Wangan; wherever he may step foot in victory.
- The End -
- EPILOGUE -
- A new mark in the world of Auto Racing -
- Part 1: Introduction -
January 2005, the new year has began. At the boundaries of the Tokyo Shutoku freeways, the regulars have returned after its moment of slumber - the slumber that they fear in the past year, a month ago, Silverblood; which was nothing but a battle against a driver's own self worth. No news was ever heard from the likes of the 2 kings of the Wangan, Seiji Tsuchiya and Daiki Akiyama. Kazuhiko Aizawa, Seiji's longest associate keeps himself updated of Seiji's whereabouts but refuses to expose those exploits of his to the public ear. Daiki gets himself associated more and more with the Midnight Masters and lets Naoko handle things at the Akiyama Racing School.
At the day, a couple of Wangan racers appear. At night, they too appear, double the value of the day-people. There are also some who were on the day and who appear on the night at the same time. Daikoku Futo becomes crowded once again with the return of Wangan regulars cherishing information and moments with the current legends. Surprisingly, at some days, Seiji and Daiki appear with the crowd.
One day, however, a new Legend WILL emerge; starting off at a completely different road in comparison to the other legends.
January 19, 2005.
A contender of the Gymkhana track, Kogure Seishiro shows himself infront of the house at Gunma prefecture. Kogure is a regular of the Akina scene and is well associated with the group of people he's conversing with as of this moment - 2 parents and a boy who looks to be in his junior year.
"Now, Kogure. I want you to take care of my son. He is so persistent in finishing his studies here in Gunma for some reason."
"I told you, mom. I am aiming for the loyalty award that I'll give you when you come home with dad."
"Just be sure you be good to ol' Kogure here. Don't be too much of a rebel like you were years ago." The father advised the son.
"Yes, dad. Yes. I'll be good." The boy said in an ironic tone.
"I hope he is not much of a trouble to you, Kogure." The mother apologized.
"No, it won't be. I'll gladly take care of him on your behalf, Mrs. Kitsumoro." Kogure assured.
"Good. Now, Tomogashi. Be good while we're gone okay? We'll send you money in your ATM account. Don't spend it all and end up like your good for nothing cousins, alright?" The mother warned.
"Love you son." The father said as he kissed his son on the cheek.
The kid did the same thing to his mother and watched them get a cab and drive off to the airport.
"Finally!!" Tomo stretched his arms up as he sees no sign of his parents. "Independence, here I come!!"
"Don't get too high on yourself, Tomo. You're still in my hands, remember? Take note that you are..."
"Just Sixteen years old with barely enough knowledge of the outside world and that I need to learn from my guardian about what it means to make a living. I know I know, Kogure-san." Tomo said in a sarcastic tone.
"Are you mocking your OWN parents?"
"That's a strong word there, Kogure." I'm not mocking them. "I am glad that I don't need to hear those words again. It made me feel inferior all the time and weak at that. Now I can be strong in my own pace!!"
"Whatever you say, little Tomo."
Tomogashi Kitsumoro, also known as Tomo, enters his own house frolicking like a little brat free from his parents clutches. He has black spikey hair, 5"7 in height and likes to wear unbuttoned short sleeved polo shirts with a contrasting T shirt inside it, paired with denims. He is a good boy but acts like a kid when being counseled, thinking that he is being hurt with words that should guide him. His hobbies are playing games and cars. At school, however, he is a smart child also; considered to be among the top 3 in his class.
Kogure Seishiro happens to be the Kitsumoro's closest relative. He has hazelnut toned hair, combed to the side, wears glasses, 6"0 in height and is a well modest, good looking man. He most of the time wears a felt jacket with a beige coat on top. He works as an Automotive Consultant and a regular member of the board of a famous Automotives firm. And, yes. He drives. His car? A white Nissan CS14 Silvia K's Aero; the 1997 model, the 240SX.
The reason why Tomo's parents asked Kogure to be his guardian is because he is the only one who lives at Gunma, like the Kitsumoros.
Before Tomo's parents left, they have one last piece of advice for Kogure - they want him to get his driver's license since he has been nagging about it for a while now; getting envious of his other classmates who already drive.
"So, where do you want to sleep?" Kogure asked.
"Anywhere's fine. I am not that picky." Tomo humbly answered.
"So, you don't mind at all if I made you sleep in the attic?"
"I'M NOT GOING THAT FAR!!!" Tomo yelled.
Kogure laughed in place and admits "I'm just messing with ya. Do you always fall for such simple jokes? No wonder you're the target of everybody's prank at school..."
"Not to mention the source of envy..." He thought aloud.
As soon as Kogure and Tomo unpacked at a simple, empty room which only has a bed, the latter seems to be fine with the setup - simple yet cozy. Tomo had a picture of a Nissan Skyline BNR34 hung on the wall right over his bed. It was one of the many portraits he got when the R34 was first released to the public, back in 1999.
"Dinner will be in a while so make yourself at home."
"Sure Kogure." Tomo approved.
Tomo looks around for a while as he waits. When he got instantly bored, he jumped on his bed and laid there looking at the sky. He gets the picture of the BNR34 and looks at it with awe. "Aww!~ I wish we had a GT-R!!" He grumbled. "If only it was a tad bit cheaper like the CR-V or something... but it isn't."
At the Wangan, a white GT-R34 and a blue FD raced down the Wangan Line as the sun sets. The two cars are still tied and neither one is giving in to pressure. As they enter the Tokyo Port Tunnel, the one on the inside of the right corner, which is the FD, gets ground and claims the lead from the GT-R.
"I'll tie up with you again, Yamazaki!!" Kazuhiko, the FD driver yelled.
"We still have a few kilometers left. Don't be so sure of yourself!" Raymond Yamazaki hollered in his seat.
Back at Kogure's place...
The two of them are having an early dinner. Kogure decided to lighten things up by asking Tomo a few questions.
"Say Tomo, why didn't you join your parents on their overseas trip?"
"I don't want to. And I want to stay in Japan."
"Even with the height of this country's economic status and the cost of living?"
"I don't want to talk about stuff like that yet. Wait till I get to my senior year and we have our Economics class underway."
"Unless the reason is because of a girl... eh?" Kogure kids around.
The last question made Tomo sip his strand of Ramen noodles quite fast that it nearly made him choke.
"So tell me, who's the girl?"
"S-she's from the honor's class... a member of the council..."
"Is she cute?"
"Got a picture?"
"Man! You're hopeless..." Kogure jokes around again. "you got to at least get a picture of the girl so that I can see what you mean by 'cute'."
"Well, she already has someone in mind..."
"FAIL!" Kogure shows a thumbs down. "You already lost her, man. Get a new one..."
"I'm still trying... No one there is par to the likes of her as of the moment..." Tomo said in a gloomy manner.
Kogure pats his shoulder and assured him.
"Don't worry. You'll meet the right one, eventually."
"What about that girl you met at Hokkaido?" Tomo asked. "Didn't she admit that she likes you by kissing you?"
"She decided to stay with the Doctor we associated with. And IT WAS ON THE CHEEK AND SHE CAUGHT ME OFF GUARD."
"Riiiiiiiiiiiiight...." Tomo joked around.
"Anyway..." Tomo followed up. "Don't you think it is a bit early for dinner. I mean... 2 packets of instant ramen for each of us?"
"Well, it's because I have an appointment somewhere... at a touge pass..."
"Ooh!" Tomo starts to get excited. "Can I come?"
"Sorry. You got classes tomorrow remember?"
Tomo stands up without saying a word and gets Kogure's cellphone from the counter. "I wonder if she'll like you still knowing that you're seeing someone else..."
"H-hey! You can't do that!!"
"Then take me... in your S14..."
Kogure gave a huge sigh right after that. "I guess I have no choice, do I? Alright. You can come."
After an hour, Tomo and Kogure decide to drive off to Mt. Akagi. The car seems to be completely stock, coated in a fine sheet of crystal white paint. The K's logo shines brightly against the lights of the street lamps.
Kogure places his S14 in gear, reminds Tomo to buckle up and feel the car move as he places it in gear 1 and softly accelerates out of the house garage.
- Part 2: Sidelines -
Passing by the establishment located at the base of Mt. Akagi, Kogure's S14 cruises by at a constant pace of 30 km/h up the pass. Tomo was so excited to finally see his first race meet, as he deduced according to Kogure's information. Wearing a typical base-colored shirt and denim jeans, he sits happily in the S14's Recaro brand bucket seat, which has a double harness by the way.
Kogure, who is wearing a thick, grey windbreaker and dark cargo pants watches his young relative admire the picturesque view of Akagi's green landscapes as they make their way up the hill. "This is your first time coming to Mt. Akagi, isn't it, Tomo?" Kogure asked out of the blue.
"Huh?" Tomo wondered aloud. His mind was drifting off into space as he combines his experience in arcade racing with that of what he is seeing right now. He can picture his favorite Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R do some absolutely astounding powerslides as it one by one, passes a red Honda NA1 NSX type S, A lavender Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 6 GSR, and a Yellow Subaru Impreza WRX STi Coupe version V. He imagines his dream car blast by them through the corners and the straightways of what he has just seen up Mt. Akagi.
"You were saying?" Tomo asked kogure with sincerity. "Is this your first time?" Kogure reitterated. "Um... yeah, it is!" Tomo cheerfully squealed in his seat. "Really. By the looks of how you said it, you barely get out of the house on your own, eh?" Kogure indirectly asked him. "Truthfully speaking, yes." Tomo admits in a hazy tone. "Among my high school friends, I'm more often than not called a home boy for that reason. Most of my classmates told me straight that my life is boring and dull. And those who had the same interest as me at my school admits that what I want to accomplish, in relation to my dream GT-R, will be nothing more but a dream. I hate to admit it, but I agree with all of them."
Kogure gave Tomo a concerned look. "It must be hard for you... to be different among your classmates." Kogure admits. "I can't help it. Where I study, if you're different, you'll be the subject of all their experiments." Tomo shared. "Experiments?" Kogure wonders as he downshifts a gear entering the cat's eye hairpin of Akagi. "I'll always be picked at, insulted, accused of, and ignored by almost everyone in school. They make me the group leader so that if anything untoward happens to the group, I'll be at fault. And did I mention to you my rape case at the swimming pool a year back?" Tomo sarcastically reminds Kogure.
"Well, don't bring it up again. And by how you explain everything, you're trying to sound like you're living the worst time in your school. You have my pity." Kogure told Tomo. "I don't need your pity. What good will it do to me if nothing would change in my life? Did I forget to mention that it doesn't end at school... Anywhere I go, I am always misunderstood. No one ever gets my point. And when I suggest something, they ignore it altogether. But if somebody else suggests what I suggested, they'd comply... It really hurts me a lot..."
"If it hurts you that much, then better yet that you stop talking about that half of your life, Tomo." Kogure advised. "It's for your good. It'll do a lot of good things to you. Trust me. Dwelling on problems and mistakes won't change anything. Best be positive of things and abolish all negative feelings you recently, previously, or currently feeling."
"But how can I do that? I am a weak person all in all." Tomo admits as he slowly sheds a tear. Kogure notices this and feels sorry for Tomo. AT this young age, he experiences so much pain. Being misunderstood all the time, Kogure really feels for him. He held the steering wheel with his right hand as he comforts Tomo with his left, patting his head like a little puppy. "Don't worry." He assured. "From now on, things will change. You won't be misunderstood any longer. Trust me."
After all that heart-to-heart sharing, they unconsciously made it to the peak of the pass. As Kogure brings the S14 to an open parking space, he raises the e-brake upon parking, turns of the ignition and steps out of the car. "Well, Tomo.... here we are." Kogure introduced.
Tomo's jaw dropped as he couldn't believe what he is seeing. There are tons of sports coupes and sedans parked in the Akagi parking area. Ranging from RX-7's, Imprezas, S15 Silvias, Toyota Supras, etc. "Is this heaven?" Tomo wonders. "No, this is a lot full of cars you wouldn't believe your eyes. And no stock Civic Ferios or Nissan Sunnys to wreck the picture." Kogure joked around.
"What time is it, Kogure-san?" Tomo wonders as he fixes his black spikey hair. "7:25 p.m., Tomo." Kogure answered. "So, when is this meeting gonna start, Kogure-san?" Tomo asks.
"Well, it has started already. If you mean by THE meeting... then wait another half hour more, if you wish. There is gonna be a battle coming up soon." Kogure assured. "A BATTLE!!?" Tomo leaped for joy. "As in a one on one? What kind of cars are gonna race? Gimme a hint!!" Tomo jumped and begged all over Kogure. "Easy. Easy. I don't want to spoil ALL of it, got that?" Kogure said as he held Tomo by the cranium. "Just walk around and admire the cars for a moment. When I ring your phone, come back here to the S14, got it?" Tomo nods his head and ran around like a little kid all over the parking area.
"Your kid? When did you have a son?" Someone among the crowd asks Kogure as he walks towards him. "Hmph. I never expect you to be out here with a newbie." He continued. Kogure puts his hands in his cargo pants' pockets and walks to the person talking to him. "Sorry to disappoint you but, he is not my kid. He's a relative I'll be looking after from this point on so get used to his face, Haruhi Satou." The person talking to Kogure is Haruhi Satou. She may be a girl but she's as good as Kogure. Haruhi has Brown, shoulder-length hair tied to a ponytail, wears a pair of glasses over her front bangs, and likes to dress up with almost anything that goes well with a mini skirt. This night, she's wearing a long sleeve pink sweater paired to a white fluffy mini skirt and white stockings. She works as a waitress at a restaurant close to Mt. Akagi and she's good friends with Kogure; they know each other through the said restaurant as Kogure goes there everytime he comes down the mountain during the day.
"Is your coffee back at the restaurant as good as your get up?" Kogure kids around. "Wha!?~ Of course! Why won't it? And are you trying to flirt with me?" Haruhi wonders. "Isn't it obvious?" Kogure continues to joke around. "So, who's the kid?" Haruhi asks. "Well, that's Tomo. He's a relative of mine who wishes to become a hashirya too." Haruhi quite doesn't understand whether he's joking or is he serious. "He's quite young if you ask me." Haruhi admits.
"How's your car by the way?" Kogure asks. "My NB? I just had a supercharger installed in it." "How much does it make now?" "Well... roughly as much as your S14." Haruhi admits. "Are you still as fast as they say at Omote Rokko?" Kogure continues. "You know that course is dead. I'm running down here nowadays. My times are not as good as that of the team racing tonight."
"You mean those young guns? Well, you can't blame them. They have the resources and the drive. Especially that RX-7 kid. But I think he's taking things a bit too fast." Kogure shared with Haruhi. "You can't blame him, Kogure. Like you said, he has the drive. You can't stop him. But knowing you, you can take him down anytime you want. Your S14 has never been beaten, am I right? Owning the most underrated Silvia and yet come out victorious..."
"Well, this S14 does have the greatest advantage." Kogure brags. "And what could that be?" Haruhi asks him. "Acceleration of course. Despite its small powerband, it immediately hits its optimum speeds each gear unlike any car I've driven."
"That's the ONLY car you've driven, Kogure." Haruhi corrected.
One of the bystanders happens to notice the competing group arrive for the said event. "Hey, everyone! They're here!!!" The guy hollered to the crowd. Most of them went out of their way and ran to the side to watch the match of the night unfold. A red 1996 RX-7 which holds a Mazdaspeed A-spec bodykit makes its way onto the parking area, escorted with a Yellow Honda Integra type R DC2 and an orange Honda S2000 type V. This group happens to be the current reigning champions of Mt. Akagi par to the regular Lancer Evolution team residing in the pass. The driver of the FD steps out and gets ready to meet the crowd. He's known for his 2 strands of thick hair exposed from the red snow hat, which makes him look like a rapper, that he wears all the time. He wears a plain white sando topped with a dark green unbuttoned polo shirt paired with black denim slacks. He's Hiroto Agesoma, one of the young guns that Kogure is talking about. The ones with him are what he calls his entourage, Megumi Kurogane, the Integra driver and Hagashi Tatashima, the S2000 driver.
"I guess they're here to race, and not to meet..." Kogure wonders. "Just one of them actually" Haruhi corrects him. "Whatever is the case, I promised Tomo. He's not gonna miss this one."
As for Tomo, though, he is caught up with a sight that he has longed for ever since - a Black Pearl Nissan Skyline GT-R R34. It's the 1999 model, noted by the hood - it has no air dam on the upper right side of it. His worship moment was interrupted when he felt a vibration from his left pocket. "Oh, Kogure's calling. I better go." He crosses his arms and walks to Kogure's S14. "Too bad it isn't blue in color or I would've hugged it even if it is not mine..."
Minutes later, 2 cars are ready to race down Mt. Akagi - Hiroto's Mazdaspeed FD and a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 RS from the Evo group mentioned moments ago. Tomo, who is watching from the straightway close to the first hairpin, anxiously waits to see what happens - so angst that he begins to speculate. "I think the Evo 7 will take the lead first but then again, that FD looks fast."
"He's such a kid... Well, I did act like that when it was my first time to see a battle..." Haruhi admits to Kogure. "Well, both of you better get ready to see who's gonna be first as it's about to begin." Kogure reminds the two. From the top, both the RX-7 and Evo 7 accelerates off the starting line. It was neck to neck, and hard to tell. Both of the cars look so evenly matched but more specifically, the FD has the upperhand. From the outside, as soon as it passes by Tomo's place, it slowly attacks hard on the inside, threatening the Evo 7. The Evo driver was helpless and braked to save his Evo's framework. Hiroto gave a grin on his seat and quickly maneuvers the corkscrew section of Akagi with ease. Hiroto, upon entering the first hairpin, he raises his e-brake as he presses on the brakes, he yanks the wheel and lets the rear slide.
Tomo was amazed by just looking at it. "Whoa!!! That's a cool drift!!!" He hollered out, getting the attention of the other bystanders. Kogure, embarrassed by the eyes of the seriously concerned audience just told them all, "Sorry. He's new here... forgive him". The audience just ignored him and went back to observing the FD. Kogure observes Tomo and thinks to himself... "well, I can't blame him... He IS new to this scene. By the looks of his face, he is fascinated so much with this kind of amazement. Hmph. Well, I was the same back in the day before I became a regular of the scene too."
After a few moments, the race ended with the FD leading a phenomenal 220 meter gap from the Evo 7. Haruhi boarded her car and left while Tomo, who is a bit drowzy and amazed by the battle, & Kogure boarded the S14 and went back home.
At Tomo's high school the next day, during his lunch break, he continues to tell stories of his first spectated race. He only had 2 best friends among his batch - Hiei Kamura and Ryusen Kennichi. Hiei is a moe [mo-eh] addict whereas Ryusen is fond of different forms of Martial Arts and anime. But what binds them together is their extreme love for epic comedy that got them together. Nothing different about each of them ever bothers them at all.
"Damn. That was a cool match. Too bad that I live near Mt. Myogi than Akagi..." Hiei mentioned. "Well, at least you reach there. I'm closer to Tomo's place which is near Akagi." Ryusen complained in return. "Well, not exactly near Akagi; just somewhere between Myogi and Akagi, frankly speaking."
"Well, point taken is that you were lucky. Before you moved in with that relative of yours, you were nothing more but like us. Home boys..." Ryusen kids around.
"FREEDOM!!!" Hiei screams randomly that caught Tomo & Ryusen's attention. "What?"
"You gonna eat that?" Hiei pointed to a bento box that Tomo barely touched due to excessive story telling of the FD and the Evo 7.
- Part 3: Wishes -
At Tomo's general high school, located at downtown Gunma prefecture, he's currently taking up his mathematics class - trigonometry. Among the students in his class, Tomo is the only one exceeding less effort among the many. Why is this so? Tomo's practically skilled in mathematics and as long as he has the basics down, he could even ace a math test without practicing at home. Tomo's practically among the top 3 in his class in math.
"Yo, Tomo! Do me a favor and answer my homework." One of his classmates asked him.
Tomo just ignored his classmate and continued with his doodling at the back of his math notebook.
"Snob." his classmate said as he walked away. Moments later, another classmate of his approached him. She bribed him that 'I'd go out with you if you do my homework' but Tomo's not even interested with his girl classmate. Sure she had a pretty face, but she isn't much of Tomo's type. "You're just gonna use me to ace your own grades. I can tell by your face." Tomo thought to himself. And again, he ignored her and she walked away, just like that.
As soon as math class came up, only around a sixth of the class passed their assignments, with Tomo gaining a perfect score. Most of them were in a rush to complete their assignments on the spot but we're too 'busy' to understand its fundamentals, making them answer nothing.
After 3 hours, it was dismissal time.
Tomo hurries to the school bus parking area, where Hiei and Ryusen are; all 3 of them are in different sections so they could only see each other during break time and after classes. Ryusen notices Tomo's cheerful face and asks him "You seem to be in a spunky mood. Did something happen at class?"
"Nah, not really. Just humiliated another set of friendly users." Tomo joked around.
"And that's why I don't do yoga!" Hiei randomly finished the conversation.
"Lolz!" Ryusen acclaimed as they laughed.
"Well, your bus just left seconds ago. Watcha gonna do?" Hiei asks Tomo.
"Not to worry. Kogure is picking me up."
"In his Silvia?" Ryusen asks.
"Right on. We're going somewhere he calls the Daikoku pier. He's taking me to one of his clients for a magazine."
"He's gonna get shots for the new magazine's cover right?"
"How'd you know?"
"You kept blabbering about it during lunch remember?"
"How could he even remember that Ryu? I mean, he's eye boggling Rikona from afar while he talks." Hiei reminded him.
"Man, you're spaced out when it comes to her..." Ryusen said. "Get her as your girlfriend already!"
"I'm still young, remember!? Hello? J.W.!!" He reminded them.
"Oh yeah... sorry..." Ryusen said as he bops his head.
"Or do what I do, get a pictorial girlfriend. Like this picture of Nodoka from Negima!!" Hiei suggested as he raises a laminated 3 x 5 picture of Nodoka.
Tomo and Ryusen were blunt silent. "Uh, Hiei... did you take your medicine this morning?" Tomo asks.
While they kid around, Ryusen saw Tomo's sensei in science class. "Tomo, isn't that Ms. Uehara? Your ex co adviser back at first year?"
"Oh, yeah... she is." Tomo recalled.
"Well, she does have a load of stuff in her hands. Let's help her out."
"Great! Then I could disturb her with my obsession with Nodoka! Wait 'till I show her my desktop mascots of the entire cast in my notebook laptop!" Hiei planned aloud.
The 3 rush over to Ms. Uehara. She has long hair, which she often ties into a ponytail, wears glasses and likes to wear a thin but slimming black coat. She claims that it's an ice age back at the faculty if she doesn't have classes.
"MS. UEHARA!!!" Tomo hollered!
The teacher looked to see Tomo with HIei and Ryusen, waving at her. "Hey, Tomo! Long time no see!!! How is your science teacher this year?"
"Not as fun as you."
"Just because I consider you as my prime student in science doesn't mean that you can go ang butter me up about it. I know you aced your physics activities but..."
"Oh, come on, ma'am. It's very elementary."
"Because it is car related." Ryusen added behind Tomo.
"...That too." Tomo admits. "You seem to have your hands full, might if we give a hand?"
"Oh, sure, thanks. It's for the physics club activity project they proposed for the school fair."
"I can't wait for the second school fair!" Hiei shouts out.
"At least you guys had already. This is just my first."
"Ha!~ why?" Ryusen wondered.
"It's because he is out with the chicken pocks right after giving my Tanoshiku a hand made recycled sculpture of a white cat with a ribbon."
"Please, ma'am, not this again."
"...Eventually," his teacher added. "the rest of the class got to him by the end of the quarter, making him from 1st in class to 3rd. Even Ms. Tanoshiku got his well deserved 1st rank."
"Oh, come now, miss..." Tomo aggravated. "The only reason why Natsumi is able to get close to my grade is because I am helping her out."
"Yeah, and you're about to say is that she's been sitting next to her crush who is sports bound but has a brain with the of a pea and who nearly got a 74 in my class."
"Well it's true!!" Tomo exclaimed.
"You can't blame her Tomo. And besides, you'll eventually find that special somebody you long for..."
"Yeah, like Rikona." Hiei answered in advance.
"That, my friends would be just a fickle dream. Tomo can do it but is too spaced out and restless to be part of the honor's class!"
"Ms. Uehara!!!~" Tomo complained as they all laughed.
Finally, they brought all the stuff Ms. Uehara had onto her own car - a 2003 Toyota Corolla Altis with a basic sports bodykit.
Ryusen whistles at the golden-beige dealer paint job it had.
"Nice car..." Hiei whispers.
"Are you planning to put a 4A-GEU in there in the futuer?" Tomo asked out of the blue.
"As if I can afford one. And I don't think 12000 rpm would go well with my car as of the moment." Ms. Uehara claims.
"No way, ma'am..." Ryusen wonders. "You understand car language? Are you a hashirya?"
"Of course not! I just learned that from reading that famous racing manga, Initial D."
"Oh...~" The 3 of them wondered.
"Didn't Tomo tell you last year? I am a manga addict! My most favorite is Samurai X!"
"NEW RECRUIT!!" Hiei shouted.
"Well, it's 5:00. Shouldn't you be out partying or something boys? It is friday afterall..."
"Homeboys..." The 3 answered.
"Ah... Best stay at home than waste your money and spirit at such senseless partyings... Well, good for you 3." Ms. Uehara mentioned as she ignites the engine and lowers the window. She puts the car in R and reverses in place, out of the parking area. She waves her hand to the boys and drove off.
"Man... I wish I have a car of my own..." Hiei wonders.
"Well my uncle said that he's getting me an S2000 next year." Ryusen proudly claims.
"Gee... lucky you." Tomo said in an envious tone.
"Second hand..." Ryusen added.
Before they turn back, a familiar SR20DET stops near Tomo's place in the parking area. It's Kogure. "You ready Tomo? We're gonna be late."
"Gotta go guys." Tomo said to the two as he runs to the Silvia.
"Kogure, take care of that runt. He's reckless!!"
"Ryusen!!!" Tomo said again in a sarcastic tone.
The S14 drove off the school and enters the freeway, near the Edobashi junction.
- Part 4: Reality Shrouded in Blood -
Upon reaching the junction towards the Wangan Line, Kogure's S14 increases in pace. Kogure slowly presses deeper on the gas glancing at Tomo who just felt the G forces pull him back on his seat. "Umph." Tomo quietly moaned on his seat. "Kogure, how much does your S14 hold anyway?" "Around 250 max. Do you have any information on Silvias on your mind, Tomo?" "Well, concerning YOUR silvia, it holds at the most 220 stock. What did you do to increase its peak power?" Tomo asks. "Nothing much. I just changed the muffler, added a cooling module and changed the pistons of my S-type engine." Kogure answers straightforward.
Tomo smiles and indirectly tells Kogure, "Now I know where I get my car knowledge from which side of the family..." He proudly told himself aloud. Kogure smiles in place but has some serious doubts lingering in his mind. "True, I may claim myself as Tomo's relative but I don't think he'd long for the truth about me for a long time... Even his folks and a few of my other so-called relatives and co-workers think I am Kogure Seishiro... What they don't know is that when I am out with my Silvia, 'Kogure' is something more like a pen name. There's no way would I ever expose my true name." he thought.
While they're on the Wangan Line, Tomo notices something right behind Kogure's S14, a convoy of authentic sports cars with dark window tints. "An Infiniti G35, two Toyota Chasers, one Toyota Mark II, and a Mazdaspeed 6..." he identifies. "Hmm? What's up, Tomo?" Kogure asks. "Don't you think we're being tailgated by those 5 cars behind us?"
"Well... it is 3 kilometers worth of straight road before the Ohi district. You can't blame them for tailgating. You rarely go to Tokyo, right?" Kogure asks. "That's true." "Well, get used to such, especially here in the Wangan. Afterall, they are driving on the same regulated speed we're in too so it's nothing for you to question about." He answers Tomo with a smile.
Tomo hardly agrees with Kogure's thoughts. The reason to this is that he has a strong feeling that he has seen those cars before. He thinks he saw them at the parking area at their school but he denies it. He could be right, though.
Passing by the airport, Tomo glances again at the rearview mirror. This time, there's no sign of them. "They're gone..."
"They must have gone into the Ohi overpass. It's the overpass right after the tunnel." Kogure explains.
"Well, buckle up, Tomo. Past the airport, I'll be kicking things up a notch. Get ready to kick into gear 4, at maximum throttle!!"
Kogure engages the clutch, lets go of the accelerator for a few split seconds and shifts up to gear 4 upon letting the revs reach almost the 7000 red limit. The turbo of the S14 kicks in and a huge amount of inertial G movements push Tomo right at his seat. "T-this feels like riding a roller coaster." "You ain't seen nothing yet!!" Kogure follows up as he presses deeper on the gas causing the S14 to rocket into 200 kilometers.
reaching the Daikoku Pier, Kogure gets view of his client - Yuka Takashi, one of many female models selected to be featured in the next cover of the latest BMI Motorsport Magazine series. With her is the owner of the car, a fully Tuned Amuse S2000 R1, she is leaning on - Gonsuke Mikagami. Gonsuke is a well known street racer who works more often at the Gymkhana private track. He has held numerous records for the FR compact class. His car is selected to be featured with him as the magazine's interviewee in the Behind the Wheel segment of the magazine.
As both Kogure and Tomo step out of the Silvia, the earlier reminds Tomo not to stray too far from where they are. He told him to be back within an hour. Tomo agrees and walks around with his cellphone, a Nokia N70 series. He freely takes pictures of the pier and the Tokyo Bay. While the photoshoot is taking place, Tomo walks towards the edge of the pier, thinking about what Ms. Uehara mentioned, even if it was a Joke.
What? With Ms. Shimmitsu? I know Tomo has the capability of joining the Honor's class but he's just too wild and lazy to come close to their calibur. If you ask me, He with Ms. Shimmitsu is nothing more but a distant dream. But he will find his special someone really soon...
Acting all pissed at the comment, he just grumbles to himself that it will happen. "Soon hereon out, who knows, I might get a chance to talk to her and slowly get close to Rikona. Who knows, it might just happen." He said. While thinking of stuff, he feels the breeze of the wind touch his face. "Ah, so peaceful..."
"Yeah. Peaceful enough for us to get rid of you!" Someone from behind said.
Tomo looks around in fear and sees his classmates with a bunch of other students carrying baseball bats and the like.
"That's him! That insensitive classmate of ours who made me fail mathematics!" said Tomo's girl classmate.
"You runt. Now you'll pay. All we ask is for you to help us and with all your cowardice talk and tough accent, you pushed us aside! Students like you in my class make me sick!" His other classmate said, directing it at Tomo.
"Hey, what's all this?" Tomo asked them. "It's just Math..."
"Yeah right. Just Math you say... Now how can I show my face to my parents like this!!?" his classmate squealed.
"You deserve to never come back to our school again. You best be gone!"
"Without me, then who's gonna do your homework for you?" Tomo jokes around. "As if we need you around again? You'll just ditch us like you always do." His classmate raises his right hand, and makes a middle finger at Tomo saying "We're taking you for a little ride."
"Not until I get away from you guys first!" Tomo said as he makes a stance of a track and field runner. He runs with all his might, trying to get past the rest of the students in his way. He's close to escaping until one, who has a large gut and is carrying a chain stops him in his tracks and knocking him unconscious with a strike of his fist. Tomo still tries to stay conscious even after that devastating blow to the back of his neck.
"Oh, look what we have here..." His classmate said as he reaches for Tomo's pocket. "Oh, look! It's his report card given to him before dismissal." Acting all moronically, he reads his card and shouts out to the rest "OMG! He got a 90.8! Isn't that something!!" He hollers to the group.
"Oh really, I only got a 79.2 in my report card." Tomo's female classmate bragged.
"Ha! I only got a 78.1 on mine! You make me so jealous that I just want to pound you!" He shouts at Tomo's face as his saliva gets spat on Tomo. "In fact... maybe I will..." He faces his 'fleet' and tells them. "Put him in the trunk. Tie him up."
The rest of the students dropped their bats and tied up the poor defenseless student, throwing him to the back of the Toyota Mark II afterwards, definitely knocking Tomo out of his misery.
The convoy mentioned awhile ago, softly ran from the Daikoku Pier and roars down the Wangan towards the south, heading for Haruna lake. They make their way up the mountain and upon reaching the lake itself, they took Tomo out of the trunk and threw him on the sand, all tied up.
"So it has come to this, eh Kitsumoro. What's your smarty ass gonna do now huh? Bet you can't even escape. Even if you do escape, you are outnumbered to stop us. And if I remember clearly, back in fourth grade, you quit Taekwondo class after the second day! Believe me I was there and I was laughing my ass out." his classmate laughed.
"I'll get you! I will get you!! You lowlife!" Tomo shouts.
"Aww... are you acting all tough now?" His female classmate taunted him. Suddenly, she kicks him in the face with her heels onto Tomo's crainium with another kick close to Tomo's memory bank, knocking him unconscious.
"That's what you deserve. Besides you aren't even cute, and you are not even my type. Furthermore, you're not boyfriend material!"
"Ooh, good one." the male classmate commented. "Take him out."
4 of the boys threw the unconscious Tomo into the Lake, causing a huge splash.
Then, all of them drove off to celebrate...
Minutes pass and Tomo's still tied up, knocked out in the middle of the lake floating but not sinking; sinking but not floating.
Although Tomo was knocked out, his subconsciousness still lingers...
I am always the target of all their deceit.
I never did do anything right...
Whatever I do, I'd always enrage somebody else...
Some person I am... What good does it make for me to do something if I will just be the envy of them all?
Better yet, I disappear, as they have said.
All of a sudden, under the moonlight, somebody plunges into the lake and chases after Tomo's body. The person was a girl; more than 5 feet in height, orange-hazelnut brown like hair with gleaming orange toned eyes with a slender body swims forth trying to rescue the almost-a-corpse body of the young high school student.
She got him back on land but he is still unconscious. She tried giving him some air, throwing water at his face, doing almost anything to wake him up but to no avail, he's still out like a light. She must have seen everything and hid at the trees and bushes until Haruna quiets down. She notices a wet cellphone within the boy's body. It is mere coincidence that the phone was almost waterproof. Tomo had his phone in video record mode. It seems that he has recorded the entire scenario back at Daikoku Pier when he was alone and the phone stopped recording when it was out of memory. The girl, upon checking out the phone, felt some static pulses upon touching the keypads. She pats it dry and checks the boy's phonebook. There were only 3 entries: Hiei, Ryusen, Kogure. She dial's Kogure's number out of curiosity, thinking that he is Tomo's big brother or something, as she thought and tells him of the scenario.
I'm better off dead. My parents hate me, calling me an insensitive brat and a good for nothing son of a b*tch.
My classmates hate me for excelling too well. They never did understand my actions of being responsible...
They all just hate me with all their misery...
I am the subject of all their anger and regret.
I am always at fault.
I shouldn't have existed at all in the first place...
He thought that was the truth. He freely cursed himself and did nothing about it. Whether conscious or not, he tends to do this kind of thinking whenever he carries the fault. "Huh?" He thought within his subconsciousness. "What's that light?"
He hears his name echoing around in his head.
He gets blinded by the white light finding himself in a hospital room, all patched up with an ECG by his side reading his heart rate - it is stable, his heartbeat. He slowly tilts his head seeing Kogure, Hiei and Ryusen.
"He's awake! HE'S AWAKE!!" Hiei shouted.
"SSssh!!!" The nurse said to Hiei. "We're in a hospital, sir."
"Hiei...R...Ryusen..." Tomo moaned in his bed.
"Thank God you're alive!" Ryusen said. "A couple of our other friends are here too."
"Dude! That was some beating you got. I'm just glad to see you in one piece." A guy with glasses told him.
"I'm so happy to see you alive..." A female schoolmate of his told him; her name is Haruka Umigara.
He turns to Kogure and wonders...
"Tomo. I am so glad you are safe. Although I should be mad at you for not following my instructions but who cares about that! I'm just happy to see you whole again."
"I'm... S...sorry... who are you...?"
Kogure is in a state of shock. Tomo remembers his classmates but he couldn't remember Kogure. What gives?
"How could he have remembered them but not me?" Kogure wondered. From that point, the doctor approached him and told him where Tomo had a serious beating. Somewhere in his mind, a current memory of his was damaged. He must be thinking of Kogure before he got kicked in the head by his female classmate.
"So, are you telling me doc that what he was thinking about or who he was thinking about is affected by the blow in his head?" The doctor just nodded his head vertically. "Who did this to you?"
Kogure had his head down while talking with Tomo. This isn't the right time to be thinking of why he couldn't remember him. Who did this is of more serious matters.
"Not right now. Just answer me, who did this to you? Whoever did this to you... they're so gonna pay!" Kogure grumbled.
The nurse extended her hand to Kogure, revealing Tomo's cellphone.
"There must be something in his phone..." Kogure wonders as he takes the phone. He heads for the gallery and sees the latest entry. He plays it back along with Tomo's other classmates and sees who did it. "That's one of his classmates."
"Why would they do this to him...?"
"Hiei, Ryusen... everyone. Do you know who they are?"
"I think I know where they are most of the time."
"How'd you know?" Hiei asks the guy amongst the crowd of students inside Tomo's room.
"I overheard them about their plans for a party tomorrow evening, somewhere by a place called Haruna."
"There's a hotel there, right?" Everyone wonders. "At the peak, yeah." "Do you think their party is there?" "Possibly..."
"What time is their party?" Kogure asks him.
Kogure has something in mind. He won't let something like this be left undone. It's time for payback. It's time for justice but Kogure has a way of dealing things like this.
[that night... Mt. Haruna]
The group who 'overthrew' Tomo yesterday is now driving down the lake, but its only the Infini G35 driving, they're full inside the car - 5 of them. They all seem to be drunk. As the G35 slowly wobbles down the road, a pair of headlights show at their rearview mirror.
"Hoh? Wadgya we havv hear?" Tomo's drunken classmate said as he glances. The pass is foggy so he has no clear view of who it is and what car he is in. It's actually a white Nissan S14 Silvia K's with its factory plate. "It must be these guys... They are the only ones in the hotel and his classmate did say he drives a G35."
"Oh...~kaye... A ru-ace it ish~" The guy driving said as he slowly increases his press on the gas. The S14 driver does the same. And gets close to the G35.
Gunning the G35 at a calm pace, the Silvia closes in whereas the driver of the G35 panics after the first corner. "Damn you! Are you planning on scratching the paint of my G35?" Out of the first corner, the G35 fishtails while the S14 uses the gutter to avoid collision. Approaching the first hairpin, the G35 still swerves nearly hitting the guard rail while the S14 executes a wonderfully made inertial drift down the first hairpin and closes in again on the G35.
"N-Not on my Watc~h" The drunk driver mentioned.
Without knowing that the S curve is up, he increases his pace on the gas and pulls away. "Heh heh... that shut~s up that kook...?" As soon as the drunk driver faces forward, he gets surprised by the guard rail he is about to ram. He quickly swerves out of the way but didn't anticipate the second hairpin, thus falling into the ravine. The passengers of the G35 who just noticed this now did only one thing along with the drunk driver - scream. The G35 lunges into the cliff, still running at all 4 tires but comes to a sudden halt as it crashes onto a tree. Everyones faces were covered in blood and they are all knocked out.
Kogure saw the G35 fall to its doom and pulls over halfway across the second hairpin. He steps out and observes the crushed car from above. The gas is leaking and Kogure takes out a matchbox and lights all the matches inside. He threw the inflammed matchbox right onto the G35's position.
With bloodshot pupils and the eyes of a serious madman who has lost his cool, Kogure watches as the G35 gets engulfed by flames and explodes. He looks at the carnage with no sorrow; just heart-made rage. He faces away and turns to his Silvia and thinks "All this just because of a stupid math grade? Tsk, kids these days. Getting licenses young, getting drunk young, having the nerve to beat up people young... What kind of generation are we living in?"
He re-ignites the engine and drives off. "I knew I missed and because of the cold wind, the matches I lit have died... it must be their cigarette lighter that caused the explosion, not my matches. Anyway, whatever the case may be, it is all over and they got the karma they deserved."
Kogure switches to gear one and causes a burnout before releasing the e-brake of his Silvia. He blasts pass the skating rink and approaches the series of mid speed bends as he rides the gutter on the first 3 corners. Approaching the right hand of doom, he brakes hard and nails the gutter as well. He pounces on gear 3 and fades into the fog.
- Part 5: A moment to forget it all
Tomo was told to be quarantined in Kogures place until further notice, according to the doctor. The recent assault on him by his so-called classmates left him nearly physically impaired. He got his chest and stomach wrapped in bandages and he even had most of his body patched up because of intense bumps around his body. Although Kogure knows that Tomo doesnt know him at all, he persists in taking care of the young boy. Its hard for both Tomo and Kogure as the earlier cannot understand why a total stranger, in his context, is helping him out with his current condition. Hes still getting used to his association as if they just met.
One morning, Hiei and Ryusen passed by Kogures place, wondering of Tomos condition. Hiei rings the doorbell and waits for Kogure to get the door. Hmm? Oh, Hiei
arent you two supposed to be heading for school? Kogure wonders. We are. But we decided to pass by to check up on our best friend. Hiei cheerfully answers. Its our obligation as brother-like friends, ya know? Ryusen answered in a lively manner. Yeah, we three are like brothers
the two of them added at the same time. Kogure cant help but laugh as the two portrayed that statement from a SpongeBob Squarepants scene. Well, on his behalf, he is still resting. He took quite a beating there.
Will he be okay? Ryusen asks Kogure. Oh, he will. Trust me. The latter answers with confidence. You know him. Did he tell you of the time he was assaulted last year during swimming class? He took them on despite the 6 on 1 disadvantage and he still got away. Lucky, huh? Ill say. Hiei confirms. Thats why nobody messes with him ever since
they thought he isnt a fighter but they stood corrected, eh? He got a few one-twos from me; he has me to thank. Ryusen said conceitedly.
Well, you two better get going. The doctor said that he wont be coming out for a while; a week at the most. Said Kogure. So by the time hes all better, its the school fair
Hiei answered in a pale tone. Well, well be heading out now. Give our regards to Tomo, okay Kogure-san? Ryusen requested which Kogure proudly affirms. As the two boys left and as Kogure enters the house, he heads straight to Tomos room. Tomos room is quite simple, by the second floor, although not as spacious as we think. His room has only one purpose because of its size to sleep; oh, and for using his personal computer.
In the prince-size, single-unit bed, Tomo lays there quietly. He feels uneasy, though. He still has that impression that hes staying at a strangers house. What am I actually doing here? he thought until there was a knock at his door. Come in he uttered. It was Kogure, carrying his breakfast in a tray. How are you? Kogure asks him.
That depends. Are you a friend or a stranger? Tomo asks back. That is not important as of now. What matters most in this house is your recovery. Kogure continued. He lays the food next to his bed, at a conveniently located bed-side cabinet. His breakfast is simply an American Classic: 2 strips of bacon and fried egg with 2 pieces of buttered toast on the side and a cup of hot chocolate.
Looking at Kogure from his bed, who is fixing up Tomos room, he asks
Tell me, why are you doing all this for me? I hate to repeat myself, Tomo. You know me
I do? Before Kogure could continue any further, he stopped himself. The doctor has already reminded him: No matter how hard you try, the last memory he is thinking of before he was struck by that person physically, will never register in his mind, despite all of your efforts in doing so. He took a huge breath and just told Tomo
After eating, continue to rest. You can check the internet if you want but do be careful in standing up. Kogure reminded him as he leaves the room.
Moments like this only gave Kogure one last thing to do: go drive at a touge pass he likes. Theres one mountain pass that grabs his attention currently: Mt. Myogi, or as we know it as Myougisan pass. He takes the keys of his S14 which is based on the Nismo 270R CS14 chassis, gets on board his car, and drives off.
IT really cant be helped. Tomo couldnt remember me no matter how hard hed ever try or Id try. Kogure thought to himself as he has the car running on 50 kilometers on the main road. He checks the time on his on-board clock; it reads 8:24 a.m. He opens the throttle and brings the car back on gear after stopping at an intersection.
As he enters Mt. Myogis peak, he parks on the side of the road and steps out of his car. Admiring the scenery of green shrubs coating the bottom of the Mountains, he takes a stroll around the parking area. Myogi is a famous touge course for most touge enthusiasts and hashirya alike for its mid speed corners and long straights. A once famous R32 GT-R back in the 90s is very famous here; to be specific, is that black Nismo based R32 GT-R which has a red EG6 Hatchback for company. But as years pass, that pair is inexistent. Theres no sign of the 2 cars any more; who knows, they might have retired from street racing and participated in the professional league
or got fed up of the sport completely and chased after something else. Kogure eyes a familiar looking NA8C roadster around the parking area a blue NA8C with a Mazdaspeed Body Kit. Its Haruhis roadster and is just sitting there, with no Haruhi in sight. Kogure continues to browse through the lineup of vehicles around the parking area. Theres a Toyota Chaser JZX100 in one corner, a Red Toyota Celica GT-Four in another, and theres even a sleet silver SA70 RX-7 in sight as well. The last car mentioned looks to be reconditioned by its owner along with a custom made; Mazdaspeed based body kit and a GT wing on the back. In another corner, he sees a Honda Accord; the latest model, and a GC8-F Subaru Impreza. Not much of the cars in Myogi ever grabbed his attention. Theres a lookalike of the R32 and Civic pair but they are totally different people in comparison to the ones mentioned earlier. The R32 has a D-Speed Body kit and the Civic has a C-west body kit. Both are colored in flat black. And again, Kogure simply ignored the two cars. He went on his way and walked back to his car until Haruhi Satou got to him. Kogure!! she shouted. Oh
what are you doing here? Kogure asks her. Nothing special. Just went around grabbing photos of good looking cars in the parking area. Sad to say, I am very disappointed. None of the cars are good enough for the magazines next cover. So
~ what are you doing here? Your shift doesnt start until 10 right?
You have heard of the news of the Infiniti G35 that crashed, right? The one at Akina? Kogure asks her. Yeah?~ The people there were involved in the injuries that they did to my cousin. Tomo? What happened to him? Hes alright but hes mostly bruised and patched up at home. Thats horrible
Haruhi reacted. Well, they got the punishment they deserved
Theyre the ones that crashed? Haruhi asked him. Kogure simply nods. But I didnt cause the accident. Im not that heartless to even put my car on the line for the sake of revenge. The driver of the G35 is simply drunk, which led to their end. Haruhi sighed greatly and was relieved. Phew. And here I was thinking that youre a heartless brute when somebody made you reach your limit
Kogure checks his watch and sees that it is already 9:00 a.m. He walks back to his car and tells Haruhi. Well, I better head back. You did say my shift starts at 10, right? He reminded Haruhi. She nods in union and bids goodbye to Kogure. She too turns around and faces her Roadster. She watches Kogure board his S14 and drive off. She makes good use of this chance and boards her car too. As Kogure passes the temple gate from the side, he glances his rearview mirror, seeing Haruhi chase after him.
You really want to lighten my load, huh Haruhi? Kogure thought to himself. He slows down and lets the roadster catch up. He turns his S14 to the side and waits for the Roadster to catch up. As soon as they are side by side, Kogure makes a sign with his hands, telling Haruhi lets do this thing. Haruhi nods and presses completely on her gas pedal, gaining the lead. Kogure chases after the young female and begins the chase. Exiting the first chicane with ease, Kogure closes in on Haruhi. With speeds of 120 kilometers on gear 3, the two speed down the long straightway. Haruhi, you well know that the true challenge of this pass is at the first corner, right? Kogure thought as he sees the first right turn from afar, approximately 400 meters away. AT exactly 150 meters from the apex of the corner, the two braked simultaneously. Both drivers turned their steering wheels up to their cars limit, inducing both cars into a perfect parallel drift. As they pass the small apex of the corner, however, Kogure increased his braking distance drifting further from Haruhis roadster.
Ill leave you in a while, Kogure-chan. Haruhi claims as she immediately counter steers the other way, bringing her Roadster to a perfect inertial drift. She only has one problem though, her roadster is drifting towards the outside of the corner. No!! She hollered; she immediately braked for her life and luckily clears the corner positioning her car on the outside of the next S-curve. As for Kogure, he has his car at a much lower entry speed in comparison to Haruhi but has pinned each apex of the first 2 corners, thus closing in once more on Haruhis Roadster. The road is wide, though, for Kogure to cut through on the inside. Entering the 3rd hairpin, both drivers entered at the same pace. Due to the Roadsters more compact and more corner-friendly body, she was able to exit the corner parallel to Kogures S14. Im not through yet, Kogure! Haruhi acclaimed as the fourth corner, a left hander, is up. Slowly, as they clear the corner, the Roadster regains the lead and breaks off the tie. Theres one short straightway up ahead and Haruhi positions her Roadster at the center of the road right after clearing the last left corner, the 6th of the series of S-curves.
The next corner is a mid speed, wide right U-turn. Haruhi has both lanes covered, Kogure has no space to squeeze through. Hmm
youre quite good, Haruhi. Strategizing during a race may be your best card ever. Im impressed. But you need to work on your execution
Kogure deciphers. Clearing the corner with ease, Kogure takes a more aggressive line than Haruhi, maintaining his drift angle and his speed from the center to the outside. Kogure clears it faster than Haruhi and closes in on her Roadster once more. The next corner is a left hairpin; Kogure plans on taking it with a more aggressive grip attack. He knows that Haruhi is gonna leave a safety margin upon corner entry and brakes 50 meters earlier than Kogure, from the outside. Kogure attacks from the inside and gets his foot on the brakes ready. Kogure brakes as soon as his door is next to the front bumper of the Roadster. He downshifts 2 gears, one during braking and one as he enters the corner with his foot on the gas. For sure, Kogure grabs the lead off Haruhi at the corners exit.
Haruhi was speechless yet at the same time, impressed. She slows down and lets Kogure have his glory moment. Kogure slowly disappears from Haruhis line of sight as Kogure heads for the base.
- Part 6: Preparation for a Farewell -
At work, Kogure only has one thing in mind: Tomos welfare. Even that simple thought in mind is interfering with his work. Although he IS a car consultant, he is also a part time journalist. The shift that he and Haruhi were talking about back at Mt. Myogi is about his work at a famous car magazine that is in ties with Young Magazine.
The fact that his name cannot be registered into Tomos mind is what bothers him. Is there really such a sickness? He thought. Well, as far as I could remember my psychology class back in college, one of the lobes of the brain is responsible for remembering things. And if that is damaged
how can it be so? He clearly remembers his classmates, and everyone else
but he couldnt remember me. Are there really tendencies wherein when one thinks of somebody in a crucial moment and was assaulted in the head, that thought perishes? Kogure thought aloud. Seishiro, what are you blabbering about? Oh, sorry boss. Kogure apologized to the magazine director. Do you have those shots of that S2000? Young Magazine is looking forward to them. The director reminded Kogure. Really? Or are you just curious as to which angles I took of Ms. Yuka? Kogure kids around. The director, obviously embarrassed with that thought just swallowed his guts and tells Kogure Just get back to work. The latter simply salutes right back.
Back at Kogures place, Tomo is still resting peacefully in his bed. He cannot sleep, however and is simply lying there. Im thirsty
he moans. He slowly stands up and carefully walks to the refrigerator a few steps away. As soon as he slowly, but carefully reaches the stairs last step, someone rang the doorbell. Who could it be now? he complained as he rushes to the door. Ow
he said in pain as he approaches the main door.
Yes? TOMO! You shouldnt be up. A girl at the opposite side of the door advised him. It was Haruka Umigara, one of Tomos friends back at school mentioned earlier. As soon as I heard from Hiei and Ryusen of your condition, I rushed right away. Isnt there school at this hour? What time is it? Oh, the school only has a half day of classes because of the upcoming fair. So to speak, we are already dismissed. Haruka cheerfully answered. I see. Does Rikona know of this too? Haruka simply nods her head sideways. With a face of disbelief, Tomo simply whines I see
he turns around and freely tells Haruka You could come in if you like. Haruka simply frolics into the living room where she sees Tomos Sony Playstation 2 DVDs scattered on the living rooms carpet. She also sees the port connected to the Television set. Were you playing? No. That person forgot to unplug it, thats all. It was still there ever since last week. I was supposed to play a few Kingdom Hearts games right after that photo shoot I went to with that guy. Tomo answers as he slowly scampers into the kitchen. You always kept mentioning that guy. Dont you know that he is your relative? That I know. Tomo answers with conviction. The only weird thing is that I cannot remember his name. Even when Hiei and Ryusen told it to me face to face, I still cant have it registered in my head. I cannot even remember anything related with that guy at all. Tomo responded. What is it that happened anyway? Haruka asked.
Would you believe me if I told you? Tomo posed a question beforehand. Why say that? Haruka wondered. Because what I am about to describe might sound perplex in some way. You are in that horrible condition. Why wouldnt I believe you if you are the victim of this catastrophe. Since when were you concerned that much about me? Tomo asks her. Hey, were best friends. Thats what we do. She replied.
As Tomo entirely tells Haruka what happened to him, Kogure on the other hand is on his lunch break. He leans on his S14 and thinks what to do now. No matter what we do, he wont remember me. Perhaps even memories between us are also affected. He thought. I guess what I need to do now is train him some responsibility duties and get him a license, as I promised his parents. Kogure concludes. Still on the job Keisuke? somebody from behind asks Kogure. The latter leans his neck to see who it is. It was Gonsuke Mikagami, his former client before the catastrophe. Mikagami
Kogure wonders. You know I dont like it when someone calls me by my real name. I told you a million times to call me Kogure in public. I know I know
but if I do, you wouldnt show up anytime soon, especially you know where. Gonsuke reminds him. Did something happen? Nothing that we could ever do about it. Kogure whines. I heard the news of the crash at Mt. Haruna and witnesses suspect that it was your S14. If it was, my car should be battle scarred right about now, right? Kogure answers back. Whoa, you seem quite in a pickle there. That crash had something to do with the condition of my relative as of now. Kogure explains. I have some spare time, why dont you tell it to me. Mikagami offers.
Thats brutal. Haruka reacted. At least I am still in one piece. What happened at school anyway? Tomo asked her again. Well, aside from the fair that I told you, our school priest offered prayers to those guys who beat you up. There was a small death ceremony commemorated to them this morning. That priest doesnt know the half of what has happened. Tomo said in a fit. If he knows, then that stupid death ceremony wont be made. I didnt do anything to those guys and here they were beating the living daylights out of me? They deserved that. Tomo angrily commented. There, there. Haruka comforted. Its all over now. All that you need to do is recover, alright? Thanks, Haruka. Want a drink?
Sure. She answered. But I think I should go in there. You rest up. What do you want? Oh, some lemonade, thank you. Its in the bottom of the fridge door once you open it. Tomo directed. Outside Kogures house, a long, orange haired woman stands at the door looking at the house with intimacy and leaves without warning. Who could she be?
Back with Kogure, Mikagami couldnt believe what he has told him. What is wrong with this generation? Mikagami growls. But its all over now. Kogure snickers. He stands straight and looks at the puffy clouds around the blue sky. I dont know what I should do
he wonders aloud to himself. Mikagami stands next to him and says Hey, Team RS*R is looking for a new driver and is willing to sponsor for someone who would qualify. You want in? I guarantee you that the pay is very high and well worth it. I already got a sponsorship with team Genki already. Mikagami offers. Rather than being a freelancer in a magazine company or a by-the-appointment consultant, why dont you go full time with this sponsorship? There are events almost weekly. And as I told you, salary is epic huge. How do you think I got an Amuse R1 GT body kit on my AP1 S2000? he taunted. Kogure cannot answer right away; again, the thought of abandoning Tomo and pursuing that career troubles him. Give me time to think about it, Mikagami. Are you sure there isnt any other way?
Theres just one thing we both know what to do in settling decisions, my friend. Mikagami suggested. He turns his back on Kogure and tells him You know my number. Meet me at Hokkaido. The snow must have cleared up by now, now that its spring. Man, talk about fast dates
he added as he waves his hand goodbye to Kogure.
KEISUKE! Mikagami hollered calling Kogures attention again. Dont hold back on me. And remember, Ill be waiting for your answer He uttered before he heads for the corner. Kogure just stood there, mindlessly looking at an empty street, the street where Mikagami was at. He knows where this is going to: a battle at Hokkaido. He knows who he is up against the well known Touge Master of this year, nicknamed: the Kaido President. Like Kogure, he too has an alias: Hamagaki, the Kaido President. A well developed legend and King of Japan, an indirect protégé to Keiichi Tsuchiya, the nationwide known drift King. And Hokkaido IS his home course. The option to accept the offer or reject is out of the question: the battle would decide Kogures fate, whether hed head for the Gymkhana scene
or whether hell decide for himself.
As hours pass, its already sundown. Kogure arrives in his place seeing Tomo mindlessly watch TV. Watching a couple of Best Motoring Videos that Kogure has lying around, he never bothered to feel the front door open and close. Tomo the recognizable voice called out to him. You
he uttered softly as he turns his head. Youre back from your work? Tomo asked. I am
how are you feeling? Kogure asked. My body seems to be getting better. He uttered. Thats good. Kogure assured.
We need to talk. Kogure added. What is it about? Let me explain
For once, according to Tomo, he has a heart to heart talk with the relative whose name cannot be remembered.
- Part 7: A Sacrifice for a Wish to be Fulfilled -
Summer doesn't always continue as summer; nor does it end as it is. There are random instances of the typical summer rain; which was dealt by the abnormal condition of our earth's atmosphere. Like that of this late afternoon, a strong summer shower has greeted the inhabitants of the Gunma prefecture. Focusing on the residence of Kogure Seishiro, we picture the young owner of the house, Kogure himself, leave his place with his head covered by the hood of his jacket as he approaches his car - his beloved Nissan S14 Silvia. He seems pale and famished for some reason - it is all over his face. Must it have something to do with the discussion between him and Tomo? What on earth did they have discussed?
As Kogure approaches his car, turning off the alarm and opening the doors with a flick of a switch from his hand-held alarm, he sees a young woman standing in front of his driveway, holding an umbrella up. The person had long, chestnut-like orange toned hair, and is wearing a casual white spaghetti-strap blouse extending all the way down to her knees with a black thick belt around her waist. On top of her blouse, she's wearing a thin, openned red windbreaker with sleeves just only past her elbow; on her left arm, she has a silver Omega Watch, with that feminine styled one at that. She has a concerned look on her face as she faces Kogure. She looks as if she knows him; but frankly, she knows the person inside his house.
Kogure, opening up a conversation in a very solemn manner, asks her. "May I help you, miss?"
The girl was startled at his opening statement and jumps surprisingly. She suddenly becomes confused of what to do right at that moment. To calm her, Kogure follows it up with "It's alright. You don't have to be afraid."
Those reassuring words warmed the girl's heart as she took a deep breath while she grips on the umbrella's handle. "Um..." she softly opened up. "Does the boy live here?"
Kogure was wondering who could she be talking about. Could it possibly be Tomo?
"He has black spikey hair and is a high school student." The girl added. With that simple description, Kogure knows that it is Tomo.
"What do you want with my cousin, if I may ask?" He humbly asked her again. The girl didn't reply. She simply took a step forward and then another until she got close enough to Kogure.
"Do you remember that Haruna incident?" the girl asked.
When she brought up about the incident at Mt. Haruna, he knew from then that she is the one who saved Tomo.
"So you're the one who contacted me that night... You have my thanks, miss... um... may I know your name?" Kogure asked once again; but the girl didn't give her name. She told him instead "Is he doing well?"
Kogure deduced that she's shy so he didn't bother to ask her again. "Actually, he is and he isn't. He's well but he can't seem to get my name registered in his memory. And it isn't a case of long or short term memory loss. It's bothering me." In a disappointed tone, the girl frowned and answered "I see... I'm sorry to hear about that."
Kogure smiled in awareness of the girl's compassion and empathy and said "It's alright. At least he's doing fine. That's what matters."
As the rain pours even harder, Kogure took a look back at the house, eyed the second floor where Tomo is right now and stared at him staring at the sky. He then became frank with the girl and told her. "Listen. I know this is weird coming from me to a total stranger as yourself but... I need a guardian to look after him." The girl looked with complete disbelief and confusion. What is he talking about? she thought. I don't think "I'll be coming home from this day forth." he continued. Before the girl could even contradict what she was about to say, Kogure got ahead of her and added "I'm telling you this because I want you to be his guardian. If you're looking for a reason; it is because I am in your debt. And the only way for both of us to be sure of his well being, one of us has to at least be sure of his condition. I am not qualified, I am telling you now, because all I might give him is grief. He has suffered a lot because of me. The possible thought of him thinking of me is the possible reason why he could not remember me, no matter how hard we try." The girl was moved with Kogure's conviction. "It's for the best. For him most of all. He's better off without me in his life to bring him down; although if this ever happened, he would do so otherwise. I loved him as he loved me for who we are. He admitted to me that he was more of the parents he wanted and seeked."
Kogure is slowly becoming emotional over the matter and is close to shedding a tear infront of a woman until... the sweet touch of her lips to his calms his nerves but shocking them at the same time. He startled as he cannot believe what she just did. The girl suddenly hugged and kissed Kogure for almost 5 seconds, which seemed 15 to him. As the girl moved away, she answered, "When I was young, back at the province, I lost my family in a village attack. They were the first victims and it was only because of my guardian that I survived. I cried a lot." She admitted. "Then, he kissed me [on my forehead] and gave me a hug. He told me that it was the most subtle way to heal an aching heart. I can tell that you have suffered all this time, trying to make things better for both you and him."
Kogure was blunt silent. He didn't know what to say. The woman's resilience was strong and so is her concern for both of them. "Tell me... who exactly are you?" he asked. "I am simply somebody who wanted to help someone I have risked my life for." she answered with a smile. However, if you still wish to figure out my name, ... it is..." The rain pours even harder as the girl whispers her name out to Kogure. "If this is for the better of the two of you, then I will accept your offer. But whatever it is that you may do, please don't even think of throwing your life away just to escape the burden that beckens your lives."
"Don't worry I won't. But don't make it too obvious for him just yet. let time do it's bidding for a while." he told her, wherein she complied. As she heads her way, she turns around to watch the S14 leave towards the blurred and fogged horizon at the other end of the road, then turns to the house that was soon to be the boy's abode.
As for Tomo, he simply stared at the dark cloudy sky that cries out the rain. On the table near his bed, there is around a check for half a million yen and a couple of application forms. One seems to be for a school and another for a driver's license application form. With a pale and spaced out look on his face, Tomo slowly walks towards his bed and plunges into it, bouncing off the comforter and softly lands in place. Moments later, he falls asleep and gets seranaded by the sound of falling water drops and lightning strikes.
Entering the freeway, the Tokyo Metropolitan Highway, Kogure Enters from the Daikoku Futo Junction, heading North of the country - aiming for Hokkaido. It will be a long trip, but as he said before, it's for the best. He ponders over Mikagami's words when they last caught eye of each other...
...Don’t hold back on me. And remember, I’ll be waiting for your answer...
"Don't worry, Hamagaki... I have an answer for you and I know you'll love it." He thought to himself as he eases on the gas watching as the rain drops hit his windshield. Slowing down from 170 to a mere 135 km/h, 4 cars blasted by him at lightning speed. Even if the weather's gloomy and dark, it didn't stop Kogure from identifying the cars that blasted by him. "Hashirya perhaps?" he wondered. Analyzing the shape of the vehicles, he concluded the following models:
It was the white, carbon hooded, BNR34 N1 Skyline built with the TOP SECRET bodykit that was mentioned earlier in the Epilogue, the blue FD3S RX-7 type R1 with the unique Defender widebody kit, a custom made Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8 MR GSR with the FQ-400 logo and the enormous GT wing at its back, and the car leading the pack is a Silver Nissan 350Z Fairlady with the Nismo S tune bodykit and the Nismo decals on the side. "They must be running at around 600 something horses or something. I'd be an idiot if I'd ever think of catching up to them..." he thought aloud as he watch them pull away from a hundred meters to 500 meters in a blink of an eye.
The 4 cars, all gunning at 320 km/h down the Wangan line, are having a two-duel battle; the Z vs the Evo and the GT-R vs the RX-7. The four drivers seem happy with their battle, even if at the next junction, a Nissan R390 joined the pack even for a short while. The Z slipstreamed around the traffic cars but it didn't stop the Evo 8 driver from being left behind - he slipstreams right behind the Z. The GT-R and the FD are racing differently in comparison to the earlier pair. They are having a neck to neck battle, side by side, only to be interrupted by a traffic car infront of them. Yet, despite this, they're still going for the 'win', simply nudging their steering wheels to avoid the collision and reverts them back to the position they once were in. the R390 didn't bother to keep up due to its limited powerband and watched the battle from afar yet maintains his limited top speed to its maximum, but not above it which would lead to an engine blow. As for Kogure, as soon as he has reached the Wangan line's end where the Edobashi-Hamazakibashi brancing is right above him, he makes a left for the straight's extension.
HOKKAIDO, local dirt pass, [20:00]
A yellow green Honda S2000 awaits for the arrival of another driver. Its driver stands on the car's side with his hands crossed on his chest. Awaiting arrival, he sees the arrival of the car he is expecting - Kogure's White Nissan Silvia. The S2000 is owned by Gonsuke Mikagami, also known as Hamagaki by the local street racers. Mikagami... or... Hamagaki is wearing a thick coat and cargo pants as he waits for Kogure, or in his case, Keisuke to step out of his car.
"So I guess you've decided to join RS*R, yes?" Hamagaki proposed.
"You could say that, but that isn't by definite answer." Keisuke replied.
"Do you want..." Hamagaki's about to suggest, as he uncrossed his arms and walks towards Keisuke. "... to answer my offer through a battle?"
"You said it so yourself before, Mikagami. To know if you could be the best, you should try to race the best. I'm simply telling you what you told me, my friend." Keisuke uttered. "I know, I know what you mean by that, Keisuke." Mikagami said as he turns his back on Keisuke with a smile. He walks towards his S2000 as he says something else. "You know how we race here. Runner chaser fashion, just like before I had my S2000 tuned."
"Just like before? Would the rain make any difference? You're at your best when the course is dry."
"I know. But I can't control the forces of nature here to do my personal biddings, now can I?"
"This is the best way that both of us know if RS*R would easily accept you into their team." Mikagami added. "I mean, I know you could make it but if you want to clarify yourself, then I guess, I can't stop you from that." Keisuke smiled back then turned serious before they began. "I just want you to promise me one thing, Hamagaki." Keisuke, this time, suggested. "We'd stick to the professional league as soon as this starts. For the sake of someone I care about, I don't want to come back in the Touge scene for some time." Keisuke told Hamagaki. Without delay in thinking about what to answer, the latter simply said "You have my word for it." "And..." "Yes?" "I want to leave this car in the hands of my cousin."
"Your cousin? Your custom built S14? Wouldn't that make it hard for him?"
"I've already made arrangements with some colleagues to detune my S14 wherein even a novice could handle it. I want this to be his training car if he ever wishes to pursue the path that I am already on."
"Is he the boy that you spoke of before?"
Keisuke nodded to Hamagaki.
"Alright. It's a promise." Mikagami assured as he poses for a high five with Keisuke and grips each other's hand before they begin.
In old Japanese fashion, Mikagami said in fluent Japanese: "Hajimeruzo, Keisuke."
" Mikagami, orenga tauos, kore-te shobuda!" Keisuke replied.
As the rain pounces even harder and quicker, their race began. Keisuke's professional destiny is starting to make shape. Unknown to Keisuke, Haruhi spectates their battle at the mid section of the course. As soon as the S14 and the S2000 park in place, Keisuke signals his rival with his car's hi-beams to start the battle.
[VIDEO - CS14 vs S2000]
As for Tomo; well enough after his bruises and wounds all treated up and in his best form, he enters the Akiyama Racing School the following week with his racing school application, Driver's license application, and his letter of authorization in hand as he calmly approaches, the head in charge Naoko Takahashi. Within 2 weeks time, he finally earns his license and is proud of it. But heading home, he can't seem to loose the feeling that he is missing something important as he eyes 'his' S14 Silvia. He knows that it's his but he can't seem to remember who owns it before. He feels he has a debt to pay to the person who owns this car.
One time, Kogure's friend, Haruhi visits Tomo to tell of his recent burial during his 2 week test session. Unknown to Tomo, this was a diversion made by Kogure himself as he pursues his professional career as a driver for Team RS*R, followed by a tie up with team Genki alongside Mikagami. Kogure has disowned his name, Kogure Seishiro, and sticks with his real name for good, unknown by everybody he once knew, except for Haruhi and Mikagami, as Keisuke Mamoru. "Frankly" Tomo admits, "I don't know this Kogure person... I'm sorry; but you could bring along my condolences... despite him being a stranger to me..." He told Haruhi. Haruhi was in a state of shock realizing that everything Kogure said was true - he can't remember him. The name won't register to his mind. "I see. Well, I should at least thank you for paying homage to him by letting me bring your condolences to him. I'll let him know." As Tomo turns around after closing the door, he leans on it and all of a sudden, sheds a tear. "Why?" He wonders. "Why am I crying over this person? Is he that close to me? Since... when?" He thought aloud as he sobbed altogether. He kneels down towards the floor and cries his heart out. "Why must this happen...?" He immediately runs out to Haruhi and asks for the location of his grave. With a smile of compassion, she wrote it down on a piece of paper she had and gave it to Tomo. "Sayonnara..." she said as he watched her cross the intersection. As a truck, upon passing through the intersection, passed by Tomo, Haruhi disappeared from his sight.
Far from Tomo's line of vision, Haruhi took out her cellphone and dialed a familiar number. At the pass by Shiga Kusatsu, there is a race meet for all racing team sponsors for a tournament. One person leaning on a red HKS HYPER GENKI S15 Silvia Spec R, took out his phone and answers an oncoming call.
"Kogu-... I mean, Keisuke. It's me."
"Mm... I told him... he didn't take it lightly. He was totally emotional over it..."
"I'm okay. It's for the best anyway. Is the car with him?"
"In one piece."
"Is he any better?"
"He's well and good."
"I'm happy to hear that."
"Mamoru, you're up!" One of the committee members of the event called out to the S15's driver.
"I gotta go, Haruhi. Thanks for informing me."
"Anytime. Just be sure you're alright. I'm going to miss you."
"Yeah." Keisuke said in a soft tone. "I'll miss you too."
Haruhi made a mouth gesture of what seems to say "ai-su-te-ru", meaning 'I love you'.
Keisuke, on the other side of the line nods and gives a smile as soon as he hangs up. He placed his phone on his pocket, took his helmet, wore it, and went towards the committee member to be briefed of the event proper.
Earning his license, recently, Tomo approaches the S14 waiting for him as soon as e got back. He pats the hood and talks to it saying. "I can finally drive you. I can't wait for this moment... Let's drive... together..." he uttered; but it didn't stop there. He mentioned a name before he got on board the car, turning the ignition on and drove away from his house...
- The End -
It's a shame that this story hasn't gotten more attention.
When the Tsuchiya Chronicles start, this series will start another boom of viewers. Trust me.
For now, I'm leaving this story as a prerequisite to the Tsuchiya Chronicles. It would be nice to have a bit of attention though.
Really Great! good job!