Kyouichi would do anything to make daddy proud and Heaven help anyone who gets in his way.
I've seen the wicked fruit of your vine
Destroy the man who lacks a strong mind
Human pride sings a vengeful song
Inspired by the times you've been walked on
-"What If," Creed
"Damn it!" Shuuya could almost see Noriko's face looking back at him as he finally turned his gaze from Izumi's corpse and toward her killer. "What the Hell is wrong with you?"
"How predictable." Kazuo sighed, examining the barrel of his gun as if it was the first time he ever saw one.
"Look at me when I'm talking to you."
"What is it?" Such a child; like the little brother Kazuo never had. Shuuya Kiriyama, it just didn't seem to go together all that well when he thought about it.
"How can you play their sick little game?"
"It landed on tails." Shuuya gave him a dumbfounded look. "A toss of the coin. Heads I take your route and fight back against the establishment. Tails I throw caution to the wind and partake in the offering."
"So that's why you wanted a coin." Shuuya mood began to dampen as his cold, stoic words brought a chill up his spine. "Their blood has stained the both of us, Shuuya. You have to clean your hands before you dab at mine."
"Bullshit. You would've found another way if you had the chance you heartless prick." How Shuuya wished to scream the words raging in his head. To take-off on Fumiyo's idea and wrap his hands around the boy's neck and squeeze until his eyes popped out. He could almost sense Yutaka and Izumi nodding in approval; just begging for him to avenge their deaths. Or at the very least, wipe that disgusting smirk off Toshimori's face.
Shuuya had never said a cruel word to him and all that little toad could do was physically gloat every time he was knocked down a peg. "Damn."
"There was nothing you could do." Fumiyo put her hand on his shoulder and wiped the tears that were welling up in his eyes as Kazuo and Toshimori went off to search the corpse. "We just got to wrestle him to the ground before he has a chance to fire." Yeah, as if that was ever going to work. At least it cheered Shuuya up a bit. She just knew that for the rest of her life (depending on how merciful The Program would be to her) the sight of a man's tears would break her heart.
"Thanks." He smiled back at her; feeling a little stupid for his lack of strength. "It's like yelling at a brick wall with him."
"But you just don't want to give up."
"Exactly." He almost wondered if she was saying this just to make him feel better, but tossed it aside when she returned his smile with a supportive one of her own. Just like that chubby-faced bone china doll his mother never let out of her sight when she was little girl. She was kinda pretty in her own way despite how ugly Shinji said she was.
"I'm sure Noriko would've wanted it that way." The look of shock and what Fumiyo guessed was a bit of offence made her want to smack herself in the forehead. "It's just that you looked like someone shot you when her name was announced."
"I promised myself that I protect her."
"I'm so sorry. You must've really loved her."
"I probably should have."
"Hey losers. We're going now." Toshimori called out as soon as he and Kazuo's attempt of looting the body proved fruitless. "Pronto."
Yuuichiro know that just one mistake could instantly transform his plan into a suicide mission. He just had to trust Takako's encouragement and that Yutaka and Shinji's friendship was strong enough to convince the Yellow Team to let them join forces. Such an odd couple: Shinji, one of the cutest and slickest boys in school and Yutaka, the chipmunk-like class goof. It wasn't all that different Yuuichiro's own friendship with Tadakatsu when he thought about it. One would think that it would be much more likely that Tadakatsu would be beating him up for his lunch money, but it wasn't. Yuuichiro would make it a personal effort to go to all of Tadakatsu's games and cheer for at the top of lungs and Tadakatsu was more than happy to protect him from bullies and wait in line and watch whatever hit anime movie Yuuichiro dragged him to. "Hope you're doing ok out there."
Back in the real world, he watched Shinji and his team attempting to break into a tool shed with the binoculars that Mitsuko swiped from the watchtower they passed by an hour ago. For someone who Yuuichiro heard was such an evil, irredeemable slut, at least she was nice enough to think of her teammates.
"It's now or never." He said with a nervous sigh as picked up a long, sturdy stick about the length of his forearm. "Now for the flag. Do either one of you have handkerchief or something white I could use?"
"Here." Mitsuko plopped a folded-up piece of cloth into his free hand.
"Thanks Mitsu..." All of the blood in Yuuichiro's body made a hasty retreat into his face the second he unfolded her donation; lacy, bikini-cut panties.
"What's the matter, don't you like them?" Mitsuko's face morphed into an innocent, mock hurt.
"No-I mean yes. Th...they're very nice." His mind began to wander, wondering what was underneath that pretty little skirt. No. Don't think about that, he wasn't some sick pervert like Kazushi or one of Kiriyama's cronies. Nice boys aren't like that.
"Good." She burst out a mischievous giggle. "I picked them especially for you."
Out of a hybrid of sympathy for Yuuichiro and disgust towards Mitsuko, Takako relieved him of the panties and tied them to the stick. "I hope this works."
She chucked a nearby rock into the right side of the shed; good, it got their attention. "Don't shoot." She called out, waving the panty-flag and feeling kind of stupid.
"Takako?" Shinji lowered his gun slowly as the Blue Team arose from the bushes they were hiding in with their hands up. He half expected Takako and Mitsuko get sucked into the game and start offing people after dumping off a bound and gagged Yuuichiro so he couldn't interfere. Bound by Takako and Mitsuko, it would be fun when he thought about it.
"We're not playing." Yuuichiro said as Takako undid the flag and tossed the panties back to Mitsuko who couldn't help making a face at his comment. "We just want to help you get out of here." Shinji glared at his teammates. He was sure none of them would be stupid enough to go shouting out their plan when his back was turned. "I knew there was no way you'd bow down those guys. I bet you already got a plan to get out of here."
Reading his mind, Megumi tore a blank page from her diary and handed both to him. The blue team gave him a puzzled look as he haste fully scribbled something down.
Do you want them to hear us? These collars are rigged.
Yuuichiro nodded after him and the girls read the page. He made a gesture to barrow Shinji's pen and began writing on the back of his map.
So are we in?
Shinji felt one of Megumi's small, dainty hands pull on his uniform while the other pointed at a large willow tree not too far from them.
Don't tell me you're going to let them in. Hardcore Souma will rape and kill us the second our backs are turned.
Good thing she decided to bring her colored pencils with her. The idea of using an individual color for each of her moods when writing made Megumi feel unique compared to the other dairy writers out there. And she didn't even have to wait for a pen to be passed around if she had something to say.
You make it sound like a bad thing. Stop being so paranoid.
The bright red letters of Kazushi entry were nearly shoved into her face.
About to lift her colored pencil to make a rebuttal, Megumi stopped herself. It just wasn't worth scolding him.
Besides, it would mean wasting time to make an extra raft.
What? You don't want the extra help? I'm sure they'd be more than happy to reward us.
Hey, simmer down you two. Shinji held his diary page toward them. What do you think, Hiroshi?
Great they're staring at him; expecting Mr. Nobody to say something. Not even the rest of the Kiriyama family bothered for his opinion except ask him to join when he beat-up that kid from Class A who use to call him a fatass. And that was just the way he liked it. When you spent most of your life as a wallflower, you start to get use to it. Nobody bothers you or makes you their personal punching bag. And now the rest of his team were all focused on him. "Come on Hiroshi, think. You want them to believe you're retarded?"
If we die at least it we'll have something hot to look at.
Shinji let off a small laugh. Good, now they wouldn't be bothering him (for now.)
Too bad Megumi, majority rules.
"If she castrates you in your sleep, don't come crying to me." Here's hoping that all those rumors about Mitsuko were just like the lies thrown at her sister.
Please meet me at the koi pond. Kyouichi has a plan to get us out of here and I don't want to leave without you.
"It's just too perfect." Kyouichi mused as he emptied the water from the bottle The Program left in his bag. The little ho's handwriting was ridiculously easy to forge. Just wrap the message around a small rock, throw it at Yoji, wait for him to come and BAM, one less contestant to worry about. Father would definitely approve of his plan and it sure would teach her to reject his leadership.
What did that future cellmate Mitsuru have that he didn't? Did he spend at least one sleepless night a week to make in on the honor roll? Already apply to some of the best universities in the country? Realize that he'll never be good at any sport no matter how hard he tried? Stuff all his anger inside like a good citizen no matter how many times daddy called him a faggot?
"No fags for the big man." The class president knocked the empty bottle with his foot. "Damn it." Scrambling to pick it up, he turned to Yoshimi. "Would you come with me?"
"Get it yourself." She took a swig from her bottle and set it on the ground for him to kick. "Hey! That was my water you fag."
Another bolt of rage was fighting to get out of him. "Never mind. There should be a koi pond near by."
If it was almost any other girl in his class, he'd feel like a heel and not take her with him to see her boyfriend not get shot full of holes. Hell, what did those two idiots know about love; giving it away freely like they did? The Big Man cleared him up on that years ago. Love was something you earned regardless of blood, friendship, or marriage. Momma failed to get it through her head and the police found her mangled body from jumping off the roof of their house. Mommy was getting old and ugly and no man would stay faithful to that. So don't go crying over her little boy; the Big Man wouldn't want that.
"That prick." Hirono fumed, digging through her bag for any sign of her gun. She just had to get tired of carrying it and drop it in there. "The second I find him, I'm kicking his fucking ass."
"That's not all he took." Yumiko's face was still rather puffy from crying the second she discovered her best friend's fate as she dug through her bag. "Five of my grenades are missing as well."
"He sure thought of everything." Shougo grunted as he read "Yoshimi's" note. "No wonder why he wanted to help set-up the trip wires so badly." He sighed and crumpled the letter. "We better go save the idiot."
Chisato nodded. "The koi pond shouldn't be to far from here." She just had to remain optimistic; Yuka would've wanted it that way. Yet she just couldn't help worrying over what Yoji would look like after Hirono got her hands on him.
"You go ahead. I'll watch and make sure no one sneaks up on us." Kyouichi handed Yoshimi the bottles and walked off into a large bush. Any minute now that idiot will be here. Now what would he do first? Hug her? Kill her? Drop his pants and yell "Come here baby?"
If he only paid more attention to Yoji, he could perfect his plan; the Big Man never liked sloppiness. It's too late now, Yoshimi was already squealing with delight at the presence of her boyfriend.
"Yoji!" Accidentally knocking the bottles into the pound, she sprinted toward him as if it had been eons since they last saw each other.
Yoji opened his arms, his mind completely filled with leaving this accused game with his girlfriend in tow. Sure there was that familiar nagging feeling that use to pop up when he was younger and had the urge to throw rocks at girls, but he always managed to tell it to shut-up with little resistance. All that mattered was Yoshimi. The first girl he ever kissed, made love to, and saw as three bullets went through his chest and tore his heart to pieces.
"..." Yoshimi froze like a catatonic statue, her eyes fixated on the spot where her lover once stood, too scared to look down at his corpse. It was the best outcome Kyouichi could hope for. He didn't have to hear her whine or risk getting beaten-up by her. The Big Man would be so proud.
"That's pretty damn low." The click from Shougo's drawn shotgun, forced him to turn his head. Damnit! Why didn't he think about the rest of Yoji's teammates following him? He was one of the smartest kids in his school and there he was about to get his head blown off by the rest of the Pink Team.
"Faggot, faggot, faggot." It was almost as if the Big Man was right behind him, breathing down his neck. The smell of his father's illegally imported cigars filled Kyouichi's nostrils, forcing him to fight back the urge to vomit.
"Kyouichi, please." Yumiko's hand was shaky as she held a hand grenade, ready to throw it at him. Stupid bitch, she'd probably forget to pull the pin and look just as stupid as him. Too bad Hirono wouldn't be dumb enough to make the same mistake with her box cutter held securely in her right hand. And Chisato...wait a minute. Where was she?
"Drop your weapons!" Chisato dropped her bag as she let out a nervous cry as Mitsuru's hand squeezed a little tighter around her throat and the barrel of his gun dug against the side of her head.
No, no, no! How dare that thug upstage him. "Hands in the air." He even has Chisato crying and the rest of the team at his mercy. "Yamamoto, get Yoji's gun and get Yoshimi out of here."
"Come on, let's go." Yamamoto's voice overflowed with kindness as he put his arm around Yoshimi and lead her into the woods with the gun safely nestled in Yoji's bag.
"Hey. My gun!" Hirono cried.
"Some children do their parents proud." The Big Man grunted, looking at Mitsuru, the wonder son he should've had, with pride inside Kyouichi's head. "What the hell are you doing here Mitsuru?"
"Saving you from getting your head blown off." The wonder son turned to the Pink Team. "On your knees."
"Execution style, that's my boy."
"Shut-up dad." Kyouichi muttered under his breath.
"What did you say faggot?"
"I SAID SHUT-UP!" Pulling out his gun, Kyouichi blasted a hole right into Chisato's torso.
"What the fuck? Are you insane?"
"What's the matter Wonder Boy? Don't have your little hostage anymore? No way I'm going to let you take all the credit." He turned his gun toward the Pink Team. "Stay down!"
That aught to get the Big Man's approval, all two members on their knees. Wait a minute? Two? Where did that little punk bitch run off to? Before he could even reply, a loud choke erupted from Mitsuru's lips as Hirono revealed herself with one of Chisato's dry cleaner bags over his head.
"No..." Tears formed in Yumiko's eyes as she peeked over at the sight of the once tough Mitsuru frantically clawing at the bag. "He can't breathe." Talking sense into her would be useless; she had already slammed her knee twice into his rib cage to knock Chisato and the air out of him.
Chisato landed with a thud. If the blood wasn't already causing her to keep from completely freaking out, she would've scrambled for Mitsuru's gun and return fire on Kyouichi for shooting her.
"Now to finish the job." Ding-dong the wicked wonder boy was finally dead and Kyouichi couldn't be happier. Now to take them all out starting with Chisato. "No fags for the Big Man."
A heavy blast rang inside Chisato's ears as she turned her head to see her would-be killer laying in a pool of his own blood with his stomach blown open. Shougo looked like a towering god with his shotgun held firmly in his hands, gazing down on Kyouichi and then turning to her. Without a word, he pulled off his jacket and held it against her wound to sop-up the blood.
"Thank God he didn't hit anything vital." He immediately reloaded his shotgun, handed it to her, and hoisted her in his muscular arms. "Hope you're a good shot."
"We got to get her to the hospital. Grab their weapons and bags and let's go."
End of Chapter 4. 31 Students remain.