“Yuu, hurry up and do what you need to do. We don’t have much time…you don’t have much time left,” Musubi said with his sword-like eyebrows knitted.
Yuu walked over to Musubi, who was seated on the edge of a five-story building’s rooftop, then sat beside him. He sighed then responded, “I’m worried about Kenta…for sure he’ll be sad again once I go back to Yomi.”
Musubi wanted to continue frowning but he could not keep on acting all impatient. In the end, his face relaxed and his impatience was replaced with pity and guilt. He was the one to be blamed for what had happened to them. Since his guilt had been bothering him for years, he decided to help Yuu.
Fortunate enough, Yuu had not reincarnated yet. He roamed around endlessly in Yomi for years, along with other spirits who still could not reincarnate due to their unfulfilled wishes and unfinished business with the living. Through the help of the green jade magatama  necklace that Musubi got from Lord Tamanoya, the jewel-making deity, he was able to take Yuu out of Yomi without being detected. He received this as a gift when he held Lord Tamanoya’s wedding. This necklace, when worn, could make a person invisible to and undetectable by the gods and other supreme beings. Since Musubi only received one, he divided it into two equal parts for him and Yuu. However, since the necklace was divided into two, its effect could only last for a week. Once seven days had passed, if the necklace remains divided, not only would it lose its efficacy, but it would also shatter into pieces.
( Magatama are curved, comma-shaped beads that appeared in prehistoric Japan from the Final Jōmon period through the Kofun period, approximately ca. 1000 BCE to the sixth century CE. The beads, also described as “jewels”, were made of primitive stone and earthen materials in the early period, but by the end of the Kofun period were made almost exclusively of jade.)
Musubi patted Yuu’s back and then said, “You don’t have to worry about that. I can make it all seem like a dream to Kenta, so that he won’t wonder why you’ll disappear all of a sudden later on.” After that, he stood up and hovered into the air. He then added: “But the problem here is that Shō guy got involved. You should only be recognized by Kenta, but now everything got messed up when he suddenly popped out of nowhere yesterday night. Sigh. It’s more work for me. Anyway, I better get changed. Don’t want to get those mortals into thinking that some handsome god came down to their world, haha. I’ll get you a new set of clothes as well. Don’t worry. I’ll catch you later.” He laughed then winked at Yuu. With one wave of his staff, he vanished into thin air.
Yuu smiled awkwardly and shook his head. After Musubi left to get new sets of clothes for the both of them, Yuu gazed into the distance and watched attentively. The building across from the building that he was on was the brothel called White Lotus, which was Kenta’s workplace.
In this overcast and starless night, it seemed like the stars had descended into this bustling city. The streets were glimmering with a multitude of colorful lights, all thanks to the neighboring bars and brothels.
As Yuu stared into the distance, a familiar gray-haired man walked out of the side door of White Lotus that lead into a narrow alley. He was pushing a garbage bin. Yuu blinked and immediately knew that this man was Kenta.
After taking out the garbage, Kenta wiped his hands with the towel that he took out from his apron’s pocket. He squatted briefly in front of the side door then took out his flip phone to compute. “Right, so…so far, I’ve saved ¥32,200,000 from my five years of working and staying here in Tokyo…” He sighed then continued muttering to himself, “…¥70,000,000 is still a long way to go, should I get another part-time job? I need to recalculate my living expenses.”
While he was pondering over this, someone suddenly opened the door behind him. “There you are. Mr. Yamamoto has been looking all over for you. Come inside, quickly.” The one who opened the door was his friend, Shō. After Shō said this, he beckoned with his hand and went ahead inside.
After hearing this, Kenta stood up from where he was seated and hurried back inside. When he walked into Mr. Yamamoto’s office, he saw Mr. Yamamoto sitting on his chair while facing the wide window that oversaw the front part of the brothel.
“Boss,” Kenta said.
Mr. Yamamoto turned around and flashed a smile at Kenta. “There’s my favorite employee. Have a seat.” He extended his right arm and offered Kenta a seat in front of his desk. “How are you?” He asked.
Kenta smiled back and obediently sat down. “I’m fine, Boss. I heard from Shō that you were looking for me. What’s up?”
Mr. Yamamoto did not answer back; instead, he casually asked, “Don’t you find it strange?” He pointed out to the window. “A butterfly that’s still active at night? The world’s really changing.”
Kenta looked at the window and saw a familiar blue butterfly fluttering its wings as it crawled on the window glass. Chōchō-kun?
Mr. Yamamoto took out a box of cigarettes from his blazer’s front pocket, then one of his men rushed over and offered to light his cigarette. After getting his cigarette lit, he took one puff and slowly blew the smoke out of his mouth. “Anyway, let’s get into business. I have a proposal for you,” he casually said.
Kenta was all ears. He straightened his back and drew a bit nearer to the desk. “What’s your proposal?” he asked.
“I have VIP guests coming over from China tomorrow night. If you recall, Mr. Chen. I’ve introduced you to him in the past. He’ll be visiting us for my business proposal,” Mr. Yamamoto said, then took another puff of his cigarette.
“Hmm,” Kenta nodded.
Mr. Yamamoto stood up and walked leisurely to Kenta’s back. He grabbed Kenta’s right shoulder then patted it once, “He wants you to serve them.”
Kenta was dumbfounded. He already made it clear with Mr. Yamamoto in the past that he would never work as a prostitute in the brothel. He swallowed hard then thought to himself. What could he possibly mean by ‘serve’?
Having no response from Kenta, Mr. Yamamoto flicked his fingers in front of his face: “Are you listening to me?” he asked.
“Ye..yes, Boss. I’m listening.” Kenta stuttered, then he added: “I’m a waiter so I’ll definitely serve them.” He said this, hoping that this was the case.
Hearing this, Mr. Yamamoto sneered. “It’s not the kind of ‘serving’ that you have in mind. Don’t play dumb with me, my boy. You know what I’m talking about.”
“No buts. I’ve done a lot for you since you got here. Remember how I saved you and took you in? You should return the favors that I’ve done for you all these years. I won’t take no for an answer.”
Kenta was reticent. He could feel his hands were shaking.
“Don’t make it hard for me and yourself. Let me finish my proposal before you say anything else. If you agree to this ‘promotion’ I’m offering you, I’ll give you ¥15,000,000 as a bonus. I know you need money for your old farm house. This should be helpful enough. On top of that, you’ll be able to earn more. This is a high paying job. In less than a year, you’ll be able to buy your house back. You must let go of your pride. Stomp on it if you have to. What can your pride do for you? Can it give you the life that you want? How long will you have to wait to get your house back? Huh!?”
Even if Kenta desperately needed money, he vowed to his father’s grave that he would never resort to this kind of dirty business. After absorbing all of the words that Mr. Yamamoto had uttered, he firmly shook his head and loudly said, “Boss, I’m sorry but I can’t!” He then stood up and bowed down to his boss.
“Don’t make me repeat myself. I already told you, I won’t take no for an answer. Men, teach this boy a lesson!” Mr. Yamamoto’s voice resonated within his office.
Two burly men came over and dragged Kenta by his arms. Despite their big built and tall stature, Kenta was unfazed. He desperately resisted and yelled, but no matter how he kicked and elbowed the two burly men, their grip on him was strong. “Stay still!” shouted one of the burly men.
Kenta did not listen and continuously resisted. Because of this, the other man furrowed his brows. He could not take this hassle anymore. He asked the other man to restrain Kenta. As a response, the other man twisted Kenta’s arms to his back and made him kneel on the ground. The other burly man took out a syringe and a vial from a drawer. Upon seeing this, Kenta resisted harder, “What, what are you doing?!”
“This will help you relax.” The man holding the syringe smirked. After extracting the content of the vial with the syringe, he walked over to Kenta and hurriedly injected the drug on Kenta’s forearm. Kenta’s efforts in retaliating and resisting were all in vain. After a few minutes, his rapid and deep breaths eventually became shallow and slow; his loud voice became softer, to the point that he was slurring; and his body, that was initially resisting fiercely, had now sluggishly relaxed.
One of the burly men looked at Mr. Yamamoto and Mr. Yamamoto gave them a nod. The burly man smiled sinisterly and under tacit agreement, they started undressing Kenta. After tearing off the first three buttons on Kenta’s shirt, a loud bang resonated within the office. “Mr. Yamamoto, please don’t hurt Kenta!” Shō came in shouting.
Mr. Yamamoto raised one of his eyebrows, then grinned: “Who says I’m going to hurt your buddy? I’m about to give him the pleasure that he never dreamed of.” After saying that, Mr. Yamamoto looked at one of his henchmen. Under tacit understanding, the burly man, who drugged Kenta, went to face Shō. “Get out of here. Can’t you see our Boss is busy?”
“Fuck off! Busy with what? What are you going to—” Before Shō could even finish his statement, the burly man punched him in the stomach. Shō immediately kneeled in pain, but still, he looked up and did his best in tolerating the pain. He rushed forward, without the slightest intention to let them go without a fight. He swung at the burly man’s face, but before he landed a hit, the burly man dodged to the right. When Shō missed, the burly man slapped his face with the back of his left hand. The impact was so strong that Shō was sent flying at least two to three feet away from the burly man, then finally falling to the floor. Shō, who seemed to be unfazed by this, hurriedly stood up. However, before he could even make a counterattack, the other burly man immediately knocked his head with a wine bottle. The wine bottle broke because of the impact with Shō’s head. Shō held on to the back of his head, then staggered toward Kenta, but before he could even reach the other man, Shō collapsed to the floor.
Looking at the floor, there was a mixture of wine and blood. Mr. Yamamoto frowned after seeing this. “Get this man out of here and don’t make me see him again with that face! Ruin his face if you have to!” he yelled as he ordered the two burly men. The two men nodded in response, but before they could even drag Shō away, Mr. Yamamoto waved his hand and walked over. “Hold on to him and let me see his face.” The two men followed his orders and when he and Shō were looking squarely at each other, with a ruddy cheek and blood dripping down his face, Shō weakly said, “Disgusting ugly old man…”
“Look who’s talking.” Mr. Yamamoto then pressed his cigarette butt on Shō’s cheek. Shō groaned in pain and right there and then, he fainted.
Mr. Yamamoto waved his hand to order the two men to take Shō out of his office. By then, he already lost his urge to play with Kenta. Even in the past, he already had this strong desire to sully Kenta’s righteousness and integrity. As years went on, he took in Kenta and under false pretense, he acted like a father to Kenta, but in the back of his mind, he had always wanted to rip this man’s clothes off and play with him until he begged to be spared. Looking at the handsome man, who was lying half-unconsciously on the floor, Mr. Yamamoto shook his head and clicked his tongue. He knelt on the floor and drew near Kenta’s face. When he sniffed Kenta’s arousing fragrance, he stuck his tongue out and when he was about to lick the man’s cheek, someone immediately kicked him in his face. He fell to the floor, unconscious.
The person who kicked Mr. Yamamoto walked over to Kenta. Kenta looked toward this person and did his best to open his eyes. “Yuu…” He whispered.
The blue-haired man slipped his hand on Kenta’s back and pulled him in his embrace. “I’m sorry if I left you all alone like this.” After saying this, beads of tears began dripping down his charming face.
Kenta, with difficulty, managed to hold on to Yuu’s face and wiped his tears away. “Don’t cry.”
“I’ll never let this happen to you again.” Yuu hugged the other man tighter and rested his chin on Kenta’s shoulder. Kenta tried hugging him back but the drug’s effect got the better of him. By the time his arm was reaching over Yuu’s neck, with the intention of hugging him back, his arm immediately plopped down.