"A-are you serious?" Sakurai asked. "You really don't know who I am?"
Harima and Rei both shook their heads.
"But I'm a famous TV star…" Sakurai told them. "I played lead roles in so many popular dramas and I was even the star of a recent hit movie. How is it possible for anyone not to know me?"
Harima tried to look at Rei behind him. "Do you know him, Rei?" he asked.
Rei shook her head. "Anime is all I watch," she answered jumping to her feet. "Unless he's a popular voice-actor, then I don't who he is."
"I've never paid any attention to dramas," Harima told Rei while he rubbed the reddened skin of his wrists. After throwing the ropes off, Harima stretched his arms and legs and stood up.
"I should have known children wouldn't know who I am," Sakurai said nodding his head. "Children only watch anime and play video-"
"Hey! How the hell did you get out?" Sakurai yelled finally noticing that both his prisoners were no longer in their chairs.
Again, Harima and Rei looked at the other.
"I used my Soul Free to escape," Rei told Harima. "How about you?"
"For five months, I woke up tied up or locked in something," Harima told Rei. "Thanks to Senji, it's become easy for me to get out of something like this."
Rei gave Harima a confused stare. "Five months? Was Senji really doing that for the last five months?"
"Well, it's only been one day for you…"
"Stop ignoring me!" Sakurai yelled. "Honestly, you kids are so annoying! I'm freaking famous and neither of you care! Both of you are talking amongst yourselves like I'm not even here! I'm the one in charge!"
Sakurai took out a cell phone and pressed a button. "You know what? It's time to teach you kids some manners!" he yelled. The man then placed the phone up to his ear. "Bring out everyone and use only the batons! I don't want these kids to die until the others kidnap the girl who did this to my face!"
A minute after he called, more than twenty men wearing black suits and sunglasses stormed into the warehouse. Each man took out a telescoping steel baton and swung it to its full length. The men surrounded Harima and Rei, circling around them until there was no way out. The men gripped their batons tightly, waiting for Sakurai's order.
"Beat these kids to an inch of their life!" Sakurai yelled.
Immediately after hearing his order, the men charged at the two teens. A few men swung their batons straight at Rei but instead of hitting her, their batons struck each other.
"Where the hell did she go?" one of the men said while rubbing the side where another baton had struck him.
"She couldn't have disappeared," another man yelled looking around for Rei.
While the men were searching, Rei looked down on them from her spot a few meters above the ground. She chuckled as they pointlessly searched for her. Rei, however, stopped chuckling once she took a look over at Harima. What she saw happening was enough to make her heart start beating faster. She couldn't close her mouth as she watched what was happening below.
"Why can't we hit him?" one of the men yelled swinging his baton down at Harima.
"Is this kid human?" another yelled.
To Rei's surprise, Harima was dodging every swing of the baton from the ten men around him. He moved like water amongst the dozen men trying to hit him. Harima dodged each swing with so little movement that to Rei, it looked like the men were purposefully missing him. Harima continued to dance his way out of their swings and soon the men were breathing heavily. They backed away from their target and tried to find a way they could hit him.
"Who is this kid?" one of the men asked.
"None of us can hit him," another said wiping his sweat off. "How is that possible? We have over ten men trying to hit him at once and yet he simply moves out of the way…"
Watching the men talk about how they can't hit him made Harima chuckle.
To the men's surprise, Rei reappeared next to Harima. While the men tried to understand how Rei got past them, the young girl looked up at Harima. She couldn't understand it but Rei knew that something was different about the Harima she's seeing and the Harima she saw yesterday.
"What happened to you, Harima?" Rei asked. "You weren't this good at dodging the last time I saw you fight. Did Senji do something?"
Harima sighed. "It was more Kei than Senji," he answered.
Hearing Rei's question forced Harima to remember the time he spent with Kei and Senji…
Four months and twenty days ago for Harima…
In the middle of a valley of grass, Senji stood over a heaving Harima.
"You can't keep running away, Harima," Senji told the young man vomiting in front of him. "You lose too much stamina dodging your opponent's attacks that way. Keep your ground and only move as little as possible to dodge attacks. Learn how to dodge with little movements and you'll last a lot longer in battle."
Harima wiped his mouth on his sleeve. "I've been trying," Harima argued. "But you and Kei are too fast! A normal human like me can't dodge any of your attacks!"
"Stop saying you can't do this just because you're a normal human," Senji said pounding his fists together. "We're training to make you a Free User strong enough to survive in Neo Alcatraz. We're going to need your Mental Free in there since a lot of prisoners there have annoying Mental Frees. Our chances of preventing the Fears from releasing the prisoners will drastically decrease if we lose you, Harima."
"But does that include beating me to a pulp everyday?" Harima cried.
"Yes!" Senji laughed, grinning wickedly at him. "All you have to do this month is simply dodge both of our attacks. If you can dodge our attacks, then dodging a normal human's attacks will be a piece of cake."
Harima sighed as he got back on his feet. He stared at Senji, breathing heavily but ready for anything Senji brought out.
Senji grinned and clenched his fists. "That's right, keep that spirit and maybe we'll be done quicker than I thought…"
"These kids are monsters!" the men screamed, continuing their useless attempt at trying to hit either Harima or Rei. Harima moved out of the way of their attacks and Rei used her Soul Free to let their swings pass right through them.
"I should have known friends of that demonic kid would be monsters too," Sakurai said. The man suddenly came to a realization. "Does this mean the other friends of that devil child are just as bad? Maybe I should call the men I sent to kidnap them…"
Before Sakurai could take out his phone, two of the men that were attacking the two teens flew past him. Sakurai dropped his phone as more of his men were sent flying into the air. Rei pointed at more of the men surrounding them and using her Physical Free, threw them into the air.
The remaining men noticed that Rei was throwing them around without physical contact.
"Can this girl be a Free User!?"
"Could this guy also be one?"
"The power of Free exists? I only heard rumors about it…"
"We don't know what to do if we ever encounter a Free User! We never got any training in case this happened!"
"Bring out your guns!" Sakurai ordered.
To Harima and Rei's surprise, the remaining eight men took out the pistols inside their suits.
"Forget about taking them alive! Kill them if they resist!" Sakurai screamed.
The two teens, however, didn't care that the men took out their guns. Rei pointed at two of men and bashed their heads together. One of the men fired his gun at Harima but he missed the young man and accidentally shot the foot of the man behind Harima. The man with the shot foot screamed as he fell on his back. The bullets fired at Rei phased through her, injuring the shoulder of one of the men.
Sakurai's jaw dropped as he continued to watch his men continue to lose. "Not even guns can do anything," Sakurai whispered not believing what he was seeing.
The men Sakurai sent were finally finished, Harima and Rei still standing in the middle of the either unconscious or injured group of men.
"So Senji taught you how to dodge?" Rei asked acting as if the recent fight was nothing.
"Dodging wasn't the only thing he taught me…"
Sakurai picked up one of the guns his men dropped but before he could pull the trigger, Harima kicked his gun out of his hand. His surprise at how fast Harima appeared in front of him combined with his increasing fear made Sakurai swing his fist at the young man. Sakurai grinned as his fist struck Harima's cheek but his grin disappeared when he saw the expression on Harima's face.
"He also taught me how to fight like him," Harima said ignoring the pain in his cheek.
Faster than he could see, Harima's fist struck Sakurai in his side. Sakurai fell on his knees, holding the side Harima punched. He coughed intensely, only stopping to take a look at the young man in front of him.
"Think we're scary?" Harima asked. "The girl that did that to your face is so much scarier than us. Atsuko would break every bone in your body and laugh at your pain. That little girl is anything but a weak kid. She can throw grown men with no effort at all! You can't imagine what kind of messes she leaves for me to clean up! The messes that girl makes is just not possible! Not to mention how ungrateful she is…"
"You're starting to get off topic, Harima," Rei said patting her hand on his back.
"Atsuko is just so frustrating," he sighed.
Rei sighed with him. She turned her eyes to Sakurai. "What my friend here is trying to say is just don't bother us or Atsuko anymore," she said. "It'll just end in failure and pain for you, okay?"
Sakurai nodded his head.
Rei clapped her hands together and smiled. "Good, that means we can leave now."
Rei took Harima's hand and hurried with him towards the warehouse's exit.
"I didn't expect our night together would end up like this," Rei chuckled as the two exited the warehouse and began walking back to their hotel. Both of the teens were surprised to see that the hotel they were staying wasn't that far from where they were.
"Night together? Were we supposed to be on a date?" Harima asked.
Rei felt like her face was on fire after hearing his question. "N-no way! I meant like a night between two good friends!" She quickly said while waving her hands around. Rei hid her bright red face behind her blue hair.
Harima stopped walking and so did Rei when the two saw the impossible scene farther down the street they were walking on.
Both their jaws dropped as they saw dozens of men marching down the street, each one throwing petals on the woman sitting atop a throne-like chair being carried by several severely bruised men wearing black suits. Most of the men in the crowd were incredibly drunk and the woman they crowded around was even more intoxicated. The men in black suits, which Harima and Rei knew were the men Sakurai ordered to capture the girl named Atsuko, moaned and cried while they walked with Atsuko's throne on their backs.
"All hail our Queen!" The crowd of men laughed and cheered.
"I'm the freaking Queen! Continue to shower your Queen with your affection!" An adult Atsuko laughed from her throne. She downed half a large bottle of liquor before going back to laughing. "Maybe your Queen will grateful enough to grace her subjects with her naked body…"
The men in the crowd roared but the black suit men carrying Atsuko moaned or cried louder as they continued walking.
Harima and Rei watched the crowd march past them and after they were a good distance away, the two teens looked at each other.
"Let's hurry back to the hotel," Harima said.
"The faster we go to sleep and forget this, the better," Rei added.