Chapter One - The Test

May 12, 2013; 6: 52 AM – Location: The Japanese Mafia HQ; hallway

I'm Kuro Shunki, twenty-three years of age and about the face the biggest test of my life.
My place is an underdog in the Japanese mafia, and my boss won't accept me if I don't take this test.
Not that I really want to.
So now, I'm making my way into my boss's office, sweating nervously.
Taking a deep breath, I knocked on the rough door and waited for a reply.

"That you, boy? Come on in."

I pushed open the door and winced slightly when the dry hinges swung back with a loud squeak.
My boss was sitting in his chair, back to me.

"Are you ready for the test?"

His voice was stoic as usual, but I could sense his pleasure in giving me this task.
Taking a small step forward, I opened my mouth to reply.
But he beat me to it.

"This test will be your key to joining the J.M."

He said, turning around.
In his fat fingers he held a slightly blurry picture.

"Y-yes, sir."
"Don't be so cowardly!"

He sneered for a moment, but put the picture on his desk so I could see it.
Leaning over curiously, I caught a glimpse of a girl sitting at a fountain.
Smiling his trademark sinister smile, he folded his hands and looked at me.

"I want you to tail this girl for about a month or a couple of weeks. Then befriend her, then after being friends for a long period of time, for…. Say, three years, I want you to bring her to the hideout. And kill her. It'll help with emotionless training."

I tried to hide my surprised face, but didn't do too good of a job, because he sneered again and shook his head.

"Coward. Do it or get kicked out."

Nodding, I swallowed hard and bowed.

"Uh…. How should I start?"

Leaning back in his chair, boss looked thoughtful.

"She goes to the bookstore at the west side of The Circle every Tuesday and Thursday, where this picture is taken. You know that place, right? I suggest you start there."

I nodded again and went back to my room to pack, keeping the picture.
This was the oddest test I'd taken so far.
First there was the shooting test.
Then there was the planning test.
And countless others.
I sat down on my plain, worn out bed and looked at the picture carefully.
It was a black-haired girl, wearing a blue hoodie with the kanji for 'Otaku-chan' (オタクちゃん)on the sleeves.
She was also wearing faded blue-jeans, and black and blue converse.
I sighed, a strange, ecstatic feeling passing over me.
A loud knock on the door startled me out of my slightly–nosebleed–perverted thoughts.

"Kuro? You ready?"

My friend, Hiruhi, peeked into my room and laughed when he saw the trail of blood dripping onto my arm.

"Oh, so your subject is a hottie?"
"Yeah. Heh…. I'm ready now."

Standing up and wiping my nose, I grabbed my suitcase off my bed and gave him a hearty thumbs-up.

"Let's roll."

7: 42 PM – Location: Reisui Hotel: parking lot

Later that night, we arrived at said location, a hotel to the east of The Circle.

"See you, bud! Visit with her sometimes, huh?"

I got myself a room and was unpacking when I heard a whiny voice outside my door, and another voice–it sounded like an angel's–trying to shush the aforementioned whiner.

"Hanabi, honey, come on. We're going to the mall tomorrow, okay?"
"But I wanna go now! Taka-oneechan, come on!"

A sigh followed, and more whining.
Finally, the angel's voice replied sternly:

"Hanabi, if you don't cooperate, I'll spank you. I will."

That silenced the anonymous whiner, but there was a thump on my door and a muttered threat.
I started up and opened my door, causing a six year old little girl who'd sat down, leaning on my door, to fall on my bare feet.

"Itai~! You jerk, why did you do that?"

The little girl, who I assumed was Hanabi, glared up and me before jumping up.
I smiled slightly and looked at the other girl, who I knew now was the owner of the angel voice.
She was rubbing her head with a perplexed look, and I didn't get a good look at her face until she ran her fingers through her long-ish black hair.
With a gasp, I straightened and squinted at her.
It was the girl from the picture, the one I was supposed to make friends with.
So her name was Taka, huh?
Wow, she was a wonder.
Oh, but now I can't tail her.
She'd know.

"Hi. Sorry about that."

I glanced at the little girl, whose name I assumed was Hanabi, and glued my dark brown eyes on Taka's matching brown orbs.
She shrugged and gave me a little smile, then grabbed the unruly child by her hood.
And proceeded to drag her to their room: four doors down from mine.
I shut the door, feeling woozy, and decided to lie down.
After thinking my plan over, I stood up and began to unpack again.
When I'd finished, I was worn out.
So, collapsing onto the bed, I pulled the blankets over myself and fell asleep.

And that concludes the first chapter of this rather twisted, dark and very crazy story.