Ring 1: The Ringmaster's Introduction

The city of Tokyo is in a nonstop rush, everyone is constantly working to not only gain contracts and traction in their field but in hopes that one day they will be honored enough to sit in the honored seat of Chairman. The busiest of all industries in Tokyo is a multibillion Yen company called Itowa Corporation. The halls were filled with employees scurrying about attempting to maintain the prestigious image of the company. However there is one major player in the world which has managed to climb to the top, and has since then become the most influential player in Japan, Shunsuke Nakamura. Standing at a staggering 190 cm with a strong build and a powerful presence it's undeniable that he's the top dog in the company. Always by his side is his faithful secretary Hiroki Asami, a graduate of the top university of Japan and a shrewd business man as well.

Nakamura sat at his desk on the top floor, he sighed and slowly rose from his seat. He couldn't help but lean against the glass and look down at the people below, "This game has become rather boring," said Nakamura. The reality was that no matter the opponent he had managed to win the game in a short amount of time. There hadn't been a true challenge in a long time. The doors of his office opened and Nakamura continued to look out the window. "I take it you're done with the documents," said Asami, he couldn't help but notice the air of boredom in the room. "Yes," said Nakamura, and he turned to Asami. "Hiro is there not a single formidable opponent left in the business world?" he asked. Hiro picked up the pages and responded, "Most of them are either deceased or smart enough not to challenge you." Asami had been with Nakamura for years, however he had never seen him like this. The truth was after Nakamura became a major player in the field of technology he had managed to tear all of his opponents apart and acquire their assets. There wasn't a single person left brave enough to take him on, "How's Jessica?" asked Asami. Nakamura shrugged and responded, "She's alright, still not really talking to me. She doesn't even acknowledge I exist since she got remarried." Asami noticed how Nakaumra was wasting away and asked, "Have you tried dating another woman?" There was silence and Asami responded, "Women like to play games as well you know." Nakamura walked over to his desk and responded, "I'm well aware of that and the truth is there isn't a single one which will ever amuse me." Asami snickered, it was true Nakamura used to go through a woman a week while he was dating. He sighed and said, "There's a circus in town this week, my wife and I are taking the kids and we have an extra ticket, why don't you join us." Nakamura began to laugh hysterically, "What on earth would a grown man do at a circus?" he asked. Asami paused and continued, "We're worried, all you do is work and go home, you don't attend parties, you haven't been on a date in a year, and to be honest you're not even being seen by the other employees here. Only myself and the secretary see you." Nakamura fell silent, all of this was true and he couldn't help but feel uncomfortable, "How did you know that I haven't slept with a woman in a year?" Asami snickered and responded, "Easy you don't look like you have scored, usually you come in with this unbelievable amount of selectmen and will power. You've lost it, come on you and I know there's nothing more exciting than chasing a woman."

Nakamura responded, "All right when is the show?" Asami grinned and said "This Saturday at 7 pm, the company is called Circ de Lune." Nakamura paused he had heard the name before when he was studying in Europe, "I thought those tickets were impossible to get," said Nakamura. Asami grinned and responded, "Nothing is impossible when you're brother in law is the Prime minister." Nakamura shook his head and said, "Right you got the dream girl, beauty, power and one hell of a personality." Asami laughed and said, "Come on it's time for your three o'clock meeting." Nakamura teasingly said, "Oh so I still have to do that?"

Tokyo Dome was a buzz as the props went up for the show, "Has anyone seen the throwing knives?" called a young man. "Try the third truck," shouted another young man. "Where on earth is Joker?" asked a young woman as she walked through, her curly brown hair was a mess and she wandered around in jeans. "Neil have you seen Joker?" she called. Neil was hanging upside down from the trap ease as he was attaching the extra safety pins. "Joker? I think he's over with the new recruits," he shouted. "Thanks," she responded and wandered over to the group. Standing among a group of young men and women was the long haired Joker, the ring master of the circ. "Ah Nina I was wondering where you were," said Eric. His green eyes stood out and he instructed the new recruits to stretch. "What's up?" he asked happily, he wore a large grin. "Ran Mao has a stomach ache there is no way she can perform tonight," said Nina. Eric sighed and responded, "Okay call Spyder and tell her that we need her." Nina nodded and the pair began to walk through the ring. "I'm worried about the mounts of the poles, they aren't holding well," said Nina. Eric looked over at them and noticed they were crooked, "Yes we need to have that fixed," he responded. Nina loved how everything was business until the curtain was up with Eric. He had made millions as a trader on the New York Stock Exchange and now he worked as the ringmaster for the circ of the century. The pair continued to inspect the ring when there was a loud cracking sound, in an instant Eric pushed Nina out of the way, there was a scream and Nina stared in shock. Eric's right arm and leg were caught under the massive platform which was used to anchor the ends of the tight rope. "Eric," Nina cried as several performs ran over. One of the knife throwers was quick to examine Eric and call an ambulance, "I have a man trapped under a platform at Tokyo Dome, the Right side of his body is being crushed and there is severe bleeding. I need assistance," he said. Nina stood in shock and she asked, "Will he be all right?" The knife thrower looked up, his brown eyes seemed to pierce her like this knives did the board. "He's losing a dangerous amount of blood, I'm not sure. I can't stop the bleeding however from the looks of it the bones in his arm and leg are shattered, I need to stabilize him until they get here," he responded. Eric moaned in pain and the knife thrower ordered for his bag to be brought over. "Emanuel?" asked Nina, however he ignored her and began preparing an IV. Emanuel was a surgeon from New York who was at the circus mainly for fun. "At this moment I have more concerns about the intense bleeding than I do anything else," said Emanuel. It was apparent he was in doctor mode now, and his fingers moved quickly to attempt to save Eric.

The paramedics arrived and there was a rush to get the platform off of him, "Carful I'm not sure what else is injured it's too difficult to completely examine him," said Emanuel. The rescue crew was quick to get the platform off of him and move him to a stretcher, Emanuel fallowed them, "Blood pressure is dropping," he called as they jumped into the ambulance. Nina stared as it pulled away and she rushed to get a cab, "Follow that ambulance," she said as she jumped in. The driver did so and she felt her heart pounding in her chest. "Eric," she whispered as it raced after the ambulance.

It was midnight and Emanuel walked out of the operating room doors in scrubs, Nina looked up and breathed, "He's stable however the bones in his right arm and leg were indeed shattered, he has a minor concussion." Nina rose and asked, "Can I see him?" Emanuel nodded and took her to his room. Eric was asleep however she couldn't help but stare at the gauze and casts on his arm and leg. "We had to set the bones and he may need pins, but there is no way he can perform some of the acts he did," said Emanuel. Nina sat beside him and responded, "That doesn't matter he's alive isn't he?" Emanuel nodded, he was well aware that they had been companions for years. However he was still concerned with the show, "We can't go on without a Ringmaster, it's impossible," whispered Emanuel and Nina nodded. She knew however at the moment she simply wanted to be with Eric. After a moment she instantly remembered the contact number Eric gave her. "There is one person we can call, from what I've heard his appearances are rare," said Nina. Eric stared at her, "Who?" he asked slowly. Nina was hesitant and responded, "Kuro, The Dark Ringmaster." Emanuel stared in shock, he had heard of him however he was unaware that he even still preformed. "The Dark Ringmaster? You mean the Demonic one?" he asked. Nina nodded and squeezed Eric's left hand. He slowly opened his eyes, "Nina?" he asked weakly. She smiled sweetly and he saw Emanuel at the foot of the bed, "I'm sorry," he whispered. Nina smiled sweetly and responded, "It's alright all that matters is that you're safe." Eric squeezed her hand and said, "Call Kuro and tell him we need a stand in, he'll do it. Contact Kato and tell him to announce the change and put up the alternate posters, he'll know which ones." Nina nodded and left the room for a moment; Eric looked at Emanuel and said, "I'm not going to be able to perform again am I?" Emanuel shook his head, Eric sighed and responded, "I'm not going to disband the Cirque in fact it might take some of the pressure off."

Emanuel nodded and Eric noticed a question burning in his eyes, "You're wondering about Kuro, believe me he's professional and perhaps one of the best. Just listen to him, remember he is playing a demon so he's very toned and can do some pretty amazing things," said Eric. Emanuel smiled and said, "Thanks boss." Eric snickered and closed his eyes to go to sleep.

It was a still dark out and a figure stirred in her bed, "Where is that damn phone?" she asked sleepily as she reached for it blindly. Her fingers glided over the nightstand as she attempted to locate what had reluctantly pulled her from her slumber. After a moment she found it, and picked it up, "Hello?" she asked the bed squeaked as she slowly as she sat up in the bed, her black long brown hair flowed down her shoulders and she rubbed her eyes. "Okay I'll catch a flight, see you in a few hours," she responded prior to hanging up. She sighed and walked over to the window to open the curtains, light flooded into the room and she said, "I guess I have to take some time off." She looked over at her alarm clock and jumped, "Crap I'm late," she shouted as she dashed over to the closet. In moments she was slipping into a white dress shirt and black vest. With ease she slipped into her pants and ran into the bathroom. She looked in the mirror and noticed a woman red eyes looking back at her, it wasn't that they were irritated that was the natural color of her irises. She sighed as she put in a pair of brown contacts and twisted her hair up. "Time to show them who their boss is," she said confidently as she sprinted down the hall and slipped into her heels. She put her car keys in her teeth and swung her coat over her shoulder. Her scarf was around her neck and her computer bag on her shoulder. The elevator doors slid open and she found a balled man standing there with a Doberman. "Good morning Steve," she chimed as she got in the lift. Steve glared and asked, "Are you late again?" she smiled nervously and remarked, "No everyone is just early." Steve laughed and responded, "You always say that Yuki, you're never on time." Yuki smiled and responded, "Well I was busy last night, and it's bad if the hostess of the Gala doesn't appear to her own event." Steve pushed his glasses back on his nose and crossed his arms, "Yeah that's true," the lift suddenly stopped and the pair stepped out. "Good luck today Kaicho Iwamura," he called as she sprinted out the door. The valet brought he car around and in moments she was slipping into the driver's seat and was running to the office. She caught a glimpse of the clock and mumbled, "Oh man I'm really late I better tell them."

She was quick to turn the corner and said, "Call Hal." The phone began to ring and she listened for Hal to answer, "You're late," he chimed. Iwamura sighed and responded, "Tell me something I don't know, check your email I sent you the approvals and I will take care of those contracts. Since a deal is done I think I might take a vacation for a little bit." There was silence as she flicked on her directional, "Hal?" she asked. He finally responded, "You take a vacation? Will we get red snow tomorrow?" She glared and said, "Very funny Hal, I actually need to go see a friend in Japan, he got injured and needs my assistance." Hal was silent and finally said, "Okay just do me a favor and hurry up, you're really late." In moments she was outside the office and she asked, "Is that fast enough?" Hal hung up and she snickered as she pulled into the parking lot. In moments she was in the foyer and walking over to the elevator, a group of forging executives was entering the foyer and she paused. In moments she was slipping out of her coat and adjusted her scarf, she smiled sweetly and they group froze. There was a ding and Hal was exiting the elevator, "Welcome back Chairman, I hope your appointment went well," he said. She smiled and responded, "It was exceptional thank you." The group stared as Hal took her bag and coat. "Welcome to North Star," Iwamura said smoothly. All of them stared, they had heard the chairman was young however they had no idea she was that young. "I'm Chairman Iwamura, please follow me to the conference room," said Iwamura as she stepped into the elevator. Hal slipped her a tablet and she grinned as she quickly looked at the file, the four men were nervous around her and they stared at her as she moved a file. The doors slid open and she lead them to a conference room with an amazing view. "I hope your flight from Hong Kong was comfortable," she said sweetly as she placed the tablet on the table. The four nodded and the leader of them said, "We are here to confirm that you're corporation is as influential as you say." Iwamura smiled sweetly and Hal arrived with a group of six men, the four stared. "I hope you don't mind I invited a few other members of the board to attend our meeting," she said as she picked up the tablet, "Now then let's talk shop."

She hit a button on the tablet and the lights turned off, the shades went down, the screen came down and the projector turned on. In seconds there was a presentation on the screen. The four stared in shock as she began, "It's time to take on the world when it comes to speed and performance, let North Star guide the way."

Hal and Iwamura entered he office and she smiled with triumph, "That was all too easy," she said as she handed him a portfolio. Hal nodded and watched her take a seat at her desk, "I have to leave for Japan for a little over a week," she said as she booked her plain tickets. Hal nodded and said, "With how smoothly that went it's a wonder that Itowa is still in business." She sighed and looked up, her brown eyes held a spark and she responded, "Itowa is a different kind of company," she said. After a moment she stood and responded, "I have to get going, I promised to be there as soon as possible. Hal, hold the fort for me while I'm gone." Hal nodded as she walked out of the room, in seconds she was leaving the office. "Time to return to Japan," she whispered, it had been a long time since she was in Japan and she couldn't help but remember the time she spent there. The silk kimonos and the chime of swords as they clashed together, the smell of green tea and the whisper of a flute. Japan has changed a bit since then she whispered as she drove to the airport.

Iwamura sighed, the flight was long but it seemed to be so much longer with the talkative man sitting beside her in first class. He was so interested in her appearance that he asked her a number of questions about what she did for a living. "Handling attorneys and reporters is easier than handling a man like him," she muttered as she zipped through customs. She grabbed her quite case from the carousel and walked through the terminal. "I wonder if I will have a ride to the Dome?" she asked curiously. The terminal was packed with people as they went looking for their rides, "Oya, so many people," she said after a moment. Standing by the entrance was a man in a jet black suite; she noticed the name on the sign and smiled. "Iwamura Yuki?" asked the man holding the sign. Iwamura nodded and he collected her luggage, "Welcome to Tokyo, I will be taking you to the hotel," said the chauffer. Iwarmura shook her head and said, "No take me to the dome." The chauffer opened the trunk and placed her suite case in it, "Iwarmura-sama?" he asked in confusion. She slipped her sunglasses on and said, "Since Joker is injured they are probably running behind, we need to rehearse. As for you, I will pay you for the entire day." The chauffer bowed and opened the door for her. She slipped in and he was quick to close the door. He had very few patrons which were generous enough to pay him for the entire day.

The chauffer fallowed her orders and pulled in front of the Tokyo dome, Iwamura smiled as she got out of the car. The chauffer stared and watched her walk by, her hair was short and he noticed how it was styled, she froze and looked at the banners. "It looks like some adjustments are to be made," she said. The chauffer stared at her in confusion and watched as she snapped her fingers and the banners changed before his eyes. His blue eyes widened and he noticed how they changed into a group of bright colors with a different emblem. Iwamura clapped her hands and entered the dome; she could hear the various elements of the equipment putting together platforms and various other elements. There was a ton of noise as she walked through all of the workers stared at the white coat as it bellowed. "Who is that?" one of the workers asked. The other responded, "I have no idea." Iwarmura smirked and whispered, "Oh you'll know soon enough." Their supervisor shouted from the floor, "Don't hang that banner, Joker will not be the ringmaster!" The pair of workers looked confused; Joker was the one on the posters until they noticed the difference in the banners outside. "What the?" one of them asked and the Supervisor responded, "It's the ringmaster, Kuro; I need you to hang this banner." He held up the large black scroll and the men stared. Every other banner was brightly colored with different emblems however this one was ink black. "Sir?" they asked in confusion, and the supervisor caught the white coat in the corner of his eye. "Believe me it's worthy, it always has been," he said. Iwamura smirked as they attached her banner to the wire. There was a gasp of awe as it unrolled, it was covered in elegant embroidery work and the circus emblem was slightly different. It was simply the half that was the moon and they realized that this cirque was originally a 2 ringmaster show. "What?" they asked in confusion and Iwarmura snapped her fingers again. The pure white coat turned into a black tailcoat, her vest changed into a bright blue vest. She had a blue bow and her eyes were a resilient red.

She continued to walk into the main area, the performers continued to practice. They ignored her artful dodges and skillful foot work as she got to the center of the ring. She looked around and noticed various issues with the set, she smirked and a snapped her fingers. The sound was soft and yet it seemed to carry through the ring. Standing center stage for the world to see, with her eyes closed and a peaceful expression, everything about the woman was out of place. Yet her presence demanded attention and oddly everyone heard a sweep voice which didn't even leave her lips, a soft command, "Your attention please," it hummed. The troop gathered and she could hear the buzz of whispers. Each word spoken tickled her ears, and she slowly opened her eyes and smirked as the stage moved. The platforms shifted and they noticed the materials change to high quality wood, they were much more stable and the three rings changed as well. The walls were no longer their faded triangles; instead they were a beautiful array of rich burgundy read, sapphire blue, plum and black vines curled about in ornate patterns. She heard bowling pins and bottles drop as the ring floor changed to an elegant gold and the trapeze lines were fixed. Everything was covered with intricate details which made the spectacle even more impressive.

A smirk had curled her elegant lips as a whip appeared in her hand, its red handle contrasted with her blue vest and a long black switch fell lifeless on the floor. In a swift motion she flung the whip around her head before snapping her wrist. The black leather switch tore through the air, and with the snap of her wrist, it released a loud crack. The very sound echoed through the dome and seemed to electrify the air. Each performer jumped to attention, Joker never used a whip which was where he was like his father. She tightened the whip in her hands, "Who is that?" whispered a stout Chinese acrobat. She drew a deep breath and swung the whip around her head; they could hear it slice through the air before a loud crack. "Whoa," whispered a woman who was by the tigers. "Joker wasn't kidding," she whispered in awe and she watched the ringmaster open her eyes. Those blood red eyes seemed to pierce all of the performers. "I will be Joker's replacement, I hope you will assist me in the future," she said with a low bow. "Is that who I think it is?" seemed to be the one common question among the sea of mummers. Beast, the animal tamer stepped in and said, "Meet Kuro, our new ringmaster." Iwamura smirked and took a step off the block, "Well let's get this show started," she said happily, "It's going to be fun." Her hips swayed as she moved and she grinned with delight, once again she was back in the ring and playing the role of a ringmaster. Her red eyes glided over the faces of the company as they carried on rehearsing, it was clear she had been away for far too long.