Kei, Mai, and Yuka sit quietly until they finally hear footsteps. They quietly stand up to see Nick, HJ, and another woman joining them. Kei reasoned this to be Nicole.
Kei: So I take it the mission was a success?
HJ: You could say that if we ignore Kon escaping and self destructing his base.
Kei: So it was a half-success then. We saved Rin’s mother, and in the process freed Rin and Isao from having to work under him.
HJ: Yeah. I honestly am glad that we helped them… Anything I ought to know about Kon, because I’m curious about what happened during your plan… Did he catch on?
Kei: I had to convince Rin and Isao to work with me to put on a convincing fight, but they understood finally. I was able to escape with minimal damage.
HJ: good to hear… I’m happy with that despite Kon’s escape. I wish I saw the look on his face when he realized me and Nick got to her before it was too late…. Well it was too late… (Heavily sighs) the good thing is we had a success despite his escape.
Kei: True, but it just means we have to track him down all over again to prevent this from happening all over again.
HJ: I get the bad feeling he’ll have more threatening leverage if he decides to do this again. (To Himself) I swear to god if he does what I think he’s gonna do. I’ll be glad he gets the death penalty!
Mai: Actually I think we can stop him before he does anything else.
HJ: I hope you’re right. Trust me this was bad enough, so if we can stop him before he gets anyone close to us it’d be great. I don’t want anymore bloodshed caused by this psychopath. By the way, are you a friend of Kei’s? I never met you yet.
Kei: Not a friend.
Mai: My name is Mai. I am Kei’s sister.
Yuka: And I’m Yuka, Mai’s partner of sorts.
HJ: I see, nice meeting you both. (looks to Kei) I’ll admit I had a feeling Yui was a relative but I didn’t know ya had more than one sister.
Kei: I have three. The only reason Mai doesn’t look part of my family is because she has a different tail and ears.
Mai: Our dad was a siberian husky breed. Our mother was a golden retriever breed.
Kei: Yui and myself got the golden retriever side.
Mai: Our other sister, Rie and I, got the siberian husky side.
HJ: I see, that makes sense. It’s like a human and beastkin would have at least one beastkin child and one human child.
Kei: (hesitating) Sure, let’s go with that.
HJ: …. (to himself) I get a feeling I hit a landmine.
Mai: Anyway, your name is Nicole, correct?
The woman nods.
Kei: Your daughter is waiting inside.
The woman quietly excuses herself and heads inside the building to meet with Rin. As she goes in, Rin and Isao stand there. Isao notices her.
Isao: Looks like someone is here to meet you.
Rin looks up to see her mother. Her eyes immediately tear up.
Nicole: Hello, Rin.
Rin runs straight towards her. When she gets to her, she hugs her.
Rin: I'm so glad you're okay.
Nicole: I am too, honey.
Isao: I am glad you're safe, Mrs. Arai.
Nicole: You are Isao, correct?
Rin: Yes, he is.
Isao: You realize now, that either Kon or The Branch will come after us.
Rin: I'm well aware.
Rin lets go of her mother.
Isao: And what will you do?
Rin: I think its best we go into hiding for now.
Isao: I concur. The Branch is likely too dedicated to removing Kei as an obstacle. The Branch will likely take notice of our abandonment.
Rin: But they're going to focus on Kei first and deserters later.
Isao: And it sounds like Kei's got things well handled right now. Him and his friends.
Rin: You are correct.
After mulling everything over, the group comes out, as the remainder of them sit there.
Kei: So its decision time. Mai: Decision time?
Yuka: Well something has to happen.
Kei: You can either come with us, or you can go find peace somewhere else.
Isao: No matter what we choose there will not be peace for us.
Rin: You understand that the Branch will come after us because we have abandoned them.
HJ: Well considering things, we’re still in a way after the Branch. I’m still planning to take down their leader after I apprehend Kon. So you don’t need to worry about them. If they come within speaking distance I’ll hunt them down and take ‘em out.
Rin: I’ll explain this much. Nobody in the branch knows who the leader is. Not even Isao or I. We have only received brief communications with him. And we have only heard his voice.
Isao: It is doubtful, at this point, that you would be able to find him.
Kei: No worries. We weren’t expecting him to come running out to the front lines. All we have to do is thin his ranks.
HJ: Yeah, and Kon is likely our first target considering his criminal rank.
Rin: I imagine the Branch will focus solely on Kei due to his interference.
Isao: So for now, we will take our leave, as the both of us need time to recover.
Rin: Please tell Aria I am sorry I cannot join her.
Kei: I will.
Rin and Isao walk off into the distance. The both of them likely knowing a place where they could get transportation home.
Kei: At the very least, if and when they decide to help us…
Mai: You’ll have more allies when you go up against the remaining members of the Branch.
HJ: (nodding) Yeah. We already got quite a bit of progress done at this point. No turning back from the past, just head forward into the future. That’s what my brother always told me, and I am sticking by it.
Kei: Now then, Mai. You were talking about having a way of locating Kon?
Mai: I have a past history with Kon myself. He tried to pull the same stunt with me as he did Nicole. I was lucky enough to be able to defend myself.
HJ: Where did this occur? Actually, how about when too?
Mai: It wasn’t too long after I left home. Though for what purpose he wanted to kidnap me, I’m not sure why. I doubt it was for money, as kidnapping a beastkin wouldn’t net you much of that.
Yuka: You mean those four idiots that attacked us?
Mai: Oh right, them too. People under Kon made another attempt not too long ago, wanting to kidnap me to make Kei forcibly work under him as well, I’m sure.
Yuka: (scoffs) He isn’t very smart if he thought that sending under trained goons would be enough to do anything.
Kei: (smiling) Have to agree. Sounded like the both of you outmatched him. (seriously) Now to the matter at hand. How do you know how to get to Kon’s next hideout?
Mai: (sly grin) Pretty easily actually. (to Yuka) Can you grab my small bag off my bike Yuka?
Yuka: (nods before leaving to grab the bag) One moment.
Yuka quickly retrieves he bag, and brings it to her.
Mai: (taking the bag from her) Thank you Yuka, its appreciated.
Yuka: Not a problem.
Mai grabs a small map from inside the bag.
Mai: (Showing it off) When they first attacked me, back when I just left home, one of the goons left a map to Kon’s secret hideout. I doubt Kon even knows I have a way to find his secret hideout.
HJ: You think the goon woulda just picked it up if he noticed it was gone?? I mean, what if he needed it to get back and then he got lost. Realizing he lost the map?
Mai: None of my concern. (Smirks)
Yuka: Well if the goon was as good as the ones that attacked us...you get the picture...
HJ: Okay I admit that was kind of a dumb question on my part.
Kei: All the same, we have exactly what we need. We have a way of getting to Kon’s secret lair. That leaves us with something else we can do. We can plan out our attack.
HJ: You think he’d suspect us if we all went in at once? Because as much as that’d sound like a legitimate plan we’d all be gunned down quite easily. What I say is we do a similar plan to earlier with when we saved Nicole.
Kei: You read my mind. We’re going to distract ‘em. Nick, you said there were no guards last time right?
Nick: (nodding) Yeah, there were no guards in his lair.
Kei: I bet that he has his secret lair with his best goons.
HJ: Heh. Well at least we got ways of keeping them from swarming all at once. Though if we had Ragna he’d probably kill ‘em all at once. He wasn’t the SS Class grim reaper for nothing.
Kei: We’re going to split up into two groups. Each group is going to have to rely on the other. We’re all in this together. So here’s the plan. First group, outside. They’re going to be diverting Kon’s attention. Mai, Nick, and Yuka. That’s where the three of you come in.
Nick: You’re putting Mai out front because of her past history.
Mai: Not a problem. I’ve got Yuka and Nick by my side. The three of us will kick their butts.
Yuka: (smirks) If we even have to get that close.
HJ: Do I really wanna know about this Nick? Because allergies to sawdust is one thing. But I get a feeling there’s sibling rivalries when ya say ‘past history’
Mai: Don’t worry about me. This isn’t a sibling rivalry. Any part I can play to make sure that b-(biting her tongue) criminal goes down is alright with me.
HJ: I got ya.. So where does that leave the rest of us?
Kei: You and I HJ (pointing back and forth between them). We’re going after Kon.
HJ: Heh, I’m honored..
Kei: If everything works out, Kon goes down. You all have my back?
Nick: Let’s bring him down.
HJ: No problems here!
Mai: About time he took a fall.
Yuka: No complaints, lets go.
Kei: Tomorrow, Kon goes down.