The ride back home was much calmer. He had cleared up his mind and had more or less thought up a plan to follow in the coming future. Since he had no urgency, Adam decided to simply take the bus as he would usually do. The taxi ride had been due to an emergency, one he wasn't really privy on availing the services of any time soon.
Furthermore, his financial status, his greatest curse that held him back from the many luxuries and conveniences of life, dictated that he wouldn't be able to afford such services on a chronic basis.
He was really lucky the last time around. The driver was kind and understanding enough to not take any fare from him. But, he couldn't expect most of the other taxi drivers to be this kind after all and in the first place it was detrimental to their business.
Los Angeles was a bustling city sporting one of the greatest populations in all of America. It was a given that most living spaces would buzz with the activity of many many people.
Thankfully, the neighborhood they have been residing in has been a calm one with moderately less buzz than most areas in Los Angeles.
However, despite the calm and clean area that felt rather isolated from the rest of LA, it was nothing crazy expensive like luxury areas of the sorts namely Malibu or Beverly. Yet, there was a distinct nice and cozy vibe going on that were trademark signs of very expensive areas.
The neighbors mostly kept to themselves, opting to spend time by themselves instead of imposing on each other for their conveniences, but he could still name a few of them. They were an isolated bunch, yes, but they weren't complete antisocial weirdos and we're generally fun to converse with.
All of this was thanks to Shuri. His aunt has been helping them throughout the years and only by her grace could they somehow get by with a moderately comfortable living conditions. It would have been impossible otherwise.
The ride back home did not take a lot of his time and with how deep he was in his thoughts, he barely noticed when the bus stopped at his destination. If he noticed a bit late, he just might've missed the stop altogether.
In this part of the town, the decorations for Halloween had a different kind of impression to them.
A certain warmth and simplicity that was oddly unique in its own right. It was beautiful to say the least, enchanting may be a better word.
However, Adam couldn't really resonate with those words. He could only look at the decorations and the festive vibe settled in the area with a certain detached feeling.
Adam had never really liked Halloween much. There were multitudes of reasons for that feeling. Reasons that would never let him have the appreciation for the light hearted holiday of joy and horror.
After all, while it was the day of his birth, the day he had entered this cruel world, it was also the day of 'her' death.
Furthermore during this period of time, Cecilia would always fall sick. In a way, this holiday was like a recurring reminder of his sorrowful life. It was a time for struggles that he wanted to go away before it came.
The conflicting feelings between joy for his birthday, sorrow for 'her' untimely death, and worry for Cecilia's health made it pretty hard to summon any feelings of happiness or wish to party in such situations.
This was even more so right now since he was confronted with such a dreadful situation. He had no time to play around with anyone. He couldn't summon any will.
The only reason that he didn't absolutely loathe that day was because Cecilia would always do her best, no matter what her state, to make him feel appreciated.
She would always disguise as a Knight and say that it was her duty to protect him. Even though she looked pale and sweaty. Moments like this always made him extremely happy. Happiness that didn't easily come for him in this bleak life of his.
'Sigh, let's go.'
The house was pretty nice, it was a two story house. White walls, a garage, and a simple garden. It was all in all a very pretty home with just the right amount of space.
Nothing extremely fancy yet it looked simple and refined. It was the perfect home for a small family of 4 or 5.
No matter how one looked at it, in whatever angle, it was definitely not something they should be able to rent with their money and finances. There was only one person he could be grateful for that…
'Thank you, aunt Shuri.'
Adam believed in repaying kindness with even more kindness. One of his goals had always been to repay Cecilia and Shuri for everything they had done for him throughout his life.
What he was, who he was, and the current platform he was able to reach had all been because of these two woman. And he couldn't be any gladder to have them in his life.
Entering his home and not having Cecilia greet him, was like a punch to the guts. A reminder that there was always the chance that he may never witness or experience that again. He took a deep breath and climbed the stairs before stopping in front of a door.
The room he entered was pretty small and lacked any decorations. The only thing standing in front was a small altar, made out of sandalwood. It was an expensive type of wood but Cecilia didn't hesitate in buying it for this altar. When he asked her why, she simply said that it was because it gave protection against evil and brought good luck to the household and its inhabitants.
Standing in front of the altar, Adam took out a cushion from the side and placed it under his knees then opened the altar.
There, one could see the photo of a beautiful black haired young woman smiling. She had a gentle expression that brought an uncanny feeling of joy and exuberance to anyone looking at her.
Kaminari Mei. Died on the 31st October. Cause of death… Complications during Childbirth.
She was his biological mother and she died after giving birth to him.
"Hello, mother. I am here to say sorry. It seems like I might have to break a promise to you and mom. But I will do my best to not do so."
As for his father? Adam knew nothing and had no interest in knowing anything about the bastard.
[Los Angeles, 30 October; 6:30 pm]
Los Angeles had three zones where the vast majority of Asians and people of different ethnicities were based on.
Little Tokyo, Chinatown, and Korea Town or K-town for short.
Out of the three, K-town was the one that had the least problems but also the most developed night industry.
What made this town special in a way was the City of Los Angeles designated Koreatown a special graphics district. The designation allows for digital signage and electronic billboards, not permitted by city code, to be installed on building facades.
The designation allowed Times Square and Shibuya District-inspired buildings lined with LCD jumbotrons.
He was now standing in front of such a store that used this law to its advantage. On the forefront of the store, a neon sign with the words Wild Hunt, written in cursive writing, could be seen embedded. It was honestly a pretty large building. He couldn't help but wonder just how much it must have cost.
This was also the place he would start working in if everything went well.
He came a little sooner than agreed but he knew she would appreciate it and he really needed her favor now.
The lobby was what you would expect from a normal hotel, with just one man standing as a receptionist while holding a newspaper.
It was a well-built man, the kind you did not want to piss off.
"Ooh?" Looking up from his newspaper, the man began to fold it as he smiled but then his smile cramped a little.
"Adam is that you?." He was then clearly confused. "It has been a few years since you last came here. Why are you back in this hell hole?"
The man seemed clearly angry and worried for him.
"I have an appointment with the boss."
A conflicted expression flashed in the eyes of the man before he sighed, "You were able to walk away free with no repercussions last time. Do you think you will be as lucky?"
"I have no other choices."
Saying so, he walked near the man before stretching his fist.
The man hesitated a little before sighing and bumping his own fist with Adam's own.
"Don't regret it later."
The man was someone Adam really respected and also the one who helped him and showed him how to not get fucked up when fighting in the ring.
He was a kind man working in a dangerous world.
Since the atmosphere was a little depressing, and he had enough of feeling depressed, Adam changed the topic.
"Who still reads newspapers on actual paper nowadays?"
"Hahaha~! I am not that old. It's just that I feel more at ease holding it like that. What's more, it gives me a certain atmosphere, don't you think so?"
"Seriously? The Mammoth wishes to change his impression?"
"Even bouncers need some class nowadays, you know? Also, this is rich coming from you. I almost didn't recognize you in your new get up. I didn't even know you needed glasses."
The man codenamed Mammoth slowly got off his seat, and once again Adam felt as if he was facing a giant.
Adam was in no way short. He had a respectable 178 cm or 5'10 but this man always made him feel like a dwarf.
Name, Pierce. Nickname, The Mammoth.
That was all he knew about the man. That and the dude was a very imposing 210 cm or 6'88 mass of muscles.
Once again, not really the kind of person you wanted to piss off in the streets.
"Man, you are as impressive as always. I wouldn't fear walking in the dark with you."
"Heh!" Caressing his bald head, Mammoth grinned "No matter how big I am, I am not impervious to knives and even less to bullets you know? So avoid picking fights."
Then once he approached him he took out a metal detector,
"Sorry, you know the rules."
Adam nodded and raised his hand, "Don't worry."
No matter how friendly they were, you didn't survive long in this line of work without being careful. It would be silly of him to get angry because of this.
Taking out everything that even had the faint traces of metal on him he let Mammoth pass the detector to verify that he had no weapon.
Once this was done, the giant man smiled at him. He hadn't doubted Adam. He knew very well that even though Adam had left, he wouldn't stick a knife in their back.
Still, it was his job and he would never make such a stupid mistake as to let someone pass without inspection.
The two began to walk toward a hidden door in the lobby and Mammoth took out the key.
"Well, just be careful my brother. I do not want to see your name one day in the newspaper in the section related to dead people."
The door finally opened to show stairs going down rather than up.
"Well. I guess I will see you later."
"Good luck and don't anger the boss. She is currently in a bad mood because of her brother's visit."
Wincing a little at this news, they bumped their fists for a second time, then Adam waved his hand as he walked in and Mammoth closed the door behind him.
"Well, let's hope she doesn't throw her bad mood at me."
God knew he didn't need to deal with shit like that right now.