26 Takagi Estate - Calm Before

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(A/N: Is that a Power Stone I'm sensing? You should leave it here for safekeeping. Don't worry, I'll take good care of it.)

Word Count: 2087


"Who is Nagi? I would like to know about your journey with the boy until now," Souichiro inquired with a serious expression. Somewhat guarded, Saeko cryptically asked, "May I ask why, Don Takagi?"

"You don't have to be so guarded, Busujima. I'm not planning on doing anything to the boy. It's clear to me that you trust him, however, I'm skeptical," Souichiro admitted. "Nagi is abnormal. From what I've heard from Yuriko, he is above average in intelligence and quick-witted."

"During the confrontation between him and my retainer, instead of surrendering to a man holding a blade to his throat, he retaliated and humiliated him in my presence. People just can't do that, especially a kid," Souichiro emphasized, pointing out the peculiarity.

"I'd understand if it was someone like you, who has been trained and is renowned for your abilities with the sword, but the fact that I haven't heard of Nagi is strange considering his abilities."

Saeko remained silent, acknowledging that Souichiro was right. While she had asked about Nagi's past in the past, there was never enough time for him to elaborate on it, and as such, it remained unknown to her and the group.

Suddenly, a knock was heard on the door, and a voice said, "Sorry for interrupting, Master Takagi, but your presence is needed in the office room."

Nodding to himself, Souichiro stood from his spot and responded, "I'll be there soon." Acknowledging Souichiro's response, he walked off to the office room. As Souichiro turned to Saeko, he said, "It would seem that our conversation will end here, Busujima."

"And although we couldn't fully discuss what was at hand, I handed you what I needed," he commented, pointing at the katana in front of her. "However, before I go, I want you to tell me Nagi's last name."

"His last name?" Saeko questioned, making sure she heard correctly. What could Souichiro possibly want with that information? It was a peculiar request, and she wanted to understand his intentions before providing an answer.

"When I asked him to introduce himself to me, he referred to himself as Nagi. Not only to me but also to Yuriko. I want to know, was it intentional? Or did he simply request us to call him that out of comfort? In the end, I suppose you could say I'm curious," Souichiro explained, his voice still serious and contemplative.

"Well, his full name is Tōshiro Nagi, if that helps," Saeko informed him as she stood up, retrieving the katana from the floor. She then proceeded to the door, sliding it open to leave. Giving a slight bow, Saeko exited the room, leaving Souichiro alone. He, too, made his way to his destination, his thoughts filled with contemplation and realization.

'So Nagi is the child of the Tōshiro family,' Souichiro thought with intrigue. The Tōshiro family was similar to the Takagis in aspects of being involved in politics and a multitude of business aspects and cooperations with some even being worldwide.

Other than a few scandals reported by the news media, the family wasn't particularly well-known, as they tended to keep to themselves despite their advancements and wealth in business. However, what Souichiro found most unusual was the lack of appearances of Nagi.

Whether that be in the news, the family itself, or grandeur parties, he was never established as the Tōshiro family heir and son. Moreover, rumors circulating about this peculiarity mentioned the boy being sent to America to further his studies, yet here he was in Tokonosu City.

His given name, appearance, and whereabouts were never disclosed by the family other than his abilities being renowned as some sort of genius. Was it to protect Nagi from the enemies their parents made? Or was it something else?

"I suppose only Nagi would know the answers to this," Souichiro muttered as he reached his location. Opening the door, his presence alerted his retainers, and they all greeted him respectfully as Souichiro sat at his desk and asked, "What needs my attention?"


As the rain tapped against the window, creating a rhythmic melody, the clacking sound of footsteps echoed through the mansion's hallways with Nagi at its center. Staring out the window with an impassive gaze, a lollipop rested in his mouth. Nagi roamed about the corridors until coming to an abrupt stop as another pair of footsteps entered his ears.

Turning to the source, Nagi gazed at the individual and asked, "Finished with your task as well, Saeko?" Nodding, Saeko responded, "Yeah. It even came with a gift," she said, holding the katana. "I thought you would've been in your room, Nagi. Anything the matter?"

Shaking his head, Nagi replied, "Nothing of the sort. Just appreciating nature and the quietness around me," he said as he stared out the window, observing the rain streaming down the glass.

Gazing at him, Saeko thought, 'He really is mysterious, isn't he?' As Souichiro stated, Nagi was unique, and Saeko couldn't deny that fact. However, maybe it was due to this that Saeko wanted to find out more about him—his likes, dislikes, hobbies, skills, and most of all, his past.

Nevertheless, she also understood that prying into such matters would be insensitive. So she decided on the next best thing. "If you don't mind, could I accompany you?" Saeko asked with a small smile. If she wanted to know more about Nagi, she needed to get closer to him.

And if she was being completely honest, Saeko had developed feelings for Nagi, even if they were still budding. He had helped her overcome her past, something that had been holding her back for a while. His calm and composed demeanor had a soothing effect on her, and she found herself drawn to his enigmatic presence.

Nagi glanced at Saeko, briefly surprised by her request. After a moment of contemplation, he gave a slight nod. "Sure, if you want to," he replied nonchalantly, his expression stoic. "It might be a bit dull, though. I'm just planning to wander around the estate."

Saeko smiled, appreciating the opportunity to spend more time with him. "That sounds nice to me," she said softly, approaching Nagi as they began their walk.

Their footsteps echoed through the empty halls, and the sound of rain tapping against the windows served as a calming backdrop to their silent walk. Despite the two not being as close as one would expect, the silence between them wasn't awkward. Instead, it was rather comforting and calm, matching the very demeanors of the two individuals.

Eventually, Saeko spoke, asking, "What do you plan on doing, Nagi?" Giving her a non-committal hum for her to continue, she clarified, "What do you think about being our leader? I get the feeling you're not a fan of it."

"Why do you think that?" Nagi asked curiously. Smiling, Saeko gazed at him and answered, "Women's intuition." Nodding in acceptance, Nagi replied, "I see. Well, you're certainly right, that I dislike the idea of being in a position of leadership despite assuming one during our time in the city."

"I had only assumed the position to survive, and now that we've reached safety, even if temporary, I dislike the idea of being a leader. It's restricting, and I like being left to my own devices," Nagi told her, explaining his reasoning. "I just have to inform the group about this."

Saeko stayed quiet for a few moments before inquiring, "Do you plan on leaving the group?" Stopping in her tracks, Nagi halted as well before turning towards her. "I don't think I'd leave the group without a significant reason. However, there's a place I need to visit before everyone leaves."

As Saeko was about to speak up regarding Nagi's decision, Takashi's room door opened, revealing Rei in her clothing and holding onto her stomach. Surprised, Rei asked, "Were you guys waiting for Takashi?"

Shaking his head, Nagi responded, "No, we were just walking around the mansion. Though, since I'm here, I might as well talk to him regarding the group's decision of leadership," Nagi informed them as he walked into the room, leaving Rei and Saeko outside to themselves.

"Well, then, I'll see you later, senpai," Rei told Saeko, bidding farewell. Saeko spoke up, "Could you stop calling me senpai? If it were true, we..."

Gritting her teeth with narrowed eyes, Rei irritably responded, "Don't talk about that. That's something I'd like to forget," she told Saeko as she walked off, leaving Saeko alone in the corridor.



Within the depths of the Pacific Ocean, a submarine belonging to the United States of America glided through the dark waters, nearing the surface. "Captain! We've received new emergency orders. Code 666 Delta!"

A crew member urgently announced over their walkie-talkie. "I repeat, Code 666 Delta! It's an order to attack the entire surface of North Korea and China!"

"Roger. We will prepare to fire out!" The Executive Officer responded over his walkie-talkie. Taking hold of the submarine's announcement walkie-talkie, he spoke with unwavering authority.

"This is the captain speaking! We have received orders from the President! Our orders are to attack the populated areas of North Korea and the People's Republic of China. This will be a nuclear attack!"

His announcement elicited shocked and nervous expressions from the crew members, who remained silent as they tried to process the information.

In the room of the Executive Officer, he conversed with his second in command, who asked, "Who is the President now? One by one, they're turning into those beasts. Is it the secretary of the Department of Energy?"

With a serious demeanor, the Executive Officer answered, "It's the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. That son of a bitch," he cursed, clearly troubled by the situation.

Clasping his hands together, the second in command rested his head against his palms as he began to recite, "But about that day or hour, no one knows, not even the angels in Heaven, nor the Son..." The Executive Officer interjected, finishing the prayer with a mix of passion and authority as he ordered, "Our Father who art in Heaven! Fire one!"

The submarine's deck trembled as the nuclear missile was prepared for launch. With a deafening roar, the missile shot out of its tube, piercing the ocean surface like a monstrous sea serpent emerging from the depths.

The crew on the submarine watched in silence as the missile soared into the sky, leaving behind a trail of fiery propulsion. As the missile ascended, waves formed and crashed against the surface, disturbed by the tremendous force of its launch.

The missile's trajectory was swift and relentless, hurtling through the air with deadly intent toward North Korea. The streets of North Korea were overrun with the undead as they roamed around the Supreme Leader's statue, while the Zhongnanhai House in China was now surrounded by hordes of undead, a grim testament to the horrors of the world they now lived in.

As the submarine descended back into the depths of the ocean, the crew members couldn't help but wonder if there was any hope left for humanity amidst the darkness and devastation that surrounded them. Their hearts were heavy with the burden of their actions, and the haunting realization that the world they once knew was now forever altered.

On the desolate land, the wreckage of the former private plane of the United States lay crashed onto the shore, a haunting sight of destruction and decay. The plane's condition was grim, with a missing wing, torn roof, and a caved-in cockpit.

The once prestigious aircraft that carried the former President of the United States now resembled a twisted and broken husk, a solemn reminder of the past. The crash site was surrounded by an eerie silence, with no signs of life in the vicinity, only the sounds of waves crashing against the shore, a melancholic melody accompanying the somber scene.


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