Chapter 4: Demon Hunt
By the way, have you heard the rumors about the man with the arms of a demon?
You can always find him dressed in a windbreaker as he carries out his job.
His windbreaker is usually black and oftentimes has a white line running through it. For shoes, it’s either black or navy-blue sneakers. He always appears on the scene with his hood hanging low over his eyes.
Thus, his nickname, the “Windbreaker Man”.
This time too, he was dressed in a black windbreaker.
Barely anyone noticed the man as he walked down the streets at night. Those who passed by him probably didn’t even register his presence.
He came to a stop in front of a certain building.
The first thing you’d notice about the five-storey building was its array of surveillance cameras, telling you at once not to get too close. The entrance door was clearly automatic, but it didn’t open even when he stood before it.
One minute passed, then two. The windbreaker man remained stationary in front of the unopening automatic door.
Finally, after three minutes, the doors opened to let out a tracksuit-wearing man with his hair dyed blond who kept his hands in his pocket.
“Who the hell’re ya, asshole!”
He most likely intended to chase the windbreaker man away. And if intimidation didn’t work, he seemed like he wouldn’t hesitate to resort to force.
“Say something, you fuck. Do you know where the hell you’re standing in front of—”
However, the one who first perpetrated violence was the windbreaker man.
The rear hand punch he released with his right fist connected with the tracksuit man in his jaws, smashing it to pieces. The hoodlum flew backwards, leaving a trail of blood and broken teeth in the air.
Without pause, the windbreaker man passed through the entrance. A few seconds later, the doors closed automatically.
As the scene of the tracksuit man being blown away was captured on tape by the surveillance cameras, the whole building went into high alert at once.
In fact, that building was the main office of an intel agency, a secondary organization of a famous crime syndicate which reigned over a large area. It was no coincidence that the boss, executives, and young leaders were gathered here in this office tonight. The windbreaker man had chosen this day for his attack for that very purpose.
His name was Mochizuki Tosuke.
His vocation: killer.
In the same vein, he also had the moniker of “Destroyer”.
The first to intercept Mochizuki at the entrance hall was a young thug in his twenties feared by the locals as Ogre Senior. Versed in karate and boxing, Ogre Senior closed the distance between them with nimble footwork; no unnecessary shouting or threats needed. This was his go-to fighting style, knocking out his target before they knew by repeated jabs to the face without making a noise.
The combination of his jab and hook came out at nearly the same time, a move the rest of the junior members self-explanatorily named “Sure Kill”. Even the Destroyer, Mochizuki, couldn’t evade it.
And there was no need to.
He cleanly caught Ogre Senior’s jab with his right hand, and the hook with his left.
It didn’t take a second for him to crush Ogre Senior’s both fists.
Mochizuki stepped over the fallen Ogre Senior, and other five underlings at the entrance hall shrank back.
Putting aside the lowest-rung tracksuit man, Ogre Senior was seen as one of the toughest among the younglings, known for being ultra seriously messed-up dangerous even when he wasn’t angry. Any yakuza member could be expected to beat one or two person to death when they snapped. However, it took someone special to calmly punch a person to death.
And Ogre Senior was that guy. In fact, he was part of a non-organized gang eight years ago which lynched someone to death. One of his juniors back then took his place as scapegoat and got sent to a youth reformatory as a result.
And that junior was now the only one who gathered his courage and stepped forward.
“F-Fuck you…! How dare you…!”
When he was released from the reformatory and his hair grew out, Ogre Senior invited him to join the organization. Loyal and gutsy, long-haired junior became a quick favorite of Ogre Senior and the higher-ups. He always strived to live up to Ogre Senior’s pet phrase of “Show your manhood.”
In a display of his manhood, long-hair junior jumped at Mochizuki. Nonetheless, his full-strength flying kick never landed. Mochizuki had casually caught him by his left ankle.
Was his ankle always so soft? Because the windbreaker man crushed all the way till the bone as if it was ice cream on a hot pavement.
The remaining four hoodlums were in complete flight-mode, raising shrieks of “Hii” and the likes. Unfortunately, the “Destroyer” Mochizuki would not allow their escape.
One by one, he crushed their right shoulder, left shoulder, neck and head. Before his hands, even the human body was as fragile as an egg.
Unseemly bodies littered the ground, a few of them barely alive as they lay in a pool of their blood. Everything happened in an instant, turning the entrance hall into a scene from hell.
Unfazed, the blood-drenched Mochizuki headed towards the elevator. He pushed the button for the elevator with a bloodied finger.
There was no response.
He turned towards the emergency staircase. The door was locked, but it didn’t matter to the Destroyer and his demon’s hands. The door knob came off with a twist, and he tossed it aside randomly. Then, he opened the door and climbed up the stairs.
The lackeys seemed to have picked the emergency staircase as their main battleground.
In the end, the seven thugs who poured out from the third floor all ended up as pieces of meat or stains on Mochizuki’s hand after he crushed their heads or necks. 10 seconds was all it took for them to be completely wiped out.
From then, he sped up. He sprinted up to the uppermost floor, the fifth floor, and found the door open before him.
This was the floor where the executives were having a serious discussion over drinks with regards to the internal strife of the higher-ranking groups. Premium platters of sushi, tempura, sukiyaki and other delicacies were prepared here for the meeting. The bodyguards, most of whom spent more time in prison than not, were also there.
The leader of the bodyguard team was Masa of the Axe. His nickname originated from a story of his youth where he cut down the boss of an enemy organization with an axe. Even in his fifties, the bald violent man liked to walk around occasionally with an axe as a display of power.
Naturally, the axe was raised when the door opened.
From his point of view, Mochizuki appeared the moment he opened the door. Even then, to swing down an axe at first contact was just abnormal, especially considering the explosive power and ferocity behind it.
However, Mochizuki’s demon’s hand easily swiped the axe aside as if it was a fly or a mosquito. As Masa was holding on to the axe tightly, his arm came off along with it.
If Mochizuki hadn’t caught his bald head in an eagle-grip then, he’d have no doubt rolled down the staircase. In return, not that it was any better, the demon’s hand crushed his skull like a grape and he died instantly.
When Mochizuki stepped foot into the corridor, the other three bodyguards looked stupefied. They had been itching to follow up behind Masa of the Axe, but now they had completely lost their spirits.
They too were brothers with bonds forged through the countless bloodbaths they survived since they were just juvenile delinquents. In their eyes, all evildoers were either friend or enemy. These elite scoundrels who’d extorted, stole, robbed, harmed, scammed, smuggled and more were more surprised than fearful.
“I know it’s a job, but seriously…”
Mochizuki spoke for the first time. It was a somewhat husky but firm voice that came out clearly. In fact, his interest was doing karaoke by himself, and he’d even showed off his singing at snack bars which he didn’t frequent.
“I’m bored out of my mind.”
Said Mochizuki as he flashed his right hand and curled his index and middle finger inwards.
His demon’s hands which could take lives effortlessly were neither particularly big nor small. Its width was around average too. If you want to be picky, you could say the fingers were slightly thicker, that’s all.
One of the three quickly drew a handgun from his belt. This one in particular had an interest in shooting and participated in many shooting practises overseas. The smooth movements with which he drew the pistol was a result of his wealth of experience handling actual firearms.
He switched off the safety of the M1911A1, also known as a Colt Government, and held it in a two-handed grip with his elbows straightened. Holding the pistol level and aligning the rear and front sights with Mochizuki in the middle, he squeezed the trigger with the index finger of his right hand.
A bullet shot out of the barrel with a bang. He was a mere five meters away from Mochizuki. The bullet velcoity was roughly 900 km/h, or 250 m/s. It wasn’t a speed at which one could dodge humanly. The only thing to do would be to pray to god that it’d miss.
So did Mochizuki say his prayers? No, he didn’t.
There wasn’t any need to. The demon’s hand would probably grab the bullet. And in reality, it did.
“Wha-…?! The heck…!”
The man was flabbergasted, but still continued pulling the trigger. The M1911 had a clip capacity of seven. It ran empty in no time and the gun issued a *click*.
Mochizuki opened his hands.
Four flattened bullets fell from his right hand and three from his left.
Another of the yakuza charged at him with a dagger in hand. He probably thought now that it’s come to this, he’d slam into Mochizuki with his whole body and carve his torso with the blade. His determination was praiseworthy. Nonetheless, Mochizuki grabbed the dagger with his right hand and his head with his left, and crushed them easily.
“You guys are soft.”
He went on to crush the heads of the other two yakuzas.
“…Thanks for helping me let out some of my frustration.”
The Destroyer walked down the corridor, opening and closing his bloodied demon’s hands. He opened the door at the end of the corridor and peeked in. Repeating two more times, he found a well-furnished room with sofas surrounding a table that had on it platters of sushi, tempura and sake. All the furnitures looked expensive and the walls were also decorated with drawings and scrolls. However, no one could be seen.
A steel door lay at the back of this reception room.
Mochizuki plopped himself on the sofa. He picked up an unused disposable chopstick, separated it, and scooped up the sushi into his mouth one after another. An ikura gunkan-maki, a chutoro nigiri-zushi followed by a halibut one.
“…Mm. About so-so.”
He crushed the chopsticks in his hands and stood up. Then, he approached the steel door.
He knocked on the door with his right hand, the demon’s hand which shattered human skulls with ease and caught bullets without budging an inch. An incredible din thundered as the door started to cave in.
“Head Mashirakawa~. Assistant Chief Kunazawa~. President Numahama~. You guys are in there, right~? You hear me~? Come on out~.”
He started pounding the door with both of his hands.
“The soundproofing of this building is foolproof, isn’t it~? That means your neighbors won’t be calling the cops anytime soon~! Then again, it wouldn’t do you any good to call the cops, would it~! Like the police are going to help the yakuza~! But, it’s useless to coop yourselves in~! Useless~! Useless~! Totally useless~! HUH~! Ah…”
The steel door finally reached its limit and collapsed inwards.
Mochizuki stepped inside with a sigh. The 10 square meters wide room had a row of display of the footage of the surveillance cameras as well as safes and refrigerators. The four man huddling in the corner were all well-combed and neatly dressed in expensive suits like Armani or Saint Laurent. They all held pistols in their hands, but none were pointed at Mochizuki; they all just stood there shivering.
“W-Who the hell a-are you…”
The eldest-looking man with white hair spoke with spittle flying from his mouth.
Mochizuki took off his hood, revealing his side-parted hair. His facial feature reminded one of a strait-laced manager in some corporation.
“Six years ago, you guys kidnapped and tortured a man called Ategawa Mitsuru, killing and disposing his body in the end. You remember that?”
The eldest man sent a gaze towards the youngest, fifty-ish looking man. He looked like he had a recollection of what Mochizuki was saying.
“He’s that good-for-nothing who messed up our shops. That useless bum which did whatever he wanted. We had to make an example of him so we chopped him up and got rid of him at that factory…”
“O-Oh, t-that punk! Ategawa… yes, I remember now. That’s his name…”
“Actually, I’m here by request of that Mr Ategawa Mitsuru’s parents.”
Mochizuki moved in front the fifty-ish man without making a sound, and reduced his head into a pulp.
“I’m sure he was a hard to control piece of shit, but you see, he was still the apple of the eye to his parents. They stopped at nothing to discover the truth of his death, and vowed to take revenge at all cost, so—”
At the scream of the eldest man, the other two finally moved. They pointed their guns at Mochizuki and fired at nearly the same time. Either of the bullets seemed to appear to be sucked into the demon’s hands. With the bullet still in hand, Mochizuki proceeded to crush their heads.
“I don’t really like to accept jobs which don’t seem fun, but it’s hard to reject when they’re offering five hundred million. You see, Ategawa Mitsuru’s father is an obscenely wealthy man. Did you know that, chief Iwatari?”
“…F-Five hundred million…”
The white-haired Iwatari fell on his rear. At this stage, he seemed to be still thinking of escape, pushing repeatedly against the floor with his two legs. However, his back was facing the wall; there was no way out.
“I-I b-beg you! A-Anything! I’ll give you money…!”
“F-Five hundred and fifty million! No, six hundred million! I’ll give you six hundred million! So don’t kill me!”
Mochizuki extended his right hand and grabbed Iwatari’s white hair. Before crushing it to pieces, the Destroyer brought the old man’s face before his own.
“I’d rather you don’t look down on me. A killer who switches target at the mention of money is lower than second-rate.”
What was he trying to say in the end? Before he could finish, the demon’s hand reduced his head into a pile of meat.
Mochizuki shooks his hands, sending chunks of gray matter and blood everywhere.
“I might have to consider if it was five billion instead. Fifty billion and I don’t even need to think.”
He laughed as he exited the room.
“Just kidding. I’m a professional…”
When he swung open the door to the reception room, he found a young man standing before him. Apart from the tactical vest, he looked just like any other youngster you could find on the streets.
No, wait, you wouldn’t find a youngster on the streets carrying a gun.
And not even a pistol, but a submachine gun.
Mochizuki’s eyes turned wide.
* * *
Takarai Sosei wanted to be like a normal high school student you could find anywhere.
Not once did he ever wished for a life where he was firing a Ruger MP9 full-auto at a man dressed in a windbreaker who had the bloodied hands of a demon.
“Oh oh oh oh ohoh…!”
The Destroyer aka Mochizuki Tosuke was catching the 9 mm parabellum being fired at a rate of 550 rpm with his bare hands. Looking at this scene, Sosei felt disgust from the bottom of his heart.
I specifically prepared a submachine gun for the Destroyer since I knew a pistol’s not gonna cut it, and yet…
The 32-rounds magazine ran out in less than four seconds. Sosei quickly reloaded a spare magazine. When he was about to recommence firing, Mochizuki had already jumped from the sushi-filled table.
Holding in check the urge to turn tail and flee, Sosei continued firing.
The demon’s hand. He had heard stories about it. However, seeing was believing. He could just barely tell that Mochizuki’s arms were moving at an extremely high speed. But, he had completely no idea how it was doing that. At any rate, it was futile to shoot at his head, chest or torso since they were guarded. It appeared the demon’s hands caught all of the bullets.
With a freshly loaded magazine, Sosei aimed the first few shots at Mochizuki’s chest before spraying the rest at his lower body. Mochizuki was of an average build and the length of his arms were normal for his height. Perhaps Sosei could hit him where the demon’s hands could not reach.
Are you serious? Those arms can extend…?!
Results-wise, it was no good. Mochizuki was completely untouched, with only the table and sushi platter left in pieces from a few stray shots.
Sosei tried to reload his MP9, but Mochizuki was already before his eyes. His vision turned dark; Mochizuki’s right hand had caught his head in an eagle-grip.
His cranium exploded into a mess of blood and brain and he died instantly.
…Not even a minute and I’m at a minus one…
When Sosei came back to life, he remained still without opening his eyes and perked up his ears. He needed to get ahold of the situation. What happened afterwards?
He was currently lying on the floor. His hands were not holding on to anything. The MP9 submachine gun must have fallen to the ground when he died.
Where was Mochizuki? It was quiet. If he hadn’t been moved since he died, this must be the reception room and near to the door. Was there a chance Mochizuki would move his body?
He opened his eyes.
A man with side-parted hair was staring down at him intently.
Sosei immediately reached for a pocket of his tactical vest, trying to pull out his Ruger LC9.
Alas, Mochizuki moved before Sosei could reach for it. He grabbed both of Sosei’s arms. In the hands of demon, his arms were no different from a tofu in a hotpot as Mochizuki pulverized them.
“Well color me surprised!”
Then, he immediately clamped down on Sosei’s neck with his right hand.
“Awesome! That’s so awesome! I’ve never seen anything like this before! I killed you! And yet you’re back! Sweet! What happens if I do it again?! Let’s see!”
Sosei didn’t make that sound, it was just caused by the air escaping his throat. His throat, or rather, his neck had been crushed. Right now, his head had been separated from his body. It was not a clean separation, however.
He didn’t die instantly. For one second, he was still conscious.
…This is the worst…
When he heard Mochizuki’s voice, Sosei knew he had revived. He readied himself for the head-crushing that was bound to come next.
And he died instantly.
Consecutive deaths. It didn’t occurred usually, but it wasn’t as though it never happened to him before. Sosei was still in a daze from having just came back. Still, he desperately tried to get up.
As he did, Mochizuki’s both hands wrapped around his head like a sandwich.
And cackled. Sosei’s life was extinguished in an instant.
He tried grabbing onto something the next time round. The moment he came back to life, he flailed his arms trying to grab something, anything. And Mochizuki caved his skull in. He had a feeling Mochizuki was laughing, but couldn’t really tell. It was an instant death.
“This is so fuuuuun…!”
By the time he heard Mochizuki’s quavering voice, his head was smashed to smithereens. He died again, instantaneously.
“…Just how does it works?”
Not long after resurrecting, Mochizuki crushed his shoulders, right thigh and left thigh in that order.
“You, you’re really amazing! What’s with your body?! What’s the trick…?!”
Mochizuki was straddling atop Sosei, his hands constricting his neck. But, it wasn’t enough to strangle him. It seemed the demon’s hands were capable of restraint too. There was just enough pressure on his neck to stop him from breathing.
…Even if I could breathe… with my arms… and legs shattered…
“Hey! Tell me! You’re in the same business, right?! Is that it?! You found out about my attack and came to ambush me?! Wahaha! This great, fantastic! For such a boring job with only the reward as motivation, having a bonus like this is not bad at all! A welcome surprise for sure! What’s your name?! I’m dying to know you! What kind of cheat ability is this?! Why don’t we be friends! I think I could get to know someone like you! Frankly, we might be far apart in age, but I don’t mind! I even feel like giving a toast to our meeting like this! How about we start by introducing each other?!”
“…F-First, t-take off y-your… hands…”
“Oh! How silly of me!”
He took his hands off Sosei’s neck. But, it was only for a second. He immediately returned his grip.
“Mwahahaha! Just k-k-kidding! I actually think rather highly of you, that’s why I’ll kill you in a heartbeat if you tried anything funny. Still, it’s true that I want to get to know you! So, sorry, but we’ll have to talk like this!”
…Shit. He’s pretty sharp. …Looks like there’s no choice. I’ll have to use that.
Sosei tightly clenched the right side of his teeth, crunching the second upper and lower molars together as if he wanted to crush them.
There was something foreign embedded inside of his teeth, something not part of him. He didn’t know the reason why, but it had been test and proven that it remained even after he came back to life. It was only for a one-time use; use it and it’s gone. That too was proven.
The tiny bomb embedded in his second lower molar detonated, blowing up his head and killing him instantly.
…Shit… this job…
The room was filled with dust and smoke when he revived. The ceiling lights were all blown out, but he could still barely make things out from the light filtering in from the corridor. He could hear footsteps. Mochizuki must be there. All the weapons in Sosei’s tactical vest had flown too who-knows-where, or rather, pretty much everything on his upper body was gone.
A katana was lying on the floor. It had originally been displayed above the sideboard. Sosei grabbed it and dashed into the corridor.
Mochizuki was staggering his way towards the emergency staircase. He turned back to look at Sosei. His side-parted hair was a mess now, but his face wass mostly fine. He must have instinctively covered it with his demon’s hand. However, his intestines were hanging down from his torso.
“That’s not something you can survive…!”
Sosei chased after him. Along the way, he took a pistol from the belt of one of the headless bodies. Mochizuki stumbled into the door of the staircase and shut it.
“Just give up already…!”
Sosei burst through the door. Mochizuki hadn’t descended the stairs; he was waiting right to the side.
I expected that!
Sosei let loose the pistol, a venerable Colt Government with a clip capacity of seven.
“Oh oh oh oh ohohoh…!”
The demon’s hands caught all seven bullets. Even with his guts spilling out, Mochizuki was jumping with glee. He was insane.
Sosei drew the katana and threw the scabbard aside. Then, he closed the distance between them and slashed down diagonally.
Mochizuki’s right hand shattered the blade. Unfazed, Sosei continued to barrel towards him.
Mochizuki crushed Sosei’s head between his palms, killing him instantly.
…I prepared myself for this, but…!
When he regained consciousness, he was rolling down the stairs entwined with Mochizuki.
He desperately pulled at the screaming Mochizuki’s intestines.
Why in English…
By the time that thought crossed his mind, his head was crushed.
…What a nasty job.
Sosei revived, his both hands still grabbing onto Mochizuki’s warm viscera. In fact, it was coiled around his fingers and didn’t seemed like it would come off easily. They had come to a stop at the staircase landing, with Sosei on top of him. Sosei tugged at his entrails even more strongly.
“Ooh… aah… OOH…!”
Mochizuki was on death’s door. Still, he reached out a shaky demon’s hand towards Sosei.
Sosei gave up on trying to pull out his guts. Instead, he drove his hands into Mochizuki’s torso and spun them around as if they were a mixer, making a mess of this and that organ.
While he did, Mochizuki tore off his jaws with his right hand and crushed Sosei’s right shoulder with his left.
Sosei didn’t stop churning his insides even as he let out a wordless scream.
“Ghoo bo… soo…”
Eventually, that unique *thump* sound echoed inside him and Mochizuki Tosuke stopped moving. The frightening demon’s hand belonging to the Destroyer also stopped stirring.
Just in case, Sosei checked that Mochizuki’s heart stopped beating. Then, he got up.
He couldn’t properly form words with his lower jaw gone. With his right shoulder shattered, the only thing holding up his right arm was a strip of skin. That too tore, and his right arm plopped on the floor.
He stared at Mochizuki’s corpse.
The demon’s hand—There were all kinds of rumors about it… That Mochizuki made a deal with a demon and obtained those hands in exchange for his soul… Or he stole those hands from demon… and now that he’s dead, the demon will appear to retrieve them… and so…
In reality, nothing out of the ordinary happened.
He was losing grip on his consciousness due to the excruciating pain. Sosei swept his glance around the area. An axe was lying in the corner of the staircase landing. It probably belongd to one of the yakuzas Mochizuki killed.
Sosei picked it up with his left hand. He couldn’t even stand up straight anymore. Sitting down on the steps, he pressed the blade of the axe against his forehead.
…I died nine times so far.
Then, he brought the axe away, and with all his remaining strength, brought it down. The axe dove deeply into his brain.
This makes ten…