Part 9: Astonishing Carelessness
BGM: Chilling With Sidekicks
05/12 (SAT), Night
We leave Taiwan in the morning and check back in to the same hotel as before when we get back to Beijing. I part ways with Odette, who says she has something she wants to look into, and then I start tailing Ro again. Getting anything worthwhile regarding his regrets as he goes about his daily business proves to be a lot more difficult than expected, so I make my way back to the hotel after I've confirmed that he's returned home.
Took your time.
And where were you, exactly?
Oh, nowhere special. We're pretty much done until Sunday, so let's go and celebrate somewhere. How about the place we ate at our first day here? Starting to crave their Peking duck again.
Wait, what? You found out his regret?
Sure did. Ain't telling you, though. Last thing I need is the two of us electing him at the same time and having to share our own info.
That goddess did mention something to that effect, now that I think about it. Like, if two or more people elect the same person, they gotta reveal one piece of their own info to everyone else to gain election priority. Sure, you'll be able to get info from the person you eliminate, but you're putting way too much at risk in exchange. Odette's removing the chances of that happening to us by not telling me.
In other words, she doesn't trust me. Can't say I trust her either, though.
Anyway, how long are you gonna hang around there like a creep, geezer?
BGM: A Dot on a Piece of Paper
Her sudden insult takes me aback, but she isn't actually addressing me. She is looking over to the door I'd entered from. I approach the door, praying that the worst-case scenario in my head won't take place, and then open it.
I see my cover was blown quite fast.
Ro's VA is Koba Yoshiyuki; most of his other credits include dubbed work for Western TV/movies, a role in the J-Drama Shokubutsu Danshi Veranda, and, if IMDB is telling the truth, he did minor voice acting for the video games Yakuza 0 and Yakuza 5.
Ro Chanho, the very man we've been following around, is standing right there. That means he's the one who has been tailing me all along.
When did you...?
I admit,the fact that you two are working together took me by surprise. At first, I thought you were part of the press trying to dig into my slush funds, but that didn't seem fitting for a thug like yourself.
Did you just call me a thug?
He continues talking, blatantly ignoring me.
I assume you're the one responsible for all this, Odette Malencon?
Wow, I guess even you're smart enough to realize that I'm the brains of this operation.
He's right. The important bit is that he called her by name. Meaning he's in possession of her name card. He made that clear in an attempt to bait a response from her. Chances are she realizes that as well, which is why she responded the way she did.
I did find it difficult to swallow the whole dream nonsense, but one can't help but believe it when someone they saw in a dream winds up on the same flight as them. That goes double for a woman who stands out as much as you do.
Yeah, she really does stand out. Not only is she pretty damn tall, but she's also built like a tank. You could say she's got looks, but those don't stand out near as much.
Heh. You ain't wrong about that.
What're you grinning at, punk?
You may want to wipe the smirk off your face. Surely you understand why I'm here, don't you?
Let's work something out. I have a family to support, so I can't allow myself to die right now.
I take it you know either my cause of death or my regret, then.
She takes a deep breath before shaking her head.
It can't be both. You'd have killed me during the first round if that were the case.
Pleased to see that you have your wits about you.
Hold on. If you were eavesdropping, then you should know that we've got all your info.
Indeed. That's why my proposition is as follows... Miss Odette, I need you to promise that you won't elect me. If you don't, then I'll tell this little thug here everything I have on you.
His expression is deathly serious. I have to stop myself from cracking a smile. The room is silent as can be, but not for the reason he is hoping. At long last, Odette shatters the illusion when she bursts out in laughter.
She follows that up by punching him square in the face, which sends him flying over to the opposite side of the hall. This dude must weigh over 200 pounds- a true testament to her ridiculous strength.
Ugh... Have you lost your mind...?
She saunters over to him, takes a seat, and laughs right in his face. He's holding his cheek after that punch, but it looks to me like his nose took more damage, considering it's gushing blood.
Hahahahaha! THAT'S your proposition? Gimme a break.
So you're fine with me revealing your information? Your little cooperation will crumble right away if I do.
Just try it, fatty. Know that I'll have this 'thug' kill your whole family if you do.
She punches the floor as her way of telling me to keep my mouth shut.
Let's say your little plan works. Did you ever consider the idea of him making it through to the end? Your family wouldn't be coming back to life anytime soon if that happened. Hell, not just your family. We'll get your little regret to join them.
You're beyond insane...
Hahaha! Shut it, you disgusting piece of trash.
She stands up and kicks him straight in the gut. Gotta say, even I think she's overdoing it a bit.
You're acting way too big for your boots. I want everything to go nice and smooth, so just give up and resign yourself to death. If you wanna make propositions, then make sure you get some real info on me first. Enough to protect yourself if I elect you.
You insolent little...!
A real businessman wouldn't try to make something out of nothing, they'd take something small and turn it into an empire.
She grabs him by the collar while she spits out her insults. All he can do in response is close his eyes and turn his head away.
Go write your will or something. Not that anyone'll see it after you're gone.
Once she finishes, she motions for me to go back into the room with her. There is plenty I want to call her out on, but... the last thing I wanna do is go against her will right now. It's like I've said before. She's the type of person who tries to ultimately solve everything through violence.
Once we're back in the room, she acts like nothing just happened.
Anyway, let's go get some grub.
This woman really is nuts. The mafia might do some shady stuff now and then, but we still have some attachment to society's norms, considering we dip our hands in regular business to a certain extent. Meanwhile, people like her who live by the rules of the sea lack any such attachments. That realization helps to explain why even a mafioso like myself can be surprised by someone's insanity.
BGM: Chilling With Sidekicks
Ro has outright vanished by the time we leave the hotel to go get some food. I actually feel pretty bad when I think about how he's probably spending what little time he has left with his family. That being said, the fact that I'm here enjoying some food and booze despite it all proves how messed up I am, too.
Once we've satisfied our stomachs, Odette hits me with a threatening gaze.
Just to be clear. Don't you dare try and contact him in secret, you hear me? If you do, then... Let's just say I know how to make people wish they were dead.
She says this like it's a perfectly acceptable topic to bring up during a meal.
Tch... Yeah, yeah. We'll keep this alliance going til it's just the two of us left.
Oh, so now you're gonna act like the head honcho, huh?
Bah! Come on, you know what I meant. Just don't hit me, all right? I'm gonna go talk to Ro if you do.
Hahaha! Now that's a sense of humor I can appreciate.
She lets out a raucous laugh, but I can tell it's phony. Odette's the kind of person who walks a thin line at all times while making sure that everyone else thinks otherwise. Not that I'm one to talk when I do the same myself. She says she wants to avoid us both electing Ro, but another reason she's refusing to tell me his regret is because she knows there's a chance he has info on her. The fact that I've only realized such a simple truth now proves that I'm still in no position to get the advantage over her. Jumping ship to Ro's side would do more worse than good for me, too.
So basically, I'm best off remaining her ally.
Gotta say, it feels great to smack around big guys like him. Should've given him another one for the hell of it.
You were enjoying every moment of that, weren't you?
Oh, you could tell? Honestly, it's hard to beat the rush you get when you know someone's life is in your hands.
You'd have to be a real dumbass to earn the wrath of someone this insane.
Having finished our business, all that's left to do is wait for the second round to start.
Cardbook has updated.
VII Name Ro Chanho
VII Cause of Death Stroke