G is probably an appropriate rating.
Upstairs and up back of a ritzy ryoukan reclined Kirito in a rigid repose. He had envoyed the invitation to the other Kumicho, Sakurai Atsushi, and awaited the austere man's arrival with avaricious anticipation. Long had he envied the power that man had held for so long, even seeing him as one to mimic when it came to managing power and its delicacies. This consort was an encapsulation of Kirito's youthful admiration willing to impress Atsushi, and his forceful will to change the world and his Yakuza. The scene was set with sincere austerity and authentic Japanese flavour. Just as Kirito preferred the world. Clean, concise, secrets kept confidential, and sensory stimulation the joy and effect of the human element, garbed pleasingly for his enjoyment, like the two loyal geisha that sat close to the table whose alternative elder decor and youthful rainbow of colours lit up the room beside he, the noble-looking figure in sombre black and white hakama, kimono, and kamishimo bearing the Yamaguchi mon. The simple earth tone room was lit traditionally by lanterns, and the food waited still steaming hot before the modern-day samurai for his guest, a resident of the new Japan. New and Old, each observing the other with reverence. The clock went into the six-cock hour, and Kirito knew his guest would be right on time.
As a guest, of course, punctuality he knew was of much importance. Early and he would appear far too eager for all those involved. Late and it would seem all matters save one in particular were much too imperative to be neglected. Atsushi’d not been generous with time; just enough to get him there with no long period of waiting and no worry of being on time. He was there exactly as planned and it was then at the hour (perhaps a minute or so to spare) he’d been called upon did he slip off dark Italian crafted boots deftly. Once set aside he left them to await his return. Muted was the sound his socked feet elicited as they met polished hard wood with every step. Atsushi stopped only when he’d reached his destination. Briefly he smoothed any crease and stray thread that did not belong with digits clad in an array of gem and metal. Satisfied, his arrival was made apparent when those very fingers rapped upon the side of one of a few doors.
At the sound of rapping at the door, Kirito was pleased. He waited for one of the attendants to open the door and usher in his guest. Dutifully, they opened the door and finalized Atsushi'd place across from Kirito at the table, his back to face the door. Without word, commands were given to pour the sake and for the older geisha, more experienced, expensive, and desirable of course, to sit by Atsushi to tend to him while the younger kept a respectful distance from Kirito, samisen at the ready. Two guards stood not in the room, but outside it, their ombrous forms smudging shadow on the rice paper partition. A weak master asked for his commands to be fulfilled, betraying his voice and presence, a strong one on the other hand, needed no mention nor gesture for his commands to be followed: those who served knew what they were to do, and the cost they risked were they to fail to execute an action any less than promptly. Through regal eyes, Kirito took in the visage of Atsushi for the first time. Wan, old, but radiating power in his gaze and step so profound as to make a panther into a pissant. He was indeed hoary for his age, and his dark features brought out a streak of sumptuousness and sexuality that might be seductive to a weaker man. But Kirito could tell right then, in the man's presence, that neither of them were weak.
"Greetings, Kumicho Sakurai." Kirito's voice was trained, tight, and thundering even as it lay small to reach only his guest's ears, like the thunder within a far off cloud. Having been first addressed in formal business speech, it was now proper for Atsushi to answer.
“Good evening,” Atsushi replied as quickly as he was tended to and seated, “Kirito-san.” It was nothing he hadn’t seen before, the apt and silent obedience evident in every movement of those who worked for and no doubt respected the man seated across from him but still impressive. It took a certain type of man to gain such command without words. It was apparent even now in the first few moments of their meeting that Kirito was certainly one. At his side one of two women dressed as geisha tended to him, reading anything he might need as the dined. He examined her features, his eyes remaining on her for a lengthy period of time without her noticing before finding their way back to the host as if they’d been nowhere else. Such a weakness was not one he’d prefer to divulge early in their business relationship. “Such trouble you went to…” He commented, his voice deepened from many years of smoking and aberrantly soft spoken for one in his position of power. He appreciated the effort although not expecting extravagance for a personal meeting such as this.
"Anything for one as esteemed as yourself," Kirito answered, handling his hashi with care in preparation to eat. His eyes tenaciously tracked the other Kumicho's every movement and attitude. One of the more famous traits of Kirito: his observance in intimate situations. In more public plays, he would wander or pester, pretending to be astute if his attentions were called upon, but the fewer people that existed in a situation, the sharper his attentions grew until they reached the hawklike attentions he shackled onto Atsushi's movements currently. Kirito did not mind Atsushi's affections; that was what company was for. He took up a single piece of carrot, raising it to his mouth. "I am glad that you could come to attend this dinner."
“I’d not …” Atsushi replied as his eyes leisurely wandered back to the woman beside him and hindered any further response. She’d quickly become a distraction without even a single ounce of effort. It would be bothersome to find his focus solely on her during he and Kirito’s dinner. She, as she politely and demurely handed his hashi to him noticed now that he’d set his gaze on her. The woman was quick to divert her gaze while a nearly coy smirk danced across Atsushi’s lips. “Perhaps,” he said, taking the hashi and deliberately letting his fingers graze against hers, “you will find enjoyment in being seated with your partner.” A quick glance at the other geisha was all he offered before turning his eyes to his plate. Beside him was the shuffling he’d expected to hear as she left and joined the other woman. Now, he could eat. Again he took the hashi between his fingers poised to do so.
“As I was saying,” he began, brandishing his hashi before delving them into his food, “such a meeting should not be passed up.”
How insulting. Attention broken by a woman, attention owed to the host! Kirito's lips pursed for a moment, but he opened them to accept a second small portion of food. Hm, wasn't it always the way that someone you put a little faith in turned out to be disappointing in some rather important regard. All the same, the slight was almost enough to get called on, though in the end it was perhaps best for Atsushi to eschew that which would deter his focus. The way he fawned over the woman was disgusting. Kirito took another bite, watching forward intently. "Indeed this meeting is of great and grave import, Kumicho Sakurai. The world as we know it now is unstable and fractured, is it not? In such an environment, one wishing to build a foundation must first find bedrock, having driven out the useless brush and weeds." Kirito set out his allegory, hoping that his company would catch drift, to reconcile his presence with great intellect.
Atsushi remained focused on Kirito as he spoke now that distraction was somewhat removed. He took this moment to take in the food that he so desired, taking a variety in small bites of what was laid before him. Kirito’s statement was not lost on him. When two men such as they came to meet one could accurately guess the discussion to be had. “And to rid himself of said nuisances one must use the right tools. Without a way to weed out that which causes flaws in the foundation one desires,” he paused only to drink, “one is not left with much one can use.”
"But without a good carpenter, of what use are tools?" Kirito took a sip from his own cup filled with water. "In any business such workers, especially those that you know Kumicho Sakurai, are in high demand. Tough with the scandals lately of spies in the Auto companies... It makes one wonder if good help is hard to find."
“Finding good help is easy enough if you know where to look.” Atsushi set aside his hashi and folded his hands in front of him. “And apparently you do.” If he knew what sort of associations Atsushi had then knew where to look when it came to getting these ‘workers’ he was in need of. For what use they would be to him, Atsushi knew not. Their loyalty lay with him alone and if Kirito needed them… Ah. “You need a way of getting to them…” He spoke quietly, more to himself than anyone else.
"What I need is assurance that I am speaking with a fellow leader, and not a contractor," Kirito retorted calmly before taking another bite. "Too much work is being sent overseas nowadays, and the ruthless will send work anywhere for the right price. You knew well those that came before me, but with a new CEO to the company," Kirito let lie his hashi, leering. "There will be a change of rules."
Atsushi remained silent well after Kirito had finished speaking. He distractedly traced invisible lines along the surface of the table with one while reaching for his drink with the other. From his cup he drank deeply before setting it down again to speak. “I can assure you that my leadership is nothing short of what it should be. And those before you were quite the same.” Again he was silent, his hand unconsciously finding his neck to rub there as he so often did. It was a habit he’d picked up long ago. “…these rules that you want to change… what are you speaking of exactly?”
"Rei, Matsu." Kirito commanded softly, pushing a red envelope to the side. The two geisha in attendance bowed and the elder took the extra payment before leading her protégé out of the room. The dark shadows against the screen lightened and faded, and Kirito stood to approach the window, standing with body turned out so he could still observe the other Kumicho. His hands were held behind him, his body straight. "A lock of hair, if you please."
“Am I to pull it from my scalp with bare hands,” Atsushi remained seated with his gaze set upon Kirito, “Or burn it off with my Zippo?” He rose to his feet and moved with little speed until he stood close to the other. If Kirito was searching for an armed man he would have to look elsewhere.
Kirito was pleased that Atsushi had either not dared to bring a weapon to the room, or at least was smart enough not to admit it. "Neither, simply promise to me your fealty." Kirito set his eyes onto Sakurai, dark, observing, even menacing, lips starting to form into the long-toothed sneer his face was wont to display. "As Kumicho of the Kokusui-kai your group was allowed to expand into Tokyo by the Yamaguchi, and I want all those under our Heirarchy to swear to me their utmost loyalty in the trying days to come. If you will not do so, I shall allow you a noble exit whereafter your group shall be purged. I would prefer more amicable relations." Kirito's tone was low and measured, but his threat was less than subtle.
A sigh was all he could offer. He was in a position which gave him little leeway for choice. If he had one it would have been to remain independent of the Yamaguchi regardless of what they’d allowed, as Kirito so put it, the Kokusui-kai to do. To say yes would be to give up much of the power he’d held for a number of years. Atsushi feared he would become secondary and through him commands would be given and none his own. But for them to become extinct was an even greater fear and for that he was willing to relieve himself of absolute authority with the faction… for now. “Given that we,” Atsushi began, slight annoyance apparent in his voice as he spoke, “have not the numbers to resist such a purge it would seem the former choice is in our best interest, so I will agree to these terms. But I will not be your dog, Kirito-san.”
Kirito's sneer set. "I understand that you have long lived as an almost independent group, but there are times when groups must work together. I do not seek a bitch," Kirito spat, referring to Atsushi's audacious assumption about the Kumicho's intentions. "But rather a partner." He brought his hands out from his back to his front, a more ready posture. His voice was perfectly calmed again, his mouth brought under control to the porcelain-still poker face he preferred painted on his dark tan features. "Your choice was a wise one. And one made in strictest confidence, as you will well note. Of all the kumicho, you were the one I trusted the most to seek this converse in private, " Kirito explained, his words and tone suggesting that this was a boon hard won. "I will assume then that you honour our discourse."
Atsushi gave a slight nod and that was all. His expression showed no sign as to what he felt at the moment but what he did feel was less than pleased even with the relief that he would not be under the other Kumicho’s command. Although, a partnership could prove beneficiary to all involved if what ever it was Kirito wanted went well. Unless what he wanted was to use the Kokusui-kai and destroy them after they became of no use. However, until he had reason to distrust Kirito, he would comply as agreed. “You assume correct,” Atsushi responded after some time. He’d been silent for a long while without even realizing it. “You have my word.”
Kirito found Atsushi's pause interesting. It seemed from Atsushi's professional demeanor that he was trustworthy, either that or playing a good game. Based on the Yakuza's past track record which was preferable compared to others, Kirito decided to begin his machinations with Sakurai. "What is your position on the Sumiyoshi-kai?"
“They’ve done nothing to us for any animosity to be felt. Any relations we have had of late have been completely civil.” Not that there had been many. His position at this point was a one of a neutral nature.
Could the man not see the true evils that the Sumiyoshi-kai wrought every day? How could he live with the stench of their rancorous being existing in this world? It would be hard to get Atsushi on his side for their vanquishment, Kirito was sure, so he turned to an alternate proposition, one even dearer to his heart. The former spoke to his own degredation, but the latter to the degradation of Japan. "Very well then." Kirito simply stated in response to Atsushi's assessment. "Tell me Kumicho Sakurai, do you lust for power?"
“Power?” Atsushi questioned, his brow furrowed slightly. It had not been a question Atsushi had expected to answer nor did he want to. Power was one thing that all men desired, was it not? In that regard Atsushi, before becoming Kumicho, had been no different than any other man. To have power in some variety was an ambition that many shared. Whether one achieved such a thing was a different story. He had attained a position where his influence was strong and had not given much thought to increasing it. “I do not lust after that which I already have,” he responded, finally.
So long ago, it was power that Kirito had sought out. As a young lad, he thought that through power he could find happiness, only to discover that happiness was a ghast, nay even more mythical. For years though, he chased after that green dock light, only to finally find that his ludicrous dreams were about to be crushed. His intentions may have been ever romantic, but their goals were self-centred, thus he was forced for a long while to reëvaluate that which he sought, finally arriving at his destination of clarity with one purpose. He had thought through, carefully and logically, the mans by which his happiness was unattainable, and had reasoned it up to one point: corruption. He still remembered quite vividly that phone call which had revealed so much to him...
But to think upon such things at this juncture was impractical. "A good measure. There are things I want, but first then I must ask: what do you want?" Kirito looked pointedly at Atsushi, staring into the older man's eyes pointedly.
What he wanted…? In business he had all that he wanted. But in other aspects of his life there where many things he desired, things that he had lost the chance of having once power had fell from another’s hands into his. At least, that is how he saw it. The opportunity to have what he desired failed to show itself as he progressed. He’d not feel comfortable telling a man such as Kirito or anyone else for that matter what he truly want. What would the man say if he replied with wishes of having a child and a family? Or that his parents were alive again? Were these things a true and strong leader wanted? No, of course not. But they, above all else, were always on his mind. And to distract himself from that which he wanted he drank and he womanized. Atsushi averted his eyes from Kirito’s stare. His focus was redirected downward to gaze at the floor they both stood. “I don’t know,” he lied.
Abasing one's eyes meant avoiding confrontation, and thus: avoiding the point, the sign of one too afraid to face up to his own decisions or desires. If Atsushi were of lower rank, Kirito would have demanded that he match eyes, but as it stood, he still respected Atsushi as a Kumicho. "Then perhaps you will be amenable to fill my desires? There is a woman I lust after, but who has been defiled by too many men. She stands mourning looking out at the waters painted red, and each morning calls out 'why have you forsaken me, so many?' for with their iron they have scourged her and with their plastic they have wrapped her into a doll. But I look upon the glorious youth she once was, running free through the woods and my dreams, and who shone everlasting like the sun. Do you know what her name is?"
“…Japan?” Atsushi questioned. “You want Japan?” His eyes once again met Kirito’s, wide with disbelief. “Taking over Tokyo would be difficult enough but the whole country? How could I possibly…?” That nervous habit made itself present again and his hand quickly pushed its way passed his shirt collar to his neck. With this new partnership he knew he had no choice to oblige but… Jesus. It was so ridiculous. How on earth would one do such a thing?
"Yes, the name of this lass is Japan." A faint smile dared to curl at Kirito's lips for a moment before being banished. "You are a smart man, Kumicho Sakurai," Kirito gave a rare compliment before looking back at the screen door. A shadow had grown close on it, so he stamped his foot. The shadow disappeared. "I do not expect to to comprehend my intentions, but your honour will surely allow me to shew a sliver of their destination. This world is corrupt, and this country disastrously so. Once, Kumicho such as you and I stood for peace through governance, respected leaders in a world gone crazy. The time now has cycled back to our origins, and as before it is our duty to correct a hectic world which we have helped wrought. Call me overzealous, but call me not a fool: I intend to turn back this time to restore Japan's rightful ruth. You are in a plum position to help me do so. I need a cantidate." Kirito paused his hasty speech to guage Atsushi's reaction.
“What is it that you need a candidate for?” Atsushi slid both hands into respective pockets and watched Kirito. The man certainly was over zealous and what Atsushi failed to see was how such a vast task could be completed. It was beyond him, the complete restoration of Japan back to what it once was. He was by no means opposed to what Kirito wanted. He embraced the idea of Japan restored. But how could he help? What was he as a partner to Kirito?
"For the next Prime Minister," Kirito answered, body as firm and unmoving as his vision for the future. "Surely a wanderer of the wanton wastes of the debutante and degenerate such as yourself is no stranger to the Yakuza's hold on politick. Why there was that scandal of a mayor in our pocket a while back, surely you remember that. Shame someone had to blab, but he had grown weak..." The inference was clear: it was no accident. "It is droll of you to play innocent to these political machinations, Kumicho Sakurai. After all, with a hold on Ginza, what did you think you would be called on to oversee one day?" Kirito began to lean into the conversation, words alarmingly articulate. "The rich and powerful are at your fingertips, all you must do is clench a fist," Kirito demonstrated his point with spidry fingers slammed shut. "And they and all that they posess is yours. Coke fiend, womanizer, alchoholic, all these will do. Or perhaps you can drive your puppet-hold into a bright and impressionable young thing thinking he can make a difference... or she," He mused. "A cat is fine too."
What Kirito said was true; it would be simple for him to manipulate many into Kirito’s plan. Atsushi had on several occasions done so to make it easier for the Kokusui-kai to have the influence they did now. One did not get what they wanted by simply asking. To get what he needed and wanted from those with ample supply of funds and power he knew and used that they wanted. A number of people who he could ruin if they refused to comply came to mind, but he would have to put more thought than that into this decision. If he placed faith in someone whose trust he was hesitant of the results could be quite a bit less than perfect. “That should be simple enough. Though if it proves impossible to find anyone suitable, I do have three lovely cats,” Atsushi joked.
"Oh really, what are their names?" The deal was set. Now, as was the Japanese way, smalltalk began to form "business relationships." Outsiders did not understand the practice, but even enemies could learn more about each other through such interrogation over the little things in life. There may have been no contract signed, nor blood oath given, but this was the way, the subtler way, where an oblique agreement cast iron chains on one's future, and one could be eternally damned for the smallest remark out of place. This was the way things got done.
“Chibi, Cayol and Niya,” Atsushi said returning to his seat at the table. Now that that was done with, Atsushi was quite content with just finishing their meal. “Chibi and Niya are litter mates,” he added as he took his neglected hashi back into his fingers and began working away at his food again. “Do you have any pets, Kirito-san?”
"Such good names, those are. I had a few pets once... But sadly I do not seem to have luck with animals. Perhaps it is the burden of a murderer, that a life that could bring one comfort is taken away by the merciless killer who for once wishes to nurture it. " It was true, he had a horrible time with pets. They always died on him, young. Perhaps he was an ignoramus at their care, or perhaps he was just unlucky, but Murata Shinya could not keep an animal companion for more than a few months. He did not kill them. That must be made clear, dear reader; rather their lives were snuffed out by fickle fate. The slight sadness that seeped into Shinya's eyes was enough to testify to the genuine supple sappy sentiments he held for his dear pets, moments of love and weakness he would only lavish on an animal, not a human, member of a race that would always betray him. "What breeds are they, or markings?" Sure, he was attempting to live vicariously through the beloved cats of another, but let love lie where it may!
“That is unfortunate,” Atsushi commented, glancing at Kirito. If he had anything else to say about the matter he would have offered but what else exactly did one say to that? ‘I’m sure next time you won’t kill it?’ Certainly not. Instead he chose to answer Kirito’s question. “Cayol is Himalayan and Chibi and Niya are American Shorthair.”
"Absolutely adoreable." A hint of a genuine smile crept onto Kirito's lips. "What trouble Cayol must give you, lest she turn into a winged cat. With those masked eyes, who could resist? And Americans have such personality!" The only kind of American he could tolerate, to be sure! Kirito sat back, grasping his sake cup of water between both hands. "Ahh... Perhaps I will try again some time... rats make very good pets, I've heard."
Atsushi laughed quietly, “I try not to let that happen. Although I can’t say my attention to her coat is as often as it should be.” She looked a great mess currently. It would be a battle next time he attempted to give her the proper grooming she required. “Chibi and Niya are terribly mischievous.” Atsushi took his own cup in his hands drinking the last of the alcohol before setting if aside. He wondered briefly if there was more… “Rats? Perhaps something less… diseased would be best.”
"Diseased? Obviously you've never been around someone with a pet rat. They make wonderful pets." Kirito hoped that Atsushi had not taken his comment the wrong way. He was in no manner comparing the other Kumicho to a rat, or suggesting anything ratlike in his or his subordinates' behaviour. He turned his head quickly to the side at a creak in the wal, assuaged with continuing creaks and groans that marked old piping. "Kind, loving, intelligent wee beasties they are. They're easily trainable for tricks and sanitation, and the only drawback is an irresistable urge to get into absolutely everything, and... a short lifespan." Well, a pity to be brought back to his own concern prime again, but wouldn't two years of happiness with a rodent be worth something. "They often die of cancer," he intoned morbidly, eyes widening. "All the same, such stereotypes as diseased are too uneducated. If I wanted a diseased animal, I would call for a Komodo Dragon." Think of that, the dragon is the diseased one, not the rat. It approached ironic.
“A Komodo Dragon? I’d rather not be around to see someone keeping one as a pet.” And he would stick to cats. No giant lizards, no rats. Regardless of Kirito’s claims of rats being perfectly lovely pets he was still skeptical; it was, after all, a rat. Stereotype or not, his opinion on the rodent wouldn’t change.
"As would I. I've heard some rich businessmen do. Decadence beyond measure, turturing a poor animal for sport, whether through death or imprisonment... it's downright brutal. I for one do not suffer such fools kindly." Kirito paused, face back to blank. "I do not suffer fools at all."