Chapter 43: Tokyo Drift XIII
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
As Christmas was approaching, the stores were already making preparations for the season.
Colorful lights had been hung up with the season’s buntings, and elaborately decorated Christmas trees adorned with tiny little presents could be seen in stores.
Suddenly, the faux firtree shuddered violently, shaking the little ornaments off its branches, sending them flying all over the place!
A mustard minivan hurtled past the escalator. Zhang Heng turned on the wiper, swiping away the two greeting cards that had found their way on to his windshield! The tail of the L300 whipped past a shelf filled with expensive skincare products, the rush of wind causing the Shiseido bottles to totter.
The driver of the Toyota Voxy was very sly and abruptly turned at every intersection. After making a big round, he was going to sneak back to the road, but the glass door of the mall to his right suddenly shattered! A yellow minivan with Christmas decorations dangling from it burst through the entrance!
What the hell?! Did Santa come early this year? And since when did he exchange his sleigh for a car?
The startled Voxy driver had been continually monitoring his rearview mirror. He did not see anyone tailing them – so where did this guy come from? And what a dramatic entrance that was!
They were now only 6 to 7 meters apart. That got the Voxy driver’s dander up; he stepped down on the gas pedal, trying to shake off the tailing car with his speed.
But to his surprise, the beat-up L300 was actually catching up to the Voxy!
Both drivers stepped on it, drawing closer to each other. Zhang Heng used the front bumper to clip the left rear end of the Voxy. The Toyota began to lose control, and in a panic, its driver tightened his grip around the steering. No matter how fast he drove, though, he could not seem to shake off the tailing van.
Seeing that they were on the verge of turning-turtle, the Voxy was forced to slow down. Then as if choreographed, the L300 behind also decelerated! Zhang Heng could have knocked the other van on its side but decided to go gentle when he remembered that Ameko was inside the vehicle. In the end, both cars stopped by the roadside.
Realizing that he could not escape the other van with his skills, the Voxy driver opened the car door and tossed an unconscious Ameko out! Zhang Heng watched the dark blue Toyota disappear into the night before loosening his grip on the bow and arrow.
He did not continue the pursuit because one, he could not just leave Ameko on the side of the road, and two, the kidnappers had guns. Even if they had refrained from shooting the weapons earlier, who knew what they would do if they were backed into a corner.
Hence, this brief skirmish between the two ended with both sides stepping down.
In a way, the appearance of those kidnappers put Zhang Heng at ease. When he first saw the fire at the shop, his shared Ameko’s assumption that Takeda Tetsuya had been murdered and his killer had burned the corpse to get rid of the evidence. But when the emergence of the Voxy told him otherwise – the seafood store owner was still alive!
Otherwise, they would not have tricked Ameko to the ship and kidnapped her. The girl lived a very ordinary life, no different from most Japanese university students. Those goons probably took her intending to blackmail Takeda Tetsuya.
But who the hell were those people in the Voxy? Causing trouble and starting fires. They even had guns! In a country with such strict regulations on weapons, getting their hands on firearms meant that they worked for someone influential.
Zhang Heng shot the tattooed man in the calf intending to keep him for questioning, but their other associate appeared so unexpectedly. Thank goodness they did not manage to get away with Ameko.
Zhang Heng carried his friend into the van and did a quick assessment of her condition. Other than a few scratches on her elbow and calf, the different parts of her body were completely unharmed.
That was a relief.
Shortly after, the loud wailing of firetrucks filled the air. The firefighters renowned for their efficiency came pretty quickly. Judging by the severity of the situation, they responded immediately and only took a couple of minutes to arrive at the scene.
Zhang Heng took off his jacket and placed it on Ameko. She had invited him over to her little rented apartment a few times for hotpot, so he knew where she lived. But it did not seem like a good idea to send her back right now. She was clearly involved in some kind of problem here. If whoever it was could trick her once, they would surely trick her the second time.
It was imperative that he figured out exactly what was happening before coming up with countermeasures.
The Voxy people might have escaped, but Zhang Heng knew that there was one person who could give him the answers.
Everything that had happened tonight was because of Takeda Tetsuya or Yosuke Tsuchiya. It was time for the guy to tell his story.
But before that, Zhang Heng had to find him first.
That was not too difficult a thing to figure out. Zhang Heng drove to Takeda Tetsuya’s favorite fūzoku 1, a karaoke cum izakaya, but eventually found him in the abandoned port where they had trained.
The sun was coming up by then. The seafood store owner was wearing a large floppy hat that covered his face, fishing with a group of elderly fishing hobbyists.
When Tetsuya heard the sound of tires squealing, he immediately knew who it was. Getting up, he saw Ameko in the passenger seat and froze!
“Why is she here?”
“That question is for you to answer.” Zhang Heng jumped down the van. “I found her at your shop. A bunch of guys were going to kidnap her, but don’t worry; she was just knocked unconscious. Nothing big.”
“Someone kidnapped her?! What do they look like?” Takeda Tetsuya looked nervous, which was uncommon.
“There were three of them. They were well disguised with sunglasses and masks, though, I don’t know why they didn’t bother to cover up the tattoos on their necks.”
“What are the tattoos like?” Takeda Tetsuya appeared to be only interested in that little detail.
Zhang Heng thought for a minute and then said, “He was too far. I can’t be completely sure, but I think it was an eye.”
Takeda Tetsuya’s pupils contracted, allowing himself to drop to the ground as if he was completely drained of energy, muttering to himself, “So, they’ve come?”
“Who has come?”
“It’s nothing to do with the both of you. They only want my life!” Takeda Tetsuya smiled distressingly. “I thought that changing my name and laying low could help me escape them. I didn’t think they would still hold on to me. But never mind, I will go confront them! The both of you won’t be in danger anymore.”
This was not what Zhang Heng had imagined would happen. The seafood shop owner was not interested in discussing his past.
While Zhang Heng was pummeling his brains on how to make him talk, a voice from behind him said, “So, is this the reason why you divorced mum?”
No one knew when Ameko had woken up and gotten off the car, but she had obviously heard the conversation between Zhang Heng and her father.