48 Hours a Day
Chapter 49: Tokyo Drift XIX
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Zhang Heng finally saw Takeda Tetsuya ten minutes before the race started.
He was standing next to the short man on the side of the highway, looking grim. Zhang Heng also saw Ameko in the blue Toyota Voxy, her wrists and legs bound and her mouth sealed with tape. When she saw him, she began to struggle but the doors were quickly slammed shut!
“Mr. Yosuke, I’ve allowed you to see your daughter as you have requested. We can start now, can we?” The short man asked.
Yosuke Tsuchiya said nothing as he entered the Dodge Viper.
The short man broke into a smile at this. After that, he came up to Zhang Heng and said, “You asked me how many people will be joining the race tonight, where it’s held and what the rules are—I’ll tell you now—tonight, the three of us will be racing here on this highway! Death racing rules! Considering you may be unfamiliar with what happened 22 years ago, I will give you a brief explanation. The three of us will be driving against traffic on this highway. The person who reaches the finishing point first wins. Of course, it would be boring if it was just that, so I’ve decided to add a small restriction. The windshields on all three cars have been frosted, and the windows cannot be wound down.”
The short man took out a wrench and smashed the front of the Nissan 180SX!
“I’ve always thought that the lights on cars are useless. Better just get rid of it!” As soon as he said that, his men broke the lights on the L300 and the Viper as well. Then, the short man opened the car door and grinned at Zhang Heng. “One last thing… if you want to use the toilet, you better go now. The doors will be welded shut, and it’ll only be opened when you reach the destination.”
Zhang Heng had already figured out back in the factory, that something like that was going to happen. Now that it was in front of him, he could not help but think that the man had lost his mind—especially when he sat in the driver’s seat of the L300 and saw the blurry windshield in front of him. He could not even make out a silhouette from 2 meters away.
Outside, people were already working on welding the car doors shut, even on the Nissan 180SX that the short man was driving. His voice spoke from the intercom in front of the passenger seat. “So? Does it bring back happy memories, Mr. Yosuke?”
Yosuke Tsuchiya did not answer. But from the sound of his breathing, Zhang Heng could tell that he was not as calm as he appeared to be. After a while, Takeda Tetsuya spoke, “Follow closely behind me.”
Zhang Heng knew that that was meant for him. In a situation like this, the person driving in front was at the highest risk. On top of that, the set-up now was even scarier than it was 22 years ago. Takeda Tetsuya had not touched the steering wheel for over 20 years—he was not in the best shape.
In fact, at only 3 minutes into the race, Takeda Tetsuya nearly ran into an oncoming Buick! Good thing he had a firm handle on the steering wheel, which kept the Viper from toppling over. Less than half a minute later, however, he nearly hit the divider at a curve!
The short man’s laughter crackled over the intercom. “What is it, Mr. Yosuke? That’s the best you can do? We’re not even a tenth of the way into the race yet!”
Takeda Tetsuya kept quiet. Right now, he could barely even talk. Beads of sweat were dripping down the tip of his nose onto his jeans.
The visibility was abysmal, to say the least. It was in the middle of the night, their cars had no headlights, and the view through the frosted windows was all but a murky blur. Owing to this, they could only use the lights from oncoming cars to determine their position. It was extremely exhausting, and his eyes and mind were already stretched to their limit.
Takeda Tetsuya did not know how much longer he could keep this up. Just as his breathing became more frenzied, the L300 that was behind him suddenly accelerated and overtook him.
Zhang Heng’s voice came from the intercom, “My turn to take the lead! You rest for a little while. We’ll swap places after 4 minutes.”
Takeda Tetsuya wanted to refuse the offer, but he was already overexerting himself, and Zhang Heng’s calm voice sounded particularly trustworthy in this loony race.
The boy was not trying to show off by stepping up. Such a race tested observational skills and the ability to react appropriately. A younger person, undoubtedly, had the edge in this regard.
More importantly, luck should be on his side tonight.
Zhang Heng took out the lucky rabbit’s foot from his pocket and hung it on the rear-view mirror.
He may be the least skilled driver among the three, but with the mechanics of the race today, luck was the decisive factor that actually had the absolute power.
For a whole two minutes, Zhang Heng did not come across a single car.
Then the short man spoke again, “That year during the race—did Mr. Yosuke hide behind his team members like this?”
A look of embarrassment flashed across Takeda Tetsuya’s face. Zhang Heng could see from his rear-view mirror that the yellow Dodge was beginning to sway, which meant that Takeda Tetsuya was getting unnerved.
The seafood store owner smiled sadly. “If you want to avenge Asano Naoto, you should just settle it with me! Why did you have to drag other people into this?!”
The short man sniffed. “Wasn’t your enmity with Asano Naoto embroiled because of someone else?”
Zhang Heng’s eyes widened. His suspicions were finally confirmed!
“You… You’re not taking revenge for Asano Naoto, but Kobayashi?”
There was a heavy silence on the other end of the intercom.
A minute later, the short man said, “Not bad! You were able to guess my intention.”
“You pretended to be Oni Hitomi to kidnap Ameko so you could force him to join this race! It was not just the three people who knew about that competition—Kobayashi told this to his mother? No, that’s impossible! No one would ever tell things like that to their mothers. So… his sister… what’s your relationship with his sister?”
The three modified vehicles sped across the highway~
Precisely 2 minutes and 42 seconds later, Zhang Heng spotted the first oncoming car! He flicked the steering, letting loose the tail of the van with the L300 narrowly drifting past!
Even then, Zhang Heng was unusually composed. He suddenly thought about something completely absurd. “Wait a minute—you’re… Kobayashi’s sister?”
When he first met the man, Zhang Heng had noticed that his movement was a little awkward. Other than the fact that his height and dimensions were closer to a woman’s, he was also the only one who did not reveal his tattoos. This ‘guy’ spent so much effort pretending to be Oni Hitomi. But unlike the other guys, this short man never showed off his tattoo—maybe because he feared people would notice the absence of Adam’s apple.
To disguise his voice, on the other hand, was simple. Every one of them wore masks, so it was only a matter of using a voice changer.