Chapters 94 – 99
Following Eric’s masquerade ball, Toyo once again acts as sounding board to Fudo’s existential crisis. Fudo expresses fear of his own lack of remorse after having killed the robbers at the party. Some time after being left alone again, he acts with resolve to hang himself in the forest, but his plan is thwarted by a broken branch and a badly injured ankle. While limping home, Fudo discovers a loaded gun at the edge of a cliff and its owner in the ravine. The owner turns out to be Kaida, who came to the woods in search of her former home, now Fudo’s cabin. Kaida survived the fall but is also injured and determined to get her gun back from Fudo. With a storm impending, the two return to Fudo’s cabin and settle in for the night.
Kaida wakes up from a dream-flashback to find Fudo missing along with her gun. Putting the pieces together and recalling Fudo’s suicidal tendencies, she rushes into the storm to find him and wrestles him to the ground to disarm him. They have a heart-to-heart about regrets and the people who were saved through homicide (perhaps not the best method, but it worked). Kaida then has a revelation of Fudo’s fear, much like her own, and hurries back to the cabin before she can betray her emotions. She leaves her gun behind with Fudo, and spends an anxious night alone in the cabin. The next morning, Fudo is outside cooking breakfast by a campfire, and they avoid deep conversation and dodge meaningful questions until Kaida leaves.
Meanwhile, during Kaida’s absence, Seiko and Eric hang out together on a mock date, while Violet and Conrad run incognito surveillance to look for the hit man who is after Eric. Seiko asks Eric about his flirtatious advancements and where they stand, and the two of them agree that it’s a good friendship that has no romantic ends (and Eric hints that he has a different crush in mind). Upon returning to the bookstore and finding Kaida missing, Seiko tells Tristan about the evening, and he spends the night. Kaida returns home limping the next day and says nothing about her excursion.
A few nights later, Eric throws a pre-election party at a fancy restaurant, and everyone attends (aside from Raidon who is still recovering from a gunshot wound). Eric feels ill, so Kaida, Yuki, and Seiko drive him home early. Just after leaving him at his condo, a shot and shattering glass sends the ladies into action. Seiko calls paramedics and rushes to the apartment to find Eric on the floor in a pool of blood. Kaida and Yuki rush to the rooftop of a nearby building to chase the shooter, Sydney. Kaida gets of a shot, and Sydney falls. Yuki discovers Kaida’s bullet embedded in leg armor; Sydney was killed by a second bullet — fired, unknown to Yuki, by Meredith from the roof of the restaurant. Meredith passes the gun to an accomplice dressed as a waiter and rejoins the party.
The “ambulance” that picks up Eric and Seiko is being driven by Tristan and Violet as part of an elaborate rescue plan to thwart the syndicate. Eric is unharmed, and the plan is the take him to a safe house and allow the crime syndicate to believe they succeeded. Eric, however, adamantly rejects the plan and insists on returning home to let the press and public know that he is safe. Despite Tristan’s protests, they take Eric home. On the next day, election day, Eric visits his “friend” Raidon in the hospital, and they talk about politics and politicians while Raidon expresses sympathy at Eric’s loss of the mayoral race. When Eric leaves, Meredith suggests going ahead with the hit on him, but Raidon orders her not to and says the election is over along with that contract.