Chapters 100 – 104
During a regular sparring session, Brad suggests Yuki, to alleviate her rent burden, move in with him. Yuki does not want to upset her parents by this turn, but she is motivated enough to insist upon her own decisions even at risk of alienating her father Dirk. Meanwhile, older brother Brandon has been living with their parents due to his own financial issues (due, in part, to his drunken laziness and brushes with the law). When Brandon phones Yuki late one night, frantic over suspicious papers he found in their dad’s office, Yuki is skeptical, but agrees to meet him the next day to discus it. The next morning, Brandon is found DOA from an apparent alcohol related car accident. At his funeral, Dirk gives his approval for Yuki moving in with Brad. Yuki believes it is sentiment and concern for her safety, but Brad is suspicious. He begins to investigate the incident with help of homicide detective Tara Price. Together, they uncover hints of foul play but so far have no physical evidence to back their suspicions.
A short time later, Mike has been acting strange. He has been having bouts of temper again, during which he punched Alex and also broke his hand on a vending machine. Seiko reaches out to him,and Mike tells her he’s worried that he’s losing his mind. He has consulted two psychiatrists and has been prescribed several medications, which aren’t working. Seiko gives him support and shares her own struggles with anxiety. Fearing his potential for violence, Mike breaks up with his girlfriend Mina and then has a fight with Mina’s mother Amber when he picks up his things from her house.
The next morning, Amber is found dead, strangled in her bedroom. Detective Price suspects Mike of the crime based on the loud fight and confirmed by the presence of his shoelace, the apparent murder weapon. Seiko has a minor panic attack upon seeing the body, laying similar to her own mother, who was murdered by an assassin over a decade ago. The state of the room suggested no struggle and pointed to a strong assailant, which was impossible for a small teen with a broken hand. The wounds on the body confirmed a second murder weapon, a wire. Mike finally informs the police that Amber mentioned a date the night before, and Yuki concludes that the MO points to a known syndicate assassin named Valentine. At her mother’s funeral, Mina tells Mike she suspects her father hired the hitman and also that she is going abroad to study.
Yuki has records of syndicate assassins, but knows only part of Valentine’s story. Kaida knew the man personally and tells Yuki that he was not only a hit man but also a serial killer who targets young women and tortures them. She also relates the story of how she met him. Valentine was assigned to har as her mentor 18 years ago. While waiting for their target to appear, Valentine came on strongly and tore teenage Kaida’s shirt. She responded by chaining him to a sink. Her brief victory was cut short by panic, as young Kaida had to take the shot herself. She did so in fear of having to spend any more time alone with her lecherous and violent “mentor.” After the hit, Valentine faced the wrath of his furious boss Raidon, who sliced his face with a sword and warned him to never go near Kaida again. The attack left Valentine with a permanent scar.
Following her discussion with Kaida, Yuki leaves for karate practice and narrowly misses encountering Valentine himself outside the bookstore. Valentine has tracked Kaida down and meets her alone in the store. His disarms Kaida quickly and has her at his mercy, when Seiko appears from the back room and immediately calls the police. Valentine turns his attention from Kaida to Seiko and attacks her. Once Kaida recovers her senses, she dives for her gun and fires a shot at Valentine’s hand, which also nicks Seiko’s shoulder. Kaida orders Valentine to leave and then tends to Seiko, as she recovers from near asphyxiation. They recover together and wait for the ambulance and police with their two good pieces of evidence, Valentine’s garrote and a photo Seiko took with her phone.