Durarara!! Volume 2: Chapter 3 PART 1
Chapter 3: Fiercest In Ikebukuro PART 1
I just wanted to know.
Not so much because I was a writer for some third-rate gossip magazine—it would be more appropriate to say it was out of sheer curiousity.
I had never thought that a person who was already over thirty like me would have been capable of this kind of pure-heartedness. Even the excitement over the headless rider last spring hadn’t been able to conjure up my feelings in this way. It was because I felt that it was more like something out of an occult magazine or maybe something a Bosokozu would read. Of course, our magazine would sometimes cover stuff like that—but it would never be able to compare to those which specialize in them.
My job was to merely write about things happening in Tokyo and to make them sound as interesting and intriguing as possible. Just that would be sufficient coverage and it’d be enough to satisfy the readers most of the time.
But this time—the chief editor had suggested doing a feature on Ikebukuro with a single phrase as the title, and that seemed to have made me feel that drive from before.
…The strongest…that was right, it was ‘The Strongest’.
Just a simple phrase like that.
In layman terms, there would be no doubt that it meant about something being the best of the best.
It sounded rather clichéd, but it was pretty powerful and impactful at the same time.
No…it was probably because it was so clichéd that it could strike people like that—like simple words like ‘love’ or ‘freedom’ could.
But—who was the strongest in Ikebukuro?
After asking the inhabitants of Ikebukuro this question, I was bombarded by a multitude of all kinds of answers.
“It has to be that person! The guy who rides that black motorbike…!”
“Who knows…maybe those hooligans around here.”
“Hm…outsiders probably don’t know this, but there was this guy called Orihara Izaya. He’s already moved to Shinjuku though…”
“No no no, the strongest here has got to be the guy who started the Dollars.”
“You’ve probably been seeing lots of people wearing yellow scarves haven’t you?"
“The cops probably…yeah the police, the police. There’s this awesome officer called Kuzuhara in that police station nearby. His entire family are policemen, and they’re so passionate about it, all the children of his three brother’s have said they wanted to become policemen when they grow up.”
The interesting thing was, practically none of them had answered “I don’t know”.
All the people in Ikebukuro I asked, or insiders as they preferred to be called, whether they were very clear about things or not, had something in common—every single one of them had their way of proffering the names of the people they considered ‘The Strongest’.
It was really very meaningful.
Then, what about those people who had been thought of as the strongest? What were their thoughts? In order to find out, I decided that I would do my best to try to contact them.
Medei Group Awakusu-kai Executive Interview with Mr. Shiki
“You’re talking about fighting aren’t you…hm…don’t you know that that era has already passed? Of course, you can’t let people belittle you. So when you need to fight, you have to win. Even if your opponent’s just an amateur, as long as it was them who picked the fight, don’t hesitate to gather people, or use knives, guns or even hurt their family…you definitely have to put the guy in a very sorry state. But of course, these kinds of things don’t happen often. And besides, we people don’t really feel very comfortable doing that sort of thing.”
“…You’re asking about who the strongest is right? Like I said before, to our business, it doesn’t matter who’s the best in fighting anymore…eh? Outsiders as well?”
“If I tell you now, you’d better not write it down.”
“Ah, of course, by principle we wouldn’t lay a finger on people who do respectable business. But as I said before, it’s a whole other matter should they pick a fight with us…only…hm…they definitely exist right? People who even insiders like us want to avoid.”
“Even if it were to be a bunch of people with weapons, there would definitely be ways to take care of him. If it were purely a dispute…no, let’s say if one had a machine gun with them, and it was three against one, it’s entirely possible that there would be people who would be able to defeat him.”
“Eh? Simon? Ah, that person from the sushi store. That person’s easy to get along with so we probably won’t get into a dispute with him. But when he gets serious, he really is formidable. I’ve even heard stories of him lifting a car as if it was a dumbbell, but I don’t think I would lose to him.”
“But not too far away from there, there’s this one guy who seems to be pretty friendly with Simon…”
“I’ve instructed all my underlings to never provoke that guy.”
“If you’ve seen Shizuo fight before, then you’ll understand…his fighting technique is really quite impressive…but I’m not saying he has elegant fighting stances or anything. I’d say it’s kind of barbaric…Godzilla…that’s right…it’s like how a child would find Godzilla intimidating and awe-inspiring, yes, just like that. Either way, he’s a really reckless fellow.”
“A powerful guy like him actually isn’t easy to offend. Or perhaps I should say it’s usually more interesting to watch him from afar. He never gets in the way of our business anyway.”
“I’m just a little jealous actually, jealous of how he can mess around like that to his heart’s content…”
“And it’s better if you keep everything I’ve just said to yourself.”
“Oh yes Mr Reporter, you’ve got a daughter in high school, don’t you? Let me think…was it Raira Academy?”
“After we got into contact, we did some background research on you.”
“Don’t look so surprised, we have our own intel sources too.”
“Relax. We’re not that evil as to threaten outsiders.”
“But only if—you don’t do things to provoke us.”
“Those things I’ve told you not to write about…I’m counting on you.”
In the end, most of the stuff I recorded in the tape was stuff I couldn’t use in the report.
Maybe I could use the first half…but either way I wouldn’t be able to use anything on Heiwajima Shizuo for the report. So I ended up not getting any information that could be called in-depth on that guy.
But still, if someone else were to physically mention that name, then it would be another story—
Hence, I decided to meet up with the talk of the town of the city. The black man ‘Simon’.
“Yes, ojii-san1. Sushi, good—”
“Ah, no thanks, I actually have a few question’s I’d like to ask you…”
“Shachou-san2, there’s a customer~”
Although I had tried my best to decline, I still succumbed to that forceful marketing, and had somehow had been pushed onto the seat in front of the sushi bar of the store.
The interiors of the store was decorated so that it very much resembled a scaled-down version of a palace from some Russian empire, with a rather out-of-place Japanese-style sushi bar forced in. The seats in front of the bar could still be considered a sensible match, but this could not be said for the marble walls in the hall which were matched with tatami flooring. There could not have been a less unsuitable combination.
Due to the strange unbalanced ambience, I never would have expected that the sushi prices would be up the roof like they were—
“Don’t worry about the price! They’re the best prices you can find around here!”
Draping the windows with those kinds of curtains.
It wasn’t a serious matter so to speak, but it was still pretty unsettling.
The funding for this time’s job was pitiful. I reached the conclusion that I’d have to reach into my own pockets.
Not only that, the owner of ‘Russia Sushi’ had kept trying to sell me some expensive food. As I withheld my irritation and patiently asked questions, I found out that the owner and Simon had come from the same place in Russia.
…Although I wasn’t sure why there’d be black people like Simon in Russia, I decided that since it was a matter that had nothing to do with my interview whatsoever, I’d ask about it the next time I had a chance.
After downing a few pieces of sushi (it was actually kind of good), I began to question Simon who had finished his shift (of pulling in customers) and returned to the restaurant, about the person called ‘Heiwajima Shizuo’.
“Oh~Shizuo, he’s a good friend of mine~”
It looked like they really knew each other. When I’d heard about this from those gangsters, I had worried about whether they’d just dug it up because he was some legend or something—
Either way, I decided to stop talking about Heiwajima-shi for the moment and start my questions from the subject of street brawls—
“Oh~fighting is bad~ Eat if you’re hungry. Eat, eat sushi, sushi good~”
And as he said that he went and ordered some sea urchin and salmon roe for me on his own accord.
What was this?! If this continued I wouldn’t be able to pay for my meal soon…
While I was affirming the remainder of the contents of my purse, the Russian chef who had gotten wind of our conversation spoke to me in fluent Japanese.
“Okyaku-san3…Simon is a peacemaker so he doesn’t understand conflict.”
“N-no. I just wanted to know who’s the best at fighting around here…”
“Are you referring to the mighty Heiwajima? You said it yourself just now didn’t you?
The conversation had led to that just like that. The manager filled me in a little more, just as I was getting more uneasy.
“If you want to know more about Heiwajima, asking Simon is useless. He will tell you Heiwajima is a good person. If you want the details about Heiwajima, then—”
“Who told you about me?”
That man held a shogi piece in his hand, and without a single expression, indifferently opened his mouth to say:
“Since they even know where I live I’m sure it’s an old customer I’m very familiar with...”
He was a lot younger than I’d expected.
A certain high-end condominium in Shinjuku—this man was certainly rather young to be the owner to be the owner of a unit in such a place. He was in fact ridiculously young to be an ‘informant’ where he dealt in the dissemination in various kinds of seedy intelligence. Why, he looked to be just around twenty!
The man’s name was Orihara Izaya. Although I’d gotten information about him from the manager of that sushi restaurant, his name had actually been mentioned a few times by people I’d interviewed for my article ‘Strongest in Ikebukuro’.
“Ah, I have to keep my sources a secret...”
I decided that I wouldn’t mention the manager of the sushi restaurant. An indecipherable smile spread across the face of the handsome, slender youth. Then he leaned back against his sofa and looked over to me.
Between us stood a table with a shogi board on it. For some reason, the board had three king pieces on it, and that left a deep impression on me.
“Telling an informant ‘My sources are secret’...don’t worry about it, it’s fine.”
I refrained from mentioning the sushi restaurant anymore and began to explain the proceedings of the interview. To my great surprise, he seemed to be reading one of my articles.
“Tokyo Incidents huh...is that so...a record of strange occurrences or organizations...I see you wrote earlier that you wanted the entire next issue of the magazine to be a special feature on Ikebukuro.”
“That’s right, and since you already know, I think we can just cut to the chase.”
I harboured the belief that things would be able to progress smoothly from here and began to relax.
But I was too naïve.
“How’s your daughter in high school doing by the way?”
“Shiki-san from Awakusu-kai’s probably a nice person isn’t he?”
In that moment I understood everything.
So it was like that.
So that hooligan organization’s ‘own intel’ wasn’t just anyone. It was Orihara Izaya. Not only had I been stupid enough not to realize this, I had even run all the way here to meet the person who had sold my information to Mr Shiki.
Anger, remorse, as well as a shred of fear.
Those feelings intricately wound around each other within me, and I didn’t know what kind of face to make.
But the informant before me didn’t seem to take notice of any of that and went on speaking at his own discretion:
“Forget it...it’s not nothing much. The strongest in Ikebukuro huh...that place is full of strong people...let me think, if I could only choose one person...if it was in a fistfight then it would be Simon. If there are no restrictions—then I guess it would be Shizu-chan...yup.”
“Heiwajima Shizuo. I don’t know what kind of job he’s doing now, nor do I want to know.”
It was that name again.
I hadn’t tried to bring that up at all, but this Orihara Izaya man had given me the name ‘Heiwajima Shizuo’ anyway.
However even at this stage, I was still unable to imagine what kind of legendary character he might be.
“Um...I’d like to ask, what kind of person is this Shizuo-san?”
“I don’t even want to say it...stuff about that guy, only I need to know.”
“No, I’d like you to accommodate my request this once.”
“It’s because I can’t deal with him that I want to know more about him. And just that pisses me off…”
Although I felt it would be futile, I continued pestering him for a while. A curious smile suddenly appeared on Orihara-shi’s face:
“I know. I’m kind of busy, so I’ll introduce you to someone who can get along with him…if you really want to know, go ask that person.”
Honestly. This is just the same as not knowing anything at all. I had even made a trip all the way to Shinjuku just for this, and in the end it was all a waste. I could probably have tried to badger him some more, but he knows exactly where I live and where my daughter goes to school so it’s better if I don’t press him any further.
It looks like I can only look forward to talking to the person this man has recommended.
…If it’s Simon, then I’d really have met a dead end.
Hello, I am the courier, Celty.
What kind of reaction should I be having right now?
The ‘existence’ before me was showing me a string of words it had typed out on its PDA.
In that park where we had agreed to meet, a strange existence had appeared, wearing a black full body biker’s suit and a helmet with a rather bold design.
That person was sitting on a motorcycle with no headlights. From the engine, drive shaft to the tires and the tire rims—the bike was colored a single shade of pitch black. I was unable to discern what was in the helmet, so honestly speaking I couldn’t tell if the person before me was male or female. When we’d first met, I thought that he might be male, but his petite body suggested that it wouldn’t be strange should he be female.
But...then again...I really didn’t think—
I’d see the urban legend, the ‘black bike’ with my very own eyes at a place like this.
In fact, I was even more curious about the existence before me than who the strongest was. I wasn’t usually one to believe in otherwordly speculations like ghosts and vengeful spirits, but today my enthusiasm for those kinds of things were at all time high. Even an amateur like me, could understand the moment we met that he (she?) was a supernatural existence.
If it was just someone riding a black bike, it could easily be explained as a street performance or an outcry against society—that was what I thought. But the person in front of me was just standing there and his behavior seemed per too natural and normal, as if his existence was common sense in this world. And if one considered the name ‘Celty’...he probably wasn’t Japanese right? It seemed that he was considered a ‘real life urban legend’ because of these ever-increasing unknowns.
People from the media who want to meet this mysterious biker—just those that I alone know, can be said to be too many to count. But I’m meeting her to help in my investigation of something entirely different. Should I just leave it at that?
I felt a little doubtful, but I shook it off immediately. For this kind of thing, nothing good would come out of being greedy.
“Oh...nice to meet you. I heard from Orihara-san that you’re acquainted with Shizuo-san so I got him to introduce us...”
After I’d finished speaking, Celty-shi began typing on her PDA’s keyboard at a superhuman speed. For a moment, I thought I could see a shadowy substance seeping out as her fingers tapped the keyboard—this was probably my imagination. I couldn’t expect too much. I had to focus on the job at hand.
Ah, Heiwajima Shizuo? He’s a good friend and someone who’s easy to get along with, at least for me.
But he’s terrifying if you incur his wrath.
Very good, she linked that up nicely.
Suppressing my heightening emotions, I calmly cut into the core of the matter:
“Is that so...well, you see, I’ve been given an assignment to find out ‘Who is No. 1 in this City?’, and that’s why I’m interviewing you like this.”
Ah~that magazine of yours sure likes stuff like this! I remember you even compiled a Bousoukozu ranking before and the bunch that didn’t get on the list threw Molotov cocktails at your magazine’s office building didn’t they?
“Ah that wasn’t in my area of responsibility...speaking of which, did you know there people in this city who think you are the strongest...?”
After being asked that, Celty-shi lapsed into momentary silence—then her shoulders began to shake, trembling upwards and downwards. Together with how her helmet was moving, it looked as if she was laughing.
No way! I think they were probably just fooled by my appearance.
Another pause, and she began to steadily input words on her PDA.
Compared to me—Shizuo’s much stronger. I don’t think there’s anyone at all in this city who would be able beat him in a no-holds fight.
“...Is he really that strong?”
That’s right! That guy’s strong beyond belief. He’s so strong you’d be moved just knowing how strong he is. How should I put it...it’s not in terms of skill in combat or martial arts or anything. It’s more like his strength is out of this world...even if someone were to tell me he was actually Ookami Otoko4 or Ryuujin5, I would believe them...ah, it would be bad if he was an alien, and I’d be mentally scarred if he was one of the Greys.
Celty-shi was typing the words at a rate that would not be inferior to someone saying them aloud. Was I imagining this? Her words carried a sort of happiness, as if she was boasting to me about the prowess of her friend, Heiwajima Shizuo.
I’m really not saying he learnt martial arts or anything like that all. Even for someone as awesome as he is...it would be all over if he were to be shot. How should I put it...
After some deliberation, Celty-shi increased the font size and typed:
I’ve got it. That guy’s strength—is just like a gun, and there’s nothing else that can describe it better.
We continued talking for a bit, and I even found out where Heiwajima-shi worked.
After making sure our interview was at least a paragraph long, I subconsciously began to relax.
And I let my own selfish desires leak out.
“This isn’t really part of the interview, just my own curiosity...but just what kind of person are you? And...if it isn’t too much trouble, could I have a glimpse of what’s under your helmet?”
I had absolutely no intention whatsoever of reporting her to the police or questioning him further should I found out her true identity. It was purely out of my own curiosity, and at the same time I also felt that I should at least know the gender and age of my interviewee. But she probably wouldn’t be headless, like what they said on those programs on supernatural phenomenon right?
“If it upsets you, then I apologise deeply. But I really am very curious...”
I carefully tested the waters.
Celty-shi’s fingers flew over the PDA, typing without a hint of hesitation.
I don’t mind. As for what kind of person I am, you’ll find out when I take off my helmet. Moreover—even if you knew my true identity, you wouldn’t be able to write anything about it in your magazine...no, I doubt you’d be able to even tell anyone about it.
“What does that mean?”—Just as I was about to ask that question, Celty placed her hands on her helmet—
I gazed into the ‘shadow’ in the distance. My legs were threatening to give way as I thought this silently.
Celty must be an illusion.
I thought telling myself that was sort of ridiculous, but I still forced myself to believe that.
I’d ended up like this because I’d succumbed to my curiousity.
I guess that’s why they say people in my field should never be too greedy...
1. ojii-san: Mister
2. shachou-san: Something like store manager or owner
3. okyaku-san: Meaning 'dear customer'. It’s a Japan thing.
4. Ookami Otoko: Wolf Man
5: Ryuujin: Some dragon dude thing. Learn more here.
Surprise surprise. I ain't dead yet. The next few parts probably won't be out for a while. I'm taking this gigantic national exam that I've been studying 12 years for. Wouldn't want me to bomb that right? Oh and anyone here an utaite fanatic?