Millenium Match: Chapter 6 – Waves

November is here, and so is a new Millenium Match chapter!

Chapter 6 – Waves

In the week after the two got married, Saki’s script had progressed the way she wanted, even without Ryogo’s cooperation. She didn’t need it yet. She had perfectly controlled the “story” the others saw. By most accounts, she had become the chaser, but her status prevented her from admitting it. Jealousy among some of the guys had started. Some of the girls decided to quietly cheer her on and support her, scheming to get the two closer by “accident.” Things were going smoothly up until the day she made a visit to a transferring student’s place with Akiyama-sensei.

Truthfully, nothing much happened there. But something about it shook her. Right after parting ways with her teacher, she walked to their shared apartment and called Ryogo over.

Saki: You’re late.
Ryogo: I thought we were only going to limit this to weekends.
Saki: We have something to discuss.
Ryogo: I’ll bet we do. I think people are getting the wrong idea. By which I mean the right idea. Which is all wrong. You going to set them straight?
Saki: Not at all. This is what I wanted. You and I are going to officially become a couple.
Ryogo: I thought we had an understanding.

Saki pulled out a mini-cassette recorder and pushed the “play” button.

[Saki]: N-no! Stop… Please…
[Ryogo]: I can’t help it… It feels so good…

Saki: And that’s just a taste. Hardly even the worst of it.
Ryogo: You wouldn’t.
Saki: If I have to take both of our families with me, I will. From now on, you’re mine. Don’t forget it.

Without warning, Saki wrapped her arms around him and gave him a forceful, deep kiss.

Ryogo: W-what was that for?
Saki: Get used to it. Or else.

Saki felt the feeble resistance he offered. The reassurance that she was once again the dominant one swam through her head as she walked away from the apartment.

* * *

It was just like 11 years ago. His memory was hazy, but two important facts shone through.

One was his first kiss. He couldn’t describe it completely well, but it was with a girl he had known for a very short time. He didn’t remember why it happened, but she had surprised him with that kiss. And following that fateful moment…

“From now on, we’ll be together, okay?”

It wasn’t so much an agreement as it was a command that gave the illusion that he had any choice in the matter. He was too young to think it through. When the girl and her family was sent away to America, he was devastated that the promise was broken so quickly…

* * *

Actually, let’s go a bit further than that. It was 1987, and Dr. Wataru Mizuno had just lost his license. He was framed for the theft of a number drugs including painkillers and sedatives and selling them on the black market. In the end, he wasn’t convicted; however, the bad press and some false rumors circulating around the hospital resulted in his firing and the revocation of his license. Mizuno’s wife was a moderately popular local florist that couldn’t make enough to support a family of four. Ironically, the former doctor turned to crime to keep his family afloat. He offered his services to the most powerful yakuza in the region, which just happened to be the Misaki group when they still owned a third of Kobe. Following a shootout at a wharf, Mizuno performed surgery for the Misaki group, saving the lives of four men. In thanks, Misaki Rokusaburo himself held a celebration in the doctor’s honor.

At the time, Misaki Ryogo was being trained to one day succeed his father. The five-year-old Ryogo was often bruised and scraped from his daily sword training, and he would spend much of his free time practicing by himself. A girl that liked to play with her father’s first aid kit noticed him and tended to his wounds, kissed him, and made the promise.

The two didn’t know at the time, but another girl was watching over them, and she told her superior, Misaki Rei, about it. Rei at that time was seriously dedicated to the lineage. Even though his mother told him that he should be the next successor, Rei fully supported Ryogo and his role in the family and knew that he might one day have to fulfill the prophecy, just in case the currently arranged pairing involving his brother didn’t go through (Rei’s brother died a year later when the Misakis were driven out of Kobe).

I know you’re just dying to tell me about that gang war.

I am. I really am. But if I went into it right now the time setting would get even more screwed up, so I’ll at least finish this part first. So anyway, it was essentially Rei’s fault that Ryogo and his first love were separated. Although Rokusaburo was grateful of Dr. Mizuno’s services, he was also a bit paranoid at the time. Mizuno was a newcomer to the organization, and he feared that he was trying to use his daughter to marry into the top of the group.

Uh, weren’t they like… children?

Didn’t matter. He forced Mizuno to move his family to America on a fake long-term intel-gathering mission. The Misakis lost track of the Mizunos during the war.

Okay, go ahead.

THANK YOU SO MUCH! So, the Misakis were on top of things at Kobe for decades. In the 80’s, they controlled a third of Kobe. All the other groups were busy fighting each other over territory so individually, none of them was a threat to the Misakis. However, one day they formed an alliance headed by the Shidow Group and waged an all-out war for Kobe. It was during that war that Rei’s older brother died. Rei himself got a huge scar down his right thigh. Nadeshiko gained the nickname “Flower of Battle” when she took on a group of 12 thugs from four different organizations and beat them in one fight, using only a bicycle chain. As for Ryogo, he wasn’t at all fit for a real battle. Seven bodyguards died protecting him when the alliance raided the Misaki headquarters, and the six-year-old boy froze up in the face of certain death. He practically fainted that night, but when he came to the next day on a boat headed for Akashi, he learned about how his cousins rescued him.

Is that all true?

Actually, you’d be surprised that I didn’t embellish that at all. Except for the part about the fire.

What fire?

Huh? Didn’t I say that the Misaki headquarters were burning to the ground?


Oh. Dang. Well, that didn’t happpen, so yeah. Anyway, the Mizunos were transferred to America, and that was all Ryogo knew about them up to now. When Rei was sent overseas, Ryogo made him promise to find out about them.

After Saki left, Ryogo spent a minute staring blankly before calling Rei.

Rei: Hey, what’s up?
Ryogo: Rei… I’m calling it off.

Ryogo knew that it was naïve of him to hope for a romantic reunion. It was a silly promise made when he was a child. He had spurned the idea of being with anyone else for so long, but Saki showed him reality. Life wasn’t fair or miraculous.

Rei: Did something happen?
Ryogo: No, I just…
Rei: Oh, so you found out?
Ryogo: Huh? Found out what?
Rei: Dr. Mizuno… he’s in Japan.
Ryogo: … What?
Rei: Yeah. I dunno, I guess someone tipped him off about the Misakis not being in power anymore. He moved back two weeks ago.
Ryogo: Where is he now?
Rei: That I don’t know. But I checked out where the good doc has been living. Place is pretty clean. He’s still got some stuff in storage that he hasn’t sent for yet. You want me to break in?
Ryogo: No, that’s fine. Thanks, Rei.
Rei: Hey, no problem. Oh, but there’s one other thing I ought to warn you.
Ryogo: What’s that?
Rei: My charge is headed your way as well.
Ryogo: Eh? N-no way, not her!
Rei: Don’t worry, she’s not getting past the airport. She insists on carrying that sword of hers with her. I’ll try my best to keep her back, but she’s gonna find her way across this ocean one way or another.
Ryogo: Thanks for the heads-up.

* * *

Ryogo’s hands were tied. He had no choice but to officially become Saki’s boyfriend in the eyes of everyone at school. He eased into the role, gradually getting used to being around her and learning what she liked to do, what she wanted from him, what angered her and what he had to avoid to prevent that. On the other hand, he wanted desperately to find out where the Mizunos were now. He half hoped he would see her walk into his shop to order a sweet snack while he wasn’t paying attention. He would go into the back room, come out with a bag of assorted candies, ring her up, and for just one second their eyes would lock, and they would instantly recognize each other.

As he was daydreaming this in his social studies class, he felt a hard poking at his shoulder.

Ryogo: Hm? What’s that.
???: Hi.
Ryogo: Oh, hi. Uh… Wait, you don’t look familiar.
???: That’s because I’m new. You really weren’t paying attention.
Ryogo: Sorry. And you are…?

MIZUNO Yui, Age 15, Transfer Student

Yui: I’m Mizuno Yui. Nice to meet you, Misaki-kun.
Ryogo: I… Wait, how do you know my name? Could it be…
Yui: Oh, you probably didn’t hear it, but Sasai-sensei said, “You can have a seat in the back, Mizuno. And could you please wake up Misaki while you’re down there?”
Ryogo: Urk…

Ryogo spent the rest of the class time awake, and occasionally glancing over to Yui. Her last name was Mizuno, but maybe it was just a coincidence. After class, he caught up with her in the hall.

Ryogo: Mizuno!
Yui: Oh, Misaki. Did you manage to stay awake?
Ryogo: Uh, yeah. Listen, I need to ask you a few questions.
Yui: Can it wait? The pool is pretty far from here.
Ryogo: Then just one question for now. Is your father a doctor?
Yui: Huh? How did you know…?
Ryogo: Then… Do you-
Yui: Uh, I’m sorry, but I really do have to be going.

Yui ran off. Ryogo went to his home ec class but didn’t really focus on it much because he was thinking about what to do after class. He was sure that it was the same Mizuno. She didn’t seem to recognize him… Had she thought about him at all in this time? He had to know, so he waited around the poolside for Yui.

Yui: It’s you again.
Ryogo: You have time now, don’t you?
Yui: I just got here. Hard to believe I already have a stalker.
Ryogo: So you really don’t remember me?
Yui: I don’t think we’ve met before. I spent the last ten years in America.
Ryogo: This would have been before that.
Yui: Huh?
Ryogo: Your father is Dr. Wataru Mizuno, right?
Yui: He is… Oh, were you a patient of his?
Ryogo: No. Ten years ago, before you moved away… It wasn’t for very long, but we knew each other. And I’ve been thinking about you all this time!
Yui: Really? Well, sorry, but I guess it has been a long time…
Ryogo: So you really don’t remember me?
Yui: No… Sorry.
Ryogo: Well… Can we at least start over? Even if you don’t remember, we at still have a connection. We can get caught up!
Yui: Uh… Sorry… To be honest, I wouldn’t really be comfortable with that… You kinda scare me…
Ryogo: But…
Yui: Excuse me, I have to get going.

Yui climbed out of the pool and walked towards the dressing rooms. Ryogo hesitated, but he continued his pursuit and took Yui’s arm from behind.

Ryogo: Wait!
Yui: Let go…
Ryogo: Not until-
Yui: LET GO!

Ryogo was startled. As Yui twisted back to free her arm, Ryogo noticed her eyes were wet. Wondering the meaning behind those tears, Ryogo released her, not knowing that the scene got the attention of a small group of students.

* * *

Saki went straight home that day and was surprised by the sudden greeting.

Shizuru: SAKIIIIII!! Welcome home, love!
Saki: M-Mom?!

SATOUMURA Shizuru, Age 39, Businesswoman

Saki’s mother, Shizuru, was a major shareholder of an international security firm. She spent the past two weeks attending conventions in Sweden and Hong Kong. Even had it not been for that, she still would have found reasons to be anywhere but home. Shizuru doesn’t write or phone home, but, as if to make up for all the lost time, all her love is expressed through explosive concentrated bursts in person. For instance, at this moment she held on to Saki as if to wring her dry.

Saki: Mom, what are you- uuuu… c-can’t… breathe…
Shizuru: Saki, I heard all about it! I’m so disappointed in myself, but especially your father! To think, marriage at your age! And I wasn’t there to see it!
Saki: It’s okay…
Shizuru: No, it’s not! How irresponsible! This is partially your part, too. How could you allow yourself to become a pawn?
Saki: What?
Shizuru: There are only two reasons to get married: A) For love, and B) To gain something. Seriously, this is why I told them to send your uncle to take care of the matter, but I had no idea he’d be THAT much of a wuss.
Saki: Wait… You mean… You knew about that stupid prophecy thing?
Shizuru: Of course. What do you take me for? To think, MY daughter would be the bride… You COULD have refused, you know. Do you know how much power you hold in that position? Just like that you could have destroyed the plans of two families and doomed them to destruction.
Saki: I think you’re overreacting.. Besides, I did refuse at first.
Shizuru: Yeah, but you gave in. Let me tell you, had I known about what happened, I would have sent for you. I’m sure I could arrange things so you could travel around with me instead. I mean, you don’t really need school when you’ve got it made like me.
Saki: Mom?
Shizuru: But now that it’s all said and done, let’s plan! I mean, this IS a political wedding of sorts after all. You’ll be marrying into the future head of the Misaki Group, so this has got to be of some benefit to us. What’s the guy’s name again?
Saki: Misaki Ryogo. Um…. here…

Saki reached into her bag and took a photo of Ryogo out for Shizuru to see.

Shizuru: So this is what he looks like? Hmm… Still young, but… Oh?
Saki: What?
Shizuru: You carry a picture of him around with you?
Saki: Well, that’s because…
Shizuru: I see… So you wanted this to happen!
Saki: I did not!
Shizuru: Fu fu… You think you can fool your mother? I can see right through you.

Shizuru leaned closer to Saki and whispered into her ear. Saki’s feigned embarrassment turned into genuine surprise when she heard those words.

“You’re too young for that kind of obsession.”

Saki: What do you mean by that?
Shizuru: Honestly, lying to your own mother? It’s enough to break my heart. I make a living out of manipulating professional bullshit artists. Did you think I wouldn’t figure you out?
Saki: Figure what out? J-just because I have a photo of him…
Shizuru: You’re panicking. That’s why you just gave the wrong response right now.
Saki: Ah….
Shizuru: You’re with family, not classmates. You should have gone with the “it’s only natural to have a picture of your husband” line.
Saki: . . .
Shizuru: Saki…
Saki: M…Mother, I… Uwaaaah!

Saki never explained herself. She broke down and cried in her mother’s arms without saying another word. She didn’t know why exactly, but she could do nothing to stop it. Saki felt she was on the verge of learning something, but whatever the moral was, it was just outside of her sight; she could only make out a vague figure in the darkness. Shizuru silently shed her own tears while comforting her daughter; she didn’t intend to cause any pain, but more importantly she came to realize that Saki was starting to become more like her and was a little frightened.

Shizuru meant to visit home for one day, but she decided to extend her stay to three days just this once.

* * *

By the following morning, gossip had spread like the flu.

Yukiko: Hey, Saki, are you okay?
Saki: Huh? Why wouldn’t I be?
Yukiko: You haven’t heard? About Misaki. I heard he tried to rape a girl on the swim team yesterday.
Natsuko: He wouldn’t do something like that! I’m sure it’s just a misunderstanding, right, Saki? I mean, you two are…
Saki: Was it with the new transfer student? Mizuno Yui?
Yukiko: So you did know about it!
Saki: *sigh* No… Just an educated guess…
Natsuko: Did you two have a falling out?
Saki: No, nothing like that. I’m sure it’s a misunderstanding like you said, Natsuko.
Natsuko: See?
Yukiko: I’m not so sure. But Saki, you’re surprisingly calm about all this.

Saki had a good cry yesterday. She wasn’t changed by it, but she did gain a new perspective: she had become dangerously possessive. Had her mother not shown up that day, she would have been enraged by Ryogo’s insubordination. Now she realized this was something she had no control over. But she was not resigned to lose control.


The sound silenced the classroom in an instant. What had just occurred was completely out of the realm of comprehension. Mizuno Yui especially didn’t see it coming. She lightly rubbed her cheek and looked up in amazement.

Saki: Just who the hell do you think you are?!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *