I did this feeling like this should clear up a lot of questions I kept getting. It's worth mentioning, though, that the Dollars-Yellow Turbans-Saika triangle never actually went anywhere despite all of Izaya's talk of a three-party gang war. Dollars still features prominantly in later volumes, Saika to a lesser extent, and Yellow Turbans disappear altogether.
So point is, despite having read 7 volumes, I don't know where Narita plans to go with Durarara. Yeah, I know that was helpful.
Inside the abandoned factory
Wails sounded as Yellow Turbans - maybe former Blue Squares - fell one by one around Masaomi.
By now there were at least ten of them all sprawled out on the ground, holding on to their injured wrists or ankles or crawling up in a fetal position.
"Oy, he's just one guy......what the hell are you folks playing at?"
Horada had risen from the chair before he realized it.
He held onto his pistol for dear life, and made one step back as if to get away from Masaomi who was walking towards him.
He had thought that the battle was won when his fellow Yellow Turbans launched themselves on Masaomi -
But the reality was, Masaomi was still standing.
Not that he was without injury. But Masaomi was always the one to deliver the final blow.
Horada's men had never actually fought as a group. To cover up for their lack of experience, Horada ordered them to attack in throngs. So instead of having three or four members attack from several angles, the Yellow Turbans simply swarmed towards Masaomi as if they were hurrying to work on the rush hour underground and struggled desperately for room to even raise their steel pipes - of course, they ended up getting in each other's way and none of the attacks turned out effective.
On the other hand, Masaomi wielded his nail puller with remarkable steadiness, making sure to aim at ribs, collarbones or arms as he went about facing his opponents.
His aim was not always perfect - but his attacks certainly were ruthless.
Like he couldn't have cared less even if the attacks penetrated his opponents' limbs.
The Yellow Turbans hesitated to move once they had seen Masaomi delivering major blows on their fellow members. Masaomi used this window to change his course of attack - he began to aim his nail puller at his opponents' sides, with still less mercy.
Who would have dared go take on him first knowing that even one such attack would result in immediate heavy injury? Had they just looked at each other with no idea what to do, however, they would instantly become the next victims and fall in tandem to the ground. Their sprawled-out bodies would in turn be a nuisance to others.
Not to mention if there was a major flaw in Horada's plan, it would have been that he had completely underestimated Masaomi.
Horada had dismissed Masaomi as an opportunist leader. But even if that was the case, the Yellow Turbans would still have had gathered around Masaomi for a reason - he was a strong fighter. He had probably taken on several gangs single-handedly by now.
Though of course, the number of fresh wounds on Masaomi's body kept growing.
This was already the umpteenth trickle of blood down Masaomi's forehead. His moves did slow down a bit after he was hit squarely in the ribs - several of which were probably already cracking.
But Masaomi didn't fall.
He was still getting close to Horada after taking countless attacks.
On the other hand, no members had even considered forming a line of defense around Horada; all they did was launch themselves forward. The other half didn't even launch themselves forward - they simply looked on from a distance.
- These......useless fools......
But running away was not an option -
The thought of "death" occured to Horada again.
- If, if things go out of hand......
He closed his fingers on his pistol, thinking about making Masaomi his next victim.
If he fired the bullet like this, Masaomi would definitely die. Other stuff could wait.
Or should he fire it now?
Horada couldn't cool his head down and decide. He swallowed and held on quietly to his pistol - but at that instant things suddenly started looking better.
One of the gangsters hit Masaomi's head with his steel pipe. Masaomi fell.
"Huh...? Heh...heheh...heheeeeeh! What the fuck? Stop shitting me, you son of a bitch!"
Horada loosened his grip on the pistol and got closer to Masaomi, who had remained still since he fell.
Then, just as he was about to give Masaomi a final blow with his raised foot -
Masaomi sprung from the ground and swung his nail puller in the direction of Horada's face.
But Masaomi's knees gave away. The nail puller missed by mere millimeters.
Horada was going asinine; he did not stop here.
Like a frightened dog he jumped, and fired his pistol at Masaomi who was kneeling on the ground.
Instead of a gunshot, however, a fierce metallic clatter resounded within the factory.
Horada's hand had barely had time to register the shock of impact - his pistol flew high up and fell in the one of the corners of the factory.
Even Masaomi had no idea what just happened.
The male standing right beside Horada had just raised the tiny knife in his hand and, with superhuman speed and fierceness, knocked Horada's pistol into the air.
Still standing in front of a dumbstruck Horada, the knife guy explained in a mechanical tone.
"Um, sorry about that......looks like 'Mother' would be very sad if this guy is killed. So I just did what I thought was right. Right......"
"Ahhh? The hell are you talking about......ah......ahhhh.......arrrrrrrg
The gangsters all stepped back in shock as they saw the male's face.
The knife-wielding male's eyes - they were deep scarlet orbs without a trace of white, as if blood had filled them entirely.
The knife guy looked around briefly and continued to inform the others in a mechanical tone.
"No......I completely understand. Sorry, but it seems like 'Mother' has just arrived."
The next second, an explosive noise came from the entrance of the factory.
As everyone turned their heads, they were treated to the sight of the flying pieces of a giant lock cut neatly in half.
As if the metal lock had been a mere turnip, the pieces fell back to the ground as the gate was forced open.
And Masaomi saw it.
The figure charging in through the entrance was the same katana-wielding girl he had seen the night of the day before yesterday.
Once the figure turned to see him kneeling -
Masaomi saw who the girl was as she shouted and came running.
- Why is Anri here?
- Why is Anri......holding......a katana like that?
Masaomi's world was shaken.
Though he didn't immediately associate Anri with the Slashers, it was disturbing enough to just see her with a katana. His heart pounded in disorientation and vertigo.
And - the one who would, as it turned out, deliver the final blow to his mental state also appeared before Masaomi in the midst of an explosion of noise.
As soon as Anri at last stood in front of Masaomi, the thundering of a motorbike engine shook this abandoned factory.
- The Black Motorbike!
Why was Anri here?
Why was she holding the same katana as the girl he saw the day before yesterday?
Why was he hearing the Black Motorbike?
A thousand questions exploded in his head amid the sense of general disorientation. He was deprived of the ability to think.
Yet what puzzled him the most - and made him momentarily forget his dying wish as a fighter -
- Was the Black Motorbike that charged onto the scene a second later, and the boy sitting at its back -
The one face he did not want to see right now - yet needs to see and talk to like insane.
Twenty minutes ago, an apartment in Ikebukuro
Mixed feelings rushed to Anri's heart the moment she heard that Celty was a woman.
Yet before she could articulate any of them, she was distracted by the sound coming from the neighboring room.
Not the room Anri had stayed in last night, but the innermost bedroom in the apartment.
"Seriously? He's already awake? ......I thought I gave him strong enough sedatives."
Anri was nonplussed for a moment by what Shinra had said. Deciding that the source of the sound might shed more light on the matter, she focused on the door of the innermost bedroom.
As it was slowly opened, the face of a male revealed itself.
"Oy, where're my sunglasses?"
It was a blond man in a shirt.
"Hey! Your brother was on TV. Looks like he got another leading role in a movie. Congrats!"
"Ah...Kasuka? ...Now that you mention it...I think he told me about it at some point."
As the two men continued to talk - a thrill was running through Anri's body.
The ceaseless "curses" flowing from her heart were in a state of frenzy.
At that moment she recalled something and understood.
It was about two weeks ago, when she first saw Celty. The man was the one who took down one of Saika's "granddaughters" with overwhelming power.
Shinra, not noticing that Anri had virtually remained immobile, looked at the male in front of him, a resigned expression on his face.
"You realize what, Shizuo? ......You had two bullets in your body, and considerable muscle damage in your legs and abdomen......so why are you already able to walk around like nothing's happened?"
The underground doctor raised the question as if his entire faith had been subverted. Yet the male, Heiwajima Shizuo, simply frowned as he answered.
"Why? ......'Cause I can walk around, that's why."
The answer was as good as none. The "curses" in Anri's heart grew noisier and noisier as she watched the figure of that male.
Anri forced these "curses" into the irrelevant "inside of the picture frame" and began to talk to the man who had saved her from a Slasher.
"Sh...Shizuo-san......why are you......here?"
"Hmm......? Ah - my bad, who are you?"
Shizuo seemed seriously apologetic about not remembering who Anri was. Shinra ignored him and began to explain to Anri what had happened during her long sleep.
"Ahh, him......he got shot yesterday. In the foot and the abdomen. He let the guy who shot him get away when he lost his balance and fell. Scandalous, huh?"
"......You wanna die now or something?"
"I apologize with my whole being and heart."
Shinra fell onto his knees when Shizuo glared at him.
Shizuo seemed to have given up trying to recall who Anri was, and said instead:
"Nah......at first I thought I just slipped or something, you know, 'cause it was all raining and slippery......and then I saw blood on my foot and side, and then I realized, ahhh, I was shot. Just when I was about to kill the scums......they all ran away. And then Tom-san began telling me all this scary stuff like how if I didn't get a doctor right way I'd die of lead poisoning......"
"Then why did you have to go with an underground doctor like me? Cost me my best lancets to just cut your body open ......"
"Cops would have asked questions for gun wounds like these......that would've been annoying. Plus I get better rates at your place."
Shizuo gave the honest answer. Shinra let out a major sigh and asked:
"So......what do you plan to do?"
"Like that's even a question......"
Shizuo replied with a bored expression on his face.
Not realizing that this expression was actually the most cruel to Anri.
"Go kill that scum who shot me, and that Kida Masaomi who told him to."
Now, inside the abandoned factory
So Anri came here.
She knew very well how strong Shizuo was. If she did nothing, Masaomi would almost certainly be killed - she decided that rather than trying to make Shizuo change his mind, she would just tell Masaomi to run away. Shizuo and Shinra kept on talking, but Anri wasn't listening anymore. She used her cell phone to send out orders to the Yellow Turbans among her "children".
She was told that the Yellow Turbans were having a meeting at the factory. After she managed to outrun Shinra, who tried to stop her, she had run all the way here with her own feet -
But the most important piece of information was missing in the message.
- The revolution that had already taken place within the Yellow Turbans and their expulsion of Kida Masaomi.
Just as Anri revealed her true identity to Masaomi in order to protect him -
Mikado, who had been sitting at the back of Celty's motorbike, shouted out to these two in bewilderment.
- Whatever you might make of the situation, one of them was holding a dangerous blade, and the other covered entirely in blood.
Before he could begin to understand any of this, his heart had compelled him to cry out their names.
Mikado jumped right off the motorbike and ran to Masaomi, who was covered in blood.
Celty, too, watched on with mixed feelings washing over her heart.
- What is all this......
- What.....is.....all this......
Shinra had called her saying, "Anri-chan ran out of the apartment after she saw some message on her cell phone......I'm running after her right now......I think she's heading for the abandoned factory. I don't think I can stop her......breathe, I need to breathe.....she's fast! So fast! Anri-chan is so ridiculously fast!" So Celty had Mikado sit at the back of her motorbike and made for the abandoned factory right away.
As the motorbike soared on the road she showed Mikado her PDA -
[Are you ready to accept what she is, even if she's something you would hate to see?]
Celty had expected them to see the Yellow Turbans led by the Masaomi boy facing off with Anri wielding her katana -
- which was why she took Mikado here in the first place......but what exactly was happening here?
Wasn't Masaomi the leader of Yellow Turbans? How come he had been attacked by his own fellow Yellow Turbans?
"She was right......this is indeed the last thing I want to see......."
Mikado muttered to himself as he saw what Masaomi looked like right now.
Why Masaomi had been attacked by Yellow Turbans, and why Anri was here with a katana in her hand -
He had a million questions to ask.
As did the other two.
The Yellow Turbans.
These three images almost, almost surfaced in their respective minds - but were blown away the moment they looked into each other's eyes.
All the information that had been flowing between them -
All the suspicions they had towards each other -
Those no longer mattered.
Right now, all they wished was for each other to be safe and sound.