30 minutes later, Russian Sushi, Ikebukuro
"Speaking of which......I really want her chocolate."
Said the man who had just been chatting with his love in his apartment.
"That's not something you talk about in a sushi bar......"
The one who replied was a man in a bartender suit and sunglasses.
One would easily mistake him for a waiter, but he was actually a customer too. Sitting next to the guy in the white coat, he was eating egg sushi.
"True love knows no borders, and my desire for her Valentine's chocolate knows not what kind of restaurant I'm in. If only I could get Valentine's chocolate from my love.....if she had even made it herself......even if it's only chocolate sushi with bars of chocolate on vinegar and rice! Oh, just picture, the East meets the West in a single Valentine's gift......"
He had to stop at this.
A loud bang sounded as his head was threatened by immense pressure.
"Don't make me picture something like that......!"
"Wait, wait, calm down, Shizuo! My skull's cracking! And the bones in my neck ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!"
The next second, however, a huge hand grabbed the hand of the man in the bartender suit.
"Oh, Shizuo, it's no good. If you squeeze, the young doctor's head is going to burst. It's gonna be redder than red rice when it bursts. You can't make sushi with that. Eat, eat, eat sushi."
The black man who stood there was over two meters tall.
"Many sushi bars serve chocolate sundae as desserts. So when you talk about chocolate in a sushi bar, talk about chocolate, not sushi. Eat, eat, eat sushi."
The huge guy smiled as he talked in funny Japanese.
Shizuo pondered this for a moment -
"......You're right, they do have desserts in a lot of sushi bars."
And with that he let go of the head of the man in the white coat as if everything in the world seemed all right to him again.
The man in white fell back into his chair as his body was released from mid-air.
"Geez, that hurts a lot......Shizuo, I think all the calcium that should have helped your nervous system function has been allocated to your bones instead. Anyway......she doesn't eat a lot, so I haven't really brought her here or anywhere for dinners yet. But I'll introduce her to you when I get the chance, Simon."
"Oh. You have someone you like. It is good. When the boss brings his mistress, we earn extra profit. Food is better when you eat it with everybody. Bring your wife and mistress here, no problem."
"I don't think food would necessarily taste better in that kind of situation."
"Too bad that I will only love her and no one else. So I probably can't bring my mistress here."
As Shinra said that with a madly-in-love expression on his face, a plate of sushi covered with something that looked like transparent black pearls was placed in front of him.
"......What is this, Sir? Rice with toppings?"
Shinra asked the silent white man standing behind the counter.
"......But I didn't ask for it."
The owner of the sushi bar held a cleaver in his hand and replied matter-of-factly.
"This is my way of charging you for nauseating and scaring my other customers and making it difficult for me to make money. I made three servings. Eat them all."
" - At any rate, just by sitting here in that kind of clothing you're making it look like my place's being inspected by the Health Bureau or something. That's not conducive to good business."
An apartment in Shinjuku
"God, what a mean man. All I did was talk about love and chocolate, and he felt like it was a good enough reason to intimidate me. I should have studied more law."
It was a dimly-lit room.
The man in white was crawling up in an expensive-looking sofa as he complained.
The one who was listening was no longer the guy in the bartender suit - instead, it was a young man in brand casual clothing with eyes that looked remarkably sharp.
"An underground doctor says he wants to study more law......I see."
The young man in the black T-shirt said sarcastically.
He reached out his hand for the steel shelves as he asked the man who was dressed in the complete opposite color.
"Whatever. Did you come here in a cab when you're dressed like that?"
"No, I took the Yamanote Line."
"......Whatever. So you want chocolate. And you were overcharged at the sushi bar. Did you come all the way to Shinjuku just to complain to me about these?"
"What could I do? I can only complain to either you or Shizuo."
The young man in black smiled hollowly.
"Do I look like I have a lot of time to kill to you?"
"No. But you, Izaya, and Shizuo are the only friends I've got. Even Shishizaki-sempai hasn't been that close with me recently."
"......I'd rather that you cut your ties with Shizu-chan as soon as you possibly can. And about chocolate....."
Izaya's hollow smile looked more twisted than ever as he handed a flyer to Shinra.
"It's made by an old chocolate factory in Germany. They have a pretty curious trademark design with a succubus on it. Rumor has it that it's got the magical power to capture your dream man - it's now a bestseller throughout Japan, it seems."
"Hmm - well, there are global coffee shop chains out there with sirens on their trademarks. But a succubus is still pretty new."
"It entered the Japanese market last year. Urban legend among high school girls says it works like aphrodisiac - turns the recipient immediately into your love slave or something like that......it's got no effect of that sort, of course."
"But you never know. Rumors are out there for a reason. Maybe a real succubus is behind this whole chocolate business."
Izaya laughed as Shinra said with a serious face.
"Really, for a black-market doctor you do dream a lot of the impossible......but I am very sure that the rumors about this chocolate are completely unfounded."
"Because I started them."
"......I knew it."
Izaya continued undisturbed as Shinra shook his head looking annoyed.
"Anyhow. You repeat the same lie 100 times and it becomes the truth......that happens a lot. From the men's perspective, it's also pretty gratifying to receive such chocolates from cute girls....so gratifying, in fact, that they probably won't object to becoming their love slaves anyway."
"I suppose you have a point.....but why are you showing me this?"
"Go buy one of those chocolates. I don't know who your girl is, but give it to her and you'll be alright."
Shinra shook his head at Izaya's blatant suggestion.
"But it's not White Day."
"You don't know about it? It's called 'reverse chocolate giving'. It's actually pretty popular for boys to give girls chocolates for Valentine's nowadays."
"Yeah. Although it has yet to become a nationwide trend. Or......"
Izaya paused for a moment here and resumed talking with a sly smile on his face.
"Is your love so weak as to be still bound by the stupid tradition that says only girls can give boys chocolates on Valentine's?"
Shinra fell into deep thought for a few seconds at Izaya's jeering remark. Then -
He nodded with a highly refreshing smile that proved hard to be commented on.