Back to Business
Sunday, October 7th 2063
Tatsu Jin used the entirety of his weekend thinking about his business trip. He communicated with a multitude of his contacts to make it happen. He had a lot of trouble convincing his acquaintance in the military to turn a blind eye. Regarding the Elite Magic Academy, the work due this week had been delivered alongside his official authorization to leave the premises.
But above all else, one thing weighed heavily on his mind. He needed to have a serious discussion with Yumi and Mia. Leaving them alone for a whole week while so close to the tournament would be tough for the team.
Without thinking about it too much, Tatsu Jin messaged and invited them to his apartment for a special meeting at 1 PM. In the meantime, he prepared a few refreshments and organized his thoughts on how he was going to deliver this hard piece of news.
Three minutes after the clock hit four, Mia and Yumi knocked on his door and were let in by their host. The transfer students offered the young ladies seats on the couch while he himself sat in a chair facing them. Because Yumi already knew something was up, and she took the initiative while drinking a sip of tea.
– Summoning us to your apartment… It must be quite important.
– I’m leaving the academy for a whole week.
He decided that there was no real good way to break the news, which resulted in his harsh behavior.
Yumi and Mia chuckled on their drinks and had similar reactions depending on their own understanding of who was the transfer student. On one hand, Mia was clearly upset but accepted it silently. However, Yumi remained calm and analyzed the situation and the circumstances of his decision.
– Are you answering the call of duty?
This took Mia quite by surprise, who looked at her two teammates with puzzlement.
Tatsu Jin waited a few seconds to give his answer, which was enough for Yumi to know he was hiding something.
– Not really. This is private and personal business. I am going away with the academy’s official authorization. You need not worry about my situation. I trust you two to take training seriously, even on your own. Keep up the good work and I’ll probably see you next Monday.
Mia, who sat silently confused until now, jumped in on their conversation.
– Are the two of you up to something? Why am I the only one in the dark here?
– I assure you there is nothing that Yumi knows that you don’t yourself know.
He had to resort to a white lie in order to avoid dealing with this tricky situation. Obviously, he was caught by Yumi, who did not seem to care too much about it.
Tatsu Jin explained what kind of specific training he wanted the two of them to undergo. Mia, especially, needed to build some confidence in her own capabilities. Afterward, Yumi and Mia left his apartment, wishing him good luck for next week, although disappointed in not knowing why he was leaving.
To make sure his teammates had backup, the transfer student messaged Eleanor and asked her to take care of them from the shadows. Of course, the Illusion Contractor accepted without reserves as it was just part of her work here.
With everything out of the way,
he was finally able to get back to Master of All Magic’s business.
At around 5:40 PM, the Master of All Magic’s GLASS vibrated, signaling an incoming message.
He had been sent an address to stay for the night in Yokohama, on Minato Mirai-Ōdori Boulevard. After confirming the reception of the text, he started to change into the exact same masking clothes that he used on his first day of class. Bringing the hood on his face, he already looked like a fugitive.
The Master of All Magic hesitated in front of his open vault whether to bring any weapons with him before deciding not to. For most situations, his own magic was deadly and convenient enough. In addition, he wondered if the Arcane-Class artifact should be stored in his vault. However, as he had trouble parting with such an exceptional item, he decided to keep it with him at all times.
With all that done, he was finally ready to order a self-driving pod for his travel to Yokohama. He waited a few minutes near the Academy’s entrance for the self-driving pod to arrive. Without any luggage to store, the Master of All Magic took place in the vehicle, which started to accelerate towards the Kanto region.
The Japanese real-estate business that owned this building in Yokohama had roots in all regions of Japan: Kyushu, Shikoku, Kansai, Chubu, Kanto, Tohoku, Hokkaido, Kansai, and Chugoku. It even had some assets in key international places on all six continents, including Antarctica.
While it was a classic real-estate company, it worked as the perfect cover for the Master of All Magic’s activities.
In fact, the Absolute Trinity member was one of its two founders. Alongside his associate, who had long since then deserved to be an owner of a Coin of Knowledge, they funded and operated the company. The entirety of the money he provided came from the first deals he made as the Master of All Magic.
His associate was the company’s Chief Executing Officer, who supervised everything. He was the only one who truly knew what this company was really about. So, the Master of All Magic had been using this fully established and full-proof process for a long time without being compromised.
The official real estate business hid its real purpose well. It had business offices, agencies, workers, officers, official documents, and even external investors. However, this company acquired a few key pieces of real estate to accommodate the Master of All Magic and his clients.
Of course, there were no proofs these meetings ever happened, and these houses or apartments were sold soon after a done deal. The company always tried to make a profit out of these transactions, but a small loss was acceptable according to its CEO. After all, the value created by the Master of All Magic was extremely important to the whole Japanese society.
In 2068, the real-estate business was very lucrative because of how rare space was on the planet, especially around big cities. With thirteen billion people worldwide to accommodate, real-estate companies were mainly digging underground to provide shelters for people. This fact made cities way more vertical than a couple of decades ago. Finding a building naturally bathed in sunlight to live within was becoming harder and harder, and incredibly expensive.
On the other side, technological advancements made the business very volatile. Anyone could submit a buying or renting application, that could be accepted or denied in a couple of minutes. The abundance of data and processing power basically allowed someone to buy an apartment and sell it off for a profit in the same hour, without even seeing the estate’s owner and the new buyer.
This was part of how the Master of All Magic was covering his main activities.
While in the middle of his trip, the Master of All Magic noticed that another self-driving pod was following him from a safe distance. After thinking about it for a while, he decided that the best course of action would be to use Yokohama’s city environment to lose his pursuers. If needed, he could even use some magic to make it even more difficult to find him.
When the Master of All Magic entered Yokohama, his pursuers were still behind him. He then suddenly canceled the ride, got out of the vehicle, and started to run towards an avenue filled with people. As he expected, two men in suits were tailing him. Unfortunately for the Master of All Magic, their legs were cybernetically enhanced, which allowed them to close the distance.
Although they ran faster, their objective suddenly reached a dark alley and disappeared from sight for around fifteen seconds.
For a magician of the Master of All Magic’s caliber, that time frame was more than enough. He launched Concealment Magic, Invisibility Magic, and one other spell to increase his athleticism. He had also specifically chosen that alley for the lack of Magic Detectors in sight.
The two men in suits reached the alley, only to find it completely empty. Their target had completely vanished from existence, which comforted them in the idea that magic had been used. To verify this assumption, one of them took out a tiny Magic Detector and turned it on.
Something was wrong with his detector, which, in his opinion, could betray a default of fabrication. Still, the machine was adamant, there were not enough signs to say that Magic had been used here. With defeat on their faces, they went back the way they came.
In the meantime, the one they were following was continuing on, jumping from balcony to balcony on residential buildings. He was looking for a place to overview the splendor of Yokohama. When he arrived at a roof, he took ten minutes to admire the beauty that a night in this city was.
Over a few decades, Yokohama had raised to a city with high standing without losing its power in business attraction. In addition, it refused to follow the trend of megalopolises like Paris or Los Angeles, which completely succombed to extravagance.
The multiple mayors of Yokohama had worked together for over thirty years, implementing regulations on new technologies and never losing sight of the big picture. They wanted Yokohama to remain an incredible landscape, flirting with elegance and modernity. It also implemented a rule forcing a mandatory amount of space to trees and greenery, which added a real flair to its look.
In his opinion, the look Yokohama went for made it one of the nicest looking and modern cities on the planet. Mixing white concrete, borderless glass, greeneries, and a good number of pools and water attractions, it was indeed registered on many guides as one of the best towns to visit.
The Master of All Magic was also a huge fan of the city’s policy on holographic advertisements. As a matter of fact, commercial billboards were only allowed at night and followed a particular color code to blend with the city’s aesthetic.
Even the Master of All Magic had a hard time turning away from such a sight.
(This is what Humanity can do with a bit of teamwork and vision. Absolutely astonishing. I saw pictures of what it was forty years ago, and I just cannot believe it…)
The Master of All Magic sat there, watching over the city’s activity for half an hour.
Then, he got down from this building and entered a line to a Yakisoba street seller. It was starting to be late and even one of the most powerful magicians on Earth still needed to eat. After paying with a card transfer, he waited for his dish to be served to make his way towards Minato Mirai-Ōdori Boulevard.
Using the digital card he had been sent, the Master of All Magic entered the house. It was a perfect mix of traditional Japanese architecture, mixed with a slightly modern touch. It was not equipped with the latest technologies in terms of housekeeping and entertainment, but he did choose to not sleep in anything fancy.
After eating his dinner, the magician set up the security system and walked up to his bedroom.
One thing he was not going to miss out on was a hot shower after such a tiring day of planning. He used that opportunity to brainstorm about what organizations or individuals could possibly be trailing Tatsu Jin. In his eyes, he made too many mistakes with his behavior at the Academy. There were indeed a lot of people who would want to take a peek at who he really was.
Still, he waved off the thought and fell asleep almost instantly on his bed.
Later that night, the Archbishop was taking a rest on her private quarters back at the Elite Magic Academy when on her GLASS suddenly rang. She jumped off her bed, sat on a desk chair, and took the call. An apologetic masculine voice made its way to her ears.
– Boss, it’s us. We lost him.
Instantly, the Archbishop hang up and, with the GLASS in her hand, a corner smile rose on her face.
Monday, October 8th 2063
That morning, the Master of All Magic wondered whether or not he should follow up on his usual routine. Because someone tried to have Tatsu Jin followed, he decided not to risk it and remained inside the house. In addition, he was also waiting for a special delivery.
After eating a slight breakfast with what was available, he sat down on the grey carpeted floor and started meditating. For a long moment, he remained in that position and did not move a muscle. Still, this was a special meditating session. For the first time in a really long time, he tried to push himself harder than usual and sweat ran down his forehead. Inside his body, an absurd quantity of Ether was flowing at an extreme speed, which was extremely tiring.
The Master of All Magic was hitting a bottleneck. Going further was possible, but the application to battle would be limited.
(How did the wielder of the Arcane Magic get around that problem? We have limits as human beings, our ability to sustain this energy is limited. After analyzing the artifact, I am certain that I could not master the Arcane Magic with my current state…)
The automated sound of a doorbell brought him back to reality. He opened the door to a delivery man, who saluted him with a smile. After being paid, he used his electro-magnetic floating cart to bring the wooden crate inside the house before going back to his vehicle, never to be seen again.
In fact, while most opted for delivery systems using drones, this one was doing it the old fashion way. Real humans took care of delivering these packages. As drone delivery companies tended to heavily rely on data, this company was guaranteeing complete anonymity and discretion.
The Master of All Magic was finally able to get inside of his weapon cache. Inside it laid multiple enchanted weapons, a few gadgets like a portable EMP Machines, hand-crafted miniature drones for discretion and reconnaissance, and many others…
The powerful magician was so disappointed to witness the absence of flash and smoke grenades from the 2000’s era. These had seriously been the two most useful gadgets he had ever fought with. A slight change in their composition made these powerful weapons of lies, deception, and diversion.
The Master of All Magic picked a light shortsword enchanted with Fire Tempest Magic and swung it. He looked at it with pity, comparing its composition with the new alloy, but still attached it to his back belt with the miniature drone. Whatever the job was, reconnaissance would probably be necessary.
Now that he had decided what kind of equipment to keep, he closed the crate once again. His business would be taking care of its shipping and storing before finally selling the place.
The final green light for his meeting was supposed to arrive just after noon, but the Master of All Magic finally received it around 5 PM.
Yokohama Landmark Tower.
Digital Key attached to this message.
The Yokohama Landmark Tower, which was literally a five-minute walk from the house he was currently in, made it really convenient.
For a long time, the Landmark Tower’s highest floors were taken by a high-end hotel. However, private investors bought its holding company a decade ago, transforming these floors to create multiple apartments to sell. One of these, numbered 584 was just bought by the Master of All Magic’s business to cover his upcoming meeting.
At 7 PM, the Master of All Magic put on his masking clothes and took his time to reach the Yokohama Landmark Tower. He entered it with the Digital Key and made sure to avoid looking at security cameras inside of it. Using an elevator to get up to the 58th floor, he wasted no time and entered Apartment 584.
Filled with fancy and expensive furniture, this apartment was closer to an art gallery than a place to live in. The Master of All Magic, who would never accept to live in this kind of environment, found it perfect for a meeting with an upper-class client.
He removed his masking clothes and stored them in a drawer, only wearing his usual black reinforced top, jogging pants, and boots.
Now, he was channeling the Ether inside his body to launch Item Summoning Magic. Out of thin air appeared his famous coat alongside his usual mask and scepter, completing his transformation into the Master of All Magic. The young magician also decided to summon his two enchanted rings as a precaution. He was not expecting a fight, but he was used to overpreparing. All he currently had to do was cast Invisibility Magic and wait for his client to show up. He liked to do that to give himself time to analyze his clients’ behaviors before revealing himself.
An hour of waiting later, three men entered the apartment. The Master of All Magic instantly recognized his associate and set his gaze on the second one.
He was a fine young man with a Japanese profile and an attitude that betrayed a good education. On the other side, the third man had a typical European figure and wore two rings with runes on it. It did not take long for the invisible man to understand that the third person would probably be the one teaching him a new spell.
It was finally the time to reveal himself, so the Master of All Magic released his spell and struck the ground with his scepter, announcing his presence.
– What a fine night this is for business… gentlemen.
The young Japanese man jumped out of surprise. He took a second to calm himself and remembered who was in front of him. Bowing and introducing himself, he was nervous to be in the presence of the most respected and feared Magician on the planet.
– My name is Kaito Shinka, legal heir of the Shinka Group, one of the most known nanotechnology businesses out there. Happy to make your acquaintance.
– The pleasure… is all mine.
– I have nothing but respect for what you are doing for this country, especially regarding magic knowledge.
– The story… about my link with the National Library… was fabricated out of thin air.
Let’s get down to business… shall we? I see that time is… of the essence here.
While it seems like the Master of All Magic did not care at all about this story which felt like gossip, the reality was completely different. He was seriously cursing the Magic Theory teacher, who really did a lot of damage. It did not prevent him from still actively listening to his client’s request.
– Yes… business.
Kaito Shinka started to move around the room while explaining his request, ending in front of the huge window that had a beautiful view over a decent part of Yokohama.
– My late father passed away a couple of weeks ago, leaving his heritage and the leadership of the family business onto my hands. However, the butler I spent my whole life with, and whom I trusted with all my being, betrayed me.
He abused my trust and made me sign a paper that transferred all my father’s assets to him. Of course, at that time, I trusted him enough to sign it without even looking at it. That decision I now deeply regret, and I want to go back to how things were.
He now owns my assets, my fortune, and most importantly, my father’s company. I want it back. I don’t care much about assets and money, but I want to protect my father’s company. This business was built from the ground up by my father, who never accepted external investors. It was his dream to show the whole world that everyone could take on the stars with the sweat from their backs. I don’t want his dream to go to waste.
However, what he did not account for was our connections, who did not disappear with a simple contract. Here is Jake, a friend of mine from England, who is ready to part with his unique Magic spell to help me write my wrongs.
The Master of All Magic’s eyes slowly drifted away to the man called Jake.
– What kind of Magic do you intend… to teach me?
– Actions speak louder than words.
With a riddle as an answer, Jake started to channel Ether from his two rings to activate a Magic spell. One could almost feel the huge amount of concentration required before activating the spell. Suddenly, the bodyguard relaxed all his body and started to speak.
– Do you hear me?
– Oho… telepathy? That’s cool… How does it work basically? Not asking for the full method… just a brief snippet.
– It’s a Master Class spell that manipulates soundwaves and creates different channels, so that two people could exchange words without being heard by others. It’s not telepathy… but it can still be pretty useful. I am ending our private conversation here.
– I see…
Kaito Shinka turned his face towards the Master of All Magic after having received the signal from his friend. The young Japanese man looked straight into his potential savior’s eyes and asked him the final question.
– Do you accept the contract?
– Yes… What would you have me do?
– Even though I want him humiliated and stripped of all dignity, I just cannot bring myself to wish for his death. Make him sign these papers that are giving me back my assets before humiliating him. Your way will be our way, I trust your judgment on that, I’m practically too much of a coward to enquire about his fate.
The Master of All Magic was now focused on learning about his target’s whereabouts.
– Where is he at the moment?
– He traveled to Chile to meet one of our competitors, interested in acquiring some of my father’s company. Our network suggests that the accord should be signed next Monday. We must stop him before that happens. You should have already received a full report on what we know so far.
Kaito Shinka hesitated to say something, but finally gave in.
– Last warning though. Now that he has my assets and fortune at his disposal, nothing prevents him from contracting powerful magicians to defend himself.
– Roger that… It’s time to go our separate ways now… Good night gentlemen…
Kaito Shinka and his friend Jake bid their farewell before exiting the apartment. The only one left was the Master of All Magic and his associate, who started the conversation.
– Did your contact at the military agree to look away for a couple of days?
– He did not have… much of a choice. As usual, should damages come by… they will put the blame… on a gas leak or something.
When his associate was about to leave the apartment, the Master of All Magic didn’t forget to compliment him and his team.
– Ren, I must say… very good choice of meeting location… Yokohama is beautiful.
– Even you can appreciate the beauty of such a city! I’ll take your compliment and congratulate my team. Your International Teleporter and place to stay in Chile are already booked for tonight, so you should probably go now…
– Thanks, as always… Ren…
When Ren went on his way, the Master of All Magic sent his official attire back to the storage cell it came from. Putting on his masking clothes, he was now ready to make his way to Yokohama station.
The magician responsible for the illegal International Teleporting service was already waiting for him.
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