Part 2: Before Rize’s raid on the Aqua centre 20th ward
Silently I had left the café after waving at the poor thing by the window, his smile serving as a reminder of a meal for the future. However contrary to what other ghouls believe about me, I genuinely do enjoy reading. Be it reading classical novels, horror or even something more light hearted, reading is as much a part of me as my gluttonous nature. Perhaps that is what makes me so attractive to that boy?
Spotting his novel and it being the same one as mine was surprising, I do admit, for it seemed odd that someone who looks so innocent would enjoy the nature and atmosphere provided by Takatsuki Sen. I would explain my fascination with the works of that woman being caused by the so called depravity I experience in my own daily life. Despite the jovial tone of voice and the sarcastic nature my ‘real’ persona adopts, I do genuinely wonder what I am going to do next. For my world is that of survival, as I had, in my life, step on a decent amount of toes…
Yet in the 20th ward, a place of safety, security and sustenance, I chuckle out loud, oblivious to my surroundings due to the pointless nature of my laughter. I’ve always had a soft voice, and while it’s intimidating factor was close to none, I do have quite the reputation to back up my lack of physically imposing qualities.
Suddenly I bump into someone, mainly because of my lack of attention directed at the path in front of me. My attempt to keep my façade and apologise was, however, curtly decapitated and bisected by the identity of the one whom I crashed into.
“Yoshimura san,” I stated quietly.
“Rize san” he replied curtly as if on queue, “What brings you here at such an early hour?” he questioned with a curious expression.
Personally I had always thought his power and wisdom were top notch, if not held back by his compassionate nature. “I was simply getting a snack after a cup of coffee,” I remarked innocently, trying to end the conversation that was most likely going to make me waste time.
“Need I remind you of the rules we have in the 20th ward, Rize-san?” Yoshimura pressed, attempting to make me reconsider my current plans. I however had every intention of following through with my arrangements, and I hate it when someone tries to interrupt my food and me.
However, despite my smug and superior mental attitude, I realise that in a fight, I stand no chance against the old man. Instead I merely nodded and promised that I would prevent investigators from linking any of this to the 20th ward ghoul community, trying to sound as pleasant as possible, perhaps to appease. To be perfectly honest, I had every intention of honouring the agreement, for even I admit that I am given some leeway. Especially when I took feeding grounds from some of the bottom feeders of the ward…
Yoshimura simply bowed and left curtly, mirroring his own arrival.
He is strong. Stronger than any ghoul I have ever seen, yet for some reason even when I break their rules, I am merely given a slap on the wrist, a warning of sorts, perhaps? I smile slightly at the thought, as moving from ward to ward for most of my life had made me realise that the strong devour the weak, yet here in the 20th the tables are flipped.
As I kept walking toward my destination, I spotted another frequenter of the 20th feeding grounds. “Hello, Nishiki-san,” I said to the passing young man, the expression of disdain on his face the most exquisite I’ve seen from a simple minded man like him. He merely kept walking pretending my remark and I didn’t exist.
A pang of annoyance did strike me at his rudeness, for even when robbing him of the feeding grounds I did have a pleasant smile adorning my features. Especially when considering his pitiful attempt at fighting me is considered. For all the talk he talks, he really does have to try harder to back it up in front of others.
My kagune twitched in excitement at my memory of its use, and while I never considered myself un-killable, I am no push over, especially in a ward like the 20th. The only ones who could beat me, I am quite pleasant to, if I would say so myself.
The sky becoming darker was a calming sign for me, as soon I wouldn’t have to hide my hunger for that much longer. As everything around does smell exquisite, almost taking on an aroma with a sentience, goading me closer and drifting away as if to temper with my patience, I pout to no one, trying to masquerade my hunger as annoyance and frustration for the humans around me.
One thing I did learn about those we eat is: they are perceptive, well a lot of them anyway. The amount of times I had to silence a witness or move from a ward is a testament to that. A ghoul’s hunger can divulge their identity, and my voracious appetite could potentially be that much more dangerous. I mentally breathe, as my kakugan was a sliver away from being activated in the middle of a crowd.
“How are you going to spend your weekend?” said a young blonde teen, certainly quite ditzy in appearance.
“Yes, honey, yes I’m coming home tonight. It’s been a busy day. Yes I know, goodbye,” another one of the noises one usually drowns out.
Resolving to eavesdrop for an opportunity to eat, as I had foolishly not made any plans in the area for the time being. I adopt a friendly smile, to misdirect those paying closer attention to their surroundings. A sort of airiness, which you would expect of a movie love interest, yet I mentally berate myself for such a silly comparison as it seemed unrealistic. As if I could find the person or time for love, I scoff.
While I am physically attractive, a feminine air that has been practiced for the attraction of the simpler romantic urges and physical urges, I have always been curious of ghoul love and attraction. Having witnessed human love and attraction with young couples roaming the streets, even now, as I turn my head and observe a passionate hug coupled with a charming and erotic smile from the woman in question in front of a bus stop bound for the 11th.
I merely continued pacing past the relatively astute buildings of the area, temporarily shutting out my thoughts as I searched for the tower that was my destination. Perhaps it’s my feel for aesthetics, or my love for the colours that I chose this place for tonight; the vivid colours and bright lights match the temperament of my hunger.
I pause as I approach the elevator leading to the upper floors, following a woman whose bland appearance almost drives me crazy. It is as if she does not realise how utterly normal she is, this fact driving my disdain for this human even further. A more practical side of mine urged me to take the next elevator, or even the stairs; a single stray camera would perhaps be my undoing. Yet the hunger dictated that I follow her into the elevator.
The excitement and lack of control is so exquisite, it’s what ghouls experience and yet to me, each time it feels different. The world smells fresher, the blood gains a certain aroma. The muscles and their twitches serve to excite, however what many enjoy the most is: the anguish. The first bite is always the best, for they are always alive for it, the struggle for life as they attempt to break free. I then realised that in my daze, I had already navigated toward the stairs.
“My practical nature gaining victory over my hunger for once,” I playfully stated for no one specific, as I set out to climb the seemingly endless path. By the end of it, my exhilaration and exaltation being the only thing driving me forward, almost haughtily I straighten my ruffled clothes.
Swinging the door open, I observed as the woman was just standing there. Perhaps I would think about her purposeless visit after I had finished devouring her. Always nice to reflect on your meal, silently I approached her from behind. Once directly behind her I whispered, “Thank you for the meal”.
My kagune instantly materialised as that particular excitement spread from the base of my spine and outwards. Her first scream had never left her mouth, I could feel it muffle and die out as I bit into her trachea; quite the delicious feeling. Instantly the appendages of mine tore into her limbs and pulled, instantly dismembering her dying body.
I was careful, however, to keep the aorta undamaged, for the warm blood spilling out from that massive artery was far too exquisite to pass up on. However my impatience soon got the better of me as I tore it open and let the contents flow into my open mouth. My smile grew and grew as I managed to sneak in grins in between bites.
“I guess they weren’t exaggerating when they called you a binge eater,” said a familiar voice as I heard a crack.
My annoyance had gotten the better of me as I stopped. “You know, I hate it when people interrupt me during a meal.” My annoyance perhaps wasn’t at the interruption; instead it was at the lack of possibility to continue my meal.
Jason, a ghoul I had met before in my time roaming the 13th. A distasteful ghoul, never taught not to play with his food; for often it is so broken that it ends up being inedible.
That particular train of thought was interrupted by a soft whirling sound, almost too faint to hear in the presence of the repugnant brute, while he rambled on incessantly about his mission being to take me in alive. Alive? I wonder why?
That being besides the point as he merely dashed toward me skipping all of the previous formalities, while muttering something which I no longer deemed attention worthy.
“Help myself to… even a leg.”
He was fast, too fast for a beast his size. Yet I had the positional preparation, reflexively I stabbed at the aquarium just as he had reached me, before instantly elevating myself onto the platform above. But not before I grabbed the giant tweezers he was grasping with the excitement of a child.
He did, of course, have to pay for interrupting my meal…
Note: yes I know in the anime and manga she ate multiple people in the Aqua centre, and I admit she is slightly OOC. However this is how I attempt to characterise her and display her as more than 1 dimensional, I will try to incorporate all of the traits we have established about her, but I will attempt to explore her further. For the intimacy gained from eating one person seems to be a better way of showing her madness and gluttony. Especially when contrasting it with her soft-spoken nature, even when she is being snarky and hurtful in the anime toward Kaneki (in his mind). I’d like to think that those are Ishida Sui’s hints to us about her personality, as despite her amazing ambiguity and we only get about 20 minutes of her in the whole series…
PS: Thank you to those people who followed or added this to favorites. I honestly feel that much more motivated thanks to the encouraging comments. Like I said before, constructive criticism is really good way of helping me improve my writing and making it more fun for you guys to read.