Oh. Oh, that was nice. No, that was great. That was exactly what anyone trying to light a cigarette on foot in the city needed. A nice gust of wind followed by a sudden spell of rain. Beautiful.
Sure, the skies were gloomy and grey - that was half the reason he decided to walk to get a fresh pack, one tucked safely in his jacket pocket. Hagiri looked up, sneering as he cursed the sky. Cigarette held betwixt his left thumb and index finger, pointing downward with the flame facing his body - or rather his his wrist, hand clawed to shield the precious commodity. A native brand he was assured held the most burly and robust tobaccos found in Japan. It wasn’t bad: the filter was different - better, in the sense that it seemed healthier; the taste was close, but certainly not his first choice.
No, his first choice was still being shipped and Hagiri had sorely overestimated how long the last carton would last him. Likely because he was still in Japan. Since the seventeenth of February. February. That was a vacation! All he had was local work. Security for this figure head, a refuse seeking terrorist or three hiding in Okinawa, and underground gig of which he was notified that actually held his interest. One individual with enough intelligence to start a “donation drive” minus the murderous details. Concerned citizens rallying for the safety of dogs stolen for shady gambling. Sickening more than shady to Hagiri. He instructed the man to donate the money to a shelter or two, his skills were not cheap and he’d rather do the job for free. The paper two days later had a nice feature on both the disposal of men running a dog fighting ring and a shelter saved by an anonymous donor. Gratifying as that may be, he was itching. Skin crawling. The same country for over a month. A month.
No jet-setting adventures. No foreign cigarette brands to try or treat himself to in a familiar country - he saved the front of foreign packs in a card binder, detailed review on the back in whatever language he used in that area. It was good to know what to buy. Shame cigarette journalism wasn’t a realistic job option.
Hagiri was wet, bitter, and stagnant even as he walked the city blocks. Not a single overhead under which to stand either. “The slings and arrows in the life of Sniper,” he grumbled, huffing a sigh before a long drag. A convenience store eight blocks away was not that convenient in the rain. All hi internal whining had sent him a scant two blocks closer to home. It could have been his pessimism (which he ardently denied, it was just a damn glass - drink the water or break it; who cares?), perhaps it was a hunch, but something made the man say, “It’s going to get worse, isn’t it?” taking the sudden storm as a bad omen while shaking his head.
“That would depend on your definition of worse.” I had fallen into step with him several blocks back, having noticed him pass me on the street. I had taken to the rooftops of course, so it would not surprise me if he hadn’t noticed me following him. In absolute truth, I wasn’t certain why I was walking after him, let alone doing it in such a sneaky manner. More than likely, it was a combination of my own boredom and the realization that his face was familiar yet I did not know him. I realized I had the time, and I had the curiosity. Those were enough to justify following after him.
The words left my lips almost as soon as my feet touched down on the pavement, only a few inches away from the wall on Sniper’s right against which I ended up leaning. I slid my eyes over the human’s body, a slight smirk tugging at the corner of my mouth. I remembered him now, I knew why he looked so familiar. He had something to do with the detective and his friend, though I wasn’t completely certain what. His had not been a face I remembered coming across in my mirror, but it was ultimately his face that really made me approach him. I’d always had an interest in pretty faces, especially male ones. Human or demon, they’d always been good for a night of entertaining myself, be it with their screams or their moans.
I wrinkled my nose at the cigarette in-between his fingers, disapproving of the thing. Not only did its stench assault my sensitive nose, but it was like asking for an early death. I knew humans were stupid, but this was a new level of stupidity. What was worse was that it had spread to the demon realm as well. I’d banned the disgusting things in my own city, but I still had to deal with it every time I visited places like Gandara, where they were common place. The only thing that made me willing to deal with his addiction and still approach him was that the skies called for rain, and rain always washed away the stench.
That was why I loved thunder storms. They got were always an advantage and provided me with ample fuel to take care of a problem, be it by ridding the air of a cigarette’s smell, or give me the strength to deal with the more persistent of my enemies. I could call out my own storms, but natural ones always held a greater amount of power that I could use for myself.
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