Rin woke with a start, memories slowly coming back to him.
He was chasing down Shima and Izumo when Mephisto stopped him because they’re too weak to take on the Illuminati. He then chased down the helicopter in a fit of rage, but then Yukio knocked him out.
Rin looked to see Yukio at his desk doing paperwork.
“Yukio! What happened? Was that all a dream? Is Izumo safe? What about Shima?” Rin asked his twin brother, Yukio just stared at him.
Rin’s eyes slowly grew in realization.
“Listen Rin, I know you have good intentions. Trust me, I’d do the same if I were in your position.” Rin looked at Yukio in confusion. Wondering what would come out of his mouth next. “But Izumo and the Illuminati have nothing to do with us, so stop talking about it.”
He shuffled the papers, lining them up neatly before heading out of the room. Rin gave chase.
“What the hell do you mean ‘nothing to do with us?’ She’s one of your students! if anything, you have a greater reason to go after her than anyone in the True Cross Order!” Rin shouted at him.
Yukio kept walking, ignoring what Rin had to say. That’s when Rin shouted something that would surely get his attention.
“Shiro would have saved her!”
Yukio stopped in his tracks and turned towards Rin.
There was a sudden, heavy aura of hostility coming from his brother. It made him shudder.
“Of course, you would pull the Father Fujimoto card.” Yukio spat, then left. Leaving Rin just standing there in utter shock of his brother.
A few minutes later, Rin retreated into his room and laid on his bed. Kuro came up to him to try and provide comfort, but Rin simply patted his head in response.
‘If only I could do something for Izumo.’ He thought.
It had been about 4 weeks since Shima took Izumo away.
Rin had been depressed constantly and he didn’t know why. Was it because of betrayal from Shima? Or maybe it was because Izumo was the first one to accept him for his identity and now she’s gone. He honestly couldn’t think straight.
That was until someone threw a piece of chalk at his face.
“Snap out of it Rin!” Ryuji shouted. He was the one who threw the chalk.
Rin rubbed his head, trying to remember what he was doing. As he looked around, he saw that he was in the cram school classroom with his classmates Ryuji, Konekomaru, and Shiemi.
They haven’t seen Nemu since the attack at the festival. He was probably recovering his wounds from his battle with Shima.
“Mr. Okumura told us to do this study hall while he was on his mission,” Ryuji told him.
Rin sighed, putting his hand to his chin, he couldn’t focus on his studies because Izumo was on his mind.
Wait. Izumo was on his mind?
Why was Izumo on his mind?
He never gave a crap about Izumo until the festival. Rin banged his head on the desk so violently that it shocked his classmates.
“I’m sorry, I just need to get something to eat, I’ll be right back.” Rin got out of his seat and left the classroom.
As Rin headed across one of the bridges to get to the shop, he started to grumble about, what else, Mephisto.
“Stupid clown, and his stupid hat, and his stupid- ARGH!” Rin flailed about trying to think of more insults for Mephisto, to no avail.
He opened the door to the shop and walked inside. It was quite barren, which was surprising; especially for a blistering hot day like this. The only people who were in the building were the nice lady behind the desk, waiting to take his order. And a man holding a newspaper that was written in English. Rin didn’t take note of it and proceeded forward to the counter.
“Oh! Hello Rin, what can I get for you today?” The lady asked with a beaming smile on her face. “Wait, don’t tell me… Another ice cream?”
Rin nodded in response.
Ever since the incident, he became a frequent customer to this place. So the employees knew him by heart.
The lady sighed.
“I know it’s kind of a clichéd way to cope, but if you eat too much ice cream, you’ll get fat! Oh well, One ice cream coming right up!”
Just as she turned around to start making the ice cream, the man holding the newspaper raised his hand and called for her.
“Excuse me, miss? Get me ice cream as well.” He had a smooth British accent, the kind that could convince even an independent woman to drop her panties if she heard it.
Both Rin and the lady at the counter turned towards the man, who had lowered his newspaper to reveal that he had short, messy, brown hair, large framed glasses, and wore a lab coat over a business suit.
“And make mine cherry.”
“Um… Yessir!” The lady instantly began working, as if she was under his spell.
Rin could feel it as well because he couldn’t take his eyes off him. The man then waved to him to get Rin to sit down next to him. Which he obliged.
“So, may I ask who my new friend is?”
Rin gave a confused look. They just met, the hell did he mean by a new friend?
“I’m not supposed to give my name to strangers,” Rin told the man, who looked disappointed.
Just before he was able to retort, the woman brought them their ice cream.
“Ah! You prefer your ice cream in the shape of a popsicle. No?”
Rin nodded at him. Then he looked at the clock on the wall to see what time it was.
“Oh shoot! I’m late!” Rin shot up from his chair, grabbed his ice cream and left the shop, kicking up a cloud of dust in his wake.
The man just sat there twiddling his thumbs. With a deft flick of his hand, he made a call on his HTC smartphone.
“It’s me, have you found the other target?”
“Yes, sir! He was fine with the idea.”
“Good, I’ll get the other one with us, and then we'll be on our way.”
The man then ended the call and looked at the direction Rin ran off to.
“Once we meet again, maybe we won’t be strangers to each other. Rin Okumura.”
Rin opened the door to the classroom, panting with sweat, to see that his classmates were all still studying.
“I’m back!” He told them.
Shiemi stood up in the excitement and waved to him, gesturing to sit next to her. Rin’s mood brightened instantly.
“Are you ready to get back to studying. Rin?” Konekomaru asked as Rin sat down.
He gave a nod with a beaming smile on his face as he pulled out his ice cream.
Unfortunately, people wouldn’t see that smile on his face for a long time.
“You know that looks quite delicious Rin.” All four of the students froze in place as they heard a familiar voice. One that they thought they’d never hear again. “Mind if you share it with me?”
It was Renzo Shima. Now dressed in the Illuminati uniform, standing in the back of the classroom.
The four rushed from their chairs and stood facing towards the intruder.
“Come on now, what’s with the hostility guys? Weren’t we all friends?” Shima asked walking on the classroom desks.
Rin’s hands quickly went for the cover of his sword, the Kurikara and prepared to pull it out.
“You figuratively stabbed us in the back and literally in Izumo’s case!” Ryuji shouted at his old friend. “Why the hell are you even here?”
Shima jumped off one of the desks, with little recoil when he landed.
“Well, I’d thought that I’d like to give you all a little message from one of my commanders. Essentially, what it said is that any attempt to retrieve Izumo Kamiki will; end in utter failure.”
“W-what?” Shiemi asked, confused as the rest of her classmates.
Shima simply rubbed the back of his neck in embarrassment, a gesture they all remember about him.
“Sorry that it doesn’t make sense. It took me a while to figure out what it meant.” Shima then started to make his way out of the classroom. “Anyway, my ride’s waiting. I’ll see you guys, maybe never!”
Just before he touched the door, Rin stopped him.
“You think a simple message will stop us?”
Shima looked back at his old friend.
“Then you don’t know anything about us. Once we graduate, we’ll become the strongest Exorcists this world has ever seen! Then we’ll destroy the entirety of the Illuminati and save Izumo!”
Rin’s classmates nodded their heads in agreement, wearing confident and determined smiles.
Shima gave a simple smirk.
“Oh, well allow me to dispel that Optimism.”
Shima then snapped his fingers and the entire ceiling blasted open. As the four True Cross students used their arms to shield the light from their eyes, they saw a familiar figure.
A female, wearing a Miko Kimono with a floral designed haori coat and a mask that looks like a fox, with the bottom of it removed so they wearer could freely move their mouth.
The oddest thing about her was her white fox ears and nine white foxtails, but Rin’s attention was caught on her long, flowing purple hair.
“Could it be? Izumo?” Rin muttered to himself in disbelief.
He stepped forward to get a closer look, but the female pulled out two closed fans from her sleeves and dropped down into the classroom.
Her speed was insane! Rin couldn’t keep up!
Just as she touched the ground, She dashed behind Rin to stand in front of his classmates.
She met face to face with each of them for only about a second, then dashed away with her back facing towards them. She stretched out her arms to her side and opened her fans.
And suddenly all three of them collapsed on the ground, passed out.
“W-what just happened?” Rin was flabbergasted, it went by so fast that he couldn’t tell what happened.
“What do you think?” Shima said.
Rin couldn’t look in his direction, he was frozen in shock. Shima got up on the desks and walked over to where the woman was.
“It’s a new invention created by us. Essentially, it’s a mask that controls the mind. Even though it’s a prototype, it works well. I’m not a fan of it myself, but anything to get Izumo onto our side.”
It was certain now. The masked woman was Izumo.
“Anyway, it’s time for us to go. See ya Rin!”
Shima stood close to the mind-controlled Izumo. She began to spin around, a flurry of light particles sparked around the duo, and in a flash, they vanished.
Rin was left in the ruined classroom with his unconscious friends on the ground. Rin couldn’t think. Couldn’t plan. What should he do? What could he do? The only thing he could think of was to run.
Rin raced across the campus and went to his dorm, but instead of going inside, he ducked behind the building.
Rin felt like he was worthless.
He couldn’t save Izumo, and now she’s been brainwashed by the Illuminati. A sudden wave of helplessness swelled up within him, and Rin began to cry.
He bawls his eyes out. He slammed his fists against the back wall of the dorm in frustration; not caring about the damage being done to the bones of his hand. After a few swings at the wall, he turned around and slouched next to it, curling into a ball.
This was what he was reduced to, a sniveling wreck.
If Satan could see him, he’d laugh his ass off.
He had been crying for a few minutes now until he heard a set of footsteps approaching and then suddenly stopped. He paused his crying for a moment to look up.
He saw the man at the shop from before, holding out a cherry ice cream.
Rin, despite the only thing he knew about this man, was that he likes cherry ice cream, took it; food always managed to cheer him up. The man then sat down next to him and sucked on the frozen treat.
The man then removed the ice cream from his mouth, a popping noise ringing out as he looked at Rin.
“Aren’t you gonna tell me why you were crying?”
Rin looked at the man then he looked away as he took another lick at his popsicle.
‘Why not tell him, it’s not like he can do anything to help me.’ Rin thought.
“Well first off, my name is Rin Okumura. Sorry I didn’t tell you back at the shop.”
The man nodded in response as Rin continued.
“A few weeks ago one of my classmates, a girl named Izumo Kamiki, was kidnapped and I just now realized that... I can’t do anything to help her.”
The man stared at Rin and adjusted his position to get more comfortable.
“I give you my condolences.” He then patted Rin on the back for support. “I know it’s not my place to ask, but. Who kidnapped her?” He asked, not being courteous in his invasion.
“Promise you won’t laugh?” Rin asked in response.
The man gave a raised eyebrow trying to understand what he meant by it.
“It’s a kidnapping, how can I laugh?”
Rin sighed in relief and then spoke.
“Izumo Kamiki was kidnapped by the Illuminati.” The man’s eyes shot wide open and turned to face Rin.
“Did you say the Illuminati?”
Rin nodded in response.
The man, after a few seconds, started to chuckle which lead to a full hearty laugh. Rin felt ashamed. Of course, this man was laughing, to most, the Illuminati exists only in the world of crack-pot conspiracy theories.
“Well, then you’re in luck, Rin!”
Rin gave the man a confused look.
The man reached inside his lab coat to pull out an ID Card.
“Rin Okumura, I must apologize for not informing you when we first met. My name is Joseph Oswell. I command an organization known as Tarot, named after the twenty-two major arcana of a tarot card deck. Our sole purpose is to defeat the Illuminati and erase its existence from human history.
“And I want you to join us.
“ If that Izumo girl was kidnapped by the Illuminati, then our goals are intertwined.” Joseph extended his hand. “What do you say?”
Rin didn’t even need to think about it.
“I’ll join you.”
Joseph looked surprised.
“Really? You don’t want to have time to think about it?”
Rin suddenly stood in response.
I can’t just stay here and let a friend of mine get tortured by an evil organization and be powerless to stop them because of my superiors.” Rin then grasped Joseph’s hand and gave it a good shake.
A smirk appeared on Joseph’s face.
“Great, get yourself packed, I’ll be out front waiting for you.”
The lab coat-wearing man left the building as Rin dashed passed him to get to the front door of his dorm.
Rin flung open the door to his dorm room, scaring Kuro from his sleep. He grabbed a duffel bag and hurriedly shoved clothes into it. Kuro just stared at him with wide eyes.
“Kuro, sorry for waking you up.”
Rin apologized as he got out a backpack and tossed several items into it.
There were several volumes of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, and a picture of him, Yukio, and Shiro when he was young.
“Listen, I’m going to be gone for a while, maybe even forever. So I want you to take care of yourself okay?”
Kuro made a face to say that he was not happy with Rin’s words. He headbutted his master, like the way Rin headbutted him to knock him to his senses.
“Rin, I want to come with you! I don’t care where you go, I’ll always follow you!”
Rin smiled at his Cait Sith as he let Kuro get up on his shoulders, zipped up his bags, and headed out.
Once Rin was outside, he met up with Joseph again as they headed to their rendezvous point, on one of True Cross Academy’s bridges. There, an albino man in a brown hoodie and camo jeans waited, smoking a cigarette and carrying a black suitcase with a number lock clasped to the front.
“Ah, there you are Judgment!” Joseph said as the white-haired man looked to their direction. “Have you notified our other companion that we’re leaving now?”
The man defined as Judgment blew out a puff of smoke.
“I had Magician do that.” He then handed Joseph the black suitcase and then looked at Rin. “Is this guy The Fool?” He asked.
“What you call me!?” Rin shouted as he grabbed the Kurikara in anger.
Judgment stared at Rin with an annoyed look but before a fight could break out, Joseph stepped in to explain.
“Oh yeah, that’s right! Rin, I’ve had my eye on you for quite a while. You’ve been chosen as Tarot’s ‘The Fool’ Card. Its meaning is beginnings.” Joseph said.
While Rin was taking in all the information, they heard the running of footsteps toward them.
The person had dark skin and was wearing a simple t-shirt and sweatpants with earrings shaped into the infinity symbol.
“Hey guys, I’m back!”
“About damn time. Did you get him?” Judgment asked as he put out his cigarette.
Rin could only assume that the new person was The Magician.
“Yup! And here he is now!” Magician moved out of the way so Rin could see who they were referring to.
And what he saw utterly surprised him.
“Nemu!?” He shouted. “What are you doing here?” The current members of the Tarot turned towards him.
“So you know him? Interesting.” Joseph paused to ponder this turn of events. “Anyway, the man known as Nemu Takara has been chosen as Tarot’s ‘The Moon’ Card, which represents the unknown.”
Rin nodded in understanding.
‘He is quite the enigma’.
As the group walked towards a nearby road with a very large car park next to the sidewalk, Joseph began to lay down the rules of the group.
“Now listen to you two. When we are on missions, you are to address me as "Boss" and to address your colleagues as their Tarot card names. Do you understand?” Rin and Nemu gave a resounding nod. As the group walked up to the car.
“Alright, let’s go!”
And thus, Rin’s Quest to defeat the Illuminati and save Izumo had begun.