1: The Fateful Meeting
On that day, Komai Kento, after attending his friend’s wedding and the afterparty, was walking on the sidewalk at night, carrying a heavy load in both hands. Above his head, the late-March nightscape, with icy transparency like that of ultramarine glass stretched far.
The strings of the paper bags stuffed with presents mercilessly dug into his palms. He thought of mailing it to himself through the convenience store midway, but it was silly to do so from Tokyo, where the ceremony was, to his home in Yokohama, which was less than an hour away. He decided to continue lugging the weight, heading towards the entrance to the subway.
There was a reason why the presents were heavy.
The wedding Kento had attended was between an Alpha and Omega. It was not rare for an Alpha and Omega to get married, however, the two were a ‘Fated Pair’.
It was said that the probability of meeting one’s fated pair in this world was just 0.01 percent. Alphas and Omegas waited eagerly to meet their fated pair in this world but despite that, their dreams would never be fulfilled, and they would marry an Alpha or Omega who wasn’t their fated partner; and in some cases, they would even spend their lives with a Beta. That was the norm.
Indeed, it was a nice wedding.
Remembering their appearances at the reception, Kento broke into a smile.
Kento’s friend, Ukai, was a career bureaucrat in the Ministry of Finance. He was an elite who had been promoted to the position of Section Head within five years of joining. His partner was a male Omega non-career employee in the same ministry. They had had their fated meeting in the workplace.
Such things can happen too, huh.
The couple, sitting at the head table, gave each other smiles throughout, even their fleeting glances and mannerisms seemed to be overflowing with love. The guests let out envious sighs at their ethereal beauty and happiness. The mothers of both husbands were overwhelmed by emotions and couldn’t hold back their tears. That goes without saying. The children born from fated pairs were mostly Alphas, and that too a special kind of Alpha called ‘Kikōju’. Of course, there was an occasional Omega or two, but because the two bonded, the whole family’s future was already guaranteed to be a promising one.
“I also want to meet my fated pair...”
He pitifully mumbled to himself. Kento was an Alpha, but he hadn’t met his so-called fated pair even once. The number of Omega were few, to begin with, and most lived their daily lives controlling their estrus, also called heats, using suppressants. It was thus next to impossible to meet an omega in heat. The people Kento fell for were almost always Alpha or Beta.
“Ahh, can’t a big-breasted blonde omega suddenly bump into me on the street corner one day?”
Fantasising, he was fed up with his stupidity.
Like searching for a needle in a haystack, he never believed such a wonder fate would befall him. Kento life had been exceedingly normal up until this point.
Turning 29 this year, Kento had graduated from a national university near him, appeared for the Kanagawa Prefecture employment test and become a policeman. The police officers under the National Police Agency had little to no interest. The people around him expressed regret at him not choosing the career, semi-career or the government office path, but it had been Kento’s childhood dream to become a police officer in his hometown of Yokohama. He felt proud.
He needed no bureaucratic power. Rather than futilely wasting his life playing a game of cards with power, he wished to work toward the safety of the citizens who had to help him up until now. Since young, being of help to someone was Kento’s greatest happiness. Nothing could replace the joy of seeing his parents and the people around smile. He was made fun of as a “Laid-Back Alpha”, in the police station he worked, but he was happy to freely play about.
“In the end, I must persevere by myself, be it in love or work...”
While encouraging himself he walked along the street at night. The weight of both love and the presents dug into his hands.
He returned to Yokohama by train. Near the park close to his official residence, he sensed an uneasy atmosphere.
He could hear the rustling of clothes, the gasps of someone being choked and the tapping of cheap sneakers on the ground. They were faint, but he could sense a crime was occurring. It wasn’t just his intuition as a policeman. Kento could instinctively sniff out depravity and lust. He couldn’t just leave it alone. While holding his luggage, he scaled over the park fence.
When he rushed to the spot in panic, he found a man surrounded by four men. The slender man in the middle was looking down with his knees on the ground. It seemed he couldn’t move.
“You, what are you doing!?”
When Kento raised his voice, the largest among the men turned to look.
“What, bastard? Fuck off.”
“I Asked You What You Were Doing.”
“Need an explanation? You should know by looking. Don’t know what kind of park this is?”
“What’s this about?”
On careful inspection, he saw that the crouched man’s wrists were bleeding. Perhaps the men had assaulted him.
“Isn’t he injured?”
“Shut up. Who the fuck are you? Don’t fuck with me, I got no problems fighting you.”
The burly man grabbed Kento by the collar. It was the strength of a man used to getting into fights. Still, he was shorter and weaker than the 190cm tall Kento.
“Huh, what’s with that looking? You looking for a fight?”
“I’m fine with that, but won’t you be the ones in trouble?”
Kento took out his Police ID from his suit pocket and showed it. The badge, of course, was a proof of identity which stated his rank, full name, identification number and a photo. Because it was mandatory for the Metropolitan Police and a section of the prefectural police to have their police ID on them 24/7, Kento always carried his ID and a pair of handcuffs with him.
“ I am a police officer. Do you still intend to continue?”
“Shit, a cop. What a pain. Y’all, let’s go.”
Vexed, the man called out to the other three and left the place.
As he left he said, “Don’t get carried away just ‘cause you’re an Alpha cop.”
—An Alpha Cop.
The Police ID not only questioned if they are male or female but also if they are Alpha, Beta or an Omega. The eyes of the four men, who were most probably Betas, betrayed their pride that We(Betas) made the world go round. But despite being Beta, they could not go against Alphas. That frustration must be what let to their parting shot.
After making sure the men were no longer there, Kento called out the injured man,
“Are you alright?”
The man remained immobile, still facing down. Perhaps he was still in pain. Maybe there were injuries in places other than his wrist. Kento keenly observed the man’s state.
The man was dressed up in a suit but was thin and slender on the whole. As he was crouching, his height wasn’t clear. His hair seemed soft and was naturally curly. The light brown tips of his hair were slightly wavy. His exposed nape was pale and delicate and had a small mole on it. It was a figure that terribly stirred up one’s protective instinct. He carried a dangerous appeal that could awaken someone’s sadistic tendencies. When he decided to call out the man again to see his expression, the man slowly raised his head.
He had a refreshing partial double eyelid and a long nose bridge. Slightly sensual lips. His eyes were a breathtaking unique shade.
His eyes were a refreshing light shade. They were the so-called hazel eyes. It could be easily explained as a shade of yellow with a slight tinge of brown, however, on close inspection, a yellow spread across his irises. A slight green surrounded it, and it graduated into a deep brown. It was just as if tiny sunflowers were blooming in his eyes.
The man slowly got up. He was around 20cm shorter than Kento, a little short of 170cm. Seeing the man’s figure, Kento felt his heart squeeze.
A pale neck, a thin body.
A supple body with a height little less than average.
—It was an Omega.
Kento thought instinctively.
However, he didn’t betray the realisation on his face.
“Are you alright? Your wrists are injured. Does it hurt anywhere?”
Upon asking, the man did not reply. Perhaps he was having a slight panic attack due to fear.
Kento urged the silent man to the park bench.
“Ah, wait a second. I’ll set a handkerchief down to sit upon.”
The bench wasn’t particularly dirty, but being of iron, it seemed cold. Despite being the end of March, the nights were still chilly.
When Kento laid out the handkerchief, the man quietly says on the bench. Kento squatted down opposite him.
“Show me your hand please. ...Ah, it’s still bleeding. Oh, poor you.”
“I was just in time. It was my friend’s wedding today. That’s why there’s a towel in my gifts.”
Kento emptied the contents of the paper bag. He rummaged about for the towel.”
“This is...a wine glass? Both their names seem to be on it. And...this is wine. And this a corkscrew. Baumkuchen and cookies. Umm, this is—“
The towel he was looking for didn’t seem to be there. After a long search, all that was found was a red and white fish cake and a pair of dumbbells. As expected, they were heavy. The bride and groom’s faces were printed on the surface of the fish cake. Really, they had gone overboard, Kento thought.
“What’s with this? It’s harassment!”
When Kento spoke, the man laughed for the first time.”
“Why, you’re laughing. I’m glad. I wondered if really had no expressions.”
The man remained silent, but his soft smile created small ripples in Kento’s heart. He didn’t understand why, but he wished for him to smile more.
“It was a nice wedding. They were a fated pair, it’s my first time seeing one, but they seemed awfully happy. Their friends and family too seemed to bubble with joy...it’s was the best ceremony.”
“Do you eat fish cake? Isn’t red and white supposed to be lucky?”
The man shook his head. As expected, it was hard to eat.
After a long search, a towel was found at the bottom of the bag. He took it out of its box and gently wiped the man’s hand. With a second towel, he wrapped the wound.
“For now I’ll perform some first-aid. It isn’t an injury that requires hospitalisation, but it is better not to let the wound dry just like this. It is better to wash it with water from a tap and place a cold compress on it—.”
Looking around, he saw the light in a shop on the street. Perhaps the drugstore was still open. Kento called out to the man.
“Ah..., I’m somehow thirsty. I’ll go buy some water. Wait a minute.”
Kento said and left the park in a hurry.
After buying bandages with good coverage and water from the drugstore, Kento returned to the park, but the man wasn’t there.
“Ahh, as expected...I knew it.”
On looking at the bench, the handkerchief Kento had laid out had disappeared. Instead, there was a single guelder-rose flower placed.”
“Was that...An Angel?”
On taking the flower in his hands, he noticed many of the small while petals overlapping each other. They swayed in the night breeze.
Just like that man.
They had a faint sweet scent.
The sensation of the man’s hand still lingered in his palms. It was a slender and supple hand.
He felt reluctant for some reason. Kento carefully put away the flower in his bag.
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