Author’s Note: I decided to do something a little different for this chapter (and for every race moving forward if people enjoy it). I’ve decided to include music for races. Every time a song title comes up, or a transition comes up (example: Transition to “Louder” by Roselia). Have those songs play in the background while reading and let me know if this added to the reading experience at all!
Criticism and feedback appreciated!!! :)
The sound of a V8 engine could be heard, as the front of the old Camaro could be seen. A few RAS fangirls sneered. “THAT’S the car Masking is racing tonight?!” “It’s like the person WANTS to lose to Masking! How dare she waste Masking’s time?!?” Mashiro and the rest of Morfonica heard the jarring insults, as Mashiro looked in their general direction. “D- don’t talk about Rui’s car like that!! She’ll beat Masking tonight!! Just wait and see!!” Touko chuckled, holding Mashiro back by the shoulders.
“Easy Shiro. Last thing we need to do is get into a fist fight with some enraged fangirls.”
Toko chuckled, holding the slightly smaller girl back as Mashiro’s face flushed red out of embarrassment. Mashiro’s baby blue eyes looked up at Toko’s golden ones as she let out a soft sigh.
“I just… want Rui to win that’s all. I know it’s her first race and I know this might be her only race. But…I want her to feel the joy of racing! The excitement as your car goes down the course, trying to get to the finish line as quickly as possible. Trying to outrun the other person, it’s just so… exciting. I just want Rui to feel how we feel about racing.” Mashiro looked away, sighing. “I’m sorry Toko… i’m probably just rambling again.”
Toko let out a small fit of laughter. “Don’t worry about that Mashiro! I feel the same way. I want Rui to beat Masking also. Besides, it wouldn’t hurt to be friends with somebody who dusted someone from RAS!” She laughs as Mashiro awkwardly chuckles.
The Camaro starts pulling up toward the starting line, Rui noticing a girl with long black hair signaling her to move forward with her hands.Rui kept her foot pressed down on the accelerator until the girl switched positions with her hands, signaling for her to halt. Rui stepped on the brake until the car came to a stop, the V8 engine still running loudly enough for everyone to hear. Rui took the key out of the ignition, stepped out of the car, and closed the door. Rui’s eyes very briefly made contact with dark lightning blue eyes. Rui briefly looked at the girl’s attire, noticing it was fairly casual. White shirt, black vest, small necklace, jeans that were slightly torn in the kneecap area, and dark brown boots. Compared to her who was still in her school uniform.
“So you showed up after all. I’m glad. My name’s Layer by the way! I’ll be overseeing tonight’s race.” The girl smiled at Rui, as the violinist simply nodded, scanning the crowd as she looked for the rest of Morfonica.
“Oi! You actually fucking showed. About damn time too, I don’t like being kept waitin.” Rui turned her attention to the sound of the rough voice, noticing the blond haired girl from yesterday.
“Last I checked I do not run on your schedule. Nor was i obligated to show up to this. I am simply doing this because I was constantly asked and it was slightly getting on my nerves. If I was truly doing this to try and please you, I would have done this yesterday, it would have still been a waste of my time but I would have gotten it over much faster.”Rui stared directly at Masuki, as the owner of the Nissan grit her teeth, suddenly reaching out and grabbing Rui by her uniform collar.
“Ya think this is some kind of damn game to us?! At first I was just excited ya showed up at all, but now all I want is to kick your fucking ass!! Maybe then you’ll see this isn’t just something we do! We do this shit because we fucking love it! It’s our life!! It’s because of the pride we have in ourselves and our cars that we think we’re the fastest motherfuckers out there!”
Masuki shoved Rui away, her golden eyes becoming more sharp and rabid. Like a mad dog foaming at the mouth, ready to pounce on a butterfly.
“It’s not an obligation. We race because it’s our livelihood. Our pride!! We want to prove to everybody else that we’re the fastest, that’s why we race! Maybe you’ll understand that…” Masuki growled to herself. “But it’s not today. So whenever you’re ready, i’ll be here to pound you into the ground. Just say the word and i’ll dust ya real fucking quick.”Rui stared blankly at the delinquent girl, unsure of how to respond to the blond girl’s speech. ‘People seriously take pride in their cars? I understand having pride in your skills as a driver and being able to adapt to situations, but taking pride in your car? What’s next, taking pride in a specific brand of car?’
Rui rolled her eyes, finally spotting the rest of Morfonica amongst the crowd of people behind the guardrail.
“Ah! R-Rui! Over here!!” Mashiro waved as the former violin player walked over to the opposite side of the guardrail, locking eyes with the shy white haired girl.
“I hope you are all aware i’m doing this so you won’t bombard me with questions about this tomorrow. I have no interest in pursuing racing.” Rui said in her deadpanned tone, as the rest of Morfonica tensed from her gaze.
Toko was the first one to speak up. “Regardless… i’m glad you came at all Rui. Uh… please tell me you actually know how a race works.” The rest of Morfonica swear dropped. How could they all forget something so basic?! So simple?! Rui doesn’t even know the first thing about racing! Not how to get a good start off the line, how to drift, how to maneuver through tight turns and corners, Rui’s screwed!!“Yes. I am aware of how these kinds of races operate. Someone begins a countdown and when both cars lead off, whoever makes it to the end of the course first is usually the winner unless other conditions are stated beforehand.”
Maybe she’s not as screwed as they thought.
Mashiro breathed a sigh of relief. “Um…Rui. W-We’re glad you know how this works but… your car is a 68 Camaro. I… it’s not built for the turns on Tsukinomori… you won’t be able to d…drift…”
Rui nods. “I will not be drifting that much anyway. I am well aware of how big this particular car is. While it is not impossible to drift…it is not something I plan on doing.”
Nanami blinks, stunned of how much Rui actually knows about her car. “RuiRui… you really know your stuff when it comes to this car don’t ya?”
Rui shakes her head. “No. It is simply common sense. My Camaro is big and wide, it typically is not built for drifting. It is usually alright for straight roads but that’s all. That being said, do not expect me to win tonight.”
Tsukushi looked at Rui, mouth wide with shock. “B-but you’re going to try right? You’re going to try and win aren’t you?!”Rui nods. “I do not understand this feeling you all keep telling me I am going to experience with this. But I know if I do not do this, you will all harass me and ask me why I did not accept this challenge. This will be my only race. I hope you all realize this.”
The rest of Morfonica nod slowly, as the ex violinist turns on her heel and approaches her car as well as the Nissan next to it.
“Done with that little pep talk between you and your friends? Ready to get your ass handed to ya?” Masuki couldn’t help but smirk after her statement, after all she’d been driving her Nissan for about a year now. That’s a year longer than Rui’s even had her Camaro, let alone actually driving the damn car.
“I would not claim my discussion with the rest of Morfonica a pep talk, if your feeble attempt at trash talking is done then let’s just get this over with.” The violinist turns her head to the girl that called herself Layer. “Is there anything we are supposed to do before we begin?”
Layer nods. “Just introduce yourselves to each other. Then Misaki will start playing some music and we’ll get this thing started.”
Rui blinked, confused by the mention of a name of a girl she had no recollection of.
“Misaki…. who’s Misaki?”Layer points over to a small area that’s stationed off to the side of the course, Rui peers over, noticing a turntable set up with some speakers. She then notices a girl with long dark brown hair that falls to her back, as well as a black suit, followed up with dress pants and dress shoes.
“She’s the girl that provides the music and sets up a screen here at the beginning of every course. That way, the people over at the start of the track can watch what’s going on as opposed to having to wait every few minutes for an update through walkie talkies. ”
Rui nods, noticing music start playing in the background. “I suppose it’s time we begin…”
Rui turns back to face the blond delinquent girl, who still sported a small smirk on her face. The blond girl then spoke.
“I’m Masuki Satou. Hopefully you’ll remember that, as well as what’s gonna happen to ya tonight.”
“I’m Rui Yashio.” Rui opens the door to her Camaro, sitting in the driver’s seat as Masuki does the same thing with her Nissan. Layer looks at both cars, making sure they’re next to each other with no extra distance between the two cars. Layer nods and holds her hand up.
“We go in five seconds girls!!”Mashiro bit her lip, clasping her hands together in a prayer like manner, Touko watched on with eager golden eyes, Nanami peered over the guardrail with a small bit of worry in her eyes and Tsukushi held her breath.
The sound of both cars engines starting could be heard as the crowd squealed in anticipation. The Camaro’s V8 and the Nissan’s V6 roared together in unison, trying to outdo the other in terms of engine volume. Like an instrument trying to take the lead on a melody.
Masuki starts pedaling the accelerator, watching the needle on her RPM gauge go up and down. She couldn’t help but smile. God how she loved this feeling. The adrenaline that coursed through her veins hearing the engine rev, the sound of the engine in her ears, the open road in front of her. It was everything she could ever dream.
Rui also started pedaling the accelerator on her car, making sure her foot pressed down on the accelerator at exactly the correct measurements. Not a centimeter too close or too far off, not a second too soon or too late. Perfect synchronization, almost like Rui was a robot.
“Two!!!”Rui still didn’t understand, still unable to grasp the feeling that the rest of Morfonica talked so passionately about. 'Honestly, what do you all want me to feel so badly? Excitement? Ecstasy? Joy of passing someone? I don’t understand…I suppose my best teacher is this race right here…’
“One!! Go!!!” Layer threw her hand down as both drivers popped the clutch to their respective cars, their tires screeched and squealed as both cars left off the starting line .
(Play “Blood For Blood” by A War Within)
Maauki’s Nissan was taking off, the needle on the speedometer already pressing about 70 miles an hour and increasing. The delinquent peered over to the passenger’s side mirror, noticing the Camaro keeping pace with the Nissan. 'So you’re keeping up huh? Let’s see how long that lasts!!’ Masuki smirks, pressing down on the accelerator harder, the needle pressing about 100 MPH. Only for Masuki to place her hand on the shifter, downshifting, pressing one foot horizontally on the brake while keeping the other foot on the accelerator,as the car’s rear end swung out to the left. Tires started screeching on the road, as a smoke cloud began to form underneath the tires from all the stress placed on them during the drift. After the car completed the drift, Masuki couldn’t help but smirk to herself. 'This is gonna be fun, even if it’s only gonna be for a short while. Let’s see if that old piece of shit can keep up with me!’Unlike Masuki, Rui stepped on the brake turning her steering wheel to the right as hard as she could in order to complete the turn. That’s when Rui felt something jarring on the passenger side of her car, the front tire had been hooked onto something. Rui slowly pulled the wheel to the left, pulling the tire out of whatever it had been caught in. Her Camaro swerved a little bit to the left, before Rui was able to regain control of the car’s position on the right lane. She stepped back on the gas, feeling a sudden increase in speed and the Nissan quickly showing up next to her in her driver’s side window.
'The car was built for straightaways… but it’s still impressive how quick this car was able to accelerate on a straight road. Even if this is fifty years old you wouldn’t have guessed. But something is slightly troubling me. What was that weird pressure I felt when turning? One of the tires had been caught onto something. Like it was a gutter… or gravel… whatever it may have been…I should not try attempting that. It may be able to help more skilled individuals. But I am not prepared to even attempt something like that.’
The Camaro continued following the Nissan through a couple more straightaways, with the Nissan only managing to stay at about a car length or two ahead after each turn was completed.
“Do you think Rui is going to be alright?” Mashiro asked out loud, making the rest of Morfonica hum together in unison.“I mean, so far Rui is doing amazing so far!! It’s only been about three or four turns and Rui’s still on Masuki’s ass!! I wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up in Masuki’s trunk. And did you see how fast she was on that straightaway?! Damn!!” Touko exclaimed.
“Maybe so… but still, you did see how Rui was swaying around after the first turn? Her tire got hooked onto something. That worries me.” Tsukushi shivered,chills running down her spine.
“It’s the small gutters you’re talking about.”
All of Morfonica turned around, noticing Layer behind them.
“Layer-sama!!” All of Morfonica exclaimed as Layer approached the big screen shown in front of the crowd of people watching the race. Layer’s lightning blue eyes narrowed slightly, looking at the Nissan drifting once again to complete a right hand turn. She also noticed the Camaro about two cars length behind the Nissan going into the right hand turn. Layer also noticed the swerving around that the Camaro did before managing to stabilize again, and accelerate quickly when it came time to go back onto a straight road.“The thing that the Camaro’s tire hooked onto was most likely gravel or a gutter of some kind. Real skillful or experienced drivers are able to hook the tires to help complete tight turns. Otherwise you’ll swerve out of control and crash, possibly wreck your suspension, or worst of all… missing the timing to hook the tires in and wrecking your car and yourself. It’s really dangerous. I’m surprised your friend is managing to stabilize herself after both the gutter incident, and the hard turns. Considering the Camaro’s heavy weight, that can’t be easy. Not to mention the car is a rear wheel drive. She’s pulling it off though, consider me slightly impressed.” Layer analyzed with a smile, continuing to watch the screen in front of her.
Mashiro’s baby blue eyes sparkled slightly at the compliments Rui was receiving, after all, it’s not everyday the third best driver in Osaka compliments someone based on their driving technique.
“Does that mean Rui actually has a chance at pulling this off?!” Mashiro exclaimed, excited at the fact of a possible victory for Rui.“Hmm… i’m not entirely sure. It really depends on how your friend approaches the rest of the course. Not to mention Masuki’s been acting like more and more of a loose cannon lately. All because she got excited and riled up… and Chu2 didn’t do any fucking research on this car. Since it isn’t someone from Roselia, she didn’t bother. Yet she was so pissed about Rui not accepting the challenge I thought she would have at least done a little bit.” Layer grit her teeth. “You fucking dumbass!!” Layer growled to herself. 'Masuki didn’t think, and Chu2 is so wrapped up in Roselia they took this race lightly, didn’t bother to even check and see who the girl was, and now Masuki could most likely lose because of this…dumbasses… sometimes I really question my decisions…’
Layer was quickly snapped out of her thoughts by a whimpering Mashiro. Layer’s lightning blue eyes softened, gently placing a hand on Mashiro’s head.
“You didn’t do anything wrong sweetie. I’m sorry you heard most of that. I was trying to keep most of that to myself but it seems I didn’t do a very good job at that. To answer your question, your friend has a good chance at winning this.” Layer said with a close eyed smile, reassuring the self doubting girl to relax a little bit.
(Transistion to “supereurobeat” by Niko)Masuki growled to herself, feeling more and more anxious by the moment. Both the Camaro and the Nissan were only on the straightaway for a few moments, but the Camaro was already next to her in the opposite lane.
'God dammit!! I thought since I was faster in the turns that i’d probably lose the bitch. Even though I got practice runs in the bitch is still passing me! How?! The damn thing is an ancient piece of shit!!’ Masuki let out a scream of frustration as the Camaro passed the Nissan, only getting farther and farther ahead as the straightaway continued.
Rui briefly glanced in her rearview mirror, noticing the Nissan getting further and further behind.
'My car is faster in the straight roads it seems. Her car is better at turning, but my car is more powerful when it comes to straightaways. Since Tsukinomori’s course is mostly straightaways, my car has an advantage. Disregarding the bit of swerving around I do at the ending of each turn, it has not been all that bad. Still, i’m failing to see what is so exciting about all this. I passed Masuki, but felt nothing…’Rui snapped herself out of her thoughts, pressing down on the brake and turning the wheel all the way to the right. That’s when Rui noticed two things. One. Her Camaro started moving to the side, it begun to drift. Two. She noticed a pair of lavender eyes watching her, and that’s when Rui’s breath suddenly got caught in her throat. Those lavender eyes, anything but those lavender eyes. Not again, five years later and those lavender eyes were on her again. Watching her, studying her, practically piercing a hole through her. The anxiety that came with seeing those eyes, the heartbeat quickening in her chest, it was like another nightmare that Rui couldn’t wake up from. She had the exact same nightmare five years ago.
The Camaro completed the drift, suddenly pulling farther and farther ahead on the straightaway. Much faster than before, the needle on the speedometer pressing about 130.
“Ah! That’s so cool!! And fast!! I didn’t think a Camaro could drift!! It’s like dark powers have gone and blessed the car with…um…um… it was awesome wasn’t it RinRin?”
Rinko didn’t move from her spot, her lavender eyes noticing the messy black hair brushed off to the side. Even through the car window, Rinko could never forget the violinist from five years ago, the girl that played the violin so passionately, the girl that had a tiny twinkle in her eyes that was barely noticeable, the girl that became more and more robotic with each passing music festival.“RinRin? Are you okay?” Rinko snapped out of her thoughts, giving Ako a brief nod.
“Yes… just… remembered something. I… have to go.” Rinko started moving away from the track, moving toward her GTR-34.
“Ah!! Wait for me!!”
The finish line was crowded as ever. With just as many people here as there was at the starting line. There stood by the finish line was Rokka, Chu2, and Pareo.
“Ah! You hear the tires?! Someone’s coming!!” Rokka exclaimed, hand by her walkie talkie.
“It’s obviously Masking. Why, she’s our second best driver. A no-name girl with a fifty year old Camaro is no match for-”
Chu2 was interrupted by seeing a pair of headlights coming toward the finish line, noticing the blue car and white stripes.
“YOU’VE GOTTA BE FUCKING KIDDING!!” Chu2 screeched, practically shaking Pareo. “WHY THE HELL IS MASKING LOSING TO THAT NOBODY?! THAT FIFTY YEAR OLD PIECE OF SHIT JUST BEAT SOMEONE FROM RAISE A SUILEN!!! I REFUSE TO ACCEPT THIS!!!”
Chu2 continued screeching, as Pareo was unable to get a word out due to all the screeching Chu2 did. Rokka started speaking into her walkie talkie, still terrified of Chu2 and her screaming fit.
“L-Layer…” Rokka saw the Camaro blow past the finish line, leaving the course and starting to head off in a direction, most likely back to her house.
“I saw everything Rokka… tonight was a loss…I can’t say i’m pleased but i’m not surprised either. Tell the others to start heading back to Chu2’s studio. And tell Chu2 to have some damn dignity. I’ll talk to everyone when we all get back.”
Chu2 grabbed the walkie talkie from Rokka, still enraged over Masuki’s loss. “How dare you give orders?! I’m your producer!! Your manager!! I decide-”
“Chu2 do me a favor and just shut the fuck up!! You’re part of the reason we lost tonight!! Now, i’ll see you all back at the studio… and don’t bitch Chu2. We need to discuss a lot of things when we get back…like my future with Raise A Suilen.”