lone man enters the hallowed ground;
silent monuments stand vigilant
over the lonely field where there's
no sign of another living soul.
"So another year has passed since
I've visited here."
Every year at this time, Andy comes
to visit the grave of his dead father.
The piercing sunlight, the carpet
of green that covers one side of
the grounds, the gravestones stood
in careful order-in this landscape
that seems to never change between
each visit, something has changed
"...So it looks like I'm all alone
He walks on, resigned to the fact.
His big brother should be at his
side every year.
But for this entire year, Andy has
been unable to discover anything
about Terry's whereabouts.
As he mulls this over, Andy arrives
in front of his father's gravestone.
"It's been too long, Father. I'm
sad to say that this year Andy...."
He stops while trying to complete
his sentence. In spite of his one
year absence, the gravestone gives
off a gleam as if it had just been
polished moments ago.
And a single wreath decorates the
foot of the gravestone. Surely someone
has just been here.
"...Could it be...?"
What time does this make it...? I see
the terrible mess as I return to
my room. This has been going on for
The beginning of this string of events
began the day I received the job....
On that day a clinging sort of humidity
infused my room.
An electronic noise shattered the
stagnant air and echoed through my
The source of this noise was my laptop
computer that failed to function
and preserved the silence of my room.
A few weeks later, I noticed something
in my mailbox.
"It's been quite a while, huh?"
There was no way I could miss this.
It was a single letter there, addressed
to me, Mary Ryan.
No new jobs had come my way to a
degree that I was beginning to enjoy
This job, though, comes as it had
been exactly what I was waiting for....
"Just what is this all about...?"
It was an investigation that was
carefully spelled out to the last
detail. And among the many instructions,
one involved me going deep undercover.
The subject of my investigations:
the King of Fighters....
"...Considering how long its been,
this is way to big for me alone to
This was material sufficient enough
for my gut to tell me something.
"Well, it looks like I'll need to
make a few preparations first."
And the first thing I decided to
do was set about investigating my
I thought something was a little
fishy, but if I played the course
of events out through the King of
Fighters, I felt I just might run
into a certain someone.
The person I'm searching for now...
But at this point in time, I was
not really thinking that something
would actually happen to me....
It was obvious that someone was observing
But this was no simple surveillance.
Even for a specialist at investigation
like me, the surveillance on me was
so perfect I could find no traces
Since this was my profession, I've
learned a few tricks, but this was
the first time I had been completely
Seeing how things had been escalating
recently probably explains why I've
been on pins and needles recently.
"There's more to this job than meets
the eye. This is probably a warning
that I should keep focused, keep
silent, and finish my work.... If I
don't put all my effort into this,
I may end up getting more than burned."
It was then I decided what to do.
"If this's how it's going to be,
then I'll have to play the consummate
I took my well-worn helmet in hand
and left my apartment.
"It's getting a little tough to look
for him at the same time...."
I mounted my bike as I always do
and kicked the engine on.
"So what does it mean, Andy? You're
telling me that Terry is in town
now, are you?!"
"It's a strong possibility. Even
Mary's having trouble finding any
clues, so I was wondering what I
would do for a moment there."
"Hmm, I guess my presence, my aura,
is what beckoned Terry here."
"...Yeah, yeah, I got it, Joe.... More
important than that, I should tell
Mary about this incident. Joe, why
don't you keep looking for Terry...What
BA-BOOM! ...The sound of an explosion
abruptly cuts Andy off.
"What was that?"
Joe rises to his feet next to the
"...I hear...I hear someone calling my
At the same time, Joe runs away.
"H-Hey, wait up, Joe! ...For the sake
of the Shiranui, just what did that
clown come here for? That bozo...."
Andy heads toward the direction of
the explosion, in pursuit of Joe.
I knew I felt someone was watching
me. Even if it's meant to be a joke,
I couldn't say it was friendly one.
Something I felt at that time kept
me from moving....
And I'm now in pursuit of the man
who I felt watching me.
The wave of people between me and
the man became gradually stronger.
And as I felt that, the figure of
the man vanished.
"Tsh, come on. Don't lose the guy
The figure disappeared from my sight
in the flash of an eye.
"...Just how much do you know, Terry
The voice didn't even give me time
to look around; I heard it come from
behind, out of nowhere.
I couldn't process what had happened.
While I barely saw the guy, I remained
"All you have to do is stay cool,
Mary? That name echoed in my head
as I was overcome with anxiety. Then
The sound of an explosion reverberated
from somewhere not so far from where
I was standing.
While the people around me were still
shaken by the sound, that man and
me clearly gave off a different aura
than those around us.
At that time during that tense standoff
I could not help being able to notice
a slight opening.
"He's pretty serious, it seems."
I didn't think someone had fiddled
with the breaks to the motorcycle.
Someone emerged from the crowd that
seemed to surround me.
"What? Mary, is it?"
"Joe, and Andy, too!"
Of all the things to happen, the
timing of this event couldn't have
"Hmm, looks like I wasn't wrong about
the voice that called me."
"...Oh, baloney. What a crock! By the
way, I was just about to contact
you. Who'd've thought it would have
played out like this?"
"Uh, yeah...So just what do you have
to tell me? That you found something
out about Terry, perhaps?"
As a matter of fact, I couldn't tell
them everything I found out then.
Since I was caught up in other pursuits,
I had to make sure these two concentrated
on finding Terry. But I couldn't
very well ask them directly to help
me out when I had found Terry....
"Yeah, yeah. That's it! Terry just
may be in town!"
At that instant, we heard the sound
of something falling behind us. There
was also another simultaneous noise
in our vicinity.
We looked back to see an unconscious
man on the ground and a familiar
"Fancy meeting you guys here."
Judging from Terry's story, that
man was without doubt the very one
who had sabotaged my motorcycle.
And as the situation was explained
to me, I realized I could no longer
ignore the circumstances of my job
and the things that were going on
"Terry, just what have you been up
to all this time?! Since you didn't
call us we were all worried sick!"
"Yeah, I'm sorry about that.... More
importantly, just who is this clown,
Terry pulled down his cap hard over
his eyes as he asked me this.
"...I don't think you'd be satisfied
if I told you that he's no one important."
I couldn't deceive them any longer.
I told the three all about the things
I had been dealing with.
"Shouldn't you just ignore it and
"I can't do that either. If they're
willing to go to these lengths, what
do you think they'll do if I just
blow them off?"
"If you keep doing that, Mary, you'll
be nothing more than their servant."
Yes, Joe was right. But if my client
had done all these things so far,
this job was sure to be even more
trouble than I had imagined.
At that moment, Terry interjected
"OK, I got it! This year all four
of us are entering together!"
"H-Hey, it's that simple, is it?
I just told you, didn't I? Even if
I do my job, there's no guarantee
that we'll be in the clear. Not only
that, this is my job. If you're doing
this out of sympathy, I don't need
"Do you think we'd risk our lives
out of sympathy?! It's not that cut
and dry...No, sirree..."
It was a while since I saw Terry
angry. More than being surprised
at his anger, the last thing he said
is what really stuck with me.
"...That's what I said...."
I felt that he had something more
to say to me.... But Joe blabbered
on, ignoring what had just transpired.
"Well, it would be a waste not to
enter the tournament, wouldn't it?
And we can't do that alone, can we?"
"Th-That's for sure...but is it really
OK with you? There'll be no turning
back, you know?"
"Of course I know that! But if we
enter, we enter to win, so don't
hold us back!"
Again it was Terry's words to me
that stuck with me, but, to be quite
honest, I was grateful for their
Whatever the case may have been,
I knew this was one job that I wouldn't
be able to do on my own....
I knew I had to change my attitude.
"Leave it to me. If I join up with
you, you're sure to have a lot more
firepower.... By the way, if I join
up with you guys, what about Andy?"
"What? Oh, no, not again...Mai...."
We all fell silent. Finally Terry,
his cap tight around his eyes, placed
a hand on Andy's shoulders and silently
nodded his head.
Joe was his usual self.
"Ah, what the hey? I'll explain things
so Mai will understand. Don't you
worry your pretty blond head, Andy-poo."
"...No way, you'll do nothing of the
kind... You'll just make things worse...."
"I'm sorry, Andy."
"Oh, what am I going to do...."
I saw this coming.... Mai is always
the one to blow her top when others
enter the picture.
"No, when stuff like this happens,
Andy's the one to suffer most. You'll
be looking into the maw of hell itself
this time, won't you?"
That's a bit of an exaggeration,
Joe. A very little bit, though, I