|VS. 1st Special Fire Brigade arc|
|Chapters||21 • 22 • 23 • 24 • 25 • 26 • 27 • 28 • 29 • 30 • 31 • 32|
|Preceded by||VS. 5th Special Fire Brigade arc|
|Followed by||Preacher Pursuit arc|
The VS. 1st Special Fire Brigade (VS。第1特殊消防隊, VS. Dai 1 Tokushu Shōbōtai) arc is the third story arc of the En En no Shōbōtai manga series. It involves the infiltration and investigation of the 1st Special Fire Brigade on the possibility of them creating artificial Flame Humans in Tokyo.
Infiltrating the 1st Edit
While at the 1st Special Fire Fighting Cathedral, Leonardo Burns, the Battalion Commander of the 1st Brigade, approaches and converses about the 8th and 5th brigades with Karim Fulham, Rekka Hoshimiya and Foien Li.
Some time later, Shinra and Akitaru are seen trailing after Masao, and finally put an end to the Flame Humans life. A bystander calls out to the 8th brigade, calling them murderers and to bring back Masao, but they finish their task and go back to the Matchbox. Akitaru, Shinra and Arthur discuss the event, saying that even though the Flame Human was due to die anyway, people don't accept the loss of a person who is important to them. Back at the 8th Special Fire Fighting Church, Akitaru is annoyed to find that his locker has graffiti all over, with a note on it signed by Shinra. Bursting through the door, Akitaru calls out Shinra, but he denies doing anything. Hibana interrupts, saying that she made Shinra food and to leave him alone. Taking a second to think about it, he questions Hibana on her presence at the 8th. Hibana made lunch for Shinra, commenting that it tastes nice. Ultimately, Akitaru becomes stressed at the fact that nobody is focusing on the investigation of the 1st Brigade except himself. Hibana then uses her Ignition Ability to create pretty flowers, infatuating Maki and Iris. Akitaru tells Takehisa that they're playing fire, but Takehisa doesn't retaliate and says he's finished with people playing with fire, irritating Akitaru further.
The girls decide to take a shower, and since the woman's bathroom doesn't work, Hibana offers to take them to the 5th instead of using the men's bathroom, which Akitaru jokingly states that she's trying to hire members to her brigade. As they shower, Iris asks about Hibana's goals at the 8th, which she says she will help the 8th's investigation on the 1st brigade. As they gather back with the others, Shinra picks up on the fact that the three get along really well, which Hibana states they bonded over being naked together, causing Shinra to pose a vigorous grin and bleeding nose. Arthur jokingly insults Shinra for putting on a face of a pervert when he's supposed to be a hero, causing the two to scuffle playfully. All of their blabbering leads to Takehisa to shout furiously at them for causing stress on Akitaru. Akitaru then stands from his seat, exclaiming he has came up with an idea, and then screams both Arthur and Shinra to get out of the 8th brigade.
Shinra and Arthur become discouraged by Akitaru ordering them to leave the 8th, while Iris and Maki tell him to have some compassion, even though they can be idiots. Claiming that they have jumped to conclusions, Akitaru calmly explains his plan to infiltrate the 1st; Shinra and Arthur will leave the 8th to utilise the training program for rookies which is situated at the 1st's Cathedral, to which Hibana agrees is a good plan. Akitaru reminds everyone that the 1st could potentially be creating artificial Flame Humans in the area, in which Shinra states he will never forgive the person creating them. Realizing that if only 8th brigade members show up it will seem suspicious, Hibana forcefully invites Tōru Kishiri to join them in the infiltration. At the 2nd Special Fire Fighting Base, Takeru Noto is approached by other members of the 2nd, recalling how big he is physically but in comparison to his spirit, is very small. Gustav Honda bursts in enthusiastically, stating that Juggernaut will be attending the training program with members of the 8th and 5th, to which Juggernaut becomes startled over. When the group arrive at the Cathedral, they meet Karim, who quickly insults Shinra and Arthur, displaying zero respect for the Fire Officers. As Karim leads them to Burns, the Battalion Commander of the 1st, Shinra reminisces, remembering that Burns knows about the history of his family and the fire incident 12 years ago. The group of trainees salute arrive in the central hall and salute to Burns, but Burns tells them that they should do a gesture of praying instead, as they are in a Cathedral. He introduces them to the Company Commanders of the 1st, Karim Fulham, Rekka and Foien. After talking for a while, Shinra confidently questions the Commander on whether they can practice their skills in a confrontation with members of the 1st, to which Rekka says there's no need. Burns agrees to Shinra's question, which makes Rekka become suddenly fired up about fighting. Juggernaut is frightened at the thought of fighting against them.
VS. the 1st Edit
At the 8th's church, Akitaru and Takehisa feel worried about Shinra and Arthur not getting in touch with them about the investigation. Hibana is scared Shinra is going to get himself in trouble with the 1st's Battalion Commander. Meanwhile at the training grounds of the 1st, the newcomers prepare themselves to face off against the 1st in a practice fight. Tamaki spots Shinra through the wired fence of the training grounds, commenting on her unwillingness to forgive him if he touches Burns' face. Fired up for combat, Rekka challenges Takeru to begin with. A scared and shaky Takeru ignites flames on his hands and summons a myriad of flame-shaped missiles. Rekka exclaims his ability and firepower as a Third Generation is amazing. The others watching take notice of his power and hide in a safe place. As he launches the missiles, Rekka manages to swiftly dodge them all with a jolly smile on his face, and so they are then directed at Karim, much to his annoyance. Readily, he pulls out his weapon and bell, and uses his ability to transform the blazing fire into a spiked-pillar of ice, much to everybody's amazement. After explaining his ability to transform heat into sound, and sound into ice, Shinra looks in awe at the three Priests, suggesting that any three of them could potentially be the creator of the artificial Flame Humans. After Foien and Tōru refuse to fight, with an intensely intimidating face, Leonardo challenges Shinra to a fight.
As Shinra and Burns are about to face off against each other, Arthur interrupts, desiring to fight against the Battalion Commander first. He thrusts forward, Excalibur in-hand and shouting with passion, but treads backwards, intimidated by the sight of Leonardo lifting his arm. A bold Arthur steps in again and strikes Leonardo with his plasma-sword, only for him to stop Excalibur, and push Arthur away from him, surprising everybody. Without hesitation, Shinra leaps into the air, pitying Arthur for failing so easily, and charges in recklessly. As Shinra deals many fiery blows to him, eager to get information out of the Commander about the incident from 12 years ago, Leonardo effortlessly blocked and redirected his kicks. After, Shinra deals a heavy blow into Leonardo's chest, Burns questions the boy on his reason for joining the Special Fire Brigade. After explaining, Leonardo, tempered and unnerving, tells the boy he still has a long journey to go, and swiftly launches him backward. Seemingly relaxed and with the battle regiment over, Leonardo invites the newcomers to reside at the 1st, though Shinra becomes mad at himself for not being a match against Leonardo. Tamaki steps in and accidentally trips on one of her "lucky lewd" accidents, but Rekka manages to catch her. Tamaki gets down and rambles at the newcomers of the 8th. Shinra starts to think about Leonardo's words to him, still being far from becoming a hero. Karim takes it upon himself to take care of the 8th while they reside at the Cathedral, but states that if they misbehave, he will freeze them. A little while later on at an unknown location, a shadowed figure wearing the same robe as the Priests of the 1st is seen talking to an unknown caller in a telephone box, confirming that their operation is going smoothly but the 8th are likely to interfere. Soon after, the person begins walking, and the three priests are seen together, talking about the newcomers showing some promise within the brigade, and with somebody saying if the intrude, they will have to be killed.
Hunting the Suspect Edit
Shinra awakes in the morning, only to find Takehisa spying on him through the window. Takehisa queries about the investigation, but Shinra is too embarrassed to talk at the sight of some some Sisters walking by. Soon after the other newcomers wake up and start a conversation about their reasons for joining the brigade. Suddenly, Tamaki bursts in, and Arthur accidentally lifts her skirt, and as she runs away from him, lands flat on Shinra. While blaming Shinra for hitting on her, the bell goes off, alarming the Officers of a Flame Human appearance in the city. Shinra and Arthur join Karim's squad during the mission, being ordered to solely help with information and not the purification of the Flame Human. As Karim extinguishes one of the five Flame Humans wondering about the area, Shinra catches a glimpse of an arm replicating the robe of one of the Priests injecting a bystander some sort of Bug, immediately igniting them and turning them into a Flame Human. Without hesitation, Shinra informs Arthur and begins chasing the individual down the street in hope of catching him. Bouncing from wall to wall with his fiery movement, Shinra comes to the end of the alley, only to find Karim and Rekka standing there.
At the 8th Special Fire Fighting Church, Akitaru and Hibana are discussing the creation of the artificial Flame Humans, to which they conclude that inside of the corpses of artificial Flame Humans were gene of a particular Bug. Back in the streets of Shinjuku, Karim and Rekka spot Shinra and Arthur questioning their position by not attending the mission. Stopping to think, Shinra suspects the culprit who used the Bug is one or both of the two Priests. Arthur rushes in to question them, but Shinra elbows him in the stomach, and tells the Priests that they got lost since they don't visit Shinjuku often. Tamaki walks over and reports to Rekka that all groups have succeeded in their mission, and so the members of the 1st return to headquarters. When Arthur and Shinra return to their dorms at the 1st's cathedral, they discuss the events concerning Rekka and Karim. Shinra explains that it would have been too assertive and dangerous to confront the Priests at the time, which is why he waited till he returned and received orders from Akitaru. As the two begin their investigation on Karim, Shinra explains that Takeru and Tōru are distracting him in the meanwhile. As they break into Karim's room and look around, they soon discover a vial with a Bug inside. Pondering at it, it doesn't take long before Karim appears behind them with a ruthless expression. The two turn around hesitantly, prepared to fight, though Karim walks in and sits on the bed. Karim explains that he knew the 8th were investigating the 1st, and that the he put the Bug in the draw on purpose, claiming to also be looking for the original perpetrator of the bug. The three resolve that the real mastermind has to be Rekka Hoshimiya since he was the only other person with the same robe at the scene of the artificial Flame Human. He goes on to say there was a peculiar case in which children ignited artificially two months ago. Somewhere in Tokyo's streets, two innocent children are seen walking together. A shadow appears and calls their attention, only for it to be Tamaki Kotatsu, claiming she knows a fire that burned children previously, and tempting them to follow her.
Back at the Cathedral, Karim sits alone in his room feeling confused, looking an old photo of himself and the other two priests in their earlier days, asking himself why Rekka could be doing such an evil thing. As he walks down a hallway, Shinra and Arthur confront him and express their desire to help with capturing Rekka, the culprit of the artificial Flame Humans. After continuously insisting, Karim realises their desire to help, and tells them to do whatever they want. The three then disperse and search for Rekka outside of the 1st's cathedral. Soon after, Tamaki is seen leading two children to an abandoned warehouse with some other children and a woman. Rekka appears from behind her, thanking her greatly for bringing as many people she could. Rekka then exclaims passionately he's found a prayer that will prevent people from transforming into Flame Humans, to which Tamaki looks at him admirably. As Rekka tells Tamaki to leave so he can concentrate on the prayer, she insists to stay so she can see the prayer. Suddenly, Rekka hugs her, and tightens his grip, ending up suffocating Tamaki, to which she faints. Turning to the children with a sadistic expression on his face, Rekka implants the Bug into the woman, and her head suddenly ignites. As she was not compatible with the spark, Rekka savagely kills her. While the children cry, Tamaki sits confused and scared, but Rekka continues his unforgivable actions. He grabs a small child, but before he could use the Bug on him, Tamaki stands and slaps him, saying how much she admired him. Rekka doesn't hesitate to punch her back down, and then express his passion to create Flame Humans for his leader and finding the person compatible with the flames. He then implants the Bug into the child, to which he begins transformation into a Flame Human. In the skies, Shinra hears somebody screaming from an abandoned warehouse.
Shinra vs. Rekka Edit
The child Rekka implanted the Bug seems to be compatible with the flames, and ends up not transforming into a Flame Human, much to Rekka's pleasure. Tamaki screams for help and uses her ability to send a signal, to which Shinra who is flying, notices. As Rekka sees Tamaki going against his obediance, he becomes annoyed, and ruthlessly kicks her. As he brutally beats her up for being disloyal, Shinra bursts in heroicly, stomping on Rekka's face and knocking him down. As he asks if Tamaki is alright, Rekka gets up and punches Shinra, to which he's knocked back. As Shinra prepares to block his next punch, Rekka uses his ability, to which Shinra was unable to block it. The two then engage in a thrilling battle of Ignition Abilities. Rekka pauses as he notices the Bug making strange noises. He realises that it is reacting to Shinra's flames, saying that he has found the third person that his leader is looking for and that Shinra must have the Adora Burst.
As Shinra questions what Adora Burst is, Rekka tells him it is the thing that he and others are looking for under his leaders guidance. He goes on to say that he planted the sparks within children to find a person compatible, to which Shinra becomes enraged and begins his attack. Rekka ridicules Shinra for being so easily agitated, and fiercely punches him, to which he accidentally lands in Tamaki's cleavage. As she pushes him away, Shinra is attacked by a flurry of flaming punches that eventually reach Tamaki, burning all her clothes, leaving her in just a bikini and bra. Shinra looks at her dazzled, but falls victim to Rekka's punch again, and ends up all over Tamaki seductively. As she pushes him away again, encouraging him to fight, she grips onto his back, begging him to defeat Rekka. Now determined, Shinra walks toward him confidently. Taking a minute to think about the situation, he realises the best way to defeat him is by using his great mobility in the surrounding area.
Rekka burns his sleeves and prepares to go all out. The two clash, fist versus leg. Shinra uses his flying ability to dash to a wall, and as Rekka prepares to punch him, he quickly moves closer to Rekka before he can react, and explosively kicks him upward. Rekka continues to punch him, but Shinra manages to dodge all his punches. As he prepares for his final attack, Shinra lands on the ceiling and jumps off rapidly, falling it a drastic speed with a fiery kick, and lands a direct critical hit on Rekka's face. Shinra triumphs in his intense brawl with Rekka. As Tamaki prepares to evacuate the children, she sees a defeated Rekka, and reminisces about the good times at the 1st Brigade. Resisting his scathed-state, Rekka urges that now he's found a compatible child, he won't let them escape, and begins attacking once again. Before he could accomplish anything, he found his arms frozen solid in a pillar of ice, as Karim walks in the room from behind and puts an end to Rekka's actions.
A New Enemy Edit
Before anyone could have any peace of mind, a bright light radiates through the room that strikes and piercing Rekka's chest severely, as everybody is left in astonishment. The supposed bright light that shone through fatally pierces Rekka in his chest and subsequently kills him, two white hooded figures are seen a few buildings away from the abandoned warehouse Shinra and the others are in. As one of them ignites some fire and creates a fiery bow and arrow, he shoots it directly in the building aiming at the two remaining priests, Karim and Foien, but they dodge it at the last second. Immediately after, Foien spots another bright light coming from afar, aimed at Karim's back, and pushes Karim out of the way before it pierced him, ending up slicing off his own arm. Strategically, Karim orders Shinra to use his ability to make the room filled with dust so that the archer can't see their whereabouts. After, he tells Tamaki to extend her tails toward the snipers, and ends up freezing the flames, making the snipers weary of staying. The masked figures then decide to leave as they can't see the targets and their location had been discovered, and conclude that all the other locations have begun the "Nativity Flame Festival".
Afterward, the 1st Special Fire Brigade call Foien via a device, seeking help, as they are confronted by a gigantic Flame Human in Shinjuku. Coincidentally, the 2nd, 5th and 7th Special Fire Brigade also seem to be faced by similar gigantic Flame Humans, each in their own jurisdiction of areas, as the "Nativity Flame Festival" initiates throughout Tokyo. Conehead does an analysis of the location of the core of a giant Flame Humans, and claims for it to have an innumerable amount.
As the 8th Special Fire Brigade confront a giant Flame Human in the streets of Tokyo, Hibana informs them that it has various cores all over its body, and so Takehisa uses his shotgun to obliterate the monster until only one core was left. Akitaru then finishes the job off, with the rest of the Battalion Commanders also taking care of the giant Flame Humans in their areas. Akitaru and Takehisa discuss the hooded figure they spotted in the shadows of the giant Flame Human. Back at the abandoned warehouse, Shinra informs Karim of his sighting on the hooded duo that attacked them earlier. As Karim hands his jacket to near-naked Tamaki, he tells her to prepare for punishment as she aided in bringing children into the situation, although deceived by Rekka Hoshimiya. Karim then walks over to Shinra and thanks him for helping with defeating Rekka, commenting on how Rekka became a passionate jerk, although to Karim, Rekka will always be the same person. As he gestures Shinra for a handshake, he speaks of his willingness to help with the investigation on the preacher.
As the 1st Special Fire Brigade had to reorganize themselves after Rekka's sudden death, the training for the newcomers was aborted. Arthur Boyle is being searched for, as he got lost searching for Rekka. The newcomers prepare to leave the Cathedral, saying their thanks to Karim and Tamaki. Before they leave, Takeru whispers in Shinra's ear, quietly asking him to ask Tamaki how to contact her after they part ways. As she initially thought Shinra was asking, to which she blushes, but becomes annoyed after learning Takeru asks and didn't ask himself. Later on, back at the 8th Special Fire Fighting Church, Shinra settles in after a long trip at the 1st, and takes in the relaxing atmosphere. As he sits down expecting to see Arthur in front of him, he sees Tamaki, and learns that as punishment, she was appointed to the 8th Brigade and is banned from any activities of the 1st. As Shinra mocks her, Tamaki trips and lands on Shinra, claiming that his place of resting has been disturbed, and questions where Arthur could be.