"2nd up to Bat" (第2打席) is the second chapter in Volume 01 of the Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens manga.
Saitoh is nervous as he arrives in Fukuoka.
Meanwhile, his job now completed, Xianming Lin enthusiastically takes the opportunity to help himself to the clothes in Takashi's apartment.
After leaving, he receives a call from his boss, Zhang, who gives him the job of killing a detective named Takeda. While he makes his way there, Lin looks at an old family photo he keeps in his wallet and begins to remember what life was like with his mother and little sister ten years ago, when he was 9 years old. They were a very poor family; his father was an alcoholic and gambling addict who had left them with a lot of debt. He recalls how he would have to beg for money on the streets and eat food from the ground. Eventually he was sold to human traffickers for money.
Later, having reached Takeda’s apartment building, Lin finds out that the detective is already dead.
Meanwhile, Detective Shigematsu meets up with Zenji Banba in Kego Park, as Mayor Harada gives a speech. There, Shigematsu requests that Banba investigate the death of his colleague, Takeda, whose death was officially ruled suicide by hanging. Upon seeing photos of the body, Banba swiftly comes to the conclusion it was not suicide and is indeed the work of a professional killer.
Shigematsu then gives Banba a photo which was sent to him by Takeda. It shows Mayor Harada together with two unknown men and a woman. It does not take long for the two conclude that the detective was killed for conducting an investigation into the mayor. Banba’s interest soon turns to the woman in the photo, Reiko, who is currently with the mayor in the park. In order to see how she reacts, Banba pops a balloon to replicate the sound of a gunshot. His suspicions are confirmed when he sees her stance - she is certainly a killer hired by the mayor.
Reiko later meets up with Munakata, Shinohara and Ivanov, who are all revealed to be killers working for the mayor. Ivanov reports that he has successfully taken care of the detective, Takeda and made it look like suicide.