Author’s Note: and we’re finally back to the Hero of the story. Coy was a different character to write for, an I don’t mean that he was easier than Sea. With Coy… the story of becoming the Hero is longer because I have to write about life in his world, the one where the story takes place. Not to mention that this “Memory” is the longest I have written so far. As for the title of this and the past memories… it’s named after a song. The main difference is that the song that I used for this memory’s title is something from an anime… and better to look for the English Version. Anywho, pleae enjoy?
My name is Coy, I’m a coyote half-man (animal person). The half-man are called that because we look half-human. Though we are not anthropomorphic creatures, we just have some animalistic features. Like animal ears, horns or antlers, and a tail. We even have a better sense of hearing and smell than most of the other races. Other than that, we look human. We can even breed with humans, though the result is usually another half-man. The offspring is normally whatever the other species of the half-man parent is, but on extremely rare case a normal human is born. The same chances happen with dwarfs and elves as well. If two different species of half-man have an offspring, it becomes either one of the two parents’ species.
However, we didn’t come up with the name of our race. It was originally a derogatory term used by the humans of old who first met and feared us. In the past there was a habit of humans enslaving our kind, we were treated as lesser beings. In the past hundred years, slavery of any intelligent being has been prohibited in most parts of our world. But there are still many humans who think of their own race as superior to us. Sadly, it’s the same for half-men thinking of humans as the inferior race. When it came to other races such as the elves and the dwarfs, there has never been hostilities. Of course, no one likes goblins at all.
Other than the history of my people, it’s time for more about myself. I grew up in a frontier town called Anthill Bay. There were no anthills of course, it was called that because of all the different races that live there. Half-men, humans, elves, dwarfs, you name it. Anthill Bay is bigger than most frontier towns, but still not big enough to call a city. We have a port for goods to come in, and it’s located in a place between the forest and the desert. The temperatures are unique for this town, some places it’s hotter and some places it’s cooler. Before you ask, it’s not a medieval town. Even though we have magic, we have things such as fully-automatic firearms called Gusenbergs. People either ride around on horseback, horse-drawn carts, or drive saloon cars. Some people wear rancher’s clothing, some even wear zoot suits with fedoras.
Anthill Bay is actually located on the border of the Boromarl Republic to the south and the Portnew Kingdom to the north. In order to solve the dispute on which country the town belongs to, both agreed that it belongs to neither and allowed it to govern itself. However, both countries have embassies on each side of the town and call it neutral territory. Not to mention that if any other country tries to invade from the sea, that Portnew’s navy shall protect it’s waters. But due to the fact it’s neutral territory, means that the authority of both countries does not count. That’s why Anthill Bay has it’s own set of laws, most of them protect non-human species from being attacked for reasons that are still legal in Portnew Kingdom.
Boromarl Republic on the other hand is pro-non-human species. currently there was a debate on whether or not for the town to join them. However, that would mean that Anthill Bay would be the first town attacked if war were to break out. Not to mention that Portnew would remove the protective laws and most of the non-human residents would be forced into slavery. In case of a war, it was safer for the town to remain neutral. Boromarl was still considered a frontier, a lot of the land had yet to be touched by human hands and otherwise. So being able to protect the residents of Anthill Bay was not going to be possible.
But back on topic, Boromarl’s officials are decided by vote. Even though Anthill Bay is a neutral town, we’re allowed to vote as well. The commander and chief is the Prime Minister. As there’s no nobility in Boromarl, it seemed like the right thing to do. As I mentioned earlier, it’s still a frontier. And it’s government is way younger than that of Portnew Kingdom.
“Boss, why are we studying this crap?” (Zeke)
I looked away from my makeshift desk to the dwarf with long auburn hair and beard sitting beside of me. Ezekiel was a immigrant from a country across the ocean that’s still stuck in the whole ‘humans are superior’ mentality. He came to Anthill Bay to go south to Boromarl as a frontiersman, but he was a stowaway on one of the Walton Trading Company’s ships who got found out when it reached port. Instead of being reported to the sheriff, Boss Walton instead took him in to pay off what would had been a fee for boarding the ship in the first place.
“Because if you work for me, you need to know things like politics.” (Walton)
Dale Walton is the most powerful man in Anthill Bay that’s not in office and a human. He is called Boss Walton for reasons other than being the boss of the Walton Trading Company, he is also the kingpin of Anthill Bay’s criminal underworld. The company is just for his ‘clean’ business as well as a front for all the money laundering. Also, his employees are also his lackeys in the Walton Gang. I should know, I’m one of them.
He is also known as ‘Walton the Eagle’ in both his legitimate and not-so legitimate trades. His head is always shaved while he has a van dyke beard on his face. The shape of his nose also looks like an eagle’s beak, making his appearance look more sinister. Not to mention those eyes of his, always with a look of a predator. Between his looks and his occupation, he is someone that no one in this town wants to cross.
“Dammit Zeke, won’t you just shut up and learn already?” (DJ)
DJ is actually short for ‘Dale Junior”, Dale Walton’s own son. But unlike his father, DJ is actually half-elf. He really didn’t have any of his father’s features except for the narrow jawline and the predator-like eyes. The rest of him was long blonde hair which was always kept in a ponytail and his long elf ears, as well as other facial features that I can only assume are from his mother. The only other thing I knew about him was that he was a year older than me.
“How about the two of you shut up?” (Walton)
That had to have been the fifth time I seen Walton face-palm today. Me, Zeke, and DJ were the only ones being taught this time. That’s because we were the only ones who still needed to learn things. As schooling is a privilege in this town, not too many of us even have an education. But when you work for Boss Walton, you must learn how to read and write as well as learn things such as politics and business. Not to mention… he hates uneducated people.
Not too long after the commotion caused by Zeke and DJ, the whistle blew. That meant break was over and it was time to get back to work. There was plenty of unloading to be done today due to a shipment of muskets coming from Melca, a foreign desert kingdom that were to be picked up by a noble from Portnew. As firearms like the side-bolt rifles are still relativity new, there were still countries that used muskets.
Today I had the so-called honor of meeting with the Portnew noble’s caravan at the front of the building. I personally hated dealing with people from Portnew, but Walton ordered it. As I was standing at the gates smoking a cigarette, I was wondering how the hell my life came to this. I never wanted to be one of Walton’s employees, but he was the only one would hire non-humans at the time that was still hiring. Even though this town is non-human friendly, a lot of the newer businesses are run by people from Portnew.
As I saw the caravan approaching, I made sure that my neck-tie was straight. One of the things that Walton is serious about is appearance. All employees wore blue zoot suits. The dress shirt underneath is optional, so I went with a light blue. But our neck-ties… are the most important part of the uniform. The color of the tie represents your position in both the company and the gang. White is for the lowest rank and black is the highest you can get under Walton’s position. I’m currently a red tie, so I am close to a black tie. And before you ask, Walton himself wears a bolo-tie.
Not long after making sure that my tie was straight, I was approached by one of the caravan guards.
“Oi, half-man. Is this is the Walton Trading Company?” (guard)
I really felt like pointing out that it said so at the sign, but I could not be rude as I didn’t want to be punished by Walton later.
“This certainly is the Walton Trading Company, my good sir.”
I could see the disgust in the guard’s face after my proper reply. I could easily tell that this guy had to have been a former royal guard who got transferred to the service of a noble. He may had been wearing chain-mail with a white tunic over it and a nasal helmet, but I could tell by the broadsword hanging from his left hip. The scabbard was too ornate for a mere guard. Not to mention that the crossbow that was strapped to his back was not being properly handled.
“Where be your master, half-man?” (Guard)
Ugh… I hated the way he said it. It made me sound more like a slave than a person. As much as I wanted to shoot this guy with the revolver holstered under my left shoulder, I had to keep my cool and remain proper.
“My boss is currently overseeing the cargo being unloaded from the Melca ship. It’s the Walton Trading Company’s policy to make sure that all inventory is properly accounted for. But if Mr. Balsac wants, I can accompany him to Mr. Walton’s location.”
I could tell that I really made that guard mad. He drew his broadsword and pointed it at my gullet.
“How dare you! Earl Balsac is Portnew nobility, the Earl of Drei, and the brother of the Arch Bishop of Portnew! I should have your head and present it to him!” (Guard)
Again, a whole lot of aristocratic nonsense that I didn’t need.
“Guard, lay down your sword.” (Balsac)
While the Guard was being a pain in the ass, the Earl of Drei himself had already stepped out of his personal carriage. By his looks, he was in his later forties like Walton. But unlike Walton, he wore a full-beard that was neatly trimmed and blond hair that was long and curled. Like all Portnew nobility, he wore a high-class black short-tunic that had puffy shoulders and a fully-buttoned crimson jerkin. Not to mention he wore one of those annoying white ruffs around his neck. The rest of his attire was white leggings, brown leather knee-boots with matching leather gloves.
“But m’lord, this mere slave dared mock your good name?” (Guard)
“No, you just misinterpreted his words. And do not forget, Anthill Bay is not a part of our beloved Portnew. There is no slavery or serfdom here. This man is an employee of Mr. Walton’s, not slave labor.” (Balsac)
I tried my best not to grin as the Guard tried not to throw a tantrum after putting his sword back in the scabbard. Personally, I think I handled this pretty well.
“Now… you there, employee. What is your name?” (Balsac)
“It’s Coy, sir.”
“Alright Coy, can you please take me to Mr. Walton?”
I didn’t like the way he asked for my name, but he did have more manners than the Guard. The two of them silently followed me to the loading area where we found Walton. He had papers in his hand, which meant that he just finished checking the inventory.
“Earl Balsac, ever the pleasure.” (Walton)
“The same to you, Mr. Walton. Do you have the cargo?” (Balsac)
“Just finished checking. All fifty crates are full of muskets.” (Walton)
“Good. Now, did anything else happen to be in that shipment?” (Balsac)
“Actually… there was a water-tight crate that wasn’t on the manifest. Care to explain?” (Walton)
“That Mr. Walton, is none of your business. It was part of the cargo that I ordered from Melca.” (Balsac)
“Then I’m afraid that I can’t legally give it to you, Earl Balsac.” (Walton)
“You don’t need to. It was never there.” (Balsac)
I then seen two of the other guards from the caravan carry a trunk and set it down in front of Walton. I couldn’t believe it if I didn’t see it. When one of the guards opened it, it was full of gold coins. A lot of other jaws dropped as well. But Walton… had a change of expression for the worst.
“Earl Balsac, are you trying to bribe me?” (Walton)
“It’s not a bribe, it’s a gift for keeping this matter silent.” (Balsac)
“You know that I don’t accept ‘gifts’ during business hours. Sorry, but I cannot release that crate to your custody right now.” (Walton)
“Mr. Walton, you do not seem to understand. I must have that piece of cargo before I return to Drei.” (Balsac)
“Then come back tonight. We will discuss this matter then.” (Walton)
I could easily see the anger on the Earl’s face, but he agreed. After Balsac’s men loaded their carts with the crates full of muskets, they left. They did leave the trunk full of gold, but Walton ordered Zeke and DJ to take it to his office. He then ordered a meeting.
“Alright you lugs, there is something fishy about this.” (Walton)
“But isn’t ‘fishy’ what the business is about, pa?” (DJ)
For the sixth time today, Walton face-palmed.
“That’s the ‘other’ business we’re in, son. For the Earl of Drei to try something like this in broad daylight… I don’t like it.” (Walton)
“Boss, there is a lot that you don’t like.” (Zeke)
“Thank you for stating the obvious… Ezekiel. Still, I need you to check these coins out.” (Walton)
“Heh, we dwarfs know metal like the back of our hands.” (Zeke)
With that, Zeke took one and licked it. I never understood why or how he could do it, but apparently dwarfs had the ability to check the quality of minerals by taste. By my guess, that’s why they are normally in the mining and blacksmithing businesses. But by the face he made, I could tell something was wrong.
“This coin is a fake! The quality of gold is too low.” (Zeke)
“Knew it. Now Coy and DJ, let’s go open that crate.” (Walton)
I didn’t like the happenings, but we followed his orders. Both me and DJ had to carry it from where it was stashed to just outside of the office. As we carried it, I noticed a ‘swooshing’ noise as the crate rocked. Also, it had the faint smell of salt water. I couldn’t understand it as the outside of the crate was dry.
Walton handed me a crowbar. I didn’t even need him to tell me what to do. Carefully, I removed the nails. After a few were pulled out, the crate started to rock.
“What are you standing there for? Open it.” (Walton)
I pulled out the last few nails and pried the lid off. What happened next, I couldn’t believe. A human torso pulled itself out. It was a female with pink hair and eyes. Her hair was very long and had a clam shell-like accessory to keep her bangs to the left. But when I paid closer attention to her neck… she had gills. That’s when I paid attention to the rest of her, she also had a pink fin. Not to mention… a very huge bust.
“Hey Mermaid, are you alright?” (Walton)
“Where am I?” (mermaid)
“You’re currently at the Walton Trading Company in Anthill Bay. Don’t worry, we won’t hurt you. My name is Walton, I’m the owner of this place. We only want to know what happened.” (Walton)
“Hello there, my name is Abigail. I am the first princess of the Undersea Empire, but you may refer to me as Abby.” (Abby)
“Wait… Princess Abigail?” (Walton)
“You know of me?” (Abby)
“I do. Your disappearance has been in the headlines of the news lately. Not to mention that your father is close to declaring war with the surface… again.” (Walton)
“Oh no, I must return at once!” (Abby)
“Not so fast, Princess.” (Walton)
“No buts. Look, we can’t let you go until we know what happened.” (Walton)
“I see… then I shall start from the beginning. I was off playing with a school of flounder when I suddenly ended up in the net of a Melca fishing boat.” (Abby)
Go figure. Melca is a nation that is still huge on slavery. They are even worse than Portnew on the subject, it’s dangerous for anyone. Even humans can end up as slaves there. For the Melca, anyone who is a non-believer of their religion is not even a person. So all intelligent species are fair game.
“Now that we know how you were caught, try telling us how you ended up in Anthill Bay?” (Walton)
“Despite my pleas to release me, they refused to listen. After spending a few months in captivity, I was told that I was going to Portnew. Apparently I was sold.” (Abby)
“That damned Balsac…” (Walton)
Something told me that Balsac wasn’t going to be a valued customer in the near future. Then again, he did get us involved in an international incident. For someone in Walton’s situation, there was no bribe big enough to get out of this one.
“What are we gonna do, boss?”
I was dumb enough to ask.
“Coy, stay here. I’m going to increase security. I’ll send a messenger to Balsac, he’s not getting away with this one. DJ and Ezekiel, get my car. We’re going straight to Sheriff Dalton and report what we found. No way in hell am I going to hang for anyone else’ crimes!” (Walton)
That was Boss Walton for you. No way in hell was anyone going to make a fool out of him.
“Coy, grab a Gusenberg. Knowing that asshole Balsac, he’s going to try to get the Princess back. Also, move her crate into the office. Mermaids cannot be too far away from water and that’s the safest place for her. And if we can get through this… I’ll make you, Ezekiel, and DJ all black ties.” (Walton)
If we were all becoming black ties, this really was serious.
As Walton left with the others, I moved the crate into the office with the help of a cart. I didn’t know all the details or why Balsac wanted the Princess, things like that were not my strong suit. All I could do was peek through the blinds to see other guys in blue zoot suits patrolling the area. As we just handed Balsac’s men a lot of muskets, there was no telling how they were going to do this.
“Mr. Coy?” (Abby)
“What’s going to happen to me?” (Abby)
“Well… I don’t know the details. All I know is that we’re both in the middle of a huge mess right now.”
“I’m scared.” (Abby)
“To be honest… I’m scared too.”
“You are?” (Abby)
“Yeah, I am. All my time working for Mr. Walton… I’ve gotten involved in a lot of things. But none of those can compare to what’s going on right now. However… I can promise you this.”
She looked at me with eyes full of despair.
“I will protect you. No matter what happens, I will make sure that you will return home safely.”
Her despair had started to change into hope.
“Thank you…” (Abby)
With that, I could see her eyes starting to tear up. But before I could do anything, I heard a Wilhelm Scream.
“What the hell!?”
I peeked through the curtains to see the two guys patrolling on the ground with crossbow bolts sticking out of them. Also, two men that I seen from Balsac’s personal guard searching the area.
“Abby, I’m going to have to ask you to keep your head down for a while. Alright?”
She nodded and complied with my request. All I could do was grab the Gusenberg and breathe before kicking the door open.
“Say hello to my little friend!”
A line that I always wanted to say as I fired at the two intruders.
Rat tat tat tat*
Rat tat tat tat*
As I fired, I made sure to only do burst shots as the aim gets worse the longer you hold your finger down on the trigger with these things. Both enemies fell, but then I heard a ‘woosh’ in my direction thanks to my hearing. I turned to my left and grabbed the crossbow bolt right before it could hit my face.
“Damnable beast!” (intruder)
The intruder threw down his crossbow and drew his sword. As he charged at me, all I could do was sigh. I dropped the bolt he fired at me and shot him with the Gusenberg.
Rat tat tat tat*
“Seriously? I have a freaking machine gun and you idiots are coming at me with swords and crossbows?”
Sadly, now both the smell of blood and gunpowder were flooding my nose. I didn’t like it, I lost focus because I tried to cover my nose. But before I could focus, I was finally caught off guard enough for someone to sneak up on me and knock me through the window back into the office.
“Did you really think you could win, beast?” (Guard)
It was the same guard from earlier. The bastard was actually strong enough to kick me through a window.
“Against an asshole like you? Of course.”
I had lost the Gusenberg when he kicked me. He picked it up, and had it aimed at me. But there was no way I was going to like this guy get to Abby.
“It would be in your best interest to surrender, beast.” (Guard)
He pulled the trigger, but nothing happened. Lady luck herself was on my side as the drum magazine jammed when the gun hit the floor.
“Bloody hell?” (Guard)
I took that chance to jump back through the broken window and tackle him. When we hit the concrete, we wrestled as I couldn’t let him draw his sword. Sadly, he was stronger and managed to throw me off of him. He got up first and drew his sword.
“This time… I’ll have your head, damnable beast!” (Guard)
He rushed at me with his sword at the ready. I grabbed the first thing I could to counter. For once, I was glad that I didn’t put a crowbar away. As he kept swinging and I was forced on the defensive, I managed to make it back onto my feet. His swings were getting stronger and stronger and I could feel my grip on the crowbar starting to weaken with each vibration from the impact.
Before I could just give in, I managed to peak into the broken office window. Abby had disobeyed me and was looking at us. That mermaid’s face reminded me of the promise I had made to her, I couldn’t die yet. No, it wasn’t that. I couldn’t let her see me die by this racist’s hand.
I quit defending and swung the crowbar at full strength. Surprisingly, it was enough force to cause the Guard’s sword to fly out of his hands. Now I was the one with the upper hand.
“Wait… we can work this out!” (Guard)
“But aren’t I nothing more than a beast?”
“Please think rationally!?” (Guard)
“Why should I?”
Before I could beat his brains in, I heard a gunshot.
The bullet barely missed my head. I turned my head to see a very familiar man wearing rancher’s clothing. It was the sheriff.
“Coy, put down the crowbar.” (Dalton)
“Thank you good sir, this beast attacked me.” (Guard)
“You shut up, I saw you attacking him with a sword.” (Dalton)
“No buts, you’re under arrest for breaking and entering as well as trespassing on private property. Not to mention assault with a deadly weapon.” (Dalton)
“You can’t arrest me! I am a guard in the service of Earl Balsac, the Earl of Drei!” (Guard)
“You’re forgetting something, this isn’t Portnew. This is Anthill Bay.” (Dalton)
“No buts, you do not have diplomatic immunity. Now surrender quietly.” (Dalton)
I tried my hardest not to laugh as Dalton put that guard in handcuffs. It was the first time that I saw the old sheriff read someone else their rights. As Dalton was having his deputies take that guy away, Walton walked up to me.
“Dammit Coy… couldn’t you have made less of a mess of this place?” (Walton)
“Considering the circumstances, I’m surprised that only this much happened.”
“You have a point there. So I’m only deducting the window from your pay.” (Walton)
“You’re the one who went through it.” (Walton)
“Other than that, good job.” (Walton)
“Thanks… oh. Shouldn’t there have been more of Balsac’s men? I mean… I only faced that guy and three others.”
“There were, but the back-up managed to make it on time. Not to mention we had a fun time trying to make it to Sheriff Dalton.” (Walton)
“We’ll talk about it later.” (Walton)
Before I could say another word, I collapsed. I could remember multiple voices screaming my name, but I only managed one sentence before losing consciousness.
“Stick a fork in me, I’m done.”