Author’s Note: Hello peeps, this is the first part of the Quadruple Update. What better way to start it than the fourth part of “The History of Lost Justice”. Please enjoy?
L.G.D.K! Special – The History of Lost Justice (part 4)
It was just the usual day after the end of yet another revolution in Boromarl for me. Because of the fact that I was hired by the previous revolutionary army, the new one that hired me has turned their rifles on me. And like the time before, the men assigned to kill me are all dead. With the exception of their captain, Pablo Reyes.
“Pablo, did ya really have to try this? I mean… thought we were amigos? And that I told ya about the last idiotic captain, it always ends this way.”
“But… you were with the last government before it’s revolution. And the one before that. We cannot trust you.” (Pablo)
“Hey, I only fight for money. I don’t fight for ideals, only idiots do that. That’s why I only trust money.”
“And then you will fight for the next revolutionary army as well. We had to stop you.” (Pablo)
“Only if they pay. Don’t forget, there are rules. Rule number one, once I take a contract I don’t change sides until the contract’s up.”
“Lost Justice, may you die a hundred deaths!” (Pablo)
“Hasta la vista, mi amigo.”
I shot Pablo between the eyes, my usual MO or modus operandi for when something gets personal. I just wish that these idiots wouldn’t pull this crap, it makes accepting the next contract much easier. So I walked outside of the hotel that I was staying in and stole Pablo’s horse. He wasn’t going to need it. When I reached the next town, I checked into the local hotel. I only gave this new government a week before another revolution starts. As I was cleaning myself off with a damp rag, I got a knock on my room door. I grabbed one of my revolvers and had it ready.
“I take it that this is the room that Lost Justice is staying, yes?” (?)
By the sound of the voice, it was a woman. I cracked the door open to see that it was a half-man. But… this is the first time I had ever seen a silver fox. And what caught me off guard, she was wearing a kimono.
“Why are you wearing a kimono in Boromarl?”
“That is odd, no one here should know what a kimono is? My name is Inarihime, I come from Ritme.” (Inarihime)
That was a name that I haven’t heard before. And she says that she’s from Ritme? I’ve heard of that country during my travels, it’s a mysterious land surrounded by a large wall. And it was the country of the half-man race, founded by the only half-man Hero so far. Out of curiosity, I let her in.
“What do ya want?”
“Just to see if you were interested in a new job.” (Inarihime)
“A new job? Look, I just got done cleaning up after the last one not even an hour ago. Besides, you don’t know me.”
“Oh, I know all about you. A bunkin who mysteriously appeared in a town with no name and took out a vicious gang of rat half-men that called themselves the Wild Five to save a traveling night elf. In less than two years, you have already help five different revolutions succeed in this country. Not bad for someone so young, yes?” (Inarihime)
I didn’t even let go of my revolver.
“Believe it or not, I’m older than I look. Also, tell your little friends to stop hanging outside the window.”
She looked surprised at my words. She then commanded them to leave before speaking again.
“I am surprised, not even a half-man can detect the Shadows. They are trained to avoid all forms of detection, so how did you notice them?” (Inarihime)
“As I said, I’m older than I look. Probably older than you.”
“I doubt it. I will not give my age, but I assure that I am older.” (Inarihime)
“I’m almost two-thousand.”
Again, she looked shocked.
“You are older than I am. But… you are human, yes?” (Inarihime)
“To be honest, I was frozen for most of it.”
“Yeah, asleep in ice since the final day of the Old World. I only woke up about two years ago.”
She snickered a bit. I was feeling somewhat annoyed.
“You are interesting. But age does not equal experience.” (Inarihime)
“True, but you ain’t no half-man. Am I right?”
Looks like I had her there. She stopped snickering.
“You are correct. Like you, I am not from this world. I believe the concept is time and space, yes? You are from another time, and I am from another space.” (Inarihime)
“There are worlds other than this one. I came from another.” (Inarihime)
“Hold it right there, you’re from another world?”
“That is correct. I arrived a mere thousand years ago. So as you said, I am not a half-man.” (Inarihime)
This was weird… and this is coming from a guy who was encased in an icebox for almost two-thousand years.
“Why tell me this?”
“Why tell me about your roots, yes?” (Inarihime)
The oldest trick in the book, answering one question with another. had me there. Time to change the subject before I start an argument.
“Anyways, why did ya travel all the way from Ritme?”
“The feudal lords have started hiring mercenaries from outside of Ritme to assist with their battles. Daisuke Inuharu, the lord of Yottsu would like to hire you.” (Inarihime)
“Wait… that name sounds familiar.”
“It should not.” (Inarihime)
“It does, it has it’s roots in Yamato. Just like kimonos.”
“Do you mean to tell me that there were kimonos in the old world?” (Inarihime)
“Yeah, classical wear for maidens in the country of Yamato.”
She was deep in thought for a minute before speaking.
“Apparently this country of Yamato was similar to my homeland of Japan. Oh my late husband would not be happy.” (Inarihime)
“Your late husband?”
“He was the Ox King, the hero who founded Ritme.” (Inarihime)
“You heard me. I am the widow of the Ox King. Also I am the founder of the Shadows. Normally I do not divulge this information, but you are unique yourself. Now, are you interested in Lord Daisuke’s offer? Or would you prefer the cycle of fighting for a new government only to be betrayed once the revolution is over in this country again?” (Inarihime)
I couldn’t figure this woman out. The offer seemed legit… but where is the promise that the cycle wouldn’t repeat itself.
“Before I answer, how’s Lord Daisuke’s integrity?”
“In Ritme, the word of a man is his honor. He will be nothing like those prime ministers that have hired you in the past.” (Inarihime)
“Fine, I’ll take the job. When does he wanna see me?”
“As soon as possible. There is a ship moored in Anthill Bay that is leaving for Stinwin in one week. From there, you will be taking a carriage to Ritme’s western entrance.” (Inarihime)
“Is there a problem?” (Inarihime)
“Yeah… there’s someone there whom I owe a few bullets. Sadly, I don’t know where he is. All that I know is that he’s there.”
“This does seem to be a problem. But what is more important, revenge or money?” (Inarihime)
This was a tough one. Yeah, I wanna kill old Billy Bob. However… he’s still holding Mizuki hostage. If I were to make a move against that sadistic bastard, there’s no telling what he’d do. For her sake, there was only one answer.
“I see. Well, I will see you on the ship to Stinwin. Be sure you do not change your mind when we get off the boat.”
She finally left. I stored my things back into the Bunk-Man before telling the man at the counter that I’m leaving early. He only left me alone after I told him to keep the money. The journey to Anthill Bay was not an easy one. Especially with people in Boromarl’s newest government wanting my head on a silver platter. However, I managed to make it to Anthill Bay in one piece. And when I arrived, it had a little bit of the same vibe I had in Stinwin. Other than horse-drawn carts and carriages, people were driving around in old looking cars. It reminded me of the town with no name, but bigger and some buildings that didn’t match the old western film backdrop.
“I should have just lived here.”
I couldn’t hold that in, I should had came here a lot sooner. Indoor plumbing, so no need for outhouses. When I checked into the hotel, I felt happy to take what seemed to be my first shower in almost two-thousand years. No more whore baths for me. But that night, I received a familiar visitor in Inarihime.
“Enjoying yourself before the boat ride, yes?” (Inarihime)
“Trust me, I’ve missed indoor plumbing.”
“Just remember, we leave in the morning.” (Inarihime)
“Oh, I know. So don’t worry, I’ll make it.”
“I was just making sure.” (Inarihime)
After she left, I went to a tavern run by a guy named Stony. The booze were way better than what’s on the top self in any saloon in Boromarl. But I was sure to return to the hotel and sleep before it got late because of Inarihime’s reminder. I woke up the next morning with the slight regret of leaving this town. But I did make it to the ship in time. That boat ride, was a month long. With as rocky as those waters were, I was surprised that I was kept sedated the whole time on my way to Boromarl. All I knew is that I didn’t want to ride on a ship for a long time.
When we made it to Stinwin, Inarihime made sure that I was on that carriage. I could only assume that she remembered what I told her about owing a certain someone some bullets. Either way, we only made stops in small villages instead of any of the cities. When we reached the gate, we had to disembark from the carriage and I had to ride in the back of a hay cart. But the scenery, was something else. It looked like something out of an old Yamato period drama. The farmers with their rice fields, the wandering swordsmen, you name it.
When we arrived at Inuharu manor, some guards arrived before the big man himself. He was a wolf half-man with an eye-patch on his left eye. His attire was mostly black, but he looked like he walked straight out of a Yamato period drama like everyone else I’ve met in Ritme so far. Especially with those two swords he wore at his waist.
“Inarihime-sama, this is that mercenary you told me about?” (Daisuke)
“He is.” (Inarihime)
He then sized me up. I was wondering what he was up to, but then the wind blew with him being downwind from me. He sniffed the wind.
“I smell gunpowder, the scent of the desert, tobacco, and blood.” (Daisuke)
I knew that the half-man race had the best smelling in the world, but he could smell all that from me? And I was sure to bathe at the last village we stopped at on the way to Ritme.
“I have spent quite a bit of time in Boromarl.”
“Yeah, I read it in the reports. To be honest, you don’t look like a mercenary who helped succeed five different revolutions. You look more like a drifter who travels the wastes than anything else.” (Daisuke)
“How else do you think I ended up fighting in all those revolutions?”
My instincts kicked in with that remark. But what caught me off guard was that he laughed at it,
“Inarihime-sama, I like this kid.” (Daisuke)
“It appears that Lord Daisuke has taken a liking to you.” (Inarihime)
“I know that!”
He then stopped all laughing.
“Do you know who that woman is?” (Daisuke)
“Yeah, she told me everything before we arrived.”
“Daisuke-kun, he knows who my late husband is. As well as my position.” (Inarihime)
“What!? Why did you tell him?!” (Daisuke)
He looked like his remaining eye was about to pop from the socket.
“Because I have taken a liking to him as well. He… makes me feel young.” (Inarihime)
Oh please don’t be adding fuel to a fire?
“What did you do to Inarihime-sama!?” (Daisuke)
“Whatever I did, it ain’t what you’re thinking.”
“He speaks the truth.” (Inarihime)
“You… old fox woman. Be more clear when you speak!” (Daisuke)
“But what is the fun in that, yes?” (Inarihime)
She was giggling while Daisuke was face palming. Just… what mess did I step into this time?
“Be sure to tell me what she meant later, all right?” (Daisuke)
He then had me follow him into the manor. I could see all kinds of vassals that were ready to serve at a moments notice. This made some of the future prime ministers who had hired me for their revolutionary armies look poor. Our destination was the courtyard in the middle of the manor. This place was too much like an old mansion in Yamato. In the courtyard were two younger half-man. One was a boy with gray hair like Daisuke’s. I could instantly tell he was a wolf as well. But the other… was a girl with hair more like a dark ginger. By her tail… she’s a coyote.
“Kenshiro, Nagisa, come and meet the mercenary I hired.” (Daisuke)
Both of them stopped what they were doing and came to us. The girl who was Nagisa was hiding behind Kenshiro. She seemed a little shy.
“I am Kenshiro, son of Daisuke. This is my sister Nagisa.” (Kenshiro)
“Nice too meet ya both, just call me Lost Justice.”
I offered my hand, but Kenshiro refused it.
“Father, why hire this human? He shows no respect to the future lord.” (Kenshiro)
“Kenshiro… there’s no guarantee that you will be the next lord of Yottsu. You know the clan law.” (Daisuke)
“I might as well tell you as you’re working for me now. The law of the clan is that you have to be the eldest child and male. Nagisa was born seconds before Kenshiro, so he can only inherit my title if I retire before Nagisa weds another canine half-man or before she has a firstborn half-man child that’s male. Meaning that if Nagisa marries another canine half-man, her husband becomes the next lord of Yottsu. Or if her firstborn is both male and canine half-man, then he will be next in line.” (Daisuke)
“That’s… a very unique law.”
“It’s always been the law of the Inuharu clan.” (Daisuke)
“So does that mean… they’re twins?”
“Fraternal twins.” (Daisuke)
I could tell that there’s some resentment within Kenshiro. That look in his eyes… was the same look in Cain’s when compared to me. Still…
“Nagisa, are ya scared of me?”
“You’re the first human she’s ever seen.” (Daisuke)
“I see. Nagisa, I don’t bite.”
Right there, Daisuke started laughing.
“A human telling a canine half-man that they don’t bite, that’s hilarious!” (Daisuke)
I had to hold in the urge to laugh myself. Nagisa on the other hand… started to giggle.
“Nagisa, I have something for ya. But you have to come up to me and hold out your hand.”
Cautiously, she stepped from behind her brother’s back and in front of me with her hand held out. I dropped my little gift in it.
“It’s a butterscotch candy.”
I grabbed another one from my pocket and untwisted the paper before putting it in my mouth. She followed suit. I could see the smile on her face when the flavor kicked in.
“Good, ain’t it?”
She nodded. Looks like there’s some progress. The only reason I’m doing this is because I can’t stand frightened people who are not my enemies.
“That’s strange.” (Daisuke)
“She normally avoids people outside of the clan. To see her take a candy from you, a human is something new.” (Daisuke)
“Yes. Just don’t be treating the men you’re training the same way.” (Daisuke)
“Wait… I thought I was only hired to fight?”
“That’s your main purpose. In truth, I need someone with experience to help train the riflemen. I’m sure that you’re experienced with rifles, right?” (Daisuke)
“I’m experienced with all firearms. But training your men ain’t in our contract.”
“Do you have room for renegotiation?” (Daisuke)
“If ya have room to add more money.”
“Father, if I may?” (Kenshiro)
“Yes, son?” (Daisuke)
“I do not trust this human. He hasn’t done anything yet and he’s already asking for more money.” (Kenshiro)
“If I may, Boss?”
“Boss? I know that I’m your employer right now, but you don’t have to call me that.” (Daisuke)
“I call all the people who hire me that.”
“Fine. Anyway, speak.” (Daisuke)
“I’m sure that young Kenshiro doesn’t know how the world works.”
“Hey, I will be seventeen soon enough you old man!” (Kenshiro)
“Old? I’m practically nineteen.”
“Long story. Anyway, the world doesn’t work the same for you as it does me. I’m a mercenary, so I have rules.”
“We all have rules we must go by. Like my rules are the laws I must obey. First rule, once I take a contract I don’t change sides until the contract’s up. Meaning that I stay loyal to the person paying me until the job’s done. Second rule, I never do anything above my pay grade. Meaning that I don’t do anything other than what I’m already being paid to do. Third rule, I only follow the orders of my employer. Meaning that I take orders from no one else unless my employer tells me to. Forth rule, I don’t follow orders that conflict with my believes. Meaning that I do not harm innocents. And the fifth and final rule, only break off the contract if my employer betrays me.”
“Those are some rules.” (Daisuke)
“Then I’m sure you heard of them before recruiting me.”
“They were in Inarihime’s reports, so I have heard about them.” (Daisuke)
“In that case, we better get to renegotiating our contract.”
“But… that’s just stupid!” (Kenshiro)
Kenshiro did shut his trap, but I was curious.
“Please let the boy speak?”
“Fine. Kenshiro, you may speak.” (Daisuke)
“Father, this human shows no loyalty to anything other than money. Not to mention that he could be a con-artist?” (Kenshiro)
“Kenshiro, has Inarihime ever been wrong?” (Daisuke)
“No, but what I’m saying is that he should prove his worth if he wants to be paid so much.” (Kenshiro)
“Prove my worth? I sell my skills, not snake oil. But if you want me to prove my worth, I’ll do it on the house just to shut you up.”
“In that case… I challenge you to a duel!” (Kenshiro)
“Kenshiro, do you have a death wish?” (Daisuke)
“Do not worry father, I will not lose to a human.” (Kenshiro)
“So boss, do you want him killed or humiliated?”
“Please, don’t kill him?” (Daisuke)
“Normally, that would cost extra. But I’m in the mood to humiliate instead.”
“You will take back those words when I take your head, human.” (Kenshiro)
“Oh please, I won’t even have to fire one bullet.”
The duel was arranged so that Daisuke’s generals and other commanding officers could watch, as well as other members of the Inuharu clan. Kenshiro looked confident, but that only made me want to humiliate him more. Besides, he has more to prove than I do.
“I will give you one chance human, leave Yottsu or leave your head?” (Kenshiro)
“How about take my head… if you can?”
He then rushed at me for a vertical strike with his katana. I blocked it with the bottom of my left revolver’s grip. And it surprised him.
I then kicked him hard enough in the stomach to cause him to fly a few feet. The impact of my foot caused him to drop his sword.
“Hesitation leads to death on the battlefield. If you have time to be surprised, then you have time to strike again.”
He picked up his sword and tried again with a vertical strike. I dodged with a spin and then drew my right revolver. But I didn’t shoot him. No, I pistol-whipped the back of his head and knocked him out.
“Boss, what do ya think?”
“I think that I should definitely pay extra.” (Daisuke)
He said it with one of the most pleased smiles that I had seen in a long time. I don’t even remember the last time I seen an employer smile like that? All I saw were mixed reactions from the crowd. Some were amazed while others were appalled that I defeated the son of the family head. But I didn’t care, I’m not being payed to appease anybody. Just being paid to fight. Sadly in this land that reminded me of the Yamato of old, the direction of my life would change.
After Note: And that peeps was the fourth part. Yes, it was Inarihime herself that scouted Lost Justice. One of the reasons I created the country of Yamato was for a reference when writing about Lost’s story in Ritme. He needed some form of familiarity and I was slightly lazy. And the reason he said “See you later” in Spanish was because he knows that he’s going to die one of these days, has known since he killed the Wild Five. Now, I’m getting ready to post the next part.