Author’s Note: And here’s both the second part of the Quadruple Update and the fifth part of “The History of Lost Justice”. I just hope you all enjoy it.
L.G.D.K! Special – The History of Lost Justice (Part 5)
Well… this contract was one of the most difficult ones that I’ve taken so far. First was training Daisuke’s riflemen. The rifles were the same as the match-locks of Feudal Yamato. I was used to muzzle loading black powder rifles, but training soldiers how to use them was a first. Especially since these guys were just inept with firearms. I had to train them how to move in and out of columns, how to shoot in volleys, and to wait until they could see the whites of the enemies’ eyes before firing. In time they became good enough to fight against some of the revolutionary armies in Boromarl that I fought with. Well… at least be good enough to not lose every single man.
I didn’t really do as much fighting as I thought I would at first. Mostly I was stationed to guard Lord Daisuke’s tent during battle. I felt sorry for any of those Nekotaru bastards that managed to get close to the tent, they had to deal with the man who currently holds the title of best gunslinger in the world. There were a few skirmishes during enemy ambushes that I actually got to prove my mettle. Eventually I had to convince Daisuke to allow me to teach some of the riflemen guerrilla tactics and do some raids with me leading a small team. My unit got the nickname “The Strays” because I had led them astray from traditional Ritme Warfare.
My greatest feat was against “Schwerem Stahl”. They were human mercenaries from Portnew that consisted of heavily armored infantry. With their heavy armor and weapons, they were a huge thorn in the Inuharu Clan’s side. But their armor was nothing compared to the Mech Armor of the Old World. Even if the rifles used by my men could only cause dents in their armor, the eyes were still vulnerable. Through the guerrilla tactics I that I had taught the Strays and my skills with revolvers, we were able to win as I had openings to shoot at. Well… having the Strays throw lit dynamite did help. But at the end of the battle, most of Schwerem Stahl were dead.
So far, we were winning the campaign against the Nekotaru clan. Oh, I forget to explain about those guys. They are the clan of feline half-man in the territory of Yattsu, and the greatest rivals of Yottsu’s Inuharu clan. I’ve heard of fighting like cats and dogs before, but this takes the cake.
Also, I managed to get Nagisa to come out of her shell a little. She actually talks to me now. Speaking of which… she’s coming right now.
“Abel-san, do you have to work today?” (Nagisa)
“Nah, your father said today was a temporary ceasefire. So I’m just relaxing against this tree while I can.”
One of the things I did in my free time was read books written in what’s called “Ritme Runes” by the outside world while sitting with my back against a certain tree. It was the language that Inarihime had taught all of the half-man race. As most of my orders were in Ritme Runes, I had to learn them. Thank goodness that I am a fast learner.
“In that case… mind accompanying me to the lake?” (Nagisa)
“Wait… don’t ya have that Shadow of yours to protect you?”
I learned all about personal Shadows from Daisuke, they were Shadows assigned to protect nobility in Ritme. And I’ve had my fair share of run-ins with Nagisa’s Shadow, he’s tried to find every reason to attack me every time I talked to the girl. And each time I made a fool out of him. You would think with the constant humiliations from me and the punishments from Inarihime that he would’ve learned his lesson by now?
“He’s still being disciplined by Inarihime. Besides, there is something I want to show you.” (Nagisia)
What is up with those puppy dog eyes right now? I know she’s a canine half-man, but come on!
“Fine, I got nothing better to do.”
She seemed delighted. All I know is that she had led me to a part of the lake that I didn’t know about. It had a single grave marker.
“This is my mother’s grave.” (Nagisa)
“Oh… so that’s why you wanted me here?”
In truth, this part of the lake was further away from the Iniharu Manor than I thought. I could see why she didn’t want to go alone.
“My mother loved looking at the lake from here because it’s where the lake looked the biggest. Her dream was to someday visit the sea. It’s the reason why I received my name.” (Nagisa)
I see… the meaning of her name is “the seashore” after all.
“Let me guess, the Isolation Policy was in the way?”
“Sadly, that was the case. My mother was frail as a child according to father. She died when I was still a child. But before her death, she would take me to this spot to watch the lake with her and tell me about her dream.” (Nagisa)
I felt bad. I could easily tell that she wanted to visit the sea in order to fulfill her mother’s wish. But sadly, the Isolation Policy is preventing that. Nobles are forbidden from leaving Ritme, so she may never achieve her goal. This girl was no different from Mizuki, a bird trapped in the cage of her family. I wanted to say something comforting, but I didn’t know what to say. This was a rare situation for me, even back in the Old World. But before I could say anything, it started raining.
“Of all times…”
“Abel-san, I don’t think we can make it back to the manor in time.” (Nagisa)
“You’re right, but we need to find shelter before it gets worse.”
“There’s a shack near here. We can wait out the rain there.” (Nagisa)
“In that case, lead the way.”
She then led me to an old shack that was near the woods. When we got inside, I realized that it was one of those traveler’s shacks that were meant to wait out bad weather. This was good, but the fact that the rain fell down harder on the way there wasn’t. Our clothes were soaked.
“There’s blankets. Undress yourself and use one to cover yourself up.”
“No buts, you will catch a cold in those wet clothes. Don’t worry, I’ll be too busy lighting a fire to peek.”
She seemed to have understood. In truth, her father would try to kill me if she caught a cold on my watch. I turned away as I put some firewood into the fireplace. After setting up the kindling, I lit the fire with a match and some spare pieces of paper I had on me. Even though I had the fire started, I waited until she gave the go ahead to turn around.
“Abel-san, it’s safe to look now.” (Nagisa)
I turned around and confirmed that she was safely wrapped inside the blanket. I took her kimono and set it up to dry from the fire’s heat. After that was set, she joined me in front of the fire.
“Abel-san, what about you?” (Nagisa)
“Don’t worry about me.”
“But your clothes are wet as well?” (Nagisa)
All I could do was sigh.
“Fine, but I’m only removing what’s on top.”
I took off my stetson before the poncho. I then had to remove my bandoliers before finally removing my sleeveless shirt. That part caused Nagisa to gasp.
“I’ve never seen so many scars before.” (Nagisa)
“In my line of work, they come with the job.”
“But… they all had to be so painful?” (Nagisa)
“They were. But pain is proof that you’re still alive.”
“Just… why do you live the way that you do?” (Nagisa)
All I could do was chuckle right there.
“Remember that secret I told ya to keep?”
“You mean about being from the Old World?” (Nagisa)
I mainly told her about the Old World as a way to pass time. She loved to hear about how life was back then, technical marvels like the airplane and television. She’s one of the few people to know my real name. And about my life in the Old World as Abel Mechana.
“Yeah. Back then, I couldn’t escape my destiny. In truth, I should have died the day the Old World ended. But I didn’t. I finally had the freedom that I had desired for so long, the freedom to live my life how I see fit. But sadly, the world’s changed. I have no home, not in the current world. I’m just a ghost of the Old World who drifts from battlefield to battlefield.”
She then had a determined look on her face.
“Abel-san, that cannot be true.” (Nagisa)
“It’s reality. I’m both out of place and out of time, cursed to live until death finds me. There’s just no place for me in this world, not anymore.”
“Abel-san… I refuse to believe that.” (Nagisa)
I looked at her, and her expression had changed. I could sense this fear within me that I had never felt before. A fear to top all fears.
“You have a place in this world, by my side.” (Nagisa)
Expression then changed from that scary one to teary-eyed.
“I love you!” (Nagisa)
“You heard me, Abel-san. I love you, have been in love since we first met!” (Nagisa)
I couldn’t believe. No, I can’t accept it.
“I’m sorry Nagisa, but I cannot return those feelings.”
“Because I ain’t worthy. It has nothing to do with me being human. I had a lover back in the Old World, and I lost her. I already messed up one woman’s life, I cannot do that again.”
Hopefully, that can convince her.
“I don’t really know too much about your former lover, but I am not her. I will stay by your side, no matter what happens. I love you, and I refuse to give up. I will make you fall in love with me.” (Nagisa)
Oh no… this ain’t happening. It can’t be!
She then removed the blanket. I could see everything, from her breasts to her pubic hair. I never even went this far with Mizuki, and I was her betrothed. Nagisa had a playful look on her face before pouncing on me, giving me the first kiss I ever had in my life. It tasted sweet like the summer rain. But… I had to end it here.
“Wait a moment.”
“Are you sure that ya just ain’t in heat or something?”
“Abel-san, that’s rude.” (Nagisa)
“Sorry, I don’t know much about half-man biology… that ain’t the point!”
“Then what is?” (Nagisa)
“The point is think before ya leap. Don’t forget, you’re the daughter of my employer. I’m lucky to even be hired right now. If he were to ever find out what just happened here, he would have my head on a silver platter.”
“Then why not just ask him for permission?” (Nagisa)
“As in permission to marry me. If we were married, then he would have no qualms about us doing anything.” (Nagisa)
Is history about to repeat itself here? It’s like she’s like Mizuki, and she’s not at the same time. Just why do I fall for women with determination like that?
“Then how do I go about doing that?”
To our surprise, the door of the shack opened. I grabbed a revolver while Nagisa covered herself with the blanket. But to our surprise… what was at the door was what brought me here. It was Inarihime with a mischievous smile.
“I think I have an idea that can help with your problem, yes?” (Inarihime)
I couldn’t even hold it in.
“What the hell ya damned fox woman!?”
“Oh, I was just passing through when I noticed a fire coming from this shack. And then I looked through the window and saw something very interesting.” (Inarihime)
Nagisa was red from blushing while I was red from anger.
“I can’t be a bride anymore… unless Abel-san takes responsibility.” (Nagisa)
Oh I’ve had it.
“Nagisa, you’re the one who exposed themselves and jumped on me. Inarihime, are you a pervert or something?”
“Not really, just a fan of seeing young love blossom.” (Inarihime)
“Young love… I’m older than you!”
“Yet I’ve been on this earth longer, yes? But that is beside the point.” (Inarihime)
“If you truly want to take responsibility, then I have some information that might be helpful.” (Inarihime)
“Wait a moment… blackmailing my employer goes against the rules I live by.”
“It is not blackmail, it is the reason I sought you.” (Inarihime)
“Remember those mercenaries that the Nekotaru clan hired?” (Inarihime)
“Yeah, Schwerem Stahl.”
“Apparently there was something in their contract that goes against the ethics and laws of Ritme. Something that would anger my late husband.” (Inarihime)
“In the contract with Schwerem Stahl, it was stated that they could keep any prisoners from Yottsu that they capture.” (Inarihime)
“Wait… you don’t mean…” (Nagisa)
“Sadly, it is true. Schwerem Stahl were going to keep them as slaves.” (Inarihime)
From what I had heard, the Ox King united the half-men because they were being taken as slaves. This really goes against everything that the founder of this country believed in.
“They can’t be getting away with it, can they?”
“The Nekotaru clan head is denying any and all knowledge of it, despite his stamp being on the contract. When the emperor found out, he was furious. He was about to have the head executed for violation of ethics. However, a better solution has been found.” (Inarihime)
“A better solution?”
“The head of the Nekotaru clan will be put under indefinite house arrest. However, the current war between the Yattsu and Yottsu territories has yet to be concluded. So the emperor decided that it will all ride on a duel between representatives of both clans. Lord Daisuke has decided on you, Abel.” (Inarihime)
“Wait… what? I’m just a mercenary.”
“But as you still have a contract under Lord Daisuke, you are a representative of the Inuharu clan. However…” (Inarihime)
“However… what?” (Nagisa)
“It ain’t what I’m being paid for.”
“Exactly. Thus you can still set the price. And as a half-man’s word is his honor, he has to honor it.” (Inarihime)
All I could do was smirk.
“Nagisa, it looks like you will get your wish.”
She then smiled and hugged me. But… her blanket fell off. As she was trying to get it back on, Inarihime was chuckling. Seriously, does that woman live for causing trouble?
Either way, the rain had stopped. Nagisa and I got fully dressed again before heading back to Inuharu Manor. When we returned, Daisuke had been fretting because Nagisa was missing. After we explained what happened with the exception of our steamy experience in the shack, he actually seemed very calm about it. I guess with what he was paying me that he trusted me? Either way, the subject came up.
“Has Inarihime told you yet?” (Daisuke)
“Yeah, about the Nekotaru clan and the duel.”
“Abel, I know that the clan is against it. But could you please be our representative?” (Daisuke)
“I don’t know about that… it’s above my pay grade.”
“Then I’ll pay you anything you request.” (Daisuke)
Got him hook, line, and sinker. I then grabbed a piece of paper and wrote something down before folding it.
“What I want for this troublesome job’s written on here. However, you can’t look at it until the duel’s over.”
“Wait… are you trying to bamboozle me?” (Daisuke)
“You said anything, right?”
“I did.” (Daisuke)
“And a half-man’s world is his honor, right?”
“It is.” (Daisuke)
“Then you should have no problem with the terms. Besides, this ain’t gonna hurt the Inuharu clan’s purse strings at all.”
“Do I have your word on that?” (Daisuke)
“First rule, remember?”
“Then I accept your terms.” (Daisuke)
“Good, Inarihime wouldn’t like it if neither of us honored our agreements. Right, Inarihime?”
“That is right.” (Inarihime)
She caused Daisuke to jump.
“What are you doing here… Inarihime-sama?” (Daisuke)
“I’m just here to bear witness. Lost Justice is just a mercenary after all.” (Inarihime)
“Then I’m glad that you’re here.” (Daisuke)
He appeared oblivious to her mischievous grin. And mine as well apparently. Still, he told me that it was the next day. Apparently the duel would take place on a stage prepared on the parade grounds in Yottsu. After dinner, I went to bed early. Nagisa had attempted to do a late night visit, but I sent her back to her room under the pretense of waiting until we’re married. I was just glad that her shadow was still away.
The next morning, I rode out with Lord Daisuke to the parade grounds early. Representatives from all the clans were there. I had quite a few boos when I stepped out there. But not as many as the Nekotaru clan’s representative as word had traveled fast about their contract with Schwerem Stahl. The man I was to face was Taiga, the younger brother of the Nekotaru head. He was a tiger half-man, and very big at that. I could tell by the black stripes in his orange hair, despite the ponytail. And his tail was a dead giveaway. His weapon of choice was a huge Naginata. He looked confident when he sized me up.
“So the Inuharu clan decided to use a puny human? Are they too scared to fight themselves?” (Taiga)
“No, they just thought you ain’t worth their time.”
“Such an insolent tongue, human.” (Taiga)
“You ain’t even heard half of it.”
“I will enjoy taking your head.” (Taiga)
“Not before being on your hands and knees begging for mercy. Don’t forget, anything goes after the duel starts as long as no one interferes.”
“In that case, I will crush you.” (Taiga)
When the crowds arrived, it was a complete sea of half-men as far as the eye could see. The emperor was even here, a big ox half-man sitting on the sidelines fanning himself with a paper fan. On each side, the heads of both the Nekotaru and Inuharu clans. Daisuke was grinning because he knew I had the upper hand. In a duel in Ritme, anything goes as long as there’s no interference.
When the start of the duel was signaled, Taiga charged with his Naginata. I smirked and did a quick draw with my right revolver, fan firing two shots that hit Taiga’s shins. He fell on his knees and used his hands to keep his head from hitting the ground, dropping his weapon. I then had the barrel of the revolver to his temple.
“Remember what I said before the duel started? Start begging.”
“But… you used a foreign gun! That has to be against the rules!?” (Taiga)
“Funny, I didn’t see the rules say that guns were forbidden?”
After some conversing between the clan heads and the emperor. The emperor then spoke.
“As they use those weapons to duel Boromarl where the Inuharu clan representative has fought, I will allow it!” (Emperor)
I then smirked as I cocked the revolver.
“But… this can’t be happening! Where’s the honor!?” (Taiga)
“Honor? Sorry pal, but honor don’t fill one’s stomach. No hard feelings, this is just business.”
I then fired the revolver. As Taiga laid dead, I was declared the winner. I then walked up to Daisuke.
“Well, I just won the duel for ya. So you can read the paper now.”
“I’m sure that the amount written is a fair price to pay.” (Daisuke)
He then unfolded the paper. But when he read it, he turned pale before turning red in anger.
“What is the meaning of this!?” (Daisuke)
“It’s the price for winning your little war.”
“But… my Nagisa!? I will not allow it!” (Daisuke)
Before I knew it, he already reached for the katana at his side. I didn’t have the time or room to draw either of my revolvers, but I didn’t need to. Inarihime herself already had a dagger at Daisuke’s neck.
“Inarihime… sama?” (Daisuke)
“Daisuke-kun, were you about to go back on your word?” (Inarihime)
“Daisuke, what is happening here!?” (Emperor)
“I… was about to strike down… this treacherous snake…” (Daisuke)
“How am I a treacherous snake?”
“You… went too far… with your price this time…” (Daisuke)
“Too far? We agreed on the price for me winning the duel. Inarihime herself was the witness.”
“Daisuke, is this true?” (Emperor)
“It’s… true. We agreed that whatever was written on the paper… would be the price.” (Daisuke)
Inarihime then removed the dagger.
“Daisuke, be thankful that Inarihime stopped you from going back on your word. You know the rule, a half-man’s word is his honor.” (Emperor)
“Yes… your majesty.” (Daisuke)
After that display, Nagisa ran up to me and gave me a big hug. Inarihime smirked at the sight while Daisuke went pale. Little did I know at the time, it wasn’t over. No, I would have one more task to complete before Nagisa and I could be wed. But we’ll save that for next time.
After Note: And this was the fifth part. Yes, Coy’s mother is somewhat of a yandere. Lost should be happy that she didn’t try to kill him. And remember, Inarihime may be a former servant of the Shinto god Inari, but she’s still a fox yokai. Meaning she’s a bit of a prankster. But she really is a fan of young love. Now, time to post the next chapter.