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Shinji had kept his sword hidden. Despite of all his efforts, he couldn’t disguise it into something else.
On the doorstep of Chosokabe house, he did not know what to expect.
Shinji knocked the door in the gentlest way possible. Without any answer, he ditched the idea of showing politeness and knocked like he was punching the door.
“Stop knocking or I will put your own knuckles up your ugly ass.” An annoyed voice came out through the door.
“I apologize for inconvenience.” Shinji said.
“Ser Chosokabe, would you like to listen to me for a while? I don’t even mind talking with your door closed.” Shinji was looking to persuade.
“You must be one of those who have been knocking my door since yesterday. I have heard hundred freaks like you.” Rude man spoke.
“But you should listen to me. Maybe you had met bad talkers.” Shinji was trying.
“And you are made up of gold, aren’t you? You scums have scared my wife and daughter.”
“Ser, I have no idea whom you are talking about. I belong to no clan.”
“Do you see a cloth hanging on tree nearby you?” old man rambled.
Shinji moved his head and spotted the waving shirt, “Pretty clear.”
“He was refusing to leave so I killed him and now his filth works as my house banner. Now, I don’t know what you are wearing but I guess I will be willing to have two banners.”
Shinji had no intention to fight.
“I will go. But you need to hear something. Stay safe.” Shinji said.
He heard female gasps from inside.
They must have been his daughter and wife whom he had been talking about.
Shinji then set off from there after getting no response.
He walked through the forest, thinking about the brutal rejection which he had just got.
Shinji consolidated himself by assuming he could have been killed no matter how valiant he was.
I am just another clown now. He was concerned while heading towards the pub.
Shinji was ready to join the embarrassment club. It was a relief he was not the only one to go through same experience.
He was merely another guy who had different story with same ending to tell.
After a short walk in Logrum forest, he reached to the inn.
Shinji could hear people sing in sedated voice. He wished nobody was sober enough to remember how much enthusiasm he had within him when he had left the place.
“Drink till death!” people inside roared.
Mugs clattered together.
Finding nobody at the reception, he decided to head in.
“Sword outside please.” A woman came with empty cups.
Shinji put his sword on her table while she filled those utensils she had brought with her.
She offered him one, “Drink till death, Shinji.”
“I don’t want to die.” Shinji made himself clear.
“It is inevitable. Better hold mead than a sword when death comes with his arms open.”
Shinji didn’t want to taste it at all.
“Cut throats like you are drinking in there.” She pointed inside, “I doubt if any of them will leave this place till apocalypse.”
He was yet to utter any word.
“Ahh, let it be.” She sighed, “You’re another failure, nothing more. You’ve failed us, the realm and the entire world-“
“Chosokabe was hard to convince.” Shinji couldn’t take the humiliation.
“Did you tell him everything clear?”
“I would have scared them more. They’re already shaken.”
“What about taking soft route?”
“I didn’t hurt anyone. It is the softest I can be.”
“You seriously need a drink.” She pushed the mug towards him.
Shinji shoved it back at her, “No drinking till I save this world.”
He went on to seize his sword and hoist it like a rucksack.
Shinji opened the exit door.
“Look at this fool running away from humiliation.” A fat cut-throat came out with a mug, spilling wine.
“It is his choice, Fujimoto.” She said to him, “And he says he won’t drink till he has saved our world.”
Fujimoto grinned, “He doesn’t drink much anyways.”
“Do you mind clearing your debt?”
“Are you asking me?” Fujimoto looked at the pretty lady.
“Don’t be amused. I am asking you to pay for your drink, not asking for a night out with you.”
“You know how torn my pocket is.” Fujimoto couldn’t take anything from the pocket.
“I’ll pay for him.” Shinji took out some coins from his bag and tossed it on the table.
“Next time, take care of your pocket Fujimoto.” She collected the coins, “Same goes with you too Shinji.”
“Come Fujimoto. I will tell you about the banner which I discovered in Chosokabe house.” Shinji caught him by his arm.
“Didn’t know Chosokabes had a banner.” Fujimoto stepped out from the inn.
The woman watched them disappear inside woods. She desired to hear more from Shinji but Fujimoto now had that privilege.
Half an hour later, the inn saw arrival of another person. He also carried a sword.
“Swords out, ser.” She said as usual.
“Take it.” The bearded man took the shiny monster out of sheath.
“Give.” She stretched her hand.
“You got me wrong, lady. Take this sword in your heart.”
She got alarmed but before she could let her reflexes defend herself, the sword went through her heart.
The woman fell dead on glasses when the stranger took it out from her body.
Drunk cut-throats came out to see what had happened.
Everyone froze by the sight. And everyone lost their minds after recognizing the killer.
“Nobukazu Chosokabe!” a hired killer gasped.
Nobukazu swung his sword.
“So you are telling me I can convince the bloody family to open their doors for me?” Fujimoto doubted Shinji’s words, especially after hearing about the banner incident.
“Yes.” Shinji walked on twigs while on the way to Chosokabe house.
“Beware. I have offended many people in the past.”
“Take the chance or die.”
“Ow. I don’t share same guts with you, Shinji.”
“Okay. If Nobukazu kills me then take my pack of coins and piss off to the stinking pub.”
“What kind of sword is this?” Fujimoto touched the hilt of longsword on Shinji’s back.
Shinji turned at him like wind, “Don’t.”
“You stole it from somebody?”
“Bought it.” Shinji marched further.
“How far is the house?”
“Near the swamp.” Shinji moved vines blocking his view.
“You mean that swamp?” Fujimoto pointed at a swamp about a hundred feet ahead of them.
“Yes.” Shinji said in devastation.
The house was not there anymore.
Fujimoto didn’t have a good feeling about the disappearance of the house.
“Did the house disappear because Chosokabe wanted it to be or someone came up with a trick?” Fujimoto questioned his friend.
“I hope he has migrated with his family.” Shinji walked, searching for another inn inside the forest.
“He moves with his house. What is he? A bloody turtle?” Fujimoto lost his nerves.
“And lives for three hundred years. Yes, he might be a turtle.” Shinji added.
“But he definitely is not slow.”
Shinji had no consolidation for him.
“Shinji.” Fujimoto tapped his shoulder.
“What?” Shinji looked at him.
“Is this the banner you were talking about?” Fujimoto pointed at the clothes waving in forest breeze.
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.