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A Cruel Wind Blows

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1A Cruel Wind Blows Empty A Cruel Wind Blows on 27/11/16, 05:20 pm


”Try and see if there are enough places to house our mercenary company in the city for the night. Tomorrow we will be heading out.” A young and unassuming man spoke. His clothing was blue and green, with a katana hanging on his side. A cup of sake was in his hand, with his feet up on the table as he leisurely drank. At his side were two men; a red spiky haired man with a longsword by his side and a dark haired man who did not seem to be armed. The orders this young man had given was to a fourth individual, who already headed out of the cozy Inn.

At this point a hooded figure walked over. The figure was neither fast nor slow while walking, and had an air of power and confidence about him. Danger radiated from this person; like a powerful tiger that was crouched in wait for its prey to appear. He carried a thick and heavy one handed blade upon his person. At the end of his path was the table that the young man sat at. A flash of a handsome and well-cut face appeared from beneath the hood. Sharp eyes, chiseled facial structure and a well-disciplined bearing. The man’s face had the definition of a powerful and confident warrior.

Nobody at the table objected to the new member of the group. In fact, the youngest man ignored him after briefly gazing upon the man’s visage. Even as the newcomer ordered tea, those at the table made no comment. The strict and sonorous voice kept others within the Inn from saying anything derisive; power flowed from this man as easily as the rivers flowed to the ocean. The only exception was the young man sitting across the newcomer, who rose his eyebrow while intentionally drinking his sake in a slow manner. ”So, you’re the leader of a mercenary group?”

The young man glanced over, slowly setting his cup of sake onto the table. His feet remaining on the table, the man refrained from speaking at first. ”Yes. I am the commander of a hundred man troop. I graduated at the top of my class in the Kou Shu-Fang Warfare Academy. No current allegiance to any powers.” The young man studied the newcomer closely, as if trying to determine if it was a potential recruit or potential employer. ”And? What’s it to you?” There was a hint of arrogance in his demeanor, from beginning to end, though it was not yet enough to be outright insulting.

Even so, the cloaked man frowned beneath the hood. ”Very arrogant. How does your group find business?” The tone was rather displeased. It was at this time that his tea was served, which he slowly brought to his lips and drank, all the while staring at his counterparts. A glint of strength flowed by as if he were awaiting the next words of those before him.

The young man chuckled, finishing off the sake in his cup. ”In this area? Not much business since the new emperor came to power. We don’t plan on staying much longer, though. And besides…” Strength poured through the young man’s arm as he subsequently shattered the small sake cup, crushing it within his palm down to dust. ”I may be arrogant, however I have the strength to be arrogant. The strong is the king, the weak is the thief.” A look of amusement sat upon the young man’s face as he reached for the sake bottle and drank straight from it, resuming as if nothing had happened.

The newcomer’s eyes contracted at the sight before him. The trick was a simple thing, in his eyes, however the strength that was required to perform such a trick was something that gave him slight pause. The corner of the man’s lips twitched upward. ”Perhaps you won’t have to leave so soon. What would you say to working for me? Things are going to be a lot busier in this country soon.”

The young man paused, removing his feet from the table. The look of amusement and arrogance was set aside as a more serious face was presented. Leaning forward, the young man followed up on the newcomer’s words. ”Length of service, severity of danger and are there any non-traditional tasks outside of warfare that you are expecting of our service?”

The quick change from arrogance to a business demeanor did not phase the newcomer at all. ”For now, a year. At the end of the year terms can be renegotiated. As for the danger, it is a war I plan to participate in. There is no expectation of taking on impossible odds. Requesting special actions outside of normal warfare duties, and bonuses for performance, can be negotiated at a later time. Are you interested?” The man was vague with his answers regarding the dangers involved, adding an air of mystique to the situation.

The young man answered with narrow eyes. ”That sounds within the realm of acceptability. This doesn’t seem like the best place to hash out the details of the contract, though, does it? The name is Fang Vardreth, of the Fang Mercenaries.”

The newcomer shook his head at Vardreth. Providing verbal details of where to meet to discuss further, the newcomer stood and got ready to leave. Pausing as if recalling something, the man left four words behind before leaving in an ethereal manner. ”I’m Gao Yuan Zu.”

The three men left behind at the table were stunned. The red haired man turned to Vardreth and whispered. ”That’s the name of the late Emperor, right?” To the common man’s knowledge the previous emperor had been killed in Reim, his ashes scattered to the winds. There were several witnesses to the situation, not the least of which was the current Emperor. There were even rumors that said Emperor Yoshiro was the one who killed Emperor Gao Yuan Zu.

Vardreth nodded, tapping his fingers on the table. ”A cruel wind is blowing. Things will be picking up around here again. Benai, make sure the soldiers are ready to fight at a moment’s notice. This is going to be big.”


1026/1000 WC


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