"You know... we should have asked for directions..." Ryo sighed as he continued following Balfour. "We're nowhere near this 'Gintoki' village." He said as his eyes continued scanning the area around them. "This is just a bunch of ruins."
"...Shut up and keep walking." Balfour replied.
"Huh~? Then can you at least tell me where the hell we are at?" Ryo asked as he began having trouble keeping up. "Hey! Mind slowing down a bit? Can't really walk on rocks while carrying the luggage here!"
"Too bad. You shouldn't had done a stupid move to let that woman to get in my way." Balfour said as he continued walking ahead of his partner. "As punishment, you're taking all the luggage."
"Ugh... Harsh eh?" Ryo sighed. "Then, do me the favor to tell me where the hell we are at."
"Huh? Doesn't that awfully sound similar to Gintoki?"
"These ruins belonged to Gintano village. It was said this was a holy site, since it was filled with the most powerful, and respectful monks."
Ryo began scratching his head. "But what does that have to do with Gin-"
"This village was also said to be the birthplace of Takemikazuchi. The monks were given the duty to protect the sacred grounds from anyone trying to get into it."
Ryo's eyes twitched. "I feel like im getting ignored here..."
"However... Ten years ago, One day this village was covered with flames. The monks were all burned to death, along with the sacred grounds."
"How do you know this? Did you read it all in a book or something?"
"I know because my father was sent... personally to take care of the fire."
"Then... what started it?"
"No one knows. Some say it was Takemikazuchi himself, that he was furious at how the monks were doing their jobs. Some say that it was highly skilled warriors that wanted his power."
"I see... so Ba-" Ryo stopped as he felt eyes piercing through him. "Err... your father... was sent- wait a second! I remember this now! Didn't one of the maids say that maybe a Dragon did it?"
"Hmm... Right... she did say the Dragon is a representation of Kagutsuchi..."
"Then...? what do you think?"
"I highly doubt it was a dragon. They don't exist. Nothing but myths. And well... I think I'll go with the strongest warriors trying to steal Takemikazuchi's powers."
"Huh... well... It does seem the most believable... wait... why the hell are we talking about this?"
"This is Gintano village, but because of the accident that took place 10 years ago, a new village was made in order to worship Takemikazuchi, and that is, Gintoki village." Balfour said as he looked over at Ryo.
"I see- Eh? Why are you looking at me for?"
"We're at the entrance." Balfour replied as he pointed at a small village in front of them, filled with many people. "Let's hurry up and go. We need to rest up anyways."
"Finally!" Ryo stopped next to Balfour as he sighed. "Well... we're here. So... What now? Do we need to wear some funny disguise or what?"
"Don't worry." Balfour began walking inside the village as Ryo followed. "Gintoki village is an independent village. They refuse help from the organization, which means, we can show our faces as much as we want."
"Huh... aren't we lucky?" Ryo said with a grin on his face. "Can't wait to eat! Oh! Hopefully there are some good looking women out here, if you know what I mean eh?" He asked with a smirk on his face as he nudged his elbow against Balfour's arm.
"...You're an idiot." Balfour sighed. "Do what you want. I have to go meet with someone."
"Oh? Do you really believe that old man will have any information about your father?" Ryo asked with concerned look on his face.
"Well... this is the only lead we have for now." Balfour said. "If he doesn't know... then we'll have to keep looking." He said as he looked down at his hand. "Even if it means that I have to search the entire world."
"...You're a dumbass." Ryo said with a small smile on his face. "Well... let's hope that the info we stole from the organization is true. When you're done playing around, meet me by the inn." He said as he began walking away. "Later."
"Heh... whatever..." Balfour continued walking through the village. "This place does seem peaceful..." His eyes scanning the area around him. All the men and women talking with one another. Children playing with each other. "Heh... maybe 'She' would enjoy this place." He chuckled at the thought as he felt someone bump into him. A little girl.
"S-sorry mister!" The girl jumped back and quickly bowed.
"It's okay. I was also at fault, I didn't realized where I was going." Balfour said as he bowed down. "I apologize."
"Hmm..." The girl looked up at Balfour as she began skipping around him, examining him. "Hmm... you're not from here Nee-san are you?" She asked.
"Heh." Balfour kept his eyes focused on her every movement. "You're a sharp one aren't you?" "Nee-san...?"
"Heheh." The girl stopped in front of him as she tilted her head. "Well... you're the only one that isn't wearing white. Also! You have on battle gauntlets, so that obviously mean you're a mercenary, and by the looks of it... it seems that you have been traveling around for a long time because your armor is worn out, meaning... you are obviously from far away. Plus... those gauntlets... they have a mark of the Gale family, meaning... you must be the Gale from the famous Tempest and Gale?"
"Huh... Hahahaha!" Balfour chuckled. "My... you're very sharp aren't you?" He asked. "You're really unique you know that?" He said as he began scanning his area. "She's right... everyone is wearing...white..." "Hmm... I'm sorry... is it disrespectful?"
"Not really Nee-san. It just shows that you aren't from here. Besides, all guests are welcomed here!" She said with a smile. "I'm guessing you're here to meet Sosuke-san?"
"Eh? How did you know-"
"Hitomi! Thats where you are!" An old man walked in as he placed his hand on her head. "I thought I told you to be careful when you run?"
"Ah! Sorry Ke-san!" Hitomi said with a small bow. "I'll make sure to be careful this time! Oh! Nee-san would like to talk to you!" She said with a smile as she ran off. "By Ke-san! Nee-san!"
Balfour sighed. "That's one girl you have there."
"Hahaha! Tell me about it." Sosuke chuckled. "She's my granddaughter and she's training to be the one in charge when I'm gone." The old man sighed. "She's still so small, but yet... knows so much already."
"I see... She will be an excellent info-broker like yourself Sosuke." Balfour replied with a small smile on his face.
"Hahaha! You flatter me young one! Or should I say... Balfour Gale?" He asked with a smile on his face.
"Heh... Does she know about me?"
"She only knows who the people are, based on appearance. Not on history... at least for now." Sosuke replied as he turned around. "Follow me." He said as Balfour began following him. "So, what can I do for you?"
"Hmm... I don't like beating around the bush, so I'll go straight to the point. Do you know where my father is?" Balfour asked as his smile disappeared.
The old man stopped as he opened his door. "Come in. This might take a while."
"As you wish." Balfour walked inside. "Hmm... this is a small place isn't it?"
"Of course." Sosuke said as he sat down next to the table. "This is the room where I talk to people who wants information. Please. Take a seat."
"Thank you." Balfour sat down on the other side of the table.
"Tea?" Sosuke asked as he handed a cup of warm tea to Balfour.
"Ah. Thank you." Balfour grabbed the cup and took a sip. "Tastes very delicious."
"Haha! Well.. it's because, I'm the one who made it!"
"Hahaha!" "Cheeky bastard..."
"And... I'm not a cheeky bastard... I just enjoy complimenting myself." Sosuke said as he took a sip form his tea.
"Eh...?" Balfour quickly began drinking his tea as he felt two eyes piercing him.
"Hahahaha! Joking!" The old man smiled as he placed his cup of tea on the table. "Well... back to business..." He placed his hands together. "Bato Gale is it?"
Balfour silently nodded.
"Hmm... Well... I don't know of his exact location. So it won't be an easy find." Balfour clenched his fist. "Calm down boy, let me finish what I have to say." Sosuke took out a map and placed it on the table. "I know one person, we've been friends for a long time, and he was a friend of Bato's, and is still alive to this day." He then pointed at the map. "As you can see... we all live in one huge piece of land. This huge piece of land is in a shape of a...disfigured... Uhh...diamond. Yes, a diamond. As you can tell... all the four corners of this diamond... are all territory of the organization. The North, ruled by the most sadistic, terrifying general... Minato Kagushi. The north consists of all the people that rebelled against the organization's rule. To put it simply... it's a big prison. The East, ruled by the most powerful, barbaric general, Kabuto Hazama. The east consists of the strongest of the strongest soldiers for the organization. The west, ruled by the power hungry, corrupted general, Ginjou Hishigi. The west consists the wealthiest people alive in this land, where slaves are bought and sold, pretty much... it's the most corrupted place in the world. This is what leads to the South, ruled by, who many call, the devil himself, the one which time cannot kill, Yamato Kasaragi. The south consists of the most trained assassins of the organization, they're... the special task force... The middle, however is the main land of the organization. Nobody knows who is the real ruler, not even I know."
"Why are you telling me what I already know?"
"Because, My old friend... is one of the leaders of the organization."
Balfour's eyes widened slightly. "What...?"
"Yamato Kasaragi. He's the one who knows Bato Gale the most. If you want to find your father, seek Yamato."
"Hmph... so I need to meet with one of the generals huh?"
"Yes..." The man then pointed back to the map. "We're exactly between the North and the center. You came through the Forest of lies, am I correct?"
"Luckily you weren't caught. The organization are using advanced mechanics... you should already know what they were... after all... they were inventions created by your family, but anyways, back to business." The old man pointed at the small dot. "We're here. If you want to go through a path which has the least troubles, then I suggest... take the west. The reason why... as long as you have money. You don't even need to fear to be caught. It is the most corrupted side of this land, and Money means EVERYTHING there. And... also the enemies are weaker there since... well, the organization went lazy on the west."
"I see... Thank you. This will save time." Balfour said as he stood up.
"My, leaving already?" Sosuke asked.
"Yes. My partner and I need to start packing, we'll be heading out tomorrow."
"Hold on Boy. I haven't finished yet."
"Geez... As I thought... all young men are the same... disrespectful."
"Hmph..." Balfour sighed as he sat back down. "What is it now?"
"I'm going to say this bluntly. You can not, I repeat, CAN NOT kill Ginjou Hishigi."
"Again... why are you telling me the obvious?"
"Because. The west may be the most safest place for you two to walk through... but there are going to be places, events, and even people that you would never think that would exist in this world, and the cause of all of those things, is no one but Ginjou himself."
"...I see..." Balfour smirked. "You caught me. For an old man... you're pretty sharp. But wouldn't killing him save many?"
"No. Until the organization finds who killed him, they will harass the innocent villagers that are already struggling, and even kill them. Also.. don't forget the fact that they will most likely raise the bounty on both of your heads, and actually might send in the special task force after you two."
Balfour sighed as he stood up. "I see... the special task force huh? They're nothing to me but a stain on my hands. But... I'll do what I can to make sure I don't do anything foolish." He said as he bowed down. "Thank you for all of your time. Your help truly made my search easier." He then turned around and opened the door. "Maybe I'll see you again one day." He said with a smirk on his face as he walked out.
Sosuke chuckled as he took a sip of his tea. "Young ones these days are so predictable." He sighed. "This is only the beginning...Right Yosuke? Heh... You better take care of Naoto." He muttered as he heard the door open. "Hitomi! Are you done playing?"
Hitomi nodded as she sat down next to Sosuke. "Yup! I had lots of fun! But now that's over... should we get back to my lessons Ke-san?"
"Hahaha! Indeed!" Sosuke placed his hand on her head. "Well then... how about this... let's go over the history between the three families?"
"Oh! The Gales, Kasaragis, and... umm..." Hitoi placed her finger on her lip. "Uhh..." She sighed as she began rubbing her head. "Heheh... I forgot...what's the third one again Ke-san?"
"Hmm... I can't believe you forgot! It's the Izumos!"
"I'm sorry Ke-san..." Hitomi sighed. "I keep forgetting them!"
"It's okay... besides... I would too... since none of them lives in this world anymore."
.-. At the Inn.-.-.
Balfour stopped in front of the door with a sigh. "Well... I guess it's time to rest for today..." He said with a yawn as he opened the door. Ryo's body flew past him and out of the inn. "Eh?"Balfour looked back at Ryo. "What the hell are you doing?" He asked as he yawned. "I'm in no mood to play around with your friends."
Ryo slowly sat up as he began rubbing his cheek, his eyes focused on Balfour. "They're not my friends! Or so I thought... but it seems clear to me now since I just got kicked in the face..." He sighed. "Hurts like hell though... damn it!" He growled as he glared at Azuza. "Why the hell did you kick me for anyways!?"
"That was for calling me flatty the last time!" Azuza growled back at him as she stopped in front of him. "I heard what you said when you left..."
"Uhh..." Ryo then looked over at Suki. "B-Busty? Mind lending a helping hand to me? Pretty please?"
"Uh... Azuza? I think you shouldn't do that to him..." Suki sighed as she placed her hand on Azuza's shoulder. "They're going to think bad of us if you continue acting so recklessly..."
"Grr... Fine." Azuza reached her hand out to Ryo. "Come on, get up."
Ryo looked away as he crossed his arms. "No way. Apologize."
Azuza's eye twitched. "...You're pushing it..."
"You walked up to me, harass me, then kick me in the face out of the inn, and you want me to shrug it off like nothing happened?" Ryo pouted. "Like hell I'll grab your hand. I don't want to grab a flatty's hand, not even in a live or die situation."
Azuza clenched her fists. "You're asking for a death wish..."
Suki gently shook Azuza. "Hey! Come on! Apologize! Afterall... what you did was pretty... mean..."
"Azuza..." Suki sighed as she whispered at her ear. "Remember what we came here for..."
"Ugh..." Azuza sighed as she bowed down slightly. "I apologize for my rude behavior, please forgive me for my actions." She said as she reached her hand out to Ryo. "Do you need help?"
Ryo smirked as he grabbed Azuza's hand. "Better." He said as he stood up. "That's what I like to see." He sighed as he began wiping his hand on his clothes. "Ugh... but I touched your hand..."
"That's it!" Azuza rammed her forehead against Ryo's. "You really want to die don't you?"
"Ha! I would like to see you try!" Ryo responded with a grin as he began pushing his forehead against Azuza's.
Suki sighed as she looked over at Balfour who was leaning against the wall of the Inn. "Hello."
"You guys sure are entertaining..." Balfour said with a light chuckle. "But that's why you two aren't here... What do you two want?" He asked bluntly.
"Hmm... do you think it's possible for us to talk privately?" Suki asked.
"Can't you just tell me right now? Everyone's here. The villagers don't really care about our business, so tell me, what do you two want?"
"Well... if that's how you want it, then alright!" Suki bowed down. "Please! Let us travel with you two!"
Ryo and Balfour looked at her. "Huh?"
- To Be Continued. -
Author: Sorry for the short chapter guys!
Ryo: Oh... so you make Busty and Flatty's chapter long... but not ours...
Author: Stop complaining... I'll make sure you and Balfour will get your own chapter.
Ryo: Bullshit! It's because they're girls right!?
Ryo: You have something against guys! Sexist!
Author: ...I'm a guy...
Ryo: Then you're a pervert!
Ryo: You loli lover!
Author: What the hell are you talking about!?
Ryo: You sick man!
Author: I have no idea what you're talking about.
Ryo: Is this how you treat you're MVP of the story!?
Ryo: I don't know, just messing with you.
Balfour: -*Walks in*- I have a question.
Author: Is it about why this chapter is short? No. It's not because I'm a pervert, or sexist. I am not a pervert or sexist. I am also NOT a loli lover, I am NOT a sick man, and you are definitely not the MVP of this story! Does that answer your question!?
Balfour: ... -*Walks out*-
Author: You got to be kidding me...
Ryo: What can I say? Great minds think alike! -*Walks out*-
Yochi: -*Walks in*- I'm not a girl...
Thanks for reading!