High Noon In The East Part 3

The Gunslinger remained sleeping while the Shirohebi, Shiroi watches him intently. Her mind racing with many thoughts, and fantasies she began relishing in before the cruelties of reality can set in. Day-dreams of the two of them resting against one another in their quiet home in her shrine, overcoming obstacles as they quest together as a dynamic, adventuring couple. Then there were the other more adult orientated visions of the two of them in the through of passion, using their bodies to confess their deep love and devotion toward one another. Her tiny smile, and glistening eyes were an understatement to the copious amounts of feelings she was going through.

So much so that she didn’t even notice the Inari, Yasashi stir awake.

The fox woman elicits a faint yawn, stretching her arms, and her tails as the two Nekomata twins unperturbed by her motions simply roll in their sleep, and nap on the floor.

“Yuri-chan? You’re awake already? *Mnn~* I thought you would enjoy the pleasant rest we’ve been denied since our capture” Yasashi grumbled as she rubbed the last bit of sleep out of her eyes.

Shiroi remained silent, still staring at the Gunslinger, nuzzling herself with his duster coat.

“…Yuri-chan? Are you still sleeping…with your eyes open?” Yasahsi half joked as she approached her friend who remained silent.

“…I love him…” was Shiroi’s answer.

Yasashi’s eyes widen, but only for a moment. A smile crept along her face, the same knowing smile of understanding just a trickle of the situation.

“Is it anything like that time you were thirteen, and you had that little crush with the farmer boy who dropped by? Or is it like that other time when someone mistook a piece of cloth they thought it belonging to you, and you assumed it was a gift? Or is it like that other time-” Yasashi began to recall several incidents.

“N-no! This time it’s different!” Shiroi exclaimed before covering her mouth, and turning to the Gunslinger hopping she didn’t disturbed him. “This time I can feel it…my heart is near bursting, my mind is hazy, and all I can think about is…him…” Shiroi reluctantly muttered before slinking herself back into a snake ball.

“How much do you love him?” Yasashi asked.

“…I already thought of a name for our first daughter…” Shiroi mumbled as she sunk her head into her upright fetal position.

“That was quick” Yasashi sighed.

“It’s going to be Mizu” Shiroi mumbled some more as she sunk her head deeper into her own tail she was hugging.

“Very cute…” Yasashi complimented.

A moment of silence passed before Yasashi can hear a faint sobbing from her Shirohebi partner.

“*Sob*…What am I going to do Hoyo-chan? It’s like a cruel joke, or twist of fate that my heart should fall for a man I can’t even remotely understand…” Shiroi wept.

Yasashi knelt down to her weeping friend with a reassuring pat on the shoulder.

“There~, there~ it’s going to be alright, I just know it. We shall return to the shrine-” Yasashi began.

“And then what? What if he just leaves to help others in need? How can I tell him to stay? How can I express my feelings to him…and what if he doesn’t feel the same way!? I don’t know a thing about his tastes, his interests, or anything, and I can’t even ask him!” Shiroi was beginning to panic.

“Stop, you’re over-complicating things! Remember your place, our head priestess has high expectations of you, and if she saw you like this she’ll surely worry more than she’s already going through at the moment” Yasashi reminded her.

“…Yes, you’re right, I just-I…never felt this way before…and no one has ever paid me any more than a simple glance and compliment…he’s done so much for me, both big…” Shiroi began before rubbing the texture of the duster coat still on her. “…And little things such as this” she concluded.

“Well the way I see it, perhaps he’s more interested in you than we can grasp. Trust me, it’s not everyday a man offers his clothing like that, especially one as…protective of himself. That has to mean something right?” Yasashi assured.

“Do you really think so?” Shiroi whimpered as she finally looked up to meet her friend’s gaze with wide, teary eyes, and quivering lips.

“I know so! Now then, perhaps it would be best to make a good impression on him. He gave you his coat, I think we ought to repay his kindness with a meal. After all, it is an effective way to get to a man’s heart by reaching out to his stomach while the flames of passion are still hot!” Yasashi insisted.

“F-Flames of p-p-passion!?” Shiroi stammered as she grew embarrassed.

“I shall reignite the campfire, and we-I mean you shall wake him up with a morning breakfast. Me and the orphans will find more fish while you search the nearby woods for herbs to make into tea. I know he’ll love your famous herb tea if our Lady Ryu enjoys them as well” Yasashi explained.

“B-but what will I do after that?” Shiroi asked nervously as she wiped the last tears out of her eyes.

“We shall cross that bridge when we get there, but for now let’s get to work” Yasashi assured.

“Hoyo-chan…does this mean-?” Shiroi began.

“Well…as much as it pains me to let such an exotic, and handsome man go like this…I know you’ll love, and care for him more than I ever could…besides, he gave you his robes…as far as I’m concern the two of you are already together, he just doesn’t know it yet” Yasashi assured with a wink.

“Hoyo~-cha~n” Shiroi was now shedding tears of joy.

“Why~ don’t you just grab some herbs, and try to pull yourself together again…oh kids~we need more fishies~ to eat~” Yasashi sang as she tap the two snoozing kitten girls with her tails.

Shiroi moved her gaze from her friend, and two orphan Nekomatas, and turned her attention back to the resting Gunslinger having slept through the entire conversation.

“…Rest well…darling…*giggle*” Shiroi whispered. Just calling him that elicited a giggle before picking herself up, and heading towards the foliage to gather herbs, and other natural delicacies. Feeling a lump in one of the pockets, Shiroi reached in, and saw a bent, and slightly rusted tin cup with a handle. While not the most exquisite cup to present to someone, it can hold water, and for now that’s good enough.

The Gunslinger Ryan continued to sleep until a faint, but pleasant smell tickled his nose. Peeking an eye out he saw the girls gathered together around their re-lit campfire. A near dozen fish already roasting.

The twin Nekomatas Ai, and Yume were licking their wet paws until they spotted the Gunslinger now awake. They gave an elicit ‘meow’ and alerted the two women before the two swiped a stabbed fish each, and attempted to approach Ryan with them hopping to share a meal together.

Yasashi was quick to pull them back with her twin tails, and grabbing the two fish while she spoke in her native tongue. The two kittens began to pout and argue back, but a respect of authority when Yasashi responded to them quieted their complaints. Ryan could only guess she was possibly scolding them before he saw her hand the fish to Shiroi who nearly jumped. The fox quelled her partner with what Ryan can assume were words of encouragement before Shiroi nodded, and grabbed the two fish with one hand, and holding what he recognized as his tin cup with the other.

“(So that’s what I’ve been smelling…)” Ryan thought to himself.

Shiroi knelt down, handing Ryan a fish on a stick, and presenting the cup to the Gunslinger. He saw it was full near to the brim with warm water, and leaves. Ryan looked at her, who smiled nervously at the Gunslinger as she rubbed her shoulders, and twiddled her thumbs.

“Did you make this?” Ryan asked.

Once again she just stared puzzled, and it didn’t help to ease her. Ryan lifted the cup, looking at it, then looking back at her. Shiroi stared at his movements, and responded in kind, pointing at the cup, and then pointing at herself.

Ryan wasn’t keen on drinking anything from a stranger unless they were the bartender at a bar, and even then that’s a gamble in and of itself.

Still though, the girl seemed genuinely honest. The Gunslinger had lived his whole life around liars, and con artists so he tended to spot them right off the bat, but Ryan couldn’t sense any hint of such trickery in Shiroi.

“Well then…Bottoms up then…” Ryan replied before taking a careful sip of the drink.

It was bitter-sweet like a lot of things in his past, but it was the best bitter-sweet moment he’s ever had. It had an almost calming aura about it that eased his senses. His nose tickled by the pleasant smell, the warm water felt smooth in his mouth, the delicious drink was approved by his taste-buds. The quiet noises of nature, and company made him at ease, and the visuals…

Ryan turned his head towards a broadly smiling Shiroi who was clearly waiting for a response. Her shy demeanor, her glistening ruby red eyes, her soft as silk silver hair, and her beautiful smile.

It was a sight for sore eyes.

“It’s delicious…Thanks!” Ryan said.

Shiroi continued to smile, but it did falter a bit, obviously wanting to understand what he said.

Ryan thought for a moment, remembering what she said last night after he gave her his duster coat to stay warm in, and decided to shoot in the dark.

“…Uh~*ahem*-ar~igato~” Ryan tried to repeat in his southern drawl.

Shiroi gave a little gasp, and continued to giggle, but it didn’t seem like she was making fun of him so Ryan continued to enjoy his meal while the Shirohebi rushed over to her friend, and began to speak rapidly about something he didn’t understand. Shiroi then quickly turned back to the Gunslinger, and he watched him sound out a response.

“Yu~erh~ W-wha~le-cum-o?” Shiroi tried to repeat.

“(Did she just call me what I think she just called me?)” Ryan thought.

Almost immediately the Gunslinger for the first time in what felt like years burst into a haughty laugh, fighting the urge to slap his own knee. He quickly tried to calm himself seeing the flustered, and embarrassed look on her face, clearly he was enjoying it far more than she did.

“Haha~-oh boy howdy~ sorry about that little lady…” Ryan said before bowing his head like Shiroi did, and meeting her with a smile, and Shiroi finally settled down herself.

Two for two, maybe getting use to these customs here wouldn’t be so hard…

At that point the two pouting kittens tugged at Yasashi’s robes, their pouty faces now turning to whimpers as they continued to protest their desires. All the while their tails were hanging low, and even their cat ears seemed sunken, and droopy. This time it was Shiroi who responded to them by simply nodding her head, and this seemed to perk them right up. Grabbing a fish stick each the two practically skipped over to Ryan as they presented him with fish once more. It was at this moment that Ryan realized fish was not his favorite kind of meat as it wasn’t nearly as fulfilling as a slab of beef, or pork, or even sheep for that matter. It actually reminded him of the days he would often hunt snakes during more desperate times, and all he felt was more hunger.

Ryan was kind of hoping Shiroi doesn’t find out about that last snake hunting part…

“Sure, could use more meat in me anyways” Ryan replied grabbing both fish from the twins.

The two children didn’t understand a word he said, and instead leaned their heads closer to the Gunslinger who simply stared at them. The two kittens continued now tapping Ryan’s shoulders with their foreheads, obviously wanting something from him. Ryan contemplated for a moment before recalling back to last night and what he did then, remembering how he patted them on their heads.

“(Needy little rascals)” Ryan mused to his thoughts.

Once more he was reminded of his days as a rancher’s kid, doing everything he could to impress his pa. To see him grin just once at his accomplishments, and hard work. Granted it was rare, but rewarding at the same time, made the blisters, blood, sweat, and tears feel worth it.

Setting the half eaten fish aside he proceeded to rub their heads with his hands, and hearing the content coos, and purrs.

“You kids better not be spoiling yerselves now or it’s gonna come back and bite ya, mark my words” Ryan told them.

No good, the two merely tilt their heads, but they were satisfied with the attention, and continued to paw at his hat to play with it some more before Shiroi, and Yasashi pulled them back.

With their bodies nourished, and Ryan refilling his canteen with water he dusted off his hat, and looked towards the group as they had finished putting out their campfire for good. Shiroi approached Ryan as she pointed in the direction they will continue to be heading next to which the Gunslinger simply nodded. He glanced at his coat Shiroi was still wearing, and she followed his gaze, and remembered she was still wearing it. As she began to pull at the left arm sleeve to remove it, the Gunslinger had a sudden change of heart, stopping her, and pulling it back on her. At the moment it was the only thing keeping her relatively modest as her robes were still in tatters, her pale body exposed to the elements. Shiroi was still confused, and stood still as she watched Ryan fumble about with the buttons, and the strap to properly close the duster on her. Perhaps most confused about this was Ryan himself, he didn’t seem to mind her being half naked, but upon their interactions the past several hours…well to him it just didn’t feel right anymore leaving her so vulnerable looking.

“(Until we get you some decent clothes, just keep that pretty little face open, and nothing else…don’t want to draw any more attention to ourselves after all)” The Gunslinger thought.

“A-arigato!” Shiroi repeated once more, her face feeling a bit pink on the cheeks as her fox friend giggles to herself seeing the two of them.

“Anytime, you’re welcome” Ryan assured.

Seems like ‘thanks’, and a ‘you’re welcome’ were all they could understand from one another. Ryan may not have taken this so seriously, but to Shiroi it meant the world to her.

The dirt road continued to stretch following the river to the left, and the thicket of the forest to the right, unchanging. A cool breeze eased the travelers keeping them cool, and bringing with it the smell of flowers Ryan was not accustom to. The air he use to feel was hot, and caked in dust. If one wasn’t careful it could rob the moisture right out of your body causing you to grow thirstier as it made your mouth dry, and uncomfortable.

He took the lead while the girls chatted away, but he always felt at least someone’s eyes on him, not that he mind, but it did make things difficult for him to tell if, and when an ambush from the rear could sneak up on him, or if it was just an ally.

This whole trusting, and keeping your guard down to avoid hurting others was harder than it looked.

Suddenly his nose was tickled by a new smell, a smell that he so rarely experienced, but had enjoyed thoroughly in his past.

The smell of coming rain.

The others girls could smell it too, the two kittens even lifting themselves on their tippy toes as their noses twitched something fierce.

Shiroi approached the Gunslinger excitedly, and pointed further along the road where Ryan can now see tall red gates hidden in the shrubbery, and tree leaves. Further along he spotted stone staircases going up a hill where he can barely make out the tips of a pointy roof-tops.

The girls were breathing their own sighs of relief, but Ryan had never seen anything like it, more accurately he never felt such a strong presence before. What did the folks call it? Energy? Aura? Ryan hadn’t a clue, but the weight of this invisible force was not taken lightly. Something, or someone very powerful was up there, and the Gunslinger’s guard was immediately turned on.

Upon instinct he reached to his holster to draw out his weapon, but Shiroi’s hand on his wrists stopped him. She stared at him with those crimson red eyes of her as she shook her head.

Her silent plea was evident, but Ryan didn’t budge, he continued to stare at her.

“(The girl is asking for too much now…)” He thought to himself.

Shiroi now held his wrist with both hands continuing to shake her head. She was dead set on keeping Ryan from defending himself for the time being.

Ryan’s level of trust can be stretched, but only so much. Yet he couldn’t be angry at her, after all he was the one who agreed to follow them in the first place. Then there was the smell of rain that he use to feel so comfortable with in the past. His mind drifts into the past once more.

Even as an adult he could appreciate the rain, water in general was akin to a respite in a land that demanded strength, endurance, strong will, and determination almost every waking moment. The rain was a reward, a blessing from the literal sky telling the populace their work has paid off, and to take a moment to cool off, let the harvest nourish itself, and fill up your canteens as best as you can. The old, and young alike would watch the gentle patting of the rain hitting the ground as everyone would lay back, and forget about their troubles if only for a moment.

Eventually Ryan sighed in defeat, and released his hand which had now brushed the wood grip of his revolver. Shiroi took a moment to breathe herself, a loud gasp before deeply exhaling, her smile couldn’t be more evident of how much this meant to her.

“(…Damn me to hell, and back if this girl’s gripping me more than just my wrist)” Ryan scolded himself if this causes more troubles than what he’s already going through as he conceded to her wish.

She didn’t release him, rather her grip was loosened as her hands traveled upwards. Both of their forearms practically linking with one another. The pair close enough that Ryan could feel the soft bumps of her breasts under the tough texture of his duster coat.

“(Either the girl still doesn’t trust me…or the opposite is true…”) Ryan’s suspicions started to emerge.

Ryan wasn’t a dumb man, just inexperienced. Not in the regards of sexual exploits, there were many broads, and escorts to choose from, but one factor he hasn’t come across was love, and affection. Closest thing to any resemblance of love came from hanging out with a farm-girl looking to avenge her mother’s death at the hands of bandits. Even then their time together was short, sweet, but ended in tragedy as her justice was complete at the cost of her own life.

That same tinge of connection was starting to form for this new girl, but he had to keep his wits about him at all times.

No matter how lighthearted, and love sappy others may feel, the cruelties of the world never cease. To be blind under the illusions of romance can only bring trouble if the duo don’t focus on what’s going on around them, and not on…

Shiroi resting her head on Ryan’s shoulder.

Ryan just stared at her until Shiroi snapped out of whatever trance she was under, and quickly pulled herself away. Currently she was bobbing her head up and down, and repeating some phrase in her tongue profusely.

Now that boundaries, and promises were all settled they can finally advance forward.

The trek up the steps were quite a pain, even before reaching the first step up. Ryan, and the others could hear Shiroi grumbling to herself, and Ryan couldn’t help but feel a little bad for her, then again he never did see a snake go up a staircase before so he couldn’t help, but be curious as well.

Sure enough Shiroi was lagging behind, and clearly uncomfortable with Yasashi providing support, Yume, and Ai were distracting themselves by jumping, and playing their own game as they skipped up, and down the steps. Once Ryan had enough of seeing Shiroi bending her tail to the near shape of the staircase he turned around nearing the end of the steps he spotted their destination.

Smooth stone flooring in the center decorated with several statues of foxes, and beasts Ryan has never seen. Narrow water canals and red bridges in the shape of an arc cross through these canals near the center. Several small buildings with pointy roof tiles can be seen on either left, and right side with a much larger building directly ahead acting as the main base. Ryan could spot several people tending the buildings, sweeping the ground, and all dressed in similar robes as Yasashi, and Shiroi, but besides their clothing they had something else in common too.

They were all women, and not just that, several didn’t appear to be entirely human, and with various traits as well. There was one teenage girl with red flames around her ankles, her robe opened to her belly where a third flame can be spotted, and if that wasn’t weird enough she was flying! There was one with green skin, and some weird flower thing on her brown haired head casually brushing her hands along the water of a canal. Another girl with long black hair who Ryan first assumed was normal had suddenly sprouted a pair of odd looking fox ears, and a tail made out of some unnatural looking blue flames.

A loud cry snapped the Gunslinger out of his racing thoughts, and suddenly the entire area was in an uproar as the priestess rush over to them. Ryan planting his foot on the ground, and ready for a brawl was quickly ignored when the women rushed over to Shiroi, and Yasashi. Ryan nearly had to cover his ear as they all shouted in their native tongue, and before long their attention was turned to the Gunslinger himself. Ryan recognized the stares, the stares people often give to a stranger they don’t trust, and he suddenly felt himself surrounded, and alone.

It was Shiroi followed by Yasashi, Yume, and Ai who came to his defense circling him, and speaking hopefully of his innocence.

Shiroi talked to the priestess, and they respond in kind, doing this back and forth until Shiroi turned to Ryan. She pointed at the large building and she extended her other hand towards him. Not good at all, that was where Ryan could feel the powerful presence coming from, and they were going straight into the beast’s maw.

With nerves of steel, and resolve to see this to the end, Ryan complied, and followed Shiroi, Yasashi, the twins, and several of the shrine maidens into the depths of the shrine itself.

Ryan was astonished, and deeply impressed by the décor of the building, even if it was just the hallway to their destination. He’s seen plenty of good looking saloons, and even a hotel once, but none of them could rival the royalty, and perfection of the inside of the shrine. If Ryan had any complaints it would be the sliding doors made out of paper. Any drunk or bandit could easily break in if they had the chance, but he supposed this was just another example of just how different this side of the world was.

He saw a small garden with a half cut bamboo stick pouring water onto another one causing a clinking noise. Beside it the garden itself was covered in flowers, and rugged stone jutting out of a sandy, combed ground. His attention was soon drawn to a pair of actual sturdy, wooden double doors which two maidens opened to reveal the main hall. Polished wood you could almost slide across, portraits of serpents with wings, roaring, and clashing ocean waves, and warriors armed with blades decorated the walls, but the true beauty in all of this was the woman staring wide-eyed at the group.

Ryan was now certain he had entered another world, this woman was beyond more than just a bunch of scales though it would be an accurate description. Violet, flowing hair reaching down her waist, and decorated with golden gems resembling water droplets. Pointy polished brown horns adorned her head, sharp yellow eyes, and pointy webbed scaled ears. Creamy white skin covered by a loose fitting emerald green robes opened to reveal her large bust which Ryan had to admit rivaled Shiroi’s own bosom. Yet, despite how soft, and supple her skin must feel, it was a stark contrast to her arms, and lower half. She was armed with thick, and large draconic claws that the Gunslinger could swear can tear through a train in less than a minute. Her lower half was similar to that of a serpent, but the scales were thick, and with a red mane.

Ryan had never seen anyone take on a bullet head on and live, but this woman could cost him a lot more ammo than he thought.

Hopefully it won’t come to that.

It wasn’t long before Shiroi rushed over to the head of the shrine who had also forgotten her place for the moment, and jumped on her follower. The two hugging close, and mouthing of a whole speech to one another at the same time. So much to cover I’m certain neither don’t know where to start, but they did have to address the elephant in the room, and in the middle of their exasperated chats, the gunslinger heard his name being called out.

The room was silent, Ryan turning to Yasashi, and the twins. Yasashi nodding her head, and urging the Gunslinger to come forward.

Yume, and Ai just wanted to mess with his hat some more.

“Oh, right!” Ryan suddenly realized.

Recalling an old statement made by a Sheriff he once respected he took off his hat, and passed it along to the twins who were overjoyed to play with it some more. Wasting no time plopping it on their heads, and attempting to skip along in sync.

Ryan was just a foot away from the two serpent women with Shiroi spouting off another mouthful in her native tongue while the second listened, and stared at the Gunslinger. Her eyes were hard to read, and he had no idea how she was going to respond.

The draconic serpent turned her attention to the kids who tripped on themselves. She pointed at the hat, and then towards him.

“…That? I just heard it’s not right to wear your hat indoors, at least where I come from, didn’t want to come off as rude mind you” Ryan answered.

Shiroi looked nervously back to the head priestess while Ryan scolded himself; of course she wouldn’t know what the hell he was saying.

“Oh? No…offense taken, please speak slowly though…I’m embarrassed, but English is not my…best” She replied.

Ryan couldn’t believe it, Shiroi, and Yasashi couldn’t believe it, hell even the two kittens perked their ears up hearing strange noises coming out of the snake dragon’s mouth.

“Well I’ll be, English ain’t yer best nothing, still the sweetest sound I’ve heard since coming here” Ryan complimented.

“You are a…charmer, you are making me blush, please no more” the serpent dragon giggled.

Suddenly she didn’t seem so intimidating anymore, in fact Ryan felt like the two were already becoming fast friends.

“Do I get honor, by knowing your name brave…warrior?” she asked pausing every now, and again to recall whatever she knew about Ryan’s tongue.

“The honor is all mine madam, Ryan Logan they call me” Ryan introduced himself.

“Logan-san…very good, I am Amai Ame, and this is my Shrine, and you have…my deepest…gratitude for saving my maidens” The Ryu introduced herself, even so much as bowing in respect.

It must have been very important because the maidens, Yasashi, and Shiroi all mirrored their head priestess, and bowed as well.

“Pleasure was all mine, once I put two, and two together I couldn’t just sit by, and let them have ‘em…uh~ A~mai” Ryan said.

Amai stared quizzically at the Gunslinger calling her by her first name, but it was quickly dismissed with a sly grin before turning to Shiroi.

“Logan-san…have you been calling each other by first names this all time?” Amai asked.

“…Eh~ was I suppose to?” Ryan was confused.

She then mouthed a few more words in her native tongue to Shiroi. Whatever she said though got her all into a stuttering, flustered mess before she was calmed with a reassuring pat on her head by the Ryu.

“I forget customs from other lands…it’s been…years since last visit, though I don’t think I can visit again…my duty is here in my shrine” Amai said.

“I can sort of…understand that Amai, seems like you’re keeping this place up, and running quite nicely though. I’d tip my hat to ya, but it’s currently being used” Ryan said.

“…We~ have a lot to discuss, so much to talk, but little time. Please I wish for you to stay with us for a bit…get rest, be fed, and if you will hear us out…I will have priestess take you to room to sleep in” Amai assured.

“Well…who am I to reject a welcomed invitation. I’ll settle down if y’all don’t mind my staying here” Ryan agreed.

“Good, I will instruct uh…Yasashi to take you to one of our rooms here in this shrine, do you mind if I talk with Shiroi privately? Amai asked.

“Oh? Well sure, I suppose, what about the tykes though…think you can get them to give me my hat back?” Ryan asked.

“*Giggle* no promises, but will try” Amai giggled.

Going back to her native tongue she discussed her plans, and the priestess were quick to act. The two holding the door were scrambling towards the Nekomata kittens, but upon hearing Amai speak they high-tailed it out of the building with Ryan’s hat still on their heads. Yasashi gripped his hand, and pointed to the hall to which he nodded. Ryan glanced back seeing Shiroi looking rather depressed seeing him leaving, but stayed to talk with the Ryu regardless.

Once the two were sure of their privacy Shiroi was the first to blurt out.

“Why didn’t you tell us you can speak in other tongues!?” Shiroi asked.

“Hm? Like I told Logan-san I’m not experienced in it, and I only have a small book, a gift given to me by the locals of the lands to study from…I will admit though his dialect is far different than where I learned to speak his language.” Amai said.

“…W-what were you two talking about, you were both smiling, and laughing…I felt…disconnected from the two of you for a moment…” Shiroi reluctantly confessed.

“The man has quite the charm, we were only having a casual conversation, but it felt like so much more. It felt relieving that he wasn’t imposed, or threatened by me in the least. Rather he grew comfortable around me fairly quickly, as I did for him…I feel like were becoming fast friends” Amai explained.

“…Only friends?” Shiroi muttered.

“Yes why would you-oh dear…is this like that time you had that crush with the farm-boy, or the one who gave you back your cloth napkin-” Amai started to piece together Shiroi’s feelings.

“Lady Ryu, please, I know I just got back, and I know you have so much more to talk to me about, but can you please fulfill my selfish request” Shiroi asked.

“Whatever could it be my dear…” Amai asked.

Shiroi practically toppled to the ground, hands, and forehead pressed against the smooth stone as she knelt, practically laid on the ground, and cried out her wish.

“I beg you, please teach me his language!” Shiroi cried out.

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4 thoughts on “High Noon In The East Part 3”

  1. Very good story! I really like this serie so far.

    ” She pointed at the hat, and then towards you.”
    Look like you mistake your narrator here.

    I’m not sure if Ryan should be capable of seeing the Kitsune-tsuki ears, normally human can’t see them, only their incubus. However in the ways you describe it, he ‘suddently” see them, like he don’t really discern them, just catching a glimpse, so I guess it was voluntary?

    1. Thanks for the heads up, fixed it right away, and yeah I wanted him to catch a glimpse, it’s kind of my own little touch, but to me Gunslingers had an uncanny eye as well as reflex. In my own fictional world-view any true Gunslinger would have a sharp eye even involving the supernatural, but it’s not perfect, nor even strong…more of a faint feeling.

      I guess it sort of seeped into that moment, and I’m sure he shouldn’t see the ghostly ears, and tail…I’ll probably edit that part, and include another mamono.

  2. A good chapter made even better by the fact that I was listening to ‘Promontory’ by Trevor Jones in another window.

    Seemed to add to the overall experience while reading about the protagonists continuing on their journey.

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