Description: Micheal's quest to reforge the Legendary Blade continues, but the sailing is not as smooth as he might hope.
Italy was a bust for the American Ninja known as Michael G. Weller. While he did meet a few new people, his time with the Swiss Guard was just a let down. With very little information to go off of, for a while the young blonde man was lost on just how to proceed. That is until he saw the announcement from the very person that Nakoruru told him to seek out.
Unfortunately still for Michael, there isn't a lot of information for him to go off of in the attempt to find this 'Zach Glenn'. Which once more really leaves him in a pickle on where to proceed next. That is until he receives a pigeon from another family friend who is sympathetic to his plight.
"Inheritance Arms - Cleveland."
Its a simple note, and one that only an idiot wouldn't understand....
After days of walking around Cleveland, and numerous escapes from the local law enforcement for loitering and being a vagrant, Michael finally manages to find his destination. Yet instead of actually entering the building, the blonde ninja just stands there, randomly glancing at the entrance, and then back down to his own clothing. It's pretty easy to be mistaken for a hobo, right?
Inheritance Arms is a fairly unassuming brick building sitting alongside the Cuyahoga River in Northern Ohio. A simple wood and metal front door, decorated only by a woodcarved sign stating that this place is the home of Inheritance Arms. There are two doors in the back; one is a large bay door for moving larger shipments and one meant for people to enter and exit through.
At first glace there is, other than local law enforcement, an utter lack of security. The patrol cars are quasi-regular; this is not a dangerous part of town but there is enough =money= here that the local P.D. is interested in keeping things safe.
Inheritance Arms sees very little actual traffic. But what few people do enter the shop fall into one of two categories: Guys in business suits who look very anonymous, and people who all but scream via body language that they are ready for trouble at the drop of a hat. The former are probably agents for the latter.
It's up to Michael to take his chance, and while fortune tends to favor the bold, it is still his chance to take.
Eventually, Michael reaches inside his jacket, his right hand grasping something within the inner pocket as he opens the door and enters the shop. Cautiously, he glances around the store to take in the sights of the functional masterpieces the reside within.
Slowly the young man makes his way to the main counter as he pulls out a heavily wrapped package from within his jacket. The package is then cradled tightly against his chest, as he looks around for anyone who might be able to possible assist him with just what he needs.
Michael enters a simple waiting room. Some comfortable chairs, a coffee table, a fully stocked Keurig. There is also a desk that hosts a phone and a computer monitor. Behind that desk is a large door, and the rhythmic sound of a hammer striking metal can be heard from behind it.
The wares are apparently kept beyond that door, as the walls are decorated with pictures of the cityscape of Cleveland. Behind the desk sits a man of Japanese extraction... maybe. A shock of red hair that can only be natural rises from his chair.
"Welcome," he says cheerfully. "To Inheritance Arms. How can I help you today?"
"I... was hoping someone might be able to take a look at this, and see if its possible to restore it."
Michael carefully unwraps the bundle in his arms, gently setting the ancient ninjato down upon the counter. The blade is obviously old, and the handle itself is shattered. A thin crack runs along the blade, running around an even older bullet casing that is imbedded within the blade itself. Cautiously, the blonde ninja flips the blade over revealing wethered kanji where the hilt meets the tang under the shattered handle, obviously belonging to an artisan who has long since passed away.
"It's something that's been in my family for a very long time.. and hopefully it can be restored to working order...."
The man looks over the weapon, his eyes going a bit wide when they fall upon the kanji. He reaches over to the keyboard, glancing at the monitor as he taps a quick sequence of keys before going back to the weapon.
He frowns, deeply, as he goes over the damage. He looks back up to the young man, a single brow raised. "And you want to wield an ancient family relic to... what end?" There is an equal mix of mirth and curiosity.
The striking of metal stops.
As the man behind the counter checks the blade, and starts typing on the keyboard, Michael looks a little worried. Of course as the damage is assessed, the blonde ninja relaxes ever so slightly. His hands gently run across the blade, before turning his attention back to the red-headed man.
"For what it was made for. This sword still has a purpose, and I need it for mine.."
Michael lowers his head for a moment, only to move to re-wrap the blade. "Do you believe it could be repaired?"
"Relics like this," the man says sagely, "Often do." He continues to examine the blade, his own hand reaching out to lightly touch the weapon. He waits there, as if trying to learn something from how the metal feels.
"That's not really an answer," he challenges. "What would a gaijin like you need the Justice Blade for?" The door leading to the back pops open, and a wave of heat washes out as a man enters.
Five foot ten, and at one time he may have been well built, but now it looks like he could do with a good meal. A couple of scars decorate a bare torso, with one scar running over a flat green eye. The man's hair is white, including the stubble on his face.
Still, he carries a palpable aura of danger about him. Michael might recognize Zach Glenn under the stubble. "You might want to answer that one straight, kid," he growls. "I really don't have anything like patience right now."
As Zach Glenn comes from the back of the shop, Michael stares at the man. A look of caution gradually turns into realization of the whole situation, causing the ninja to suddenly start laughing loudly at the two men behind the counter. He steps away from the counter now, allowing the red-haired man to fully examine the sword if he so chooses, as the ninja tries to get himself back under control.
"It would figure that her advice would have been the best to follow.."
Clasping his right fist within his left, Michael suddenly bows towards the two men as he puts together just what exactly is going on in his own head.
"An ancient Ainu told me to seek you out, Zach Glenn. She said that you would have the ability to help me get this blade restored so that it could once more be wielded."
The ninja rises from his bow, now staring directly at Zach Glenn, ignoring the red-headed one for the time being. "I'd assume that would mean that Nakoruru sends her greetings as well.."
The red head continues to examine the blade while Zach watches Michael finally get a joke or something. Open hands close into light fists before the younger man finally explains. When he mentions an Ainu, let alone an ancient one, the red headed man pulls his hand away from the blade as if he were burned, turning to watch Zach carefully.
Zach's own gaze is dark until the name is dropped. He takes a deep breath and unclenches his hands slightly. The red head looks between Zach, the blade, and Michael, not sure which way to move. There is, however, a bit of a mirthful grin on his face.
Zach steps around the desk, getting in front of Michael so that he can look the man in the eyes. Zach's eyes reflect nothing back at the young ninja. "You haven't answered the question," he warns. A faint ripple in the air appears around Zach, ruffling his hair slightly with wisps of purple light as they pass his mane. The ripples start to coalesce somewhat, going from transparent to a similar shade of violet.
"I haven't answered it because I still don't know if I can fully trust you. Nakoruru may be an old family friend, but that doesn't mean you're a friend to me." As Zach starts to move forward with wisps of purple energy roaming all round him, Michael takes a step back as well. The scent of burning o-zone slowly starts to fill the air around the ninja, as he readies himself for just whatever Zach may intend. Little arcs of electricity spark across the young ninja's skin.
Placing two fingers between his lips, Michael suddenly gives an ear piercing whistle, which is then followed by a loud howling from close by. Shortly after, the door violently shudders as something heavy starts to slam against it.
"I don't know just what you intend, but I'm putting a lot on the line by coming here and revealing that blade to an outsider. You have to give me something to trust you on before I start spilling my own secrets to you..."
Zach closes the distance quickly, not really allowing Michael room to breathe. The door shudders, and Zach stays locked on the man in front of him. The red head, though, looks sharply between the two men. Michael's trained senses might pick up on the brief but powerful surge of hostile intent, perhaps note the subtle shift in balance and weight. He might also notice that it's been some time since Zach has last had a shower. But before Zach can act on it, the red head speaks up. His voice is a whip-crack of authority.
"Zach," he says sharply. Glenn spares the man a glance over one shoulder, keeping the bulk of his attention on Micheal. "Go get yourself cleaned up. Use the shaving kit this time." Zach's body turns slightly away from the ninja, but not enough to really give an opening. "Now."
A long moment passes. Zach takes a long, deep breath and holds it for a moment before releasing it and the power he had been gathering around himself. He stalks toward the back, opening the door. He'd slam it, but the hydraulics on the door prevent that completely.
The redhead regards Michael carefully at that point. "The Ainu are a touchy subject for Zach," he says, offering the closest thing to an apology the Koga ninja is likely to get. "He and Nakoruru..." He pauses, then waves it off. He walks around the desk, offering his right hand.
"Takehiro Glenn," he says by way of introduction, "You're probably more likely here to see me than my cousin," he says nodding back toward the door. "Since this blade is going to be well beyond his ability."
As Zach stalks off, and Takehiro comes around to introduce himself, Michael slowly extends out his right hand. The burning scent of o-zone fades, but a brief shock of static electricty does arc from Michael's hand as he goes to grasp Takehiro's. The ninja looks embarresed by this, but does pull away to open the violently shuddering door. As he does, a large husky wriggles her way into the building, growling softly.
Michael quickly places a hand on the dog's head, "Calm." only for the dog to calm down, her tail now wagging. Once more the ninja turns and bows towards Takehiro, this time introducing himself.
"I am Michael G. Weller. Obviously since you had a chance to look at the sword and know its name, you know a bit about its history..."
Takehiro looks Michael over in an oddly appraising way as he shakes feeling back into his hand before jerking a thumb towards the blade. "The bullet killed the father of that weapon's original bearer," he says. "But you are obviously not him, since that weapon is older than everyone in this building combined. The person who did the killing is in all likelihood also dead. Either by someone's hand or of old age."
He regards Michael with no small amount of interest. "So who are you trying to avenge," he asks, more curious than demanding, "Who is the target of your vengence, that you need this blade when a new weapon would probably serve you in better stead?"
He takes a breath, "I mean, I think I might be able to repair this one, but nothing about it will be easy. It would be a simpler matter to make you a new sword, and it would be much quicker."
"It's because the orignal wielder was my ancestor. He's the one who had it made. It was his father who was killed."
The words leave the ninja's mouth before he has a chance to stop himself, only to sigh loudly with his slipup. Once Takehiro starts to mention the difficulty of the repairs, Michael just slumps down, knowing that it would be easier to just do that.
"..This blade just.. feels right. Like I was meant to wield it. While a new blade would be easier, there's just the feeling that its the wrong thing to do. I was meant to wield this blade. I know it won't be easy, and it'll most likely take a long time to fix.."
Slowly the ninja kneels before Takehiro, prostrating himself in a full dogeza.
"Please. If there is any chance.. I don't care what it takes. I'll do everything I can to make that blade whole once again."
Takehiro blinks twice in surprise and then visibly recoils at the dogeza. He recovers himself quickly, however, and hunkers down to reach for Michael's shoulder. "Stand up," he says softly. "You came in here as a customer, not a supplicant."
He straightens up and backs away from the Koga to give him room. "So we need to discuss price and payment," he says with a grin. "And I refuse to do that while you're on the floor."
Michael carefully climbs to his feet, wincing at the next thing. Price and payment. Of course, for most customers this would be something they had already taken into account before trying to get an ancient blade repaired. Carefully, Michael attempts to chose his next words before the angry guy with white hair comes out to try and initiate violence. Again.
"Look. I know it's going to be an expensive job.. and.. I'll be honest. My having that blade means I'm pretty well cut off from any money the clan would have.. or my family. So whatever you decide, I'll do. Any jobs I take, you'll get your cut first. Just please.. help me with this.."
"Oh no," Takehiro says as Zach enters the room looking, and smelling, a good deal better. "This isn't going to be a money thing." Zach regards Takehiro with a mix of confusion and concern. "The price is going to consist of a few things, some of which are not nearly that tangible, and I am not going to negotiate with you on this."
Takehiro regards Michael, and Zach similarly regards Takehiro. There is something about that grin on the red-head's face...
The look upon Takehiro's face, and the confusion upon Zach's is enough to fully set Michael's 'Oh god what have I gotten into?' sense ablaze. Of course, he did agree to do whatever it takes to get this blade fixed.
"I agree to your terms whatever they are then."
Most people would want to know beforehand just what it is they're getting themselves into. Michael however, just wants to get this going. He knows it's going to be a long road before him. So whatever Takehiro has in mind, may actually prove to be a boon in its own right as well.
"You're going to stay in town for about a week," Takehiro says, "While I do some research and put together the list of what I will need to do this properly. I'll even provide the room and board," He holds up one finger as he says this, then holds up a second one. "Then you are going to go out and get me the things on that list." A third finger extends. "I think that some of these things are not going to be easy to come by, so you're going to take Zach with you to go and get them. His expertise will be invaluable for your quest." Zach scowls at this, and Takehiro quirks an eyebrow at the taller man in challenge as the fourth finger rises.
"Once you've collected everything, you'll come back here," Takehiro continues, extending his thumb, "At which point Zach and I will repair your blade." He raises a finger on the other hand, "And finally, you'll leave the blade here while I do all of that. I can assure you that it will be kept safe for the duration of this job."
Takehiro leans back on the desk, sort of sitting on it, "If those terms are acceptable to you, then we can start work first thing in the morning. Otherwise, you can take the blade and find yourself another smith." Takehiro's tone is diffident, as if Michael's choice one way or the other does not really matter to him in the end.
Even though he said he'd agree to whatever Takehiro said, the terms are pretty stiff. Especially the ones about being sent with Captain Violence. However, if thats what it will take to get the blade fixed? Then Michael is more then willing to do whatever Takehiro says.
"The only thing I ask then is for a similarly weighted blade to work with while you fix mine. Beyond that, as I said. I agree to your terms. I'll stay in town for however long you want. Especially if you're paying for room and board. I just have to ask that it's a place that's dog friendly..."
Takehiro waves off the concerns as Zach stalks toward the back without an argument. "It's my place, so so long as your pet behaves, that won't be an issue. The blade, though..." Takehiro considers that for a moment before reaching for the Justice Blade again, this time picking it up to examine it better. "Add two days for that, if that's okay? I don't have such a thing laying around, so I'd have to make it myself."
He bows slightly at the waist, "It will serve you well," he says. "If only for the interim. You have my word on that."
Log created on 23:49:19 12/29/2018 by Zach Glenn, and last modified on 11:14:36 01/02/2019.