* A tale involving the “other” side of Miss Hermit. Feel free to comment *
In the senior monk’s study….
“A pigeon came from New Babbage. Iyou reports nothing unusual.”
“and….? You are not happy Bell-chan. Do you think something is wrong?”
“Hai Yamada-sama! Iyou is being a silly miko for staying there. Danger flits about her and she makes light of it. Please recall her for her own safety.”
“I know you love her greatly Belldandy, as do we all.” The senior monk finishes his tea and looks at the leaves and frowns. “Ask Master Hermit to see me as soon as possible. Tell him…tell him that it is time to ask questions and to seek answers.”
In a Yakuza dojo, the inner rooms…
“What in the nine hells to you mean the neighborhood was ‘changed’?”
“Mistress, the drawings show an entirely new layout of the buildings. It is as if the old rowhouses never existed. The Clockwinder was responsible for the change to earn money for a thing named RFL.”
“So, this means the western assassin can not complete her task?”
“I think not but she will have to start from the beginning to locate a new killing zone.”
The katana comes out with a slow metal sigh. She examines the edge with a critical eye and then looks down at the minon kneeling before her.
“I consider this a failure. Do you wish to apologize or commit sepiku?”
The minon goes almost as white as she. “Please Mistress I would wish to apologize.”
He holds out his hand, all fingers but the little curled in. She looks down, laughs, and the blade flashes once to be followed by the shriek of the minon as his hand falls upon the reed mat with a thump and rolls once.
“You thought I was slightly displeased. You were wrong. Go to the surgeon and fix yourself.”
In the Temple courtyard…
“She wasn’t happy I can tell you that old friend.”
The senior monk paces back and forth in front of the seated Master Hermit. A severed hand lies on the table.
“I fear for her life Master Hermit. To lose her would be terrible.”
“I agree Yamada-sama. Will you issue the recall? Iyou will be terribly upset.”
“Hermit-san, I fear she would ignore the summons completely. I ask you to lend the weight of the clan to this. She never would go against us both.”
Master Hermit puffs upon his clay pipe and sends a circle of smoke to the heavens. “If we both do it, she will return. But at what cost to us? Will we lose her to anger?”
Yamada-sama sighs deeply, “Better an unhappy daughter and angry miko than you and I dressing her corpse for the funeral fires. I shall prepare the message but you must add your signature to it when I am done.”
“Hai Yamada. I will but I wonder if she will be any happier for it…”