Chapter 1.1- I Will Chase You To The Ends Of The Earth
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ARC 1- FANG EMPIRE
CHAPTER 1.1 - I WILL CHASE YOU TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH
A setup and an imperial edict from the emperor decided his whole family’s fate of nine generations but he was not willing to oblige.
He was not willing until he got his revenge on those who set his family up, cleanse his family name from such firth by been regarded as traitors when they were the most loyal, only then will he be willing to join the rest of his family in death.
But how could he ever achieve his goals when he has been constantly chased down by a lunatic at every turn.
Every other bounty hunter had given up because he had honed his art of escape to almost perfection, yet this lunatic was an exception that always found him time and again, it was as if he had a tantalizing and irresistible meat in hand and the guy was a wild dog that could always sniff up its scent and find him by using it.
What plans could he make or what goals could he ever achieve if he always had a dog on his tail, and was constantly on the run?
On a particular day, a dark and stormy night, with trees writhing and flailing as the wind screeched and angrily hit against their barks, thunder rumbled in the distance and bolts of lightning cracked the blacken sky into two, providing a bit of light to the night, the rain violently hammered against the ground, causing its droplets to jump up and down like it was dancing in excitement, this was the kind of weather where no one dared to be found without shelter, even the trees out in the open would have hidden too if they could, however, presently two figures could be seen contending with the stormy weather.
In recent years these two people have become super popular in the Koka era, in fact, they were betting houses who had made a lot of money because of them, rich young masters and even young mistresses who didn’t know what to do with their money put up bets as to whether the notorious orphaned foreign bounty hunter Fan Yen will ever be able to catch the runaway traitor Tanaka Kento who was as slippery as a snake, cunning and sly like a fox, could hide as good as a bunny and run as fast as Usain Bolt.
One was the infamous orphaned since birth bounty hunter Fan Yen while the other was the formerly rumored debauchery young master turned criminal Tanaka Kento.
“You have been chasing this young master for close to three years now, Fan Yen, don’t you have a life” Tanaka Kento angrily spat out these words, not once slowing his speed or turning back to glance for even a second at the man dangerously closing in on his trail.
“Why don’t you let me catch you so I can go back to my beautiful life, you should have understood my personality by now, Tanaka Kento I will chase you to the ends of the earth if need be, there has never been a bounty I haven’t redeemed and you won’t be the first to spoil my unbreakable record” Fan Yen sounded even more aggrieved and angered than Tanaka Kento who was been chased.
Tanaka Kento decided to sprinkle pepper into Fan Yen’s eyes, he harrumphs arrogantly and then in a not so fast way reminded Fan Yen of a painful fact, Tanaka Kento wanted this thorn in his flesh to savor the taste of his defeat in his hands as he said “Haven’t I already broken your five days record”
“Damn you Kento” Fan Yen on hearing what Tanaka Kento had to say got so angry to the extent that he tried to increase his running speed, completely neglecting the slippery wet ground, Tanaka Kento will also not be outdone, and despite breathing like a dying horse he still pushed himself to the limits, he was a young master who had never learned martial arts before, however, with just his strong will power not to get caught he could keep some considerable distance from Fan Yen who knew a few martial arts, Kento was also good at using the environment to his advantage but he understood that he had to find an alternative way to escape this time around as none of this means will be of use once he reaches the open fields ahead.
Tanaka Kento was sprinting with all his might in front while Fan Yen was doing catch up from behind; these two were like cat and mouse, Tom and Jerry.
Fan Yen thought back to how he had landed himself in such a predicament, if he knew it was going to be like this, perhaps he won’t have taken up this job, not that he had much of a choice, to begin with.
Whenever he remembered that fateful day, he could not stop himself from sighing bitterly.
A few years back, he was in an Izakaya, sitting on a tatami mat with his buddies who were giving him a treat by purchasing for him his favorite finely brewed sake due to him successfully catching a female slave in less than four days who was previously sold to a brothel in the red light district but chose to run away with the assistance of one of her big noble client, due to a noble been involved in her escape it wasn’t easy to get the woman back and was even a tad bit dangerous, however, Fan Yen had pulled through and delivered in the end.
Anyway, as he and his friends were about to hit their wine bowls against each other’s in cheers they suddenly halted their actions due to the loud noise coming from behind them.
Their jolly time was interrupted as their attention was drawn to the commotion at the entrance of the pub because some men dressed in fine armors barged into the Izakaya. The owner of the Izakaya quickly walked up to them, Fan Yen couldn’t hear their discussion but seeing as both the owner of the pub and the man who had spoken with him were now staring as his direction; he had this instinct that they were here for him.
Everyone curiously stared at the men in fine armor as they walked towards Fan Yen’s table, on a table not so far from his, he heard a man says “It seems they came for that so-called famous bounty hunter Fan Yen, they must be here to teach him a lesson, these men look too refined to be seeking his service so do you think he has offended someone he shouldn’t have?”
“That can only be the case, he might have let the small fame he has gotten get to his head” this person had a scar across his face, he was a bounty hunter just like Fan Yen but wasn’t as good as he was in the field so of course, he won’t wish anything good for Fan Yen, he wasn’t the only one, they were many in the pub just like him and ever ready to pull Fan Yen down, nevertheless, just as Fan Yen had enemies, he also had a lot of fans which included some noble young mistresses rooting for him and even wanting to spend their life’s with him despite his common origins.
“I don’t see why people praise him so much; it can’t be so hard to catch runaway’s right?”
“How about you try it out once, then you will know firsthand if it is hard or not, you should not forget that some of these runaways are notorious criminals, he always takes up the most difficult and dangerous jobs and yet not once have he failed to catch even the deadliest of criminals and in the shortest time possible” a female from another table chipped into their conversation, she was clearly one of Fan Yen’s many fans, she blushed lightly as she stole a glance at him.
Another girl beside the one that just spoke nodded in agreement and said “ he spends not more than five days in catching his bounties, isn’t he so awesome” this was mainly one of the reasons why Fan Yen was so popular because apart from been drop-dead gorgeous, he also broke bounty hunters records that none could, there was no target he didn’t catch in five days time at most, these usually targeted personalities were ones that even the authorities had given up on because they couldn’t find them or they were just too dangerous, however, whether they were in groups or not, Fan Yen always finished whichever job he took on splendidly and alone.
Fan Yen’s record was so good to the point that recently for urgent jobs that some clients need to be done, they won’t even bother with putting up a bounty for many bounty hunters to try their luck but instead will just go and directly request for Fan Yen’s service.
This particular Izakaya was also a well-known hangout spot for bounty hunters especially Fan Yen and the only reason any refined young lady will be here, pretending to be interested in the food and wine offered was just so that they can ogle at the male god Fan Yen, he had foreign sea blue phoenix eyes, dirty blond hair, deep red lips, biceps like no other and a face that could topple nations so, of course, he was eye candy to a whole of females while been an eyesore to the males for been so damn perfect in every which way.
Fan Yen after hearing what the first man badmouth him had long since blocked all unnecessary conversations from filtering through his ears so he didn’t hear all the following conversations or the heated gazes directed his way, his own eyes were firming placed of the bodies of the people approaching him.
The men in armor finally arrived at Fan Yen’s table, then the one who looked like their leader took out a scroll and looked at it, then he directed his gaze on him before saying “Are you the bounty hunter Fan Yen?” Fan Yen believed this question was somewhat unnecessary since they had clearly confirmed his identity from the owner of the pub earlier, he could also bet his balls that the scroll the man just looked up had an image of him, however, he wasn’t going to hold it against them, as these people were been super thorough it could only mean one thing to him, he had caught the eye of a super big fish and his pockets will soon be lined in gold. such thoughts were enough to make him humble.
If it was any other person seeing such men dressed in armor should shock and frighten them, they might even think that they had brought some kind of calamity upon themselves however Fan Yen had good instincts and could practically smell money from a distance and that was what these people smelt like to him so he answered the man way too enthusiastically “Yes I am”.
“Our master will like to employ your service” the man holding the scroll said and then turned to leave, followed by his entourage, Fan Yen secretly rolled his eyes at these arrogant bastards, they didn’t even bother to discuss things properly with him and just expected him to follow them like he was some robot or could read minds and therefore figure out their intentions, although their intentions he could indeed figure out, that didn’t mean it was alright to treat him so.
Despite having complains about this new client Fan Yen still didn’t plan on taking their rude attitude to heart, after all, he was a low born whose heritage wasn’t even known so even if he had his pride, that didn’t put food on the table and neither will that save him from whosever wrath he might incur upon himself if he acted disrespectfully to these kinds of nobles, Fan Yen was a cautious man, one who treasured his life dearly.
Fan Yen will never have thought that the master the men in armor were talking about was actually the emperor of the Koka era, emperor Komei, but on seeing that the emperor was willing to show himself to a lowlife like him then that could only mean that the job yet to be handed to him was of utmost importance.
Fan Yen had been blindfolded when he walked out of the Izakaya and lead to this cottage in the dense forest where he met the emperor, and now he was kneeling and bowing before the man in total respect and submission.
He couldn’t quite believe that this was the emperor, after all, no one except some high nobles had seen the mans face before, so Fan Yen had initially thought ‘Maybe one of my brothers are trying to prank me’
However, such thoughts were immediately put to rest when a scroll with a young master’s picture was placed before his eyes and by the side was an imperial seal, the young master in the picture had long flowing silky black hair, golden eyes, pink lips, a slender body, he was an enchanting handsome beauty, even the emperor seem to be reluctant to part with this one picture of him, however, he soon decisively did so by shoving it into Fan Yen’s hands.
Fan Yen couldn’t help but wonder what the history was between the emperor and this young master but he knew better than to shove his nose where it wasn’t wanted, also he believed he will soon find out more about this young male beauty.
“He is your mission, I heard you are the best at what you do, that is the only reason you have this privilege, I hope you won’t disappoint me because if you do you can only pay me with your life” Fan Yen didn’t know what to say to that, he hadn’t even been told what or who he will be chasing after all this time but his life was already been threaten, he really didn’t like working for people like this.
“I am sure you are aware of the recent rumors going around about my palace and by now you should have also figured out who this emperor wants you to catch,” the emperor said, Fan Yen couldn’t help but think about the rumors that had been spreading about a thief entering the imperial palace and stealing a very important item, but he also heard that investigation had been completed and the thief caught, it was a court minister that the emperor had once trusted, the emperor felt extremely betrayed and even exterminated the entire nine generations of the court ministers family.
Fan Yen never paid too much attention to gossips and rumors as one could never tell what was true or false especially when the matter involved nobles in the imperial city, commoners like themselves could never enter the city as they will and most nobles that came out of the city were mostly those of low rank that might not know much either or they were out on important business so didn’t have time to partake in such acts of gossip.
Nevertheless, this shocking truth revealed to Fan Yen was too much for his head to process at once, although people discussed this on the streets no one truly believed it because so many things didn’t add up.
Firstly the person accused of been the mastermind of the crime was supposedly the master of the Tanaka household, this household that even them as commoners knew about their extreme loyalty to the empire since its beginning, also the person who the rumors claimed sneaked into the imperial palace was young master Tanaka Kento who was also rumored to be known for his debauchery, all day long he visited the red light district, in fact, it was said that the only reason Tanaka Kento was able to escape from punishment was because he was in one of such places when judgment was passed against court minister Tanaka as someone who had betrayed the empire and was a traitor deserving of death with all nine generations of his family.
These were things that Fan Yen had regarded as nothing but mere rumors when he first heard it but it seems now that not everything was mere rumors, they might be bits of truth in-between.
Who would have believed that such a person like Tanaka Kento was brave enough to enter the palace, steal and even escape unscratched?
With Fan Yen’s ability to judge the situation, he came to the conclusion that it seems even the emperor’s special bounty hunters and imperial forces were not able to catch this Tanaka Kento hence the reason they came to ask for his expertise despite their apparent reluctance or was the emperor shielding this person? after careful though Fan Yen didn’t think that was the case either.
Fan Yen came to the conclusion at that instant that this Tanaka Kento can’t be as the rumors had said he was, he should be someone really smart to be able to elude even the imperial might to such an extent and drag them to a corner, nevertheless, Fan Yen snickered as he didn’t believe that this person will be any different than any of his previous bounties, oh how wrong Fan Yen will come to realize that he was for undermining Tanaka Kento back then as he will sooner than later eats his words.
After reaching certain conclusions, Fan Yen came to understand why this is so important to the emperor, in all of history, such an event had never occurred because the palace was an impenetrable fortress, even assassins couldn’t find their way in so easily so for a nobody to achieve this was really a huge enormous slap to the emperor’s face and for that nobody to still be at large, the slap was even way greater or maybe there was more to the story than meets the eye but that wasn’t of much concern to Fan Yen, he had his target and that was all that mattered, although Fan Yen felt a bit regretfully as this looker was certainly his type.
“I will reward you handsomely if you can catch that traitor alive nevertheless if that proves difficult all I need from you in return is an intact corpse, and I hope for your own good that you do accomplish this mission” Fan Yen had thought then that he had caught a big fish and that after the end of the job in three to four days he could retire from the dangerous life of a bounty hunter, although he loved danger and the thrill that the job comes with, he will like to live a bit peacefully too if he was given the chance.
However, who would have thought that a job that he deemed simple to achieve will spam out for such a long time.
Back to the present, it was still dead in the night and raining heavily, Tanaka Kento had almost reached his limits with Fan Yen hot on his tails, with a deep frustration he looked up to the night clouds and shouted in an aggrieved tone.
“Heaven’s please smite this Fan Yen for me, best bounty hunter or not, I don’t care, just kill this son of a bitch for me, I will even agree to be your lapdog if you could grant this merger wish of mine” He was a strategist, good at almost everything else except the one skill he most needed now, the skill of killing, if not he would have murdered this guy a long time ago.
Surprisingly things didn’t go as Kento had hoped, “Shit, the heavens can never be trusted ” Tanaka Kento cussed out as he thought ‘this isn’t what I prayed for?’.
Fan Yen eyes went wild in delight on witnessing what had just transpired, Fan Yen pushed himself as he had never done in all his life towards Kento’s direction meanwhile Tanaka Kento who had just tripped on a stone and have fallen down tried to quickly rise, however, he was still a second too late.
Fan Yen had arrived and jumped on his back, the ground was slippery so they stumbled about for a while, and Tanaka Kento struggled to get away from Fan Yen while he struggled to get Kento under his control and eventually succeeded.
“I have finally caught you” Fan Yen panted out the words between breaths while laughing as he had just won a trophy “Hahaha... I finally got you, Tanaka Kento, you slippery snake, I go you”. Fan Yen’s eyes shined so brightly to the point that even Kento felt he was going to go blind from it, it was the first time Kento had seen this kind of innocent and happy expression on the man’s face, it made Fan Yen look even more attractive than he usually was and for a second there Kento thought if he could see this kind of expression on Fan Yen’s face always then it was worth him getting caught, he didn’t mind it at all.
Both of them were covered in mud from head to toe, their breath was haggard due to all the running, their hair was disheveled and sticking to their face, it gave them a wild look, also their robes had gotten wet due to the heavy rain that didn’t want to seize and was stuck on their body like they had been glued there.
Tanaka Kento was putting on a white ancient robe which had already become brown in some areas and see through in others, for a moment Fan Yen’s eyes lingered a little bit longer than necessary on Tanaka Kento’s see through chest before reluctantly moving unto his face, Tanaka was a looker with small pink plump lips, a slender waist that could nicely fit into his arms, long black hair, thick lashes, and porcelain skin, he was definitely Yen’s type since he didn’t discriminate between women or men when it came to relationships and he would have certainly sort Kento out for a relationship if he wasn’t out of his league previously or he wasn’t presently his mission target, anyway, right now Fan Yen wasnt permitted to and couldn’t see Kento as anything other than the criminal that destroyed his perfect bounty hunters reputation, as long as Kento was caught then as least his winning streak will not be broken, however, this was probably just a notion he wanted to strongly believe was the reason for his drive in all these years, the reason he hadn’t given up on this bounty even if they were many other options.
End of Chapter.
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