Army of Anarchy

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The Tail of a Four Taled Fox

Michiya was already hard at work when his next client had managed to squeeze her slimy self in his list for the day, her shrill voice poked and stabbed at his senses like a hot poker, and he resisted the urge to send her away. Money. He straightened his collar, the teacup was perched at the end of his desk dangerously close to its edge, ripples forming as the thunder clapped above him. It sent crackles of lightning about the clouds, and from how dark the sky looked, one would assume that it was the dead of night, but it had already struck eight, yet Michiya had not seen the sun rise that morning.

He shifted his cup, and stood from his desk, narrowly avoiding toppling into his latest plant addition that sat dutifully at the table’s legs. He observed the rolling fields littered with trees, and a herd of deer sprint across the grassy terrain to hide out from the storm. It had started late last night, and it had woken Michiya with a start, the man sitting bolt upright in bed, a sheen of sweat dampening his forehead, neck and chest. It had not lessened, in fact, it had surely gotten worse. The clouds looking darker and darker with each passing hour.

He need not wonder why his first few clients had not come in for their meetings, the death of the Knightjar was surely a sight to behold. He could not stomach it, not finding amusement in the mockery of misery. Only fools find solace in the pain of others, his father had told him. And there is no pain in the suffering of fools.

Madame Levesque was the only one to show up on time, her hideously fancy fur coat dragging across the muddied underbrush as she scaled the stairs. She was a short stump of a woman, with about as much hair as a balding porpoise, which she hid with an equally hideous hat, and a set of draping pearls that hung from her neck. She smelt of faux flowers, and vanilla. She had a rounded face, and eyes that were almost buttons and too close together. She always bore deep red circles on her cheeks, and blue around her eyes. Her dress clung to her upper half, but spilled straight at the waist. She could not have been more than seventy, most of the bourgeoisie lived that long and longer. She could have any answer she wanted, with the amount of money she earned from working in a brothel in the heart of Opklir, but, she always wanted to know the same thing. Whether or not her husband had been cheating on her, and he had been.

For that there was no doubt. But she was a stupid woman, and it was his stupid money that she had been spending on Michiya’s services. Michiya found it to be nothing more then that of reaping what the old man had sown. He had come to understand that if he were to allow regrets and morals to seep into his work, he would stop it entirely. It wasn’t exactly what Kuiguerra had in mind when they had met all those years ago, and he had told her the tale of the Kitsune, but it made him money, and kept him clothed and with food and water.

Levesque was alive with joy and delight, shaking her arms wildly as she took a seat across from Michiya, plopping down on it with the grace of a broken-legged dancer. “How are you, my darling Kitsune?”

Michiya hummed as though in thought. “Very well. And what of you, Dear Malore.”

She bid her thanks for his question. “I am positively delighted!”

She had only one question on her mind, and it swirled around like a ball-bearing rattling in a glass jar. It made his skin crawl, but he pushed through anyway, a warm and delighted mask appearing on his face. “Ah you wish to know if Lord Seveage suffered?”

Levesque nodded, “oh yes.” She lifted her weighty purse to rest against the desk and attempted to cross her legs as Michiya sat himself down. “My girls had many troubles with him over the past few years. I even banned him at one point, but money was money, and he had a lot to give. They would do just about anything for him, even if they were scared.”

He hadn’t the stomach to know exactly what he had made those girls do, but the inclination that settled on his skin was enough. He felt as though he were boiling alive. He had had a dream the night that Seveage died, he saw an owl tear his throat out, leaving him gagging on his own blood, enough so that he seemed to drown in it. Michiya had painted a plant with his upset stomach not a moment later, the dream so vivid he could smell the blood and taste the metal on his tongue. “He did,” he ground out, hating this woman. “He did, very much so. He drowned in his blood.”

Levesque clapped her hands in delight, jumping from her chair. “Ah thank you!” She cried reaching for her purse. She left a brow raising mixture of silver and gold coins at Michiya’s desk, giggling madly. “Now, I must go! The execution is set to begin soon! Have you heard? I cannot believe they are going to kill her.”

Michiya leant back, regaining some strength to pinch the bridge of his nose. “I did.”

“There are a bunch of us in protest,” she explained, her chauffer arriving at the door. She gently reached into her purse again, shifting the contents about for a moment until she found what she had been looking for. She set the flyer down on his desk, a crude drawing of an owl sketched onto the front. “Join us if you can!”

He watched her go. And a heart stopping clap of thunder followed rumbling deep within his chest and knocking the wind from his lungs.

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