labyrinthmess: (tsukuyo rose)
[personal profile] labyrinthmess

Title: Tea-House Moon
Rating: T
Genre: Fantasy/RPG-AU, Humour, Friendship, Action-Adventure.
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Sakata Ginko/Tsukuo, Shinpachi, Kagura, Hinowa and others in future chapters.
Warnings: It’s a Gintama fic, all sorts of warning go here, dammit. Genderbent!GinTsu, mild language, crack, breaking the fourth wall.
Summary: In which Tsukuo finds himself part of a company and quest he did not sign up for, that blood may be thicker than water but it certainly isn’t thicker than ketchup (nor does it taste as good with fries)* and that sometimes a thief can be a liar and still keep their promises. Set three and half years after the events in Thieves, like books, should not be judged by their covers.
A/N: A terribly belated gift fic my madao-bro waketozee.


~.*.~


Chapter 2

Every story is a recycled one; it’s the perspective of the characters that gives it originality.

And then, there’s 'My Immortal'.


.

.


Yoshiwara. The realm of debaucherous deeds, the realm where one goes to fulfil licentious desires of the flesh. Those were but a few names of the mysterious walled city, whispered in hushed, sullen voices amongst many across the land of Rarrapuratar. It was said to lie far from prying eyes, in the outskirts of the capital and nestled away in a hidden valley, enclosed all around by the towering trees of the old Great Woods.


It was also said to be a realm of unending riches; its treasury was rumoured to be filled to the brim with gold and sparkling gemstones mined from the mountains, its cobblestoned streets were lined with archways plated in bronze. The buildings were tall and grand; at night, its bright neon lights seem to rise pulsating up to the sky from within the grounds, as though the city itself were a living, breathing creature of old. Thecity skyline was bright, day and night, alit with showering threads of magic fireworks. The people dressed in colourful garments, embroidered with the finest silk threads and yarn, embellished with ornate beads and sequins.


Yoshiwara, the Realm of Pleasures, the Nightless City.


The descriptions varied, of course, depending heavily on who was narrating to whom, and they were, at times, so fantastical that one was almost compelled to believe that such a city couldn’t be anything but fictitious – a product of an over-active imagination, an enchanting dream that visits in the night.


It was not fantasy, however, for the people of Yoshiwara were not unseen or unheard of outside of their hidden city. Their merchants frequented the capital to barter and trade alongside the capital folk in the weekly market held in Telford Square. And there almost always was a band of youths – bright and yet gullible, and just freshly weaned out of their childhood – who would decide then to wander the lands of Rarrapuratar, brimming with wanderlust, seeking for adventure and sometimes knowledge, far,far away from the walled districts of their home.


“Yoshiwara, the Nightless City. The realm of Pleasures, of debaucherous deeds–”


“Kagura,” Shinpachi hissed softly as he shuffled along the path agitatedly. “You don’t have to keep repeating the introduction of the chapter; I’m pretty sure the readers already have a fairly good idea of what Yoshiwara looks like by now.”


“Say, Gin-chan,” Kagura ignored Shinpachi’s words, calling out instead to the young woman walking ahead of them as she glanced back at a mouldy piece of scroll held out in her hands, squinting at the tiny inscriptions and sketchily-drawn figures and diagrams over the page. Inked in bold crimson script on the back of the scroll were the words THE REAL YOSHIWARA IN FLAMES ARC: A TOURIST GUIDE.


“What does it mean when someone goes ‘to fulfil licentious desires of the flesh?’”


Though the question wasn’t even directed at him, Shinpachi couldn’t help but turn into a remarkable shade of pink. Not literally of course – that would be awkward and strange because people don’t spontaneously combust or turn into rainbows, unless it was in very bad fan-fiction or if it was a troll-fic.


(For the record, this is not a troll-fic. Then again, this probably isn’t going to be a spectacular fic – g-get out while you can, save yourselves and flee!!)


“Does it mean they really like to eat meat?” Kagura pressed on, oblivious to the fourth wall breaking in between this question and her previous one.


“K-Kagura! You can’t just ask–” Shinpachi squeaked, mortified at where the conversation was headed towards (but mostly just guiltily ashamed of his own less than immaculate thoughts).


“Well,” Ginko said, pausing in her steps to gaze over her shoulder. “I suppose you could say that, in a manner of speaking.”


“So why do they call it the Realm of Pleasures..?” Kagura glanced back to the scroll, frowning slightly as she read over the inscriptions again. “Is it because when you eat in Yoshiwara, you get a free toy or something?”


“Yeah, I guess you could say that too.” Ginko said, without missing a beat. “Just like how babies have those chew toys to nibble on when their teeth itch, men who visit Yoshiwara get a similar kind of toy for the particularly sleazy man-itches they tend to get between their sweat-marinated man-thighs. Like a McYoshiwara Happy Meal.”


“Ugh, Gin-san,” Shinpachi let out an exasperated groan. “Don’t put such sullied thoughts into her mind. I mean, seriously–?”


Ginko’s deadpanned expression told him that yes, she was being quite serious.“I’m not putting anything anywhere. Besides, dodging questions about the birds and bees is as effective as dodging bird droppings and tomato bombs at the county fair; it’s not the pigeon or the children’s fault that you make such great target practice, so just answer the question, Shinpachi!”


“What are you talking about?! And I am not target practice!”


Ginko would have responded with yet another impertinent comment, except that this time, Tsukuo’s hand was faster and Ginko let out yelp of surprise when she felt the familiar sting of a throwing knife blade graze lightly over the top of her right shoulder.


Silence descended over the trio when Tsukuo approached them from the shadows, his brows creased into a severe frown directed solely at the young woman.


“You could’ve have injured me with that,” Ginko grumbled as she rubbed at her shoulder, wincing at the thought of Tsukuo’s knife actually hitting its mark.


“I took special care to make sure I missed,” Tsukuo replied simply, still frowning hard. “Your incessant bickering is an annoyance, and if you don’t quiet down, the whole of Yoshiwara would be aware of your presence.”


“Why does it even matter? I’m still handcuffed like a prisoner here and you have not explained anything!”


They had long left the field and the Great Woods, led by Tsukuo and his masked guards through the alleys of the Hidden City, away from inviting glimmer of the streets and the nightly hustle and bustle of the crowd. Tsukuo said not a word as he paced tirelessly on, leading them towards the centre of city and past a gated archway looming before a creek. Crossing the stone causeway snaking over the gurgling water, they trudged on, towards a magnificent building that was, unmistakably, the Court of the Sun.


Tsukuo nodded at the masked guards flanking him. “You may leave and continue with the rest of the night patrols without me. I will bring them to the Lady Hinowa; she will decide their fate.”


The guards paused in their steps, darting glances of distrust at Ginko, Shinpachi and Kagura. Tsukuo was well aware from the unease and hostility in their stance and from their still-raised spears that the Hyakka were unwilling to leave Tsukuo alone with the three intruders. But he also knew that they had always trusted in his decisions and orders, so after only a moment’s hesitation, the Hyakka bowed shortly before their Captain and with a quick salute and a whirl of their navy cloaks, they took their leave, retreating back into the cover of shadows.


*


Once he was certain the guards were gone, Tsukuo reached into the folds of his cloak. He drew out a long, thin kiseru pipe, lifting it to his lips to take a slow drag as he mused silently. He turned towards Ginko, who eyed his approach with the same wariness a trapped fox would when placed much too close to the spikier, pointier end of an angry porcupine.


“H-Hey, if you think you can make me buy my freedom by doing licentious things to you, y-you’re wrong! Wrong, you hear me?!” Ginko blurted out, a sheen of sweat glistening upon her brow now. “The only thing I’ll blow is a trumpet and if you–”


“Are you’re saying that you’d rather keep the handcuffs on?” Tsukuo sighed wearily, holding up a bronze key.


“–think that I–ah, wait, what?” Ginko blinked once, twice, before she finally understood. Reaching for her hands, Tsukuo unlocked the cuffs easily, releasing her from her bonds.


“Men can be devious scums, I’ll give you that,” he said softly as he stored both the key and cuffs away within the folds of his tunic. “But I’ve turned away from a similar path a long time ago, and I swore to Hinowa to never walk down that dark road again. I promise, I will not harm you or your friends. Unless, of course, you mean to bring ill or harm to Yoshiwara and the Lady.”


“A-ah, it’s all right, we totally understand.” Shinpachi placed himself between Ginko and Tsukuo, in an attempt to diffuse then tension between them. Tsukuo did not reply him, only motioning for the group to continue walking across the Court grounds.


“I mean,” the boy said, tapping the side of his cheek anxiously with a finger. “It did kind of seem like we were sneaking around suspiciously in the Woods and all.”


Much to his surprise, the Captain of the Hyakka paused in mid-step then, turning around to give him and Kagura a short, apologetic bow.


“I’m sorry; it was not in our intent to treat you both like criminals.” Tsukuo nodded at them, signalling them to follow him once more as he led them through the massive oak doors of the building and then up a long, spiralling stairway. “But Yoshiwara has had many enemies in the past, and none – not even children like you two, young and innocent as you are – may be allowed to enter the city in any manner save through the designated Gates.” Here, Tsukuo pinned Ginko with an icy glare. “And if one is in the company of a thief, it pays to never let your guard down…”


“You shouldn’t be throwing around accusations so readily like how you throw your knives. Gin-chan is a law-abiding citizen of exemplary conduct, I’ll have you know!” Ginko huffed, drawing herself to her full height. Which, to be quite honest, did not make much of an impression at all, because Tsukuo was still at least a whole head taller than she was. “Is this really that same scrawny brat I met on the streets three years ago? How annoying.”


Tsukuo tilted his head sideways. “I do have every reason to be suspicious about you, considering how you tried to steal from me once. Who knows what devilry you have up your sleeves this time?”


“That’s true; Gin-chan is a terrible thief,” Kagura said, wearing a solemn look upon her face.“She hasn’t paid us for three months now and we’ve all been forced to survive a meal a day, of rice and eggs for the past two weeks. I’m pretty sure I’ve lost my dainty figure because of that.”


Ginko let out a snort of disbelief. “Since when has a daily meal of rice and eggs ever bothered you? And what figure? You’re only twelve years old; Aunt Flo hasn’t even had time to drop by for tea yet– oohmp!” She grunted, her words dissolving into spluttering coughs as Kagura promptly elbowed her in the stomach.


“Curse our budget constraints and the writer’s inaptitude!” Kagura cried, landing another punch at Ginko’s shoulder. “Will we always fall back on tasteless humour and a useless character to carry the plot forward?!”


Shinpachi shook his head disapprovingly. “Not only did we have to start rationing our meals, we’ve been receiving a slew of fines from the electric company too. All because Gin-san had conveniently forgot about paying the bills since the start of the year. I had to resort to asking my sister for a loan!”


Cringing lower and lower at each stab of accusation, Ginko sulked harder, her lips pursed into a pout as she backed away from Kagura and Shinpachi’s reproachful glares, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible.“H-Hey… is this how they repay my kindness for taking them in, these little street scoundrels?”


Leading the squabbling trio through the double doors and into the chamber that stood at the end of the stairway, Tsukuo could only sigh again, carding his fingers through the shock of gold hair. “This isn’t really what I thought I’d signed up for…”


Their banter would have continued back and forth for yet another spell, if not for the peals of laughter that could be heard from chamber. Ginko, Shinpachi and Kagura fell silent once more, casting their gazes about as they searched for the source of the new voice.


There was a raised dais in the centre of the chamber, and upon it was a grand throne-like chair carved from rosewood. Shafts of moonlight filtered down from the glass-stained windows set in the high ceiling, falling across the chair so that its engravings of dark-green creepers and burnished lilies of silver and gold glowed with an unearthly radiance.


And seated upon the chair was Hinowa, the Lady of Yoshiwara. She was dressed in crimson and gold raiment bedecked with jewels and she wore her long black hair braided down one side of her shoulder, a circlet of ivy and cherry blossoms weaved in her hair around her head. Her dark eyes were keen and held the warmth of the sun in them as she regarded her visitors curiously.


Tsukuo motioned for the trio to approach the dais, before he walked up the marbled steps and took his place beside Hinowa, arms folded across his chest. A thin wisp of smoke and ash continued to rise from his kiseru pipe.


Hinowa nodded at the trio before she turned towards Tsukuo with a knowing smile. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you quite so chatty in a conversation before. It’s nice that you’re enjoying the banter with these visitors.”


The young Captain of the Night Guard looked as though he was about to disagree, his brows raised as surprise and mortification flickered across his features. Hinowa merely chuckled once more, before turning her attention back to her visitors.


“Welcome to Yoshiwara,” the Lady greeted, the serene smile still playing at the corner of her lips. She nodded at the eldest of the three. “Tsukuo has spoken much of you, Ginko. I wished we could’ve met soon after your first encounter with him; I would have offered you the strength of the Hyakka to save you from working any longer with despicable men such as Housen.”


The Lady of Yoshiwara was a beautiful sight to behold indeed, and her words were filled with a warm benevolence that Ginko had never been used to, having had to live on the streets as an orphan since her earliest years. There was no underlying deceit in her tone, in as much as Ginko could tell right now, only an unassuming geniality and openness that reminded her of Shouy…


Ginko blinked, feeling her fingers clench involuntarily as a series of dreamlike scenes–


“Look at that bird, Sensei; it has really pretty feathers and man is it plump like a chicken! Imagine how it’d taste like spiced and smoked over a fire.”


“Ginko dear, you can’t possibly hit it from here with your small catapult. Might I suggest that piece of a brick over there by your foot instead?”


bittersweet and dear memories,


“Come now, Ginko, this is not the time for stubbornness. You must drink the medicine; it will help your fever go down.”


“Shan’t, it tastes gross. And it’ll make my tongue and poop go all blue, yeeaaachh.”


“You certainly are a ray of sunshine when ill, aren’t you?”


“I’m always your ray of sunshine, fever or not. Gin-chan is so sweet in nature that she gives Sensei cavities– AACHOO!”


“And even the sun can be under the weather at times. Now drink up and I’ll read you a bedtime story.”


“Ah! I want to hear the one about the man with golden balls!”


“It’s Gin Tama, little one. Not Kintama.”


of happier times long gone, was dredged slowly from the abyss of her consciousness. Ginko felt the painful twist of emotion within her at the sudden rush of memories.


Tsukuo, who had been watching silently from where he stood, frowned slightly, fixing his gaze over Ginko. He could sense her abrupt disquiet, the uneasy shift of moods in the atmosphere. There seemed to be a touch of grief within her eyes now; it was fleeting, tiny glimpses of emotion skimming briefly at the very edges of her features. Before Tsukuo could wonder if it was the trick of light, it was gone, slipping back again under elusive waters and Ginko had returned to wearing the cavalier expression of dead fish that she so favoured.


“Well, I only had his word for it back then,” Ginko replied, dipping her head in acknowledgement at the Lady. “So pardon me if I wasn’t quite ready to believe he was being serious about it.”


Tsukuo only clicked his tongue in slight annoyance. “I’m always serious.”


“Yeah, I can see that now. Anyway, I was doing fine on my own then, and I’m doing even better right now, as you can see for yourself!” Ginko said, the smug grin returning to her lips once more.


“Looks can be deceiving,” Tsukuo countered slowly.


To which Ginko only huffed as she dusted herself importantly. “Well you’ll be happy to know then, that I’m not longer in the service of that old goofball Housen and have completely retired from the business of pick-pocketing. I run my own show now with these two strays I’ve picked up.”


Here, she threw her arms around Shinpachi and Kagura, drawing them close. “We three are the jack of all trades, rendering our services to all and any odd-jobs you may have! And together, with our powers combined, we are–”


“CAPTAAAIN PLANET!” Kagura cried, one arm raised in a victorious punch.


“Uh,” Shinpachi began. “I don’t think–”


“We’re not Captain Planet?” Kagura asked, incredulous. “Are we the Super Sentai Curry Ninjas then?”


No!” Ginko snapped, extremely miffed that someone had stolen the thunder to the introduction script she’d worked so hard to memorize so that she could deliver it with dazzling flair and jazz-hands. “We’re the Yorozuya. If there’s a task that needs doing, the Yorozuya will gladly do it.”


“An odd-jobs service, huh,” Tsukuo mused, impressed despite himself. “And any task at all, you say?”


“For a fee, of course. We’re not a charity.”


“That is an interesting line of business indeed,” Hinowa said, nodding at Tsukuo, before she turned to regard Ginko once again. “So I would presume that you three were out wandering the Great Woods this night due to an errand?”


“Actually,” Kagura said solemnly, folding her arms across her chest, as though to highlight the severity of the situation they had found themselves earlier in the Woods. “I was too hungry to even remember where I was going so… ow!” She yelped as Shinpachi jabbed her side with an elbow.


“Well, I heard it was a good time of the year to visit Yoshiwara, see… oof!” Ginko quipped brightly, only to have Shinpachi kick her across the shins.


“Forgive them, O Lady Hinowa. They are only joking… a nervous habit, really.” Shinpachi said as he bowed respectfully before the dais, but not before he shot a dark look at his two deranged companions. “Allow me to explain from the very beginning...,”


He cleared his throat and began to share their story to the Lady and her Captain:


“It all started when the monthly festival came to the city last weekend. We were playing a crossbow target shooting game in a shabby-looking arcade stall. Even though Ginko-san and I gave our best, all we managed to win between us were two dried jerky meat strips and a dead beetle.”


“I’m not sure if the beetle counts as a target though; it didn’t actually have a number tag on it, like the other prizes.” Ginko added helpfully, to be silenced once again by a quick stomp to her left foot.


Ignoring her indignant whines, Shinpachi continued on:


“Kagura scored the first prize with single shot, an oldish-looking goblet set with colourful plastic ingots, to mimic that of gemstones. Since she was happy with her prize and we’ve ran out of tokens, we went home without giving the goblet much of a thought. Kagura planned to use the goblet the next morning as an egg cup for breakfast.”


“Well, it looks exactly like an egg cup, yes?” Kagura quipped, reaching deep into the pockets of her cloak, holding up a medium-sized goblet/cup before her. “See, it even has a handle on each side so that I can hold it with both hands and drink the egg in a single gulp!”


“Uh, yeah, that’s great, Kagura. Thank you for that pointing that very mundane piece of information. Anyway, as I was saying… Kagura had decided to use the goblet as an egg cup, and just as she was cracking an egg into it, a bright green and yellow flash appeared! And suddenly! The egg was a chicken!”


A thoughtful look crossed Hinowa’s gaze as she raised a finger to her cheek lightly, mulling over Shinpachi’s words. “Maybe you didn't cook the egg enough, and merely brought it closer to its hatching, hence it became a chicken and not the breakfast you sought."


“I… um, not that I mean any disrespect, but I ah, don't really think that's how biology works. In any case, after that first incident, stranger things began to occur at random around us. We thought it would die out on its own by itself, you know, like a virus outbreak or something. That is, until the Black Shapes began to appear.” The boy paused, his shoulders dropping forward tiredly as a dark, ominous look crossed his features.


“It wasn’t our fault that we didn’t know they’d only wanted the Cup, they were reaching out for everything all at the same time like very hungry hobos looking for a free meal!” Kagura interjected.


“We realised then these Shapes meant business and that they were hunting us.” Shinpachi continued. “They wanted the Cup, not the eggs or the chicken. And while we were running away from a third attack of Black Shapes–”


“I still think Number Three just wanted our pancakes for breakfast,” Ginko muttered softly before falling silent again, because Shinpachi was glaring at her for interrupting.


“–a Stranger wearing shades and a cardboard top hat suddenly came to our aid! In a booming voice, he said to us, ‘They aren’t after breakfast, they want the Cup!’ And then, he promptly ate our breakfast and bade us to follow after him. Before he could explain further, more Dark Menacing Shapes appeared from all sides, and soon we were cornered in an alley, our backs to the wall with nowhere to run!


“We tried to fight our way hopelessly through the mob, but there was no other way! The Stranger then said our only chance for freedom was to climb up the heap of rubbish and escape on the roof. So with a bravery and ferocity worthy of the heroes of old, he held them off long enough for us to climb to safety unto the roof.


"I threw down a rope in a desperate bid to help pull the Stranger to safety. ‘Hang on, Madao-san!’ I cried out encouragingly to him. ‘We’ll pull you up after us!’


‘Fly, you fools!’ he replied as he reached for the rope, his tattered jacket billowing out majestically behind him in the wind. ‘Didn’t I ask you to flee? You shouldn’t have returned for me!’


“But he was wearing a victorious grin, and I knew I had been right in helping him. I would have met his grin with a smile of my own but at that very moment, Fate dealt us a terrible blow and the rope frayed, tearing loose from my fingers and sending the Stranger back into the treacherous grip of the Menacing Shapes.


‘Noooo!’ Kagura cried, tears glistening in her bright blue eyes–”


“I did not cry, you filthy liar; it was you who cried.” Kagura growled, scowling dangerously at Shinpachi now.


“ ‘MADAO-SAN, NOOOOO!’ " Shinpachi yelled, too engrossed in his story to care. "I yelled in anguish, knowing that I could do nothing as I watched the Stranger disappear into the darkness below. ‘Go to Yoshiwara for help; Hinowa will know what to do! Also, could you please remember to feed my dog? His name is Sam.’ The last, faint whispers of the Stranger finally petered out and with extremely heavy hearts, we fled.”


Shinpachi let out a long, theatrical sigh, head still bowed in a moment of silence. Beside him, Ginko and Kagura exchanged pained glances with each other, before they rolled their eyes in unison.


“And that is why we stand before you today, O Wise One,” Shinpachi said, finally lifting his eyes from the ground to meet the bemused gaze of the Lady. “To seek your counsel in these matters, and–” The boy paused again, his voice faltering with emotion, before he steeled himself and pressed on. “And to honour the request of a brave fallen warrior who gave his all to save us.”


“Are you done with the dramatic monologue yet, Shakespeare?” Ginko grumbled, plucking lint from her tunic and flicking it at the boy’s direction. She shook a copy of the script at him. “Taking liberties with your dialogues isn’t going to change the fact that you’re still the boring side character here, you know?”


“W-What, I’m just sprucing up the lines a little bit, to add tension!” Shinpachi countered evenly. “And I’m not boring!”


The Lady Hinowa could only chuckle in merriment at all that she’d heard. She regarded the Yorozuya for several more quiet moments, and then seemingly to have come to a decision, she rose steadily to her feet. Tsukuo moved to her side, holding out his arm so that she could reach for it and keep her balance as she very carefully and slowly made her way down the marbled steps of the dais.


“Seita,” she called out, her voice ringing with surprisingly sharp authority throughout the chamber. “Please bring our other guest in.” She gave Shinpachi a kind, knowing smile. “I think the Yorozuya would be pleased to see them safe.


The doors to Hinowa’s chambers swung open once more, and in stepped a young boy dressed in fine raiment much like the Lady’s own. He was grinning widely as he strode towards them and trailing right behind him was a tall, Strange man, wearing dark shades over his eyes and a hat that was no longer cardboard but an actual wizard’s hat–


“Welcome Hasegawa Taizou, Man of Madao and Homeless Vagabond Extraordinaire.” Hinowa said, beaming brightly at the newcomer.


“Madao-san?!” Kagura and Shinpachi cried at once in relief and delight, running forward to meet the Stranger.


Ginko, however, was still staring at the man, almost as if she’d seen a ghost.


“But you fell!” she blurted out in disbelief. “We saw you fall… into the shadows and darkness…!”


The Man of Madao chuckled, his smile growing ever more as he threw back the folds of his tattered cloak to reveal his newly bleached cassock. “So I did, so I did. And look how much I’ve levelled up now.” He pointed at a glowing purple bar hovering just beside his foot. “It’s going off the charts! I must thank you, friends, for I couldn’t have done that if you all had stuck around.”


Ginko felt the veins under her eyes twitch, the implications of his words hitting her again like a flopping dead fish to the face.


“YOU STOLE ALL THE FUCKING XP?!”


Sighing for what was probably the fifth time in the entire chapter, Tsukuo could only shake his head, before turning to Hinowa, saying, “We’re going to be sued for infringement someday, aren’t we?”


~

Who is this Man of Madao, Homeless Vagabond Extraordinaire?

Why are the Black Shapes after the Yorozuya's Cup? (spoiler: it's really not for breakfast)

And will Shinpachi actually remember to feed Sam?!

Stay tuned for the next chapter to find out!




_____

- First off, apologies for taking this long to update (oops). But February and March had been hellish months at work, which wasn’t very motivating for fic-writing.

- Yes, that scene with Hasegawa saving the Yorozuya from the Black Shapes was a spoof of Gandalf falling from the Bridge of Khazad-dûm while fighting the Balrog. I’m sorry, I’m a really huge Tolkien nerd.

- XP is a gaming term, which stands for Experience Points. Again, this is a spoof of an LoTR scene and a Gandalf meme

- I imagine this song playing in the background as Shinpachi recounted their escape from the Black Shapes; it really adds to dramatic monologue, lol

- I hope you enjoyed reading this chapter and as always, reviews/critique are welcomed ♥


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