Revenge, Inc. Part 9: A Short Story
Domo arigato. Sorry, I always wanted to start off with that sentence...How many of you finished that sentence with, "Mister Roboto?" Thank you for coming back and for following this story. I'm embarrassed to see that I'm still using the heading "Short Story" eight installments after the fact. But isn't a novel just an extended short story anyway? In any case, I just want to say that after moving so fast with this story, I've decided to slow down a bit. Mind you, I'm not exactly slamming the brakes here, rather, I'm just easing off the gas. I hope that you enjoy Part 9 as it delves into a lot of back story that was previously missing and so needed some attention. I apologize in advance that the first section is long, but if I didn't think it necessary, it wouldn't be here! Thank you and please enjoy.
In case you're new to this series, please take the time to now catch up with the series, beginning of course with Revenge, Inc. Part 1. Please click on the corresponding link below to begin.
There was no time to waste. I turned and went inside and found my katana leaning up against the wall of my room and ran outside to find that the same black figures were closing in on the house and were now less than fifty yards away. They were ninjas, all of them. I could tell by their ninjatos or distinct ninja swords strapped to their backs as they ran. But something was wrong, because this time, I counted eleven figures in all. Suddenly, the unmistakable flash of another katana shone in the moonlight and then I felt its sharp edge pressing firmly against the nape of my neck…Sonofabitch. How the hell did he reach me so damn fast?
“Who are you, Gai-jin?” An unfamiliar voice said into my ear like a lover. I could feel the heat of this stranger’s breath he was so goddamn close. After I hesitated for a moment, the edge of the blade became more pronounced. There was no escape.
“Cody” I said out loud and dammit if I didn’t almost say Cody-san like Master Akira had been calling me all that time. When he spoke again, I could better hear his somewhat heavy Japanese accent. The other eleven ninjas surrounding the two of us showed mocked amusement.
“Who the fuck are you and what are you doing on my family’s island?”
“Katsuro!” It was Master Akira. “Let him go!” Although reluctant to, Katsuro let me go. The two then argued with one another in Japanese which I of course didn’t understand. “I apologize, Cody-san. This is my son, Katsuro.” I felt my neck to check for blood and when I found none, I turned and sized him up. Though skinnier than me, he was all muscle. My guess is that he was about a hundred and sixty pounds or so.
“I could have killed you, Gai-jin…Very easily.” He said to me while sheathing in sword. He glared at me and I wanted to punch him in the fucking face.
“Enough, Katsuro!” Master Akira said. “That’s no way to treat guest. This is Peter’s friend from America.” I amused myself with the thought that Peter had friends outside of the States but only for a moment. Katsuro took off his mask and smiled. I think that he did so just so I could see that he was smiling.
“My apologies, Peter’s friend,” he said and bowed to me without looking away. I had a sudden urge to kick him right then and there. I guessed that if I kicked hard enough, I’d be able to break his chest cavity. Master Akira then said something and the other ninjas from Katsuro’s party went inside the house. Although all bowed to honor Master Akira while walking inside, one in particular took slightly a moment longer to look at him.
“So, are you paying back your debt, father?" Katsuro said. "Is that why he is here?” He gave his son a crossed look.
“You are tired and cold from your
travels, Katsuro. Maybe some food will
warm you.” Again with that smile—He
glared at me and went inside, the cold bastard. Master Akira and I were alone.
“I don’t think my son likes you, Cody-san.”
“That’s too bad,” I said, smiling. “Because I really like him.” He let out a laugh.
"You have strong spirit inside you."
"What is 'Gai-jin'?" He shook his head.
"Not a good word, Cody-san. Very impolite for Katsuro to say to you...It means 'foreigner' of worst kind, especially friend of Bilingsley."
"But why? What's he got against Peter?"
“You no listen, Cody-san...Billingsley, NOT Peter.”
“Okay, so what about the Billingsleys?”
Tanaka (left) and Katsuro (right) fighting on the beach
Akihito and William
“Long time ago, my father Akihito and William Billingsley—Peter’s grandfather—were business partners before Second World War. Both very important business men with lot of money. You see, after destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, my father lost everything because all businesses in Nagasaki like textile plant. William offer help to my father so he can help Japanese who make living from him because no matter what happened, he was responsible for his people. So my father helped his people relocate to Okinawa and Hokkaido to find new life...Do you understand?”
“Well, yes, but didn’t those your father helped hate the fact that they were getting help from an American—the enemy?”
“Of course my father did not tell them where ‘help’ really coming from. And help not free, Cody-san. Help was loan to pay back.”
“But wait, then why does your son hate him then? Why does he hate the Billingsleys?”
“Suppose you want to borrow money from bank…How do you do this?” Dammit, the light finally came on. I should’ve picked up on it sooner.
“Okay, so Jirai Island belonged to your father? He used this island as collateral for the loan?”
“Yes, Cody-san. Father had nothing else. Jirai last resort and part of Watanabe clan for four-hundred years. The two make agreement and as thank you gift, my father gave William Billingsley Watanabe Katana to show honor.” My face reddened with embarrassment. All this time I was swinging Master Akira’s priceless family heirloom around like a teenager’s dick. I shook my head.
“I cannot keep this katana then, Master Akira. It’s just not right. I must give it back to you.”
“No, Cody-san. Your friend Peter gave to you as gift. Watanabe Katana belongs to you now.”
“But Master Akira…”
“No more! Keep it!” A silence then ensued as I continued thinking about the entire story. Master Akira was looking up at the night sky and its full moon.
“So, has the loan been paid back?” Master Akira laughed and then shook his head.
“You see airstrip, Cody-san? Peter is carrying out his father’s dream like good son. He want to turn Jirai into Fantasy Island…Maybe have midget in white suit, hmm?”
“You must be joking!”
“Never joke, always truth. In two years contract is up…Done deal. Jirai Island will belong to Billingsley, LLC, unless…”
“Unless you pay off the debts you owe?”
“Correct. But I don’t think we can in time.”
“Which explains Katsuro?” Master Akira took in a deep breath and sighed.
“Like I said before, Cody-san. Katsuro hate Billingsley. They make Watanabe clan struggle for many years. After my father died, Watanabes have only lease to Jirai and nothing more…”
“But wait, what about your team of ninjas inside? How do they all fit into this?” Now, when Master Akira turned to look at me, I flinched at the sight of him. It was absolutely sinister.
“In time, Cody-san, in time. All questions will be answered. For now, it is time for sleep.” Master Akira then began walking inside while talking and so his voice grew faint. “A lot of training tomorrow…Need energy…Maybe you train with Natsumi.”
Although many of the questions I had about everything, there were still several other questions that still needed to be answered. Most of what I wondered about was of the Watanabe ninja clan. For a long time, I stood on the porch staring out into the wide-open sea under the light of the full moon.
When I woke up the following morning to the sounds of fighting outside, I was yet again under the impression that we were being attacked just as the night before and yet again, I was wrong. Turns out that Katsuro and a formidable opponent from his team named Tanaka were sparring with one another. The other ninjas in our camp were rooting each of them on but as the fight wore on, it was clear that Katsuro would win, just as he had planned. More than likely, he instigated the entire duel, just to remind his father that he still was the Alpha Male of his ninja team. When I joined the others to watch them, Katsuro turned to look at me and gave me a wink. I then rolled my hands into fists and was instantly ready to strike. Never before had I wanted to kill a guy so badly...So much so that I could taste blood. But as soon as I moved to meet him head-on, Master Akira rose up from the beach where everyone was sitting and blocked my path.
“I want you to train with Natsumi today, Cody-san” He said. “Go into jungle and look. Much training to do and you still have much to learn.” With this I did a double-take and in response, he stood firm and stared at me.
“Yes, Master Akira,” I said and bowed to him out of courtesy. Not long ago, this same elder kicked my ass. I didn’t want to experience what round two would be like, first-hand.
While walking through the jungle floor, I thought about how it would be that I defeat Katsuro. He obviously had the upper-hand when it came to the art on Ninjitsu which I was still learning from Master Akira and making very good progress, mind you. Just once, I’d like to take him on. So maybe this Natsumi will help me to defeat Katsuro…I relished the thought. Maybe he’ll be the one to prepare me…Maybe…Just then I stopped in my tracks while walking by the grandest of all the waterfalls on Jirai Island because there underneath it was the prettiest girl I’ve ever laid eyes upon outside of Adrianna. I’m not sure how long I stood there watching her, but when she turned to look at me I turned around.
“I’m sorry,” I called out to her. “I didn’t mean to stare.” In truth, the only thing that I was embarrassed about was getting caught in the act. “You see, I’m looking for a ninja—his name is Natsumi. Master Akira says he’s supposed to help me train.” She let out a playful laugh which to this day I can still hear.
“What is it?” I asked her. "What's so funny?"
“You found me,” she said aloud.
© Copyright 2009. All Rights Reserved.
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