Previous Installment: God is Dead
Gold didn’t mean much to Kenshin. It was a means to an end. When he needed arrows, gold bought them. When he needed to fix his blade, gold paid the smith. When he needed food, gold converted to coppers to buy bread and tip the servers. He had enough gold as is. For this reason, when his comrades went searching for a rich woman’s cat, he decided to meet with the Captain of the Guard.
The Captain maintained a stoic façade, barely holding back a latent sadness and desperation. He had felt loss, anger and impotence. Kenshin had felt such before, and knew how to spot it in another man.
“Thank you for coming…”
He nodded. The Captain didn’t press the issue. He instead indicated to some laid out cups next to a bottle of clear liquid.
“Not enough water for tea, I’m afraid. I hope gin will suffice.”
Kenshin shook his head. The Captain frowned. “Well, then. Straight to business. I apologise for my treatment of your party back at the temple. I was desperate. The budget hasn’t allowed me to deal with my problem and I have lost too much manpower to whatever monster is infesting the water plant.”
Kenshin stared, stone-faced. The Captain continued:
“My son died a week back. He overdosed on a new drug. Many have already. It’s not like the usual swill that infested the streets. This poison has irresistibly intoxicated many, and kills them soon after. My son never took drugs. He was a good kid. We were going to send him to Z’kla. He wanted to be an Artificer.”
The Captain looked forlorn. He had already wept enough. “He didn’t choose to take Sunrock. Something happened. He was pressured into it, or charmed…I don’t know. What I do know is that this poison needs to get off my streets. I cannot dedicate the guards or the budget to do this officially. I need you – a foreigner. You can blend in. You aren’t a known informer. Please, do this for me. I can pay, from my own pocket – and I will owe you more.”
Kenshin stared for a while, contemplating. He eventually nodded and spoke:
“My son got the sunrock from a dealer in the Bellows, a slum by the warehouse district. I’ve already dealt with the dealer, but I’m sure there’s more in the area.”
Kenshin nodded and left. The Captain didn’t speak to anyone for hours after that. He only stared out of the window, down onto the dry fountain below.