Previous installment: Undercover
A dark cloak concealed the drug dealer’s boss. Only his white teeth could be seen, shining from underneath the seemingly enchanted cowl.
“Gentlemen, I see you brought a guest.”
“Yes, boss,” the drug kingpin responded. “He’s looking for a big shipment.”
The man smiled and looked Kenshin in the yes. Kenshin could somewhat make out his pale blue eyes.
“Business or pleasure?”
“Both,” Kenshin responded.
The smuggler looked dubious. Kenshin explained.
“I run a mercenary group. Business is our mission. Pleasure is to keep them on the mission. Looking for sunrock to keep the boys happy.”
The smuggler smiled. “Excellent. Tell me, have you boys ever tried sunrock before?”
Kenshin nodded. The smuggler’s smile disappeared.
“Alas, I thought we could do business.”
Simultaneously, Kenshin was grabbed and restrained. His weapons were taken from him.
“If you or your group had sampled sunrock,” the smuggler continued. “You’d all be dead. Sunrock isn’t meant for the pleasure of narcotics or the pain of poison. It simply kills. Only through its scent has it become so seductive. Too bad. Thought I could accomplish my goals through you. But I can’t work with undercover agents. No hard feelings. You understand?”
Kenshin glared at him as he was hauled off by Michel and the drug dealer. They took him to an alley near the dock.
“Come on,” Michel whined. “Why you have to make me look bad?”
They arrived in the alley. The drug dealer, his back to Kenshin, drew a dirk. Kenshin didn’t delay. He elbowed Michel and grabbed his katana that had been attached to Michel’s belt. In one fluid movement, he sliced the dealer in half. Michel was trickier as he dodged out of the way and slashed at Kenshin’s chest. Kenshin winced as the dagger cut into him. He kicked Michel in the groin and then battered him on the head. Michel fell to the ground where Kenshin beheaded him.
Kenshin wiped the blood from his blade and sprinted towards the dock.
“You survived?!” the smuggler announced, as he saw Kenshin approach. His voice revealed that he was impressed. “Why are you wasting such martial skill acting undercover?”
Kenshin didn’t reply.
“Come on. Join me. You had to have killed many people to get to this level of skill. You are like me already. You’re a life-taker. A deliverer to salvation. Join me.”
Kenshin shoved him to the ground and brought his metal clad boot upon his shin, shattering it.
The smuggler screamed out in pain. Then he pleaded.
“Don’t do this! I can make you rich. You wanted sunrock? I can give you the entire shipment. Don’t kill me. I’m not done.”
Kenshin grasped his throat and strangled him until he passed out. Glancing at the smuggler’s shipment, Kenshin shook his head. He took a torch from the quay and threw it into the wooden dingy. He then cut the rope and sent it into the Desolation. As it drifted past the dark horizon, Kenshin carried his quarry to his employer.
The Captain didn’t speak as Kenshin dropped the man upon his desk. He only wordlessly took out a bag and held it under the smuggler’s nose.
The smuggler awoke with a gasp and immediately started jabbering.
“I’m not a bad man! I did this for them.”
“Did what?” the Captain asked.
“I released them from their suffering. Life is pain. I gave them release. No pain. An end to the pain. An end.”
“Why did you do it?”
“I wanted to free them. I did it for them.”
“You say sunrock causes no pain, but what are these?” the Captain indicated to his tears. “My son is dead.”
“Your son is free.”
The Captain punched him in the mouth, breaking teeth. His and the smuggler’s blood stained the Captain’s knuckle.
He then turned to Kenshin. “Will you dispose of the evidence?”
The smuggler’s eyes widended and he shouted, filled with despair. “I’m not done yet! I’m not done. I need to end the suffering, don’t do this.”
The Captain drew his sword but the smuggler managed to get off the desk and run to the door, which was barred. He scratched, fruitlessly, at the wooden door. The Captain walked, almost leisurely, to the desperate man as he still begged and clawed.
His sword shone in the candle light.
“Why do you struggle?” the Captain asked. “You’re going to be free.”
The smuggler slumped to the ground, a pool of blood forming around him. The Captain wiped his sword and turned to Kenshin.
“Money is on the desk. Please dispose of the body. My guards here won’t question it.”
Kenshin turned towards the door.
Kenshin didn’t respond.