- Job Deets:
Setting off on their own was easy. Setting up a routine was a little more difficult. Kameyama had made the decision to hire Mizuki as a traveling assistant on something of a whim, and now he had to figure out exactly what that meant. The two of them left the city that morning and walked throughout the day, sharing little conversation. Apparently Mizuki had the same feeling as he did about there being nothing wrong with walking in silence. However, as the day began to drop, when they’d found their way to a new nameless town just on the outskirts of Hargeon, she piped up and said, “So what does this entail? Where are we going?”
“We don’t have a specific mission from the guild yet, so we’re just going to head to the next city and, essentially, look for trouble. Although in my experience it’s trouble that usually finds us.”
“Don’t listen to him,” A small voice from Kameyama’s chest said. “He finds trouble just fine.”
“What was that?!” The young girl jumped in alarm, “Did your necklace just talk?”
“Yeah,” Kameyama explained, “This is Optix, she’s a personal AI system. She offers direction and searches information as needed. She helps me keep up with what’s happening.”
“Because you’re old.”
“Because he’s old,” Optix confirmed.
“Because I’ve been living in a tiny village for my entire life and haven’t gotten the hang of everything in the outside world,” Kameyama said, “Now, we need to find a place to stay for the night and I think we should-" His statement was cut off by someone before them angrily leaving the shop they were about to pass.
“I know you’ve got my wife’s ring, you soggy croissant! I’ll get you back for this!” He kicked the front door before turning to walk away. When he saw Kameyama and Mizuki he jerked a thumb at the door, “Can you believe these guys? Nothing in the back, my keister!” He was a tallish man, wearing a ruffled suit that was slightly ill-fitted, with an off the rack tie that, though it may have been a trick of the light, seemed to have a small stain on it. He was balding up top, though seemed a bit too young to be rightfully doing so.
“We’re new in town,” Kameyama said, “What’s happened?”
“They’ve been hiring all kinds of kids and transients to go around stealing stuff from Hargeon and trying to sell it down here! My own wife’s wedding ring was stolen right off her nightstand! It took me all week to find it here, and he has the gall to say that they got a new shipment in. A new shipment my shiny coat!”
“Wow fuck that guy.” Mizuki said.
“Language,” Kameyama nudged her in the shoulder, “That absolutely does seem unfair. If it’s not too much of an intrusion, we’ll see what we can do to help.”
“Well no offense, but what’re you gonna do?” The distressed man said. He didn’t sound as though he was being intentionally rude, but rather as though he wasn’t sure how to go about trusting new strangers that just showed up and offered assistance in a time of crisis. It seemed, rightfully so, that it could have easily been too fortunate to be real.
“We’re just going to ask some questions,” Kameyama said, “We’ll see if higher authorities need to be called in. We know some people.”
The man sighed. “I mean I’ll take anything at this point. Sorry to be so aggressive before,” He turned to walk away, but stopped and said, “It’s just… that ring is one of a kind. It was her mother’s. I kinda promised I’d get it back.”
“We won’t make you a liar,” Mizuki said. Kameyama smirked.
Kameyama and Mizuki walked into the store seemingly at a wandering pace. Racks of items from very old children’s toys and clothes to new electronics and even some somewhat shady looking lacrimas packed the shop. Behind the front counter, which had a glass top and exterior, seemed to be many different kinds of diamonds and jewelry. As Mizuki went for the toys and electronics, as they’d discussed, Kameyama headed for the diamonds themselves. “What’ve you got here?” He asked. His normal glasses had been augmented by the metal that moved around his body to be sunglasses with reflective exteriors. It helped to mask where he was looking and made it much more difficult to identify him if things went south.
“What you see is what I got. Trade-ins are accepted but don’t go tryin’ to bargain too much. Tryin’ to turn a profit and my rates are cheapest you’ll find, even in Hargeon proper.” He looked over at Mizuki who was checking out some of the clothes. She seemed to be window shopping in front of the cracked, broken appraisal mirror. “Is she with you?”
“Yeah. She’s my girlfriend’s daughter.” Kameyama said, “Just between you and myself, I’m planning on popping the question to her soon. Brought the kid along to mask my scent, as it were, and let me browse for something good. What’ve you got?”
“Well let me tell you, I just got something in that’ll do just fine,” He unlocked the back case, opening the wooden rear entrance, removing the ring right in the middle of the display. He showed it to Kameyama, “This here is a one of a kind ring, acquired special just last week. Ain’t no others like it.”
“No others like it, you say?” Kameyama asked, “How can you be sure of that?”
The salesman paused, “Well… we acquired it from the maker, of course,”
“This is a pawn shop,” Kameyama retorted a bit too quickly.
“Yes…” The salesman said. His eyes darted upward and to the right very quickly, indicating that he may have been reaching for a lie just beyond his sight. “We sometimes take in ordered rings that were never picked up. Someone may have called off an engagement and then, in order to not take a loss, the ring maker sells the ring to us and we sell it to you. At a small margin of profit, of course. Haha.”
“Right,” Kameyama said, “But suppose I’m looking for something a little more pricey, suppose I’m trying to get something… specific,”
The salesman’s eyes narrowed, “Like what, exactly?”
“I’m looking for something I know you’ve got, but you haven’t got out here. I’m looking for a very specific ring that I’ve seen somewhere before.”
“I… see,” The salesman said, “Well I think I know exactly what you’re talking about. If you’ll hold here for a moment, I’ll go and see if I have something to your liking.” He turned to walk towards the back room with purpose. As he left, Kameyama conjured a metallic turtle and whispered into it. He set it down and sent it on its way. Contrary to its species, it took off with astounding speed out of the building. Finishing that, he noticed a quiet argument had brewed in the next room. The argument, however, seemed to be rushed and one-sided. It featured one smaller voice, the salesman, four terse voices, and a larger one. The larger voice appeared to be in control and once he said something, the entire group went silent. The smaller voice was shouted down and the larger voice said something before the door opened again.
There was a soft clicking sound from the front door, causing Kameyama to start. The front doors had locked remotely. He locked eyes with Mizuki and gestured for her to get down and stay silent. She rolled her eyes and ducked down out of sight.
Exiting the back room were more people than had entered. The salesman himself, now carrying a small knife, four thugs who appeared to be carrying various bludgeoning-based melee weapons, and another larger gentleman who had a rather large mace. It appeared to be a simple type, a black ball on a stick with spikes jutting from it, and had rusted in places due to lack of care. “Oh,” Kameyama said, “There are more of you,”
He looked between them, considering Mizuki being here as well. He couldn’t exactly release the extent of his powers with her here. Not yet. Plus there was the matter of returning stolen goods to people without damaging any property. Perhaps there was a way to get through this peacefully. If he flashed his actual badge, these men might turn on their suppliers. Assuming they weren’t the thieves themselves, they could’ve just been fences for stolen goods.
“So,” The man with the mace said, “You’re looking for something special, are you? Asking a lot of questions about the wares? Who sent you?”
“There was another one with him,” The salesperson said, “A little girl was in the stacks.”
“Get her,” Mace said, gesturing with his weapon towards the stocked shelves.
As one of the thugs armed with a bat tried to walk towards the electronics, one of the extra metallic limbs Kameyama stored along his form jutted out rapidly, blocking his movement, “No... need for that. I was just curious about your wares. Now you’re making me think there’s something untoward happening here,”
The Mace wielder looked from Kameyama to the metal limb then back to Kameyama, seemingly attempting to weigh the odds, “And if there is?”
“Then I have to get involved,” Kameyama said through gritted teeth.