Episode 61: The Meeting

They arrived at the meeting place, a small square surrounded by shops, and found the Emperor's advance guard chatting with the advance guard of the crime lord. The two guards eyed the newcomers, and each made a beckoning gesture to their side of the square. The Emperor's party approached, as did three figures who emerged from the alley on the far side of the square.

On the left of the approaching trio, at least as Isabelle viewed them, was a very tall, broad stony-faced woman dressed in the loose pants, jacket, and tied cloth belt of a practitioner of certain unarmed fighting styles. Having had more experience with such opponents than any of her fellows, Isabelle placed herself opposite the warrior. On the trio's right was a girl as small as the other was large, as bouncy as the other was subdued, and as cheerful as the other was solemn. This girl was asking the central figure why she couldn't kill anyone. Between the two ladies walked a man taller than the first and nearly as thin as the second. His hair was long and golden, much like the tall warrior's or Arthur's, his clothes were fine, though black, and he had a black walking stick that he did not seem to need so much as enjoy. The crime lord's group stopped five or six feet from the Emperor's group, and both the man in black and the Emperor took half a step forwards.

"You called?" drawled the man.

"I ordered." The Emperor's voice was deep and harsh again. "We are under siege and have no ready route for supplies or forays. The enemy can potentially access the portals, so CAPTRANS has shut them down. You will enact those protocols that I have required you to always hold in readiness."

"And in return?"

"I will continue to hold off crushing your organization."

"I suppose the potential theocracy imposed by Black Jong wouldn't be as kind. Consider it done."

"I will. You will receive instructions from me in the morning; until then, do what you will to aid us." The Emperor and his men withdrew from the square, leaving Arthur and company behind.