Disclaimer: See any chapter before this one.
Authors Notes: Been awhile, ne? Well, all my stories have been neglected a bit, all the usual, you understand. But…that blessed week of spring is quickly upon us so I'll be able to update a lot more frequently…for a little bit anyway. So, on with the show!
Chapter Three: Laws that Bite
"Mmm…this tea is positively sublime, Miss Shinobu was it?" Isaac Israel asked the now slightly reddened cook. For despite the ever thickening tension in the room caused by the mysterious visitor in the white suit Shinobu could not help but blush, not being able to take compliments very well.
"Y-y-yes, it's my own recipe…it's nothing…" Isaac narrowed his eyes a bit and raised his left hand, resting it on the top of the blue haired cooks head. This move caused a collective inaudible gasp to go through the assorted harem watching the man ruffle the girl's hair as if he belonged.
"Modest…so novel for this age." He said presumably to himself, though loud enough for everyone else to hear. Moving his hand from the now wide eyed as well as blushing girl, Isaac continued to sip his tea with quite a contented air about him. Finally not being able to take it anymore, Haruka was about to inquire about-
"Who the hell do you think you are?" Naru yelled out causing the house to shift a bit in the direction of her voice. All the tenants, while being quite used to Narus' characteristic outbursts at this point, were still a little surprised by the amount of malice behind that little question. Keitaro, as part of reflex, drew his hands to his face. Finding no massive impact sending him sky high, the landlord withdrew his hands and looked back.
"…mmm…I have a question myself…" Isaac said, showing his dark cobalt eyes. The tenants, though already in various levels of animosity towards the man, leaned forward a bit, to hear what he had to say. "Is this ginseng, chamomile, or a little hint of green I taste?" for one brief moment the heart beats of all but one in the room stopped. Naru, recovering first, momentarily forgot that this man was not only taller than her, older than her, and fully not knowing of any of her…traits…cocked her fist back and was about to let fly.
"I could, I mean, if you want, I could write down the recipe." Shinobu muttered, unknowingly stopping Naru from attacking. Speaking of which, Naru, caught mid punch, stumbled a bit and was steadied by Keitaro, who was promptly shoved.
"I'd be much obliged." Isaac said, a million watt smile gracing his face. Again, finally, Haruka stepped in.
"Enough with this, I'd like to assume you didn't come hear to annoy some teenage girls."
"You'd be surprised-"Isaac said, with no muttering, no mumbling, just out loud.
"Why. Are. You. Here." Haruka said, not asked. All the tenants then turned to the now standing guest.
"Why? Well, like I said. I want to buy the annex…and maybe if my wallet allows the dorms themselves…" having heard this before the assorted people weren't as visibly shocked, but deep within their individual psyches, each felt a bit violated. This man, this non Japanese…even non-Asian man all together has come in threatening to change their world. Of course, radical change like it always is is met with force.
"You…can't…can't buy the annex; it belongs to Keitaro…right?" Kitsune said, or rather asked to the air.
"Yes, Urashima is the current owner of this land. As it has belonged to the Urashima line for quite some time I understand." Motoko stated with the firmness that Kitsune lacked.
"This land belongs to my Oni-chan that is all." Kanako said, slinking her way a little closer to Keitaro as she said so.
"Yeah, the dor-"Sarah was cut off by the guest clearing his throat, rather loudly, and about seven times. Seeing that the room was now quiet, Isaac for a moment looked positively befuddled.
"Oh, I'm sorry I was just really clearing my throat. Damn rain, not well for colds huh?" the tension continued to grow, most, actually all of it directed towards the newcomer. "Mister Landlord…Urashima, right?" Isaac asked, bringing Keitaro and for the most part, the rest of those assembled out of their glares.
"Uh yeah, but you can just call me Keitaro-"
"Right then, Keitaro. Let me ask you, how much do you know about your family, I mean your ancestors?" Keitaro was about to answer but then stuttered a bit. Stroking his chin a bit as a sign he was searching his mind for some kind of answer to that, Keitaro then went from chin to head scratching as he sheepishly responded.
"Heh, I guess I don't really know that much…out side a few grand parents and…uh…aunts." Keitaro added the last part with slight apprehension, knowing his aunts sensitivity to age. Haruka though, was in no mood for the standard craziness that this man was so able and seemingly willing to destroy with his very presence.
"What the he…what are you getting at?" Haruka asked, minding her swearing for the presence of minors. Isaac then looked around at each of the tenants, and then around the house.
"I've done my research…my 'homework' as the way goes. As such, I found out some interesting things about this place and the family, ahem, "owning" it."
"Ara?" Mutsumi asked, not liking this sinking feeling in her gut, feeling in some part like being forcibly awoken from a pleasant dream.
"Your family Keitaro and I assume yours too…Mrs. Keitaros mother or something?" the room collectively gasped silently again, as Isaac was indeed directing that remark at Haruka, thought whether intentional or not, it was not certain. Though, a few were starting to have their suspicions. "Your family…while great warriors, healers…doctors and whatnot…were about the most ignorant bunch of backwoods hicks when it came to business and law this country has ever seen." Isaac gave his audience a few moments for this to sink in; meanwhile he jammed his hands into his white pant pockets.
"Bad at business and law…I don't get it." Su stated, feeling slightly bored and a little nervous at the looks each of her housemates was getting.
"That's a vague statement…if you're just…" Kanako began.
"The Urashima family merely took the land, they never actually claimed it. As such was the time, it was just assumed that whoever was on land on that time and could properly defend it was the rightful owner, logical eh? Buuuuuut, the thing is, laws were established soon after the next emperor came to power…little laws…little minute, insignificant laws that few Japanese even know about let alone actually care about regarding ownership of land and rent/tax paying."
"Wait wait wait-"Haruka said, her head beginning to ache. But Isaac went on.
"Being the honorable little so and so's they were, the Urashima clan paid their taxes and rent…but not regarding the small fee they had to actually pay as proof of actually owning the land. So I guess you could say that up until now the Urashima have been squatting on this land while paying some random money that everyone else construed as rent. Funny thing, in a weird little technicality, I found the bank actually foreclosed on this place in the seventies, it's just no one sent the memo out!"
"W-wait, why not just pay the original fee for ownership or whatever it is now?" Keitaro asked, not liking having the legal rug pulled out from under him, his own understanding of law being below basic at best. Everyone, including Isaac, looked at Keitaro, and then at Isaac in looks that were equal parts of hope and smug relief. Then, the audacious guest took it up a notch as the saying goes with a snickering that quickly exploded into near hysterics.
"Are…you…are you…are you serious!" Isaac asked between bursts of laughter. The others found nothing funny, but agreed that with law, especially ownership law being the way it was, a solution like that was a pipe dream at best.
"That fee was small…keyword: was. Over time interest accumulates…prices go up and down with the stock market…laws change pertaining to that one…so…"
"How much is it now, I bet the dork can use some of his inheritance to pay it off." Sarah said in mock pride, trusting in Keitaros dumb luck to save the day. But today, only half of "dumb luck" would apply.
"My dear little girl…hey you're American too, what the heck you are doing here…anyway, the fee was in the tens of millions." For the third time, the room gasped, even Haruka this time.
"How could, how could it be so high…and so…" Keitaro began.
"…so overlooked." Kanako finished, feeling the floor give out slightly.
"Yeah, that is kind of funny isn't it? But I guess its understandable considering the rest of the country was actually paying taxes and giving half a damn towards the laws rather than playing grab ass in the hot springs and making teen drama promises." Isaac said, his cobalt eyes glinting a bit. The group, especially the two (legally three) of the Urashima family reeled.
It all felt like a giant black weight of real had fallen on them in oddly enough the form of a man in white.
"Wait…no…we can still…we can still pay the money, right?" Mutsumi asked, despite her ditzy nature, she knew the ludicrousness of the question, but this was Hinata House, right? The place where miracles happened? Where if you only believed…angels would guide you to love?
"Yeah, we can still do it…we can, I know we can!" Naru said, her voice stuttering a bit from the disbelief.
"Of course…of course we can! I'll use whatever money my grandma was going to leave me, maybe get a couple of side jobs-"Keitaro said.
"Yep Yep! Su likes this place, so maybe I can get a little loansy whoansy from home! And I can sell my inventions and-"
"My daddy and I can-"Sarah.
"Maybe I'll get a…yech…job…"
"My family in Kyoto…perhaps…" this went on and on, about how the mixed and meshed 'family' could actually conceivably pay the massive debt presented to them, clearly reality and its laws put forth by men were still playthings to them. Clearing his throat, once this time and at moderate noise level, Isaac waited until it was silent again and spoke.
"You can't pay the debt, because there is no debt to pay anymore. I paid it, hence all ownership of the land was immediately transferred to…or should I say given to…me." Reality had forced its way through and it had no intention of backing down yet.
"You paid it…all of it?" Haruka muttered in what she would never admit as awe.
"Oh yes, unless that went over your heads I do have quite some money in the banks…a bakers dozen mil here and there ain't no big deal." Isaac smiled again, sitting back down on the couch and taking in the look and feel of his new home. Looking from his seat to the mostly female group staring shock and daggers at him, Isaac asked in all honesty.
"Yes, what is it?" if this were almost any situation but the present one, his question might have been considered funny, but now.
"What's going to happen to this place, to us I mean. I suppose you're the landlord now and-"Kitsune began. Isaac nodded slowly and wagged his finger.
"Oh no no no. While I intend on keeping the building structurally the same for the time being, I have no intention whatsoever of maintaining this "hot springs hotels" image and business it was going for up until now."
"Then…what the hells going to happen to us?" Naru asked, feeling angry and somewhat violated that her bubble, her rainbow kaleidoscopic bubble of eternal summer called Hinata had been raped, breached and destroyed by this outsider. Isaac got up again and walked the length of the room towards Shinobu, standing next to her, he responded.
"With the exception of Miss Shinobu here, whom I will ask to hire as a personal cook assuming she gets her parents or guardians permission of course…and the assorted Urashimas whom the law states I have to give room and board until they find a suitable place of residence…the rest of you are…lack for a better term…evicted, effective tomorrow at six a.m."
Somewhere else entirely, a life and a seeming universe away, in a land, the land used as a promise to all those who crave it.
"He's found his staging ground…damn it all, his arrogance seems to be growing." Stated one, looking down through the ivory.
"Doesn't matter, be it from there or anywhere, it's in motion and we're being pulled towards something…inevitable."
"Methods or not…I'll kill him."
To Be Continued
Authors Notes: A little slow, I understand but this was more of a filler chapter to establish Isaac in the LH universe. From here on, the story gets weird and lots o action, buckets of it even…and angst and love and all the good stuff. Now, to the reviews:
FomoriCompletion: Thank you for your review. It makes me feel accomplished when someone says they like my style or any of my stories, like through some act of accident I'm doing something right, heh. It's great to hear (read) from you again, and I hope the promise of the story held to this chapter, and don't worry about this becoming a chore to write, I plan on taking this story far and away, see you!
Prince of Dragons: Thank you kindly for reviewing, and I hope you enjoyed this chapter. If you liked the promise from the first one, I can say with no doubt you'll like where it goes from here.
Man, I'm beat. Luckily tonight I have nothing else to do, so, time to pass out; I'll see you all whenever I see you.