Hello everybody, it has been a quite some time. Sorry! I think it is good for me to get somebody to beta for me to help me with my writer's blocks So if you want to beta for me don't hesitate to PM message me! Now on with the story!
Disclaimer: I do not own Shinzo or any of its characters, beside my own.
They had been travelling for a week now without any sign of civilization, scavenging for food when hungry. Needless to say Mushrambo had enough of eating questionable food from Mother Nature which was made even more questionable by Yakumo herself. She refused to let him cook as he had to walk while she rode in Hakuba most of the time. She only thought of it as fair, he didn't agree with her. Yet he couldn't bring himself to tell her the real reason as to why he preferred cooking after walking the entire day. Thus it was a huge relieve for him when in the morning on the eight day of travelling that they came across a road sign with direction to the nearest town.
Looking over his shoulder Mushrambo said 'only five more kilometers to go before we arrive.' Shifting his eyes towards Hakuba he added 'it's probably best if Hakuba doesn't join us into town, he will attract too much attention. It's better that he stays in the woods where he's covered.' He also just wanted to get away from the robot. It had been getting on his nerves ever since they started travelling. He didn't appreciate the robot's sarcastic sense of humor, as he was the target of most of them.
'You're right, but will I attract any attention?' Yakumo asked. Stopping to turn around to look at her he said 'probably not. Like myself there will be Enterrans that look human, but with more…natural coloring.' Referring to his purple hair. 'However, don't say anything about being Human, you shouldn't even imply it. We don't know how they will react.'
She nodded and with that they moved forward. The forest started thinning out indicating that they were getting closer to the town. Yakumo got out of Hakuba telling him to go somewhere safe and lay low. They would be back in the evening.
It turned out the town was a busy, medium sized trading town. Walking close to Yakumo to make sure he kept her near him they headed towards the market to gather supplies and food. As they were walking Mushrambo scanned the crowd, however no one was looking at them suspiciously which was a relief. He had been worried that they might attract too much attention. Arriving at the market Yakumo quickly noticed that they had forgot one important thing.
'We don't have any money', Yakumo stated. Turning away from the market she focused her attention on him, 'do you think they would be willing to trade with us for some food and supplies?'
'We could trade Hakuba', he said. She shoved him slightly, trying not to laugh, telling him to not joke about such things. He had been dead serious. But he didn't correct her, so she continued. 'What else, besides Hakuba', she tried not to smile, 'can we trade?'
Thinking about it he quickly came to a conclusion. 'Nothing. The things that we do have in our possession would bring about too much suspicion. We can't risk it.' He was referring to the many gadgets Hakuba carried which were too advanced to trade in this town.
'So we need to work then, but where?', Yakumo said. Scanning the market place he settled his eyes on a busy restaurant on the other side of the market which had a help wanted sign in its window. 'Over there at that restaurant', he said pointing in its direction. Looking over at the restaurant he is pointing at, she looked amused. 'You can read that sign all the way from here?'
'Yes.' Laughing at his serious tone she took his hand pulling him towards the restaurant. It was busy inside, with three waiters hurrying around with the customers' orders. A insect Enterran with wings came towards them. 'Good afternoon, table for two?' he said.
'Actually, we saw the help wanted poster in your window and are wondering if you need two extra hands?' Yakumo said politely. Her having said that the waiter looked at them more closely.
'Well, I need help in waiting the tables and other odd jobs. As you can see it's quite busy and it is like this most of the day. We are the best restaurant in town you see. Unfortunately, one of my employees moved away while another was killed during a raid when he was getting the supplies from the next town.'
'How much is the pay', Mushrambo asked, ignoring Yakumo's troubled look about that particular information.
Chuckling, the owner said, 'straight to business huh, I like that. Well, the pay is 7 Guilder per hour, while working in shifts of 7 hours each day for the next five weeks. It will be paid out to you at the end of every shift. The tips you get from customers you can keep for yourself as there is no joint tip account. What do you say?'
Looking at each other Yakumo nodded her head agreeing with the offer. Turning towards the restaurant owner, Mushrambo just want to add one more condition.
'We'll take the job, but on the condition that we'll have the same working shift.' The owner looked thoughtful, but then offered his hand saying, 'Deal.' After shaking hands, he said, 'Can you start right now? As you can see it is really busy right now and we can use the extra pair of hands.'
This time Yakumo spoke up, 'Of course.' With that the owner started walking towards the back of the restaurant motioning for them to follow him. When he reached the bar he turned to a huge cat Enterran who was busy bringing dirty dishes to the kitchen behind the bar, 'Hey Kutal! I'm going to the back with these two. Keep an eye on the restaurant for me will ya.'
'Yes sir!' With that Kutal quickly went through the door leading to the kitchen with the dirty dishes. Opening the back door, he allowed them to go first and followed them into the messy room which seemed to be personnel room slash office. 'Well then, for starters let me get you your aprons and writing pads and pens.' Turning towards Mushrambo he eyed his armor and sword and said, 'I'm afraid you have to take your armor off and leave your sword in the store room. As you can imagine it will scare the customers off', he hesitates for a second before continuing, 'Forgive me for asking but why are you dressed in full battle armor? It is rare sight these days.'
'I don't know.' Yakumo seeing the weird look Mushrambo was given elaborated. 'He lost his memory. He cannot remember anything before 10 days ago', here she stopped, thinking carefully about her next choice of words, 'I found him nearly frozen to death and I nursed him back to health.'
The owner face had an incredulous expression while he turned his attention back to Mushrambo. 'So you don't remember anything? Not even your name, oh!', smacking his forehead he said, 'Speaking of names I totally forgot to ask you yours! My name is John. What are your names, at least if you can remember.' Referring to Mushrambo's situation.
'My name is Yakumo and this is Mushra.' 'Mushrambo', he corrected her. She gave him a small pout, obviously wanting him to use the name Mushra. Mushrambo looked straight at John, who looked amused, pointedly ignoring her look, mostly because he would give in if he did. He added, 'I don't remember anything about myself, I was fortunate that my name was on the sword or else I would not have known.'
'Well then, I hope you regain your memory soon enough. In the meantime, let us get to work. The restaurant is open till 10 o'clock in the evening so we still got a busy day ahead of us.'
It was a quarter past 10 in the evening before the last of the customers left the restaurant. It had been a busy day of serving the tables as well as learning the menu. Yakumo had been an instant hit with customers and colleges alike, Mushrambo however was banned from taking orders and had instead been tasked with bringing the orders to the tables and doing other odd jobs after he had basically told a rude customer to…go away. Rudely. Nevertheless, it had been a successful day and now they were all sitting around the table drinking something after having cleaned everything up.
'I still cannot believe you told that guy to f*ck *ff', Kutal said grinning widely, 'the look on his face was hilarious! We always have problems with that guy, but nobody ever dared to say that to him.'
'Well, let us hope that he comes back as he still is a regular customer', John said looking at Mushrambo with a mildly amused look. Mushrambo didn't care, although Yakumo did look slightly shocked as she hadn't heard what happened. Kutal turned to them.
'Anyway! Enough of that. Tell us your story! It is a mystery to me on how you lot came together. I heard from owner here that you lost your memory Mushrambo. Is it true?' Kutal asked eagerly looking at the two. With Mushrambo nodding Yakumo answered first, 'It's true that Mushra lost his memory. I found him nearly frozen to death and nursed him back to health.' With all occupants of the table looking at him, Mushrambo continued, nodding towards Yakumo.
'After I got my health back, we decided to travel together. And before you ask, my name was on my sword.' Seeing Kutal opening his mouth again to say something. Instead Kutal turned to Yakumo. 'What about you Yakumo? Why were you travelling in the first place?'
They hadn't thought about that. Thinking quickly to make up a cover story he needn't to worry as Yakumo calmly replied with a story on how she was brought up very sheltered by her guardian after her parents died, not even allowed to leave the house, to the point of being in a cage. She told them that two weeks ago she had gotten the opportunity to run away. A few days later she stumbled across Mushrambo while exploring a cave and the rest is history. They all expressed their sympathy for her and wished them good luck as well as recommending places on where to go for them to see as she hadn't had the opportunity yet. While recommending places to go, they mentioned an old human city nearby remaining from 500 years ago before the war.
'500 years ago? But the war was just 50 years ago.' Yakumo said bewilderedly. Mushrambo felt equally confused. He hadn't expected that.
'Wow, you weren't kidding when you said you had been brought up sheltered.' One of the other three waiters, a young enterran woman with fish-like scales on parts of her face called Sakana told her. Looking at Yakumo, John started to explain.
'500 years ago the war ended and since then no human has ever been seen again. When I was growing up my grandfather told me stories about them which he got from his grandfather and so on. He told me that humans were horrible, cruel beings who only cared about waging war with each other. Enterrans were born for this reason.'
Yakumo felt shocked. Did this mean that she was the only human left? Did her father make a mistake? Feeling her shock Mushrambo turned back to John asking the question Yakumo was too shocked to ask. 'Where did they go, the humans I mean?'
'Some say they went extinct. Others say they build themselves cities which are impossible for Enterrans to find and enter. Who knows.' John said and looking at the clock on the wall he turned to all of them to say it was time to receive their salaries and go home.
As the final week rolls up Yakumo and Mushrambo had nicely settled into a routine. After their first day of work they had decided to stay camped out in the woods in order to save money. Mushrambo felt it was save enough as Hakuba could warn them in advance of unwanted company. Mushrambo himself wasn't bad at detecting people himself he had found out.
Over the past few weeks Mushrambo had become more aware of Yakumo. The way she smiled or laughed, even when she was laughing at his expense, made his stomach do funny things. He found that she was a very kind and patient person. She even got the rude customers to treat her with the same kindness. He also found out she was extremely naïve, but luckily she had such a way with people that they didn't take advantage of her. He found it incredibly frustrating and endearing at the same time. She was also not afraid to give her opinion and could get very passionate about certain things, but never degrading somebody. It also helped that she was very attractive.
If Yakumo felt the same as he did, he wasn't sure. She blushed when he came too close to her or just smiled at him when he looked her way. Hakuba was dropping highly concealed sleazy jokes, which only he seemed to pick up. It could also be that he was imagining things. He just didn't like the robot.
It was the last day of work when John asked him to go to the neighboring village with him.
'Why?' Mushrambo asked. It was late in the afternoon and he was busy in the back shifting boxes and items around. Ever since John had found out Mushrambo could lift multiple heavy boxes without a sweat he had Mushrambo working the heavy stuff in the restaurant. Kutal, who always had to do this, was eternally grateful.
'One of my suppliers is in that town. I'm running low on beer and wine. And since you are so strong and all', flexing his left arm and pointing at it to emphasize his statement 'I need your help. Also, you stare is very intimidating, I might even get a discount.' The grin on his face revealed that John was joking. Signing, Mushrambo agreed. Finishing up in the back, he walked to the front of the restaurant looking for Yakumo. He saw her behind the counter talking to a male customer. He was flirting with her he noticed. She apparently didn't. Suddenly feeling irritated he made a beeline towards them. As if sensing his mood the male customer looked towards him, took one look at his face and quickly excused himself. Surprised, Yakumo turned around to see who had scared her customer away. Seeing who it was she signed. 'Mushra, you should really stop glaring at the customers. You'll scare them away permanently.' 'Don't worry, they will be back again soon with you here.' She blushed at his comment. Clearing her throat she asked why he was looking for her. 'The boss and I are going to the next town to get some supplies. I want you to wait for me until I'm back.' Her smile gave him her answer.
It was already ten o'clock in the evening and Mushra hadn't come back yet. She had worked hard the entire day taking orders, serving food and talking to customers. She enjoyed working at the restaurant, she almost wished they could stay in this town. 'I wonder where we will end up next?' She was now in the back changing back into her normal clothes. When she was done she walked to the kitchen. Opening the door she saw Kutal above the stove making some pancakes for himself to eat. 'Kutal, is Mushra back yet?'
'Yakumo! No he isn't back yet.' Walking closer to Kutal she asked, 'Did John say when they might get back? Mushra didn't mention a time.'
'Ahh, no he didn't but knowing John he probably took Mushrambo to the pub there before coming back. He usually does that.' 'Oh..', hearing her disappointed response he turned fully to her. 'Why don't you go home. It can be quite some time before they come back.'
'I don't know. I agreed with Mushra that I would wait for him.' 'I'm sure he doesn't mind. Go home, you look tired. I'm sure he would understand.' Seeing her think about it he added. 'If you want I can drop you off.'
'Oh no!', she responded while shaking her head waving her hands for emphasis, 'I can't possibly ask you to do that for me! Your shift isn't over yet. What if John finds out!' Laughing at her slightly panicked expression he said John wouldn't mind.
Smiling at Kutal she said, 'Thank you. But it isn't necessary. It's only a short walk to where I'm staying. I'm sure I will be fine. Will you tell Mushra for me that I went home already?'
'Of course! Well then you be careful young lady! No talking to strangers!' He said jokingly pointing his finger at her like a worried mother. Laughing she kissed him on his cheek and bid him farewell promising him she will be careful. Once outside the door she hears the busheling inside the restaurant. It is quiet outside as most people where sleeping. The evening air felt pleasant on her skin. Beginning to walk to the entrance of the village she thought to herself. 'Fortunately it is still summer or else I would have been freezing.'
Mushra and her had saved up quite some money in the few weeks they had been working at the restaurant. It would hopefully be enough money to support them in their travels for the next coming weeks. They would have to be careful with spending. However summer would be over soon and she was worried they wouldn't have enough to buy winter clothing. 'Although I'm beginning to wonder whether Mushra will be affected by the weather change at all.'
She had noticed that even for an Enterran he was different from the others. He could easily lift up heavy packages that even Kutal, who she found out was the strongest in the village from some of the gossiping villagers, had trouble picking up. He had turned out to be extremely fast when he had saved her from scolding hot soup which was almost poured on her because Sakana's had tripped over her own feet. Later she had found out from John that Mushra and him had just walked out of the store room when they had seen it happen. One moment Mushra was standing next to him, the next moment he was pulling her away. There were many more smaller incidents which set him more and more apart from the others. Some of the other employees had started to become wary of him. It didn't help that he was quite frank with his words and behavior. She hadn't seen him smile once. He had however been looking out for her, helping her when some customers became too touchy, or there were too many orders for her to handle on her own. He would cheer her up in his own way when she was feeling down about possibly being the only human left. Yet, he never hovered giving her the space she needed. It sometimes felt like he knew her moods better than she did. She felt extremely grateful to him.
Suddenly she felt like she is being watched. Looking around her she saw she had reached the village entrance while she had been deep in thought. Looking around again she saw and heard nothing suspicious. Suddenly feeling very unsafe and regretting not waiting for Mushra she hurried through the gate willing herself to walk faster in order to reach Hakuba sooner. She knew she would be safe with him. She was almost by the forest when she heard it. A buzzing sound coming from above her.
Without hesitation she instantly started running, but before she could get any farther she felt something heavy strike the back of her head. Falling down to the ground she heard her assailant laugh. 'I never imagined actually finding a human here. What should we do with her boss?'
She wasn't paying attention, the blow had disorientated her and she could feel the blood flowing from her head. It was becoming black before her eyes. Suddenly, one of them harshly pulled her up by her hair. Crying out in pain she felt her capturer turn her face to him. His mouth reeked of decay. 'I'm sure you will fetch a very nice price.' However, she didn't hear him as the pain became too much and slipped into darkness.
To be continued.