Just Another Day in the Life

A/N: IMPORTANT AUTHOR'S NOTE Regarding last chapter, I will not be continuing it here as previously stated. I have turned chapter 30 into a separate story titled "No Holds Barred" which has been uploaded and updated up to chapter 2 so far. So if you want to read the continuation of chapter 30, look no further than my profile! ;)

Now, with that out of the way, here's chapter 31. The plot actually came to me earlier this afternoon when I went to a Renaissance fair. During a joust, there were these two excited little boys sitting behind me. I could hear every bit of their pointless conversations even though I really hate to eavesdrop. But somewhere within their discussions about which element the gray jouster should have (red had fire, green had earth, and yellow had lightning, naturally), one of them mentioned how the fight wasn't fair because one of the jouster's horses was bigger than the rest. He said that they should have all been equal size, and I my brain went into overdrive. Long story short, my musing brought me to this chapter's prompt…somehow.

So thank you, excitable little boys from the fair. And no, I don't think metal is an element; but yes, they should have had a blue jouster instead of gray so we could have had the medieval Power Rangers. ;3 Enjoy!

PS: Post-series Mugen wandering. Unsure of length, but there's a bit of naughty language. Hopefully it won't get too long. We'll see. Ugh, just read already, I've wasted too much of your time!

Nothing is More Dangerous than the Self

Damn. The weather was going to turn any second now and he still hadn't found any shelter yet. Maybe while he was relieving that old woman of her plump wallet, he could have asked where the nearest town was. She had no problem running her mouth about curses and karma and whatnot, after all. What good was money if he didn't have anything to spend it on?

He spotted a shack down the path and smirked. Maybe his luck was beginning to turn. Thunder roared from the sky and was loud enough to reverberate within his chest. A droplet splashed onto his nose and he spat, clutching his pocket as he ran to prevent the heavy wallet from leaping out.

By the time he reached the shanty house, the downpour had drenched him to the bone. His mood had soured exponentially and kicking the door down did little to remedy him. He was a bit shocked to hear a gasp from within, though.

"I have no money." The man inside barked. "But if you need shelter, I will provide." Somewhere in the distance, a crow cawed.

Mugen walked in and plopped himself down in the opposite corner of the voice. "Yo." He greeted at his prolonged staring. The shadows obscured the man's face but he could tell he was young.

"I don't cater to your kind." He said suddenly. "Get out."

"Screw you." Mugen spat. "I ain't goin' nowhere til this rain stops." He slipped out of his happi and rung it out, making a point of removing his sword. "'Sides, you really think pissin' off someone of 'my kind' is such a bright idea, pal?"

"You aren't as tough as your tattoos make you appear."

"Shit-talker, eh?" Mugen was a bit surprised, slapping the sides of his pants to dissipate excess water. "You're lucky this shit-hole's ceiling is too short for me, else I'd–"

"Your threats mean nothing to me." He interrupted. "The smallest dog always barks the loudest."

The pirate narrowed his eyes, pausing in ringing out his pants.

"And I'm certain you're more bark than bite." He continued.

He stopped drying off altogether to glare at him. "Kiss my ass, you cocky prick."

"You are an uneducated and ignorant criminal." He declared.


"Who runs on nothing but greed and rage."

"I'm warnin' you–"

"You do nothing but act selfishly while others suffer around you!"

"You're startin' to piss me off!" He cleared the floor in a single shove and lunged for the man's throat. "Who the hell –"

Twin stormy orbs grinned back up at him as he froze in shock. Blue-ringed wrists took advantage of his lapse, snaking their way to his neck and constricting. "I am you."

Somewhere in the distance, a crow cawed and startled the pirate awake. He sputtered against the pressure around his neck and took in the empty shack around him. Breath haggard, the flap of wings in the opposite corner nabbed his attention. The black bird stared before taking off through the window, leaving the pirate alone with the purse that seemed much heavier than it was before.

A/N: Kinda dark, sorry. As for interpretation, I'll leave that completely up to you. This chapter can go several ways so let your mind go wild – was he cursed by the old woman he robbed? Was it his guilt manifested into a tangible hallucination? Was it his subconscious berating him for his wicked ways? Was it just the Crow Men fucking with him for kicks? Or is the shack just haunted? ;)

I really like the bond (for lack of a better word) shown between Mugen and the crows of the show. Their connection is powerful and definitely not something you'd expect someone like Mugen to take so seriously. My interpretation is that he sees them as a sort of omen. Good or bad really depends on how he reacts to their warning – like in chapter 15 APPLES, it was a good omen because he took their hint. But enough about birds. I hope you enjoyed (522, minus prompt and A/N's)! See you next update!

BTW: I was alternating two songs while plotting/writing this. Satellite by TV on the Radio and God's Gonna Cut You Down by Johnny Cash, in case you were interested ^^