When Akello came to my apartment to tell me he needed help, I couldn't be happier.
Not happy for him needing help, that would be cruel, but the request for help would give me the perfect excuse to get outside for a bit. I love my family but to arrange my birthday party when I would normally be training was just cruel, knowing I could decline with my grandkids being the ones asking. I am only 55, I can start to relax when my exercises actually start being tiring.
And that's going to take a few more years with how energetic I'm feeling today after finding that glowing stone in the park. I feel better than I have in years.
Leaving Akello in the hallway with my words of comfort, I make my way to the bedroom and open my closet. Looking around the part of the closet that I dubbed the armory, I can't help but feel disappointed. The armory is still not up to my standards with it only taking up half of the space available. I don't understand why Tatsu always have that worried look when I talk about it. When your weapons only fill up half of one wall one cannot call oneself a proper swordsman. I would have an entire room dedicated to them already if moving them didn't require so much paperwork.
Humming a little tune, he got to work to figure out what he would need to properly help Akello. Inspecting the weapons, he decided to go with weapons that would work for most situations with two long, two short and one medium length blade. Wouldn't hurt to put on the wristblade just to be sure. When it came for what to wear he went for body armor to cover the vital areas and a mask for both protection and intimidation.
"Dad, what are you doing?" asked my daughter who asked just as I put on the last piece. Looking towards the doorframe one could see her leaning on it in such a way to block anyone from passing. Or at least until she has a satisfactory answer, one that I can easily give.
"I thought I raised you better Rin, is it not obvious that someone has asked for help and that I am making sure that I am prepared." She really should learn by now, it's not like this is the first time.
"For a war? You weren't even gone for five minutes." she sighed and started to point at what I had equipped myself "Did you really have to put on armor and take with at least five different blades by my count. Why are you even wearing a mask!"
Now I had to give my own sigh at her for the things that I'm hearing.
"Rin, the first thing I have to say is that there are six blades, not five, you forgot the wristblade." showing it off by bending the wrist, making the blade pop out.
"And, the second thing is that when someone asks for help one can never be too prepared." I finished.
She took a few seconds to just stare at me with me looking right back. In the end, she moved away from the doorframe to let me pass through. I take one last check on my equipment and head for the door.
"What help does this guy even need?" she asks right as I put on shoes.
"He just got scared of the power outage and saw something that scared him out there. He seems to have confused the fireworks we heard before for gunshots and he wanted someone to come with him to check it out. It probably gonna end up being a few kids I have to chase away and I am done." We could even have a spar to relax a little afterward, with how battered he looked, he needed it.
"Just come back soon, you only get to be 55 once and the kids are looking forward to giving you their homemade presents." Was the last she said.
"I will be back soon,"
Out in the hallway, I could see Akello, who had his back turned to me, looking a bit distracted. I give him a light tap on his back to get his attention and face me.
Rin might have thought that my equipment is a little too much but I was doing it more to reassure him than me actually needing it. Seeing that he looked a lot less scared and shaken than when I first saw him after seeing me, I would consider it a success. He must be truly awed with how silent he is right now.
Though it starting to feel a bit awkward when he doesn't speak for some time and he hasn't moved since he turned around either.
Maybe I should say something?
"Are you ready?"
When I felt a tap on my back that almost made me fall, I turned around and could only stare in shock.
In front of me stood what could only be called a demon. It felt like it was towering over me with how the emergency lights framed it. The armor it was wearing protected its chest and limbs with parts of it seemingly covered in a red substance, most likely blood from others who were unfortunate to cross its path. Looking further up, one could see its empty eye sockets with a mouth filled with teeth so sharp it could easily render my fle-.
"Are you ready?" asked the demon in a much friendlier tone than I imagined.
Hearing the question spoken by a voice, I recognized as Tokugawa made me take a step back and take a real look at the figure in front of me. The physique that towered over me got smaller with there not being that much difference between us. The armor that I thought was covered in blood was just colored red with his face being just a mask covering the majority of his face.
Finally assured that my life isn't about to be cut short by a demon I could start to calm down. His question confused me though, what does he even mean by ready?
"Ready?" I questioned. "Ready f-." Is as much I get to say before he practically drags me through the hallway and towards the stairs. Apparently, he took the question as an affirmative and didn't need any more than that.
In the end, I decided to just let him walk first, it's not like I want to be on the frontline of whatever is out there. Though at this point it's hard to decide what's scarier between what is out there or Tokugawa.
I really should have just stayed in bed.