Sweeten Ch4 bit – Diplomacy

Ayame let Kurusu go before her up onto the prow. Uryuu had ostentatiously swaggered through the length of the Koutetsujou without a man to guard his back, keeping trouble at bay by the sheer nerve of acting as if all the bushi swords on the Koutetsujou wouldn’t keep him from where he wanted to go.

She approved; it meant he could quietly leave his combat-worthy Hunters to guard those still in shock along with their bikes. But even if Uryuu had ordered them to stay, they had to be getting worried by now.

If he’s still up here, he’s upset, Ayame knew. Why? He almost seems to like Hozumi, as much as he likes any of us. He should be glad she’ll be safe. And Ikoma… well, he might not like Ikoma, but he’s practical. Another Kabaneri in fighting condition will make his men safer. So what’s wrong?

Uryuu glanced back at them both, then gripped the rail tighter.

Very upset, Ayame concluded, as Kurusu gauged the threat level, then fell in behind her. I’ll have to tread carefully. “Ikoma’s asleep. Mumei says that’s normal when a wounded Kabaneri gets medicine. Something about it feeding the mind, so the body can finally relax?”

Half-gloved hands tightened; deliberately eased off a hair. “…Wouldn’t know.”

“It’s very odd to watch,” Ayame mused. “If you look at his arm… well, they don’t look much like fingers now, but Mumei’s sure they’ll grow.”

“Good,” came the gritted reply. “Way he keeps throwing himself into trouble, he needs two hands.”

Kurusu frowned. “Is there something amiss that threatens the Koutetsujou?”

“…No.”

Ayame considered closing the distance between them, then dismissed the idea. They’d been enemies mere days before. Honest enemies, Uryuu had never hidden his ruthless streak, but enemies. He wouldn’t want to take kindness.

So I won’t be kind. “You and your men are a part of the Koutetsujou’s fighting forces,” Ayame stated. “As the holder of the master key, I must be aware of anything that threatens our combat readiness. I know there is something wrong. Do you want to tell me, or do I ask Mumei to bring the children down to your car to see the bees?”

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8 thoughts on “Sweeten Ch4 bit – Diplomacy

  1. Oooooh, way to go Ayame! Fighting dirty in a way he can respect. No actual t h r e a t but threat of potential Awkwardness and Slight Indignity all around. Maybe some of the other Kabaneri were about Hozumi’s age, but most of Kajinka’s little ones are even t i n i e r.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agreed. The more Uryuu seems to interact with Ayame, the more he goes “darn it!”, that Kurusu got there first.

      …Nor is he the only one, darn it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just because she’s off the market, doesn’t mean he can’t still appreciate the view, or think about what-might-have-beens.

        Like

  2. I wonder how will Uryuu react to THAT! I don’t think he was ever threated with a group of little kids. Ankle biters, really. Hunters with bunch of children running around and bullying them into ride on motorcycle. XD AND lets not forget about the fact, that Ayame would trust Hunters around her most vulnerable. Hopefully the sheer unbelieveness will break Uryuu from descend into a very dark place. He can’t have a break down now… There are an eight Hunters depending on him. Which makes me wonder, who depends on whom. Uryuu may be holding it together only thanks to knowledge that his men rely on him.

    Liked by 1 person

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