I hate this. This used to be someone. And they died, alone and afraid….
But one more iron-cage meant another sword the Koutetsujou could coat, or a pair of bayonets. Weapons that would save lives.
Ikoma rinsed the net first, then wedged it against his toolkit on the roof to dry while he cleaned hands, arms, shears, and knife. Shook off a few faintly-pink drops, and eyed the body again.
I should examine it. How often do I get a chance to handle one that’s mostly intact?
…But I’m tired.
He didn’t know who they’d lost yet. It couldn’t be Kurusu or Kibito, or he’d have heard more than a suicide charge and then the faint normal messages of the hayajiro. Outside of that it didn’t matter. He knew all the bushi by now. And the Hunters. Losing any of them hurt.
A real examination would take an hour or more. And that sky…. Ikoma glanced up again. Cloudy. I don’t think it’ll rain, not yet, but it’d make things tricky if it did.
And I’d be taking apart a Kabane. I can’t risk getting seen at that. One of the Kongokaku might be that stupid.
He pitched the body over the side, and clenched his fists. I’m so tired of losing people to stupidity!
A knuckle at a time, Ikoma made his hands open. Bruising his fists would be a stupid thing to do, in the wake of a Kabane attack. And the roof didn’t need any more dents.
I’m so tired.
Storing the cage in the bag he’d set aside for it, Ikoma blinked, and swore under his breath. Glanced down, and tugged at the gi Kurusu had insisted he wear into this battle. Good, no tears.
Light gray. Too close to a bushi’s white shirt for comfort. But a black steamsmith’s undershirt wouldn’t block the light.