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Iron Lion

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  1. Hachiman Hikigaya observed the field in front of him silently as the cold gusts of Hokkaido blew across his face. All around him, grumbling could be heard as the dejected men in his presence complained and despaired. The sharp feeling that could be felt right before a fight hung in the air, and the men he was with did not like that. How could they? He asked himself. These men were now in the eyes of essentially all of Japan, Traitors. The traitors that dared defied the emperor, the traitors that fled up north to Hokkaido and formed a new government in spite of the emperor. Yes, These men were the newly formed republic of Ezo's army. Prior to that, many of these men fought for the shogunate. And even then, those men lost the majority of battles fought in the recent year. Hachiman quietly shared the same sentiment of the men himself. He was after all, conscripted. Forced to fight. Given very little training. And given very little supplies. From Toba Fushimi all the way here to Hakodate, he fought and lost every battle. When it came to losing he considered himself the strongest. The winds blew fiercely as they were cold. Sighing, he took a cigarette from his pockets and lit it. The sparks from his lighter hitting his white gloves as he casually put the lighter back in his pocket. It was still going to be a few hours before the fight, and frankly Hachiman stopped caring. To him it was just another battle, another loss and another defeat. The fact that the men were also grumbling and demoralized didn't help either. Taking a drag, Hachiman quietly self reflected for what he knew was the last time. He was going to die here, He knew it. After all, though he may be conscripted, he still rose rapidly up the ranks. Making the rank lieutenant and having the privilege of not wearing the shabby thin black uniforms of the republic, instead opting for a long black frock coat that provided suitable warmth. He also wore the pants that officers wore, black as night but certainly not cold like it. To top off his outfit, he sported nice leather boots that went up to his knees. Not only did he look like an officer, he acted like it to. Giving orders to attack and retreat when the time was deemed appropriate by himself. It could be said that his unit was one of the only ones that still had over fifty percent fighting strength left in Hokkaido. As he smoked in silence, one of the young recruits rashly spoke up in a loud voice. His mouth letting out puffs of fog as light rain started to fall, his face one of mixed rage and desperation. Gripping his rifle tightly, the recruit shouted; "Come on my friends! the imperial dogs will be here anytime now! this will be an easy fight! all we need is to defend and we shall drive them to the sea in no time!" Receiving silence and being ignored by some, he continued again. With the other new recruits being the main group that listened to him. "Yes! after all, it is our duty to fight for the new republic! to fight against tyranny and those who impose it! we will not r-" "Run away right?" Hachiman cut in. Receiving looks of confusion from the recruit along with some salutes from the older more experienced veterans, He took a drag and for a moment, watched the smoke get swept away by the winds before continuing. "...I am your officer. From Toba Fushimi to here i have fought in every battle so far. Every battle we have tasted defeat. Do not spout false bravado to try and lie to yourself and your fellow comrades. This battle was lost before we even fought it." Pausing, Hachiman took another drag while he had everyone's attention. Looking at the flowers dance on the field due to the wind was indeed a worthwhile sight he thought to himself as he continued speaking. "The truth is, you are all stupid no good wannabees for being here. You wanted to be something your Not, You wanted to be heroes. And because you cant, you now spin up tales. Make up reasons to try and justify your being here. Speaking of courage, of Bushido, Of loyalty and now calling the enemy dogs. You are all the most pathetic fake people i have ever had the displeasure of knowing. I don't want you, the enemy don't want you and this army doesn't want you. Go home boy for i do not need you and your like here. If i am to die, then i would like to die alone on the same field with genuine people." Hachiman said as he spat on the ground near the young recruits feet. The young recruit merely had a look of shock on his face as emotions quickly showed in his eyes. Anger, sadness and humiliation could be sensed from him by everybody as the tears started to form. All around him, the young recruits started to murmur in displeasure of what Hachiman did. The older veterans only remained silent as they looked at Hachiman with understanding eyes. Hachiman however, was used to people talking negatively about him. No matter which insult, no matter what they said, he would not be fazed. Hearing words like creep, defeatist, arrogant and stupid come up did nothing to Hachiman as he merely looked at the sky with a solemn face. Not even bothering to look at them, He continued. "Those of you who murmur against me can leave as well, I despise people like you. Living a fake life, forming cliques and badmouthing those who you don't agree with together as a group. You are all fake lying cowards who lie to try and maintain a fragile image that is just as ugly as yourself." Hachiman was met many shouts of outrage and indignation as he finished. "How dare you!" "And you call yourself an officer? i'm outta here!" "Come on guys, lets go!" The young majority left in anger, the young recruit that had tried to inspire the men following them with his head down. Hachiman merely watched with no change in his face, Still smoking his cigarette as he turned to the veterans. His cold fish eyes eyeing them, only to be met with tired eyes that made him rather uncomfortable. Their eyes reminded him to much of him, there was no hint of care left in those eyes that met his gaze. And silently he nodded at them, walking past them to the officers area in the camp. Hachiman walked as he smoked, his left hand gripping the handle of his Katana tightly. The camp was bustling with lots of activity as men rushed here and there, bringing orders and such. Hachiman merely sighed. If he could go home, he would. But unfortunately, it was not going to be that way. He was still an officer with enough experience for the imperials to note, not a random private. Puffing out smoke, Hachiman merely sighed again as he silently decided that this place would be the place where he would die. "Why delay the inevitable?" He muttered to himself as he passed the countless tents in the camp. Stepping on the well used dirt road, Hachiman quickly made his ways into the commanders tent. Deftly lifting the flap cover of the tent, Hachiman quickly stepped in and saluted major. Looking up from his desk, The major simply saluted back in a quick manner as he then looked at the paper he was looking at before Hachiman stepped in. "Major sir." "lieutenant Hachiman. How may i help you?" The major said as he continued reading. "I would like to transfer my unit to the defensive position most closest to the enemy sir." Hachiman said in a neutral tone. His eyes only focusing on the major. "Eager for a bit of action huh? no worries. You'll get your piece of action soon enough." The major said with indifference as he still read his paper. Sighing, Hachiman walked up to the major, stopping only a few inches from his desk. The major noticing this, stopped reading his paper and looked up at Hachiman with a puzzled look on his face. Hachiman merely responded with a "Please sir." and a look that showed he had resigned himself to fight to the death. Quickly showing a determined look on his face, the Major responded. "Absolutely not, we need every man we can get. And why do you ask this? you are most known as one of the best officers in this army! You constantly retreat, so why do you ask of me to put you in a position closest to the enemy?" Hachiman looked at him for a moment before he continued. Pausing, then giving him his answer. "Sir... there is only so much death you can see, so much bullets landing near you and so many defeats that you can bear before you stop caring... And don't think of me throwing my life away, think of me resolving to fight for this republic to the last man. If anything, we at the very least can slow down the imperials as they land. Buying time for our forces." Hachiman said with no emotion. "No! your units one of the precious few that are composed mainly of veterans! we can't lose them no matter what you say!" The major said clearly as he looked Hachiman right in the eyes. "The fact that they are veterans is better. Let the experienced men fight the enemy first, if they break through, they'll be weak. If they don't then it will be either a standstill or a loss for the enemy. Either way, our new recruits still need more training to be combat ready. They're mindset is still not that of a soldiers." Hachiman said calmly, keeping his poker face on as he watched the Major wince at the logic of his words. "If there are any new recruits left." Hachiman thought to himself as he looked at the Major with his eyes, Never moving, never blinking he unnerved the Major as he quickly replied. "B-but, we still have the fortress to fall back to!" The major said in a panicked tone, Trying to find a way to keep Hachiman's precious veterans alive from certain death. "Sir, if we fall back to the fortress then we would have already lost." Hachiman said bluntly, not caring anymore about subtlety or politeness. "Forgive my disrespect sir, but i'm going no matter what you say. I am an officer, the enemy knows of me. As such, I could not run even if i wanted to. I find it only acceptable that i introduce myself to them formally." Hachiman stated with an edge in his words. Trembling in frustration, The major simply nodded to Hachiman. He knew who really had the power here. Not one person in the new army did not know of Hachiman and his prowess on the battlefield. Hachiman, had fought and lead with competence in every battle that was fought while the Major here had not a single one under his belt. Hachiman also had many good points brought up. In this situation, each minute was equal to a bar of gold. The recruits were still to green, the enemy had to much numerical superiority over them and Hachiman would merely go to the closest position near the enemy no matter what he said. Sighing, the major gave the go ahead as he rested his forehead on his hands. columns of imperial troops marched to Hachiman's position. Not even needing to waste his breath, he let his veterans fire at will. Seeing the look of surprise of the faces of the imperial troops greatly humored Hachiman. Like any sensible soldier, they did not expect to be shot at with such accuracy at this distance. Quickly scrambling into line formation, the imperial troops let out a loose volley, only for it to hit ought but the dirt in front of the trench. Calmly reloading, the imperials then proceeded to march forward to Hachiman's position, All the while taking losses as they marched. Breathing calmly, Hachiman closed his eyes in preparation. Soon, he thought. It would be over. His friends, the war... it would be over soon he thought as he gripped his Katana. The year he had spent with the shogunate forces as a conscript were taxing on him to say the least. At first he tried to run, several times at that. But every single time he was caught, and as punishment was sent to the units that would engage the imperials first. And every time he would live, slaying the enemy and breaking down at night when no one else was around. Thinking back on it, Hachiman didn't know why he was promoted in the first place. After the battle of Edo, he was merely granted his Katana and Wakisashi, along with a small bag of money to buy things he would need as an officer. It was weird, he should be repulsed by every memory of him serving the shogunate but he oddly didn't hate it. The imperials marched on, getting closer. It was weird for him, to not hate the people who forced him to fight. He didn't stay with the shogunate out of loyalty mind you, he despised the word...No he stayed because they needed him, wanted him. They never lied to him, they spoke crudely but with a genuine determination to win the war for the Shogun. He also made friends, In all of his life where he felt like a nobody, A loner not in any pack. People actually befriended him, Looking past his appearance and enjoying his company. He made some friends, had relationships that felt genuine. His experiences didn't feel fake, forced or superficial for the most part. There was always gonna be fake people But well, once you start getting shot at you generally tend to stop caring about differences or about the appearance about the guy next to you. Now, as much as he doesn't despise the Shogunate and now, the Ezo Republic, He didn't like them much either...But, the for the first time in his Life... He felt alive. Stopping at 25 yards, the imperials let out a solid volley. Hitting some of Hachiman's men as they reloaded, they quickly and efficiently finished. Continuing on, they moved forward with professionalism and silence, The only ones speaking or making noise being the officers. He generally despised fighting, preferring books over the sword and talking over throwing punches. He hated the fact that he could now kill a man with no hesitation. He hated the fact that he stopped flinching whenever a gun fired near him. He hated the fact that he stopped caring, He hated it...and yet, He didn't despise it that much either. He merely accepted it as a sad fact of life. He accepted that these feelings, what made him change where necessary. He accepted the fact that doing the heroic or right thing could and would get you killed. He accepted that he would have to break the codes of Bushido...he accepted that he had become something that can only be redeemed in death. In acceptance he merely climbed up the Parapet, raised his Katana and charged at the enemy that were so close in front him, His men following suit as well. "FOR THE REPUBLIC!" Corrin sighed in frustration as she felt her tears bubbling up. After finding out that her father, King Garon intended her to stay in the castle for this year as well, She couldn't take it. She quietly sneaked out of the castle that night, finding solace and comfort in her favorite spot in the old forest. The instructors and everyone around her had already told her multiple times that it was unsafe to go outside. But she didn't care, she had been doing this for years behind their backs and she would keep doing so. It was a tranquil space, calm and quite with birds and deer frequenting it. A clear beautiful pond, surrounded by Trees as old as the dragons. With many animals gathering around it constantly, calmed and majestic in all their glory. At night the pond gave a very dazzling dark blue glow as well, this along with the blue glowing mushrooms that grew from the worn down logs along side the pond simply made her feel like her anxiety's were washed away every time she would visit. But not this time. She had been locked up in that castle for as long as she could remember. It was her 18th winter on this world and yet she was still trapped, like a bird in a cage. It was lonely where she was, in a land that was constantly cold and always barren. Day in and day out, it was receiving lessons from her tutors, No breaks and not even a single praise. They were also hard on her on as well, looking down upon her, treating her like an outsider and not bothering to repeat what they said twice. She was abysmal in training of the sword, terrible in arithmetic and of the scientific understanding. The only thing she could even do with out missing up so terribly was magic. And even then her spells were so weak that they merely annoyed those on the receiving end of her spells. She merely looked at the pond as she felt her heart tremble, would she be worth anything? could she do anything right? Would she ever get to see the world? Or would she forever be trapped in the northern fortress? Destined to rot away like a flower in a tundra? She quite looked forward to her siblings visiting whenever they had the time. It always improved her mood when she actually had people to talk to, to have fun with and forget about her harsh drab life. But when they left, she would soon quickly revert back into her ways. Living on in a world she found gray, with occasional drops of color visiting her and giving her joy. Gunther, Felicia and everyone that was even remotely kind to her were gone, in the capital due to some business. Perhaps due to this she had picked picked up the habit of smoking, secretly buying a pipe when a traveling Anna visited them to do trade. Sure, the stench of the tobacco leaves were nauseating, if not stinky. But she found the time passing by quickly when ever she indulged herself to the pipe, calming her down in a constant wave of rejection and failure. The instructors wouldn't notice anyway, they never noticed with their cruel and cold eyes. Taking a huff, she silently looked up to the night sky, Longing for the oh so distant stars glimmering next to the pale enchanting moon. However, a certain rustling nearby roused her from her stupor as she looked at the direction from whence the sound came from. Taking caution, she got herself into a basic fighting stance. Eyeing the area where the noise came from with nervous silence. She wasn't much of a fighter, She always thought the forest to be safe. But just in case, she had brought a rapier. Still a beginner in the ways of the sword, she had brought something that could keep her somewhat of a distance away from a foe if she ever got caught in a fight. Gulping nervously, Corrin had neglected to bring any Armour. Instead, opting to wear a comfortable tunic along with some warm hemp pants. She also noticed the animals leaving quickly, a sign that what ever was out there was bad news. Controlling her breathing, she couldn't help but to tremble at the thought of fighting. Soon enough, out of the bushes appeared seven men. Clad in Hoshidan armor, They merely grinned at the sight of her. "Got you." They said as they pulled out their swords. Corrin nervously eyed them for a few moments as she tried to calculate her chances. Three of the seven men sported myrmidon armor while the last four wore the armor of sword masters. Immediately knowing that she could not possibly fight off of these strange men that bore Hoshidan armor, she did the only thing she could do. Run. She ran with all her might in fear of her life. She didn't need nor want to know why these strangers pointed their swords at her and she didn't care to find out. "Running huh? very well! run! i love a good hunt!" The leader of the men said as they chased after her. Dirt kicked up as feet raced across the mossy soil, the gnarled and old path snaking and coiling along the way. The night was eerily quite, with even the insects keeping to themselves. Thinking quickly, Corrin subtly turned left behind a tree. Gritting her teeth, and intending to maim her opponent, she waited shortly see one of her pursuers turn to her direction and run to her. Corrin quickly thrust-ed her rapier, aiming for the mans arm. However, she didn't calculate or, in simpler terms read her opponent correctly as her thrust struck him in the throat. Letting the momentum carry her blade. With horror, she watched as her blade made a crimson flower of blood blossom from her pursuers throat as the man fell down quickly. Coughing up blood, gurgling with a look of shock as the color quickly drained from his face. Corrin could only freeze up at this. Petrified, shock, a whole wave of emotions took over her as she just stood still. Her body wouldn't listen to her and the only thing she could do was watched wide eyed as her pursuers quickly caught up to her. Surrounding her, The leader of the small band of men merely grinned as he started walking up to her. "I'll give it to ya, i didn't expect you to fell even one of us. But oh well, the less men the higher the bounty!" The man said as he threw back and laughed, the rest following suit. Their laughter reminiscent of vultures as they circled around her, growing ever closer. Stopping for a few moments, the leader merely eyed her as a small grin emerged on his face. All the while with Corrin not being able to move, fear overtaking her body at what she had just done and also for the fact that her pursuers looked at her with hungry eyes. Drawing ever closer with their blades drawn. "Now that i get another chance to look at ya, ya quite a looker, Especially with that nice arse and tits ya carrying there! Unluckily for you, the client never said that we couldn't have fun with ya before we off ya." The leader said as he appeared closer, his men following him as they gazed at her with perverted shifty eyes. Corrin could make no sound, make no movement and merely stood there. Her feet planted to the ground and her rapier stuck in the mans throat that she had shockingly killed, not knowing what to do as she could only look at them with big open eyes as the tears started to well up. The only thoughts that she could even conceive were 'Save me!' or 'Please anyone, help!' as the men came closer to her. Closing her eyes, she simply tried to cancel all of this out. Tried to imagine, pretend that this was merely a dream. It was the only thing that she could do as she her body wouldn't move. Her thoughts raced back and forth. Why were these men chasing her? did she really just kill him? At the very thought of that she wanted to puke. Were these men going to have their way with her? what did they mean by client? who wanted her killed? Finally, after a few moments, she felt her voice returning to her. "Ah..." She fought to retain her voice. "AAAAAHHHH!" She screamed. Finally able to muster her voice as she trembled. Just then the sound of a twig snapping could be heard. The bandits quickly turning around to see the origin of the noise so close to them. In front of them appeared a lone man, dressed in black, he also wielded a katana they noticed as he made his entrance. Not stopping even once, the lone man continued walking to them, making not a single sound say for his foot steps that were already shockingly light. Nodding at each other, a sword master walked up to the man, asking him to state his business. "Eh? who the hell are you? this bounty's ours mate-" The man barely finished as his head was cut clean off. The sword that dealt him the killing blow now speckled with his life's blood. Seeing this, the other men cautiously got into battle positions as they looked at him with unease. The way this new lone man swung his sword was not only fast but had this... determination behind it. The leader thought as he held his sword at the lone man. "Captain!" "I know!...i haven't seen some one swing a sword like that since the bloody battles to unite the clans under lord Sumeragi..." The leader said as he gritted his teeth. Seeing the sword stroke convinced him. His demeanor, the air that weighed around him... This man was determined to fight and would not even falter at the thought of dying! The lone mans eyes gave it all away, there would be no talking here. Turning to his cronies, he yelled at them to fight. "Come on boys there's five of you and one of him! finish this so we can get our pay!" The leader shouted as his men charged in reply. The first one, a myrmidon charged at him with his blade above his head. Intending to swing it downwards to crack his head open, he was quickly cut down as the lone man slashed his chest with honed speed. The second sword master charged at him from the left of the now dead myrmidon, trying to catch him of guard as he slashed at his neck and along his chest with his two blades. The lone man saw through that vain attempt as he stepped back, deftly gripping his katana with one hand as he made an over head slash, splitting the sword masters head in half. Three remaining pursuers attacked all at once, not allowing the lone man a position as to where he can move to to avoid the slashes. The lone man simply stared at them as he grabbed the myrmidon that attacked behind him, using a judo move as he grabbed the mans shoulder using him momentum to throw the man over him onto the ground, breaking the myrmidons shoulder in the process and snapping his neck. On his knees, the lone man dodged the other two strikes coming at him as he broke the myrmidons shoulder. Accidentally stabbing each other, the remaining myrmidon and sword master yelled out in a mixture surprise and pain. With no effort at all, the lone man swung his katana at the two men's legs, cutting their tendons and making them drop to their knees in pain. Standing up, he merely looked at the two men as the howled in pain before swiftly swinging his sword, decapitating both instantly in a drizzle of blood. Shaking his sword, he turned to the last remaining man who was now sweating profusely. In a panic, he did the one thing that no warrior would ever do. He hesitated. And that hesitation cost him dearly as the new man walked up to him and deftly stabbed through the weak spot of his Armour. Spitting blood, he lost strength as he dropped to the ground. Looking up to the sky in rage, he used his last breath to curse the man who sent him and his cronies to kill the girl. "Curse you... Anankos!" The man sputtered in rage as he breathed his last. His lifeless body now hitting the earth with a thud. Turning to look at Corrin, the lone man now studied her silently as he wiped the blood of of his sword with a cloth. Sheathing it, he merely stood there as he watched her with his cold eyes. Corrin, relieved that her attackers were now dead, but also scared of this new lone man could only cry as the tears begin to drop. sniffling and sobbing as the tears fell freely. All sorts of emotions hit her once again. Fear, shame, guilt and confusion hit her all at once, making it even harder to comprehend what was going on as she sobbed. Hachiman hesitated as he did not know what to say. Opening his mouth but not knowing what to say, he merely grumbled and took out a cigarette, lighting it as he decided that the best course of action was to wait. Taking a drag, he sighed as he huffed out smoke. Women were never really his strong point, especially after the incident with her. Unpleasant memories flashing through his mind as he smoked. Quickly thinking of something else, he asked himself questions. Like where he was currently? or has Hakodate fallen? or where there any more imperials around? He didn't know. He fought for what he felt like were hours, swinging his blade in a stupor, only caring about slaying his enemies. He didn't think that he had fought for so long for it to turn into night but this had already happened before several times so he quickly shook of that notion. The last thing Hachiman remembered was him charging the imperials. Breaking through the first line after minutes of fighting, then breaking through next one...and the one after that. His memory was a little hazy but he could recall a loud sound that came only from cannon. Then next was the smoke, thick heavy and suffocating, he remembered fighting the imperials in the smoke as he only pressed forwards, not giving a thought nor care in the world about being wounded. Then next where the trees...did he accidentally advance a little to the west as he fought the imperials? No he was sure he advanced forwards to meet the imperials on the beach...So why? why did this place have trees instead of sand? Taking a drag, he quickly thought of something else, something that was in front of him, something that he could make sense of. Looking at the corpses, he inspected their bright red armors. It was puzzling. Satsuma and choshu had modernized troops with western uniforms...So could this be the clans that switched sides? Aizu's ashigaru sported black uniforms. Jozai and the other clans that he knew off didn't equip their troops this way...So maybe the nanbu? no...they got defeated by the imperials. The enemy had previously said that he hadn't seen Hachiman swing a blade like that since the bloody battle to unify the clans under their lord...what could he have meant? Questions raced through his mind as he stood there and smoked his cigarette, the smoke of the cigarette being the only thing in this situation that he knew for sure without a doubt. "What clan are these men from?" Hachiman muttered quietly in frustration as he racked up the names of various clans. No clan had soldiers with these uniforms and the Armour was only worn by officers and even then that was a rare sight, As Hachiman noted that the officers during his battle to defend the city wore western clothing. He needed to know, if one were to encounter an imperial then there were always imperials nearby. That was a given. The soldiers with headbands bore a chest plate seemed to have been made by some black lacquered wood, a stupid choice in this day and age. Hachiman thought as he examined them. After a few minutes he growled in frustration, using his hand to scratch the side of his head, his white gloves leaving a dull leather feeling on his skin. It was clear as day that these soldiers were strange. That this forest was strange. And the girl sobbing on the ground in front of him was strange. Giving up, the only thing that Hachiman thought was where his location was. To his knowledge the horns of retreat were yet to be sounded, therefore the republic has yet to fall. His duty was not over and the imperials would surely hunt him down even if he tried to make a break for it. Once more he inspected the trees, quickly coming to the realization that he was in a forest. Even more confused, he finally lost his patience. Irritated, he looked over to the girl that he had helped. With hair as white as snow, and eyes as red as fire, she had a stunningly beautiful face. Skin as pale and enchanting as the moon, Hachiman almost gasped in shock of her beauty. Key word, almost. He kept a poker face as he addressed her. "Oi." He addressed her sharply. "Eh?" She replied as she sobbed, the tears momentarily stopping as she looked at him with wide fearful eyes. "Tell me how i get to Hakodate." Hachiman said bluntly. Not as a question but with a demand. "Wh-what?" She managed to squeak out as she sniffled in confusion. "Hakodate woman. Tell me how to get to it. The imperials are still on this blasted rock and i have no time to spare." Hachiman stated as he glared at her in annoyance and irritation. 'Seriously? what were the locals thinking?" He thought. They should be holed up in their homes and shacks, making an effort not to be on the battlefield. Sniffling, she took a moments pause, wracking up her head of all the locations around her and on the continent in general. And Hakodate? she had never heard and or read about any place. The stranger in front of her looked rather intimating but she couldn't really lie either, being not only wrong but also she felt that the man in front of her could tell with ease whether or not she was lying. Trembling, she took a breath and tried her best through the tears and the recent events. "I, i don't know...i know not of this Hakodate you speak of!" She said in a low voice, her strength gone as her mind still raced with many thoughts and emotions. Hachiman reacted in a mix of outrage and shock, How could a local not know what Hakodate is? Could she have misheard him? no. She said Hakodate perfectly. Was she lying? she didn't look like she was as she trembled. So what was going on? What was happening? For once he did not know and he had a terrible feeling in his gut as he struggled to comprehend. "What?" He said in a more higher voice, one that oozed of anger and irritation as he glared at her. Corrin only broke down in fear in regards to this, the tears flowing down once again, like a dam breaking and the water quickly escaping. Hachiman quickly released his mistake as he looked at her uncomfortably. Pursing his lips, he quickly apologized as bent his knee to get level to her. He never was good at interacting at women. Spending a whole year at war didn't help him either. "...Crap...listen, i'm sorry alright? i am... in a huge hurry. So would you please tell me even if you don't know where it is, where you think it is?" Hachiman stammered awkwardly, as he looked away from her fearful gaze. His cigarette puffing smoke as it did the opposite of what he thought it did, which was calming him but in this instance he was very panicky. Especially if it came from him making a woman cry. Like a child, her tears subsided once he heard his apology. Hiccuping a little, she tried to recall anything remotely similar to the word Hakodate or something that seemed like it related to it. Thoughts popped into her mind as she remembered reading something about the barbarians in the north having similar words and sounds to Hakodate. Sniffling, she calmed herself down as she replied to the stranger in front of her. "I, i think its to the north of us..." She said, managing not to sniffle as she looked into his onyx black eyes. "North huh?" He said as he took a drag, standing up, he took a moment to contemplate in silence as looked at the stars. realizing quickly that he was about to leave, Corrin quickly called and reached out to him. Grabbing his his coat in the process. Turning his gaze to her, he quickly noticed her red desperate eyes, pleading and begging as she looked at him in fear and fright. Narrowing his eyes impatiently, he asked her;"What is it?" In irritation. "Please take me with you!" She said as she held onto him desperately, fearful and once more on the verge of breaking down, only caring for her safety at the moment. This desperate request surprised Hachiman as his eyed widened up. His mouth hung slightly agape as she had just caught him off guard, his cigarette falling in the process. This girl...looked so helpless. He thought as his heart wavered just a little. Quickly however, he steeled himself and looked at her with a determined resignation. "No." Hearing this, Corrin looked at him even more desperately, grasping his coat as she struggled to hold back her tears. Hachiman faltered at this, why was this girl so desperate to come with him? surely her family must be worried? "Your family must worry for you, go back to them." He said as he tried to get her out of his hair. Corrin stopped for a few moments, the memory of her cruel fathers order no re surging as she started to cry. Her father commanding her to stay in the fortress, the fact that she had nearly been deflowered and killed along with killing a man merely made her desire to escape from it all even more real. As such, to escape she spoke desperate lies, trying to bring up a facade, a whole new mask to wear as she gripped his coat tightly. "Please!, my family...my father, their...dead. I have no where else to go! please...just let me accompany you...please sir." She choked out silently. The thoughts of her father and her siblings beings crossed out as she killed them off in her mind. It was true, she considered herself lost with no where to go, she wanted an end to this terrible shell of a life that she had been living, desperate to escape, she would even kill of her own siblings in her mind if it meant that she wouldn't have to live like this anymore. In a way, she spoke the truth through her lies. Hachiman still remained steadfast to turn her away however as he gritted his teeth. "I will be fighting the enemy, the battlefield is no place for girl." He stated truthfully, glaring at her like a wolf, trying to scare her into leaving. "I do not mind!...please!...i just want to escape from this place...I was almost killed and i don't have any place to go to!...i'll, I'll do anything!" She said desperately, not running from his gaze as she stared at him with determination. "What?" Hachiman asked in shock. "Please! i will do anything! just please let me accompany you!" Hachiman remained silent as the girl in front of him sobbed. Her family was apparently dead and something must have happened for her to desperately plead to follow him like this. His thoughts conflicted with each other as he struggled to come to terms on whether he would bring her with him or not. He was going to fight the enemy, he had already resigned himself to fight to the death, so why? why was his heart screaming to take her with him? The core tenant of Bushido popped up in his mind. Compassion, But he had already broken that rule several times on the battlefield. And was it compassion to bring her to a battlefield? He was heading north to where she thought was Hakodate was, He was heading north to fight!...But then again she had also stated that she would do anything just to escape from his place. Saying that she did not mind. As Hachiman mulled over his choices, Corrin attempted one final desperate act. Shamelessly, she took his hand and held it to her bosom, making the man in front of her grope her breast. With tears and a fierce determination, she looked into his conflicted eyes. "Please! you may...you may also take my purity if you like, just please! ...please take me with you!" Hachiman gulped, the look on her face was painful to look at it. Quickly taking his hand off of her bosom, He sighed and came to a conclusion. His heart winning the argument his his mind was having. "Alright, fine. I'll take you with me. Just don't do anything like that again. If there's one thing i don't like, then it is a person who holds themselves no with self respect." He said as he looked away abashedly, his face a scarlet red as his mind had processed that he had just touched a lady's bosom. Corrin's face lit up at this, relief and happiness showing on her face clear as day. But soon however, she blushed as well, looking away in shame and embarrassment. A few moments passed before Hachiman coughed to bring attention to himself. Looking away from her in awkwardness, he started talking. "If you follow me, your going to do everything i say without question." Corrin eagerly nodded at this, her tears clearing up once again. "You will also be accompanying me until you find a place to settle down." Corrin still nodded, albeit a bit more cautiously at this. "I also value silence, so do not expect conversations save for when i ask you questions. Understood?" "Yes!" Corrin replied with energy as she smiled in relief. "Well...um.. lets go now." Hachiman stated cautiously. He never really did speak to women well. Turning around, Hachiman quickly walked, not knowing what else to do in this situation. With Corrin silently following him in the process, relieved that she could finally escape from her lot in life. There was no logic, there didn't need to be any logic, she felt as she followed him. She had a feeling and she saw a chance. And in pure desperation along with the many things that recently happened, she felt that this was the only choice she had left. And that's that. This is a one shot idea of mine. If i have ideas on how the story will go and if you guys like it then i'll continue it. Please leave a review in the original thread. I also consider myself new to the writing scene so please tell me if i fudged anything up. Since this was an Au in which Hachiman had fought in the boshin war, i tried to write him in a more believable way while keeping true to his nature. I also tried to write Corrin as a sheltered girl lonely and in sadness, desperate to escape while also a kind heart. Please feel free to leave a review, I am trying to get better as a writer in general. Cross posted on fanfiction.net
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