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I, The Silver Hermit, Will Be The One Who Break It All


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Prologue: Fate

In the heart of Motoharu-chu, a mysterious and intimidating man known as Akira Fujikubo navigated the murky waters of the underwurld. From the narrow streets to the neon-lit nightclubs, Akira rose through the ranks of his gang, before landing himself as the sole ruler of all underground gangs in Motoharu-chu. He ran one of the infamous and powerful organized crime syndicates in Alharu. Known for his brute and cruel way of managing his crime empire, he earned his nickname Gin-Inja*, appropriately named after his trusty brass knuckles.

Motoharu-chu in the 1970s and 1980s, though still a small and insignificant city-state, had been a breeding ground for criminal enterprises, and Akira thrived in its shadows. Born into the chaos of the underwurld, he molded himself into a formidable figure, wielding power and influence with a cold, calculating precision. His loyalty was unquestioned, and those who dared to betray him learned that betrayal came at a price.

The story of Akira's ascent reached its zenith on a moonlit night when betrayal tainted the air. Kaito Tanaka, a once-loyal lieutenant, had crossed a line that even the merciless code of his leading gang, the Rōge**, could not forgive. Whispers of treacheries echoed through the narrow alleys, reaching the ears of Akira like an ominous prelude to a storm. Alongside rumors of adultery, pity thievery, and igniting rivalry among his subordinates.

Fueled by a potent mix of rage and determination, Akira devised a punishment that would resonate through the criminal underwurld. Kaito Tanaka was to be dealt with in a manner befitting the gravity of his betrayal. The stage was set at the edge of the city of Mihama, @Esonice, where the sea whispered its secrets to those willing to listen.

On that fateful night, after round and round of drinking and expensive meat and seafood. Kaito, drunken on the expensive sake and beers, took a piss in a narrow alleyway. Just as he pulled his pants on, three men cornered him, arming from brass knuckles to a bat with spikes glued on it. Kaito took one hell of a beating, with the sound of broken ribs, puncturing stomachs, and rapturing meat tissues echoing the alleyway. Akira, calmly smoked his cigar, outside the alleyway, signaling the bystanders to leave the premises.

Then, before anyone knew what happened, Kaito found himself bound and confined within a steel barrel, the echoes of his muffled pleas lost in the rhythmic crash of the waves against the shore. “Ea et e o!” “Am ory!” Kaito cried out. The gang's enforcers, their faces hidden behind masks of stoicism, lifted the barrel with a solemnity that spoke volumes of the gravity of the situation.

“You know, Kaito, you were a good kid. Your dad and brother were nice people. What happened? I thought I told you how we work? How do we, as gangsters, operate? We are f*cking Kishi***, for crying out loud. Act like one! But I guess my words are just nothing but a f*cking blank piece of paper for you… Too bad, Kaito… Sayōnara…”

A boat waited silently on the blackened waters, its engine humming with an ominous energy. Akira, clad in a tailored suit that bore no trace of emotion, oversaw the macabre ceremony. The barrel, containing the traitor, was ceremoniously lowered into the unforgiving depths of the ocean, where the weight of betrayal sank with it.

As the last bubbles surfaced and the waves swallowed the vessel whole, Akira Fujikubo stood in the shadows, his piercing gaze reflecting the cold resolve that had solidified his reputation.

“Yuji, take care of this shit if it ever got uncovered, got it? I don't want any crap-filled journalists taking photos of the traitor stuck in a barrel and publishing it in the newspaper with the headline “Man Found Dead, Gangster Akira Involved?”, got it?”

Yuji Amabatake, an official of Esonice, nodded his head silently, smiling awkwardly before skidding away in his car.

Unbeknownst to the small city-state of Motoharu-chu, the ripples of this event would extend far beyond its borders. They set the stage for Akira's transformation from a local power player to a puppet master in the grand theater of Esonice – creating one of the most news-shattering scandals in Alharun history.

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Notes

* Gin-Inja (銀隠者): Translated as Silver Hermit.

** Rōge (狼牙): Motoharu-chu's largest and oldest surviving gang/triad, started out a loose labor union for dockworkers.

*** Kishi (騎士): Translated as Knight, a term many gangsters called themselves.

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Posted (edited)

Chapter One: Cub

Draft #2: Early Childhood.

In the heart of Motoharu-chū, where the ebb and flow of life mirrored the tidal rhythms of the nearby docks, the tale of Akira Fujikubo unfolded—a narrative laced with hardship, resilience, and the shadows cast by the city's underbelly. As a journalist with a keen eye for untold stories, my pursuit led me into the gritty streets that shaped the destiny of a boy named Akira.

The Fujikubo family, mere silhouettes in the backdrop of a bustling port city, was entrenched in poverty. The father, Shinji, is a heavy alcoholic, while the mother, Momoki, struggles just to feed the family. Dockworkers by trade, the two struggled to navigate life's tempests, and it was amidst this struggle that Akira emerged into a wurld characterized by the clatter of shipping crates and the whispers of clandestine dealings. As the youngest brother of a family of five, his life was not an easy one.

In the dockside labyrinth, Akira's early years were defined by necessity rather than innocence. Instead of playground laughter, the stench of salt water and the ceaseless clamor of labor became the backdrop to his youth. From this crucible of want, a child gang emerged—a band of youngsters[Further research needed], Akira among them, united by the shared desperation of survival. Fights over a simple slice of bread or a piece of candy are the norm. A former “gangster” of that group told me that there was once a rich man who walked past them, throwing a single piece of chocolate wrapped in gold wrapper, the boys bit and punched each other as he stood by laughing. For these fledgling delinquents, the docks became both a refuge and a hunting ground. Night after night, they pilfered morsels of sustenance, engaging in a dangerous dance with shadows to fend off hunger. Akira, as the ringleader of this ragtag crew, navigated the treacherous waters of the underwurld that seemed to mirror the unpredictable tides outside his doorstep.

As my investigation unfolded, it became evident that Akira's story transcended the cliché of a downtrodden youth. The docks, once a symbol of his struggle, morphed into a crucible where he learned the art of survival. School, a luxury unattainable, was replaced by the school of hard knocks, where labor became his tutor, and each cargo crate an unspoken lesson in tenacity. Yet, survival came at a cost. Akira's resilience was etched onto his skin—a scar on his face and a missing finger, tokens from a violent confrontation over stolen bread. His physical wounds became badges of honor in a wurld that demanded a toll for every step toward survival. For a brief period, before he was called “the Silver Hermit”, he was known as “Kyūyubi Hito*” by the kids and his “employers”.[Further research needed]

My investigation unveiled a pivotal moment in Akira's life—a juncture where the Rōge, a clandestine collective of gangsters, beckoned him. Drawn by the allure of power, he stepped into their fold, unwittingly setting the stage for a journey that would elevate him from a cub in the urban jungle to the formidable head of a gang that thrived in the shadows.

As Himi Mabamatsu, the journalist driven by the pursuit of truth, I found myself entangled in the enigmatic narrative of Akira Fujikubo. The layers of his story, intricately woven into the fabric of Motoharu's underwurld, promised revelations that went beyond the surface, promising to illuminate the darker corners of a life shaped by adversity and ambition.


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(Chidori Port, near Akira's birthplace. Courtesy of the City University of Motoharu)


Notes:

* Kyūyubi Hito (九指人): Translated as Nine-Fingered Person, assumed to be a nickname of Akira after the fight.

- Further research needed on the aforementioned “child gang” and Akira's employers.

Edited by Motoharuchu
Code Edits (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...

Chapter Two: First Hunt

In the shadowed corridors of the Rōge, Akira Fujikubo found himself at the lowest rung of the criminal ladder, a cub amidst wolves. His days were spent in the dank underbelly of Motoharu-chū, working as a fixer for the Rōge – a designation that translated to the unenviable tasks of cleaning up the dirty aftermaths of illicit transactions. A cacophony of whispers and wary glances accompanied his every move as he navigated the intricate web of the Rōge's clandestine operations. His initiation into the Rōge was marked by a task that blurred the line between brutality and necessity. The small café, a front for the Rōge's clandestine dealings, bore witness to a bloody altercation that left the air thick with tension. Akira's orders were clear – clean the scene, erase all traces of the Roge's presence, and instill fear into the heart of the cafe owner who had dared to cross paths with the syndicate.

As Akira meticulously wiped away the remnants of violence, his gaze met the eyes of the battered café owner. In that fleeting moment, a spark of empathy ignited within him. While the Rōge reveled in ruthlessness, Akira saw beyond the immediate task at hand. A whisper of advice escaped his lips, a subtle guide on evading the predatory grip of the Rōge. It was an act of unexpected compassion, a deviation from the expected conduct of a lower-tier member. This unexpected display of humanity did not go unnoticed by the Roge's enigmatic leader, Toshiyuki Kuzuno*, the Ōkami Tsukai**. In the shadows, a web of intrigue unfolded, and Akira's fate took an unforeseen turn.

The opportunity to prove himself came in the form of a violent shootout. The Rōge found themselves outnumbered, caught in the crossfire of a rival gang, Seiryū***. In the chaotic swirl of bullets and blood, Akira seized the moment, shielding Toshiyuki from harm's way and securing their escape. The act of valor did not go unnoticed by the Ōkami Tsukai, who recognized a burgeoning potential within the young cub. Promoted to the role of "kuromaku,"**** an éminence grise orchestrating events from the shadows, Akira's influence began to ascend within the Rōge. His role transformed from the mundane tasks of a fixer to a position of strategic importance, where his intellect and resourcefulness were valued assets.
Emboldened by his newfound status, Akira devised a plan to solidify his influence within the Rōge. An audacious attack on the rival gang, Seiryū, unfolded under his calculated command. The darkened alleyways of Motoharu-chū bore witness to a clash of underwurld titans, and when the dust settled, it was Akira's cunning strategy that emerged victorious. The Rōge stood triumphant, and Akira, once the lowest member, had risen to prominence as a key player in the shadowy game that unfolded in the city's hidden corners.

As Motoharu-chū's underwurld resonated with the echoes of the Rōge's triumph, Akira Fujikubo found himself at the precipice of power, his ascent fueled by calculated moves, unexpected compassion, and a flash of strategic brilliance that set him apart in the unforgiving landscape of the criminal underwurld.

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Notes:

* Toshiyuki Kuzuno (葛野 敏幸): Leader of the Rōge during most of the 1960s.

** Ōkami Tsukai (狼使い): Translated as Wolf Tamer, title for the leader of the Rōge.

*** Seiryū (青龍): Translated as Blue Dragon, a gang primary active in the Mintaku District

**** Kuromaku (黒幕): Translated literally as "black curtain", an éminence grise or secret decision-maker.

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