Categories > Original > Humor

The Four Winds

by DakkTribal 0 reviews

Meet the Four Winds, a group of highly trained shinobi mercenaries who will do almost any job for money-and use that money to party until the cows come home afterward. This just happened to be the ...

Category: Humor - Rating: R - Genres: Humor - Published: 2019-01-07 - 3847 words - Complete

Ever wake up with what has to be the world's largest headache? That's what went through Ichijo's mind after he opened his eyes and was greeted with the bright rays of the sun. He put his hand over his eyes to help them accommodate before he sat up. Each muscle in his body felt like it was on pins and needles, making movement uncomfortable for him. Still, after seeing the clock next to the bed where he had fallen on the night before, it was just past eleven.

Ichijo was disappointed. He had wanted to wake up earlier than that. "Great...though better than last time at least."

The smell of the ocean soon got his attention and against his body's wishes to go back and lie down he got himself out of bed and tried to gather his stuff. Of course he quickly saw that he had gone to bed wearing the clothes he had worn the night before. All he wore was a pair of faded black jeans and he didn't wear a shirt which exposed his well-muscled torso. The twenty year old Ichijo wasn't cold nor was there a drop of sweat on him to show he was too warm in the tropical climate.

He walked out of the room while grabbing a black and yellow t-shirt from the suitcase near the bed. It turned out to be much brighter out there than it had been in his room. It also reminded him of where he was. On the walls lining the hall were picturesque photos in wooden frames showcasing a hotel and resort, the same one which he and his comrades were currently staying at. Called 'The Peddler's Jewel', the resort was located in Hawaii and was pretty much the only place left to go on a weekend where people partied on a daily basis. It was also a rather expensive place that only those with the best money could afford. High paying money that often reached into the eight digit numbers that is. Still, in the line of work that he did it was easy to earn the money to afford it.

Going down the hall Ichijo passed the bathroom but didn't go inside as it was dark. He could hear the sound of the waves outside. The resort was near the beaches of the biggest island in the Hawaii chain, and the view was awe-inspiring, but the young man had already taken in the sights of the island yesterday, before the place went to hell.

He walked out into the living room and it was there that the definition of a disaster area was given form. What had once been a nice place for the group to stay in was now in shambles. The nice wooden table that had been the dining room table was overturned and the chairs were misplaced, missing, or even broken into many pieces. There was a sofa overturned in front of the fireplace. The blinds near the door that led out onto the beach were open and so was the door, which explained why the place smelled like the ocean more so than the rest of the place. There had been one hell of a party go through the place. He was personally grateful that he packed extra cash to make up for the damages.

"Good thing we always travel extra prepared..." He went to the kitchen, where a mess of food and drinks of varying types were scattered. He went through the drawers and such until he found a bowl and poured himself some cereal without a care in the world.

The unique sounds of someone snoring were loud and clear. Ichijo recognized it too.

It came from the large lump that was a human being snoring in the center of the living room, near the sofa. That would be Hanzo, a member of his group and the only man Ichijo knew who could drink a dozen cans of beer in a row without passing out or throwing up. A heavy-set man who was sleeping like a baby amid large piles of beer cans and wine bottles. He was also snoring louder than a thunderstorm, and it was he who probably caused most of this destruction if Ichijo could bet on it. He didn't even think of trying to wake him up, instead letting him sleep while he hate his late breakfast.

Coming from outside was a man dressed in black from neck to feet but was barefoot. African American and taller than Ichijo, the man walked into the kitchen without speaking a word at first, instead going to the fridge to get a bottle of water. He too was slow in moving, because he had also done enough drinking the night before to last a long time.

Ichijo finished his bowl and put it in the sink. "Morning Deuce. Sleep well?"

The man named Deuce ran his hand through the strands of his hair and combed it back with his fingers. His eyes were only partially open, suggesting that he was still tired. "I did, until I realized that I didn't sleep in the building."

Raising his chin, Ichijo wondered what he was talking about, "What happened?"

"After we had...that damn contest and everyone else passed out I remembered going to my room. After that I went blank and the next thing I knew I woke up on the roof," Deuce said, and one could easily tell he was slightly embarrassed to even speak about it.

Ichijo couldn't help but smile. "Yeah last night was wild."

"Too wild. One of these days we're going to be kicked out of a hotel or whatever with our wild parties."

"Well it's a good thing that we don't go to the same places after these big jobs. Anyway..." Ichijo felt like a migraine was on its way to his head and he wasn't looking forward to it if that was the case. "How long have you been up?"

Deuce checked the clock, which was now on the floor after it somehow had fallen down from its place above the kitchen sink. "About three hours...give or take."

Shrugging his shoulders Ichijo placed his bowl in the empty sink. He peered over to Hanzo who was sleeping on his back without a care in the world. The party last night had been started over some random American drinking game that Hanzo had been told about and everyone was required to participate according to what was told. Ichijo had joined in willingly and Deuce had been requested to multiple times. Then there was Kazumi, who openly volunteered. Speaking of which...

"By the way, whatever happened to Kazumi? I haven't seen her all morning," said Deuce.

"Hmm...Not sure, I didn't see her after I woke up either."

Kazumi was the fourth and final member of the group, and she had also been involved in the party last night. Though not a girl that liked to party, Hanzo had given her keys to the fun machine and she had taken off with it, which may or not been a good thing. From what Ichijo remember, she wasn't much of a drinker. Still, with that much alcohol in her body she couldn't have gotten far.

"I'll look for her in a bit," Ichijo went about the living room and found a black duffle bag under what remained of a potted plant that had been pulled out of its pot. He undid the zipper and searched around until he found a small silver laptop and brought it back to the kitchen. Placing on the only empty place in the room he opened it and booted it up. Now that the party was over it was time to look for the next job.

The login screen came and went with a few flicks of the keys, and eventually the home screen popped up. A simple styled logo that read 'The Four Winds' in green letters was in the center of the screen. The characters in Japanese beneath the English words read 'shinobi for hire'.

"We should design something better. People make fun of our less than subpar logo standards," said Deuce, ever the professional.

Ichijo wasn't at all worried. "Let our actions and successes make up for it." He opened the email address that was made for them. In the inbox were at least forty-six messages. Ichijo smiled, but after he began to read through the list his smile disappeared. Most of the emails were phishing scams and spam, nothing worth noting. "Well, it's only been a couple days after we finished that last one, so it might take a bit for others to catch on to us. You search through it; I need to find my sword."

Deuce, who had fixed himself a cup of coffee to help jump start his mind and body, pulled up a chair to the counter and began to look for any emails that gave a hint to a potential job.

Ichijo didn't have to search long for his sword. It had been on the bed next to where he had woken up. The sword was called a ninjato, a short katana that shinobi (more commonly known as ninja) were to have believed to have used back in the medieval days. While that is nothing short of speculation, Ichijo used this weapon when he went to work. It was a killer despite its short blade and it was his most prized possession. The sheathe was black with intricately etched art of a dragon along its entire length with a green ribbon near the top where the guard of the sword met the sheathe.

Following in a tradition his family had set long ago, the sword had a name. The Kowareta-kiba (trans. from Japanese is 'Broken fang'), and it lived up to its name in a certain way.

Glad to know the sword had not been misplaced Ichijo began to move back to the kitchen when he heard a loud thump coming from down the hall.

Even with the headache he had he moved quickly down the hall and to the bathroom he had passed earlier. Deuce must have heard the sound too and he met Ichijo at the door. The door was open a crack and the light from inside shinned through. Without waiting to see what would happen next Ichijo pushed the door open and was immediately hit with a cascade of steam and heat. It was like a sauna in there!

Light pitter patter of feet was heard followed by another couple thumps and a groan of pain. Like an avalanche glass was heard breaking and Ichijo saw Deuce roll his eyes. A distinct female voice was heard.

"Oh no! I hope I didn't break anything!"

Ichijo began to ease up and he shook his head. It was Kazumi, the woman they were going to look for later. Deuce understood too and the two men got in front of the door.

And there they remained because when the steam cleared nothing short of pure beauty beyond comprehension met their eyes. Indeed Kazumi was in the bathroom, a very naked Kazumi standing with one hand over her eyes and her body wet from a recent foray into the shower. Her long hair stuck to her shoulder and buxom breasts. Curves men could only dream of were bare for the two men in the doorway to see thanks to the woman being temporarily blinded. Her free hand wandered and searched for something on the sink and counter top but she wasn't having any luck.

"Stupid shower head...had to be too hot on the slightest turn, and then I had to go and squirt my eyes with shampoo too!" The woman began to bend down and search the ground, all the while hissing at the painful stinging sensation she had in her eyes. "Now where in the world is that towel?"

Ichijo didn't know what to do. If he moved surely she'd hear him, and if he stayed...well, it would end up pretty bad for him in theory. Too bad he noticed too late that Deuce had already hightailed it and left his pal in this predicament. Ichijo was so upset about that he moved his feet and made the floor creak under his feet.

Kazumi stopped moving, "Hello?"

Not knowing what else to do Ichijo stood completely still and swear that he would make Deuce pay for this later. Then he looked down at his feet, and there was a thick pink towel. 'Where'd that come from?'

It had to be a blessing from above, that or sheer dumb luck. Not wanting to stick around-as much as his eyes wanted him to-Ichijo slowly bent down, picked up the towel, and tossed it at Kazumi. It landed on and draped itself over her head and no surprise frightened the hell out of her.

"Whoa! I'm being attacked! Help!"

Despite the call for help Ichijo had made like a banana and split back down the hall towards the kitchen. He passed Deuce who was acting casual while reading emails on the laptop. Ichijo smacked the top of his head. He spoke in a low whisper, "The hell you leave me for?!"

The door to the bathroom closed and Deuce replied in his normal voice, "In life or death situations I will look out for you, but when it comes to trouble with women, I look out for number one. You know that."

"You're such an ass-"

Deuce cut him off, "Anyway I doubt she'd get that upset if you had stuck around. I don't get it but she treats you differently than with the rest of us."

"That's..." Ichijo sighed, giving up the argument. The relationship between himself and Kazumi was complicated, but the usual gist of it was that the sweet, downright cute, and almost insufferably innocent Kazumi thought highly of the guys she worked with but she favored Ichijo the most. Maybe it was because he was her first friend after they had met years ago while abroad or something else. To top it off he was almost always on her good side, and the fact that he had never seen a glimpse or even knew if she had a bad side was kind of scary to Ichijo.

He sat down on a stool, still struggling to get the pretty hot images of his ally out of his head (her breasts in particular); Ichijo spoke, "Alright, did you find anything of interest in those emails?"

Deuce tapped away at the keys, "Not yet, though there is this one from a Cromwell Corporation that's got my eye. I was going to open it before you came back."

A few minutes went by and Deuce managed to get the email open. It had been encrypted which was unusual but thanks to his computer smarts he got it open without issue. It was just a bit longer than that when the sound of bare feet on the wooden floor came from down the hall. Both men turned to see Kazumi walk into the room fully dressed in a colorful casual outfit. Now in the light of the sun and a clear vision, Ichijo saw that her hair was dry too. Unique was arguably the best word to describe the nineteen year old. Her hair was colored in a way similar to burgundy. Her locks were long, with the tips reaching down to the small of her. She wore a white short sleeved shirt that had a pair of kittens on the front with the word 'cute' underneath them. Her pants were tight jeans that were pink with white tiger stripes covering them. She was the true definition of cute.

"Morning guys!"

She passed by them without stopping, going straight to the fridge and fixing herself some breakfast.

Neither of the guys were worried, but that was because they knew what they were dealing with. Any normal, level headed woman Kazumi's age would have been shrieking at what had happened earlier.

However, Kazumi was anything but normal.

"By the way, you guys have a window open? My towel went flying and got me in the face earlier. It was so weird!"

That was not sarcasm, she genuinely believed that the wind was responsible for that earlier and not the ninja who had almost been caught with a view. Kazumi's personality was always odd, bubbly and innocent yet very naive. She was like a little girl in an adult's body and while it was odd there was no such thing as a dull moment with her around.

The guys just rolled with it during episodes such as these.

"Nope, the outside door was open but I don't think that would have caused it," Ichijo said, his words being true. He didn't like to lie to Kazumi.

Kazumi went over to Deuce and looked over his shoulder and at the computer screen, "What'cha looking at Deuce?"

Deuce on the other hand, would do it just to get her away from him. A professional to the core he found Kazumi to be really distracting when he needed to work. "Checking for a potential job, Kazumi, please leave me be."

She stood back up and put her hand son her hips. She huffed and turned away to see that Ichijo was looking at his ninjato. "You going to use it next time?"

Ichijo gave a knowing smirk, "It was used last time, and I only used it once. As to whether or not I will use it in the next job, more than likely. It is my personal weapon after all."

While it wasn't mandatory each member of the Four Winds had a weapon they called their own and were pretty good with it. Kazumi had a weapon too, well, actually two. She used two one handed sickles she named Yatagarasu's Claws. She used them regularly but because of how easy most missions had been recently, Ichijo hadn't seen her use them.

Things were quiet for the next few minutes before Deuce raised his arms over his head in a sign of triumph. "We have a potential customer!"

Kazumi clapped her hands together all giggly, and Ichijo smiled, "Good, then I better wake Hanzo up."

"With all the noise we've been making it's a wonder how he hasn't woken up yet," Deuce said.

"You just need the right motivation." Grabbing a pizza box from the cluttered counter Ichijo took a slice from inside the box and went over to the prone mountain of a man lying on the floor. If there was one sure fire way to wake up Hanzo it was the smell of pizza.

Hovering the slice inches over his nose. Though it was cold, there was enough delicious scent left in it that Hanzo's eyes shot right open and he was wide awake. All it took was a whiff of his favorite food and it performed a miracle.

"Is this heaven?"

"Nope, but we might have gotten a job, so we need you," said Ichijo as he handed the slice to his friend. He went back to the kitchen.

Getting to his feet Hanzo stretched his arms out and flexed to get the blood rushing to his head. Despite the fact that he was over three hundred pounds, he wasn't obese. Most of that was actually muscle and he was somehow is great shape for a man his size. It was off-putting to those stupid enough to oppose him and Hanzo relished it in, just like he relished in eating pizza. Hanzo got to his feet and despite being the one who drank the most out of everyone he didn't seem to show any signs of a hangover. No equilibrium issues, no slow movements, and certainly no loss of memory as he began to recite the events of the previous night aloud.

"Deuce you really need to enjoy yourself a bit more. You got out of the game before even I got bored." He turned to Kazumi sitting on the counter with her feet dangling in the air. "You little missy need to get better at holding your liquor to hang out with me, but at least you tried." Then he finished with a single sentence for Ichijo, "You…you came close, but not close enough."

He was of course talking about the drinking game they had played the previous night. All it had been was an endurance game between the four friends. Kazumi, who wasn't supposed to drink anyway had tried to hang with the guys and had gone out first with a score of two, Deuce had only four before he bowed out (though in actuality he pretended to get sick just to get out of it), and for the longest time Hanzo and Ichijo were neck in neck in how many they could drink. It ultimately came down to ten before Ichijo passed out, but Hanzo did as well just after. He slept where he fell, which is how he ended up on the floor.

Funny thing was Ichijo wasn't even trying to win, but to have fun.

"Whatever big guy. Deuce, what's this email about?"

"Well, it's from a woman by the name of Marcy Whitman…she wants us to take a hit on a man who is heavily involved in human trafficking, drug smuggling, among other things. The guy's name is Arthur Cromwell, the CEO of Cromwell Corporation. Huh…she writes that we are to neutralize Mr. Cromwell by any means necessary. Sounds like a simple one."

Hanzo sat on a chair and Kazumi got off the counter, "Sounds like a winner!"

Deuce scrolled down the email and saw a large set of numbers. "Her offering price is…$36 million."

That was a large number for such a 'simple hit'. Ichijo thought it was weird, "Sounds like she really wants that guy gone."

Hanzo threw the crust of his pizza in the trash, "Who cares? The last one was too easy and we got less than a third of what this woman is offering."

Despite the idea of $36 million sounding like a lot, the Four Winds had certain things to pay for. Their equipment, travel expenses, necessities of life such as food and drink not to mention housing, and the more than often need to find new identities in order to travel from place to place wasn't cheap either. The last job netted them over $10 million, but most of that was already gone (no thanks to a private party Hanzo threw in order to celebrate).

Deuce turned in his chair to face Ichijo, "So…we going to do this?"

Though they were officially a team, more often than not the final decision was left to Ichijo. He was the one who had started the group in the first place, and so it was only natural for him to decide.

He put his hands on his hips, gave each of his teammates a thoughtful glance, and then asked a simple question.

"What are the details?"
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