#13. Phantom Blade
PHANTOM STREET #13
tl by danluffey
#13. Phantom Blade
2: who are you?!
SIGN: Mugen's Puppet Shop
1: Ah! Boss!
2: Good morning!
4: You always oversleep, boss!
5: It's already lunchtime!
6: Yesterday I had to go to the town assembly, and it really tired me out.
7: Everyone got really drunk and started singing karaoke... the sun came up before the whole thing ended!
8: Did you sing too, boss?
9: Just three songs.
1: You're hungry, aren't you? Want me to make you something, boss?
2: Oh, no... I'm fine!
3: I'll make it myself...
4: Oh, that's right! I just got a call from the head priest at Myouhou-ji Temple.
6: What'd he want?
7: He said he would very much like to meet with you! Apparently he has something important to talk to you about.
8: Hmmm. Maybe he wants to order some puppets?
9: I asked him that, and he said no.
10: Boss, don't you think you're getting a lot more side work than main work lately?
11: Please don't say such depressing things!
1: Mugen-san, I presume?
2: Thank you for coming all the way up here. I truly appreciate it.
3: Don't mention it...
4: I'm embarrassed to say the temple has seen better days.
5: People often mistake it for a deserted one.
6: My sons don't want to inherit the temple, so it seems like I may be the last of my family to watch over it...
7: I see...
8: If you don't mind, I'd like to get right into the nitty gritty.
9: What happened here?
1: The truth is, several days ago, an old sword that had been enshrined here
2: was stolen by someone.
3: An old sword?!
4: A katana?
5: Yes... a very old katana.
6: According to my grandfather,
7: long ago, before the war...
8: a swordsman terrorized this area by killing innocent passers-by in order to test out his blade.
10: After killing dozens of innocents,
11: he cut off his own head.
1: The man was a famous swordsman in his hometown,
2: but people say he cared about his sword more than any other.
3: The katana passed down from hand to hand and eventually became my grandfather's possession.
4: After investigating its roots, he discovered that it was the "Konoemaru," created by Nagakura Shidou, a sword artist from the Kanei Era.
5: After that, he sealed the katana up tightly
6: and enshrined it within this chamber.
7: He called it a phantom blade.
8: A phantom blade?!
1: A phantom blade is any sword that has countless strange incidents and unsettling rumors attached to its name.
2: The most famous instance of a phantom blade is the Muramasa*, a phantom blade that cursed the Tokugawa family for generations. Because of this, other warlords such as Fukushima Masanori and Sanada Yukimura fought to wear it, and this tradition continued up until the end of the Tokugawa Period.
*: Ieyasu's grandfather, Matsudaira Kiyoyasu, was murdered with the blade, and his father Hirotada was injured by it. The Muramasa was also the blade that Ieyasu's son Nobuyasu used to commit suicide.
3: /Please destroy the sword.
4: /I beg you, Mugen-san!!
5: A phantom blade, eh?
6: What do you think, sensei?
7: Hmm... well, swords do tend to resonate with people's emotions and spiritual energy...
1: Even knives, once sharpened, can bring forth strange feelings within human hearts,
2: so there's no telling what a Japanese katana forged by a true artist could do.
3: A katana being called a 'phantom blade' doesn't surprise me in the slightest.
4: By the way, Hyousuke, what was that thing you picked up at the temple?
5: Oh, this?
6: A patient registration ticket.
TEXT: Watabe Junichi
7: The person who stole the sword probably dropped it.
8: It only has his name on it?
9: That alone won't be enough for me to track him, unfortunately.
10: I know! Let's call upon the tomboy!
13: Why? You got a problem with her?
14: Um, er...
15: Not exactly, but...
1: So you're the guy?
2: The one that wants to hire me as a bodyguard?
3: Just so you know, I'm expensive.
4: I'll pay whatever you require.
5: Alright then.
6: I guess rich kids really are different from normal ones.
1: Your parents bought you this apartment, didn't they? I'm so jealous.
2: I wish I had rich parents.
3: Wh... what?!
4: Now, now, don't get so worked up. I wasn't saying it just to get a rise out of you.
5: Sorry, but I was born with a bit of a mouth. I had a poor upbringing, after all.
6: You'll just have to forgive me.
8: Just remember that I haven't decided on you yet.
1: Heheh... I see. So you want to test my skills first, eh?
2: What's wrong? Bring it.
3: You don't need to hold back,
1: Wh... what's that?!
2: That's one of the 708 Jufu - "Shien." (*Purple Blaze) It can stiffen all the muscles in a person's body.
4: No way...
5: But he...
6: It's alright. He isn't dead.
7: I lightened its effects, so he should wake up in about thirty minutes.
9: what'll it be?
1: Feel like hiring me now, eh,
2: Where are you doing?
3: Just gotta piss!
4: Stay right there!
6: That feels better.
1: Who are you...
2: D... don't tell me...
3: No... it can't be...
5: But you should be dead...
6: St... stay back...
7: Stay baaaack!!
1: Hy, Hyou-chan, let me hold him too!
2: You're not allowed to tease him!
3: I know!
5: You got a call from a woman named Saiki-san!
7: Oh. Um... thanks.
8: Hello? Ah, Miya-chan!
9: Did you find anything?
1: Yes. There are nine men in Japan
2: named Watabe Junichi.
3: Three are children, two are elderly, and one seems to be too far away to be a possibility, which leaves us with three suspects.
4: Wow! You really are a detective!
5: Anyway, Hyousuke... in exchange for giving you this information,
6: how about being my boyfriend for a day?
7: What? What are you talking about?!
8: There are actually four men who keep coming to woo me. No matter what I say, they just won't stop. They're pretty dense.
9: They're really starting to annoy me, so I was hoping that if I could prove to them that I have a real boyfriend, they'd go away.
10: So you want me to be your pretend boyfriend?
11: That's it!
12: I'll make it worth your while. You can take me to second base if you want!
13: Errr... ummmm!!
1: Yo, Shiragami-san!
2: How about coming over here and cracking open a cold one with us?!
4: Tashiro is sure taking his sweet time! How long is he going to keep me waiting?!
5: Breaking news...
6: This morning, a corpse was found on the street in the west ward, and was later identified as Tashiro Makoto-san, age 20.
TEXT: Tashiro Makoto-san (20)
7: His body had been cut in two, most likely by a sword, according to the autopsy report.
1: The police remarked that this death bears a striking resemblance to the case of Nakamura Yuuichi, who was killed in the same manner only a few days ago, and they are treating this as the work of the same killer.
2: Wh... whaaat...
3: Tashiro and Nakamura were your buddies, right?
4: I have a pretty wide information network,
5: so I dug up some stuff on you.
6: Konoue Masahiro, age 21.
7: The second son of Konoue Takashi, CEO of Konoue Pharmaceuticals. Currently, he's a third-year in a second-rate university.
8: Seems like you and those two guys sure got around.
1: No matter how you look at it, those sword slayings seem like some kind of revenge mission.
2: Just what did you do to that guy?
3: I... I don't know!
4: I don't know anything!!
5: Why don't we curb this discussion for the time being?
6: Where did you get your hands on something like that?
7: Let's not pry into each others' business any more than we have to, alright?
8: All we're here to do is guard Konoue-sna.
9: Right, Konoue-san?
10: Y... yeah...
1: You alright, Konoue-san?
3: You drank way too much, kid.
3: So you're the mad swordsman, huh?!
1: Woah there! Don't take another step now.
3: and I'll shoot!
1: Right here.
1: Seal Art
3: You alright, Konoue-san?
4: Y... yeah...
5: Am... I safe now?
6: Yeah... you are, at least.
7: He's a different story, though.
1: The killer's just unconscious right now,
2: but I put a lot of hadou into that Jufu, so it'll take about a week for him to get back to normal.
3: Well? You ever seen this guy before?
4: N... no... It can't be...
5: Th... this... this isn't possible...
7: he should be dead...
1: What do you mean by that?!
3: N... nothing... I don't mean anything!!
4: Hmph... fine. So now what?
5: Want me to call the police?
6: Y... yeah...
7: Hie... aaaahhh!!
8: Hey, what's wrong?!
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