A Hunter's Work Is Never Done

"She is beautiful," Jo said to Cross. "And so gentle."

Training kicked in her head, getting a feeling that someone or multiple someone's eyes were on her. She glanced up and saw few people looking in her direction. She looked back to Cross. "Everyone here has a dragon?" She glanced back. " Do I have something on my face, Jhonen? " she finished.

Jhonen smirked. "No, you're just new. They actually don't know you're under our protection just yet either so it'd be good to introduce yourself." He shrugged at her other question. "As for the dragons, all dragoon have them. Dragons have been a faithful companion for humans ever since the Wildcat invasion. Many people have them as mounts and as protectors of their property and such. Here on Clarke Island they use them to fish and they surf on them for sport."

He regarded Samuel's departure with a firm nod, a small smile formed on his face as he saw him and Crystal head off down to the beach. Love was in the air. And it made him nostalgic. His gaze turned to Noriko then. He felt a painful tug in his heart. In that moment he wanted to stay. He wanted to stay with her forever. And then he cursed himself for wanting that.

Madeline was still out there. His daughter was waiting. He had allowed this brief respite to refresh him, but he knew in the morning he'd have to return to his hunt. Noriko knew this as well, and while she yearned for the day she could finally have Jhonen all to himself, she also knew the importance of his mission. Despite never meeting his daughter, she loved her. It was as simple as that, because she was Jhonen's daughter. There was no question of it. And she would do everything in her power to help him in his hunt.

It was just a shame that meant being apart. She had her people to deal with, to work on their own solutions to The Crimson Problem. However it was that which would bear the fruit of victory for both The Yakuza and Jhonen.

Jhonen returned to looking to Joanna. "Sorry, Joanna. I must take my leave. I have some matters to take care of before heading back to Queenslayer Base..." He was about to leave when he stopped and looked at her again. "You have no idea how much you mean to your father, Joanna... He may be difficult, he may be unfair, but he does it all for you... Don't take that for granted..." And with that he left the ampitheater and set off towards Noriko's quarters.

After a moment she met him on the balcony. He felt her arms wrap around him, she sighed, he remained silent. The words spoken between them with just a few actions was numerous.

They spent the night in bed together, just holding one another. Noriko mused about when they'd get the chance to be like this again. He promised her soon, yet both knew it was a lie. It was a nice one though so they decided to believe it. They shared promises, most were truth, yet they all were just that, dreams of a life they knew wouldn't come true. A distant dream.

In the morning, Jhonen gathered his things, kissed his love goodbye and returned to Queenslayer base. There was still more work to do...

She was waiting...

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