“My dear I am terribly sorry for your loss” the tall man wiped his brow with his handkerchief before continuing “war is a crime and the loss of life the greatest tragedy.”
He shook his head solemnly as he looked at the young widow, his brow glistening with sweat. The laboratory had really exhausted him this evening, he looked back at the door to make sure it was shut tight then turned to look back at the young woman. He sighed slightly.
She must be what? 29 and widowed, no children and a tragic love history behind her. He felt sorry for any future suitor as they would have to fight against the legacy of the Great General that was the love of her life who also happened to be his dearest friend, taken too soon.
The atmosphere in this small room felt sombre, the dim lights adding to that same heavy sorrowful feeling. Still though, they were both alive and life was for living!
He raised his hand sharply yo the ceiling and pulled a bottle as if it seemed from the air. He did the same action and suddenly two shot glasses were in his hand. An ingenious invention he had created, a physical storage unit that was camouflaged to the human eye. The widows eyes were wide with surprise, he noticed of course but carried on without a delay.
He smiled weakly as he looked at the bottle.
“I save this for the most solemn of occasions, a nice bottle of Douji, aged 150 years!” He mused “imagine how many lives have gone since”.
He broke his train of thought and shook his head violently thinking it was a bit harsh saying such things aloud given the previous conversation with the widow.
The widow had been staring at him the whole time, tears still welling in her almond eyes. She took the glass gratefully that he had just poured for her.
“Master Token” she said after knocking back the shot.
“Yes my dear?” He replied earnestly whilst running his hand through his dark hair.
“I’m just wondering about my dear husbands last words to you” she had a lump in her throat from the question.
“I would like to say we left in the best of terms but…I’m afraid to say we left in an argument.” He saw her saddened expression and he exclaimed “It will be my greatest sadness!” his eyes dropped from her gaze in shame.
“He was a stubborn man Master Token” she let out a little laugh “he never could keep his cool. You know what he was like better than I!”
“Yes, many conversations we had in this very room about the pointless nature of war, the games we entertained ourselves with but if I’m honest…we were both as stubborn as each other. Alas my friend shall be missed” he raised his glass in a salute.
“To your husband and my best friend!”
They knocked back their glasses of Douji and both grimaced through the strong alcoholic taste.
She laughed lightly again and grabbed the bottle from Token, she swiftly poured both glasses again.
“Its terrible to know this is contraband” she swiftly looked up to where he had grabbed the bottle. She smiled and continued “you truly are talented master Token, I will never understand”.
“Ah my dear it is simply an illusion!” He smiled as he put his hand in the air and it disappeared only to come down with another bottle.
He smirked. “Magnets and mirrors ms pascall, magnets and mirrors!” With that he put the bottle straight back in the storage unit.
They both took another shot of the sweet alcoholic drink. Suddenly a series of loud banging on the front door of the domicile. The widows eyes went wide with shock, she shoved the bottle urgently back to Token who swiftly took it. He took the shot glasses too and shoved them back into the hidden space.
Both had a shocked look all through the knocking that kept on and on. A voice accompanied the banging now “OPEN UP! BY ORDER OF THE EMPEROR!”
Token checked everywhere, double checking there were no evidence of the contraband alcohol and strode to open the door.
As he opened the door two large men barged their way in. Muscular officers of Eden, their pure black uniforms glistening against the dim lights.
“Do please come in sirs!” He said sarcastically to which the two men grunted in unison.
The first one looked up and down at Master Token, he was bewildered at the strange man dressed in a bright burgundy tunic and cream leggings accompanied with even brighter red boots. Token realised this one was judging and smirked back at him.
How comical they looked storming in to this house. Two muscular officers against a scientist and a widow, however could they win against us? Master token chuckled at the thought.
“What’s so funny?” Grumbled the larger of the two who had caught the laugh.
“Oh nothing…nothing at all. You’re very welcome here.” Token kindly replied.
“Good.” The officer puffed out his chest proudly and urged his fellow officer to follow his lead.
They came to the middle of the room and the first guard looked up and down suspiciously.
“Told you it wasnt much” the officer continued “Never is in a scientists home”
He looked at Token and the widow, suddenly he looked again at the widow in surprise and bowed his head.
“My condolences ms Pascall. Your husband was a hero!” He solemnly moved his head back. Token noticed there was a look of shame in this officers face, strange he thought. Somethings afoot! Before he finished his thought the officer turned back to him again.
“Master Token! The Emperor wishes to see you at once!” He snapped back into his orderly duties “Come with me”.
“My dear sir wont you tell me anything? I’m just to follow you?” He was taken aback by an order from an officer.
The officer that had been talking turned his face into a grimace and the other gripped his weapon tightly. Both had faces full of malice, they could easily drag this strange man to the emperor.
“You come with us freely or I shall be dragging you!” He retorted.
“Very well! My goodness it does not suit you to be so angry all the time!” He eyed the officer and knew that the officer cared for nothing of these words.
“Lead away!” Token bellowed and followed the officers out of his home but before he did so he grabbed his large turquoise plumed hat. He turned once more and bid the widow farewell.
“Please my dear, help yourself to any refreshments you find” he threw a wink her way. She let out a small laugh at the cheekiness of this man, he was enjoyable company and at least she was able to smile on this horrible day.
She stood up after hearing the door snap shut and went straight to where Token was able to grab the bottle. Raising her hand into the air she suddenly felt the shelf, she then found the bottle. Pulling it down she smiled at the bottle.
“You’re a genius Master Token.”