No Sequel

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No Sequel Beyond Here
L.G.D. Officer icon.png
(Exhausted) L.G.D. Officer
Lungmen Office
Lungmen Uptown
Lungmen Bridges
Hoshiguma hops onto her beloved motorcycle for the first time in a while, spending one of her precious vacation days enjoying the wind, until she comes to a surprising encounter at the end of the road.
<Background 1>
[On a morning in the L.G.D. dormitories, Hoshiguma is preparing her belongings.]
Hoshiguma (Yawn)
Fold the blankets into dougan, and that'll do.
Wallet, keys, jacket...
I'll... leave the comms gear.
Shield... leave that too. You rest easy for today, partner.
I'll kick these for shoes. Mmm. Nope, don't feel it. Maybe this limited edition pair? Ah, these feel pretty right. They match my outfit today.
Eh, let's go with the first ones after all.
[Swire, half-asleep, approaches Hoshiguma.]
Swire (Rolls eyes)
Missy, perfect timing. Which pair do you think looks best?
Don't ask. Every part of you looks awful to me right now.
Hoshiguma What's wrong? You're in a rotten mood. Special day today?
Swire Ngaang gau ah, nei![note 1]
You were pounding on my door at dawn for this?! So I could watch you count SHOES? You've collected a billion pairs that all look basically the same to me!
Hoshiguma How are they the same? They're all different editions, the materials are all different... ugh, what am I doing telling you this.
Our dorms are next to each other. We're like neighbors. We help each other out.
Swire Like I care about you!
Let me make this clear to you, today is my day off! It's three minutes to six right now, and if I sound this alarm, I can write you up for disturbing the peace!
You want overtime? Fine! Do it yourself! You're gonna lose your hair working 24/7, but don't try to take my locks too!
Hoshiguma Overtime nothing. Not often we get a day off, and the L.G.D. doesn't pay much more for overtime. They're pretty tight-pursed. I'm no workaholic like Ch'en either.
And Missy, are you one to talk? Didn't you just come back from the L.G.D.? I heard you opening and slamming the door. That one travelled.
Swire Piss off! I'm so done right now!
Our plate's loaded! We've got the mess Reunion left, we've got business with that stinky old rat... and that puk gaai dragon[note 2] isn't even here when it matters. What DOESN'T need doing?
You got promoted, and they want you transferred? Transferred where? Are we just going to give the Special Inspection Unit to someone else?!
I've had it up to HERE!
Hoshiguma Calm down, calm down. It's not like Mr. Wei hasn't thought it through. He's training you.
For when the L.G.D. is your responsibility. If you ask me, it's just a matter of time.
You can do it.
Swire You... you don't need to tell me! Of course I know that already!
B—But she was supposed to take over the L.G.D... She was groomed for it...
Hoshiguma *Sigh*. Don't you go crying again.
Swire Who's crying?!
Just you wait. Who cares if some smelly dragon never comes back. Sooner or later I'll seize the L.G.D. for myself. All of it, just you wait.
Hoshiguma Ha ha, now that's something to look forward to.
Swire Ugh. No, wait. Did you just say you heard me opening the door when I came back? So you knew I hadn't slept all night?
Then why the hell did you still call me over? You said you didn't do it on purpose!
Hoshiguma Hey, hey, don't get worked up.
I was worried you were pushing yourself too hard. Been a lot happening lately, and we haven't really gotten the chance to meet up, right?
Here, I bet you skipped breakfast again, right? I bought some breakfast. It's your favorite chow fun. Eat a little before you go to sleep.
Swire Hmph. Didn't ask you to.
Hoshiguma Fine, fine, you didn't ask me to. Will you still eat it?
Swire Of course I will! Give it!
Hey, why'd you buy two portions? How am I gonna finish this much?
Hoshiguma Oh... that was two? Must've been habit. Bought them without thinking.
Swire ......
Three-mushroom shredded fowl, saa sin sauce, extra starchroot... Hmph, only that dummy would like it this way.
Their place uses pretty boring noodles. The flavor's too bland, they skimp on the ingredients. It's barely passable. Next time, remember: go downstairs from the L.G.D., turn the corner, second house down with the blue sign hung outside. They do better stuff.
Hoshiguma Fine, I get it, I'll get you theirs next time. Just try and eat some for now. Woah, slow down! You don't have to inhale it.
Swire (Yawn)
Oh, yeah, where are you going today? I'm up already, so you may as well count me in for some window-shopping.
I need to go buy that one Svrrovski piece. The new one from the JOKER series. It came out just last week.
Hoshiguma Oh, the one Ch'en's had her eye on since forever ago?
Swire Yep, that one. She's got a pretty good eye for those. She's better at picking out clothes and jewelry than I am.
Hoshiguma Sounds like a compliment to me.
Personally, I don't even get to wear that kinda jewelry much after I buy it. Good thing she gets paid enough, and she lives in a free L.G.D. dorm. She'd be in dire straits otherwise.
Anyway, Missy, you're inviting me? That's pretty rare. Is this the first time ever?
Swire If I had anyone else, you think I'd wanna pick you?
Hoshiguma I guess so. Whoa, actually, if I don't head out now I'll be late. Later.
Swire Wait, going where? Hold on, I'm gonna do my makeup!
Hoshiguma Don't. You're plenty fine even without making up, "Miss."
Thanks for inviting me, but I'll have to pass today. I'm just going out for a spin, not much point in tagging along. I'll pick you up next time.
Get some sleep. Leave those bags under your eyes for too long, and it'll be rough when you finally wanna get them off.
You need more rest, Swire, you really do.
<Background black>
L.G.D. Officer Madame, good morning!
[Hoshiguma greets her fellow L.G.D. officers.]
Hoshiguma Morning. You've all worked enough. Want some breakfast? I got recommended a place, so I picked some up along the way.
Seriously, this early on a vacation day and I still see so many people in this building.
L.G.D. Officer Ever since that whole incident, it's been like this non-stop, ugh.
Exhausted L.G.D. Officer Same goes for you, Madame Hoshiguma. You only left a few hours ago and now you're back. You're off today, if I remember?
Hoshiguma No comparison. Things are different for me.
Forget that, are you really still okay? I feel like you're wobbling... Eat something, and lie down in the lounge for a bit. Lay off the energy drinks. They're not good for you.
Exhausted L.G.D. Officer Ah, thank you, Madame. But I'm okay. Once I'm done with the work I've got on hand, I can go home and sleep.
Hoshiguma Fine. I won't say much more then. Just mind yourself.
It's been all hands on deck lately. After we're past this, I'll take you all out for a feast.
Exhausted L.G.D. Officer A feast? I'll pass. What I want is a raise.
Two days ago I ran into the guy from that Rhodes Island office, flaunting his promotion in front of me... pah, what's to flaunt? You just get a few more vacation days than I do...
L.G.D. Officer ...Rhodes Island?
The ones who worked with us? And the lot who took Madame Ch'en away?!
I thought those guys scrammed ages ago!
Hoshiguma Ah... you mean that local branch of theirs, right?
I think they do some recruitment too. Weren't there a few youngsters making trouble in the streets who got talked into picking up some work instead?
They've got a way with words.
Don't you go stirring trouble for them. It's all Lungmen citizens working in that office. No picking bones.
Go back and tell the kiddos downstairs too. No getting mixed up.
Exhausted L.G.D. Officer The hell I can. Everyone's clear deep down.
Us and Rhodes Island get along fine enough. Once in a blue moon we'll have drinks together.
They've got plenty of weirdos there, and besides their local office people, you pass by them now and again on the street. Some just look wild. We can't help but stare a bit.
Last week they had some kind of Laterano monastery girl with them... and not to mention they can all hold their liquor.
L.G.D. Officer Huh?! So the time you came back dead drunk, it was Rhodes who got you like that?! You threw up all over me!
Exhausted L.G.D. Officer Uh... did that happen?
L.G.D. Officer Damn right it did!
Exhausted L.G.D. Officer Fine, fine, my bad. Next time you file for a day off to go on a date with your girlfriend, I'll approve it, okay?
Just hang in there until this bump's over, and every district we're rebuilding has its reconstruction schedules all sorted out. Then we'll be good.
L.G.D. Officer Of course I know that... Honestly, though, once this bump's over, I'm probably not gonna have a girlfriend anymore... *sigh*.
Exhausted L.G.D. Officer Hey, that works out. Won't need to approve your day off.
Hoshiguma Brutal. If you don't have anything nice to say...
L.G.D. Officer He's just like that. I'm used to it.
Exhausted L.G.D. Officer Brat.
Anyway, Madame, same to you. It's your day off. Don't hang around here, go on back and take a break pronto.
L.G.D. Officer Yeah, just leave things here to us!
Hoshiguma Oh, looks like I'm not that popular. Or is there another reason you're trying to shoo me out here?
L.G.D. Officer N-No, that's not what I mean...!
Hoshiguma Ha ha, alright, relax, I'm joking. I just came in to have a look, and drop off some food on the side.
Here, chow fun. You get to it, then. I'm leaving.
[Hoshiguma leaves.]
<Background 2>
[Hoshiguma walks through the L.G.D. HQ's parking lot.]
Hoshiguma Whew, I'm tired.
I've only been up for a few days, and I'm already starting to buckle. Getting off-kilter.
I'm not getting old, right? Shouldn't be, I'm still young if I think about it hard enough...
Maybe I am?
Ha, whatever...
[Hoshiguma gets on her motorcycle and starts it up.]
Hoshiguma Hey, partner, what do you think? It's been a while since I gave you some exercise. Let's head out to that racetrack in Ngai Kang and give it a spin, feel the breeze.
[The exhaust of Hoshiguma's motorcycle seems to be not in optimal condition.]
Hoshiguma Hey, your exhaust sounds a little off today. Don't tell me you're getting old too?
No, of course not, you're definitely still latest model. 70vv.
Though I guess a model even newer than you just came out. Steady and smooth, fast as lightning. Their ads have always been pretty good, haven't they?
I still wanna get my hands on one to try, but they break the bank. It's okay, partner, we'll put up with each other for a bit. My wages aren't that high. Can't always spend like I did on you.
You're far from out of date, and I'm far from retirement. We match pretty well, don't we?
What's your opinion? What makes Ch'en so hard to crack?
Think she can get used to Rhodes Island? Is she gonna get into fights? I'm guessing so. It's not like she can't get along with people, it's just if she's not willing...
??? Nay.
Hoshiguma —Who's there!?
[Shirayuki appears before Hoshiguma.]
Shirayuki Miss Ch'en is no fossilized bonehead.
Nor blindly headstrong.
Hoshiguma Ah, who's there? You're... Lady Shirayuki.
Shirayuki (Nods)
Madame Hoshiguma.
Hoshiguma I don't need the title. How come you're here, Lady Shirayuki?
Shirayuki The Madam is away. My orders, to protect thee.
Hoshiguma Got it.
Lady Shirayuki, I heard the Madam recently assigned you to Rhodes Island?
How is it? Is little Amiya still holding up? And the Doctor by her side... I remember that one sticking behind cover giving orders. Freakishly smart, freakishly tired. How are they all now?
Shirayuki In plentiful vigor, spirits held high.
Raucous blather.
Loud sort.
Hoshiguma Ha ha ha ha, sounds like they're still full of beans.
It seems like you have a pretty nice impression of Rhodes Island, Lady Shirayuki.
Shirayuki Truly, Rhodes Island is agreeable.
As goes for Miss Ch'en.
...Thou needn't dwell.
Hoshiguma What, so now even Lady Shirayuki's saying it... You're not telling me I've got worry written across my entire face? Seriously?
That can't be right. If I was like that, Missy would've torn a layer off my face this morning.
Shirayuki ......
Hoshiguma It's okay, Lady Shirayuki. I'm not worried about Ch'en, that's the truth.
Truest truth. Don't judge Ch'en by her cover. Sure, she'll snap like whiplash, but she's got a delicate heart in there.
I didn't see it coming when I first met her all the way back. Only came to realize after being with her a lot more. I believe as long as she has a brick wall to bash her head against, she'll live decent no matter where it is.
Shirayuki Intelligent and sharp-witted is Miss Ch'en.
Tongue incisive, and her action ne'er pales.
The commonfolk cannot hope to cheat her.
Hoshiguma Ha ha, true that.
Tell me, where do you find someone like her? Piss her off and she'll switch to chewing people out, and as long as there's reason, she'll chew out anyone. I've never seen her scared before.
Shirayuki Miss Ch'en... is unreserved.
Hoshiguma Honestly, Ch'en's temper hasn't changed once in all these years.
I've always felt she put a lot of stress on chivalry. In those manga about master swordsmen, her sort would be the main character.
But, you know, blood and gore's fun enough to read about, but having those wounds on your own body really aches something fierce.
There are times I see her aching beyond help, and I think, is it really worth this?
It isn't worth it. In truth, in full honesty, I feel it truly isn't worth it.
But she thinks it is.
I'm not worried if she comes to grief. A little grief is no bad thing. Get too strong-willed and you'll come to a lot worse.
I'm just scared that she can't get over it. That she can't let it go.
Shirayuki ......
Miss Ch'en's soul is wide.
Rid of her chest's weight, she is ever more unstoppable.
Hoshiguma You see clearly, Lady Shirayuki. And Master Wei and the Madam see even more plainly.
Shirayuki You too, Madame Hoshiguma, are chivalrous.
Hoshiguma Me? Stop it, that's over the top now. I'm clear when it comes to myself.
When I was young, I didn't know how things worked. I dreamed, of course, too.
I've done a lot of impulsive things, and it's not like I've never had some hot blood in me.
But the hot-blooded story's over, the kid's no longer a kid, and now what? They wouldn't write this stuff in a story. Write it and the readers'd get mad. Total waste of effort. Save yourself the trouble of ever writing it.
Stories get to end at the best possible times. Life doesn't.
If chivalry looked like me, carrying the weight of the world, then people wouldn't be into it.
Shirayuki One cannot undervalue oneself.
If you may see this.
Hoshiguma This is... a comic?
Shirayuki Tai Kam Road, Second Lane bookstore. This month's new publication.
A present for thee.
Hoshiguma Really unexpected.
Much thanks. Though I'm surprised. You read this, Lady Shirayuki?
Shirayuki Madame will know at a gloss.
Then. I, Shirayuki, take my leave.
[Shirayuki leaves as Hoshiguma looks at the comic given to her by the Anaty kunoichi.]
Hoshiguma ......
(This series...)
(A new artist's debut work. Second overall in readers' support, and other artists have been recommending it...)
(It seems pretty decent, too. Is this the protagonist on the cover?)
(Kinda... familiar...)
[Hoshiguma reads the comic to notice that the protagonist's appearance and its plot bears a striking resemblance to her and her feats during the Reunion attack on Lungmen!]
Hoshiguma (......)
(This big one holding the shield is...)
Ah, ha. So that's how it is. No wonder.
They've got some guts. But they still know their work. Art's not bad, too.
Whatever. What—ever...
If I ever see Ch'en again, what should I call her?
Operator Ch'en?
Pretty good. Pretty fitting, too.
<Background 3>
[Hoshiguma stops after circling several times at a racetrack in the outskirts of Lungmen.]
Hoshiguma ......
(Still not fast enough.)
(Got a curve up ahead. Perfect, I can still kick up a gear.)
The one-horned Oni lets out her breath.
It's been a long time since she sped through the wind so savagely. With every roar her beloved machine lets out beneath her, her young, brazen blood seems to flow again, in speed for its own sake.
—Until suddenly, behind her, sounds another mechanical beast's cries.
The L.G.D.'s Madame Hoshiguma comes back to her senses.
Hoshiguma Mm?
(Who is it...?)
(The sound's coming from behind, and getting closer.)
Pretty good speed, catching up to me.
[Hoshiguma seems to recognize the sound of a motorcycle behind her.]
Hoshiguma Heh, that model and that engine's sound. It's the latest one in the ads. Odds are it's modified, too.
Let's burn some rubber, partner. We can't lose.
[Hoshiguma goes full throttle with her motorcycle, but the one behind her managed to keep up.]
Hoshiguma (Strange. When was there someone so good, and how did I never know?)
(And they kind of seem like...)
("Tearing the vacant streets in the dead of night, the ghost driver in the flashes on the winding roads.")
(Wait, but the vehicle's not right. And I think I know who's driving it..)
...No way?
<Background fades out and in>
[Hoshiguma was beaten by the one riding the motorcycle behind her...]
Hoshiguma ...Phew.
You're good. It's my loss.
[...who turned out to be Fumizuki.]
Fumizuki I'm flattered. You took that curve very well. Had my machine not been somewhat better, I would never have overtaken.
Good morning, Inspector Hoshiguma.
Hoshiguma You're unbeatable, Madam Fumizuki.
Fumizuki Oh, my. You don't seem surprised at all.
Hoshiguma I'm pretty surprised, actually. It was too fast just before. I only dared to guess it was you after that curve.
Everyone's familiar with your principal vehicle, Madam, I'd never mistake it. Today's the first time I've seen those wheels, though.
Fumizuki Are you going to issue me a speeding ticket, then?
Hoshiguma Of course I couldn't. This racecourse is outside our jurisdiction, anyway, specifically for racing... If tickets were a thing out here, I wouldn't get away with it either.
Fumizuki Hehe. You've all been working terribly hard.
Hoshiguma That's our job. Nothing terrible about it.
Fumizuki What's wrong, Inspector Hoshiguma? You seem like there's still something you want to say.
Hoshiguma Eh... nothing much.
Just thinking, the wind out here feels really nice.
Flooring down an accelerator sure does wonders for my mood.
Fumizuki Quite right. Hear, hear!
In times with just too much to try and do, it truly feels a lot better once you've taken in the breeze.
Though that can't be all you wanted to say, can it?
Hoshiguma Huh... I guess there's no hiding it from you, Madam.
I was just thinking—
<Background black>
Hoshiguma The Stream-35LL Luminous Luxury parked downstairs from Master Wei for the last two days, even though he doesn't seem like the biking type. Sure enough, it was never his.


  1. Cantonese profanity which roughly means "you fucking dumbass!"
  2. "Puk gaai" is a Cantonese profanity that roughly means "asshole"