fic drabble (for JC): lantern

The prompt was to do a RK-Fili crossover where Shishio does a Simoun. Considering both were around the same timeline, it could happen, but I’m not sure I did it right. In any case, I hope you all like.


He sat in the midst of the parlor, his body covered in newly-placed bandages, covering the salves beneath. The night was cold, and stung his burnt skin. The bandages helped with the pain, somewhat. Not that he wanted to be fully rid of them, for they reminded him of the reason why this night had to happen.

The boy entered the parlor, sliding open the paper screen. “The lantern is in place,” the boy said as he bowed, the smile firmly pasted on his face. He was used to it by now, for the armor that it was.

He bought the lantern from a somewhat eccentric but shrewd Asian, of the Malay races, with tea-colored skin. Spoke Spanish, English, and French, all will just a hint of an exotic accent. His hair was trampled snow. The man hid his eyes behind blue tinted glasses. A jeweler, but one who had other wares, and many other hidden interests. For instance, political upheaval. Overthrow of the government. Revolution.

The jeweler spoke of a chance, a moment, to create damage to the new government, which the jeweler also despised. A chance to bring a lantern, with a timed wick. A chance to create an explosion within the emperor’s new shiny palace, during a grand ball to celebrate another year of the new government’s existence. A chance.

He took it. He paid for the lantern. He set the plan for who would send the package, to ensure that it would be presented prominently and used during the event. He paid people to place explosives in key areas of the palace; that was an easy task, for many were disgruntled of this government as he was. These men were ready to lay their life for a chance to end this stupidity they called a government.

“Good,” he said to the boy. “Go back and find out what happens.”

“Yes.” The boy gave a final bow before disappearing into the darkness of the evening.

The lantern was shaped like a pomegranate, but much larger. It was filled with intricate designs from the west. The jeweler said it was of French design, made in Shanghai.

It would explode within the grand ballroom. It would cause havoc in that ballroom, while other explosions would topple the building itself. The doors would be locked. The pathetic leaders of the new age would remain in the pompous useless house.

The clock chimed ten times.

The ball would now be well on its way. The lamp should have been placed at a table for the dignitaries to enjoy. What French beauty. What a wonder of design. What hypocrisy.

The clock chimed eleven times.

The lantern was set to explode by then. Soon the pillars of smoke will rise. Soon the fire alarm bells will scream through the night air. Soon the police whistles will wreck the quiet, as they discover how useless they are. Soon the sounds of panic and despair will resonate.

Thirty minutes passed.

There was no explosion.

An hour passed. There was no panic in the streets. He calmly attached a cigarette to his holder, and waited.

Two hours. The night remained terribly silent.

As he finished his cigarette and placed another, the screen behind him opened. The boy entered and bowed. “It was stopped,” the boy told him. His feet was covered in dust. His white hakama was stained with mud. His blue kimono had specks of blood.

“Who?” he asked.

“The officer. Former Shinsengumi. The one they now call Fujita Goro.”


“He ran in. He swiped at the the wick. He threw the lamp into the river.”

“What great timing,” he noted.

“He probably inquired about the gifts, and who gave them,” the boy said with his planted smile.

“That figures,” he said calmly. “And the jeweler?”


He blew out a long stream of smoke. “Ah. That too makes sense.” He squashed the cigarette onto the floor with much force. He frowned.

“What do you want me to do now?” the boy dutifully asked.

He looked at the boy with the pasted smile. “Pack. We’ll go to Ueno. We’ll regroup. Count our losses. Then try again.”


The paper screen closed again, and the boy’s shadow crossed through the house.

There would be other collaborators. There would be other chances. There would be other plans. But until the new government was dead, or he was, he would keep killing it.

Whichever came first.


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