Sweet beers


"Drinking for today and tomorrow is the best thing that could happen in a man's life," said Horacio, shaking his tankard of beer for all to see. -Life equals beer.

As he feasted in his solitude he could see out of the corner of his eye some well-dressed fellows in the tavern.

"Well, I think it's time for me to go," the man said aloud.

He thought he was slipping away as usual. The noise of the bustle faded as he closed the back door, but he had not taken ten steps when he detected one of those well-dressed men waiting for him outside.

"You thought you'd go unnoticed under my gaze" the fellow who spoke could pass for Horatio's grandfather, but a bodybuilder grandfather.

The muscles showed through the thousand-yen suit.

"I don't know who you are, but I hope I don't owe him anything," Horatio bowed because he knew he was in front of someone important, even if he was drunk, he had not lost the ability to discern problems. " I thought you were one of those I owed, but you are not, so I ask politely to come in."

"A foreigner who is polite even in such a drunken state" a new voice and behind it appeared a sultry Japanese woman leaving the bar.

Horacio smiled foolishly.

"Did I do something wrong, gentlemen?"

"My grandfather is interested in you."

"And aren't you, miss?" The alcohol was affecting his words.

The grandfather said something to his granddaughter and she opened the door and a thousand uniformed men surrounded Horatio.

"You shouldn't have said that foreigner," the girl signaled the men to attack.

"But I only said a compliment."

Five burly individuals went after Horatio. When it seemed that they would beat him to pieces, he eluded them all with mastery. He danced, his movements defying gravity. A hook and Horacio's body bent, dodging it. They were not agile movements, but those of a drunk who randomly knew where the blow was going to come from. The five guys tried to corner Horatio against a corner, but it was impossible. The man's drunken dance made them a trout in the water and they saw the bear trying to hold him. He slipped away effortlessly and when they least expected it they were kicked and punched until they were knocked down. A simple push, a blow that seemed unintentional, an unintentional headbutt, a kick that came out of nowhere, a clumsy move that came loaded with all the force in the world. In less than a minute all five men were on the floor shrieking in pain.

"Will you dance my beautiful lady," Horatio bowed to the girl.

The girl was ready to throw herself into a fight with the drunkard, but her grandfather shook his head.

"You would lose, stubborn girl," said the old man, approaching Horatio. "We want you to work for us.

Horatio scratched his chin, deep in thought.

"I could use some money." Then he hunched his head a little and tried to squint, but he could see double the old man. "Since they were two old men, that's unfair. And he didn't even know the name of the first one."

The old man laughed heartily.

"I couldn't believe that my friend of years ago had had a foreign pupil who could master the art of drunkenness. And here he is. My friend, your master was murdered." The old man clenched his fists angrily.

"Chihiro needs to be avenged. I have the army to do it, but I can't do it without you."

Horatio tried to process all the information.

"The old curmudgeon is dead."

"Are you going to help us?" The Japanese girl showed impatience and annoyance on her face.

"She is Makoto, you think she is beautiful, don't you? If you join us, I'll let you have a date with her," Grandfather looked expectantly at the man.

But Horatio was swaying drunkenly, his mind was dull.

"You are old Gong-Gong, the king of the Kyoto mafia, Mr. Nobu and I don't know what other name my master used to call him. I know he is the lord of cunning." Horacio ended up burping and holding back the urge to vomit. "Grandfather never used martial arts for revenge, so I'm sorry. I may be a vagabond who is not punctual and even negligent and who does not keep his promises to pay, but I am not an executioner or a dog who will have you murdered." He burped again and could see Makoto's disgusted face. "I will keep my promise to use only martial arts to defend myself."

Mr. Nobu nodded as if he expected that answer.

"Let me tell you my proposal. Your master died alone in a hospital, he was not attended to in a time when his heart stopped, he died like a dog because of his pride in not asking anyone for help, he died because of the negligence of the system for being too poor" The old man flamed as he spoke. "You know, you've seen the poor on the streets, hardship, and a corrupt government that makes life harder for the homeless. Yes, I am the lord of cunning and I have set out to use my power and connections to enter politics."

"And what do you need me for? You don't need a drunk to get into power."

"Oh! I do need you, boy. What I will do will change the world or at least our country and many men will oppose it." Old Nobu weighed his next words well. "Let's tell him that I will need you to defend me from these attacks. That would be my revenge, change the country and you would not tarnish your master's honor. Do you accept it?"

Horatio tilted his head to one side, he had a horrible headache, and he wanted to drink more sake.

"I refuse, I abhor politics."

"I'll let you go out with Makoto."

Horatio looked at the girl who gasped when she heard his name.

"Well, she'll have to give me 100 kisses on the cheek on every date."

-But I promised you a date…

"Well, I ask for 100 dates. Those are my conditions," requested the drunkard and smiled foolishly.

The old man nodded decisively.

"I'll buy you a sweet beer to seal our deal."

"Nothing like a drink to take away the headache."

They both entered the bar again, as Makoto raged about the horrible deal her grandfather had made, but if she wanted to change the world she had to play along with the old fox. She could play that game too and she would not be displaced.

"Get ready grandpa, I have my ambitions too."


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Cover taken with Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 S and Banner made in Canva; Separators made in Photoshop

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