It hadn't been long since he had joined the mercenary band, though somehow it felt like it had been.
Renkotsu had since been promoted to second-in-command, and had realized a long time ago that he had different priorities, which became obvious after all the time their leader seemed to spend coming up with a name, alongside Jakotsu, of whom he appointed third-in-command.
Despite not quite understanding Bankotsu's priorities, Renkotsu followed him - he was definitely a good leader, which is part of why he joined in the first place.
Their mercenary band seemed to be growing, with their latest addition that they were still working on the name for. A weapons expert who had quite the collection, one that, admittedly impressed even Renkotsu.
So, of course, he was interested in them. He wasn't quite sure how to ask about them, since the weapons expert was still settling in and there wasn't really a good time, but Renkotsu considered himself a patient person. He didn't have a problem waiting for an opportunity
The opportunity came a few weeks later when they were passing through a village that was having a bit of trouble with demons. Apparently, they looked pretty strong with all their weapons and such, because they were almost immediately requested for the job.
It wasn't quite what they do, but the timing was convenient.
"Well, I suppose we might as well accept. We needed to find somewhere to stay anyway."
"And somewhere with women?" Mukotsu asked.
"I was thinking more along the lines of food."
"We could always eat the trees." Kyoukotsu suggested, "If not the villagers or houses."
"Kyoukotsu, stop suggesting that. You're the only one that wants to do that. The rest of us are civilized." Jakotsu said.
"Have you even tried it?"
Jakotsu sighed, like he was incredibly bored with the conversation. He probably was, sometimes he seemed as though nothing anyone ever said interested him, except for perhaps Bankotsu.
They settled into the house for the night, and between dinner and sleeping, there was a bit of free time.
Renkotsu walked down the hallway quietly, not wanting to alarm anyone. Up until he reached the recently named Ginkotsu's room. When he entered, Ginkotsu was setting down some of his weapons.
"Hello." Renkotsu greeted, and added to be polite, "Am I disturbing you?"
There was silence, before he then asked, "Did you need something?"
Renkotsu walked in further and closed the door, "No. I was curious, though, about your weaponry. I've never met someone skilled in so many."
"It's good to have options."
Renkotsu smiled, briefly. He approached Ginkotsu and got a closer look. It was good to have options, and Ginkotsu certainly had a lot.
"I've never seen so many of these." Renkotsu commented.
"It can be difficult to get them."
"There's a lot of travelling involved. Along with battles."
"Fascinating." Renkotsu said, genuinely.
Ginkotsu was holding one, and appeared to cleaning it or something of the sort, "I got this one far away, from a demon I fought."
Renkotsu nodded in reply.
"Are you going to sit?"
Renkotsu sat down next to him, and he listened as Ginkotsu told him about some of his weapons.
They didn't stay at the village long, the issue was quickly taken care of. They were getting closer to coming up with a name, which they - mostly Bankotsu and Jakotsu - discussed while they walked, growing further and further away from the village.
"It's gotta make an impression, you know? Something like our last one."
"Hmm…" Jakotsu was deep in thought.
Bankotsu sighed, "Maybe we should stop putting numbers in it."
"But then how will they know how many of us there are?" Jakotsu asked.
"That's a good point."
"Maybe something really cool like lightning or snakes or…"
"Poison?" Mukotsu asked.
"Or lightning snakes. Snakes that shoot lightning." Jakotsu continued, ignoring him, "Maybe just Kotsu. Or 'Several Kotsu's?"
"The wild men!" Mukotsu suggested. Again.
"No, stop suggesting that. It doesn't make any sense."
"It sure is difficult to come up with names for mercenary bands." Bankotsu said, "Hmm… The six Kotsu's?"
Bankotsu considered the name, while Mukotsu commented, "It does give an interesting image."
Sometimes, Renkotsu wondered if it'd be rude for him to add his input. Because sometimes, he didn't think he could say anything other than 'that's a terrible name'. Luckily, for him, they didn't go with that one.
It started becoming a habit for Renkotsu to join Ginkotsu while he did maintenance on his weaponry.
Just about every night. Ginkotsu didn't seem to mind the company. Sometimes, he seemed to expect it.
Renkotsu enjoyed being around him, strangely enough. He was more enjoyable to be around than Mukotsu, Kyoukotsu or Jakotsu. Not that he minded them, but he wouldn't consider himself as having anything in common with them.
One night, Renkotsu asked if he could help. Ginkotsu let him, though perhaps not understanding why he'd want to. But Renkotsu wasn't the most ordinary person, he could admit. Weaponry and such - it was one of his passions.
Renkotsu knew a lot about technology, and improving technology was something he could be quite skilled at, from time to time.
A skill that would most certainly be useful.
A few weeks passed and they found another job. It was up to Renkotsu to make a strategy - usually was, as his combat skills mostly involved starting fires. Which wasn't guaranteed to work. Making plans was something he was very good at, however.
Jakotsu was outside with Bankotsu, and they both seemed to be cleaning their weapons, from what he could see. Mukotsu was probably making some poisons or something and he was sure Ginkotsu was making sure his weapons were ready.
He wasn't sure what Kyoukotsu was up to. Honestly, he never really knew what Kyoukotsu was up to. Did he even need to prepare to fight? He didn't really use weapons most of the time.
Hours passed as Renkotsu worked on his strategy. It was perfect. As long as everything went according to plan.
So, maybe it didn't go as intended.
They split up into different areas, with Bankotsu going in first, being the strongest and the only one who wasn't in an area with someone else.
Mukotsu didn't come in until the end, as his poisons were incredibly powerful and, you know, obvious reasons.
Kyoukotsu went with Ginkotsu, and Jakotsu was with Renkotsu. Jakotsu did most of the fighting, but he took a long time with some of them. Not because he was having difficulty, but out of choice.
Renkotsu didn't do a lot, as he really didn't use any weapons. But his plan seemed to be working.
For the most part, at least. It wasn't until after the battle that Kyoukotsu brought back Ginkotsu. Who… wasn't looking so good.
"What happened?" Renkotsu asked before anyone else had a chance to.
"Someone went from behind and got him." Kyoukotsu explained.
Mukotsu looked at his wounds, being the only one with any medical experience, knowing quite a bit about plants.
"They're pretty bad, I don't think any human could-" Mukotsu paused, "What are you doing?"
Renkotsu looked over Ginkotsu's wounds. There were so many ideas in his head going so fast.
And he ran. And once he returned, he started.
"What are you doing?"
It took Renkotsu awhile, but he managed it. And Ginkotsu was okay, which was what mattered.
"Gesh." Ginkotsu said, and looked at his new form. Some things were different, though overall, not that much.
"Do you like it? I can change it anytime, if you don't. I was in a bit of a rush."
"No, it's lovely." Ginkotsu said, "I've just been meaning to say thank you."
Renkotsu smiled, and leaned back.