|“||As long as I still have honor in my heart, I am still a samurai.||”|
In his former life, Gyudon was a rigidly traditional samurai on Sakurajima, but after one particular conflict, he started to examine his thoughts and learned to accept novelty, and his personality became more cheery and outgoing as well. He is trying to incorporate the ideas of foreign cultures into his own way of thinking in a peaceful way.
Gyudon is the earliest of Japanese "fast food" for commoners. Consisting of a bowl of piping hot rice topped with a layer of beef slices and onions, and steamed together and eaten with pickled shredded ginger, it is a favorite "working lunch" meal of the office worker set in Japan. It's secret lies in where the slice of beef comes from: a fatty cut close to the ribs known as short-plate. The juices from the beef imbue the tofu and onions with a sweet flavor. Sprinkle on some chili powder for an unbeatable taste sensation.
How to Acquire
|Contract||I pledge my loyalty to you, Attendant-san.|
|Log In||Welcome back, Attendant-san. Next time you go out, for safety's sake, bring me along!|
|Ice Arena||It seems there really isn't any danger.|
|Skills||It's your fault for getting in the Master's way.|
|Ascend||I need more honing.|
|Fatigue||Please allow me this short respite.|
|Recovering||I am truly ashamed for giving you worry.|
|Team Formation||I will not fail!|
|Knockout||I will never... let you... hurt Master.|
|Notice||One cannot battle on an empty stomach.|
|Idle 1||Naturally, only by casting off shackles can one become stronger.|
|Idle 2||Only pain makes people remember.|
|Idle 3||I'm always suggesting that Attendant-san try wearing some more modern, fashionable clothes.|
|Interaction 1||Blade? I haven't used a blade in a long time. But if you wish to see it...|
|Interaction 2||These guns were a gift from a teacher and student. They look formidable, don't they? I thought so too when I first saw them.|
|Interaction 3||Even though I've cast off my armor and no longer carry a sword, in my heart I'm still a samurai.|
|Pledge||If you don't mind the smell of gunpowder on me, or the blood on my hands, then... ahem... I shall be forever by your side, inseparable.|
|Intimacy 1||I will protect you, both your body and your mind.|
|Intimacy 2||I will work harder to adapt to this ever-changing world. That way I will be able to remain by your side.|
|Intimacy 3||If we get a chance, I'd like to show you around Sakurajima. My home village is there.|
|Victory||Thankfully I didn't not fail you!|
|Defeat||A thousand apologies! I shall never forget this disgrace!|
- He may be the strange Food Soul Waffle saw in the last part of her story, the one with a samurai hairstyle and a business suit.
The familiar, yet foreign, sound of sharp sword edges clashing against one another rang in my ears.
The flashing of blades wove into a sort of net in front of me, closing in with every step.
The man’s face was hardened, and looked focused and serious, with even a hint of madness in his eyes; I knew very well what it was.
It was perseverance; it was hate; it was a sort of enjoyment.
But enjoyment of what?
The blade thrust onward, and an opening flashed by; I seized it, moved forward, and in one lightning quick movement, used my tanto to break the man’s attack.
I pressed my blade across the man’s throat, and upon lightly pushing down, the sharp edge broke skin, spilling beads of blood.
The hand holding onto the blade dropped down and he stopped moving, but those eyes looking at me remained unchanged.
Locking eyes, I surmised their meaning.
Yes, he was happy: happy for a kind of pride, rooted deep in his bones, happy for the sword in his hand that he’d never once had to release.
I was different from him.
“Not going to attack?”
The man was clearly being controlled, but his words were still composed.
Like long ago, when I was facing countless enemies alone, not a trace of fear or panic could be seen.
I did my best to push away those scattered thoughts, constantly rushing through my mind. I took a deep breath as I snapped.
“You know me, I don’t lie. So they didn’t let me know.”
The man sheathed his sword; his carefree appearance made it seem like what happened earlier was just an ordinary sparring match, and not a fight for life and death.
“Where is she!?”
I grew even more agitated; I threw aside his tanto and grabbed at the man’s shirt collar, lifting my right leg to ruthlessly strike him with the knee.
With a choked wheeze, the man doubled over and retched. He quickly guffawed, as if he’d just heard a joke.
His laughter suddenly stopped and he lifted his head, the madness in his eyes became even more intense.
Then he spoke, pausing between each word:
“I. Don’t. Know.”
Grabbing his hair, I lifted the man’s head and viciously smashed it to the ground. “Where is she!?”
“…I don’t know.”
“Where is she!?”
After several strikes, blood dripped along the man’s forehead as it trailed down. It rendered the originally handsome face into that of a demonic spirit, crawling out of hell.
Looking at the scene, I suddenly calmed down.
Letting my hand go, the man’s body dropped stiffly, and then fell onto the ground.
Loosening my shirt collar, I took several deep breaths. I took out a small mechanical instrument from my pocket, and with a few clicks, the machine emitted a series of noisy electric currents.
“He doesn’t know.”
I spoke to the machine in a low voice.
Silence masked the static noise.
After a long while, a crisp female voice came from the machine’s head.
“Come back first.”
“This isn’t your fault, Gyudon.”
Sitting at the bow of the ship, the sea wind blew my hair into a great mess. Besides me, the young girl gave me a look, and then brought over a piece of biscuit as she spoke quietly.
Taking the biscuit, I carelessly chomped on it. In a few bites, I hurriedly swallowed the crumbled biscuit pieces, which hadn’t yet broken down,  causing them to scrape my throat, but I didn’t care.
Upon seeing my state, the young girl patted my shoulder, looking displeased.
“You keep this up and I won’t let you in on the rescue mission once we’ve arrived at the objective.”
Turning my head, I looked at the girl’s face, gaping; I was about to speak, but nothing came out.
“Alright, stop looking like a corpse already.”
She smacked her lips as she stood up and patted me twice more, firmly. She turned to look at the destination ahead of the ship, that half obscured town at the other side of the waves. My native home of Sakurajima.
“Waffles is still waiting for us, we have to do what needs to be done.”
Following her eyes, familiar scenery flooded into my vision, and a jumble of memories continuously streamed in, like ghostly lights buoying on the sea.
After some time, the image disappeared, and I too stood up, tightly clenching my fists.
“This is where you used to live?”
Amongst the forest, I crouched on a towering tree, along with the girl. She popped her head out as she pointed in front of her, towards the opening route to the building.
I nodded. I closed my eyes to think back, and lowly said:
“Yes, if my memory is correct, they don’t regularly change their garrison duties either, so we need to at least get past six patrol circles and three columns to get near the main house.”
“…the security is really played up.”
With one crack, the young girl bit at the biscuit always between her lips, crushing it into pieces.
Swallowing hot water, she dusted off the crumbs in her hands and stretched out
“Let’s set the time then.”
“Tuning to 10 o’clock sharp right now, we move out after ten minutes.”
I silently adjusted the machine on my wrist before saying anything. She paused upon seeing this irregularity in me, and spoke lowly:
“Do you want to change?”
“You go find the dungeon holding Waffles hostage, I’ll handle the master of this house.”
I was startled for a bit, warmth flooded inside me, and I shook my head.
“No need, I’m going.”
“But you’re not a samurai…”
“That’s the past!”
I subconsciously raised my voice, interrupting words not yet said. I immediately became aware of my improper conduct and relaxed my voice again.
“That was in the past.”
Seeing my state, the young girl did not persist. She tugged the corner of her lips in an attempt to smile, and spoke quietly:
“Let’s do our best, all will succeed.”
“All will succeed.”
Bits of sawdust flew about, and a dull crashing noise suddenly sounded, echoing for some time in the small room.
Suddenly, somebody pulled at the back collar of my shirt, comparable to an uncontrollable mace, and slammed me through to the wooden floor.
“Welcome back, Gyudon.”
Through the thick curtains, there was a heavy male voice coming from the end of the room.
Two samurai were assigned to hold onto my arms, each one stepping on my back with a foot. With great difficulty, I lifted up my head as I spoke.
“You knew I was coming?”
“No, I could guess.”
The curtains parted, and a man dressed in splendour walked out, smiling as he spoke, just like he used to, long ago.
Except back then, I was standing.
“They all said you’ve changed, but I know you haven’t.”
As he said that, the man finally walked in front of me. Crouching down, his long and thin finger hooked underneath my chin as he spoke quietly:
“Tell me, Gyudon—Have you changed?”
Subconsciously, I shouted that honorific I once used, whatever I actually wanted to say was stopped by the sir’s severe reprimands.
“Do not call me sir!”
“Tell me, where did the samurai Gyudon of the past go?”
“Tell me, why did that Gyudon, whose loyalty was unrivaled, go and insult his old teacher, his brothers-in-arms, who fought alongside him, even detaining them and interrogating them with torture?”
My back suddenly lowered, as if the two restraining me received a signal; all of the sudden, they exerted great force, and I was once again slammed into the floor.
“Tell me, Gyudon.”
“Why did you give up on your odachi ? What made you give up on your pride?”
“What made you give up Bushido, the way of the samurai?”
Gritting my teeth, I lifted my head to gaze at the man I once served for many years; I suppressed the urge within me and addressed the topic:
“Is Waffles with you?”
“Oh—Her? That she-demon.”
The man sneered as he spoke pleasantly.
“You’re correct, it was I who captured her.”
“They should all be dead by now.”
“Have you forgotten, Gyudon? You were there too at that time.”
“Those bastards, carrying Gloriville firearms, struck open the doors of our home.”
“But they’re dead under the samurai of the Senzan clan.”
“And now! We’ve captured the one developing those demonic weapons.”
“We should’ve been happy.”
“Should I be happy?”
The man reached out his hand, before ruthlessly slapping my jaw.
The injury was on my face, but I felt the pain in my heart.
“I’m very happy.”
“Guards! Bring out that girl for me!”
Someone brought in Waffles, looking exhausted.
I also saw Hardtack, hiding on the ceiling beam, her eyes hinted that she couldn’t find an opportunity to strike.
She needed me to create chaos.
Waffles realized I was here. She was first stunned, then happy, then angry.
“Why are you here!? This place is really dangerous!”
“Ha—it’s very dangerous.”
The man let out a false laugh as he coldly cleared his throat.
“Please don’t tell me you committed apostasy for this fellow.”
Waffles spoke up hesitantly when she finished listening.
“Gyudon, did you do something?”
Waffle’s unexpected, curious  train of thought froze the atmosphere in the room.
Out of the corner of my eye, I looked at the men, one by one, and spoke quietly to Waffles:
“He’s talking about how I gave up the sword for guns.”
“Ha? That’s what he means by apostasy? Is your former boss an anti-intellectual?”
As she spoke, Waffles turned her head to stare at the lord of the Senzan clan, scowling.
“I heard the reason you captured me was because I made firearms?”
“For goodness sake, I just make them, not like I sell them to arms dealers.”
Before his voice faded, the man spoke furiously.
“Had you not researched—“
“If not me, someone else would’ve researched it! What are you saying? How can the tide of scientific advancement depend on one person?”
“You trampled on a samurai’s honor!”
“A samurai’s honor? Isn’t that personal character? What’s that got to do with my research?”
“The sword is a samurai’s life. As a matter of fact, a foreign object like…”
“Ha? Aren’t swords foreign objects though? Do you know what a foreign object is? Foreign objects are defined as things outside of the human body…”
Somehow the two had begun debating.
I actually understood his anger; that feeling of something you’d been protecting for almost half your life be destroyed.
But it’s like what Waffles said.
Some things are about to finally change.
Water dripped on my hair, and I lifted my head to look up. Hardtack Biscuit winked, and I immediately understood.
Both my arms suddenly and forcefully moved, and the two people constraining me got knocked back in a moment of distraction.
I drew my two guns and in the midst of explosive yelling, I repelled the two guards who’d snapped back to reality. My torso moved forward and I took the man I’d once been so close with as a hostage.
“Let go of Waffles, and I won’t kill him!”
Looking at the nearby furious faces, I sighed, my gun muzzle on the crown of the man’s head.
“Sir, times have changed.” 
The Senzan clan was a renowned household in Sakurajima. They were celebrated for their samurai, and everyone knew of their fame during the prosperous pre-gunpowder era. 
However, it was precisely because their status is too high. So much so that no matter how the house master restricted their family lifestyle, they made many enemies.
On one sunny and breezy afternoon, a band of thugs broke through the Senzan family gates with strange firearms in their hands. They burst in, killing in the name of revenge and rebirth.
The pungent smell of gunpowder and bursts of rock shattered blades.
The samurai retainers outside the Senzan house were nearly dead, and the Senzan’s last line of defense were a young samurai and a male Food Soul, who had been loyal to the Senzan clan for a long time—Gyudon.
The two of them used their swords to defend this samurai clan’s remaining glory. However, after the battle’s conclusion, when it was time to be rewarded for their contributions, Gyudon—one of the biggest heroes—unexpectedly proposed resignation.
He wanted to leave and go examine where those strange machines came from.
This battle has shaken Gyudon’s hold on his sense of tradition and he began to doubt if it had any meaning. Confusedly, he wondered how he should travel the road ahead.
Although displeased, the Senzan family head ultimately respected his decision. He had never been shackled to a Master Attendant and when he cast aside the clan’s troubles, he was left with only himself. Before departing, he left his weapon of a lifetime, a samurai sword, at the Senzan household. The act was one of gratitude and relinquishment, and he brought only a tanto with him on the road.
Upon Gyudon’s arrival to Gloriville, he was dragged into an accident: he mistakenly entered into some Fallen Angels’ habitat in the wilderness of a forest. Having lost his weapons, Gyudon could only flee. In the end, he was saved by Waffles and White Truffle, who were conducting tests on weapons. After learning what Waffles and the others were researching, he chose to stay in Perigord, learning about firearms.
However, what Gyudon didn’t understand was that Senzan attack had not ended, and after some time resting and recovering, the Senzan clan began to search for the culprit behind the scenes.
The trail had broken off in Gloriville, and in a bewildering moment, the Senzan clan unexpectedly found something. They found not the mastermind of the group of thugs, but instead, the origin of their weapons—from Perigord Institute’s failed by-products, circulating outside.
This information was passed to the Senzan clan, and the household head’s traditional mindset led him to believe such weapons were evil and should not exist. His thinking caged and limited the boundaries of his ingenuity. Sadly, his ignorant self believed that so long as the source was eliminated, the glory of the samurai could bloom anew. And so, he issued an order for the kidnapping of a Perigord firearms researcher. They didn’t expect to encounter Gyudon in process.
At that moment, Gyudon’s position and behavior were seen no different to betrayal by the Senzan clan. Not just a betrayal of loyalty, but also, a betrayal to his class.
As a result, they dug deep into Gyudon’s friendships, then used that information to employ some morally grey mercenary Food Souls from Gloriville to successfully carry out their kidnapping plan.
Gyudon blamed himself for the incident, and with Hardtack, the two set off together to rescue Waffles.
Note: Citations are usually indicated by the [#] hovering near the sentence.
- ↑ Translator’s Note: originally, it said “become wet” which refers towards saliva soaking and breaking down food but like… that sounds weird so broken down was used instead.
- ↑ Translator’s Note: An odachi is a Japanese great sword, much longer than the katana.
- ↑ Translator’s Note: The Chinese text used (清奇) means “refreshing and intriguing.” The positive connotations of those words seemed odd for the scenario, so it was interpreted as Waffles’s unawareness of Gyudon’s situation that was intriguing.
- ↑ Translator’s Note: “大人，时代变了” Okay I can’t NOT explain the context behind this phrase. This particular line is notorious (almost on a comedic meme level) always used in period dramas, particularly Japanese period dramas set in the Meiji/Showa era. Usually it’s said by a passionate and hot blooded youth, who’s willing to sacrifice his life in the name of Revolution, towards the traditional and stubborn elders (usually in a position of power). The phrase has become a particularly popular meme too, usually written over a photo of armored European medieval knights, engaging in combat, but one of them is seen using modern firearm instead of a melee weapon.
- ↑ Translator’s Note: Original text used “cold weapons,” which refers to weaponry prior to firearms.