Yu walked with her head at an unreasonable angle, trying to see everything there was to the palace. There was nothing like visiting a godlike dragon's pearl castle. Much to her adoration, it was a pretty fancy building.
When the group was in the chamber, Yu thought it best to get on her knees and shove her nose into the ground. Face down. Butt in the air.
"You may rise," Yao began, his voice calling to mind both sagacious monks and aristocratic royalty, "such demonstrations are appreciated but unnecessary."
"I have called you all here because I am burdened with a task that needs completing. Your services to me shall not be forgotten, neither shall they go unrewarded. These are troubled times we live in, and if you are willing I am sure that I shall find no shortage of work for you - work which you are under no obligation to accept."
"A group of pirates have plagued the port town of Xiao Bu for some time, and recently these outlaws have switched their primary mode of operation from theft to slavery. I have long been troubled by this, and am pleased to say that I recently been given the authority to resolve this matter. It is my request that you go to Xiao Bu, locate the pirates' hideout, and bring these criminals to justice."
"You are under no compulsion to assist me. There is no loss of honor to be had in refusing my request, and I shall not think less of any of you. I understand, as much as I can, the hardships you Humans face, and I am sympathetic to them."
"If you are willing, and when you are ready, Xun shall teleport you all to Xiao Bu, and you shall begin your investigations. I have been in contact with the magistrate, and he is aware of my impending intervention. I understand there are other local issues, and if you feel so inclined I invite you to aid the magistrate in whatever ways you can."
The Dragon shifted position slightly, apparently uncomfortable. "As a final warning, the town is home to a beautiful young woman, one Hui Yihuo of the Shiranui clan. She is a gifted alchemist who's talents, I understand, nearly match her beauty. I am not at liberty to divulge too much, nor do I know much myself in all honesty, but amongst my kind it is said that the women of the Shiranui are best avoided. "
He seemed nice.
"What do you mean bring to justice?" Shun slurred, still on his knees.
Myfanwy weighed the benefits and the cons carefully while considering Yao's proposal. She didn't have anything better to do, but she hoped agreeing wouldn't put her in over her head. She glanced over at the man called "Shun" as he more about the job.
The only functional pieces of clothing that Ganzorig wore was a loincloth and belt. For the most part, rest of his body was bare, except for his ankles, shoulders, and wrists. On those parts, he had some leather straps with a bunch of feathers attached. His wild, shoulder length hair was kept out of his face by a small headdress/headbandy thing.
To his side he held a monstrous weapon, the guan dao. This polearm was easily taller than the barbarian who wielded it, with the blade only starting halfway up Ganzorig's face. On the opposite side of the weapon, it had a spike-shaped counterweight.
Ganzorig stood, looking up at the dragon Yao, with a bored expression on his face. Until at least Yao mentioned some 'beautiful young woman.' Those three words seemed to change the barbarian's mood entirely. He gripped his weapon and shouted, "This sounds exciting! Can we go already?!"
Xiao Bu was a prosperous port town and the streets were full of merchants, sailors, and fishermen. The group had arrived in a large square. Xun pointed to a large building off to the south. "That is the town's primary tavern, inn and teahouse." The Dragon in humanoid form pointed to a nearby building. "Therein you shall find Magistrate Zheng." And lastly he pointed off to northeast a bit. "The markets. And now, I shall take my leave. When you have completed your tasks and are ready to return, inform the magistrate and I shall be notified." And at that the Dragon teleported off.
He left behind the crab samurai, who was currently being stared at by just about everyone. A few people quickly bowed before it before going back about their business.
The crimson behemoth of a crustacean seemed to stare blankly into the sky during the entire conversation, including after the teleportation. A silent, unthinking statue of a creature regarding little of the outside world and only displaying the occasional antenna twitch as an indication that it was alive. The fact that the intimidating thing was between seven and eight foot tall did not help maters.
Beyond that, somebody had gone through great effort humanizing it; His angular, pie-shaped, rough body was decked in a full jet-black metal samurai vest complete with shoulder pads, and his face seemed to be little more than an assortment of abstract crabby shapes given a human form only by the gloom of his vast overbearing helmet. Even so, the monstrous thing seemed unable to look anything other than sinister and accusing in it's expression. Notably, the right pincer was slightly bigger than the left, but either one of the terrible instruments had the width to surround a man's head. It stood surprisingly upright, alrough possessing eight outward-curving legs, each with the thickness of an average human's.
Xun had finished talking now, and teleported away. The thing suddenly regarded several of them at once, it's amber eyes moving independently. The ones that actually bowed to him weren't included, for some reason.
Slowly, the look on it's face became more intense. His eyes lowered down. The antenna that made up a rudimentary 'mustache' stuck out and began to sporadically vibrate. The death mask formed by his two mouth panel-mandibles closed inwards...
It made a noise. "Akaijishinkaminarikajioyaji." It said, with a low, grunting mono tone.
And then, it danced.
It threw it's arms out and raised his front two legs, raising up and trying to make himself look even bigger with an alien, disjointed rhythm. Every once and a while he'd throw a strange signal out with his pincer, until finally, he outright drew his unfathomably huge katana and repeated the process in earnest. Raising it in the air like a heroic painting was apparently on his list of favorite things to do.
Oh Kami, did it dance.
For a moment, Ganzorig was entranced by the megacrab's dance and the noises produced by it. Then he held his palm up at the creature. "I gotta let you know, you look really tasty when you do that, and now I'm frickin' hungry." With a jab of his thumb, Ganzorig pointed backwards at the teahouse. "How about we go there and grab some grub? Oh and beat some answers out of that Magistrate guy."
Shun fell on his ass laughing at the crab man's dance, until the naked guy started interfering. He got up and grabbed Ganzorig's shoulder.
"Let the crab dance"
"Why don't you speak crab. Lazy, honorable naked short monkeys." It froze in mid-pose and spoke again with it's eyes bobbing backwards and forwards in turn. He seemed to be talking more to Shun; It might have been a question. "Crab given name Akaijishinkaminarikajioyaji by honored dragon master. If brain is small, call Akaiji, if brain large, call Akaijishinkaminarikajioyaji superior."
After a moment of staring it opposite directions, he seemed to focus in on Ganzorig again and regard the 'especially naked monkey' with some acute observations. Leaning down to face level, held up a pincer as if to whisper some great hidden truths. "Tea house perhaps contains food that we could eat using our hands and mouths. This would be delicious, and you are hungry and have limbs and mouths, so it might be delicious for you also. Unless eat Magistrate I cannot think of any other delicious. Uncertain bad to eat Magistrate."