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This issue contains the Usagi Yojimbo story "Bounty Hunter" by Stan Sakai, the Cutey Bunny story "The Day After Forever" by Joshua Quagmire, and Chapter 1 (of 6) of Steven A. Gallacci's "Birthright".

Reprints

Bounty Hunter was reprinted in Usagi Yojimbo TPB #1: The Ronin.

Plot of "Bounty Hunter"

This is the story of how Usagi first meets Murakami Gennosuke, commonly known as Gen.

Usagi is relaxing at a roadside in. The only other patron is a rude samurai who introduces himself as Gen. Gen joins Usagi's table trading small talk. Although Usagi is clearly not interested, Gen persists, stating that he is a bounty hunter. Usagi tells Gen that his trade is that of a Yojimbo, a bodyguard. Gen tries to convince Usagi to join him hunting an outlaw known as One-eyed Ichiro. There is a hundred ryo bounty that the two could claim and split. Usagi repeats that he is a yojimbo, and not a bounty hunter. Undaunted, Gen hires Usagi as his bodyguard, while he goes about the dangerous business of bounty hunting.

The two head-off to where One-eyed Ichiro is hiding in a temple. At the temple, where the priest is held hostage, there are many henchmen standing guard. Gen provokes them and he and Usagi make easy work of the mob. Usagi heads off to find the priest, while Gen goes after the outlaw. Gen finds Ichiro with his priest hostage (in fact Ichiro's brother in disguise). Usagi finds the real priest tied up and hanging from the ceiling.

The ruse is pointless with Gen, as he cares nothing for the priest's life. One-eyed Ichiro tosses away his hostage/brother and engages Gen in a duel. One-eyed Ichiro's brother, the fake priest, sneaks up on Gen from behind, and wounds him. Gen is able to dispatch One-eyed Ichiro before he falls. Usagi arrives in time to rescue Gen and take out the fake priest.

While being escorted back to the village, Gen points out that Usagi should have let him die and collected the entire reward. Usagi corrects him that he was hired as a bodyguard, not a bounty hunter. Usagi begins to think kindly of Gen, until he discovers that Gen stiffed him with the hotel bill!

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