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A Samurai No More...

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Joined: 03 May 2016
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Location: Birmingham

PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:46 pm    Post subject: A Samurai No More... Reply with quote

A Samurai No More
Yojimbo failed his Lord
Kill Bird to Save Him

Ichiro Kage of the most Tenacious Tanuki clan recovered within the garden in Keshi Castle. He enjoyed the gentle warm breeze and snowdrop petals that proved spring had begun. The wanderers had fought and won, Oni no Shizen was held off long enough for the lotus to bloom.

Flashbacks of the battle reminded him of the vicious blows he had endured. He wore them like badges of honour. He remembered challenging many enemies in that battle. His swords cut deep but he also took their blows to save his clan mates. He had tried to do his duty to his lord and protect him. The “bird” had been killed earlier, apparently an assassin with a bird marking on his face. He had felt relief that Fukuro-san had been wrong and that he had not been the bird. Tanuki would rather swallow glass than admit it but he had grown attached to the cantankerous owl. Yet as yojimbo, he had not been quick enough to stop the oni stabbing Lord Chosokabe, he could not interfere with a duel. He reflected on his performance and analysed how he could have done better. Kage heard his father's harsh voice in his mind, constantly urging him to do better and to act with honour. Kage's heart was filled with inherited criticism an in reflection he wondered if he would ever live up to be what his father expected.

After the duel Oni no Shizen had walked back to Lord Chosokabe in order to execute him, in this he could act and so he did. His armed ached as he remembered trying to dive in the way. he recalled the golden oni blade as it stabbed at both Usagi-sama and Chosokabe-sama. When it came for a second blow Ichiro Kage tried to block it and the blade slid through his armour at the wrist and into his arm. The pain was excruciating but had seen other wanderers try to grapple the oni. That had inspired him.

In his other hand was his wakizashi, the pain had burned like hot oil as the blade was withdrawn for another murderous blow, before it could, Tanuki grabbed the golden blade and plunged it into his own chest as it pierced him with lethal efficiency it had given the Tanuki the necessary leverage to pull himself up along the blade towards the oni. With what he assumed was his last act he slid up the oni's blade so that he was close enough to plunge his own wakizashi into the oni's heart. He knew he may not have the strength to slay it alone but he took satisfaction in stopping the oni lord from using his wicked blade on anyone else. Tanuki dropped face first and did not see what became of the oni as he was swapped by other wanderers. He exhaled in relief as he felt the warmth of the spring sun on his back. Knowing that there would be spring once more was good enough solace. To give his life in battle was an honourable way for a samurai to die. But he did not die, he was saved by his companions.

The wounds were healed but his hands and arms were heavily scarred. Ichiro Kage tried to grab the hilt of his katana but his hand spasmed and he dropped it on the floor with a clatter. Shugi-san had said something about nerve damage. To Kage, it was just weakness. Picking it up was almost impossible but with two hands he managed to pick it up as if his arms were fleshy chopsticks. He tried again and there was a clatter as the sword fell on the floor a second time. Ichiro Kage inhaled and tried again. If he could not wield a sword he could not be a swordsman and therefore was a samurai no more. The gentle breeze mocked him as he failed once more. He had overhead someone in a corridor say that due to his injuries, Tanuki would never wield a sword again. He had refused to believe the gossip. Courtesy demanded that he rise above such careless talk. Courage drove him to try and…

The katana clattered across the stone of the courtyard but this time it fell from being flung in frustration. Tanuki knelt and silently wept for the glorious death he was denied. He allowed himself a moment to experience the pain for he knew he would try again and again and he would drop the blade again and again. Part of him wanted to give up, whilst he had no regrets for what had happened, he mourned for what had been lost. He knew one thing… with his weapon skill lost, his life as he had known it was over. He was a broken tool, incapable of protecting himself let alone his lord, in this state he was a samurai no more.
OOC: Joe H
IC: Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde
IC: Ichiro Kage of the Tanuki
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