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 The Ronin

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PostSubject: The Ronin    Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:25 am

The sun rested high in the skies as a gentle breeze made its way across the lands and kissing everything in its path with is cool embrace. The green blades of plant life that made up the rice fields swayed with the wind as the sun gave them the energy they needed to grow. It was a quite scene and the only thing that seemed to not belong was a lone figure in the distance making its way along the path set between the fields. Senshi Erito walked along this path making his way to a city in the distance from which clouds of steam bellowed out into the sky from different chimneys and pipes which fed the steam power through the buildings. He was dressed fully in his Samurai armor complete with his katana strapped upon hos right hip. The view of his face was blocked by a traditional Japanese straw hat that was tilted at a slight downward angle.

The way he walked gave off an aura of tranquility and peace that seemed to effect those around him with a feeling of safety and security. He was samurai and he had spent years honing his mind,body,and spirit to be one with his blade and his skills. He was also a woodling and because of this he was most at peace around nature and even something as small as the rice fields brought him a great amount of joy and peace. On his left shoulder sat a Japanese macaque that he named Koutai and it happily feasted upon an orange that he had given it. This was his familiar and the two were bonded through spirit to spend the rest of there lives together.

As the pair drew closer to the city the dirt road gave way to stone street the made up the crafted streets within the city itself. The buildings grew larger and the peaceful silence of the rice fields was drowned out by the sounds of thousands walking and talking as they hustled about to complete whatever tasks they had for that day. Crossing the threshold and entering the city he pulled the hat slightly lower and headed along the cobbled streets blending in with the general public for the most part accept for the armor that he wore.

the buildings were made of stone and wood with pipes placed in what would like like random sections that jutted out and spiked into the ground or into another building. They were attached to every building within the city and from the sky it might look like a massive metal snake that weaved its way throughout the entire city. Water dripped from these pipes to form muddy puddles on the ground from which the poor and homeless would gather to drink. Some of the older pipes had moss and mold growing around the connected pieces and covering the bolts that kept them in place. This was the slum of the city and while most would expect it to be a crime ridden area that no one should travel it was actually just a more poor part of the city where the less fortunate lived.

Moving through the slum, Senshi offered little bits of money to all the beggars and homeless as he went to try and help feed them even if it was only enough for one meal. The code of Bushido dictated that he help those in need and that was exactly what he did. He was not just a follower of the code but rather he embraced the code dearly and made it is entire reason for living and moving through Japan from city to city.

Within a few minutes he exited the slums and stood within the center of the steam run city where most of the people traffic converged to move from here to there and vice versa. He moved to the center of the square in which a massive fountain stood made of stone and marble. It was a human and a fey shaking hands while standing upon the Japanese sun and a dragon coiled its way up about them to rest its head a few feet above the shaking hands with its mouth wide. From the mouth water spilled foreword over the hands and into the pool of water below.

It was a monument to the unity of the fey and the humans after the bombs were dropped on Japan during world war two. Many believed it was not just by chance that it happened but that Japan herself willed it and blessed the union of the two races and because of this the fountain was erected to remind the people of the strife and struggle both races fought through together to make Japan what she has become. He smiled as he recalled the stories he had heard and the books he had read on the subject before moving closer.

He took a seat upon one of the many benches that surrounded the work of art so that he could rest his feet for a few moments. A little girl came running up to him and bowed to show her respect. It caused a genuine smile to form on his features as he held his hand out to her and produced a pink lotus blossom for the girl. She happily took it and ran off to her mother while Senshi leaned back against the bench to relax for a few moments after his long walk.
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PostSubject: Re: The Ronin    Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:26 am

Even with the unity that Japan experienced during the war, the country was victim to its own challenges that shaped the country. The revelation caused by the emergence of the Fey changed the course of society. Reverence for nature was reborn in the hearts of the Japanese people and they turned as one from the path of industrialization. They embraced the old ways that gave them the legends which were now known for truth. As a unified nation they may have been able to stave off the greater hardships pressed upon others by the war, but there was no escaping the hardship of the Enlightenment. Even though they took no part in the fighting aside from defending their own boarders, Terra's rage devastated them as well. Even though they rebuilt and maintained stability by absorbing the smaller cities and lands into the larger cities and infrastructures, there were still sacrifices made. Some of the daimyo, noble lords, who controlled outlying territories were unable to survive the change and continue to support their households. Without lords to support them, many samurai had to find a new way to live and became Ronin.

As Genzo leaned against frame of the storefront doorway he stood in, he looked up at the clouds in the sky. Without thinking about it, his hand rose to scratch the fresh stubble that was growing in on his pate. He still wore the topknot of a samurai, but these days there was no lord to answer to so he was not as diligent at maintaining it. He represented no one, so he saw no reason to shave the front portion of his head to keep hair from showing. His human body was lithe, but still filled out the dingy blue kimono that had a hounds tooth print made by the silk. The geta he wore added enough height to push him over five and a half feet tall. He wasn't tall, but the sword at his hip made him loom much more ominously in the eyes of the man who he now stopped from walking into the shop, with a raised hand in his path. "Hey.... shopkeeper is busy. Come back later," he said with a bit of a shove that sent the potential customer on his way.

Inside the shop, the owner was indeed busy running towards the counter with his mouth wide open in protest, but the voice died in his throat and his feet lost the desire to move. "That's what I thought. You're a smart business man after all." came a deep voice from the other side of the counter. The shop keeper's eyes were glued to the sword that was tucked behind the red sash that held the black kimono closed. It had a very large hand wrapped tightly around the mouth of its scabbard, and a thumb was pressed against the tsuba, the handguard of the sword. Yoshida only put enough pressure behind his thumb to make the digit bend, but not enough to push the sword open and expose the blade. The shopkeeper knew better. His square jawed face gave a smile and a nod.

His other hand hung in the air, suspended in mid motion for only a moment, but now began its descent over the other side of the counter. Yoshida was tall, easily six foot without geta, with a broad chest, and long arms. He had no trouble reaching over the counter, finding the cash box, opening, and rifling around in its contents. He pulled his hand back with a fist full of money and watched the shopkeeper who stood stock still, transfixed on the blade. "Nice doing business with you," he said and then turned to walk out of the shop. While he walked, the hand that held the money reached up the opposite sleeve, and placed behind the stitched compartment that was usually sewn into the large sleeves of garments to act as pockets.

Genzo heard footsteps coming towards him, and turned to look over his shoulder. He saw the motion that Yoshida made and knew that he was successful. "You got it... Good. I was half expecting him to start screaming his head off. You were right Yoshida, but you're still buying the sake. He stepped aside far enough for Yoshida to walk passed him, then fell instep next to him, after dodging around some of the water droplets that fell from the copper piping that ran over head, to make a small puddle.

The cities by nature were crowded, even in the slum sections. All walks of life could be found in any given section, from samurai, to beggar, and everything in between. Wherever there were people, there were children and the square around the fountain was a very good place to find them. While her mother shopped a little girl busied herself by singing and bouncing her ball to the rhythm of her song. "Sakura, Sakura. Shining bright in sunny March. Spreading over hill and dale. Blooming graceful and peaceful, Like an angel's silken veil. Sakura, Sak....."

Her voice trailed off mid word and the bouncing ball ceased its rhythm because the hand no longer propelled it. Dark eyes went wide in tiny round face as wonder took the child's full attention. She had seen all manner of people, they came in many shapes and sizes, but all of them were made out of the same stuff. Never before had she seen a man made out of wood, unless it was one of her dolls. Her mouth formed the 'O' of amazement as this living doll, who was much bigger than her, walked around on his own. The ball rolled away forgotten for the moment as the samurai took notice of her, turning the 'O' into a wall of teeth.

She smiled brightly at the wooden man and tiny hands smoothed over her tattered but clean kimono in the same gesture she saw her mother makes thousands of times when she wanted to make sure she was presentable. With the adventurous spirit of a child, the little girl ran over to the wooden man who was now sitting on a bench, and showed him the respectful bow that her mother taught her. To her great surprise the wooden man not only bowed back, but held his hand out to give her something. The awestruck look of wonder came back as she watched a flower blossom in his hand before her very eyes. With the greatest of care she did the best she could to hold still the excited jumping that came to her, as she accepted the flower from his hand. The moment it was in hers, she gave the same bow, turned, and scurried off yelling, "Mommy!!! Mommy!!! Look it!!! Mommy!!"

Driven on by her excitement the little girl failed to look where she was going. Halfway to her mother, she ran head long into the leg of a man who was passing by. A grim faced Yoshida looked down at the child who looked up at him in surprise, and then realized that she no longer held the lotus flower. Worried that it would get trampled, she quickly turned her eyes to the ground and started to look for it. Genzo, who was on the other side of Yoshida, looked around his broad chested companion, and scowled. "You little shit. You're not even gonna apologize?" he said to the little girl who was so worried about her flower that she wasn't listening to what was being said to her. This angered him further, so he took a step forward, raised his foot, and pushed it against the little girls back, shoving her to the ground.

Without looking back, the pair continued their journey to the other side of the square. The little girl fell on to the cobble stones, scraping her hands as she tried to break her fall. She lay there in shock for a moment, but pain quickly set in and she started to cry. Her mother who had been looking on in dismay ran over to her daughter, and tried to console her. She cast a glare at the backs of them men who disappeared beneath the curtain hanging across the doorway of an inn. "Innkeeper....heat up the sake!" Genzo yelled out as Yoshida picked a table and sat down. "Big bottle and two cups" A few of the other nine customers who sat at tables eating and drinking turned to look at the new comers before turning back to their own business. The staff however, set into motion at the prospect of new customers, and began filling the order. In almost no time a serving girl was walking over to their table with a tray that held a decanter of sake and two cups.
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PostSubject: Re: The Ronin    Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:14 am

Took in the sun's rays as a flower would and basked in the warm glow as the happy little girl skipped away to find her mother once more. He was only able to enjoy it for a few moments before he felt the voice of his familiar tugging at his thoughts. Koutai was angry and Senshi picked up on that he also heard the voice of his friend and companion scream at him within his head. Pay attention moron!! You are need yet you soak up the sun!? and you call yourself a Samurai.." Koutai felt as strongly about the code of Bushido as Senshi himself did and it was because of this that he would speak so harshly at times. The macaque was a troublemaker and quick tempered but beneath that he was also by all rights a samurai in his soul. The two were bound for life until death and Koutai was there for all the training and lessons and because Senshi was so committed to it so to was Koutai.

Senshi's eyes popped open as Koutai was mid rant within his mind and he watched as two samurai stood looking down upon the fallen girl who was looking for her flower and one began to berate and call her names. The normal slow swirl of green that formed the iris of Senshi's eyes lost its lazy turning motion and raged to speeds that mimicked that of a hurricane. He would stand to protest but before he was able to get his legs under him the smaller of the two placed his foot in the small of the girls back and kicked her down to skin her hands across the dirty ground. His eyes grew wide and his mouth hung open slightly as the shock of what he saw settled within him and slowly turned to seething anger.

They were not true samurai,at least not anymore, and that alone was enough for Senshi to end them for wearing such prestigious attire and acting like barbarians. It transcended that however as they not only wore the armor but disrespected everything it stood for and everything they were taught. They disgraced themselves and the code of bushido and to them it seemed like a grand old time. Senshi rushed in the direction of the little girl as the two of them vanished into an establishment and he reached beneath his armor to his kimono and without hesitation he tore two strips from it. Taking the crying girls hands in his own he wiped away the dirt and grime and then wrapped them with the silk fabric.

She was not paying attention to him however as she looked about for the flower he had given her and the tears flowed harder when she spotted it upon the ground trampled under the traffic of people walking about. He followed her line of sight and then looked back to her."There is no need to cry over that little one." Holding out one hand he produced another and tucked it behind her ear with a smile as her mother watched on and then he produced another and offered it to her. "Stay by your mothers side from now on as there are very mean people around here. I am going to go fight for your honor little princess." The words seemed to calm her a bit and he smiled before standing up and looking to Koutai. The macaque jumped down from his shoulder to stand by the mother and child. "Koutai is going to make sure your safe while I take care of those two."

With that he bowed to the pair and made his way to the establishment that the two had vanished into. Every fiber of his being raged within him to cut them down without so much as a word. He paused outside the door to compose himself as he was taught that acting in anger never accomplished anything but getting you hurt. He must approach the situation with a clear mind and a good reasoning to make sure he came out on top. He also needed to know what he was dealing with and as he paused he conjured up an image of the two so that he could inspect them fully. The smaller one had a sword belted to his hip and might have a faster draw due to his sword being smaller and more light weight. He also seemed to have a bit of a superiority complex about him which would make him the first to act and when he did it would be rash and not very well thought out. The larger one seemed to play the role of the boss figure and would most likely look upon Senshi as light work for his companion to deal with and thus might not get involved unless he saw the his friend could not handle the task. It was all speculation but based on what he had seen so far, some idea was better then none.

Pushing the curtain aside he stepped into the establishment and scanned the area for the two men. They were easy to spot as they were not only loud but seemed to be enjoying themselves. Moving to the front Senshi whispered into the ear of what seemed to be the owner and he moved to the back room after grabbing all his employees to follow him. The other patrons saw what Genzo and Yoshida did not in the form of the woodling samurai looking at them and they all stood up and made there way to the curtain to exit. That was what got the pair's attention and they turned to look at the door and in seeing Senshi a look of understanding seemed to cross there face's but not an ounce of fear. They did not get a chance to speak as Senshi was the first to open the discussion and in the same breath he closed it.

I challenge you both. It will be to the death and if you feel its more fair I will allow you both to act at the same time. I expect nothing less from the same honorless and cowardly men that would berate and assault a young girl. In here or out there it makes no difference to me but you have broken the code of bushido and because of this I will see both of you off to the afterlife. The only kindness you are going to receive from me is the choice in location and the promise that I will make this quick. You have two minutes to decide." With that he was out the door and onto the street once more.

He did not want them to have the choice as they would most likely set up an ambush within the shop and so the moment he exited the door he called out to the people in the area. "Citizens I ask you all to clear the area as there will be a dual this afternoon...to the death. Two wastes of samurai training will learn what a true samurai is this day so I would like you all to stay out of harms way. Unless of course they are two scared to except this challenge."

He stepped away from the establishment however he made sure to walk backwards and face the exit of the building. He assumed they were not above hitting a man from behind and so he wanted to be ready for anything they might launch. twenty five feet from the entrance his right hand move to the scabbard that held his blade and his thumb pressed tightly to handguard. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Koutai and the little girl standing there with her mother and looking on to see what would happen. A hush grew over the crowd as Senshi's eyes narrowed and focused on the doorway ready for any bit of movement that would tell him they were coming out.
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PostSubject: Re: The Ronin    Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:14 am

The worried mother gingerly brushed the dirt and stone out of her crying child's hands and inspected the palms for blood and wounds. Thankfully she found only scrapped skin, and dirty scuffs. "Shhhh.... shhhh. It's ok baby. Shhhh." she said to her little one trying to soothe the tears away. Her quiet cooing quieted when Senshi drew near, and she finally saw the living wonder that her child had discovered. The 'oh' was silenced in her throat and she merely stared.

Senshi's hand held out to produce another lotus flower did what the cooing mother could not. The pained sobs quieted slowly, and soon became the whimpering sucking of breath that signaled an end to tears. Reddened eyes blinked away tears, and she carefully wiped the streaks away with the backs of her injured hands, before she carefully reached out for the blossom. She looked up at Senshi and smiled, "Tha..Thank you." she said through the last shuddering breaths. A smile came to her mouth when Senshi called her a princess, and told her toe monkey was going to stay by her side. She nodded in agreement to his instructions and carefully reached out to pet the monkey's fur if he would allow it.

The little girl's mother just watched the display of natural magic with even more wonder and amazement than her daughter had. Growing up had taken the sense of magic out of life even though it was all around, but she had just found it once again growing from the palm of Senshi's hand. It held her spell bound for a moment, and what he said he was going to do didn't register at first. When realization finally donned on her, Senshi was standing up and moving towards the Inn. "Samurai-dono, you mustn't!! They are....." she had managed to find voice, but it was too late. Senshi had moved far enough away for the noise of the crowed to swallow her voice.

Once inside the Inn, its owner and proprietor heeded Senshi's whispers and motioned to his employees that they needed to leave. The entire staff took one look at the woodling warrior and scattered like cockroaches. The customers who took note of this carefully rose and took their leave as well. The two that Senshi had gone there to find, however, were oblivious to all of this. The two of them were too intent on the sake that they had wanted so badly. The two of them filled their cups, toasted, and drank. One toast down, the two sought to fill cups again, but Senshi's voice broke into their revelry.

Genzo, the shorter of the two, the samurai that Senshi had marked out as the loud mouth, looked up in the direction of the voice. His brow furrowed and his face twisted in a sour scowl. It only grew darker with each word that Senshi spoke. When Senshi was done issuing his challenge Genzo exploded. "KISAMA!!! (BASTARD!!!) Who the hell do you think you are talking to....." his angry tirade ended prematurely because the object of his anger simply ignored him and walked out of the inn as if they meant nothing. "That son of a bitch ignored me!!!!" he said to Yoshida. "I don't need two minutes. I'm gonna fucking kill him. They're gonna call me 'The Woodcutter' when I'm done with him."

Yoshida stayed silent through it all. He merely turned around and looked at Senshi. His brow neither wrinkled or twitched at what Senshi said, and he turned and watched Genzo without saying a word. He watched as Genzo slammed his hand down on the table top causing the cups and decanter of sake to jump up, and land awkwardly. Some rolled around and remained upright but the decanter of sake fell over, and spilled its warm contents onto the wooden table. The dry wood grain quickly soaked it up, leaving only a darkened stain. Before it was all gone, Genzo had stood up, and drawn his sword from the scabbard. In the time that it took Yoshida to blink, and begin to rise, Genzo was already at the exit of the inn.

In the square outside the inn, Senshi had addressed the people, and received a mixed reception. A great many of them heeded his word, and decided they wanted nothing to do with the troubles of Samurai. They quickly turned around and scurried off in their own directions. Some vendors were so inclined to the same mindset that they quickly began shutting down their stalls, packing up, and leaving for the day. Others were possessed with a curiosity that overrode good sense. They moved back only far enough to be out of the way, and turned to watch the spectacle Senshi promised them.

It was good that Senshi kept his eyes on the door leading into the inn because, it meant the difference between life and death. There was no warning yell, and barely the sound of footsteps. Genzo had kicked off his geta, so that he was barefoot, and come running out the inn. He was fast, lightening fast. His footfalls were almost completely silent as he darted over the even pavement stones that stretched over the expanse between them. Genzo's dark eyes were fixed on Senshi, and his sword was held at neutral right hand dominant position.

Closing the gap took barely the span if two heart beats for the lightening fast Genzo. Speed had always been his advantage and he was now using it to its fullest against Senshi. The position of his sword never changed. When he was still three full paces from his enemy, Genzo stopped running. His next movement was even faster than his running feet. Left foot planted as if it were cemented to the ground, and pushed forward with all its might. Genzo's entire body stretched out, and his strong arms thrust forward. The point of his curved katana was leveled at Senshi's heart, and thrust out, driven home like a bolt of lightning. Genzo's technique and form were very good, but anger made his attack rash and wild. He was going for the quick kill.
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PostSubject: Re: The Ronin    Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:15 am

Senshi's eyes were glued on the entrance to the inn as a hush fell over the crowd and everyone who planned on leaving did so. Those who wished to stay whispered among themselves as they waited for everything to begin. Senshi tuned them all out however as he focused every bit of his mind and spirit on the entrance to the inn and waited for the two men to make there way out to the street. He prepared himself mentally for battle and under his breath he recited the seven virtues of Bushido over and over again. As he was mid way through it for the third time the sheet that covered the door flew into the air and the loud mouthed samurai came rushing across the street in his direction.

He was fast but he was also reckless and that would mean he was clumsy but also more dangerous not only to Senshi but the gawking crowd as well. He did not have time to think as Genzo rushed in and that was because he was far to quick to allow that kind of luxury. Senshi's thumb pressed upwards against the hand guard to pop the blade out a good three inches even as his hand grasped the hilt which would save on his drawing time and he pulled his blade forth with enough speed that anyone with a sharp eye would catch the signs of flames dancing along the edge for just a moment. He angled the blade upwards into a stroke as he pulled it free just in time to have his blade smash into Genzo's and send it arcing upwards as well.

He was quick enough to deflect the blow however it became clear to everyone that Genzo took excellent care of his blade as there was not a long slice in Senshi's armor. He could also feel the shallow slash from the tip of his blade that now drew sap from Senshi's body. He was a woodling and therefor it was not blood that ran its course through his body but the sap one would find within a tree. His face did not change in the slightest but his mind was fighting the pain that ran through his chest and forcing him to continue the battle even as his attackers blade was being deflected.

He needed to be quick and accurate and every strike he now made would have to be one that ended the fight. There was no chance of him simply playing on the defensive while this man tired out. He would have to bring the ferocity of a tiger to this battle and bring the prey down as quickly as he could. Planting his right foot he would pivot away from the blade in a full circle so that he stood parallel with the mans hands and as he did he brought his sword down quickly and aimed to slice his hands from him at the wrist.

If he could get the sword out of his hands then the fight would be over but Genzo was a samurai and he was not as stupid as he was making himself out to be. He was enraged and that was clouding his judgment within the fight. He seemed to think highly of himself as he charged in and aimed the Emi Thrust strike at Senshi as it did leave room for problems should it not kill the target. Genzo was fast and accurate and Senshi knew it was pure luck and a quick draw that managed to save his life and so he also hoped that he was fast enough to take the mans hands from him at the wrist.

He did not wish to use any of the seven virtue strikes within the town as he was surrounded by people and with the ferocity of those strikes accidents were prone to happen. However as his sword came down and would cut the wrists he saw the little girl that Genzo pushed down watching from the crowd. He felt anger and sorrow for the way that she was treated but he also felt ashamed as he was about to spill blood in a gruesome way in front of such innocent eyes.

At the last second he turned his blade so that should it find its mark it would not be the edge that his the wrist but the flat of the blade. It was wide enough that it would connect with and bruise the bone and possibly break it. He needed to do some permanent damage but not at the cost of killing a man in front of a little girl. On top of that he had no idea how many other kids might be in the crowd and so he decided these men would be embarrassed just as they did to the young girl. One his blade came down and the attack was complete he did not wait to see what damage was or was not done.

Instead he brought himself and his blade around again with the flat of it aimed for the right cheek of Genzo in an attempt to slap him. It would not only sting like a bitch and destroy his concentration for a moment but the sharp edge of his blade would also draw a thin line of blood from his flesh as well. He had no time to stop and wait to see what condition his first strike left the man's wrist in because he would need to press the attack at all times to keep Genzo from using the speed which he was blessed with.
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PostSubject: Re: The Ronin    Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:34 pm

Genzo felt the resistance of Senshi's armor against the chisel tip of his blade and knew his Emi thrust struck true. This was the moment that he lived for. As a samurai the weight of life and death hung in the balance of every stroke of a sword suspended from the edge of the blade. He craved that moment when he ended the life of another, and prove that his skill was superior. Genzo continued to press his thrust forward, oblivious to the quick drawing of Senshi's blade. The only reason he knew it had been drawn was the clash of folded steel on folded steel, that knocked his blade upward before it could drive home and pierces the Woodling's heart. Carried by his momentum Genzo continued the stroke to completion, and began to bring his sword around, but it was too late.


Senshi's draw and downward slash was one motion from start to finish, and happened in the span of a heart beat. The flat edge of Senshi's weathered katana smashed into the wrists of his opponent. The force that would have sent the bladed edge through flesh and bone like a knife through butter, met with a blunt edge instead. "GGAAAAHHH..... The sound of both of Genzo's wrists being crushed under the impact was drowned out by his scream of brutal agony, but that only lasted a second before being silenced. The quick slap of the side of Senshi's blade to Genzo's head came as a surprise to the man who was focused on the pain in his wrists. There was no defending against it. As the Genzo's fallen sword clattered upon the cobble stones, so too did his body land with a thud. His eyes were open staring blankly ahead in unconsciousness, but he still drew breath.


The little girl had been watching the entire exchange which was over with near miraculous quickness. When the badman that made her fall hit the ground she only saw poetic justice. "Yaaaaaay!!! Hehehehe!!", she exploded with excitement at the magic dolls victory and punishment of the badman. Her cheers were followed by the musical laughter that only a child could make. She even forgot the hurts done to her hands and started to clap. That was put to a stop by her mother, who grabbed her child protectively, silenced, and held her close.


The mother was fear stricken by the eyes of the man who exited the inn and now watched the battle. "You've brought dishonor on the both of you by your actions. " Yoshida took slow steps from the doorway of the inn where he stood, but he moved like a thunderhead cloud, bringing with him a storm. "Genzo may be a crude ronin, but he is samurai none the less. He trained hard and served faithfully until our master was forced to dismiss us because he could no longer afford his household. You challenged him to a duel to the death, and you turned your blade at the last minute. Now he is a cripple who can't even wield a blade to cut his own stomach. If you cannot kill him now without making yourself a common murderer."


His slow path brought him across the street so that he now stood five feet away from Senshin. His eyes were as hard as the steel in Senshin's hands and behind them was the soul to match. Yoshida broke the iron gaze and turned his eyes to the mother and little girl who flinched beneath it. "I am sorry for what Genzo did. He acted in my defense. I could not chide him for his actions without causing him to loose face, and he is my oldest friend. Please take your little girl from this place. She is too young to learn the true face of Samurai." He gave the woman a respectful bow, and the woman gladly scooped up her little girl and fled the square.


Yoshida watched the pair retreat until he could no longer see her presence parting the crowd. It was then that he turned his head to Senshin once more and said, "I would suggest that you cut your stomach for what you did, but you challenged me as well. When you are ready, I will be the one to cut your stomach for you." The anger left him and now there was only cold, hard resolve in its place. He was resigned to the fate of this single moment in time. Live or die, his entire world was right here, right now. Yoshida was prepared to die, but determined to live by killing the man he drew his sword against. Respectfully, he waited until Senshi had spoken his peace, and decided he was ready to see this moment to its completion by taking his stance.


It wasn't until that moment that Yoshida slowly drew his katana from its saya. Scattered sunlight filtered down through passing clouds, and danced over the surface of his wave pattern edged blade. Strong hands, weathered and hardened by years of gripping that same hilt, smoothly wrapped and tightened slightly upon the braided silk. His stance shifted out to the sides for greater stability, and one foot lifted its heel slightly for greater mobility. The sword came to a stop in front of him, just to his left, and then the tip canted slightly to his right, before stoping. When the blade came to a stop, Yoshida fell into a stillness akin to a tranquil pond on a windless day, but he radiated intensity. His voice was strong and steady when he spoke, "Yoshida Kamanura, former retainer of Lord Toshi Harada, now ronin, but still Samurai. Kona-ryu school of the sword."


The stone was cast. Soon the pond would stir.
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PostSubject: Re: The Ronin    Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:24 am

The moment Genzo fell was the moment that Senshi called out to Koutai who ran from the girl to the fallen warrior and sent to the task of moving his sword from reach. He knew the man was knocked out but he also knew that to leave that blade within arms reach of the samurai was simply asking for death from behind. He turned to regard the little girl who was cheering happily at his victory and he took one step in her direction. He was simply going to explain to her why it was not a good thing to hurt other people and that he had only done it to teach the man a lesson but he was cut off by the voice of Yoshida. Turning his gaze upon him Senshi stood and moved away from the fallen Genzo.

As Yoshida closed distance Senshi turned to the crowd."Someone get a doctor to look at his wounds and bandage him. I will pay the cost of this job without issue." Turning to view the approaching warrior he began his attack without him even noticing. He focused all the energy of himself into his blade. He felt it draining from himself and into the hilt to snake its way up along the blade slowly building in intensity. No one would see any sort of change in him and tot hem it would seem he was doing nothing more then listening intently to what the man had to say.

Senshi let the words sink in but as they did he felt the blade within his hands start to cackle with the energy it contained. Still no one would see a change within it as Yoshida spoke tot he woman and her child and even apologized to them for what Genzo had done. Senshi would have felt foolish for acting so rashly however he knew deep down that a true samurai would not have allowed a fellow warrior to treat the girl the way Genzo did and he could only assume that it was all a facade to lower his guard.

As Yoshida went on about how he was going to cut Senshi's stomach he finally moved and the movement was to sheath his sword which was a surprise to the crowd. If it surprised Yoshida then he did not show it and as the blade sank into his saya he began to focus his intent upon it which caused the energies within the blade to condense even further. He felt it ready to burst within the saya and that was when he turned to address everything that had been said.

"This dishonor that has been wrought here is by you most of all. A samurai does not prey upon the weak and think himself better then those around him simply because he is a samurai. You should have not only helped that little girl up but been the one to apologize to her. Rather then act in a way becoming of a samurai you allowed your ronin to bully a poor defenseless girl and now you face a true follower of Bushido."

His hand wrapped lightly around the hilt his of his own blade but did not pull it fourth yet as he was not done. "You speak of your friend losing face and my inability to finish him off as I had promised when you have misunderstood my intent and allowed his reputation to cloud your judgment in the face of what is right and what is wrong. This duel is to the death but he has not the ability do decide upon his death. You both have a choice in either allowing your old way of life to die and becoming reborn in the code of Bushido or choosing to allow yourselves to continue this life of misery in which case I will slice your belly as you so put it."

He looked Yoshida in the eyes and his own seemed to fill with a calmness that in the face of battle was something uncommon. His voice carried an even and promising tone as the weight of his words rang with truth. "I do not wish either of you to die in the physical sense today but rather to renounce the things you have done and find a better path which I will help. However if you move with that blade I will have no choice but to strike you down before you ever complete your first strike."

Yoshida announced his name and former house and Senshi felt he should do the same. He was known by many because while other woodlings had become Samurai only he had trained as hard and fully. "My name is Senshi Erito, Former retainer of Ichigo Masamoto and the Harbinger of Bushido." He felt the blade begin to tingle as the Burēdo No Dansu Hikari begged for release from the saya. Should Yoshida make that move he would be greeted by an arc of lightning from the mouth of it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Ronin    Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:33 pm

Yoshida stood his ground unmoving. His sword seemed to dance even though it did not change position. Light simply danced across the still blade creating the illusion of motion. A gentle wind managed to penetrate the city and survive the many twists and turns to ruffle the silk sleeves that hung from his strong arms. The samurai returned the same respect to Senshi and listened to what he said. He truly heard the words and thought about them. He searched their meaning and then tried to reconcile it with what he knew of The Way.

"You speak of being a true follower," he said when Senshi fell silent and sheathed his sword. "Your words tell me that you had peace to contemplate Bushido. I learned Bushido from my father, as it was taught to him by his father. Pure without the poetry and blind ideals of idle youth. Learned on the battlefield protecting the boarders from invaders, defending my lord's people from the Oni, and the Yokai that still crave human flesh. Bushido is the way of war, life through death."

"You saw my actions as dishonorable because force was used on one weaker than us. We are Samurai, the pinnacle of the warrior cast. Everyone we turn our blades upon is weaker than us, or we die, there is no difference. I stood by the man who fought at my side, a man who saved my life. That is acceptable to the way of the Warrior." When Senshi sheathed his sword and adopted an unorthodox stance that seemed out of place, Yoshida shifted his own stance. His right foot slid forward slightly and the sword rotated counter clockwise until it was near his hip with the tip facing behind him.

"You speak of changing one's ways. A samurai can no more change his ways than a tiger can change his stripes. We live by the Way until we die, and if we abandon the Way we prove ourselves unworthy of that life. Genzo is samurai, and he will tell you the same. You should have cut him down." His blade finally fell still and that same stillness befell the man who wielded it. "A samurai is a child of war, he is the strength that makes the steel unbreakable, forged by the hardship of battle. Misery is a world where great houses are disbanded, and loyal men are carelessly cast to the four winds as gratitude for their lives of service." That placid pool rippled as anger entered Yoshida's voice. He wasn't angry at Senshi, but at the world which told him he no longer had a purpose. Without warning, Yoshida rushed at Senshi, closing the distance, and bringing his sword around to cut the Woodling in half at the waist on his unguarded side.
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PostSubject: Re: The Ronin    Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:11 pm

Words of ignorance poured from the mouth of the man before him as he shed light on the truth of what he was. His code was not true Bushido but rather a diluted and twisted form of what the code really was. It was not fully his fault because it was his father who taught him this false idea of Bushido and raised him on these beliefs that samurai were better then those around them. However the blame did fall on Yoshida in the sense that it was his duty to discover the true meaning of it all and ignorance was not an excuse for misrepresenting the warrior class.

Senshi did not feel anger but instead it was sorrow that filled him for the man who thought himself a samurai. Yoshida was nothing more then a thug who picked at the code like an all you can eat bar. He took what he wanted from it and left the rest and while his plate may have been full it was in no way healthy. His eyes swirled as they focused upon Yoshida and his breathing remained steady and calm as he took in the sight of the poor man before him.

"I am sorry for the trials and tribulations you have endured through your life Yoshida but that is not an excuse for your actions. You say your father taught you the Way in the form of battle as you defended your lands and while I am sure he was a great man he obviously did not have the time to dedicate to teaching you every aspect of it." Senshi watched him turn his blade along with his body and he sighed as he knew that it would come down to the man before him dying.

Senshi did not enjoy killing others because it was a waste of life and talent whenever anyone died. He and Genzo were obviously accomplished swordsmen and he felt a deep sadness form within his core as he knew that Yoshida spoke true about himself and Genzo. Both men would choose to leave this world rather then turn over a new leaf and begin anew. Senshi would have to remove them both from the world as they were a danger not only to others but to themselves as well.

"If everything you have told me is true then you are not a samurai and your friend is not either. Talented with a blade I will give you but you do not have the proper grasp of Bushido and because of this can not claim the title of samurai. We are warriors true enough but we do not cast aside the weak and feeble because they are beneath us or unable to stop us. As samurai it is out job to help them become better and stronger and to defend them from the people would treat them the way you and Genzo have."

The final bit of Yoshida's speech was marred with anger and rage as he unleashed his feelings with every word. He felt for the man and understood where it all came from but it was just further showed that he did not fully grasp what it was to be a samurai. It was destiny that brought the two men together and standing across from him Senshi saw every reason to hold strong on his path and remain faithful to the code. Yoshida inspired him without even knowing it and the anger in his voice told him that this man would not live long enough to understand it. It would be him or Yoshida this day and without even knowing it Yoshida had already lost.

"May you be greeted warmly by those you have lost and loved Yoshida. Today you will be reunited with your father and sent to a better place in which your anger will no longer plague you." The quick gesture of his enemy was greeted with the sound of Senshi pulling his blade from the saya on his waist. Time seemed to slow to a crawl as the first to notice it were the on lookers from the crowd. A faint blue light that was growing rapidly in intensity as the blade was pulled free.

Those closest to the action were bathed in a blue light as Senshi pulled the blade free before Yoshida was even halfway through his attack. From the mouth of his saya a forked streak of lightning shot across the distance between the two men aimed directly for the center of Yoshida's chest. Senshi's blade spun in the air as the bolt lept outwards so it was upside down in his hand and blocking the side where the attack was coming in from.

The flat of his palm rested against the back of the blade to reinforce the strength of his defense. The blade it self danced with electricity that started at the tip and crawled its way up the blade to stop just before the handle. Senshi focused his eyes upon the blade that was coming in rather then Yoshida himself as he was almost sure of the outcome already. He sighed and his voice was only but a whisper that was lost in the sounded of the air colliding back together after being split by the bolt of lightning. "May peace find you in death where you could not find it in life."



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PostSubject: Re: The Ronin    Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:31 am

There was no doubt in his mind that he was samurai. Despite all the things the Woodling said, he was not shaken in is resolve. Yoshida moved forward with pure intent to cut down his opponent, and there was no fear of death in him. He had lived a good life and that life now played through his mind's eye as if he were weighing his own worth now that Senshi had brought it into question. It was a surrealistic moment that seemed to slow down and happen in two separate flows. One was completely separate from the other, but the two seemed to reach their conclusion at the same time.

The first movement of his foot into his lunge towards Senshi were synced with the first steps taken on the dojo floor with a bokken in his hand, under his father's watchful eye. He grew strong and learned what it was to be a samurai. As his blade began to move and slash out at Senshi's body he was performing the tea ceremony which symbolized him pledging his life to his Lord. He served his Lord faithfully, and brought honor to his lord's name. Yoshida fought bravely and defended those who could not fight for themselves. Lightning exploded from Senshi's saya as he drew his sword, and arcs painfully stabbed into his skin, burning his flesh, and Yoshida watched his lord hang his head in shame. Unshed tears glistened in eyes and choked a strong lords voice as he told his people that they must leave their homes, and told his retainers that they were dismissed. The Shogunate was stripping their city for raw materials to support the city's expansion, and they were too far outland to continue receiving their stipend. Having done nothing wrong, he was cast to the winds as ronin.

Finally his blade clashed upon the steel of a Woodling who accused him of not being samurai before it met timber. In his mind, heart and spirit his sword clashed upon steel that arced with electricity. The power surged up the blade, conducting it into his already burnt flesh and muscles, making his hand want to spring open and drop his blade, but he held fast through it all. His father's words echoed in his soul. 'Yoshida, a samurai is a man who will succeed because his lord will not accept failure. He will fight on when all others run. He will give his life gladly when the service of his lord calls for it. A samurai is strong for the people who depend on him, and the symbol of a samurai is his sword. The sword is the manifestation of your soul. Never lose your way, never lose your soul, never lose your blade.' Agony screamed across his nerves as electricity let them like the city at night, but he did not cry out. His muscles fought against him, but he mastered them and held fast to his blade. His heart stopped, but will drove him onward.

The two of them stood there, blades locked and motionless. The edges of Yoshida's kimono glowed as the wind encouraged embers to consume the smoldering. His skin was blacked and cracked from the intense heat of the lightning that struck his body. Yoshida's fierce gaze was locked on Senshi's eyes, but stared blindly because they were clouded by the same intense heat that destroyed his skin. The flesh of Yoshida's skin cracked and bleed as they moved, but somehow he forced breath from his lungs, and formed words. As weak and pained as his last words were, Senshi heard them as clear as the chimes of crystal. "Enjoy your youth now. Ideals always fall in time. Like the sakura.". Once the last syllable was uttered Yoshida's body fell to the ground like the petal of a cherry blossom, the sakura.

Around them, the gawking crowd of onlookers watched what they thought was going to be a simple duel of swordsman. The moment Senshi drew his sword and lightning exploded from the lacquered saya they realized it was something far different. People screamed and fled wanting no parts of it, and even those who stood too transfixed by the fight, leaped back. Some fell to the ground, others tripped and were trampled, but in any case chaos had broken out. Waves of people ran from the square, while others stood there, staring at Yoshida's smoldering body, and touching themselves wondering how they managed to survive. Others were overtaken by the shock that they had just watched a life being taken, and mutely wondered off, trying to wrap their minds around what they just witnessed.

It had all happened so quickly. It seemed like barely any time had passed between Senshi issuing his challenge, and Yoshida's body falling to the ground, sword still in hand. During the blur that happened in between, Genzo attacking and being struck down, Yoshida and Senshi's debate of Bushido, and Yoshida's death, word of what happened had traveled. Now that it was all over a group of broad shouldered men dressed in the matching uniforms of the Doshin (the police). The broke through the crowd and spread out to surround the three samurai in the center of the square. There were six of them in all and each one had a sword sheathed at his hip and a jutte (iron truncheon). "You there! Explained what happened here!" shouted the man who bore the insignia of the highest rank among them. He demanded that Senshi tell him what happened here, while his men grabbed hold of eye witnesses to question if needed.

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PostSubject: Re: The Ronin    Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:28 am

The smell of burning flesh assaulted Senshi as the blast of lightning arc'd from his saya and found its target in Yoshida. The clang of metal sent a sharp ring throughout the square and in moments it was all over. Yoshida was dead upon the ground as his body smoked and blood poured from the cracks to pool upon the dirt. The crowd was in a panic but for Senshi he only heard the mans final words echoing through his mind over and over again. His gaze rested upon the smoldering warrior who lay upon the ground and his hand gripped the hilt of his blade tightly. If his knuckles were able they would have turned white from the force.

The final words that were spoken were not taken as a simple sentence but instead a lesson from which Senshi would grow. He had seen little in the way of combat since becoming a samurai and while this fight had been mere seconds it was something that would stick with him for the rest of his life and beyond. The mans hands were steady even when his body was shocked into submission by the lightning and his strike was powerful as if he had not been touched at all.

It all pointed to a strong resolve in defending his beliefs and the unfaltering strength of his conviction to do so. Yoshida had set the bar for the woodling in terms of how far he needed to go to protect and uphold what he himself believed in. This man gave his life for his beliefs and even in knowing that he would die his hands remained steady and his strength did not fail him. His will alone was what drove him to defend the things he was taught even when his body failed him.

Senshi was driven from his thoughts at the sound of footsteps approaching him and the other two ronin. He spun with his blade in hand and upon seeing that it was actually the doshin that had come he placed his blade back at his hip. The man shouted at him to explain what had happened and it took Senshi a moment to answer as Yoshida's words echoed through his mind once more. He shook his head to clear it before looking the man in the eyes.

"There was an altercation involving a young girl and as a samurai I am sword to protect and serve the people. These two were involved and so I challenged them in combat to the death. I did what I could to keep the crowd away from the bloodshed but onlookers are not easily turned away from what they think will be a glorious show of skill and carnage. The man on the ground over there is Genzo and he is still very much alive. This man is Yoshida Kamanura, former retainer of Lord Toshi Harada."

Moving to Yoshida's body Senshi got down on both knees and turned him over so his face was pointed to the sky. Taking his blade he placed the hild on his chest and the blade pointed down in the direction of his legs. Crossing both arms over his chest he looked back to the doshin in charge. "This man had everything taken from him and I will not see his body treated with disrespect." The look Senshi gave the doshin was one that almost dared him to challenge him on that point. He was not going to allow anyone to treat the body in a disrespectful manner and so he set to work by placing one hand upon the hilt of Yoshida's blade and the other upon the dirt next to his corpse.

Senshi's palm quaked against the ground and after a few moments the ground under Yoshida gave way as thick roots pulled upon the earth to open it up. The roots grew from Senshi's palm and pulled apart the earth to create a hole in which Yoshida was lowered into and with a quick pull of his hand the ground crashed in upon itself and buried Yoshida within it. Senshi stood on shaky legs as it had taken a lot out of him to give the man as proper a burial as he could.

He turned to the doshin once more has he found even footing and looked at each one of them. The spot where the body once laid sprouted hundreds of very small steams and each one had a single leaf. He could do nothing more but hope that one of them would live long enough to mature into a full grown sakura tree. "Now that I have shown this warrior the proper respect in death you may question me."


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