A samurai's past

April 16, 2010
My father would always tell me.
“A new day brings untold fortunes……or misfortunes”
I never really listened to my father’s teachings but this one always stayed true.

Edo, Japan
I dream a rancid nightmare. I’m in darkness. A pitch black abyss. Then, the darkness starts to form into a figure… a man. He reaches for his sword at his waist as I reach for my own. He copied my exact movement. I couldn’t defeat this foe. It seemed……impossible.
I awoke viciously in the middle of the night. Crickets chirp peacefully. Moonlight shines through the door of my shack. Sweat drips off me. I sit upward with my head in my hand.
“What does is all mean? Why does it always turn out the same way?”
I look over to find my hand was already around the handle of ‘Daimon’, a specialty sword that was supposedly forged from steel mixed with demonic essence.

“What does it mean?”

I walk into the nearest village the next day, the cherry blossom trees already in full bloom. The pearly, pink pedals glide down onto the pathway. I arrive at the village to the sight of people busy at work, their eyes full of life and ambition. I go to my favorite shop. Immediately, I am greeted by the young woman who runs the shop. “Hello, my warrior” she says in a playful tone. I smile and respond, “We meet again, lady lotus.” She smiled and blushed as I spoke her name. “I have your basket already prepared for you.” She hands the basket to me. I give her the yen I owe her for it but she refuses to accept it. “Keep it. I picked these fruits myself. It’s a little present for you.” I nod, and then bow to her. “Your generosity is greatly appreciated,” I say as I begin to walk out the shop. Suddenly, I hear “WAIT! WAIT! I almost forgot. A man in black robe similar to yours came looking for you. He said he would be back soon,” she said.

I thought to myself a hermit samurai doesn’t have any friends unless…. No, that couldn’t be it. I threw the thought from my mind, trying to prevent any false fears and begin on my way home.

Darkness surrounds me once more. The shadows form a man like before. This time, his eyes were crimson red with hatred. I’m on the ground, wounded and exhausted. I look him dead in the eyes as he brings his blade up over his head. Before he strikes, he says, “Time to give this dirty dog some peace.” Then……

“NOOOOOOO!!!!!” I scream as I wake up violently in the night. But this time, something menacing was close. I smelled burning wood all through the air and a dim ember colored glow came from the direction of……“THE VILLAGE!!” I yelled. I hopped to my feet, grabbed my sword and put on my robe and clogs. As I ran down the pathway to the village, I overhear people screaming and see a few of them running away in the distance. I arrive to an inferno. Everything was in flames. The villagers have fled but one shadowy figure in the distance.

“KOTARU!!!!!” He called out to me. “Namikazi….what is your purpose here?” I respond. “What?! You don’t remember? I am here to avenge the Izuzaki clan leader. My brother who you so viciously killed!!!” he yelled. He charged towards me. I drew out my blade and made myself ready. The blades bite into each other as I block his strike. “Ten years I’ve waited to see you defeated by my hands. I will WIN and you will DIE!!!” He spoke. He draws back and throws himself at me once more. Our blades collide and dance, the sound of metal bashing echoed throughout the village. His technique matched mine to a “T”. Then I thought this is exactly like my dreams! Neither of us has made a single connecting blow! But there’s something much different here. His anger want as present as it was in the dream. That shall be his down fall. We continue on. His rage grew more violent but his movements became sluggish. He was winded. I jump back far and say, “Do you know why I killed Yakami? He was going around Edo, murdering innocence to display his strength. That, my foe, is something I could not stand for.”
“Survival of the strongest!!! The weak must fend for themselves like true warriors or perish!!” he yelled in anger.
“If that’s the case, then you must die as well” I said as I reversed the sword’s position in my hand.
“JUST DIE ALREADY!!!!!!!” He roared as he charged at me to give his finishing blow.
I charge as well…………..

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