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Trial of the Demon
Azlam stared out into the dark. He looked over to the bodies of those he and his brother had slain not so earlier that day. Azlam’s older brother Namikasha sat to his back. He was sound asleep; his hands gripped his blade, eclipse. Azlam slowly shut his eyes and fell to sleep. Azlam and Namikasha’s mother died during birth; and their father died serving under the daimyo Date Masamune. The two, known as the Setaki brothers, took to their lives forming deadly new fighting styles. Namikasha paired with Eclipse had created the inverted shadow techniques. His blade would glow blue at the rims, showing his focus during a battle. Azlam paired with darkness created the besieging shadow techniques. His blade made a distinctive sound when it moved; some say that the sound could cause a man to freeze up, overtaken with curiosity. The two brothers where the first stage of a new era of warriors that would span thousands of years. The two had created the Shadow Clan Samurai; the foundations of the Wolves organization and the Setaki family shadow ninjas.
Two young boys ran happily through the woods. They laughed as they wrestled around the ground. A large foot stepped beside the two. They looked up to see a large figure dressed in full armor wielding a huge blade. The figure brought his blade down upon the two; then, after finishing his deed, slowly walked away. His eyes were red and his mask was that of a skull; his armor sharp and tipped with poison. He lifted his head then roared up at the sky. This creature was known as the Demon. A monster sent by the devil to return souls back to his master. He didn’t sleep, eat, or tire; so in terms he was the perfect weapon. He killed any human he came in contact with; he was truly terrifying, and on top of all that he roamed the countryside unchecked. He walked deeper into the forest.
Azlam stirred in his sleep, his eyes shot open. He looked in the direction he had thought something had moved around. As he stood up Namikasha fell straight to his back. “Owww.” Namikasha grieved as he took off his helmet then rubbed the back of his head. He looked over at his startled brother then sighed. “What’s wrong, have you seen a ghost?” he asked as he took to his feet. “Namikasha over here.” Azlam said motioning his brother to him. Namikasha closed near his brother as the two kneeled to the ground. A purple liquid lay on the ground in a large circle. Namikasha put his helmet back on, and then reached down into the liquid. “What is it?” Azlam asked. Namikasha brought his hand to his nose. “Poison…” He said as he dropped his hand to his knee. The two looked at each other. “No.” Namikasha said as he shook his head. “You know it might be. Just think about it, it makes sense. The stories about the Demon; it could be just him!” Azlam exclaimed. “It doesn’t matter if it is or not.” Namikasha said as he lay down by a tree. Azlam looked back over at the poison; he saw several pools of the poison leading into the forest. “Brother! Look at this.” He yelled to his brother. Namikasha sighed then reluctantly got up and made his way to Azlam. “A trail?” Namikasha asked; Azlam nodded. The two followed the trail of poison. After several hours the new day dawned and the two brothers stumbled out of the forest and into a field. In the distance they could see a village with large columns of smoke rising from rooftops.
The brothers walked through the village. Bodies filled the street, blood was everywhere. “Look for survivors.” Namikasha said. His brother nodded then walked into a different direction. Azlam came across a burnt cherry blossom tree. Nailed into it was a paper. “Namikasha!” Azlam yelled. “What is it!” his brother yelled back as he ran to him. Azlam motioned him to the paper. The two read it aloud, “Dust to dust, ashes to ashes, in that we are created and destroyed. To deny a god is to deny faith, all heathens shall be cleansed.” The two looked at each other. “What the hell?” Azlam pondered. “The demon did this.” Namikasha stated. “WE have to find him and stop him.” Namikasha said looking at the dead bodies. The two brothers looked at each other. “Let’s go.” Namikasha said. Azlam grinned then looked out to the horizon.
And so the two began a long journey; they tracked the demon following the trail of death and carnage he left in his wake. After what seemed like a life time the brothers came upon a large range of mountains. “We’ve got to cross it.” Namikasha said as he studied the landscape. Azlam dropped to his hands and knees, gasping for air. “Sure. Whatever you say.” He replied in a fatigued voice. The two made their way until they found a small gap in the mountain where water trickled out. They brought in their stomachs as they sidestepped through the small eroded passage. Once they exited it they entered a glorious valley. They walked to the middle of the valley where a large pond was located. Azlam kneeled near the pond as he dipped his head and took large gulps of water. Namikasha leaned onto a cherry blossom tree near his brother. He stared at a floating blossom; it had dew on it that reflected his image. It floated pass his shoulder, he followed it with his eyes. The reflection then showed a large masked figure swinging a huge sword. Namikasha, with wide eyes, ducked then lunged forwards, out of the demons way. Azlam stood up then spun on his heels as he drew darkness. Namikasha drew eclipse then backed up so he was to his brother’s shoulder. The two took to their signature stances. Azlam stood balanced on one leg with his sword raised high above his head; Namikasha stood legs spread apart with his blade held by his head pointing forwards. The demon stepped forwards, copying Namikasha’s stance. Then began a long period of stillness; the way of bushido was to anticipate the enemies moves. Azlam and Namikasha were unable to read the demon at all; but the demon saw their every move.
The three remained absolutely still; beads of sweat formed on the brothers brow’s and trickled down the side of their faces. Our two heroes’ backs were secured by the pond; their nemesis lay in front of them, but they couldn’t do a thing. To charge into a battle with your enemy knowing your technique and predicting your moves would be deadly, especially since the brothers had no way to see the demons moves.
An hour neared, but the three hadn’t moved an inch. A single cherry petal floated slowly to the ground in between the brothers and the demon. Namikasha’s eyes narrowed as he focused on the demons waist and blade. Azlam, however, was pushing himself to his limit, sooner or later he would have to drop his stance.
The petal softly touched the ground. In a flash Azlam fell down backwards as Namikasha and the demon shot forwards and locked blades. The demon pushed his blade forwards, causing Namikasha to bend backwards. Azlam took to his feet then sprinted forwards. Namikasha sidestepped past the demon as he struck across its chest; to no avail. Azlam appeared from where he was before. He lashed his blade from left to right; the demon knocked his blade into Azlam’s. Azlam stumbled backwards as the demon spun around and blocked a strike from Namikasha’s blade. Seeing and opportunity, Azlam brought his blade up above his head into his high stance. He then brought his blade down stepping into the attack.
Darkness fell upon the demon with tremendous force. Namikasha grabbed the hilt of the demons blade so he couldn’t pull free. The demon brought his arm up; darkness sank into his gauntlet. Azlam and Namikasha stood shocked. The demon tossed the two away from him.
The bothers side stepped towards one another; then began another long period of anticipation. The three warriors took to their stances. Several minutes had passed and Azlam was already feeling the strain from his high stance. He slightly shifted his wait, as he did so the gravel under his foot brought him falling to the ground. The demon instantly shot forwards. “Azlam!” Namikasha yelled as he watched the chaos unfold. The demons blade sunk deep into flesh, there was a loud crunching sound of bones.
Azlam dropped his blade as he lay on the ground propped up by his elbows, eyes widened. Namikasha had taken the full brutality of the demon. The blade had entered his chest and out through his back, Namikasha coughed out blood. Namikasha was able to knock the demons blade ever so slightly before he was stabbed, altering the path of the blade. If he hadn’t he would undoubtedly be dead; for the blade would have pierced his heart.
Namikasha used all of his strength as he grabbed the hilt of the demons blade; the demon was unable to pull away. “Now Azlam kill the foul monster!” Namikasha screamed. “I don’t know how much longer I can hold!” he yelled. Azlam’s eyes narrowed as he stood up then ran forwards, grabbing Darkness and Eclipse as he went. He kicked the demon away from Namikasha. The demon began to stand up, Azlam struck him on the fore head then kicked him across the neck. The demon tried to stand up once again, Azlam moved forwards; he brought his two blades down upon the demons arms, slicing them off as if they where butter. Azlam spun around so he was back to back with the demon; he slid his blades into the demons legs, pinning him to the ground. The demon tried to squirm free, but found it useless. Azlam collapsed to the ground from fatigue.
He slowly crawled to his brother. He took to his knees as he grabbed his brother’s hand; tears filled his eyes. “Good job,” Namikasha started, “but next time keep your elbows up when you swing the blades.” He finished, Azlam chuckled as tears fell onto his brother’s chest armor. “Of course.” He said. “Well I think it’s about time I’ve gone on.” Namikasha said as his head slowly fell to a side. Azlam began to wale as he hit his fist to the ground; he then slowly looked over at the demon still trying to free itself. Azlam took the demons huge blade out of his brother’s corpse then walked up to the demon. “Now be gone back to your master!” Azlam shouted as he brought the blade back and then swung it with all his might. The blade shot clean across the demons neck; the head flew several meters through the air. The body sloped backwards then disappeared into ashes, Azlam had won.
He stumbled into a cave; it is said there he hid his, his brothers, and the demons armor and swords. Of course there is no account of this but I believe it to be true for, I, June Takahanoe, have witnessed the three blades under possession of a dear friend. He is where the legacy now lies; the Setaki legacy shall forever endure.