No Name for a Sword, Ch 3

No Name for a Sword

Chapter Three

Ronin Writing

15 January 2018

“No Name for a Sword” is an Asian-inspired epic fantasy told through haiku and posted in weekly installments. Follow the journey of the Nameless Swordsman as he wanders a country filled with beauty, tradition, and war on a quest to find out his name… and his purpose.

Read the Whole Series:

Chapter OneChapter Two

In heavy darkness

The swordsman clashed with demons.

A black battlefield.


His blade met purchase,

But, so did their razor claws,

Pain given for pain.


The battle raged on

Until the sun reddened clouds.

The world yawned awake.


Demon skin smoked in

The light of a new morning

And the monsters fled.


Wisps trailed behind them.

The smell of cooked flesh followed.

The swordsman rested.


He slumped against a

Mighty tree, struggling to slow

Laborious breath.


Demon corpses lay

Scattered in the forest leaves.

More than he’d figured.


Among them, just near,

A lone survivor groaned and

Twisted toward death.


Its baking skin rose

As vapor toward the sky.

Red eyes searched for peace.


The swordsman sheathed his

Blade, used it as a cane on

Which to hobble close.


“Demon, where are the

Bells your kin have taken from

The Singing Temple?”


The beast’s skin blackened

And it bit its lip as if

To hold back the pain.


“Lead me to the bells,”

The swordsman said. He produced

A small talisman.


It shone as if it

Were forged from the sun itself,

Powered by the day.


The demon recoiled,

But only at first. Then it

Met the swordsman’s gaze.


“You’re an exorcist?”

The words quivered, but they were

Enough to be heard.


“No,” said the swordsman,

“But this talisman will ease

Your pain. Bring new life.”


“Why… would you… do this?”

The demon’s words grew weaker,

Its eyes suspicious.


“I was once possessed,

Feeling my life fall away,

Just as you do now…


“…I know of Sin’s weight,

And I know that you want peace.

I can bring it now…


…Or, you can die here,

Baked to death by the daylight,

Alone. For nothing.”


The demon had stopped

Its shaking. Its body had

No more strength within.


Weakly, it nodded.

The swordsman knelt and gently placed

His sword beside him.


He lay his shining

Talisman over the beast’s

Heaving chest, then prayed.


As the prayer was said,

Light drained from the talisman,

Into the demon.


It struggled to breathe.

The demon’s body writhed and

Contorted. Rose. Fell.


A beam of searing light

Broke from the sky and pierced the

Talisman’s center.


A chorus of gods,

Voices divine, professed the

Demon’s many sins.


The beast’s body rose,

Lifted from the ground by a

Force unseen, then dropped.


Leaves sprang up from the

Impact, floating down to rest

Until silence fell.


All ended, the beast

Went still. A faint song lifted

From its gaping mouth.


When its eyes next blinked,

Savagery was replaced by

A new gentleness.


Horns were disappeared.

Long teeth had shrunk. Skin gained a

Normal human tint.


The creature breathed slow.

The swordsman knew the feeling.

New life. So he waited.


“Am I… am… am I…?”

The demon stuttered, shaking.

No, not a demon.


A man lay there now,

Raven-haired and almond-eyed.

Trembling, but alive.


“Yes,” the swordsman said.

He took his blade and stood up.

“You’re human again.”


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