No Name for a Sword, Ch 4

No Name for a Sword

Chapter Four

Ronin Writing

22 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 TwoChapter Three


The swordsman followed

His new companion’s steps, a

Cautious eye held fast.

 

The man—Suzu, he

Said his name was—stared wide-eyed

At his own two hands.

 

Now and then, Suzu

Would scan his arms or pat his

Face in disbelief.

 

“How long has it been?”

The swordsman asked. Suzu just

Shook his head and shrugged.

 

“Too long,” he replied.

“I can’t recall when it was

That I was made damned.”

 

“Perhaps that is best,”

Said the swordsman. “Memories

Are not always gifts.”

 

Suzu went quiet

For some time, as if lost in

A different forest.

 

Still, he kept good pace.

As time wore on, he glanced at

His hands less and less.

 

Eventually,

He didn’t bother to turn

Them over at all.

 

Perhaps he had grown

Used to them, or perhaps new

Worries plagued his mind.

 

Suzu’s path led them

Down a cliffside and into

A fertile valley.

 

The swordsman could hear

The songs of singing gods on

The day’s gentle breeze.

 

The songs were faint. Wisps

Of sound, thin as clouds on

A hot summer day.

 

“You never told me

Your name, swordsman. What should I

Call you?” Suzu asked.

 

“I can give no name,

For I cannot remember

What mine used to be.”

 

“You don’t use one now?”

“I don’t,” the swordsman replied.

“Names should be given.”

 

Suzu stopped walking

And turned to face the swordsman.

Trained hand found sword hilt.

 

“You saved me from a

Life of dark. I can stand in

The sun. I can smile…

 

“…Surely a savior

Can accept a name from the

Man that he has saved?”

 

The swordsman kept his

Grip tight around his sword hilt,

But his heart loosened.

 

How long had it been

Since he’d had a name? How far

Had he walked alone?

 

He could remember

Only piercing blue eyes and

Blackness before that.

 

But, then, what good was

A name if he’d gone so far

Without needing one?

 

“Noh,” Suzu said. The

Syllable shattered the

Silence between them.

 

The pieces of it

Clacked against the floor of the

Swordsman’s empty mind.

 

His throat constricted,

His chest tightened, like a boy

Admiring his crush.

 

The swordsman loosened

His grip on the sword and let

Himself weakly grin.

 

Noh. A good, strong name.

“It suits you, I think,” Suzu

Said with a kind nod.

 

Grit returned, and Noh

Found himself straightening up.

“As you wish,” he said.

 

“Your debt is repaid.

I’ve given you life and you’ve

Given me a name…

 

I need nothing else.

Go, and be free. Repay your

Sins. Live in new peace…

 

I can hear the bells.

I can follow their sounds now.

I can’t ask more of you.”

 

“The weight of a name

And the weight of a life are

Not at all equal.”

 

Suzu continued.

“I will lead you to the bells.

You will need my help.”

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