No Name for a Sword, Ch 7

No Name for a Sword

Chapter Seven

Ronin Writing

12 February 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 swordsman Noh as he wanders a country filled with beauty, tradition, and war on a quest to find out his true name… and his purpose.

Read the Whole Series:

Chapter OneChapter TwoChapter ThreeChapter FourChapter FiveChapter Six


Noh was uneasy

Carrying the bells with him

Through the dark’ning woods.

 

The venom coursing

In his veins made his face throb

And his muscles ache.

 

If they were attacked,

He would be unable to

Fight at his full strength.

 

Suzu helped him walk,

A gentle hand wrapped around

Noh’s weary shoulder.

 

It was difficult

To remember that the man

Was recently turned.

 

How could such a kind

Soul become such a savage

Beast, hungry for blood?

 

Noh tried to ignore

His exhaustion and ease his

Nerves by conversing.

 

“That man,” Noh panted.

“He… nnh… he was your father?”

Suzu’s grip tightened.

 

“He was,” Suzu said.

“A long time ago. Before

I was made evil.”

 

“It was not your choice,”

Noh replied through gritted teeth.

“He must surely know—”

 

“But it was… It was.”

Suzu’s gaze grew distant and

Empty for some time.

 

Noh did not say more.

He had heard pain in Suzu’s

Voice back then. Now, too.

 

Despite the danger,

They remained unmolested

Through their trudging march.

 

The bells on Noh’s back

Sang louder as they neared the

Singing Temple’s lake.

 

The young boy—Noh had

Not caught his name—sat perched on

A low lakeside stone.

 

Upon seeing Noh,

The boy jumped from his seat, eyes

Full of childish woe.

 

“You’re hurt!” the boy said.

He reached up to touch the gauze

On Noh’s bloody neck.

 

Suzu swatted the

Boy’s hand away. “Careful now!”

The boy shrank backward.

 

“Run and get the priest,”

Noh managed, his voice failing.

The boy darted off.

 

Suzu led Noh to

The boy’s stone seat and eased the

Swordsman gently down.

 

It was nice to rest.

“Thank you,” Noh said to Suzu.

“For… well, everything.”

 

Suzu smiled. “I should

Be thanking you, my friend. Had

You not saved my soul—”

 

Noh held up his hand

To cut Suzu off. “Your soul

Deserved to be saved.”

 

“How could you know that?”

Suzu asked. “You don’t know me.”

“I do not need to.

 

The Gods have seen fit,”

Noh continued, “for us to

Find one another.

 

That is all the proof

I need.” Noh leaned back, groaning.

“Thank the Gods. Not me.”

 

A yelp broke the still

That formed between them. The priest

Rushed up, boy in tow.

 

“Swordsman! You’ve done it!”

The priest hurriedly took the

Singing bag from Noh.

 

With glee, the bald man

Fished the bells out and held them

Up. Marveling. Proud.

 

“The Gods are happy,”

The priest said. “Can you hear the

Difference in their song?”

 

Noh heard it indeed.

Disharmony replaced by

A heavenly choir.

 

“It’s beautiful,” Noh

Said, returning the monk’s smile.

“Now. How is my bird?”

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