No Name for Sword, Ch 9

No Name for a Sword

Chapter Nine

Ronin Writing

28 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 SixChapter SevenChapter Eight


Suzu, Yato, and

Noh watched as the temple doors

Were slowly opened.

 

“Samurai!” Yato

Squeaked, yanking on Noh’s loose sleeve.

“Swordsmen! Just like you!”

 

“No ordinary

Swordsmen,” Suzu added. He

Nodded toward them.

 

Emerald gauntlets

And smooth jade pauldrons flashed in

The light of noon’s sun.

 

Green was the color

Of bounty and strength. Its wear

Was outlawed for most.

 

Only two houses

Were allowed by law to wear

The sacred color.

 

The Shogun’s and the

Emperor’s. The samurai

Were members of both.

 

The imperial

Mon was displayed in gold on

The swordsmen’s headbands.

 

Noh gripped his hilt and

Stepped forward. Yato’s grip broke

Away from his sleeve.

 

The samurai fanned

Out, forming a semi-circle.

One of them broke ranks.

 

Noh recognized him.

Kaijo the Monster. Bigger

By half than most men.

 

A wicked scar ran

From his left ear to his chin.

He wore a grimmace.

 

Kaijo studied Noh,

Then grinned and crossed his huge arms.

“Fetch me the abbot.”

 

“Not before I know

What your purpose here is,” Noh

Said, straightening up.

 

Kaijo’s eyes narrowed.

“I am the Shogun’s envoy.

You’ll do as I say.”

 

“And I’m guardian

Of this temple, which is not

Subject to royal—”

 

Kaijo’s sword tip was

Pointed at Noh’s throat before

Noh finished his breath.

 

“You will fetch me the

Abbot,” Kaijo growled, “or you

Will die here toda—”

 

Noh had slipped Kaijo’s

Sword, danced it length, and pressed his

Blade against bare skin.

 

“You’re a fool to wear

No shirt beneath your cuirass,”

Noh warned, his blade still.

 

The tip pointed at

Kaijo’s heart, through his naked

Armpit. One swift jolt…

 

Kaijo’s retinue

Unsheathed their own swords

And moved to attack.

 

“Stop!” Kaijo ordered.

The swordsmen froze, but remained

Ready to charge in.

 

“Do you need a job?”

Kaijo asked Noh, chuckling.

“I could use your skill.”

 

“Not interested,”

Noh replied, digging his sword

Just a bit deeper.

 

Blood trickled from the

Tiny cut that formed. Kaijo

Seemed not to notice.

 

“Attacking the guard

Of the Shogun carries the

Penalty of death.”

 

Kaijo glared at Noh.

“That penalty could extend

To your monk friends here.”

 

“I would silence your

Words long before you give the

Order,” Noh replied.

 

“Peace!” came a woman’s

Voice. The abbot appeared then

Next to Noh. She frowned.

 

With a gentle touch,

She removed Noh’s blade from its

Place and wiped it clean.

 

A thin, red streak stuck

Out boldly against her pure

White robes. Noh drew back.

 

The abbot was a

Small, bald woman, beautiful in

Stance and face. Pristine.

 

She stood in contrast

To Kaijo’s huge, ugly, and

Menacing presence.

 

Kaijo sniffed and sheathed

His giant blade on his back.

“Well… quite a welcome.”

 

“Our protector was

Hired for his skill, not his charm,”

The abbot explained.

 

“I’m sure the same is

Said of you,” she continued.

Kaijo scoffed at this.

 

“This temple is not

Under the jurisdiction

Of your great Shogun…

 

Nor of Jhekata’s

Emperor. Neither can own

The Singing Temple…

 

So, why are you here?”

Kaijo’s grin had never left.

He called, “Bring him out!”

 

Kaijo’s samurai

Parted. Two of them led a

Prisoner in chains.

 

The prisoner was

Blindfolded and gagged, barefoot,

Bloodied… yet, stood proud.

 

The samurai pulled

The man over to Kaijo

And forced him to kneel.

 

Kaijo removed the

Man’s gag. “Speak your name, young fool.”

The man straightened up.

 

He looked the abbot

In the eyes, his jaw set tight.

“Oji Sokujin.”

 

The crowd of monks gasped.

Noh stared hard at this man, Oji.

The Shogun’s own son.


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