Rated: PG-13 for violence and language
A feudal Japanese story by Deadly Warrior
The invasion has begun. Japanese samurai have begun their invasion of Korea, led by shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi. With Japan completely occupied with the invasion, a dark sorcerer lurks in the shadows, waiting to strike at two samurai.
Chapter One: The Nisua Brothers
Hiyazami and Takeda Nisua sat on the ground of their home, meditating. The two brothers, each samurai, were assigned to defend their village while the others sail to Korea. Several others were assigned to stay as well, but none possessed the fierceness as the Nisua brothers.
Hiyazami arose from his meditation, and stood up. His katana, Wasakabe, lay on its stand a couple feet from him, as did his wakizashi and tanto. Behind it stood his red and black armor. Takeda's weapons and armor were closely nestled beside his. And behind those, lay the Nisua's family's pride; a one thousand year-old sword which had supposedly severed the head of the devil himself.
"Takeda," said Hiyazami.
Takeda opened his eyes, "Hmmm?"
"We should begin sparring."
Takeda said nothing as he lifted himself up. Hiyazami walked over to his equipment, and began putting it on.
* * *
The two brothers stood in front of their home, katana drawn. Each was dressed in their own armor.
"Are you ready Hiyazami?" asked Takeda.
"Of course I am." Replied Hiyazami, grinning.
Takeda charged first, swinging his blade horizontally. His brother pointed his sword downwards and in front, blocking it with a clang. Hiyazami jumped back, dodging another swipe from Takeda. He charged forwards, and the two warriors exchanged parries.
Hiyazami slashed Takeda on his shin-guard, causing him to drop. He aimed the katana down to end the spar, but Takeda hit it with much might. The blade flew from Hiyazami's hands.
"Nice move." Congratulated Hiyazami.
Before he could retrieve the long sword, Takeda leapt in front. Hiyazami quickly drew his wakizashi and tanto. Takeda slashed at his brother, who in turn parried it with the dagger.
He plunged his legs into Takeda's chest, thrusting him backwards. Hiyazami pulled himself up, and held his wakizashi overhead. He struck with his tanto, but in turn it too was knocked from his hands.
Hiyazami lowered his blade to block a strike from Takeda, and then gave him a swift kick to the jaw.
* * *
A man clad in black watched the two brothers spar from the roof of their house. In his scabbard lay a Chinese broadsword, and in his hands he held a spear.
"Soon I will strike at you, Nisua brothers, just wait."
The man turned and jumped off of the roof.
* * *
Chapter Two: The Siege of Seoul
Twenty Japanese boats drifted just off of the coast of Korea, with smaller rowboats heading towards the mainland. The city of Seoul lay ahead. Several had already landed, with samurai, archers and arquebusiers charging forth against Seoul's southern gate. On top of the wall stood many Hwarang archers, and behind the wall, stood several legions of Korean warriors.
"Attack!" yelled a Korean commander.
The Hwarang archers and harquebusier riflemen fired upon the Japanese, striking several samurai. The warriors continued their charge though, with the cavalry storming ahead.
As the first legion reached the wall, the Korean archers on the wall wasted no time firing down below. The Japanese warriors slashed furiously at the large wooden gate while the archers and gunners fired at the Koreans atop the stonewall.
From behind the wall, Korean engineers loaded ballista's, loaded with flaming arrows , ready to fire upon their Japanese enemies. As the lead engineer gave word to fire, the ballistas unleashed the flaming arrows. Several samurai managed to dodge to bolts, but others were not so lucky.
Captain Date Asa rode furiously forth on his horse, firing arrows at his enemies on the wall. After firing his last one, he heard someone scream: "The gate is down!"
The captain turned his steed around, and towards the entrance of the gate. He drew his short wakizashi sword as he rode through the wreckage of the gate and towards the massive Korean army.
"Take this." he said, riding forth and breaking a part of their formation.
Date swiped his way through warrior after warrior as the samurai legions advanced.
* * *
Chapter 3: Shape shifter
Hiyazami and Takeda huffed as they re-sheathed their swords.
"Nice work Takeda." Complemented Hiyazami.
Takeda drew in a long breath, and let it out.
"Thank you Hiyazami. Same for you."
As they both removed their helmets, they saw a man walking over to them.
"Master Hiyazami, Master Takeda, I am Heishiro Mori," said the man while he bowed, "Shogun Hideyoshi requests that you two gather the samurai you can, and take a boat to Korea."
The Nisua brothers were surprised, "Korea? He ordered us to stay here."
"He requires reinforcements. Most of the landing party at Seoul was wiped out, and the others were taken captive." Replied Heishiro.
Silence hung in for a couple moments, until the chirp of a bird broke it.
"Alright," said Hiyazami, "If the shogun requests it, then fine."
"We will find what ever samurai we can, and board a boat."
As Heishiro walked out of the yard, he his body began to change into another form. It was the cloaked man from atop the roof.
He began saying quietly to himself, "Now that the Nisua and all the samurai are gone, the blade will be mine."
* * * Chapter 4: Rescue
Date Asa lay down his katana sword, and put his hands on his head. The sole survivors of the landing party were all going to be taken captive, including him. Dead bodies lay everywhere, including several of his friends. Korean riflemen approached him with caution, with their rifles to his back.
"Up!" said one.
Date stood up, and was led with several other samurai, to a large building. After going down flights and flights of stairs, the Koreans soldiers shoved them into a several cages. The samurai captain spat blood on the stone floor as he watched the guard carrying his swords walked away.
"Goddamn it!" he cursed.
A fellow warrior walked over to his captain.
"Master, we shouldn't lose hope-"
Date quickly cut him off, "I have already lost hope! We are without weapons, in a jail cells, and will without a doubt be executed within the next 48 hours!"
The other samurai stood silently.
"Please Buddha," said Date with his eyes closed, "Here my plea. Save us."
* * *
A large boat sailed along the rough seas, samurai abound on the deck. Takeda's kimono wobbled slightly as a wave smacked into the starboard side. Hiyazami sat silently on a crate, with a small book in hand. It read; The Art of War, by Sun Tzu.
"Ah, so you read "The Art of War" again, Hiyazami?" inquired Takeda.
"Yes, I do. Sun Tzu must have been a magnificent general."
As Takeda finished talking, he spotted the slightest glimpse of land in the distance.
"Land ahead, sir!" reported a shipmate to Takeda.
"Excellent! Those prisoners will be freed, I swear it!"
* * *
Chapter 5: Theft
The cloaked shape shifter grimaced as he sliced through the wall of the Nisua house with his naginata (spear). His eyes shifted around the room, but not finding his prize. The man continued into the room, and kicked down the next door. He then spotted it: the Nisua clan sword. He approached it carefully, and lifted it off of the stand.
"Finally," he said, "It belongs to Phang Xzu! Never again will the Japanese defile my people in China, or others in Korea!"
The sorcerer, now known as Phang Xzu, held the Japanese sword into the air in celebration. Phang then brought it down and squeezed the sword with its sheath on into his belt.
* * *
The samurai kicked down the wooden doors of their landing boats. Takeda and Hiyazami rushed out first, followed by several other samurai.
Looking around, Hiyazami said, "Where is everyone?"
The samurai stood still as more landing boats containing siege weapons approached. They could see the southern Seoul gate in the distance, where the Koreans probably were.
"Wait until the artillery and reinforcements arrive," said Takeda, "Then we will attack the gate."
An hour passed until all of the siege equipment, cavalry and reinforcements had arrived. The Nisuas mounted their new steeds, and rode to the front of the attack force.
Hiyazami pulled his steed to its hind legs, and said, "We will march to the gate, and on mine or captain Takeda's order, attack!"
The samurai lifted their weapons into the air, and yelled. The battalion began moving forwards. But as the force started their march, Takeda wondered to himself, "Where the hell is Heishiro?"
* * *
Chapter 6: Power of the Nisua
Phang Xzu looked around at the destruction he had caused with a single blade, the Nisua blade. Women and children screamed and ran for cover as the power-mad freak tore down a house with a single slash of the sword.
A man ran from a house, spear in hand. He tried a horizontal slash with it, only to have it sliced in two. Then, in one clean swipe from Phang, the man's head flew free from his shoulders. Phang had soon destroyed the entire village.
"Next up, Kyoto."
Phang Xzu turned around, and began his death march to the capitol of Japan, Kyoto.
* * * Chapter 7: The Second Attack
"Fire!" yelled a Japanese commander.
Catapults and bombard cannons opened fire onto the gate as samurai and other soldiers charged to the attack. As the battle commenced, Korean archers were immediately retaliating. The sky darkened as arrows and smoke from gunshots filled the sky.
As the large wooden gate shattered, Takeda and Hiyazami instantly ready. They gave the signal to the cavalry to charge forth. Hundreds of mounted samurai rode furiously through the newly shattered-again gate, much as Date Asa had earlier. Korean pike men quickly plowed the first few lines of cavalry down. The Nisua brothers were roughly thrown from their mounts, and onto the ground.
They quickly analyzed their surroundings; in the middle of a Korean pike man formation. Hiyazami drew both his short wakizashi sword and his katana long sword, while Takeda only drew his long sword. They began slashing their way through the soldiers, who had presumed they were dead. Takeda brought his sword along sideways, slashing many warriors, and sending blood spraying into the air. Behind him, Hiyazami blocked a stab from a pike man with his wakizashi, and impaled him in turn with the longer blade.
* * *
Date Asa opened his eyes a crack to see what the sound was outside. As he stood up, a cannonball came flying towards the prison cell window.
"Get down!" yelled Date.
As he finished his sentence, the ball crashed through the window and opening the barred gate, effectively forming an escape route.
"Come on," said Date, "Let us get our weapons back and aid in the attack on the Koreans!"
The prisoners of war charged out the broken jail cell gate, and down the hall where the Korean guards had taken their weapons. Date saw the first guard notice him, so he quickly gave him a right hook to the face. The guard fell, but yelled as he did.
"No." said Date silently, knowing that he had alerted other guards.
But no, he didn't. It had seemed that all of the guards had gone to southern gate to fend off the Japanese attack. Date let out a sigh of relief, and signaled for his fellow samurai to find their weapons.
* * *
He swung his blade violently, killing yet another enemy. Hiyazami took a deep breath in as his foe fell, only to be stabbed in the leg by a spearman. Takeda realized this, and gave a swift kick to the spearman, toppling him over.
"Brother, are you ok?" asked Takeda quickly.
Hiyazami replied while getting up, "Yes, I am fine."
Disregarding the pain, Hiyazami found the strength to keep on fighting. His brother also got up, and sheathed his katana. He then drew his bow, and opened fire onto more Korean soldiers. But something inside told him something was wrong in Japan. His suspicions were correct.
* * * Chapter 8: Kyoto under Siege
Phang Xzu smiled slightly as he came to the main entrance of the capitol, Kyoto. Several spearmen stood guard by the gate, but the Chinese sorcerer knew what to do.
"Hey you!" yelled one of them, lifting his spear, "Stop!"
Phang simply ignored them as he waltzed past into the city. The first one charged at him, hoping to stab him. He chuckled silently, and grabbed the man's spear as it came at him. Using his bare hands, he snapped it in two, and knocked him out cold with one roundhouse kick.
The other three gasped at the sight of their ally falling in one kick, but they remain calm. All together, they placed their spears forward, and charged towards Phang Xzu. Instead of drawing the Nisua blade, he drew his double broadswords. He formed an X with the blades, and stopped the spear charge. And then with a double sword slash, he had killed all three guards. Phang sheathed the blade, and began running into Kyoto, all the while un-sheathing the Nisua sword.
He halted to a stop in front of a small row of houses. Many villagers looked at him. Phang simply grimaced.
He charged up to the first house, and in a couple swipes, it was already collapsing. The women and children had begun running for cover, while the men ran for weapons. Phang slashed again with the katana, leveling another house. Once done that house the first group of militia approached him armed with scythes, swords, spears and pitchforks.
The first two, armed with katana, rushed him quickly. Raising the Nisua sword, Phang parried the two shots, and slashed the two men across the chest. Almost instantly, another three charged. Using the power of the Nisua sword, he easily killed all three in one slash. The rest of the militia was soon to die.
* * *
Dead soldiers lay everywhere. Korean and Japanese alike. Two samurai, Takeda and Hiyazami, emerged from the wreckage around them. It had seemed as though the Japanese had won the battle, for now.
"How many men have we lost?" asked Takeda to a nearby samurai.
The man, who had been impaled by four arrows, collapsed to the ground, dead. Takeda shed a small tear, but stayed focused.
Hiyazami then replied to his brother, "About two hundred."
Takeda gritted his teeth and said, "I cannot stand this,"
There was a dull silence for a moment. Takeda then said, "Shogun Hideyoshi would not send us on a suicide mission like this. I am going back to Japan."
Chapter 9: Back to Japan
"What?!" came the shocked answer of Hiyazami.
"You heard me. Hideyoshi wouldn't sacrifice so many samurai for nothing."
"Then what do you think happened?" replied Hiyzami.
"I think that Heishiro was lying to us. Perhaps to get at something while we were gone."
As they finished, a contingent of Japanese soldiers burst through out of the doors on a large building in front of them. Leading them, was none other then Date Asa.
"There," said Date to his men, "There are other samurai here."
Date walked over to the Nisua brothers, and said, "Shogun Hideyoshi sent reinforcements I see."
"And you are?" inquired Takeda.
"I am Captain Date Asa. You are?"
"I am Hiyzami Nisua," said Hiyzami, "And this is my brother, Takeda Nisua."
Takeda spoke up, "Captain Asa, would you be able to take control of my remaining men here?"
Puzzled, Date replied, "Why?"
"I am going back to Japan. I have a bad feeling something is going on there."
There was another awkward silence.
"Fine then," said Date. "May Buddha be with you."
Takeda bowed, as did Date and Hiyazami. The Nisua brothers were now off to Japan again.
* * *
Three days later.
Takeda and Hiyazami gasped at the sight in front of them. Kyoto was in ruins. Flame and smoke were everywhere.
"You were right." said Hiyazami quietly.
"You see? Now come," Takeda said, drawing his katana, "An evil presence is strong in here. We will be the ones to vanquish it."
Hiyazami drew his wakizashi and katana, and began walking towards the city. Takeda did as well.
Everywhere the two walked, dead bodies and destruction was abound. A man, who had multiple slash wounds, dragged himself to the two samurai. Instantly, they reacted to help him up.
"What happened here?!" asked Takeda.
"A m-man came here." said the man, coughing up blood, "He c-called h- hims-self Phang Xzu. He had what h-he c-called the Nisua sword."
The man collapsed dead. Takeda's eyes opened wide. He turned to look at Hiyazami.
"A man named Phang Xzu has our sword?" asked Takeda.
"It seems that way. But with our sword, he could wipe out all of Japan!"
"I know. We must find him."
Takeda gently lay down the dead man's body, and put his arms to his sides. Anger burning inside of him, Takeda began running in a random direction.
"Wait!" called Hiyazami.
But it was too late. Takeda was already out of view.
* * *
Chapter 10: Final Showdown
Kill. Phang seemed possessed by the sword. Kill every last one of them. With another mighty slash, yet another building crumbled to the ground. More and more screams escaped the surviving citizens. A man slammed into to the ground from the force of Phang's blade. The Chinese sorcerer advanced on him to deliver the final stab, but the blade was knocked away from stabbing by an arrow.
About 10 meters away stood Takeda, bow drawn. A look of vengeance was on the samurai's face. Phang faced Takeda, instantly recognizing him.
"Ah, the 'mighty' Takeda Nisua. I never got a chance to thank you for this sword." Said Phang, holding up the Nisua sword.
Anger built inside of Takeda.
"That." said Takeda, taking a step towards Phang, "Is not."
The warrior took another step as the man began to run away.
Takeda instantly drew his katana, and tried a cross slash to Phang. He parried it, and returned with a vertical slash. The shot was blocked as well, and the battle was about to commence. Phang took the offensive with another sword attack. The swipe, aimed at his leg, got through and slashed Takeda. He ignored the pain, staying focused on the task at hand.
Phang once again attacked, but this time to sever his head. Aiming his sword down, the Nisua brother saved himself from losing his head. Again and again the two attacked, each hoping to vanquish one another. The sorcerer just narrowly dodged a stab from Takeda when he jumped backwards to the wall. Using his mastery of the dark arts, he used magic to spring himself from the wall and towards Takeda.
The blade was pointing forwards, and Takeda knew if he didn't react instantly, he'd be dead. He cut his blade in front of the path of Phang's, stopping it in a shower of sparks. Phang Xzu growled as his stabbed was blocked, but then came back with a roundhouse kick. Takeda spat some blood into his foe's face as he fell back, instantly angering the sorcerer.
Phang jumped forth and took advantage of his opponent's staggering pose. Takeda fought hard to regain his fighting posture, but the dark one's strikes were too fast for him.
After delivering a double kick to the chest, Takeda staggered and fell to the ground. Phang cackled with evil delight, and leapt backwards onto the curved roof of a nearby building. In addition to using the Nisua sword, Phang Xzu drew one of his broadswords. He aimed them down, preparing to jump and impale Takeda with them.
"Goodbye, Takeda Nisua!"
The sorcerer jumped, swords aiming for Takeda's neck and chest. Just before the blades stabbed into the samurai, a kick knocked Phang to the ground. The blades made a clang as they slammed into the hard ground. Both of the warriors looked at who had delivered the life saving kick. There stood Hiyazami, both of his blades in hand. Phang knew who he was as well.
"The other Nisua? Pfft, I defeated your brother, and I shall defeat you!"
"Bring it on." Replied Hiyazami.
Phang jumped up again to the roof, as did Hiyazami. They exchanged attacks for well over a minute, until the super-charged Nisua blade shattered Hiyazami's wakizashi. The samurai jumped back, but still had faith in himself. In a maneuver that any warrior would call insane, Hiyazami sheathed his other sword. He shut his eyes as well.
Phang Xzu grinned, and put the broadsword back into its scabbard. He grasped the hilt of the Nisua blade with both hands, and charged towards Hiyazami, sword over his head. Once at his destination, he swung the blade down, but something stopped it. The armored hands of Hiyazami grabbed the blade as it came to his head. The sorcerer gasped, but kept on pushing. The Nisua promptly grabbed the katana from him, and plunged it into his heart.
He coughed up small amounts of blood, and collapsed to the ground as Hiyazami pulled the blade from his chest. He also grabbed the scabbard, and jumped to the ground to meet with his fallen brother.
"Brother. I am here."
"Hiyazami." said Takeda softly, "You have fought gallantly."
"Thank you, Takeda."
"You have even proved yourself better then I. For that, I leave you
the Nisua sword for yourself."
"You cannot die Takeda."
Takeda smiled, and spoke, "It is my time. Goodbye, Hiyazami. May the
our family legacy live on."
And with that, Takeda Nisua, samurai captain of Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi, passed on. A couple tears ran down Hiyazami's cheeks as he put his brother's arms beside his body. He shut Takeda's eyes, and stood up. He began walking towards the sunset, and to the main gate of Kyoto.
After the death of the evil sorcerer Phang Xzu, peace returned to Japan. Shogun Hideyoshi withdrew his forces from Korea, and promoted Date Asa to commander in chief. As for Hiyazami, without much of a purpose, he wandered the land and became ronin, a master-less samurai. For the remainder of his life, the samurai helped out citizens in need, stole from the rich and gave to the poor, and always carried the Nisua katana sword.