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Saturday, July 19, 2008

4. Sōjirō: Reminiscence from the past

Chapter 4: Makoto Shishio and the Wakabashi


The man draped head to toe with long, yellowish bandages called for Sōjirō.
"You! young boy! I’m going to let you say your last prayers, something these pathetic fools didn’t get before they died. Hurry, don’t take too long."

The demon’s icy words sent a chill down Sōjirō back and froze him to the ground.

But just as the man raised his sword, young Sōjirō smiled, "He he…" And that was all he could do.
Now the swordsman was frozen: none of his enemies had ever shown such an emotion after their lives had been threatened. Usually his victims showed an unmistakable expression of doom.
The man hesitated; and for the first time he looked like he was confused so he said, " Boy, bring me some food and some bandages, find me a place to sleep and I'll let you live.

Sōjirō couldn't believe he was still alive and standing.

"Follow me s-sir" he said timidly. Sōjirō nervously led the man back to the storehouse. He had lost track of time and frankly, didn't care anymore. "P-please wait here for a moment s-sir I'll be right back." He pushed some rice barrels around for the man to rest against and rushed to the kitchen hoping to find some leftover rice balls. As he cautiously tip toed around in the darkness, images of the bandaged man flashed in front of his eyes. Why didn't that man run from the police? Why did he choose to rather stay and kill them? Finally Sōjirō found a couple of rice balls left over from dinner but sadly, no sake.

Sōjirō returned as quietly as he had left. He offered the rice balls to the man and took refuge behind another rice barrel. The man ate slowly even though he looked famished.
"My name is Makoto Shishio" He said."and the reason I didn't kill you tonight is because I found your smile intriguing, very uncommon. And as for the men that I killed tonight, they were insignificant pawns, mere obstacles that I have to go through every now and then. But I must admit, I quite enjoy these encounters."

It was obvious even to young Sōjirō that this man was no ordinary man. The way he spoke so calmly about murder and the way he carried himself: this guy must be a high caliber swordsman.
The horrors of the night were slowly dissolved by fresh morning light. A frantic man hunt had been initiated by the police. Residents in and around the city of Kyoto were alert and frightened. They had heard that a demon was killing people for their blood. Even Sōjirō's family were edgy. His brothers were brandishing their swords boasting that they would be the ones to slay the murderer. But for Sōjirō, it was another long and grueling day of labor.

As he carried rice barrel after rice barrel he knew that something was about to happen. The man hiding in the storehouse was going to bring changes, he knew it.

It was late in the afternoon and Sojiro went back to the storehouse with some rice balls. Makoto Shishio was silently resting on top of some rice barrels. He accepted the food and calmly ate what he was given. Then he spoke.

"You have been very helpful." He reached for his sword; Sōjirō took a step backward " and to show you my appreciation, I'm giving you this Wakabashi. Here, take it."

Sōjirō couldn't believe what was in his arms. "It's b-beauti-."

"Never mind what it looks like on the outside! Understand that using this sword will make you stronger!"

"And never forget that there is only one truth in life. The strong will live and the weak will die."

These words echoed in Sojiro's mind. He repeated it in his head. He was lost for words.

"Thank you Mr. Shishio..." He bowed with gratefulness.

And as Makoto Shishio left the storehouse, somehow he knew that this parting would not last so long.

Older Chapters (3, 2, 1)

The final chapter: Chapter 5: Sojiro's Freedom

YOU WONT WANNA MISS IT! (in true samx series style)


Saral Shrestha said...

Something makes me feel that Shishio will be back for the sword. Or even better! Sojiro kills Shishio with the same sword.

Wait, the somebody else is supposed to kill Shishio.

Quite a gloomy character Makoto Shishio.

Shraman said...

errm actually according to the story, Kenshin Himura, the Battousai DEFEATS Makoto Shishio using the Hitten Mitsurugi. He dusen kill him, he dies afterwards. (its a long story). but readers, the current story about Sojero is like 10 years before the time when the samurai x series started. Its right after Makoto Shishio is burned alive by the government(becoz he knew too much of their secrets).(even longer story). And about the sword, find out in CH5!