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Unread 05-08-2004, 06:28 PM   #2
Sent to the cornfield
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Crushing the weak beneath the iron jackboots of tyranny
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Dante is reputed to be..repu..tational. Yes.
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Takezato remained silent as his eyes played across the seething mass of humanity within the bar. For some reason, it seemed so cliched, meeting one's destiny here, like the stories his brothers told one another when the night was dark and they were bored. Always, the hero would meet his fated companions in some form of tavern, and then they would go off to do great deeds.

Takezato took a dim view of whatever Fortune that would send a scion of destiny to carouse in winehouses looking for drunkards as companions, but when his seniors had told their stories, he had remained silent.

It was just a story, after all.

Takezato did not consider himself a hero, in any case. He thought of himself more of a servant of the people, his people. His village had taken him in when he was an orphan, without expecting any more of him than to be a good and dutiful son, and when he was sixteen, he had gone to the Festival of the Wasp, hoping to repay the honor they had shown him by becoming a man of honor himself. So far, it had gone pretty well. He had tracked down a number of vicious criminals, and taken revenge in the place of the scores of innocent people who would otherwise have been unable to restore their honor.

But it was not enough.

One such villain had eluded him, a powerful magician whose powers had overwhelmed his. Filled with shame for his failure, Takezato thought to commit seppuku to atone for his failings. However, Tsuruchi himself had stopped him, and instead suggested another way to expiate his sins.

And so now, he was on a musha shugyo, the warrior's pilgrimage, learning to be a man again, rather than a samurai. Learning the ways of the common folk again. Learning the lessons of pride, and concealment. To tell the truth, it wasn't so bad.

Takezato looked to the door of the tavern, and almost immediately he saw a strange man. Unlike all the others, he was dressed neatly, which by itself meant little. But there was something about him, some kind of karmic bond that almost seemed to flash into existence when their eyes met. Takezato's pulse quickened, the thrill of the hunt seeming to fill his veins.

Perhaps there was some truth to those stories, after all.
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