Disclaimer: This plot and all characters are my property.
Orenji no Tsuki - Orange Moon
Enter the Swordsman, Yoshiro
The flap door slammed open to the inn. A group of five men stomped into the room wearing angry expressions on their faces. Each had a katana at their side and wore male yukata.
"Where's that punk, Yoshiro?" one of the men demanded.
Everyone in the room looked up from their sake or green tea to stare at them. Well, everyone except one young man with his back facing towards them.
"We know you're in here, bastard!" another man from the group declared.
The geisha next to the teen were murmuring to each other out of fear. "Are they bandits or from the military?" one woman asked.
The teen only calmly sipped his tea, giving off no reaction at all.
The man standing in front of the rest of the group pulled out his sword in one swift movement. "Should I start killing people in here to lure you out of hiding?" he sneered.
One of the other men grabbed the geisha standing by the teen.
"No! Please don't kill me!" the woman begged, struggling against strong arms.
This was when the rest of villagers in the inn started to panic. Men and geisha rushed to the far side of the inn, as far away from the bandits as possible.
The young man at the table remained passive, staying in his seat and finishing his tea.
"Someone help me…" the woman pleaded in tears. The leader's sword was then held to her throat.
"Well?" he bellowed. "Do you want this girl to die because of your negligence?"
Silence echoed throughout the room. Then suddenly, the silence was broken by a cup slamming down on the wooden table.
The teen then calmly stood up from his seat, his back still facing them.
"You! So you're Yoshiro!" the leader declared.
The teen gave a small smirk. "Oi, guys, you really need to calm yourselves. Must you always be so uptight?" the young man replied.
"Don't play smug with us, bastard! No one refuses our boss and lives!" the leader declared.
"Oh, really now?" the teen sneered, calmly placing his hand on the hilt on his sword.
"Kill him!" the leader commanded. The man holding the geisha heaved her harshly to the side.
At once, all of the men charged at the teen. Swiftly, the man, Yoshiro, pulled out his katana, gripped the sword with both hands, pivoted his feet, and slashed through the two men rushing at him on his right side. The two bandits instantly dropped to their knees and let go of their swords as blood sprayed out of their wounds. They were dead. All of this happened so fast that the other men didn't even see the sword when Yoshiro used it. All around the room, the locals gave gasps of surprise at the teen's skill.
The leader and the two men on his left faltered as they caught sight of their two fallen comrades. Their mutilated bodies now lay face-down in their own puddle of blood.
"You bastard! You'll pay for that!" the leader bellowed in rage.
The leader rushed at him from the front with his katana already drawn.
The other men on Yoshiro's left both slashed their unsheathed swords at him at the same time.
In an effortless movement, the teen jumped over the blades and used the men as platforms to jump off of; pressing his tabi-clad feet harshly into each of their faces and holding his katana above his head.
The leader stopped, watching wide-eyed as the man quickly sliced off his katana-holding arm!
"Ugh...!" the man hissed in a grimace, clutching where his arm used to be and dropping to his knees in agony. Crimson flowed from the wound and dripped through his fingers and down to the already-made puddle of blood on the wooden floor boards. In the puddle, laid his limp arm and katana; useless.
"Y-you...bastard…" the injured man growled. "Y-you'll p-pay for...t-this!" he then vowed.
The other two that were kicked to the floor were back up, glaring at the teenager. Imprints of the tabi and anger were evident on their faces. They then rushed to their leader.
"Are you all right?" one asked, putting the man's only arm around his shoulder and pulling him to his feet.
"D...does it look...like...it?!" the man raged. "Retreat!" he then yelled.
All three of them managed a hasty run out of the inn.
Yoshiro didn't even bother chasing after them. They were just a nuisance in his book. He rolled his black eyes in annoyance of the weak men. He gave one shake of his sword to get the blood off and sheathed it in its scabbard in one swift movement.
It was then that he noticed all of the eyes that were on him as he looked around the room. He gave a nervous smirk and stated," Sorry for the mess…"
The geisha that was victimized then ran up to him with a grin of relief on her face. "Thank you so much for saving me!" she exclaimed.
"It was nothing," he replied in a bland voice. "Are you all right?" he then asked in a slightly concerned tone.
"I'm all right thanks to you," she said timidly, a blush showing through her white face-paint.
"Good," he smirked, making all of the geisha in the room nearly swoon.
At once, all of the women in the room rushed up to surround him. All of them gushed at how great his skills were and how thankful they were that he saved them.
"Uh...thanks, I guess," he replied, beginning to lose his emotionless, cool edge. He then began to push his way through the crowd. Once he reached the door, he gave the first geisha on his right a few gold coins. "This should be enough for everything."
"Arigatou," the girl replied in a smile, taking the money. "Come back soon!"
He gave a simple nod of his head and left the inn, leaving behind swooning girls and a bloody mess.
It was no wonder on why they thought he looked cute. Most women who saw him thought the same.
He had scruffy, short jet-black hair and deep black eyes. His skin was surprisingly tan for an Asian man. However, what made him stand out was the facial tattoo on his cheek and the diamond-shaped scar on his forehead. The permanent inking was a blue star.
He wore a plain blue haori and hakama. On his haori sleeves were designs of swirling white lines. In the center of the haori was the kanji of his family clan name: Yoru—Night. His hakama had no special markings on them and he wore simple white socks and tabi on his feet. Attached to left side was his scabbard, where his trusty blade rested in.
After leaving behind the village, he dropped his unemotional façade, heaving a sigh. "Damn," he cursed. "That was uneventful. It's like those bastards never stop coming after me. They should know by now that I don't work for sniveling weaklings like them!"
Surprisingly, this was normal for Yoshiro. He was known throughout the western countryside as being one of the best sword wielders around. It was no wonder that many of the bandits and military men wanted him to work for them. Often, after he refused, they couldn't accept that fact and set out to kill him. Their motto was that if they couldn't have him, then nobody else would.
"Hmm, so where will I go now?" he murmured to himself while walking on the dirt path.
Suddenly, he stiffened up. Ahead of him, a being was sucking on the neck of a dead human. "What the hell?" he remarked.
The creature looked strangely human enough. Though, Yoshiro knew that it wasn't the case because of the fact it was sucking the corpse dry of its blood. The body was already flattened out seeing as there was barely any blood in it.
"Oi! You there!" Yoshiro shouted, getting the creature's attention.
The being froze, looking up at the teen. The creature held the outward appearance of a man in his mid-twenties. He was clad in a stone-black man's kimono. However, what grabbed Yoshiro's attention, was the fact that the creature had a mark of a black diamond in the middle of his forehead and that his eyes were crimson-red.
The teen's face scrunched up in disgust. Another one of them. "Couldn't you do that somewhere else? Like somewhere in a desolate forest, perhaps?" he asked in an annoyed tone.
The creature threw the teen a glare. "I do whatever I like, whenever I like," he simply said.
"That's all good and well, but I prefer not to see it. You lack what most people would call decency," Yoshiro remarked.
"Hey, it's either feeding or death," the creature responded nonchalantly.
"How about this? If you don't move out of my way, I'll cause your death, instead," Yoshiro said in a smirk. He was already getting ticked off by this vampire's attitude. Yes, there were many of vampires about the Japanese countryside. This was just one of the huge population of them.
"Heh, yeah right. Unless you were 'Yoshiro,' I wouldn't give much of a damn if you tried to kill me. It wouldn't work," the vampire replied.
The teen's smirk grew into a sneer. Grabbing the hilt of his sword, he commented," Well this is your lucky day, Vampire. You're standing in front of him."
The vampire's eye twitched out of shock. "Y-you're not serious, are you?!" he choked out.
"Would you like me to prove it by cutting off your arm?" Yoshiro asked, his sneer still in place.
"Uh-uh, no!" the vampire stuttered, his smart-aleck attitude quickly shattered.
"Then, please move and take the body with you," Yoshiro smirked. "If you do that, I'll let you live to see the next night."
"Right away, Yoshiro-sama!" the vampire stammered, quickly grabbing the body and dragging it off into the darkness of the forest.
Yoshiro smiled, dropping his hand from the hilt of his sword. "Ah, it's so nice to be known…" he sighed.
The teen was respected by most vampires and humans alike. It was the fact that he was a good fighter and descendant of past vampire slayers. Though, he wasn't officially one yet, he was going to become one soon.
His clan, Yoru, was the vampire hunter clan. They specialized in slaying troublesome vampires across the countryside. They were often called to travel outside of their village in order to kill the vampires terrorizing the area.
That being said, not all vampires were bad. There were some that managed to stay out of harm's way and also some that were turned into bloodsuckers by force. These were the few that his clan tried to avoid kill. However, that didn't mean that there was not prejudice against the creatures. Many of Yoshiro's relatives wanted to kill out the whole population, but Yoshiro was more sensible towards vampires than the majority around him.
All his life, Yoshiro was trained to sense vampires and kill them. However, what made him stand out from the rest was his ability to use the sword expertly. The rest of his clan used different methods of killing such as spells and other magical purging remedies. He preferred using his hands.
As all other soon-to-be slayers before him, he had to wait until the eve of his sixteenth year before he was able to become one. He was only a few days away from that promised night.
"I guess I'd better head back to the village," he sighed. "It won't be long now…"
After a moment's hesitation, he continued to walk down the dark path, enjoying the silence of the night.
Well, that's Chapter 1 of this epic fiction. I hope everyone enjoyed reading it!
Yukata - It's almost like a summer kimono…and in this case, it's for men.
Tabi - Wooden sandals that are thick and have two wooden pegs on the bottom.
Arigatou - Thank You
Haori - An overcoat men and women wore over their inner kimono.
Hakama - Wide kimono-type pants.
Next time on Orenji no Tsuki - The ceremony of Yoshiro's vampire slayer-to-be has begun! What new gift has he gotten and what will he do?
Please drop a review and tell me what you think. I'll try to update as often as I can!
Ja ne! (See you later)