Disclaimer: I don't own Last Blade 2 or any characters related to it.
Love of a Samurai
It was mid-afternoon, the fifteenth* hour of the day to be exact. Over a green field, dark storm clouds bellowed and the rumbles of thunder were heard afar. A path cut across the green field. The path wasn't used often, due to the lack of stable ground and the narrowness of it. Along that path walked a single man. He wore green hakama pants and a white kimono. Over his kimono was a blue coat. His feet wore a pair of setta and a pair of white tabi socks. Black swordsmen's gauntlets covered his hands. His face had sharp features and looked like it belonged to a middle aged man, but this man was half of that age. His brown eyes were focused on the horizon. On his left cheek were two scars that crossed to make an "x." His raven hair went down his back but stopped a little bit below the shoulders. On his forehead he wore a white headband. Over the band, two strands of hair arched to his face.
One could tell he was a warrior. At his left side was a katana and he seemed to move with a cat like grace. His face was serious and held what seemed to be a permanent glare. The jacket was a symbol of his relation with the Shinsengumi, a group dedicated to the samurai way of life. The group was founded when the doors of Japan opened to the world and the cultures of the West began to absorb Japan's old culture. Its purpose was to preserve the Japanese spirit. By just wearing this coat, much of this mans beliefs are learned. But there is not much to this warrior.
'I must hurry. If I'm any later then I already am, I'll miss this opportunity,' Keiichiro Washizuka thought to himself. He was supposed to meet Mukuro, the reanimated form of Shikyo, who had once been part of the Shinsengumi, but had been killed by Washizuka because he joined the group in order to kill more people. Now he was back due to the fact that Hell's Gate was still open. Through a very reliable source, Washizuka had found out that Mukuro was passing through the very field in which the path that he walked on cut through. He would've left immediately, but he had been delayed by a fight that he had with a leader in the Shinsengumi, Kojiroh Sanada.
Washizuka was close to Kojiroh. They had been taught by the same teacher and thus had a very similar fighting style. Not many people knew this but Kojiroh was actually a woman. Her real name had been Kaori and she was the sister of Kojiroh. The real Kojiroh had been murdered by Shikyo, when he was still alive. When Kaori found out, she swore revenge and took her brother's name. She knew that the only way to gain revenge was with the sword, but it was illegal for a woman to carry a sword. So she dressed as a man. Despite this, Washizuka knew Kojiroh was a woman from the moment he first saw her. It was in the way she carried herself.
Kojiroh had tried to stop him, so that she would kill Mukuro herself. But Washizuka knew she wouldn't last against him. He was nearly killed last time he fought Mukuro, and the rumors said he was even stronger this time around. He knew he had to do this himself, and that he probably wouldn't be coming back. Slowly, the rain began to fall. Seeing a distant figure, Washizuka broke into a full sprint. "So it begins, and so it ends," he said to no one in particular.
The innkeeper walked slowly up the stairs towards the room harboring the woman the samurai had brought in, ignoring the storm outside. The samurai had said to take care of her till he returned. The innkeeper thought it strange but agreed to it. Though she was dressed as a man, the innkeeper knew it was a woman due to the way the samurai had called his patient a she.
Ichi, the innkeeper, slowly opened the door to the room. Lying in the futon was Kojiroh. Her hair was up in a high ponytail, except for one bang, which arched from her forehead to her face. Next to the futon was a white jacket of similar fashion to Washizuka's. Around her head was a white headband. Her face was slender and had a masculine look in it. Next to the futon was a katana, sheathed.
Ichi walked to the futon and placed a rag, soaked in hot water, on her head. No sooner had he done so, Kojiroh's eyes snapped open and in a flash she had sat up and had her katana pressed against Ichi's throat. Her dark blue eyes took in the old man and the room for a few seconds. After deciding that the innkeeper was no threat, she sheathed her katana, and stood up. She was dressed in a dark blue kimono and a pair of hakama pants that were of the same color. She wore the gauntlets on her hands, the same as Washizuka, as well as the same tobi socks and setta. She bent down and claimed her coat. As she put it on, she spoke to the innkeeper in a low growl.
"Where is he?"
Ichi was as confused as ever. A samurai walks in with an injured woman, leaves her in his care, and the same woman had just almost toke his head off. Ichi was finding this business to be getting harder and harder every day.
When Ichi finally spoke, his voice was calm and soothing. "If you're referring to the samurai who brought you in, I don't know where exactly. He did go out the east entrance, which is to your left when you leave this inn. No one goes that way often, so you should find him with ease."
Kojiroh didn't say a word. She quickly left the room and rushed down the stairs. Ichi looked out the window and watched her run out the east exit towards an empty field. 'Young people have so much energy these days,' He thought to himself as he bent down to roll up the futon.
The rain was coming down hard now. Washizuka looked at the man that stood before him. It was more an animal than a man actually. Its skin was a sickly gray. Around the head were the remains of some wrappings. Washizuka could tell that there was little, if any, hair under the wrappings. Saliva dripped from his mouth like rainfall. His eyes held no shine of intelligence or even a soul. His forearms were bandaged, though they seemed more of a decoration then anything. He was clad in a black robe that's sleeves had been ripped off sometime ago. He wore blue pants that had seen many seasons. The pants were ripped and had holes in many places. Around the waist was a green sash that kept the robe in place. Around his neck was a green scarf. He slouched and seemed to use all his strength to stand. In his right hand was a wicked device. Two curved blades were attached to a single handle, one on each side. The blades faced in opposite directions so that both blades could be used easily if need be.
Washizuka drew his katana forth and pointed it at Mukuro. "You have no right to be here demon. Go back to your world and suffer the torment you deserve."
Mukuro just continued to drool. Out of his throat gurgled intelligible words. "Blood…blood…blood! I wonder. How much will you bleed?"
Washizuka jumped back and drew his sword up to the side of his face, the point pointed at Mukuro. Bending his knees, he placed his right foot behind his left and pointed the toe towards his right. His left foot pointed towards Mukuro.
Mukuro just put his weight on his right foot and shifted it to the front. His hands hung loosely at his sides and his torso leaned forward. Washizuka took careful note of this.
Washizuka was never one to wait for an attack. He always attacked first and it was always quick and brutal. This time was no different. He shifted his weight to his lead foot and brought his sword down in a vertical slash. Mukuro brought his sword up and blocked it with one blade. Simultaneously he separated his obscure weapon into two blades and while one continued to block the katana, the other swiped the sword in his grip across Washizuka's stomach. He let out a grunt but that was all.
Washizuka drew back into his stance and countered with a deep stab. Mukuro saw this and parried it to his left with one of his blades while the other prepared to strike. Washizuka saw this and swung his sword around in the same path in a circular form and cut deep into Mukuro's shoulder. He took one moment to look at the wound then he looked at Washizuka and started to laugh. 'He even laughs at his own pain,' Washizuka thought to himself.
Washizuka brought his sword down in a cut from Mukuro's left shoulder to his right hip, but he blocked it and stabbed Washizuka in his left shoulder with his other blade. Washizuka countered with a shallow cut to Mukuro's chest. He then tried to hew Mukuro's feet but he jumped over Washizuka's katana and brought both blades down in a vertical slash. Washizuka blocked both swords with his own and started to push back as Mukuro put his full weight down on him.
Washizuka snapped a front kick at Mukuro's stomach when his arms began to tire from holding the block with so much pressure coming down. As Mukuro felt the wind leave him, Washizuka ran at him and left a deep cut in his stomach. Pressing his advantage, Washizuka swung his sword down diagonally, leaving a deep wound across Mukuro's chest. He then followed up with a similar slash, this time going the opposite way. He finished it off with a sidekick to the chest, which sent Mukuro to the ground.
Washizuka stood there, breathing heavily, thinking it was over. Suddenly, Mukuro slowly got back up. Washizuka realized that none of his attacks had drawn blood, because Mukuro was dead and had no blood to bleed. This made it almost impossible to kill him. Mukuro gave off a sick laugh.
Seeing his opponent let his guard down, Mukuro rushed at Washizuka. Grapping hold of him, Mukuro used one blade to cut open Washizuka's stomach deep. The other one slashed at his shoulder and traveled down to the hip, hitting bone the entire way. Blood mixed with the mud on the ground.
Washizuka was down on one knee, his weight on his sword. 'Can't …stop…now. I must. For honor. For Kojiroh.' Slowly, he got back to his feet and drew his blade back and placed one hand forward. His eyes rested on Mukuro, who was some yards away. 'For Kojiroh…'
Mukuro, decided to finish the game, threw his sword at Washizuka, the blades flipping end over end. Washizuka saw his chance. With a mighty cry, he ran forward, right towards the spinning object. Quickly smacking the swords aside with the butt of his sword, Washizuka thrust his sword in a final stab at Mukuro's distraught face.
"For honor!!" was the cry that was as loud as the crack of lightning as the sword found home.
'I will kill him.'
This thought went over and over in Kojiroh's mind. All previous feelings she had for him forgotten, she saw Washizuka as another enemy. Squinting her eyes against the rain and wind, she pushed forward into the field, searching for her companion and enemy.
The storm was reaching its peak when she heard it. A cry like the thunder rolled into Kojiroh's ears. She couldn't discern what it was but she recognized it as Washizuka's voice. She immediately dashed in the direction it had seemed to come from at a full sprint.
Kojiroh was coming over a hill when she saw it. Two curved blades, attached at the hilt, one point buried in the ground, the other pointing towards the angry heavens.
'That's Shikyo's sword,' she thought as she walked up to the blade. It was the same sword that had killed her brother. She clenched her hand into a tight fist. She reached for her side and pulled forth her katana. 'They have to be around here.'
Kojiroh looked to the top of the hill and what she saw made her blood freeze. Standing with one hand on his katana, stood Washizuka. His sword had been thrust up to the hand-guard, straight through Mukuro's throat. The end of the sword could be seen sticking through the back of Mukuro's neck.
'He stole my honor,' was all that Kojiroh could think. The honor of avenging her brother's death had been stolen again.
Kojiroh watched in cold silence, ignoring the rain was falling around her. She watched as the wind blew the head of Mukuro clear off his neck and the body crumble with it. 'He is dead then. Again,' thought, not finding it amusing to the least. A million thoughts went through her head as she thought about her dead brother and how she hadn't been able to avenge him.
All this was banished from Kojiroh's head as Washizuka's katana fell from his hand and collapsed like a rag doll. She didn't know exactly what happened next, she did remember later walking up to Washizuka with tears running freely down her cheeks and kneeling down on one knee next to him. She gently rolled him over onto his back and examined his wounds.
Washizuka had two deep cuts, one running from the shoulder to the hip and another one across his stomach. Kojiroh could see bone on the former and she was quite sure the cut in the stomach almost went to the intestine. He had a shallow stab wound in the opposite shoulder and another shallow cut in the stomach. He was soaked to the skin and had already lost a lot of blood.
Kojiroh looked now at Washizuka's face, the tears running down her cheeks clearly.
"Yes." It was all she could say.
"Forgive me. I have failed you."
Kojiroh shook her head slowly. "You didn't. You fought like a true samurai. Rest now."
Washizuka nearly smiled. "How can I rest, my love, when you are here."
Kojiroh just smiled, although she felt her insides beginning to flutter. What did the westerners call it? Butterflies in the stomach? "So, you finally tell me. And just before you pass."
Washizuka smiled. "I admire your strength, my love, even when I'm about to die, you still hide it all inside. Please, keep that strength after I'm gone, but for now, I want to see the real you. The one you keep inside."
Kojiroh took his hand in hers and held onto it with all her might, as if it might prevent his leaving. "Washizuka…" she whispered.
"I regret having only told you now." He smiled again. "Funny. All my life I never feared death, but now that it is upon me, I fear leaving you alone. But I know you will not fail and remain strong."
All that Kojiroh could do was nod. Slowly, Washizuka reached for his sword and put it in her hand. "I want you to keep this. Like a true samurai, I consider this sword my soul. I give it to you, so that my soul shall be with you."
Kojiroh nodded again. "I love you Washizuka." Washizuka smiled and closed his eyes.
Thus, Keiichiro Washizuka passed from this world. He left behind the woman who he loved but who only found out on his last breath. On the hour he died, it is said in the village that a great cry of sorrow was heard from the fields but no one was sure for it could very well have been the storm.
Kojiroh Sanada continued to lead the Shinsengumi till her death. After the death of Washizuka, it is said she carried his sword everywhere and refused to go to an event if she wasn't allowed it. Washizuka was buried next to her brother. He was buried with the rest of her loved ones.
As for Mukuro, his body was burned and it is said no grass grows on the ground where he fell and no animal goes into the field anymore. It is called "The Field of Lost Love," and no married man or woman dares to cross the field to this day.
*three 'o' clock
A/N: And that's all she wrote. Tell me what cha think and I'll try to fix the story as best as I can.