Part 1: The Deaths
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or the Onin War, which is described.
AN: This is a random story that I have no idea whether or not to continue, I just wanted to write it. Everything you read here about the Ashikaga clan is historically accurate. This story is placed in the year of 1473, four years before the end of the Onin War and over four hundred years before the main storyline in Bleach. I did not spell check or proof read considering it is three in the morning. Sorry for any mistakes. Enjoy.
The decomposing reek of the beheaded filled the air with a rancid stench as cartload after cartload of the dead overcrowded the muddy street in the drivers' haste to get the poor souls out of the city.
Being alive in Kyoto during the Onin War was not a desirable thing.
Neither was being dead, Ikkaku mused to himself as the putrid air filled his nose with the decaying odor of flesh and the rusty scent of dried blood. His sheathed sword rested over his shoulders as he walked the streets.
Ever since the Shogun of the prefecture bore a son, life had been battle, death, and little else.
In 1463, Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa had originally named his devout younger brother Ashikaga Yoshimi as his heir, but the younger had been a practicing monk and didn't want to inherit. Eventually, however, he was convinced by Hosokawa Katsumoto to agree to inherit the land of his elder brother.
Nonetheless, the birth of Ashikaga Yoshihisa managed to put him in a very delicate and awkward situation. The monk was unsure of whether or not he would inherit after all.
War broke out within the next few years and Madarame Ikkaku found himself serving as a soldier under Hosokawa.
In 1470, the talented third son of a distinguished family of historians was selected to teach the young heir of the wealthy Ashikaga clan.
Schooling the seven year old was no easy task. Ayasegawa Yumichika was the tutor of the immature, obstinate boy and found himself eager to rip his hair from his head every time the heir arrived for his lessons. Poetry, art, history, and mathematics held no significance to Yoshihisa. Only when war was mentioned did the young boy listen to his teacher…probably only because he was the main cause of it.
Swordplay and horsemanship were the two other likes of the boy. Yumichika was schooled in both categories, so they found themselves on daily outings with two or three samurai surrounding them at all times as they rode through the forest or practiced stances and simple techniques with wooden swords in the dojo.
In 1473, word came to the followers of Hosokawa in Kyoto that the son of Ashikaga was traveling to a near by residence. Their response was to attack the residence.
It was all a wasted effort.
Ashikaga Yoshihisa was not the one who arrived at the Ayasegawa house. Instead, Yumichika traveled home to visit his ailing father.
When the supporters of Hosokawa found this out upon their arrival, they simply killed everyone inside.
While the heir to the Ashikaga Shogunate's life fortunately was spared, Yumichika Ayasegawa's was not.
It was nearing morning and the band of Hosokawa's soldiers got in easily enough. There were very few sentries guarding the residence and were swiftly killed. Ikkaku made his way through the house, bleeding from a single non-threatening cut on his cheek. He pushed open door after door, carefully glancing around for any sign of life, then continuing onward.
When he reached the door at the end of the hall, he grinned in anticipation. A glow of light came from the opposite side of the paper doors. He pulled it open and barely managed to lift his sword in time to block a razor sharp blade from lopping off his head.
Ikkaku's eyes widened at the sight of a young effeminate man wielding a sword. The sword arched back for another strike, but Ikkaku managed to block it again. He waited for an opening and kicked the younger man in the stomach, sending him sprawling across the ground. His sword clattered out of his hand and onto the floor. Ikkaku put his foot on the handle, ruining any attempt of recovering the sword.
On the far side of the room, the frail Ayasegawa clan leader rose shakily from his bed, holding his hand out toward his son.
"I'm fine, Father," Yumichika got to his feet slowly, one arm across his stomach.
"This looks like my lucky day," Ikkaku smiled, holding his sword to the man's chest. "You aren't much more than a boy."
"I'm sorry to disappoint, but you do not look that old yourself," Yumichika said, looking up at his assailant. He clutched his robes with his hand and straightened to his full height. "You don't look like much of anything."
"Why you—" Ikkaku's eyes narrowed as he clenched his jaw. "Aristocrats like you are what start these stupid wars."
"If you're so prone to blaming nobles, why are you fighting for one?"
Ikkaku frowned at the man's words and didn't answer. His fingers tightened on the hilt of the blade.
"I see you cannot form an answer." Yumichika's lilac eyes lowered slightly, gazing at the sword pressed against his chest. "Then I suppose that my death will not be pleasurable."
"Not at all," Ikkaku agreed.
"Please get it over with," the man's eyes closed.
Ikkaku stared for a moment before pulling his sword back to administer a fatal blow.
The moment the blade moved away, Yumichika pulled the small dagger from his robes and plunged it into Ikkaku's shoulder.
The larger man howled in pain and grabbed the boy's robes, keeping him from getting away. It only took an instant to draw the blade across the young man's throat. The blood bubbled forth as Yumichika's eyes fluttered open and closed several times. Ikkaku was startled by the pure disgust he saw there.
He let Yumichika's body collapse to the floor and turned, shaking the young man's blood off of his hand.
He walked toward the door, forgetting about the old man who was now next to his son's lifeless body.
Ikkaku only made it three steps out of the door before the old geezer ran him through with his own son's sword.
End of Part 1: The Deaths.