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Post by Azmot on February 7th 2016, 5:52 pm

The Samurai once had honor, before he was spoiled rotten. He walked the path plain and noble, like many before him, following the conducts and virtues of his profession as one of the Emperor's soldiers. They horded off evil dragons and other beasts, such as Hihis (baboon spirits) and Tengus (Bird demons), from the village-castle that made their home. He didn't for patriotic reasons, though, but because of a fear of the wild. Without civilization, he wouldn't last a minute. No one would. The only reason society could exist and even dominate the life around them was their sheer numbers. Humans expand like a slow burn, an iceberg inching closer toward the horizon.

It was one day during the sixth month of Soryen's apprenticeship to be a swordsman that he woke up in an entirely different world, unaware of his disinfected mind, swathed clean of his betrayal and skill and disease. He was in front of what seemed to be a shrine, but it was old and overgrown with moss. He was sitting upright in a praying position, recognizing the altar with respect. Strokes of black and white manicured a small symbol at the monolith's base, but it was faded and hard to make out, the bold and brilliant shades now venerable and spotted.

The air was thick with an electric atmosphere, as if it was pushing against everything that defied emptiness. Was this a dream? The last thing he could remember was the black ceiling of his small house, and then it was this. It must be a dream, or a vision quest, or heaven. Was he ambushed in his sleep?

He stood and turned to find a forest of bamboo and a sun-blocked, overcast sky. A watery sound accompanied pools of blackness littering the grassy earth, dragging five clawed, black demons onto the surface. They had yellow eyes and zig-zag antenna, and maybe reached Soryen's knees with their slouching (or was it crouching?) stance. His right hand instinctively flew to his waist, and an unfamiliar black hilt met his palms. The cloth licked at his palms and embraced his sense of touch, a valley of lightning striding down his spine. Out of fear, he unsheathed it in a horizontal arc in a defensive attempt, but the ink imps were over twenty feet away and this katana only covered about five feet. None of them moved in response, simply sitting, waiting. When Soryen positioned his sword vertically in front of him, now holding it with both hands, he noticed a faint, hair-width line of cyan surrounding the metal portion of his weapon. Soryen had heard of cursed weaponry before.

Demons, curses? This might be hell.

The calmness of his assessment surprised him. Normally he would be terrified, but the realization almost seemed fitting, as if this was all he expected.

Time stood still, and he waited for one of them to make a move.

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