THE SAMURAI VAMPIRE SCROLLS

"She takes the heads of the undead."

For fans of manga epics, the KILL BILL movies, and old-school adventure stories.

After Oyomi's entire family is slaughtered by Lord Toyogomi, a powerful Vampire Lord, she is brought up in an abandoned temple by a ghostly woman-ninja and taught swordsmanship by the Shakuhachi playing son of the King of Hell. When she is old enough and well-trained enough in the Way of the Sword, she sets out to kill both Lord Toyogomi and his jeering, sadistic hunchback sidekick Shuzo. But first she must cut through the many other sword-wielding Vampires standing in the way of her singleminded quest for bloody vengeance . . .

The Samurai Vampire Scrolls: Scroll 1

(Translated from the Japanese by A. G. Hardy)

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12. Pine-Grove

 

Ryuchi led the way down a steep path and through a pine grove.

 

Oyomi followed him with quiet steps.

 

In the depths of the grove Ryuchi suddenly stopped and drew a sharp breath.

 

-Sensei!

 

Even as Oyomi put her hand on the hilt of her katana,a half dozen figures glided out from behind pine trees.

 

Oyomi spat on the earth.

 

-Ryuchi! You betrayed me.

 

-No, Sensei. They must have followed me. I am sorry.

 

He fell to his knees, bowing so that his head touched the pine needles.

 

Oyomi considered the young men padding forward to surround her.

 

-I warn you! she cried.

 

There was soft laughter.

 

-We are almost twenty, said a low voice. You are just one. What can you do?

 

-Hah. Kill you all.

 

More laughter.

 

Then a voice said:

 

-Enough! Attack. Take her head for the honor of our school!

 

Ryuchi jumped to his feet.

 

-No!

 

He shot forward, smashing his head into the chest of the senior student who had just spoken.

 

The student went down, sprawling, Ryuchi wrestling with him on the pine needles.

 

As the other students drew their swords, shouting, and rushed her, Oyomi spat on her palm.

 

Crouched low.

 

Ryuchi was biting the senior student's hand as he tried to draw his sword. He howled.

 

Oyomi drew her katana so quickly the movement could not be followed by the naked eye and, whirling, cut through the torsos of the three nearest students.

 

They shrieked as if with one voice, lurched, and fell.

 

Oyomi's face was sprayed with hot blood. Blinking it away, she stepped back, raising her sword to the overhead position. 

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