The Last Samurai: Souls and Memories

Memories can be forgotten, but the past is set in stone.

Tamashi Takahashi, a 12 year old boy robbed of his family and village by the tyrannical Emperor Kuno Satsugai, sets out to avenge his people. Along the way he is reunited with an old friend and warrior, Kenji Kotai.
Life is put on the line as they venture to-and-fro, meeting new friends and enemies along the way, and strive to bring justice upon the oppressors, and liberation to the oppressed


13. Into the Darkness

“Hold your hand out and focus, think about lightning running through your veins. You are lightning, lightning is you.” Kenji spoke, watching Tamashi, his expression serious. 
Tamashi kept his hand out and kept his focus on the task at hand, trying to create some kind of spark or just a stream of lightning. But, he had his doubts. When nothing came out he gave a sigh of hopelessness. “Kenji, it's no use we've been at it all day. I can't do it, I don't even know how I managed to do it that other time.” Tamashi spoke with a sigh.
“You're doubting yourself, giving up on yourself, that is why nothing is working out. Magic is a powerful source to harness and weaponize, it takes years to perfect. Especially lightning, given it is a rare magic ability. There are only three magic users with that lightning ability, counting yourself. The other two are masters who wield lightning took nearly their whole lives up studying it.” Kenji spoke, walking up to him. 
“Rare?” Tamashi asked with a tilt of his head. 
“Yes, rare, now no more questions. Let's give it another go, and then we can take a break for the rest of the day.” 
Tamashi gave a nod, waiting on Kenji’s command. 
“Now, another thing. Relax, your shoulders and back are stiff as tree trunks. Hold your hand out, relax and concentrate.” Kenji spoke, watching him intently. 
Tamashi held his hand out and relaxed his whole body, he concentrated on the thought of lightning. Suddenly a stream of lightning leaped from his palm and hit a tree, catching it on fire. “I did it!” Tamashi said excitedly. 
Kenji gave a nod of approval, grinning.
 “Good job.” He spoke. “Take a break, you've earned it.” 
Tamashi nodded. “I'll come inside the INN later, I'm going to go for a walk.”
“Be careful, Bitāzu roam where they please, when they please.” Kenji replied cautiously. 
“Alright, I'll be careful.” Tamashi said with a nod, walking out into the Hollow Woods forest. He came across a large tree that was in the middle of the forest and sat under it, he closed his eyes and relaxed. He felt a chilled breeze in the air, opening his eyes looking upon a presence in the shadows. 
“Well, well, well. Look who've I've stumbled upon. The prophecy itself.” Aarmux spoke with a smirk, walking out of the shadows. 
Tamashi quickly jumped away from him, fear in his eyes. “P-Prophecy?” He asked. 
Aarmux lunged at Tamashi and grabbed him by the throat, slamming him against the large tree, Aarmux stood about 6’7, one arm composed of steel, rooted to his bone, shining in the sunlight. He was tan, his upper body covered in scars and burns, he was shirtless, apart from a belt than ran from his right shoulder to his left leg. He wore a black caped pauldron, the cape a deep crimson. An enormous scimitar was belted to his back, its blade was inlaid with copper. 
“L-Let me go.” Tamashi choked out, a blinded Tamashi, who found himself and Aarmux in a burned down village that looked like it had been left for years on end, few burned buildings still stood. 
Aarmux dropped him in the charred grass that was almost nothing but ash.
“Where are we?” Tamashi asked, quickly moving away from him with his hand on his blade, ready to draw.
“Kimohama.” Aarmux spoke with a smirk. 
Tamashi’s eyes widened and he fell to his knees shaking. “No….. You can't be serious..” Tamashi said with fear in his eyes. 
Aarmux grabbed Tamashi by the neck once more, then lifted him up to eye level. “And this will happen to every village in the mainlands, should you join us…” He said with a sinister chuckle. 
“I will never join you.. I'd rather die.” Tamashi replied. 
“Then you can join your loved ones!” Aarmux yelled, throwing him at a burned down house that was still standing. Tamashi went through the wall of the house, the house beginning to collapse as Tamashi winced in pain. Blood trickling down his wounds. Tamashi quickly stood up and then jumped out of the way of falling debris. He winced once more as he continued to run, soon a large piece of debris fell on his head and he fell to the ground, nearly unconcious. More and more debris began to fall, a pillar landed on his legs, he screamed out in pain and struggled to get out. He placed his hands on the pillar and tried to move it off of his legs, his right leg was bloody and wounded while his left leg wasn't as injured. 
Tamashi managed to move the pillar off of his legs and continued to run with a limp from his right leg, he saw an upcoming wall in his way. His eyes widened and he nearly stopped but kept going, he held his hand out and relaxed. He focused on the electricity and soon shot a stream of lightning as it destroyed a part of the wall which was big enough to get through, he quickly jumped through the hole in the wall and landed on the ashy grass. 
Tamashi looked back and watched the building collapse until there was nothing left but debris on the ground, he looked up and saw Aarmux once more standing before him. 
Elsewhere, Kenji sighed, pacing back and forth, drinking some sake from a leather canteen. “Hehe, kanpai!” He said to himself, noticing it was getting dark and Tamashi still wasn't back. He went down the stairs to the INNkeeper where he stood at his desk. 
“Have you seen a blue haired boy at all?” Kenji asked as he hiccupped. 
“Uh sir, you're drunk..” The keeper spoke with a little bit of a shaken tone. 
“I don't care! Now you better bloody tell me before I learn to be sober and beat the living hell out of you, or so help me god, reduce you to ash!” Kenji yelled, grabbing the man by the collar. 
“Alright, alright! Please calm down sir. I haven't seen the boy at all.” The keeper replied with a shaky voice. 
Kenji dropped the man and then walked out of the INN, biting his lip with impatience. He had a bad feeling in his gut about Tamashi, he didn't like the fact that he was gone after dark now. 
Tamashi rolled out of the way of a blow aimed at his skull, he struggled to take his Tsurugi out but it ended up getting viciously kicked out of his hands. He tried to stand but the severe pain from his right leg prevented it, nor allow him to move as much as he used to.
Tamashi started to back up against a wall in an attempt to get away from Aarmux, his eyes full of fear. 
Aarmux poised his weapon and lunged at Tamashi again and struck at his bad leg with full force. 
Tamashi tried to move out of the way but ended up getting his leg hit, he screamed out in pain. It felt unbearable to the point he merely wanted to fully collapse onto the charred grass. 
Aarmux went to take a finishing blow, he raised his weapon and gave another sinister chuckle. When his sword began to come down Tamashi's eyes closed and he had appeared back into the forest he was once in. 
He coughed and tried to brush off the ash from his clothes and body, his wounds bleeding heavily. He leaned down against a tree, exhaustion beginning to get the best of him. He closed his eyes, breathing heavily out of sheer fear and pain from both his wounds and mentally. A tear fell from a cheek, beginning to allow him to rest. 
Tamashi could feel a familiar presence near him, before he heard someone running towards him. 
“Kid! Kid! That you?” A familiar voice spoke, Kenji. 
Tamashi’s eyes slowly opened, he looked up at Kenji with a painful sorrow expression. 
“Tamashi, what happened?” He asked, eyeing Tamashi’s vile wounds with fury and confusion. 
“Emperor’s General, he took me to Kimohama….” Tamashi spoke, wincing
Kenji slowly stood up, burning with anger, his pupils ignited and his fists clenched and smoked as if his hands were going to burst into flames. 
“That bastard...I'll make him pay.” Kenji muttered, turning back to Tamashi. 
“We should get you back.” He spoke. 
“I'm fine, just my leg and a few cuts…” He muttered. 
“Yuh-huh…” Kenji said, hoisting Tamashi up as they walked off towards the city.


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