Shizumaru Samurai Shodown
Fan Fiction
--The website dedicated to all Samurai Spirits fans--~ver5.0~

Samurai Spirits: End of an Era
by Nick Kimbrel
Homepage: The Dojo

Chapter 2 : A Companion

     Haohmaru had been wandering the land aimlessly for many days now. He began to wonder if leaving the temple was really such a good idea. Though his goal was the town of Osaka, he had become unaware of his surroundings quite some time ago. This is what frightened him. The rice balls he packed before leaving were almost immediately depleted and now his stomach growled with every step. He attempted to catch fish when his journey led him to the edge of the Kamo River, but these attempts proved futile. He accepted this as a lack of training and speed, and his ongoing hunger a lack of discipline. He had grown soft over the years at the temple, having been provided with an endless supply of food and shelter. He needed to toughen up if he was to defeat his rival Genjuro. Deep in thought about his situation, Haohmaru did not realize he had walked into a deserted town.
     “Who goes there!” Shouted a loud, rather immature voice.
     Startled, Haohmaru looked up and was instantly aware of his surroundings. The rather small town was completely deserted. The houses, charred and randomly dispersed across the immediate area, had obviously suffered a major tragedy. The ground around the town was burnt and covered with a thin layer of ash. Haohmaru immediately assumed the town had undergone a great inferno, leaving it in shambles. The voice called out a second time.
     “What’s your name, ronin!” Called out the voice.
     “My name is Haohmaru, and I suggest you show yourself!” Said Haohmaru, easing his sword from its sheath.
     Just then, a shadow coasted over Haohmaru and landed just a few feet to the side of him. Landing, the bushy-haired boy turned around, tossing an old, tattered umbrella to the side. The boy was dressed in a short, white kimono obviously not made to fit him. His bushy red hair was unkept and dirty. His face was dirty and black from the ash that covered the area.
     “My name is Hisame Shizumaru, and I am the lord of this deserted town.”
     The sight of this made Haohmaru burst out in laughter.
     Irritated, the boy screamed out, “It’s true! I was here first! And…And, if you think you can just come in here and loot, you’ve got another thing coming!”
     With this, the boy drew a wooden sword from his belt and lunged at Haohmaru. Stepping to the side, Haohmaru easily dodged the attack, sending the boy crashing to the ground.
     “Ouch!” Yelped the boy, holding his torn knee.
     “You better stop before you poke your eye out!” Said Haohmaru, bursting with laughter.
     Wasting no time, Haohmaru asked the boy, “Don’t you have any food around here?”
     “Why should I give you any?” The boy asked, rubbing his knee.
     “Well, if you don’t, I’ll have to kill you.” Said Haohmaru with a smile on his face.
     “What!” Screeched the boy, trying desperately to crawl away.
     Haohmaru exploded with laughter. “Easy boy. Just show me the food, and I’ll let you live.”
     Comfortable with the new offer, Shizumaru led Haohmaru to a burned shack on the outskirts of town. Skipping through the town as if Haohmaru posed no threat whatsoever any more, the boy swung his wooden sword wildly in the air, humming a merry tune. This sign of immaturity made Haohmaru laugh, mainly because it reminded him of his youth.
     “After I arrived in the burnt down village, I went around and collected all the food, sake, and other goods and stored them in here.” Said the boy with a proud look on his face.
     Opening the door, Haohmaru saw stacks of rice cakes, jars of sake, pickles, and an occasional katana or halbred.
     “I see you’ve been busy.” Said Haohmaru.
     Shizumaru shook his head as he shoved rice cakes into his mouth. Haohmaru too began to eat the cakes, one after another until his hunger was satisfied.
     “How old are you?” Asked Haohmaru, leaning up against one of the charred walls.
     “Thirteen and a half. But I have the skill of a fifteen year old!”
     “Is that so?” Said Haohmaru, smiling.
     “Yep, back in town I was the strongest one in my class. Nobody could beat me!”
     “Well, you sure didn’t show it during our little encounter in the street, now did you?”
     “That’s only because I tripped. Otherwise, you would’ve been sorry!”
     “Hmm, is that so.” Said Haohmaru, rubbing the stubble on his chin. “Say, where are you from anyway?”
     “I’m not sure.” Replied Shizumaru. “I was taken care of by the temple in the town of Otsu. I got bored studying there everyday so I ran away.”
     Haohmaru listened intently, fascinated with the boy’s story.
     “Someday, I’m going to be the world’s greatest samurai!” Said the boy, swinging his sword into a pile of rice cakes in the corner.
     “That’s pretty big talk. Are you sure you are ready for the challenge?”
     “Of course!” Said the boy, walking out the door of the shack. “My old master said that I had a lot of potential.”
     “Well, I guess I should be on my way.” Interrupted Haohmaru, filling his pack with rice cakes and a few jars of sake. “Thank you for the food.”
     “You’re leaving already!” Shouted Shizumaru, turning quickly to face Haohmaru.
     “Yes, I’m on my way to the town of Osaka.”
     “Oh, I see.” Pouted the boy, kicking a rock that lay on the ground next to him.
     Haohmaru, seeing the sadness in the boy’s face, asked him if he wished to accompany him on his journey. Shizumaru, leaping into the air, quickly accepted the offer and dashed back into the deserted town. Returning almost immediately, the boy had strapped the old umbrella to his back and was tying his wooden sword to his belt.
     “Are you ready.” Asked Haohmaru, smiling.
     “Yep.” Said the boy, skipping merrily behind the imposing figure of Haohmaru.
     As they walked off into the now setting sun, Shizumaru looked up frequently to meet the face of Haohmaru, admiring the towering figure and his rustic look. The boy looked at the deep emerald hilt of Haohmaru’s katana and his eyes widened. He looked down at his old, tattered wooden sword and compared it to Haohmaru’s.
     “Someday, I’m going to have a sword like that.” Thought Shizumaru, staring at the magnificent katana tied to the belt of Haohmaru.
     Together, they walked down the beaten path into the setting sun, unaware of what fate had in store for them when they reached the town of Osaka.

Chapter 3 : A Tainted Soul

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