With the beginning of the second month, I’ll start to bring more stories.
Now we’ll have two.
This is the spinoff of Samurai NOT I talked about.
The story is short with quick chapters, but I hope you like it.
A Tale of Two Brothers 1
No matter for how long he sat, the boy did not complain.
No matter how much his legs throbbed, the boy did not complain.
He barely noticed the pain and numbness for sitting in the same position for so long.
Because he was too concentrated on burning everything in his memories. He made sure he would remember everything about this day forever.
The day when his father would receive his greatest glory from the Lord himself.
“I don’t know why he should be promoted,” a samurai whispered.
“And to think a low samurai like him will receive those Muramasa swords from the Lord…” another samurai answered, his whisper low enough so only those close to him could hear. But his voice wasn’t so low enough to hide his jealousy.
The boy was not bothered. He had already prepared himself for that. The people around him and his brother did not want them there. But he did not care. Because they were not the ones who invited them. It was the Lord himself.
All those men seating in the long meeting room were important people. Great warriors, samurai of valor, nobles. They were people who led the country, who led the peasants, who protected them.
They were the men he boy admired and wanted one day to stand on the same ground as them. Through my own merit, he thought, pressing his lips to hide his smile, closing his fist hard to stop the quivering of excitement.
That’s why the boy wanted to remember every detail of this day forever. It wasn’t just his father’s greatest glory; it was what he envisioned for himself in the future. Every time he trained with his brother or alone, he saw himself in the same position as his father was right now.
The moment the Lord entered the room, all the conversations stopped. Even the important samurai bowed their heads to the older man.
After all the formalities were done, the ceremony began. The boy barely heard the rewards and titles the Lord’s retainer hand out. He was too excited for that.
When the retainer called the boy’s father’s full name, the first time he had heard in a ceremony, everyone grew quiet. The silence was absolute. But it different than with the others. It wasn’t a silence of admiration for the lowly samurai who had managed to defeat a thousand soldiers with only 200.
The boy saw it clearly. There was only contempt on the samurai’s eyes.
But that didn’t matter at all to him.
His father got up, walked towards the Lord and sat before him in the correct way. He placed both hands on the ground, and then lowered his head, so low his forehead was almost touched his fingers.
The Lord told him to raise his head in his deep voice. He said their victory on the battlefield was only achieved because he managed to stop enemy’s reinforcements.
The nobles and samurai acknowledged that fact, even if grudgingly.
The boy pressed his lips harder to stop his urge to smile as he heard the whispers.
Because even if his father was a low Lord and a samurai as well, and even had blood relations with the main family, he was the third son of a fourth son. He had rights to nothing, and no talent to compensate.
To them, his father didn’t belong there. But even so, they had to acknowledge his deeds today.
To their eyes, the reward the lowly samurai was about to receive was a waste. But he had earned those two swords.
Asahi and Yuuhi. Sunrise and sunset, the boy had already memorized the names. Now it was hard to keep the smile out of his face. Even if he was still learning the letters, he had already learned how to write the swords’ names.
With his head still lowered, the lowly samurai raised both hands. When the swords were given to him, the boy saw his father’s hands twitch, itching to close around the sheath.
But his father didn’t do that. Instead, he said thank you in a voice full of emotion. With all the dignity he could muster, the lowly samurai rose and walked back to his seat between his sons.
Other names were called, other rewards were given, but the boy only had eyes for the swords his father placed before himself.
One day, one of those katana will be mine, the boy thought, not bothering to stop his imagination. He knew it would be his someday. His father had said so.
One day, with Asahi or Yuuhi, I’ll make my name known throughout the land. I’ll travel this country and face the strongest warriors until I’m the best.
But even so, the boy had promised himself he would work hard to be worthy of his father’s greatest glory.
“Ichirou, Jirou,” the samurai said in a low voice after they left the main room. He held both swords in his hands. “One day they’ll belong to you. But only if you two are worthy of them. Not because of me. But because these swords were a gift from our Lord.”
The eyes from them both shone. They nodded together.
“We will, father,” the boys said at the same time, the excitement on their voices.
The father smiled.
“Which sword do you want, brother?” the boy asked to his older brother when someone called their father and they could speak freely.
“You should be the one to choose,” Ichirou said, his smile somewhat sad. “You have more talent with a sword than I …”
Jirou stretched out his arm to put a hand on his tall brother’s shoulder.
“Even if people say that, you have your own talent as well. Your strength is something most would envy,” the young samurai said. “Remember this. You and I will both be great samurai one day. And since you’re the oldest, you’ll inherit father’s house and I’ll support you, brother.”
Ichirou showed a bright smile.
Jirou did the same. Someday I’ll make mine name known across the land. I’ll be the best samurai after Yasuhiro-sama, the boy promised himself.