Fourth chapter of A Tale of Two Brothers, Samurai NOT’s spinoff
Hope you like it.
A Tale of Two Brothers 4
“Let… let me speak with my father,” the samurai said despite his dry throat. “Please…”
The advisor shook his head. “I cannot let you. Orders from our Lord. And… Your father should have the last hours of his life for himself.”
“Please… let me speak to him,” Jirou said with difficulty. It hurt to speak. Despite his numb body, Jirou knelt in dogeza, putting both hands on the floor and bowing his forehead until it touched his hands. He closed his eyes to stop his tears. “Please…”
The older warrior kept his silence for a long time. The samurai knew he was putting the advisor in a difficult situation. Muneakira-sama wanted to help, but even so, he himself could not disobey a direct order.
“I’ll allow,” another voice rang above Jirou’s head.
The samurai raised his eyes in time to see the Lord. The guards and the advisor lined against the wall to make room for the man and bowed.
Jirou kept his position, looking up at his Lord.
“I’ll allow for you to speak to your father, Jirou,” the Lord repeated.
“But my Lord—” one of the guards spoke, but was interrupted.
“This isn’t about Daigorou’s betrayal. It’s not about a traitor. It’s about a son meeting with his father. What kind of man would I be if I didn’t allow at least that?”
“Thank you… my… Lord…” Jirou managed to say without letting his tears escape. He kept kneeling until the Lord walked away. The advisor touched his shoulder and went after his superior without saying a word.
“Father!” Jirou said the moment the guards let him enter the room.
Daigorou was sitting on a cushion and writing something. He didn’t raise his head immediately. First, he finished writing, placed the brush down and pushed himself away from the little table. Only then he raised his eyes to see his son.
“Jirou…” the older samurai said in a low voice. He smiled but then lowered his head, not meeting his son’s eyes.
Jirou felt as if he had been stabbed with a sword. To see the man he admired like that hurt more than any defeat. “Please, father, don’t lower your head… not to me…”
“But I must, my son,” he said in the same low and weak voice. “I have brought shame to myself, to our family, to you. How could I meet your eyes after what I have done?”
Jirou was on the verge of crying. But he held the tears back. He had to. For his father.
“How can saving innocent people be shameful?”
“That I cannot say. Only the Heaven knows. Because for those hundred lives that I saved, I killed a thousand soldiers. Not just soldiers, they were people that I knew, my friends, your friends…”
With those words, the samurai understood. His father wasn’t going to take his own life to protect his honor. He saved the village, but in order to pay for those that died, he would pay with his own life.
The pain and the desire to cry tore the samurai on the inside, but he still kept firm. Because if his father wasn’t going to cry, neither would he. That would bring shame to the man he admired the most.
Both samurais stayed in quiet for a long time.
“Where’s Asahi?” the older warrior asked, breaking the silence.
“With the guards,” Jirou managed to answer despite his dry throat. “They wouldn’t let me in with it.”
The samurai showed a sad smile and sighed. “Too bad. I wanted to see one of the greatest honor our family with my own eyes one last time.”
Despite all his effort, the samurai couldn’t keep in him any longer. “Father…”
“Please, don’t cry, son. I have brought this on myself. The only way to repay is with my own life… And besides, I will see your mother…” he showed the same sad smile.
How can taking your own life make anything better? The samurai wanted to scream, but kept the words to himself with a great effort.
“But you have done nothing wrong. So, please, never lower your head. And take care of your older brother. He might be big and strong, but he has a soft heart. I’m glad he found a great wife to make sure he doesn’t fall on the wrong path.”
“Thank you for being a great son, Jirou. You’ve been blessed with both skills and looks. I just wish I’d see you find a wife before this.” He smiled at Jirou, but it was the saddest smile the samurai had ever seen on his father. “Sorry for not being an honorable father that I wanted to be.”
“No, father… Please… don’t say that… you have been a great father, so don’t… don’t…” Jirou lost his words due to his tears.
For a long time, they both said nothing, only the cries of a son losing his father echoed inside the room.