Bringing the latest chapter of Samurai NOT
Hope you enjoy
Samurai NOT 33
For days, Tō did nothing but follow Tokage and the other members from the violent scavenger groups. Little by little, he found out a lot about them.
The boss’ group wasn’t the only one they threatened. Every scavenger in the area runway when they saw the leader and the others coming. And that wasn’t all. They also threatened the villagers and harassed the occasional traveling merchants. They didn’t do much more afraid to get the lords’ attention. Nor they tried to argue with the blacksmiths from the castles and fortresses.
Tō also found out where they lived. Unlike the boss’ group, which lived in a camp and sometimes moved around if they heard news of battles in other areas, the violent scavengers had taken hold of a destroyed village.
It wasn’t much different from the camp though. There was only one building that was still standing. The largest one, the shed where the villagers put their harvest. Only a few members slept there, protected by four walls. The others had to sleep outside, using the still standing walls of the destroyed houses as protection.
Tokage, to Tō’s slight joy, had to sleep out in the open, with only the fire to warm him from the windy nights.
The group was only men. The occasional women the boy saw came at night and left in the morning looking completely exhausted and with a lot of money.
Because of that, the entire place had a foul smell of urine, shit, and rotten food all around. And unlike the boss, the leader didn’t order the others to clean the dry leaves from the roof of the shed.
The reason why Tō noticed that was because the boss insisted to clean the dry and dead leaves whenever he saw any.
“These will burn too fast… I don’t want to ever see something like that again,” he had answered the boy’s unasked question.
The violent group’s leader was the complete opposite of the boss. He barely helped getting food, complaining loudly when there was none. The boy had never seen him scavenge the battlefields once; he only ordered people to do it. The leader was more participative whenever there was violence involved. Apart from that, he bossed and complained to the others.
What he liked to do most that didn’t have anything to do with violence was drinking. Whenever they had luck and got good things at the battlefield, or from other scavengers groups, they partied.
And that, the leader didn’t mind sharing. He enjoyed drinking with everyone, so much to the point of singing.
Tō, however, had no idea if he was good or not. He didn’t sound unpleasant though. And his companions asked him to sing every time.
Tonight was one of those nights.
Earlier they had driven away another group and stolen everything from the battlefield. From good armors and even good weapons. Though they hadn’t yet sold it, they knew they would get a lot of money and had spent what they had to celebrate the future wealth.
Only one wasn’t part of the fun. Or better yet, he wasn’t allowed. And Tō knew why. Last time they were celebrating another successful scavenge, the young man had gotten so drunk he vomited on the leader, who was livid and had to be calmed down by the others.
Because of that, the young man, whose name Tō had no idea, had to stand guard before the shed’s door, listening in on the fun while he stood on the cold and windy night, with only the torch as to drive away the darkness.
Even Tokage made fun of him when he came out to pee.
As Tō watched the older boy, he felt a strange boiling sensation on the pit of his stomach. His fists tremble and no matter how much he clutched it, it didn’t stop.
Though Tō wanted to end all that joy the same way they had done it to the boss and the others, Tokage was the one who should suffer the most. And he wanted to be the one to do it.
The shed had no windows and only the main door, which muffled the sound from inside. But when the others encouraged their leader to sing, Tō knew it was the right time.
Staying on the edge of the shadows from the trees, Tō sneaked to what was left of the house closest to shed. While still keeping a watch on the guard, he climbed the wall. Though it was beginning to rot at the top, he knew it would hold his weight. He had seen Tokage kicked a few times when the wall didn’t protect him from the wind.
When he was at the top, he waited. When the leader sang at the top of his lungs, Tō jumped from the wall to the roof of the shed.
He remained still, his heart thumping so loud he was afraid the guard would hear him. He could hear his own blood pumping as he dripped with sweat. If they noticed him, no matter how fast he was, he was good as dead.
But there was nothing different. The guard yawned and the people inside still celebrated.
Breathing out in relief, Tō crawled on the roof until he was right above the door. Making sure he didn’t drop any leaf, he drew the small knife he used to cut leather from the armors. When the others joined the leader’s singing, he jumped down. With one hand, he covered the man’s mouth. With the other, he drove the blade as deep as he could on the man’s neck.
The man was yawning instants before. But the yawn became a muffled scream of pain. He thrashed around, trying to get rid of the boy.
Tō stabbed him again and again, the blood splattering all over him.
With the free hand, he grabbed the boy and threw him on the floor. He touched his wound, feeling the blood. As his face got paler and paler, the looked into Tō’s eyes.
In that moment, the boy knew the man had no idea who his killer was. And before he could scream, either for help, to warn the others, or because of the pain, blood spilled from his mouth. He fell to his knees, still trying to make a sound other than mumbles.
Tō looked him in the eyes. He had seen the man many times as he watched the violent group. He had no idea if he had helped kill the boss and the others. Either way, he didn’t end the man’s pain. He left him to suffer until the light faded from his eyes.
The torch fell from his limp fingers and the boy got it before it fell on the ground. I need to be quick now, he said to himself.
After getting the dead man’s sword and finding a way to make the corpse support the torch, Tō ran back to his original hiding place. There he got the sack with bottles oil to lit lamps. It far from what he wanted, but it was all he could buy with the money he got after selling his sword.
As quickly as he could, Tō soaked the walls with the oil. He knew that, with all the alcohol, the smell of urine, shit, and rotten food would hide the smell.
Even so, he had to be faster.
After all the bottles were empty, he raced back to the hiding place. Though it was too heavy for him, Tō forced himself to drag the log from one of the destroyed houses. Faster… faster… He told his exhausted limbs. He didn’t have the luxury to rest. If someone came out to pee, his whole plan would be ruined, and he would be as good as dead.
Despite the weight, Tō managed to block the door without making too much sound. Then, with the little strength he had left, he dragged the dead young man to the door, making sure the corpse too blocked the door.
Without hesitating, the boy picked up the torch and pressed it against the wood. After it caught fire, he raced around the shed.
Soon everything was in flames.
The shouts of joy, talking and singing ceased. Then it became confusion as the coughs filled the shed.
Soon there was only screams inside.
The roof caught fire too, thanks to the dried and dead leaves.
Even with the muffled sounds, the scream and the coughs, Tō could hear people tripping on metal as they raced for the door.
It must be hard to get out with so much stuff in the way, thought the boy indifferently as he moved to stand as close as he could to the door. The flames were already too strong to stand near.
“What the hell?” There were loud bangings on the door heard, followed by desperate shouts. “There’s something blocking the door!”
When the bangings became stronger, the boy knew the people inside was hitting with the weapons. But the thick wood that protected from the wind and the cold was now their enemy.
The bangings became more desperate. Now it wasn’t on the door; the bandit scavengers were hitting the walls too.
When they finally managed to break the door, Tō stabbed the first man who got out right in the throat.
He died without understanding what was happening. In the midst of the confusion and the fire, the others didn’t even realize as well and simply pushed his body aside to get out that hell first.
The second got out. He too died by the boy’s hands. And so did the third. And the fourth. As the pile of bodies added, some tried to break the wall, making the ceiling caved-in.
Most died crushed by the heavy wood. Only a few managed to escape. And one of them was Tokage.
As the others ran away from the fire and tried to breathe, Tō went after the older boy.
Even coughing nonstop, his eyes showed the rage when he recognized the other.
“You!” he coughed and knelt. He had no strength to stand. “I… should’ve… killed… you… right away!”
As Tō got closer, Tokage drew a blade and swung at him.
The boy managed to dodge, but not completely. Tokage had slashed at his stomach, adding another scar to the one he already had.
But that was all. When he coughed again, Tō jumped in and slashed at his neck.
When the few survivors saw the boy covered in blood and with empty eyes as the fire spread behind him, they ran away.
Thanks for reading.
Hope you enjoyed SN
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