A new chapter of Samurai NOT
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Samurai NOT 36
“A-are you sure it’s them, chief…?” one of the bandits asked in a low voice as they watched the samurai and his only escort. “T-they don’t look like they carrying much…”
The chief kept quiet for a moment, observing. “Yeah… I’m pretty sure it’s them…”
Everyone around could tell the lack of confidence in their leader’s voice. Even the bandit doubted his own words.
The boy said nothing. He didn’t care. As long as he did his part, he wouldn’t go hungry. As he thought of that, his stomach growled a little.
There had been few targets in the past weeks. Ever since the chief brought the word about the samurai, all kinds of travelers had been avoiding the area. Had been avoiding them.
We’ve grown too much famous lately… That samurai is connected to that somehow, the boy knew. He couldn’t explain how why he felt that way, but he simply knew. If we can take them, we won’t be hungry again.
Neither the samurai nor his guard seemed to carry any things of value. It was only two men riding two horses on the forest. The samurai had an air of arrogance all the nobles had, as if that man had never gone through anything harsh or difficult in his life.
Must be nice. The only thing they worry is sending others to fight their war from their fortress. The boy clutched his sword harder.
The samurai’s guard, on the other hand, seemed dangerous. Even if he kept his face hidden with a cloth all the time, the boy could tell he had killed many.
And he wasn’t the only one wary of him. The moment the bandits saw him, they whispered the word ninja.
The boy wasn’t interested. He had heard that word before when he was with the scavengers, but he never asked about it.
It didn’t matter who or what his target was. The only thing that matter was what they carried. He didn’t want to risk his life for nothing.
However, he knew they could get a lot from them. Even if they had no jewelry or anything like that, their clothes alone seemed to be worth more than they had gotten in the last few weeks. But what attracted the boy’s eyes was the sword on the samurai’s waist.
Even if the blade was hidden by the sheath, he knew that sword was worth more money than the boy could ever dream. The scabbard too. Made of good wood tainted with black ink, and with a pair of yellow eyes with vertical pupils on a red and orange sun.
That must be more valuable than my sword, thought the boy. And his weapons too. Though the ninja didn’t appear to have any weapon, he knew that dangerous man was carrying a lot of stuff made to kill.
“L-let’s ambush them,” the chief said as the target got closer and closer. “J-just like we planned… Go on, Shōma…”
The chief signalized to the bandits hidden among the trees on the other side of the road. When they signed they were ready, the boy drew his sword and waited.
His heart thumped louder as he held the blade against the rope. He could head his blood pumping as he stared at the chief, waiting for the sign.
And then the man lowered his hand.
The boy cut the rope with one slash. At the same time, a bandit cut the rope on the other side of the road.
At once the rocks fell down and blocked the road like rain. It was the chief’s newest trap. They filled a sack with as many rocks as they could and left above the road. Since the branches and leaves from the trees from both sides blocked, no one could see the trap.
The sudden rocks forced the riders to stop. Before they could understand what was happening, the bandits rushed to the road, branding their weapons at them.
With the rocks blocking their path, the bandits came from both sides, trying to surround the targets.
Only the boy remained where he was, still hidden on the trees. It was the chief’s idea. If they had trouble, he should sneak behind the targets and killed them from behind.
“T-today isn’t your day… pals. I-If you don’t wanna meet your ancestors, leave everything you have,” the chief said in a voice lacking confidence. Even his face was pale as he and the others branded their weapons in a menacing way to the samurai and the ninja.
“So you’re the bandits that have been bothering these parts, huh?” Unlike the chief, the samurai showed no fear on his face. There was only a mild amusement as he smiled. “To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to catch you with such stupid plan. Can’t believe you fell for it… Thanks a lot…”
“I told you, master. Being stupid was the best way. Especially after you betted it wouldn’t work,” the ninja said in a low and cool voice, closing his eyes. “You are and will ever be a bad gambler.”
“Shut up, Masa. Hurry up and take care of them so we can go home.” The samurai spoke, clicking his tongue.
That conversation only made the bandits even more nervous. “H-hey, hey… I don’t… think you understand the situation, p-pal… W-we’re robbing you…”
The ninja said nothing as he turned to the bandit chief. His cold stare was enough to make the chief take a step back, his legs trembling.
When he realized he was retreating, the chief stomped on the ground as loud as he could, the sound echoing through the trees. “W-we’re in bigger number, pal. Unless you think you can fight us, you better—”
Before he could finish talking, the ninja waved his arm. Then he brought his hand to his neck, pulling a small and thin knife. As the chief looked at the blade, blood spilled from the wound. He turned to the ninja and then fell. He was dead.
The others took too long to realize.
Even the boy, who was watching everything from the sides, didn’t see the knife. When that ninja threw it…? I… I was watching the whole time… I didn’t blink or anything… But I didn’t see anything… I only saw him waving the arm…
Before the bandits could do anything, the ninja came down from his horse.
It couldn’t be called a fight. It was a complete massacre. The ninja killed every bandit all by himself in the matters of instants.
After he was the only one standing, all he did was clean the blood from his knife and put it away, out of sight.
The boy couldn’t move. He had trouble breathing. His whole body was numb. What… was… that…? I’ve never… seen… something… like this…
He paralyzed by fear before such strength.
Even so, he had to move. He couldn’t stay there. The ninja would find him soon. And then he would be the next one to die.
He tried and tried, but no part of him obeyed anymore.
Before he could muster all his strength, a knife struck the tree next to him, missing his head for mere inches.
He managed to turn his head. It was the same knife used to kill the chief.
With his throat dry, when he turned, he saw the ninja looking in his direction, staring at him with the same cold eyes, another knife in his hands.
With his mind empty, he had how, but he managed to turn around and walk. He wanted to run, but his legs refused.
Before he took more than ten steps, something blocked his path.
With a cold running down his spine, he slowly looked up.
The ninja was looking down on him.
The boy though nothing. He couldn’t. All he did was remain still before such monster.
The ninja put a hand on his shoulder and forced the boy back to the road.
“So you’re the little devil,” the samurai said. It wasn’t a question. Even now, after the massacre that had happened before him, he still had the amused voice. “With surprised someone so young managed to get so much fame in little time. But I suppose killing a lot of people in a fire will do that. Shōma is a befitting name for you.”
Even with his body numb and drenched with sweat, hearing that name from the mouth of a noble who only knew a life of luxury was enough to enrage the boy.
With his breathing fast and shallow, he forced his fingers to close on the handle of his sword. Shouting in his heart, he used all his strength to draw the sword.
But before he could even do that, he felt a cold blade against his neck.
“I don’t care if you’re a boy. Threaten my master and you won’t live much to regret,” the ninja whispered.
That was enough to make the boy tremble in fear. He didn’t remember, but his hand was no longer on the handle of his sword.
“There’s no need for that, Masao. He’s just a child. Look at him, all trembling. Any more and he’ll piss in his pants,” the samurai said, getting down from his horse.
The ninja pulled the blade from the boy’s neck and let out a heavy sigh. “You’re always soft on kids…”
“Humor this old man for once in your life, will you?”
“That’s what I’ve been doing since I was a brat…”
“And look where it got you!” The samurai smiled and laughed, slapping the ninja on the shoulder a couple times.
As the ninja shook his head, the samurai turned to the boy with the same smile. “You wanna attack me, little devil? Then come. Do as you please.”
The boy’s mind had trouble understanding what the old man was planning. But as he looked between the samurai and the ninja, his rage took over. These nobles think they can play with people however they can!
Thanks to his rage, his blood was boiling, and the cold and the numbness left his body. Almost as if he wasn’t overwhelmed by his fear, the boy drew his sword and swung at the noble.
The samurai avoided all the attacks with much ease. And all with the smile still on his face.
It only made the boy angrier.
When he realized the samurai had no intention to draw his sword against him, the boy left all caution aside and attacked without any care about his defenses. If the ninja wants, he can kill me before I notice.
Throwing his caution aside was a mistake. Even without the sword, the samurai was far stronger than the boy could even dream.
No matter how much he attacked, whenever the samurai slapped the boy’s hands, he dropped the sword.
The boy had lost count of how many times he picked up his sword and tried again.
“Only you’d actually do that to a boy, master,” the ninja said, snorting. “After all these years, you still have that habit of toying with people… It’s really, really annoying…”
“I don’t do that… not a lot…” The samurai shook his head, smiling.
“You did it to me. And your daughter is just like you.”
Even in the middle of a fight, the samurai talked as if taking a stroll. Waving the hand to the ninja, he slapped the boy’s hand once more.
Before he could pick up his sword, with a swift move, the samurai dropped the boy on the floor and pinned him down with the foot.
“You’re not completely awful for a brat, boy,” he said in what almost sounded like a compliment. “Where did you learn how to use a sword?”
The boy tried to take the foot, but the leg didn’t budge even after used his while strength. With the anger boiling even more, he stared at the samurai. “I didn’t,” he said in a defiant voice.
I’m not giving him the satisfaction of toying with me anymore!
The noble hummed and grew quiet.
“You’re a complete amateur, but you have some skill. If it’s natural talent, it’s gonna be interesting.” The samurai flashed a childish smile. “Do you wanna come with me?”
Thanks for reading.
Hope you enjoyed SN
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