The last chapter of Samurai NOT
Hope you enjoy
Samurai NOT 47
“I’m fine, Ryuu,” Eiko said before the priest could ask. He was glancing at her wounds from time to time, especially her right arm. “Thanks for worry, but I’m okay.”
“You say that, but you should rest for a—”
“You took care of me yourself.” She smiled at her teacher. “Did you make a mistake?”
“Then you don’t need to watch over me all the time like I’m an infant. I’m fine. And you know I’ve had worse…”
“Okay then… But if you feel anything…”
His worries eased a bit, but despite his words, Ryuu couldn’t help but glance at the swordswoman from time to time.
Eiko had bandages all over her body. From the light burn cause from the electricity to the broken ribs. That kick was stronger than she realized at the time… she said she didn’t even feel them breaking, the priest thought.
However, his biggest concern was the swordswoman’s right arm. From the elbow until the tip of her fingers, he had covered with bandages. You couldn’t even see the limb. And unlike the rest, that bandage had been purified and blessed before he wrapped around her. All to weaken and contain the sealed demon.
If we don’t find a way to transfer that soul to another vessel, she’s gonna spend the rest of her life with that… The rest of her life doing that… Even though she said she didn’t mind, she’s too young for a burden like this… And this exactly what Tadayoshi was thinking…
Eiko noticed the priest’s eyes on her once again. Rolling her eyes, she raised the arm, closing and opening her hand to show it was alright.
“Ryuu-sensei,” she said in a kind voice, turning to him. “I don’t mind I have to spend the rest of my life with this. As long I can still hold a sword, I don’t mind having a soul or two here. As long as I can fight, I’ll be okay.”
Under that determined burning in her eyes, the priest had nothing else to say. She’s just as stubborn as her master… maybe even more, he thought, smiling too.
“If you say so, I’ll believe,” he said, finally flashing a smile. However, it was gone the next moment. “But if you feel any pain—”
“I’ll tell you right away,” she completed the sentence, chuckling. “I’ve heard that so many times I’m gonna have nightmares with that.”
They both laughed, their voices drowning with the sound of the waves crashing against the cliff’s wall. They turned to the endless ocean as the sun rose.
“Let’s finish this.”
Eiko touched the handle of the second blade on her waist, the sword that had belonged to her master. Her eyes watered for a moment, but she closed it, taking a deep breath.
It has been too long since I’ve seen her crying, Ryuu thought, flashing a sad smile. Ever since the day Tadayoshi died…
After she opened her eyes again, she faced the cliff and the ocean that extended beyond her sight could see. “It’s beautiful…”
As they walked to the edge, they said nothing more.
Despite his fear of height, Ryuu leaned forward a little. Beneath them, there was no beach. There was only the ocean, the waves relentless hitting the cliff’s stone walls, and some stones scattered here and there.
Even without those rocks, one could die if they fell from this height in the wrong way, he thought, taking a step away from the edge, the cold sweat coming down his neck.
“You know, I always wanted to see the ocean,” Eiko said in a soft voice barely above the sound of the waves.
“I think you told me… When I was teaching you…”
“Oh, yeah, you’re right… Even when I lived in my village… I always dreamed of seeing those places my mom and Dai-jii used to tell me about. Castles, temples, cities… and the ocean.” She took a deep breath, taking in the salty sea air. “I never thought I’d actually see it all… not until I met Tadayoshi…”
Eiko’s eyes watered again. She closed them, but when she opened them, they were still wet. She fought back the tears, but Ryuu could tell it was a losing battle. However, he said nothing.
“I always thought he was a lazy teacher… who liked to make fun of me and hit me, saying it was for me to get used to pain.” She sniffed. “But after I trained with Taichi, I realized he was a great master… I knew that though… Whenever I needed, he listened to me and all… and the way he passed me his sword… I know that now… He got everything he had thanks to his sword… and he passed it to me…”
Eiko couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. She didn’t try to hide them though. She raised her head and looked at the rising sun.
“Eiko… It wasn’t—”
“I know it wasn’t my fault he died… But I still blame me… I know it makes no sense… Even now, there was no way I could face that Oni like he did…” She cleaned her face but it made no difference; the tears still rolled down her cheeks. “He was stupid for facing a monster like that…But he did it because of me… because of us… When we couldn’t move and the Oni was getting closer… He screamed to call its attention… to save us, he sacrificed his life…”
“Even after three years, I still miss him too,” Ryuu said in a soft voice, rubbing her back gently, hoping it was enough to give her comfort, however little it was. She’s been holding on for too long… She doesn’t need to be strong all the time…
“He left me without a path to follow… He had one… He had been chasing this demon or spirit or whatever this parasite called himself… But me…” She clutched the weapon that once belonged to Tadayoshi. “Master took care of my revenge… He killed the bandits who killed my mother… He saved my village and changed my life… He taught me how to use a sword, but I had nothing to go after he died… stupid master… Why did you have to die? Why did you have to leave me?”
She shouted as loud as she could, letting go of all the feeling she had been harboring up ever since that snowy day they burned Tadayoshi’s body on that mountain.
“He gave me everything! Everything I have now is thanks to him… And yet I did nothing for him…”
“That’s wrong, Eiko! He knew! Tadayoshi knew you loved him!” Ryuu was crying now as well. He held her as hard as his arms could. “You saved him! Yasuhiro-sama never wanted him to go after revenge! He wanted Tadayoshi to find a disciple! Because he knew it’d save him from being consumed by revenge! You saved Tadayoshi from himself. Kaguya-sama told you that!”
With Ryuu embracing her, Eiko cried until she no longer could, the ocean carrying her voice to foreign lands.
When she stopped crying, she cleaned her face and stood up, facing the ocean once again.
“He was a stupid and childish master,” she said, flashing a sad smile. “And I’ll miss him forever.”
Eiko drew the blade that once belonged to her master and Yasuhiro-sama. The short blade was far from what it used to be. It was even shorter than a wakizashi. Even so, it was still a weapon that could be used either to kill or to protect. It was the weapon that fulfilled Tadayoshi’s last wish and saved the swordswoman.
“This sword has lived its life. Just like Yasuhiro-sama and Tadayoshi, it should rest as well.”
Before Ryuu could say anything, Eiko threw the short sword as far as she could. Then she and the priest watched as it went up and then fell. However, instead of falling in the water and sinking to the bottom of the ocean, it struck one of the stones.
The tip pierced the rock and the sword stood there, standing, as if ready to be drawn.
Both Eiko and Ryuu looked at it with a blank face. Then the swordswoman couldn’t stop laughing. The next moment, tears came down.
Ryuu was the same. They were both crying and laughing at the same time.
“That’s my master… Doing something stupid until the end,” she said, cleaning the tears and flashing a smile the priest had seen ever since that day.
Though she still had her whole life ahead of her, she would never forget how it started; with her asking a man dressed in rags for help. All because he had a sword and she wanted to fight.
“Tadayoshi will never be gone. He’ll live in me and my sword,” Eiko said in a peaceful voice.
Thanks for reading.
Hope you enjoy the story.
I still have a lot to tell in this world, but I’ll focus on the ebook for now
Once again, thanks for reading
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