A ronin came across a convoy escorting a murderer. The head senior officer announced the traveler to clear the path for the convoy. The Ronin stepped aside. The senior officer eyed the ronin with suspicions and stopped before the Ronin.
The Senior officer sat upon his horse and stood before the ronin as the convoy passed them by. The senior officer asked the name of the ronin, by declaring his authority to the traveler.
The ronin replied that it’s been so long since he used his name that he has forgotten it. The senior officer is angered by such ignorant remark. He explained that they (the police force) had a very hard time trying to capture this murderer that many had died by his hands.
The senior officer is suspicious of the ronin and proclaimed him to be a spy to free the murderer. The ronin replied that he was only traveling across the path when the convoy appeared.
Nevertheless, the senior officer is paranoid of the ronin and told the traveler to step farther away from the road. The ronin replied that if he stepped further, he would fall into the ditch of the woods and really hurt himself.
Once again, the senior officer is angered by the attitude of this ronin. So the senior officer dismount from his horse and swaggered toward the ronin.
“Careful, sir,” the ronin warned, “Such swagger might suggest a confrontation with this old swordsman.”
“Such arrogance coming from a peasant!” the senior officer spat out the words.
“I assure you that I am not here to free this prisoner,” the ronin replied, “But you have indeed piqued my interest.”
The senior officer stared at the ronin with cold eyes. The convoy had stopped a few feet ahead, awaiting their senior officer.
“Sir should not stalled by this road if sir feel threatened by this swordsman,” the ronin said, “for if this was indeed a plot to spring this prisoner, then this distraction would serve a purpose.”
The senior officer stepped back and draws his sword. His eyes shot venom at the ronin. The ronin too, stepped back and placed his hands on the hilt of his sheathed sword, but did not draw. The ronin’s eyes showed interest. And he smiled a devilish smile.
But suddenly, arrows flew around them and the convoy was attacked by bandits. The senior officer turned in disbelief to find the bandits upon the convoy.
“Guard the prisoner!” he cried. The ronin relaxed his stance and contemplate if he wants to help out the senior officer or help the prisoner.
The senior officers gave one last look at the ronin and decide to abandon the ronin to aide the guards from the prisoner. The prisoner was far more important to sustain than a mere peasant swordsman.
The prisoner suddenly broke free from his wooded cell. He grabbed a guardsman and snapped his neck. The prisoner took the sword from the dead guardsman, and now has become a deadly force to reckon.
“NO!” the senior officer cried in horror. The prisoner suddenly cut down many guardsmen and the senior officer started to retreat in horror as the prisoner advance toward him.
The ronin’s blade strike at the prisoner, but the prisoner blocked the attack with his borrowed sword. The ronin and the prisoner duel.
The senior officer turned to one of the guardsmen and hollered, “Call for reinforcement!”
The guardsman nodded and scampered away. The senior officer grunted in frustration, knowing that his reinforcement wasn’t going to make it back in time. The senior officer cut down some of the rebels, aiding his loyal officers from the bandits.
The ronin felt the fatigue on his body as he danced with the prisoner. It’s been a long time since he actually battle with his sword and he knew he was a little rusty. If it wasn’t for that damn senior officer who had stopped him and now have gotten him involved. And he knew he wasn’t going to get paid for helping either.
The prisoner’s eyes glared at him with pure evil. The ronin stepped back and held out both his arms, leaving his whole body unprotected from an attack. The ronin glared at the prisoner and challenge him to attack his “Open Stance”.
The prisoner stepped back also and contemplate on what to do. The bandits were retreating and the prisoner smiled at the ronin. “Until next time!” the prisoner hissed with the voice of a snake. The prisoner dashed away with his bandits covering his exit. The ronin sheathed his blade and watch the prisoner escape.
The senior officer watched the prisoner leave and noticed the ronin allowed him the escape. The senior officer howled in anger and started to chase, but the bandits and the prisoners have disappeared. Most of his men laid on the ground bleeding and dying.
The senior officer stomped toward the ronin. He brought down his sword at the ronin, but the ronin jabbed the senior officer with the end of his sword hilt. The jab hit a nerve by the senior officer’s abdomen. The pain pulsate the senior officer’s entire body and he felt his knees give away. The senior officer toppled backward.
“You bastard! You just let the devil go!” the senior officer cried.
“If it was indeed the devil, he would find me again,” the ronin replied.
“You will be punished greatly for your actions against an imperial officer!” the senior officer warned.
The ronin glared down at the senior officer. “You’re authority is worthless to me. I would have stood by and let that prisoner cut you down like the dog you are.”
“You fool!” the senior officer spat out again, “You don’t know what you have done! Twenty Kilometer from here lies a small fishing town. All those innocent villagers will soon be slaughtered by that murderer!”
“I don’t think that is my concern unless the villagers themselves seek yojimbo,” the ronin said. But he paused to think about it. It would be a good opportunity for him to find paid service.
“You’re unworthy to be human!” the senior officer cursed.
“It was you who had made the fatal mistake,” the ronin replied, “I was only passing through.”
With that, the ronin started to walk away. He headed toward the direction of the village, knowing well he would not let innocent lives be wasted by the hands of a murderer.
© Copyright 2016 Sammy Wang Yang. All rights reserved.
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