Let the sane of mind not trod here!
Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:44 am
Sohei looked up at the two men in the tavern from under the brim of his bamboo hat with a complete lack of fear. They were dogs and dogs often needed to be reminded who the alpha was. Sohei scooped another spoonful of rice into his mouth.
“Did you hear me?” The troll said. The troll had long hair green with rotting algae and long strings of weeds caught in it. His teeth were cracked broken and Sohei could smell putrefaction on his breath.
“Yes.” Sohei said. “You say I owe you a toll. I have no money how do you wish to solve this dispute?”
“How about I kill you.” The troll snapped.
“How will that bring money? I have nothing worth selling. If you fight me you will just end up tired and empty handed.”
“Or I could just dine on your flesh.” The troll said bringing the giant axe down in a sweep. Sohei didn’t move until the very last second as the axe head the size of a dinner plater came at him with the speed and grace of a charging bull. With out moving he used his chopsticks to push the weapon slightly out of the way so it came down on the marble floor soaked in saw dust and mead. The ground shook as the weapon jammed into the stone and the troll reared back to pull it out. Sohei poked him once with the chopsticks and the troll yelped let go of the handle of his two handed axe and jumped back.
“I’m going to rip your eyes out.” The troll said struggling and trying at charge Sohei. Sohei stood and put one hand on his staff which was a long tree branch that was mostly straight and well worn.
As the troll charged he put both hands out trying to shove the monk and Sohei stood there as he put all of his might into moving him but Sohei did not move.
“The Mountain does not move.” Sohei said with a smile. “Do you yield?”
“I am going to eat your spleen!” The troll said and attacked the monk with his claws. The troll had razors on his fingers that were over six inches long and filled with rot and decaying meat.
“I will show you the breath of the Earth Dragon.” Sohei said. He held the staff in the middle and swung alternating ends of the stick at the troll. Each time the wood connected with flesh there was a horrific crack of bone inside. Sohei kept up the series of blows railing the troll with attacks along his sides. When the troll tried to block the blows broke his fingers and struck him anyway.
With out a single drop of sweat Sohei stopped as the seven blows landed and the troll stuck the ground bleeding from face and ears.
“I’m sorry. I did not want to fight.” Sohei touching the unconscious troll on the forehead. He was still breathing and Sohei could see that the creature’s wounds were knitting themselves back together as he watched. Content he stood and went back to his seat.
“Now did you have any idea how to settle this toll issue?” Sohei asked the human male with long dark hair how had stood behind the troll. Sohei sized him up as the brains and the troll was the brawn. Sohei had thin narrow features, long black hair braided together and the slender pointed ears of an elf. His skin was covered from head to toe in rich flowing tattoos. Each one had been made with a mixture of ink, the blood the sacred dragon and it’s saliva.
From under his bamboo hat Sohei watched the man with dispassionate eye.
“How would you like you work for me?” The man asked drinking from a wooden cup.
“I’m sorry I have a duty. Besides I abhor violence. I do not take lives if I can avoid it. I don’t even eat things that required death to obtain. I don’t think I would make a very good thug.” Sohei said.
“Never seen anyone quite like you.” The man said. “Hope I never do again.”
Sohei watched the man leave and turned to his cup of tea as he pushed the door open and headed out into the storm. Tea rice and vegetables that gave their yield with out death. He could not stand the touch of metal or the touch of dead flesh upon his person.
Mon May 02, 2011 2:13 pm
The sun is hot and high in the sky and there are no clouds to block the heat of its gaze. Sohei is working in the field pushing the plow behind the mule the farmer who let him stay last night owned. Over his head was a satchel filled with seeds culled from last year’s harvest. Sohei has not planted these specific crops before but how much different can they be?
He digs a small hole and drops the seed in and covers it loosely. Then he takes the wooden rake and pulls it through dirt making sure it was loosely pack and well aerated. Then he does it a few feet down before moving again. The plow has seen better days and is covered in rust and dents of years of use.
Nearly midday and Sohei stops and gets a cold drink of water from his canteen. Made from silk and bamboo it holds enough water for him for one day. He rations it out ignoring his body’s call. The longer he waits the more he denies his physical self.
Sohei hears an argument down by the farmhouse and when he gets there he spots the twelve year old daughter of the farmer that fed him last night splayed on the ground. The back of her head is seeping blood and she is in tears.
` “Ahh there lad.” The man on the horse says. Two men are on the ground and they look like vagabonds. Dirty clothes and scarred faces match mean looks. One of them has a club in his hand and the bottom is covered with blood and strawberry hair.
“Aren’t you a funny lookin fella.” The man with the club says. Sohei can see he has no front teeth. They have been smashed out at some point long in the past. The other man is missing two fingers on his left hand. The man on the horse looks down at him.
“No need to get in the way boy.” The horseman says. “We are here to collect what’s ours.” The way he leers at the girl makes Sohei grit his teeth. He is torn. This is not his fight and the farmer is no here. Then again someone needs to stand up to men like this. They are like dogs and need to be shown who is in charge.
“It would be best if you left now.” Sohei says with an eerie calmness.
“Ohh it would?” The man with the club says. Sohei can tell he is the talker but he is not the threat. The other man is the real threat as he has a sharp sword on his hilt.
“Yes.” Sohei says.
“Teach him a lesson.” The man on horseback says.
Time stands still. Sohei has no weapon to speak of and it is him unarmored against three bandits. The odds aren’t fair. They need more guys.
Sohei slams his foot on the rake that is face up in front of him. The lever action puts the wood in his fingers and he allows himself the smallest smile as his hand closes. He snaps the weapon up and into the man with the sword’s crotch. Sohei swings it so hard it snaps and the man goes down in a heap. With the head broken off the weapon is a smooth staff and he feels centered.
The man with the club rears back to rears back to swing but Sohei is fast and steps into the arc of the club. The tattooed elf puts his face where the man’s shoulder is and when his swing missed he brings the staff against his arm shattering it. Two swift blows to the man’s midsection and then Sohei tucks the head of the staff into his shirt and pulls him over his leg tossing the heavy human to the ground like a bag of potatoes.
The elf turned as the man with the sword kicked up and drew his blade. The long bastard sword had seen better days and it would glimmer under the sun if it had not been left to rust. Sohei could tell from the square shoulders and grizzled frame that at some point in his life this bandit had been a soldier a warrior who fought for honor and now he was nothing more than a thief.
The man kept moving sliding to the left as Sohei spun his staff. Sohei let the wood spin against his hands waiting for the slightest sign from the man. After what seemed like eternity he lunged and Sohei batted the blade away with one end of the staff and struck his solar plexus with the other side in a single move. The bandit went down unable to catch his breath.
“Leave these people alone.” Sohei said as the man in horseback rode up and spit. “This place is not yours to hunt. Please do not make me come find you.” Sohei said.
“You will regret this.” The man said.
“I live free of regret and desire. You should try the same.” Sohei as the horseman gathered his men.
As they left he went over to the girl and lifted her up into his arms and carried her back to the farmhouse.
Tue May 03, 2011 3:55 pm
sohei wrote: Time stands still. Sohei has no weapon to speak of and it is him unarmored against three bandits. The odds aren’t fair. They need more guys.
Sorry if I am breaking the flow, but LOL, I love these lines. I am enjoying your fiction, I wish more people would post stuff like this too.
Thu May 26, 2011 8:38 am
“You are not the first guardian of the dragon.” The bald monk dressed in a salmon colored robe said. He had tattoos all over his body and even covering his face and head. He wore wooden shoes. “Nor will you be the last. You are not special.”
Sohei kneeled in the pouring rain that was so cold it chilled him to the bone. He was focused on not letting the distractions of the body affect him. He had on a full suit of bamboo armor that covered every part of his body except the head. He was not used to the weight of it pulling at his lithe form.
“Go into the world. If you return after a year you will be the next guardian.” He said.
The rain was coming down in spouts as the army came up over the hill. The ragtag group of bandits were on foot coming toward the village from their mountain encampment. Over forty of them moved as silently as a shadow. Lightning flashed above followed be the bellowing roar of thunder.
The only thing that stood between them and the sleeping city was a single bridge that dangled over the raging river below. The river twisted though the canyon and rocks jutted up out of the white water rapids like the teeth of a serpent. As the skies lit up with the flickering blue and white a figure could be seen standing at the edge of the bridge on this side. He was small a little shorter than any of them and he had a on wide rice cone shaped hat that hid his features. He was dressed in armor made of bamboo and he had a thick staff in his hand.
“That’s that elf that keeps kicking our ass. Someone shoot him please.” One of the bandits shouted. An arrow fired and flew almost majestically toward Sohei. Sohei smiled and leaned back and the arrow stuck into the wood behind him. The next sound was an epic cry as forty people attack a single man.
Arrows fired but each one either landed in the wood behind him or he flicked the staff catching it in the rattan tubes that made up his weapon. Sohei had chosen wisely as the rocks kept the bandits from attacking him more than three at a time. Blades struck out at him and he parried them with his staff using it like a spear to keep them from getting to close. He could feel the tug of the earth and centered his chi so he could not be moved.
A bandit charged and Sohei leaned forward and caught the edge of his tunic in his staff and pulled the bandit forward over his leg and flung him. He tumbled over the edge of the chasm. Sohei swatted away blades and men shattering arms and slamming his staff into kidneys jaws and feet. The blood and teeth were washed away by the pouring rain. Steam was rising up from the tattooed elf and he stood against the wave of them.
The time might have been hours but it was more likely minutes until the men surged forward. He was beaten from the front his armor smashed and his rice hat tumbled down into the mud cracked and broken but still stood. It took twelve men to drive the elf to his knees.
The men kicked him as he slipped into to the mud, and stomped on him out of frustration. Sohei stopped moving and just lay in a tangled heap of injured bandits and shattered wood. He might not have been able to stop the men but he widdled their numbers down some.
The twelve men who were left turned and went out onto the bridge. The wind pushed the rope back and forth like a child’s toy. As they reached the middle there was a crack and both ends of the bridge let go of their moorings at the same time. They had just enough time to see Sohei cut the thick ropes with one of the dozens of arrows that decorated the wood.
“I’m sorry.” The elf said, his tattooed face covered in blood.
Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:41 am
As the sun rises over the mountains, Sohei is kneeling on the cold stone dew soaked stones outside the Inn. His wide brimmed rice hat is over his head and the drizzling rain is running down it. A large boulder taller than Sohei’s slender shoulders while standing sits six feet in front of the silent elf.
The elf stands his graceful tattoo covered arms form a circle. He takes a breath and summons the energy to commune with the Earth Dragon. The Char fang Dragon, creature of earth and nature forms a balance. Sohei begins the katas small movements that connect his life to the earth.
He closes his eyes and steps over to the stone. The boulder is large and heavy but he plants his feet and pushes with hands driving the stone back. Sohei took a deep breath and punched the rock cracking it with his bare hands. That’s how the dance went push break, push break like a circle.
He took a step back and felt his body root with the earth. His chi was connected to very rock and spirit of the dragon. Afterward the elf returning inside to a brewing kettle of tea.
Mon May 14, 2012 1:59 pm
“Perhaps you would like to see my technique.” Sohei said the lumbering snake warriors in the dark of night. An army of the city of Haven’s warriors stood with him. Some held glowing balls of magic others twin blades of sharpened steel and others axes and shields made of iron.
The snake did not look impressed as it struck at the elf. The moonlight filtered through the canopy as the hissing men attacked.
“I do not wish to fight. Surrender and you will not have to see the Sankata.” Sohei said. A snake came at him armed with claws and twelve inch fangs dripping vile poison in vicious fluid drops that browned the grass as it landed upon them.
“Earth, Fist, Staff. Mind, body and spirit.” Sohei said as the snake men closed. Sometimes those who seek violence cannot put back on the path.
“Strike when you block and block when you strike. Simple. Like the very earth, submit to short bursts of sudden violence only to be quelled for years.” Sohei said.
He whirled the staff around like a baton twirler. The dense piece of cast off wood was in motion all the time. Sohei struck claws kicking them sideways. The stick bent and buckled but did not break as it caved in bone and broke claws.
Sohei watched as the Hammer Durandahl tattooed upon the snakes skin and the small armor covered man gave him a thumbs up. Sohei smashed the snakes with the staff. The blow broke teeth, armor and they went down.
Sohei found himself in a pile of the injured, swing each end as though it were a separate weapon. Snake men with blades swung and he block so hard they broke fingers and arms against the spinning wood.
An arrow whistled through the air and struck him. Sohei felt the strength go out of him as an the arrow popped through the back of his shoulder a few inches.
The crawl across the ground carried the elf to safety as many hands pulled the arrow out and patched him up.
Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:49 am
The weather has turned. Fall has moved on and now the temperatures drop a little more every night without fail. Each morning is colder than the one before it and soon the world will wake up to frost rather than dew.
A man is kneeling by the creek, his rice hat tipped back. He cups the clean water in his slender elven hands and splashes the cold liquid on his tattooed face. The elf pulls a crust of stale bread out of his pouch and begins tossing tiny pieces into the water for the fish to eat. Fish dance near the surface rushing for the food before the coming winter.
Three men spot the elf on the water drawing their daggers and moving forward. They smell like horses, blood and desperation. The man in the lead is a human with only a single eye and a jagged scar upon his face.
The man slithered up to the elf kneeling and reached out with the blade. Even if Sohei had not seen the man reflected in the water he could have smelled him coming. As the blade reached around his neck Sohei splashed water in the man’s face which might be the closest he has come to a bath in a year. After that Sohei caught the man’s arm and threw him into the water like he weighted no more than a spring sakura.
“Get him.” The beast of a man said from his wet seat in the water. Sohei felt a great well of pity spring up for the fish in the creek.
Sohei stood in a single swift motion and as the two men, one a dwarf, the other a horned man called a Tsunotaur he battled their blades with his open palms. The slender and gracefully elf back peddled as they attacked him with swords. A single blade did not reach him as he swatted like they were no stronger than flies.
Sohei struck one of the blades and it shot back and hit the horned man in the mouth. Blood and teeth fountained and the man got angrier by the moment. He screamed and charged. Sohei shoved him with just two fingers and the man went rolling into the bushes. The dwarf charged him, and Sohei kicked him in the knees.
The man in the water stood, dripping as Sohei walked over to him.
“Please let don’t kill us. We made a mistake.” He said begging for his life.
“Why did you attack me?” Sohei asked with a smirk.
“Silly bandits, I don’t have a name why would I have gold?” Sohei asked.
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