Chirijiraden - Vanishing Memories Chapter 5

Wiping Blood from Blades


The airships touched down in the fields outside of Limberry Castle, the legions of Lesalia’s soldiers rallied and ready to meet their opponents. The Limberry army was waiting for them in the soft rain, weapons poised and ready to meet the enemy in the fields as the airships unloaded the soldiers. Free at last of the suffocating abyss that was the ship’s storage bay Tue Sho burst forward from the confines of the ship, blade bared and glistening in the humid air. His comrades in arms rode on to meet in the enemy in a clash that would forever alter the lives of all who would partake. The war cries of the two armies was deafening. Shouts of curses, threats, taunts, spells, and pain ripped through the field as blood stained the grass crimson. Free of their load, the airships ascended into the foreshadowed horizon, leaving the bloodshed to the soldiers.

Tue Sho rode hard and was unaccustomed to mounted combat, but it mattered naught. His mind was set on his training. Nothing mattered but survival. Not honor, humanity, or even the lives of his allies. The pure and primal instinct of survival raged throughout his every vein as his blade tore through a knights exposed flesh, spilling crimson across his blade and armor. They were everywhere, all of them. They desired his flesh, they craved his blood.

He met a knight’s heavy blade with his own, the ring of the steel added to the melody of war. In a single fluid movement he smashed his armored fist against the face of the blade, knocking it aside for an uninterrupted thrust into his enemy’s throat. The katana slid easily into the flesh as a gut-wrenching gurgle sounded from his mouth as the blood of severed arteries flowed into his lungs. His brilliant blue eyes shone forward, staring through Tue Sho into the face of death, an expression of utter disbelief embedded on his paling face. A rivulet of blood poured from the corner of his lips as Tue Sho pulled the blade from it’s living sheathe. Every facet, every detail of the dying young man filled his mind. His shining blue eyes, his brilliant blonde hair sticking to the sweat of his brow, everything down to the diminutive scar over his left eye. Nothing was left unnoticed.

The air was illuminated with spells of fire, ice, and lightning as arrows rained from the hundreds of archers like blackened silhouettes falling from the heavens in a shroud of carnage and slaughter. Soldiers all around fell as the shafts pierced their bodies, ripping through their hearts and spilling blood through the grass. A fateful arrow crashed from the sky, making a place for itself in the feathered head of Tue Sho’s mount. The giant bird staggered wildly before driving it’s head into the mud and sending it’s rider tumbling as a sickening crack emanated from it‘s neck. Tue Sho scrambled up from the mud to his feet surrounded by demons in the midst of hell itself. His face twisted with malice as his blade ripped through flesh. He gripped his grandfather’s blade fiercely as he drew the short sword from it’s bed. He thrust the wakizashi through a soldiers backside, allowing no more than a heartbeat before driving Chirijiraden into her skull.

A sudden sharp pain ran through his body as a flash of white light covered his eyes for an instant before blackness consumed his world. A second later he was on his hands and knees, clear of the chaos like one in the eye of a cyclone. The only soul near him was that of a knight steeped in blood. He held a massive blade and stood tall and proud, but even this noble warrior showed signs of fatigue. His breathing was heavy and raspy with a harsh cough that tore at his throat, traces of blood coming up from his lips in light droplets. The young samurai let his short sword fall. If they were to match blades he’d need to focus the strength of both arms in order to balance the force of his foes towering edge.

Tue Sho could feel the blood pouring from the wound. His helmet must have been thrown when he fell from his mount, leaving his head exposed to the blow. He slowly regained his wits as he tried to understand his opponent’s reason for hesitation.

“You‘re a little young to be in the first wave, don‘t you think? One would almost think you wished for death. Interesting.” the old man allowed a faint hint of a smile to take shape upon his lips, but the cold glare of his eyes seeped deep into the samurai’s heart.

“You think too much. There is no time for thought upon a battlefield.” Tue Sho’s face was empty and without emotion.

“Oh? And do you think we would be here chatting so amiably as we are if thought was barred from the fields of war? Of course pointless thought may get one slain, but strategy is never shunned. Didn’t you know that?”

“Why do you lecture me so if you did not expect to die this day? One would almost think you wished for death.”

“Haha. Death smiles at us all, little one. What can one do but smile back? Enough talk. Do me the final honor of meeting me in mortal combat. En guard!“ with that the old man slashed the heavy blade at neck length only to meet steel as Tue Sho quickly brought his katana up to parry the blow.

The two soldiers clashed blades, hitting nothing more than the others’. The blades rang out in a song of steel as the battles beside their own continued to add their own melody of pain to the orchestra. Grunts of aches and heaves of breath loosed clouds of mist into the air as corpses fell lifeless to the mud. The soldiers held the battlefield, nothing else was relevant. The swordsmanship was superb, each attack parried, each thrust cut naught. The clash of steel was continuous and without end until the elder of the two leapt away from his foes assault.

“Your skill is excellent! One would be amazed at how such a thin, curved blade could withstand my Ragnarok! You have my respect young samurai, but I’m afraid this encounter must come to an end...” The man’s eyes rolled back into his head, revealing a sinister white. He released his left hand from the blade’s hilt and pulled a shining green stone from his blood crusted armor. Within it was carved a small astrological symbol seen many times in legends. It represented Capricorn, the goat.

“What foul sorcery is this?” Tue Sho’s gaze was one of awe and yet at the same time held a glimpse of fear, for as he spoke the words he had a feeling an unholy contract had been just signed. Legends and myths danced in his heart, playing with his fear. The man became wreathed in a luminescent green light as enslaved spirits flowed from the stone into his soul. His body became opaque with a blinding white light as the stone continued to pulsate with evil. A moment later the man was gone, replaced by a giant behemoth resembling a twisted mockery of a humanoid goat clothed in green robes and garments. His body was huge, the size of three full grown men. His voice was hoarse and wicked, like the speech of an angered god. He gave a rumbling chuckle that sent shudders through Tue Sho’s sweating body as he heaved great gasps of breath.

“Hahaha. You have skill, rodent, but I have power. I am Adramelk. This bothersome game has run it’s course but I fear that I am growing bored with this encounter. It is in these fields that your blood will run and where your ashes shall remain. The dusk draws near on your life, little one, now die!”

Chapter 6

Final Fantasy Tactics Fanfic