生き甲斐 (w/ Artorias)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Kat, Sep 25, 2016.

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  1. The sound of hooves marched across the dirt road. Fall leaves crunched and Hatsumi could hear her noble steed casually kicking small pebbles to the side. "It's a beautiful morning," she commented out of the blue. It'd been quiet the last few hours. Hatsumi was content hearing the wind without listening to her lady maid blabber on about safety. It was true that the woods weren't always secure, but that notion didn't hold Hatsumi back from experiencing the renewal of Kyoto's weather.

    It wasn't any less sound in Takeshi's household, which made this small trip towards the shrine near her husband's house a pleasant occurrence. She rode astride a copper mare, while her friend, Riko, rode astride a white stallion. They were both in exquisite shape, courtesy of the stable boy. "Yes, it is, but when will we go back? Don't you feel we've traveled enough already?" Riko inquired nervously, her hands tightly gripping the reins. "Stop it. You're making a big fuss out of nothing. Takeshi won't mind if we disappeared for a couple hours. He doesn't think highly of me," Hatsumi stated, rolling her eyes.

    The leaves rustled and a sudden eerie wave came rushing through. "Stop," Hatsumi demanded, glancing around the area. Off in the distance, shadows played. She squinted, the figures growing larger and larger. "People. Out of the road, Riko!" Her mare instinctively rose up in the air, perceiving the oncoming strangers as a threat. Hatsumi's fingers slipped from the reins as she fell backwards, unprepared. She screamed as her head hit the ground. The sticks from the bushes dug little holes in her kimono. She groaned in pain.

    "Hatsu- Woah!" Riko turned her horse away from the road as five men in armor blasted through, chasing another that stood out in the midst of the moment. They went away just as quickly, set on catching the man in front, and Riko gasped, getting off her horse and scurrying over to her friend. "You're hurt," she cried, unsure what to do in the shock of the moment. "What do we tell your husband?" Hatsumi smiled, slowly sitting up. Her head felt heavy, dizzy even. She stared off into space for a moment before replying, "Tell him I'm fine. Give me the medicine kit and I'll treat myself. Go back and let Takeshi know what happened."

    Riko retrieved her own horse and the small medicinal kit filled with herbs. "Are you sure you'll be alright? Let me treat you," she told Hatsumi. "I'll be fine. Who were the men after? Do you know what he looked like?" Riko shook her head, reluctantly handing the medicine kit over. She was unable to recall anything specific. "He looked like he was bleeding though, but he flew by so fast, I can't tell whether that's true or not. The others were wearing armor. Stay here while I go back. You need to rest. Your husband and the doctor will be here quickly."

    Hatsumi saw her friend off and touched the back of her head. No blood, thank the Gods and Goddesses. Hatsumi signed, trying to recall the man she'd saw astride the horse. Hatsumi couldn't remember except for Riko saying he looked like he was bleeding. Hatsumi stood up with the small box in hand and began to walk down the ravine on the side of the road. There was a waterfall and small lake nearby. She could treat her head injury there. It wasn't good to rest in the open among the woods. There were crude men out there who would do anything once they found a lady on the side of the road, resting or not.

    Hatsumi lifted her dress and moved among the trees, being careful not to step into any piles of ants or branches splayed across the rocky terrain. The mista of cool water began to cover the air after she'd been traveling for a while. The backend of her dress caught on a branch and she ripped it from nature's hand. Her hair was unkempt and her legs weak. She'd never been subject to walk this far. Hatsumi hoped her horse would return soon to her. She would be unable to move along without proper guidance if she had to walk back to Takeshi's house on her low heels.

    Hatsumi sighed in relief as the waterfall and lake surrounding it presented themselves. She collapsed in a heap on a huge nearby and breathed, laughing slightly. "I made it," she breathed, sitting up and taking her hair accessories out. She took off the top half of her kimono and began to concoct a small remedy for the itchiness she felt on her right shoulder blade. A few scratches had appeared there when she'd fallen from her horse, but it was nothing major. She mixed the water and the crushed peppermint leaves together and daintly pressed them against her skin. It felt refreshing. She smiled, taking off her heels. Her feet ached and she wondered why she'd bothered to leave so quickly without wearing the right equiment. Sometimes, she was just as reckless as Takeshi's son was.

    Hatsumi's brown eyes surveyed the quiet area. The birds chirped and the bees buzzed over yellow and pink flowers nearby. She stopped what she was doing for a moment as a new spectacle came into view. Someone was over there on the other side; she could hear the slight scratching on the rock's surface. Was that a cave? Hatsumi felt her heart lodge in her chest. She didn't know who the stranger was, but it was better to face your anxieties rather than turn away. Hatsumi dipped her feet in the cool water and grabbed her things before waddling over to the other side. The current was not as silent as she'd hoped it would be. She was not tact in moving gracefully among the flow of water. "Excuse me, sir?" That came out too quickly. She hoped it was a man. She hadn't thought of any woman sitting around a cave nestled in the woods. Hatsumi chewed the inside of her mouth, slowly approaching the person hidden from the sun.

    "Are you alright?"
    • Love Love x 1
  2. It was a beautiful morning, light dew dripped from the blades of grass and from the falling leaves. Fall was arriving and the weather would soon start to dip in temperature. Travel would slow down for the Winter that would be arriving shortly after. Supplies already being bought in bulk and excess to survive through the harsh Winters of Nippon. Some Winters were bearable with beautiful mornings of soft snow covered lands, the sun reflecting across the snow in an orange hue of beauty. With the weather already dipping, it was a sign that this year may be harsh on its Winter.

    Ishidou was on the run and only until he made it to the other side of Japan would he feel at ease and able to settle down without worry of the dogs of war chasing him anymore.

    He walked through the crisp morning, the garb he wore was starting to rip and provide little protection from the upcoming elements. His body was dirty from constant sweat and blood. Only a single sword at his side, unlike the traditional two that a Samurai would carry--for he was no longer a Samurai. He was stripped of his title, his land, and his life the day that he broke his honor and slept with his Lord's Wife. He was sentenced to death, stripped of even the sacred seppuku in killing himself to redeem his honor for failing. So he ran, killing those that stood in his way.

    They had been chasing him for weeks now, across the land with horses and dogs to follow. Samurai to kill him and drag his bleeding body back to his previous Lord and hang him for all to see those that betray him. Ishidou refused to be captured, killed and put on display.

    A crack of branches and leaves brought the Ronin to his senses, the faint voices of men speaking to one another as they grew louder with each step. They had found him once more and were closing in on him, and the only thing he could do--the only thing he knew how to do. Ishidou drew his sword and dropped down into a fighting stance with sword pointed forward, his free hand raised with hand slightly opened, almost in a fist. His knees were slightly bent as he slowly turned a circle, looking for the direction they would be coming from until four Samurai broke through the treeline with steel drawn and heading straight for Ishidou, battle cries roaring.

    The first Samurai to engage Ishidou was too far away from his companions, and the fight was over quickly because of the adrenaline and the training that coursed through their veins. The man swung for Ishidou, but the attack was parried with Ishidou's own blade. Ishidou struck out with his open hand and delivered a clean open palmed strike against the bottom of the man's chin who was staggered and fazed from the hit and lowered his guard enough that Ishidou drove his Katana through the man's chest and ripped it out just in time as the other three arrived to encircle themselves around Ishidou.

    No words exchanged between the four as they all had weapons raised, in proper battle stance but no one had attacked yet. They were waiting for an opening, an opportune moment to strike and kill Ishidou. What felt like eternity was only seconds before one of the Samurai's attacked, and Ishidou ducked underneath the attack and jammed his elbow into the man's back and raising his sword to block the next attack from the other Samurai. The third came from his side and tried to cut him down but Ishidou pushed his body into the attacking Samurai, closing the distance and making him unable to be hit from the swing. The Ronin grabbed the wrist of the Samurai that held the sword and they struggled for a moment before Ishidou had forced the man to drive the Katana into the ground.

    As he began to pull away, the Samurai's quick hands drew the tanto at his side and brought the sharp blade against the side of Ishidou's abdomen. Cutting through the fabric of his garb, the sharp blade tore into his side and burned as it cut through muscle and tendon, blood already staining his garb.

    Ishidou brought a heavy hand, gripping around the hilt of his sword, crashing into the Samurai's helmet as he heard the heavy thud and the Samurai's body slumped over and fell into the leaves. Through gritted teeth, Ishidou had evaded the other two Samurai's attacks, barely enough that the tips of their Katanas only grazed his skin and he began to sprint through the forest.

    He had no idea where he was going, or where he was, but the fear of dying drove his heavy legs to keep moving. His body felt like lead and the yelling of the two behind him began to fade as he took turns around thick and dense patches of the forest and trees. Soon he came upon a small waterfall that poured into a beautiful, clear river with a small cave off to the side. It wasn't much of a cave, more of an indent in the side of the rocks, but it would provide him cover and protection.

    Crouching down into the cave, Ishidou was breathing heavily trying to catch his breath and calm down from all the adrenaline. His sword laid by his side, unsheathed and slick with blood from the man he killed--just another Samurai he had killed belonging to his previous Lord.

    He could hear the babbling river, and though the burning pain in his abdomen told him to stay put he needed to clean himself up and get something to drink. Grunting through gritted teeth, and the support of his sword, he stood up on two feet and slowly began to remove the top of his garb, only leaving the bottom on as he slowly approached the river that was only a few feet away, but it felt like miles.

    When he arrived, he dropped to his knees and hands, sword clattering onto the ground beside him as he dunked his head into the water, feeling the cold water rush over his heated head and washing away the dirt, grime and sweat that had began to build up. Pulling his head out of the water, his chest rose and fell with heavy breaths. Hands dipped into the water as he allowed it to pool in his palms before splashing it against his face and wiping, then he cupped his hands and filled it with water. He began to drink from the cool and refreshing water.

    He drank and drank from the water, his throat was dry like the leaves of fall. When he had his fill and moved slightly, the sharp shooting of pain erupted in his side and he placed a hand over the wound that was still bleeding. He needed to attend to this wound before he began to bleed out, and so he crawled back inside of the cave where he propped his back up against the wall. His strength was fading from the blood loss and lack of food in his system.

    A voice broke the fog in his head, weary eyes looked up and to his left where a woman stood in the water. Did he die? Was this woman just a figment of his imagination or was she real, flesh and blood? He didn't say anything as half opened eyes looked over at her. If he was dead, then there would be no harm in closing his eyes and falling asleep right? "Who are you?" His voice was weak, and the slight shift in his body sent pain shooting through his nervous system once more and he winced his eyes, realizing that he was still very much alive.

    "You should leave. It isn't safe here..."
    • Love Love x 1

  3. A sigh of relief escaped her pale lips, but only for a brief moment. She could hear his painful groan. He was fatigued, dizzy, and losing blood fast. "You're bleeding!" she exclaimed, her eyebrows creasing with concern for the older male. The tides turned and splashed Hatsumi as she dashed to the edge of the river bank where he laid. The water fought against her, knocking her over and getting the top of her kimono soaking wet. She hoisted herself up onto the large slab of rock and hastened her steps. Fortunately, the pouch she held was mostly dry. The river hadn't completely drawn her under. "Look at you," she noted, placing the small medicinal pouch to the side. "Please, try to sit up."

    She moved in closer to the stranger, more than was allowed for a woman of her status, and grabbed his right arm, resting it on the back of her neck as she tried to make him sit up against cave wall. "I'm sorry for this," she bowed quickly as part of her apology, then promptly began to remove his haori cord and the haori itself. Her hands loosened the ties of the hakama just enough for her to pull the kimono and juban kimono off his upper body. She stared at wide gash on his abdomen before shaking her head and scrambling to get some yarrow out of the silk pouch. She became frustrated when she realized there wouldn't be enough for the large gash. "Stay where you are. Don't move."

    Hatsumi began to search for any sign of dry cloth. Her kimono was completely wet and his, despite being absorbed with sweat and the lower half with blood, it was well worth the risk. She bowed again, apologizing once more and told him she needed to use his haori. Hatsumi didn't bother with anything he said for the time being. She was focused only on saving him and it pained her to know that she didn't have everything to properly take care of his wound. She took off his haori and stripped it apart, making sure the strip of cloth she planned on using didn't have any dry blood on it, a deed that made her feel guilty in its self. She got one long strip wet and wrung it out as best she could to make it moist.

    She threw the strip over her shoulder, then dumped the crushed up yarrow flower into her hand. She felt a little dizzy herself as she picked up her heavy kimono and ran to the edge, but his treatment was more important than her life. She took some of the fresh water into her hand, her palm serving as a failed bowl, then mixed it with the yarrow, and scurried back to the man. "This won't sting." Hatsumi began to place the yarrow on his wound. It would help the blood clot and bring relief to any burning he might've been feeling while the wound was festering. "There," she murmured, patting down the last of the herb onto his wound.

    When she finished spreading out the poultice over the wound as best she could, she leaned forward and wrapped the large strip of cloth she had hanging on her shoulder from behind to tie towards the front. She began to relax a little, knowing that the medicinal herb would help him, but knowing that she was also doing something completely out of line, made her heart thump irregularly. She backed down the moment she was done, her hands resting in her lap. She didn't know exactly what his station was, but she knew he was high above her, another sign that she should go soon. "Please forgive me. I've gone outside of my respectful boundaries to save you. I shouldn't have touched you like that or removed your clothing without permission. It was wrong of me to be straightforward."

    Hatsumi waited silently for any sort of verbal lash from the older male. She had done good, but she did not necessarily see it as such. It was bad enough that her husband was out looking for her and Riko was receiving back lashes from the head of the servant's quarters. Hatsumi feared she might receive some sort of beating as well, from this male because of his torn haori and from her husband, because she'd gotten hurt. It was then that she immediately realized she'd never properly introduced herself under the panic of him dying. Her mouth opened to say something, but she kept it shut in the silence of the moment. She'd never seen this man before and yet, she'd felt compelled to try and save him. Her mind played tricks on her, making her doubt her ability to heal as a woman.
    • Love Love x 1
  4. Ishidou was too tired, too weak to fight back his savior and tell her to leave. Instead his body felt heavy like steel and eyelids of iron that didn't want to stay open. He could feel his clothing ruffle as she untied the cord of his haori and then delved deeper into the layers before removing his upper torso into the brisk air as it tickled across his skin, feeling like daggers and his eyes squinted from the pain but no words or sound came from his lips as it required too much energy to do such a simple task. He could feel dainty fingers pressing against his open wound, trying to seal the gash that was draining the blood from his body and leaving him weak and prey to Death itself. Years continued to feel like they passed on by, but it was only minutes as a poultice was applied to his wound before being wrapped up by the strips of his haori, that he didn't know what destroyed at the moment. Just another piece of clothing he lost for the coming winter and the harsh winds and snow.

    He could actually feel the blood in his body not leaving anymore, and it was an odd and uncomfortable feeling to experience but it didn't bring any pain. Or at least any pain that he could feel at the moment with his nerves being potentially shot and trying to recope from all the burning pain he had experienced earlier. The woman continued to speak, apologizing to him but her words sounded muffled and far away, like she was talking through blocked hands and a mile away.

    "Food. . ." He muttered to Hatsumi but it was doubtful that she had anything on her for him to eat. If she did it would be something light and travel ready for horseback riding, and probably wet at the moment but food was food if she had any and he desperately needed rest and food to gain his strength back. With his wound closed, his body still felt like lead but he could focus a tiny amount compared to previously and he looked over at Hatsumi.

    "I am Ronin. . . apology is pointless." He said in brief words, not meaning to sound rude towards his 'savior' but he couldn't form full sentences at the moment and wanted to get his point across and what that point was--She didn't have to apologize to a man who was stripped of his Honor and is basically a fugitive at this point in certain lands, most lands to be exact, because of his current status. His current status was less than dirt. Honor was everything and he no longer had it, even if he spoke his side of the story.
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