Mirumoto Matsume's Gempukku:Story #1
ericcartier13 at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 20 16:57:10 EDT 2001
The Strength of Two Clans
"Did you hear what the Crab have offered, Master?"
Mirumoto Matsume asked his sensei. They were both
sitting in the locus position on the floor of the
"Yes, and what about it?" Kiyorakasa responded in
a stern and grizzled voice.
"I am coming of age, you know? I want to test my
training and become a true samurai." Matsume clinched
his hand and he stared into the eyes of Kiyorakasa.
Matsume jumped up and grabbed his bamboo daisho.
The wise sensei laughed at his student's brashness.
"With that kind of behavior, you will have no chance
of victory. I will offer this to you, but only
because you are my best student ever. Matsume was
filled with disappointment; he knew there was
something he had to do before he could take his
gemukku. Kiyorakasa continued, "If you can show me
patients, then you can go to the Shandowlands, and
risk death to become a samurai."
"But how do I show patients?"
"This is for you to decide. It is late, you should
get some sleep." Kiyorakasa got up and went out the
back door. Matsume followed his senseis advise and
went to his house.
That night Matsume could not sleep. He was busy
thinking about what he could do to show patients.
Millions of thoughts raced throughout his head, even
the one that he could run away to the Shadowlands;
without the permission of his master. It was hard for
him to keep his eyes open, but just before he dosed
off he had an idea.
In the late night Matsume woke up. He was in haste
to get his tasks done. The first thing was to get a
stump of a branch.
After that was completed, he grabbed his daisho and
placed the stump in front of Kiyorakasas doorstep.
He stood on it and crossed his right leg under his
left. He held his weapons straight to the side of
him, and waited.
When Kiyorakasa opened his door, he jumped back.
He saw his student on the stump as if he were a
statue. On the stump, there was a message engraved
into the wood. It read: STARTED, MIDNIGHT. DO NOT
The day passed, and Matsume did not move.
Kiyorakasa would pass him and make sure he was not
cheating. We he looked closely, there were tears in
the fourteen year old boy. Kiyorakasa went to bed as
usual, and at midnight he came back outside.
The boy was still standing there. He was crying
and shaking, but his form was still the same. He fell
into the arms of his master.
He woke up to the smell of crab soup. What
happened master? he said with a weak voice.
You showed me patients, he said with a smile. He
got up and returned with a pair of swords. I have
something for you. These weapons were my fathers and
the mine, but I have no son to pass them to, so I pass
them to you.
Matsume was dumbfounded. The swords were beautiful
and high quality. They had a red marble appearance
and a dragon entangled around the handle.
Matsume peered around the hedge. He saw his first
pair of goblins. They were short and fat; sitting
around a fire. In the fire was a leg, about three
feet long that they would bite at.
Matsume, surprisingly, was not afraid of the
Shadowlands. Its dark gloom and eerie feeling made
him only more determined to get the heads and leave.
He had arrived here early in the day, with his
equipment on his back, and swords at his side.
He began to think about his battle plan. Was he to
just attack them, or was something needed. He had
never fought a goblin, so he had no clue on how good
they were. He remembered a lesson his master once
taught him: If you dont know your opponents skill,
assume he is the best he can be. With that Matsume
decided he was going to attack them from the back.
The problem was getting there.
There were two large boulders; one on the side,
were Matsume was, and one behind the goblins. And
there was nothing between them. Matsume took his
backpack off and placed it behind the rock. He got as
low as he could to the ground and started to crawl.
Do you tink we shud be ot like dis? the fatter
goblin remarked. He looked over his shoulder and
grabbed the sword at his side.
Why? Wuts gonna git us? the other said.
Are ew a stupid? The Crab ave rewards fo our
heads! he yelled. As the word head came out of his
mouth, his head was dissevered by the wakizashi of
Matsume. Then Matsume lunged at the other with his
katana. It stuck in him, at the heart. Matsume
wondered if they had hearts though as he looked at the
heads and bones of humans and ratlings next to the
fire. Then he collected his first two heads.
Matsume lay near the fire looking at the 16 goblin
heads he had collected. He smiled, everyone doubted
that a young boy could get 20 heads, yet alone
survive. As he was done admiring the trophies he laid
on his mat that he brought for sleeping. Within ten
minutes he was asleep.
After two hours of sleeping, Matsume was awaking by
a shuffling noise. He didnt sit but he grabbed the
hilt of his sword and drew the blade discreetly. He
could see by the dim light left by the dying flame
that the creatures were goblins, but he could tell how
many of them there were. Matsume was worried that if
he didnt act now, he would never get the chance.
Hey! What are you doing, you foul beasts.
Matsume said as he sat up. Then he quickly jumped to
his feet and slashed his katana, to frighten the
goblins. Now he could see there were five goblins,
and one, only Togashi would know demon. Matsume
thought it wise to get is other blade and he drew this
one too. He was suddenly astonished by a deep voice.
You human. You killed these goblins, for a game,
you will pay as my people have paid, he lunged at
Matsume. He didnt have time to make the creature
out, but it had at least 40 arms, some baring swords
and clubs. Matsume rolled out of its way.
With that Matsume rolled near the goblins. He
sliced the first in half, and then swiftly attacked
again at the one standing beside the two pieced
goblin. Both of them fell to the ground. By this
time the demon creature had launched another attack,
but Matsume had no time to dodge. He sliced a hand of
the creature off and attacked the belly, but failed.
Matsume felt a minor cut on his chest. He jumped back
towards the three standing goblins.
This attack was took all three of the goblins to
the ground. He stabbed the first, and cut the second
with his wakizashi. The third was taking down with
both blades. Matsume attacked as scissors would cut
paper, the goblin lost his head.
Matsume has no time to celebrate, he looked for his
arcane opponent, but he could not be found. Matsume
stared around but could not find the abnormality.
Just then, foot steps, running ones, could be heard
from behind Matsume. He instinctively stabbed back
and the blade pierced the stomach of the multi-armed
beast. It let out a roar, but was cut off by the
blade of Matsume, beheading him.
After collecting the head, and cleaning himself
from the tainted blood he had decided he had had
enough. He made his journey back, safely, but that
may have been different if he would have been in there
one more night.
Matsume was greeted by his sensei and a Crab
samurai. They were proud, and they told him the
creature he had fought was a Hyakute no Oni. Matsume
had never heard of it before this day.
Matsume, we have something for you. Well I have
already gave you your gift, but there is another one,
or should I say two. The sensei nodded to the Crab
Your first gift is the acceptance into the Crab.
You are a man now, truly. The name Matsume was a
symbol of your youth, which is no longer you. I have
decided to give you the name of my grandfather,
Yarishima, if you accept it?
Matsume was delighted to hear the news. He accepted
without question. I am now Yarishima, Dragon Clan
samurai, Crab Clan samurai, I have the strength of two
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