Redwall Abbey Community Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter to get the latest updates on the site and to see amazing Redwall art and news!

Pages: [1]   New

Author Topic: Legend of the Red Dawn - Book 2  (Read 291 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

SandyB

  • Abbey Bellringer
  • *
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 158
  • ROCKSMITH
    • View Profile
Legend of the Red Dawn - Book 2
« on: November 06, 2014, 11:26:49 PM »

BOOK TWO - BLACKEST NIGHT

9

Kenji sat in his favourite meditation spot, breathing deeply and reflecting on the year he had spent in training. He loved the view from the summit of the hill at the foot of Kuma mountain. If a traveller had reached the spot he or she would be able to see the rolling green plains before them. As well as the River Oda meandering through Mochizuki domain and the sheer majesty of Kuma mountain itself looming over the hill behind them. As Kenji meditated, he remembered something his sensei asked him again and again and again during his training; "Kenji, what do you see beyond your blade?"
*****
The son of Shinkei had received more than a good upbringing with the hares of the Krinz clan. Even though he at times felt out of place in his time growing up, Kenji had come to see Sengoku Krinz not only as a mentor but a second father. Seeing as the mouse never truly knew his birth parents, he liked to think that his biological father was just as strong and wise as the now old hare was. Owaru became more of an elder brother to him and it was at Owaru's request that when Kenji was strong enough, he would be taught the way of the sword. Kenji had turned out to be more than an apt pupil in the art of jui-jitsu (a martial art that was traught to samurai to defeat or disarm an armed or armoured opponent) and later after that the art of kenjutsu (which incorporates traditional eastern sword techniques and jui-jitsu holds and throws).
   One of Kenji's earliest memories was when Owaru's eldest son had challenged Kenji to a sparring match when he flung a stone at the mouse as he was sat meditating one day. The ensuing spar turned into a brawl which nearly wrecked Owaru's cherished stone garden. As punishment both of them were handed buckets full to the brim with water and were made to stand completely still for an hour. If a single drop of water had been spilled, they would be caned. However, that was years ago and Kenji was only an adolescent back then.
   Kenji stepped out of the back door into the stone garden. The gently falling snow dusting the trees, rocks and rooftops of his guardian's domicile. Sengoku Krinz stood in front of his stone garden, the raked sand around the black stones obscured by the settled snow. The only audible sound was the clonking of the pond's water decoration, as a hollowed bamboo stalk filled with pond water and then tip over onto a stone.
   Kenji approached, his footsteps making the crisp winter flakes crunch as he walked. Krinz spoke to Kenji when the mouse joined the hare by his side. "I have always liked winter," the hare said before inhaling deeply. "Seeing your breath dance on the wind, the air seems crisper and although the trees are bare their desolation has beauty in itself."
   "I can sum up winter in one word: Cold!" Kenji smirked. Sengoku smiled, "Good to see you still have that sense of humour. A samurai must be able to make others smile as well as fight."
   "Master Krinz, is there more sword training to come? I realised that it's been eleven days since my last lesson," Kenji asked.
   The hare remained silent, still breathing deeply and watching the white swirls as his breathe danced on the cold air. "There is nothing more I can teach you," Sengoku declared.
   "Then... I am samurai?"
   "Well that is the question: Are you?"
   Kenji opened his mouth to speak, but paused. He finally replied, "I don't know."
   "Then you are not. Do you know why?"
   "No, Master," Kenji replied.
   "Becasue you are unsure. Not just on the question of whether or not you're samurai, but on a great deal of things. Tell me Kenji, Why did you want me to teach you the sword?"
   The mouse didn't think on the answer, "To learn how to become strong."
   "No," Sengoku argued. "Everybeast is strong." Kenji was struck into silence.
   "I will tell you why, Kenji," the hare continued. "You wanted to learn the way of the sword to avenge your father's death. I warn you. Funatzu is now head of the wealthiest clan in Jima. He has many allies and getting close to him will not be easy."
   "No Master," Kenji protested. "I have forgotten revenge. The Ninjinkai are wealthy and powerful. Still, it is only an alliance under the sword."
   "You will be Ronin. Choosing to wander on your own will make you an outcast and Funatzu doesn't trust Ronin."
   "I will seek out Funatzu one day. I will confess, I am nowhere near skillful enough to best him. I have heard that you had a master once," said Kenji.
   "Absolutely not!" Sengoku said. "My master was a legendary warrior and he had little patience of beasts who wasted his time."
   "Legendary warrior?"
   Sengoku shook his head, knowing he was not going to disuade the young mouse. "Have you heard of the Tins?"
   Kenji shook his head. "The Tins are an order of monks who mostly live out their lives in seclusion. They seldom receive visitors, however it is known for pilgrims to learn from them. Their knowledge is seldom surpassed and they will not share it unless you can prove you are worthy."
   "How do I do that?"
   "No," said Sengoku, shaking his head. "I must do that. I must spar with him. If I put up a good fight, he'll accept you."
   "I don't understand Master," said Kenji as he raised an eyebrow.
   "It is an old tradition. If your master has waisted a Tin monk's time, he will assume you're going to waste his time aswell." Kenji then stood determined before his master. His facial features expressing deep resolve, "I am no waste of time, Master." The hare then looked back into the mouses' eyes, both of their eyes unflinching. Sengoku then sighed in defeat, "Very well. I will take you to see him tomorrow morning."
   "Where will we be going?"
   "Kuma Mountain. But remember Kenji, if you choose to undergo this venture, you must do it alone. I cannot support you."
   The mouse then nodded in understanding, knowing little of what would be asked of him in the year he would spend upon the mountain.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 02:56:34 PM by SandyB »
Logged
People ask; "What is a furry?"
I say; "We're a group of people who have an appreciation for anthropomorphic characters (half animal people). We make up our own characters and dress up as them. It's a big laugh."
People ask; "Why do you do it?"
I say; "He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man."
 

SandyB

  • Abbey Bellringer
  • *
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 158
  • ROCKSMITH
    • View Profile
Re: Legend of the Red Dawn - Book 2
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2017, 04:08:51 PM »

10

After he had finished his meditations, Kenji was in the mood for a walk along the southern coastline of the Mochizuki domain. Kenji had always liked the sea. Just staring out at the vast blue straight between Mochizuki and Jinkai made him feel at ease. Owaru would sometimes take him and Kanada (his eldest son) fishing during the hot summer months. Winter had come and gone and by this time Jima was in the midst of the transition period where the days were warm but the nights could still be bitterly cold. Kenji would travel around during the day and would come across the odd dwelling where he would ask for shelter for the night in exchange for a few errands that the owner would require. He remembered one dwelling, where the owner had asked him to marry his daughter. Kenji had said he was flattered by the request, however he added that this particular mouse maid should find her own suiter, not someone her father had picked for her.
   It had taken a nearly a two day hike to reach the south coast, and Kenji was greeted by the moving and heaving blue mass with Jinkai's northern shore on the horizon. The sunlight reflected off the water, making it look like thousands of diamonds shimmering across a blue plain. Beyond Jinkai, was the Silk Islands and where the South Eshin Sea met the endless waters of the Emerald Ocean. He thought of going crab hunting. He would seek out some of the most succulent crabs he had ever seen and then would feast. He still had his bokuto that the "Dragon" had given him. In fact, it was the only memento from his year of hard graft on Kuma Mountain.
   When Kenji reached the beach on the shoreline, he dug his toes into the sands. He then stretched out his paws and let a sea breeze flow over his form. He leaned against the wind and in this moment he felt happy.
   "OW!"
   Kenji exclaimed as he felt something sharp pierce his right wrist. He looked at his paw and noticed a small, thin wooden dart in his wrtist. He instinctively pulled it out and looked around him. That was when he saw two beasts pacing cautiously towards him, curved cutlasses drawn. Corsairs! Kenji had heard tales of them, but they rarely came this far north up the South Eshin Sea. The mouse drew his wooden bokuto from his waistband and prepared himself. Then, the effects of the dart took hold of him. Kenji's vision started to blur, his eyelids felt heavy and his breathing became slower and heavier. His legs then gave way under him and he dropped to the shifting sands. He then heard the sounds of paws running up to him. He heard them converse in a language he did not understand. If he did have an inkling of understanding their tongue, Kenji would heard them say, "Got another un."
   "Let's get 'him back ter camp and put 'im wit' the others. We's gonna 'ave some fun tonight!" Then Kenji began to dream.
*****
Sengoku Krinz was good to deliver on his word. That morning, both he and Kenji left the Krinz household and began their trek towards Kuma Mountain. Kenji was nonplussed as to what kind of master would live in a place as foreboding as Kuma Mountain. Even more, what would he expect? If these Tin monks were as skilled as Sengoku said they were, could he even live up to what was expected of him. However, it was too late turn back now. The pair had ascended the foothills of the mountain by a dusty winding path, gaining elevation as they went.
   When they reached a clearing in the trees that dotted the hill, Sengoku Krinz then told Kenji to wait until he returned. This was when he had to prove himself. Kenji waited for what seemed like an hour before Sengoku Krinz came back into sight. The hare was limping and there was swelling around his left eye. With every step he took, Sengoku winced in pain.
   "Well..?" Kenji asked, as Krinz limped out of the forest clearing onto the dirt path. "Tin Zin said he was impressed with my performance and is interested in meeting you," the hare replied, wincing as he did.
   "So he'll train me in the way of the sword?"
   "He doesn't train sword masters. He trains in the paw-to-paw fighting techniques," Krinz explained. Kenji's mouth opened in disbelief, "I thought you said that the Tins were great warriors."
   "They are, however they don't teach sword techniques. It's their master that teaches the way of the sword," the hare explained.
   "Who is their master?"
   "That is a question I hope you never get answered," Krinz replied. He then limped up to Kenji and placed both paws onto the mouse shoulders, "Good luck, Kenji. You'll need it." As Krinz released him and started to walk away, Kenji had more questions, "Master, where do I go?"
   "Tin Zin awaits you in his clearing. You better not keep him waiting," and with those parting words, Krinz left the mouse alone on the dusty path. Kenji turned to look in the direction his old master had emerged from. The mouse gingerly took a few steps towards the clearing and then continued on.
   As the trees started to thin and open out into the clearing it self, Kenji saw a cave at the base of the rock face that formed the base of Kuma mountain. The mouse then looked up and saw the likeness of a ferocious bear carved into the rock face. "Who are you?" A voice called out from his right. Kenji spun round on the spot where he stood and there, sat on top of a enormous rock, was a mouse dressed in a long, flowing red robe. His face was framed by grey whiskers and a beard that flowed from his lower jaw to half way down his chest.
   Kenji then grew bold and answered, "I am the disciple of Sengoku Krinz. My master has vouched for -"
   "Why do use a string of words?" Said the mouse sitting on the rock.
   "I am Kenji," the mouse replied.
   "Why are you here?"
   Kenji then approached Tin Zin's rock and knelt before him. "I humbly request to be trained in the ways of the warrior."
   "Why?" Tin Zin asked.
   "Because all is not well in Jima. You just have to walk down the roads that lead from village to village and see that this Regent flaunts the common good with sheer impunity," Kenji replied, kneeling lower with his head touching the ground.
   Tin Zin sneered at the sight of the mouse kowtowing before his favourite rock. "Bah! The political struggles of Jima mean little to me! Why are you really here?"
   "Because... Funatzu killed my father! I want to kill him!" Kenji said in a raised tone, lifting his head up.
   "Funatzu has killed a lot of fathers!" Tin Zin snapped back at him. "How was your father any different?"
   "My father was Lord Shinkei, Head of the Nine Circles Clan." This got Tin Zin's attention. His ears perked up as though the name had grabbed his attention. He then studied the features of his potential new student. "Ah, I thought you looked somewhat familiar. Tell me Son of Shinkei, what arts of combat are you skilled in?"
   "I am a journeyman of jui-jitsu and adept at sword techniques," Kenji replied. "Your sword techniques I have little interest in," said Tin Zin as he jumped down from his rock. Kenji then stood up as the old mouse before him squatted into a ready stance, "Show me how skilled you are with your paws."
   Kenji matched stances with Tin-Zin and then made the first move. He paced quickly towards Tin Zin and tried to make a jab at his chest. Tin Zin was quick, he grabbed Kenji's paw by the wrist and twisted it sharply and then wrenched it painfully behind Kenji's back. Kenji dropped to his knees in pain and cried out. "This is basic hold. Can you not fight your way out of it?" Tin Zin said in a mocking tone. Kenji groaned and tried to struggle free of the hold. He was taken aback at how strong the old mouse was. When Kenji tried to pull back his arm, Tin Zin applied more pressure adding even more agony to Kenji's limb. "Ugh! No! I can't..."
   "You can't? You call yourself a 'journeyman'. A journeyman of this art would easily break this hold! Do you admit that you were boasting?"
   Kenji tried to fight the pain, but he relented. "YES!" He cried out, tears streaming down his cheeks. "It hurts doesn't it?"
   "YES!!"
   "Do you admit you're nothing but a mere novice?"
   "YES!!"
   "Do you admit you're weak? Admit it! SAY IT!!"
   "NO!!!"
   "No? You cannot break my hold! I don't even have to look at your face to see the anguish you're in. Why should I bother with a beast as worthless as you?" Kenji then remembered one of the primary lessons that Owaru Krinz had taught him, "Physical... Arrgh! Strength is nothing with... Ugh! Without mental discipline!" Tin Zin then released his hold. Kenji jerked his paw back and nursed the tingling, partially numb limb with his good paw. "That is enough for today. You have passed your first lesson. Come, we eat," said Tin Zin as he lead Kenji to his cave in the mountain.
   Inside Tin Zin's cave was surprisingly warm and homely. Stalagmites from the cave floor were adorned with brightly coloured cloth. Paper lanterns were hanging from the stalactites in the ceiling. There were sleeping and dining spaces and Kenji also could see a series of ledges with a dot of sunlight shining down from above. Tin Zin had poured some water into a metal pot and put it to boil on a fire he had lit in the dining space. Whilst waiting for the water to boil, Tin Zin prepared two porcelain cups by lining the bottoms with dry herbs. The sound of water bubbling was what made Tin Zin get up from his low table and retrieve the metal pot and poured the steaming contents into both cups. As Kenji was about to join the old mouse, Tin Zin produced a bamboo cane and swiped at Kenji viciously. "I did NOT give you permission to join me!"
   "I'm sorry... master," Kenji said in apology, bowing his head. Tin Zin glared at him for a moment and then made the mouse wait for several moments. He then sipped at the steaming cup and smiled in approval. Then, a low rumbling sound like a howling wind, but lower in tone, thrummed through the cave. The frequency made the entire cave gently vibrate.  Both Kenji and Tin Zin looked at the series of ledges where the small ray of sunshine shone down. The old mouse then nodded in understanding before saying, "I shall do as you ask." He then turned to Kenji and motioned him to sit.
   Kenji took his cup and blew on it before sipping. "What was that?"
   "Tomorrow, you will climb the mountain and you will see for yourself."
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 09:50:04 PM by SandyB »
Logged
People ask; "What is a furry?"
I say; "We're a group of people who have an appreciation for anthropomorphic characters (half animal people). We make up our own characters and dress up as them. It's a big laugh."
People ask; "Why do you do it?"
I say; "He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man."
 

SandyB

  • Abbey Bellringer
  • *
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 158
  • ROCKSMITH
    • View Profile
Re: Legend of the Red Dawn - Book 2
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2017, 09:49:00 PM »

11

"Wake up! Please!" Kenji's vision was a blur. He couldn't make out any colours or shapes, all he saw were streaking images of the glows from torches being held aloft. His head was throbbing after being drugged. He turned to see the beast who shook him awake, a frightened looking sado shrew. As the throbbing died down, he heard what sounded like chanting. Many voices calling "meat" in unison. He looked down and noticed he was wearing nothing but his undergarments. The same could be said for the few other creatures imprisoned with him. Along with himself and the sado shrew was a haggard looking pika and a tanuki, who had his paws clasped together and sobbing silently. Then the bars of his cage came into focus. "What is this?" Kenji asked.
   "We're going to die," the tanuki wailed out.
   There was then a roar of cheering from close by. Kenji got to his feet and looked through the bars of their cage. He saw numerous creatures dressed in ragged clothes gathered around a shallow pit they dug into the dunes. On the shoreline, Kenji saw numerous row boats and a galleon anchored off shore. Through the gaps in the crowd, Kenji saw a limber sea otter in a fight with a grizzled corsair stoat armed with a trident. The otter was only armed with a dagger and the multiple cuts that dotted the otter's body was an indication as to which combatant was fairing the best.
   Then came the trident, the killing blow. All three prongs were forced into the otter's chest as the assembled corsairs roared in cheering, raising their clenched fists in celebration. The otter's corpse collapsed to the sand as the stoat put a boot on his opponent's lower trunk and pulled the trident free. The stoat then bowed to his shipmates and he then turned and saluted to someone that Kenji couldn't see through the assembly of cheering corsairs. The corsairs then broke out into their chants of "Meat! Meat! Meat!"
   "We're next!" The pika gasped.
   "What do they want with us?" Kenji asked.
   "Entertainment," the sado shrew replied.
   Kenji then saw the corpse of the otter being dragged away, leaving a crimson trail behind. The otter's corpse was then tossed into the sea. The two searats that disposed of the body then turned their attention to the wooden cage. One searat opened the door to the cage. All of the other captives backed away, but Kenji was the only one who stood defiant. Both of the corsairs glared evilly at the mouse and one made a grab for him. Kenji batted the paw away and tried to make his escape. However, one of the searats tripped him up and then came the cosh to his forehead. All the other captives let out disheartened sighs. "Enjoy the show," one of the corsairs said mockingly as he closed the cage door behind him.
   The mouse was pulled forcibly to his feet by the two searats, too dazed to fight back. As Kenji was dragged along the sands towards the pit, the chanting became almost deafening, "Meat! Meat! Meat!" Kenji then turned his head and saw a weasel sitting in a grand carved chair, sipping something from his silver, jeweled chalice. All along the rim of the arena were the chanting corsairs. With as much force was he pulled up, Kenji was then thrown into the pit.
   Just as Kenji tried feebly to get to his feet, the weasel drew his cutlass and hoisted it over his head. The chanting then turned into deafening cheering. The weasel corsair then rose from his chair, "Shut up yer mouths!"
   There was a cruel chuckle echoed by all. "Did ya enjoy the last fight?"
   The cheering broke out again.
   "Wave-beasts 'n' raiders! For our next bout in The Pit, I give you Bilger!" The corsair weasel declared, his paws spread wide. A big and burly searat walked into the pit and approached the somewhat recovered Kenji, whilst clicking his knuckles menacingly. As his crew cheered, the captain took a swig from his silver callice and sat back down in his carved chair.
   Kenji got to his footpaws and glared at the burly rat.
   "Yer my opponent?" Bilger inquired mockingly. "I've caught fish that put up more of a fight than any mouse."
   "Are words your only weapon?" Kenji called back in a challenging manner in his native tongue.
   "Didn't catch a word uv that, but I didn't like the way ya said it!"
   "Begin!" The crew's bosun declared.
   Bilger then made an aggressive lunge towards Kenji, the mouse was nimble and he dodged Bilgers' attempt to grapple with him. Bilger then tried to land a punch, but Kenji was quick. He caught the rat's fist in mid flight and delivered a strong punch to Bilger's chest. The rat fell to his knees gasping for air. That was when Kenji struck, he delivered a forceful roundhouse kick to the rat's head, making him fall to the sands dazed. The corsairs around the pit howled out in mocking laughter. The captives who couldn't bare to watch, now couldn't look away. This mouse was putting up a fight!
   Bilger then shook the disorientation out of his head. He turned whilst grinding his teeth in anger. He quickly got to his feet and charged at the mouse. Bilger then advanced pulling back his fist. Just as he forced his balled fist forward, Kenji nimbly dodged the attack and jabbed with the point of his flat paw. The tips of his claws connected sharply with Bilgers throat. The rat then dropped to one knee, grasping his neck and gasping for air again. The pika prisoner grasped the bars of the cage in wonder, his face starting to beam with deep interest.
   The laughter then turned into jeering. "Stop playin' the fool, Bilger! Finish 'im!" His Captain yelled from his throne. Bilger's crew mates then started throwing daggers and cutlasses into the arena.
   The rat showed no hesitation in grabbing a silver handled dagger and held it menacingly. "Only one of us walks away!"
   Once again, Bilger charged at Kenji. As soon as the rat stabbed at the mouse, Kenji grabbed Bilger's wrist and then applied pressure at two points and started twisting. Lances of pain shot through the rat's lower arm. The dagger instantly dropped from Bilger's grasp and he fell to his knees crying out in pain.
   Once again there was jeering all around. Bilger's captain rose angrily from his throne and called, "Enough! Bilger, here, now!" Kenji released the searat. Bilger then walked defeated to his captain. His head hung as he nursed his paw. As Bilger approached, The weasel then drew his cutlass and in one motion cut through Bilger's neck. His head then bounced and rolled into the pit. "Yer right mate, only one uv ya walks away." Kenji stood horrified at the rat's head, bleeding from neck.
   "Well, I must say I've never been impressed by 'Meat' before," he declared. "I think you have real potential to be one of my crew. Good food, good plunder. It can be yours if you choose to swear loyalty to me. Or, I can just send challenger after challenger until you lie dead at my feet!"
   Kenji then glared coldly at the weasel. Kenji then closed his eyes and and put his paws together, breathing deeply. The mouse then squatted into his ready stance, extending his right paw. He turned his flat paw so that his palm faced up. Kenji then curled up his claws three times, beckoning the weasel to approach. "Ooooooooooooohhhhhh," the crew all called in unison.
   The Captain sneered at him, "Me? Ya wanna 'ave a go at me?" He then looked around at his crew and then back to the mouse. Kenji's gaze was unflinching. The Captain then disarmed one of his crew of his cutlass and threw it into the arena. "Don't let it be said that Cap'n Thadius Lobsterclaw Slit wasn't a sportin' beast," he said as he stepped into the arena. Kenji looked at the weapon. The blade looked crudely made, half of the cutting edge looked dull and the other half looked even more worn.
   Kenji sneered at the weapon as if wielding it were a personal insult. "No weapon? Fine, 'ave it yer way," said Slit, readying his curved cutlass with an ornamental, whale bone grip. The captain then advanced towards Kenji. The weasel then slashed downwards. The mouse nimbly dodged and rolled out of the way. Slit's blade only found sand. Captain Slit gawked in disbelief, but quickly turned around and was shocked to see Kenji standing directly behind him.
   Slit made another advance, but Kenji was quick. The mouse dropped to his knees, balled up his fist and drove it into Slit's torso. Slit then dropped to the sands, gasping and wheezing for air. Slit's crew were dumbstruck. Whereas, the captives in the cage whooped happily.
   Kenji then bowed respectfully to his opponent and started to walk out of the pit, for him the fight was over. Slit gritted his teeth. He held his lower torso and hoisted himself up and started walking after Kenji. He snatched the trident from the grasp of his stoat crew member and charged after Kenji. As soon as the mouse  heard the pounding pawsteps, he tried to sidestep the attack. He stopped dead in his tracks and saw a single blood stained trident prong jutting out of his right torso, missing his gut by inches. "Nobeast walks away from me," Slit sneered into Kenji's ear as he forcibly withdrew his weapon.
   Kenji clutched his side, trying to stem the red flow from his wound. Slit then held the trident aloft, "And now you die!" Kenji then turned around like a shot as Slit thrusted his weapon downwards. The mouse caught the shaft in mid-swipe and drove the flat of his open palm into Slit's muzzle. Slit dropped the weapon, staggering backwards and crying out in pain. Kenji used his every ounce strength and will to ignore his wound. The mouse then balled both fists and slammed his left into Slit's chest quickly followed by his right. Then left again and then his right again in quick succession. Again and again until his fists were a blur. Each punch making a connection until came one focused, final blow. Slit was knocked off his feet and landed on his back on top of a dagger one of his crew had thrown into the pit for Bilger to use. Slit gasped out loud before he said in a graveled tone, "You... li'l..." He then lay back unto the sands. Slit's crew all gasped in horror as a crimson pool started to form around the weasel's corpse.
   Kenji then doubled over, holding his wound while he panted heavily. One of Slit's crew, his first mate, stepped into the arena and recovered Slit's sword. The first mate then approached Kenji with the sword drawn, before kneeling in front of the mouse and presented the weapon to him. Kenji peered through blurred eyes at the fox kneeling before him. "You 'ave killed our cap'n in fair combat. Well fought an' well won,"
   Kenji couldn't even begin to grasp what the fox was speaking of. He stood painfully to his paws and try to brush past Slit's number one. The fox spoke again, this time a bit louder, "Ya 'ave earned the right ter lead us." Kenji then turned around and shook his head, to signal no understanding.
   "Hoi Deadeye," one of his shipmates called out, "I don't think 'e gets ya." Deadeye then stood up and spoke to Kenji again, this time much more slowly and made over theatrical paw gestures, "YOU... LEAD... US... NOW! YOU... ARE... NOW... CAP'N." Deadeye then made a smart salute when he said "Cap'n" and seeming to shove the blade into Kenji's grasp. The mouse then examined the blade closely. The weapon was polished and the edge was keen and the handle was made out of polished whale bone. The oval hilt was made from gold with a large white diamond on the bottom of the pummel. As he was examining the blade, one of his new crew was standing ready with his clothes. As the mouse reached for them, a lance of pain shot up from his wound. The red fluids flowing in a miniature torrent down his right leg. Deadeye then advanced to help him, but Kenji brushed him aside. The mouse himself then started making simple paw gestures. Firstly, Kenji then pointed at Deadeye and then pointed downward, jabbing with a single claw.
   Deadeye shook his head puzzled. Kenji then repeated his gestures a few more times. Eventually, Deadeye realised what Kenji was trying to tell him, "You want us... to stay here?"
   Kenji then cupped his paws around his mouth and then pointed at Deadeye again. "Stay here until called for? You want us to stay here until you send for us?" Kenji smiled and lightly applauded. Deadeye smiled as he suddenly felt clever, he then turned back to his crew, "Alright lads, our new cap'n wants us to stay 'ere 'til he calls fer us." There was a general murmur of agreement from the assembled crew. However Kenji wasn't finished, he then pointed towards the wood cage where the other pit victims were held. "What about 'em?" Deadeye shrugged.
   Kenji walked up to the cage and hacked at the bars with his new blade. The wooden bars became twigs or splinters and the remaining captives cheered their mouse hero. The tanuki gripped Kenji's paws and bowed many times. "Yer lettin' 'em walk?" Deadeye asked, before shrugging his shoulders. "Alright, yer the cap'n, I guess."
   All the other captives decided to start running along the coast. The pika allowed one last look back to Kenji and waved, "Thank you! You're an ally of my clan today!" Just as Deadeye turned around, Kenji had started walking along the shoreline, gripping his side and leaving a trail of blood drops behind him.
   Kenji had managed to walk a fair distance from the corsair crew before he felt dizzy and fell to his paws and knees on the tide line. The crashing waves washed over his limbs as Kenji's sight blurred and then the mouse collapsed onto the wet sands. Before his eyes closed completely, he thought he could hear a beast approach him. "So, this is what you're going to be doing with all that time I spent training you?"
   Tin Zin? Couldn't be. For all Kenji knew he was back at Kuma Mountain. Maybe it was just his ears playing tricks on his fevered mind before he died. "I thought you were going to avenge your father. How is picking fights with corsairs going to accomplish that?" Kenji groaned, "They... were going ... to kill me..."
   "Hoi matey, are you alright?" Tin Zin's voice suddenly changed in tone aswell as his fluency for the Jimanese language. Kenji then felt paws turning him over. The voice then raised in tone and alarm, "By the fang! 'Ang on there laddo! I'll help you out!"
   Kenji turned his head towards the voice and could still make out the basic shape of a muzzle that looked canine in nature. "You... not... Tin... Zin..." Kenji's voice trailed off as he fell into unconsciousness.
Logged
People ask; "What is a furry?"
I say; "We're a group of people who have an appreciation for anthropomorphic characters (half animal people). We make up our own characters and dress up as them. It's a big laugh."
People ask; "Why do you do it?"
I say; "He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man."
 

SandyB

  • Abbey Bellringer
  • *
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 158
  • ROCKSMITH
    • View Profile
Re: Legend of the Red Dawn - Book 2
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2017, 02:29:49 AM »

12

Sleeping on a futon laying on a rocky surface was not to Kenji's liking. However, when compared to the "lesson" Tin Zin had given him the day before, Kenji thought a little restless sleep was better than having his arm twisted in painful ways. His arm still ached and he wondered how he was going to ascend the mountain with numbness in his fingers. After breakfast, Tin Zin had pointed Kenji into the direction of the series of ledges at the end of his cave that resembled a giant's stairway. "Climb," he said.
   Kenji at the time just returned a nod and reached for the first ledge and hoisted himself up. The mouse then looked up to where the blotch of sunlight shone down on him. "You better not keep him waiting," Tin Zin called up to him before turning his back to walk towards his shrine. Kenji then started to climb up. This climb to the summit was perilous. After emerging from his climb up the series of ledges, Kenji found himself on a rocky overhang right beneath the base of the carving of the massive bear. A strong, biting wind then blasted Kenji which almost chilled him to his bones. He looked around, trying to see where the next part of the path was. The mouse hoped is wasn't a steep vertical climb up the carving in the rock face. There was a small ledge to his right and it looked extremely narrow, but it seemed there was no other way.
   When Kenji reached the narrow ledge, he then looked down. The forest bellow him was just a green canopy. He looked back at the ledge and saw there was little foot-room, one misplaced step and he would fall. He then gaped at the metal chain that was fixed to the rock face. He grasped it in one paw and gave it a gentle tug. It seemed secure, but Kenji had no idea how long this chain had been there. Would it come loose? For the next few moments Kenji looked up the mountain, then back to the ledge and then the chain several times. He was not going to go back down to Tin Zin and admit defeat. The old mouse had said that some-beast important was waiting to meet him. Perhaps, this mysterious creature was the one who'd teach him the way of the sword. Kenji then plucked up all his courage, took the chain in one paw and gingerly made his way up the mountainside.
   It was nearing late afternoon when Kenji reached the end of the ascending trail. He felt so relieved to have his feet on solid rock. In front of him was the final leg to the summit, another enclosed slope. Kenji then started to ascend further. He had noticed that many of the rocks jutting up from both sides of the path were adorned with colourful silk cloth and golden trinkets. At the end on the ascending path was a large stone tablet, inscribed with Jimanese scripture. "You pass into the domain of Haguke, Dragon of the mountain. Pray you are invited."
   Kenji then emerged from the exit of the enclosed sloping path and stepped onto the frost capped summit of Kuma Mountain. The mouse had noticed that the summit itself dipped down into a crater like formation. Like that of a summit of a volcano. When he looked down into the crater, Kenji could see a large house in the center. There were piles of rocks all around it. However, these piles were not just chaotic random stacks. They looked like they had been purposely sorted with the larger boulders at the bottom and the smaller ones at the top. Just like the rocks in the enclosed path, these rock piles were also decorated with coloured cloth.
   Kenji started to tread carefully down into the crater itself and when he passed a rocky outcrop he saw a massive dark green tail. It then started moving. Kenji took several steps around and started to follow the length of the tail with his eyes. The tail widened into a gargantuan body supported by four limbs, every limb was covered in green, pointed scales. The creature then turned it's head. Flat brow, deep eye sockets and blazing gold eyes stared at the mouse. A giant grey, forked tongue flicked in and out of it's mouth. Kenji started to back away gripped in an icy fear. The great creature then spoke, not in a hissing lisp like a snake, but with clear grandeur and a sense of sadness.
   "I've been watching you," the ginormous reptile said. "I've watched you from the moment you came to Tin Zin. I watched your mentor spar with him and then Tin Zin accepted you as a pupil. That was the first test. I called for you to ascend the mountain. The treacherous path has claimed many lives. Each one of these shrouds are a monument to the ones who fell before you. Reaching the summit was the second test." Kenji still found himself stood rigid where he stood as the reptilian giant continued. "This crater is my own meditation space. You are the latest of only a few who have been fortunate enough to set foot here." Kenji stopped backing away and knelt down before the massive komodo dragon, bowing his head. The dragon then maneuvered it's massive form to face the mouse bowing before him. "What is your name?"
   Kenji didn't raise his head, however he spoke out loud, "I am Kenji. Son of Shinkei and last retainer of the Nine Circle Clan."
   "Greetings," the dragon replied. "I am Haguke. I have had many titles throughout my long life. Now I am only known as 'Dragon of Kuma Mountain'. Why have you come Nine Circles?" Kenji kept his head bowed, "I want to avenge my father's death." Haguke tilted his head in a puzzled expression, "Vengeance? That is the sole purpose of your pilgrimage?" There was a pause. "Lift your head and stand. Let me look at you,"
   Kenji raised his head and stood up straight. Kenji looked unflinching into the dragon's eyes. Hagukae flicked his long tongue in and out of his mouth. "I can see into your soul, little one. There is a fire," Hagukae said. "Who told you to seek me out?"
   "Sengoku Krinz," Kenji answered.
   "Krinz... I believe I met one once,"
   "I came here to learn the way of the sword. The legends say that only a great dragon holds the secret to sainthood of the blade."
   "Ah. The little mouse wishes to become Kensei?"
   "Size is nothing when compared to a samurai's spirit," Kenji replied, his unflinching gaze fixed on the komodo dragons' eyes. "Well spoken. Before you begin your journey to become Kensei, you must undertake a rite of passage. You must first prove to me that you are as quick with your paws as you are with a blade. Go to my sanctum, there you will find a parchment with my mark upon it. Take it to Tin-Zin and he will help you."
   Kenji was quick to follow Haguke's instruction. Sure enough, inside the large dwelling was a parchment with a mark on it. Haguke then escorted Kenji to the the edge of the crater where there was a pulley connected to a gondola. Kenji then sat down inside it. "Until we meet again," Haguke said, before he proceeded to turn the wheel that lowered the gondola down the side of the mountain.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 03:19:47 AM by SandyB »
Logged
People ask; "What is a furry?"
I say; "We're a group of people who have an appreciation for anthropomorphic characters (half animal people). We make up our own characters and dress up as them. It's a big laugh."
People ask; "Why do you do it?"
I say; "He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man."
 

Captain Tammo

  • Moderator
  • Redwall Carpenter
  • *****
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 1746
    • View Profile
Re: Legend of the Red Dawn - Book 2
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2017, 04:27:16 AM »

Hey Sandy! So I remember I really liked Outlander. Do I need to read Servent in Exile and absolution before I can get to Legend of the Red Dawn? Or is it a standalone in your series?
Logged
"Cowards die a thousand times, a warrior only dies once. The spirits of all you have slain are watching you, Vilu Daskar, and they will rest in peace now that your time has come. You must die as you have lived, a coward to the last!" -Luke the warrior
 

SandyB

  • Abbey Bellringer
  • *
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 158
  • ROCKSMITH
    • View Profile
Re: Legend of the Red Dawn - Book 2
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2017, 02:34:16 AM »

It's supposed to be a prequel to Outlander. Like how Mossflower was a prequel to Redwall. You don't really need to read Outlander first, but there is some lore covered in Legend that Outlander does glance at.
Logged
People ask; "What is a furry?"
I say; "We're a group of people who have an appreciation for anthropomorphic characters (half animal people). We make up our own characters and dress up as them. It's a big laugh."
People ask; "Why do you do it?"
I say; "He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man."
 
The following users thanked this post: Captain Tammo
Pages: [1]   New
Tags: