'The next town is gonna be up ahead within a mile or so,' I said this to myself as I looked at the map I was given. I have been in this bamboo forest for a few hours now and I was getting rather restless. With my katana by my hip and wooden sandals among my sore feet, I have been walking this blasted bamboo forest for far too long. Sure, it was nice and peaceful for a good hour but a good hour or so, I was already looking forward to the next town.
Master is already waiting there for me to see if I pass the test or not. This was my first test of a young samurai and he told me that this one will require patience. For I had to go through this bamboo forest before sundown, and if I end up failing, I would have to do a full day of chores. Easier said than done, I guess.
I eventually came to a fork in the road after awhile. Before I checked the map again, I decided to sit down and take a breather. "Geez, with all this walking it is sure is making me hungry too," I said out loud as my stomach started growling. I haven't eaten since this morning and I could go for a full course meal right about now. Just the thought of Japanese ramen noodles, with jumbo shirmp, carrots, eggs, and onions was making my mouth water. I know what I was going to have for my next supper.
I brought out my water skin and started to drink the water out of it. It was getting nearly empty. There has to be a stream nearby for I saw one on the map not too long ago. I put away my water skin and brought out the map once again. Judging from the map if I head left, I will be heading to town within two milew. And if I go right, I will be heading to a stream of water and arrive at town for a mile and a half. Decisions, decisions.
After careful consideration, I decided to go right considering I might be in need of more water. Plus I will still have time to make it to town before much longer.
My stomach was still killing me though. I should've saved most of my snacks from earlier in my trek and now I'm regretting it. There wasn't much in the forest to go off by eating. The bamboon themselves will cause someone like me to get sick if I happen to eat them, and there wasn't any critters to consider edible.
I continue on the path I had chosen until I have reached the stream within a good twenty minutes. The water looked so clean, and transparent that I didn't hesitate to wipe my face off first before filling my water skin. After getting my fill and feeling refreshed, I then proceeded to resume my trek through the forest.
After about five minutes, I heard a loud yelp sounding like some kind of fox. Startled, I quickly put out my katana and observe my area with a keen eye. Nothing was coming towards me whatsoever. Before I continue to walk down the path, I then heard a yell: "Help!" I looked around, still no one was there but now I was trying to figure out where this noise was coming from. Another yell came out shouting: "Someone please help!" I find the direction of the voice and proceeded heading towards it with my katana still out.
Eventually I came across to a little girl who was caught in a bear trap. The trap really got her ankle bad that it was bleeding out a lot of blood. The girl was swollen up of course with tears of pain from her brown eyes. I withdraw my katana, kneel down by her and release her foot from the trap without a second thought. I next quickly grab my first aid kit from my satchel, and started to patch her up with the equipment I had with me.
After I wrapped some fabric to her wound, I ask her: "Can you stand?"
She tried to get up and stumbled almost immediately. "No," she cried.
"Don't worry," I said while reassuring her. "Everything is going to be okay. I'll just have to carry you until we get to the nearest town."
The little girl made no fuss and nodded. Master always said how good I am with kids. They literally trust me like a guardian and friend.
I lifted her up among my back and we both made out way to the main road of the bamboo forest.
There was silence for a good ten minutes which felt like an eternity. I was the first one to break the ice: "So, where are your parents, little one?"
The little girl replies shyly: "I don't have any."
I next ask the following: "How about a guardian? Uncle? Aunt? Older brother? Older sister? Maybe a godparent?"
"None of those either," she said patiently.
"Do you have a name?"
"Recia. And your's?"
"Nice to meet your acquaintance, Recia. Yuto is the name."
"The same goes with you." For a little girl, she sure has politeness. She next asks: "So, Yuto, are you a samurai?"
I chucked before replying: "What gave it away?"
"Your katana," she smiled.
"Oh darn, I guess my secret is out. I might have to get rid of you," I said jokingly.
Recia plays along by going: "Oh dear, whatever should I do?"
"Hahaha, you're quite some character, Recia. Hopefully we can get to town and-"
Next thing I knew, I was interpreted by a spear which thankfully misses our heads. I turned my head and there before us was a poacher. He was geared up with all kinds of deadly, lethal weapons. From daggers, to a couple of spears, to a crossbow, and teo machetes, this guy was loaded to get something killed. He even had even different of furs among him too. Along his right eye, he had a visor scanner of some kind. It was a blue visor with red icons poppin in and out from the surface.
I walk forward and irritatedly go: "What's the big idea, pal!? Don't you see I got a child I'm carrying?"
He laughs before saying: "That there is no child, samurai. You might as well give me her right now before I end up killing you too for game."
"What do you mean she ain't a child? Don't your eyes deceive you? She's only a little girl!"
"A girl who is a kitsune. Thanks to my vision scanner I can see what spirits roam around these parts."
"Why yes, a fox spirit you, dimwit!"
"I know what a kitsune is, you a-hole. Still even if this little one is a kitsune, I won't let you take her." As I said all of this, I gently placed Recia down behind me and brought out my katana.
"You are a fool to think you can take me on," the poacher grinned. "I'll have that kitsune one way or another. I'll even take your katana for my collection of weaponry."
"You will have to kill me first before you do such a thing."
"Then so be it," said the poacher as he then got out his twin machetes.
"Stay back and remain low," I whispered to Recia suggesting.
The poacher wasted no second as he charged at me with his two sharp machetes. I charged at him meeting him halfway and we collided our blades into a warrior dance.
After sometime, I jokingly asked: "Are we going to look into each other's eyes all day or are we going to fight?"
My opponent yelled: "Shut up, you cocky samurai!"
We then both back up from each other and stand there in our tense stances. He came at me again charging at full speed. I encountered it with my katana which end up having one of his machetes getting stuck on one of the baboons. He tried pulling it out, but I quickly took this opportunity by attacking him myself. He dodges my swing and tightens his grip on his one free machete. I too tighten my grip onto my katana.
The poacher and I stood there waiting for one of us to make the next move. I took upon this moment to charge my blade with mystic energy. My opponent saw this as opportunity to strike me however as he try to do so, I was dodging his attack effortlessly. He swung his machetes left and right chopping the bark of the bamboo trees while I dodged it all. Once my blade I was fully charged, I will unreleased my attack.
Unfortunately that opportunity was cut short for I misspelled, dropped my katana and fell on my bottom while the charge from my blade automatically vanished.
The poacher chuckles while withdrawing his machete, and bringing out his crossbow. He quickly kicked my katana from me and stepped on my hand causing me to yell in pain. He was now towering over me: "Looks like you're still a rookie. Might as well finish what I came here to do." He places the arrow along the crossbow up in my face.
Before he could reach the trigger with his pointed finger, he yelled: "Ow, why you little bitch!"
I lifted my head and saw that a blue furred kitsune biting the poacher's ankle. The kitsune had fabric around one of it's ankle and I automatically knew who it was. "RECIA! Stand down!"
Next thing I knew the poacher released his ankle from her jaw and kicked her. "I guess I'll have to kill you first then," the poacher said to spirit fox as he pointed the crosbow her way.
I desperately looked around my area. My katana was too far from me to reach. I turned to my left and saw the same spear the poacher tried killing us in the first place. It was within arm's reach!
Without hesitation, I pulled out the spear with my left hand and turned it out towards my opponent, who was still towering over us. I held the spear over the left side of my head while remaining on the ground. I then jabbed it at his other ankle that was holding my right hand. Too bad I don't feel sorry for him. Guy was having a bad ankle day. Well, an ankle for an ankle. Or at least two for one technically.
He finally released my hand while crying over his impaled ankle. I next grabbed my katana, charging up to him and stabbed it in the chest over his heart. My opponent drops dead and I release my katana from the deceased body.
I wiped off the blood from my blade and checked up on Recia. She was okay and was turning back to her human from passed out at the moment. I guess with all the stress from today, it must have made her faint. I grabbed her within my arms and walked us both out to the nearby town. She and I need to recover after today. A bowl of ramen noodles will be good too especially right now.