Current Residence: North Central Ohio|
Favourite genre of music: Classical
The two met in a forest clearing. It was not by chance but a planned duel, long in the coming. They could have not looked more different. One in full court kimono and the other in the briefest of armor and split brocade skirt with a fully enclosed helmet and mask. The masked warrior was taken aback by the garb of her opponent.
“You dishonor me by not taking me seriously, Midori.”
The woman in the court dress bowed low.
“Not at all, Lady Zero. Give me a moment and I will be ready.”
Midori was slightly shorter than Zero but even covered by the kimono it was clear she was broad shouldered and heavily muscled. She quickly disrobed from the colorful flowered kimono and under garments and stood nearly naked, clad in only a brief skirt. In her hand she held a sheathed katana and slipped into the band of the skirt behind her back was the shorter wakizashi. She was well oiled and she skin shone like burnished gold. Zero motioned to a flash and cups nearby and Midori nodded. They knelt on the cool grass and Zero poured and offered Midori a cup before taking one herself.
“The blossoms were lovely this year.” Midori said softly.
“Yes, only a few hang on with the coming of summer.”
“There could not be a better time to die than with the last of the falling blossoms.”
Zero’s helmet bobbed in agreement as they finished. She stared at Midori with burning hate filled eyes. Everything about this warrior filled her heart with burning rage. The bastard child of high nobility, blessed with great beauty and strength, undefeated in battle and admired by her clan. While she, Zero, had been stripped of her very name, banished from her clan, sealed in this mask and helmet for eternity.
“Shall we?” Midori asked raising one lovely eyebrow.
They rose and paced back from each other before drawing their blades.
“I will have my revenge.” Zero intoned.
Midori remained calm.
“Revenge?” She asked.
“Your father and your clan destroyed my Clan and sealed me in the horrible doom.”
“And you ambushed and killed him for it.” Midori said. “I would not be here except for two reasons. One, I want your oath that if you kill me your revenge ends. Leave my sister alone. And two, I need to test my skill against yours.”
“I have no interest in your sister.” She lied. “And I too am thrilled to finally face you. Your legend has grown large in the region. I mean to claim it and your life.”
They held their sword out horizontally resting in both palms bowing before straitening to face each other in deadly earnest. They moved with skilled grace, each watching for an opening. In their minds they analyzed each attack and the reaction like chess players. For long moments there was only the sound of the warriors breathing and the moving of bare feet on the grass. Suddenly Zero thrust forward with the blade, Midori slashed blocking. Three more attacks passed before they parted. Both were panting heavy and sweating. A thin red line dripped slowly across Midori’s belly. Zero shrugged and armor protecting her chest dropped free, the straps holding it cut through by Midori’s sword.
“First blood.” Zero said.
They moved right and left, eyes locked. This time Midori moved first. She came in high two hand slashing repeatedly driving Zero back with sheer power. Zero braced her feet and caught the last slash and they locked near chest to chest. Zero dove her knee into Midori’s groin and the warrior gasped. She staggered back and Zero forward thrusting her blade at the exposed chest. Midori dodged to the side barely avoiding the thrust. She roll and came up into a crouch. She rose and took her stance. Zero moved in.
“Shall we finish this?” Zero said.
Midori nodded once. They charged as one. Swords clashed, blood sprayed. Zero dropped to her kneels. She clutched her side. Midori stood over her. Zero lowered her head exposing her neck.
“Do not force me to do this.” Midori said.
“Your sister is already dead. My assassins attacked while you are here.” Zero chuckled.
Midori’s eyes went wide.
The blade sliced off Zero’s head. Midori fled the clearing to her horse and rode hard. All was still for many hours, then Zero’s body moved. It reached out and grabbed the head replacing it on her neck.
“That hurt, but was well worth the price.”
Midori is my character and creation, Zero (pictured above) and the art were created and owned by babaugaliano.deviantart.com/