The story so far:
Raiden pushed to door which slid open with a loud groan. Raiden walked into the room. Inside it was dark except for the light from two candles which sat on stools on each side of a wooden chest. Raiden walked over to the chest and bent over. He reached his hand out and wiped the dust off of the top of the chest. He then sat on the floor and scooted towards the chest. He grabbed the chest and opened it. I would have expected some light coming out of it, but this is ok…I guess. Raiden thought to himself as he looked into the chest. There lying in the chest was an old, black leather notebook. Raiden opened the notebook and turned the pages skimming through at random. The notebook was full of papers some in better condition than the others.
“A story? About what? Raiden said to himself.
He flipped to the first page in the folder.
“A title,” Raiden said as he began to read.
“The Epic of Raiden…What? Could this be a story about me? Maybe if I read this, I can find out who I really am…No harm ever came from reading a book right?” Raiden said reassuring himself. He put the folder in his lap and put the candles on the chest giving himself more light to read.
“The battle was raging. There at the top of the hill two-hundred meters away from the fight. He could see the soldiers slaughtering each other. One massive blow after another, inevitably, they would all die. There were bodies hitting the hard, cold ground all over the battlefield. Their blood formed slimy pools everywhere. He could hear the pathetic pleas of the soldier’s minds begging not to be next; then watching them as they were mercilessly murdered. He secretly grinned to himself. No matter who died, he didn’t care. It made him feel better to think that all of these people’s lives where in his control to do as he pleased. He had the power to either take their lives in the blink of an eye, or grant it; though he would never do such a thing. He was the reason for all that was now. The world was altered because of his absence. He was…he is…Shinokozuki. Death is the name he is known as by the town’s people. His arrivals were known to bring the troubles of the darkness to all those who encountered him. The people would usually hide when they saw dark clouds and lightning. This symbolized the coming of this beast. If a soldier was to stand next to him, he would be four feet smaller than Shinokozuki. Shinokozuki was a giant black figure with shredded, jet black clothes and one of the four the legendary weapons. Despite the rumors of the people, no smell followed him. There was always a strong wind that blew at his clothes making them flutter. This made him look even more terrifying than he actually was, though there was no really useful effect. The people of the towns knew very little about him, but heard many rumors. Which ones to believe, they didn’t know. There was only one person besides him, or should have only been one who truly knew where he had come from. This is the story of Raiden Simuriani. A boy who’s life will never be the same.” Raiden stopped reading and stared at the notebook.
“That doesn’t describe me…” Saying this, Raiden closed the notebook, put it on the floor and stood.
“Maybe I’ll come back later.”
Raiden stepped towards the door. There was a strange force behind him that began pulling him. Raiden then dashed forward but to his surprise moved nowhere. He was lifted in the air and turned towards the notebook which was now open. There was a vortex spinning from the inside of it. The candle light faded and the door closed Raiden into a black room as he felt himself get sucked into the notebook.
The sun was coming up, it was now dawn. Silently, Tenchi Shomuyo entered the room. His sandals lightly scraped the floor as he walked. He wore a green robe that touched the ground. His hair was as white as snow; he had a beard and mustache to match. He was an Asian man with a light tan complexion. If it weren’t for his hair, he could easily pass for a man in his early thirties. Tenchi walked through the room stepping over dirty clothes, neglected toys, and scattered papers. He walked to the bed at the left corner of the room.
“Get up, Cleric, it’s time for training. You too, Raiden,” Tenchi called across the room to the bed in the right corner.
He watched as the boys stood out of their beds. Cleric Shomuyo was a young boy who was fifteen years old. He had a lighter complexion than his grandfather Tenchi. He had green eyes and dark brown hair that reached his shoulders. He was five-six; a little shorter than Tenchi, but the same size as Raiden. Raiden Simuriani sat on his bed and rubbed his left leg.
“How’s your leg, Raiden?” Tenchi asked.
“Fine, I don’t feel a thing anymore.”
Raiden was fifteen years old, like Cleric. He had a brown complexion; not much, but visibly darker than Tenchi. Unlike normal people, Raiden was born with red eyes, only four shades brighter than blood. He had short black hair, and a matching outfit; a black robe and matching shoes. It was very baggy and had a thick sash from the waist to the knees. His robe covered all of him except his head. The collar was about four inches long so it came a little above his chin. Both he and Cleric had these robes. Raiden’s robe was black, and Cleric’s was white. Raiden had a hard time in his past. He was not a relative of Tenchi or Cleric in any way. When he was seven while he was walking in the forest with his parents, his family was attacked by a group of strange men.
The trees swayed gently in the breeze. It was the forest. They walked…all three of them, going to an unknown location. Raiden looked at his father who walked next to him. He admired him very much. Raiden turned and looked up at his mother. She looked down at him and smiled. Raiden smiled back. They continued walking ahead, when suddenly two men jumped out of a tree in front of them. The men landed on the ground with barely a sound. One’s right hand was on the floor and his left behind his back and the other was the exact opposite. Four more men then dropped from the sky landing behind them. They all wore what looked like black uniforms with pockets everywhere.
“Stand back, honey,” Raiden’s father said.
Raiden’s dad then lowered his right hand to the ground and his left hand a foot above it. The five men behind what seemed to be the leaders turned and looked to the one on the right. Without looking back, the leader nodded. With that, the five men jumped over the leaders who then stood and stepped back. Two of the men pulled swords from their backs and ran directly at Raiden’s dad. He quickly swung his left arm up and thrust his right arm forward. Raiden watched in amazement. In his father’s hands were his swords, the Atsus. The Atsus where a weapon the Raiden’s father created for a reason that Raiden did not know. They were equal in size, texture, and sharpness. They were thick swords about four inches wide and had an orange design from the collar, to the tip. Though he rarely needed them, he always carried them with him. Raiden was amazed because he did not see when his father drew the swords. Raiden’s father then pulled his right sword out of the man in front of him and opened his arms wide for the next man who ran towards him. He slammed his swords together catching the man’s neck between them. The body dropped to the floor and the head rolled to the side. He looked at the last remaining lackey who stood waiting for an attack. Raiden’s father then sprinted at the last man and sliced down. The man held up his sword to block the attack…half the sword fell to the ground. The man stood there with a blank stare in his eyes, then fell to the ground in two halves. Raiden’s father then stood face to face with the pack’s leaders. The man on the right reached behind his back and pulled out a large hammer. He raised it high above his head and swung down. Raiden’s dad then swung his sword at the hammer deflecting the blow. The other man quickly ran around Raiden’s father making the battle an attack on both sides. Raiden’s father then took a step back thrusting his sword at the man behind him who in turn moved to the side to avoid being injured. Raiden’s father then spun around in a 540 slitting the throat of then man in front of him and landing his swords in the chest of both men, and then all was silent. Raiden looked at what was going on. There was a third attack that landed…right into his father’s back and out of his chest. He pulled the sword out of the chest of the man behind him and he fell to the ground. Raiden ran to his father’s side. He fell to the ground and coughed. As Raiden stared into his eyes he smiled, then stopped breathing. Raiden’s mother ran towards Raiden to pull him away and tripped. She landed behind Raiden. Then the man who finally died from choking on his blood fell. His hammer fell from his hand and landed on Raiden’s leg. The force of the hammer shattered Raiden’s knee. Raiden screamed in pain as he watched the man fall onto his mother. The man’s sword landed on Raiden’s mother’s neck forcing her to suffer the same fate he did. In this unfortunate incident, nine people died. Seven intentionally, one murdered, one by freak accident, and one severely injured. Raiden whimpered as he grew weary from the pain. Then a man in a white robe walked over to him. He wanted to tell the man what had happened, but he was in too much pain to say anything. Raiden couldn’t speak, he could barely breathe. The last thing he could remember was the blurred face of an old man. As he woke he saw a fan spinning above his head. It took him a while to process everything, but the details were still fuzzy. He looked over and tried to move forgetting his leg and cried out in pain.
“You shouldn’t try to move. You’re much too weak.”
“Who are you? And where are my parents? Why am I here?”
“What?” Raiden said confused.
The old man explained what had happened.
“I…I remember now, but why? Who? Who did this to me!?” Raiden began sobbing. “My parents…are…”
“Think not of it this way child. Your parents are simply watching over you now. Their spirits will live on in you. You will be with them again someday, but until then just calm down.”
“No! no! no! no! no! I will get revenge! Who did this!?”
“I cannot tell you because I don’t know. I believe this belongs to you.”
He picked up a cloth from behind him and handed it to Raiden. Raiden unfolded it and rubbed his hands across his father’s swords.
“My father’s swords.”
“They are yours now. I can teach you how to use them I you like, along with an ancient martial art called Luignai. It releases the body and mind from the laws of the earth. But I will only teach it to you if you promise to only use it for good.”
“Look under the cloth.”
Raiden picked up the cloth and looked at it. There was a symbol on the back of the cloth.
“What is this?”
“That is the symbol of the ninja clan that attacked your family. Very well then, this is where you will be staying. It will take many years before your leg heals so this will give you time to get to know your partner.”
“Yes, my grandson, Cleric. He’s about your age. Speaking of names, what is your name boy?”
“That’s it? No last name?”
“Simuriani, Raiden Simuriani; and yours?”
“Tenchi Shomuyo. You’ll just be calling me Master Shomuyo though. Fine with you?”
“Good, get some rest.”
8 YEARS LATER
“Raiden, how are you doing this morning?” Master Shomuyo asked.
“Fine. And you?”
“Good, good. And you, Cleric?”
“I am your trainer now, Cleric. You may address me as Master Shomuyo and that only. Understand?”
“Yes, Master Shomuyo.”
“Good. Now then, your first session begins now.”
Raiden and Cleric exchanged confused looks as if the other would know what he was talking about; then glared at Master Shomuyo who was smiling at them.
“What are we suppose to do?” Cleric asked.
“As your first session…you must…clean your room.”
“What?” Cleric asked uneasily.
“That’s not fair!” Raiden snapped. “But we’ve been waiting so long to learn---”
“Stop right there, Raiden,” Master Shomuyo interrupted. Master Shomuyo looked down, and then back up. “There were two brave soldiers. Both strong and intelligent men; One was disciplined, and the other was undisciplined. They were in the middle of a big battle and were losing. The disciplined soldier decided to pull back and devise a plan. Everyone agreed with the soldier’s decision but the undisciplined soldier. He didn’t like not being in control so he waited until all of the soldiers were asleep. He snuck out in the middle of the night to try and prove he was better than the disciplined soldier. He went to the enemy camp and snuck into the enemy leader’s tent. Little did he know that the tent was heavily guarded, so he was captured and killed. The enemy leader figured that if this soldier had come, then there must be more. Then the leader tightened the security around the perimeter of the camp. The next day, the disciplined soldier came with the army and his plan. The plan failed horribly because the enemy was expecting their arrival. Every last one of them were captured and killed all because of the arrogance and ignorance of the undisciplined soldier…My point is you two live here and share this room. You live together, and together you must learn to work together to accomplish different and eventually more difficult tasks. When you can accomplish this task then and only then will I teach you the sacred art of Luignai which revolves solely around patience. But I will not teach an ancient art to the undisciplined soldiers.”
“Yes, Master Shomuyo,” Cleric and Raiden answered.
“Very well then, get to work.” Master Shomuyo turned and put his hands behind his back. “I will return in a little while to see how you’ve progressed.”
As soon as he walked out of the room and turned the corner Cleric turned to Raiden.
“Come on, Raiden, we should get started so we can learn.”
“Don’t you get tired of those ridiculous speeches, Cleric? He does this to us all the time! Why should we believe that he’s actually going to take us this time!? I don’t care about discipline, I just want to learn how to fight and use magic, that’s it. This Luignai thing probably doesn’t even exist!”
“Maybe Master Shomuyo wants to teach us tolerance first?”
“Yeah, sure, and there’s a secret kingdom of great importance in the sky too. He just wants to tick me off because he knows how much I want to do this.”
Cleric looked at Raiden.
“For good or evil?”
Raiden looked up into Cleric’s green eyes. Cleric stared back into the redness of Raiden’s eyes as if looking into them for an answer.
“A very stupid question, of course for good. I intend to avenge my parents for what those people did to them. You see those swords on the wall?” Raiden said pointing to his father’s swords. “The Atsus…one day…I’ll be able to use them better than my father ever imagined. That is a promise I am making to myself right now.”
“Neither of us will ever get any better if Master Shomuyo finds us talking rather than cleaning.”
“I suppose so,” Raiden said under his breath.
Cleric looked at Raiden’s leg.
“What exactly happened to you?”
Raiden told Cleric the story of how he and his parents were walking somewhere to meet some friends and were attacked, and how Master Shomuyo showed up and to save them but was too late. Cleric looked down for a short moment.
“So then it’s out of hatred that you want to learn Luignai.”
“Only part I guess. Don’t worry, Cleric, I won’t let hatred consume me. Let’s start cleaning.”
“Ok, let’s get to work.”
Raiden began separating the clothes on the floor and picked up his other black robe. As he held it he remembered watching his father fight. He stared at the robe as a traumatizing battle played in his memory. He began to feel the pain and anger building up inside his body. Slowly as he stared into the darkness of the robe he tightened his grip.
“Raiden, what are you doing?” Cleric asked as he sorted the papers on the floor.
Raiden folded the robe and put it on his bed.
“Hey, Cleric. Do you want to put the beds together?”
“Sure, but how are we going to put them together?”
“We can pick one up and put it on top of the other.”
“That’s fine, but I call the bottom.”
“Ok, I like the top better anyway.”
They picked up Raiden’s bed and moved it across the room to Cleric’s and placed it on top. Then they went back to cleaning the room. Once they finished cleaning the room Cleric walked to his bed and laid on his back. Raiden grabbed his bed and stood on Cleric’s then pulled himself up. He sat down against the wall and looked down at his covers. They waited for Master Shomuyo to come, but they didn’t have to wait long. Just when they were relaxed, Master Shomuyo walked into the room.