The Trials Of The King Prologue
March 3, 0 A.D.
Lavian Triggara squinted up at the clouds, trying to determine where the sun was. It was another one of those typical "Cloud Burn" days that always seemed to plague Porre. She had gotten burned pretty badly her first few days here. After all, if the sun wasn't shining, you couldn't get sunburn, right? 'Ha!' She laughed at the thought.
"General Triggara, it's time to begin." Her top aide whispered to her.
"How can you tell?" Lavian squinted at the sky again.
"Word has come from Choras. General Guardia wants you to eliminate all remaining resistance, as soon as possible."
"I don't work that way." Lavian shook her head.
"General Guardia will be most upset if he has to handle prisoners." The aide whispered apprehensively.
"General Guardia can kiss my ass." Lavian dismissed him with a wave of her hand. "Very well, but I'm following the original plan." She walked to the crest of the hill, stepped up, cupped her hands around her mouth, and shouted. "Matuyama-san! I am forced to demand your immediate!-" She stopped as one of the soldiers tapped her on the shoulder. "Yes? What is it?"
"Uh, general, the enemy soldiers are staked out on the other side." The soldier whispered apologetically. Lavian stayed silent for a second, then sheepishly turned around. At first glance, Lavian seemed to be quite the ditz, but almost everyone who had assumed that was dead now. She could do the job when it counted.
She cupped her hands again, and shouted, "Matuyama-san! I am forced to demand your immediate surrender! Please lay down your arms!"
"We will never surrender, as long as Goroda-sama continues to fight against Guardia!" A determined voice responded.
"Goroda has surrendered to Lord Guardia in Choras. I have just received word." Lavian geniunely felt bad as she delivered the news.
"Lies!" Most of Matuyama's soldiers instantly cried.
"Matuyama-san, you know I would not lie to you. You are an honorable warrior. Goroda has seen the wisdom of the Truce!"
"I will never the see the wisdom of peace." Lord Matuyama stepped forward from the trees. "Men are meant to kill one another. It is the way of the world. It is foolishness to fear death!"
"Do you know what this means?" Voices drifted from the trees at the base of the hill. "If Goroda-sama has surrendered, Matuyama-sama is now Shogun!" Shouts began to drift from the trees. "Sei i tai Shogun! Sei i tai Shogun!"
"Please, my people!" Matuyama waved for them to quiet down. "We will never surrender!" Then he turned back to the trees, and addressed the soldiers waiting within. "My people, we no longer fight for victory. That is impossible now. Now, we fight for our honor! Charge forward, and let us destroy the northern devils where they cower!!" With that, Matuyama drew his katana and charged up the hill.
"Matuyama!!!" The battle cry echoed from the trees, and his soldiers followed the charge.
Lavian sighed and raced to meet him, Guardian troops practically oozing out of the woodwork. Matuyama was good, no question, but even the mighty warrior could not match the ancestor of Crono in battle skill. While their katanas crashed back and forth, the Guardian troops slowly but surely defeated his forces by sheer strength of numbers. Suddenly, the two supreme combatants were hit with a mob of fighting flunkies, and seperated.
Within a matter of minutes, only five of Matuyama's men remained alive, fenced in by a living wall of Guardian soldiers. Lavian waded through them and stepped into the circle. "You must surrender now. You have no choice."
"There is always a choice!" The soldier in front growled. He quickly took his shorter sword out, then quickly stabbed it into his stomach, cutting upward, and then sideways. Some of Lavian's men looked ill as his intestines spilled into the dirt. The Matuyama soldier behind him quickly struck off his head. The other three soldiers immediately did the same thing with their stabbing swords, and the same man struck their heads off as well. The Guardian crowd was quickly dispersing now. The last man drew his shorter sword, but his hands wavered as the blade neared his stomach. Lavian quickly stepped forward.
"I am Lavian Triggara. I would be honored to be your second." She held her katana high.
He looked at it with surprise. "Thank you. I am Atenak." He once again put the knife to his stomach. Lavian readied her sword, but he remained silent for a second.
"Are you ready? I wish to be perfect for you." Lavian asked with geniune concern.
"No... But I must... Hai!" And with that, he sliced his stomach open also. Lavian waited for the appropriate moment, then quickly lopped off his head.
"General... How could you do that?" Her aide held his stomach.
"I helped him to die with honor. It was easy." She shrugged, wiping her sword off on the ground. She quickly scanned the battlefield, then came to a realization. "Matuyama's not out there, is he?"
A soldier beside her also took a good look. "Damn it, no."
Lavian looked at the ground, dejectedly. "Oh, this is going to go on for a long, long time..."
A ten year old boy looked up suddenly as a figure stumbled through the trees, clutching open wounds. He backed away at first, but then rushed forward. "Father, what has happened?"
"I have failed, my son." Matuyama replied sadly. "For this, I must commit seppuku. But first, I had to speak to you one last time..."
"Father, please don't! We can beat the Guardian devils!"
"Not now. Not at this time. You must stay in hiding, and slowly rebuild our forces, until the time is right. That is the only hope for eventual victory now. Until that day, we must learn to live without freedom." Matuyama then reached into his sash. "Take this sword, my son. You are going to be my second."
The boy held the long katana shakily. "I-I've never done this before, father."
"Just make sure to strike as hard as you can. Whenever you use this sword, strike as hard as you can. It was made by the legendary Murasama, and deserves as such. If you cannot do it correctly the first time, well then, that is just our karma, neh?"
"Hai." The boy responded softly. Matuyama drew out his shorter sword, and quickly slashed through his stomach. The boy waited until what he thought was the appropriate moment, then slashed at his father's neck with all his strength. Matuyama's head rolled slowly to the ground.
"Karma, neh?" He whispered. "Not while victory is still in sight. Not while a Matuyama still possesses this Murasama! I will make the Guardian devils pay for this humiliation, father! I swear it!"
"How dare you?! He was my father!!!" - Antoine D'Coolette
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