Callum Lynx

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Chapter 4

Callum followed Tito and Kr'aska as they led the way towards Felshire. They have been walking for several hours now, and Callum began to see the village off in the distance. Callum noticed that Felshire was a large village that circled around a large temple made of stone and bamboo.

"We are almost there my friend." said Tito, looking back at Callum, who smiled in return. Callum was excited to become a samurai. At the same time however, he was still extremely upset about losing his aunt and uncle, and not being able to rescue them in time. He also missed Jerall and wishes he was walking beside him. Callum was thinking about the training process for becoming a samurai. He knew that it is hard and he must learn how to handle a sword and be able to fight. Tito led the way through the village gates and through the crowded streets. Callum noticed the villagers stepping back and giving the samurai move to walk through. Some of the villagers were eyeing the katana's in their scabbards. As they walked past a couple vendors, Callum caught the eye of a young girl with long flowing black hair who stood behind the apple stand. The girl looked back at him and smiled. Callum smiled back, but was looking a little too long and didn't notice the samurai in front of him stop walking. Callum bumped into the samurai and immediately backed up and looked around, trying to play it off. He heard the girl laugh from behind. That's one way to embarrass yourself in front of a girl. The samurai didn't even turn around to see what happened and just kept walking. Callum let out a sigh of relief. They eventually made it to the temple.

There was an entrance to the courtyard that was guarded by two samurai who carried long naginatas, which is a pole weapon with a sharp blade at the end. One of the samurai with the naginata looked over at Callum and gestured towards him. Tito said something that Callum didn't hear and then saw the naginata samurai nod his head in understanding before letting Tito begin leading the group through the entrance.

Callum saw tons of samurai in the courtyard training with wooden swords and dummies. Some of the samurai weren't even holding any weapons and were punching the wooden dummies. The group stopped and Kr'aska signaled for the other samurai to leave minus Tito.

"Welcome to the shogun's temple. Here are several rules I must give you before we enter and speak with the shogun. One, do not speak unless you are spoken to. Two, whenever we greet anyone, you must always bow towards them, its a sign of respect. And three, when we enter the shogun's throne room, you will need to sit in seiza. Seiza is a formal way of sitting down, especially in front of the shogun. You may also kneel, but for this recruitment process, you must sit in seiza. We will show you how to do that once we get in. Come on, follow me." Kr'aska ordered. He and Tito led the way into the temple. Callum felt the cool air rush against his hot skin. The temperature outside was hot and it felt good to get cooled off. They walked through several long hallways and stopped at a pair of wooden doors.

"From here on out, follow our orders." Tito whispered before opening one of the doors. Callum and the two samurai entered the room, which was very large. It had a long flight of stairs leading to the shogun's throne. There were a set of eight pillars holding up the ceiling on each side of the room. The pillars were twenty feet apart from each other. Callum noticed that the shogun was surrounded by four samurai who wore weird face masks. The shogun had long black hair and a long wispy black beard. Tito, Kr'aska, and Callum stopped at the first step and began to sit down. Why the heck are we sitting down right here? Shouldn't we move up the stairs? If we speak the shogun won't even hear us. Callum thought as Tito was instructing him how to sit in seiza.

"Shogun Lekkyu, we brought a recruit. We ask if you may let him join." said Kr'aska speaking loudly. You wouldn't have to speak very loud if we move up the stairs. And this is so uncomfortable sitting like this. Why? Why is this sitting position formal? Callum thought to himself. He saw the shogun eye him and ran his fingers through his beard.

"You guys may walk up closer to me." said the shogun. Thank you, that got really annoying. Callum got up from his sitting positioned and climbed the steps with the other two samurai. They stopped once they were close enough to the shogun.

"What is your name?" asked the shogun.

"Callum Lynx."

"Why do you wish to join my military?"

"Because a group of enemy samurai burnt down my home village, which killed my aunt and uncle. I want to get back at them for what they did and find my friend that they kidnapped."

"He tried to fight some of the samurai and he was about to get his head sliced off when we came and rescued him. One of the samurai had a sword through their chest, which Callum said he stabbed the samurai." said Tito. Lekkyu nodded his head, a slight smile on his face.

"I'm impressed. Not too many people without proper training can kill a samurai like that, nor even have the courage to stand up to them." said Lekkyu. Callum smiled at the shogun's words.

"Well, I'll let you join, under several conditions." Lekkyu started, running his hand through his hair." Callum started to feel the excitement envelope his body.

"You must always respect your fellow brothers and sisters here. And yes, I said brothers and sisters. That's how you must look at your fellow samurai. You will have each other's back no matter what. Which kind of leads to this rule. Do not fight any of your allies here, if we see you fighting with a fellow samurai, I will kick you out of my temple. Literally." said Lekkyu. Callum shifted his feet and nodded his head in understanding. Tito began to raise his hand for Lekkyu's attention. The shogun looked at Tito and nodded his hand along with a gentle gesture for the samurai to speak.

"Shogun, I know you normally like to have your students train with others and with the masters, but I would like to have your permission to train Callum myself." Tito asked. Callum looked over at Tito. Why does he want to train me one on one? Callum thought.

"I ask because I see great potential in this young man and I personally want to help him with his conflicts." Tito continued. Callum looked back over to Lekkyu and waited for his response. The shogun set forward in his throne and ran a hand through his beard, occasionally twirling it around a finger. Come on, what's taking so long for you to answer, thought Callum, gently flexing his hand because he didn't realize it was in a fist for a while. Finally, the shogun nodded his head and sat back in his throne.

"Yes, you can Tito. However, I would like a word with you privately. General Kr'aska, I would like for you to take Callum to his dorm and fit him with some armor and show him around the temple." Lekkyu ordered. Kr'aska bowed towards the shogun.

"Hei." said Kr'aska, before tapping Callum's shoulder and leading him back down the stairs and out of the room. Callum had a lot of questions to ask, and was ready to begin his training, that is, whenever Tito was done speaking with Lekkyu.

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