Callum was laying in his bed looking up at the ceiling. He was thinking about a way he could rescue Jerall. So far, he came up with the idea of forming a squad and scouting out the base of the enemy samurai to see what they were up against before sending himself in disguised as a samurai for the enemy and find Jerall himself. The only issue with the plan, was that the entire enemy territory was guarded by the black armored samurai, so it would be difficult trying to scout out the base without being seen by the samurai. Plus, he needs to figure out who will be a part of the squad that scouts the base with him. Alongside that, Callum was thinking about Ketra. He was infatuated with her. Ever since he met her, Callum has always had her in his mind, and has wanted to apologize to her for what happened a few days ago with him and Phoenix. Callum figured that he would try to apologize to Ketra before following through with his plan to rescue Jerall. Callum put his armor on and then picked up his katana and wakizashi before sliding them on the left side of his belt. If Phoenix catches me, so be it, but I want to apologize to Ketra for the near fight between her boyfriend and I, Callum thought.
As Callum took the same path as he had been for the past times he has been on street patrol duty, he looked around for Phoenix, hoping he wasn't around. Callum saw Ketra at her stall. She was helping several villagers and occasionally laughed at some of the things the villagers were saying. Callum made one last look around and saw that Phoenix was not in sight. Ketra saw the samurai approaching her and looked around cautiously for her boyfriend. Callum walked up to the stall and pulled out a handful of coins.
"Hey Ketra, I don't want anything, but I'm going to hand you some coin." said Callum, handing the coins out for Ketra. She had a confused look on her face.
"Why are you giving me these?" she asked as she was eyeing the coin and looking around the village behind Callum.
"I'm apologizing for what happened the other day between me and Phoenix." said Callum, nodding his head towards the coins in his hand. Ketra still looked confused.
"Why? You did nothing wrong. It was Phoenix, really. I don't need those, but I appreciate it though. I really do. I'm not trying to be rude to you, but you should probably get moving before he comes back." said Ketra, gently grabbing Callum's hand and pushing it back towards the samurai. Well, it was worth a try, the warrior thought.
"Have a nice day." Callum said before turning around and walking away. Ketra watched Callum as he walked into the crowd of villagers before disappearing from view. She then saw Phoenix step out from around a corner and look at Ketra before pointing down the direction Callum walked and made a motion with his hand, acting like an invisible knife was slashing his own throat.
Crap, if he does what I think he does, then I'm going to leave him, Ketra thought.
Callum nocked an arrow and studied the center of the target. He slowly took a deep breath in, and then fired the arrow. He released the breath and watched the arrow fly through the air at a fast speed before piercing the dead center of the circular target.
"Bullseye." said Tito, who was standing behind Callum.
"Try to pierce that arrow with another one." said Vilija, who sat atop a haystack for the horse stable located outside the temple walls. Each samurai has their own horse that they travel on or fight with, but Callum hasn't got his own horse yet. Callum knocked another arrow and slowly breathed in before firing a few seconds later. The arrow smashed through the first arrow and took it's place on the target. Pieces of wood flew everywhere along with the fletching.
"Nice!!" said Vilija, hopping off the haystack as she was clapping. Vilija wanted to help train Callum, as she herself was also personally trained by Tito.
"Alright, nice shooting today, Cal. Tomorrow we will train in kabudo one more time and then we you will be done with your training. Now go on out and get some rest." said Tito before bowing towards Callum and Vilija. Tito walked out of the room and Callum was cleaning the small mess beside the target he shot at. Vilija started to help him pick up some of the fletching.
"It's nice that training under Tito means that we are ahead of the game." said Vilija. Callum looked up at Vilija.
"What do you mean?" he asked as he finished cleaning and then began to lead them both out of the room.
"Normally, new samurai aren't done with their training within their first five or six weeks of being here. It takes them at most half a year to get where we are at now." Vilija explained. Callum's eyes opened wide.
"Really?" Callum exclaimed.
"Yes. It takes them longer because Lekkyu makes them focus on one specific style for a couple weeks. For example, Tito taught you iaido and hand to hand combat during your first week and then kabudo and archery your second. Since then he's just been polishing your skills up so that each and every technique is clean and precise." Vilija explained. Callum nodded his head in understanding. The two of them turned into a dark long hallway.
"That's nice. I wonder why he chose to train us in person though." Callum questioned.
"I tried asking the same question before but he never gave me a solid answer. The best he gave me was that he saw potential in me." said Vilija.
"I think that's what he told Shogun Lekkyu when I first met him." said Callum. Once they reached the end of the hallway, Vilija turned and walked in front of Callum.
"I'll see you later, Cal." said Vilija, bowing towards him. Callum returned the bow and then started walking towards the dorms. As Callum turned the corner into the hallway, a fist whipped around and smashed his nose. Callum immediately raised his hands and grabbed his nose as he back up and looked in the direction of the fist. He saw Phoenix walk around, his face red with anger. Callum heard footsteps behind him and by the look on Phoenix's face, he knew they were the samurai's cronies Phoenix wore his training armor and had his katana slid through his belt on the left.
"I thought I told you to stay away from Ketra." said Phoenix, his hands clenched. Callum started to back up, but felt hands grabbed both shoulders and held him in place. The cronies grabbed Callum's bow and quiver of arrows from his back and tossed them to the side.
"Look, I was only apologizing to her about the other day. I promise I wasn't trying anything." Callum stuttered as he was saying the last sentence.
"I don't care. I told you to keep away, and look at what you did. You still went over to her. Do you remember what I told you I would do to you?" asked Phoenix, a smile forming on his face. Phoenix's face became a blur to Callum as reflex tears came out from his eyes. Callum still saw Phoenix's hand grab his katana.
"But first, I want to do this." said Phoenix, before throwing a front kick into Callum's stomach. Callum couldn't block it do to his hands being locked in place by the cronies. His training uniform absorbed some of the blow, but not all of it. He felt one of them punch his back and then kick him forward, right into Phoenix's jab. Pain shot all over Callum's jaw as the punch connected. Callum felt dazed and confused as he fell and hit the ground. He felt weak and saw the kicks fly at his face and body. Callum tried to stand up, but Phoenix smashed his face with a knee strike, causing him to drop back to the floor.
Wow, I'm loving this already. I guess this is how I die. All of this over a girl. And to be honest with myself, I really wasn't trying anything but apologizing to her this time, Callum thought as he was being beaten. Callum saw Phoenix slide his sword out of the scabbard. He was brought back up to his feet and was held against the wall. Callum saw Phoenix position the katana for a diagonal strike. He closed his eyes, and waited for the strike of death.