Fighting Fantasy Volume 1

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Chapter 17

In the land of Canthra there lived many different kinds of people so much that the land was a true melting pot in all sense of the word. The land was ruled by one man named Kolan which separated his land into several different fiefdoms. This was so that the entire country could be properly ruled and it also allowed the fiefdoms to have freedom in how they were operated. Kolan gave the leaders under him to have such liberty.

One such fiefdom was ruled by a Shogun who was once a great master samurai but he was unfortunately starting to slow down physically. Yet, his mind was still sharp as a tact despite age getting the better of him. He had trained thousands of samurai over the last several hundred years. His name was Hagitou and he was a man to be feared. He killed countless warriors as his time as a warrior and he had never suffered defeat from anyone his entire life.

The aging Shogun was a very strict man and he did not put up with any foolishness from others under his rule. But on the other hand he was also a very kind ruler and took care of the ones under him.

In the village closest to the shogun’s castle lived a young boy named Londo. The boy’s village was covered in samurai that were under the command of Shogun Hagitou.

Londo was enamored with all the samurai since he was a little boy and always wanted to be a strong samurai.

That was the boy’s only dream.

Londo was raised by his parents which were both farmers. The shogun required a tribute from all his citizens that were able to work. This tribute was a form of taxation but if the shogun like what you gave him, then he would buy your entire product for the entire year. Hagitou believed in rewarding hard work.

The Boy’s father was named Lort and the mother was Lascha.

Londo’s parents had been trying to get such a contract with the shogun so they could ensure the

livelihood of their family.

The boy’s parents worked all day, but they still did all they could to raise Londo up right. He was taught to work from a young age but he was given time to play as children should have access to.

Londo constantly complained that he was an only child to his parents.

Lort laughed and said,” We want more children too but it is not due to the lack of trying. Is it honey?”

Lascha was taken back by the comment and only gave her husband a wink.

The couple tried for years to give their son a sibling but it was to no avail. The family decided to let nature take it’s course.

Lort took his son aside one day and sit on an old wooden bench next to him.

Londo spoke,”Londo can I ask something of you?”

The boy gave his father a puzzled look.

Londo asked,”What is it Father?”

Lort spoke,” Could you not keep prattling to us so much that you want brothers and sisters?”

Londo looked upset by the comment from his father.

The child spoke,” But why Dad?”

Lort looks down on the ground away from his son.

Londo grabs his father’s shirt sleeve and yells,” Dad what is wrong? Have I been a bad boy?”

The boy sees tears pouring down on his father’s pants. This shakes up the boy to his very core because Lort was never one to tear up.

The boy cries,” Dad, what is wrong father? Did you get hurt?”

Lort looks up into his son’s eyes as tears are running down his face.

Lort speaks,” You have not done nothing wrong, son! I just do not want you to be disappointed

if mother and father can not give you a sibling!”

Londo begins to cry along with his father.

He speaks,”Dad I will be a big boy and not a little baby!”

Lort hugs his son and says,” You are a good boy, Londo! I am sorry that you have to deal with this! It is hard for us all.”

#

Londo was working along with his parents Lort and Lascha in one of his parent’s many fields. The family was in their corn field, picking all the corn off the stalk. The parents were checking the corn to see what was ready to pick and what was not ready. Then Lort and Lascha would hand the corn cob to Londo and he would place it in one of the family’s many nearby baskets.

The family of three would then take the baskets back to their small home at the edge of the

small village. Lort and Lascha had a small shop at the front of the house where they sold their goods to those in the village.

Lort spoke,” Mother, I will tend the shop so you and Londo can go inside. The boy is probably needs to rest before supper.”

Londo flex his arms and said,” I am not tired at all!”

The the boy yawns out of tiredness that Londo could not cover up quick enough.

Lort smiled as he saw his son try to act all macho.

Lascha laughed and said,” Dear I will cook diner and it will be ready by the time you close up shop. Come in Londo because I need a bodyguard!”

Londo grabbed his mother’s hand and lead her into the house. He then shut the front door behind his mother.

Lascha speaks,”Young samurai, guard duty is over you can rest until diner. “

Londo looked upset and shook his head.

He bowed his head and spoke,” Mistress, I can not do it since it would leave you unattended! What if something happens to you?”

His mother spoke,”A samurai is to obey the orders of his master and mistress without question.

Is that right?”

Londo stood up and spoke,”Yes Mistress that is right.”

Londo signed and walked to his bedding and laid down to rest.

The young boy fought his sleep at first but he soon gave to his fatigue from helping his parent in the field.

Londo begun to dream of himself all grown and in samurai armor. He was wearing a bright red armor and with a large sword. He was walking around the village looking for anything out of the ordinary.

It did not take him long to find some trouble.

Several bandits came out of a nearby alley and surround Londo entirely. The bandits

had all sorts of different weapon types.

One bandit charges at Londo with a small sword but Londo pulls out his sword and slashes the foe in his chest. The bandit falls to the ground dead.

Another foe comes at Londo with a spike ball and chain ,but he cuts the chain apart. The ball pierces the ground. He charges at the foe when he hears his name being called.

“Londo! Londo! Londo! Wake up Londo!”

The young boy awoke angry when he saw that his mother had woke him up.

Londo yelled,”Mother, you messed up my cool dream of me being a samurai and fighting all sorts of bad guys! I was all grown up and covered in armor and I did not get to finish the dream. How could you do it?”

Lascha spoke,”Quit be so fussy mister or you will go without supper!”

Londo stop his fit because his belly was starting to rumble out of hunger.

Lascha continued,” You are not going to be a samurai when you grow up since I will not allow my only child to be in such of a dangerous job! You are my baby!”

Londo shook his head out of anger and said,”I will the best samurai ever! That is all that I want to be!”

Lascha went back to check the fire in the kitchen so that the food would not be burned. Londo’s mother knew that her son was strong willed and it would do her no good to press the topic further.

Londo went out to the front to call his father to stop working and come to eat. But the father was not there as he was earlier in the day and all the crops that they picked today were all gone.

Londo ran back in and said what he seen. This did not surprise the mother since Lort often sold crops to the nearby villages.

#

A couple hours goes by and Lort had still not come home yet.

Londo spoke,”Can I get some supper? I am so hungry!”

Lascha fed the boy his diner and put him to bed.

Londo was fast asleep when his mother finally broke down and eat her diner.

Lascha was wondering,”Dear, where you are at? Has something happened to you?”

Suddenly someone came rushing in the door and Lascha rushed to the door with a butcher knife to stop any would be intruder.

Before she could strike she saw that it was her husband Lort and he was panting while out of breath.

Lascha spoke,”Lort, where have you been all this time? I was worried about you?

Lort was speechless at first and could not respond to his wife.

Lascha spoke,”Dear, why don’t you not eat since I know that it is late and you have to be

hungry. You could tell me what happened after that.”

#

Lort ate his diner and he regained his composure.

The husband spoke,”Mother stop cleaning up the kitchen and sit down at the table. I do not want you to faint.”

Lascha did as she asked and sit at the opposing side of the small kitchen table. She held her

husband’s hand as a means of comforting of him of any potential trauma.

Lort spoke,” A messenger came to me and told me that the Shogun wanted to come with all my crops that I had at had.”

Lascha put her free hand as she gasped out of surprise. She did not want to wake up the sleeping Londo.

Lascha spoke,”The shogun wanted to see all our crops, what an honor.”

Lort spoke,” That was not all, since he saw me and the crops personally.”

Lascha spoke,”What! Why would the farmers needed to be seen the ever busy Shogun?”

Lort shook his back and forward in agreement.

Lort spoke,”I did not know ether. But I could refuse such a request and I went to the castle with the messenger. The castle was beyond description and I felt so out of place.”

Lascha,”What happened when you got there?”

Lort shuddered and begin to continue,”I was led into the throne room with the all the crops, that could be carried by the messenger and I. We set down all of the crops and knelt before the Shogun. Then something strange occurred.”

Lascha spoke,”What was it?”

Lort gulped,”He said that I bringing the crops was a secondary reason for my coming to see him.”

Lascha looked at her husband with fear.

Lort spoke,”I was afraid as well when he said that. He said that the real reason for he wanting see me is that he wanted to want Londo of his many retainers!”

Lascha fainted and fell face first unto the table.

The young boy, Londo was eating diner with his parents, Lort and Lascha. His father Lort was all excited from being able to visit the Shogun of the village and the nearby area.

Lort spoke,”The shogun had eaten some of our crops and loved them. He wanted some more of

our crops and give us a contract for our crops. Also, he wants to train Londo personally as a samurai.

Londo spoke,”Yeah! I get to be a samurai!”

Lascha did not take part in the rejoicing but she fainted unto the short dining room table. The family ate while siting on the floor mats.

Londo and Lort jumped to their feet and ran to the faint woman. Lort check his wife and found the wife and mother was alright. Lascha was just been startled.

The father speaks,”Mother is okay, she just got excited.”

Londo looked relieved.

Londo grabs some water from one of the kitchen counter and pours it on the head of his mother.

Lascha cries out in shock as she jolts awake and grabs her son into her arms. The mother begins to bawl profusely.

The mother yells loudly,”Why does the shogun want to take our baby away? It is not fair and it is an act of betrayal! We had worked all these years and had been loyal to the master!”

Lort is trying to touch his wife in an attempt but she jerks away from him.

He shouts,”Stop with this nonsense before the neighbors hear!

Lascha is still ranting continually, while her husband lowers his voice.

The couple could not come to an agreement.

Londo shouts,”Stop it!”

The couple shot their yelling and both look intently at the boy.

Londo spoke,”I had always wanted to become to samurai ,so that Mother and father would not have to work so hard!”

The two parents were totally silent by the quite.

Lascha is holding her son tightly, as she begins to bawl endlessly at the sheer selflessness of her young son.

Lort has a veil of water over his eyes at the comment of his son.

The parents knew that they could not deny their young son his one and only dream. So they sent him to bed early so that he could get up early to see the shogun the next morning.

Londo struggled to get to sleep that night because he was so excited that he was finally getting to be trained by the shogun. He never thought that it happen but it seemed that it was going to happen.

Finally some time later, he falls asleep.

#

The lad eats his breakfast and takes a bath to clean up for going in front of their leader. The parents dressed the lad in the most elaborate kimono that the boy had possessed. Lascha fussed over the boy’s clothes and combing his hair.

Lort leads his son to the huge castle of the shogun with the boy following eagerly behind.

Two samurai stop the pair before they get near the entrance of the castle.

One of the samurai spoke,”Stop villagers, you can not enter unless you have business with the master.

Lort shows the pair the letter with the shogun’s seal on it.

One of the samurai spoke,”That seal is the shogun’s so you may enter.”

The father and son enter the castle.

Londo and his father, Lort was being led by a female servant in a beautiful flower pattern

kimono down a long series of doorways and halls.

The boy, Londo was amazed that someone could live in such a large castle and he wondered

how did they find their way through such a tremendous building? But the boy had keep all those questions to himself like his parents had asked of him. His parents(Lort and Lascha) both told him to only speak while spoken to.

The female servant then stopped in front of a wood frame and paper covered double doors.

She bowed and said,”Please bow before we are let in to see the master.”

Both father and son did as they were told without any hesitation on their part.

A loud booming voice spoke,”You may stand up and enter the room since your presence has been made aware to me. No need for such pleasantries since I also bleed as you three do. I am no god!”

The three all stood to their feet and was led into the throne room of the shogun. The female servant was the first to enter the room with Lort in the middle and the young Londo trailing closely behind his father. All three of them knelt in front of the aging shogun and paid him much respect and honor.

The shogun was very large at eight foot tall and over six hundred pounds. His massive size had diminished somewhat in his old age but his mind was as sharp as it ever was. You could see the scars of battle on the old man’s face and that he as well that he was completely blind in both eyes. His pupils were completely absent and all that remained was the whites of his eyes.

The shogun speaks,”So you are the young samurai recruit that I have heard so much about! What is your name, young lad?”

The boy was startled by the large man’s question and thus was speechless as a result.

Lort spoke,”Son, the master is asking you a question and you have to give him a proper response.”

Londo finally spoke,”Yes shogun, I am Londo.”

The answer was brief but it seem to please the old master.

The shogun spoke,”I do not blame you for not know what to say, my young Londo. This must

be a lot for you at such a tender age. I was just your age when I was trained to be a samurai all those

centuries ago.”

Londo’s mouth was agape at the thought of the master being centuries old that it cause the old master to grin from ear to ear.

The shogun spoke,”Londo, I am amazed at your sheer expression of honesty. You do not hide your feelings because that it is not a good thing for a samurai. Anyone can be a warrior but it takes a special person to fulfill the code of Bushido. It takes honor, self sacrifice, and much hard work! Can

you do that my young cadet?”

Londo bowed to the floor with tears in his eyes that begin to pour upon the floor.

This act of sincerity caused the old samurai to become very moved, so much in fact that he arose from his seat and walked over to the young lad.

The old samurai was very moved at Londo’s desire to become a samurai that a veil of water was coveringr the old man’s eyes. His memories back to himself as a young seeking to be trained by a master samurai.

The shogun put a hand on the young Londo while standing on just one knee.

This shocked both the servant and Lort. The father was frozen like a statue from the simple act of humility and concern that was coming from the old master samurai. Samurai were often seen by the shogunate leadership as nothing but as mere tools to be used and then thrown away when it’s usefulness to the shogunate had ended.

But this shogun, also known Hagitou, did not held such beliefs, made known by his present actions. He had lowered himself both literally and figuratively to the level of Londo.

Lort could do nothing but shed tears that his son would in the care of such a humble leader. The

simple act of Hagitou placing a hand on his son’s back as a means of comforting him was all too much that the father bowed to the ground with tears in his eyes as well.

The female servant tried to stop the father and son but it did not go as she had wished.

Hagitou,”Leave them be, Lily! They are doing nothing wrong and I am in no danger. Please leave the three of us be and relieve yourself from our sight.”

Lily spoke,”But Master Hagitou!”

The old man smiled and spoke,”Please, do not question me, my child.”

Lily spoke,”Yes master, I mean father Hagitou!”

Lily stood up and made a bow. Then and only then she had left.

Shogun Hagitou had a habit of treating all those that worked under him as his own family. He

liked it when his people referred to him as “father”. When he called you “his child” then he would not except any other title for him than as father.

Hagitou had now had placed both of his hands on the father and son pair.

Hagitou spoke,”You had shown much honor and love towards the call of being a samurai! Londo, please look at me in the eyes. Give me such an honor to this old samurai.”

Londo hesitated at first but soon he did obey.

The boy’s eyes were red due to all the precious tears that he had shed, along with all the spit and snot as well.

#

The old man’s memory flashed back to him doing the same thing when he called to be a samurai. He had tears in his eyes but his teacher taught that his tears was a sign of weakness and not tears of joy. Hagitou had caned by a kendo stick for all his trouble until his back bled exuberantly. Those scars were still on the samurai’s back and he never forgot to how he obtain them.

#

Hagitou looked at the young boy as smiled,”My dead master beat me for the very thing you had done!”

Lort raised his torso from the floor out of concern for his son.

Before Lort could speak Hagitou spoke firmly,”But I will not punish you for the act of

showing joy and love towards our wonderful profession! It was forced upon me to deny such acts of emotion but I will not place such a heavy burden upon you like I was forced to carry for far too long! That burden held me back as a man and also a samurai! It even cost me the very family that I had loved so much!”

Londo spoke,”But is not the entire village and all those who dwell within your land family?”

Lort spoke,”Be...”

Hagitou spoke,”No, the boy is all so right! Do not correct your son.”

Lort let the matter drop due to the request but he was now so proud of his son, Londo. His boy was becoming a man despite still being a young boy.

Hagitou spoke,”Londo you are a man among men! You had helped remind this old man that it is not about what you do not have, instead it is about what you do have! You had given me such a rich treasure this fine morning!”

Londo smiled while wiping off his tears with the sleeve of his kimono and then looked up to the shogun like a recently found grandfather.

Hagitou spoke,”Londo, please do me a small favor for me if you would be so kind.”

Londo spoke,”What flavor do you want, Father Shogun?”

Lort was taken back by the by the boy’s playful response to the leader of the village. Some people would had interpreted the boy’s response as disrespectful but luckily Hagitou did not think that way.

Shogun took out a small bag and pulled out small two orbs into the hands of Londo.

Shogun spoke,”The flavor I want from you is for you to hold these two orbs for me. That is all I want at this time. Can you do that for me?”

Londo did as he was told and as he soon as he held on the orb that was placed into his left hand it lit up brightly like did the sun on a sunny day. The boy was surprise by the sight of the lit orb that he did not see that the right orb was not shining in the slightest. Only one of the orb lit up to the old master’s amazement.

Hagitou spoke,”You had done well. May I have the orbs back please.

Londo handed the orbs back to the shogun very gently.

The shogun then broke out into laughter as the orbs were returned back to his side and the very same orb lit up for the shogun brightly as well. The orb did not shine as brilliantly as it did for Londo.

Hagitou pondered deep within himself,”This boy had surpassed my wildest expectations with his wonderful character and he has much great potential in him as well! His abilities as a samurai can surpass even me, one considered to be among the great samurai that had ever lived on this continent. His bloodline is not of royalty or warriors but he will become greater than even me at my prime!”

Londo asked,”What do the shining orbs mean, Father Shogun? You were laughing about something. Did I do something funny?”

Lort got scared that his son was speaking out of turn but was too frightened to say something if it had gone unnoticed by the Shogun.

Shogun spoke,”The boy had done no harm in asking a question. You will have to forgive me if I

am getting a little senile.”

Lort made a bow as he forced Londo to bow as well.

The father spoke,”You are not getting senile my shogun. That much I can ensure you!”

Hagitou spoke,”He is one of my race that whose blood flows both of our veins. He is a Gigantos

as indicated by the glowing orb earlier!”

#

About one year later, Londo was training at the castle under the watching eye of Shogun Hagitou when he called back home one day in hurry.

The lad thought something wrong until he saw that his mother had given birth to two twin boys.

Lascha was holding the baby when she spoke,”Londo, would like to hold your baby brothers?”

Londo was handed each baby one at a time until he had hold both boys.

The midwife then handed the babies back to the breast feeding mother.

Lort spoke,”I think she and the babies will be fine and we will get you if there is any problem.”

The midwife left into the stormy day.

Londo spoke,”What are the boys’ names?”

Lort spoke,”We had not decided on names yet.”

At that very moment, thunder was heard, which scared the babies.

Lascha tried her best to soothe the twins.

Lort shouted,”They should be called Thunder and Lightning.”

The boy’s parent smiled at the comment.

Lort spoke,”Please, do not be so loud you will scare the babies.”

Londo lowered his voice as he continued,”They will be my bodyguards when I become a master samurai. When one comes down the street the other will be soon to follow.”

Lascha spoke,”I like the names, what about you dear?”

Lort spoke,”Thunder and Lightning they will be.”

Londo was excited about his parents approval his identical twin brothers and was dancing a jig.

#

Londo was given a week off by his master to enjoy his new siblings. The family wanted siblings

for Londo to play with after his training. They had been barren up to now and things seem to going

good for the family.

After one week, Londo returned to his training.

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