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Blades of Lore – fanfiction by Refugnic
During a strong storm, which tore at the wooden walls of the castle, an unlikely group gathered.
The shogun of the area paced up and down nervously, while a monk was busy purifying and blessing the room. Various servants and peasants had gathered behind him and multiple soldiers stood guard towards the sole entrance to the room.
The shogun, a man called Ebishou Nagasaki, looks at the storm clouds through the skylights and asks, “What is taking them so long?!”
The monk, a pale young man by the name of Yuki Kato, places the final charm on the door, his ears twitching nervously.
“Nagasaki-sama, please do not worry so much. I sent our most able warriors to ensure safe passage. They will certainly be here soon,” Ebishou’s advisor tries to calm him.
“I hear your words, Yamada-san, yet this isn’t a regular battle nor is this a regular guest. We are waging a war against the spirits of lore!”
“I know that, which is why the grand temple sent Kato-sama to protect us against their vileness. Kato-sama, are you done?”
The monk walked over to the two and responded, “Yes, I just finished. No vile spirit will penetrate this barrier.”
A female voice echoed through the hall, “This may work for your average vile spirit, but this weak barrier will only make him laugh.”
The guards immediately were on guard, but nobody could be seen in the entrance.
Lightning stroke straight through the skylight and where it hit, a woman in a black robe appeared.
The shogun drew his blade, the guards hurled around, but the woman merely dropped a coin and the instance it hit the ground, everyone in the room was momentarily paralyzed.
The shogun was the first to recover and groaned, “What…is this…a Kotodama?”
“No. It is called witchcraft. And your little spells are no match for mine. And neither are they a warden against his forces. Now, if you promise not to try to slit my throat again, I will remove the spell from you. Do we have an agreement?”
Ebishou groaned. He didn’t like listening to the demands of this woman who had come from nowhere, wielding strange powers. But he still agreed.
The woman smiled, pulled the hood from her head, revealing long, unkempt, red hair and picked up the coin, removing the paralysis from the others.
“I am Lilith, from the lands of central Europe.”
“You…are the one who sent the message?”
“My circle did, yes. My apologies for taking so long, however the path was long and arduous. I regret to inform you, that your men have perished.”
“What?! How did that happen?!” the advisor demanded to know.
“He sensed my presence in these lands and sent a few of his minions to throw me back into the sea. Your men tried to defend me, but unfortunately they did little but delay their demise. I barely managed to escape.”
“What reason do we have to believe you?!”
“None. Yet I am here. Now listen, this evil you are going up against is ancient. Older than my witchcraft, older than the Christian church, older than humanity itself. And that’s also how powerful he is.”
“Yes, we have painfully been made aware of how little damage our weapons and armies do against him and his children. Many castles and warlords have already fallen to his hordes and this here is one of the final strongholds we have in these lands. His armies are gathering about a day north from here and are amassing to attack us. So then woman, you promised us a way to finally defeat them. Speak!”
“Of course. The church has successfully driven him from our lands using a number of methods I would rather not employ here. When we learned that they didn’t vanquish him, but much rather just made him flee, we knew that we had to act. We convened with other circles all over Europe and also the Church itself and finally devised a ritual, which should be able to banish him from the face of the Earth.”
“…that much I understood from your message. How? How can we defeat them?”
The woman produced a paper from her robe and showed it to the monk, explaining, “If we imbue the weapons with this spell, they should be able to pierce the spirit of the foul creatures instead of just the flesh. That is the only way to get them to die. Permanently.”
“Why…why are you showing this to me?” the monk asked confused.
“Because you seem to be the only one in this room to have even the faintest idea of what we are actually going up against. Plus, I will need your aid.”
“W…what could one such as I aid a powerful sorceress such as you with? And…pardon my curiosity, how is it that you speak without moving your mouth?”
Lilith smiled and pulled out a medallion.
“I do not speak your tongue, however the spell on this item allows me to communicate without using words. Will there be anything else? Or can we go to work?”
“Why yes…yes, we can. But still, how could I aid you?”
“This spell requires a lot of spiritual energy and we need to imbue all the weapons we can with it. I have already used a lot of energy to escape his children as well as to mask my presence in this castle. Now, will you help me or not?”
“O-of course I will. When can we start?”
“As soon as you are ready. We will also require access to a smithy.”
Lilith proceeds to explaining the process of imbuing a blade with a spell to the monk and to the blacksmith who was hurrying to the scene at the behest of the shogun.
After a short while, the three of them are hard at work, imbuing weapon after weapon with the runes required to kill a demon. At long last a hundred blades had been forged and Lilith, Kato and the blacksmith were completely exhausted.
However rest was not meant for them, as the shogun hurried down to the smithy of the castle and exclaimed, “The enemy is upon us! They will be here before dawn!”
Lilith sighed, “He knows…he knows I am here…and he wants to get rid of me before I can find a ley line to trap him on.”
“W-what is a ‘leyline’?” Kato-san asked carefully.
“The energy of the planet runs below the surface in ley lines. One can draw a nearly infinite amount of energy from these ley lines and we will need this energy to fight him.”
Kato-san blinked a few times and then asked, “Would spirits be attracted to this lines?”
“Well, naturally. Is there a gathering place of the spirits nearby?”
“The shrine of Omoikane is only a few hours from here!” Kato-san exclaimed, while the shogun examined the newly enchanted blades in awe.
“I am not familiar with ‘Omoikane’, however if it’s gathering spot of the spirits, it is there, where we need to wage the battle. Lord, we have to move immediately.”
Ebishou looks at the exhausted two spiritualists and asks, “Are you sure that you will be able to fight?”
“I have crossed the vastness of China and the ocean to come here for the sole reason of fighting him. No matter how this battle ends, I have no intention of returning home. I believe I am understood.”
The monk looked at Lilith in awe and finally straightened his back and said, “I have sworn to protect the people from the vile spirits and I am more than ready to lay down my life to uphold this oath.”
Ebishou nodded and summoned his remaining troops in the meeting hall, explaining their plight.
He finishes with the words, “Today we go to war against an enemy unlike any other before. Up to today, we could do nothing but survive. As of today, we can strike back. And that we will. This war ends tonight! Are you with me?!”
A cheer of agreement echoes through hall and the enchanted blades got distributed among the most experienced and skilled soldiers of the force.
They are tasked with protecting the shogun, Lilith and Kato-san, whereas the remaining soldiers and all the peasants still able to fight are tasked with distracting the brethren while Lilith and Kato-san were to prepare the ritual Lilith brought.
They set out and met resistance the instance they opened the main gate. The advance guard however made quick work of them and the cheer as the first demons fell still echoed throughout the land.
They advanced to the shrine, where Lilith’s face brightened up as she recognized the patterns of the ley lines she knew from home. Unfortunately their adversary had foreseen their plan and placed a large force to keep them from reaching the shrine.
The battle was fierce which cost many lives on either side. Each time one of the designated soldiers fell, another one picked up their blade and eventually the army of Ebishou managed to blaze a path through the masses of demons.
Once inside the shrine, Lilith wasted no time and laid down her robe, revealing a great number of runes inscribed on her naked skin all over her body.
Kato-san averted his eyes and complained, “This is by no means the time to…”
“You are right, this isn’t the time. It isn’t the time for shame or for foolishness. Listen, during this ritual a whole lot of energy will run through our bodies. It will burn like your skin is coming off and it will most definitely destroy your clothing. It is likely that we will not survive. Now is the time to test your resolve. Are you going to help me banish the evil from the face of the world or will you stand by and watch it getting destroyed by his wrath?!”
Kato-san reluctantly took down his clothes, but sped up considerably when a loud cry drowned out the sounds of battle from the outside.
After he was done, he stood close to Lilith, trying to not look at her female form, while he asked with a red head, “What…what if he doesn’t come?”
“He will, just like a moth to the light. Trust me.”
She began chanting a complicated spell, one rune after another on her skin lighting up. Energy rose from the ground through her naked feet and eventually passed on to the monk, washing away all his worries and feelings of shame.
In the meantime, Asmodeus gazed upon the light rising from the shrine and his stomach growled at the sight of so much energy being spilled in front of him.
Eventually he was overcome by hunger and slowly moved towards the scene of battle, where the army of shogun Ebishou were bravely defending the shrine against the legions of darkness.
Eventually, Asmodeus stepped into the light, which had spread out from the shrine. When he came into contact with it, the light expanded explosively into a massive spell circle right around his feet. He tried to break free, but to no avail as his life energy was siphoned from him back into the ley line beneath his feet. Eventually, in a final flash of light, he disappeared and together with him, all of his children fell limp.
When the soldiers and peasants outside realized that the battle had been won, they broke out in exalted cheers, however Ebishou did not cheer.
He entered the shrine and found the corpses of the two brave souls who had sacrificed themselves to banish the evil that had threatened the life of all he swore to protect.
He fell to his knees, tears of regret falling to the ground and after the victory cheers were over, many others joined him in his mourning.
The next day, he ordered both the witch and the monk to be buried with all honors just like they had died, hand in hand.
He also ordered, that the blades they had crafted were to be sent everywhere where the sun could reach, so if the darkness should find a way to return, people would be prepared to face it.
500 years later, the battle at the shrine of Omoikane had long been lost to the lands of lore and only few even remember the legend. A young tourist from Europe took an old beat-up blade into his hands and asked the peddler in broken japanese, “How much for these?”
“For you, 200,000 yen for each.”
The young man whistled silently, “Wow, expensive…” as he examined the artfully crafted blades with runes inscribed on them and finally said, “Fine, I’ll take both. However I don’t have that kind of money on me. Wait a second, okay?”
“I won’t be going anywhere and neither will these beauties,” the peddler replied, a satisfied smile on his lips.
The young man ran to the nearest ATM to withdraw the 200,000 Yen from his account, thankful for having saved up so much money prior to this trip.
After paying, he went back to his red-haired companion, who complained, “I can’t believe you bought swords! What for anyway? And just how much did they cost you that you’d have to get money for it?!”
“Hey, have you looked at these? They are ancient and the 200k it cost me are a steal!”
“A steal?! He probably has like 500 other cheap knockoffs in the back room. Face it, Robert, that guy pulled a fast one on you!”
“You’re just jealous!” Robert laughed and put the blades into his bag, careful to not rip it apart.
That same night, he polished them. And a few years later, as darkness rose once again, he sharpened the dull blades and took up the fight, just like Ebishou and his army had 500 years ago.