In the days of the Warring States, many battles were fought for
those who wished to claim the title of ‘Lord of all lands’. The fights were brutal and the slain were many. Fields
once rich with produce became worthless with all the blood spilt upon it. However, the ones who changed the tides of battle
were the samurai, warriors with skills unequalled. Fighting for their masters was their only objective. A famous family of
samurai, the Hirowashi clan, fought with such ferocity, hardly anyone dared fight with them. Many believed them to have mystical
powers of some sort, allowing them to fight beyond a normal man’s limit. No one would say this out loud however, for
fear of attracting their attention and becoming their next victim. Not even those who worked side-by-side with the Hirowashi
clan would talk about it. The Hirowashi clan was respected by their peers and feared by all. A birth in the clan was always
a cause for a great celebration. However, one fateful day, an old lady walked into the campsite of the family Hirowashi. “Hear
me and heed my words well! A babe shall be born unto you, one with the strength and honour of thy ancestors! He shall have
the power to change the fate of this land and all others!” With those words the woman died on the spot, her mission
completed. The head of the Hirowashi clan declared that these words shall be written down and kept safe, only to be handed
down from generation to generation, in hopes that someday, this mysterious baby boy would be born. The years went on, with
all but those of the line of Hirowashi forgetting the old woman’s prophecy. Now, the time has come for the prophetess’
words to come to life . . . .
“Hey Kantaro, hurry up! I don’t want to be late for my surprise!”
“C’mon, have a bit more faith in me. I’m never late.” A teenager walked out the door, dressed for
a day of fun. “See, I’m here and ready Sakura. So, let’s go,” said Kantaro, taking her hand and leading
her down the street. While walking, Kantaro started admiring the colours of the leaves and how they fell in unique patterns
on the ground. “Kantaro, where are you taking me anyway?” “Don’t worry Sakura. You’ll like where
we’re going. Besides, I can’t tell you yet if I want to keep it a surprise,” answered Kantaro, giving Sakura
a wink and a grin. Sakura sighed, hating Kantaro’s logical answer. ‘How does he always know what to say?’
she thought, knowing that she would never be able to answer that question. So, instead of questioning him like crazy, she
decided to just keep quiet and hope that she’ll like his surprise.
walked, Kantaro started hearing a jumble of notes and sounds coming from the park. “Well, we’re almost there Sakura.
I just need you to do one thing,” he said, getting a bandana from his pocket. “Umm, Kantaro, what are you going
to do with that bandana?” Sakura asked, a little worried. “No worries Sakura. I’m just going to blindfold
you. I want to keep this a surprise for as long as I can. Okay?” Not waiting for an answer, Kantaro wrapped the bandana
around her eyes and tied it. “There. Now we can keep going.” “You better not let me trip Kantaro Hirowashi!
Or you’ll live to regret it!” Sakura told him, smiling as she did. Kantaro grabbed her hand, and started leading
her down the street and into the park. Amazingly, he didn’t let Sakura trip and when he finally took off the bandana,
she was speechless. “Cat got your tongue Sakura?” She didn’t reply, for in front of her was a huge amusement
park! There were rides of all kinds, snack stands and stalls with people selling all kinds of things. “You can stand
here and admire the view, or you can start using your legs and walk inside. What would you rather do Sakura?” As an
answer, she grabbed Kantaro’s hand, dragged him inside and started yelling, “Wow, thank you so much Kantaro. C’mon,
let’s go on the roller coasters!” Kantaro decided to let her make all the decisions here, so he just relaxed and
went along with her.
spending four and a half hours there, Kantaro decided that they should get home. Of course, Sakura had a different idea. “Oh
please Kantaro, can we stay just a little bit longer?” “I’m sorry Sakura, but we have to go. It’s
getting dark already and I’d rather see you at home, safe and sound. So, let’s go.” Cursing his logic again,
Sakura agreed with him. As they started walking home, Kantaro started thinking about how happy Sakura was today. ‘Looks
like going to the park was a good idea after all.’ He also started thinking about his own feelings for Sakura. ‘I
know I like her a lot, but I just can’t seem to find the right time to tell her. What if she doesn’t like me back?
If she did like me, that would be the best. But then I would have to tell her my secret. How would she react to-’ His
train of thought stopped when he heard Sakura yelling in his ear, “Hello, Kantaro? You still there?” “Huh,
what? Of course I’m here,” he answered, a bit angry that she just started yelling for no-good reason. “Oh,
I just wanted to make sure you were still alive, you were so silent and . . .” ‘Talking seems to be what Sakura
likes doing best,’ Kantaro thought, not really listening to what Sakura was saying. A low mean voice pulled him out
of his reverie. “Hey kid, don’t you know that there are dangerous people out at night. Mainly, me and my crew,”
the voice said, as the person walked out of the shadows. Sakura gasped at the sight of him. “The name’s Hyotaru.
And you . . . are my next victims,” Hyotaru said, leering at them.
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