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Victory Is Painful
This is my entry for Ty's One Shot Contest, Enjoy!: In an Era Before Bending, the Spirits were not always so indifferent in matters of the world, nor so benevolent...
Akira gripped at his arm in terrible pain. It was torn and rent by the vicious claws of Tsume, a Spirit. He could only think about the situation that brought on this.
It began when he was a child, Spirits were intimidated by humans and began their slaughter of men. Men resolved to fight, but still lacked the power to face these great and mighty beings.
Their hope came in the 'cousins' of these foul Spirits, the Nifrin. A race of trickster witches who cause no end of trouble. They really didn't seem like good allies, but the old saying, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" rang true. The Nifrin feared the Spirits just as much as humans and were willing to fight with humans to get whatever edge they could.
They made the Ish Kash for that purpose. Swords imbued with special powers during their creation. Akira's brother, Kuro, was the greatest warrior among men and received the greatest gift, the only daisho, pair of swords. The Black Soul, a colorless katana that could break armies, and its companion, the Raven Rose, a black wakizashi that reflected its master's will.Tsume attacked. The monster's form was covered in claws that rent and tore at everything. Tsume knew he couldn't beat Kuro in a fair fight and so targeted his loved ones. Kuro's village was destroyed. Kuro held out and tried to protect who he could, but another Spirit ambushed him and now he only was using the Black Soul as the Raven Rose was knocked out of his hand.
Tsume's ally was dead but his purpose was done. Akira looked on helplessly. He then realized that he was not far from the Raven Rose. It had landed in the earth like a stake, as its golden petal hilt shined in the firelight.
He saw something in its reflection and he hoped he could do something. He crawled over and pulled the wakizashi out. He walked to a fire and readied for the pain. He had to keep quiet or else it would distract Kuro at the worst time.
He raised the sword high and dropped it down. The pain was blinding and he almost bit his tongue off. He gripped the blade tightly as his stump bled. Knowing the next step, he didn't hesitate, there was only action. He sped his bleeding and amputated arm into the blazing fire of a burning house.It burned and he was on the verge of screaming when he pulled his arm out, it had been cauterized smoothly with a black stump on the end. He laughed quietly at the fate of it. He, a left handed man, now cursed to only have his right arm. He then looked at the beast responsible for his condition, Tsume.
Tsume was fast and strong, but Kuro was using the doubt of the weapon to make him hesitate just enough, but his biggest advantage was his shadow powers from the colorless blade.
Akira gripped the Raven Rose wondering what he could do. It could reflect his emotions, he knew that, but was that it? He focused on the blade, "Please," he thought, "help me."
And it spoke to him, or rather, she spoke to him. With the knowledge he rushed forward.
Kuro was locked in a deadly fight. With only one of his swords he had to rely on his shadow powers, but Tsume's clawed body was resistant, hence why he was such a threat. Tsume could take more than Kuro could give.
If only he had trained more before this happened. Now his whole village was dead, and he would soon join them. That brought on a new anger and hatred of Tsume, his family, even his brother.
He hit the bladed monster harder, "Damn you!"
It smiled as he kept attacking with furious speed. The smile disappeared as something irritated it from behind. He saw Akira standing there with a wide smile on his pale face.
Kuro lost sight of his brother and saw flashes of movement as someone stormed around Tsume and hit him over and over again. He then realized that his brother had unlocked the Raven Rose's power. He could move with incredible speed and agility. It wasn't enough to kill the powerful and deadly Spirit, but it did keep him occupied.
Kuro stepped back and readied himself, he was tattered and hurt and haggard, but he was determined to finish Tsume off. Darkness flowed out of the Black Soul as he charged all his hatred and anger, readying to send a final blow.
He swept out with a strike of all his strength and might. Fathomless shadows rushed after the occupied monster. Akira noticed at the last instant and stopped circling and just fled as Tsume turned to see the charged attack crash into him.
His body had somehow resisted the shadow attacks but it wasn't immune. It wasn't strong enough to take all the power at once. Screaming in agony, he felt physical pain as the darkness crushed him and ripped his clawed scales off, but also the darkness and hollowness of the void that cracked open his mind.
All the fear, anger, hatred and negative emotion that he felt and of those the Black Soul felt took him. He clawed at himself to make the things in his head stop, only worsening what damage was being done.A final strike cleaved the beast in two, destroying the vile Spirit. Kuro panted heavily. He then looked over at Akira, who stood behind him.
"It's over, brother," he reassured Akira.
He smiled, "Over? No, it's just begun!"He then stood over the rubble, "I'm a cripple, and our village is gone. We have nothing here. The war is all we have now."
He then smiled widely, trying with everything to keep the pain from driving him mad while looking at his one hand, "We'll kill them all."
- Akira smiles to keep himself sane from the pain and depression of losing his arm.
- Akira was left-handed, which makes it worse since that was the hand he lost.
- is like Ichigo and like Gin from Bleach.
- This is a contest entry for Ty's One-Shot competition. Before fully entering it, the author had to trim some for safety's sake.
- This was actually the second story the author had in mind for the contest, but the first, called Fire Bay, was just too long to cut into the contest requirements.
- The author had real trouble writing wakizashi right, as he kept writing wazikashi.
- One Hand would be the earliest set story in the Storms fanon as it long precedes bending.
- The event that this battle takes place in is
For the collective works of the author, go here.
Storms of the Future Cycle
|The Journey of Tala|
|Book 1 - Sand and Steel|
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
|Book 2 - Blood and Swamps|
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
|Book 3 - Pyres and Storms|
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
|Fates and Vows|
|- - - - - - Ilera - Solace Fade - Scions - Sovereign|
|The Rise of Lirin|
|- In the Morrow - The White Dragon - Faith in Blood - The Great Gates - Lord Avatar - A Red Sun - Faceless - Faction - Tempest - Rally of Crows - Rally of Eagles - Dragons and Serpents - Kings and Men - Storms of a Spirit - Princes - A Battered Land - Seas of Ichor - Arbiter - Return to a Grave - Declination - Disaffection - Epilogue|
|Myths of the Empire|
|Pacification - Assassins - Empire - Red Sun Under The Empire - White Snow - Heirs|
|The Reclamation of Arein|
|Book 1 - Chaos|
|Refugee - Rogue - Ghosts - Dark Roses - Doyen - Divulgence - The Plan - Abscond - Mists of Illusion - Madonna - Syndicate - Playing the Stakes - Purge - Brothers|
|Book 2 - War|
|Alliance - Temple - Tensions - The Fall - Hunters and Prey - Lussuria - Shades of Relevance - Broken Star - Defiler - Strikeforce - Secrets of the Lair - Eminence - Swarm - Wanderer|
|Dreams of Melasa|
|Book 1 - Servant|
| - - - - - - - - - - - - -
|Book 2 - Shadow World|
|Faint but Clear - Ghost in the Steel - Kurotama - Loyalties - Servants of Shadow - Game of Fate - Shadows and Reflections - Tomb of Blood - Broken Blades - Hill of Shadow - Souls and Swords - Home|