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2023.03.24 21:18 elGrimshaw16 IRON CLOUDS OVER A BAMBOO KINGDOM. DDS STORY NOCEBOVERSE.
Ryuu woke in a skin of cold sweat that clung to his body. Lunging forward from a deep sleep, recalling a gruesome end to a cursed dream. His hand reaches out for his trusted blades, sheathed and displayed out next to his cot. His armour is neatly placed at the foot of the hay bed. "Never would have imagined I'd find myself a Samurai," An old crone says from behind Ryuu, he flips around ready to strike. His mind is still on the battlefield. "Easy kid, no need for steel." Another voice says, a rough and striking voice. Almost inhuman. Yet to Ryuu's surprise the voice is from a well groomed man sits cross legged, a well shaped beard and long hair in a knot. He holds the handle of a sword laying on his lap, whilst his other hand taps the sheath of his blade. A gently warning. "Where am I?" Ryuu asks realising he's bandaged up. Tenzu was about to kill him, had it not been for Soaki's fast thinking Ryuu would have been sliced in half. He remembers falling backwards into the cold waters below. Then darkness. "Outside of Towada, some local boys found you in the lake." The man says in a deep voice. "Yukimo is a healer, and I am but her humble errand boy." The man says pointing to the crone. "Half dead, you were. Dripping with the red stuff, and talking in tongues." Yukimo seemingly cackles. "I thank you for my treatment, I have coin." Ryuu says slowly standing. "Keep the coin, though no good to you if you're dead." The man states. "I suggest you rest up, before you go back to whatever it is brought you to us." He adds. "You a swordsman?" Ryuu asks looking at the blade on his lap. "I am an errand boy, this sword belongs to Akira Himinuzaki. He was once a very noble samurai, who was exiled for disobeying the Iron Emperor." The man once known as Akira says. "Heard he was executed." Ryuu questions, as tales of Akira's disobedience was well known. The empire stated that Akira was beheaded on a still spring night under a blood moon. "Akira had friends, helped him leave. He took an oath to the Emperor, a man who carries a broken promise will never walk free again." The man says. "I understand that, we were attacking Tenzu's Iron Cloud. Trying to bring it down for good, before he gets to Edo." Ryuu says remembering more details of his battle. They'd demolished several of his fleet, but Tenzu's personal Iron Cloud was a behemoth of a machine. A death ship built with a thick iron hull and monstrous exhaust pipes that block out the sun. "Who is we? The Empire, fools who worship the Iron Emperor and his Ghost Machine." The crone cries out in a roar of laughter. "No, we are Akuma-no-inu. We don't condone the Empire, but Tenzu is a maniac and a tyrant. He poisons the air with his toxic bloodlust, turning folk against their own." Ryuu says with rage. His own village fell when Tenzu returned from the north. "Well you're gonna need your strength before you go after Tenzu, I fear my old friend Akira has had run-ins with that blade." The man says.submitted by elGrimshaw16 to worldbuilding [link] [comments]
Tenzu Kumuchi had been a loyal member of the Empire, a prodigy swordsman but his skill cut down with sickness. He turned to the criminal Black Iron Smither, Izo Mazomaku. Izo's techniques were forbidden, using dark ritual to create an armour that kept Tenzu alive, and stronger than ever. The emperor's men executed Izo, before he could complete his creation. And banished Tenzu from the island. Whisperers say he spent time in Korea, studying their dark rituals and black smithing techniques. He led their armies and helped them build the Iron Clouds. "He swore he'd have his revenge against the Iron Emperor." The man tells Ryuu, recounting his memories of a younger Tenzu. Ryuu can't imagine it having seen the abomination Tenzu has become. "They call him the Beast Lord Shogun, the Sky Burner. But under the armour is a mortal man." Says the crone, she seems unbothered by the tales of death. "Ignore Yukimo, her mind is beyond the veil. She still remembers Okoomi Tatamaki being Iron Emperor." The man says helping Ryuu stand. The door slides open and a young woman in a kimino enters the hut. "Yin will take care of you, and show you around." The man says. "When you are ready come meet me in the court yard." The man commands. As Ryuu is escorted outside.
"Welcome to Take-no-ōkoku Village," Yin says leading Ryuu by the hand. Ryuu was amazed at the large dome structure built entirely of Devil's Bamboo. A plant that holds the properties of hard steel, only the wisest Steel Smith's use such a material. "I thought this place was just a myth," Ryuu says looking as they use Sun Stones and a Lunar compass to simulate night and day. Clouds of cold steam hover above keeping the air cool, providing artificial weather over the large village. "Many have given their lives to keep it just a myth, but we are definitely real." Yin giggles hiding her smile behind her hand. "According to the Empire, you'd be a considered a hostile kingdom." Ryuu says remembering his childhood in Edo. Though he grew to reject the Iron Empire, he at one point would have given his life for it. "Who isn't an enemy of the Empire, can't say I disagree with Tetsu's plan to destroy them." Yin says. "Trust me, I hate the Empire and I want to bring them down. But not like this." Ryuu says in anger. "I heard of the incident at Aoi Village," Yin says, Ryuu remembers the incident. They walk silently among the fallen cherry blossom. "I imagine you are quite hungry, you were asleep for 3 days." Yin says as they stop by a small restaurant. The smell of freshly fried locust shrimp and eel bird wafted from the interior of the restaurant. The sound of deep laughter and drunken songs was a refreshing change for Ryuu. Too long he'd been among the battle weary, covered in mud and blood. Avoiding near death with the price of steel. Yin offers Ryuu some time to himself and promises to return once her chores are complete.
Inside the tavern a small pit of coal burns away gently. A man in cooking wear tends to the embers and lays out marinated meats over the heat. Patrons of all shape and ages rest around the interior, some armed and others scarred from war. "Damn samurai dog!" A one armed man mutters under his breath as Ryuu enters. "The Isubishi family lost three of their boys, cause of your war." Another voice shouts, all hope of a warm welcome melts away. "You should be ashamed. My husband died in your crossfire." A woman says throwing her warm sake in Ryuu's face. "Stop this at once!" The chef barks from behind his counter. He drives his sharp knife down in to the cutting board, making it stand upright. "So long as he's here, he should be welcomed as my acquitance and dear friend." The chef says. "Thank you, and I'm sorry our war has plagued you. I offer my services to anyone who requests them. Till my debt is paid in full" Ryuu says humbly bowing to the angry woman. Her anger faulters and she begins to feel sorrow, for what she lost. She pushes past Ryuu and leaves. "Pay her no mind, she's just angry. Can't say I blame her." The chef mutters as he goes back to prepping meals. "I carry her burden," Ryuu says firmly, the chef is humbled by young man's commitment to the woman. "Unless you were the one who decapitated her husband don't bother, she hated him" the chef abruptly laughs. "Only reason she's pissed is cause she didn't get chance to gut that lying bastard herself." He adds slamming his huge knife down on a piece of Sakana-no-tori, it tears through the scaly flesh like fresh cotton. "Was he so monstrous he deserved death?" Ryuu asks taking a sip from his cup. Ice cold Sake, his lips tingle and his mouth entranced by the flavour of Spring. "Probably not, but he was a lousy husband, an shitter dad, and an even worse brother." The chef confesses to Ryuu, he lifts his clothing by his waist and reveals a large scar on his hip. "Brothers can be complicated," Ryuu says looking at the silken scar. He's reminded of his own brother, the spoilt prince. "Well I was never one to hold a grudge, may look bad but nothing a few cups of sake to accompany a good meal can't fix." The chef says as he takes some of the meat of the Sakana-no-tori and mixes it together with jade beans and rice before wrapping it with nori. Pulling it tightly into a roll. "Have you always been a chef?" Ryuu asks recognising a certain demeanor about the chef. "No, I fought back in the last imperial war. Was damn good as well, I had got to the rank of Hand Swordsman." The chef says, a rank just below General. "Who was your banner?" Ryuu asks. "Kytomozo of Hogun Province," says the chef proudly, effortless slicing up the freshly rolled sushi. Ryuu knows the clan well, a honourable family sworn to protect the Kyojin no kokoro mountain. A sacred place said to hold the soul of a three eyed demon. Ryuu's father lord Goji Oginawa, had been loyal to the Kytomozo clan. Ever since they helped defeat an Omen that plagued their village. He taps some wazabi on a plate and places the sushi on top. "I was offered discharge after my wife fell ill, I had served well and got a decent payout. So I set up here, to care for my wife and keep us going." Explains the chef. "Is she okay now?" Ryuu asks. "Well she has Desutatchi curse, every day she fades a little more." The chef explains. Desutatchi is a death curse. It inflicts people by slowly turning them into a ghost. Rumour has it, that it impacts those that cross paths with a white banshee. "Is there nothing can be done?" Asks Ryuu, many villages have shamans and healers. "Tried everything I can without going bankrupt, hired a witcheater a while back but he turned out to be a fraud." The chef says with a harmed pride. Ryuu had little experience dealing with monsters, other than the odd Kamapari or Drugr. "How much did he charge?" Ryuu asks.
That night Ryuu prayed and meditated until the early hours of the following morning. He walked the grounds burning incense and planting hallow seeds. A small ritual to help guide him. Having donned his armour, he prepares for battle. Drinking Uzshroom tea he sharpens his mind, his muscles ached for a fight. Then he hears the distant wails of a unearthly creature. Something that haunts the local river. By paper lantern he travelled deeper into the woods, something the chef advised greatly against. Pushing through the thick plant growth he came to the bank, a woman in white robes waited for him by the water's edge. Definitely a spirit of some sort. He wiped his blade with black mountain oil, and lights it with the spark of a nearby rock. The woman in white turns, her elegant features twist into a nightmarish creature of sharp teeth and oozing red mist. "Easy there you, let's figure this out." A voice in a strange accent says from edge of the trees. Ryuu can only make out the likeness of a mantis-monkey. Hunched down in the duff, the creature with elongated arms and long sharp fingers watches the lone samurai intently. This one isn't like other mantis-monkeys, no pale white fur or humanoid looking face. Just black on black fur, fur that wriggles upward like dancing flame. The odd mantis-monkey, on an even stranger twist, this mantis-monkey has a third eye vertically in its forehead. "Step away, and I'll make it worth your while." The mantis-monkey says getting closer. "This does not concern you mortal!" The creature says it's three crimson eyes burning. Ryuu takes his eyes off of the mantis-monkey that is trying to convince him to leave, instead looking at the attrocity that was once a woman in white. The creature is held back but could rip Ryuu apart with just one swipe. "Don't worry about my child here, she's just adjusting to this new world." The stranger says in its animal skin. "I do not trust you," Ryuu says keeping his blade poised and ready to strike. All he needs is one successful strike, a well timed sweep and his enemy is done. But this wasn't a creature from this world, and Ryuu had heard rumours. Of the Undying Travellers. "This creature has caused suffering to the people in the nearby village." Ryuu says as the mantis-monkey moves forward. "And they cause suffering, and you cause suffering, we all do. Think of the bigger picture, my child here can dawn you a new age. An age powered by this" the mantis-monkey holds out it's three fingered paw and from its palm a blue black flame, one that glimmers like oil. A rainbow shine over the surface of the flame. The air grows cold and the wind begins to howl, the flame only grows. Ryuu feels compelled to accept the flame as his own.
Ryuu would accept the flame, and become a monstrous puppet for the creature. But the creature would allow Ryuu to finish his mission. A battle utop an iron cloud would see the fall of Tenzu's men, as Ryuu carves the men before him in half. Feeding the desires of the dark creature that aids him. The helipilots would offer artillery to bring the iron cloud down, hitting it's iron hull with rockets. Ignoring the chaos around him, Ryuu would fight Tenzu atop of the Captain's watch. Ryuu would win, and show no mercy Beheading Tenzu whilst he mocked the young samurai. And for Ryuu his mission was accomplished. However the creature's plans would be just in their beginnings. Ryuu sees his body act of its own will, becoming an instrument of death and decay. Chaos and power. Without any way of stopping it, more and more of Ryuu would become lost. The creature would take everything. It gift turning into a curse. Eventually Ryuu would prove no longer useful to the creature, and left. The was infamous samurai who ended the rebellion became nothing but another insane old man. Corrupted and unable to die.
Ryuu's hand hovers just above the flame, about to accept the offer. His fingers gently touching the surface of the flame. Like entering a hot pool on a cold day. Ryuu's body felt more power than ever before, having visions of all the potential. "All you have to do is accept," the creature says it's third eye glowing. What was once the lady in white stomps forward making the earth shake. Long twisted limbs smash against the earth below, a jaw made of sharp teeth. Ryuu looks at the attrocity, that still looks ready to pounce. He thinks of getting Tenzu, and his comrades. Could they do it without him. Ryuu takes in the strength of the flame one last time. Then pulling his hand away, putting both hands on his sword. The mantis-monkey jumps away and scowls. "You made the wrong choice." It says before disappearing. The monster made from the lady in whites form, snaps forward and Ryuu lunges. Aiming for its throat, but the creature catches Ryuu. He drops his sword and falls to his knees, the body of the woman in white slumps forward on to him. She looks peaceful compared to the monster she'd become. Her life is faint, as is Ryuu's. Yet he tries to remain calm and strong so the woman might die peacefully. He looks up and thinks about the Iron Clouds over Bamboo kingdoms, and smiles for the last time. Leaving their fates to Mesmir.