A Sword without a Sheath

By Yone

What is a sword without the man behind it? Teaching a swordsman to kill is simple. The true challenge lies in teaching him not to kill.

When I watched my young brother Yasuo begin training, he breathed life into the blade at first touch. One heard whispers in the halls comparing him to the sword masters of old. But as he grew and his skills increased, so did his ego. He was impetuous and boastful; he ignored our master's lessons and knew nothing of patience.

Fearing my brother had strayed too far from the way, I went not to warn him, but to make an appeal to his honor. I gave him a maple seed, our school's highest lesson in humility…one Yasuo seemed to have forgotten. A seed is just a seed, but given time one may come to know the beauty it holds within. Yasuo took my gift, and the following day he accepted a modest guard post. I had high hopes he would learn the patience and virtue required of a true swordsman.

It was not to be.

Today, Yasuo committed an act of treason by murdering the very person he was sworn to protect. He has betrayed his nation, his friends, and himself.  Were it not for my actions, I wonder if he would have been swept down this dark path.  But my task is not to question; I must bear the burden of my duty.  At first light tomorrow, I set out to capture a sword without a sheath: my brother Yasuo.


10 months ago

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Yasuo, Story