Category: Short Fiction
“How dare you insult the woman I love?”
Nayige Daize had jumped up from the throne while his ministers, sitting along the walls, made a point of keeping their heads lowered, lest they would have to meet his gaze.
Everyone had fallen quiet - the sobbing of Tamade Shabi, who was lying on the ground off to the side, now the only sound to fill the great ceremonial hall; but it wouldn't calm her lover's rage.
The tea she had served him still stood there, steaming, forgotten on its tray.
“How dare you accuse her of being a traitor to our clan? Months I have spent with her, and she is nothing if not worthy of my trust!”
At last, Meiyo Touzi's dampened voice emanated from the huddle of his deep bow in front of his leader.
“But, my lord, our Metsukes all...”
The slicing sound of the Daimyo's Katana leaving its scabbard cut off the words.
“My lord! No!”, shrilled Tamade Shabi's voice from between sobs, as she reached out and grasped the Daimyo's feet,
“He is one of your most experienced advisors! Losing him would cost you dearly; don't let a fight over me damage your position!”
“Ha! You see? Even now does she put the good of others over herself! Begging for your life, even though you say we should take hers!”
“But, don't you see she only...”
Once again, Meiyo Touzi was interrupted; this time by a Wakizashi dropping onto the floor in front of him, thrown down by his master.
“You have tested my patience long enough! First you accuse my woman of treason, and now you talk back to me about my decisions?
It is true: you have served me well for many years; this is the only reason I now offer you Seppuku to restore your honor... instead of cutting you down like a dog!”
The look of the servant wandered from his master to the unmoving wall of his fellow advisors, his expression changing from disbelief to realization, then to pure desperation.
He took up the short sword and weighed it in his hands, with tears beginning to flow from his eyes.
“I have served you better than you are willing to realize. I have warned you of a peril you choose to ignore. There is nothing else I can do now.”
With these words he lunged forward, thrusting a wild stab at Tamade Shabi. But instantly Nayige Daize, who had still been holding his Katana, now brought it down in a single swift swing.
A screech of horror escaped the woman's throat as Meiyo Touzi's head rolled across the floor and the metallic smell of blood rose into the air.
The Daimyo wiped clean his sword, slid it into its scabbard and sat down on the throne again.
He reached for his cup; in the long minutes it took him to finish his tea, none of the others dared move an inch.
Suddenly, a yelled command, “what are you waiting for?”, and all of his underlings scurried across the room, hurriedly wiping the blood off the floor with their own clothes and carrying out the dead body.
Within a minute, Nayige Daize and Tamade Shabi were alone in the hall, sitting in silence.
Another five minutes later, after having inspected the Daimyo's now-limp body to make sure the poison had taken effect, the woman left as well.
Last edited by Supermoler; March 28, 2011 at 08:08 AM.
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