Battle of Spirits: Final Act
Part 1: Servant Arc
After my first master set me free, I didn’t know what to do with my life. “Please let me stay.” I begged, “You can put me through whatever work you want.” “I’m sorry Jin.” He said, “But you’ve already done the greatest work in the world. So please, go on, live a normal life. Explore the world, make friends...perhaps even get married.” I clenched my fists, “But….I need you.” He put a hand on my shoulder, “You don’t need me, you’re a strong and kind person.” He handed me the katana he made himself, “Here, take this as a gift.” Tears formed in my eyes, “R-Really?” “Yes, as a way to know I’ll always be with you. No matter when or where.” I gripped it and looked at him with a smile, “Thank you master.” He smiled back, “Now go, be free to help others in need. Live your own life.” I nodded, “I will.” Even after I left, it wasn’t long before my heart craved a new master. So, I disguised myself as a fox and wandered through towns to find...well, anyone.” It was hard to find one because everyone was scared that I was a yokai. However, I did serve some people, like a man looking for workers in his fields. Then a lonely woman who wanted a husband more than a servant, but I accepted because I worked around the house. It was nice, she was pretty and kind, and I guess this is what my first master said when I should get a wife. We did get married and had three kids, but that didn’t last long because these thugs burned my house….along with everyone in it. I seethe with rage, so I found the three and killed them. Tearing out their organs as a giant fox. After that, I learned that they were a part of a gang called the Yakuza. Their leader at the time noticed my vicious way of killing and asked if I wanted to join him. I accepted, once again having a new master, and I have to admit...this was an odd period in my life. My master wasn’t the nicest of people, nor could I find an ounce of kindness. When I did something wrong, like getting involved with others or getting caught, he would tie me to a wooden pool and have his other men beat me up until I threw up blood. The reign of my master lasted rather long, I was passed down from generation to generation...like I was a thing. But I didn’t care, I had a master, no matter who they were. One of my more current masters was very similar to my first Yakuza master, but a little bit more unstable. He would chain me to a roof pipe and beat me with a metal rod, or take a whip and give me thirty lashes on my back. “You’re worthless! You’re lower than thrash! You shitty mongrel!” Those words were just some of the things I would hear when he decided to beat me. Every word he uttered to me was filled with venom and hate…..but at least I had a master. Right? As I curled in my little corner in the basement, I began to think about how I don’t really like this master or any of my previous criminal masters. They all were pretty much the same, but it was better than nothing, so I settled. I held the sword that my first master gave me all those decades ago...I missed him, I wonder what he was up to. My track of time wasn’t the best because I didn’t age like normal humans, so I couldn’t realize that he was dead, as well as my field-owning master, and my wife. I didn’t like that my previous masters were dead, it made me sad, depressed even. Though my current master didn’t care, he saw me in an upset mood and would backhand me, telling me to concentrate on him and no one else. I started to dislike my current master more and more as the days went on...I began to dislike living too. I just wanted life itself to vanish. Plants, animals, and humans, I wanted everything to just die. But I buried those thoughts in the back of my head because that is not what my first master wanted me to think. *Kill them. Kill them.* I started to hear in my head. It started like that, but as the days went on, the voice was more talkative. “Who needs a master? Who needs anything really?” “But I want to serve a master, no matter how awful they are. It gives me purpose.” “WHO CARES. That’s irrelevant, pain and suffering are what make life worth living. The pain and suffering of others that is.” “But that's wrong.” “Listen to yourself. You’re weak, let ME take over, I’ll make all your worries go away.” “But….” “But nothing. Nothing in this world matters except power and death. I thought your masters would’ve taught you that. You know...the ones that abused you and treated you like a thing.” “I don’t know. It just doesn’t seem right.” “If it makes you feel better, I’ll make it so you don’t even remember it happening. It’ll be like I was never here and…” Our conversation stopped abruptly by master banging on the door to the basement, “SHUT UP DOWN THERE! QUIT TALKING TO YOURSELF!” He yelled, and then I realized...I WAS just talking to myself. No one else was in this room, or my head but me. So I got up, and grit my teeth, “I’ll do it.” I transformed into my nine tails. And what happened next? I don’t remember. “Good choice. I’ll make us STRONGER.” I broke down the door of the basement and strutted towards “master’s” room. I found him and stared him down. “What the hell are you doing out? GET BACK IN THE BASEMENT!” A wide smile stretched across my face and I grabbed my sword, “Sorry, but I don’t need you anymore. You can die now.” With that, I slaughtered everyone in the house...then everyone in town, and I couldn’t be happier…..