Chapter 1:

Ronin 1

Ronin: The Duality of Man

It was an ordinary day for me. Work, dealing with people, and trying to get by. Being a waitress at a tea house doesn’t make you lots of money, but some money is better than no money, right?

Sounds like something someone broke would say, hahaha!

“Hey, Nanami there are some folks over there that haven’t been attended just yet. Take care of that, and then you’re free for the day.”

“Free for the day!? But I haven’t been working that long yet to be dismissed! Am I doing anything wrong, mister?” Nanami asked, a bit worried about her own financial stability, due to her barely managing to make ends meet.

“Oh, it's is not that. You're a wonderful waitress, Nanami, but it’s just we haven’t had as many customers come by our shop lately. I’ve been thinking of selling the old place. Wife and I aren’t getting any younger, and we don’t have heirs to take over the family business.”

“Aww! That means I’ll have to find a new job, and I barely managed to get a job here! Nobody wants to hire me!”

“You know, maybe you wouldn’t have to worry about that if you just got married. You’re young and beautiful. I’m sure there’s someone, who’ll be willing to marry you.”

“Marriage? Men in this era are pursuing swordsmanship and living under the way of the sword. I’ll be widowed the week after I get married!”

“Hahaha, you’re right on that. This era is filled with countless violence, and young men, not knowing the value of life. Cutting down whatever comes their way, and gaining notoriety over taking a life.”

‘Here he goes with his old man talk. It’s not like I would understand anything a man would think, after all, I’m a youthful girl! Trying to live in luxury, but most importantly independently!’

“Hey, isn’t anybody going to attend me!?”


“My bad, Nanami, I didn’t mean to hold you up here listening to my talks. To attend the young man over there, and then carry on with your day.”

Grabbing the nearby cups, she would put them onto a tray, along with the teapot.

Arriving on time, she would pour the tea, with a warm smile, delighted to do her job as always.

“What was the holdup, idiot!? Took you long like I wasn’t paying for this!”

‘I-Idiot!? You barely had any money to pay you, fool!’

“Sorry about that, it won’t happen again, sir.”

“Where are my dumplings?”

“Coming!” Nanami said, rushing to the kitchen to get the client's food.

“This place! Such a bore and the girls here are no good! They’re far too young!” Munetaka said.

“It is.”

“Isn’t there anything to do around here? I thought this place was known for having lovely babes serving, but these are all just children.”

Son of the Shogun: Munetaka.

“Tch damn, jerks! Bunch of perverts that just come to look at our asses at work!” Nanami exclaimed, angrily.

“Now, now, just bear with it, love. You know better than anybody how this establishment works, and how it is. Don’t do anything stupid right now.”

‘Nothing like granny! Wife of the owner, one of the few men I respect! She’s always quick to advise young girls, but if she had to experience that, while serving she would be bad-mouthing them too!’

‘Maybe I should get married, but that would be like not living up to my ideals. I rather not!’

“That man over there is the son of the shogun, Nanami. You should try to make an impression if you’re trying to live luxurious, love.”

“I guess, but someone like that is probably a stuck-up jerk! Not even worth my time -!” Nanami claimed, grabbing onto the dangos, and heading out front.

“That young girl, so independent. I’ve been trying my best, but she’s just like you. An independent young girl that’s too prideful.”

Nearby town.

“Please, my lord! I need this job! If I can’t work, then my family will starve! I’m sorry for my construction to be in your way!”

“Huh? And why should I care about your needs? My needs come first, and if you’re in my way, then you’ll suffer the consequences!”

The Shogun.

“If I can do anything to pay for the inconvenience, then name it, and I shall give!”


‘Who’s that?’

‘A swordsman? What’s one doing walking around in broad daylight?’

‘Can’t he see who stands before him?’

“Lovely day for a walk.”

The bell ring signifying another person has entered the tea shop. A young man would enter around the age of twenty, carrying a blade on his back, Wearing a revealing kimono that showed a big dragon tattoo.

Giving Nanami, a rough stare, he would say, “Can I get some water? Or some booze.”

“Water? I’m sorry, but we don’t serve that to non-paying customers, and this is a tea shop, we don’t have that either,” “If you don’t have no money go elsewhere, please. I have a few people to attend now if you don’t mind.” Nanami said.

Pointing at her, he would signal her to come forward to her, which she did.

“Let’s make a deal. I can tell from, just looking at you that these perverts are pissing you off. If you can give me a meal, and a canister of water, I’ll run them out of town for you. They’ve just been sitting here all day, huh?”

“Shush! You’re too loud! But I can probably give you just the water.”

“Huh? I’ve been through a couple of fights the last couple of days now. I need a meal and some water. If I can’t get that, then the deal is off!”

“Fine! Have it your way, not like I need your help anyways!” Nanami replied, walking towards the customers carrying tea, and dangos.

“This broad has quite the attitude. Cheapskate.” Genji thought.

Rushing to get her order, the young girl would trip, dropping the steaming tea on the son of the shogun’s face. Realizing what she’s done, she quickly apologizes and bows down, but the man wouldn’t take that lightly.

“You think a small apology like that will do it? How are you going to make up for this? I suppose killing you for something like this would be beneath me, how about we take a hand off of you? It’s not like you use it well enough to keep that plate in your hands as you walk! Do it!” Munetaka demanded, two men from behind, would grab Nanami, pinning her down and gripping her arm.

“Hey, what are you doing!? Cut it out it’s nothing serious!” Nanami begged.

“Boss, I can handle this for you. It’ll be a nice clean cut, and after this, you’ll realize my skill, and make me your right-hand man!” Asashi grinned.

The bodyguard of Munetaka: Asashi, a youthful ambitious swordsman trying to use his skill to make a living for himself.

Standing by Genji, would just watch by, a bit eager to see the young swordsman's skill.

“Now quit your moving, girl! Before I cut yer neck on accident!” Asashi smiled, as he prepared to deliver the slash, while Nanami lay there helpless in terror, trying to think how she can get out of this.

Suddenly an idea comes to mind, but there’s a situation far more interesting going on in a nearby town.

“Pardon me, but can you people move? I don’t know who you may be, but please cease this matter, and let us all continue with our day.”

“Just who the hell are you?” One of the bodyguards of the shogun said.

“Don’t try to get involved in what doesn’t concern you, ronin.”

“Judging by your postures, and blades you people must be vassals to the man behind you. You five stand there intimidating the people all for a man that can always replace you, a man that’s an utter piece of shit that can’t even use a sword even if he wanted to.”

“Watch that mouth of yours, punk! This is the shogun, and you will give him your respect!”

“Intimidating a man trying to provide for his family, and working for your country is cowardly. Is that what you spent all your years of training for? To be the sword for someone as cowardly as this? In my opinion, you’re all no different from dogs that can’t move an inch without your master's approval.”

“Do you think talking to us is right? We’ll show you a lesson!” The bodyguard said, drawing his blade as did the others. All five ran towards the man who stood there momentarily.

But the tea house incident is still occurring, right?

“I’ll give you a meal, and water, and I’ll even be your wife, if that’s what you want!” Nanami yelled out, as Genji gets up, with a slight grin.

“Now then! Seems like I just got lucky! Not like I want you girl, but I’ll take the other stuff! Hehehe!” Genji laughed.

“Pardon?” Asashi said, a bit confused about Genji’s statement.

“A full course meal and a canister of water for you bozos? That’s quite the deal if I don’t say so myself!”

“You got quite a tongue to you, fella. You shouldn’t get involved unless you want to be the example for my lord as well!” Asashi said, releasing his blade quickly, followed by Genji

“Oh? You’re a lap dog? Try me!” Genji said as, he severs the man’s arm off in one attack, but a bit disappointed that the fight ended quickly.

“My arm!? You motherfucker!” Asashi yelled out, holding onto his severed arm.

“I should’ve known you wouldn’t be a challenge. You’re too much of a talker, people like that can’t fight me as great as their tongue does. Since I need a good stretch, I’ll take the rest of you bastards on!” Genji declared, edging the other vassals to engage him.

All of the men would come at him at once, which excited Genji a bit. Moving around swiftly, no man could cut him, and he would cut down one of the men quickly.

Suddenly the fight would pause, when Munetaka had something to say, “You swordsman, just don’t understand. You can’t be doing whatever you want around here no more. All these men here are the shogun’s vassals, and I am his son. You should call this off before further action is taken.”

“You know I could care less about you and who your buddies are friends with. A sword is meant for cutting, and what other point is there is a swordsman if you ain’t tearing it down!?” Genji grinned.

“Y-You beast! Don’t even think about it!” Munetaka exclaimed, as the events from town take place.

Standing before the shogun is none other than the lone swordsman, that managed to cut down all of his guards with no problem.

“Wait! I know, how about you work under me? I’ll make you the leader of my guard! How about it? We got ourselves a deal?” The shogun said, being a bit scared seeing his top fighters being cut down.

“Under you? No, the only one above me our the heavens itself, and sooner or, later I’ll reach them. Good to you.”

“T-This brat! Who does he think he’s talking to!? There won’t be a single area where you can roam around! Mark my works!”

Back at the tea house.

“Listen, pal, if you do anything my father has five of the strongest swordsman in the province under him! He’ll get you if you do anything to me!”


“Scared, are you? Well, you should be!”

“Listen up, cronies! You got twenty minutes to bring those swordsmen over here, or else I’ll kill your lord’s successor here and now. Don’t believe me? Here’s something you can give him!” Genji said, cutting off the man’s hand in one stroke, grabbing the severed arm, he throws it, at the man who run off.

“W-Why you!? You’re going to pay for this!” Munetaka cried out, crawling out of the situation, Nanami gets to the corner of the middle table watching on.

A swordsman, wearing a black kimono would walk in soon after, looking at the situation, he would turn around, trying to walk out until,

“Hold on! You’re one of them, aren’t you!? Kill this bastard!” Munetaka demanded.

“No, I am -” Masashi said, being interrupted by Genji, who goes after him attempting to land an attack, that Masashi blocked.

‘This guy! He’s strong!'

“You have the wrong person, sir. If you’re asking if I am one of those people, then I wouldn’t bother waiting for them. They're all gone."


“Yes, I killed all five in one stroke.”

“Oh? That’s even better!” Genji grinned, running up to him, once again throwing a series of attacks at him, which he would evade.

Genji’s fighting style took Masashi by surprise. It’s the first time he’s seen a swordsman fight so freely and recklessly. His moves were impossible to predict, and relying on his teachings would not do it.

It all comes to relying on his animal instinct.

The two continued their duel across the shop, this time, Masashi going on the offensive, but Genji was no rookie when it came to defense. Grabbing one of the tables, he managed to himself from an attack from Masashi.

Suddenly the shop caught on fire, after leaving the cooking unsupervised as the owner’s watched the shop. The waitresses and everyone else came out running, but not those two.

They continued their fight as if nothing was happening.

“I couldn’t have it any other way! This is like fighting in the afterlife!” Genji said.

“Aren’t you going to concede? Under these conditions I- .”

“Are you crazy!? It’s not a duel if there’s nothing on the line!”

The two would continue their exchange of strokes as the burning rooftop began caving in on them both.

Screams Genji would be heard as the back of the kimono caught fire, not realizing his blade was also on fire.

‘It’s not safe to fight under these conditions. I should get out of here before dying such a pointless death like this.’

As suddenly, the two began coughing heavily, as they inhaled the smoke. The two would both falter onto the ground.

“Nanami! What are you doing? Don’t go back in there!” The owner yelled back.

“I can’t leave those two to die here just yet! I need these guys! With them, I can -!” Nanami said, rushing back into the burning building and dragging the two back outside.

Struggling to get them out, she would throw one of them outside once she was by the exit, continuing to drag the other one out.

A heroic feat from Nanami, wouldn’t pay off because, just in a couple of minutes, the shogun was to arrive.

A couple of hours later.

There stood two men hanging from the rooftop, monitored by a couple of others. One would throw a cold bucket of water onto the man, waking him up.

“Huh?” Genji murmured.

“You’re finally awake. For a moment, I thought you died because of your own stupidity of wanting to fight in a burning building.” Masashi commented, hanging from the building right next to him.

“Huh? You’re still alive too? I guess you’re tougher than you look.”

“And you’re as stupid as you look.”

“You’re finally awake. Pieces of trash, thanks to you, my eldest son died bleeding out to death from an injury one of you gave him, and you did you think killing those men, wouldn’t catch up to you?”


“No matter, you’ll be taking very good care of before your execution tomorrow. A series of the most brutal tortures for garbage like you is only right.” The shogun said.

And so the shogun did as he said. Having a series of men give them the most brutal of tortures, not giving them the chance, to rest until midnight.

Standing there at sunrise, Nanami stood there looking at what remained of the burnt-down tea shop. A bit sad about what happened, but she was used to these kinds of circumstances.

“Oh, Nanami this must be tough for you, this was your only way of earning a living until now. What will you do now?”

“Me? It’s nothing I’m not used to, but I think it’s time I set out, and do what I should’ve done all this time.” Nanami smiled.

“D-Do what?”

A couple of hours have gone by, and both the ronin lay on the ground looking at the moon. Both exhausted and in pain from the series of tortures they went through.

“You’re a disgrace to swordsmanship,” Masashi said, barely managing to get a breath in.

“Oh, you still got a tongue on you, dumbass!?” Genji angrily said.

“Your moves are inefficient, and that stroke of yours is terrible. You have no discipline.”

“Shut up already, I’m not in the best shape to kick your ass right now. Talk like that when both of us can stand on our two feet.”

“If we make it past tomorrow even, but even then, I wasn’t able to kill you in one stroke despite your unorthodox swordsmanship.”

“My name is Genji, and you should remember it. I am unrivaled under the heavens!”

“Unrivaled under the heavens, Genji? I guess you, and I aren’t that far apart with our confidence in ourselves. My name is Masashi, and I am invincible under the heavens.”

“Hey, hey! Am I interrupting something between you men!?” Nanami asked.

“Y-You’re the girl from the tea place. So you come to do your part of the deal, huh?” Genji said.

“A girl?” Masashi said.

“Uhh, you’re still on that? I guess but is that more to you right now, than your freedom?”

“You got a point, can’t eat a meal if I’m dead, but then, what are you here for then?”

“Tomorrow at sundown I am going to help you guys escape, but that’s only, if you guys agree to do me a favor.”

“Do you a favor?”

“Like what?”

“That’s none of your business, just tell me you agree.”

“You’re the daughter of the devil, ain’t cha!? I’m in as long as I can live another day!” Genji laughed.

“If I can continue my life by helping you out miss, then I to accept whatever ordeal you’re going to throw at me,” Masashi said.

“Great! Now here you go!” Nanami said, throwing a shard of glass.

“Oh, so she’s serious? Hahaha!”

“Use this when you guys are at the execution grounds, once you’re free, I’ll do my part of this, and help you guys break loose. Remember to only let yourselves loose once you’re on the platform, okay?”

“I got it, but why give it to us right now? We can just cut these things off right now, and escape in the morning.”

“Because I know you guys wouldn’t do that! Especially because I was the one to save your lives by taking you out of that burning building! So you guys owe me your freedom and life now!” Nanami said.

“This one’s a witch, ain’t she?” Genji said.

“A witch that came down to save us from this fate. I’ll gladly owe her that.”

The next day…

“An execution today?”

“Those are the two rogue ronins! I can’t believe they did that to the son of the shogun.”

“Well, now they’re going to pay with it with their lives!”

‘Hmmm…I promise those two, but how am I going to even do this? I need something, but I’m no master swordsman! I know!’


The two are being taken to what seems to be where they’ll draw their final breath.

Arriving at the place, the two crack a smirk.

“If this fails, then are you at peace with yourself?”

“At peace with myself? Every day I have to live knowing the number of men I’ve cut down, these hands of mine are stained with blood. I am, and that’s because I know I’ll meet the same fate as my opponents.”

“This day might be the final day I get to see that lovely sun. Everybody has to meet their end one of these days.”

“Ronin Genji and Ronin Masashi. The two individuals present here today will at this moment, be executed by beheading, and their heads shall be put on display to set an example!”

“Feeling any regret yet?

“Do you feel like groveling down on your feet and begging for forgiveness? Well, do you!?”

“If I have to grovel on my feet begging for what’s mine to the likes of you, then I rather die with my head held high because there’s no man in this world above me!” Genji said, lifting his head to defy the authority, but with a slight chuckle would be heard by Masashi.

“Well said, my response is the same as his,” Masashi said, smiling slightly, as he too lifts his head.

“Honorable to the end. Very well, I shall send both of you to the afterlife, where you may repent for your actions.”

The sound of two blades was heard as the two men, aside from Genji and Masashi readied to kill the two ronin.

Genji would look to his right, seeming like he would not die here at least. While Masashi prepared to also take action and began looking to his left.

Genji is the first to break from his binding and throws a kick at the men beside him kicking, the blade out of his hands, then he cuts down the other man aside from Masashi, freeing him from his bindings.

Masashi grabs his blade, and takes a look at the multiple men around them.

“How about we put that duel of ours on hold? Right now, I’m itching to get these bastards for what they did to me!”

“Holding grudges in this situation? Swordsman should not hold such things, but fine, have it your way.”

“If you think you can make out alive from this, you’re mistaken! Get him, men!” The shogun said as he ran far from what was going to be a battleground.

Genji would be quick to put down five men with his acrobatic fighting style. To gain an advantage, he would climb onto the rooftop, trying to figure out a way to kill all of them.

No intention to run from the battle. The people watched all this taking place and were amazed at the thought of such a thing. Nobody believed two men could take on sixty men, but these two could.

The two would stand there, together surrounded by the men, tired out and thinking this would be the end, but what better way to die like this, they thought?

Until the wooden doors busted opening, and from it came a bull, and Nanami, commanding it from a carriage.

“Woah! She really did come through!” Genji grinned.

“Hurry up guys! We don’t have much time! Getting this thing wasn’t free you know!”

“Hahaha. She’s a funny one, but it’s best to get out of here while we can.” Masashi said.

“Don’t let them escape! Kill them both!”

“Tch! I’m not running away because I’m scared of you, brutes! Got that!?” Genji said, following Masashi, who ran to the carriage.

The two jump in, and the rest is history. The two would speed off quicker than, the shogun’s guard could keep.

This is the beginning of a marvelous journey between two men and a girl on a quest to find an important somebody.