Backwards Thinking [Mankou]

The many towns and cities tucked in the crevices of the world, uncontrolled by any formal power. Some are friendly. Others, not so much.

Backwards Thinking [Mankou]

PostPosted by Seb » Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:26 pm

It was midday, noon, or lunch, depending on who or where you were. Jusin did not eat lunch. He usually trained around the middle of the day, when the sun was highest. It was the hottest time of day and the heat could make the training harder. Jusin did not like training on a full stomach in the blistering sun. It was a recipe for disaster. So, he skipped lunch and ate a early dinner.

Today was different.

Jusin strolled down the street, his two steel katana's strapped to either side of his hips. It felt weird. He had heard that the body needed a day of rest from someone at the place he went to train. The man seemed knowledgeable so he took the advice and took the day off. Jusin tended to train seven days a week for at least three hours each day. Today however, he decided to walk around and take in the pleasures of town. There wasn't much to enjoy. Town was a rough place and Jusin had learned years ago that to remain untouched, you had to act with utter confidence and self-assurance. Even then you might not be safe. Some people simply wanted a fight. Jusin didn't care, he relished the battle, something he tended to win. Not always, but most of the time.

Today he had even bought lunch.

It definitely was quieter than usual. Jusin shrugged it off and decided that all the money he had accumulated over the years of doing simple jobs for different people and some, shadier organizations, would be better spent on something he used everyday. Jusin entered the sword smiths shop and let the sound of his footsteps announce his present to the shop keeper.

"Can I see your best swords?"
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Re: Backwards Thinking [Mankou]

PostPosted by MankouZero » Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:49 pm

Two words could describe the daily life of Keiichirou while at work; consistent clamor.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

Rap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap!

Tsssssssuuu!

All the day long until the manager would finally let the kid go for the night, only to wake up bright and early the next morning to start it all over again. Just what was so important about swords, anyway? Keiichirou didn't care. Making them was just a way to pay the bills, survive, and pay dues to practice diligently at the local Jujitsu dojo. This of course was done in what spare time he had from his job, which was only two days of the week. The bonus is that five days of metal to metal makes for an excellent workout. The two days he set aside for combat training was more to honing his combat skills.

Men shouldn't need a piece of folded steel to leave their mark on the world, Keiichirou felt. It displays more character and gusto to prove that a man can do just as well with their bare hands. It made him sick to see so many people commit themselves to whatever special way of holding a metal blade seemed better than the rest. Who cares when you could just knock the guy out, relieve him of his lunch or pocket change, and move on with your life? You wouldn't even have to get blood on you, and if the guy is stupid enough to cross your path again, you get to knock them out again.

"Oh, look, Keiichi. I think we might have a customer," said the manager. He then turned to Keiichirou again before going to the front desk. "Best behavior, now."
For the sake of the 700¥ due for payday the next morning, the servant kept his mouth shut. The hard part was keeping his fists from flying, too. He just went at it all the harder on his current piece of art, more like a paper weight in his own eyes.

"Welcome, good sir. Welcome, welcome. I can show you some fine models right this way," was the reply given to the patron's request. Keiichirou glared from the smith room.

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Re: Backwards Thinking [Mankou]

PostPosted by Seb » Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:24 am

The room was quiet except for the ringing of hammer on steel coming from the back. It was muted slightly, but still audible. Jusin was used to the sound and paid it little heed. The man came back into the room with a smile and pleasantries. He ushered Jusin over towards an area of the store where he displayed several different swords.

Each sword was finely crafted, with a sharp edge and nicely ornamented hilts. They were all Daito, longer swords with a curved back. Except one. Jusin looked at the one that was not a Daito. He took that one up, despite the owners protest and slid it out of it's case. Yes, he had been correct. It was a wakizashi. It had a shorter blade with a flat back. He already had one Daito that he liked so there was no point in getting another longer sword. There was a form of sword play that allowed people to wield two long blades but it was difficult and not many people did it. He had only ever heard of two people before even trying it. In fact most people just ended up going with one sword with two hands instead of two, one-handed swords.

Jusin sighed and looked at the price tag. It was barely within his budget and if he did buy this, he would be hungry in the near future if he did not find a more permanent job. Such was the price with living in this society. Jusin sheathed the sword slowly and placed it back on the table.

"Can you lower the price? This is obviously not the best sword the have here in the shop. Whoever made this is no master craftsmen but they did a fine job. It is a fine blade, but not worth the price your selling it for. How about fifty thousand instead of a hundred and you can call it a deal?" Jusin knew that halving the price was not going to work but he wanted to give the shop keeper something to work with. To his surprised, the shop keeper actually stopped and considered it, glancing nervously at the back of the shop before shaking his head.

"No, no sir you don't understand. This blade is not worth less than 85 thousand. Might I ask why someone such as you would need a blade like this? You have two already." The shopkeeper wrung his hands as he spoke, seeming less nervous than his voice let on.

Jusin nodded and slid his wakizashi out of it's sheath. It was scarred and pitted, with a long crack near the tip of the blade where it had been bent to the point of almost breaking. It was near useless to him now. The only reason he had not thrown it out was because he would miss the weight of having a second blade on him.

The shopkeeper nodded. "I understand sir, you are in need of a replacement. Well 85 thousand is a bargain, no matter which way you look at it."

"Make it 80 thousand and you will have yourself a deal." Jusin suddenly felt tired of bartering and did not care if he would be hungry. He felt the sudden desire to have the blade. He did not care if it would cost him down the road. The shopkeeper made to shake his head and speak and Jusin held his hand up for silence.

"Please. 80 thousand is my final offer and since this is obviously the only one you have here, you must be anxious to sell it as you are not the one who crafted it." The man nodded. People tended to forget that Jusin was only 17. Tall and confident, not yet built or broad, he held himself a bit taller than was normal from your average 17 year old. The man hesitated a moment and then took the blade and the money that Jusin handed him back to the counter where he did transactions.
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Re: Backwards Thinking [Mankou]

PostPosted by MankouZero » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:35 am

Keiichirou could not help himself from eavesdropping on the business. He figured Jakusaboru would be his spineless self. The poor excuse of a manager always sold the prize swords for outrageous prices, using whatever con he could muster.

Something about this customer was different. He was able to find a way to get the manager to lower the price.

Ten thousand? Only one thing was on sale for that much... And the guy had the nerve to barter for fifty thousand?

The smithery turned silent as the discourse continued.

When the final offer was made, a spark lit at the sight of the exchange being made.

"Sumimasen," said Keiichirou, momentarily reverting to his noble speaking roots as he strolled toward the two.
"What the hell do you think you're doing? Do you know how much that piece costs?" He continued as he pointed to the price tag, looking to the manager. "Let me help ya, dimwit. It clearly says ten ichi man. Why in blazes are you selling it for eight?"

Keiichirou had enough, himself. He looked at the patron, no longer caring for loose job security.
"Look, fella. It cost nine and a half man just to get the materials to make it. See the ivory inlays? That stuff ain't cheep." The smith went on to say, defending his business with more description of how the sword had silver lining over the back edge, opals on the end of the scabbard, and the steel used was a special order of composite... All this and more smith-talk terms were used in Koiichirou's tirade. "It's a decorative piece, not one to use for your silly duels that you wasted yours on, got it? Now you better pay up the full price and live with it. Or we could take this up outside, and I'll beat it out of ya!"

Ended his verbal tantrum by crossing his arms, and looking intently at the one tough costumer to come within the some odd years Koiichirou had been employed at Jakusa's Blades. To put further emphasis, he forced himself within centimeters from Jusin's face letting out "The choice is yours," too steamed to think of what epithet would be best to refer to him as.

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Re: Backwards Thinking [Mankou]

PostPosted by Seb » Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:45 pm

Jusin was a surprised. He was about to hand the money over when a guy strode out of the back. He had an imperious demeanor and he was obviously ticked off about something. The man turned to the shopkeeper and chewed him out for a moment before turning his anger towards Jusin. Jusin knew better than to say anything in the middle of tirade this man was going into.

As the man went into the aspects of the sword that had drawn Jusin towards it, the man also began to reveal a broad, thorough understanding of swords and the forging of them. Jusin even considered the idea that this man might be the one who forged this wakizashi, maybe even all of the blades in this shop. That was an impressive claim and Jusin respected him for it. He began to reconsider the attitude that he had labeled imperious in a more serious nature. This man might have a legitimate point.

The man crossed his arms as he ended his speech and looked pointedly at Jusin. Jusin stood there, hands in pockets for a long time as he considered what the man said.

"I need a wakizashi. Blades are not meant to be idle or used without a good purpose. Sparring is not one of those purposes." Jusin paused for a moment to collect his thoughts again and direct a more direct question to the man. "This is the only wakizashi I saw that would suit my purpose. It's price is not really true until its been into battle and that price has been put to the test. What is the point of a blade that is only for decoration?"
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Re: Backwards Thinking [Mankou]

PostPosted by MankouZero » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:30 am

"Oh, so you need a wakizashi?" repeated Keiichirou, getting more riled up. He paced a few steps, then got back in Jinsen's face. "Well, pal. If you think for one second I'm gonna let you steal twenty man away from me along with my opal blade special, I'd say you need a swift punch to the face! Knock some sense into ya!"

Koiichirou made movement along with his verbal threat. Yet, he did not go beyond barking at the patron for now. The manager made the mistake of interfering.

"Keiichirou! Be reasonable now. Your job is-"

"Hang the job! And you with it. I quit!" Keiichirou said, confirming so by throwing his smithing apron at Jakusaboru. It landed in his face with a smack. Before more could be said, Keiichirou shot his finger at Jinsen. "Before I leave, you and I are gonna have a little duel outside! You think yourself a big shot? You think a sword should be tested for it's worth instead of what it cost to make!? Well, I'll give you ten seconds to cut me with it. Do it, and you keep it for your price. Lose the bet, and you pay me the ten man without the sword. How do feel about that, jackwad!?"

"Keiichi-"

"Screw you! You don't get anything from this, slave driver! Stay out of this unless you want your head caved in!"

With that, Keiichirou stormed out of the shop. He punched through a support beam to a sword display sending many other priceless blades to the ground. This made it clear it was the principle of the matter that enraged the young man so much more so than the sacred worth of the sword.

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Re: Backwards Thinking [Mankou]

PostPosted by Seb » Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:03 pm

Jusin listened passively. He was surprised and his face probably showed it. He did not think the blacksmith was a guy who valued principle so much. Most of the men in the this town just wanted more money and had no principle other than that of their own love of material wealth. Jusin was shocked to actually find someone who wanted to fight for something more than wounded pride or money.

Jusin quietly followed the man outside and hefted the wakizashi. It was a bit awkward as he was not quite used to the weight of it in his hands. He drew it in one hand and laid the sheath down reverently on the ground. He then drew his daito and gripped it tightly. The muscles in his arms and forearms clenched for a moment before relaxing. He held the daito and wakizashi loosely each one held up at about a forty five degree angle from his waist. His hips were centered and facing the blacksmith, knees bent slightly.

This was a beautiful day and Jusin reveled in the feel of such a beautiful blade in his hand as he looked up at the man.

"I won't do your petty challenge. I will beat you in a duel. That is it. If I lose then I don't deserve to carry either of these swords and you can have my daito and your wakizashi." Jusin knew it was a bit extreme, but he had big dreams and men like this blacksmith only understood extreme measures. Anything less was cowardly and not worth dealing with.
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Re: Backwards Thinking [Mankou]

PostPosted by MankouZero » Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:20 pm

The sword the Jusin had never touched blood before. Nor was it sharpened to the point of a true masterpiece tested in battle. So many, especially who went in and out of the sword shop held no true value even in swordsmanship. They would buy the weapon, and never place their soul in it. The ways of true Shinto died along with the name Miyamoto so long ago, when he dishonored himself further by adopting a shinobi born daughter not his own in secret. Jusin was still young not much unlike Keiihirou himself. He could not so easily grasp the Way of Shinto like a Miyamoto ever could more than himself. But so many wasted materials were made to make the hilt look so spectacular, that no one remebered what the true purpose of swordsmanship remains after practice and skill are obtained. With a glance that seemed unforgiving and stern, Keiichirou picked up dirt and ash from the ground. He practically bathed himself with it. He saw over in the field next over a simple, large, oaken stick. Picking it up and returning to face his opponent, Keiichirou chose his words well enough to stand firm on what remembered Jusin say about a challenge. He would get more than what he bargained for.

"I do not care for your name or my own. I know the Way of Miyamoto enough to perhaps remind you in some way... That he faced an entire army alone, leaving none alive to tell about it. He made a sea of swords, and no one can remove it from this world. If you think that the price of that blade is more than your own life, I may yet show you the Way of the Warrior you will enter, especially if you fail to support your wealth and your family, and the pride of your Kami." said Keiichirou.

Getting into stance, Keiichiorou held the stick aloft with an open palm directed towards the young man, and his stick angled away from his body.

"'I'll up the stakes. Make things all the more tangible for you. I'm not sure how your imagination works anyway. Here it is then. Fight me with your stolen blade, and know what it is like to see Shidei. The only other choice is to give that blade back to my old boss, and head out of town. I'm sure to leave before I end up dead myself anyway." said Keiichirou. No true warrior likes a challenge being called petty as much as currency going to waste on those unwilling to go through the true Way of Shinto like Miyamoto. Such was the reason Keiichirou, like Miyamoto himself forsake the oath, and dishonored himself to work with only his hands, and nothing more aside from tools. He bathed in dirt and ash only to further dishonor himself and his potential defeat instead of further discrediting the Way of true Shinto he once grew to admire. His poise was direct, and demanding more than words.
"If you lose. It will be the Way of Shidei for you. As for me if I lose as well. You still have the chance to return what you have stolen, and we may both may possibly receive grace from our Kami..." said Keiichirou.

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