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Fantasticoe 1991

The Blade of the Basilisk

Derek Cole

     It was pitch black when a shadow ran across the cold wet ground. The night warrior traveled as silently as a falling feather, to a long wooden wall that surrounded the palace of a rich Japanese warlord. He took his black silk rope and attached a flat black grappling hock. With the whistling of the wind he threw the hook and rope over the wall. As he stood there and watched the moon creep out from behind the clouds. The shadow that lay on the ground was an exaggerated replica of a powerful individual, who had a single mission, retrieve the Blade of Basilisk.

     He jumped down from the wall and landed with a soft thud. With the stealth of a cat he moved towards a large bonsai tree. As he crouched behind the three foot tall tree, a lumbering guard trudged across the yard, in front of the night warrior. He jumped from behind the tree to attack the large guard. As he ran up to the guard he stepped on a twig.

     Snap.

     The guard was alerted to his presence. As the guard turned his face, it was met with a kick. The other leg, of the night warrior, tripped the guard. During his descent the night warrior administered a dose of sleeping gas. By the time the guard hit the ground, the night warrior was on his way to the bushes near the palace. As he ducked behind the bushes a light blazed from a window in the palace. He ducked behind the bushes and crawled to a pillar. With the help of a short chain, called a Kusarijutsu, and foot spikes, the warrior climbed the roof. Daylight was fast approaching, the warrior found a place to hide that couldn't be seen from the ground.

     Lying in the shadows of the morning sun, he thought back to the day he first set eyes on this place.

     It was a cold rainy day as he stumbled through the gates. Only to trip in front of the master. While he watched me stand back up, I wondered what he was thinking about me. To this day, I don't understand why he trained me.

     With that thought he fell asleep.
 

     Meanwhile...The morning guard sprinted from the door to the fallen guard. With an enormous yell the guard alerted the master of the house. A rush of activity from the building, the entire complement of guards, maids, cooks, servants, and the master ran to the fallen guard outside the palace.

     As the guard awoke, to see the entire household looking at him with disgust, the master began to send the guards out to find the intruder who dare enter the House of the Scorpion. The master picked up the sleepy guard and began to grill him for information. But the only thing that the guard could tell him was that the person was in all black.

     Noon rolled around when the guards began to report that they couldn't find any traces of the intruder. This news didn't please the master. As he ranted and raved the guards began to make their way out of the room. Night soon struck with its blanket of sheer darkness, the guards were on alert.
 

     The warrior was preparing his final assault on the palace. He crouched near a skylight that led to the trophy room. With a slight creek the window opened. The warrior slowly climbed down the window frame but, as he was hanging on the edge of the frame, a guard passed beneath him. Letting go of the ledge, he landed behind the guard. With the speed of a lighting bolt the warrior clapped a choke hold on the guard. Within three seconds the guard was out cold.

     Slowly he crept through a passage way, as he came to a junction, he heard a couple of guards talking among themselves, off to the right. With a pebble, that was caught in his shoe, he threw it down the hallway to the left. As one of the guards sprinted towards the noise, the warrior threw a sleeping gas bomb at the remaining guard. Before the guard could let out a yell he fell to the ground. Step by step the warrior approached two steel doors.

     The doors stood seven feet tall and six feet across. The cold grey doors were studded with rivets and strips of black hinges. The two handles were bronze carvings of scorpions. With a tug on one of the scorpions the door cracked open. The warrior was smothered with a thick cloud of incense. Not the kind used in the house but, the kind used in funeral services. The smell was death. As the door opened he could see that the room was adorned with statues, paintings, and writings. The walls were painted in blood red.

     He entered and closed the heavy door behind him, thinking that there is no way to turn back now, and locked it. As he walked around the room reading the writings, that said, all who enter here will feel the sting of the scorpion's tail. The paintings depicted a scorpion killing many heavily armed soldiers. The eyes of the statues seemed to follow him around the room. He kept feeling the eyes upon him no matter where he walked. As he walked to the center of the room, where the Blade of Basilisk rested, the eyes seemed to glow red and burn with a fire from hell itself. With the end of his mission in sight the eyes meant little to him. Turning his attention back to the sword that was incased in the glass, he stared in astonishment.

     The blade was glowing red in the light of the statues eye's. The handle was made of two colors of silk. A red base was covered by a double wrap of white, and between the silk wrap was carvings of silver dragons breathing billowing black clouds of smoke. As he went to lift the glass, beams of intense heat shot from the statue's eyes. With his cat-like reflexes he jumped on to one of the statues. With a toss of a small home-made grenade, the glass blew into a million fragments. As he sprang from the statue, to grab the sword, the door opened. It was the master. The warrior grabbed the sword as he hit the ground in a somersault and rolled right in front of the master. With a swing of the blade the warrior cut a scarf from around the master's neck. As the scarf fell to the ground the master bowed his head to the warrior and said, "You passed."

     Congratulations! You have passed the final test. The skills you have shown shines through your actions and thoughts living in harmony. You have learned that violence is unnecessary to gain what you desire. In remembrance of your time spent here you may keep the Blade of Basilisk. Remember always what it stands for.

     The blade represents a neverending journey through life. The silver dragons symbolizes other people who breath despair and hardship in your life, which is the shape of black smoke. Violence, rage, and hate, is portrayed as red. The white silk wrapping, that stands for truth, honor, and love, must always cover the others.

     It's time you found your own way in life.

     With that the warrior left the palace to seek his own spot in the world.



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