365 Writing · Book · Stories

Jin and the Solstice of Blood (Part 19)

Ikiru, I need to talk now. It’s too critical. I said to in his/my mind.

“No,” were his words out of my mouth.

“No?” Shi Fan said quizzically. “You’re here aren’t you? Now. Take a seat.” He added with authority at the end.

Ikiru seemed unfazed and slowly made his way towards the table with Shi Fan and the woman. Drawing closer to the table I could see Naoshima out the window, a storm was brewing over the bay. Reaching the far end Ikiru sat with his back to the window, facing Shi Fan. I would describe his face best as an amused scowl.

“You broke free, as I expected you would. The rumors of your skill certainly seem to have some measure of truth to them.” Shi Fan said, looking unblinkingly into my eyes. The woman began to pour another cup of tea into a cup in front of me. Ikiru said nothing but returned his stare. I would have said something snarky or tried to at least.

Shi Fan waited, and then continued. “I’m glad you came to us actually. It makes this entire process so much more convenient.” He waited again while taking a sip of his tea. “I knew I picked the right man for the job, just maybe not the job you thought I was hiring you for.”

Ikiru continued to stare, not drinking the tea. “Not surprised Yashimuro-dono? You are a smart one. Tell me, did you figure it out? The big mystery? There was not much mystery at all. Only what I created.”

As if on cue, a guard appeared in the broken doorway. It was the Taihoji, Gashira. “Excuse me, Shi Fan-sama, you called me?” He asked bowing. Shi Fan’s expression widened slightly into a grin.

“Yes, please come in. I seem to have found our escaped prisoner.” Shi Fan said, whereupon Gashira saw me, his eyes widening.

“Escaped?! What?” He started to say before Shi Fan silenced him with a wave of his hand.

“It’s no matter. Please, come in, share some tea.” Shi Fan continued calmly.

As Gashira walked in the woman passed him and gestured to take his swords. He obliged her slowly before continuing toward the table. When suddenly the lights went dark.

[because of time recently I’ve been doing more of these shorter sized pieces, trying to at least hit about 300 words or so each day though!]