Raiden Yamato: The Samoan Samurai Part 7
“Much of the world collapsed. Few nations survived, the rest vanished. The nations were destroyed by the Oni [demons] exploiting the political, religious and racial divisions among mankind, spawning civil wars that led to a nuclear holocaust. Combined with unstable climate change, global famine, constant plagues, and repressive socialist doctrines, mankind lost its ability to build and maintain civilization beyond city-states. Technology became scarce. Food production and distribution were limited, as was access to clean water. Hate, propaganda, corrupt/dishonest politics and distrust among rulers and activists prevented progress, reconciliation and reconstruction, especially among the former Americans. In summary, humans became their own enemy, and thus the Oni ruled much of the collapsed world.” – Samoan Historian
“Samoa is one of the few kingdoms left. To bring peace among the feuding, the Samoans host the Gathering of the Nations, an attempt to create a coalition of the willing to set aside man-made differences for unity against the Oni. It’s daunting and often fruitless, as only the Fijians, Tongans, Maori and the Aboriginals have been willing to at least attempt to unite under the noble cause, whereas the other peoples continue their sectarian warfare [especially the former Americans]. The Gathering of Nations is humanity’s one chance to seek guidance from Our Heavenly Emperor, to focus on our similarities, and to unite against the Oni. Each meeting is precious, as no one knows if any gathering will create a breakthrough for humanity, or any will lead us to our extinction.” – Samoan Historian
“The Gathering of the Nations is a farce. It’s absurd to believe that these diplomatic meetings do anything for anybody, and even more absurd to believe in any divinity behind them. Maybe in the past someone up in the sky wanted a meeting or two among us f***ed up people, but those days are over. Today, the Gathering is nothing more than a week-long, sex-filled holiday for a bunch of self-absorbed rulers and politicians making promises they don’t keep. The only people that benefit from the Gathering are escorts, pimps and madams, restaurant owners, and merchants that sell condoms and emergency birth control [thankfully those things survived the Oni Conquest].” – Former American [Hawaiian] historian
“Most Samoans in the capital only approve of the Gathering because it boosts the economy. The foreigners tend to be sexually attractive, and their sugar mamas and daddies have deep wallets. It’s all about business; the Heavenly Emperor is used as a disguise for us to pretend we’re being noble.” – Samoan resident.
“The Gathering of Nations is the will of our Heavenly Emperor, the Creator of all things. He ordained such diplomacy to remind humanity of its transgressions against Him and to unite in repentance and glory to Him, for only through submission to God can we defeat the Oni. Praise to our Maker and our Judge, for He is good.” – Samoan Pastor.
“Even if the powerful misuse the Gathering for their selfish lusts, there are some good leaders among our nation and others that truly want to do God’s will. Those righteous men and women who confess their sins and follow Him are the reason why the Gathering is still good, even with its flaws. We Samoans cannot allow what we can’t control dictate what can be controlled. We know what is right and we must continue to follow those righteous things, including the Nation Gatherings. They are important to the cause against the Oni and the Heavenly Emperor ordains us to do what is required to achieve victory over the demons. We must not falter away from the Gathering, no matter what.” – Samoan Pastor.
“Everyone wants to make a big deal about a group of Pacific Islanders seeking attention from dumbass mainlanders. It’s a tourist prop used by religious elders to make money while claiming to be doing God’s Will. It’s obvious, but few want to admit it.” – Samoan resident.
“Listening to doubters will do no one good. The survival of mankind is dependent on humans coming together and reaching a mutual agreement to defeat the demons. We are one race, one entity, and one people, none of discussion.” – Samoan Priest.
“It’s funny how moron supporters of globalization are using the Heavenly Emperor to promote their ideology, especially since they demonize others for misusing the Gathering for sex and money. This ‘coming together’ crap and ‘we are one’ nonsense are the reasons why nation-states collapsed in the f***ing first place. Globalization does not work, never will work, and has never worked – it’s just another word for socialism with a warped racial angle. World leaders come together to create a plan to take away what’s left of our God-given rights as humans; democracy is gone, reduced to scattered pieces being searched for by elitists. Emperor Kenji is one of the few good leaders I trust; the others are all scum that divides us. I hate the Gathering of Nations.” – Samoan resident.
“Everyone knows some of our pastors look like porn, right?” – Samoan resident.
A week after Pua and Tua’s stadium fight, delegate parties from various former nations arrived at the capital seaport of Heavenly Pago. All arrived by varied sized ships, most of them privately owned with their own security officers, primarily arriving from Hawaii. The day was mostly cloudless, the sky being coral blue as the ocean itself. Locals flocked around the harbor, little kids and teens leaning over the wooden fence to see the port docks receiving the numerous foreign ships. Various national flags flew over the vessels, an odd sight for Samoans as many of them knew that almost all of the countries of the world had collapsed years ago.
One little Samoan boy, sitting on his older brother’s shoulders facing the harbor, was holding an empty CD album, Sign ‘O’ the Times. He looked down and asked his older sibling, “Was Prince American or Mexican? I see an old flag over there and Prince was from one of those places, right?” His brother nodded and answered ‘America.’
Vessels carrying Polynesian/Aboriginal passengers docked first, taking up the northern half of the seaport. Asians from the Far East and South Asia regions were second to take station in the middle port, and ships from other regions were guided to the southern section of the harbor. Each section was occupied by several legions of Samoan samurai by land and small fleets of gunboats along the harbor, all of which surveyed the seaport in constant repetition. The port facilities also had their own security force of both swordsmen and gunmen, along with well hidden snipers and ninja providing additional surveillance. Despite this significant security, there was [at least the appearance of] easy flow of foot traffic for the people.
Beyond the docks themselves, a long row of mini cars and bicycle-driven open cabs parked along several lanes of paved road linking the entrance port gates to the capital’s main traffic roads. Residents were called on by local policemen to clear the streets to make room for the delegates and their companions, for most of the roads were narrow and traffic jams were evitable, plus noise pollution and fossil fuel gas were unavoidable issues as well.
Locals were also barred from booking rooms in the capital’s inns, hotels, hostels and other rental spaces; residents were required to stay home and only go to public areas necessary for living, such as shopping for food and clothing. Schools received restrictive schedules for the safety of the children and faculty, and all samurai and other military servicemen/women were ordered to be on standby at all times to assist police officers.
Churches, temples and other religious buildings were closed to the public, heavily fortified with armed guards and at least one weaponized vehicle. Landmarks and statues were also blocked for the Gathering of Nations, armored vehicles driving around the sites with samurai patrolling the areas by foot. The bronze statue of Jubei Minamoto in the capital’s center had the heaviest security blanket, surrounded by five dozen samurai, including several holy warriors of Raiden Yamato rank, and three Russian-made tanks.
These military and police formations were linked together along connected routes leading to the grounds for the planned gathering: The Tavita Mafa Tua Dragon Temple Park, the world’s largest Zen garden. Besides the Imperial Palace, the Tua Dragon Park had all the diverse dry landscape styles of Japanese gardens blended together as separate but interconnected sections forming a circle resembling the Lu Symbol [Ying and Yan]. The park’s circular form was cut thru by multiple canals linked to a moat surrounding the temple itself, the water flowing from the ocean. Small artillery submarines the size of minicars flowed beneath the moat and canal surface, hardly ever seen. Even on the most quiet of days, multiple jets would fly over the temple park at least once every hour, and unknown number of invisible drones hovered over the complex.
The main temple was a feudal-era castle, resembling Himeji Castle of Japan, constructed with three principle tenshu [main keeps], each covered in chalk white paint on their walls, and blackish blue tiles on their curved roofs, the top roofs dotted with gold tiger and dragon ornaments. The three tenshu sat on top of a grand hall complex resembling the Todai Temple of Nara, constructed as an upside down triangle, each end supporting their main keep. The whole building was surrounded by three thick stone walls linked together with heavily-weaponized alley ways and underground tunnels; the walls were always patrolled by samurai, both the sword class and gun class, backed up by archers and stealth agents with invisibility cloaks. The fortified walls were encircled by a muddy moat filled with toxic water giving off a fresh mint scent, the fluid lethal enough to kill an elephant in seconds.
Inside the Grand Hall, well hidden within decorative, maze-like slide screen walls, were ancient artifacts from Southwestern Asia, all of them related to numerous wars between mankind and the Oni [demons] dating back thousands of years, many them of Biblical significance. Many of the priceless items were swords, shields, pieces of walls from since destroyed temples and fortresses, and stone tablets written in a Hebrew-related dialect not known to translators. The most important of all those items was a sealed scroll from Hebron containing a sketched image of the Heavenly Prince [Christ] in Raiden Yamato armor [Arc Angel Michael] fighting a dragon and a hoard of pig-like demons attacking a village near the Dead Sea. The scroll, concealed in a papyrus sheet, was kept locked inside an Ottoman diary box; the box itself was wrapped tightly in several sheets of Han Dynasty Chinese silk and buried in a well filled with beach sand and light dirt. The well, once a natural cave that later served as a chamber to house the temple’s prized treasures before the temple was constructed, was the center of a flattened, bumpy slab of foundation stone blocked from site by four barred fences, each side guarded by spell casters. Every three hours, one spell caster was replaced by another through rotation, every day and every night without end, most of the guards being women.
Next to the shielded well sat another fenced treasure valued to the Grand Hall: a replica model of the Tomb of Jubei Minamoto, Narati-Ji. The model sat on a large ridge of rock sticking out of the ground, much of it covered in natural grassy moss. The replica showed the tomb complex as being a hybrid of Todai-ji, Kofuku-ji and Heijo Palace [three of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara]. Deep inside the ridge was a red oak box containing a map to the tomb’s secret location; all the Samoan Emperor and the highest ranked priests knew where the burial site was, and commoners could not enter it or seek its location.
Beyond the fortified walls, the Grand Hall sat on a mountain-like hill overlooking the Manu Gardens, a large park of diverse floral, tropical and temperate. The gardens faced the ocean, walled off from the sea by the beach and jungle orchards of fruit-bearing palm trees, covered by dense forest with narrow pebble-laid pathways snaking through thick terrain. These routes led to a grass field where an open circular theatre rested on a dunged out depression in the ground, covered in cement steps descending down to a flat marble surface connected to a small Chinese pavilion. The pavilion had a petit bench chair made of gold and precious stone mimicking glass. The outdoor theatre, the Seat of Yona, took its name after Yona Genji.
Kenji Minamoto and his council arrived at the Seat of Yona several hours before the Gathering delegates reached the seaport. Servants quickly wiped down the golden bench chair as Kenji strolled under the pavilion roof, chatting with several councilmen about the chair; Kenji questioned the practical need for it, while his advisors went on their talking points about the importance of imperial symbolism and the historical significance of gold. Kenji appeared bored listening to his council members.
Once the servants finished polishing the bench, Kenji quickly took his seat, while the other officials gathered on both sides of the golden chair, seating down on the floor mats laid out by the servants. Kenji murmured to a passing servant, handing her several gold coins; one of his council members spotted the exchange and immediately shouted at the female servant, accusing her of soliciting from the emperor. Kenji told his official to back off and gave the servant the gold coins. “Gratitude is a Christian virtue”, Kenji spoke aloud, “Don’t confuse tipping for soliciting.”
An hour passed and the temple grounds flooded with Samoan warriors and samurai horsemen leading the delegates to the park. The delegates divided themselves into sub groups based on nationality, with the Polynesians composing the larger groups put ahead of the others. Four samurai riding armored horses and three Samoan warriors in traditional attire accompanied each sub group, each group assigned into a different section of a long parade stretching several miles. Once the parade was organized, they took the main pathway of the Manu Gardens, the only walkway that did not curve due to hilly terrain and massive rock formations covered by thick forestation. To ensure no one got lost if incidentally separated from the line, large red, blue and white banners attached to all the horse-riding samurai’s armored suits, specifically their backs.
At the open theatre grounds, the parade halted and whichever group was first in line got to descend on the theatre to find their sitting matts. The Tongans were the first to take their seats; the largest subgroup, the Tongan delegates, followed by their flower girls [dressed in Sunday dresses with modest makeup], wore white kimonos with matching tupenu [Tongan lava-lava]. They were mostly middle age to senior age with white hair and potbellies that slowed them down as they walked. A shirtless, muscular flag bearer whose chest was radiant in coconut oil led the Tongan delegation; his flag barely caught anyone’s attention, for Kenji and his ministers and servants gawked in bafflement over the shirtless Tongan’s purpose for leading his delegates to the theatre’s front left section. One minister whispered into Kenji’s ear without warning, “That Tongan man carrying their flag looks like a homosexual. Should I send the guards to remove him?” Kenji jerked his head away and bluntly said no, pissed off by his minister.
The Fijians followed the Tongans, though their group was much smaller. The diplomats of this group were also mainly of elder age with their flower girls wearing Sunday church dresses. However, they had no flag bearer; some Samoan samurai [male] stationed near Kenji’s area viewed the Fijians with long faces, seemingly disappointed by the absence of a second flag bearer; some of Kenji’s ministers noticed the guards with alarm.
Once the Fijian delegates took their seats right behind the Tongans, the Maori descended on the theatre grounds. They were the largest of all the non-Samoans and, like their Aboriginal counterparts still behind them, had a diverse display of differing shades of brown skin pigments, from pure blooded dark to nearly as white as Palagi [Caucasian with Maori DNA]. Most of the Maori were under 50, few over 60, and the genders almost evenly divided, with the women outnumbering the men by an edge. The men had moko [Maori tattoo makeup] on their faces, while the women only had moko on their lips, few with chin markings.
The Maori followed no flag bearers, nor did diplomats lead themselves, but instead they followed their head of state and ruler, Maori Emperor Long Mon Song of the Tuhoe Clan. None of the other delegate groups had their leaders in this trip, for all other heads of state either declined the invitation or were obligated to other duties, making Long the only Poly ruler in the Gathering besides Kenji. Known by his official title Tian Maui Long [the Maori equivalent of ‘Raiden Yamato’], Long wrapped his people’s flag into a flat fold and strapped it across his bare chest, attaching it to the waistband of his grass skirt [piupiu].
Muscular in built, Long was slightly wider in frame compared to the Tongan flag bearer, and all attention from the Gathering became glued to him as he led his following to the middle bottom rows of the theatre. Possessing the body of a Greek god and a Hemsworth face with caramel skin, Long smiled the whole time with a flirtatious grin, looking at everyone gawking back at him with their wide eyes, showing off his perfectly white teeth and trimmed beard. Despite his beard, he had no other hair on his body, his arms, legs and chest shiny and smooth with glowing lotion radiance. Even his feet attracted onlookers to stare like teenage boys walking in on Victoria’s Secret models in their changing room by accident.
Kenji rolled his eyes, somewhat annoyed yet also amused, murmured to himself, “show off.”
The Tahitians and Cook Islanders followed the Maori, taking up most of the middle sections of the theatre seats. The two groups were the smallest attending the Gathering, their delegates very young, barely pushing middle age, and their flower girls were the youngest of the accompanying females, their collective age barely above 20. Many men already in their seats briefly gawked at the young flower girls, as did some of the Samoan samurai and warriors guarding the area; some girls uncomfortably or awkwardly smiled in reaction to the flirty stares from the men. Kenji, paying attention to the flower girls’ body language and his samurai, frowned and shook his head in settle sternness.
The last delegate group [of the Southern Pacific Peoples] to fill their share of the theatre seats were the Aboriginals, led by five Indigenous samurai carrying poles with black square flags with a red circle on them, representing their homeland, the Land of the Great Red Desert. Suited in black lacquer samurai armor, red mud covered the five samurai’s faces as makeup, their lips painted in light white clay. The Aboriginals varied in skin pigment, from full-blooded black to peachy white of the Palagi [Samoan for white/Caucasian]. The three middle samurai in the five-man row wore gold bracelets tightly attached to their leather-black gloves, and one appeared more Palagi than his darker brethren did.
Behind the five Indigenous swordsmen were six young women dressed in ninja-style black gowns with long sleeves, their faces masked in black cloth, any long hair tucked away into their uniforms. Behind the six women were a dozen or so military-drafted Indigenous civilians, all either farmers from government-guarded farms or fishermen and seaport workers; the one exception was a plain-dressed swordsman holding the hand of a Palagi female farmer, the only non-Aboriginal among them.
Once the Aboriginals occupied their share of the theatre, about 1/3 of the seats were left, leaving just enough room for the last Islanders to make their grand entrance before the Samoan imperial court: the Hawaiians. A mixture of young and old with the genders evenly divided, the Hawaiians were among the last organized groups of the former United States, a collapsed country torn apart by both external and internal strife [partly orchestrated by the Oni]. Their flag bearer, a young female ninja suited in her stealth outfit of red, white and blue, carried a pole with two flags: the American flag on top and the Hawaiian flag right under it. Most of the other Hawaiians wore traditional Polynesian clothing; the rest wore plain, worn out church clothes.
Once all the Polynesians settled into their seats, the remaining delegates from the Asian mainland, as well as a few foreigners from Europe, Africa and Latin America, occupied the remaining seats, filling the outdoor theatre to its capacity. All the Samoan samurai and horse-riding gunmen completed their encircling of the theatre, securing the area. The delegates began talking amongst themselves, at first greeting one another in friendly handshakes, but then they descended into idle chatter their plans for later that evening; some bragged about the money they brought with them to hire female escorts and see adult-oriented stage shows [banned under Samoan law]. Others expressed indifference to the whole Gathering, unaware of the nearby guards overhearing their conversations.
One of the guards approached one of his superiors, Seoul, and whispered into his ear, his thumb resting on his padded shoulder and aimed at the delegates; Seoul told the soldier to return to his assigned position. Seoul quickly walked to the pavilion, receiving reluctant permission from one of Kenji’s ministers to proceed; other ministers opposed, but Seoul got thru anyway, winking at the minister letting him in. Once in Kenji’s presence, Seoul made a quick bow to him and requested to inform his majesty of the delegates’ behavior. Kenji consented and learned from Seoul about the delegates complaining about the Gathering. Kenji glared at the crowd while shaking his head, blurting out in a frustrated whisper, “Every freaking time I host something for guests, they got something to complain about: ingrates.”
Kenji stood up from his seat and slammed his hands together in several loud claps. All in attendance went quiet. Seeing everyone shutting up, Kenji’s face improved from his eyebrow-raised glare to a pleased grin, his smile wide. He took a moment to view the Gathering. After that, he stepped up to the edge of the front steps to speak. However, right before he opened his mouth, a servant handed him a microphone, the device attached via a cord connected to a nearby speaker box facing the crowd. Clearing his throat, Kenji spoke, “My fellow brothers of the ocean, and my brothers from the mainland, on behalf of the Samoan people, I thank you all for coming to this up most important Gathering of Nations. We are here today with our differences any disagreements set aside for the greater good. At this place of peace, one of the last peaceful places on Earth, it is an honor for us all to come together as one race. Whatever distain or unpleasant opinion we may have, those issues are trivial; we face a threat far greater than our political divisions and grievances: the Oni.” Kenji then asked everyone to bow their heads in prayer, which Kenji led in reciting a passage from the Book of Solomon.
Among the delegation were two mainland Americans that were associated with the Hawaiians, one black and one white. As the others prayed, the mainlanders folded their arms and stared at the pavilion with angry faces; several samurai that opened their eyes to peek around saw the two Americans and appeared offended. Once the prayer finished, the African-American had already stood up with his fist raised up over his head; the Hawaiians quickly fouled at him, their reaction of appalled embarrassment. The black guy then shouted, "F*** this racist convention!" Everyone heard the remark and looked at him with angered frowns.
Kenji looked at the protester and yelled at him, “What did you say?” The black American repeated himself, his voice louder and angrier. Kenji briefly turned to his ministers, asking them, “Who the hell is that man? Did he come with the Hawaiians?” The ministers nodded, one of them suggested the man might be a race separatist. Flustered and frustrated, Kenji yelled at the protester, “Who the hell are you to slander this Gathering?! How dare you disrupt our prayer with your outburst!”
“Anyone who accepts racists into their country as refugees is a racist, and you and your f***ing kingdom is racists!” Some of the Hawaiian delegates threatened to assault the protester, forcing his white friend to fend them off with calming pleads to them to calm down.
Kenji rolled his eyes, telling himself, “I can’t believe this American is pulling off a Colin Kaepernick stunt.” He quickly ordered his security head to instruct the nearest samurai to remove the two Americans, urging them not to use lethal force unless attacked.
As the guards led the two Americans up the main staircase, many Polynesians clapped loudly in unified applause; the black protester immediately shouted expletives at the delegates, even when some of the guards pushed him from behind, getting told to keep moving. At one point he shouted, "Up your mother's p****!"
Kenji, witnessing the continual outburst, moaned to one of his ministers, "We need to keep our eye on some of these mainland Americans. We can't tolerate these Ferguson-wannabes disrupting our events. This is the fifth public stunt a refugee has pulled off in the capital." The guards led the two Americans back to the forest road and warned them to cease their crude antics.
The convention resumed order and Kenji regained the delegates’ attention. Subdued with his long sleeves linked together by him holding his hands underneath his imperial cloth, Kenji spoke to the crowd in a serious tone, “Many of you already know that we are here to discuss the Oni threat, and the same number of you assumed we were going to discuss the usual regional problems our peoples face. This time, however, I called this meeting due to an urgent development.” Kenji paused, grabbing the diplomats’ full attention, their faces riddled with small but growing alarm. He continued, “For several weeks I had recurring nightmares, each one exactly the same. It got to the point where I could not sleep well at night and I started seeing things that were not there doing the day. Last week one nightmare was so vivid, I called on prophets to see me late at night. I listened to my account and became alarmed. They were having similar nightmares as well. They prayed to God, to help them interpret these dreams, and all three of them came to the same conclusion: the Dragon of Oda.” Many gasped in shock hearing the last three words.
Kenji continued, "…Many years ago, Jubei Minamoto, Yona Genji and I destroyed the Dragon of Oda, as we were the only Raiden Yamato samurai, at that time, strong enough to defeat the serpent. For reasons not fully known yet, the serpent is ascending out of its grave. It has returned from the dead." Frightened delegates, shook up by the announcement, suddenly interrupted Kenji, all of them panicking and talking over each other, yelling out random questions Kenji could not understand with the entire vocal calamity merged together as a wall of noise. The guards with rifles aimed their guns to the sky in an upward right angle and fired several shots, silencing the crowd. "Please, calm yourselves! Panicking solves nothing. According to the Heavenly Scrolls, any great beast that has ascended from death requires 3 months to regain full form before it can attack mankind; the Dragon of Oda is in its infancy of rebirth, so we have time. All is not lost." Kenji went to explain that his prophets were dream catchers capable of decoding dreams with psychic powers, ordained to them by the Heavenly Emperor.
A Tongan delegate asked, "How will we defeat the revived dragon? Both Yona and Jubei are dead."
"A new trio of Samoan Samurai will need to be picked by me. My body cannot take on such a powerful beast, and my dragon is not the same as it was during the first battle. Even we Raiden Yamato warriors are subject to inevitable decline and death." Another delegate shouted that a man is only old if he needs to use Viagra to compete with younger men; many other delegates grinned, a few giggled. "There's a time and place for that type of humor, and now is not that occasion."
A Fijian delegate asked Kenji, “Surely your prophets must know something regarding who restored the dragon.”
“All I know – rather all the dream catchers could see were three figures. The first was the Oni Emperor, King of the Oni. He obviously would want the Dragon of Oda to destroy this world. The second was Maralinga, Emperor of the La Aku [Undead], King of the Desert Demons from the Aboriginal Land. Maralinga and the Oni Emperor are sword enemies to one another, so Maralinga would have a desire to use the dragon to take over the Oni. And the third is the Vampire Mistress of Tian Spring, also from the Aboriginal Land.” The delegates were silent. “The Mistress is the most confusing of the three, for I have no clue as to why she would want the dragon to roam this earth again. She’s barely demonic.”
One of the Aboriginal delegates angrily asked Kenji, “There’s no such thing as ‘barely demonic’. Why the hell would the witch want the Dragon of Oda?”
“I just said I have no idea what her motive is.” Another delegate, a Fijian, questioned why the mistress was in the dream catchers’ vision in the first place. “I get why you’re worried about her, but I don’t know why she’s included in the vision. Her presence in the prophecy is a complete mystery, so don’t ask me questions as if I know everything.”
The Maori King Long Mon Song stood up and spoke to the crowd, grabbing everyone’s attention, including Kenji’s, “I partly disagree: the woman is part human, and her human side was once a warrior with political ambition. It is possible she just wants power. She’s no ally of either male demon ruler.”
Kenji responded, “Long, the Mistress has never shown any interest in seizing power.”
“Never fall for a trap concealed as lack of interest. Some women are clever in hiding their true intent. Look like Hillary Clinton; the Americans assumed her aspiration for the presidency died after the 2016 election, a fatal mistake the Oni took advantage of when they offer her a pathway to seize power. Today, only 30 American cities exist, serving as the remains of a country that destroyed itself from the inside out because naïve millennials fell for the lies of Oni-controlled politicians who embraced socialistic globalism. All of us here are still living with the consequences of the Americans’ stupidity. So it is best to assume that the Mistress has ambition for power.” Many of the delegates nodded. The flower girls were more hesitate.
“Whatever her intentions may be, she has to be stopped. The Oni Emperor and Maralinga will surely compete over the Dragon of Oda, most likely in armed conflict, but even if they go to war, we cannot take any chances: we must stop them from getting the accursed beast. The demons will destroy us all with the dragon.”
“And the mistress’ plans with the dragon could be even worse.”
Eventually the Gathering moved on from the Dragon of Oda matter. The Maori convinced Kenji to discuss the pirate crisis. The delegates at first talked over one another trying to dominate the conversation, but Kenji regained control with his loud clapping. Once all settled, the diplomats were quiet to hear Kenji. “The Sea Treasonists seem to be coming together to form a united front against our nations. This is a grave threat to us considering that they are receiving funds from ex-American anarchy groups. If they are able to form a complete alliance, all-out war would fall upon us, ensuring demon domination.” Several delegates began talking over each other trying to press Kenji for a solution to the pirate threat, prompting Kenji to concede, “Well I have tried to form a counter alliance among you, our fellow Polynesian brothers and sisters, but none of you committed. You Maori, in particular, distracted yourselves with some nonsense scandal involving one of your warriors getting with another man at a janitor's closet at a night club – of all things to worry about over pirates. Frankly I see no point at this time to form a naval partnership among ourselves; any union amongst us must focus on the Oni, not political matters.” Many delegates nodded, including the Maori; Long grinned, covering his lips with his fingers to conceal his smile from Kenji.
Kenji ended his presentation and left the pavilion, followed by his ministers and pavilion guards. The diplomats, once fearful by Kenji’s dark revelations moments earlier, quickly chattered among themselves over random topics unrelated to the Oni or regional issues; they discussed their plans for later that evening in the red light district, many wanting to attend underground adult shows [banned under Samoan law, thus their ‘underground’ status]. Some Samoan soldiers who overheard the conversations either looked the other way, or secretly scribbled notes on their palms or forearms; some had smartphones and pretended to use to monitor crowd activity. Most of the flower girls appeared offended by the delegates’ frank eagerness to attend strip clubs [though a few blushed when overhearing vivid descriptions of the female anatomy].
Long Mon Song left the gathering with several Samoan guards to a small clearing in the forest. The location, surrounded by trees and thick bush, elegantly isolated from the others in a sheltered clear spot penetrated only by sunlight peeking through the evergreen tree branches, was almost completely quiet, except for softly weak cracks of wood and moving leaves from the breeze. Long waited for a few minutes, standing in the changing shades of sunlight below the branches, humming Madonna’s song “Borderline” to himself.
Kenji emerged from the bushes alone, wearing a plain red lava-lava and a red scarf wrapped across his chest. Both smiling, the two in haste approached each other, being friendly in their mutual eagerness; Long leaned his face to Kenji’s for a hongi [Long and Kenji pressed their noses and forehead together] while the two also held each other’s right hand in a tight grip. From there, the rulers conversed about their families, local politics in their respective lands, and the Dragon of Oda.
Long asked Kenji, “So the prophets are certain about the Oni Emperor having something to do with the Dragon of Oda?” Kenji nodded. “Damn, you, Jubei and Yona defeated the dragon so many years ago.”
Kenji comically disputed, “Not that many years ago, I’m barely middle aged. Still haven’t used Viagra, so don’t imply I’m old.” Both rulers laughed.
“Anyway, you fellas destroyed that beast and the Oni receded. All that effort and loss you blokes went through…some fantasy the rest of us took for granted.”
“Something revived the dragon, some entity separate from the Oni.”
“An enemy that’s unknown to us?”
“Very possible, otherwise there would be a massive influx of demon activity all over the world. That hasn’t happened.”
“Well you have your own dragon. Couldn’t it blast the beast out of existence?” Kenji shook his head.
“My dragon is no match against Oda. It took all three of us plus my dragon to destroy that monster, and we nearly died. Who knows how strong the monster will be now.”
“So you’re thinking a new Three Samurai Arc to battle the creature?”
“No, I will guess we will need at least four Raiden Yamato Samurai to quell the beast – most likely five or more.”
“You believe Jubei’s sons are strong enough for this?”
“I don’t know for sure. Tua lacks discipline and is damn hot head. Pua has awesome power, but he still struggles to control his vast power without passing out into a coma.”
“What about Jun?”
“Jun is not Tua or Pua. His powers are earth base, the weakest of the main elements against the Dragon of Oda. The twins are the strongest we Samoans have.”
“My kingdom’s warriors will be to be examined. It’s been too many generations – maybe close to a century since my people have produced a Jubei-like warrior powerful enough to destroy an extinction-seeking demon.”
“Long, you know you could join us. You’re younger than me and could help Pua and Tua.”
“Trust me, I would. Taking on that beast would satisfy my warrior thirst; but like you, I have a kingdom to lead. My fighting opportunities are limited at best.”
“What about Anu?”
“…I don’t know about Anu. He is my strongest samurai, but…he has too much in common with Pua.”
“What do you mean? I’m not following.”
“Anu has a feud with Pua over a very personal matter – apparently Pua did something to Anu and he resents your warrior for it. I rather not go into details.”
“So we both have warriors with personal issues.”
“Yes, but unlike you, it’s partly my fault regarding Anu. He has trust issues with me.”
“I see. Well, that leaves the Aboriginals, Tongans and Hawaiians for consideration in producing a Raiden Yamato to defeat the Dragon of Oda.”
“…There is one samurai that might help us, a mainlander.”
“A mainland samurai?”
“An American from the Texas Region, he travels the world hunting demonic beasts, including condemned dragons. I can’t say for sure, but his powers might be compatible with the twins’.”
“What’s his name?”
“Shan Houston of Sugar Land.”
“And what kind of powers does he possess?”
“He has no element, but his prowess leans more to Pua, according to my American friends. He has slain over four giant dragons on four continents over the past three years.”
“I see. If you believe he can help us, then we must contact him and formally request his assistance.”
“Would a joint Maori-Samoan mission to Sugar Land be alright with you? It’s your call.”
“Of course, Long.”
“Excellent. How long will you need to assemble your commando unit?”
“Tonight – I’ll have my team assembled before night’s end.” The two took hold of each other’s hand for a strong embrace, hugging and patting one another’s back, their smiles wide with glee.
Somewhere in Sugar Land in the Texas Region, within the domed city-state of Houston, a military communications center received a satellite pin signal from both the Samoan and Maori territories. The main computer analysts operating the mother program received the pin signal and translated it into an encrypted message seen on their computer screens. Once processed, under orders from their commanding officer, the analysts texted the message to the center’s commander in her office. The female admiral commander, an American Palagi woman of middle age, quickly rushed to her terminal to accept the encrypted text, redoing her uniform blouse and puffing her brown hair; a bearded, barefoot Arab American man, Ali Abu, was on her couch, wearing briefs while reaching for his clothing. On her screen, she read the message: “Samoa – urgent request visit – top secret request clearance – Oni matter. Requesting Shan Houston.”