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Raiden Yamato: The Samoan Samurai
Short Story 1 [Prelude Story]: The Fall of the Temple of Tusitala
“Demons roamed Samoa as a plague. They came at night, lurked by day. They hid in the trees, the grass and all things on earth. The sun protected man, but when evening fell, his blood fed the grass. Women were raped and children consumed as food, though the demons enjoyed the men’s flesh as well. As a plague on mankind, the demons roamed our land, as well as all other lands” – Monk Mahao.
The monk that wrote this poem managed to write on a torn scrap from a scroll – after an Oni [demon] solider slit his throat with a long fingernail. The monk was calm as his life painfully came to an end, his sight failing by the final sentence. After he died, the poem somehow survived the fire that engulfed the monk’s body.
Twelve stone crosses, 60 feet in height and made of brick and cement, built along a stone walkway on a grassy hill facing the ocean, were set ablaze, sprayed with raging flames by demons carrying musket-styled flame throwers. Oni soldiers rode on black horses and marched through the walkway as the crosses burned; some paused and watched with glee as the stone crosses began crumbling into molten pieces. One cross landmark began to sink in its foundation, which turned into a lava-like pool burning the surrounding grass around it. Each time a cross finally fell, the demons cheered, shouting, “Glory for the Oni Emperor, death to the Human Pigs!”
The Temple of Tusitala, a historic complex of towering pagodas, Zen gardens and residential homes for pastors, monks and their families, lay in ruins. The walls encircling the complex were breached with numerous holes blasted outward by heavy mobile cannons, and battling rams, both pushed with vigor by giant Oni with bodies of men and heads of skeletal mutants. The archer towers burned out into free-standing wreckage that served as coffins for the ash-covered skeletons dangling off the loose wooden pieces barely attached to their original sockets. The Oni marched in various legions through the breached openings, but mostly by the Main Gate, bearing swords and spears; other demons came while riding black horses, armed with muskets and shotguns. A few obese demons pushed heavy cannons into the complex. Even fewer arrived by air, riding demonic dragons.
The demons kept shouting their favorite saying, “Glory for the Oni Emperor, death to the Human Pigs!” The chants were deafening.
The temple grounds were littered with corpses. Some victims’ throats were slit, others’ stomachs disemboweled, many had their arms and legs shredded or ripped off by demon dogs and skeletal crows. Some were struck down by swords plunged into their necks, others by flame-lit arrows and fiery debris fired by swing cranes. Some were gunned down by musketeers and machine guns. A few suffered the poorest luck in encountering giant demons: many of them were squashed in the massive demons’ large hands, their organs crushed and burst out of their skin, and the rest were smashed like cockroaches by the large monsters’ hammers and axes. Only a few inhabitants made it out alive.
Inside the residential quarters, Oni troops plundered the apartment houses. Personal belongings, especially items made of gold, silver, diamonds and other precious metals were seized can carried in wheel-bound caskets. Women who were inside were slaughtered – after being sexually assaulted in gang rapes by scores of demons. Children were murdered on sight, their bodies tossed in fire pits and cooked to feed the demon troops; their parents’ flesh also kept the exhausted conquerors well fed. Any pets that were found were fed to the dragons and other demonic beats the demons controlled. Once the residential area was cleared, the homes were set ablaze.
13 priests were the last of the humans still alive at the temple, all captured during the siege. 12 of the priests were lined together in a single row facing the Main Temple, a Heian Era Kyoto-style complex built centuries ago by Zionist monks. The 12 were ordered, at gunpoint by the musketeers, to place their chained hands to the ground while kneeling. For a few moments the priests watched their temple being ransacked by demons removing historical treasures out of the grand hall along the wide marble staircase; one artifact in particular that provoked cheers from the witnessing demon troops was the Kannon Naginata of Aiki, an ancient bladed-topped shaft made of gold, with the blade cast out of jade with a steel edge for sharpness. It was the most holy object the demons paraded as bounty, as it was one of the original weapons of the first Raiden Yamato. The surviving priests silently wept and struggled to keep composure in their captive state.
Then the torture commenced, with the 13th priest kept to witness his peers’ cruel deaths. As the 12 priests kneeled with their hands bound to the ground by heavy chains, the demons used blood-soaked cloths to blind fold them. Demon soldiers wielding sledge hammers slammed rusty nail-size pikes into the priests’ palms, one hand at a time. Then those hammer wielders cleared a path for a monk-dressed vampire carrying a stone bowl of molten bronze. The priests were losing blood in streams gushing out of their nailed hands to the point of losing consciousness, making it easier for the Oni to pull their heads back for the vampire monk. Using a stone spoon, the devilish monk, displaying his fanged teeth in his haunting smile, poured a tablespoon-worth of bronze into the priests’ opened mouths, one by one. Overtaken by profound agony, the men’s throats were then slit open by the demon troops standing over them. Fascinated the monsters stared at the bronze-mixed blood oozing out of their captives’ necks, creating a unique color clash with the cement surface.
The 13th priest, the lone survivor by the name Shika Ku, was taken up a hill near the temple, led by four Oni samurai and the vampire monk, the latter holding his still-full bowl of molten bronze. Shika quietly cried as they pulled him by rope along the hilly climb, his tears mixed with his skin’s excessive sweat, and the hot rope tore his wrists to the point of bleeding. The far-reaching heat from the flames added to the pain Shika endured. Once on the hill, Shika overlooked the dry grassy mount to see his home razed by widespread fire, the main temple surrounded by engulfing orange flames and coal-black smoke. Odor of decaying and burning flesh overwhelmed the priest; the demons enjoyed the smell, some of them comparing it to chicken. Shika became nauseous and began gagging, provoking his captors to laugh. Dropping to his worn out knees, Shika vomited, his expelled waste covering his kimono and torn sandals.
The vampire monk hysterically laughed in humored bewilderment at Shika Ku. Tickled by the human vomit, the monk kneeled down to Shika’s level and spoke in a deep, quiet voice, “We intended to end your life on this hill for our personal amusement, but seeing you suffer like this…I changed my mind about you. These islands are populated by humans who don’t fear us – most of them do, but we desire for all of your kind to quiver by the mere mention of our names. We’ve debated amongst ourselves on whether sending a warning to your species would suffice; your pathetic suffering makes you the ideal candidate to send such a message. I will spare your worthless life and let you leave this place, to warn your people of their pending holocaust. Make peace with your Creator and flee!”
The Oni vampire grabbed and pulled the Samoan priest up to his feet, and for one last shot at humoring himself, stomped on Shika’s left foot, breaking his ankle. Tossed back to the ground, the Oni laughed out loud as Shika crawled down the hill, and through the open field. The vampire monk and his unit returned to the temple, suddenly bored with their sole surviving captive; a demon soldiers sneaked off briefly and tossed small rocks at Shika, narrowly missing him as the Samoan vanished into the tall grass.
Shika Ku did eventually reach the fishing village of Kou. There, he knew that he would find a famous Samoan warrior: Jubei Minamoto.