- Dec 31, 2018
「 TACHI - 太刀 」
「*The tachi (太刀) is a style of Japanese sword (nihonto) that preceded the uchigatana (gatana/katana) family of swords.」
"Minako 'Tachi' Izanami"
The disgraced Rōnin 浪人
| Wanderer, Mercenary, Monster Hunter |
The rain was the world's history, compressed into little drops of water, beaded and distributed vividly across the land. The rain told you everything about nature, how the sky and earth, two things that never touched, could finally meet and embrace one another like distant lovers. To Tachi, lumbering through what had been a long, lonely trail, the rain had become a familiar, though unwelcome companion. It was the enemy that kissed her, its frigid bite reminding the beleaguered warrior that she was very much alive, all the while drawing out memories of the days she would perch against the wall and listen to the innocent patter of water across her windowsill. Those were simpler times then, the darkened memories of her youth a distant, yet vibrant reality.
Pressing through the encroaching storm, the lone silhouette sauntered across the empty road until she reached the nearby town, flocks of farmers scattering like ants amidst the torrential downpour that began to pelt the surrounding area. With the speed at which the peasants dispersed, one might have mistaken the cascade of rain for a deadly volley of arrows. But it didn't take her long to realize that their retreat was not due to the relentless assault by mother nature, but rather because of the mysterious, sword-wielding figure that had managed to find her way into their village. As she passed through the town's border and began to move between the now sparsely populated streets, she could feel the eyes of the town's denizens transfixed upon her from the safety of their hovels.
"Tch. Not a very warm welcome." Supple lips mused to themselves, auburn gemstones dipping beneath a circular, straw hat. It never was, for the sight of a lone, sword-wielding woman could have been seen to the villagers as an omen in of itself... but one from a distant land? A recipe for disaster. Over her years wandering the beautiful yet inhospitable lands of Xinwe, Tachi had become accustomed to such treatment by the locals. She need not even remember the names of these villages, interspersed like the trees of a forest between every major city. For her time in each village told the same tale, the local village-dwellers always ready to shower the wandering swordswoman with endless disdain. But while perturbed glares and venomous words became old quite quickly, they were far better than what the daughter of the Izanami family would receive in her homeland: a swift death. It is this reality that leaves Tachi wandering from village to village, taking upon whatever work might place a roof over her head and a glass of wine between her lips.
Like always, Tachi's feet sought to carry her to the village tavern. It was quickly becoming routine for the wanderer to immediately set herself in direction of the nearest inn upon reaching civilization, so that the busty foreigner could hastily drink herself underneath the table. The only problem with such an intricate and complex plan was that she didn't have money, of course, but really, who did nowadays? Hopping from town to town, she had always managed to find ways to pay her debts. Whether it be through hard labor in the fields, to cutting down a vicious monster or unlucky bandit with her blade. It was all the same to her, but she soon found that each journey had a different lesson to teach, a new adventure to play. While some may have seen it as a tragic lifestyle to live, Tachi couldn't have fathomed it any other way.
Finally finding the tavern at the town's center, Tachi made her approach, pressing herself against the doors of the sizable establishment. The woman donned a tattered yukata, the once proud, triangular symbol displayed on the back now faded and droopy - as if the symbol itself had belonged from a distant era long forgotten. Dark kaleidoscopes studied the surrounding room before she navigated her hand upwards, removing the drenched straw hat that shielded raven locks from the rain's embrace. Surprisingly, the backwater, village tavern was lively with patrons, who roared drunkenly with the same vigor as the thunder that brewed ominously outside. To find a busy tavern was a situation that was rather uncommon for the wanderer, but luckily, her famished gaze managed to spot an empty seat at the center of the nearby bar. Raising her finger, she politely waved towards the empty seat, where she was greeted by the unceremonious glares of nearly every entity in the room. It seemed that even in busy company, that the meandering eyes of the Xinwe locals could find the presence of a filthy outsider.
It almost seemed as if she would be kicked out of the establishment, until the gruff innkeeper, fat and bearded, shot a begrudged tilt towards the last open seat, beckoning for the tired samurai to claim it. A customer was a customer, after all, if only he knew earlier that this one had no money from which to pay. Heels clattered against creaky, wooden floorboards as Tachi wasted no time in drawing towards her seat, sliding the tall barstool backwards before nestling her blessedly shaped backside into the horizontal veneer.
"Nigori sake, onegaishimasu." She bowed her head slightly before sliding her sword scabbard between her plush thighs, so that she may cradle her ancestral blade against her tall, slender legs.
The swordswoman's request was met with a quick glare, "Does this look like Akana to you?" The innkeeper scoffed, the stench of his breath permeating the space between him and the unwelcomed foreigner. "You can sit here, but if you keep using that filthy, pig-faced language, then I'll kick your ass out faster than you came in."
Minako chuckled, her mischievous portrait leaning closer towards the innkeeper, "You're a charming one, aren't you?" She might have spat a wittier riposte at the villager had she not craved the taste of alcohol. "I'll take a hot sake, then." Her voice was smooth and despite her noticeable accent, possessed a sultry, almost exotic flair to it. She spoke in a calm manner, one that dribbled confidence and femininity.
"Hrmfph. Of course you would." He croaked, grumbling something about 'Akanese bitches' underneath his breath, only semi-audible, but loud enough over the other rowdy denizens for her to hear. She paid no mention to the verbal poison, having grown well-accustomed to such a manner. Such ill-intentioned words were almost as assured as the rising sun emerging from the east and settling behind the mountains of the west.
"So, hon." She watched with practiced impatience as she waited for the shot glass and its accompanying liquor to be set down on the bar countertop just beneath her favorably stacked chest, "What sort of work is there to do around here?" Her lips creased into a feigned smile. She could be charming, when she tried to be, "A girl has to earn her living, you know."
The grumpy bartender glanced up and down, his gaze lingering uncomfortably long over the slit in Minako's yukata, ogling the young swordswoman's cleavage before trailing down towards her exposed legs. Between them, his eyes finally nestled upon her sword, the mark of a self-proclaimed warrior. "If you actually know how to use that thing, then perhaps you're not useless after all. There's a beast at night that has been scaring away the livestock." He rolled his eyes, for a moment wondering why he was bothering to tell the woman this. "The village pooled together a fair ransom to find and kill the beast. Nobody has seen it, but the guards that have gone looking for it have all ended up disappearing."
"Oh? Interesting." She mused, half-dismissively. She cared not for stories of beasts, but at the promise of coin, then even the most boring of tales could become more interesting. "Perhaps I could help out with this beast problem of yours."
But first, she was going to drink herself into a stupor.