Fan Fiction http://samuraispirits.net
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"Galford, don't look at me." Nakoruru whispered, casting her head downwards and away from him in shame. She studied the grass, so very green and thick here amongst the bamboo, instead. The ground was still wet from the storm that had suddenly ended hours before, when the evil one had disappeared. She could feel her tattered dress soaking up the moisture.
"Hush, Kiko, you're crying will anger him more!"
"I can't help it, Mama-Hana, it hurts sooooo much!"
And she could see that it did. Her entire arm was red and black from the burn, shaped like a man's hand. Tears welled in the young girls eyes, and her lower lip trembled. The devil! Mama-Hana thought to herself. I'd take my late brother's katana to you, creature, if I dared! The demon was hurt and weak, but she knew he was still very, very dangerous.
"Bathe it in cold water, Kiko. I will see to it later."
Kiko's eyes widened in fear.
"What about you? You…you're not going in there…with HIM…are you?"
Mama-Hana was afraid, but somebody had to do it.
"Do as I say, Kiko."
Kiko disappeared behind one of the thin walls, leaving Mama-Hana all alone. But she wasn't really alone, she knew Kiko had disobeyed her, and even now was waiting behind the screen to rush to her aid if anything bad happened. Kiko was a good daughter, and she did her mother proud.
Mama-Hana took a deep breath, and entered the small, candle-lit room. Dread filled her heart, but she refused to give him the satisfaction of seeing it.
"Where's the heelder I shent forb, woman?" He growled upon seeing her.
"He is on his way. You should not have hurt Kiko like that…"
"Dab burnd wilb seeb like a fine memboree when I'm dub with yoo toob, if yoob don't doob as I sayb!!!"
She wanted to laugh at his pathetic condition, but she knew doing so would be instantly fatal…or worse.
The fire in his eyes flickered madly, and he began to raise himself in anger, but he fell back onto the tattered, gray mat. He coughed horribly, and blood came up from between his lips again. His jaw and throat were ghastly to look at, all black and blue and swollen to enormous size. Mama-Hana wondered how he even managed to breathe…
He stared at her, and smiled a wicked smile.
"Yoob hab a preddy daughber…veby preddy indeeb…"
"If you harm Kiko again, I'll return with a battalion of armed samurai to slay you, demon!"
He only chuckled at this, wincing in pain and coughing up more blood.
"Geb dat dam heelder, like I dolb yoob too…"
Mama-Hana bowed and left him to his dark thoughts. The candles flickered as she rustled out, his eyes burning into her back till she was out of sight.
Oh, you got me good Galford, he thought to himself. I won't underestimate you again. It was that kick…that's where it all went bad. A moment of overconfidence on my part, and look where I am now: Lying weak as a kitten in a whorehouse. Stupid wenches, they'd best get that healer…or…
But for the first time, he was afraid. He knew they were frightened of him, but still…she might really go get those samurai, and then he'd be finished. His threats were all a bluff, he'd barely be able to fight off that girl, Kiko, if she attacked him…
The agony in his throat and jaw were terrible, dying seemed preferably to breathing. Nor could he stand the buffoonery that came out of his cracked mouth when he spoke. But the humility was the worst, he had almost died at the hands of his inferior other half…incomprehensible! He was better, stronger, he knew it! They both knew it…then why had he failed?
That punt in the throat had been bad. It had snapped his jaw instantly and almost crushed his windpipe. And then, they had gotten into that choking match…his already injured neck hadn't been able to take it. He had lost his ability to breathe and everything was going dim when that damn mutt had latched onto the back of his neck. Actually, Poppy had probably saved his life - he had let go of Galford in surprise when he felt those teeth…and Galford had returned the favor by releasing his grip in kind.
Gently, he probed the inflamed, ugly flesh of his neck again and swore as the pain shot through his throat and head, and then back again, making him wish he were dead.
Oh, I'm going to be out of business for a long time - weeks, probably. But, I will get better, Galford, and when I do, you're going to pay, and pay, and pay…