I grip the blade as I make the journey to my final resting place. The sun doesn't shine where I am going. Only darkness, forever. My whole life I have only spread sorrow and destruction. I have shamed my name and my blood with the things I have done. I am here. And he is waiting to ambush.
I kneel in the soft, brown leaves, pointing the edge of the blade to my stomach. I can't erase my existence and the pain I have wrought, but maybe I can atone by spilling my blood on this sacred ground. I ready myself, weary from my own sorrow, to grant eternal forgiveness. A shadow catches my attention. Through sheer reflex, I deflect something from behind.
"You hesitated, I was just ensuring that you would pay for your sins with your own blood," I heard a voice behind me growl. Turning around, my eyes meet with my foe. A grotesque figure clad in my exact armor, large black blades in the place of human limbs. A menacing grin on his face. Immediately I stand on my feet, ready for the next attack. Sure enough it comes. The first blow I parry, but the force knocked me off balance. The second hit its target.
I fell hard onto my back, searing pain in my cheek...I taste my own blood. "Why are you suddenly fighting to survive when moments ago you had almost finished the job?" The looming creature inquired. I didn't have an answer for him....I could only fight back out of instinct. "You are weak! You are no warrior! Only a maggot that plagues everything around him. Not worthy of the gifts you have been granted," he sneered. I stood to face off with my tormentor again. I struggled to speak, "Even if what you say is true, it is my decision to make, not yours. I will live and die by my own choice!"
Knocked down again, I see the gash in my armor, the pain sapping my energy. "You are truly a pathetic fool, you can't even face me...much less face all the destruction around you." I feel a grasp on my throat as I am hoisted up. That is when I saw what he wanted me to. "Do you not see all of the death? All of the pain?" The trees. Bodies. Hundreds of bodies hang from each limb. "All of this is your doing. Every selfish act you have made, every person you abandoned and broke because you are too weak to face reality. You couldn't fix yourself so you unleashed your pain on others, innocents. This is because of you. You are not noble, you are not some flawed hero. You are lower than an animal. Animals are oblivious of the consequences for their actions, you know full well that no honor would be brought, yet you do not care and hide under this noble guise. This is why you have to die, because you of squandered your life and made it meaningless."
I landed hard as he dropped me. I want to believe everything he said was a lie....but its not. Everything. All of it was true. Kneeling down, I utter one last request, "Before you kill me, demon, who are you?" A dark, maniacal laughter fills the air and chills me to the bone. "You poor dog. You don't even know. You summoned me by coming here. I have been called many things, but in this land I am known as the Guardian of Akibahara Forest. You think you are the first one to face me? Or the last? You pathetic piece of flesh, you aren't special! I have helped many atone for their past here! You should feel honored to join their ranks."
This is it. This is where I find peace. This is where I get what I deserve. Its over.
I have to make things right. I have shed enough blood and fought too long to just let it end. Everything I have endured has brought me to this moment. I have to face this, I have to face him! He nearly had my head if I hadn't rolled out of the way. I find my sword where I had dropped it and get to my feet. Exploding in anger, the demon lunges at me, "Why don't you just GIVE UP?!" Metal clashes, I stand my ground, only the hilt of my sword remains. Most of the blade shattered deflecting the demon's onslaught. He laughs again, his rancid breath hitting my face.
His guard is down, he thinks I'm finished. Now is the moment to strike. I drive the broken sword underneath his jaw, upwards. Shock appears across his mangled face. With every ounce of strength I have left, I pull towards me, splitting his face in two. The demon collapses in front of me, "You....you are the only mortal the have bested me...remember this battle...remember your scars...you have been granted a second chance...do not be so easy to throw your life away again. I will not be as forgiving next time." Just as he suddenly appeared before, the demon vanished. I let go of my blade. I no longer need this tool of destruction. The pain I wrought and have held on to stay with this sword. I know what I must do now.
My journey didn't end here like I thought. I still have fight left in me and more I have to do. I have to fix what I've done, and find the strength to continue. Two beings had met in that forest, only one left.