Learning the secret of perfect defense, Tomo begins her career—here!
She saves lovers Meg and Cho.
She reforms two night-grim thieves.
She establishes the standard special effects LIGHT and I’M IN UR FIGHT, BLOCKING UR ATTACKS!
A fearless warrior, her actions shake the status quo.
Defending the oppressed she defies order!
Even terribly offensive shogun Daiimon falls before her perfect defense!
[LEGEND OF PERFECTLY DEFENSIVE SAMURAI]
Children grow up. Clothing wears out. Flowers blossom on old graves.
This is SEVEN YEARS LATER.
A terribly offensive man in ragged clothing washes up on Kon’s temple’s shore.
Kon looks down.
He calls down, “I’d come help you, but I’m a stationary defensive samurai.”
A seagull floats down. It lands on the ear of the man. It bites.
Red rage obscures the man’s vision. His arm loops up. It catches the bird by the throat. The bird ignites. Burning, it writhes free of his hand and flutters unhappily down the shore; and if it lived, or if it died, we do not know.
Kon puffs up one cheek and pokes at the side of his mouth with his tongue.
The man looks up.
His eyes are red-rimmed and they burn with terribly offensive Chi.
“I’ll lower a rope,” Kon says.
And he busies himself with this task.
And he says, “We should have tea.”
So Daiimon climbs, hand over hand, and with great difficulty; for the sea has tumbled him sore.
He flops onto the temple’s edge.
He drags himself in.
Kon wraps him in a blanket and brings him to a chair.
“Tea,” Kon says.
Daiimon snarls and reaches out and
Shivering and whimpering, Daiimon recoils back.
“I know that light,” he says.
“Oh!” says Kon, happily. “You’ve seen Tomo. Is she well?”
But Daiimon does not respond.
After a while, he skitters forward and takes his tea and gulps it down.
“Tell me,” he says. “What is the secret of the perfect defense?”
“You couldn’t learn it,” Kon says. “You’re a terribly offensive castaway!”
Then something stills him.
Some glimmer— a hint of potential in the flash of Daiimon’s eyes— an impossibility!
Kon does not say whatever else he might have said.
Instead he sips his tea.
“I want to destroy it,” Daiimon says. “The gods do not make a thing that cannot be destroyed.”
“What are gods to such as you and I?” says Kon.
Then he frowns and looks away. The terribly offensive castaway is crying.
“If I teach you,” Kon says.
He stares off at a distant mountain.
“If I teach you, what will you do?”
“I will hang her head on the highest mountain in the world,” phlegms Daiimon, “and scatter the pieces of her heart to the four winds. I will drape CAPITAL CITY SHANG LOVELY in her entrails and—“
Kon holds up a hand.
“She’s my student,” he says, in mild rebuke.
“I’m sorry,” says Daiimon.
He laughs a bit.
“I’m terribly offensive,” he explains.
“Well,” says Kon. “It is not for a golden pig to lecture the gods of kung fu; and it’s not for a stationary defensive samurai to decide who can learn and who can’t. Begin!”
He flips up the tea table. Lukewarm tea falls all over the terribly offensive castaway.
Dark leaf juice colors his sleeves and face.
“You see,” Kon says. “No defensive talent.”
Daiimon gives a little laugh.
“Pathetic,” snorts the terribly offensive castaway.
He shakes off his ragged sleeve. The tea falls off; his leaf-stained garment goes clean.
“Oho,” says Kon, with sudden interest. “You suspended the falling beads of liquid in a colloid of your Chi. But can you handle this?“
And the candles behind Kon brighten and burn; and a lance of cold light like the spear of a god strikes forward at his guest.
“That’s not in the tea ceremony!” shouts Daiimon, rising, and he makes a circle of his hands and steam beshrouds the light. He plants his left foot, slides it forward in the start of an attack—
Kon clears his throat.
“Defense,” Kon reminds him.
Kon seizes up a thousand-pound iron fork, spins it lightly in his hand, and thrusts.
Daiimon is slumped against the temple wall. The fork is embedded in it, above and to his left.
“Well,” Kon breathes.
And he clasps his hands over his chest, and bows.
“There is no secret,” he says. “There is only the One-Spirit. It flows through you and makes you terribly offensive; through her, and powers her perfect defense; through me, and holds me stationary in the sky.”
“The breath of terrible fire,” Daiimon says.
“But that cannot be so,” he says. “For when I saw the terrible potential of that fire, I saw no perfect defense.”
He opens the gates of his Chi.
He stares into the fire world and witnesses the red flames that writhe about the rock and the blue fire that is Kon.
He looks about for the One-Spirit power of perfect defense and nowhere does it protrude.
“It is not in the world,” Kon says.
“It is in the heart.”
And the vistas of the universe open to Daiimon’s enlightened mind; and he sees the ten thousand bridges of the ten thousand enlightened ways; and six Great Roads; and the eye of his mind turns to Tomo’s path.
I’M IN UR MIND
And seeing it, he knows he can destroy it.
That’s all it would take!
The Great and Humble Road would break; and Terribly Offensive Shogun Daiimon be the ruler of the world.
I’M IN UR MIND
“U MUST DIE!” he shouts, and he takes his stance, and he pivots his hips, and his hand comes forward.
The world slows down.
He is on kung fu time. The color bleeds from him and the air is thick and it is exactly as if he has had a hundred times the tea he has actually consumed.
In his mind it asks:
The breath of fire in him steadies the trembling in his hands.
Next time on Legend of Perfectly Defensive Samurai:
IN UR ENDING