Unbreakable

He can still feel the impact from the blow in his forearm, and he can see a small indentation on the knuckle of his right hand. Was so much of that blow necessary to finish off the maho user and his Oni? Maybe, but at the cost of a blade?

Yes. It was necessary. It was a found blade anyway, found in a crevasse in the Shadowlands and while on a quest to recover both the Usagi heir and the Usagi ancestral sword. For a little longer the Phoenix blade served the Empire again as it served Yonaka honorably in place of his own ancestral katana.

Still, they keep breaking.

He makes a quick silent prayer of thanks to the previous owner of the blade, then another prayer of thanks to the sword passes Yonaka’s lips as he kneels and places the remaining half of the broken Phoenix katana on the ground at the side of the broken Phoenix shugenja amidst the noise from the short Rock Dwallosu-ko cutting the treelike body of the oni into pieces with that axe of hers. For a moment Yonaka closes his eyes and tries NOT to feel the shame the broken blade must feel.

“Here.”

Nakamuro is … brandishing?, no… he is presenting the sheath that holds the Kaiu blade that was recovered back in Shuho.

A thousand thoughts cross the Dragon’s mind; this is undeserved and he does not feel worthy, AND a gift needs to be refused, AND yet it was not refused the first time he handed it to the Crab and also said “Here.”, AND it will be yet another blade not of the Dragon, AND a Kaiu blade should belong to a Crab, AND what of the twenty goblin winter, AND what if this one also breaks?

No.

The Crab do not break.

Another thousand words about honor and duty and what he feels he owes and can never repay remain unsaid as Yonaka sets his jaw and nods to his brother mountain and says, bowing humbly to Nakamuro,

“I look forward to
many winters at your side,
killing more oni.”

Only then does he receive the blade, settling the Kaiu katana next to the Tsuruchi wakasashi at his side before rising and spitting with a glare at what remains of the corpse.

Unbreakable

L5R : Jade Winds kugelblitz