In the year 1,200 A.D, after centuries of brutal wars that transpired during Don’koto Kaosori’s brutal invasion of the continent presently known as Asia. A peace was made, or so the people thought.
Kaosori’s legions were able to conceal themselves deep within society. They went on to manipulate and control the Eastern Empires, to further the nefarious plots they believed would break the people.
Always hidden in shadows and only spoken of in whispers, they’ve gone unnoticed, their hidden plots unfolding while the virtuous thought them defeated. This was the case for generations, until Yobitsu Chieshiki.
Chieshiki’s hometown was, unbeknownst to him, being used as one of the hidden bases of operation for the loyalists. When the Kaosori loyalists were discovered, they razed his beautiful home; murdering, violating and pillaging his innocent peers in an attempt to cover their tracks.
These loyalists call themselves the “Koto” and Chieshiki knew that now, so he went to work. Chieshiki wandered for years, then decades, to prepare for his inevitable conflict. All the while perfecting the art of killing; he sought the tutelage of any warrior, scholar or hunter that would teach him the ways of fighting man or beast.
During his journey and conversations with his teachers, Chieshiki came to believe that true conflict extended beyond the physical form and so, he prepared his mind as well.
Meditating for days at a time, foregoing human necessity, he was able to find what many believe to be true peace; during the year he spent dedicated to his mental pursuits.
Despite this peace he still sought his revenge, though not for himself but the honor of those he loved.
He infiltrated the Koto ranks, much as they had infiltrated his land, silently and with deadly intent. When he eventually revealed himself, by killing the then leader of the Koto in a duel, a years long violent conflict ensued between the people of Japan and the Koto. He and his people eradicated the Koto presence in Japan, bringing about an era of peace for the relatively small piece of population that was tainted by The Koto.
During his lifetime he fostered great warriors from all over the world, these became his followers and call themselves Yobi, allying themselves with his mission to destroy the Koto influence across the region.
Long after Chieshiki’s peaceful death, The Yobi still fight The Koto; for freedom, justice and liberation from the evil that pervades their world and its people.
“For as long as there is evil, the Yobi will be here to find and destroy it. In spirit or in name, matters not, the protectors come or we become the protectors.” — Yobitsu Chieshiki
The Koto shall be defeated…
The Rise Of Yobi
Chie walked, flanking the brightly colored carriage of the Kanjasumisu family. Accompanying him and their charges were three other Yobi; Gosu, Nim and Takakuwa.
They had been hired as guards for members of the great smithing family while they traveled between villages, studying metalworking techniques and looking for apprentices. Skill, not blood, made you part of this family. Something Chie respected.
The Kanjasumisu provided a significant amount of the Yobi arsenal, known for creating beautiful and deadly bladed weapons, with a knack for explosive concoctions as well. Chie felt many of these new explosives were a danger to the Samurai tradition of honor in combat but he could not deny their effectiveness. If the Koto were to be stopped, the Yobi had to use every tool at their disposal.
The samurai in front of him made a discreet hand gesture, signaling that he had spotted someone in the trees ahead. Chie gave no outward sign of preparation but steeled himself, ready to respond to any threat.
The first projectile made a sharp metallic “tang” sound as it deflected from his blade, the katana placed precisely in the projectile’s path toward the window of the carriage.
Chie responded with the throwing knives he always kept hidden in his armor, hearing one of the assailants cry out in pain as one of his knives found its mark.
Gosu, charged towards the foliage obscuring their opponents from sight. Doing little to protect himself from further potential ranged assault, he outran the majority of what was thrown or fired at him, shrugging off what he didn’t and leaping into one of the trees that were lining the road. A moment later a hooded figure dropped from the tree, body crunching against the ground lifelessly and the brawler leapt to a neighboring tree, seeking to repeat the process.
Nim was quickly returning fire, dropping targets from trees with her short-bow before turning to the assailants making their way into the road in front of the carriage. Dropping several before re-focusing on the trees as Chie and his samurai companion, Takakuwa, placed themselves to the front and rear of the carriage respectively.
Chie approached the small group, taking a quick step within the first Koto’s swing and delivering a sharp headbutt that sent the victim sprawling. As the first fell away he clashed swords with the second, stomping down on the throat of the fallen Koto, then putting his full strength into the contest of swords. Narrowly managing to slice the man’s neck as he withdrew from the entanglement.
Just as Chie took a step back a heavy wooden staff slammed into the ground where he had been standing, Chie took the opportunity to kick the staff hard, throwing the wielder off balance long enough to strike at his wrist. Relieving the Koto of his sword hand. Chie cut his wailing short with a flick of his blade before falling back into a ready stance.
Two arrows found the eyes of the luckier of the last three survivors, the last turning to run — only to find Gosu waiting to twist his neck, a sharp crack signaling the last of the Koto ambush had fallen.
“The Koto are becoming more active by the day, Chie. Your father would be disappointed in us.” Takakuwa said grimly, wiping the blood from his katana with a torn piece of linen.
“You’re looking at it wrong, Taka. We’re making them desperate, they know our legions are coming for their heads. They’re abandoning their cautious ways, making moves in broad daylight, because they’re scared of what the Yobi represent. We have stolen the night back from them, now we stalk them where they once hid and they cannot shake us. We have bitten down on the neck of the Koto, now we just need to keep our grip.”
“I hope you’re right Chie… I REALLY hope you’re right.”
To be continued....
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