On this special night, the stars lit up the dark almost black night. A night that revealed the most amazing mysterious things to man every year. This coldest and infinite night was known as the Winter Solstice. When the moon hit its apex, far in the distance, the sound of clanking armor and weapons moving toward their destination filled the air. For every year over the past hundred years on this day, men went to war for one cause.
“Hiroki of the Luna Clan, Yasha of the Sundian clan, this is my daughter Chi. Treat her with care.”
The eyes of the two clans beheld the same sight, but tonight was special and different from the other winter solstices. Luna stood on the east side of the clearing field in their mighty glory with the moon crest exposed on their chest in dark blue. The Sundian stood firm on the west side with a bright yellow sun displayed on both shoulders proudly. Usually, the clan leaders never fought alongside their clansmen, but tonight would decide the final end to the war with one clan's extinction.
“With what pleasure do I have you to visit me on the winter solstice, sir?”
When both clan leaders walked into the center of the clearing, with their clansmen standing yards away, they exchanged words that motivated each to destroy the other more.
“Takeshi, are you ready to die by my hands tonight for your ancestor's crime?”
“We both know that I will have your head on a stick, and your men ripped to shreds. We shouldn't suffer for their mistakes, Akihiko.”
His face scrunched up in anger. He slowly drew a long sword; the blade made a hissing whisper as it slid from its sheath. All the while, Akihiko held Takeshi firmly in his gaze. He turned his head from left to right and popped his neck with a series of rapid clicks. He continued to do the same with the rest of his body. This effort loosened up the rest of his body.
“Chi, I don’t know how to say this without it coming out badly, but Yasha is dead.”
Akihiko rushed Takeshi. He dipped and weaved right as he approached Takeshi and slashed downwards with the sword. Takeshi parried with one of his gauntlets. The blade clashed against the metal strapped to Akihiko’s arms with a grinding shriek that sent sparks flying into the air. The swordsman was quick and uppercut slashed at the hand-to-hand warrior, attempting to catch him from top to bottom.
Takeshi sidestepped to the right just enough, and the blade passed a hair's breath from his face causing both the clan leaders to clash finally.
“Chi, I'm alive, Hiroki is trying to trick you.”
The smell of fresh blood and battle cries filled the air to keep the enemies alert.
Takeshi attacked again, stepping forward and flicking his wrist. Akihiko blocked the blur that was Takeshi’s blade, but he was quicker. Without giving time to recover, he swirled around and slashed at his right flank with the tip pointed up. He almost failed to block his strike, barely deflecting it off of his neck. Takeshi pulled his sword back and slashed downwards at Akihiko's shins. He smacked them with the flat of his blade, knocking Akihiko off his feet. As Akihiko fell, he saw Takeshi turn around and bring his sword down for a kill strike.
“Hiroki, what is the meaning of this? Wait! What are you doing? Get away from me! Ah!”
As the blade descended, the world ran at bullet speed. Akihiko saw the point of his sword speeding towards Takeshi’s gut. Almost automatically, his legs lifted up, and his back bent double. He somersaulted backwards and found his feet again. Akihiko’s sword rushed past Takeshi’s nose, followed by the rest of his body, as he stumbled forward in surprise. Takeshi smirked and swung at his exposed back, fully expecting a win.
“Guards come quickly; the one called Yasha has come back from the dead and killed my wife!”
The two swords clanged as they fought. Takeshi yelled as he spun around and swung his sword sideways. Akihiko deflected the blow with his sheath. Takeshi lost his footing. Akihiko saw the opening. He roared and drove the tip of his sword into Takeshi’s side.
“Hiroki! What have you done? You spilled the blood of the innocent.”
Both men knelt across from each other with swords impaled within them, soulless as they took in their surroundings. No one was left standing. No one survived. They knew this solstice night was different when both clans died.
“Shh, my sweet darling, please come here, for I have not much time. Tell the world the true man that has killed me tonight. Do not let him get away free for the sins he did to the clans."
Author Notes: This is a little competition piece I did back in February. It was in the top ten picks.