Today’s snippet, titled “Thank You, Thank You, and Good-Bye”, is a piece I wrote about my PC in Mark’s Pathfinder Campaign.
Note: This chapter (the twenty-sixth!) contains some severely bastardized Japanese. You see, I mangled it on purpose to approximate “Kara-Turan”, the faux-Japanese from the Forgotten Realms setting, which is where Kumiko comes from. The “Tian-Shu” language is the faux-Japanese of the Golarion setting, and Kumiko (while looking rather Tian-Shu in feature, spoke only the tongue from her native Kara-Tur). Anyway, this scene contains lots of terribly bastardized Japanese-acting-as-Kara-Turan.
Be forewarned, there may be mature themes and naughty language below.
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“Close, but no quite. Say again. Koh-roo-sh’ta nay – but quick, korushuta ne. Korushuta ne. Korushuta ne.”
Rhiallis pursed her lips, repeating the phrase over in her head three times before trying once more to pronounce the phrase aloud. “Korush’ta ne.”
“Hai!” Kumiko clapped. “This is right. Meaning is hard to translate. Say, ‘so it happens, of course’. Or maybe, ‘such is life, you know?’ is closer.”
“When would you say it?” Rhiallis asked, wrapping her lips around the phrase again. “Korushuta ne.”
She paused, twisting a lock of raven hair around her finger. “Ah. You remember when you die, at Grey Garrison? Yes. Then, even though I feel much sad, and Mira feel much sad, we must go back. We must keep fighting. So I push sadness down and make heart cold as steel and I say, Korushuta ne, Mira-san. Akirameru koto wa dekimasen. Ue no suyoo ga arikanasemasu. She not understand then.”
Rhiallis nodded, translating slowly. “Such is life, Mira. We not stop- no, We cannot give up. We must fight?”
Again, Kumiko smiled, her dark eyes lighting up. “You do good, Rhiallis. Soon, speak Kara-Tur like one born to it.”
Blushing, Rhiallis was pleased by the compliment. “It helps to have a good teacher. Gratitude, Kumiko.”
She lifted a brow, pointedly.
“I mean, arinakato, Kumiko-sensei.”
They exchanged grins.
Rhiallis watched Kumiko’s headless corpse slide to the ground in stunned disbelief. Nerveless fingers loosed the Demon’s Bane blade; it clattered to the cobblestones. A million memories filtered through her mind in the heartbeat or two it took for her friend to fall. Her mouth opened and formed a horrified “o”. She screamed.
The great beast’s death throes were not over. As it suddenly began to writhe, the necks flapped around, jaws snapping. A poetic end for General Snowblood, leader of the Silver Dragons, for the white dragon’s mouth was the one that ended her life. Jensen was less fortunate, the goat’s blunt teeth smashed his head in half while the tiger’s fangs ripped his belly open. It was too far gone to gorge itself on his entrails, but for one last moment of life, as each of the three heads tasted the hot, righteous blood of the two warriors, those impossible blue eyes burned brighter than ever.
And then it was over.
That they were dead was never in question for Kumiko’s beautiful head was half-way down the dragon’s throat and Jensen’s frail elven frame was torn into pieces. Still, Rhiallis knelt beside Kumiko and took her hand, pulling off her gauntlet to feel for a pulse. There was an unnatural coldness about her already. Without trying, without even beseeching the Gods of this world and every other, Rhiallis knew that there would be no return for either of them.
She prayed anyway, closing her eyes.
“Rhiallis,” came Graves’ voice. “Rhiallis, we think you should take this.”
When she rose, Celeste held out a longsword. Three and a half feet of steel, light as a feather and yet strong enough to cleave flesh and bone and armor alike. She had never seen the weapon before.
“It was Kumiko’s.”
“The Demon’s Bane sword?”
Graves nodded. “When she left this world, the blade reverted to this shape.”
Though her heart still called out to Radiance, Rhiallis relished the feel of her fallen friend’s weapon in her grip. “I think it needs a new name. Perhaps, Snowblood? Or The General’s Blade?”
“We can think about that later,” Mira said, “But right now we should… do somethin’ with their bodies and keep moving. There could be worse things around and I don’t think Kumiko and the wizard would want us to die just because they did.”
“Well, Jensen might,” Koto muttered.
“We gotta go.” Graves flipped her hair out of her eyes. “The Sword of Valor is still in here somewhere and there’s evil to vanquish.”
The chorus of agreement was a balm to her wounded soul. Despite the loss of two comrades, Rhiallis was pleased that a strong sense of duty united them all. Mytra touched her shoulder and gave her a reassuring smile.
As they began to move forward, off the bridge and into the Citadel, Rhiallis turned back for a brief moment.
“Korushuta ne, Kumiko-sensei. Akirameru koto wa dekimasen. Ue no suyoo ga arikanasemasu.” She slid the Demon’s Bane sword into the sheath at her hip. “We have to keep fighting, my friend. Arinakato… Arinakato, to… sayonara.”
((Thank you, thank you and goodbye… ))
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Note: Image is “King Jagiello Statue Central” by (Mulligand) from SXC.hu; edited by me