Suiko's Tale: Chapter 1

In a time that has long since past. Five extraordinary Samurai warriors were gifted with a magic armor and abilities far beyond that of a normal mortal. Indeed, this armor was so unique in that it made its bearer immortal to any thing except a mortal wound. These five warriors came from five different walks of life and five different areas of Japan. This is the story of Just one of those armors and the warrior it chose.

Shin was always one to try to be the first to the shores for the great festivals in the small fishing village he and his family lived in. He loved the water and he loved what he found in it. He had learned to swim as the other boys and girls had, but unlike them he found that he had a special bond with the sea and all things in it. Knowing this he would often be caught doing things that the others would be to scared to do.

One such day, Shin and his friends were showing off for the girls of the village when a young girl that was new to them all swam out to them and smiled. "Greetings, my name is Chanika, I saw you were having so much fun out here so I thought I might join you."

What Chanika did not know about the local waters was that there were several large mammals swimming in them as well as the usual run of sharks and other such marine life. Just below her was a large porpoise and as Shin sat in the water seemingly calm and waiting for the introductions to be finished, he could not help but grin as Chani, shrieked and was dunked from under the water.

When she came back up spluttering and in a white-hot temper Shin was the only one with her now and the others were off at a distance waiting for the fireworks to start. Her look was pure venom as she glared at an innocent looking Shin. "Donít look at me Chani-chan, You were the one that swam out here to us not knowing what exactly inhabited these waters. You were being played with by one of the porpoises that is a part of the local group."

"Yeah, but normally they donít pull people that far under the water do they??" Chani was less than pleased with Shin and knew that she could do nothing except fume since she had no proof that any of the boys had done any thing to tell the beast to drag her under.

Shin grinned at her and then relented. "Look, if you want to get to know that area and the life that lives within these waters you will want to get to know them in person." He offered her his hand and then swiftly, to swiftly for her to cry out to him, dove beneath the waves of the bay and was almost immediately greeted by the porpoise that had dragged Chanika under.

Chani started and made as if to head for the surface but Shin held her down and pointed to the animal that had not moved since it moved to meet them underneath the waves. Chanika held still as Shin swam towards it and as he gently scratched its belly she saw it wriggle in pleasure. With what she saw and the sleek beast seemed to promise no harm to her as it swam up to her slowly and gently nudged her with his nose.

As she gently laid her fingers on its skin to pet it she was surprised that it remained calm as still and not over active as it seemed to sense that she was actually testing herself. She finished the caress and as she found that she had to go to the surface for air the Porpoise followed and stayed on the surface with her now seeming to guard more that accompany her.

Chaniís face betrayed the fear she felt as she recognized the guarding and protective instinct. Looking around for the others that had been in the water she found that they had all fled for the safety of the land. All that is, except for Shin. He stayed on in the water next to the Porpoise and in the same protective mien, circled Chanika. Looking at her he then explained the odd behavior.

"Chanika-chan, There are sharks nearby, we are fortunate that this oneís group is also nearby for it was they that warned us of the incoming hunters." Chani had not time to ask about the we in the question but was slowly and calmly herded towards the land. The Porpoise in front of her and Shin behind her or at her side. She followed their guidance and means with out question and found her feet touching the sands of the shallows soon. "Get out of the water calmly Chanika and warn the village with the rest of the group. I will stay here at the shore and keep an eye out for any stray children that might not have headed the warning."

Chanika looked at Shin with something akin to aw4e in her eyes but obeyed the gruff voice and the whipcord of command that was buried in it. She got out of the waters and as soon as she joined the group all of them headed back to the main part of the village at a dead run.

Shin stayed in the water near the porpoise and as he scanned the waters he noticed the unmistakable signs of a large predator on the prowl. Everything was unnaturally still and the guardians of the sea were fully alert. Looking around he saw on the docks nearby that there were several small diving spears from the last diving expedition. He took one of the longer ones and also the diving knife that was marked as his that no one else used and took to the water again.

Armed only with the knife that was strapped to his wrist and forearm and the long spear he had only his swim clothes on and a friendly denizen of the sea as protection and his wits and knowledge of the sea and its beings as his way to plan.

The sharks were large and unlike their normal ways, they were hunting in a pack. This disturbed Shin, as he knew that he would not be able to protect the peaceful little bay that his family protected for generations with out help. He looked around and as he saw the small circle of sharks he was mildly relieved. There were only a few of them and it looked as if one of them was having some trouble swimming.

As he approached he let them finish their meal and then swam up to them calmly and smoothly as any fish in the sea. Unlike those fish however he was far deadlier in the fact that he was now aware that the Porpoise group had joined him and were prepared to back him up.

The sharks turned and eyed the young man that was swimming up to them as they might eye any other meal until he whacked one of the front members of the group across the nose sharply with the butt of his spear. The sharks backed off and started circling him, but before they could attack, the Porpoises sprang into action and started to use their various clicks to stun the beasts so that Shin could get out of there. The battle was over soon and the sharks driven away, but he could not help but wonder what caused the usually solitary hunters to gang up like that.

As soon as Chanika and the others had reached the village, they started to shout their message until they reached the small center of the fishing village. When they reached there one of the smaller boys ran up to the old horn that hung in the square and blew a long ominous note.

In no time the village square was filled with people and as the Elder reached the square he listened to the boys and then to Chanika. When she was asked where Shin was she looked around since she had assumed that he would be following them shortly and then it dawned on her that he had stayed behind in the bay. She relayed what she thought and was most surprised when the Elder merely nodded and turned to the crowd.

"People, do not be afraid. Mouri Shin stayed at the bay to perform his ancestral duties. He is a Mouri and he will come back as the sharks are gone and the bay is again safe. In the meantime let us start cooking a small gathering so that we may celebrate His coming into his rightful place in the village as the Guardian of the bay."

A cheer went up at this announcement and as Chanika was sent off to help with the cooking she was bewildered that the village did not worry about the young man. When she managed a moment to ask another of the older boys about this curiosity he looked at her strangely and asked her if her own village never had a guardian for its way of life.