Tenkuu's Tale: Chapter 2

Touma saw the rock slide coming but he still wanted to see the small spherical crystal that he had been shooting at, so as he grabbed it he looked up and was buried under the rock. It was dark and very closed in the rock he noted and he knew that he preferred the openness of the trees. The thought shocked him. He was alive!

Bruised, battered and scraped, yet he was alive. As he thought about his body he soon came to the hand that held the small crystal. He noted that in his mind the small thing was glowing a dark blue, kid of the color of the evening sky when there were no clouds.

As he studied the thing in his mind he heard a chuckling. ~Who’s there!~

His mind whirled as he tried to identify the voice that was chuckling at him. It was not a malicious chuckle. No, it was more like the one his teacher often did after he had asked so many questions about the world and its wonders. ~Touma Hashiba. It is a pleasure to finally have met you.~

Touma was shocked to have been identified and was a little scared that it was his ancestors coming to meet him when the voice chuckled at him again. ~No young Touma. I am not your ancestor. But if seeing something will make you feel better then here.~ What Touma saw in his mind was a most splendid suit of samurai armor in the same blue that he had seen glowing in his mind before. The thing that entranced him the most about the armor was the golden bow that was hooked to the back.

~Who are you and what is it that you want with me?~ Touma wondered that this voice would even talk to him at all since he could feel the incredible pain of the crushing rock draining the life out of him quickly.

~I am known as the Armor spirit, Tenku. I saw what the man did to trick you and I am sorry. But you have now met me and if you wish I can help you get yourself out of this pickling that you seem to have yourself in.~ The armor stood and moved to Touma and Touma being who he was, stood transfixed at the mask that now came into view. It was comforting and horrifying at the same time.

~Accept me and learn from me Touma and you will live to take what ever action you deem Totoro worthy of having.~ The armor bowed and as Touma bowed to accept the armor and the spirit, their foreheads touched and a small explosion went off.

When the smoke cleared Touma stepped out of the rubble and immediately noted that he was whole again and in the Blue armor that he saw in his mind. He knew he had to beat Totoro back to the village and with out his horse that seemed an impossibility until he felt himself lifting off the ground. ~Wha-a-at??~

~Relax my young friend. You need to get home and I understand why. So home you go.~

As he flew Touma knew he was in his home element and reveled in it. While flying he looked closely at the Golden Bow that he had admired at a distance and found it was everything his eyes told him.

As he landed in the back of his hut he asked the armor spirit to remove the armor and when he found that he was not exactly dressed for company, quickly bathed and dressed and went to the edge of town that Totoro would be coming in at with the story of how Touma was killed in the middle of the contest.

What Totoro saw when he came up to the edge of town scared the life out of him and as he turned and dropped the reigns of Touma’s horse he took off in another direction entirely. What he had seen was Touma standing on the edge of town, glowing with a dark blue light. Totoro had seen the rock slide hit Touma and thought he was a spirit back to avenge his death. This so scared the older archer that he was never seen again.

Touma did hold to his word and as he learned and eventually fell in love and married, his son was a lithe blue haired infant. But as he grew he was as good with the bow as his father. The boy’s name was Totoro in respect for the man had given Touma a most unexpected gift. One day a miss shot arrow at a tournament hit Touma. The wound was fatal and as he quickly consulted with the Armor spirit, it was agreed.

He called Totoro to him and passed on the small crystal. "Totoro, You know the story of your name, and you know what this is. I may have been allowed to live a long time because of this gift, but it is not to be. I have to leave this life now and I pass on the Tenku Armor. Listen to him well and keep the crystal in the family. Keep the legend alive and pass him only to the one in the next generation that will keep it sacred and secret. In this way we will live on as the Archers of Japan. Remember."

As Totoro took the crystal from his father’s hand, a brilliant blue flash followed and then his father was gone. Tenku comforted him only somewhat with the knowledge that he would be able to remember his father.

It is in this manner and others that the Tenku armor was handed down through the Hashiba Family. One generation to the next, each had an archer of exceptional skill and ability. More often than not this one of the sons was a daughter. But always they had blue hair and Tenku’s approval to mark them. The legend was not always passed down but it was always remembered and told. The times changed and so did Tenku’s name. He was known as Tenku, but as the times changed, his armored self became better known as Strata and was finally passed down to a young man named Rowen at his birth.

And in this ending, there is the beginning of another, far grander tale. The stories of a battle and defeat of the Daemon lord Talpa in. The Ronin Warriors.