• Published 19th Apr 2018
  • 812 Views, 27 Comments

Rōnin: Siren Samurai - chillbook1

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The Siren Sisters

A flash of lightning lit up the sky, illuminating the dark of the night. The cracking boom of thunder soon followed it, slicing through the silence of the night like a blade. The pitter-patter of rain descended down onto the village of Hikōshiti, filling the air with the damp, dusty smell of rainwater against dirt. The coming storm made a flood very possible for the seaside village, but that paled in comparison to the true danger they faced. A danger they couldn’t even know of.

A trio of women approached the village, the wood of their geta clacking against the hard dirt road leading into Hikōshiti. They looked to be about the same age, though one was quite clearly the leader. She carried herself with an aura of power that the others didn’t possess. Her orange hair was long and wild, but contained, like a beast in chains. She wore a deep violet kimono, decorated with images of flowers and vines. Around her neck was a beautiful scarlet gemstone.

Her companions also had gems and wore similar garb, one of them wearing a bright blue kimono while the other’s was a lighter purple-green. The woman in blue seemed to be an archer, with a bow slung around her torso and a quiver of arrows on her back. She also carried small drawstring bag in one hand and a blade in her other, a long, simple, sheathed katana.

The women entered the small fishing village, passing through the settlement like the storm itself. They passed homes and shops as they were being closed for the night. The few villagers out and about in the rain turned tail and ran upon seeing the trio approach.

“I don't see her,” said the woman in blue, as they made it to what appeared to be the village’s market. Her voice was dreamy, curious, almost childlike. Different from her companion in just about every way. “Think she might've run?”

“No.” The leader spoke quickly, succinctly, and with an almost slithery seductiveness. Her tongue was of silver and her voice was of velvet. “I highly doubt it. We would know if she left. A samurai like her doesn’t leave a village without causing fuss.”

“Looking for me?”

The trio paused, turning to the new voice. A woman approached from behind, noticeably older than the trio. She wore armor of dented, scratched, shingled iron plates, and carried her silver kabuto in her hands. On her waist was a long katana of her own, and some sort of mask. The woman herself was much like her armor: scarred and battered, but hard as iron. Her eyes were bronze, beady, and scanned the trio like a falcon on the hunt.

“Name’s Gilda,” said the woman. “I’m the samurai of this village, and I’ve got some bad news for you three.”

“Bad news.” The last woman, the one with the purple-green kimono, finally spoke. She was rough, unrefined in her delivery. Whereas the leader sounded elegant and the other woman sounded almost like a child, this one sounded more like a brute. “Funny you should say that.”

“Listen, you three have to be what? 17 years old? So I understand if you haven’t been paying attention before you went on your little travel,” said Gilda, resting her off-hand on the hilt of her sword. “But this village has what we call a visitor’s tax. That means foreigners have to pay for entry. And since you three are such young, wimpy looking runts, I’ll be generous… Fifteen gold bits each.”

The leader chuckled, then outstretched her hand to the woman in blue. Without missing a beat, the girl in blue opened the small bag she carried and withdrew a beautiful, elegant kiseru. The girl in blue quickly packed it with tobacco and struck a match, lighting the pipe for her leader.

“My name is Adagio Dazzle,” said the leader, puffing on her pipe. “And these are my sisters. Sonata Dusk and Aria Blaze.” Adagio gestured to the girl in blue and the girl in purple, respectively.

“You talk like that’s supposed to mean something to me,” laughed Gilda. “I’m guessing from that sword you’re holding that you’re the daughters of some samurai? Some poor bastard who died in war? And I bet you’re supposed to bring it someplace special, huh? Bring honour to your name?”

Adagio said nothing, instead lowering herself to the ground. She crossed her legs, flaring her kimono in such a way that partly exposed her leg, and the tattoo it bore. It was like nothing Gilda had ever seen, some sort of hooved orange serpent or fish, wrapping itself around Adagio’s thigh in a torrent of seawater.

“Our father was, indeed, a samurai,” said Adagio, exhaling a thin plume of smoke. “And he did die in battle, so the story says. But we’re not here to honour him. We’re here to honour an agreement we made.”

“Aren’t you a bit young to be smoking, runt? And do I need to teach you to respect your superiors?” Gilda took a step forward, though the sisters stood their ground. “You put me in a bad mood, so tax is now twenty bits each. If you can’t pay in gold, I’d be more than happy to take that blade of yours off of your hands.”

“This old thing?” Adagio grabbed the katana from Sonata, inspecting the dark leather of the sheath. “You wouldn’t know what to do with it.”

“Wanna bet, punk?”

“What do you think, Sonata?” Adagio set her sword beside her and just kept smoking on her pipe. “How’s it look?”

“Hm...” Sonata’s pinkish eyes gave the opposing samurai a quick scan, then she stuck her tongue out at Gilda, pulling down on her eyelid with her left hand (which, curiously, was missing the middle finger) while she did. “It looks like we put our hair up for nothing. Don’t bother wasting your time on her.”

“Very well. You may have her if you want, Aria,” sighed Adagio. Aria smirked, then drew a kodachi from its sheath that she had secured to her thigh with bandages. She pointed the short blade at Gilda, who placed her helmet onto her head and grabbed the hilt of her blade.

“This isn’t a good fight for you,” growled Gilda. “You have no idea what you’re messing with!”

“Oh, we do, Gilda. We really do. Crooked samurai exploiting this small village,” said Adagio with a grin. “It’s you who don’t know what you’re getting into.”

“You were right to think that our names should mean something to you,” said Aria. “But odds are, you know us by title.”

“Yeah!” said Sonata, wearing a grin to match Adagio’s. “Adagio, Aria, and Sonata! They call us… The Siren Sisters!”

Gilda’s eyes went wide, and she quickly pulled the mask from her hip and secured it to her face, transforming her visage to that of a fierce eagle. She drew her blade from her sheath and held it at the ready, prepared for a fight.

“If you three really are the Sirens, you’re gonna be worth a lot more than twenty bits a head.” Gilda played a cool act, but a slight tremble in her voice betrayed her fear. “Should’ve just paid the tax, runts.”

“Aria,” said Adagio. She locked eyes with her sister. “Go easy on her.”

“If you wanted to go easy on her, you should’ve asked Nata to do it,” said Aria. She slowly began walking towards Gilda, who took a nervous step back. “I’m giving you one chance. Give up and I’ll end you quick. Fight me… Fight me, and you’ll be in pain during your whole trip to hell.”

“You don’t know shit about samurai if you think I’m gonna give up,” said Gilda. “Bring it, runt.”

Aria clenched her left hand into a fist and extended her arm in Gilda’s direction. She pressed the blade of her sword against her own flesh and slashed deeply. Aria hissed in pain as her blood dripped down her arm, dancing down to the dirt.

“What the hell…?” Gilda tightened her grip on her blade. “This is your last chance, runt. Don’t make me kill you.”

“You talk too much,” pouted Sonata. She flopped onto the ground next to her sister, her arms crossed. “Kick her butt, Ari!”

“Shut up, Nata,” hissed Aria. She wiped the blood from her wrist down the length of her blade, which began to glow a deep, angry red. “Unless you want to help.” Aria glared at her sister, her eyes glowing crimson. “Got anything else to say?”

“Aria. Focus.” Adagio exhaled a plume of smoke before handing her pipe to Sonata, who dumped out the ash and returned it to the bag. Aria let out a snort before turning away and rushing for her opponent.

She moved with impossible, inhuman speed, almost faster than Gilda could process. Aria closed the distance in the blink of an eye. She lunged at the samurai, stabbing for her chest. Gilda parried without a fraction of a second to spare, then had to parry another, and another of Aria’s rapid, furious stabs.

Gilda parried another stab before bringing her knee up into Aria’s chest, sending the Siren stumbling a few steps back. Gilda utilized the new separation to slash at Aria, who easily blocked the long katana with her comparably shorter blade. Gilda was taken aback; Aria, who stood at least a head shorter and had a thin, wiry figure, was somehow matching her for strength.

“Who’s the runt now?” snarled Aria. She pushed Gilda back and leapt forward, slashing her across the chest. Aria’s blade slashed through Gilda’s armor, scratching her chest just enough to draw blood.

“Shit!” Gilda glanced down at her ruined armor, grabbing her bleeding chest with her off hand. Aria didn't relent, slashing a bit lower and rending the steel and flesh alike. Blood dripped from Gilda’s belly, each drop of red against Aria’s blade causing it to glow brighter. Aria twirled around Gilda and sliced down her back, cutting through her armor easily. The samurai fell to her knees with a howl of pain, falling to all fours as blood dripped from her wounds and stained the dirt red.

“It’s over,” said Adagio. “Don’t play with your food this time. Finish her.”

Aria kicked Gilda’s sword from her hand, sending it clattering away, then grabbed the corrupt samurai’s helmet and yanked it off of her head. She grabbed Gilda by the hair and pulled her head back, exposing her throat. Gilda caught sight of Aria’s kodachi as she pressed it to her neck, baffled by its new appearance. Besides its otherworldly scarlet glow, the blade was also easily three inches longer than it once was.

“What the hell?” Gilda panted, struggling in her opponents grasp to no effect. “How…?”

“Should’ve given up,” growled Aria.

She slashed Gilda’s throat, spraying the dirt with her blood. The samurai quaked and spasmed, letting out an anguished gargle before collapsing, limp and lifeless, into her own blood. Aria panted and huffed like a wild beast before turning her gaze to her sister. Despite the wild, savage anger Aria was showing, Adagio didn’t seem intimidated in the slightest. They shared a gaze for a bit, before the red in Aria’s eyes faded, as did the light of her blade. She kicked Gilda’s corpse over to its back, dropping down to her knees and placing her kodachi against Gilda’s neck yet again.

“Just the mask,” ordered Adagio. Aria growled, but stowed her blade back in its sheath, then ripped Gilda’s mask from her face. “Good. Let’s go get what we’re owed.”

“G-give me a minute…” huffed Aria.

“Ada, can I…?” asked Sonata, pointing to Gilda’s discarded blade.

“It’s not the one.”

“You don’t know. It could be…”

“Fine. Grab it. Don’t cry when you find out I’m right.” Sonata giggled with childlike wonder, then scampered over to collect her souvenir. Adagio turned her attention back to Aria. “Your minute is up. Let’s go.”

Aria gave a shaky nod before pushing herself back to her feet. She tossed Gilda’s mask to Adagio, who caught it easily. She inspected the garb, running her fingers along its grooves and features, before stowing it in Sonata’s bag. Adagio grabbed the bag up, joining up with her sisters. Aria seemed to have calmed considerably, and Sonata was clearly excited by the potential that Gilda’s blade held. Adagio patted Aria on the shoulder, her sister not giving much in the way of a reaction. Adagio sighed, then led the trio away from the market square, leaving Gilda’s corpse to bleed onto the ground. Their target defeated, the Siren Sisters drifted away from Hikōshiti like a passing storm.

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Comments ( 27 )

8875388
God damn it, Hoovy

Long as they go ninja at least once I'm cool with this.

8875431
Define "go ninja"

8875442
Well typically speaking Ninja's were another breed of samurai but mainly were assassin's or thieves. Typical ninja clothes are optional.

Also won't lie kinda iffy on Gilda being a corrupt Samurai. I'm not angry or anything but just more used to recent stories having to do more about her being good.

8875451
I understand the concept of ninja, I just wasn't certain what you meant.

I don’t think ninja stuff would really fit. I'm going for a Samurai Champloo kinda thing here.

8875458
Oh.... that show....... well good luck then.

Where did you get the cover art?

Interesting. violent, Japanese, should be neat to see how they interact with other characters of the era. Though I'm a little surprised a few eyebrows aren't raised from them having clearly English names in a Japanese Setting.

I get you are going for a Samurai Champloo thing and there were charges with English names, but they usually came from English speaking countries. Not trying to nitpick, just pointing out.

8875555
A friend of mine linked it to me in my "fanclub" Discord server.

Here's the Derpi link

8875560
I half considered switching all their names to Japanese equivalents, but it would be really ugly and cumbersome, not to mention cringey. My goal is to sprinkle just enough Japanese weebery in the story to remind you that this is supposed to be vaguely Japanese without making it a straight-up anime. It's kinda like how Attack on Titan clearly takes place in Germany and most characters have European names, but everyone speaks perfect Japanese. We're just gonna have to suspend a bit of disbelief.

Hope you enjoyed, and continue to do so.

8875586

So are they like Mercenary Samurai? Cause frankly, while I can buy Aria as a Samurai, Adagio strikes me more as a Kunoichi since she'd use seduction techniques as that's pretty much her thing. Sonata meanwhile......I guess a louder version of a ninja, like maybe Naruto I guess.

Also did you do the artwork for your story yourself or have someone else do it?

8875641
They're not ninjas. No kunoichi. They're not even really samurai, technically. They're just three chicks with swords (and, in Sonata's case, a bow). I'm gonna be playing around with the rules and definition of a "samurai" in this fic. I suppose the most accurate name for them would be "sellswords", but that's not as cool.

If you wish to get maximum enjoyment from this fic, I'm gonna suggest you don't try to compare it to real life anything (and definitely not Naruto, Jesus H. Jones).

I absolutely did not do this art myself (dear lord, I wish I was that talented). I added the source for the pic, you should be able to find it ez pz

I like this one.

8875867
That makes me glad to hear

This sounds really good. I like where this is going.

8875933
Mucho gracias, amigo.

Wait, that's not the right language...

Uh... Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto?

8875940
That's fine. Either one sounds good to me.

8875688
You won’t really need to play around much, since “samurai” is a social caste and not a profession. If they carry katana (or any sword, really) and conduct themselves in an appropriately samurai fashion, peasants will assume they’re samurai.

This really isn’t even all that weeby. No, if you want to really see someone going all out, check out A Chronicle from a Time of Darkness.

Majin Syeekoh
Story Approver

8875688

Would the term Onna-bugeisha fit to some degree?

You have my interest. I look forward to seeing more of this. Well done Darling.

Yakuza (early format)

8883697
I'm not actually sure what this comment is supposed to mean, but sure.

8876543
I could've sworn I responded to this, sorry.

Yes, Onna-bugeisha would fit pretty well, actually. These three would be considered a bit strange among other Onna-bugeisha on account of their weapon choice and, seeing as they travel without a male accompanying them, they'd be breaking the rules and would probably face dire consequences. But, when you're dealing with a cast consisting almost entirely of female characters, those sorts of gender roles get weird anyway.

Loveing the way the girls are played here. I'd like to add a weapon or two to their list of gear if you have opening for it in later chapters.

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