48 HOURS A DAY - S01 E555

3 days ago

Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 555

Are They In Kyoto Now?

Everything happened in an instant. Matsuo, Takahashi, and others were still admiring Yamada’s exquisite swordsmanship when, unexpectedly, Yamada’s situation took a sudden roll downhill. There was no transition in the middle, and Yamada, a minor but renowned samurai among the Tobaku supporters, was now a cripple, seeing how his left hand had been sliced off.

Bright red blood spurted out from the wound, splattering on Zhang Heng’s Haori that had not been washed for a long time. The bloodstain made Zhang Heng’s unusually tall figure look even more terrifying now. Matsuo and Takahashi were so shocked by what they saw that they unconsciously stepped backward. They did not stop until their backs hit the wooden fence. They nervously glanced around their surroundings, ever ready to flee if things turned sour. On the other hand, Takeuchi’s pupils contracted all of a sudden.

Even Yamada, having lost his left hand, was probably oblivious to what just happened. Judging from the expression on his face, he had a hard time believing that he lost the battle, considering he had the upper hand earlier.

Takeuchi, a master swordsman himself, could barely keep up with Zhang Heng’s last strike as a bystander. That was how he realized that Zhang Heng’s final blow had to be extremely powerful.

Zhang Heng caught the slight setback between Yamada’s first change of moves and the second, and he charged toward him as quickly as he could. At the same time, he flicked his wrist so swiftly that his katana’s tip drew an arc, thereby dodging Yamada’s attack. During that time, Yamada was swinging the katana in his hand. From Takeuchi’s perspective, it looked like Yamada deliberately moved his wrist towards his opponent’s blade.

Takeuchi took in a deep breath. He was amazed by Zhang Heng’s incredible speed and accurate calculation. It seemed like everyone he met today were better than him, and it wasn’t until the severed limb landed on the floor that Yamada realized that something had gone terribly wrong. Beads of sweat started forming on his forehead as the pain in his left wrist intensified. However, a samurai’s pride withheld stop crying, and he fell on his knees from the debilitating pain. On the ground, his chest heaved violently, and his face as white as a ghost.

The dojo became quieter than ever, where the sound of a needle falling on the ground could be heard. Akane Koyama opened her mouth wide, standing there staring blankly. She, too, was having a hard time grasping what had just happened to Yamada.

Not too long ago, she was worried about Zhang Heng’s safety. Before she realized it, he had already defeated the terrifying enemy in front of her. As a person who fought against Yamada twice, Akane Koyama was probably the most qualified person to talk about Yamada’s true strength. Although this Yamada may not be as good as her father, they weren’t too far apart.

With such skills, he could be regarded as a master no matter where he went. Therefore, it was only reasonable that she lost the battle with him. However, such a master had fallen in the hands of a ronin returning from overseas.

Akane Koyama had never experienced something like this before. The man in front of her, of whom she had despised, was actually a formidable master. After three moves, Zhang Heng did not turn back to check on Yamada.

He then talked to the Koyama Akane, “I’m sorry.”

“Huh? What, what are you sorry for?”

“For dirtying the floor of your dojo.” Zhang Heng pointed to the blood on the ground, sending a glare to Matsuo, Takahashi, and the others. The two wished that they could transform themselves into earthworms burrow deep into the ground. The other Choshu Domain samurai with Takeuchi was horrified by what he witnessed as well. In the end, Zhang Heng finally fixed his gaze on Takeuchi. He could see that the man before him was probably the leader of the samurai group. Seeming to have encountered some difficulties at the moment, he just stood there, arms folded and deep in thought. Zhang Heng raised his eyebrows and asked, “What say you? Should we fight?”

Takeuchi looked very distressed.

“I figured… I might not be able to defeat you. But that idiot kept talking about insulting the samurai of the Choshu Domain before. I don’t think it would be appropriate that we just leave like that.”

Upon hearing that, Matsuo and Takahashi’s hearts became colder. The belief that was still supporting them was that Takeuchi was better than Yamada. Although Takeuchi was not as scary as Zhang Heng, he did defeat Yamada with ease before. Maybe, another battle would sprout out?

But now, Takeuchi personally admitted that he was inferior to Zhang Heng. Their only hope was now shattered. “Oh, do you have any masters in Choushu Domain?” asked Zhang Heng.

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“Of course! Although Yamada is quite famous, he is not as strong as me!” gushed Takeuchi, “Although I am not that bad, there are still many who are better than me.”

Zhang Heng seemed to be interested in it when he heard this. “Are those guys in Kyoto now?”

“Well… Most people are still in the Choshu Domain, but most masters now gather in Kyoto in these troubled times. Men are destined to make great achievements. Indeed, many people are traveling to Kyoto now.” Takeuchi nodded.

“Great! Can you go back and tell those guys that if they want to avenge this man, come to this dojo to look for me. I’m here waiting for them,” continued Zhang Heng.

“Happy to do so!” Takeuchi slapped his thigh. “I was right about you! In that case, we will see you another day.”

After he finished speaking, he gave Matsuo and Takahashi a look and told them to leave with the injured Yamada.

Upon exiting the dojo, Takeuchi asked Matsuo and Takahashi to send Yamada to the hospital to get treated. Meanwhile, Takeuchi and his companion hurried to find the chief of the Choshu Domain in Kyoto.

Yamada and his people aggressively came to the dojo, but when they left, they were dingy. As the group left, Akane Koyama finally realized that something was not right. “Hey, why did you tell them to come to my dojo just now? Think I need more bad things to happen here?” Zhang Heng spread his arms. “There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m living here now. Since I’m starting it, I will make sure I’ll take the responsibility to end it. There’s nothing for you to worry about. No matter who comes next, I will deal with them personally. There is no need to be so pessimistic. To be honest, your dojo is dilapidated… it can’t get any worse than this. Maybe after this incident, Maybe your dojo will become famous in Kyoto after this incident.”

Zhang Heng was not bothered by it. After all, he was here to challenge the masters in Kyoto. His goal was to look for the whereabouts of the famous katana. Saying that he belongs to Akane Koyama’s dojo was just to smooth things up for him. “…But you are not from my dojo.” Akane Koyama looked helpless, “Let’s not mix these matters up. I am very grateful that you saved my life. I will find a way to repay you. How about I give you a waiver on your rent… Although Myoshin-Ryū is only a small sect and is not famous in Kyoto, I will not allow an outsider to help me boost this dojo’s reputation. It might look stupid, but this is my principle. I will not hold you responsible for taking advantage of this dojo. Judging from the way you fight, I’m pretty sure that your sensei must be someone great. Will he allow you to join other sects?”

“Her? I think she should be fine with it.” Zhang Heng thought about it carefully before he replied to Akane Koyama. He’s honed his swordsmanship from the Black Sail quest. Anne was barely qualified to be called Zhang Heng’s sensei. After all, Zhang Heng practiced with Anne for a period, and they would usually use sparring to learn from each other. To Anne, the sword technique that allowed her to kill her enemies was good.

“If you really care about this kind of thing, then let me join your sect,” Zhang Heng proposed a solution.

“Eh?”

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