Shinzuku Kaiza Origin: “Water Under the Bridge” Chapter 1
“…A tale of souls and swords, spanning the history and the world, eternally retold…”
Dawn breaks on the small warrior village of Kaiza. Many of it’s residents already out training in their respective art, or going about their daily responsibilities. Enter one Shinzu, a young man who hates waking up in the early morning as much as every other young man. Shinzu is the only son of the village’s top family. One would expect Shinzu to be the best of the village in terms of pride and fighting skill; but it isn’t so.
His family line trails back to a rumored invention of the Japanese Katana, and his family have always specialized in the fabled weapon. Shinzu prefers two in each hand, something of an embarrasment to his father; village head swordsman Shinku. Shinku respects that Shinzu wants to lead his own life, and that includes his own variation of the family art. But he knows his son has quite a way to go before becoming the sort of warrior their clan is known for.
Every morning Shinku sends his son out to get water for the day. The entire day. This amounts to a 5 mile trek to the river to fetch 6 pails of water and walk back; only to participate in a rigurous training regimine afterwards. And woe to Shinzu if he drinks even a drop before getting it back to the village. No other student suffers the morning ritual, and Shinzu despises the fact. But this morning, he had a surprise for his father.
Shinzu found a secret path to the river, one that cuts his travel by nearly 3 miles! If he makes it back with the water in such record time, his father will surely bless his double-katana variation. Although a tad lazy, Shinzu still wishes for his father’s honor. What he doesn’t know is he earned it years ago by showing the courage to walk his own path. His father would never tell him that, afterall; he doesn’t want to brave 5 miles for gallons of water. That sort of work is for strong young men like his son!
Before Shinzu set out he visited his beloved, Kia. Kia was skilled in open-handed styles, and let’s Shinzu know with a well placed throw every know and then. “Shinzu, going out for the water again, are you!” she asks, “It’s too bad your father won’t take water from the village well!” Shinzu didn’t know if she was serious or sarcastic, but he was ready for the last laugh, “You’re lucky Kia, today you get to say 'My man is the fastest warrior in the village”." He starts jogging in place, “I’m gonna come back with water so fast all the other girls are gonna fall for me.” Kia crosses her arms, “Or fall from laughter, Shinzu. I’m sure you found what you think is another shortcut, one you didn’t bother to walk through.” Shinzu smiled, “I’m not getting lost this time!” He runs off. Kia smiles as she watches him trail off, seemingly more motivated than ever. Maybe he really did find a shortcut. In any case she wishes he wouldn’t try so hard to make people love him.
What the villagers don’t know this morning, is that their village is the target of a coming Dark Cloud… And Shinzu’s new path will lead him to more things than water…
To be continued…