Ghost Stories

August 18th, 2013: 2 days before the Ghost Festival 4

Kuroto Ashigama, The Bloody Blade

Our heroes stood off against the well dressed Japanese man with the ancient blood-caked sword, with a few hapless triad enforcers in the middle and one crooked cop.

Emmet and Ren acted instantly after the man teleported into the mix of the Triad. Ren closed the distance and Emmet unloaded one barrel of his trusty second wife, Clara. The dapper swordsman dodged the buckshot and grinned.

The stranger drew his sword and said in Japanese “Cry, Ryuujinshin” and a palpable aura of despair, terror, and pure unfettered malice covered the courtyard, causing fear and panic to freeze their joints and stop them from moving. Then with a flick of his blade he lightly slashed one of the triad members, but barely nicking him through his jacket. All at once the fool fell to the ground shrieking in absolute terror, voiding his bowels and gibbering into the fetal position.

Katsukira moved close, into melee range while Det. Bo Hong and the Triad goons remained frozen in terror save for one who managed to draw his extendable baton and crack it over the swordsman’s arm. In an instant, the swordsman’s blade flashed out and severed the man’s arm, cleaving further through his chest and out his neck, the blade singing with the fresh blood.

Ethan, gritted himself, seeing the lethalness of his opponent drew his .38 special and snapped off a shot into the deadly warrior. The shot pierced his shoulder with a metallic ting and a gush of blood, drawing the ire of the warrior.

Ethan fired a second shot, going wide again as the dapper swordsman ducked and dashed across to bring himself into range with Emmett, and slashing with his sword, missing emmet by a hair’s breath. However, Ren was paralyzed by the wicked fierce fear in her mind, instilled by the murderous sword. This however brought epiphany of the The Cult of Ryuujinshinn, a brutal organization of savage warriors that worship the dark yokai inhabiting the sword Ryuujinshinn.

Katsukira closed the distance again, fighting off the dark despair and attempted to shatter the dark soulrending power of the blade. However, upon trying to impose her will on the blade, she found the dark force too immense to quell with her training.

Ethan took aim with his .38 special and squeezed off another shot, but not before focussing on his current strongest desire of plugging this guy; a surefire way for his cursed existence to ensure that it did not happen
“I’d move Emmett,” he said grimly, “It’s a bad night for a curse.”
With the dark and malevolent spirits constantly surrounding him whipped into a frenzy, the bullet went wide but all the other attacks would too.

Emmet finally got his bearings, reloading Clara, snapping the breach shut and firing dead center into the warrior’s chest. The rocksalt slammed into his chest leaving him with a stunned and worried expression, as if to say Why rocksalt? If that were buckshot…
Even as this stunned expression crossed his face, his blade shimmered and hum and lashed out, catching Emmet’s coat, but thanks to the rampaging curse, not Emmet.
Then came the backslash, which nicked Emmet’s left shoulder. As the blade broke his flesh a tidal wave of malice, hate, envy, despair, and terror went rampaging through Emmett, the shear weight of the dark emotion threatening to tear Emmett’s mind to pieces, ripping it apart at the seams. He screamed and fell to one knee, his mind reeling.
With a satisfied grin, the warrior moved into melee range with Ethan, practically stalking him. His blade was vibrating once again, ready for blood.

Hong and the Triad goons stayed paralyzed as Katsukira moved up next to Ethan and used her last Ofuda tag to erect a spirit barrier to keep the monstrous warrior at bay. Faced with the odds, Ethan took the long shot, dropping his gun and drawing the sword of Hyundai-Sama, which flashed in the midnight as though being drawn in the sun. He took his best stance and prepared to face the wielder of Ryuujinshinn.

At this point Ren realized that growing up in the cult, Ryuujinshinn’s wielder would be enticed by such an offer and would fight with as of yet seen force. After saying as much, Ethan glowered at her and said,
“I wouldn’t have to if you would do what you say you are good at!”
With a surge of adrenaline and power, Ren rushed across the battlefield, swords drawn and leapt into the air, rolling and flipping before thrusting the blade through the warrior’s chest and out the other side.

Blood spilled from the warrior’s mouth as his lungs and heart and heart pounded in his chest and out of the gaping wound. However, in an instant the blade vibrated and flashed around in a reverse grip, stabbing into Ren’s side and coming out the other, puncturing a lung and shredding her spleen, bleeding pouring down the blade and into the ground.
Wheezing from the gaping chest wound, the warrior with incredible willpower, pushed the blade back through his chest while withdrawing his blade from the young martial artist. Ren dropped to the concrete with a sickening bloody thud and Ryuujinshinn’s wielder staggered back.
“You fools,” he wheezed, mouth filled with blood, “You brought this on yourself.”
Then he tripped into a shadow and vanished into it, disappearing.

With him gone, the despair curse was broken and the triad and Hong could move again. Ethan barked at Hong and the disgraced officer ran to aid the dying youth. With the immediate threat gone and Ren being patched up, Emmet went to check on the temple inside and the hebei wuchang statue.

However, just as he walked in the temple doors, there was a sudden explosion. Upon investigation, the statues where destroyed, exploded like the rest. They released the monks and the unconscious Det. Ichiro Chang. Chang convinced Hong to tell them who had blown up the temple, revealing that it was Huang Jiang the Triad head in San Francisco. Chang got Ethan’s card and Ethan got into his car with Emmet and headed to the hospital to check on Ren and meet with Bob Chen.

At the hospital bob related that the japanese assassin was Koruto Ashigama, the Bloody Blade and that things were worse than they seemed. Fortunately, Bob had a backup plan. He was having a pair of heibei wuchang brought in from a friend of the family’s estate in Napa valley. The truck was leaving San Francisco at 10am, take 3 hours to get to the estate, arriving at 1pm. Loading the large delicate statues would take an hour, so it would leave at 2pm and make it back to San Francisco by 5pm and installed in the temple grounds by 6pm; just in time for the Ghost Festival.

However, Chen wasn’t sure that the shipment would be unmolested, so asked his ‘retainers’ to look after it, including Ren if she was fit. So it was that the team was going on a road trip.



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