During the Edo-period in Japan, revolutions regarding change and the overthrow of political parties cost the lives of millions. Seeped deep into this tumultuous war stood two of the greatest swordsmen in their generation. Engulfed within a cage of flames the two warriors now prepared for their final attacks. The sole witness of this amazing dual was Sakura.
Both warriors were dubbed “The Gods of Death”. They were raised and trained by the same master. Though sibling students, their philosophies greatly differed. Shin Yakuzawa aimed at preserving the Shogunate rule. Mercilessly he yielded his sword on innocents from children to the elderly; he killed anyone if they opposed the shogun government. Akira Sheisuu on the other hand sided with the Meiji Restoration. He tried to swing his sword with love and a pure heart. He instead preserved and cherished the lives of everybody.
“Akira, you dog! Why don’t you just give up?” screamed Shin out of frustration. Panting and breathless, both of them were profusely bleeding, scarred, bruised and battered. The revolution was reaching a crescendo of a win-lose, lose-win result; hopefully some final conclusion with one side crowned victor would be reached.
“Shin, our days as men slayers are over. Our master told us that the true essence of a swordsman is to breathe life not death through his sword,” said Akira who now readied himself for his final attack.
“It’s that worthless philosophy which made me kill our master.”
“And tonight I avenge his death.”
“Now that’s hypocritical, you know that old fool warned us on seeking revenge. I guess you and I are rebels to our Master and that makes us the same right?” cynically said Shin in hopes of clouding Akira’s thought and feelings.
“Let’s make our blades do the talking,” replied Akira as he began charging forward with his sword raised high.
Shin knew that Akira was bound to win; he cowered in fear at the prospect of death. Striking with a technique that could slice through a rock, the moment happened instantly as both men looked in shock. Sakura sacrificed herself to save the man’s life she loved.
Though Shin was still wounded in the process, her body managed to prevent him from being sliced in half. Seizing the opportunity, Shin stabbed through Sakura’s body and managed to stab Akira. All three fell to the ground, however, using his sword as support, Akira got up in preparation for the final blow.
Crawling as he made his way to Sakura, Shin struggling to get closer and closer to her. Unable to impale his sibling student Akira stood and watched Shin approach Sakura. His crying was an insurgence of emotions and tears which were bottled away for years.
“I… was finally able to be useful to you,” said Sakura as she placed her hand on Shin’s face. Lying next to her, Shin still in tears, knew he wouldn’t allow Sakura to live for he couldn’t bear the thought of her loving someone else.
Akira could hardly stand when he now fell on the ground, staring at the night sky he could finally sheath his sword away forever.
“Come along men, this way!” screamed a general of the Meiji restoration.
Upon reaching where Akira and Shin fought, both the Meiji and Shogunate stared in disbelief. “The Gods of Death” lay dead both sides lowered their weapons as Akira and Shin’s death was mourned. The revolution reached an intermission as a brief span of peace and restoration ensued.
Until the next two “Gods of Death” were re-incarnated and the ideals of the Meiji and Shogunate clashed once again.