By Chris Bradford
Jack Fletcher is at the run. without sensei to lead him, he has simply his wits and his swords opposed to many new and unknown enemies, as he trips alongside the treacherous street to the port of Nagasaki and maybe home...But the Shogun's samurai are sizzling on his path. slightly escaping their clutches, Jack runs headlong right into a seize. abducted through ninja and ended in their village deep within the mountains, Jack has no technique of get away. the one query is who will kill him first - the ninja or samurai?
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Extra resources for The Ring of Earth (Young Samurai)
Following daimyo Kamakura’s victory in the civil war, the samurai lord had declared himself Shogun, the supreme ruler of Japan. Many of the samurai who served him were belligerent because of this. Drunk on victory, saké and newly acquired power, they bullied the local people and any person of lower status. At first glance, Jack appeared to be no more than a farmer or a wandering pilgrim. He wore an unassuming plain blue kimono, a pair of sandals and a conical straw hat typical of a rice farmer or Buddhist monk.
He raised both weapons and prepared to defend himself. The two magnificent swords with their dark-red woven handles had been given to him by Akiko, his closest and dearest friend. They had been her late father’s and highly prized, made by Shizu, the greatest swordsmith to have lived. This would be the first time Jack had used them in combat. But their weight felt good in his hands, the blades perfectly balanced. The leader hesitated in his attack, taken off-guard by Jack’s unusual fighting style.
I don’t wish to kill anyone,’ replied Jack, sheathing his swords. ’ The samurai inspected himself with amazement. He was totally unharmed, but then his obi fell apart and dropped from his waist to his ankles, together with the sayas for his swords, his inro carrying case and a string of coins attached to the belt. Horrified at Jack’s supreme sword skills, the samurai fled from the inn. 3 THE IGA MOUNTAINS Jack gazed around at the destruction. The inn, run-down to begin with, was now a shambles – upturned tables, half the ceiling caved in and the floor a pool of sticky saké.