Prologue – Those Lined Up Before the Horizon
Why did Ulquiaga get blown away?
Tenzou’s eyes saw the reason why.
It was the sheathe. While swinging her longsword with her right hand, she released the sheathe’s clasp.
The sheathe, sliding off the blade like it was a rail, effectively extended the reach of the longsword.
Grunting in pain, Ulquiaga vanished to the rear.
He saw that Oriotorai was biting the strap of the sheathe with her mouth.
The strap was pulled back by a twist of her neck.
The sheathe returned.
With the sheathe in its place again, the longsword was now headed in a trajectory that would slice into him.
My weapon is a tantō, held at the back of my waist. I bought one of the Hankou brand, because I prioritised the thickness of the blade. However, the grip I use is a wooden hilt of the Shirasago brand. It’s more familiar to my hand, and the grip, its original material dyed black, is coated with matte, so it doesn’t reflect any light in the night’s darkness.
It was an important piece to Tenzou. He drew it, holding it in a backhand draw with his right hand. Whilst he swung it upwards, he also brought his left hand to the hilt, holding it on the pommel. However, he did not thrust it towards Oriotorai.
As he cried out, Tenzou changed his stance such that he passed his tantō up above his head, dropping his hip.
If he dropped his position in order to forcibly erase all forward velocity, his stance would defend himself from attacks coming from above.
He planned to receive Oriotorai’s blade and endure it. And as he withstood it,
A presence came.
A presence from the rear, bursting out from behind his back.