The treasure seeker had made use of public transportation to cross the massive urban area that was Tokyo and was able to catch a train into the mountainous central region of the island. There, he got off the train and headed inland on a rented bicycle.
The twin swords weighed on him in the bag he carried them in. The bag had rested on his back most of the trip from the city and had grown heavier the farther he went. He climbed the mountain minutes ahead of the dawn. Before the sun reached his vantage point, he prepared his necessary ingredients.
His family had said he had no talent except to shame them in every way. They would change their minds when he came into his power. These swords would help him accomplish his goals. People would fear and respect him at last. He would forge a new shogunate, and all would bow before him.
These swords would assure that. They were his destiny.
As the sun rose over the horizon and the first rays crept toward his place on the mountain near a bubbling stream of water, he built a fire in the ancient and decrepit forge, readying himself for the next steps he must do.
The sun touched the dark blades, casting a torrent of rainbows in the air.
First, he heated the matched blades until they were red hot. Then he cooled them in the babbling brook, creating a cloud of steam. Two passes through the air waved the cloud away. Then he thrust both swords through a small plate with metal on the top and wood on the bottom. The points dug into the earth.
A tremor erupted from the buried swords, shaking the land for a mile in every direction.
The treasure seeker smiled. He had succeeded in his foolish quest. The power of the blades were his. Next, he would humble all those who had spat upon him in the past, avenging the wrongs done him.
Grabbing the hilts of the swords to pull them free of the plate. Dark lightning ran up his arms and throughout his body. He held on for too long, unable to release his grip.
He was not the swords’ master. They were his.
Takeo Sato shifted in his coffin-like cell. He pushed the door open and crawled out. He felt the sun shining, renewing his energy. He quickly realized that another tremor had awakened him. He rubbed the cobwebs from his eyes as he left the hotel.
He walked along, glad that none of the nearby buildings had suffered damage in this second quake. Maybe a flight would cure the twinges I feel, Sato thought.
Decision made, he walked to where he had left his clothes. He would change and do a fly over the city to see if he was needed anywhere.
The Shadow Swordsman lifted his weapons, spinning them in circles to get the feel of them with a human body again. It had been many years since he had possessed a body, even one as paltry as the one he wore now.
He shifted his weight slightly from one foot to the next to learn how to balance and move with the new resources at his disposal. He sliced the air, spilling blackness from the torn reality. The stream fell on the grass, killing it instantly. The pool spread gently as the black ooze slowed its rain from the closing rent. A patch of blackness remained where the substance had fallen.
The Shadow Swordsman laughed silently. Time to begin.
Sunburst soared in the upper air, using thermal winds to glide so that he could conserve his energy. The morning sunshine wrapped around him, filling him up with fuel. Maybe he didn’t need to eat in this changed state.
A stream of black ooze erupted on a rooftop to his right. He turned, attracted to the strangeness of it. A man in black robes stepped from a hole in the air. He sliced an x in the sky, and a river of blackness dropped toward the street below. People began to run, trying to get out of the way of the falling semi-liquid.
Sunburst ignited his power, diving toward the street. He rolled, pointing his hands at the stream of repulsive ooze. Twin beams of light directed solar heat on the black blood of the universe. It boiled away as the resurrected hero tried to catch all of the falling stuff in his beams.
His beams flickered out of existence as the rip in the sky finished closing. He had used all of his solar power in one display of power fighting the darkness. It was all he could do not to fall back into his grave from the height he floated at.
Sunburst slowly floated up to the rooftop, on guard against the threat he perceived his enemy to be.
“I see you have used yourself up,” said the master of darkness. “That is too bad, since I can rip the sky as many times as I want, as often as I want. Your city is doomed, hero. You can watch as I slowly destroy it.”
Sunburst landed on the roof. He tried to keep his breathing even as he walked toward the Shadow Swordsman and held out his hand calmly. “I think you have done enough damage for the day,” the hero said. “Surrender your weapons, and I will ask the magistrate to be merciful in your sentencing.”
The Swordsman laughed with mirth. “Take them… if you can,” he said, sheathing them at his hip and falling into the classic karate stance.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Sunburst asked, dropping his hand. The former movie stuntman had learned some basic self-defense over the years but was not an expert martial artist by any means.
The Shadow Swordsman advanced, throwing a simple punch. Sunburst blocked it, finding himself forced back from the blow. The hero tried a counter punch. His fist landed in the palm of the other man’s hand. Before he could draw it back, the man in black was squeezing his fist in a steely grip of his own. “Surrender, weakling,” demanded the Swordsman.
Sunburst punched with the other hand. His fist collided with the other man’s parrying arm. The punch slid off and to the right before the hero could recover. The Swordsman backhanded him before he could bring his own arm back to defend himself.
“You’re pathetic,” said the villain. “A woman fights with more will than this.”
Sunburst concentrated his remaining reserves of energy into his captured hand. He had enough for one blast of energy. He closed his eyes and fired. He didn’t know which one of them cried out louder, but he was free. He flexed his hand as his enemy tried to stem the flow of blood from his own.
Wishing he had enough for one more blast, Sunburst fell on top of the Shadow Swordsman before he could draw his weapons. He began to pummel the man while he was in shock from his destroyed hand.
He then collapsed beside the man, all of his energy gone in an instant from the exertion.