‘Ukiyo 1’ by Captain B


Ninja fell to the roof silently. Niko strummed the lute hypnotically. I sipped sake with suspicion, having wagered their arrival this night. Mind tricks and games of strategy. A back and forth that lasted weeks, but acumen determined this night.

The Raven, my first and favorite comrade of this region, just but let out a seemingly casual caw to tip me off of the assassins. Another slight kraa received and I know they are three.


Such a slight team for the warrior who slashed their daimyo down in such a stealthy way. Quick and correct my blade. Mixed breeds the both of us.

My left eye and eyebrow signal to Niko not to miss a bridge or a chord. Long ago I secretly called her Neobulé before we came together. She has only begun to educate me on musical vernacular. Forgive my ignorance. She is well armed. Although even a ninja assassin has a code of honor and she should be safe and not a target.

That is unless the daimyo’s widow ordered otherwise.

I feel them now. One is in the hallway closest to me. She is on the other side of the room. Albeit a second is just outside the window below her. The third is near the most logical exit which we call the back door.

When the daimyo discovered I was a bastard son just as he, he would not accept it. When he found out my father was from Paros, his Thracian father rolled over in his grave. Homelands, years forgotten. Ancient conflicts, not so. Migrations east to other continents. Abeyant tongues of our fathers. Adoption of that of our mothers, could not placate his anger or resentment.

He called on me correctly. At high noon on a day exactly a month ago, I gifted him first strike…then beat him to it. The clean slash severed his jugular. Some of the closest spectators wore his blood on their kimonos as they left the duel in fear, lamenting and wondering what would become of their daimyo’s fiefdom.

I must now rise and get to it. Three? Ha! They do not know with whom they deal!



Captain B. Seafarer. Lover of shore leave. Collector of heads. Disseminator of tales. Twitter: @NPeligeiro