Masuyo Mask

June 14, 2017 by Patrick Starks

13126794 - a young girl with creative face paint

The wicked woman of the East fled across the Atlantic Ocean, and Masuyo followed. The ocean was destructive, huge—annihilating anything that had the galls to come through its demolition. It was dark and muggy, with waves that rose as high as the mountain terrain.  There were signs that had writing of ancient scriptures—ancient enough that not even black beard himself could decode them. The signs were tall, rusty—one could obviously see that they were decades old, although, that was nothing new to the wicked woman. Sea of Neikan, was what some called it. Battles of demons and devils were said to have been held in this treacherous abyss and Masuyo was being led right into it.

The wicked woman left trails intently for follow. She had plans—plans that Masuyo was to gullible to see through. But the wicked woman had something she wanted, something she needed. The object was wide, tough, and held magical powers that the wicked woman sought to obtain. It was a mystery to many of how it worked, however, it was not a mystery that Masuyo did. Masuyo stood at the tip of Kanrin Maru, gazing at the path that no man dared to follow. The ship was old, and to her crew—not durable enough to handle the waves they were to embark. The ship slammed to the right, then to the left, rocking back and forward like a seesaw at an elementary school recess. The crew became nauseous, with their heads buried into the vile sea.

Desperate as Masuyo was, she continued her pursuit. She slung over a blade preparing herself for anonymous foes. The blade was not of the samurai or the ninja, but one of its on. It was was sharp and rigid, stretching out as far to touch the lavender skies. As remarkable as the sword was, non-filled Masuyo’s heart like the object the wicked woman had—the object she stole.

The sea became calmer as now the skies cleared. However, this was unusual for such a place of destruction. Masuyo reached out her hand, as a crew member gave her a set of binoculars. She looked out as far as she could. First to the west, then to the east, later to the south and last to the north. She did not find one sign until she looked between coordinates.  “There! She heads there! Everyone Set sail, North west.”

The Wicked woman smiled atrociously, her ship entered through a dark cave. The cave was filled with human sized bats and rats, that had hordes of insects, gnats. The creatures were vicious, blood thirsty, but had no desire for the wicked woman—one could tell from her stench that she was already dead, or at least that’s what many thought to be the case. The wicked woman docked, slowly tipping her way off the ship inch by inch. Her walk was slow, but aggressive. She realized that Masuyo was a little over dramatic of her pursuit, so she gave order to her minions, to her goblins, to stop Masuyo at any means necessary.

“There! Inside!” Masuyo said.

“Are you crazy! No way we’re going in there.” A crew member spoke.

“Cowards! Then I’ll go in myself. Sad to see that I’m the only person here with anything swinging between their legs. Pathetic!”

The crew said nothing, just watched as Masuyo plummeted into the dark waters. Masuyo swam for five minutes before reaching the dock. As she came up for air, she saw eyes of killing intent. The eyes were red, small, beady—strong muscularity of flapping wings was all that echoed the cave. Masuyo then stood up, unsheathed her blade, she yelled. “Wicked Woman! Come out now! I know you’re here!”. But she’d gotten no response, all that was heard was faded laughter in the distance. For the creatures that hid in the shadows,  it was amusing to them that she was still focused on the wicked woman, and not the beast that surrounded her—after all they were the demons and devils of Neikan.

Masuyo was soon introduced by a demon general, Fuzen. Fuzen was nothing like the minions that followed in the wicked womans shadows. Fuzen was different, he was of his own mastery and only took orders for his own interest. The demon general flew down with wings triple the size of the creatures that lurked behind. He was massive and had scars of war—scars that would make one think worst of his opponents. His claws drug the ground, cutting through its resistant texture like butter. From the crew that watched from a far, all that was seen was a shadow of a horrific giant and a shadow of a petite woman. Masuyo’s crew trembled in fear, for that they felt her life was at its ends.

“Oh man! Shes so dead! Look at that fucking thing! What the hell is it?” A crew member said.

“Should we go in there?” Another asked.

“What? No, no, not at all. She decided her own fate.”

“You all make me sick! We are all fucking cowards! Has she not always been there for us.? Huh!”

“Yeah… but she’s nothing without her mask, she’s going to get herself fucking killed!”

“Are you all the delusional! She doesn’t need that dam mask! What she seeks already lies within her.”

The Crew said nothing, only prepared for what was next.

Masuyo stared at Fuzen, he stared back. “If you have nothing to say, then get the hell out of my way!” Masuyo spoke.

Fuzen grinned. “Hmm… I like your spirit; your heart will be a savory one.” He moved forward as his claws cracked the grazed ground they stood on. “It be wised you hold your blade higher girl, wouldn’t want your pretty little head to get knocked off.”

Masuyo smiled, Fuzen was not aware of her core strength, or that she had any without the mask. “Shall we?” She asked. Fuzen charged without hesitation, and before he took his second step, the fight was over. He couldn’t move, he couldn’t breath—all that witnessed such power remained in shock. “No… Impossible!” One of the creatures yelled.

With a quick slash, Fuzen’s body was now headless. Creatures of the shadows now fled from the cave—fled from Masuyo, wiping the very blood that was spilled upon their faces.

“Is this all you have! Show yourself wicked woman and maybe, just maybe your fate will not be the same as his.” Masuyo called out the wicked woman, but she was gone, further ahead than Masuyo thought. All that was heard now was the dripping of blood from her blade.

Masuyo’s crew had finally gotten the courage to follow in her lead, follow her heroic action as they scarcely entered the cave. Masuyo continued forward as she realized the possession of her mask was far, but not from the truth that laid behind—not far from Ankoku.





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