The Talking Sword

Samurai of the Satsuma clan, during the Boshin...Image via Wikipedia

In this modern age, guns are more common than swords. Back in the middle ages, swords are used more often due to reload issues. Don't worry, I will not bore you with a comparison of blades and guns (I could as a qualified Professor in Weaponology). Instead, I will tell you a rusty little secret. An extraordinary sword which I found by chance in a garage sale. One which talks.

At first I was so shocked, my jaws dropped. After the initial shock, I wanted to announce this discovery to the world. However, the sword threaten me with it's silence. It pointed out that it could outlast me and find someone else to talk to. The sword is particularly selective of who it talks to. That is how, instead of announcing this to the scientific community, I ended up writing this piece of fiction for you.

When I asked the sword it's name, it produced the most hollow laugh I've ever heard. He? She? Gender don't mean much to objects. It said so itself. Apparently, it has been given more names than it cared to remember. But it does remember who wielded it in the past, when swords were actually used in warfare. These are stories of forgotten heroes of the past:

Back in the olden days, when magic was at it's peak, when Gods and Demons actually do battle each other in the open, there exists a fool who was a fanatical sword lover. His name was Nobuhiro, and he just so happens to meet a Deity. After a long drink with the Deity to the point of getting drunk, Nobuhiro dared him to prove his powers. The Deity asked him what task does he think of as impossible for mortals. To this, he replied: "No mortal could make a talking sword!". And thus I was born. Out of pride and fantasy. After that, countless samurai wielded me. Occasionaly, they use me until I was broken. No matter how expensive, they always had me re-forged with the best metal in the country. Rumours of me spread far and wide, until the Emperor hears it too. I was made the Imperial Royal Treasure.

Everybody who wielded me from that moment on enters the history books. Among all of them, few are even worth remembering. None could use me with adequate skills. Well, there was one man who wasn't like that. He was faster than a fly, stronger than an ox, sneakier than a snake. His name was Hang Tuah, a foreigner from the Far West. This is one of those dark secrets which was never recorded down in history.

When the foreigner arrived, he was framed for murder. In an effort to escape from Imperial Samurais, he stole me from the treasury. Lucky for him, my imbued properties allow me to act as translator. All he needs to do is put a sock puppet on his hand and act like a ventriloquist. In those days, that was the latest craze. For a moment, we make quite a team. Me doing the detective work and him slashing away every Samurai who saw through our disguise. For income, we do street shows too. His sense of humour is quite unique. He even gave me a Malay name: Keriangan. He told me it means joy in his native tongue. That was my proudest moment in my life.

In the end, we fought against a Samurai, Ninja, Monk and even a Concubine. There's some truth to the old proverb: "Behind every powerful man is a powerful woman". Hang Tuah would have fallen to the Concubine charms if he was single. When we managed to uncover the whole truth of the situation, we realized that a coup de'tat was launched by certain factions within the Imperial Court. I begged him to save the Emperor's life. At first he refused, but when he saw a group of children playing innocently nearby, I told him this: "If Japan goes into another civil war, those children you see there will become casualties of a war you could prevent". His heart melted and that is how he ended up defending the Emperor's Throneroom for 20 hours. The enemies kept coming, but the space was so narrow that they could only attack him one at a time. He defeated enough Samurai to draft an army. He was bleeding from head to toe when the loyalist faction finally arrived to re-capture the Imperial Capital.

At the end of it all, nothing was recorded down because the culprits were somehow related to the Emperor. They were banished from the Imperial Court and made a commoner. Hang Tuah was asked to choose an Imperial Royal Treasure as a token of appreciation. He went and talked to me for one last time, telling me the reason I wasn't chosen. He said I am more useful in Japan than by his side. If I had a human heart, it would have broke at that time. But it wouldn't matter anyway, because later I would be wielded by one of his descendants. Now that is an epic story.

(This sword made so many historical references that even the Professor thinks the sword is a liar. Such a waste that the only talking object can't even be honest.)   
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