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Division by Zero

The Last Round

Island Man

It has been two years since I learned the True Fate of the world, and the means to prevent it.

unnamed work 1

The Lair of the Metalurgist

Following the scribbled directions Jack, accompanied by Water and Pearson, ventured into the Venetian backwood.

up a strange spiral staircase that went up five turns, stopped in mid-flight at a short landing which continued with another set of spiral stairs, but in the opposite direction, which led up yet another five turns, to deposit the climbers ultimately and winded on a short stoop before a plain yet heavy door, besides which hung a thin knotted leather cord that terminated in a small hand-printed sign which read 'ring bell'. The rise of the stairs so shallow as the total fruit of thier labors were only two stories from the ground. Jack yanked on the cord, more out of frustration than curiosity, and the sound of a high jingling of bells penetrated the door.

"There are certain works - certain artifacts - that members of my order keep track. Not that they're necesarrily valuable outside those who can appreciate them for what they are. I suspect this blade to be one of those items."

"Many years ago in my youth I made a pilgramage to Damascus to learn their method of steel. While there I learned of Hikira Tojahisho, a great master of steel and blade-making who migrated from Nippon and combined his knowledge of Nippon sword-making with that of the Syrians to produce many wonderful blades, but one of special quality. I had the special privialge of meeting the descendents of one of his apprentices, and who allowed me to hire a scibe to copy the logs and journals he had preserved of Tojahisho's work."

"An english style broad sword in Damascan steel, double edge, two-handed hilt, and lanyard. Not many of these were ever made. Its a particularly effective in battle, but most effective in liberating heads from shoulders, which is what Count Dragor used it for."

"It was commissioned by the British Count Dragor of Bedwe'er in 1075

"But Tojahisho solved the problems of endlessly folding the steel - a secret which he taught to no one. Although he had apprentices, he never passed it on to them. Although he kept maticulous records, which is why we know of the blades existence at all, he makes no mention of just how he came to create it. It is one of thirteen blades he cared to catalog. A sword of unequaled beauty, strength, and sharpness. Have you had opportunity to experience these qualities?"

"Yes," reported Jack, reliving the horror of Capt. Jorgan's neatly divided corpse falling from the cliffs of San Raul.

"How did Capt. Jorgan die?"

"How did you know?"

"Capt. Jorgan is the last recorded owner of the blade. I will now have to update the records to include you as the new owner, along with the particulars of how you came to possess her."

"All the owners of d'arganoive die in battle. If history is to be believed, one who wears d'argonive into battle is victorious, but one who weilds her is doomed."

"I killed him," confessed Jack, "In self-defense."

"There is nothing magical about this blade, to speak of. Its merely a superior weapon. It makes a mediocre fighter good, and a good fighter great. One good strike is all that is required to defeat an opponent. Do that too much and the mind grows lazy - careless - then defeat and death are soon to follow."

Great name: Itseemtome Tobeabug - "It seemed to me to be a bug", which is perfect iambic octameter.

The Death of Captain ???

Cedric dropped and feinted to his inside line, and ??? riposted upward with his tip, slicing a long bloody gash across the back of Cedic's hand.

"Even half-dead I'm the better blade, you miserable coward!"

"Quite right, on both counts." remarked Cedric as he pulled the pistol from his haunch and fired at ???'s midsection. The lead ball tore through him, deflating the rest of his strength along with it. Now he was on his knees, his left hand hopelessly checking the bleeding wound, the blade falling limply from the other into the sand.

Cedric, blade still drawn, marched the short distance between them and kicked ??? firmly under the chin, falling him solidly on his back. Now the blade was on his chest, and Cedric boasted "The only thing the history books will recall is that we fought on this beach, and that it was my blade in my hand that ran your heart through and caused your death."

Cedric was very close to him now, and in Gothian fashion summoned whatever strength remained in him, and wiped a handful of his poisoned blood on Cedric's exposed neck. A last act of defiance, he reasoned, some of the poison might pass through the skin. Cedric recoiled in disgust, and in an anger forgot himself, and thrust his cutlass deep into ???'s chest, delivering welcome death. ??? made no sound, only convulsed for a second and was still.

Hikira Tojahisho

Escaped from Japan to China in 1013, made his way slowly across northern China to Damascus. He stopped for two-year periods during his journey, in order to earn a commission and forge a blade before moving on.

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