Today we have a sneak peek from the new fantasy novel by Nicholas Forristal: Hitori.
Hitori is the story about a woman who was sold to Bishamon, god of war, by her father to win a an upcoming battle. After almost a century of training, she is sent back to Japan to be its defender against the evils that lurk across the land.
Set in the 8th century, Hitori has to learn to cope with the dangers and lifestyle fitting of a wandering warrior and the trials and tribulations that make us human. Also, some demons and monsters. It is a standalone story to the Chronicles of M series.
Here is an excerpt from Hitori…
Blood drains from his neck as the blade runs its course, cutting through the skin like it is paper. The men watch in silent horror as their leader helplessly collapses on to the ground, his life draining on to the dirt below. His hands try to hold it in, but fail utterly. There’s a second of shock and silence amongst the men before one of them raises a sword and screams. The rest follow suit and charge at the woman.
The fastest one feels the force of her wooden sword mashing his testicles into jelly. He collapses onto the ground in wailing, operatic agony. Three more reach her, one on each flank and one in front of her, all armed with rusty swords and bad intentions.
She doesn’t panic, she doesn’t hesitate. Before they can organize themselves, she swings low and hard at the shin of the bandit on the right, snapping it and destroying any ideas for vengeance as he topples over.
Seeing an opportunity, the man on her left lifts his sword overhead. Recklessly he charges in, bringing the blade down towards the woman’s unprotected back with all the force of a raging giant. His battle scream echoes across the open field.
She uses her iron sword, not the block to blow, but to sever his hands at the wrists. The momentum of his downward strike helps. Her dulled, chipped blade does not. Where a clean, razor sharp sword would have lopped off his hands as easily as it cut the air, her blade only makes it halfway through. The bandit loses his grip on his weapon, dropping the weapon harmlessly to the woman’s side. His hands flap upwards, slapping against the top of his arms and ripping the skin further. Blood sprays from his useless wrists as the man flails his arms around in a panic.
Having lost the upward momentum of her swing, the woman changes the sword’s direction into a downward thrust that catches the third man above the knee. Any thoughts the man had for fighting are washed away in a sea of pain and agony. The woman’s foot comes at him with full force, crashing into his chest, breaking several ribs and taking away whatever breath he had in his lungs.
Five bandits left – all weaponless and scared out of their minds. None of them have ever seen anything like her. Even when villagers, or even the occasional soldier, have fought back, it was never like this. This is brutal, quick and without mercy. They watch as the woman unsheathes her sword from the last victim’s leg. She swipes it to her side, flicking wet blood onto the dirt. Walking towards the group, she shows no sign of fear, of concern, of interest. This is what she was trained to do and this is another day in her life. That is all.