◈◈ Parts Unknown, Japan ◈◈
There were no lush fields in this land. Water did not flow in abundance, and the poor soil grew nothing but weeds and corpses. It was a land as barren as the sky above it, and as dry as the rocky peaks surrounding it. This was a proving ground, for warriors old and new, great and lame. Here, men from all walks of life came to see the whites of their opponent's eyes, and paint the soil red with broad strokes of blood. And in the distance, a warrior marched.
Ishin Keijijo - the Demon King.
The wind swept through the arid land, and lifted the dust and rock into it's harsh embrace. It whistled a dry tune as it raced from here to there, then vanished as suddenly as it had come. It was to be the last sound this land would know until the starving edge of Ishin's blade met the supple flesh of his foe.
Katsuro Hanzo Yamamoto - the Genshokage.
As much a legend as he was a scourge of the living. He was the pale horse of death. A nightmare from which there was no waking. And Ishin had come to cut him down. Trekking down a rocky mountain path, his hair as black as the shadows from which Katsuro hailed, Ishin felt his blood rush with a warrior's intent.
Minutes stretched into hours, the Sun's heat boiled over him, yet his stride never slowed. And his gaze never wavered, for the featureless slits of white he called eyes had finally caught sight of the monster he had come to slay - or be slain by.
"Heaven is only a death away".