Tainted Victory  -|| By Jessie C. 
         Short Story

An honorable young man in a world consumed by sin and evil.

- They're close... I can hear them breathing... Those retched excuses for human beings..

"Go Tamenshi... Now while he's not looking." A barely audible whisper.

"What about-?"

"I'll follow close behind you.. Now go."

- We shall make it.. They aren't smart enough to catch us.. I'll make sure she stays safe..

Silent footsteps..

- Good.. She's made it.. Now it's my turn..

"You there!" A man's voice.

"Yes.." The cautious reply.

"What are you doing out here?" The suspicious question.

"Nothing of your concern.."

"Oh really?" The sound of a sword being unsheathed..

- How I hate that sound.. That retched appalling sound.. The lost souls that scream out threw that sound... The innocent killed by that blade...

"Defend yourself! Or do you wish to die this night?" The glint of metal in the moonlight.

"I will defend... But I shall die because of it.." Another sword gleams in the night air.

"You are rite boy, because I shall kill you." The blade is swung.

The sound of clashing metal rings threw the darkness.

- Another soul to be extinguished... Another's fate determined by his actions.. I shall pray for his soul...

A ballet under the stars. Fluid movements to be predicted by each. A missed step.. A delayed reaction.. A blade turned crimson in the moonlight.

"I am.. sorry.." The words of victory.

- Another death.. Another forgotten soul.. Once innocent and then consumed by darkness... How I shall pray for them all...

"Dekado..?" A young woman's voice.

"Go on... I am rite behind you." The quick reply.

- I shall keep her safe... Safe from the horrors of this world.. She won't end up another forgotten innocent... I won't let it happen...

A life torn apart.. The death of an earthly brother at his hands.. Yet it was in the name of good, to keep the one he cares for safe.. A tainted victory..

Is it truly a victory to vanquish ones enemies? To truly be a great human being must we conquer those who challenge us? Or is it just the opposite? Do we have to die before we are truly noble? In defense is it truly rite to strike one of your brothers down? Or should we stand our ground and let or brothers strike us down? How do we save the souls of others when we cannot even save our own? Can we rightfully be called human when so many of us lust for blood like the primitive beast? Do we truly deserve to be here at all? If only the answers came to us as easy as the questions...