Under the Helm of Soul – A Ronin Warriors Story

Mia sat by the fire and stared at her hands. Sounds around her seemed so distant and muffled and she just focused on her hands. She was still quite a bit shaken and disbelieving about what had happened but everybody else confirmed it. It was hard to match up the feeling of unreality with what she knew to be true. She thought that any moment she would wake up and it would all be a dream but she also knew that was unlikely. She felt a hand on her shoulder shaking her a bit and she slowly surfaced from the deep pool of her own thoughts and emotions.

“Huh?” Mia said softly, looking up at her friends. Ryo removed his hand from her shoulder.

“Just a little worried about you, Mia,” Kenta said with that easy smile of his. “I think you checked out at some point in the conversation.”

“You definitely look checked out,” Cye said. “Are you alright? Do we need to table this discussion for later?”

“No, I guess I’m alright,” Mia said. “I’m just very overwhelmed by all of this. I’m having trouble trying not to think so much.”

“I believe that it was that way for all of us,” Sage said. “At least, it was that way for me. Overwhelmed with power and purpose and magic. It is indeed difficult to navigate.”

Ryo sat back down. “Yeah, you end up trying to make sure that you’re riding the magic and it’s not riding you,” he said. “My experiences with the Armor of Wildfire and the Armor of Inferno have proven how powerful this stuff can be. Sometimes when I think about it, it really scares me.”

“It scares you?” Mia asked. “You’ve never said that before. How can you do the things that you do then? How can you be a hero?”

“Because the world needs me,” Ryo said. “The world needs us.”

“We’re uniquely suited to confront the horrors unleashed from the Nether Realm and their allies here on Earth,” Sage said. 

“We can’t walk away from our responsibilities,” Cye said. “I could never live with myself, seeing the faces of all the people we failed to protect.”

“That’s right!” Kenta said. “We’re the only ones who can make a difference. The Ronin Warriors!” He stood from his street as he cheered almost like a cheerleader. His excitement made Mia smile and, although some of the others may have rolled their eyes, they smiled too.

“Not the only ones anymore,” Sage said. “There’s a new player among us.”

Mia blushed and shook her head. “I still can’t believe that I was actually wearing armor. After studying so much of my grandfather’s research and watching you five, it was mind-blowing to be right there with you on the battlefield.”

“You looked good out there,” Ryo said. “Like you belonged. If you hadn’t jumped into the action, we would be toast.”

“Worse than toast,” Kenta said. “We were just about done for.”

“Thoughts, Rowen?” Sage asked.

Rowen was deep in thought. “Not quite yet,” he said. “I’m thinking.”

“Well, how did it happen?” Cye asked. “You know all of our origin stories. What’s yours?”

Mia smiled. “It wasn’t all that different from your stories,” she said. “I saw all of you in danger, at the mercy of Lady Kayura and the Four Seasons armors. I told Yuli to run but, for some reason, I couldn’t run myself. I could not heed my own warning. Instead, I stepped toward you and in a flash, I was surrounded by pure white light and then I was standing there in my own armor and carrying a shield. I instinctively knew how to cast the spell.”

“A spell that instantly healed all of us and repelled our enemies,” Sage said. “It was amazing.”

“I’m ready to speak,” Rowen said.

“Go ahead, buddy,” Kenta said.

Rowen cleared his throat. “Well, we know that our armors and the armors of the seasons come originally from the magic of Talpa. They were created by The Ancient One and every bit of information we have, which mostly comes from Mia and her grandfather, says that only nine armors were made.”

“Could we have incomplete information?” Mia asked. “It was a difficult subject to research until you all showed up and proved the armors were real.”

“I don’t think so,” Rowen said. “The research was thorough. I have three theories and correct me if I’m wrong, Mia.”

Mia nodded. “I’m all ears,” she said.

“The first is that The Ancient One hid this armor as a failsafe. Seeing as how the Seasons Armors have been corrupted and all but reclaimed, he feared the same might happen to this tenth armor and so he somehow kept it out of the legends. Second, this armor was created by our great need for it in the moment and by Mia’s compassion and knowledge of the armors. Third, it is something else separate from the original armors.”

“All of those are valid theories,” Mia said. “How do we know which one is the correct one?”

“It doesn’t really matter,” Ryo said with a shrug.

“That’s uncharacteristically rude, Ryo,” Cye said.

“Ryo is actually correct,” Rowen said. “There is no way to figure out where the armor came with unless we receive further information. The point is that we have it now and it is an asset for our team.”

“Exactly,” Ryo said. “Which means that we have to train you, Mia.”

“Train me?” Mia asked. “I’ve never really fought anybody before.”

“Probably why you got a shield,” Kenta said.

“Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through everything,” Cye said.

“The other question is what to call it,” Rowen said.

“The Armor of Soul,” Mia said. “I’m sure of it.”


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2 Responses to “Under the Helm of Soul – A Ronin Warriors Story”

  1. Ronel Janse van Vuuren Says:

    I like that last line.

    Ronel visiting for the A-Z Challenge My Languishing TBR: U


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