The Man Slayers - Chapter # 5: Mononoke

She has some nerve! First she kills my father, then she tries to kill me, but ends up killing may mother instead. Then she has the nerve to pick me up, and carry me away, pretending that she's going to take care of me. I hate her! I hate Lasto Lalaithamin! I swear I'll have my revenge, for my family. I will have my revenge!

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Lasto sat the boy down by a small stream that was a ways away from the town that the resent events had taken place. She took out a rage, got it wet, and began to lightly wash the boys face.

The boy suddenly jolted out of his sleep. "Mother!!" He looked up at Lasto, and shook his head. "So all that I dreamed really happened."

"It was not a dream... it was real." Lasto finished washing his face. "I am sorry, I wish I-"

"You are not sorry! You killed my parents! You lied to mom! I hate you!"

Lasto looked away, and wiped a tear from her eye. She then turned, and began to wash the blood off her face.

The boy sat there, surprised that she did not do anything to him for what he had said. "Do you not care what I say to you?"

Lasto did not turn to look at him. "I understand how you feel. I once had a family... they were taken from me, and I understand what it's like to loss many of your loved ones in one day."

The boy looked shocked. "You had a family? A heartless killer like you had a family?"

Lasto looked at him. "I am not completely heartless. And yes, I did have a family... A mother, a father, a husbend, two little girls, and two little boys, a family. But they were stolen from me a long time ago."

"Stolen?! What do you think you just did to me?! You stole my family!"

"And that's why I promised to take care of you. I promise to take care of you until you decide to leave, or I am killed."

"Let's settle that 'until you are killed' thing then!" He somehow got ahold of Lasto's sword, and pulled it from it's sheath. "Die Lasto Lalaithamin!!!" He then swung her sword, aiming to behead her. 'I've got her. He thought.

But he did not, the sword slashed through thin air. "You missed, with an aim like that you'll never hit me. Your speed and strength behind it is also poor. Do you wish to improve your skills?"

The boy turned, and say that she had somehow gotten behind him. "Never! I will kill you!" He swung the sword again. Lasto ducked it, and punched him in the gut.

"Give up trying to hit me with my sword, it's not going to happen."

The boy dropped the sword, and fell to the ground, holding his gut. "I hate you."

"It's nothing new to me. I've been hated for a long time." Lasto picked her sword up, and returned it to his sheath.

The boy stood up, and looked at her. "You aren't going to kill me?"

"Why would I want to kill you? I have no reason to. I wish to teach you, teach you to protect. I wish to pass my skills on to one who will use them forever to protect. I could die any day, and my skills will not be know to any. I need to teach one in the ancient arts that I know. Are you willing?"

The boy stood there, shocked by what she was saying. He had thought that she had lied when she said that she was going to take care of him. Now she was saying that she wanted to teach him how to protect, instead of teaching him how to kill. "Will it be hard?"

"Yes, it will be very hard. It will be long, and hard to endure, but with your spirit I think you'll survive."

"And what happens if I can't complete the training?"

Lasto looked dead into his eyes. "The I'll have to kill you."

The boy nodded. "Alright, I will train under you."

"Good, may I have your name?"

"My name is.... I don't want you to know. I may be your student now, but you still killed my parents."

Lasto nodded. "Very well, I'll make one for you then. Mononoke will be your new name then."

"Mononoke? Vengeful spirit?"

"Yes, Mononoke is a strong name, and should serve you well."

He nodded. "Alright, Mononoke it is." He sat under a tree. I wish to get some rest, can you sing me to sleep?"

"Sure." Lasto walked over to Mononoke, sat down, allowed him to rest his head on her shoulder, and began to sing him asleep, as though he were her own child. He slowly went to sleep, Lasto's song still ringing enchantingly in his ears.

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