In the shade of a towering boulder that had been there since time immemorial, an old teacher and his young warrior-disciple were absorbed in prayer. Their souls were at peace – the perfect feeling of harmony with the great and eternal Mother Nature.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a cloud raced in front of the sun, sending a stroke of lightning crashing onto the stone with terrible force. In a moment, like an overwhelmed titan, the boulder hit the ground with a strange dull sound and broke into pieces. As the earth trembled under the stone's oppresive weight, it emitted a sinister rumble that echoed like waves of primeval terror from its darkest depths. Surprised, the disciple sprang to his feet and instinctively grabbed the hilt of his sword. He was like a porcelain doll in a storm of stones. He suddenly felt helpless; there was nothing he could do. It seemed as if he was being visitied by fate itself. That moment of inexorable doom felt like an eternity, and it overwhelmed him.
How unexpectedly death comes! The young warrior was shocked by the realization. For some reason, however, death eluded him by a hair’s breadth. Perhaps it was still lurking nearby, deliberating. Or was it toying with him, barely touching the thin thread of his life with its sharp scissors? He felt their cold, ruthless steel as if his soul was bare… “To cut or not to cut?” an ethereal whisper asked. His eyes protruded in horror, searching for the invisible enemy in vain. But he could only feel a terrible vibration that had penetrated his body.
The teacher remained absolutely calm and still. Only his mouth moved when he told the disciple,
"Of course, anybody is always old enough to die. Death strikes like lightning. They say you cannot reassemble broken jasper. But, my friend, the great mystery of life is that life cannot be destroyed. Did the sky collapse? No. The darkness is simply testing you. It is always trying to intimidate and control those of weak faith. Only fear kills. Only doubt cripples. You are a Warrior. As such, you must believe that you are indestructible. Without a doubt. Only then will the darkness hold no power over you. Only then will you become invincible. You will become the energy flowing at the core of the Lightning of the Great Mystery. Now sit and continue praying."
This is a chapter from Samurai III: Legend