"Way Of The Outsider": Katana is running through Kawaii Park in Japantown as Coil, the wielder of a sword known as the spiral sword is chasing her. Her sword is tied behind her back. Coil's sword finally catches up to her and wraps around her b
- It is the Soultaker. It will slaughter everything in its path. That's why everyone wants it and no one wants it.
- -- Coil
Appearing in "Way Of The Outsider"
- The Sword Clan
Synopsis for "Way Of The Outsider"
Katana is running through Kawaii Park in Japantown as Coil, the wielder of a sword known as the spiral sword is chasing her. Her sword is tied behind her back. Coil's sword finally catches up to her and wraps around her body, tying her up. As he gets closer, Coil says that she is too full of emotion and is weak. He reflects that women are weak from centuries of doubt and subjugation from their husband and that they should not be master of anything, except maybe of a kitchen. He continues saying that he remembers Katana as a loyal wife to her husband, and that she had the joy of servitude in her eyes. Moving closer to her face he asks her directly: did she feel liberated when she, covered in blood in her yard, lost everything? Was she trying to escape all of that by coming to San Francisco, Japantown?
A few days earlier, Katana arrived at Japantown to visit a girl named Shun. As she entered, she immediately notices that the citizens of Japantown had a lot of spirit. A happy old drunk named Junko threw a candy wrapper at her, telling her to lighten up instead of looking so serious. A innkeeper named Nori comes out to make sure Junko isn't being a nuisance and Tatsu asks her for a room making sure that it is discreet, and has a basement she could borrow. She pays her a hefty sum of money and Nori promises she won't ask any questions or tell anyone.
Inside the basement, She surrounds herself with planks with painted sticks. When she pushes a button with her foot, all the painted sticks eject from all sides toward her, simulating 33 swords coming at her at once. She slices away most of them but still manages to get hit several times meaning she would have gotten killed many times over if they were real swords. She leans down and excuses herself to Maseo, whom she believes the soul is inside her Soultaker Sword, as she believes that she is not worthy enough to wield it.
Later that night, she recognizes that she needs a teacher to help her master the sword. She dreams of the first time, she slept with Maseo, inside a cherry orchard. As she looked up to her lover in the dream, she realizes that it was Coil making love to her and not Maseo. She startingly woke up from her dream and excused herself to her sword, explaining to it that she cheated on Maseo in her dreams and asked for his forgiveness. She knows that people snicker behind her back about the fact that she believes her husband is inside her sword. She dosn't care. As she dresses up in a kimono, she notes that each of the trinkets and accesories she wears around her body can be used in combat. Her earrings have a point, her bracelets an edge, her necklace is as flexible as a whip, her kanzashi (hair-sticks) have two deadly points and her mask can be doubled as a hat. She recalls a cartoon she saw when she was younger about a housewife who used everything in her kitchen to fight her enemy.
As she goes through the streets of Japantown, Tatsu feels the influence of the clans of the Outsiders in some of the back alleys. On the surface Japantown looks steamy with fresh laundry and hard work but underneath the facade, it reeks of dirty money. She finds a woman named Madam Yoko and asks to see the girl named Shun. Madam Yoko tells her Shun is an "untouchable" and tells her that she must pay each time for every glimpse and even then she will only see one piece of her skin. Yoko treats the girl named Shun with disdain.
As they enter Madam Yoko's residence, She orders a teenage naked girl with a body covered in tattoos to cover herself up. Yoko asks her which tattoo she wishes to see and Tatsu responds that she wishes to see the tattoo of the katana, to which Yoko mutters something about the sword driving people crazy. Tatsu asks Yoko how did Shun get all theses tattoos. Yoko explains that Shun's great-grandfather was dying and his skin carried the story of the stealthy rise and mad decline of the ancient clans of japan. Shun was chosen to bear the story on her skin because she was a "nasty" girl and did "bad" things. She was now "untouchable". The piece of skin that Tatsu wants to see shows a man wielding the Soultaker sword, the sword currently in Tatsu's possesion and the one she believes holds her husband's soul. Yoko tells her that the Soultaker was once the centerpiece of the Sword Clan's arsenal and that the man in the tattoo had the "blood-madness". He had tried to purify the clans long ago and went insane trying. As Yoko kicks her out of the house, she hears Shun whimper and beg for Tatsu to help her.
As she goes inside Kawaii Park, a park filled with bushes cut in the form of child plushies, she believes she feels at home in Japantown, as it brings back feelings of her childhood. Katana suddenly realizes that she is about to step into an ambush and throws her two hair-sticks at the attackers killing two of them. 11 ninjas belonging to the Sword Clan jump out of the trees a few meters away from her. They surround her and she fights them from all sides with her necklace, which doubles as a deadly whip, her earrings, which are sharps blades of metal on pull-back wire ropes and even twirls around them with her dress, which the edges are outfitted with razors! As most of the ninjas fall, Coil appears handling his sword as casually as if it was a piece of rope, which brings us back to the present.
Coil had made the mistake of making his sword wrap too tightly around the Soultaker sword. The Soultaker sword sliced easily the spiral sword, giving Katana some room to maneuver. Quickly grabbing the Soultaker, Katana breaks most of the ninja's blades and some of the spiral sword. However the Soultaker starts moving on its own, and she is no longer in control as the sword becomes extremely hot. She pretends she is control as she pins a man on the ground but the ninja on the ground smells the burnt flesh and is not duped. He says it is one thing to possess the sword, but another to wield it. Coil concurs and says that the Soultaker will slaughter everything in its path. It is the reason everyone want it but no one wants it at the same time. Coil offers Katana to join the Sword Clan and train with them in safety to which Katana declines saying she is a lone wolf. Coil questions Katana wheter her husband is inside the sword and asks who controls the sword; her or her husband. Or even if the sword is controlling them both. Her sword had slaughtered thousands over the centuries. Katana tells him that the sword clan is corrupt and announces that she will take it down as she helds the sword to his throat.
- This book was first published on February 13, 2013.
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