Two meet in the dark, Only one will leave.
They are the clothes of a Samurai. Clothes of an era gone past. Their gi & hakama are of the finest make and speak of their high status. Fine clothes they once were but no longer. Frayed at edges, patched in places. They indicate the Samurai's fall from grace by the end of an era.
Their pride too fierce to attempt any other trade to make a living. To high their upbringing too know of any other. Reduced they are to penniless ronin. Too noble to turn into bandits. Too stubborn to forget their grudges. For both were bitter enemies as far as memory stretches.
Now they meet on this dark and moonless night. After years of wandering, searching for one another. Searching for their foe. To end this battle, this bloodfeud which raged for years.
Tonight they have met, tonight they fight and tonight it will end.
The clearing is empty and only the trees bear witness. Both sink into their stance and unsheath their swords. Slowly, languidly with only the scraping of metal against iron sheath for noise.
Both circle each other with deliberate calm. Both have danced this bloody dance a hundred times. Tonight they dance it one last time.
Both each other's moves with near perfection. They are master's of their craft. The night provides no hindrance, for they see with their minds eye and read each other like a book.
Both stop and there is silence. It lasts a mere heartbeat but to them it seems an eternity. Then as one they strike.
Both are fast but only one is faster. A single strike, one spurt of blood, and it is over. Both stop on opposites as if nothing had happened. Another heartbeat, another eternity. Then one slowly slides to the ground and the blood flows freely. There is no sound from the fallen or the victor. No surprise. Only acceptance of the inevitable.
Both look at each and a faint smile graces their faces. In death their feud has ended. Their purpose in life attained. The fallen warrior closes his eyes never to open them again. The victor flicks the blood away from his sword, sheathes it with practised ease and bows to the fallen opponent.
Two met in the dark, and only one left.