The Tale of the Valiant Hero
By Ezra Jonah Jacobs
Date Published: March
Kenta Takeyama is
a 16 year old martial artist who possesses superhuman strength and abilities and the
Takeyama -ryuu fighting art. He desires to become the most powerful shogun on the
Nikkoujima (Sun Light Islands), as there are much more powerful men in the world. He
lives with his father Tesshin, who trained him in the martial arts, and his mother Amaya,
who is the former princess of a royal family and master fighter; his little sister Mana, who
wants to become a famous play actress and open her own production studio, as well as
his pet bear Kumomori, whom he had since he was 4. Kenta finds that it’s time to follow
his dreams of becoming a great and powerful shogun (using his power to protect people
and build more homes and villages, help the poor and starving, rather than just for pomp
He wants the people to
live in peace and prosperity with no fear, as the world is already entering another age of
war. Essentially, he wants to change the country). And so, with his parents’ permission,
he decides to travel to Senkyou to enlist in the military and become a true samurai
warrior. He feels confident that the can do so after going through many trials and travels
through his childhood, and training under the tutelage of his father in his family’s
martial arts styles.
During the first part of
the novel, after a little love fiasco with his childhood friend Yumine who has a crush on
him and sparring with some buddies, he travels the lush and vibrant island and helps
many different people out. As Kenta reaches Senkyou, he meets new rivals and friends,
such as Natsumi, a new love interest and Hayate, a mysterious ninja who wants to raise
up his own organization of ninja mercenaries. During basic training, he discovers that
the capital is being attacked by powerful youkai. The powerful beasts appear and disappear
in a flash, even the temple priests are having trouble.
Does the Great
Tengu King of the Gogonji mountain territory know anything about these attacks?
Do our heroes stand a chance against these swift and powerful foes? What is
the reasoning behind all of this carnage?
Note: The genre is
apart of the ‘wuxia’ (martial arts fiction) works of literature. It is a ancient style originating from
Tang Period China (5th century AD). The style places great attention to detail during fight
scenes (punches, kicks, combinations, throws, etc.) as well as giving attacks exotic names, a
convention originating from Chinese martial arts. It may take some getting used to, yet will very
quickly become easier to follow as you read. -Ezra
Ezra Jonah Jacobs
was born in 1988 in Atlanta, Georgia. He was raised in the suburbs 45 minutes outside of Atlanta by
his father and mother, having one older brother. Growing up in a small country town,
there was plenty of farmland and open plains to play and run around, a good place to let
his young imagination run wild. When not outside, he was usually reading, drawing
pictures, or playing video games. He has also had an interest in martial arts since the
age of 6, first gaining an interest after watching a Bruce Lee documentary and seeing a
movie by the name of Street Fighter. He started emulating the techniques he saw in these
movies. It was also around this age he became interested into becoming an author after
hearing his teacher read a book to his class. He would be influenced more by other books
throughout grade school either by going to the library or during in-school readings.
In Jr. High School,
Jacobs developed an interest in many new different mediums, including manga (Japanese comics) and
ancient world literature, such as Don Quixote and Beowulf (already having some world
literature in his background the form of Gulliver’s Travels and Aesop’s Fables while in
Elementary school). He also first came across ancient stories of kung fu masters with
enough strength to slay lions, enough speed to out run a cheetah, and being able
to lighten their bodies enough to walk on egg shells. He found these stories rather
fascinating and would spend time reading them, while at the same time trying to find
During his time in high
school, world literature reads had expanded. He also began reading more of a genre called Wuxia
(martial arts fiction), in particular Jin Yong, and was greatly fascinated by the scope of
the stories as well the detailed battle sequences. To him it was as if he were watching a kung
fu movie unfold before his very eyes. He thought this genre was rather interesting,
especially since it influenced all of his other favorite mediums as well, even theater.
At college, Jacobs
finally made the conscious decision to become an author. It was during this time, after class that he would
spend time typing up many different stories. Many being one-shots (one long chapter),
while others became full length novels. He began trying different genres and styles out
until reading Jin Yong’s “A Smiling, Proud Wanderer”. He then decided to give wuxia a try
and began working on a novel of such style. He had developed many early versions of
his current stories, eventually editing and reforming them into what they are now. He also
began reading many other novels around this time, such as Musashi, even more ancient
world literature such as Canterbury Tales, The Divine Comedy, and The Faerie Queen,
as well as many other things that would later influence his works.
Jacobs graduated from
Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia with a Major in Literature and a Minor in Arts. He also studied
karate while on campus during these years. As he wrote, he always had in mind to create
stories that would give his readers the impressions they were almost watching a movie or a
TV show, something interesting and exciting yet bearing the allure of a novel. Jacobs
currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. When not writing, he is usually reading from his
extensive book collection, taking walks in the city, and training.
After the ceremony was
over, Kenta decided to return to his room to get some sleep before leaving on his trip in the next
few hours. His father polished his old tachi for him as well as a wakizashi. Thought he had the
blade Kunitoki Santenmaru (Perfect Destruction from Heaven) since he was very young, it was
still in perfect shape. Its blade was sharp enough to cut through mountains in a true master’s
hands. Its dark bluish-gray metal shimmered as it caught the light with pearlite bits made into it.
He was slightly heavier than an average tachi, though felt as light as the ether in the hands of
Its grip was navy with a
bright red interior, and thick to the grip though not too thick. The top of the sheath was wrapped
with thick, bright red string that left two tassels hanging off.
Tesshin noticed his son’s
gazing over the exquisite and beautiful blade. He was completely entranced.
“No matter how much I
look at this sword” said Kenta “I’m always amazed at how nice it is. So, I really don’t mind using
it. I feel like I’m becoming one with it every time I use it…”
“Kenta, not only did I
teach you how to fight” said Tesshin “But also how to be a man and to be a hero. Never give up
on your goals or go back on your word. Protect those you love and fight for what you believe in.
Remember to give them everything in the military. As your dad, I know that you will quickly rise
up the ranks in no time at all. And when you become Shogun, be sure to show your authority
to the people as a great and honorable leader. Establish your name so that people hundreds of
years from now will remember you and your exploits as a legendary hero and warrior. Never let
them forget you…”
Kenta smiled lovingly “I
won’t. Thanks Dad…
“And show us around the
mansion you get too” he continued as he sat back as his legs remained crossed, the weight of
his bodies resting on his palms “I know we would all want to see it. Who knows maybe you and
Yumine-chan can give us some grand children”
Kenta felt as if his
heart cracked a little as his eyes shot open. At that moment, Tesshin knew something was
wrong. Kenta wanted to explain how drunk he was, but was already too embarrassed as it was.
Tesshin thought “He’ll be able to talk about it when he’s ready”
Tesshin then reminded
Kenta “Remember to continue your kata and training Kenta. There are still some things that I
have to teach you when you return, the special seimei tanren kata (life energy forging forms)
from the special scroll. But you need to get some more experience first. I don’t think that a kid
your age should have such great and uncontrolled power as his father.
Kenta laughed “What?
Are you scared that I will surpass you Pops?”
“No way!” he replied
“I just don’t think that a kid your age should have such monstrous power. If you can control it
perfectly, you can destroy everything and anything around you just by bad feelings alone. You
are already super strong for your age, so go out there and give them hell”
“Yeah, okay sure” Kenta
replied in a nonchalant tone
“What’s that supposed to
“Face it, you just don’t
want me getting stronger than you” Kenta said in a light hearted manner
“No way! Like I said,
I want you to get a better understanding of your power before you take this next step is all.
After this training, you power will jump by leaps and bounds, so much that it can destroy you
if you can’t control it properly, or even innocent bystanders is all” his father thought to use an
like…remember that time when I first got back home and I had to get back into shape…”
Kenta had a flashback
of when he was five and a colossal dome of energy destroying several islands just over the
horizon. The light completely eclipsed the islands as it devoured them whole. A rushing wind
blew towards the islands, as great whirlpools and hurricanes were being born in the sea around
them and rose to the sinister clouded heavens raging with lightning and rumbling with thunder.
Massive echoes of explosive sounds shook the area for many miles.
“RRRRAAAAAUUUUGGHHH!!!!!!!!!” In the heart of them was a shirtless man with long
dark hair that was dancing behind him, roaring madly as if trying to keep himself under control.
His eyes were white with energy, his face looked like a mad toushin (warring god). The titanic
mass of ki turned red, then purple, then blue, yellow, green and back to start the cycle. The
beasts of the fields went crazy with fear as the fled the scene, the birds decided to fly south
That day, even the many
kami of heaven and earth took notice of Tesshin’s strength.
“Oh yeah, that’s right! I
remember! That was pretty crazy!” said Kenta “Alright, I’ll wait a little while longer then Pops”
“Good!” he said with a
relieved smile “I would hate to send a human bomb to Senkyou, they would be pretty pissed.
Since you’re new to the military, they won’t give you any serious missions at first. You can build
your way up the ladder first with the experience and training the military gives you and then
when you come back on leave, I’ll teach you the final kata of our style”
“Alright, sounds good to
me if you really don’t think I’m ready”
“Plus, if you think that
was scary, you should see your mother, her power is almost as strong as my own thanks to the
training I gave her a while back. But she’s at least twice as mean as me”
Kenta chuckled and then
began laughing hard with his father.
“D-don’t tell your mother
I said that” Tesshin said as he continued chuckling “She hates it when I tease her”
His mother Amaya
sneezed twice, thinking she was catching a cold. She then continued to make some extra
snacks and place them in a furoshiki wrapping cloth for her son, which was already literally
beginning to pile to the ceiling. Her eyes slowly began to water as she had flashbacks of Kenta
as he was five and running around the island. She then began to break down into tears. Tesshin
walked into the kitchen and consoled her, wrapping his arms around his wife and telling her that
everything would be alright. Though she was usually a strong woman emotionally, she could
not bear the thought of the child she held in her womb leaving to live his own life and fight life or