Pondside, Mitsuo gripped his bamboo pole. Not a bite.
A soft tread from behind. Ronin bandit!
“Nothing here to steal,” said Mitsuo, not turning. “Haven’t even caught dinner.”
The footsteps neared. Mitsuo sighed. “Please. You’ll disturb the fish.”
The rasp of steel on scabbard.
Mitsuo rolled, a blade clipping his earlobe. Mitsuo spun the fishing pole, parrying another slash. The pole snapped. Mitsuo jabbed upward with the bamboo. The bandit grabbed his throat, croaking. Blood gushed from his windpipe. He splashed backward into the river.
Mitsuo watched bloody ripples rock the reeds. At this rate he’d never catch a fish.