"... You are a man?!"
"You are a woman?!"
The two strangers met in heaven for the first time, one in the uniform of a shining knight, the other in a long flowing white and red kimono with his hair tied in a ponytail. They looked at one another strangely, for they would not understand the other's language on earth, both of their societies finding the other a great oddity. The lady knight with her lovely bobbed hair giggled slightly, her radiant young face personified in her glorified body.
"So sorry, brother! I have never seen one like you before!" the lady knight smiled.
"Likewise... gomen-nasai... I had no idea women could be warriors..." the Asian youth replied with his head cocked. "But... nothing is impossible with God, right?"
"That word," the knight replied. "It means 'I am sorry'... strange how I know that now. Ah, but welcome to heaven!"
Both of them stood on a beach with crashing waves, white foam dancing across the clear waters with the bright sky. Both of them just stood in silence for several moments, observing one another oddly, but merrily as they knew they were still kin here.
"Did... you perish a holy death as well?" the Asian boy inquired.
"Uhm... yes... they burned me alive as a heritic..." the lady knight replied. "But I died for Jesus who died for us. It does not bother me right now..."
"As did I... I overthrew the dayimo and held the castle for almost a year, but..." the youth began, his head bowed with shame. "Most of my men were the farmers that plowed the fields and we starved... I was betrayed by one of my own men, and everyone... everyone was executed. Two hundred years will pass before the name of Jesus can be spoken in my land..."
The knight paused for a moment, not knowing what to say. The boy had given Jesus his all in order to save his people, not unlike another person she knew. She placed a gauntleted hand on the boy's draped shoulder and smiled sweetly.
"The cross must have meant so much to you..." the knight empowered.
A small smile crept on the boy's lips, his dark eyes starting to feel alive again.
"More than you know... the cross is the wooden sword where Jesus committed seppuku for the dishonor I and all have ever brought to God's creation!" the boy stated with jarring emotion. "To die for my Lord is to die with not only honor but holiness!"
"Se... seppu-" the knight stammered.
The divine understanding of heaven enlightened the lady knight of the nature of this boy's culture. Honor... and death before dishonor were the common standard. It was strange to believe that Jesus killed himself for our sins, but it was He who commanded his spirit to leave His body. The knight blinked for a moment, never having thought of such a thing as possible, but looking up and praising God before continuing.
"Yes... Jesus died for all people... including our enemies. I tried so hard to protect my country, but... I too was betrayed..." the lady knight replied.
In return, the youth placed his slender fingers on her shoulder and smiled as well.
"So lovely to die like our Savior, ne?" the boy replied.
The girl tipped her head to the side with a cute smile and a bob of her hair.
"Yes! It is! My name is Joan, by the way..." she beamed.
"Amakusa Shiro Tokisada..." the boy replied. "Or Jerome if you prefer..."
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