Tenchu: Stealth Assassins – Chapter 1

Story Adapted by & Screenplay by : Jameal Jordon & Sharome Jordon

Tenchu (tenchuu) [jap.] 1. pillars supporting heaven. 2. heaven’s (well-deserved) punishment.


16TH Century feudal Japan. A view from an outside forest, many posted guards lurk & stand ready. Deep inside the castle a shadowy figure can be seen walking past 2 honor guards. The man walking is the lord of this castle, Tensho Zankuro. Zankuro is a rather young lord (age range between 28-35). His 2 older honor guards (age range between 50-55) who have served him for many years bow their heads as he passes them silently on his way to his study.
(bows his head) : “Good night, Lord Zankuro. We will be on watch here.”

Zankuro nods to his guards as he makes his way down the dark halls of his castle. He casually walks down a dark hall towards his study. It is quiet, the halls are poorly lit, only a few small torches around his desk are lighted. He sits down & begins to look at some important scrolls. Lord Zankuro looks over his desk & sees a very crude scroll in the middle of a pile of familiar looking scrolls upon his desk.

LORD ZANKURO : “What is this?”

The lord looks at his desk, to a scroll that obviously wasn’t there earlier. As he looks around & he takes a torch & raises it he looks around. For now he sees nothing but darkness. He sees another connected room that is only separated by a rice paper wall, between his desk & the door. Behind his seat is his trusty sword, a sheathed katana. He puts the torch back in its place & he sits back down at his desk, & begins reading the mysterious scroll in question further. (The scroll is indigenous to the time period states to the lording Japanese calligraphy that Lord Zankuro must unconditionally surrender his title, his lands, servants, military force, & capital to the power & wisdom of Lord Me-Oh, signed Lord Me-Oh) As he reads it slowly, a dark malicious figure lurks inside the castle. He uses a forgotten technique to stick to the ceilings of the castle. Behind him you can see a wake of dead, silently struck down & killed unmercifully, skillfully. The dark figure makes his way down the hall, only the 2 honor guards sleepily stand watch near the lord’s study. The dark figure, then crawls over the ceiling softly & quietly. He sneaks over head of the guards. He is a warrior of the night, between the ages of 29-37, his eyes squint & surge with the powers of evil intent. He cloaked in a dark purple & black uniform, he carries no sword, but his gauntlet are forged with strong armor so he is able to defend against all sorts of weapon attacks. Short blades extend slightly from the gauntlets, & also if you look hard enough blades extend slightly from his feet, so his kicks do even more severe harm. He is a master ninja with dark intention, he is Onikage.

FIRST GUARD (motions to the second guard across from him): “Hmm do you hear something?”
SECOND GUARD (looks to the darkness & then to the first guard): “I think you had too much sake. No one is here. Every night with you its always (mocking the first guard) Hmm…do you hear something? They’re hasn’t been a something since we have been guarding the lord all this time, & why would someone pick tonight to strike? Our lord has no real enemies, right? ”

The first guard nods his answer. The dark figure overhead, pulls 2 sharp, shiny shurikens from a pouch, hidden somewhere upon him. He aims & launches the shuriken at the necks of the unsuspecting guards, with dead aim precision & seconds later, the spiked stars are now fully imbedded within the necks of the guards. They choke & attempt to call out to others as they slump to the floor with their dying breath, some blood spews out below they’re clothing as they lay lifeless on the cold, wooden floor.

NINJA (ONIKAGE) : “Heh, Fools. We all have enemies. It’s the sharp & the cunning that realize this, & the foolish & the stupid don’t realize that they are only awaiting they’re painful deaths. I hope in hell they teach you to be better at the job you obviously failed at in life.”

Onikage makes his way down the dark hall, & leaps to the ceiling. He wades across the ceiling unnoticed by the lord, he sees the only visible weapon in the room, Zankuro’s katana. With his dark technique, Onikage moves silent precision across the ceiling, moving behind the lord, & unsheathes the katana, taking it with him. Zankuro studies the scrolls, as Onikage clutches the lord’s sword in his hand & hides it behind his back. He leaps from the ceiling, to a bordering wall, & then to the floor. The lord is startled by the ninja’s actions. Zankuro instinctively reaches behind him for his katana. To his horror he finds the sword missing, Zankuro grunts a hearty disapproval of the swords whereabouts.
NINJA (ONIKAGE) (pulls out the sword from behind his back): “Heh, heh, heh. Where you looking (smirks) for this? (begins to feel the blade) Rather sharp, isn’t it? But I can tell its never even been used. A sword not tainted in blood is just a piece of metal, without cutting into someone’s flesh it has no purpose. I can tell you’ve never stared down at someone whose life you have just taken. You have no idea what power that is, what a feeling that form of strength it gives you.”

The lord extremely worried now. He feel that his life is shall come to an end soon. He looks to the strange scroll on his desk. Then looks to Onikage, in an instant he puts the 2 together.

NINJA (ONIKAGE) (fiddles with the sword even more carefully not to cut himself & begins some kata with the sword striking, almost practicing ): “Then again I’m not here to talk about the strength & purpose of steel. I’m here for your unconditional surrender of you’re title, land, servants, & manpower. Hmm where are my manners?” (clears his throat) “I am
Onikage, ninja master & leader of Lord Me-Oh’s ninja warriors. Lord Me-Oh has been waiting much too long for your answer, Zankuro. It was my idea to just kill you & take what Lord Me-Oh wants from you, but Lord Me-Oh knows that you are a family man & it is not my job or place to think for my lord. So .” (pause) “What is you’re answer?”
LORD ZANKURO : “I will not surrender what my ancestors have build & accomplished to the likes of you ninja.” (pushes the table to the side)
ONIKAGE (not looking up at Zankuro but concentrating on the blade he’s fiddling with): “I knew you would be defiant. Lord Me-Oh knew you would be defiant. We knew that you would have to be ” (pauses) “DEALT WITH Heh Do you know what is happening outside? My army has already murdered your pathetic guards. Your family your wife & daughters ravished & beheaded , your sons executed mercilessly like common criminals. We have already destroyed you Zankuro whether you know it or not, heh, heh, heh., hahaha(puts a hand over his face disguarding his view) MWAhahahahaha!!!”(takes his hand off his face, & aims the katana at Zankuro) “NOTHING!!! Nothing stands in the way of my lord’s wishes!” (*fight sequence*)

LORD ZANKURO : “Grrrrrr Ninja you will feel my power! I am Zankuro Tensho, lord & master of this castle. I will make sure you die a painful death!!!” (from his wrist, he pulls out his wakizashi dagger from a hidden place upon his wrist) “MURDERER!!!! I WILL HAVE MY VENGEANCE ON YOU NOW!!!!” (leaps over to Onikage, & they begin to fight with their drawn weapons.) “Even if I die tonight I will haunt you until the day you die!!!”

Zankuro begins his attack by throwing objects near him at Onikage, for he realizes that he is at a severe range disadvantage. Onikage is now annoyed severely by Zankuro’s bravado, & begins to cut down or kick any item that is thrown at him. Zankuro has had much samurai training but has no real practical experience & has never really been in a fight. Onikage has been a ninja for a long time & has had much experience fighting samurai. After running out of things to throw at Onikage, Zankuro attacks with his wakizashi, head on against his family sword. Onikage simply stays out of range, dodges & then counters Zankuro’s attack with the handle of the katana, smashing his hand, causing Zankuro to drop the wakizashi into the darkness of his own study. With sword tightly clutched in his hands Onikage kicks, punches, & throws his opponent silly. Zankuro hurt now cowers to the might of Onikage’s dexterity & skill. Onikage moves in closer, holding the sword now with 2 hands fiercely. Onikage moves in for the kill & when he comes in sword attack range a smile grows wide upon his grimace, as Zankuro moves back hands high into the air frozen with the fear of his own death.


Lord Zankuro falls to the ground, a pool of blood appears suddenly under him. Soon he will take his last breath in this world.

LORD ZANKURO : “I…can’t…believe…I lost…to this…scum uuuugggghhh.”

Onikage then takes the blade & chops off the head of Zankuro, after he is pleased with this act, he then plummets the sword into the old wooden floor after the sword is in, he twists the blade, breaking it into the wood, he throws the other end into back of Lord Zankuro’ body, as if he had to make sure he wasn’t dead enough already, the irony here was its first use as a weapon was its last, upon the master of the family that cherished it.

ONIKAGE : “I hope he didn’t think that I . Onikage would have mercy upon someone like him, so bold, so fierce, heh, but it seems he bleeds like all the rest. Upon his death he was not even a lord or a man, just another victim in a countless row of others that lay dying in the darkness. I almost feel sorry for him, heh, heh, heh Almost ”

From the dense shadows of the hall a female ninja soon rushes into the study she sees the aftermath of the carnage that has take place just moments ago. She is a beauty, in her late 20’s to early 30’s she is aged & almost perfected in the stealth arts of ninjitsu. She is the equal to Onikage in skill & dark intent. She is scantly clade in armor, & she carries 2 folded steel fans that rest behind her. Though she is purely Japanese her bright, golden blonde hair shines even in bleakest of all darkness. Her devilish smile & taunt, firm body have brought more than one man’s defenses down sending many, many men to an early grave. She is Ai, ninja master/goddess.

NINJA (AI) (smoothing back her hair) : “Onikage…the warriors have done they’re jobs. All that resided here have been annihilated. I have already ordered the ninja to take all the supplies from this castle back to our hideaway”. (looks down at the body of Zankuro)
ONIKAGE : “Then our job here is done. We have silently & swiftly conquered another territory. Lord Me-Oh power grows stronger, we grow stronger, soon all shall fall before the might of the ninja army & the awesome force of Lord Me-Oh.” ( takes a torch & crudely burns Lord Me-Oh’s markings into the wall behind his desk)
AI ( watches him) : “Very well then Onikage. We shall move out back into the forest & no one shall be the wiser before daybreaks, by tomorrow night all of this territory shall be ours. And then we shall concentrate on taking down the next territory on our list, the lands of Matsunoshin Gohda.”
ONIKAGE : “Gohda ” (pauses) (picks up the head of Lord Zankuro, the blood drips from the severed end) “I shall come for you’re head ” (Onikage & Ai look at each other & then Onikage tosses the head to the floor near its body that it was once connected with) “It is almost morning, it is time to retire to our hideaway. Order the ninja to bring the supplies to Lord Me-Oh & then retire to our home.” (kisses Ai) “I shall meet you there once I deliver my report to our Lord.” ( leaps out of a nearby window into the forest below outside.)


His shadowy escape is covered by the darkness that is the moonless night. You can hear him laughing harder & harder even as his body is long out of sight. Ai leaves the study & is seen outside below the castle. She disappears into the darkness of the forest as well, she is bringing up the rear of a enormous team of ninjas, as they take supplies & weapons from the now defunct Zankuro Castle.



Riding in from the forest’s depths 3 men riding fast on horseback approach the castle. They are ashigaru warriors, low level samurai. They work for Lord Gohda, a lord of a neighboring territory & a good friend to the late Lord Zankuro. The ashigaru have come to deliver an invitation to Lord Zankuro & his family to Princess Kiku’s 12th birthday celebration. The ashigaru dismount from their horses, the two older experienced men & a young newcomer who wants to prove himself to one day be a great samurai. They spy all of the carnage that took place under the cover of night. As they walk around the compound the smell of death is heavy in the air. The young ashigaru slowly walks around the compound & instantly vomits after seeing a teenage girl ravished & beheaded. The older men mock the young one, as they see him lose his nerve over the dead. The 2 older men are experienced warriors, who have barely won the many battles they have fought, they are unfocused, & to tell a secret the jobs they were able to get with Lord Gohda was thru a little known fact that they are bastard children from long dead relative of the Gohda family. They have no real family, as they have never settled down, they are about 40-45 in age range.

FIRST ASHIGARU (snickers & laughs at the young one)
SECOND ASHIGARU (also is laughing, but stops for the moment to take a drink of sake in a canister by his side) : “Think nothing of it. If you wish to live as long as we have, remember this one thing. The dead are no longer in pain & they cannot hurt you.” (laughs once more & hits him on the back) “It’s the ones that aren’t quite dead yet, that you have to worry about!!!!”

The young warrior, wearing low-grade samurai armor. He is a young Japanese man ( 19-23) & to an extent an expert swordsman picking up techniques & a little of bushido from ronin & samurai alike. He has only been in a few minor battles, & is quite the wise-ass. He looks up at his elders, he remembers he was only a poor farmer’s son but he knows from this moment this is not how he wants his life to turn out. An old man, with a cheap, rusted sword, no purpose, no home, no wife, no family. Nothing at all. One day he wishes to lead, maybe a general, or even a lord if he marries the right woman. For now, all he sees are the innocent victims, they were struck down unknowingly by warriors of the night .ninja. It seems to the untrained eye that Onikage’s men were sloppy, shuriken embedded in so many people, but no this wasn’t sloppy at all this was planned so that someone would know that there is an army of silent shadow walkers lurking, waiting to strike. An army of ninja? No one in the countryside is safe from this threat.

THIRD ASHIGARU (SETSURO) (kneels to the ground, looking over many beautiful young women that died during the night): “They’re all dead ..women, children, soldiers, samurai, all of them dead .”( looks to the soil, sees the footprints of soft-soiled boots, indigenous to ninja, shinobi, & thieves. The dead lay in a potent mixture of mud, dirt, & blood)” They didn’t have a prayer. Whoever did this has no soul, no heart, no HONOR!!!!!”


The ashigaru leave the grounds to enter the castle. The stench of death is strong, even if a strong wind was blowing the scent would still lurk about. They enter with weapons drawn. They split up & make there ways all over the castle.


The young ashigaru finds his way to Zankuro’s study. He passes the 2 dead honor guards & enters the study finding the blood almost painted across the rice paper walls. He looks to the floor, he sees Lord Zankuro’s beheaded form sprawled on the wooden floor. He lies in a pool of his own cold blood, his sword broken & embedded in his back & into the old wood.

THIRD ASHIGARU (SETSURO) (looking down) : “Hmm you must have been, Lord Zankuro.” ( gets angry) “No one deserves to die like this, NO ONE!!! I will personally destroy whoever did this, & make them pay for everything .” (clenches his fist) (with interest) “I, Setsuro, ashigaru to Lord Gohda will make them pay.”

Setsuro finds the scroll, the markings. He takes the note & then after a few minutes of rummaging thru the study, he finds an unused scroll & reprints the crude burn markings on the wall onto the scroll & then puts it into a secret pouch located under his armor, not showing it to the other ashigaru, as they enter the study, slowly.

FIRST ASHIGARU (looking all around at the bloodshed): “Damn! who did this?”
SECOND ASHIGARU (drinking sake still, pauses from his consumption to speak) : “Either the good lord owed a great deal of money to someone, or he was just a BIG target.” (gulping down more sake) “Aaahh .Who cares? We’re not involved, & I promised myself that I would keep my head for the rest of my days” (rubbing his neck, slightly).” Whoever the enemy was, they’re more vicious than 10 hungry dragons & more ruthless than a room full of shogun. They sure as hell don’t take prisoners, at least not for now anyways.”

SETSURO (looking away): “Apparently you might want to care” ( he cast his hand up & thumbs backwards to the 2 dead honor guards outside the study) “Those men outside could be you one day, if you’re not careful.”
FIRST ASHIGARU : “You ungrateful, little upstart.” (pauses to reach for his sword. He pulls it out into the open, aiming at Setsuro, the second ashigaru drinks his sake & moves out of the way )

Setsuro, even with his back turned felt the wind & heard the sword being pulled from its sheath. Instead of reaching for his cracked sword. He turns to his weapon of choice, for Setsuro is a master of the kurikama. This kurikama has been modified, upon the chain weight are short extended blades on the sides of the weight itself. The kama is sharp & smooth. And with that he grasps it & instantly swings the chain weight with the modified weight He swings it once grasping the sword of the first ashigaru. The chain wraps itself around the sword tightly, & with a smile & a swift tug Setsuro pulls the blade & yanks the handle, sword & all out of the first ashigaru’s hands. The sword flies into the marked wall behind them. Setsuro puts up his kurikama for now & then walks out of the study. The first ashigaru angrily attempts to pull his sword out of the wall, his first attempt fails & he falls to the floor, he gets up & attempts it again & is successful. He resheathes his sword& has a private conversation with the second ashigaru, all the while the second ashigaru drinks his sake.

FIRST ASHIGARU (finally pulling the sword out of the wall) : “The insolence!!! I’m going to get him for that” (looking to the second ashigaru)

SECOND ASHIGARU : “And how are you going to do that???” (gulping down more sake)

FIRST ASHGARU : “We’re going to get all the credit for finding about this terrible incident, if we go to Gohda Castle minus the boy. ”


FIRST ASHIGARU (grunts): “Simple We’re going to order him to stay somewhere ”
SECOND ASHIGARU : “How about that small village of the Azuma ninja it’s a good ways off from Gohda Castle & it will give us enough time to inform the soldiers, & after that Lord Gohda himself. We will be sure to get the credit.”
FIRST ASHIGARU : “Yes I like this plan.”
SECOND ASHIGARU : “It isn’t the first time we’ve done this to the new guy And it sure won’t be the last!”
FIRST ASHIGARU (pulls the sake canister from the second ashigaru’s hands): “I’ll drink to that!!!” (Signals to the second ashigaru they both drink down some sake, he takes a big gulp of sake then gives the bottle back & walks out of the study)


Setsuro & the other ashigaru get to their horses & then set out to go back to Lord Gohda’s territory, then once there on to Gohda Castle. It is the morning now & it will take a few hours to reach Lord Gohda’s territory. They ride thru what used to be Zankuro’s forest then thru many forest clearings where many bloodshed battle may have taken place not to long ago.

FIRST ASHIGARU (speaks to the other 2) : “We need to inform Lord Gohda now of this tragedy.”


The ashigaru trio, ride into a forest clearing. They slow down due to the forest’s extreme density.

SECOND ASHIGARU (gulps down sake & making small talk): “Hey Setsuro! What kind of weapon was that you used back there? Real men use swords not chains.”
FIRST ASHIGARU : “He’s right boy. You know that thing you have strapped to you is just a farming tool, you cut weeds with it, its not for serious battles. Try pulling that on somebody else besides us & they won’t go as easy as I did on you, kid.” (smirks)
SETSURO (looking to the first ashigaru): “Heh, I know you didn’t go easy on me, old man. You simply weren’t prepared for my sharp, young skill.” (not looking where he is going, Setsuro is hit by a branch, smacking him dead in the face.)
SECOND ASHIGARU (interrupts the soon to be heated conversation & sets ): “Hey We’re coming up on that ninja village, men. I remember ALONGGGG time ago that there is a sword here that has only know a ninja’s touch. Its called ‘Izayoi’ it’s the sword only the Azuma master uses & its passed down to other masters as they become the new master.”
SETSURO (looking to the second ashigaru) : “How do you know so much???”
SECOND ASHIGARU (gulps down more sake): “When you live as long as I have you learn & hear about a few things here & there, young one. That’s the key to living, gaining knowledge, skill & wisdom. The trio finally reach the border of Gohda’s territory, they pass thru, & find the Azuma ninja village at this point on the border. . The trio enter the village, slowly on horseback.”


SETSURO : “What are we doing here? I thought we were going to Gohda Castle?”
FIRST ASHIGARU : “As you’re superior Setsuro. I’m ordering you on a mission of ” (chuckles a bit) “grave importance. So with that you’re mission is to find the Azuma ninja master & we will inform the other soldiers & Lord Gohda personally.”
SETSURO : “What???”
SECOND ASHIGARU (adds on immediately) : “Well it doesn’t take all 3 of us to do that, now does it?” (gulps down sake) “Besides from what we saw we know that Lord Gohda is going to call upon his best ninja from this village, the ninja Rikimaru. From what I know he’s real loyal & he has served him for a long time. Go find him, we’re going back to report this to Gohda.”
SETSURO : “HEY! Don’t I get any credit for this? I mean I did find the body of Lord Zankuro!”
FIRST ASHIGARU : “Your help is simply not needed in informing our lord. One day you’ll get what you deserve, boy.” (chuckles) “Take you’re time, heh, heh, heh. You can also stay here as long as you like. If you plan to stay here, go right ahead & do so. We’re going back to Gohda Castle to report what has happened & as your experienced superiors maybe get a reward!! Hahahahahaha!! You’ve got to remember when it comes to getting the credit you have to be good & you have to be first, boy!” (rides off to the nearby forest, in the direction of Gohda Castle)
SECOND ASHIGARU : “So you know your mission. Setsuro, find the ninja Rikimaru. He serves Lord Gohda within a moments notice, whenever he is needed & summoned. He can show you the way to the castle, so its imperative that you bring him with you to the castle immediately.” (drinks down more sake) “Have a good ride, Setsuro.” (follows the first ashigaru into the forest)
SETSURO : “Damn. They’re going to take the credit for it all “(taps his fists against his armor) “too bad I got the evidence, guys I’m always a step above the suckers.”

The pair of ashigaru take off on horseback deep into the forest, galloping until they are seen no more. Setsuro takes a candid look around the bustling village. He sees children everywhere, training in all sorts of stealth activities. Sparring, jumping, weapons training, kata, grappling hook repelling, & other assorted & related tasks. He walks casually & he spies something magnificent, it’s a beautiful girl, she is amazing, she is fluent, robust, she’s a fighter, yup she’s a ninja. She looks about 20 or so & she is standing around training children, they are all standing around. Setsuro casually walks closer, trying to be smooth & suave, but falls into a pitfall, he grabs the edge of the ledge, & he looks down for a split second seeing nothing but eternal darkness, he gulps a bit as he tries to pull himself up, someone grabs him helping him up to his feet, it’s the beautiful girl! The young woman helps hoist him up back to ground level depths he takes a few needed steps forward, looking backwards as he paces forward at the chasm he almost met his doom in & not looking where he is going accidently bumps into her. He looks at her, staring at her in a secret lewd way. His staring eyes are not met with care or love, the young woman shoots a dirty look back at him, he freezes for a second & then begins to speak, alternating his eyes on her & the pitfall chasm.
SETSURO : “What is that doing here? In the middle of the road??? You know someone can get killed with those things around here! Not even a warning sign!!!” (Setsuro shrugs his shoulders)
NINJA (AYAME) : “It’s a training exercise. It teaches that not everything is what it seems, & that you’re first step can well be you’re last.” (putting her hands upon her hips & looking at him angrily) “Be sides? Who are you? What are you doing here? You’re not a ninja So??? I’m waiting, boy ”

SETSURO (bows) : “I am Setsuro, an ashigaru for Lord Gohda. Im trying to find the master here, Rikimaru it is imperative that I must find him quickly. If you could point me into the direction of his residence, I would be greatly appreciative.” (extends his hand to her) “And you are?”
NINJA (AYAME) (moves forward & looks down at his hand, then moves back to her first position, then looking to Setsuro once more) : “I am Ayame, an Azuma ninja & a trainer of the Azuma Shinobi-Ryu style.”
SETSURO : “So where is Rikimaru? It is important that I find him with great haste now. Time is critical Ayame & I have no time to talk,” (pause) “unless you want to talk later .”
AYAME : “Talk to you? About what???! What could I possibly talk to you about, ashigaru??” (points to the house on top of the tallest hill inside the village) “That is where Rikimaru can be found. Go now and leave me be I have much to do here, ashigaru .”
SETSURO (looking to the house on the hill) : “Rikimaru?? He’s there? Alright then, thank you “(bows) “Ayame.”
AYAME : “Whatever. Now go! If finding him is so important, why are you standing around here?” (once again focuses her attention on the children)
SETSURO : “Good day, then Miss Ayame.” ( begins walking towards the house on the hill, he climbs the steep hill slowly as he sees children being trained in the silent arts of ninjitsu & he looks back one more time at Ayame before he enters the house)


Setsuro finally enters the house of the Azuma master, currently Rikimaru. He brashly & boldly looks around touching things, things he’s never seen before many items seen & used inside the game, grenades here & there, smoke bombs, a bucket of shuriken, a ball of armor that will later be used by Rikimaru himself things of this nature are about & in a bachelor type manner. But none of these trinkets or toys aren’t even in the same league as what is sitting on a mantle on the farthest wall, far in the back, the legendary Azuma ninja sword ‘Izayoi’ sleeps. The blade of the Azuma master passed down from old master to new master. Setsuro quickly runs over to set his gaze upon it.
SETSURO : “Wow the guys did say there would be a sword that only knows a ninjas touch Is this ‘Izayoi’?” (begins to reach for the blade, almost touching it his, his fingers come extremely close to touching the base handle of the sword, Setsuro wants to hold it & wield it)

Suddenly a shadowy figure emerges elsewhere from inside the house. Looking at the stranger about to grasp the blade of his ninja clan, this ninja becomes instantly angry without warning, & then pulls out a large handful of shuriken from the reserve bucket on the floor & then tossing them, not at but around Setsuro. They create an out line down to an inch of his form. The ninja meant to miss this time, he shall not miss next time if he has to throw them again. Setsuro looks to the shuriken that missed him & he freezes in place, his outward hand retracts as if someone grabbed it & yanked it. Setsuro looks to the mad ninja, it is a man, strikingly Japanese about 25-26 years in age. He is wearing a dark ninja uniform, dark clothing, a mask/mouth guard covers his mouth. Even for a young age, he has greying hair, & precision sharp scar that extends above & below his right eye. He is a quiet man, but at this moment enraged that someone was trying to touch the sword he earned 7 years ago, for he is the Azuma ninja master, Rikimaru.
NINJA (RIKIMARU) (loudly speaks to Setsuro) : “What in the name of Shiunsai do you think you are doing?”
SETSURO (fumbles a bit, cause he was caught almost touching ‘Izayoi’ & he backs away from the mantle slowly walking towards Rikimaru): “Who??? Anyways I’m here on business for Lord Gohda, something strange has happened I am Setsuro, an ashigaru I’m rather new I just started working for Lord Gohda a month ago.”
NINJA (RIKIMARU) (rushes past Setsuro & takes ‘Izayoi’ off the mantle.He eyes the sword looking for any marks Setsuro may have put on it, he sees none but still looks at the sword & not at Setsuro, he sheathes the sword & puts onto his back): “I was referring to the fact that you were trying to touch my sword.”
SETSURO : “That sword is ‘Izayoi’? An extraordinary blade, sir. I take it you are Rikimaru, the leader of the Azuma ninja clan.” (extends his hand)
RIKIMARU (duplicating Ayame’s response to the same situation, he bends forward & looks at his hand, straightens then looks back at Setsuro): “I am Rikimaru, What is you’re business here? You’re not a ninja .”
SETSURO (flinches & gets a strange look on his face, he knows that he is not a ninja, why do people here keep pointing it out?) : “I know that I am not a ninja, I am a .”
RIKIMARU (cuts off Setsuro) : “I know..you’re an ashigaru, low level samurai. You work for Lord Gohda that was obvious. If you weren’t you wouldn’t have made it this far inside this territory.”
SETSURO : “My er superiors have ridden on to inform our lord’s standing regiment & then to Gohda Castle to inform him personally, I was ordered to inform you. I am sure though you would be ordered to seen Lord Gohda once he hears of the news of what has happened at Lord Zankuro’s castle.”
RIKIMARU (Walking back to the entrance): “What news?? Speak quickly for you are wasting my time, ashigaru.”
SETSURO (walks slowly to the entrance, walking up close to Rikimaru) : “Lord Zankuro, his army, his family, everyone on his compound we’re killed, most likely last night, the blood was fresh & the stench of death filled the air. I personally believe it was an army of ninja , the soft-soled boots, people riddled with shuriken everywhere, not to mention everyone was at their posts, many weapons sheathed as if they were caught by surprise before they could act. Hmm we must hurry now to our lord’s castle ”
RIKIMARU : “Then we’d best hurry.” (leaves the house & runs across the village without warning at top speed)
SETSURO : “Damn!!! Hey wait up!!! I’m going to Gohda Castle too!!!”


Rikimaru dashes across the village with “Izayoi’ sheathed upon his back. Setsuro runs back to his horse & quickly mounts it & rides off in the direction of Rikimaru. Ayame looks on, she is done with the children’s training for the day. She watches Rikimaru disappear into the nearby forest, she knows something is up & within a split second she too runs & takes off after Setsuro & Rikimaru. All disappear into the dark, dense forest outside of the Azuma village.