Story Adapted by & Screenplay by : Jameal Jordon & Sharome Jordon
EXT. THE MOUNTAIN RIDGE – NIGHT
They soon find it hard & slide down the side of the ridge into a valley. Ayame almost is injured bad from hitting a tree, but Setsuro softens the blow with the help of his cracked & slashed armor for her by moving fast in front of her. They still slide faster until they hit a river & fall in, they climb out & simply begin running deep into the forest, after about an hour or so until they see appears to be a large wooden fort. A very young beautiful woman in red is practicing & training her kata with her apparent weapon of choice, a halberd. They can see her from the dense forest.
RIKIMARU : We are on Lord Toda’s land. I do not think we will easily be able to pass here.
AYAME : We will make it back to Lord Gohda’s territory. I promised Kiku that I would always return!!!
SETSURO : Then what are we sitting in the shadows for? Daybreak will come soon & the guards will be double or more Let’s go!!!! (charges ahead) All we have to do is make it to the other side!!!!!
Rikimaru & Setsuro charge first towards the checkpoint.
EXT. TODA CHECKPOINT – NIGHT
It is the early morning, and & young woman is the sole relief guard for the day guards here, she trains in the night hoping to improve her skill. She spies Rikimaru & Setsuro approaching from the darkness. She is Tazu Akechi, a daughter to a noble who serves the current Lord Toda. Draped in red, her blushing good looks & her exquisite figure allow her to boast & tease men at will. She has a big mouth & is easily scorned with words, much too often in her life she has looked down at the servant class, for she is nobility & the highest of the hierarchy.
TAZU (stops practicing as she sees Rikimaru & Setsuro approach the checkpoint) : Please stop right where you are (aiming her halberd) You seem to be in great haste for such a late hour, where are you going?
RIKIMARU : The night is no time for a woman to be training (pauses) STAND ASIDE!!
TAZU : Heh..The only way thru this checkpoint is thru me Now Why don’t you be good little boys & tell me where you’re going & why (sees Ayame approaching)
AYAME : Now don’t tell me this little, weak thing is giving you boys trouble??
TAZU : Once again Please stop right where you are
AYAME : I heard you from far away, spare me your cheap speech Besides it’s a beautiful night, you should be looking for a boyfriend not playing with your dad’s weapons.
TAZU : How How dare you speak to me like that??? (points her halberd at Ayame) I’ll teach you I’ll teach you some manners!!!!
Rikimaru & Setsuro take this time touch zip up grappling hooks & kurikama chains over the checkpoint walls & drop down. While Ayame pulls out her kuni at the same time from behing her back & smirks.
[*fight sequence*][*boss fight music played here*] Tazu & Ayame fight, though Tazu has a range advantage, Ayame has more battle experience & is far much quicker than Tazu, she strikes a few times. Ayame is hit by the blunt end of the Tazu’s halberd but in the end Ayame wins & finishes Tazu, she falls. During this fight, Rikimaru & Setsuro snipe the tower guard with shuriken & then drop down to subdue & kill two guards, & then taking them into a shack, they steal their clothes, & walk about the grounds unnoticed, the only distinct qualities is their choice of weaponry. Setsuro is now using his sword, & has his kurikama behind him.
TAZU : I have failed (falls dying)
AYAME : (sheathing her kuni) You should have been more worried about my skill than my manners. Now All I have to do is make it to the other side. [*level 5 music begins to play*] (kicks down the door & looks to find the immediate guards in the area dead. She sees Rikimaru & Setsuro dressed in guard’s clothing.
SETSURO (looking to Ayame, talking to Rikimaru) : You know that she wouldn’t get past all these guards looking like she does. But I have an idea
AYAME (looks to Rikimaru & Setsuro) : Why are you looking at me like that??
Rikimaru nods. Soon walking down a large bridge, Ayame is escorted by 2 guards in ropes around her hands & wrists. They walk past many armed guards, they soon enter a small bamboo forest that leads to a path to the exit. Finally reaching the end of the checkpoint they spy a double sword-wielding samurai. He is a handsome man, brash & bold in his honor, he has never known defeat. He is the older brother to Tazu, he is Senjuro Akechi, myojinsoga sword master. Rikimaru & Setsuro escort Ayame up to the head guard & the samurai.
HEAD GUARD : So who is this?
SETSURO : She defeated the woman guarding the gates.
The head guard runs to tell the samurai. The enraged samurai walks over to look at the ninja.
SENJURO : What???? A little girl like you defeated my dear sister????
AYAME : I just gave her some lessons in manners. Now are you going to let me pass or not??
SENJURO (angry) : NO! Tonight I will show you how a myojinsoga style master retains his sister’s honor!!!
RIKIMARU : That will not be necessary.
SENJURO : And why is that??
[*fight sequence*][*battle/ boss music is played here*]Rikimaru & Setsuro throw off the guard’s clothing & then slay all of the guards. Senjuro simply walks out to the gates awaiting the trio as they try to exit.
SENJURO (looks to Rikimaru) : You’re skill is superb. I see you are a formidable warrior, I will dispatch you one by one in honorable combat. But please forgive my immature sister for her rudeness at the gate.
AYAME : She was a little more than rude .
RIKIMARU : I am sorry as well. We are returning from a long journey, for our master & we are in a hurry. I ask that you let us pass.
SENJURO (pulling our his swords) : Like you I also answer to a higher authority. I am Senjuro Akechi, master of myojinsoga style swordsmanship. We will settle this with nobility & honor.
RIKIMARU (stepping forward) : In the name of the Azuma Ninja clan I full accept your challenge Commence.
[*fight sequence*][*boss music played here*]Rikimaru & Senjuro fight to the death. But the thing is only Senjuro dies. Senjuro has great skill but was over whelmed by the vicious 3 hit ‘Izayoi’combo of Rikimaru. Senjuro falls.
SENJURO (drops his swords & looks to the sky) : Tazu I could not avenge you dear sister. I failed as a warrior & as a brother. (looks to Rikimaru) It has been a honor to be defeated by someone as skilled as you .(dies)
RIKIMARU (sheathing Izayoi) : It is a shame
AYAME : Shame?? For who?? Those 2?? Brother & sister?? The parents obviously did not do a good job.. (runs off)
SETSURO (rubbing the indentations in his armor, he is bleeding some) : And how is it a shame??
RIKIMARU : It is a shame because we have different master, it is a shame that I can not fight on the side of someone of that caliber because we have different lords. Hmm. (looking to the body) It is a shame, that we could not fight as allies And I am sorry that you’re sister could not grow up to be a happy, ordinary woman Fate did not allow her that chance (runs off)
Setsuro looks to the body & then silently walks off into the night, his hand over his wound. The trio manage to make it back to Lord Gohda’s territory before daybreak & before anything else happens. It begins to snow light at first & then heavily. They approach the castle. A familiar looking boy clad in armor is not standing, a sole figure in the snow waiting, waiting for the trio to return.
EXT. GOHDA FOREST- DAY
The boy waits for them as they return, Rikimaru still hurt from his beating, & Setsuro is wounded a bit from his battles of that night.
BOY : Ah! I see you managed to return after all. Damn it seems I lost the bet.
SETSURO : What bet?
BOY : Me & some of the other guards & Kiku had a little private wager whether you guys would make it back or not Damn Kiku won. Well she said that Ayame would bring you guys back. Guess she was right.
SETSURO : Bring us both back?? Hey I went out with Ms. ninja here last night.
BOY : Yeah, but we all figured that she would have to bring you back, you do look rather slow in that armor.
SETSURO : I like my armor just fine.
RIKIMARU : Why are you out here in the cold???
BOY : Well apparently a guard was watching the outside last night, but was goofing off. He saw us exit the castle. He told, & this is my punishment for (pulls out a scroll with his list of offenses) Need I mind you these offenses usually are punished with death, but since I’m Sekiya’s grandson. This was what I got. Snow guard duty.
SETSURO : Once again another example of how the mighty take care of their own
BOY : One. Endangering the life of the noble & family, namely the princess Kiku, Two. Exiting the castle after dark without permission, Three. Reckless endangerment. Four. Willfully or retaining much needed knowledge & lying to a noble. Five. Impersonating a guard. Six. Dating the princess at an early age. Seven .
SETSURO (interrupts with a louder voice) : You know I do have one thing to say I don’t care that you have snow duty or these list of offenses. I have better things to do than simply freeze my ass off. Good day.
BOY : Oh! The other reason I’m out here is to give you this. (presents a scroll) Grandfather told me not to read it & so I don’t need another offense on this damned list!! And can you believe what princess Kiku got??? She got grounded?? Like staying in a room lavished with servants & stuff is a real punishment. Can you believe that??? Anyhoo women, can’t live with em, & can’t stop using them for what you want.
SETSURO : That’s now how the saying goes.
BOY : When a situation like this comes up for you (gets louder & pauses) Then you!!! Oh mighty ashigaru can change the saying back to its original form!! By that time I simply won’t give a damn, have a cold one people. And one more thing, Rikimaru is supposed to come back to the castle to rest. The ashigaru & Ayame are to do this urgent mission on the double!!
RIKIMARU : Then I must go. Ayame, Set Be careful. (rides off with the boy)
BOY : Check you peoples later!!! Hey Rikimaru I got a bet for ya!!!
Setsuro & Ayame read the scroll together. Sekiya’s distinct voice can be heard as the words move slowly by. [as in the video game Tenchu: Stealth Assassins before each & every mission]. Sekiya’s voice narrates the scroll.
SEKIYA (voice-over,narrates the scroll) : I have personally after long hard studying of Echigoya’s ledgers
SETSURO (interrupts the voice) : Imagine that the old goat actually does work! How about that??
SEKIYA (voice-over,loudly) : Ashigaru!!! Do not interrupt again!!!! Once again, before I was interrupted. I studied & found a link between Echigoya & man named Kataoka. He is Lord Gohda’s finance minister. He was the one helping Echigoya hide his vast wealth for along time. And also he has many crimes that he has commited upon his own, he accepts bribes in returns for assigning city construction projects, & other assort sordid favors of the such. Now Ayame, Kataoka is also my son in law & I do not wish to bring shame to my family for his power for greed. Eliminate Kataoka at once before his greed for money turns into a greed for power. And one more thing Do not tell my grandson, that I must kill his father for his crimes, it has already been decided, & I do not wish to bring him shame, for he will take my place when I am gone from this world. Also locate here are the directions to Kataoka’s private compound. Return when you have finished & anyone directly involved in this eliminate as well. These are my wishes & the wishes of our master Lord Gohda.
SETSURO : Hmm..So he wants us to play killer Hmm It wouldn’t be the first time for me, that’s for sure.
AYAME (taking the scroll) : And what do you mean by that??
SETSURO (looking to the sky, seeing the snowfall) : Nothing…Lets just go & do this, I’m cold . (rides off)
Setsuro rides off again before anything can be said or even thought of by Ayame. They ride on til midday, the time they reach Minister Kataoka’s compound.
EXT. MINISTER KATAOKA’S COMPOUND/ KATAOKA’S OFFICE – DAY
The finance minister is still set in his ways as he brings forth more dirty deals with an old friend. The minister’s bodyguard even knows of his master’s quest for more greed, he escorts in a old man draped in green, he walks freely & sits down across from his old friend, Kataoka. Kataoka is a sharp dressed man in a powerful blue robe & clothing who wants one thing, money. He gets it anyways he can, his old friend gives him plenty so he always gets the city construction contracts making him the largest contractor in the land. Kataoka is a supreme archer as well & can fight with the bow & defend himself with the rapid firing of arrows. The man escorted in is Bizenya, a corrupt & somewhat powerful contractor, he has a raspy voice & sometimes coughs when he talks or laughs, he brings in a case full of money that the bodyguard is handling. The bodyguard walks out after delivering the money & then begins to talk to himself. The bodyguard is aging in his late 30’s early 40;s he has served Kataoka for many years & with his master’s greed skyrocketing, his greed has grown exponancially as well, he commands many of the guards here, much like Katanal did for Echigoya.
BODY GUARD (walking past his quarters) : Minister Kataoka sure like his money.
KATAOKA : What is this, Bizenya?? (holding on the money) There is more here than usual.
BIZENYA : We could not do business without you, heh, heh, heh. The money is merely a token of our appreciation.
KATAOKA : I like the way you think. (rubs the money against his face) What can I help you with today?
BIZENYA : We have put in bids for the construction work next month. If you could only
KATAOKA (interrupts) : Leave it to me, but remember what happened to Echigoya Tread carefully.
Bizenya laughs & coughs some more. Meanwhile Setsuro & Ayame climb the wall & enter the compound of the finance minister. The snow has seemed to enveloped a lot of the scenery as a snowy moat can be seen near frozen, many archers off in the distance, & many guards can be seen posted on the sides far off.
AYAME : The map here tells me how to get directly to his room, our contact with the guards should be minimal. We don’t want his family to know that Lord Gohda & Sekiya was behind this.
SETSURO : I will stay around the lower area, you take the high rooftops & finish him off quickly.
Ayame simply gives Setsuro her answer by using her grappling hook to zip up to the rooftops of Kataoka’s compound. Setsuro leaps back over the wall, he soon spies an expensive carriage.
SETSURO : Hmm Do we have visitors?? (he walks slowly over to the carriage)
Meanwhile the business for the day is done with Kataoka & Bizenya. Bizenya exits the compound & is escorted by Kataoka’s guards back towards his carriage. As the gates open, Bizenya’s guards are found dead, the read blood almost thrown across the white snowy landscape.
EXT. SNOWY FOREST CLEARING – DAY
The only man standing is Setsuro, his new sword coated thick with the blood Bizeny’s private guards. Bizenya is only has two of Kataoka’s guards with him, an archer & swordsman. All4 of Bizenya’s guard are dead in the snow.
SETSURO : Well, well Then the saying is true.
BIZENYA (getting scared & angry) : And what saying is that?
SETSURO : Heh, heh. Well since you asked, who am I to deprive those looking for knowledge?
BIZENYA : Guards!! Kill him!!!
[*fight sequence*] Setsuro faces off he throws his chain & sweep the guards both. He picks up a rocks & pings Bizenya with it in his face, Bizenya is hurt from the blow dealt & his age & condition doesn’t help the fact that it is futile to run from this young warrior. Setsuro stabs both guards with his swords as they are downed.
BIZENYA : NO!!!! NOOOOO!!! I don’t deserve to die like this!!!!
SETSURO : You’re time has come. For your crimes & greed accept your fate, if you have any honor left.
Bizenya pulls out a wakizashi under his green robe. He tries to fight Setsuro but the would be fight ends up being an execution for the old crooked man. Setsuro disarms him with unarmed combat & then takes his sword & slashes the old man finishing him off.
BIZENYA : Heh I may die, but Kataoka knows that the Gohda’s ninja is coming. He was tipped off, & his powerful bodyguard will kill you & the ninja. Ha ha ha (dies)
SETSURO : How could he have known?? AYAME!!!!! I must save her!!!
Setsuro takes his wakizashi as a prize. He fits it behind him. Setsuro now enters the compound once more, wondering if Ayame is ok. He searches for her & Kataoka.
SETSURO (running examining the fine craftsmanship of the dagger, then putting it behind him) : Heh imagine that, in a few days I got a daisho. How about that?!
EXT. KATAOKA’S ROOFTOPS – DAY
Ayame finds it annoying that the snow is working against her, she slides a bit but manages to hold her ground by using her kuni & grappling hook to stay on the rooftops.
EXT. KATAOKA COMPOUND – DAY
Setsuro dashes across the compound almost like a ninja, he begins executing many archers & soldiers, he is worried about that Ayame maybe walking into a trap. He wades thru a small pond, its almost as he is walking on the water, as he sees a guard mumbling to himself by a well.
EXT. KATAOKA’S COMPOUND/ THE WELL & THE WATER – DAY
SETSURO (runs over to the guard) : Hey where’s your boss???
BODYGUARG (talking to himself) : I don’t get paid enough to go & draw water in this, its cold today. I have a cold. Huh..what?? Oh So you’re the ninja You’re not dressed as one but I know your trying to be clever by wearing a disguise. Heh, heh its so good that you came here, now I don’t have to go looking for you. I have orders to kill you!!!!
SETSURO : Do your best (holds on to the handle of his sword)
[*fight sequence*] Setsuro charges forward & so does the bodyguard. They clash swords. Meanwhile
INT. KATAOKA’S OFFICE/ TRANING AREA – DAY
The office is closed & Ayame walks around softly looking for Kataoka. She sees target ranges, old bows & golden arrows around his office/ training area.
AYAME : Hmm..Sekiya never said anything about the finance minister being an archer.
EXT. KATAOKA’S COMPOUND/ THE WELL & THE WATER – DAY
The bodyguard & Setsuro fight, neither giving an inch on the sword battle. Finally they stand apart & wait for each other to strike.
SETSURO (angry) : If you hurt her I will (clutching the wound under his cut armor with one hand)
BODYGUARD (cocky) : I will hurt anyone I choose, heh, heh!!!
Setsuro then charges & overpowers the bodyguard. The bodyguard is cut in the chest slightly. He falls & Setsuro kicks his sword away. The bodyguard cockiness suddenly turns to cowardliness.
BODYGUARD : Wa,wa,wa..Wait!!!! Please spare my life!!!!!!
SETSURO : Tell me what I want to know Where is you master??!!!! (points his sword at the bodyguard)
A figure appears overhead in a secondary story building takes aim at the back of the bodyguard, but it is not Ayame. The figure aims with a large, sturdy wooden bow, & a golden arrow. His sight is upon the bodyguard’s neck. The archer is Kataoka.
KATAOKA : Surprise, surprise the guard has failed me & failure is not an option with a man of my standards, heh besides I was thinking of replacing him anyway, incompetent fool. Die
BODYGUARD (lying to Setsuro) : The ma, ma, ma, master is out!!!
SETSURO (interrupting) : Stop stuttering you fool . (waving his sword)
BODYGUARD : He, he, he should be back soon!!
SETSURO : Didn’t I tell you to stop stuttering like an idiot, that’s really annoying!!!
Suddenly an arrow whisks across the sky, right into the neck of the bodyguard. The bodyguard slumps forward dead in that instance.
SETSURO (leaps around a corner) : Hmm Well I didn’t mean like that
KATAOKA : Come to me, ashigaru. If you dare!!!!!! HA,HA,HA,HA,HA!! (disappears, headed back to his office to get more arrows)
SETSURO : Well I could never refuse a challenge. (runs off)
Setsuro leaves the well area & runs across the compound seeing to large torch lights coming from a distance. But in the time being Ayame awaits the finance minister on his rooftop awaiting his return. The finance minister rushes in to get more golden arrows.
KATAOKA : I will take care of this ashigaru, once & for all
Ayame drops down onto the training area, she pulls out her kuni.
AYAME : Minister Kataoka!!!
KATAOKA : What??? Grrr so there are 2 of you here then?
AYAME : Lord Gohda trusted you!!!! How could you do this???
KATAOKA : I may have made many mistakes but I allow no woman to scold me like that You will die by my arrows.
AYAME : Oh really?? You’re arrows are like you weak & twisted. I fear them, NOT!!!
KATAOKA (goes to a desk, then pulls from behind them a cache of golden arrows) : Weak & twisted? Heh, heh, heh. Big talk from a little girl, Gohda should have sent a man for this job!!!
AYAME (looking at the shiny golden arrows) (to herself) : I’m in trouble (charges towards Kataoka)
[*fight sequence*] [*battle music played here*] Ayame tries to get close but Kataoka’s skill even impresses her, as he shoots rapid fire arrows in her direction. As she gets closer, she notices his bow has a bladed edge upon it. He strikes as she tries to get near him, & he shoots arrows as pushed further away. She flips back a few times & throws a shuriken, but he shoots it down. Suddenly Setsuro leaps from behind the wall behind Ayame. He moves in closer blocking the arrows with his chain swinging. He motions Ayame to move in as well, he then lassoes the bow, holding it, he cannot shoot any more arrows as they struggle in a power tug.
SETSURO (tugging his kurikama) : NOW AYAME!!!!!
Ayame takes that yell as her opportunity to strike she moves in & leaps over to Kataoka, she strikes with both kuni, first with the left downward, then downward with the right. Then striking with both kuni upward.
KATAOKA : What?? How could I have lost??? (dies)
AYAME : You fought Lord Gohda How could you have won??
Kataoka falls, his body now a cold lifeless husk that once was.
AYAME (looking to Setsuro) : Why?? Why did you help me???
SETSURO : I was worried about you I didn’t want you to get hurt, another man I dispatched he told me that they knew we were coming Ayame I care about you. But it seems you don’t notice & don’t care as well. (falls)
Setsuro’s wounds have finally caught up with him, the cut from the bear & the impact during the fall down to the river, saving Ayame he falls to his knees.
AYAME : Setsuro??
Setsuro passes out. Ayame helps drags him out unnoticed. Under the cover of the snow she gets him to the horses & helps him onto one. As he wakes, he finds himself on a horse & he is at the gates to Gohda’s castle.
EXT. GOHDA CASTLE GATES – DAY
They meet the boy once more on snow guard duty. Some guards help Setsuro off his horse & inside the castle. Ayame speaks to the boy, the boy is muttering to himself.
BOY : Damn!! I lost again Oh hi Ayame!
AYAME : Hey you!! Where’s Rikimaru??
BOY : Well he had to go off, to the mountains, a messenger came in told Lord Gohda about some mad cult, with a powerful demon stone that turns people into cultists. Lord Gohda sent him to deal with it. He was ok last time I saw, & he had a few heal bottles with him before he left the castle.
AYAME : I hope he is alright
Meanwhile we cut to Rikimaru trying to stop the cult & its powerful mad leader Andon On.
INT. STATUE SHRINE – NIGHT
A large statue is in the middle of a large building, a shrine for praying behind it. Rikimaru has killed the last guard here & faces off to take on the leader. He sees Andon On praying to the statue, but he does not turn around. Andon On is a man, almost as large as Goo. Draped in a light red & pink robe with a hood. He has calligraphy writing on the robe that reaches from his chest to his gut. In one hand he has a large round fan in his hand that has blades on its edges. He has a huge gut & a high-pitched shrill voice. Someone watches from above, once again it is Onikage. He watches from above waiting.
ANDON : I know what you want you want the stone its safe inside my belly you’re not going to get it. Ha,ha,ha,ha.
RIKIMARU : You use the stone to hurt people. I will take it even if it means gutting you.
[*fight sequence*][*battle music*] Andon & Rikimaru exchanges blows, Andon has overwhelming power but is slower than molasses in winter. Andon is able to hit Rikimaru a few times, with his special 5 hit combo. Rikimaru sees he is slow & then uses this to his advantage & begins flipping over him & cutting, then stabbing him in his back, he charges forward. Izayoi is in to the hilt, the blade is sticking out of his gut on the other side. Rikimaru is done & Andon falls finally.
ANDON : My stone My .precious stone (dies)
RIKIMARU : Burn in hell You heretic.
Onikage leaps from the top of the statue in front of Rikimaru.
ONIKAGE : I found that somewhat amusing. Once again, we meet again Rikimaru.
RIKIMARU : Onikage You’re behind this too??
ONIKAGE : You do not remember me but I remember you Rikimaru.
RIKIMARU : As always you don’t seem to make any sense.
Onikage pulls out a mask from behind him. It is the mask of a red sparrow.
RIKIMARU : NO!!!
ONIKAGE : So I do think you remember this (holding the mask high)