Written by Kage Karasu
As Natsumi hastily approached the castle she could see that Gohda castle was vast and oddly enough ” majestic” the light of the moon splashed vividly against the off white walls. Natsumi could see that the road leading to Gohda Castle was a commonly used one, by the great amount of footprints. Nearby rice paddies were lined up in very even rows it was something like art. The lightly toned gray gravel seemed to come to life because of the way it was raked, and beautiful ponds adorned with plants and glimmering goldfish that shined in the moon’s rays. They quickly ran inside geisha motioned to whatever came their way, and servants held their gear as they sprinted to their destination holding tea and towels, up a corridor leading to Gohda’s residence. Ayame and Rikimaru were already going up a corridor leading to Lord Gohda’s residence. Gicchi and Natsumi followed. As they made it to Lord Gohda, Natsumi peered into the room, Gohda was sipping tea in the usual Japanese manner, in a kneeled position holding the cup up to his heavily defined mustache and nose as the steam seeped into it. Beside pre-teens. Her thick jet black her swept into her eyes as she constantly wiped it from them, and her eyes twinkled gently as if showing love and sweetness. Kiku ran toward Ayame and blissfully jumped into Ayame’s arms.
” KIKU !” ” AYAME “.
Kiku said. Natsumi wondered how such a black-hearted person could be the least bit kind.
” Hello Kiku, Lord Gohda,”
Rikimaru made a fist and put it into his palm as he wrapped his ghostly hand around his knuckles, then bowed. Lord Gohda bowed Kiku followed suit.
“We have a message for you, come in you two, “
said Rikimaru. Lord Gohda gripped his sword just to make sure nobody would confront him. Natsumi and Gicchi stared at the room with awe. A picture showing wonderfully written kanji and the setting of a mountainous area lay in a corner. But they could see that it whipped back as if to hide something. Natsumi whimpered and cowered at the site of this man as she approached him he was toned and heavily muscled and stood over her like the sun.
” What is it that you have for me uuu….”
” Natsumi, “
she responded as she cringed but tried to hide.
” Ah, yes what is it that you were going to report to me ? “
Natsumi cleared her throat,
” Umm yes an assassin named Ginko has made plans to attack your territory. She may be called the Kage Karasu. “
She stared at him watching him stare blankly into space. His eyes jittering.
” Thank you for this message I will see fit that nothing happens. “
Natsumi crossed her right arm across her chest, then bowed deeply. As she left she turned around and asked,
” Lord Gohda may our ninja village reside in your territory. Ginko tried to raid our village “
Lord Gohda pondered for a moment, and agreed under one condition,
” I have a favor of you and this young man here.”
Gicchi questioned. “
In the case that Ayame and Rikimaru need your assistance you will be there to protect me and my precious daughter Kiku and the Azuma Ninja village. If you fail that will be subjected upon you and this young man here. Do you agree ?”
Gicchi tugged on the hairs that he thought he had on his chin, and Natsumi wondered. They nodded to each other and agreed. They bowed, grinned and left the premises. As they left Ayame peered backwards and rolled her eyes backwards as she quickly turned.
They left and Natsumi asked Gicchi a question,
” Do you know the origin of these two knives ?”
Natsumi sheathed them from her scabbards power surged and tingled in the light. Gicchi gripped them and looked at it very closely. Natsumi never noticed this before but as she looked at them she could see in the glowing light beautifully written kanji, one of them was emitting an orange illumination. She snatched them from his huge hands and swiftly ran through the forest to her home village, moving her feet as fast as she could. The village seemed to brim with energy, people were hammering away while others helped prepare foods and other things. The stars glimmered brightly as they made it to where Takuya was. He was helping guide the kagos to their destinations and where to put things.
” Takuya while I was fighting today, the knives of destiny acted strangely I started doing moves that I have never even done, do you know the where these knives came from ? “
Takuya’s eyes tightened and he led Natsumi to a secluded corner.
” Alright, those knives were forged by the strongest steel ever made it was passed down from generations past to the greatest kuniochi. Such as this ancestral sword Red Jade. “
He slowly pulled his sword from the marvelously engraved scabbard, the sword was a bluish green and the bottom was red. He gripped it and swung it in very odd motions it sounded in a sort of ting, as it cut through the air. Natsumi could obviously see that his skill surpassed anyone she had ever seen, and his focus could not be broken. He stopped his display and looked at Natsumi.
” But, what about this kanji written on it, it’s freakin’ glowing !”
Natsumi swept her gentle hands across the sword. Heat arose as her hand crossed the orange illumination. Takuya suddenly lashed out and peered at it.
” Don’t do that who knows what that will do ! As I told you this was forged many moons ago and there must have been tons of mystical creations, it reads Anger Will Surpass All ? Hmmm, whatever you do don’t tamper with it too much. “
Natsumi faltered a bit as he passed it to her calmly, but she grabbed it anyway. She had been meaning to interrogate her father, and she was going to do it now. Her father was laying on his back hands on the back of his head on a small knoll, gazing into the stars. Natsumi laid beside him,
” I was just wondering who attacked our castle that night. “
Emegawa didn’t say anything for a moment his eyes tightened. He peered over his large shoulder and said,
“His name was Kinouki Rashin he was a neighboring lord and we didn’t always see eye to eye. “
He made the quote signs with his work worn hands, “
And I guess he decided to get me. “
Emegawa resumed his position. “
Oh, have you ever thought about getting your castle back ?”
Natsumi responded. He said nothing. She got up and walked home.
Several months had passed and it was winter now no signs of the Silver Fang clan had appeared. She figured that it was all downhill from here but her life would plunge for the worst. Natsumi walked out of her frostbitten home, she wore thick clothing beacause of the cold weather. The sky was overcast with a light gray, the crisp pure cream colored snow inches deep reached Natsumi’s ankles. The land was covered in nature’s bed all across Japan, covering the once vibrant land. The migrating birds swept across the nations sky, way into the zenith. Natsumi took a walk with Gicchi for she felt lonely, up to the Cherry Tree Hill. She reclined in a naked branch stripped of its beauty, while Gicchi sat in a nearby tree. Gicchi sat staring at the sky, his eyes fixed on one particular bird. It roosted on a branch by him, it was an ebony crow, its eyes sharp and deep crimson. It raised its sleek head and hailed three times, a signal of death. Natsumi and Gicchi gave each other a look, and resumed their positions for they believed nothing was wrong. They both sat there and dozed off, in the tree. They harnessed themselves to the branches as tight as a vice-grip. They appeared to be spiders in the wilderness, clinging to the lifeless branches. It was nighttime when the duo awoke, Ayame was staring Natsumi in the eyes. Natsumi jolted to life. “
Why are you sleeping in my tree, don’t make me kill you. “
Ayame said. Natsumi snapped,
” Since when in this your freakin tree, your name isn’t on it, and why is this tree so important to you.”
” This tree…., well it’s none of your business !”
” You can always tell somebody.”
” I don’t want to!”
Ayame snickered. Natsumi didn’t pay any attention to her she just looked at her out of the corner of her green eyes. Gicchi was talking to Rikimaru his gaze never broken from Gicchi’s eyes, Natsumi supposed that they were talking about their different skills as they swung their swords in unseen motions.
” Well, what are you all in my grill for ?”
” Well I was about to kill you before you woke up, but as you can see that plan didn’t work. “
Rikimaru jumped from his position to the branch above Natsumi, he looked out into the while sheet of coldness. Gicchi front flipped to Rikimaru’s branch and looked in the same direction as Riki. They jumped down, and into the forests of Gohda territory. About twenty ninja holding scythes walked alert turning their heads constantly. Even though Natsumi was about two feet away from Ayame she could not see her. Rikimaru and Gicchi were long ago out of site. Natsumi could see Rikimaru’s pale skin dash out from the darkness. He took Izayou and swiped it from crouch to chest, he fell dead. His blood sizzling into the snow. Ayame then darted from her crouched position and did a spin and hit the ninja in the stomach with her knives, her light feet barely touching the floor. She took her knives from his gut as quickly as it had come, leaving not a trace of blood. Then Gicchi sprinted out forward, and made wild motions. Blood spurted in ever which way, staining the trees. It was Natsumi’s turn she took the Knives of Destiny and slashed the sword in a sideways direction. Behind her another ninja threw her scytches Natsumi caught the wooden handles and threw it back at her blades hitting her stomach. She fell over. They all took out their ashiko and climbed into the trees overhead. One more ninja watched the dead bodies lined on the floor. They all smiled and first Ayame leapt down, and wrapped her thighs around his throat. Rikimaru then stabbed him in the back, the sword extending out of his stomach, Gicchi punched him in his face, Rikimaru cushioned the punch. Natsumi then side kicked him in his face. Ayame jumped off of his shoulders, while Rikimaru removed his sword.
“They have made it into Gohda Territory ? We need to find their hideaway. Let us go !”
Rikimaru said. Natsumi tried to give Ayame a high five, but Ayame kept her hand at her hips.
“Just because we killed somebody together doesn’t mean we’re all buddy buddy.”
Ayame gave a wicked but sort of sensitive smile, as she ran ahead of Rikimaru. They were to infiltrate their hideaway, but it would not be easy, for they would encounter Jade the master of disguise, and Dobbo strongest man alive !