Written by Kage Karasu
Chapter 6: Why, How?
Rikimaru lay still on the bed Natsumi had made for him. Ayame was almost as dead as him but she still had a grimaced look on her face. His deadness scared Natsumi, she was particularly frightened by his eyes which were now lifeless. His hands usually slashing the crap out of his enemies lay still, matted on the cloth that he laid upon. Natsumi sat quiet in her space in the corner. The silence was enough to make anybody crazy so she walked out into the ink black darkness. The stars were of a gently twinkle and the wind of a purring feline. Only once did she hear a stirring behind her, she paid no attention because it was of daily routine to hear something.But once again another louder rustle erupted from behind. A moment later appearing from the ink blackness appeared Jade. She had a very haunting-blank, icy gaze. She was ready to kill at a moments notice. Natsumi prepared herself but it was too late, her giant hit her from behind with a crashing fist. She crashed to her knees and was out cold. Only she could feel that immense throbbing at her back. The moves were swift and stealthy. The giant dragged her across the rugged, cold soil. They walked for miles in relentless pursuit of their lair. They finally reached their hideaway.She was thrown into the cell; it was a musty, mulchy, filthy place. Ants were abounding in the area that she silently sat. She could overhear wo people speaking. They were sentry dressed in monk beads, and traditional hat and gown.
“I heard Ginko say my daughter. I think she was talking about the prisoner”
Natsumi leaned closer to the wall that blocked her.
“Why would you want to kill your own daughter ? That’s just cruel.”
the other sentry agreed. The sentries walked farther so their talking could be vaguely heard. Ginko, her mother? It couldn’t be true. This thought sickened her to her stomach. How could she possibly be her daughter? Another pair of guards continued closer to her cell.
“We have to get the prisoner.”
one said. She pretended to still be unconscious. The guards unlocked the door, and one heaved her up on his shoulder. She softly reached inside of her pocket, luckily she had poison darts. Natsumi stuck him in the neck with her hand. His pace slowed and he collapsed. Natsumi dropped to her feet.Her extensive knowledge of the body allowed her stop the sentry’s breathing. She forced her hand against his chest.. He fell short of breath, wheezed, and collapsed. She stepped over the body and walked into the darkness. It engulfed her like the sun. She walked further into the tunnel holding on to walls to keep track of her position; she heard faint voices echoing through the marbled walls.
“I am disgusted you let my feeble daughter defeat you in combat I relied on you to get the job done. But NO! You failed me, leave the premises now!”
Jade narrowed her eyes in the least sincere look a person could make. She sat up stiffly from the mat under her and shifted her hips violently while walking out of the room. Natsumi sat stealthily as Jade walked passed not noticing her.Natsumi looked at her ready to leap at her but she halfheartedly disagreed. Meanwhile, Ginko described her plans to the leaders of the Silver Fang Clan.
“We must dispose of my intrusive daughter it is very fortuitous for me to come across her once again.”
Ginko then proceeded to fall to her knees, her very spirit changed. Her eyes were of the mother she once knew in her childhood. She bellowed,
“Please let me go, I have done nothing to you. Don’t kill my daughter!”
She wept loudly but the kami had stolen her soul once again. All the rest of them could do was to watch her being sucked back into the evil within. Natsumi had to stop herself from weeping, it was a very sad state of affairs. She continued her plans.
“We will attack the village, the Azuma Ninja Village, that is. But we must attack Gohda castle first. Both Hachigoro, and Dobbo will work their way into the castle. Do what you must to breach the castle walls”
“Meanwhile Kyoshi and Umeka will pose as guards.”
They nodded agreed and walked into the hallway. Natsumi had clung to the ceiling and was breathing heavily. Sweat drenched her face and slowly worked its way down her cheek. Kyoshi had stopped short in his tracks because the sweat dropped in his hair. She held her breath not uttering a sound. Her heartbeat was loud enough to wake the dead. Fortunately Ginko told him to hurry so he reluctantly left. She hopped down and ran out the opposite way in which she came in. She reached the Azuma Ninja Village in enough time to spare. Rikimaru had gone from his unconscious and was sitting in silence. Ayame and Gicchi smiled at Natsumi. Gicchi sat up and greeted her; it was very odd because they had not even come to rescue her. Ayame even pulled off a smile. Rikimaru stared at her evilly sheathing his sword slowly.
“What’s wrong you guys?”
They all watched her.
“You insolent fool. How could you possibly think that we weren’t going to do something about your weak friends?”
It was Jade.
“We disposed of them for the moment”
she smiled wickedly. At this time the magic wore off and she returned to her normal state. So did Dobbo and someone she had vaguely remembered. Natsumi had seen him overlooking the legions of ninja and samurai. But, who was he? This is our newest member Kanbe Gushiken. He was oddly quiet but calm, he wore the traditional ninja gi, but there was a strange aura. He seemed deeply depressed. His hair was unusually tidy, and his skin toned. His eyes were blank full of sadness.
“He doesn’t talk much. I see”
“But in what he lacks he also builds upon. Watch this.”
She snapped her fingers and he immediately reacted. He became enraged extremely quickly and in one swift motion brought down two chairs and a large iron candle. Natsumi was frozen with fear. The katana had gone back in its sheath as quickly as it had come.
“I’m not scared.”
Natsumi was obviously lying but she had to do something and fast.
“Oh really, well can you take on all three of us?”
Natsumi felt for her blades but she had forgotten the guards had taken her weapons. She could only fight with her hands. She clenched her fists as tight as she could. Kanbe rushed forward with katana in hand. He thrusted the sword forward, barely reaching her skin. She kicked behind her and pushed him He was sent staggering out into the darkness.
“Sayonara you pitiful soul…”
Natsumi said. She knelt beside him near his head. She grabbed his neck and unfortunately Jade interrupted.
“Hold on, if you kill Kanbe then I will never tell you where your friends are.”
Natsumi reluctantly released her tight grip. She knew that this was a weak proposition. She didn’t really care for Ayame, Rikimaru was a stiff, and Gicchi. Natsumi would only go to help save Gicchi. Therefore she slowly allowed him to breathe. She could hear his wheezing breaths slowly regain.
“I have a proposition for you. If you can retrieve the Kage Kami Scroll in the Suisho Mountains than I will set your friends free. But if not your comrades are dead.”
Natsumi pondered what should she do. Kill him or collect the scroll. Natsumi nodded and Jade wickedly laughed and smiled. She handed her the map and set off. Natsumi wondered to herself how and why her mother was Ginko, and why they were to attack Gohda’s territory. It all seemed like an intricate puzzle only to be figured out with careful planning.