Written by Jason E. Turner
Rikimaru assembled gear from his grave site.
Shurikens, caltrops, smoke bombs, and his favorite…the grenade.
He kneeled in meditation.
“With all of my strength, this battle will conclude in the defeat of my enemies. I will… be.. honorable…and Ayame will know how much I…love…her..”
He bowed his head.
Tears, again streamed down his face. He laughed.
“If I keep crying all the time, I will have a river to carry me back and forth…”
Then, he was alert.
He swiftly moved through the bamboo forest. An owl was startled by him. The bird’s wings fluttered away in to the silence of the night. Rikimaru continued to move through the forest. He arrived at the gate of Hanzou’s fortress. There were three guards at the gate. Rikimaru widened his eyes as he threw four shurikens into two of the guard’s necks. The third drew his blade.
Rikimaru withdrew the Azuma ninja blade.
“Well, old friend, let’s remember Master Shiunsai.”
He felt for the Grey Dragon, his very own hand-crafted blade.
“And you, we will fight for Ayame tonight as well. But not yet.”
The guard threw an array of skillful samurai attacks. Rikimaru defended the attacks skillfully. He then moonsaulted over the guard. He guard spun to attack again, but it was too late. Rikimaru sliced his spine. The guard fell to his knees, then perished. Rikimaru, bounded leaped with his grappling hook. He arrived at the real fortress. Fifty guards, he thought, after taking a swift head count.
“This is going to be fun.”