Written by Sakimaru Tsuwamono
*NOTE* this is the prequel to THE KAJI NINJA. The Rikimaru and Ayame in this story are not the one’s of Tenchu.
There was once a Ninja master named Sasuga Kaji who lived in the Mitsurugi Village. He recently got word that an evil ninja named Akuhei had come to a nearby village. He had heard rumors about him being feared by villagers wherever the Ninja went. Kaji, being one who helps people, now knew that he had to get help. He decided to take up a couple disciples. He searched for a couple of youngsters, and found two of them. Brother and sister, Makaji and Murasaki, were his selections. Makaji was 16 and Murasaki was 14. Kaji saw lot of potential in both of them. After learning the basics – such as how to hold a shuriken, positioning in techniques, basic weapon techniques, basic fighting skills, etc. – the training began.
(KAJI) Makaji! Murasaki!
Both come out of their rooms and outside to Master Kaji.
(BOTH) Yes sir?
(KAJI) It’s time to start you’re actual training
(MAKAJI) All right!
(KAJI) You have both been patient enough. Rikimaru! Ayame! Rikimaru and Ayame come out of the house after eating.
(KAJI) It’s time for their next step in training. Now, take them through all the courses and make sure they get things done. Got it?
(AYAME) Yes sir.
Rikimaru and Ayame smile at the youngsters. Rikimaru takes Makaji to the Item Use Course and Ayame takes Murasaki to the Acrobatic Course. Rikimaru hands Makaji a shuriken.
(RIKIMARU) Ok Makaji, take one of these and throw it at that target.
Makaji licks his lips, hoping that he’ll make it. He throws it and hits the target.
(RIKIMARU) Good. Now, try throwing four of them as fast as you can.
Makaji does so and gets all of them.
(RIKIMARU) Ok. Now, as you run across this bridge, throw these caltrops behind you.
He does so and waits at the other end for his next directions.
(MAKAJI) What now, sir?
(RIKIMARU) Sir? You say it as if I were old.
(MAKAJI) I was just being respectful.
(RIKIMARU) *laughs* It’s ok. You may call me sir.
They continue to train with explosives, gas grenades, and blowguns.
Now for Ayame and Murasaki. Murasaki is working on jumping. They are working on roofs right now.
(AYAME) Ok. I want you to jump from here to there.
(MURASAKI) What? I can’t make that!
(AYAME) Just see yourself doing it, and do it! You can do it I know you can.
(MURASAKI) Your right, I can do this.
Murasaki backs up a few feet and runs as fast as she can. She makes it over and gracefully lands on the other roof. Ayame smiles.
(AYAME) Good. Now try jumping from here to there *points at a higher roof*. Murasaki runs and jumps up as high as she can. She makes it, hanging on the edge of the roof. She pulls herself up.
(AYAME) Very good.
(MURASAKI) I don’t have to jump to that one *points at an even higher rooftop*, do I?
(AYAME) Haha. No. For that one you may use your grappling hook.
Ayame throws her a grappling hook. Murasaki spins it and throws it to the edge of the roof. She then climbs up. Ayame then jumps with ease to where Murasaki is.
(AYAME) You’ll be able to do that, with practice.
Then she takes Murasaki to the swimming area and teaches her how to use the bamboo read and get into the water without much sound. Then Makaji and Murasaki are brought to the Stealth Course and do pretty well.
(RIKIMARU) Now for weapons training.
Makaji and Murasaki smile at each other. Then Rikimaru and Ayame take them to the bamboo forest.
(RIKIMARU) Here are you’re wooden training weapons.
He hands Makaji a bokken (wooden katana) and Murasaki a pair of Aikuchi (daggers).
(MURASAKI) When do we get to use the real weapons?
(RIKIMARU) When you’re ready.
Murasaki and Makaji start weapon fighting. Then they finish.
(MURASAKI) You always win Makaji!
(MAKAJI) Heh heh.
(AYAME) You guys are getting faster and better, I can tell.
Rikimaru takes another bokken out.
(RIKIMARU) Since you are the winner, you get to fight me.
(MAKAJI) What? You’re kidding right?
Rikimaru attacks. As soon as Makaji sees this, he blocks as fast as he can.
(RIKIMARU) Get ready. When I feel you are doing better, I will turn it up a notch.
(MAKAJI) *nervous* Oh-k-k.
Makaji is ready to fight. Makaji and Rikimaru go at it. Makaji barely blocks every attack by Rikimaru, but he is determined to win. Rikimaru pushes Makaji back with the bokken. Makaji falls to the ground and rolls back. Murasaki watches in horror, scared that his brother might get hurt.
(MURASAKI) Ayame, what if he kills him?
(AYAME) He won’t.
Makaji gets up and runs toward Rikimaru. Rikimaru finds that Makaji is getting better so he turns it up a notch and goes faster. Makaji swiftly attempts to poke Rikimaru in the stomach with his bokken. And he does so. Rikimaru looks down at his stomach. Then looks back up to Makaji.
They stop and rest. Ayame walks to the middle with her wooden spear.
(AYAME) Ok, our turn Murasaki.
Murasaki gulps and walks toward Ayame.
(MURASAKI) All right. I’m ready.
Ayame spins her spear and suddenly strikes toward Murasaki. Murasaki blocks it with a dagger and uses the other one to strike at Ayame’s face. Ayame bends her head back to avoid the strike and pulls back her spear. She backflips and strikes again. She sweeps the spear to Murasaki’s legs. Murasaki jumps over the spear and attempts to strike Ayame, but is too late. Ayame sweeps her spear again and trips Murasaki to the ground. She hits her shoulder on the ground.
(MURASAKI) *squints* Ouch.
She rubs her shoulder and tries to get back up. Ayame kicks her down again. This angers Murasaki. She quickly gets up and gets in fighting position. She double front flips toward Ayame, attempting to hit her. She misses and jumps out of the way of Ayame’s attack. Ayame swings the wooden spear at Murasaki’s side. Murasaki dodges and, with her left dagger, swings it to Ayame’s neck. It touches Ayame.
(AYAME) Well done.
Murasaki pulls back and all training is done for now.
It’s now three years later and Makaji and Murasaki are faster, stronger, more agile, and better than they were before. They have also learned how to use real weapons. Now it is morning time and Kaji calls for his disciples.
(KAJI) Ayame, Rikimaru, Makaji, Murasaki, wake up!
They all come out of their rooms from sleeping and eat breakfast. After breakfast Master Kaji tells them something.
(KAJI) It’s time for your first training mission. Now we will see how good of Kaji Ninja’s you really are.
Rikimaru and Ayame take them to the bamboo forest and begin to tell them what to do.
(AYAME) This is where you start. Our villages ninjas will be in there, acting as guards, so treat them as so. You will use these wooden weapons. We are not giving you actual supplies for this mission, because the villagers are in there. You may only use your weapons, your techniques, and your grappling hook. Remember to use stealth, do not just run in there and attack them. If you are caught, run and find somewhere to hide or fight them. When you get to the other side, which there is a trail to follow, you will find a note. Go now. Good luck.
(MURASAKI AND MAKAJI) Right.
And so, they head into the bamboo forest, going their separate ways. Makaji runs as quietly as possible and spots a figure ahead. Makaji hides behind a bush until the guard looks away. Makaji walks quietly toward the man and slits his throat. The guard falls to the ground. Then Makaji jumps into a tree as he hears a voice. He sees a guard walk by. Makaji hopes that the guard does not see the body of the first guard. Right before the guard comes toward the body, Makaji jumps down and attacks. Murasaki is doing well, too.
Makaji finally makes it to the end, beating the last guard. He waits for Murasaki to come. Suddenly, he hears a sound from a nearby tree. He jumps out of the way as Murasaki, who was hiding in the tree looking down at Makaji, attempts to attack him.
(MAKAJI) Funny Murasaki.
(MAKAJI) Where could that note be?
(MURASAKI) *sees the note* There it is.
(MAKAJI) What does it say?
(MURASAKI) It says “Good job, you have made it. Now, come back and claim your prize”.
(MAKAJI) A prize? I wonder what it could be.
They both run back to the starting point, wondering what the prize is. Rikimaru and Ayame are sitting on a bridge over the river near the bamboo forst.
(RIKIMARU) They are back.
(MURASAKI) Yes, we are. What is the prize?
Rikimaru points to the left of him. Sitting on a rock, there is a katana for Makaji and a pair of aikuchi for Murasaki.
(MAKAJI) Wow. This is a dream come true. You want me to have the Kogane ken?
Rikimaru nods his head. Murasaki and Makaji bow to Ayame and Rikimaru.
(MURASAKI) Thank you. We are very thankful for your teachings and your gifts to us.
Two months later, the time had come. The evil ninja planned to capture Lord Meiyo. After getting word of this, Master Kaji told Makaji and Murasaki that it was time for their first mission.
After the battle was over and Makaji and Murasaki returned Lord Meiyo to his home, Akuhei, an evil ninja, was captured by Lord Meiyo. Now there is another clan, related to Akuhei, which had heard of Akuhei being captured by Lord Meiyo. This new clan had been fighting with Meiyo’s ninjas for years. Now the leader of this evil clan seeks vengeance.