Written by David Newman
“Onikage you should become less reckless, you were almost defeated by the Azuma ninja at the castle without more care you will not be able to defeat them.”
“Hahahahaha, you lack faith in me, oh exulted one? It is merely a flesh wound I suffered.”
“Yes, but this time you shall act to hinder their progress only: I desire to make them the first victims of my second coming.”
“As you command so shall it be oh Great one! Soon they will come for the princess.”
They looked down upon the sleeping child with amusement,
“It’s entertaining that something so frail grants us so much power, is it not Onikage?”
“Absolutely, My master.”
“Go now and ensure Rikimaru gets the reception fitting to his person.” Onikage dashed towards the wall of the pit and propelled himself against it and suddenly used it to ricochet himself away and out of the dark hole. He stalked his way through the sulphurous chasms and tunnels and out into the night. He stood, perched upon the top of the dead wood of the rotting trees and watched, highly absorbed by the young ninja; he marveled at the cruel strength and ruthless efficiency that he had acquired since their first encounter, it mattered not that they were enemies and that his victims were Onikage’s soldiers and minions, he loved only strength and found beauty only in the death of others, the ninja’s actions impressed him greatly. The muffled cries and silent executions progressed further and further towards his Lord’s domain and Onikage shadowed Rikimaru with ease and competence fully aware that his stealth abilities masked his presence from the ninja’s awareness, the man reached the bridge and Onikage watched from the top of one of the pillars as he dashed horizontally across the stone towers and leapt upon his enemies with the speed and fatality of a lightning strike; slashing his sword across the first’s throat while still in mid air, and bringing the blade back and sinking it deep into the second’s heart. He slowly withdrew the sword and kicked the body away to ease it’s withdrawal. Onikage turned and launched himself on top of the building and continued to follow and watch Rikimaru’s progress as he swiftly and secretly decimated the population of his lords domain. At the precipice of the cave network, Onikage decided the time for their final encounter was now.
“I see you have come to meet your fate!”
“So, you’ve returned! This time you won’t come back.”
“How naive, you can’t beat me when I try!”
“We’ll find out!”
The battle was met with equal ferocity, the two exchanged blows, attacks, blocks, counters, swipes, kicks, slashes, parries and jumping attacks. But his lord’s words echoed in his ears ‘You shall act to hinder their progress ONLY!’ He fought to suppress the desire to ignore the order and tear the young ninja to pieces: his strength was unrivalled by any man or beast but the wrath of his master was far greater than any shame that defeat brought, he began to leave openings and rely upon highly risky manoeuvres that benefited him far too little to realistically use in a sincere conflict, His wounds began to accumulate, the cold steel bit his flesh and bone, the degenerate in him enjoyed the pain and suffering. The final blow tore through him with a lethal accuracy that eviscerated him and erupted a tremendous cascade of blood and viscera violently exploding from his broken flesh.
“Stop you have won! Your princess Kiku is being held below guarded by Lord Mei-oh himself: I will see you in hell.”
“Onikage, I have destroyed you and your Master Mei-oh is next!”
Rikimaru ran past the motionless body with cool determination of mind and purpose; in his haste he missed a soft laughing that the carcass produced at his declaration. Onikage drew his shattered body up and laughed fully to the empty air. He dipped a hand into his wound and lapped his blood from his fingers. He took a ceramic pot from his giu and opened it’s lid, noxious vapours gushed forth and he pressed the jar to his lips and poured the thick treacle like liquid into his mouth, it produced a hot burning sensation as it scorched down his throat, it was an acquired taste he thought with a smirk and remembered as he, on a particularly boring day, had fed it to some captive priests: they screamed and frothed at the mouths till they all died, their bodies burnt from the inside out. He stood, his wounds now covered with a dense crimson scar tissue. He sauntered into the building nonchalantly, and followed the trail of mutilated corpses towards his Master’s lair. He reached there and looked down upon the scene in expectation of the image of Rikimaru being killed and then torn into pieces. He was disappointed as he witnessed Rikimaru fight diligently and with strength against the King of Hell himself, then he watched as with one powerful sweep of his blade Rikimaru ended the fight. The three men stood motionless, Rikimaru stayed stationary in his finished strike position, Onikage beheld the occurrences in a shocked state and Mei-oh loomed powerfully over the scene but somewhat subdued, suddenly his robes burst apart with a ominous ripping and a thin red line appeared across his chest and his torso burst open violently spilling his life across the alcove. His physical being having been decimated his spirit was then sucked through the portal to Hell with an inhuman scream.Onikage was gripped with a violent rage and lashed out against the walls of the chamber he occupied as the heroes rescued the princess and congratulated themselves,Onikage grabbed the central pillar of the excavated cavern which acted as the keystone of the structure and squeezed until the stone shattered like glass under his strength. The construction began to buckle as it’s weight was no longer supported, great chunks of masonry and stone smashed down upon itself and Onikage smiled, his failure would still be the grave for those pesky Azuma ninja: he could hear them rushing desperately to escape as he strolled calmly through the rock fall and out into the darkness.