Grieving Spider Sword by Scrooge
Dokugumo-Ureeru Tsurugi (Grieving Spider Sword)
Weaker than the Dark Dragon Blade, the Japanese Dokugumo-Ureeru Tsurugi is still one of the strongest mythical blades of our generation. A crafty designed Japanese blade cursed by a Chinese monk to slay its own Japanese warriors during an undocumented war between the two countries. Before the Black Spider Clan existed, the Dokugumo-Ureeru assisted Chinese warriors in many battles with its fierce sharpness and unseen magic against the Japanese. One important fact, the sword was greatly feared based on the rumor that the blade's power is based on the number of souls it holds after each killing.
Upon the old-age death of the Chinese monk who first cursed the blade, he revealed to his followers of the deep secret he embedded in the blade to never be released.
If the blade is to ever slay a virgin child and a man of rage in a bonding and ritual form, the blade would undergo a deceiving form, becoming even more powerful and deadly, and its magic would be visually seen. The sick and twisting spell of the Chinese monk would leave the soul of the virgin girl at the mercy with the soul of the man of rage, as he would continually rape the small child releasing an increased and elevated anger, with the help of the blade, onto the world. To be more twisted in nature, even if the man of rage were to kill the virgin child, her soul would be reborn within the sword, so the power can remain fierce and brand new as if the child never faced death. Their lives would repeat that way over and over as long as the blade was held and used.
Years after the passing of the Chinese monk, the Black Spider Clan was formed. It was formed as an evil clan and advertised themselves as an evil clan. After years of terrorizing, the Clan learned of the Dokugumo-Ureeru Tsurugi and its dark secret that held it. After finding the blade and nearly destroying an entire monastery, they immediately performed the bonding ritual that released the dark powers of the blade and slain a young princess of no older than 8 years of age and a mentally challenged arsonist enclosing their souls into the blade for all of eternity.
After the ritual, it was learned that not any ordinary man could be named owner of the Tsurugi. Whoever was to even hold the blade could hear the cries & pleas of the little girl and angered rage the "challenged” psychotic. Whoever were to hold the blade, would feel the great amounts of pain, rage, power, lust, disgust, happy, distraught, and much more all at the very same time. The average would go into their own mental instability by just merely holding the blade, let alone using it.
The Spider Clan used this to form their leadership. The clan member emotionally strong enough to hold the blade would be immediately be dubbed leader. Though this was never easy for the clan. The very few brave enough to attempt such a feat would almost immediately fall to their knees insane from the blade's power. To the victor, immortality is blessed.
With their newfound power, the Spider Clan ruled with an Iron fist, controlling part of Japan from the underground. They rarely made their presence known, but they ruled their territory secretly. Using the Japanese government to do their every bidding and using the blade as punishment to those that defied them.
For decades, they made a strong impact with the Dokugumo-Ureeru alone. Until one day, the blade was stolen and hidden from the Clan. To this day the thief is unknown by name, but it was rumored that the thief served his punishment tragically.
Decades later, the Black Spider Clan attempted to replace the Dokugumo-Ureeru with an even more powerful blade. The clan was ordered to hunt down and bring back the Dark Dragon Blade residing on Vigoor Empire. Their leader even gave them a false reason for grinding the sword into tea leaves. With the Dark Dragon Blade's power, the Spider Clan could easily re-establish themselves as a fearful force, and relinquish their power over their rulings. When their attempt was unsuccessful, thanks to the heroic efforts of Ryu Hayabusa, the sword was destroyed.
Due to their recent failures, corruption has begun within the Black Spider Clan. The leader of the Black Spider Clan, and the last person to touch the Dokugumo-Ureeru, has become so old and fragile, he is no longer able to give instructions and he is no longer a forceful threat to his followers. A new leader is needed for the clan, and if one isn't found soon, the Black Spider Clan will crumble. The Black Spider Clan is in desperate need of the Dokugumo-Ureeru Tsurugi.
Chapter 1: Rest & Relaxation
Blurriness was all Ryu saw as he slowly tried opening his eyes for the first time. All he could tell was that he lying down. A bed? Yes, he was in a bed. But where was he? His vision still blurry he saw a figure standing over him.
“Oh my God, he's waking up. Get Hayate, quick.” It was a female's voice. It sounded familiar but he couldn't quite pinpoint it. Maybe if she was to say something else. “My sweet Ryu, I'm so glad you're alive.”
That comforting tone, soft, angelic, it was the voice of the only woman he truly loved. It had to be. “Aileen?” He said as his vision began to clear as he saw the face of his love standing over him with tears of joy slightly leaking from her eyes as she answered back with only a gleeful smile and nod.
Ryu smiled back and tried to life himself to hug her. But the pains from his battle, kept him grounded to the bed. “Be careful, my love. Your body is just beginning to heal.”
Ryu looked around his surroundings to try to gain some knowledge of his whereabouts, and immediately noticed he was home. Home at last. In the corner, he saw Ayane sitting alone, watching her Master awake from his painful slumber. He looked to Aileen. “Where are the others?” He struggled to speak.
“Don't worry. Everyone is okay. Rachael went to search for a man named, Muramasa, for Spirit Elixir. And I just sent Kasumi to get Hayate when I saw you waking up.”
“There's the great warrior.” Ryu heard a voice. He looked to the direction where it came from and saw Hayate standing alongside his sister. “You put us up for quite a scare.” He said with a smile.
“What do you mean?”
“You've been in and out of comas for the past two nights.”
“How long have I been out?”
“Just three days.”
“What?” Ryu said in surprise.
“You went unconscious right after your fight against Murai. We retrieved your body and brought you back here.”
Ryu looked at Aileen waiting to hear her side of the story. “And I was devastated.” She said with a giggle to hide her emotional pain. “My first sight of you was blood. Blood was everywhere on your body. Your face, chest, and back. I thought they brought back a dead body.” She tried to sniff back her tears, but it didn't work.
Ryu looked at his body. There where bandages all over him where a red blood stain was visible as the liquid soaked it way through. They were all over his chest and back. There were bandages on his face where Murai clawed him. There was a splint on his leg where he twisted his knee. His eyes and other parts of his body where skin could be seen were purple and bruised
Her voice began trembling as she spoke. “I thought you were dead, Ryu.” She said as more tears began to stroll down her cheek. “I thought you were dead and I cried.” She wiped what she could from her face. “I cried and I couldn't stop crying.”
The others in the room could only watch Aileen pour her heart out.
Ryu grabbed and held her hand and tried to console her even in his weak position. “It's okay, Aileen. It's all over now. He's dead and will not interfere with out lives any longer.”
“Please, Ryu, “ Aileen pleaded. “Please promise me, no more missions.”
Ryu stayed quiet and stared into his lover's eyes.
“I can't bear to see you come home this way. Please promise me.”
Ryu was quiet for a minute until one of her tears landed on his shoulder. He hated to see her cry and being the man he is, he laid there considerate of her well-being as he made his promise. “I promise, Aileen. No more missions.”
She smiled and gently hugged him, careful not to irritate his wounds. She then gave him a small kiss on his forehead, probably the only place on his face that wasn't bruised or cut.
“Thank you, Hayabusa.” She said gleefully.
“No, thank you.” He replied back.
He looked back to Hayate and smiled. “At least, I'm glad to see you two made up.”
When Hayate and Kasumi noticed he was talking about them, they made a bigger gap of distance between them, easily telling Ryu that all is not right.
Just then Rachael walked in with a small bag in her hand. “I found it!” She said with excitement. She looked and saw Ryu laying on his bed awake. “Hey, I see you're finally woke.” Then when she looked around and saw the tears in Aileen's eyes, the obvious distance between Hayate and Kasumi, and Ayane, who hasn't even said a word, holding her head down in sorrow, Rachael asked, “And that is a good thing, right?”
Aileen wiped the tears from her eyes and smiled at Rachael, “Of course it is. The days shine bright as Ryu awakes.”
Rachael could perceive the smile was fake, but instead picking into the situation, she only presented the small crowd of her findings. “Well, I have the elixir.” Then she began to explain, “I spoke with Muramasa. I told him the depths of your injuries. He wants you to take two of these now and two tomorrow, and get plenty of rest.” Ryu nodded. “But, you will have to get out of the bed and re-train your body to work again.”
“But I haven't been out that long.”
She then explained. “Spirit Elixirs relaxes your body which helps it does its work in the healing process. That's one reason why you don't have to take as many. Since, you have to do a lot of relaxing, by the time you get out of the bed, you will have to work your muscles and your body again.”
Ryu nodded. “I understand.” He said as he watched Rachael hand two of the bottles to Aileen.
“And Muramasa wants to see when you're all better.” She added. “He has a shop outside of the Empire, so it won't be too long of a travel.”
Aileen opened the bottles and put it to Ryu's lips and he slowly drank the formula, one bottle, then the other. Instantly, Ryu could feel the elixir working, he was full of energy and was ready to hop out of bed that instant.
“Whoa, wait a minute, cowboy.” Rachael joking insisted. “Let it do it's healing, first. Then you can have your fun.”
Ryu forced himself to rest as he laid back, took a deep breath as his head to rest on the comfortable pillow beneath him.
Aileen then spoke. “Okay, everyone. Let's leave and give Ryu his rest he's so richly deserves.”
Everyone began to make their leave.
Aileen stood, “And I will be back to put some food into your stomach. I know your body is yearning for one seeing that it has been absent from food for over three days.”
Ryu nodded with a smile.
Aileen kissed him on the forehead before she left. “Close your eyes and rest, warrior. I will be here when they open again.”
Ryu did just that. He closed his eyes, relaxed on the bed, and soon fell into a deep sleep again.
Chapter 2 – Mission Denied
After weeks of healing and physical training, Ryu was finally healed. The bandages were removed and his wounds received a close examination from Muramasa proved that Ryu was ready for physical training. All of his scars and bruises completely vanished, thanks to the Spirit Elixir. It was as if Ryu was never in a battle at all.
Hayate assisted Ryu with his physical training with intense sparring sessions and soon enough Ryu was back to his old self once again. Rachael decided to go back to the Vigoor Empire to assist her sister, Alma, in relinquishing the last of the Fiends, but afterwards, she explained to Ryu she would not know what her purpose would be next. The two said their goodbyes as Rachael set her path back home. Their long mission together was intense, but they both knew that one day their paths would go different directions. They knew that just as much as they knew that their paths would one day cross again.
Over the past few weeks, Ryu enjoyed his life of pure serenity as he did a lot of fishing and looked after his curio shop and for once was able to spend quality time with his love, Aileen. She couldn't be any happier to have Ryu finally at home and away from the dangers that had been brought to him over the past few years. Every night, just to make sure Ryu wouldn't vanish on another quest, she would hold him tight as they slept.
Ryu kept his promise for not taking on any missions, though he was thanked by people from all over the world on his victory against Murai, more requests for more missions came forth to him than before. Ryu was looked down upon when he refused missions, but faith always had a burning light when he recommended the services from the Mugen-Tenshin clan.
Also in a turn of events, Hayate wanted to take the next step in the relationship with his sister. He informed the Mugen-Tenshin of his intents and he and Kasumi secretly set off into the mountains, to help him decide of what needed to be done as a brother and a ninja. The outcome of the journey was unknown, for even Hayate himself. But he knew he could no longer ask Ryu to protect his sister when he, himself, was unsure if he wants her dead or not. The journey was to answer questions of what needed to be done, and he vowed not to return until he had the answers.
With Kasumi gone, this left Ayane alone and nothing to do, since she was asked to leave the two alone. In result, she spent a lot of her time with Ryu. Assisting at the curio shop, training and sparring sessions, and when she wasn't around Ryu, she would most likely sit at the lake and contemplate her own life.
With all the events in place, Ryu sat in his curio shop filled with many of the rare Japanese artifacts Ryu had found on his explorations. Arts, crafts, statues, exotic weapons, they all filled his shop waiting for any lucky customers to come and bring them to their home.
An old man walked into the shop and began browsing and exploring the many gifts Ryu's shop had to offer.
“Any word from Hayate and Kasumi?” Ryu asked Ayane who was brushing off ancient dust found on a statue they found on a previous journey.
“Not as of yet, why so much concern of the past few days?” She asked.
“I'm afraid of what may happen to Kasumi. Hayate only wants to do the right thing.”
Ayane hissed. “Then he should kill her.”
Ryu frowned. “You don't mean that.”
Ayane continued her concentrating on her statue restoration as she answered. “You're right. I would prefer he leave her alive so I could kill her.”
“I thought you put all of that behind you.”
“Are you still referring to that mission?” Ayane dropped the brush and stared at Ryu. “Master Ryu, we put our differences aside so it would not interfere with the task at hand. As you said, there were more important matters. My mission on bringing her dead to the Mugen-Tenshin was never over.”
Ryu only sighed. He tried his hardest to reunite Ayane and Kasumi as close sisters as they were when they were children, but all of his efforts failed thanks to Ayane's obnoxious jealousy. He didn't want to argue about their quarrel any longer, so instead he only let the little girl win the potential petty argument.
Moments later, the old man made a selection from the shop and approached Ryu.
“Could you tell me what this is?” The old man asked him holding a small circular wooden plate in his hand.
Ryu smiled in remembrance as he answered the question. “This is a Saki Tray. Part of a Saki set.” He said taking the item from the man's hand. “This was given to me by an old woman out of a western Japanese village. She was greatly known for her remarkable green tea. This was her inspiration. She told me it belonged to her father and was passed down to him generation after generation, coming from the 17th Century. Her ancestors made a living off of their tea recipe.” He placed the item back in the man's hand. “Unfortunately, she never had any children to continue to pass it down to, so she gave it me as a reward for saving her village. I promised her I would give it to a responsible young man that would look after it and continue their tradition.”
“That's a touching story.”
“Thank you.” Ryu smiled.
“So I suppose you can't sell this to me, since I am no longer young?”
“Of course, you seem as if your children would enjoy the artifact for generations to come just as it has done for the woman's.”
The man gave a compassionate smile. “You are caring. But my children are…” The old man paused as his facial expression changed from the compassionate smile to a look Ryu could only detect as emotional hurt.
Ryu knew the man had most likely lost his children to an unfortunate death. “You have my condolences, sir.”
“No, that's not it.” The man kindly confirmed. “But I am afraid it may come to that.”
Ryu arched his eyebrow.
“I'm sorry Hayabusa-sama. Please forgive me.” The old man broke down. “I have come for your assistance, not to buy art.” He admitted. “My name is Jian Migu of the Migu Village .”
“A ninja clan has come and taken over my village. They are taking all of our people slaves and making them work in caves.”
“A ninja clan?” The remark sounded irrational to Ryu. “What clan would take over a village?”
“The Black Spider Clan. They have come to our village and forced our people to work for them and kill those that object.”
“The Black Spider Clan?” Ryu thought to himself. That was the clan that interfered with his mission on the Vigoor Empire. He remembers it all too well. Very athletic, highly skilled, and were equipped with incendiary shurikens which made them a pain when in great numbers. They were after the Dark Dragon Blade to grind the blade into tea. A silly reason for a clan of that expertise to want a powerful and evil sword of great power for a tasty drink.
“Why have they chosen your village?” Ryu asked.
“None of us are sure. They just appeared and began their wrath on our villagers. I, and a few others, have managed to escape to find you. We know you have encountered with them before and your past successes would prove that you would be successful in a confrontation.”
Ayane still brushing the statue listening to their conversation replied. “Sounds like a mission.”
Ryu scoffed but knew that the female ninja was right and immediately Aileen popped into his head. He began to think about her reaction if he were to take on another mission. He promised her that he would stop, but even the small mission requests were beginning to grow more and more in numbers.
He wanted so much to take this specific matter into his own hands with the history he and the Black Spider Clan shared. But ultimately, he couldn't do it, he couldn't risk getting himself caught up in fighting for peace when his lady love needed him at home.
“I'm sorry, sir. I can't help.”
The man's eyes opened in shock. “What!” His voice trembled. “But-But y-you're our final hope.”
“I'm sorry I cannot assist you, but I do know a clan that can assist.” Ready to recommend the Mugen-Tenshin Clan.
The man's voice still trembled as he spoke. “With all due respect, we are not looking for another clan. We are looking for the ninja of the Dragon Lineage that defeated this clan alone. Are you not him?”
“I am. But at this time, I must decline your request. I am sorry.”
This began to anger the old man. “You are not ninja of the Dragon Lineage. You cannot be the same person to have rumored to travel to the underworld and back for the sole purpose of victory and vengeance. You cannot be the same person who made the Black Spider Clan taste the blade of the Dragon Sword. You cannot be the same person to destroy, Bankotsubo, Tengu of Destruction. Are they all lies?”
“Enough!” Ayane interrupted from the background as she dropped the brush and confronted the old man. “You have no idea what he has been through and what I have witnessed of his troubles.” Ryu was surprised by Ayane's interruption. “What do you expect out of this man? How many times do you expect him to put his life on the line? Can he not live a life of his own?” She roared. “Sir, if you have any common sense left in that old head of yours, you will turn and leave. I'm sorry about your village, but he cannot help you.”
The old man scoffed at Ayane. “Fine.” He looked at Ryu, “Just know this Dragon Ninja, “ the man sarcastically implied. “My assumptions stand corrected.” He pointed at Ayane. “More so, letting a woman fight your battles.”
Ryu stood with slight anger in his eyes as he was ready to confront the man on his own, but instead, the man just walked out of the shop in an angry rage.
“What a jerk.” Ayane said as she returned to her statue restoration.
But Ryu couldn't blame him, he would do the same if his village was falling helpless to a powerful force. What made the ninja curious was the purpose of the Black Spider Clan? Making the villagers work in caves? What are they searching for?
Chapter 3 – My Past
Later that night, Ryu and Ayane closed up the shop and began to head for home.
“Hey don't worry about that old man from earlier.” Ayane tried to comfort him. “He was just being a complete jerk.”
“Don't worry, he has already escaped my mind.” Which was false, the old man stayed in Ryu's head throughout the day. Primary the main intentions of the Black Spider Clan. What were they up to, now that they failed to retrieve the Dark Dragon Blade.
This is all what Ryu thought about on his night walk home. When he stepped inside his cottage he saw Aileen sitting in a corner hand washing clothes, and just then Ryu realized he made the right decision on declining the mission.
Aileen looked up and gave him a loving smile, “Welcome home.”
Ryu smiled back as he walked over to her and bent over to kiss her. “Did you miss me?” He said right after his lips parted from hers.
“Always.” She said and Ryu leaned forward for another lip embrace. “You must've had a good day at work.”
Ryu smiled and sighed, he stood straight and began walking into their small kitchen and replied. “Everyday's a good day at work when I know I'm coming home to you.”
“Uh oh, what happened?” Aileen sarcastically responded.
Ryu poured himself a small glass of water. “Well, I turned down another mission today.”
“Did it sound serious?”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
He nodded again.
She stopped washing the clothes and immediately took Ryu by his hand. She knew that something was emotionally troubling. She led him to a couch as they both sat down.
“Okay, talk to me.”
Ryu began to explain. “Do you remember the Vigoor Empire?”
“How can I forget?”
“There was another clan fighting for the same purpose as I. They called themselves the Black Spider Clan. They were searching for the Dark Dragon Blade, as was I.”
“They're up to something again, aren't they?”
Ryu nodded. “Apparently, they're making villagers slaves and have them working in caves.”
“What village?” Aileen expressed her concern.
“What was the name of that village?” Ryu asked himself trying to recall the name of the village the man mentioned only once. “Mibu or Migu Village . One of the two.”
“ Migu Village ?”
“I'm pretty sure that's it.” Ryu contemplate on the old man's conversation, then confirmed. “Yes, it was. Migu Village .”
Aileen sat next to Ryu in a wide eye shock as she became lost in her own daydream.
“Problem is, I have no idea what they could be searching for.” Ryu finished. He looked at Aileen who still had the look of daze in her eyes. “Aileen?”
She snapped out of it. “Huh?”
“Are you okay?”
She nodded in assurance. “Yes, so why did you decline it?” She asked with more question in her tone.
Ryu arched his eyebrow in confusion. Aileen should be the first to know perfectly well why he declined the mission. “I wanted to stick with my promise, remember? No more mission.”
Aileen took a deep breath. Ryu could tell she was hiding something. “You must take it.”
Ryu eyes popped open. “What?”
“You must take this mission.”
This left Ryu struck in confusion. This was the same woman that begged, pleaded, and promised him not to do any more missions at all. And yet, it was her that was insisting that he takes the mission.
“I know you haven't been taking missions for my sake, but this is one I want you to take.” She said.
There was something about her tone that she wasn't telling Ryu. What was she hiding? “Why the sudden change of heart? Why do you want me to take this mission?”
“Please Ryu, it's just important to me.”
“I don't get it, Aileen. First you beg me not to take on any missions, then you tell me that I need to take missions. Which one is it, Aileen? Am I supposed to just jump when you say so?”
“No, Ryu, it's not like that.”
“Then what is it, Aileen. What makes this mission more important than all of those other missions I've been turning down over the past few weeks?”
“Ryu, it's difficult to explain.”
“Then try. I need to understand what is it that's going on. Why do you have that look on your face? Why do you suddenly want me to take on a mission after so much pleading for me to cease?”
She gave a sigh looking down to the floor, quietly pondering to herself if she should reveal her secret to him or not. After a matter of seconds, she decided to inform him. “ Migu Village …” She paused.
“Yes?” Ryu responded with concern in his voice.
“That's where I grew up at.”
She nodded, “That's where my parents died, and that's why I left. It hurt too much to stay in that village without my father and mother around.” She continued. “After I left, I knew it was a mistake. I left behind everyone that I knew. Friends, relatives.” She looked at Ryu deep. “And now from your story, you tell me that their lives are in danger.”
She gave another sigh to hold back her cries. “They hated me for leaving and I can't say that I blame them. Sometimes I just want to go to the village to make amends with everyone.”
Ryu heard the seriousness in her voice.
“It was just a little time before I met you before I was able to console myself for the betrayal I did against my village.”
“The betrayal of trust. The betrayal of consideration. When my parents passed, the entire village did all they could to console me. Then I left with no word. No goodbyes. I just made myself disappear.”
Ryu gave an innocent smile and wiped a tear away from Aileen's cheek. “That's all? I don't think an entire village can hate you for that?” Aileen stayed quiet. “They should understand that you were going through a tough time.”
Aileen only shrugged. “I could only get the impression that they hated me.” She looked up at Ryu with pleading eyes. “Please say you'll take this mission. Please, Ryu.”
Ryu's mouth dropped slightly still in surprise of Aileen request, but it then transformed into a smile and he playfully said. “Okay, fine, I'll do it.”
Aileen jumped into his arms and hugged him tight. “Oh thank you so much Ryu. You don't know how much you're helping me.”
Ryu comforted herself as well as himself with a pleasing smile. “It's okay.”
Then Aileen blurted. “Oh my, I need to get myself ready to see them again.”
She jumped up and headed for the bedroom but Ryu immediately stopped with a look of confusion on his face. “Ready to see who?”
“The people at Migu Village . It's about time I reconcile with them.”
“Wait, you're not going on this mission with me, if that's what you're thinking.”
“What? Why not?”
“First off, the Black Spider Clan. They are too dangerous for someone like you to be out there.”
“Someone like me? You taught me how to fight.”
“Yes, I taught you how to fight, not how to kill. This clan is full of professional assassins.”
Aileen pleaded. “Please Ryu, this is important to me.”
Ryu was falling victim to her innocent face, but conscious remained firm. “I understand, which is why I agreed to take on the mission. But your suggestion of accompanying me is completely out of the question.”
Aileen was persistent as she pleaded and begged more to her lover. “Please Ryu, I promise to stay out of the way, especially when danger is near.”
“You may try to stay out of the way, but this clan will do what they can to put you in the way. Absolutely not, Aileen.” Ryu demanded. “I'll do what I can to make sure your village is safe and deliver your message to them.”
“That won't be enough Ryu, I need to see them.”
“Sorry, Aileen. There is no more discussion on this. I will not risk your life nor mine in an attempt to keep you safe among the great numbers of the Black Spider Clan.”Aileen pouted, but she was not upset. Well, she was partly upset. Ryu was keeping her from re-visiting old friends and relatives of her childhood village. She, honestly, didn't expect Ryu to hold her back from her own emotional settlement. Though he made a good point of the strength and dangers of the Black Spider Clan, Aileen believed she could protect herself. As much as she pleaded, Ryu would not break, she was forced to stay at home once again while her love leaves her behind to take on another mission, only this time it was at her request. She could only hope that he would return safe and alive and hopefully, not bloodied and bruised from the result of his last mission.
Chapter 4 – Spider's Web
Ryu awoke the next morning and gave his body its morning stretch. He raised the curtain so the sunlight could shine through and he looked out the window.
That was the first thought that came into his mind as he thought about the forest that lead directly to Migu Village . That forest was always crawling with Black Spider Clan members and other traps they would lay for trespassers. Ryu still didn't like the idea of having to travel through a forest he wasn't familiar with, but he knew that there were people counting on him and needed his help and still surprisingly, to him, he had the support of Aileen.
He decided to get an early start and prepare a quick meal and prepare his weapons. He turned to wake up Aileen but…. Ryu eyes popped open. Aileen was gone. He didn't panic at first. Maybe she woke up before him, as he first headed to the kitchen to check for her. She was not there.
“Aileen?” He called out as he began searching more and more of the house.
“Maybe she went outside.” He convinced himself as he headed straight for the front door.
When he stepped outside the sun shined bright, but no light shed on the body of his love.
“Aileen?” He called out hoping to hear an answer.
But there was none.
He ran back into the house to search for any clues of her disappearance.
He completely tore the house apart looking for the slightest hint of her whereabouts. Aileen wouldn't usually just disappear like that. Even if she wanted to travel somewhere she would wake Ryu just to let him know she would be leaving. He tried his best to keep his mind positive and prayed that she wasn't kidnapped and if she was, he prayed that she stayed safe.
After close to an hour of searching, Aileen never returned and no clues came to him. Ryu was completely baffled. He decided to go look for her, just to make sure she was safe. He had to find her first, before taking on any silly mission. He headed to his closet and re-tied his ninja uniform and strapped himself in tight. He then gathered his Dragon Sword and a few other weaponries and closed his door to make an exit. Though as soon as he turned around he noticed something wasn't right.
He turned back to the closet and opened the door again. He was right, something was amidst. His second katana was missing.
“Who would steal a secondary blade when the Dragon Sword is standing next to it?” He asked himself.
It didn't take him long until he was able to put the picture together. “Aileen.” He blurted and headed for the front door.
He headed for his horse and untied it from the post where it always waited for him, just then he heard a voice behind him.
“Where are you off to?”
He looked behind him to see Ayane standing.
“I'm going off to search for Aileen.”
Ayane's eyebrows gave Ryu a puzzled look. “Where did she go?”
Ryu didn't bother with any details as he climbed on top of the horse. “I need you to stay here and look after the shop.” He said. “And also if you hear any word from Hayate and Kasumi.”
“Let me come with you.”
“No, this is just a quick search mission. I should be back before nightfall.”
“Don't tell me you think I'm useless now.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Come on, Ryu. There hasn't been anything for me to do around here. Hayate and Kasumi are gone, there's basically nothing to do in that shop of yours.”
“Ayane, this is no time for one of your arguments. I'll be back very soon, I just need to do this alone.”
“I'll understand if you can tell me why it's so important that you need to search for her all by yourself.”
Ryu had no answer to counter her argument. There was no good reason why an extra person couldn't tag along. Plus there's no telling what type of troubles and traps were ready for him in Shadow's Temptation.
“She's going to the Migu Village .” He began to explain. “And she's going through Shadow's Temptation to get there.”
“Black Spider Clan's territory?” Ryu nodded.
“Why would she do something stupid like that?”
“Go get your horse and I'll fill you in on the way.”
Ayane gave a smile and did not even hesitate to leave to retrieve her horse.
The two began to ride towards the forest where Aileen was believed to be headed to and Ryu had filled Ayane in on the entire story of Aileen wanting to make amends with the people of Migu Village .
“What I don't understand is what makes her think she can take on the entire Black Spider Clan by herself?”
“Not for sure.” Ryu said. “I did teach her how to fight.”
“So she can handle herself?”
Ryu looked at her. “I taught her how to fight. Not how to kill.”
“And she's walking into a forest full of professional assassins.”
“That sounds like something you would do.” Ayane said jokingly.
Though Ryu didn't find the humor in the joke.
Finally, they made it to Shadow's Temptation and no more than 20 feet into the forest Ayane had a chilling feeling run down her spine.
“There already watching us aren't they?” She whispered to Ryu.
“Yes. Stay on guard.” He replied as they continued to ride.
They stayed on their course searching for Aileen as they traveled even deeper into the forest.
After almost half and hour of searching, and suddenly, a shuriken from nowhere in the trees lodged itself into a log of tree adjacent to Ayane's head.
Ayane made a quick gasp and looked to the trees in anger hoping to see the slightest sign of her opposing ninja.
“They're testing you.” Ryu whispered keeping his focus straight in front of him. “They caught you off guard. Next time they won't miss. Stay on guard, Ayane.”
Ayane wanted so much to argue, but Ryu spoke when he sensed her anger.
“And don't say anything.” Ryu said still keeping his focus. “We don't want them to know they have the best of us. Trust me.”
Ayane sighed and gave a slight nod and dismissed the action of the invisible ninja out of her head as they continued their journey. Not too long after….
“What was that?” Ayane shocking asked.
Ryu did not respond but only commanded his horse to race and dash toward the sound of the screaming voice. Ayane did the same as she followed the master ninja.
The screaming continued as Ryu and Ayane dodged the trees that stood in their way to get to the sound of the helpless victim.
Finally, when they arrived both, their eyes and mouths, dropped open at the sight they saw.
Thankfully, Ryu found Aileen.
Though, she was completely naked and strapped mid-air and hovering above the ground in what appeared to be a giant spider's web.
Ryu quickly jumped off of his horse. “Aileen!” He called out to her.
Aileen looked in Ryu's direction. “RYU! Help me! This woman is crazy!” She called out.
Ryu looked around but saw no one around him. The portion of the forest he was at was nothing but trees, leaves, and his naked lover bonded to the giant spider's web.
“RYU!” Aileen called out catching Ryu's attention back to the web.
Ryu looked up and saw a figure crawling down the web as if it was a spider itself.
Before Ryu could draw his Dragon Sword, the figure leaped from the web and sent a flying kick crashing into Ryu's chest. Ryu was sent crashing to the ground as the figure landed safely on its feet.
Ryu looked in that direction while still on his back and saw a woman standing in the place of the figure that attacked him.
Long black hair, a black leather outfit with red markings with only a small knife for a weapon tucked away in a small sheath on her belt. Ryu looked at her hands and saw a silky material form around it. Then without warning, she material flying in Ayane's direction.
Rather than the web-like material landing on the female ninja, it made its on the horse's mouth and wrapped around its nose. Due to the shock, the horse jumped throwing Ayane off landing hard on her back. The horse then scurried off as it was to find its own remedy of removing the sticky web.
“Ahh more trespassers.” The figure spoke. “Master promised me an attractive visitor, but oh my, I never thought he meant three.” She looked back at Aileen. “I was just going to have my fun with her.” She then looked back at her two fallen opponents. “But seeing you two arrive have made my party a bit more pleasurable.”
Ryu stood and drew his Dragon Sword. “What have you done to Aileen?”
“Nothing yet.” The woman cunningly said. “But you are just in time to see what I was about to do to her.”
She walked over Aileen and began to stroke her naked leg.
“RYU! STOP HER!” Aileen pleaded.
“LEAVE HER ALONE!” Ryu yelled at her and ran in for a charge. He swung his Dragon Sword at the female, but she proved to be too swift and graceful for any mere attack as she dodged the blade, and performed a few backflips until she jumped and clawed onto a nearby tree.
“You are so cute when you're raged with jealousy.” She said with an intense smile on her face. “I may just have the most fun with you.”
“Who are you?”
“Widow.” She replied. “Remember that name, beautiful. I plan on having you scream it all night.” Then a frown came on her face. “One way or another.”
Quickly, the Widow jumped from the log that she clinged to just as an unknown shuriken dug into that same log. Widow looked at Ayane
who was already standing. She then gave the kunoichi a smile. “You will have to do much better than that.”
“I plan to, you crazy bitch.”
Widow gave a long exhale. “Mmmm, fiery passion. The Master has served me well.”
Ayane drew her katana. “If you want it so bad, come get it.”
Widow looked at Ayane deep, then Ryu. “So you two are going to make this difficult as Aileen did?” The two didn't respond but Widow could sense their answer by the drawn weapons in their fighting stances.
“Very well.” She said drawing her knife. “But when I'm done, you, three, will belong to me.” She finished standing in her fighting stance.
= Widow =
Yami was dubbed into the Black Spider Clan when she was at the young age of 13. She was one of the many that was brought in by force under the family tradition. Her father and mother were both active members of the Black Spider Clan. She became orphaned at the young age of 9 when her father killed his wife in betrayal and hopes of exceeding in the ranks of the Black Spider Clan. After, the promotion was denied to her father, he committed suicide leaving his body for all to view in front where the Dokugumo-Ureeru Tsurugi rested.
Upon Yami's arrival to the Clan, she was immediately ridiculed due to the actions of her father. It was only an old hierarch by the name of Gamja who befriended with the small girl and taught her everything she needed to know to survive within the clan. Unfortunately, Yami was a hard learner. She never excelled in the style of ninjutsu and was immediately marked as prey by the other clan ninjas for random beatings.
It was then one day, and 2 years later, Yami appeared in front of Gamja's chambers. Bloodied and bruised and tired of the treatment she was received from her own clan members. She vowed to study the ninjutsu art as long as it took until she was ready to become a full-fledged member.
Gamja knew that teaching the now 15-year old girl would only be a waste of time, especially since she was having problems understanding the basics. So instead, he performed a ritual with her and blessed her with magical powers to represent the Black Spider Clan to the fullest.
She ultimately took on a slight mutation which made her skin pale and her pupils dialect. When the ritual was over, Gamja looked at his student, as if she was a trophy of pride, as she rose from ground a new woman, per say. Yami was blessed with the powers of a black widow spider. Yami was no longer the shy little girl whose father's actions destroyed her life. She was now known as Widow. Taker of the Black Spider Magic.
Her ninjutsu skills excelled to one of the highest extent, her spider-like reflexes added much grace to the style, easily confusing her opponents while in battle. She was also blessed with special powers as of a spider. She was able to spin webs to capture her prey. Shoot webs from her hands or even spit them from her mouth; and when she was ready to deliver her final kill. She would suffocate her opponent by spinning their entire body in, nothing but, her webs. Then she would leave their encased decaying bodies out in the open for all to view of her new wrath.
The only side effect that came along with her powers was the enhanced need for sexual satisfaction. Once her prey had the inability to fight or gave in to the relentless strength of the spider, she would seductively have her way with her victims in any manner she pleased. She would scream to the world that all of her victims would die happy and in lust whether it may be a man or woman. Though at her young age of 24, she has yet to experience love from that one special person.
She was able to get revenge on those that taunted her throughout the years and because of her powers she was immediately named a hierarch of the Black Spider Clan. To her dismay, she is the weakest of all the hierarchs, but no one takes for granted that she is still very powerful for any normal man, woman, or ninja to oppose her within the Black Spider Clan.
Chapter 5 – Widow
Ryu charged first with his Dragon Sword in hand, but as he swung the Widow exemplified her excelled experience in grace as she easily ducked and dodged under the attack.
Ayane tried to finish Widow with a sneak attack, but she was too prepared for any sudden dangers as Widow back flipped over Ayane's attempted stab. Intentionally, Widow landed on her back with her knees bent. Then she quickly extended her legs, kicking Ayane hard in the back.
Ayane flew forward and landed in Ryu's arms as Widow gracefully rolled her body backwards and stood upon her feet. Once stood, she gave a precious ballet pose with her hands in the air, and the web-like material shot from her hands and it stuck to a tree branch above her. With her powerful upper body strength, she pulled herself up to the tree branch and sat on it; giving her two enemies a taunting smile.
“I'm really starting to hate her.” Ayane said aloud.
Ryu didn't reply back, but released Ayane and threw a handful of shurikens at the spider lady.
Just quick as Ryu threw his projectiles, Widow showed them to be incompetence as she shot her web at each of the shurikens, and each fell to the ground before they made their destination.
“Impressive.” Said Ryu.
Widow gave him a seductive smile. “Thank you.”
She leaped off the branch and before landing on the ground she shot more webs from her hand which stuck to another branch of a tree behind Ryu & Ayane. The material formed a rope in her hand as she swung heading in the direction of the two ninjas.
Ryu and Ayane quickly dodged the attack and Widow swung by, clung to the log of the tree, and then scurried up to the branch.
“Why do you fight it? It would be so much easier if you two let me have my way with you.” Said Widow. “Who knows, you may even enjoy it. I know I will.” She ended with another seducing smile.
Widow jumped down from her branch and Ryu and Ayane wasted no time in attacking the spider-like female. The both swung their weapons in various manners, but Widow was able to swiftly dodge and sway from each attack. Ryu and Ayane was swing at dead air where the body of the spider lady stood.
Widow ended the blank attacks after an attempted stab by Ayane. She grabbed Ayane's wrist and twisted forcing the female ninja to drop her blade. During their commotion, Ryu attempted a slice of his own, but Widow took Ayane's body captive and used her as a shield putting her in front of Ryu's swinging blade which caused Ryu to stop his attack with the blade only inches from Ayane's neck.
Widow then grabbed Ayane's own free hand and threw it upwards hitting Ryu hard across his jaw. Angered, Ayane reached behind her and grabbed Widow by the back of her head and flipped her over as the spider lady landed on her back. Widow had quick cunning skills as from the she saw Ryu composing himself, she quickly gave him a kick to his stomach, then threw a kick above her to land to Ayane's face just as the female ninja was about to attempt an attack of her own. The two ninjas stumbled away from the fallen spider.
Then for tease, Widow shot a web-like rope from her hands which clinged to Ryu's feet. She pulled hard forcing the ninja to fall on his back. Suddenly, the tightly clad dressed spider-like woman quickly leaped to her feet then on top of Ryu.
“You two are more fun than I expected.” She whispered into his ear. “Oh my, I can't wait to watch you take that stamina out on me.” She said seductively as her tongue extended from her mouth and began licking and teasing Ryu's earlobe.
“Hey!” Ayane yelled out. Widow snapped her neck to look behind her. “You haven't forgotten about me, have you?”
Widow gave another seducing smile. “Oh of course not, beautiful.”
The woman stood and immediately went after Ayane and two began a bout of their own.
Ryu stood and went after the still naked and strapped Aileen. He quickly cut her down from the spider's web and wrapped her body with a large nearby cloth.
“Follow me.” He whispered to her.
“I'm sorry, Ryu. I just wanted to help.” She pleadingly whispered back.
“Not now, let's just find a safe spot for you for now.”
During the battle, Ayane put up a good fight against the Widow. Ayane proved herself to be quick and resourceful and Widow easily exemplified her grace, random, and seduction all at the same time. There was no weapons used, just pure hand-to-hand combat, as the two battled in the forest.
BAM! Ayane struck a good hard uppercut against her opponent sending her flying across a small distance of the forest and her back hitting hard against the log of the tree. Ayane proceeded into her fighting stance with a taunting smile on her face.
“Did you like that, sweetie?” Ayane sarcastically and rhetorically asked.
Widow's horrific frown slowly turned into a devious smile, never taking her eyes off of Ayane, she began to crawl up the tree which stopped her impact. Soon she was no longer visible; hidden within the dark forest.
Ayane immediately retrieved her katana and stood on alert aware of the potential tricks her spider opponent.
“Come on, you little winch.” Ayane said to herself. “I'm ready for you this time.”
Suddenly, two small web shots darted heading for Ayane's head. The kinochi quickly used her ninja reflexes to slice the web projectiles with her katana. Quickly afterwards, another spurt of shots came at her from another direction as if there were more than one of the cunning Widows in the forest with her. Ayane, again, sliced the projectiles, but was becoming a bit nervous on Widow's whereabouts.
She scanned the forest as all was quiet. She tried to at least get a glimpse of her opponent, but to no avail Widow was clearly successful at blending in with her surrounding. From behind Ayane, a web-rope was shot at her. Gratefully, Ayane's sixth sense warned her as she quickly turned and grabbed the rope.
“There you are.” Ayane said as the two pulled on the strong webbed rope.
It was a small fight in strength, but Ayane easily prevailed as she tugged on the rope hard enough to get her opponent to fall to the ground. Widow fell on her back and immediately, trying using her web shots at Ayane. The female ninja easily sliced them away and quickly threw two shurikens at fallen woman. The shurikens were quick as they stuck into her legs. Widow gave a scream in agony and Ayane slowly began making her ways towards her taunting the spider-like opponent with an evil smile.
“That won't work anymore, bitch. I know how to beat you.” Ayane said tauntingly.
Widow became wide-eyed as scurried against the ground trying to keep her distance between her and Ayane.
“You're tricky, but repetitive. Once I learned that one thing about you…” Widow tried to stop Ayane from her talking with another web shot projectile. Ayane, again, quickly sliced it with her katana and finished her sentence. “…the rest of the battle is easy.”
“Ayane.” Widow began to plead. “My precious, I wasn't going to do anything to you. It was Aileen the one I wanted, maybe Ryu. But you,” She continued. “I was going to set you free.”
Ayane only kept her smile as she knelt down beside the woman and caressed her hand against her face. “Now you know better for me to believe that.” Ayane shouted angrily placing her katana against her neck. “GIVE ME ONE GOOD REASON WHY I SHOULDN'T KILL YOU!!”
“Ayane, my dear,” Widow began to plead. “I was only wanting to have a little girl fun.” Widow's eyes became glassy. “Please it is not me you want to kill.”
“Then tell me who is it that I want to kill?”
“Master Mitsuri.” Widow spoke as if she wanted to give the precious information away. “He is the leader of the clan, I'm just a hierarch. I'm of no importance.”
“Yes, he is so old; he wouldn't be a match for a ninja of your caliber anyhow.” She said proudly trying to hid her nervous streak.
Ayane removed her katana away from the neck of Widow. “I'm impressed. You actually gave me a good reason not to kill you.”
“I did?” Widow asked as a smile grew across her face.
“Yeah, I mean, you're a pain, but remember, I wasn't the one, you truly disrespected in the first place.” Ayane said as she began to walk away.
At first, Widow gave her a puzzled look as she propped herself body on her elbows watching the kinochi taking her steps further away, but the same frightened face came back when she looked up and saw Ryu sitting on a tree branch just above her. Before she even had time yelp for mercy, Ryu jumped from the tree branch and the blade of the Dragon Sword entered her chest as Ryu delivered the final blow. He struck his blow in the name of his darling, Aileen, whom Widow had strapped and humiliated upon their arrival.
Blood spurt from the opened wound as Widow's eyes and mouth popped open in shock. Ryu removed his sword and watched Widow struggle for her next breath. As Ryu calmly wiped the blood from his blade, Widow's breathing was becoming shorter; and by the time he placed it in its sheath, widow's breathing had stopped. The Black Spider Clan's Hierarch died.
Chapter 6 – The Black Spider Clan
Aileen emerged from the forest wrapped in a blanket and saw the Hierarch lying on the ground in a pool of blood.
She immediately spoke in shock and fright. “Is she…?” The young woman couldn't finish her sentence.
Ryu turned and saw her frightened face. “I told you to stay hidden.”
“Did you kill her?” She asked again with pleading eyes at Ryu.
“What's her problem?” Ayane asked.
“She has never seen a dead person before.” Ryu replied with a low tone. He quickly walked over to Aileen and grabbed her and held her tight, he felt Aileen releasing her frightful emotions onto Ryu. “Shhh, it's okay.” He said trying to calm her.
Aileen only sniffed at the shock and surprise to see her love murder another human being. She heard the stories of Ryu doing whatever it took to not only be successful in his missions, as well as save his own life, but she never actually witnessed Ryu take the life of another.
Ryu led her to a nearby tree and had her sit against its log and he knelt to her.
“Well, I guess it's obvious she can't come along with us.” Ayane snickered.
Ryu warned, “Not now, Ayane.”
“Why not, Ryu? You said it yourself, this forest is covered with Black Spiders. If she stays with us, she'll get killed, or she'll just be watching more killings.”
Ryu stood and turned to her. “I know that, Ayane. I know she can't stay. What I do not need right now is your arrogance.”
“My arrogance? It's her fault we're out here anyway.”
“If anyone's to blame for you being out here right now, point the finger at yourself. You wanted to come when I told you to stay at the village.”
The ninjas' argument began to flare even more as Aileen continued to stare at the dead body. She never saw Ryu as a murderer or a killer. She always viewed him as a peaceful, sweet, loving man. She wouldn't have even expected it out of Ayane. She was like Ryu, she always saw the pure golden heart in Ayane, and rather than the tough-girl act she portrays and is known for. Sure, she has heard the female ninja blab about wanting to kill Kasumi time and time again, but now she wondered if Ayane was vicious enough to actually kill her own half-sister.
Many thoughts ran through her mind as she continued to stare at Widow's dead body. She even hissed in disgust at Ryu and Ayane, they actually had the audacity to have an argument around a deceased body. Though Widow was evil and Aileen despised her actions upon her capture, she still felt that this evil hierarch still deserved the proper respect.
A leaf fell from the tree above and landed on Aileen's shoulder. Aileen ignored it and wrapped herself tighter with her cloth as the winds began to blow causing a slight chill. She went back to her thoughts as she found herself studying and contemplating on Widow's dead body. Then another leaf fell and landed on the same shoulder. She brushed it off but almost instantly came another leaf. Puzzled, Aileen looked up to see the cause of the falling leaves and saw a ninja of the Black Spider Clan squatting on the tree branch just above her. His eyes were locked on to her. She gasped in fright and when she began looking around the forest, she saw more and more ninjas hiding within the nature around them.
“Uh, guys?” Aileen nervously spoke out, but Ryu and Ayane were too caught up in their own argument to where they both either ignored her or just didn't hear her call out. “GUYS!” She said louder this time catching the attention of her comrades.
Ayane hissed. “What is it?!”
Ryu saw Aileen looking up at the sky. He looked in the same direction and immediately noticed that his love was not looking at the sky, but rather the environment covered with Black Spider Clan's ninjas sitting stationary watching them.
Ryu and Ayane retrieved their respective weapons. Ryu then heard a clapping noise. Alerted he turned to the sound and saw a woman standing and applauding to an invisible audience.
She didn't dress anywhere near the same fashion as the Black Spider Clan, instead she wore a short white tank-top exposing her torso covered with a long sleeve faded light blue jean jacket. Her pants matched her jacket as they were light blue and somewhat like slacks. Her white boots were heeled to add to her height. Her hair was long and completely white as laid against her back and her pale light blue eyes added even more mystery to her persona.
“Congratulations, Hayabusa-chan.” The woman ended her applauding.
Ryu readied his sword. “Let me guess, another hierarch?” He said coldly.
The woman gave a smile and a nod. “So you are the ninja that gave us so much trouble at the Vigoor Empire?”
“Who are you?”
“Please call me Aisu.” She spoke her name.
“Okay, Aisu. What are we standing here for?” Ryu readied himself for his fight.
“Oh please, Ryu, you have me all wrong. I'm here to thank you.” Aisu walked over towards the dead body of Widow. Then she spat on the dead body that laid in front of her. “Thank you for killing this hyper bitch.”
Ryu gave a puzzled look as Aisu continued. “Don't get me wrong, she was fun at first.” A reminiscent smile formed on her face as she emphasized. “A whole lot of fun!” Aisu then threw her long white hair back. “But after a while she was just becoming simply annoying.” She began walking away from Widow's lifeless body never taking her eyes off of Ryu. “Due to the rules of the Black Spider Clan, I cannot kill a hierarch without a good reason. Highly ventilated sex drive isn't a big enough crime for a death sentence.” She remarked with a snickered smile. “So that is why I'm glad you got rid of that annoyance for me. Finally, I can start getting a good night's rest.”
“Glad to help.” Ryu sarcastically and coldly replied.
Aisu smiled and gave another nod. “But our only problem is that, now that a hierarch has been murdered, someone must pay for the crime of dishonoring the rules of the Black Spider Clan.”
“There's always a catch isn't there?” Ayane interrupted.
Aisu smiled at Ayane's comment and threw two fingers in the air. Just then, the hiding ninjas in the trees jumped down from their branches and began to surround Ayane and Ryu leaving Aileen out of the circle. Ryu knew a battle was about to begin, but he was fearful for Aileen's safety.
“Do not worry about your little girlfriend. My orders are to kill you and have her watch. Don't fret, she'll join your grave shortly afterwards.” Aisu spoke.
Ryu was a bit relieved as he readied himself in his fighting stance; but he was still in doubt as to how much he could trust Aisu for Aileen's safety.
Then the beautiful smile on Aisu's face cringed up into a frown as she yelled. “ATTACK!”
The circle of ninjas obeyed their commands as they attacked their prey. Two of the ninjas attempted to slay Ryu at the same time, but the resourcefulness of the “super ninja” saved him as he swayed away from one of the ninjas' attacks causing him to accidentally strike his own partner. Then with his opening, Ryu retrieved his secondary blade shoving it into the spine of the ninja. Then without hesitation, he removed the small blade from the dying ninja and quickly threw it behind him as the traveling blade drove itself into the skull of another ninja preparing an unsuccessful sneak attack.
As Ryu battled on against the overly athletic and agile ninjas, Ayane was successfully holding her own ground as well.
Surrounded by three of the Black Spider Clan ninjas, Ayane readied her katana as she watched the ninjas circle her slowly. She was familiar with their style after watching Ryu taking out so many during his adventure on the Vigoor Empire. They were known for attacking from behind. Fortunately, she mastered her blind spot defenses, as the ninja behind her made the first attack.
He raised sword and launched at Ayane, but before he could lower it for the kill, he felt a strong kick hit under his chin as he was sent flying to ground. Without hesitation, Ayane quickly swung her foot, kicking the ninja in front of her, and then she perfectly executed a side kick, landing on the stomach of her adversary adjacent to her. She quickly leaped into the air, landing on her adjacent opponent, slaying him deep in his heart with her katana. Once dead, she quickly removed the katana and threw it at the attacker that once stood behind her. The blade lodged deep into his skull as he dropped his sword and fell lifeless to the ground.
Finally, Ayane stood off of her lifeless opponent as the last ninja composed himself and readied his sword. Ayane was beginning to think it was a mistake getting rid of her weapon to battle a Black Spider ninja with an expertise in sword fighting. She readied herself in her fighting stance, unarmed. They circled for awhile, until the ninja made the first move. Unfortunately for him, his first move was his final move as when he swung his sword; Ayane caught him by the wrists. Quickly, she twisted his wrists, breaking them at the same time, until the blade was pointing at his stomach. Then fiercely, she used the ninja's own sword and shoved it into his stomach. The ninja fell but was not completely dead, but was now ineffective in battle. She removed the sword and claimed it as her own as more ninjas began to surround her.
“Now the odds are even.” She said readying her new sword as her new victims surrounded her.
The slaying continued as Aileen slowly stood and watched her lover murder the attacking ninjas one by one, sometimes two by two. She wanted to run, but she couldn't take her eyes off of the fight. She couldn't take her eyes off of the killings. She felt as if she wanted to vomit if she another man's throat sliced open.
She looked to her side and saw a clear view, where there was no violence of any kind. She just wanted to get herself to safety and away from these dangers. She decided to make a run for it, but as soon as she turned in the direction, Aisu stood in front of her.
“Where do you think you're going?” She said in a soft tone with a pleasant smile. “I promised Ryu your safety. I can't go back on my word now can I?”
“Please, just let me go.”
“You're so innocent.” She said caressing Aileen's face with the back of her hand. Aileen could feel an uncomfortable shiver travel down her spine. “No wonder Widow wanted you all to herself.” She then grabbed Aileen by her arm and forced her body to turn and face more of Ryu's slaying while pressing her own body up against Aileen. “Now watch your lover die by the swords of the Black Spider Ninja Clan.” She spoke fiercely.
Ryu had slain another ninja as more began appearing out of the woods to join in on the battle. Ryu was able to catch a glimpse of Aisu holding tightly to Aileen; but he forced himself to keep his attention to the activity surrounding him.
“Ayane!” He yelled out. “Split up!”
Almost immediately, Ayane flipped out of the circle and the ninjas followed. A bit relieved, Ryu could now focus on a lesser amount of the ninjas, and confident enough that Ayane could take care of herself, for the time being.
Ryu continued on with his battle, while highly on the offensive he always stayed cautious and alert not to become a victim of a swinging blade. The Clan worked too well in numbers, just as they did on the Vigoor Empire. Ryu was familiar with their style, but the larger they were in numbers; the more difficult they proved to be.
Surrounded by four of the swift ninjas, Ryu readied his sword as the four slowly circled him. As expected, a ninja from behind tried to attack first, but Ryu was ready as he flipped over the ninja throwing shurikens at the attacker before his feet even touched the ground. The shurikens injured the ninja's shoulder, but he still stayed in the fight as the other three began their attacks. Two of them flipped at Ryu with their swords flying in mid-air. Ryu quickly blocked their attempts and as they landed he smashed one guy in the back with the handle of his sword while kicking the other away from him. The remaining tried to end the life of Hayabusa with a quick incendiary shuriken, Ryu caught the projectile with his own hand and threw it at and threw it at a stumbling ninja who was just making his way back to his feet.
The ninja felt the sting on his back and his eyes grew as he knew what was coming next as a loud explosion let off and the ninja fell dead with his entire backside bloody and burnt from the deadly explosion. Afterwards, the injured and the stumbled ninja recomposed themselves and quickly launched after Ryu. The two ninjas proved to be a small match for our hero, until Ryu managed to find his opening when he brutally slammed the head of one ninja into the shurikens embedded in the shoulder of the injured ninja. The sharp metal viciously pierced his temple and instantly penetrated into his brain as he instantly died stuck to the injured ninja.
The injured ninja's gave his last scream of agony due to pressure of the buried shurikens digging deeper into his arm and Ryu used his opportunity to slide his blade into his stomach, then pushed him off, letting one of the remaining ninjas fall dead to the ground.
Ryu then turned his focus to the last remaining ninja who only readied his sword. Ryu began the attack as their swords clanged against each other. Surprisingly, the other ninja was relentless. He was able to catch every surprise attack Ryu attempted to strike with, and he was also surprised that his foe had a few tricks of his own up his sleeve. Finally, their swords clung together as they stood in their pose and Ryu stared deep into the ninja's fiery red eyes.
“It really is you.” The ninja spoke as he used his might to shove Ryu away from him, they stared at each other for a quick second. The ninja looked at him as if he was supposed to know him. Eventually, the last Black Spider Clan ninja tore his eyes away from Ryu and made a surprising retreated back into the forest.
“WHERE ARE YOU GOING?” Aisu yelled out.
But the fleeing ninja gave no answer, he only disappeared within the forest as even more ninjas emerged and surrounded Hayabusa, in the exact same fashion. Ryu readied his sword, but he knew there were too many. He didn't know how much longer he could keep up such an intense battle.
Just then Ryu heard Aisu yell, “TEIRYUU!!”
All the battling and fighting stopped suddenly. The ninjas stopped their attacks and focused their attention to Aisu. Ryu panting from the long battle and heavy adrenaline looked at Aisu, as well, puzzled as to why she stopped the battle. Aisu only flicked her head to the side. The Black Spider ninjas obeyed the silent command and retreated back to the woods. Aisu turned her focus back to Ryu.
“You're good. Better than I expected.”
“I was only getting started.” Ryu said gathering his breath.
Aisu giggled at the obnoxious ninja. “Oh really? I could kill you so easily right now.”
“Try me.” Ryu taunted with his Dragon Sword ready for another bout.
Aisu released Aileen as the woman fell to the ground. She slowly walked towards Ryu stepping over the dead bodies of the many slain Black Spider ninjas. Then she stood in place with still a great distance between the two. She raised her hand to meet her face to reveal to Ryu a small amount a frost air surrounding it.
“Do you really want to know why I was promoted to a Black Spider Hierarch?” She asked.
Then, not waiting for an answer, from her hand she shot something, unknown, at Ryu. The blast was extremely quick, but Ryu proved to be quicker as he sliced the blasted projectile with his Dragon Sword before it made contact with his body. The fragments landed on the ground as Ryu witnessed remains of an ice shard laying in the dirt.
Aisu witnessed the same, but did not show any impression of shock. She only kept her same pleasant smile. “I stand corrected. Even as exhausted as you are, you still prove to be strong and quick. Now I understand the interest Widow had in you, as well. You don't see that type of hunger for success out of most ninjas.”
“I'm not like most ninjas.”
“Correct, you are, but neither am I. Please note, that though you may have stopped a simple ice shard, you still cannot defeat me in the condition you are in.”
Ryu readied his sword again. “Then come kill me.”
Aisu giggled. “I'd rather not. Don't worry, we will soon enough have our encounter; but I think with my report, Master Mitsuri will have something much more interesting in mind for you.”
“Who is this, Mitsuri?”
Aisu smiled. “Don't worry little ninja. You will learn everything you need to know soon enough.”
She turned to leave but was stopped when she saw a small squirrel running up a tree. She spoke over her back, loud enough for Ryu to hear. “Oh and by the way…” She said as she raised her hand with the same frost air surrounding it. An ice blast left her hand and hit the stand-by squirrel. The blast wasn't nearly the same projectile thrown at Ryu. The small animal was instantly covered and frozen in a small block of ice as it fell from the tree, hit the ground and, like glass, shattered into hundreds of pieces.
Aisu finished her sentence. “That is how I would've easily killed you.”
Without saying another word, she turned her head in front of her and proceeding her walk back into the dark woods.
Ryu stood at wide-eye shock at the shattered dead animal. He knew that Aisu's use of the black magic would become a great obstacle for him in the latter future.
Chapter 7 – Deja Vu
“Who do you think Mitsuri is?” Ryu asked Ayane.
Nightfall, Ryu, Ayane, and Aileen had fled the scene leaving the many dead bodies of the Black Spider Clan ninjas behind. The three sat by a fire discussing their day's events. Ryu finally was able to enjoy the cool breeze of the after, removing his mask for the night.
“Obviously, the leader of their little clan.” Ayane answered Ryu's question.
“Something's not right. Why would Widow tell you that you would be able to defeat him in the condition he's in?”
Ayane only shrugged. “She was probably just saying anything to save her own life.” She looked up at the dark sky. “Aisu is the one I'm worried about. Did you see what she did to that squirrel?”
“All part of their black magic. Which proves to me that their clan is not composed of true ninjas.”
“True ninjas or not, she looks like she could give us a good fight.”
Ryu nodded in agreement. He looked over to Aileen who only stood staring into the fire, lost in her own thoughts. “Are you okay?”
Aileen snapped out of her daydream and gave a slight nod with no expression on her face. “I think I'm going to turn in for the night.”
She stood and Ryu commented. “Okay, I'll be in there in a bit.”
Aileen gave another silent nod as she went inside of a nearby tent. Ryu let out of loud sigh.
“So what are we going to do about her? We can't send her back now.” Ayane said making sure Aileen was out of sight.
Ryu nodded. “I know, these forests are crawling with those ninjas; and we can't waste backtracking out of Shadow's Temptation. She'll have to come with us.”
Ayane nodded. “She may run into a lot of dangers on this mission. Plus, she has a hard time coping with the killings that we must do.”
“Hopefully, it'll only take some time. Who knows, we may need her help one day.”
Ayane gave a laugh. “From her? She needs a lot more training before I'll feel safe with her guarding my back.”
“She would surprise you with how much I taught her.”
“That is not what I'm doubting. What I am doubting, is her inability to kill and also how she would react if she were to slay someone just to keep herself alive.”
Ryu nodded in agreement as they sat by the fire in silence for only a matter of seconds until Ayane broke the silence.
“I'm sorry about earlier.”
“The argument we had. It could've gotten us killed.”
Ryu smiled. “You're not the only one at fault.” He said as his apology. “You handled yourself very well out there today. I'm proud of you.”
Ayane blushed. “Thank you.”
“One day, you'll show the world of the angel I see in you.”
The fire was beginning to get low as Ayane used that as the perfect time to steer away from the subject.
“Looks like we need some wood.” Ayane said.
Ryu stood to take on the responsibility. “I'll get it.”
“No,” Ayane stopped him. “You go take care of Aileen. I'll get the wood.”
Ayane then exposed part of the blade of her brand new sword from its sheath. The same blade she stole in battle from the Black Spider Clan ninja. “I'm sure.”
Ryu snickered as he nodded in agreement. “Just be careful.” He said as the two parted their ways.
Ryu made his way inside the tent to join Aileen. Aileen was sitting on her sleeping bag staring at the ground lost in her thoughts just as she was when she was sitting next to the fire.
“Talk to me.”
“I just never pictured your sword entering into another human's body.” She spoke low, saddened, still staring at the ground.
Ryu sat next to her. “But I told you of all of my missions.”
“Yes, I know, but I just never pictured it.”
“I understand. I'm sorry.”
Aileen looked at Ryu and a smile came across her face. “You have nothing to be sorry about, Ryu.” She gave a little snicker. “After what happened today, I understand the lengths you must've went through to protect your own life.”
Ryu returned the smile. “You would be surprised.”
“Can I ask you a question?” Aileen said with a bit more liveliness in her voice.
“Have you ever thought to yourself? ‘This is too many'?”
Ryu hesitated before answering and gave her a silent stare. Then he nodded. “The day I killed my very first enemy.”
Just then something caught Ryu's attention. It wasn't a sound or noise, just part of the ninja's instincts kicked in and gave him a warning.
“What's wrong?” Aileen noticed Ryu's stern look as the ninja tried to look beyond the tent folds to see who was intruding outside.
Ryu grabbed his sheath which held the Dragon Sword. “Stay here.” He said as he made his way outside of the tent.
Ryu stood outside, looking around the trees and the darkness of the night in hopes of seeing a possible adversary.
“Ayane?” He yelled, but to his dismay he did not hear the voice of the female kinochi return to him.
With that he pulled out his Dragon Sword, readying himself for any surprise attack.
“I do not mean any harm.” Ryu heard a male voice call out from within the woods. “I have only come to speak with you. I have the information you desire.”
“Who are you? Where are you?”
“I'm right behind you.”
Ryu quickly turned around and saw a dark figure hiding himself in the darkness of the woods.
“Please, I mean no harm.” The man said.
“Show yourself if your words are true.”
“Very well.” The same responded as he slowly walked into the dim light of the embellished fire. The resemblance of the figure showed to be a Black Spider Clan ninja, fully dressed in his attire.
Ryu's eyes popped open when he saw the same fiery red eyes of the ninja that fled into the woods earlier in their battle.
“Trickster!” Ryu yelled as he began his attack. Ryu swung the sword, but the ninja easily ducked and dodged under the blade and flipped a few times giving himself distance between himself and the angry ninja.
“Please, you must listen to me. I'm here to help.”
“I don't need any help from your kind.” Ryu made another attack, but the ninja was relentless on keeping his distance.
“This is silly. I can do this all night.”
“So can I.” Ryu responded again with another attack.
But the Black Spider ninja continued his ducking and dodging techniques and this time when Ryu came a little too close, the ninja performed a backflip kick, hitting Hayabusa in his chin.
“Attacking me will not help you throughout this mission.”
Ryu stopped his attacks and gave a sigh looking at his enemy.
“Very well.” He said returning his sword back to its sheath. “Have it your way. I won't attack you any longer.”
But the ninja spoke too soon as he felt a strong force hit behind his legs and he fell to his knees. Before he could even look back to see his attacker, he felt a blade against his neck.
“Please tell me I can kill him.” It was Ayane.
Ryu kept a stern face at his adversary as he turned and began to head back inside the tent. “Make it quick, we have a long day tomorrow.”
“Wait, Wait, Ryu. Listen to me.” The ninja pleaded.
“Shut up!” Ayane commanded.
Ryu turned. “Ayane, wait.” He calmly said. “How do you know my name?”
“Please. If you just look in my pocket, it'll help me start to explain everything.”
“What's this? A trap?” Ayane asked pushing the blade harder against the man's throat. “What's in there?”
“It's my badge.” The man said now nervous. “My name is Mishu Nguyen. I work for the Tokyo International Intelligence Agency. I have been working undercover in the Black Spider Clan for the past 20 years.”
“Oh my goodness, of all the silly stories…” Ayane said becoming more annoyed with the man's plea attempts.
He interrupted. “Please, just get my badge.”
Then Ryu interrupted. “Get it, Ayane. Let's see how truthful he is.”
Ayane wanted to argue, but instead she only shook her head at how easily Ryu was getting tricked into the ninja's deception. She slowly, reached into his ninja uniform and slowly pulled out a small wallet. Ayane gave a puzzled look as she thought to herself. “Since when do ninjas carry wallets.” She opened it and saw a badge and identification card for a Mishu Nguyen with the header of bold font “Tokyo International Intelligence Ageny” marked on top. She threw the badge to Ryu, still playing it careful, holding the blade to the neck of the ninja.
Ryu retrieved the badge and viewed it. “Remove his mask. I want to see if his face matches this picture.”
Ayane obeyed removing the mask off the ninja and revealed a young man with long shoulder-length silky red hair to match his eyes. He had a strong stern face even in his time of nervousness.
“20 years? According to this you're only 23.”
“Exactly. If you give me the time, I can explain everything to you.”
= Mishu Nguyen =
There isn't too much history to be found on Mishu. All except that one day, at the young age of 4, he appeared on at one of the main Black Spider Clan fortress's doorsteps. Mitsuri, leader of the Black Spider Clan, immediately claimed it as his own child. Foretelling to the world of their new leader-to-be. Though while Mitsuri claimed and named Mishu, it was Gamja who spent the young boy's entire life training him at his early age and played the true father to the young boy.
Before Mishu reached the age of 10, he was already an expert at the ninjitsu art style. It surprised both Gamja and Mitsuri of his excellent learning ability; both believed he may have learned martial arts before his arrival. Gamja decided to take his teaching further and taught the young student more advanced styles of their martial art. Gamja found himself taking a strong liking to the boy which would sometimes brought on controlled jealousy whenever he saw Mishu next to Mitsuri when instructions were made.
To keep his loyalty, Gamja would force himself to keep his relationship with Mishu purely for training rather than the strong male bonding they were developing.
As the years passed and persistent training, Mishu grew up to be the strongest fighter Black Spider Clan. Throughout his youth, Mishu was secretly ridiculed for being Mitsuri's favorite, but no one never personally brought it to his attention due to his excelled skills in the ninjitsu art.
Once he was claimed as the strongest, Mitsuri was named a clan leader. He wanted to be a hierarch, but it was Gamja who convinced Mitsuri that he was not yet ready. Mishu felt that this was Gamja's way of expressing his jealousy for not being the father figure in his life.
Chapter 8 – Mishu Nguyen
Ayane objected when Ryu wanted to allow Aileen to join in and listen to what the Black Spider Clan member had to say; the words and persuasion of Ryu changed her mind when she mentioned that if Aileen was going to be part of the mission she would have to know every detail as the others. She may not be a ninja, but it did not exclude her from the mission as they had no choice but to include her.
Also, the ninjas didn't take a chance with their intruder. They tied his hands and feet and then bonded them together to ensure that he would pull no surprise attacks or escape. Then they placed his bonded body close to the fire, close enough to where he could feel the burn from the radiant heat. Then the three sat around the campfire and listened in on the Black Spider ninja's story.
“Is all of this really necessary?” Mishu said referring to the ropes.
“Yes it is.” Ryu replied as he took out a small blade and began sharpening it against a small rock.
“Could you at least pull me a bit away from the fire? It's starting to burn.”
“The quicker you speak, then I'll think about it.”
“I don't even know where to begin.”
“Begin with one of your lies. I know, how can you be undercover for 20 years when your badge here says you're only 23.”
“Fine.” Mishu said. “The day I learned to walk was the day I began my training. I was born to be an officer of the TIIA.”
“I find that hard to believe.”
“The Black Spider Clan runs their own underground government; and their government governs the Japanese government. They like to be kept out of the public's eye making other politicians and senators do their dirty work.”
Ayane sarcastically laughed. “Ninjas going into politics. This is too funny.”
Mishu then asked. “What's a better way to successfully rule a country than that?”
The woman then had no answer for that question.
“The Black Spider Clan isn't into politics, but they are the secretive type that will go through any means to make sure that their mission is successful; and that's where I come in. I arrived at one of the main fortresses of the Black Spider Clan when I was only a child at three years of age. I was employed by the TIIA on my 2 nd birthday. I was taught ninjitsu by Gamja, the head hierarch of the Black Spider Clan.”
“Wait.” Ryu interrupted. “Tell me more about Gamja.”
“Gamja is a man of old age. He is the head of hierarch promotions. Widow and Aisu, both, had to go through him to become hierarchs. He is the one that blesses special black magic to the Black Spider Clan members. He is 1 st in command and operated directly under the Black Spider Clan's leader, Mitsuri.” He spoke and continued. “Gamja trained me to be one of the best of the Black Spider Clan ninjas. That is why you had such a hard time fighting me earlier.”
“Don't boast on yourself.” Ryu said coldly.
“And you shouldn't either. I know how powerful you are, you're name is known around our fortress as the one who thwarted our mission on taking the Dark Dragon Blade. That is how I know your name.”
Ryu pointed the blade at Mishu. “Just keep talking.”
“I was meant to be a hierarch under the command of Mitsuri. But it was Gamja who denied the request and convinced Mitsuri to make me a Clan Leader.”
“You wanted to become a hierarch?”
“Of course. If I became a hierarch, I would be able to get all the intel needed for the agency. That was the whole purpose of my mission 20 years ago.”
Ayane interrupted. “How about you tell us why you have come to us?”
“I have been doing this mission for 20 years. All of my life, the Black Spider Clan and their histories are all I know. 20 years is long enough. I'm ready for this mission to end and I know I cannot do it by myself. If I could, the Black Spider Clan would've been brought down a long time ago.”
“What do you need us for?”
“I need you to help me stop them at their attempts. The reason why they have come here and taken over Shadow's Temptation and the Migu Village .”
Then Aileen interrupted, “Why did they take over the village? Why are they making them work in caves?”
Mishu gave a sigh, “The story I have to tell you is troubling. By the time I finish you will either not believe me or will think that the Black Spider Clan's true intentions are further than you could imagine.”
“It's too late for both.” Ryu said. “You just keep talking.”
Before Mishu could begin his story an echoed voice was heard. “That will not be necessary.”
Ryu stood, dropping the small blade and once again pulling the Dragon Sword from its sheath. “Who's there?”
Mishu recognized the echoing voice. “That's Gamja! Please untie me.”
Ryu ignored Mishu's plea. “Come on out, Gamja.”
“Pathetic little ninja. You pull out your despicable sword as if you could harm me with your antics.” The voice continued to speak with an echo.
Then from within the woods emerged three figures, the one in the front of the three wore a heavily armored samurai uniform topped of a solid gold mask and headwear to hide the identity of the warrior, not a single molecule of the stranger's skin was visible with the suit he was wearing. Ryu could tell the armor was designed for protection against blades and projectiles.
Behind the armored solider stood two ninjas, one man and one woman, they both wore jet black ninja attire with no mask to hide their face. Both had jet black hair flowing down to their shoulders; and the male ninja had a goatee and mustache to show off his masculinity.
All three intruders had their own primary weapon to which Ryu could see. Gamja possessed a samurai sword held inside its scabbard. The male ninja had his sword wrapped around his body in a sheath. Lastly, the female ninja had a long whip, rolled and tucked away in her sash.
Ayane immediately blurted. “He brought friends! I knew we couldn't trust him.”
The two ninjas stood ready for battle, but rather engaging, Gamja looked at his bonded fellow companion and spoke in his echoing voice. “It is a shame to see that you would give up everything that I have provided to you, to assist these pathetic, lowly ninjas in an attempt to bring down an entire clan.”
Mishu looked to Aileen. “Get in the tent now!”
Aileen didn't hesitate to obey as she ran into the tent.
“Tell me, traitor,” Gamja continued. “What did they offer you?”
“A chance to kill you.” Mishu harshly replied.
Then an echoed laughter filled the woods. “Do you feel you can do any damage to me in the state you are in?”
“Shut up, all of you!” Ryu commanded pointing his sword at Gamja.
“Calm yourself, young ninja. We have not come for battle...” He said with a pause and then finished. “…Yet.”
“I am really getting sick of all of your ninjas right now.”
“What do you expect when you come on Black Spider territory?” He said with a snickered tone. “The Mugen-Tenshin?” He paused then mockingly stated. “I know you couldn't have expected your clan to show since they are all dead.”
Ryu stayed quiet keeping his cold stare at his armored enemy.
“We have only come to warn you and the traitor.” He rolled his fist and a light air of smoke exited from the mouth opening of the mask. “Stay away from me and the other hierarchs. Take this time to leave Shadow's Temptation. We will find the Dokugumo-Ureeru Tsurugi and we will stop at nothing to get it. This time, young Hayabusa, I promise that you will not be so lucky in stopping our clan as you did on Vigoor Empire. If you interfere, I will personally take matters into my own hands.”
“That sounds like a challenge.”
“I see you are as hard-headed as your father.” He said. “If you will not heave to my warnings through words, then maybe you will heave to them by action.”
He turned his back to Ryu and faced the two unmasked ninjas behind. “I will leave it to you two to warn them.” He told them and instantly he walked into the darkness of the forest.
First, it was the male ninja to smile, then the female ninja followed with a smile of her own quickly afterwards.
“You should be considerably lucky, that Gamja would even show his presence to such a pathetic soul as yourself.” The male ninja said with a smile.
“That only tells me he's scared.” Ryu answered.
“Of who? You?” The male ninja laughed. “It seems as if Gamja simply just doesn't take a particular liking to you, Ryu.”
Ayane yelled over her shoulder to Mishu. “Who are they?”
Mishu answered. “Yung and Xia. They are the 1 st hierarchs. Ryu don't do it. You can't beat them. Release me and I can help you.”
“No way.” He said keeping his attention back to the duo. “It's bad enough I have to deal with two of you.”
The female ninja spoke. “A very obnoxious and confident ninja, you are.” She said with a smile. “But take note to the words of the traitor, you cannot beat us.”
“A lot has changed since the Empire.”
Yung snickered. “Very well then.” He said wielding his sword from his sheath as he looked to Xia. “Let's give him the warning Gamja requested of us, shall we?”
Xia pulled out her whip and gave it a loud snap which echoed throughout the forest. “Very well, will you let me handle the ninja?”
Yung kept a strong eye on Ryu. “No, you take the kinoichi.” He said. “I've been very interested to see the talents which kept an entire clan from succeeding their mission.”
= Yung & Xia =
Here stand the most powerful of all hierarchs excluding the existence of Gamja. They are both the blood children of Gamja himself. Before their birth, Gamja wanted to develop a new generation to continue his legacy when his time had passed. Unfortunately, he had no female companion at the time. As a result, he forced a previous hierarch by the name of Kemuri, a smoke goddess, into submission. Nine months after her forced submission, she gave birth to twins, one boy, Yung, and one girl, Xia. The mother, Kemuri, was then executed by Gamja himself, in his eyes, her work was done.
Psychology states that every child is born innocent. That statement does not apply with these two. Together, they both killed their first victim at the youngest age of 2. From there Gamja began to train his children, having them learn the deepest secrets that he taught no one else of the ninjitsu style. He vowed to make them the greatest ninjas in the clan. Unfortunately, it was Mishu that detoured Gamja's plans of making Yung & Xia the best. When Mishu was at the age of 13, Yung and Xia reached their age of 16. Mitsuri put the three in a handicap non-fatal match with Mishu at the bad end of the stick. Mitsuri had confidence in Mishu that even at his young age; his experience would win the sparring battle against his older opponents. Mitsuri was right. Even with the known secrets, Yung and Xia failed to win the battle against their sole enemy.
This devastated Gamja. He wanted victory and he wanted it so bad that he blessed his children with a skill-enhancing form of black magic. After his special ritual with his children, Yung and Xia, did not possess mythical and magical powers; instead their entire knowledge of ninjitsu was excelled and on their 20 th birthday, they were immediately named 1 st hierarchs. Through the years of their training, Gamja begged and pleaded Mitsuri for a rematch against Mishu, but each time, Mitsuri would deny Gamja's request knowing that his children were now possessed with the skill-enhancing black magic.
Since Yung & Xia did not have special powers like the other hierarchs, he wanted to make sure that his children would never fall victim to the corruption of the other hierarchs so he blessed them with the black magic of Immunity. Now his children would never fall victim to the power of Aisu's ice, Widow's web, or any other mythical means. If anyone wanted victory over the twins, they would have to use their pure skill to defeat the strongest hierarchs in the clan.
What makes Yung & Xia so strong, not including the fact of their black magic blessings, is how great they work together. Secluded from the rest, Gamja gave the two special training in hopes to be better than the rest. He taught them well in single fights, but he especially focused his training in team battle. He always taught them to count on each other at all time. Even when they are not in battle. Yung & Xia heaved the old man's great words. They heaved them to the point at the time they were 16, they began to fall in love with each other.
Their intimate love for each other is probably the only innocence found out of the two and it made them that much stronger. When in battle, they never fought in honor of the Black Spider Clan, nor for the protection of it. They always fought for the undying love they have for each other. At the age of 25, they had their first love child, whom which has been under great care by the Clan. Their son, Fei, is expected to be one of the greatest hierarchs of the Black Spider Clan within the years to come. In the meantime, he is cared for until he is old enough to begin his training.
Chapter 9 – Yung & Xia
The fighters paired off as Yung stood in his stance waiting for Ryu and Xia stood in her stance waiting for Ayane.
After a bit of tension stare, the fight began with Ryu attacking his opponent first. Ryu swung his sword wildly, driving Yung further back into the forest forcing him to defend; but all seemed well in his eyes as he only taunted Ryu with a challenging smile as he blocked each one of Ryu's attacks.
Ryu quickly tried to change his pace and attempted to surprise Yung with a low leg sweep. He was unsuccessful as the ninja simply jumped over Ryu's sweeping foot. Ryu then attempted a gut kick as soon as the ninja landed, but Yung easily slapped it out of the way.
Yung then stood back taunting Ryu with the same smile allowing Ryu to recompose himself.
Already, Ayane was dodging the attacks from the snapping whip of Xia. During Ryu's and Yung's confrontation, Xia had already managed to use the skill of the whip to snap against Ayane's hand forcing her to drop her acquired sword.
“Give it up little girl, this is a grown woman's game.” Xia said to Ayane with the length of the whip wrapped around the owner's body.
Ayane only replied with a face of rage as she prepared herself into a fighting stance.
“Silly little girl, don't you realized when you've been out matched?” Xia added.
Again, Ayane did not speak with words but instead charged in as the two battled out in their own combated fashion.
Ryu stood ready and composed for the fight. To be sure, he flicked his head to the side allowing the bones in neck to pop loudly. Yung kept his smile as Ryu drove in with his sword attacks.
Yung was easily showing that he was a formidable opponent for Ryu to battle against. Every attack swung was easily blocked with the light sword of our hero's adversary. Though, Ryu was beginning to wonder if he was truly a force to be reckoned with in the eyes of his enemy. All the while of their battle, Yung taunted Ryu with his smiles and chuckles as they fought. Ryu wasn't giving his best, but he was used to more ninjas, supposedly of lesser caliber, cowering from the tactics he used. Regretfully, Yung didn't fall victim to any of Ryu's tricks.
Eventually through the battle, Yung shocked Ryu as our hero attempted for another blow and instead of blocking Yung kicked the handle of the sword to which Ryu held tightly. Unfortunately, the blade flew into air, leaving Ryu weaponless against his foe. Then he felt a hard knee ram into his gut; suddenly, the instant Ryu bent over to grab his pain, the same knee smashed into his face sending him falling backwards to the ground.
Ryu's vision was a little blurry, but when it cleared, his eyes immediately popped open in shock as he saw his own blade, still mid-air, descending from its height falling towards the ground with the seemingly intent to slay its own owner. Ryu's own heart skipped a beat or two, resulting in him wasting time to react. By then it was too late, the blade was too close for anyone to react. All except for Yung, as his own enemy caught the sword by its handle with the point of the blade almost kissing Ryu's nose. Yung had saved Ryu's life.
“That's one.” Yung said in reference to sparring the ninja's life.
Ryu panted as he watched Yung stand over him with his sword in hand. Partially shocked at the ninja's action. Eventually, Yung released the sword, letting its blade dig into the ground just next to Ryu's head. Yung then turned and walked away from his adversary. He then let out a long stretch and yawn, then with his back still towards his fallen opponent he stated. “Come now and let's finish this. I do not have all day.”
Ayane and Xia were still heavily into their own battle with Xia dominating most of it. Ayane was able to land a few punches here and there, but it was Xia who ultimately had Ayane pinned to a defeat. Relentlessly, Ayane never fell to the female warrior.
After their battling, not to mention a nice punch to the chin by Xia, Ayane had to perform a few back flips to gain some distance between her and her opponent. She rubbed her chin, staring down Xia with hate in her eyes.
“Very good.” Xia said with a smile. “You are a worthy ninja, but you still lack the skills to defeat me.” She giggled. “There is no way a mere ninja can defeat a hierarch.”
Ayane returned back to her fighting stance ready to have another round with the powerful Black Spider Clan kunoichi.
Before she allowed Ayane to attack, Xia pulled out her whip and gave it a loud crack which echoed throughout the woods. She raised her arm of her free hand and signaling Ayane to attack her.
Ryu and Yung kept at their attacks, Ryu obviously began putting more effort into his battle, but to Yung, Ryu still wasn't a strong enough adversary to match his skills. In fact, Yung spared Ryu's life once again after the young ninja performed a wild swing in which Yung reacted to tripping Ryu onto his back. Without any subtlety, Yung slashed down on the fallen ninja only stopping with his blade just inches from his opponent's neck.
“That's two.” He stated. He stood there for a second or two, letting the words soak into Ryu's mind. Then he removed the sword walked away from Ryu and with his back turned to his foe, he stated. “Get up. We're not done yet.”
This truly angered Ryu at the obnoxiousness Yung was toying with him. If this Spider Clan hierarch wanted to play games, then Ryu had a few tricks up his sleeve. Without even standing to his feet, Ryu quickly threw a shuriken at the turned back of his enemy. The sixth sense of his opponent warned him of the incoming projectile as Yung quickly turned and sliced the flying metal in half with his blade. He wanted to then give a smirk to his fallen victim, but he noticed Ryu had vanished when he looked at the ground where Ryu once laid. Yung readied himself observing the forest awaiting any surprise attack Ryu may have conceived.
Shurikens then darted at Yung from every corner of the forest and Yung used his blade and his cunning dodging skills to defend his flesh from any damage from the sharp projectiles. Endlessly, Ryu then appeared behind Yung unsuspectingly with a quick slash. Yet, his attempt was futile as Yung suspected Ryu's attack as he turned with a quick block as the two swords clanged against each other.
A new battle was then a brew and in the end, Ryu gained a small measure of revenge as he managed to work his enemy down to the ground with his blade now facing his enemy with murderous intent.
“That's one.” Ryu said coldly and mockingly and for the first time, Yung frowned at the young ninja.
The two never exchanged words. Instead, Ryu relieved his blade from its kill and turned imitating his opponent while adding more insult by returning his sword to his sheath. “Again!” Ryu called out.
Ayane and Xia still fought relentlessly on the Black Spider Clan's forest grounds. During Ryu & Yung's fight, Ayane was still suffering the effects of Xia whip skills and mastery. With no weapon of her own, Ayane was practically left vulnerable to almost all of Xia's attacks. The purple haired kinoichi had no defense of her own to withstand the torment Xia intended on putting on the young female.
Instead of injuring the ninja, and on several occasions, Xia only concentrated on cracking her whip just inches before her face, which caused the female shinobi to pause her movements in fear of getting spiked by the lethal rope.
Several instances, Xia had the life of the female shinobi in her grasps, as she would skillfully wrap the whip around Ayane's neck, even during mid fight. She chocked Ayane demanding that she begged for mercy. Ayane never succumbed to her requests but rather successfully fought out of the holds even when she knew Xia had ample amount of time to easily end her life.
There were small instances where Ayane would have the battle in her favor, but the end result, would always conclude to some maneuverable trick Xia would conceive to switch the fight back into her grasp.
Now they stood panting, both were exhausted, but Xia may have been more exhausted at toying with the female on her leisure.
“Forget Gamja,” Xia said aloud. “I've had enough of you.” She cracked her whip into the silent air to put the emphasis on her frustration. Then she gave a deceitful smile as she wrapped the long whip around her own curvy body and stood in an unknown fight stance. “Now you will see my true colors.”
Ayane didn't show her fright, but to know she had done all of this fighting and the female hadn't even given her all did disturb her to wonder just exactly how strong her adversary was. She tried examining Xia's fighting stance in the quick second that she was allowed.
Her feet were well planted, both hands gripped each end of the whip firmly with the long rope wrapped around her body. Her elbows low to provide excellent defense, and her smile could only tell her of the powerful attacks that laid within the stance.
Xia was seconds away from pouncing on Ayane until she was saved by her co-enemy, Yung.
“Xia,” He said just as he emerged from the woods. “Let us leave. The ninjas have received their warning.”
Xia looked to her love with pleading eyes. “Please, just a few more seconds.”
He walked to her and smiled, letting his hand slightly caress her face. Ayane noticed the whip that was wrapped so tightly around the woman was beginning to loosen. The lethal end which she gripped so tightly fell to the dirt floor.
“We have our orders, my love.” He said ensuring. “Let us be off and allow them to take heave to our warning. If they refuse, we shall not have mercy on them any longer.”
She gave a slight nod as her head rested upon the chest of her affection.
Ayane arched an eyebrow, confused at the public affection they displayed even in front of their enemy. They showed no worries of an attack; she noticed that all that mattered were them and their love for each other.
Xia looked at Ayane with her face still buried in her love's chest. “Consider yourself lucky, kunoichi.” She said. “I pray you do not take heave to my warnings. I, so much, want to finish the business we've started.”
Ayane's lip curled in anger. “Where's Ryu?”
Yung only shrugged. “Probably still in the forest cowering in tears of his defeat.”
The two lovers laughed and snickered from Yung's statement. Then he said, “We shall be off. Let us not see you in these forests any longer. We will not be so generous on our next meeting.”
With that said the two turned and began to make their exit with the same laughter and snickers amongst themselves.
Ayane was then left alone in the area of the forest where she stood. She had to force herself not to attack the duo; even with their backs turned to them, she knew the two were excellent fighters. Especially if she, herself, lost to Xia and Ryu lost to Yung. Just then Ryu crossed her mind. She immediately darted into the forest to search of her ally. It wasn't long until she found him sitting against a tree, looking at the ground lost in his own thoughts, his Dragon Sword laid directly beside.
“Ryu?” She almost whispering called to him.
Ryu looked up at Ayane with a blank face. “I lost.” He said as if his world had crumbled and he was the only survivor. “I lost to him.” He looked down at the Dragon Sword, picked up it up and drove the blade into the dirt ground beside him. And he ended his sentence by repeating the last.
“I lost to Yung.”
Chapter 10 – Dokugumo-Ureeru Tsurugi
Ryu and Ayane walked quietly back to their campsite, neither of the two saying a word to each other about their lost fights, but it could easily be seen with the faces that it was a hard pain to endure. Especially for Ryu, all he could picture on his walk back to camp was Yung's foot on his forehead as he once again stared at the blade of the Black Spider hierarch and hearing the haunting words. “And that's three.” Then Ryu remembered Yung removing his foot and proceeded out of the forest without even giving a second glance back to his opponent.
Those images haunted him until he made it back to the campsite, then new images began to fill his head when he saw Mishu gone and the knots of the ropes that tied him were burnt and laid on the ground next to the roaring first. His first thought was Aileen.
“Where's Mishu?” He blankly asked Ayane.
Ayane too realized their sudden situation. “I don't know.” She said in shock. “I wastoo busy with Xia to pay attention.”
“Aileen!” He called out as he ran across the campsite looking for his love and the so-called betraying ninja of the Black Spider Clan.
All that went through Ryu's mind was the head of Mishu Nguyen if anything were to happen to his lady love.
His panic was quickly put to ease when he finally heard her voice, “In here.”
He quickly ran to the direction of the voice which came from inside the tent. When he entered, there he saw Aileen and Mishu sitting not too far away from her. Suspicions immediately began to fill his mind.
“What are you doing in here?” He coldly as Mishu.
“It's okay, Ryu.” Aileen tried to confirm, but Ryu wanted his question answered.
“What are you doing in here?” He repeated.
“I came here to protect Aileen, there were other ninjas crawling the forest watching your battles.”
“It's true.” Aileen interrupted. “I saw them, myself, when I peeked to make sure you were okay.”
“The fight is over. You are free to make your leave from my tent.” Ryu replied to Mishu.
Mishu only stood as high as the tent would allow. “Very well.” He said as he made his exit. Just as he stood outside he warned Ryu. “There are still very important matters that we must discuss.”
“I have nothing to discuss with you.”
“Oh really?” He sarcastically said. “What about Yung and Xia? What about Gamja and Mitsuri? What about the Migu Village ? What about the Dokugumo-Ureeru Tsurugi?”
Dokugumo-Ureeru Tsurugi. Ryu remembered the gold-plated masked man speak those words, and yet he didn't know of what it was that the Clan was searching for. As much as he wanted to know the information, Ryu was too tired to listen to any more nonsense concerning the Black Spider Clan, he had his own thoughts he had to ponder, particularly his lost against Yung.
“Very well,” Ryu replied. “We will commence with a meeting in the morning.”
“Understood.” Mishu gave a bow then suggested. “But we mustn't stay here. We will be attacked each day by ninjas and hierarchs until we flee or are killed.”
“What do you suggest?”
“We leave Shadow's Temptation. I know of a hotel with luxurious living accommodations just outside of the Clan's territory.” He said. “We could head there and commence with our meeting in the morning.”
Luxurious living? Ryu contemplated against the idea, but he couldn't turn it down when he saw the sparkle in Aileen's eyes. He remembered the stories of how Aileen always wanted to live a fancy life, but the life of Ryu prevented her from living out her dreams. With the fact that Mishu was right about the dangers of staying in the forest, he agreed to Mishu's request with Aileen in mind, giving her a sample of the life she wanted while taking her away from the dangers of the Black Spider Clan, simultaneously.
When the morning sun rose, the four ventured off to the location as described by Mishu. Ryu and Ayane still kept a very watchful eye on their new “ally” Mishu Nguyen. Due to the actions of Yung, Xia, and Gamja, they were still unable to completely learn about his past, and were unable to complete their interrogation to learn if what he spoke was true or not.
It didn't take them as long as they expected to reach their destination. Unfortunately, the hotel Mishu spoke of wasn't as luxurious as Ryu may have hoped. In fact, the hotel lied at the shore of a small nearby lake. Aside from the mossy exterior, even the hotel itself was small, the entire business may have had at most, six to ten one-bedroom rooms for their customers. This was definitely a lodge for travelers. To add some taste of luxury to the run-down building, there was a lovely Jacuzzi and a special exhibit of painted arts supplied by the owner of the building.
Mishu took the liberty of paying for the rooms, since the others did not carry currency on them. They purchased two rooms, one for the women and one for the men, and before they even settled, Ryu was ready to have his questions answered as he called a meeting to order in his room.
“First off tell me about Yung & Xia.” Ryu was still enraged to their lose against his former opponent while in Shadow's Temptation.
“Yung and Xia are the 1 st hierarchs. They work directly under Gamja and they have received this special treatment all of their lives.”
“Why is that?” Ayane asked.
“Because they are his children.” He blatantly stated. “They do not converse with the rest of the Black Spider Clan, only amongst themselves. Yung is all Xia knows and Xia is all Yung knows. Everything else inside and outside of the clan does not matter as long as they are with each other.”
“Something doesn't sound right.” Ayane spoke. “You say they are Gamja's children, but they gave me the impression that they are lovers.”
Mishu stared at her. “They are. They have beared their first love child soon to undergo Gamja's tutelage.”
Ayane gave Ryu a slightly shocked looked. “It does explain how they are so strong.”
Mishu continued. “And what makes them even stronger is the Black Magic Gamja has blessed them with.”
“What type of Black Magic?” Ryu then spoke.
“For one, they are immune to other Black Magic attacks. This is what puts them as first hierarchs. Aisu cannot beat them, nor Widow.” He stated. “There are no fancy projectiles with their magic and there are no special tricks, either. Only their skill has been enhanced considerably, giving them an overall advantage upon any enemy that faces them.” Mishu then said. “That is how he beat you. I told you that you would not win.”
Ryu heard enough. It was bad enough that he sulked in the misery of his own lost, but to have another individual rub it in his face, only made his emotions worse.
“What of the Dokugumo-Ureeru?”
“That is the story of ages and legends. Give me your ears, each word I speak is vital.” He said as he commenced into telling the story of the evil powerful blade The blade that enslaved the souls of many armies of the past Japanese wars. The blade that enslaved the young girl and an evil man, elevated criminal emotions, and fed off of the many mixed and elevated emotions of the two. The blade that granted immortality to the beholder only while the blade stays in possession. He told Ryu of the many lives the blade has taken with his own eyes. He told him of the results of their leader, Mitsuri, who now lies as an eldery paralyzed man who cannot die, but only suffer the tortures of an immortal life. His story lasted to what may have seemed forever, when he was done, he already predicted the petrified faces he viewed before him.
“Oh my,” Aileen was the first to spoke in utter shock in almost of a whisper.
“They have been wreaking havoc with the sword since their existence.” Mishu concluded.
Then Ryu. “I, now, understand the true meaning for the lust of the Dark Dragon Blade.”
“The Black Spider Clan desired to attack your clan to steal the blade, Ryu; but the number of the powerful ninjas in your clan scared them from doing so. Since the loss of the Dokugumo-Ureeru, much of the confidence and pride within the rest of the ninja, slipped away along with the sword.”
Ryu then realized, “That is why they went after it when they learned of the massacre.”
Ryu then thought quietly upon his own thoughts as the conversation progressed around the other three. Doku, Murai, and now Mitsuri. All of, whom which, played a part in the massacre of his clan only to retrieve the evil Dark Dragon Blade. Ryu broke from his thoughts when he saw Ayane stand from the table.
“Well this has been fun, but I'm going to retire for the night.”
Ryu arched his eyebrow at her. “We're still in a meeting, Ayane.”
“What else is left to be said? We, now, know our mission. I, myself, have grown tired of depressing horror stories.” Ryu was beginning to grow annoyed of Ayane's obnoxiousness. Fortunately, Mishu saw Ryu's expression and took the liberty of interrupting before emotions flared too brightly.
“Have a good night, young Ayane.”
“She isn't going anywhere.” Ryu demanded.
Mishu then whispered, “Let her go and rest. We may need her energy in our upcoming battles.”
Ryu stared at Mishu. There was something about him that he admired, as well as something about him he despised. The despise came from Mishu's long-time involvement with the Black Spider Clan, or course; but the amicable? Mishu expressed leadership while at the same time respecting Ryu. It was hard for the ninja to trust the Black Spider traitor. Yet, his words are true.
He kept his eyes on Mishu, still trying to study him. “Very well.”
Mishu gave a smile. “Thanks.” He looked to Ayane. “I would suggest the Jacuzzi, it is very relaxing for your muscles.”
Ayane looked at Mishu with disgust in her eyes, she, in contrast to Ryu, didn't not trust Mishu at all and made no attempt in finding the good out of him. “Whatever.” She told him. Then gave Ryu a slight head bow. “I'll see you in the morning.” She then gave Mishu one last look of disgust before she made her leave.
In the dark night, a ninja of the Black Spider Clan darted through the forest at an extremely quick pace. His black ninja outfit perfectly matched and camouflaged him with the darkness of the night scenery. He was definitely heading for a location with urgency at his extreme speed, nothing slowed his pace, until he saw the mark of his destination. A small campfire within Shadow's Temptation.
He jumped down from his tree branch and landed in front of five individuals who stood around the campfire awaiting his arrival. His head stayed bowed not daring to look up at the hierarchs in his presence.
“Raise your head, ninja. Announce your news.” He heard a voice stare at him.
The ninja looked up and in front of him, he saw Gamja, Yung, Xia, Aisu, and a samurai heavily coated in armor of warriors of Japanese ancient times. Even the face of the man looked ancient, actually, more dead than ancient. His skin was bluish pale, and parts of his flesh was holy as if something was eating on his face or probably decaying. The green radiant glow from the mysterious figure's eyes haunted the ninja as his voice trembled when he announced. “I-I have spotted the trespassers and the traitor.”
“Where are they?” The ninja then recognized the voice before was Gamja's when he spoke.
“Outside of Shadow's Temptation, beyond our boundaries, at a traveller's lodge, possibly resting for the night.”
“Father,” Yung spoke. “Please let me finish off the ninja.”
Then Xia, “My business is still unfinished with the kunoichi.” Then Aisu as she clenched a fist with a swirl of ice wind surrounding her hand. “I want the traitor for myself.”
“Enough!” Gamja's voice boomed silencing his followers. He walked away from the group and stared up into the dark night sky. “It seems the ninjas have not heaved to my warnings.” He turned to his four hierarchs. “Our only concern is retrieving the Dokugumo-Ureeru. The ninjas are no where near as powerful as our force.”
“What of the traitor?” Aisu asked.
“Aisu, your issues with the traitor will only cause you to lose if I send you after him.” He gave her a piercing look. “We both know it, and I will not lose you to ignorance.” He said. “He will be dealt with. He will be dealt with tonight, as well.” He then called out to the mysterious warrior. “Maindokontorooru!”
The warrior answered back. “Yes, sire.” Gamja turned his head to the warrior's direction. “Kill the traitor, bring me the head.”
Maindokontorooru mischievously smiled. “Yes, sire. And the others?”
“Have your fun with them. Just bring me back that head.”
With that said and with unexplained words, the green glow faded away from the body of the samurai warrior and hovered into the air. The body of the warrior fell lifeless to ground and, now, what hovered in the air was the form of a ghost. The evil spirit acquired his target as he looked at the messaging ninja. The ghost flew from the air and attacked his fellow clan member, allowing his spirit to insert itself within the body of its victim.
The ninja struggled and held his throat choking on what seemed to be the air itself, soon after he fell to the ground. Then the body rose to its feet eyeing at Gamja with the same radiant green eyes which once possessed the ancient samurai warrior and the same mischevious smile. The ninja then spoke out, “His head shall be yours, sire.” And the ninja quickly departed and disappeared into his surroundings above.
= Maindokontorooru =
His original name was Mikoro an ancient Japanese samurai who was raised only to battle in the wars of the past almost a century ago. Wars that were never recorded and were only told through the mouths of Japanese legends to which the listeners only concluded as fables. These stories had every fable incentive; magic, demons, witches, all types that would cause for someone to truly believe the stories were only fiction with moral behind each.
Mikoro was now the last of the remaining soldiers that fought in those wars against the Chinese. It was the last war where he met his fate and died to the soul trapping and torturing Dokugumo-Ureeru Tsurugi. He was slain by the Chinese monk and for almost a century, his soul remained lost with the sword. For almost a century, he was forced to provide power to the sword along with his other warriors and the tortured soul of the raped child. For almost a century, his afterlife was nothing but pain and torment as he daily gave his fighting spirit to the aid of the powerful blade.
It was then one day, a hierarch of the Black Spider Clan died by the hands of her own husband. This left a spot open for promotion. Unfortunately, Mitsuri saw none of his current ninjas powerful enough to study under Gamja to attain the position, not even the husband that killed the hierarch to excel in the ranks; and the ninjas he felt could have made an great impact as hierarchs were still too young to be dubbed.
In result, Mitsuri called upon the power of the Dokugumo-Ureeru Tsurugi to bring him the most powerful warrior of the ancient Japanese warriors. To his dismay, he received a samurai for the ninja clan. To his fortune, he received a ghost by the name of Mikoro. Mikoro was forced to serve as a hierarch of the Black Spider Clan or spend the rest of his eternity locked in the blade that had caused him so much pain through his many years of enslavement.
Mitsuri learned of Mikoro's powers of body possession. The ability to control a man, entrapping its soul, while he ruled the body temple. This proved to be a positive aspect as his first instructions was to kill the man that murdered his own wife. Mikoro easily proved his loyalty as he possessed the dead body of the murdered hierarch and convinced the man to hang himself in front of the Dokugumo-Ureeru Tsurugi.
Mitsuri was pleased with Mikoro's cleverness that he gave the samurai a new name, Maindokontorooru. A ghost that could not only possess the body of the living or dead, but with the right body, convince a man to kill himself. Unfortunately, Mikoro can die. If he is slain while still in the body of which he possesses, his life will end and his soul will return to the Dokugumo-Ureeru Tsurugi never to return.
Chapter 11 – Maindokontorooru
“Ayane.” A voice whispered again stirring Ayane from her sleep.
When she opened her eyes, she noticed she was still in the Jacuzzi. She decided to take Mishu's advice after all. Turned out he was correct. The Jacuzzi was very comforting, falling asleep as she let the bubbles tickle and caress her naked body.
“Ayane.” The voice whispered again. It sounded like as if the voice was all around her.
“Who's there?” She grunted. She wanted to stand and search for herself, but she decided against it. After all, she was resting in the Jacuzzi bare. She couldn't stand to reveal all of her personals.
“Ayane.” The voice repeated.
“That's enough!” Ayane yelled and somewhat frightened at the same time. “If that's you, Mishu, you will pay with your life, I swear!” She warned.
“You can't see me?” The voice asked.
“Show yourself now.” She demanded.
“Here, let me turn down the lights.” The voice whispered, “Then you can see me better.”
Suddenly, darkness filled the area around Ayane. She couldn't see a thing through the thick blackness, not ever her own hands. She exited the Jacuzzi, not caring if anyone could see her or not. Probably not, due to the black surrounding.
“What's going on?” She yelled out. “Where are you?”
Suddenly a light shined on a familiar face. “It's only me.” He said with a smile.
Ayane gave a small yelp at the sudden shock of surprise. “Hayate?” She then covered her body with her own arms and hands afraid he would see her naked self. “What are you doing here?”
“You called me here.”
Ayane was confused as suddenly a light shone upon her body. She quickly yelped, again, hoping Hayate wouldn't see her nakedness.
Hayate only gave a chuckle at her action. “Ayane, calm down.” He said placing his hands on her shoulders. “Look at yourself.”
Ayane was hesitant, but then she noticed that Hayate's hand wasn't touching her skin. Instead, her body was, suddenly, covered in her purple ninja outfit. “What's going on?” She asked as she looked back to him.
“You're having a dream.” He said with a smile. Then he took her by the hand. “Come with me.”
It was as if by some sudden force Ayane couldn't resist the temptation of taking Hayate's hands as she followed him in the complete blackness where only the two mysterious glows illuminated upon them.
They walked for some time, until Hayate led her to a light where it only shone on a bed. “Sit down.” He politely said with a grin.
Ayane had the sudden temptation to listen to him as she sat on the bed. Then without words, Hayate began unbuckling his ninja uniform. Ayane wanted to speak aloud, but at the same time, she didn't want to. She didn't want to disturb the removal of Hayate's clothing.
Then his shirt was off and Ayane only mesmerized to his toned feature. Hayate then moved closer to her as he placed his lips upon hers as they began to share a passionate kiss. Part of Ayane was completely shocked at the actions she was experiencing. Without warning and without notice here Hayate stood in front of her, embracing into an intertwined kiss of passion. The other part of her, didn't want to argue. She knew it was a dream, she knew she would eventually wake up. Why ruin a good thing?
Hayate began to slowly edge Ayane to lie back on the bed as he climbed on top of her. Their lips never parted and throughout their heated session Ayane would stroke her fingers through his hair and look deep into his eyes with a sparkle in hers and a smile she couldn't get rid of.
“Do you love me?” Hayate whispered in Ayane's ear just after his tongue finished teasing it.
“Yes.” She moaned. “Yes, I do love you.”
Suddenly, and again, she was naked. Her clothes disappeared and this time, Ayane wasn't shy or shamed to let Hayate see her body. She was in pure bliss which kept her at a loss as Hayate continued to caress and kiss her body parts.
“I want to show you how much I love you.” Hayate again whispered.
Instantaneously, Ayane felt the penetration as Hayate entered inside of her. She so much enjoyed the feeling of his rhythmic motions sliding in and out of her. Her love grew for the ninja through each stroke he applied to her. It was romantic, passionate, the tingle in her spine to feel the man she loved, deeply making love to her, not like she never dreamed before. A tear rolled down her eye in complete joy and bliss as she held onto the man tight never wanting to let him.
Her emotions and arousal shot skyward high as he began to move faster. He knew exactly the way she loved it and in turn her love grew even more as she could hear his whispers in her ear. “I love you, Ayane. I love you.” Through the pure exhilaration and intensity, she had no choice but to lightly sob. Purifying her soul with love and releasing the heartaches and taints of her past. She did indeed love this man, with all of her heart. She knew this was only a dream, but she has never felt happier in all of her life.
A small light illuminated while still slightly dimmed, which caught Ayane's attention. She turned her head to see another woman sitting in the corner, watching them. Ayane's eyes popped open in complete shock when she realize the woman was Kasumi.
Ayane then lost focus of all of her surrounding as a look of rage came over her towards the spying female. “What are you doing here?” She yelled.
Kasumi only smiled.
Hayate looked back at her. “Do not worry about her, just enjoy yourself, Ayane.”
Ayane eyebrows lowered in confusion. “But Hayate…”
Hayate began to increase his speed, thrusting harder into her. “Just enjoy yourself, Ayane.”
Something was wrong and Ayane felt it. Hayate was different, especially for a man in her own dreams. He became more forcefully and arrogant with her body. She began to notice a slight glow in his eyes as he began rocking harder into her, a green glow. Now his thrusts were beginning to hurt her.
“Hayate get off of me.” She pleaded.
Instead of obliging, he continued his forceful acts, only more arrogantly. Ayane's body rocked along with his and the glow in his eyes now grew brighter, she could no longer see his pupils.
Frightened by the sight, Ayane gasped and clawed Hayate with a quick slap and an attempt to get him off of her. The fingernails of the kunoichi pierced into his skin and ripped his flesh. Hayate stopped his actions and looked at Ayane making his image look more horrid. The skin did not detach from his face, instead, it remained as flaccid flap as the blood which it originally covered, began to ooze onto Ayane's body.
Ayane screamed in horror from the sight and suddenly thorned ropes appeared from under the bed, wrapping around her wrists and pulled violently restraining the woman to the bed. The sharp thorns pierced into her flesh upon contact and now it was her blood that trailed down her fingers before dripping to the ground.
Ayane screamed in painful agony and she began to hear her dreamed half-sister begin to giggle at the sight and Hayate continued his actions thrusting harder and faster into the woman, only now he growled with an unknown intensified anger.
“Hayate, please, no.” She pleaded.
Kasumi's giggles then turned to laughter. The blackness turned to red as pure as the color of blood. Hayate only replied. “Just enjoy it, Ayane.” He said with a growl and continued his deceitful antics.
But Ayane only continued to beg. “Please, not like this.” She pleaded more. “Not like this.”
Hayate's face then began an illusive transformation. His skin wrinkled then changed to a pale green color. His body began to look like it was decaying. The glow in his eyes was imminent and bright. When his transformation was completed, it was no longer Hayate's body over her; it was the body of Maindokontorooru. The monstrous face of the dead warrior gave an ear-piercing scream and severely shocking Ayane emotionally.
He gave a smile of a horrid deceit and Kasumi's laughter still continued to fill the air taunting Ayane.
Ayane knew she was in a nightmare of none told. As this unknown man forced himself upon, not relishing to her release and he finally replied to her pleading request. “Just enjoy it, Ayane.”
“Who are you?!” She yelled to the top of her lungs. “HELP!” But no one was there to save her from her horrible predicament.
When she tried to struggle free, the thorns in her wrists caused too much pain for her to bare, and she could still feel this man of dead features inside her. Unwanted and forceful penetration for his own satisfaction.
When it was over, Ayane's face was soaked in tears and blood. The room faded back to its original blackness of dark from its crimson red. Kasumi had disappeared into the thin air, leaving her trail of laughter and giggles behind. Maindokontorooru stood off of her, still leaving the female bonded to the thorned vines. Ayane had even stopped crying. The length of time that the process seemed to have lasted, she couldn't cry anymore. She just laid in the bed, with her eyes open, not moving, as if she was in a trauma.
Maindokontorooru suited himself in his samurai body armor and didn't even look back to check on the well-being of the female he clearly took advantage of. When he strapped his sheathed sword next to his side, he spoke aloud and not even turning to face the scene where Ayane laid. “You will stay here. My matters are no longer with you. If you interfere, I will make you suffer more pain and torment than what you have experienced now.”
Finished, he walked away still with the giggles and laughter of Kasumi in the air. And Ayane still laid in the bed, listening to the taunts, still not moving, still traumatized, still a victim of rape.
Chapter 12 – Mind Control
Mishu walked outside and looked at the night air. It was peaceful as he gazed at the stars and for once the trio had left him alone. He was going to settle in his room for the night, since Ryu had already departed into the forest for meditation; still strangely leaving him alone with Ayane and Aileen. Was it a sign of trust? Either that or Ryu was secretly watching him from the branches in the forest. Maybe Ryu believed that AyaneSo instead of settling, he decided to take his own stroll.
Not too much further into his walk, he found a woman sitting on hill, dressed in a kimono, looking up at the stars. He could tell it wasn't Ayane, she didn't have the same lavender hair as the kinoichi. He smiled as he walked to the figure.
“Aileen?” He said.
The woman looked back and smiled. “Hey, Mishu.”
“Do you mind?” He asked referring to sit next to her.
Mishu took his place sitting next to her joining in the stargazing.
“Isn't it a beautiful night?” She asked.
“Yes it is.”
She looked at him. “May I ask what are you still doing awake?”
“It's lonely inside that cottage. I haven't been alone and to myself as long as I could remember.”
“The Black Spider Clan?”
He nodded with a smile. “They always kept a watchful eye on me as well as themselves.” He said. “They don't trust anyone.”
“Can't blame them. They are a ruthless bunch.”
He chuckled. “That's true.” He then said. “But they are respectful.”
It was a sudden change of subject Aileen wasn't expecting. “Respectful?”
Mishu explained. “Sure they kill and have evil intent. That I do not doubt. But since I started this mission, they cared for me, they raised me. Even though I am working for this agency, the Black Spider Clan has always treated me like family.”
“So you condone their actions?”
“By all means, no. But I can't sway away from the fact that because of them I am still alive today.” He said, looked back up to the stars and gave a sigh. “They are a ruthless bunch, but at the same time they are loyal.” He looked at her. “Look at the number of people that have been with them through generations. I could count on my fingers the number of Clan members that are runaway shinobis or traitors to the Black Spider clan. I guess you just have to see the good out of bad things.”
Aileen only shrugged not wanting to get into any arguments with the ex-clan member. “They're still a bunch of murderers.”
Mishu only let her speak those words and stayed quiet as he looked at the stars. After some time of silence, he looked at her. “May I ask you a question?”
“Why is it that you of all the three that trust me?”
“Who ever said I trust you?”
“No one. But I can see it in your eyes. You don't take the same force as Ryu and Ayane do.”
“Maybe it's because I just don't have their abilities.” She said with a smirk on her face.
Mishu then grew quiet now knowing the fact that no one trusted him within the trio, Ryu, Ayane, nor Aileen.
The woman saw the discomfort in his face and decided teasing was no longer necessary. “I guess it's because I'm like you.” Mishu arched his eyebrow at her comment. “I just see the good out of a bad thing.”
Mishu smiled as they sat in their silence again.
This time it was Aileen to break. “So, “ She spoke out. “How long have you had a crush on Ayane?”
Mishu's face immediately began to heat from Aileen's sudden accusation. “What?”
“I see the way you look at her. I can see the emotions.”
“I don't know what you mean.” Mishu turned his focus back to the stars.
“I may not be a ninja, but a woman's instincts can see things a ninja can't.”
“What of your woman's instincts drive you to believe such a thing?”
She shook her head. “As I told you. I can see these things.” She said. “Did you know she took your advice and is soaking in the Jacuzzi?”
Mishu then had a grin he couldn't remove with eyes of pure amazement. “She did?”
She smiled. “Yeah, last I saw her she was asleep, so I decided to let her get her rest.”
Mishu didn't respond which only confirmed Aileen's theory.
Then she confirmed. “Don't worry, your secret's safe with me.”
Mishu only looked at her, then gave her a small smile.
Just then Aileen saw a figure coming out of the darkness and chuckled at the sight as the body emerged. “Well, speak of the devil.” Aileen said as she recognized the figure as Ayane.
Mishu smiled as he knew who Aileen referred to, and as he turned to view her, he said, “And I see she took my advice after…” His statement was stopped with his mouth still open from the shock his eyes viewed.
It was definitely Ayane, Mishu confirmed that much; but her eyes glowed the illuminating color of green, which easily told Mishu she was possessed by Maindokontorooru, the Black Spider Clan hierarch. To make matters even more twisted, Ayane stood naked, still dripping from the water of the Jacuzzi.
“Ayane, are you okay?” Aileen asked noting her bare body and the green eyes.
“Aileen,” Mishu stood and continued. “Go get Ryu.”
Aileen looked up at him. “What's wrong, Mishu?”
“We don't have time. Just go get Ryu, now.” He practically demanded.
“Is everything okay?” She stood now practically shaking.
Mishu snapped his head towards Aileen's direction and gave a stare full of anger as he yelled. “Just go!”
Aileen gave no objections or hesitation as she darted into the woods to find her lover.
When she was out of sight, Mishu and Maindokontorooru shared a deep and cold stare towards each other.
“I see you haven't learned that no means no.”
A smile came upon her face as when Ayane spoke the voice of Maindokontorooru roared. “She wanted it as much as I did.”
“I bet.” Mishu kept his cold stare. “Did you kill her?”
Maindokontorooru smiled as then Ayane's true voice was heard. “HELP ME, MISHU! HELP ME, PLEASE!” Then he spoke in his own voice through the body of the kinoichi. “Not yet.”
“What is it that you want?”
“Gamja requested for your head. I have come to retrieve and deliver.”
Mishu grabbed his fists, cracking and loosening the muscles within his hand. “Do you think you're that strong enough already?”
“Yes, because you know as well as I do, that you do not want to kill this female.” Maindokontorooru said. “This shall be an easy fight for me.”
“You know what surprises me Dokon?”
“What is it?”
“How is it that you underestimate me every time we fight?” He rhetorically asked. “When will you come to realize you cannot beat me?”
“This time I shall, Kaki. This time you shall fall victim to me.”
Dokon readied himself into his fighting stance as did Mishu.
Before the first blow was thrown, Ryu appeared from behind. “What's going on?” He asked the question before he took a good look at Ayane's current bare presence along with her demonic eyes he could then only ask, “What happened to her?”
Mishu answered keeping his cold eyes staring at his former ally. “She's being possessed by a Black Spider Clan hierarch, Maindokontorooru.”
Dokon then spoke. “Stay out of this ninja. This does not concern you.”
Ryu now shared the cold stare as Mishu towards Dokon. “That's where you are wrong.” He said pulling his sword from its sheath. “This concerns me very much so.”
Mishu then stopped him. “Put the sword away, Ryu.” Ryu snapped his head towards Mishu with a confused daze. “You stab him, you will hurt him, but Ayane too will suffer the pain.” Mishu continued. “The same effect applies if you kill him.”
Ryu was awed. “So how are we supposed to stop him?”
Mishu stood hesitant, turning his head back to Dokon's demonic eyes trapped inside the naked body of the lavender hair kinoichi, as he tried to find the answer to Ryu's question. “I don't know.”
Chapter 13 – Mind Battles
So there they stood. Just outside of the Shadow's Temptation, Black Spider Clan's dubbed territory, Ryu, Mishu, and this demonic soul by the name of Maindokontorooru, also referred to as Dokon, stood on a hilly terrain, just outside of a lonely cottage. Ryu and Mishu weren't frightened at the fact that they stood and readied themselves to take on this “ghost”, what frightened them was that now, this man named Dokon, possessed the body of their closest ally, Ayane. The female kunoichi known for her murderous intent. And before the two male ninjas, stood the female ninja, possessed and dripping wet from an earlier Jacuzzi bath.
Also, what frightened them was that they did not know how to defeat Dokon without bringing any harm to Ayane. At this moment, and before the battle even began, Dokon already had the match won.
He, the demon, was the first to reveal his power as he charged in with an attack. With his main focus on killing Mishu, he threw a devastating punch which connected to the side of Mishu's jaw. Ryu showed no hesitation as he attempted to attack the backside of Ayane's possessed body with a punch of his own. Unfortunately, Dokon was resourceful, as he quickly turned and caught the wrist of the standby ninja and used his opponent's own momentum to twist his arm and caused him to stumble to the ground.
Dokon then spoke to Ryu, “I told you, ninja. This is none of your concern.”
Even though Ryu knew Ayane's body was possessed by this ghost, it did slightly spook him to see the female speak to him in such a manner and with such a thunderous tone.
Suddenly, somehow, Dokon fell to his back. When Ryu looked, he saw Mishu jump from the ground after a successful leg sweep waiting for Dokon to recompose.
The two stood face to face for a second, then began their own whirlwind of attacks.
Ryu only sat on the ground where he fell astonished to see Mishu move so fast. His block techniques, perfect. His attacking techniques, perfect. Athleticism, perfect. Everything expected out of a great fighter seemed to be in perfect balance. Whether offense or defense, Ryu was struck in awe as he looked at a mirror image of himself fighting the possessed kunoichi. Dokon was able to land a few punches and kicks, but it was Mishu that held and kept control of the fight throughout the battle.
Finally, Ryu came to his senses and realized he was sitting on the ground watching the battle as if it was some sort of entertainment. He stood, prepared to fight, that was until Mishu snapped his head at Ryu and yelled. “Stay out it!” He quickly returned his glare back to his opponent and commenced with the battle.
Stay out it? Ryu stood in wide-eye shock. It wasn't the fact that this ex-Black Spider Clan member was telling a ninja of honor what to do. It wasn't the fact that Mishu had just told him not to assist in protecting the kinoichi he has known for years of his life. Even though those thoughts crossed his mind, what surprised him most was the sudden blurt that came from Mishu's lips.
Ryu knew the two fighters had some type of awkward history. They expressed in their raging battle yells every time someone would throw a punch or block a kick. Maybe Mishu could be trusted after all. Maybe he was wrong about him. Here he stood in front of Ryu, battling one of the hierarchs. That had to mean something...
Unless if it's all part of their plan.
Their battle came to a brief end when Dokon managed to kick Mishu hard to his chest and sent the traitor flying away from his position. Mishu landed hard against the terrain and Ryu hurriedly ran to his aid.
“Are you okay?”
Mishu nodded propping himself on his elbows.
The two glanced at Dokon. He stared at both of them with eyes of rage. He panted heavily from the exhaustion and the fists of the young woman were tightly clenched as if he was preparing for another round.
Mishu looked to Ryu. “So what's the plan?”
Mishu gave Ryu a confused look. “For defeating Dokon?” He said as if Ryu was supposed to have an answer. “What were you doing standing there?”
Ryu didn't want to tell his true answer, which was enjoying the fight between the two fighters, instead he answered. “I didn't know I was supposed to do all the thinking.” He said as he helped Mishu to his feet.
“Well we have to think of something. Quick.” Ryu continued to listen as Mishu continued. “The longer he stays in Ayane's body, the longer he continues to torture her, and probably even kill her.”
“I won't let that happen.” Ryu spoke and turned his focus onto Dokon and retrieved his Dragon Sword.
“Ryu, no weapons. You'll kill her.”
But Ryu ignored Mishu as he slowly began to walk towards Dokon.
I won't kill her. He thought to himself. Hurt her? Yes. Kill her? No. And just then he was standing only a few paces away from his enemy.
Dokon's breathing had slowed and calmed as he formed an evil grin over the kunoichi's face. “You hurt me, you hurt her.” Ryu only readied his sword. “You kill me, you kill her.” Dokon said allowing Ryu to hang on to his words.
But the ninja didn't budge. He stood with his blade ready.
“Very well. Let's see how bold you truly are.” Dokon said and attacked fiercely.
Ryu swayed and dodged from every punch and attack Dokon attempted with his possessed body. At times, he would use his blade for counterattack measures, but stayed careful not to slice the flesh of Ayane.
“Ryu, be careful!” He heard Mishu yell out.
But that only distracted him as Ryu accidentally scratched Ayane's shoulder. Dokon stumbled back, not at the pain, but at the shock of the blade actually touching his skin. Would Ryu actually kill Ayane to win? Though rather than showing his shock as a weakness to Ryu, he instead gave him a mischievous taunting smile as he wiped the blood from his small cut with his two forefingers and placed them in his mouth.
“Mmm, even her blood tastes sweet.”
He responded with gritted teeth. “You're sick.”
“Even as we speak, I'm having my way with her. You couldn't dare imagine the things I am doing to her right now.”
“You bastard!” Ryu was becoming furious.
“Don't listen to him, Ryu!” Mishu called out, but it was probably too late. Ryu's eyes already flared with anger and Dokon only continued his taunts.
“An excellent submissive performer.” He said. “Maybe Aileen could be next.”
“You won't touch her!” Ryu yelled out and charged in with a ready attack with the blade high above his head. His eyes were full of fire ready for a kill. Ryu was too angry to notice that Dokon didn't move. He didn't notice until he struck down for his blow.
The sharp edge of the blade stopped only inches of away from Ayane's body.
Dokon didn't move to dodge. He didn't even flinch. He just stood there, with that same smile on his face. The same glowing green eyes taunting him. “I knew you couldn't do it.” Ryu had no words to reply with. All he could do was stand in rage, wanting so desperately to make his final kill. “You are not fooling anyone with your antics, ninja.” Dokon said aloud. “If you want to kill me, then do it.”
Ryu held the blade steady, aching to take Dokon on his offer and end his life quickly. The only consequence would be to take Ayane's life as well.
“DO IT!” He yelled out forcing Ryu to give a battle cry of his own as he manuverably smashed the handle of the sword against the face of the possessed body.
Dokon stumbled back and regained his composure. He pressed his fingers to his lips and withdrew blood that formed in his mouth. He spit the red fluid from his mouth and then stared at Ryu with an angered look in his eyes. “You are pathetic. A weakling. Always expected out of a ninja.”
“We end this.” Ryu finally spoke with his reply back.
Ryu threw his sword to the ground embedding the blade into the Earth's ground and readied himself into his fighting position. Then with no hesitation the two charged at each other and began a series of punches and kicks that were all blocked and swayed between the two fighters. Luckily, Dokon did not take up Ayane's Hajinmon abilities, or his match would've been harder than expected.
I hope you have a plan. Mishu thought to himself as he stood and watched the two fighters commence.
Maybe he wanted to tire Dokon out, that's if he could get tired out. Maybe he wanted him to surrender, which was extremely doubtful. He was the one that had the upper hand, but Ryu had no plan. Even as he fought, he only concentrated on coming out of the battle victorious. In fact, Dokon wasn't even a match for Ryu, though it would still take a very skilled fight to match and defeat Dokon, he lacked the strength to take down a force like Ryu. Ryu had complete control of the battle, but the fact that this unskilled samauri had Ayane's mind possessed, forced the ninja to take more caution than needed. If Dokon was in another body of no one's concern, this battle would've ended much sooner.
Now Ayane's body has been bruised and beaten throughout the battle and Ryu still had no plan on exactly how to defeat his adversary. He knew he couldn't abuse the body too much with the fear of a beaten death. Now Ryu was beginning to plan. This caused his tactics to slow which Dokon caught focus to and immediately took advantage of the bout. Left and right punches connected with Ryu's face and stomach. Dokon planned the end for Ryu as he struck a mighty kick against the side of Ryu's face.
A white light blinded Ryu as he went into an instant shock from the powerful kick. It was the same blinding light he saw when Doku had first killed him in his own village. It was the same light he remembered seeing when his soul was nearly taken and was turned into a Vigoor Fiend. It was the light of death, actually, more like, the light of near-death. The light he never wanted to see again. Ryu stumbled and fought for his composure, when his vision returned, he quickly jumped in the air and delivered a powerful thrusting kick to Ayane's chest which sent Dokon flying across the forest.
The body fell hard to the ground. And it didn't move.
What have I done? Ryu instantly thought to himself. He didn't want to kill Ayane. He attacked without thinking. His instincts took over. That's what the blinding light was. His instincts. It took control of him and…killed Ayane?
“NO!” Mishu yelled after witnessing Ryu's attack. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!?!?” He stood and ran towards the body.
Please, no. I didn't kill her. Ryu prayed to himself. The body still didn't move.
He quickly ran next to Mishu, whom was now kneeling next to Ayane.
“Did I…?” Ryu didn't want to finish his obvious question.
Mishu looked at him. “She's breathing.” He pointed to a rock. “She hit her head against that.”
First, a wave of relief came over him. Thank you. He told himself. Then, a wave of wind pushed him and Mishu away from Ayane's body. The two fell on their backs and when they looked up, the saw Dokon in his true ghost form hovering over the unconscious body, enrage. “YOU IDIOTS!” He yelled. “I CANNOT CONTROL HER IN THIS STATE!”
Ryu then let off a smile. “I win.”
Dokon hovered in the midnight sky and looked down at Ryu with a cold stare. “Yes, you win for now, ninja. But do not think this is over.” He then yelled. “This is far from over!”
Ryu then gave Dokon an angered stare of his own. “I know how to beat you now, Dokon. I would suggest you go tell your master that he's next.”
“I will see to it that you do not even have the luxury of facing him.” He said and then flew off and disappeared into the night.
Ryu and Mishu sat in silence in the cold night looking at the stars where Dokon disappeared to. After a few seconds, they made their way to Ayane's body.
“How is she?” Mishu asked when Ryu placed his fingers on her neck checking for a pulse.
“She's unconscious, probably in shock.” He said with a blank expression.
“Of all my years in battle with the demon, I never thought a simple knock out could have saved so many lives he's taken.”
“I thought I killed her.” Ryu spoke in a low depressing tone.
“But you didn't.” Mishu tried comforting him. “That kick would've killed any normal man, probably even me. But we both know Ayane's stronger than that.”
Ryu wanted to thank Mishu for the kind words, but his mind was set on his blood lust to kill. And Ayane was his target. There was nothing anyone could say to help him feel any better. The fact of the matter was he intended to kill to save his own life. “Wrap her in a blanket and take her back to lodge.” Ryu spoke. “Come and alert me when she wakes.”
“Sure.” Mishu replied. “Where are you going?”
Ryu closed his eyes. “I need to clear my head.”
“Don't be too hard on yourself, Ryu. She's not dead.”
“But she could be.” He paused. Thinking. “She could be, because of me.”
Chapter 14 – Awakened
They trusted him. He trusted him. Why else would Ryu leave Mishu alone with an unconscious Ayane and a defenseless Aileen? There could be no other reason. He accomplished his first goal. Getting them to trust him. Now all he had to do was get him to accomplish his next goal. Find the Dokugumo-Ureeru Tsurugi before Gamja did. And the only way to do that was to get Ryu to go to the Migu Village .
Ayane slept all night. Steady breathing, which was good. She turned every once in awhile, but not too frantic to warn him she was having nightmares. Good. It also told him that Ryu didn't knock her into a coma. Which would be real bad. They would need Ayane's help. Gamja will pull out all the stops to get his hands on the sword to take back to their leader. Mishu knew he would need all the useful help he could get. Though every time he looked at Aileen, he knew that her help would only be a distraction. There had to be a way to send her back. He couldn't let her interfere. This was his only chance. His last chance to make things right. If he failed now, his 20 years of work would have been a complete waste.
Mishu gave a long sigh and contemplated on his thoughts. He didn't dislike Aileen. He found her charming and rather nice to be around with. But he couldn't stand for the interference or distraction of a useless ninja. Not now. Not when he's so close. He sat next to Ayane all night. Instead of sleeping, he tended to her wounds inflicted in the battle and assured that she stayed comfortable throughout the night. Now he was exhausted. Ryu hadn't returned and Aileen lay asleep not too far from where he sat. They had to get moving and Ryu was wrapped in his emotions of almost killing Ayane.
Mishu looked at Ayane. Aileen's right. She is beautiful.
What am I thinking? He pushed the thought away and turned his eyes away from the unconscious body. This was Aileen's fault. She accused him of having emotions for Ayane. He idiotically agreed to it without completely thinking it through.
Was I really that obvious? Even he didn't know that he had feelings for the purple hair kunoichi until Aileen brought it out into the open. He looked back at Ayane. Well, if it is true, he cannot walk down that same path again. He cannot go through the hurt of losing a loved one again.
“Let's just get this mission over with so we can go our separate ways.” He whispered to himself as if Ayane could hear him.
That's when she stirred. She was waking up. Finally. Wait, did she hear him?
She turned to where she now faced him, her eyes still closed, but now they slowly began to open. Suddenly, they popped open in shock.
“What are you doing here?!” She yelped gripping the sheets tightly over her body.
“It's okay. Ryu asked me to watch over you.” He noticed how cautious she was acting. She was frightened. An emotion he would never expect to see the cocky ninja express. Dokon got to her. He knew it. “You're back in your lodge.”
“Where's Ryu? What happened last night? What happened to me?” She was becoming hysterical. Dokon raped her. These were the beginning of the aftereffects.
Aileen awoke from Ayane's outburst and saw her companion curled in the bed gripping the sheets tightly against her body. “What's going on?”
Mishu looked at her. “She just woke up.” He didn't know what else to say. He wanted to tell Aileen what was happening with Ayane, but he didn't want to frighten her as well. Frankly, he wasn't too sure how Ryu would react to the news either.
Tears began soaking Ayane's face and she never took her eyes off of Mishu. Aileen rushed over to Ayane's bed and clutched the kunoichi into her arms. Finally, Ayane broke the frightened stare from Mishu and released her cries onto Aileen.
Aileen looked at Mishu with a frightening look as horrific as Ayane's. “Oh my goodness, she's shaking.”
And she was right. Ayane was shaking in fright, humiliation, and embarrassment. Mishu wasn't sure exactly how Dokon tricked her, but he knew he did something far obscene to force Ayane to become a willing host.
“What really happened last night?” Aileen asked him still holding tight of Ayane. Ayane's fearful eyes was locked onto Mishu. Aileen knew of the fight, she knew a ghost possessed Ayane's body to where Ryu was forced to knock her unconscious almost killing her, but she didn't know anymore than that. He didn't know if that information should be revealed.
“I…” He wanted so much to admit, but even now his own emotions were getting involved. He was now feeling remorse for Ayane's situation. No, Mishu. No emotions. He gathered himself. “I need to find Ryu.”
“Wait, what happened?” Aileen asked again.
But Mishu ignored her and quickly headed out of the room. When he closed the door, he leaned against it. Looking to the sky hoping the wind would dry the small tears hiding in his ducts. He could still hear Ayane crying and practically screaming at Aileen. “What happened?! What did he do to me?!”
She continued her rampage and all Mishu could do was slide his body down the door until he was sitting. His fist smashed the dirt ground in anger, still listening to the cries of Ayane.
Damn you Dokon. I will kill you myself for hurting her.
He told them he was going to go after Ryu. But he couldn't move. It was like he was forcing himself to listen to Ayane's muffled cries through the door that blocked him from looking at her. Then he realized. A delay. This was only going to cause a delay in the mission. There was no time for delays and this was probably going to change the outcome of this mission greatly.
“Mishu?” Mishu darted his eyes forward to the unknown voice. It was Ryu. “What's wrong?”
Mishu quickly stood. “It's about Ayane.”
Ryu asked no questions when he himself heard Ayane's cries. Without another word, he quickly burst through the doors to see Ayane still in Aileen's arms, still crying her eyes out.
Ryu could only stare in pure shock at the sight. There were very few times he'd seen Ayane in this state and most times dealt with deep family issues he never discussed with her for her own security.
Mishu whispered in his ear. “He raped her.”
Ryu looked back at Mishu with the same wide-eye shock and saw Mishu's face filled with remorse and emotional pain. He wanted to ask questions, but he knew he couldn't for the same reason Mishu had to whisper his words. Her soul was raped, Ayane was too fragile right now, whether if she knew what happened to her or if she didn't.
Ryu slowly walked to Ayane and gently placed his hand on her shoulder. Ayane looked up and saw him standing and she immediately jumped into his arms and continued her crying. “Ryu, what happened? What did he do to me?” But Ryu couldn't answer the question. At least, not now.
Suddenly, Mishu felt singled out. Ayane allowed the comfort from Aileen and Ryu, but she dismissed him. Mishu wasn't jealous, but he felt that sting when he noticed that he alone stood from the group, holding and consoling their friend. The same sting when he lost his last love.
This was a waste. He told himself and turned to make his leave.
He stood outside of the door again, wanting to stay and wanting to leave. He couldn't make up his mind. All he needed was his sword that was firmly strapped to his back, so why wasn't he moving?
I know, why. He answered himself and looked back at the door. Goodbye, Ayane.
He began to head back to the forest. Shadow's Temptation. Maybe if he begged for Gamja's mercy, they would let him live. But he knew he couldn't stay here. His mission was either postponed until further notice or suspended indefinitely. Last night, Ryu said ‘I won' to Dokon. But it was the ghost who truly made the effect.
Chapter 15 – Last Chance
Two days have passed since Mishu left the trio.
Two days have passed since Ryu searched the forest day and night in search of the ex-Black Spider Clan ninja. Ryu knew why he left. He wanted to console him and let him know of Ayane's condition. Also hoping to find more information.
Two days have passed since Dokon raped Ayane. She was done crying. Now all she did each day was sit in the same bed. Still naked and still wrapped in the covers not speaking a word to neither Ryu nor Aileen. She just laid in the bed, staring at the wall. Lost in her own thoughts.
Ryu was now gone again. Making one last attempt to find Mishu before they headed for the Migu village. Ryu had ultimately made up his mind. If he didn't find Mishu today, he would leave Ayane and Aileen with the residents of the Migu village and tend to the rest of his mission alone. He may not come out successful, but he couldn't dismiss the power of the Dokugumo-Ureeru Tsurugi. If it has caused this much trouble while not in the possession of the Black Spider Clan, there's no telling how much trouble would be caused if they regained their possession.
“Ayane, please. Just one bath before we take our walk again.” Aileen had been pleading with Ayane for the past two days for Ayane to take a bath. There was no other specific reason other than she just wanted to see her get out of the bed for once. A bath was the only excuse she could come up with, regardless if water was the last thing Ayane wanted to see at the moment.
But Ayane never responded with words. She only responded with a single tear. This was no exception.
“Please Ayane, I just want you to get up and walk around for a bit.” She continued.
Ayane only shook her head and turned her eyes away from Aileen. She didn't want to be disturbed.
“I promise I won't leave you alone.”
That drew Ayane's attention. “What if he comes back?”
Aileen smiled at her and stroked her hair to comfort her. “Then he'll have to take my life before he touches you again.”
Usually Ayane would have a smart comment in reply, but this was no time for jokes or insults, so instead she said. “Okay, but please don't leave me.”
“When will you learn it's not easy for you to sneak up on me?”
Mishu felt the presence of another intruder in his immediate area. He wandered these forests hoping a Spider Clan would find him so he could beg for his mercy and re-establish himself with the clan. Forced to put off his mission and put any past emotions aside for the trio he had recently encountered. Now he was in the midst of an intruder that unintentionally made their presence known.
“How did you know?” A female's voice responded.
Mishu turned and looked at his intruder who was perched on a tree branch. “I can feel the shivers every time you're near.”
The woman smiled as Aisu leaped from the branch. “I'm glad to see I'm still having some type of effect on you.”
Mishu removed his mask. “What do you want?” He asked with a cold stare.
“I want to know why you left us.”
“And why should you care?”
“Because aside from everyone else in the clan, I'm the only one that doesn't want to see you dead.”
Mishu smiled at her. “Give me one reason why I should believe that.”
Aisu lowered her eyebrows. “Believe it or not. I still have feelings for you.”
He laughed. “That's all the more reason to kill me.” He replied. “What is it? Now that Widow's dead you're all out of playmates?”
“Let's not start this again.”
“Why not? You leave me for another woman and now I should be happy you're coming back to me?”
“First off, don't boast on yourself. The clan needs you, not me.”
“So the talk about feelings were a lie.”
“What do you want me to say? I love you?” She rhetorically asked. “Fine then. ‘I love you, Kaki.'”
“Don't call me that.”
“Why not? It's who you are.” Then she gave a mysterious smile. “You didn't tell them, did you?”
Mishu never revealed his secret. At least, not yet. “You said the clan needs me?”
Then she giggled. “Changing of subjects. Clear sign of confirmation. If you want to play the mysterious daredevil then go ahead.”
Mishu continued to force the change of subject. “And the clan?”
She stared at him before answering. “Mitsuri wants you back. He is offering an invitation if you're willing to accept.”
“Good, I may be interested.”
Mishu's answer didn't catch Aisu by surprise. She only shook off his acceptance and continued on. “You know, you're very lucky. A clan accepting a runaway shinobi doesn't happen too often.”
“I know and I understand.”
“I'll take that comment as your acceptance.”
Mishu only nodded.
“But of course, you do know there will be terms and conditions before you can stroll into the fortress again.”
“All conspired by Gamja, of course.”
Just great, Gamja. Mishu thought to himself.
“There is only one test you have to pass to prove your loyalty.”
“Loyalty? What about 20 years of loyalty?”
“That means nothing when you turn back on us.” She said harshly. “If you want back in, then you have to pass the test.”
“Fine. What test?”
She smiled as she kept the forest in silence for some time. Mishu gave her an awkward look as she turned her back to him. She didn't let him see her sly smile as she pulled out her katana and played with it between her fingers.
“Remember the lavender haired-kunoichi from the Hajinmon?”
Is she talking about Ayane? He thought to himself as Aisu turned back to him.
“Her life is in danger as we speak.”
Mishu eyes shot open as he practically yelled. “What did you do to her?”
Then Aisu arched an eyebrow. “Concerned?”
“What happened to her?” He ignored her question.
Then Aisu looked down to the ground in shame. “So it's true?” Then she stared into his eyes. “You do love her.”
Why does everyone keep thinking this? He thought to himself. “Just tell me where she is.”
Then Aisu could only give Mishu a saddened stare as she talked. “If you save her, Mitsuri will deny your request. And the entire clan will hunt to kill you.”
“This is Gamja's doing isn't it? Or is it yours? Just tell me where she is.”
But Aisu relented. “Mitsuri looks at you like a son. How could you do this to him? How could you do this to the clan?” She stared as her eyes were becoming watery, “How could you do this to me?”
“You left me, Aisu. Not the other way around.”
“And I'm sorry.” Her glassy blue eyes trembled. “Please, I don't want to see you being hunted. Just come with me to the fortress, leave her to die and all will be well.”
“I can't let that happen Aisu. You know I can't. Now tell me, where is she?” First Aisu turned her eyes away from him. For that moment, Mishu believed that she wouldn't tell him of Ayane's predicament. He walked to her and, for comfort, placed his hands onto her shoulders as he softly spoke. “Aisu, I'm sorry. We both now know that I cannot accept this invitation. Please just tell me where she is.”
Aisu was obviously saddened by Mishu's remark as she shrugged her shoulders away from his hands forcing to release. She knew she still loved him as he felt the same, and it emotionally broken her heart to hear that Mishu was willing to save another woman. Then she looked back to him and confessed. “She was taking bath. The other female was watching for trouble. That female is rendered unconscious, and the purple haired ninja is trapped under a lake which is now a block of ice.”
“You did this?” Mishu looked in partial shock. “Which lake? Where is she at?”
“Please, Kaki. Please don't it.” She continued to beg. “Mitsuri loves you. The Clan loves you.” She hesitated as a tear strolled down her cheek. “I love you. Please don't turn your back on us again.”
Then Mishu spoke in the firmest tone without showing any signs of the anger that was truly building up inside of him. “Where is she?”
She lowered her head again. “In the lake, just behind the lodge where you brought them.”
Without hesitating, Mishu hurriedly and leaped into the forest trees.
“MISHU!” Aisu yelled for the first time calling out his real name.
Mishu turned while perched on a branch and viewed at Aisu. He was somewhat surprised not to hear his “clan name” called out.
“If you do this, you're saying good bye to everything. The Clan, Mitsuri, even…” But she didn't finish. She didn't need to finish. She knew Mishu already knew that final word.
He closed eyes, took a deep breath and let out a long sigh. “Goodbye, Aisu.” And he turned and darted into the forest, heading back to the lodge.
Aisu was right. Misu was actually walking on top of a lake that once held that swimming fish, now frozen solid. And within that ice, he could see Ayane frozen underneath. He looked up and saw Aileen sleeping on the ground. Only one conclusion could come from this. Aileen was knocked unconscious from behind without alerting Ayane. Then while the kunoichi wasn't looking, Aisu simply dipped her finger into the water which turned the entire lake into ice.
“I'm so sorry Ayane.” Mishu did feel partially guilty for everything that was happening. He looked to the sky. “But where are you, Ryu? Why aren't you here?”
Those were matters he couldn't worry about now. Right now, he once again turned his back on the clan that raised for as long as he could remember. The first time, it was to complete a mission. This time, it was for a reason he didn't want to admit. He walked off the ice and settled his feet to the dirt ground. He kneeled and let his hand touch the cold ice.
“From now on, I'll never leave your side.” He said as if Ayane could hear his words. “I promise.”
He looked around hoping for no peering eyes. Then he looked at the ice to view Ayane's body one last time before the closed his eyes. Suddenly, from his concentration and meditation, an orange shockwave left his hand that radiated around the lake. The lake began to melt and slowly broke into ice chunks as the water began to reform. Soon, the ice chunks disappeared into the lake's waters and Ayane's body floated to the top.
Mishu opened his eyes at the sound of the splash and quickly looked around the forest again to make sure there was no prying eyes. To dismay, there was only one pair of eyes watching. Aisu's. They shared a look for a second or two, then Mishu retrieved Ayane's body from the water. He then picked up the still-unconscious Aileen and carried both women on each shoulder.
He looked back up at Aisu. They shared another look, Aisu's eyes were full of an emotional hurt. Mishu knew that she didn't want him to take this route. They both knew that he was now a target for treason. Aisu only closed her eyes, shook her head and disappeared again into the woods.
“I'm sorry, Aisu.” Was all Mishu could whisper to himself as he packed both women back to the lodge.