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Back at Sanahobi, Master Kanata and Orochi was sitting at a small table in their zen garden behind the palace. Orochi poured a cup of tea in front of Kanata and herself before sitting the pot down and taking a sip from her cup.
“Thank you Orochi-san.” Kanata smiled before taking a sip and sighing in satisfaction. “The serenity of this place is just calming, is it not?”
“Yes it is, Master Kanata.” Orochi commented softly, setting her cup of tea down.
Her full name was Orochi Yuida, a quiet assassin of Sanahobi who wielded a naginata instead of a short sword like every other assassin. She came to Sanahobi when she was a child and was sent under the gentle care of Master Kanata when she was twelve years old. Now as a protector, she lives under Master Kanata, very grateful for all of his blessings. Her skin was flawless, her hair a dark midnight purple while her eyes was a pleasant blue that hid a certain weight to them. Orochi never smiled much, but did notice when something was happy or sad.
“Master Kanata, if I may,” Orochi said, looking over to her master.
“What is it my child?” Kanata asked, seeming very intrigued.
“Why did you send Sasume and Haru on that mission to find the ronin?”
“Sasume and Haru are among the youngest fighters in this village. Although Haru is very talented in the art of combat, there are somethings he cannot do alone.” Kanata started, Orochi sitting in silence as she listened to her teacher. “Sasume on the other is a quick learner, I’m sure already that Haru taught her about sensing her enemies.”
“So this is like a training mission for them?” Orochi presumed.
“Not necessarily, but it’s up to them to think it is that, or a step within the real world.”
Orochi kept quiet as a couple of hummingbirds flew by their location. She watched the leaves fly in the breeze as she thought about the mission her colleagues were on, and the ronin they needed to find.
At the hut where Sasume and Haru found the ronin Katsumi, they were surrounded by a bunch of silent killing ninjas that were eager to slice and implant their daggers deep into their bodies. The siblings gave each other a quick glance before one of the many ninjas ran towards Sasume and quickly took out his short sword and began slashing quickly at her. With each swipe that came close to her, Sasume would counterattack with her blade. The ninja then thrust forward and missed her completely as she dodged to the left, then implanting her knee into his stomach, followed by an elbow to his back and knocking him to the ground. Under Haru’s training, she has learned to fight without the use of killing or using her sword. Although it was her primary weapon, she has gotten used to holding it off until she really needs to. She then turned to her brother who smiled at her then focused back on the group surrounding them.
“Sasume, keep your guard up. You handled yourself very well.” Haru commented.
“Congratulating each other and taking down one of my men isn’t going to impress me.” Katsumi voiced in. “In order to believe that you really are from Kanata, you must prove it.”
“So you do know Master Kanata?” Haru questioned.
After those words, two other ninjas rushed Haru and both took swings of their swords that hit his blade, pushing him back a few. One rushed in with a flurry of quick attacks before he duck for the other one to jump over him and slash down, almost catching Haru by surprise before he stepped to the side with a grin and knocked the airborne ninja down with a jumping spinning kick. His opponent groaned before slamming into the ground with a hard thud. His other opponent looked in shock as Haru taunted him with his hand, signaling for the ninja to come attack him. He gritted his teeth and rushed at Haru.
“For Katusmi!!” he yelled.
He waited for him to get into range as he anticipated his attack, which a backwards slash towards his face. Haru dodged once, then ducked down and implanted the handle of his sword into his gut. The wind got knocked out of his body as he fell to the ground. Haru turned around and smiled at Katsumi with a confident grin.
“Me and my sister has been trained to combat ninjas and assassins up close. You can either challenge us again or believe us.” Haru spoke loudly, holding his blade over his shoulder.
“Haru, what are you saying?” Sasume asked, the other ninjas laughing at Haru’s words.
“We came all this way to find this samurai without a master so she can help us with our mission. ” Haru turned to his sister. “So far, she’s been wasting our time. I say we challenge her to see if she’s what our master has been talking about.”
“No, I won’t let you do that!” Sasume argued, standing in front of her brother with her arms out. “Ronin are always certain to kill whatever is in their way or whoever challenge them. You’ll be killed.”
Haru smiled and patted his sister on the head before walking past her. She turned around quickly before trying to run after him. A few ninjas jumped in her and held their swords out.
“Your older brother has challenged our master. Have some respect for his wishes.”
Sasume kept quite before sheathing her blade and watch as her brother and Katsumi walked up to each other with their weapons drawn.
Holding out her weapon in its sheath, Katsumi slowly took out her curved katana blade that had wisp of smoke slowly licking of the edge of the sword. Katsumi quickly twirled the blade as a single white trail followed its movements. Haru’s eyes widened at her weapon and tightened the grip on his own sword.
“This weapon is infused with Ninpo, a magical art that only the highest warriors can achieve. Wanna feel its power?” Katsumi questioned as she swung her blade to her side.
Every bone in Haru’s body told him not to fight this woman, but a challenge that was forfeited was deemed something dishonorable. Haru took a deep breath and then slowly opened his eyes. He ran full speed at her and took a diagonal slash at Katsumi’s chest. She quickly threw her blade up and countered his attack. The swift and strong motions knocked Haru’s sword up and almost out of his hand, leaving him vulnerable to any of Katsumi’s attack. She rushed forward with a push of her heels and thrusted her sword into his stomach. Haru gritted his teeth before seeing Sasume slam her blade down into Katsumi’s, pushing both of their blade into the ground.
“Sasume?” Haru asked in disbelief.
“I don’t care if it’s dishonorable, I will not let my brother be killed.” She determined, looking into Katsumi’s eyes.
Katsumi smiled and removed her blade from the ground. Small sparks and wisps of smoke wavered off the ground.
“It’s been awhile since I fought off two very well trained warriors.”
Haru and Sasume readied up, knowing this battle was going to test everything they had and then some.