On a horse and carriage ride through the Lian Jiang Forest, Sasume, Haru, and Kamoto were enjoying the ride out of their residential area toward a very majestic and unknown place for a mission. While on their journey, Kamoto was telling the siblings about the place they were travelling to.
“So, why did our master trusted you to come with us?” Haru asked, interested in the answer he was about to receive.
“Well, as a yokai, we are automatically protected by the gods who live there. Not only that, but our spirit is connected to the lands as well, so we know where to go just by saying the destination name.”
Sasume and Haru looked to each other out of surprise. The yokai before them saying that he knew the layout of the place as he stayed there. He looked outside and smiled at the scenery as it went by.
“Any other questions? I’ll be happy to answer.” Kamoto sincerely said.
“What type of enemies will we facing?” Sasume asked as she turned her gaze over to her sword. She knew there would be a lot of fights and battles, probably some they can’t win. At that moment, she realized just how quiet he has been.
“Kamoto?” she asked, looking over at his face.
“Sorry, but the enemies you will face are unknown to me. All I know is that physical strength will not be enough to defeat all of them. You must learn to use Ninpo.”
The ride continued on the pathway to Hirashi as Sasume and Haru listened to the yokai about using and obtaining the powers of Ninpo. Multiple techniques were spoken about as well as learning inner peace with themselves. The air slightly became different and they felt it as a strong scent was also in the air. Kamoto smiled and sniffed the air as the warriors stared at him with a questionable expression. He noticed and giggled with a blush.
“Sorry, but the smell of the lands have a sweet fragrance that only yokai can smell.” he explained.
The three soon arrives a traditional kept up temple that was nicely cleaned and maintained. The trio stepped off with Kamoto hopping off and running straight towards a woman who stepped out of the front door. Well, more like she slithered out. She had midnight black hair that was tied in a ponytail that flowed down her back. She wore purple robes over her body that showed her cleavage as well as her mature body figure. Her eyes were half lidded and green that withheld a subtle happiness to them. Her other half was a long, thick part of a snake. Her scales were purple with patterns of black and green intersecting. Sasume and Haru watched as the cat-boy ran up and hugged the woman.
“Hello, my sweet Kamoto.” the woman said in a soothing voice as she pet the boy.
“I missed you, Miss Arihime.” Kamoto said, purring under her gentle touch.
Arihime smiled and looked up at the two warrior who bowed respectfully before her as they smiled at her.
“Hello there. You must be Sasume and Haru Aoi.” she greeted, waving her tail around.
“Yes, we are. We appreciate you taking us in, Miss Arihime.” Haru said as she invited them in and walked inside.
There, they saw the inside of the place was neatly painted with a pale blue and deep green match that had small jade casings. Small pillars swirled each other as they held up the ceiling. The three was amazed at the state of the place they would be staying at as she stopped and turned in front of them and bowed.
“I am the caretaker that will be here to go with you in your travels. It is a pleasure to meet you.”
Arihime helped the three in their rooms and then told them to explore around. As she was doing some cleaning, she found Sasume sitting in the zen garden out back under a tree. She went out and sat next to her.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” she asked she looked over to the female samurai who nodded and smiled nervously.
“Yes, quite.” Sasume agreed before turning her full attention to lamia. “Can I ask something of you?”
“Whatever your heart wants.”
“Kamoto, he told us to defeat some of the enemies we will face, we need to learn Ninpo.” Sasume started as Arihime nodded. “Is learning Ninpo easy?”
“It’s only easy once the person has learned the most important first step.” Arihime said.
“What is it?” Sasume asked, looking interested.