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RPG Ronin [Rated - M]


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[B][U]The Ronin[/B][/U]

Nemuri Tora (Mugen)
Tsutsu Ninnishi (Apherion)
Aoshi Kazami (sand dragon 19)
Pao Li Fei (Goddess)
Tenshi Ayo (Kitty)
Keiwaro Bashi (0ber0n The Nek0)

[color=indigo][B][U]The Mercenaries[/B][/U]

Sakura Chiméiteki (Sakura)
Zhou Tao (Unborn Lord Xion)
Drake Ashton (Retribution)
Shiori Nada (Asahai)
Delano Jeffreyson (Wraith)
The Unknown Mercenary (to be announced)[/color]


It was raining that day. The great Chiba castle that once stood for righteousness and pride in the coast land of Chiba, was now empty of all things of meaning. The servants and lower soldiers had all left after Lord Hoji's death... murder. With the underlings also left the few valuables that Lord Hoji decorated his mansion with. The only thing left was the castle, and those who truely cared for Lord Hoji. Those that Lord Hoji cared for. The six samurai left behind, with no where else to go, with no one else to take them in. Each of them had a reason to love the man, who took them in like a father, housed them, and brought them into his service without a selfish thought upon his mind.

Alone, it was they who swore revenge on their master's murderer. In the hallowed out main hall of Lord Hoji's great manor, sat in a circle six individuals. Each of them as different as the next, but held together with a common bound, their servitude under Lord Hoji, and their oath of revenge.

[B]"I... Still can't believe he's gone."[/B] Tsutsu spoke out quietly. Choking on her words. She looked to the floor with sad eyes, the feeling of despair amplified by the heavy rain drops ontop the castle.

[B]"It's a fact of life, we're going to have to face. It is going to have to be our drive, our motivation, for our revenge."[/B] Bashi said distinctly. His voice held power of authority.

[B]"Bashi-san speaks truthfully. We must accept this, we must know this, and feel this, if we are to avenge his death."[/B] Aoshi chimed in with a supportive, dignified tone.

[B]"B-but how... how can we take on the shogunate?"[/B] Fei said in her timmid voice, her words carrying a slight accent.

[B]"It won't prove easy... we must be prepared."[/B] Ayo began, [B]"We need to be ready to give up our lives for this. This final mission will prove to be our legacy, if we are successful. And, it shall bring honor back to our Lord's name, which has been dragged through the mud by the wicked shogun."[/B] Ayo surveyed the room with her eyes to find everybody silent, the only sound coming from the pounding rain. She looked to Tora, who was laying across the floor, holding his head up with a hand. His eyes closed. [B]"Tora-san... what do you think...?"[/B]

Tora opened his eyes and rose from his laying position, cracking his neck and shoulders as he stretched his vertabrae. He spoke in a rough tone, [B]"You wanna know what I think...?"[/B] he said in a careless tone, looking down at the sitting group, [B]"I think we should leave... now! Sitting around here isn't going to get us anywhere, and neither is any amount of 'planning'! We can't outmaneuver the Shogun, and it's not just him that we have a grudge with..."'[/B] the group of Ronin looked up to Tora with questioning eyes.

[B]"Who else do we have to kill, Tora?! Who else do we have a vendetta against?"[/B] Bashi questioned frustratingly.

[B]"If I'm not mistaken... it was those damned foreign merchants and sailors who started all this trouble. Telling the Shogun what's what, and buying his ass off! And almost every regional lord in this country has his back. If were going to pull of a c'oup de grat, then where gonna have to do it with these, and these alone!"[/B] Tora yelled our vigourously, holding out his tightly-clenched fists. [B]"We'll defeat the Shogun, and those damned foreigners with our heart, and our spirit! It's the only way!"[/B] Tora hallored, ending his speech. The small group of warriors looked up at him with suprise. They had never seen such a side to the usually lethargic man, but they also held within them a new spirit to fight.

Bashi stood, and looked him in eyes. The others stood up with Bashi and looked into one another's eyes, however Bashi's never left Tora's. [B]"Tora..."[/B] Bashi started, getting a cocked eye brow from Tora, [B]"Let's do it..."[/B] he said with a slight smile. Tora followed with a smirk of his own. They both nodded, and Tora turned around to the door. He walked to it and opened it up as the others followed. Tora looked up to see the rain had stopped, and the sun had begun shining onto the land of Chiba.[/color]

[B]OOC:[/B] Okay. [color=sienna]The Ronin[/color] are travelling as a GROUP, together, they'll take down the shogun. I'll post when they are to seperate, if that is to happen. [color=indigo]Mercenaries[/color], your allowed to have henchmen if you wish, or partners. The next post goes to who ever feels like posting. Have fun you guys, and thank you.

[B]BTW-[/B] I have another Mercenary sign up to join, but if may not be for a little while, so don't worry about them.[/size][/color][/size]
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Kewaro Bashi sighed, surveying the group. They were all fine samurai, all were masters of a sort, but this mission seemed doomed. Kei knew that there was little hope. The odds, when stacked, were 6 against upwards of 50,000.

He smiled wryly. [i]I'll take those odds.[/i]

As he stood, the rest of the samurai looked to him. "Colleagues..." he began. It was silent for awhile. The group had grown accustomed to his dangling sentences. "...We need faster transportation. Feet will not... get us where we need to go... Not as quickly as we must get there," he said, resolutely. "I'm open to... suggestions."

He lifted the veil seperating the room from the outside, and stepped out into the rain. He thought for a moment about Hoji's passing. He clutched his wakaizashi, the only memento left of the man who was more a father to him than the man-shaped impression in his infantile memory. He sighed, letting his hands loose around the scabbard. He turned to see Tora standing behind him.

"Tora... You seem determined. You are driven... by what, I wonder..." Bashi said, a sentence left in the air, directed towards Tora.

Tora gave him a grim smile. "I know that Hoji wasn't supposed to die. He was still young. We can avenge him, but we will need to move quickly."

Bashi nodded. "You speak truth," came his terse reply. He returned to the steps that led to the castle. "Yet... I also can see the road is difficult. Not to be lightly taken. We will need to fight together. Are you really ready to lay down your life for the master who is no longer yours?"

Tora's face grew annoyed. "See here, Bashi! I was ready to die for him ever since I came under his service!"

Bashi smiled a pale and empty smile. "Keep that fervor... You may soon need it's guidance. Now, go in and tell the others to get ready, and to rest themselves. We cannot afford to leave unrested. Understand?"

Tora's face was no longer annoyed, it was anxious. "Bashi, is it not so that we should leave as soon as possible?"

Bashi looked into the sky. "We will wait for the storm to pass the sky. There must be no rain, no tears on the journey. What we do, we do for Hoji. What right do we have to weep? It is he that is dead. Not us."

Tora nodded slowly, ducking back into the room.

[i]There may be no way to bring you back, but we will bring your vengeance, lord. Slumber peacefully.[/i]
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Kazuya returned to the manor from the rain, he had taken survey of the town, trying to find any one who had seen any foreigners in the area only to turn up nothing. I't seemed all his searching had been in vain, but there was one thing, an old woman mentioned seeing some type of dog she didn't recognize, this could prove there were foreigners involved in the lords murder. This could also prove troublesome, if they had blood hounds, moving would be very limited. Regardless of any of this, he needed to report back to the others on what he had found. He stepped into the manor, still dripping from the rain, to be met by Tora as he enterd "Kasuya, you have returned. What news do you bring?" Kazuya sighed "Not much I'm afraid. The only thing I found was a sighting of a strange dog breed no one recognized. this could be a sign that the foreigners were directly involved in his murder." Tora nodded "Well, that's better then nothing I suppose. Your tired, rest now. We leave early tomorrow." He nodded and left to go change clothes and prepare for rest. He already felt as if he had failed his lord for not saving him when he needed him the most, he had to see the killers of his lord brought to justice. After all that searching to come up with so little, these wre very skilled assasigns indeed. While returning he encounterd Bashi, they shared a quick greeting and parted ways. Kazuya took residence in his quarters and began to undress, and put on dry clothes. Once changed he sat on the floor and let himslef get lost in his thoughts. He took his sword and set it across his lap and began to meditate.
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[COLOR=Green]Tsutsu had tears rolling down her cheeks. She didn't like the situtation. It reminded her too much of her brothers. She sat herself in an arm chair, burrying her forehead in her right palm. [I]Why'd I spend all my time bickering with them...[/I] She groaned woefully.

The rain trickled down the window panes. She had always liked the rain. The rain was something to wash away what you had done. Something that gave you a second chance. Wash away all the blood, cry your tears, because when it stops, your queasiness and mouring are done with. [I]I'm going to cry as much as I can, to help more both the lord and my uncomplete mourning of my brothers.[/I] She listened to her thoughts echoing throughout her head. However someone startled her out of her stupor.

"Hey, Aoshi," she whispered. Her voice was softer than normal. She wiped away the tears that had dried on her red cheeks. She swiped at her puffy eyes with her long sleeve.

"You ok?" He asked, she nodded meaning that she would be. Thoughts about what she did after her brothers' deaths came to her in a fury. [I]I worked my ass off. When they had left, I worked with different types of swords. When I was told they were gone, I worked through my sorrow and became better than anyone my age. I became the perfect for of revenge. Vengence machine.[/I] She then realized what one of her purposes in the world was. Why she hadn't before... [I]I was built with a lust for revenge.[/I] She then remembered Aoshi being there.

"You holding?" She asked, her voice becoming stronger. He nodded.

"I am. Maybe you should get some rest, Tsuts." She smiled and shook her head softly.

"You too, us older folks don't really need that much rest," Aoshi nodded and patted her left shoulder.

"Whatever you say." Tsutsu now was the oldest of the Ronin group. Now that Lord Hoji was assassinated. She used her age as a joke because for some she was one to two years older, but she also used her age to irk some of the one she was six to eight years older. She leaned back into the warmth of the chair, her eyes closed softly. [I]I'll just close my eyes for a second...[/I][/COLOR]
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[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=DarkSlateGray][SIZE=1]Durandal sat on a bench starboard on the boat as it coasted into the harbor in Okinawa, where he was to meet his contact and then island jump on up into Japan's mainland.


Durandal looked up and a kid stood there in apparent awe at the sight before him. The kid smiled and poked Durandal in the chest.

"You're funny, mister! Very shiney too!"

Durandal smiled and knocked against his breastplate with armored knuckles,

"This, my boy, is my skin. Neither sword nor bullet can bypass this and I can even fall 100 stories down and be just fine!", Durandal exaggerated but it only fueled the kids interest even more who then sat next to Durandal and swung his legs about on the edge of the bench.

"Where are you going, mister?", the kid asked.

"I'm going to Japan on a job for England. Very important.", Durandal leaned back in the seat and spread his arms out on the back of the bench.

The kid jumped up from the bench and stood before Durandal, "Wow that sounds so fun! Can I come too?!", the kid asked enthusiastically.

"I'm afraid not, but maybe you can join me on my next adventure."

The kid let a frown creep across his face but soon smiled and gave a thumbs up, "Okay, mister! You promised!"

Durandal nodded and the kid took off down the deck waving to his mother.

"Everyone! Below deck, now! Pirates on the horizon!!", a steward announed over a bullhorn while pointing out to sea. Durandal craned his neck to make out the shape and sure enough, partly due to the black skulled flag on the mast, they were pirates.
The steward started filing folk below deck while the crew tried to remain calm and load up their black powder pistols and keep a keen hand on their cutlasses. A steward strode up to Durandal, who was already standing with his sword propped against his shoulder, and gave him a slight nudge.

Before the steward could say anything Durandal had spoken.

"You make sure this boat reaches Japan and I promise that I'll send every pirate that steps foot on this vessel to meet their mothers in hell."

The steward, clearly speachless gave only a nod and turned on a heel to make his way to the Captain. As the pirate ship drew closer Durandal could count the men onboard, there were 14, and could tell they were rag-tag small timers who prayed on passenger boats such as the one he was riding on and knew that these pirates proved no challenge. He would send them to a watery grave.

"Jus' think ah' all tha' loot an' boot on tha' ship there, boys!", the Pirate Captain exclaimed, giving a loud clap of approval, "We'll be swimming in riches tonight boys!"

"What the-! Captain! Someone is on board!!", the Captains first mate pointed to Durandal.

"Wait...Wha? How could tha' Englishman swim from tha' boat ta ours in that short amount of time!?", the Captain was exasperated and it showed with a thick, pulsating vein throbbing from his neck.

"Sir..He leaped!", the first mate answered.

Durandal turned to his left as a pirate lunged at him with a rusty sword and slapped the pirate down with an armored hand and kicked him from the boat with one swift boot. Four pirates closed in on Durandal but were quickly cut to size with a deft swing of Durandal's Sparta, and another swing brought two other pirates down who approached from Durandal's right. The Captain drew his sword and started for Durandal but before he could close any distance he found himself impaled by the tip of Sparta and quickly cast out to sea. Durandal smirked and forced his sword into the ships floor, and down to the hull bringing in seawater at an alarming rate. The pirates stood around helpless to what the armor-clad knight was doing but before they could rally the knight had lept from the boat and back on to the passenger vessel mockingly waving to them. Durandal took a seat on a bench near the railing of the boat and watched as the pirates went down to meet Poseidon or a few angry sharks waiting for a meal.[/SIZE][/COLOR][/FONT]
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[COLOR=Blue][FONT=Trebuchet MS]Satisfaction welled in Shiori's heart as she thought back to the news she'd received today. A devastating blow had been dealt to the Ronin and although she could stake no personal claim to the kill, the Mercenaries were sure to celebrate tonight.

With a slight smirk she finished off the stake she'd been savoring and exited the dimly lit hut. Taking long, meditative breaths she walked toward the outskirts of town, bent on getting away from the heavy scent of alcohol and smoke. Shiori looked up at the blackened sky as lightening flashed every now and then. She sighed and pulled the hood of her cloak on firmly, [I]the last thing I need is to sneeze while decapitating a target...[/I] She laughed lightly at the thought and shook her head, a few dark tresses falling about her concealed face.

It was late and she had promised to meet with a potential client later. The man stated he might be gathering more then one Mercenary but she couldn't be sure and now, as she dashed in between random buildings, Shirori prayed that the money was worth her time. [I]Damn it all! I swear if this guy doesn't have some good reason for calling an urgent meeting I'll... [/I] Her mind wandered as she thought of vicious ways to make good of her threats.

Shiori continued sprinting to the country side, rain beating against her lithe form rhythmically. Eventually a lone shed loomed in front of her and she picked up her pace, her long strides carrying her farther from the warm lights of the town behind.

When she reached the small doorway she banged on the sliding wood door forcefully, the entire hut seemed to shake from her efforts. A woman answered the call, [I]wait... a woman?[/I] Shiori entered casually and shook the heavy green cloak sending sprays of water about. Other people were in the small room as well, perched calmly with glistening weapons among them.

"Great, a welcoming commitee." She said sarcastically before sitting in front of the brightly burning fire pit. [I]Who will it be this time...?[/I] [/FONT] [/COLOR]
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[COLOR=DarkSlateGray][SIZE=2][FONT=Times New Roman]He lightly gave a pat on Tsutsu's back again. It was true that now that Lord Hoji was gone from them forever that there was bound to be many more hard times in their lives. Aoshi took another look out at the people around him. For him it was still just to hard to believe that all that was left of the great man that was once Lord Hoji was this. Even though they were just a quickly gathered group out to get revenge at the one who had killed there master. He still knew that there was still hope for their mission to succeeded

[B]"If you will like to join me Tsuts, I need to calm my nerves for a moment. I am going to go outside and listen to the rain."[/B]

It may have been a slightly odd thing for a person to do, but for Aoshi this was relaxing for him. The light sound of the rain gently taping on the found had always calmed his nerves. So he then went on his way out of a different door than all of the others had been going out of. Some solitude might do him some good.

Once he had gotten outside the gentle 'pitter-patter' of the rain gently began to fill up his senses. It was a calm and peaceful day and being under the eave of Lord Hoji's manor. Aoshi then looked up slightly at the rainy sky with a sigh

[B]"Lord Hoji-sama...What shall we do without you. You were in a way our father. Without you we are just lost.."[/B]

He gave a sigh and sat down under the eaves. He rested his head against the back wall. Many thoughts about their future was continuously running through his mind.[/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=DarkSlateGray][SIZE=1]As Durandal entered the harbor at Okinawa he could see people gathered around; some for traveling purposes and some to see their respected visitors. One such face in the crowd was a Japanese man dressed as an Englishman, an odd sight if England and Japan weren't so well in with each other. Durandal gave a slight sigh and stepped off the boat as soon as the platform was lowered, and not to his surprise the English-Japanese man strode up and presented himself in acutely fine English.

"Ah. Sir. You are Durandal, are you not?"

"I am", Durandal answered hefting his sword onto his shoulder, he glanced around and could see he wasn't warmly accepted even if England and Japan were on good terms. Men gave Durandal awkward looks as their hands went to their swords and women carrying baskets of knick knacks tried their hardest to wander in the other direction, "I can see I'm unwelcome here."

The English-Japanese man shook his head, "Nonsense! They are just weary of travelers and someone such as yourself scare them."

Durandal smiled, "Scare them, do I? Good. I like that."

The Eng-Jap man motioned for Durandal to follow and the two started down the street, waves of people parted as Durandal neared, "Forgive my rudeness, my name is Shoji and I work for he who hired you to kill the remaining of the renegade Samurai clan north in the mainland. We shall head to see Katsuhiro, an associate of the Daimyo and then we shall head over to the mainland where you can start your search."

"Well, alright then, Shoji. Take me to your leader.", Durandal said.

As Shoji and Durandal neared the town square they were surrounded from all sides by what looked to be Samurai.

"Hm... I'm not mistaken, Samurai uphold a strict code of honor. 5 on 1 is not honorable..", Durandal said, lowering his sword from his shoulder.

"We don't want your kind here!*", one of the Samurai said.

"He says that he doesn't want you here, Sir.", Shoji translated.

"As a matter of fact, we'll send you back to where you came from in a box!*"

"He says that he is going to ki-", Shoji started to translate but before he could finish the Samurai lunged forward with a drawn Katana. Durandal easily sidestepped the sword slash and pushed the Samurai away. Another attacked Durandal from the right but was just shoved aside like the first Samurai. The other three attacked simultaneously but were just scooped up and tossed to the dirt.

"I don't wish to start trouble...I'd rather keep England and Japan on good terms.", Durandal explained, turning away with Shoji right behind him, "Come on, Sho. Lets go and see my employer."[/SIZE][/COLOR][/FONT]
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[size=1]Trees were one of his favourite places. Once you got high up in a tree, deep within the foliage, you could be truly alone, just the sound of the whistling of the wind through the branches to accompany you.

His silver hair danced in the wind, and he sat on a branch, eating a green apple he had bought a few minutes previously.

[i]They also provide cover for those tricky situations, [/i]he thought. He smiled, and continued eating the fruit, contented.

Since he had arrived in Japan, he had barely had a moment of peace. He was rushed from the harbour to his home for the time he was staying here, and from there he went to the base of operations, and from there he moved to help in the assassination of Lord Hoji. He had not killed Hoji himself, but he had definitely helped by dispatching some of the guards.

[b]"Sir!" [/b]came a voice, and Delano sighed. His peace was once again ruined. He threw his apple core into the woods, and dropped down to the ground.

[b]"What is it?" [/b]he asked, irritated.

[b]"You need to see the Shogun. He says it is urgent," [/b]said the small, easily-intimidated Japanese man.

[b]"Fine, I'll go," [/b]replied Delano.

[b]"And he says to meet up with Seamus on the way," [/b]called the Japanese man after him, having some trouble with the word Seamus.

[b]"Fine!" [/b]said Delano, not looking back. He walked past a row of houses, one of which he went up to and knocked on the door. It was flung open, and a powerfully-built, heavily-scarred man with a shock of bright red hair answered.

[b]"Seamus, it's time to see the Shogun,"[/b] said Delano.

[b]"Right now?" [/b]replied Seamus in his thick Irish accent. Delano nodded, and Seamus picked up a rifle from the side of his doorway, and left the house with Delano.

[b](OOC: Seamus is Delano's partner, sorry I didn't mention that in my sign-up)[/b]
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[size=1][color=indigo]Fei watched the group around her. They'd been her commadres and only family for a very long time. The blow from their lord's death was a jagged pill to swallow, especially for Fei. This man, this Japanese lord, had took, spared, and gave her life. He raised her to become one of the toughest Ronin and trusted her with his life. No matter what sort of words were thrown around about her, Lord Hoji always believed in her and treated her with the uttmost respect.

And now he, this great man, was gone. Fei took the skull charm from her hair and studied it. She knew he would always be with them through his spirit; but she also knew that his spirit would not rest in peace and let the living live peacefully if he was not avenged. Growling lightly under her face cloth, Fei clinched her fist, squeezing the small but heavy chamr in her palm. She rose from her mat on the floor and tied the skull in her hair, where Lord Hoji had placed it so long ago.

Her beloved halberd rested against the wall behind her, the identical skull charms twinkled under a small slit of sunlight breaking through the dark clouds. Only then did Fei smile; it was a good sign of hope. She clutched the rough shaft of her weapon and leant over to grab her bag of belongings. Slinging it over her shoulder, Fei walked towards the door and slipped on her sandals.

[b]"Where are you going?"[/b] Bashi's arm blocked the doorway.

[b]"To the vi'age,"[/b] Fei's Chinese accent still hadn't gotten much better over the years, [b]"I am hungry."

"You will be wise to stay out of trouble. It will not be pleasant if I must seek you out,"[/b] Bashi winked and dropped his arm.

[b]"I promise. I stay out of trouble,"[/b] Fei replied curtly, [b]"Be back in an hour."[/b]

Fei stepped off of the porch, her wooden sandals clicked sharply on the stone below them. They made a sort of grinding noise as the metal plates pressed against the grains of sand. The rain still dropped from the clouds above, but it was much softer than before. Fei donned a straw hat, and covered her halberd's blade with a leather scabbard. The village would know that she was a samurai and would leave her alone for the most part, but some villagers would get frightened by the shine of the blade. She was in no mood to make quarrel with the pathetic villagers.

The small town was bustling with life when Fei arrived. The rain had lightened up more, and merchants were buzzing about the streets with their small carts. Tradesmen played their music and were desperately pushing their products into passing villager's faces. But something seemed to be causing more excitement down the road. Fei picked up a bag of rice from an elderly woman and questioned her.

[b]"Wha' is going on?"[/b] Fei paid the woman and nodded towards the group of men and women.

[b]"They say there is a foreigner who tells fortunes. I think she's a fraud and stealing our hard-earned money,"[/b] the woman spat, her face reddened as she got flustered.

[b]"s'ank you,"[/b] Fei bowed, trying to cover her accent.

The woman bowed back, smiling politely. Curious, Fei decided to check out this "fortune teller". She stuffed the bag of rice into her tote bag and made her way into the crowd.

[b]"I was here first, you ass!"[/b] a villager shouted, shoving people out of his way.

[b]"You jerk, we all were here before you! Get out of my way, I want to know if I am going to be rich!"[/b] another yelled, followed by the many others.

[b]"Excuse me,"[/b] Fei spoke up, keeping her face cloth over her face.

The group of villagers gasped and quickly scrambled away from the samurai. Fei stared at this foreigner and stepped up to the crate to take her seat. The fortune teller stared in both awe and a fear. Her curly, red hair tumbled down her shoulders from underneath her purple bandana. Fei grunted at the excessive use of what Westerners called "make-up". She was sure the fortune teller's lips were going to rot off her face. Without blinking, Fei examined the teller's features; the chin was much too square, the cheek bones were sharp and flat, and the jaw jutted out more than her breasts. After a few minutes of blinking and trying to force a smile, the fortune teller fixed her over-sized earrings.

[b]"Your hand, please, da'ling,"[/b] the woman's voice rattled with strain, reaching out for Fei's hand.

Keeping her icy eyes locked on the woman, Fei extended her left hand. The teller's hands were much too rough for a woman, Fei thought. Sighing, the teller stared into Fei's palm and every now and again muttered a "hm" or "mhm" or "Aw, I see". Annoyed, Fei coughed lightly.

[b]"You are a troubled young woman,"[/b] the teller's raspy voice squeezed out, [b]"Your hands delicate, but very strong. I see that you are a warrior, a true warrior. Not just some citizen who carries 'round a weapon. But you are a great, very important warrior. You've lost someone close to you."[/b]

Fei's lips tightened shut under the cloth. Anyone could tell she was a "great warrior". Not just by her rare weapon, but the way she dressed. Her robes were of the richest materials and her hair was silky and shiny.

[b]"This is not fortune,"[/b] Fei took her hand back.

[b]"You've lost a dear treasure, and you are on quest to avenge it. You will travel a great distance to get your revenge. But,"[/b] the teller stood, [b]"it will be a very troubled path!"[/b]

With the last sentence, the fortune teller reached under her skirt and pulled out a pistol. Fei sat calmly and made no effort to arm herself. She looked up at the teller to see her pulling off her bandana; the red locks of hair went with it to reveal that "she" was, in fact, a "he". Nodding to herself, Fei rose from her wooden crate and took a step back.

[b]"I thought this,"[/b] she said, reaching over her shoulder to set her bag on the ground, [b]"You were way too ugly to be woman, even foreign woman."[/b]

The now revealed man growled and cocked his antiqued pistol. The villagers around them scattered and screamed for the authorities to come. The man circled Fei, his hand trembling slightly. Fei pulled off the leather scabbard and flicked the blade.

[b]"Hah, you think you're going to cut me, kid? You're so short, and I'm too far away! This is unbelievable!"[/b] the man laughed.

Before he could catch his breath, Fei swiftly spun around, slashing the man's throat. The blade of her halberd glistened in the sunlight; not a speck of blood stained it. Fei twirled her weapon, dug the blade into the ground, and jumped. Hodling onto the rod of the weapon, Fei delivered a solid kick to the man's face that sent his head flying back into a merchant stand. The corner of the street fell silent as the samurai grabbed her bag and cleaned the blade, pulling the scabbard back on.

[i]Bashi is going to tan my hide for that one[/i], Fei rubbed her temples and headed back for the manor.[/size][/color]
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[size=1]Drake walked down the same path he had been strolling along for the past day in a haze of monotony and restlessness. He had gotten news of the destruction of Chiba Castle, and immediately set off back to the Shogun for further orders. In the back of his mind, he felt triumphant, exhuberant, and relieved, but those feelings did not override his hunger or boredom.

"Are we there yet?" He whispered to himself in quiet meditation. At the words, the forest half a mile away whispered back to him. Someone was persuing him. Instinctively wanted to run for cover, but instead slightly deviated his path to coincide with a large rock. Running would warrant shuriken embedding themselves into his neck.

Once he was close enough to the rock, he dove behind it, the feeling of nakedness and exposure waning as he pulled out his sniper rifle. It was already silenced, loaded, and ready for firing. He rested it against the top of the small stone, and zoomed his scope into the woods. It was to his surprise that he saw Sakura throw a shuriken right at his scope.

He pulled his gun down, just in time for the metal star to clang harmlessly off the granite.

"It is Drake Ashton - who are you?"

"Sakura. You know the rest," she replied simply, knowing her reputation preceded her. Many would flee in terror at the name. He, instead, stood up, shouldered his gun, and gave a casual wave before taking back to the road. The wind gusted again, and before he could take his eyes away from the trees, she stood in his path, fully dressed in her mercinary attire.

"Did you recieve word? We are to report back to the Shogun immediately."

"Actually, I was on my way there when I heard you in the woods, hunting so it would seem." He smiled inwardly at his joke, but kept strictly to business when in the presence of another mercinary. They did not usually take kindly to his lighthearted demeanor.

"Godspeed, Sakura."[/size]
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[COLOR=Navy]Sakura returned to the hidden village where the Chiméiteki clan lived, the group of assassins always had to be cautious because many wanted them all dead for what they had done in the past. They did what they had to, and that was that.

She stood at the gate, holding her left hand up at the guards, showing the five petaled Cherry blossom tattooed on her skin. They opened the gate, she entered and unwrapped her head, running a hand through her hair. She greeted everyone she came across, they were all family. When Sakura arrived at her home, there was a shuriken stuck in the centre of her door. She easily pulled it out and inspected it carefully to find out who it was. Everyone in the clan had a unique shuriken, even if it was only a small difference, they were still able to tell the difference.

Sakura walked over to another hut, it belonged to her grandfather who was the leader of the clan. She knocked and entered when bid to do so. She bowed to him lowly, and sat when he waved his hand to do so. She was on her knees, her feet tucked beneath her.

[B]"You called for me, Elder."[/B] she said.

[B]"Yes, Sakura. This has arrived for you, it was too important to leave around so I had you come to get it from me personally."[/B] he said, handing her a scroll.

Sakura glanced down at it and saw the seal of the Shogun, she looked up at her grandfather and his face was emotionless. She nodded.

[B]"Thank you, Elder. I think that was for the best. I assume that I will be leaving soon to take up this new mission."[/B]

[B]"Yes, you are permitted to leave whenever you wish, take care."[/B]

[B]"Thank you."[/B] Sakura bowed down again and straightened.

He nodded and she got up, exiting the hut. She returned to her hut again and broke the wax seal that held the scroll closed. It was a summon from the Shogun, she gathered up what she had been carrying, she was still packed so it didn't take time at all. Sakura wrapped her head again as she left her village.

She took the forest routes because it would provide her much shade and cover in case anyone was trying to kill her. Sakura ran along the tree tops, springing between the spaces with ease and grace. She travelled for a few days, resting every now and then. She was close to the home of the Shogun when she met with another mercenary, he said his name was Drake Ashton. She inspected him carefully, he was obviously not from Japan by his physical looks, his weapon, his name, and the way he pronounced his Japanese didn't have the true accent. Sakura knew that she would be working with him, but for now she didn't trust him, there was no trust within mercenaries, not even if they were family.

[B]"Godspeed, Sakura."[/B] he said to her.

[B]"Let us travel together, we are headed to the same destination afterall. But I will tell you now that I don't trust you, it has been emblazened in my mind to never trust unless you can prove it greatly. So if you try to kill me or do anything, I [I]will[/I] kill you without hesitation. It your choice whether you wish to or not."[/b] Sakura told him in all honesty, waiting for his answer.[/COLOR]
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[size=1]Drake raised his eyebrows slowly and looked at the ground as she proposed that they travel together. Once again, he chuckled inwardly, but this time afforded an external smile. He raised his eyes to address her once she had finished speaking.

?So, I?m supposed to travel with someone who will kill me if I sneeze without warning?? She did not find his humor amusing, to his surprise. His smile slowly faded as he mulled over the ideas in his head.

[I]She?s a mercenary too ? she?s cold blooded like the rest of us. So what?s the point of trusting her? Oh. Right. Safety in numbers.[/I]

?Alright, we can travel together then. It goes without saying, though, that we need to be alert for ambush ? Chiba Castle has just been overthrown, and ronin are lurking everywhere. Warn me if you hear any, since you?re a ninja,? he said, eyeing her lethal weaponry with great discomfort. Her hands rested on her hips, adjacent to them, one of which casually twirled what looked to be an acupuncture dart.

?But by the way, I?m not a big fan of needles. Could you?? he hesitated, not wanting to offend her, but she understood without him finishing. With a silent nod, she looked to the horizon.

?Then let?s go.?

The trip would last at least four days, so Drake figured in his mind with his minimal knowledge of Japanese geography. They were, essentially, walking across a fourth of England, without horses. He knew what he needed to do to survive, with food dwindling and his fatigue increasing daily. They needed to steal horses from a passing ronin. The rifleman was having a hard time keeping pace with the ninja.
OOC: Sakura, you can skim over the journey, get us some horses, and arrive at the Shogun gate. If you wan tto go into detail, though, go for it.[/size]
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OOC: Wow, I guess I'm randomly the leader of the group...? Cool...?


Bashi sighed, stroking the hilt of his wakaizashi. He began down the steps to Hoji's Castle, towards the town.

"I think I must check on Fai... knowing her, someone may have tried to kill her already..."

He drew his broad straw hat over his head, concealing his face from anyone around to see him.


He pushed through the crowd. He smelled the faint aroma of blood, and knew that trouble was brewing.

As he reached the center of the circle, he saw Fei with a stainless sword, and an unidentifiable man on the ground, drowning, as it were, in his own blood. A pistol lay not a foot from his outstretched fingertips. Several thoughts struck him simultaneously, but none as vividly as the one that said "DUCK!"

As he crouched to the ground, a shot rang out. A bullet had buried itself in the post next to him. The hole was where his head had previously been.

"Damn!" he thought, drawing his wakaizashi. He sped forward, keeping his head below the crowd, which had turned into a confused mass of scared townspeople not knowing how to react.

This hid him well, but to a well-trained bounty hunter, this crowd would protect him as well as a cloud of smoke. Soon, another shot sped past his ear. "Double Damn!"

He stopped. He was in the middle of a clearing, and Fei stood with a smile on her face. "About time, Bashi-san!"

"Less talk, more running!" Bashi said, hurriedly. He heard the cocking of a pistol, and turned towards the sound.

A man with European armor made his way towards the group, pistol in hand. He smiled. "[i]I take it that you're Lord Hoji's little worms?[/i]" he scoffed. "[i]I bet you can't even understand me, the man who's about to end your sad, pathetic life![/i]"

In an instant, the man's gun was gone. Two swords were extended gracefully towards his neck, where there was a chink in his armor.

"[i]You missed a spot.[/i]" Bashi said in broken english.

Fei decapitated the man with a slight motion.

Befre the could revel in their victory, however, a band of foreign bounty hunters encircled them.

"Only two of the twenty have working rifles. Take them out first," Bashi whispered.

Fei nodded slightly, noting she understood. She raised her sword, and the crowd froze. Their smiles remained, but their tension was visible.

Fei smiled. "You and me play a game. It called, who kill more bounty hunters?"

Bashi sighed. "I [i]told[/i] you not to get into trouble..."

Fei laughed. "Don't worry. You win this game."

Bashi turned hsi head, but not his eyes, toward her. "How do you figure?"

Fei's smile turned into a malign grin. "You always cheat."

Some of the bounty hunters took noticable steps backward. It was too late. Any hopes they had of surviving had been reduced to a number resembling zero.

Bashi drew four kunai, one inbetween each set of fingers. He smiled. "You noticed."

OOC: Rumble time! Feel free to join in, Ronin! Mercs should shun the fight on this one, for the sake of keeping the back story from falling apart!
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[COLOR=DarkSlateGray][SIZE=2][FONT=Times New Roman]OOC: Sorry it took me so long to respond. Many things have been going on lately..Including finals.

The slow pitter patter of the rain had eventually put Aoshi into a deep and secluded slumber. That was easily one of the reasons that Aoshi had loved the rain so much. No matter how the real world was around him this was the one thing that he could detach from the world with. Soon however he had awoken by a stray beam of light that had caught on his left eye. Soon after using his sword as a crutch to pick himself up from the spot of which he was sleeping.

He was at a lost for words at what has been happening lately. He was out so out of it that he was a little bit worried that he was left behind from the rest of the Ronnin. After getting up and running towards the door he began to hear some sounds around the city. He looked around and was wondering what exactly these sounds could have even been? [I]There aren?t any kind of events scheduled for today. [/I] [I]He began to think What can all of that ruckus even be?[/I]

Once he had arrived at the city there were many people running around fleeing. Why this was happening however even he did not know why everyone was running so fast out of it so he tried to get some answers from the nearest person running by him.

[B]"Excuse me but what is the ru-.." [/B] He never got an answer as the woman was struck by fear. he tried again with the next running person

[B]"I was just wondering what exactly is h-..." [/B] Yet another face ., stricken with fear went past him

He began to make a careful run towards the center of the town. This was starting to get a little more serious than he had once though of it. Was there some kind of an attack? There was so many options to choose from that he just wanted to get to the center and find out for himself

He though out of the midst of his eye he could see Bashi and Fei. He wasn?t sure however since his sight had been dwindling ever so slightly in the coming days. He would need something more fine to focus his vision. However this needed to be taken care of later as he saw what looked like Fei just decapitate a person.

[B]"Amazing! is there some kind of fight now.. If so I would like to join in the fun!" [/B] Aoshi said with a slight smile on his face[B]" Its been a long time since I have had a good fight"[/B]

[B]"Depends.."[/B] Bashi said with a slight hurry in his voice as he sliced into another enemy [B]" Its a contest..whoever kills the most wins"[/B][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[COLOR=Green]Tsutsu awoke with a start when she heard the distant rumbling of thunder and wild screams coming from within the house. You could tell she was out of it, number one reason why she didn't take naps. She stood up, as if she'd been drinking, she stumbled around. She blinked and opened her eyes wide, blinking several times. She was a pretty heavy sleeper, but no one could sleep through what was going on.

She saw no one besides herself in the mansion, [I]Ok, who's bright idea was it to frighten everyone?[/I] She asked herself, walking out of the door. Cool winds splashed the rain-water into her face. Rather than getting more mad, she felt better. Like the rain was a sort of rare drink that she had had only once, and longed for it ever since. She sighed and stepped further out of the 'palace'.

The air was crisp, the taste was great. She smiled lightly in spite of herself. The days were going to be dark, she knew. She could tell. Not by the rain, no rain cloud could get her depressed. It was the death. Some would fall out of lack of strength of will. Some would fall for no clue as to how serious the situation was. Others would follow and prevail, avenging Lord Hoji and destorying the Europeans.

[I]'Victory is a fickle thing, Tsuts. If won for the wrong reasons, it will taste as bitter as the worst tea. If you made the right reasons in achieving the victory, it'll be as sweet as any love or the best sake.' She smiled at Hoji-sama.[/I]
[I]'Must you compare things in drinks, Hoji-sama?' He chuckled lightly and patted her on the back.[/I]
[I]'Only on occassions, Tsutsu, only on occassions.'[/I]

"I know this will be won for the right reasons, Hoji-sama." She listened to the rain fall upon the ground. [/COLOR]
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OOC: I guess nobody else is coming....? For the sake of continuing the story, WE PRESS ONWARDS!


Bashi nodded to Aoshi, who looked both excited and nervous. The circle was expanding considerably, now, as the bounty hunters realized that they were not outmanned, but outmatched.

Bashi's dim smile turned to a face of concentration. He saw three men standing close together, attempting to keep themselves safe by utilizing numbers. Bashi's smile returned.

"Bingo," he muttered.

He could barely seen on his trajectory. He ran towards the three men, wakaizashi drawn, five kunai ready in the other hand.

"Let's do this!" he yelled, rallying his scarce allies to battle.

OOC: I'm just letting you guys post. If you don't for two days... I'll just take this fight, and try to plug you as much as I can. Sorry, but nobody seems too keen on posting. LET'S SEE SOME MORE INVOLVEMENT! :D
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OOC: :animeswea XD
[COLOR=Green]Tsutsu listened until it was all that she could bear. She ran off into the town, she was tired of waiting there. Sitting tight, watching the rain drip from the sky. Waiting for a notion. Waiting for an indication of something. they were all just waiting for someone to make the first move it seemed.

She arrived in the town, a little drenched from the water still flowing from the clouds above. Rain pelted passers-by and shops (and bars) and rooftops. And then she saw it. [I]So this where aoshi and Bashi and Fei had gotten to. Fei already was here... Bashi went to fetch... And Aoshi got tired of waiting.[/I] She summized quickly, seeing all of the bounty hunters there. She was still a fair distance away, she had yet to be detected. Any further up however, she would been in their line of view. She had her gun on her, not well concealed she admitted, and she had her knives.

[I]i probably won't be much help, but hey. At least it four against the multitude.[/I] Positive thoughts, she whispered in no breath. She was just moving her lips to form those two words. No sound escaped her while she climbed atop a roof to her right. She could see better from up here, rather than from down below. She grinned wickedly. A fight was about to begin.[/COLOR]
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