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Sengoku Horizon > Edo Castle > The Koga Accord (Mezua x Hattori-san)


Posted by: Nobuyumi Feb 25 2018, 02:51 PM
It would happen early in the afternoon. Kurome would both be summoned to the Headmaster's office. The order was simple enough. Regardless of what she had been doing she needed to report to the Headmaster's office at once. As she arrived, however, she wouldn't find the Headmaster. Instead they would find the familiar personage of Hattori Keiichi. The top ninja for the shogunate. He was in an all black suite. His red hair was nicely combed and his eyes gazed deeply at her. Sadly that would be the last thing she saw for a while. Before she could say even a word Keiichi snapped his fingers. She would feel a decidedly sharp pain in her lower back and spine before falling to the floor with a hard thud. Keiichi walked over as seemingly out of thin air two ninja appeared behind the unconscious girl.
"Search her. Any weapons, tools, relics, and i.d. all need to go."

A few hours later both she would slowly wake up, coming out of a drug like state. The world spun around her as she would steadily realize she still lived and breathed. She had nothing on her person except her clothing. As her vision finally settled she would realize she now resided in a dark, small room. Likely a room deep inside of Edo Castle.
"I wouldn't suggest moving too much." the familiar voice of Keiichi warned. The drugs had been strong enough to knock her out for who knows how long, but her head should have started to clear as her mind began piecing together the situation around her.

"Before you say anything. I take responsibility. You had been sent to infiltrate an Ikko base. I was sent to find someone and investigate rumors of the Koga ninja's return. It was only until you had already entered the base that I realized our missions intersected. Neither you, nor the others with you, should have been in that base." for the first time today his words seemed slightly sympathetic.
"The rest of your party are being handled in other rooms." He said as he walked over to the her and sat down right in front of her.
"To be clear, everything I am about to tell you is classified. THis room is deep within Edo Castle and soundproof." he clearly had decided to take no chances.

" The girl you rescued, she is of the Toyotomi bloodline. In fact, she is currently the only young Toyotomi alive. She could in fact be considered a princess." he said cleary. Everyone knew of the Toyotomi. The Toyotomi family ruled Japan after Oda Nobunaga's death. When Hideyoshi died it was Tokugawa Ieyassu who took over Japan and started the Tokugawa Shogunate. Many had always viewed the Tokugawa as traitors, and the Toyotomi crest, and family name, was often used to help gain support for rebellions against the Shogun. All Toyotomi clan members had supposedly been killed in 1615 when the Tokugawa killed their entire family at the battle of Osaka Castle.

"Now, if anyone knew a direct blood relative of the Toyotomi still lived, what do you think would happen to the girl? How many groups would be after her? How many people do you think would want to use her? How many others do you think would want her dead? Are the drugs wearing enough for you to understand what I'm saying? That the Koga not only know of the Princess, but know of you and your friends now too. They think you may know the Princess, or at least her location." he said clearly.

Mezua

Posted by: Mezua Feb 26 2018, 09:52 PM
Kurome's day was going fine, just fine, up until she was summoned to the headmaster's office, of course. When she arrived, things felt... off. They certainly looked off, as well, as the headmaster was nowhere to be found. Instead, in his place, leaning against the headmaster's desk casually, was Hattori Keiichi. Kurome opened her mouth, and at that same moment, he snapped his fingers, and darkness too over..

Kurome awoke in a daze, with the room spinning around her. She slowly sat up, finding it difficult to do so, as her eyes adjusted. Except, they wouldn't adjust. The room was too dark. She slowly made out the outline of what seemed to be Izuki Kai. "Kai?" She whispered quietly, as the drugs were wearing off. However, the blurry outline in front of her started to make sense, and she realized it was none other than Keiichi.

"I wouldn't suggest moving too much."

She wished he had told her that before she had tried to sit up. Now that she was fully seated, and the spinning was seemingly wearing off, her eyes were adjusting to the darkness, and the floor was warming beneath her from her body head. She rubbed her eyes and realized all she had on her was her own clothes. They had taken her pole weapon that she always carried, her dagger, her wallet, her phone, and most importantly, her relic. She felt naked without it. The purple haired girl pulled up her knees to her chest and hugged them close. For the first time ever in her life, she was scared.

While Keiichi explained the situation, she closed her eyes and listened. Their missions had intertwined on accident, causing them to stumble upon a great secret, she gathered. Briefly, she wondered what the secret was. Was it the girl locked in the room, the Princess? Or the Ikko and or Koga themselves making a come back? Everything was so fuzzy, so she didn't think too much about it. Instead she listened.

"The rest of your party are being handled in other rooms."

The girl opened her eyes curiously and tilted her head, slowly. The rest of the party? Kai? Roshi? That other quiet kid? She groaned and put her head on her knees. This was a bit too much.

"To be clear, everything I am about to tell you is classified. This room is deep within Edo Castle and soundproof."

The Elite had gathered that much, obviously.

"The girl you rescued, she is of the Toyotomi bloodline. In fact, she is currently the only young Toyotomi alive. She could in fact be considered a princess."

Well the Princess part, Kurome knew, but Toyotomi? Oh dear. That really put a hamper on things...

"Now, if anyone knew a direct blood relative of the Toyotomi still lived, what do you think would happen to the girl? How many groups would be after her? How many people do you think would want to use her? How many others do you think would want her dead? Are the drugs wearing enough for you to understand what I'm saying? That the Koga not only know of the Princess, but know of you and your friends now too. They think you may know the Princess, or at least her location."

Well duh, that all made sense. Though she was slightly offended that he asked if it made sense due to the drugs. He was the one who drugged her! If he was so concerned with her focusing on this very important information then he should have waited until the drugs had fully worn off. Anyways..

She lifted her head and looked up at him at the mention of the Koga knowing of them, and knowing the location of the Princess. But the truth was, she didn't know the location of the Princess. In fact, she kind of missed the little girl that she had briefly bonded with on that helicopter ride back to Edo, before her fight with the fox mask. Speaking of, she hoped that they would give that fox mask back her. It was her battle trophy against the...who she thought...was the leader. The girl frowned and nodded.

"What now?" She asked, and her voice seemed weak and powerless in this dark empty room, as it echoed on the walls. How could she hope to stand up against them? How could she hope to protect the girl? What about Roshi? Or even worse, Kai? She paused a moment, then asked another question, flinching at her weak voice, but blaming it on the drugs.

"Are they safe?" She asked, mostly referring to the girl, and Kai.

Posted by: Nobuyumi Mar 1 2018, 08:45 PM
"What now?" she asked innocently enough as the head ninja gazed at her with an almost impossible to read expression. His eyes just seemed to be examining her, trying to unlock secrets within her heart without even talking as she asked if the others happened to be safe.
"Your friends are safe. Your quiet teammate who hung back, Roshi Bento, and Izuki Kai." and with that he still didn't comment on the status of the Princess. Instead he had other things he needed to talk with her about.

"The Koga are back. Those fox masks they wear are to symbolize that they aren't humans but wild, savage beasts given form. They had killed Shogunate officials, leaving their skin completely stripped from their bodies while they still lived, then demanding they try and run. I'm sure growing up you've heard the tales." he left a brief pause for her to think back on what she had been told growing up. About how terrible the Koga had been rumored to be.
"Every record we have of the Koga, and their actions over the past few months, all point to sadistic beasts hellbent on destroying not just the Shogunate, but Japan as a whole. They saw you with the Princess and myself. You aren't safe, and neither is anyone you know or love." with that Keiichi handed photos of crime scenes to her. Most of the bodies looked so mangled that it was next to impossible to tell they use to be human. It would be hard for anyone to not want to vomit at the scenes displayed before them. Some of the photos looked like someone had taken gallons of dark red paint and simply threw it across every corner of a room.

"We currently have Hattor-ryu ninja guarding your family, and guarding every square inch of this city. If you go on missions, if you leave Edo, I can't promise you will survive." the Hattori leader gave his words time to sink in.
"I wanted to make sure you understood. It was obviously not something we could tell you and your friends in the open. If you want to disappear, leave Japan, and never come back, you have the option right now. You and your family can vanish into thin air like any high ranking shinobi in this situation."

Mezua

Posted by: Mezua Mar 16 2018, 08:34 PM
"The Koga are back. Those fox masks they wear are to symbolize that they aren't humans but wild, savage beasts given form. They had killed Shogunate officials, leaving their skin completely stripped from their bodies while they still lived, then demanding they try and run. I'm sure growing up you've heard the tales."

Kurome hung her head and stared at the floor for a few quiet minutes. The silence was loud as it rang in her ears, while this information sunk into her head. Of course she knew all of this. She had personally fought the leader herself, and won. She treasured that fox mask, almost as much as her relic.

"Every record we have of the Koga, and their actions over the past few months, all point to sadistic beasts hellbent on destroying not just the Shogunate, but Japan as a whole. They saw you with the Princess and myself. You aren't safe, and neither is anyone you know or love."

Kurome looked up as she heard a shuffle, then the sound of papers hitting the floor. The girl looked up and brushed her purple hair from her face, tucking it behind her ear. She stared at those pictures, allowing them to burn into her mind. The girl felt queasy, but it was nothing compared to what she had seen before, what she had done in the past on missions. It was all familiar to her, yet it seemed more dark than usual. Possibly because she knew these pictures were directly linked to the Koga's work. She grimanced, but kept staring.

"We currently have Hattor-ryu ninja guarding your family, and guarding every square inch of this city. If you go on missions, if you leave Edo, I can't promise you will survive. I wanted to make sure you understood. It was obviously not something we could tell you and your friends in the open. If you want to disappear, leave Japan, and never come back, you have the option right now. You and your family can vanish into thin air like any high ranking shinobi in this situation."

The girl looked up at him with a fire in her eyes.

"Protect my family." She said curtly. Then she paused. Her next words carried a lot of weight, and she almost had trouble saying them. She knew, however, that this was a safe location to speak, without any prying ears.

"Fake my death. Allow the koga to fully believe that I am dead. Then, allow me to infiltrate the Koga, gather intel, and betray them from within. I will do anything. No one will know I am alive, except you. I will NOT leave this area with the Koga in full force. I will NOT allow them to continue existing. "

Her eyes gleamed with a fiery passion, a hardness that no one could compete with. She knew, this was the right thing to do. Even if it caused her mother, her father, and her dear younger brother grief. Even if it caused Kai to turn away, and all of the friends she made to live in sadness. She knew that this was the correct path, her true calling in the end. She had trained her whole entire life in the dogo. In fact, some of her skills and training were based on the ancient art of the ninjas. She defeated their leader, how hard would it be to easily fit right in? If Keiichi took the time to look at her expression, while she sat on the floor staring at him, he would recognize the truth to her words.

She meant to take the Koga down with her own hand.

Posted by: Nobuyumi Mar 22 2018, 04:57 PM
"Fake my death. Allow the koga to fully believe that I am dead. Then, allow me to infiltrate the Koga, gather intel, and betray them from within. I will do anything. No one will know I am alive, except you. I will NOT leave this area with the Koga in full force. I will NOT allow them to continue existing. " As Kurome looked completely focused she would see something in his eyes. A look that only a handful of people had ever seen from the leader of the Iga-Ryu and Hattori clan. It was a look of pride! A genuine smile crossed his face. However, it was far from a kind or happy smile. It was a vicious smile someone made when they had an enemy cornered and about to deliver the final blow. The twisted smile on the Hattori leader's face got even larger as he said the next words.

"Your heart is that of the Iga-Ryu. No matter what anyone says, you are one of us. I'm sure you understand that a war between ninja will happen soon. The Koga want a battle to the death, and plan to give them one." his eyes then glowed blood red. He was clearly excited as his right hand lingered around his pocket, likely where he kept a series of kunai. Pulling one out he handed it to her. It was extremely well made, something meant for a clan leader.
"Every Koga. All of them. Will no longer draw breath when we are done. They will not hurt Edo or the Shogun" even though Kurome wasn't a full ninja she could be able to feel something spark in her soul. The Iga and Koga had been natural enemies for hundreds of years. It was as though every person related to the Iga had a natural drive to murder the Koga, much as the Koga wished to murder them.

"Take this kunai. Hold it close. If you ever feel you are ready, we will all know." it was something he would never say out in the open. To many the Iga-ryu would seem like boogeyman, but that was far from the truth. The entire group, every clan in it, was close nit and well connected. Information flowed like water through the Iga-Ryu's network, and that included orders to attack.

"As for your family. They are connected to the Iga-Ryu. The Koga will target them. Then the Koga will be butchered." his phrasing was violent and direct. It was clear that even talking about it made the normally more collected Hattori leader bloodthirsty. He seemed more like a vampire than a shinobi, and it was in moments like these that all of the rumors and whispers of how violent the normally careful man seemed far more real.

Mezua

Posted by: Mezua Apr 2 2018, 12:02 PM
Kurome stared at him, watching him closely for any sign of agreement. She noticed he kept his hand lingering in his pocket, his fingers twitching excitedly. She saw, for a brief moment, his eyes light up with what seemed like pride. Then it was quickly diminished with a dark look, one that put a hard rocky feeling in her gut.

"Your heart is that of the Iga-Ryu. No matter what anyone says, you are one of us. I'm sure you understand that a war between ninja will happen soon. The Koga want a battle to the death, and plan to give them one."

Despite not receiving a direct answer as of yet, she knew what this meant. His eyes glowed red as he continued, and his demeanor changed. He seemed... almost e excited. Kurome was confused. If he were going to deny her request of faking her own death, then why would he be excited? She quickly realized it when he pulled his hand from his pocket, the same hand that had been lingering there for most of this conversation.

In his hand he held a kunai. A well crafted kunai, in fact. Every part of the kunai seemed to resonate with her soul.

"Every Koga. All of them. Will no longer draw breath when we are done. They will not hurt Edo or the Shogun"

As he spoke those words, she knew them to be true. She could feel it, deep down. Already they had lost a leader to her hand. She knew that, combined, they would take down the Koga. They would defeat them, and erase them from this world.

"Take this kunai. Hold it close. If you ever feel you are ready, we will all know."

She reached out slowly and wrapped her fingers around the kunai gently. It almost seemed to fit her hand perfectly. She held it close and knew this to be true, she would defeat the Koga. No matter what. However, she wasn't sure what he meant.

"When I'm ready?" She questioned quietly, her voice echoing loudly in the room, despite her voice not being loud.

"As for your family. They are connected to the Iga-Ryu. The Koga will target them. Then the Koga will be butchered."

A dark shadow passed over the Elite's face. She frowned and furrowed her brow. The girl looked up at him with a hatred for the Koga in her heart. She knew, at that moment, that her and Keiichi had much more in common than any other person in the world. She knew, at that small instance where they both stared into each other's eyes and saw each other's violent bloodthirst for the koga, she knew that they would defeat the koga together.

"They will die."


She said, in almost a whisper. Even though her words were quiet, they carried a heavy echo in the room.

Posted by: Nobuyumi Apr 6 2018, 07:07 PM
Keiichi smiled. The two of them seemed completely on the same page, though as the girl seemed waiting for an answer to faking her own death Keiichi thought it best to finally answer as she seemed excite over the kunai her gave her.
"When you are ready means when you are ready. When they are on their way to Edo, and seem most vulnerable. Strike with that kunai and the hattori Iga-ryu will come." he answered. She didn't know exactly how, and didn't need to. However the Kunai he gave her was quite special.

"In regards to faking your own death. That won't be necessary." he said quietly then crossed his arms, looking the girl up and down.
"It will better if people think you are alive." he restated as he paced a bit before looking back at her.
"Do you understand what a double agent is? If you still handle your normal business in Edo, then report it all to the Koga, it will be a great help to them. They will constantly know about movement and actions within Edo Bugei. Even if they think you are a double agent they can't give up information like that. You clearly being alive and secretly joining the Koga will make the Koga use you as a spy." it was a dangerous mission. It meant she would be going very deep within the Koga's trust.

"They likely have other agents in Edo already. If you are honest with the Koga about everything you do for the school, they will verify the information, and trust you. The more they trust you, the more you will learn, and the more likely they will include you in an attack on Edo. Then you can betray them, and we can know all of their secrets." this is what being a ninja really meant. It wan't just about killing from the shadows. Keiichi's plan was to use Kurome as a spy and sleeper agent within the Koga.

"They will likely know we have met. If they ask, tell them I asked you to help me kill the Koga. Tell them the truth, that you agreed, and then tell them you have lied to me and that your family is sick of living in the shadow of the Iga-ryu. They will not believe you, and will likely threaten you. Stand you ground, curse my name, run it into the mud, swear to them that you will slit my throat the next time we meet." he said with a decided viciousness in his voice. after all, the Koga acted like wild dogs, and primarily understood violence and murder. It was the best thing for Kurome to do.

Posted by: Mezua Apr 12 2018, 03:19 PM
When Keeichi told the girl how to use the kunai, the girl smirked. Her eyes flashed with a hint of darkness. It was perfect. She almost felt like Ayra did in that Game of Thrones book she read a few weeks ago, where the faceless man gave her a coin and told her to use it in the most dire situation. Kurome slowly nodded and set the Kunai down. She would keep it close to her, always, as close as she kept her relic mask. The girl looked back up at Keiichi as he spoke again.

"In regards to faking your own death. That won't be necessary."

The girl tilted her head. What did he mean? Her confused looked was quickly answered.

"It will better if people think you are alive."

At first Kurome did not understand. But soon, the realization dawned upon her. It became even more evident as he proposed his next question.

"Do you understand what a double agent is? If you still handle your normal business in Edo, then report it all to the Koga, it will be a great help to them. They will constantly know about movement and actions within Edo Bugei. Even if they think you are a double agent they can't give up information like that. You clearly being alive and secretly joining the Koga will make the Koga use you as a spy."

Kurome's eyes widen in surprise, and a smile appeared on her face, growing bigger as he spoke more. She was going to betray the Koga from within, the perfect plan. How dare they come into her territory, her town, her school, and destroy their lives so easily? She would penetrate their defenses, their forces, their trust. It was truly evil, yet so satisfying to think about. The elite nodded slowly, taking it all in and going over his words again and again in her head. She listened intently as he spoke again.

"They likely have other agents in Edo already. If you are honest with the Koga about everything you do for the school, they will verify the information, and trust you. The more they trust you, the more you will learn, and the more likely they will include you in an attack on Edo. Then you can betray them, and we can know all of their secrets.

They will likely know we have met. If they ask, tell them I asked you to help me kill the Koga. Tell them the truth, that you agreed, and then tell them you have lied to me and that your family is sick of living in the shadow of the Iga-ryu. They will not believe you, and will likely threaten you. Stand you ground, curse my name, run it into the mud, swear to them that you will slit my throat the next time we meet."

Kurome blinked and nodded, sitting up straighter as more and more hate fueled her passion for this plan. She had so many questions. "And what if they target my family? What if they make me kill people I know in the school, people I've made a connection with? What if they make me kill Kai? What if ... they make me kill you?" She frowned and looked down. In order to earn their complete trust, she knew, deep down, she would have to betray her friends in the worst way possible, only to gain the Koga's trust and betray them from within. How would she go about doing that? How would she even begin to earn their trust? Would she just walk in and fill out a job application? These thoughts raced through her head, along with many more.

Is this what it meant to be a ninja? She had always considered herself an assassin, as she felt more inclined to that career track, however Keiichi kept mentioning the word 'ninja'. She had never officially found out her career path, but if this is what it meant to be a ninja, then she approved. She enjoyed this line of work, in fact, it was her specialty.

Kurome sat back and twiddled her thumbs. "How do I even began?" She asked after a long silence, waiting for the answers to her many questions.

Posted by: Nobuyumi Apr 14 2018, 12:39 PM
"And what if they target my family? What if they make me kill people I know in the school, people I've made a connection with? What if they make me kill Kai? What if ... they make me kill you?" for the first time the Ninja Lord began laughing. A cheerful, loud laugh that didn't fit the serious and quiet atmosphere. Fortunately the room was sound proof. However he just kept laughing.
"If you can kill me, that would be impressive. You would deserve to be the leader of the Iga-ryu." he said with a wide grin like a young child. Part of him was curious about if Kurome really could kill him. It would be fun to have an all out fight after all, since he hadn't really gotten to in a long time.

"Of course they will test you by asking you to kill people you know. That isn't a problem. They wont ask you to kill me, however sending you after Izuki Kai is very likely. In which case you simply carry out the mission. Do your best to slay him and make it look real. If they send you after your parents, we just get other people to play them. It means those people will die, but that is what prisoners are for." he said it so casually. Too casually. This was the real face of the Iga-ryu. Anything and everything to accomplish the mission, even if it meant killing people one normally wouldn't. He just shrugged as though to say murdering prisoners really wouldn't be a big deal. After all it wasn't as though Edo lacked prisoners. Especially ex criminals and Yakuza.

"As for how you start.....hmmm. That is a good question." he said in a curious voice. Obviously he had the answers in mind. Though, he also now had time to consider the best way given what they had talked about. Especially now that he had spoken with Kai and Roshi.
"Well, the Koga already know you know me, and you know about them. So, why not just go to them? Why not just travel to Western Japan, and ask them to let you join." he smiled darkly again. No, it was safe to say he had never actually stopped having a devil like grin on his face. He knew the Koga would attack her, think she was a spy, and make her do terrible things for them. However, all of that was part and parcel with being shinobi. He knew in the end he would get what he wanted.
"Also, should they ever tell you to kill me. Hold nothing back. Come directly at me and aim for the throat."

Posted by: Mezua May 11 2018, 12:00 PM
After Kurome asked her many questions of what the Koga may make her do, she frowned when he began to laugh, loudly. In this large empty room, his laugh echoed off of the walls and seemed very ominous and eerie. She watched his closely as he replied..

"If you can kill me, that would be impressive. You would deserve to be the leader of the Iga-ryu."

That statement came as a shock to Kurome. The leader of Iga-Ryu, just for killing him? Wouldn't the Iga-Ryu kill her for killing him if that were the case? Would they even consider it as an option? And what if she was told to kill him by the Koga - would they know she's a double spy?

Thoughts swirled in her mind with many many new possibilities. All insane and equally impossible.

"Of course they will test you by asking you to kill people you know. That isn't a problem. They wont ask you to kill me, however sending you after Izuki Kai is very likely. In which case you simply carry out the mission. Do your best to slay him and make it look real. If they send you after your parents, we just get other people to play them. It means those people will die, but that is what prisoners are for."

Kurome blinked and looked down. It made sense, to use prisoners. But she felt it was a bit cruel, to send prisoners on a mission to be killed in order to save her own family. How selfish. At this point, Kurome realized, the Iga-Ryu were selfish. They didn't seem to care about anyone's well being. This thought was further confirmed when Keiichi shrugged nonchalantly, as if his words and thoughts and plans were no big deal. It bothered her. It didn't feel right.

"As for how you start.....hmmm. That is a good question.

Well, the Koga already know you know me, and you know about them. So, why not just go to them? Why not just travel to Western Japan, and ask them to let you join."

Kurome instantly closed her eyes and growled. "They would kill me on sight. They would make me murder people I know, people I trust." The girl opened her eyes to see a dark smile on his face, it almost seemed normal for him. Her previous feeling of un-settlement grew as his smile did. None of this felt right, none of this seemed like a good idea.

The girl, feeling that her strength has mostly come back, (and cursed Keeiichi silently for drugging her in the first place,) Slowly pushed herself up to a standing position. There she stood, staring at his dark smile and evil looking face; looking even more darkly with the shadows that enhanced his features. At this point, Kurome wondered if he was even on the good side. He certainly didn't look like it at this moment in time, standing at her smiling darkly while he seemed to puppeteer his plans into Kurome's life.

"Also, should they ever tell you to kill me. Hold nothing back. Come directly at me and aim for the throat."

The last sentence threw her off guard once again. Here he was, standing here, laying out these plans as if he planned this entire thing, and here he was, standing there, telling her to kill him if need be. Kurome was confused, what exactly did Keiichi want from all of this? What game was he playing? She frowned and shook her head.

"There has to be another way..." Her thoughts went to the battle of the Koga leader that she defeated, and his mask. "What about the fox mask?" She asked, keeping her gaze set firm on him. "Or, what about a... sacrifice. A sort of gift of sorts, to show them I mean business. To prove to them they can trust me from the get go." She blinked, and wanted to look away, but kept her gaze on him.

Posted by: Nobuyumi May 12 2018, 07:40 PM
Keiichi could tell that Kurome wasn't quite happy. It made sense of course, the girl wasn't use to the kind of violent things Keiichi carried out.
"There has to be another way..." It was clear from the start that Kurome wasn't a fan of Keiichi's plans to have her murder prisoners. "What about the fox mask?" She asked, keeping her gaze set firm on him. "Or, what about a... sacrifice. A sort of gift of sorts, to show them I mean business. To prove to them they can trust me from the get go." she suggested. Looking at her he thought carefully. It was clear that forcing her to do things his own way wouldn't quite help him.

Instead he decided to give in. Smiling he held out his hand as though asking to receive something fro her. It was symbolic.
"What kind of sacrifice do you have in mind?" his smile still seemed as sly and cocky as usual.
"I'm not sure the fox mask will help much though. They all wear them. It is a symbol of being the Koga." he said with a slightly disappointed face. That being said, however, he was quite happy. He had given Kurome fairly strong drugs. The fact that she was also recovering well and seemed to be more clear minded and up on her feet showed that the girl truly was stronger than she thought. It was very impressive, at least to him.

Posted by: Mezua May 17 2018, 04:07 PM
"What kind of sacrifice do you have in mind?"

Kurome frowned at his wide smile and open gesture. He clearly was up to something, and he was not very good at masking that fact. She thought of her idea and mulled it over, wondering if she should mention it. She decided that, the only way this plan would work was to be drastic. And this idea was drastic.

"The Shogun. Or, not the Shogun himself, but maybe an identifiable piece of him. A finger, or.. an ear. Something that the public would see him without and take note of, something the Koga would know to be true..."

"I'm not sure the fox mask will help much though. They all wear them. It is a symbol of being the Koga."

"Yes but that's just the thing. I have a fox mask. I can wear it and blend in, without drawing attention to myself, or causing any drastic measures...like mutilating the Shogun or killing a comrade.

The girl blinked and waited for a response. She stood her ground. Killing was no issue for her. She received orders and performed those orders; that was her mission. Killing a friend was different; (especially if they died, thinking you betrayed them, when overall you killed them for the greater good.) She didn't want to resort to killing her friends to prove a point.

If Keiichi was right in saying they had eyes on her, then they knew who her friends were. (Even if she spent most of her time alone.) They knew her family, her friends, and anyone close to her, and she would not let them exploit that weakness.


Posted by: Nobuyumi May 19 2018, 02:06 PM
As she suggested the Shogun, Keiichi shook his head a bit. His face seemed both unhappy and disappointed.
"A good idea, but I can't allow that. The shougun already lost his arm in one attack. If he loses anything else, or seems to, it will make the Tokugawa appear too weak. Then more than just the Koga will try and attack us." with that said he crossed his arms and thought carefully. He began pacing around the room. It was clear Kurome was invested in the fox mask idea, and wasn't going to give that idea up. Then it hit him, the most basic idea of all.

Turning to her he looked her directly in the eyes.
"You don't need to prove how strong you are. You've already done it haven't you?" he asked in a rhetorical sense.
"You took out a group of their elite ninja, and got that mask. Just by having it you've shown how strong you are. Those masks are only given to Koga ninja." he explained as he touched her mask.
"That style of fox mask, the reason I don't want you relying on it to sneak in, is because that particular one is only worn by that one person. Whom you killed." he then tapped his foot a little as his smile grew wider again.
"Though, you could just take that mask, and two of my "fingers" if you wanted. After all, I can get you fingers that look like my real ones easily enough." the way he said it seemed decidedly evil. They would be real fingers, and obviously not from him. Though it also wasn't beyond him to fake missing a few fingers, or even an entire hand if need be.

"Would my fingers suffice?" he asked with a surprisingly upbeat tone.
"You could take that mask, and the fingers, and tell the Koga you much prefer how they do things. No one will question your strength. As I said, they already know about who you are."

Posted by: Mezua May 22 2018, 10:24 AM
"A good idea, but I can't allow that. The shougun already lost his arm in one attack. If he loses anything else, or seems to, it will make the Tokugawa appear too weak. Then more than just the Koga will try and attack us."

She nodded slowly in response to his answer. It made sense, of course it did. The whole idea was absurd. She didn't want to mutilate the Shogun further, especially after she was in the middle of the battle to protect the Shogun when he lost his arm. She already felt terrible about allowing that to happen, as if it were all her fault, so the idea of showing up with even more body parts from the Shogun was a bad idea in general. She was almost relieved that he was against the idea.

He turned to her and looked her directly in the eyes. She stared back at him with a strong glare. She wouldn't appear weak to him.

"You don't need to prove how strong you are. You've already done it haven't you? You took out a group of their elite ninja, and got that mask. Just by having it you've shown how strong you are. Those masks are only given to Koga ninja."

Kurome stood still as he touched her mask. She frowned, because she felt vulnerable without it, and wondered if he would return her items. However, she listened closely as he continued, picking up what he was hinting at before he spoke the words.

"That style of fox mask, the reason I don't want you relying on it to sneak in, is because that particular one is only worn by that one person. Whom you killed. Though, you could just take that mask, and two of my "fingers" if you wanted. After all, I can get you fingers that look like my real ones easily enough. Would my fingers suffice? You could take that mask, and the fingers, and tell the Koga you much prefer how they do things. No one will question your strength. As I said, they already know about who you are."

Kurome tapped her chin quietly, keeping her gaze set firm on Keiichi as she thought over his words. She didn't realize that the fox mask she had taken as a trophy was specific to the elite leader she had killed. So his new idea made sense. Show up in their domain and see if anyone dared to try to hurt her. She knew she could take them out, as she had taken out one of their strongest already. Would they fall for this plan, then, if she showed up with Keiichi's decoy fingers? Would they even realize that she would be playing the role of a double spy? Would this mean her friends would be safe then, if she didn't have to 'prove her worth'. After all, who would just so openly walk up into their forces unannounced with the fox mask of their strongest elite unless they were serious about joining the Koga?

Kurome lowered her head and grinned darkly. It was such a good idea that made a lot of sense. Although her trust in Keiichi had lowered greatly due to this secret meeting, the girl nodded slowly, finding the idea rather attrative. Was that darkness growing in her heart?

She looked up with a psychotic grin. "I'll do it." The girl said darkly, knowing exactly what she was getting into to, and secretly hoping that her family and friends would be safe, and that she could destroy the Koga from within.

"When do I begin?"

Posted by: Nobuyumi May 24 2018, 07:58 PM
Kurome seemed deeply into the idea the Hattori leader had placed upon her. However, as she readily agreed he then gave a deep frown.
"Just like that you are already dead." he said simply before shaking his head a bit.
"If you took my fingers, why would you be allowed to stay at Edo Bugei? Of course I would send people to kill you. You would clearly be a traitor to the Iga-ryu and not allowed to live." his face looked disappointed, as if she had failed a test she hadn't even known she as taking as he gave a long sight.
"You got so wrapped up in the atmosphere and hype and then you dropped your guard. You can't do this against the Koga, they will not cease to try and murder you." with that he then walked over to a corner of the room, where a small box had been hidden in the dark. Opening it he pulled out three headbands covered in blood and threw them to Kurome. The headbands had the familiar seal of the Iga-ryu upon them.

"These are three Iga ninja headbands. The blood is very real, as are the headbands. Three trophies, means three dead Iga. These, along with the mask, will easily be enough." he then walked back over to her and gazed into her eyes, as though reading her soul.
"You need to be careful. I can't afford to have you fall short on this, and the city of Edo can't afford someone like you to die. Understand?" he asked. His words clearly demanding an answer. By now they had been in the room for quite some time, and yet the atmosphere hadn't faded even a bit. The air was so tense, and almost suffocating. Likely because what the two currently talked about was the possible end of not only Kurome's life but the lives of many, many others.

Posted by: Mezua May 31 2018, 10:10 AM
"Just like that you are already dead."

Kurome blinked and shook her head, chasing away all of her intricate thoughts and plans revolving around the dark ideas. She would be dead? It idea made so much sense though. Kurome blinked again and frowned, realizing that he was baiting her, to test her. Not to give her advice. She frowned even more deeper, realizing the ploy. He wasn't trying to help her and he probably never would. The elite began to wonder if we was even on the good side, and if he had her trapped down her to kill her, Kai, and the other strongest people of Buegi in order to take over himself...

"If you took my fingers, why would you be allowed to stay at Edo Bugei? Of course I would send people to kill you. You would clearly be a traitor to the Iga-ryu and not allowed to live."

Why would he send people to kill her if he offered her his fingers? Not even real fingers at that. She looked down at the concrete and slowly sighed. Why was he testing her like this? Doesn't he want them to win the war?

"You got so wrapped up in the atmosphere and hype and then you dropped your guard. You can't do this against the Koga, they will not cease to try and murder you."

She wondered briefly if she was even cut out for this mission. What if she slipped and made a mistake, exposing the double agent ploy, and being killed in the process? She looked back up as she heard a shuffle and watched as he pulled out a box, and inside the box he pulled out three bloodied headbands.

"These are three Iga ninja headbands. The blood is very real, as are the headbands. Three trophies, means three dead Iga. These, along with the mask, will easily be enough."

He stepped closer to her, holding the headbands, and stared into her eyes. Suddenly, she felt very naked, as if he was looking right through her, reading her every thought and emotion. He was so close she could smell him, but she stared back at him, holding tight to her will, unblinking.

"You need to be careful. I can't afford to have you fall short on this, and the city of Edo can't afford someone like you to die. Understand?"

Kurome kept staring, unblinking, as many conflicting thoughts ran through her mind. Did he suddenly care about her well being? Maybe she was wrong in assuming he meant harm to her, and Edo Buegi. Perhaps he really was on the good side? Kurome decided that Keeichi seemed very puzzling and mysterious. She nooded, staring back at him still, but again with a fire in her eyes.

"I understand." She replied in a low voice, reaching out to take the headbands, but still keeping a firm gaze on the mysterious Keiichi. "I'll do my best not to falter."

Posted by: Nobuyumi May 31 2018, 08:33 PM
The leader of the Iga-ryu gave a large smile.
"Good. That is what I wanted to hear from you." his eyes and mouth seemed to be in a genuine smile as he looked at her. On some level it would feel almost heart warming, and was the kind of smile a woman on the street would quickly blush at when seeing. Provided of course she didn't know that the leader of the Iga-ryu was actually a cold hearted murderer.
"If they question how you killed the Iga ninja, lie. However, repeat the lie to yourself, in your head. Make sure you don't mess up the story. Don't add too much on to it either. The longer a lie is the harder it is to remember. Also, if they threaten you, threaten back, and fight back. The Koga are beasts that only understand blood and murder. The moment you back down, you are dead." at the last words his eyes looked focused and serious. It was the best warning he could possibly give her.

"Now then, I think we need you to leave. With your friends, I just made them a strong sleeping medicine and returned them to Edo Bugei. I'd like to do the same for you." at first it would likely catch her off guard. After all, here was the man who handled all of the secrets, lies, and murders for the Shogunate, blatantly telling her how he planned to sneak her out of the castle. As he pulled out a small bottle of what was likely some kind of drugged up sake he gazed at her with the same smile from earlier.
"You are about to put your entire life on the line, You at least deserve a good drink and honesty on your way back to your dorm. Don't think?" even if she tried, she would detect no lie or dishonesty when he said it. Not even a single ulterior motive. For once, this may have been the most honest think the man had ever spoken to her.

Posted by: Mezua Jun 4 2018, 03:52 PM
Kurome kept her face emotionless as he smiled at her. Overall this entire situation just seemed strange, wrong, and bizarre. Sure, he might seem like he has good intentions, with his large smile and sparkly eyes, but Kurome's gut was screaming at her that this whole thing was just wrong.

"Good. That is what I wanted to hear from you."

She stared deeply into his smiling eyes and thought him to resemble a clown. Smiling, but always dark underneath. She noted that his smiled would've warmer her heart on another day, but given the circumstances, his smile seemed to cast a shadow of darkness wherever he looked. She continued to stare at him, not returning the smile, keep her face set in stone and firm, like an elite should.

"If they question how you killed the Iga ninja, lie. However, repeat the lie to yourself, in your head. Make sure you don't mess up the story. Don't add too much on to it either. The longer a lie is the harder it is to remember. Also, if they threaten you, threaten back, and fight back. The Koga are beasts that only understand blood and murder. The moment you back down, you are dead."

Kurome understood his words all too well. She knew the truths of lying and how to deceive a person. Now, the girl herself had never personally created such a deep an intricate lie, so she took his advice to heart, despite not trusting the man. She understood the consequences of failing this mission, even in the slightest. Even if she didn't trust Keiichi, he was her comrade, she hoped, and she needed all the advice she could take.

"Now then, I think we need you to leave. With your friends, I just made them a strong sleeping medicine and returned them to Edo Bugei. I'd like to do the same for you."

Kurome blinked and stared at him even more, if that was possible. He had to drug her to get her out of here, make her useless once more? After everything they spoke of down here, he was just going to drug her once more to get her out? She frowned deeply when he pulled out a small bottle of Sake.

"You are about to put your entire life on the line, You at least deserve a good drink and honesty on your way back to your dorm. Don't think?"

The girl grumbled, crossed her arms, and shrugged. "Of course a drink would be nice. But not a drugged up drink. I'm not quite sure why you'd need to drug me at all to remove me from this place. Can't you tie an eyemask around my head and make me wear earplugs? I'd rather not be incapacitated again.

Posted by: Nobuyumi Jun 5 2018, 09:19 PM
"Of course a drink would be nice. But not a drugged up drink. I'm not quite sure why you'd need to drug me at all to remove me from this place. Can't you tie an eyemask around my head and make me wear earplugs? I'd rather not be incapacitated again." Kurome insisted as Keiichi smiled more. He really did enjoy her presence. It was rare to find someone who talk back directly to one of the most dangerous men in the country. It made him both want to scream at her for disobeying him but also talk to her more. Sadly, he didn't have time for such idle commodities as that.
"It isn't for you. If you try to sneak out of this room, people in Edo Castle may know you had been here. If you are drugged, I can just transport you out with no worry about you struggling, or fighting, or making noises. It worked quite well for that boy, Roshi." he explained.

Even Kurome would tell that he was being completely honest. Everything he did seemed to be in order to keep this meeting as secret as possible. Even the room they sat in felt temporary, like it likely would be collapsed after she left.
"If you'd like to leave on your own terms, you would have to sit here until nightfall. I would have to blind fold you, lead you around half the castle to disorientate you, then probably throw you into the moat and tell you to left yourself drift a while before finally going back to the Bugei. All just to keep secret what part of the castle i've brought you too." after all, when he meant secret, he very much meant secret. Even now Kurome would figure she was somewhere in Edo castle, likely underground, however the exact location would be impossible to tell. Something he had clearly done on purpose.

"Or, I could just known you out, carry you back to the Bugei, and you'll wake up in about five hours feeling completely fine." she said with a shrug as he tried to offer again.

Posted by: Mezua Jun 14 2018, 01:58 PM
"It isn't for you. If you try to sneak out of this room, people in Edo Castle may know you had been here. If you are drugged, I can just transport you out with no worry about you struggling, or fighting, or making noises. It worked quite well for that boy, Roshi."

Kurome grunted and stared at him with a hardness in her eyes. "You know I won't struggle> I'll come quietly."

"If you'd like to leave on your own terms, you would have to sit here until nightfall. I would have to blind fold you, lead you around half the castle to disorientate you, then probably throw you into the moat and tell you to left yourself drift a while before finally going back to the Bugei. All just to keep secret what part of the castle i've brought you too."

The girl grunted again but she did not remove her eyes from him. That path certainly sounded a lot worse, time consuming, and difficult, just to transport her back to the castle.

"Or, I could just knock you out, carry you back to the Bugei, and you'll wake up in about five hours feeling completely fine."

The elite inhaled slowly and exhaled even slower. After a long pause, what seemed like minutes had passed, the girl crossed her arms and, finally, broke her gaze, to look away in defeat. "Fine." She replied curtly. The girl took another moment to appreciate what he was putting her through. (Honestly it was clever, being below ground under what she presumed was Edo, in a remote location, most likely to be destroyed to remove any trace of evidence. How long had it taken them to build this, she wondered, for this purpose?) She exhaled once more and then walked over to wrap her hand around the Sake bottle. Again she kept a firm gaze with Keiichi as she gulped the entire bottle down, and then wiped the drip from her mouth with the back of her arm. Then the girl stepped back, sat down, and crossed her arms. "Make it quick. I miss my bed." She grumbled, continuing to keep her gaze firm on him.

...From this angle he seemed quite powerful, she noted, as the drugs began to take effect. Perhaps they would be partners in combat some day...

Posted by: Nobuyumi Jun 15 2018, 07:58 PM
Keiichi looked at her in shock. She actually chugged the entire bottle. He didn't have the heart to tell her what she just did. He couldn't, after all. Though she would certainly realize it in the morning. Smiling he gave her a deep bow.
"Thank you for accepting things my way. I will say, you truely, truely are brave." though how much of it she heard he wasn't sure. She would hit the floor with a hard thump. To say she was knocked out was an understatement. Normally a small pour of that sake would have been enough to take out a full grown veteran samurai. She had jugged an entire bottle of heavy sleeping poison and likely not even a nuclear explosion in Edo could wake her now. He lightly touched her shoulder with his foot, being aware nothing would come of it.

"Or really stupid....but brave." and with that he picked up the sleeping girl and looked carefully at her. She was cute when she was asleep. Though he was discouraged that while sleeping she couldn't glare at him with those strong eyes. The world around Keiichi warped and twisted as his body began to glow. A ghost of Keiichi flowed through the city streets of Edo like a wraith. No one could see it, and its vision was blurry, but it knew where it was going. Within a few minutes it arrived inside of Edo Bugei's campus grounds. To the wraith, the campus grounds had a gigantic energy barrier around it put in place along time ago to protect the campus from negative energies. However the wraith wasn't some normal spirit. It stepped through the barrier, knowing it was welcome and quickly moved to Kurome's dorm room. As the wraith, and Keiichi, both exhaled, they slowly switched places. Laying Kurome down on her bed Keiichi locked her room from the inside and made sure all of the windows where closed. Looking around her room he found it surprisingly cute as he walked over to the bed.

"Rest well." he said, knowing she couldn't hear him. Not even he was sure how long it would take her to wake up. The amount of medicine she had drank would like keep her knocked out possibly for an entire day or two. Drifting towards the window he exhaled slowly, vanishing from the room, and returning to the room under Edo Castle. Now that all of the students had been dealt with, it was time for these rooms to be destroyed.

Posted by: Mezua Jun 27 2018, 10:26 AM
Darkness...

And then a light.

The light shone through what looked like the end of a tunnel. However there was a figure at the end of the tunnel. The shadow stood there and Kurome grew closer to the shadow. The closer she got, the further away the shadow seemed to move. The girl stopped and turned, looking behind her... only to see the same shadow.

Running, running, running...endlessly chasing this shadow. Or was it chasing her? The shadow was also running... no.. it was moving the same way she was. The girl raised her had to block out the light in her eyes, and the shadow did the same... only to reduce the light and show it's true face..

The shadow... was her.



Kurome opened her eyes and sat up suddenly, gasping for breath. She looked around as the room came into focus, and recognized it as her own personal room. The girl took a few deep breaths and calmed her pulse, then leaned over to check the time on her phone. Midnight. Sunday?! The girl had been asleep for a whole day?! She closed her multi-colored eyes and held her head, thinking of the past events. Keiichi, the Koga, the plan, the Sake. Oh. She remembered him briefly being surprised she had drank so much of the drink. She opened her eyes and held her hands out in front of her, making sure that she was, in fact, alive and well, and that this wasn't a crazy dream he was putting her through.

She exhaled and leaned back into her pillows, running over the entire conversation in her head a few times. Kurome looked sideways out the window and wondered where to begin. Should she begin now, or wait for further orders? The girl wondered how Kai was, and picked up her phone to send him a quick text, asking if he was okay. Then she closed her eyes, replayed the conversation over and over again, and fell back into a normal sleep.

Exit Thread?

Posted by: Nobuyumi Jun 27 2018, 05:33 PM
NPC POST

On top of Edo Castle Keiichi looked up at the moon. Truly it was beautiful at midnight. Most people in Edo couldn't get to the top of Edo Castle though if the did he would likely have to kill them. It was the highest spot in Edo and the best view of the entire city. He was moving his pieces, and so where the Koga. He could sense it. He knew how to fight the Koga, but as much as he would never admit it this fight wasn't up to him. He needed Kai, Kurome, Roshi, and the other Bugei students. He needed the Iga and Hattori. He even needed the Fuma. However, the Fuma didn't exist. Members of the Fuma bloodline existed, but as a clan, the Fuma was mostly dead.

Sitting up he gazed at the moon. Without the Fuma he could take on the Koga, but the margin for error was too high, as was the likely loss of life. Standing up and stretching he looked West, to the former lands of the Fuma-ryu. His eyes turned a dark red as he did so. He began recalling the information from the former Fuma lands. The currently corrupt lord, and the ninja girl hanging around. As well as her foolish master who in spite of his bloodline still refused to act. It was one piece he hadn't put on the board yet, and that needed to change.

It was time to prepare fo a war in the shadows, a war he absolutely refused to lose.

LEFT THREAD
THREAD END

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