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Re: (RP) The Ronin & the Serpent.
March 13, 2014 05:55AM
The Ronin & The Serpent

Part Three

“The War Horse”

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IceTe3a: – Ronin stood there waiting for the serpent to accept his challenge, he could not understand why she was not charging towards him, and perhaps the pain she was in was too great. Suddenly It hit him, literally a arrow fired from behind him had torn straight through the back of his left knee, sticking out through the front He grunts as he feels the raw pain of the fresh wound, quickly he grabs three shuriken tossing them towards the rogue bowman before falling down onto his right knee, glancing over towards where the serpent was he noticed her running away on his horse into the distance leaving him with but one message “To a place where men do not go back on their word” was all he heard as she rode off out of sight. “Damn” was all he said as he snapped the tip of the arrow, then pulled the rest of the arrow through his leg tossing it on the ground, blood gushing down his leg he ripped off a piece of cloth binding the wound after rubbing dirt into it to clog the bleeding. The poison was taking its affect to his body and senses; never would he have let that happen if he was in full form. He needed to get to this snake charmer and get the anti-dote off of him to cure the poison. Coming to a stand he grunts as he shifts his weight to the better knee, making his way up towards Rikkens place, he would have to tell the surviving guards what was in order next and what to do with Rikkens place, he would have to find the warlords lands, and retrieve the daughter he would not allow a second female to be stolen even if he just met the young lady. She may think she is in love with the warlord’s son, but could she truly love someone who killed so many innocent bystanders amongst her father and friends? He did not believe she would, she would be shocked about what happened and was taken against her will.

CharlotteCarrendar: – The Wedding that never was. Carnage. Blooded bodies, crying children, weeping widows. It was a scene that would break the heart of many a hardened man. The guards that belonged to the Dragon had taken flight after massacring a good number of civilians. The monks were mostly operatives of the warlord in disguise. Many had fled, either on foot or rode out on stolen horses, leaving a shattered people behind. Banners of the Dragon were now crumpled in the dirt, and the wailing of the servants of Rikken could be heard well beyond the city walls. Those that had survived were helping the injured, and in the midst of this all the wine merchant was standing with his boa staff. His hood pulled back, and his face ashen with what he had witnessed. He walked the same path of that of the procession, looking for clues along the way that might help him uncover more about those that committed the crimes against an unsuspecting people. “Hmmph!” That was all he could think to utter on seeing the burnt remains of Rikken upon the stairs of his home. He had paid for his sins and his lies, and his daughter was now in the hands of the son of the Warlord. But where was the Ronin? And why he failed? <3>

IceTe3a: – Going through the past events in his mind like reading a book, studying exactly what had happened as he continues to walk the path back up to Rikkens, he could see it in his view but at this pace he would take awhile to arrive. Nothing could have been done differently to stop that situation, the guards were ill prepared for the attack against skilled warriors, It was a shame it had to go down this path. With each step on his left leg slightly lifted but still dragging across the ground, the dirt stiring in the mist of the air leaving a trail of blood splats on the ground he grunted slightly, as the cloth wrapped around the fresh wound started to get bloodied and stained but the dirt he had placed in the wound beforehand had helped clog the bleeding, this did not help the poison though, he was feeling the effects of it as his body was growing weaker. The serpent, A female warrior extremely skilled in her arts, he underestimated her; never to make the same mistake again, what was her story and what reasons did she have for doing this besides being a good soldier and taking orders. Although he noticed she would not confront him head on as she only attacked as a distraction to attempt to escape the situation. Perhaps only following orders, or perhaps something else he could not be sure what to think exactly, he needed to meditate on this.. bells rang in his head meditation, slowing down his heart rate and breathing would slow down the travel of the poison, although in his current state there was no hope of being able to fully do this, but he had to do it anyway, any extra time would help dearly in this situation. Closing his eyes he continues to walk forward his left leg dragging against the dirt covered road kicking up dust, he clears everything from his mind and breaths shallow breaths, it was working slightly, he could feel his heart rate slowly decrease although the poison was working against him it would not help in the long run but it may just give him the time he needs in order to get the antidote. What should have taken mere minutes ended up in a 8 minute slow and painful walk, finally reaching the gates of Rikkens place, he could smell the metallic smell of blood in the air, He would have to deal with the poison first and then bring order to this chaos. “ I need the snake charmer NOW” Ronin bellowed over the crying and moans of the people who survived the onslaught as he stepped through the gates into the start of the garden area where the event had taken place, Ronin was not one to shout but desperate times call for desperate measures. Finally making it in the midst of the battlefield, his pants ripped and bloodstained, his bare chest covered in his blood amongst others as he stood tall his eyes glancing around at the bloodied field as he slightly swayed from side to side, small sweat balls gathered on his brow from the poison, he was starting to feel the effects as he gained a fever, the poison was acting fast.

CharlotteCarrendar: – The sound of the Ronin’s voice brought the attention of many that were laying or sitting on the ground nearby, and one other. The Wine merchant who had been at the stairs of Rikken’s house, he turned and then saw the state of the Ronin. He had taken an arrow to the knee, by the looks of it, and also was looking set to pass out. A blooded stain on his arm indicated he had been struck by another weapon. The Serpent. She had gotten her fangs into the Ronin after all. Deadly..to a fault. The Wine Merchant lifted his boa staff and ran towards the Ronin as he looked about to fall and caught him on the fly. “I need a surgeon….and that Snake Charmer!” The Snake charmer, who had been sitting up against the wall, with his basket of snakes raised his head slightly. Wearing a large hat to shield his face, one could not see the smirk that lay beneath. He was wearing a red robe with golden stitching and matching sandals. Part of the circus troupe, he was not one of the Warlord’s men but merely paid to place the snake on the son of the Dragon – a known enemy of the Warlord’s house. “She bit you too, eh?” The Snake charmer said, pushing himself to standing and dusting off his coat. The Wine merchant was in no mood for attitude. He was holding the fallen Ronin and tore out the dart. Holding it up, you could see the tip was discoloured from the blood stain on his skin. “What did she use?” The Wine Merchant said, knowing time was of the essence. Sidling up to the pair, the snake charmer brought out a small vile from beneath his jacket and handed it to the Wine Merchant. “The antidote. It will cost him though. Fifty silver coins.” Making a bargain with a dying man was poor form, by any sense of the word. The Wine merchant seized the vial and spat back – “I will pay you, after this works.” Thinking it may just be alcohol and not the antidote at all. The Snake charmer shrugged, and watched the Wine merchant administer the vial to Ronin’s lips. “Drink it, Son.” The Wine Merchant urged, as now a small gathering of children watched, before a doctor made his way through the throng. “How bad is he?” The Doctor asked, looking to strip away the blooded strip of cloth from the Ronin’s knee. The sight beneath was horrific. “He needs a transfusion.” But of course not until the antidote kicked in. All watched the Ronin, to see if the antidote was working. <3>

IceTe3a: – He grunts as his will gives up, getting to dizzy he starts to fall only to be caught by the wine merchant from earlier, who was he exactly, he was no ordinary merchant but Ronin did not have the energy to question the man. He listened to the conversation that was being held in front of him, the snake charmer showed himself asking for payment for the antidote if there was one thing you could trust in it’s the greed of mankind, the snake charmer proving this point. Ronin was in and out of consciousness only catching parts of the conversation, opening his eyes again he comes to find the wine merchant shoving a small vial on his lips telling him to drink, he opens his lips slightly, his cracked lips welcoming the thought of any sort of liquid to smooth out his dry mouth, gulping down the antidote with pain he coughs out aloud, taking a deep breath he sighs with relief having to believe the snake charmer would be honest about the antidote, only time would tell. His eyes fall onto the doctor who was now stripping the self made bandage Ronin had put on his fresh wound, the blood trickled down his leg slowly as he heard the doctor talk about how serious the wound is. “I.. ripped out the arrow… serpent..” his energy was weak but he managed to jumble out some words slowly, as his breathing came to a normal steady pace. He knew the doctor would want to take care of the wound but he had to get the guards up to date and start to prepare to give chance to the serpent “I must give chase” as he went to take a step forward attempting to get loose of the wine merchants grip in defiance.

CharlotteCarrendar: – The Wine merchant however would not let the Ronin just try and get away with a damaged knee and suffering from dehydration. His honor and pride at stake, this was clearly driving him forward, but the Wine Merchant would have none of that. “You give chase now, and die in the desert. One does not simply go after the Serpent in your state. Look what she has already done to you.” He spoke with a tone of authority and not that of a simple merchant. It was true; the wine merchant was not at all what he appeared to be. Snapping his fingers, he gave orders for two guards to help assist the Ronin to the Doctor’s home, so that he could be given water, and proper treatment, before setting off on his quest. “A wise man does not rush head first into danger. Patience!” he urged, as the guards both did as were told. There had been enough death for one day. The doctor led the way to his simple abode, where there was a small bed in back. The two guards helped ease the Ronin down, as the Wine Merchant came to sit on a rickety chair, that was beside the bed. “I want his leg properly cleaned, and sewn. Check for breaks in the bone.” The Wine merchant said, as the Doctor got his supplies in order, and washing his hands so they were sterile before starting. Resting his boa staff against the wall of the house, he looked down at the Ronin and said. “You’ve had a busy day. Let us talk more…about this..Serpant.” <3>

IceTe3a: – The wine merchant stopping Ronins attempt to give chase, there was nothing Ronin could do he was to weak to defy the orders of the merchant. Looking down at his wound, in his attempt at moving he had pushed some of the dirt out of his wound, as blood trickled down slowly from his wound onto his leg, a warm streamline going down to the floor. staying put as he heard the Merchant speak ‘ Look what she’s done with you’ he chuckles slightly “ You should see what I did to her” he said as he wondered exactly how she was faring with her fresh wound, she bit him but he bit back. Like a rag doll Ronin was dragged into the doctors home, it was a simple and small house, as he was laid down on top of a table he watched the doctor as he looked around, his wound bleeding slightly as some of the dirt had fallen out. “ The serpant, a female warrior, Skilled in the bow that is for sure. Although she would not fight me directly, I do believe she has skill in the sword. Her poison is to die for” he smiled slightly at the last part as he watched the doctor washing his hands, “Who are you exactly Wine merchant, and what is your part in all of this?” he finally came out with the questions that were eating at him in the back of his head.

CharlotteCarrendar: – The Doctor set to task, whilst the two men – the Wine merchant and the Ronin spoke of the woman known simply as the Serpent. He was quick to flush out the wound of the dirt and grit that was used to clot the blood flow, and this would allow him to see clear into the wound for breaks to cartilage or bone. The Ronin was incredibly lucky with the strike of the arrow to not have damaged the bone, but the walk back had aggravated the muscle and cartilage. He worked diligently to get the knee prepped to be bound and packed so that there would be no infection. In the meantime, the Ronin was saying how he faired against the Serpent was nothing at what he did to her. He was proud of the fact that he bit back and hard. The Wine Merchant listened to the tale of the Ronin’s fight, but the Serpent managed to scurry away like a wounded animal leaving the Ronin to die with the poison of her fangs. He leaned back in his rickety chair a moment, and then took out his pipe and lit it as he thought long and hard about this woman warrior. Interesting to note, she did not stay to the fight’s end. Either she didn’t want to kill him, or she had orders to return to the lands of the Warlord. Her mission was distraction, nothing more. The Ronin had asked, who the merchant was. There was a moment of silence, as even the Doctor was curious to know this. Who was a man that looked to be a simple farmer come merchant, yet acted like he was the last Shogun. “I thought I had left all that behind me, but it seems that where there is injustice, I must once again take up my sword.” He shook his head as he slowly removed his pipe, eyeing the young Ronin. “My name was… Tsunayoshi Furuya.” The Doctor stopped treating the Ronin and then gapped at the Wine merchant. “The War Horse.” He whispered incredulously. The Wine merchant sat still, not acknowledging his true name given to him by Generals of the Emperor’s army. He was a legend…now a ghost. <3>

IceTe3a: – Ronin grunted slightly as the doctor started to work on his leg, he made sure his leg would not move in defiance, years of conditioning allowed Ronin to lie still whilst the doctor continued to work on his leg. He heard the old wine merchant talk about the Serpent, Ronin could not help but wonder if he knew where they were going and if he knew anything more about the Serpent that Ronin didn’t already know. Finally the wine merchant let Ronin know his past and who he was, he figured as much, the old merchant was a retired warrior one of legend to be exact “ Tsunayoshi, It is an honor to be by your side, I thank you for your help today” he said in his usual low toned self. He knew the doctor was surprised by the thought of being in the same room as Tsunayoshi and this was no surprise as most thought he had disappeared into legends, “Doc how is my leg and how soon will it be until I can stand again” Unknown to Ronin but the Antidote seemed to have done its job as he had all but forgotten about the venom from the Serpent until he finally realized it was so “I will have to collect more of these antidote’s as I am to face her again in my path of this I am sure. Although I wonder of a long term solution would be possible, Doc Would I be able to build a tolerance to her Poison?” he questioned, this would take quite a lot of conditioning if it was indeed possible. “So what do you know of the Serpent, and where are these lands she runs to hide in, I need to get the daughter back safely to her household, She has lands and titles to look after now.” He said simply towards Tyunayoshi.

CharlotteCarrendar: – Getting over his shock of being in the same room as a legend such as Tsunayoshi, the Doctor did a double take when asked when the Ronin would be able to stand. Mulling this over, the Doctor said. “In three hours or so, then you use a wooden crutch. I suggest if you are to go after the Serpent, or the men of the Warlord, to do so by horse. Walking will take many days.” It appeared the Doctor knew more about this Warlord than most. Tsunayoshi gave the Doctor a curt nod of understanding, and said. “I shall pay for the boy’s expenses, and you shall not be out of pocket.” He then looked to the wounded Ronin. His tone lowered somewhat in respect of the old warrior. “Ronin, it is part of a warrior’s code to stand by those that seek to right the wrongs, and bring justice to the land. After you have rested, I will see to it we have horses and ready to head for the mountains of the Warlord. It is a treacherous and dangerous ride. Many places for the Warlord’s men to watch from sheltered positions. We must be cautious. Already they would be expecting retaliation for their brazen attack, however” At this he paused. “For the Warlord and his family, this has been a most successful strike. Many of the Dragon’s own killed people of this village. That in itself has brought those that were friends to now be enemies. Confusion will only give the Warlord more time to bolster his defences.” That said, he gave the Ronin’s bandaged knee a pat, then used his boa staff to help him to stand. “Rest…for now, I will return for you.” That said, he left the doctor’s house, as the Doctor brought food and water for the Ronin. “You be best to pay heed. That man has saved the lives of over 10,000 men….in one day.” <3>

IceTe3a: – He smiles slightly at the knowledge that Tyunayoshi would be there to help him out in this in devour , although he had stated how hard it would be, Ronin could not wait until he was on his way to face the Serpent once more, this time he would not under estimate her. “thank you again Tyunayoshi” he was very thankful for all the help, although the doctor informing him of having to use a crutch would not do “ I cannot fight whilst using a crutch will I be able to stand once I make it there if I stay on horseback?” he asked the old doctor, as Tyunayoshi paid his respects and left the two to be alone, with promise of his return. “What do you know of the Serpent and the Warlord? Any information would help” he knew the doctor knew more than he was letting on, accepting the food and drink he came to a lean as he started to eat the food with a fast pace as usual, slugging down the drink straight after “thanks for the food doc” placing the plate and cup back down he came to a lay and sighed slightly as he rested, preparing his mind for the journey ahead and the future battles that will take place,

CharlotteCarrendar: – The Doctor became ashen faced when asked about the Warlord. Clearly, he knew much more than he was letting on. Swallowing hard, as he took away the blooded instruments and tray, he set them down near where he planned his washing. With his back to the Ronin, the Doctor said simply. “The Warlord, never goes back on his word.” Now, how did he know this? Was this not the same thing the Serpent had said? Was their more to this phrase then met the eye? Taking up a blooded pieced of cloth, he held it tight in his hands, closing his eyes. “I was once called for, to assist in the birthing of the Warlord’s new son. The birth was difficult, the wife had gone into labour early and the child was breech. I did all I could, but the child…died. As did his wife.” The Doctor let out a sigh as he recalled the events after this. Sniffing, he released the rag from his hand. “The Warlord called me a sham, and said, that he would do to me, what I had done to him.” Looking back at the Ronin, he said with a trembling chin. “They….killed her…my wife, and my …son.” The Doctor’s eyes were brimming with tears. “Eye for an eye. The Warlord never goes back on his word.” Sitting down, he had trouble regaining his train of thought. “Oh..as for standing, you should be fine, after a day’s ride. Working up the thigh muscles.” The Doctor then coughed and wiped his hand under his nose, before falling silent once more. <3>

IceTe3a: – Ronin fell silent as the old doctor told his heart pulling story, the poor man was robbed of his family, just like Ronin. This Ronin could relate to, as he sighed slightly “The warlord and his son will pay for the crimes they have committed your family will be avenged Doc” He reassured that with a firm nod as he sat up and looked out the window, he came back to look at the doctor “And what of the serpent, what is her story exactly?” he needed to find as much detail about her as he possibly could, “Doc do you think you could come up with more antidotes for her poisons? Something tells me we will need them” he said in his low tone as he slowly gets into a position of meditation, he breaths deep and slow calming his body and promotion his body to heal. He never expected to be dragged into a war like this he was only a sellsword, someone hired for his skills in killing, although this path seemed to have chosen him for some reason, unknown to him for now the path set before him will eventually show its reasons for choosing him, this he was sure of. So many questions he needed to ask and wanted the answers for, but he left it at the few questions he had already asked and started to meditate wafting for the old doctors answers, he was reflecting on the past events once more whilst paying attention to the present and all that was happening around him.

CharlotteCarrendar: – The Doctor, who had gone into some day time dream was playing out in his mind, the last time he was in the land of the Warlord. The many tents and soldiers all too willing to lay down their lives for the Warlord. A cunning and devious man, but also enigmatic. He had the gift of a silver tongue, the body of an ox and the will of a Lion. Few dared to disobey his word. He had but one son alive. No daughters to speak of, unless you counted….her. “The day they dragged my wife and son before me, this girl – a mere slip of a child with long flowing hair stood at the steps of the Warlord and watched as my wife and son were slain before her eyes. The child…she did not even flinch. No emotion. How could a child be so cold? I was later told that she had been taken as an infant from her own village long before. The Warlord stripped her of her humanity and turned her into what would become..the Serpent. She was incredibly gifted. A natural with snakes and other venomous creatures that crawled and slithered all over her without biting. Also, she could bend her body, like that of a snake, and coil up in a ball. I saw it for myself, as she was to entertain the Warlord, when he was bored with the jugglers and musicians. Now, she is a grown woman, and you have seen and felt her bite.” The Doctor concluded that the snake charmer would know more about the anti venom, and just what poisons the Serpent was known to use. “I would seek him out, before Tsunayoshi is ready to leave.” <3>

IceTe3a: – He nods as the doctor gives him the information he needs to know about the serpent, coming to a stand he had meditated enough to prepare his body to support his leg, he breaths out deeply as he glances down to the doctor, he places a medium sized coin purse on the table in front of the old doctor and bows graciously in respect “Thank you doctor, if there’s anything I can ever do to repay you, please come find me” he bows one last time as he takes his leave, he must find this snake charmer and buy the antidotes needed to fight against the serpent and any information that he may have on him. Last seen the snake charmer was back in Rikken’s place, so that’s where he started to head, he noticed people dragging dead bodies away, whilst others were helping the wounded to their houses, this town has seen some heavy shit in the past night, he could not help but put that burden on to himself as he made his way up to Rikken’s house he walked into the garden area locating one of the guards “ I want this place cleaned up, RIkken’s last wish was that his daughter inherit all his wealth, lands and titles with all the power that came with it. Ronin would not see another young female left alone in the world with no one to care for her, so he lied to set her up so she could have her own life back the way she wanted it, perhaps without the warlord’s son though. He watched as the guard wondered off to inform the other guards of their new duties and who they worked for as of now on. “Has anyone seen the snake charmer I need to speak with him” he said aloud so people could hear him, this was important so he had to find the charmer.

CharlotteCarrendar: – The Snake Charmer appeared from behind a large column and bowed to see the Ronin had made it back from the Doctor’s both alive and treated for his wound to his knee. “Ah..it is the Ronin. You must have the spirit of a cat, for you have already lost a life and yet…here you are.” Said with a smile, he knew what the Ronin was after and also where he was heading next. “You wish to buy all my anti venom? Hmm? Smart man are you. Very smart. The Serpent would expect nothing less.” With a snake draped around his shoulder, he approached the Ronin and handed him a small shoulder bag, the contents of which was many vials, all marked as well as a snake bite kit. “You’re going to need this, Ronin.” Glancing around him, the Snake charmer said. “So you think you can get Rikken’s daughter back? Hmm? The old fool that spent the Warlord’s payment for his daughter is always assured of getting what he paid for. Unfortunately for Rikken, you were not able to protect the real prize. Rikken was dying, everyone knew. But the Dragon…oh, that was a clever move. You see, when the people of the Dragon learn that their King and Prince have been slain, they are going to raze this city till it is nothing more than ash. And I for one, am not going to wait to see that come to fruition.” Was it true what he was saying? That even if the Ronin could get the daughter back, would there be a home for her to go to? <3>

iceTe3a: – His eyes meet up with the snake charmer as he shows himself finally, already knowing exactly what Ronin was here for, he watched as the snake charmer came to a stop in front of him, handing him a satchel of antidote vials he takes a look inside and nods “How much is this going to cost me” his eyes glance back up towards the snake charmer “ And I wonder if your vast knowledge in poisons could lead you to telling me a more… stronger antidote?” he was leaning towards a toleration to her poisons or some sort of fix that would reverse the effects, even if it was taken before the venom was imbedded into his body. “Lastly what do you know of the serpent? What is her fighting styles, who is she and where did she learn all of this” he glances at the snake resting on the snake charmers shoulders admiring the beauty of such an intelligent creature, he admired all animals in life. People.. Not so much.. Children he plainly despised, that’s something he picked up over the years, Thinking of people, he would have to find out where Tsunayoshi went off to, perhaps the local pub for a drink which did not sound bad at this point in time.

CharlotteCarrendar: – The Snake charmer merely stroked his python as he listened to the Ronin’s questions about a stronger antidote to her poisons, possibly something that could fix his system or make the Ronin intolerant. The charmer thought the man was mad. “I made antidotes for many species of snakes, scorpions’ even sea snakes. Only one person has an antidote that cures all, and makes one immune. The Serpent, hmm, how do I put this? It is like, she is not even human. Mind you she looks it, but on the inside she has the spirit of the great Snake. Few are alive to tell of the rumors of what they did to her as a small child.” This actually had the Charmer become reflective, for he held a great deal of respect for serpents in general.” He gestured for the Ronin to follow the Charmer to a side room out of ear shot of the servants of the house of Rikken. “I don’t even know if I should be telling you this. You see, the child with no name had the body of a skilled contortionist. Amazed by this, the Warlord put her into a pit with many snakes and one…great snake, the size of which I have never seen before. I was there that day, and what happened is etched into my very memory. The Warlord thought that the girl would fight the snakes, but…” His eyes glazed over for a moment as even the serpent around his neck raised its head, listening to this tale. “The great snake coiled around the child, again and again, and you would think it was to constrict her and break her bones. But instead, it was not that at all. The snake placed its head to hers and as though something passed between them. It then released her and the child simply walked between the snakes, all letting her pass, without attacking, without fear. And that is how she got her name.” At this, the one known as Tsunayoshi, the old warrior appeared. The snake charmer backed away, and turned to leave the two men to speak. No talk of payment was said. <3>

IceTe3a: – Ronin listens to the snake charmers advice; with little resolve of course the only person in the world who had the antidote to make someone immune was the serpent herself. This day just got worse he needed to get a leg up on her, perhaps he would find a weakness somewhere he had yet seen her fight one on one so there was still hope. He followed the snake charmer as he wanted to speak where prying ears could not hear, he told of the story of a little girl being accepted by a giant snake of legends, how other snakes moved out of the way as if she had some kind of understanding with them, was she human at all? Is that why she had no issue with this grievous onslaught of innocence, it would explain a lot of questions that is for sure. The story the snake charmer told of the Serpent was interesting and almost sounded like rumor but the snake charmer swore by it as he stated he was there, “ I thank you for your help Snake charmer I am in debited to you once again” he gave the snake charmer a bow for respect and was going to continue to pry for more information when Tsunayoshi stepped in from the shadows, he glanced back to the snake charmer who was already walking away, leaving the two to be by themselves, but what of the payment for the antidotes? Perhaps he required none, But he would have to pay the snake charmer back someday; somehow. Turning to face Tsunayoshi he nodded in welcome “I am fine do not threat, I have gathered more antidotes for our journey, We will need them I think is safe to say.” As he glanced around slightly he rubbed his chin “What is our next move? Are we ready to give chase?” Ronin was impatient, even though he wanted to help the townspeople seek revenge and get his fight with the Serpent, he had his own goals in mind and still had to complete them both as they were both equally important. Whilst thinking of his sister he pulled out the photo of them and glanced at it for awhile in silence.

CharlotteCarrendar: – The old warrior contemplated what the Ronin asked, and then he put a question to the Ronin. “We are but two men, and you wish us to enter the lands of a powerful Warlord, with an army of over ten thousand. Think of that a moment. I am not as young as I once was, but I know this much. The land of the Dragon will learn of this tragedy against their nobles, and they will want to strike back. Question is, can they be redirected to attack those that killed their leader?” He paused a moment, and then said finally. “A tale of three peoples. A child bride, and a dangerous Warlord. If we are going to have any chance, to return the child of Rikken to her rightful place, we are going to need an army. And as you see, there is not one here.” <3>

IceTe3a: – Ronin understood where Tsunayoshi was coming from and he agreed in one hand but in another his mind was on another goal in his life “ I agree it is not wise to take on a entire army, but we are not going to take on an entire army are we? We are simply going there to retrieve a small girl and kill the warlord and his son, Whilst I deal with the Serpent. They will be too busy looking at the Dragons army, All I see is a distraction, for us to sneak in and assassinate who we must.” He paused for a moment and drew a deep breath “They would not care of two men who are put in the back of their minds, possibly not even known as a threat.” He turns to face Tsunayoshi “ I want to return the young lady, and kill those responsible lastly fight the serpent once more.” Pausing for a moment before continuing “I have a goal in life, My young sister was taken from my family my mother died after giving birth to her, my father died of a broken heart from the loss of his wife and daughter. I live on having that burden on my shoulders I made a promise to my father that I would find my sister and return her into my caring arms so you see I do not have the time nor the patience to raise an army and go to full scale war when there is a faster option” he glances down at the picture of his baby sister and him in the photo, with a short sigh her name escapes his lips.. “Ayame…” he showed Tsunayoshi the photo of them so he would understand before he placed it back into his pocket “So I hope you understand my path in life.”

CharlotteCarrendar: – The old warrior knew of what he spoke, but the young Ronin had other ideas. A dream to be reunited with a lost child, who may well now be a woman. His hopes to go in and assassinate the Warlord and his son, whilst rescuing the girl and dealing with the Serpent, was a huge undertaking. He could not do it alone. Exhaling and then striking his boa staff into the tiled floor of Rikken’s house, he placed a hand upon the Ronin’s shoulder, and nodded. “Then…we leave now for the lands of the Warlord. I have the horses ready.” :: Far from the town of Rikken, in a small tent of the Warlord Army, a woman lay on a stretcher while a doctor painstakingly removed the hira shiruken from her back. All was done without a sedative or pain relief. She silently gripped the edges of the stretcher, as her body shook and flinched as the hira shuriken were extracted. The Doctor was himself trembling as he worked to remove all from her bare and blooded back. “The Warlord will be pleased with the success of your mission, Serpent. He has the girl that he paid for, and you managed to end the rule of the Dragon. Much festivity awaits your return.” The Serpent did not respond, merely gritting her teeth as she played out in her mind a reel of her fight with the Ronin. They had battled, and she fled before ending his life. The next time they met, only one would be left standing. <3>