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The Ronin & The Serpent

Part Four

The Son of the Dragon



IceTe3a: Ronin was glad that the old man understood the issue he had with going to war, he hoped that Tsunayoshi would not take it personally but Ronin had his goals that he must complete otherwise his life was wasted. Giving a slight bow towards the old warrior he went off to gather what was needed, he already had his satchel of anti venom, his swords were as sharp as the day they were made. Wandering into the markets he gathered food supplies such as herbs, rice, dried meats amongst other things for his long journey ahead he knew it would take awhile for them to reach the warlords lands. The town was still in havoc from the previous battle if you could call it that, but Ronin managed to find a weapon crafter that would supply him with the things he needed, such as kunai, Shuriken’s, Smoke bombs and a grappling hook and rope to scale walls. Before he continued on with his journey Ronin went to the spar bathhouse, known for its hot healing waters he graciously accepted the old ladies fresh towel and robe, as he stripped down naked, he stood tall and proud as always, his body riddled in scars from past wars and conditioning his body, surgery stitched scars amongst the mess, he wades into the deep hot pools with a long and loud sigh of relief, letting his hair flow down he relaxed and went into a meditating state. After about an hour he awoke feeling revitalized and new, whilst he was asleep the old lady had come by and dropped off some new clothes for ronin, leaving a note stating she threw away the old pair of pants. He smiles softly as he gets out of the hot pools, the last of the water drippiling down his bare skin, finally meeting with the cold floors, the difference between the temperature of his body and the wind was enough to allow steam to be seen coming off his body. Ronin took a deep stretch and a sigh as he dressed in his new garments, they were simple but elegant, long smooth black pants that ran down to his legs, giving him enough room to bend and stretch as he pleased and a sleeveless top that wrapped over each other, Almost like a martial artists outfit, placing on his shoes and re equipting his weaponry he gathered his things and took leave to the horses. Confirming with himself that he had everything prepared and ready for their trip he awaited Tsunayoshi by the horses, so they could head off towards the warlords terrain. He knew exactly what he was going to do, he would find exactly where the warlord and the serpent where, sneak into the castle, assassinate the warlord, face the serpent and then save Rikken’s daughter bringing her back to her original home. As for the warlords son, if he got in the way; like anyone else he would find the end of Ronin’s blade to be sharp and awaiting their blood to quench its thirst. In a castle on the northern side of the Japanese island, laid the lands of the warlord, a land ruled by fear and an iron fist, these were all the warlord needed to rule his lands and this was his way. News had reached him that his son and the Serpent was successful in their mission and were on their way back. Standing in the strategy room his two arms stretched out before him as his fists were clenched up into balls of fists leaning against the hard wooden table. Onto of the table was a map of Japan in great detail, with locations of his lands and their defensive positions, castles, keeps and towns. The same for the south side of the dragons land’s, the map showed all as his scouts were sent out to report on these locations, Information was vital in winning a war, the old warlord knew this as he stood tall, graced in his battle armor he was hardly seen without it on, his silver hair flowed down to his back as part of it was tied into a pony tail at the back of his head, resting on his shoulder was his weapon of choice a almost full length thick made katana, custom built to his orders, the blade was known as ‘Splitter of souls’ as its blade has tasted the blood of many a man in previous battles, as in all battles he had his fair share of scars, the most noticeable sat upon his face splitting his left eyebrow in two it ran down over his eyelid all the way to the bottom of his cheek, he could see out of his left eye slightly although the color of his eye was now pure white from the damage that had been done, he still had one good eye and that did not handicap him in a fight. Slamming his right fist on the table, the little figurines of his army shook at the force of the blow. “So close.. Japan will be mine” he said in a deep and crackling voice, he wanted all that his eyes fell upon to be under his control. His belief was Japan was weak under separate rule and he wanted to take over, to forge a stronger Japan, one that would become legend. That was his legacy he would leave behind for his grandchildren. “ WHERE ARE THEY” he bellowed, demanding a guard to advise him as to the location of his son and The Serpent, guard came scrambling to attention ((More))
IceTe3a: attention “Sir they near the castle as we speak, they should be within your presence soon my lord” the guard giving the deepest of respectful bows towards the Warlord. “Good… Good” he said in a thundering tone, coming to a stand he paced the room, before finally falling harshly into his Custom made throne, one arm resting on the Arm rest the other supporting his head up with his clenched fist, closing his eyes he waited in meditation for them to return to his presence ( E )

CharlotteCarrendar: – The old warrior gave in to the young Ronin’s demands that he had a quest of his own to complete, but in order to do that, he wanted to deal first and foremost with the Warlord and his son. Naturally, the Serpent fell in with that plan, and no doubt he wanted retribution after the fight outside the town that had gone so horribly wrong. There was as much about pride and honor that drove the Ronin’s motives, however in the bigger picture, so many were to be affected by the death of the Dragon, and what that meant for his lands, as well as Rikken’s town. Watching the Ronin head for the markets, which he had several ports of call, including a bathhouse, which was not unreasonable, the old Warrior went to prepare the horses for the long ride. With sleeping packs and as well as items for cooking, and water in bladders that were strapped to the sides of the horses, he knew at least that they were not going to go hungry, or die of thirst. Though the lands lay waste for the worst type of highwaymen and scoundrels, villains and thieves the elements were always your greatest enemy, so preparation was the key to survival. Rubbing the patch that rest over where his eye once was, the old Master began to think back to his youth, when he was all too quick to go on crusades of justice, to protect the innocent and free the enslaved. So many years had passed, and while he thought in the twilight of his years, he could at least take rest and look to the setting of the sun in his life in comfort. No, as a warrior he should know, that one never gives up on the fight, and that true honour, is to die by the very sword with which you fight. This may well be his final fight, but at least he knows, he is doing what is right. And so he stood solemnly awaiting the Ronin’s return, so their journey could begin. :: Five miles from the castle walls of the Warlord’s lands, was the Serpent, along with a contingent of the Warlord’s men. The Warlord’s son rode in front, with the beautiful young daughter of Rikken sitting behind him, holding close to her savior. She saw this all as a great adventure, not realizing the death and destruction that had been left in the wake of the Warlord’s attack. The Serpent, who had to be treated for her injuries, rode in back of the group. Her eyes peeled for sign of any hostiles that might approach the riders on the final march home. They would be foolish to try anything. These men were armed with bows and katanas. Some of the elite of the Warlord’s men, and returning home with honor, for the mission was a success. <3>

IceTe3a: Ronin returned to the horses after a long days rest, it was needed in his eyes; with another sigh he prepared himself for the journey ahead, half the town knew exactly what the Ronin was preparing to go do, some begged him not to throw his life away so foolishly, others cheered him on for his bravery and boasted for him, about his honor and so forth. He noticed the old warrior waiting by the horses, all prepared and ready to start their journey. He nodded softly to the warrior “Shall we go” he said, Placing what he had bought in the market into the horses bag’s that were attached to the side, he was ready to start the journey not waiting for a reply he jumped on his horse which in kind reared on its hind legs giving a “Neeehhhy” out loud, the beasts front legs landing firmly on the ground, kicked up a cloud of dust, as its muscles went to work, pushing off in a gallop down the road towards the Warlords lands. Finally he would get his revenge, and perhaps save Rikkens daughter, in which he prayed was well and safe in the arms of the enemy, “I shall free you from your burden young miss” as his thoughts betrayed him and slid towards the serpent, Ronin grit his teeth together grinding them “As for you, I am coming for you… keep a wither eye on the horizon for I shall be upon it soon” At the castle cheering and shouting could be heard from the training grounds, his son and the serpent must have returned, he releases a sigh of relief, as he expected them to return but life was cruel and unfair something the old Warlord knew all too well. “PREPARE THE BANQUET HALL, INFORM THE CHEFS AND ALL THAT NEED TO KNOW WE SHALL HAVE A MASSIVE PARTY TO CELEBRATE MY SON’S AND THE SERPENTS RECENT VICTORY” He slammed his left fist on his throne, as the room echo’d with a rather large clash. Anyone who heard the warlords demand’s ran off to make preparations for tonight’s party, the chefs were cooking all assortments of meals and deserts, as the barmen started bringing up barrels of warm sake and beer. Tonight’s entertainment would be one of strength as sparing matches were to be held in the hall, with fire breathers and knife jugglers, saucy lady dancers for his men, and perhaps afew for his own eye. He awaited for them to meet him in his throne room and report on their mission, the warlord demanded he knew every small detail about anything that happened. His son never understood this but he knew all too well, that he had a saying for everything, the saying for this weird request was as follows For want of a nail, the horseshoe was lost. For want of a horseshoe, the steed was lost. For want of a steed For want of a steed the rider was lost., For want of the rider the message was not delivered. For want of an undelivered message, the war was lost” Basically stating the butterfly effect of life, meaning every action had a reaction. Meanwhile not far from the borderline of the warlords territory Ronin and the old Warrior known as Tsunayoshi were getting closer and closer to the location of the Warlord and the serpent, not far into the warlords lands was the castle they all laid in wait, preparing party and festivities for later tonight, Neither did either of them know, that they would face off each other in the shadows of the moon. “We must be getting close now, There are more warhorse tracks on the grounds going this way” the Ronin said as he pointed in a general direction, awaiting Tsunayoshi’s opinion in the matter.

CharlotteCarrendar: – Surprisingly for such an old hand as the warrior known as Tsunayoshi, he was still greatly skilled when it came to riding his mount. He kept up well with the likes of the young Ronin, crossing the great plains at a speed that was astonishingly quick. He knew the urgency to complete the mission was paramount, and with a look of steely determination, he rode onward – pushing his horse to the limit of its exertion. As they approached the lands of the Warlord, it was clear by the landscape, with its many outlooks and turrets in the mountains, along with the trail that had been carved out. Fresh horse prints as well of that of soldiers were evident, so they knew they were on the right track. “Indeed we are close, but we must still be cautious when we make the final approach to the walls. I suggest we tie the horses up in the nearest forest under cover, and then go on by foot.” If the Ronin accepted this idea to stalk their way to the gates, they may have a better chance of being undetected. ::

The raucous sound of cheering supporters and well-wishers awaited the return of the victorious band, that came through the gates to a hero’s welcome. Many had come out of their homes and businesses to give a resounding cheer, and the sounds of battle drums only added to the mix. The din sure to be heard by the Warlord, as the horses came to the centre of the main courtyard, all dismounting and having their mounts led away by stable hands. The Warlord’s son took the hand of the daughter of Rikken and led her up the stairs, into the waiting hall of his father. The Serpent was again the last to enter, not caring for the fanfare or noise. She had done her duty to her Master – The Warlord. Successful in ending the reign of the Dragon and his son, and ensuring the safe return of the Warlord’s son and his prize. The Warlord’s son approached his father, only stopping to bow repeatedly, as did the young child bride. Up the back, the Serpent waited to be called. <3>

IceTe3a: The warlords one good eye laid upon his returning son entering the throne room, with his prize in his hand the young lady, the daughter of Rikken who was promised to his son. “Behold and witness my son and The serpent have returned with what is rightfully ours by trade, Let this be lesson to our enemies and allies never to betray us be it in death or deal” an uproar of the crowd showed agreement to what the warlord was saying, his hand extended to the Serpent “ Praise our most skilled warrior in our rank’s the serpent for completing this task set before her, honor is well earned in her name” the crowd roared once more, “And praise the gods for bringing my son back to me alive and in victory, for his skills in the arts of war may be unheard of but will soon be feared by all” with that the crowd’s uproar was that loud one could hardly think to one’s self. “ Tonight we shall wed the daughter of Rikken with my son as is his right, Now please clear the room” he bellowed the last part so all could here, he signaled for his son to stay, as his good eye came upon the Serpent sitting in the back in the shadows, the old warlord extended his arm with his palm open inviting the serpent to approach him, as daughter. He may have taken her from her true parents at a young age, but he grew her up as he would his own, and treated her as such, Although he knew she was not like other young females of Japan, surely she would rip them apart given half the chance. On the borderline of the warlords territory, Ronin and Tsunayoshi sat there on their horses discussing their plans ahead of them, Tsunayoshi brought up a valid point that they should hide their horses in the forest line and continue on foot, allowing the advantage of surprise to remain there’s. “I agree, we need this element so we can slip into the castle and do what needs to be done, and get out.” He said in a low tone as his eyes fell upon the forest line in the distance “Now, when we get into the castle I need you to locate the young lady and bring her out of the castle, I will go deal with the rest. We will meet back at where we tied the horses up” the Ronins plan was to separate him from Tsunayoshi so they could get the job done quicker, Tsunayoshi would go and rescue Rikken’s daughter, escaping from the castle before notice of his presence whilst Ronin dealt with the serpent and the warlord, He knew this would not sit well with Tsunayoshi but this was the way he wanted it to play out, as the young ladies life was more important at this time. Ronin felt like he owed her this much to say the least, With that he took off towards the Tree line, within a few minutes of galloping at a steady pace they finally reached the thick and dense forest tree line, it was dark and the air was cold, it was not enough to leave the horses out on the tree line as someone may see them and perhaps steal or investigate further, jumping off his horse he led it into the dark forest as to hide the horse from plain sight. It was easy to tell it was colder in the forest than outside in the open plains, “This will do” he said as he tied down his horse to a nearby tree, “remember the location, let’s try not to give it away with markings or tracks” he awaited Tsunayoshi to offer more opinion or advise before they head off towards the castle walls, By this time the sun was setting low, as darkness would soon arrive, this would aid them in hiding in the shadows allowing them to slip in quietly, so far all was going to plan.

CharlotteCarrendar: – All the fuss and noise, the cheers and applause. It did not sit well with the Serpent, who preferred to keep within the shadows – out of sight and far from public glare. She was an assassin, a mercenary and the Warlord’s most valuable. The Warlord of course had to do the welcome and preparation speech of the fact he wished his son to marry the daughter of Rikken that very eve, and put a final seal on the deal that he had with the late Rikken. All would know not to cross the Warlord in a deal, for the price was indeed a heavy one, dealt by a swift hand. The Serpent watched as the Warlord beckoned her forward to accept his outstretched hand. She padded towards him, her feet barely registering a sound upon the tiled floor. The Serpent had her hair bound up behind her tightly, with wisps that hung down around her face. The exquisite beauty of the girl, was a mask of the cold heart that beat beneath. Service and honouring the Warlord was all she knew. To have failed in this mission would have meant certain death. Another day longer to live upon this earth. The Serpent accepted the outstretched hand and let him lead her as he will, most likely back to his chair, to hear first hand accounts of the deaths at Rikken’s homeland. No doubt it would be quite the tale. The Serpent did not look at another soul. Dark eyes gave away nothing of her emotional state. Like the cobra that lay in wait – it was the best way to describe the warrior vixen. :: Outside the castle walls, concealed by the forest follage, the old warrior alighted from his steed, and started to tie his mount to the nearest tree. The Ronin had explained what he felt was the best way forward, and by that, he wished the old Warrior to led the girl from the compound back to the forest, while he went on and dispatched the Warlord and his son, while then taking on the Serpent as a parting shot. A very dangerous game they were playing with the odds stacked high against them. “The grappling hook and rope. They will be needed to scale the walls. I on the other hand, will go right up to the gate, and offer myself to the guards as a passing spiritual advisor, to assist with weddings and ceremonies. That should get me in close to the daughter of Rikken.” It was a bold move, but then again, one had to think outside the box, to outwit a Master of evil. <3>

xZephyrZ: Seiyuu Teke, the Dragon’s youngest son by a long shot, the product of his final attempts to produce an heir should the worst happened to his existing bloodline. By the time he was old enough to walk and talk his father was an old man, he had no time for an infant, no time for the struggles of parenthood and his son’s childhood. As a result Seiyuu was raised by slaves and servants, tutors and nobles who would visit almost unendingly. Growing up was lonely, living was lonely, playing with other children was lonely. Though Seiyuu was forever surrounded by people, he lacked those who were direly important, he had no family, he was born into loneliness. Rather than attempt to attract his father’s affections through constant attention seeking Seiyuu matured extremely quickly on his own, realising independence by the age of 16. He knew how to gain his father’s respect, he would follow in the steps of his older brother and gain glory in battle, persecute the enemies of the empire and crush those who resisted the will of the Dragon.
xZephyrZ: So he trained, tirelessly, learned the Art of War, perfection became his life, his obsession, we would become a perfect soldier and commander, his skills in battle rivalled only by his tactical brilliance. The Young Dragon would work his soul to shreds to attain flawlessness and he would succeed, but the price for this success would be steeper than he could afford. His genius molested his soul, his talent inflated his ego, he was untameable, wild and deadly with not a reason to slow. Of course it didn’t go unnoticed, of course the Young Dragon wasn’t ignored for much longer, he was accelerated through the rankings, winning countless victories for the Empire, for the Dragon, for his father. Surely he had gained the respect of that man, time and time again he requested his presence, only to be denied. Was he ashamed? Had he been created as a backup? Was he simply the other son, to be tossed aside until he was needed? The Young Dragon wouldn’t have it, he was perfect, his skills unrivalled, he laughed at the efforts of veterans, swatted away countless Warlords, Bandits and Rebels, he was God-Like and his father would know it.
xZephyrZ: Spurred on by rage and the ignorance of his father he continued, become ever more reckless and bloodthirsty, the lives around him mattered not, his work became sloppy, and the lands were stained the blood of countless nameless husbands and sons. Thus, he would inevitably fall from grace, his soul was black and it would continue to corrupt until countless lives were lost on that day. The fault lay with the Young Dragon but he refused to accept it, casting away the words of his peers, his elders like a mighty storm he sought out the Dragon, his father. What came next wasn’t any scene from a famous tragedy, not a hail of anger and fury. The Dragon was calm, like the eye of a typhoon he stood, facing away, (Dragon) “You taint my blood, you are ungrateful, bratty and arrogant, you are not my son, you bear no rights to my name, leave.”
xZephyrZ: The rest is history, blinded by hubris he fled, far away. He’d spend eternity alone once more, learning the error of his ways over time, founding the only family he knew, The Eyes of the Dragon, with those who had still been loyal to him, despite his actions. Still, he hoped one day to reconcile with his father, return to the Empire of the Dragon, make amends, he was unaware now that he would never have that chance, but time would bring his fate closer every second, drawn to him like an arrow guided by string.

xZephyrZ: The wind was unusually cold, it wasn’t often he’d spend extended periods meditating but he wasn’t able to calm his mind. His past was an irreparable stain on his honour, he had found himself wanting, wishing he could return to his home more and more. But what would he say? Could he simply apologise for his behaviour? Would his old life readily accept him back? More importantly, would his father? The eyes of the disgraced son of the Dragon snapped open to reveal emerald green gems. “Do not dwell, this is life now..” he muttered to himself. He led a band of sell swords now, Corsairs who protected the Empire behind a veil, thwarting the efforts of those who would seek to overthrow the Dragon’s reign whenever the opportunity arose. He rose from crossed legs and proceeded back towards their camp. A ramshackle sprawl of canvas tents met his gaze, each housing anywhere between one and ten men and of varying sizes. Honour and respect here were won through combat prowess, success and, most importantly of all, loyalty. The Young Dragon served well those who served him and knew of no other way. The usual hustle and bustle of the camp was smothered by the thundering of hooves, one of his scouts was returning with news as if propelled by the God of the Wind himself. Running to meet the ruckus he recognised Tsun immediately, one of his most trusted companions. Tsun had followed the Young Dragon during his time in the Empire, he had forever admired Seiyuu’s skill at arms and his tactical genius and made a point of voicing his aspirations shamelessly. “Tsun, you have returned, welcome” he said calmly, despite the boy’s stallion stopping just inches away from him “Why such speed? It’s as if you are here to warn us of the arrival of hell’s armies.” He chuckled slightly; humour had always helped him cope with dire situations since his exile.
xZephyrZ: The boy dismounted, his long brown hair unrestrained, falling down past his shoulders, sporting the tattered remains of an Imperial Military garb as did the man he considered his master. (Tsun)“Dragon!” he started, bowing respectfully “I bring news… of…”, he hesitated, “You.. Your father… he’s….” Seiyuu’s ears pricked up at the mention of that man, every hair on his body stood on end,(Seiyuu) “What of my father?”. By now the entire camp had been transfixed by what was unfolding, it seemed as if it was the creation of theatre, they all knew where the Young Dragon had come from, they knew of his past, they knew he revealed this as a form of penance, an attempt to repent for his sins.(Tsun) “He’s…….” Tsun hesitated again, he knew the next words from his mouth would destroy his idol, he could not bear to tear his master’s soul from his being, “dead… he.. he was killed” the words spilled from his mouth, he saw The Young Dragon turn pale, as if his heart was in the grip of death himself. Wave after wave of shock crushed him, he was drowning, the black was crushing him, his eyes darted back and forth aimlessly, his system was barely able to cope sustaining his life, his sight gone. How could he be dead? My father? Impossible! It’s not true.. thoughts raced through his mind in every direction. (Seiyuu) “Dead? How could… it’s impossible, my father can’t… EXPLAIN YOURSELF AT ONCE!” he roared, embodying the Dragons of legend “YOU ARE SURELY MISTAKEN, FOOLISH BOY!”
xZephyrZ: The world froze, expressionless faces surrounded them, not one muscle moved, no fingers twitched, the wind had ceased completely, the wildlife made nought but a squeak, Tsun recoiled from the Young Dragon as if he was set ablaze(Tsun) “Th-th-the WEDDING! IT WAS THE WEDDING! YOUR BROTHER, I WAS… EVERYONE WAS…. “ Tsun screamed desperately. He stopped, staring, his mind transported far away the words dribbled from his mouth “An assassin, she killed them all, The Warlord from the North, his son… I-I-I.. I don’t know the rest.. Th-The Serpent, The Serpent was her name”.

xZephyrZ: The Eyes of the Dragon, or the Eyes as they were commonly known, had scouts, spies and contacts in many cities, it was inevitable the Warlord’s treachery would come to their attention, but sheer coincidence Tsun had to be the one to deliver this wrecking ball. He had been sent only to watch and report on the state of the Dragon, Seiyuu kept tabs on his father’s comings and goings, he simply could not let go.

xZephyrZ: The crushing silence continued, not one man or woman dared move, though the atmosphere in which they lived was significantly more relaxed and informal compared to the norms of Japanese culture and each of them referred to the other by name they all knew how he would feel. As tears of rage welled up in his eyes he spat through clenched teeth (Seiyuu)“I.. must know more, they will pay, they will pay in blood, in land! They will pay with their lives, their families! THEY WILL PAY WITH THEIR SOULS, WITH THEIR ETERNAL SUFFERING, THEY WILL BURN!” The Young Dragon was come to life, they would blaze through the country to reach the capital of the Dragon’s Empire, the fury of the Young Dragon was to set upon the land, war was coming.

IceTe3a: Ronin nodded as he heard Tsunayoshi’s plan of attack, Ronin would scale the walls and Tsunayoshi was to walk straight into the mouth of the monster under disguise and play innocent until the time came. He formally bowed and gave Tsunayoshi respect “Sounds like a plan, I wish you luck on your part of this plan, We shall meet back here before dawn, If either of us are not here at Dawn you fall back to Rikken’s town and prepare its defenses, as will I.” saying that he turned to his horse, grabbed what was needed, the rope and grappling hook, his smoke bombs and of course his shruiken’s these would defiantly come in handy, He did not plan to kill every guard he came across, sneak past them if he could, but if they got in the way he had no choice but to kill them. Finally prepared he had everything he needed and his blades were ready for battle, he took off with speed, pressing his feet down with such power and speed his run turned into a flash step to those of slow reaction time, darting through the forest passing old tree’s that had stood to seen it all and then some he could see the castle wall getting closer. By the time Ronin appeared out of the tree line, the sun had fallen and all was dark, crouching down low he glanced the open field between the forest line and the Castle wall, “Right now to get in, the guards will be on the upper wall, but only the night watchmen, so it should be pretty dead” he said to himself, a way of re assuring himself. With the ball of his right foot, he darted towards the castle wall, as he could see a light coming from a moving held torch slowly walking its way down away from him to the end of the wall. He quickly grips the rope and grapple giving it a good spin he aims with precision letting the grapple fly up to the castle wall, hooking itself steady against the other side, Ronin gives the rope a heavy tug to place the grapple in its place making sure he would not fall mid climb. Taking one last glance for any sign of passing light he was in the clear for now, as he climbed up the old castle wall, he could hear noise, chanting and cheering. Was a party going on? Perhaps to celebrate their victory, this would serve good cover for Ronin to slip in without being noticed. He finally makes it to the top of the wall, gripping the edge he launches himself up and over the wall coming to a crouch on the walkway of the eastern wall, quickly and quietly he draws out a single katana, his eyes darting from location to location on either end of the pathway “Right.. clear..” quietly he creeps to the other side to take a glance on the inner side of the castle wall, Indeed it was a party people celebrating, drunkards fighting. This would keep the guards busy and or have them drunk off their minds, turning around he packs up the grapple and rope, hiding it in a safe location as he runs across the wall, until he finds a vantage point allowing him to jump clearly across ontop of the 3rd floor of the castle, stepping back to get a running start, he dashes forward ‘Leap of faith’ came to mind as he pushed with all his might on the ball of his foot, souring across the air he lands into a roll onto his shoulder then onto his foot on the other side, ontop of the 3rd castle floor roof. “now… if I get higher and work my way down, I should get a feel of this place. Hearing a noise behind him, he glances quickly into the shadows, just a passing guard, he sighs slightly, as he quickly starts to climb to the 4th floor, he jumps onto a balcony on the 4th floor only to have a guard come walking out onto the balcony, crouching in the darkness Ronin lied in wait for the guard to pass, no such luck and no time to waste slowly creeping closer his katana in hand, he ventures crouched behind the guard, looking up at him he comes to a quick stand, the guard must have seen him stand, as he turns around, Ronin was prepared for anything, as the guard turned around it found Ronin’s Left elbow flying into his face with great force, a crack could be heard of shattering bone, next ronin span around on the ball of his foot in a anti clockwise direction he came to face the guards other side, with a quick swing of his blade, “Shhhhhing” the guards head dropped off at his feet, the guards lifeless body falls to the floor to meet his newly decapitated head, blood spilt over Ronin’s face and chest, he wipes the blade of his katana clean before he checks for more guards. “Can’t have you being discovered” as he jammed the door closed from the outside and broke the lock with his katana, this would insure a bit of time before the body was discovered, he turned to the wall and scaled the up to the 5th level finding the balcony clear he pulls himself up, this balcony was attached to a room glancing around quickly the room was clear, he did not bother to check what else was in the room until he was in, Closing the doors behind him he quickly glanced around, weaponry, a bed, a change room, a tub full of boiling water. Was someone here? <more>
IceTe3a: He could not see anyone, perhaps they departed just before he came, This was a females room, that much was for sure. His ears twitch as they pin a noise coming from behind him, his katana slices in the direction without warning, to decapitate a snakes head from its body “A snake… The serpents room” This was perfect, he could wait here and when she arrived he would be in hiding and she would be at a disadvantage to his attack, he quickly shoved the snake out the window, as he searched for a hiding place, behind a curtain would be to obvious, in the clothing was just pointless as that could be the first place she goes to, no shadows, no closets this was becoming a bad Idea, he notices a desk over in the corner, with paper and ink on top of it, taking a glance it was dark underneath and would allow him to hide and not be seen, Re sheathing his katana as it would be too big to hold under the desk, he slides under there and crouches waiting for her to arrive, and in that moment when she shows her guard down, he would strike. Meanwhile The warlord watches as the serpent takes palm in hand, he guides her to sit on his knee as he strokes her hair gently “You do me proud, Tell me what happened? Did they suffer for their insolence, leave no details” he glances at his son and the young lady, and waves them off “ You two prepare yourself for tonight’s celebrations, I will meet you in the Banquet hall, Serpent, you may go and prepare yourself for tonight Once I am informed of the details of today’s victory” he smirks at the idea of his enemy the dragon suffering at the hand of his top assassin, and that fat oaf Rikken dying after he betrayed his word, the Warlord relished in the pain of others, and it showed. The party outside was in full swing, music was blasting people cheering and chanting songs and title, the warlords army was drunk and at peace for now enjoying the moment, Little did they know that they had left one of the dragon’s bloodline alive, and that could cause serious issue down the track, only time would tell. <E>

CharlotteCarrendar’ – Wise beyond his years, Tsunayoshi knew the art of deception and how to mask his identity to those guards that watch the gate, while the rest of the Castle was involved deep in the celebrations. A simple bow to the Ronin, who had a monumental task ahead of him, the old warrior brought up his hood, as he had done so before. This allowed him the anonymity that was required for this audacious task. With only his staff showing, his katana well hidden beneath his ragged shroud, he took only with him a simple book, that was tied to his chest and swung low – his boa staff his only visible weapon, though he leant his body against it so it seemed he was frail and weak. Shuffling along the trail that led to the imposing gates of the Warlord’s castle, he spied ahead only two guards that were on night watch. Clearly, their leader was of the assumption that none would dare seek to come barrelling up the gates to take back Rikken’s daughter. Oh how wrong they were. The guards raised their heads, on seeing what looked to be an elderly man who ambled along as though lame. “What business are you here for, old man?” One guard asked, as another raised a torch to see the old warrior better. Keeping his head down, his body shook with a nervous tremor, as though he was afflicted by some functional abnormality. In a hoarse voice that croaked in reply. “The Warlord seeks to have a blessing for his son’s new bride to be. I have come far across the hills. Pray I do not have to turn back now. I fear his wrath if I am late.” Carefully chosen words, which were heeded by the Guards. They knew the Warlord hated to be kept waiting, and if this man, this…monk was here to perform a duty to the Warlord, then he must be ushered inside. “This way, old man.” The horn was sounded, and the gates were opened by a throng of guards within. The old warrior bowed repeatedly for such gracious hosts, and then shuffled through. The guards failed to notice the katana that he bore beneath his cloak, and this would later be their undoing. :: A guard within was instructed to lead the old warrior to the Rooms of the Warlord’s son, who had with him the daughter of Rikken. She was to be dressed in the special gown that had already been made for her, on word that Rikken had agreed to the deal for her hand. Passing by many rooms that had guards and elders of the court enjoying the lavishing of fine foods and wine, Tsunayoshi could see gaping holes in their security, that would help him spirit the girl to safety once he reached her room. All he needed, was a little more time. He shuffled onward, until the guard stopped just outside the bride to be’s room. “In here.” Tsunayoshi bowed and then he opened the door, going inside and closing it gently behind him. The daughter of Rikken was standing at the window, her heart heavy at the loss of her father, but still under the belief that she loved the Warlord’s son. Where was he, you might ask? Being bathed and prepared to be presented to her before the Warlord. :: The Serpent moved graciously up the stairs, and then sat herself down upon the Warlord’s lap, just as he had wanted her too. She moved her head as he stroked his hand down her hair, and then with a light shake, her hair was released from its binds. A shimmering veil of black that went down to the very base of her back. She was very much snake like, and when her head was raised for the Warlord to gaze upon her face, her eyes were almost mesmerizing. Lips so pink and plump, a richness to the crimson of her cheeks, that offset the alabaster sheen of her skin. The Warlord treated her like a daughter, but she was so much more than that. She was the very viper that beheaded a Dragon. Few could make such a claim and yet here she was, victorious as the Warlord was to enjoy the spoils. The Warlord wanted to hear the tale first hand from his Serpent. “If it pleases my Master, the Dragon was not so noble upon his steed. Belief in self was partly to blame, but of course, he presented his son to the Wart hog Rikken, and thus, I was able to easy sink my fangs into his head. His skull did crack and his eyes popped from his head, like two small tiny balls, that hung upon blood red tendrils. He died the death of the shamed. No warrior was he. A sham. My Master now would hold sway over the lands of the Wart Hog Rikken and the Dragon.” All this said as she moved her body sensually. The Serpent was more than a woman, she was the embodiment of the very snake that had blessed her so long ago. Her tale told she knew he would wish her to go and get ready for the feast, and so she dared to plant a kiss to his cheek before sliding off and then gliding out of the room, to go to her own, and dress as a high warrior of the Warlord. <3>

xZephyrZ: Just as Tsun had sped to deliver the news of the Dragons death Seiyuu and his men sped to the capital Kyoto, a vast urban sprawl, hundreds if not thousands of years old. Of course their arrival caused all kinds of commotion, but the guards recognised the tattered garb donned by the young dragon and let him through. “Await my return” he muttered as he rode off in to the city alone. There was so much he needed to know, a sea of unanswered questions, was it really true, was his father slain? The city itself was lifeless, he began to come to terms with what must be, the citizens in mourning, the loss of an Emperor, the greatest Japan had seen for centuries, this was the entire country’s burden to bear, save for those bastards loyal to that treacherous dog in the north. With haste he reached the Inner Sanctum of the Emperor’s Royal Palace, not guard nor noble stopping him, they were certainly awestruck to see the Young Dragon return, especially in the state he was in, tattered and beaten. He knew where they would be, a room which carried grim memories for him, unannounced he entered the War Room. “Is it true?” he bellowed, blowing in to the room as the wind of a tempest (Seiyuu) “Is my father dead?”. The Young Dragon had come home at last only to find his family slaughtered. Military man and noble alike turned to meet him, some with shock, some with outrage, but one remained dead calm. (Mitsunari) “Yes, it is true, the Dragon is dead, War comes to the land, what concern is it of yours?” Mitsunari Akihide was a prominent figure in the Young Dragon’s past, a general respected above all others, personal advisor to the Emperor, known simply as wisdom itself. It was him who had taken control after receiving news of the ambush and subsequent death of the Dragon and his Eldest Son, it was him who would manage the Empire in their stead. He knew exactly who had walked through those doors, he knew the Young Dragon would return enraged and he knew he would seek vengeance, but as far as he was concerned Seiyuu had abandoned his family and had no right to concern himself with such matters. (Seiyuu) “What concern is this of mine? You ask me why I concern myself with the death of my father? Why I have returned to my home? Vengeance! I seek to kill those that defile this land with my own two hands, that is why I have returned!” he replied maintaining a respectful tone in his voice (Mitsunari) “You abandoned your family, you accepted exile, your presence is meaningless here, return from whence you came” Mitsunari was never rash, nor even excited, he was calm and collected without fail, his patience and tolerance seemingly endless, such words coming from him pierced deep, he could not know how much the Young Dragon had changed, how he regretted so the past. Seiyuu paused, taking a deep breath he collected himself, he would not fail here, he knelt coming to a bow on all fours (Seiyuu) “I beg of you, I do not wish to reclaim my place here, I do not wish to inherit my father’s kingdom, I wish only to help bring justice to those who orchestrated this, I humbly present myself as a servant, I will do all in my power to unite Japan, please allow me to aid you”. Mitsunari closed his eyes, exhaling loudly, he could see the Young Dragon had changed, he was far from redemption but this wasn’t the time to focus on petty details, war WAS coming, the armies of the Dragon would march and they needed a leader; it would be foolish to doubt his skill. (Mitsunari) “As the only remaining heir we have no choice but to accept you as our Emperor, however, you WILL pledge your life to the redemption of your soul, you WILL serve this Empire tirelessly even after you die, you WILL NEVER lay claim to the land outside these walls, nor the riches of your people and you WILL NEVER cause the death of another innocent person, if you accept these terms, you may serve your people once more, I will send word to your men outside and we will begin our counter-offensive”. Droplets erupted from his eyes, he had been afforded another chance, he knew he didn’t deserve it, but he would certainly not refuse it (Seiyuu) “I pledge my life and my sword to my people” he replied, rising from his bow, they didn’t have time from dramatic reunions or heated duels to the death, it was time for war.