Samstag d. 22 Oktober

A/N: Hi, this is my first story on Fiction Press, so please forgive me if this is not up to standard! I have an co- authored account on Fan Fiction, (Nyviay and Cyraxis), and that is how I found out about this site. Anyways, a little background info before I start! Kunoichi is the name given to a female ninja; ninjutsu is Japanese for 'the art of stealth', and is the martial art that ninjas used; and, contrary to popular belief, ninjas were not evil. They did engage in guerrilla warfare if the situation demanded it, and they did the odd assassination when necessary. There were a few evil ninjas who basically hired themselves out as hit men/ women, though. I guess that's all you really need to know at the moment! If there are any Japanese words for weapons or stances, I'll try to explain them as best I can as I go along! The chapters won't be too long, 'cause otherwise people might get bored (or at least more bored!) and I'll feel I have to make every chapter that long. And then I won't want to write. And I won't update. And you get the picture: my laziness will prevail!

Ok, I've rambled on long enough now! Hope you enjoy! Don't forget to review!

P.S. Yes, the date is in German, and no, there is not any particular reason. I just like German!

Note: Ninjas did not possess magical powers (to the best of everyone's knowledge). They did encourage this rumour so that enemies would be frightened of them, and thus reluctant to provoke them, hurt them, attack their clans/ families, or poke them with sticks. However, as this is a fantasy story, I am giving my ninjas a sort of supernatural powers, because they rock, and it'll be cool to write about! What I'm trying to say is, I'll try to stay accurate to ninja history in most places, but I am making up some stuff in a vague attempt to make it interesting for you. Oh, and if you see text in italics and brackets, that's someone thinking. (Do they really care, I don't think so.)

Sorry if ya already know loads about ninjas and just had to sit through me talking incessantly about them, and I have already used the word ninja (s) 9 times, and the story isn't started yet: I promise my normal intros will not be this long, this is just background stuff for the start!


Chapter One-Michiyo Ayumi

Michiyo Shun looked out across the mountain range beneath him and smiled. Today he was going to become a father! Too bad he was still on guard duty, but he wouldn't be allowed to be present at the birth anyway: women only. There would be the priestess, the midwives, and of course his wife. Michiyo Akane. He sighed; she had cost him his family, his friends, his status as a high ranking samurai… his whole life. It was because of his marrying her, a woman who did not belong to the aristocracy, instead of the Emperor's daughter, that he had been forced to live out here, in hiding. Yet still he loved her, and would give up everything a million times over just for her. Ironic, he thought, as he smiled to himself, that of all the adversaries he had faced and fought, the person to stop him would be a pretty woman three years younger than him. She had dark brown hair which fell down to her waist, and hazel eyes that glittered when she laughed. About a foot shorter than himself, she was quite short, yet very beautiful-

"Um, Shun? Shun?"

He spun round; it was Yamada.

"Are you ok?"

"Sorry," Shun replied, grinning, "I was in a world of my own!"

"Hmm, so it seems! Thought you might want to head off early, I don't mind taking your place. It's not everyday your child's born!"

"It's already born?"

"Yup, a beautiful baby girl!"

"… Wow…"

"Go on! Get outta here! Go see your daughter!"

"Thanks, Yamada." He said, as he cast a last quick glance across the mountains. The bushes swayed and rustled in the breeze. "I'll see you later back at the village."

He gave a swift wave to his friend, and headed off towards the village. It was quite a warm day, and there was no wind to take away the sun's heat.

Shun slowed to a stop. No wind. The bushes had been moving, though…

"No." he whispered under his breath. Somewhere behind him Yamada yelled, and Shun broke into a run; he had to reach the village, he had to warn everyone of the attackers.

Two minutes later he reached the village; he wasn't called Shun for nothing! (The name Shun means 'fast person') He yelled for all the fighters to read themselves, and for the children to get inside. It was not long before the enemies came into view.

There were about 50 of them in total, almost double the amount of fighters in their small town. Wearing scale mail armour, they were obviously far better equipped, too. Judging by the colours, blues and greens, they were Emperor's men. Samurai.

The village soldiers looked round at Shun; obviously they had realised this too. He sighed, it was his fault they were here. He had put all these people, his new friends, at risk. The soldiers were now only about 100 metres away from the town. He stepped forward from the meagre ranks of the fighters, and walked calmly towards the village gate and stood as they approached.

"Ishimaru? Stop! What business do you have here? Word is that you killed one of our men on the mountains." (I'm so sorry I let you down, Yamada. I couldn't have saved you.) he said as the apparent leader of the men stepped forward to meet him.

"We come at the Emperor's bidding. He does not take kindly to traitors who reject his family, Shun." Ishimaru replied.

"You are still my brother, despi-"

"You are no brother of mine!"

"I love Akane, not his daughter, I cannot help that…"

"Emperor told me that you would say that. He also said that if you did, to kill you."

Shun drew his katana, Kazuma; it glinted in the sun's light. "You can try. You may be my brother, but I will still fight you!" he exclaimed.

"Then let no more be said!" yelled Ishimaru, drawing his own sword and discarding the elaborate scabbard. He raised his sword above his head and brought it down

in a swift movement. Shun leapt out of the way and rolled to his left, onto one knee, bringing his own blade upwards, slashing at the side of his opponent. Stepping back, Ishimaru dodged and blocked the attack; sparks fell to the ground where the two swords struck each other. Shun leapt up into shizen stance (standing still, arms by sides, facing opponent) with his sword by his side, and Ishimaru thrust towards him. Shun moved his feet out in an arc, evading the lunge, and countered by bringing his sword down upon his brother's wrist. (Kata te tsuki, badly described) Dropping his katana, Ishimaru flinched and stepped back.

"Don't just stand there; get the others! Kill them! Burn the village! You know the Emperor's commands!" he ordered. Around them the two forces met and fought, leaving the two brothers in the centre of the battle. Shun picked up his brothers blade and held it out to him. Dubiously, Ishimaru took the sword. Shun turned to walk back to his starting position. In a flash of cold light the sword of Ishimaru was thrust forward. Shun fell to the floor. Ishimaru looked down at his sibling, and the rapidly spreading pool of blood, and stood beside him.

"And may your spirit be rejected by our ancestors; your spirit will never see their great halls!" he got up and walked away.

Shun became aware of a dull pain in his back. His thoughts came slowly and they were fuzzy. He tried to focus them; it was like trying to remember a fading dream, but one came to the front of his mind. Akane and his daughter! Opening his eyes he levered himself up onto his elbows. Around him the village soldiers lay dead, a few still struggled on. It was futile. He became aware that a number of houses were alight, the smell of smoke made him cough, and he was aware of the coppery taste of blood in his mouth.

With great effort, he pulled himself to his feet; the pain in his back was much clearer and sharper now. He put it to one side and looked around for his wife.

"Akane!" he yelled "Akane, where are you?!"

No answer.

He limped towards their house and pushed the door open.

"Shun!" he was almost bowled over by Akane racing to meet him. "Shun, what's happening?… You're hurt!"

She was carrying a small bundle wrapped in woollen blankets.

"…Is that her?"

Akane nodded and passed the baby over to it's father. "Beautiful, isn't she?"

"… She's.. she's.. so small!" Shun smiled and a small tear rolled down his cheek. "What's her name?"

"I wanted you to help me choose. I don't have any ideas…"

Shun shook his head and passed her back to his wife. "You need to get out of here with her… they've found us. If they discover you both…"

"Aren't you coming with us?"

"I can't. It' my fault they're here. Anyway… I won't last much longer…"

"Shun! We're stay-"

Her voice was drowned out by the shouts of soldiers as they burst through the door.

"Akane, run!"

"No! I can't just leave you here!"


Akane screamed as a soldier quickly dispatched of the mortally wounded Shun and headed towards her. Clutching their child tightly to her chest, she turned to run, but was blocked by another samurai. As he lunged forward with his sword, she was dimly aware of the sound of horses nearing; it seemed to take forever for her to reach the ground. The horses were outside the house now. She fell beside her husband and looked across at him through a curtain of tears as the last breath left her body. More men entered the house and she could hear swords clash and the samurai shouting. Then it was silent. A man knelt down beside the two and the child, he bore mark of their neighbouring clan.

"… Shun… we came as quickly as we could… I'm so sorry." he said in a whisper.

"Do not think upon it, my friend… do one thing for me. Look after… our child. Teach her in our ways…"

"You have my word. What is she to be called?"

Shun looked across at his wife and daughter. "Call her Ayumi… Michiyo Ayumi."

The man smiled. "Ayumi: walk your own way…"

And then Michiyo Shun died.

Suddenly, he was outside a grand door. Looking around him, he saw a woman standing a few feet away. She had her back to him, and her dark brown hair fell down to her waist. "Akane!"

She spun around and he pulled her into an embrace. She laughed and her hazel eyes glittered. The door in front opened letting golden light spill out, and hand in hand they entered the halls of their ancestors.

Ok, hope you enjoyed it! I'll give the definitions of the names now! It seems that in Japan they have surnames first, incase you're thinking that they're all called the same thing.

Michiyo (Shun's family/ surname) - three thousand generations

Shun- fast person

Akane (Shun's wife) - rosy Sky

Ayumi (Shun and Akane's daughter) - walk your own way

Ishimaru (Shun's brother) - round stone

Kazuma (Shun's katana) - one reality

Just thought that you might want to know. All names courtesy of the website "Rum and Monkey"'s Japanese name generator.

Idid put in the Japanese characters, throughout the story, in brackets as well, but they didn't work on this!

Please review! And yes, I didn't want the chapter to be that long, but I got a bit carried away! Well, that's supposed to set the scene. Any questions raised by the chapter will hopefully be answered in later chapters. Please review! Thank you for taking the time to read!