Dragon Lady: Say it, Hotsuma!


Dragon: Say it or I'll make someone sleep with Kagari before you do!

Hotsuma: You sick pedophile! She's only thirteen in this story!

Dragon: I didn't say right now, and besides you'll be twenty-four, she'll be nineteen!

Hotsuma: You know when…EW… All right. Dragon Lady does not own any Shinobi characters, they all belong to Sega, and uh, uh…the dude who conceived the idea! June, well he belongs to Ms. Nanzu Tsukaso, the creator the Shinobi N.I.T. Series.

Dragon: You don't know the name of your own creator?

Hotsuma: I sure as Hell don't want to know you!

Dragon: _ Damn I hate it when he gets rebellious! Now read, you!

Become the ninja

By Dragon Lady


Hotsuma swallowed hard. This was it. This was the day. It was frigid outside, but he was sweating like it was summertime. He the grabbed mouth covers on his shirt and yanked it down. Breathing in the cold air clamed him down a bit. He turned to his older brother, Moritsune, and grinned nervously. He smiled back and before Hotsuma could say anything said, "No, it's just you."

He didn't understand how he would be able to complete this task. Today was the day after his Sixteenth birthday. Moritsune would be Twenty-one in two months. According to the Oboro ninja's clan traditions, Hotsuma and Moritsune were to duel over a sword called Akujiki. It had mystical powers that only Shinobi could unlock. The winner of this battle MUST kill the loser, after which they will become the owner of the Akujiki, the leader of the Oboro, and take the identity of the fabled Shinobi. There was so much at stake here... he didn't know how he could handle it.

The battlefield they were to fight on was about five miles away from the Oboro's grounds. It was almost dusk. The sun had almost totally disappeared behind Zhang Mountain. The sky had been gray all day, and a melancholy mood hung in the air, like it was waiting for a moment of despair to multiply upon. Walking with the brothers was Naoko and Joe Musashi, their aunt and uncle, Master Kobushi, one of the elders of the Oboro clan, Ageha Takahashi, a friend of the Musashi's and around the boys' age, and Kagari Ubusuna, the twelve-year-old leader of the Ubusuna Shrine. Not a one of them had said a word after Kagari had tried to lighten the mood with a cheerful word to the brothers. "In order for there to be good, there must also be bad!" she piped. Hotsuma had only given her a hateful scowl, and she fell back to the rear of the group.

Two miles later. "Kagari," Hotsuma snapped, "come up here for a minute, you might get hurt." She timidly approached him; after all, he was four years older, and a lot bigger and stronger. His conscience must have had caught up with him. "Kagari, I didn't mean to look at you that way, okay?"

Don't worry," she replied, "it takes more than a few dirty looks to make me cry."

Joe put his arm around Naoko and sighed heavily. "You need to stop a minute, Joe?" she inquired.

"Nah, I'm fine."

"Joe-I'm not so sure about this..."

"Yeah, me too. I just wish one of them had been born on the Eve Of Yatsurao, then we wouldn't have to go through this."

Master Kobushi joined in, "Our ancestors have founded this-and we will carry it on. We are the last of our kind, remember."

"But this is ridiculous! Joe, don't you agree? They're just kids!"

"You're right, Naoko, however, if we don't do this the sword will become confused, It thinks that both of them is the owner... think what would happen if we allowed this to continue."

"I think sometimes this family is cursed..."

And Joe secretly agreed with her.

They had arrived at the battlefield, and Moritsune nearly wet his pants. He was probably more nervous than Hotsuma. All week he had thought about this day, this very evening, where one of them wouldn't be returning home. Would never have a future. It was still about an hour until sunset, their starting time. Now they would have to suffer even longer, Moritsune thought. Why couldn't they start now? He knew the answer to that immediately: It would simply be too easy. "Well boys," Naoko said tauntingly "You have half an hour to rest."

"What do you mean, boys? I dunno about Hotsuma here, but I'm a man!" Moritsune jeered.

"What is that supposed to mean?!?!?!" Hotsuma cried in mock-anger. "Well, when I was a kid, at least people could tell I was a boy!"

"Gaaa!" Moritsune tackled him and they play fought like they did when they were younger. "Disgraceful." Master Kobushi muttered, smiling. They had all forgotten about the duel.


It was now time for them to begin the fight to the finish. The boys crossed a large patch of grassless land. The soil had been stained red from years before, where there was drought for long periods of time with no rain to wash away the blood. Master Kobushi stood in front of a gong. Joe, Naoko, and Kagari remained on the rock Ageha was the only spectator brave enough to get close to the match. She positioned herself next to Master Kobushi. Hotsuma crossed over to the end of the field where the rock was placed, and Moritsune on the other side. Soon the nightmare would be over.

A surprisingly warm breeze blew across the battlefield. It blew Moritsune's hair in the wind, and then Master Kobushi raised his hand. "We must start." He said as he lowered his head.

"Brother, I thank you for all that you have taught me until this day. For all your wisdom and knowledge that you have shared with me. I wouldn't be half as good as I am now if it weren't for you."

"Don't worry about anything Hotsuma. Strike as though you mean to kill, or we'll be here for the rest of our lives. Now, let us begin!"

They ran for each other, jumped up in the air, and slashed. Hotsuma came away with a nasty cut in his side, while Moritsune was barely grazed. "Come on Hotsuma!" Moritsune shouted, "Focus!"

He tried to imagine that this was an enemy he was fighting, but he couldn't deny it. He cared for his brother too much to kill him, how could he? Moritsune had practically raised him. Joe and Naoko were his legal guardians, but they were gone a lot on business, trying to keep peace with the other clans. It was like trying to kill your mother. He inwardly laughed at the thought of this.

Moritsune was like a mother to him. He was very protective of him. Even when Hotsuma started Kindergarten in Tokyo Moritsune had made it clear to everyone that if they even touched his little brother they would die. When their father had died, Moritsune was the one who finally convinced him that it was okay, life wouldn't end just because June wasn't around.  When Hotsuma's High school Principal kept trying to hit on him, as weird as it may sound, Moritsune had only to intercept once and he never even so much as looked at him wrong anymore.

And now his protector for so many years lay on the ground, recovering from a shattering blow by Hotsuma's sword. "Ack!" He cried as he tried to stand, holding a wound on his shoulder. Hotsuma approached him slowly; it was kind of frightening to see him in pain.

"Keep going!" Moritsune shouted, he raised his sword and brought it down on Hotsuma's leg, as he had tripped trying to back away. This battle may have seemed like only a few minutes, but actually it had been going on for nearly two hours now, the combatants were at the end of their wits. Hotsuma was breathing almost as if he was hyperventilating, and Moritsune was a bloody mess.

"I don't think either of us can hold out much longer… Moritsune…"


An empty smile formed on Hotsuma's lips. It had been a long time since he'd heard that sincere tone from Moritsune.

The last time he had used it, was the concern of Hotsuma's overdose of Arsenic. An angry neighboring clan had slipped amounts of it into his drink at a party. One small drink was all it took, and after he tasted the poison it was too late. The rest was a blur, and at the hospital, before he fell into unconsciousness, Moritsune said, "You'll make it." What he didn't hear after he closed his eyes was in Moritsune's usual nasal and haughty voice, "cuz if you don't I'll pee on your grave."

He was sure of it now. He couldn't be any more on the mark about this one.

"I'm serious now."

"Good to hear, Brother."

Hotsuma and Moritsune jumped and slashed yet again, this time, Moritsune fell, blood gushing wildly from the deep laceration from his side. He stood weakly, and his eyes met Hotsuma's. His Brother's eyes were as large as he had ever seen them; his pupils were small and jerking slightly. This would be the last time he would ever see his brother, and here he was, with this freaky look on his face like he'd see somebody get mauled by a rabid dog.

Hotsuma sensed Moritsune's thoughts a shook his head to clear it.

"M-Moritsune…?" he stuttered.

"You are the leader of the Oboro now." He said in between gasps of pain. "You must be strong…take the sword…take…Akujiki." Moritsune pulled the sword out of its resting place and threw it at Hotsuma. He fell on his knees to the grounds, folding his legs under him.

Hotsuma numbly threw the sheath to the side. Standing behind his brother, he raised the sword.

            Ageha was struck by something. This caused her eyes to grow wide with fear. "This…this whole time…while I've been watching this fight…somewhere inside me…I'd been hoping that Hotsuma would lose the entire time…now I paid the price for it." Master Kobushi glanced over at Ageha, her face expressionless, but a river of tears flowing across her cheeks.

The Cherry blossoms billowed in the wind…but it was too early for cherry blossoms. Why were they here? They were as unnatural, as unnatural as Moritsune's death.

            It seemed to be raining cherry blossoms.

Hotsuma shifted his stance.

            The rain of flowers did not stop.

He lowered the sword to his brother's neck.

            The blossoms were falling harder now, like there was a cloud full of them instead of rain.

He then flipped the sword, reverse side facing Moritsune.

            They fell harder, as if beckoning him to slash.

A trickle of blood ran down his mouth, where he had been biting his lip, he wiped it away with his sleeve.

Every part of him was screaming 'SWING!' The Trees, the earth, and the blossoms dancing in the wind.

Hotsuma thrusted the sword with all his might…and the rest, they say, is History…


What was I smoking…GOSH! Well, you know your place, O great reader.