I'm feeling so terribly guilty about the lack of updates! But if you murder me, then there will be no new chapters ever, so…

Uh… just enjoy, please?

She loved him? That explained some things. But left so many more questions unanswered.

She had hidden it well enough. If she hadn't told him, he never would have realised.

Or maybe he was just too wrapped up in his own problems to realise, and she hadn't been hiding it after all.

Kasumi loved him. He found it hard to believe. Simply because he couldn't understand why.

But that was something he would have to ponder over later. Now certainly wasn't the time.

Now certainly—

He cursed under his breath. Assassins wandering around, and he had let her just walk off.

Number one way to get your best friend's sister killed, Ryu. Nicely done.

She could look after herself. He didn't doubt that one bit. She had more than proved that to him in the second tournament. Even thinking about the defeat he could easily have suffered had he not been careful brought the slightest of grimaces to his face.

But then again. The assassins after him… weren't quite the same. Certainly not acting under the same system of honour. The only thing they cared about was the kill, not how they killed.

And again. He was standing there, pondering, letting her get further ahead.

He broke into a run after her. Angry kunoichi or not, he'd prefer her angry over being dead simply because of his carelessness.

"You cannot defeat me."

He approached in time to see her bring the last ninja down with a flurry of punches and kicks, before a neat stab with her tanto.

She sheathed her tanto, bending down and shutting the ninjas' eyes before straightening again. "Hayate Nii-san. If you truly want to see me dead, then you should send more skilled warriors. I don't like doing this, but you leave me no choice."

"No, you have left me no choice, Kasumi."

He froze. She stiffened. They both knew that voice far too well.

They hadn't been expecting it, either of them. How foolish were they?


To the anonymous reviewer who informed me that this story had been marked as 'complete', thank you very much for letting me know. As I'm sure we all realise, this story is far from complete and as such, I have no idea why it was marked as complete. So, yes, thanks again for letting me know about that.