Ninja Chronicle: Path of the Shinobi

By: gmsephiroth

Disclaimer: I do not own Dead or Alive, Ninja Gaiden, or any related articles and characters present in this writing. They are property of Tecmo and Team Ninja (but you already know that).

I present to you the modified version of Chapter 1. I decided to rewrite it since the previous version was sub par by my own standards. I hope you enjoy this one.

Chapter 1: Resurfacing Darkness

It was a cool winter morning when Ryu Hayabusa had received the letter. As he walked into his shop, he took in his surroundings, making sure that it had not been disturbed since his visit just yesterday. Everything seemed to be in order, and then he saw it. The letter. Upon opening it, he discovered it was a summons from the Emperor himself. The letter requested that Ryu to make his way to the Imperial Palace as urgently as possible. Rereading it to make sure he did not miss any details, Ryu decided to take action. At that moment, Ryu dropped everything he had planned on doing and dressed himself in his traditional shozoko, given to him by his father after he had become a full-fledged ninja, just before the incident in Vigoor. He rushed outside, and after receiving a few stares from the public, He disappeared in a whirlwind of leaves…

Ryu observed the perimeter of the Imperial Palace of Japan, from his hiding position in the trees. He looked at the guards posted there, and wondered again what the urgent summons was about. Ryu had never been summoned to the Imperial Palace before, so it had to be something of great importance. While in today's day and age the Emperor is technically nothing but a figurehead, shinobi were traditionally spies of the emperor, and they served him loyally. This had not changed even now. Finally deciding to make his way in, he jumped from his hiding position and landed in front of two guards. The guards were temporarily stunned as Ryu simply stood there and stared at them. Quickly regaining their composure, they crossed their spears in front of Ryu, not allowing him to pass.

"This is the Imperial Palace of Japan. No one is allowed beyond these gates without permission from the Emperor himself. Please leave." One of them said, looking ready to fight Ryu if need be. Ryu, however, did not have time to discuss his situation, and simply pulled out the letter he had been sent. He showed it to the guards. After looking at it closely, they both straightened.

"My apologies. You may proceed." The same guard said. Upon saying this, the other guard knocked in precise pattern on the large wooden door. Both guards stepped away from the door, and it opened. Inside were two large rows of guards. They all appeared to be highly skilled warriors. Ryu briefly thought of how difficult it might be to fight them. Hopefully he would never have to find out. Another set of large wooden doors stood before Ryu. He stared at them for a minute, and they opened. As Ryu stepped inside he could see more guards, and the Emperor himself sitting at his throne. Finally within the Emperor's presence, Ryu began to speak.

"I have come by your request, my lord." Ryu said as he bowed to the Emperor. The Emperor stared at him thoughtfully, and proceeded to make a quick hand gesture. He then spoke.

"Rise, young Hayabusa. I never formally met with you, and I had planned to after hearing of your clan's destruction all those years ago. My apologies…"

Ryu visibly flinched as the Emperor said this, but he did not move from his place.

"…But you had already run off to the Holy Vigoor Empire by the time I found out. A shinobi from the Mugen-Tenshin clan I sent as a spy told me all about your exploits there…" he continued.

Ryu figured it must have been Ayane. He quickly pushed the thought aside as the Emperor continued to speak.

"…But enough small talk. The urgent business I have summoned you for regards the Holy Vigoor Empire and the Dark Dragon Blade, which appears to have resurfaced there." The Emperor said.

Ryu's eyes went instantly wide. He could not believe what he had just heard. The Dark Dragon Blade, which he himself had destroyed, was once again appeared in the Holy Vigoor Empire? Ryu decided it would be best to gather all the details before making such assumptions.

"My lord, you did say the Dark Dragon Blade, correct? Are you sure what you're saying is accurate?" Ryu inquired skeptically, He just could not believe the Emperor's words.

"I placed spies in Vigoor after its collapse seven years ago, to monitor the Empire's situation over time. They reported that a large, black dragon appeared in the sky one day, and a man, a scientist of Vigoor, said the Emperor was not dead, and that the Empire would soon be restored. He was wielding a blade identified as the Dark Dragon Blade. This situation concerns me, and so, I decided to summon you, since you already have some experience in the Empire. However, despite your previous efforts, I want to be absolutely certain that the mission I'm about to give you is completed, so I am giving you the liberty of selecting three other shinobi from any clan of your choosing. Like all shinobi missions, this is to be kept in the dark, young one, and I want you to remember that. You will be sent to the Vigoorian border and then make your way into Vigoorian territory. From there, you will make your way into the Vigoorian capital, Tairon, where the scientist is said to have appeared, and eliminate him, along with the Dark Dragon Blade and anything connected to it." The Emperor explained.

Ryu allowed all of the information to sink in. He reviewed the information in his head, and gathered it together.

"Basically, my lord, you're telling me that out of seemingly nowhere, a giant black dragon appeared in the skies of Vigoor. At the same time, a man wielding the Dark Dragon Blade appeared, claiming that Vigoor, both the Emperor and the Empire, would soon be restored. And so, you summoned me here to go to Vigoor and investigate the situation with three other shinobi of my choosing. We will sneak into the Empire by crossing the border secretly, and make our way to the capital city of Tairon. If the facts appear to be true, I am to secure and neutralize the Dark Dragon Blade, as well as anything connected to it in some way." Ryu summarized.

The Emperor simply stared at him for a moment. He then answered.

"Yes, that is the basic gist of the mission. You are to begin preparations immediately. I will give you three days to prepare yourself and gather a team. You are to meet my men at the airport in Tokyo when you are ready."

Without another word, Ryu stood, bowed slightly, and walked out of the palace. Ryu could feel a dark omen wash over him. A resurfacing darkness appeared in his heart, and he knew that this mission would not have a happy ending like his last visit to the Vigoorian Empire. He would have to search for comrades to assist him in his mission as well. But who? He decided not to ponder the question too much right now, as he had one major task to complete before he could do so.

Later that day…

Ryu had made his way into his old home. The Hayabusa Village was intact, the way he had left it when he last visited. The ruins would serve as a constant reminder of his family and friends, who had all died defending the Dark Dragon Blade, but to no avail. Ryu, however, did not weep, as he had avenged their deaths when he destroyed Doku as well as the Dark Dragon Blade when he went to Vigoor all those years ago. Ryu approached the Graveyard.

Ryu stood before the grave of Kureha once more. He unsheathed the Dragon Sword, and pulled the Dragon Eye from its resting place on the necklace hanging from the grave. He never thought he would ever be doing this again. As he placed the glowing gem into the small indentation on the sword's hilt, the Dragon Sword began to glow in the same way as the gem did. It had once again transformed into the True Dragon Sword. If the Dark Dragon Blade had truly been restored, then Ryu would require the True Dragon Sword to complete this mission. Ryu already had the rest of his equipment ready. On his back were perched the Vigoorian Flails, which also served as a constant reminder of his battles in Vigoor. The weapon itself, however, proved most effective in combat. On his legs he had strapped Incendiary Shuriken. On his arm was the Windmill Shuriken. He was as prepared as he could possibly be for this mission.

After paying his respects, Ryu dashed out of the village. After turning once he had exited the village to give it one last look before the mission, he disappeared from the ruined village in a whirlwind of leaves. He had to search for allies, as the Emperor had requested. Though Ryu preferred to work alone, he had the undying feeling that he would need all the help he could get…

The next day…

Ryu awoke in his shop. He had spent the night there pondering who to bring on the mission. There were many ninja clans with suitable candidates, but Ryu needed someone he could trust, and would be useful during the mission. His thoughts always wandered back to the Mugen-Tenshin clan. Ayane was already familiar with the Vigoorian Empire. He could also ask Hayate. Though Hayate might be unwilling to go, it was a direct order from the Emperor, so he could not turn it down. Ryu did not want to force anyone into doing this, but he felt he had no choice, and finally having made up his mind, he decided to pay a visit to the Mugen-Tenshin clan's village, located deep in the mountains. Time was of the essence, and of extremely short supply. There was none to waste. And yet again, Ryu charged outside, weapons at the ready, and disappeared into a whirlwind of leaves.

To be continued…

I hope you like version two of my first chapter. I made it longer and corrected a few mistakes in the writing. Hopefully this one is better. Regardless, constructive criticism is always welcome. Oh, and PLEASE REVIEW!

Anyway, more to come soon. I'm aiming for 1 chapter a week minimum, so you can expect them to come pretty quickly if you're the type that doesn't like waiting (like me).

Hope you enjoyed, and stay tuned for the next one!

-gmsephiroth