Edited 9/15/05: Okay, fair warning to new readers. I wrote the prologue and the first some odd fifteen chapters when I was fourteen. I'm twenty. Do the math. So the start of this story, along with The Clean Up Crew and The Chibi Files are grossly outdated from Sabel and some of my most recent works. The difference is obvious. But however outdated my writing style at the beginning of this fic is, the story's integrity and overall enjoy-ability should not have been compromised (I think. My fans tell me so, but then again they're just insane.) and I'm proud to say, the writing improved and changed dramatically along with the story throughout the six years I've been writing it. You can even say, as you read and chronicle the lives of the Ronins, that as they grew in maturity, so did this fic in its writing, its direction, and its love for this anime. So I thank all of my old and current supporters for making this monstrosity of an epic into what it is (It's all for Takeru and you know it!), and I welcome all new readers into a world that I hope is as enjoyable and action packed and heart wrenching as I envisioned it to be.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Ronin Warriors in any way. But all characters and storylines not originally present in the RW TV series belong to me. So please don't take them from me. Thank you!
Shadow within the Darkness
By: Little Ucchan
Walking through the calm serene air of the countryside, one young boy gasped at the sight before him. There laid a bustling city, filled with life as the festivities of the day continued on. The boy received a birds-eye view of the city from the high hilltop that he was perched upon. Not wanting to be left out of the fun, he advanced towards the city gates.
Upon taking one step forward, the laughter and bustle of the festival stopped, and all was reduced to nothingness in the blink of an eye. The youth could not see anything but the blinding white void that seemed to have surrounded him. Soon, this void vanished, only to be replaced by an image of the same city. He could only gawk and stare as the city that he had spotted earlier crumbled to the ground in flames.
Finding the strength within his legs return to him, the boy ran as fast as he could to the doomed city. What he could do to save the people trapped within the city, he did not know. All he needed to do was get there. That's all he wanted to do, as if some invisible force was driving him forward without his knowledge.
In a flash he was through the city gates, standing in the middle of the town square. All he could see was fire around him, threatening to consume him in its rage as well. But for some reason the boy did not feel the heat of the fire, only knew of its presence and fury.
He continued to walk, hoping to find some life within the burning structures, but to no avail. He was about to turn back when a presence had caught his attention. But it wasn't the aura of a citizen. It was of something that he was all too familiar with. It was the presence of evil. His senses screamed a warning of upcoming danger as the only word he could think of to describe such evil formed within his mind: Talpa.
The air around him reeked of his power, that same power that almost destroyed him and his friends along with the entire world. He took up a fighting stance as several Dynasty Soldiers appeared to confront him. But they weren't Dynasty Soldiers. The opponents facing him were dressed as ninjas, but he could see beyond that. Deep within that human-like exterior was the soul of a demon. None of them were human. They could never be.
They circled around him, ready to advance. The boy slowly reached into his pocket for his kanji orb, making sure as not to draw attention to what he was doing. He froze, horror written clearly across his face. The orb was gone!