Tenchu - Tainted
Once a brave leader among his Azuma ninjas, and also a hero among the land of Lord Gohda, the Shinobi-Ryu, Rikimaru, lay defeated. He was strown across a cot that was set up inside of the hut of Tesshu. He was battered and his ninja gi tattered along his body. His sword, the Izayoi, laid on the floor at Rikimaru's feet. He was splattered in what appeared to be his own blood.
"D-Doctor... Tesshu..." he managed to speak, through a drag of linen lain across his mouth.
"Yes, Rikimaru, what is it?" answered Tesshu
"How long do you think that I have?" replied Rikimaru.
"Rikimaru..." he started, "I have to be honest with you. This probably won't be as bad as it seems." He pulled a scalpel and a pair of tweezer from a drawer beside Rikimaru's cot.
"I know." answered the ninja, "I know what you're going to say. My years of service to Lord Gohda will have been in vain if I don't fight this..."
"Rikimaru, I just going..."
"Please, Tesshu, let me finish. My last words to the Lord will be that, "I lay here, ready to die, for the honor that I have earned ... from my Lord..."
"Rikim -- "
"I'm not done!" Rikimaru shouted. "I VOW... that Ayame... will follow in my place..."
Without another word, Tesshu moved his hand, and plucked.
"OOOOOOOOOWWWWW!" cried Rikimaru, "What the HELL was THAT for?!"
"There, the thorn in your foot is gone. You're free to go."
Rikimaru blinked, "... but it HURT SO BAD! Did you see the size of that thing? It was HUGE!" He slowly looked up at the doctor from where he laid, and upon seeing the questionable glare from Tesshu, he added: "It was infected!"
Tesshu eyed the ninja and sighed, "You got that from a garden bush outside my hut 10 minutes ago. Honestly, you've got to stop using your grappling hook when you've been drinking rice wine."
A faint hiccup escaped the ninja's lips, "But the rooftop was so close! It was ... RIGHT ... THERE."
Tesshu shook his head, "Go home, Azuma." He took a seat at his desk beside the cot. He began looking over some documents.
Rikimaru looked like he'd been slapped in the face, "bu-but... THE PAIN..."
"I said go home."
"... It hur--"
"I WILL BREAK YOUR FACE!" shouted Tesshu.
"Yeah, okay." said Rikimaru, defeated, "But I swear to you, Tesshu, the battle has not yet been won." He hopped up, grabbed his sword and tried to sheath it.
"The sheath, not your pants." said Tesshu without even looking up from his reading.
"Oh... Right!" said Rikimaru, then he vanished to the outside.
"Such a weird night..." said Tesshu.
"So, you have come."
The silent night that had decended upon the Land of Gohda was slowly drifting into a dark and feisticious storm. Clouds became circling around in the sky in a twisted motion while the wind picked up its pace. The mossy trees around the village swayed violently.
"This time, the victory is mine."
Rikimaru squatted on a rooftop and spied on the enemy. Men had appeared, two of them, clad in gis, spears in hand, patrolling around Doctor Tesshu's hut. It seemed as though they had no interest in venturing into the Doctor's hut, however, but more concerned with keeping anyone else out. Rikimaru squinted, casting a hand over his eye to keep the rain from pelting him in the face so that he could get a better look. His focus was not on the men; however, he saw it...
The Garden Bush.
"This time, the victory... is mine."
He drew his sword and retrieved his grappling hook as he lept from the rooftop.
Rikimaru awoke to find himself in a familar place, and with those same piercing eyes glaring at him from above, "Doc, I swear this time, the rooftop was THIS CLOSE."