"I will be a ninja!" she yelled, "And there's nothing you can do to stop me!"

"Mizuki…" her mother sighed, "How many times do I have to tell you? You're not going to be a ninja!"

"Yes I am!" Mizuki shouted, "I'm going to go and find the ninja keep and I'm going to train with Master Taro!"


"No! You can't stop me!" and she ran out the door, her sandals flopping quietly. It had been Mizuki's life long dream to be a ninja. They were so silent and deadly, so unlike the so-called "honorable" samurai. She slipped out into the forest and began to walk, then she realized that she had no idea where to even start looking for the ninjas, and she had run out of the house before she could gather proper provisions. Real smart, Mizuki, she thought, Real smart. But there was nothing she could do about it now, what's done is done as her mother like to say. So she just kept walking, hoping that she would stumble upon something. She didn't.

Taro snuck through the brush, his eyes locked on his target who was staring down a peasant with his katana raised. Taro had taken to hunting down ronin and other people how took advantage of people they were bigger than. Taro knocked an arrow and drew back, the feathers tickled his chin, he sighted and released. The string twanged as the arrow shot out and buried itself in the ronin's neck. Taro melted into the shadows as the peasant looked around for his savior.

Finally something happened. On the third day of Mizuki's travel she was suddenly surrounded by ronin. "Wow," she said, "That's sad. You need five burly, armed men to rob one unarmed little girl. You must be so proud of yourself."

"Shut it," the one directly in front of her hissed, "You're in no position to be insulting us."

"Yeah," the ronin to her left added, "We hold your life in our hands."

"Phht. I bet I could get out."

"Yeah right," the first one scoffed, "You said it yourself, you don't have a weapon."

"Maybe I was lying," Mizuki said even though she kind of had been lying. "Maybe I really do have a weapon and it's just concealed."

"Yeah? Let's see it."

She reached in to the folds of her robe…

Taro saw the five ronin gang up on the small girl and crept in to intervene. He could tell that they were talking but couldn't quite make out the words. He knocked and arrow as the girl reached inside her kimono…

Mizuki pulled out the small dagger she had hidden earlier that day. The five ronin looked at the size of the blade and laughed as one drew his katana and advanced on her. She managed to block his first strike and she kneed him in the nuts as his sword was occupied with her dagger. He froze in pain and she shoved him away.

Taro stared at the girl as she put the first ronin out of commission. He certainly hadn't expected that. But now the other four were closing in on her. He shot five arrows out in rapid session then drew back into the shadows as the girl turned towards him.

Mizuki saw the arrows fly out of the woods to her right with deadly accuracy and knew they could only mean one thing: a ninja! "Hey!" she yelled as she ran towards the spot where the arrows had come from. There was no one there. Her eye caught a glimmer of movement up ahead. "Stop!" she called as she raced after it, "Please!" The person didn't stop.

Taro heard the girl yell at him to stop but he didn't, he didn't want her thanks, her praise, it meant nothing to him. He could hear her running after him, she was fast but not as fast as him. "Please!" he heard, "I want to train with you! I want to be a ninja!" that stopped him momentarily but he still kept going. She probably didn't know what it was she really wanted.

Mizuki slowed to a stop as the ninja continued running, tears blurring her vision. "Stop…" Wait! Maybe if I follow him to his hideout he'll have to let me in! she started running again, feet pounding on the ground and blood rushing in her ears. The ninja was always just a fleeting shadow but she didn't lose sight of him. I will be a ninja! I will, I will!

Taro could tell that the girl was still following him but he knew that she would tire eventually. He was impressed with her determination, maybe she would actually make a good ninja, but no, she really didn't know what it entailed. She probably thought they were something like the samurai. But they weren't.

Taro would've gotten away except that he had to stop and save another peasant, allowing the girl to catch up with him.

Me: Please don't kill me if I misspell stuff or get the Japanese grammar stuff wrong. I don't have the book with me, I'm not an expert!