Written By Illuminet
Disclaimer: The characters from Muramasa-The Demon Blade are the rightful property of Vanillaware.
The wandering swordsman halted upon the dirt path, suppressing his coughing fit. He knew his old body was becoming a burden due to this infernal sickness that claimed him. Despite his towering frame and menacing large muscles that gave him the presence akin a strong and healthy horse, he was not immune to anything, and merely just a human. Still, there was much to do. He had recently heard about the prodigal samurai Yukinojyo Yagyu, a man who haled from a generation of fencing instructors to the Shogun's family under the curent Shogun Tsunayoshi Tokugawa.
'That man would probably make a good host...he is an able swordsman from what I've heard, though fending off his Yagyu Shinkage Ryu might be a bit of a challenge, but the Oboro Ryu should be stronger still. Being from such a distinguished family would also prove quite helpful with the political side of things.' His dark eyes shown with purpose. Though not too widely know, the burly warrior was known by some as Jinkuro Izuna, the foul swordsman. Having been taught the Oboro techniques along with a sparse few other students under the once famed sword master Senju Oboroya, he killed them all in order to become the sole inheritor of the style. Currently, there was only one long term enemy he had along his trail, the person being a fairly powerful swordsman named Rankai. Had been anyway, until Jinkuro put him in his place and shattered the man's dreams of ever wielding a blade again. The last few times they had met, Jinkuro learned he joined a group of monks who were based on Mt. Kongo off the Yamato region. Unable to battle Jinkuro himself, Rankai and the others could bring about powerful youkai to battle the foul swordsman instead.
'Once again...a year has passed and that presence remains with me. Never attacking, just watching...perhaps it's about time I come face to face with this stalker of mine.' No matter where he went he would eventually feel the eyes of someone on him. It was no mere person either. He thought it could be a spy from Rankai's group sent to track him. Someone of the supernatural variety, but the presence did not seem the same as the evils the monks would send Jinkuro's way. Nor would they have had quite this much patience to resort to a spy unless it was Rankai himself as it usually turned out to be. Jinkuro knew how to differentiate between presences, and this was not Rankai.
"I'm not in the mood for games. Why not just reveal yourself, little fox?" Jinkuro's deep voice spoke to the outgrowth of trees on the side of the road. His technique allowed him to sense out quite clearly now that it was no ordinary animal that followed him, rather it was a servant to Inarimyojin. He eyed the white furred fox that appeared before him, seeing plainly that it was timid yet determined to not look afraid. A bit odd. He wondered if perhaps even the Gods themselves were taking an interest in his savage activities. As if a bunch of deranged monks, rogue groups of ninja and ronin weren't enough
"Let's cut to the chase then. Your one of Fushimi's, eh? A vixen then. Go on and speak the human tongue and tell me why you've been pursuing me." Jinkuro spoke as he would to any other normal being. He would need to find this fox's intent, and would be on full guard to not be ensnared in a tricky situation.
"Well...um...that is..." She spoke up, flustered. Her head turned away from Jinkuro's gaze, unable to hold it. Jinkuro took a step closer, removing the one muscled arm that was tucked into the folds of his yukata. The hand rested upon the hilt of the blade at his side, a member of the Muramasa blades that were being sought and could possess any number of weaker minded humans as well as other spirits and beasts. The Oboro Ryu allowed him to not be swayed by the weapon, he was just an immoral and corrupt person to begin with. It was also passed through word of mouth that perhaps one of the blood seeking blades out there might one day become powerful enough it could pierce the defense of a God.
"You here to stop me, woman? You could never weave an illusion of which my blade could not cut through nor even fox fire or any other tricks you may possess so don't even bother. Anyone who stands in my way shall pay with his or her life. A woman is no exception." To make his point, he drew the blade only but a fraction of the way from its sheath but it was enough to feel the thirst for blood emanating off the sharp edge. Combined with his own killing intent, the fox seemed to shiver, her fur bristling.
"No...that's not my purpose...I simply want to help you." She said, and he could feel the sincerity in her voice. He admitted that this was quickly growing into a useful predicament. If his thoughts were on the right track. The blade was firmly sheathed completely, the shroud of killing intent fleeting from her senses.
"Is that all? It has been said foxes are both deceptive and coy. Then again, if your a servant of Inari...your intent is true, and I sense nothing to contradict your words. You only have one tail though at the moment, so you can't be particularly strong. Can you at least take on a human form?" He would see what she was capable of, see if she really did have some use which he could capitalize on. He was well aware now that she held an infatuation with him, and while it wasn't particularly uncommon that a fox might be attracted to a human, he just found it amusing that he would be a target of one such fox. What were the odds?
"I can. Would you desire proof of this?" She questioned. Jinkuro nodded. She saw a few stray leaves on the road flitting by, letting one land just slightly upon her forehead. Light started forming around her body, becoming more human shaped in appearance. When the light receded, he saw a buxom and curvaceous woman bared and kneeling before him to cover her modesty. Her skin was light and pale like snow, looking as soft as a peach. It was quite the contrast to his rough and leathery tanned skin. He took a few steps closer, catching the ever darkening blush gracing her pretty face. Despite her beauty, it would seem she was feeling self conscious under his gaze even though her body alone would warrant her any man she so desired. Yet her eyes were only on him. Truly, he was not touched in some way by her feelings, simply amused.
"Your name?" Jinkuro took a knee, though he was still towering over her to due to his immense stature, and brought one callous hand grasp at her chin to turn her head about and inspect. She was quite lovely, this much he could appreciate. His wants were not of physical desire to be with a woman, only of power. Still he might indulge her sometime when he had a chance for there could always be times made to pursue pleasure of a woman's warmth. It would have been easy to take her, seeing as she was attracted to him already.
"Kongiku..." She voiced softly, her blush spreading further to the valley of her breasts. One large thumb traced along her left cheek in a soothing manner, and she could not help but nuzzle into his large palm.
"I take it you know who I am already. You've been stalking me for quite some time, though I allowed it out of amusement. Anyway, answer me this: Even were my soul to be part of another man's body, and my current body was left to wither and rot, would you still hold feelings for me?" He made sure her gaze was on his own. Her answer would decide her usefulness to him, her life or death. His words made her realize that he himself could see easily that he held claim to her heart already, that she had fallen for him. That thumb of his traced along her full lips for a moment, making her feel almost bold enough to kiss it.
"Even were you to be a woman, Sir Jinkuro. These feelings that swell in my heart would not change." She spoke after the moment of her realizations. She told herself she would not back down from him. And so she voiced what came to mind. It actually impressed Jinkuro.
"Well then...if that is the case, I want you to infiltrate the home of Yukinojyo Yagyu and give me his description. It will be his body to which I transfer my soul into. Can you do this?" He questioned, letting his hand lower to grasp onto one bare shoulder, making her breath hitch.
"I...yes. I can perform such a task, and can even employ some of my sisters to help." She spoke firmly. He was glad to hear this. Anything could be used as a weapon, even the love of a woman. He would later on in the future be relieved to know that her caring was as deep as she said it was. Because on the destined day he was to ensnare the third distinguished son of the Yagyu clan, an interference would occur that would throw his life into strange territories of which he would need to adapt to.