Sweey: I'm sorry! I'm sorry! So very sorry! I haven't updated this story in nearly... a whole year! Gosh! Why didn't anyone say anything! Thank you lionclan... ;3 I nearly forgot I still needed to finish this story! Don't worry, it still has quite a few updates! ;D Now... where to begin with this next chapter... ah yes... and I'm rather tired... so mistakes are inevitable... X3

Chapter 10: Dark Shadow

Something was amiss under the two moons of Rock Star. The air was thick with fog from the single river that snaked around the entirety of the mountainous planet.

Galacta Knight stopped from his pattern of pacing the cliff that overlooked the path that he had just led his army through and stared out into this fog. His eyes scanned the blurry landscape and for some reason, he had a feeling that someone was watching him.

He unfolded his wings and took to the air, scanning the area around the encampment of the Dark Army for any sort of hiccup in the fog; however, he saw nothing that explained his sensation of anxiety. When he came full circle, he landed back on the cliff and folded his wings behind his back and laid a mittoned hand on his lance. He would sleep with his eyes open tonight, that's for sure.

...

The fog was rising until it mixed with the clouds. It was the perfect time to perform their duty.

Rioku nodded from his postion on a small outcrop of rocks, just beneath the cliff where Galacta had stood some hours ago before he finally left.

He watched with trained eyes as a dark blur slipped out of cover and into the open and then once again it was gone. Yamikage was excellent in terms of speed, but he was not gifted in the art of the shadow-shade.

Rioku smiled to himself in spite of that. No, Yamikage may not have such an ability, but the Famu shinobi certainly made up for it in terms of speed and agility as well as stunning tactics.

A small red light flickered briefly from behind a pile of stones where Yamikage had used for cover. Rioku took out his own device, a small round mirror that he had treasured always, and reflected the light of one of the moons of Rock Star. In the far distance, there was another flicker, this time green, in return and a few moments later a blue light flashed. They were all here. They were ready to move in.

Rioku, being a shinobi shadow-shade, lifted his hands, went through the brief ritual required to gather shadows with blinding speed, the shadows he pulled massed below him, turning gray to black. They snaked around his body, whisping in the air like steam. He tightened his fists and the snaking shadows squeezed him in their coils. Slowly, he lowered his hands, stretching out his palms as the shadows pulled him beneath the ground. Now he was one with his shadow. His silhouette remained printed on the ground and he moved now with the speed of a shadow stretching to escape the light, making his way toward the encampment of the Dark Army.

Yamikage on the other hand, watched as the Kago ninja went through his ritual of shadow-tactics. He nodded in satisfaction and rushed into the camp, sliding expertly behind one piece of cover to another. His scouts had given him the location of Galacta's tent. It might be time to teach that traitor a lesson.

In the distance he could see the large mass of Galacta's head quarters setting upon a cliff that overlooked the entirety of the encampment. The candles were still lit, but it appeared that no one was moving inside. Luck was on his side.

With devious stealth, the Famu ninja snuck inside the tent, sitting in the shadows to veil him from view as he determined his next move.

Galacta lay asleep on a giant plush pillow and had folded himself within his wings to keep warm. There was a muffled snore that came from beneath the warrior's ivory mask and Yamikage's skilled eyes quickly realized that Galacta was not only unarmed, he was utterly and completely alone. His best move would be to approach the sleeping knight and finish him off with a quick stab. Once Galacta was out of the picture, the Dark Army would once again be left leaderless, giving the GSA a great advantage.

Finally, the ninja picked himself up and pulled himself out of his cover. Quickly sprinting to his next destination that would hide him from unfriendly eyes. He spotted another safe place and dashed for it, each time growing closer to his slumbering target.

When there was no where left to hide, the ninja walked over to the knight, quietly so that not even a mouse heard him, and lifted a kunai. Just as he did so something sprange from the ground and knocked him down.

Yamikage shook his head a moment before leaping to his feet. He found no sign of the one who had assaulted him. Shaken, the ninja stood still, listening to his surroundings with his accute senses. Still he could not single out the one who had attacked him.

When he regained his composure, the shinobi slowly approached his target, lifting the kunai steadily, but this time, he threw his arm down swiftly. The shadows altered around him in an instant and he looked up just in time to see a Satisan leap from the ground and his foot that came and kicked Yamikage in the face.

Staggering back a few steps, Yamikage refused to fall down again. This time, he held up the kunai in his hand as he studied his new opponent.

The shinobi was young, light gray skin peaking from behind a dark gray mask made of cloth. An eyehole had been cut out to allow the shinobi's glowing purple right eye sight and a black tear had been fashioned upon the mask. The simplicity of the mask was compelling and Yamikage felt he had once seen it before, but could not remember where that was. White hair, spiked and jagged, poured from the shinobi's head. In his hand, he heald a massive shuriken, who's shadow ran across Yamikage's narrowed gaze.

The two said nothing. They were at an impasse. Neither shinobi made a move as they stood there, listening to their breathing against the still of the night.

Their blades met, clattering as steel met steel, sparks flying as they collided due to the swift power of the two shinobi. Yamikage lept upward, coming down with his katana now draw out as he came down upon the gray-clad shinobi; however, his opponent vanished just as the blade came close enough to cut.

Yamikage jumped back, pivoting just in time to block the attack from the gray shinobi as he lept out of the tent wall. It was in this moment that Yamikage trully met the gaze of the anonymous shinobi. It was literally deadpan, with not a hint of bloodlust, demonic duty, or even anger in the one visible eye that stared down at him as their blades once again slid against each other.

Pivoting again, Yamikage watched as the masked shinobi sunk into the ground and vanished once again. This time, Yamikage was determined to be the one surprising his opponent. His ears strained against the silence. He heard the hissing sound of the shadows as his adversary rose from the ground to hit him. Yamikage turned full circle and thrust his katana forward but he found nothing there. Now even more nervous than before, he turned around. As he did so, he met face to face with Galacta Knight who threw his fist at the Famu ninja, knocking him out cold.

"I knew something was amiss," Galacta muttered. He turned to his employed shinobi and smiled under his mask, "Excellent work Anonymous."

The one-eyed shinobi nodded, waiting for orders.

"Go ahead and get some rest," Galacta said, "Besides, this guy usually works alone. Secure him in a cage and make sure he won't be able to get out. Then you need to get some rest, we've got a big day tomorrow."

Anonymous nodded and then sunk into the ground. Galacta watched as a black pool of shadow gathered beneath Yamikage and looked away as the enemy shinobi slowly sunk into the ground until he was out of sight.

...

Rioku dashed around the corner. His silhouetted form was cast upon the side of a tent by the moons' light. He had overheard two demons chattering away about the next day's plan. Basically Galacta meant to do three waves. The first a combination of common and lower class demons to tire out the GSA, then another wave of stronger demons, and lastly he would send out the demons such as Bugzzy and Popon to join in on the battle as the GSA grew weary. Then he would send ships of more demons down the river on ships, which they would then use grapples, or their wings, to ascend the cliff.

Now that he knew their plan, it was now time for Rioku to regroup with Yamikage outside the camp.

He was probably already done, decided Rioku; however, when he arrived at the designated destination, only Yushiki and Ikono, a Famu ninja, were waiting for his arrival.

Rioku turned to Ikono, "Where's Yamikage?"

"I was about to ask you the same thing! He never met me inside the camp," Ikono replied, "The boss does what he feels like a lot of the time. Don't worry about him, he'll be back when he feels like it. He probably just wants us to go on ahead and relay the knews to the GSA."

Rioku nodded, "Right. Well, let's be on our way then." He ran off with the other two shinobi following him closely. Whenever he reached a cliff he looked back and narrowed his good eye. He could see a figure in the distance who was clad in gray with white hair spilling from his head. Rioku could see the one visible eye of the figure and it glowed purple against the night. Though it didn't take long that the staring contest ended as the anonymous shinobi vanished into the ground.

"So, they've got themselves a shadow-shade shinobi too," Rioku said. "This just got very interesting."

...

Meta Knight woke up, it was the middle of the night. The assembly yesterday morning had been a false alarm. The demons had strangely turned heel and ran. It was a tactic to draw in the GSA away from their main army. Their attempt was folly as the had knights quickly realized what was happening. Although Jecra was very disappointed that he would not be slaying any demons that morning. The two of them had took to practicing with their weapons until nightfall. Everyone was on edge these days. No one knew when the next wave of demons would come. They had to depend entirely on the ninjas they had employed for such information. It was unsettling, particularly when concerning the Famu. They were only loyal to money and to be quite honest, the GSA was nearly dry in funds. There was no telling whether or not the Famu ninja were actually playing the role of a double agents, but so far they had done their job sufficiently.

The masked knight looked outside as three shadows ran past his tent. It had to be the scouts sent earlier that night. They were obviously heading toward Sir Arthur's tent. Meta Knight decided to get up and join them, seeing as he had nothing else better to do.

"Hey Met, where you goin' at this hour?"

Meta turned and looked at Jecra, who looked at him with a hazy grin, obviously he had just woke up.

"The shinobi have returned with a report on the Dark Army," he replied, securing the strap on his mask. "I need to know what's going on."

Jecra jumped out of his cot, "They have? Well, let's not waste anymore time!" He walked quickly out of the tent, his cloak flowing out behind him. Meta Knight's little feet had no trouble keeping out with Jecra's longer strides as they walked toward the great tent of their general.

They walked into the tent. Already Sir Arthur was awake and dressed, sitting with the three shinobi who had arrived. He looked to Meta and Jecra as they walked in.

"You two should be asleep," he said softly.

Jecra shrugged, "Well, sleep really isn't an option for us right now. We are awake now. So, what news have the shinobi brought?"

Sir Arthur smiled, "They have yet to say anything to me. Since you can't sleep, you may as well hear in on this."

"Yes sir," Jecra said cheerfully, taking a seat beside Sir Arthur, while Meta took his seat on the other side of their general.

"Shenkeye, what news have you uncovered," Sir Arthur asked.

Rioku bowed, "I have overheard high ranking demons discussing the plans of the upcoming battle between our two forces, Arthur-sama."

Arthur's brows narrowed, "Oh? And what was the plan?"

"They plan to come in three waves," Rioku said, no longer bowing. "The first will be a wave of small and weak demons, planned to terrorize our army and to tire us out. The second wave will be of common demons, stronger than the first. Demons such as mumbies and scarfies."

Arthur frowned behind his mask, "And the third?"

"The third wave will be made up of the strongest demons, such as Popon and fire lions. Also, the river will be attacked," Rioku said.

"What?"

A new voice had joined in the coversation. Those in company watched as the figure of Stranger was revealled out of the shadows. Rioku sat up straighter at the sight of his friend.

"Yes, I'm afraid so. They will come down the river on boats, using their wings or ropes to ascend the cliffs."

Stranger frowned, "We are in no condition to fight such a battle."

Sir Arthur narrowed his gaze, "I wouldn't be too sure Wanderer. I am sure we can easily win this, if we think of a way to counter each appropriately. I'm sure you are experienced in fighting such battles."

Stranger nodded, taking a seat.

"Do I need to explain their strategy again?" Rioku asked.

The Wanderer was lost a moment in thought, he was staring at the shadows on the tent, his jaw clenched tight. His eyes scanned them for movement, though to the others he looked incredibly distracted.

Rioku tapped his shoulder, "Stranger?"

The Wanderer jumped a little before shaking his head, "No, there is no need to. I have already memorized it."

Jecra smiled, "Well Wanderer, what do you suggest?"

Stranger frowned, "I cannot simply produce an idea off of the tip of my tongue, I must think over it first." He stood, "Everyone go back to bed, for now all we can do is rest. I will get back to you in the morning." He turned his back and both Jecra and Meta rose to their feet, about to open their mouths to scold him for turning his back on Aurthur but their general motioned them not to.

"Leave him be and do as he said," Arthur muttered. Though he wasn't at all pleased with the disrespect that the Wanderer had just shown him. He watched as the three shinobi vanished before him and stood. "It is time we got some rest."

...

Yamikage opened his eyes slowly, groggily looking up at the ceiling of the cage he was inside. Chains bound him within it and he struggled against them.

"So you finally stopped pretending, Yamikage," a dark voice muttered. "You'll be working for us now."

The Famu ninja's eyes narrowed, but he said nothing. He wasn't about to work for some unknown force, particularly if they were of the Dark Army.

"You don't think so? Will this help change your mind?"

There was a metal clatter as a massive bag of gold and jewels were thrown on the floor of the cage. They glittered like fallen stars in the moonlight, creating pools of reflected light on the bars of the cage and Yamikage's face. It was then that he was able to see his captor's face, or mask in reality. It was none other than Galacta Knight and a devious gin flashed in his eyes, as if Yamikage was supposed to be surprised.

"That's just for hiring. I have plenty to give you and all the women and drink you could ever desire. What say you, ninja?"

He could care less about the women and drink. But the money was tempting, it really was, but he could not imagine trading his loyalty for money. He could not betray Meta Knight so easily. Not after the respect he received from the masked knight. It would bring dishonor on the Famu clan and they were already looked upon as bloodthirsty rebels. He could not let their reputation be tainted any further. He could not let that happen, he simply would not allow it.

"I do not accept. Do what you want with me, I will not work for you, no matter the consequence," his deep voice growled, muffled by his cloth mask.

Galacta let out a sinister snicker, "Is that so, ninja? That is quite something. What? Would you rather rot in this cage for the rest of your life? There's no way the GSA will defeat us tomorrow, so you may as well join us now, or we'll kill you later."

As the knight rambled on in a seemingly eternal monologue the wheels in Yamikage's head were turning with a plan that only a shinobi could accomplish. Every ninja learned the art of distracting the enemy's attention. If he accepted the money, he could infiltrate the GSA, come back with false information, only slightly true, and then dash off with the money at the last minute and rejoin the GSA. That was his new plan; it was genius.

"You can stay here as long as you desire; however, you'll have to get yourself out. See, I misplaced the key a few days back and well, unfortunately I can't seem to find it. So, you're stuck there," Galacta said, turning heal and flicking his white wings.

"I reconsider."

Galacta stopped in his tracks, grinning broadly beneath his mask. He knew well that Yamikage could not resist such hard cash, it being nearly double what the GSA was currently paying him. He feigned surprise, "Oh, what's this?"

There was a bright flash of light as the moon illuminated a small golden key as he pulled it from behind his mask.

"It seems as though I have found that key I misplaced. What luck, Yamikage. It seems you will not have to escape on your own tonight."

He unlocked the cage door, but before he unchained Yamikage, he snatched up the bag of gold and jewels and gathered them up, tying the string of the bag and threw it over his shoulders. Yamikage jerked his body in surprise. The one-eyed shinobi rose quickly from the ground, surrounded by shadows, his hand snatching the bag of precious stones with the true instinct of a shinobi.

"Before I do anything for you," Yamikage began once Galacta unlocked the shackles on his hands and the fetters on his feet.

"Who is he?"

Galacta Knight followed Yamikage's outstretched arm and to the gray-clad shinobi that he pointed at with his extended finger.

"I know not his name, for he has never uttered a single phrase to any living soul. He showed up one day with a letter from Nightmare, which I later confirmed, saying that he was to do my every bidding. I wasn't given a name, or well, a real name. He goes by Anonymous. You two will be spending a lot of time together."

Yamikage met the gaze of the one-eyed shinobi and was lost in the glowing purple eye that met his own gaze. This fellow lived up to his name. He was completely and utterly in every aspect Anonymous. There was no way to know him by his voice, nor his face, nor by his name. He was completely unknown, unexplained, and yet, it was as though he was born to be that way.

Yamikage had heard of a shinobi, very similar in description, who had murdered an entire village of the Agi clan ninja, but there was no way to tell if it had been, for there were no survivors, all but one. This survivor was no more than a leper, who had been banished to the outskirts of the village. He lived outside the wall and he could remember a shadow coming the night of the murder. He had met the gaze of the shadow, a gaze of frozen lilacs, before it vanished. It had reappeared seconds later, coming up to him and kissing his forehead before vanishing yet again. After that he heard the screams of hundreds as the very one who kissed his forehead murdered entire families until the village was completely exhausted of victims.

Once again the shinobi returned to the leper, kissing his forehead once more from behind a cloth mask. After the kiss the man said he had felt different and it seemed as though the shadows surrounding the figure shot out and sunk into his eyes and he went unconscious. When he awoke, he could see nothing but the outlines of the world around him. At his feet was a basket and in that basket was a knife and food, left behind by the one-eyed shadow who left it for him.

Yamikage himself had met this leper, who claimed all this to be true. However, he could never describe anything of the figure other than that one glowing eye. It was icy purple, like a field lilac covered in frost beating against a blue sky, with the pupil of a cat's eye. The description matched as far as the eyes were concerned, but he was also described as having black hair, while Anonymous had hair as white as the moon's reflective light.

He may not have all the answers to his questions now, but Yamikage was sure that he would one day soon find out the truth in all of this.

"Come Yamikage, let us discuss business," Galacta murmured, placing a hand on the ninja's shoulder. Yamikage, playing it cool to gain Galacta's trust, allowed the hand to stay perched there. If it had been any other, he would have shoved it off. He thought these things quickly, realizing that that would be too easily noticed and would likely get him in trouble. Galacta knew him well enough to know how he felt about physical contact, thus he shoved off Galacta's hand.

The knight laughed, "You've not changed a bit, Yamikage. I feared you'd gotten soft there for a moment."

The famu ninja gave him a nasty glare, "I am no friend of yours, Galacta." He had purposely not called him Galacta Knight, he had lost his title when he betrayed the GSA. It caused the knight to grimace but Yamikage continued. "I am an employee, as much as I dislike you, I'll do what I'm told as long as you pay me and keep your distance. Three miles at best, but I'll allow three feet if you don't rub me off."

Galacta's eyes narrowed, "Very well." He laughed, "Enough of this formality." He opened the door to his tent and they walked in. Anonymous vanished, appearing like the wind once again, sitting down on a blue pillow in front of a low table where he poured himself a cup of tea and another two for Galacta and Yamikage. When the task was done, he sipped on his own while the other two took a seat.

"Yamikage, you must prove your loyalty to me," Galacta began.

"I am not loyal to you, I am loyal to the money. If you pay, I'll do as you say," Yamikage hissed.

"I know what you're like, so I was prepared for that," Galacta said, chuckling and taking off his mask revealing a hansom young face with a casual smile spread across his face. "Look, for three hundred pounds of gold, I want you to do this one thing for me. I want you to bring me Sir Arthur's mask. Think you can accomplish that?"

Yamikage swallowed hard, "Sir Arthur?" To Yamikage, the fact that Galacta still referred to Arthur as Sir Arthur truly caught him off guard. It sounded a lot like Galacta was still loyal to his general.

"Is there a problem with that? I just want his mask, but I don't want you to touch him. Anonymous will go with you to monitor you as you carry out this mission. To assure you'll not abandon us. If you make any sly moves, he'll what he's good at and you'll be back here at square one in the cage again."

Yamikage snapped his gaze at Galacta, glancing over at the one-eyed shinobi who sat quietly sipping his tea as though he was completely oblivious to the conversation going on at the table. Yamikage met Galacta's gaze yet again and he lowered his voice to hide his skepticism, "Why not just kill me?"

"That'd be too easy," Galacta shrugged. "Our technology has advanced considerably, more than you can ever imagine. So I would think it'd be wise to refrain yourself from doing anything stupid tonight when you go."

"Tonight," Yamikage repeated, though it may as well have been a question.

"Tonight," Galacta confirmed.

"Show me the money," Yamikage demanded.

Galacta complied, dropping the purse on the table.

The famu ninja grunted in contentment, "Very well, I shall head out immediately."

"You should finish your tea," Galacta said.

"Why waste the hours away? I have little time to accomplish this stupid mission," Yamikage retorted as he walked toward the tent exit.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," Galacta murmured.

Yamikage turned around and said defiantly, "Why not?" He was rather grumpy right now.

His attention was turned to the one-eyed shinobi who stared darkly at him and Yamikage realized that Galacta was probably right. So he quickly sat down and gulped it down. Contently, Anonymous nodded his approval and joined the famu ninja as he walked out again.

Yamikage sighed, an action he rarely ever took part in. He had to play this game very carefully, else he may find himself fighting fire with fire.

...

There was murmur coming from inside Arthur's tent. Yamikage glanced up to where Anonymous's shadowy silhouette stood, perched on a cliff with his arms crossed, that one glowing eye ever fixed on the famu ninja. For once in his life, Yamikage was worried about making a mistake and afraid. He had no idea what the gray-clad shinobi would do to him should he appear to be disloyal.

His cover as of now was a patch of shadows that cast upon the tent. He quieted his mind and listened to the words being spoken inside the tent.

"Yes, I'm afraid so. They will come down the river on boats, using their wings or ropes to ascend the cliffs." Yamikage recognized it as Rioku's voice. There was a pinch of sadness in the famu ninja's heart, though he quickly recovered. If all went according to plan, things would turn out fine. He would mend things up later between he and the kago ninja.

Stranger voiced his thoughts, "We are in no condition to fight such a battle."

Yamikage's eyes narrowed as he heard the voice of his target, "I wouldn't be too sure Wanderer. I am sure we can easily win this, if we think of a way to counter each appropriately. I'm sure you are experienced in fighting such battles."

Someone took a seat, probably Stranger, Yamikage imagined.

"Do I need to explain their strategy again?" Rioku asked.

Yamikage suddenly had the sensation that he was being watched. There was momentary silence inside the tent and he froze.

Rioku spoke again and Yamikage refrained his muscles from jumping, "Stranger?"

The Wanderer replied after a moment, probably content that no one was watching them, which was untrue.

"No, there is no need to. I have already memorized it."

Jecra's voice sang out, "Well Wanderer, what do you suggest?"

Stranger gave an elaborate excuse, "I cannot simply produce an idea off of the tip of my tongue, I must think over it first." There was a ruffling sound from his cape as he stood to his feet, "Everyone go back to bed, for now all we can do is rest. I will get back to you in the morning." There was a moment of fluster and two others rose to their feet; however, Yamikage had no idea what had happened.

"Leave him be and do as he said," Arthur muttered. There was a moment of silence, "It is time we got some rest."

Stranger stepped out, taking long strides back to his tent, Rioku trotting on after him. The koga ninja paused a moment and both he and Yamikage shot their gazes to where Anonymous had once stood. Rioku, relieved of suspicion, walked on, while Yamikage let out an inward sigh of relief. A moment behind the walked Jecra and Meta Knight in full armor. Though they both walked awkwardly. There was heat radiating off of them as they stared daggers at Stranger's back. Yamikage had a feeling that the Wanderer had done some sort of act of disrespect toward Arthur, though there was no telling what. The Wanderer was one to do things out of the box of tradition.

When they had left to their own tents, Yamikage sat still for another hour and ten minutes exactly before entering Arthur's tent. There were two reasons he had waited with such preciseness. The first, he knew that people fell asleep in exactly thirty minutes. Every thirty minutes they had a moment of light sleep, in which they could easily be awoken. The twenty minutes assured him that Arthur was dead asleep and would not awaken as easily while Yamikage stalked him. Secondly, the shadow of the rock outcrop beside the tent elongated on the tent as the moon sunk a little further upon the horizon. It would allow him to enter without worrying about his shadow being seen on the tent, should Arthur still be awake. Dawn would be arriving soon and he would need to act immediately if he hoped to accomplish his mission. Therefore, he entered the tent and did so with caution.

He waited a moment, closing his eyes as he sat behind a table, until his eyes adjusted completely to the dark. He looked over at Sir Arthur who had fallen asleep in his mask. That was an unfortunate fact, but he would find a way.

Currently, Arthur was lying on his belly. Yamikage already had a plan. He approached Arthur with a clever glint in his eyes. With a flick of his wrist he undid the strap that held the mask before sliding back into the darkness. He searched the room for a necessary item before he spotted the feather of a hawk on the table in an inkwell. He picked it up, creeping back over to where Arthur laid. Yamikage stretched out his arm, and brushed the feather against Arthur's side. The knight rolled over and off of his mask, leaving it there on the pillow where Arthur's face had been planted.

Carefully, Yamikage reached out and pulled it away. The second it was clear he dashed away, returning swiftly to the cliff where Anonymous now waited as he had before.

The gray-clad shinobi looked at him in apathy before nodding slowly. Then he dashed forth, Yamikage trailing after him.

...

There was a loud clap as the mask fell on the ground.

Galacta jerked out of bed, snatching up his lance in a startled frenzy. He looked over, ready to slash down the foe who had attacked him. Though to his relief, he found only Yamikage and Anonymous staring back at him, deadpan in expression.

The winged warrior curled his lip a moment in confusion before his head cleared and he looked down at the mask. A smile spread itself over his face and his brows rose.

"I'm actually impressed! Good work, Yamikage," Galacta said in a voice that matched his words. He set down his lance and hopped down off of his mountain of pillows and scooped up the mask. "This is an amazing mask. I plan to wear it the day I defeat Meta Knight and the others. You know, sort of as a gesture to irony. I was kicked out to make room for the runt, Meta, and now I'm wearing Arthur's mask. Now, I have two more things for you to do for me tonight."

"I am not making you a cup of tea."

"I wasn't going to say that."

"You can deny it all you want, you were going to say it." "Alright well fine! Scratch that! I'm sure Anonymous makes better tea anyhow," Galacta muttered. He paused, slipping Arthur's mask into place on his face. "It fits nicely. Now," he handed Yamikage his own mask. "I want you to get rid of this for me."

Yamikage gave him a dry look.

"And this is how I want you to do it..."

...

Sir Arthur awoke to a surprising pleasant morning, despite the depressing news of the night before. He sat up, stretched his arms and adjusted his mask's strap. He yawned and slipped out of his bed, pulling his cloak and armor over his shoulders before he went to look into the small body mirror he owned.

His heart dropped to his stomach.

There was an immediate look of recognition in his eyes as he studied the mask on his face, glaring at it as though it was had somehow betrayed him by being on his face. Somehow, he didn't know how, Galacta's mask had replaced his own. He unstrapped the mask, still horrified by the fact that it was even on him in the first place. Inside he found writing on a scrap of parchment, the very parchment that was used for Galacta's resignation when Meta Knight joined the Knights of the Star Table. It was in Galacta's flowing script. It read:

"You have been replaced."

...

Sweey: OH THE SUSPENSE! Alright, finally a little ninja action! I'm sure you weren't expecting Yamikage to be quite so... loyal? Haha, well, remember I'm playing to the anime. So I'm sure you're wondering... how does he get to the point of betrayal? Hmmm? Guess you'll have to wait! Just so you know, it won't take me nearly as long to update this story again! So please enjoy and please give me some good reviews, mk? This story is now an acute focus of mine, so be happy! ^^ It's over 5,ooo words long, so I expect some long reviews! ;D No, "this is just a good chapter, very interesting, cool, etc" reviews. Tell me what you thought, what you found to be unexpected, how you liked the development of Rioku, Yamikage, and Galacta's characterization, what you thought of the new character Anonymous (he's actually not that new to some of you! lol) and what you thought of the chapter, including your favorite part. Now, get started while I get to work on the next chapter! ;D If you wanna see Anonymous or any of my other characters, go to my deviantart account. You can find the link on my profile. If you wanna see the next chapter, I expect some good reviews!

You guys keep bein' awesomesauce! Thank you AuraViper23, Auraforce3000, Galaticx Knight Jan, 123lionclan, Gammy, NeverEver, and Medius for reminding me that this story still exists and for your generous input! I will definitely see about using your ideas and OC's to make this story better. And for those of you who have requested Meta Knight to be in it more, I did try to give him a little more story time this time. He'll get more soon, don't you worry. I'm just jumping back on the train tracks again, so it may be a few more chapters before he really gets to be glorified. ;D Keep on reading and I look forward to your reviews! ^^ Later gators!