The semester is coming to an end so hopefully updates will be coming a lot quicker now. Especially since I can't stop writing this story! Anyways I'll rant later, on with the story!
Disclaimer is in the first chapter.
Upon receiving nothing but silence and stares from the men, the girl backed out of the hut and headed down the main path. She didn't know what the deal was as she walked back towards the kids who were taking turns sitting on the wolf. Since he was bigger than any normal wolf he could easily support their weight with no problem.
"So who are those men with the elder?" A small girl asked as Tonya picked her up.
"They're special guests. Which means you guys shouldn't be nuisances." She smiled as a boy tugged on her kimono.
"We're not nu…nu…nu… troublemakers." He spat out as Tonya laughed.
"Oh Tonya, would you mind catching us some more fish for tonight?" A woman called out as the girl nodded, picking up a free basket.
"You guys wanna help?" Tonya asked as the children cheered and ran around her as they headed towards the river.
Stepping out of the hut, the five men watched as the small group disappeared down the road before heading towards the river that was below the village. The old man sighed as he sat down in a chair and leaned his head back. He could still hear the happy voices as they drifted further and further away before finally disappearing.
"To think, she was the heir all along." The man breathed as the ninja looked at him.
"Sasuke go keep an eye on the girl. And don't make her suspicious of you." Saizo ordered as the youngest one clacked his heels together.
"Roger!" Sasuke said before disappearing.
"Kotaro you may want to join him for safety." Goemon sighed as the white haired ninja nodded before disappearing.
"Elder, does anyone else know about her?" Saizo asked as he knelt beside the old man.
"Of course not. I didn't even know myself. To think I've had the heir with me the entire time." The old man shook his head at the irony as a chuckle escaped his lips.
Down by the river…
The children cheered as they watched Tonya catch fish after fish. A few of the older children attempted to catch a few as well while the younger ones sat on the bank with the wolf keeping an eye on them. Remembering what had happened last time Sasuke just walked straight out of the trees as the children turned towards him. He smiled brightly and waved as a few ran over to him out of curiosity. Kotaro wasn't too far behind as he kept an eye on the rambunctious ninja.
"Mister you're really big." One of the little girls said as Sasuke knelt down beside her.
"Well aren't you just the brave one." He smiled as he patted her head.
"You have to be nice to be around Fang. Fang only likes nice people." A smaller boy said as he pointed at the wolf. Sasuke froze up a bit when he saw the wolf eyeing him. Making sure the children were ok.
"So where are the other two?" Tonya asked as she walked out of the river.
"Still taking care of business. I got bored and figured I'd come see if I could help." Sasuke said as he stood back up to his full height.
"I take it you're not leaving any time soon?" Tonya guessed as Sasuke shook his head. "Great…"
She groaned as the children drug him towards the river. Tonya spotted Kotaro hanging on the edge and wondered why he was being so quiet. She motioned him over with a smile before turning back towards the river. Sasuke had rolled his pants up before moving towards the water. Sasuke stood at the ready as he watched the fish swim by as he went to strike. He made wild movements as he struck for the fish, scaring most of them away and getting himself wet. Tonya walked back out and calmed her breathing as the ninja watched her.
"Geez you'd think one with your training would be good at this." Tonya scoffed as Sasuke puffed out his cheeks. "Patience is key."
To prove her point Tonya stood there as the fish came back around. The girl scouted with her eyes for the biggest one and waited until it drew close enough. Quickly she drove her hand into the water and latched on to the fish's tail. She pulled it out and held it up proudly to Sasuke who sulked as he turned away.
"That's not fair. I usually just catch them with my weapon." He pouted as Tonya added the fish to the pile.
"It's not hard. Being a ninja you have the quick hands for it. It's all a matter of timing." Tonya said as Sasuke nodded.
Without a word Kotaro made his way into the water as all eyes turned towards the quiet man. He stood there with his eyes closed as they wondered what he was doing. Before they could blink he struck both his hands into the water and pulled up four fish, two in each hand. Tonya nodded her approval as Sasuke growled and began trying again with the kids around him. Tonya went to take a seat on the bank as she watched the scene before her. Kotaro added his fish to the pile as he moved to sit near the girl.
"I apologize if we scared you earlier today." He said as Tonya glanced over at him.
"Oh, well you're forgiven." She smiled as she watched Sasuke and the kids get into a splash war.
"I must admit that was amazing how you deflected the shuriken with your arrows. Not many people can see them, let alone knock them out of the air.
"I didn't see them. I could hear the high pitched whistle as they flew through the air. From listening to my arrows fly all my life, I'm pretty attuned to noises like that." Tonya said as she drew her feet towards her. "I don't' suppose you two are going to share your names? Since it seems you may be here awhile it might be useful to know who you are instead of hollering 'Hey you with the white hair!'"
"It's Kotaro." He smiled, even though the girl couldn't tell because of his mouth cover. "That is Sasuke."
"Pleasure. I'm Tonya." She said as Kotaro nodded.
He glanced over the girl as the two sat there in silence, watching the kids and Sasuke just have fun. The girl was small, barely reaching five feet three inches. Her hair was long and well-kept despite how much running around she did. Showing that she took some pride in her appearance. Her hands were worn from work, but also soft as she tended to the children. He glanced at her feet and saw that the balls of her feet and the heels were the only things wrapped up. He figured that they must be strong to be able to withstand the rocky terrain.
"Can I help you?" She asked as Kotaro looked up at her.
"You're not like most women." He noted as she wasn't sure if she should be flattered or insulted.
"I never could just fall in line. I didn't find the role of the typical woman very enticing. I always found myself drawn to rough housing with the boys my age. Wanting to learn how to hunt, to fight, to do all the things the men did. Couldn't explain why but it was more appealing than sitting around looking pretty just waiting to be married off." Tonya shrugged as Kotaro tilted his head. It was just as the elder had said. He wondered if it was the ninja blood in her that made her want to be different, or if it was something else altogether.
As the sun began to dip below the horizon they gathered up the fish and headed back to the village. About half way there one of the children started tugging on Tonya's kimono as he rubbed his eyes. She smiled as she put the basket down and picked the boy up. He immediately snuggled into her as Kotaro picked up the basket. The girl wasn't always tough, she had a softer side to her as well. He found himself intrigued by the girl as he walked up beside her and looked from the boy to her. Tonya easily read the question in his eyes as she adjusted her grip on the boy.
"Just because I didn't want to get married doesn't mean I don't love children." She said softly as they entered the village.
The rest of the villagers were a buzz as they began setting up for a feast. The ninja just wandered about as they watched the proceedings take place. The elder had promised them that he would tell Tonya the truth that night after everything was said and done. He just wished to give the girl one last night of peace before allowing the ninja to take her away. Once preparations were complete the festival began. A few of the villagers played music as the rest of them danced around. The ninja just sat off to the side as they watched the villagers enjoy their time. Tonya was spending her time with the kids as they all had fun just dancing around. All of them as carefree as could be as they just made up their own dances. Finally the music ended as everyone gathered around the main pit where the boar was hanging as one of the men held up his sake cup.
"And now, before we can begin this feast we must thank our little hunter. Tonya stand up so we can all—"
The man's voice caught in his throat as he stood there frozen. Sticking out of him was an arrow. The man looked down at it as he sank to his knees. A scream rang out, triggering more and more as panic erupted. The children all gathered around Tonya as she stood in front of them, trying to keep them calm. Loud voices could be heard as hoof beats drew closer and closer. Fang came running back with the girl's bow and arrows as she turned to the children with a smile on her face.
"Remember, we've practiced this. You are to keep each other safe and head for the caves in the hills. You are not to move from them until the adults come for you understand?" She asked the older ones as they nodded.
"Fang keep them off the main roads and be safe." She hugged the wolf as he put a paw on the girl before she let him go.
The wolf barked at the children as the older ones grabbed the younger ones and led them away. Scared but comforted by Tonya's words. She turned back towards the chaos as the women hurried off after the children while the men picked up their farm tools and turned to meet their attackers. Dirty men rode into the village, striking down anything that they happened to pass by. Without thinking she let an arrow fly directly into one of the bandit's shoulders as she notched another one. The elder watched as she let arrow after arrow fly, making herself a target.
"Tonya! Why are you still here? You should've run with the children!" The elder hollered as he ran towards her.
"They're in good hands! I can't just stand by and watch as my home is destroyed!" Tonya replied as she let another arrow fly.
"You don't understand!" The elder said as he grabbed her arm. She looked at him calmly as he wondered what was going through her head.
"Let me go Elder." She said calmly as he recognized that look in her eyes. The look of one meant for battle.
He felt his hand relax as she broke away, running towards a free horse. She quickly jumped on and pulled an arrow from the quiver hanging from the saddle. She let three more fly as the bandits turned their attention towards her. She smirked as she turned the horse and ran out of the village as those still on horseback chased after her. Kotaro watched as the girl led them out of there, putting herself in danger.
"Saizo! The girl!" He hollered as he cut through an enemy.
"I got her! You all finish off this lot!" Goemon hollered as he began running after them.
Already deep in the forest the girl hopped off the horse and pulled the quiver off before sending the horse off. She ducked down low and hid in the bushes as she waited. Sure enough the bandits weren't far behind as they slowed down and began looking around. Wondering where the girl could've gone. Just as if she was hunting she waited for the opportune moment and let her arrows fly. Hitting their mark as the horses spooked and took off running. The girl stood, satisfied with herself as she started to make her way out of the brush. Hoping that everyone was ok in the village. As she was about to hit the road, she heard a distinct whistling sound coming towards her. Before she had time to block it, something struck her shoulder and buried itself in her flesh. She bit her tongue as she fought hard against crying out as her assailant appeared from the shadows.
"You're a very hard person to find girl. We've been tracking you down for quite some time now. Kusonoki Princess." The man chuckled as he walked towards her.
"Who are you?" She asked as she held her arm. Slowly feeling her body grow heavy.
"I'm going to be the one to wipe your bloodline off the face of the earth." He grinned as he pulled a dagger out as it flashed menacingly in the moonlight.
Just as promised there was action in this one. I really hated how the games portrayed the female character as every other typical heroine you read about. Being weak, inexperienced in anything, scared of fighting but will if she has to. So I put a twist on it. As I have on pretty much everything while still keeping to the main idea. Sorry but the damsel in distress characters just never sit well with me. Anyways I'm done ranting for now so please let me know what you thought and I'll get to work on the next chapter!